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Log of the Month for June, 2020

Old Dogs
Posted on June 30th, 2020 by Ian Blackthorne

After months of debriefing, the former Section 31 agent once known as Vance now sat in Admiral Blackthorne’s office, now dressed in a Starfleet uniform. He was now Captain Travax, having been awarded his fourth pip in recognition of the valuable intelligence on the Xovul his long assignment in deep cover among them provided. Like the rest of the known affiliates following the Section 31 Crisis, he had been evaluated on his trustworthiness and loyalty to the Federation. Fortunately, pretending to follow the Xov for so long gave Travax a unique perspective among his former colleagues, such that he could earnestly and eagerly condemn their attempted takeover of the Federation.

Nevertheless, things had changed considerably while he was away, and Travax now was on the precipice of departing from his life in covert operations. He leaned back in his chair and sipped at the drink the Admiral had so graciously offered. “No sir, with all due respect, I think that times have passed me by. A beach somewhere, maybe on Risa, is where I belong now.”

“That’s too bad,” Blackthorne answered. “The new Starfleet Intelligence could use your veteran perspective.”

Travax hid behind a smirk and another sip of his drink, having recently learned that his assassination attempt against the Xovul Ykavosh had failed; the soldier he chose to carry it out had somehow managed to resist his implanted telepathic command, killing himself instead. “Maybe,” he began. His perspective might be welcomed, but his methods would in no way be accepted by the post-Section 31 Starfleet Intelligence. “But you know what they say on Earth about old dogs and new tricks. It’s time for me to move on and let the next generation of intelligence have its chance.”

The Admiral finished his own drink and contemplated Travax as he held the whiskey in his mouth for a moment before swallowing. The fellow Betazoid was utterly unreadable, both telepathically and empathically. Blackthorne supposed it wasn’t surprising that a career intelligence operative would have fortified his mind far beyond what most telepaths would bother with, and with nothing in Travax’s body language indicating anything but veracity, he was forced to accept the Captain’s words at face value. “Very well, Captain. I wish you nothing but the best in civilian life.”

“Thank you, Admiral,” Travax answered as he stood and placed the empty glass on Blackthorne’s desk. “Before I go… the real reason that I came here was to warn you, personally, about the Xovul. You must understand that this peace treaty exists only as long as they deem it of value to them. We got their attention by destroying that shipyard, so they needed time to evaluate us more thoroughly. When — not if, when — they decide it benefits them to do so, they will break the treaty, since they only agreed to it because they knew we believed in it.”

Blackthorne rose from behind his desk and met Travax’s black eyes; despite being unable to read him, he was still inclined to trust the man, at least on this matter. No one in the Federation understood the Xovul and their motives better. “I understand. I will ensure that we are prepared.”

“That entails more than you might think,” came Travax’s reply, keeping his eyes locked on the Admiral’s. “The intelligence Atlantis acquired from the Free Fleets filled in some of the gaps in what I was able to provide, but much is still unknown. In addition to more information on their military strength, I would advise attempting a deeper understanding of the Xov itself. I never could get access to the whole thing.”

The Admiral nodded, his sincerity readable by the other Betazoid in ways beyond his facial expression. “Thank you for the advice, Captain. I will personally see to our readiness.”

“You had better,” Travax began as he turned to leave. “Because if you don’t, Risa might not be far enough away for my retirement to remain peaceful.”

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  •  Emilaina Acacia says:

    I love these glimpses into the characters that have been around forever, there’s so many layers to it and it’s always so interesting.
    Also ooh, p l o t

  • Kuari Kuari says:

    Hm, this guy again! I love having this insight of what’s to come, giving us a clue as to what to expect. The Xovul hasn’t forgotten, and who knows what they’re plotting? We must be prepared for the battle ahead!

  •  Alexis Wright says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – “Vance” gives me the creeps. The fact that he’s unreadable by other empaths only enhances this feeling for me. His warning, though, is very concerning – the Xovul are extremely formidable enemies.

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