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JDL | CDR Stacker, WO Parsuv (NPC) | "Preparations, Pt. 3"

Posted on Fri Feb 5th, 2021 @ 4:18am by Commander James Stacker & Warrant Officer Parsuv

Mission: A Distant Thunder
Location: XO's Office | Deck 1 | Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 242102.04

A few heartbeats, and ticks of the second hand on the analog clock on the wall, elapsed before either of them spoke. “May I assume retrieving spare parts is not the full reason for the trip?” Parsuv finally inquired with a gentle head-tilt.

James leaned back a bit in his chair, hands and forearms going to the armrests. He glanced at the tricorder again. It continued to show the lights indicating full functionality, but he knew that repeated use would only enable faster breaking of the encryption scheme. This would, in all likelihood, be the last time he could use it before needing to implement a new one. He made a mental note and focused back on the conversation.

“You assume correctly.”

“May I ask the full reason, or is this considered a sensitive matter?”

The head had tilted in a different direction, as he spoke, but it went back to center and upright as James laid out the situation as it existed. Only the fact that the two had known each other for some time, and worked together for many years under circumstances both easy and arduous, allowed him to speak with such candor. By the count of the clock on the wall, laying it all out and answering a few questions took about five minutes.

“If I did not know you better, I would say you are joking,” Parsuv finally said after a few minutes of contemplation and digesting what had been related. His hands had gone to his knees some time ago; an unconscious sign that belied mental agitation, James knew. “But I know you very well. So, I know you are not making a joke. Or playing one of the pranks some of you humans are all too fond of.”

“And?” the XO gently prodded.

The response was made in candor, and with a tone in the voice that belied the gravity with which the owner regarded the circumstances. “And I am concerned, very much, at what you have told me. May I ask, how many people know about this?”

“Thus far? Four - no, five,” he corrected, adding a missed name to the list. “That I know of. Fleet Admiral Red, Admiral Hark, Commander Merlin, Commander Valeese, and myself. And now you.”

“Then I am pleased to be in such excellent company.”

“I seem to recall your mentioning joking just a few minutes ago.”

“Yes. But, truthfully, I am exceptionally concerned. I do not know the Director, but he does not seem like someone to be trifled with on such matters.” It might have been hard for anyone else to tell, but the former chief intelligence officer knew how deadly serious the voice was. Abundant rumors hinted at this. Having personally met and encountered the man in a less-complicated face-to-face fashion, he was prepared to extend every inch of credit to said rumors.

“Which is why you’re going on this trip.”

“I admit, I was wondering what this had to do with what you have just told me,” the Kelpien replied with another head-shift. This one evidenced both interest and a continuation of his ongoing concern.

“You’re going to be making a stop at Starbase 105. It’s along the way, so it shouldn’t raise any flags.”

“I am familiar with the route. May I ask why I’m stopping there?”

A hint of a smile occurred in the corners of James’ mouth. It might have stayed for longer, were the subject of their discussion not quite so serious. “You’re going to look up my uncle. Colonel Jacob Keyes, Starfleet Marine Corps. I need you to deliver this chip to him ... Forgive me if I don’t discuss the contents, but you can probably guess at them for yourself.”

“Indeed, I can. May I assume it is to be given directly to him? No intermediaries?”

“You assume correctly. Tell him it’s correspondence from his nephew, about the Kitty Hawk. I think that might open some doors for you.”

Parsuv’s head tilted to the side. Only a few degrees, but enough to affect an air of puzzlement. “I fail to see how.”

“I doubt you know this story.” The executive officer leaned back in his chair. It squeaked in protest as he tented his hands, eyes going to the chip in the Warrant Officer’s hand as he continued. “She was a marine transport lost on a sensitive mission about 15 years ago. Only after I joined intelligence did he tell me the full story. I’ll tell you sometime, but for now, I think you need to be on your way.”

“Then I shall have to hope your uncle remembers the ship.”

“He will.” The tone belied absolute confidence in the words, as he eyed the desk. Only when the warrant was most of the way to the door did he glance up and add an afterthought. “And warrant? Good luck.”

Commander James Stacker
Executive Officer
Cold Station Theta (Starbase 1170)

Warrant Officer Parsuv (NPC)
Intelligence Officer
Cold Station Theta (Starbase 1170)
apb Baxter


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