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Cptn Corizon

A Gloomy Day in Paris

It was a gloomy day in Paris, which was unusual. Even on days when it rained, Paris always seemed to be an eternal city of happiness, but today, Nanietta Bacco ruminated, Paris was gloomy. From her fifteenth floor office atop of the Palais de la Concorde that housed the executive offices of the Federation President, she could see most of the city, and on a clear day, a the rolling landscape of the French country-sides and the glittering gardens of Versailles – today was clearly not one of those days.


Frowning, and putting a hand to her tightly weaved silver bun of hair, she turned around. In the course of a week, she’d learned that not only had there been a secret weapons smuggling program being operated by Federation and Romulan operatives, helping aide rebels in the Gamma Quadrant but that people in her government were covering it up. Not only that, but that a Starfleet Captain who’d already caused his quotient of problems this year, had gone AWOL with a heavy cruiser in an attempt to expose said weapons smuggling.


The political and personal ramifications of this to her were staggering. She had worked her entire career to build a reputation as someone who did things the right way. She prided herself on the openness and transparency of her government, and now she found herself embroiled in cloak-and-dagger controversy that threatened to bring down her entire government. The intelligence community, she decided, would be the death of her.


Facing her were her four most trusted advisors: the Vulcan ambassador Savak, her chief of staff Kale Bhuren, her Secretary of State Justin Shapron, and her chief security advisor Thael ch’Kaen. She looked first to Bhuren, but eventually settled on a position that let her talk to all of them. “I was just informed by Admiral Kalictus that the Republic has intercepted the Excalibur just inside Federation space.”


A sigh of relief washed over their faces (with the exception of Savak who merely nodded.) Bhuren spoke up first, “Well that’s good. Luckily we were able to catch this before it turned into something bigger.”


“You don’t sound so relieved, Nan,” Shapron said. “What aren’t you telling us?”


Bacco exhaled. “Because the early report from Admiral Blurox indicates that not only did Captain Corizon wantonly violate the Neutral Zone, but he did so using a cloaking device.”


Savak lifted his brows as both Bhuren and Shapron frowned. ch’Kaen tilted his head towards her, making sure he had not misheard before speaking. “A … cloaking device?”


“Yes. A cloaking device.”


“The Romulans are going to be livid,” Shapron said. “They don’t know yet do they? Like we haven’t told them?”


“Republic’s report wasn’t entire clear, but apparently a Romulan ship encountered the Excalibur which escaped by cloaking, on top of that, the Romulan’s ‘representative’ was on the bridge the Republic for all of this.”


Nearly growling Shapron shook his head. “I wish someone would have consulted us about that.”


“It did not appear,” Savak said calmly, “that Admiral Blurox had much of a choice in that matter.”


“This whole bloody thing is a mess,” Bhuren injected. “I know you told us was Fozzolo said… but this is just…”


“I know. And I intend to have another long chat with Thomas. In fact, I want to have another long chat with all of the heads of intelligence in one room.”


“Is that wise,” ch’Kaen said. “In my experience, they will all lie to cover for themselves and try to pass responsibility off to someone else – even if they had nothing to do with it.”


“Oh,” she said. “I considered that, but I figure if I have them all in one place they can’t right blame the other one without it being obvious.”


“A prudent strategy.” Savak interjected.


“And one that’s been long overdue,” Bhuren said, “If this comes out, we can pretty much kiss our political careers good-bye. The idealists will savage us for not flushing it out sooner, while the hawks will throw a fit about you not doing enough to support the cause of the Dominion Separatists in the first place to provide cover for the people do are really behind all of this.”


Bacco leaned against her desk with a frown. “And if we try to keep this quiet, everything you just said will be magnified tenfold if it does come out.”


“So what do we do?”


The four men looked at each other for a long while and then to Bacco. She’d started rubbing at her temples trying to will away the pounding headache that had infected her brain, though to no avail. Finally, she clasped her hands behind her back and walked towards the window.


“For now, we let the system take its course. Republic will escort Excalibur back to dock. Once they do, I will instruct Command to proceed with a full inquiry into the disappearance of the Excalibur. Meanwhile, Justin, do what you can to keep the Romulans from making a big deal out of this for as long as you can. Thael and Kale, I want you two to setup a meeting with all the heads of intelligence for me. I don’t want to tip my hand to them just yet. Hopefully with the inquiry we’ll be able to flush something out without it blowing up in our faces.”

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