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First Mission, Part II

Posted on Mar 14, 2017 @ 2:01am by Chloe Nielsen
Edited on on Mar 14, 2017 @ 7:47pm

Mission: Section 31

“First Mission, Part II”
(contd from ‘First Mission, Part I’)

Location: Tycho city, LUNA
SD: [2.17] 0131.2155
Scene: Restaurant, Earthrise Hotel
TI: October, 2428

A Ktarian woman was approaching the entrance, carrying a tray in her hand, holding a bottle of wine and two glasses. She stopped, next to a human woman, dressed rather elegantly in a dark blue dress and hair loose over her shoulders, leaning against the pillar. The Ktarian, balancing the tray with both hands, leaned closer to the other woman and whispered in her ear, “He’s at the bar. Alone.”

“A perfect time to introduce myself.” The human fixed her gaze forward at the bar, pulling a strand of brown hair behind her ear. There he was, her target, seated at the far corner of the bar – all alone. That wasn’t surprising, the reason was all over the news. Turning to the waitress, she said, “I’ll handle this. Keep an eye out for any reporter, most likely staked out here to get some scoop on him. If you spot any, find a way to distract them away from us.”

“Understood.” The Ktarian moved away to a table, where a Bajoran couple sat.

Chloe made her way across the room to the bar and took an empty seat, next to a tall, dark haired man. In his hand was a glass of swirly, blue liquid. She looked ahead and smiled at the bartender approaching, a young, humanoid male with ginger coloured hair. “And what can I get you tonight?”

“A glass of sparkling water,” she ordered.

“Coming right up.” The bartender left to get her drink.

Chloe gazed up at the large viewing screen, where Fedcom was running its umpteenth run of the Henry Dhillon story, the former POW of the Second Dominion War, whose miraculous escape from the Dosi, had made him an overnight sensation in the Federation. He first went missing, believed to be killed in action in 2423, when his starship, USS SAN MARINO exploded, during an ambush by a taskforce of Dominion ships. At the time of destruction, Henry was the ship’s flight control officer. He was missing for five years, where he was first a POW at a Dominion camp, later abducted and sold into slavery by Dosi pirates.

Prior to his disappearance, Dhillon’s career was nothing exemplary, just an average officer with some commendations in his three years as Starfleet officer. After being cleared for duty, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander, which made sense, since he was due for a promotion before his disappearance. But what surprised and even rankled many officers in Starfleet was his assignment as ExO of the USS CAMELOT, a long range exploration vessel so soon after his reinstatement as an officer. Not to mention his less than stellar record, when there were more deserving officers, including CAMELOT’s own second officer, expected to get the job.

Nielsen got a report from a source in the Operations department, which mentioned Dhillon was given the position against the CAMELOT CO’s wishes. The CO, apparently, requested her Ops chief be made the ExO and tried to talk Command into assigning Dhillon to the vacant Flight Control Officer post but her proposal was rejected.

“Here you go, ma’am.” The bartender placed the glass in front of her. “Let me know if you need anything else.”

“Thank you.” Chloe nodded, lifting the glass to take a sip.

“Hello, are you here by yourself?”

The intel agent put her glass down and turned in her seat, her gaze meeting that of a man, who could potentially be a traitor. She produced a smile, a fake one. “No, I’m waiting for my date, who is running late.”

“I’m sure he will show up…otherwise he is a fool,” Dhillon said, pausing for a moment, “to stand up a beautiful woman like yourself. I know I wouldn’t have.”

“He’s probably delayed somewhere.” She shrugged, sipping her drink again. “So, are you alone or waiting for someone?”

“Alone. Actually….” He was interrupted, when someone called out and glanced behind, spotting a male Ferengi, whose eyes were fixed on the newly minted ExO. “Can I help you?” He asked in a voice filled with annoyance.

“Yes,” the Ferengi said. “I’m Bofez from the Pandora Enquirer.”

Chloe muttered, rolling her eyes, only peeking behind, “Tabloid reporter.”

“Leave me alone.” Dhillon glared at the diminutive being.

But like all pushy members of the Paparazzi, Bofez pressed on, “Is it true your wife cheated on you with another man?”

“No comment.” Dhillon turned his back to him.

“How did you find out?” Bofez asked. “Did you catch them in bed together? A shame, isn’t it? You had this daring escape, eager to see your family again and for your wife to do this terrible thing to you. Must really suck, does it?”

Dhillon’s wife, Saritha was a high ranked medical officer at the rank of full Commander and renowned for her contributions to the medical community. Saritha was in a serious relationship with another man, a fellow officer, for over a year before Dhillon returned. For a while, Henry and Saritha tried to make their marriage work and from viewing the Fedcom coverage, one thought they were this happy couple, united after so many years but the truth was something else entirely. Saritha was pretending to keep up the appearance of the happy wife, thrilled to have her husband back for their children’s sake. Eventually, a reporter from Fedcom discovered Saritha and her partner, now her fiancé, secretly meeting and exposed them, allowing her to file for divorce.

“Okay, that’s it.” Henry shot up, clenching his fists but before he took another step, the Ktarian waitress returned, standing in between him and the reporter.

“Sir.” Her voice was firm, addressing Bofez. “You are causing a disturbance so I ask you to leave.”

“You can’t do that, you weak female.” The Ferengi smirked. “I’m a paying customer and have every right to be here.”

“Well,” the waitress said, “you have been here for an hour and have yet to order and as per this establishment’s policy, you are to leave the premises immediately unless…you buy something.”

“I have every right to be here!”

“Then buy a drink at least.”

“No.” Giving her a toothy grin, he stroked the back of her hand, “But I can pay you to massage my earlobes.”

The Ktarian pulled her hand back from the Ferengi’s grasp. “Not in your life.” She grabbed his arm and dragged him towards the exit, the reporter yelling protests.

Dhillon exhaled. “Thank goodness for that.”

“I’m guessing you get that a lot,” the agent commented, taking another sip.

The dark haired man sighed. “More than I’d like. Never thought fame has its downsides. I get so many messages and calls from the press, asking for a quote or an interview and it is just so overwhelming.” He let out another sigh. “Can’t wait to finally take off on my new assignment. At least in the uncharted regions of space, there won’t be paparazzi waiting at every corner to pounce on me.” He gulped down his drink and exhaled. “And the worst part is how those vultures are stalking my soon to be ex-wife and my kids who don’t even understand what’s going on.”

The blonde-turned-brunette nodded, giving him an assuring smile. “You know what you need is someone to manage the press for you, leaving you time to focus on your career.”

Dhillon pondered for a moment before his mouth curled into a smile as he fixed his gaze on her. “That’s not a bad idea. I will start finding someone.”

“Actually, it so happens I work in public relations and do this kind of stuff all the time. So if you’d like, I can be your PR rep and handle all communications with the press, filtering in those that will help with your profile.” Dhillon might get irritated with paparazzi hounding him for gossip but the man as she had found from viewing his interviews, enjoyed the fame and attention, well he was one of the go to guys, when Starfleet public relations needed a face to put in their recruitment holovids and other promotional material.

“Okay,” he said without hesitation. “I’m hiring you as my PR rep effective immediately.”

“Thanks, I’ll get working right away.”

“Oh.” He grinned. “I didn’t catch your name.”

“Emily Danvers,” Chloe said, extending her hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Commander Dhillon.”

“Henry is fine.” His smile grew wider as they shook hands but Henry lingered for a moment before he let go of her hand.

“My date’s here,” the agent informed, when a tall, young Bolian man strolled next to them, an awkward expression as he offered her, his hand. She stood up, accepting the blue man’s hand. “I’ll contact you later with some details.”

“I’m glad we met, Ms. Danvers,” Dhillon said. “Enjoy your evening.”

“You too and call me Emily. Ms. Danvers is too formal.” She left the bar with the Bolian as they were escorted to a booth by the Ktarian at the far corner of the room. When no one was in hearing range, since the booth before them was empty, Chloe said, “That went better than expected.”

“Yeah,” the Ktarian said, grinning. “From my vantage point, he seemed quite taken in with you.”

Chloe turned to the Bolian officer. “You did well as my awkward date.”

The bald man blinked. “I wasn’t pretending. I get very awkward around women in these…settings, it’s why I’m not getting chosen as a co-husband.”

The Canadian raised an eyebrow. “We’ve known each other for three years and you have never been awkward around me before.”

“That was…in professional settings.” The agent’s cheeks flushed a darker shade of blue.

“Anyway, Sprinkles,” Chloe said, her gaze on the Bolian, addressing him by his code name, “You’ll take point, handling all communications from the press and filter out the useless gossip.”


“Yes, you’re my assistant.”

The Bolian sighed. “Okay then. What about Jewel?” He glanced at the Ktarian agent, who went by the code name ‘Jewel’.

“I will act as a member of the CAMELOT crew in the Operations department,” the Ktarian answered, giving him a smile.

Chloe nodded at her two fellow agents. A small team of three assembled for this operation – to find whether Lt. Commander Dhillon betrayed the SAN MARINO crew by relaying information to the Dominion, which led to the ship’s destruction. Words of a dying Andorian pilot mentioning a traitor from the SAN MARINO, surviving the explosion and Chloe’s own analysis of how Dhillon’s story of leaving the ship, his years in captivity and escape from the Dosi didn’t add up, spurred this operation. The mission was off the books with no one except Commander Hernandez aware of it and only if or when she obtained any concrete evidence, the higher ups would be notified.

Location: Spacedock
Scene: Civilian quarters
TI: Four months later

“So what do you think, Chloe?” The Ktarian glanced at her fellow officer.

Chloe sighed, standing behind the other agent. “This conversation as brief as it is should cast suspicion on Dhillon’s loyalties to Starfleet but it is not enough to nab him.” She let out a sigh of frustration. “I mean he was in contact with a Neo-Essentialist captain, who promised him career advancement if he completed this one task, which doesn’t really connect him to the SAN MARINO’s destruction but it will show he isn’t very forthcoming and that more investigation is warranted.”

“Well, I couldn’t recover the entire file from the archived communications logs, so retrieved only part of the conversation.” She had a look of dismay in her black eyes.

“How is the decryption to Dhillon’s holovid coming along?”

The Ktarian exhaled a sigh of frustration. “I have handled complicated encryption protocols before but this is just beyond my capabilities. I will need assistance.”

Nielsen furrowed her brow. She had downloaded the encrypted holovid from Dhillon’s computer in his quarters, while he was off ship for an interview with the press. Agent ‘Sprinkles’ went with him on her behalf as assistant, giving her the opportunity to snoop. Thanks to her phony close relationship with Dhillon, she had permission to come aboard the CAMELOT anytime she wanted as long as she avoided the restricted areas. Chloe never really ventured around the ship and only headed straight for either his office or quarters. With ‘Jewel’ undercover as one of the crew, Chloe had someone on the inside to monitor all of Dhillon’s activities in the ship, including his communications. For the past four months, the CAMELOT was benched for repairs and upgrades, which was soon to be completed from what the Ktarian told her.

“Alright, Anjel, I’ll allow one person whom you absolutely trust and someone who won’t rat us out to others.”

“I know just the person.” Lieutenant Anjel Puw turned to face her screen. “We definitely know Dhillon didn’t encrypt it himself.”

“No.” Nielsen nodded. “He has an ally in intel, who apparently is an expert on encryption, which is why we can only include persons we trust.”

“So is he a Neo-Essentialist?” The Bolian agent asked, having just entered the room.

Chloe turned to the new arrival. “Well Arbard, he has acquaintances with Neo-Essentialist leanings but he’s not one.” With contempt in her voice, she added, “Dhillon’s only out for himself, I’m certain of that. He doesn’t believe in anything but has a deep desire for power and adulation. He will ally with or betray someone if it helps with his career advancement.” She made her way towards the door. “I’ll be right back. Just need to take a walk to clear my head.” As the door slid shut, Chloe heard Anjel whispering to her colleague about how the Canadian woman often needed to clear her head and sounded worried.

Scene: Corridor

Nielsen walked down the empty corridor at a hurried pace and turned around a corner into a small hallway. There were no quarters in this area. Waiting by the wall was a young, human male with light skin. This man wore a dark grey hoodie, baggy, black pants and a black beanie hat stood atop his nearly bald head. Chloe folded her arms and glared at him.

“Do you have it?”

“Of course I do,” the man replied in irritation. He rummaged through his hoodie pocket and pulled out a tiny, black pouch. His mouth curled into a sly grin as he handed it to her. “Something wrong? You have been running out faster than usual.”

“Not your concern, Vic,” Chloe said in a harsh tone, checking the bag. “Everything checks out.” She was given a handheld device and the agent promptly pressed her thumb on the screen. “There, you have your payment. As far as anyone is concerned, I bought a new pair of shoes from Victory Teas and Goods.”

“A pleasure doing business with you.” Vic tipped off his beanie at her and walked away.

Chloe sighed, watching him sneak behind another wall. The agent really needed the extra supply as she was growing very anxious and starting to lose focus in the last two days - any longer without it, she’d have begun undergoing serious withdrawal. The nightmares and pain from losses during the war worsened since the start of the operation so she was taking higher doses of the drug than usual. Dhillon and his miraculous return brought back painful memories from the war.

“Chloe, who were you talking to?” She was snapped out of her thoughts by a new male voice.

The Canadian turned around. Standing before her was a tall, human man with dark chocolate brown skin and black eyes that were narrowed. He wore the dark grey uniform, representing intelligence and three gold pips were pinned to his collar. “David, I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Who is that shady individual?” Commander David Hernandez asked in a polite tone.

Chloe responded with an off-hand remark, “He’s just a creep who hit on me at the bar and followed me here.”

“It’s not like you to allow creeps to follow you.” The Commander raised an eyebrow.

“Well, that one was persistent.” Chloe rolled her eyes. “So why are you here?”

David said, “I’ve informed Lieutenants Puw and Mackel about their new assignments.”

She gave him a look of disbelief. “But we’re not finished –“

“Oh yes you are, Chloe,” Hernandez said in a forceful tone. “I’m shutting down this op due to lack of any substantial evidence on Dhillon, effective immediately.”

“Actually if you just give me a little more time, then I will get the evidence because I am getting close.”

“You had four months and I have already notified my superiors. They are very displeased with the operation and ordered its termination. So, gather up all your evidence and close shop.”

The agent clenched her fists, though her voice was calm. “Where have you sent Anjel and Arbard?”

“Somewhere far from here, suitable for their kind,” he answered, which made the Canadian raise her eyebrow at the words ‘their kind’, odd considering Puw and Mackel served under him for three years and he thought highly of them. “I’m re-organizing our section with more suitable officers…more like you and me. There are changes abound in Starfleet, ones that will make us great again, Chloe and you should be part of this.” He added in a warning tone, “So as long as you let go of this thing with Dhillon, you will have a bright future here. You know what, I will even let you handle your operations in any way you see fit with barely any interference from me.”

There was a concerned look in her blue grey, well temporarily ‘bottle green’, eyes. Her CO was a Neo-Essentialist – the movement was bigger than she realized if they got to David and was he trying to recruit her? He was most definitely attempting to bribe her, which didn’t sit well with her. Now she had no one to trust as it was possible SFI was compromised.

Scene: Bridge -> CO’s Ready Room
TI: 1 week later

The doors parted, allowing Chloe to enter the bridge. The intelligence officer turned to her right and made her way across the room. As she passed the tactical station, a dark haired woman, her hair tied in a ponytail, with Asian features turned her head in the agent’s direction. Soon, Chloe heard the sounds of footsteps and glanced behind, narrowing her eyes. A security officer, from the yellow on her uniform, was following her. The two pips on her collar, one gold and the other hollow indicated the officer was a Lieutenant Junior Grade.

“Ms. Danvers,” the Asian officer said in a polite voice, apprehension shone in her eyes, “Commander Dhillon’s office is the other way.”

“I know,” Chloe said calmly, yet her demeanor gave off a tense vibe. “I’m actually here to see the Captain.” She sighed, watching the Lieutenant eye her with suspicion.

“About what?”

“That is confidential, Lieutenant…” Chloe knew her name but was just pretending not to as part of her cover.

“Jasmine Yu. Assistant chief of security and tactical.”

Of course it only just dawned on Nielsen, regarding Yu’s suspicion. Three days ago, there was an assassination attempt on the ship’s CO by the civilian spouse of a junior officer, both Neo-Essentialists but that information was classified. As she recalled from security reports, it was Yu who tackled the assassin and received a stab wound on her hand before he could reach the Captain. So Jasmine was only being protective but Chloe wasn’t going to be stopped from meeting the CO. “Look, Lieutenant Yu, it’s important I speak with your Captain as many lives are potentially at stake here.”

Jasmine raised an eyebrow. “Alright, you can talk to her.” When the intel agent took a step forward, Yu moved beside her. “But I’m coming with you.”

“Suit yourself.” She followed the aSec/Tac into the Ready Room. “Captain,” Jasmine greeted a Trill woman behind the desk. “Emily Danvers wants to speak with you.” She remained in attention as Chloe approached the desk.

Eyeing the intel officer, the Trill Captain spoke in a disdainful tone, “So, Ms. Danvers, what did you want to see me about? If it is to inform me that Commander Dhillon has yet another interview with the press and I am ordered by my superiors to not stop him, then you’re just wasting my time.”

Chloe nodded, expecting the negative attitude from the CO, who she knew, didn’t want Dhillon in the first place. From what Anjel told her, the Trill was very unhappy that command just ordered her to let Henry attend PR events for the good of Starfleet, which was BS in her opinion. “Captain Spankryz,” the agent began, “First of all, my name isn’t Emily Danvers and I’m not in public relations.” She noted the CO’s expression shift from contempt to interest. “Lt. Commander Chloe Nielsen from Starfleet Intelligence and I’m here to tell you that there may be a traitor amongst your crew.”

Anaqueen pursed her lips in a thin line. “Who? Do you have evidence?” She turned to Jasmine who looked worried but remained silent.

“Lt. Commander Henry Dhillon,” the agent promptly replied. “As for evidence, I’m still gathering them but what I have so far cast doubt on Dhillon’s loyalties.”

The Trill said, a hint of uncertainty in her voice, “Commander Nielsen, it’s common knowledge, I wasn’t in favour of Cmdr. Dhillon’s assignment as my first officer.” She lowered her voice so that only Nielsen could hear. “While I am unimpressed with his performance so far, very sub-par compared to my previous ExOs, I am not sure of making that leap to traitor, unless there is evidence.” Raising her voice to its normal level, Ana asked, “How about you start from the beginning, starting with verifying your identity and also why you are coming to me with this and not your immediate superior?”

“Very well, Captain.” Chloe nodded.
TI: 30 minutes later

“What do you want me to do, Commander?” Ana inquired, sighing out of frustration. “What you found places doubt on him, not to mention his connections with Neo-Essentialists but it’s not enough to declare him a traitor.”

“I know, Captain but if I’m given a little more time to break through the encryption for the holovid, I’m confident we will have the evidence.”

“Yet there is a chance it may amount to nothing and that your CO is right to end the operation.” In a voice filled with annoyance, Ana said, “Frankly, Commander. I’m highly displeased, you conducted a covert operation on my ship, using questionable, perhaps even illegal means to obtain information but then it is what I have come to expect from intelligence over the years. You do realize by coming to me you place your entire career at risk and I can order Lieutenant Yu to arrest you. So why do it?”

“The fact a 1000 lives on this ship may be at risk.” Chloe said, lowering her voice, “Plus doesn’t it concern you that high ranking officers are trying to stop this investigation at all costs. If they are so sure, he’s innocent, then why not let this operation continue till its natural conclusion?” She inhaled deeply, watching the Trill consider her words.

“Now….” Ana began, but got interrupted when the doors slid open and Commander Hernandez marched inside. The CO stood up, glaring at him. “Commander, I was in the middle of a meeting so you better have a good reason for barging into my office like that.”

“Sorry for the intrusion, Captain,” the intelligence officer said. “Commander David Hernandez from Starfleet Intelligence and Chloe Nielsen’s commanding officer.” He presented a PADD to the Trill, who quickly perused its contents, her expression souring. “You see, ma’am. Lt. Cmdr. Nielsen is a disturbed woman, suffering from medical and psychological afflictions. I’m here to escort her back to Earth, where she can get the necessary help.”

Chloe’s eyes widened in shock. David knew about her drug addiction but how? She was so careful. Her shock soon turned to anger as she narrowed her eyes.

The Trill shook her head. “Everything is in order. You can take her, Commander.”

Chloe’s expression darkened as she followed her CO towards the exit. The agent shot a sideways glance, making brief eye contact with Jasmine, whose expression was solemn before the Canadian was led out of the room.

Scene: Turbo lift -> Shuttle craft

Chloe argued, “Commander, I don’t have any afflictions….”

“Right and you take something from a creep who hit on you,” her CO shot back. “That same creep, whom you interacted with regularly in Toronto for years.” The blonde’s expression paled. “That’s right, I had you investigated and witnessed that whole exchange back at Spacedock.” He was boiling with anger. “I brought you into the fold, taught you everything needed to be an excellent field agent, trusted you to handle missions on your own, even defended your rather questionable decisions in the field to my superiors at the risk of my reputation.” He roared, slamming the wall. “And you lied to me by keeping your addiction secret for four years!”

But Chloe turned away from him and just listened to her boss ranting, while her mind wandered elsewhere.

When they were alone on a shuttlecraft to Earth, David ordered her to undergo both medical and psych evaluations at the nearest Starfleet Medical facility, where she would also go through a detox program. He also suspended her until notice, warning her to stay in her hometown, Toronto and that she was to not go near a transportation hub. Her suspension went on for weeks until late in February, she was called into HQ for a panel hearing, which ended in her arrest. After security guards escorted Chloe out of the conference room, they knocked the agent out and took her to a privately owned and illegally set up psychiatric facility in the Delta Quadrant. She remained there for a year until her escape in early 2430, when a taskforce of Starfleet vessels attacked the facility and destroyed it.

Location: Paris, EARTH
Scene: Under the Eiffel Tower
TI: 2431, 18 hours before Paris destruction

She was gone for over two years, only to find upon her return that Earth was run by a brutal dictator and apparently a mad man to boot as if anyone sane would install something so dangerous like the Aegis shield. Her beloved homeworld had changed so dramatically – Neo-Essentialists had come out of the woodwork and became the rulers. When Nielsen arrived on Earth, before Aegis was activated, she stayed in hiding for a while, not wanting to endanger her family. If the Neo-Essentialists knew she was alive, they’d have come after her. However, the blonde was beginning to have second thoughts, thinking maybe she should go to Toronto and make sure her mother, sister and niece were safe.

On the previous day, she received a mysterious communique from a person, claiming to see her urgently, a matter of life and death. At first, Chloe wanted to ignore the message, fearing it to be a trap but eventually curiosity took over and here she was in Paris, standing under the Eiffel Tower.

Her muscles tensed, a prickling sensation taking over her. Chloe slid behind one of the tower’s legs, slipping one hand beneath the sleeve of the other, clutching the hilt of a dagger. A figure appeared, unaware of her presence. The blonde felt a growing fury upon recognition of the individual, a man who looked weary and haggard looking. When he backed up a little near her, Chloe pulled out the knife and held it just before his throat.

“Hello David,” Nielsen greeted, not a hint of emotion in her voice.

“Chloe,” Hernandez said, his voice quivering – not the authoritative boss, she remembered. “I was happy to find out you were alive and here on Earth.”

“Did you ask me to meet you here?”

David gulped, eyeing the blade pressed against his throat. “Yes.”

“Why?” Anger began creeping through her calm voice. “To finish the clean job, when your assassin failed to do so at that facility? By the way, that assassin is now floating dead in space.” It was not until many months later that Chloe found out the assassin was a Section 31 agent and this information was given after she herself was recruited into the program.

“Clean job? No, Chloe…” He struggled, when the dagger touched his skin. “I didn’t order a clean. I never expected them to send you to that godforsaken facility. My superiors assured me you’d get help for your addiction and then maybe after an assessment, I thought perhaps I could bring you back into SFI, provided you pledged support to the Neo-Essentialist cause.”

“Are you blind? I’d never support the Neo-Essentialists unless it is to help bring them down.”

“I realize that now,” David said, his eyes downcast. “I was a fool to ever buy into Edgerton’s deceit and once I realized that, I changed sides.” He shifted his gaze to the side. “I’m on the run now. The Neo-Essentialists are hunting me down.”

“Why did you want to see me?”

“You were right,” her former CO declared in a low voice. “You were right all along about Dhillon.”

For a brief moment, Chloe was lost for words and moved her knife away from his throat, but still held it high. “How?” The former Neo-Essentialist turned around to face her. He pulled out a data crystal and placed it in her free hand. “What’s this?”

“Evidence to put Dhillon away,” he said. “That holovid, you and Lt. Puw were trying to crack. Well, I found someone who managed to decrypt the code and it was all there – Dhillon’s confession about his role in the SAN MARINO destruction. In addition to the holovid is evidence of his role in conspiring with Neo-Essentialists in a failed attempt to assassinate his CO, when the CAMELOT was on a mission.”

Chloe couldn’t believe her eyes – in her hand was the very evidence she desperately sought to expose Dhillon as traitor. In the last year, she was given an interesting piece of information from a loyalist officer, who used to serve on the CAMELOT. After Henry’s first mission as ExO, Captain Spankryz submitted a negative performance review, requesting his demotion from the post, including stating the man was unfit to hold a command position. Anaqueen never wrote a negative report about her ExOs before so Dhillon was the first to receive the dubious honour. But Starfleet Command gave her the finger by assigning Dhillon to command the USS COMMENDATION, a Century class battlecruiser, which Anaqueen used to run during the war.

“Chloe, I can get in touch with a contact in the fleet and we can present the evidence to the leaders,” David suggested. “They should at least strip him off his command.”

Nielsen shook her head. “No.”

“But it’s what you want, expose the traitor.” He furrowed his brow in confusion.

“Well, right now we are at war,” the agent said. “If the Neo-Essentialists win, Dhillon is screwed, can’t see Edgerton forgiving a man who rebuffed his invitation. Honestly, he was merely a puppet, like an empty suit, to be tossed aside, once they have no more use of him. But if the fleet wins, I’ll bring him down.” A few months after her escape from the facility, Chloe forced a confession out of a Neo-Essentialist commander, now dead, which debunked Dhillon’s story about escaping from the Dosi. The officer told her that he paid the Dosi for Henry’s release at his superiors’ orders and they cooked up the story about his daring escape.


“Look, I need to get to my family. I haven’t seen them for over two years and they probably think I’m dead,” she said. “If we all die, then I rather spend my last days with them.”

“I understand.” A moment later, he said, his eyes shifting downwards, “I’m sorry for everything.”

“Goodbye David.” She turned around, heading for the nearest transporter hub. That was the last time she saw him as many hours later, Paris was destroyed by a thaleron weapon and her former boss a victim of the disaster.

Location: Shikahr, VULCAN
Scene: Hotel room
TI: Present (2432)

Chloe leaned back in her chair, her breathing rapid and tossed the dermal regenerator aside. Her jacket was lying on the floor across the room. She glanced at her arm, the wound healed. After quickly clearing evidence of her presence at the crime scene, the Section 31 agent rushed back to the hotel, about ten minutes away. She had sneaked into her room through the hotel’s service entrance, making sure she was unseen. As soon as Chloe entered her room, she grabbed her bag, pulled out the dermal regenerator from the med kit. Good thing, it was a requirement for all Starfleet officers to take basic medical training at the Academy. She was thankful her injuries were minor enough to treat by herself without needing to go to a medical centre.

The agent stood up, realizing she needed to hurry as Dhillon had likely left Vulcan and headed over to her portable console, intending to hack into the spaceport system to access the travel logs. She’d have to go there to get security footage as they were stored on a different server, isolated from the main network. A flashing yellow light on the screen - an incoming call on a secure channel. Chloe tapped on a button and the screen flickered to the Section 31 insignia, which then changed to the stern face of the program’s administrator who didn’t waste any time, jumping straight to the point.

{{Barely into your first mission and already two people are dead,}} Georgia chastised, {{unnecessary deaths, if I might add.}} There was a hint of haughtiness in her words. {{Not to mention, the clumsy attempt at cleaning up the crime scene to remove evidence of your involvement. It’s a good thing, the local security concluded the two bodyguards killed each other in a quarrel over choice of ice cream, due to the presence of melted ice cream at the scene. Can’t believe they fell for a stupid reason. So you got lucky there.}}

“Well,” Chloe said in a nonchalant tone. “They did attack me first but I’m glad that’s all sorted out and I’m in the clear. Although, I can’t really guarantee, I won’t spill any more stupid bad guy blood. Not like I set out to do it.” She shrugged. “Stuff happens.”

Georgia’s expression soured further. {{Looks like your original plan failed, so I’m guessing you’re going to read those logs, which sounds like a trashy romance novel about a guy’s fantasies and obsession over a woman. If the man wasn’t a Captain, he sure could profit from pleasing sad and lonely women using those logs as inspiration. A central female character, based on you.}}

The blonde frowned, a little uncomfortable over the other woman’s comments. “I guess we all know what your guilty pleasure is, Georgia.” She produced a smug smile, when Campbell scowled. “Oh and by the way, the female character would be based on Emily, my fake persona, not me. Dhillon fell for my cover.”

{{And I guess it’s true intelligence agents make convincing actors,}} Georgia remarked, grinning. {{Anyway, just a reminder, you are due to check in again in 48 hours. Hope to see some progress. Base out.}}

“Pleasure talking to you, Miss Campbell,” the agent said, her voice filled with sarcasm. The screen shifted to an empty dark grey background.

A voice broke through the room’s intercom. [[Front Desk to guest in Room 605.]]

“Yes,” Chloe replied, walking over to a tiny panel on the wall. “How can I help you?”

[[You have a guest, waiting in the lobby for you.]]

The agent became concerned. Maybe the group didn’t believe security’s report and figured out she was the one who killed those goons. “Who wants to see me?”

[[He says his name is Harry Dhillon and is waiting right now in the lobby, tall, dark and handsome, looks like a holo-movie star. I figured out it’s you after he provided a holo of you to me.]]

“Alright,” Chloe said. “Tell him to wait. I’ll be right there.”

[[Okay.]] The channel was cut.

This was a surprising development. Dhillon hadn’t left Vulcan at all and now wanted to see her. Something wasn’t right and Chloe had an uneasy feeling about the meeting. Expecting a trap, she decided to meet him and prepared for that scenario.

But first she needed to change clothes and get rid of her current outfit. She eyed her pants with mild disgust, where dried up melted ice cream was found from that goon’s hand and some of her blood was on her top. So the waste reclamation for those clothes.

Scene: Hotel lobby

She entered the lobby, finding him sitting on an aqua blue velvet sofa, staring up at the ceiling, a look of uneasiness in his eyes. Chloe studied her surroundings, searching for a hidden goon, waiting to abduct her. She approached him, speaking in a voice, devoid of emotion. “Harry, what brings you here?”

Dhillon shifted his gaze to her, a tiny smile gracing his lips. “Thank you for seeing me, Emily. Or why don’t I just use your real name?”

“Emily suits me just fine,” she said in a flat tone.

After inhaling in a deep breath, Henry began, his expression filled with guilt, “I’m really sorry. I know it seems I betrayed you...again but I had no choice. I had to prove my loyalty to them…”

“Not here,” Chloe interrupted. “Let’s talk somewhere private.”

“Okay, where?”

“I need to deal with something first,” she said, turning around. “Be right back.” She headed to the reception counter and spoke with an Orion woman, out of Dhillon’s hearing distance. “I need to book another room, the least expensive one available, for one night.”

Looking over to Dhillon, the dark green skinned woman flashed a sly grin. “Of course.” A moment later, she informed, “Ms. Henstridge, I have a room with a double bed available now.”

“I’ll take it.” She then added before the receptionist touched her console. “And put the room under the name, ‘Emily Danvers’.”

“O…okay,” the Orion said, still grinning as she kept stealing a glance at Dhillon. “Done. Room number 321. Nice and cozy.” She directed her gaze to a panel. “Please enter an access code here.”

Chloe nodded as she inputted the access codes, different from Wilhelmina Henstridge’s room.

“All done,” the receptionist announced in a cheery voice, giving a little wink at Dhillon. “Enjoy and…you know I wish you humans weren’t so secretive of having more than one mate.”

But the Canadian just shook her head. She turned around and waved at the former Starfleet Captain. “Come on.”

Dhillon got up and followed her to the lift.

Scene: Emily Danvers’ room

“Alright, now we can talk without anyone overhearing us,” Chloe said, when they were already in the room. “Tell me why you’re here?”

“Okay,” Dhillon said, moving closer to her. “I’m glad to see you are alright. It’s a good thing those two bodyguards chose to fight each other over ice cream, instead of hurting you.”

“Well, they’re not goons for hire for nothing,” the blonde said with sarcasm.

Ignoring the agent’s obvious sarcastic remark, the former Starfleet Captain inhaled deeply. “I work for this group with no name and we made a deal. If I do this one job for them, then they will secure a one way passage far away from Federation space, where no one can find me.” He paused to take another breath. “All I had to do was procure a package from a Ferengi arms dealer, Phlozk and deliver it to them at Tycho city. And then when it’s done, I’d get my ticket out of here.” He sighed. “But when I was about to board the transport, one of the group’s henchman stopped me. He took me to the group’s head, known as The Leader, who waited in a hover car outside the spaceport. He changed the conditions of our deal.” He froze for a moment, struggling to speak the next word. “He wants me to release the bioweapon at a target of his own choosing, here on Vulcan.” There was a look of horror in his eyes.

Chloe deduced from his body language that he was not keen on unleashing the weapon into the population but she couldn’t feeling skeptical. “Is escape worth so much that you are willing to murder lives?” Her tone was harsh. “It’s no surprise, you did after all betray your own ship’s location to the Dominion.” The agent recalled the evidence she had uncovered during her op on Dhillon three years ago, where she discovered he had beamed on board the Dominion vessel, just minutes prior to the SAN MARINO’s destruction. She believed the fact that he was specifically chosen to be taken by the Dominion proved his guilt but apparently her superiors dismissed it as conjecture, claiming he was taken against his own will. But when she pointed out why he didn’t mention it in his report and instead lied that he took an escape pod, they just threw the agent’s addiction back at her.

Dillon was silent for a moment, guilt shone in his eyes. “I didn’t mean for the SAN MARINO to be destroyed. I thought they’d get reinforcements and didn’t expect none to aid them. I only did what they told me, provide information to the Dominion, get beamed on board their lead vessel and await a rescue mission from them, which never happened. They didn’t keep their word.”

Chloe knew who the ‘they’ were – Neo-Essentialists, whose intention was have the SAN MARINO destroyed to suit their propaganda needs. She discovered this piece of vital information from a recording of a communique between Dhillon and a person on the ACHERON, obtained when she and her team were given access to archived communication logs. There was one corrupted file, where most of the recording was recovered except the part mentioning the SAN MARINO. Chloe immediately recognized the individual, just from listening to her voice to be Captain Sophie Lovelace, who promised to make him, Ops chief and 2nd officer on the ACHERON if he did this one task but that never materialized. Considering his frustration at his own progress, Dhillon jumped at the chance without hesitation.

Dhillon continued, “But to answer your question. No, it’s not because I want to get out of here.”

“Then what?”

“They have my kids.”

“How?” Chloe raised an eyebrow, surprised at this latest development.

Dhillon sighed, his voice shaking. “If I don’t do this, they will kill my children.”

“How do you know they are telling you the truth?”

“I called my ex-wife and she told me our kids went missing. She was very frantic,” Dhillon answered. “They came here to Vulcan. Saritha and her husband have this medical conference, where she’s a keynote speaker. They decided to bring the kids along, since it was school break. When they disembarked today at spaceport, the kids were gone.”

“I’m sorry to hear,” Chloe said. The mission just got complicated. If Dhillon’s story was true, then two children were in danger.

“I’m meeting with The Leader later tonight and he will give me the weapon and the target location. He said once I’m done, my children will be freed the following evening.”

“And you believe him?”

“I have no other choice,” lamented the Captain. When Nielsen said nothing, he touched her hand. “I’m sorry it has to be this way. But when this is all over, I hope you will consider coming with me. I mean after what Starfleet did to you, I can’t imagine you wanting anything to do with them either. Neo-Essentialist or not, they are all the same, corrupt and only caring about their own political agenda. I know you want to leave all this behind and start afresh.”

Deep down, Chloe was reeling with a burning ire. The nerve of the man. All those assumptions. She remembered how it was a chore, faking a relationship with such a self-absorbed man during that op over three years ago. But she put on a mask over her real emotions and smiled. “It’s true. You are right about everything. I do want to get away.”

“That’s so wonderful,” Dhillon responded, his eyes brightening. “You won’t regret it, Emily…ah perhaps it’s time I know your real name.”

“It doesn’t matter. It will be Emily Danvers from now on,” the Canadian said, taking his hand in hers to display affection for him, all a pretense on her part at least. She wrapped a hand around his neck and pulled his head down towards her. As Dhillon was about to lean in to kiss her, the agent pulled back, taking her hand off his neck, much to the man’s dismay.

Noting the disappointment in Henry’s green eyes, Chloe smiled. “Don’t worry, we have all the time in the world.”

Dhillon sighed, making his way to the door. “I’ll call you once this is done and after I know the kids are safely back with their mom.”

“Can’t wait to hear from you,” Chloe said, waving as he left, the door sliding shut behind him. Sighing, she dug into the side pocket of her pants and pulled out a tiny device, pressing her thumb on it. The device came alive, sending off a bright, blue light - a holographic projection of the city appeared. Chloe’s eyes focused on a red dot moving. Dhillon was now in the lobby and heading out. During the embrace, she attached a tracker, a skin coloured patch, on the back of his neck. The tracker sent out his bio-signature, which would be captured by her thumb sized device. He’d lead her to The Leader. She then ran her fingers on the greenish blue sweater she was wearing and felt a miniature chip. A tracker. Dhillon managed to slyly attach one on her and it couldn’t be removed without tearing off the sweater. Fortunately for her, he was not a spy.

“Amateur,” she muttered, shaking her head in amusement. And what amused her further was he didn’t realize she was wearing double layers of clothing, slipping her fingers under the sweater, brushing against white fabric. She removed her sweater and tossed it on the bed – that should get rid of Dhillon’s tracker, fooling him to think Emily was in her room and never went out.

She headed out into the corridor and returned to her room.

Scene: Spaceport
TI: 20 minutes later

Chloe was at the arrivals area of the spaceport, bustling with travellers, going to and from Vulcan. Prior to coming here, she accessed the spaceport systems to check the travel log of Dhillon’s wife and her family. His story checked out. The family arrived three hours ago on a transport from Earth. She then checked the security reports and found Dhillon’s ex-wife filed a missing persons’ complaint that confirmed his children vanished from the spaceport. Now as to whether they were kidnapped, that was something she could verify from accessing the footage from the security holocams, which could only be done at the spaceport.

She turned a corner to enter a service corridor, where non-authorized personnel weren’t allowed. Chloe was to meet a former asset, who owed her for saving him from the Orion Syndicate and helping him relocate with a new identity. Now he was working in security at the Vulcan spaceport and agreed to help her. She spotted him at the end of the hallway – a tall humanoid man with a thin, long face, clean shaven with short, salt and pepper hair in a grey jumpsuit.

“I didn’t expect to be seeing you again,” the man, an El Aurian, said, giving her a tiny smile.

Chloe said, following him into another corridor, “I didn’t either but these are dire circumstances.”

They stopped in front of a door. The man inputted his codes and the doors slid apart. They entered a small control room, surrounded by consoles with a rectangular viewscreen facing them. “Look, I’m only doing this as a favour since if it wasn’t for you, I’d have been dead. If my bosses catch me, I’ll be fired. Worse, the Syndicate would find me.”

“I wouldn’t be coming to you if there was any other way,” the agent said, removing her sunglasses and dropped them into her jacket pocket. She gave him an apologetic look. “But some kids are missing.”

“Okay, the passcode is….”

“No, I’ll take it from here. You leave and return to your duties. I was never here.”

The El Aurian nodded. “Okay. Good luck.” He turned around and quickly walked away, the doors closing behind him.

Chloe moved to one of the consoles and began tapping some buttons. When the computer requested the passcode, the agent inserted a data crystal into an empty port. The computer announced that the passcode was accepted and gave her access into the system. “Computer, bring up the files from today.” At her command, the screen displayed a list of files, organized by location, then by date and time. “Computer, open file GateC43-320131-1101.” The screen shifted from the list to the footage of Gate C43, where people were spotted, exiting the gate. There they were, a human woman of Indian heritage and her family arriving and stopping in the waiting area. She watched Saritha and her husband, a Human/Bajoran hybrid, stepping away, speaking with an attendee, while the kids, a girl of thirteen and a boy of nine, sat down on the bench, both having light brown skin, showing their mixed Indian and European heritages.

Chloe spotted the boy saying something to his sister, who nodded. The two got up and left the waiting area. They were headed towards an ice cream stand. A human woman approached them, while they were waiting in line. She had light, brown hair and was talking to the children. Chloe leaned closer, having difficulty making out her facial features. The Canadian frowned, seeing the children following the woman, when she led them away and then they disappeared. “Looks like I may have found the kidnapper,” she said. “Computer, download file to data crystal.” She needed to further analyze the file and identify the woman. After the file was downloaded, Chloe removed the crystal, ordered the computer to exit the database and left the room.


Scene: Hotel room

Chloe sighed, leaning back in her chair and checked the tracker. Dhillon was somewhere in the city centre and had been there for the past two hours. She turned her attention to the computer screen, displaying the Starfleet Security logo. The agent had gained remote access into the Starfleet Security system with the help of an asset there. Chloe opened the facial recognition program. She uploaded the spaceport footage into the computer and ran it again, this time stopping at the mysterious woman, who abducted the children.

“Run facial recognition.” She sat back, her gaze on the screen, split in two – on the left side was the uploaded image and on the right, the screen was flipping through possible matches at rapid speed. Then the computer stopped on an image of a haggard looking woman with long, flowing, light brown hair with narrowed green eyes. She was a human of European descent. Chloe’s eyes moved to the details below the image. Karin Porter. 41 years old with a criminal record, comprising of assault, kidnapping, theft and smuggling. A busy woman, Chloe thought, shaking her head. She raised an eyebrow, when her eyes fixed on something on the screen. Karin’s current occupation was listed as t docks manager for RR Farming Ltd. Odd. The company was based on Earth. A docks manager, who lived and worked on Earth, suddenly showed up on Vulcan, making contact with two children. A few years in prison hadn’t taken Porter away from crime, more like she was addicted to it.

“Time to access the security footage and see where Karin went and whom she met.” The next thing she did was access the security holocams, installed all over the city. After a few minutes, she found the footage of Karin walking through a street but no sign of the children. Where did they go? She checked more footage and found none with the kids. The agent concluded they could have left the spaceport through a way where there were no holocams and got into a hover car. Chloe leaned forward, something in the footage capturing her interest. Karin was waiting in front of a huge gate with glimpses of the desert behind, speaking with a man, dressed in a uniform.

She pulled out the tracker from her jacket pocket and checked the display map - Dhillon was on the move. He had already left the city centre and was headed towards the edge of the city. The red dot halted, then moved a little and disappeared. The agent’s eyes widened. “Where did he go?” She checked her device and found it was working just fine. Maybe Dhillon entered an area, where they installed sensor masking devices. She growled in frustration. Her target seemed to have vanished into thin air.

“I know what his location was before vanished,” she said. The Canadian checked the map and retraced Dhillon’s route. His last location before he disappeared was at the western edge of the city, near the desert. Correlating with the footage of Karin, Chloe believed Dhillon’s location was the same one where the children were held.

Scene: Western edge of city -> Private compound

The agent stood before a tall, wide, titanium gate and beyond it a large mansion, surrounded by desert. A gated compound, which meant Dhillon was likely inside and it didn’t surprise her that sensor blockers were installed to prevent anyone from spying on them. A perfect hideout for a criminal organization. She glanced around her surroundings – no guards around and the immediate area contained a few small buildings, made out of rock, here and there and they were about twenty feet apart. A sparsely populated section of the city. Now if only she could find a way inside. The place was heavily guarded, making it nearly impossible to enter.

A whirring sound was heard behind her and Chloe smiled, turning around to face a hover car. Her way in. She spotted through the forward window, a humanoid man driving the vehicle, which stopped inches from her position. Nielsen noted his outfit, comprising of a thick, black vest with the letters RR in red inscribed on its left side and a white helmet covering his head. She waved at him, briefly adjusting her hair, let down as she usually preferred. The car stopped before her and the window on the driver’s side lowered. The man popped his head out and his mouth curled into a wide smile.

“Hey, what’s a beautiful lady like you doing all the way out here?”

Chloe leaned forward, her one hand on the car’s dashboard and returned a friendly smile. “I’m kinda lost. See, I and my girlfriends were walking in this part of the neighborhood, sightseeing and I got separated from them. I’m trying to meet up with them at the ‘Desert’s Edge’ resort and lost my way.”

The man’s eyes lit up. “Hey,” he offered, not taking his eyes off her. “How about you hop in with me and I’ll take you to the resort, though first I need to drop the car in the compound ahead and then I can walk you there.”

This was easier than expected and Chloe nodded. “Sure.” She walked around to the other side and got inside the car, next to the driver. The hover car resumed moving and began slowing down as it approached the gate. It stopped for a moment, the driver lowering the window and sticking his face out. The agent noticed some type of retinal scan instrument, directed at his left eye. The man pulled away from the scanner and ordered the window closed. That meant they were cleared to enter. Chloe looked through the window and saw the car was heading for the parking area, where other hover cars stood in their spaces. The hover car reached an empty slot and pulled inside, heading to a complete stop.

“Well,” the driver announced in a cheerful voice as if he was going to score something. “Here we are.” He twisted his body a little to the side, eagerness in his eyes. “So, shall we do it in the front or the back?”

The blonde woman feigned a smile as she slid closer to him, pretending to share the same desire as him but then she suddenly wrapped her left arm around the back of his neck and her right elbow pressed on the front, pushing his head back. Caught by surprise at her sudden move, he struggled against her grip and kicked the floor with his feet. He then slowly managed to twist himself forward, inching his hand close to the window but the agent held onto him, lifting her legs to around his waist. He croaked, “Lower…window.” The window lowered slightly and he stretched his hand outward.

“Raise window,” Chloe ordered, using her full body weight to not let go of the man’s neck. The window raised, jamming his hand against the top. The man grit his teeth, when the agent pressed her elbow over his windpipe. She held onto him for a little longer until she felt his body limp and his eyes closing. She released him once he was unconscious and let his body lean against the back of the seat, his head slightly over the top. Sighing, she removed his helmet and the belt, holding the blaster, off him and dropped them behind her. She next proceeded to take off his vest and placed it next to the other items. She pulled up her hair and held it with one hand, grabbing the helmet with the other.

Scene: Outer section of Private Compound -> Inner section

It was a good thing the man was on the slender side but still the agent found the vest a little big for her comfort - well beggars couldn’t be choosers. Chloe strolled at a casual pace, moving past an inner gate into a courtyard, leading to the main building. She paused, studying the area. She needed to hurry – that driver wasn’t going to be unconscious for long, which was also why she had him tied up and gagged with the car locked.

Two humanoid females, wearing similar garbs, walked past her, having loud conversations. Chloe observed one of them to be very slender, an inch or two shorter than her, chatting animatedly with her companion. The agent noted the creases on her forehead – a Bajoran. The other woman, while the same height as the section 31 agent, was heavier, a larger frame, packed with a lot more muscle and from spotting the ridges on her face, Chloe realized the woman was part-Klingon.

“Oh those annoying brats.” The Bajoran guard growled under her breath. “Why are we stuck taking care of them?”

The half-Klingon woman grunted. “I should be hitting something.” They turned around a corner at the side of the building.

Chloe shot another glance to make sure no one was looking and made her way in the direction those guards went.

Scene: Back of the building, pool area

Chloe stood behind a wall, studying her immediate surroundings - a large rectangular pool, where a lone, humanoid male was swimming back and forth. Beyond the pool was a small hut, the two female guards coming out from there. Using her sunglasses, she zoomed in on the pool house to look for any signs of the children. The agent sighed. Too far. She needed to get closer to check and avoid running into the guards. The two women were loud, making it easier for the blonde to listen to what they were saying without getting close.

“Those awful brats,” the Bajoran complained, strolling towards the pool. “Especially the girl. So rude. I should take her out and smack her as that should teach her a lesson to learn to respect her elders.”

The agent smiled – there was her confirmation the kids were inside the pool house. She was going to break them out, while the guards were distracted, which to her fortune, was the case. Chloe watched the half-Klingon pat her fellow guard’s back, gesturing at the swimmer. Now the Bajoran was heard making lewd comments about the man in the pool, regarding his various physical attributes. Perfect for Chloe, the swimmer was present, making her job easier.

As the two guards’ backs were to her now, Nielsen stepped out from behind the wall and moved at a casual pace as if she belonged there towards the pool house. As she approached the hut, the Klingon hybrid, her back still to her, moved away, commenting on the size of the man’s swimwear. A good thing for the agent that the guards’ focus was on their mutual admiration for the swimmer’s body and were so distracted that they missed her passing them by and entering the pool house.

Ranjani S.
Writing for

Chloe Nielsen
Section 31 Agent


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