Williams: I hope you have good news Maeli?
Maeli: Yes, sir. I intercepted a transmission to Captain Brell from the captors of Commander Raga. They are in the Karna System, only 3 hours from here at warp 9.
R’Val: I am afraid we won’t be going that fast. Not on this ship anyway. Travelling under cloak requires us to maintain a slower speed in order to avoid detection. Especially since the cloaking system on this ship is nearly outdated. Add to that the navigational hazards of the Par’tha Expanse and that puts Warp 9 out of reach for us. The best I can do and still remain undetected is Warp 6. It will take us longer...close to a Terran day...but we will remain undetected.
Williams: Are we sure it’s authentic?
Knight: Sirs, as the Atlantis’s signal intelligence specialist it is my professional opinion that this transmission was meant to be caught.
Williams: Well they don’t know we are on our way yet right? Is it possible they know?
R’Val: Not from my crew.
Serala: Not from Atlantis either, unless they found out after we left DS26.
Williams: I am not suggesting they do, but it’s possible that they do.
Maeli: As I understand it, we have taken every precaution to ensure they were unaware of this operation. However, if they have somehow learned of it, then they could indeed be trying to bait us into the open. Perhaps some caution is advised here. Proceed slowly under cloak and investigate the situation.
Serala: I concur, Commander.
Williams: Why would they want us to pick this up? It’s possible the captain made progress and simply gained the possible locations. Although I find that a bit to easy… I think it makes more sense they lure us further away from where we have to go. What lies in the opposite direction might be more relevant…
Serala: Sir, it’s more likely that it is an attempt to draw Atlantis here, away from the protection of DS26.
Williams: Then perhaps we should check out what's in the opposite direction that could serve as a hidden base. Or we split up in two teams. We planned to anyway. One team heads down at what might be the right location and the other one goes in the opposite direction. Not what I had in mind… but time is of the essence. If our first clue turns out to be false we can always catch up with a shuttle…
R’Val: Too risky, Commander Williams. They will want to know where the shuttle came from and how it got out here so fast? And we can’t launch one under cloak, which would reveal our presence as well.
Williams: I don't like it, so unless there is any other way to make sure we are going the right way if we go to Maeli’s target it might be a necessity… Is there any way we can confirm a consortium base over there?
:: Commander Williams looked at the Romulans ::
R’Val: I am reluctant to reveal all of our intel to you, Commander.
Williams: I can understand you wouldn't want to share your entire data on the region, but any help is welcome here. We could offer you a few insights of our own when we get back. I am sure the captain won't mind if we get one of our own back that way…
R’Val: I wouldn’t want to deceive you by telling you something that may not be true. We simply don’t know. We have suspicions, but we don’t know.
Williams: Then make a guess, it’s what most people do in these circumstances…
R’Val: In that case, what I can tell you is that while we have not been able to confirm that fact, we suspect it. What we suspect even more is that they use this area to transfer illicit cargo so they can’t be detected moving it while in the shipping lanes. But I will not reveal the location to you. We will take you there. It will take us about 9 hours to get there.
:: Just then her sensors officer spoke up. ::
Uhlan Kretek: Commander, long range sensors are detecting a vessel. It appears to be a Caaradian Freighter. Transponder data identifies it as The Arquese.
R’Val: Put the ship on the main viewer.
Uhlan Kretek: Yes, Commander.
:: The image of the Caaradian freighter appeared on the screen. R’Val ordered its magnification and she could see the freighter. All of her Romulan senses screamed that this was not what it appeared to be. Why would the Consortium hold a valuable Federation prisoner on a freighter in the middle of this nowhere system. ::
R’Val: Subcommander Tarvik, take us to Alert Status. This does not feel right to me.
Williams: What’s this?
R’Val: Take a look. It’s transponder indicates that it is the Caaradian Freighter Arquese. It’s too easy, if you ask me. It feels like a trap.
Williams: I take it you have found out the heading to where we need to go?
R’Val: Yes, Commander, and this feels like a trap to me. You remember that your human intelligence officer claiming that the signal was bait. If that is so, then this could be more of that same bait.
R’Val: I don’t know, Subcommander. From what I have heard, this Consortium utilizes Romulan cloaking technology. They could have a warship under cloak around here waiting for Atlantis or some other ship to show up.
Williams: Right…. I guess we are going in then. How long until we arrive? 9 hours you said?
:: The door opened and Centurion Selun entered accompanied by a Starfleet Marine Captain. ::
(( OOC: Had to change Selun to a Centurion since the Subcommander is Tarvik who is already on the bridge and is Captain Brell’s PNPC ))
Selun: Commander. I have one of their Marines with me who wants to speak with his commander
R'Val: Permission to enter the Commander Center is granted. Commander Williams, permission is granted to see what your man needs.
Williams: :: Raising his voice :: Mr Logan? Please enter!
Logan: Yes Sir
:: R’Val noted that the Marine Captain walked slowly and was taking in every detail he could about the area around him. Trained fighter herself, she recognized it in him immediately. There would be little chance of surprising him. ::
Logan: My apologies for being on your bridge, Commander R'Val, but I needed to speak with...
:: Logan stopped as his eye fixed on the screen. ::
Logan: The Arquese?
Williams: You know it?
Logan: Yes Sir I know that ship and her Captain Kozan Ronimere. If I'd known you were after him, I'd have introduced you.
Serala: Do you think he had anything to do with the Captain’s abduction, or Raga’s? A transmission that seems to have come from that ship indicated that they are holding Raga there.
Logan: :: Snorting slightly :: No Ma'am there's no way he has anything to do with Captain Brell's or Raga's abduction. None.
R'Val: Just goes to confirm my suspicion that this is a trap. Commander Williams, Serala. I urge caution on this. Trust me. I know how to set a trap for a starship. I used to serve the Empire, remember? This is a classical Romulan tactic. And remember we were here for a long time. These people had plenty of opportunity to study Romulan warfare from us. I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t another cloaked vessel in the area just waiting to pounce the minute we reveal ourselves.
Williams: You are sure of this? :: That to the Marine Captain. ::
Logan: I know that because I know the man Commander, and please forgive me but his family lost 12 to kidnap and questioning by the Romulans all of them died. His wife and daughter suffered the same fate at the hands of the Valcarians, so no he has no love of or want to become involved in acts like that. It has brought him into difficulties refusing such work in the past with the Caraadian military and Authorities
Williams: Well then… I guess it’s time to find a way to get ourselves onboard with our gear without breaking our cloak…. It’s going to be an interesting flying lesson for both ships… but I think it’s doable. Right?
Serala: But how do we get in there? That’s going to be some tricky maneuvering.
Williams: Perhaps Maeli can help you with that? She is by far the best pilot I know.
Serala: :: Calling to Lieutenant Maeli who appeared to be consulting with Lieutenant Knight. :: Maeli, get some rest. We’re going to need your piloting skills in about 9 hours.