Editor's Note: This log takes place before the log entitled, "Air." From Section 31... "The Mysterious Fourth" by Vector He blinked. "They want me to do what?" "They want you to assume the role of Chief Security Officer of the delegation. Specifically requested by the lead Ambassador himself. Don?t ask me why, or any of the details, you know about as much of it as I do." The shadow on the screen spoke with hesitation. It was quite funny actually. A daunting figure as ever was speaking with uncertainty. That was enough to even scare Vector. "But... I don?t understand. Isn?t someone here more qualified?" "As a Section 31 agent, there is technically no one more qualified than you, but since they don?t know that I would assume they have some ulterior motive for elevating you to such a position." The tone of seriousness and professionalism had returned. "Should I be worried about possible exposure?" "Doubtful. These Gusmati are smart, we won?t deny that, but I think they are still unaware of such a group within the government they?re pledging. If they are aware of us, this would be the first move of showing it." The figure on the screen clasped his hands on the desk, the pale skin becoming minutely illuminated in the waxing light. "Proceed as directed. Accept the position, but be weary." Vector was confused by the order. "Sir, with all due respect, wouldn?t it be more beneficial for this mission for me to remain in a position in which I can watch from afar? To be so thoroughly engrossed in the goings on here would put me in a precarious position." "I?m aware, but that doesn?t negate the fact that there could?ve been a reason for them appointing you to this post. This is a personal request of the Ambassador. I think that..." "I disagree, sir." "I don?t care if you disagree, Vector, you will accept this assignment and continue your mission as already laid out. It would also behoove you to contact your associate in San Francisco. From the information that I?ve gathered from my other contacts, things have gotten quite interesting for her." There was almost a smirk that tainted the words he spoke, "Things are unraveling quickly. Good luck." The screen went blank and Vector sighed, leaning back in his chair. Why was it always him? Things were unraveling quickly, he would agree to that, but he disagreed with the timeliness in which events were occurring. It was all happening faster than he liked. ***** The offices that he had only seen once had suddenly became his own. The people looked at him differently, judging him he was sure, but there was a different air of respect. He was no longer the new guy; well, he was, but now he was in control. Had the power. And, the office. The doors parted and he was met with a hushed silence. A pin could?ve dropped, through a crack in the floor, down six stories, into a bucket of cotton balls, and it still could?ve resonated in the soundless void. Striding in, PADD in hand, he was met with awkward glances and beelined for his office. Not looking back he stepped across the threshold and welcomed the hissing of the doors sealing behind him. How would they take to him being fresh to the crew? Would they follow him? That part didn?t matter to Vector, they would follow him regardless of whether they wanted to or not - that was how Starfleet worked. The command structure was instilled to be the guide. It was how he led them that would be the question. His first mission, however, was to go through all of his predecessor?s information to see if the man had anything worth salvaging. Given the emotional state of the man to take his own life, Vector assumed that it would be in a foreign language or gibberish. Already tired of being in charge, Jazon Rutherford slid in front of his new console and activated the files. "Welcome, due to security procedures, and privacy for the dearly departed, Starfleet regulations have called for a complete clearance of this console?s data." The words flashed on the screen, mocking him. The words ?dearly departed? though scrawled across the screen, still managed to hold a bit of sarcasm. The regulation was rarely enforced, from what he could remember from studying them, and given this situation it probably would?ve been overruled by rule of a psychologist or Admiral anyway. Why hadn?t he been informed of the clean sweep? "Computer, run a recovery program of the defragmented files." "Unable to comply, defragmented files have been established in a security locked grid." "Under whose authority?" "Unable to comply, access to that information is restricted." He didn?t have time for the conversational hoops with the computer. He pulled the metallic device from his pocket, that device that did everything and more, and placed it on the console. "Computer, interface with portable device and run a standard security program." "Interfacing..." The screen flickered as his device overrode the protocols interred to keep whatever information was left a secret. Within a minute the information was sprawling itself across the screen as if it wanted to be read. Vector chuckled to himself; technology was grand, but the deception of knowing no one else (other than the Section?s operatives) had it. Pouring through the data took him almost a full hour. There were personal logs and crewmen evaluations, security procedure ideas, engagements that Sedge Lindway thought were ridiculous, and even some recipes that his wife held dear; however, it was the end of the information that caught Vector?s eyes the most. A file marked "Confidential". There would?ve been a security code on it, no doubt, but the metallic device was one step ahead of it, accessing it easily. That was when the raging waters of Niagra Falls started pouring. It would appear that Lt. Commander Sedge Lindway, minus the fact that he was old, still had a young mind when it came to pointing out things that were wrong. The man had done extensive research into the Gusmati and their delegation. Lindway was sure they were not all that they seemed. "Computer, access file notated ?Gusmati Species?." What followed as a complete summary of the Gusmati species, dating as far back as when the Federation first heard of them. The caste system in the Gusmati species was fairly basic, three separate sects living in almost perfect harmony. The water dwellers, which appeared to be so few in numbers that the other Gusmati rarely paid any attention to them as being actually existent. Back in the earliest days of the civilization, the species was considered to be of almost royalty due to their link to the ocean. Their lungs, according to the medical diagnoses in the files, had evolved to filter the oxygen from the water for undersea living. The land dwellers built gigantic caverns under some of the most populated cities, establishing themselves as a culture to be reckoned with, and were welcomed into the fray as prominent members of society. The cities above, according to lore, connected with the cities below to meld into one huge metropolis. The third category was the basic humanoid Gusmati that everyone knows and loves today. But what struck Vector the most about the society?s three specific classifications of its people was the fourth file that was locked, encrypted, double encoded, and scrambled. "What the hell?" He tapped his device as if would do any good. "Computer, download encrypted file to this PADD." He moved a PADD to the console and stored the information there. "Ensign Mavir." A young brown-skinned officer leaned in, "Yes, sir?" "Take this to the computer specialists, have them break into this file. I don?t want them to read it, just get it open so I can." "Yes, sir." And the young ensign went. "Why would anyone want to encrypt information about a species? background?" --------------------------------- Don't pick lemons. See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.