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Passing the Buck

Posted on Thu Mar 4th, 2021 @ 1:47pm by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant Commander Leonora Wolf MD

Mission: S1E5: Symphony of Horror
Location: Administrator's Office | Overwatch Station
Timeline: MD 1

It was the day before the judicial hearings on the matter of Memory Theta. After nearly 30 days of preparation, Akiva was still not entirely sure what that meant. In an official capacity, it was a review and accounting of Memory Theta's operations for duration of his time as administrator. Unofficially, it was a railroad job intended to bury him and everyone else like the azazel scapegoats of old. Few people knew the origin of the term -- a goat accursed with the sins of the entire nation was spared the ritual sacrifice but was instead sent off to die of exposure in the wilderness. A very apt and fitting description of what laid in store for the current Memory Theta personnel unless Akiva somehow managed to acquit them all.

Mrazak as the head of the Science division of Memory Theta was among the senior officers summoned to testify and likely receive discipline. If there was one thing Mrazak knew how to do, however, it was get out of slippery situations. He did not survive and climb to the top of the heap by being anybody's fall guy. No, there were useful idiots better suited for that purpose.

With defense materials in hand, ranging from personal logs to intelligence reports to good, old-fashioned research updates, Akiva arranged them all by name, date, and relevance for easy reference on demand. His organizational process was interrupted by Mrazak. The Vulcan came and went as he pleased, and today was no different, save for the glowing smirk on his face.

"What is it, Mrazak?" Akiva groaned. "I am very busy."

"Of course, ben-Avram. Aren't we all?" Mrazak's lips curled back into a grin.

Akiva sighed. "I have no time or energy for your games. What do you want?"

"Oh, I wished to merely inform you that I will be unable to accompany you and the others to Deep Space 9. You see, there has been a Theta alert to which I am obligated to respond."

Flicking his hand from his PADD to Akiva's desk, a recorded transmission began to play. Its heading flashed in text before the visual appeared.

"To: Section Chief, Special Operations Division
From: Operative Codename: Cassandra, Belmont Station, Theta-Corvus System

"Corvus Prime primary satellite Alucard suffered a several megaton detonation approximately ten hours ago. Initial blast knocked out communications and sensors. Upon retrieval of capability Belmont Station sensors detected traces of thalaron radiation. Alucard suffered severe destabilization as a result. Requesting assistance from SCE to employ measures to prevent Alucard from breaking apart and impacting Corvus Prime itself causing massive devastation. Requesting a response team from Memory Theta as well."

Akiva strummed his fingers atop his desk. "That does sound serious."

"Indeed," Mrazak said. "Thalaron radiation research is banned throughout the Federation. It is incumbent upon us to answer the call to investigate and ascertain, possibly acquire, any illegal technology or research."

Akiva sighed. "I understand the Memory Theta mandate. Admiral Tau is expecting us--"

"Admiral Tau cannot expect us to ignore our solemn duty," Mrazak said. "I will investigate this incident and send my adjutant to DS9 in my place."

"The new ensign?" Akiva shook his head in disgust. "You're sending a recent graduate from the Academy to take your place in front of Tau's firing squad? You have no honor."

Mrazak just smirked. "You just wish you'd thought of it first." A sadistic chuckle gurgled up from his throat before he continued. "This could be just what we need, ben-Avram. I believe your human idiom is a 'slam dunk'? We'll go to this Theta-Corvus system, a most symbolic name if you believe in such things as fate, and we will ferret out dreadful wrongdoing such that Tau and his brood will have no choice but to acknowledge their need for us."

As much as Akiva was loathe to admit it, his evil counterpart had a point. "So while I take the brunt of the admiralty's slings and arrows, you propose to run off and prove the validity and utility of Memory Theta as vindication against accusations to the contrary?" The Hebron sighed. "I suppose I can't really stop you."

There was also the possibility that Tau would come down hard and vengeful on Mrazak for an insolent act of insubordination. That could be worthwhile if Akiva's apologia fell on deaf ears. Soon he matched Mrazak's smile with one one of his own.

"In which case, I wish you godspeed, Mrazak."

The smile set Mrazak off balance for a moment. "I know what you're thinking," he groused. "Don't you even think of selling me out. If I fall, we all fall. I will promise you that here and now."

"I'll do my best," Akiva said. "But you circumvent Tau and his little tribunal at your own risk."

"I'm doing this for Memory Theta!" Mrazak yelled. "Doesn't that mean anything to you?"

"You're doing it for yourself!" Akiva countered. "Hiding behind me and a young girl and all the rest as your human shields."

Mrazak glowered at Akiva, his scowl almost prehensile as it seemed to nearly leap off his face if it were possible.

"I am Memory Theta," he said. "The rest of you are just hired help. Go do your duty and I will do mine."

With that, he spun on his heels, leaving Akiva to scoff and snort in utter, contemptible disgust.


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