United or Untied: A serialized Stev story. Part 3
“Yes, and you are Captain Teven?” she said barely able to contain the small smile forming at the corner of her mouth.
“She recognizes me even through the Romulan disguise,” Stev thought to himself. “Yes, I understand you are in need of a ship?” he replied in the aloof manner of a Romulan merchant-prince.
“Yes I have a very special delivery that needs to be made.” She returned, able to now mask her near slip with the relief of someone who just got some good news.
“Wonderful, perhaps we could discuss the terms of this delivery aboard my ship and you can determine if it will suit your needs,” Stev waved his arm indicating she could enter the vessel if she wished.
Atropos affected an appraising eye and then looked the Ghost Rider, now masquerading as the Plaplak Jag’r and then spoke, “Yes your ship looks adequate enough from the exterior. I need to determine if it has the cargo capacity needed.”
Stev placed his palm on the hidden scanner located on the exterior bulkhead. The hatch opened and he stepped through.
“Follow me,” he called over his shoulder. “Audio-masking now,” he called to his tribble using the protocol indicating non-approved personnel were coming aboard.
Phread initiated the computer procedure that recorded the voice patterns of those speaking inside the shuttle. The computer then rebroadcast an innocuous conversation using those same vocal patterns to any external scanning or listening devices.
Stev waited at the entrance for the human female to enter. Once she was inside he sealed the hatch and proceeded to the cargo area of his tiny craft. Describing the elaborate measures he could use to ensure the safety of the cargo he kept an eye on the computer screens. When the computer had recorded enough of Professor Jenkins vocal patterns to initiate the audio-masking protocol Stev wound down the tour of the cargo bay. He then indicated the living quarters as the direction to go. When the pair had seated themselves in the eating area and he had verified that audio-masking was running, Stev finally let the recognition he had suppressed earlier show on his face.
“Professor Jenkins, it has been a long time since Fourth-Year Alien Languages.”
“Jij y’trewq O’k?” she asked in Andorian.
“Reowr mahwahr Stev,” he replied in Caitian.
“Noto ta, Stev?” she asked in Vulcan.
“Yes it is really me, the man who according to you did more for the universal translator than the legendary Hoshi Sato,” he replied also in Vulcan.
“Stev? How long has it been and what happened to your forehead?” she continued the conversation in Vulcan.
“It has been twenty-eight standard years since I was in your class and the forehead is a long story.”
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