AAR: The Murder of Asran Eskos


From: CENT t'Veras
To: DS13 Command, CMDR Yores, Intelligence Team
Re: Incident in Starlight Cantina, stardate 90827.2


INCIDENT REPORT

The following is a factual recounting of the events of Stardate 90827.2 as I observed them.

I was in the promenade's Starlight Cantina following my duty shift, waiting for a meeting with Asran Eskos, an intelligence analyst currently assigned to Deep Space 13 through the Republic-Federation Officer Exchange Program.

Centurion Nethali Aster of the RRW D'Ishae was also present, and speaking with Eskos. Previously, I knew of Eskos only professionally, as a colleague; he was extremely quiet and did not socialize with anyone on the station, Romulan or no, and spent his off-hours on the lower decks or in his quarters. When I arrived at the bar area, Aster had just asked his name and introduced him to the other patrons in the bar.

Subcommander Davin Mandukar entered the Cantina at that point, crossing quickly to the bar area. He was wearing a disruptor against station regulations. Right away, he took the disruptor from his belt, aimed it point-blank at Eskos and fired, killing him immediately. Lieutenant Kermit, Centurion Aster and I engaged him at that point with intent to disarm, but none of us were able to loosen his grip on the disruptor. He said nothing throughout. As soon as he fired and killed Eskos, his demeanor changed, and he began to utter the word "No" over and over again. At this point, a security team arrived. Mandukar was able to wrench free of Aster, Kermit and I, and engaged a holographic forcefield around his person. Aster, as a member of his crew, attempted to get him to lower the forcefield, and Kermit began to prepare an emergency beamout to the brig. Subcommander Mandukar continued to say nothing aside from "No" and did not respond in any other way to Aster's entreaties. At this point, while still within the forcefield, he was beamed out to one of D'Ishae's shuttlecraft, which broke free of the hangar, engaged sensor shields, and went to warp. The warp trail analysis shows that the shuttle was headed towards the Neutral Zone and the Klingon Empire.

Subsequently, the hangar also witnessed an unauthorized Peregrine shuttle launch.

The warbird D'Ishae has been put on indefinite lockdown after the matter, and any traffic to or from the ship must be authorized by DS13 command.

OTHER/RELATED OBSERVATIONS

Eskos had requested a meeting with me about an 'urgent' matter just a day before; I was involved in a Priority One task at the time and he seemed fine with setting a meeting for later on. He was killed before we could have the above-referenced conversation. There is a chance we may find some clues about this talk we were to have in his personal and work files.

Following his official name change two months ago, Subcommander Mandukar was officially vetted by Republic Intelligence; no substantial ties to terrorist, Tal Shiar, or other enemy operations were found, aside from one known estranged relative. The Republic found him innocent enough that they put him back in command of the D'Ishae with uninterrupted service to Task Force Argo.

Lieutenant Kermit spoke with the transporter chief that allowed Mandukar to enter the promenade area wearing a disruptor. The chief has been relieved of duty by the Lieutenant and will be available for further questioning after being confined to quarters.

A fourth witness to the events is currently on-station: Miss Raven McCarthy, a human minor.

SIGNED
// CENT t'Veras
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Re: Re: Incident in Starlight Cantina, Stardate 90827.2
Addendum

Following a preliminary investigation, the following points are relevant to Centurion t'Veras' report:

  • The shuttle that SubCommander Mandukar escaped with was registered to him, and was docked with DS13 up until such time as he escaped from the hangar.
  • SubCommander Mandukar specifically requested permission to use one of our hangar bays, citing maintenance that required more space than his vessel had available.
  • The Transporter Chief on duty continues to insist that when the SubCommander boarded DS13, he was not armed.
  • Despite the obvious evidence to the contrary, internal sensors in Operations failed to register a weapons discharge corresponding to the assault.
  • The report regarding the launch of a Peregrine Fighter has been determined to have been an error. All fighters and pilots have been accounted for, and no unauthorized launches took place.

Operations is continuing attempts to trace the shuttle's warp trail and pinpoint a destination. A Level 3 Diagnostic of the internal sensors did not reveal any faults that would account for the failure to pick up weapons fire. A request for additional diagnostics has been placed with Engineering. The absence of a sensor malfunction casts a fair amount of doubt on the events that were witnessed. Ops recommends that Medical establish the cause and time of death as soon as possible. While several recent lapses in regulation enforcement lend credence to the plausibility of the Transporter Chief failing to notice/confiscate the SubCommander's disruptor, in light of the unusual nature of this incident, any other possible explanations should be investigated as well.


//SIGNED//

LT James Kermit
Operations Department
Deep Space 13
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From: Doctor Ellias Thompson
To: DS13 Command, CMDR Yores, Intelligence Team
Addendum - Autopsy Report


Upon receiving the body, an immediate and thorough autopsy was performed. The following are the findings.

Subject: Male, Romulan. Aged 38. Name, Asran Eskos. Victim of attack in Starlight Cantina.

Cause of Death: Internal trauma.
  • First responders reported that the cause of death was blast from plasma weapon.
  • No plasma burns found internally or externally.
  • Entry wound of some kind present on right side of skull, below eye and beside nose.
  • Scans indicate extreme internal trauma.
  • Several fractures present within the anterior of Victim's cranium.
  • Damage present on back of victim's head. Based on witness accounts, this likely occurred after he was attacked, when he hit the glass bar behind him.
  • No particles or residue of any kind present in wound.

Observations: Though witness accounts and security footage clearly indicate that a plasma weapon was the cause of death, this is incompatible with my team's findings. Nothing on the body indicates a plasma weapon was used; wounds are consistent with a kinetic-based firearm; though a firearm used at that range would have left 'powder burns' and residue on the wound. Additionally, a plasma weapon wouldn't have impacted with enough force to throw the victim into the counter. There is no weapon in federation records that would have these specific effects.
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From: CENT Aurelia t'Veras
To: DS13 Command, CMDR Yores, Intelligence Team
Addendum - Investigation and Identification


This evening, I led a team in an investigation of Asran Eskos' room, consisting of Petty Officer Foster, Chef Rellir, Lieutenant Kermit and a team of DS13 security agents. Very little was found of a physical nature. Foster posited that the weapon could have been a kinetic TR-116 disguised to look like a Romulan plasma disruptor. Found on Eskos' desk console was quite a bit of correspondence between him and an unknown party; the unknown party declared that s/he had intelligence on a Romulan officer employed on Deep Space 13. The actual intelligence was never stated, but Subcommander Mandukar's name was mentioned numerous times and the unknown party ended up asking to speak with someone with higher clearance. While I am technically not Eskos' superior and certain Starfleet officers on the intelligence team have a higher clearance, he asked to see me. I assume that at this meeting I was to receive more information about the unknown party or the knowledge Eskos had.

We traced the messages back to the Esseles system, which is a Blue Supergiant system with no planets on the Klingon side of the Neutral Zone. In Esseles, Foster found a subspace communications satellite that could have been used to send the messages to Eskos.

After that, Foster went to run analyses, Kermit went to his shift on Ops, the security team departed to follow up on the Esseles information, while Rellir and I went to re-create the assassination in the holodeck. After running the simulation frame-by-frame, a multi-spectral analysis confirmed the presence of graviton particles all around the body of Davin Mandukar. Rellir noted that Mandukar rarely ever used a weapon that was new, or a weapon that he hadn't tinkered with, and that the weapon he was carrying at this point seemed to be newly-replicated. We discovered that the graviton particles formed "slugs" that penetrated Eskos' brain. The bullets, literally formed out of graviton particles, needed to be point-blank to work. Mandukar himself was covered in a dusting of gravitons connected and controlled by five separate holoemitters on his spine, legs and arms. This created a holographic "graviton cloak" which the assassin used to wear Mandukar's guise like a second skin. Computer analysis then displayed this man as the true figure below the Mandukar hologram:

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After running matches in the computer, we have discovered that the man underneath the graviton cloak was supposedly Oliver Blackwood, a former Task Force Argo captain who perished over a year and a half ago. Blackwood, Captain of the U.S.S. Rhodes, Dervish Class, died at age 42 from nerve degradation resulting from cybernetic implants.

Needless to say, we believe that Subcommander Davin Mandukar was replaced by Blackwood or his doppelganger or an agent posing as Blackwood while working in his shuttle sometime that afternoon, and may have been abducted and taken by Blackwood and his guise used to kill Eskos. Tactical recommendation from the Romulan portion of the Intelligence Team to Command is to search the Esseles sector first for the presence of the D'Ishae shuttle, and write to Hawking colony to exhume Blackwood's body to check if it is still actually there. While I do not know of any techniques that can bring back the dead, there are dozens of ways to take someone that is very nearly dead and keep them alive. If this has happened to Blackwood, whether instigated by the Captain or not, Starfleet intel and the lives of officers on both Starfleet and Romulan sides could be at risk. We must find Blackwood (or his doppelganger) and Mandukar as soon as possible, as he may still be alive.

Still unknown is a motive as to why Eskos would be a target. He has no known connections to enemies outside of his work with Republic Intelligence, which has been exemplary -- but behind-the-scenes as an analyst alone, he struggled with mental illness and was only at the beginning of his career. We continue to work to discover Blackwood's motive for killing Eskos. There is one other possible explanation: that Eskos was not the real target of the shooting. I was also present in the Starlight Cantina that night. Unlike poor Eskos, there are actually quite a few reasons why some people in this universe would like to see me dead.

A very tight audit of starbase security procedures is also recommended.

ATTACHED:

Messages between Asran Eskos and Unknown Party

SIGNED
// CENT t'Veras
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