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Tracking Down A Lead

Posted on Wed Apr 28th, 2021 @ 12:44am by Captain Winfield Hood

1,425 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: The Ties That Bind - Empok Nor Episode 2
Location: Station Ops/Station Commander's Office
Timeline: MD005 1700 hrs

"Captain, I hope I am not stopping you from getting dinner." Elloma said, feeling bad that he was barging in to the command center.

Hood was about to head for the new Bajoran restaurant. He had a hankering for hasparat and the arrival of the junior officer delayed that plan. He plastered a genial smile on his face. "Not at all Ms Essu. What can I do for you?"

"I have a lead a Mister Quaid, and I want your permission to go after him sir." Elloma said, as she got straight down to business. She handed him a data pad, that laid out her plan, and the last known coordinates of Quaid.

Hood's brow furrowed. "Commander Calvin Quaid? He has not checked in and is listed as missing in action. Are you saying that you have a lead as to where he is?"

"Yes sir, it's all in the report." Elloma started to say as she continued on after taking a quick breath. "Very strong evidence to suggest he either voluntarily or involuntarily tampered with our systems prior to the new Marquis invading the station." Elloma pointed out.

It took a lot for Hood to not look surprised at the sound of her accusation. He motioned toward his office and headed there. Once they were inside he finally spoke. "That is quite the accusation to make to a senior Starfleet officer. Tell me what you have by way of evidence." The Captain could smell his hasparat in the distance and it was getting farther and farther away.

"Most of it's in that data pad." Elloma started to explain to the captain. She took a short breath and they continued on. "This time around he wasn't able to clean his tracks, I don't think he took into consideration how fast we would retake the station and how fast we would be able to restore most of the vital systems." Elloma said as she waited to see how he was going to react.

Hood looked at Essu and took the measure of the junior officer. On the one hand Quaid was a long time member of this crew and even longer in Starfleet. It was hard to believe that one with his distinguished record would betray everything. Then again stranger things have happened and add to that the fact that he has not even checked in to let the station know where he is and when he would return. Hood still felt like there was something missing. "I understand that he may have not had time to conceal whatever he did. However, we need a smoking gun of sorts before we can just bring him in. What did you find that he did not cover up?"

"Where do want to start Captain? The authorization codes?" Harmonics of the shield frequencies, or the countless communications that went out the morning of the attack, disguessed as backgroud noises?" Elloma asked, in a calm and collected voice.

Well she had done her homework and Hood knew that if he denied her request it would look like he was complacent in whatever Quaid was doing. "That is a preponderance of evidence. Go ahead and bring him in, alive we need answers, and he needs to face justice if he is actually guilty. Late tonight the USS Katana will be docking with the station. This ship is going to be garrisoned here. It is a Sabre Class vessel. Assemble a crew and leave tomorrow. You have the command under my authority."

"Me sir?" Elloma called out a little surprised, she would have assumed that the Captain or the first officer at least would be leading the USS Katana. Not sure. Granted she passed the command bridge test, but she did that more for the bragging rights, and to eventually someday take command. She was on a fast track for promotion. But she did not expect her first temporary command assignment be tomorrow.

"You did pass the command test and are qualified to command a starship are you not?" Hood asked with a smirk. Winfield knew the answer already, he was just attempting to lighten the mood. "If you are unable to leave tomorrow, then leave when ready. Either way the Katana is yours."

Elloma was a little surprised. But she knew this was not a battle she was going to win. And deep down, part of her did not want to win it. "We will leave tonight sir." Elloma said in a calm and collected voice. "It looks like I need to select a crew, and have a briefing then." Elloma said, with a smirk of a smile on her face.

"I would say that you do..." Hood's voice trailed off as he changed the tone of it for the moment. "...Listen Elloma I am a firm believer in allowing people to see things through to the end. You have been the one that saw something here with Quaid when no one else did or could. So you have to see it through. I have the utmost faith that you will be one hell of a Captain. Now go get that crew together. Code any reports for command eyes only, either myself or Kalim."

"I can do that Captain. And thank you for this opportunity." Elloma said, still not sure about this. But she knew, it was not wise to argue with her Captain. She would loose this battle.

Hood sat down behind his desk. "A suggestion for some interesting reading during your investigation. Have a look at the reports from the USS Pioneer in relation to a former Cardassian Councilwoman named Zelora. It seemed that she was holding the planet hostage basically and after she was captured she claimed that she had no idea what happened. I know that our own medical staff had a look at her and filed a report. It is possible that whatever happened to her may have happened to Quaid and he may have not been acting of his own accord. I would just hate to go off half cocked here."

"So you believe there might be a connection?" Elloma asked, as she took the data pad from Captain Hood. She had not really looked at Zelora.

"There may indeed. In regards to Zelora she was drugged with some sort of mind altering drug. It made her more susceptible to suggestion. It is possible that the same has happened to Quaid. I am not saying this is what happened. Merely that it is a workable theory. Let's make sure we have explored it all before we ruin a man's career." Hood replied as he keyed in the appropriate orders to give Elloma access to the records.

"Everyone is presumed innocent, until convicted in a court of law. Hew will be treated as a person of interest, and potential suspect at this stage of the mission. I will inform you all if that changes." Elloma pointed out. She knew it would change. The evidence against him, was to great.

"You do that Lieutenant..." Hood's voice trailed off as his computer chimed. It seemed that the Katana was docking early. "...Now I believe if you hurry to Upper Pylon 7 you can catch a glimpse of your ship as she docks." He smiled as he remembered how he felt when he was given his first starship command.

"I'll get a crew ready, and we'll bring him in for questioning. How much time do we have to complete this mission, cuz I know we have a lot of work to do here and I don't want to drag this out any longer than we have too?" Elloma asked, she was curious to see the USS Katana. She was still in shock, that she was going to command her. However she also need to be fair to the captain and his time schedule.

"It should take this long but I can probably spare you and others for as long as a month. This mission does have priority as Starfleet does take a traitor lightly." Hood's stern face softened and he smiled once more. "Now Lieutenant go get to know your ship and crew. And happy hunting..."

"Thank you Captain, will find Commander Quaid, and bring him home." Elloma said, as the scene starts to fade away.

A Joint Post By

Captain Winfield Hood
Commanding Officer, Empok Nor

Lieutenant Elloma Essu
Chief Strategic Operations Officer, Empok Nor


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