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A Measure of Intelligence, Part II

Posted on Wed Feb 6th, 2013 @ 3:29am by Lieutenant Commander Omen

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

Kallay stopped a respectful distance from the XO's table and observed the man, even as he realized he was being scrutinized. Omen looked much as he had expected him to from the information supplied to him by his...employer for lack of a better word. What he had not been able to glean from the detailed dossier was the raw energy the man seemed to have, nor the near immediate attraction he felt.

Physically they were much the same in little ways, the tan and toned form, not from exercise but from play, the long lean muscles, the smooth skin save where beard stubble seemed to break it up...Kallay forced himself to take a deep steadying breath, to push out his tension as he exhaled. He'd just had the same thought in two different ways, this was not good, not good at all, but he couldn't seem to stop himself from drinking in every inch of Omen.

Moving carefully, trying to seem natural but never actually stopped looking more and more drawn by the bright green of the older man's eyes, as they scrutinized him. Kallay set down the hard cased shoulder bag in a chair, more carefully than it warranted, then unshouldered his duffle and set it against the back of the chair.

"Lieutenant Yamparti," Kallay said, offering him a hand, "Kallay to my friends."

"Kallay," Omen rolled the name on his tongue like a taste of fine wine. "Meaning 'joy' in Hawaiian," The Trill stepped closer and took the proffered hand. He felt a sudden, thrilling jolt at their contact and swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry. "An...interesting name for an Intelligence officer on 308 assignment. There's a story behind that I bet."

“Behind my name?” Kally deflected the comment on his incarceration for the time being, “My mother was human, Australian, she named me with what she wanted for me in life. Joy. She always dreamed of joining the academy so before I applied I legally changed my last name to Yamparti so that she would get to see the name with a rank.” He frowned, now he wondered if his mother would rather he hadn’t, considering the mess he’d made of things. “She and my father live on Earth, in Sydney.”

Just then a small whine came from Kallay's shoulder bag, and the Lieutenant stiffened.

Omen tilted his head, listening, "You have an animal with you, Lieutenant?"

Kallay flushed and scrubbed the back of his neck with one hand looking down for a second before meeting the other man's gaze again, his face was the picture of chagrin, "I do actually, before I left New Zealand a dog that lived on the island with us had puppies, she rejected the runt and wouldn't let him nurse. I had been bottle feeding him and no one was really willing to take over." Kallay opened his shoulder bag and pulled out the tiny puppy with gentle hands, the pup was asleep and wrapped in a fluffy towel but the moment it smelled Kallay began worming towards him to nuzzle his chest.

The enigmatic El-Aurian broke into a brilliant grin at the sight of the puppy. "It shows the character of a man to love his dog as he would his own." He sought permission before running a finger gently back along the pup's tiny snout, letting it get a scent of him and connect his touch with affection. Omen drew back reluctantly, his green eyes once more lingering on Kallay's.

"What name have you settled on?"

"Iko, from that song Iko-Iko?" Kallay said with a grin, taking a seat and propping his ankle on his knee, settling the still sleepy pup in hammock created by the towel over his bent knee, "Mom was really into 21st century music so I grew up listening to songs like that."

The green-eyed exec offered an arched look, "An... interesting choice in names. I know the song." He knelt before Kallay and casually rested against his bent knees. Clearly a bit forward for meeting a stranger and certainly unseemly for an officer of command rank but puppies and infants allowed for many eccentricities. Omen petted the puppy, enjoying contact with the little furball but also savoring Kallay's solid warmth.

Old dull pain began to throb in Omen's heart.

I have no time for this, he ruthlessly bit it down but he succeeded only in turning it into a sharp stab of memory and emotion that refused to fade.

There is never a 'right' time, you know this, the voice in the back of his thoughts teased. You're doing this to yourself, you know? Perhaps you should listen for a change?

Omen shook off the thoughts and focused on the puppy.

"How long are you supplied to care for...Iko?" He asked, finding the name a bit awkward to voice.

"I was able to bring with me one container of formula, it's still about half full, but he's going to start getting meat here soon so I will have to figure something out then," Kallay's hand collided with Omen's for a moment as they both reached to pet the pup at the same time, making his breath catch in his throat. What was wrong with him?! Yes, Omen was attractive, yes his smell was intoxicating but come on!

Kallay laughed a little nervously, "I'm more worried about the work that needs to be done on the ship keeping me from a regular feeding schedule for him until he's old enough to be on dry food that can be dispensed," the younger man looked out the windows at Nox, his voice dropping to a whisper, "she doesn't think you'll do it you know, get her up and running."

"She," Omen searched Kallay's eyes as he looked out at Nox. He listened carefully to vocal tone, heartbeat, and scented chemophores. The young lieutenant offered a critical opportunity to ascertain where he stood in the intrigue. Omen prompted further, "Of whom do you refer?"

Kallay's look was guileless, "The woman that's pulling all the strings around here and I don't mean our diminutive Captain."

Yamparti practically shouted Admiral Nechayev's name with his thoughts and more telling, a sense of resentment and bitterness colored the name in the handsome Trill's memory. Either he spent considerable time receiving mission conditioning, unlikely given the amount of time that took or he sincerely considered Nechayev as charming as a contagious sexual infection.

That gave Omen some consolation that their new Intel Chief was not a saboteur but there were still disturbing possibilities to consider. For now, however Kallay seemed at the very least an unwilling pawn of the good admiral. That put him in the same boat with the rest of them, at least for now. Setting that thought aside the mysterious exec caught something Kallay said that required attention.

"Lieutenant," he peered in teasing reproach, "In fair warning, I have served with the Captain for a number of years and she has never taken well to being called 'diminutive' or 'top heavy' for that matter." His green eyes sparkled with merry mischief, "Remember this as her nails are at just the right position to drive home her point."

"Thank you for the warning, I'll keep that in mind," Kallay said with a bright grin, "Ex-CMO, she seems like an odd choice for captain. But an ex-con for CIO seems equally if not more odd." Kallay's look turned speculative as he looked at Omen, "You asked for the details, and I would dearly love to give them to you. But as you've seen from my personnel records they are classified. What I can tell you is that what happened to me is the... breakage that comes from maintaining plausible deniability." He watched Omen then, scrutinizing his face for a reaction.

Omen nodded in clear understanding, "Your mission went bad and you took the fall to avoid a damaging or embarrassing political fallout. I've seen it too many times and barely avoided the trap more than once. I can't imagine how you feel, Lieutenant...Kallay..." he softened demeanor, as they were technically on-call and not on duty. "Just keep in mind that we're all in danger of joining you if we don't get Nox mission ready on or before schedule."

The enigmatic El-Aurian climbed to his feet and picked up Kallay's gear, leaving the lieutenant to carry Iko. "Come on, I'll help you get settled and up to speed."

Kallay bundled the puppy and tucked him against his shoulder protectively, once they were on their own concourse and away from most of the revelers that were out this late, he spoke in a quiet voice, "I know you don't have any reason to believe me, but no matter who signed my get out of jail free card, my loyalty can't be bought. Only earned."

--TBC--

 

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