A Chat With "Auntie"
Posted on Tue Jun 4th, 2019 @ 6:04pm by Crewman "Panda" (true name unknown) "Conn" (real name unknown)
Search and Rescue - USS Eclipse & USS Sovereign
Location: Panda Conn's Quarters
Timeline: Previously (but closer to current)
Panda Conn's quarters were as exotic as the rest of his personality. Rare and exotic art hung on perfectly-lit walls and a few sculptures that would have done any museum proud were carefully displayed. He had somehow managed to bring what appeared to be an antique hand-knotted Persian Rug into the space and added comfortable pillows and blankets in sensuous fabrics with unique designs. His cabin could have stood in nicely for the Master Suite in the finest luxury yacht--right down to a few highly unorthodox items he'd picked up in his long career: Conn was about to use one of those devices.
He brought out a small fusion generator (carefully secured in a carved puzzle box that he'd picked up on Cynthia) and hooked it to a Puppeteer Hyperspatial Communicator. The Federation would have LOVED to get a look at the "toys" the Panda had gotten from his odd allies but the Puppeteers weren't much on sharing: the signal didn't use any regular Federation frequencies or ship's power so he wasn't too concerned about being discovered. Not that any of his toys were actually ILLEGAL but were sure to cause "questions" should he ever be discovered. Still, the risk was minimal and Conn needed to check in with his superior in the order. "Conn to Roger Quartermaine! Come in please..."
"Hello dear boy!" came back the melodic tenor voice half a galaxy away. "I trust you've settled in nicely in your new billet: how are things going over there?"
"I've taken over the Ship's Lounge," Conn told him. "I've upped the food offerings and streamlined the drink menu and the Crew seems happy with the changes. Even the former Bartender seems happy enough to let me run things, It seemed to be the easiest way to get an 'in' with the crew."
"And how is that working?" Auntie Roger wanted to know.
"Neither the crew nor the Bartender I displaced are complaining," Conn replied, "so Captain Kirk seems content to let me have my way with things--so long as I do my job anyway... I haven't seen hide nor hair of Security or Intelligence aboard so I haven't managed to work my way into the upper echelons of the crew--but give me time! There is due to be some new department heads shortly so we'll see what I can do there: I'm definitely going to try to strike up a friendship with the new Counselor and maybe even an alliance."
"Yes," the voice on the other end said. "Dr. Cady vander Kellen of Asawompset! He's had some troubles with previous Captains but he's a good man when you take out the drama. Just don't get sucked in by his 'hick from the sticks' act: he's got a lot on the ball so be careful around him!"
So Auntie Roger knew who the new Ship's Counselor would be before most of the crew--including the Chief Medical Officer. Conn was wise enough to listen to his Senior's suggestions (not that he was a Cadet trying to master his First Mystery): he was nothing if not careful always portraying the role of hedonistic adventurer and rarely letting anyone see more than his carefully-honed image. "I will Auntie!" he promised. "I did find someone rather unexpected aboard--someone you know..."
"One of Ethan Shay's favorite lackeys--Cdr. Smythe Fitzhugh!" Conn told him. "His service record has been altered and he is playing the role of a Chief Petty Officer in Security. I'm afraid I let it slip that I knew the truth..."
"How did that go?"
"He played it off as if I was mistaken," Conn said. "I agreed but I think he was rattled: haven't seen him in the Bar since then!"
"He's keeping tabs for Admiral Shay," Roger said (a fact Conn already knew). "YOU need to keep an eye on Dr. McClaren: Shay has some diabolical experiment involving Pacifican hybrids that I've been having the devil's own time trying to prevent him form acquiring more subjects! Don't reveal your true nature or mission but--PROTECT THE DOCTOR!"
"It's top of my list Auntie Roger," Conn assured the man on the other end. "I'll keep you appraised on what's happening here. Conn out!" With the conversation finished the Panda disassembled the communicator and placed it back inside the puzzle box where it was now comfortably hidden in plain sight--just like the Panda himself.