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The Ides Of March

Posted on Thu Feb 11th, 2021 @ 5:24pm by Captain Jacob Kane & Marcus Blake

Mission: Character Development
Location: Daucina
Timeline: Shore Leave
828 words - 1.7 OF Standard Post Measure

An ocean world with shimmering oceans and glorious open skies was a far cry from the corridors of a starship. Kane loved his ship; he knew her sounds and smells and motions, but she was also crowded and filled with distractions - especially with a few dozen work crews working on board. So a jaunt to a local seabase was on the cards; away from people he knew and the responsibilties of command. Peace and quiet for a few days. Just what the doctor ordered.

Taeler's gift was a surprisingly welcome companion. Getting lost in someone else's life, even one thousands of years ago, was the escape he needed. Reading about the life and personal trials of a great military leader gave him pause for thought around his own challenges. His crew was young, and his time in command was still relatively short in length. Their last two missions hadn't really ended up 'successful' in the strictest sense of the term, and they had lost good people.

He didn't notice the man sitting down on the chair opposite him at first. Unassuming and plain, but with a faintly amused smile.

"No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected," the man mused, motioning to the old book in Kane's hand. There was a short silence as Kane wondered if he had missed something, then noted that he was in fact quoting the very general he was reading about.

"Disturbed is the word," he noted quietly. The man's smile broadened.

"Quite so. My apologies. I merely recognised a fellow student of history." The human across from him nodded sharply. "Did you know that contrary to popular belief not only was Caesar a great general but also a great writer and student of the arts as well?"

"So I would know if I was able to read it for myself," Kane replied thinly. The man maintained his smile.

"Indeed you would. But to make judgements about a man you have never met is another thing, isn't it?" The words made Kane's eyes drift back up. It was an unusual way of phrasing it.

"Do I know you?"

"I'm know by many things. You can call me...Corvinius." Kane could tell from the expression that it likely wasn't his real name. A pseudonym or something.

"Captain Kane. Starfleet." It seemed fair to give his own name, but little else.

"Oh I know. The Federation Starship Athena. A proud name, to be sure. A goddess of wisdom and of war. How appropriate, wouldn't you say?" Corvinius smirked. "For someone with an appreciation of historic generals."

Kane lowered the book fully, fixing the man with a stare. There was something to this man. He was pleasant and yet mysterious at the same time. It was disconcerting, but only a little.

"What do you want?" he finally asked.

"To be listened to," Corvinius said calmly. "There are things I would say, but I believe it was our friend Caesar who said that men are quick to believe that which they wish to be true. I wish some of these things I know not to be true, but I am well enough informed. Whether you believe me or not..."

"Speak plainly," Kane scowled. Corvinius leaned forward, resting an elbow on the table.

"What do you know of Operation Midnight?" he asked keenly.

"Never heard of it," Kane shrugged.

"No, I didn't suspect you would have." The smirk was back. "Layers within layers..."

"Is that all you had to say? Drop some meaningless phrase into a conversation with a complete stranger?" Kane asked tersely. He was already annoyed that his peace had been disturbed, but now the man was speaking to him in riddles. Nonsensical ones too.

"Certain agencies would no doubt have me put somewhere very dark for a very long time just for speaking the name of it." Corvinius glanced around momentarily, as if pressing that point home. "I say that as there is more than one power at work here. Your friend the Breen Fleet Captain, for instance: but one piece in a much larger tapestry."

"A tapestry of what?" Kane asked, bristling at the mention of the Breen. Corvinius smiled.

"Not yet. Go ask your pretty Vulcan friend about Rondac. She'll tell you all about her little adventures there. Or perhaps not. That's not for me to decide. I'm just here to leave you some breadcrumbs."

"For what purpose?"

"To show you what is truly at work. The things you are blind to." Corvinius leaned back and started to rise from his seated position. He smiled. "I came, I saw, I told you. My purpose here is done with. Keep your eyes open, Captain, and we may well meet again. If you can follow the clues."

With that, the man known as Corvinius walked away from the table and left the off-duty Captain with far more food for thought than he had started with.


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