USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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We Meet At Last

Posted on Wed Sep 21st, 2016 @ 4:46pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Rear Admiral David Hutchinson Sr

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: USS Renown
Timeline: Mission Day 7; 13:30

Claudia was pleased that the Renown had been found safely and that the damage to the ship wasn't too severe. She had taken a shuttle over to the Renown with Ensign Henley at the helm to go and meet with Captain Hutchinson. After being cleared to land the shuttle Finucane landed in the Renown's empty looking hangar bay. After John powered down the craft Claudia stood up from her seat.

"I won't be long. Go and have a walk around if you want - I'll be back by 14:00 at the latest" Claudia said.

John nodded. "Aye Commander"

Commander Ainscow alighted from the shuttle - followed by John - and was greeted by Captain Hutchinson. She extended her hand to the holder man and smiled.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Captain" Claudia said.

David was surprised by how young Claudia looked - she looked barely old enough to have her own starship and only had three pips on her collar. David returned the handshake before returning Claudia's smile.

"The Captain didn't tell me she had a sister. The pleasure is mine" David replied.

Claudia giggled. "Thank you Captain - I do have a sister but she's all the way back on Earth. Shall we go somewhere a bit more comfortable?"

"Of course - shall we go to observation lounge?" David suggested.

Claudia nodded. "Lead the way"

Claudia and David made their way through the Renown's corridors - some were like they should be and others showed the signs of the confrontation they had when the actions of Elsa Johansson saved the Renown from meeting her end. Claudia was as yet unaware of the Consortium agents who had returned to serve Starfleet's cause - David had chosen to wait to tell Claudia in person in the event somebody on Vindex was listening in.

Once they were in the observation lounge Claudia sat down and David went over to the replicator.

"Can I get you anything Commander?" David asked.

Claudia smiled. "A cup of tea would be nice Captain. Thank you"

David ordered two cups of tea and brought them over to the table - one in front of his chair and placing the other in front of Claudia. Once he'd sat down he took a sip of the beverage before turning to face the Vindex's master.

"I recognise the accent. London by any chance?" David asked.

Claudia nodded. "Sure is. Maida Vale"

"I haven't been back home to Belfast in some time. I should try to when I get out of this place - most of my family are still in Northern Ireland apart from my daughter Lucia who is also out here and my son David Junior who is on the USS Belfast back in the Alpha Quadrant" David said.

Claudia took a long sip of her drink and listened. David sounded a little troubled although she put that down to the fact the battle had inflicted some damage onto his ship - and there was his missing away team.

"You mentioned you found the away team Commander. How are they?" David asked.

Claudia placed her cup down slowly. It wasn't going to be an easy thing to tell him - even if there were plans in place for the The Two Five to board the Bozeman and re-take the rest of the team.

"We found two. Lieutenant Joyce and Ensign Muniz - they are safe on the Vindex. As for the other six Lieutenant Joyce told us that they were taken prisoner by the USS Bozeman. I have a plan in place to retrieve them later today - we just need to bide our time" Claudia said.

David nodded. "Well - I'd love to help but we won't be going anywhere any time soon. Commander Muniz estimates it'll be another 24 hours at least before we have our impulse drive back. How's your ship holding up?"

"Well we haven't scratched the paint yet. Hard to believe it's been a month since she left Utopia Planitia - but she's a good ship with a great crew. I think we'll be able to deal with the Bozeman without any issues as it appears there's not many of their friends in the area at the moment" Claudia replied.

That got David thinking. Even he knew that the Rakhar system was supposed to be full of traffic - and yet there was nothing but a sole Miranda-class starship that was in and out of the area presumably feeding information back to The Consortium's headquarters.

"It's not only us that's noticed that then. We were told this place was supposed to be full of ships - we haven't come across anybody. We only hid in the nebula on the off chance somebody would come looking for us...and they seemed to know exactly where to look. Something doesn't sound right here Commander" David said.

Claudia thought for a moment. Suppose their instincts about the area being empty were right - what would The Consortium be doing to leave nothing but a Miranda-class starship in the area? Whatever it was The Consortium were doing it must be big.

Claudia replied. "No...it doesn't"

"There is one thing. We engaged the USS Cukela and a number of defectors from The Consortium swore they had turned their back on them and returned to Starfleet - they are now on the Renown under supervision for the time being. I can perhaps speak to one I feel I can trust and get back to you - I can't promise anything but...I can try" David replied.

Claudia nodded. "If you feel you can trust them then go ahead. I'll do what I can at my end"

Claudia and David continued their meeting for another quarter of an hour before Claudia decided it was time to get back to her ship and get caught up on her paperwork.

"If you need anything in the mean time Commander you know where to find me - and thank you for coming" David said.

Claudia smiled. "Same for you Captain"

David escorted Claudia back to the Vindex's shuttle where she found Ensign Henley sat in the pilot's seat ready to depart. After being cleared for departure by the Renown's flight deck controller the Finucane departed the Excelsior-class starship and returned to the Vindex. Claudia had a lot to think about - and she didn't have a lot of time to think about it either.

 

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