Part Two: Wheels Within Wheels
The comm in Ops chimed, and everyone was surprised to hear Sisko’s voice. “I need teams to level thirty-four of the central core,”
his voice boomed over the speakers, “sections twenty-eight, thirty-three, and thirty-nine. I’m heading for thirty-nine.”
“You heard him,” Kira barked, nodding to Vaughn. Then to Nog, “Concentrate internal scans on those sections.”
“Right,” Nog nervously replied, “Sections twenty-eight, thirty-three, and… and…”
“Thirty-nine,” Vaughn snapped. “Where Sisko is headed. “What about those scans of twenty-eight of thirty-three, you were already running?”
“Sorry, sir,” Nog answered calmly. “Something should have happened by now.”
“Maybe so, but we have no real way of knowing without…” The communications board chimed, catching Vaughn’s attention. “I’m picking up a general distress call from the Sword of Kahless
Kira asked herself. “On screen,” she ordered.
A garbled view of the interior of a Klingon vessel appeared with the face of Worf barely distinguishable. “This is Ambassador Worf on the IKS
Sword of Kahless. An explosion has occurred in Chancellor Martok’s private chamber. I am unable to contact the bridge and the chancellor requires…
The transmission abruptly ended, but Kira was ready to snap into action. “The Defiant
is in interception range. Send them in to assist.”
“We received the distress call as well,
” Ezri answered over the speakers. “We’re on it, Captain.
Sisko entered the security office with Yndar, who was escorting Verad. Ro entered from the main cellblock after having incarcerated Lek. She instructed Yndar to lock up Verad, as well as Abbit, who was being escorted by a Bajoran female deputy. “I want them in separate cells,” Ro added, “and interrogated separately. Let them choke on who sells out whom.”
“You sold us out,” Abbit sneered at Verad, while arching his head in Sisko’s direction, “when you let him
into our operation.”
Abbit lunged at Verad, but the escorting officer held him back. Once the prisoners and the deputies had left the office, Sisko looked to Ro.
“What about this ‘insider’ assigned to section thirty-three?” he inquired.
“Crewman Doran was dead when a security team got there,” Ro answered.
Dead end. Sisko’s “colleagues” were either surprised that no explosion took place or certain that Sisko had impeded their efforts. Doran could have explained what went wrong and identified the real target. “Damn,” he mumbled.
Doctor Simon Tarses scanned Worf with a medical tricorder while applying a dermal regenerator to scars on the Klingon’s face.
Worf remembered Tarses from the Enterprise
-D, especially after having judged Simon guilty of treason during an espionage investigation. Tarses’s only crime was falsifying his Starfleet application, hiding his Romulan ancestry. The un-retired admiral in charge of the investigation pushed it beyond catching a Klingon exchange officer colluding with the Romulans. Worf was pleased that Tarses had redeemed himself in the last decade, now becoming a fully licensed medical doctor.
“Good as new,” Tarses remarked.
Worf gave a slight scowl, not in the mood for the charming, but also patronizing, bedside manner of human doctors.
“Right,” Tarses apologetically added, as he saw Bashir, dressed in surgical scrubs, enter the main exam room.
Julian nodded to the other doctor as he was leaving before turning to Worf. “Still as sociable as ever,” he remarked. Of course, knowing full well Worf seemed rarely in the mood for jokes, he got straight to the point. “The chancellor is in bad shape. I’m very optimistic he’ll pull through, but I’ll have to monitor him closely.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Worf replied, ascending from the reclining examination chair. “You have done your job, now I must do mine.”
Worf headed for the waiting area where he saw Sisko, Kira, and Vaughn enter from the Promenade. He looked back at Bashir, who was headed back to the primary intensive care unit. “And I wish you the best with Lieutenant Tenmei.”
Bashir had a perturbed reaction. Worf did not usually get caught up in his crewmates’ love lives. And what exactly made the ambassador think he and Prynn were dating?
“What’s the word?” Sisko inquired.
“Doctor Bashir believes the chancellor will recover,” Worf plainly stated. “Meanwhile, I will be returning to Qo’Nos to continue my investigation.”
“What do you hope to find out there?” Kira wondered.
“Martok may still have enemies at the highest levels of the Empire,” Worf explained. “I will have the Federation Embassy at my disposal to conduct an impartial investigation.
“It stands to reason someone used the Neo-Purists to cover his or her tracks,” Vaughn added.
“Yes, someone in the High Council must have tipped off the Ku-Vok-leth
since only they knew Martok’s travel itinerary,” said Worf. “And someone on the Sword of Kahless
allowed those explosives into Martok’s chambers. The cowards who planned this attack are just as accountable as those who carried it out, and must be brought to justice.”
“Best of luck to you then,” Kira replied.
“Thank you, Captain,” Worf answered with a nod. Then to Sisko and Vaughn, “Captain. Commander.”
After his visit to the Infirmary, Sisko stopped by the holding room adjacent to the cells where Ro was in the process of interrogating Verad. To that point, he had refused to give any names of Ku-Vok-leth
operatives. “He’s not talking,” she warned Sisko.
Sisko slammed his hands down on the table and looked Verad straight in the eyes. “You’re a hunted man now, Verad,” he stated plainly. “If you tell us what you know about the Ku-Vok-leth
, Starfleet may be able to cut a deal.”
“And if I don’t, you throw me back to the wolves?” Verad retorted.
Sisko stood back upright while scoffing in frustration. “You know damn well how this stuff works,” he shot back. “You give us information and the JAG office reduces your sentence.”
“Less time in a Federation rehabilitation center? Not very persuasive. And even if my cohorts want to kill me, I won’t betray the Neo-Purists and they’re cause. You know that, Benjamin. Besides, I was only paid to do this job. Their other activities are no concern of mine.”
Sisko sighed, and then paced across the room to consider his next line of questioning. Ro gave a pensive squint as he walked back towards Verad. “Your group could have attacked DS9 on its own,” he continued, “a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. So why now? Doran had to have known you lacked the stomach to carry out the real plan. You were given a lucrative offer you couldn’t refuse while carrying out an attempt to assassinate Chancellor Martok.”
“This was all to get Martok,” Verad replied, still trying to avoid answering any serious questions. He disingenuously added, “I hope the attempt on his life didn’t succeed.”
“The Klingon Empire is not involved in the oppression of Trill society. What would the Neo-Purists gain from assassinating the Klingon chancellor?”
Verad raised an eyebrow. That certainly got his attention. “Like I said, I don’t know any of the details. But I can tell you who sold me the station’s schematics, if I can access my personal database on Torman Five.”
An hour later, after Ro got clearance from the police force on Torman Five, Verad was given a padd linked into his personal database. Sisko and Ro looked over him as he sorted through sets of photographs. “There,” he said as he set the padd down. To Ro, he added, “Someone with whom you’re familiar.”
Ro certainly did recognize a blond curly-haired Bajoran male pictured on the padd. He was Zeyner Antis, a doctor on Bashir’s staff two years earlier. He was disbarred when he was caught having poisoned a suspect involved in a terrorist plot on the station. He claimed to be an undercover intelligence operative, but Ro had a hard time believing such an operative would willingly go that far. “You’re certain?” she asked Verad.
Aboard the Sword of Kahless
, a Klingon officer was in communication with Kur’Tok on Nimbus Three. The officer used a communications scrambler both to prevent his transmission from being traced and to hide his face. Of course, that meant he could not see Kur’Tok on his monitor, not that he needed to since they were only communicating verbally without transmitting any computer data.
“You will have to move up your timetable, Kur’Tok,” the officer informed his contact. “The Federation ambassador is on his way back to Qo’Nos to find our informant in the High Council.”
“That could be a problem,”
Kur’Tok answered. “We have not received the specifications for the resonance chamber that will stabilize Omega. It is very delicate work.”
“Let me make myself clear. If Worf locates the mastermind behind the assassination attempt, you will most likely be implicated.
find a way to expedite matters, or I will turn you in to the authorities.”
Kur’Tok started to speak, but the officer cut the transmission, replacing the distorted image on the screen with the logo of the Klingon Empire.