Where your loyalties lie, part II
Somewhere in the Badlands
2412, immediately after "Arrival in the Badlands"
Authors: Captain Sera Williams, Coln Jena (played by Jason Beauvoir), Gregory Rathcliffe (played by Eilis Ross), Captain Alhambra del Bolero (played by Alenis Meru), Cadet Andy Rouse (played by Timothy Rouse), Commander Valentine "Val" Dubois (played by Jason Beauvoir)
Last time, on Star Trek: Portland
"That would be most appreciated, Tolaran," replied Tim, before looking down at the screen in front of him. "I'm pinpointing the location of the shards as in the forward cargo bay, near the forward bulkhead, on the starboard side." He paused for a moment and sighed deeply, taking a look back at Meru for a brief moment, letting her reassure him with a a smile. "Now let's grab some shards."
Tolaran smiled slightly and turned back to the controls, following Tim's directions he piloted the shuttle gently in to place after a couple of minutes of delicate positioning before turning to his passengers. "We're here..."
And now, the continuation:
Bridge, USS Portland
Sera sat in the Command Chair, carefully considering her next moves. Right now the shuttle needed time, and that time is what she was going to give them. She kept the ship at Yellow Alert. Knowing that the shuttle would be impossible to detect without pinpointing it's exact location, Sera had an idea.
A few years before she left the Portland to become the First Officer of the Lexington, Marcus and Sera had overseen the installation of holographic emitters on the hull of the ship. The project had been scrapped not long after installation because of the power draw of the system and the emitters were left in place. It was doubtful anyone not involved in the project, including everyone one the Eclipse, had any idea they had even been installed. She turned her head toward the Operations station and said, "Marc... erm... I'll do it."
She quickly made her way toward Ops. Once there she frantically tapped various commands on the display. The Bridge began to look damaged, blown out consoles began to replace working consoles. Pieces of the bridge began to appear destroyed and broken titanium beams with pulled out wires dotted the rest of the Bridge. Here and there life support ducts began to smoke.
The outside of the ship looked just as bad to sensors and the eye. Parts of the ship bore scorch marks. In places, the hull looked as if it had been peeled back by a powerful plasma blast, including a large hole through the starboard saucer section. The starboard nacelle began to blink and the power grid appeard to be unstable across the entire ship. Sensors and the eye would have shown the Portland as practically dead in the water.
Sera made her way back to the Captain's chair. As she walked, she made her hair look frazzled and ripped her sleeve. She looked at the Bridge crew and said, "Make yourselves look as bad as the ship."
If the situation weren't so dire, Sera would have laughed at the site of a Bridge crew purposely making themselves look so unprofessional. She looked at Tactical, "I just need one torpedo and some trickery. I need a torpedo slaved to a probe."
Sera sat back into the chair and sighed, hoping this plan would work. Sera turned toward the Helm and said, "Helm, plot a course to bring us side-by-side, make us look extremely damaged with erratic controls. She looked back at tactical, "Hail them."
Jena did as she was ordered. "Captain, might I suggest that we vent some plasma from one of the nacelles to further the pretense." She said returning to the Operations console. Since Val was concentrating on manually targeting the weapons, Science Officer hailed the Eclipse. "I have the Eclipse, Captain."
"Make it so," Sera replied in agreement. They had to make the ship look as damaged as possible. The goal was to get in close to the Eclipse to hopefully disable the pursuing vessel. This time, there would be no Marcus to help the Portland escape. The other choice was to take a Century-old ship on it's way to being mothballed into the plasma storm itself. Sera then thought for a moment, "Could someone add a healthy dose of interference to the our viewscreen feed?"
“Coming right up, captain,” replied Gregory Rathcliffe, adding some video and audio interference to the feed.
A view of the bridge of the Eclipse appeared on the main viewscreen of the USS Portland. At the center of the screen sat Captain del Bolero, a smug expression on his face. He was a little surprised to not see Rouse, but given the damage to the Portland, perhaps he was a casualty. "Captain Williams -- or should I say ex-Captain, as I'm pretty sure by participating in this conspiracy you've given up your commission -- I see your ship is heavily damaged. Is this a social call, or were you going to stand down and offer me an unconditional surrender?"
"Captain del Bolero, the ex-Captain Rouse led us to a trap. We believed him," Sera said, playing a bit on Tim's time as Captain. She had to make it as believeable as she could. "He said we would get back Meru and fix the timeline. He led us to our destruction," she added a bit of desperation to her voice, trying to make her acting performance as realistic as possible.
"Where is he now?" asked del Bolero, staring at Sera with a mixture of anger and disappointment.
"He's... he's gone, along with half the crew. We'd be with them if you didn't come when you did," Sera said with desperation as though she were fighting through tears. Looking at Selina, Sera said, "I'm sorry to put you through this."
Selina had never seen her sister in this condition. Fighting back her own teas, the Eclipse's Chief Operations Officer silently said, "It's ok, sis. We're here."
On the Eclipse, Andy's head shot up upon hearing of his father's passing. "What?" he whispered, not knowing how he felt. Even though the elder Rouse had abandoned him so many years ago, he was still his father.
"I'm sorry for your loss, but as a Starfleet captain, you should understand the consequences of this sort of reckless behaviour," lectured del Bolero in a patronizing tone. "Shut down all systems and prepare for transport directly to our brig. Medical staff will be on hand to deal with any injuries. We will tractor the Portland to the nearest scrapyard, where it belongs."
"I'll bring the Portland to you, then shut down everything but what life support we have," Sera lied. She made a point to look toward the helm and ordered, "Bring us to within docking distance of the Eclipse, prepare to stand down."
With a heavy sigh, Sera looked back at the viewscreen, "Captain, give me a few moments with the crew. I'll be ready to turn myself in to your security officers once we dock."
"As you wish," replied del Bolero. "But I'm warning you, I am authorized to use lethal force, so no funny business."
As the viewscreen faded back to normal, Sera stood from the Captain's chair. With a look towards tactical, she asked, "What's the status of my torpedo? Did you get it slaved to the probe?"
"Yes, sir, its ready to go on your order." Commander Valentine 'Val' Dubois reported from the tactical console, in his usual Southern drawl.
"Very good," Sera replied, a smile almost crossing her face. She turned her attention back to Flight Control as the pilot eased the ship into docking position. When satisfied, she turned towards the viewscreen, "Aim the probe at the joint that connects the nacelle to the pylon."
"Aye, sir." The former CI officer replied as he manipulated the manual targeting controls.
Sera moved the controls to the ship's holographic imaging system to the Captain's chair, giving Tactical a chance to ready their aim. Once she gave the command, the Portland would fire a probe that would attach to the joint of the ship's nacelle and pylon. At the same time, a quantum torpedo would follow the probe, which would create a hole in the Eclipse's shield, and would remove the nacelle from the ship. The effect would be to disable the Eclipse.
She looked at the pilot and said, "When I give the 'fire' command, go to full impulse and get us away from the ship." Turning back to Tactical, she added, "As soon as you fire, raise shields."
Giving a quick sigh, she sat in her chair. She tapped the commands to bring down all of the holographic emitters, giving the Portland access to full power. "Fire and engage," Sera said as she confirmed the choice to bring down the illusion.
Val fired probe and raised the shields, monitoring it as it approached the Eclipse and Portland pulled away.
At the Operations console, Jena had transferred power to the shield emitters and impulse engines in preparation for the manoeuvre. Now she held her breath to see if Sera's plan would work.
Captain Williams was on pins and needles as she watched the probe slip through the Eclipse's shields, followed closely by the glowing blue orb of the quantum torpedo. The viewscreen cut out because of the interference as the quantum torpedo struck true to its target. Sera stood, waiting for some kind of confirmation that the Eclipse had been disabled. "Bring us about, keep weapons ready."
"Captain, your ploy had the desired effect, the Eclipse's port nacelle was sheared clean off by the explosion, there was no other damage and their SI fields adapted immediately. Their warp drive is essentially out of commission, so, if their peacock of a captain wants to go faster than full impulse, he's gonna have to get out and push." Val reported, then after a beat, "Weapons ready, ma'am.
Jena found it hard to stifle a smile when she thought of del Bolero running around the Eclipse dressed as a peacock.
Capt. Alenis Meru