Infirmary 4 – 1500
“This is not an ideal compromise.” The Major stood in the office, flanked by his two fellow Vulcan operatives. Longfellow sat in his chair, wondering when this headache of a case would leave him alone.
“I am well aware of what you want, Major Tulak. You’ve made that clear in your repeated requests through Bravo’s diplomatic offices and your missives to Starfleet Command as well.” He tossed a PADD on the desk in frustration, “And each time the case comes back to me and you. I wouldn’t dare to presume to tell a Vulcan about logic, but you’re starting to wear at my patience.” He had heard it from damn near everyone in the last few hours that Tulak had attempted to use and each time it remained on his metaphorical plate.
A member of the delegation cleared his throat and stepped forward to speak in hushed tones with Tulak and then stepped back into the background. The leader straightened his back, “There are…additional reasons for our actions, Lieutenant Longfellow.” The shift in tone, even in a Vulcan, was noticeable.
“You would need to explain them in detail, Major.” He leaned forward, expectantly.
Tulak replied crisply, “It is a matter of security and as such is classified.”
Longfellow groaned, “Oh you have got to be kidding…I’m not some twenty-one-year-old resident who’s shocked and awed at your show of credentials and hovering group of operatives.” He leaned back, “I’m old enough to know when I’m getting the truth and when I’m being pushed around.” He stood from his chair, “Unless you disclose those reasons with details I will refuse your request explaining the why including what you’ve said today.”
Tulak frowned as his two escorts moved to leave. He held up a hand and they returned to their places. “You would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement.”
The doctor chuckled, “I’ve done enough of those between Starfleet and civilian life to understand. I’ll sign it.” One of the escorts pulled a PADD from beneath its robes and handed it to Longfellow. A moment of reading and he signed it and returned the PADD. “So, let’s have it then.”
“T’shalaith is a wanted for several actions against the Vulcan government. She is a traitor and we carry a warrant for her arrest. If she dies before we can place her under arrest, her Katra will be used as evidence to implicate others she may have been involved with.”
Longfellow slowly sat down in his chair. It was his turn to frown, “You…cannot be serious.”
The Major nodded, “We are quite serious, Doctor.” The other escort handed over a PADD and Longfellow scrolled. His eyes grew wide as he read further and further. He finished and handed it back.
“Those charges do not appear to rise to the level of treason, Major. While troubling and requiring explanation they don’t strike me as malicious, At best they bend the laws and policies mentioned…not break them.” He leaned back, “What is your goal here, Major? I don’t think you’re the one leading this charge otherwise you’d have outflanked me on every side with as many favors as you could call in.” Longfellow shook his head, “No, you’re a messenger for someone else. Someone else who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty.”
“I am a part of the Vulcan…”
Longfellow waved him off, “Yes, you say this and your credentials confirm it. I just…this isn’t settling well with me, Major. The human expression is ‘we can do this the hard way or we can do this the easy way’. Your choices in this matter will define the path we take and the turbulence we experience.”
Major Tulak regarded the physician for a moment. Silence held between them for the first time in a long time. He turned to his escorts and nodded for them to leave. They frowned but he motioned them to leave. Soon it was just the Major and the Lieutenant. “You are not incorrect in your reading of the situation, Doctor.”
Henry chuckled, “I’m a doctor. Diagnosing things is my business.”
“I am tasked in favor and in service to a greater force within the Vulcan community.” He paused, “I was not aware of T’shalaith until one month ago when her position and intentions became known. Those who I serve have been looking for her longer.” Another pause, “I am under constant observation by my delegation. They will no doubt ask me for a complete report once I leave your office.”
Longfellow shook his head, “Sounds like hell.” He thought for a moment, “Tell them you told me nothing. Tell them I yelled at you and cursed you out. Tell them I refused your offer and demanded to know who had sent you. You didn’t tell me. You refused. But…you’re nervous that I’m going to figure it out somehow.”
An eyebrow raise was his reward as Tulak spoke, “A lie?”
Henry shrugged, “A choice.”
The Vulcan thought for a moment, “I agree. I should warn you – playing in the shadows can be a dangerous game, Doctor.” He gave a bow and headed out the door.
As it closed behind Tulak, Longfellow grumbled, “Here’s hoping I find a way to win this game.”