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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 1 – Measure by Measure and USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

DMBM 019 – Her Majesty’s Secret Service

USS Daedalus
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“That is an old station.” Lieutenant Elizabeth McKee stood behind her Chief, Greer Moore.  They had acquired an older civilian shuttle to get aboard the alleged Syndicate-controlled station that Pandora Crawford had recently brought under her control.  Allegedly.  There were many mysteries in the universe to chase down, and this one was the job of the Daedalus and her crew.

“Age on a station or ship isn’t always bad, Beth.  Frontier Day taught us a lot about that.”  Greer piloted the ship casually closer to the Regula-style station, “I’d rather be trying to sneak onto something I know a lot about rather than something I have no idea about.”  She slowed the shuttle and tapped the channel open, “Shuttle Horizon from Harris Transport requesting docking.”

An annoyed voice answered, “Dock at Port 12.”

Geer snapped the channel shut, “Well, at least they’re straightforward.”  They were dressed in the uniforms of the transport company, and Rachel Harris had even input their employee records into the system after the idea came to their security chief.  McKee had reached out, and the rest was history.  The shuttle rocked slightly as it slid into the docking mechanism.  Moore chuckled, “Like a glove.”

They walked through the secured door and onto the station, where a worker stood, indifferent.  He held up his hand, “What are you here for?”

Greer handed over a Harris Transport tablet, “We’re here to see about setting up trade operations with your station.  Heard you needed some older model replicators and consoles.  We’ve been picking up some of the scuttling operations with some Federation agencies, and we’ve ended up with a bunch of outdated stuff.”

He clicked through the tablet and handed it back, “I’m interested.  Bring what you got to our workshop, and we’ll see what we like.  Loaders are over there.”  He stalked off, leaving the two of them alone.  The dock area was drab and run down.  Some lights weren’t functional, and the air circulation system felt like it was working at half capacity.

 

 

It took them fifteen minutes to load up and move the units to the workshop.  The leader of the station identified himself as Chatsworth Hossa.  He was short and stocky, with an air of indifference around him.  He moved from piece to piece, scanning both with his eyes and a portable device.  Greer and  McKee stood off the side, waiting patiently.

Hossa did two rounds of the table, making notes on his device as he went.  “It’s outdated, that is for sure.  You do your research; I’ll give you that.”  He turned to them, “How much?”

Greer took the lead, “We’re interested in a longer relationship.  We’ve been reaching out to other stations and operations that have the older units.”  We’re about finding a use for this old junk and not throwing it away.”

He scoffed, “You’re also looking to expand your business.  I’ve been hearing about your operation.  You sure you want to play in the dirtier end of the galaxy?”

McKee replied, “We’re not interested in supplying weapons.  We’re interested in keeping these old stations working.  Harris Transport does good work with refurbished pieces.  We’ve got a pretty good track record.”

Hossa narrowed his eyes at them, considering the offer.  He drummed his worn fingers on the table before giving a nod, “We’ll take them.  I’ve got a list of stuff we could use.”  He picked up a stack of papers and handed it over, “That’s the latest.  You can grab some chow on the promenade if you’re hungry.  It ain’t great, but it’s good enough.”

 

 

“Chatsworth Hossa.  A known Syndicate operative.  Last known position was freelance.”  Greer tapped at the shuttle’s computer.  As old as it looked, they had stored as much intelligence data to review in case they needed information.  She kept reading, “Wanted by three governments for alleged terroristic actions he’s participated in, alleged to have ties to several illegal drug operations.  Accused in at least three murders with complicit evidence in one.  And he seems so nice.”

McKee mused, “There’s nothing here tying him to Pandora Crawford or The Orion Syndicate.”  She leaned back in the chair, “What if that’s her game?  She’s at least aware that we will be looking for her and connections we can chase down.  What if she’s staffing her more out front stations with faces and names we can’t tie to her operation.”

Moore agreed, “She’s smart; I’ll give her that.  She might also be practicing a more refined version of Patra’s style of shielding the various operators from knowing certain things.  Hossa may know he’s working for Pandora, but he may only know what she’s telling him.”

The Deputy Chief asked, “With what she’s capable of…maybe it’s safer for these guys not to ask and go along with whatever’s supplying the replacement equipment and keeping the replicators stocked.”  McKee leaned forward, “What if…we found a way to put some passive stuff in the equipment or on the station…that could give us information.”

Greer scoffed, “Like intelligence gathering?  To quote my great grandfather, ‘James Bond, you ain’t.’  You can’t be serious.  You know how many treaties, rules, and procedures that would break?”

McKee quipped, “Probably in the double digits.”  She thought for a second more, “What if…we stayed longer?  Daedalus isn’t going anywhere far with their searches.  Instead of risking breaking all those…things…what if we were the listening and observing equipment?”

“I’m not sure how I feel about being called equipment…but you suggest we work with him?  He’s a badass bastard, McKee!”

“Yes.  And we need information.  We need to know what the hell is going on.  And nobody seems willing to give us anything.  We can only threaten so much until we actually have to start punching or shooting someone.  And I think that’s another round of violations to count.”

Moore grumbled, “I hate having no other options.”

“Then let’s pull a Captain Kirk in the Koybe…”

“That is the worst idea I’ve ever heard.”

“You don’t know what I was going to say!”

“You were going to say we break the rules, reprogram the station in some madcap adventure, and bend, then snap the reality of the Orion Syndicate to get us to Pandora Crawford.”

McKee mumbled, “You got most of it.”

Moore patted her shoulder, “Let’s send our encrypted message to Captain Dread.  She’s going to love this.”

“Is she?”

“No.  She is going to hate this.  I’m trying to stay positive.”

“Then you should have said you’re positive she will hate this.”

Greer grinned, “I knew there was a reason I kept you around. Helping me see the brighter side of life. Let’s get this message sent.”