((Bridge, USS Montreal))
::The chirp of her commbadge caught her attention and she arched an eyebrow, tapping it.::
Mei’konda: =/\= Mei’konda to Rosek, priiority one. =/\=
::She tensed. As if this situation wasn't bad enough. She could only imagine what had made Mei add the words “priority one”. It was a test of her resolve holding it together with so much bearing down on her. This time last year, she might have cracked under the pressure. Having only spent a few short months as first officer, she hadn’t ever thought that the first time she really took the hot seat would be under circumstances like these.::
Rosek: =/\=Rosek here, sir.=/\=
Mei’konda: =/\= Commander, I’ve reviewed security camera footaage in the City Hall. Lenik of Vulcan was here. He put something in the water supply. =/\=
::Though she had no first hand experience with the man, she'd read the reports...at least those that she could access with her clearance. For a Vulcan, some of the things he'd done bordered on illogical. He was an extremist and wasn't above murder. She shuddered. From what she'd read, he made his victims suffer extensively before finally ending their lives.::
Mei’konda: =/\= Alert the medicaal department that whether or not the disease is aiirborne, it is at least spread through the water supply. We’re haaving the Crescent View water supply shut down, so have ops beam water supplies to collections points in the city. =/\=
Rosek: ::nods sagely:: =/\= Aye, sir.=/\=
Mei’konda: =/\= We’ll be baack on the ship soon, Commander. Keep an eye out for anything unusual. If Lenik is still here, we need to catch him. =/\=
Rosek: =/\=Understood, sir. Rosek out.=/\=
::As the line cut, her commbadge chirped again and she tapped it.::
Skyfire: =/\= Dr. Skyfire to bridge. =/\=
Rosek: =/\=Rosek here. Go ahead, Doctor.=/\=
Skyfire: =/\= Colonel Rilaw has somehow breached quarantine and is no longer aboard the Montreal. Mr. Fergus reported that she was missing from our secondary quarantine ward after an escort brought her to it. =/\=
::Lael closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose. Could this day get any worse? Their shields were up, so it was highly improbable that she could have been taken without either medical, security, or someone on the bridge knowing it. But then, they’d been distracted by the ships they’d detected. Still...they’d have noticed.::
Rosek: ::sighs:: o0 Yet another thing I’m going to have to explain to Mei when he takes back the big chair. 0o
::And she wasn’t looking forward to that conversation one bit. Her first chance to prove herself and it wasn’t going well at all. She could only hope that Command would be as understanding as she suspected Mei would be.::
Rosek: =/\=We’ll handle it, Doctor.=/\= ::pauses:: =/\=Something Commander Mei’konda wanted me to pass along...It’s looking like the plague was passed initially through the water supply. He and his team are working to shut the Crescent View water supply down.=/\=
Rosek: =/\=Understood, Doctor. Keep me apprised. Rosek out.=/\=
::If Lael weren’t the central focus of the bridge crew, she would have thrown her hands up in frustration as she received an alert of an incoming hail. Her gaze went to the console on the chair’s arm and her brow furrowed.::
Hamasaki: Hail from.. ::Tiria squints, then sighs:: a cloaked ship in orbit.
Rosek: ::nods:: Put it through, Ensign.
::Her brow furrowed in confusion as a Klingon woman appeared on the viewscreen, tensing moments later when she saw the familiar cold eyes of Lenik staring back at her. She’d seen his image dozens of times in the reports and in the profile Starfleet had constructed given what little they knew of him and his activities. To have that gaze trained on her was chilling.::
::Her grip on the arms of the chair tightened momentarily before she rose, her posture composed and her hands tucked together behind her back. She met Lenik’s emotionless expression with a neutral expression of her own despite the mixture of emotions raging inside of her, making her pulse race and her heart slam against the walls of her chest. Her gaze met the woman’s::
Rosek: =/\=This is Lieutenant Commander Lael Rosek of the USS Montreal. What is your business here?=/\=
Rilaw: =/\= There’s a time and a place for such frivolous questions, but right now keep quiet and listen to what we’re about to tell you. The virus has spread and it won’t stop. Whatever you do is pointless. The way your Denobulan had succumbed to only a small dose of the virus shows us that in a matter of seconds anyone, not just Klingons, are susceptible to the plague. =/\=
::Her breath caught in her throat as she struggled to make sense of what the woman was saying. Surely this wasn’t the woman who had escaped quarantine. How was that possible? It bothered her immensely that someone had been able to slip past their defenses and initiate a transport...something that should have been impossible with the shields raised.::
::In the long seconds that felt like an eternity, her mind caught onto something the woman had said. Denobulan. That she was aware of, they only had one Denobulan currently serving aboard the Montreal. She felt like she’d been punched in the stomach, nausea hitting her full force and almost bringing her to her knees. Her lips became a thin line, her jaw tense. Succumbed. No. No, no, no.::
::Fighting panic, she shook the thought from her mind, the fire in her gaze hot enough to melt deuterium as she again met the Klingon woman’s gaze. She forced herself to stay focused, channeling her anger into determination to see this woman brought to justice. She’d revel later in the tortures she could put this woman through, if only in her mind, for what she’d done.::
Rosek: =/\=What are your terms?=/\=
Lenik: =/\= We don’t want anything. I wonder, Commander. How much damage would your ship’s warp core exploding cause, with it parked on the planet, near the center of the capitol city? =/\=
::Lael narrowed her gaze, barely keeping her temper in check. He wanted her to get angry. Anger was the antithesis to rational thought. If she let her temper get the better of her, it would be the equivalent of handing him what he wanted on a silver platter. He was trying to provoke her and she couldn’t let him see how much it was getting to her. Too many lives were depending on her being able to keep her composure and outsmart him.::
Rosek: =/\=I'm not sure if you're aware, Lenik, but I don't respond well to threats nor does Starfleet negotiate with terrorists. If you and your men stand down now, you have my word that I won't fire on your ship.=/\=
Lenik: =/\= Norway class diplomatic cruiser. Standard crew complement of one hundred ninety, currently reading three hundred and seventy, with your… patients. Maximum speed of warp nine point seven. Six type ten phaser arrays, standard fore and aft photon torpedo launchers. Our scans indicate extensive wear and tear throughout your vessel, Lieutenant Commander. You’ve landed, and so you cannot raise your shields. Suffice to say, we have you at a disadvantage. =/\=
Rosek: ::arches both eyebrows:: =/\=You'll find that I'm not known for offering second chances. Lower your shields or we'll lower them for you. Either way ends with you in our brig.=/\=
Lenik: =/\= I am prepared to make you a counter offer, Lieutenant Commander. =/\=
Rilaw: =/\= Response =/\=
Lenik: =/\= I will give you one hour to evacuate your crew and patients to the surface. Every life form aboard must be accounted for. After that is finished, you will transmit the Montreal’s command codes to me, and we will take it from you. Your choices are that… or to die. =/\=
Rosek: o0 Go to hell. 0o
::She signalled to Hamasaki to cut the comm. The man’s face disappeared from the viewscreen and her brow furrowed as she paced the deck for a moment with her hands tucked behind her back. She stopped, her gaze again going to the screen that once again showed the view of the Meridian settlement.::
::There had to be a way to protect the ship from Lenik’s threats. She found it odd that, if he truly had the kind of leverage he was saying he had that he didn’t just start targeting small groups within the city itself. No. It seemed pretty clear that his problem was more with Starfleet than with the colonists.::
Rosek: If we can find a way to disable his weapons, we’d eliminate the threat.
Rosek: ::nods:: Right. So we’ll have to find another way to disable them. Ideas?
::At that moment, Lael heard the doors to the turbolift open and turned to see a Vulcan female step onto the bridge. By the pips on her collar, she was an Ensign and by the color of it she was Operations. Turning herself to face the woman directly, she arched a curious eyebrow.::
Rosek: Is there something I can help you with, Ensign?
Sotak: I am Ensign Sotak, the new transfer from the USS Atlantis. I was instructed to report to you, Commander.
::Ah. Brell’s ship. She was familiar with the commander turned captain having attended his promotion ceremony. A slight smile turned up the corners of her lips and she inclined her head by way of greeting. If she was recalling correctly, Sotak would be the third Vulcan to board the Montreal since Mei had taken command last November.::
Rosek: Welcome aboard, Ensign. ::pauses:: I would offer you the tour, but we’re dealing with a critical situation here.
Sotak: I see. What can I do to help?
Rosek: ::jerks her head toward the viewscreen:: We have a psychopath with no problems torturing people who wants to blow the ship and Meridian colony to bits in one hour if we don’t evacuate the ship completely and give him the command codes.
Rosek: We need to figure out a way to disable his weapons without firing phasers or torpedoes or alerting him to what we’re up to. I wouldn’t put it past him to blow the ship up for trying to pull a fast one.
((OOC: Will continue as necessary.))
::The chirp of her commbadge made her tense. She’d heard so much bad news today through her personal comms that she was beginning to associate the noise with that less-than-subtle gnawing in the pit of her stomach and the sharp pain at the base of her spine. Hesitating for a moment, she tapped it and waited for the other shoe to drop.::
Mei’konda: =/\= Mei’konda to Rosek. Status update? =/\=
Rosek: ::pauses:: =/\=We got a little call from Lenik and our missing Klingon colonel, Rilaw, aboard the Miran’s Tifar. He’s given us one hour to evacuate the Montreal and give him the command codes or he’s going to target our warp reactor and blow us and the colony to kingdom come. I have Hamasaki and our new Engineering ensign, Sotak, working on a way to disable his weapons without using ours.=/\=
Mei’konda: =/\= ...We’ll be baack on the ship soon, Commander. We’ll decontaaminate, then I’ll join you on the Bridge. Have Ensign Hamasaki prepaare our shuttles and their pilots to intercept the Miran’s Tifar.=/\=
Rosek: ::nods:: =/\=Yes, sir.=/\= ::pauses:: =/\=I’d recommend we have Engineering work on a way to either get our shields up or an alternative to protect the warp core just in case. There’s no way we can get off the ground quick enough to pre-empt what Lenik is likely to pull.=/\=
::Lael had a few ideas, but she was needed on the bridge and as much as she would have liked to take the time to pass them down to Engineering, she had bigger problems...like how to stop Lenik from being able to unleash on the city when he realized he wasn’t going to get what he wanted from them. Besides, the people down there were more than capable of coming up with something on their own.::
Hamasaki: =/\= Response=/\=
Mei’konda: =/\= Yes… I understand, Commander. We’re recoveriing what I hope is a pure saample of the virus, something that has not passed through anyone’s body. As soon as that’s done, we’ll beam baack aboard. =/\=
Rosek: =/\=Sounds good, sir. We’ll keep working from our end in the meantime.=/\=
Mei’konda: =/\= Understood. Mei’konda out. =/\=
::The comm cut and she turned to each ensign in turn, an eyebrow arched.::
Rosek: How’s it coming, Ensigns?
Rosek: ::nods and turns to Hamasaki:: We should be able to make this work with the shuttles, right?
Rosek: ::offers an unamused grin:: At least if it doesn’t work, it’ll give them something to shoot at while we bring our weapons online. The whole “can't see the forest for the trees” thing.