U.S.S. Corsair - NCC-011979
Nebula Class Starship
“Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)
“Reunions – Part One”
The steel doors of the airlock parted with a hiss of air that gently caressed the face of Captain Taverain Ramius who stood patiently as the bulky double doors slid open. Stepping outside the Corsair, Ramius took a deep breath only to find the station air smelled precisely like the sterile, ionized air of the Corsair and was little different. Slightly disappointed, he moved onwards with Captain Akina close behind.
Ramius stopped beyond the airlock and leaned against the steel railing of an observation deck as he stared out of one of Starbase 145’s large windows at his ship – the USS Corsair. The majestic Nebula Class starship gleamed in the bright lights of the station. Docking at the station would afford the crew some time to relax. They would indeed need the respite. Ramius’s plans to go on the hunt for the wily Dr. Ballantine would place his ship and crew in a dangerous area of space between two empires that had always been wary and suspicious of the Federation. His presence would not be welcomed which is why he would need to be swift, discrete, and most of all stealthy. However, Ramius was a realist. Years of fighter combat had taught him that things seldom went according to plan. It was possible and probable the Corsair would encounter Romulans, Klingons, or NeoDyne forces and would need to be ready to defend itself. That contingency is why he had stopped at Starbase 145. He would need some additional insurance if he were to attempt this dangerous and unauthorized mission to find and capture Artimus Ballantine.
“She’s a good looking ship”, Akina said leaning against the railing. “She’s even more impressive on the outside.”
“She’s a tough girl”, Ramius replied with a slight smile. “She’ll need to be if we go after the doctor.”
Akina shook his head. He still had reservations about Ramius’s plans. “I still think chasing him across the Neutral Zone is both foolish and fraught with danger.”
Ramius turned toward the intelligence officer with a stern expression. “Danger comes with your uniform Akina. Being in Intelligence doubles that risk. Enough with your calls for caution. If we are to strike back at our mutual adversary then we must be willing to take some risks to achieve our goals.”
Akina stiffened. “Ramius I have no fear of your plan. My concern comes from my lack of understanding of it and how we intend on tackling the challenges that lie ahead. Beyond the Neutral Zone are some large and hazardous obstacles. If we are to scale them we must first have a plan and then plan contingencies as well as having an exit strategy. In my line of work one must have plans in place to both achieve objectives, but to also escape and spy another day if and when things do not go according to plan. Neither of us can afford to let emotion cloud our judgment or influence our decisions. The stakes and the risks are far too high.”
Ramius nodded. “Agreed. That is why we are here.”
“I don’t understand”, Akina answered, “which is part of my objection to your proposal.”
“You will. I promise everything will be explained in full detail in short order. Let’s go.”
Akina sighed. Ramius was a man of few words. What little he did say was often cryptic as were is unorthodox actions. The man had perfected the arts of deception, misdirection, and guile. Zane couldn’t blame him. The life he had been forced to live with a bounty on his head coupled with the supreme responsibility that hung on Ramius’s shoulders had made him cautious, careful, and above all unpredictable. Perhaps that was how he evaded NeoDyne’s tentacles day after day, mission after mission. Ramius was the ultimate fox and Akina had no doubt that if he were chased by a thousand eager hounds filled with the lust of the hunt he would find a way to evade them all.
== [ Thirty Minutes Later ] ==
“In here”, Ramius gestured toward a rundown looking establishment with a grungy exterior façade. Akina noticed the place was another seedy bar.
“Oh no. Not another bar. Not again. What the hell are we doing here? I’m not in the mood for a drink and neither of us has the time to be drowning ourselves in alcohol.”
“I’m not here for booze”, Ramius muttered. “This is where we’ll find him.”
Akina rubbed his head. Ramius’s stubborn mysteriousness was beginning to irritate him. “This gets ugly and you can fend for yourself Tav. I’m not in the mood to fight my way out of this place.”
“Would you stop your b*tching for two seconds and just get in here”, the captain shouted over his shoulder as entered the rough establishment.
“Whatever”, Akina muttered following Ramius’s lead.
The place wasn’t too dissimilar from the bar they had fought their way out of two weeks ago. Filled with all sorts of unsavory characters Ramius and Akina were both carefully scrutinized by the patrons as they entered less than friendly territory. Akina shoved his hand into his pocket. Even aboard a starbase his intelligence training ensured he was always prepared for the unexpected. His fingers closed over the cool plastic exterior of a type I phaser. If trouble did occur at least he would be ready this time.
Ramius meanwhile forged ahead through the bar as if he owned the place. Akina looked on as the captain approached a table of Starfleet officers who appeared to be pilots. Many of them seemed to have already had one too many drinks. This didn’t look good.
Ramius stopped at the crowded table, grabbed a half empty bottle of whisky on table, took a sizable swig and then spat out the liquid in a spray over the table. Akina immediately froze. ‘Damn that Ramius!’ Did he had a death wish? He pulled the phaser from his pocket and kept it discreetly at the ready. It was obvious trouble was only a few moments away.
“I cannot believe you bums are actually drinking this low grade swill”, Ramius proclaimed holding the bottle before the men. “Only the saltiest old seadogs drink such filth. Have you lost your sense of respect? Obviously it seems that you have!”
Several of the officers stood quickly in response to Ramius’s words. Akina rolled his eyes, but fixated on Taverain’s expression. To his surprise the captain was grinning. In fact, Ramius was enjoying this! The fool was starting a bar room brawl and wore a smile? Akina resisted the urge to hit his forehead. What sort of madman was Ramius? Did he get a rush out of pain and injury?
“I don’t care if you’re a captain or not”, one of the drunken men blabbered. “You’ll be handing that bottle back over and apologizing or else I’m afraid we might scuff those shiny pips of yours.”
“I’d like to see you try”, Ramius said with a wide grin. “The last person who tried wound up in traction for a month.” Ramius dropped the bottle to the floor which shattered its alcoholic contents leaking into a sticky amber puddle.
“You’ll regret that captain.”
“Highly Doubtful”, Ramius answered with confident smugness.
Captain Taverain Ramius
Commanding Officer, USS Corsair
Captain Zane Akina