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Capt Daniel Cooper

Not Single Spies ((Cooper))

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions." ~ Hamlet, IV.v



"In summary, I think you can understand a certain amount of irritation on my part. Sir." Daniel stood with his arms hooked behind his back, staring down his conversational partner with a directness that belied the several pips and an admirals' bar which lay between them.


Admiral Aaron White was less than impressed, and it showed. "We've had this conversation already, Daniel. Twice."


Daniel shrugged. "I simply want to be sure it's noted for the record that this was poorly handled from a Fleet support standpoint."


White looked somewhat amused. "You've made your point very clear, Captain." He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his desk. "Sit down, Daniel, seriously. Let's not make a point of policy over this. What's done is done. The fact is that we would never have been able to divert a full contingent to do permanent guard over a border station without cause. Your report actually indicates that the Breen were driven back decisively -- really, I could legitimately assert that our cause is less now than it has been for some time."


Daniel dropped heavily into the chair across the desk and made an irritated noise in the back of his throat. "Better if I hadn't made the report, then."


"No. As a matter of fact, it made the rounds of several highly influential sorts of people and the Missouri and the Iowa are yours for the foreseeable future." White smirked as he saw Daniel raise his head in surprise. "So there...and you think we never listen once we pass Commodore."


Daniel sighed. "Always the sense of humor, eh, Aaron?"


"In this case, I'm deadly serious," White answered placidly. "Besides, we have other concerns in that sector which might have necessitated the reassignment in any case."


That got Daniel's attention in spite of himself, and he straightened, giving the older man a curious look. "What sort of concerns?"


It was White's turn to shrug, and suddenly he looked very tired. "Oh, the usual business, border conflicts, the occasional colony who think it would be a good idea to try life out on their own. Keeping an eye on balance of power dynamics is a headache on the edge of nowhere; you're lucky it hasn't all been delegated on your shoulders yet. You've seen the reports -- ever since the Breen disappeared, no one in the sectors they controlled has any idea who's in charge and everyone's trying to be so at once. And the Tjurakh continuing to make a nuisance of themselves, of course."


"Right..." Daniel said quietly, recalling the reports passed to him of the raids conducted by Ferengi-funded marauders in the last few months. The last he'd heard, several weeks ago around the time he'd been reassigned to the border, was that a Tjurakh colony had been destroyed in return -- by unknown assailants. "They weren't phased by their setbacks, then?"


"No. If anything, they're organizing more cleanly since they were attacked, and their operations have become harder and harder to track. As near as we can tell, they've been making and breaking alliances regularly as various smaller groups have tried and failed to become prominent. It's enough to make the Intel boys very cranky."


"I can imagine," Daniel answered wryly. "We'll be sure to keep our eyes open."


"You'll have to -- it's getting to the point where it may be something we have to have you look into in earnest. We've had a couple more small attacks inside our borders but no major incursions -- yet, anyway. On the bright side, their Ferengi supply line may possibly have been cut off, but it's also possible they've reached the point where they no longer need it."


"Some bright side," Daniel said slowly, turning over this new information in his mind. It was not the world's most satisfying news, coming on the heels of the nearly-catastrophic Breen attack. Then again, if he'd wanted a life where bad news only came one item at a time...he wouldn't have chosen Starfleet.

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