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 The Summons of the Trumpet

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Lars Janssen
Lieutenant Commander (G)
Lieutenant Commander (G)
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Posts : 95
Join date : 2011-12-16

PostSubject: The Summons of the Trumpet   Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:24 pm

|| Office of the Deputy Chief of Starfleet Intelligence
|| San Francisco, Earth
|| Winter 2388
|| Evening

"Lieutenant Commander Lars Janssen, reporting as ordered, ma'am!" Lars called out, standing at stock-still attention in front of the the only superior officer he truly respected. The office's windows admitted some light from the slowly setting sun, but the only significant illumination came from a single light behind the woman seated before him. The spotlight effect made him squint a bit, and his unease at this was likely exactly what the she had expected.

"At ease Commander. Have a seat." Vice Admiral Brynner replied cooly, and the Intel officer before her did so quickly.. "Do you know why I called you here, Lars?" The older woman had yet to take her eyes from the LCARS terminal in front of her, a tactic Lars had seen before but had never grown used to.

So he was unable to stave off the nervous sweating that occurred at the question and the manner in which it was asked. "Well ma'am…I…I…assume you'd like a report on the progress of the teams working on the decryption of the latest Tholian internal signals. Let me begin by assuring you that-" Lars started, but quickly shut his mouth when the admiral raised an imperious hand.

"I can assure you that the written report you submitted was more than acceptable. I am however extremely interested in a report on the progress you are making on certain other projects of yours. Side projects," the admiral added sternly, and finally lifted her eyes from the screen to fix the junior officer with a severe gaze.

"Side projects, ma'am?" Lars repeated nervously. He knew that they both knew what she was talking about, but at this moment the only thing he could think of was to stall.

The admiral was apparently in no mood to let him do so though. "Side projects," she snapped, and tossed several PADDs on the desk in front of him. "Signal intercept reports from non-Federation colonies. Theoretical epidemic reports from Medical. Internal security analyses on Starfleet research facilities. Reliability evaluations on top Federation scientists. The list goes on, and, I am a bit perturbed to note, all done through unofficial channels. You know by now that I don't like prevarication, so tell me Lars: what are you up to?"

Although his behavior might suggest otherwise to many people he had interacted with in the past, Lars knew when he was beaten. It was time to confess what he had been up to, and attempt to salvage what was left of his project…and his dignity. "All of these efforts were part of a coordinated effort on my part to locate and contain the individual Marshall Frost. Numerous intel analyses have confirmed his status as a person of interest and possibly even a target of priority." He spoke with conviction now, his experiences on Betazed and elsewhere strong in his memory.

"Analyses and personal experiences of mine have led me to believe that he is a credible threat to the Federation, and finding apathy or disbelief to be the prevailing opinion amongst my fellow staff officers I undertook an investigation on my own using the more effective means available to me. I take full responsibility to for any consequences that arise preemptively and waive my right to arbitration on your decision on the matter." It came out in something of a rush, but once he said it Lars felt a great weight lifted from his shoulders as the truth was told, but also another great weight placed upon them now that his activities were exposed.

The admiral looked him squarely in the eyes, her icy blue eyes seeming to bore straight into his very being for a time. Then she relaxed, and returned her gaze to the LCARS. "Thank you for your honesty commander. As a rule I disapprove of pet projects like yours, but in this case you are something of the exception that proves the rule. There is a great deal of debate in the higher echelons as to the potential significance of Dr. Frost, but I must say that I for one share your opinion that he is a threat." The admiral let that hang in the air for a moment, then cleared her throat and continued.

"For this reason I have decided to reassign you to a position in command of a specially selected task force dedicated to the matter of the Doctor Frost. You are authorized to use any means necessary and reasonable in your pursuit and detention of him and his associates. Officially you and your team are working on long-term succession possibilities in the Romulan Empire, but your adjutant Lieutenant V'Kel will brief you on the specifics of your goals and methods when you arrive at the temporary task force offices on Starbase 43," the admiral informed him summarily, then added a final detail as if she had almost forgotten it. "Oh, and I have recommended you for promotion to Commander. It should become official in a few days. Congratulations."

Lars, who had looked so crestfallen at the belief that he was about to be reprimanded, now beamed at the unexpected assignment and promotion. "Thank you, Admiral!" was all he could manage.

"You're welcome. Know that you are charged with a task of certain risk and uncertain reward. It is vital to the security of the Federation, but it is also vital to that security that the true nature of your assignment never becomes public. So, Lars…can I count on you to handle this matter with all the dedication and discretion it deserves?" Brynner asked incisively, the tone of the question loaded with implications as to the seriousness of the task in question.

"Yes ma'am! I won't let you down, ma'am!" Lars snapped officiously, still glowing at having received such prestigious attention from the admiral herself. In his eyes it was purely the result of his own hard work and initiative.

"Very good. The staff officer outside will brief you and arrange you transport. Dismissed, commander," the admiral said quietly, and waited patiently as the younger Intel officer stood, made an elaborate about-face, and exited the office.

When the door had hissed shut, Vice Admiral Brynner stood quietly in the dim light of the room for a long time, then slowly crossed to the small bar in the far corner and poured herself a glass of wine. Taking a long time to savor the exquisite pinot noir, she watched the sunset for a while, then spoke to no one in particular.

"Are you sure he's up to it?"

From the lengthening shadows of the room a voice spoke unexpectedly in a refined, comfortable drawl, instantly familiar yet immediately unnerving to anyone who heard it.

"I told you before, Yulia. I trained him myself. He knows what needs to be done and how to do it. And it is our extremely good luck that he has taken a personal interest in this matter, due to that assignment of his on that starbase. I only meant for him to get some experience and build up some relevant contacts, but the kid impressed even me with his dedication. So yes, I think he's up to it." The figure from the shadows spoke languidly, but not without an iron sense of purpose in the words.

"Takes things personally, does he? Don't you think that could be a liability?" Admiral Brynner retorted, clutching her glass of wine in front of her like a torch that would illuminate the darkness. But no such illumination came, not in a room where that voice from the shadows was present.

"That's the problem with that uniform. It makes you see liabilities where there are assets, and assets where there are liabilities. The rules were made to be broken, Yulia, and and you should know that by now. Don't you remember our little action on Sarvus VIII? " The voice was condescending, and confident in being that way even to a Starfleet admiral. "You weren't hesitant about making things personal, and in the end I have never seen a low powered phaser used to such intel-gathering effect since then."

A hiss of laughter followed that sentiment and, to forestall the shiver that went down her spine at the sound, the Admiral took another long sip of wine and focused on the beauty of the sunset rather than continue that unpleasant conversation for a time. Eventually she spoke quietly.

"That was different. There was a clear and present danger. We were in a war!" Brynner protested somewhat meekly, the stern admiral suddenly experiencing the same level of unease that she had previously put Lars through.

"You're damn right it was different. Back then we were only facing the Dominion. This time is worse. Something is looming on the horizon, something more terrible than anything we have ever faced before. An enemy with no face, no name, no respect for life as we know it, not even a solid concept of how our dimension works…only a relentless determination to survive at our expense. You know what I'm talking about. So tell me…are you up to it? Is that uniform of yours up to it? Is the Prime Directive up to it? Or will you leave it to people like me again?" the voice called out haughtily.

The admiral said nothing, only poured herself another glass of wine.



"Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -- not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -- but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation, a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."
-John F. Kennedy
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