Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

United or Untied: A serialized Stev story Part 5

Two hours later, the loading had been completed.  Stev and his old professor sat in the cockpit of the Ghost Rider and prepared for departure.

“Deep Space 3, this is Plaplak Jag’r, we are ready for departure clearance,” Stev spoke into the comm.

Plaplak Jag’r, you are cleared for departure.”

Stev shut down the comm channel and piloted the tiny ship from its berth.  When he had cleared the station he set a course for Romulan space.  Once that was accomplished, he turned his attention towards the security systems panel.

“Computer, commence security scan.”

Working,” Phread replied on screen as the computer voiced the same acknowledgement.

Stev waited until Phread had given him the all clear indicator before he turned to Professor Jenkins as he had known her so many years before.

Atropos, the computer has given me the all clear.  There are no detected bugs or indicators that we are being monitored, tracked, or followed,” Stev spoke in Rihannsu as he reactivated the audio masking protocol just to be safe.

Picking up on his verbal cues, Professor Jenkins replied also in Rihannsu, “That is good Teven, we don’t want some Federation border patrol to board us and seize this shipment.”

“I believe it is safe to talk, Professor,” Stev replied in standard.

“If it is safe to talk, why did we begin our conversation in Rihannsu?” she asked.

“I have an audio masking program installed on the comm system.  If anyone does attempt to hijack my comm system, the computer puts up a brief struggle before mimicking a security breach.  It then broadcasts a completely innocuous conversation in the language that was being spoken at the time of its activation,” he replied.

“So if anyone starts tapping into your comm system now they will hear a completely different conversation between the two of us in Rihannsu?”

“Correct”

“Those October scientists sure do come up with some elaborate security measures.”

“Actually, this protocol is my own design,” the Vulcan replied matter-of-factly.

“You always did have a gift for languages and computer programming,” she answered with a teacher’s pride in her voice.

“Thank you Professor,” he answered.

Teven,” she began with an emphasis on his alias, “if you persist in calling me that, you will certainly blow our cover on Romulus.  “Please call me Phyllis.  It is my given name and the name that Romulan border patrol knows me by.”

“Very well, Phyllis,” Stev answered with a smile.

Twelve hours later, the two October agents had caught up on the non-classified portions of their lives.  They had gone over the particulars of the mission and were conversing in Romulan as their ship sped toward Romulan space.  Sticking to the unclassified portions of the past twenty-eight years, they talked as friends being reacquainted.

“So in all this time you’ve never sought companionship?” Phyllis asked.

“It has not been necessary,” Stev answered with a trace of melancholy in his voice.

“You mean physically, don’t you?”

Knowing that his old professor was referring to Ponn Far, Stev looked directly in her eyes, “Yes, it will not be necessary for some months.”

“But do you have anyone to talk to Stev?” she prodded.

Not wanting to compromise Phread or reveal the existence of his protégé, he simply answered, “I have people to talk to when the need arises.”

Phyllis smiled, “Well then, now that you know where I am you can add me to that list and stop by DS3 the next time you’re in the neighborhood.”

“Thank you professor, I shall.”

Before Phyllis could respond the comm system crackled to life, “Unidentified vessel, you have entered Romulan Space from the Neutral Zone,” a cold voice declared in Rihannsu.  “You have 30 seconds to identify yourself or be reduced to a smoldering hulk.”

Certainly,” Stev replied back in the same language, “this is Captain Teven of the Plaplak Jag’r.  We are twelve hours out of Deep Space 3 with a shipment bound for Romulus.  To whom am I speaking?”

This is the R.S.E. Warbird, Stellar Sword.  Plaplak Jag’r, you are not listed as an authorized Neutral Zone merchant ship.”

I realize that, Stellar Sword.  I have been commissioned by an authorized zone merchant to haul this shipment for her.”

The voice at the other end of the comm frequency turned icy, “And we are just supposed to believe you?  Unidentified ships and Federation spies often disappear without a trace.”

No, Stellar Sword, I do not expect you to take his word for it.  I expect you to take mine,” Phyllis entered the conversation with a tone of malice in her voice.

And you are?”

Phyllis Jenkins, merchant number 89-919699, jol’khe to Ambassador Knileb.”

The prolonged silence indicated that her name dropping had the desired effect.

Minutes later the comm crackled back to life, but without the arrogance, “Plaplak Jag’r, you are cleared for a merchant run to Romulus.  The Ambassador requests your presence along with your passenger for dinner at his residence.”

Thank you Stellar Sword.  Tell the Ambassador that I will be there,” Phyllis said as she closed the channel.   Turning to Stev she continued in standard, “And that is how we get through Romulan security.”

Stev laughed as he piloted the disguised Ghost Rider on a course for the Empire’s seat of power.

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

December 12, 2010 Posted by | Agent of October, Star Trek, Stev | , , , , | Leave a comment

United or Untied: A serialized Stev story. Part 2

Part 2 – Part 1 can be viewed here.

Deep Space 3, a Federation outpost, hung in space like a neglected Christmas tree ornament.  Starfleet had just enough presence in the sector to protect the space station from attacks by the Klingons, Romulans, and the occasional Breen incursion.  At least that was the official position of Starfleet, the sector held no strategic importance and there were no known resources within the sector.  The Federation maintained control by default.

The reality of the situation was that the space station was used by most of the quadrant’s adversarial governments as a place to conduct clandestine deals.  As such the station had only ever been attacked once, by the Breen.  Coming to the defense of the station was a Klingon Bird of Prey, a Romulan Warbird, a Miranda class starship and 20 free traders with ties to the Orion syndicate.  The Breen didn’t bother the sector anymore and the respective governments denied the incident.

Stev had already programmed the holographic projectors dotting the Ghost Rider’s exterior.  Any external visual scan would be presented with the pockmarked surface of a well-used independent Romulan trading vessel.  The computer was also broadcasting a forged identification algorithm that would fool most scanners into reporting the exact same thing.  Just because everyone turned a blind eye towards the goings on at Deep Space 3 didn’t mean he needed to advertise his presence by flying the Ghost Rider into the docking bay.

Stev watched the scanners.  Soon he had the station pinpointed on his monitor.  Minutes later a light began blinking on his console indicating his vessel was being scanned.  Stev kept to his cover and played the part of a smuggler by waiting until he was hailed.  Sure enough five standard minutes after the scan indicator went off; the Ghost Rider’s comm system indicated an incoming transmission.  Stev put it on main speakers.

“Unidentified vessel, this is Deep Space 3.  Please state the nature of your visit,” a clearly human voice requested.

“Deep Space 3, this Captain Teven of the Plaplak Jag’r, requesting permission to dock,” Stev replied affecting a Romulan accent.

Plaplak Jag’r, what is the nature of your mission?”

Stev silenced the comm.  Glancing over at his pet, he asked the enhanced tribble, “Phread what is the name of our contact on DS3?”

According to the mission data we need to ask for Atropos,” the little ball of fur helpfully replied using his computer link.

Thanking his friend by scratching it along its back in an affectionate manner, Stev toggled the comm system, “I have business with Atropos.”

There was brief silence on the other end of the comm system.  Stev mentally counted off the seconds it would take the deck officer to query the computer and verify the information.  When the Vulcan had reached zero he pointed at the audio panel.

As if on cue, the audio panel snapped to life, “Plaplak Jag’r, proceed to docking bay fourteen, berth five.”

“Bay fourteen, berth five.  Roger.”

“Deep Space Three out.”

Stev followed the indicated flight path.  Soon the Ghost Rider was nestled in the assigned berth.  The Vulcan nonchalantly activated the shuttle’s security systems.  He looked squarely at the tribble, “External scanners indicate someone is waiting at the dock for us.”

Phread refrained from sending his response across the monitor and instead chirruped his reply.

Stev stood, “I may not understand tribble, little buddy,” he said looking down at his companion, “but  after all the years we’ve been together, I do know sarcasm when I hear it.”  Ignoring the tribble’s approximation of a human raspberry, he laughed and walked from the control center of his ship towards the entry hatch.

 Stev listened to his ship as the passive security measures cycled into active mode.  To the uninitiated ear the sounds would be mistaken for the normal noises associated with a ship preparing for opening its sealed atmosphere to the environment.  He stepped out of his ship as soon as the hatch opened and looked carefully at his supposed contact.  He was momentarily startled by a familiar face.  His Kolinarh training kept him from betraying his surprise.  This was not the first time the Vulcan was thankful that he did not allow himself to be ruled by the emotions he chose to experience. If this person was his contact, the passersby did not need to know he knew her.  If she was not his contact she didn’t need to know why he was here claiming to be someone other than the person she might remember.  One could never be too careful and he did not need to have his cover broken.

 “The price of Romulan Ale has gone up recently,” he delivered the first half of the code phrase in a casual tone as stepped out of the ship and onto the deckplate of the starbase.

 “Yes, but Klingon Blood Wine is always reasonably priced,” she replied completing the code looking deep into his eyes as if searching for something she thought to be there.

 “Atropos?” he stated more than asked.

December 4, 2010 Posted by | Star Trek, Vulcan Stev | , , , , | Leave a comment