Chapter 3

Odyssey class vessel USS Velocity B

Upper Pylon 3 Starbase Deep Space 9

Bajor Sector

Stardate: 89

All was quiet in the mess hall at that time of day. All the tables were empty, all the lights dimmed, all the chatter silent. It was at this time that Valeros liked having morning meal. Being part of the Tal Shiar helped fashion her in such a way she saw everyone as a threat, and although it was a habit she was trying to kick it would ruin the morning for her. It may have been ironic that she remained in solitude at a place designed for social interaction, but she hardly cared. All that mattered to her right now was eating her Salad, reading her security reports, and getting up to the bridge.

The reports were mediocre at best-a tribute to Smithson's fine work as station security-and she was done with her salad-not even sure why she ordered it in the first place- so she headed up to the bridge. Only people up at this time were some technicians and the normal night watch crew. It was actually their intern's shift. Cadet 3rd class Bowlaxe had only recently signed on to intern on Velocity, but the security chief had to say, he was doing a marvelous job; she's never say so to him of course. Bowli, as he insisted everyone call him, was a good kid; typical Bolian officer yet didn't have that bad habit of making people's ears bleed from the sheer amount of nonsense they spout to everyone. Valeros has suspected she'd have to make him bleed in some very unpleasant places if he did so, but so far he talked at an acceptable rate at which she could understand.

She relived the slightly overweight cadet and sat down in the center seat, while Bowli headed for his quarters. She leaned back in the chair, and went back to the novel she'd been reading, Clash on the Fire Plains.

Tulska strutted into her office, greeted by her head nurse Telsia Watkins. Such was the routine every morning for the past 3 years, and as much as she liked change, she yielded to the necessary evil.

Strutting over to the replicator she asked "Coffee, Xedwalquin blend." In a moment the coffee was perfectly synthesized and she took a sip. Interesting blend, She needed to remember this one. "Telsia, begin a series on Ensign Dalheen's electrolyte levels, I'm a bit concerned she isn't eating enough for two."

"Yes doctor."

Ensign Dalheen was the least of her worries. She needed the Admiral to realize that he was misplacing his guilt. Regardless of if he was in Starfleet or not, the Prophets would have still had to place the Dominion fleet in this time, and they would have still boarded the station and killed Karen. At times like this, she wished she took those pre-psychology courses so she wouldn't feel so useless. She amended, be useless.

"Tel"

BONK. Engineer Munroe reeled from fitting his head against the low clearance celling. "Frazzle, give a guy a little warning."

Smiling, the Bajoran OPS officer, Bilazz helped his friend out of the conduit. "Figured you could use a break so you can grab some breakfast."

"I wish I could, but I have the entire engineering staff working 24/7 finishing these refits. Unfortunately that includes me." He walked over to the warp core and inputted an adjustment into the console.

"Your chief, delegate and take a break."

"What kind of example would that set for everyone?"

"Ok I'll get Tulska to feed you intravenously."

He yielded. "Ok fine, Koleth take over."

They went to the usual table near the 2nd window and reclined into their chairs. The two friends had known each other ever since the academy, possibly due to some intervention from a certain parent who had made it to the top by being leader of a commando group. Not that Tel minded. The frazzle haired Bajoran had been what exactly the sort of source of fun he needed.

"So how's Operations doing?" inquired Tel.

"We're up to our necks tracking down a sensor ghost. They keep reading minute monatronic distortions and traces of a nebula."

"Monatronic?"

"It's a recently discovered radiation type which is somehow embedded in cosmic background radiation or whatever. More up Ginglerx's alley."

"No doubt he finds it fascinating."

"The cat's meow." both them chuckled.

It indeed was fascinating to Ginglerx. Although the Catian wasn't purring, his tail was twitching back and forth in eager anticipation. It had seemed that the sensory array was receiving no "ghosts." It was actually a monatronic distortion less than 97 meters of the station and Velocity's port bow. The information he was gathering seemed somewhat familiar, however he just couldn't wrap his head around it.

"Hey" Valeros said placing her hand on the felinoid's shoulder, "calm down before your tail gets in knots."

"It's just, I've seen these readings before, but I can't place it."

"Well maybe you can come back to it later. You've been working on it all night after all."

Sigh "I guess you're right."

It was typical of him, he always needed things figured out, everything clear. Catians had been known for their hardworking attitudes, and Ginglerx was no exception. Ginglerx's backstory came at a premium on the ship and he was surrounded by a thick veil of secrecy. All that was known was that the topic of the mysterious Science officer's origins was not something you brought up unless you wanted to be shredded into paper-thin slices.

Reading his PADD he studied the scans with an intense gaze realizing a possibility. He cross referenced the scans with logs from the Enterprise D and Velocity A. What he found made his stomach turn. THUD. The Klaxons bellowed.