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The Fifth Estate

Posted on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 6:27am by Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun & Petty Officer 1st Class Tobias Beckett & Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters - Calhoun & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna
Edited on on Thu Jan 23rd, 2020 @ 6:30am

1,445 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Episode 9 - Empok's End
Location: SCIF - Deck 9 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 1100 hrs

Reports were coming in from multiple sources, each more disturbing than the last. Empok Nor was under attack, those who didn't flee fast enough were being killed, and there was little hope that anything could be done to stop it.

No hope? Jayna got up and paced the room, running her fingers through her already-messy hair. She would not believe there was no hope. She grew up in the Bajoran Resistance, she fought in the Dominion War. She was told then there was no hope, and both times, they were wrong. Even if Empok Nor fell, they could take it back. The Cardassians could not be allowed to win.

Captain Malbrooke needed to know what was going on. But she didn't have the authority to tell him. However, there was someone who did. She paced the room again, then tapped her combadge. "Mira to Masters."

Jen walked out of her office, her entire posture spoke volumes. "I know Mira, I too had the reports, you don't have to tell me anything."

Tobias Beckett had not been much thus far in his career in Starfleet. Heck he had not even been a flash in the pan. However, as he sat at his station and read the data as it came in on the live intelligence feeds, he was dumbfounded. Something had to be done, there was no way that they could simply sit there and watch as Empok Nor fell to the enemy. Classified or not! The sound of Jayna's footfalls on the carpet brought Tobias around and he looked up toward the center of the room. Toward where Jayna paced and toward the holographic image of Empok Nor under attack. An image that was for their eyes only. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out.

Billy had seen events like this before, he had lived through times where the job and common decency came into odds. He knew what call he made all those many years ago, however, this time the call was not his to make. He keyed in a decryption key one that he hoped would give them the enemies fleet placements when he noticed Jayna on her feet and pacing. "Ma'am anything that I can help with?"

"Afraid not," Jayna replied. "I...don't like watching this and doing nothing."

"Neither do I ma'am... However, very often that is our lot to gather the information and share it if and when it needs sharing. As it stands right now our orders are to observe and report." Billy replied, he was trying to be as accommodating as he could. For he knew that Jayna came from a different breed of Intelligence Officers. She was a field agent, trained in infiltration. It was not in her training or nature to sit and wait Billy supposed.

"Yeah," she said. "That's the question. I think this needs sharing." And it needed to be acted on. She didn't think this was a time to stand back and watch. But then, she rarely did.

In the meantime Jen was loading everything on a padd. She sighed. And even we were to go there, we most likely would find the entire base overrun. We would need at least as many vessels to retake the base." She watched as all hope of the base faded away. "For now, let's keep recording all we can. I will bring report to the captain."

Jayna nodded. "He needs to know right away." It was his call, but it went against everything she'd learned and done to sit back and do nothing. At the same time, she knew the Chief was right. They couldn't get there in time. Her hope was that they could help retake the station.

Billy nodded toward Jen. "Aye aye..." His voice trailed off as a thought occurred to him. "Ma'am if I may. I think we all know what we have to do here. I believe the question is should this information even be shared. On the one hand this is an Starfleet matter as Starfleet was in charge of administrating Empok Nor. On the other hand this is an internal Cardassian matter, one that can possibly plunge them into civil war. If we share this information it is possible that we will send the Federation into yet another war."

Billy's words perked Tobias' interest and he looked up from his computer screen. Was it even possible that the four Intel officers held the key to stopping a war. Having nothing to add to the conversation at the moment Tobias thought it best to pay through attention.

"I don't think that's our call," Jayna said. "I think that call belongs to Starfleet, and right now, to Captain Malbrooke." She glanced at the screens again, sickened by the sight. She'd said her piece, and now it was Masters' decision what to do with the data.

Jen sighed, "oh, Billy, Jayna, dang it..." She turned away from the horrifying images of a station having theirs handed to them. "Our family and our friends are on that station. We saw things were turning for the worse but there was nothing we could do because we had squat in forms of evidence. And now this is the price we have to pay. We paid enough. This became a starfleet matter when Layton showed his face in this thing. We have been made a fool off at any turns, just because a bunch of Cardassians want to relive their glory days back from the occupation. And do you really think they are going to stop with Empok Nor? They have been two steps ahead of us at every turn. I don't want a war, but if that's how it's going to be, then that's how it's going to be." She turned around and turned off the play back.

"So anyone else have any suggestions before I leave?" She looked at everyone in the room one by one, till her look rested on Beckett. He has been quiet this whole time and hasn't said his piece. "Now is your chance."

Tobias could feel the eyes upon him, and that the tension in the room was so thick that it could be cut with a knife. He looked sympathetically at Billy and Jayna as he understood their point and agreed with them. Then he looked at Jen and for the first time since he lost the position to her, he understood. Tobias understood why Malbrooke chose her, it was for moments like this.

He inhaled steadily and deeply and then let out a sigh. "All I can say is Brava! Well said ma'am. I am sure that the Captain is going to need that information as he plans..." Tobias was interrupted as his terminal brought his attention. "YES!!!! And ma'am make sure you give him this. I am transferring the data to your PADD. I have been working on finding out how the enemy knew our defense codes at the battle over Cardassia and now I have confirmation of my suspicions. Empok Nor has had a spy on board..." Tobias smiled broadly. "If I was in the place to give you advice. I would say to get to the bridge."

Billy smiled and was happy that Beckett found common ground with Jen. "It seems you have a decision to make boss."

"I agree with Tobias," Jayna said, smiling at Jen. It was a good speech, and she agreed wholeheartedly. "And to tell you that you have our support."

Jen was looking at the information on her padd that Beckett just send her. "Thank you, Beckett," She said and then walked over to Billy. "I already made my decision before I came out of my office. Just promise me, whatever happens next, we make it out of this. We fought the new Maquis once before, them teaming up with the Obsidian order, just proves they are afraid of us. I am a sore loser, and I am tired of losing." She nodded as she held up the padd. "I am going to take this to the captain." She then walked to the exit and disappeared through it.

A Joint Post By

Staff Warrant Officer Jennifer Masters
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Infiltration Specialist, USS Pioneer

Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun
Data Systems Analyst, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer First Class Tobias Beckett
Intelligence Specialist, USS Pioneer


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