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Favor From a Friend

Posted on Fri Jul 20, 2018 @ 4:21am by Lieutenant Kael'ko
Edited on on Sun Nov 25, 2018 @ 8:23pm

Mission: S01E02: First Unity
Location: Langley Station - Level 9 - Kael'ko's Quarters
Timeline: MD09 0300 Hours

Glass of wine in hand, Pecia slid onto the light violet chaise lounge in her living quarters. "Computer, open an encrypted, secure communications channel; authorization Pecia Theta-One-Latinum." She swirled the dark purple alcohol in her hand, letting the wine breath as she waited for the computer to establish the connection, routing around the Juno's normal communications protocols. There didn't always need to be a record of what was said, and her clearance as the ship's intelligence officer gave her the discretion to get around the typical monitoring programs on Starfleet ships and installations.

After a few moments of silence the computer beeped and responded, "Channel open."

"Contact lieutenant Kael'ko on Langley Station," she said leaning forward just a bit and taking a draw from her beverage.

"Working," the computer replied almost immediately.

Several pulls from her glass of wine later the comm request was answered. Looking back at her from the wall mounted monitor in her quarters was certainly not the face she expected see. When the Cardassian visage appeared, instead of the handsome, ginger-haired Risian she had expected, the Juno's intelligence chief nearly leapt from her seat to terminate the transmission. Even the voice was different when the stranger said, "Pecia! Stop, its me." She didn't immediately buy it, but paused and took a long look at the screen. As she craned her neck, as if a different angle would reveal some hidden something about the alien man looking back at, he grinned at her knowingly.

"Remember that time in the Olmerak system?" Kael'ko said smiling at Pecia as he stroked the Cardassian neck ridge hidden under his Starfleet uniform. It was a habit he had developed by necessity before going undercover within the Cardassian government. The man whose place he had assumed, cultural minister Duhal Revet, had done so throughout his life, and had the unconscious tell suddenly ceased his cover would have been blown almost immediately upon his arrival on Cardassian Prime. If he would have even made it that far.

Pecia squinted at the image on the screen, still uncertain despite the face that he had given the first part of their unique pass-phrase. "We never made it to Olmerak," she replied with the second portion of the code. He looked nothing like Kael'ko. No matter how good Federation cosmetic surgery was, there was no way this absolute stranger was her former associate. Pecia on the other hand was half-Yridian and half-Ktarian, Pecia's appearance was unique. With mottled skin in varying shades of brown and tan, and rows of spikes along her brow, Kael'ko had no reason to doubt she was who she said she was when he saw her. The Risian spy doubted that even the procedure that had been used to transform him on the genetic level into the Cardassian government official could make someone into a perfect copy of her truly alien appearance.

"But that was one hell of an explosion," he gave the final piece of the code only they knew, developed together years ago on an assignment. It was enough to satisfy Pecia and she visibly relaxed with a heavy exhalation, her shoulders rising and falling dramatically. While he looked like a Cardassian, the man who had answered her call was really lieutenant Kael'ko. She had worked with him on several missions while she had been assigned to the covert intelligence station on communication Relay 114. Kael'ko himself had been station there previously, but had moved on to a joint task force position operating on Bajor. Their close proximity often brought them into contact as they often ran in the same circles in operations designed to thwart the True Way terrorist organization. Kael'ko wasn't supposed to look like one of the black haired, often adversarial Cardassian. After a long pause she took a long draw from her glass not bothering to taste the savory and fruity notes of the Haliian wine and gulping it straight down, draining the glass dry.

"Did you lose a bet?" she asked deadpan as she turned around to retrieve the bottle from the top of the small wine caddie placed under her replicator.

"It almost feels that way sometimes," Kael confessed. "How much time do you have?" he grinned at her wryly and winked.

Pecia made a show of pouring herself another glass as she walked back to the chaise. "I've got a little while. I'm on beta shift tomorrow." She reclined on the lounge and put the bottle on floor. "Pour yourself something," she held up her wine, the glass filled to roughly double the normal pour. "Catch me up on everying... the family, the fleet... your face."

Many light years away on Langley Station, Kael'ko rose from the seat at his desk and crossed to the replicator. "Commander Beckett," he said before ordering a blend of Talarian tea.

"Your father-in-law," Pecia interjected jeeringly.

"Commander Beckett," Kael said firmly turning back toward the viewer, "had an opportunity to capture a high ranking Cardassian cultural minister, Duhal Revet, and replace him with a Federation agent. The altered me at the genetic level so their bio-metric security wouldn't be an issue." He took a sip from his mug. "I was undercover inside the Union for two years."

The alien hybrid took a drink of her wine and winked at him through the viewer. "And I thought my two years in the Gamma Quadrant were exciting. Are you shorter?"

Kael rolled his eyes. "About two inches," he answered bitterly. "Doctor O'Connor assures me I'll go back to my normal height as the genetic tampering is reversed and my Risian DNA reasserts itself."

"It isn't a bad thing," Pecia joked and readjusted her legs on the chaise. "I always thought you were too tall."

The faux-Cardassian sipped again from his mug. "So, why'd you really call Pecia? You aren't the let's while away an evening with a subspace chat kind of girl."

"I am not," she giggled. "You were undercover with the new Maquis a while back, right?"

"Don't act naive with me," Kael warned mockingly. "You helped get me into the cell."

"I just helped put you in the right place, at the right time to blow up a fake True Way freighter in front of a not-too-far-way Maquis raider," she said before tilting her glass up again.

Kael mimicked the motion, taking a long drink of his own beverage. "Last I heard Nadai Cyari is still in Federation prison," he said name dropping the leader of the Maquis cell he had helped to capture.

The alien woman shrugged. "Don't care about her," she quipped nonchalantly.

"Ok, so what're you after?" Kael inquired in satiny Cardassian tones.

"Our orders were supposed to take us back to the Gamma Quadrant," she began and swigged another gulp of wine. "But the captain has been asking about Leyton," she emphasized the disgraced former admiral's name conspiratorially. "Last I heard, he was still on this side of the wormhole." She fought back an urge to whisper and reminded herself that the channel was secure. "Anderson, the CO, was tight lipped about it. I just came aboard ship and I don't think he's ready to trust me one-hundred percent yet."

"He'll come around," Kael picked up the conversation from his end. "As for Leyton," he tapped the console on his desktop a few times. "I'm sending you a copy of my personal file on him. Short version though, he might be in the Alpha Quadrant, but it also wouldn't surprise me if you found him the Gamma Quadrant. The main Maquis base when I was undercover with Cyari's group was in an abandoned Tzenkethi science station deep in the Badlands. I know they've moved, but I'm not sure where to. They still smuggle engineering equipment and fuel - dilithium - from the Gamma Quadrant. They use a variety of smugglers, some from this side of the wormhole, some from the other end."

Pecia glanced at the file watcher in the lower corner of her screen. It was taking a while to transfer, and Empok Nor and Lyshan weren't that far apart. "That's a big file," she said as the transmission reached its end.

"You used to do analysis," Kael joked. "If you're looking to tear apart the Maquis and bring Leyton in, you'll find it all pretty useful. He won't be easy to take down."

"Stating the obvious is beneath you Kael," Pecia said and downed the last of her wine. "I'll owe you one?"

"Now who's stating the obvious?" he bit back with good humor and closed the channel.


Lieutenant Kael'ko
Chief Intelligence Officer
Langley Station

Staff Warrant Officer Pecia
Chief Intelligence Officer
U.S.S. Juno


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