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Alexander Brodie “Life Off Mars: Prologue”


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@Alex Brodie has a way of really deepening his character and also giving more depth to a situation.  Here we see a blast from the past and a relation to something that involves the planet the Thor is now taking shore leave on - Cardassia.  I can't wait to see what happens next.   I love this look into Brodie's past!

 

IC:

((Applied Psychology Division, Elysium Research Institute, Mars))

((Year: 2375))

 

Alexander Brodie sat watching the feed come in from the Federation News Service; he wasn’t channel hopping for fun though, this was work.

 

FNS Reporter: I’m here with Anders De Brunn, Chief Financial Officer of Teldaris Resources. Mr De Brunn, can you comment on news reports from Ferenginar that Teldaris are being investigated by the Ferengi Commerce Authority over irregularities in commissions paid to agents to operate in the Irtok system?

 

The man raised his mouth to his chin and rubbed his face unconsciously, covering his mouth.

 

De Brunn: I’m glad you asked me that question…

 

Brodie: ::Muttering:: No you’re not…

 

De Brunn: …I can honestly say that there is absolutely no truth in these reports regarding an investigation from the Ferengi Commerce Authority. There were some undisclosed advanced payments to secure the contracts…

 

It was all there. The repeating of the question, the raised shoulder, the change in cadence and lowering of the voice. Alex smiled while shaking his head and made a few notes.

 

Brodie: ::Muttering:: …bribery…

 

De Brunn: We’ve discussed this with the FCA and we’re satisfied that the matter is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

 

He turned his wrist slightly, almost pointing at the interviewer to try and make the point and cover the lie again.

 

FNS Reporter: Anders De Brunn, thank you. Now back to our main story, Federation relief efforts cont…

 

The sound went off and Brodie turned around in his chair to see Tommy Morgan leaning near the control console for the audio-visual suite. Morgan was, to all intents and purposes, the business manager for the institute. While they primarily focused on research, they had a commercial arm that could be hired to examine corporate matters and, on occasion, support the court system.

 

His presence meant there’d been a request but, to his credit, he went for small-talk first.

 

Morgan: ::Nodding at the screen:: What do you think?

 

Brodie: I think the Commerce Authority are raiding their offices as we speak.

 

Morgan: Not a surprise really. He’s a business executive, they all lie.

 

Brodie: True…but he is extremely bad at it.

 

Tommy pointed to the screen. Images of the destruction on the Cardassian homeworld from the culmination of the Dominion War had dominated the news for the last two weeks since the peace treaty had been signed  

 

Morgan: Hell of a thing, isn’t it?

 

Brodie leaned back in his chair.

 

Brodie: I’m just glad it’s done and the threat is gone…or at least diminished. I still can’t quite shake those images of San Fransico…I’m just glad they left Mars alone.

 

Morgan: For sure…actually…it’s on a similar subject that I’m here actually. There’s a request come in for a project – of world…out of the system actually.

 

That was a cagier and more circumspect than he’d expected from Morgan. Alex regarded him more closely.

 

Brodie: ::Suspiciously:: Why are you sweating?

 

Morgan: It’s warm. Mars is hot…right?

 

It wasn’t, and Tommy knew that.

 

Brodie: ::Still suspicious:: Compared to Breen maybe…tell me, Tommy, exactly how far-slash-long is this trip you had in mind?

 

Morgan: Er…::pointing at the screen::..Cardassia…

 

Brodie: Cardassia!

 

Morgan: …for three months.

 

Broide: Three months!

 

Morgan: Now, Alex, calm down. You see why I was sweating. ::Pause:: Look, the civilian government wants independent observers to make sure that those giving aid aren’t establishing any kind of political foothold…there’s a lot of players in the game. I know we’re Federation citizens but we’re not Starfleet.

 

Broide: Thankfully…three months is a long time to be away though. You know we’re trying to start a family, right?

 

Morgan: Yeah but, Ros isn’t pregnant yet, is she?

 

Brodie glowered at the man.

 

Brodie: Not that it’s any of your business but no – and that’s unlikely to change if I’m not here.

 

Morgan: It’s just a few months…

 

Brodie: On Cardassia! Which was a war zone until about two weeks ago!::Pause:: Why me?

 

Morgan: You know why. You’ve made no secret you’re thinking of moving on when your grant runs out – and I’m not blaming you, far from it. You’re looking to start a family and you’re not tenured so I completely understand the desire for more security.

 

Alex leaned forward, clasping his hands and resting his elbows on his knees.

 

Brodie: But?

 

Morgan: ::Sighing:: But the old man in the wheelchair doesn’t want to see you go – he knows you might but he wants you to know that, if you go without doing this then you’ll not get the reference you need.

 

Brodie took a deep breath through his nose. He shouldn’t shoot the messenger, and he could now see why Tommy was sweating, but he would have his displeasure noted.

 

Brodie: ::Icily:: So it’s blackmail now?

 

Morgan: It’s…a mutually beneficial arrangement. We secure the best services for the job and you secure your future…

 

Brodie: ::Standing:: What was it you were saying about business executives Tommy?

 

Morgan: That’s a little harsh…I wouldn’t lie to you, Alex.

 

Brodie looked the man right in the eye.

 

Brodie: True…but then you know I’d know.

 

He turned and looked at the feed, still playing out in silence…

 

Brodie: I do not care for this, Tommy. Fine…send me the details. ::Grabbing his jacket and leaving the room:: I’m taking an early lunch…possibly a liquid one.

 

TBC

------------------------------------
Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie
Chief Counselor
USS Thor NCC-82607
Writer ID.: A239005BM0

 

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