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With Gleaming Eyes - MISSION START

Posted on Wed Sep 15th, 2021 @ 6:59pm by Captain Jacob Kane

Mission: With Gleaming Eyes
Location: USS Athena
Timeline: MD-01
596 words - 1.2 OF Standard Post Measure

Kane always felt a certain amount of quiet joy as the Athena left her moorings and returned to open space. Even if it was a routine border patrol, he was happier out among the stars than being 'grounded' in dock. Things had certainly changed lately - his newfound paranoia notwithstanding - and he was looking forward to getting back to a normal pattern on board.

"Captain? Incoming transmission on subspace. Admiral White for you." The Ops officer sounded almost hesitant in interrupting him.

"My office," he replied, rising from the big chair.

As soon as the door to his ready room closed, he had the screen up to reveal the UFP logo followed quickly by the face of Admiral White.

"Captain Kane."

Admiral Jonathan White had been one of the senior instructors at the Academy when Kane had been there. At that point just a Captain, the man had always had grey hair - as snowy as his own name, many remarked. Kane hadn't seen the man for almost a decade. He looked older now, with facial hair that matched the thinning white strands on top.

"Sir." Kane paused, noting the fleet dress uniform the man was wearing. "I wasn't expecting your call; normally I hear from the command structure here in Obsidian Fleet." Indeed, it was rare that his orders didn't come via the Vesta or Arcadia.

"No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected. Normally I wouldn't be contacting a starship captain personally, but I'm in need of some sensitive assistance and I know the reputation of your ship and her Captain well." White held a faint smile. Kane wasn't sure whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. And an Admiral quoting Julius Caesar at him wasn't helping him decide.

"What can we do for you, Admiral?"

"I'm temporarily on assignment supporting some negotiations with the Cardassian government. I've been made aware by some colleagues of a situation developing on one of their outlying worlds: Ithaca II," the Admiral explained. Kane hadn't heard of the system, but that wasn't altogether surprising. "It's an older colony of theirs. No real strategic value, very out-of-the-way. Small indigenous population the Cardassians occupied almost a century ago."

"Are they having problems?"

"They are. Some sort of viral outbreak among the colonists. Their medical facilities are outdated and the central government doesn't seem to care all that much."

"Then why should we, if you don't mind me asking?" Kane wondered. Starfleet's slightly more 'neutral' policy since the Hobus incident was in his mind.

"The Metis - the native population - have asked for help. And...well, we're Starfleet Officers, Captain. We have a duty, don't we?" Admiral White's eyebrow twitched upwards expectantly. "The Athena is the only ship even close, and I am led to believe you have a Quantum Slipstream Drive installed, meaning you can be there in a few hours if needed."

"We can, if so ordered," Kane nodded.

"It is," White replied. "Godspeed, Captain. And keep your eyes open, the Cardassians are unlikely to enjoy Federation aid."

"Noted, sir. I'll report back once we've dealt with the situation." Kane nodded as the channel closed.

Satisfied the conversation was over he returned to the bridge and ordered the ship's QSD fired up and a course plotted. As the ship jumped into high speed, he couldn't help but feel like something bothered him. Something the Admiral had said. Either way, he had plenty of time to think about it on the way.


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