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Posted on Thu Jan 9th, 2020 @ 11:10pm by Commander Jacob Kane & Maxwell Brand & Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu M.D.

Mission: Shakedown
Location: CO's Ready Room - USS Athena
Timeline: MD-05


Kane leaned back in his chair, allowing his new First Officer to float nearby as their Intelligence liaison cleared his throat.

"The information you gathered on the surface of Aquilon confirms a number of our theories; the Gelidon Pact, as they are known, have been directly financing Orion piracy in the region. This Pact is made up of mainly ex-Breen and Cardassian military elements, though their connections seem to run far wider. We're guessing that they have had some smaller indirect financing through the Breen Hegemony, but they've done well to hide their position." Brand's tones were calm and straightforward. He motioned to the monitor, which displayed an image of the two missing Starfleet officers.

"Our two missing Ensigns were recovered alive - though a little worse for wear - being smuggled into Ferengi space 12 hours ago. It seems that the bounty we put out for information on their whereabouts was more profitable for the buyers."

Kane nodded, his mentor J'Onn would be gratified, as much as a Vulcan could be.

"What about the Breen commander we came up against?" he asked.

"Cel Tekk." Brand flicked the image to the familiar looking cryosuit. The same one Kane had seen when trying to negotiate their escape. "He was on one of the marauder vessels that was destroyed over the planet. Tekk's father, a Sen Tekk, is infamous among the Breen hierarchy. He's some sort of war hero, so they say."

"He won't be too happy," Kane murmured. "Where does this put us diplomatically?"

"Officially, Starfleet Command is handling things pragmatically. With the evidence you gathered, the Gelidon Pact is now being actively tracked down and their network being investigated." Brand crossed his hands in front of him, apparently finished. "It seems your sojourn to the planet has yielded a great deal, Commander."

"Thank you, Mr Brand." Kane looked over at Lt Commander Taeler. "So, we've taken out a key element of a criminal network on our first day. Not a bad start, don't you agree?"

"Could've been a lot worse." Santu hadn't had time to sit down with the CO properly before this meeting and it was nice to start off on this high note. Whenever criminal organisations, especially ones pushed by former Dominion allies, were dismantled it was cause for celebration.

"Indeed it would have been, had you not brought the Athena in when you did," Kane mused. "Not many rookie commanders would have done the same, Lieutenant Commander." He stared at her a few moments, considering now that with the sudden loss of his former XO, he had very little knowledge of his new one. Bajorans, to his knowledge, were a tough and capable people. They'd endured hardship but come out the other side. He could appreciate that.

"I came in when Commander Shan had already made the decision," Santu remarked honestly. Of course she had been the one that made the call in the end but had she not stepped on the bridge the Athena would've probably been brought to bear mere minutes later, "We weren't in optimal condition, that's what made her hesitant. I may have come fresh out of command school, but I've had a lot of experience having to operate in non-optimal conditions"

Fresh out of Command School. Kane might have sighed had he not been face-to-face with her. So he'd gone from a highly experienced joined Trill to a rookie XO fresh out of training. A heads-up from Command might have been nice. "Well, whichever one of you made the call, it was the right one," Kane noted graciously. "I'm glad they're still training command officers to trust their instincts."

"They wouldn't be able to train that out of me, if they tried," Santu looked at the floor for a moment, happy to break eye contact after a comment like that. "Have you read my file, Commander?"

"No," Kane replied bluntly. "Then again, since we got back I've had a shower and then reported in to Command. There are probably several things to be occupied with at the moment." He looked her over. "Anything I should know?"

Santu nodded, that would push reading her file out of the priority order, "I was in a Cardassian work camp from the last year of the occupation until the end of the Dominion War. I worked my ass off to get where I am today. I'm not the most experienced, and I'm definitely not the most academically gifted, but I'll never let you down, sir. That's something you can count on."

"Fair enough," Kane nodded. "I appreciate honesty from my team, especially my First Officer." He leaned back in his chair. "I knew a lot of people who lived through the war. It wasn't an easy time. And to live through a Cardassian work camp under Dominion rule during that particular period...well, I suppose if nothing else it builds resilience."

or it kills you Santu remarked in her head, "You would've read the same in my file anyway. Better from the horse's mouth." She had a bit of difficulty gauging the man's age, "Did you live through the war?"

"I was a young man." Kane's gaze went distant for a second. "I joined the Academy around that time, and we had a lot of veterans on the teaching staff. I remember the stories. The faces." He shook his head, rising from his seat. "I'm not sure that's something we should dig too deeply into, is it?"

Santu shrugged a bit, "I suppose." The occupation never seemed far away, and some days it got too close. Today it was a relatively good day. She was able to talk about it without her heart beating in her throat and sweat gathering on her back. "So, how did you land a command as prestigious as this one?"

His eyebrow twitched. "It took rescuing my former Captain and her crew from Orions, ironically enough," he admitted. "I spent ten years as a First Officer. I'd like to think I earned something in that time." Feeling a little less than comfortable about the topic, Kane cleared his throat. "I'm sure you'll learn much more on that subject in time, Commander."

It seemed like Santu had a knack for bringing up awkward and painful memories, "I'm sorry, Commander, I didn't mean to open up old wounds." She gave a polite nod, "if there is nothing else, I'd ask to take my leave, sir."

"As you were," Kane grunted, motioning that they were dismissed. He returned to his desk, ready for Command to issue them a new set of orders so he could put this mess behind them.


Commander Jacob Kane
Commanding Officer
USS Athena

Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu
Executive Officer
USS Athena

Maxwell Brand
Intelligence Liaison
USS Athena


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