Obsidian Command

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Refractions: Let Me Help

Posted on 09 Jun 2024 @ 3:00pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Senior Deputy Marshal: Sven-Erik Lofthammer - FMS
Edited on on 09 Jun 2024 @ 7:12pm

Mission: M4 - Falling Out
Location: Pathfinder - en route to the station
Timeline: MD25
1578 words - 3.2 OF Standard Post Measure

They took a working lunch in the Security office. It wasn’t a full blown meal, but Calliope had a cup of soup to cradle while she watched Sven wolfing down a hot open roast beef sandwich smothered in mushroom and onions.

“It’s been a very eventful patrol.” Calliope was working through a whole host of feelings. “These two could be the next stage in unraveling what the hell happened to the station in the first place. If that all-too-convenient Void Space Event was orchestrated, these two were probably connected.” Calliope was looking at a series of mugshots of Tergosa and Sh’azikress garnered over the span of their careers.

“No need to crack it this instant, Commander. They’re going to be easy to find after they’ve been convicted for the act we’ve just caught them at red-handed.”

“It’ll be so much easier if one or the other would sing the whole song.”

“Easier. But what fun would that be? You’ve already got so many of the pieces. We can put this together.”


“Sure. This is my case, too. Jurisdiction whatnots.” He said around another forkful he had sawn off the sandwich.

Calliope considered as she fanned her soup. It might be nice to have someone else to bounce the details off of. Maybe a second brain would help to turn up some more firm connections and eliminate some dead ends. At any rate, the investigation was just one of many she’d shelved to address her own recovery. She’d been afraid they were all going to grow cold. Now the lead was fresh again. Maybe it was better she wasn’t piecing it and chasing it down on her lonesome. Lofthammer was a pro at this sort of thing, after all– tracking down suspects, collecting evidence, and going after criminal hierarchies. He might not be the only one, however; now that she didn’t just have a bunch of unproven analysis and there were flesh and blood prisoners at hand– literally in her brig to lend credence and possibly testimony, there might be new interest. “As long as Starfleet Security or Intel doesn’t come and snatch the whole thing. I'm likely as not to get shut out of it.”

“You already filed your findings?”

“Yeah,” she said, knowing that fact was obvious from the access history on the records.

“And nobody’s showed to take it over yet.”

“Not a peep.”

“Probably they won’t. If they do, you'll know when the records you made get locked out and there's a transfer of case officer on the header.”

“But I assembled all of the research myself.” She had a lot more, a file on each one of the missing prisoners who had escaped the station two and a half years ago. And many more personas of interest. Anything she could get a hold of that looked connected to the Void Space Event. Profiles including any whiff or suggestion of them before or after they had last been in custody. And now they had lucked out and netted two suspects in connection. “What sense would it make to transfer the cases?”

“Major attack on the 9th Fleet's key sky fortress? They probably have their own people on it, already. It would just be absorbing yours.” Lofthammer licked his fingers clean and considered the Commander. She was a good enough investigator, even if it wasn’t her typical assignment. He wasn’t really sure what her typical assignment was, actually. She wasn’t a science brain or a tactical type. She didn’t seem to have an engineer’s bent or a pilot’s flair. Actually, she had a touch of everything, but nothing quite in spades. He pegged her for being Operations trained, non technical... logistics and personnel, probably... “Might also find yourself in a Fleet Security debrief about the encounter with Nazar.”

“Yeah.” She took a sip of her soup. “A captured Defiant? No doubt the brass has their antenna up for info on that lot.”

“You thought about taking some extra precautions?”


“Extra security.”

With a flick of her wrist, Calliope waved off the idea. “I work on starships and bases. How much more security can anyone get?”

“I was assigned as protection to Marshal Steiner on OC.”

“Really? Marshals babysitting Marshals?”

“Happens all the time. We watch each others’ backs. Steiner made some powerful enemies. When they want to put the hurt on, or something worse, those sorts of people can weasel into even the most secure locations.”

Calliope frowned. She thought about the hassle it had been for Corvus with her Marine shadow assigned to her protection. And the absolute drama it had become since there were feelings involved with them as well. “I don’t need somebody standing watch.”

Something told Sven the Commander wouldn’t appreciate it if he kept insisting. Quietly he decided to keep tabs on her himself. Seeing as Steiner was off on some other mission, it left Sven open to another protection job, even if no one was technically assigning him. “What about your family? Parents? Any siblings? Your husband?”

“Ex-husband,” she clarified, then clarified her clarification. “Soon to be.” She muttered into her soup, “Hopefully he’s signed the paperwork by now.”

“Nazar’s cell is not going to care what you call him, if they think they can get to you by getting to someone you care about in any capacity.”

“I’ll get a message out to Lance’s new commanding officer. He’s in custody right now anyway until they clear him for whatever nonsense he got into. They’ll have to decide if it changes anything.”

“Good. Parents? Any brothers and sisters?”

“Just my mom. She’s on Norvex.” At the name, Calliope saw him grimace and heard him suck air through his teeth. “What?”

“There’s definitely some shady people on that colony. Syndicate doesn't even have to send their own. Bribery, threats... they can get their dirty work done via the worst of the worst.”

“Tell me about it.” A dark cloud came over her countenance and her voice dropped with her mood. “I grew up there. Met a few worsts.”

“What are the chances you can convince your mother to come out to the station to visit while we figure out what the real threat level is?”

“She’s got friends… and her dogs to care for. Plus she works. I don’t know if she’s going to like the prospect of leaving her job for very long.”

“What’s she do?”

“Starfleet recruiter.”

"Oh man," Lofthammer huffed, amused. “You never stood a chance.”


“You like investigations, you’ve got a hot blooded streak, you're into high stakes situations…" He ticked each off on his fingers. "I was gonna get around to asking you why you went for the Space Navy when there’s so many other specialized branches, agencies, and private outfits that would've been as good a fit, maybe better. Now I know.”

“Starfleet was my dream.” Calliope bristled. “My mom didn’t have to talk me into it. And I’m not ‘into’ high stakes situations.”

“Pardon my saying.”

“They just find me.”

“You just put yourself in a position for them to find you.”

“This is my job.” Of all people, he ought to understand. But he was sounding like Corvus now. “You think I go asking for trouble?”

“I think you’ve made a career out of it, yeah.” He looked her in the eyes, gauging the way she was resisting the assessment. It was like she was of two minds about it. But he wasn’t gonna lie. She’d have to own it herself, sooner or later. “I think you’re into daring trouble to come closer so you can give it an ass whoopin. And if I was trouble I might think twice. I’d think three times if you showed up with a posse. Makes you a dangerous Commander.” He rubbed his lips clean with a paper napkin. “Give me everything you’ve been working on investigations wise, besides just Sh’azikress and Tergosa– all of the profiles and timelines I'm gonna bet you’ve been building– let me see if I can use the Marshals office database and paint in some of the picture. And let me help you keep your mom out of danger of retaliation. It’s what I do.”

Calliope sat locked into the blue-eyed stare for a long pause. Sven was saying the same things Corvus did about her, but not quite the same way. She couldn't decide if he was criticizing her or complimenting. both? or neither. Maybe it was just the lack of baggage, not having a long friendship and the burden of feelings of betrayal over her abuse of the drugs she’d been on… Maybe it was because he didn’t have to answer for her actions to the brass Like Corvus had had to worry about. There was all that. But more... It was that he wanted to take on the problem with her. He wanted to get busy catching the bad guys and taking her seriously.

She finished her cup of soup, tipping it up for the last of the seasonings in the bottom and then coughing when the pepper flavor hit. “Okay,” she said hoarsely into her napkin.


“Yeah, okay.”


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