Clandestine (Victory)

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Mission 16: Clandestine
Stardates: 238301.20 - 238305.10

Briefing: On Stardate 238301.03, a transport ship of Starfleet marines, because of what sensors explain as a navigational error, ended up somewhere between Romulan and Klingon space and vanished.

Background: According to Starfleet Intelligence, the Romulan Tal Shiar has taken command of a derelict station left from the Dominion War outside of Romulan Space. They call it Celipentha Station. It is believed the Romulans use it as a prison for enemies of the Empire and a base of operations for possible Romulan intelligence missions to the Klingon Empire. Starfleet Command was convinced our marines were being held there.

Information: The marines, a platoon of 36, are not held prisoner officially by the Romulans and the Federation has no proof which would allow them to use diplomatic means. To solve this problem, the USS Victory is ordered on a top secret and unofficial cloak and dagger mission to free the Starfleet Marines. Since the bond between Federation and Romulans is unstable, it is vital to retain invisibility and stealth during the operation. Although the station is not officially Romulan or even officially in existence, failure could mean an international incident resulting in another war.

It was time to meld the staff’s ideas together, forming a solid base on which to build a mission with a fair, though slim, chance of success. Commander Robin Phoenix (terran, Commanding Officer), tabbed a few commands on her holographic interface and a Romulan male, in his 40's, appeared on the screen in the Victory’s briefing room. He wore a Romulan Fleet uniform with the rank of commander. Commander Janatra’s face had a darkish and mysterious expression. He possessed vast experience with the Tal Shiar and he knew of the station's existence.

Over the following few days, the senior officers of the USS Victory were transformed into Romulans.

Alpha Team would be lead by AFO/CMO Lt.Cmdr. Julia Harden, with the ship’s Counselor, Lt(jg) Aresee Ventu and CEO Lt.(jg) Ben Hunnicutt (terrans). Their primary task would be to locate the marines, take out any security precautions, and make way for team Beta to initiate the second stage of the plan.

Team Beta, lead by Cmdr. Phoenix, will consist of the CTO/CSO Jacen Fanel, Security Officer Ensign Pardak Benjamin and Lt.(jg) Chris Wadham, who will then free those marines with a quick enter and exit maneuver.

Initially, both teams would board Commander Janatra’s ship. Then Mister Hunnicutt would adapt one of the commander's Romulan shuttles to make it absolutely invisible because it would be using a cloak as well as other technological advantages. The base is a Tal Shiar station, crawling with agents and security personnel. It is vital to succeed without being seen.

Team Beta hid inside some shielded cargo containers which was transported to a secure section of the station. There, they will wait for Alpha team who will board the base in a distant area where the main computer and engineering was located. From there, alpha team would locate and secure the secondary computer core and engineering interface. This would clear the way for Team Beta to come out of hiding. As team Alpha talks Beta team to where the marines are, Beta team remains completely stealthy. Due to the fact Alpha team can control the greater part of all systems, Beta team can enter the prison wings of the base, locate the marines and return to the cargo bays.

Commander Janatra's ship will be waiting outside, and beam the team over once the all clear has been given. Meanwhile, Hunnicutt's rigged Romulan shuttle will have taken position back at team Alpha's coordinates near the upper part of the station. When team beta has cleared the station, team Alpha will beam aboard the shuttle. Both ships will rendezvous at a designated area.

Lt.Cmdr. Harden explained to Cmdr. Phoenix that she was content to remain the Chief Medical Officer, she would be happy to fill in as the Acting First Officer until a permanent replacement could be found.

At this same time, a Federation luxury transport arrived with a passenger on board: retired starship captain Matilda Tayler-Ventu. She'd chosen this time to visit her only daughter, Lt.(jg) Aresee Ventu.

Disguised as a Romulan sub-commander and a centurion, Cmdr.’s Phoenix and Harden met with Cmdr. Janatra of the Romulan Fleet in the first part of their plan. Janatra displayed a diagram of Celipentha station. “There are 29,500 officers and enlisted crew,” he said, “plus an estimate of 2,000 prisoners. It has 225 decks, is 3 miles high and 5 miles wide.”

After discussion back and forth, Cmdr. Janatra revealed his true reasons for helping the commander of the USS Victory other than a long ago favor to return. His son, Kal'Isch, had been taken by the Tal Shiar five months earlier. A foolish Tal Shiar officer took it upon himself to arrest several Romulan officers who he suspected to be passing information to the enemies of the empire.

In the event they were able to extract Janatra’s son, one or both would be on the run from the Tal Shiar for the rest of his life. Whilst suspicion is not enough in Federation circles, it's more than enough for the Tal Shiar to move against Janatra. However, if Janatra were to betray the Victory crew to the Tal Shiar, he *may* be able to prove his family's loyalty to the Empire and arrange for his son to be released.

Within hours, Alpha team made their way to the Station’s entry point while team Beta was concealed inside a wooden crate and transported into the Station’s cargo bay. Team Alpha, led by Lt. Cmdr. Julia Harden, (Terran) (CMO, Acting First Officer), located the auxilliary engineering and computer controls. Also locating the prison cells where the Starfleet marines undoubedly were being held, they then signaled Bravo Team that it was safe to exit their hiding place. Alpha team carefully and stealthily moved back into the corridor where a Green Alert (the Romulan equivalent of Red Alert) was sounded.

Unknown to either team, Matilda Tayler-Ventu (Terran), Counselor Ventu’s mother, had taken a shuttle from the Victory and is now on Celipentha Station (running amok) which had triggered the alert and sent Romulans and Starfleet trying to capture her. Bravo Team, led by Cmdr. Robin Phoenix, (CO) (Terran), was discovered in their hiding place by a Romulan inspection team. Acting swiftly, the Starfleet officers overpowered the Romulans and escaped into the station. Startled to find a bomb attached to an energy core, Cmdr. Phoenix decided to put her life at risk to disarm it. Alpha Team was able to blend in with the other Centurions. Unexpectedly they came face to face with Lt.Cmdr. Paul Diamond (Terran), who was there to recover a stolen data chip. Teaming up, Cmdr. Diamond acted as a prisoner in order to bluff their way into the tightly guarded cell block. With the bomb ticking and time running out, Alpha Team found the marines and beamed them to safety aboard a cloaked Romulan Shuttle waiting there for that purpose. Lt. Hunnicutt (Terran), defied orders to help Cmdr. Phoenix disable the bomb but found they were unable to do so. They did find out that it would be detonated remotely. Cmdr. Phoenix managed to hold the bomb together with her mental abilities until she passed out. Lt. Hunnicutt had her beamed off the station onto Shuttle #2. The contingent of Marines, several Romulan prisoners and a few other species also being held were liberated and beamed to Shuttle #1 then taken to the Victory. The bomb exploded taking part of the station with it.

After getting the diverse species settled into guest quarters and the wounded sent to sickbay, Cmdrs. Harden and Diamond met with Cmdr. Phoenix in her ready room where she asked Cmdr. Diamond to accept the position of First Officer of the Victory. He accepted.

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