"If I were back on Terra," Mallard said as he picked up his scalpel and began cutting open the admiral's chest as part of the autopsy, "I would assume the admiral had been killed by a gunshot wound to the head. But, I have come to learn that the obvious cause of death isn't always the ACTUAL cause."
"My tricorder indicated nothing abnormal with the body. He was in excellent health for a man his age," Bashir said as he reached for his tricorder. "I understand you have a procedure you must follow, but are you certain you need to cut him open? The technology here is more than sufficient to compensate for--"
Bashir caught himself.
"For what, Doctor?" Mallard said. "Barbarism?"
"No! No, no, Doctor Mallard. You're no caveman--no, you are...NOT!" Bashir said, his eagerness and nervousness evidence in his slowly panicking expression.
Dax finally broke down into a short fit of giggling and Sciuto went over to give Bashir a sympathetic hug, a completely surprise to the Federation doctor.
"Ducky's just kidding with you," she said, letting go of the hug. "We like you. All of you. When we found out you and your people were on the other side I decided that somehow I would get here to see this for myself. And I'm soooooo happy I did! And even happier my friends came with me, and we didn't have to wait for the lottery or get rich or grow old--"
"What Abigail is saying is that we jest, because we like," Mallard interjected. "Your hospitality and kindness are most appreciated."
"Something's weird, Constable," DiNozzo said to Odo in the constable's office as they looked at security video of the entrance into the holosuite. "Go back about nine seconds, and slow it down."
Odo reversed the video from the camera directly in front of the entrance and synchronized it with the other feeds. It showed a Dabo girl walking by as Admiral Kelley entered the shot.
"They have a brief conversation, she stops as he enters, she waits a minute then leaves," Odo said. "I'd like to ask her what she said to him."
"Gibbs will find out," DiNozzo said.
"I'm sure he and Commander Sisko and Major Kira will. Now, Agent DiNozzo, what seems 'off' to you?"
DiNozzo looked at the four feeds, all taken from various angles. He noticed something in the angle looking down the hallway with the entrance on the right. "Damn, I wish McGeek were in here," he muttered to himself.
Odo heard him and decided to answer. "Another pair of eyes might be beneficial. What IS it that we're missing?"
A few minutes later, DiNozzo figured it out. "There! The guy."
DiNozzo referred to a male Bajoran walking down the hallway. In all four shots, he walks past the girl and stops a few feet ahead of her, pulling a communicator out of his pocket. He talks on it as the girl stands near the entrance looking away from the holosuite, then turns around a few minutes later. He walks past the Dabo girl, who was in conversation on her own communicator and, a minute later, headed the opposite direction.
"Go back, after he picks up his phone," DiNozzo said.
"Sorry, communicator. Anyway, when he pulls it out of his coat pocket, slow the feeds down, almost frame-by-frame."
"I'm not certain what a 'frame' is in relation to video footage but I can slow it even more, Agent DiNozzo."
Odo did so, and about three real minutes into the extremely slowed-down feed, DiNozzo told him to stop. "There. Reverse, same speed...stop!"
"I believe I see what was 'off', Agent DiNozzo."
Sciuto and Dax began examining the samples swabbed from both wounds on the admiral's skull while Bashir finished his second tricorder scan of the skull.
"A clean shot, through and through, including the brain itself," Bashir said. "One would expect a head wound to be more, ah, messy."
"They usually are," Mallard replied, with a hint of regret in his voice that Bashir decided was best not followed up upon.
McGee was speechless when the program began. He swore he had, somehow, left the space station and stepped into a time machine that took him right to the future.
"Whoa," McGee whispered as he looked around the main courtyard on the campus of Starfleet Academy, as of the year 2369 on this dimension's Earth. The only landmarks recognizable to the Terran were the Golden Gate Bridge and Transamerica Pyramid skyscraper.
He tried not to stare at the numerous non-human aliens walking across the courtyard, and found himself excusing himself when someone (or thing) crossed into his path. McGee gawked at the city skyline and at the ships flying hundreds of feet above the ground.
"How far can I go?" he said to DS9's chief of operations, Federation Senior Chief Petty Officer Miles O'Brien.
"When I was at the Academy, I'd often go outside San Francisco, around the Bay Area," O'Brien said. "Went hiking in Oregon -- but, no, you can't go that far. With this particular program I believe you're limited to the public areas of the campus and a one-block area surrounding it."
"Pity. I'd LOVE to see what New York or Washington look like, on your planet."
"They're both there, mostly 24th century but not unrecognizable to you. Many of the original landmarks have been updated over the centuries...I'm from Ireland. I could tell you much more about Dublin than Manhattan."
Still awestruck by the futuristic surroundings, McGee made himself focus on the reason he was in the holosuite. "Since this was the program the Admiral was, ah, interacting with, would there be any record of him in here? What he was doing?"
"Should be. Computer," O'Brien said, addressing the ship's main computer, "recreate Admiral Kelley's actions within this program, from the time he entered going forward. And put us behind him."
McGee heard a two-tone chirp, and his and O'Brien's point of view changed. They found themselves near the front door of The 602 Club, watching the admiral looking at his surroundings.
A glint in the distance caught McGee's eye; instinctively he reached for the handgun that, like his teammates' weapons, were locked in Odo's office. Realizing he was unarmed, McGee then yelled at the admiral's avatar to duck. McGee ran, then stopped himself as the projectile shot through the admiral's head.
"Computer!" O'Brien said, as McGee watched everything stop around him. "Are safety protocols standard with this particular holoprogram?"
"Affirmative." The computer's female monotone voice seemed to McGee to be coming from the thin air a few feet from he and O'Brien.
"And are safety protocols standard in each holodeck on the station?"
"Were safety protocols disabled by the Admiral, or someone else, before the Admiral entered and began this program?" asked O'Brien.
"That information is unavailable."
"Unavailable?" McGee said. "Computer, do you not have a record of who entered this holosuite, when they entered and how long?"
"That information for this specific holosuite is unavailable."
McGee looked at O'Brien, wondering if this was par for the course for Federation personnel.
"Computer, Agent McGee is right," O'Brien said. "You should have a record of Admiral Kelley's entrance, and whether he was alone or not when he died. Access those records."
"I am unable to comply."
"That information is restricted."
"Restricted? On whose authority?"
"I am unable to answer."
"'UNABLE TO ANSWER'???" O'Brien said, very loudly, looking like he may tear some of his blonde hair out in frustration. "Why can you NOT tell me who restricted the records?!?"
"The records are restricted by an external party."
"Is that party Federation, Bajoran, Ferengi or Terran?" McGee asked.
"That record is unavailable."
"Well, is the bloody bastard on board the station?" O'Brien said.
O'Brien and McGee knew that to be true, as Sisko locked down the station and ordered all docked ships to remain for the time being.
"Now we're getting somewhere," O'Brien said. "Computer, from where did the fatal -- scratch that, take us to where the shooter was."
The men found themselves behind a bush, but all they literally saw of the shooter was a featureless humanoid, holding a featureless weapon.
En route to the Infirmary
Sisko and Gibbs led the large contingent heading towards Bashir's infirmary. Kira, O'Brien and McGee were behind them and trailed by Odo and David.
"I think Lieutenant Dax will be able to access that information," Sisko said as he and Gibbs walked through the infirmary's entrance.
"What'cha got for me, Duck?" Gibbs said to Mallard, who looked over to Sciuto and Dax. "What'cha got for me, Abbs?"
"This," she replied, holding up q-tip swabs of the entry and exit wounds. "And this. These tell us about the weapon."
Dax handed Gibbs and Sisko each a PADD, containing the same information everyone in the room saw on a small viewscreen hanging along a wall.
"English, Abbs. Or Lieutenant Dax," Gibbs said.
"You have to translate for him," Sciuto told Dax.
"I figured that would be the case," Dax replied. "What you're looking at are the sample results, followed by a short list of weapons which these compounds are known to be found in."
Sisko handed his PADD to Kira as Odo looked over her shoulder. "Short list alright, Jadzia. As in one."
"I assume you both have come across this weapon at some point," Sisko said to them.
"Yes. It's a vintage Glyrhond phase pistol native to Bajor," Odo said. "I haven't seen one in a few years."
"I've seen it too," Kira added. "When I was in the resistance on Bajor fighting the Cardassians, we had to use whatever weapons we could get our hands on. I've seen these used -- on both sides -- and shot one a few times myself."
"What is 'it', Major?" Gibbs asked, pointing to the image of the suspected weapon.
"A Glyrhond phase distruptor, nearly a Bajoran century old. The closest thing we had to one of your handguns, only firing phaser projectiles instead of bullets."
Gibbs, Sisko and Kira walked over to the body, and she looked at the entry wound closely. "Glyrhond make sense to you, Odo?" Kira asked.
"It does, Major. I considered the 'rod through the forehead' theory to be a bit farfetched. I also considered all known projectile- and phaser-based weapons known to be in use amongst the law enforcement and criminal communities here and on Bajor. I should have considered the Glyrhonds."
"One would expect for the exit wound from a headshot to create quite a mess," Sisko said. "This wound is very clean, Major."
"Glyrhond pistols were developed when some deranged Paqu soldiers began making raids into Navotian territory," Kira replied. "Long story short, the Bajoran government got involved and someone important wanted to examine the Paqu soldiers' brains. The fighters were heavily armored but for some reason left their heads exposed; the Glyrhond pistol was a handheld sniper rifle, meant to provide a fatal shot from long distance that wouldn't destroy too much of the brain."
“What about the bullet?” David asked.
“The bullet was designed especially for the weapon and its intended purpose: kill the target without blowing out the brain,” Kira said. “Snipers were required to know how Bajoran brains were structured—“
"To know where to shoot in order to kill the subject and end the threat but preserve as much of the brain as possible," Gibbs surmised. "This weapon was meant to be used from long distance?"
"Yes, because the soldiers tended to tear apart anyone they faced in close battle. A Glyrhond was one of the only ways to stop them."
"What would a Glyrhond do at close distance?" Sisko said.
"The wound would be messier, Commander," Kira replied. "The preservation of the brain matter is proportional to the distance the shooter is from the target. preserve the brain, you need to shoot from long distance, but not too far. Early tests showed that from extreme distances, the effect would be the same as me throwing a pebble hard at your head."
“Hurt like hell but not fatal,” Gibbs said. “Major, how far is too far?”
“One kilometer. Whereas if I were to walk to the back of the room and fire a Glyrhond at someone standing by the door, the exit wound would not be clean. For a clean result, your target needs to be within one-half to one kilometer.”
"That distance could be replicated in a setting like the Starfleet Academy program he was using at the time," McGee said. “That explains the apparent distance between the shooter and the admiral in the program.”
Sisko turned to Dax. "Lieutenant, speaking of programs, I am optimistically hoping you'll be able to give some insight into the mystery of these access codes."
"Way ahead of you, Commander," she said. "Whoever programmed the access codes can't erase every trace of their existence and activity. Benjamin, Odo, Kira, I'll need your authorizations."
As the Federation and Bajoran officers gave verbal authorization for Dax to do her work, McGee asked O'Brien what was going on. "Whatever the suspect did has a record in our database. There are settings that allow for authorization only from a head officer. Sometimes, several authorizations are necessary."
Dax did her work and soon came up with a partial answer.
"I only can tell you someone else was in the room with the admiral when he died, and that a weapon matching the Glyrhond was fired," she said. "I can also tell you where to find the external codes that can unlock the identity of the second person."
"Am I going to like this?" Sisko said.
"Quark's Bar," Dax answered. "Whatever changes to the database were made, someone did it from that location."
"I already don't like it," Odo added.