Part of USS Osiris: To serve and protect and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

To serve and protect -17A

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After a return trek of roughly ninety minutes, the group of four and their three prisoners made it back to the compound and went to the crew’s assigned bunhouses. As they walked through the compound they noticed a dissipating faint plume of smoke from where the schoolhouse was located. 

Seeing this the two Devore officers gave each other a smirk and a nod.

Skagath looked over in that direction and shook his head. “Well, that’s going to delay Sia’s plans.” He looked at the two Devore. “Luckily we figured that something like that may have been planned so we put things in place to quickly rebuild it. Guess he didn’t know about that, did he?” He pointed at the Ferengi. “Something we worked out when we realized that a Ferengi or two might be involved.”

“We’re glad it burned, now they can’t be taught how to spread their evilness and lies.”

Skagath looked at the one who spoke. “Ahhh so you can speak, that’s good to know. But I guess you don’t listen well though. I just said that we already planned for something like this and a new one is already being prepped.”

The Devore officers became silent again as they made their way to the crew’s bunkhouses.

Upon arriving they found a group of the crew sitting on the patio eating breakfast.

Chief Samples stood from amongst the group. “Lieutenant Skagath, I see you got the rest of them, we were beginning to wonder.”

“Aye, we did. Caught them trying to cross the river.”

The chief pointed over his shoulder. “The XO has the one we caught in there, I believe she was waiting to hear from you. I was just getting ready to go back in and join them.”

Kr’Antren stepped forward. “Have they talked yet chief?”

“Oh, sorry captain. I didn’t realize you were still with us. No, sir. That one is as tight-lipped as one of my pappy’s old bear traps.”

Kr’Antren nodded. “It’s ok chief, I think these two.” he pointed at Skagath, and inside, meaning his executive officer, were trying to keep it quiet that I was still here. “Seems pretty tight to me, what do you say we grease them up a little and see if their mouths open? Isn’t that how they loosen those old traps, at least I thought I read about it somewhere being the case.”

“Yes sir, greasing them up usually loosens them old traps right up.”

Kr’antren started to walk up the few steps to the porch and the rest of his group followed him as he walked into the bunhouse. Dropping his rucksack on the floor next to his number one work table/desk. “So number one, what do we have here?” as he walked over to stand beside her.

The other three prisoners were walked into the room and made to sit in three other seats around the table. 

“Ahhh you got the Ferengi, we thought he might have gotten away as we didn’t see him run off.” She walked over and looked at the Ferengi and then back at Skagath.”I’ve seen you before, you  were on the construction crews around the compound.” She went to her desk and grabbed her PADD and started going through the personnel files on the construction crews. “Ahhh yes, there you are. Hogo, Ferengi, a construction engineer.”

She looked up from her PADD and over at Chief Samples. “Chief, I’m sending you the list of the other Ferengi crew members. I see two of them joined us at the same time as Hogo here. I want them all rounded up and brought here when the crews sign in this morning.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll take a few of the normal folks with me to not raise any suspicion.”

Talibah nodded. “Take phasers with you, if they try to run, guess we know where they stand.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He called for a couple of the folks on the patio to join him inside.

She looked over at the Captain. “So where should we start?”

Kr’antren looked at the group arrayed in front of him. “Well, the chief and I were just talking about using a little grease to loosen the springs, so to speak.” He looked around the bunhouse. “Where’s Counsellor Sia?”

“I believe she went to the schoolhouse to see if anything could be saved.” Talibah looked at Kr’Antren and noticed the slight ear twitch.

“Chief Ngaizav,” Kr’Antren called out.

“Yes, sir.” The tall Orion security chief replied.

“Go find Counsellor Sia, she should be over at the old school house. Let her know we will need her here.” 

“Yes, sir.” He quickly left to go find the counselor.

“Lieutenant Skagath, send a couple of folks to go get some breakfast for the four of us from our team and for the four prisoners.”

“Yes, sir.” He pointed out a couple of the crewmen. “You two, go see if we can get eight breakfast platters brought to the bunk house here, along with some coffee or whatever hot beverage they are serving this morning.”

“Yes, sir.” one of them replied as they both jumped off the patio and made their way toward one of the communal kitchens.

Kr’Antren turned back towards the four prisoners, pulled out a chair, and propped one of his feet up on it.” Now gentlemen, as you can see we are not the evil monsters many try to portray us as. Matter of fact compared to most we treat our prisoners quite well. So as you heard we will have breakfast here in a bit, and to prove we are not trying to drug you or other such nonsense we will mix up the meals and my team will eat the same thing you will be offered.” He looked them all over then he looked at his number one. “Lieutenant Talibah here is my executive officer and has been on the surface a bit longer than I have, so I’ll let her start the conversation. Lieutenant, the floor is yours.”

“Thank you, sir.” As she sat down at the table. ”Gentlemen, let’s start this off on the right foot, shall we? My name is Lieutenant Talibah I’m the Executive Officer on the USS Osiris and this” she points up at Kr’Antren “Is Lieutenant commander Kr’Antren Captain of the USS Osiris. Currently, you are prisoners of the Federation, but that could change depending on how our little talk goes. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Names? Besides Hogo over here, we know who he is.” she nodded toward the Ferengi.

“You know nothing Lieutenant, federation always going around sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. Just go away and let us live our own lives.” Hogo leaned back in his chair and with a smirk.

Talibah looked over at him and then turned toward the three Devore Imperium officers.”Ok, so who is going to go first?”

“You will pay for this, do you not think that the Imperium will not come looking for us? You will all die and we will still take all of the telepaths and show them their ugly truths are false.”

Kr’Antren leaned forward on his knee, making the chair squeak a bit on the floor. “So there is an Imperium ship in the system? Mind telling us where or at least the ship’s name so we can introduce ourselves.”

The Devore officer chuckled and smirked a bit. “I never said they were in this system Lieutenant Commander, nice try though.” The other two devore looked at him and smirked and nodded. “But since you asked I’m Lieutenant Rujiso, next to me is Ensign Mojer and the other one is crewmen 2nd class Sojim.”

Lieutenant Talibah made notes on her PADD and looked back at the group in front of her.” See gentlemen, that wasn’t very hard. A lot better than being called a prisoner or some other term. Lieutenant Skagath, which one was carrying the belts with the vials?”

Skagath walked over holding two cups of coffee and handed one to the Captain. “The ensign was the one whom we removed the belts from, he also had a tricorder-type device on him. Captain, it’s real coffee looks like a certain chief has a considerable sized stash in his quarters.”

Kr’Antren took a sip.”Nice, remind me later to thank the chief.”

“Will do, sir” As Skagath took a seat next to the XO.

Kr’antren took another sip.” Oh, excuse me for being rude. Can someone grab four cups of coffee and bring them in for our guests.“

“On it , sir.” a Crew member replies and makes their way to the other table and pours four cups of coffee, grabs a small another cup, and filled it with what looks like coffee creamer and a small bowl with little cubes of white,  she brings them over and placed one in front of each of the “guests” and placed the bowl and another cup in the center of them.

“Thank you petty officer.” as Kr’antren put his foot down and also took a seat.

“It’s what we call coffee gentlemen, customarily drunk in the morning though some of us prefer to drink it throughout the day.” 

Lieutenant Talibah puts her PADD down on the table in front of her. “Ok gentlemen, so as you might guess we have a few questions to ask you, nothing too hard I don’t think. Let’s start at the end shall we and work our way backward? How many of those vials did you plant around the compound? And where are they at? You see I would rather we find them before the folks that are living here start having issues when they wake up.”

“Let them, it will just prove our point.” The Lieutenant said as he took the coffee in front of him and took a small sip and then nodded.”Not bad.”

Hogo moved quickly, dumped quite a bit of the creamer into his cup, and then took a small handful of the sugar cubes and dumped them in.”Real coffee you say, not that crap from your federation replicators? Never understood why grandfather wouldn’t get into the market, lots of profit to be made off of this stuff especially when it comes to you federation types.”

Talibah looked over at him. “Your grandfather, you say? Who might that be?”

Hogo looked up after taking a long sip from his cup. “That is none of your business, lieutenant.”

“Does he know you’re out here in the Delta Quadrant?” she started to type on the PADD in front of her as she held her cup of coffee.

“Of course he does, who do you think sent us? Stupid human.”

She looked up at the Captain and continued. “So your father is Rharpaz then?”

Hogo caught himself from spitting out his coffee as he finished the sip and started to laugh. “Uncle Rharpaz couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag without father. Good head on his shoulders for business but is stupid when it comes to grabbing at new opportunities. He can’t think out of the box, doesn’t see the profit to be made sitting right in front of his nose.”

Kr’Antren leaned forward. “But isn’t Rharpaz in charge?”

Hogo looked down at his cup and shrugged. “Not if father has anything to do with it, grandfather will realize that soon and put him in charge as he should have done a long time ago. 

Kr’Antren looked at Lieutenant’s Talibah and Skagath. “Well, I think that answers that question.”

Hogo looked at the three of them. “What do you mean by that? You know nothing.”

Kr’antren looked at Hogo. “I would say otherwise, as I just returned from the asteroid.”

“What? When? How? Father will hear about this and he will come and save me, you do not understand what you are messing with.” Hogo started to stammer and then looked back into his coffee cup and sighed.

“Number one, you got all that? Correct?

“Yes, sir.” she tapped lightly on the PADD.

Kr’Antren tapped on his commbadge. “Chief Kaha, Captain Kr’Antren. Send a message to Governor Rhazpaz asking him, nicely, to join us at the compound. And to come alone.”

“Yes, sir”

 Kr’Antren nodded and then looked at Hogo. “I have a feeling he is not going to be too happy when he gets here.”

Hogo started to look around, as one of the security crew walked up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I wouldn’t try it if I were you.”

Counsellor Sia walked into the bunkhouse and got a cup of coffee and went to stand beside the captain’s chair, she was followed by the two crew who went to go get breakfast.

“Sorry sir, they were just opening and they had the usual assortment of breakfast pastries so we grabbed a few boxes.” They placed one of the boxes on the table and opened it and then placed three more boxes on the table next to the coffee. “We got a few extra in case anyone else is hungry or if you want more.’

“Thank you, guys. Grab a few for yourselves and have a seat.” Kr’Antren said as he reached for one of the pastries, as did Lieutenants Talibah and Skagath.

Hogo, quite slowly, reached out and took one of the pastries.

Lieutenant Talibah looked from Hogo to the other three. “Well, we know his story.” She motioned toward Hogo with the hand holding a pastry. “So what about you guys? Like I said before, we just want an understanding of what you are doing here. We know what the Imperium is doing throughout the Gradin Belt, but what is your mission here on this planet? Let me ask you this, then, is there anyone else in that cave? I mean we could send a team over there and just have them go look. But the captain here likes to not put his people at risk if he doesn’t have to, so we would both like to know if anyone else is in there and how many.” She took a bite from her pastry and followed it with a sip from her cup. “I mean we are going to send a team there either way. So holding back that simple information is not going to stop us, though it may save some lives if we have to go in there not knowing what is there.”

The ensign grabbed a pastry and tried a bite and then looked at the Captain. “They will gladly die to stop those that have been brainwashed by the telepaths. Go ahead, go to the cave. I can guarantee that Imperium Officers will not be the only ones whose blood will darken the river.”

Kr’antren looked at Skagath with a raised eyebrow. “What do you think, Lieutenant?”

“Hmmmmm, sounds like we have some work to do. I’ll take the Chief’s Ngaizav and Ukogh and four or five more of the security crew trained in close-quarters combat.”

“Do it, bring back anything you find.”

“Including the Blood dilithium?”

“No, not that stuff. Matter of fact leave a few of the tubes here and take the rest with you. When you’re done, let me know and we will figure out something with the Blood Dilithium. We don’t need it anywhere close to this compound.” 

Skagath nodded. “Well do” He got up and started calling for team members.

“Well gentlemen, I hope whoever is there value their lives more than you think they do.”

Lieutenant Rujiso took his cup of coffee and held it in his hands, then slammed it down on the table, crushing it. This of course brought several more crew into the room, several armed with phasers. “They will do what they know they have to do, they will die with honor. Take as many of your telepathic controlled crew with them as they can.”

Kr’Antren sat back in his chair as he put his cup on the table, and waved off the extra crew. “As you could see just now, I would be careful with your actions here. As the Lieutenant said we are just asking some questions and trying to figure out some things. You see, I have a question now. Why would you choose a system so far from your own borders to conduct testing such as you have been here? I’m sure there are systems within your own borders that would give you the answers that you are looking for.”

Lieutenant  Rujiso rubs his hands. “I let my anger and passion get away from me, sometimes it is hard to control when you are around those that are controlled by the lies spread by the telepaths. I am sure you wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about being one as controlled as you are. As towards our mission here.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I’m just a lieutenant and I’m only told what I need to be told, when my commander says go here and do this then that is what I do. So I do not believe my two subordinates will be able to give you the answers you are looking for.”

Kr’antren stood, grabbed his cup, and went to the table that held the coffee containers and the extra cups, filled his, and took another filling it also. He then returned and placed the other cup in front of the lieutenant. “That may be true, but I have a feeling you know more than you are telling us.” He looked over at his number one. “Don’t you agree, number one?”

“I do, captain. ” She then did the same thing that Kr’antren just did, going and refilling her cup and returning. “However, I think we are asking the wrong person the questions. I think this one “ she pointed with her cup at the ensign “knows more about what they are doing here than the lieutenant over there, after all, he’s the one that carried the vials/tubes holding the Blood Dilithium. I’m willing to bet he has been placing it around the compound these last few weeks also.“ She looked at the two officers. “Captain, I’m willing to bet the ensign here is the one really in charge, I would say he is some type of science officer or medical officer who probably is part of the team conducting these tests.”

Ensign Mojer starts to fidget a little in his seat, takes a sip of coffee, and then holds onto the cup on the table trying to control himself as his eyes dart from the Lieutenant beside him to the two officers in front of him and then around the room.

Lieutenant Talibah sat up straight and started typing on her PADD. “Sir, I believe I might have hit on something there. Look at him now. I’ve done enough of these interviews to be able to read when I have started on the right path of figuring out the clues. He definitely knows more than the other two.”

Counsellor Sia, who has been quietly watching the conversation from beside the Captain, leaned forward in her seat. “I believe you’re right, Lieutenant, the body language is quite easy to read. That one over there “ she pointed at the crewmen. “knows nothing, probably some sort of security personnel. This one “ she pointed at the Lieutenant “ was telling the truth when he was talking to the Captain, he is just following orders and is more than likely here to make sure that the other one does his job. He has the rank which makes him the leader of the group but the true leader is the ensign. I would bet he is a science officer, he doesn’t have the look of a medical officer.”

The Lieutenant looks between the three of them and then looks directly at the Captain. “ You would dare bring a telepath here, to read our minds. You shall pay for this and I hope I am the one that gets the honor of throwing you into a cell.”