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Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 1 – What Burns in the Darkness and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Playing the Field

USS Edinburgh
May 17, 2400
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USS Edinburgh – The Castle – 0845

“Captain…I have an idea.”  He turned to the right in his chair to face his science chief.  She continued, “I have traced the names of the other two ships.  The Clawed Death and the Sharpened Cutlass.  I know both of their captains from the old days.”  Taking a deep breath she explained, “I’d like to attempt to communicate with them, sir.”

Harris watched the distance to the nebula counting down on his console, ‘To what end, Lieutenant?”

“I think I can get them to retreat their ships.”  She accepted his incredulous look, “My research into Commodore Patra showed a rapid expansion in his power base over the last year or so.  This means he’s suddenly become flush with ships and crews…some of them he’s probably had to put in battle groups with his trusted sub-commanders.  There’s a chance these two men are not true believers.”  She tapped at her console and brought upon the images of the two men she’d identified, “Deldeel and Hansuth.  Both relatively new in the fleet and in the Empire.  They have family connections across the former empire.  Whoever they served before this was either conquered or bought out by this Patra.”

The countdown counter continued, “You suggest we buy them out?”  He gave her an even longer look.

“I suspect these men don’t want to be here doing the dirty work with Rexin.”

The counter clicked ever closer as the CO turned to the bridge, “Recommendations?”

Kondo glanced at his two other tactical officers and then to Harris, “I’m a fighter, through and through…but if this works – we get closer to our crew and closer to the madman and we save our powder and blood for another day.  I say we go for it.”

Prentice spoke with urgency, “Whatever we do, it must be quickly…we are nearly to the nebula.”

Harris drummed his hands on the arms of his command chair and grumbled, “Whatever plan letter we’re on, let’s do this.  Prentice, all stop.  Swung us around to face them.  Thasaz, find a way to talk to them…and quickly.  Get me a channel with the big ugly one.”  

Prentice chuckled, “Big and Ugly coming right up”, as he tapped at his console and soon the image of said big and ugly was on the screen.

“You cannot forestall your death, Commander.”

The CO grimaced for effect, “Actually, I can.  We surrender.”  The bridge crew snapped their heads at him in surprise and gasps were heard from the bridge of The Praetor.  Harris tapped the console and set them to Yellow Alert, “You can scan us…our weapons are no longer powered or trained on you.  We don’t stand a chance against the three of you…never mind one of you.  It’d be a bloodbath.”  Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Thasaz working her console with an earpiece hidden by her hair.

Rexin stared at Harris for a moment, his murderous brain trying to sort out what had just happened.  He repeated the commander’s words back to him, “You…surrender?  I do not understand.”  

The CO nodded, “We surrender.  We will coordinate with crew from your ships coming over to steward us to your leader for discussions with Starfleet.”  He leaned back in his chair, controlling both the fear and delight at how he had caused a short in the Colonel’s brain.

“You cannot surrender.  You will die.  As I said before, you cannot forestall your death.  Target their bridge!”

Harris felt his heart racing.  As he glanced around at the bridge crew he was not alone.  Eyes were wide and hands gripped consoles in anticipation of whatever was coming.  He muttered something about fools and their plans and hovered his finger over the red alert icon on his console.  

Then Rexin frowned.

And said, “They said…what?!”  Another pause.  “They…threaten US?”  He stared off-screen and then whipped around to face Harris once more, “I will deal with you in a moment.”  

The channel slammed shut and Harris turned to Thasaz, “Report.”

“They choked on the moment he was going to kill us even as we’d surrendered.  They’ve locked their weapons on Rexin’s ship and have agreed to fight with us and disable The Praetor.”

Harris stared at her, “That was the thing they choked on?  Not the murder of one our own…not the meaningless accusations, not the brutality of their adopted organization…it was our impending doom as a surrendered party?”

Thasaz shrugged, “There are plenty of stories in human history with which I could ask much the same questions, Commander.”

The CO turned his chair to face the screen, “Game, Set, Match to the Lieutenant.”  

Suddenly Kondo spoke up, “All Romulan ships are powering weapons.  It appears the two are targeting the one.”

The CO stabbed the Red Alert icon and the lights faded to red as the klaxons rang out once more, “Then let’s help our newfound friends out.  Mr. Prentice, let’s get the Edinburgh back on the board.”