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Things Far Reaching

Posted on Sat Jan 13th, 2024 @ 11:46pm by Rear Admiral Gareth Tau & Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Mrazak & Commander Arianna Frost

Mission: S1E6: Where Skies End
Location: Overwatch Station
Timeline: MD 2

As consciousness returned slowly to Arianna, two schools of emerged. The first, she was getting older and everything hurt a lot sooner than expected. The second, despite the well of physical discomfort, she had slept more peacefully than she had in months. It felt right, safe, like home.

As a seasoned intelligence officer, logically, she knew that safety was a relative concept that no one could consistently offer or promise. However, despite the head knowing, the heart still felt it.

As her eyes fluttered open and she became conscious of the weight against her, she noticed brown hair.

Brown hair.

Memories of the night before came-a-floodin'.


Akiva began to stir himself. A soft groan rumbled from his throat, prompting a yawn. "Hmm?" He hadn't opened his eyes yet. This morning felt so good that he reached for a pillow to readjust for maximum comfort. So warm, so soft, so cozy, so not horizontal. That was weird. Akiva's eyes shot open. The first thing he realized was that he was not in his bed. The second thing he realized was that the soft, warm cushion he had reached for was not his pillow. He was, in fact, laying diagonally atop Arianna Frost. They'd both apparently fallen asleep on her sofa.

"HaShem b'Shamayim have mercy!" Akiva let out a gasp and immediately sat up. "Commander Frost, I must beg your pardon for... for..." He couldn't even form words or articulate a coherent thought to describe the scenario before them.

Ari groaned a little as the pressure lifted suddenly and her muscles protested at the unplanned movement. Then she processed the back-pedal back to ranks. Always one step forward two steps back with this one.

She reached out to calm him down, but pulled her hand back at the last second. "Akiva..." she would respect the distance, but not the sudden wall. It was not needed. "It's alright." Ari forced her stiff legs off the table and straightened up.

"We fell asleep, it's all good." She said kindly, trying to show she was not upset, despite grimacing.

After the initial horror of the situation came and went, Akiva allowed himself to settle. If only his beating heart would follow suit. "You're right. I'm sorry. I was just startled and I was worried that..." That he had compromised them. "Did you sleep well?" Aside from the crick that he forced from his neck with a twist, Akiva actually felt rather rested. The realization brought a smile to his face.

The corners of her lips quirked into a smile, "aside from realizing I'm getting old quite well actually. Which has been a quest of mine ever since I had to disappear way back then." Ever since Donnager.

"You still seem plenty spry to me." There was nothing suggestive in the way he had said it. If anything, it was almost monotone. For Akiva, though, the statement was borderline flirtatious.

Ari chuckled. "You're getting a handle of that Commonwealth humor. Good on ya." She winked him and stood up and instantly realized how badly she miscalculated it. A groan and wince emerged. A half silent 'fuck' also.


"Sure, I would—" Akiva was cut off by his combadge.

"Captain ben-Avram," said Mrazak.

Akiva rolled his eyes and let out a sigh. "Go ahead," he said with a tap.

"I don't know where you are but be advised that Admiral Tau's ship just came out of the plasma storms at full impulse. He will be within transporter range momentarily. I suggest you compose yourself quickly." The comm chirped out.

As he received the news, Akiva's eyes got wider and wider until they nearly bulged. "Now?!" Out of every possible time, it had to be now.

Ari heard the conversation and returned with two cups of coffee. "Alright, through the door on the left is my bathroom. Go get presentable, and then transport your office. Here's coffee." She motioned towards the cups and motioned for him to stand up.

As he did, she quickly zipped his jacket back up and tugged it down a little in an attempt to smooth it out.

"Alright, go, I'll follow in a few. We don't want you to be seen as moving on from Laena too quickly. You need to keep up appearances, and so do I. So you go, get ready, transport over, I'll walk in a few minutes later." She instructed calmly, as if she were directing a battle plan.

A flutter came up from deep in Akiva's belly while Ari zipped and tugged his jacket. The press of her hands, the intense look in her eyes while she focused on her task, the dutiful clench of her jaw to see it done, all of it made Akiva dry-swallow and hope she didn't look back at him until his nerve came back.

"Uh, right. Sounds good." Once she finished, he couldn't resist a brief eye lock with her. "Thank you." Chickening out, he looked away and grabbed the steaming cup. "For the coffee."

Ari looked up at him briefly with a smirk and a wink before reaching down to grab her own cup.

"Go! You can't be late, I can!" She clapped his shoulder gently as she set about putting sensitive information that was still strewn about on the coffee table, under lock and key. Also needed was a moment to fully re-compose her professional persona. Private Ari wouldn't work well meeting the very man they had sent two people to investigate.

"Yeah..." Akiva rushed to the washroom, chugging the coffee as he went. The best he could do was splash his face and mat down the cowlick on the one side of his head. It would have to do.

Fortunately, he didn't have to make any incriminating communications to get out of there. He had a protocol programmed into his combadge that would allow him to beam directly to his office from anywhere on the station. He depressed the combadge and gave it a double tap which initiated the site-to-site transport.

Ari watched after him for a moment. Things were spiraling faster than she could put a finger on the pulse of it. It was exhilarating as well as scary. No matter how much she tried to stay away, he had such ease of pulling her back in, without even trying. God only knew what would happen if he did try.

"I'd be in so much trouble..." She whispered to herself and set about getting ready.

When Akiva materialized inside his office, he saw Mrazak was already present. Not only that, the Vulcan was seated at Akiva's desk as if he owned it.

"Mrazak..." Akiva bristled at the sight. "... what are you doing? And how did you get in here?"

"Never mind that," Mrazak said. "Where have you been? You weren't here or in your quarters."

"This is my office, so I'm asking the questions," Akiva fired back. "How did you get in here without authorization?"

Mrazak sighed as if speaking to a dull child. "How many times must I say it before you believe me?" The Vulcan showed a half smirk, clearly enjoying the boast he was about to make. "I am Memory Theta."

"That... that's not an answer!" Akiva protested, his hand outstretched in frustration.

Moments later the doorbell rang. Ari had made quick work of getting herself presentable, but have it a minute or two before she followed so as not to make it obvious.

"Enter," Akiva said. As Ari entered, Akiva gestured toward her with his hand. "See, Mrazak? That is how it is done."

"You may do whomever you please," Mrazak said, still seated behind Akiva's desk. "It is no concern of mine."

Ari blinked, "what shit did I just step into?" She found herself asking as she stepped inside, looking her usual professional self, save the verbiage.

Did Tau ask for Mrazak to be there to? He must have a mission to present, unless it was something else. Part of her hoped it would be something else, part of her not. They had enough on their plates.

The flag officer alert on Akiva's desk sounded off. Akiva walked behind his desk, sat in Mrazak's lap, and accepted the transmission.

"Captain." It was Admiral Tau. "Time is of the essence. Lower shields so I can beam aboard."

Mrazak wriggled under Akiva's weight though he said nothing. Even he knew better.

"Yes, Admiral." As he spoke, Akiva input his command authorization into his desktop console. "Proceed at will."

The transmission terminated seconds before Admiral Tau, the diminutive sized director of the Office of Special Investigations, appeared before them.

Akiva and Mrazak jumped to their feet and stood at attention. While Tau had missed their earlier configuration, he still arched his brow. Something felt off.

"I have a mission for you," Tau said. "And it will require the utmost discretion."

Tau looked at Ari who was present. She had been his investigator before insinuating herself into his inquest against Memory Theta. Rather than serving as a witness, she had essentially turned advocate for them. She was one individual to whom he owed his life after the terrorist attack which interrupted those proceedings. Not that his facial expression reflected it. But in the end, he did not dismiss her as he would anyone else below the rank of captain.

"Would you like a conference room, sir?" Akiva asked.

"No. This won't take long." Tau set a PADD on the desk. "But I do need security protocols activated. Eyes only."

Ari caught the look but gave no outward reaction. "Yes, sir."

She stepped closer to Akiva's desk and tapped a few commands. A whistle permeated the room momentarily. "We are secure, sir." Frost added before she resumed her position.

Tau seemed on edge. Because he was here? In the den of the 'enemy'? Or was it another pressing matter? Something told her his odd behavior had to do with them, but she couldn't put her finger on the pulse as to why. What was he playing at? Who was he playing?

And if he was here, who did he leave back home? Who would Laena interact with before Tau came back? All of this threw a potential wrench in their plans.

"Thank you," Tau said. "This mission is unsanctioned. If your field team fails, they will be disavowed by Starfleet. The matter is further complicated because I am issuing a direct order for it to be completed. This mission comes from the highest levels of government... in both the Federation... and the Dominion."

"The Dominion?" Mrazak repeated in disbelief.

"I didn't stutter," Tau snapped at Mrazak. "The Dominion Ambassador insisted on your field team specifically. The Federation Ambassador capitulated. My hands are tied, as are yours."

Mrazak practically preened at the news.

"But... Admiral..." Akiva decide to hazard the question that confused him. "Why would the field team be disavowed by Starfleet if they are acting on the request of the Dominion?"

"Because this action violates the letter of the Treaty of Bajor," said Tau. "That makes the Founders look bad. When they look bad, wars happen. So Memory Theta is now tasked with preventing such an outcome."

Arianna nodded, "it's a classic move. Governments have been doing that for centuries. There have been many almost wars since the Federation's inception that got waylaid, or full-on stopped this way. What's the op, sir?"

In response, Tau tapped the PADD he'd set on the desk. "The details are here. Retrieve what was stolen and don't get caught doing it. Anything else may lead to another Dominion War." With those ominous words, he tapped his combadge and was transported away.

"That's it?" Akiva blinked in disbelief. "He gives a mission with parameters and stakes like that and then just leaves?"

"Stop your crying, ben-Avram," said Mrazak with an air of smugness. He was still riding high on being so highly esteemed by Federation and Dominion leaders alike. "It's not like you're actually going on mission. You will stay here as per usual where nobody expects anything out of you."

"Except to clean the mess you invariably make of everything," Akiva countered. "You can't be cavalier on this one, Mrazak."

"I believe can be however I please." Mrazak gave him a curt smile. He tapped the PADD that Tau left with his own, transposing the files. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a mission briefing to prepare."

The Vulcan walked out with a muffled cackle on his breath.

Ari looked after Mrazak with a sigh. "At least we can count on his ego to see this through correctly." She said before she turned back to Akiva. "Welcome to Black Ops. This is SOP. Now, what do they have to do?"

"Let's have a look." Akiva picked up the PADD, held it at an angle so he and Ari could peruse it together, and began knitting his brow. "I don't know about this one..."

Ari tapped on the PADD for a second, grazing his fingers by accident. "Hold on, Sayuri Onaga. God, that's perfect!"

The one former Black Nagus agent who may actually have the information they need.

"Refresh me," Akiva said, mildly distracted by her touch. "How is that perfect?"

Frost looked over to check that the security protocol was still up. It was. "Sayuri Onaga was a high-ranking Black Nagus agent when she rebelled against them and took the Chimera to GQ. She'd have access to their codes. Codes we may be able to use to finally crack open that database that I hid in your docket." Ari explained enthusiasm returning to her features as she looked over at him. "Whatever Vokau, Teejay's brother sent me, her codes may be the key to cracking it. It's also my last venue and we may need to offer her a deal she can't refuse for them but..."

"Oh!" Akiva stared off for a moment, thinking as the pieces fell together in his mind. He was quickly nodding in agreement. "Yes, that could actually be a very helpful turn of events." Looking back at her, he asked, "So how do we get her?"

Ari sighed, "that's the problem. Look." She tapped under the additional information bracket. "It'll be hard, if not impossible, unless...we can offer her a way out."

"If you're talking about conscription, I'll sign off on it now," Akiva said. "She's already turned on the Black Nagus, so we know we can trust her in that regard. Given she has no other options, I'd say we're her only chance outside of living on the run."

She nods her head left and right, "not an outright conscription, no. She's too smart to just sign on with us. We have to make it her choice to help us, in return for what she really wants. Freedom."

"If she's too smart, then does she believe freedom is even possible at this juncture?" Akiva asked. "Seems to me she's just laying low in the only place she can't be reached."

Ari sighed, "I think we need to do what I did with Kaz. Let her go into the cold in exchange for information and backup when requested. We need to go off mission script."

"If she could hide in plain sight like Kaz can, wouldn't she already be doing it?" Akiva frowned and rubbed his chin. "I'm not against it. I just don't know if it she would give us her only bargaining chip for that."

Ari sighed, leaning against Akiva's desk and crossing her arms on her chest. "Yes and no. The rule of thumb is hide in plain sight. She has a powerbase and people now. So she thinks she's safe and the Nagus nor the Fleet are touching her. Technically there is no need to hide, given how far away from any of us she is. Kaz had MT as a power base before that got taken away, and we're about to take hers away."

"Kaz bragged about some kind of network he had all over the place, but of course he never mentioned specifics." Akiva shrugged. "This is your world, Ari. I trust you. I'm only trying to understand it."

"We all have networks. Power bases are a different kettle of fish. Networks work on money or favors. Trust is at a premium." Ari nodded, "Powerbases work on goals and trust."

Akiva nodded without fully getting it. Those were words and Ari seemed to understand them. "Well, I'll trust you to know what to do when the time comes. Just be careful out there."

Ari shook her head, "I can't go. Leah and Teejay will have to deal with that one. If I leave for a mission to the GQ it will raise too many eyebrows too soon. My punishment is being here as your Deputy, remember? I have to play that role unless I absolutely have to leave the station."

"I see." Trapped on the station together while Whytesand ran a covert op with the field team's already high stakes covert op. This was going to give him hives. Akiva just knew it. "I don't suppose Fin could be of any help? We might need to bring her in."

"We will, but not yet. We need to bring the pointy-eared narcissist in first." Ari sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose with her fingers. "Leah said Fin would help if she called, so there's that, at least. I can authorize Leah to read her in on the spot of deemed necessary."

Akiva took a breath and slowly let it out. "That will just have to do." Only then did he realize what she meant by the narcissist. "Wait. You mean Mrazak..."

Ari nodded, "mhm. Who did you think I was talking about?"

Did he not know what a narcissist was?

It seemed so counterintuitive to trust Mrazak with anything requiring any semblance of integrity that Akiva hadn't fully understood Ari's meaning until right then. "I suppose I'd just planned on keeping him out of it. But you're probably right. Let me know what it's done."

Ari nodded and straightened out, unfurling her arms. "Alright, we should call everyone in for the briefing."

"I'll personally disseminate the data from Tau's PADD and prep it for the team," Akiva said. This was going to make or break his career, he just knew it. There was no way in hell he would leave the briefing to Mrazak alone.


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