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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 1 – Measure by Measure and USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

DMBM 006 – Collision

USS Daedalus
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The Daedalus dropped from warp, and Ensign Athena announced the Syndicate ship was thirty seconds away.  Dread remained in her chair.  There was a sense of order from where she sat.  The bridge of the Daedalus had gone through a fresh refit, and it was small but expansive.  Her chair sat towards the back of the bridge and allowed her to see most of it.  The red alert Klaxon was subdued.  Helena leaned forward as the clock below the view screen clicked forward.

“15 seconds.”

Dread ordered, “Activate safety restraints.”  They clicked into place as the clock ticked and tocked until Athena confirmed the ship had entered the system and was headed their way.  Helena watched the ship as it veered towards them, “Atega, hail them.”  Atega went through the process of sending the signal to the ship.  It grew closer.  She shook her head. No response.  “Helm, prepare for evasive maneuvers.  Tactical – engage on my order.”  She was determined that she would play by the book in her first fight as Captain.

Atega broke her focus, “Captain, they’re responding.”  As her captain glanced at her, she returned the same confused look.  She wasn’t sure what was going on.

Dread raised both her eyebrows and then frowned.  “What are the hell are they up to?  Are we alone?”  Athena checked the short and long-range sensors and confirmed they were alone.  “Well, that’s new.  They want to talk; let’s talk.  Be ready to get fancy if they pull something cute.”  She sat straight in the chair and glared ahead, “On screen.”

The face of an Orion appeared, and he was glaring at the screen.  He huffed, “You are ordered to stand down, heave to, and prepare to be boarded for inspection of improper possession of data.”  He glanced at his right manicured hand, “You are so ordered.”

Helena’s frown deepened as her annoyance skyrocketed like a mad torpedo, “I’m sorry…allow me to introduce myself…I’m Captain Helena Dread of the Federation Starship Daedalus.  You are?”

He shrugged, “Doesn’t matter.  Do what you’re told, and we’ll do our best not to scratch the paint.”  He turned to his other hand, clicking his tongue in disappointment at their condition.

Dread turned to Atega, “Mute him.  Now.”  She stared at the indifferent Orion and asked the bridge, “What is happening?”  She was at a loss. The Rhode Island class starship wasn’t a lightweight; enough of them had punched around Syndicate ships, and they’d built a reputation.

Athena turned in her chair at the front of the bridge, “They don’t have a record of you, sir.”  As Dread raised her eyebrows, she explained, “They don’t know you as a captain.  They probably know that you just took command, and your history in command is spotty.  Syndicate captains are known for their arrogance and hubris.  Much of it is earned…but…this one seems more aloof than most.”

Next to her, Prentice turned to offer, “It’s almost as if he doesn’t care, sir.  As if you’re the least threatening thing…sir.  Not that that’s…”

Dread waved him off, “No need to dig yourself a hole to engineering, Prentice.”  His face reddened for the second time today as she looked at the bored face of her antagonist and chuckled, “You know…I wasn’t a fan of taking command of the Daedalus…but I’m coming around.  Maybe it’s time we all try her on for size.  Atega.”  The channel’s sound returned.

“You’ve had time to discuss my offer, Captain Dread.  Your response?”

She scowled, and she could see the Orion was confused at her response.  “My response is…I had a nickname back when I was a cadet.  You know what it was?”  Her anger was burning in her gut, eyes ablaze with a renewed fury.

Impatiently, he raised his hands, “Does it have anything to do with your surrender?”  She noticed he was starting to pay her a little more attention despite the act he was giving.

“It was Hell on Wheels.  Eventually, it got shortened to Hella.  With respect, your offer is refused.  Disrespectfully, go to hell.”  She watched his face, and his facade failed as he sputtered momentarily.

His eyes shined with a renewed rage, and he snarled his final line, “I’ll bring the hell to you, Captain.”

Dread ordered, “Evasive maneuvers!”