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Innovative Deception

Posted on Sun Apr 25th, 2021 @ 4:18pm by Captain Indrala Xerix & 1st Lieutenant Kreesha & Lieutenant Commander Alyssa Damiani & Lieutenant Baeryn Whavi & Lieutenant Sukan & Lieutenant JG Stefan Zamfir & Lieutenant Chase Thatch & Lieutenant JG Nevikh & Lieutenant Eklisa

Mission: Swarm
Location: USS Icarus (aka dad’s Buick we borrowed)

Indrala sat on the bridge of the USS Icarus, which was nearly ready to disembark. The Dauntless-class vessel was sleek, smart, and wickedly fast. Unfortunately, it was also woefully outgunned by many modern vessels. And that list definitely included the Nebula-class USS Regula currently presiding over the blockade of Rubicun III.

Aside from the dangers of a stacked fight, it would also risk life and limb for the crew of the Ambassador. Casualties needed to be avoided at all costs. And Starfleet needed to show the galaxy that they could put down a militant uprising without resorting to the sort of tactics that they claimed to be against.

The USS Regula also represented a significant threat to the Edo, as one photon torpedo could easily level a small city. A Nebula class could carry three hundred, plus dozens of even more deadly warheads.

The answer, Indrala realized, would be found in the same area as many commanders in her position found it. Innovative deception.

“Xerix to Deep Space Twelve Ops, prep the Celeborn for launch as well.” She ordered.

“Aye aye, Captain Xerix. As you command.” Replied the sarcastic tones of one Veristi Nuecylle.

The Betazoid suppressed a smile. She would handle the smarmy Admiral when she returned from this ordeal. For now, she ordered her team to the Icarus’ briefing room.

"Well this is certainly a pretty ship." Eklisa quickly stepped into the room and found a seat so she could set down her PADDs. "Not a well armed ship, but a solid and put together one."

Given the situation Nevikh would have preferred well armed, but solid construction could be made to compensate. "Historically, it is not unknown for a well constructed and agile vessel to match one larger and more heavily armed," he noted calmly.

Thatch followed after, being early for once. "All necessary maintenance has been completed Captain. She's as ready as I can get her." He said with a smile as he wiped the sweat from his brow.

Alyssa was honestly feeling a little harried as she made her way to the Icarus and then to the briefing room. She almost felt like her traveling bag was still on her shoulder from New Holland Colony, but it wasn't. She'd had time to stow that, at least.

"Apologies for my absence, Captain," she said as she walked in, managing a spare smile and a nod to her fellow Betazoid.

Baeryn followed behind the doctor, pausing behind her briefly and nodding her greeting towards the captain before taking an open seat. "Whavi reporting in Sir." Being in such close quarters as other betazoids caused her to tense. She had spent an extra ten minutes stilling her mind for this meeting.

“ I’m going to keep this brief. We’re going to use the Celeborn as a Trojan horse to hopefully get a small party of Starfleet and marines onboard the Regula. She will feign battle damage and the Icarus will be hot on her heels. In the admiral’s rush to pluck us bare of any usable item, no one took the time to update the fleet manifest. They’ll be hard-pressed to know who is who. Questions?” Asked Indrala.

Alyssa knew that she was a little behind the eight ball, as her roommate in the academy (who was from Earth) used to say, but she'd read the briefing while on her way here so she had a general idea of things. "What if the Regula chooses shooting over looting?" she asked, feeling the perhaps-obvious voice of caution.

“That’s the risk we have to take, Commander. The other option is to allow the citizens of Rubicun III to continue living under tyranny” said Nuecylle.

To this, the doctor didn't reply. Her brows knit slightly in consternation, but she otherwise kept it to herself. Although other empaths around her might sense a little shift, she was skilled enough to shield herself from letting out too much. But she was faintly offended that the admiral would think she, a doctor, would suggest leaving the planet's hostages out in the wind like that. She just wondered if there was a secondary plan--but she was also an officer and didn't backtalk admiralty when it wasn't in her medical purview to do so... At least, for the moment she wouldn't.

Sukan had been sitting in the briefing room, quietly contemplating the situation. After several seconds of serious thought - almost an eternity for a Vulcan - he finally spoke. "Admiral, I volunteer to join the crew of the Celeborn".

Kreesha sat considering the matter before speaking. “Having Starfleet officers on hand to board the ship with us would be helpful.” She said.

[Celeborn]

A few hours later, the USS Celeborn was hurtling towards Rubicun III at speeds above her recommended limit, to the damage of her engine assembly. The Icarus was on an intercept course, having used her transwarp drive to give the impression of having come from the Quarry.

The Celeborn’s hull was tattooed with phaser-fire marks, and when the crew of the USS Regula picked the ship up on sensors, it was obvious she was being harried.

Sukan sat in the captain's chair, staring into the viewscreen. The makeup he had received to make it look like he was injured was convincing, if mildly irritating. The warp nacelles were leaking plasma - not simulated, but not critical. The bridge shook as the inertial dampeners began to reach their limits, prompting the Vulcan to hold onto the seat for support.

=/\= Kernow class vessel, this is the USS Regula, please identify. =/\=

=/\= This is the USS Celeborn- We could use a little help here! =/\= Eklisa was not an experienced liar, but she appreciated the chance to stretch her proverbial legs, =/\= We're being persued, venting plasma, and have casualties, please advise! =/\=

No reply came for agonizing moments, before the Nebula-class ship jumped to warp, moving to intercept the Celeborn as well.

=/\= Cut your engines and stand by, Celeborn. =/\= came the monotone reply.

"They're arming their primary weapons array." Eklisa announced, squinting at the sensors then turning back.

"Helm, full stop. Operations, acknowledge their request. Tactical, prepare to raise shields on my mark." Sukan rattled off the orders in quick succession. He had a suspicion that the USS Regula might not believe their story - or the crew of the ship could have been ordered to fire on any approaching vessels.

=/\= Standing by. =/\= Eklisa responded immediately, trying to keep the pause short enough to avoid suspicion.

Dropping out of warp, the Regula approached the Celeborn before torpedoes erupted from her upper pod. They careened towards the Kernow-class vessel before blazing past, ostensibly towards the Icarus which was in hot pursuit.

“=/\=Celeborn, your ship is a liability. Prepare to be beamed out=/\=“

Sukan relaxed a little - the barrage of torpedos flying towards the viewscreen hadn't exactly been reassuring. Sukan tapped a button on his chair, activating the shipwide intercom. "All hands, this is the Captain. Prepare to be beamed aboard the Regula." Sukan jumped out of the captain's chair.

For several seconds, nothing happened. Sukan stood almost frozen, waiting for the beam-out, when the operations station beeped, indicating an incoming ship.

[Icarus]

Stefan could feel himself tense up when he saw the torpedos miss the Celeborn and headed toward the Icarus. He knew that this was part of the plan, and yet he was supposed to protect the captain as well. He looked towards whom was piloting the ship, and hoped that said person was skilled enough to get out of the range of the missiles.

"Captain," Nevikh reportedly as calmly as if torpedoes were not headed straight for them. "I have determined the Regula's variation in gravitron distortion. Her shields will realign permitting a transport window in 4.013 minutes."

"I've picked up their transmission. They're going to beam out the Celeborn crew," the officer at comms reported.

"We can expect they will set the transporter to neutralize weapons and, given our presence as an active threat, they will be scanning for boarders being transported simultaneously," Nevikh observed in the Vulcan manner of stating the obvious. "Our best use of the opportunity," he held on as the ship banked hard to avoid the torpedoes, "if we can take it, may be to beam grenades into the shield and weapons targeting control systems."

Indrala glanced over from the captain’s chair. She didn’t know the Vulcan officer well, but his information was quickly proving valuable. “Make it so.” She replied

Before her orders could be followed, the Inquiry class USS Seraphim dropped in from warp

. “USS Regula, this is captain Tavos. Your ship has been compromised by a mind altering substance. Lower your shields and stand down. We are on the same side.” Came a calm vulcanoid voice.

The captain of the Regula must have possessed enough sense to realize he was outmatched, or that Tavos spoke the truth. Either way, the nebula class stood down from red alert.

 

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