Part of USS Erigone: Into the Fire and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Smoldering Dust

USS Erigone / Rogasa Station
May 11, 2400
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Rogasa Station – 1800

“They didn’t care what they hit, as long as they hit something.”  The Rogasa Station Sub-Commander sat at the conference room table as she related what had happened to them and why the Erigone had been called.  “They knew we were neutral to all the…events.  We were on record as having only scientific interest here on the station.”  She gestured to the PADDs she had provided, “You’re welcome to examine our reports and our studies.”  She looked at Harris and Reid in thanks, “We’re appreciative of you coming to help…we’ve lost much of our engineering staff and half our medical team died on one of the lower decks when it buckled under fire.”  She paused and bowed her head, “We have not yet had time to grieve for our friends.”

Ambrose allowed a moment of silence to fall between the two crews before he spoke again, “Sub-Commander Thasaz, we are sorry for your losses. This cannot be an easy thing for you and your crew.”

Thasaz only nodded quietly as her second in command spoke up, “We are going to hold services for the fallen tomorrow morning at 0800.  Once the mourning process is completed overnight and we bury our dead, we will be glad to assist you in the work on the station…until then, we must gather together.”

Jordan leaned forward, “That is understandable.  Our work can begin around you.  We were told you still had wounded in sickbay?”

Kaeas, the second in command gestured to the PADDs they had in hand, “We have thirty of our crew who were injured in the attack…they are currently under the care of our station nurse as our doctor was killed in the attack.  Whatever assistance you can render there would be helpful.”

The CMO tapped into the PADD and began to read the patient profiles and status, “I’ll make sure they get the best care they can get.”

The Erigone’s CO spoke up, “We sent the information we had on our attacker and our encounter with Pentax and her commander, Presa.  Anything you can tell us?”

Thasaz bit her bottom lip and looked to Harris and then to Reid, “Did Presa trust you before he died?  Did he believe in you?”

Both of them glanced at each other, silent questions exchanged but a growing understanding began.  Harris sat back in the chair, “He did.  He said he was glad it was Starfleet that had found him.  I think he believed in us to do something about his meaningless death.”

The sub-commander looked to Kaeas and they whispered to each other in hushed tones for a moment before she spoke to Harris, “Presa was a friend…and a protector.  He valued our work here – he’d often come by in his travels on the Pentax.  We’d hear news of home and we’d share with him our discoveries.”  Her eyes search the wall behind the two Starfleet officers as if seeing her memories of the man played across it.  She focused back on the present, “We were unsure of his safety when the news broke of what had happened…but he reached out to let us know he was safe and coming to meet with us.”

Harris spoke up, “He met with you before we found him?”

Thasaz somberly nodded, “He shared with us what he had found…and gave us data files to hold until he returned.”  Her jaw clenched as a wave of sorrow slammed into her heart.  A moment more and she continued, “He warned us to flee…that they would come for us because of our association with him.”  She looked Harris in the eye, “It is a significant ask, but we must make the request anyways – we are requesting asylum or refugee status within the Federation.  They will return for us just as they returned for you…and they will kill.”

Reid looked to her CO and then to the sub-commander, “How many are there?”

“50.  That includes our injured.”

Harris tapped at his PADD, “At emergency status, the Erigone can handle that much.  We’d need to triage the injured and put the criticals in Sickbay and figure out places to house and put the rest.  I’d consider asking Starfleet for a support ship, but my concern will be the longer we stay here…the greater chances of them returning.”

Reid agreed, “We need to get them out of here and over to Starbase Bravo.”  She turned to the sub-commander, “We will depart tomorrow at 0900 hours.  That gives you time to pack up your belongings and say goodbye to this place.”

Thasaz bowed slightly from her seated position, “This is an acceptable arrangement.  Presa was wise to trust you…and we will extend that trust as well.”

Harris and Reid stood as the Romulan officers departed to begin the grieving process.  The two Starfleet officers stood in silence for a moment before Reid broke with, “You think we’ll be safe till we get into Federation Space?”

The former CEO thought for a moment, “What if we self-destruct this station?  It’s an old Federation station that got loaned out to them ages ago…if whoever out there is looking for this find out it’s been blown up…maybe that slows down their search for these people…and us?”

The doctor evaluated his plan, “We’d need to make sure it looked less like self-destruct and more like an attack.”  She frowned at his sly smile, “Why are you smiling?”

Ambrose chuckled, “An engineer, especially a chief engineer, spends a lot of time thinking of ways to create the illusion of destruction on or of his ship if the need to fake something arises.  This is something I’ve spent some time studying and applying.”

Reid sighed, “I don’t want to know about the past applying.  You can make it believable?”

The former CEO now smiled widely, “They don’t call us miracle workers for nothing, Doc.  I’ll get to work with the engineering crew…you get to work on getting your patients onboard.  We’ve got until 0900 tomorrow…then we’re going home.”

Reid watched her CO head out of the conference room.  He was a daring man, and slightly out of control.  But he knew how to do the job…and she was fairly certain he secretly enjoyed being in command.  Shaking her thoughts loose, she headed for sickbay.  They had less than 12 hours to pick up stakes and blow up the lemonade stand.