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Be a Dear and Throw Someone Under the Bus

Posted on Wed Jan 13th, 2021 @ 7:21am by Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Snitcher & Lieutenant Commander Talina Sarafian & Lieutenant Commander Franklin Hidelstien

Mission: Mission 1 - "Pound of Flesh"
Location: Unit Chief's Office
Timeline: MD 5

The door chime sounded and Miss Stacy, the secretary in charge of the UCID front desk looked up. Before she could get to her feet the door hissed open and in walked a man in a sinple jacket and shirt. He wore a visitor's badge and had the kind of smile that would make small animals shrink away in fear.

"Hello sweetie, I just need to see your boss," he said in a voice that could have peeled paint.

"I'm sorry, she's-" Miss Stacy said quickly getting to her feet.

"Oh, it won't take a minute," the man said as he walked purposefully toward the Unit Chief's door.

"But, sir-" Miss Stacy tried to say, but again was cut off.

"Don't worry sweetie, just go and fetch some tea," he said as he closed the space and tapped the door chime of the Unit Chiefs office. "With lemon."

A moment later he opened the door and stepped in.

"Ah! Lieutenant Commander Sarafian, how nice to see you," the man said with the biggest smile.

"I'm sorry Commander," Miss Stacy began. "He just pushed past."

"Yes, yes I did, now go and fetch that tea, I have a dreadful frog in my throat," the man said shooing her away.

Miss Stacy looked helplessly at the commander.

"It's fine," Talina said tersely. "As you were." She sized up the intruder for a moment and crossed her arms, deciding she was unimpressed. "Feel free to get to the part where you explain what you're doing unbidden here in my office."

"I'm Lieutenant Commander Franklin Murray Hidelstien, I'm with Internal Affairs and I'm here to do an audit of your department," the man replied, almost sheepishly. He knew how people reacted to the news of who he was and what he was there to do, it wasn't usually pretty.

"You're with Internal Affairs," Talina repeated incredulously. "I'm Internal Affairs. ICUD Unit 314. I do the auditing around here. You must be mistaken."

"Think of me more as Internal Internal Affairs. I'll be perfectly candid with you, I'm here to make sure you're doing your job and see what I can stir up," he replied and gave her a smile so tight it could have crushed coal into diamond. "Really I'm here because several key members of the Union Senate's Judiciary Committee are coming up for reelection and it's just been to quiet recently. So we want you to select a member of your team we can throw under the bus."

"Internal-Internal Affairs. Senate Judiciary Committee. Under the bus?" Talina repeated each turn of phrase in a tone that indicated more incredulity than the one before. "Lieutenant Commander Hidelstien, you said? I hope you have a warrant, otherwise I am booking you for obstruction of justice, initiating a false investigation, general malfeasance, and whatever else my adjutant finds in a database search."

"A warrant?" he balked at the very idea. He snatched the access terminal on her desk and began tapping in commands. "Oh, Missy listen good and listen close. I need to stir up some drama and if that means it falls on your head so be it. I know what happened to the guy who's chair you're sitting in." He swung the terminal around to her, on it was his face and his personnel file. He smiled at her, the same grimacing smile that was on his file. "Now are you going to play nice or do I need to take care of you too?"

Talina arched an eyebrow. "Present your paperwork, Commander, or I imagine your arrest will be all the drama you could ever ask for."

"I don't think you get it, I'm your boss. Well, really I'm a few levels above that. You try to have me arrested, I'll have you in the stockade," he replied flapping his hands in annoyance. "My paperwork is my identification, my word is law, at least in terms of matters like this. Don't tell me you really think you're going to go after the higher ups and get anywhere." He pressed a palm to his chest in mock shock. "Sweetie, you are in way over your head."

"Let's see what Snitcher has to say about this," Talina said. She pounded her desktop communicator with a resonating thump. "Admiral Snitcher." Her eyes never left Franklin as it dialed out to Union Central. In a moment, the Fleet's logo was replaced by the stony and slightly disfigured Moclan visage of Rear Admiral Snitcher.

"Commander Sarafian," he said with the stereotypical no-nonsense monotone inflection of most Moclans. Nothing more was said, as his demanding facial expression sucked like a black hole.

"I have a Lieutenant Commander Franklin Hidelstien here and he said --"

Snitcher held up his hand. "I will stop you right there, Commander. You will comply. That is all."

"But Admiral--" Talina could not believe her ears.

"I said that is all." Snitcher fixed her with another unreadable stare before terminating the transmission.

Looking to Franklin, the situation was no less clear, yet her options narrowed to a singular course. "Looks like the time for pussyfooting around is over," she said. "Time for candor: how do I get rid of you?"

"Lovely man that Snitcher, I was at his wedding, it was so beautiful even the cake was in tiers," Franklin said leaning back in his seat. He was pleased to see his name still had the pull he liked and he was even more pleased to see the Unit Chief's face when she realized what kind of position she was in. "It's really simple. I need some good drama. Give me a good old felony and I'll get out of your hair. Heck, even some personal drama that would force someone out in disgrace, I'm not that picky. We just need to be seen as harsh on crime in our own ranks." He smiled wickedly. "I hear you have quite the little reporter on the station, that is if that dick in Public Relations didn't chase him off. Feed one of your crew to the reporter and it will all work out well. I'll let you pick which one."

Talina shook her head. "I will follow any lawful order given to me, including compliance with a professional asshat like yourself, but I will not frame someone for a crime they didn't commit. If you want a felony, then go find one yourself. Make it good and clean, or I will bust you for false arrest, entrapment, and perverting the course of justice -- that last one will cost you your badge."

"I can see you're going to make this difficult. It's be a lot easier if you'd play the game a little. It's just politics," Franklin replied with a sigh. He could tell that this was going to take a lot longer than he originally planned. "But, if you want me to find it, I will. Have your quartermaster set me up with an office and quarters, something classy." He paused, tapping his lip as he thought. "Oh, and put it somewhere near your office. I like to be near the action."

"I said what I said," Talina said through gritted teeth. "Go find yourself an office, otherwise you can grab an empty desk in the bullpen..." Her voice dropped to quickly mutter, "...or go die in a fire." In her normal tone, she said, "I'll leave the choice to you."

"Well, I intend to avoid the fire, but I think I can find myself an office," Franklin said getting to his feet. "I won't take any more of your time, Lieutenant Commander. I will be setting up interviews with the rest of your staff. This will be confidential, as this meeting should be considered. We don't want to let the peons worry to much about whose head will be on the block, do we?" He held out his hand. "I look forward to working with you."

Talina shook his hand and then wiped hers on her pant leg.

"I can see this is going to be a truly delightful arrangment," Franklin said, taking note of her wiping her hand so openly. He smiled, the sort of smile a predator gives its prey when it knows there is not more escape. This was his game now and he knew she was only beginning to realize how much trouble she was in.

But that was all still to come.

"Well, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see about setting up my new office," he said and with that disappeared out the door of her office much the same way he had entered.


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