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PNPC Chalan Fuliar: A False Doorway To The Backside Of Life

Trellis Vondaryan

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((The Illogical Eatery -- Shi'Kahr District -- Starbase 118 Commercial Sector))

::Sequestered in a booth at the rear of the restaurant, Chalan Fuliar offered a silent prayer of thanks to The Prophets for the air conditioning fan that whirred quietly above him. Hailing from Hedrikspool Province on Bajor, Fuliar was used to a mild climate, not the oppressive heat of the Shi'Kahr District which was designed to simulate that of Vulcan. Ordinarily he would have studiously avoided entering this this quarter of Starbase 118's enormous Commercial Sector, but today he faced little choice if he wanted to catch the station commander in between meetings, then he had little choice.::

Chalan: oO Of course, if I was allowed into the Operations Tower then I wouldn't need to come here at all. Oo

::Despite there being over 250 journalists living on Starbase 118, none of them were permitted to enter the station's nerve centre. On the one hand, he could understand the need for operational security- journalists being allowed to roam The Hub could cause chaos- but the career-minded and predominantly selfish side of his character could not deny that it made job that much harder. He had even gone as far as to petition the office of the station's Executive Officer several times for permission to enter the aforementioned tower- but unsurprisingly, each request had been rebuffed without explanation. 

Thus, he was forced to try and catch Sal Taybrim when he left the tower and risk heatstroke... all in the name of journalistic gold. 

Fuliar was not the kind of man to barge into people's conversations and therefore he was waiting for Taybrim to finish his conversation with the station's C.A.G. officer, Antero Flynn. He knew little about the Risian other than he had previously served as a helmsman on theColumbia and Apollo and that people often spoke extremely highly of him. Rumours suggested that he was once romantically involved with Lieutenant Commander Whittaker, but he could not be bothered to substantiate those rumours since he was a respected, award-winning reporter... not some tabloid hack in need of column inches. 

He was beginning to seriously consider that Taybrim and Flynn were going to be nattering all day when he noticed that things looked as though they were wrapping up. Perking up, Fuliar abandoned the long-cold Spice Tea he had half-heartedly been imbibing for the past half hour and fished the Dictaphone from the pocket of his pastel blue linen trousers. When he was absolutely sure the two men were parting, Fuliar quickly left the booth and crossed the rust-coloured restaurant (did Vulcans appreciate any other colour aside from red?) and caught up with flame haired Betazoid CO. ::

Chalan: Commander Taybrim! Commander Taybrim!

Taybrim: Yes?

Chalan: ::hurriedly showing his credentials, which were hanging from the lanyard he fished from underneath his navy hued t-shirt.:: Chalan Fuliar, Federation News Service -- I was hoping to ask you a few questions about the recent incident in the Dungeon?

Taybrim: And I was hoping to get back to work. ::He replied mildly, with a small smile.::

::Undeterred, the Bajoran fell into step alongside Taybrim and waved the Dictaphone in front of the man's face.::

Chalan: What can you say about reports that your senior staff have discovered a hidden area of the station adjacent to The Dungeon?

Taybrim: What can I say? You seem to know as much about the rumors as I do. Maybe you can tell me who is spreading said rumors?

Chalan: ::smiling wryly:: Nice try Commander, a journalist never reveals his sources. ::beat:: Besides I'm  a journalist, it's my job to ask questions.

::The truth of it was that he had had it on good authority from several members of the station's enlisted personnel (who were almost always happy to offer titbits of information) that the station's senior staff stumbled across a sealed section of the station while investigating a nightclub in the dungeon and that the discovery had led to the arrest of the criminal known as Janker -- and the death of a Starfleet Marine. The station's press secretary had confirmed that Captain Raymond Hughes had been killed in the course of his duties, but had staunchly refused to divulge any more information.::

Taybrim: That's funny, I thought it was your job to keep other people from doing theirs. ::He smiled sweetly.::

Chalan: Does the arrest of a wanted criminal known as Janker have anything to do with a raid by the 292nd on a bar in the Dungeon known as Harkins' Den? Or the arrest of it's propietor? Oma-Saan is it?

Taybrim: Harkin's Den was legitimately shut down due to health code violation, and after the evacuation evidence appeared leading to several arrests.

::The Bajoran reporter could not resist the urge to smirk. While Harkins' Den was no doubt a cesspit of filth and depravity -- he had never visited it -- Taybrim had neglected to explain why exactly he had ordered Starfleet Marines to do the job of the medical and security department.::

Chalan: Since when are Starfleet Marines tasked with responding to health and safety violations? ::smirking:: I bet Doctor Ezo wouldn't be too happy with that, would she?

Taybrim: In fact I think Doctor Ezo was quite happy to have the backup. ::He tossed back, watching the reporter carefully.:: Harkin's Den was on several violations of Starfleet rules and regulations and was unwilling to comply with any security measures. Considering their violations put the safety of innocent civilians at risk, the escalation of the matter is regrettable, but necessary.

Chalan: So you are denying that you ordering the arrest of Oma-Saan was not connected to the arrest of the criminal known as Janker?

Taybrim: Mr. Chalan, the press release already states that Oma-Saan has been found guilty of criminal activity on StarBase 118, he is being transferred to Starbase 44 for trial and will likely serve a life sentence. In light of this, Harkin's Den has been closed and will not be reopening. That space will be cleaned and refitted, allowing a new establishment to open in its place. 

::The look on Taybrim's face was unmistakable. He thought he had outfoxed the journalist. Thankfully Fuliar had made a living out of gaining the upper hand and lulling his interviewees into a false sense of secuity... not to mention a few journalistic rivals.::

Chalan: In my experience Commander, press releases are nothing more than smoke and mirrors to conceal the truth. I found that out when I was the FNS correspondant to the Palais de la Concorde on Earth. ::beat:: What I also learned was that sooner or later, secrets have a way of coming out for all and sundry to hear.

Taybrim: The word 'secret' is a hard definition on a base as big as this one, Mr. Chalan.  If you turn around you'll see a bulkhead and a computer panel. ::He pointed directly behind the reporter.::

Chalan: ::raising an eyebrow and fixing the CO with a smirk:: Is there a point to this or are you the station's newest tour guide. ::chuckling.:: If you are, you're doing a terrible job.

Taybrim: My point being, there's a door in that computer panel. You can't open it, you can't even see it. But a trained maintenance staff could open it and slip inside. And do the oh so secret work of fixing computer terminals or making power system repairs. And no one else would know they were there. Is that secret? Yes. It is also the way the station was built? Yes.

Chalan: Are you about to make another point?

Taybrim: I think the station is a bit safer with two criminals behind bars, and that is what is important.

::Fuliar scrutinised the man's face. He was good. Very good. One of the best even. That was probably down to his diplomatic training. He'd read the man's Starfleet file, he liked to know who his 'opponents' were. Knowing that he wasn't going to get anything else from the Betazoid, he took a step back and offered him a slight bow, not out of respect, but in mocking.::

Chalan: Well played Commander. You're good. ::beat:: I should probably warn that I'm not the kind of reporter who takes things at face value. ::beat:: I'm like a Terran bloodhound. ::he turned to walk away, but managed the throw one last quip.:: I don't stop till I get what I want.

::He didn't hear a response, if Taybrim had even chose to reply. No, his mind was already working on another avenue to explore.::

Chalan Fuliar
FNS Correspondant/Journalistic Scum
as simmed by:

Lieutenant  Commander Theo Whittaker
Executive Officer
Starbase 118 Operations

Edited by Trellis Vondaryan
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