Let It Go (Only Don't)

Posted on Thu Aug 11th, 2022 @ 6:56pm by Captain Eagan Clearwater

Mission: Getting Back Out There
Location: Office of Commodore Margarete Zelle, Bennu Station
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 0830

"Oh, for the love of ..." Eagan bit off the rest of that sentence because you tried to keep conversation civil in the presence of your superiors and especially in the presence of this particular superior. Margarete Zelle was something of a legend in Starfleet as much for her brilliance in the field as for her preference for civil discourse. He counted to ten in standard and then again in every language he knew before he trusted himself to speak. "We tracked her for four months before we even got a shot at her and then, we lost half the away team in the takedown. And now this?"

"I know," Margarete said quietly. She wore her hair in a blonde bob and that barely brushed her shoulders. She wasn't particularly tall or physically imposing but nevertheless, she commanded any room she entered. At the moment, she sat behind her desk with a cup of tea in front of her. Actual tea in an actual teacup. She was famous for that was well. "But you know, or at least you should, how these things work. She has intel that will lead to bringing down the rest of the organization. She'll be sent back to Earth to be debriefed and if all holds up, she'll be given partial immunity."

"Which means a country club prison sentence and early release," Eagan said quietly. However quietly he said the words, however politely, the fury he was feeling came through loud and clear. "Let her rot," he said as he leaned forward, elbows on the edge of her desk, hands folded together as though in prayer. "Send me out instead. I'll dismantle the whole thing."

"I argued for that," Margarete said, "and what I got back was that your talents are needed elsewhere. The mop-up operation will be left to Adkins and his crew." She waived her hand dismissively seeing him draw breath to argue further. "It's done, Captain. Nothing left to do but move on."

"At least give me something to sink my teeth into," Eagan said. "Something that will prevent me from going against orders and seeking them all out anyway."

"I have something," Margarete said. "Something I think you'll like." She paused a moment to take a taste of her tea and then set up the viewscreen with a view of the Gamma Quadrant. "I think it's time we headed back into the Gamma Quadrant. The Volzuc wormhole is stable and according to the data from the probes, will put us in the Gamma Quadrant near Volzuc II. A peaceful area."

Eagan grunted as leaned back in his seat. "The Volzuc don't play favorites, if I remember the briefing correctly? They'll will and already have let anyone through." He ran a hand through his hair, a tell for those like Margarete who knew him well, and added, "That will make the area ... interesting."

"To say the least," Margarete said. She didn't smile but there was a lessening of the severity of her features which was almost as good for those, like Eagan, who knew her well enough. "They have agreed, in return for Starfleet protection, to stop letting our enemies through. That's something at least."

Eagan nodded though he was more focused on the map and recalling what he knew of the area from the war. "What did you have in mind for the Kingfisher," he said after a while. He wasn't looking at her as much as a certain area of the quadrant that had been rumored to be one of Calliope's storehouses.

"Now that the war's over, there's a lot of interest in getting a firm foothold in the quadrant," Margarete said, "and since the Dominion has retreated into its own system, we have an opportunity to assess damage and render aid, possibly encourage Federation membership." She paused a second to take a sip of her tea because it was better hot and well, this particular captain tended to think through things in the conversational gaps. "Along with that, I want you to check in with the automated monitoring stations and set up a few more within range of the Dominion border. Get a feel for the area, track down leads as you find them, see if there's anything actionable. The usual." She looked at him sharply over the edge of it. "There will be a full briefing tomorrow or the day after. But for now, I wanted you to know that there are some places I'd like investigated specifically." She passed a PADD over to him. "One in particular, I know you're going to enjoy searching."

With an eagerness that indicated where his thoughts were headed, Eagan pulled the PADD toward him and nodded. "The repairs are nearly complete," he said. "Just waiting on crew replacements." He turned his attention back toward the map. "And Adkins?"

"...will have plenty to do here at home," Margarete said. "What you find in the Gamma Quadrant will add to the information we use to bring the network down. Satisfactory?"

"Yes, Ma'am," Eagan said. He forced himself to return his attention to the commodore. "Is it alright if I stop by to talk to Adkins before I go? Get him ... up to speed?"

"I told him to be expecting you," Margarete said. "I really do need you in the Gamma Quadrant. There's a lot to be done, Captain. For now, you're dismissed because I have another meeting I need to prepare for and you aren't leaving for a few days yet. We'll have plenty of time to talk."

"Yes, Ma'am," Eagan said as he rose smoothly to his feet and headed for the door. As conversations went with the Commodore, this wasn't so bad. He didn't have to let go entirely but the Gamma Quadrant. After everything that happened in the war, he wanted to be there. To see for himself how things stood. He was out the door and halfway back to the ship before he realized where he was going.

There was just that much to do.