(( Command Center, RRS Illa’variea, 9 hours later ))
:: R’Val sat in her command chair staring at the viewer. The freighter was there, as advertised, her shields blaring at full power, and that struck her as the first warning. What did they need shields for? They had been in the system for the last 15 minutes and Commander Williams was in the Command Center standing near her on the Commander’s platform. They had been discussing the situation nearly the entire time. Even the Starfleet officer suspected something was wrong. R’Val knew something was wrong. This was a standard Romuland tactic. Cloak and hide, have a decoy waiting and when someone bites, uncloak and destroy them. ::
Williams: Commander, I know this is a lot to ask but does this ship have any technology that allows us to fly next to that freighter and eavesdrop on what they are saying? In the Cold War, the nation states of Earth used highly advanced microphones on submarines to eavesdrop on the conversations of enemy ships…. With it, we might be able to hear what is happening over there. Then we can make the call if we want to board them or move on….
R’Val: :: Hesitantly :: There is a possibility, Commander. It is a longshot, though.
Williams: Starfleet would be in your debt….
R’Val: Seems to me they already are, Commander Williams. Nevertheless, we may be able to pull it off, but it would require some tricky maneuvering,
Williams: I guess we get Maeli back up here and get moving.
R’Val: Very well, Commander. :: pressing the comm button on her command chair :: Set condition orange. Federation Lieutenant Maeli to the Command Center. Repeat, set condition orange.
:: A few minutes passed and the Rodulan female took over at the pilot station. She was given brief instructions on what would be required and the Romulan pilot was assigned to assist her with interpreting the controls since they were in Romulan and the Lieutenant was unfamiliar with that language. R’Val took note when her daughter entered and moved to stand near her own Commander, watching the proceedings with interest. ::
Serala: :: whispering to Commander Williams, despite the good chance that her mother would still be able to hear. :: Looks like they do this a lot.
Williams: :: Whispering :: I was thinking the same thing… We might want to make a few alterations to the conference room when we get back…
R’Val: :: appearing to ignore the whispered conversation, R’Val began to issue orders. :: Pilot, bring us to one-third impulse and approach carefully. We must be within 300 feet of the freighter. Also, monitor the cloaking device. This won’t work if we are detected.
R’Val: Easy now, Lieutenant. Just a bit closer. Sensors, begin scanning. Put anything we get on main audio. Good. All stop, pilot. Hold us tight and steady. Deactivate all extraneous systems and turn the sensors in to the freighter.
:: The lighting dimmed and turned a blue color. Nearly two full minutes passed before the sensors officer finally switched a signal to the main audio output. ::
Interrogator_C: Move the ship. Bring the other freighter into the upper Ionosphere of the fourth planet. It's a gas giant. Keep us out of position from the atmosphere, I don't want our own cloak to be detected.
Captain: Sir? ::There was a brief pause before the first voice spoke again. :: Do it. Bring the Arquese into the gas giant's atmosphere and notify us if that anomaly returns.
R’Val: oO Anomaly. They must have detected us briefly. We’ll need to be especially careful now. And there is a second cloaked ship as I suspected. Oo
Williams: Well well… looks like we got them after all. But we are not alone.
Logan: And sounds like they've found something
:: R’Val managed to appear unfazed when the Romulan Intelligence Officer spoke, but the truth was, she had never heard her enter the Command Center. And that was disturbing because if there was anyone here she distrusted, it was Danara. ::
R’Val: oO Too much like the Tal Shiar for my liking. Oo
Danara: That’s not surprising.
R’Val: Of course not, Commander. Standard cloaking operations when laying a trap for enemy vessels. We wrote the book on this one. And yes, Mr. Logan, it does sound as if they may briefly detected us.
Williams: I guess Raga really is on this freighter, but I have a feeling the Consortium is having a large warship just around the corner…. How long will the freighter’s ship hold if we attack them with everything this ship has?
R’Val: It appears their shields are at maximum, which is far greater than it should be for a vessel of this class, and we have yet to detect any weapons systems, but I would estimate we could have the shields down with a few well placed disruptor blasts and a couple of photon torpedoes. Best estimate, three minutes.
Williams: Hmm, time enough for reinforcements to arrive.
Williams: Then taking out the reinforcements first seems to be the best option. Infiltrate fast. Take out the comm and its engines, then…..
Serala: We board her.
Logan: After that we can choose where we go
Williams: Exactly what i thought. A quick hit and run. Commander, can you take us to the fourth planet? I think it’s time we deploy the troops right now. Mr Logan, Commander Serala, get our gear. I want to be able to strike as soon as we find that ship. We will have to make plans as we go…. we have to strike when the iron is hot!
Logan: I'll bring McKnight up to speed and take his lead
Danara: I’m ready to go. We should be prepared for more surprises. So far we've already seen that nothing is truly what it seems with this one.