The assembly is simplicity itself, placing together a few small items and wiring them quickly. Done a hundred times before, it can be done in one's sleep. Small, simple, entirely effective, one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Pawn to queen's bishop 4. The classic opening gambit. Predictable, but effective.
Placing the device - that's a bit harder, of course, that's the rub. One can't always do everything oneself, although it would be better done oneself if it's to be done properly. But aid can always be enlisted, one's been taught that; thank Harris for teaching the fine art of co-optation, if nothing else. All that's needed is a weak person, a vulnerable one, in the right spot at the right time... and such a person is directly at hand.
A drink with the visiting engineer, a second, a third, a few sympathetic comments... oh, the man is a friend, sure enough, but never so much of a friend before as he will be now, though he has no clue of it. He's all too willing to do a favor for a friend, especially believing that he's being given an upgrade for his ship; he'll be happy and pleased to install it.
Oh, it's an upgrade, all right. It's an upgrade for one's own existence.
Pawn to king's bishop 8. Raise to knight.
The remote can be triggered from one's own offices from a fairly wide distance. Its monitors and sensors will alert him to any likely moment to use it.
Collateral damage? Probably, but collateral damage is an unavoidable consequence of war... and make no mistake, war this is. And one plays at war to win, not for fun. With luck, one's friends will be out of the way when everything happens, but... if not... risk is part of the game.
He has always enjoyed playing chess. Too often, it's forgotten that chess is nothing more than the board pantomime of actual warfare; battles were once avoided by royalty fighting out the conflict on a chessboard. In chess, as in live war, strategy is everything. And to win at chess... to conquer the king... the best possible move is to completely eradicate the queen from the board.
Oh, Erika Hernandez simply has to go. And this little toy will take care of that problem. When she's gone, with Trip on her ship, laden with responsibility and rank there, after she dies, Jonathan Archer - the man is so predictable - will turn to his closest friend on his ship for comfort.
There's more than one kind of comfort one can offer.
Knight takes queen, and... check.