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A Measure of Intelligence, Part I

Posted on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 @ 3:28am by Lieutenant Commander Omen

Mission: Prequel
Location: Starbase 214
Timeline: Launch Date 88

Starbase 214 entered night cycle casting all public areas into a soft amber glow and large potted plants provided pleasant shadows and a momentary illusion against the reality that everyone breathing spun through space on a hunk of metal and synthetics. Brass art displays hung from the walls at points with decorative chandeliers offsetting the severity that this was indeed a battlestation parked on the apex of trouble between the United Federation of Planets and the growing threat of the Typhon Pact. The Nox's shakedown cruise was meant to serve as a military exercise, a deterrent against future aggression by the races that composed the Pact: the Romulans, the Tzenkethi, the Tholians, the Kinshaya, and the Gorn.

In this age of the supposed enlightenment of humanity Omen wondered why they had failed to learned that displays of aggression only provoked acts of aggression and now the damage to Nox only served as a sign of weakness to races that preyed on weakness.

As the night cycle got underway and countless throngs of young officers, traders, and civilians went about their business Omen wondered if they sensed the growing tide of tension in the air. He smelled it like the tang of ozone on the wind presaging a great storm.

A storm was indeed coming.

Stations like this saw enormous volumes of traffic at all hours but night cycle seemed to bring out the mood for fun in everyone. The Festive air leant an eerie contrast against Nox as she hung silent and dark in her berth. He looked out on her with eyes filled with sorrow. She hung crippled and nearly crushed in the chill silence of spacedock and he thought back to a time when men developed irrational attachments to their ships. Seeing such a great lady as Nox so battered and broken, so neglected filled Omen's heart with outrage.

He savored the emotion a moment before bringing his mind back to a place of tranquil calm. Not that Omen truly managed tranquility. Perhaps then he could say he assumed a state of stillness. True to form, as he nearly achieved a meditative trance in order to wait for his companions his commbadge chirped, demanding attention.

Green eyes opened and the chest heaved with a long sigh, bringing respiration to normal. He rubbed his rich brown whiskers to wake a bit before tapping his badge, "Omen here."

"Lieutenant Yamparti here, the captain told me to report in to you," Kallay said, resettling his bags on his shoulders, "I just arrived and I’ve been assigned to Nox as your Chief Intelligence Officer."

"Yamparti," Omen raised his PADD and searched for the name. He did not need to, as it struck him as quite rare, Aboriginal. "Yes, Intelligence Chief, good, we'll have need for your services as soon as you check in and rest."

Omen paused suspiciously, "You have your room assignment from station OPS?"

“No, we just arrived,” Kallay said, “I was told to report in immediately.”

"Wise, and I will tell you why once you arrive. Home on my location, I'm not far from you. I'll arrange your quarters with Station OPS."

“Thank you,” Kallay said, closing the comm and pulling out a padd. A few taps and he knew where to go. It took him a little longer than normal as he moved carefully, trying not to jostle his bag against the few people milling around.

Te'Q arranged for Lieutenant Yamparti's quarters personally, not trusting in normal procedure given the circumstances surrounding the Nox crew. After this he continued to stare out at Nox through towering docking bay viewports. He thought about this new arrival. An intelligence officer on the heels of a counselor. Admiral Nechayev knew that they most desperately needed engineers and technicians and yet perception proved to be the specialties of both new arrivals. Were Omen a paranoid man he might wonder if perhaps the good admiral wanted to make sure she monitored the senior staff no matter how they evaded her listening devices and her observers. Still, something stood out as Omen read Yamparti's jacket.

He was a 308 - a convicted felon pressed into service as a mission specialist. Admiral Nechayev commanded the creme of the intelligence community. Why would she send a 308 as Intel Chief? Yamparti stood to be the least trusted man in the crew and perhaps that was the point.

Green eyes poured deeper over Yamparti's jacket. The circumstances of his conviction were over Omen's security clearance to access. That meant he would have to put feelers out to his "other" connections to find out. He had a feeling it mattered.

Yamparti's highest grades in the academy were maths and logistics. Intelligence only recruited scores like that to work as handlers - coders and code-breakers. Interesting, the Nox crew had a great mystery on their hands with many subtle patterns. A cryptologist might see what they missed provided he was not a plant to distract and report on their activities.

They could not waste time feeling out this one. They faced an alarmingly short launch window and well-placed saboteurs working against them. The petty games of politics got in the way of a bigger mystery, one that spurred Omen's people to contact him for the first time in over a quarter million years.

As much as he felt temptation to sweep politics and games aside he knew better. He lost his patience before and it led to disaster. Omen furrowed his brow in concentration, losing track of time as he considered his options. He did not detect Yamparti until he closed within fifteen meters.

An unforgivable lapse of attention.

He turned to face the new arrival, prepared to greet him as calmly and as professionally as possible when his breath caught abruptly in his throat.

Yamparti was Trill and male, yes, very obviously male and Omen read that in his jacket. Jackets needed to indicate exactly how "male" one was - wait, Omen paused, what kind of thought was that?

A completely scatterbrained and entertaining thought, an amused voice in the back of his mind laughed. Continue, please!

Kallay's eyes gripped Omen's attention with a sense of wonder. At first glance they seemed bright and open to the world but with a blink they narrowed with a sexy and magnetic confidence. This struck Omen as enough to grab his interest but the color of Kallay's eyes truly stood out as special.

The color of Kallay's eyes shone as clear and as varied as life on the Great Barrier Reef. He noted a dark outer ring of the iris that was deep gray in color, like a dolphin. Next inward he caught a ring as blue as a summer sea. Lastly, he saw a rich yellow color that reminded Omen of doubloons sparkling from between the boards of ancient treasure chests. Simply put the eyes entranced and they were only the beginning.

The eyes led Omen immediately to Kallay's thick, curly brown locks that gave him a lazy, playful look. In contrast the eyebrows marked a keen intellect while thick lashes revealed deep emotions. A long, narrow nose drew the eye to a generous smile and a jaw set with firm character. Kallay's skin, kissed dark by a life in the sun completed the "lovable beach bum" look.

Omen shut his mouth with a click of teeth even as his nose betrayed his composure by tempting him with Yamparti's scent - like sun and sea water. He inhaled in reflex and detected traces of alleles. A moment and Omen knew Yamparti's DNA down to the quantum level, which further distracted Omen.

Nice genes.

As if to confirm what his unique senses told him Nox's First Officer looked down and took in Yamparti's broad shoulders, his compact and lean muscles earned from real exercise, his trim waist and powerful legs with frank admiration. The dark gray and black uniform along with the deep gray collar and piping of the Intelligence branch gave him a sexy and sinister shape. Oh, and Omen knew how far down the spots went.

Damn.

 

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