(( Briefing Room, Deck 1, USS Atlantis ))
Serala: His fate and mine are in your hands.
Raga: Serala. I understand why you made such a vow. I've sworn one as well, to protect everyone on this ship for as long as I draw breath. I failed once before. I shall not do so again if I can. :: Toryn placed his left hand on her right shoulder in the traditional Al-Leyan greeting, with the fingers right against her neck to signify how close a friend he viewed her. :: I swear by the Great Tree, Serala. I'll get the Captain back.
Serala: I know you will.
:: She watched as he turned and walked away. She knew just exactly what she had asked of him, and she knew he understood. Considering his feelings toward her, it seemed almost cruel. But she needed him to do this for her. Her duty would keep her on board. This time she wouldn’t get to be a part of the action. If she were, she would find the yikh fehill’curak who had taken her Riov lhaiy. ::
(( Bridge, Deck 1 ))
:: Serala left the briefing room and returned to the bridge. She took her station and noted that she was the senior officer on the bridge at the moment. Remembering that the Commander had left Lieutenant Maeli in command, she decided to relieve her. ::
Maeli: Damn! I almost had it.
:: Serala’s hearing was keen enough to hear the woman’s muttered curse. She decided to ignore it, fully understanding the frustration the helmsman was evidently experiencing. ::
Serala: Not to worry, Maeli. You’ll have plenty of time to figure it out. I have the bridge.
Maeli: Yes sir, the bridge is yours. I have been running scans on the vessel. It only just erected its field again. I’ll transmit the readings to Tactical and Ops.
Serala: Thank you, Lieutenant.
:: As the young woman turned back to her helm controls, Serala began to study the readouts she had gathered. She hoped that somewhere in here was the clue to how to get inside that rock. ::
(( 45 minutes later ))
:: Serala had been monitoring the security sweeps and coordinating them from her station at Tactical. Raga was in charge, of course, but it was her responsibility as the Tactical Officer to coordinate their efforts. In between these activities, she studied the reading Maeli had made. She Lieutenant had been quite efficient in her efforts and Serala was gleaning all kinds of information. She was almost certain now that the structure, while originally an asteroid, had been modified and turned into a ship of sorts. It seemed it was even equipped with a limited warp drive. She had not been able to find a door, however. Of course, it wasn’t strictly necessary if they had transporter technology, but no one in the Par’tha Expanse had transporter technology of their own. The Romulan Empire had been around for some time, so it was possible these people may have acquired some of their transporters, although Serala doubted that. The Empire was notoriously more tight-fisted with their technology that the Federation was. She heard the sound of the transporter coming to a halt just before the doors opened to expel Commander Williams. ::
Williams: Any last-minute changes?
Serala: Negative, Commander. The vessel is holding position just as before, although it has gone back to pretending to be a rock.
Danara/Darkdust : Response?
Williams: Roger that. There is a slight change of plans. Ensign Kiliak found life signs and something that looks like a warp engine on that thing. So I ordered the use of our attack wings. McKnight and Logan should be ready to disembark any second now. Make sure they have clearance.
Maeli: Aye, Commander, entering clearance now.
Williams: In the meantime, Mr. Raga and Knight are searching the decks. As soon as it’s done we will get them in a shuttle and ready to board that asteroid. First we have to be sure Brell isn’t here.
Maeli: Aye sir. :: She pressed a button on her comm panel.:: =/\= Maeli to shuttlebay. After the Marine fighters clear the bay, ensure a Class 2, Type Eleven shuttle is standing by for Commander Raga and his team. Make it the Elysium, if it’s ready for service. =/\=
Serala: I have been helping to coordinate the searches from here, Commander. All teams are nearly complete with their search. There are three teams who are searching five decks each.
Maeli: Commander, Valkyries have launched.
Williams: Ensign, did you get a reply from engineering about those sensors?
Williams: Well, keep me posted. Danara, first of all, sorry I had to take Knight away from you but we are a little short handed now and I thought a bit of leadership experience would do him good… Anything useful in our database?
Danara: You did what the mission requires. I have a feeling Knight was worried I’d make a big deal of his being reassigned, thing is I don’t think he yet realizes I get what a ship search requires because I served as head of security for a time. The experience will be good for him. ::Sighing:: What we found Sir is not a lot. However my team did locate evidence of a strange energy signature trace. We’re still in the process of dissecting it.
Williams: That isn’t much to go with, but it’s a start.
Danara: No Sir, but it’s better than nothing. I have my personnel continuing to dig and try to make more sense of the signal and data we found.
Maeli: Commander, the Valkyries report that they are on approach. They advise that they are going to be issuing a challenge before continuing with other action.
Williams: Thank you, lieutenant, Serala, they might rely on us for covering fire if that thing tries anything that looks like weapons. Disable them.
Serala: Understood, Commander.
oO My absolute pleasure. Oo
Serala: Yes, sir. Should I set the power to maximum?
Williams: Well I doubt they build that thing to let it blow up from a single phaser hit. But you never know… try a 25% shot first then. We don’t want to blow it up with our CO inside.
:: There was a brief pause, the Commander Williams opened a comm channel ::
Williams: =/\= Williams to Raga, anything to report so far? =/\=
Raga: =/\= Response? =/\=
Williams: =/\= Well at least we know engineering is safe. That’s good news and I’ll take that in any form today! Keep looking. Bridge out. =/\=
:: Again there was another brief pause, then… ::
Williams: Open a channel on all frequencies. This is Lieutenant Commander Alexander Williams of the Federation starship Atlantis to the asteroid in front of us. We have reason to believe you have taken one of our officers against his will. By doing so you have shown an act of aggression. For the sake of peace please respond or return our officer.
:: There was a brief pause, but no response. But then… ::
Danara: Commander there’s something you need to see.
Williams: Response ?
:: Serala took note as the Commander made his way to the other Romulan officer. He leaned over her display to see what she was showing him. ::
Danara: As you can see we’ve uncovered a second signal. It’s not a transporter beam. What concerns me is this...here and here. Both areas match the characteristics of this second signal exactly. One internal and one external. So far my team has been able to determine its not an echo.
oO A signal? Oo
:: Serala quickly turned to her own sensors to see if they were detecting this signal. Sure enough, it was there, although if she hadn’t known to look for it, she never would have noticed it. ::
Williams: Response ?
Danara: Have our security teams sweep for this to see if they can locate anything internally. We need to locate that thing and disable it before we can study it further. If we could jam that frequency that would give us some sort of minimal defense.
Williams: Response ?
:: From across the bride, Serala spoke up to interject her thoughts on the subject. ::
oO One day they’re going to remember that I can hear just as well as any Vulcan. Danara should at least remember that. Oo
Serala: Commander, I agree with Danara…
Computer: Security notice. Captain Brell is located on Deck 10, section 14, Jeffries tube 22 Alpha juncture 5.
oO What? Oo
Serala: Computer, how long has Captain Brell been at that location?
Computer: Captain Brell has been at that location exactly twelve point nine two seconds.
oO Knight is closest. Oo
Serala: =/\= Bridge to Lieutenant Knight. You and your team report to Deck 10, section 14 immediately. Captain Brell has been detected in Jeffries tube 22 Alpha juncture 5. =/\=
Knight: =/\= Response =/\=