|USF Personal Log|
by Captain T'Ashal & Enriov Rohnok
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Not About to Go Down Without a Fight
byHe stared at the view screen. The Scimitar warbird hung right in front of him, like an ominous predatory bird in front of a mouse. Of course they couldn't see him, but they had closed in on his location, which meant they had picked up something. He almost held his breath, though his heart beat was thundering in his chest louder and louder.
Captain T'Ashal and Admiral Rohnok
His mouth felt dry. He swallowed. What should his next move be? Slowly, as if it made a difference, he plugged his PADD into the console, though his eyes never left the screen. A brief glance to the buttons, he tapped a command, as he stared back at the huge vessel. The encoded message went off on secure channel momentarily.
Erei'Riov Teranek sat in the command seat of the warbird. Riov S'neiir was still aboard the station answering for her subterfuge to Enriov Rohnok. Teranek had advised her not to do it, but.... well, she was what she was.
"Put a message out on all bands," Teranek ordered. "De-cloak and surrender now! You have ten seconds to comply."
He received the message loud and clear. But he did not move. Surrender was not an option. Hoping they still didn't know exactly where he was, he began calculating an escape vector.
"No answer, Rekkhai," the comm officer called out.
"Why?" Teranek asked with a sigh. "Why do they insist on thinking they can get away from us? Gunner! Open fire, spread pattern Diandria."
"Ie, Rekkhai," the tactical officer acknowledged. Though they did not know the exact location of this intruder, they had a general idea, and the pattern ordered would blanket that particular area of space. The gunner opened fire, letting loose with the mighty fury of the Scimitar-class ship.
"Damn..." He braced for impact as he saw the disruptor fire shower the area around his location. Several shots hit his shields, beginning to drain them in seconds. A warning blared as power fluctuations caused the lights to flicker. A few more curses left his mouth.
On his console, the message 'TRANSMISSION COMPLETE' finally appeared. Good, at least his mission had been successful. Though it probably would be his last.
But he wasn't about to sit there and let himself be shot down without a fight. His fingers flew over the console. Setting collision course, he made his run, all weapons he had blazing. A futile effort, much like a mosquito going against a giant.
Teranek let his own curses fly, seeing the kamikaze run of this fool. He knew Enriov Rohnok wanted this one alive, but it looked like that wasn't going to be a reality. "Open fire," he ordered with an exasperated sigh. "Try to disable, but... just shoot."
The gunner only used two of the powerful ship's forward disruptor cannons. He slammed the smaller ship, hoping to simply swat it down. But it had already lost all its shielding and simply burst into a ball of flames.
"Takes us back to the station," Teranek muttered. "Have two attack shuttles see what they can find in the wreckage."
The monitor, on the opposite wall showed the Scimitar-class warbird as it was seeking its prey. Rohnok knew they had the cloaked ship, it just hadn't revealed itself yet. He tapped the comm. "Send in T'Ashal."
The Excelsior's Captain stepped into the Admiral's office. Hands clasped behind her back, she came to a halt. Her facial expression calm and stoic, her eyes intently studying him.
Rohnok's eyes reflected the barrage of firepower the warbird set down to flush out the cloaked ship. The monitor was behind T'Ashal. Rohnok lifted a hand and pointed to the screen. "Your friend is about to find... Oh.. ," the now-revealed ship was making its suicide run on the warbird, "... fools to the end."
T'Ashal had briefly looked over her shoulder when he pointed. Her eyes narrowed at the scene, then something small exploded in front of the Scimitar. Her head snapped back to Rohnok. "My friend?" she asked with obvious irritation. "Is this why I have been dragged off my ship and paraded through your station?"
"Save your indignation, CAPTAIN," Rohnok practically spat out that last word. "You are not the one who's been deceived. Invite a stranger into one's home and one would expect a degree of respect and honesty. Obviously not all Starfleet officers live up to that image."
She opened her mouth to say something, then simply sighed and shook her head. Again her eyes went to the monitor that didn't show nothing but space now. With furrowed brow, she looked at Rohnok again, "You believe I knew of this... craft?"
"I do," Rohnok confirmed. He tossed a data tablet at her. On it was the transporter signatures.
She caught it, carefully studying the information. "Someone beamed onto the Excelsior and back...," she looked up at him, "What makes you think I knew of this? What makes you think it was that craft?" She motioned behind her to the monitor.
"Because.... just like this is my station, and I know of these beamings, you are riov of that ship, and if you don't know of this by now, you don't belong in that command seat."
She grimaced. "I suppose you never had any Tal'Shiar visitor that got where and what they wanted without your knowledge, hm?" The wheels in her head were turning overtime. She hadn't gotten a very good glimpse of the ship before it went out in blazes, but it was definitely too small to be Solvek's. Who and what it was, she had no clue? It concerned her.
"I warn you, T'Ashal," Rohnok cautioned. "I am not the one deceiving here. I want answers and I want them now. So help me, I will take that ship apart, and you and your crew will stand trial for treason. I will make an EXAMPLE of you, and the Federation will never be trusted again."
She clenched her jaw, her nostrils flaring slightly. He was dead serious, she could tell. "And I am telling you, I have no idea who your Scimitar just reduced to space dust," she said, emotions swinging in her voice, "but...," she put the data tablet on his desk, "I know who beamed onto my ship."
"I am waiting."
Her brow furrowed as she considered how to approach this. She looked at him, "This has to stay between us."
"Demands now, T'Ashal? You're facing imprisonment, and you are going to make demands?"
"Not a demand," she said with voice softer, "a request, Enriov."
Rohnok studied this woman a moment. His fingers steepled in front of his mouth. She lied to him about Cetareth, what's to keep her from continuing to lie. "Proceed," he finally said.
"The officer," she began, "the one that T'Rehu almost killed... he had a severe mental problem." She paced a few steps. "I do not know if you are familiar with the term, but he was carrying the 'katra' of another person. This caused him to become more and more irrational and would lead to his death, eventually..." She paused, watching for Rohnok's expression before continuing. "I called someone that could help him... that could save his life."
Rohnok's expression did not change. "Why did you keep this from me? Surely you could not think us that stupid that we could not detect transporter beams through our station's hull. And where is this ship your officer was transported to? If it wasn't that one." Rohnok pointed to the monitor.
"I kept it from you because this person does not want his identity revealed," she replied. "He only agreed to come here to help, if he would stay unexposed. So, he came here with a cloaked ship." She shrugged. "I do not know where he is. He finished his business, saved my officer's life. I presume he has left by now."
"You will have to reveal his identity to me," Rohnok ordered. "Further, I want to see this officer of yours."
"I cannot." She wagged her head. "I made a promise. But he did not come here under cloak because of you," she pleaded, "he did so because... he is wanted by Starfleet."
"Well your promise will now cost you your freedom, Cap... T'Ashal." Rohnok tapped on the comm. "R'Tairn, please come in here."
Her jaw tightened. She had hoped he'd understand. She straightened her stance. "I gladly give my freedom for the life of one of my officers."
"And you gladly deceive your hosts," Rohnok added.
The Rihannsu security chief stepped into the office. "Ie, Enriov?"
"You will now escort .... the prisoner to our holding facility. Further, I want audience with her executive officer. I believe he is now aboard the.. ," he looked to T'Ashal for confirmation, "... U.S.S. Bristol?"
"Correct." She nodded. "Lieutenant Ian Kail is aboard the Excelsior, if you wish to talk to him. He is the officer that was helped."
"You can save yourself from this," Rohnok told T'Ashal. In his way, he was now pleading with her.
"I told you the truth, Enriov. You do not believe me," she replied, "perhaps I rather should have lied."
"Ie," Rohnok confirmed. "Perhaps you should have. Then I would have had cause to rip your tongue from that beautiful head of yours. Take her away."
R'Tairn stepped over to T'Ashal. "Place your arms out behind your back."
T'Ashal complied without a word, only her eyes cast a glance at Rohnok again. He expected her to expose Solvek to save her own skin. Maybe she should. But there was such a thing as keeping one's word. Was it a foolish thing to do?
The admiral met T'Ashal's gaze, as R'Tairn placed the manacles on her wrists. "I certainly can appreciate that sacrifice you are making for this mystery person. However, you have wronged your hosts. I put a trust in you, T'Ashal, and that trust was betrayed. In the eyes of the rest of this station, you have now confirmed what everyone else has been saying about the Federation, and Starfleet in particular." Rohnok nodded for R'Tairn to take her out.
"I hope you do not believe your own words, Enriov," she said with bitterness to her voice as she reluctantly let R'Tairn directed her toward the door, "or have you been looking for a reason to expose us for what we are all this time? I thought you were an honorable man. But perhaps I was wrong about the Rihannsu as well."
She shrugged out of the Security Chief's grasped and stopped just short of the door, furrowing her brow at the Admiral. "I did not betray your trust. This man posed no threat to you at all. He did not want anything from you. He simply came here at my request and saved another man's life. If that is a crime, then I suppose I deserve this punishment."
"And that man, so noble as he is, came in a cloaked ship, T'Ashal. Right up next to the heart of the Galae. And I am just supposed to say, 'Oh, hey. He was your guest? All is well.' Dhat! And you dare ....DARE question my honor. Get out of my sight!!"