-Proto II – Planet side-
Vausees, Cody and Debrah stepped off of the ramp as it lowered down to the ground from the shuttle that they had taken to Proto II. They had followed Viktor from the battlefield to the planet where the Heracles was to stay in orbit. Now on solid ground they waited as guards stood with disruptors and other weaponry pointed at the group.
The planet guards had orders to hold anyone at gunpoint until told otherwise, which didn’t take long, as Viktor strolled up and gave them orders to disperse.
“Sorry about that. I should have hailed the planet guard that you were on your way down,” Viktor stated as he motioned for Vausees and her group to follow him.
Viktor led the group to a very modest homestead and into what could only be described as a ranch house. He offered them something to drink.
“Earl Tea with a little bit of spice,” Vausees asked as she took a seat on one of the plush couches that was in the very spacious living room.
As she sat she looked about the room. “Viktor, pardon my curiosity, but this homestead looks to be intact,” she states as she continues to look about the house.
Viktor nodded, “Yes, this is mine and our Governor’s home. It was taken shortly after the uprise from Resak on Velorum Prime,” he stated as she poured her drink and walked back over to the group.
Vausees took the offered drink and took a sip. A whistle escaped her lips as the heat slightly scorched her throat. Debrah looked at her and cocked her head to the side.
“Natural heat,” she said to Debrah; who shook her head in understanding.
Vausees returned her attention to Viktor, “So there was something that you wanted to discuss, General?” she asked as she crossed her right leg over her left and then placed the mug of tea on her thigh.
“Right to business,” Viktor said and nodded, “I like that about a person.”
He stood up and walked over to a wall-mounted monitor. As he stood next to the monitor he picked up a data-pad and looked back at the group. “Firstly, I want to thank you all for the response to Simix’s distress call for help. Secondly, I want you to know the situation as it stands on both Proto II and Protous IV.” He turned to look at the monitor and raised the data-pad. A second later the monitor shifted from a blank, black, screen to data that had been collected over the past 22hours. “As you can see most of the industrial and colonial gardens, machinations have been destroyed by the Romulans that left after Proto II declared itself independent from the Star Empire as well as the Republic,” he stated as images of smoking or ruined machines were displayed on the monitor.
Vausees leaned forward as she looked at the images. In her head she knew what she was going to need to do before Viktor had finished with his presentation.
“… you see without these machines up and running we aren’t going to be able to sustain the remaining populations of Remans and Romulans that have stayed here to enact the independence that was fought for, after the fall of the Star Empire,” Viktor states as he turned back to look at Vausees.
“Viktor, if the Heracles leaves Velorum, you will be defenseless against further attacks. However, I am willing to send my ship back to Federation space and the nearest Starbase for the supplies that you require. While myself, and a small group of say,” she paused for a moment as she thought about the size of the away team that she would need, “No more than twelve members of my crew would stay behind to help defend from ground assaults. Would that be acceptable?” She asks as she looks the Romulan in the eyes. She could see he was doing some calculations of his own.
“I will need to run this by our Governor, but I do not see this being a problem if it will guarantee that we have a future without tyranny,” Viktor says as he looks at a chrono that was hanging on a nearby wall. “Let me run this by Simix, our governor…” Viktor was about to finish his statement when the doors to the house opened up and Simix appeared.
“Viktor, I was told that our saviors are here?” Simix yelled from the door as he walked into the living room, and sees Vausees and her group.
-Heracles – Bridge-
Trever sat in the command seat, in silence, as Vausees explained what she needed him to do, and what was agreed upon by the systems Governor. She could see the look in his eyes as he remembered the mission to Archanis V.
“Trever, I promise you that this will not be like Archanis V,” she stated, realizing that she needed to get him to let go of that dreadful day.
Trever took a deep breath and steadied himself. He looked at his Captain and nodded. “I’ll be back in a flash,” he stated
“Remember, Lieutenant, Protos II and Protous IV are counting on these supplies,” Vausees said just before she closed the link between herself and the Heracles.
-Proto II – The Governor’s Estate-
Vausees turned and looked back at the gathering of her crew. She looked at Sukitha and nodded. The young fighter pilot had insisted that she be added to the away team, and had given a very solid reason; which Vausees could not say ‘no’ to.
“You know why most of you were chosen for this part of the mission,” she said as her eyes landed on Zyvia propped up against an interior pylon that was supporting the upper floor. She knew she could count on her to do what was necessary. “We are here to defend this estate against any that would threaten to topple the government on this planet,” she said as she continued to look at her away team. “Now spread out and keep your ComBadges open. Report anything suspicious immediately. Dismissed.”
With that out of the way Vausees stepped over to Viktor and Simix, who were sitting at a table with a poker game going on. She took a seat with them, “Deal me in,” was all that she said as Simix nodded and shuffled out 3 more cards.
Outside of the Governors Estate on the outskirts of a ruined factory a group of Romulans sat in the shadows. Night had begun to settle in and no campfire was light as a single tall slender Romulan looked through a pair of binoculars at the Estate from atop of a cliff that overlooked the estate’s compound. His eyes narrowed as he spotted a single Federation member inside one of the buildings on the estates compound. He turned his head to look at the others from his team.
“We attack just before dawn.”
Back at the compound Vausees paced the inside of the guest room that Simix had given to her and Debrah. He stated that she and Debrah should get some sleep as tomorrow was bound to be a long and hot day. However, Vausees found it impossible to relax as she had a feeling that something was wrong, what she did not know, but the feeling was there nevertheless.
Debrah on the other hand was laying on her back on a soft, plush bed, and watched as her fiance paced.
“I don’t think Simix is going to like that you wore a path into his flooring,” she stated in a teasing tone as she continued to watch Vausees.
Vausees stopped and looked at Debrah, “I can’t shake the feeling that something is going to happen, and soon,” she stated as she walked over and sat on the edge of the bed.
Debrah leaned over as she shook her head and wrapped her arms around Vausees, “You worry too much,” she said as she pulled Vausees backwards into the bed. “Besides, the grounds are surrounded by a force wall that not even Zyvia could penetrate.”
Vausees sighed as she knew that Debrah was right. They were, after all, in the most protected place in all of Proto II. She relaxed somewhat as Debrah began to play with her hair. A gesture that Debrah found relaxed her fiance when she was stressed out.
After she felt Vausees relax completely, Debrah, laid on her back as Vausees cuddled up next to her.
“You, baby,” Debrah said softly, “This place could be considered beautiful if it wasn’t for the fact that it is on a war torn planet,” she stated as she traced circles on the side of Vausees neck.
As Vausees laid there in her fiance’s arms she could see how the area could be considered beautiful, and had to agree, “You’re right about that,” she said as her eyes began to slowly close from the attention that Debrah was giving her. Sleepily she teases Debrah in a groggy voice, “You are evil sweetheart.”
-Heracles – Romulan Assault-
The Heracles begins its plotted route out of the Proteus System, when a Dinaes Warbird Destroyer and a D’deridex Battlecruiser drop out of warp.
Trever’s eyes widen as he sees this, “Red Alert!” he yelled out as the bridge lighting dimmed and the once white ambient lights along the bulkhead and around the viewscreen changed colors to red. “Helm, evasive pattern Delta 1-4,” he orders as the Battlecruiser locks onto the Heracles.
Several Plasma beam banks on the Battlecruiser fire upon the Heracles as it attempts to flee during the evasive maneuver. The shields flair a bright bluish white as the beams impact the ship.
On the bridge sparks showered the officers as EPS conduits overloaded from the intensity of the plasma beams. Trever covered his head from them as best as he could while still maintaining his sights on the main viewscreen. The Battlecruiser could be seen on the screen sending another volley of beams toward the Heracles.
“Sir, if we take any more of this our shields will be toast,” Jonton stated from the operations console as the bridge bucked, again from the most recent impact.
Trever knew that he had to get them out of harm’s way and fast. “Helm, evasive pattern beta three, and as soon as you see an opening punch it to warp 6,” he ordered.
The helmsman nodded in acknowledgement and input the command for the evasive pattern.
The Heracles dove down low in a tight cork-screwing spiral as it tried once more to evade the incoming barrage coming from the D’deridex Battlecruiser. As the helmsman kept his eyes focused on the viewscreen as well as the sensors on his console an opening emerged. Not wasting any time he slid his fingers along the warp engines LCARD to warp six, and the Heracles vanished into a flash of bright blue light as it stretched out and entered into its warp bubble.
-Proto II – Assault on the Governor’s Estate-
All was quiet on the compound as most everyone was asleep. However outside the force wall shadows darted from concealment to concealment as a group of Romulans made their way toward the compound; stealth and silence were their allies at this time of night.
As they approached the compound one of the Romulans held up their hand as a guard, who was patrolling the inside of the compound, suddenly appeared near their location. The lead Romulan waited for the guard to disappear out of sight before they signaled for the group to once more advance upon the compound. Unbeknownst to them however, hidden from view, the force wall awaits them.
The group stopped just short of the hidden wall and the lead Romulan signaled for the group to hold place as he stepped forward. As soon as his foot crossed over the hidden wall his entire body surged with energy and the force wall lit up like a campfire had been set ablaze.
Lights suddenly exploded into use and flooded the section that had lit up. As the Romulan leader lay there unable to move he watched as his assault team vanished without a trace and left him to his face.
Vausees and Debrah shot out of bed, bare for the whole world to see. Each had a phaser in hand as they looked about in the darkness of the room that they were in. Adrenaline flooded their bodies nervous systems as they searched for the source of the sound that had instantly stirred them to being fully awake.
They both realized at the same time that the noise was coming from outside. Debrah reached over and tossed Vausees her pants and her black tank as she slipped into her’s. As soon as their boots were on their feet they were outside and rushed for the still flickering force wall. Debrah had switched out her phaser for a rifle as she ran out toward the flickering force wall.
A group had gathered around the flickering force wall by the time the two women had reached the wall.
“What happened? Who is it?” Vausees asked as she made her way through the group.
Viktor stood closest to the wall, wearing nothing more than his briefs and a disruptor in his left hand. He looked up at a Reman that stood near the walls energizer and nodded. As soon as the wall dropped Viktor and Debrah set upon the downed Romulan.
As they drug the slightly unconscious Romulan away the wall reset back to its inert state and Vausees followed the Romulan being drug away. Her normally light blue eyes almost appeared to glow white in the darkness as she followed Viktor and Debrah.
In her mind thoughts began to form as to who this Romulan was and why he thought to enter the Estates compound. Then she thought about what he was doing on the other side of the force wall, and was he alone.
Moments later inside of a bunker underground a Romulan sat in a dark room, on a cold steel chair. His hands were bound behind him and his eyes and ears were covered with a thick black double folded cloth. His mouth was closed, for the most part, by a cord of rope that was secured behind his head by a clasp.
On the other side of the room was a mirrored window that looked into the dark room, and on the other side of that mirror was a small room that held a desk that was monitoring the inside of the dark room. A hologram of the Romulan floated as Viktor, Debrah, and Vausees watched the Romulan sit in involuntary silence.
“What shall we do with him?” Debrah asked out loud as she looked at the Romulan.
Viktor replied, “Interrogation, of course.”
“We need to know if there are any more outside of the walls,” Vausees added as she focused on the holographic image of the Romulan.
“Agreed,” Debrah and Viktor said in unison.
-A Dinaes Warbird Destroyer and A D’deridex Battlecruiser-
Both the destroyer and the battlecruiser had set up a geosynchronous orbit above Proto II and both commanding officer’s were in deep discussion, on board the battlecruiser, as to what needed to be done.
“Xandis, you fool, how could you let that puny Federation ship getaway!” Ri’veetha yelled as she sat in her command seat, her face giving no trace of emotion as she looked at Xandis as he walked onto her bridge.
His sharp edged face remained emotionless as he looked at his counterpart as she sat high up in her seat. “Me? You couldn’t hit the broadside of a Borg Cube if it sat still,” he retorted as soon as he took a seat next to her.
“So what now?” She asked as looked over at the viewscreen of Proto II floating in an inky black background of stars.
“How about we hail them and see who answers,” Xandis stated as he too looked at the planet on the viewscreen.
“Agreed,” Ri’veetha stated as she looked over at her communications officer, “Open a channel to the planet.”
The Romulan communications officer wasted no time as he opened a channel to the planet.
“This is Admiral Ri’Veetha of the Romulan Republic D’deridex Battlecruiser U’miahl, requesting a response from the Governor of Proto II. Respond now or be fired upon,” Ri’Veetha said in a harsh but serious tone