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Part of USS Al-Batani: 001 – Uncertainty at Alim and Roosevelt Station: 001 – The Hunt

14: Revelations

Lamek Manor - Basement
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Ailiang kept the power output on her tricorder to a minimum, scanning the walls as she moved through the basement. There was an odd amount of power flowing through those walls – far more than was necessary to provide power and computing to a house the size of Lamek’s, but not enough to operate a shield, weapons, or advanced sensors. It was also only in the basement that she found the extra power, and it was sufficiently shielded from the house above that Ailiang’s tricorder and implants could find no trace of it.

“Ensign Li Ling?” Zaya’s voice came from behind her, and Ailiang spun, forcing herself not to jump. Wasn’t scanning for life forms.

“Zaya,” Ailiang said quietly. “What is it?”

Zaya stepped out of one of the side rooms, holding a data rod in her hand. “I… found something. One of my father’s access keys for the house network. I was thinking of using it myself, but… well, it seemed like you’d be able to do more with it.”

Ailiang blinked. “That would be very helpful. But once you give it to me… well, I will use it. But I can’t control what Captain Enigma does with what I learn, and I will report what I find to her.”

Zaya nodded. “My father is wrong. Whatever he’s doing… it’s wrong. I want it stopped. If that costs me something… I’ll pay it.”

Ailiang moved forward, took the rod. “Zaya… what happened?”

“He found out I’ve been talking to Klim,” Zaya said quietly. “He got angry. Yelled. Called him… terrible things. Said the Kolamites are going to try to take the planet from us..”

Ailiang touched her hand. “I’ll do what I can, Zaya. Is Klim safe? Are you?”

“My father wouldn’t hurt me,” Zaya said. “Even at his biggest rage, he only yelled. And I don’t think he’ll hurt Klim either, other than trying to destroy his home and force his people off the planet.”

Ailiang nodded, squeezing the girl’s hand. “You’re a good person, Zaya. The exact sort of person who will make this planet work long term. Thank you.”

“You can thank me by finding out what my father’s planning and stopping him,” Zaya said. “I need to get back. I don’t want him to know I was down here.”

“Be careful.” Ailiang released the girl’s hand, and Zaya rushed up the corridor, toward the stairs. Ailiang slipped the rod into her belt pouch and continued down the hallway, stopping at a room where she found a lot of power flowing in.

The computer core stood, shining in duranium and aluminum against the dark brick of the basement. Ailiang smiled, making her way over, scanning it. Data popped up around it to her vision, a cascade of words in Lagashi-dialect Mandarin, English, and Cardassian, with the Cardassian quickly being translated to Mandarin. Finding no traps, Ailiang inserted the rod. Her implants translated the text on the holographic screen as it appeared.

Communication system open. Connection established.

Ailiang blinked, then started to look through the logs. As she worked, she felt the blood drain from her face. This is worse than Zaya could have imagined…