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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 147
February 2411

I do not know who I work for or what they are ultimately after. All I know is that by keeping them happy, I have a chance of keeping my family alive. That is what I tell myself as I try to go to sleep every night. It's a hard concept to swallow, but after drinking a few ales, I can manage to sleep some.

Today I am at a Federation starbase named K-7, pretending to be a Vulcan geologist named T'Nalsh stopping en route to the Zibal Sector. In reality I am here to transfer information gained from a classified Starfleet engineering conference. My employer has ties to a "Vulcan" lieutenant who is sympathetic to our cause, whatever that is. He attends the conference sessions and then tells me about them. He has an amazing memory. It is a shame that he's just an underling like me and will probably disappear once my employer is no longer in need of his services.

---

Amanda Carpenter tugged on Miguel Jarvis' arm. "You can skip a session or two. Stay with me in bed."

Jarvis smiled at the thought but rose and walked to the shower. "I'd love to, but unfortunately I am presenting at the first session this morning. It's kind of bad for your career development to skip the talk you are giving."

"Will you at least join me for lunch?"

"Of course, my love. I might have to bring a smitten ensign or two with me though. Sometimes it's hard to shake the newbies away from you at places like this."

Carpenter covered herself back up. "I can put up with that as long as they are fascinated by your knowledge and not your good looks. Dinner is just the two of us though."

"We have a deal."

---

After three days of waiting around, I got tired of the civilian barracks and decided to wander the station and find a way to kill some time. My contact was at the conference all day, so I had nothing to do but wander.

I entered a turbolift and stood opposite a human female. We were both headed to the main level of the station. The lift took longer than normal?and then it stopped completely.

"It figures that the turbolift would break when all the engineers are off playing with each other," the human said.

I pretended to be ignorant. "I beg your pardon?"

"Oh, I just meant that all the engineers are probably at the conference, so no one will be able to get this turbolift working again." She smiled at me, which made no sense.

"Conference?"

"Never mind." The human woman looked at her feet and ran a hand through her blonde hair. I realized that I shouldn't have pressed her for information.

We stood in silence for a few minutes. Then she decided to talk to me. "What do you do for a living?"

I told her my cover story and then asked why she was at K-7.

"Geology?" My brother is a geologist working on Pellme II. It's actually near Vulcan, where I assume you are from. Have you been there?"

At this point I knew I was in trouble. "Yeah, everyone starts their career there. I spent a few years there and then decided to go somewhere that isn't as popular."

The human looked confused. "Jeff told me that his posting was a way to punish him for being so outspoken. He said that there is nothing new or interesting on Pellme. Are you sure that we're talking about the same place?"

"You know, now that you mention it, there is a moon of Agrama VI with the same name. That's where I was referring to. I agree that your brother's posting sounds like punishment."

The human talked to me for the rest of our forty-seven minute delay. I'm pretty sure that I blew my cover.

---

Carpenter knew that this conference was primarily about Jarvis making connections and looking good in front of the Starfleet engineering community, not about a romantic getaway. That didn't stop her from being jealous whenever socially inept ensigns or lieutenants got in the way of her spending quality time with the man that she loved.

The Rigellian ensign shuffled away as soon as everyone stood from the table. The Ferengi ensign appeared ignorant of human traditions, so Carpenter decided to give Jarvis a long kiss to make him leave.

"I spent a little over half an hour stuck in a turbolift this morning," she said once they were alone.

"I'm sorry. All of the engineers stationed here were probably at the conference."

Carpenter nodded. "The delay wasn't too bad. But I did get stuck with a Vulcan geologist named T'Nalsh. He was friendly, but his knowledge of geology appeared to be lower than mine. Jeff is a geologist posted at Pellme II near Vulcan, and this guy sounded like he had never heard of the place. I felt like he was lying to me the whole time."

"Have you told anyone about it?"

"Only you."

Jarvis glanced at his chronometer. "I'd report that to the station security. It could be that mister T'Nalsh is not who he says he is. I hate to sound paranoid, but that's the right thing to do."

---

Two days later

The U.S.S. Odyssey and the transport Midnight Breeze met at the pre-arranged coordinates. Captain Carter thanked the captain of the Breeze for taking a new passenger - a civilian trader from this sector whose mother just died. Odyssey then departed for the Regulus Sector, while the Breeze headed towards K-7.

Lieutenant Commander Hillel was secretly excited about this mission. A potential Romulan spy named T'Nalsh would come onboard at K-7. Hillel's job was to follow the spy and learn as much as possible.

K-7 security confirmed that the person of interest had been seen socializing with a Vulcan lieutenant that was attending the conference. If Amanda Carpenter's feelings were correct, then T'Nalsh probably wasn't a geologist, and very well could be a spy.

---

I boarded Midnight Breeze and waited for my employer to contact me. Five hours after we departed, I received a communication. He wanted me to send him copies of my records. I may have been an amateur, but I knew better than to do that. Giving all of my information would make me disposable.

We argued for a while, and then I agreed to send everything immediately. I pulled out a data card containing classical Terran literature downloaded from K-7. I translated the documents - Gilgamesh, The Brothers Karamazov, and a few others - into Andorian, encrypted them, and sent them to my contact. Another round of arguing ensued, where I held my ground and promised the encryption key once I was picked up.

The pickup was the one thing that my employer refused to elaborate on. All I was told was that I'd know when it was time to leave. I was in bed thinking about that when something slammed into the transport's shields.

---

Hillel was able to hack into the Midnight Breeze's communications systems before the ship departed from K-7. It took a few more hours to find a way into the sensor system. After a few hours of waiting, a Romulan Mogai de-cloaked.

Hillel ran out of the room and down the hall to where T'Nalsh was. The deck swayed as shots penetrated the Breeze's shields and tore into the hull. He wasn't surprised to find T'Nalsh's door locked. A quick phaser shot into the controls, followed by pulling on the exposed wires, caused the lock to open and the doors to part.

The nose of a disruptor pistol poked between the doors. Hillel suppressed a chuckle - what an amateur! - grabbed the pistol, opened the doors, and pointed the weapon at the man.

"Why are they after you?"

"You must already know the answer," the Vulcan, or Romulan, replied. "Are you here to kill me first? The information..."

The Romulan's sentence was cut off by the transporter effect. The Mogai put a few more shots into the Breeze's hull and then departed.

A few minutes later, a clearly stressed voice came on the intercom. "This is the captain. The bumps were caused by Romulans, who attacked us and stole most of our cargo. We haven't received any reports of fatalities, but if any of you are injured, please seek medical attention now. K-7 has responded to our distress call, and the von Braun will be here in forty minutes to assist us."

Hillel walked back to his assigned bunk and patiently waited to be picked up. Failure never sat well with him.

---

I was beamed into a holding cell. A forcefield came on before I could get my bearings.

A tall man emerged from the shadows. "Where is the information?"

I hadn't thought this part through. "I swallowed the data card when you attacked the transport. That way it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle."

"Very well." The forcefield dropped, and I was shot a fraction of a second later.

When I awoke, a surgeon was stitching my chest back together. Restraints held my arms, legs, and neck against the table. "Thrashing won't help you any," the old man commented. "And we now know that you didn't swallow the data card. It was in your left boot. You could have saved yourself some pain by being honest."

It took all of my strength to reply. "You could have given me pain medicine."

The old man stopped stitching and elbowed my gut. "It sounds like you want to put yourself back together. The centurion told me that you weren't to be given pain medicine or have the wound healed. He never said that I had to be the one to put in the stitches."

I passed out. Sometime later I woke up with a festering wound on my chest. Once I learned to handle the pain, I wondered what punishment they inflicted on my family.

---


Nahash was introduced in this entry.

Part three is here.

Last edited by superhombre777; 05-22-2013 at 08:49 PM.