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Capt Daniel Cooper

Into the Breach (Chirakis/Cooper)

A transfer of command was no easy thing under most circumstances, and Aegis was no different. Not only had Ambassador Drankum's departure been surrounded by a certain media-and-security circus but it had occurred in the midst of another mild crisis -- the arrival of a group of chronically ill ex-slaves and accompanying mysterious alien technology. And there, once more into the breach, go I… thought Daniel Cooper to himself wryly, sipping at a mug of black coffee as he reached for the next PADD in the stack at his elbow.


It was late, by most Starfleet standards; his office had just clicked over to late-watch lighting and he hadn't bothered to turn it up yet. He would probably go to bed in a little while, but he felt better having put a dent in the reports that had been forwarded to him regarding the most pressing issues on the station that he had, for lack of a better word, inherited from the departing Ferengi official. He was most curious about the strange, potentially Breen device which had ended up in the hands of the station's engineering team; that would bear keeping track of, to satisfy his own curiosity as much as for the potential answers -- and questions -- it represented.


Accustomed to having darkness reign in the office next to hers, Commander Chirakis paused as she entered the main area of the control tower. After a questioning glance at Porter, who responded with a shrug, she approached Captain Cooper’s office and pressed the chime.


“Come,” Daniel said, looking up abruptly from the current PADD and letting it clatter solidly down on the desk.


“Captain Cooper,” she said as she crossed the threshold. “Is there... anything I may assist you with?” She glanced at the chronometer as though suggesting to him that it was past his bed time.


Catching the pointed look, Daniel smiled and shook his head slightly. “No, thank you, Commander, unless you happen to offer a speedreading course in addition to your other duties.”


“Not a speed-reading course, sir. But the computer would be glad to read it for you.”


Daniel looked at her for a moment in puzzlement and then realized she’d thought he was serious. "I suppose it would, though I'm not sure that would benefit my comprehension much," he responded, chuckling. "I suppose I'll have to go at it the old-fashioned way."


He picked up the PADD he'd been holding again and tapped idly at the controls, giving her a questioning look. The Bajoran commander had a distinctly stiff aspect, one which could have derived from formality or discomfort; he wasn't sure which. "I've been going over the information on the device given to Commander Jorahl's team…interesting stuff, isn't it?" he asked, trying to feel out her reaction.


She crossed her arms in a casual manner, taking an easy stance in front of his desk. “Interesting, yes. And not a little... disconcerting, I believe is the Terran word? One could also call it troubling and frightening, if my suspicions are correct.”


That got his attention, and he looked at her with slightly raised eyebrows. “Suspicions?”


She gave a nod. “The report you have before you contains the preliminary findings of the engineering team. My suspicions, however, are that the device they are working on is a transporter that works with either dimensional shifting or time shifting. Frightening, in that if it does, the Breen could appear anywhere at any time and we would be powerless to detect their approach or defend ourselves. They would be upon us instantly.


“However, another suspicion is that the Breen technology is faulty, and that the medical problems the Deosi are experiencing is a result of using that technology. Science and medical are working on that determination.”


Daniel made a thoughtful noise in the back of his throat as she finished. “Neither an extremely reassuring concept -- though the fact that we’ve got hold of it at least means we’re a step in the right direction on either one,” he said slowly, shaking his head again and making a mental note to keep close tabs on any progress made with the device. Welcome back to the border, Danny. They play hardball out here.


“Indeed,” Kirel continued. “And I have all confidence in our chief of engineering and his team. The device is in capable hands.”


Kirel studied his face a minute. He had a look of determination overshadowed by weariness, no doubt having been in his office too long, perhaps having read too many files for one session. But she was not one to criticize in that regard. “Captain,” she began tentatively, “Might I make a suggestion?”


“Of course,” Daniel answered promptly, lacing his hands in front of him and looking at her expectantly.


“Adjusting to this station will take some time,” she continued. “I am here to facilitate that adjustment. Any request, no matter how small, is part of my duty. Hence, the name.... executive officer.” A suggestive smile crept into her expression, along with a tilt of her head. “Now, Captain. May I get you a cup of coffee... or may I help you turn off the lights?”


Daniel laughed, catching the slight smirk in her eyes, and nudged the PADDs away, quickly finishing off the cold mug he had already started. “No, that’s alright, Commander...” he said with amusement, pushing himself to his feet and stepping away from the desk. He could take a hint -- it was late, and there would be no shortage of work to do in the morning. "Probably better we both get some rest," he went on mildly, moving to walk past her towards the doorway. "I'll see you in the morning. Computer...lights out."

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