Crises of Identity (Embassy of Duronis II)
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Toral Terek -
The USS Thunder-A was sent out to escort a Federation Defiant-Class ship, the Ashoka, back to the Embassy. The Ashoka is tasked with picking up a mystery woman who seems to be some sort of Argelian VIP, and returning her to the Argelians. The Thunder met up with the Ashoka to find it under attack by Orion ships. A Federation intelligence ship chases off the Orion attackers, meanwhile the Thunder arrives to discover a Zalkonian ship drop its Romulan tech-based cloak. In defence of the Ashoka the Thunder was the first to strike taking out the Zalkonian ship's weapons. Unfortunately, there appeared to be no signs of the Ashoka crew. They were not on their ship, the Zalkonian ship, nor the Federation intelligence ship. The battle was to be short-lived as the Thunder got word that three Romulan warbirds had de-cloaked near the Embassy. With no other choice the Thunder fired a volley of torpedoes destroying the Ashoka so that the ship would not end up in enemy hands. The Thunder engaged its Quantum Slipstream Drive to try to hurry back and defend its home from the Romulan threat.
Back at the Embassy, with the Thunder away, the USS Bronwyn filled in to patrol the space around the Embassy. Finding the ship in desperate need of repair with environmental systems down on most decks, engineering teams scrambled to restore key systems while the bridge staff began the Thunder's normal patrol. Before long, a Romulan Republic scout ship decloaked directly in front of the Bronwyn. The commanding officer of the Bronwyn, Major Pavlova, ordered Red Alert and hailing frequencies open. The commander of the scout ship, Subcommander S’Karan, presented the Major an extradition request for Shi' lar, the mystery Argelian woman in the Embassy's custody. While the Engineering staff continued to repair ship systems, the Major ordered Subcommander S’Karan escorted to the Embassy via shuttlecraft and all weapons trained on the Romulan scoutship. Without warning, three Romulan Empire Warbirds de-cloaked around the Bronwyn and Republic scoutship. The Empire ships opened fire on the Republic vessel. The soutship's remaining crew were transported to the shuttle safely. After some Sinatra-inspired repartee, the Bronwyn retreated from the Republic scoutship as the Empire triggered a tricobalt device from inside it and destroyed the Republic vessel in a violent blaze. The Romulan warbirds reengaged their cloaking devices and remain hidden from view. There would be no war with the Romulans today, but their would be war.
Terek, a Zalkonian death camp commander that the crew of the Thunder had put an end to a few months back, hailed the Embassy and made his presence known. After threats of revenge he and four other Zalkonian warships de-cloaked. Terek's ship began a bombardment campaign on the Embassy grounds and the other four Zalkonian ships focused their attack on the USS Bronwyn.
The USS Bronwyn rescued the fleeing Romulan Republic officers as their ship went full core breach in an implosive display of power and light. The Bronwyn, battered but not beaten, angled to take on the Warbirds on. However, the Empire ships cloaked and faded into the blackness of space. Their war, at least on this day, was not with the Federation but with the Republic for allowing their cloaking technology to fall into Zalkonian hands. This freed up to the Bronwyn to face off with the de-cloaked Zalkonian ships in orbit of Duronis II.
Meanwhile, Terek, the formerly USS Thunder-scorned Zalkonian death camp commander, let a bombardment and subsequent attack against the Embassy on Duronis II with a team of Zalkonian and Orion Syndicate operatives. Staff raced to get civilians and non-officer personnel into the Embassy's underground bunkers safely. In the chaos, the Argelian VIP, Shi'lar, that everyone seems to want was being escorted by a marine Connors, and the Embassy's medical staff. In one of the major blasts from the Zalkonian bombardment, Connors was crushed under falling rock, but managed to save Shi'lar and the medical team.
In orbit, the USS Bronwyn was able to take down one of the warships. However, the Bronwyn was outnumbered and fading fast. It was then that the Empire warbirds dropped their cloaks and joined in the battle. They did not attack the Bronwyn, but went after the Zalkonian ships. The USS Thunder-A appeared in the system after racing across the galaxy using its QSSD. The Zalkonians, being lead by the fearless and maniacal Orion Syndicate, found themselves in a desperate situation. One of the Zalkonian ships turned and headed on a colosion course with one of the Warbirds as the other Zalkonian ships were destroyed. The remaining Romulans managed to transport a few hostages from the Orion Syndicate before destroying the last remaining Zalkonian ship and heading back to Romulan space.
The final battle took place at the Parker residence which held many civilians in a fortified underground bunker. It was there that Captain Tyr Waltas faced off against Terek, a Zalkonian seeking revenge against the Thunder for ruining his career and severing his hand. Tyr and a group of marines went to battle with Terek, soldiers and Orions to keep those in the bunkers safe. The battle came to a Shakespearean climax as the blade of Captain Waltas' katana separated the man's head from his body.
New information from the V’Shar (Vulcan Intelligence Agency) helped to uncover a dubious plan that would see the Tal Shiar possess an ancient Vulcan device known as the Eye of Terek that was designed to amplify empathic abilities. Originally designed for healing, the device could be twisted and used for mass suggestion. This would give the Tal Shiar the ability to control the minds of large groups of people. However, Romulans are not known for their telepathic or empathic abilities. The second part of their ominous plot was to capture and exploit an Argelian High Priestess and her followers who seemed to have tapped into their empathic abilities in remarkable ways. With intelligence from the V’Shar and gathered through the interrogation of a captured Tal Shiar saboteur on the USS Thunder, the crew of the Embassy on Duronis II set out to the location of the Argelian prisoners.
Thanks to the brilliant work of its Chief Engineer, the USS Bronwyn was underway, its primary systems repaired and operational after its recent battles in orbit around Duronis II. After a short respite, the Bronwyn with Lt. Commander Stephanie Parker in command, Lt. Commander T'Mihn Ah'mihghan at HCO and serving as Executive Officer, Chief Engineer Lieutenant Oddas Engineer, Dr Hendon in Sickbay, and newly minted Lieutenant Michelle Ritter on Tactical.
The USS Bronwyn has been tasked with providing extraction of a Marine strike force and several hostages. The extraction is expected to be done under fire; damage control teams and engineering crews are standing by along with the crews in sickbay. Security forces are also planning for the possibility boarders will take advantage of the emergency beam up to infiltrate the ship. Tense moments presented themselves as the Bronwyn left the vicinity of Duronis when several probable cloaked ships were detected but exploded before they could be engaged. As the Bronwyn left QSSD and approached their target, the moon where the Orion Syndicate was holding hostages and the Vulcan artifact, an Orion ship came into view. The red alert klaxon has sounded and battle stations have been called for.
As soon as they arrived, Admiral Turner sent a team on her captain’s yacht the Cheyenne to recover the ancient Vulcan device. T’Kara, a V’Shar agent who had been posing as an Argelian, was regaining her memory and recalled the location of where the device was hidden. With the Cheyenne and a small team on its way to recover the Eye of Terek, the rest of the crew focused on the rescue mission of the Argelian prisoners. In an attempt at building a better relationship with his crew, the ship’s first officer requested to join the Marine Search & Rescue (SAR) team. The team made quick work of storming the compound on the Orion moon with the help of a covert marine force in the sky. Though the team was successful, their success was made bitter by the loss of some of the Argelian prisoners during Tal Shiar interrogations.
The small team on the captain’s yacht, supported by a Vulcan support ship, headed for a set of volcanic tunnels where T’Kara had hidden the ancient Vulcan device. After traversing the volcanic tunnels, which seemed to no longer be dormant, they reached the location of the Eye of Terek – and the nest of a very large and unhappy beast. However, after communicating with a Vulcan in the away team and an attempted attack on the creature by an Orion party trying to reach the device, the beast helped the crew by taking care of the Orions and leading the away team out safely.
At the end of the day, all teams were successful and met back up in orbit of Duronis II. Unfortunately, their celebration was short lived as they discovered that, due in large part to Captain Samal Frazier and a team of new ensigns recently assigned to the Embassy, Prime Minister Daysa was just barely able to avoid a political coup that would see both him and the Federation ousted from Laudean homeworld.
“The Federation have not come to invade us,” said Prime Minister Daysa, speaking to the anti-government/anti-Federation forces. “They’ve come to preserve our way of life. The people you fight for are the invaders in league with the Romulan Tal Shiar. Surely you remember how our lives were changed under their rule? Our children starved, our women violated, and our Lomales enslaved. Is this the life you want to return? Is it the life you choose for your children and your children’s children?”
The Federation still has much work to do in building a relationship with the Laudean people. With the Tal Shiar plot derailed and the Romulan-Orion partnership breaking down, the crew of the Federation Embassy on Duronis II will be able to focus their attention closer to their adopted home.