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

Chapter 13 – To Stand Alone

USS Saratoga
June 2400
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“Direct hit off our port bow,” Dazra said as the Saratoga rocked hard with that last hit from the Audex. “Sheilds are holding at seventy-five percent,” Dazra added as the ship came about continuously firing on the Audex.

“Sir, the Aldore has been disabled and the Audex has seemed to have turned its attention on them.” Odan said looking at Azras with concern on his face, “if they get hit in the right spot they will be destroyed.” He replied.

“Deza, bring us between them,” Azras ordered.

“Bringing us about sir,” Deza replied tapping a few buttons on her console as the ship began to maneuver between the two ships. Dazra took the cue to begin to fire weapons upon the Audex. This was not before the Saratoga was hit with torpedos meant for the Aldore, causing a console to explode sending an officer flying backward.

“Shields are down to sixty percent,” Odan reported.

Dazra began to scan the Aldore to see how badly damaged they were, “sir the Aldore has sustained heavy damage, their shields are down to forty percent.” Dazra spoke up from her console as they continued the firefight between them and the other ship. Medical had arrived to assist with treating those with minor injuries.

The ship rocked again from another direct hit, which caused Azras to go flying into a console hitting her head. Mezril stood up from the chair that he was sitting in to assist the Captain, helping her up. “Are you alright sir?” He asked as she got up from the ground and sat down in her chair. “Sir, your bleeding,” Mezril said.

Azras brought her hand up to her head, she could feel the blood on her head as it was now on her hand. “I’ll be alright,” Azras said just as a medical officer walked up. He began to scan her to make sure there was no damage that they couldn’t see, once satisfied he took a dermal regenerator and began to heal the cut that was on her forehead.

Odan looked up from his console as two ships dropped out of warp, “sir two Romulan ships just dropped out of warp,” he said which caused her to look up to see two Malem-class ships.

“Wait those are Republic ships,” Azras commented.

“They are targeting the Audex sir,” Dazra said as she looked up from her console.

Azras slumped back in her chair letting out a sigh of relief, she was glad that they were on their side. Though the fighting would continue for a few more minutes until the Audex took one last hit causing significant damage to their systems. “The Audex is hailing us, sir,” Ritru said as she looked at Azras.

“Onscreen,” Azras replied.

The viewscreen changed a moment later to that of a man, behind him you could see officers trying to put out fires as their fire suppression system was damaged. Azras raised an eyebrow as she knew this wasn’t Jiras, “Where is Commander Jiras?” Azras asked as she looked at the man whom she assumed was the first officer.

“Commander Jiras was killed in that last attack,” Jovek said as he looked battered by the fight. “I am Sub-Commander Jovek the First Officer of the Audex.” Jovek introduced himself looking at Azras before taking a moment to look at Ritru.

Ritru was internally screaming hallelujah, though externally she pretended to look concerned even though she wasn’t sad about the news. To her, he got what he deserved and she was happy that karma had finally caught up to him.

“Jiras was a fool, you can have this system.” Jovek said looking at the Captain, “It’s not worth dying over.” Jovek said before he cut the transmission and the Audex warped out which caused Azras to raise an eyebrow before looking at everyone else within the room.

“You alright Ritru?” Azras asked as she looked at her communications officer.

“I am now,” Ritru admitted as she looked at Azras before turning back to her console to see it beep. “Sir, we are being hailed by the R.R.W. Acharis,” Ritru said as she looked back over at Azras.

“Onscreen,” Azras ordered.

The screen changed from its normal view of space to what looked like a middle-aged woman on the other end. “Sorry we are late,” Latana replied with a smile. “I am Commander Latana a representative of the Romulan Republic,” she said as she looked at Azras.

“Perfect timing,” Azras replied with a smile. “I am Captain Azras Dex, Commanding Officer of the USS Saratoga.” She introduced herself before she stood up from her chair, “how can we be of help Commander?” Azras asked.

“We would like to request a diplomatic meeting,” Latana began which caused Azras to look at Mezril before turning back to face Latana. “It would be between the Republic, Starfleet, and the leaders of Rhijun,” she requested as she stood there in front of her chair.

She had a feeling about what this would be about, she was not against the idea either. “I believe we can make that happen, give me about a couple of hours to get things set up over here,” Azras replied before she sat down in her chair for a brief moment.

“That is agreeable,” Latana replied.

“Wonderful,” Azras replied with a smile. “We will be in contact with you as soon as we are ready,” Azras added as she looked at the Romulan woman on the other end of the screen.

Latana nodded before she turned her head around, signaling to her communications officer to end the transmission. Soon after the screen went back to the image of space and the planet below, Azras sat there for a moment as the bridge was in utter silence.

After a few moments of silence, she looked over to where Ritru was sitting. “Send a message to both Commanders T’Prel and Dilucca requesting that they return to the Saratoga,” Azras ordered before she stood up from her chair.

“Aye sir,” Ritru responded. 

After the confirmation that Ritru sent the message, she looked at both her and Mezril. “I would like the both of you to prepare the diplomatic wing for our guests, this includes the conference room and guest quarters,” Azras said as she looked at both of them.

“Understood,” Mezril said as Ritru nodded in response to the orders. They both got up from their chairs, walking off the bridge into the turbolift.

Azras then turned to Deza who was sitting at the helm, “Deza you have the bridge.” Azras replied before she walked to her ready room, instead of going straight for her desk she walked over to the window. She began to look out, staring at the view of the planet below them. She began to think about everything that has happened since they arrived within the system.

A few moments passed by before she took a deep breath, slowly letting it out she walked to her desk and plopped down into her chair. Azras began to stare at her computer screen for a moment before she turned it on to send a message to Javik, informing them of the meeting onboard the Saratoga.

Picking up a padd that was on her desk, she began to read the damage reports that had been coming in. She let out a sigh of relief as everything seemed to be minor, though it will take a couple of days to repair. It was not like they were going to go anywhere anytime soon, they still had work to do.

As she was reading the reports that kept coming in, the door chime to her office went off which caused her to look up from what she was reading. “Enter,” Azras replied as the doors parted to reveal T’Prel on the other end. “Please come in Commander,” she said as she motioned for one of the open chairs in front of her desk.

“You requested my presence Captain?” T’Prel asked as she walked into the room taking the offered chair.

“How are things going planetside?” Azras asked looking at her, though this isn’t why she was called to return to the ship she wanted to know how things were progressing.

“Things are progressing well, though we have had a couple of minor setbacks though overall we should be set within a week or so.” T’Prel replied looking at her, “I hope you didn’t bring me up here just to get a status report?” T’Prel questioned.

Azras stood up from her chair, walking over to the replicator to get herself a cup of coffee. “No actually,” she said as she grabbed her cup of coffee before returning to her chair. “We will be hosting a diplomatic meeting between the Republic, the leaders of Rhijun, and us here on the Saratoga,” Azras said as she took a sip of her drink.

“Mezril and Ritru are currently getting our diplomatic wing prepared as we speak, I believe this type of meeting will require both of us.” Azras said as she looked at her,” it will begin in about two hours.” Azras finished speaking.

“Understood,” T’Prel simply said as they continued to spend the next while talking about everything that has been going on both on the planet as well as on the ship.

Meanwhile, Ritru and Mezril were in the diplomatic conference room beginning to prepare. Mezril had seen many conference rooms in his Starfleet career but nothing compared to the size on the Saratoga. They seemed to go all out to support diplomatic events such as the one that would soon take place. Mezril looked over at Ritru who was busy making sure that there were foods that based on her experience the guests would enjoy.

Silence had filled the room, once he finished setting up the conference room table he walked over to where Ritru was. They hadn’t had much time to talk since he arrived on board, he was the more reserved person who preferred just to sit back and observe before speaking. “Are you alright Commander?” Mezril asked breaking the silence that had been in the room since they arrived.

Ritru looked up from what she was doing to look at Mezril for a brief moment before she turned back to finish the final touches. Silence filled the room again, she wasn’t sure how she truly felt. She knew she would need to see the counselor once this was all over. After a few moments, she finished what she was doing and turned back toward Mezril. “Right now I am not so sure, there are just so many things that have happened during this mission that I am all over the place,” Ritru replied as she wasn’t sure what else to say.

“Do you think it’s bad that I am happy that Jiras was killed? Is it bad that I feel some kind of relief?” She asked as she walked over to the window and looked out, she stood there looking out the window to try to keep her emotions in check.

“I may not be a counselor, though I believe you have the right to feel any way you want to feel,” Mezril replied looking at her even though she had her back turned away from him. “If you want to talk about it, I am here.” He replied as he turned back to what he was doing as he didn’t want to come across as pushy into knowing what was going through her mind.

Ritru stood there in silence for a few moments, “right now I feel happy, sad, and relieved all at the same time.” Ritru admitted as she turned around to face him, “I relieved that I finally found some closure on the deaths of my parents. I am sad that it was a member of my own family that did it. Finally, I am happy that Jiras got what he deserved.” Ritru said as she walked up to the table and sat down for a few moments as tears began to run down her face.

Mezril quietly listen to what Ritru had to say, “I can understand how you feel Ritru and there is nothing wrong with that.” Mezril said, though sometimes even as a diplomatic officer he can have problems with words coming out the way he intended. “This mission has been a lot on the crew,” Mezril admitted as he sat down next to Ritru for a few moments.

Ritru nodded as they would continue to talk for a while as they got back to work. Ritru started to feel a bit better as she was able to freely talk to someone about her feelings, about this mission in general. She didn’t like the fact that they were even here in Romulan space, though at the same time they were helping those that are fighting for their freedoms away from the tyranny of the Star Empire that was crumbling before their very eyes.

****

A couple of hours had quickly passed, and everything had been prepared for the meeting that was about to take place. Ritru and Mezril had long returned to the bridge after they completed their assignment, Azras looked at Ritru for a moment. “I would like you to join us in this meeting,” Azras said before she looked at the other two.

“Why do you need me?” Ritru questioned in confusion as she was sure that Mezril could handle things.

“They have requested your presence,” Azras replied.

Raising an eyebrow, “very well.” Ritru responded as the four of them walked off the bridge into the turbolift. After a few moments, they arrived at the transporter room. Azras gave a nod to the chief to bring the first guests over. After a few moments, two Republic representatives appeared on the transporter room padd.

“Welcome aboard the USS Saratoga,” Azras began as she stepped forward a bit before turning towards her senior officers. “This is my Executive Officer Commander P’Trel, my Chief Diplomatic Officer Commander Mezril Zelar, and my Chief Communications Officer Lieutenant Commander Ritru,” Azras said.

“A pleasure,” Latana said with a smile. “This is Commander R’Vek of the R.R.W. Illaesa,” Latana gestured as the man walked off the transporter room padd to greet them.

Ritru looked at the older Romulan man standing next to Latana, “how can this be…I…I” she began as the tears that had formed in her eyes started to run down her face. Azras looked at Ritru before looking back at her guests.

“Ritru, what is going on?” Azras asked with concern in her voice.

“R’Vek is my father,” Ritru said which caused everyone in the room to raise an eyebrow. “How can this be, I saw you get shot!” Ritru said with confusion in her voice as she braced herself on the console behind her.

R’Vek walked up to Ritru putting his hands on both of her upper arms, “I was shot but it wasn’t a fatal” He replied as tears ran down his face, “when I came to you and your sister were gone.” He admitted as he wanted to hug his long-lost daughter who he’d been missing for all these years.

Ritru had so many questions that needed to be answered, though now wasn’t the time. “Can we talk after the meeting?” She asked looking at him, “there are so many questions that need to be answered.” Ritru said looking at him before hugging her father tightly for a few moments, feeling the warmth of his arms around her again made her feel whole.

After releasing from their hug and composing themselves they turned back to the others, nodding to Azras that they were ready for the others to arrive. Azras nodded as she turned back towards the Chief, “we’re ready for the others.” Azras ordered as the transporter sprung to life beaming the other four representatives onto the Saratoga.

“Welcome back to the Saratoga,” she said to Javik and the others that were with him. “May I introduce Commanders Latana and R’Vek of the Romulan Republic,” Azras introduced.

“A pleasure,” Javik replied with a smile.

Azras then turned towards the others, “this is Javik the acting governor of Rhijun and with him are Ovisek, Nivela, and Torath.” Azras introduced them to the Republic representatives.

“Thank you for agreeing to meet with us,” Latana replied.

“Shall we?” Azras asked as she gestured for the door, they nodded in agreement and began to head out of the transporter room. They headed down the corridor towards where the conference room was located. Upon arrival they each took their seats, food and drinks were awaiting them. They began the meeting that would decide whether they would remain independent or join the Republic.

Comments

  • The instigator of their problems gone, the wave of Republic ships arriving that was hinted at in the larger plot stories, Rhijun finally gets to have a chance as a world to catch their breath and consider options for the future in peace. I also like that Jiras got what was coming for him and with him gone his XO opted to just quit the field. It wasn't his fight, he wasn't interested in it and he had a crew to protect now. I got all of that from his very limited screen time and sells his decision very well. I do like the twist for Ritru, finding out her father wasn't dead after all. I look forward to future developments in regards to this reveal as it's going to help open Ritru up I think! And the stories they both must have for each other! Can't wait! I love that the ending of this story is just the beginning of another for all of Rhijun, but we get to end this one with hope for a better future!

    July 10, 2022
  • Whoa, what will this mean for Ritru now that Jiras has died? AND her father is alive? What?? It’s awfully natural for her to feel overwhelmed and confused by her feelings on the matter. Will she really feel some sense of closure, on the loss of her mother; will the memories begin to haunt her less? These twists and turns are non-stop! Such an exciting conclusion. I appreciate how Azras has the opportunity to engage in some good old fashioned diplomacy to ensure Rhijun gets to define the future they want.

    July 15, 2022