((Dark Room, USS Apollo))
::Jaxx left Sidney at her quarters and moved on to his next appointment. With so much to do, he felt like he was making progress. Due to the secure nature of the information coming through the office, it included an outer office area for Vik’s assistant. He nodded slightly as he moved past her.. Moving to the door, he pressed the chime.::
Jaxx: ::stepping in:: What, no violin?
Lanius: Ah, I wouldn’t want to bore you whilst in here now would I?
:: Jaxx laughed at the comment, remembering the skill Vik displayed earlier in the evening. It was a true talent and he recalled how intrigued Jalana was. So much so that she moved quickly to speak with him when he was finished. Jaxx wondered what happened, but was not going to ask...at least not until business was taken care of.::
Jaxx: So, we should do a trade of information. You tell me what you have learned, and I will give you a sneak peek of what you will learn at tomorrow’s briefing.
Lanius: My pleasure sir. Refreshment?
Jaxx: No thanks...
:: He moved over to the replicator and called up some hot coffee for himself, the captain neglecting to make a decision. The smooth white porcelain cup filled with one of his favorite beverages appeared before him, just cool enough to drink without hurting his mouth. He came back to the table and sat across from Andrus. He began to give his computer some light duty ::
Lanius: Janus, please unlock all material related to the Trinity File. Authorization Lanius Delta two Tango.
Janus: Second biosignature detected, please state security clearance...
Lanius: She can be... temperamental. Your clearance code sir.
Jaxx: ::laughs:: Authorization Jaxx Beta Omicron Sigma Sigma.
Janus: Code accepted. Welcome Captain Andrus Jaxx
:: At once the dark room seemed to go into a sort of stealth mode. The walls opened to reveal the consoles where most of the work was being stored. The bright blue writing and detailing on every console seemed to be just the right color for skimming through data easily. In front of them on the table, the middle of the table slid open and console appeared there as well, with the display showing three different topics; communication, the Romulans, and the Cardassians. ::
Jaxx: Well...I remember back in my day when we had to memorize everything...
Lanius: Yes sir, all much needed modifications to keep secrets, well... secret.
Jaxx: ::smirking:: Stopping people from accessing classified material has never been more important.
Lanius: Well I’ve learned that some computer systems can be a little more liberal when it comes to access, either digitally or physically, so I had to make something a little more advanced. Janus, as I call her, was crafted of the very same hands that played the violin for you this evening. Responsive to my voice only, yours being the only exception.
Jaxx: ::nodding:: Interesting modification. I trust engineering approved it?
Lanius: No harm intended sir, it’s just something that had to be done.
:: He instinctively knew that the man was only giving him a hard time. Jaxx of all people knew that Vik often had communication with SFI, and security was crucial, regardless of what the content of the messages was. The truth of the matter is that Viktor always wanted to be able to bring information that he thought was ‘need to know’ information to the Captain, being that SFI often times did not take a ships Captain into account. Vik never agreed with the practice, and figured he’d start a new trend here on the Apollo. ::
Lanius: So now, where would you like to start? ::Indicating one of the three topics ::
Jaxx: At the beginning?
::Jaxx laughed slightly. StarFleet had a tendency to be redundant from time to time. There were also times that Vik would have information before Jaxx would, about as often as Jaxx had information before Vik did. It was the nature of the beast. SFI did what they could to keep Vik up to speed, yet there were some things that was still above his paygrade. When it came to anything Intel was working on, Vik got it first. Jaxx would get it soon after, but it had to be filtered through StarFleet Command. Vik’s had access to the raw data, Jaxx had access to the refined ending. SFI’s new task was information gathering, threat assessment, and a few other directives. The cloak and dagger days were long over.::
Lanius: Very well, I would say that the most prominent information that has been proven thus far is that the Romulans have developed some new technical upgrades.
Jaxx: What sort of technical upgrades are we talking?
Lanius: It’s a sort of neutrino jump drive. It mimics the latency of a cloaking device, but they’re really jumping from one spot to another. Could make for a difficult time in tracking them I would assume.
::Jaxx nodded. He was not worried about the Romulans. This would be one of those moments they would be working with them. The Federation had no intention of fighting the Klingons, but they were not going to help them either. As a matter of fact, the Federation would be helping the Romulans behind the scenes, as long as they asked for it. He was well aware they would not be welcome in all sectors of Romulan space...at least not until the Klingons had a chance to do some damage to it. Then StarFleet would be invited to help pick up the pieces, at least in the systems that the Klingons left behind on the push inward.::
Jaxx: I am not that worried about the Romulans. The Klingons are the aggressor here, what do you have on them?
Lanius: It would appear that the Klingons are making some hasty moves, combat maneuvers, intensive ground training. I’ve been in contact with a covert operative in First City who reports that more than ever, military maneuvers are at the forefront of any Captain’s orders. :: he pulled up a diagram illustrating the routines being performed in klingon Territory ::
Jaxx: Well, that is interesting, but I am afraid it is more complicated than that...
Lanius: Isn’t it always?
Jaxx: I will brief everyone in the morning...and that will most likely be when you get it from SFI. At 1300 yesterday, the Klingons crossed left their space and began hitting planets in, and around the Neutral Zone. Nequencia, Tranome Sar...even Khitomer.
Lanius: Any word from the Klingons?
Jaxx: As of right now the Klingons are not talking to us. There is not a central Romulan government to talk to us...the only ones talking are the Cardassians, and they are too far away to make a difference.
Lanius: SFI mentioned the same to me, but what do they have at stake here?
Jaxx: I am not sure what they have in mind, neither the Romulans or Klingons really care for them since the Dominion War. They are lucky that Federation space was between those two powers and Cardassia Prime after the war.
Lanius: Regardless... I’ve not ever been fond of Cardassians, but I don’t like the feel of this already.
Jaxx: What else do you have?
Lanius: Other than some uninformed hunches about where I think this is all gonna take us, not much else. The powers that be have done pretty well at keeping the Federation in the dark. Security must be real tight, because I’ve not heard much else from the intel community.
Jaxx: Anytime the prospect of war comes up...everything gets hush, hush.
::Vik had learned early on in his career that the Captain often valued whatever opinion or hunches he had. He could tell by the tone of his voice that he wanted one of those right this second. ::
Lanius: Speaking bluntly... someone here is full of it. Clear and concise action by the Klingons, with Romulans involved, but out of nowhere come the Cardassians. Why this time? Why this series of events? Either they’re in with the Klingons, or they’re in it for themselves...
Jaxx: It is hard to say. But, if I had to guess, they learned a valuable lesson at the end of the Dominion War, and this could potentially thrust the Beta Quadrant into war. They are just now starting to rebuild...what happens if a new war reaches them?
::Jaxx thought about the prospect for a moment. It was something that he did not care to think about for very long. He lived on Betazed when the Dominion invaded. At the time he was just a teenager, now he was grown man...and one in command of a state of the art starship. It would be logical to assume they would be sent to the front lines, given his history with the Romulans and Klingons. Jaxx thought of the ship and its level of readiness. Glancing at Vik, he pointed to the PADD on the desk in front of him.::
Jaxx: Give me that...
Lanius: Aye... :: He slid the PADD across the table ::
::Jaxx picked up the PADD and keyed in new orders. A copy of the orders would be transmitted to the senior staff. Under normal circumstances, he would have delayed making such a call. He was not a stupid man. He felt worse as each day went by. He had an appointment with the doctor the next day, but there was too much to get done, he kept putting it off. Handing the PADD back to Vik, he wore a serious face.::
Jaxx: As of 0700 tomorrow, you are designated as the Apollo’s second officer. It shall last throughout this conflict, or until I relieve you of said position. If I were you, I would read up on ‘positional authority’ for tips on how to deal with the crew, should the moment arise.
:: Vik sat and stared at the PADD in front him. The words never registered at first, but as he kept looking at the words on the screen, questions swam their way to the top. ::
Lanius: :: His voice quiet :: I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage sir... :: he looked down, then back up :: Why have you made this decision?
:: It was important to Vik to show the man that he wasn’t incapable of taking on the role, but he was questioning the man for more personal reasons. He couldn’t think of a time or an event other than death where a change in command would be needed. At the same time, he was cognizant of his questioning. He didn’t Andrus to feel as if he was being second guessed. ::
Jaxx: To be honest...there may come a time when I am not capable to fulfill my duties for medical reasons.
Lanius: Why didn’t you say anything?
:: There were mixed emotions behind the statement. For him, Andrus was friend. Certainly he was worried about his friend, and might have even been going through the bargaining phase of grief. He had to stifle his feelings for the time being. The content of the conversation would have to clear and concise. ::
::Jaxx changed his tone slightly. He went from the authority figure giving orders, to a more friendly tone. He did not want to talk about the issue, or go into detail. He thought it would be best to remain as vague as possible, but respond in an honest manner.::
Jaxx: ::smirking:: It is a weakness, Vik. I am the Captain of an Achilles Class starship...I am responsible for just over five hundred lives, not counting anyone else that may be tangled up in our current directives. Nobody needs to know about my medical history. It may lead to my orders being questioned, and I do not have time for that. Right now, there are two people on this ship that know...you are number three. Tomorrow, I will visit your new Chief Medical Officer to bring her up to speed.
Jaxx: The only people that need to know are the ones that have the authority to relieve me of command. Medical, Counselor, and First Officer...you are now briefed in case you get the call from Commander Frost.
Lanius: I have to ask based on principle... Will SFI have any involvement with this switch, or the orders given therein?
:: He had to know for one real reason. In the event he had to choose, would his actions be justified to the proper people? Would it be appropriate for him to choose to ignore his superiors from Intelligence? In his own mind, the answer was yes.. ::
Jaxx: Vik, I want to be clear about one thing. If you are required to step into a command role on this ship, the safety of this crew, and this ships orders are your top priority and supersede anything you may get from SFI. This ship is attached to StarFleet Strategic Operations, not StarFleet Intelligence...are we crystal?
Lanius: Right as rain Captain.
Jaxx: ::nodding as he stood:: Until tomorrow then...
::Jaxx moved toward the door. He was sure he made the right call. There was no doubt that he would have to have a talk with Liam, but it was also something that could wait until tomorrow. Nobody was aware that Jaxx had been feeling worse, he did everything under the guise of preparation. After seeing the doctor at 1900, he would be in a better position to know if he was experiencing some form of relapse, or if it was something else entirely. Until then, and even after...it would be business as usual.::
Lieutenant Viktor Lanius
Intelligence Officer/Second Officer
USS Apollo, NCC-71669
Captain Andrus Jaxx
USS Apollo, NCC-71669