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Part of USS Jaxartes: Routine Patrol:

Escort

Acamar system
27/01/2401
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The Jaxartes spent the next few days escorting the lone Vanoban transport further into a much safer area of Federation space.  Towards the end of the third day; they came across a pair of medium freighters both with mainly human crews.  Both ships where lightly armed with their own phaser turrets which at least offered them some degree of defense, but they welcomed the company of the corvette and the added protection she provided.

Twice during the following day an Orion vessel briefly popped into extreme sensor range, but at no point did it come any closer than that.  Though it was impossible to tell if it was either of the ships they’d previously uncounted or a different one entirely.

The following day the three friends where back together; having breakfast.  Dinari had received some news from home which he was sharing with his two colleagues.  “According to Oumas, my brother Charles just got his third pip or tiny silver moon as she calls them.”  Even though he’d hardly spoke to his family since joining the academy, his grandma would always keep him up to date with news and events.

“That the eldest?” Jason asked knowing that there was only nine minutes between two of the brothers being born.  “So he’s made Commander.  I thought he was a surgeon?”

“Yes, our oldest is Charles,” Dinari smiled. “And yes he’s a surgeon, but also going to be second office aboard one of those huge hospital ships.  Building a new one; the USS Chapel, I think she said they planned on calling it.”

The three of them managed to finish eating and chatting in piece.  Before heading off for their respective duties.

_____

Once in her seat and at the controls; captain Salan gave Ensign Stuart a new course heading and the Jaxartes parted company with the other ships once more.

It wasn’t all that long though before there scanners picked up indications of another vessel.  Something small, about the size of a medium shuttle.  It was heading away from them almost as if it had tried to avoid contact.

“Ensign lay in an intercept, and let us see what our little friend is up to.”

“Aye captain, bringing her about on heading 244 mark 028.”

Had the Federation ship stayed with the freighters even only another hour they would have never noticed the Ferengi sneaking about and this was making the Vulcan officer very suspicious.    That and the fact the shuttle appeared to have increased speed and altered course soon after they’d turned towards it.

“Ensign Cho.” Salan turned his head away from the main view screen. “Hail the Ferengi and order him to slow down”

It was at least two minutes before they got any response and when they did he ordered it up on to the screen.  The image of a large and slightly annoyed Ferengi appeared on the screen.  “What do you hu-mon want now?” He exclaimed leaning forward close to the camera at his end until nothing but his own head was visible. “Oh Vul-can even worse!”  Hr learned back again, folding his arms.

“I’m Lieutenant-Commander Salan of the USS Jaxartes.” Announced Salan. “We thought you might require an escort to wherever it is your going.”

“Going, going!  Why would I be going anywhere?”  With that the Ferengi abruptly cut communications.

“Captain he’s blocking or scans.” Lieutenant Bolka informed Salan.

“Ensign Stuart, get us in close.  If he wants to make a complaint later he can take the matter up with Starfleet.”

She confirmed the order he’d just given and adjusted the corvettes coarse appropriately.

It wasn’t long before the Jaxartes had closed to within two thousand meters of the Ferengi vessel. At which point the Ferengi reappeared on the view screen.  “This is harassment!”  He exclaimed. “I am an innocent law abiding citizen going about my legitimate and lawful business.”  The whole thing sounded well-rehearsed and practiced, as if this individual was in the habit of doing things he shouldn’t.

“I didn’t catch your name, by the way.”  The Vulcan officer asked politely

“I am DiaMon Talr if you must know and this.” He paused a moment to drag another Ferengi into view pressing the other males fat bulbous nose right up against the screen. “This is my useless pilot Norr.”  The face disappeared just as swiftly as it appeared.

“May we come aboard?” Asked Salan, just to gauge the Diamon’s response.

“Oh why not.” Talr leaned back in his chair waving his arms around. “Bring the whole crew over if you must.”

“Thank you DiaMon Talr.  I’m sure that won’t be necessary.”

After breaking contact once more, Salan got up from his captain’s chair.  “Number one you have the bridge.  Ensign Devron with me.”

_____

Not long after the two Starfleet officers materialized onboard DiaMon Talrs’ ship.  Which to both their surprise, though it was impossible to tell on the face of the Vulcan; the Ferengi shuttle craft seemed remarkably empty.  Some might even go as far to say, too empty.  Talr seemed no more cordial in person than he had on the view screen and Norr had the look of an underling who’d basically been told to keep his mouth shut.  He sat there fidgeting, not sure what to do with his hands.

Jason tried his best to suppress a smile, as he and the Lieutenant-Commander made an inspection of the ship.

After twenty minutes they returned to the Jaxartes. As they stepped off the transporter pad, Salan turned to the young Ensign.  “What do you make of all that?”

“I’d say he was hiding something.  But as to what and where, I honestly haven’t a clue.”

“Indeed Mr. Devron, indeed.”