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Counter Propaganda Planning

Posted on Fri Nov 13th, 2015 @ 5:24am by Petty Officer 1st Class Vartog & Lieutenant Colonel Wolfric Bannister

Mission: Trouble on the frontier
Timeline: Prior to attack on Gaspar

Time was running out and there was still lots to do. This was the biggest operation he'd had to try to wrangle in a while. It was more complex due to....much more than before in stake. More than duty was at stake here.

After finishing another report, he got to thinking about the meeting with the Klingon Ambassador and tapped his com badge before saying, "Bannister to Vartog. Please report to the XO's office."

It was not a summons Vartog was expecting. Then he recalled that the XO was acting captain while Harrison was on leave. Something about heart trouble if he remembered correctly. I really must keep up with what is going on on the station, he thought. I am still officially Starfleet, after all.

=^=On my way,=^= he replied, with a tap on his commbadge.

Madame Haqtaj was not in her office so he sent a quick message to her PADD then headed off.

After the connection ended, Wolf went back to piecing through the transcripts of some of the pirate propaganda again. These guys were effective....Whichever of them was doing this anyway. He....Hoped that this aspect of the plan would work as well as the rest. He'd likely not have too long of a wait to find out though.

Sometimes being both Starfleet and Klingon had its advantages. Vartog squared his shoulders, straightened his back and held his head high. He knew he presented an imposing visage.

He touched the button next to the door to Bannister’s office then waited.

Wolf scowled and paused the scrolling text and the video next to it before saying, "Enter."

Vartog stepped forward and marched into the office, his boots clicking rhythmically on the floor. He stood ramrod straight before Bannister’s desk.

“Petty Officer Vartog reporting as ordered, sir.”

"Have a seat Mr. Vartog. I have something of a project that you've been recommended for. I'd like to offer a bit of background so the needs of the project will be a bit clearer," Wolf said gesturing toward one of the comfortable seats angled toward a wall mounted screen.

Vartog lowered himself into a chair, feeling the stuffing give relaxingly below him. He decided to say little and listen intently. “What sort of project, sir,” he asked.

"Well, prior to my point....Here's what we are facing. The counter point. An effective one...." the human trailed off before starting the feed.

What followed was a number of the feeds captured by the Federation in a number of the regions in the sector. After he included some of Victoria Marie's interview....For which he fought hard to contain himself. The rest annoyed him. The little girl....Was a point he was finding himself harder to become unbiased about however.

He let it finish however and when it was done, he brought the lights slowly up and turned to the Klingon, "I'll be honest. The Ambassador thought you'd be a good person to tag for this. These....Creatures are nailing us with this propaganda. What we need is counter propaganda reintroducing the truth to everyone. And do so before we kick this pirate in the teeth, with what will be at the least a Federation and Klingon force. If I can arrange it, it will also have Romulan and Cardassian aspects."

The human fixed Vartog with a laser intense look as he asked, "What do you think?"

Vartog considered his answer. “Madame has said nothing of this. Therefore I think that either you are lying or you have a very well concealed plan in operation. You will forgive my bluntness but given that you are about to go after the pirate – you and Forst – I think that you need a distraction. You also need to be able to justify your actions should they go sour. I think you need a – what do you humans call it? - a fall guy.”

"I have two points in reply to that. Firstly, this whole part of the project was the Ambassador's idea wholly and completely. i am sure she'd be imperfectly pleased to drop whatever she is doing right now just to put your mind at ease," the marine said with dry sarcasm lacing the last sentence.

"Secondly, if this whole thing goes wrong it'll be my arse to be in the sling. No one else and I'd not want it any other way. Now, if you want to impugn my honor, we can change the entire course of this conversation right now," Wolf said, voice turning outright frosty by the end for effect.

“I would never question the honour of a commissioned officer, sir” he replied in a tone which suggested that course was never ruled out. “Especially not someone with so distinguished a record as yours. However, while your arse might metaphorically be on the line, it sounds to me like mine will actually be there. Let it not be said though that I did not hear you out. What have you and Madame cooked up?”

Wolf put on his poker face for now as he summarized the aspect of what he and Haj (though he knew better than to call her that) had discussed for the counter propaganda campaign as well as the Petty Officer's role in it.

As the human finished, then looked at the other and asked, "That seem to be something you can manage?"

“That depends on what you mean by ‘manage’. If you mean, am I physically capable of undertaking it; then the answer is yes. If you mean, does it conflict with my duty as a member of Starfleet; the answer is no, not if you order me to do it. If you mean, do I approve of what you are suggesting; the answer is yes, I do.”

"Not quite where I was going there but it covers all the ground I was wondering about which will do. Any major objections to this....At least ones major enough to interfere with your assistance and keeping it within the circles I, General Corrus and the Ambassador require," The colonel asked.

“I see few other options open to us, not legal ones anyway. As it is, your suggestion flies close to illegality on many points. There I can see Madame’s hand in this. I also see flaws in the suggestion. There are too many ‘ifs’ involved, too many instances which rely on others acting as anticipated. However, I am willing to attempt the venture.”

"Luckly it's not illegal. At least nothing we have in mind with your aspects of it. The whole thing is largely in grey areas as well as damned irregular and I am sure is going to raise a few eyebrows. If we pull it off, we're likely to get lots of rewards and parties. If not.....Well, I will have your semi-official orders to you this evening."

“I will spend the interim preparing. Now, if there is nothing more....”

Wolf stared at the Klingon, getting more annoyed at the man's tone as he spoke.

"I will tell the ambassador to keep you informed. And I promise that she will keep an eye on you, considering how intent you seem on doing the job she appointed to you," he said with frosty tones.

 

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