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Assigned Parking

Posted on Tue Aug 7th, 2018 @ 4:46pm by Lieutenant Meilin Jiang & Lieutenant Benjamin Ingram Dr & Lieutenant M & Lieutenant JG Jonathan Forrest & Lieutenant JG Rizena Virodin PhD & Lieutenant JG Devin Ward & Rodan Marus
Edited on on Wed Aug 8th, 2018 @ 1:35am

Mission: Preflight
Location: Bridge
Timeline: MD 60 11.30



It felt sooooo right to be here.

The seat was the perfect blend of comfort, but not to the point of betraying decadence to another person's eye. From it, Ingram had a more than commanding a view of the rest of the bridge, and from the view screen he could make out the slight reflection of himself. A dashing image if he was any judge.

"We should be arriving at DS-10 in a moment. I want all departments to report ready status for warping out. I hardly think the flagship of Starfleet in this neck of the woods should be fumbling about whilst being given docking instructions," Benjie instructed to the bridge crew.

From her science station, Rizena Virodin gave a resigned sigh at Ingram’s order. The Palatine had her high gain optical sensors out, tracking the explosion of the binary star system SN55102 Kraes. The smaller star had gone supernova some three hundred and twelve years prior, obliterating its companion. The Palatine, currently three hundred and twelve light years away from the nova, allowed Rizena to peer back through time at the death of the twin stars.

Some cultures might view the death of the star to be a bad omen at the outset of the Palatine’s voyage, but to Rizena it was poetic. By the time they arrived at DS10, further from SN55102 Kraes, the two stars would appear intact, if troubled. In a sense, the stars would never truly die, as long as there was more universe for the light to travel into.

Reluctantly, Rizena gave the order to make the ship’s more delicate sensors ready for docking. “Science reporting ready,” she told Ingram.

Meilin spared Ingram a look of contempt. "Tactical is ready," she said."

Once again, Marcus technically didn't have a workstation on the bridge, but he busied himself at a nearby station reviewing the long range EM scanners for signs of other ships. "No unusual ship activity within range of scanners, Commander."

===Main Engineering===

The Engineers had put in a lot of overtime to get the ship ready, so while they had been enroute to Deep Space 10, Mara had made sure everyone had a good rest. But now, they had nearly arrived, so it was all hands on deck once more. "Jarvis," she called. "Did you get that power converter back online?"

"Online and working better than brand new," confirmed Jarvis.

"Just in time," muttered Mara, tapping her combadge. "Ricci to the bridge. The ship is ready to doc."

===Bridge===

"Slowing to impulse speed." Rodan stated without enthusiasm. He was glad the rest of the flight control department was on DS10, soon he'd be able to spend more time focusing on perfecting Quantum Slipstream Drive. He watched the screen as DS10 came into view. As the image grew larger, Rodan contemplated the angles and design of station, wondering what inspired the Cardassians to build the station in such a way.

"Deflectors are deactivated," Meilin said. "Ship's ready for docking."

"Indeed," Ingram said with all due gravity, eyeing the screen and the awfully spikey Nor-class station. Did the Cardassisns have to make it look like a device for everlasting torment? "Hail the station Ops centre, have them direct us to..."

He trailed off. There was something docked to the upper most pylon. Comparable in size to the Palatine, but instead of the gleaming hull of a Starfleet vessel it was the forest green sheen of a Romulan. Sleek, with raked back wings instead of the most often seen swept forward design, there was no doubt it was a ship at the cutting edge of design.

And it was in the primary docking port.

"What...is that?" Ingram said through clenched teeth. "Hail DS10 traffic control now."

Meilin felt her breath catch in her chest. "Romulans," she whispered. Falling into her training, she let her fingers scroll across the Tactical console. "Performing full sensor sweep now. Forwarding readings to your command console."

"Lieutenant Virodin, I would appreciate if you could use the ship's sensors to make sure we're not flying in formation with a host of cloaked ships," Benjie said, throwing a glance at the Science Officer. He then turned his attention to Rodan. "Keep us on approach but slow to one quarter impulse. Let's give ourselves more time to figure out whats going on here."

Rodan felt the tension on the bridge go up at the sight of the Romulan ship, but was neither concerned himself, nor offended. He didn't aggree with the Romulan tendency to suspicion and aggression, but he understood his kinsmen well, if they intended to attack, they would be cloaked, not docked. As to his shipmates, the recent suspected Romulan sabotage of their ship, was sufficient to excuse the heightened tension.

"Slowing to one-quarter impulse." Rodan said calmly as he complied with the XO's order. He then turned his attention to the Romulan ship, admiring it's design. For a Federation ship, the Palatine, was a pretty sleek looking ship, much better than the clunky Galaxy class, but Romulan ships tended to be far more aesthetically pleasing. He wondered if the raked back wings had a practical purpose and how the engines were designed.

“Aye sir, running tachyon and tetryon sweeps,” Rizena said, “Sensors are turning up nothing around us, though I’m getting a lot of emissions from the docked ship. They’re scanning us, with sensors I’d estimate as equal to the Palatine’s own.” A chime sounded from her console. “And they’re hailing us, sir,” she added.

"They're what?!" Benjie said, somehow transmuting a squeak into a sneer with the effortless wrist action of the Ingram wit. He settled into the chair, perched a little, trying to find just the right angle that said 'I'm in command'.

He'd practised it enough times.

"Well, of course, they're hailing us," he snorted, covering the minor lapse in calm. "And excellent work with the sensors. It would seem we have competition for exploration in this neck of the woods. Probably a rushed out of the dry dock prototype."

He eyed Melin and Viroden.

"Just in case it's not, keep the sensors running, record everything we can on the passive arrays. We can't hide the fact we have a pair of warp cores humming away behind us, no doubt they will have similar problems for their own power source. Might tell us something of their capabilities." Ingram eyed the button on his command console.

Really Lakar should be the one...well. Ingram's got the job done. He pressed the button.

"This is Commander Benjamin Ingram of the Federation starship Palatine-"

A human face looked back from the view screen. Red hair, dark eyes, a devil-may-care smile and the quilted grey uniform of a serving officer in the Romulan navy. The smile only grew wider as the silence continued to reign.

Marcus' brow furrowed as the Romulan commander came onto the viewscreen. "A red-haired Romulan shouldn't be too hard to identify." mused the ship's CIO. He fingers quickly played across his station accessing the classified Starfleet Intelligence database and cross referencing known Romulan personnel with the viewscreen screen grab and physical characteristics. "Com'on baby, Time to earn our keep. He added silently as he coaxed secrets from SFI.

“Commander Ingram, what a pleasure it is to bump into you in this far away stellar back water,” the Human with red hair said from the view screen. “I thought it would be a polite overture to future cooperation to forward an invitation to you and your senior staff to join us for dinner when you’ve docked.”

“I...I’m sure we can accomodate such a request once we have finished docking,” Benjie said, squinting at the view screen. “Of course we will have to wait and see as to our own replenishment first.”

“Of course, of course,” the woman said with a smooth easy cadence. “Just call ahead, and we will prepare for your arrival. Until then, ‘Saracen’ out.”

Benjie sat back heavily in the chair, face a little pale before he began to speak.

“Miss Jiang I want guards on both sides of the airlock when we dock. Have a few over seeing the replenishment process as well. Chief Ricci I want your engineering teams over look every scrap of material we take on, I’m sure our Inteligence Chief can aid you in looking for anything untoward.” He said, before muttering. “What is Calvain doing here?”

Meilin began issuing orders, both transmitted through her console and through verbal communication. "Consider it done."

Rodan was somewhat stunned. The whole situation was highly irregular, a human in the Romulan Navy was unlikely enough, but a Commander of an apparantly new ship design was simply incredulous. Surgical alteration for espionage was more plausable, but why be so overt. Nothing about the situation made any sense.

The idea of dinner aboard a Romulan Warbird was unpleasant, Rodan would no doubt be seen as a traitor to everyone on board. Yet he was intensely curious about this new ship and it's human looking Commander. He then returned his attention to their approach, slowing the ship and awaiting docking instructions from the station.

Marcus continued scanning through the SFI database while the XO spoke. "Sir. I think it is ill-advised to take the senior staff aboard an unknown Romulan warbird. Plus, you obviously know her. Perhaps now would be a good time to share what information you have. A human commanding an new model warbird. I think that is a little offsetting."

"I disagree," Meilin interjected. "The Saracen is docked at the starbase. Any act of treachery would be suicide. If there is a trap, then I recommend we spring it on our terms, and let matters take their natural course." This seemed like a perfect time to pitch her personal request again, so she took it. "Allow me to point out that an onboard tactical AI would be very useful in a situation like this."

"When we dock, I'll talk to someone about getting you such an AI," Ingram said gravely, before looking at Marcus. "As for who she is...that would be the honourable Lady Trevina Winton, Duchess of Winterfell. One of the few royal families still rattling around the Federation."

Benjie settled deeper into his chair, frowning at the blank view screen.

"And my sister in law."

The revelation made Meilin arch an eyebrow. It could prove a challenge to wu wei before the end.

 

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