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Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces 

 Someone went to a lot of trouble to design and plant [the virus] on Aegis. And we find it and fix the problem without more than a few sleepless nights and some replicator malfunctions?  There's something else, another piece to this puzzle that we haven't spotted yet.  
~Commander Scott Coleridge 


Aside from a thoughtful sigh, the captain's office was silent as she, Admiral Solokov, and Captain Raza considered possible containment strategies. The likelihood of an attack on Aegis space or the station itself seemed to be growing bit by bit, piece by piece, a few things here, a few things there, distractions that could suddenly lead to a serious threat. Like the raptors of ancient earth, the Alien Alliance seemed to be distracting from the front, gaining their attention, and then attacking from both sides.

Thank Kahless for Jorahl's exceptional defense grid, thought Kirel as she studied Raza and Solokov’s expressions, onscreen from Rendezvous October. 

"What incidents do we have so far, Captain?" The admiral's question broke the silence.

After a deep breath, Kirel flipped open her slate. “So far we have several, Admiral. Our most recent is fairly minor: the discovery of building materials left in the unfinished area of the station.  Security pinned down a man called Crow, the radical leader of a cartel. How he intended to use these materials is still unknown, but they have been confiscated.”

“Ah… and the small, apparently smelly alien species that assisted has been given asylum, correct?”

“Yes, Admiral.  We have no way to return them safely to their home world.”  Kirel glanced questioningly to SI-6 Director Raza, who waved her on.

“Next, I believe that you are familiar with the latest alien ship that attempted to attack Aegis?”

Yes.  Captain d’Ka informed us.  Quite a ship, as I understand.  Delta-wing, black stealth hull.  Interesting configuration.  Apparently it will take quite a while for them to decipher the codes, identify the composition of the hull, and analyze their method of travel, not to mention why they sent an inexperienced crew directly into an attack zone.”

“Expendable, Admiral.”  

Kirel paused as Solokov sighed and hung his head.  “Missouri’s physicians have yet to determine the species. I tend to believe that they are similar to the gremlins: naive, innocent, and believing everything they were told.”

Humanoid species?”

“No, Admiral... which leads to another mystery. When the ship docked at An-Ward, the species that unceremoniously kicked the presumed drunkard, Commander Cayne, out the door and into the sand was definitely humanoid, similar to terrans.”

Raza’s hand went up as he leaned forward, his lips pursed in thought.  “Kirel, wasn’t that ship able to beam through cloaks?”

“It was, and it is probably still able to do so.  However,” Kirel continued, holding up a hand to the inevitable question, and knowing that she would have to choose her words carefully. “Captain d’Ka is aware and has… ways of preventing such things… as well as other things that might pose a danger to his ship, his crew, Aegis, or anyone else in the area.”

“And that is why they took the alien ship aboard Missouri and why they are in high orbit?”


Very well, Captain. Continue.

The slate scrolled down to the very first incident. “Significant glitches in several areas of Aegis.  They hit random areas of the station and came to a screeching halt, as some call it.  The first was a red alert klaxon that locked all doors, essentially holding the entire station hostage.  

“Then the replicators decided to play chef,”  She looked up. “Not my wording, but appropriate.  After 38 hours of chasing shadows —again not my words—Starfleet Command sent Commander Eli Drexler with 30 plus engineers to assist.  His words were, Our biggest problem is finding and losing.  We start tracking something, almost get it, and it disappears into something else, almost like it has a mind of its own.  One minute it targets the replicators, the next minute the replicators are fine and the klaxons start blaring.  Like kids playing a game.

“Eventually, engineering and science collaborated to disarm the virus.  Taking that into account, I am inclined to agree with Commander Coleridge, that we conquered the virus too easily and that there is more to this than meets the eye.”

Solokov leaned back, stroking his chin for a moment before asking, “Testing the waters?”

“Anything is possible, Admiral.  Eventually we will find out.”


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