“In The Hot Seat”
“I do not give a damn about my condition”, Lamont stated with a voice devoid of its usual vibrancy. It rang hollow in the air a result of the wounds, stress, and exhaustion that now plagued the ambassador. “If we have retaken the bridge then my duty is there. I must know what has happened and what is happening! Lieutenant, in case you haven’t realized we may be on the precipice of war with the Romulan Empire!” Lamont coughed several times after raising his voice.
The medic rolled her eyes. The rumors were true. Ambassador Lamont lived up to his reputation of being prickly as well as overly melodramatic even when injured.
“Sir, you are not in any condition…”
“Then you will escort me to the bridge.”
“I cannot leave. Look at the wounded!”
“Then find someone who can.”
The medic sighed. Why did she always seem to get the hard cases? Why couldn’t she get just one, strong, injured Marine or security guard with rippling muscles and compassionate eyes to nurse back to health? No, she was stuck with talkative Bolians and impossible ambassadors.
A few minutes later a security guard arrived to help Lamont to the bridge. The Ambassador was cordial enough if not demanding. Under normal circumstances she would have never released him in his condition, but with dozens of wounded and more pouring in by the minute she didn’t have time to argue. She had patched the ambassador’s wounds and so long as he didn’t attempt much movement, he would live to be annoying another day.
The turbolift slowed as its doors opened revealing the bridge. Lamont emerged his arm draped around the security officer who helped the ambassador who looked like a prizefighter who had lost a fight and badly. His face was black and blue with bruises and the diplomat’s white uniform was dingy covered in dirt, grime, and sweat. Adding to the man’s attire was the spattering of emerald blood along with copious stains of dark red. Half of Lamont’s uniform had been stained red by the wounds he had sustained to his shoulder and torso.
Ian scanned the bridge and saw that the captain was very much alive and in command, almost as if nothing had happened. Missing was the ship’s executive officer at her side. Limping across the bridge the two locked eyes as Lamont fell into one of the empty bridge command chairs thanking the security officer for his assistance.
Rehu’s gaze fell upon Lamont like a searchlight. It lingered for several moments before she refocused her attention on the viewing screen. For a brief moment, Lamont thought he had seen a smile upon her lips. What she could have been smiling about was left to the Ambassador’s imagination.
Righting himself in the chair, Ian hoped the medic’s painkillers held out. He was already fighting exhaustion and did not need the burden of fighting more pain. After several moments Rehu and several bridge personnel informed him of the situation much to his horror. He had no idea of the terrible events that had been set in motion by what seemed to be an insane Romulan commander and a relative of the captain’s no less. If they couldn’t stop this mad man’s actions he feared for the billions of lives that could be lost and the inevitable chaos that would plunge half the galaxy into a long and violent war.
His thoughts also rested with that of Commander Tyrax. The thought of her alone on aboard a Romulan vessel did nothing to ease his already troubled mind. He wanted to believe that the Vulcan could take care of herself in any situation and yet he had seen firsthand the capabilities of motivated Romulans.
He nodded "but Captain...if it's only a momentary opportunity, how will we get the Marines out?"
"It will be up to them to take out the Endless Sky's shield systems after destroying the Memento Mori weapons...as for Sakarra- this ordeal is my responsibility. I will lead a small team to retrieve her while the Marines work. But fear not- I will leaving Ambassador Lamont in charge." She smiled maliciously as her gaze fell onto the Ambassador- but the normal humor was empty. "Work quickly- full power to weapons and then bring us into firing range."
Lamont was stunned. He turned to look at the captain who merely returned his gaze with a “what are you waiting for”, expression. Without any additional ceremony, the captain headed to the turbolift and was gone.
Ian swallowed as his heart began to race. He had done this before aboard the Lexington as its third officer primarily during the graveyard shift. The last Dominion war had given him the opportunity to watch others command during combat. He silently prayed that experience would be enough to carry him through this ordeal.
“You heard the captain”, Lamont shouted limping over to the captain’s chair and pulling himself into it. “Tactical, arm all weapons and reinforce our forward shields. Our target is the Endless Sky. We must give the Captain every chance. Helm, increase speed to full impulse. Stand by to take evasive maneuvers on my command. Someone inform sickbay to expect casualties and authorize them to draft anyone they need to attend to the wounded.”
“Contact Engineering. We’ll need everything they can give us for weapons and the shields.”
Reaching over to the armrest, Lamont located the ship’s intercom. Yet again he would need to address the crew. Activating the system, Lamont took a deep breath.
“All decks this is the bridge. We are currently in pursuit of a Romulan warship with plans to attack and unleash a biological weapon upon the people and planet of Vulcan. We must succeed in stopping them at any cost not only to protect Vulcan but to prevent the outbreak of war which would consume far more lives than those lost on Vulcan should we fail. We must succeed! Let us all live up to the Charon’s namesake and send these madmen to hell where they belong. All hands to battlestations. Prepare for combat. Bridge out!”
The whine of the Charon’s alert klaxon filled the air as Lamont leaned back exhaling. His eyes remained transfixed upon the Romulan warship before him on the Charon’s viewscreen. In short order they would be engaging it in battle. He hoped he wasn’t responsible for losing the Charon under his command. Rehu would find a way to haunt him in heaven or hell for all of eternity if they failed. That thought alone was more than enough motivation for him to ensure they succeeded.
Allowing himself a single moment for final thoughts, Lamont pushed them aside to focus on the task at hand.
“Standby to attack.”
[ To Be Continued… ]
Ambassador Ian Lamont