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Witnessing Technology Demonstration

Posted on Sep 05, 2017 @ 4:29am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Sep 05, 2017 @ 4:29am

Mission: The Romulan Way

“Witnessing Technology Demonstration”
(contd from Kenneth’s ‘Shell Game’)

Location: Space Station, in orbit over Azri Drakara II
SD: [2.17] 0904.1624
Scene: Control Centre

So much for a tour around the station, Jasmine sighed, her eyes glued to the large viewing screen, where they witnessed the Phoenix vanishing into the planet’s atmosphere. A shocking move in her opinion, of course she put on a mask like Kane and Von, devoid of any emotions. But if the move was successful, then it meant, the Phoenix was no longer held hostage by the fleet of Romulan ships that had surrounded it, moments ago. Did it mean the Romulans no longer had the upper hand? Well, with the Phoenix loose, their hosts didn’t hold all the cards either – there was still room for the Starfleet officers to play their hand and keep the hope for peace alive.

"It ... it bolted!" Nevar exclaimed. "Tried to escape the fleet. It burned up in the atmosphere just moments ago!"

Jasmine noticed the fury burning in the war hawk’s dark eyes. The Romulans seemed to think the Phoenix was destroyed in their attempts to escape. If that was the case, then Yu believed it was good as it bought Starfleet more time. But then again, the Romulan Empire wouldn’t be where they were now, if they were so easily fooled. And they weren’t, when the Senator ordered to scan the area for debris. Good thing, scans took time.

“Captain Kane,” Praetor Radaik inquired. “Please explain what just happened.”

Before the Irishman opened his mouth, Nevar jumped in, his nostrils flaring and his eyes blazing with anger, “I know why. Your vessel made an escape attempt and failed. Whether the ship is destroyed or not, the situation does not bode well for you.”

The Praetor, glaring at the Senator for his rude interruption, asked, “Captain, was your crew following your orders, even to the point of abandoning you and your people here?”

Kane answered, maintaining a calm demeanor, “The only order I gave my first officer was protect the ship at all costs, even it meant abandoning some of us, including myself.”

Chevet brought up, raising an eyebrow, “But Captain, why did your ship head for the planet? Were they trying to land on the surface?”

Doubtful, Jasmine thought to herself. The Phoenix was likely trying to hide somewhere, where they would not be picked up by Romulan sensors.

“Which is preposterous!” Nevar exploded. “Doesn’t your Prime Directive, a principle that makes you weak and inferior to the empire by the way, forbid contact with primitive lifeforms?”

“Senator, I’m glad to hear you are so well-versed in our laws,” the CO said in a sardonic tone. The Captain wasn’t going to tell the Romulans the real reason why he thought Jake made that particular decision.

Turning to the Praetor, the Senator pointed at the group of Starfleet officers, “It looks like the Federation cannot be trusted after all. They don’t really want peace.” He paused, raising his eyes. “They want to weaken us but they failed or will fail as we have in possession the very means to accomplish D’era and you won’t be able to oppose us, not anymore.”

“So you have finally decided to cut through the charade to get to the real truth, Senator?” Kane said, giving the Romulan a fixed stare.

Jasmine feared as much and it wasn’t surprising – whatever purpose the station was built for, didn’t bode well for the Federation and possibly the galaxy as a whole. She noticed Cantor giving D’Mara, a solemn look. She recalled the Betazoid briefly stepped away to speak with the station commander and when the Ops chief returned to the group, he didn’t look pleased.

Radaik spoke in a cold voice, filled with anger, “I should have known, Nevar. It was all about fulfilling your faction’s desire for D’era.”

Nevar snorted, followed by a sneer in her direction. “I’m surprised, Praetor, that you even remembered D’era. I guess there is still hope for you, yet. That perhaps, you still believe in the greatness of our empire.”

“I haven’t forgotten, Nevar,” came a cutting response from the Romulan leader. “I know D’era very well, in fact all Romulans do. I just don’t share your view of how to bring about greatness for our empire.”

Oh boy, Jasmine sighed, shaking her head. What did they stumble into? Internal dispute between two factions, regarding the empire’s future. Was it possible that they could be witness to a potential civil war because things were heating up in this room already? How would the Federation play into their political tug of war? It was obvious to the young woman, Nevar and his faction desired expansion without limits but Radaik and her group didn’t.

“It’s people like you, Praetor that has led to the empire losing it way,” Nevar argued. “And my side is only trying to return us back to glory.”

As the two were arguing, Von gestured both Kane and Yu to approach him. “Captain, Lieutenant” the Betazoid began, lowering his voice to a whisper. “I have learnt something from my talk with Commander D’Mara and believe you need to hear this.”

“Wait.” Kane nodded. The trio moved to a corner as far as away as possible from the Romulans without trying to arouse any suspicions. “Alright, Mr. Von, speak.” Kane and Yu listened in silence as Von relayed his entire conversation with D’Mara. After he was done, both the Captain and security chief sported worried expressions. “This confirms it,” Kane said angrily. “Nevar was pulling a facade and hiding the station’s true purpose.”

Jasmine frowned – while Cantor’s account wasn’t surprising, the idea of the Romulans possessing a planet destroyer chilled her to the bone. “So, according to her,” she said, not referring to D’Mara by name, “Possession of this weapon would prevent a war between us.”

“Yes.” Cantor nodded. “But it’s naïve thinking on her or their part.”

“Surely.” Yu sounded frustrated. “They don’t believe the Federation will just take this, lying down and allow the Romulans to expand their empire without any opposition?”

“It’s what I told her.” Von sighed. The conversation was interrupted, when Nevar made an announcement.

“I have great news!” The Senator’s smile widened. He looked pleased with himself, Jasmine thought rather sourly. “Sub-commander D’Mara informs me the system is ready for a full demonstration.”

“For once I agree, Senator,” Praetor said, though one could detect tinges of sarcasm in her voice. “We finally get the opportunity to witness the fruits of your labour that you so diligently hid from the rest of the government.”

Glaring at the Praetor, Nevar then turned his attention the younger Romulan. “Sub-commander,” he ordered, “Begin countdown procedures.”

And so it began. Jasmine held her breath for a moment, all of a sudden, nervousness taking over her. She then exhaled, managing to release all the tension and maintained a calm demeanor as her eyes focused on the image on the large screen. The planet itself. She froze.

Nevar ordered, “Set target. The second planet.”

“Target set,” came the voice of one of the operators from the lower floor. So as she feared, the second planet in this system was about to have itself and the lifeforms that lived there to be wiped out – assuming D’Mara was telling the truth and it really was a planet killer. But if she was, then it was terrible. Jasmine felt sad for the Borlean – their eradication meant the species would never get the chance to develop beyond their primitive stage. What was worse, she thought with frustration, was there was nothing she or any of her fellow officers could do. The Asian woman hated feeling helpless, wishing there was something she could do to save the planet and its lifeforms but no, instead she was about to witness the act of mass destruction and genocide.

“Now!” At Nevar’s command, the station began feeling a mild rumble. “Don’t panic,” he assured the others. “I was told this was expected.”

Jasmine’s heart raced, her breathing becoming rapid. In the next moment, an entire planet was going to be decimated. She closed her eyes, not having the desire to view the destruction but then opened them. The rumbling was getting louder and the station started shaking – the young woman held on the chair on instinct and saw Kane and Von do the same. “This isn’t expected, is it?” She asked.

“Somehow I doubt Nevar did,” Von commented, glancing ahead at the Senator, who had a puzzled expression. But what happened next was totally unexpected.

Jasmine spotted sparks erupting from some of the consoles, causing the Romulans manning them to jump away. One of the consoles caught fire – luckily the Romulan managing it escaped before the flames touched him. Emergency klaxons blared and then suddenly, the young could hear the noise of something shutting down. The shaking and the rumbling stopped, followed by an eerie silence, where everyone just took quick glances at each other. Did the weapon work? Yu looked forward and the planet was still there. She exhaled a huge sigh of life and her spirits were suddenly lifted.

Nevar bellowed, his ire shone through his eyes, “Sub-commander, what just happened?”

But from the cool expression on the female Romulan’s features, Jasmine realized D’Mara wasn’t surprised at the weapon’s failure. Her response was calm. “Senator, we were unable to sustain the field and thus the system initiated an automatic shutdown to prevent the destruction of the station.”

“Why wasn’t I informed of this problem?”

D’Mara bit her lip. “Senator, with all due respect, I did warn you it wasn’t the right time for a full demonstration because of this very problem.”

Nevar asked, “How long will it take for it to be ready again?”

“Several hours,” she replied promptly. “But there is no guarantee….”

“You will be ready, Sub-commander.” He narrowed his eyes, giving her a warning look. “Otherwise, you will suffer the consequences as the empire doesn’t tolerate failure.”

“Understood, Senator.” D’Mara nodded and left to make her way down to the lower level.

“Well, Senator.” It was the Praetor, wearing a smug expression. “Now that you have failed, just how exactly are you going to achieve D’era.”

“I haven’t failed, Praetor,” the Senator said, sounding a lot calmer now. “It’s just a minor setback. If you can just wait here, the system should be back up and running soon.”

“I wish I could share your confidence, Nevar,” Radaik remarked with sarcasm.

Meanwhile, the three Starfleet officers retreated to some seats at the corner. Their hope for peace with the Romulans still alive. “What do you make of this situation?” Kane inquired, addressing his two officers.

Jasmine answered, “Well, I’m glad the weapon failed to launch.”

“Only a temporary setback, I’m afraid,” Von pointed out. “They are highly determined to achieve D’era, so aren’t going to give up that easily. They will eventually figure out the issues in the system and find a way to bring the weapon systems back online.”

“But this setback of theirs has bought us some time,” Kane said. “Time that will help us and our ship to figure a way out of this situation.”

“One question though,” the Asian brought up, “Is this the only station they had built or are there others?”

The Betazoid answered, “If Nevar’s words are to go by, since this station took four years to build, using up a lot of the empire’s resources, then I am inclined to believe this may be the only one running. But from D’Mara told me, more stations like this could be built.”

“However, we’re not sure if anything that comes out of his or her mouth is true,” Kane said dryly.

Jasmine arched a row. “There is something that’s been puzzling me.”

“Go on, Lieutenant.” Kane nodded.

Yu said, “How are they going to get something so huge like this station to their chosen destination, like say, one of the Federation member worlds without us knowing about it? As far as we know, stations don’t have the capability to jump to warp.”

“Do you think they built a new type of technology with the capability of transporting a station of this size to another location in the blink of an eye?” Kane inquired.

“It’s possible.” Cantor nodded.

Jasmine suggested, “Or maybe the station merely houses this weapon….” They were interrupted when Chevet cleared his throat.

“Captain,” the Tribune spoke, “The Praetor wants to speak to you and your officers, regarding the matter, regarding the disappearance of your vessel.”

*************************************************************************************

~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical
USS PHOENIX

 

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