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Spy Craft and Food Services

Posted on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 @ 11:49pm by Commander Leigh Jacobs & Deacon Kane

Mission: Repairs and Reprimands
Location: Captain's Ready room
Timeline: Shortly before docking at Starbase 239

Names, destinations, places, lists, significant events and mundane gossip. Truth, lies and everything in between. Whispers in the night or screams to an indifferent universe. It was all there if you knew how to look. It was something everyone knew but few truly understood. Can't stop the signal. Everything goes somewhere. And the SSES (Ship's Signals Exploitation Space) was more than adept at capturing information along several thousand of the most common subspace communication corridors.

Like always, it wasn’t a problem of getting information, it was one of sifting through it to find anything useful. Sort and see what it tells you. Praza had always said. It was a skill that that the old Ferengi had taught him long ago. Then it had been refined by the Starfleet Intelligence when they made him a NOC and recruited him to spy on both the Cardassians and Klingons. Later, oddly enough, the Cardassians taught him some more tricks when they recruited him to spy on the Klingons and the Klingons taught him a little more when they recruited him to spy on the Cardassians. Whose information he also gave the Federation. Spying could be so confusing at times.

Pushing his musings on the past away for the moment, Deacon concentrated on dusting off old skills. He adjusted latest search algorithm and sent it off into the data feed culling bits here, bits there, building a mosaic that would be the first steps in making a profile. This was the third algorithm he’d written on this particular individual, the first two equations having yielded so many interesting results. The Rigellian rubbed his eyes and checked the status of the three dozen other data searches he had running. Five had crashed, another eight yield little to nothing, but the others appeared to be humming along.

Deacon looked at the clock and winced, 10 hours had passed by. He stood up and stretched, working the kinks out of his back and shoulders. “Computer, status on power-systems J-36 and FE-231.”

“Subsystem FE-231 drew 36 kJ of energy at time index 1636, subsystem J-36 drew 250 J of power at time index 1245.” Came the response.

So Deacon thought, the replicator used enough energy to product a cup of coffee two hours ago and she’d been working in there for about six hours. Or at least that’s a possibility. shrugging his shoulders Deacon left the Intelligence center and stopped off at the messhall long enough to grab a tray of food and a small chess set. He made his way to the bridge and the captain’s ready room. Pressing the chime, he waited to see how ready the Skipper was for a break and some food.

Leigh leaned back in her chair that had her uniform jacket tossed across the top at the sound of the chime--both annoyed and relieved that someone needed her to give her a break from doing reports. "Enter," she called.

"Good afternoon, or should I say nice early evening, Skipper." Deacon said as he entered the ready room. Spotting an empty space on the desk he set the tray down remove the napkin. "Let's see, We have Blue-leaf salad, some Kindem rolls with Espra cheese, rolls are hot and crusty hope that's alright, And for the main dish, steamed oscoid in a light curry sauce with vegetables. One of the best meals I had on Betazed. Was a 'mom and pop' place on some nowhere island in the Hedayan Archipelago" picking up Leigh's coffee mug Deacon grimace at the layer of oil that collected on the surface of the now cold liquid, "The drinks are my best approximation of a 'fruit smoothie' I had. Memory's a little cloud about the exact taste. Hell, after the fifth one I think I lost the power of speech." with a smile he added, "Now don't worry I used the 'Shirley Temple' option when replication them. Do you have any idea what that woman had against booze? Anyway I have dibs on one if you insist on eating alone. Just so you know."

Leigh was slightly taken back by the offer of food. "You went through the trouble of making the food so you might as well as enjoy it," she gestured to a chair. "And thank you. What took you to Betazed?"

"A busted restoration coil and opportunity." Deacon replied cryptically, as he sat down and started making a plate for himself, "I was working for this Ferengi named Praza. Our ship, Latinum Queen was old Orion Freighter constantly threatening to breakdown. Well she followed through on the threat stranding us at Starbase G-6. Anyway, we had a lead on a certain Gul who was looking for exotic furs. He not only pay for them, but would also,,,,, 'expedite' cargo inspection coming in and leaving from Cardassian space." he shrugged as if to say that's the way things were,' before going on, "Now Betazed, a mere shuttle ride away had Bjondax whales and therefore Bjondax whale fur, famous 'Pelts of Royalty' making the softest and most luxurious robes of Kings and Queens, if those sappy holo-novels are to be believed. So Praza had a proposition for me. Take the ship's shuttle to Betazed, find some whale pelts, and I'm Captain and Chief Negotiator for the Queen." Looking at Leigh's plate he cocked his head and asked, "How's the food?"

The idea of a Cardassian Gul looking for furs on Betazed sickened her. She despised the Cardassian Government and military--they had invaded, killed, raped, pillaged, and conducted experiments on her people during the Dominion War. Betazed was still recovering from that invasion to this day. "It is good," she said truthfully after swallowing a bite. "Who was the Gul you worked for?"

"His name was Gul Crarlirr Ledot, his actual rank was Dalin, Lt Commander. But he commanded a shitty little border cutter so made us call him 'Gul'. But I didn't WORK for him." Deacon explained, "He was just a minor official, who I had to pay off for the privilege of making a living. He was full of himself and felt he deserved,,more, out of some displaced sense of privilege or inadequacy. Not too sure which." Deacon looked at Leigh sadly, "I forgot what happened to Betazed in the war with the Dominion. Hope I didn't spoil the meal." He added with some regret. "If it makes you feel any better, he was executed three years later for taking bribes."

Leigh shrugged. "It is alright--at least there is one less self-serving Cardassian in the galaxy. So...how did you know I was still working?"

Deacon smiled and clicked his teeth. "The honest answer is I didn't 'know.' Not absolutely, not for sure." rubbing his beard between two fingers wondering how best to answer her. Honestly his brain finally told him. He'd let her tell him how far down the rabbit-hole she wanted to go. "Short version. It's a combination of psychology, probability, along with my gut, a pinch of witchcraft and a dab of tradecraft. Hope I didn't overstep with the meal. Most starfleet captains seem to compelled to live a life of noble isolation and deprivation."

"Ah, so that's your way to say that you were spying on me," Leigh said a as a grin slowly formed. "You know...some of the crew could get the wrong idea with you coming into my ready room at odd hours--with food nonetheless."

"Scew'em if they can't understand simple gratitude and kindness," Deacon replied returning Leigh's smile, amazed how good it looked on her. He also found himself appreciating the playfulness in her eyes half a heartbeat too long. Shaking his head he coughed feeling childish about acting this way around a stranger, "Ah, the rumor mill on a small ship." he said just a little too loudly, "Always the same. Swear some the biggest, baddest, knuckle-draggers, I've worked with, feed on gossip worse than my Great Aunt's Tilly's sewing circle."

"Just to be on the safe side, there aren't any dramatic personas that will take issue, and challenge me to a duel to the death with pool noodles at dawn?" he asked cocking his head and raising an eyebrow, "Because I can't function much before eight-thirty, nine o'clock."

Leigh chuckled at Deacon's comment. "No, there isn't anyone you need to worry about. I understand you had a family on Jonas Three. Are you ok with leaving them?"

Her dinner guest stopped for a moment and stared at something beyond the bulkhead. Some of this roguish exterior seemed to slip away. With a melancholy smile he finally whispered, "Ask me in six months, if I'm still around." Deacon shrugged, then in a normal voice said, "Kids were all grown, out pursuing their own adventures and families. I will miss being the doting grandfather. 'nother story Paw-paw, 'nother story," he said in a high-pitched voice, "They'd always insist jumping up and down in my study They'd sit their and just smile wide-eyed even if I was told them the same story fifty times in a row." The Rigellian sat there silent. Even if Leigh wasn't an empath, she'd be hard pressed to help basking in the warm glow of the love he felt for his family. It was a very personal moment.

But then like a flash it was gone, like a door closing, leaving the cock sure look of the man who had barged into the ready room with a tray of food. "It was just a part I was playing, nothing more," he said, possibly not realizing the true irony of what he was saying. "Hell, even if you didn't arrive like mana from heaven, I would of had to disappear one way or the other." sighing he went on to explain, "It was my wife's funeral when people seemed to notice. When I first met Marytra I was the 'mysterious older man who rescued the young widow from the river,' at the funeral it was painfully obvious that my step-kids had more gray hair than me. As accepting as the Ur'ok of the Bastion were, there was still enough superstitious paranoia that would have ruined my family and earned me center stage at my own horrific barbeque."

Leigh nodded as she remained silent, letting Kane continue as she swallowed another bite of food.

"Now then, Captain Leigh Jacobs of the award winning smile. I came here to try and help you relax and unburden, not take on any of my baggage," Deacon said reprovingly, "So come on bear your soul, or at least pass the rolls you've been 'Bogarting'"

Leigh grinned as she passed the rolls. "I'm not much for bearing my soul to anyone," she replied before letting out a sigh. She had alot on her mind to say the least and as the Captain of a Federation Warship, there wasn't anyone she could talk to as warships didn't have the need of a counselor which always brought her back to the question of why Starfleet decided to assign a Defiant Class to independent assignment as opposed being attached to a Starbase. However, she found it easy to talk to this Deacon Kane. "We've had two disastrous missions so far...and to be honest, I'm just wondering if I should even be in command of a starship."

Deacon considered what Leigh said very carefully before continuing. "Skipper, We've just met and I'll admit I don't know much of your own personal history. I can just comment on what I see. So let's objectively consider your command style and its impact on your ship." Deacon again rubbed the tip of his goatee between his thumb and forefinger as he put his thoughts into words, "First and foremost your crew; they trust you, the decisions you make and despite the relatively short time you've been together, show an unusual degree of loyalty. They know you listen to them and take their opinions seriously, but aren't offended when you decide to go your own way."

He then folded his arms and support his statements. "Consider Lt. Me'Shlaht, she voiced her opinion about keeping me in the brig, you listened, made your decision, and she respected it. Then there's Farmer, sorry I mean Senior Chief Xan, I knew his back in the day. He doesn't give his loyalty lightly or easily. Honestly I'd think he'd kick the teeth in of anyone who threatened you. You know, his quick thinking stabilized the whole Mutara sector for a time? One of these days, I hope the Secrecy Act will be relaxed enough to explain to him how. Lt. Lougheed helped work with you to find justification for me to be walking around. Trust me, us spies don't stick our necks out for anyone we don't have faith in. Lt. Song,,,, haven't talked with her long enough to get a read on her opinion of you. She's more an example of your ability to spot talent, where most would just disregard her."

Leigh considered his words. Perhaps she just needed to hear someone else say it. She finally nodded. "Perhaps you're right. But what about you? What do you want to happen when we reach Starbase 239? To be honest, I believe the Valiant could use someone of your experience."

"Oh my dear Captain, you need a chess partner that badly?" Deacon replied with a wink as he placed the chessboard on the desk, "Actually, I could think of worse places to hang my hat and Lt Lougheed seems a decent sort to work for." he observe as he set up the small magnetic pieces on the metal board. "Tell you what, you promise me that you'll be in the Captain's chair when the Valiant leaves spacedock, and I'm in. Now white or black?"

"Black," she said. She hated making promises but she was going to fight like hell for her small ship and crew. "Promise."

 

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