[USS Vanguard] RPG: Behind the Scenes Manouevring

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 17:01:46 +0100 (BST)

Commander Kieran Darkwater, Federation Transfer Station, Paris
  "Commander!" The familiar voice cut through the light traffic of the 
Parisienne night, and Kieran turned slowly to view the slight figure cutting 
across the concourse towards him.
  "Lieutenant Leonov." he nodded, a little brusquely. She pulled up a little 
short, initially put off by the distance in his tone, but quickly slipped a 
little closer, an engaging smile on her face.
  "I didn't realise you were in Temporal Affairs." He looked, briefly, over the 
all-black uniform and nodded.
  "A recent development. It was sold to me as a temporary secondment, but 
they're a difficult department to escape."
  "So... is this what my assignment's about? Temporal affairs?"
  "No." he shook his head, looking towards the board depicting departing 
shuttles. "I'm afraid this is a little more mundane - it's your expertise from 
a Security point of view that we need."
  "I'm in Operations, sir." she pointed out, a warning tone in her voice.
  "I know," he turned, finally, having found their flight on the board. "But 
you only transferred there after some time in Security - which means your 
credentials are excellent for..."
  "I've LEFT security!" The broad smile was gone, replaced with a solid, steely 
determination. "My past is just that, I explained that I wasn't willing to go 
back to that sort of work." She turned away, stalking across the concourse.
  "Lieutenant..." he began, and she didn't slow. "Ana. Please." This time she 
did slow, turning to face him. "This isn't an order. A moment of your time, 
allow me to explain the situation, and you're more than welcome to return to 
your berth. I won't stand in your way."
  "How long do we have?"
  "About twenty minutes." he gestured to the monitor displaying their flight 
  "Buy a girl a cup of coffee?" she smiled, canting her head to one side, and 
he couldn't help but smile back.
  "I seem to recall you being at great pains to point out to Lieutenant Connors 
on the Vanguard that you weren't 'girl', you were an Ensign."
  "Firstly, that was then, and I've more confidence in who I am now." she 
counted off on her fingers. "Secondly, that was work, and this is a personal 
request for help. And thirdly, you aren't Bartram Connors."
  "All true." he conceded, with a nod as they turned into the 2060's style 
'SteamPunk' Cafe. Seeing her seated, he turned to the counter and punched his 
request into the hard-edge stainless steel levers of the automated serving 
system. Waiting for his order, he thought back over the last year.
Despite his better judgement, he'd not been able to deny Ana her assignment to 
the Vanguard - largely because he could find no good reason that would stand up 
to a review. He'd made no effort to seek her out, knowing what a potential 
future they might have would end in, but the conversed at times over their 
mutual love of martial arts in the gymnasium and at competitions.
  It was barely months later that the ship was decommissioned and they were all 
relocated. Kieran had spent most of the first month assisting with 
reassignments for his staff - people were not in any significant hurry to take 
him on board, given his history - until Temporal Affairs had come and requested 
his 'assistance'.
  "Mochachinno?" he laid the cup down before her, and took a seat opposite with 
his own mug clasped in his hands.
  "You aren't going to ask, are you?" she eyed him, warily.
  "I've seen enough reports to know when someone's been made a scapegoat." he 
observed, wryly. "Your chances of getting a good posting in Security was shot - 
I'll debate whether or not your chances in Operations were any better another 
  "There's a shortage for good Op's officers." she shrugged. "It wasn't my 
first choice but... after Chorox I'm not sure my heart was in Security anyway."
  "Still, you've been waiting a posting for four months, now. Rejected by six 
  "Have you been following me?" she was only half-joking.
  "I... I arranged your posting to Chorox. It doesn't make me culpable, but I 
feel a twinge of guilt, I confess." he admitted. "I've tried to put in a good 
word, where I could, but..."
  "But your good word stands me only marginally better than my history." she 
  "So what is that you want me to do?" She asked, when the silence had drawn 
out for a while.
  "Captain Santos is under guard at a secure facility."
  "Right." she leant forward, eyes narrowed as she began to drink in the 
  "Part of your Operations brief is to oversee detachments. I need you to check 
that they have the right people for the job, the right materials and layout..."
  "That's primarily a Security decision." she pointed out. "If it's that 
high-security a facility, it's likely to have been looked at already."
  "True." he admitted, his face a little tense.
  "You've got access to all the Temporal Affairs resources you could want, and 
I know they've got good pulling power when it comes to creaming off the best 
from the Academy."
  "I'd like to make use of your unique expertise and experience." he leant 
forward himself. "There are two weaknesses that I can see to this place - I can 
cover the telepath angle myself."
  "But you need someone who's dealt with the Shapeshifters."
  "You spent four days playing cat and mouse with one on Chorox," his voice was 
gentle but his tone was earnest, "that's remarkable, by any stretch. And 
because of that skill, because of that ability and tenacity you've been 
blackballed - no-one wants to believe you could do it, because it puts them in 
the shade."
  "They're just scared that I might be lying, that I might have cut a deal." 
she pointed out, but neither of them believed it.
  "I know what it's like to have the establishment dislike you because you 
don't conform to their expectations. You've not lost your love for the 
detective work, or for the hunt... you've lost faith with Star Fleet Security 
because of the way it's blinkered to its own deficiencies. I want you to 
channel that into something useful."
  "Say you're right, say I do have this burning desire to become your fellow 
Pariah-Crusader... why this? Why now?"
  "Off the record?"
  "If that's how it has to be."
  "Captain Santos was replaced, for how long we don't know." Her eyes widened 
at that. "Officially, I'm out of the loop, I've managed to get the little I 
have from rumour and conjecture."
  "So you need someone with a Security background, but you can't go through 
channels without tipping your hand as to why you're doing this."
  "That's right."
  "Why are you doing this?" Her directness caught him, and he paused.
  "Partly, because I owe him - for the chances he gave me, for the faith he 
showed in me. Partly because I respect him, and he deserves better."
  "But mainly," she finished for him, "because it means a Changeling got one 
over on you, and you really hate that."
  "Which is why I picked you;" he countered, "because you beat it and still it 
seems like you've lost. You're looking for your own vindication."
  "Where are we going?"
  "USS Thespiae should be in position over Brisbane already. We'll transfer to 
Melbourne, then beam in from there."
  "I'll get my bag." She stood, slipping out towards the lockers on the 
concourse while he ditched their cups into the reclamation unit.
  "Kieran." she reappeared at his side as he turned out of the cafe.
  "Thank you. For the chance." They joined the queue for the shuttle, and he 
tried to push down the confusion in the back of his mind between his pleasure 
at having her near, and his fear at what having her near might mean for her.

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