Valkyrie
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Bon-Advenutre!: Vignettes

Posted on Sun May 20th, 2018 @ 11:14pm by Chief Petty Officer Kyly Dalat (Cey'aaren) & Ensign T'Nai

Mission: Leviathan
Location: U.S.S. Valkyrie, Diplomatic Suite / Cardassia Prime / S.S. Bonaventure, Brig
Timeline: MD01 17:12

By the time she reached someone in the Intelligence office on Deep Space 12 T'Nai was more than a little annoyed. It had taken multiple attempts before her hails had been acknowledged. Then, as she was being briefed on the most recent ship movements in the sectors closest to the freighter Bonaventure's last known location, the comms had cut out. Try as she might, T'Nai was unable to reestablish the link and then was advised by a written message flashing across the screen Silent Running Mode - Communications Temporarily Disablied. The Caitian allowed herself a low, dissatisfied growl since no one else was around to hear it.

Behind her, the doors to the Diplomatic Suite parted almost silently. The Caitain pushed herself up from the chair and left the workstation she'd been using. Close to the middle of the lobby she met chief Dalat, fresh back from delivering the bad news to lieutenant Carter about his brother. "Communications are out," the former intelligence analyst said once they were face-to-face.

"Silent running mode," the ensign replied, happy that she knew something Kyly didn't.

***

If you asked Ambassador Wade Parker, he'd tell you that Terran coffee was the best drink in the universe. Then he'd quickly tell you never to try and get coffee from a Cardassian replicator. He hated the Cardassian approximation of the beverage so much that on his last trip back to Earth, he'd secured nearly forty pounds of roasted, un-ground coffee beans for his return trip. That had been nine months ago, and he was running perilously low on his reserves. That still didn't stop him from allowing the young attendant assigned to his office, a young Tellarite girl name Griza, from grinding the beans and turning them into the precious, rich and caffeinated drink the ambassador needed every morning, and several times throughout the day.

Parker was a solidly built former Starfleet Marine whose career had taken a turn toward words instead of weapons. While human, his lineage was from many different regions of the world, and he jokingly referred to himself as a mutt when with close friends. His skin had an olive complexion that immediately made him stand out among the grey-scaled Cardassian's on their homeworld. Jet black hair was cropped close to his head, a holdover from his military days. Likewise, Wade kept his clothing simple and neat, a grey tunic over black slacks. In his early sixties, Wade could still be an intimidating figure when he needed to be. He just hoped that he didn't have to bring that side of him to bear in this particular circumstance.

Sitting across from the ambassador, a low circular table emblazoned with the Federation crest in gold-leaf between them, was Cardassia's foreign minister Derret Rodek. He was a short, rotund man, whose compulsory military service was not only far behind him, but nearly a forgotten memory. He was dressed more brashly than Wade, in a long, knee-length orange-patterned tunic, with colors that almost shifted as he moved. The pants underneath were the same color and material, making it hard to look directly at the representative for very long.

"Minister Rodek," Wade was saying as Griza poured him a mug of black coffee, "I appreciate you seeing me on such short notice." He sipped from his drink as Griza silently offered the Cardassian foreign minister a cup. The Cardassian motioned for her pour but stayed focused on the human man sitting across the small, round table from him. They'd each occupied classical Terran wing-back chairs, upholstered in UFP blue and white vertical stripes. "I'll get straight to it, minister. With the disappearance of our freighter, the Bonaventure, along the border, minister, the situation doesn't look good."

Rodek ignored the coffee that had been poured for him and made an abrupt chopping motion with his hands, cutting off the Federation ambassador's words. "As we have told your office already, ambassador, the Cardassian Union has nothing to do with this vanishing vessel. If the terrorist True Way is involved, then the Union is just as invested in finding your Bonaventure as is the Federation."

Wade swallowed another mouthful of the hot coffee as he listened. "Derret," he said, referring to the Cardassian by his first name, "you know the Secretary of State's office back home isn't just going to take a denial without something to support it."

Rodek sipped his coffee for the first time since it had been poured. "I understand how distrustful our governments can be of one another," he said smoothly as he placed the cup back on its saucer with a gentle *tink*. "This is why we are prepared to cooperate fully in you investigation into the disappearance of your freighter. Our intelligence service should already be transmitting data regarding their own investigations to Starfleet's intelligence arm. The Galor-class vessel Preryn has been re-tasked to a search and rescue patrol route along the border." The Cardassian looked Wade directly the eyes. "We are committed to helping you bring your people home, ambassador."

Wade met the minister's gaze without flinching. "I'll tell my people."

***

Dari Prin was born on a Federation colony world, Fios III. Her mother was Deltan and her father, human. Her childhood was not pleasant and at the first opportunity, when she was just thirteen, she had run away. Stowing away on the first vessel she could find leaving the colony, Dari ended up in the brig of the U.S.S. Nebula in less than two hours. They'd returned her to the colony and the toxic family situation she was desperate to escape. It had taken eight more attempts before she'd finally made her way off of Fios colony and out into the wild spaces beyond orbit. She was sixteen and had to do some things she wasn't proud of to survive. That's exactly what she did though. Survived. By twenty-one she had been able to become legitimate, and joined the Bonaventure as an engineering assistant. Eighteen years later, she was still aboard the same ship, but no one gave her orders anymore.

Until recently, that is. Now, she was locked in a cell in her own brig, her ship having been overrun and captured. The cell she occupied was also housing her chief engineer, Edward Carter and the ship's doctor, Hier Dayne.

"What I don't understand," the Bajoran medic was saying from where he was sitting cross-legged on the floor, his back pressed against a bulkhead, "is why they didn't just take the cargo. What do they need with a freighter and her crew?"

Dari ceased her pacing across the cold deckplating and glared down at the doctor. "That's exactly what I've been trying to figure out Dayne." She ran a hand over her bald head. "And the only reason I can think of that they didn't just run off with the weapons we've got in the hold is that the weapons aren't their objective."

"So they want the Bony?" Carter asked from the cot mounted on the back wall of the cell. "No offense captain, but she's a fifty year old freighter and there ain't nothing special about her."

The commanding officer spun on her heel and glared down at the young man. "There is plenty special about this ship young man!" she said more sternly than she had really intended. Hearing that kind of dismissive expression really bothered her though. The Bonaventure had given her, and so many others, a place to feel like they belonged. This ship had changed lives. "I'm sorry Ed," she said. "I know what you mean. The things I think are special about her aren't going to be what attracted them to us."

"It okay cap," Edward said as he swung himself into a sitting position, feet dangling mere inches above the floor.

"We need to find a way out of here and take back the ship," Dayne said from the floor. He was the oldest member of the freighter's crew, though he had only been onboard a few years. In his youth, Dayne had been a medic embedded with the guerrilla forces fighting for the liberation of Bajor from the Cardassian Occupation. "There has to be a some way for us to override the forcefield, or access a maintenance corridor."

Dari put a hand up to the electrostatic barrier separating them from the rest of the ship. It buzzed at her touch, the hum resonating throughout the cell. She pulled away and walked over to where Dayne sat. She crouched down beside him and whispered, "You think I'd ever get let myself get put in my own brig without a way out?" there was guilty twinkle in her eye. "I just need our 'visitor' to give us a moment without supervision," she said motioning to the guard outside the cell.

As if on cue, the Naussican let out a hearty snore from the chair where he was lazing at the brig's control panel.

 

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