U.S.S. Corsair - NX-011979
Nebula II Prototype
“Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)
“Progeny of the Progenitors – Part 19”
## Planet: D’aisnenn – Romulan Space ##
Ramius made his way forward until suddenly the marines before him vanished. Akina disappeared next as his senses indicated his was alone in a vast white desert despite the knowledge the men were in reality only a few steps away. Gripping his weapon, Ramius continued forward as the landscape rippled for an instant before him and was replaced by reality.
Ramius was instantly aware they were exposed and in the open. That fact was not lost on the marines who unable to find cover had hit the ground and were engaged in slinking upon its surface toward a snowdrift for concealment.
Ramius and Akina quickly did the same and after some tense moments the men lay prone next to one another their outlines just barely hidden from view by a sizeable pile of snow and ice.
“Shit”, one of the marines muttered under his breath. “This place is a fortress. Did you see those defense turrents and lookouts? Not to mention the spotlights. You can forget recon Captain. We aren’t going to be able to get anywhere near the center of the compound.”
“Never say never”, Ramius stated producing a pair of white binoculars. Glassing the perimeter the marine’s quick assessment was not far from the mark. Ramius could make out three guards on patrol, but worse he also spotted a well designed perimeter of automatic sentry guns. It was highly likely these weapons were computer controlled and activated by movement and or heat.
“What do you see”, Akina whispered from his position.
“Three sentries on patrol. Several automatic gun turrets. There’s a large building. Probably houses the cloaking systems and possibly power generators. There’s some empty cargo containers scattered about to form a rough perimeter. My guess is they mark the range of the automatic guns.”
Captain Akina ventured a quick glance before ducking back behind cover. “Quite the welcoming committee. Cloaking devices, mercenaries, AI controlled guns, power generators; not exactly the tools you would expect to encounter with your garden variety bad guys. This isn’t a local pirate or smuggling operation. This isn’t even syndicate or organized crime. Whoever fronted the money for all this tech is extraordinarily well funded and by that token extremely dangerous.”
“Agreed.” Ramius scanned the distance slowly again. There was another structure well lit with a sentry guarding the entrance.
“Whatever is being protected here I think I just found it.” Ramius ducked down and handed the binocs to Akina. “200 meters southeast of the cloaking generator. See it?”
“Yeah. Barracks perhaps?”
“Possibly. My guess is whatever they’re guarding is in there.”
“What of all those abductees? That structure is too small to house all of them and I don’t see anything else large enough. There’s no fences, no other living quarters that I can see.”
Ramius thought for a moment. “They aren’t here”, he said after a time.
“What do you mean? Where are they then?”
“Underground. I’ll bet that building covers a shaft that leads down into the ice. Perhaps there is a subterranean structure or some sort of cavern below.”
Akina dropped back onto his back. “Makes sense. There’s nothing topside of any value except ice and snow. I still don’t see how we are supposed to get in there.”
“Sir”, one of the marines interrupted. “Tricorder is picking up electronic countermeasures. Looks like communications are being jammed in the area and I’ve detected a transporter scattering field. Doesn’t look like we can rely upon the transporters to get us past their defenses at least not without some pattern enhancers which will take time to setup and calibrate.”
“They’ve obviously done their homework. I can see these aren’t amateurs. The sentries are a concern, but what bothers me the most are those automatic guns. They get one whiff of anything and the party is over. With all of this tech I bet they know we’re here. They probably hope the cloaking shield will keep them safe and that we’ll eventually leave.”
Ramius nodded in agreement. “We can use that to our advantage. I suspect Akina is correct and that they are confident they won’t be detected. We still have the element of surprise in that they probably are not expecting an attack.”
“Do you see that”, Akina whispered. The marines shrugged unsure what the intelligence officer was indicating. “It’s that look. He’s plotting something. Gonna get us all killed in the process”, Akina sneered. “You are plotting aren’t you Ramius?”
“By plotting you mean formulating a plan then yes.”
“Why not hit them from orbit sir? A few well placed shots from the Corsair’s phasers and we could eliminate all obstacles. They’re defense relies upon not being detected. The compound would be unable to repel an orbital attack and they do not appear to have facilities or equipment to shield the area.”
“I’ve considered that and it may be our only option, but there is something not right about all of this”, Ramius answered the marine. “The placement of the guns, the sophistication of the equipment, and the careful planning involved to secure this area – it’s all too slick and too professional. If I didn’t know better I’d say the Romulans or another government was involved here.”
“What are you suggesting Ramius”, Akina asked wiping the accumulated snow from his goggles as the wind howled around the men.
“I’m not sure. It’s just a feeling. I’m not convinced a full scale attack is our best option. An orbital strike could damage any structures below in the ice if they exist and could force these people to take hostages to bargain for their escape. I’m not willing to risk so many lives with heavy handed tactics just yet.”
Ramius took one last look at the perimeter before sinking below the snow bank. “We still have a few options. Surprise and secrecy are still our best weapons. Sergeant, have the men fall out. We’re returning to the Corsair.”
“You aren’t giving up are you Ramius”, Akina quipped.
“I don’t like to lose”, Ramius replied with a wry grin as he motioned for the team to move out.
[ To Be Continued… ]
Captain Taverain Ramius
Commanding Officer, USS Corsair
Captain Zane Akina