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Cassie Granger

Wide Scatter

Wide Scatter



In the world of counterintelligence, more often than not there are too many variables, too many angles, and always too many players with either too much or too little information. The more you work in that world you realize that no matter who you are, where you look, or how much evidence you gather, no one ever knows the complete truth. With that in mind, Cass pulled up the master screen in strategic operations and began to sort out as much as she could.


To anything but the trained eye, the master screen that doubled as a table in the strategic operations room was a mass of confusion. Littered with maps, bulleted lists, databases buried beneath names of high ranking officials of the Klingon Empire (Klingon High Value Targets, aka HVTs), and scrawled notes from various agents in a number of agencies - Starfleet and civilian - it was Cassie’s normal workspace, the tool of a counterintelligence expert.


Starbase 184 sat on the edge of Klingon space, only twenty minutes at minimum warp from nebula CN-423 and barely thirty-eight minutes at minimum warp from Klingon space. Admiral Portman’s presence screamed its importance, and Cptn Granger hoped to hell that the Klingons didn’t know of the admiral’s presence. Talk about a High Value Target.


Cass flicked information on the starbase to the back burner. Whether the starbase was a Command and Control center, a Command Outpost, or a Forward Operating Base didn’t really matter. What mattered was the admiral’s presence and her involvement, and that ratcheted up the importance of the mission into a whole different category, from find them to way more than Search and Rescue.


USS Copernicus was next to catch her eye: an Oberth class scout ship with a Vulcan CO who, according to Maj Johnson, was “by the book,” and Cass had no reason to doubt that, especially coming from the major. Few Vulcans weren’t “by the book,” so if Captain Sivok wasn’t, he was the exception, not the rule. His background was next to be put aside. For now. She would still have to dig into his connections, but for now it was just mind clutter.


The ship itself was a different matter. The scout-science vessel made sense, but as close as the station was to the nebula, the “newly-discovered nebula” part didn’t. There was definitely something Admiral Portman wasn't telling them. Maybe the nature of the nebula made it hard to detect, even at its close proximity? She’d have to check with science on that one.


“ Now, we don't have evidence of Klingon activity in the area during the time of Copernicus' disappearance and indeed the area hasn't been traveled in for the several months we have been scanning the area.”


Cass ran a weary hand around the back of her neck, then shrugged her shoulders, giving her back a crack. She’d inherited the Granger focus, no-nonsense mission approach, and attention to detail, and a lot of things didn’t set right about the admiral’s statement. The presence of large quantities of dilithium and the absence of Klingons - or any kind of travel through the area - didn't make a lick of sense.


Blowing out a breath, she crossed her arms to study the opposite wall for a few minutes. A previously-undiscovered class M planet was inside the nebula and had three orbiting satellites. The presence of a class M planet meant it could not be an emission nebula; it had to be a reflection nebula, most likely filled with ionized hydrogen, which could easily be deuterium. Deuterium was gathered in Bussard collectors and used by every Starfleet vessel in fuel replenishment. Oh, yeah, her head was spinning now. She’d have to check with science, but if they verified that information she’d have to pull on her hip-boots whenever the admiral opened her mouth again.


“It is quite important we find the Copernicus. The planet in the nebula was listed as undiscovered. They were sent in to investigate the planet as well and report back results from their scans. Also, I doubt it would be good for Federation-Klingon relations if the Copernicus has strayed into Klingon space.”


Why was Copernicus sent to investigate the planet? What was so important about one undiscovered class M planet when the universe was littered with them?


Why would Copernicus “stray into Klingon space” if Captain Sivok was as by-the-book and capable as his storied record would have us believe?


A glance at the chrono showed it was crunch time. She slipped her notes onto a padd, gathered her things, and headed to the room where she would confer with Ensign Dvokr chim and Lieutenant Reed and hopefully put something together for command.

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