(OOC: Okay, here we go. Quantum Fury log will be out tomorrow bringing it into this action also)
[USS Charon | Sickbay]
"Clear the sickbay." Shiarrael ordered as she stepped into the medical facility trailed closely by Sakarra. The nurses and doctors looked at her and appeared ready to protest when she repeated her order "clear the sickbay or I will have security clear you from it. Understand?" Her eyes twisted back towards the door when the new Romulan security chief stood silently wearing a grin. Realizing her sincerity the staff immediately began clearing. At the far corner of Sickbay was the Tal'Shiar agent. Shiarrael half wanted to kill her on the spot. The agency was nothing but trouble- it had been well over two years since she last dealt with them, no reason to start back now. Well- no reason until now. She scowled and when she reached the curtain she pulled on them ripping the cloth off the O-rings that held it into place. She stared at the woman- now stabilized.
"Captain- we meet face to face. Forgive my appearance. There have been better days, I assure you." The woman smiled- a smug, as the federation marines would would say, shit eating grin. "I have to say- this is quite a luxurious vessel you have acquired. How many times did it take you sleeping with Captain Bravado to get it?"
Shiarrael wanted to kill her- but it would be wasted effort and the agent wouldn't bother with them unless there was something important she wanted them to know. With a kind, sarcastic smile, Shiarrael sat down on the bed adjacent to her "do not tell me the reason you came here is for a quick death? I assure you I can easily provide death but it will not be, by any means, quick and painless. Why don't you quit wasting our time and get to the point. Who are you exactly and what do you know about the Memento Mori?"
The agent laughed and then turned her head coughing "forgive me- it is hard not to tease one such as yourself." The agent still wore that annoying expression "I am EnArrain t'Anue- as far as you are concerned at least. I was the political officer aboard the Endless Sky sent by the agency to oversee your stupid cousin, Itsak tr'Sahen." She cursed and then grimaced "we knew about the Temep-Shar- I'm sure you were likely aware of this. We wanted it. We had sent out ships to look for it but none ever discovered it. The surviving Vulcans were quite clever. Your cousin has his own aspirations- we wanted the Temep-Shar so I overlooked it when he decided to keep a sample of the Memento Mori. Quite foolish of me. As you can see what has happened since he acquired that ship?"
Shiarrael felt a knot form in the pit of her stomach. She had been stupid to trust him. "Why did he keep the Memento Mori. What is he trying to do?"
The agent laughed "it is quite silly- but now possible. He wants to use the Vulcan wormhole device to bring his ships into the Vulcan system- when there he will release the Memento Mori into Vulcans atmosphere." She smirked again "he tells his people it is because he seeks the seat of Praetor- and by destroying and weakening the Federation the mandate will be overwhelming and that once he is Praetor he will lead the Romulan conquest of the Federation and then the Klingons." She laughed "of course that is mostly subterfuge. He is seeking revenge against his father...and her people." She looked at Sakarra "incredible is it not? If he succeeds...it will be your people who have sown their own destruction."
Shiarrael glared at the woman and then stood up beckoning Sakarra to follow her into the Chief of Medical's office. "what do you make of this?" She asked. Studying the expression of her executive officer closely. Her blood felt as cold as the surface of rura'penthe.
The word the Tal'Shiar agent had used was … apt. Incredible indeed.
Unfortunately, the woman's words had a ring of truth to them that the Vulcan was unable to deny. And if this was an elaborate deception … someone went to highly illogical lengths to deliver a false warning.
Presenting nothing but a deeply thoughtful face to her CO's sharp, violet eyes, Sakarra stood with hands clasped behind her back, remembering a half Vulcan and a lush garden, a tense dinner and the flash of fury in dark eyes.
"Assuming we accept EnArrain t`Anue's words as true, and it would certainly be unwise to dismiss them out of hand, we should attempt to issue a warning to the Federation at the earliest opportunity, Captain. Under different circumstances I might advise verifying her account of events, or gathering intel from a less … debatable source. However, …"
She did not need to spell their situation to the Captain. Shiarrael t`Rehu was if anything even more acutely aware of their … strategic disadvantages "… our inability to intervene in any attack also poses the question whether Charon herself might become a target now that we have been informed of Vaek'Riov tr`Sahen's plans."
Sakarra was right- the Charon would be a target. Shiarrael frowned and looked through the windows at the woman and then pressed her commbadge "Bridge- Savant, send a priority transmission to Starfleet that Vulcan is in danger..."
[IRW Endless Sky]
So there it was...the Charon. Itsak grinned and leaned forward in his seat. Next to him Hanaj studied the image with equal intensity "there is another vessel...a Bomber." Hanaj looked at Itsak and then stepped over to the tactical console and looked over the shoulder of the officer manning it "it is Anue."
"Anue." Itsak echoed his eyes ever hovering on the image of that ship. 'Why would she seek out the Charon?' he wondered.
"The Charon is sending a message to Starfleet. They are attempting to warn them about a possible threat to Vulcan."
Ah. Itsak leaned back in his chair. "Jam their communications and decloak. It is time we finished what we have set out to do."
In front of the Charon a massive warbird rippled out into the blackness of space followed by a dozen other ships. The disruptor ports glowed hot green as they were targeted on the Federation ship. "USS Charon- this is Vaek'Riov Itsak tr'Sahen. You are harboring a fugitive. Lower your shields and prepare to be boarded- or be destroyed. The choice is...yours."
[USS Charon | Sickbay]
Shiarrael was still pondering Sakarra's words when the Red Alert klaxon rang out. She looked up as the lights dimmed and bathed the office in a deep red hue. She turned and looked at Sakarra "were we too late?"
Before the Vulcan could answer, a rather unsettled voice called from the bridge. "Captain, there is a … problem." the disembodied voice seemed unsure how to correctly phrase the nature of said problem, which in Sakarra's experience was rarely a good sign but she cut in before the CO could make her displeasure over such imprecise information known.
"Thirteen Warbirds with fully charged weapons and a Vaek'Riov tr`Sahen demanding our surrender." The man sounded rather like a human about to be violently ill, quite in contrast to Shiarrael t`Rehu who had gone from tense and worried to quietly seething to murderous fury in the space of merely three point two seconds.
If Sakarra had not been preoccupied with their predicament, she would have found this highly fascinating.
Well, there was one thing to be said for the Vaek'Riov – his timing was … unfortunate, but precise.
"Indeed we appear to be at an impasse, Captain. May I suggest an expedited departure to the bridge?" Not that it would do much good, but if they were to be blown to bits it was only right and proper that they should be at their posts.
Still, it was curious that tr`Sahen wished Charon to surrender rather than destroy her outright. If the Vulcan had any time for such things, she might have been … puzzled. Perhaps even worried.
Livid would not have even come close to describing Shiarrael's state of mind as she stormed out of the office and sickbay. Behind her medical personnel rushed back in likely wondering if their Captain had killed the agent. She entered the lift and waited until Sakarra stepped in behind her before calling for the bridge. When they arrived on the bridge the atmosphere was sullen and defeated. Ever stared on the giant war bird with hopeless expressions. "Put them on screen." Shiarrael ordered.
"Shiarrael." Itsak stared at her through the viewscreen but she stared back with great intensity and hatred. Sitting down she frowned "I am amazed. You require a dozen ships to sedate us? I must admit that I have clearly overestimated your tactical prowess."
"One who is in such a position would be wise to watch their words." He smiled, a sharp smile, "lets not play games my cousin. Clearly you understand the predicament you are in. Hopelessly outnumbered. Do not give up your life to harbor a criminal fugitive."
"A criminal fugitive? Do not feed me that pile of hlai shit Itsak. I already know everything. Your cleverness has worn thin." Shiarrael scowled "you have played us quite cleverly."
His smile faded into an ugly, hate filled expression "truly. However, you would be foolish to continue on in this manner Shiarrael. I will have your ship and what I want. Unless your crew is brave enough to accept their own end I suggest you surrender- or I can beat you down and take it from you. But either way it is over. I don't want to kill you and your crew- your children but if you continue on I will have no other alternative. I will leave you three minutes to decide on the fate of your ship and crew." The transmission ended and Shiarrael shivered in rage but she knew he was right- many would die if they resisted. She looked at Sakarra.
"What is your opinion?"
"I believe the question is – what does the Vaek'Riov want, Captain?" The Vulcan stood beside her CO, still in the pose of perfect equanimity although there was a disconcerting light shining in the depth of night black eyes.
"His desire not to kill you or your children might be genuine, however it is unlikely to overrule his plans should we decide to resist. And it is highly doubtful his only goal is to retrieve the officer in our sickbay, since he is in a position to simply demand her released to him without having to board Charon."
Sakarra's every instinct clamored, urging fight. Even if it was hopeless, for there were worse things than to die with one's ship. And if this were a Vulcan crew, the answer would be as clear as it was simple.
For a long moment, the raven haired woman seemed lost in thought as chains of logic spun and coalesced, options were weighed and probabilities assessed.
"Logic suggests that only by keeping the crew alive as long as possible can we attempt to find a way out of this situation, Captain. And your cousin appears intent enough to secure your cooperation, which is perhaps the only condition in our favor. However, there is a risk that once his motives become clear, Charon's destruction might have been the preferable choice. You are aware that Temep`Shar suffered damage and the only people capable of effecting swift repairs are on board this ship, yes?"
Not that the Vulcans would aid the Vaek'Riov, regardless of how enthusiastic or innovative the torture. But there were other ways …
The violet eyed Rihanha seemed to ponder the pleasures of tearing her cousin limb from limb, a caged Le-Matya roaring in helpless fury. But it was the rest of the bridge crew whose nervous gazes seemed to be glued to the two women in the middle of the bridge, their fear and determination near palpable in the stillness. It was their lives hanging in the balance.
If there was a chance to keep them alive, even a remote one …
"My recommendation is to deny the Vaek'Riov's demands, Captain. Illogical as it may seem, I must also ask you reject this recommendation and consider surrender."
"Surrender?" Shiarrael looked at the bridge crew and then nodded her head wrapping her fingers around the hilt of her honor blade. "Contact him." Itsak's image returned on the viewscreen "We will surrender." She looked at the shocked tactical officer "lower the shields." As soon as she spoke those words she heard the familiar hum. Several armed soldiers dematerialized onto the bridge.
"Secure the crew in the cargo." Was the simple order- with that the Romulans nudged the bridge crew towards the lift with the nozzles of their disruptor rifles.
Captain Shiarrael Rehu
Lieutenant Commander Sakarra Tyrax