Touch of the Eidolon
For a change it looked as if everything would go well, and that the crew wouldn't be drawn into any unwanted scuffles with station personnel.
It also seems that the reality of things is always different from the desired.
The Martial Arts Tournament
Word quickly spread through the crew that the Starbase was holding the Alpha-Beta Quadrant wide martial arts tournament. The prize was a substantial latinum prize as well as the title of Champion of two quadrants.
The following personnel from the Rosenante entered the tournament:
They each competed against their respective opponents and were each in turn disappointed with the scores handed down to them by the panel of judges, which included, Ieko Takawa. However, rumor soon arose that the tournament may be fixed. This coupled with information gathered by Soma during his investigation of Captain Taylor's murder, indicated that somehow the two could have been connected.
Murder and Suspicion
The day after the arrival of the USS Rosenante reports were made of the discovery of the body of Captain Joseph Taylor, who was the commanding officer of Starbase 989. The captain was found dead in his quarters by a security officer from the station who had been dispatched when the Captain failed to respond to calls from his first Officer Lieutenant Kraal.
Almost immediately, Kraal contacted Captain Ahmed Ibn Salid and notified him of the grisly discovery. Citing Regulations, Salid, then assumed command of the investigation and assigned the Rosenante's own Chief Security Officer Ben Soma to investigate.
The body was recovered by the Rosenante team and a thorough study of the crime scene was conducted by Lieutenant Steven Wade Matrix, and Eian O'Neill. In addition to the survey of the crime scene, Doctor Kimiko Ichijo and Doctor Sam Lopez undertook an autopsy, to determine the cause of death.
From the combined results of these studies clues and mysteries began to form, throwing out a number of plausible scenarios as to how the murder could have been conducted. Among the most puzzling of these mysteries was the nature of the murder weapon, a hook shaped spike that seemingly dematerialized inside the wound after the deed was done. In addition, coupled with the fact that the Captain had secured his personal quarters, the scene of the murder, with a very high level encryption that could only be overridden by other Starfleet officers of flag rank or greater, left the crew wondering who on the station had the ability to reach the obviously paranoid captain.
To further complicate matters, the captain had no defensive wounds on his body, which would indicate that death was sudden and that the Starbase's commanding officer did not expect an attack.
A short list of suspects was assembled, after further questioning and DNA evidence discovered that the Captain had been having an affair with two of his junior officers. Early in the investigation, there were strong indications that Captain Taylor may have been corrupt and that his murder may have been caused by a business deal going poorly.
The chief suspects are:
A Second Murder
The following day, a second body was discovered by a Starfleet engineer on duty on the station. He discovered the body of the Orion Cargo Master Nargo of the Romulan freighter Harveq. The ship's captain was T'Sek, a Romulan merchant. T'Sek's grandfather is Vice-Chairman Somek of the Romulan Tal Shiar.
Before the Station security personnel could arrive, however, T'sek and some of his Orion crew recovered Nargo's body and took it aboard their ship. When Ben Soma and his team from the Rosenante arrived, Soma was unhappy with the turn of events and planned to take action to deal with the situation.
After some careful consideration, Soma assigned Sanok to open discussions with the Romulan ship captain. Little did they know, T'Sek had full intentions of inviting them aboard the Harveq. The captain had four members f the Rosenante team transported aboard the Harveq, Kimiko Ichijo, Ben Soma, Sanok and Eian O'Neill. They were greeted by captain T'Sek and an armed Orion security team. This event was initially misinterpreted by the away team as aggression, when in fact T'Sek, was merely concerned with the appearance of the situation and did not wish to take a chance that the Starfleet officers were going to attempt to arrest him for interfering with their investigation.
Once the away team was disarmed, the security detail relaxed and T'Sek was amiable to the officers.
Meanwhile, it was discovered that an upgrade request for the USS Rosenante to become upgraded to fully holo-capable had been filed by the new ACEO Eian O'Neill. This of course, immediately set of a series of alerts, since O'Neill was fully aware that the Rosenante was already completely Holo-capable.
A quick investigation led the security team of the USS Rosenante to believe that someone had managed to steal a biometric fingerprint signature belonging to the officer. When questioned, O'Neill revealed that he had, in fact, used his finger print in two places on the station.
The first was the Martial Arts Tournament on Starbase 989. The second was with Quol Nor when he booked Holosuite time on the station so that he could work on a special holoprogram to allow him to spend Christmas with his family, who were several Light Years away.
Ben Soma ordered O'Neill to investigate.
Those, it seemed were not the only technical difficulties facing the Rosenante. When Starbase engineers began their upgrade cycles, they managed to cause significant processing loss to the Rosenante's Computer Cores. This caused a significant delay in the processing of the data collected at the crime scene by Steven Wade Matrix. In addition, the interlinks connecting the Rosenante to the Starbase were also damaged, meaning that the crew was unable to borrow processing time from the starbase.
A Meeting of the Minds
The meeting went well, with T'Sek offering a significant piece of the murder puzzle to the two officers in the form of a Cardassian Optolythic Data Rod, which are renowned for their difficulty to forge.
The data on the rod pointed firmly to the Ferengi Quol Nor as the Captain's murderer, but as the Romulan did not wish to testify, the investigation would need further evidence in order to arrest the Ferengi for the Captain's murder.
Making the Connection
During the second day of the tournament, Ichijo, Soma and O'Neill confronted the senior judge Ieko Takawa. Their assertions caused the man to admit to his unwilling involvement in the fixing of the tournament, which indirectly had caused Taylor's death. He also directly connected Quol Nor to the tournament, providing, for the first time a solid motive for the Ferengi. The tournament was suspended and all judgements withdrawn.
A Plan of Action
Convinced that the data was solid and needing more evidence that the Assassin Hologram was indeed connected to Quol Nor Soma, Ichijo, O'Neill and Sanok devised a plan to lure the program in so that it could be neutralized and it's subroutines studied. the plan was simple in its design although rather complex in execution. After reactivating and securing the Holographic systems aboard the Rosenante, Eian O'Neill prepared to isolate and neutralize the Program once it appeared on the Rosenante.
To insure that it would appear, Sanok would activate the Data Cube that was recovered from Captain Taylor's quarters where it had been disguised as a latinum sheathed moving sculpture. Group gambled that the reactivation of the data cube would alert either the program or it's Ferengi controller and that the end result would be that the program would attempt to recover the cube at all costs. With Sanok playing bait, Ben Soma and Kimiko Ichijo stood by to render assistance, while Eian O'Neill would isolate the program.
The plan was a qualified success, as the program appeared as expected. Although O'Neill was quick the program was able to slightly injure both Sanok and Soma before it could be isolated completely.
Soma, Sanok and O'Neill along with a great many members of base security tracked Quol Nor down to his place of business where he was arrested by the Security team. The Ferengi threatened that Ferengi lawyers were far superior to anything that the federation possessed and that the Assassin Hologram was sentient, a claim that would later be overturned by a federation panel of experts. The program while highly sophisticated lacked the ability to adapt beyond certain pre-programmed parameters.
The Murderer was brought to justice.