Part of USS Saratoga: High Tide and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Chapter 8 – High Tide

USS Saratoga
November 2400
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The lights in her quarters were dim as T’Prel sat in the middle of her meditation room, even with the cortical inhibitor she wasn’t feeling herself. She had asked to be relieved of duty for a while to meditate. There were soft sounds of Vulcan classical music playing in the background as it often helped her focus.

They are coming for us.

Help us or you will end up like us. 

T’Prel tried to focus on her meditation while trying to block out the voices from her mind.

Join us, let’s make them pay for what they have done to us.

“Please stop!” T’Prel yelled as she clenched her hands over her ears, as the pain started to set in. The voices from the many lost Brenari continued to get louder and louder.

Be our voice, set us free.

T’Prel collapsed unconscious with her eyes fixed on the ceiling, no one around to help as the voices continued to wreak havoc over her mind. It wasn’t until a few minutes later Ritru entered their quarters to check on her.

“T’Prel,” she called out but got no response which she began to worry. T’Prel usually responded even when she was meditating. She walked through the living room towards their spare room which was used as the meditation room, as the doors opened she saw T’Prel laying on the floor.

“T’Prel!” Ritru said frantically as she ran to her, noticing that she was unresponsive even when she nudged and called out to her. Tapping her commbadge, “Ritru to sickbay, we have a medical emergency in my quarters!” Ritru said.

“On my way Commander,” Sh’esirr replied before the communication channel ended.

Ritru stayed by T’Prel’s side as she waited for medical to arrive, “snap out of it.” Ritru said looking at the blank stare of T’Prel. “Help is on the way,” she reassured her even though she was unsure if she could even hear her.

A short time later Sh’esirr arrived and entered the shared quarters, walking into the room they were located in. “what happened?” Sh’esirr asked looking at Ritru.

“I am not sure,” Ritru began. “I know that she requested to come to our quarters to meditate saying she wasn’t feeling right. I decided to come and check on her to see if she was doing alright and found her like this.” Ritru finished looking at the doctor.

Sh’esirr nodded as he pulled out his tricorder and began to scan T’Prel, after a few moments “she seems to be in some sort of comatose state, likely from the effects of the blood dilithium.” He finally spoke looking at Ritru. “We need to get her to sickbay,” he added.

“Understood,” Ritru replied as she was worried about her.

“Computer two to transport directing to the main infirmary,” Sh’esirr said and a short time later the two disappeared from their quarters.

Ritru stood there for a few moments knowing that there wasn’t much she could do at this point. Ritru decided to return to the bridge to inform the captain of what had happened. She walked out of her quarters heading toward the turbolift. “Bridge,” she replied as she entered with the doors closing shut behind her.

A few moments had passed as the lift came to a stop, walking out she looked at Azras who could tell there was something wrong. “What is wrong Ritru?” Azras asked looking at her, she had worked with Ritru long enough to know that something was bothering her.

“T’Prel is currently in sickbay in a comatose state,” she began to explain. “The doctor thinks she is being affected by the blood dilithium. I went to check on her and found her unconscious.” Ritru explained, “Sh’esirr will keep us updated on her condition.”

Azras nodded with a sigh, looked like the cortical inhibitor just wasn’t strong enough to block the effects of having this much dilithium in their cargo bay. “How are you feeling?” Azras asked looking at her, she knew there would be a possibility that Romulans could also be affected though she didn’t know to what extent.

“I am fine, the inhibitor seems to be working for me,” Ritru replied as she knew Azras was concerned for her wellbeing as well. “I am just worried about T’Prel,” she admitted as she sat down at her station.

Azras nodded as she was about to speak when Dazra interrupted her from the tactical console, “looks like the Devore is catching up. They are still outside of firing range, they are still gaining ground.” Dazra replied looking at the Captain.

“Lovely,” Azras replied as she adjusted in her chair.

Ritru looked back at the captain, “sir we are getting an incoming hail from the Devore ship.” Ritru replied.

Taking a deep breath she looked at Ritru, “now they wish to talk?” Azras asked as they didn’t seem to want to on their last encounter with their scout ships. “Let them wait a bit,” she said as she sat in her chair waiting for a few more minutes.

“Aye sir,” Ritru said as she couldn’t help but smile.

After a few minutes had passed, letting them wait until she was ready she looked at Ritru. “Put it through,” Azras replied as the screen changed to show the face of an older Devore man staring at her through the screen. “Decided you wanted to talk this time?” Azras said bluntly before continuing, “I am Captain Azras Dex of the Federation starship Saratoga, what can I do for you?” She asked as she looked at him as she could tell he was a bit irritated.

“I am Kelic, commander of the Devore Imperium warship. I first want to apologize for my subordinate’s behavior back at Miri and she has been dealt with accordingly.” He started with a rather malicious smile that sent chills down Azras back.

“Though that is not why I am contacting you,” Kelic replied as he leaned forward in his chair.

“Oh, then why are you contacting me if it wasn’t to apologize?” Azras asked as she looked at him with a leg crossed over the other. She knew exactly why he was contacting them she just wanted to have a bit of fun.

Kelic let out a laugh, “you have to be joking right?” He asked looking at the Trill captain. “You have no idea why we are contacting you?” He repeated himself, “we have been chasing you for the last several hours if you haven’t noticed.” Kelic responded as he knew that Azras was mocking him.

She looked at him for a brief moment, “can’t say that that we noticed.” Azras stated even though she knew that they were. “Though I am kind of curious as to why?” Azras asked as she tilted her head to the side.

Slamming his hand on the console next to him, “don’t play dumb with me, you have what belongs to us!” Kelic spat as he was getting angry.

Azras looked around the bridge for a moment before looking back at Kelic, “last time I checked we had nothing that belonged to you,” Azras replied.

“Hand over the blood dilithium you have taken from Miri, a planet that we claimed as ours!” Kelic almost yelled losing his patience.

“More like conquered,” Chon’al spat as Azras just glared at him for a moment.

Azras stood up from her chair walking closer to the viewscreen, “why would we hand over something for you to use against the Brenari or any other telepaths?” Azras replied looking at him, “people who you describe to be untrustworthy or less superior than you.” Azras countered about ready to lose her patience. 

She walked closer as if to tell him a secret, “you will have to try and take it by force.” Azras said glaring at him which just made him even angrier.

“You can count on that,” Kelic responded before the viewscreen went back to its normal view of space as they traveled at warp.

“That went well,” Odan replied looking at the Captain.

“Extremely,” Azras replied as she sat back in her chair.

It had begun to settle down, silence once again filled the bridge before Odan broke the silence. “Um sir,” Odan said almost in a panicked voice looking at the captain. “I am detecting an Hirogen ship up ahead!” Odan added as they were almost on top of the ship as it came out of stealth mode.

Looking at the viewscreen she looked at the Hirogen ship that lay ahead of them. “Shit,” Azras cursed before looking at Lieutenant Rass. “Alter course and get us out of here!” She exclaimed looking at Rass as the ship went to red alert.

“Aye sir,” Rass replied as the ship quickly altered course heading in the opposite direction. The ship began to move quickly away from the Hirogen, and they knew that it would be a matter of time before there was a firefight between the two.

One could feel the tensions that continued to rise amongst the officers, to the point where it almost felt like they were holding their breath. “They are following, though it doesn’t look like they have locked weapons on us yet,” Dazra replied from her console breaking the silence.

“From what I have read they like to give chase before that happens,” Chon’al chimed in from his station after he pulled up the information about the Hirogen. “They stalk their prey, give chase then attack.” He added looking up from his console.

“Great,” Azras replied.

“Sir,” Dazra spoke up almost in a confused tone in her voice. “It looks like the Devore ship is backing off and are turning around. They’re heading back to their territory,” Dazra replied looking at the captain.

Azras nodded as it was bad enough with the Devore tailing them, now to add the Hirogen into the mix. They didn’t need both to worry about, “at least they will be the least of our worries now,” Azras said as the Hirogen continued to give chase.

“Sir the Devore ship is hailing us again,” Ritru spoke up from her station.

Azras let out a visible sigh before she responded, “on screen.” She ordered as the viewscreen came to life to show Kelic looking back at the captain.

“Captain, consider this your lucky day,” Kelic said looking at her.

Azras looked at Kelic, “how very kind of you.” She replied sarcastically as she looked at Kelic. “I am just satisfied that you won’t be getting your hands on this batch of blood dilithium,” Azras replied.

Kelic shrugged, “that might be the case, as I am sure you have more pressing matters to take care of with that Hirogen ship that is on your tail.” He replied with a grin. “I’d rather not get involved with the Hirogen, so count yourself lucky,” Kelic replied still showing his malicious smile.

Azras looked at him not impressed, “so very thoughtful of you.” Azras replied.

“Well, I won’t keep you from your new problem, Kelic out,” Kelic replied before the communications ended.

Azras sighed before turning her attention to Rass who was sitting at the helm station, “Lieutenant, can you take us to warp 9.96 in hopes of gaining a bit of ground away from them?” Azras asked looking at the young Andorian.

“I can but we can only use that for twelve hours straight before we have to slow down,” Rass replied.

“Do it,” Azras said looking at him.

“Aye sir,” Rass replied as he tapped a few controls on his console and the ship increased speed to 9.96.

The bridge went silent, tensions were even higher now that the Hirogen were hunting them. She wasn’t expecting to see them as they seemed to be far from their space which was several days’ journey in the opposite direction. She wondered why they were even here, though with the increase of activity within the Delta Quadrant they probably wanted part of the action and new prey to claim. The ship continued on its way, while the ship’s weapons systems were online and ready for when the time would come.

Comments

  • My my, not what I was expecting at all. The effects of the Blood Dilithium on T'Prel was very well written and bought a lot of insight into the effects on Telepaths. It was interesting the Devore broke off their pursuit in favour of the Hirogen considering how adamant they are that Blood Dilithium belongs to them. The motivation of the Hirogen will be a sight to behold, but new hunting grounds and prey are too good a chance to pass up. Please don't burn out the warp core!

    November 27, 2022
  • Whoa! Even despite all the stories around the campaign, I didn't really think the siren song of the blood dilithium would affect T'Prel so much! I was touched by Azras' immediate concern for Ritru in the aftermath; that really demonstrated her warmth for her crew. Of course, all of this was a preamble for Azras' verbal sparring with Kelic. I enjoyed the way they bluffed and double-bluffed one another; I couldn't see the twists and turns coming. lol of course Kelic backs off as soon as the Hirogen make themselves known. How's the Saratoga going to get out of this one?

    November 27, 2022
  • Well, this was certainly a twist! Sure didn't take the Devore long to reconsider their dedication to getting the BD back, and I can see why! I'm quite interested to see how this plays out - are the Hirogen after the BD as well, or are they just in it for the hunt like normal? Will we see our Devore friends again? And how will the gang on the little Aquarius come into play? So many questions I'm excited to see answered!

    November 29, 2022
  • Out of the frying pan and into the fire it would seem! Now the real trick is giving the Hirogen the slip! Nice to see that the solution is to pile on the speed, especially or these super-fast starships! The effects of the BD on the crew are also coming to roost and can't wait to see how things play out for the crew of the Saratoga. Losing T'Prel is going to be a real kick in the pants. Gives a chance for other officers to shine with their recommendations to the Azras. A chance for someone to make that promotion-defining decision perhaps? Or screw up in exciting and interesting ways?

    December 3, 2022
  • Dayum taunting the Devore to go to battle and doing so on the Starfleet way. Being annoying diplomatic about it haha. And so the second player comes into play the hirogen is on the hunt :p will the crew make it out alive or play their cards very carefully? Awesome work

    December 14, 2022