We are continuing the story LATINUM TOE, or The Spy Who Stunned Me, written by former USS Kelly member George Bogler. As you recall, our hero just exposed a Ferengi cheating at cards. He introduced himself as Bondkirk, James T Bondkirk…
James T Bondkirk sauntered into the offices of the shipping firm that served as a cover for the United Federation of Planets Covert Intelligence Agency. With a quick look to make sure he was unobserved, he slipped through a nondescript door and into the foyer of FCI headquarters. After clearing security he went directly to his office. It was not a place where he spent much time. The life of a field agent suited him well, and he made a conscious effort to spend as little time in the office as possible. Still, a private office was one of the perks of his “Double-O”, or elite agent, status. It was not large, but it had its advantages such as the well-stocked bar, and the equally well-stocked female yeoman who kept it that way. His terminal screen was flashing red when he entered. “Computer, play priority message,” he instructed.
After a brief pause, he heard the gravely voice of the Agency Director, code named ‘W’. “Double-O Forty-Seven, report to my office as soon as you get in,” it said.
There was already someone else in W’s office. James recognized him as the liaison to the Federation Council, Slai Meeyuuze. The man was liked by the agents only slightly less than a Klingon likes a Tribble. Anything said in the conversation to follow was likely to be twisted and analyzed to see how Slai could take advantage of it before it ever reached the Council.
The Director looked up from the PADDs spread across his desk. “ah, here at last 0047. We’ve been looking over that little incident of yours on Risa last month. Very clever figuring out how the Ferengi was cheating – but why in the name of the Great Bird did you go and get yourself involved?”
“Elementary, my dear W. I had seen this Quirm earlier in the day talking to a Vorta and getting some casual oo-mox from one of the hostesses. He seemed to entirely too happy for what he seemed to be getting. I suspected that he had extra sensitive lobes. Yet later, at the poker table when the waitress accidentally brushed against his ear he displayed no erogenous reaction.
“Hmmm,” grunted W admiringly. “And the woman had nothing to do with it? What was her name again?”
“Trivoy L. Pursuit,” Meeyuuze popped up. “Or at least that’s how she signed the guest register and her official statement. She’s nobody to bother ourselves with.”
“Yes, yes,” W interrupted, “but why involve yourself 0047? You were playing on an expense account.”
“And I would remind you to turn in your winnings and receipts,” interrupted Slai.
W shot the man a nasty glare. “0047?”
“Yes, sir. One of my informants told me that Latinum Toe was interested in Risa, and was sending a new operative to check the place out. When I caught on to Quirm’s cheating, I put two and two together. Now I have a clever plan to infiltrate Latinum Toe’s organization. As the man who exposed Quirm’s incompetence, I can pass myself off as a security expert looking for a more lucrative job opportunity.”
“Latinum Toe! The infamous Ferengi crime boss? We’ve tried at least a dozen times to infiltrate his organization.”
“I’m not familiar with this character,” said Meeyuuze.
“He’s a relatively new player,” replied W. “He’s come from nowhere in the last three years and is now considered, at least in some circles, to be a dark rival to Grand Nagus Zek. Some analysts think he is a former Zek associate who somehow fell out of favor. He operates a casino through several dummy corporations on Torman V.”
“So is ‘Latinum Toe’ some sort of code name?”
“Not exactly, Minister,” answered Bondkirk. “It’s a nickname or alias he created for himself. It seems he lost his left big toe and had it replaced with a prosthetic made of gold-pressed latinum. For a Ferengi, that would be the ultimate investment. He takes a chunk of his fortune with him wherever he goes.”
“”Yes, and I’ve no doubt that he would sell that toe in a minute if he had to,” added the Director. “What will you need from the agency to carry out your plan, 0047?”
“To start with, a suitable cover story along the lines I just described. Then first class passage to Torman V and an assortment of technological tools.”
W nodded his head. “You mean ‘toys’, 0047, or at least that’s how you seem to treat them. Very well.” He punched an extension into his comm unit. “Director to Q. Report to my office at once.”
There was a sudden flash of light as a voice responded, “whatever you say, Mon Capitain”.
“Damn,” cursed W. “I wish he wouldn’t do that.” He punched in the comm extension for his secretary. “Miss Smallcredit, get maintenance up here stat. My overhead light is on the fritz again. And have a programmer standing by to create a cover persona for Agent Bondkirk.”
“Right away sir,” responded a sultry voice.
“Dismissed, gentlemen,” W barked. “0047, you can intercept Q on his way here and go pick out whatever toys you fancy.
… to be continued in Part 3