Posted on Saturday, 26 March 2022 - 12:46pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Commander Soral & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt
Mission: Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
As the business transaction over T'Lanna's nanotechnology was underway, Captain Whitley impatiently waited aboard the USS Standing Bear having second and even third thoughts about their decision. Did I make the right call they contemplated, and what if T'Lanna's clever trickery did not go as planned. If this universe's Soral had discovered the tampering, Pippa had just given him more of their own people to hold as hostages. This was anything but ideal, and it was only about much worse.
Suddenly, the cold silence was sliced through with the bridge abuzz with life, alerts left and right. "What's going on? Have they powered their weapons?" the Captain asked immediately as Pippa jumped to their feet but Soral's ship did not seem to have changed its status until they too must have detected what the Standing Bear's advanced sensors had. A threat was coming, and coming fast.
Adrianna read and reread what she was seeing. She allowed herself to cuss in her native tongue, "captain, Borg."
"Excuse me?" Pippa replied as though the Captain did not hear the woman clearly. Back home in their own universe, there was the artifact, and ex drones like T'Lanna or the previous Captain's husband. There were no actual Borg sightings in sometime, they were put to rest. Clearly, that was not the case here. "Lieutenant K'Var, red alert!"
"Red Alert" K'Var repeated and the signal to stand ready for the worst possible conditions rang throughout the ship. Weapons and shields were online now and the Caitian awaited her next orders.
"Someone get me Soral...that Soral," Pippa said shaking their head. Nobody thought to forewarn us about Borg Captain Whitley thought as they grew on edge, knowing Borg vessels, who knew how many were closing in on them all.
Before the coms officer spoke the screen shifted. A rather disturbed Soral came to light with Hamura, a mirror image of the one aboard, sat to his right and Oriana to his left. "Unexpected and unwelcome. Keep your shields up and on modulation Captain!" He looked over to his tactical where the mirror Mac stood. "Try to extend our secondary shield around their ship." He turned back to Pippa. "It appears that we shall have to work together."
"I take these Borg are not allied with you then?" Pippa replied with a bit of glaring distaste for having to work together. "We are not exactly well equipped for handling the Borg. They no longer are a common threat where I am from" Pippa quickly explained. It became apparent that these people were more used to dealing with the Borg as the starship that he decloaked was engaging with a Cube.
"I am aware of that. I have spent some time in your verse." Soral sighed. "Whitley take your ship behind the one to your right. They will ensure you and your crew are out of the fray." He sighed. "Captains prepare for the Borg. Engage and destroy." He then looked at Pippa. "Let us handle the Borg...If you will drop your shields for a moment I will transport Alexandra to your ship. I do not wish her harmed."
Even the other Soral seemed to be a martyr, Adrianna thought to herself. She looked at the captain, "captain, we'll barely have seconds. The Borg will see the weakness."
Pippa nodded at Adrianna knowing it was a risk. Though by Borg logic, the Standing Bear was certainly less of threat. "Lower your own damn shields Soral. You have Alexandra and other members of my crew aboard tour vessel. If you want to keep Alex safe, lower your shields. We will take them all...I'm not about to let you get destroyed with my people along with you."
"We'll have to lower at the same time and I prefer to transport Captain. You have seconds to decide. Yield to logic."
"I want all my people, not just Kingsley," Pippa replied swiftly. "Give us a moment," added Captain Whitley.
Soral studied her. Something in his gut told him to not trust Whitley.
The Captain made a motion to completely mute the communications channel. "If they drop their shields, can we target the source of their shielding and get a quick shot off?" Whitley wanted their crew back, but was not about to trust this Soral to save them all from the Borg.
Adrianna turned around, "yes, but surely we should leave him for Borg chum?"
"Of course Captain" K'Var reported back to the Captains question. Wondering what the plan was, the Lieutenant awaited the next order.
It was a strange situation to be in. As a Starfleet Officer, as someone who served the Federation, Pippa was supposed to uphold a high ethical standard. Morality said not to cross this Soral and to potentially do as he stated, but what mattered to Pippa was their crew and their safety. Captain Whitley contemplated the options. Trust them to protect the Standing Bear from the Borg? Unlikely; however, leaving Soral to be Borg chum was not going to be something Pippa could live with.
"Position us closer to their starship," ordered Pippa. "Lower our shields when we are within transporter range, but be ready to go to warp immediately after. I do not plan of staying here and hoping they can defeat the Borg."
Adrianna sighed internally but nodded, relaying the order to herself. "Yes, captain," she got to work.
"I know," Pippa replied. It did not tame an empath to sense the anxiety around the bridge crew, and the wincing at Pippa's command. "Whatever happens is on me, but I know this crew will find a way to salvage any mistakes that I may make now or in the future. For the time being, let's see this through."
With the comm channel open and the Standing Bear now In place, Pippa acted swiftly. "Soral, transport Kingsley and the others. We are standing by."
It would seem as though Pippa had managed to make a reasonable case as the Captain was quickly notified that all crew were aboard and counted for. He held up his end thought the Captain. They could have taken the shot, but the Borg arrived and made the decision for the Stabding Bear. A holding beam had grabbed onto Soral's vessel.
"Target that Borg cube!" exclaimed the Captain. "Brrak their hold...Fire at will," added Captain Whitley. Once the holding beam had lost its grip, Whitkey knew it was time to run.
The Captain took their seat. "Get us out of here, maximum warp!" They had wanted to avoid getting involved in whatever conflict was going on in this universe, but Whitley owed Soral the opportunity to fight for his survival. The Standing Bear had to do the same which meant not sticking around.