Part of USS Saratoga: To Stand Alone and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Chapter 11 – To Stand Alone

USS Saratoga
June 2400
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There had been a change in plans. Instead of going to the transporter room, she made her way down the corridor toward the diplomatic conference room. There was something about Ritru’s reaction on the bridge when she saw the Romulan Commander that nagged at her. They had about twenty minutes to talk before their guests were to arrive. Walking in she noticed Ritru standing by the window looking out before she turned to see who had entered.

Ritru walked back to her seat after noticing it was only the Captain, “we have some time before they arrive.” Azras began as she was trying to buy some time to gather information on their guests. “I noticed your reaction on the bridge rather like you had seen a ghost,” Azras commented, looking at her with concern as she took her seat.

Ritru sat there for a moment as she looked at Azras, she hoped she hadn’t seen that reaction, Letting out a loud sigh before speaking. “I know him,” Ritru responded before taking a moment to look down. “Unfortunately he is my uncle,” Ritru responded as she looked back up at the Captain.

Mezril looked at the two, “do you need me to step out for a moment while you two talk?” He asked as he stood up, not wanting to feel that he was intruding on what could be a private conversation.

“No, as you will probably want to hear this as well,” Ritru said as she looked up at him, he simply nodded before sitting back down to listen to what Ritru had to say.

Azras raised an eyebrow at that confession, “what can you tell me about him?” Azras asked as she wanted to get an idea of who this Jiras person was as well as what they would be dealing with once they arrived. 

Ritru sat there in silence for a few moments to collect her thoughts, taking a deep breath as she looked up at the Captain. “He was my mother’s brother, they never did see eye to eye on a lot of things. Mainly due to his choices that she didn’t agree with, nothing ever came of his visits other than fighting. I don’t consider him family,” Ritru responded as she looked at both of them. “When I was growing up and up to the supernova he was a part of the Tal Shiar, he is ruthless and will kill to get what he wants,” Ritru explained what she could remember about him.

“What I don’t understand is why he is in the Star Navy,” Ritru commented as she was confused as to which side he was on.

Azras was about to speak when Mezril spoke up instead, “could he still be a part of the Tal Shiar and be undercover within the Star Empire?” He asked as he looked at her with curiosity.

Looking over at him, “I wouldn’t put it past him if he was, for all we know he could have helped with the coup on Rator III.” Ritru responded as she shifted in her seat, “he wants power and he will do anything to get it. I also have suspicions that he had something to do with my parent’s death during our evacuation from Romulus. Though I don’t have any proof, I wouldn’t put it past him.” Ritru finished speaking before letting out a huge sigh.

Azras nodded, “what precautions should we take?” She asked.

“He will more than likely have at least two security officers with him, I would suggest having Dazra and another security officer in here as well as two standing outside.” Ritru began as she shifted in her seat. “If he feels he has the upper hand and things don’t go the way he wants he will use that to his advantage,” Ritru replied.

“Will you be alright sitting in with this meeting?” Azras asked as she finished sending Dazra the needed information on some changes, and that they were ready for their guests to arrive.

“I’ll be right,” she sat there.

“Alright,” Azras said as she stood up from her chair. “If I am to make this look like I took time to prepare for his arrival, I would like to know what he likes to drink?” Azras asked as she looked at her with a smirk on her face.

Ritru sat there for a few moments trying to recall what he would drink, she got up from her chair and walked over to the replicator. She began to type in what she remembered, though things could have easily changed over the years and this would be a mute attempt at hospitality.

Ritru had just set the cup down on the table when the doors opened to reveal Jiras followed his two security officers just as she predicted. Dazra as well as another security officer were right behind them as they entered. The remaining two officers stood outside of the door as it closed behind them.

“Commander Jiras, welcome aboard the Saratoga,” Azras said as she motioned for the chair across from her. “This is Lieutenant Commander Ritru our Chief Communications Officer, and Commander Merzil Zelar our Chief Diplomatic Officer.” Azras began with introductions as she took a seat.

Jiras looked at the two other officers but ignored them, “let’s forgo these unnecessary pleasantries and get right down to business.” Jiras replied as he looked annoyed that he was even here.

Azras looked at her officers as she smiled at Jiras, “I think that would be an excellent idea.” Azras replied, she could begin to see what Ritru was talking about with only a few moments they had been in the same room. She knew this meeting was just a farce and it wouldn’t last long.

“You are in direct violation of the Treaty of Algeron, you are to leave this system immediately as this system belongs to the Star Empire,” Jiras said as he leaned back in his chair crossing his arms over his chest.

Mezril held up his hand waving it as if to dismiss his claim, “the Federation doesn’t recognize this new government on Rator III.” Mezril replied looking at him with a serious look on his face, “they requested our assistance with protection and humanitarian aid and will tend to provide that.” Mezril said as he could tell that he had hit a nerve with Jiras.

“You think you can protect these people when you can’t even protect them from those pirate raids?” Jiras asked as he started laughing which caused the others to look at him with raised eyebrows.

Dazra stepped forward towards the console on the wall looking at Azras, “may I?” she asked looking at Azras who gave her a simple nod.

She turned on the viewscreen that was in front of them, “oh you mean them?” Dazra asked as she showed the four out of the five members. This caused Jiras’s expression to change rather quickly. “As you can see they didn’t do a very good job and were caught before they were able to carry out your orders,” Dazra replied as she turned the screen off.

“What are you talking about?” Jiras asked as Ritru could tell he was trying to be deceitful which was quickly backfiring.

“Let’s just say they sang like songbirds,” Dazra replied.

Jiras slammed his hands on the table which caused Dazra and her two security officers to unholster their weapons pointing them straight at him. “How dare you accuse me of having anything to do with that!” Jiras exclaimed as he pointed toward the screen that had shown the prisoners.

Just as Jiras and his security officers drew their weapons the doors opened to reveal three more security officers pointing their weapons at their backs. “I wouldn’t dare try that,” Dazra replied. 

They decided to put their weapons away as he realized that he didn’t have the upper hand this time. “All well, since you’re all going to die anyway might as well tell you the truth Ritru,” Jiras said with a callous smile on his face.

“What would that be?” Ritru asked, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.

He leaned in as close to Ritru as he could, “I am the one who ordered that Romulan officer to kill your parents. If it wasn’t for that Starfleet Officer getting in the way, you and your little sister would have been killed as well.” Jiras said, looking at her.

“Before you leave, answer this one question, why?” She asked as she was trying to keep her anger under control.

“I would ask yourself that question my dear,” Jiras replied. “Though if you have to know you sealed their fate once you joined Starfleet, the timing just happened to be perfect.” He replied as he shrugged it off like it was nothing, he would kill his own family. That is how evil this man was. “You’re a traitor,” Jiras spat.

“The Star Empire is the only one who can protect them, so be prepared to die!” Jiras exclaimed before tapping his commbadge and a few moments later they all disappeared. They looked around the room as the ship must have kept a transporter lock on them.

“Well that sure went over well,” Mezril commented in a sarcastic tone as they all ran out of the conference room and headed up towards the bridge. After a few moments, they finally arrived on the bridge.

“Report?” Azras asked, looking over at Odan as the others made their way to their stations.

“We have just picked up transporter signals from the Audex down to the planet, it seems they are going to attempt to retake Rhijun,” Odan replied as he looked up at the Captain.

“Sir, they have locked weapons on both the Aldore and us,” Dazra said, looking at the Captain.

“Battlestations,” Azras replied as the ship went into red alert, weapons powered up.

Comments

  • I really liked the choice to spend just as much time on Azras' strategy session for the negotiation as the negotiation itself. I imagine so much of diplomacy is about the pre-work and it certainly served Azras well, with everything she knew going into it. Of course, the big spectacle of this post was a Ritru's uncle! Whoa! With all of the set-up, I suspected this mission would be personal to Ritru, but I didn't see that coming, nor the specific ties to the time of the supernova. Jiras is bold, thinking he can shoot his way out of a starship by hand. I'm just glad my girl Dazra is bolder! But oh dear, if he did get Ritru's parents killed, well that's going to need some revenging before the end of this mission!

    June 30, 2022
  • I really appreciated and liked the 'diverting to check on my crew' part of this story. A captain taking care of the crew is important, especially when about to go into a meeting with a ship captain that all intelligence says is hostile. Revelations came quick and fast here and I appreciate the final act pacing, though perhaps a slightly slower burn versus the flash fire would have worked better? Or maybe spat out across a subspace channel as a broke starship died, Jiras trying to get one last spite-filled moment in as he channelled Khan spiting Kirk? All in all, really enjoyable and like Brendan looking forward to seeing Ritru get her revenge on!

    July 1, 2022