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Part of USS Daedalus: Those Moments Inbetween

The Game

USS Daedalus
9.10.2401
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“He wanted to be found.”  Jordan Reid knelt over the body of Jeremiah Muncie; her equipment spread out while other members of the medical response team examined the four other bodies in the engineering room.  She had been gently using her surgery tools to dig into the man’s chest, pulling out a small metal unit.  “This is what you detected as a slight life sign.  Best as I can tell, he wired it up to himself years ago so that this thing kicked in when his life signs flatlined.”

Fowler was working on the ship’s computer in the corner of the room and turned, “Why would he do that?”  She was confused – dead was dead.  She amended her statement.  Dead wasn’t dead all the time.  Sometimes.

Reid slipped the device into a container, “Whatever Muncie was, he was practical – maybe he didn’t want his body to be left on the edge of space?  We pulled a few data chips off him – I suspect he wanted his body to be found and cared for in some way.  Even the bad guys who don’t care most of the time about anything…sometimes they care about what happens to the body they left behind.”

Sadie wasn’t sure how to feel.  She returned to the station’s computer, “Well, hope someone claims the body.  This station hasn’t been used for anything good in years.  Logs are sporadic from group to group who claimed it and ran it.  Syndicate, True Way, and most recently, The New Maquis…but they didn’t leave much of a trail.”  She scrolled as she asked, “Who are the other four bodies?”

Reid sealed Muncie’s body in a container and stepped away as two orderlies picked it up and transported it back to the Daedalus.  She accepted a PADD from one of her nurses, “We’ve got names on three of them.  Kelley Hasa – was wanted in several places for murder.  Harold Nam, who was at the top of the Ferengi’s most wanted list for significant financial troubles he gave them and others. And Circe Glonk.  A noted weapons dealer who was on the radar of several intelligence agencies, both public and private.”  She walked over to the lone Klingon body, “This one…we’re not sure.  He’s not coming up in the various systems.  V’luth and Barzo are working on it.”

A shimmering transporter appeared, revealing Captain Wren Walton of the Mackenzie.  “Report.”  Reid did the run down for her and handed over the PADD with the ongoing results.  The frown on the captain’s face deepened, “This is a list of rough players.  What were they doing here with Muncie – his record isn’t clean, but he’d only recently risen to murder.”

Jordan accepted the PADD back, “There’s a lot here that doesn’t make sense, captain.  Their wounds are consistent with long-term torture.  They each died with a point-blank shot with an energy weapon to the head.  Ligature marks suggest some were tied up while others weren’t.”

Walton walked around the room, glancing at the marked areas where the bodies had been found.  She walked around each of them several times, her eyes searching the bloodied floor before asking, “What if they weren’t all on the same team…at least at first?”  She stood by where Muncie had been found, “What if some of them were hunting him down?”

Fowler finished the work on the console and stood, “You mean like…bounty hunters, sir?”

“Not like…I mean the real thing. Muncie pulled off a pretty good scheme.  He also upset plenty of folks.  Maybe he or his employers didn’t imagine there’d be such a reaction or blowback…but they came looking for him.”  She shook her head, “But who came looking for the bounty hunters, then?  Who took them off the board…and why?”

Reid had been wondering the same thing.  She had paced out the entire room, her mind at work given the evidence before them.  She posited, “What if the information Muncie had…or the connection he had…was dangerous?  Dangerous enough to send someone to make sure he didn’t talk…and whoever had found him didn’t either?”

Walton was following, “Whoever that is…has a long memory and likes to keep loose ends cleaned up.  Sounds like our old friend Patra.  But we know he’s dead…oh, shit.”  She apologized for her outburst and explained, “Between Mackenzie and Daedalus, we’ve been chasing Pandora Crawford and her shadows.  She’s smart, but she’s brutal.  Her profile would fit something like this – Muncie’s device and her failure to find that hidden signal we latched onto – she’s not focused on the science.  Which makes me wonder…why didn’t she just blow the station up?”

That question gave them all pause.  Reid answered, “She’s practical – she might need this station again sometime.  As far as she knew, nobody was going to find this place out here.  Having a station to use as a waypoint helps.  Lick your wounds, plot your next step.”  She shrugged at the curious look most of the away team gave her, “I may be a doctor, but I dabble in wargames every so often.”

Wren grimaced, “Well, we’re going to do a little more of those, Doctor Reid.  Pandora Crawford isn’t giving up her fight…so neither can we.  Full reports on the bodies as soon as you can.  Let’s lock this station up and see if we can figure out where she headed next.  Lots of space and colonies out here for her to hide behind.”