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Hide and Seek

Posted on Sun Jun 6th, 2021 @ 5:26am by Fleet Admiral Luzol Targaryen & Commander Galatea & Commander Ash Randall & Lieutenant Commander Patton O'Sullivan & Lieutenant Commander Lily Snow PhD, MD & Captain Nathan Bishop & Lieutenant Commander T'Lisha "Hawkeye" Bishara

Mission: Cheese
Location: Starfleet One
Timeline: 2430-08-31, 19:00

[Starfleet One]

"Where is my husband, Galatea?" Admiral Luzol Targaryen asked fiercely as she stalked through the Bridge of the ship.

The holographic artificial intelligence rose from the center seat and walked toward her Commanding Officer, "Admiral Targaryen transported down to the surface of Ni'Var 20 minutes ago, Ma'am. He said he had 'personal business to attend to' and that he would be returning within the hour. I have spoken with him and he is investigating the arrest of our officers now."

Luzol sighed and rolled her eyes. She had left Willian in command of Starfleet One while she and Commissioner Haynes met with Praetor Tei and Administrator Sakkath. Now she had found he went off on his own errand and left the ship to its own devices. Worse still apparently a group of Starfleet Officers got into a fight with some of the locals and one of their own was killed. If he survived this mission she was going to kill him when they got home.

"What is the status of the recall of our personnel?" She sat in the chair and crossed her legs as she asked. She brought up a status report on her indicators as the hologram answered, checking the battle readiness of the ship.

Galatea stood unphased next to her, "We have begun transporting aboard all Starfleet and visiting Federation personnel who were on Ni'Var now. We estimate all personnel will be back aboard within the next 15 minutes, aside from those who were taken prisoner."

"Do we know where they are?" She looked up from her screen.

"Negative. I have lost contact with them," Galatea informed.

Luzol stared at the ceiling in irritation, "Have Commander Snow brought up here and ask her to begin working on trying to locate our personnel."

"Aye," Galatea confirmed.

"No need." Snow said as she walked upon the bridge. She wasn't wearing her duty uniform, but she was dressed in a simple ankle length black skirt, a simple white blouse with a wide black belt, but the golden cross that hung around her neck was noticeable. Her hair was also hanging free around her shoulders. She went to her station and started her scans.

The Captain of the ship let out a long breath, "Take us to Yellow Alert and ask all Senior Officers and Commissioner Haynes to report to my ready room."

Snow sighed at hearing the Admirals conflicting orders for her.

The Admiral heard it, "You may monitor the comm call as you conduct your scans, Commander."

T'Lisha sat at her helm wondering exactly what the hell just happened. One minute it was calm and normal, now it was full of chaos. How could something so simple gone so terribly wrong so fast?

Bishop was already on the bridge, from when he and Lily had beamed up from the surface. He heard the Admiral's orders to Lily as the ship went to Yellow Alert. He glanced at Lily but said nothing. In the back of his mind was her mysterious declaration that she had made a decision and would tell him when they returned to the ship.

In the office of the Chief Engineering Officer, Commander Randall set aside the small device she was fiddling with and, quietly, counted down "3...2...1..." before the yellow alert blared. The chief engineer rubbed her eyes and then held her head for a few seconds while she waited for the, sudden, throbbing pain to subside. The sudden, short lived, headaches were familiar to Ash and she knew they were a direct result of being bombarded with a massive dose of chroneton particles. After a few seconds, the pain subsided and the Tuansee left her office headed for the Admiral's ready room.

[Ready Room]

Patton hurried on his way once he got the orders to report. he entered the ready room, seeing he was the first one to arrive. "I came as soon as I got the summons, Sir." He said as he waited for the others to arrive. No sense in asking what the situation was until the others arrived.

Admiral Luzol looked up from her desk, "Thank you for arriving so quickly, Commander." She wanted to speak with the others, but had an additional mission for Commander O'Sullivan. "I want you to begin thinking up a defensive strategy for this ship should we have to deploy a team to rescue members of our crew who have been taken prisoner. We'll talk more later," she said as she heard the door chime, "Enter."

Commander Randall entered Admiral Luzol's ready room and stood at attention for the Fleet Admiral. The Chief Engineer, quite honestly, looked like she might be a bit under the weather. "Commander Randall reporting as ordered, Sir." She said, not certain to what level of formality and protocol Luzol was going to adhere to.

"Reporting as ordered," said T'Lisha said quickly upon arrival.

Bishop entered next, he had a short trip coming from the bridge. "Reporting as ordered Admiral." He stated formally waiting to hear what information the Admiral had to give them.

She nodded politely in greeting then tapped the Comm, "Commander Snow are you on?"

"Yes sir." Snow said over the intercom.

"I don't want to beat around the bush: several members of our crew were arrested while on shore leave, which is part of the reasons it has been cancelled for all personnel. Admiral Targaryen is already on the surface to meet with the local authorities to arrange their release," she didn't tell them he was doing so without having been ordered, "but we need to prepare ourselves now for any eventuality and how we prevent a war."

T'Lisha's eyes went wide upon hearing the news. She wondered who and how this had happened. This did not sit well at all.

"Coaxial can make for a quick getaway if we decide to liberate our crew but there are dangers doing so in such close proximity to an inhabited planet. Of course, if those dangers are known to the Romulans they'll be unlikely to fire on us when we spool up to jump because they'll risk losing the entire system." Ash observed, absently. "Doesn't keep us from being at war, however." She added, and rubbed her temples in, obvious, pain.

"I am still hoping for a peaceful resolution to this ordeal," the Admiral informed, but subconsciously glanced at the Security Chief as she said it - perhaps giving away more than she intended. "We're going to hope that the shooting doesn't start because, as you said, it would be bad for Ni'Var just as much as us. Unless we want to make the planet uninhabitable and help getting here impossible."

Commander Randall rubbed her temples for a few seconds. "Let's assume, for a moment, that the events leading up to the arrests were intentional and the arrest of our crew members is part of a plan to gain leverage in a negotiation that has not, as of yet, been initiated." The CEO proposed, quietly, with a glance to Admiral Luzol. It was an odd thing to say when the admiral had prefaced the discussion saying her husband was on the surface trying to arrange a release. Ash, seriously, doubted that was the case as the Romulan's generally negotiated from the top and the top, Starfleet wise, was Luzol. "If the Romulan's wanted a war they'd, simply, go to war. They've never really needed an instigation event to do so in the past and I doubt that has changed but, the overture for a negotiation should have already come and they'd be talking to you, Admiral." Ash finished.

"Technically Commissioner Haynes the one in charge of this mission. Any involvement with the Romulans is like a chess game, or so I've been told, and that consideration is a strong one with this situation." She paused, "We need to get a status report from Admiral Targaryen and what is going on with the prisoners. Commander Snow, any luck with your scans so far?"

"Admiral, what do you want me to do? Helm is ready for anything and so are my fighters. Just give the word," T'Lisha said quickly. If she was going to be doing CAP she needed to know now. If she was going to be flying SF1 she would have to do her vectors and defensive flying.

"Yes sir." Snow stated with a bit of an icy tone. "I've located the Admiral's biosignature. Also I have accessed their civilian communication networks."

Luzol nodded, "Thank you, Commander. Let's get in contact with the Admiral. Open a channel."

It took seconds but her husband came through on the other end of the communications frequency, "Targaryen here."

"What's the status of our crew?" She asked from her seat at his desk.

"I'm at the central booking for the Romulan Security Directorate and they have no record of our personnel having been brought here."

She looked around confused, "We have reports that they were taken away by armed Romulan and Vulcan police officers."

"I'm aware of that, Admiral, but they didn't bring them here. I'm trying to get answers. As soon as I know anything I will let you know."

The Admiral sat back in the chair behind the desk, "Looks like you might've been right, Ash. We have several officers down there who are in custody and no one knows where they are. We need to find them and we need to find them fast." There was still one other aspect, "Has anyone had any luck with our investigation into Admiral Coulson and his whereabouts? Have we had any luck finding him?"

From the silence she knew her answer. She sighed, "Alright then. Ash, work on getting more power to our sensors. As much as I didn't want to risk switching to active scanning we're going to have to. Bishop, work with Commander Snow to try to get as much sensitivity as we can. We need to find Admiral Coulson and get him into custody, and rescue our people before things get out of hand."

"Aye, Admiral. Reserve power is already on stand by." Ash responded. "If we're through being subtle, we could try using their planetary defense grid to our advantage. It is as much for addressing threats, planet side, as it is for defending the planet itself so I'd bet it can account for the whereabouts of every Vulcan, Romulan or 'other' down there." The Chief Engineer mused.

Luzol remembered back to the logs of the last time this ship had visited the planet Ni'Var, shortly after Vulcan announced its intentions to join the Romulan Star Empire. Admiral Targaryen ordered his crew to hack into the orbital defense network and turned it against them. The only reason that a war was not declared was that the President was able to disarm Praetor Tei, but the exact specifics of the how were lacking.

"I appreciate the zeal, Commander; nonetheless, we need to be careful as not to antagonize the Romulans any further."

"While I agree we need to be careful to not antagonize the Romulans further, that doesn't mean we should sit by an do nothing." Bishop replied having been quiet long enough." He turned to Lily. "Lily how accurate will the passive scans be if we increase their sensitivity as the Admiral suggests. Also can we if needed switch to active scans at a lower level without arousing the Romulans attention?"

Ash rubbed her temples, for a few seconds, while she considered what their options might be. There were a lot of angles to cover and her sense of the situation was that there was a connection between the reason they were there and the events of the previous hour and they had no idea who all the players were and what their motives might be.

"We're going to be risking a lot of strife with the Romulans if we step out of line. Commander Bishara, keep the Coaxial Drive spooled for a quick exit should we need it. I have no intentions of leaving any of our people behind though," she looked at Commander O'Sullivan as she made that declaration. You two work together to ensure that the ship is ready for potential combat while we look for our people."

"Understood. I will have "Viper Squadron on ready 5 for CAP if needed. Keeping the Coaxial spooled for a fast getaway. Any particular heading sir?" T'Lisha asked the Admiral.

"We will be at the ready, Sir." Patton replied with confidence and assurance in his voice. "We all want them home and we'll do what we need to to ensure that happens."

Luzol nodded, "I'm sure they would appreciate knowing that. If they were here," she said the last part solemnly. "Is there anything else for the good of the order?"

"Just another observation, Admiral. The arrests could be the work of a dissident or opposition group to the current government of Ni'Var or be the work of Coulson himself." Ash observed.

That remark from Ash made T'Lisha's jaw drop! Coulson involved with this? How? And more so why?

"Anything is possible, Commander. That is why I trust Commander Snow's abilities." She smiled, politely, as she pulled back, "Let's get to work trying to rescue our personnel, people, and prevent a war. If nothing else dismis..."

"Bridge to Admiral Luzol."

The Commanding Officer of Starfleet One did not like to be interrupted, but she knew that this had to be something important. "Yes, Lieutenant Illio?"

The voice of Gaja Illio, the Cardassian Officer that Luzol had left in command of the Bridge, filtered through the comlink, "You need to get up here, Ma'am."

"I really hope it's not a Gal Gathong Class decloaking to say hello." Ash muttered to herself.


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