"Renegade Deception" #35 - 37 "Cliffhanger !"


<Bridge, USS Pegasus, 3 hours after retrieving the diplomatic officer>

Everything seems to be going smoothly. No more engine hickups. Ensign Evans has managed to not insult anyone else - yet. No more strange shimmers visible in space. Everything is normal. Kristiana sat in her XO's chair, pondering. Brooding. Everything seems to be going smoothly. This, she did not like. One federation ship in Romulan Neutral Zone - as far as she knew. Them.

Things weren't SUPPOSED to run this smoothly. By all rights, all hell should be breaking loose about now. Something was wrong - if everything goes according to plan - she knew from experience - that's when you need to worry. "Lieutenant Takashi .. " she spoke again, like she'd done about three times already since picking up the diplomatic officer and the romulan exchange officer. ".. Are you absolutely certain that all offensive and defensive systems are functional and operational ? .. I've got a bad feeling about this."

Takashi's face cringed ever so slightly, barely enough to register to the XO. He was beginning to feel that she didn't trust in his abilities to make sure everything was on the ball. It was beginning to become a nagging annoyance, but he understood the enormous pressure for a senior officer in this region of space. For them it was a matter or political maneuvering and required extreme patience, especially if you wanted to avoid a diplomatic incident or worse war. "Conn, Tactical. Running, offensive and defensive diagnostic….*waits a moment* Aye ma'am everything's running at full effectiveness."

"Very good Lieutenant. .. .. I'll be glad to be back in Federation space again. " She would sigh softly, trying to relax a bit. Nothing would happen, right ? No, nothing would happen, she tried to convince herself. ".. Just to be on the safe side, I want you to run another full sensor sweep, please." she added. Just to be certain. For watever 'certain' meant in the RNZ.

~God Dammit~ he thought in his head, though his facial expression was a neutral one. "Aye Ma'am…warming relays…running deep sensor sweep twenty one…" he said as he began charging up the sensors in anticipation of a high resolution scan of their sensor arc. On his work console there was the Pegasus and nothing else, once again. "Conn, Tactical I have negative contacts *pauses* hold it, strike my last…I'm reading a faint contact, actually I'm reading several small contacts…bearing 005, mark 60… sensors can't make a detail analysis…designating contact as Master 1…request instructions"

".. Your opinion please, Lieutenant Takashi ?" as she rose from her chair to join him at his console, brows furrowed.

"I'm having a hard time placing the contact on high resolution…they're too faint and too far out, however based on the first scan it looks like we've got some metallic print, definitely manufactured. I'm also reading some power residue coming from Master One…recommend raising our status to Condition Red and call for Battle Stations" he said as he grew concerned with the ever increasing distance being cut short by Master One and the Pegasus. Though it was too soon to tell, it was best not to take chances, especially in Imperial Space.

"Agreed. Set condition red, call battlestations. But .. I still want to know what they are. Helm, take us closer - remain well outside of weapons range, but try to give me a clearer look." She headed back to her own chair, brows furrowed by default now, as she punched up the same sensor readout on her own console that Takashi had on his. "Aye Ma'am, setting intercept course." T'Rell would reply and the ship wheeled about, moving closer for a clearer look.

"This is the Bridge…all hands switch from General Quarters to Battle Stations…repeat all hands to Battle Stations….set condition red throughout the ship" he said through the ship wide P.A. He then took actions into making sure the weapons department was ready for combat. "Fire Control, Bridge. This is Duty TAC O, charge ventral phaser batteries port and starboard…flood the tubes, load up the photons and cut the lines…designate all ordinances to master one targets…."

"Bridge, Fire Control. Aye"

Matsu turned his attention to the data stream from the sensor read outs. As they got closer the resolution became more clear. "Conn, Tactical. I now confirm seven contacts, designating master one through seven … *turns to XO* Sir they're looking like life pods…reading life signs but they're faint. Request further instructions"

Eyes narrowed as she heard this. She didn't like it - didn't like it one bit. "Any hint of weapons ? Explosive devices ? Anything to pose a direct threat to the ship ?" she'd ask Lieutenant Junior Grade Matsu Takashi.

"Don't believe so… ma'am"

"... Alright. Helm, intercept course. Bring us within transporter range. Tactical, maintain weapons lock, keep firing solution ready." Kristiana then taps her communicator badge. =/\= Bridge to CO. What's keeping you, Sir.. =/\=

Caelen stood in the turbolift as it rushed up towards the bridge, he didn't even bother to respond to the hail from his XO, he was like two seconds away. <Who sounded the red alert?> he thought hoping there was nothing serious going on. He had heard some rumours about the flickering of a cloaking device, although it was to be expected that they were tailed Caelen just hoped that the Romulans didn't decide to raid and pillage the Pegasus. The doors of the lift slid open and Caelen stepped on the bridge with a determined look, "Lieutenant..." he said whilst walking towards his chair in the centre "...Sitrep ?"

"Seven contacts, Sir. Lifepods, with faint lifesigns. We're on intercept course. No signs of any weapons or boobytraps, nor debris to account for a ship." Kristiana spoke as she gave her CO a nod.

Caelen sighed as he sat down in his chair and pulled up the sensor readings on his arm console as well "Helm, drop out of warp and set a course for the lifepods" he said, if these people were in need of help he was going to give it to them. T'Rell silently followed his orders, "are we in visual range yet?" he asked looking over his shoulder to the Tactical officer.

"Aye Sir, just entering visual…displaying on main viewer…" he said before realizing something was nagging him as the Pegasus began racing forward towards the supposed victims. "Sir, I must note that these pods are in Imperial Space, which is sovereign to this foreign power. The Romulans might not appreciate the fact with a Federation starship picking up anyone in their territory that doesn't relate to our mission profile."

Kristiana frowned at that and gave a nod. "The Lieutenant has a very good point, sir. Yet, we're the only ship around, and if these people need help .. We'd be forsaking our duty as Starfleet officers if we did not offer it to them." She sighed again, looking at the seven lifepods adrift on the main viewscreen. "What do we do, Sir ?"


Cliffhanger-y goodness by:

Lieutenant commander Caelen LaBrie XO, USS Pegasus


Lieutenant Kristiana Petrova XO, USS Pegasus


Lieutenant Junior Grade Matsu Takashi Chief TacSec officer, USS Pegasus