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Your Mission, With No Choice BUT To Accept It

Posted on Fri Aug 17th, 2018 @ 10:20pm by Lieutenant Benjamin Ingram Dr & Lieutenant JG Devin Ward

Mission: Preflight
Location: Ingrams's Office/Lair/What Have You
Timeline: MD60 -1145 hours

After boarding it was standard to present to the Captain or at least the first officer of a ship. Since the Captain was unavailable. Devin decided to meet with the First officer with her orders of transfer and see came of it. She rang the chime and waited.

...and kept waiting.

People passed by her in the hall, folks going about their daily routine. A pair of Op's techs set up to repair a wall panel a meter and a half down the corridor and were fully into the work when a stern-faced man in command red walked around the corner. He recognised her it seemed, as his face lit up in that way that said 'warning core breach imminent'.

"You," he said, looking at Ward as he gestured at the door. "Were meant to be waiting at the docking hatch."

Devin raised her gaze to meet his, not small feat in itself since she was only 4'11" and he was clearly an inch or more over six feet in height. She offered up a cheeky smile showing off her dimples slightly, "I am sorry Sir, but it was either come aboard or get trampled with all the coming and going from the hatch."

"Harumph!" he said, actually harumphing as he tapped the doors entry pad and ushered her inside. "I know on some assignments a certain creativity in how one read's their orders is seen as a good thing..."

The interior of the first officer's office was lavish, to say the least. There was an actual rug on the floor, an intricately;y woven thing with a maddeningly complex pattern that seemed to swim if you looked at it long enough. One wall was plastered with holograms of Benjamin meeting various people, some of which were famous, others less so. In a less enlightened time, it would have been called an Ego Wall.

"But on this ship, the letter of orders is upheld over the spirit," Ingram finished as he settled into the chair behind his desk. He gestured to the other seat. "So let us put this unfortunate matter to one side, and get you settled in shall we?"

Devin eyed him a moment and then after setting her PaDD of transfer orders on the desk she, retreated to the seat before his desk. Her expression was funny mixture of amusement and curiosity. She had not been 'welcomed' in such a manner before and was not certain if it was a game to throw her off or if it was actually how he was doing this meeting. "Dare I ask your name Sir or do I just look over the manifest later?"

"It is usually considered a point in one's favour to at least know the names of the senior staff you will be serving under," he said a little snidely. "But I am Commander Benjamin Ingram, Doctor Benjamin Ingram in point of fact."

He waved a hand over his desk, and a holographic control interface appeared, along with a streaming data pane of Devin's personnel record. He studied it for a moment before he chuckled darkly.

"An infiltration specialist? Assigned to a state of art scientific research vessel," he said with a wry smile. "Well, we will have to find you a job to do on this ship that will be of some marginal use."

"You never know what or whom will show up, Commander and I wasn't told where I was going until about ten minutes before the ship docked. I was scrambled to get my things together. Either way I will be sure to read up on everyone, now that I know this assignment is not just a side stop." She retorted cheekily not in the least impressed with his Doctorite nor his tone.

"Ahh so your posting here was as much of a surprise as it was for us. And here I thought the spare parts we were picking up were for engineering," he said, matching her tone barb for barb. He'd grown up at his father's knee, among a family best known for their double meanings and poisonous words. It was only fated cruel hand that had risen the Ingrams up to great heights, instead of making them a family line of terrifying head waiters.

He stood, hands clasped behind his back and he turned to face the viewport. Beyond the thick sheet of transparent aluminium the barbed arms of DS-10 could be seen, as well as the sleek and troubling spectre of the Romulan science vessel Scaracen.

"You've been on DS-10 for a while, certainly since that Romulan ship docked," he mused aloud. "Tell me...does their commander allow shore leave? Do the Romulan's frequent any of the bars or port side facilities? You have an Intelligence background....astound me with insight."

"The Saracen is commanded by a human woman, by the name Lady Trevina Winton, Duchess of Winterfell. One of the few royal families still rattling around the Federation." Devin said with a cheshire cat smile as she regarded him, her eyes glittered. "There have been four officers from the Saracen to board the station, two of which were very clearly not fully Romulan, human and from what I over heard one of them was half betazoid. Both of them headed for the stores and brought a few packages out again. The other two were negotiating for various food stuffs to be taken to the Saracen at a later time." Devin said with as much cheekiness as before.

"Huum...Bariz," Benjie said cooly, before turning his head slightly to address her over his shoulder. "The half Betazoid is named Bariz Zulpa, he's the Duchesses 'man at arms'. Think combination bodyguard, retainer and general go-for. Chip on his shoulder about the whole 'half breed' business. He's what you might call an uncomplicated man."

And if Devin was half the intel agent her record claimed her to be, she'd find out in short order Bariz Zulpa had a past career as cage fighter for the Orion Syndicates. Given the sort of fight's the Syndicates liked to put on for the more decerning crowds, a more capable fighter could not be found.

Benjie knew as he tried to hire the bruiser away from Lady Winterfell.

"He would not be someone I would want to meet with any sort of disagreement," Benjie said woodenly.

Devin nodded softly, "Not like I go looking for reasons to start fights, Commander." she retorted amused, "Do I go and see whom else disembarks from the Saracen and report back or do you want me to attempt to slip aboard and get more details of whom else is serving with the Lady Winton?" it was her main field after all sneaking in and past where others couldn't.

"And have it seem we are the one initiating some sort of covert action against her?" Benjie said indignantly, tuting his tongue against the back of his teeth. "No, no. This will take finesse. Do not be fooled by her title, Trevina Winton is a capable and intelligent soul. Any action taken against her will have repercussions that will echo within the chambers of the Federation Senate."

The same, also, could be said for self-same actions made against the Palatine.

"No. At the dinner, a wandering guest might be excused, especially one able to fit into the small not humanoid rated air ducts a ship has. After that, how would you feel about becoming Bariz's shadow when he's on the station? Your a Starfleet Officer, after all, be gracious, helpful, annoyingly clueless about the fact he doesn't need help. Shadow him, be his guide, and remind him who you answer to." Benjie drew up to his full height and turned on the balls of his heel. "The Ingram name will be as good a shield to you as any martial training. This is a game of chess in which the only pieces one can take off the board are the king and queen."

"When will the dinner be and do we wear dress whites or other formal wear like when going ballroom dancing?" Devin needed to know what she was going to have to plan for if she was going to 'get lost on the ship during dinner'. As for shadowing Bariz Zulpa she would indeed be happy to be an over-helpful guide.

“Dress whites, we are after all Starfleet Officers. Anything less would be the removal of armour from what is a social battlefield. The uniform holds a weight of history, respect, honour, and in a pinch the sure fire knowledge that there are a thousand tons of starship riding behind them. I’ve found it be a very useful arrow in my quiver from time to time,” he remarked plainly.

"Fair enough, when is the party then and do I have time to settle my quarters or would you rather I get stated on shadowing, Bariz?" She replied she actually would prefer getting straight to work but it wasn't her choice, she was here visible no under cover and had no reason to just do as she felt was the best course of action for her duty to be fulfilled.

"If you need time to settle into your quarters you must not be a very talented field agent. I thought SFI taught its tame rumour gatherers to pack light?" he said cattily. "I want Bariz followed, shadowed: I want him to have a new friend who won't leave him be."

"We travel light yes, but we still prefer having your own place to sleep when on a ship but if I have to I can slip in elsewhere if needs be least until I get my own quarters assigned." Her tone implied she would happily annoy someone. "I have a few things I bring out when I am on long term assignments as well. In the meantime I will get after Bariz, then Sir." She stood up in a fluid motion gave him a cheeky grin as she turned towards the doorway. Devin wasn't one to stand on ceremony on most days.

"Impertinent spook," Ingram growled at the door, before settling back into his chair. He eyed the comm's terminal and noted the fact it was still blank of any sort of missive or warning from either Starfleet or the family network.

Maybe Trevina was out here without his Imperial Highnesses permission? If so that did change the nature of the game. The stakes were still high, to be sure, but now some of the pawns could be considered rooks and knights.

Or a catspaw.

 

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