"Sir," Lieutenant Heavens announced, "incoming message from Starfleet, encrypted, for 'your pointy ears only'." She blushed. "That's what they said, sir."
"I shall take it in my ready room," I replied. On a Defiant-class ship, even one like the
USS Murgatroid which uses holographic virtual rooms, the ready room is never very large. Fortunately, I do not require a large amount of room in which to be ready. As I left the bridge, I heard Lieutenant Ditzbrain reassuring the nervous Heavens: "Don't worry, we'll be fine." "Even though Starfleet always says we're out of line?"
"Receive secure transmission," I ordered the computer once the "ready closet" (as
Lothar described it) was sealed. "Identify: Storvik, Commander. Access Code: Delta A Max Nine."
"Incorrect identification," the computer replied.
I raised an eyebrow. After my debriefing by the admirals, the last item on the agenda (which was interrupted by the crimes of the
Khans) was the determination of whether or not I was due a promotion and the permanent position of captain of the Murgatroid. Perhaps this was their way of telling me that a decision had been made. "Computer," I began again, "Receive secure transmission. Identify: Storvik, Captain. Access Code: Delta A Max Nine."
"Identity confirmed. Receiving secure communications," the computer answered.
Vice Admiral Alynna Nechayev appeared on my screen. "We have an intelligence source, which I cannot disclose at this time, into the thoughts and activities of the Khanworld Khans," she informed me. "The very existence of this source is a secret … Captain." She did not appear to enjoy using my new rank. I would have already assumed that she had have voted against my promotion in any event; she had always been adamant in her disapproval. "Ignore the decoys and false trails. Your kidnapped duplicate and daughter are being taken to a remote colony on the planet Apollo Nine. They are in a runabout, and taking a meandering course to throw off pursuit. If you head directly toward Apollo Nine, at the Murgatroid's top speed, you ought to arrive there before the runabout Ankh." Without a further word, she cut the transmission.
Before leaving the ready room, I disabled all of Khan's access codes to the Murgatroid's computers (even though there were no Khan clones presently onboard). I then returned to the bridge, and provided the new course heading to Ditzbrain at the helm.