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Something Wicked This Way Comes…

Posted on Monday, 20 December 2021 - 10:35pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Commander Soral & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Petty Officer 1st Class Siana Ilian

Mission: Operation: Mirror of Madness
Location: USS Standing Bear

A quiet had settled on the Bridge of the Standing Bear as they continued on route to Vulcan. Of course there was much talk of what reception they may receive given recent events. Inquiries had not yielded any credible intel regarding Captain Stillwater, nor indeed had they managed to contact the ship’s First Officer. They were flying into a world of unknowns which was somewhat ironic given this was not some age old enemy of the Federation. Quite the opposite.

From Operations, Petty Officer Ilian glanced down as her console chirped, demanding attention and sparing the Trill from asking Lieutenant Kingsley to sit down. The science officer and acting XO had barely sat still for five minutes. “Lieutenant, we are picking up a ship on an intercept course….it appears to be a Vulcan shuttle.” She glanced to her right as an another audio alert sounded, “they are hailing us.”

“Inform the Captain and then, please, put it through,” Lieutenant Kingsley ordered after a check on her own sensor readings to confirm the data. Stepping forward she moved to stand in the centre of the bridge. She found herself holding her breath for no good reason, smiling as a familiar face appeared. “Soral.”

Soral inclined his head a small hint of a smile. "Hello Lexi." He hit a few buttons and the camera widened. "I, and the monks of Shariel seek permission to come aboard. There is much to discuss." He looked at the console. "We are about thirty minutes away."

Understatement of the century… “Of course, we will hold position here,” Alex confirmed with a nod towards the ensign at the helm. “Do I need to alert medical?”

He didn’t appear injured and through the bond she sensed nothing to suggest he was injured but still.

He looked somewhat surprised. "I do not think so, nobody aboard the shuttle is injured to my knowledge but if it is required then it is logical that we consent."

“No need, I was just worried,” Alex said with a relieved smile. As she heard the turbolift doors open behind her, she glanced over her shoulder as the CO arrived. “Captain, Commander Soral. Soral, this is our new CO, Captain Whitley.”

"Indeed. Captain" He inclined his head.

"You look...alive and well, Commander," Pippa replied as they headed to the Captain's chair. Pippa was looking at the Vulcanoid on the viewer, trying to look for any signs of deception. "Have you seen Captain Stillwater? We believe he has had a head start to Vulcan looking for you."

"Indeed during the Monastery incident. He seemed most cross and slightly manic. Perhaps a medical evaluation is warranted. Even now I believe he is in pursuit of me. It appears that speaking ones mind freely is not something he supports."

Pippa stood near their Captain's chair, glancing at the Chief Tactical Officer, a silent exchange of a quick message. The Captain wanted the Caitian to increase security personnel in key areas. Pippa had hoped Lieutenant K'Var had understood the nonverbal command.

K'Var gave a slight nod and blinked a few times before she sent the order out to increase security in those key areas and to have security on the ready. She wasn't privy to everything that had gone on, but it appeared security may well be needed.

Soral studied the bridge crew making mental notes. "Captain, permission for me and my monk contingent to come aboard. We will of course submit to any medical testing that is required. Also I would like to extend ... my sympathies to you and your crew on your loss."

"Thank you," Pippa replied. "We became aware of the monastery incident rather recently. I suspect that you are correct, that Stillwater is in pursuit of you, Commander. I believe the safest place for you would be aboard the Standing Bear, but if as you suspect something may have compromised Captain Stillwater, I'd like the monks and yourself to undergo a medical evaluation as well. In case it is something the transporters can filter and is transmissible."

Soral gave a nod. "Of course, we consent to exams it is logical that you protect your crew."

Your crew the word choice of the Vulcan was sharply felt by Pippa. The Captain seized the moment. "Our crew," Pippa corrected the man who was supposed yo be their First Officer. "Unless you are intending on resigning your commission, Commander?"

Soral's lip twitched. "That is up to Starfleet, some may feel like Stillwater. But, yes..our crew." He studied Pippa. "You are every bit as magnificent as your record. I look forward to meeting with you."

“Captain the shuttle bay is clear, if needed,” Ilian interjected.

“Once everyone is aboard we can resume course for Vulcan,” Alex added.

Soral's eyes landed on Alex. Was that Lexi's jealousy coming through? "Lieutenant Kingsley I would appreciate a personal greeting, if allowed." His gaze fell on Pippa.

"You and I have things to discuss, Commander," commented Captain Whitley perhaps a bit protective of Kingsley. "The Lieutenant and I will meet you in the shuttlebay." Pippa was not about to leave Kingsley alone with the man who had made some questionable decisions.

"Of course, understandable. I and my brothers here shall see you both shortly." He disconnected the coms.

As the communications link ended, Alex glanced across at Ilian, "how long until they reach us?"

"Just a few minutes," the Trill replied.

Alex nodded, glancing at Whitley. The woman hadn't exactly shot down Soral's request for his wife to greet him, but her tone held an undercurrent the science officer didn't really understand. Not yet anyway. "Shall we head to the shuttlebay, Captain?" she asked, even as she stepped towards the turbolift. "I can have Dr Rose meet us there if you wish?"

Pippa nodded in agreement as the Captain made their way to the Operations and Helm stations, reaching underneath them. At the Ops station she yanked out a type-II phaser holstered underneath the console, tossing it to Kingsley. "I don't want to take any unnecessary risks." Pippa then retrieved a second phaser from the helm station and took that one for themself, holstering it.

Alex caught the phaser - just - and studied it for a moment. "If there is any risk that you think will mean me shooting my husband, perhaps we need to talk privately," she suggested, clearly uncomfortable at the idea. Behind her the turbolift doors opened and before they could close she reached back and held it open. "Petty Officer Ilian, can you ask Dr Rose to join us in the shuttlebay?"

"Turbolift conversation," Pippa replied. Yes, it was true, they probably needed a few minutes at least to address concerns.

"Turbolift conversation," Alex agreed, holstering her newly acquired phaser and leading the way inside. She had zero wish to fire said weapon but she would hear the captain out - she was, after all, the captain. She was far more concerned with making sure Soral was, indeed, uninjured.


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