“The target’s name is April Seidman,” Alex said, projecting the image on the wall display. “She’s the leader of a terrorist organization known as The Shining Hand. They, and by extension her, have been a huge thorn in the side of the Siteran government. We’re here to stop them.”
“Stop them how?” Priam said worryingly.
Logan put his hands around in throat and made a choking noise. “He means we gotta kill them.”
“I didn’t say that”, Alex shot back. “But if it comes to that, we’re authorized to.”
“I don’t get it,” Tani said, her arms crossed.
Alex turned her direction, “It’s pretty straightforward-”
“Not about the mission, about this team.” She pointed to Logan, “He’s a hotshot pilot with charisma that can get us into, and out of, almost any situation.” Tani pointed to Priam, “He can deal with any electronics we encounter and probably rig up some nice equipment. I,” she pointed to herself, “can develop chemical agents. Make things go boom without making us go boom.” Tani crossed her arms, “But what about you? What do you bring to this team?”
“My charming wit,” Alex shot back.
“Yeah, you just ooze that,” Tani replied, “It smells purulent.”
“As fun as an image that is,” Alex looked at Tani, “what I bring to the table are the orders. I’m the commanding officer of the team. Like it or not, I couldn’t care less. Any other questions that are mission-relevant?” Pause, “Good. I’ve downloaded your mission assignments and information about Sitera. I suggest you read up on it, we’ll arrive in an hour. Dismissed.” The three of them stood and left the room, leaving Alex to his thoughts.
Alex entered the Science Lab, exactly where he expected Tani to be. “Diplomacy.”
She looked up from her work, “What?”
“You asked what I bring to the team, diplomacy.”
Tani rolled her eyes, “Every Starfleet officer knows how to do-”
“I was a Diplomatic Officer, Chief actually. Before they threw me in a penal colony.”
“Yeah, I uncovered a conspiracy and was promptly punished for it. They don’t like it when you air out their dirty laundry. I even knew at the time what would happen.” He chuckled wryly, “I was so damn ambitious back then, so noble. I would probably be captain of an Intrepid-class or maybe a nice Akira-class.” He shook the thought away, “I don’t know if it’s Starfleet’s joke to make me captain of one of the smallest vessels in service. Maybe it’s to lend credibility to this team. ‘Look, we’re going to try diplomacy first! We even have a former diplomatic officer’” he said with mock pride.
“I didn’t see anything about a prison record in your file.”
“That was a condition of return: Sealing my prison file. They couldn’t fully expunge it, which probably would take too much grease, but they could make it highly classified. It’ll keep enough prying eyes away from it. Anyway,” he turned to the door, “it gives you one less reason to hate me.”
“I don’t hate you,” Tani said, stopping Alex. She sighed, “Do you know what I was doing before I was called up to come here?”
“You were on the Mendel, a Nova-class-”
“I was on the verge of a scientific discovery! I discovered a microbe that will radically change the way we think about cellular biology. Now it will either be shelved or one of my colleagues will get all the accolades. I know exactly who will too: Lieutenant Commander Liam Marska. He’s such a sniveling piece of-”
“It looks like we both got shafted,” Alex said. “We could trade notes sometime.”
“Yeah, maybe… But now I’m stuck here, creating chemical compounds so we can stop terrorists. Something I couldn’t give dick all about.”
“For what it’s worth, I’m glad you’re here.” He patted the bulkhead. “Hopefully you have this crap wrapped up in an hour,” he said with a smirk and walked out.