Gaya's Astronomy V5Ch5 ~ Inquisitions

Previously ~ Questions, Answers

Hudson Leick as
Malest, the infamous blonde Vorta, was perfectly calm when Calandra Tria walked into the brign.  The lithe Starfleet officer was practically beaming; she glowed and flashed a sweet as she rolled in a large tray.

"There's a reason the Romulans couldn't break you," Calandra explained, not bothering with greetings or any pretense at pleasantries.  "They don't know anything about you.  Romulans are notorious for their arrogance and overconfidence.  They were dead sure they'd get to sit this war our and watch the Federation go under.  And while they were sitting, they made no effort to learn anything about you.

"So not only are they late to war, they're late in the game."

Calandra Tria
There was the tiniest flicker in those serene violet eyes of the Vorta.  Calandra took that as a good sign.

"I, on the other hand," she continued casually, "have personally captured and dissected over fifteen Vorta.  I've learned so much about your wondrous physiology, Malest.  In fact, the Tal Shiar will soon be begging me for my research.  And on that fateful day, it will give me the deepest pleasure to tell them it's classified."

The tray Calandra had wheeled in was covered in a dull, bluish gray cloth.  Malest's eyes fleetingly flew to it and back.  By the way she swallowed, Calandra could tell the Vorta was beginning to tense.

"So here's how this works," Calandra beamed broadly.  "I'm not going to ask you questions.  Not yet.  You see, we're going to have a relationship.  And like all good relationships, things are going to take time, and we're going to have to build them on a foundation of complete trust."



Calandra unveiled what lay beneath the cloth, and for a moment, Malest look confused.  The implements didn't look frightening or savage at all; in fact, she'd never seen devices like these before.  One appeared to be a modified tricorder, another appeared to be a modified dermal regenerator, and yet another appeared to be some sort of wristband.  There were others she couldn't describe.

Smiling like a benevolent angel, Calandra picked up the regenerator first.

In a split second, the most horrific scream ever uttered by a humanoid rocked the whole deck.  People in the halls stopped walking, stopped talking.  The guard in the brig standing behind Calandra immediately went deathly pale.

Gaya Mylanti
And several doors down, in the Captain's ready room, Mylanti's head snapped towards Xochitl.

"What the hell was that?" she demanded.

Xochitl smirked.  "My guess would be it's your Vorta.  You remember...the one the Romulans couldn't get to talk?"

Another blood-curdling, enamel-peeling, bone-chilling screech ricocheted off the walls of the deck.  Mylanti was appalled.

"What is she doing to her?" the Bajoran cried.

"Building a foundation of trust," Xochitl calmly replied.  She'd clearly witnessed this several times before.  "You might as well get used to it, Lieutenant.  When Calandra embarks on a relationship with a subject, it lasts for sessions."  She uttered that last part with relish.

"What is the point?" Mylanti exclaimed.  "A few more minutes of this and Malest will spill her guts."

Xochitl Dominguez
"True," Xochitl shrugged casually, "but like I said, this is all about building trust.  We're going to enter enemy territory and endanger the lives of our crew.  So when Malest finally starts talking about Lesas IV, I need to be able to trust every word she says."

Mylanti wasn't so sure.  "This could make her angry.  She could lie to retaliate."

"Mm," Xochitl nodded, clearly amused.  "Yes. of the many stages.  It comes before the mind-numbing fear.  And once we reach that point...then we'll have trust."

"Commander, I promised the Tal Shiar to bring her back alive!"

"And she will be," Xochitl assured her.  "More or less."


84 hours later

Perfection Herself
Gina Torres as
Admiral Jenny Upkins
"I'm surprised to see you here," Admiral Jenny Upkins blinked.  Sitting behind her large desk in her dimly lit office at Starfleet Intelligence, she held a saucer and cup of tea long gone cold.  "Counselor Reyan's report didn't indicate you might accept this position."

"I believe I've been misunderstood," Isi replied, standing at ease - just barely - in the yawning darkness of the room.

"Really?" the Admiral mused, lounging back in her gray ergonomic chair and sipping her tea.  "You're talking to an ex-operative, Lieutenant.  You've been assessed and observed by people who've been lying and uncovering truths since before you were born...and you think we misunderstood?  Your own therapist is over 300 years old - you honestly think she doesn't know what she's talking about?"

"I can do the job," Isi insisted.  "Respectfully, sir, I can complete my missions."

Isi Soyinka
"You'll be assigned your trainer and a few test missions," Upkins told her.  "Do not relax.  They're not simple tasks like gathering surveillance or posing as a Dabo girl.  You're not working for Starfleet Intelligence, you're working for Section 31 and nothing they ever do is simple.  So if you want this job, be ready to do anything to keep it."

"Yes, sir."

"Your first assignment should be cake," Upkins said with a slight casual shrug.  "It's nothing you haven't done before.  You performed admirably enough with Senator Pelek back on Risa; I expect no less this time around."

It took every possible effort for Isi to keep from visibly tensing.

"The subject's name is Darpek.  Vice-proconsul Darpek of the Romulan Senate...just so there's no mistaking."  Upkins met her gaze.  "What do you know of him?"

Isi spoke like a child reciting her lessons.  "Romulan politician, formerly pro-Dominion, an avid supporter of Senator Vreenak."

"Yes," Upkins mused, smiling.  "Like Gul Dukat, he was willing to sell this Quadrant to the Dominion at a bargain price."

"Romulus is our ally," Isi frowned.  "He can't be threat now."

"Oh, but he can," a new voice assured her.

Agent Rovena Lindita
"Rindy" Ruçi
Isi turned and felt her breath catch in her chest.  She struggled to keep from showing any emotion.

"The only reason Darpek consented to joining the war was that he believes the Dominion killed his old friend," Rindy continued calmly, looking completely unflappable.  "Other than that, he was more than happy to jump into bed with them, and since the Dominion appears to be holding its own against the three major forces in this Quadrant, he still considers it a fallback position."

"Fortunately for us," Upkins smirked, "Darpek made a fatal error.  Back before the war, when Agent Ruçi and Lt. Gaya...obtained the Vorta Malest for the Tal Shiar, Darpek demanded she be released back to the Dominion.  Needless to say his demand didn't go over well, since the first and foremost duty of the Tal Shiar is to protect the state.  It made him a few enemies."

"Whom we can call friends," Rindy added.  "For now anyway.  The war and subsequent alliance with the Romulans has presented our section with a unique opportunity.  We don't need any elaborate schemes to get certain problems out of the way.  The Tal Shiar would be more than happy if Darpek went missing.  They just can't do it themselves.  In times of war, patriotic solidarity is a necessity."

"So they're sub-contracting," Isi raised an eyebrow.

"It happens," Upkins shrugged.  "Tal Shiar can't have Darpek pulling a Dukat down the line, not now, not ever.  Naturally, it's great time for us to acquire favors and so we need to milk it for all its worth.  Agent Ruçi will fill you in on Darpek's itinerary for the next three weeks.  Dismissed."

Next ~ Justify the Means


  1. Alex RaventhorneJune 4, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    Okay, you've got me really curious now. Exactly what is Calandra doing to Malest? And thanks for that scene by the way, seeing professionals at work is great.

  2. These people are seriously mentally unstable, smh. There is no honor amongst thieves. I want to se what will happen with Malest, Casandra, and Mylanti.

    1. Have you watched DS9? Because the show - not just the Dominion War arc - revealed so many interesting things about the Federation.


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