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Bad Timing

Posted on Wed Feb 28th, 2024 @ 4:27pm by Commander Michael Murphy & Captain Jackson Adams & Lieutenant Commander Katja Becker & Lieutenant Steve Ryan & Lieutenant Kestra Ral & Lieutenant Stuart Mann

Mission: Home Sweet home.
Location: Cave on Chaltok IV / USS Montana

(In the cave on Chaltok IV)

The meeting had gone well, and they had new allies against the Romulans. S'Rinarix and his people would be valuable and just might make the difference between life and death for many in Starfleet.

Commander Murphy flipped open his communicator. "Montana, beam us out."

Nothing happened.

"Commander Murphy to Montana," he tried. There was no response again.

Steve noticed Murphy unsuccessfully trying to communicate with the ship. He rose an eyebrow and tapped his commbadge to raise the vessel. He just recently tested comms exactly to avoid these kind of nasty happenings.

Nothing happened.

"Either we are in a shielded place or..." He scratched his chin "the Montana is no more where we left it" he concluded reporting to the XO.

"What's the composition of this tunnel superstructure?" He asked "could that be the reason why now we cannot communicate?"

"It's not the composition of this tunnel. I am not getting a connection to the ship." Kestra frowned her eyes meeting S'Rinarix "Did something happen to them?"

He closed his eyes for a moment. "There is a Romulan ship coming."

Kestra blinked a few times. "Looks like we might need your help."

S'Rinarix nodded, "Of course."

Lt. Ryan widened his eyes at the news. "Not that we can do much from here without a ship."

Katja had been silent the entire trip; this was technically her first away mission...and she was rather uncertain what a CMO should be doing on such an assignment so she had...stayed in the wings. But something was wrong. She watched Commander Murphy fail to bring up Montana on his communicator. Why...uh, why did that seem to be a bad thing?

"Do the...Romulans come here often? Perhaps...perhaps they are just performing what is it...Sunday drive?" Katja winced, but manage to keep herself from covering her mouth with her hand.

"Seeing as they have a research facility here. I would think they would drop off supplies, personnel, and pick up data and whatever they are doing at that facility. Kestra watched her tricorder and frowned. "Why am I picking up polaric ion energy?" Kestra asked.

S'Rinarix turned to look at her. "Because that is what the Romulans are working on."

Kestra cursed. "That is unstable and dangerous."

"The Captain will make short work of one Romulan vessel," Murphy stated to help keep the away team calm. Truth be told, he felt he had some of the best of the crew with him, and they didn't know which kind of vessel it was. He decided not to ask, in case the answer would be bad for morale. As Lt. Ryan had said, it's not like they could make much of a difference from the surface and without the ability to communicate with the Montana. He was more worried about the polaric energy the Romulans were working with exploding. Supposedly if the reaction went bad enough, it could take out an entire planet. "And I'm sure the Romulan scientists know what they're doing. They don't want to die any more than we do."

Kestra had been shaking her no when he said the Romulans knew what they were doing. Because anything she read about people exploring the use of Polaris ion had died.... horribly.

"Since we are at it, we might gather some extra information on this Polaris ion energy," Steve said, shooting a glance at Kestra.

Kestra's eyes widened slightly, and then she looked down at her tricorder. Meeting his eyes again, she asked, "What did you have in mind, Sir? Polaris ion is not new to many planets, but it was decided that it was too unstable to test any further. " She thought on it some more. "If we had planned ahead and altered our physical appearance, I am certain that I could pass for a Romulan and get it to see what they are doing. But as it stands now, I don't look like one, but I can sound like one."

"Well" the lieutenant started "Maybe Romulans found a way to stabilize it. If they are still working on it I guess they developed something new or they are working on it from a different perspective." he shrugged "in any case, I wouldn't just let them continue experimenting without trying to figure out more on their level of knowledge on the matter. If they end up finding a way to properly stabilize and use it, effects might be disastrous".

Becker looked over to Kestra as she tried to keep her expression neutral. "Polaris ion? Mein Gott, typical ion burns were some of the worst injuries I have ever treated. The historical documentation surrounding the katastrophic soft tissue damage Polaris ion inflicts...I wonder what would be worth that risk?

"The theory is if it could be harnessed, the power would be more powerful than any other energy we have now. Plus, it would be an endless supply. " Kestra shrugged. "The only thing anyone has gotten so far is death." She rubbed her fingertips over her forehead. "They must be insane to try it. maybe that's how they plan to take on the federation." she nodded, thinking about it. "If they have made any headway with it, then they would be justified in thinking they could take over the federation. "

"With as deadly Polaris ion radiation is...if they do make headway with it, they very well may be justified in thinking they could take over the Federation...and just about anywhere else, for that matter."

"That would be a problem," Murphy mused. "But if they can't harness it's energy, could they weaponize it? It's definitely capable of destruction on a global scale."

"I cannot speak to the weaponization of this form of energy - but yes - it is quite capable of planetary destruction." Katja frowned. She was, at her core, a healer. The thought of creating something simply to destroy was an anathema to her. Illogical. Alien. Inexplicable. She hoped to never meet the people who would consider such a course...

If they could cause an explosion at the research station bad enough, maybe it would cause the Romulans to stop researching it, Murphy thought to himself. It couldn't look like sabotage, though. They'd have to make an incident appear natural.

Kestra frowned "if they found a way to stabilize, then yes, they just connect it to the weapons system, and that would be it.......They would have to configure the whole ship around it. But honestly, any engineer could do it. If they were able to stabilize, Just using it would more than like cause a ripple in time that could reach even beyond the federation. This is so disastrous. I have got to see how far they have gone with this." Kestra eyes met S'Rinarix. " Can you get me in?"
S'Rinarix nodded. "You can sound like them. we can make you look like them, but it may not be enough to get you out of there."

Kestra looked down for a moment. "This is what they meant we are expendable." She looked at Murphy." I would die for the federation, and I would die for Betazoid. I am a scientist. I have a major in anthropology and zoology and a minor in biology, microbiolog, and exobiology. I can figure out what they have done and sabotage it. I would prefer the ship was handy to get the crew here and anyone who needs to be off this world to get off it. I don't know how much of this planet will go, but I can do it and make it look natural so they don't try it again. S'Rinarix, can you really make me look Romulan?"

"We can."

"Lieutenant...not to be the fly in the ointment, but none of us have a way out of here at the moment. You shouldn't go alone...I don't know if I'm the best person for this but I am willing to join you. I'm no slouch with a phaser...and if you'll be needing any precision 'cutting'...I'm your girl."

Kestra smiled, "I wouldn't go off without permission. There would have to be some planning. If I were to try it now, I could probably get in as new crew, but none of us would survive the blast. If the ship was in orbit, then we would have a chance of getting away. Still, we should at least see how far they got in their plans for this. I am only worried that we might have only one chance. "

Murphy frowned. He didn't like the idea of sending two of his crew on a potential suicide mission. "I agree that this is probably what the Admiral had in mind, putting a stop to this research at all costs. I want to make myself crystal clear on two points. One, anyone going to investigate this must be a volunteer while anyone else remains here so we know where they are and can be transported out when that option arises. And two, this will be ONLY an investigation. I expect everyone here right now to make it back to the Montana safely."

Mira nodded her head. "Of course, sir. And I do volunteer. My people haven't been with the starfleet long, so even if I am caught, they wouldn't be able to link me to the Starfleet. " She looked over at S'Rinarix. "Perhaps you could show us how I would look as a Romulan? We could see how much of a chance this mission has."

A slow smile came to S'Rinarix's face, and on his species, it didn't look comforting. It actually made her want to hide behind the first officer. The only thing that held her still was that she could since humor coming from him as he held out his hand with claw like nails. Dammit he was challenging her to see if she was brave enough to take his hand.

Before Kestra could think too much, she placed her hand in his.

S'Rinarix's looked to Murphy. "We have a medical lab up ahead."

Murphy gave a look to the away team, letting them know they could either stay in the chamber or follow to the medical lab. Murphy chose to go to the medical lab.

Not really liking medical facilities in general, Steve decided to stay in the main chamber trying to figure out a way to reestablish comms with the USS Montana.

(Reman's Lab)

The table, as was everything else in the room, made to be Reman size. Standing next to what looked like a bio bed, Kestra wondered if she could get up on it gracefully. Kestra put her hands on the bed and started to pull up only to feel S'Rinarix pick her up and put her on the bed.

Another Reman walked over. "This will not hurt." he told Kestra. He wasn't as good at speaking federation standard as S'Rinarix and each word was spaced and well thought out. He held a device to her forehead and it wasn't long before he pulled back to look at his work then made a few adjustments. He nodded to S'Rinarix and stepped back as S'Rinarix handed her a mirror. Kestra's eyes widened in surprise then she touched her forehead it felt real.

Her dark eyes meet the first officers to see what he and the others thought.

Becker couldn't help but step forward to inspect Kestra's face. Whatever the device looked good. Damned good.

She turned her head and looked to S'Rinarix. "Is it temporary, and if not what is required to remove this modification?"

"This was a temporary change. It should last about four hours," S'Rinarix said. "Of course, we've never used this technology on Betazoids before, so it could be less time. We look forward to finding out."

Kestra nodded." Less than four hours, how long will it take to get to the lab?"

S'Rinarix frowned. "1/2 an hour of your time."

Kestra nodded. "And I half an hour back that leaves three hours so if I cut that in half I can only look around for an hour and a half. Unless I feel the tingling, then I make a run for it. What about clothing?"

He handed her some that looked like they were going to be a little long. "Thanks." She moved behind s screen to change, then stepped out, putting her uniform on the bed. She had rolled the paints and sleeves.

S'Rinarix nodded. " You look like a civilian Romulan scientist. but can you sound the part?

Kestra smirked, " Awevh 'le yyhle" (As easy as falling off a log)

Again, with the creepy smile someone should tell him it doesn't look friendly she thought but when he smiled even more she guessed he was ready her mind. Drat.

Kestra looked up at Murphy "I can do this Sir. I will find out how far along they are and get out." She out her commbadge "Should I bring it or not?"

"Bringing out allows the possibility of transporting out, or having us locate you," Murphy answered. "But ultimately, it's your call."

Kestra nodded, then left with S'Rinarix.

[Mission infiltrate]

They walked in silence for a while until he asked her, "How mad are you at me."
Kestra kept walking eyes straight ahead. "I thought I was losing my mind. It wasn't nice. "
He nodded. "You are my Imzadi."

"Thank the four deities you're not my Imzadi. There are a few things that would have happened that have not and will not. This is not the time to flirt S'Rinarix. Please, I have to go in there with a clear head."

Kestra shook her head and kept walking. She could see the lab now

S'Rinarix took her arm and injected her. "What was that!" Kestra asked angrily.

S'Rinarix growled. "It will get you through the scanner." he pinned her ID badge to her shirt and then disappeared.

Kestra got in line and waited for her turn

The guard looked down at her. Aefvadh (welcome) Veisa vihroi? (What's your name?)

"Karrana" Kestra told him.
He looked at his PADD, then nodded when he found her name telling her to go in.

"Hann'yyo " (Thank you) Kestra told him then walked through the scanner it blinked green. Thank the four deities she thought.

It wasn't long before she was able to use a console and read what they had. She cursed under her breath they were at the last steps, and a ship was being constructed right now on this planet. Drat. She downloaded the blueprints to the ship and then snuck out.

S'Rinarix caught up with her as she walked back to the cave the Reman used as a base. "I am sensing it was bad news."

Kestra nodded. "I'll make the report to my first officer."

(In the cave on Chaltok IV)

Walking in the room, Kestra nodded, "I only needed to access a console. They have done it. " She handed Murphy the information."They are even building the ship." she touched her forehead it was still Romulan.

Steve widened his eyes at Kestra's words. "Do we know where this ship is being built?" he asked.

S'Rinarix nodded "They have a hanger on the other side of the mountain where they build ships."

Kestra wasn't sure, she did have that information in the data she gave the XO.

Murphy read through the information. "We have to destroy that ship," he concluded. "If we do it publicly, they'll just start building a new one. We need to do it quietly, preferably without the Romulans ever knowing that we were here."

"Assuming we could get there, do we have anyone who can cause an overload in their engineering section?" Murphy asked. "My background is in Security and unfortunately I cannot read Romulan."

"I can read it but I am not familiar with engineering. " She could recalibrate her own equipment but they were talking a whole ship Kestra thought.

Lt. Ryan shrugged "Well, I got some first hand experience in Engineering during last mission." he eyed Cmdr. Murphy "That Babel ship we patched up and I commanded" he recalled. "I know patching up a ship with a team of engineers doesn't really qualify as being an expert in how to sabotage it but, we might try. I need to get to see the construction plans of the vessel tho...and, ifwe can get to communicate with the Montana, Ens. O'Donnel could definitely help." he concluded.

"That settles it," Murphy concluded. "Fox, Ryan, and I, along with anyone else who feels they can help, will proceed to the hangar. Anyone else will remain here at the cave. If rescue arrives, you'll need to let them know where we went." Assuming we survive, Murphy thought.

(On the Montana)

The ship is at yellow alert, and a Romulan battlecruiser is approaching.

Per the Captain's orders, Lt. Mann took the Montana out of orbit.

"Sir, we are coming head to head with whoever this might be" said Mann.

"Turning to the NE at the communications station, "Open up a hailing frequency." ordered the Captin.

"Open sir" came the response.

"This is Captain Jackson Adams, of the USS Montana, please respond."

There was no response... and the channel was closed.

Turing to Mann, the Captain said, "Mr. Mann, take a shuttle and go get our people; the ship will cover you." We are getting out of here. Oh, and Mr. Mann, you have two hours... find our people..."


Captain Jackson Adams
Commanding Officer

Commander Michael Murphy
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Steve Ryan
Chief Communications and Operations Officer

Lieutenant Kestra Ral
Chief Science Officer

Lieutenant Commander Katja Becker
Chief Medical Officer

Lieutenant Stuart Mann
Navigation Officer, NPC


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