((Security Office, Security Complex, Deck 4, USS Atlantis))
((Time Index: Day 15 of Shore Leave))
Jarred strode along the corridor, his mind too occupied with the upcoming discussion to really focus on anything that was happening around him. Ilana had requested Jarred’s presence at the debriefings of the two officers who had been kidnapped on the surface of Ilara Prime. A third officer, a Marine First Lieutenant, had also been caught up in the incident, although they had since departed the region.
The doors to the Security Complex slid aside as Jarred approached them. Without missing a beat he stepped into the complex, offering a brief greeting to the crewman inside before continuing onto the Security Office where Ilana stood waiting for him.
Ganarvuss: Captain. About the incident on the surface. I’m… sorry. I should’ve anticipated that something like this might happen. I’ll do better from now on.
Jarred raised his hand and made a swiping gesture, indicating that it was fine. Over the course of his career he had his own share of unfortunate incidents, that in retrospect could have been prevented.
Thoran: Don’t beat yourself up about it. What is important is that you learn from it and ensure appropriate measures are put in place to prevent a similar incident occuring in the future.
Ganarvuss: Understood sir. In light of recent events, I recommend that no one be allowed on the surface unless accompanied by security or marine personnel. Preferably armed.
There was a momentary interruption in the conversation as the door chime sounded. Their guest had arrived.
Thoran: Put a plan together.
Ganarvuss: Yes sir. :: to the door :: Enter!
The Atlantis’ Ferengi engineer joined them, a smile on her face. He imagined that she knew the reason she had been summoned and so it seemed odd that she would be smiling.
Lephi: ::offering a salute:: Sir. I was ordered to report here for a debriefing?
Thoran: That is correct. Thank you for joining us Mr. Lephi.
Ganarvuss: The Illaran government told us some of what happened on the surface, Ensign. You're lucky you weren't arrested.
Lephi: I hope you don't mind if I sit down, I'm not sure I could stand for this thing. I came directly from sickbay, I haven't had time to write up a report yet, I'm sorry.
From the way she walked, Jarred could tell that Lephi was in pain, a fact he could fully empathise with after his own injury on the surface. Ilara Prime was getting a reputation for sending back injured crew members. He could only imagine what Anath would have to say on the matter. He glanced over to Ilana and noticed she didn’t appear to be impressed with Lephi.
Thoran: Of course, please make yourself comfortable.
Lephi: It all happened so fast, I'm not sure how much help I'll be right now, but I'm happy to try.
Ganarvuss: Just tell us what happened.
Lephi: Doctor Snow and I were headed to the surface to try that pub I had heard good things about, a marine interrupted us, ::long pause:: then we were kidnapped. ::speech falters::
Jarred listened intently as Lephi spoke, nodding his head every few seconds, his lips pressed together. Although she had remained relatively unharmed, it was evident from the quivering in Lephi’s voice that she was still in shock after her ordeal.
What troubled Jarred was the apparent brazenness with which the kidnappers had struck. Perhaps things on the surface were worse than he had imagined.
Lephi: ::pause:: Indeed, kidnapped for ransom no less.
Jarred’s nostrils flared as he let out a sigh. Evidently the kidnappers were not clued into Starfleet procedure. Regardless of who had been kidnapped, Starfleet never negotiated or paid ransoms. It may have been seen as a rather unsympathetic policy, but it was one that Jarred agreed with. If Starfleet were to pay ransoms for kidnapped officers, it would encourage others to do the same.
Thoran: Do you have any idea where they took you?
Lephi: No, we were transported using transporter tags and taken somewhere off-site.
At least it showed the kidnappers were not wholly incompetent. They at least had the sense to cover their tracks, and the truth was Jarred doubted they would ever be able to find those responsible. It was becoming a worrying pattern.
Lephi: I don't mean to overstep here, but am I sensing some hostility? The man that died showed no regard for my life, nor Liz's, nor even that Marine. Who knows what would have happened if we hadn't escaped, we all know Starfleet doesn't negotiate with terrorists.
Thoran: Mr. Lephi, you were in a difficult situation and did what you thought best under the circumstances. It is not for us to judge that. You have been through quite the ordeal, perhaps we should pick this up another time, after you have had time to prepare your report?
Emotions were understandably high and Jarred didn’t want to press Lephi any further than necessary at this point. They had got an idea of what had happened on the surface, which would suffice for now.
Thoran: In that case, you are dismissed. Go and get some rest and Thank you again for your time Mr. Lephi.
He waited until the Ferengi engineer had left before turning his attention back towards Ilana.
Thoran: Thank you for arranging this Mr. Ganarvuss. Your ideas from earlier, I would like them implemented as soon as is reasonable to do so.
With that Jarred bid the Centauran raven haired women goodbye and made his way out of the complex. Recent events on Ilara Prime had given him much to think about, especially if the anti-Starfleet sentiment was not isolated to the Freeworlds capital. They had to do something to sway public opinion in their favour, to gain the upperhand on whoever was trying to sabotage their efforts in the region.