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One try at an unlikely ally Part 2

Posted on Sat Dec 19th, 2015 @ 9:46pm by Lieutenant Colonel Wolfric Bannister

Mission: Trouble on the frontier

Wolf continued his thought from a heartbeat before, "This Lax shows every indication of being both....as well as being a generally malicious slime. Undoubtedly a vast majority of his crews are like minded....Including any Scravvan that are serving with him."

"Imagine how they'd feel having their ill gotten goods returned to the owners and their families then to have to spend the rest of their lives in a rehab center being forced to adhere to the rules of said government or it's allies," Wolf finished with a gleam in his eyes that was only part acting.

"Rehab....I suppose that could include hard labor. Not a bad idea and I do admit anything that causes pain to the Scravvans is delightful." Meret smiled a little at the idea.

"I am glad you seem to like the idea as well," the human from Mars said.

"The Cardassian criminal underworld is a constant pain in the backside...we infiltrate them and they infiltrate us and trying to keep one step ahead of them is as much fun as clearing voles from their nests." Meret gave a little more information, still avoiding exactly who she meant when she said we - let the human assume what he might.

"Sounds like a few operations I have had in the Marshal's Service. If there were the opportunity for two Cardassian ships to help do what I suggested, would you know of two commanders who can follow orders....hypothetically speaking of course....." Wolf mused.

"I might....it might also require going through unorthodox channels and bypassing the Cardassian military. Depends on whether you have issues with going outside official channels if necessary." Meret folded her hands together thoughtfully, it was just the kind of thing that the Obsidian Order would enjoy and they had their own ships and resources.

"Glin Meret, this situation is already is so far outside of normal channels it might as well be on the other side of the universe......" Wolf said before adding with a nod, "Hypothetically speaking, of course."

"Gul Telek and the Bokter if you want to involve the military. He owes us a favor." Meret said. They would be willing to go after pirates and for various reasons had crossed the wrong person in the Order. "Other than that if you were to involve the Obsidian Order, hypothetically speaking, there would need to be a very good incentive."

"Getting the dregs of Cardassian society out of circulation and avoiding them from farther smearing your societies reputation would be a start," the Marine said.

Meret turned that idea around in her head for a moment, considering the advantages and disadvantages, "Perhaps. But you do not ask a vole to roll over and expose its belly...by that I mean the Order does not willingly cooperate and expose their ships or agents. I would have to -" She stopped, debated whether she was saying too much, "I mean to say I would not know where to start and who to speak to. Unless hypothetically I might have a connection I can use. Hypothetically of course."

The Colonel studied the Cardassian sitting across from him for a long moment before saying, "Well, I'd assume that the pirates likely have a lot of good intel. Depending on what we find, I suppose I can likely get my superiors to pass along some of the juicier finds. Of course if your ships find anything.....Well, if this weren't hypothetical there ain't nothin' saying you can't life a copy unobtrusive like."

"Now there you have my interest." Meret smiled, and this time it was genuine, "And suddenly I recall there is another ship in the area. Funny how such little things can totally slip your mind of course. I believe they could be diverted from their current assignment to do some...investigation." She had nearly said spying, caught herself in time.

"That'd be useful, presuming they're good at being able to be less than over. We do need some detailed records and....such," Wolf said with a bit of a smile.

"Trust me on this. The Kinat will not be easily spotted by pirates or even the Federation. It would not be much of a spy ship if it was....." Meret smiled again, giving little away...or maybe giving away too much, "So I have been told, of course."

"Fair enough. Any chance we could organize another ship with a bit more muscle. This situation could be one hell of a party and it might seem odd if the Cardassian Union doesn't have someone on the proverbial dance floor," the Starfleet Marine said with a smile.

"Oh I am quite sure the military will want to provide something else. Personally...I prefer something with more stealth than strength, the big military ships tend to be far too obvious to suit me." Meret almost smiled as she said, with an ever so innocent and harmless look, "Then again I would not really know of such things - war games, spy games, not really my strength. I leave that to others."

The Marshal replied rather deadpan, "I prefer a good poker game myself. Any how, one war ship to show the combined colors and one surveillance craft. Aside from the previously mentioned bit about the information, there is one other stipulation that I respectfully must insist on...."

Making demands was he? Meret smiled to herself but sat back a little, folded her hands together and studied the human, "Do tell...or rather, let me guess....I assume you would like to put someone on our ships, spy on the spies as it were?" She stopped, not wanting to give him any more ideas.

"Not quite what I had in mind....Unless you think of a reason I should, of course. No, what I was going to say: this is going to be a multi governmental task force, each having different strengths. We've just discussed yours plus Cardassia has a stake in ridding a neighboring sector of pirates," he said.

After a second or so to let what he said sink in, Wolf said, "Each commander will have command of their ship. Each pair of ships can have their own command relationships or not, however is desired. However, this whole mission is being run by the sectors Federation Marshal. As such, operational command of the mission --- From arriving to join to starting the trip home when done, I will have overall planning and operational say."

After a heartbeat he added, "With that I have no intention on compromising anyone or any ship in the possee's force. Nor will I issue an order that is beyond reason, without reason and I'll not issue an order to do anything I'd not be willing do myself if I were in whatever position."

"That seems fair enough and we Cardassians are very good at following orders." Meret said, after turning the proposal around in her head for a moment, "One question, however, just in the spirit of hmmm...cooperation: would you really be concerned if a few of their ships were accidentally totally destroyed?"

Wolf buried a smile as he realized that he was anything except surprised. He answered the question without reflecting his thoughts, "That would be something that I think my superior officers would like to prevent."

"I am not saying it will happen - or it would happen - just that sometimes we might get carried away in the heat of the moment and accidentally (completely accidentally) just happen to blow up another ship rather than taking prisoners in the noble spirit of the federation." She wasn't about to let on that they might have a need to destroy some of the ships before awkward questions could be asked...

She wasn't sure of course, information being so restricted but Meret supposed there could be an agent or two in with these pirates, sneaking about undercover. Or trading them weapons at a good price, yes, it wouldn't be the first time. But she wasn't about to have her beloved "family" compromised or stuck rotting in some Federation facility, better to make it quick and clean.

Shaking his head, Wolf said, "Anything that results in the destruction of ships and deaths is likely going to cause a lot of questions afterwards unless it's damned clear that it was unavoidable."

This wasn't his first rodeo with the Cardassians. He was familiar with a great number of species, friends or foes and even a neutral party or three. The woman facing him was unlikely to come right out and talk to him nor was she likely to be completely trusting.

"Glin Meret....Frankly, I'd originally not planned on inviting any of the Cardassian fleet to join this particular mission. I figured, however, that there would not only to be additional assets that we could use but it would be a courtesy considering the importance of the area to both the Federation and the Cardassian Union. If there are things we should know to look for, it might help us....Find some creative solutions. Planning ahead would make that much easier for us and harder for the pirates," the Colonel said deciding to try playing a hand he'd not decided on until just now.

"So you are asking for information?" Meret was amused, very amused to find herself in a situation like this. She didn't reply immediately, checked on her personal PADD to double check, but she was reasonably sure. "Well in the spirit of co-operation...hmm...maybe fellowship is a better word, you might want to consider how these pirates keep eluding you."

"That'd be appreciated. We'd only gotten a few reports of piracy in the area as our interests started moving more out this way. Aside from the hit he placed on me and my deputy after we tripped across his base and danced with his forces, we've heard little since. Quite honestly, the fact we've turned up little information since then has not improved my mood," he said bemusedly.

Meret smiled, a little, "I can send you what information we have but there has been a recent problem with criminal ships in Cardassian territory that keep staying one step ahead of us - and since they are unlikely to have cloaking technoogy we have been forced to consider that they are using more primitive methods of concealment. Perhaps something that confuses sensors and sends out a fake signal, either way it is frustrating to us and I know the Obsidian order is simply furious at being outwitted so often."

"I'm not sure I'd ever thought of the Order and the Federation Marshal's service having much in common before. As it stands, I think we've got an arrangement. I'll send you preliminaries as we get closer," Wolf said. He made a mental note about the Obsidian Order as last he understood they were history. Not all things stayed in the past it seemed.

"Excellent. It will be unusual to be collaborating with you...but then I have had stranger bedfellows...that is the human expression I believe." Meret shrugged, she disliked the universal translator as a rule, it caught the raw essence but not the finer nuances of a language. Rather like their replicator's version of a good zabu steak...

"That's the expression all right. Flight plans and itineraries will be sent as soon as tactically and strategically possible. Until then, Glin Meret," Wolf said with a smile.

 

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