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Of Sound and Fury

Posted on Sat Nov 4th, 2023 @ 9:32pm by Rear Admiral Gareth Tau & Captain Akiva ben-Avram

Mission: Season 1 Interlude II (E5.5)
Location: Villa 17 | Temtibi Lagoon, Risa
Timeline: ID 7

Morning came all too swiftly for Akiva. The day before had been one of the most trying ones in recent memory, and it happened while they were supposed to be on vacation. Everything ended well for the most part. There were still loose ends to tie up. He had went to bed early and slept like a log the whole night through.

When a priority one subspace transmission alerted on his communicator, he ignored it. At first it was unconscious, but before long he awakened enough to groan. "Go away," he yelled into his pillow. But the persistent beeping would not stop.

"Ben-Avram." His voice was muffled into his pillow.

"Captain..." The unmistakable gravelly tone of Admiral Tau came over the channel. "I have been trying to reach you for some time. Is there something wrong?" By his tone, the admiral suggested there had better be.

"It's early morning here, sir." Akiva rolled over and made no effort to hide the frog in his throat. "How can I help you?"

Admiral Tau's voice let out a scoff. "I'm revoking Memory Theta's shore leave. You're needed on assignment immediately."

That... that was unexpected. Akiva could only imagine how well it would go over with the crew. Especially the ones who were going to spend the day in the medical center. "We'll do our best, sir, but some members of the team are receiving medical care."

"Seriously?" Tau made no effort to hide his frustration. "The field team's services are required. Will they be unable to report for duty?"

"Most of them will be just fine, Admiral," said Akiva. Part of him was enjoying the situation, but most of him still wanted to keep the admiral happy. "We can be back to Overwatch Station tomorrow."

"Most of them?" asked the admiral. "Dare I ask?"

Akiva bit back a sigh of his own. "It's a long story with several different points. I'll have a report filed by the end of the day."

"Break it down for me now," Tau said. "How many will be unable to report for duty?"

"Realistically? Only Lieutenant Hawthorne. He's under intensive care with Division 14." Akiva pondered the rest. "We may be looking at emergency paternity leave for the Garlakes."

Tau let out another sigh. "Yes... Division 14 on Risa. I might have known your team would be involved." If he had heard the part about the paternity leave, he didn't mention it. "Keep the lieutenant to their care. If Division 14 can't help him, they'll send him to the Farm where he will be provided for."

"Yes, Admiral." Apparently Tau was already aware of the unnatural fungal infection. "I will alert everyone as soon as we're done here and tell them to get packed."

"See that you do," Tau replied. "I cannot overstate the urgency of the moment. Untold lives may hang in the balance."

When do they not? Akiva pondered to himself. "Of course, Admiral. Was there anything else?"

"I ask the questions, not you," Tau snapped, then paused. "Forgive me. I trust you will understand once you have been briefed. Nothing more, Captain, at least not over subspace. The Phantom may return to Overwatch Station but it must be prepared to turn around for another immediate deployment. My ship will be there in a few days, so use that time wisely."

"I do understand, Admiral." Akiva did his best to hide his growing impatience.

"Very well. We will speak in person when I arrive." Tau disconnected without another word.

That was weird. Tau had the authority to yank them around the galaxy at his word without so much as an apology. And yet he had given one a moment ago. What could possibly be going on that was so urgent as to prompt this unexpected transmission yet did not require an immediate order to return to Overwatch Station now? Akiva could only guess. For now, he had to be the bearer of bad news.

He got up out of his bed and accessed the intercom that would let him speak room-to-room. After pressing each room, Akiva spoke into it. "I'm sorry to disrupt everyone's morning, but I just received word from the Admiralty that our shore leave has been cut short. I convinced them to let us have the day, but we will be heading out first thing tomorrow morning. Anyone who is unable to make the trip will be left behind. Admiral's orders. If anyone has any questions, come see me. Otherwise, try and enjoy the last day of vacation."

Akiva left it at that and closed the intercom, even powered it down for good measure. If anyone wanted to talk to him, they'd have to come find him. There was a hot shower with his name on it and he didn't plan to come out for at least an hour.


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