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More Help From Friends

Posted on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 @ 7:22pm by Lieutenant T'Ango & Major Ashley Rogers

Mission: Chapter V: The Calm Before The Storm
Location: Drozana

Ash found T'Ango after she got back from her impromptu mission with the Terran crew. "T'Ango!" she greeted her friend, "I got some good news. And some bad news... and I'm really not sure which is which."

"Rogers!" T'Ango's ears perked on seeing her friend, and then went straight up at what she had to say. "That is an ...interesting problem." Her whiskers twitched flicked with a grin. "I guess it saves me from having to choose which to hear first though."

"Well, we found a lot of cryogenically frozen Romulan refugees..." Ash began. "But... we can't tell if they're all good guys, all bad guys, a mix, or just one big trap that will kill us all..."

"Finding them is good news," T'Ango said firmly. "If it's a lot, there may be some plants among them - that's always a concern as I'm sure your big Romulan friend has already pointed out - but most won't be good guys or bad guys, the mix will be a mix of both like both of us."

Ash grumbled slightly, "That's what I'm concerned about. The other me just wants to jettison them all into space. You can guess how Hatham reacted... but we do need to get them to a safe place. Any thoughts?"

"Your evil twin is lucky Hatham has so much Galae good order ingrained in him. I would have smacked her," T'Ango huffed, her fur ruffling at the thought of spacing refugees. "Which isn't to say there haven't been some I'd have spaced if it wouldn't have upset Gunnar. Fortunately, most of the time the other Romulans, especially the ones with kids with them, come down hard on those as soon as they show signs of starting trouble. I've only had to step in with a few of them, though Gunnar did have hypo one into submission when he got the drop on me..." She cocked her head to the side. "We could probably handle these ones though. How many are there?"

"About 150 and we may have Xia do a little telepathy thing to screen them..." Ash said, still uncomfortable with the Betazoid, for several different reasons. "I thought leaving Starfleet would make my life easier, but it seems like easy and I aren't meant to be..."

T'Ango's ears flattened back at the mention of telepathy. "I think these people have been through enough without subjecting them to a mind thief," she stated tightly. "Gunnar and I will take as many as we can, and skipping that is no hindrance. What is is the number. 150 is beyond what we can stuff in even for an fast crowded trip."

"That's what I thought... this is going to be hard. It'll be a good dry run to see what we are capable of. for when pull off our evacuation mission. We need more ships..." Ash pondered.

"Hrrm, yes, that's been part of what we've trying to work out since we first talked to your Hatham. We have some potential partners for that, but this..." T'Ango shook her head. "We can take enough so the Ourainavassa isn't packed with refugees though."

"Maybe we can just use the ship these folks are in... they're there already. And you guys can fly escort for them?" Ash offered.

T'Ango considered that. Cat Dancing was better armed than she looked, but their last run in with one of Vulture's ships ...hadn't gone so well. On the other hand, if they now had one of Vulture's ships and there were enough former Galae among the Romulans on it, that could make it a fair fight. "Could, yes. Good idea?" She tipped her head side to side. "That depends. What ship would they be using?"

"The transport we found them in... I don't think we broke it too much when we boarded..." Ash said with a shrug.

"I'll have to have a look at it," T'Ango replied, tail switching slightly as she began running a checklist in her head. "...which is probably for the best anyway since Arnason should have a look at the refugees, make sure there's no issues from how they were forced into cryo... hrmm, he'll probably want to travel on the ship with them if its spaceworthy..."

"It was spaceworthy enough to get us back, so I think it's worth salvaging. But definitely would appreciate a trained eye on it. Like I told Mila, I make things go boom, not vroom," Ash said smiling at her friend.

"Good thing I can do both!" T'Ango laughed. "But I'll still take any help Mila or one of your engineers can give. What kind of ship are we talking about here anyway? Decommissioned bird of prey? Orion cargo barge?"

"Not that bad... an old Starfleet hospital ship. So it has promise if we can get it going," Ash said.

"Okay, some defensive capability then if we can restore it. Might need to upgrade the engines since running is still likely to be the best defense..." T'Ango frowned thinking over the possible scenarios. "I assume you scrubbed her stem to stern for any tracking devices?"

"Of course. That was one of the first things I did. Can't have Vulture tracking us. But it's not also not like a big old Federation hospital ship is easy to hide...." Ash pointed out. "But yes if we can get this ship up and running, emphasis on running, this might be a useful asset in the evaluation mission too. It's lack of armaments is troubling... think we can fit a black market cloaking device on it?"

T'Ango grinned. "I have it on reliable authority that you can fit a cloak to just about anything. Might have to pledge Gunnar to a few weeks of free babysitting some time in the future, but I know an expert if we can't work it out ourselves."

Ash smirked, "I'm not sure I should be concerned when you say you know a guy... who is it?"

"I know more than one, but you know this one too," T'Ango laughed. "Kali's mom - she and an engineer from Divash's clan helped us set up the cloak on Cat Dancing."

Ash nodded knowingly, "I'm glad you kept in touch with everyone from back then. I don't think I have any favors to call in... but let's do it. Let's get this ship running and get these people somewhere safe. And then we can borrow the ship to help the evacuation mission. And I'll babysit. Although, I'm not sure if that's actually something you want..." She then chuckled.

"No," T'Ango laughed. "Much as Ali might consider that you could teach the Romulettes useful skills, I don't see her trusting you with child-minding, despite your recently maternal turn," she teased whiskers twitching with a grin. "Honestly it's still a bit of a mystery how she decided to practically adopt Gunnar as a au pair, but I guess even Romulans read him as trustworthy. We'd have stayed in touch out of mutual support anyway though - they never stopped being loyal to the Empire, at least in the sense of being the people of the RSE, so we were helping each other there."

"But with luck I can manage the cloak without calling in their help. My first specialty was in engineering after all." T'Ango clapped hands together, tail switching in anticipation. "We get the ship fixed, cloaked and work out a destination to take these folks."

"Speaking of which, any progress on evacuating our Romulan friends' families? I know Hatham is pretty eager to just get it done. And I don't blame him. Maybe my payment is staying away from the kiddos," Ash smirked.

"We have some leads on a second ship - one of my father's friends." Her ears and tail lifted proudly. ". It is an honorable undertaking after all. And if this hospital ship proves out with some upgrades, I imagine some of your Galae crew would be willing to man her too." Her fingers drummed the table. "Might not be able to get her close since RSE isn't keen on Starfleet ships, even decommissioned ones. But if she's not too far out, Gunnar and I can rig for maximum passengers, stuff our ship to the gills, then a quick warp jump and rendezvous to pass most over before our environmental systems get too strained."

"Yeah, we can cram a lot more people for a short time than we should for a long journey. I think we finally have a plan," Ash smiled. "A crazy one, but... better than nothing. I'm sure our Romulan friends probably have contingency plans of their own, so we should probably talk to them as well. Who have you been working with?"

"We've made crazy work plenty of times before," T'Ango said brightly. "I'm sure the Romulans do have plan B, C, D and on to ZZZ, but it was Renee who called us in. On Hatham's behalf though; he's the one we've been working with most." Her ears dipped a little. "Poor guy. He was already trying to work out the logistics of how to get everyone off Romulus and where to take them, and now he's got this load of refugees to worry about too. We should talk with him and let him know we'll do whatever it takes."

"He'll definitely find comfort in that. He has so much riding on this. All of the Romulans do. It would be good to help ease some of his concerns. So when are you meeting with him? I'd like to join in the discussion," Ash asked.

"Tomorrow morning. Hatham is going to meet with Raven earlier and then check in with us." T'Ango smiled. "Renee will be there too."

Ash has been working on not being awkward around Renee, but she knows T'Ango knows her well enough to sense the discomfort, "We have a good team on this.... Renee is good." She looked up at T'Ango, "I'm an idiot. Right?"

"Yes." T'Ango nodded, giving her friend a very feline look. "To both questions."

Ash chuckled at her friend, "Figured you'd say that. So.... assuming everyone is on board with this, how quickly do you think we can get everything rolling?" She then paused with a smile, "You've already gotten the ball rolling, haven't you?"

"Of course we have! Six months isn't a lot of time," T'Ango reminded. "We added upgrades with the repairs to allow for more passengers, and we've had feelers out for back-up. A few of my old Raider comrades are arranging to be around to run interference if we need it and Hatham has some contacts from merc ships he's crewed before. Last we spoke with her, Divash has been working back channels trying to get a couple Orion merchants to take on refugees too." Her lips turned downward. "But they won't do it for honor alone and even with Divash ...incentivizing... some of the captains, the crews still need pay out to make it happen."

"Six months... and there's still so many others in need of help," Ash thought out loud wistfully. "And folks are still looking to turn a profit...." She shook her head, "What a mess... but at least some of us are still trying to do the right thing. Think this will actually work?"

"I don't know," T'Ango admitted. There were so many moving pieces, so many unknowns, so many things that could go wrong... "But I know one thing," she said, lifting her head defiantly. "I know I have to try."

Ash nodded at her friend and patted her fur, "And there's prob no one else that I'd be happier to work with on something insane and possibly impossible than you."


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