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Here there be Pirates!

Posted on Thu Apr 28th, 2022 @ 4:38pm by Lieutenant JG Resel Pos & Commander Daynah Ral & Commander Rupert Tyree & Lieutenant Kaitlynn Caine (Marshal) & Lieutenant Jayden Meran & Lieutenant JG Rianna Repatha & Ensign Parker Rapp
Edited on on Thu Apr 28th, 2022 @ 4:51pm

Mission: Prelude to War
Location: Djux IV Star System, Beta Quadrant
Timeline: Week 1

The sounds of Valiant eased the boredom from his mind as Rhu sat listening to the ship. They’d been in space for a week now, and were currently sitting at the edges of the the Djux IV system. There wasn’t much here: A small orbital repair station being run by enterprising Delaxian’s.

They didn’t get much business, but it was a popular stop off point for starships that took advantage of scooping fuel from the local gas giant, known as CX-482 and local miners that were working the system’s asteroid belt.

They were due to jump out in twenty eight hours. The star base’s operations staff would get suspicious if they lurked about much longer and starting over would be annoying.

Intel’s best guess was a J’Naii transport that was likely to make a stopover here in that within that time span. Equally, Federation Intelligence’s modeling decided that this would be where the transport Albatros would be the most vulnerable. She was carrying a cargo that included a large consignment of bio-neural gel that would definitely be on a pirates shopping list.

All of this was playing through Rhu’s mind as he waited for something...anything to happen.

The waiting was always the hardest part.

Daynah sat at the Science station and stared at the readouts. It was the same as it had been for the past several hours. She had hoped for something different, something to break the monotony. It seemed that there would be no end and no excitement in this mission. "Sir, sensors read nothing out of the ordinary." She addressed the Captain with a glance over her shoulder. As XO she knew that there were a number of the crew who felt the same way that she did.

Parker was sat at the helm station, it had been a hot minute since he had been on duty, but everything seemed to be as he left it. He got onto shift early knowing full well he would need to refresh his memory with the controls, thankfully it was like riding a bike and not much had changed "Helm Standing By Captain ready when you are"

Rianna was at her station, "Engineering green across the boards. Just pray the new stuff works correctly," she said dryly, checking her systems again. All that new stuff, as she called it was getting on her last nerve.

Kaitlynn activated the comm, "Sickbay reports ready sir." then closed the connection getting back to prepping her sickbay for the influx of wounded.

Rhu was checking through logs when the sensor repeater pinged and he stood to see what had set the tac station off. "What do we have, Mister Pos?" He asked, addressing Valiant's newest member of the crew.

"Sensors detecting multiple craft, weapons armed." Resel said."Readings definitely consistent with description of the pirates, Captain."

Rhu stood, legs braced against his command chair and said, Red Alert." He touched the corresponding command on the chair arm and then began issuing orders as the alert klaxon began sounding.

"Mr. Rapp. Initiate the Picaard maneuver and get us closer to those ships."

Turning to his XO and Valiant's Chief Engineer, he said. "Commander, Lieutenant. As we make the micro-jump, switch our frequencies over to that of the Serenity we want them to think she was laying in wait for them to show up."

"Aye sir preparing the transponder now." Daynah said as she reprogramed the ship's transponder to emit the proper signals. A few moments later everything seemed to be in order. "I am ready when you are. Sensors will read us as the Serenity."

Rianna checked all power readings and found her safety features were up and operational and for that she was thankful. "XO all safety programs are running so we are ready to jump," she said carefully watching the board.

Stepping over to the Operations desk, Rhu said, "Lieutenant Meran, monitor our range to target. Aspect and sensor shadow to ensure we're looking like a Saber class."

Jayden looked a moment at his new captain as if to analyze the order before saying, "Yes, sir!" He then focused back on to his console. This was his first time at operations, but was not unfamiliar with the procedure. He had some training at the academy. At least some was the best way to describe it. He was after all a neurologist first.

Focusing back on the main screen, another thought came to Rhu and he said, "Oh, and somebody keep an eye on their com chatter."

Jayden raised his hand. "That's also me, sir. Operations usually operates communications and I am also your chief diplomat. So it kind of comes with the job."

"Very well," Rhu said, turning to face the screen and resuming his seat. "Execute. Shields up."

On the main viewer, the Valiant blipped. One second it had been adrift in space, the next it had popped ahead, appearing two hundred kilometers off of Albatros's port bow.

Resisting the urge to stand again, Rhu took a beat and said calmly, "Right. Open hailing frequencies." As the comm system chirped, he stated, "All vessels, this is the USS Serenity. Welcome to the Djux system.

"Albatros, your transponder code is recognized. Please continue to port. All other vessels, you are required to halt in place and be identified. Failure to do so will result in consequences." Rhu touched a button on his chair, closing the link and said.

"Helm," plot course straight through that cluster of ships, putting us between the Albatros and them. Full ahead."

Parker looked at his console and within the blink of an eye turned to the captain "Course laid in sir full impulse" he said twisting the dial and pushing the button "Engines away captain we should be there soon" he said looking at the tactical station "Holy mother of lord" parker spoke under his breath as he took in exactly what was happening around him his first combat situation and he hoped it wouldn't be his last.

"Tactical," Rhu said, without taking his eyes off of the screen, "Put up a tactical overlay on the screen. Threat assess and take out the first three ships, targeting engines and weapon systems. We want at least a couple to get away."

When Pos didn't immediately respond, Rhu brought up secondary controls on his chair and activated the overlay himself, glancing at the readouts and then picked out the closest three ships. After a few seconds he snapped, "Lieutenant Pos. When I issue an order, it's not a request. Tend to your knitting or get off my bridge."

"Sir, yes sir!" Resel replied. Kicking himself for his blunder. He was sure he hadn't heard the end of this.

Looking around to re-center himself, Rhu turned to Dayna, "XO," "We'll need to track at least one of them when they run. Don't lose them," Rhu said, pushing his irritation aside.

Daynah took the secondary sensors and focused them on one of the vessels warp signatures. Once they took off the sensors would transfer the tracking to the primary long range sensors and they should be able to keep tabs for some time. Especially if they follow the vessel as it escaped. "Right, long range sensors are ready and locked on to one of the vessels. If they leave we will be able to keep tabs on them. If by some slim to none chance they have a cloaking device we will have to flood the area with tachyons to detect the cloak."

"So far all new equipment installed is working as expected, for now," Rianna said, praying it would hold together till they were done.'

Valiant closed the distance and put herself between the raiders and their prey, her drive pushing her ahead at full military speed as the escort raced toward. Enemy fire began lancing at them as Rhu gripped the arms of his command chair and said, "Target first flight of raiders. Right through their formation."

After a few beats as Valiant banked and bobbed through their intended course of travel, the Raiders weapons began flashing stray hits began registering on Valiant's hull.

"Open Fire," Rhu ordered, his hands tightening on the arms of his command chair.

....To be continued....


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