Part of USS Jaxartes: Double-edge Knife

Emergency, we need help…

USS Jaxartes - Bridge
September 2400
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The bridge was damaged after its battle with the U’ras, but they managed to escape the area after their Captain ordered them to get help. Per the order also started to transmit SOS broadcasting on all Federation channels. Adrián was not pleased with the way that went down, “We could have pulled her out as well…” he complained, fixing a console.

“Then what…the enemy vessel was focused on what was on that station, but Sazra knew that if we all pulled back, we were hunted down for seeing something that shouldn’t be seen” Silina pointed out frustrated about the whole ordeal as well “If we can get support, we might be able to save her and the others” 

“We have a response from a Starfleet vessel, sir” T’Path spoke.

Despite the damage to the bridge, the display on the viewscreen successfully blipped from a swirling starfield to the main bridge of a Sutherland-class starship.  Unlike the gunmetal-grey upholstery from starship interiors of old, this bridge was clad in reflective copper and burnished bronze.  A compactly-built Deltan in a Starfleet captain’s uniform was seen rising from the captain’s chair, causing a brief lensflare as she reached her full height.

This is Captain Taes of the USS Sarek.  We’ve received your distress call and we’re en route to your coordinates at maximum warp,” Taes said over the subspace communication channel.  The steely tenor of her voice conveyed the urgency of her response, but she modulated the progression of her words in a largely soothing fashion.  Taes descended the stairs from the command platform, approaching the viewscreen on steady footing, when she said, “We expect to rendezvous at your position in fifteen minutes.  How can we be of assistance?

“We need to get back to the stat…” Adrián spoke but stopped seeing Silina raising her hand and giving him a stern look as she looked back at the Captain, “My name is Lieutenant Silina Ruslavnovna. I am the ship’s designated Medical Officer. We were put on an escort mission by Task Force 17 to escort the Romulan Free State science vessel the Sha’Rem to an abandoned station. Upon arrival, we were asked to help in the station’s repair” She shrugs, frustrated by the situation. “But we were attacked by an unknown Independent Romulan Faction vessel that appeared out of cloaked. We request you to alter your course and follow us to the outpost. We fear for our Captain’s life”

The image of Taes offered a heavy nod at Ruslavnovna’s words.  Her jaw tight, Taes tilted her head and locked eyes with someone who wasn’t visible on the viewscreen.  “Captain Kohl briefed us on your mission, but he didn’t mention any intel on independents in this sector,” Taes remarked.  She nodded again and returned her clear gaze to the bridge crew of Jaxartes.  “We’ve received the coordinates and we’ll meet you at the outpost.”  –Taes winced, pained by Ruslavnovna’s last statement–  “Lieutenant, tell me more about the status of your captain.

Silina gave a nod to T’Path to alternate the course. The ship set course back to the outpost. She looked at the scre. “We… don’t know, sir. The last time I spoke to her she was in a healthy condition, if I stayed longer behind, it would have endangered the crew. But I take full responsibility for leaving my Captain behind, even though I followed her orders.”

Taes shook her head and she fixed Silina with a crooked smile.  She didn’t say anything until Silina looked right at her.  “It’s not our duty to ascribe responsibility today,” Taes insisted, meaning the words, but delivering them like a lighthearted chide.  “Today we save your captain.

It gave a specific relief to hear those words. Silina nodded to the Captain “Then we shall meet at the outpost” she said with a certain amount of confidence as the screen went black. It took a ship the size of Sarek to quickly catch up to their ship as they both jumped out of warp. The IRS ship was nowhere to be seen. Yet the Sha’Rem was still in trouble with their engine broken.

From the tactical console, audio of the Sarek‘s hail to the Free State science ship Sha’Rem could be overheard: “This is Captian Taes from the Federation starship Sarek.”  It beared repeating because, this far into the Typhon Frontier, they had all long crossed the border out of Federation space.  Despite the Sarek‘s relatively massive size –as evidenced on the viewscreen– her underslung warp nacelles and the relative prominence of her scientific mission pod didn’t pose as impressive a silhouette as an Inquiry-class starship might have done.  “How may we be of assistance?” Taes asked.

Silina looked over at Rami who was listening in on the conversation, “This is Jolius of the Romulan Free State vessel the Sha’Rem. Is Starfleet finally taking us seriously and sending a well-armed vessel after all rather than an overrated shuttle? Well, I am disappointed in you. This outrageous attack would not have happened if the Jaxartes had fled the scene and left their Captain behind” Rami slammed his console out of frustration, hearing Adrián in the back. “That backstabbing pointy ears…” 

Captain Taes didn’t take the bait.  Over the comms, she remained aloof in her reply, “Jolius, Starfleet was advised this outpost served as little more than a curio.  We understood it to be an outdated and abandoned research centre.  Perhaps some stellar cartography or theoretical physics… Are you telling me this outpost is of tactical interest to the other faction?

The crew looked at each other curiously as Silinia stared at the screen waiting for the reply, “I must inform you that since the collapse of the Romulan Star Empire, it is pretty much a hunt for assets. The one that controls the most is the one to control the voice over the Romulan people. So yes, if that means taking over a research outpost such as this one then….” Jolius gets interrupted. 

Abruptly, Captain Taes could be heard to say, “Excuse me,” and the subspace communication signal from the Sarek was muted for a few seconds.  Soon after, her voice could be heard from the tactical station again as she continued her parlay with the Free State vessel.  She said, “Our sensors can detect no human biosignatures, nor Starfleet combadges, aboard the outpost.  Is Captain Praugol aboard your ship?

“Rami…” Silina asked looking over her shoulder. “On it….yea confirmed no humans on that outpost” Silinia shrugged and wanted to interfere with the communication, but she held her calmness to herself, hearing Jolius arrogance. “I am sorry? Captain Praugol is who? If you are referring to the humans that assisted us on that station to get it back operational, one fled with the shuttle next to you and the other I believe was taken with a few of my people by the IRF

Captain Taes was silent again, but the comm channel remained open.  Then, she said, “…I understand.  We will pursue.  Does your crew require any assistance?

“Is she actually going to give this prik assistance while the Captain needs our help?!” Adrián spoke furious “Lieutenant” T’Path spoke up “The Captain of the Sarek is holding her emotions in control at the moment, I do believe she desires to find our Captain as much as ours, but we are required to keep our diplomatic matters in check in these sensitive times as well” Adrián wanted to reply to it as he saw Silinia death serious looking at the screen as she rose a hand to him “While I understand your frustration Adrián, Captain Taes is indeed holding out on her emotions…do the same” She orders.

Ah yes, our ship requires some material to fix the damage done and damage to our station that requires fixing now more than ever. So if you could provide us with supplies and engineers to help repair our station and ship, that would be gratefully appreciated and benefit our relationship between our people” Jolius spoke eagerly as if he had just won a mocking contest. 

Yes, of course we will,” Taes replied.  Perhaps it was calculated, but she sounded earnest over the comms.  “My chief engineer will be in contact to determine the away team and materials required.  Taes out.”  

After the computerised chirp of the subspace comms closing, Captain Taes appeared again on the viewscreen of the Jaxartes.  From the view into her bridge, Taes had returned to sit in the captain’s chair.  “Lieutenant, if you can transmit your sensor records of the independent Romulan starship, we can turn our sensors to search for the ship’s warp trails” Taes requested.  “Once we determine a course, what are your intentions?

“Follow them and get our captain back of course” Adrián spoke out bluntly as Silina shrugged at his answer and stayed a bit calmer and reserve comment “Rami, please send the information to the Sarek. As my esteemed colleague suggests, we are willing to follow the tracks of the IRS vessel and get back to our Captain. We shall do this calculated as Captain Praugol would do so by not confronting it alone” The data was sent to the Sarek. “Data sent sir,” Rami said formally as Silinia nodded. “Thank you again for coming to our aid”

We’re Starfleet,” Taes replied.  “This is what we do.

Silina nodded to that statement, “That is true, I do have to ask the obvious thing. But if our Captain enters IRF space, what are we suppose to do sir” 

The image of Taes transmitted on the viewscreen half-heartedly shrugged with one shoulder and she tilted her head.  “That’s going to depend on which of the independent factions have taken your captain.  Since the fall of the star empire’s senate, the factions have splintered with conflicting loyalties and animosities,” Taes said as preamble.  “Starfleet sends me new star charts every day, defining new borders being used by the independent factions.  Further, the chief of my science department is an exchange officer from the Romulan Free State.” –Taes cut her eyes to a bridge station beyond the view of the visual sensors.  Taes’ face fell into a frown.  A blink later, her assured expression returned– “Her political insight will be valuable to us both as well.  Once we identify the specific faction, and if they have even established diplomatic relations with the Federation… you and I will have to make a judgement call.

The information came in from what Jaxartes had shared with the Sarek. The ship was identified as U’ras which was part of various inner conflicts of the IRF. But Starfleet Intelligence placed a red flag on the information as it was part of a now-known faction named Broken Wings. Broken Wings is known to be fanatics, patriotic behavior, and a certain degree of hatred towards the Federation and the Klingons. Further information reveals that they were part of the old Romulan Star Empire prison regime and specialized in information gathering in creative ways. Broken Wings were known to operate at Delta Velorum. 

Looking at the screen, she bolds her fist, seeing some of this information. “Of all the factions, she is in the hands of these” Silina felt at a loss here. 

Taes raised an eyebrow and took a breath.  “The Sarek is a research cruiser.  Our tactical systems are mostly defensive,” she said with no small emphasis.  “If we don’t retrieve your captain from that one ship, we’re going to need diplomacy or back-up.

“I think we need an army, did the Sarek find the ship on long-range scanners. It is better if we follow it right now rather then wait” Silina spoke. 

On the viewscreen, Taes dropped her gaze to where the sunken flight control station was located on her bridge.  Taes nodded and then she told Silina, “We’ve calculated the most likely course, based on the warp trail.  My conn is transmitting the coordinates to you now.  Our engineering away team will be beaming off shortly, and then we can join in the pursuit.

Silina nodded to the captain. “Thank you again for all the help. We will leave the Sha’Rem in your hands” With that said she nodded to her as the screen went black “Plot a course and hit the peddle T’Path” The Vulcan merely nodded while the USS Jaxartes moved into position and jumped into warp following the kidnappers.