NCC - 81102
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First Things First

Posted on Thu Jun 4th, 2020 @ 2:52am by Commander Tavis Inahri & Commander Magnus Hawkins

Mission: Mission 0: Prologue
Location: Bridge - USS Odyssey
Timeline: August 24th, 2389

The tour through the Odyssey was overwhelming for Tavis, but not because of the information about the state-of-the-art vessel he was now in Command of. No, his mind kept racing back to the one thing he couldn't quite understand. What had happened to Kaz and why was he being sent to apprehend him? The dull dronings of Clarice wasn't helping either. Her voice was bland, as if she wished to be doing anything else but this.

And Tavis' talents told him that he was right. The doors of the turbolift opened, revealing a large room with several stations and a wide viewscreen near the front.

After performing the most perfunctory of tours, Clarice pointed to the door.

"There is the bridge."

It had been the tour's one and only stop. The end of the line returned her usual brisk sub-Saharan brogue.

"Your new crew should be trickling in, so I will leave you to it."

Tavis didn't pay much attention as the woman turned and left him alone. The room was daunting but nothing compared to the pit in his stomach that he felt when his eyes locked onto the large chair in the center of the room. His feet propelled him forward as he head began to swim.

The chair was larger than he expected, which was interesting because his chair on the Starlancer was the same model and it didn't seem so big. The soft fabric, the dark brushed metal, the leather accents. it was a magnificent chair, and it hardly seemed broken in at all.

In fact, other than the thick layer of dust that coated the chair, and basically the rest of the bridge, everything looked to be almost brand new. He wasn't sure of the background of the vessel, but it looked like it hadn't been in service for very long before it was sent in for an overhaul. Tavis made a mental note to look more into the Odyssey's past when he had a moment.

Tavis' mind was wandering to the point that he didn't hear the turbolift doors open, and he jumped when an unfamiliar voice began to speak.

"You must be Commander Inahri." The rich baritone of the voice was amplified by the deep barrel chest of the speaker. "A pleasure." It sounded otherwise.

The Betazoid turned to see a large man, much taller than he, standing before him. "I am," he responded, "And who might you be?"

"Commander Hawkins," said the big and burly man of indistinct Klingon heritage. "Your new first officer." He stepped forward, just close enough to extend a ham-fisted hand in greeting.

Tavis took the man's hand with as much strength as he could muster, though he was sure his grip couldn't compare to the Klingon's. "A pleasure to have you here, Commander. You're here pretty quickly."

Releasing the other man's hand after a single, firm shake, Hawk placed his hands behind his back in a rest position. "I was summoned," he said plainly. "From my understanding, our assignment is a temporary one for the purpose of a brief but important mission." His thick brow raised up, his eyes searching for information. "I was told you would have details."

"I do," Tavis said with a nod. He held up the PADD but didn't offer it to the hulking man before him. "Unfortunately, I haven't quite read it all myself yet. I just got it half an hour ago."

Hawk nodded as if that was perfectly normal. "Very well. Should we go over it now or did you want to wait for the rest of the crew to report in?"

Tavis considered this for a moment. "I don't intend to tell the senior staff everything there is, for classified purposes, but I don't feel it appropriate to keep information from you," he said. "We should probably go over it together." The man looked around, trying to decide which of the doors would lead to his office. "I believe this is the one," he said as he walked towards the doors at the far starboard side of the Bridge.

The doors opened as he approached, revealing a large room with dark grey carpet, maroon accents and dark mahogany features. The large windows on the far side allowed light from the starbase to stream in, reflecting on the puffs of dust that floated through the air. The large desk sat across from a massive display that was currently deactivated and covered with a thick layer of dust.

"Here we go," Tavis said, using the sleeve of his uniform to wipe away the dust. He sneezed before pressing his finger to the control panel, bringing the large display to life. Finding the port, he slid the PADD into the dock and the information displayed on the screen.

"Starfleet is sending us to apprehend a deserter, a man by the name of Kazyah Linn." Tavis tapped the screen and the man's service jacket magnified to be readable. "He has access to some of Starfleet's most classified secrets, so he's considered a major threat."

Hawk's dark eyes narrowed at the mention of the word "deserter." Not a defector who chose another side, but a yellowbelly coward.

"Is he working alone or does he have accomplices?" Hawk asked, already forming a security profile in his mind.

Tavis let out a hmm as he swiped his fingers over the panel. "It doesn't explicitly state, so I think we should anticipate that he has help."

"Fantastic," Hawk said sarcastically. "So we're not retrieving a turncoat, but potentially uprooting an entire rogue cell." Though his tone was professional, an eagerness began to rise up inside him. "Good. A cell is easier to track than an individual. Any leads on where he may have gone to ground?"

"I'm not sure I'd call it a cell," Tavis said, cocking his head to one side. "I can't explain how but there's more here than what's in the mission report. We shouldn't jump to any conclusions."

Hawk arched his full brow at Tavis. "Why don't you try explaining. Do you have intel that's not included in the mission brief?"

"I...wouldn't exactly call it intel..." Tavis said, taking a few steps away from the large screen and turning towards the desk. Using his sleeve again, Tavis started to wipe the dust from the polished wood surface. "I have personal history with the man we're sent to apprehend. I believe that personal history is the reason I was assigned this mission, actually."

"Well, then," Hawk said, crossing his arms. "Perhaps you'd better start with a trip down memory lane. Who is this man, how do you know him, what has he done, and what is he capable of doing?"

Tavis steepled his fingers with his elbows on the desk. "As a young man, I was raised in a monastery on Betazed. I was incredibly gifted from a very young age and the priests were able to help me control my abilities as well as overcome a lot of the negative symptoms that accompany them."

"This training gave me an opportunity to also use my talents for good. When a young man came to us after losing his sight in a shuttle accident, I helped him through his emotional trauma as well as trained him to use his mental abilities to navigate the world without vision." Tavis' eyes trailed towards the windows as a small shuttle flew by. "We formed a very close friendship through our adolescence and eventually we both left to join Starfleet."

Tavis looked back at his Executive Officer. "But after the Academy, Kaz and I somewhat lost touch. We wrote to each other, called when we had the chance. Kept each other up-to-date on what was going on in our lives. But..." Tavis shrugged, "It all changed when he was transferred to Starfleet Intelligence. He started writing less, didn't have time to talk, and his messages were short and cryptic. Eventually they stopped altogether and mine were returned without being delivered. At some point I grieved the loss of our friendship and accepted that it was over. And I haven't heard his name until today."

"All right," Hawk said, processing the background information on their target. "So why did he desert and what should we expect from him?"

Tavis shook his head, “Unfortunately, I have no information on that. Like I said, we lost contact years ago.”

Hawk nodded at the PADD in Tavis' hand. "What does that say he did?"

"Oh, right." Tavis lifted the PADD, scrolling down through it for a moment. "It's not exactly clear. He was an officer on a classified Starfleet installation. Doesn't say the name of the place..." He continued scrolling. "Before that, he was assigned to a starship known as the Vindex. Before that, fully classified. It doesn't give me any idea of who he is, though. As far as the service jacket is concerned, he's a desk-jockey who has an uncanny ability to learn foreign languages quickly. There's just too much information I don't have access to which leads me to think he was anything but boring."

"Special Operations," Hawk grunted. "Black hat SFI operatives who think they're above the law because that's how they were trained to think. It's not uncommon for them to play triple agent with the Orion Syndicate, Ferengi Alliance, or any number of smaller regional cartels. This Kazyah Linn is probably living the high life in an underworld citadel right now."

"Surely not," Tavis said, not wanting to believe anything bad about Kaz. The Kaz he knew wasn't like this. But he looked down at the PADD again, scrolling through all the black marks. Maybe the Kaz he knew was long gone by now. "His last known coordinates were in the Ferengi Alliance. He hopped a transport that was headed for Dalia Station. I've never been there myself, but I've heard the stories."

Hawk blew out a snort of contempt. "Dalia Station. He could be anywhere by now. Except Federation space, that is." The Klingon hybrid paused for a moment, then asked in a low tone that was no less menacing. "What are our rules of engagement?"

"They would prefer him alive," Tavis said.

"Naturally," Hawk said, a little disappointed but too professional to show it beyond a small facial tell. "So we'll be headed to Delia Station then? Once the crew reports for duty, of course."

Tavis nodded. "We're set to launch a week from today. Department heads and their staff will be trickling in over that time. Feel free to get settled in. I'll have a copy of this entire report dropped by so you can be as informed as I am."

"Fair enough," Hawk said, nodding his acknowledgement. "In the meantime, I'll peruse the personnel assignments and assess where we stand staff-wise. I'll have a report for you before launch."

"I would appreciate that," Tavis said. "And if there's nothing else, you're dismissed."

"Sir." Hawk clicked the heels of his jackboots together out of sheer habit and took his leave.


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