Chapter 2, part 1
Day 2, 1320 hours
Kira and Odo walked into the security office. While Kira sat down in front of Odo's desk, Odo was standing behind his desk with arms folded.
“Have you ever conducted an investigation before?” asked Odo.
“No,” said Kira frowning. “But I figured that first you find the evidence, then you question witnesses and suspects, join the dots, and finally you find the guilty party.”
Odo looked at Kira rather seriously. “It is not as simple as that.”
“I know,” said Kira.
She sighed, it felt daunting for her to be conducting such an important investigation. “Alright, this is how I've started the investigation. Firstly I asked the Bajoran central bank to provide the financial records of all the majors, colonels and admirals. Secondly Shakaar has sent me the personal records and logs of nearly every high ranking military officer. Next I've managed to arrange meetings with admiral Tamar and Vedek Talrik.”
Odo nodded approvingly. “That's good, we have a substantial body of evidence to review, and you managed to procure meetings with two people who could provide substantial insight into the abduction of the three vedeks. When will these meetings take place?”
“Both meetings will take place tomorrow. The first meeting is with admiral Tamar at 1000 hours, inside the military academy in the Bajoran capital. About three hours later, I'm meeting up with Vedek Talrik inside the Koma temple complex. When the meeting is finished, we'll board a Bajoran transport ship which is heading towards DS9.”
Odo looked at Kira in an inquisitive manner. “Have you told Ezri about the investigation?”
Kira shifted uncomfortably in the chair. “No I haven't. Shakaar specifically ordered me to keep the investigation as low profile as possible.”
Odo seemed slightly surprised by that answer. “How will we get to Bajor, if we're not going to use a runabout?”
“We'll board a transport ship to Bajor,” explained Kira.
There was a brief pause. Odo sat down on the chair by his desk, he appeared to be satisfied by Kira's explanation. Odo then leaned forwards slightly in his chair, still giving Kira that inquisitive look. “What did you say to Ezri to get permission to leave this station?”
Kira inwardly winced at the suspicious tone in Odo’s voice, it made her feel like she was a suspect in one of her husband's criminal investigations. “I told her that you and I would be meeting up with Shakaar and the security minister to review security measures for key government and religious buildings.”
“You've lied to her,” said Odo blandly and he didn't look very happy about this.
“It's for the sake of the investigation,” argued Kira. “Now I don't want to lie, but it was the only thing I could do to make sure Ezri doesn't find out about the investigation.”
Odo grunted in derision, and Kira guessed that Odo was unhappy because he didn't’t like his wife lying. Rarely did Kira lie, the same applied for Odo, which was why she and Odo respected and loved each other so much.
Day 3, 1000 hours
Kira and Odo waited outside admiral Tamar’s office. They were in the Bajoran capital, inside Bajor’s only military academy. The military academy churned out military officer and it was the jewel in the crown of the Bajoran military. Many of the military officers would go on to command Bajor’s warships, militia battalions and orbital defences.
The main reason for Kira coming to the military academy was to question admiral Tamar about the state of the Bajoran military. She thought it seemed the logical place to start the investigation, and she had managed to procure a meeting with admiral Tamar from one of his secretaries. Tamar was a very busy man, and because of this, the meeting would commence exactly at 1000 hours. Kira checked her chronometer, it was exactly 1000 hours, so she knocked on the wooden door to Tamar’s office.
“Enter,” came Tamar’s voice.
Kira and Odo walked inside Tamar’s office. The walls were panelled in wood and there were numerous potted plants located all around the room. A desk was placed towards the end of the office next to the window. It was a spectacular view of the Bajoran capital, the sunlight gleamed off the skyscrapers and golden surfaces of the Bajoran temples. While Kira sat down, Odo stood rigidly at one side of Tamar’s desk.
Tamar was in his 40’s and had a very plain looking face. He looked up from the padd he was using. “Colonel Kira, please make this-” Tamar noticed Odo. “I thought this was going to be a private discussion colonel?”
Kira had an excuse ready-made for Tamar. “Odo is here to record the interview and ask questions concerning the abduction of the vedeks. He is my main investigator and I assure you he is very impartial.”
Tamar gave an apprising look towards Odo. “Indeed.”
The minor resentment in Tamar’s voice made Kira frown slightly. “Admiral as you must know the Bajoran government has ordered me to investigate the Bajoran military, regarding matters of corruption and graft. You are one of the highest ranking admirals, so surely you know the inner workings of the military inside out... Have you ever detected any sort of corruption inside the military?”
Tamar’s nostrils flared in indignation. “If you are saying I've taken bribes-”
“I'm not implying that admiral,” said Kira hastily.
The anger ebbed from Tamar's face. “The answer to your question is yes. I've carried out my own internal investigations, and I have found on a small scale, bribery taking place mainly in the orbital defence section of the Bajoran military. There were even two or three colonels taking bribes to access more government funding for the orbital defence projects.”
“Why does the bribery mainly occur in the orbital defence section of the Bajoran military?” asked Kira.
“Because orbital defence posts are lucrative positions,” explained Tamar. “Bajor is developing it's orbital military industrial complex and government grants are very generous towards it's development.”
Kira decided to give Tamar a really awkward question to answer. “For how long have the vedeks been complaining about the Bajoran military?”
Suddenly Tamar seemed to tense up and his lips were pursed as if to express his hidden disapproval of her question. “For about the last two years, ever since they discovered from the government that corruption was taking place in the military.”
“So the vedeks don't want the military abolished, but they do want it changed?”
“That is correct,” said Tamar.
Odo broke his silence. “So how does the abductions fit into all of this?”
“They don't,” said Tamar, “the abduction of the three vedeks was a separate incident.”
Kira though sensed that Tamar was not being entirely honest. She glanced at Odo, and it seemed he was thinking the same thing, as he was looking at Tamar rather inquisitively. “Then explain how the government investigation found evidence suggesting that the vedeks were transported away?”
“I don't understand,” said Tamar blandly.
Tamar seemed to be playing dumb, and Kira realised that he was definitely hiding something. “Admiral, the Bajoran government have given me all of the evidence records from the Koma temple. There is surprisingly little evidence regarding the abduction of the vedeks, which makes me believe that the vedeks were beamed away over to an unknown location on Bajor. The vedeks never left the Koma temple and this points to an inside job.”
The frown on Tamar's face deepened, and he seemed deeply uncomfortable with Kira's explanation. “How so?” he asked Kira.
“I've once been to the Koma temple, and nobody except the vedeks can get inside the inner sanctum. Except maybe colonels, admirals or ministers.”
Tamar’s eyebrows rose upwards in disbelief. “Are you saying their's a corrupt admiral in the Bajoran military?”
It was Kira’s turn to feel uncomfortable and she had to choose her words very carefully here. “No, but with such an audacious operation, it can only indicate that the corruption in the Bajoran military is more widespread than-”
Tamar stood up, and he looked mightily angry. “You're out of line colonel!” he shouted. “I admit the Bajoran military isn't as clean as I would like it to be, but these are isolated cases!” Tamar placed a heavy emphasis on ‘isolated’. “If what your saying is true, then half the Bajoran military is out of the Bajoran government's control! Now is this the case?”
It was a simple but devastating question, and Kira realised that she had lost the argument. “No admiral it isn't,” she said reluctantly.
Some of the anger vanished from Tamar’s face, in fact he looked almost smug. “I'm glad you agree, now if you don't mind I have a report to finish.” Tamar sat back down behind his desk. “Good day colonel, constable.”
Recognizing the dismissal, Kira and Odo walked out of Tamar’s office. Kira felt that the meeting was something of a disaster. She had not gleaned anything of use to her investigation, and now admiral Tamar would probably never agree to a meeting with her again. As she and Odo walked back to their beam-up point, Kira could almost feel Odo’s disappointed stare on the side of her face. She should have let Odo do all the talking, wheedling information out of reluctant people was one of Odo's strongest abilities.
Fortunately, Kira did have another person to talk to in her investigation, which was of course Vedek Talrik who resided in the Koma temple. Kira hoped her meeting with Vedek Talrik would produce some tangible results for her investigation...