Finalé of "Unfortunate Discovery" and "Durrett Class on Patrol".
A day ago, the USS Marcus discovered the burnt out wrecks of the USS Solace, and a ship it was tracing and unfortunately had to engage, the Kaltach.
Initially it was believed that the battle was between them, and there may have been survivors due to a blown port shuttle bay hatch and non-present vessels. The missing shuttlecrafts were found revealing that the top hatches of the Solace were hit and the shuttles had been flung afar, evidence further supported by the scratches and dents over their hulls – but no survivors were found. The Solace died with all hands in the exchange.
However instincts started to disprove the notion that this was ‘it’. Rare, like in any fight, is there a dual knock out. One won, one lost, and even if both lost, it was even rarer for both to die in the same location. In addition, the Solace was weaker than the Kaltach.
So a further investigation was committed to see how both ships died, and as a result the crews found traces of another ship, solely on the Kaltach – and this, weak as it was, had a distinct pattern: Romulan.
Through sensors, guesswork, and experience, the Marcus under Captain Jamal Otambo found a trail. With Star Fleet Command’s blessing, the Marcus (despite not being the best ship for an engagement) set course, determined to find answers.
The trace ends in an area of space near the Romulan Neutral Zone.
“Captain – sensors are showing a strong Anti-Neutrino surge ahead”
“Take us out of Warp Mr Iverson, one-quarter impulse; I want them to know that we know they are here”
“Defensive posture sir?” asked Wilson his second in command.
“No, let’s be curious but not brash” Otambo spoke “but standby shields – if they de-cloak, I want us to be ready”
“Hope it’s a minnow” muttered Santos.
“You are kidding? You saw what happened to the Kaltach” Chang (sensor/com officer) emphasised.
”Keep focused people…”Otambo interrupted “Chang anything?”
“Nothing sir – wait – getting a surge of – there!”
Otambo and the crew looked at the screen. A shape started to emerge, invisible mainly but warped. As it carried on the vessel then showed and within seconds its shape was static. All gasped at what they saw. It was a spacecraft but shaped like a bird, dark in colour save for highlights of red, and various illuminations, including a bright green light from the centre. In the light of a distant star, the shape looked pure predatory.
“That’s a V-27!!!” exclaimed Wilson.
“Red alert! Shields up! Stand by weapons!” Otambo turned to Chang “readings?”
“Captain, she has not raised her shields, nor armed any weapons….”
“That’s weird” noted Iverson
“Not really,” added Wilson “they are superior to us. Anything we do will be useless”
“Like your vote of confidence John,” Otambo replied. “Mr Iverson! Ahead full stop!”
“Sorry sir” both men said.
For a few seconds (which felt like minutes) the massive avian shaped ship just floated ahead of them, doing nothing.
“What they waiting for?” whispered Santos.
“Keep your nerve all of you…don’t want to –“
”Sir – we are being hailed” Chang reported.
“Let’s hear it.”
The main view screen changed from the image of the Romulan ship to that of a striking Romulan woman. She looked like a teenager, but Vulcan biology lasted twice as long as humans - she could have easily been in her fifties.
“I am Captain Jamal Otambo, of the USS Marcus – who am I addressing? And why are you in Federation space?”
There was a pause and a smirk from the woman. In the background, she saw her crew working with grand efficiency.
“I am Commander Felda Vinn, of the Wings of Force. This is sort of Federation territory but its quite close to our home.”
”State your business here” Every word Felda spoke was of utter calm and contempt.
“If I do not, what then? Are you going to fire on me? Engage me? Board my ship? I think we both know that your ship is not up to the task of defeating us.”
“We have a special element called Kobromite –“
”Save the bullshit.” All aboard the Marcus Bridge blinked at the reply “That tactic is as old as your vessel. We are torpedo armed and we know you cannot replicate such an effect let alone possess such a weapon, let alone outgun us”
“You are in our space, and we have ships on stand by”
“Which will take a good two hours to get to your position; we are not stupid Captain.”
“Like I said, state your business here”
“Slight repair, all completed. We were on our way before you arrived. You kept on approaching so we had to de-cloak – to avoid an accident. Now we are repaired, minor as it was, we will be on our way.”
“We know you were involved in the attack on the Kaltach, a D-7S -”
“Yes we were” all looked stunned at the admission “and we destroyed it thoroughly – smashed its hull with enough torpedo and disruptor fire to confirm its death. They never had a chance. More than can be said for the USS Solace.” She said ending that with a smirk.
“You mean….you saw what happened?” blinked Wilson in disbelief.
”Oh yes. They were fools to think they could engage the Kaltach, especially with one warp engine. Human stupidity has no measurement.”
“You saw it all, and….just stood back….?” emphasised Otambo in disbelief and disgust.
”Oh yes, it was quite amusing to see. The Solace did give them a bloody nose, a good fight, but the Kaltach was a better fighter. Krezz was a notorious brute….”
“You saw all that – and did not help?!?!? OR Intervene?!?!”
“Yes” she smirked “Why should we?”
“It’s the humane thing to do!”
”I’m not human” she said proudly, chuckling “and besides, it’s the removal of two enemy ships at once. You would no doubt have thrown yourselves into the path of the battle to declare this over, but we view it as the removal of two threat vessels. That is something I am not going to prevent”
Otambo and most of the crew looked on in disbelief and fury.
“Why destroy the Kaltach?” Asked Wilson
“Captain Krezz was a criminal in our sphere; a notorious raider, pirate, murderer. We found out that he was in alliance with a number of renegade Klingons operating in YOUR space. We saw a chance to get this criminal. We were sent to track him down, and then we found him fighting a federation ship. When he was crippled, I under assigned orders had the chance to kill this menace to our empire once and for all. Trust me when I say we were thorough.”
“You could have helped the Solace – we could have made a new alliance, co-operation, so many would have lived!” Otambo hissed.
Felda chuckled “an alliance with humanity? You are trying that with the Klingons, the very people you are fighting. Besides, when you succeed it’s all and always based on YOUR terms; Mutual co-operation? Who would be in charge? You of course, because of your humanity – like you think that makes you superior to everything else in the universe”
“We would never have stood by if the situation was different!”
“Yes, and you would have flown into the path of both attackers, broker a peace, and cast criminals with a nice sentence. Sometimes evil needs to be destroyed”
“Somehow I agree with you on that!”
“And look what their humanity cost them – their lives, for nothing” Felda then looked to her left. “Well it’s been interesting. Tell their families that the Solace fought gallantly.”
“And that you stood by!”
Felda smirked “tell them anything you like….goodbye captain”
“You are not going anywhere!”
Felda smirked again “Ahhh the truth of humanity – as soon as something does not go its way, you become as aggressive as Klingons. Try and stop us Captain, open fire on us, I dare you.”
“I am not going to invoke a war”
“Well its good to have an excuse to hide your failings is it not?” she said with a wide smile “be seeing you”. The screen then changes to the image of the turning V-27.
On that, the Wings of Force’s image warped as the ship turned away and disappeared from sight and sensors. Otambo and all just remained at their positions in stalled fury.
There was nothing they could do.
The V-27 was one of FASA's concept ideas of a Romulan cruiser - but like with many FASA designs, it was not given justice, so I went and worked a spin on this. I wanted to make the ship look sinister, vast, superior. Its sillouette in the starlight made it look terrifying - well trying
Hope you like.
NB - Was going to put in a quip or something - but decided to show life is not so rewarding.