A/N: Many thanks again to my talented Beta-reader Straitjackit! And to Encrypted Pseudonym for applying her trek knowledge to this story. I'm really not sure how far or long this story is going to go, but I do have a very specific conclusion mapped out. But hey, getting there is all the fun! Right?
"Desdemona's building a rocket ship. Desdemona's going away."
William Donovan drank in the atmosphere of the small bar. From the sing-song accents of the wait-staff to the ancient Jimmy Buffet tune blaring over the background noise, the place screamed Caribbean. Thirty years since he'd last set foot here, and the place had barely changed a lick. The same grubby wooden tables covered in the names of those who'd sat there. The dusty marlin that still hung above the bar. The only real difference was that the people occupying the multi-hued floral shirts and khaki bermuda shorts were all middle-aged civilians and not the red-hot rocket-jocks who once were stationed on the next island over.
"Bill!" A tall thin man with light brown hair sprang from behind one of the tables and waved him over. Donovan noticed that the man's shirt was a mix of flaming rockets and flowers.
As he wove his way through the half-full bar to the corner table, his companion flagged the waitress. Pointing at his beer bottle, he held up two fingers. Reaching behind the bar, the girl held up a lime. Smiling, his brown haired friend nodded and gave her a thumbs up.
"She's got a passion for cookies, a crew full of rookies, there's gonna be a hell of a blow."
Bill glanced up at the speaker directly over the table. "A bit loud here don't'cha think Max?"
Admiral Maxwell Forrest, head of Earth's Starfleet program leaned back in his seat on the other side of the table grinned. "And who was it who taught me about conversational security?"
"You still look fit enough to climb in one of those beasts and blast for an attack run!" Glancing down at his own expanding waistline Donovan shook his head ruefully, deciding against reaching for any of the tortilla-chips in the basket sitting on the table.
"First call I made when I became head of Starfleet was to Arizona to get my sweetheart back."
"You mean..." Donovan schooled his expression into a look of surprised interest.
"Yep! Adelaide! You know, that old F-88 still purrs like the day she was new." Forrest grinned like a kid showing off his new Christmas present.
"With your staff? I wouldn't doubt it for a minute."
The girl arrived with their drinks.
"Thank you Miri, add these to my tab." Max smiled at the attractive waitress.
"Been here long enough to be on a first name basis?" Donovan asked.
"Command trick Bill. Besides, I find it helps ensure good service." The admiral scanned the bar while taking a sip from his bottle.
Satisfied there were no obvious eavesdroppers, he transitioned to more serious matters. "So Bill, How are things at the Agency?"
"Much like they have been since we rounded up the last of Colonel Green's known cadre… very, very quiet." Donovan made his own sweep of the room disguised as a mildly lecherous tracking of the attractive server as she walked to another table.
"Even with the historical record, it's hard to convince the politicians of the necessity of maintaining strong vigilance. It's the NSA debacle of 15 years ago all over again." Bill picked up his beer and began squeezing the slice of lime down the bottle's neck.
Max stared out the window in the direction of the old spacecom base. "I've seen the news reports. 'What does the United States need a Central Intelligence Agency for now that the world is not only at peace, but we have a central world government.' They have a point in that respect, but that does not obviate the necessity of having a quality intelligence apparatus."
Bill looked up with a morose expression. "It's convincing Congress that they should continue to fund the Agency, even in this new world order, that has become the roadblock."
"The era of the nation-state is over, the era of the world-state has begun." Forrest paused as the statement hung between them.
"William, what if I could offer you the opportunity to continue your operation on behalf of Starfleet. Would you be interested?"
Only his years of practice kept the surprise from registering on his face. "All my reports indicate that you are pleased with Admiral Janke's leadership of Starfleet Intelligence. Are you offering me her position?"
"Not exactly." Forrest slid a blue folder across the table. "You, of course, are familiar with the NX-01 mission."
A slight smile tugged at the corners of Donovan's face. "I've had my reports." He drawled.
The Admiral gave him a sharp look and then grinned.
"Always the spook, Bill. Let's just say that there are some aspects of the mission and some sealed reports that are not common knowledge outside of a very restricted circle of people." Max reached out and tapped the folder. "Some of what we have discovered, and things we are likely to encounter have the potential to be destructive on a scale unimaginable."
Bill picked up the folder and pretended to read the contents. "These 'cybernauts' your people uncovered in the Antarctic?"
Forrest's eyes started to bug out of his head, but he quickly brought his expression back under control. "The reports on that haven't even been written yet."
"Just proving my value and abilities to you, Admiral."
"You hit on a good point though." Max swallowed a drink from his beer. "Captain Archer thinks these creatures may have some kind of connection with Cochrane's Princeton Speech. If so, and if that wasn't one of his whiskey induced hallucinations, we have something on our hands here that in the most mildest forms can only be described as explosive."
Bill reached for the basket of chips and the bowl of salsa. "Explosive indeed, time travel, galactic warfare, sounds like twencen space opera. How does this tie to me?"
"Once upon a time, in this out of the way corner of the Caribbean, a talented young spook with a famous ever-so-many great grandfather, shared a bottle of rum and a wealth of wisdom with a hot-headed fighter-jock. There was one thing he told me that night that always rang true. Could an organization as visible and seemingly inept as the CIA actually acquire the intelligence we were needing and even receiving in the field?"
"There's wisdom in rum, even if that young man spoke too much." Bill crunched another chip and chased it with his beer.
"William, Admiral Janke's operation is too visible. The information outlined in that folder is so sensitive that at this time only the participants on Enterprise, Admiral Janke, and myself are familiar with it."
Max fiddled with the empty beer bottle on the table in front of him.
"Starfleet has a dual mandate. Exploration and Planetary Protection. Exploration we've got covered in spades. What I need is a blacker than black covert intelligence operation to protect this planet. I'm asking you to tear another page from your ancestor's book. Will you run it?"
Bill swirled the last of his beer around the bottom of the bottle. "Maxwell, I may have just what you are looking for."