CAPTAIN'S LOG, SD 201806.21
Capt. Zak Taylor, CO, USS Darmok
. After the debacle at the Orion Outpost meeting of weapons dealers where David Bonali killed Sgt. Higgins and nearly did so to Gunny Price, and the fortuitous capture of Bonali (and destruction of his cargo ship, the Monte Cheraz), I did a little digging into just who this fellow was. I got more than I'd bargained for.
. As it turns out, Bonali is an agent of Starfleet Intelligence, maybe even Section 31, my own security clearance isn't high enough to dig that deep. He's been deep undercover in the Orion Syndicate for quite some time, and was apparently working as an assassin for them. He'd been told to "clean up" the mess the Syndicate had on their hands for losing their new weapon and the soul spheres it used for ammunition. He had no idea Starfleet had a vessel in the area.
. Not long after accessing Bonali's personnel file, I got a high priority call from Starfleet Headquarters. Rear Admiral Blakely called me to the floor for nosing around where I didn't belong. It seems Bonali's file is flagged to alert certain people when it gets accessed. I told the Admiral I wanted to send the man to a penal colony for the rest of his life for murdering one of my men. The Admiral commented that Bonali was much more use to him outside of a penal colony, then strongly suggested I "release" him. Just, release him. Simple, right?
. The Admiral warned me to expect contact from Captain Winford of Starfleet Intelligence. He told me to just send Winford to Blakely with the precaution of "don't breathe a word to him". Sure, I'm a Captain, he's a Captain, we're peers, right? Well, Winford's been a Captain a long time and I've only recently been promoted, he's in Starfleet Intelligence back at HQ and I'm on the distant frontier on a reconn vessel, so who do you think has the greatest pull in that tug-of-war?
. When I do get the call from Winford, guess what, he'd had a nice, friendly chat with Major Patterson - not! I'd read Patterson's history, he's been involved with Starfleet Intelligence and Force Reconn for most of his career. There's even parts of his file that are redacted above my clearance level, and I'm a Starfleet Captain! Anyway, it seems that Winford contacted Patterson first, and Winford knew we had Bonali in detention. Winford had been wanting to get his hands on Bonali for some time it seemed, and figured he could call on Patterson's allegiance to SFI and get Bonali handed over on a silver platter. Winford should have read Patterson's file more carefully. Patterson basically told him to kiss off and hung up on him!
. So, naturally, when I got the call from Winford he was pretty peeved. I put on my most diplomatic manner, for what it's worth, and tried to smooth the ruffled feathers, but ... I don't think I succeeded. Winford already knew Blakely had contacted me first, Patterson told him as much, and Winford knew Blakely would have Bonali out of range before Winford could do anything, so Winford vented at me, and then ... he hung up on me!
. I'd hardly even finished my own tirade at the blank screen before it flashed again. Another call from Admiral Blakely. It seems Winford had called the Admiral. From the fact that the Admiral had called me just a short time later, their conversation must have been pretty short. Blakely told me that Bonali needed to get away from me and the Orions and stay clear of Winford. And he told me that Winford gets the weapon and the spheres.
. So, guess what, the low man on the totem pole in this situation is me. And you know the old Engineering Design saying, "Sewage flows downhill"? Where guess where the sewage collected. Yep, in my lap.
. I had to figure out a way to let Bonali go, without giving away his secrets, without ruining his status in the Syndicate, without letting Winford get his hands on him, and with means to get around. And I had to bring the weapon and its spheres to Vulcan and turn them over to Captain Winford and Starfleet Intelligence. And then, I need to "just move on", that's the Admiral's words.
. I very briefly relayed my orders to my Executive Officer, the Jarhead, Patterson, who'd riled up Winford for me, and he came up with a brilliant strategy: let Bonali "escape". So, we had a ship-wide power failure, caused by the holographic interface with the spheres, with a little help from MAX, a poorly guarded runabout and a partially open cargo door, and Bonali escapes from Starfleet custody, retains his status as an assassin for the Syndicate, acquires a warp-capable ship to get him to his other ship (he can't go flying around in a Starfleet vessel), and gets away from Winford.
. So, now we're headed for Vulcan to turn over the spheres. I'm going to have Relok make contact with his mother and a few other Priests and have them take the spheres. Winford can have the weapon without ammunition, and work for access to the "katric arks" through the Priests. Let's see how he likes that.