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Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:01 pm

This is the thread for Mission 9: "Cold Case"
Capt. Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:27 pm

Runabout Pioneer
When: Just after "New Assignment"
Where: Runabout Pioneer
Authors: Capt. Alenis Meru, Cmdr. Timothy Rouse, Lt. Arthur Couer-Reynolds, Lt. Jason Beauvoir, Lt. Brad Silverton, PO Ellen Washington (written by Timothy Rouse) and PO Andrev Thosk (played by Tyrlai Zade).

==In the cockpit==

They were un their way for quiet some now and Tim, who was sitting in the runabout starboards pilot seat still didn't where they were heading. He looked at Meru, who was unusually quiet ever since she had read the padd. He assumed they contained their mission orders. "Are you going to share the details on that" he knodded towards the padd in her hands. "with us?"

"Sorry," replied Meru in a nonchalant tone. "Level six security clearance required. Flag officers only."

"And how are we suppose to know what we have to do if we can't know what our orders are." Tim replied.

"You'll be briefed once we arrive at our destination," continued Alenis. "For now, just enjoy the view and rest assured that we have an exciting mission ahead of us.

The doors to the flight compartment opened and Thosk stepped inside carrying a datapadd. "Reporting aboard, Captain ma'am. I brought the request crew additions. Two pilots, two engineers and four security officers with field engineering training and a translator. There is also a course correction for a supply rendezvous for which I most assuredly apologize." He offered the padd remorsefully, sincerely hoping that his body language communicated a readable level of 'this is clearly all Tyrlai's fault and none of my own.'

"Thank you, mister Thosk," replied Meru in a casual tone as she took the datapadd. "Hmmmmm, security and engineers, makes sense where we're going. Let's see what's we have to pick up..." Meru paused for a moment as she skimmed the packing slip for their pickup. "Spare parts and other miscellaneous junk, a crate of thermolytic charges, some illegal pulse guns and a couple black market CRM 200s... Oooh, a stop at the tailors. What size suit are you, Tim? Let me guess... 38 long?"

"Make that a 42 long," he said. He was trying to figure out what they would need all that stuff for.

"If I may, Captain? There is no need for a separate translator, I can handle the job." Jason said.

"Oh?" asked Meru. "I don't suppose you're fluent in Breen..."

"Breen!!!!" Tim said. "You've got to be kidding, right."

"Oh." Meru placed a hand over her mouth. "I've said too much."

It was then and there that Arthur knew what the assignment was about, if only in part. He'd been quiet for most of the voyage, but at Alenis' slip of the tongue, he laid a hand on top of his console and looked back at her. "That's it then, isn't it? That's what the freighter's for?" He shook his head and turned back to his console with a sigh. "If I didn't know any better, I'd call this a suicide mission."

"A freighter?" asked Alenis, shaking her head. "When they said they would provide me a Breen ship, I was hoping it would be a Chel'Grett Cruiser, or at least a speedy frigate to help get us out of trouble." She let out a hint of a chuckle. "Well, I can't say we don't like a challenge."

"The bigger the risk," Arthur acknowledged with a chuckle. He glanced back over his shoulder. "Does this mean we can all expect a promotion if we get out of this alive?"

Andrev Thosk looked mortified to have to interrupt, but duty demanded it. "Pay special note to the line about Zelkanian silk. She's apparently changing the rendezvous point so she can pick up 37,000 bolts of it. Something about the freighter being much larger than anticipated."

"37,000 bolts..." Meru smirked and raised an eyebrow, curious as to what they could possibly be for. Unless she was planning to open up a garment factory, that was more than enough for anything she could possibly imagine. "I just hope she is charging it to Starfleet Intelligence's budget..."

"She claimed someone named Eledzar was paying, apparently via the Ferengi banking system." Thosk looked over the notes, "something about not letting it be traced back to the Federation."

The thought of the Federation engaged in illicit activities reminded Arthur of his meeting with a certain Bajoran during his time on Trill. In any case, he offered a grim look to himself. "I'll take that as a yes," he muttered under his breath, answering his own ignored question. But when he spoke next, it was louder and more sarcastic. "Sounds like she's picking out her wedding dress." He glanced between Meru and Thosk. "Would either of you mind telling us what this is about, or do you want to keep making vague references about it?"

"We have a Breen freighter and we need to know the Breen language , so it is safe to say we are going into Breen controlled space." Jason said. He then placed his tri-corder to his throat and the next words he spoke sounded like a series of garbled electronic sounds. Removing the tri-corder, in English he said, "That roughly translates to 'may the God or Gods have mercy on our souls.' In Breen, of course."

"All right, all right," replied Meru, figuring they were close enough to their destination that she could begin a little informal briefing. "So, our mission..."
Capt. Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:36 pm

Briefing time, part 1
"Ready room," Breen freighter
Authors: Alenis Meru, Timothy Rouse, Ash Sullivan, Arthur Reynolds, Delainey Carlisle, Jason Beauvoir, Marcus Kallan, Nikki Barclay (NPC Alenis), Coln Jena (NPC Beauvoir), Sylok (NPC Sera)


With the time for subterfuge over, a briefing was called in what would function for the remainder of the mission as a ready room. No one was sure exactly what this room was, but the best guess was some sort of mess hall or lounge for the crew of this strange vessel. Standing at the head of the table, Meru shivered a little. "We need to adjust the environmental controls," she uttered, the water vapour in her breath condensing in a cloud in front of her as she spoke as she rubbed her gloved hands together for warmth.

Despite treatment, Ash was still nursing a very sore shoulder as he entered the briefing room and made his way to a seat where he could see out a porthole. He'd spent the last hour or two up to his elbows in slime covered tentacles trying to get his head around the security and tactical systems of this very foreign vessel and he was beginning to feel a little claustrophobic. He had washed as much of the slime off as he could but it left dark stains all over the skin of his arms. "Ma'am." He said simply as he gave a nod to the captain before taking a seat.

Jason walked into the briefing room with Jena in tow. The Science Officer wore a heated jacket, he didn't take the cold well."Bonjour, Captain. I hope, it is okay, that I brought my wayward off-spring with me to this briefing, but it seems that I can not let her out of my sight." He said.

Ash waved at Jena and shot her a quick grin while her father wasn't looking. He'd overheard something about her not getting his permission to come on the mission, but she'd definitely proven herself a strong asset to the crew.

"I see," replied Meru, looking over at Jena. Taking a fifteen year old girl on a dangerous mission wasn't exactly ideal, but she figured that if everything was done right, they would be in and out without too much of a huff. "Acting Ensign Coln, how much do you know about Breen life support systems?"

"Well, ma'am, like all Breen systems it is bio-mechanical, and in this case it appears to function in a similar way to the mammalian hypothalamus." Jena replied.

"Good. Your assignment is to get this ship to a reasonable temperature."

"Aye, aye, ma'am." The teenager replied.

When Arthur stepped in, he briefly felt a chill and wondered why the temperature was so low. But when he remembered the nature of their brief visit to a Breen ship, he had a good idea. So without a word, odd as it might seem for the otherwise talkative officer on the freighter, he sat down, PADD in hand, and decided to do some reading while awaiting the others, should there be any time to wait at all.

"Goodmorning everyone," Tim said as he and Ellen entered the room. Ellen cradled her hot coffee in her hands trying to transfer some of the drinks warmth to herself. Not that it was working.

Delainey entered the briefing room, her usual smile a bit subdued as she greeted everyone who met her eyes. She still wasn't entirely sure she understood everything they were facing, but she knew they had to put forth their best efforts.

Tyrlai wandered in, late as usual, wearing one of the Breen refrigeration suits, one of the many she had found with no refrigeration components included whatsoever. The Breen uniforms were identical on the outside but seemed functionally different on the inside. Some had cooling systems, most did not, a few had pressurizing reinforcements and some had odd functionally mysterious internal attachments. The helmets also differed in internal structure. The nose was occasionally empty, usually contained atmospheric filtering sensors and always had visual and EM systems built in. She carried the helmet along and only used it when absolutely necessary, she set it on the table as she took her seat.

Marcus seemed unaffected by the cold -- he was dressed in his usual uniform, albeit wearing the multi-layered "jacket" version that was normally requisitioned for time on cooler planets. Not quite Andoria cold, and certainly not Breen cold.

Only just arriving on the ship itself, Sylok made his way to the meeting room of the alien vessel. His purpose on this mission was three-fold. The first was his vast experience with Breen equipment during his time serving with the allied Romulans during the Dominion War. The second was to hopefully bring some sort of normalcy to the Portland's Engineering crew after the departure of it's last Chief Engineer. The departure of two Chiefs in a single year as well as more than a healthy dose of shenanigans had told Starfleet that something needed to change. Sylok didn't greet anyone, simply sat in an open seat and awaited the start to the meeting.

Nikki was the last to arrive -- frantically rushing in and grabbing an empty seat next to Marcus, and throwing her PADDs down on the table with a clatter. "Sorry, I was just down in the computer core and got a little tangled in all the tentacles," she said, before looking at a green slime that was stuck to her hand. Wiping it off on Marcus' uniform, she turned back towards the captain. "So... what did I miss?"

Marcus glanced sidelong at Nikki, and then back at his PADD without missing a beat.

"Not much, ensign," replied Meru as she looked over the room. Pressing a button, she activated a holographic projector in the middle of the table which projected the bust of a grizzled, old space pirate. "I'm sure some of you recognize this man. This is Drezna Vike, a notorious Orion space pirate. And he is why we are here."

The name caught Arthur by surprise. Though he was only a child living on Rigel, he'd heard of Drezna's growing popularity on one of the worlds owned by the Syndicate. That could only mean that he'd managed to gain a lot of influence among the Syndicate proper, or they would've quietly eliminated him and used some sort of subterfuge to make the public think he'd stepped down willingly - if they were smart. As he looked up at the hologram, he narrowed his eyes, trying to recognize the face. He didn't say a word, quietly listening to what the captain had to say about the man.

Tyrlai glanced over at Arthur who appeared lost in thought over the Orion. Grelka had occasionally mentioned the man in passing, usually in a dismissive tone; 'that upstart Vike knows what's good for him I can show him what a,...' the rest of her statements of that type involved a variety of technological farming implements and how they could interface often inappropriately with bio-organisms. After coming into her 'inheritance' Tyrlai had gutted the organizations of everyone who had associated with Grelka. The downside was that it was often to the benefit of even more dubious characters, such as Vike.

After pausing for emphasis and observing the reactions of the crew, Meru turned towards the counselor. "Ms. Carlisle, I believe you have prepared a psychological profile of Mr. Vike?"

"I'm afraid given the scant information available, all I really have to offer is a shockingly brief summary of his history. Without more information or an opportunity to observe an interaction with Mister Vike, anything resembling a psychological profile would be primarily speculation on my part based on what we know of the Syndicate in general. Here's what I can tell you: Our target first became indirectly associated when the Portland's now deceased former Intel chief, Daniel Tobin joined the crew. According to Tobin's personnel file, he worked for Mister Vike while Tobin was growing up on New Sydney. The records indicate Vike was a friend of Daniel Tobin's mother at the time and was also a political candidate. Reports state Vike lost his bid for election when Starfleet let it be known he had several illegitimate children that he then tried to kill to avoid losing the election. My understanding is even though he lost the election and the respect of Daniel Tobin, Mister Vike has managed to become a well-placed member of the Orion Syndicate in recent years. Portland's records indicate the crew blew up his ship when they encountered him, though the details are unclear. You don't have to be an expert in psychology or the Syndicate to know the guy is likely out fir revenge."

"That's right. There is no doubt that he holds a special grudge against us, and would be more than happy to get his revenge for the incident that occurred the last time we met." replied Alenis, as she pressed a button to flick the display over to a diagram of a large piece of technology, as she paused for a moment to let the situation sink in. "And this is why we're here. Last time we met, he barely managed to get away wit a stolen cloaking device. Starfleet Intelligence has been tracking his gang for weeks now, and we have received a tip that he has plans to sell the cloaking device. That is where we come in."

Never one to stand on formality or waste time waving a hand in the air to get permission to speak, as so many other kids in a regular Federation school might, Arthur exclaimed, "The Breen." There was no point in hiding it. While the cold temperature in the ship may have just been another accident, Tyrlai wearing the Breen suit certainly gave it away. "He's going to sell it to the Breen - or someone in Breen space, right?"

To be continued...
Capt. Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:38 pm

[quote="Alenis Meru"]Briefing time, part 2
"Ready room," Breen freighter
Authors: Alenis Meru, Timothy Rouse, Ash Sullivan, Arthur Reynolds, Delainey Carlisle, Jason Beauvoir, Marcus Kallan, Nikki Barclay (NPC Alenis), Coln Jena (NPC Beauvoir), Sylok (NPC Sera)


Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...

Never one to stand on formality or waste time waving a hand in the air to get permission to speak, as so many other kids in a regular Federation school might, Arthur exclaimed, "The Breen." There was no point in hiding it. While the cold temperature in the ship may have just been another accident, Tyrlai wearing the Breen suit certainly gave it away. "He's going to sell it to the Breen - or someone in Breen space, right?"

And now, the continuation...


"Exactly," replied Meru, bringing up her next slide, a picture of a Breen warrior. "This is Thot Brel, commander of the Breen forces in the Larendra sector. He's a veteran of the Dominion War, and rumour has it he was one of the architects of the attack on Earth. He is known to be a proponent of re-armament and a more aggressive foreign policy for the Breen confederacy. Needless to say, if he were to get his hands on a cloaking device, it would seriously upset the balance of powers in the quadrant."

Meru paused for a moment to allow that to sink in before continuing. "Fortunately, Starfleet Intelligence has intercepted a transmission containing the time and place of the handoff. Also, fortunately, Commander Rouse here is the same height and build as Mr. Brel."

Tim eyes went big when he heard the suggestion Meru made, even thought he hadn't said it. "'Please tell me your joking," he said as he turned in her direction. Ignoring protocol and ranks.

"Oh come on, it's a simple mission. More of an errand, really." Meru brushed aside Tim's comment and turned back to face the room. "All we have to do is get there first, impersonate Brel trade Vike the cloaking device for a shipment of transphasic torpedoes -- counterfeit, of course -- and get out of there before the real Brel shows up. It's so simple... what could possibly go wrong?"

Sylock quietly listened to the briefing, but decided that the Captain seemed to be misconstruing the ease of the current mission. He spoke up in order to get clarification, "Was that a rhetorical question, Captain? There is a multitude of events that could occur that would have negative impacts on our objectives."

Ash nearly laughed until he realised where the comment had come from. The new Vulcan officer wasn't even trying to be sarcastic. "I was going to say ma'am would you like us to compile a list?"

"You'll need a biosignature apparatus added to your suit," Marcus observed, looking towards Tim. "And a subspace field generator to alter your mass so that you appear to be said Breen. Both would have to be carefully calibirated to prevent detection. But the longer you are under scrutiny, the sooner sensors will identify your true nature -- one that is fleshy and 37 degrees Celcius."

"Do we know the species of Brel?" Sylok asked. "The Breen are a collection of various species, much like the Xindi of our own Federation. The environmental suits are designed to ensure that all Breen appear the same to outsiders." Pausing for a moment to see if the rest of the room was on the same page, the Vulcan engineer continued, "If we knew what he was, we could better mask Commander Rouse's own biological signature."

Why was everyone talking like it was a done deal. They couldn't serious be planning this away mission. "Is somebody forgetting that we know almost nothing about this guy. How am I to impersonate someone we only know of how he looks." Tim said, trying to tone back his annoyance that there wasn't anyone else who could do this.

"Unfortunately, we don't know Brel's exact species. Finding information like that about any Breen is notoriously difficult," replied Meru, before turning to Tim. "We do have a short file on him in the intelligence database. As for how you will impersonate him, Judith did mention that you played an excellent <i>Hamlet</i> in hgh school. Between your physical resemblance and your acting chops, I'm sure this will be no problem for you."

Tim closed his eyes. He was going to kill his sister, again. The chuckle Ellen was trying to hide didn't help his mood either. "Let me guess, whatever reason anyone comes up with for not going through with this crazy idea will be shot down by you, isn't it." He said after turning in Meru's direction.

"I can't claim to be an expert in the art of gathering intel," Arthur exclaimed once he heard of their dilemma, offering a glance toward Tyrlai. "But I may know someone who can help... a former associate that helped us on our last little outing. After all--" He gave a smug look at Timothy, as if the situation was somehow humorous, at least from where he was sitting. "The Commander can't go in half-cocked."

"Any intelligence you can gather would be gratefully appreciated," replied Meru, before turning back to Tim. "These orders come from on high. Now, if anyone else has a better idea as to how to recover the cloaking device and encourage Vike to accept a shipment of phony transphasic torpedoes with tracking devices embedded inside, I'm all ears."

The briefing room filled with silence.

"I thought so," replied Meru after a moment of silence. "We'll need an away team. Any volunteers, aside from Commander Rouse?"

"Yes ma'am. I'd like to volunteer." Ash said as he straightened up in his chair. "I have learnt a little about Breen technology since we've been aboard this freighter and if the exchange does go sideways you'll want a trained security officer present."

"I volunteer too." Jason said. "I can't let Commander Rouse and Mr Sullivan have all the fun, can I? Besides I'm the one that understands the Breen language."

"As the only crew member with any real experience with Breen technology, it is logical that I must volunteer for this mission," Sylok replied. "I can instruct Ensign Barclay of the basic functionality this starship."

"And what exactly will the away team be doing? Unless they also dress up like Breen their looks will probably betray the whole disquise. Or have I missed something?" Tim said.

Meru let out a little chuckle to brush off Tim's objections. "Any self-respecting semi-criminal Breen warlords has to have a posse, wouldn't you agree? There's a whole crate full of Breen environmental suits in the cargo hold." With that, she turned back towards the crew. "Then it's settled. Sylok, Beauvoir, Sullivan, you're with Rouse. The rest of us are going to be up here, ready to pull you out in case things go south."

Well, at least I won't be the only one dressing up, Tim thought.
Capt. Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:38 pm

Post-briefing
Ready Room
Right after the briefing
Authors: Alenis Meru, Timothy Rouse

As all the crew filed out of the improvised Briefing room, Meru couldn't help but notice that Tim wasn't in a rush to leave. And he had that look on his face; that same look that he always gets when she starts making these sorts of plans. Or when he discovered her little encounter with Admiral Hurin on the Nightingale.

Pretending not to notice until the doors closed behind the last of the senior staff to leave, Meru then looked Tim in the eye. "What?" she asked, knowing that she was about to get an earful.

"You know, I'm still trying to figure out if you're just nuts or pretending to be nuts." He said as he walked to the replicator and briskly ordered a black coffee. He needed caffeine, and lots of it.

"You have a problem with the plan?" Meru asked coyly, raising an eyebrow at Tim.

"You want me to pretend to be a Breen, a guy we almost know nothing of, to intercept a device. This just has written trouble all over it. There are so many ways this could go wrong. Not even thinking of how not Starfleet this mission will be." Tim ranted. "The last I've gotten used since serving with you."

"Oh, this is definitely Starfleet. Authorization for this mission goes right to the top. That is, unless anyone asks -- top secret, and all that." She paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and sighed. While she would occasionally overrule Tim, she had grown to trust his opinion and rely on him for some sober second thought. "Do you really think we've gone too far with this one?"

"We don't have a choice anymore, do we?" Tim said "We're already on a Breen ship. I just have a real hard time believing Starfleet would order us to steal a breen ship in order to retrieve something. This just doesn't sound right. To much of a risk."

"More of a risk than allowing the Breen to get their hands on a cloaking device, or Vike to arm his ships with transphasic torpedoes?" countered Meru, raising an eyebrow as she spoke. As she finished pacing back and forth across the briefing room, she sighed and leaned on the table. "I'm not crazy about this mission either," she admitted, "but this is our chance to take down Vike's entire organization. Our phony cargo contains iridium transponders. If he accepts delivery of these torpedoes, we'll be able to track every one of them from ten sectors away."

"Is that really what this is about?" Tim responded as he looked at his friend. "About getting the equipment back? Or are you looking for revenge on Vike? Because of what happened to Tobin. On your watch."

Meru stepped back from the table. Tim was right; she was being emotional about this whole situation. Perhaps that was clouding her judgement, but in this case, emotions and duty coincided. "Don't you want to see him and all his scumbag pirates behind a force field as well?" she responded.

"Of course I want that to happen," He said, a little bit surprise she had to ask. "But I don't want to risk my life for it."

"We're Starfleet officers. Risking our lives is what we do." She held her head and took a deep breath. "Would it help if I told Ensign Barclay to keep a transporter lock on you and the team at all times? This is all cloak and dagger stuff, so I can't order you to go on the mission. But the Federation needs someone to keep us all safe right now."

"I know it's our job. It's just..." Tim let out a deep breath. "It's the first away mission I'm going on since Andy was born." He said in a whisper, not feeling comfortable talking about his feelings.

"Oh." Meru came closer and placed a hand on Tim's shoulder and looked him in the eye. "Timothy, I promise you that Andy won't grow up without a father. Besides," she added, her tone softening slightly, "I think when it comes to saving each other's lives, I still owe you one?"

Tim couldn't help but laugh on that. "You owe me a lot more with all the crazy solutions you come up with."

"Then it's settled." Meru chuckled slightly along with Tim. "What's one more crazy solution anyways?"

"Somehow I have a feeling this won't be the last,"
Capt. Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:31 am

Disciplinary Matters
Captain's Office, Breen Freighter
Authors: Alenis Meru, Coln Jena


Now that she was settled into what would be her new office -- or as settled in as one can get on an unfamiliar Breen freighter -- Meru had a personnel matter to deal with. She took a deep breath and glanced sideways at Ko-ko, who simply tilted her head and stared back. "I guess you're right," she mused, "I have to deal with this sooner or later."

She tapped her comm badge. "Ms. Coln, I'd like to see you in my office."

Jena had been familiarizing herself with the Breen freighter's systems. The bio-mechanical nature of the systems appealing to Scientific mind. Answering her comm badge, she said on my way, Captain."

It didn't take her long to reach the Captain's new office. She then signaled her presence through the use of the Breen armour gauntlet she wore.

"Ms. Coln..." started Meru, in a serious tone, "please, have a seat. We have some... matters... we have to discuss."

Jena bit her lip, said. :Now that she was settled into what would be her new office -- or as settled in as one can get on an unfamiliar Breen freighter -- Meru had a personnel matter to deal with. She took a deep breath and glanced sideways at Ko-ko, who simply tilted her head and stared back. "I guess you're right," she mused, "I have to deal with this sooner or later."

She tapped her comm badge. "Ms. Coln, I'd like to see you in my office."

Jena had been familiarizing herself with the Breen freighter's systems. The bio-mechanical nature of the systems appealing to her Scientific mind. Answering her comm badge, she said on my way, Captain."

It didn't take her long to reach the Captain's new office. She then signaled her presence through the use of the Breen armour gauntlet she wore.

"Ms. Coln..." started Meru, in a serious tone, "please, have a seat. We have some... matters... we have to discuss."

Jena bit her lip,out of anxiety, said. "Yes, ma'am." and took a seat.

Seeing Jena's anxiety, Meru felt a little bad for her. She didn't want to intimidate the girl, but they needed to have a difficult conversation. "Now, Ms. Coln, I don't recall anyone approving your presence on this mission. I'm grateful for your work on the environmental controls, but do you really think that a dangerous, top-secret mission is a good place for a girl your age? It's a little dangerous out here..."

Jena took a deep breath before replying. When she did her voice was calm and clear. "Ma'am, let me first apologise for the deceitful way got on this mission. I did not do it on a whim nor was it high jinks. I thought it over carefully and felt that I could be of use." She paused for a moment. "As you know I've been doing the Starfleet Academy prep courses, and to tell you the truth, I wanted to put what I'd learned into practice."

"There has to be a much less dangerous way to do so than to hijack a Breen ship," countered Alenis. "We have plenty of training exercises and simulations available in the holodeck."

"Indeed, ma'am, but I wanted to give back. You and the crew of the Portland have been so good to me, giving me a home, I just wanted to help." Jena said.

Meru nodded and stood up from her desk, pacing back and forth a couple times. She wasn't expecting that. Jena was a good kid, she just needed to avoid getting into more trouble than she could handle. "Tell me, Ms. Coln, have you thought about what you would like to do after high school? Were you thinking of a career in Starfleet?"

"Yes, I was planning to follow in my parents' foot steps and become a Science Officer, ma'am." Jena replied.

"And so you see my predicament," replied Meru as she turned back to face Jena. "Given your role as an acting ensign on my ship, it is my responsibility to impart on you the importance of following procedures -- which in this case, you failed to do." Seeing Jena start to sink into her chair, she continued. "On the other hand, a good Starfleet officer shows initiative and uses their unique talents to advance the mission. Hmmm...."

"Tell me, Ms. Coln, are you familiar with The Mikado?"

Jena thought for a moment. "That's Gilbert and Sullivan operetta set in Japan, right?" She asked.

"Good. Then you are familiar with the idea that the punishment should fit the crime." Meru paced back and forth a couple times as she pondered the appropriate response. "Perhaps a few extra shifts working with Sylok to decode the Breen computer systems would be in order?"

"Yes, ma'am. Jena replied.

"Oh, and one more thing... make sure to put this on your academy application. Specialized knowledge about an alien species such as the Breen looks good on the review boards." Meru paused for a moment. "Though you might want to leave the part about stowing away out."

Jena smiled. "Indeed, ma'am, and thank you."

"I'm glad we see eye to eye on this," replied Meru. "Dismissed."
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:09 am

Meeting in Engineering
Main Engineering, Breen vessel
Authors: Sylok (played by Sera Williams), Ensign Nikki Barclay (played by Alenis Meru), Acting Ensign Coln Jena (played by Jason Beauvoir)


Barging into main engineering for the first time, Nikki was excited. She had never been on a Breen ship before, and was fascinated by the few remnants of Breen technology that had been recovered so far. Perhaps it was Uncle Reg's tales of fighting the Borg, or perhaps it was her desire for order amidst the chaos of social interactions, but she had been fascinated ever since a young age by cyborgs and other bio-synthetic systems.

"Wow, it's... it's..." she stammered, frozen in awe as she stared at the warp core.

"...fascinating, as my grandmother would say, ma'am." Jena finished.

The sound of the two beings entering Engineering caught the attention of Sylock's Vulcan hearing. As he stood, he saw the source of the commotion. The first was a dark-haired female Human could could have on been the infamous Nikki Barclay, while the other was a blonde female who appeared to have at least some Vulcan heritage. In his usual monotonous tone and Vulcan charm, Sylok called out, "Greetings, do you require assistance?"

Slightly startled, Nikki froze and stared intently at the Vulcan. Her eyes went from his eyes, to his ears, to the pips on his collar. Was this a new senior officer? Nikki wasn't expecting this. Though, it might have been her fault for spending the last 48 hours playing a new tribble collecting game that makes use of subspace coordinates rather than reading her briefing notes as intently as she should have.

"Who..." said Nikki, staring directly into Sylok's eyes and blinking frantically. "Who are you."

"I am Lieutenant Sylok, Starfleet expert on Breen technology and the Chief Engineer of the Portland," Sylok responded matter of factly. He had read the dossier on Nikki Barclay. She was a bit over-emotional but certainly had some ability.

"Oh." Nikki's tone was disappointed, as she had initially presumed that with Sera not coming on this mission, she would be in charge of engineering on a cool alien ship. She also couldn't help but notice that Sylok wasn't anywhere near as warm as Sera. "I didn't realize we were getting a new chief so soon..." she said, trembling with anxiety.

Sylok simply regarded the woman as only a Vulcan could, not so much with condescension but with fact that could have been taken as such with someone not familiar with full-blooded Vulcans. As if stating something that was plainly obvious, Sylok responded, "With the... incidents that have occurred lately with the Engineering crew of the Portland, the creation of an arguably sentient being and the destruction <i>with accident</i> of a valuable piece of experimental technology. Starfleet is concerned."

Skipping topics to the matter at hand, Sylok added. "During the war with the Dominion, I was the Starfleet liaison to the Romulan Empire. I worked with Breen technology extensively as part of the effort to determine a weakness to their ships." He left off that the crew was in good hands, as it wasn't in his nature to brag so openly.

Nikki nodded along, before her brain skipped back to something Sylok had said. "Wait a minute..." she replied, glaring at her superior officer, "are you implying something about Sera's performance as Chief Engineer? Because she's like the best engineer I've ever met. Except for my Uncle Reg, of course."

Such an emotional being, Sylok felt almost sorry for the Engineering Ensign in front of him. As though explaining basic rules to a child, Sylok responded, "I was not commenting on the competency of Lieutenant Williams' ability as the Chief Engineer. I merely stated that the rate of reported incidents were concerning."

"Oh." Nikki paused for a moment, creating an awkward silence that was soon too much for her to bear. "So, do you... like... stuff?"

With an arched eyebrow, Sylok responded, "If you mean to ask if I have preferable activities, I assure you that I do. However, I do not see the relevance to the current situation."

"That's cool," replied Nikki. "Say, I was just thinking, maybe we could hang out in the holodeck sometime. I have some great programs... the adventures of Lady Nikki of Barclayshire, for one." Placing a finger on her chin, she continued. "Where is the holodeck on this ship anyways? I haven't seen in on the schematics."

"The Breen do not have holodecks," Sylok informed the Lieutenant, almost thankful for the fact. The Vulcan engineer found them a distraction. When the holodeck was used for simulation purposes or training, they were useful tools. He tapped a few commands on the nearest console, which brought up the a map layout of the ship. "I had the computer run a translation matrix through the Romulan linguistic database in order to translate the layout and consoles into Federation Standard."

"Thank goodness, sir. I've been trying to work out the systems pretty much by trial and error." Jena said.

"The Federation has had such limited contact with the Breen that our translation matrices have yet to acquire a sufficient sample. The Romulans have had significant contact with the Breen prior to the Dominion War and were even in negotiations to rival the Khitomer Accords with the Breen." Sylok informed Jena.

"I had heard that the Breen and the Romulans had something of a complicated relationship, sir." Jena said.

As Sylok and Jena chatted back and forth, Nikki stepped back from the conversation. Her breathing started to get faster and shallower, and before she knew it, she was hyperventilating. As she struggled to catch her breath, her vision narrowed and her head felt light, until she crumpled to the floor.

Looking up, she saw Sylok and Jena staring down at her. "Did you say... no holodeck?" was all she could utter between gasps of air.

"That is correct Ensign," Sylok replied as he looked down to the engineer. "Do you require medical assistance?" he asked as though he were inquiring about a person's choice of food.

"I... I... I..." Sitting up Nikki began shivering uncontrollably. Being without a holodeck for the duration of this mission was going to be hell. "I just need a moment..."

The Vulcan Chief Engineer looked back up toward Jena and asked, "Is she always this... emotional?"

"She is quite attached to the holodeck, sir, but from what I've heard, she is an excellent engineer." Jena replied.

"That, is yet to be determined," Sylok offered his honest assessment. He never understood the fascination certain species had with the holodeck. It made easier certain training exercises as well as aided in the creation of a meditation zone, but he would not miss the absence of one.

Finally, Nikki managed to pull herself to her feet. "So... where should I start?"

"Can you re-calibrate the warp matrix?" Sylok asked, not wanting to tax his assistant too much after her fainting episode.

"Can I re-calibrate a warp matrix?" asked Nikki in a dismissive tone. "Of course I can re-calibrate a warp matrix," she continued, placing her hands on her hips. "What do you think I am, some kind of first-year cadet? Why, I'll have you know..." trailing off, she looked around engineering, trying to situate herself. "Ummmm, where is the warp field control console?"
Capt. Alenis Meru
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USS Portland

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Timothy Rouse
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:58 pm

Going Down, Part One
With: Alenis Meru, Timothy Rouse, Tyrlai Zade, Jason Beauvoir, Ash Sullivan, Arthur Reynolds, Delainey Carlisle, Marcus Kallan, Nikki Barclay (NPC Alenis), Coln Jena (NPC Beauvoir), Sylok (NPC Sera), Ellen Washington (NPC Tim)

Bridge, Breen Freighter

On the bridge of the Breen vessel, Meru sat in the center chair -- curiously located not in the exact center, but offset slightly to the left, and pulled her helmet off. Instead of the main screen and auxiliary console system that the Federation were used to, each bridge crew member wore a large helmet. The upside to all this was that the consoles were universal. Any crew member could plug in their console to any station and control any system, which allowed for some redundancy. The downside was that they weren't calibrated for humanoid physiology, so the displays in the helmets tended to cause eye strain and nausea, meaning that frequent breaks were a necessity, at least for Meru.

Marcus was not normally one to fly anything. He had basic flight control competency but that was it. And with everything else running smoothly onboard thanks to Nikki, he had little to do. So, why not drive the ugly, blocky, modular, freezing-cold ship? "Arriving at Mentus III now, sir," he reported.

Mentus III was a barely inhabitable class K planet. With its red dirt, it resembled Mars somewhat, only with much larger ice caps. The Mentus system was a veritable no-man's land: It's location amidst nebulae and frequent plasma storms made it difficult to navigate to, and the complete lack of resources or suitable worlds for colonization meant that neither the Breen nor the Federation were particularly interested in the system. Which in turn meant that it was left as a haven for criminal elements such as the Orion syndicate.

"Good. Set ourselves up for a geosynchronous orbit above coordinates 19-047-318," called out Meru. "Our friendly neighbourhood space pirate should be calling us any second--"

Despite feeling like he needed to croak up the last of that morning's breakfast, Arthur did his best to maintain some dignity at his position behind the tactical console. Though far from claustrophobic, he felt the Breen helmets were more constrained than any others he'd seen in museums and simulations. Right now, he'd give an arm and a leg just to be wearing a pudgy Romulan 'hairmet' or a plain EV suit with plenty of room for air circulation. He had no such luck, however, nor did anyone else, it seemed.

When an indicator icon flashed on the visor within his helmet, Arthur exclaimed, his words translated into Breen, "Incoming hail. Audio only."

"Put it on... helmet," replied Meru, taking a deep breath as she placed the helmet back over her head.

"Breen vessel, this is Vike. I am transmitting coordinates for our... meeting."

Meru recognized the voice immediately; it was Vike, all right. After their last interaction, she would do anything to take him down, but now, she needed to control her anger.

One didn't have to be a counselor to see Meru's agitation at hearing the familiar voice. Delainey couldn't blame her. Carlisle just hoped she could keep her emotions in check long enough for them to complete their mission. Delainey leaned forward, straining to hear any indication from any of the parties that things were about to go south. Admittedly, Delainey was relying on her gut primarily to assess the exchange.

"This is Freighter Vizjak on approach for scheduled meeting." Tyrlai crackled back through the helmet translator. "Please provide orbital vector and required transport coordinates."

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

Transporter Room, Breen Freighter

After putting on the Breen suit, except for the helmet, he looked around the room to see the others were getting dressed as well. "Ok, anyone got any idea how where gonna pull this off?" He said while glancing at the intelligence report on the person he's suppose to reenact. He got an idea of his own, but he was curious to the ideas of the other members of the away team.

"I believe in you, commander!" exclaimed Ensign Barclay at the transporter console, seeing that her executive officer was having some doubts. "You're like the most awesome XO ever... if you can't do it, no one can!"

Jason rolls his eyes at Barclay's youthful exuberance as he adjusted his helmet.

Tim lifted an eyebrow. What was she trying to accomplish by that reply. Was she still afraid for him after that episode in sickbay a while back?

Ash struggled a little to get the Breen suit over his frame and when he finally did have it on he felt quite uncomfortable, his movement greatly restricted. "We should probably try not to let on that we're humans." He said with a laugh.

"That would be an understatement. Breen aren't very happy with humans." Tim said as he continued getting the suit on.

Virtually ignoring the rallying of Tim as he put on the Breen suit, Sylok finally spoke up, "The Breen would most certainly not be any more pleased to see a Vulcan as they would Humans. We should take every precaution in order to avoid being discovered as impostors."

As a light came on on Nikki's console and some coordinates popped up on her screen, she carefully manipulated the transporter controls and looked up at Tim. "Get your helmets on, boys, it's time to go down."

"Let's go guys," Tim said in response to the ensign and put his helmet on.

With a measure of difficulty, due to the tightness of his suit, Ash managed to raise his arms high enough to pull his helmet on. "Ready sir." He reported while making an OK sign with his hand.

Jason put on his helmet and signaled he was ready.

Sylok locked his helmet into place and replied, "Ready, sir."

"Four to beam down," Tim gave the command that would start their away mission.

TBC
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
Executive Officer
USS Portland

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Timothy Rouse
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:58 pm

Going Down, Part Two
With: Alenis Meru, Timothy Rouse, Tyrlai Zade, Jason Beauvoir, Ash Sullivan, Arthur Reynolds, Delainey Carlisle, Marcus Kallan, Nikki Barclay (NPC Alenis), Coln Jena (NPC Beauvoir), Sylok (NPC Sera), Ellen Washington (NPC Tim)

Mentus III

Concealed by constant sandstorms and an ion shield, the facility at coordinates 54.263/62.985 was all but invisible to scans. It was here that Vike made his command center; in a place almost inhospitable to those who weren't prepared.

Four flashed of blue light shimmered in the depth of the sandstorm; whose howling winds almost knocked over the "Breen" party. Immediately after beam-down, they were met by four figures, wrapped almost completely in lightly-coloured cloth to protect themselves from the blowing sand, almost powerful enough to blast the skin off bone. The small slits for eyes, the only part of them not covered in cloth, was concealed with brass goggles, and a mask with dust filter completed the ensemble -- that, and a disruptor carbine slung over each of their shoulders.

"This way," shouted one of them, pointing towards a large shadowy building, one which was surrounded with a faint blue glow, with one hand, and moving the other close to his disruptor carbine.

After getting his bearings Tim took a second to look around him. Not that he could see much. After the man had spoken Tim started following him, not wanting to give him any reason to use the carbine.

Jason followed Tim, trying to make out something of their surroundings and looking for snipers. The place reminded him a little of Vulcan, and he wondered what the indigenous life was like.

As the landing party approached, it became evident that the blue glow surrounding the building was a shield dome. Under the watchful eye of Vike's men, the "Breen" were led to a small archway in the dome. One of the guard reached out and pressed his hand against a panel, lowering the shields within the archway and allowing the party to pass into the complex.

Inside the shield dome, protected by the whipping sands, a number of Syndicate members were busy moving shipments. A couple small starships were off behind the building, being loaded and unloaded by Nausicaans. More guards stood watch at the entrance to the main building, and a couple snipers on the rooftop kept careful watch over everything.

"This way," said one of the guards as he led them inside the building. Just inside, they were greeted by a figure who was all too familiar.

"Greetings," said Vike, closely examining his Breen counterpart with his one good eye. "Welcome to Mentus III, the smuggler's paradise. It's an honour to have someone of your stature at our humble complex, Thot Brel."

Stepping up to Vike Tim tried to think of what Brel would say, "Thank you, now can we get to business. My time is to valuable to stand around here for ages."

Vike chuckled menacingly. "Right down to business. I like that. You have my merchandise?"

Irritated with Vike and with this whole ridiculous mission, Tim gritted his teeth. "Show me the cloaking device first," he countered in a voice that betrayed his anger and frustration with Vike. Part of him just wanted to kill the man now.

Vike shook his head. "What, you don't trust me? All right, this way..."

As the team followed Vike Ash allowed himself to trail behind the group until finally he had broken off from them. He used the opportunity, being free from Vike's watchful gaze, to get a better idea of this complex in case this mission went south. Pressing a button on the side of his helmet to switch between the built in translator and the comm device they had installed before-hand, Ash relayed the complex's layout and guard postings to the rest of the team. "Let's hope this trade goes smoothly because we are drastically outnumbered in here, not to mention the shield we need to get through outside."

"It is not wise to waste time, we must complete our mission with haste," Sylok added with the unemotional voice that only a Vulcan could pull off. "The real you has an unknown location. If he appears while we are here, we would be in an undesirable situation, Commander."

"Agreed," replied Tim, carefully scanning his surroundings. "Let's get moving, we need to get this device as soon as possible.

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

Bridge - Breen freighter

On the bridge, Meru was listening in intently to the conversation between Tim and Vike through a small communicator discretely installed in his helmet. She could feel her blood boiling as she listened to that voice; since the last time they had met, there was nothing she wanted to see more than him brought to justice. But it would all have to be in due time -- recovering the cloaking device and delivering the fake torpedoes was more important than taking down a single individual.

As she pondered the situation, though, she was interrupted by a chime on the bridge.

As it turned out, Delainey didn't need a behavioral clue, subtle or otherwise, to let her know things were about to go to hell in a hand basket.

"Captain, there's a Breen cruiser approaching our position." Jena reported from the Operations console.

"ETA!" shouted Meru, before cursing under her breath. Starfleet was supposed to make sure that Thot Brel was held up so they could accomplish their mission.

"Six-point-two minutes, sir." Jena replied.

Meru nodded. "All hands, full alert." She pressed a button on her chair, which was connected to the comm system in her helmet. "Tim, you have five minutes. Get the cloaking device and get out of there."

"What's going on?" Ellen said as she entered the bridge. As soon as the alert had sounded she had left the area that was suppose to be the ship's sickbay. "Anything I can do?"

"There's a Breen cruiser approaching," Delainey replied to Ellen, her voice low and matter of fact. It will be here in about five minutes, but were trying to take care of business and get the hell out of here. Don't worry, Ellen, close getaways seem to be our specialty. We just get to do it in new digs today," she added with a smile.

"Sorry, this is my first away mission," and Tim is down there, she thought. "Let's just hope we don't get many casualties, because the only thing I've figured out how to work is the height adjuster of the biobed."

TBC
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
Executive Officer
USS Portland

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Timothy Rouse
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Re: Mission 9: "Cold Case"

Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:00 pm

Going Down, Part Three
With: Alenis Meru, Timothy Rouse, Tyrlai Zade, Jason Beauvoir, Ash Sullivan, Arthur Reynolds, Delainey Carlisle, Marcus Kallan, Nikki Barclay (NPC Alenis), Coln Jena (NPC Beauvoir), Sylok (NPC Sera), Ellen Washington (NPC Tim)


Mentus III

"And here," said Vike, down in the warehouse on the planet, motioning towards an empty space next to a few crates, "is the piece de resistance."

Before his eyes, Tim saw a large mechanical object appear before his eyes. It was unmistakably Klingon, and by its dramatic appearance, was unmistakably a cloaking device. But before he could inspect it, he was interrupted by Meru's voice in his headset. "Damn," he muttered under his breath. He knew this mission was a bad idea.

After hearing the bad news Ash switched his helmet translator back on and caught up with the rest of the team who had gathered around what he could only assume was the cloaking device they were after. "Commander I just received word from the ship. One of our outposts is under attack, we really should make this trade and then get back to the ship." Ash said to Tim, trying to create an excuse for their hasty retreat.

Jason moved himself into a position that was easier to defend in case all Hell broke out.

Sylok positioned himself opposite Jason. It was logical to have both flanks of the team covered in case things went sideways, and this had the makings of something that could go from bad to worse.

Tim nodded towards Ash then turned back towards Vike. "We will have to be going. I will just be taking my cloaking device, and--"

"Wait," interjected Vike, holding his arm up. "I believe there is the little method of my payment. One shipment of transphasic torpedoes..."

"Of course." Tim handed Vike a Breen PADD, containing a description of the ship's cargo. "It's all there. Transmit your shield frequency to my ship via this PADD and we will make the exchange by simultaneous transport."

Vike stared at the PADD for a moment, before being interrupted by one of his men. "Sir, we're receiving a--"

"Not now!" Vike glared at the insolent henchman and returned his eyes to the PADD. Satisfied that the merchandise was real, he pressed a few buttons with his thumbs to prepare for the transport.

"But sir--" protested the henchman once more.

"Quiet, or the next word out of your mouth will be your last!" Vike chuckled a little and returned his gaze to Tim. "See, sometimes you need to keep your people in line. Now, as for the transport..."

Bridge, Breen vessel


"Unknown Breen Vessel. Identify yourself" Sounded a Breen voice over the comm. "This is Thot Brel and you are not authorized to be here,"

"Ms. Zade, buy us some time," called out Meru, as she used her helmet to scan for somewhere, anywhere to escape should the Breen open fire. "Lieutenant Kallan, prepare to take us out of orbit as soon as we recover the away team. Carlisle, Washington, grab some helmets. You're on shields and power distribution. Reynolds, tactical analysis."

"It's a Plesh Brek frigate," Arthur noted dispassionately. He'd only had the past few days to study what he could on Breen technology. The Brek frigates were notable for their unique configuration, designed more for maneuverability and speed rather than outright power or defense. "Polaron phasers and transphasic torpedoes. It can outmaneuver us without skipping a beat and outrunning it isn't an option. If I take more detailed scans, they'll catch on quick. But frankly, captain, I don't see any other way out of this aside from looking for a weakness: a blind spot in their sensors or a weak point in their shields. As soon as I do that, they're gonna get really angry, really quick."

Meru pondered the options. "I take it we can't outgun them either... " she replied, familiar with the freighter's weaponry or lack thereof. "They're going to get really angry really quick as soon as they realize we're here. Prepare for a detailed scan on my mark."

Tyrlai paused for a moment and then brought a lifetime of plain mischief to bear on the problem. Stepping over to a pair of consoles she configured one for engineering and the other for communications. She closed her helmet and clicked a reply in the Breen language. "This is a trade ship Vizjak, we are off our scheduled route due to an emergency repair. When repairs have completed we will return to our designated trade lane." Her hands began to move over the engineering display, trying to repeat something clever that Cedria had once done.

There was a small pause as the other ship considered the reply for several long moments. "This is highly irregular. Stand down for inspection."

"Negative, Thot Brel, our proximity could be dangerous to your vessel," Tyrlai said smoothly while continuing to tap away at her console.

Meru clenched her fists and lowered her voice. "Come on, Tim..."

It smelled inside this helmet, was the first thing Ellen noticed when she put the helmet on. She tried to shove that thought out of her head, there were more important stuff to deal with right now. Looking around inside the helmet all kinds of screens popped up. Being already at the station where the shield could be accessed she hoped to God that what she was seeing was indeed about the shield. "Shield are active, Captain, I think!" Ellen said in a shaky breath. She was a nurse, not a bridge officer.

"Confirmed," Arthur noted. With a grim tone, he added, "But they won't hold up long against that ship out there." It was times like this that made him miss being on an Orion raider. Ironic, though, that now he was forced to be on the opposite end of the old phaser turret.

"Freighter Vizjak, our scans do not indicate any irregularities. What is the nature of your needed repairs." Thot Brel's voice crackled from the other ship.

Tyrlai spoke quickly in a measured tone. "We are using our shields to help contain damage to our warp core while we effect repairs. Proximity is inadvisable."

Meru sighed deeply. Arthur was right -- the frigate was faster than their freighter and had much stronger shields and weapons systems. They couldn't outrun them, and they wouldn't have a chance in a straight up fight. That left her with a limited set of options. They could seize the initiative, but in a straight-up fight, they wouldn't stand a chance. Or they could find somewhere to hide. A dozen tactical alternatives ran through her head, from the Battle of the Mutara Nebula to the Picard maneuver.

"The sixth planet," she called out, referring to the ringed gas giant that was Mentus VI. "If we can throw off their sensors, would it be possible to hide in her atmosphere?"

Tyrlai shook her head, flipping her helmet open in order to speak in her normal voice. "Breen ships are asymmetric and not overly aerodynamic. I think we could probably hide but it's unlikely we would get back out of a gas giant's atmosphere."

She was interrupted by the voice of Brel. "Lower your shields, Freighter Vizjak."

Snapping her helmet shut once more she replied in translated Breen. "That is inadvisable."

"Lower, your," Brel replied, punctuating each word, "shields,... now."

Tyrlai took a breath and pressed a large yellow button on her display and nodded for Ellen to lower the shields. The ship shook, rocking the bridge enough to make each of them grab for support. The walls vibrated with a sound not unlike distant thunder.

She opened her comlink again. "Lowering our shields has destabilized the core, we are attempting to regain shield control." Tyrlai said as her hands tapped away attempting to regain core control. "Proximity is inadvisable."

Brel's voice was a little less accusatory in nature as he replied. "Core instability confirmed." The Frigate began moving back.

Tyrlai opened her mask again as both hands worked at the engineering console.

Captain Alenis looked over at her second officer. "How did you fake warp core instability?"

Tyrlai stepped back from her console for a moment to give the Captain a view of a myriad of red flashing indicators. "I'm afraid I'm not faking anything."

TBC
Commander Timothy Andrew Rouse
Executive Officer
USS Portland

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