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Part of USS Arcturus: Epsilon Indi Calling

Chapter Seven: Discovery

USS Janice Rand
Early January, 2399
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“You’re positive?”

“Yes, sir. Visual inspection of the cargo hold confirms that a thousand kilos of ultritium were removed from the hold. Likely using the transporter enhancers we brought with us,” Evandrion replied, gravely. Lancaster cast a withering look at the Bolian next to him, even though he was sure they would have found a way to transport it regardless.

After they’d worked on their hijacking alert (a Hail Mary code from something Ohala remembered from the academy, knowing that Pressman might know all of their official hijacking codes or that they were complex enough for the computer to detect on its own), Lancaster had Evandrion search the ship again for anything useful.

“Best estimates on the yield of such a charge?” Lancaster asked, trying to stay calm as he did the math in his own head, but he wanted to hear it from the security expert. The powerful forcefields within the shuttlebay would automatically engage to protect the Arcturus should a warp core breach on one of the shuttles be detected, if the shuttle couldn’t be expelled by simply depressurizing the bay, but ultritium was extremely powerful and undetectable by standard scans.

“Enough to destroy the majority of the Arcturus’s primary hull, sir,” Evandrion said.

“We have to change the message. They have to know,” Lancaster said.

“We don’t know if they got the first message, though,” Ohala said.

“Leave yours the same and change mine. No time for some sort of number code. Send it in English through my implant,” Lancaster said.

“That would look like an extreme cardiac event. There’s no way Pressman wouldn’t notice that. If these devices can hurt us, we’ve got to find another way,” Sheppard interrupted. “What’s that regulation about no uncoded transmissions?”

“Our shuttle has the ability to decipher any code we might send. We’ve just got to hope he’s so distracted with his plan to commit treason that he doesn’t notice. Do it, Ohala,” Lancaster ordered.