XO Lieutenant Commander Vikram Baudin

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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Vikram Baudin

Postby Vanessa Brinkman » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:11 pm

Can we all agree that James is still plotting our demises and/or complete ruin, despite his protesting?
SCI Lt. T'Lira, USS Atlantis
CMO Lt. Sarissa t'Kaveth, USS Sentinel
CTO Lt. Noemi Idaris, Sigma Rho

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IT'S BEEN A LONG ROAD

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w/ James as a "special guest"

Postby Shawna F » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:18 am

Stardate 11604.20

A young, pretty Yeoman hopped down to the command circle, quietly waiting while Baudin finished up another bit of work, quickly stepping in and offering out a communications PADD with an encrypted engram spinning circles on the front.

“Commander, you have a priority message waiting on subspace. No sender ID, but it’s tagged as urgent and listed from Starfleet Command back on Earth.” She said, coolly. These kinds of messages came through all the time, usually an Admiral passing along messages or Command crews speaking without wanting it logged. All part of the day-to-day.

She waited for him to take the PADD.

The situation was certainly bothersome, all of this Romulan nonsense, but as much as it bothered the rest of the crew, he didn’t see a good way to complete every bit of their mission. It meant that most of what they could do right now was wait for the medical team to report in, and keep tabs on the bird keeping tabs on them.

It meant the message was almost a welcome distraction. To add onto the distractions he already faced. He took the PADD gingerly, wondering who it could be (though he had hopes - or fears). “Thank you, Yeoman.” He stepped away from the centre of the bridge, taking an empty seat around the periphery for a most mild sense of privacy. He tapped out a decryption key to access the message.

Text started to flash up on the screen, a pre-written message that held a simple cipher - at least, simple to a former Section 31 agent.

“Hello, Baudin. We saw the medical report from your last physical; interesting huh? We should talk, I've set up a one-time subspace relay - it'll burn out the first time you activate it, so be sure you're ready to chat. You know we rarely get a second chance and never a third.”

A short string of characters waited to be pressed.

And here he was actually hoping it’d be an Admiral circumventing the captain or even an emergency missive from home. (No, not true; that would mean a worst case scenario. At least this didn’t impact his family, as far as he knew.)

With a sigh, Vikram stood and headed for the turbolift, making a passing comment about having to make a personal call. It was, after all, the truth, even if a slightly bent version of it. The minutes ticked by on the way to his quarters, a place he at least knew to be safe and bug-free, as much as he could be sure. Ready to chat. Honestly, he’d been ready to chat ever since the news was relayed to him. But all the waiting around and walking on eggshells, now was probably as good a time as any or better. So long as nobody did something stupid and got the Romulans shooting at them.

He sat at his desk and sighed out anxiety, drawing himself up as if he were about to be questioned by the brass, schooling himself into his usual stern if placid appearance. And pressed the waiting characters.

There was a short moment, a pause, before an acknowledging signal came back on the PADD. Then, the unmistakeable sound of a transporter.

Behind Baudin, a man rematerialized in the middle of his quarters, dressed in a dark, matte uniform, cut to the Starfleet style and with a comm badge, but a different set of insignia pips on the lapel and no colour banding for a department. A non-officer, as anyone from Section 31 should be.

“Subspace transporter technology. Some Vulcan Lieutenant adapted it from a Ferengi design a few years ago, handy stuff. Needs a subspace relay every few hundred light years, but it's handy in a pinch.” He said cockily, before taking his ease in a nearby chair.

“Long time no see, Baudin. How's the hand? Or was it a leg?”

Vikram spun so fast in his seat that it went toppling over, but the fight (never flight) left him when he saw who had appeared in his room. His hands twitched into antsy fists, eyeballing the man he hadn’t seen for quite some time. “Samuel,” he acknowledged, breathy, almost disbelieving. He straightened his seat back up, spun it back and forth a little with his hand as an excuse to look away and re-gather himself.

Still, it was difficult to fully regain his balance after an appearance like that when he finally looked back to his former partner. “It has been several body parts. You might have to remind me which time you mean.” Slow breath in, slow breath out, and he crossed his arms across his chest. “I imagine you have arranged this meeting so that your transport will not be noticed. By anyone.”

There was, after all, a rather delicate situation going on outside.

“You know as well as I do, untraceable by anyone except an agent at HQ. Can't go doing our jobs if we're leaving traces everywhere.” Samuel grinned as he spoke, relaxing back in the chair and looking around at the modest quarters.

“I preferred your old apartment. How's life as the Executive Officer treating you, Baudin? Cushy as I'd imagine?” Samuel said as he turned back to watch Vikram, eyeing his old partner with a calculating look.

“Well, I am not always chasing down secret cabals of Cardassians or getting cut in the face, and the bed I can go to every single evening is nicer than taking any cramped shuttles. So, cushier than the old job, you could say.” Sometimes no less stressful. But he was out here for a reason. Away from 31, even despite his attempt to occasionally get in contact or use his old codes.

Vikram found it surprisingly easy to fall back into banter, but that was not a wise idea. He knew it. He could not let his guard down even around someone he still...moderately trusted. “You have information about the results of my medical scan?” he prompted, to get to the point.

“Oh, that. Just a little piece of insurance,” Samuel tapped his own skull as he spoke, giving it a rap with his knuckles. “Let's just say that there's a few minutes of your life that you don't remember, just a few. You know, not many people get out of the Section. Not whole, anyway. You're one of the few, I think Father liked you, what you went through and how you came through it - at least. Can you blame him for wanting to make sure that his prize agent didn't talk about certain things?”

“We've all missed you, you know? Things are different now...I didn't come here just about your medical scans.” Samuel looked up at Vikram, quite sure the man knew what he was here for.

“And you do this to all of your agents, or just the ones that resign and live to not tell the tale?” Vikram grumbled. “With everything that I know, regardless of not having any evidence to back anything up, would it not be more convenient to wipe more than a few minutes? Not that I am suggesting you do that, of course.”

Not that it was being suggested. No, what was being suggested was coming back into the fold. Just as he was warned about. Just as he had feared. “Besides,” he continued, “how much could things have really changed in so short a time? I am where I am supposed to be. And I have been able to keep my sanity in the process.” Something Admiral Head had been so keen to worry about. “Are you really going to give me a sales pitch? Here? In the middle of Romulan space?”

Samuel shrugged, that easy smile still on his lips. “Where better?” A quiet chuckle sounded hollow in the spare quarters.

“Things have changed. We have a lot more...freedom to act, after the Tzenkethi war. It was decided that the Section had to take a more active role in order to safeguard the future of the Federation.”

The Section 31 agent watched Vikram for a moment to see a reaction. “I saw the record from your encounter with Walsh. You knew what had to be done, you had the Federation and Starfleet in mind when you suggested the correct course of action - you still have that leaning, those tendencies, and we need that.” Samuel said as he gestured to the quarters around him.

“We’re not asking you to do anything you wouldn’t normally have done. You can stay here, keep doing the job, be the model Starfleet officer. Just...lean back towards us. Take orders now and then, look into things, be our eyes, ears and hands. You and your ship, your crew, can only benefit with direct Section support.”

It meant lie to the crew and work behind their backs. But...hadn’t he already been doing that? His record was a lie, those five years between his leave after Kensington, and he’d already attempted to garner the help of his fellow Section agents, or to at least use what he could to do what he could. Which wasn’t much now, with his access revoked and threats to do something if he kept trying to play in their sandbox. And now they wanted his help? Vikram was not given to pacing, and stood like a mountain in his own room. But his mind was far away, calculating risks, weighing the options.

“And should your orders ever clash with that of my captain,” he started delicately, “you would have me disobey her.” Less of a question, more of a presumption. And if the truth got out, it would be his ass on the line and no others. Convenient. But agents are expendable if they’re sloppy enough to get caught in the first place.

He turned his back with a sigh, leaning down on his desk heavily. Samuel was someone who he trusted not to put a knife in him, had trusted him not to do so for five years. But he was still an agent working under orders, while Vikram was an upstanding officer of Starfleet. “I was trying to start a new life. I know you were so angry when I got out, but it felt like the right choice at the time. I cannot say I regret the choice. Merely...regret that some of my usual paths are closed off to me. Historically speaking, agents on a ship, taking orders from outside forces? Has not always worked out in our--in your favour.”

Samuel stood up slowly, walking over to sit on the edge of the desk next to Vikram, his arms folded across his chest. “It hasn't; but those are the risks of the work we do--we did.” He said, with uncharacteristic valour in his tone. “You know the problems we faced back then. It's the same now, we just have more political backing than before, more pieces on the board to move, more resources. But it's still not enough to keep the Federation safe.”

He stayed quiet for a moment to let it sink in, “Do you know how many threats we're tracking at this very moment? Sometimes it feels like we're all that stands in the way of total loss to our way of life and we have to rely on people that don't-” he paused, shook his head “-that shouldn't know what we do.”

Samuel laughed suddenly, his usual grin appearing on his round face. “I don't have to go through the spiel with you, Baudin. You know what's at stake, and you know that we wouldn't have come here if what we were asking wasn't important.”

The worst part was knowing that. He’d spent five years in the middle of clandestine 31 activity, doing good for the Federation that he would never receive credit for. Yes, the methods could be morally grey, but he believed in the cause. He just...had believed in a fresh start more, when he left.

At least here he could still be the officer he is. Still out doing good above board as well. Still be XO and trusted. Captain Stradiot didn’t always make the right choices (not that captains are infallible). He knew the work, knew he could do it, and knew it was always for a greater good. That’s what always mattered most.

And it was all the harder to say no with his old partner right there, right beside him. They had been beside each other through a lot. And while Vikram was hard-pressed at times to make friends of anyone for a multitude of reasons, Samuel was...close to one. Or had been close to one. He wondered if they ever game Samuel another partner, after having so many other partners before Vikram came around and lasted. Didn’t ask. There wasn’t time to play catch-up. He would have to get back to the bridge, and sooner rather than later. He took a seat heavily beside Samuel and pinched the bridge of his nose, inhaling, exhaling, balancing.

He looked back up at his ally. “What do you need me to do?”

Samuel looked thrilled, slapping his new colleague amicably on the back, “Just like old times, Baudin! You'll see. For now, keep an eye on this situation, there's more to the Terothka Virus on Sinul than meets the eye - have Doctor Sarissa take some samples and bring them onboard for testing, we'll want the results. If it's what we think it is then that world down there is in for a lot more pain - but so are countless others.”

He looked at his friend for a moment, hand resting on his shoulder, and a touch of concern entered Samuel’s tone. “You're sure about this, Baudin? I know why you wanted a fresh start, I honestly expected to leave here with a fresh bruise on my jaw.”

His shoulders sagged a little under the touch. “I will still be out here. I will still be on a ship, proving that I can be an effective member of a crew. I will just...perhaps be able to do a little more now than I could before. It seems a fair compromise at the moment.” But the tension ramped back up. “Do they not have the ability to run proper tests down on the planet?” He would not panic. He was not going to panic. His heart might beat a little faster but that’s all. “So we do not have to risk anyone by bringing it here?”

He figured that he could be a little more open with his new-old colleague. “We expect that the virus we're seeing in the surface is actually a bioengineered plague developed by the Romulan Empire. We have little proof, what we get out of the Empire these days is spotty at best, but unless they have a full suite of Federation genetic analysis tools down there then the Sentinel is the only vessel that has the capability to find more information - and hopefully put a stop to it.”

“That is annoyingly sound,” Vikram grumbled uncomfortably. Surely if he brought it up with the captain--suggesting that they examine the virus themselves to have a better idea how to battle it, in case it’s a different strain--then she would see reason in it. But to willingly bring the virus aboard? Especially if they weren’t sure of what exactly they were dealing with? The last thing he needed in his life was to inadvertently create another Kensington.

“All right. All right, consider it done. And if it is engineered? What then? We are supposed to help these people. We cannot exactly start fighting off an Empire ship at the moment. Your people...our people take over, and I never ask questions about it?”

“Once you know something, get in touch. I'll send along your codes via subspace, along with a one-time blueprint for a new comm badge - all we need is information right now, we don't want to start a fight with the Empire either, but they can't be allowed to pull the Republic back into their fold. Through force or diplomacy.” Samuel replied, looking into Baudin’s face.

“Like you said, we’ll take it over from there. We just need the proof.”

“...I will let you know as soon as I know anything. For the sake of these people. And the future of the Republic.” They would be doing good work, in the shadows. Vikram would get to stay on a ship and not running headlong into any more danger than usual, and Samuel would get to stay in touch.

Vikram offered a hand to shake. “It is...it’s good to see you again, Samuel.”

Samuel smiles at the gesture, taking the hand of his partner once more and giving it a firm shake. “And you, Baudin. It'll be better this time, you'll see.”
CSO Lt Raqiin sh'Hruvek - USS Bremen NCC-12428
XO LtCmdr Vikram Baudin - USS Sentinel NCC-79088 / S.T.A.R. Taskforce Sigma

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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Vikram Baudin

Postby James Greenman » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:34 pm

This is going to be so much fun :allears:

That was a joy to write with you, thanks Shawna!
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Re: XO Lieutenant Commander Vikram Baudin

Postby Shawna F » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:35 am

Stardate [REDACTED]

Former agent Vikram Baudin walked as if he was being led to the gallows.

By all rights, he should not even be here. Most agents, to his knowledge, didn't get to just walk free. Most stayed until they died, or something worse happened. But for those who do get to leave, it isn't scot-free. He knew these thoughts wouldn't even make it to the other side, but he couldn't silence his brain, following a black-clad doctor down the corridor. The whole plan was in place. Everything would be fine when he came to.

His boss--his former boss, now--was an agreeable man. On a good day, he could see where Samuel got some of his personality quirks from. But he could also be stern and cut right to the point. The point was that they could not allow an agent to leave the organization with so much classified knowledge in his head. But it would be too fishy if he suddenly was missing five years of his life. Vikram trusted this man with the Federation, less so his life, so that may have come across with a loss of color on his dark face. But the procedure had been explained to him. The specific details spared--it wasn't going to matter soon, after all--but they had in their possession the skill to block or extract memories and pockets of data from the brain with such precision as to render any blank spots as unnoticeable or chalked up to the inconvenience and unreliability of memory.

Vikram would be put in a chair, and he would be put through this process, and he would be allowed to remember his time with the agency (in case they needed his assistance in the future), but specific, highly classified and outright dangerous bits of information would be removed. And it would be done immediately.

Vikram had thought to protest such an invasion of his mind, especially when the doctor stepped forward. He didn't like doctors, generally, or procedures. But he had also taken notice to extra agents posted by the door. This was planned for. If he fought, they were ready.

Good thing for them he agreed. Some information was too dangerous to even have the potential to get out in the world. And yet he was trusted enough to be allowed the rest of it. Besides...for as many rumors about 31 as there were, he would have no proof, no access to anything that would verify any of his claims. His dossier would reflect the necessary changes to job and location, with plants to verify the information. He would be free to go start a new life. And the price was a little bit of his memory, the memories made in the past five sordid years? A fair exchange. The guards weren't necessary. They never had been.

Still...it didn't mean he wasn't nervous about it.

The doctor led him into a room with an ominous chair, a half-halo coming out of the headrest, a bank of computers to the side. A few nurses stood ready, and Vikram was indicated to sit. To place his head within the semi-halo while the machine warmed up, a series of lights pinpointing around his head. His fingers tightened on the armrests as restraints were placed down around his ankles and wrists.

"This machine is incredibly precise, Ensign Baudin. A Vulcan mind-meld can share or block memories, make adjustments when needed, but we're looking for something a little more permanent...and difficult to detect. You understand." Vikram did, in fact, understand. "And we've been given a succinct list of what we're looking for and the approximate stardates. Nothing will be taken out that is not called for." The doctor glanced down at the controls in front of him, then back at Vikram with a slight softening of his expression. "The brain, however, is also complex. This is going to take a while...and I'm afraid it's going to be painful. The good news is, you won't remember feeling any pain at all."

The machine's hum wound up, the lights increasing in intensity, and Vikram screamed.
CSO Lt Raqiin sh'Hruvek - USS Bremen NCC-12428
XO LtCmdr Vikram Baudin - USS Sentinel NCC-79088 / S.T.A.R. Taskforce Sigma

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