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Who's in charge?

Posted on Sat Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:13am by Lieutenant Helen Shire

Mission: Purgatory's Shadow. Season 2 Episode 7

Harrison found the office of the Security Chief easily enough. He waited for the doors to open then walked purposefully in.

“Who's in charge here?” he demanded.

Lieutenant Shire looked up from the desk to greet the arrival. She felt somewhat overshadowed by Commander Mason who stood over her shoulder, still handing over the finer details of the department into the data bank before boarding the USS Brattain to depart to her latest adventure.

Shire felt her spine stiffen as her eyes raked the collar of the man before her and drew a blank on his face; she detested being on the back foot. "I am," she said matching his tone before giving Mason a swift look. "Though officially in a few hours once Commander Mason has disembarked."

“What's the matter?” he muttered under his breath. “Can't anyone around here answer a simple, direct question?”

He looked from one to the other women, settling on the one sitting down; the one who had answered. “I asked: who's in charge here? Right now!”

"Show Lieutenant Shire some respect Commander Harrison," Kristina Mason snapped. "What hell do you want barraging in here without a second thought?"

If the fact that he was outranked registered on Harrison he did not show it. To him, he was a captain, whatever else his collar pips might attest to.

“I have a message from Starfleet Command to be delivered, in person, to the Chief of Security. If one of you could spare the time to tell me who that is I will deliver the message then leave this station. Frankly, I find the lack of discipline here and the inability to act in a professional manner appalling. You may be assured it will be noted in my report.”

Both women stared hard with tight lips silent for a moment while Harrison's comment hung in the air like a bad smell. Mason nodded slightly to the younger Lieutenant and paced away from the desk, leaning against the wall with her arms folded, shooting dark looks outward.

"I am in charge," Shire stood squaring her narrow shoulders. "Please deliver your message."

Harrison fixed his gaze on Shire. “A mission was recently conducted to Orias Station,” he began. He cast Mason a quick look then returned to Shire. “I do not know your clearance level so I will not go into detail of what was found there. I believe it is not relevant to the message given that the Station was destroyed." This last was delivered in a tone that suggested if he had been in charge the Station would still be intact. "Suffice to say that all was not as expected.

“Starfleet Intelligence has learnt that a faction of the Obsidian Order has taken an interest in the work conducted there. We believe that two probes detected in the area before the Station's destruction originated from Cardassia Prime. They have not, as yet – or, at least, as of the time of my departure from Earth – sent a manned mission to the Station.

“Given the critical nature of the work and given the proximity of this starbase to the former location of the Station, Starfleet Intelligence requests that you to maintain an ongoing watch and report any activity in or around the area.”

"We already are," Shire replied stiffly moving around the desk. "Just few weeks ago several members of the senior staff went to investigate an identified energy signal emitting from the station. They found nothing, or at least nothing that could be explained," she glanced briefly toward Mason before turning back. "So naturally with that mystery unsolved we'll still investigating, so far our results match yours."

“I am aware of all that, Lieutenant. Did I ask you to send a mission? Did I ask you to instigate monitoring? No. I ordered you to maintain monitoring. The Station has been destroyed...unfortunately. You will, nonetheless, keep a vigilant watch over that sector of space. Am I understood?”

She bit back a retort, "Understood, sir."

Harrison handed over an isolinear chip. "The details are all in here," he said. "It's in Federation Standard so you should be able to understand it."

He turned without waiting for a response or dismissal from the senior officer and left the room.


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