(( Main Shuttlebay, Deck 11, USS Atlantis, 3 minutes to mission launch ))
Serala: You’re correct, Captain. I just needed to make sure everyone here understands were all on the same team. If anyone...anyone! … feels that they can’t work within those guidelines they should leave now. Anyone? No? Good.
McKnight took his fellow marine aside and she sincerely hoped he was going to talk some sense into Kurt. She understood. But this was neither the time nor the place. Perkins’ knowledge could be invaluable and she owed to those people on that station to utilize every resource at her disposal, no matter what her personal feelings were. Or anyone elses.
She gave them a few minutes to talk, then decided they had waited long enough.
Serala: ALRIGHT! LOAD UP! DEPARTURE IN TWO MINUTES. YHFEV! (MOVE IT!)
Serala didn’t wait for the team to board but strode into the shuttle and took the seat at Ensign Teravalis’ right. Once everyone was on board and the shuttle secured, Serala signalled Atlantis and upon confirmation, the pilot lifted them off and they departed the shuttlebay. She had already decided that phase 1 of this operation would be conducted exclusively under Captain McKnight’s purview as she was sure some form of assault type breach would be needed. After that, she would have to play things by ear.
As they approached the station, she noticed one of the docking bays open and ready to receive them.
Serala: :: turning to Kiax :: What do you make of that, Lieutenant?
Serala: Well, take us in nice and easy, Ensign Teravalis. They may have out the Welcome Mat, but let’s not give them a reason to put it away.
The young blonde woman set the shuttle down perfectly in the landing bay and opened the rear hatch. Serala heard the Marines exiting, and saw the same from shuttle Pembroke which carried the rest of her Marine contingent. Directly ahead, she saw what looked flight crews working to get shuttles underway, but no sign of Valcarians or any other military type of contingent. Once the Marines had set up a defensive position, but obviously ready to move at a moment’s notice, she signalled Kiax to join her outside. As she left, she ordered the pilot to…
Serala: ...lock it up tight and don’t let anyone in unless it is one of the Atlantis team. I don’t care whether they’re wearing a Starfleet uniform or not. Understood?
She stepped off the ramp, securing a rebreather just in case the gasses from the Cloud had seeped in, and looked to Captain McKnight who had just finished setting up the initial defense perimeter and had turned to her, his communication through his helmet reaching her via a special earpiece she was wearing for the purpose.
Serala: Standby, Captain. Let’s assess the situation first before we proceed.
Calasio: =/\= Welcome to the newly acquired Imperial Relief Station Alpha-One. =/\=
Kiax: =/\= You mean the Federation Starbase Deep Space Twenty-Six? =/\=
Serala just wished she could have said that so well, but unfortunately, her orders were to resolve this situation peacefully if possible. Antagonizing the Valcarians from the moment they stepped aboard might not be the best way to go about that. So, she had remained silent. She could always blame the outburst on inexperienced exuberance if needed. True, no one here was really that inexperienced, but then, the Valcarians didn’t really know that.
Calasio: =/\= I wish to speak to the one in charge of your team. =/\=
oO Of course you do. No one ever wants to talk to the junior-most member of the team. Oo
Serala: =/\= This is Lieutenant Commander Serala of the Federation Starship Atlantis. I am in command of this team. =/\=
Calasio: =/\= This is Commander Yanek Calasio of the Imperial Navy. I am sure you are aware of the situation we all find ourselves in. I wish to make an arrangement. =/\=
Serala: =/\= Well, Commander. I’m actually not fully aware of the situation. I know this station is plummeting to the planet below it and unless we can find a way to stop it, everyone onboard, not to mention millions on the planet, will be killed. But I have no idea what has been happening here for the last several months. Without a debriefing, I am afraid I am at a disadvantage in any sort of bargaining or decisions to make agreements. Of course, we did bring a substantial combat force and I would image that some of the Starfleet personnel that didn’t make it off are still here somewhere. I could always fight my way to them, join forces, then retake the station from you. =/\=
Calasio: =/\= Now, Commander...you are in no real position to do anything but listen to me. You have just arrived. I have been here for weeks. Do you really think we have not created a battlefield prepared to our advantage? I assure you this is not a fight you want to wage. The station is already falling apart. On top of that, we've rigged bulkheads with explosives, set snares throughout the access tubes, prepared tricks and traps level by level. I've read up on your ship, the Atlantis. I know your Captain Brell is a man of peace. Of discourse. He would listen. I suggest you do the same... =/\=
oO Maintain your composure. Don’t let him see the mistake he just made on your face. Frown, scowl. Oo
Serala: =/\= Captain Brell is not here. I am. And I do things my way. I will answer to Captain Brell later, if needs be. If he wanted a peaceful resolution, he should have come himself instead of sending his Chief Security and Tactical Officer. =/\=
oO He doesn’t know...can’t know, that I am no longer in charge of Security. If he’s “read up” on us, then he will assume I still hold that title, just like he assumes Brell in still in command. Oo
Serala: =/\= Still, there is something to be said for a peaceful solution. Fighting our way through could be costly. You haven’t held your position as long as you have by being unprepared. So, what is your proposal. =/\=
oO There, let him think he has the upper hand here. Truth is, he very well might. But let’s find out for sure. Keep him talking and let’s see what else he reveals about themselves. Oo
Meanwhile, Serala signalled to McKnight to scan for the traps and explosives he had mentioned. Such nonverbal commands had been in practice on Earth for centuries and Starfleet still had a protocol for them today, that would allow a commanding officer to signal his security team, or anyone else if needed, to take certain actions while trying to remain inconspicuous about giving such an order. McKnight was well trained. He should be able to pick up on her order easily.
Calasio: =/\= Response =/\=
Serala listened carefully to the Commander’s demands. Some seemed expectedly unreasonable and would never happen, but other seemed surprisingly acceptable. Her only real issue was the status of the Federation and Starfleet personnel onboard. They should have someone in charge and that person needed to be consulted before she made any decisions. But, how to get this Valcarian Commander to agree to let her speak with that person?
Serala: =/\= A very well thought out request, Commander. I have a request of my own first. I need to speak to the Starfleet Officer in charge here on the station. I need to get a sitrep before I can make any decisions which might affect them. I am sure you can understand that? =/\=