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Part of USS Lakota: Episode 1: Ethical Frontier

9 – The truth is out there

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First Officer's log, supplemental.

 

Commander Peri's away team has returned to the ship, having located Glinn Darro exactly where Doctor Orta's log suggested he would be; unconscious, but alive. Given the disaster on the surface, we can afford to take no liberties when it comes to the security of the ship and crew, so Doctor Zinn has Darro under medical observation in the Brig.

 

The Quasaris sector has been successfully quarantined with the arrival of the rest of Lakota squadron, and Starfleet Medical has dispatched a medical research vessel to the area. Captain Nazir has informed our Cardassian counterparts of the situation and, despite their protestations, the Cardassians have been ordered to withdraw by Central Command. For now, they are playing ball. If that changes, we'll be ready for them…


Slouched back in her desk chair, feet up and crossed over one another, she was fully engrossed in her data PADD whilst she waited for the communications system to connect with the one several hundred lightyears away at Deep Space 17. An update for the Task Force Commander was probably overdue.

“Captain! I didn't expect to hear from you so soon, what do you have for me?”

Taken by surprise by the sudden voice emitting from the screen, Nazir lurched forward and dropped her feet to the deck. “Mission accomplished,” she frowned, waving the data PADD at the screen. “I'm sending you my report now, but I'm sorry to say there are no survivors from the station populace,” the Trill told the new Task Force Commander.

Varro expressed his sorrow as he sifted through the report. “And what about our spy situation? I hope it's been addressed appropriately.

“Our investigations continue,” the Captain sighed, looking forlorn as she slumped. “We've not made any real progress on that front, but we have detected a potential new threat to the region. It's all there in the report. A new virus is sweeping several Cardassian colonies in the area. I'm requesting a system quarantine and a medical ship to assist in containing, and curing the virus."

Varro's voice carried a firm edge as he spoke. "I'll communicate the quarantine directive," he said, his tone leaving no room for negotiation. "The USS DeBakey will be rerouted to your position." There was a pause, weighted with expectation. "But your involvement should be limited to absolute necessity. The Union should be more than capable of managing their own affairs."

“They're colonies inside Federation space,” Nazir raised an eyebrow, “we should limit their presence in our territories, especially given what has happened in recent weeks.”

Varro seemed to glance up from his screen, his eyes quickly shifting back to the Captain's. "Of course, we want to limit their presence," he said, a hint of distraction in his voice.

"You have your orders," he continued, his tone firm. "I'm also sending some instructions for you to relay to Captain Kauhn. We're breaking up the squadron, and sending him to the Hypatia."

“What do you mean ‘we’?” Nazir leaned forward towards the screen, her facial expressions looking menacing as she glared at the TFCO. “We've only just established the bloody thing, and now it's getting disbanded, again? What exactly am I Fleet Captain of if there is no squadron?”

"'We,' as in Starfleet—the organization you’re still a part of, Fleet Captain Nazir," Captain Varro said, his eyes locking onto Nazir through the screen with a piercing intensity. "As you might be aware, we took some heavy hits on Frontier Day and still haven't recovered. Turmoil on both the Cardassian and Klingon borders has us spread thin." He leaned closer, his expression hardening. "If this decision affects your self-worth, just take your runabouts and play squadron. The Hypatia is leaving."

“Listen here, Captain. I was playing with starships centuries before you were born, so don't proceed to lecture me about this fleet. This isn't about self-worth, it's about respect,” she the considerably younger man. “Now, you can tell Starfleet that they are weakening the areas they seek to strengthen by disbanding the squadron, and I'll remind them of that after every crisis, disaster, and death that occurs on their watch. Good day to you.”

With that, the Trill slammed her hand against the control panel for her display and deactivated the communications array before she could be called out for her little display of disrespect. She'd be damned if she was going to be lectured by a man who barely had his foot in the door at TFHQ. Despite her best efforts, a revolving door policy at Command made it very hard for her to respect anyone in that chair. Callen Varro certainly wasn't endearing himself to her.

But then, he had the keys to the office and had every right to make such a call. She didn't have to like it, but he'd made it very clear that she would damn well deal with it. And deal with it she would, starting with setting her first officer on a mission of her own.

“Noli,” she called into her communications badge more aggressively than usual, “get in here.”