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Part of USS Hathaway: Episode 10: Blood Dilithium Part II (A Price Paid in Blood) and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

CH13: Making Moves

Stardate 240011.22, 2045 Hours
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Being cooped up in a prison cell was far from what Devore Inspector Kravik had expected to be doing with his time just twenty-four hours earlier. How times had changed. Instead of enjoying the creature comforts of the Starfleet vessel he had assumed control of, he was now pacing what room he had in the prison cell he shared with six other soldiers. He was more than a little perturbed at the sounding of intruder alert, with the prisoners last being told that the Hirogen were circling nearby. Had they found the Ulysses? Perhaps they had been the reason for the power outage that had deactivated the brig forcefields. Only the three, heavily armed security officers on standby in the room had prevented the soldiers from attempting any form of escape.

Perhaps the Hirogen were finally on the hunt? What would that mean for him and his men, locked up in these cells and easy to find? As the doors to the room parted, he half expected to find out. But alas, the only figure to enter was that of the woman he had shared a proverbial dance with over the last week or so.

“Captain! We meet again,” the Inspector grinned, stepping up to the forcefield to greet the woman. Something was different about her now, something that one did not need to be a telepath to ascertain. “You’re looking stressed. How can we help?” he smiled mockingly.

“You can start by telling me what you know about this Maevis character,” Tharia suggested, standing almost nose to nose with the balding man, a look of disdain on her dishevelled face.

Kravik scoffed and waved his hand at her derisively. “I know nothing of who you speak,” the Inspector retorted.

“Funny,” the Andorian countered, not so much as a hint of humour in her voice, “but we picked her up from your facility, and now she is out there, attacking anyone she comes in contact with… including the people currently keeping you and your men safe,” the Andorian revealed, causing the Inspector to stop in his tracks.

“I’d wager that she’s pretty unhappy at being kept captive by you, and your men. It’s probably why she is lashing out now,” the woman shrugged. “Maybe if you tell me what you know, I’ll think twice about sharing your location with her…”

Kravik spun on his heels and looked at the blue-skinned woman. Gone was the jovial, cocky tone, the cheery disposition and fake smile. In its place, one of great concern. “If you want to survive, Captain, the last thing you want is for her to find us…”

Those were not words she expected to hear from Kravik, nor were they ones that filled her with great joy or gave her any hope in finding the woman. “Tell me what you know, and I’ll do what I can to keep you, and your people, safe,” she promised, rather sincerely too.

“If she finds us, it will be too late for everyone,” Kravik whispered, stepping to the forcefield, so close in fact that his breath caused the field to sizzle. “Don’t let her fool you, Captain. Maevis is not what she seems…”

Emerging onto the bridge from the aft turbo lift, Tharia was accompanied by every member of the senior staff that remained in action. Whilst the majority made their way to the StratOps suite, the Captain stopped at the tactical Arch and called for Henry to join the senior staff, leaving the bridge (albeit temporarily) under the watch of Ensign Valesa.

“Seems like an age since we were all together,” Henry smiled as he skipped down the steps and joined the little huddle in the mission control room at the back of the bedroom.

“Update on the Hirogen?” Tharia requested, ignoring the young man’s quip and getting straight down to business.

“There can be no doubt that they know where we are, Captain,” the flyboy frowned, perching against the rail next to the steps. “They’re spread out, holding position and waiting for us to come to them,” he concluded.

“And that is exactly what we’re going to do,” Tharia responded, politely excusing herself as she squeezed between Akaria and Linn for a moment and began tapping on one of the control panels. “After talking with Kravik, I’ve determined we need to get out of this nebula, and as far from the blood dilithium asteroid as possible,” she turned, and looked at the staff with arms folded.

“What did he have to say?” Vasoch queried, looking at the screen, then the Captain. If she was willing to take the Ulysses into battle with six Hirogen vessels, then his words must have been good.

“From what Kravik told me, this Maevis character gains her strength from her proximity to blood dilithium,” the Andorian revealed, sensing the protests from her people but continuing anyway. “I’m convinced that we need to get out of this nebula and jettison the blood dilithium we have aboard if we want to stand any chance of apprehending this woman before anyone else is attacked,” she concluded, looking at her team to see who would be brave enough to step up and question her first. She was not let down.

“Are you sure you can trust Kravik, Captain?” Lieutenant Prida asked, looking sheepish as she queried her commanding officer’s decision.

“Normally, I’d say no,” Tharia responded, “but you don’t need to be a telepath to sense the fear Kravik had at the thought of this woman being loose on the ship, and potentially coming for him.”

“So we use the Devore as bait?” Vasoch asked now, hands on his hips as he looked at the Andorian.

“We use the Devore as part of a trap to apprehend Maevis,” the Captain revealed. “I’ve already stationed additional security in the brig. They have been authorised to use deadly force if necessary to capture this woman,” she didn’t give the Tellarite chance to argue back before moving to her next question. “Prida; what is it looking like in engineering?”

Gesturing with a thumb over her left shoulder and towards the Master Systems Display, the Bajassian shrugged. “Everything’s fine. I can’t figure out what happened, but every system is functioning as if there had never been a problem. It’s most infuriating,” the grey-skinned engineer pouted.

“And what of your analysis of the blood dilithium, Akaria?”

“We’ve had to restart the analysis since the power outage,” the science officer reported, “but the analysis should be complete within the hour.”

“Then we’re not going to get a complete analysis,” the Captain shook her head, “once we leave here, we put my plan into motion. I want the blood dilithium beamed off the ship at the earliest convenience and I want us out of this nebula. We fight our way through until we reach communications range and can call for reinforcements. Make the preparations.”

And with that, the discussion was apparently over, the Captain heading for the main bridge and resuming her seat at the heart of the command center. Whilst some of the team didn’t necessarily agree with her following the advice of the Devore Inspector, they knew better than to argue with her when her mind was made up. And no one seemed to have a better solution.

Although she hadn’t been mistress of her own ship for very long, she had got much better at dealing with the pressure that came with the job. Yes, she still sought advice and solace from her team, especially the XO, but she felt that made her a stronger leader, rather than a weaker one. Dealing with the weight of the galaxy being on her shoulders seemed to be common place of late, but these people made it so much easier. And even now, as she watched them reluctantly put her plan into motion, she knew that Ulysses was all the better for them. She cared for these people, and she needed to get them home safe.

A short while later, the dutiful Vasoch returned to the bridge and Tharia the nod that she had been waiting for. It was time to go. His plan was in place, he’d made sure his people knew their responsibilities and they were as ready as ever. Security continued to roam the hallowed halls of the Ulysses, and he opted to take on the duties of the tactical officer in the absence of the two most senior department officials.

“Okay Henry,” Tharia called out, bracing herself, “it’s time to get out of here.”

Dancing his fingers across the controls, the stern looking flyboy began his part in things. “Okay Princess,” he whispered while twirling his fingers across the controls, “lets dance.”

As responsive as ever, the behemoth belied her size limitations and spun on her y-axis, turning a near one hundred and eighty degrees before gaining speed and heading for the periphery of the nebula cloud. Under the strain if the toxic gases, the bulbous buzzard collectors glowered as bright as the impulse engines either side of saucer section. Ulysses was on her way once more.

Beyond the noxious gases, Hirogen vessels scuttled in their excitement, having used their sensors to detect the power surge of their massive prey. And it was now moving, slowly at first, but definitely moving in the direction of the growing wolf pack. Patience had paid off. Their prey was walking into their trap.

Or were they?


  • The hits keep coming from every angle! I appreciate they're out of options, but I don't know how wise it was to voluntarily engage the Hirogen while an amped-up telepath is still stalking the corridors, likely to strike at any moment. That said, Tharia fully made the right choice in dumping the blood dilithium. It's truly turned out to be far more dangerous than anyone bargained for, and if the Ulysses can drop one of its albatross' before facing the Hirogen, let it be that one. I can't wait for Inspector Kravik to get his comeuppance, that fastidious ferret!

    December 11, 2022