The Latenter is drawn into a temporal investigation after the Tal Shiar of the past obtains the technology of the future vessel they encountered at Mirhassa and changes history.
NPC@annpc#557 FX | After proceeding to the first potential system of interest pointed out by Orianni and locating nothing of interest, the Latenter proceeds to the second NPC@annpc#557 | Arriving without incident, the ship drops out of warp into the system, still cloaked Mischa@crystyl:"Alright, we all know the drill" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee nods, tapping her console, "Nothing immediate on sensors, Commander." NPC@annpc#557 | Sydor: "Commencing preliminary anti-stealth sweeps." NPC@annpc#557 | After a minute, Sydor announces, "Nothing on preliminary sweeps either." NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "Beginning search pattern now for detailed sweeps." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Feels like I'm searching for True Way bases all over again..." Mischa@crystyl:"Like a good old fashioned game of cat and mouse" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki nods, "At least in this case, the mouse is a giant space station and not as nimble. Even if it can move, it's not going to be fast or sneaky." Mischa@crystyl:"We just have to make sure to keep playing as the cat" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Chroniton spike on sensors, Commander! A small temporal rift is forming near a moon of the second gas giant." Mischa@crystyl:"Visual" NPC@annpc#557 | A large line of glowing light appears on the viewscreen, looking very much like a rift in the middle of space. A small object shoots out of the rift, which promptly seals up behind it NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/c/c3/Earth_vessel_31st_century_adrift.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20051222071601&path-prefix=en NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "It is a small pod, likely an escape craft from a larger vessel. I am detecting signs of damage, but its structural integrity is holding." Mischa@crystyl:"Lifesigns?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "One. Reading primarily human." Mischa@crystyl:"...'primarily'?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "A hybrid, Commander, but the other side of their heritage is not strong enough for our sensors to discern from this range." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "Energy spike from the pod. It is performing...something. I am attempting to determine what, but the unfamiliarity of its technology makes that difficult." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "It's hailing us." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "We are cloaked." NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "Well, they seem to know we're here." Mischa@crystyl:"Ok... open a channel then I guess" NPC@annpc#557 | A woman appears on the viewscreen. She has bright, silver pupils and a forehead pattern both of which are instantly recognizable as features of the Decen, but she lacks their signature silver - NPC@annpc#557 - (or white in older individuals) hair, instead having black hair and eyebrows. She wears an unfamiliar uniform, though it seems to have certain design elements in common with a Starfleet - NPC@annpc#557 - uniform, including a badge with a delta (albeit sideways instead of the usual pointing up) and the three pips of a Commander NPC@annpc#557 | Woman: "I don't have time to explain. I know this probably goes against your every instinct, but...trust me.". Mischa@crystyl:"You're right, it does go against my every instinct. What is that you ask our trust with?" NPC@annpc#557 | Woman: "Just sit tight and, I don't know, don't shoot me?" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "It is heading towards us and powering up a shield." NPC@annpc#557 FX | The feed on the viewscreen begins to fill with static and flickers erratically Mischa@crystyl smiles a little, "I think we can stretch to that much at least. But a little context would be-" she glances to Fel and back, "What are you doing...?" NPC@annpc#557 | Woman: "I'm...ending...tem...over... Pow...evel..." NPC@annpc#557 | The comm cuts NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "The shield is being extended over us." NPC@annpc#557 | Daurant: "I recognize the signature. It's temporal shielding, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"Which would make that a temporal ship, not an escape pod. Consistent with the signature sideways delta on that uniform. Well, she knew we were here, and could detect and communicate with us while - Mischa@crystyl:- we were dark. It would seem she's gone to a lot of trouble to come here and shield us, and seems far more capable than we so I suspect resistance would be futile anyway" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki: "She could be here regarding that ship we encountered above Mirhassa." Mischa@crystyl:"That does seem likely. Keep an eye on the rest of the system, she is clearly shielding us from... something" NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee and Sydor both nods, keeping a close eye on sensors NPC@annpc#557 | A minute passes by and then Daurant announces, "The pod has dropped the shield." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Three ships have appeared on sensors. Romulan design, but...not quite Romulan, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"Curious. Continue monitoring for now" NPC@annpc#557 | Sydor: "I see no evidence of decloaking. They simply...materialized." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel: "They are moving into the system. Likely to investigate the pod, which is not cloaked, unlike us." Mischa@crystyl:"Perhaps our temporal visitor mis-timed their shielding and ran out of power?" NPC@annpc#557 | Victoria: "The pod is hailing us again." Mischa@crystyl:"Could we bring the pod into the hangar to share our cloak?- On screen" NPC@annpc#557 | The woman appears on the viewscreen once again, still filled with static, "...lit...elp...pleas..." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee nods, "We should be able to lock on with tractor beams and pull them into our hangar before the Romulans arrive." Mischa@crystyl:"Do it" NPC@annpc#557 | The comm cuts again and T'Bee taps on her console. A tractor beam catches the pod, pulling it towards the Latenter NPC@annpc#557 | Nethay: "Time to contact with the Romulans, two minutes." Mischa@crystyl:"Let's go see what this is all about" she stands NPC@annpc#557 | On the viewscreen, the pod is slowly pulled into the Latenter's hangar NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "Curious. One moment, Commander." Mischa@crystyl pauses and glances back to T'Bee NPC@annpc#557 | T'Bee: "These are Romulan designs, but much of the energy readings are Iconian. The three vessels seem to be a hybrid of technologies." NPC@annpc#557 | T'Fel nods in agreement, "They have the frame of T'Varo warbirds, but there is a substantial amount of Iconian components within." NPC@annpc#557 | As the pod is taken into the shuttlebay, Nethay quickly steers the Latenter away, moving out of sensor sweep range before the Romulans arrive Mischa@crystyl:"Keep an eye on the Romulans. Yuzuchan, let's see what this is all about" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki nods and stands as well, following Mischa Mischa@crystyl taps her combadge as they walk, "Acey, you have company in the hangar deck. Please keep an eye on them until ou arrival" NPC@annpc#557 <C - Acey> "Will do, Commander." --- NPC@annpc#557 | As Mischa and Yuzuki enter the hangar, they are greeted by Acey's avatar, "Commanders. Our guest has remained in her pod for the moment, and the pod is largely inactive save for essential - NPC@annpc#557 - systems." Mischa@crystyl:"Thank you Acey. Are you able to scan the interior?" NPC@annpc#557 | Acey: "Negative, but I have managed to quantum date the hull. It was created 450 years in the future." Mischa@crystyl does some quick math in her head, "Hm, a little earlier than I expected. But within the same temporal region" NPC@annpc#557 | The door to the pod hisses open in front of them Mischa@crystyl steps over ready to greet the arrival NPC@annpc#557 | The Decen-hybrid woman soon appears at the door, "Come on inside, Commanders. No need to stand on ceremony. We're all the same rank." NPC@annpc#557 | She disappears inside the craft again Mischa@crystyl shares a glance with Yuzu before stepping inside NPC@annpc#557 | The interior looks to be quite typical of the inside of a small craft, albeit with a visibly different design from modern Starfleet vessels. Traditional consoles line the outside, but with a - NPC@annpc#557 - very different looking version of LCARS, if it is even still LCARS and not just visually similar, but holographic interfaces are also quite prevalent NPC@annpc#557 | The hybrid woman takes a seat, spinning it around to face Mischa and Yuzuki, "I suppose you want some answers." Mischa@crystyl:"I think you owe us that much at least for the show of good faith" NPC@annpc#557 | Woman: "I'm Commander Al-Fasil of the Union timeship Everett. You have Subcommander Nikee on board, right?" Mischa@crystyl:"Say we do for the moment. How would she fit into this discussion?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "Good, I shielded you before any changes occurred." She smiles, "We've worked together before." Mischa@crystyl:"You are known to the Subcommander? And what changes - we witnessed the arrival of Romulanesque vessels, but that was after your shielding dropped. Or did it fail?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "I ran out of power, but I think I sustained it for long enough. Stardate 64365.8, destruction of Romulus. Stardate 92333.4, beginning of the Iconian War. Stardate 96453.5, first - NPC@annpc#557 - contact with the Decen. Stardate 98692.8, Battle of the Heart. Sounds right to you?" Mischa@crystyl:"I'm afraid I don't have them all committed to memory down the decimal, but that does indeed sound correct. What is this all about?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "Okay, you remember the right history, You're alright." She takes a breath and stands, "The Romulans just changed the timeline. I shielded you from the effects before they cascaded - NPC@annpc#557 - here and affected you, but the rest of the galaxy is no longer the galaxy you remember." Mischa@crystyl:"To what extent?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "I don't know. I don't have the equipment here to monitor timelines. This is just an escape craft." Mischa@crystyl:"But you knew enough to identify our presence here and seek us out" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "That was before the Everett was destroyed. They identified the destination, I just executed the jump." Mischa@crystyl:"What happened to the Everett?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "We were lured into a trap. Why don't I start from the beginning, so you have a little more context." Mischa@crystyl smirks a little, "And here I was resisting the urge to say 'start from the beginning' in the hopes of avoiding some temporal mechanics pun" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil chuckles, "I don't blame you. Well, I imagine your first thought is that this must be related to the ship you've recently encountered. Unless I've gotten my stardates wrong. Which is - NPC@annpc#557:- why I'm just saying 'the ship' and nothing more for now." Mischa@crystyl:"...uh-huh. Yes, we recently had our first encounter with 'the ship'. And you can't expect me to believe that multiple temporal incursions just so happen to occur in our path in quick succession" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "That...actually wasn't a temporal incursion. Well, it was, but not when you encountered it. I can't tell you anything more, except that 'the ship' has existed in your timeline for - NPC@annpc#557:- some time already. It's somewhat related to what's happening now, but not entirely. Sorry for the cryptic language, but you of all people would understand." Mischa@crystyl:"Of course. Please continue" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "In short, I'm not here about 'the ship' and your mission. As overwhelming as it might seem to you after your recent encounter, that's your mission and your mission alone. The - NPC@annpc#557 - Temporal Integrity Commission is not authorized to assist you. We do have personnel observing the situation in case it gets out of hand, but what's happening so far is supposed to happen. We - NPC@annpc#557:- don't stop /every/ single temporal incursion, otherwise you would never even know time travel is a thing, and I'd have to work myself to death," she chuckles Mischa@crystyl:"Fair point. So your objective here is not related too that ship. Then what is the beginning?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "You're familiar with the Temporal Accords and the Temporal Cold War, I assume? Neither has technically happened for you yet, but its effects have already affected Starfleet of this - NPC@annpc#557 - era and earlier." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, both Yuzu here and I hold sufficient clearance to have been briefed on all known factors" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "At this point you've probably heard of a few of the major factions involved. The Na'kuhl radicals, the Sphere Builders, the Vorgons and so on. But there's also numerous smaller - NPC@annpc#557 - factions at play. Factions that aren't directly involved in the Cold War, but still acting in violation of the Accords." She steps over to a console and brings up a holographic image. In the - NPC@annpc#557 - middle of the image is the emblem of the Romulan Star Empire as it was around the time of Romulus' destruction, looking very out of place in an otherwise cheery-looking travel poster with - NPC@annpc#557 - bolded text in Romulan exclaiming: 'WITNESS THE WONDER OF THE HOMEWORLD' Mischa@crystyl:"What... exactly are we looking at here?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "This is the Romulan Tourism Service. They're a business that offers trips to Romulus for Romulans who live after their first adoptive homeworld's destruction. They get a little - NPC@annpc#557:- more...hands on than temporal observations legally certified by the Commission, but for the most part they tend to be harmless. But this is a good lesson on why even little violations of the - NPC@annpc#557 - Accords can quickly spiral out of control." Mischa@crystyl:"How so?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "The Romulans are a paranoid people, as you well know. One or two observers from the future might be able to go undetected if they're well-trained and careful. It didn't take the Tal - NPC@annpc#557:- Shiar long to catch wind of the waves of temporal tourists visiting the heart of their empire. The RTS ended up cutting a deal with the Tal Shiar to continue their business. They offered tiny - NPC@annpc#557 - bits of insight into the future, in exchange for the Tal Shiar's help in covering up their visits. That's when we started really enforcing the Accords on this group, but most timeships and - NPC@annpc#557:- temporal agents were busy dealing with the major players in the Cold War. The RTS also don't want their Tal Shiar friends in the past to learn too much, because if they change the timeline and - NPC@annpc#557 - save Romulus, well, there goes the whole business. That's been limiting the effects so far, but the Tal Shiar must've gotten some information they weren't supposed to." Mischa@crystyl:"Figures..." NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "You know how I said 'the ship' has been in your timeline for a while? The Tal Shiar managed to get their hands on that technology. When the Everett arrived to apprehend an RTS - NPC@annpc#557 - group, we suddenly found ourselves up against ships that could actually fight back. They disabled our temporal matrix and shot down all our auxiliary craft. Only my emergency pod made it here." NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki: "Why come here? Why not warn the Everett before the attack?" Mischa@crystyl:"Because they were already planning to come here. That's why the Everett already had the jump calculated that you mentioned before, right?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "We weren't /planning/ to come here, but we had it as a backup plan. We were ambushed as soon as we arrived. The only way to warn them would be to go back to before we made the jump, - NPC@annpc#557 - far into the future from now. These pods might be significantly more advanced than your escape craft now, but they still have limited capabilities, just like how your auxiliary craft can't fly - NPC@annpc#557 - as fast as your starships. This pod was meant for emergency escape from the situation at hand to a safe location where we'd send out a temporal distress beacon and be picked up by someone else - NPC@annpc#557 - from the Commission. We suspected that wouldn't be an option, because if the Tal Shiar got their hands on that technology, the timeline as we know it will soon be gone, as will the Commission - NPC@annpc#557 - of the timeline I originate from. So I jumped here to you instead." Mischa@crystyl:"You didn't plan the jump, but you had it considered as a contingency. So this point in time and space must be significant to the events which led to the destruction of the Everett. Presumably, the - Mischa@crystyl:- ships we saw arrive shortly after you shielded us" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "Actually, we considered it because Subcommander Nikee did excellent work last time, and if Captain S'Torien was unable to maintain cover in past Romulan society, she would be a - NPC@annpc#557 - good option to recruit again. Or perhaps the help of your entire crew, if necessary. Which it might be now. Whatever's happening outside now is a product of what happened in the past, and I - NPC@annpc#557 - have no idea what kind of timeline it's become now." Mischa@crystyl:"So the question remains then; what is our next move?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "My escape here was...very hectic. I need time to review the information at hand. And please don't make a pun." Mischa@crystyl chuckles, "No-uh, I only do spy puns. Time puns are all yours" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil grins, "You're all SFI professionals. I expect I can trust your entire crew not to make this whole incident known after we've resolved it?" Mischa@crystyl turns with a wry grin, "What incident...?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil chuckles, "Perfect. Because after the damage I took, generating the rift to get here and shielding us both from changes to the timeline, this pod's not much more useful than any of - NPC@annpc#557 - your escape pods. I'm going to need your help to go back in time, once I've figured out when to go. The where is almost certainly going to be Romulus, so you can start travelling there now. - NPC@annpc#557 - Hopefully with your cloak, you'll be able to move undetected. I'll let you know when I'm ready." Mischa@crystyl:"Whilst I appreciate the gravity of your mission... ours is also critical and since there is not a temporal component to it, I am reluctant to divert so heavily on a whim" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "And I appreciate your concern, but you can't complete your mission if your entire timeline remains compromised. Don't worry, once everything is restored to how it should be, the - NPC@annpc#557 - Everett will transport you back to exactly where and when you were before we met. If my mission is successful, none of this will have happened. It might as well have been a holodeck simulation - NPC@annpc#557 - for you, with no delay or impact on your own mission. So think of it as a vacation to Romulus, to get in the spirit of things," she smirks Mischa@crystyl hrms, "You make a fair point. This is still a lot to take on faith though" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil nods, "I know, but...just set a course to Romulus and observe the galaxy around you as you go. You'll see that whatever it is that's changed, it needs to be corrected. And just ask - NPC@annpc#557 - Nikki about me, if you want a second opinion. We helped you save the Valley Forge. From one of the Commission's own gone rogue, admittedly, but still. Help me save the Everett, and I'll call us - NPC@annpc#557 - even." Mischa@crystyl:"Will you now? Help you save the Everett and I'd say you owe us one" she smiles, "But we can talk more later on that. Come on Yuzu, let's leave our guest to her work" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki nods, turning to step outside the pod. Once they are out of earshot, she turns to Mischa, "What do you think, Mischa?" Mischa@crystyl:"The same thing I always think; that someone is trying to play us. You?" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki nods, "It's certainly a possibility. I'll talk to the Subcommander and see if she can vouch for this Al-Fasil's credentials." Mischa@crystyl:"Please do, I want to brush up on all the records surrounding this temporal business" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki: "I'll ask Daurant to look into the mechanical side of this. He might see something we've missed." Mischa@crystyl:"And set course for Romulus. We'll see what we can learn in the meantime" NPC@annpc#557 | Yuzuki: "We'll get underway immediately, Commander." --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris rings the doorbell to Nikki's quarters Nikki@crystyl:"Enter" Nikki@crystyl sits working at her desk, with Romulan ship schematics on the screen and images on various PADD's that Yuzu would recognize as the ships they witnessed arriving Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps inside, "Hello Subcommander. Looking into the ships we saw earlier?" Nikki@crystyl:"Yes, though I may have been away from the Republic for far too long now there is still much unfamiliar about them" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I have a feeling these aren't Republic ships. The Republic has built a number of ships using the Solanae Sphere's construction facilities, but that's something else. These are traditional Romulan - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - designs, and refit with Iconian technology. Not unlike what the Tal Shiar do with Borg technology. As far as we know, the Republic's never done something like that." Nikki@crystyl:"Very true, which is why I want to familiarize myself with as much as possible" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"According to our guest, history as we know it might have been completely changed. That could be how these ships came to be." Nikki@crystyl:"Our guest...?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"She came out of a temporal rift in a pod that dates 450 years in the future. And she claims to know you." Nikki@crystyl 's eyes narrow slightly, "Who exactly is she?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"She introduced herself as Commander Al-Fasil of the timeship Everett. She's a human-Decen hybrid, more human than Decen from what our sensors can tell." Nikki@crystyl:"The Everett? Yes, I know that ship. And I remember a Commander Al-Fasil, never met but... part Decen you say? There was one such officer on their bridge, yes" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "So it lines up with what you know, then. What brought you to the bridge of a timeship?" Nikki@crystyl:"They enlisted me as a local agent to foil a conspiracy against the Valley Forge. Captain S'Torien felt it justified because my Romulan heritage was favourable to the situation" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Commander Al-Fasil said something similar, that you worked together to save the Valley Forge from a rogue member of their organization." Nikki@crystyl:"That is correct, yes. So what is going on this time, and why is Al-Fasil reaching out when they could have expedited things by having S'Torien come straight to me again?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"According to her, the Everett's been destroyed. They were ambushed by Tal Shiar who had gotten their hands on future technology through a group called the Romulus Tourism Service. Al-Fasil was the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - only one who made it out and she came here and shielded us from the changes to the timeline. Now she wants our help to save the Everett and correct the timeline." Nikki@crystyl:"I see. Most troubling... Well assuming she is who she claims to be, then she should indeed be on our side. And they saved us once already, just the rest of you never knew about it so I guess this - Nikki@crystyl:- could make us even" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"She said that as well, actually. It seems she is actually telling the truth, though that doesn't necessarily mean she's not playing us. I'll have medical check her over, but even if she's an - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - impostor, she has real future technology at her disposal. She might be disguising herself in ways we don't recognize." Nikki@crystyl:"Indeed. So what is the plan?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"We play along with her for now. It certainly looks like something has changed, with these ships we've never seen before. We need to learn more about this situation, and she - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - just wants us to divert to Romulus for now, so we may as well gather information as we go." Nikki@crystyl:"Romulus? And in an altered timeline no less. This will certainly be... interesting. What do you need me to do?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I have a feeling whatever has been changed, your people are at the centre of it. That's what Al-Fasil claims, and we've already seen Romulan ships that are quite different. It's likely we'll need - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - you on the field eventually, but for now, just pay Commander Al-Fasil a visit. If everything she said is genuine, then the Everett was planning to ask for your help specifically before things - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - went wrong, so you might be able to assist. If she is playing us, then she wants you for something. So we play along and see what we can learn." Nikki@crystyl:"Sounds good. Where is she now?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"She's in the hangar, inside the pod she arrived in. You can't miss it, it's very distinct from any of our auxiliary craft." Nikki@crystyl smiles, "I bet it is. Alright, let me pay her a visit and see what she has to say" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris smiles back, "Be careful, Subcommander. But I don't suppose I need to warn you not to let her manipulate you." Nikki@crystyl:"Fortunately - or not - I am accustomed to dealing with these people" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Working with us, that's certainly a good thing." --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Not long after her talk with Nikki, Yuzuki and Mischa are both called up to the bridge by Victoria Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As they take their stations, Victoria reports, "T'Bee saw something on long-range sensors. Looks like a massive field of wreckage which was definitely not here when we were crossing the region - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - before. It's not too far off our course. Should we divert to check it out?" Mischa@crystyl:"I think it's worth taking a look" she nods Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, "Diverting course now, Commander. ETA twenty-two minutes." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps over to Mischa as the warp streaks fly by outside the window, "Eirril says he's lost access to the Network. He's trying to raise contacts in this region, but no luck so far." Mischa@crystyl:"I suppose that's the first on our list of temporal casualties then" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "We can't establish any contact with SFI, either. We intercepted some comm chatter from the Romulans as we were leaving the system, and we've just had it decoded. It doesn't provide us - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - much more detail except that they're sweeping the system because they're sure they saw something. The message IDs are more useful than the messages themselves- they identify the ships with IRW - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - registry prefixes, meaning they're Imperial Navy." Mischa@crystyl:"That is to be expected I suppose" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That's all I have at the moment. Daurant and Root are working on the temporal mechanics side of things while Buena's going to take our guest on a quick trip to sickbay to check if she could be an - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - impostor. It's not going to be foolproof, especially considering she might have technology we don't even understand yet, but it's better than nothing." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Plus, after the beating her pod took getting here, a medical checkup's warranted anyways." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed. I suspect she will prove to be who she appears to be. The question remains whether who she appears to be is the ally she claims" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "That I think we'll have to wait and see." Mischa@crystyl:"But whatever the case, this timeline definitely seems altered and not for the better" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It's certainly looking that way." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | Fifteen minutes pass, and the Latenter nears the site of the debris field... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay: "We'll soon be in range for detailed sensor scans." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "Science is standing by." Mischa@crystyl:"Time to get ourselves some answers" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee taps on her console as they get in range for close-range scanning, "I am seeing wreckage matching Starfleet, Klingon, Romulan and Iconian signatures. Not all of the ships are intact - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - enough for identification, but from what I am able to tell, there are at least one hundred ships in this field. Primarily Starfleet and Klingon." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Fel: "Not Starfleet. Federation. Many of these ships were civilian designs. Freighters, interstellar transports, mining ships." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter drops out of warp and the viewscreen magnifies on the debris field... Mischa@crystyl:"Curious. Scour the debris field and see if we can find a data core to analyse" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/2/2d/Wolf_359_wreckage_1.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/1440?cb=20130213235928&path-prefix=en Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "Searching now." Mischa@crystyl:"Romulan, Federation, or ideally - both" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Fel: "Romulan and Iconian ships seem to be in the minority. The weapons signatures are too faded to discern what each vessel was downed by, but from the arrangement of the debris, I believe - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the Romulans were fighting alongside the Iconians." Mischa@crystyl:"Makes sense with what we saw of the modified ships" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "Commander," she motions to the viewscreen, which magnifies on a particular ruined hull. It is severely damaged, but the name and registry can just be made out on the part of its saucer - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - with a fair few hull plates still intact: 'U.S.S. ENDEAV- NCC-985-' with the rest cut off by a long gash running through the saucer Mischa@crystyl:"Damn..." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | One of the Endeavour wreckage's nacelles is missing, and there are several holes blasted through the hull, including one where the bridge should be Mischa@crystyl:"Any luck with computer cores?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "I have located two, one belonging to a Klingon mining vessel and another among the debris of a Prometheus-class." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "Both are damaged, with the Klingon one in a better condition." Mischa@crystyl:"Let's grab the Prometheus' one first. Get to work on the heavier damage, but it will be easier to compare with data from our own" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee nods, "On it. Unfortunately none of the Romulan vessels appear to have salvageable cores, but I will continue searching for them among the Federation-Klingon fleet." Mischa@crystyl:"As long as we're stabbing in the dark, anything could be of use" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter moves in towards the wreckage of the Prometheus, or more accurately the wreckage of one of a Prometheus' sections. The hull of this ship is too damaged to discern the name. A - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - tractor beam activates, carefully extracting the damaged core from the debris and bringing it on board the Latenter Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "We have the core. Engineering team is moving to repair it now." Mischa@crystyl:"Could be a good project for Acey to assist on" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "I'll have her on it too." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Fel: "I have identified the remains of a Starfleet Intelligence vessel among the debris field- a Coordinator-class, to be precise. Unfortunately, its computer core appears to be missing from - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the wreckage. Damage patterns on the hull around it indicate it was cut open for retrieval of the core." Mischa@crystyl:"No surprise. An SFI core would make a valuable prize" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Fel: "The cores may shed more light on what occurred here, but from the arrangement of debris, my hypothesis is that the Starfleet and Klingon vessels were escorting a fleet of civilian - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - ships, likely refugees, when they were ambushed and overwhelmed by joint Iconian and Romulan forces. The state of the debris indicates this battle took place four years ago." Mischa@crystyl:"Klingons and Federation fleeing from the Romulans. Whatever has occurred in the past certainly did a number on the quadrant" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It's going to be worse. If the Iconians were still hostile up to four years ago, it's likely the Federation and Klingon Empire as we know it today are gone. We hardly managed to hold out in a war - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - that lasted several months, with both Republic and Star Empire support on our side. And if the Federation is crippled or destroyed, it likely means we never would've had the resources to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - explore and discover Forged Earth. Which means the rimward mission would never be launched." Mischa@crystyl:"Which begs the question of what is going on with the Horde now" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It's possible they're still on the loose, and in a few decades, we may be looking at a similar situation to the timeline where the alternate Valley Forge originated from." Mischa@crystyl:"Hopefully they are decades away. I do not want to have to deal with that on top of Iconian-injected Romulans" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"At least the Iconians are no friends of the Horde either, but having two hostile factions will certainly complicate things." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Let's try to fix things before we have to deal with both, though." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Meanwhile, Nikki proceeds down to the shuttlebay, where their guest's pod is parked, its entrance still open Nikki@crystyl looks around, quickly settling on the pod and heading over NPC@annpc#557 | Through the entrance, she can see the part-Decen woman working away at a holographic console inside the craft. She does indeed look to be the same officer Nikki saw when she visited the - NPC@annpc#557 - Everett's bridge Nikki@crystyl peers in, "Having fun there?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil turns and smiles as she sees Nikki, "Not exactly...but it's nice to see a friendly face. Even though we only met very briefly. Come on inside." Nikki@crystyl climbs inside, taking it all in, "So that was in the past for you. Though I guess likely not the same amount of time for you as for me" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil nods, "I think Captain S'Torien mentioned to you it was the first time we've met. So now that we've met again, it's in the past for both of us, though certainly not the same amount of - NPC@annpc#557 - time," she chuckles. "Well you technically haven't met him this time, but if everything goes well, you /should/." Nikki@crystyl:"Yes, I heard what happened. You have my sympathies, for even when we put this right you have still lived through something unenviable" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil smiles, "Thank you. We've gotten used to it in this time of work. It's not the first time S'Torien's died. It even happens to ships that don't deal with temporal issues. Just a little - NPC@annpc#557 - less often." Nikki@crystyl:"So what the stars went wrong this time?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "The Tal Shiar. I'm sure you know better than most how devious they can be." Nikki@crystyl:"All too well..." NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "I suspect they were biding their time and playing the Romulus Tourism Service all along, just waiting until they could get all the information they needed before springing a - NPC@annpc#557 - plan into action. They're not the type to be satisfied with the little morsels of information they were given as part of their deal. And they might be behind on technology, but they're just as - NPC@annpc#557 - cunning as all the factions involved in the Temporal Cold War." Nikki@crystyl:"That they are. So how did it go down?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "Well..." she glances over as someone else approaches the pod NPC@annpc#557 | Buena: "Hope I'm not interrupting. Commander Goto wants me to give our guest a full examination in sickbay." NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "I can tell you on the way, if you don't mind taking a little walk." Nikki@crystyl:"Of course" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil closes the holo-interface and stands, "I need a walk anyways. This pod isn't very roomy, after all." She steps out into the hangar and begins following Buena Nikki@crystyl:"Maybe when this is all done, you should get your people to refocus some of their efforts into expanding on that then. After all, time is just another dimension so it shouldn't be beyond reason for - Nikki@crystyl:- people with your level of technology to further manipulate relative space" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "That's an interesting suggestion. Escape pods aren't exactly meant for long-term residence so comfort isn't much of a priority, but when it comes to timeships, you never know what - NPC@annpc#557 - might happen. Someone could be trapped somewhere or sometime for years, after all." Nikki@crystyl chuckles, "And here I was only being half-serious" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "It's not a bad idea. I'm not an engineering specialist, but I think it should be doable. Anyways, how everything happened...I'm still trying to figure out the point where it all - NPC@annpc#557 - began. Without the equipment on the Everett, I can't scan the timeline in enough detail. But what we do know is that the Tal Shiar managed to obtain technology similar to that of the ship you - NPC@annpc#557 - encountered at Mirhassa and ambushed us with it." Nikki@crystyl:"Commander Goto said you ended up here because you were already considering a contingency plan to enlist my aid again. So there must have been something that set you on this path before the - Nikki@crystyl:- incursion happened, right?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil nods, "We detected something was shifting in the timeline and tracked it to a point where another tourist ship from the RTS had travelled back. We moved to intercept that ship, - NPC@annpc#557 - assuming it was about to do something that shifted the timeline, but the Tal Shiar outplayed us. They must have obtained their information during a different incursion, likely further into - NPC@annpc#557 - their past, but refrained from acting on it until the point of a different incursion to lure us in." Nikki@crystyl:"Interesting. So what happened to the Everett?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "When we moved to intercept the RTS vessel, we found it was already under Tal Shiar control, along with other ships outfitted with similar levels of technology to the one you - NPC@annpc#557 - recently faced. The Everett was suddenly up against ships of, not equivalent technology, but advanced enough to harm us. They trapped us in the time period and ultimately had us outgunned. The - NPC@annpc#557 - only option was for us to launch all auxiliary and escape craft and hope one makes it here to seek help." Nikki@crystyl:"It seems likely then, that they collated advanced future technology at a point in the past - presumably one known to be favoured by the RTS - and waited until they were ready before taking over the- Nikki@crystyl:- RTS ship to use it's flight data to return to the future?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil nods, "I've identified when they're collating the future technology. But there's no point in going there- even if we manage to defeat them with the technology already in their - NPC@annpc#557 - possession, history has already been changed, because they're not supposed to know about the technology to begin with. And we can't save the Everett with just the Latenter either. The only - NPC@annpc#557 - option is to identify when they learned about the future technology and stop that from ever happening." Nikki@crystyl:"Sounds like the obvious answer is to go to the future and stop RTS from ever becoming a thing" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "We've tried that, but there's no single origin point for RTS and every time we deal with one version, another crops up somewhere. I imagine you understand; with Romulus gone, - NPC@annpc#557 - there's inevitably Romulans who want to experience it. When they know the technology exists for people to travel back in time to do so, the temptation is just too great for some. And then - NPC@annpc#557 - there's those Ferengi all too willing to go outside the law to make a profit." Nikki@crystyl:"Yes... this whole RTS thing does sound a little too Ferengi for my liking. Figured those little toads were into it somehow" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "The version we're dealing with now is a joint Romulan-Ferengi operation, originating from the same century as we do. Once we get the Everett back, we may have to seek out and raid - NPC@annpc#557 - their staging grounds to prevent this from ever happening, but for now we just need to stop the Tal Shiar from getting their hands on the future technology to save the Everett." Nikki@crystyl:"So are we in the right time for that now?" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "No. We need to get out of your current time period, but I still need to discern exactly where to go. As I was saying, the scanners from the pod aren't giving enough detail. We - NPC@annpc#557 - could jump back to the rough time period and travel might actually be easier that way, but you don't have a temporal matrix and slingshot maneuvers aren't exactly easy to carry out, so I don't - NPC@annpc#557 - want to subject our friends to more of those than necessary. Besides, I might need the Latenter to collect some information the old-fashioned way if I can't determine a good date to travel to - NPC@annpc#557 - through scanning the timeline with my limited equipment." NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "We can't do that in the past when what we're looking for hasn't even been performed yet." NPC@annpc#557 | The three step into sickbay, and Buena leads Al-Fasil over to a bed Nikki@crystyl:"The Latenter doesn't have a temporal matrix, but your pod surely does" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "It did, but it's burnt out after everything it's been through. The components I need are going to be very hard to come by in this century and with the timeline change I wouldn't - NPC@annpc#557 - even know where to look. A good engineer might be able to improvise something from more readily available components in this time, but unfortunately I'm no engineering specialist. Nor one of - NPC@annpc#557:- those elite temporal agents from even further into the future than my origin point." NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil climbs onto the bed and Buena closes the arches once she is in place, beginning her scan Nikki@crystyl:"Nonetheless, it might be worth the Commander getting a team onto it as we don't seem to have a more favourable means of initiating an incursion here" NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil: "I'll ask her about it. An old-fashioned slingshot should do the trick here, as we won't be travelling particularly far. It just might be difficult, especially depending on what's - NPC@annpc#557 - going on in this altered timeline. We'll need a safe system to execute the maneuver in." Nikki@crystyl:"Well then, it certainly won't hurt to cover our bases and explore every option. Ensign, should I leave you to your work?" NPC@annpc#557 | Buena nods, "Not that I'm shooing you away or anything, Subcommander. I would never do that, of course." NPC@annpc#557 | Al-Fasil chuckles, "Thanks for the company on the walk. I'll see you around, Nikki." Nikki@crystyl:"That you will. Ensign" she dips her head in parting before turning and heading back out --- Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Over a day has passed since the Latenter came across the debris field. They continue towards the Romulus system, with several more Iconian-augmented Romulan ships popping up on long-range - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - sensors, but the cloak conceals the ship from being detected and the journey continues without incident. Al-Fasil has not managed to make any significant progress and has asked the Latenter - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - crew to provide her with all the information they can obtain in this timeline and the engineering staff are currently hard at work repairing the salvaged data cores and retrieving any data - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - they can Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Mischa is in her ready room as the Latenter cruises along when the doorbell sounds Mischa@crystyl looks up from her console, "Enter" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris steps inside, "How're you taking all this, Mischa?" Mischa@crystyl leans back in her chair with a smile, "Just another day at the office, right?" she chuckles Goto Yuzuki@anncaris chuckles and takes a seat, "There's certainly no shortage of alternate universe for Starfleet to run into, is there." Mischa@crystyl:"Makes me wonder if the future of Starfleet is more than temporal exploration, but dimensional as well" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"isn't that what Q supposedly claimed as well? I think it was something along those lines, as quoted in an old report of Picard's." Mischa@crystyl:"I believe so, yes" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Anyways, we've got the Prometheus and Klingon mining ship core repaired, along with a few data recorders. The data recorders don't provide us much other than the immediate circumstances of the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - fleet's destruction, and even with the cores repaired, a lot of information on them is damaged beyond recovery. From what we did get though, we're starting to build up a good picture of what's - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - happening in this timeline." Mischa@crystyl:"And how does it compare to our own so far?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"It seems to be identical up to the 2380s. That's when the changes started occurring. The largest change is that Romulus was never destroyed, and as a result the decline of the Star Empire we know - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - from our timeline never occurred. Everything else happened rather similarly in the next few decades. The Romulans turned their attention inward and Klingon-Federation relations broke down just - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - as we remember it, leading to the Klingon War. It started much the same way, but in this timeline, the Romulan infiltration of Starfleet Command was never uncovered in 2399 and they kept - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - pulling the Federation's strings. The Klingon War never ended peacefully. It dragged on to 2415, when the Iconians launched their invasion, in this universe with the still whole Romulan Star - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Empire at their side along with their other allies." Mischa@crystyl:"With the Romulans pulling Starfleet's strings here, is it possible that they actually control the whole thing now?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "They do, from what we can tell. The Resistance, that's the group still holding out including remnants of Starfleet and the KDF, think the Romulans betrayed the Iconians as soon as the war - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - was won. No one knows how, but it seems like the Heralds now do the Romulans' bidding. They control all the dyson spheres in this timeline and have the Bajoran wormhole under heavy guard, so - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the Resistance only operates in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, but almost everything is now under Romulan rule. Well, all the important worlds at least. Earth, Vulcan, the other Federation - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - homeworlds are all occupied. Qo'noS has been destroyed by the Undine and the Cardassians and Breen are vassal states." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"There's still systems here and there that have eluded Romulan attention, usually by being too small to be a threat though." Mischa@crystyl:"So; don't trust the locals - no matter what banner they fly - got it. What about the catalyst event that led to Romulus being saved, that is likely our target point in history" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That's where the damaged datacores have failed us, I'm afraid. We can't get anything out of the Prometheus core which probably has more information, only the Klingon core which mentions that the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Romulus system is still intact and serving as the heart of the Star Empire. Curiously I did find mentions of Vue-En as a Romulan vassal state. In our universe, Vora had dealings with Tal Shiar - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - cells as the Branded Lady, so it's possible in this one she cut out some deal with them to maintain a degree of autonomy in the Romulans' new galactic order." Mischa@crystyl:"Makes sense. So we know a little, but not enough. We'll have to continue on to Romulus for now and see what we learn along the way. But it's possible our answers will only come from the Tal Shiar - Mischa@crystyl:- themselves" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"If we can find a more intact datacore from a Starfleet ship, or SFI ship if I dare hope, we might be able to get more information as well. Or an intact ship, even. The Federation and Starfleet are - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - gone, but that isn't stopping ships which survived the war from fighting on as part of the Resistance." Mischa@crystyl:"True. I just fear that given the timeframe for Starfleet's domination, they might not have data on the events that led up to it behind the scenes. But we shall have to react to what we encounter and- Mischa@crystyl:- judge from there" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"Agreed. The Resistance at the time of the ships we recovered the cores from were still struggling to adapt to the situation. Now that more years have passed, the surviving members might have - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - better altered their tactics, maybe operating closely to how we do than how SFC normally does. If we're lucky, they might have already gathered the intel we need for us." Mischa@crystyl:"Which would require establishing contact with them and revealing ourselves. That in itself could be a danger to our mission" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Agreed. We shouldn't pin our hopes on them too much. For all we know, some of them might have devolved into piracy. That happened in the alternate Valley Forge's timeline when the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Horde forced the galaxy into a similar situation, after all." Mischa@crystyl:"Exactly. What about the pod's temporal matrix, have we had any joy integrating it?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris shakes her head, "Even Daurant's struggling to make sense of it. We may have to resort to performing a slingshot maneuver after all. It can't take us to alternate universes, but all we need to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - do is fix this one. Though having the resources of a more well-off future could be useful, we might just have to make do on our own for now." Mischa@crystyl:"Figures. We'll just have to hope that if we can successfully restore things with a rough jump, that will put someone back to respond to the pod's signal and send a ship to get us back to where we - Mischa@crystyl:- should be - and when - with a bit more accuracy" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That's what Al-Fasil seems to be counting on as well." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | Their combadges sound before either can speak again Mischa@crystyl taps, "Go ahead" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris <C - Victoria> "Commanders, we've just picked up something. You should come out here." Mischa@crystyl glances across to Yuzu and stands to head out Mischa@crystyl steps out onto the bridge, "What have we got?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Victoria taps her console and a static-filled feed appears on the viewscreen Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | https://i.imgur.com/YrP00Qs.jpg Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Distress Call: â€œThis...miral Will Riker of the USS Courageo... -der attack by Romulan and Elaâ€¦ Requesting aâ€¦ -om any Resistance forcesâ€¦ We are carrying civilian re...â€ Mischa@crystyl:"Range?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Victoria: "Not far. We can arrive within 15 minutes. They've just shown up on sensors, all involved parties must've been cloaked before the engagement, or in the case of the Elachi, jumped in - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - when the fighting started." Mischa@crystyl:"And sensors match the story?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee nods, "I am reading one Yamato-class vessel pursued by a large warbird of similar hybrid technology to what we have been witnessing, supported by five small Elachi frigates." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That fits the Courageous of our timeline, but with a different commanding officer." Mischa@crystyl:"Intercept course, maximum warp. I don't want to take 15 minutes" Mischa@crystyl looks to Yuzu, "Odds that this is a staged trap to lure out Rebellion sympathisers?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, engaging maximum warp to respond Goto Yuzuki@anncaris taps on her console, "I can't discount the possibility, but as of four years ago, the Courageous is known to be a part of the Resistance, as well as Admiral Riker. It's possible they've been - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - captured since then. The information we recovered is out of date, but it's more likely that the call is legitimate. It's being staged too close to the core of Romulan territories. There's - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - probably not a lot of surviving rebel sympathizers here. If I wanted to set a trap like this, I'd do it somewhere much more remote. But it does fit Riker's profile perfectly to be heading - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - dangerous operations in the heart of the enemy." Mischa@crystyl smirks a little, "Yes, his reputation precedes him. Ori, you had better be ready to pounce when we get there" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni nods, "I've got this Commander" Mischa@crystyl:"Victoria, are we able to get a direct response to the Courageous without alerting others to our presence?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Victoria taps on her console, "The Romulans are jamming communications, that's the reason behind the poor quality of the distress signal. We can send a message, but I can't get us a stable - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - channel for two-way communication until we arrive." Mischa@crystyl:"That's fine. Just make it short and sweet, something I believe the Admiral will appreciate. Just send him our eta" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Victoria nods, "Got it, Commander," she taps on her console, sending the message Mischa@crystyl:"What is that eta now Nethay?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay: "Four and a half minutes." Mischa@crystyl:"Good work. Daurant; lock us down and prepare for combat management. Orianni, take us to red alert" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Four minutes later, the Latenter begins to near the chase... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee: "The Courageous has managed to destroy one Elachi frigate. The rest are still in pursuit." Mischa@crystyl:"What's the play then Ori?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The viewscreen displays the warbird hot on the Courageous' heels, a variation on the Scimitar design by the looks of it Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/sto_gamepedia/images/8/8e/Ship_Variant_-_ROM_-_Shamshir_Operations_Dreadnought_Warbird_%28T6%29.png/revision/latest?cb=20210813211737 Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The four remaining frigates occasionally jump ahead, making attack runs back towards the warbird before rejoining formation, then jumping again Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "Maintain full combat maneuvering speed and pass under the Courageous while still cloaked. Acey will launch as we pass through the pursuers and immediately hit the other Elachi at extreme - Mischa@crystyl:- close quarters to break their formation while we come around onto the Scimitar" Mischa@crystyl nods, "Do it" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "Optimal flight trajectory routed to the helmâ€ Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay: "They're shooting at the Courageous. Wouldn't that take us into the crossfire as well?" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "Necessary for optimum deployment in the middle of their formation" Mischa@crystyl:"I trust your judgement Nethay" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, tapping his console and the Latenter moves in... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As shots fly at the large Yamato-class, Nethay evades as best as he can without crashing into it while passing under the ship, managing to move into position to launch Acey... Mischa@crystyl | Ori waits and watches as the Latenter looms in towards the unsuspecting Courageous, almost brushing shields as it whips past and bears down on the flurry of plasma bolts - all passing above the - Mischa@crystyl:- Latenter, "Opening hangar doors... and... Acey is out!". The view shifts as they quickly zip under the Romulans to see the tiny dart zipping out straight into the first of the frigates to engage - Mischa@crystyl:- at point blank range - within their own shield bubbles to prevent accurate targeting" Mischa@crystyl â€œBring us about Nethay, attack pattern Scott-alpha-four". SA4 being for an attack vector heading vertically at the belly of the target ship from underneath Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Acey takes out the first unsuspecting frigate with a series of perfectly aimed shots only an AI can pull off, not unlike those of the Nuhar fighters. The remaining three scatter and Acey picks - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - one, sticking within its shield bubble and inflicting damage, though this one disappears away in the lightning-streaks of a spore jump before it can be taken out, appearing behind the safety - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - of the Romulan warbird Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | At the sight of assistance, the Courageous stops fleeing and turns about towards the attackers while the Latenter moves in below the warbird... Mischa@crystyl:"Prepare to decloak and hit them with everything as we pass by, recloak before they can get a lock and adjust to bearing 0-9-5" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter decloaks as it passes under the warbird, hitting it with all weapons and causing its shields to flare up visibly. The Courageous joins in the attack, the large vessel still - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - mid-turn and firing its broadside arsenal. The Latenter manages to decloak before the warbird can target it and it switches targets to the Courageous, the two ships exchanging barrages Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Meanwhile, Acey gives chase to a different undamaged frigate, all while deftly evading the third who has moved in to pursue her Mischa@crystyl:"Make the next run on their rear, target engines" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "Scratch that, they are powering a thalaron cannon. Commander, if that hits the Courageous there will be nothing left of them!" Mischa@crystyl:"Thalaron weapons?! Damn... Alright, belay previous. Come in at their nose and punch through that forward arc. We can't let that weapon fire" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter moves towards the nose of the warbird, opening fire once again. Its fore shields already weakened by the Courageous' barrages, Latenter manages to punch through it, crippling the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - thalaron weapon! Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Meanwhile, Acey uses the pursuing frigate to her advantage, leading its shots to hits its own ally and weakening her target frigate's shield, allowing her to take it out, then spin around to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - face the other one. The third damaged frigate jumps back into the battle to help Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The warbird takes a few more hits from the Courageous, but begins turning away its damaged shield facing from the Yamato-class Mischa@crystyl | Ori continues to focus facing weapons on the exposed forwards section of the warbird while attempting to ensnare the frigate with a tractor beam Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The undamaged frigate evades but Ori manages to catch the damaged frigate, allowing Acey to finish it off! Meanwhile, the Latenter manages a few more shots into the warbird, disabling several - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - of its weapons and significantly weakening its ability to fight back. The Courageous begins to batter away at the side now turned to face them, trying to take down that shield facing and - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - clearly aiming for the warbird's engines Mischa@crystyl:"The Admiral has taken our hint, good. Now let's shut down their engines before they see the better part of valour" Mischa@crystyl:"And Yuzu, someone had better be assaulting their computers while we have them in range" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris nods, "Their cybersecurity is more advanced than the Romulans of our age, but I can stop them from cloaking or warping until you have the engines down." Mischa@crystyl:"Good enough. But there must be something in our arsenal that they are not prepared for because of the different timeline" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | With a combined assault, Latenter and Courageous manage to take out the warbird's engines. The desperate ship fires everything they have in return, giving the Courageous a pounding, though the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - powerful ship manages to take it for now. Its shields are dropping quickly however, but before they are in serious danger, the Romulans suddenly stop firing Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"That did it!" Mischa@crystyl glances back with a grin, "Now that's more like it. What is their status?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"I've shut down their weapons. They're still active but dead in the water without weapons or enginesâ€ Mischa@crystyl:"Can you get environmental? They'll be trying to wipe their computers about now" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris:"They are, but I don't think we need to worry about them for long..." Mischa@crystyl:"Oh?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | With the Romulans unable to move, they are sitting ducks as the Courageous manages to finally maneuver itself to directly face the enemy ship... Mischa@crystyl:"Hail the Courageous" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | A massive power builds up in its main weapon before it fires... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | https://i.imgur.com/XCWzb1v.png Goto Yuzuki@anncaris ...the powerful phaser lance tearing through the warbird and finishing off the wounded target. The last frigate disappears away into a spore jump Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Admiral Riker appears on the viewscreen again, without the static this time Mischa@crystyl groans, "Somebody's overcompensating..." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Admiral Riker: "Thanks for the assistance." Mischa@crystyl:"Admiral, was that really necessary? Their computer core could have provided us with invaluable intelligence" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Admiral Riker: "I've lost good friends trying to recover data from a ship like that only to have its thalaron core detonate at point-blank range. Besides, the Romulans compartmentalize their - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - intel. We won't lose much from one ship's destruction. There'll be other opportunities." Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, this is not my first Romulan rodeo. I know all too well how they operate, and now the point is moot; there will have to be other opportunities" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "Forgive the interruption Commander - Admiral - but our friends are back, and they brought company" Mischa@crystyl glances over, "We appear to have outstayed our welcome here Admiral, and since our presence is now revealed to the enemy our mission must be delayed. We should evade while we can" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Admiral Riker nods, "The Romulans snuck a spy on board with the refugees I rescued. He sabotaged my cloak and my engineers need more time to get it operational again. We can't run from these - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - bastards unless we can disappear from their sensors. They'll just keep catching up with their jump drives no matter how fast we warp." Mischa@crystyl:"And there is no point in leading them back to your safe harbour. How long do you need to get cloak back?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Admiral Riker: "Five minutes." Mischa@crystyl:"Then we will have to buy you that 5 minutes" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Riker nods and the comm ends. On the viewscreen, the dreadnought launches a squadron of fighters, which forms up around the frigate as the enemy group advances... Mischa@crystyl:"Recloak and bring us about to intercept the enemy forces. Can we trigger a gravity well?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee nods, "Aye Commander. I can do it with the Arshai method without depleting too much of our power." Mischa@crystyl:"Perfect. Then we will plant one right in the middle of that cluster and focus fire on the frigate to set a chain reaction" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | T'Bee taps on her console, "Preparing gravity well now." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The enemy moves into weapons range and the firing begins... Mischa@crystyl | Latenter decloaks, immediately hitting the frigate with it's gravity well. Ori allowing a moment for all of the Elachi support squadrons to be ensnared before opening fire and pummelling the - Mischa@crystyl - frigate with torpedoes Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The support squadron is caught inside the gravity well as expected, and before the frigate can jump away, the torpedoes impact, taking it out and causing the chain reaction through the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - rest of the support craft! The dreadnought continues unfazed however, targeting the Courageous as the two large ships exchange fire Mischa@crystyl:"Nicely done, now let's get that dreadnaught's attention. Auxiliary power to the shields - this is going to hurt. Helm, block their path" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay glances back at Mischa briefly before nodding, "Aye Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"Hit them with everything and keep us on a slow rotation to cycle weapon arrays" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As the Latenter moves into the dreadnought's path, the Courageous holds fire so they are not caught by shooting from both sides. The Elachi continue to attack of course, and the bridge shakes - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - with every impact. The Latenter's return fire is held back by the dreadnought's powerful shields. In a full on slugging match, the Elachi ship definitely holds the advantage. Mischa@crystyl:"Keep on it... Daurant, prepare to vent all four nacelles. Nethay, stand by to turn us head on to the Elachi and pass around them" Mischa@crystyl:"Tell the Courageous to be ready to ignite as we pass under the Elachi" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Daurant nods, "Standing by, Commander." Mischa@crystyl waits until the Elachi are almost right on top of them with barely room to spin the Latenter, "...now. Begin vent and execute turn" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay moves the ship around the Elachi, the Latenter managing to outmaneuver the large dreadnought as Daurant vents the nacelles. As soon as the Latenter is clear, the Courageous begins to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - open fire when... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris ...the dreadnought disappears into lightning streaks. The vented plasma is ignited between the Latenter and Courageous, but the Elachi are no longer there. Instead, it reappears behind the - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - Courageous, unloading its full forward arsenal. Its already weakened rear shields quickly collapse under the assault Mischa@crystyl:"I almost forgot how much I hate these guys... bring us about and draw their fire!" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter turns about, firing on the dreadnought while the Courageous attempts to turn its damaged facing away, but it is too late. Another barrage of crescent fire softens the Courageous' - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - now exposed hull, followed by a barrage of torpedoes, one of which finds its mark. There is a bright flash as the Starfleet cruiser's core overloads, and when it fades, only the Elachi - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - dreadnought remains, now turning to face the Latenter... Mischa@crystyl:"Get us out of here!" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter turns away, evading a series of crescent bolts, but the dreadnought disappears again, only to reappear right in the Latenter's path. Nethay taps his console quickly, stopping just - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - in time before crashing into the large ship which now looms over them... Mischa@crystyl:"Evasive maneuvers, get us room to cloak and turn away before we join the Courageous" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay quickly turns the Latenter away, evading as best as he can, but at this close range, many of the dreadnought's shots still find their mark. He turns the mostly undamaged shield side to - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - face the Elachi as they try to make their escape. The Elachi continue to advance, by normal propulsion this time, slowly giving chase and unleashing barrage after unrelenting barrage. Soon, - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - even the good shield facing begins to fail, and there is no way the Latenter can cloak under this fire as it would require the lowering of shields... Mischa@crystyl:"Warp drive?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, "We still have warp, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"And I trust you are familiar with the Picard maneuver?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay: "Aye Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"Good, then do it and stand by to cloak as soon as their focus is diverted" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay taps on his console and the Latenter jumps a short distance towards the Elachi ship. The Elachi performs a jump of their own, over to the wrong Latenter further away at which they fire - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - a barrage of torpedoes... Mischa@crystyl:"Now! Cloak and evade" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As the real Latenter shimmers away and cloaks, the Elachi ship suddenly reappears back where it was in the position closer to the Latenter, this time unleashing a barrage of crescent bolts at - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - the vicinity of their actual location! But as the Latenter cloaks, another ship decloaks beside the Latenter, its own shields springing to life just in time to catch the crescent bolts Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As this new arrival cruises by just beside the Latenter, Mischa notices the name on the side of the ship... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | https://i.imgur.com/1xlGqvi.jpg Mischa@crystyl:"Oh the irony... Get us away from the danger zone and start skimming the Courageous' debris for survivors" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The new arrival fires a single volley at the Elachi, drawing its attention before promptly cloaking themselves Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The Latenter moves over to the Courageous debris, leaving the Elachi ship there with no targets. It performs a few tachyon sweeps, but it seems the Justicar has evaded just as deftly. When it - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - doesn't catch anyone, it disappears into lightning streaks, this time for good Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | As the Latenter moves up to the debris, T'Bee taps her console, "No sign of survivors, Commander." Mischa@crystyl:"Unfortunate. What about the Justicar?" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Victoria: "There is an encrypted hail directed at the area around the debris. SFI encryption." Mischa@crystyl:"Put it up" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The visage of Sierra Reyes, now familiar to Mischa and the Latenter crew through the studies of their target, appears on the viewscreen. This Sierra has longer hair and a scar across her cheek - Goto Yuzuki@anncaris - which is not present in the dossiers, and wears Captain pips and a white-shouldered Starfleet uniform Goto Yuzuki@anncaris FX | https://i.imgur.com/spai2sq.jpg Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Sierra: "This is Captain Sierra Reyes of the USS Justicar. Did you manage to recover anyone from the Courageous?" Mischa@crystyl:"Negative Captain, no survivors" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Sierra: "Mierda!" She takes a breath. "We can mourn later. The Elachi will be back in force and sweeping this whole area soon. Regroup at these coordinates. Reyes out." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | The comm ends and Victoria announces, "I have the coordinates...should we follow them?" Mischa@crystyl:"Seems to be our best bet of getting anything useful out of this little diversion now" she nods, "Proceed but remain at alert status" Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay nods, "Understood, Commander." Goto Yuzuki@anncaris | Nethay warps the Latenter away from the battlefield. The camera lingers on the debris of the Courageous. Everything is quiet for a few seconds... Goto Yuzuki@anncaris ...then the dreadnought reappears, now joined by six frigates which immediately fan out and begin to comb the area --- Sierra Reyes@anncaris | A few hours pass after the battle as the Latenter travels towards the rendezvous coordinates... Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Nethay: "We're now entering the Bassen Rift. The coordinates should be coming up shortly." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Yuzuki: "A good choice for a secret meeting spot." Mischa@crystyl:"Indeed" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | As they draw closer to the coordinates, T'Bee announces, "I have the Justicar on sensors just ahead." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Soon, the ship comes into view on the screen Sierra Reyes@anncaris FX | https://i.imgur.com/oCcMmqN.jpg Mischa@crystyl:"I suppose we are expected to reveal ourselves and play friendly now then" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Victoria: "I guess so. Should I hail them, Commander?" Mischa@crystyl nods, "Open a channel" Sierra Reyes@anncaris appears on the viewscreen once again, like before, "I don't recognize you or your ship. I assume you've come here to take advantage of the recent lack of servitor activity?" Mischa@crystyl:"Something like that. Though allied forces seem to be positively flourishing out here. With you and the Courageous, that's two unexpected sightings back to back" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "Something's going on. This sector used to be crawling with servitors. We're practically on Romulus' doorstep. But a few months ago, they just vanished. We know the Romulans didn't lose - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - control of them, as you've just experienced, the Elachi still show up to fight for them and Heralds are still policing occupied worlds. Most of the Iconian and Elachi patrolled routes though, - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - either clear or replaced by Romulan ships. Even the dyson sphere's gone, and that hasn't moved since the war ended." Mischa@crystyl:"Almost like they suddenly have something more pressing to deal with" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Exactly what I was thinking. I intend to find out what, and whether the enemy of our enemy could be our friend." Mischa@crystyl:"I won't hold my breath on that front. What about the Courageous, do you know what brought the Admiral out here besides collecting refugees?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"No, I haven't had contact with him for over half a year now. I think he was either trying to do the same thing and just came across refugees who needed his help, or he was here for them in the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - first place, to get whoever he can out of Romulan rule while they're occupied with something else. Or maybe he was taking the chance to strike at targets of opportunity and grabbed the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - refugees on the way out. We can only guess now. What about you?" Mischa@crystyl:"Targets of opportunity. Namely, Romulan intelligence" Sierra Reyes@anncaris smiles, "Thought so. You're an Intelligence ship after all. You have a name, Commander...?" Mischa@crystyl:"Apologies, where are my manners? Commander Leveson-Scott, a pleasure to meet you Captain. So, I can't believe you called us all this way just for a polite introduction" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Nice to meet you too, Commander Leveson-Scott." She narrows her eyes, looking to the side, "Is it me, or does your tactical officer look a lot like mine?" Mischa@crystyl glances to Rianni, then back to the viewscreen and the tactical station in the background Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mischa sees that the person behind the tactical station on the Justicar is also Rianni, in her SFC tactical uniform with Lieutenant pips Mischa@crystyl pinches the bridge of her nose, "Not another one..." Mischa@crystyl | Orianni looks up too, waving cheerily to the other her Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"...another one?" She glances over to her Rianni, "Lieutenant Tierno, you don't have any twins, do you?" Mischa@crystyl | LT Tierno shakes her head firmly, "No Captain, just my younger sister as you know" she looks to our crew on her screen, returning the wave with more confusion Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, looking back to the viewscreen, "Who is she, a Romulan clone of my officer?" Mischa@crystyl:"Well, this is awkward... she is technically a clone, but not a Romulan one" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "My true designation is Observer 93108. My creators - the Junayd - made from my template, the other me. That is... not your me, but my me - the other me" Mischa@crystyl facepalms, "Please stop..." Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Who are the Junayd? And how many of you /are/ there?" Mischa@crystyl:"They are a species who hail far from this region of space, and Orianni is the only Observer assigned to the Federation" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni nods: "As my designation indicates, at the time of my inception there had - historically - been 93107 other Observers. Though that count is likely different now" Sierra Reyes@anncaris looks to her Rianni again, "You've never encountered a species called the Junayd, have you?" Mischa@crystyl | LT Tierno shakes her head again Mischa@crystyl:"Given the current state of the galaxy, it is likely that they have not been encountered here yet" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"How did they get her DNA, then?" Mischa@crystyl:"From another LT Tierno - one... not native to this dimensional timeline" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"And is your officer also from that timeline? Or did the Junayd of our timeline go into another to obtain a sample of LT Tierno? Which sounds way too convoluted." Mischa@crystyl chuckles, "It really does. Orianni is from that different timeline, yes" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"So does clone of my chief of tactical from another timeline, but you never know what you'll run into out here," she chuckles. "But back on point. Yes, I didn't call you out here just for - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - introductions. I figured you'd be interested in the same things I am, so we could work together." Mischa@crystyl:"More... targets of opportunity?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "No one can eavesdrop on us here in the Bassen Rift, but it's probably still easier to give the details in person. But first, do you need any repairs or assistance?" Mischa@crystyl:"No, we are in fine shape still thank you. So in person, we can beam right over to continue" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Bring your tactical officer- we could use two Riannis for this." Mischa@crystyl:"Clearly you haven't had the pleasure of dealing with multiple Tierno's at once. But you are right, we will beam across shortly" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "I'll see you there, Commander. Reyes out." Mischa@crystyl Stands, waving Ori over, "You heard her, you're up. You too Yuzuchan, time to bed in with the locals. If nothing else, this could provide us some valuable intel on the Justicar and her crew from our- Mischa@crystyl:- reality" Mischa@crystyl | Ori steps over, "Why is it a sarcastic pleasure to deal with multiple me's at once Commander? Or do you mean because of the other instances like the future me and Terran me, well... not me, the - Mischa@crystyl:- other me, so... the... future other me and-" Mischa@crystyl:"Case and point Ensign" she chuckles Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Yuzuki chuckles as well, "Seems like this might not be a complete diversion from our original mission after all." Mischa@crystyl:"We'll make the most of it" --- Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Mischa, Yuzuki and Ori beam onto the Justicar, where Sierra and the Rianni of this universe awaits them Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Welcome to the Justicar." Mischa@crystyl:"Thank you Captain. This is my first officer, Yuzuki Goto. And Orianni, you already know" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, looking to Ori, "Just Orianni? No surname?" Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "That is correct Captain. Though Rianni is like a sister to me, her family is hers - not mine - and so when I took a name I chose not to take a family name until such time that I have a - Mischa@crystyl:- family of my own to carry the name from" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"You know the original Rianni Tierno? From the timeline you originate in, I assume." Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "Yes, we were together on the Valley Forge once I found them again. But it was... confusing and difficult for us both, which is why I took the Commanders offer of a commission and my current- Mischa@crystyl:- posting!" Mischa@crystyl pinches the bridge of her nose, already regretting the innocence Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Wait. You took the Commander's offer to serve on her ship because it was difficult to work in the same command as your clone in your universe of origin. At what point did you say you crossed over - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - to ours again?" Mischa@crystyl sighs, "We didn't. But it was shortly before we arrived here" Sierra Reyes@anncaris narrows her eyes, "Does that mean your entire ship crossed over, not just her?" Mischa@crystyl:"Yes, the result of a temporal incursion from a currently unknown time of origin. The Latenter was using temporal shielding and so unaffected" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"It's been a while since my temporal mechanics classes in the Academy, but if I remember right, you being shielded means the temporal incursion didn't cross you over into our timeline...but the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - timeline was changed around you." Mischa@crystyl:"That is correct Captain. History - as you know it - is wrong, and it is our job to put it right" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"So that's how the Romulans gained so much power. I had a feeling everything leading up to this was too clever of a conspiracy- even for them." Mischa@crystyl:"Ultimately we do suspect the Tal Shiar of manipulating events, but not their past selves and not without access to others' technology" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "And you're looking for a way to prevent that from happening." Mischa@crystyl:"Trust me when I say it is for the best" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"You don't have to convince me, Commander. The galaxy isn't exactly in a good position right now. Unless you're Romulan, I suppose, but even then with all this power they still live the same old - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - lifestyle of paranoia and betrayal." She turns to lead the way out of the transporter room Mischa@crystyl:"Very good then, now I'm sure we have much to discuss" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Do you know how or when the Tal Shiar obtained access to this technology that's helped them?" Mischa@crystyl:"We have... pieces of the puzzle. But still lack one crucial element which is why we came to this sector" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Maybe we'll be able to help." Mischa@crystyl:"That would certainly be more convenient than anything else we've come up with today" Sierra Reyes@anncaris leads the way into a mess hall. Along one wall, there is quite a prominent memorial set up filled with a list of three columns of names. Many of them have combadges, medals, pictures or other - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - items posted beside them and there is a number of items on the floor from flowers to gems and even lit candles. Mischa notes some remains of Bateret incense in an incense holder as well Sierra Reyes@anncaris doesn't make for the memorial, but the windows on the side of the mess hall Mischa@crystyl takes a moment to view the memorial and pay her respects Mischa@crystyl catches up to Reyes afterwards, "It is good that you keep them in your memories" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"They gave their lives so we could fight on. We owe it to them to see that they're not forgotten, at the very least." Mischa@crystyl | Orianni: "The Valley Forge has a similar memorial. Though I suspect it has grown considerably since-" Mischa@crystyl interjects, "Since it was first put in place many years ago now" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"I'm not familiar with a ship called the Valley Forge, so I'm afraid I can't tell you how your old ship fares in this timeline. The Resistance isn't a single organized group like Starfleet was. - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - Some of our cells are in sporadic contact with one another, but there are others fighting back against the Romulans completely independently. That's why neither the Admiral nor I thought much - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - of it when you appeared, even though we haven't heard of your ship before. Ships we've thought destroyed or have no record of are found every once in a while, sometimes a Romulan trap, other - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - times an actual ally." Mischa@crystyl:"I still don't really know that you aren't a Romulan trap, you know" she smiles a little Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"If I were on their side, I'd have let the Elachi take you out. But speaking of Romulans..." she looks out the window. "You'll want to tell your ship to hold fire. We don't want to damage our best - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - chance at this." Mischa@crystyl narrows her eyes slightly before tapping her combadge, "Latenter, stand by for... something. Maintain yellow alert until I say otherwise, take no further action" Sierra Reyes@anncaris taps her combadge, "Reyes to V'Lir. Let's show our new friends what we have." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | There is a shimmering outside the window as one of the smaller modified Romulan warbirds decloaks Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Don't worry, she's crewed by my people." Sierra Reyes@anncaris | As the warbird comes fully into view, signs of damage becomes clearly visible across its hull Mischa@crystyl:"A fine prize, and perhaps just what we need" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"We captured her during one of our raids and hid it in the Bassen Rift for repairs. The Justicar was patrolling the outskirts of the Rift for Romulans when we picked up the Courageous' distress - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - call, that's how we ended up running into you. We've scoured their computers already- as expected, the data core of such a small warbird doesn't have much to offer that we don't already know. - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - But she will be instrumental to getting information; hopefully, including the information you need to fix history." Mischa@crystyl:"The core might not give anything new to you, but it might help us. Does it contain historical records?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Nothing involving any major conspiracies, certainly nothing that indicates any temporal tampering. You're welcome to send someone to check while we prepare for our plan, but if the Tal Shiar - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - changed history, I doubt they'll keep the intel you need to undo those changes on a ship like this." Mischa@crystyl:"Perhaps, but the Romulan Republic are actually good friends and allies of the Federation by our reckoning and so we have accurate historical data in the archive. Comparing it to the data in your - Mischa@crystyl:- warbirds computer could at least pinpoint a narrow timeframe when things were altered. We will still likely have to get our hands on Tal Shiar classified records to determine the catalyst event, - Mischa@crystyl:- but it's a start at least" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"The Romulan Republic? I'm guessing that's something which exists in your timeline. I'll make sure they expect your people over. In the meantime, let's go over the plan in case you need more intel." Sierra Reyes@anncaris turns to lead the way again Mischa@crystyl:"I believe I have a suitable officer to see to this warbird. But you should probably give your people there fair warning before I send her over" she smiles a little, following --- NPC@annpc#557 FX | Nikki beams over to the transporter room of the captured warbird, where two of the Justicar's crew await her. One is a Vulcan woman with a gold strip and the other is a dark-skinned human - NPC@annpc#557 - man with a purple strip, though the rest of the uniform is in SFC colours rather than the full SFI uniform. Both sport pips denoting the rank of Lieutenant Commander Nikki@crystyl looks around, gaze settling on the two, "Why hello there" NPC@annpc#557 | Human: "Welcome to the Mandukar. So...why did the Captain have to warn us about you?" NPC@annpc#557 | Vulcan: "I believe she is Romulan, not Vulcan." NPC@annpc#557 | Human: "Oh. Yeah, that'd explain it." Nikki@crystyl looks between the two, settling on the Vulcan, "Are you sure you shouldn't be the one wearing a purple strip?" NPC@annpc#557 | Vulcan: "As a close cousin to your people, it is unsurprising that I am more capable of telling our species apart than a human. I assure you from my personal experience that the Commander is a - NPC@annpc#557 - very capable officer." NPC@annpc#557 | The human smiles, "Never show your full hand, they say. Speaking of which," he offers NIkki her hand, "I'm Commander Shawn Harvey, intelligence attache to the Justicar, and this is Commander - NPC@annpc#557 - V'Lir, assistant chief of engineering." Nikki@crystyl:"Well for future reference, the subtle brow ridges are a dead giveaway. Also the uniform. And the smile" she flashes a bright smile very quickly, and falsely NPC@annpc#557 | Commander Harvey takes a look at Nikki's uniform, then back to Nikki, "That's not like any Romulan uniform I've seen. Where're the shoulders?" Nikki@crystyl meets the hand with her own, "Subcommander Nikee ir-Fethraie t'Rllaillieu. Republic Intelligence attache to Starfleet Intelligence" Nikki@crystyl:"It likely does not exist in this reality, this is the uniform - mostly - of the Romulan Republic. Since the Star Empire prevails here, I imagine overblow shoulders are still all the rage" NPC@annpc#557 | V'Lir raises a brow, "This reality? You are not a defector from the Star Empire, then. You hail from a different quantum reality altogether." Nikki@crystyl:"I'm not entirely sure if it is a different quantum signature here now or not. Apologies, since you were here to greet me I assumed that your Captain had filled you in on our presence" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "No, she only gave us some vague message about a guest coming that she's apparently supposed to warn us about. She likes to keep us on our toes. She did say you wanted to see the data - NPC@annpc#557 - we got out of the computer core here, though." Nikki@crystyl:"No matter, if you were not meant to know then I would be dressed up in Vulcan Starfleet drag in order to maintain the illusion. But yes, I need to compare the historical records specifically to - Nikki@crystyl:- identify the divergent point" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey nods and turns to lead the way, "C'mon then." Nikki@crystyl follows, "Thank you. So how are you managing with the warbird? The Commander did suggest that I might be able to repay your kindness by assisting with any problematic areas you may be having" NPC@annpc#557 | V'Lir: "Repairs are almost complete and we are managing well with the Romulan technology, though some of the integrated Iconian technology has been causing issues due to our lack of - NPC@annpc#557 - understanding of it." Nikki@crystyl:"Not exactly my field of expertise, but we have worked with it to a point. I am happy to take a look if desired" NPC@annpc#557 | V'Lir: "We will appreciate any assistance you may offer." NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "So the Iconians, they attack in your reality too? Or did you just find their old tech lying around the galaxy?" Nikki@crystyl:"There was a great war waged against the quadrant by them, yes. But that was some years ago now and in much more recent times, they have become our allies" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "The Iconians? Allies? How'd that happen?" Nikki@crystyl:"The same way it always does; the same way the Republic, Federation and Klingons first became allies when the Iconians invaded" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Lucky you. That never happened here. Some Klingons threw their lot in with us after Qo'noS was destroyed, but just as many became pirates or petty warlords." Nikki@crystyl:"No surprise. Without your Federation at it's full strength, I suppose they were unable to salvage Qo'noS following the Praxis incident. Which I assume is still the reason for their demise" NPC@annpc#557 | V'Lir: "I do not believe our timelines diverged that far back. The Federation still assisted the Klingons after the Praxis incident and the first Khitomer Accords was signed. Qo'noS survived - NPC@annpc#557 - until much more recently and the Klingons cost us many good ships and crews in the years before the Iconians arrived." NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey nods, "We were all played by the Romulans to soften each other up before they made their move. Then the Iconians prodded the Undine and they were the ones who dealt the final blow to - NPC@annpc#557 - Qo'noS. They dealt with the Klingons' central authority first, because they knew a unified Empire would be a problem in an open war, even with the KDF thinned out by the war with us." Nikki@crystyl:"Yes, I remember that conflict. It took the combined strength of the Alpha Quadrant Alliance to push them back at the battle" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Our history's definitely very different at this point, then. The Klingons were making a big push into the Aldebaran sector at the time. Several Federation and Klingon fleets had - NPC@annpc#557 - formed battle lines at K-7 and the fighting was just starting when we got word of Undine entering Federation space, headed right for Sector 001. Command decided it was the bigger priority - NPC@annpc#557 - and the fleets retreated. They made it to Sol after the Undine, but in time to assist in the battle and save Earth from the same fate. The Klingons weren't so fortunate. The Undine fleet that - NPC@annpc#557 - attacked them emerged from the Romulan border and managed to make it over halfway to Qo'noS before it was spotted. Their fleets on the Federation front got back home to find - NPC@annpc#557 - an asteroid field in place of their homeworld." Nikki@crystyl:"Yes, that fits things as we know. At least insofar as how things could have played out had allied forces not been victorious. But this is all far too recent for my analysis. I know for a fact that - Nikki@crystyl:- the divergent point is somewhere earlier than 2387" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Why 2387? Something to do with the Orions? Only thing I can think of from that year was Melani taking over leadership of the Syndicate." Nikki@crystyl:"As your history records it. In ours, that year is known to most as the year that Romulus was destroyed, and the Star Empire crumbled" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Wait, Romulus was /destroyed/ in your reality? Like Qo'noS destroyed?" Nikki@crystyl nods somberly, "One of my earliest childhood memories" NPC@annpc#557 | V'Lir raises a brow, "And you are here to aid us in restoring that reality, one in which you lost your home?" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Not helping. Pretty sure we want to talk her /into/ helping us, not the other way 'round." Nikki@crystyl:"There is no denying that it goes against every fibre of my being to do this. But despite the suffering and loss to my people, I have seen enough of the future to know that it is necessary. The Star- Nikki@crystyl:- Empire had to crumble in order for the Romulan people to flourish once more. Were there a way to see that happen without Romulus being destroyed, I would take it in a heartbeat" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey nods, "Yeah, even most Romulans don't exactly have it nice in the Star Empire. I take it this Republic in your reality's much better?" Nikki@crystyl:"It has been hard work, and with more than its fair share of suffering. But... yes, within just a few decades since the Hobus incident the Romulan Republic now flourishes and stands proudly - Nikki@crystyl:- alongside the other galactic powers. To see my people recover from near extinction in such a short amount of time is all the proof I need that it is the best for us" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey smiles, "I'm glad things are working out for you in your reality despite everything that's happened. And by the sounds of it, things are working out better for us and the Klingons and - NPC@annpc#557 - everyone else, too. We're here to help you do whatever needs to be done to restore it." Nikki@crystyl:"And on that note, let's take a look at what this bird has to offer" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey nods as they step into a room filled with various consoles. He heads to one in the back consisting of several displays NPC@annpc#557 | V'Lir: "We have gained access to and decrypted the entire core. This console will give you full access to its contents." Nikki@crystyl follows, retrieving a PADD from her jacket, "Thank you" she begins working Nikki@crystyl:"Well, the Hobus incident definitely never happened here. All that tells us is that the Tal Shiar and Iconians got along better by that time. But... this vault should not be there, curious" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Interesting that should catch your attention..." Nikki@crystyl:"How so?" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "Because that right there is our target." Nikki@crystyl:"Interesting indeed. Why have you selected this installation specifically?" NPC@annpc#557 | Harvey: "A station like that, we'd probably never take even if we had a full fleet at our disposal. But we got lucky with the draw. This little birdie..." He taps the wall of the room - NPC@annpc#557 - beside him, "...might just be our ticket in. My captain should be going over the details of our plan with yours as we speak." --- Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Meanwhile on the Justicar, Captain Reyes leads Mischa, Yuzuki, Ori and the Rianni of this reality into a briefing room Mischa@crystyl & Co. take their seats around the table Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"We captured the IRW Mandukar on one of our raids. It isn't the first Romulan ship we managed to board. We've seized larger and higher value targets than this- that is, if we're going by the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris:- value of the ship alone." Mischa@crystyl:"But... not if you judge by the value it represents" Sierra Reyes@anncaris brings up a holographic map of a star system over the table, "This is the Hobus system. Site of one of the Tal Shiar's largest and most well-protected bases." With a gesture of her hand, the map - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - of the system, which Mischa notes has a very much intact star, zooms in to show a station similar in design to the Vault. "They're known as Fortress Stations, and, well, the name says it all. - Sierra Reyes@anncaris:- Did they ever exist in your reality?" Mischa@crystyl:"We know them as Vaults, yes. But... there should not be one in the Hobus system. In fact, there should not /be/ a Hobus system anymore" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"What happened to it?" Mischa@crystyl:"The Tal Shiar were tinkering with Iconian technology they did not understand and caused the star to go supernova back in 2387. The shockwave travelled through subspace and destroyed Romulus" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"The Romulans destroyed themselves in your timeline? I suppose that's why they decided to change it, then..." Mischa@crystyl:"They had no real option. The Star Empire crumbled and the Republic was born from its ashes" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"They must have prevented themselves from tampering with the technology, or tampered with it but knew what they were doing this time. Judging from the technology on their ships and the base in the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris:- system, I suspect it's probably the latter." Mischa@crystyl:"More than likely, yes. I suspect the temporal anomaly we are looking for leads somewhere in the run up to those events, even more so now that this stronghold is there" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Then there's a good chance you might find the intel you're looking for in that base. The IRW Mandukar isn't just a simple naval patrol ship. It's a Tal Shiar vessel, the personal transport of a - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - field commander. It isn't one of the patrols normally assigned to the Fortress, but as a Tal Shiar ship, it does have authorization to approach and dock at the station for emergency repairs." Mischa@crystyl:"A valuable trophy indeed. So how do you plan to capitalize on this?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"The Mandukar is our way in. Sneaking inside won't be too difficult now that we control the ship and no one knows it's lost. It's not uncommon for Tal Shiar ships to go off the grid for weeks or - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - months at a time conducting missions. We're just going to need cosmetic disguises- Romulan features and uniforms, and false lifesigns. But getting in the Fortress is meaningless if we'll never - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - be able to get out alive with the intel. That's why our first target is going to be the station's tachyon detection network." Mischa@crystyl:"So the plan is to get inside and get access. Obviously we have target information, but what about you - is there anything specific you are searching for, or just an advantage?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Anything that can give us an advantage, but focus on your target first. If you can change this timeline, then we don't have to worry about fighting the Romulans anymore." Mischa@crystyl:"Understood. Then we will have to focus our search on their interaction with the Iconians within the timeframe that Nikki gives us" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Once we have the intel, there's the issue of extraction. Everything up to here, any one of our crews can achieve on our own, but this is where we need two ships. There's no chance we'll be using - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - the Mandukar to escape. If they haven't figured out where specifically our infiltration teams came from, they'll know there are enemies on the base and lock down all ships there. With - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - the tachyon grid down, the station itself can't detect us sneaking up to it, but the Romulans aren't stupid. They'll know we took down the grid because we're trying to sneak a ship through for - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - extraction, and every patrol ship will be scanning for us. The Justicar is going to go first and almost certainly be detected. We're the tougher ship, built for combat rather than stealth." Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Once they find us, they'll concentrate on us, thinking we're the intended extraction vessel. We'll draw their attention away for you- the real extraction, to get in and get everyone out from the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - Fortress Station." Mischa@crystyl:"Sounds like a plan to me" Sierra Reyes@anncaris looks to the two Riannis, "Anything to add from our resident tactical geniuses?" Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "I believe we can make full use of Acey here as well" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Acey?" Mischa@crystyl:"A sentient AI - part Soong-type coding, part Iconian virus - she now resides within one of our Darts" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"And here I thought we had interesting crews as a result of our circumstances..." Mischa@crystyl | Ori: "Yes exactly! So not only is she uniquely suited to circumvent Iconian protocols, but she can stealth and maneuver undetected throughout the facility" Mischa@crystyl:"These Vaults are... expansive, yes. Stars, the Latenter could maneuver through most of it so Acey running around in there would be like sending an exocomp into ESD" Mischa@crystyl | Rianni: "If that is right, then this Acey should indeed be able to serve as an advantage since it could navigate directly to the core" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "So we should sneak Acey inside the Mandukar and utilize her as the infiltration team's transportation?" Mischa@crystyl | Ori shakes her head, "No, that would serve little benefit to the mission as the warbird is already serving sa the teams transportation" Mischa@crystyl:"Then what are you thinking?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris looks over to Ori curiously as well Mischa@crystyl | Ori and Rianni share an eerie glance and nod, "Two teams, one to hit the tachyon grid and other defenses - the other to hack the computer core and target data on current ship deployments and - Mischa@crystyl:- priority assassination targets" Mischa@crystyl | Rianni: "Meanwhile, Acey slips inside to locate and access the core directly to obtain the true target data while their attention is focused elsewhere" Sierra Reyes@anncaris smiles, "I like it. Will anyone be accompanying Acey, or will she operate on her own?" Mischa@crystyl:"She is capable, but I want someone with her still. Intelligent as she is, Acey is also young and not necessarily ready to react to any biological unpredictability" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "What about the rest of the teams? My skeleton crew on the Mandukar will probably remain to fly the ship, and Commander Harvey is well-suited for a mission like this. How many from your - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - crew do you want sneaking in?" Mischa@crystyl:"Both Commander Goto and I are seasoned field operatives with multiple successful incursions against the Tal Shiar. I think one of the Rianni's should join the team hitting the tachyon grid" looks - Mischa@crystyl:- to Yuzu, "What do you think Yuzuchan, trip down memory lane or hold down the bridge?" Sierra Reyes@anncaris | Yuzuki nods, "Victoria can handle sneaking through for an extraction, especially with the Justicar keeping the patrols occupied. I'll come with you." Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"I'll need one of the Riannis here with me on the Justicar. We'll be in for a tough fight against all these patrols- even though defeating our enemies isn't our objective here, I'd still prefer the - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - ship to come out of it in one piece. I'll reassign the tactical officer on the Mandukar back here, your Rianni should be able to fill that role on the skeleton crew." Mischa@crystyl:"Agreed, your Rianni should be where she is of best use and that is on your bridge. Orianni will join the team hitting the defenses. Root could be handy as well on the diversion team, if this Tal - Mischa@crystyl:- Shiar is anything like our own then it isn't just Iconian tech they've been fiddling with after all" Sierra Reyes@anncaris:"Root?" Mischa@crystyl:"Three of Nine. A liberated Borg tactical drone" Mischa@crystyl | Rianni snickers as she gets the name Sierra Reyes@anncaris grins as well, "Yes, the Tal Shiar have been experimenting with Borg tech here as well. He's a good choice to bring along." Mischa@crystyl:"And I'm sure it goes without saying that Nikki would be a huge benefit to the warbird crew. I don't think I want to expose her to the depth of this reality, lest she see temptation, but nobody else- Mischa@crystyl:- here knows warbirds as she does" Sierra Reyes@anncaris nods, "Sounds like we have things settled, then. We should be ready to launch the mission soon- my teams are just completing their work on the warbird. We're not fixing much of the damage- it - Sierra Reyes@anncaris - needs to be in bad condition for our cover to be credible, but we'll make sure to at least have all the systems operational in case there's trouble inside the station." Mischa@crystyl:"We'll be ready when you are"