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Posted on Tue May 21st, 2019 @ 4:25am by David Hawkins & Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti & Emmah [Kavi]

Mission: Jarland
Location: Romulan Cargo Ship
Timeline: Prior to Battle

Emmah stepped on to the transporter pad behind Captain Hawkins and Commander Zeti. They were heading over to the Romulan Cargo vessel for a little social time, it had been hard to convince the Romulan Captain to allow it, but in the end they both knew their superiors expected an attempt of connection. Emmah was excited to have been invited along to observe.

It didn't take long before the three were now found on the interior of the Romulan cargo ship. David looked around the room before he noticed the technician on the side of the room turn towards them. The doors to the cargo room snapped open and in walked a broad shouldered Romulan. It was obvious that the man demanded respect as he took charge of the room he was in. Noone else came before him. This was a man that Hawkins could admire and respect for sure.

"Commander, I hope you don't mind, I brought my XO and assistant to help with covering our security arrangements that you are insisting on," David started off as he reached his arm out to shake the man's hand.

The Romulan stood as if there was a steel rode going through him and holding him upright. He looked over the Captain of the Starfleet ship that was accompanying them and simply nodded. He glanced at the man's hand, before reaching out and shaking it in a very human custom. "Commander Biruth, I have a solid security team. Former Romulan troops and a few Nausicaans to round it out."

"Yes, and your people were vetted by your government, due to the recent attacks," David shrugged as he looked around the room before settling back on the commander. "So, you trust me?"

"Trust you? Of course not, I'm a Romulan. I don't trust anyone," Biruth looked at the human squarely. "But, I do trust that you will keep your word and protect my ship. That doesn't mean I have taken no precautions."

"Fair enough," the captain replied as he nodded before they were led out of the small room and down the hall through the worn down corridors. As they came to the end of the corridor, they were lead into a room with a single table and a hand full of chairs around it. As they walked in, the romulans offered them a place to wait.

"We will return shortly. Please make yourselves ... comfortable," one of the romulan security guards stated before turning and the door slammed shut behind them. The sound of a magnetic locks engaged.

"Well, this seems like a warm invitation," David muttered as he looked at the two women before him.

Emmah looked around, "I do not think I would say its warm." she said. "Should I alert the ship that we are prisoners?" she asked.

"I don't think they locked the doors, they just told us to make ourselves comfortable. I don't suppose telling them that I'm most comfortable in an engineering department would get us out of here," Zeti looked around the room and made a face, before she dropped down on one of the chairs.

"I am certain that will not go over so well." Emmah said offering a small smile. The trio looked around the room, before the doors opened up again, this time the Captain was not there, but the security guard was.

"Captain Hawkins, Captain Biruth would like to see you on your own." the Romulan woman said firmly. "Your aides can remain here, they will be given food and drink, and access to an entertainment viewer." she said. "Come with me." she said leaving no room for question.

Zeti stood up from where she was sitting and stepped up to Hawkin's side, "As his executive officer, I do not want him going anywhere alone. It's my job to keep my captain safe."

The woman looked at the Bajoran, "Is the universal translator broken?" she asked. "Captain Hawkin's will meet with the captain alone. That is the Captains wish, there are no other options. I will not state it again." she growled and looked at Hawkins. "The Captain was under the impression this was to be a peaceful meeting of the Captains, that is all it will be, or should he report to the government that we were met with typical arrogance and defiance known from federation military?"

A long deep sigh escaped David as he stepped up and raised his hands up to the two women. "Even though I love how I have two beautiful women fighting over me, I'll go talk to the Captain alone. While I am gone, maybe you ladies can go over our 'Federation Military' away team requirements and why we are the way we are."

"I would like to officially log my protest," Zeti said, narrowing her eyes at the Romulan. "If anything happens to him..."

"... You have my approval to destroy them all," Hawkins smirked at his XO before waving at the door at the Romulan woman. "Shall we?"

"You know I will," Zeti said with a slight growl.

As the Captain was lead through the corridor, David took in the site of the status of the ship and her crew. They weren't hurting whatsoever, so this told him that they were good at what they did. But he also knew that some of the ships and her crews still worked for the old governments. This gave them some extra pampering when they got the chance to do 'additional' transports for illegal supplies from time to time.

It didn't take long before they were in a small office with just the two captains now face to face. "Captain... you summoned me?"

"Yes Captain, I did," Biruth looked up at Captain Hawkins and gave the man a sly smile. "I can't tell you how pleased I was that it was your ship that was assigned to escort us. I wasn't expecting this to be easy, but you walk the line so often it won't be a stretch. Admiral Jarland is very ambitious, and sees you as a direct threat. I'm here to remove you as a player. Pirates are about to attack, I'm going to be beamed out and a replacement beamed in. The real Captain Biruth and you will be blamed for his death."

David cocked his head and chuckled as he shook his head. "I didn't know romulans had a sense of humor. But that's a new one."

"If I were Romulan, I might be offended," The man replied with a half smirk.

"So this is all Admiral Jarland? Even for him, that's over board," the captain countered as he stood there ready to attack the impostor but looked knew that the weapon in his hand wasn't going to be easy to dodge.

"I may have misspoke slightly, this isn't exactly his plan. We had some creative licence," The fake Captain chuckled. "I'm not sure he'll like that we framed you, but it's necessary and he was clear he did not want us to kill you."

When the red alert signal sounded, the man took a deep breath and nodded. "And that would be my queue to leave. Good luck Captain."

The hum of the transporter activated a moment later and the man that had been living was gone. In the chair behind the desk a body was beamed in and sure enough the knife was, or either looked like, the exact one Hawkins carried on himself regularly.

The door lid open, "Captain we are being attacked..." the civilian security officer said. She stopped short seeing the body of her Captain on the floor. "What have you done?!" she cried running forward to check for life signs. The ship shook with impacts from weapons from the pirates.

"You killed him!" she growled, springing up, her own blade near appearing in her hand as she turned on him angrily.

"Oh no..." David cringed as he quickly tried to process his choices. But he now knew exactly why he hadn't been assassinated. This left him with no other choice but to be arrested or killed by the romulans. "I wouldn't be able to prove that it wasn't me... would I?"

The woman turned at him, rage in her eyes as she pulled her weapon, intent on killing the man.

"Yeah, I didn't think so..." David muttered as he quickly dodged the attack and knocked the sub-commander out by disarming her, and slamming her against the wall. He took in a deep breath as he leaned down and ensured that the woman was still breathing before moving to the body of the Romulan captain and looked at his thigh holster which held his own combat knife. It was an identical match. This wasn't good at all.

The door slid open and Emmah and his XO rushed in. They quickly took in the view before looking at Hawkins in shack. "It was a set up, the captain was killed with a duplicate of my knife. Emmah, can you access the romulan ship's computer core?"

Emmah shook her head, "No, sir. The security is too tight. I am receiving a report, however. Both ships are under attack. There is a weakened area of shielding near the rear of this ship. From there I can transport us back to the Gladiator, however It will cause a 3 second drop in the Gladiators shields." she looked down at the bodies, "I believe the alternative will be a fight for our lives here." she said.

"Damn it..." David muttered as he sighed before shaking his head. "Get us to the Gladiator and engage the Freebird Protocol."

He looked at his XO and sighed as he shook his head. "You know you can't be apart of this and I am screwed either way. That being said, this will cause the whole crew of the Gladiator to be arrested and questioned as suspects in assisting in this so called murder. Once we get over there, You need to take command of the Gladiator and go along with this. You and the crew will want to hunt us down, but with this and who is behind this, I see them replacing myself and you with more willing supervision."

There was a long pause as they all looked around trying to fully understand how or why all of this was happening. Now it has become obvious... They were going to need to take some time to comprehend what had happened.

"Emmah, let's go," the captain said as he handed Zeti his combadge and pips. "I hope to see you soon, Zeti." With that, he nodded at Emmah, and within seconds, Emmah and Hawkins was in-golfed in the transporter beam...

/// OFF ///


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