Follow the bread crumbs (Part I)
Location: Cargo Bay 824-E
Timeline: MD 06
Lieutenant Si'Lar Trellis continued to read the manifest in shock and utter disbelief. He had read the information on his padd at least 3 times, but he was still as befuddled as he was the first time he had read it.
He had received a call from Docking Bay Security in regards to several irregularities in the scheduled cargo inspection. It was nothing out of the ordinary for a cargo manifest to be slightly different than the actual freight sitting in the cargo bay. Sometimes the shipping vessel had to transfer loads and the documentation was not updated properly. Ordinarily, that would be an issue that would fall under station operations.
However, this was not an ordinary situation. The Starship Hageth had submitted itself to a standard safety check by Starfleet security. Normally, it requires a team of Security and Operations Officers to check a vessels designated cargo 24 hours prior to its depature to ensure that it was not carrying any contraband materials. During this recent scan, the officers detected that one particular cargo container was several kilograms lighter than reported on the Hageth's manifest. Once the team investigated and discovered what was the cause for the weight discrepancy, they immediately contacted Lt. Trellis.
Blue was on his way after the first message; in the course of Marine Duties boarding vessels for routine inspections had fallen upon occasion to the Marine Detachment. With his sidearm in place and two Marines with rifles were in his wake. Once entering the Cargo Bay they secured the doors, nothing would be going in or out unnoticed.
"Lt. Blue reporting as requested." He announced.
Lieutenant Trellis looked up from his padd as he saw the new Marine Commander enter the facility. He crossed the distance of the cargo bay and walked directly to the Chief and handed him his padd.
"I called you down here because we have a serious problem. We're missing 13 Breen disruptors." The Trill said. "Think of the standard TR-116, but without the transporter modification. The weapons rely upon a chemical discharge to fire tritanium projectiles at high levels of speed. The fact that it relies upon a chemical combustion system means that station phaser dampeners have no effect on them." Trellis reported.
"Chemical discharged projectile weapons." Blue sighed. "These are nasty things to begin with. Blue noted. "Thirteen is enough to effectively have three fire teams and a leader armed with these rifles." Blue glanced up. "Should I ask 'why' Breen weapons were being transported in the first place?"
He checked the manifest again.
Lieutenant Trellis sighed. He was fully aware of why the weapons were being transported. "Starfleet Security uses civilian transports to deliver Dominion contraband to Starbase 82. It was determined that it would be easier for the weapons to be shipped through civilian shipping lanes that do not draw any attention. They figured it'd be safer than assigning a particular Starfleet vessel to go pick up everyone small cache of weapons that were found." He said. Although it had been 20 years since the end of the Dominion War, the amount of weapons that were stolen, sold, and traded on the black market was immense.
"I think we could use some help from the Science Department." Blue suggested. "They are best with the interior sensors." Blue began. "How long has the Hageth been docked? That would give us a time frame to check the passive scans and maybe get a lead time when these weapons left? It will help to know how much of a head start the culprits have?" The Orion asked.
"The ship has been docked for at least 72 hours; however, it would not have been too difficult to know that she was arriving several weeks prior." Trellis replied. "I agree that we should get Science involved." He said as he reached for his comm unit.
=/= "Security to Lieutenant Wells, your assistance is needed in Cargo Bay 824-echo." He said.
Alanna was surprised at the call. She tapped her combadge. "On my way." She grabbed her tricorder and PADD as she headed out the door and down to the cargo bay.
=^= Blue to Marine Barracks. =^= He started his plan into action. =^= Outfit the Kevlar vest protectors. I say again the Kevlar plates for stand by deployment. Condition Yellow Alert.=^=
Blue had given the orders for the First unit to outfit with the heavier Kevlar enforced plates in their combat gear. He would exchange a little added weight and loss of some mobility for the added protection.
"Once we have a lead I will deploy the Marines in a search pattern." Blue explained. "Right now we need to have an idea where to begin. As a Yellow Alert the vital areas we are guarding will have the Rotation of the new vests and be on higher alert." Blue said. "But that still leaves a lot of station to cover, I hope Science can get us a more narrow area to search?"
Something was gnawing at Trellis as he looked at the information on the padd in front of him. "This. . .wasn't just a typical smash and grab. Someone not only knew that this vessel was coming, but they also knew which container to access and how to remove just the weapons without disturbing anything else." He said as he cast a look towards the Orion. "Someone had a lot of information and particularly, a lot of experience in civilian shipping procedures." He continued. "Not to mention the capability to move across this station with 13 high-level contraband firearms without alerting any attention from Security." He said in a concerned manner.
Alanna stopped in front of the two Marie guards. "Lieutenant Alanna Wells," she said, giving them her name so they would let her pass.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Mukre nodded to the woman and allowed her to enter the Cargo Bay that had now been cordoned off from any other entrants.
She walked up to the other two and nodded in greeting. "Hi. What do you need help with?" She wasn't sure what it was, but from the looks of the cargo bay, she was pretty sure science was needed for something.
Lt. Trellis turned and looked at the woman as she approached. “Someone stole over a dozen Breen Rifles. The6 can’t be tracked through normal sensors because they aren’t energy weapons, they’re projectiles that are discharged chemically.” He said, giving the Science Offucer a brief primer on the missing weapons.
“We need for science to run scans to determine who stole the weapons and how they were able to do so without being detected.” Trellis added.
"Which container where they in?" Alanna asked. There were several close by. She needed to know which one so she could scan the container and get a specific reading for the disruptors.
Trellis handed her the padd that identified the specific crate. He then turned and nodded for the assigned Security Officers to allow the Science Chief to approach the crate and begin to exam it.
Alanna looked at the information, then found the correct crate. First, she went around the outside, comparing the data on the PADD against the scans from her tricorder. Yes. There was a very slight variation that would help her scan. To be sure, she climbed into the crate and scanned again, careful to get all sides and the floor.
When she was done, she carefully climbed out and nodded. "Okay. I have something to look for. There's a slight variation I can use to tweak the internal sensors to pick up these rifles if they're used, or if they stay in one place for any length of time. There's no guarantee, though. If they were taken off the station, I won't be able to find them."
Trellis nodded. "Okay, get that up to Science and cc' myself and Lt. Blue." He said as he rubbed in brow. "As of right now, we have 13 killing machines on the loose and we don't know who or where they're going to be used next." He said dreadfully.
"I'll do my best," she said.
Lieutenant Alanna Wells
Chief Science Officer
1st Lt. Gordon Blue
Marine Commanding Officer.