En Route to Roosevelt Station
Eden stepped off the transporter pad, unclipping and removing her helmet in the same well-trained motion before shaking her head to loosen her long hair. “So… what did you find?”
Tek didn’t look up from the artifact he was gazing at. “Digs says it’s old, whatever it is. And that you’d know the iconography.
Petty Officer Sutok, known on the Hazard Team as “Digs” for his day job in the science labs and specialty in ancient things, did meet her eyes. Under a deep layer of Vulcan calm, Eden felt the tiny flame of excitement and worry in equal measures. “This is the oldest humanoid artifact I have ever seen, Commander, and its origin is… troubling… in multiple ways.”
Eden held the Vulcan’s gaze. “Explain.”
“The artifact shows evidence of pitting consistent with unique radiation patterns from hundreds of millennia of exposure to the Cardassian sun,” Sutok replied. “As for why such a thing being on a Cardassian world would be troubling, I think it is best you see it.”
Eden knelt before the low table on which the artifacts rested. Two crystals of benamite – likely what the Breen had bought the lot to win. A long chain with the insignia of a Klingon house long dead on a medallion. A stone pyramid, ten centimeters tall, with intricate Bajoran script carved into it. And a disk of unidentifiable metal with a language Eden did not recognize etched in precise, thin characters. The insignia at the disk’s center, though Eden knew immediately, even without the colors it usually bore.
Two twisted teardrops, one far longer than the other, circling a flame with no apparent fuel.
“Tkon,” Eden whispered. “Any luck with the translator?”
“A little,” Sutok replied. “The disk is a key to open a distant Tkon facility. It appears it was removed from a larger relic which may have been either a star map to the facility or Mr. Tek’s grandmother’s rusted oats recipe.”
“No ancient star-mover wrote my grandma’s recipe. It’s a damned original,” the Tellarite grunted.
“Indeed. So, unless another possibility presents itself with further analysis…”
Eden sighed. “The Cardassians may or may not know they’re sitting on a star map to an ancient, locked Tkon facility, and there are any number of people they may think have the key.”
“Precisely, Commander,” Sutok said, folding his hands in his lap.
“Sui,” Eden called to the cockpit. “Contact the station as soon as we’re across the border. Tell them that I need to speak with Gul Malen, Starfleet Command, and Lagashi Naval Headquarters as soon as it can possibly be arranged.”