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

Face to Face

USS Edinburgh
May 18, 2400
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USS Edinburgh – Bridge – 1900

“On screen.” The bridge crew seemed to take a deep breath as the image of Commodore Patra appeared before them.  He was greying and his face was worn but his eyes were brightly shining with living fire and rage that unsettled each officer, including Commander Harris.  He had been young once in the photo they had all become used to seeing, but age and time had affected the monster in ways both physical and emotional.  He scanned the bridge in silence, settling on the only other Romulan, Thasaz.

Harris remained standing, “Commander Harris, Federation Starship USS Edinburgh.”

The Romulan kept staring at the science chief, but spoke to the CO, “We’ve been chasing each other for quite some time, Commander Harris.  You’ve survived surprisingly long.”  He shifted in his chair and turned his attention to the center of the bridge, “I have you to thank for the loss of my Security Chief, Rexin.”

“He kidnapped our crew.  Tortured them.  Murdered one.  Our attempts to solve the matter diplomatically were met with further violence, Commodore.  I’m sure you can appreciate a proportionate response to being attacked without provocation.”  Harris tried to tread carefully with his words.

A quiet sigh, “You Starfleet officers are all the same.  You wish to talk and solve troubles over the…what is the phrase…breaking of bread.  The Eagles of Patra solve troubles very differently.”  He leaned towards the viewer, “We do not wish to break bread with you, Commander.  We wish to break you.”  Patra returned his attention to Thasaz, “I do have to wonder about the logic of allowing a sub-commander amongst your ranks, Commander.” A menacing grin filled his face, “She was not trustworthy in our service…I cannot imagine she is in yours.”

She had stood before Harris had a chance to stop her and stared dead at the screen, “You speak of trust, Commodore Patra?  You speak of the 5,000 of our people who must now be examined, scanned, and cut into to discover what you did to them?  You speak of trust?  You soil the very word with your attempts to impune me amongst my crew.  Trust?  Urru Areinnye, fvai.” (Go to Hell, worm)  She glanced at her CO and returned to her seat, her face hot from the emotions finding release.

Patra stared at her, his face a statue.  He leaned back in his chair, “You allowed the sub-commander to speak directly to me…I would not have allowed her to stand in my presence.  Her words would have condemned her to an immediate death by my hands.”

Ambrose replied, “My command crew has my trust.  While I’ll speak to her later about her actions, I will support her right to speak out against you…and your own flagrant accusations.  She is welcome among our crew.  It is perhaps good, then, that she is here and not there.”

The Romulan Commodore sniffed at the air and shrugged, “Either way, she will die by my hands.  Be it here on my ship…or on yours.  Make peace amongst yourselves.  The Eagle of Death comes for you.”  The channel snapped closed.

“Mr. Prentice, evasive!”, he spoke as he found his way into his chair. The helm officer threw the Edinburgh into full impulse and dodged half of the disrupter fire from the Warbird.  Harris turned to Kondo, “Activate your two additional tactical officers and stations – let’s put those modules to good use.”  He nodded and tapped his communications badge as the CO tapped at his own console.  “Helm, get us just out of range of those disrupters…let’s make him work for it.”  A nod from Prentice as the two tactical officers took their stations on either side of the bridge.

Kondo De La Fontaine powered up the three modules and smiled quietly.  The Romulan Commodore would not have seen the additional weaponry on the initial scans but now there would be no mistaking it… Edinburgh’s battlements had filled with a few more teeth.  He fired phasers from the new array on the underside in addition to the saucer banks as well.  As soon as they were in range, he would rain down the fires of Edinburgh upon them.

Harris tapped away at his console as he advised Prentice, “That’s a good distance, helm.  Turn us about…Mr. Kondo, let’s see if we can bloody their nose a little to remind ’em who we are.”  The tactical chief nodded and coordinated with his two auxiliary officers.  The Warbird let loose as well as the shields took a pounding.  Kondo waited and then signaled to the two others.  The phasers sprang forth as well as the normal torpedo bay…but then they were joined by the two modules firing in quick succession, inflicting powerful hits on the Romulan attacker.

The bridge shuddered as the Edinburgh’s shields struggled to handle the disrupter and torpedo fire that was slamming into the ship.  A shout of “Shields at 70%” was followed by sparks from a console or two.  Another thunderous rumble on the shields and the console lighting flickered but held.  Harris tapped his console, “Shields at 65% – Mr. Kondo – we need to do more than bloody their noses.  We need to take out their legs.”

Kondo tapped at his console and sent a course suggestion to Prentice who gave a shout, “Engaging your course, Mr. Kondo!” The ship swerved hard out of the path of the oncoming fire and arched above the Warbird as if jumping over it but instead of over, they came down behind it as fast as anything.  The inertial dampeners were once more protesting the work Prentice was asking them to do and Harris started to think his helm officer was worth the risk – he was the only one who pushed the Edinburgh’s limits.  

Kondo De La Fontaine smiled wickedly and signaled the other two to engage.  The entirety of the Edinburgh’s weaponry ignited and bashed into the Warbird while the return fire buffeted the ship and shook the bridge a little more than usual and a report of, “Shields at 55%” was heard.  Kondo moved to engage the weapons again, but the Warbird was moving off at a great speed.

“Commander…”

Harris saw it and stood up, “Helm – intercept…”, he didn’t get a chance to finish the order as their target went warp.  “Helm – track them as best as you can.”  He turned the back of the bridge, “How badly did we bloody them?”

He read, “Shields were reading at 50% – we had shorted out their disrupters for a moment…I detected possible hull damage near the bridge with our barrages but they left before I could complete the scan.”

“Status of the colony?”

Thasaz spoke up from her station, “The scout ships remain disabled, life signs on the craft are positive…the colony is unharmed.  I’ve made contact with the administrator and informed him of what has happened…I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Romulan shout with as much joy as he did…sir.  He’s asking for our help in addressing the remains of Commodore Patra’s forces.  They’ve holed up in the commissary. “

Harris turned to his security chief who gave a nod.  “Tell them we’ll begin transporting support down shortly.”  She spoke into her station as Harris turned his attention back to the bridge, “Damage report?”

Prentice tapped at the console, “Chief reports we’ve got minor hull damage where they focused their fire.  Several conduits in engineering exploded but they’ve begun repairs…two decks nearest the hull damage areas will need inspection and repair. Shields will need repair Doctor Reid has 20 injured…with 5 in serious condition from engineering.  Reports still coming in as well, sir.”

A chirp from Thasaz’s station and she swore in Romulan, “We have a hailing frequency…from the Commodore.”

Harris frowned and stood, “Let’s see what he has to say.”

The screen brought back the visage of Patra.  The background was smoke-filled and there were muddled shouts in the background.  He stared hard at Harris, “You will not see me coming when next we meet, Commander.  You will not even feel the wind move as we fly down upon you.  We…are not finished….your crew and I.  Your death will come…and I will deliver it.”  He snarled and the channel cut.

“Trace?”, Harris asked hopefully.

Thasaz shook her head, “A general area a few sectors over…but nothing specific.”

Silence filled the bridge as the command crew watched their captain.  He looked around at them, “We’ve done a good thing here…we’ve found a way to bring freedom to a corner of this galaxy.” He glanced at the planet-filled screen, “There will always be monsters like him…and we have to be ready to stand up against them.”  He caught Thasaz’s glance, “The Edinburgh is the immovable object…we don’t stand down for anyone…or anything.  You did good work today…but it’s not done yet.  We’ve got a colony to help.  Lieutenant Thasaz, you’ll take point on the planetside operations  Coordinate through her.”  He looked at their faces.  There was still worry at Patra’s words and at what lay ahead…yet there was the hope shining back in the eyes of his crew again.  Harris clapped his hands together, “Let’s get to work.”

And they did.