(( Shuttlebay, Deck 37, DS26 ))
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: =/\= It’s quite simple, really. This station is plummeting to its doom. We have seized control of this station at quite at high cost and have no intention of losing it now. I propose to allow you and your ship to assist with evacuating all non-Valcarian personnel from the station. You can use this landing bay for those purposes. We will also coordinate with Atlantis to find a way to stop the station from hitting the planet below, possibly even relocate away from the planet a distance. Once everyone is cleared out and the station is safe, we will take full control of the station and the space around it. Assuming the station doesn’t get destroyed before then, I estimate you should be able to get everyone off in about 36 hours time. Anyone remaining onboard after that forfeits their life and will become subjects of the Empire. =/\=
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? =/\=
Calasio: =/\= Your request is understandable, Commander. However, we have no direct communications established with the Starfleet personnel. In fact, station communications are down, which is why I have had to rig this form of communication for us. Still, I will try to get a message through and have them come down to you. =/\=
Even as she was speaking, Kiax signalled her that she was going to join Logan over at a runabout he was inspecting. Serala nodded her head to proceed. She signed to two Marines to stay and guard the shuttle and then indicated the rest, along with Perkins, and finally herself, should follow McKnight. Switching her commset on, she signalled McKnight’s set.
Serala: =/\= Captain, this feels like a trap to me. Keep your eyes sharp. Avoid engaging if possible, but let’s not let the trap snapped shut on us either. =/\=
McKnight: =/\= Response =/\=
Serala: =/\= Commander Perkins. You know this station better than anyone here. I want you on lead. Get us to Operations. We’re taking that back one way or another. That might give us a better position to bargain from. =/\=
(( Short timeskip ))
They had passed a trio of people with luggage fleeing as if for their lives on the way to the shuttle bay. They had warned her that a team of Valcarian soldiers were up ahead, but they didn’t know how far. They rounded another corner that Perkins had indicated would lead to the Operations level.
Birmor: Halt. Who goes there?
Serala: Lieutenant Commander Serala, Federation Starship Atlantis.
Birmor: Sorry friend. This area is off limits to non Valcarians.
Serala: We’re here with permission of Commander Calasio.
That much was true, kind of.
Serala: We have some things to discuss and the form of communication we were using was insufficient. Since we’re here under a truce, perhaps you would be kind enough to escort us to him so we can speak in person?
Well, this was going to be a tough cookie to crack. She really didn’t want to resort to combat, but it was still on her list of reserve tactics if needed.
Serala: And would he be less pleased if his favorite :: quickly checking her rank :: corporal failed to let us past and it resulted in a full-scale invasion from our ship? Just because of a misunderstanding? Wouldn’t it be better to take us to him and let him decide what to do with us?