(( "Empty" Building, Prak Zel ))
:: Without a phaser rifle and without any real means to create sensory overload for the enemy Foster highly doubted their attempt to capture the enemy ship would be successful, but he needed to report his findings anyway. ::
Foster: Seven lifeforms up there, gentlemen. Five Klingons and a couple of Suliban buddies. Also a cloaked thing, that matches the dimensions of a bird almost perfectly. :: He nodded to Zehn. :: Your information was correct.
Handley: Excellent, well done.
Zehn: Well, at least it isn't a squad of foot soldiers...
Matthews: Bite your tongue, all we need to do is jinx it.
Foster: I can unlock the "manhole" easily, but is it prudent for us to storm from below?
Handley: Well I always say caution is the better part of valour. If we have the readings of the Bird of Prey, we need not tackle it. Proof is all we need. :: Pause :: But a distraction to keep them busy may also help.
Foster: Now if Mr. taJoot could trigger an emergency on their little ship over there… That would give a fighting chance.
taJoot: :: hearing his name :: .. uh, sorry? Oh! Uh, I might have a way to activate some of the ship's docked-in-a-port behaviours, which doesn't sound impressive except … if I'm reading this right, that means handing over temporary control of navigation, cloak, and shields. No weapons control, though-- I guess Klingon captains never let somebody else decide when they can fire.
:: He looked up at the others, warning on his face.::
taJoot: The problem is that I don't know how long I could keep the shell game going. I would be using the inactive state of some systems to lie to others-- but if I actually try to do anything, those systems will change state, and my lie will collapse. Also, one of you should probably check my work.
Handley: That might work.
Zehn: I'd imagine they aren't expecting us so anything we can do to distract them...
Foster: Let's see what we can do.
Matthews: I could stand off to the side and cheer you on Ensign. When it comes to stuff like this that's all I'm really good for. Unless you want a computer broken, then I'm your man.
:: Foster moved next to taJoot. ::
Foster: I say we mess their power systems a bit and cause an alert. Unless we can actually shut down their shield. That would be something…
taJoot: I haven't got any power-related options ye-- oh, wait, there, that's a validation protocol for a remote core shutdown, isn't it? but it's three layers thick-- uh, but we can definitely shut down the shield. I just don't know how long it will stick. The system's integrity functions will re-establish control eventually.
Handley: That would certainly annoy them, and give us time to get back to base..
:: Just then Lt Zehn's badge chirped. ::
Chen: =/\= Chen to Zehn. =/\=
Zehn: =/\= Go ahead Lieutenant =/\=
Chen: =/\= Sir, Ensign Malik has been able to decipher the transmission fully. It was a go order for the attack on the Deuterium escort. We're also investigating something that they have released near the Vigilant that they referred to as a 'product'. I think it might have been a biological agent of some sort. =/\=
Zehn: =/\= That's not good. Speak to Dr Davis to find out if there is any evidence of such an agent. =/\=
Chen: =/\= I'm on my way to sickbay now, sir. You should know that the signal originated in the StratEcon building in Prak Zel. It looks like whoever is pulling the strings behind this operation is holed up there. =/\=
Zehn: =/\= Copy that, we'll look into that at our end. =/\=
Chen: =/\= Good luck, Lieutenant. I'll call again if we find anything else. =/\=
Zehn: =/\= Thank you. =/\=
Chen: =/\= Chen out. =/\=
Handley: Well, that sounds like our cue? We need to finish up here and get to StratEcon. So set the bugging device on the transmitter, and give our Klingon friends a little surprise on their ship, we have proof to give the Captain and the Zakdorns about what their potential allies are up to.::
:: Just then there was the sound of heavy footsteps… ::
:: taJoot scrambled to his feet, sticking the mini-core under one arm, then ducked to slam the engineering kit shut, before grabbing it and the PADD. ::
taJoot: I'll have to be outside the shield and near the transmitter if you want me to leave a bug in place, sir.
Foster: Go ahead, ensign. In the meantime I'll patch transmission line so it broadcast the signal from your bug, OK?
:: The idea here was not only to get the proof of the Klingon ship, but also an ability to use their own communications system to transmit the image and whatever else their bugs could get to the outside - to the Vigilant certainly, maybe to Zakdorn public information systems as well… ::
Handley: Let's make it snappy…
::They quickly moved, single file to a location where the ensign could appropriately work. Foster took a position nearby and started working with his own instruments. ::
Zehn: Has sickbay reported any jump in illnesses overnight?
:: Leo scratched his chin thoughtfully. ::
Handley: Yes…. Yes Doctor Davis called me not long ago, asking permission to initiate the EMH due to heavy demand for biobeds. Is this related? It would seem so.
Zehn: Hopefully Lt Chen will alert them and things aren't going to escalate. It isn't like the Klingons to engage in biological warfare but if they are, that's a real worry.
Handley: Very, it seems there will be very few levels to which they will not now stoop.
Zehn: Although, it will certainly not ingratiate them to the local population.
Handley: True, but then it depends who the locals blame?
Matthews: There wouldn't be any honor in fighting a sick and weakened person, I would imagine that the Zakdorns are behind that one. The ones pulling the strings here will try and make it look like our fault. They want public support in order to break away from Star Fleet and to join the Klingon Empire, or at least I guess that they would.
:: Foster was only half listening to the conversation, not wanting to break his concentration on the comms patch. The work was simple but finicky, because it had to stay undetected by the enemy as long as possible. And Foster was sure that the guards did some sort of perimeter sweep, even though they haven't posted any sentries outside.
Handley: Anyway, if you chaps have got your readings, distractions deployed and proof of this cloaked Bird of Prey logged – let's make our way to the StratEcon site. I think things are about to kick off, especially with the news we have!
Matthews: Great, from enemy Klingons to politicians, there's no winning here is there? Ready whenever you are sir. Swear while it seemed like I was doing nothing I slipped over to where the Bird of Prey is and planted a tracking device. . . to uh track it once she is up in space an pretty much undetectable to our sensors. Yeah, that's it, not sure if it will work or not. But hey worth a shot!
Foster: I'm done. If this StratEcon building is truly nearby - at least within two kilometers, I may be able to trigger transmission from my tricorder.
:: Foster followed the others out. It was good to leave the building, but the Chief of Science didn't cherish the thought of visiting government premises. He didn't trust any government, including the one that ruled the Earth. ::
Foster: I wonder about the transmitter at the Ministry. We won't find anything concealed, you know. They must've been using the official one. Therefore the only way we could catch them red handed is to precipitate the link between the source within and their Bird of Prey. Or do we have some other plan?
Foster: And what do we do then? Arrest them? I mean - isn't this stepping a bit out of protocol?
Lt. Harold Foster
Chief Science Officer