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Delta Heist PT I

Posted on Thu Jan 21st, 2021 @ 1:57am by Captain Indrala Xerix

Mission: Beneath the Raptor’s Wings
Location: Delta Hydrae, Nimbus sector
Timeline: 2385, 15 years before current events.



Characters:

Dorvaela - Member of the Romulan Imperial Family

Areinnye - Admiral in the Star Navy and CO of the Dominus

Sienelis - Commanding officer at Delta Hydrae and designer of the Ra’nodaire class

Taeval - Dorvaela’s honor guard

Varuul - Chief of construction at Delta Hydrae


The Dominus glided through the emptiness of space towards the Starbase at Delta-Hydrae. The massive Imperial barge was one of only six left, a symbol of the once-great empire, now a shadow of its former self. Staring out of a viewport of the massive barge stood another symbol, this one flesh and blood.

Dorvaela was part of the Imperial family, figureheads for the empire. He could trace his lineage all the way back to Vulcan. But the power behind his family was long gone. They were now nothing more than puppets for the Praetor and Senate.

The Imperial family spent their days touring starbases and colony worlds, attending commencement addresses and decorating soldiers. The Praetor’s office would “invite” them to these events, and it was known that a refusal was tantamount to treason.

Dorvaela reflected on all these things as he leaned against the bulkhead, enjoying the coldness against his skin. The young male rarely felt cool enough wherever he went.

The problem, he reflected, was that the empire he was serving no longer existed. After the Reman coup, the Star Empire had collapsed into chaos, internal struggle and suspicion. Even the Imperial family had come under increased scrutiny. Tal Shiar agents frequently boarded the ship, claiming it was for his protection. But they were looking for treachery.

The fools.

They should have been investigating the negligent genocide of their own people at the hands of an inept and delusional government.

Dorvaela had kept abreast of the events surrounding the dying star. While the Senate released reports saying the supernova was many years off, the truth was much more grim. Two years according to Starfleet’s top scientists.

Two years and then the heart of the Empire would explode. And the Senate did little except squabble, accuse and make secret plans of escape.

The Federation wouldn’t be coming to the rescue. The destruction of Utopia Planitia and Mars colony had ensured that. Starfleet was already overburdened, attempting to rebuild after the Dominion War. Now they had retreated entirely, leaving the Empire to fend for herself.

Dorvaela was pulled from his brooding by the sound of Taeval clearing his throat. “Admiral Areinnye to see you, Your Excellency.” The guard announced.

The young noble straightened his robes and nodded, turning to face the door. After a moment the Admiral appeared. She was shorter than average, but her countenance and bearing made up for her height. He had witnessed her intimidating Centurions nearly double her size.

“Still letting your thoughts wander the stars I see. You should have been born into a Navy family” said Areinnye. She gave only the slightest of nods, having long since forgone most of the shows of respect Dorvaela was due.

The truth was, the Admiral was the nearest thing to a mother that Dorvaela had. For the last ten years, the two had traveled together. The admiral had brought glory to the Empire in her younger days, and now was living in semi-retirement, commanding the Rapaairae on its mission of touring Romulan space.

“ We are nearly to Delta Hydrae. You’ll be expected on the bridge of course, and then we are to tour the shipyards… I’m told they are building quite an impressive vessel” said the admiral.

“And let me guess, I’m to fawn over this new ship and declare us the greatest empire in the galaxy?” He asked in a tone of displeasure.

Areinnye nodded to Taeval in dismissal. Once alone, the older woman wheeled on Dorvaela. “You will continue to act as the figurehead you’ve been raised to be, until the flotilla is safely out of Romulan space and we can rendezvous with them.”

“Admiral, this is not a warship. Nor is any vessel in the flotilla. We will be defenseless. The Empire will send ships to destroy us and I wouldn’t doubt that we will encounter trouble along the way. How can we escape like this?” Dorvaela asked.

“Your Excellency is most astute,” she replied sarcastically. “Do you imagine I’d jeopardize all we have worked for by leaving us defenseless? The less you know, the better. But rest assured, my prince. The moment is nearly at hand.”

“I’m tired of living in the dark, Areinnye. Everything is secrecy and mystery and scandal. When can we live our lives out of the shadows?” The young man asked.

“Allow me to bring you back to reality. We are neck-deep in a plot that if even hinted at, would result in not only our deaths, but the deaths of all our family and crew. If we fail, we add to the death count that the supernova and this broken government have prepared.” She scolded.

After a moment, her expression softened somewhat and she spoke again. “If we can manage this escape, we will set up someplace new. And you will take your place as its ruler. Open and proud. But right now, you need to be the mindless face of the empire they imagine you to be.”

Ten minutes later, they were both on the bridge. The view screen showed an enormous central structure with docking arms coming up from the base. Dozens of vessels streamed towards and away from the shipyards.

As the Dominus passed, the ships dimmed their lights in deference to the imperial barge. Massive as the shipyard’s internal bays were, the Dominus was still too big to enter.

A mobile embassy, the ship was designed as a command vessel for the fleet of then-new D’deridex class warbirds. But at nearly double the size of the already massive D’deridex, and with it’s ridiculous vertically oriented wingspan, the ships were too costly and too easily hit to be a battleship.

Instead, they were given to the Imperial family as replacements for the decrepit freighters they had previously traveled in. Weapons bays and troop barracks were replaced with guest quarters and meeting rooms, spa facilities and lounges.

The result was the most beautiful prison ships in the galaxy. Used to entertain Senators and Admirals, Ambassadors and Dignitaries. And to keep the ancestors of the last empress as token status symbols. Masters of ceremonies but nothing more.

Presently, the massive ship alighted on an outstretched docking arm. Not even a shudder was felt under Dorvaela’s feet as the connections happened. Areinnye and Dorvaela were joined by Taeval and a half dozen others, and the entourage made their way to the docking hatch.

They were greeted by a Centurion and a lone Uhlan, hardly the welcoming party one would expect for royalty. Dorvaela lifted an eyebrow towards the Centurion, waiting for an explanation.

“Welcome to Delta-Hydrae Admiral, Your Excellency. I am Centu…” the Centurion began, when he was interrupted by Areinnye.

“You’re supposed to acknowledge the Imperial family before any military personnel. And where is Commander Sienelis?” She asked curtly.

“My apologies. The Commander is currently overseeing a particularly critical phase of the AQS drive installation. She asks your pardon and hopes to be finished before you leave” answered the Centurion.

Areinnye made a noise of displeasure. “The artificial quantum singularity drives were installed three weeks ago. The system is already operating at seventy five percent and climbing. I think Commander Sienelis needs to explain herself”

“Yes, Admiral...by your command” said the Centurion. He led them into a turbolift which lurched sideways, whisking the group into the depths of the structure. Dorvaela noted Areinnye’s calculating expression, but kept his curiosity to himself.

When they arrived at the Commander’s office, the Centurion made to chime the door. Areinnye stepped in front of him and keyed the door open instead. The scene that greeted them was as shocking as it was unwelcome.

Commander Sienelis sat behind her desk, raven hair cut even shorter than the militant styles of the empire. The view of her slender torso was somewhat obscured by the shoulder armor of a pair of Klingons seated between the commander and the now-open door.

Traitor

“I hope we aren’t interrupting anything too important, Commander” said Areinnye. Her tone was icy and full of malevolence.

The Klingons both stood and attempted to draw daggers at their hips, but Romulan disruptors pointed their way seemed to give them pause. Areinnye nodded and another of her Centurions moved around the desk, searching Sienelis for weapons.

The admiral turned to the Centurion that had escorted them from the ship. “And what about you. Were you involved in this conspiracy? You needn’t lie. The Tal Shiar will bring out the truth.” She spoke quietly, but with a tone that implied absolute confidence and superiority.

“No...No Admiral. On my life, I knew nothing” stuttered the young officer.

“I hope you’re right, Centurion. Not just for your life, but the lives of your family. Now go and tell the department heads that Admiral Areinnye has taken control of this facility until a suitable replacement can be sent for. I’ll want a briefing from all departments in one hour” said the admiral

Chapter two

As soon as the Centurion departed, the Klingons standing near the desk flickered and then disappeared. Sienelis’ expression relaxed and she dropped back into her chair.

Dorvaela’s eyes widened in surprise. It dawned on him that he had just witnessed a performance, and was currently watching a well-conceived plan unfold before him. Sienelis nodded in his direction before turning to Areinnye.

“We’re going to need to move quickly. You may scare off a Centurion, but when anyone with a brain hears what’s happened, they will immediately call for an investigation.” said Sienelis.

“Thank you for stating the obvious, Commander. What is the current status of the ship?” asked the Admiral.

There was obvious tension between the women, though it seemed both wished to ignore it for a common goal.

“All major systems are in place, and the twin AQS is now at eighty one percent of projected capacity. More relevant at the moment are the missing components.

Crew quarters are nothing more than bulkheads and empty space. Stellar cartography and most science labs are barren as well. There is no hand-held equipment on board. And while all weapons systems have been installed, none of them have been calibrated.

But the biggest issue is that we haven’t received the allocation of embarked craft yet.” finished the Commander. Her tone was full of anxiety

Fidgeting with the hem of his sleeve, Dorvaela puzzled on why it would be such an issue that the ship didn’t have small craft.

The Admiral stood, lips pursed in concentration for a moment. Dorvaela cleared his throat. “Perhaps we could split the Ralaaripae’s complement of shuttles. It’s not like she really needs thirty two”

The women exchanged glances. Evidently they knew something that the young man did not. Areinnye strode towards him.

“A very kind suggestion, Excellency. But I think it’s time you see the ship. That’ll help you understand a bit more while Sienelis and I hash out a few more details” said the Admiral.

Noting that the suggestion came with a herding motion towards the door, Dorvaela retreated. It was only once in the corridor with his escorts that he realized he had no idea idea where he was heading. He turned to the tall, hooded Sentinel beside him.

“Taeval, might you have any idea where this ship is being constructed?” the noble inquired. Without hesitation, Taeval pushed up his sleeve, revealing a device on his wrist. After a moment with it, he lifted his gaze confidently.

“This way, Your Excellency. And given the..tension at the moment, please keep close.” he said as he strode off the way they had entered.

A few bland corridors and one turbolift ride later, they stood in front of an enormous viewport. What lay before them didn’t initially make sense to Dorvaela.

A large section of the shipyard lay in front of them, with utility pods zipping around it. The architecture appeared much more modern than the rest of the shipyard, with a low, wide wing-section bisected by a tall narrow tower with a bulbous middle.

Two enormous hangar bays were mounted to the bottom of the structure, and the number of illuminated viewports made Dorvaela realize this must be a new Starbase design that the shipyard was constructing.

“Impressive, isn’t it?” Came an unknown voice. Dorvaela turned on his heel just in time to see Taeval press a dagger to the throat of a man with pale grey skin.

A Reman.

“How dare you address…” Taeval began, before Dorvaela interrupted him. “It’s alright, Taeval. Release him”

Reluctantly, the Sentinel did as he was instructed, keeping his hand on his now-sheathed dagger, and his body between Dorvaela and the Reman.

“Perhaps you should explain what I’m looking at, so that I may be impressed” The noble suggested. He gestured with his hand for the Reman to stand next to him at the viewport.

With Taeval still regarding him suspiciously, the man stepped forward and spoke “This is the first of its kind, a Ra’nodaire class Warbird.”

Dorvaela’s face showed none of his surprise. Years of hosting diplomats taught him to mask his emotions. His silence prompted the Reman to continue.

“The Dominion war prompted the Senate to order a number of new designs to replace the D’deridex. The Norexan as the front-line ship, the Ha’apex and Haakona class dreadnoughts, and the Ra’nodaire.” He said.

“It has all of the size, firepower, and resources of a battleship. But the true purpose of this vessel is a carrier for fighters or Birds of Prey. It’s a small fleet unto itself, capable of holding a couple of sectors alone.” He finished.

All illusion dropped, Dorvaela’s jaw dropped. The implications of this ship’s capability were astounding, even to his naive mind. He was beginning to understand the potential, and Areinnye’s interest.

The noble stood considering the Iridescent green hull of the ship in front of him before speaking again. “You seem to know a lot about the Imperial fleet for a Reman.”

“For a slave, you mean. Well I’m neither a slave nor a Reman. My father was Romulan. I serve the Empire as lead construction engineer. Turning a vague set of schematics and requirements into a battle-worthy vessel is my duty.” Said the hybrid.

Dorvaela mulled the statement in his mind. There was obviously much more to the story. Remans consistently were among the most skilled engineers in the Empire, but being enslaved limited the positions they could reach.

“What is your name, Engineer?” He asked.

“Varuul, and you must be fairly important to be here. The son of a senator, perhaps ?”

Taeval had heard enough, evidently. “You are addressing hru’hfirh Dorvaela of the Imperial family. And your father might have been Rihannsu, but you reek of ch'Havran!”

Before Dorvaela could react, Varuul had a dagger out and was thrusting its cruel-looking blade towards Taeval’s chest.

A heartbeat later Varuul was on his back, struggling to keep his own blade from burying itself into his corpulent neck. Taeval crouched over him, the look of a cold-blooded killer in his verdant eyes.

“Enough!” Dorvaela bellowed.




 

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