Location: Landing Platform, Jalanda City Spaceport
The sun was beginning to set when several crates appeared on the landing platform where the Juan Cortina was 'parked' for lack of a better word, transported from wherever the Cortina's new clients had been storing their equipment via cargo transporter. A few seconds later, four Andorians materialized on the platform. Two men, two women. They were a bit old to be undergraduate students, but they could pass for graduate students, which was more appropriate for their cover anyway.
There were three women standing outside of the ship. All three looked formidable in their own way. One was a very physically intimidating female nausicaan. Hahna had described her as the Captain Tann's muscle. There was a no nonsense looking blonde bajoran woman, described as the ship's quartermaster. The one in charge, however, appeared to be the romulan female. Hahna said that Captain Tann had referred to the woman as his 'chief of security'. One of the andorian men walked up to the trio."
"Hello," said Enoch Ivari. "I'm Enoch Aldin. My friends and I are with Professor Thelor. We're his graduate students. We're here to deliver and help load our equipment for our trip to the Gamma Quadrant."
All of the andorians would be using the clan name 'Aldin' as xenoarchaeology was Keth Aldin's area of expertise. Keth Ivari's area of expertise was engineering, particularly starship engineering and spaceflight. Among the group was also Adryan Rimosi, a computer expert, Shenlo Dra, a navigator and starship pilot, and Chara Eranaab, a xenobiologist. If asked, though, all would claim to be from Keth Aldin. They had been selected for their technical and scientific expertise, but their superiors in Andoria First had provided them with extensive combat and tradecraft training in preparation for this mission.
Shanna looked over each andorian. Their body language showed they were at least confident. 'So they're likely not rookies,' Shanna thought. "What items are you bringing aboard?" Shanna asked.
"Excavating equipment," Enoch 'Aldin' responded. "Ground penetrating sensors, digging tools, brushes, picks, recording and mapping equipment. Some of it is quite sensitive. We would appreciate it if you left the cases undisturbed once they are loaded."
"Everything loaded into the cargo hold has to be closely inspected by myself or another member of my team. No exceptions." Jaeih wasn't any sort of scientist, but she knew damn well nothing was so sensitive that a security inspection would harm it. "If it's not inspected upon arrival to the ship, it doesn't stay on board."
"Suit yourself," he said. Their equipment had been cosmetically altered to look like that which might be found in a xenoarchaeology team's possession. Nothing would look amiss, Enoch was sure of it. "A lot of it is just boring. Some of the scanning and computing equipment is state of the art, though. If any of you have a technical background you might find it interesting. So, would you like our assistance loading it? Or will you be using your cargo transporter to beam it aboard?"
"It will be quicker and easier to use the transporter if that is ok," Shanna said.
"Absolutely," Enoch replied. "In that case, we'll be on our way. We'll be back in the morning for our scheduled departure, along with Thelor and Hahna."
Enoch and his companions left the platform and stood in a group. There was the sound of a transporter and they shimmered out of existence. Leaving the crates behind for Jaeih, Shanna, and Gaenor to deal with.
"We should conduct a passive scan on the items before transporting them," Shanna stated. "An active scan could trigger an alarm to the andorian team."
The Nausiccan flared her tusks. "Founding member species of the Federation or not...I'm not very trustful of Andorians. Or scientist for that matter" said Gaenor shaking her head. "Passive scan only. Understood" she said nodding. She then turned as she heard the sound of heavier boots coming down the ramp. It was the master of the Juan Cortina.
Braedyn came down the ramp with a tricorder in each hand. He passed one to Shanna.
"Here," he said. "This should do the trick."
"Thanks," she said, taking the tricorder as she began to tap in commands, setting it to passive mode. A moment later, she began to scan the nearest crate.
Gaenor looked up and over at the other woman as she heard the sounds of a tricorder scanning. "Find anything interesting yet?" asked the Nausicaan. She was almost always suspicious. It came with her line of work. Trust no one and be ready to shoot your way out of a situation.
"None as of yet. I'm reading archaeology tools as they suggested but a more intense scan would likely set of some alarm," Shanna replied, tapping a few commands before moving onto the next crate.
"Yeah," Braedyn said. "Maybe you're right. I don't recognize some of these components, though, and I've been on a number of archaeological digs. We're going to have to keep a very close eye on these guys...and their crates. Hey...okay, whatever they've on in this case really makes me nervous. It's got the kind of shielding you'd find on something with radioactive material in it."
Braedyn thought for a moment.
"Alright," he said. "I know this is a risk, but if we have any hope of figuring out what the heck is going on...and hopefully stopping it, we need to let these guys and their gear aboard. So, this is what we're going to do. Get their gear loaded, then seal interior access to the cargo bay. We'll feed them some line about safety issues. Code lock the doors. No one but the crew goes in there until we reach our destination. Whatever is in these crates, let's limit our guests' access to them for as long as we can. Everyone good with that?"
"Sounds good," Shanna replied, closing her tricorder and handing it back to Braedyn.
"Agreed" said the Nausicaan with a nod.
"Alright," Braedyn said. "Let's get to work."