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Strategy Articles

Spotlight Contest: Only You Can Help

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

13th May 2008

Only You Can Help

Dr. Julian Bashir, chief medical officer of Deep Space 9, was exhausted. After all, a superior genetic code didn't make one immune to overworking. A long day of difficult patients and even more tedious paperwork faded into memory as he walked through the corridors of the station, thinking only of his bed as the door to his quarters opened.

Instantly, however, he was alert, his senses hightened - he was not alone.

”Hello, Doctor,” said Luther Sloan. The voice was unmistakable, laced with arrogance and pride. “Have a nice day?”

Though he knew it was futile, Dr. Bashir hit his combadge and called for security. As he had expected, his signal was jammed. He was alone with Sloan, and forced again to deal with one of his darkest secrets and deepest fears. “What do you want?” He was rude; he felt no need to be polite.

”We are in need of your help,” he said. “The kind of help only you can provide, Doctor.”

”I told you before,” Julian replied. “I am not interested in helping you. You are an amoral, evil, manipulative-“

”Yes, yes, Doctor, I know your opinions of me and what we do. But in spite of that, I know you are an honorable man. A loyal man. And the Federation needs your help.” Sloan smirked as he watched Bashir’s reaction to his words: he had him. Continuing, he said, “We know there is a Dominion spy – a Changeling – aboard DS9. We stole the computer records that will tell us who it is. But we can’t decode them. Our computers can’t decode them. We’re hoping that you can.” He held out his hand, offering a PADD.

Reluctantly, Julian took it from the Section 31 operative. Looking it over, he quickly recognized the data. “It’s a cipher code, but a well-obscured one,” he said. “Before you can crack the code, you need to answer a series of questions. It’s the answers to the questions that will help you figure out the hidden data.”

“Can you decode it?” Sloan was eager – this could be the information the Federation needed to turn the tide.

Bashir had already started working. “See how some of the letters are marked? They’re the ones that form the answer. You just need to correctly answer each question, then grab and unscramble the marked letters.”

Finishing the puzzle, Bashir’s heart stopped as he realized what he’d uncovered. Feeling feint for the first time in his life, he dropped the PADD to the deck.

Excited, Sloan leaned forward in his chair. “Who is it, Doctor?” When Bashir did not respond, he barked out again: “The name!”

“It can’t be…” whispered Julian Bashir. “It’s…”

Here is the transmission intercepted by Section 31:

Odo & The Founder Leader_ _ _ _ [_] _ _
Seven Elevated Jem'Hadar_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ [_]
Part of Odo & Dr. Bashir_ _ _ _ _ _ [_] _ _ _ _ _ [_] _ _ _
Dukat & Weyoun_ _ [_] _ _ _ _ [_] _ _ _ _
Weyoun & Some Jem'Hadar_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ [_]_ _ _ _ _
Founder Leader & Weyoun_ _ _ _ [_] _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ [_]
(garbled)'s Warship_ _ _ _ [_] [_] _ _ _ _ _
Late War Ally's Ship_ _ [_] _

To solve this puzzle, you must the title of each card the clue is talking about. Once you know the card title (and can fill in the blanks), look for all of the marked characters. Once you know those, you should be able to identify the changeling aboard DS9.

To enter, send in the name of the changeling infiltrator (as well as each of the card titles) to contests@trekcc.org before MIDNIGHT (server time) on SUNDAY, MAY 18TH. Please, only one entry per person. The first participant to correctly identify the infiltrator as well as the card titles will receive a Tragic Turn foil; a random participant will receive one as well.

Best of luck! Can you help save DS9 and win the war?

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