The cat picked up the communicator in his mouth and climbed into the air ducts he used to get around the ship. It took him over an hour to find the cabin where the stupid dwarf lived. Crouching by the air duct, the cat turned on the communicator's record function and settled down to wait. It was several hours before another dwarf was alone with the stupid one.
        "You made sure nothing could be traced back to us?" the second, smarter dwarf asked the stupid one.
        "Certainly," the stupid one said. "I wiped it down thoroughly before I put it in his locker. I thought you said we'd have that thing for a few more days before it was going to be noticed?"
        "We got caught by a random inspection," the smarter dwarf said. "It happens. We'll let things settle down for a few days and then we can steal another one and get back to work."
        This doesn't sound good, the cat thought to himself as he paused the record function with his paw. The smart one had those metal things on his collars. He's one of the leaders, like Servant is, but not an important one. I know how to find him.
        It took the rest of the evening, but the cat found the smarter dwarf, the one with the metal things on his collars, asleep in a small cabin with three other minor leaders, none of them of the Servant's tribe. The cat left the communicator sitting just inside an air duct grill with the switch set for sound-activated recording and went about his chores.
        The two-legs of Servant's tribe seemed to like it when the cat killed the fuzzy rodents, and the cat found them fun to hunt and easy to kill. The problem was that it had taken him less than a month to reduce the population of those vermin to extreme rarity. The cat knew that to work himself out of a job would put his life at risk, but fortunately the solution was easy enough.
        The cat went back to Servant's quarters, making sure no one was there, and dug into the waste receptacle for what he needed. Servant always got one of those food bags, the brown ones, and opened it for him. The cat only ate the meat, of course, and Servant then picked over the non-meat, eating a few bits of it, before throwing the rest of it away. The cat gathered up the rest, mostly those stale carbohydrate wafers that even Servant would not eat, and carried them to his stable.
        Back in a remote part of the secondary hull, the cat had managed to trap some of the fuzzy rodents. The cat had learned that the fuzzy things would quickly produce offspring if given any significant amount of food, and he had accidentally overfed them once, a few weeks after coming on board the ship. Now, he was careful to limit their intake. He gave a quick look over the herd, and pulled aside the piece of metal that blocked the lower access to the pen, allowing a few to escape before closing it. Then he went back a few feet into the air duct and pushed the wafers into the pen. The remaining fuzzy things scrambled to eat them. There would never be a shortage of the things.
        That done, he amused himself hunting through the night, and by the next morning, he had lined up six of the fuzzy rodents on the deck of the engine room. He sat there, proud of his work, when the two-legs came in. They praised him, as they should, and stroked his fur. He made his way back to Servant's cabin, where he found that someone had opened a brown food bag for him and left everything open on Servant's bed. The cat ate his fill of the meat and settled down for a nap.
        Later, he recovered the communicator from where he had left it. He had to fast-forward through some irrelevant conversations before finding what he wanted.
        "Everything is taken care of," the smarter dwarf said.
        "That stupid Klingon lieutenant will be punished severely for that phaser," a particularly ugly dwarf said. "I swear I can hear his screams through the bulkheads."
        "How soon before we can steal another phaser?" the female dwarf asked. "We need to get back to work on those phaser control cables. I almost finished cutting through the third panel."
        "After the next regular inspection," the smarter dwarf said. "You did make sure that the phasers will stand up to test firings?"
        "Of course," the female dwarf said. "Training never uses full power anyway, and the weakened cables will stand up to that. But once we get into combat, they'll burn out on the first shot."
        "And the ship gets captured," the ugly one said.
        "And we all get our freedom," the smarter one said.
        All three of them laughed at that.
        Like I thought, the cat said, up to no good. This will not do, and I want Servant back. The cat picked up the communicator and headed into the air duct, this time ending up in a compartment where a two-leg leader, one with the different fur, slept. The cat waited until the two-leg was asleep, then quickly dropped into the compartment and left the communicator on the shelf by the bed. The cat spent a moment wondering if he could spend the rest of the night curled up for warmth with the two-leg, but decided better of it. No, I don't need to get caught.
        The next morning, the ESS lieutenant found the communicator on the shelf and wondered why he had left his there, then realized that his own was where he always kept it.
        "Somebody is in trouble," he muttered. Obviously, someone had left the communicator somewhere, and one of his troops had found it and left it here for the lieutenant to turn in. It was only proper, of course, that the lieutenant get credit for finding it. A few keystrokes on his terminal showed that the communicator belonged to that lieutenant he had arrested for stealing a phaser. He idly pushed the "play" button and his eyes opened wide.
        A few hours later, Ketrick was standing before the captain and the head of the ship's ESS detachment.
        "You've been proven innocent," the captain said. "Someone, obviously a confidential informant in the crew working under your command, uncovered a nest of traitors. Good work!"
        "Thank you, Sir," Ketrick said. What in the stars? WHAT confidential informant? There must be one, one somebody else wants to keep hidden. I can live with that. At least I'm out of the brig.