USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Internal Divisions

Posted on Tue Feb 14th, 2017 @ 1:38am by Commander Tolan & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: USS Clyde
Timeline: Mission Day 66; 19:30

Tolan sat at the Tactical station of the Clyde - continually scanning for any potential pursuers. The rendezvous with the Cukela had not gone to plan and the Suliban was now pursuing Plan B - the mercenaries he had recruited for safe passage to Veloz Prime. He looked around at the Vulcan he despised but accepted as being a part of the cause that refused to give up.

"I've got some bad news for you. The Cukela has...shall we say...had to cancel on us" Tolan said.

Saalkan sniffed. "I had already taken the liberty of securing headhunters to dispose of Dmitri Bogolyubov once we completed safe passage through the wormhole. Since he insists on utterly eliminating any usefulness on his part, it appears I can unleash the hounds sooner than planned."

"Does no one have any honor?" Doqqu snarled.

"I imagine that he has not taken well to reports that both his sister and nemesis were left for dead on the Vindex," Saalkan tersely replied, choosing to ignore the Klingon's slight on his character, placing it squarely on the Cukela's commander.

"I'll piss on his grave!" Doqqu curled his lips back in a warrior's sneer and spit on the deck plating.

"My headhunters are presently closing in on his position, so let us speak of him no more." Saalkan raised an irritated eyebrow as he added, "And do not... do that again."

Doqqu grunted a reluctant affirmative and returned to his statuesque pose.

Nealey looked at the three men with interest and amusement before Tolan replied and she got back to work at her console.

"He won't have a grave Mr Doqqu. The Cukela was destroyed by the USS Renown - what makes it more intriguing is that neither vessel was on a trajectory which would have put them anywhere near the rendezvous site. Thankfully however I took the liberty of organising a back up plan...we rendezvous with a Klingon Bird of Prey in the morning" Tolan replied.

"Interesting," Saalkan said. "I suppose the Renown's captain may be rewarded for his prize. And I find myself yet again burdened by incompetent tools." He made a note in his PADD with narrowed eyes and a ruthless expression. "No matter. Let us rid ourselves of this Quadrant." He shot Tolan a sidelong glance. "Thank you, Mr Tolan, for your foresight," he said with reluctant praise.

"I'm sure Captain Hutchinson will appreciate the sentiment. However I felt it would be best to ensure there was a backup plan" Tolan replied.

"What is the name of the Klingon vessel?" Doqqu asked. "Or, at least, its captain?" He looked almost worried. House Duras was still in exile, after all.

"It is called the CharghwhI'. K'Vort-class Bird-of-Prey" Tolan said.

Nealey spoke. "I take it that's one of the bigger ones. I don't fancy being holed up in a tiny Bird-of-Prey until we get to Veloz Prime"

"Yes it is Lieutenant. We'll be kept in separate quarters until we reach Veloz Prime" Tolan responded.

Nealey was pleased. She admittedly wasn't keen on the idea of travelling on a Klingon ship anyway but at least they would be separate from the rest of the crew.

Doqqu said nothing, but even so he appeared more at ease.

"If they prove capable, then perhaps I may extend their contract in defense of my facility," Saalkan said. "Good help is evidently in short supply."

Tolan had already made arrangements for that so he was more than happy to confirm this to Saalkan - his choice of a Klingon vessel being completely down to the fact it could cloak and would be a lot harder to track.

"Already taken care of. I am advised the crew of the CharghwI' are very capable" Tolan replied.

Nealey looked across at Kazyah and wondered why the man had been so quiet.

"You're quiet Lieutenant" Nealey commented.

"That is my nature," Kaz replied, matter-of-factly, as he initiated another scan for nearby vessels. "No one likes a chatty Intel officer."

"I'd noticed. Keep scanning - if anything shows up I want to know immediately - once we're aboard the Bird-of-Prey then we can cloak and we'll be safe. Once we're at Veloz Prime anyone who wishes to leave is free to do so" Tolan responded.

Nealey wasn't sure that was a good idea - but she didn't want to question the Suliban man. If there was anyone in this operation she didn't trust it was Kazyah - but perhaps the young Operations officer had got the wrong impression of the Intelligence officer.

"I'm not going anywhere Commander. It's not like I have much to live for is it? I think we need to stay together until we have taken control of the Vindex" Tony said.

Doqqu looked at Tony with a newfound respect. "Today is a good day to die," the Klingon agreed.

"The Consortium doesn't exactly appreciate defectors. I doubt any of us will be going anywhere, and even if we did, I'm sure they'd come looking for us," Kaz stated, not looking up from the console. "We all know too much at the moment. So it's a safe bet, we're not going anywhere."

"Nobody outruns their fate," Saalkan said. "Do what the stars appoint, and the rest shall handle its own." A faint smirk crossed his face. "Besides, after the debacle at Starbase 11, so far as the Alpha Quadrant is concerned... I am the Consortium."

Kaz did the best he could not to roll his eyes.

"Did you have a remark you wished to share with the group?" Saalkan snapped at Kazyah, his voice rising in mercurial wrath which contrasted with his relaxed disposition.

"I didn't say a thing," Kaz said. He didn't have to be Betazoid to hear the anger rising within Saalkan.

"Not with your pretty mouth," Saalkan said. "But I heard it all the same. Don't let me hear it again."

"That's enough - both of you. No more petty squabbling or the pair of you will be cleaning the crap off the hull of this runabout" Tolan commented.

Saalkan regarded Tolan, his eyes narrow and askance. "You will be entering my house soon enough, Tolan. Mind your manners, and I shall mind mine." He looked around the small control room which passed for the bridge. "That goes for all of you."

Tolan was starting to get quite fed up of Saalkan and decided to put him in his place. He wasn't afraid to silence the Vulcan or turn him over to Starfleet if he had to.

"I outrank you and I am in charge of this operation Saalkan. I can always leave you in this runabout and let the Vindex discover you if you try and pull rank and authority on me again - unless you want to incur the wrath of Commander ben-Avram and Lieutenant Cusack I suggest you show some respect. Get back to work everyone - I don't want to hear another word from anyone until we get to the rendezvous point" Tolan replied.

"Had I been committed to a Starfleet career, I would easily outrank you now," Saalkan said, " but even so, said rank is from a vestigial military structure that no longer applies." Saalkan stood up. "If you take issue with that, then I can have Mr Doqqu escort you to the nearest airlock." The Vulcan's eyes took in Doqqu and Nealey both. "As you well know, I would surely not have any difficulty persuading our mercenary contacts to cooperate without you."

"I don't think so - unless you have the 75,000 darseks they want as payment then I doubt they'll be co-operating with anyone but me. I doubt you have that kind of currency lying around so I suggest you do as I say or you can say goodbye to your precious facility..." Tolan replied.

Kaz stood, his arm extended towards Saalkan with a phaser in his hand, "Alright, that's enough. We cannot allow our pride or emotions compromise our mission. We all have an important part to play and for this to work, we all need to be on board."

His arm turned towards Tolan, "And I do mean all of us," Kaz stated. "Don't forget, we all answer to someone within the Consortiuum. We're all pawns, but we have ambitions. That's why we joined them. Let's not do anything to ruin the good opportunity we have here. For once, we're on the right side. And we're going to bring the Federation down." Kaz lowered his arm and slipped his phaser back into his belt.

Tony nodded. "I agree. Let's keep our cool and stay focused until we can complete our task. If we argue then we - a diminished cause - will be unnecessarily divided. Tolan is in charge as per the orders we received - I trust his leadership and guidance"

"So do I" Nealey replied.

"I care not for the ambitions of any of you or for the Consortium itself," Saalkan said evenly. "I have my facility, and that is all I have ever wanted--from the Federation or the Consortium. You all must simply be aware that while in my house, you will show proper respect or you will be shown the door--along with whatever consequences that entails."

The Vulcan gestured toward Doqqu who held his phaser rifle against Kazyah's head.

"Do not to think threaten me again, Mr Linn. I may not be able to call off my dog guard twice." Saalkan waved his hand, and Doqqu disengaged with a grunt.

Kaz stood there silently, crossing his arms.

"Drop that rifle or I'm turning this shuttle around and releasing the people in the cargo bay. It's your choice Saalkan - but you need us more than we need you. If the Klingons don't get paid then you won't even be getting to your facility - so I suggest you show me the respect I deserve for bending over backwards to get you what you want" Tolan replied.

"I can subvert anyone short of a full Betazoid," Saalkan retorted smugly. "Do not require that I should demonstrate, Suliban." He looked at one and all. "You can eject me into the vacuum of space, and the stars themselves shall lead me to victory. Once we are in the Alpha Quadrant, the balance of power will be shifted, and you will be in need of my favor. We may cooperate with one another in the interim, but that will be the last threat I entertain from you. Your Klingon puppets be damned." The Vulcan closed his eyes and rolled his head in a circle, sighing from the tension. "Now I require meditation. Mr Doqqu, please prevent anyone from disturbing me." Saalkan marched out of the cramped bridge with a lordly air.

Tolan shook his head as the Vulcan departed to meditate in privacy. However the best thing was the Suliban had not told Saalkan that other members of Consortium not willing to give up the fight were already waiting at the facility - that was a secret he wasn't willing to give away until they got there.

"Alright...let's get to it. Mr Henley increase our speed - let's see if we can get to this rendezvous point ahead of schedule" Tolan said.

Henley nodded. "Yes sir. Increasing speed to Warp 4.5"

"Miss Snowdon - a word in private please. The rest of you - as you were" Tolan instructed.

Nealey nodded and followed Tolan into the private room he walked into - wondering why Tolan had wanted to speak with her privately rather than Kazyah who was evidently his second in command based on rank and his defence of the Intelligence officer.

 

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