Starbase 72 - Minos Korva System
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Posted on Tue Jan 9th, 2018 @ 4:24am by Admiral Zachary O'Connell & Commander Ombretta Del Carlo & Commander Ebhyl ch'Rhalos
Edited on on Tue Jan 9th, 2018 @ 4:26am

Mission: Trouble In The Frontier
Timeline: January 8, 2389


That's what had happened just a few minutes ago. Zachary had been enjoying a rather engaging lunch with the Efrosian Yivliv Ra-Havrox, the Task Force's Diplomatic Attaché. He hadn't had much luck with the Cardassian Union, trying to uncover some motives for their pushes into Breen space. But, he did have some entertaining stories from his experiences before the Dominion War with the Cardassians. Then the urgent call came.

The Admiral still bore his smile as the turbolift stopped outside the Intelligence floor. The station had a small Intelligence team, but the level had been quickly dominated by Commander Ebhyl ch'Rhalos and the Task Force Intelligence team. There was so much to watch, so many things happening in the Inconnu Expanse where they no longer had eyes and ears, and many of their agents across the Cardassian border had grown silent. The team was working around the clock to come up with something, and even restore the communication lines.

"You two, sir?" asked a suddenly familiar voice beside him.

Zachary didn't have to turn to recognize the Strategic Operations Chief. "Called you too, Commander?" he asked as Commander Ombretta Del Carlo fell into step beside him, arriving from another junction.

"He did. Any ideas what's up?"

"Maybe he's got an active line again," Zachary mused. Then again, that was a report that could wait until the afternoon briefing. Something else was afoot.

Both officers entered the main Intelligence Office and were quickly ushered into a closed room. It was large and open, with a massive viewscreen commanding one wall. In the center of the room was a table. Each seat around it possessed its own terminal, each one paling in comparison with the larger workstations around the room. Waiting for them was the Andorian Intelligence Chief.

"Thanks for coming so quickly," Commander ch'Rhalos said, gesturing to the screen. Displayed was the Gavarian Corridor along with various icons representing Cardassian and Romulan movements.

"Didn't we go over this this morning?" Ombretta asked, crossing her arms and standing next to the Admiral, referring to the lengthy session she had with the Intelligence Chief tracking the various tradeoffs the Cardassians and Romulans had with the Aquorat, Pi Hydrae, and Krisent systems. Neither power seemed to be able to hold on to any system for too long. In fact, she had been wondering how much longer either side could keep up with the high attrition costs.

The Andorian nodded, quickly confirming her thoughts. "One of my contacts on Cardassia Prime suddenly became talkative again. The guy didn't say much..." He fumbled on the table, picking up a PADD to hand it to the Admiral. "Short message, standard How are you doing? letter and the like."

"You called us down here to tell us an old friend says, Hello?" Ombretta demanded. "I can't believe I left lunch with my daughter for this."

"Get to the point, Commander," Zachary said, waving a gesture to Del Carlo, hoping it would calm her down just for now. He then handed the PADD back to the Intelligence Chief.

"It's the encryption, Admiral," Ebhyl pressed. "Code Twelve Gamma Eplison. Hasn't been used in a year, especially since the Order of Twelve cracked it. Under the surface is a coded message. The Cardassians want our help, sir."

"Our help?" Zachary asked, barely beating Ombretta to the punch. "With what exactly? Rolling over the Breen? Keeping the Romulans out of the corridor? I thought they made it pretty clear last year when they said they wanted the Federation out of their hair."

"It's the corridor." Ebhyl gestured to the map on the screen. "They want to pull out of the corridor, and they don't want the Romulans to have it. But it gets better." He picked up another PADD and handed it to the Admiral. "This just came through Romulan channels. Seems the Free Romulan Movement is causing more and more trouble. The Empire wants to turn its eyes inward, and not have to worry about the corridor."

Now this was interesting. Zachary read the report carefully before handing it off to Ombretta for her to view. "So both sides want peace," he remarked. "But they don't want to openly ask for it."

"That's what it looks like," Ombretta commented. Finished with the PADD, she set it on the table and slid it back to Ebhyl. "I smell a trap."

"I smell opportunity," Zachary interjected. "The Cardassians and Romulans have other objectives now. If they want our help, fine. But we'll make it worth our while. What say you, Commander ch'Rhalos?"

The Andorian's antennae perked up at the Admiral's comments. "Agreed. We can gain a lot from this, especially if we can get back into the corridor and put new eyes on those borders."

"And we'll finally gain some ground and stability in this uncertain time," Zachary confirmed. "I'll have our friendly Efrosian start his feelers right away. Maybe we'll see some peace by Valentine's Day. Good work, Commander. Miss Del Carlo, reach out to Deep Space Ten. Have them, quietly, prepare for a diplomatic conference."

With his orders given, Zachary turned and left the office. The smile returned to his face, stronger and more confident than before. It was nice to see something peaceful on the horizon for once.


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