USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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[B-Plot] When The Bough Breaks, Part II

Posted on Thu May 25th, 2023 @ 7:40pm by Taran Willeg & Rear Admiral Yoshi Minawara & Isabella Cerin

Mission: Shakedown Shake-Up
1822 words - 3.6 OF Standard Post Measure

The dank confines were shrouded in red light and shadows.

An acrid stench of body odor, blood, stale grog, and something that might have been urine permeating the air as the underwear-clad boy was thrust ahead of a burly figure. A bruise was already starting to form where he'd been smacked in the face.

"Vaj Qu'vamDaq ratlh jIvHa'wI'!" the burly Klingon barked, as he pushed the boy forward as they stepped onto the bridge, causing him to tumble to the floor, as if bowing to the central figure in the raised chair that turned in greeting.

In a single, graceful display of physical power, the figure seated in the captain's chair had crossed the divide between the raised dais and the burly warrior. A dagger sank deep into the man's neck.

As Taran looked up, something hot and sticky sprayed over him as the knife was pulled from out of the now stuttering warrior. No sooner had the boy realized that it was blood, then the dying Klingon landed face-down beside him.

With a yelp, the small Klingon-looking child tried to scurry back, finding his back pressed up against the raised platform as he stared, wide-eyed at the dead man. And then up at the person who had killed him.

Blood dripped from the d'k tahg as the woman held it level while she looked each of her crew in the eye. "jIHvaD bInejtaHvIS, qatlh bIpiv'a'!?" she snapped forcefully, before turning her head to spit on the corpse.

A slight yellow stain spread across the front of the boy's underwear, as a puddle started to appear beneath him.

Tucking the knife away, Je'gah glanced down and then seemed to do a double-take at the realization that he'd wet himself. "Oh, sweetie," the Klingon woman uttered with a quiet sigh. Crouching down to the floor, she rested a hand atop his head and started to remark, "You're almost..."

It hovered there, in a moment that lingered, as she found herself quite uncertain.

"Ten?" Taran supplied, assuming that's what she was looking for.

The revelation prompted the woman to roll her eyes as she looked back down at him. "You're almost a decade old and haven't even killed someone yet," the Klingon pirate lamented. "I'm failing as a mother."

Taking the boy by the shoulders, the woman lifted him to his feet and then ushered him off the bridge.


Captain Penner had been on their way up when the turbolift had stopped just in front of the Admiral, their face cold and indifferent. The pair approached the walkway stairs that would take them the few steps up and into the Command Operations area. Neither had spoken, but Yoshi had fallen slightly behind the Captain to allow for the understanding that it was their station, not his. It was a few short steps up, before the voice of Captain Kai Penner called out. "Report!" this was a bark, a demand for understanding and a quick note hidden in the tone that being told to wait was not appropriate at this time. It would be quick information, thrown out fast, but with the underlying expectation. On his way out, seeing it was a Klingon ship he'd also summoned Isabella Cerin, knowing there was a good chance this was a diplomatic issue as well, and she would need the facts. As head of the Task Force's Diplomatic arm, she had the clearance too, which made any issues of people getting feisty simple to put down.

Again, he hesitated for a moment, ready to charge into the centre of the room, but he stopped. Not your responsibility Yoshi mentally chidded himself. Instead, he hovered near the entrance to Ops and waitied for things to play out.

Izzy's entrance to command ops was brisk and perhaps tense, but not panicked. "Captain Penner. Admiral." She nodded at the pair, stopping near them and lowering her voice slightly. "What's the situation?"

"A Klingon bird-of-prey just conducted a raid on the station," a middle-aged man in Operations gold supplied, addressing the question from the diplomat.

On the viewscreen overhead, a replay of events was playing out on loop. "By the time we detected it, it was already inside of our shield perimeter. Before we'd realized it, they'd decloaked and transported into the Habitat section," Davisson supplied as narration.

"They used a scattering field to prevent use of the tractor beam," a lieutenant in sciences blue added. "And the genetic structure of the child abducted was too similar to Klingon for the transporter to distinguish his lifesigns."

With a nod to the lieutenant, Davisson looked around the room. "And that's where we're at. They've made off with one nine-year-old child. I've asked Security to locate the father so he can be informed."

"Lock down the station," Kai said, stepping fully into command of their station, and assuming the central space in the ops space. "Admiral, do we have ships that can support?"

"Caelian, Boyd, Zelle and de Baissac are all on station and are part of survey fleet," the Admiral said, looking down. Both himself and the Captain would have no trouble putting the hidden meaning of the phrase together, but regardless they nodded.

"Captain Penner to the Caelian, we have need for your help." There was a pause, before a voice replied over the comms.

"Admiral?" came from the Commodore aboard his ship.

"By the Captain's command Commodore," Yoshi merely said, looking at the deck plating as his mind traced over lists of children aboard the Vesta, the only way a child could be aboard Esquimalt so far. "A nine year old..." Yoshi said, looking to Izzy. "Willeg?" It was a question, trying to remember the name of one of the boys that the two Only would play with. The name sounded correct, it was either that or Corrino, though his child was not even partially Klingon.

"Davisson, I need a full report on the Klingon ship. We need all the details we can muster," Captain Penner hadn't even missed a beat. "Send it to the Caelian as soon as we have it. Commodore, take your fleet, five degrees of separation, and spread out, maximum warp. Birds of Prey are strong fighters, but they're still slow compared to modern Starfleet Vessels." Feeding information to the holotable, the Vesta-class became highlighted, with her three Pathfinder escorts slowly pushing away from their births as well. "Ms. Cerin, what is our current relation with the Klingon High Council? Do we have a contact who would tell us who would do something like this?"

One got a feeling that despite the fact that the pause was no more than a second or two at most, Izzy was rapidly considering exactly what she was and wasn't going to say and how she was or wasn't going to say it, before her next words, and her voice dropped significantly, probably now only audible to those directly next to her, unless a species had exceptional hearing. "As it just so happens, about fifteen minutes ago I got a call from our man in the Empire. Who had himself and his staff received in the last hour or so an official complaint that the Vesta and her command crew were facilitating the abduction of an underage Klingon national - " There was a slight verbal twitch in Izzy's voice here; because the Klingon concept of 'underage' didn't jive legally or culturally perfectly one-to-one with the Federation one " - and member of the House of Konjah; and called me for any insight I had. And yes, the individual at the center of the supposed dispute appears to be a Federation citizen by the name of Taran Willeg - at this point I can't confirm or deny the Klingon claim about his citizenship in the Empire or not; their records tend to lean heavily to oral tradition and neither our staff in the Empire nor I have had much time to investigate yet. We have another call scheduled on it later after they do some further digging there and I do some further checking on Federation records. I may need to speak to the boy's father, if you can please make him available for an interview."

Izzy's hand fished inside a pocket inside her blazer, pulled out a little datachip, keyed the security access, and popped up a projection with Taran's Federation ID, passing it to Penner to review, then pulled out a second chip and sprung the data on that one as well. "Summary on the House of Konjah's general place and history in Klingon politics and society is here - " Izzy passed the second chip to Penner as well " - but the short version is they're a former vassal house to Duras, who have a history of opposition to the Federation. That said, there's no history that I'm aware of of them moving externally on their own as a House against the actions and positions of Great Houses of the Empire - if that ship was flagged to House Konjah it would be a first for them to take that sort of independent galactic action." Here, Izzy openly frowned; because if that did turn out to be the case it foretold absolutely nothing good for the trajectory of Federation/Klingon relations. "If he had a history with any of its members in the past however, it's possible the boy's father may be able to give us further insight into Konjah and any dynamics that might be in play here that we're missing."

Yoshi eyes turned to the Captain, who in turn nodded at him. "Computer, locate a Vesta crewman by the last name Willeg and have him report to Operations," they said flatly, stepping forward and fully into command of the station in a way that changed their demeanor. "Scramble the fighters and alert our Marine garrison that we are expecting possible trouble." Their eyes turned towards the large sensor control station that made up the Ops area. "Deploy our anti-cloaking measures, and set a wide beacon notice. Any ship to to halt outside of ten kilometers and subject to scanning before they approach. Disable anything that fails to comply." There was a limited civilian presence, so it wouldn't be too much of an issue to stop and scan every Starfleet ship. "Comms, send an alert with that Bird-of-Prey's ion signature and plaster it everywhere. If it so much as breathes near a Federation outpost, I want to know about it. They top out at what, warp eight? It'll take them three weeks to reach Klingon space at that speed, and they have a lot of Federation space to cover to get there."


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