Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 2 – Wings of a Phoenix and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

The Drumbeat

USS Edinburgh
June 19, 2400
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USS Edinburgh – Quarters  – 0700

“You’re worried.”  Jordan Reid sat on the couch in the living room of his quarters.  Harris sat at the desk at the far end of his quarters reviewing the transmission file that Governor Tasawa had given to them, along with whatever else he’d managed to gather.  He’d sent the transmission file to the science department but was still staring at the file markups he’d done.  

He turned to face her, “We haven’t beat him…once.  Jord, he gave us a thrashing, we gave him a surprise or two…we’re constantly looking behind us for him or his people…and now we have to worry about the Klingons?”  Turning his attention back to the screen, “Our crew is learning…and they’re doing incredible things…but you can’t make a battle-hardened crew out of a bunch of ensigns who graduated from Starfleet a month ago.”  He closed the console, “The other harsh reality is…as strong as the Eddie is and as flexible as she is…any fight with Patra will grind most of her down to dust.”  Harris left his desk and snagged a chilled cider as he moved to one of the comfortable chairs across from Reid, “It’s a no-win scenario…and I don’t enjoy them – in simulator form or staring at me through space.”

Jordan took a drink of her iced tea, “What’d Starfleet have to say?”

A chuckle, “They’ve been made aware of a growing and increasing presence of Klingons in the Velorum Sector and beyond.  Apparently, when an empire falls apart, a group of Klingons was getting tired of table scraps…and they decided to pull up a chair with blasters drawn.  There was only so much they could tell me, but it came with a warning – don’t engage unless engaged and all diplomacy has failed.”

She sat forward, “And when you told them about Patra and the Klingons?”

Harris sighed, “They weren’t aware that such a thing was possible…or had occurred.  We’ve been advised to avoid Patra and his newfound friends.  I asked them what we should do if that became impossible…they encouraged us to cut and run back as fast as we could to Federation space.”  Another drink and another sigh, “They’re not wrong.  Even with our weapons modules, we’re not a battleship or a warship.”  They fell silent and sipped on their drinks.  The door chime rang and Harris walked to the door speaker, “Commander Harris here.”

=^=Ensign Alanna Menzie with the requested report on the naming iterations, sir?=^=

Harris nodded and tapped the console, opening to reveal the young woman nervously startling as she found herself staring at her CO.  “Come on in, Ensign Menzie.  Doctor Reid and I were just working on some theories about Patra.”  He gestured to the couch where Reid sat, “What have you uncovered?”

She sat cautiously and pulled out a PADD which shook slightly in her hands, “I…uh…I’m not sure what to make of this…but it is becoming a very…weird thing, sir.”

“Mr. Kondo used that word when we were working on the moon a lot.  We seem to be gaining a reputation on the Eddie for weirdness.”  He motioned for her to continue.

“Right.  Yes.” She scrolled through her report slowly, “IKS The Ghost and the IKS The Darkness are not the ship’s original names.  We were able to get some records from Starfleet and the Klingon Empire in an effort to attempt to identify the House or Houses involved…”, she felt she was losing the point so she quickly course-corrected, “There were no records of ships with those names…but their identification information matched with two ships – The IKS Johor, and the IKS Erasas – both ships in the service of House Wov’Sech.  The thing is…”, she tapped at her console again, “those ships were on the far edges of that House and what Starfleet Intelligence was able to say is that the captains of these two ships are more vagabonds than strictly tied to a House…”

Harris sat forward in his chair, “Which makes them outliers…reports across the wires are that it’s a mix of major and minor houses that are involved in…whatever this is – most of them are holding to their House identities…these two represent an opportunity for Patra.”

Reid spoke up from beside Menzie and looked from the CO to Menzie, “Ensign do you think Patra used these two ships and their disconnectedness to his advantage?”

The science ensign tapped at her PADD once more, “That brings us to the finale if you will.  We did extensive research into Klingon and Romulan history – there is nothing remotely close to the concept of ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’.  Our theory is that Patra has some knowledge or access to Earth’s historical records…and he uses this name as a way to show us that he knows…and probably to create a fear of him in the process.  It wouldn’t take much to rename the ships and complete the disguise to confuse us as well.”

Ambrose grimaced at the last bit, “He is quite a smart one, I’ll give him that.  I think we’re the last piece to his puzzle of digging deeper into Romulan space.  As long as we remain alive – we taunt him with our existence.  He can’t fade away into the darkness without getting us off his trail…for good.  Thank you, Ensign Menzie…solid work.”  She gave a nod and left the room.  Harris and Reid returned to the silence.

Until the Red Alert klaxon shouted them out of it and =^=Commander Harris to the bridge!=^= sent him running straight out the door and to a turbolift.

USS Edinburgh – The Castle (bridge) – 0730

He walked onto the bridge and Dr. Court stood from the center chair as officers continued to shift to their battle-ready stations.  She gestured to the screen, “One minute ago, we detected a power malfunction followed by a surge within the sector.  Lieutenant Thasaz identified it briefly as a Klingon Bird of Prey before the cloak slammed shut.  Within thirty seconds we detected a Romulan Bird of Prey headed our way on long-range sensors.”

Harris frowned, “Not cloaked?”

His first officer shook her head, “No cloak.”

The CO thanked his FO and she moved to the right seat as he moved to stand behind Prentice at the helm, “Send a priority one encrypted signal to the Clawed Death – urgent assistant requested.”  

Prentice tapped at his keys, “They don’t like talking to us, sir.”

Harris grumbled, “I don’t like talking to them much either, but we did try and save their friend…and we’re sure as hell going to put down the dog that’s been on the loose too long.”  He returned to the center chair, “Mr. Kondo, power all module weapons systems.  Inform Chief she’s got her work cut out for her…and Ensign Prentice…apprise Starfleet of our situation.  Be ready for evasive action…and possibly an emergency warp course home.” Prentice turned in his chair to face the commander as did a few other officers.  Harris glanced up at the attention and spoke plainly, “We’re not going to die today.  I will not let him have that honor.  We still have a lot of work to do here, there, and everywhere else in our lifetimes.  Let’s get to that work.”  The officers quietly nodded as they processed his words and turned back to their consoles, the red lights above the screens flashing red in warning of what was coming.

Comments

  • Welp, you've given this post some weight with classic night-before-the-battle handwringing. With an untested crew, you're sure upping the stakes, even more-so when even the brightest minds in Starfleet Command can only recommend "talk nice or run!!" There's some good use of nostalgia too, harkening back to no win situations, and putting Harris' perspective on it. I really respect by the end of it that Harris has excepted that emergency warp home may be the only sensible plan, given how much they still don't know about their opponent. The connecting the dots of the Klingon ships was intriguing -- both the use of rogue Klingons for a purpose they don't even understand, as well as sending a message through Human naming conventions for Klingon ships. Here's hoping this will inspire Harris with a plan when the time is right!

    July 5, 2022