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"DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER Part 2"

Updated: Mar 18, 2023



U.S.S. Gainsborough, approx. 5 days ago...


Captain Lazard sat quietly working at the terminal in his office, a look of concern written across his face as he tongued his cheek.


//CHIRP//


The Captain looked up to his ready room door at the sound of the chime, "Enter". His was not suprised to see the door open to reveal the form of his resident Intelligence officer; Lieutenant Commander Leveson-Scott, who promptly entered and saluted before assuming a typically formal posture as she awaiting permission to sit,

"Captain. I hope I am not interrupting you in anything" she greeted in a rather more formal manner than he had become accustomed, and he knew right from that word; this was going to be a conversation he would not enjoy. He spoke flatly gesturing to the seat across his desk, "Good evening, Commander. Of course not, please sit."


Mischa: "Thank you, Sir"

Mischa: "I... Captain, I don't like doing this; but I need to ask for a leave of absence"


As the young officer speaks, she shifts in her seat appearing rather uncomfortable in asking


Lazard arches a brow as he swivels to fold his hands in front of him on the desk. "Well, we agree on something. I would also not like you doing that. Please explain."


Mischa flushes awkwardly, "I... can't, Sir. It is a... personal matter requiring my attention, that is all" She feigns a reassuring smile as she speaks.


Lazard shakes his head. "We are scheduled to depart for parts unknown again in a day and a half. I cannot have one of my most valuable officers take leave on nothing more than a whim."


Mischa frowns slightly at the prolongation, "I appreciate that Captain, but you must understand that I would not ask were it not of the utmost importance"


Lazard tongues his cheek, speaking evenly but with a firm tone. "Of that I have no doubt. Tell you what..." He taps at a padd, displaying a calendar. "Here. Two weeks from now we are set to hit ESD. There, I will be engaged in meetings for three days, maybe one or two longer. Why not schedule leave for that period?"


Mischa throws herself out of the chair and turns away in an aggrevated huff, resting her fists against the back of the soft chair across the room as she leans over it slightly, "That's too long, in two weeks I could be-..."


Mischa straightens her composure and turns back to him, "Apologies Captain"


Lazard purses his lips and switches off the PADD. "Explain. You know I can help if you let me in."


Mischa returns to a controlled compusre as she retakes her seat


Mischa: "Captain with all due respect; if I explain, I endanger you and the ship. Because we both know that won't be the end of it. If I could just take one of the shuttles, I will be safely returned here within a few days" she smiles sweetly


Lazard: "You endanger the ship by -not- explaining yourself. Now, you may bring me to speed or consider the request denied."


Mischa sighs, "Sir I... I can't. As much as it pains me to say... I will resign my commission if I have to"


Lazard leans forward a bit, speaking flatly. "Is that a threat, Commander?"


Mischa: "Not at all Captain. I do not presume to value my services so high as to make it viable in that sense."


Mischa appears genuinely sincere and upset at having to hold back "I simply want you to understand that as much as I want to... I can't say any more at this time"


Lazard swivels to focus on his computer once more. "If you have done something wrong we can rectify it. If you want to visit a lover, it can wait."


Mischa shakes her head defiantly, "I've done nothing wrong!"


She rests her face in her palms, ignoring the lover theory as being so obscure, "I just need to take care of some things which will not afford me the luxury of convenience"


Lazard looks over briefly. "Then you plan to do something wrong. Wrong in the eyes of others."

Mischa looks back up with cold, unwavering eyes, "My only intention is to put right someone elses wrong, before I... before anyone, get's hurt"


Lazard returns the look with narrowed, suspicious eyes yearning for clarity. "That eases my conscience."


Mischa 's steadfast gaze doesn't waiver


Lazard closes his eyes and shakes his head. "You do understand that I am responsible for the actions of the officers who serve under my command, yes? Surely yes."


Mischa nods confidently, "Of course Captain; as much as I know you understand that I /am/ a proud and loyal officer who would never put her Captain in a position of compromise... even if she may appear to do so at first" she smiles softly


Lazard places his palms down onto the desk, lifting himself up. "And I would not doubt this about you, Mischa. As I have said, you are needed here on the Gainsborough. We cannot afford to lose you."


Mischa turns her big blue eyes up to him, "Then let me do what I must"


Lazard: "This was the exact sort of affair which had concerned me when deciding to take on an Intelligence officer."


Mischa: "Captain... Mal; you know I do not answer to SFI - You are my CO. This is not SFI pulling the rug out from under you"


Lazard: "I am not suggesting it is. This sort of cloak-and-dagger mentality does not suit me, however."


Mischa: "But surely you understand that there are times when information can be dangerous to those who share it"


Lazard: "I understand that fact quite well."


Mischa nods, "I've no doubt. Then can't you trust me when I say that I hold back to protect you and the ship?"


Lazard leans onto the desk with his knuckles. "Have I ever asked for you to protect me? What could endanger the Gainsborough? Are we that near your target?"


Mischa: "My target?" she looks at him with a quirked brow and a slight smirk she couldn't resist, "Mal, I'm Intelligence, not some Section 31 assassin" she chuckles


Lazard shakes his head and returns to his seat.


Mischa: "Sorry, but... the thought tickles me. You don't honestly perceive me like that do you? Some femme fatale in disguise as an ordinary officer?"


Lazard looks down to the desk, to the computer screen, then to her. "No, of course not."


Mischa smiles sympathetically, clearly hurting for putting him in this dilemma, as she stretches her legs and walks to the window

Mischa: "It's quite the view you have from here"


Lazard: "When people are not trying to pull the blind down before my gaze. Yes."


Mischa turns her head back to him with a sympathetic smile through pained eyes


Lazard: "How long are you requesting?"


Mischa: "A few days... a week at the most. It is.. difficult to predict" she winces knowing the ambiguity will not help her cause


Lazard starts to tap at his computer screen.


Mischa lowers her head in defeat, "Mal, /if/ I tell you what is going on, do I have your word you will not jump to any conclusions?"


Lazard taps and swipes. "It is difficult to predict."


Mischa pulls out a PADD which she taps on a couple of times before pocketing it again


As she does this, a file transfer appears on the Captain's terminal.


Lazard opens a tab and takes a look. "Well, now."

Mischa: "What you're looking it is falsified evidence, compelling as it may be"


Mischa: "A source which remains frustratingly elusive, intercepted this file as it was being transmitted to Starfleet Headquarters and the Klingon High Command"


Lazard: "Naturally." He closes the tab and keeps working on what he was before. "What sector must you depart for?"


Mischa: "He informs me that he is tying it up in a subspace transmission loop, but this will only prevail for so long." turns back to face him, "I must depart for the Nuevis System"


Lazard: "I see."


Mischa: "Once there, I will reassert my cover identity once used on assigmenet when I first joined Intelligence - as you saw in the file"


Lazard briefly looks to her, tongues his cheek, then back to computing. "Mmhmm."


Mischa: "This will allow me to infilitrate the organization and find out who is behind this. Then I can recall the falsified transmission before it reaches it's destination"


Lazard: "Brilliant." He taps one last time, then switches off the display. "Well, I obviously cannot grant leave for that. I think we both understand as much." He taps a finger heavily on the looking into her eyes.


She retrieves her PADD as it beeps from her pocket, here eyes growing wide as she reads "NEW ASSIGNMENT" and she looks back to him with a quirked brow.


Lazard: "Officially, I would suggest we leave the past behind us. You will have plenty of time to think about that while you take Runabout Trine to Starbase 39-Sierra. I would say about ten days, give or take." He nods with a wink.


Mischa smiles warmly and resists the urge to lean across the desk and give him a big hug


Lazard: "You are to collect three crates of local champagne for our stores. I hear the merchant enjoys a good haggle. Come straight back when you are finished."


Mischa: "Understood Captain. I shall prepare for immediate departure"


Lazard nods once.


Mischa salutes.


Lazard: "Oh, stop that."


Mischa smirks

Mischa: "Thank you Mal" she says with a genuine sincerity in her voice and an appreciative smile before heading out.


Lazard: "Wait...Mischa."


Mischa: "Sir?"


Lazard: "I do expect those three crates."


Mischa: "Of course, Captain" she nods


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