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Cold as Ice

An Intelligence Investigation on Andoria

Ice Cold

Andoria, Starfleet Outpost

The petite woman sighed, absent-mindedly brushing back a dark black lock of hair from her face.

“What did you say that your name was?” the tall Andorian woman inquired.

“Hitomi Reiko, ma’am,” the tiny human replied.

“I take it that you’re aware of what duties I request of you in this position?”

“I do, ma’am. Of course, I would need ask your name?”

The Andorian smiled, “I apologize, little one. I am Starfleet Captain Saro Sh’iqaalran. I am in command of the Starfleet outpost here on Andoria. What brought a human girl like you here to this cold place?”

“Looking for a change in environment,” Reiko responded.”I’m hot blooded for a human and enjoy the cold weather.”

“It isn’t often to find humans that enjoy the cold of my home world,” Saro smiled, gazing down at the downright tiny human, ogling the pretty little thing. “Your background checked out and you seem to have plenty of experience. I can definitely use you. When can you start?”

“Right now, Captain,” Reiko smiled back.

“Excellent. Let me show you where I will need you for right now,” Saro grinned as she stood.

A couple of minutes later, Reiko was sat quietly as Captain Sh’iqaalran stood over her, pointing out financial and storage information on a spreadsheet, “See here where these don’t line up? I have equipment missing and no corresponding transactions of transferring this equipment to fleet starships.” This outpost regularly transferred everything from dilithium to quantum torpedoes to Starfleet vessels.

“I need a personal assistant, but first I need an outside set of eyes to take stock of what all is missing, since I am not sure I can trust my logistic personnel,”

The petite woman nodded, “I will get right on it, Captain.”

Three days later, ‘Reiko’ frowned as she entered the necessary code to override internal sensors in the warehouse. Before stepping inside, she reached up and tapped the edge of her jaw line on the right side of her face, “Bayushi to Doctor Bayushi.”

Only audible in her own ears, “Yes, mom?”

Bayushi Kachiko sighed, “We are both on-duty right now, Ensign. I need you to maintain a transporter lock on me, just in case things get dicey. But before that, please transport my welcome package to my location.”

Hefting the long bag up after it materialized at her feet, Kachiko unlocked the hatch into the expansive warehouse, the special code immediately deleting the record of her access to the facility.

“Doctor, I am inside. Please maintain transporter lock and I may need you to transport some possible captives,” Kachiko remarked to the Doctor.

“Of course, Commander,”came back the voice in Kachiko’s ear.

Kachiko set up remote sensors in unusual spots around the facility, that were not tied to the warehouse computer but to the computer on her ship docked at the nearby starport in the nearby city.

When she was done, she returned to the matter most at concern: a stock of quantum torpedoes. Pulling a powered torque wrench from her welcome package bag, she set to work opening the casing on a torpedo, before extracting the remote control and detonation receiver, her bag producing what looked exactly like what she had removed, placing it in the receivers place inside.

All thirty torpedoes later, Kachiko hefted the bag again and once more spoke over her still-open communicator, “One to beam out.”

Ten seconds later, the petite woman stood on a transporter pad, looking into the eyes of a younger woman, a taller version of her mother, “Sorry, Reiko-chan. I used your name for myself in there.”

“It’s fine, mom. They will almost certainly never meet me,” Reiko smirked.”I don’t mind.”

“So when will you get authorization to pick up some more crew?”

Kachiko sighed as she followed Reiko into the secured storage compartment, where she secured the bag with the remote receivers in a locker keyed only to herself. Then she looked back up at Reiko, “I already got authorization for two people, doll. Rita has been spared for us once we’re finished here and your auntie Karsel’lyn will be here later today.”

“Yay!” squealed the young physician, ”I haven’t seen Auntie Lyn in years!”

Kachiko smiled ruefully. She was pleased at how the young Ensign had maintained her exuberant nature through the hellscape that was Starfleet Academy and Medical School. The sweet girl was easily Kachiko’s first choice for the crew of the Raven class USS Sitacus, as she trusted no one greater than her daughter. Not to mention that she was a medical doctor and Kachiko had a tendency to be in a position where she could be pretty grievously hurt.

“Can you tell me what we’re doing here, Commander?” Reiko asked.

Kachiko shook her head, “Not yet, Ensign.”

Return of the Green People Eater

USS Sitacus
Day 2

Kachiko yawned before sitting up in her bunk, once again grieving that she was not awakening next to her wife.

She was certainly having trouble adapting to life as a widow, though the petite telepath was certain that had Reiko met Captain Saro Sh’iqaalran and sensed the woman’s lecherous thoughts, she would have gladly pushed Kachiko to explore something with the pretty and mature Andorian lady. Even if just a single night with the woman.

It wasn’t an idea that Kachiko would be averse to. She did find the woman attractive. But at the time, Kachiko had a job to do.

The naked woman slipped out of bed, leaving the rumpled blankets behind as she slipped into the refresher.

While she washed up, she sensed Reiko’s thoughts nearby, the girl entering Kachikos quarters… with someone else.

A second later, the hatch opened into the refresher, Kachiko freezing up inside the hot water shower, before a now naked green woman hopped in and closed the door behind her. A squeal erupted from the short green woman, “CHIKO!” as the green lady threw herself at her half-sibling, arms wrapping around Kachiko.

“Lynnie? You got here fast!” Kachiko was still surprised, but pleased to have more family with her. The shock wearing off, Kachiko returned the embrace, “Love you, ya monster!”

“I got a ride with the Sitak,” Lyn kissed Kachikos cheek.”I was surprised when I saw I was gonna be your second and helm.”

“I requested you. I need people I can trust around me, especially with the work we are going to be doing,” Kachiko explained.

“What work? Hush-Hush stuff?” Lyn asked, before she drew back and spun Kachiko around. “Let me get your back while you tell me?”

Kachiko nodded, “Yeah. Unfortunately it’s more hush-hush stuff. Though Fleet Intelligence did run extensive checks on you and Reiko before confirming you for this assignment. Rita will be joining us after the current op has been completed. We’re picking her up on Mars.”

“Ooh, Rita is pretty awesome. Like she even took care of Reiko while you were on assignment and then disappeared for a year. When Riosa got fried,” Lyn suddenly clapped her hands over her mouth. Sensing her siblings mortification, Kachiko turned back to Lyn with a still-soapy back and hugged her half-sister again, “Don’t worry. I’m still not over Rios death, but I have gotten a lot better at dealing with the emotions. A few months of vacation recovery on Vulcan did a wonderful bit of good.”

“So what’s the plan here?” Lyn inquired as she spun to let her shorter sibling start scrubbing her back.

Kachiko smirked, “I’m pretending to be a personal assistant for a lovely Andorian lady. You would like her, ya monster. She has quite the active imagination and desires. I bet you two would get along amazingly.”

“Anyway,” Kachiko continues. “It’s just to get me inside without arousing suspicion. Someone has been stealing quantum torpedoes and phaser coils from the Depot and it’s up to me to find out who and also how. Not to mention who they are working for.”

“I see why you have Rei-Rei with you, cause that sounds like it could be really dangerous,” to which Kachiko immediately replied. “Yeah, it really makes me wish I could have grabbed Rita before starting this.”

-10 Minutes Later-

In the central dining facility, both siblings were sliding into separate seats at the table as Reiko brought them bowls of steaming noodles from the small kitchenette. Both clad in white terrycloth bath robes, Kachiko smiled at the food while Lyn said, “Wow! This smells great!”

“It’s replicated and then I cooked it the old fashioned way, Auntie Lyn. It’s chicken Yakisoba,” the young doctor reported before heading back to the kitchen and returning with her own bowl and three sets of chopsticks.

“Thank you, Reiko-chan,” Kachiko pat the girl’s hand. “This will certainly make for a great lunch. Though I will need to get back to work as soon as I’m done eating and get Lyn added to the ship’s command log.”

“Yes,” Lyn breathed in between bites. “This is really good!”

“I will need you both to stay with the ship and keep her hot and ready. Just in case,” Kachiko looked between both women.

“Aye-Aye, Captain!” Reiko chirped, before Kachiko immediately interrupted anything else she was going to say. “No! You will NOT sing that accursed song on my ship!”

Reiko laughed, “Aww, why not?”

“Because there are no pineapples under the sea! Nor squirrels with dive suits!” Kachiko grumbled. ”I wish you never watched that when you were staying with Rita when I was gone.”

Lyn looked tremendously amused at the mother-daughter banter over their wonderful meal. Soon it would be over and they would be back to work.

-30 minutes later-

“Sorry, Captain,” Kachiko explained quietly, looking intentionally sheepish. “I really over slept. It probably me lagging from just getting here to a new time zone and everything.”

Saro smiled,”I figured as much, Reiko  I know that you only got here an hour before we met yesterday, so I can’t blame you. Let’s just try not to make it a habit.”

Kachiko nodded before sliding a PADD across the desk, “I was also up really late. I have an accounting of all the torpedoes and phaser coils in storage. I am going to collate the list and then get a count on the tricorders and shipments of dilithium today.”

“You’re getting on this a lot faster than I expected, little one,” Saro looked surprised.

Kachiko explained, “I have an eidetic memory when it comes to numbers and figures, Captain. It’s one reason why Starfleet cleared me for this job. I have done similar things for them back at Command before. Also consulted on a few projects at Utopia Planitia.”

Kachiko did indeed have the memory that she described. Although the jobs mentioned were all for Starfleet Intelligence.

“Well, if I’m dismissed, I should get to work.”

“Very well, dear girl. You can get at it.” Saro gestured towards the hatch.

A Surprise Indeed

Various, Andoria
Day 2

Kachiko had noted that her proximity sensors AND movement sensors were warning her that there was someone inside of the munitions depot with the quantum torpedoes. Connecting remotely to the Depots security computer,she accessed internal surveillance cameras just in time to see someone’s back before they dematerialized in a transporter beam, with one torpedo now missing from the rack beyond where the mystery individual stood.

Now that it had been moved, the tracker Kachiko had installed began to keep Kachiko updated. The pale woman blanched when she noted that the torpedo was now near the center of the Andorian Capitol City. Inside a closed warehouse. A warehouse Kachiko had been inside of several times, the building serving as a temporary training facility when Mars was unavailable. The large labyrinthine structure had served well for structure clearance training. She was amused that the thief had chosen her old haunts for their secret hideout. This should prove easier than anticipated.

-50 Minutes Later-

Kachiko crept slowly through the dim interior of the warehouse, freezing in place as she swore in her head, certain that there was a sentry just three meters in front of her, the persons back to the petite infiltration specialist. The apparent woman had her back to the Commander. Very slowly and silently, Kachiko’s combat knife slid from its leather sheath as she seemed to glide across the deck up to behind the seated woman. One hand suddenly snatched the woman’s long hair before yanking her head back hard, blade pressing to the woman’s exposed throat.

Kachiko’s eyes widened as they met the eyes of the other woman. It was enough of a surprise that it stayed her knife bearing hand.

“Rita?” Kachiko asked in a whisper.

“Who the f%#£ are you!?” the human woman growled, not recognizing her assailant for all of the face paint obscuring her features.

“It’s Chiko,” Kachiko replied.

“¡por Dios! Commander!” Senior Chief Rita Sevilla-Hernandez exclaimed. “I can’t hear for s€%t right now and you scared the hell out of me!”

“What are you doing here?” Kachiko asked. Rita shook her head, “I have been tracking weapons smugglers for the last three weeks. This is apparently where they decided to move things.”

“I’m all alone wasn’t sure I could handle all four of them myself, so I’m glad that you’re here, boss,” Rita offered the tiny officer an exhausted grin.

Kachiko shook her head, “I’m just here to establish the who and what. There’s a lot more at play here. These are just the bag men, not the people Starfleet is after.”

“Really?” Rita breathed out.

“Not here,” Kachiko held a finger to her lips. Then Kachiko crept forward to look down through the one-way transparent aluminum. An Andorian man, and a pair of Cardassians. Then a human stepped into view, which proved to be a woman. Then the woman became animated, looking like she was berating the other three.

Then the woman turned her back to the men, allowing Kachiko to see her face.

“Why I haven’t seen you in years,” Kachiko remarked. “Last I heard, you were dead.”

Rita asked, “Who?”

“I have her image stored on my internal drive unit,” Kachiko replied, keeping her eyes on the target. “Let’s not talk about it here.”

“You went ahead and had that done?”

“Yeah. With the corneal recording and heads up display implant as well,” Kachiko backed away from the one-way transparent aluminum pane, “You’re under my command now, Senior. Let’s get out of here.”

Turning her wrist over, she tapped at a wristwatch like display, “Ready?”

Rita nodded and the pair disappeared in a haze of light.

Welcome Aboard!

USS Sitacus
Day 3

“Rita!” Reiko squealed, the young physicians arms wrapping around the much taller Hispanic woman’s neck after Rita and Kachiko rematerialized on the transporter pad.

Rita grinned and returned the physical gesture, “I missed you too, Ensign!”

With those words, Reiko reluctantly withdrew, “Sorry, Commander. I’m still getting used to this officer thing, especially being around all of you.”

Kachiko sighed silently, “I understand, Reiko-chan. Start working on your appropriate decorum. Use this as an opportunity to practice it, before you get assigned somewhere normal in the fleet. Rita will be in charge of your discipline, under my command. You did well in the Academy, but you need real experience and it’s better to get it here before you ship out to the fleet.”

“I expect the best from you, Ensign Bayushi. As your commanding officer and your mother. Right, Senior Chief?” Kachiko looked to Hernandez.

“Aye, Commander,” Rita smirked briefly.”I won’t interfere with your work as a doctor, Ensign, but we’ll have a discussion after you’ve finished treating a patient if I catch something amiss. As much as I love you, little one, we’re shipmates now. You’re an officer and I’m enlisted. It’s probably best you refer to me as Senior Chief or just Senior, for now.”

“But I do admit that I am very happy to see you again, Ensign. You sure aren’t the little girl I used to know.”

“You’re definitely taller than your mom now, Reiko,” Lyn had just joined the contingent, which had migrated to the communal dining and recreation room. Then the green woman continued, “Commander, we are in orbit around the moon now. The Starfleet outpost has hailed us and is requesting assistance.”

“I will take it on the bridge, Commander,” Kachiko nodded at Lyn. “Please take your posts, everyone. Senior, I need you at the Security and Tactical station. Let’s look alive for Captain Sh’iqaalran, shall we?”

-Bridge-

“The transmission is secure, Lyn?” To which the half-Orion nodded fervently.

“=/\=Greetings Sitacus. I am Captain Saro Sh’iqaalran of Starfleet Outpost Andoria Three and I…”

“Reiko?” Saro breathed, looking surprised on the Sitacus main viewer.

Kachiko smiled, “Good evening, Captain. My name is Commander Bayushi Kachiko, Starfleet Intelligence. I apologize for the deception, Captain, but I am on an assignment that I can not disclose even over this secure communique. We will need to speak in person. Preferably tomorrow morning?”

“In the morning it is, Commander Kachiko…”

“Commander Bayushi, ma’am. Kachiko is my given name.”

“Of course. How does Oh Eight Hundred sound?”

Kachiko nodded with a smile, “Give us a holler at that time, Captain and we’ll beam you aboard.”

“Confirmed. Andoria Three out.”

Lyn then chirped up,”I saw how she looked at you, Kachiko. You should explore those feelings.”

“Too soon, Commander Lyn,” Reiko said from the mission operations station. “We’re only nine months since Rio died. Mom might not be ready to move on yet.”

“I can speak for myself, kids,” Kachiko grumbled.  “Besides, you all do realize that I have spent a fair few hours with the woman in her office. And that I can read her mind? I’m well aware of her attractions and her physical desires for me. I also realize that we would be a great match. Only problem is that I have a job to do and I can’t afford any distractions right now.”

“Maybe once we’re done here,” Kachiko conceded. She acknowledged that they had a point. But the uniform had to take precedence, no matter what.

“Well, I’m glad you’re here, Senior Chief. Welcome aboard. Commander,” Kachiko addressed the half-Orion helmswoman. “Command already authorized you as my First and you have had your permissions adjusted on the computer. If you could get our new Security Chief authorized in our systems, I would greatly appreciate it. I need to take a nap.”

“You have the conn, Commander Lylyl-Llytherraias.”

Rules of Attraction

Various, aboard USS Sitacus
Day 4

The hatch to the dining room turned briefing room opened and a stunned looking Andorian Captain stepped out, pretty swiftly followed by the very pale and white haired Commander.

“I had no idea such treachery was taking place under my watch,” Captain Saro Sh’iqaalran breathed out, once the hatch had closed behind the petite Commander.

Kachiko gestured towards the hatch leading to her quarters aboard the Sitacus, “I understand, Captain. Perhaps it would be better to discuss anything further in private?”

Captains Quarters

Once seated at the small Kotatsu, her bare feet happily warmed under the table, Kachiko smiled across the table at the lovely Andorian lady, “I appreciate the position you are in, Saro. Trust that unless the investigation uncovers your involvement in these matters, Command isn’t after you at all for any of this.”

“All that aside,” Kachikos smile softened as she gazed up at the much taller Andorian. “Once this assignment has reached its conclusion, we can explore your desires?”

“My desires?” Saro looked surprised.

“Indeed,” Kachiko remarked, looking serious now. “I have known since we first met in your office in the Capitol. My dear Captain, I am a high-level telepath and your thoughts are neither guarded nor secret around any telepath. Your mind broadcasts every thought quite loudly. Were she in the room, my Medical Officer could likewise ‘hear’ those thoughts.”

“You are Betazoid, then?” Saro asked.

“No ma’am. I am very human,” Kachiko replied wryly. “I am likewise attracted to you as you are to me. I don’t know how we could carry on a relationship, given that my duties have me all over the Federation. However, I am closing in on my retirement and…”

“Retirement?” Saro interrupted. “But you’re still so young!”

“I only look young, Saro,” Kachiko explained. “I have been in the service since shortly after the Battle of Wolf 359.” Unsaid was the very sensitive information about how a temporal event brought the small woman forward in time quite a few years. Had she remained in her past, Kachiko would be north of age 50 now. Also unsaid was the unusual way her body reacted to Chroniton exposure. Kachiko’s physical age had regressed more than a decade in the temporal event and she had found herself on a completely different world than the one she had been on, out on the unexplored galactic rim.

“This all said,” Kachiko set her PADD down, “I just discovered that Starfleet Intelligence will be taking over the investigation. The Sitacus has just been reassigned elsewhere. We depart in the morning.”

“If you would like, you could remain aboard tonight and I could properly bid you adieu?” Kachiko smirked, one of her bare feet exploring the bare skin of Saro’s left shin, under the table in the heated pit.

“I think that I would like that, little one,” Saro grinned with a look of want.

“Very well, darling,” Kachiko hadn’t smiled this much in months. The taller Captain had captured the Intelligence Agents fancy since she hadn’t detected the woman’s thoughts. Even if nothing came of it, at least Kachiko could give Saro memories to enjoy. “So what is it about me that caught your fancy?”

“I like small women and you’re cuter than most,” Saro responded.

Then the lovely Andorian reached across the table and grasped Kachiko by the collar of her uniform, pulling her over the table for the first embrace of their lips. There promised to be many more throughout the day and the night to follow.