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Next Steps And Preparations

Posted on Sep 05, 2019 @ 5:11am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Sep 05, 2019 @ 5:11am

Mission: Last Days of Empire

“Next Steps and Preparations”

(contd from ‘Intuition’)


SD: [2.19] 0904.2200
Scene: Main Bridge

Upon return from the Orion Blockade Runner, Jasmine Yu had headed to the bridge with Jake Crichton. She stood behind the tactical console, having relieved Proctor and had listened in silence as the ExO relayed that message from the Romulan commander. As Jake talked, she had observed Kane’s expression sour – well that didn’t surprise her. The Romulans involving themselves in the conflict between the Klingons and the Orions, was disturbing and she wasn’t the only one in the room who felt that way, judging from the worried expressions on everyone’s faces except Byte. The Android Ops officer looked cool as a cucumber.

“Why are the Romulans involved?” Kane asked, glancing around the room. “What do they plan on gaining from this arrangement with the Orions?”

“Maybe,” Yu suggested. “The Romulans consider the Klingons a bigger threat to them than the Orions and want to ensure the Klingons do not restore their old empire. They likely fear if that were to happen, then the Klingons could potentially launch a military campaign against the Romulans and the two groups might see themselves in another costly war.”

Jake nodded. “Although, we’re not sure just how strong this so-called alliance between the Romulans and the Orions is.”

“Captain,” Eve Dalziel brought up. “It is possible that the Tal’Shiar may be taking matters into their own hands for the empire’s benefit and the government is unaware of this arrangement.”

“That’s possible.” Kane nodded.

Jasmine let out a sigh. She wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the Tal’Shiar’s involvement in the Orion and Klingon conflict, had support from the Romulan Senate or the Praetor herself. Besides, it was not like they could just contact the Romulans and demand explanations as to why the Tal’Shiar were aligning themselves with the Orions. The Romulan government would likely only deny everything or even attempt to warn Starfleet including maybe threatening to pull out of the ongoing peace talks.

“So we are sure the Romulans and the Orions believe Book and his crew were independent traders?” The CO asked. “From the message, it seems the Tal’Shiar are suspicious of the SATET.”

“Not sure.” Crichton sighed. “We couldn’t really listen to the full message as the files were deleted before we could hear the rest of it. But it does seem like the Romulans didn’t want the SATET harmed just detained likely till the battle at Alcyonus system is over.”

“What do we know about the Alycyonus system?” Kane questioned.

{{The Alycyonus system is about less than ten light years from our current location,}} Byte replied, studying the information on his console. {{It is situated in unclaimed territory in The Triangle, a few light years from the Klingon border.}}

The Captain addressed Joanna Marsters. “Can you share what you know about the Alycyonus system?”

The blonde leaned back in her jump seat, giving Eve a sidelong glance. “Aside from the fact it is a prison camp run by Klingons, there is nothing I am aware of that goes on in that star system. From what my contacts tell me, since the Klingons moved in, no one else goes there anymore except for a few slave traders or pirates who sometimes bring in captured Orions in exchange for a large payment.”

“Is it possible the SATET has gone there next?” Eve asked.

“Not sure.” Joanna shrugged. “I lost contact with Book after he and his crew left the Bazaar.”

Now everyone sat in tense silence. What if Book and his crew went to Alycyonus? If that was the case, the next question would be should the Phoenix go there next? Jasmine set her jaws. The Phoenix would be jumping into a warzone and be stuck in the middle of – what she perceived from the message – to be a large skirmish, one that could determine the victor amongst either the Klingons or the Orions. Then again, they couldn’t just abandon the SATET and might need to find a way to get Book and his crew out without the Phoenix getting caught up in the conflict – assuming the SATET did go there. It was going to be tricky in Jasmine’s view and if the Phoenix was going to Alcyonus, then she would need to get her department prepared in case of a battle.

“We will need to know for sure first,” Kane said, breaking the silence. “From what I gather from the message, there is still a few days left before the battle.”

{{There is still some of the corrupted data uploaded from the Orion ship’s main computer,}} Byte informed. {{I can work on restoring those files. Perhaps, those missing files could contain information that might shed light on the SATET’s whereabouts and what really went down at the rendezvous? It is however unlikely we will find answers regarding the Romulans’ involvement, considering the Orion vessel kept an isolated data bank to store any communication between them and the Tal’Shiar.}}

Scene: Security Department, Deck 39 (Drive Section)

“So Smooshy wandered off again as usual,” Jasmine said, sighing, speaking with a tall Orion man in his late thirties before her gaze moved down to a rather cheerful corgi puppy, bouncing up and down her leg and yapping continuously. “And apparently, he didn’t go off alone.” Prior to her away mission, Yu had left Wei under Lieutenant Owen Arion’s care – the assistant counselor having offered to care for the puppy for some time, believing it’d be good for her and Smooshy to bond. It had seemed the little pup saw the pug as sort of a big brother. So when Smooshy had decided to make his usual round around the ship, Wei followed him. She gave her a warm smile, noting how cute she looked in her new puppy sized yellow shirt.

Ensign Harrad-Tor, the security Master-At-Arms, was a large man with a heavy build. He nodded, watching with amusement as Smooshy, followed by Wei, circled around him. “Well, Lieutenant, it seems Smooshy and Wei did not wander for long.” He smiled, when the corgi yapped at him. “Your new puppy is rather loud and very friendly.”

Jasmine nodded. From the security report, she found that Smooshy and Wei were spotted roaming the corridor in Deck 12, saucer section, when the puppy started barking loudly and ran up to greet a couple of science officers leaving their research lab. Ensign Lahav, the assistant chief science officer, immediately contacted security and then one of the guards took the dogs back to the department, where they had remained since then. Arion had informed security that he’d drop by at the end of his shift to pick up Smooshy and that was still about three hours away.

As Harrad-Tor entered the weapons locker, Yu followed, noting the Orion’s expression turned serious, even a little anxious. The large man was normally a jovial person who got along well with his fellow officers, yet at that moment, he seemed a little nervous. Was it because of the conflict between the Orions and the Klingons? Jasmine didn’t know much about his past, prior to joining Starfleet aside from the fact he entered Federation space as a refugee from the Triangle about eight years ago. Orions in Starfleet weren’t common place and the Asian often wondered why Harrad-Tor chose to join Starfleet but considering how private he was, despite his friendly nature, she never bothered to ask him.

“Is everything okay, Ensign?” She inquired, just as Smooshy and Wei entered the room.

“Yes, Lieutenant.” He was organizing a couple of type 3 phaser rifles and type 2 phaser handhelds on the shelf. When Smooshy attempted to reach out for one of the type 2s, the Orion snatched the weapon away from the pug’s grasp. The dog let out a low whine as he turned around and trotted out of the room with Wei following suit, the corgi pup yapping at the same time.

Jasmine let herself a tiny smile, realizing just how loud her puppy was as she listened to Wei’s yapping down the hallway. “Well, Ensign, if you need anything, please let me know.”

“I will, Lieutenant.” The Orion nodded.

“Alright, I’ll have to make sure Smooshy and Wei don’t leave this deck,” Yu said, turning on her heel and heading out of the room.

TI: A few minutes later

Harrad-Tor wiped the sweat off his brow as he left the weapons locker. The bald man clenched his fists, feeling a heaviness in his chest. Since the beginning of the mission, the Orion had started becoming anxious, which only worsened, the closer the Phoenix was to the Triangle. Now, with the ship, standing in no man’s land, between Klingon and Orion space, his anxiety had now hit the roof. He had only graduated from the Academy nearly three years ago and the warship was his first assignment. He wondered with nervousness about whether the Phoenix had planned on entering Syndicate territory to search for the SATET. Harrad-Tor hoped it wouldn’t come to that as he didn’t want to ever return there, not when there was a huge price on his head by one of the most ruthless crime lords in the Syndicate.

Years before he joined Starfleet, the Orion was an operative in the Syndicate – in fact he was a right hand man for a powerful crime lord named Liriss, also an Orion. At the time, Harrad-Tor performed his tasks with due diligence and was immensely loyal to his boss. But that all changed, when he had fallen for a Risean woman and the feeling was mutual. The woman in question had been one of his boss’ mistresses – his favorite in fact. The secret affair between Harrad-Tor and the woman only lasted a few months until a rival operative found out and ratted them out to Liriss. When Harrad-Tor found his relationship with the woman was no longer secret, the couple hatched a plan to leave Rigel and escape to Federation space.

Harrad-Tor and his lover had left Rigel with the help of some loyal employees but were pursued by Liriss, who had been seething with rage at their betrayal. They had nearly managed to make it close to the Federation border but an accident that led to the destruction of their transport scuttled their plans. The couple were separated, when evacuating the ship. Eventually, his escape pod was discovered by a Starfleet vessel on border patrol and the Orion was rescued, brought into Federation space as a refugee. However, his lover and the other survivors from that transport were not found – either they escaped to another location or worse, maybe dead. Believing he had lost her forever, Harrad-Tor had decided to make a new life for himself and joined Starfleet Academy with the Captain of the border patrol starship as his sponsor.

His past in the Syndicate had become a distant memory until this mission. With the Phoenix now close to Syndicate territory, the Orion’s fear kept growing. What if Liriss got wind of his return? He kept rationalizing that the crime lord wouldn’t dare approach the warship yet couldn’t help shaking with anxiety at the prospect of his former boss sending an assassin to take him out. The Syndicate was known to eliminate those operatives and their loved ones for acts of betrayal.

Then his mind harkened back to a few days ago, when the Phoenix was still docked at Spacedock. During a day trip to Earth, he had received a cryptic message at his hotel room in Rome. The message as he had remembered, mentioned that if he ever wanted to be free from the Syndicate and see his lover again, then he were to come to that address. At first, he was hesitant to go and thought it could be a trap set up by the Syndicate, who might have sent an assassin to Earth. But the longing and temptation of the possibility of reuniting with the Risean woman made him go in the end.

The meeting was late at night at the Colosseum and he found the individual behind the message, was a Klingon woman, who had come to Earth, pretending to be an independent trader and from what he had recalled, she was wearing a cloak and a hood on that night. The Klingoness had made an offer – one he found highly tempted to accept at the time but in the end didn’t. She had told him that his lover was alive and well and then offered to tell Harrad-Tor, her location in exchange for his help in the Klingons’ fight with the Orions. The Klingon woman added that if he helped the Klingons win, then he’d no longer had to live in fear of his former boss and the Syndicate again.

Harrad-Tor had very badly wanted to accept her offer but found it to be too good to be true. Also, he had already become loyal to Starfleet and didn’t want to jeopardize his new life there, despite the opportunity presented to reunite with his long-lost love. Accepting the offer meant he had to leave Starfleet and the safety of the Federation to face death in the Triangle and couldn’t. While he hadn’t accepted the offer, the Klingoness gave him a small communicator for him to reach her, in case he had decided to change his mind. She had assured him that it was a special device whose signal wouldn’t be traced by Starfleet systems – though he wasn’t sure if she was right about that part.

“So chief, are you saying we could land right in the middle of a full-scale engagement between the Klingons and Orions at the Alcyonus system?” He heard Lieutenant Proctor pose a question to Yu.

“Yes, so we will need to start making preparations to get this ship battle-ready.” Jasmine nodded. “I hope we’ll not get caught in the skirmish and be able to get the SATET out without incident but we will have to brace for the worst case scenario. Our job’s to ensure the safety of this ship.”

“Understood, I’ll begin working with Ensigns Marois and Solozano to set up a few tactical drills in the Bridge Simulator and the Holodeck,” MacKenzie said.

“Good, I’ll be meeting with Major Thytos to go over security procedures in the event we get possibly boarded by either the Klingons, Orions or both,” Yu informed. “Silsby is already working to set up security drills in the gym.”

**Battle engagement between the Klingons and the Orions at Alcyonus, ** Harrad-Tor thought, having listened in on the two women’s conversation. His heart began racing. He wondered if this battle would determine the outcome of the whole conflict between the two entities and thought of the implications on his own life. If the Klingons emerged victorious, then did it mean he was free from the Syndicate? The Orion’s mind raced to the communicator and wondered if he should try to contact the Klingoness. He began fearing that if the Syndicate fulfilled their ambition of becoming an empire that he’d never be free from them and would likely never see his love ever again. He let out a sigh, feeling torn about what to do.


Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical


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