NCC - 81102
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An Unsettling Report

Posted on Mon Jan 17th, 2022 @ 12:34pm by Commander Tavis Inahri & Rear Admiral Gareth Tau

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Captain's Ready Room - USS Odyssey
Timeline: Mission Day 40 - 1307 hours

Sitting behind his desk, nerves took root in Tavis' stomach as the screen waited for an open communication line. He'd sent Admiral Tau his mission report already, but hearing that the Admiral wanted to chat about it wasn't a good sign so far.

What would he expect though? Tavis indicated that their mission had failed, and anyone in leadership would probably want more information. But with what he knew now, he'd have to be very careful as to what he said to the Admiral.

The screen came to life as the obvious demeanor of the Admiral changed the energy in the room.

"Good morning Admiral," Tavis stated.

"Is it?" Tau retorted. "A good morning on the Odyssey? From where I'm sitting, it is downright abysmal. I won't mince words, Commander. I am gravely disappointed." The admiral's eyes darted downward, scanning something off screen. "I understand that you managed to apprehend Kazyah Linn, yet somehow he walked right off your ship. And that's after he murdered the undercover Intelligence operative who was covertly monitoring the situation as ship's counselor." Eyes narrowed, Tau lowered the boom with his voice alone. "The way I'm connecting the dots does not put you in a good light, Inahri. Reconnect them for me in a way that does not lead to a blemish on your service record."

"Sir, I can't promise that my record won't be blemished from this mission," Tavis stated. "But I can tell you that I think we have more information now than we did before."

Tavis straightened up slightly. "Kazyah Linn was apprehended quite easily, to be honest. You were quite shrewd in choosing me to lead because of our past. It turned out to be quite useful."

The admiral's dark eyes widened a bit at the flattery, but he said nothing. So far, Tavis had said nothing. No amount of compliments would get him out of the deeper explanation that Tau demanded.

"We encountered an issue with the proprietor of Fiddler's Green, the place that Linn was hiding. He had some sort of subspace creatures under his control that proved to be quite deadly. During the scuffle and our attempts to escape, there was damage across the ship that allowed Linn to slip out of his holding." Tavis turned a little sad as he spoke. "During his escape, he did run into Lieutenant Thorn. Despite her obvious training, he was able to overpower her and eventually murder her."

Eyes narrowed, Tau listened with rapt attention.

Tavis took a deep breath. "Making his way further to his escape, he also ran into my XO, who put up quite a fight. He was eventually taken down as well, but, thank the deities, not killed. Linn made his way to our shuttlebay where he detonated some sort of device to breach the doors and escaped with the impounded freighter that we borrowed from Starbase 471."

A mirthless smirk came over the admiral's face.

"We're currently attempting to track his warp trail but it was taken through the edge of the Stygian Traverse which is messing with our sensor arrays. Unfortunately it's gone cold."

"Yes, other reports have corroborated the anomalous nature of that sector of space," Tau said. "While it is unfortunate you were unable to retain custody of Linn, at least he escaped with the freighter. A secret transponder was installed on it at time of impound in the remote potentiality the former owner managed to get it back through the appeals court. Linn will likely ditch it before long, but at least it will provide a new heading to pick up the trail."

Pausing before he continued, Tau steepled his fingers in thought. "There is another point of concern, however. Your first officer's log has reflected a strong difference of opinion in command strategies throughout the entirety of your mission. If I am to send you after Mr. Linn to correct your mistake, then I believe I should correct one of my own. To that end, I see two paths forward."

Tau held up a finger. "One path is that you receive a meritorious promotion to Captain in preemptive recognition of your impending recapture of Kazyah Linn." Two fingers upheld, Tau went on to say, "Alternatively, your first officer who failed to prevent Kazyah Linn's flight from your ship will lose a pip of rank in punishment for letting his target slip right through his fingers. Either way the Odyssey will have a clear chain of command when following up on wherever Kazyah Linn dumps his stolen freighter. The choice is one I leave to you, and I will await your decision."

A rock sunk in Tavis' stomach as he heard the news. "Do you want this decision right now, Admiral?" he asked.

"If you are prepared to make it, then absolutely." The admiral's brow twitched. "But if you wish time to consider it, then I will expect a transmission to my office within the next standard Sol day."

Tavis nodded. "There is one other thing, I wanted to ask about, Admiral."

"Make it quick," Tau said, "and make it good."

"Will you be assigning another undercover intel agent on board?" Tavis asked, looking the Admiral directly in the eyes. "I ask because it's been reported that apparently Mister Linn and Lieutenant Thorn knew each other. I'm not sure how or in what capacity, but it seems that could have been a catalyst for a lot of the issues we had."

Narrowing his eyes at the young commander's audacity, Tau replied without missing a beat, "And lose yet another operative? Hardly. I'm done throwing my people into the gristmill. Either you deliver Kazyah Linn to me or you're the one whose next of kin gets the KIA notification." Leaning forward into the viewer, Tau concluded, "Do not return to Federation space without him."

Tavis just nodded at the man as his face was quickly replaced by the Starfleet insignia rotating in place. The line was ended, but the Admiral's last words resonated within him.


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