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

Stoking the Flames

Larakas Colony
May 12, 2400
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Larakas Colony  – Office – 0700

“The workers in the mines are back to work this morning and our administrators report that the factories’ work remains unaffected.  The public display of the failure of those officers was successful.”  The sub-commander tapped at his tablet, “The fields continue to produce beyond our needs so we are able to continue to store it underground – we have two months of food and materials so far with more to be added.”  He glanced up at his commodore, Patra.  The man was a force of nature.  His age belied his strength and Jasa had watched him nearly tear offenders apart for various failures.  “We have filed our sensor reports for your review and the short-range and long-range communications logs are there as well.”

Patra sat back in his ornate chair, facing away from his underling and watching out the wide windows that looked out onto his colonial world.  It was his.  He would not allow anything to threaten the growing base of power he was cultivating.  He turned in his chair slowly, “Thank you, Sub-Commander Jasa.  You are dismissed.”  A bow and the young man was out the door with it closing behind him but not before his chief security officer stepped into the room.

“Colonel Rexin.  What do you have for me?”

The tall Tal Shiar operative bowed and flexed his broad shoulders that held arms that earned their own legends for the pain they had meted out to friend and foe.  “I have the reports you asked for, Commodore.”  He placed a tablet on the desk and Patra eyed it with indifference.   Rexin continued, “The USS Erigone was, until recently, under the command of a Commander Harris.  His mother is a diplomat, which could prove useful in the future.  They are a very…unsteady crew.  Our information on each of them suggests they were assigned to this small ship as some kind of punishment for stupidity in their duties.”  Patra frowned and Rexin gave a slight shrug, “Harris isn’t even a captain and the rest of them are lieutenants and below.  He was a Chief Engineer until he was transferred to command.  We are rather surprised he has lived as long as he has, but that can be rectified.”

Patra snarled, “Not can…will, Colonel.  They will die, each and every one of them.  They have proven they are willing to ask questions, seek truth, and push their luck.  Ineptitude is the only reason they are alive.  What about the rest of the crew?”

Rexin continued, “Their doctor isn’t a fighter and is averse to fighting.  She could be a weak link.  Or a kidnap possibility.  The helm officer is a hot shot who could be pushed to make mistakes out of anger.  Their security officer isn’t known to us aside from his involvement with that Longfellow situation.  He’s not stupid, so we’ll need to be careful with him.”

Patra growled, “Did we replace that idiot who let the Vulcan women’s mind slip out from our grasp?”

“He escaped our reach and has not been seen or heard from at this time.  When he surfaces, we’ll be waiting.”

A grunt from the commodore, “You said that until recently he was the commander of this…Erigone?  What’s changed?”

Rexin sighed quietly.  He didn’t have ears and eyes everywhere and Starbase Bravo was notoriously challenging to establish a presence.  The security and diplomatic operations were some of the best in the Federation, preventing a strong Tal Shiar foothold.  He had to rely on rumors and second-hand whispers.  “It is unknown – even incompetence can do some damage.  Reports were that they had to stop several times to hold the ship together – and it suggests they may assign Harris and his young crew to something else, possibly a larger starship.”

Patra scoffed, “The Federation always thinks they can throw a bigger rock at a problem.  The trouble for them…is that we have many large rocks…an avalanche of ships to ensure they never get close enough to discover our true purpose.”  He leaned forward, “Task some of our scouts to see what they can see and hear about this Harris and his crew.  You are personally responsible for this, Rexin.  Report only to me.”

The sub-commander saluted crisply, “I will do as you direct, Commodore Patra.”  He was dismissed, leaving Patra to turn in his chair to watch the two suns climb into the sky.  He had many pieces and puzzles at work in the sector and beyond – eventually it would all be his – by bloodshed or by fear.