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VADM Wulfric Richter CoS
Tactical - Vice Admiral

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Joined: 12 Dec 2013
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re: Mirrors and Smoke - Part 1


Something was wrong. Richter awoke, but kept his eyes closed and his body still. He felt no disturbance, smelled nothing, but something was off. It was more of a feeling than something solid. As his hand slowly gripped the phaser that he slept with, he heard a familiar voice. "That won't be necessary Admiral."

Richter opened his eyes and sat up. "Drake, what the hell do you want?" Drake couldn't help but smile at the question. "Oh, you know, Section 31 business and all that." "Meaning what?" The Admiral asked as he dressed himself and walked over to the replicator. "Coffee, hot, black." The Admiral had impressed Franklin Drake ever since he first became aware of him. It was a special kind of officer who could command a starship fresh out of the Academy. But he didn't stop there. He shot like a meteor right up to the Admiralty, and he did that in one year. And here he was again forcing Drake to re-evaluate the man that he believed he knew.

"Have you ever been tested for precognition, Admiral? You are the first person that I didn't have to wake up and more especially given your choice of sleeping companions." The Admiral took a sip of his coffee and then looked at Drake. "I have a lot of enemies. Now, get to the point or I'm kicking your ass out of here." "I'm here about the selected removal of Starfleet personnel. Men and woman wo don't lead today, but will likely be in such positions in a few years." Richter adopted a dubious look, "I think that I would have heard of such a thing if it were going on."  Drake raised an eyebrow, "not if they were to look like accidents and misadventure."

Now Richter was suspicious. "How do you know this, and why hasn't Starfleet Intelligence noticed this?" Drake's voice took on a grim tone, "SI doesn't know because we don't want them to know. Not yet, at least. A Section 31 operative was chasing down a lead on an unrelated investigation and she ran across details that made her question the deaths of certain Starfleet personnel. She also found information relating to you describing your habits, associates, planned events, the works. Just the sort of information that would be needed for a kill packet. She reported all of this to me and I took a look and did a little investigating myself."

Drake pulled a flask from his pocket, opened it and took a drink. "I followed up on the information that my operative had and sure enough, she was right. To date, seventeen officers have died in accidents, misadventures, and combat. If you project their likely career paths in Starfleet, they would all have likely moved into key commands and positions within the organization. The obvious question to ask, is what impact would the loss of these people have on Starfleet?" As he asked the question, Drake once again opened his flask and took a drink. I think that we can both agree that while it may not be the entire answer, it will most certainly weaken fleet operations and leadership. To what end remains an unanswered question."

"And you didn't inform SI because you didn't know if they had been compromised and for operational security." Again, Drake was impressed. "Exactly. We need to know a lot more before we can act. And that brings me to you. Since we found the kill packet on you, I know that you aren't likely to be involved in this. That means that I can trust you." This time it was Richter's turn to smile, "how gracious of you." "I'm not going to lie to you, at least, not this time. I need you. If I begin re-tasking resources and re-assigning personnel, people will notice. You don't go around taking out future players without considering SI and Section 31. So, we are being watched and our activities monitored. We're the canary in the coal mine. If we change our activities, that's an alert that we cannot afford to provide. You, on the other hand, will not give us away if you begin to shift resources and personnel. You have your hand in every quadrant of the Galaxy and the command of an entire fleet. The reassigning of personnel and resources is routine for you. That's why I need you."

Richter finished his coffee and sat back in the chair beside his bed. "It's never fucking easy, is it? Don't answer that, I already know the answer. Where do I start?" "You are going to go to Drozana where you will meet with my operative. She's a Vulcan surgically altered to pass for human. She's working as an...entertainer there. Her specialty is seduction and assassination. And don't look so shocked, Admiral. We aren't Starfleet, remember? But as the Klingon's say, a well placed blade can win a war. She has won us many wars. Her name is Tabitha Ramsey and there's no one that you would rather have at your back when the chips are down, than her. When you meet her say, "Hi Tabby! I hear that you are from Topeka!" At which point she will either kiss you, meaning that it is all clear and you can talk or she will slap you. If she slaps you, both of you are in grave danger, and you have to leave together immediately. Follow her lead and you will be fine."

Richter sighed, "Why do I know that she's going to slap the piss out of me?" Drake chuckled. "I guess that's just something that you are going to have to put to the test. She has orders to keep you alive at all costs. But don't get her killed, Admiral. She's one of my best and I want to have her around for a few decades more at least. You should start packing and arrive at Drozana within 48 hours. Give yourself a cover story and keep anyone outside 0f Tabitha and myself, out of the loop. The more people that know, the greater the danger." Richter looked up, "roger that. Now, get the hell out of my quarters."

Drake materialized on his cloaked ship. He pulled out his flask and took another drink and then sat down on the bridge. And so it begins again, he thought. The pieces are set, the player moves them, and life and death hangs in the balance. God, I hate this game. Although cavalier to the outside world, each death in service to Section 31 weighs heavily on him. When he was young, he hesitated and it had cost him dearly and given him a scar so that he would never forget. Remembering that mission, he began absent mindedly rubbing his scar. Once again, he pulled out his flask and drained it. He then set the coordinates for his next destination. "Time to meet with the boss." And his ship went to warp.

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