((Captain’s Ready Room, USS Victory))
::She hadn’t thought that she would be speaking with Jaxx quite so soon. Of all of the ships that might have been in the area, the Apollo had not been the name she expected to hear. At the same time, a wave of relief flooded over her as the name was spoken and now she found herself waiting impatiently for her old friend’s face to appear on the screen in front of her.::
::Time had gotten lost in the grand scheme of things, and though she realized that it was the later hours of the night now, there were no other options. If the Apollo turned now, they might be able to meet them in time.::
::Thoughts and contingency plans crashed together in her mind and she realized that she, too, needed sleep. And sleep she would go after, as soon as she spoke with Jaxx. A flicker appeared on the screen and Kali sat forward slightly. When his image appeared soon after, she realized that she had, in fact, woken him.::
((Captain’s Quarters, USS Apollo))
::In a deep sleep, Jaxx was feeling quite comfortable. There was something about his companion that made the nights a little more peaceful. Even in his sleep he could feel Sidney right next to him, both physically, and mentally. Seeing her in the morning had been the best part of waking up.::
::He tossed and turned slightly. He had quite a few things planned for the morning, and they were flowing through his head. Even in his sleep he seemed to be plotting his day, and the things that would need his attention. After receiving the confirmation, he had an officer to promote. It was the first order of business for the morning.::
::A slight beep got his attention. Sitting up, he looked at the screen. He had asked to be notified of any incoming transmission, but not over the loud comm system. He did not want to wake Sid, if he got a call. He knew it was a liability when dating the captain, and it was something that he wanted to minimize as much as possible.::
::Sitting up quickly, he threw on a robe and quietly made his way out to the living area. Sitting down in front of the console, he reviewed the call information. With a smirk, he pressed a few buttons in front of him. In an instant, the logo disappeared and was replaced with Kali’s smiling face. He could not help but smile as he saw her.::
Nicholotti: Have any good dreams lately?
Jaxx: ::smirking:: A couple of them, here and there.
::Kali smirked and sat back, a new serious look masking the fatigue in her eyes. There was no coffee in her hand this time, as it simply didn’t work anymore.::
Nicholotti: We’re inbound to the last known location of the President of the Thracian Alliance. Apparently the Klingon fleet wants his head. ::She paused.:: We can’t exactly let that happen.
::Jaxx did not have to be close enough to read her, to tell that she was concerned. She had a vested interest in the Thracian Alliance. He was the one that sent her out there the last time, and without fail she put her ship in between to aggressors to bring stability to the area. Now that stability was in question with the advancing fleet.::
::The Betazoid was concerned that it was a second wave going through to mop up what the Klingon advance fleet failed to neutralize on its first pass. It was a difficult situation for them. The Federation did not have any legal precedent to be in the system, or do anything but offer aid. While he was worried about the Klignons, there was not much they could do if they found the President first...unless they wanted to risk war with the Federation. He thought about what she was saying, without directly saying it. If the President of the Thracian Alliance fell victim to the Klingons, the future of the newly formed government was at stake, and could result in a collapse.::
Jaxx: Are you sure they are hunting him down? The last report I read led me to believe that the Klingons were not really interested in him. It was documented that he was able to flee the Nequencia System, and they did not even give chase.
::A sheepish look appeared on her face.::
Nicholotti: My Intel is good enough; one Romulan Senator and an ex-Tal Shiar agent currently working as Thracian Intelligence.
::He respected her as an officer, and if she felt she had enough evidence to suggest that he was in danger, Jaxx would do what he could to help. It was much better sitting on his hands at the edge of the system. There was not much convincing he would need.::
Jaxx: Where is his last known position?
::Watching him, she knew that he would come simply because she asked, but having the knowledge to back it all up would only put them both into a safer and more secure position. Besides, he was her mentor, and her friend. If there was any advice to be had from anyone, it would be from the man whose whispers still echoed through the office and the ready room where she spent so much of her time.::
Nicholotti: Just inside the Thracian system. Probably not very static though; the last information we have states that they are already fighting.
::Jaxx thought for a moment about the Apollo’s relative position. If he diverted now, he would be able to arrive in morning. His last report put the Achilles in the area and he looked in on the positions of both ships earlier in the evening. He knew that things could rapidly turn ugly and hopefully a significant Federation presence would prevent that from happening.::
Jaxx: Do you have any idea what you are walking into?
::Another slight smirk appeared. Did she know? Yes. They were walking into a mess. The details of that mess were more vague.::
Nicholotti: Besides a complete and total mess, we know very little. There is a small Klingon fleet comprised of varied ship classes. They seem to be led by one named Krax. He’s the loud one, anyways. As with all things, there could be someone behind him, pulling strings. It does seem odd though, that they’d stay behind and focus on this, after the main fleet pushed through.
::Her voice trailed off as she wondered about that point, but when she could find no satisfactory reasoning, she shelved it for a time when she might be able to uncover more.::
Nicholotti: We know the President of the Alliance, and presumably any members of the government he was able to rescue, left the Nequencia system aboard the Vauthil. That’s the ship that heads up the Thracian military and it belongs to Commander Kital Creena. Our friend Krax has been after that ship, and based on his latest spewing over subspace, he’s not found her. ::Kali frowned.:: But that can’t last forever, and Creena won’t hide forever. We have to find them and bring the President, at least, to a safer realm.
::Jaxx listened to the intel she provided. He was guilty of not following the events in the Thracian System very closely. He had been keeping his eyes on Romulan space, and the Klingon forces ripping through it. If they were openly attacking the Thracian System, he was not sure what they could do besides safeguard the President.::
Jaxx: So, your plan is to extract the President of the Alliance from a hostile situation, at the same time potentially staring down a Klingon attack fleet?
Nicholotti: ::Without hesitation.:: Yep, that’s the jist of it.
::Jaxx smirked. It was a challenge and it would be one that he would be happy to commit his resources to. He looked closely at his old friend and protege. She now wore four pips, and wore them well. He had an idea that she had more up her sleeve. It was not like her to run away from a situation, but it would have to be something good for them to even think of doing anything to help the Alliance.::
::Kali watched him smirk and returned one of her own. It was something she had picked up from him, perhaps, after having spent so many years under his command. For a moment, silence ensued, but then he dug deeper, knowing there was more.::
Jaxx: So, you get the President, then what?
Nicholotti: The plan is to get him aboard the Victory, where we can work on getting a long overdue signature on a certain Protectorate order as offered by the Federation Ambassador, Lily Ventu, back when the Alliance was formed. Hopefully, that, and the simple fact that we have so much firepower ::she smirked again.:: will convince the Klingons to leave.
::There was no hesitation in his answer, which only made her smile. The information was on the table now; they just had to play all of the cards and see where things ended up. Hopefully it would be with the winnings on their side.::
Jaxx: ::without hesitation:: Sounds fun. ::smirking:: I am in. I can have the Apollo there first thing in the morning if I divert now.
Nicholotti: Well then, I look forward to meeting with you in the morning. Hopefully it won’t all be bad. ::She paused for a moment.:: Hopefully we can do some good.
::Jaxx did not wait for her to finish. While she was talking, he signaled the bridge to depart the system at once and head for Thracian space. His only hope was that he could get there in time to make a difference. The day before, the Apollo had taken over 1300 lives. It was now their chance to save as many as they could.::
::Kali smiled and stifled a yawn, before nodding towards the screen.::
Nicholotti: Thank you, Captain.
Jaxx: ::smiling:: Thank you, Captain.
::All she could do is watch him as their conversation came to a close. Part of her wished that things were back the way they were before, but part of her knew that everything was better this way.::
Nicholotti: Until tomorrow.
Jaxx: We will see you then.
::Pressing the button to end the call, Jaxx looked out the window to notice the stars were moving once more. There was something calming about the stars whipping past the window. He sent Liam a quick message about their change in course. He would brief the senior staff in the morning. They had about a little over an hour of their duty shift before they would arrive in the system to rendezvous with the Victory and Achilles.::
::Getting up from his desk, he made his way back into the bedroom. He stood in the doorway and looked at Sidney sleeping peacefully. A smile fell over his face as he stood there with his eyes glued to her. After a few moments of appreciation, he climbed back in bed and wrapped his arms around her. Everything else could wait until morning.::
::When the screen went black, Kali leaned back in the chair. Her eyes instinctively closed and within seconds, she began to drift off. Realizing that there were other things that needed to be done, she forced herself to her feet. Sleep would come shortly, as soon as she made sure Anya was settled on the couch.::
::As she moved out to the bridge, and then to the lift, she watched the stars streak by on the viewscreen. All was quiet, for now, but in a matter of hours that would change. At least now she knew that whatever tomorrow brought with it, she would once again face it with her friend.::
Captain Kalianna Nicholotti
USS Victory, NCC-362447
Fleet Captain Andrus Jaxx
USS Apollo, NCC-71669