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Part of USS Mariner: M1: Into The Gamma Quadrant and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

9) The Long Wait Starts

USS Mariner - Bridge
March 2401
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Sitting in the captain’s chair, Sazra held her right hand against her template, rubbing it slowly. Sleep has not been well for her the last few days. The morale took a heavy beating since she announced to change in the direction towards the Dominion borders. Crewmen were talking among themselves making one crazy rumor after another, and some even had the balls to complain right in her face about this choice. Sure she understood that everyone was holding a bag of emotions in their bag, a bag of family or friends lost to the Dominion, heck she lost her own father to them. 

But the weight of the secrets weight heavy on her shoulders and she noticed it had gained weight on Silina and Adrian also. Her eyes looked at her side to Palema who remained rather calm under the given situation. Is it some Romulan trick to get herself through this or does she not care? Sazra noticed a look back from Palema that broke her focus from her.

“Everything okay Captain?” Palema said looking at Sazra.

“Totally fine, helm ETA?” Sazra tried to change the subject. She had no lust for any of that kind of discussion.

“I just wanted to reporrrt to you Captain that we are arriving at the Dominion borderrs”  K’Nala looked over her shoulder to Sazra, who gave the nod to her.

The tension grew immensely with the mention of the word Dominion, it was treated like a forbidden word that was said out loud and now would curse them for their lives. A bad jynx or just bad luck? Rami narrowed his eyes and looked at the console “Activating yellow alert”  

“No” Sazra spoke simply to the statement of her Chief Security Officer.

Everyone looked at the Captain with some shock “Captain with all respect, we are entering the Dominion borders,  we should be able to defend ourselves?” Rami defended his point of view to make his Captain see reason with the foolish negelicting declining of his action. 

Taking a deep breath as Sazra looked at Rami “I said no”  She raised a finger. “One, we are not nor shall we ever enter their space. We shall not go further than the borders” Another finger raised. “Two, we have no reason to be hostile towards them. We have a treaty that dictates that we shall not do that” Final finger goes up “Three, we are the one that are approaching the Dominion borders. If anyone should be suspicion about our arrival it is them to us” 

“With other words Lieutenant, no shields or weapons. It will break our chances from the start”  Silina filled in the gaps. 

Shaking his head and slams his hand on the console. “Why would we be even here? We know the Dominion are at our doorstep, and now we are at theirs? That doesn’t make any sense. We should be prepared for a potential attack, keep in mind this ship is not fit for battle” Rami kept pushing his luck in pushing his protest against this foolish idea.

Before anyone could reply “Captain, dropping out of warp” K’Nala announced as the ship dropped out of warp near the borders. The borders were a direct line from point to point with beacons across part of space indicating the borders. But Mariner was met with the purple reflections of a large beetle-like structure. The other structure was a mix of dark and light purple lights. The firm body of the structure made it impressive to watch as every engineer would know. That shit is really tough. 

The bridge crew gazed at the screen. “Sir that base is packed with weapons that could blow us away without breaking a sweat” Keeyiro looked at the readings “I got to agree with the Lieutenant. Better be sure and not and raise that shield” 

“And give them a reason to make us fail, the answer remains no” Sazra said, even though she was impressed by the mere sight of the display that the Dominion had placed right in front of her. “Lieutenant Palema, you better get ready for what is to come. Fourth Fleet depends on your skills more than ever”  

The young Ferengi Ensign looked up from her console. “Captain we got an incoming hail request from the outpost” in mere seconds a few battleships jumped out of warp, but they didn’t cross the borders. They hover there in standby.

“See, they want to blow us up already” Rami was growling at the mere idea of being defenseless. 

“Lieutenant Shew, are you going to be a problem on this bridge while we talk with the Dominion? If so please leave the bridge and instruct Lieutenant Miki to replace your duty shift” Silina had enough of this behavior and was not going to let him do his thing simply.

Rami threw a cold glare in the direction of Silina and replied “No sir, I won’t be a problem” 

“Ensign Asipa, on-screen” Sazra orders as the screen changes and a Jem’Hadar face appears on it. “Good day, Captain Sazra Kobahl of the USS Mariner. I have come here with a certain request of your people that is urgently needed” She looked at her side to Palema and then back taking a deep breath. “I know very well the agreement we have made in the treaty. But this request both our people” 

The Dominion took a moment to take in what he saw and listen to a soldier at his side whispering in his ear then looked back at Sazra. “I am First Girad’Mex, Commanding Officer of this outpost and in service of the Dominion. We didn’t expect any Federation ships to be present in the Gamma Quadrant, let alone be at our borders.” 

His posture was formal and yet with a military glare. A man with gained respect. “I see you have no ill intention and come with open arms to ask your request” He referred to the shields and weapons that his fellow officers caught being down. “Ask what you wish, and we shall deem it a priority” 

Taking a deep breath as Palema took over from her Captain “Honored warrior of the Dominion, we are praised for your presence in your duty to protect your space. But as Captain Kobahl stated, we come in dire need of your help. Recently an anomaly has happened and a large armada of your people what was deemed lost came back. They still believed that the Dominion was at war with the Federation and was wreaking havoc in the Alpha Quadrant. We request therefore aid from the Dominion to help us let them realize that the war is over” 

The First narrowed his eyes “I will put your request to our gods. They shall deem it if it’s worthy or not. Wait for their answer or go home” He spoke.

Palema gave a nod “Victory is life” 

Before the First wanted to cut the signal, he gave the Romulan another stare “Victory is life” With that the communication signal cuts off. 

“That went better than we thought…” Sazra shrugs and nods to Palema. “Good work Lieutenant, but your work is not yet done” Giving a glimpse over her shoulder in Rami direction and then over to Keeyiro “Commander to arrange a senior staff meeting. Asipa let me know if they ….respond” Sazra spoke standing up “This will be the long wait” 

Comments

  • I love the push and pull on the bridge - the CO knows the moves needed to keep from being blown up while her crew skittishly stares down the original Dominion. I love how there is some respect, give and take, between the Federation and Dominion in this scene - it reminds me a bit of BSG - when the humans would show up at the treaty station waiting until one day...they returned. There's a similar feeling here, but now we have to wait to see how the response will come...very interested to see how both the CO and the crew react to it!

    May 20, 2023
  • The tension in this post was palpable and believable. You could feel the doubts and nerves of the crew, yet also the resolve of the command staff. This is honestly such a more respectful portrayal of how one would expect the Federation to approach a new (or in this case, not contacted in decades) power, as opposed to how they did it in the seventies. Love it!

    May 21, 2023
  • Unknown Author

    While it violates all military decorum for an officer to openly question his commanding officer I like how the CO shut it down. It was a totally believable exchange. I can see this being an issue moving forward.

    May 23, 2023
  • As a reader, I was highly entertained by Sazra's ice-cold delivery of "no" followed by her essay on all at the reasons why. But, damn, captain, the crew is already suspicious of their vague orders to visit Dominion space -- you're not helping the situation by being stone-faced about it or threatening to throw department heads off the bridge! At the same time... we all know Starfleet comes in peace, so I guess the crew needs to get used to it. Even with that in mind, seeing them politely ask the Dominion for help was wiiiiiild. "Wait for their answer or go home” indeed!!

    May 28, 2023
  • Ohh high stakes! Sazra is like ice through this, shutting down arguments and ensuring the Mariner doesn’t get blown up before they start. You can feel the tensions in the crew barely constrained there. Can’t wait to see how this plays out!

    May 30, 2023
  • The cracks are beginning to show! I like the mention that even the lower ranks are breaking protocol, clearly no one is happy to be out here. It’s a nice choice to refer to the officer as simply “The Dominion”, reflecting the faceless aspect of a power that is enforced by its army of near identical warriors. Curious that the Vorta haven’t shown their face yet! An exciting start to what are no doubt delicate negotiations.

    May 31, 2023