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A Stroke of a Pen, Part II

Posted on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 @ 3:32am by Lieutenant Commander Omen

Mission: Prequel
Location: Starbase 214, Captain's Personal Quarters
Timeline: Launch Date 88

This takes care of Nox and our personnel shortfalls for the moment. I don't expect for a second that our saboteurs will stop. I recommend posting Marines at Nox's docking umbilical as soon as Sampson's crew arrives and starts work. Call it 'keeping them busy.' It might serve to place those marines with experience in repair work at Sampson's disposal - security and extra hands can't hurt."

"I need to talk with the marines first, maybe with Maor, I need the ones we can trust on guard duty to make sure only those that are supposed to be working on it will have access to Nox."

"It is difficult to find anyone in the new arrivals we can trust but I suspect Maor is one..." he added after a moment of hesitation, "As is our Intel officer."

Rowan quirked a brow at him, "Oh?" She had felt the same of their counselor, that the feline was on their side of wanting this done right rather then there to hinder, but as she had been in the middle of dealing with another crisis, she had left the Intel Officer to Omen.

The El-Aurian swept his legs to the side, careful to avoid his stack of PADDs as well as Rowan's materials. He lay on his side propped on one elbow. "How much had you studied his jacket?"

As soon as he spoke a woman appeared in the room.

She didn’t beam in, there was no flash or sound, no distortion of a cloak or shimmer of subspace shifting around her. She was just.. there.

She was Klingon, tall and proud but not as heavy and thick as the normal kind. By her head ridges, she seemed to be the same Bloodline as J’dAs but there the resemblance ended. Her eyes were dark, black in fact and her hair was coppery and bound back at the base of her neck with some sort of clasp. She wore armor of some sort, skin tight, with slightly raised sections over her more vulnerable bodily parts and with tiny LEDs shining here and there. A thicker ridge of collar around the top of her shoulders and her neck, like a pectoral, looked like a coiled metallic serpent. She didn’t wear any weapon but the thicker bracer-like gauntlets on her wrist and forearms looked like they could house weapon emitters of some sort.

Deep black eyes peered at him for a moment and then at Rowan’s back and she cocked her head to her right and then to her left, as if unsure what she was seeing. She held up her left arm and aimed at them, behind Rowan where she was turned to face Omen as tiny holographics played across her face and then lowered her arm, looking grumpy. She spoke softly, her voice utterly silent as if Omen saw her image only and then, she was gone again.

In all she had been there perhaps four or five seconds of his perception but then he realized, only after she disappeared, that what had happened had been outside of normal-time.

"I hadn't looked at it too closely, I was going to let you fill me in on the detail..." Rowan tilted her head to the side and looked behind her, she wasn't sure why he was staring over her shoulder or if he was even hearing her, "Omen? You okay?"

The enigmatic El-Aurian committed every detail he witnessed to memory for later examination. He heard Rowan distantly and turned his attention to her slowly, as drawing his awareness back to the limits of his physical form. He shook his head, suddenly alert. "Oh, it's...nothing, I just caught a peculiar shadow." He added rubbing his eyes, "I clearly need rest. You asked about Yamparti, our new Intelligence officer."

"You know I am not going to let you get off that easy," Rowan said but got to her feet and went over to the replicator, "But tell me about Yamparti first." She ordered a bittersweet hot chocolate, one of her few indulgences, and came back to sit with him.

"Yes," The masculine mystery composed his thoughts. "Lieutenant Yamparti is a 308, imprisoned at the New Zealand Penal Colony for political reasons. The specifics are beyond my security clearance but I can report that he demonstrates surprising candor and personality traits for an intelligence officer."

"I'll put in a request for the details, maybe they will release them to me," Rowan commented as she sipped her cocoa, letting the hot liquid mix with the cold whip cream at her lips and sooth her frazzled nerves, "Tell me more."

"He is quite open and forthright about what he knows and indications support truthfulness in his words." the enigmatic El-Aurian then paused, reflecting on the second part. How to explain something that came from the gut?

"He brought a dog with him," he smiled at Rowan, "A puppy he cared for at the penal colony. No one would take it so he kept it." His gaze turned inward, "One can learn a lot about a man by how he treats animals and children."

"I've always trusted the instincts of animals," Mack said, considering Omen's words, "I'll make time to meet with him tomorrow, get my own read. What kind of dog?"

"A golden retriever named Iko, about two weeks old by the looks of it. A large breed and one not typically allowed on deep space vessels. I anticipate few issues later but for now the puppy needs regular attention. So does Nox. Perhaps the good counselor might look in on it while Mister Yamparti is busy? You mentioned she had pets too."

Rowan smiled, "She does, I will ask her if they can help each other. We are working on a menagerie it seems." She thought about it, sipping her cocoa, "I have always felt that animals make any space more a home. Technically I should make him get rid of the puppy as soon as it's weaned but I need loyalty right now, and something as simple as letting him keep a treasured pet... I need to make sure he knows I am making an exception, that he knows I am doing this against regs. Can you put together something in writing? Find some loophole, I want to sign off on it so no one can subvert my order."

"He's a 308," the enigmatic exec pointed out. "His rank, position, and freedom are provisional to his good behavior, so make the puppy provisional as well. Have him sign off on it with you as a formal agreement and it's legally binding." He wrote a script on his PADD while he spoke and passed it over for Rowan to look over.

Rowan took the padd and read through Yamparti's service orders twice, unlike the other orders this was one man's life in her hands, and she treated it like she would have one of her patients giving it her full attention. It detailed his responsibilities as a mission specialist and his 308 status. Omen had highlighted a section listing provisional privileges like rank and position and added to it is a line detailing 'one Golden Retriever puppy hereafter designated Iko' as a provisional privilege to his service aboard Nox. She shook her head, "If they take Nox away from me, his new captain could take Iko away, I want something that specifically give him permission to keep Iko even if he gets sent back or if something happens to me. I need him on my side, going out of my way to ensure his pet's security will go a long way to earning his trust."

The enterprising El-Aurian thought about what she said. "Anything you do can be overridden by anyone of higher rank. However, countermanding medical decisions is more difficult. It requires a hearing to examine the decision and whether or not altering the existing decision inflicts unnecessary harm on the subject."

He looked Rowan in the eyes, "Moar can declare that the dog is necessary to the healthy social development and rehabilitation of Lieutenant Yamparti. That mandates the the dog remains with him wherever he goes, including the penal colony and civilian life."

“Now that idea has merit,” Rowan said, setting her cup aside, “I’ll put in the recommendation and talk to Maor about it.”

"Good, this will relieve a number of pressures and allow our little crew to work." Omen paused and favored Rowan with a knowing look. "When was the last time you slept?"

Rowan had to think about it for a minute then she wrinkled her nose, “If it takes me that long to think about it, it’s probably been too long...”

"As CMO you were the first to threaten us with security guards and tranquilizer hypos. Are you taking up our habit or are you setting an example?" The enterprising exec held her gaze with a single eyebrow lifted, watching her reaction.

Her sharp retort was interrupted by a rather spectacular jaw cracking yawn and then a laugh, “Maybe you’re right, but you aren’t going to distract me too much, what was that zone out earlier, and don’t say nothing.”

--TBC--

 

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