Part of USS Jaxartes: Deep Six

Part 10: Crimson Tide

Unknown
15th February 2401 00:30
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Lyambo and Torf had spent serval hours trying to get the USS Jaxartes systems back up and running; whilst under the watchful eye of three Orion guards.  Both had thought on numerous occasions the one they had come to know as Hasray would carry out his threat and kill them.  But instead he’d let the carry on with their work fairly unhindered.  He did however seem to have a greater understanding of Federation technology and Warp Engines than had first appeared when the Orion’s had arrived.  In fact Dinari felt that Hasray could probably run engineering without them.  Which was a very disturbing thing; how would an Orion have learned so much?

There are times when everything just clicks into place and everything works as expected.  This wasn’t one of them. Nevertheless without any warning or hint of success the power came back on throughout the entire ship.  There wasn’t any need for the Orion to contact the bridge as they figured out within seconds what was going on.

Once more they heard the voice of a female over the com, but where not close enough to hear the exchange.  When Hasray was finished he turned to the other Orion male in the room.  “Take these pair to join the rest of the crew.”

The Orion male along with the female; escorted the two crewmen out of engineering, past the room containing the computer core and past the transporter room; before going up one level in the turbo lift. There they continued past some of the crew quarters and approached two other Orion’s guarding the entrance to the rear lounge.  The doors opened and both men where unceremoniously shoved inside.  Then it closed and the seal was re-engaged from the outside.

_____

Meanwhile Hasray had headed for the bridge having transferred all control from engineering to one of the work stations there.  He passed Harris also being taken to be locked away with the other crew members.

Entering the bridge he found Navaar in the captain’s chair and Korda standing alongside her with one other Orion now at the helm.  He checked that all engineering systems where correctly linked up to the work station on the bridge then joined his boss and stood on her other side.

On the view screen in front; another Federation vessel was approaching at half impulse having just dropped out of warp.  She was a Norway class light cruiser; at a little over three times the overall size of the Raven class corvette; it was still relatively small vessel as star ships go, but was capable of handling itself if the need arose.  It was the sort of Federation ship that would go hardly noticed though; they could be found almost anywhere doing a variety of simple tasks that didn’t warrant the use of something much larger.

She carried the name USS Crimson Tide; not the name she’d been commissioned with, nor the name she’d carried a few months ago, it probably wouldn’t be the last one she carried either.  But that’s why the Orion was so fond of this ship and its ability to just blend in and disappear.

Navaar turned to face Hasray. “I’m heading over to my ship. I still have business that needs attending to.” She paused a moment. “I want you to take this ship back to where they left their captain and pick him up.”

“Which is?” He asked.

“Y’Tec V.  Co-ordinates are locked in.  Try not to kill him or those he’s with.  But if they create any trouble, use what force you deem necessary. Understand?”

“Crystal”

She moved her fingers across the communication controls on her chair. Establishing a link with the newly arrived ship; before fishing around in a small purse attached to her belt. Retrieving two Federation com-badges; she passed one to korda. “Navaar to the Tide. Two to beam over.”

_____

Within a few seconds the two Orion’s disappeared and rematerialized on the transporter pad aboard the Crimson Tide.  They were greeted by a short bald Orion dressed in what appeared to be Starfleet issue blue technician coveralls, with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows.  A much taller and more muscular Orion stood guard by the door.  Wearing more typical clothing he held a heavy disrupter rifle across his chest the strap across one shoulder.

The two of them made their way to the nearest turbo lift and headed straight for the bridge.  As they entered from the starboard side; a number of Orion’s both male and female sat at various controls located towards the front and rear of the roughly circular area.  In the centre the captain’s chair was occupied by a human male.

“Ah, Commander Armitage.” Navaar called across the gap as she closed the distance. “How is my ship?”

The commander or more technically ex-commander; having been relieved of his post and kicked out of Starfleet for attempting to fire upon an area containing civilians being used as a human shield. Stood up and turned to his current boss. “Everything is ready for you, ma’am” In his mid-fifties now with slight signs of grey creeping into his dark brown hair around the ears; he still wore his red Starfleet uniform.  Navaar was more than happy to allow him to continue doing so.  I mean what could be more reassuring for any passing freighter than to see the face of a human sitting in the captain’s chair of a star-ship when making contact.

However he wasn’t the only human currently on the bridge.  Another man stood to the rear going over some information of a PADD with a young female Orion.  As she turned to input a sequence of commands at the workstation next to them, the man turned to face the two new arrivals.  For a dead man he looked in remarkably good shape.

“Engines in order Mr Bellbrooke?” Navaar enquired.

“Just give the word and we can jump to warp.”

“Enjoying being dead, Mr Bellbrooke?”

“You had me totally going there for a moment. I really thought you’d changed your mind, and planned to do away with me! I mean I acquired that weapon for you and was well aware of what it was capable of”

“The thought was there, but your to useful an asset right now.  Plus transporting you out and replacing you with a hideous blob right under their noses was so much fun” She laughted.  “That and acting like I had no idea who you were or where the Vulcan was.”

Korda turned to her briefly after that last comment and felt justified in believing there had been no point in conducting the second search after all, but decided against saying any more on the matter. The Orion leader noticed this. “When the power went I had to be doubly sure.”

For the human engineer his world had been shattered almost 16 years ago when the Synthetics had attacked the Utopia Planitia Ship Yards where he worked at the time.  In a spinning and damaged shuttle craft he’d watched the devastation unfold before his eyes.  Countless thousands including every member of the 56 strong team of engineers and maintenance works under him either died in orbit or down on the planet below.  Most of them lost their families to, including his wife and two sons.

A broken man he’d spiralled downhill and out of control for several years; until debit ridden he’d fallen into the clutches of an Orion syndicate know simple as ‘The Cloud’ under the leadership of one Navaar Orci.  She’d offered to clear his debits for a price.  But even she could never have realised how easy it had been to manipulate him.  It was hard to fathom were the effects of her carefully tailored drugs and brain washing ended and his own twisted hatred began.  The perfect tool that didn’t even realise he was being used, Bellbrooke acted on his own free will; coming up with ideas even his new master had never contemplated.

This very ship was all his doing.  Refitted by a team of engineers under his supervision; having re-joined Starfleet four years previously.  This vessel was supposedly sitting at a secret fleet storage yard having been ‘mothballed’; waiting recommissioning should it ever be required.  Instead she was picking up all current Starfleet security information and general comms chatter like any other vessel in service.  Allowing Navaar to direct her Raiders towards any vulnerable target.  The Jaxartes should have joined her in that role had not a certain Vulcan stumbled in the way requesting a ship and crew; preventing Bellbrooke for making it disappear to.

So to had been the fitting out of two sets of fully functioning Federation transporters on board the freighter Soufrière; allowing the Orion’s to beam aboard the Corvette and take swift control of it; and where Bellbrooke had been beamed off the bridge prior to transferring to the Tide.  That task had took over a month, by removing various parts from different ships that didn’t really require replacement then sending them on to Hasray and his team to assemble.

The two Federation vessels now under Orion control turned away from each other and warped away.  The USS Crimson Tide heading for an as yet undisclosed location and the USS Jaxartes returning to Y’Tec V at a slower speed that she’d arrived; Hasray was in no real hurry to track down the ships now former captain.