With Bated Breath
Posted on Monday, 7 March 2022 - 2:54pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Commander Soral & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant JG Ethan Connelly
Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Bridge
There it was. What Captain Whitley had been searching for, but their missing shuttle it was not. A larger starship, one that other from this mirror universe must have retreated to. Pippa may have been able to track them down, but it was the USS Standing Bear versus this starship with some many x factors to it that Pippa could not be entirely nor even significantly prepared for. The Captain did not waste any time. The Federation and Starfleet were typically crystal clear on these matters. Do not shoot first Whitley reminded to themself though the Commanding Officer was sufficiently upset about the situation. They could not let emotions get the better of them. The starship was already at red alert, shields were up and weapons were at the ready.
Diplomacy first but Pippa was ready to get aggressive with their negotiations. Sure, there was that general rule of not firing first, but Pippa wanted to send a very clear and strongly expressed message. "Lieutenant K'Var, half volley of torpedoes at a safe distance across their bow, fire at your will and detonate once distance is desireable."
"Yes sir" K'Var loaded the requested torpedoes and did as ordered. It didn't take long for the armament to reach their destination.
Pippa watched on screen at the explosive volley was fired, reaching their target as a determent and wake up call. Perhaps, the Captain's aggressive 'hello' would incite a response from this Soral, because Pippa suspected attempts to hail them would go ignored.
"Captain," Adrianna spoke up, "perhaps we attempt a less aggressive move next, like hailing them just so it looks better in the report when we inevitably blow the ship for starting a war."
Pippa smiled. Good the Captain thought. "Lieutenant, normally, I would agree with you and diplomacy is the Federation route, but where we are...the rule book we hold true is tossed out. I'll take a more diplomatic action when we are not dealing with who we are."
T’Lanna looked towards Pippa. “Captain, with your permission I’d like to try something?”
Pippa nodded. "Proceed at your discretion."
“Thank you” She turned to face the viewscreen. “Open hailing frequencies...” She waited for an acknowledgement. “This is Lieutenant T’Lanna Vali, I need to talk to Soral. We talked while you were here, you had me convinced you were our Soral. You tried to convince me to come with you, I’m here now so... talk to me.”
From the science station, Lieutenant Connelly kept a watchful eye on the other ship. Both for any sign of aggression but for ... well, anything. Glancing up at the viewer he wondered which approach would win out, suspecting the captain was probably right and a gentle hand was going to be slapped aside. His gaze paused on the viewscreen where the focus of their attention dominated the screen. A different universe perhaps, yet it was distinctive in its design and undoubtedly hailed from Vulcan.
But by no means did that mean it wasn't a threat. In face, from the weaponry on board, it was quite formidable. Perhaps Vulcan's here were quite different from the people he had come to know during childhood summers with his grandmother.
There was a long silence followed by a short static on screen and then a familiar face appeared. Soral sat back. "If you are here to try and take Alexandra back that will not happen." He was to the point. He studied Vali. "As for why you were to come with me I could use the nano technology in your blood."
T’Lanna offered a nod of her head. “I had a feeling you were interested in more than just me.” She offered a smile. “Can I propose a trade? I'll allow you access to my nano technology in return for being allowed time with Alexandra? No tricks, we need her help to save our Soral.”
That is your play thought the Captain. It was brazen, but not exactly something that the half-Efrosian would have placed on the table. No tricks...damn the Captain sighed. It would have been a good move to have a trick or two. The Captain cleared their throat and took a stance. "Soral," the Captain said addressing the man. "This is Captain Penelope Whitley, blood descendant of the ghoratreii tribe of Delta Efros, great granddaughter of Federation President Ra-ghoratreii, Commanding Officer of the Federation Starship Standing Bear and I implore you to consider my Acting First Officer's offer for I will not be as forgiving if my Soral dies, and holding my Chief Science Officer is a sure fire way to piss me the hell off. Now, let's negotiate before another volley of torpedoes are launched."
Soral raised an amused eyebrow. "I know who you are...at least in this verse. I would venture to guess you are impressive in both verses...perhaps slightly more fun, as you say, here. As for your Soral, he is of no concern of mine. Alexandra is not being held she is my wife, she is no longer Alexandra but Lexi." He rubbed his chin. "However. I may consider Vali's words. With some conditions, of course."
"State your conditions or enjoy a quick death," Pippa replied swiftly. "The choice is yours" the Captain added.
A small smile played on his lips. He motioned behind him and two ships uncloaked behind the Bear. "I think it an empty threat but let it not be said that I am not an honourable man. To assure you I will let your Hamura draw the nano tech from Vali." He looked at Vali. "You and Hamura can bring them to see Alex. If she does not wish to go with you then you will leave. If she wishes to go with you...then I have more ships then you."
The ship that decloaked behind the Standing Bear looked vaguely Federation, menacing, and somewhat larger that the Standing Bear. "We will consider it, and get back to you."
"Take your time." He motioned and then the coms went down.
Pippa wasted no time once the communications signal was cut and they could not be heard from those outside of the crew. "T'Lanna, are you serious about this?" the Captain asked with concern. "I was not thinking about offering that to him."
T’Lanna nodded. “I have enough nano tech to spare Soral some, I knew he was interested in me for a reason. At least now we know why, anyway it’s our only way to get to speak with Alex. I won’t let our Soral die.”
"I'm not looking to allow Commander Soral to die either, and I want Lieutenant Kingsley back safely. My concern is what exactly he plans to do with your nano technology. It could be weaponized and if so? against whom?"
“There are ways to prevent that” T’Lanna smiled. “Just because we’re handing over live technology it doesn’t mean it’ll remain live. It can be programmed to shut down, or become useless after a short period of time. Enough time to get what we want.”
"No tricks," replied Pippa with a smirk. "There's something about Vulcans not being able to lie. Didn't inherit that trait?"
T’Lanna grinned. “I’m only half Vulcan, that makes up the difference. Plus the fact I’m not stupid, besides to do any major harm he’d need a considerable amount of tech more than I can provide whilst remaining alive.”
Pippa nodded. "That may all be true, but we do not know the technology at the disposal of these people, not here. This universe is certainly different. That starship that just decloaked looks vaguely Federation in design."
T’Lanna nodded. “You do have a point. Question is what are they so afraid of? I don’t particularly think it’s us.”
The Captain shot a look at Eberhardt. "Hold present course, and see what you can get me on our new...friend" Pippa said referring to the starship. "Light scans. I don't want to risk escalating the situation."
"They obviously know something we don't," Adrianna replied, "or its a bluff." Regardless, she did as told, interpreting the readings carefully.
=/\= Soral's Ship=/\=
Hamura approached Soral taking the seat to his right. "Can we trust them?"
Soral grinned. "No. We have our source on their ship and they have been most helpful. They will help here. We get Vali and Hamura here. Separate them. You will be their Hamura, going back to the ship. Tie up some loose ends and unfold the plan we talked about. They will not take Lexi. Once I am healthy Lexi will take over Alexandra's mind and she will be my Lexi gain."
Hamura gave a nod. "What about Mackenzie?"
"You will deal with that too. Ensure that their Soral...does not get better."
Hamura gave a nod. "I'll start preparing."
Soral gave a nod and watched Hamura go. He turned to his communications officer. "Oriana hail them. I'll let you talk to them since you are one of my Key advisors."
Oriana gave a nod. She stood straightening her leather corset top and running her fingers through her deep forest green hair. She wondered if she'd get a glimpse of herself on that ship. She took a seat to Soral's left and tapped her console keeping the camera angle just on her.
"Standing Bear, Activate your View Screen."
T’Lanna looked across to Ops and nodded. “Put them onscreen.”
The image shimmered and then settled on a familiar face. The mirror version of Oriana but here she had hunter green hair and intense violet eyes. Her deep purple lips smiled. "Well, aren't you all a fascinating bunch." She looked over at Soral. "Your time is up, do you agree to our terms?"
T’Lanna looked towards Pippa, it was her decision as to whether the plan they had proceeded or not.
"With hesitation and caution," Pippa replied. "However, it does not appear as we have much choice in the matter. We agree to your terms."
The mirror Oriana smiled. "Very well we give you one hour to get the nanos and prepare Hamura and Vali to join us."
It was Soral who chimed in. "I will guarantee the safety of your people. A pirate's word."
T'Lanna nodded. "I'll get prepared and see you in an hour."
Pirates word Pippa shook their head. About as good as a Klingon peace keeper thought Pippa.