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Part of USS Republic: Die a Hero…

Die a Hero… – 4

USS Republic
August 2401
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As Mac finished reading the padd in hand, he could feel the scowl on his face deepening as he looked up at the two officers who had brought it to him. Lieutenant Commanders Lake and Malcolm, done with their examination of the Madeleine had brought their findings directly and expediently to his desk. Evan Malcolm had insisted on it being a matter he needed to see first. Of grave importance, he had said before returning from the pirate vessel.

As he rubbed at his forehead for a moment, setting the padd down, he looked up at the two men. “You’re right, this is important information.” He saw Malcolm’s face flicker, satisfaction in getting information to the right person. “But why might I ask did you insist I had to see this first? Commander Sadovu would have been the logical first stop, yes gentlemen?”

“Well sir,” Matt Lake started but stopped as soon as Mac’s glare settled on him.

Somewhere along the line, not entirely sure where he’d learned it, Mac had developed that skill he’d seen captains deploy of telling someone to be quiet with just a look. He’d only ever seen his last captain, Tikva Theodoras, use it once and considered it both one of the scariest and funniest things in his life. To his credit, he’d saved the laughter until the three ensigns had left her ready room but had been in awe of how she’d been able to cut excuses off with just a glance.

Lake appropriately stymied in his efforts to explain the situation, he turned to Malcolm, tilting his head slightly to silently say ‘Well?’.

“We thought to save time by reporting such an important finding directly to you sir,” Malcolm said after a brief pause, either phrasing the response before saying it or letting himself say the career-limiting responses to himself before answering.

“You were making an end-run around Commander Sadovu,” Mac said in response. “Your dislike for the Commander is well known Lieutenant Commander Malcolm.” The full use of the man’s rank seemed to get Malcolm’s attention, emphasising the exact nature of the chain of command. “And being formerly with Starfleet Intelligence, don’t you think she might be best placed to action this finding? To ensure it gets into the right hands in a timely manner?”

“Sir, can we really – “

“Yes or no, Malcolm,” Mac interrupted to the man’s excuse.

It took Malcolm a good five seconds of staring at Mac, grinding his teeth before he finally uttered, “Yes.”

“Good. In future, bring such findings to her first. Am I understood?”

“Yes sir,” both Malcolm and Lake answered in unison.

“Dismissed.”

Both men rose from their seats, turned and sheepishly made for the door, stopping as it hissed open and they came face to face with Commander Sadovu, standing there with a grin on her face. Mac wished he could have seen their faces. It would have been worth almost any price as he saw them quickly slide aside and away like a pair of junior officers afraid they were about to be stepped on.

“Let me guess,” Sidda started as she slinked in and dropped herself, without invitation, into one of the recently unoccupied seats. By means of an apology she had brought with her a small plate she set down, uncovered and removed one of the two breakfast croissants upon it, then pushed the plate towards him with the other. “Malcolm still stirring up shit about me? Can’t trust Intelligence? I’m some sort of double-agent spy pirate? I’m likely to go rogue and join up with this New Maquis thing at a moment’s notice?”

“Who said anything about a New Maquis?” Mac asked as he examined the croissant before giving in to the temptation if offered.

“Levne did,” she answered. “Apparently of our prisoners, one of them was willing to trade what he thought he knew about me from another life and some limited information about his associates in exchange for…preferential judicial treatment, I think was the term used?” Sidda shook her head and smiled. “But hey, we got him on interstellar piracy and life endangerment, so minimum sentencing for that alone should keep him locked away for a few decades, right?”

“Hmm,” Mac answered around the croissant, savouring the blend of flavours he was being presented with. “Did she,” he stopped, interrupting his own question to look at the croissant once again, then back to Sidda, “Where the hell did Revin learn to cook by the way?”

“From a Klingon chef, formerly a general in the KDF, then from a cookbook given to her by Ardot Kresh, Kyban’s foremost information broker.”

“Well again, compliments to the chef.” He had been cautious, concerned even about having Sidda on his crew once he’d read her file, doubly so for finding out that Revin’s assignment was all part of a deal Sidda had made with the Powers That Be well above his place on the totem pole. But the young Romulan woman was intent on bringing everyone under her sway by means of their stomachs and he knew he wasn’t immune to her culinary charms. “But back to the matter at hand, did Selu learn anything of import?”

“Not really. Jack Mackenzie is the owner-operator of the Madeleine, formerly a registered courier vessel. Alex Stone is the hired muscle and Harriot Marrison, who prefers Harry, is…was the engineer aboard. The surviving fighter pilot is Patrick Wake. Jack claims he’s not truly with the New Maquis, just working for them for the money. Was just hired to move some cargo as a one-off deal for the New Maquis and decided to hit that freighter as an opportunity prize.” Sidda shrugged slightly. “Mackenzie claims he and I ran into each other out in the Archanis Sector, but honestly I don’t recall. Must have been some two-bit smuggler not worth remembering.”

“So he’s a liar as well then,” Mac said, pushing the padd with the findings from Madeleine’s communication system across his desk. “You aren’t going to like that by the way.”

Sidda’s normally chipper expression gave way to a furrowed brow of concern before she set her croissant down, picked up the padd and looked at it for exactly two seconds before tossing it back on his desk. “Fuck me.”

“Shreln is with the New Maquis,” Mac said, giving voice to the unwelcome reality.

“And so is Manfred,” Sidda added, before taking a rather aggressive bite out of her breakfast and chewing on it. Something he found he preferred to her swearing.

“You said you killed him, but that’s the second piece of video evidence of him still being alive.” He couldn’t help but smile when Sidda glared at him, her chewing coming to a halt. “Maybe next time, try and capture him so you can learn what he is?”

“I’ll consider it,” she answered.

“You’ll do it,” he said. “No killing without a good reason on my boat, understood Commander?”

“Aye cap,” Sidda answered immediately, with no hesitation or staring contest like he’d had with Malcolm. She did reach forward to collect the padd again before rising to her feet. “I should relay this to Commodore Sudari-Kravchik and let her disseminate it to the fleet. New Maquis possibly working in the Thomar Expanse and a known bioterrorist working with them too now. This is going to be…entertaining.”

“Better you than me,” he replied. “Could you try calling her first before just sending a report along? I want an update on what’s going on with Atlantis if we can get it.”

“And it’s harder to ignore the question in a call than with messages back and forth.” Sidda nodded in the affirmative with his request. “Will do boss.”

“One last thing before you go Sidda. Dinner in the Pnyx tonight, bring the ladies?”

“Blake putting you up to this?” Sidda counter-asked.

“Heavily hinted at,” he replied.

“Sure thing. Nineteen hundred?”

With a nod of his head, he agreed. “Sounds good. Go talk with the Commodore, I’ll handle the Madeleine and get us underway again. Trid thinks she might have a bead on their friends and I want to get on their trail right away.”

“Oooh, record the scuttling would you please? Want to show it to our would-be pirates when I get a chance.” She grabbed up the plate she’d brought the food on with her, glanced at the padd once more before tucking it under an arm and then started for the door. “Nineteen hundred, looking forward to it.”

Comments

  • I love how Sidda's past still makes certain members nervous. Also, Mac is still just soooooooooo cool as a captain. He is so in control and in command. Having both of them together as captain and first officer is such a great dynamic. I'm hoping to see how they and their other halves become the power couples of the Republic!

    March 31, 2024