From:Hibiki
To:*Galactic-Enquirer
Stardate:20001213.1719
Subject:Federation Response to Allegations

The screen springs to life suddenly, the white-on-blue UFP emblem appearing, then fading to a shot of an empty podium.

A prim-looking Deltan woman, with a distinctive bald head, wearing a Starfleet Council sash steps up to the podium, the murmur of reporters in the room dying down. She clears her throat and begins to speak.

"Greetings fellow citizens of the Federation, and also to our Klingon allies and Romuland and Cardassian acquantainces. I am Kellian Jhill, council chariman.

"We are aware of the allegations put forth by the Romulan and Cardassian governments regarding our activities, but let me reassure you that the Federation strives to uphold the peace. The Federation denies any involvement with these heinous acts.

"The actions of Starfleet Rear Admiral Vosh Pitrick were not in any way representative of any orders given to him by Starfleet Command. In fact, I have been informed that he has been listed as absent without leave.

"The ship known as 'Oxis' is also not affiliated with the Federation, and let it be known now that this ship is a criminal, pirate vessel. The pilots of said ship, whoever they may be, are wanted for their crimes against the Federation as well; they are responsible for the capture of at least two of our Danube-class runabouts and are assumed to be the force behind tens of billions of credits worth of cargo piracy that has occurred in the last few months."

The Deltan pauses a moment to breathe. "To elaborate on some of the allegations is our security advisor." She steps back and is replaced by a grizzled-looking Terran man with beady eyes and a very serious expression.

"Friends," he begins. "Several months ago, it was brought to my attention that an internal security breech occurred, and high-level top-secret documents ended up in the wrong hands. The Starfleet officers responsible for this breach have been dealt with," he says, his voice grim and seeming to indicate that they're pretty much in for life.

"However, what we didn't know then, we've managed to piece together. The Starfleet officers responsible conspired to sell this top-secret documentation, the plans to a cloaking device, to an outside party. This outside party is believed to be a member of the Syndicate, a crime organization led by Orion pirates." He stops talking and looks around the room, scanning every holocam. "This is supported by an account of our crewman, who was abducted by these pirates and held on the ship, stripped of his belongings, and deposited on Risa."

The Terran waits a moment for a soft murmur to die down before continuing. "The man claims that the crew referred to the ship as the 'OSC Oxis'. OSC is known by Federation Security to be the prefix used by the Syndicate."

"To repeat what the chairman said," he saiys, staring gravely at no one camera in particular, "this is an extremely dangerous and heavily armed pirate vessel. If found it should be destroyed, or if possible disabled and towed to Federation space, where it and its crew can be dealt with." He finishes that sentence with the same grave tone he used when referring to the officers responsible for the leak.

The broadcast ends, the UFP emblem filling the screen for a brief moment before the screen goes dark.