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Lt. Evan Delano - Something Big


Tony, aka Kells
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(( Menthar Memories ))

DELANO: Why come to me with this?

:: The human on the other side of the table was leaning forward, his hands clasped in front of him. Andrew Davenport. Journalist and, apparently, troublemaker. Something about the man had made Evan suspicious of the man the moment he’d sat down at the table. ::

:: At Davenport’s request, Evan had come in inconspicuous civilian clothing - a simple button up shirt and dark slacks - to conceal his Starfleet affiliation. Davenport himself wore a dark hooded shirt that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a few days.

:: As the reporter talked, Evan watched for any tell that might betray a lie. ::

DAVENPORT: Because you’re the closest thing to a cop I’m willing to trust right now. (lowering his voice) Someone tried to kill me - or have me killed - and I don’t think it was one of these Maquis Reborn.

:: Evan looked the man over. He’d done a little digging into the journalist’s background before agreeing to meet with him. The man was not well-liked within Starfleet, and though he did have a following among some political ideologues on Earth, he was virtually unknown outside of the Sol system. In fact, Evan had learned, the man hadn’t so much as left the system in at least seven years. Until he abruptly decided to move to the frontier. He also happened to arrive on DSX the day before a terrorist organization had attacked the station. ::

:: Andrew Davenport wasn’t just suspicious. It was clear he was hiding something. Something that Evan intended to know before this conversation was over. Whatever it was, Davenport seemed to think it was dangerous. ::

DELANO: What’s wrong with Glinn Zorkal?

:: The human looked surprised.::

DAVENPORT: Besides the fact that he’d probably arrest me as a suspected Maquis sympathizer?

:: Evan narrowed his eyes. ::

DELANO: What makes you think I won’t?

DAVENPORT: Because you’re Vulcan. Or at least half-Vulcan. Zorkal seems like a good man, but he’s also the Cardassian chief of security on a station that just lost its Cardassian CO to a terrorist attack. A terrorist attack with Federation - and more importantly, anti-Cardassian roots. I think you’re more likely to be able to see past that and help me figure out what’s going on.

:: Evan sighed and picked up his drink. He’d barely touched it. He liked black russians, but he wanted to keep his mind clear. A very large part of him wanted to simply get up and walk away from the table. Maybe send a message to Zorkal, or Calderan, or even Egan Manno. But he could see the logic in the journalist’s explanation. The Cardassian justice system was inconsistent at best. If higher ups were calling for arrests, Evan wasn’t sure he’d put his trust in a Cardassian security officer either. ::

:: On the Starfleet side of things, Evan, a lieutenant, could be more discreet than a higher ranking officer like Calderan. Besides, if Davenport’s would-be assassin wasn’t part of the Maquis Reborn, there was a good chance he - or she - was a Federation citizen. Davenport’s background didn’t seem to account for enemies from other jurisdictions. ::

:: Evan set his glass down without so much as a sip. ::

DELANO: Alright. I can probably look into this. But I’ll still need to talk to Zorkal.

:: Davenport looked like he wanted to object, but he held his tongue. That earned him a few points, Evan thought. ::

DELANO: I don’t know if the captain will go for it, but I may be able to get you quarters on Garuda. That would put you in our jurisdiction and give me at least some legal authority to start poking around.

:: Davenport nodded and remained quiet for a moment. He looked around the bar, then returned his focus to Evan. ::

DAVENPORT: I always hated space travel.

:: Evan raised an eyebrow. ::

DELANO: You’ve come an awfully long way, then.

:: The journalist shrugged and downed the last of his own drink. Something orange and with a vague floral scent. He thought it might be Risian, but Evan couldn’t identify it with any certainty. ::

DAVENPORT: I have a good reason. I was… I thought it would make for a good story, but after this…

:: The human averted his eyes and focused on the single ice cube at the bottom of his glass. ::

DELANO: (harshly) I’m through with vagueries, Mr. Davenport. If you want my help, you need to tell me what this is about. Why would someone want you dead?

:: Davenport swallowed, once, then looked him in the eye. ::

DAVENPORT: (voice low) How closely do you follow Council politics?

:: Council? As in the Federation Council? What the hell was this about? ::

DELANO: I vote. I read up on the candidates when I do. That’s about it.

DAVENPORT: Did you know that they heavily influenced the decision to share this station with the Cardassians?

DELANO: And?

DAVENPORT: None of that debate was public. I only know about it because… (break) Ugh, that’s not important. Don’t you think it’s a little strange that the Federation Council is making backroom deals with the Cardassian government?

DELANO: Not really. We’ve been working with them for decades. Ever since the war, really.

DAVENPORT: Exactly! But that cooperation has always been transparent and open. Why keep it behind closed doors now? Why not tell the Starfleet officers in the region until the deal was done?

:: Egan Manno had asked him about this very thing while he’d still been Garuda’s Strategic Operations head. He’d never managed to find her a good answer. ::

DELANO: I still don’t understand what you’re getting at.

:: Davenport leaned even closer. Deep brown eyes locked on his. ::

DAVENPORT: Something big - something very big - is about to happen between the Federation and the Cardassian governments. Something that a lot of people aren’t going to like. Something that could even lead to things like… say the rebirth of an anti-Cardassian terrorist group.

:: Evan immediately thought of the sabotage he’d found in Ambassador Prianna’s shuttle during Garuda’s encounter with the Kubarey. Of the strange rumblings out of Zeta Equulei regarding the end of the Myr Luuk/Community conflict. Harrison Ross’ not-quite-explained treason. Could there be a common thread? ::

:: Now it was Evan’s turn to whisper. ::

DELANO: Are you saying that factions within the Federation are actively conspiring against the Council?

:: The reporter’s eyes lit up and a mirthless smile curled his lip. ::

DAVENPORT: I don’t know for sure, but I can see it in your eyes. It would explain a lot of what’s been going on around here, wouldn’t it?

DELANO: Yes, but…

:: For centuries now, the Federation believed itself to have moved beyond this kind of petty politics. Yes, the occasional official was removed from office for scandals, but this was way beyond that. It bordered on sedition. The memory of the Dominion War was still fresh for many of its survivors. Yes, the Cardassians had ultimately paid a heavy price for their role in escalating to war, but there were those who had called for greater reparations. Sanctions. Some had even advocated for the complete annexation of Cardassian space. A few of those people were still sitting members of the Council. ::

DAVENPORT: You understand, right? The Council is sitting on an old fashioned powder keg. They’ve started the ball rolling towards… something. Only now they’ve realized that some of us - Cardassian and Federation - aren’t ready. So both governments are trying to find a way to resolve this without having it blow up in their faces.

DELANO: And you think someone would kill you to keep you from… what, telling others what you know?

:: The reporter shook his head. ::

DAVENPORT: Probably not for that. But… I know I seem suspicious, and when tensions are high, it isn’t hard to force a connection between one suspicion and another. Maybe some Cardassian gul thought I was an agent for the Council - some kind of shadow representative, perhaps. Maybe some other government caught wind of the deal and is trying to stop it. Who knows. That’s what I need you to find out.

DELANO: And what’s in it for you?

:: Davenport shrugged, finally leaning back and folding his arms across his chest. ::

DAVENPORT: It’ll still make one hell of a story when it’s all over.

:: Evan resisted the urge to roll his eyes.::


DELANO: Unless someone kills you first.

:: The journalist’s expression quickly soured as Evan stood up to leave. ::

DELANO: Don’t worry, I’m not going to let that happen. If I can help it, anyway. I suggest you return to your quarters until I have a chance to talk to the captain about bringing you on board.

DAVENPORT: And what should I do in the meantime?

:: Now it was Evan’s turn to smile. ::

DELANO: Write. Or whatever it is you normally do. You just witnessed the rebirth of one of the most infamous terrorist organizations in the history of the quadrant. Isn’t that enough to keep you busy for a few days?

:: The other man nodded, though he seemed reluctant. ::

DAVENPORT: You're right, I suppose.

:: The reporter sighed and started getting to his feet. ::

DAVENPORT: Lieutenant, I really appreciate you helping me out with this.,

DELANO: Don’t thank me yet. Something tells me this is going to get a lot messier before we're done.

===

Lieutenant Evan Delano

Chief of Security/Tactical

USS Garuda

Andrew Davenport

Freelance Journalist

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I was absolutely thrilled with how it turned out! I couldn't not nominate it, I tell you!

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