Divide and Conquer
Mission 3: Diplomacy, what’s that?
Timeline: Mission Day 8 at 0810
He found his office without too much difficulty and then used the computer to locate Lieutenant Chaim and request a meeting at his earliest convenience. Then, after ordering himself a much-needed cup of coffee, Phelan lowered the lighting in his office to a level that suited him, laid his glasses on the desk, and got to work reviewing the relevant data on the case that the station commander had assigned to him.
Tomer strode into the Chief's Office. He had heard through channels that someone new was coming to take his place. Thus, he cleaned this office out for the new Chief before Phelan had ever arrived. Security and the transporter logs had let Tomer know that Phelan was here. He had made some final arrangements, allowing Phelan access before coming into the office. "Welcome, Lieutenant Zhaan. It is good to see that someone has come here to be a proper Chief of Security."
"Thank you, Lieutenant Chaim," Phelan said as he gestured toward one of the guest chairs. He paused a moment, a slight frown furrowing his forehead, and asked, "But what do you mean a 'proper' Chief?"
"I've been the acting chief for some time," Tomer explained. "And while I might have done an acceptable job, I would prefer not sitting in the big chair at this time. It takes too much time away from my wife and little Captain."
"I understand," Phelan said as he walked around the desk and sat down. "We all have to make our own choices about what's important. Do you feel that you'll be able to manage the duties of Assistant Chief or would you rather take a shift lead position instead? Shift lead would have the benefit of ensuring that you only work, on average, eight hours/day."
"I'm up at all hours, Lieutenant. I have no issue continuing in my capacity as the Assistant Chief. It will certainly be less work than I'm currently doing. A shift lead would hardly be enough when I am used to the hours that I have been putting in. I love my wife and my Little Captain but extra time out of the house can be peaceful, even if it is keeping the peace, if you know what I mean."
"Alright," Phelan said though, in fact, he didn't entirely. He had never been in love nor understood the complexities that such commitments brought into a person's life. "So, what can you tell me about this 'Santa Claus' apparition?"
"Less than I would like," Tomer admitted. "Nearly a week back, a transparent figure appeared in the middle of the commons. He looked like Santa Claus. He laughed, saying 'Ho ho ho!!!' and then said, 'I do hope that everyone here on Faltan has been a good boy or girl. I will be back to judge you all! Ho ho ho!!!' With that, the figure disappeared, as if it was never there. The next day, he came back. Santa Claus chuckled again and said, 'HO! HO! HO! As promised, Faltan Station, I am back and I have found that you have been especially naughty. However, I am especially generous. You will have one week to abandon Faltan Station or face punishment.' More interesting was that Santa Claus was willing to talk to the Ferengi Ambassador who just arrived on Faltan Station just about when he appeared. Scans did not show Santa to be there. Betazoids could not sense him. All I can surmise is there is some sort of connection between the Ferengi Ambassador and Santa but my investigations have turned up nothing."
"What about tracing the source of the transmission," Phelan asked. "If it wasn't actually there, then something was projecting it. What did the sensors find?"
"Nothing," Tomer replied simply. "Operations said they thought they had some sort of resonance but it was gone as quickly as it appeared."
"And have you spoken with the ambassador," Phelan asked. "Done any investigation into him as yet?"
"I have not. I know that the Commander sent in the Doctor but I don't think much came of that."
"That's something I'd like you to take a look at then," Phelan said. He found himself looking around for the replicator, sighted it, and rose smoothly. He ordered himself a cup of coffee and brought it back to his seat while he continued speaking. "Before we talk to the ambassador directly, I want you to look into his background, recent stops, and the like. If this mysterious figure was willing to talk to the Ferengis, then it follows that the Ferengi have been doing something we should know about. If you have contacts on the station, talk to them as well and I'll do the same."
"The Ferengi Ambassador has three women that are his advisors, as he calls them. None are Ferengi, of course. I shall see if I can isolate any of them and dig into the Ambassador's dealings."
"As soon as possible," Phelan said. "I'm going to with that reporter, Templeton, down to have a look at the miners. See if they're involved in any way."
"She's going to take you?" Tomer asked surprised. "I've never heard of her working with anyone."
"Not working together," Phelan said, with a wry twist of the lips. "But she has agreed to take me along. I have no doubt that she'll disappear at some point. I have the feeling that her only interest is telling the story." He shook his head slightly and shrugged it off almost at once. People couldn't help but be who they were. The trick was to understand that and get the job done anyway. "I just need to get in there and take a look around. That much she'll do."
"And you? What are you going to do while she's looking?" Tomer asked curiously.
"Doing my own investigation," Phelan said at once. "I have my own areas of expertise and my interest in all of this has nothing to do with writing a story. If there into anything that can hurt this station, then I mean to find out about it."
"Well, I hope that you can succeed. I don't know what you hope to find up there but I do hope you find it."
"Me too," Phelan said quietly and with a slight shake of his head. "With you looking into the ambassador and me looking into the miners, we have both our leads covered. One of us is bound to turn up something."
"I hope so. It is very unusual that a Ferengi should be relying on three women as his assistants."
"Then, let's get to work, shall we," Phelan asked as he surged to his feet.
Tomer nodded. "Good luck, Sir."