A Small Glimpse

Posted on Wednesday May 22, 2019 @ 2:51am by Police Commander Paul Reed & Detective Joey Waters & Officer Zaneta Danek & Colonel Richard Sharpe

Mission: LINK
Location: FPD Main Office
Timeline: MD02, 1100 Hours

Paul's Office

“You want me,” Danek pointed towards herself as she looked between Paul and Richard with wide, worried eyes, “to talk to the President’s Head of Personal Security about this group?” Danek had considered herself a technician and barely a highly skilled one at that. She was still barely over six months out of training and still finding her bearings in the department. And now she was going to be thrown out to the wolves to present her intel on the oppositional rally in front of one of the most well-known security officers of the Federation. And she thought working in front of Commander Malone was nerve-wracking.

Paul’s lips tilted up in an amused smirk at her. He was fond of the young officer, though she was still a bit tightly wound up with her work when it came to things outside of her clerical duties. She had come highly recommended for her skills in surveillance and intel by the officers in the academy and she fit right in with the rest of his crew. The woman was incredibly intelligent, and much like Joey was when he first started, she needed a bit ironing out. He was also dabbling with the idea of suggesting she partner up with Joey during Annie’s maternity leave so she could learn the skills needed to push herself to the top of Investigations. This was her test. “It’s your discovery, Danek. I figured you’d be the best one to explain the situation to him.”

Danek swallowed roughly, unable to hide the nerves that were floundering inside of her. Trying to get out of this would mean the death of her career and an inability to get very far away from the main computer in the office. While she didn’t feel personally ready to venture out, she didn’t really have a choice. “Y-Yes, Commander,” she sputtered out of her suddenly dry mouth. “Will Joe-I mean Detective Waters be joining us as well? He was the one who told me about the possible connection to Penumbra.”

That name always sent Paul’s jaw into a tightened clench. If he bit down any harder, he’d chip his pristine white teeth. The thought of a possible resurgence had always been in the back of his mind and caused worry if his wife and Annie had ever found out. But he would be a horrible husband, and an even worse Commander, if he had tried to protect them. They would probably kill him if they found out they may be en route to the station from someone other than him. He had broken the news to Archie in the privacy of her office, sealing off her reaction of both fear and hatred from potential onlookers. After giving her the reassurance that they would never so much as look at her if they ever set foot on the Promenade, Paul kissed her with all of the passion he had for her hugged her as tight as he could, and retreated back to his office to look at his patrol plan and start from the beginning. He also roped Richard in, who had come in late to his office that morning, because he was definitely going to need the Marines. “Yes, he will be here as well. But I want you to do most of your presentation. Just the basic facts of what you found and take notes on what he says.”

Richard looked at the blonde haired officer with a mix of amusement and sympathy. Everyone had been new at some point, and had to take that massive leap forward to go beyond their limits. It was a truly Darwinian process that those who survived the leap did well, and those that did not were left behind. Even in this utopia of human existence that was the United Federation of Planets, career progression depended on a lot of factors beyond mere equality. It was obvious to Richard that Paul thought that Danek had huge potential and a promising future - hence why he was taking a leap of faith with her presenting this information. He could quite easily have taken her information and presented it himself, but the fact he was getting Danek to do it spoke volumes about his confidence in the quaking female.

It yet again reminded him of the stark differences between the FPD and the marines. Young platoon leaders were thrown into dangerous and often life-threatening situations, and told to basically sink or swim - with the fate of thirty marines in the balance. It wasn't like they weren't supported, but in the strictest possible sense, those who did well progressed, and those that didn't... well... they didn't last long.

"Just take a deep breath, Officer." Richard replied, calmly. "All you have to do is explain your information in a logical manner, and answer any questions presented to you. Don't think about who your audience is - just think you're explaining it to us at the bar, like it's the difference between a peach dress and an apricot dress." This last bit was thanks to listening to Mayzie on how much Danek liked clothes shopping. He hoped it might calm her down somewhat. He doubted considerably whether the old mantra of 'imagining them without clothes on' would help the poor woman.

“Except the peach dress wants to force outsiders against their will to be a part of the Federation and the apricot dress wants to ignite a race war by murdering innocent people.” Danek’s half smile was slightly ironic as she straightened herself up a bit. Her nerves were causing her body to sink into itself, and she had to remind herself of who she was and who she was in front of.

Paul let out a small chuckle as he gave her a nod. “Meeting is in an hour in Conference Room 2. We’ll see you then.”

Danek gave him and Richard a nod, still feeling her stomach flop around from the sudden spotlight. She couldn’t have run out of there fast enough even if the room had been caught on fire. There was a lot to prep for, including not looking like a complete ass in front of the Security Chief.

Paul shook his head, letting out a slight snort as soon as the door shut behind her. He looked at Richard and gave him a shrug, ready to move on to their own discussions with the President’s Security man. “After hearing about this new group, you think they’re going to go for a Marine presence on the Promenade with this rally thing? Or would you prefer to have your people on standby?” Paul was still genuinely worried about what was going to unfold in the next two weeks. He had to prepare for the worst, especially when two rival belief groups were going to be sharing the same area.

Richard leaned back into the chair and crossed his arms across his chest, thinking for a moment. "The way I see it, we're already going to have a visible police presence on the promenade. They're going to be dressed up in police uniforms and provide that level of reassurance. There'll also be Starfleet Security personnel in roaming patrols as well. The added visual presence of squads of armed marines standing on the promenade is more likely to antagonise the situation than diffuse it." He said, then leaned forward.

"I'm going to push for marines to carry out two functions - first; to provide visible sentries to secure areas. Full marine dress uniform, fancy looking, smart salutes to dignitaries, the whole works. It'll make all the VIP's feel special with two marines either side of their door, and it prevents undesirables just wandering in casually. We can do that with turbolifts and the like as well. Secondly; there will be squads of marines formed up in special staging areas to be a rapid response force to critical situations. They'll be equipped with full tactical gear and kit, with tactical transporters so they can site-to-site right onto the promenade at a moment's notice. As for the number of teams, that's going to be more for you to tell me what you think you're going to need. Each squad is twelve marines led by an experienced Non-Com. I was thinking three squads, which gives you thirty six marines if shit hits the fan. That'll be in addition to your own police units and the Starfleet personnel."

"Depending on your need, I'll arrange for the marines to go through specialised crowd suppression training, so we avoid upsets like the Patron incident with Sergeant Kline. Everyone there, from the Non-Coms to the Privates will know exactly what they need to do in the situation they're in, and confidence that the marines around them are also as adequately prepared to be there." Richard said, adding a level of reassurance. "Worst case scenario, you pull the panic alarm, I can get eleven hundred bodies onto the promenade in full tactical gear in five minutes."

In this situation, Paul, as head of Station Security, was nominally in charge of all the security arrangements. Richard had a fair amount of sympathy for him, as if this went bad, he'd have to be the one to make the call on what to do. Make the wrong call, and everyone would be on him hard. The best Richard could do was provide as much support as he could.

“Spencer is going nowhere near the Promenade while this shit is going on,” Paul laughed as he leaned back comfortably in his chair with his right ankle resting on his left thigh. A lot was riding on his shoulders and overreaction could cause mass hysteria and permanently sever the ties between the Romulans and the Federation. He could even go so far as to say that the civilians who called Deep Space 7 their home would run for the hills, sending the highly ranked base into the desolate pitfalls of run-down bases. This was his home, and he worked hard to maintain the high reputation Admiral McGuinness had built for them and for Starfleet. “You’re right. Have them on standby just in case. It’s already going to be tense enough as it is. Technically, the group has a right to rally and we need to give them that respect. The Federation isn’t a dictatorship and I’m sure the President would have my head if I make it seem like it is. I’ll have my people and Starfleet there and have your guys and S.W.A.T. waiting in the wings.

“The President is going to have his own personal guards, including Steiger’s husband, which will certainly help. At least we don’t have to worry about that. We’ve reserved Deck 26 for him and his people. No one without clearance will be allowed there, and that includes any of our Romulan guests. Captain wants them separated before the meeting. Afterward depends on how the meeting goes.” Paul paused as he brushed his thumb back and forth on his chin. “Praetor Tal’Aura will be on Deck 1587, Donatra will be on Deck 1701. Same rules apply to them. No one without clearance goes there, though I’m sure they’ll be able to keep track of their own unwanted guests. I would like to think there won’t be any ill intentions coming aboard here, but there’s no use in that.”

"Wishful thinking." Richard replied. "I think there'll be trouble, there almost always is at things like this. Our job is to minimize it and contain it so that it doesn't impact on the conference itself. Hopefully, we'll just see some rowdy protesters and maybe some litter being thrown. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

Conference Room 2, FPD Office

On the large view screen, the Andorian’s antennae wiggled and his forehead crinkled at the mention of the rally. “Well, that is to be expected, now isn’t it?” He paused, looking over the incredibly tense and slightly bewildered Danek, who had just finished stumbling through her presentation on the two groups set to protest the coming events. Joey stood slightly behind and to her left, maintaining his usual relaxed and slightly goofy smirk. “Can’t make everyone happy.” He tried to ease up the young woman’s nerves, having been in her position before as a Starfleet Security Officer. Eshov Ch'izihral was in his 50s, still appearing young and spry and ready to take on whatever challenge was thrown at him. He had been selected as the head of President Mitchell’s Personal Security after the election and maintained a strong personal connection with anyone he had worked with, choosing to retire from the fleet to take on the roll. He was incredibly warm and charming, making everyone feel like he was their best friend; their best friend that could also crush a head like it was a grape between his fingers. His broad shoulders and muscular build rivaled some of the Marines on the base. “Any mention of any personal violence or vendettas by anyone so far?”

Danek shook her head silently, letting out a nervous breath before she answered. “Just the usual general desire of mass elimination of all antagonists from the entire galaxy. No specific means or locations mentioned. Detective Waters and I flagged key words so if,” she looked at Paul, who had kept his face as friendly as possible to help her, then looked back at Eshov, “or when, they appear on forums relating or possibly even relating to the events on Deep Space 7 we will know right away and can contact you directly.”

Eshov, surprisingly pleased with the performance of the Federation’s civilian force, gave her a nod. No one would suspect his silent assumptions of superiority when he found out it wasn’t a military security-run base. He questioned Mitchell’s decision to have the meeting there where he would be more at risk of an attack due to a lack of strong officers. He was beginning to be proven wrong. He scratched his white eyebrow slightly and looked at Paul and Richard. “I trust there will be a fairly strong presence aboard?”

“Yes, Sir,” Paul leaned forward, reaching for one of the PADDs from the middle of the table. “Starfleet will maintain continuous patrols and guard duty for all military areas. The police officers will be on patrols as well but will be focused more on the civilian areas and the inevitable gathering of the minds. The Marines, through Colonel Sharpe’s command, will be present in their finest Class-A’s with their spit-shined brass during the meeting and will also be on stand-by in case the thing gets out of control.” He pulled up the information on the Romulans that were the likely participants of the meeting. “Have you spoken with either of the parties partaking in the meetings?”

Eshov had been disappointed but not surprised by the lack of contact from the Romulans. “Not yet. Though I suspect we will be blessed with representatives and not the actual leaders themselves. I don’t think that would have any effect on how things will be here, right?” His lips moved slightly at his slight joke.

Richard shook his head. "I suspect that under the circumstances, whether it were a representative or the leader themselves, the Romulans are likely to view any security breaches against them quite negatively." He replied. "Don't worry, I'm quite certain that whoever the RSE sends will insist on being pampered, and criticse everything we've done as is their way. Not sure about Donatra's side though - not sure what to make of them."

The antennae wiggled again as Eshov’s easy smirk returned to his lips. He had a secret and he knew Paul and Richard knew he had a secret. There was no use for him to try to hide it. “That conversation, gentlemen, shall be saved for a different day. I believe we all may be surprised at how this turns out.”

Paul looked across the conference table at Richard with slightly raised eyebrows. They had been given a rather atypical response. They were being let in but only just to catch a glimpse of what exactly the Federation was getting into.

Richard had seen that look before, worn on the face of someone who had an agenda - an ulterior motive that no matter what their actions were, would inevitably lead to the outcome they desired. He'd seen it on the face of intelligenc officers who attempted to dictate military strategy time and again. Richard scowled visibly at Eshov, but didn't openly challenge him. Whatever it was, clearly his master was trying to stage-manage something, and Deep Space Seven was being used as the stage. All Paul and Richard were, were merely extras in a massively choreographed theatrical event, that not even the actors knew how the play would end. "Just don't get any of us killed whilst you figure out how this turns out." He said, simply.

“I wouldn’t be a good Security Officer if I did, Colonel.” Eshov’s smirk widened into a grin at the dry remark. He could feel Richard’s hesitation through the screen. “I’ll submit our Emergency plans for the President when I arrive in five days. I look forward to touring the facility personally”

Paul nodded, hiding the fact that he was slightly annoyed that they were now receiving guests even earlier than stated. While he should’ve figured at least one or two members of the team would survey the quarters and meeting space, he figured Dutch, who lived on the station, would have taken care of that. That also would’ve been negligent on Eshov’s part if he didn’t physically see the space and familiarize himself with it. “There’s a room with your name on it, Sir.”

"I'm sure you'll have a blast, Mr Ch'izihral." Richard replied, dryly, making a note to inform the Captain of the change in schedule. Not that it mattered all that much, Paul was on top of things, and as much as you wanted to - you could never entirely prepare for every scenario. In that road, lay madness. Things happened, it was how you reacted to things as they change that would make or break a situation. Richard had 110% belief and confidence in Paul to handle it.

When the screen changed from the smug looking Andorian to the Federation logo, Richard turned to Paul. "Self-righteous bastard." He said, smirking. "So, who do you want as liaison officer between you and the marines?" Richard asked, leaning back. "I imagine I'll have second officering to be doing during the event, with Ira and Kerry tied up in the talks. Any of my senior officers strike you as someone you're willing to work with?"

“How about that Vulcan kid? Marak?” Paul leaned back in his chair as he pulled up the officer’s file on the PADD. “He’ll probably be the most likely to talk me out of eating my phaser during this thing.” He looked over to Danek who was still locked in place, feeling the residual nerves in her blood, and gave her an amused smirk. “Make sure he gets the information on the rally so he knows what’s up.”

Danek’s eyes moved over to him, bringing her back to normal. She had made it through and was still standing. Paul was notorious for breaking officers down to test their sensibilities and she had made it through. “Yes, Commander,” she stated with a bit more stability. “Colonel, I can meet with him today after you brief him.”

Richard nodded. "I'll let him know to come find you, Zaneta." He said. Captain Marak was one of his older hands, having been retained from the previous command under Spencer. He'd firmly resisted Spencer's stupid policies, a stance that had earned him many bad fitness reviews and assigned as the Mess Officer almost permanently. When Richard took command, he'd made it a point to pull Marak out of the hell-hole he'd been shoved into, promoted him to Captain, and assigned him to head up the Headquarters Company for the MEU. Paul had made a very sound choice in Marek, as he was a very good organiser, and always listened to every viewpoint before expressing his own. He had clearly demonstrated that he could say No to power if needed - something Richard felt Paul needed from time to time.

"If that's everything Paul, I'd better head off. I promised to spend the afternoon with Mayzie, letting her fly me about in a fighter. I'm not sure if that was wise or not." Richard grinned.

Paul nodded, giving him only a mischievous smirk as he was well aware that Joey and Danek were still incredibly present in the room. He’d be sure to put out a jab or two about certain shuttles belonging to certain people later tonight. It seemed everyone was in a hurry to spend their last extra moments getting their kicks in before their entire lives would be dedicated to the station for the foreseeable future. “Try not to lose the shuttle. It’d be really hard to explain why my best friend is a fuckin’ idiot to the Captain at our end of watch meeting today.”