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The Trap, Part 4 - Revelations

Posted on Thu Mar 25th, 2021 @ 1:42am by Colonel Sehan t'Varis & Subcommander Kaiae t'Lien & Centurion Nancy Gable & Lieutenant Rehana t'Shaan & Major Ashley Rogers

Mission: Chapter IV: Unravelling the Mystery
Location: Faraday Nebula, Neutral Zone
Timeline: 238702.10

Just as the last of the transports jumped to warp, a voice came through the intercom. "Emergency transport complete, we've got them all."

Raven breathed a sigh of relief at the report from the transporter room. "Get a medical team down there," she ordered. She was standing at the science station, monitoring the data transfer progress. 97%. "Just a few more seconds and then we get out of here. Set course for, well, anywhere, and prepare for maximum warp. A quick hop out of range of the singularity will do. Lieutenant Xia, I trust you took initiative and informed our allies."

Suddenly, a large battlecruiser emerged out of warp and fired at the now abandoned Bird-of-Prey. Its torpedoes made short work of the vessel, leading only to the usual singularity implosion, rather than a full-scale singularity breach.

"Well," Raven remarked. "Whoever the fuck that is just saved our neck, but how did they know what was happening?" She returned to the central chair. "Sublieutenant Lynn, belay the order to go to warp, but maintain stand-by. Commander Rogers, return full power to shields and weapons. Lieutenant Xia, hail them."

The Commander tapped commands into the console, "Full power to shields and weapons. Ready to fire whenever you give the order. I think we stumbled into something much bigger than just refugees..."

Mila playfully punched Ash in the shoulder. "Hey, if I didn't know better, I'd think you were worried back there. Everything was under control, see?" She looked over at the rest of the group. The injured Romulan did not seem to be in to bad a shape, but then she spotted Ford, now kneeling beside the nearly decapitated body of Kenny Harrison, crying.

"Why did it have to be you, Kenny," the man was sobbing. "We were supposed to go on a date when we got back to Drozana, why the fuck did you have to go and get yourself killed? What am I supposed to do now, without you? I loved you, you great big moron!"

Ash looked over at Harrison and Ford... a sight that she's seen too often in her life. She looked over at Mila again, "I'll always worry..."

Mila smiled and shook her head. Please, never let your worry for me or my brother stop you from what you do best. That's the Ash Rogers this crew needs.

Ash smiled at Mila and also looked at Hatham, "Let's get to the bridge... my doppelganger is still up there...."

Hatham nodded emphatically. "Ael, with me. The rest of you, stations."

The channel opened, and a middle-aged Orion woman appeared on the viewscreen. She was wearing a simple functional outfit, held in black and grey, but the most striking features about her were her bright, amber eyes, and her white hair, kept in a short, spiky cut.

"Colonel Sehan T'Varis. Or would you prefer Raven? We finally meet. You and your ship have been quite the thorn in my side, you know. I am Captain Risei, of the Emerald Raptor. But you probably know me better as Vulture."

Raven was taken aback for a moment. The woman who claimed to be Vulture seemed... oddly familiar.

The away team made it onto the bridge to see the infamous Vulture on the screen. Major Rogers glanced over at Hatham, "Vulture is an Orion woman... not what I was expecting..."

Hatham shrugged in response. An Orion had been exactly what he'd been expecting, right up until he saw that rank insignia. Then again, it wasn't like the Tal'Shair had never used the syndicate as front before...

"Well, Captain Risei", Raven replied, with a slightly sarcastic note to her voice. "I should say thank you for saving our necks from that singularity, but I guess that is not why you are here."

Vulture laughed. "So cynical, just like your father. What a pitiful man he was. Such an idealist. Always believed in the good in people." She spat. "Pathetic. No wonder the Tal'Shiar got rid of him. Surprised they even made him a General in the first place. He did build a lovely ship for you, though, didn't he?"

The Colonel narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "You knew my father?"

"Oh of course I did, dear. The slime went and impregnated me and then high-tailed it out of there when he realised that a half-breed child would look bad for him. His vision for an open, diverse Romulan Empire obviously didn't extend to his own family." Vulture laughed. "I see you got my good looks, though!"

Commander Rogers perked up when Vulture mentioned Raven's father... her hand reaches for her sidearm, uncertain of what this means for the Colonel.

Kaiae, for her part, kept a necessary portion of her focus on Commander Rogers, mindful of earlier contingency plans; when Rogers' hand moved for a weapon at the ready, her own hand echoed it...Just in case.

Rehana shrugged. "Looks can be deceiving. Take me, for example. People tend to think I'm a dumbass who's just in it for the fun, but then I fix their ships with nothing but a paperclip."

Riiiight... Hatham thought cynically. His brain was still stalled on the word 'idealist' used in connection with a Tal'Shiar general who'd lived long enough to sire a child. Either Vulture was lying or he'd been drugged and was hallucinating being in a bad space opera. Either way, the best policy seemed to be watching to see how it played out.

To have been a warbird's comm officer was to have spent plenty of time at the intersection of demands, threats, and orders from the intersecting forces often at play as the gatekeeper of something so vital; from one's commander, senior Galae personnel at headquarters, various noble families or political officials, the Tal'Shiar, and more. And to have learned how to balance and survive it. And right now Kaiae's instincts simply bade her to remain silent. Silent and unnoticed; the better to have the maximum available freedom to act later, should it become necessary.

Raven was silent for a moment, processing what Vulture had said. "So. You are the one who dropped me off at that monastery then. My so-called mother. You picked an interesting time for a family reunion."

The half-Orion burst out with laughter. "Oh you are so like your father. It's a shame, really. I've been keeping an eye on your career all these years. You would have done well by my side. But, here we are. You've been messing with things you should have stayed away from, my dear daughter. But then, common sense was also not a trait of that Romulan slimeball you call a father. He would be shocked if he knew what his beloved Tal'Shiar were really up to." She tapped a button on the side of her chair, and increased the lighting on her bridge, revealing that she was flanked by several Romulans in Tal Shiar uniform. "You see, we will make the Empire greater than it has ever been. The Tal Shiar and the Emerald Chain, together, will rule the galaxy. And it's a pity you won't be there to see it."

Vulture turned her head to one of the Tal Shiar officers. "Have you got the frequency of their shields?," she asked in flawless Romulan, before turning back to face her viewscreen. "We could have done great things, together, you and I. We could have ruled the galaxy together. But you chose to become yet another idealistic fool. Maybe I should have dropped you off somewhere else, not with some nuns that were just going to raise you to be all warm and fuzzy. Alas, we cannot change the past. Well, I can't. Goodbye, Sehan."

The channel closed, and Raven immediately began to bark orders. "Evasive Pattern Alpha three, full shields to front, remodulate their frequency. Brace for impact and fire all that we've got."

Just as she spoke, the Emerald Raptor opened fire, its disruptors completely bypassing the Ourainavassa's shields. A beam directly hit the bridge, and all lighting went out for a moment. Raven was thrown from hear seat into a console, that burst and sent shattered glass and sparks flying everywhere.

Miles had managed to stay in his seat, and tried to go on an evasive course, but the ship's controls were slow to respond. He cursed. "Maneuvering thrusters down to 30%. I can't get us out of their line of fire!"

Major Rogers ran to the tactical console and joined her counterpart, "You need help?"

The two Rogers said to each other in unison, "I'll never ask..." They then announced, "Trying to modulate our shields.... nothing is working... firing everything we have..."

Kaiae glanced at the Rogers she was meant to be tracking, then the other, then the rest of the situation around them, and came to the decision that keeping an appropriate amount of attention on Rogers had to now be second to the immediate threat; abandoning her watch to start extinguishing the small fires at various points around the bridge.

The Ourainavassa lands one good shot but misses the others as the other vessel is far more maneuverable than their damaged ship. "Help us out here, kid," both of the Ashes looked at Miles.

Another hit rocked the ship and threw the Commander to the ground. She got up, with a cut on her forehead, and returned to her station, "This isn't looking good..."

Mila had watched everything unfold in silence, and immediately returned to her station, trying to support the two Rogers in their attempt to remodulate the Ourainavassa's shields, but to no avail. "Main deflector has taken a hit," she reported. "Secondary shield generator offline, primary generator at 45 percent. Singularity containment holding, for now. Starboard disruptors offline. Nacelles at 87%. Overall hull integrity, 71 per cent. Hull breaches on decks six and ten, containment fields holding. Breach in starboard wing, containment holding."

She looked up at Rogers as she finished rattling off the damage reports. "I reckon we can take maybe a minute more of this barrage at most. I'm no tactical officer, but from my standpoint, I recommend we get the fuck out of here." She gestured at Raven, who was lying on the floor in a daze. "The Colonel is obviously not currently able to command. Your orders, Major?"

Major Rogers looked over at Hatham, knowing that he wants Vulture dead even more than she does, but today is not the day, "Miles, get us the hell out of here!" She went over to check on Raven, "Come on, let's get you some help. We can't lose the ship. We'll get Vulture..."

Raven started to regain her senses, and pulled herself up, propping herself up on Rogers' arm with her right hand. Her face was covered in blood, and she was pressing her other hand against her left eye. "Bosh'tet", she cursed. "Gisjacheh lodyubal." She groaned in pain. "Xia, open a channel. Tell that... tell that lodyubal that I will have her head mounted on my wall. She'll wish for a simple chluurak when I'm done with her. Tell her-" she was interrupted by a coughing fit, coughing up blood. "Tell her we will be back. She will regret ever provoking me. She will pay for this."

The colonel sank to the floor, her left hand falling away from her face revealing a shard of glass had destroyed her left eye. "Major, you have the bridge," she muttered weakly, before collapsing, unconscious.

Ash has seen terrible wounds before... inflicted them even. "Rogers to Medbay, you have inbound wounded... its Raven," she called into medbay.

Rehana groaned. "Trust me, boss, she blows up this ship, you'll have to fight me to mount her head on your wall!" Her fingers frantically danced over the consoles.

"Their shields are failing!"

"Take the helm, I've got weapons!" T'Ango said, swapping flight control to Gunnar mid-dive and opening up on battle cruiser, strafing across her dorsal hull.

To anyone looking from without it would look almost comical: what appeared to be an Orion freighter suddenly screaming in from the edge of the nebula and throwing itself at a huge battle cruiser - like a seagull attacking an eagle. But she was an Orion freighter, and the old joke about 'how do you tell an Orion merchant from a pirate' very much applied; except in this case the guns came out because the other ship had weapons.

"Orainavasaa, get out of there. We'll cover," Gunnar comm'ed.

"T'Ango, you're insane!" Major Rogers responded back to her friends. But she also knew that there was no talking them down. "Rehana, those engines better be up and running... Miles, gun it... get us as far from here as fast as possible. Show me those racing skills!"

"I'll agree on insane," Gunnar voice answered over the comm. "Now go. I'm a nurse, not a pilot. We can only dodge return fire so long."

The Commander looked over at the Major, "Your friends are foolish. Brave, but foolish. But they are going a good job covering our retreat."

The Major watched at the Ourainavassa got out of the nebula and kept watching to see T'Ango follow suit, "Come on.... get out of there...."

Miles' fingers danced across the console in front of him. He had managed to turn the Ourainavassa far enough for them to have a clear trajectory away from the attacking D7-class cruiser. "Warp drive charging," he exclaimed, tapping in the first coordinates that came to mind, and finally hitting the "engage" button. "Hold on, going straight to maximum warp!"

Sparks came flying from a few damaged consoles as the structural integrity fields were straining under the load of the acceleration, and in a blink of an eye, the Ourainavassa reached warp speeds.

Mila breathed a sigh of relief that she hadn't even realised she'd been holding. "That was fucking intense," she finally exclaimed. She tapped her badge. "Bridge to sickbay, prepare to receive emergency point-to-point transport. The colonel has been severely injured."

After less than a minute at warp, the Ourainavassa decelerated and came to a halt not far from a small, M-class planet. Mila saw the planet, and began to laugh. "Of all the places, you took us to fucking Cera?"

Her brother held up his hands. "Hey, the order was to get as far away as possible. Obviously I couldn't go into Fed or Imperial space, so why not here? If we'd gone to Drozana, they would have followed us. Going to Cera was a no-brainer. Besides, if our parents are still around, they can probably talk the CDF into letting us use their repair docks to put the 'vassa back together."

"Contact them," Hatham said. "If we don't get clearance, we need to find another dock because we aren't in any shape to make demands. And someone let that insane Dosadi know where we went - if she's alive."

Major Rogers nodded, "Xia, send a message to T'Ango and let her know where we are... encrypted. We don't need Vulture to find us before we make repairs. And then open a channel to Cera.... time for me to play nice." She adjusted her blood stained clothes.


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