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Posted on Fri Jan 6th, 2017 @ 1:35pm by Captain Kid "Vicious" Sharpe & Captain Talloc Hagen

Mission: S02E01: Rebirth
Location: Captains Dining Room

Kid strode aboard the Vanguard accepting the salute from one of the new security personnel, he made his way to the Captains cabin without erring on his course. He didn't need to be told where to go, despite it being a new ship, he'd seen the design specs blueprints and knew the path he needed to take. Within minutes of stepping aboard he was at the captains door. He gave a nod to the captains bodyguard who blinked in surprise at seeing him then permitted Kid entry to the Captains Dining Room.

Talloc looked up from his lone dining table. He had wondered when Kid was going to resurface. The Captain had been surprised to see Kid being reassigned to the Academy, and then assigned to some covert operation that Talloc had not been privy to. "So, you've made it back."

Kid felt every one of the last five days, he couldn't remember the last time he'd slept and he hadn't stopped since the the strike team returned. Kid ruthlessly crushed the exhaustion and replied with a nod, "Had to implement some contingency plans." Kid simply replied, the captain didn't need to know right now that there were three of Claremonte's Provosts floating dead in the vacuum of space. They would never be found, so the point was moot, of course no one would ever know they were also alliance spies so that might be an issue in future. "Claremonte's played his hand," he said, "He's overextended himself though, and for the minute he's neutralised. He'll be back though, so I've had to put a few plans in place."

Talloc sighed, Avara had already brought him up to speed with the situation Kid had placed him in, he was thankful at least, that the bloody mess didn't lead back to the Vanguard.

"Claremonte is also an influencial member of High Command, his financial interests alone rival some Ferengi, I do hope your aware just how far his reach goes."

"The extent of his reach is clouded, even from me." Kid admitted, "Though I'd wager I have a better concept of his reach than almost any other member of the confederacy." he added, "for the minute he's thwarted, he doesn't know it, but I've cut several of his threads, now we wait for his next move and act as we can."

Talloc nodded, "I am aware that he wanted to make an enemy of me, almost as if he forgets just who appointed me to command of this ship."

Kid snorted, "To be fair Captain, he wanted to make a corpse of you, not an enemy." He paused, "I'm fairly certain I've discerned his motive too." Kid said then paused considering how much he should tell the captain at this point.

The captain leant back in his chair, casually resting the serrated knife he had been using between two fingers. "You know you could never keep anything from me Kid, you have a lousy poker face against a telepath."

Kid didn't argue with the captain instead he took a deep breath and began "There is a Cardassian Inquisitor by the name of Tugagn Mehet. He is something of a master when it comes to spycraft and covert action. He runs the most effective spy organizations to come out of Cardassia. He's incredibly secretive so our own spy networks don't even know he exists, hell most Alliance personnel don't know he exists. The only reason I know he exists is because of Avara."

Kid paused for a long moment, then decided that needed greater explanation, "Avara, as you may have guessed, isn't all human, not anymore, to be honest, she's barely human at all, I'd say she's probably about ninety percent cybernetic. As you know, Cybernetics was something of a banned field under the old empire, under the belief that, in terrans it would dilute the purity of the genetic stock and in non-terrans that it would encourage dangerous concepts of equality or even superiority. Thus it's pretty clear that Avara couldn't have come out of that ideology. Inquisitor Mehet has no such qualms about implementing cybernetic enhancements as long as the subject is able to be controlled, and able to be stopped if needs be. The Inquisitor is also a suspicious prick, and decided that he wanted a force of assassins, that were not of any of the Alliance member races. Thus, he decided to use the newly conquered Terrans for his force. Now, he didn't just come up with the idea himself, he was in charge of sifting through the Empire's prison population looking for useful tools when he stumbled across something of a veritable gold mine."

"One of the facilities the Inquisitor was inspecting was a location where individuals who were considered both dangerous and potentially useful were imprisoned." The Former Empire had kept a handful of such prisons among their various other prisons, mostly as a place to store political prisoners who might be useful in future, or hostages against others actions or inaction. "This facility held mostly scientists, who for one reason or another, had found themselves at the mercy of the state. As best as I can determine, Mehet made the entire prison and it's population disappear. Among the prisoners was a man named Victor Asimov, a Bio-Engineer and weapons systems scientist of the highest order. Asimov is a genius of monumental proportions. I've met some seriously intelligent Vulcans who think he's one of the finest minds the galaxy has ever seen. His texts and papers, are considered to be both monumentally important and radically novel by what is left of our scientific community."

"His crime, by all accounts, was the experimentation, on non-terran, slaves of his groundbreaking cybernetics. When Mehet found the man he instantly recognized the possibilities, and provided Asimov with all the tools he would need to begin guided research in the area of cybernetic augmentation. After some initial success with fully developed Terrans, Mehet pushed Asimov to research on drastic Cybernetic Augmentation of undeveloped Terrans. That is to say, almost complete Augmentation of children. See Mehet wanted to program in controls, both emotionally and technologically throughout the development of his force, and felt it would be easier to do that during psychological and intellectual development. Asimov was more interested in the research and less in making functioning people at the end. However, Asimov was not as callous as Mehet believed and didn't like the end result Mehet was pushing for. As such, Asimov convinced the Cardassian to accept what he would later call, a less than perfect product."

"Among the general collection of subjects were a handful that Asimov referred to as his Prototype models, these were his prize members, those he had invested his best technology in, whilst also reducing the amount of programming that was inflicted on them. Avara was one of this group. Mehet found Avara in the First Order Archives, she was on the list of lucky children to be inducted into their ranks. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it the empire fell before that could happen, and Avara fell into the hands of Mehet and his organization. Mehet had significant aspirations for his force of terrans, and even while they were still being fitted and trained was sending them out to assassinate targets. For the most part Mehet's cybernetic assassins were wildly successful, under the guise of slaves, they were able to infiltrate the inner sanctums of countless targets and with enhanced abilities were quickly capable of dispatching significantly disproportionate forces."

"It all came to a head however, shortly after I was separated from you. Mehet began to notice significant disparity in the abilities of the general Augments, and Asimov's Prototypes. To compound this Asmiov had started calling the prototype Augments his 'Children' and had apparently lost all interest in cybernetics. Mehet decided he no longer needed the doctor and began to put into place a plan to eliminate him. Unfortunately for the Inquisitor the superior intellect of the doctor had already prepared for this eventuality, and at some point Mehet tripped a switch in his own Assassin force's programming and all hell broke loose. I'm not entirely sure precisely what happened, but the end result was that the facility was completely destroyed, of the research staff, only a handful remained and none of them were capable of re-creating Asimov's work, by all accounts the Asimov was dead, and only five members of the Assassin force remained. Mehet decided to implement a scorched earth policy and sent out kill orders for every living Augment. Avara is the only survivor I've managed to confirm. When I found her, she was injured in a cave on Sigmus V holding a sabotaged disrupter and a knife. She was not in a good way, if I hadn't intervened she would have been killed."

"For some time after that Mehet hunted us, desperately trying to eliminate Avara and the threat she posed as both a witness and survivor. After some work, I was able to fake Avara's death and get her a new face to hide her identity. I feel confident in saying that Mehet has no clue Avara is still alive, or that I know this much. Mehet however, still poses a threat, the evidence I've managed to uncover, suggests that Claremont is working for the Cardassian and his task is to eliminate the Confederacy from the inside."

Talloc placed the knife back on the table, the information Kid was telling him demanding his full attention. "By all accounts? Kid, I know your not that sloppy to rely on third party verification. If this was important as your report is to be believed, and considering if affects your wife, you would have verified that information yourself."

Kid smiled and let the mental guards he'd been holding around that line of thought drop, he was happy for two reasons, the first being that he seemed to be making progress with the difficult theory that Avara had been teaching him, and the second and most important being that the captain had just proved that he remained determined to not rely on his psychic abilities. "You are of course correct, I know for a fact that Asimov and three of his other Prototypes, are still alive. It seems Mehet was so concentrated on Avara, that he failed to pursue the scientist and his children. I've been searching for him for some time, but he always remains just out of my grasp. I've had to settle for gathering as much of his research material and surviving assistants as possible. All of my acquisitions, even my latest, whilst being a valuable resources, fail to fully compare with the value Asimov would have. I must admit, I've found the most use out of his research material, his surviving assistants just don't have the mental acuity to provide sufficient support."

The captain shook his head and stood. He then picked up a carafe of wine from the table and poured himself a glass, as well as one for Kid. "Interrogation of the weak willed was never a particular strong suit of yours. You need the finesse of a telepath, or a least the brute force of a Knight Sister to work on those." He handed Kid the class. "Though, I take it your search has borne fruit, otherwise you wouldn't be here telling me all this."

"To a certain extent," Kid replied taking a sip of wine, "I mentioned my latest acquisition previously, the man I picked up, with some other's to cover my interest, was one of Asimov's best assistants. A man by the name of Arthur Clarke, a former weapons systems designer with the Empire, he was in transit in the early days of the war and disappeared, at least according to our records. The truth was, Mehet saw an opportunity early on and grabbed the man and his family, a great deal of the current Alliance military tech was designed, at least initially by Clarke. They held his family hostage for a while to ensure his cooperation. I've discovered that they were killed some years ago however. When I discovered that the strike teams were being sent on a suicide mission by Claremonte, and just happened to be heading to the location of Clarke's current prison, I ensured I was included on the mission, so that I could re-direct the team to a more advantageous task. I also managed to foil the intended ambush," Kid smiled, Talloc had given him Vegetius to read, in the original latin, when he was very young, "If the Alliance ever find the remains of the planet and by some miracle our battleground is still in tact, I suspect the they will change some of their ambush tactics with haste. Anyway, I now have Clarke, and he's more than happy to work with the confederacy, though I'm keeping him hidden for the mean time. The important part is that Clarke gave me a lead on Asimov's possible location. It turns out Mehet started building a test facilities, way out on the Rim of charted space, but due to logistical issues quickly abandoned it. It's quite a trek to get there, though we may be able to find a wormhole to speed up the process, but I'm willing to bet that we'll find Asimov there." Kid leaned back, "Clarke will be useful, he's a bright mind and a brilliant scientist, Clarke and Asimov working together..." Kid shrugged, "I don't think words can describe the impact the two of them could have on the galaxy as a whole."

Talloc returned to his seat and took a sip from his glass, using the tart taste of the wine to allow him to refocus his thoughts. "I cannot send the Vanguard out into the lost frontier without more than that Mister Sharpe, and there is a lot of Alliance territory between here and the perimeter." he tented his fingers over the glass. "So where shall we start."

Kid smiled remembering the Captains response to a similar question from him years ago, "At the beginning." he parroted, a mischievous light in his eyes, then he sobered and leaned forward, sliding a data chip to the captain, "Some likely leads with relevant intelligence and my assessments. Target selection and scheduling are, of course, under your prerogative, however, seeking some of those targets will eliminate the ability to chase others." Kid explained.

"Bridge to the Captain."
Talloc raised a hand to silence Kid before he pressed the intercom button inlaid into the table.
"Go ahead."

"Captain, Commander Anders is reporting that the Girty Lue is returning to the ship with the prisoner in tow."

Talloc stood and dabbed his mouth with a napkin. "Very good, inform the Commander I will meet them in the Brig. Hagen out." he then turned to face Kid. "You've always been good at what you do Kid, as long as it doesn't come back here, keep at it."

"Yes sir, always sir." Kid replied.

 

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