Part of USS Jaxartes: Double-edge Knife

Here and no further

USS Jaxartes - Bridge
September 2400
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The small ship was put to its limits as it went on the maximum warp to follow the trail left behind by the U’ras. They were running out of time as the IRF borders were closing more. The tension on the bridge was felt as if a double-edged knife would cut through it very quickly. By the structure of the chain of command, Ruslanovna was put in command, and she was sitting in her Captain’s chair, tapping her finger on the chair “ETA”

“5 minutes,” T’Path spoke in a somewhat frustrated yet calm way, something that is seen rarely in a Vulcan “U’ras is not in reach…they still 4 minutes out on us”

Taking a deep sigh at that, Silina looked at Adrián, “Can you push her more?” She was trying to find ways to get closer to the U’ras and pick that fight in Federation space. Thee ship appeared on the screen flying in Romulan space near the Free State borders, “That ship is taunting us…”

“I can’t give you more. The girl is struggling as it is. She is not built for this speed….why not just enter that area and shoot the ship out of space!” Adrián slammed the console, frustrated by the situation.

“Because if we do that, we break our treaty with the Romulans, be it Romulan Star Empire or not….that treaty still stands,” Rami pointed out. “So you can jump as high as you want. We can’t risk an all-out war with whatever faction is there” 

Silina rubs her head, “He is right….” While her mind was saying to shoot all the torpedoes they had.

The Jaxartes jumped out of warp as it slowly came to a halt, “What the hell T’Path….we will lose them!” Adrián spoke, looking at the screen, seeing the ship disappear further into the Romulan borders “Get back into the game there Lieutenant!”

“We can’t the borders to Romulan space starts here and Federation regulations prevent us from moving further….” T’Path shrugs and looked at Silina “Your orders ma’am” There was nothing that could be done by them as they suddenly got another ship dropping out of warp next to them “USS Sarek just dropped out of warp they are hailing us!”

“On screen” Silina saw the screen change “Lieutenant Ruslanovna of the Jaxartes here, Captain?” She was confused.

A live visual of the USS Sarek‘s bridge appeared on the viewscreen and Captain Taes was sitting in the centre seat.  The compact Deltan woman glowered through the screen with a sour expression: her lips were down-turned and the brow of her bald head was creased in frustration.  In an explosion of energy, Taes snapped to a standing position as if a cadet instructor had called her to attention.  She began to descend the stairs of the command platform, moving closer to her own viewcreen.

I thought we had the U’ras there for a second, Ruslanovna,” Captain Taes said excitedly.  “Our tractor beam connected, but they broke away.  As large as the Sarek is, we’re not built for combat.”  –She smiled tightly the forced joke she was about to make– “Too many breakables on board.

“Please Captain convince our bridge crew that we can enter this space and find our Captain” Adrián stepped away from his console closer to the screen. “She needs us. We are so close to gaining the U’ras!” He was visibly frustrated with the situation.

“Adrián” Silina softly spoke knowing that same frustration as she sat back in her chair “Lieutenant, please go back to your console and restrain your emotions. It is not the best moment to let your choices be led by emotion in this situation. We all here want Captain Praugol back, but not at the cost of our treaty with the Romulans”

Speaking of that–” Taes said.  On the screen, Taes’ frown flattened out to a wince.  Her head tilted back and, for a moment, it looked like Taes was rolling her eyes.  Instead, she simply looked up at the overhead of her bridge.

Sitting beside the captain’s chair was a petite Romulan with a mass of dark hair, framing her face like a nebula.  Unlike Taes’ Bajoran executive officer, Flavia was wearing a jumpsuit of plainly Romulan design: judging by the extreme shoulder pads and the woven textured cuboid pattern from neck to ankle.  Stepping forward, Romulan Liaison Officer Flavia slinked down the stairs to join Taes.

I have submitted the sensor records and last known coordinates of the U’ras to my government,” Flavia said in her most saccharine placating timbre.  “The Romulan Free State will not permit intruders within our borders, be they from the Broken Wings.” –Flavia took a breath and she appeared to look directly at Adrián– “Or from Starfleet.  Rest assured: our navy will return your captain to you.

Adrián looked at Silina and then back. “They are not in Romulan Free State. Your sensor records might indicate that they just entered the Independent Romulan Faction’s space, which is ….shady as hell” Feeling a hand on his shoulder, he saw Silina standing there looking at the screen.

“What the Lieutenant means is that it is unknown what the IRF will do to the entrance of Starfleet vessels within IRF space. Is there a slim chance for a small vessel like the Jaxartes to enter in that space without being seen as a threat?” 

From the viewscreen, Flavia blinked heavily at the entreaties from the Jaxartes crew.  Her eyes clouded and her subtle forehead ridges became more pronounced.  She folded her arms over her chest.

You were chasing one of the Broken Wings’ ships,” Flavia retorted.  “That makes you a threat.  Period.

A grin came to his face “Are you saying that a ship with our size is such a trap for the Romulans can’t handle?” Adrián lifted his hands and shoulder “I guess they are not able enough to do this”

”Enough Lieutenant“ Silina spoke “But there is truth in his words” She followed up looking at Captain Taes “A cooperation between Federation and the Free States is what both parti want. So I propose the Jax crew shall operate on a Romulan Free States vessel to rescue Captain Praugol”

Taes scraped her teeth across her lower lip.  “I don’t recall if we have language for that in the provisional treaty,” Taes said impassively.  “It’s worth a try if you’re prepared to put your crew at that risk.

Looking at Taes “I think the Captain would do the same for any of us. So yes we are willing to take upon the risk and this deal that is benific for both our people” Silina looked now at the Romulan.

The visual of Flavia on the viewscreen raised her palms to the level of her chest in a defensive posture.  She blinked twice at Silina and then she tilted her head to the left, her gaze sweeping in the general direction of Adrián.

I’m a lowly scientist,” Flavia said, making no attempt to hide her mocking timbre.  “I have no ship of my own.  Certainly not one that can handle this…” –She waved her hand at them, vaguely indicating the starship bridge she could evidently see on her own viewscreen– “What do you call your death trap?  A runabout?

Looking offended at her as Adrián pointed up a finger “That death trap is a Raven-class named Jaxartes“ He was quite proud of it after the hours he put into it.

”Is it not better to contact the Free State and share this operation in cooperation with them rather then to take guess of what we got right now?” Rami pointed out looking at everyone.

”That might be a good idea, send the request for aid and our location to them. No in-depth details“ Silina orders

On the viewscreen, Captain Taes turned to face Flavia dead on.  “I’m certain Doctor Flavia,” Taes said sternly, “will personally assure her superiors of the importance of your request.

The communication went down as the two ships waited for a response to them about their case. Minutes became an hour, and before they knew it, a few hours had passed. Until a Romulan warbird decloaked at the area of their borders “We are being hailed” T’Path spoke as Silina nodded to that “Setting up a 3-way connection.

This is Commander Cokitha of the RSF vessel Vishatha. We were requested to present at this location for some proportion undertaking involving a kidnapping?” The Romulan woman tried to ID the Captains of the ships looking at both screens.

“I am Lieutenant Ruslanovna, the acting Captain of the USS Jaxartes. We are honored of having you here” Silina spoke, feeling a certain weight off her shoulders. 

And I am Captain Taes of the Federation Starship Sarek,” the transmission of Taes said from her partitioned side of the viewscreen.  “We require your assistance.

The woman narrowed her eyes and noticed a Romulan on Sarek bridge “Hmmm yes command told me it was an urgency to provide any help in light of our recent relationship between our two organizations. Do state your business, so we can resume our duties” Cokitha crossed her arms while waiting.

“Well, we require your ship to be more specific. The situation is that our Captain is being kidnapped by one of the Broken Wings and flew into IRF space. A part of space we are forbidden to enter due to the treaty” Silina shrugs a bit, ah she was not made for these kinds of talks “We of the Jaxartes would transfer to your ship and you help us get our Captain back” 

Wait…what” Cokitha looked at Silina and then back at Teas “Is she joking right now?” Showing that Teas is the superior officer.

Our request is genuine,” replied Captain Taes.

At Captain Taes’ side, Liaison Officer Flavia interjected to say, “Captain Praugol was acting in service to our government when she was kidnapped by the Broken Wings ship.”  All of Flavia’s gleeful malice had been replaced by an almost Vulcan-like stoicism.  “Their captain was working to bring outpost fifty-four back into operational status.

The mention of the outpost made Cokitha narrow her eyes “I see” She looked at her people for a moment and looked back at them “I will take three of you to my vessel. More of you on this ship will cause a riot. I don’t care who you will beam over, but you got five minutes” Cokitha closed the channel as now only Taes stood there.

“Well that went easier than I thought,” Rami spoke in the back, looking at the others.

Silina sighed. She knew now for sure that they were hiding something over at that outpost. There was no real value to it. It was the whole Liberty Incident all over again “Captain, I thank you for mediating in this delegate situation. Lieutenant Valerio, Lieutenant Shew, and I will beam over at the ship and leave the Jaxartes in the care of Lieutenant T’Path. Do you have any orders or requests?”

Take an emergency transponder with you,” Captain Taes replied from the Sarek bridge, “and provide my security chief with the encoded frequency.  If you activate the transponder, the Sarek will join you, regardless of the borders we have to cross.”

Getting up from her chair as Silina gave a smile at Taes “We shall send it to you before we transport over, lets’s hope we don’t have to cross that line” She winks at her as the communication line breaks and the screen views the two ships in view. Silina followed Adrián to exit the bridge.

“Lieutenant”

Silinia stopped and looked over her shoulder to T’Path, who looked over her shoulder “Yes?”

“Bring her home, I will keep the ship safe for your arrival” T’Path spoke in more logical worry.

Nodding to her selfish request “Of course” With that Silina gave her a soft smile and left the bridge to make her way towards the transport room where the adventure of saving their captain was waiting.