"Multiple Possibilities"
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<<The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.>>
- Theodore Roosevelt

Setting: NEW ALEXANDRIA, Section C-2, Level 2, Senior Officer Quarters
Stardate: 63075.1315

Erik carefully perused the data contained on the PADD that Admiral Koniki had handed over which contained all available Intel on the crew of the XANTUL.  The list of problems and issues that surrounded the ship and crew seemed to go on forever which left the Native American relieved for being where he was.

A perfect example of this had been the ship itself; the XANTUL, a GOKALK-Class Bolian freighter, last known construction date of Stardate 44112, an impressive 19 years ago.  Even by the standards used on unaligned worlds, this meant that the ship had been severely out of date, even for a freighter. According to the last inspection conducted on the vessel over a year ago by a maintenance crew, the XANTUL had been patched up in so many different ways that the technicians had been unable to make heads or tails of many of the systems' configurations.  This actually made Erik crack a faint smile as he imagined that the ANUBIS, even in the state that it had currently been in, would be more than a match for the freighter.

As the Native American diligently reviewed the data on the ship and its systems, Erik created a mental list of the mechanical problems that could have caused the ship to meet its unexpected demise without any external influences.  That said though, the PARADOX's CO had long ago accepted the reality that there was no such thing as a coincidence and that the presence of the *Intel package* onboard had made it highly unlikely that this had been an accident.  All that remained to do was to identify who had the opportunity or the most to gain by the destruction of the XANTUL?

This line of thinking brought the Native American to review the crew manifest of the freighter individually to see if someone would stick out.  Although the initial report had claimed that there had been no survivors, it would not have been all that difficult for anyone to create an *accident* and insure that they were listed as missing afterwards thus avoiding any suspicions to fall upon them.

First stop had been the XANTUL's CO, an Andorian male named Malk who had an extensive criminal history that included a great deal of shady dealings with several organizations based on unaligned worlds.  Any one of them could have arranged for this accident to take place in retaliation to a deal gone bad, but Erik believed that none of those groups would have had the resources to know that the package had been onboard.  Beyond this, the Native American had seriously doubted that any of them would have been able to orchestrate such a perfectly executed strike.

Next on the list had been the Ferengi pilot who went by the name of Gilbs, a strange individual who had been forced out of doing business with any other member of his race by the Ferengi Commerce Authority. This had unfortunately led the would-be entrepreneur into trouble with some of the lower echelon of the Orion Syndicate. Although Gilbs had managed to get out of that situation alive, the Ferengi's lobs had not been as fortunate, the Syndicate having made sure that anyone who saw him would know of his business short-comings.

Maybe the Ferengi had been recruited by the Syndicate to take the box and destroy any evidence of this theft but the Erik suspected that if the Orion Syndicate had indeed been involved in this, the situation would have been far more critical than Koniki had made it to be.  As disorganized as the criminal organization could be at times, their gaining access to any solid Intel data of the type usually handled by anyone within NEW ALEXANDRIA would have been disastrous.

Fezar, son of Toblar, exiled from the Klingon Empire and destitute of all honour had been the XANTUL's lea and only engineer.  The list of petty crimes and skirmishes that the Klingon had taken part in over the last few months alone had made the Native American very appreciative of the type of Officer and man the ANUBNIS' own CEO had been.  Still, having been an engineer himself, Erik had not been ready to accept that it had been an error on Fezar's part that had caused of the ship's demise.

Last on the XANTUL's command crew had been Alaa, a Flaxian female renown for her skills in pickpocketing and gaining access into secured systems.  Very manipulative, the woman had accumulated a lengthy history of using her feminine charms to gain certain advantages with men only to turn on them the moment she obtained her goal. Maybe she had finally decided to get even with Malk, their troubled and stormy relationship having been far from secret.  Either she had decided to end their *partnership* and start a new life under a new alias, or Alaa had made a mistake and suffered the same fate she had intended for the Andorian.

The rest of the crew of the XANTUL had been comprised of four thugs and low-end criminals all of whom had far more muscles than brains leaving them out of the initial list of suspects.  This left Erik with a small possibility of candidates for the time being. As detailed as the information that had been provided had been, it helped the Native American in no way to even begin to guess as to what had actually taken place onboard the XANTUL.  The fact that it had exploded mere seconds away from the VALLA ROYAL orbital station remained a complete mystery for the time being.

With a sigh, Erik hoped that Ensigns Dalziel and Mitshiba would have better luck in their own fields of research into this matter.  Maybe some new piece to the puzzle could come from a more in-depth psychological evaluation of the crew or a careful analysis of the sensor data collected by the VALLA ROYAL prior to and following the XANTUL’s explosion.

Francois Charette

Lieutenant Elan Talak Fairborn
Chief Engineering Officer

Robotics Engineering Officer


Captain Erik Morningstar
Commanding Officer