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Empok Nor
SAT 0900 Shuttle Facility 
31st-Dec-2008 06:42 pm
<I>Riker waited for Henderson in the shuttle facility, standing next to the</i> Jordan, <I>which was going to be their transportation for the next couple of days.  It took a day to get to Telon II, and another day, of course, to return.  They would spend today in transit awaiting the poker tournament on Sunday, and hopefully accomplish their mission by the end of the poker tournament so no one would ask any questions.

Riker held a duffel bag with a basic change of clothes and a few PADDs with some very classified information encrypted onto them.  He checked the chronometer and sighed.  They were supposed to *leave* at 0900, not get into the shuttle then.  He took a deep breath. *You're getting too old for this--it has you on edge.  Calm down.  You just have to get back into it,* he thought.  Just then, the doors opened, and Henderson walked in.</i> "Ready for some poker, my friend?" <I>Riker asked with a grin.</i>
5th-Jan-2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Henderson sighed with a bit of relief as he walked into the bay. "More than ready, Yoeman Ralin stopped me in the hall with a set of modifications to the replicator system aboard the Hades. I am so ready to sidestep paperwork for a bit."

He led the way into the shuttle and took the ops seat, leaving the flying to Riker, he was a better pilot than Henderson, and Jack had no issue letting him take the helm. Henderson took care of the paperwork while Riker went through the final checks, and very soon they were off with a very curt 'acknowledged' from Tashanas. Once they were out of the area Jack looked at Riker.

"So how much did Deanna get out of you?"
6th-Jan-2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Riker sighed. "It's what she didn't get out of me that concerns her," he said with a frown. "She knows it's not a poker tournament. She didn't say that but it's obvious. She wasn't happy about it but for some reason she didn't push."
6th-Jan-2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Henderson chuckled. "She is an officer too, with full knowledge that if you aren't telling her there is probably a reason." he sighed to himself.

"Now if I can just get O'Donnell to see that."
6th-Jan-2009 03:45 am (UTC)
Riker glanced at Henderson. "Do you have reason to believe Lt. O'Donnell might still be researching this?" He asked warily. If O'Donnell figured out where they were going and decided to intervene, it could blow the entire mission, and she could get herself killed. He didn't want to see the O'Donnells lose another child, but even more than that--he didn't want to see Pressman slip away again to endanger the children of even more families out in the galaxy.
6th-Jan-2009 05:42 am (UTC)
Henderson sighed again and leaned back.

"You are a 22 year old mother that has information that could potentially hurt your child, especially if it doesn't get it figured out. You are scarey smart and good at seeing patterns, and to top it off you are an adrenaline junkie.

"The only thing stopping you from doing more research is an officer you barely know who you only trust because a Commander you do trust vouches for him, tells you to stop. Then disappears to go play a poker tournament.

"Now I know as a young Lt. you hit all but that parental piece, what would you do?"
6th-Jan-2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Riker shook his head, and sighed. "You have a point. As a 22 year old with a little boy...I'd just be scared shitless that I'd mess up. At that age? And if anything threatened him, it wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell." He glanced out the shuttle window. "You keep a lookout for shuttles careening to our location at Warp 9. I'll look for a hijacked starship. I think that should cover our bases," he said grimly.
6th-Jan-2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
Jack smiled. "She is honorable enough that I think she will stay put, but I would give it an 75-25 split. I've been watching and up through last night she had been good about not poking at the research in any traceable way after I asked her not to. However, I was also not foolish enough to make it an order."
6th-Jan-2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Riker smirked. "Had you done that and I was a 22-year-old, I think it would have provided extra incentive to disobey it." He laughed. "Wonder how I ever made it past Lieutenant."
6th-Jan-2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Jack laughed. "Honestly, I am not sure how either of us did."

He glanced at his old comrade. "Though if I had to guess I would say instincts. You had good ones, so did I. So does she, which is what has the potential to make her a good if not great intelligence officer...

"Assuming I can keep her out of trouble that long."
6th-Jan-2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
"You won't," Riker told his friend with a smile. "She'll find trouble. It's the only way she can learn. It's how both of us learned. The trick is keeping her out of the kind of trouble that she can't get out of herself."
6th-Jan-2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Jack laughed. "Point acknowledged. I think Tashanas brought me in because she figured I could give her enough direction that she will survive past Lt."
6th-Jan-2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
"She obviously respects you. I hope that respect continues after this stunt," Riker said.
6th-Jan-2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Jack snorted. "She may hang me upsidedown by my ankles on the Promenade. But she also knows me. Probably better than I would like her to. She won't respect me less, she'll just consider whether or not she still trusts me with O'Donnell."
6th-Jan-2009 05:32 pm (UTC)
Riker inhaled and exhaled deeply. "Then you better wait a while to accept O'Donnell's Intel application," he said.
6th-Jan-2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
"There are a lot of reasons I haven't even looked at it yet." Jack raised an eyebrow. "Will, do you ever regret the track you took?"
6th-Jan-2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
Riker sighed. "Sometimes. When I have to give the order to destroy a ship...when I think about our work on the Talapus. I regret those choices, some of which had to be made and some of which didn't. But I don't regret my career as a whole. I don't regret my life." He looked at his friend, concern in his voice as he asked, "Do you?"
6th-Jan-2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Handerson smiled. "No, the work we did saved thousands of lives during the war. Plus I've learned more in one year in this job about other cultures than I would have ever learned anywhere else. Not always the nicest things, but it's all been interesting.

"I just feel old sometimes." Henderson grinned. "Granted the dual command structure gets a little tricky from time to time."
6th-Jan-2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
"I can imagine," Riker said with a smile. "You ever consider getting your own command, Jack? A ship, or a station?" Riker had the feeling he knew the answer, but asked anyway.
6th-Jan-2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Jack laughed. "If I ever had being first officer on this one could be enough to change my mind. I thought intel had insane paperwork. Between stuff for the Cardassian government, Starfleet Command, and the local merchant coalitions I am ready to go for the single undercover route again."
6th-Jan-2009 08:02 pm (UTC)
Riker laughed. "See, the trick is pawning it off on your underlings. Some things only you can handle, true, but if you have a first officer...or even better, a *wife*, then it's easy sailing." He knew his voice betrayed his fib, but he could always dream. When was the last time Deanna had done paperwork for him? Oh yeah...never.
6th-Jan-2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Henderson laughed. "Me and a wife. That sounds like a really bad idea."
6th-Jan-2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Again, Riker laughed at his friend and joked, "You have a point. The only thing scarier is you and a kid."
6th-Jan-2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Jack laughed. "Keith hasn't figured out what to do with me. probably doesn't help that Wendell doesn't like me."
6th-Jan-2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
"You said the kid's part Betazoid? You've probably got enough mental blockers that he'd run into you if his eyes were closed," Riker said with a smirk.
6th-Jan-2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Jack chuckled. "From what I have observed he is actually more comfortable around people who are able to regulate what they are projecting." He thinks Tashanas and Saril are great.
6th-Jan-2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Riker nodded in understanding. "Makes sense. You know, it's rare for a child that age--especially not a full Betazoid, to have empathic ability. Makes it very hard for them socially. The Enterprise once ran into a man who had that ability at an early age, and was put in a psychiatric hospital as a result."
6th-Jan-2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Jack nodded. "Counselor Li was trained on Betazed for a while. I also suspect that she has set up a few meetings with Deanna while she is there. So she has some idea of what she is doing. Which is why Tashanas has put up with her occasional nudges."
6th-Jan-2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
"That's one brain I'd like to pick. I know I'd never get anything out of her but Tashanas has lived one of the most interesting lives of a Starfleet officer that I know of. I don't think any of us can imagine what she's dealt with as a defector in the Federation."
6th-Jan-2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
"You and every Counselor, Sociologist, and Military Strategist I have ever met." Jack said wryly. "The only person that has had that is Ambassador Soran. I think Admiral McCoy and she used to talk from time to time."
6th-Jan-2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
"You mentioned something about her being close to Wendell and O'Donnell. Think they know anything?" Riker asked curiously.
6th-Jan-2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
"She knows what Tashanas says in dance about the culture. I suspect she has put together some things about what mnhei'sahe means and what it is. But from what I have seen Wendell may have more information. His report on what happened when Tashanas got injured was very surface. But from everyone's reactions his attitude toward her completely shifted afterward. She had a concussion so who knows what she actually experienced, or said down there."
6th-Jan-2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
"Imagine being a fly on that wall," Riker said with a small smile. "You know, Wendell will probably like you even less if he ever figures out that we're dealing with people connected to Section 31 here. He'll associate the risk with the station, and think it's drawing attention to Keith." He glanced at Henderson. "From what I've heard, he doesn't exactly back off when he thinks there's a risk to his family."
6th-Jan-2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Henderson chuckled. "Not in the slightest, from what I have seen. His bio parents were Intel, and didn't come home, so he really doesn't like that Colleen is considering it."
7th-Jan-2009 12:57 am (UTC)
"Ah," Riker said, nodding. "Hopefully he'll realize it's not as bad as what he's seen. But until then he's not going to be a happy camper."
7th-Jan-2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Jack nodded. "Which is part of why I left her completely out of this."
7th-Jan-2009 01:34 am (UTC)
"I'm glad you did, Jack," he said with a sigh. "No one else needs to be tangled up in this mess. We need to just end it."
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