"Spooks" Aren't Just For Halloween
Location: USS Eclipse - Intelligence Office
Cassandra decided it was time to check in with the ship's resident "spook". Those who worked in Intelligence were an asset to any ship assigned to the more volatile areas of the quadrant as they had access to information from sources outside of the confines of Starfleet and the UFoP. That being said...they unnerved Cassandra because she couldn't read them as easily as she could the run of the mill law breaker. They were trained to be unreadable.
"The Cave", as Intel Officers lovingly referred to their department, was un-accessable to anyone below a Level 4 security clearance...so very few people knew what was actually in "the Cave", was on Deck 14B. The Chief's Office was on 14A...outside of "the Cave" so anyone could have access to the CoI or ACoI. Cassandra walked down the corridor, smiling and nodding to those she passed. She walked up to the door of the office and rang the chime, then stepped back so the camera could get a clear view of who wanted entry.
Taavis, not expecting guests, brought her head up from her screen and looked to the door. "Come."
Cassandra walked through the door and grinned at the Vulcan. "Hello, Lieutenant Taavis. Sorry for the impromptu visit but I just wanted to see how things are going for you since you came aboard," she said, helping herself to a seat in front of Taavis's desk.
As the Executive Officer entered Taavis stood out of respect, and once the Commander sat down she did the same. "All is agreeable, Commander Quinn. I thank you for your concern, and the visit."
"What do you think of the new computer system?" Cassandra asked. Making small talk with a Vulcan was definitely a challenge. One she was going to have to get used to as XO.
"The computer systems are more advanced than before," responded Taavis. "User interface is simpler, with the holographs making a profound difference in response times. The system is also hardened in places, preventing external sub-routines from completely overrunning the core and therefore shutting down the entire ship." She stopped a moment, eyes cast at her desk top a moment, then looked back up. "Pardon my manners, Commander. Would you care for a beverage?"
"No thank you," Cassandra said with a smile. "I understand there is going to be a new encryption interface being installed to Intel's communications array. That should come in handy," she said, "as well as a portable database in case we have to evacuate the ship."
Tavvis gave a nod. "The new encryption interface has been implemented. However, I have reservations when it comes to new systems. As has been proven too often in history, with new technology and fancier programming, there are always glitches that need to be sussed out. We will make sure that is not the case."
"So how did you get interested in Intelligence?" Cassandra asked, sitting back and relaxing.
"In my youth I served with the Vulcan Ministry of Security," answered Taavis. "My twin sister and I worked in conjunction, causing confusion as we tracked down and recovered wayward agents. When not on assignment I preferred to work on Vulcan archaeology, which led to a stint in the Vulcan Science Academy. It added to my security and intelligence duties knowing how to do the forensics firsthand." Taavis placed her arms on her desk top and folded her hands together. "Being half Romulan, I also took it upon myself to assume a false identity, to better understand what it meant to be a Romulan. In that, my infiltration techniques were honed. So, I have chosen to continue in the field of Intelligence."
"Forensics?" Cassandra said. "I didn't see that in your record. I have been trying to get Starfleet to send me a Forensic Officer. So far we haven't needed one but in this business you never know and I would hate to need someone and not have them. Unfortunately, Starfleet is on the hurry up and wait system and...well...you know."
"It is the way of things," Taavis agreed. "In an organization as large as Starfleet some ideas and needs get overlooked for what is 'important'. As for the forensics it is a part of the baseline sciences I studied, and continue to work on in my spare time. I am Vulcan, after all, so it is a logical direction to steer my intellect."
"Steer your intellect," Cassandra repeated, thoughtfully. "Never heard it put like that before."
Taavis gave a slight nod. "Previous working relationships have broadened my way of speaking, not to mention it is a good idea to have various mannerisms in my current posting. My position is tenuous, at best, since I am the acting Chief of the department. While here I will do my best, of course."
Cassandra nodded. "Of that I have no doubts," she said, standing up. "Please....let me know if you have any problems with the new encryption system. I'd like to get bugs fixed while we're still on station."
Standing with her Executive Officer, Taavis came around her desk and extended a hand, an ever-so-slight grin appearing in the left corner of her mouth. "I thank you for the visit, Commander. If we have issues Command will be the first to know."
Cassandra smiled. "I look forward to Security and Intel working together," she said, giving the Lieutenant's hand a quick shake. With that Cassandra left the office and headed to her next destination.
CDR Cassandra Quinn
Acting Chief of Intelligence