U.S.S. Corsair - NX-011979
Nebula II Prototype
“Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)
“Bad Cop / Good Cop ?”
Notice: This log contains adult language. Reader discretion advised.
== Conference Room, USS Corsair ==
Captain Zane Akina sat quietly as his prisoner was brought into the conference room. Zane gave the man a quick glance before returning his attention to the officer’s records which were displayed on the padd in his hand. Waving the guard out, Akina set his padd down and looked the Starfleet lieutenant.
“Lieutenant Leon Athalla. Please have a seat.”
“What is the meaning of this”, Athalla shouted. “I have been incarcerated without an explanation for hours and hounded by intelligence types like yourself. What is going on? Am I under some sort of suspicion? If so I demand to know what the charges are! If you have none then you have no authority to hold me. I demand to be allowed to return to my ship!”
“You are in a position to demand nothing lieutenant! Now sit down before I have security do it for you!”
Athalla angrily grabbed a chair and fell into it. “Ok so I’m sitting. Now can we cut the crap and get to the reason I’m being held wherever here is?”
“Blunt and to the point – I like that. I’ve looked over your file Lt. Athalla. You are by all accounts an accomplished fighter pilot though you are not without your faults. I see here you led a raid on enemy ground targets but that you mistook the target and wiped out three platoons of Starfleet marines instead. Quite the miscalculation?”
Athalla’s expression instantly changed from dissatisfaction to genuine anger. “That lies in the past where it belongs. We all make mistakes especially when you are given orders to attack the wrong location! I don’t intend to sit and be lectured by a self righteous officer who likely has little to no actual combat experience! Kill a few people! Then we can talk! Don’t you dare take the moral high ground! I doubt very seriously that as a member of Starfleet intelligence you yourself are squeaky clean!”
“I’m not the one who was in the middle of the Vulcan desert and connected to certain persons and events of interest to the intelligence department! How do you explain your presence there? What is your connection to this Romulan mercenary, Aev Keirianh?”
“Go to hell”, Athalla blurted crossing his arms while displaying a defiant grin. His eyes blazed with the arrogant confidence of a cavalier combat pilot. He would not be shaken by this captain’s interrogation techniques. He had done nothing overtly menacing. Athalla had twisted a few rules, but had committed no heinous crime. He knew it, perhaps the captain did as well. The man was fishing for something to hang him with and Leon had no intention of handing this Captain Akina the noose to slip around his neck.
“Lieutenant do you have any idea how much trouble you are in? The more you resist the more painful this will be for the both of us.”
“Save your scare tactics for Halloween and the kiddies, captain! I’m not some child that you can frighten with threats. Dredging up my past to irritate me into saying something you want to hear will not work! I don’t intend on telling you anything and likewise you have nothing in which to hold me with otherwise we wouldn’t be having this lovely conversation! I’m no fool Captain! Now unless you intend to begin with a really sinister interrogation complete with torture implements I believe this little chat is concluded!”
Akina slammed his hands down on the conference table. “Do you think you can dictate to me you insignificant little prick! I can have you killed and no one would ever be the wiser! You have no idea who you are dealing with!”
Leon laughed. “I doubt you have the balls to pull the trigger yourself. If you are so anxious to kill me then what is stopping you? I’m a god damned fighter pilot! Do you honestly believe some brass on your collar and tough talk will frighten me you self-righteous bastard! If you are going to kill me then just get it over with already! I’m sick of listening to you talk!”
Akina scowled silently grinding his teeth together as the two men glared at one other across the obsidian colored table. “I own your balls lieutenant! I don’t have to kill you! I can make your life a miserable, living hell, for eternity if I so choose! I can break you, own you, and even make you willing give me your soul if that’s what I wanted! I will not warn you again! I want to know your connection to Aev Keirianh now!”
“You can kiss my ass captain. And if you so much as lay a finger on me I’ll return the favor with compounded interest.”
Akina grabbed his side arm and pointed it at the pilot’s face. “Talk now or so help me I’ll put a hole through that arrogant head of yours!”
“CAPTAIN”, a voice called out from across the conference room.
Akina looked up to see Commander Alanis Novada standing at the doorway.
“Captain, what is going on in here? Put away that weapon at once!”
“Commander, this is not your jurisdiction! I am in the middle of a delicate interrogation and I…”
“I’ve heard of angels, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one until now”, Athalla said as the commander entered the room.
Novada looked at the lieutenant and back at Captain Akina. Her gaze fell back to the lieutenant who in addition to wearing a grin had a pair of gold flight wings affixed to his uniform indicating he was a pilot.
Novada’s expression soured as she turned toward the captain. “Not my jurisdiction? Captain, I happen to be the executive officer aboard this starship. Furthermore, with the captain in sickbay, I am officially acting captain until he recovers. Now what jurisdiction were you referring to because the last time I checked this was my ship.” She folded her arms and waited for a response.
“Commander, I did not mean it that way. What I meant to say was this individual has important information that is vital to ongoing investigations.”
Novada was not impressed with the answer. “Well then, by all means captain, continue your interrogation minus the phaser. I have full security clearance.”
“Commander, this isn’t…”
“Isn’t what captain? I hope you are not insinuating that I shouldn’t be here because I am a woman!”
“NO! I wouldn’t dare…”
“That is exactly what he is saying Commander….? I am afraid I did not catch your name sir. I am Lieutenant Leon Athalla. Fighter Pilot, 1st Squadron, USS Charon. It is a pleasure to meet someone aboard who seems to be logical, level headed – not to mention charming.”
“I am Commander Alanis Novada, lieutenant.” Turning her attention back to Akina, Novada was far less accommodating. “I’m not sure what it is you think you are doing here Captain, but it is at an end. Captain Ramius would never behave in such a manner and I will not permit you to execute a personal witch hunt looking for clues to Ramius’s attacker! I am quite sure the captain will want to retain that privilege for himself.
If you want information from people you simply need to ask for it without waving a weapon in their face.”
She turned to the lieutenant. “Lieutenant, would you mind telling us why you were on the surface and your relationship with the Romulan mercenary? I assume this is what this is about?”
Leon smiled. “I ran into the mercenary Aev Keirianh aboard the Charon during a recent mission where we were forcibly boarded by Romulan shock troops.”
“I am familiar with the incident lieutenant, please continue.”
“I had never met the mercenary until then. I don’t even really know how he came to be aboard the Charon. All I know is that he fought with us against his own people. Can’t exactly speak to his motivations, but he saved my life and many others. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be sitting here now. After we fought off that Romulan madman, saved Vulcan, and retook the ship – I guess you could say we formed a friendship. I took some shoreleave and dragged him along with me. To make a long story short, someone on the Vulcan surface tried to kill him and me as well. I do not know who they are or what they wanted.
We were separated. I managed to pick up his trail and was able to follow him to that desert oasis where I assumed he had gone alone to confront his attackers. Confront them he did. He foolishly died going it alone.” Leon paused for a moment. “I..I guess that’s probably the way he would have wanted to go…one last blaze of glory or something like that. I don’t really know who he was or much about his past, but whatever he may have been, in the time I knew him, he was a professional, tough fighter who used his talents to help a great many people when it would have been easy for him to simply join his fellow Romulans while they ransacked the Charon. That is all that I know.”
Novada nodded. “Thank you for your candor lieutenant. It is appreciated.” She turned to Captain Akina.
“You were saying something about a delicate interrogation?”
Akina fumed, but kept his resentment and embarrassment under control. “He isn’t telling the truth! He is just saying what we all want to hear!”
“The doctor can verify if he is telling the truth if you insist he is lying, but his story does appear to match reports filed by others on the Charon.”
“So you believe him? He was there! He knows more than he is telling!”
“And suppose he does not Captain? What then? We all want to locate Ramius’s attacker, but taking out your anger on this lieutenant is not a substitute for detective work. I have already enlisted the help of the Vulcan Defense Ministry to assist us in triangulating the source of the attacker’s last transmission. If we are successful we may be able to extrapolate a possible heading and that would give us a solid lead, not a false confession beaten from an innocent man.”
Akina grabbed his padds from the table. “Believe what you will! I still retain the operational control over our mission in Ramius’s absence. This pilot cannot leave the Corsair until I am through with him Commander!” The captain stormed out leaving the pair alone in the ship’s main conference room.
“I apologize Lieutenant Athalla. Captain Akina has been under a great deal of stress. He is quite dedicated and passionate about his duties. I hope you have not been mistreated.”
“I can handle a verbal lashing ma’m. You too seem to be able to handle yourself around irate captains. I am most impressed.”
“I get a lot of practice aboard this ship.” She winked ever so slightly. “Lieutenant, would you care to share some coffee or tea? I would like to hear more about your relationship with the Romulan mercenary and your experiences below on Vulcan. We are investigating those events and attempting to locate those responsible for a great tragedy below. Your accounts may aid us in locating these criminals and bringing them to justice. “
“Well that offer beats a phaser pointed at me any day. I accept.”
Novada nodded. “If you’ll follow me. Perhaps you can tell me something about you? I once dated a maverick pilot back in my academy days. He was a legend in his own mind. You remind me somewhat of him.”
“Really”, Athalla quietly replied flashing a toothy smile. He was beginning to like this Commander Novada and he feared it was for all the ‘wrong’ reasons. “I happen to be a legend, both in my own mind and elsewhere as well…”
The two chuckled as they left the conference room.
== FIN ==
Captain Zane Akina
Lieutenant Leon Athalla
Fighter Pilot, USS Charon
Commander Alanis Novada
Executive Officer, USS Corsair