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Part of USS Daedalus: Those Moments Inbetween

Afoot

USS Daedalus
9.10.2401
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“You’ve made a Bajoran and a Vulcan very happy today, Ensign.”  Captain Wren Walton was on the viewscreen, her face a mix of finding amusement in the middle of the demilitarized zone and being impressed at Ensign Shaw.  “They’re requesting to rendevous with you on a runabout.  They’ll be to you within a few hours.”

Captain Dread sat forward in the command chair, “Wren, we’ll send Shaw over with Atega, Fowler, and a security escort.  Whatever or whoever’s there needs to be dealt with urgently.  If we find this Jeremiah Muncie, we’ll hold him until your people get here – won’t even ask him much aside from name and rank.”

Walton appeared to contemplate countermanding the order of her deputy squadron leader but thought better of it.  “Get to work – whatever this is, we need to be able to move on from it.  We’ve got a list of remaining colonies to support.  Walton out.”  The channel closed.

Fowler turned in her chair. “We’re getting sensor readings on the station, Captain. The transport ship that’s docked is offline…and along with most of the station. Life support systems are barely active.”  She examined the schematics further, “She’s an old station with a lot of mixed parts.  I don’t know where one class ends and another begins.”

From her seat, Helena examined the small station on the screen, “We are pretty far out here – who would have known to look for him…or this station?”  She thought through what they had discovered, “You imagine someone was looking for him…found his signal and tracked him down.  Those impacts look like weapons fire.”

Sadie was thinking the same thing, “Sensors are having a hard time identifying what kind of weapon fire it is, but it’s present…it’s old, whatever it is.”  She sent the ongoing report to Ensign Athena at tactical, “Can you make sense of this?”  They were still not best friends.  They had managed to keep it professional.

The Bajoran slid her hands across the console, her eyes searching the data streams.  She squinted, rotating the various points, “Whatever ship they were using, it was just as old as the station – those are the kind of phaser readings you’d find on a retrofitted Constitution I or something similar – maybe a Miranda.  It doesn’t make sense because whatever technologies they mashed together to make it work – that signature is unlike anything I’ve seen or read about.”  She turned in her chair, “There’s some tactical systems research happening with mercenary units and the like – understanding how they’ve cobbled together whatever they can to make a living on the edges.  It’s fascinating stuff, as long as you can mind the less-than-legal operators they’re studying.”

Dread shook her head, “You lost me at mercenary work, Ensign Athena.  Are we alone?” She was asking both officers – science and tactical often had similar interests.

Fowler was finishing her long-range sensor sweep, “Nothing on our boards, sir.”  Athena gave a similar report.

Helena amended her earlier orders, “Add an engineering team to your away team, Lieutenants Atega and Fowler.  Find out what happened over there…and the quicker, the better.”

 

The transporter beams faded.  The security team slipped out their phasers and quickly cleared the transporter room and into the hallway while the engineering team examined the consoles and stations.  Fowler was working on her larger scanning unit while Atega slipped out her tricorder.  The engineering ensign team reported the transporter was in good condition.  Security returned and motioned for the rest of the team to follow them.

The station was a wreck; flickering lights echoed off hallways, walls, and cavernous ceilings.  Security cleared the rest of the deck.  There were only three decks on the station, and the third one was engineering.  Fowler spoke up, “I’m getting a faint life sign from engineering.”  The security team moved as they were trained – checking every corner, side room, and intersection as they descended the stairs.  Atega was at the rear and felt pride in her heart at how effective they were – she’d remained ensconced in her communications world for too long, it seemed.  She’d missed the rest of the world getting as good at their jobs as she was at hers.  They reached the massive door on the lower deck, and Fowler confirmed that the life sign was beyond.

Engineering stepped in and began their work.  Atega turned to Fowler, “You read the file?”  A nod.  “They’ve been looking for this guy since…like, July.  I have to give those two investigators credit – they weren’t going to let this case die out in space somewhere.”

Fowler wasn’t as interested in the case as she was in the classic architecture of the station.  She had a thing for the old designs – the lines and dynamics were startling when compared to the sleek and smooth designs of the 2400’s.  “Well, let’s hope it’s an easy case to…,”

The door groaned open and then screeched the last few feet as dust and debris fell as it came to a rest. The darkness ahead was lit by a single light on the reactor. Security clicked on flashlights and went to work while the engineering team scanned from a distance, getting a sense of whatever they were going to have to do to keep the station alive. “Clear. It’s pretty rough, Lieutenants.”

Atega and Fowler stepped in as the engineering team sprinted to the idling reactor and went to work.  Both women could see the shapes of bodies outlined in the darkness but were taken aback as the lights clicked on and the humble rumble of power shuddered the deck under their feet.  Five bodies were splayed out around the engineering room, bloodied and bruised.  And sitting up against the purring power source was a face they’d seen in the reports.

Shaw stumbled into the room, his eyes wide.  First time on the bridge.  First time on an away team.  And first…murder?  He wasn’t sure what had happened.  He spotted his two senior officers and walked up beside him, taking in the body.  “Jeremiah Muncie, I presume?”

Fowler was in frown mode and squatted down, scanning Muncie’s corpse.  “Dead.  Very dead.  A rough estimate is a day or two.  Doctor Reid can give a better idea.”  She glanced around the room, “And here I thought this was going to be a simple case…we find the bad guy, we detain the bad guy, and then we sit back and wait for the Mack.”

Atega remarked dryly, “Barzo and V’luth are going to love and hate this.  Let’s get the scene secured.  They are nothing if not sticklers for the procedure.”