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Backdoor Investigation

Posted on Sat Aug 28th, 2021 @ 10:58pm by Commander Arianna Frost & Captain Mrazak

Mission: Mission 0: Everybody Has A Story
Location: DS9 / Undisclosed
Timeline: Between 'Green Mile 1' and 'Regrouping'.

Arianna was still reeling from the events of the previous night and the deposition. The feeling of not knowing and the lack of control of the situation were feelings Frost didn't like feeling. They were, however, also prime opportunities to remedy the situation and gain knowledge.

The biggest concern on her mind, however, was the fact that there was an unknown element who was walking around with her Callsign, using it on apparent orders from Admiral Tau. Or on their own whims, with the help of Tau.

Why couldn't things be simple for once? This was supposed to be a simple deposition. Why did everything have to be more complicated than it needed to?

Deep down, in her heart she knew tthe answer, but she refused to even acknowledge it, let alone accept it.

Having performed the necessary securing of the channels, with sufficient routing through various relays, Frost initiated a channel-handshake, waiting for the Commodore or the Taskmaster to pick up.

"Go ahead."

The Taskmaster's voice sounded annoyed.

Arianna frowned, "it's Frost. I know I'm not due for a call-in but we have a problem. Well, several and they may be connected."

In the back of her mind, Ari's curiosity was fighting with the more immediate thought of passing the information on. Why did he sound annoyed though? What had happened in her absence?

"Yes, you do," Taskmaster said. "OSI is not happy with you."

So, they knew already. Good. "No, we do. I've been compromised from the get go." Ari slotted in a data chit, "transmitting the recording now. Now either Tau leaked my callsign to her, though I'm not sure how he even knows it. Or someone else did. I was not going to go along with their scheme, I don't honestly give a toss if they are happy with me or not. Have a look and tell me if I should have listened."

"Hold." The Taskmaster's face froze as the feed paused. After a moment, his features returned to life. "Did you have to go and stick your foot in it? Your boyfriend's agency is already on the chopping block. Embarrassing the Admiralty in front of their own scapegoat was incredibly stupid. I hope you're ready to fall on your sword or change your name along with your call sign."

"I would be just as guilty as they are, if this was ever investigated I'd be implicated as an accomplice in this fucking charade. I'm IA, I investigate charades like these, I don't help them flourish." Arianna decided to ignore his overly pointed comment on Akiva and push with her own agenda. "Is there any TLA activity in the area at the moment?"

Taskmaster shook his head. "You were Internal Affairs. You are Castermer, and our operation supersedes all else until we can guarantee operational security and integrity from Black Nagus subversion. Keep your nose clean and we can protect you. With the shitstorm you just set off? I'll do what I can, but I can't promise anything. Step on my dick again, Persephone, and your next transmission won't get answered. But then I guess you wouldn't have to worry about a new call sign." A grim look pull back the right side of the Taskmaster's mouth. "Speaking of which, what are your theories about your call sign? Admiral Tau might be a pretentious prig, but he's not going to leak classified information. It had to be someone else, perhaps related to Vokau." He looked off screen as he accessed a device. "I'm forwarding you all files on his known associates and next of kin. Be on the lookout. If the Black Nagus got to him, it was likely through a personal relationship."

Arianna nodded, glancing to the side, noticing an info dump. "Could be, or we could be looking at another player in the game. The TLA presence on DS9 at this very moment is concerning."

The Taskmaster sounded so sure. Part of her wanted to trust him and follow his lead. The other, niggling part of her, her gut was screaming for her to look at alternatives.

"Yes, of course the Trill Liberation Army has a presence on DS9, and so does the defunct Bajoran Circle and the Klingon House of Duras. Try not to trip on any of their leaflets." The Taskmaster was practically scoffing at her. "Stay focused. If you find evidence of rogue elements of SIGINT, then identify and report them. Leave the malcontents and their petty protests to Station Security."

Another figure stepped into the background. "That's not what you're asking, is it?"

Rahal. Did she listen in on everything? Or did they share an office?

Arianna shook her head, "my quarters were broken into by a TLA member and they seemed to be after my doctored statement. That's no leaflet, nor is it a coincidence. I'm asking for eyes on the matter. If not ours, retask a tail on it."

Commodore Rahal nodded, "tell me what happened."

Frost nodded, glad for the reprieve from the unusually savage Taskmaster. She retold the event to Xanthe and Taskmaster.

"What are my orders?" Arianna finally said.

"Observe and report," Taskmaster said. "And, for the love of all good and holy, don't fuck up in public again."

"Do try not to make our job even harder." Xanthe nodded, "that being said, nicely done."

Ari could swear she saw a minuscule smile and a wink from the Commodore. "Understood. Let me know when my callsign is changed."

"It should be ready by the time you return," Taskmaster said, though he scratched his chin. "Out of curiosity's sake, did you get any intel on the strange woman you mentioned? If we knew which desk she reports to, then we can shake some trees on our end."

Arianna shook her head, "the recording I sent you is as much as we have on her. I don't have secure access for running any sort of checks from here."

"I feel like I've seen her before," Taskmaster said through squinted eyes that studied the still frame. "But if I did, then I have no memory of it."

Frost nodded, "in our circles or from the reg era?"

The reg era referred to a time in each intelligence officer's life when they served within the ranks of regular Starfleet.

"Wouldn't you like to know," said the Taskmaster with a smirk.

Arianna shrugged. She didn't really. "It merely helps to narrow down what part of one's life one remembers things from so that they can pursue the right trail."

"If I uncover anything, I'll let you know." Gone was Taskmaster's smirk, replaced by the familiar smug, stern expression.

Arianna nodded again, "understood. I'll report back tomorrow after the continuation."

"See that you do." With nothing further, the transmission cut out.

Arianna leaned back in her chair and sighed. Now that she had an official excuse to stay, now it was time to poke around and see how things played out.


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