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Part of USS Aquarius: New Beginnings

A Fresh Start

Starbase K-8
August 29th, 2400
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The small convoy fleet of vessels was laid out across the speckled darkness of space, magnified into detail even at this great distance by the Bridge’s Main Viewer.

Commander Vaelana t’Kaeyn, formerly of the Romulan Star Navy, sat perched forward on her command chair and dais, studying the motley assortment of merchanteers, civilian warp-shuttles, and freight transport as they arrayed themselves up into a roughly defensive formation…they were in a rough patch of space after all, and there were all sorts of predatory elements abound.

Vaelana and her crew of former officers and soldiers, were some of them, in actual fact. The veteran Romulan tactician and ship captain peered deeper into the view screen with her distinctive blue eyes for what seemed like a small pensive eternity…like a hawk sighting it’s prey precisely so it’s diving kill shot wouldn’t miss.

“Tactical Status?” She inquired to the older Romulan male manning the primary weapons control station.

Like Vaelana, he wore a more an eclectic assortment of gear and fashion choices over what remained of his original black and brown checkered Star Naval uniform…since the stellar decapitation and sundering of the Star Empire, ex-Centurion Hakus had began collecting small trophies and momentos from his conflicts…he had an armoured Klingon baldric sash across his torso, festooned with smaller fetishes like empty Ketracel White injector vials, Ynar data crystals, Bajoran earrings, a Tamarian honour-knife…all were adhered with a molecular bonding compound to the sash.

“Cloaking device is working at full power. We remain undetected.” He stated, his voice thick with a Southern Romii accent, even though Romii nor it’s South no longer existed. “All torpedo launchers are loaded with Plasma warheads, medium standard yield. Our disruptors and shields are set to rapid-cycle as soon as the cloak lifts. Our projected margin of weakness is only .9 seconds.”

“Point-9?” Vaelana echoed with a stern frown falling upon her face. “Why so slow?”

“Apologies Commander!” Came a voice from one of the stations at the aft of the bridge.

Vaelana spun her chair around and found the source of the apology, Chief Engineer S’Vara, a Reman combat engineer who in spite of her heritage, had ascended to the position on the novel suggestion of the previous Chief Engineer who had an eye for technical talent and had felt no constrained by the discriminative policies of a Navy that had effectively ceased to be.

“The plasma-fusil ducts are still out of alignment from our tangle with that Federation destroyer last week.” S’Vara explained, her face hard to read due to the concealing dark goggles she wore to adjust to the bridge lighting. “My teams and I have done all we can to correct the issue, but full efficiency of the system can only be restored with a visit to a shipyard.”

Vaelana nodded and turned back around to face the screen once more. “Governor Pradek still owes us a favour and retains control over the D’Monaus repair yards…we will have to pay them a visit after we are done with this job…while I am not pleased to hear of the delay between dropping one defense and raising another, I find it minimal acceptable for this encounter. It will simply have to do…hopefully none of the opposing commanders and weapons officers are quick enough to respond to the opportunity and threat presented to them.”

The Commander leaned forward and rested her chin on her clasped hands, her eyes closing for a moment as she prepared herself for the actions to come. She slowed her breathing steadied her pulse into a controlled and regular rhythm by whispering a few stanzas from an old Romulan poem.

“Alright.” She finally said, opening her eyes again to gaze upon her prey. “Target their mid flank as you see fit, aim to disable engines and weapons…our employer wants prisoners and cargo.” 

::7 Years later::

Vaelana found the ambient lighting of the observation bay to be too bright, the layout of the room too open and hard to defend…it was built for comfort and relaxation, all watchwords that as a soldier, screamed a trap or feint of some kind.

It wasn’t just her career experiences and training that spoke to her though…the words of her late mother were etched into her soul to this very day. “When you are meant to be most at ease, be the most wary…a trap is not a trap if it can be easily anticipated.”

That paranoid old Tal Shiar Colonel had not been the best of parents for a young girl by any measure, but the few times she had bothered to parent had definitely stuck with her surviving children, shaping them all in some distinctive way.

For Vaelana, this had been to drive her away from ever persuing a career in her Mother’s fields or the Tal Shiar in general, instead driving her right into the Star Naval Academy in the old Capital. The former Romulan Commander would also have liked to say that it had kept her from ending up in said positions as well, but today made that plainly untrue.

Her red-shouldered black uniform and the triple golden pips were testaments to how deep she had fallen into the depths of intrigue, espionage, and the chaos of interstellar politics.

No longer captain of a ship, wearing the uniform of a former enemy, and kept tabs on by Starfleet Intelligence…At least she was still called a Commander, even if it was technically a demotion from the heights of her career.

She glanced out of the corner of her eye and spotted a young Bolian lieutenant sitting at a bench by a tree and glancing at a blank PADD screen, while pretending not to monitor the Romulan officer.

“My minder for the day, I suppose.” She quietly mused to herself. “Ensign Barstow must have been given the day off, finally”.

The Romulan Commander returned her gaze to the majestic transparent bulkheads that gave everyone in the Lounge a gorgeous view of the nearby vessels that pulled in to their docks. She recognized a few from her old days in the Star Empire, going over the patrol reports of enemy vessels along the Federation Neutral Zone boarder…others seemed to be quite new, from more recent designs.

Vaelana found her eyes falling back onto one ship particular, a newer vessel with the design lines reminiscent of Starfleet’s main heavy cruisers from the past century and a half, though the individual elements and pieces of the vessel itself seemed far more modern.