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Old October 28 2013, 01:00 AM   #15
DarKush
Rear Admiral
 
Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

CeJay and Gibraltar, glad you guys are enjoying the road I decided to take this story down. I would think that the stresses of facing an invincible foe are wearing the IG-4 captains down and the dissension is the result. We'll see how much blood might be drawn before they reach the armada.

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Main Bridge
USS Ariane

Commander Gilma Rhizzo tried to ignore her first officer’s plasma burning stare. It would not do for her to blink in front of Captain Erasia, the Empress’s crew, or her own.

Typically, Lt. Commander Gerald Atwell would not be ignored. “This is futzing ridiculous,” he said sotto voce while leaning over toward her. “What are you doing Gilma?”

“What I have to,” she snapped, refusing to look at the lanky Australian. “Lt. Zileena, aim forward phasers at Empress’s primary hull.”

“Belay that order!” Atwell called out loudly. Incensed, Rhizzo whipped around to confront him.

“How dare you?” She bellowed. “Right now, they’ve got weapons trained on us!”

“Only because you made the first aggressive move,” Atwell said, with smoldering but damnable reasonableness. “And that’s not the only one you made. Constructing subspace weapons without informing me,” he shook his head. “What’s gotten into you?”

“Are you angrier about me planning to utilize subspace weapons against the Kothlis’Ka or you not being in the loop?” She charged, hoping the dagger drew blood.

Atwell looked unfazed. “This ends now Commander,” he said tightly.

“Zil, you heard me!” Rhizzo yelled, ignoring her first officer. “Get those weapons on the Empress.”

“Don’t make me relieve you of duty sir,” Atwell warned, his voice clearly filled with regret.

“Relieve her,” Erasia’s voice issued over the still open channel. “That’s an order.”

After a few charged, indecisive seconds, Atwell’s shoulders fell. “Sir, please get up from the command chair.”

“No,” the Zakdorn shook her head and dug in her heels. Atwell sighed. He stood up, consciously towering over her, but far enough away to lessen the threat of the gesture.

“Lt. Zileena, please remove the captain. Take her to her quarters and set up a security detail to contain her until we can straighten this mess out.”

“I’m sorry sir,” the Zaranite said. And it was the first time Rhizzo’s stomach twisted. Among her senior officers, Zil was the closest to Gilma, and if she had lost the Zaranite’s trust there was little hope in retaining anyone else’s.

“I’m not leaving,” Rhizzo declared. “You’ll have to force me from this chair.”

“So be it,” Atwell’s sigh was deeper this time, coming from the well of his soul. She hadn’t heard the man sound so bone weary since the Talarian Incursion. “Lt. Zileena,” he called again.

“I’m so sorry,” Zileena repeated. Gilma closed her eyes and steeled herself for a fight. It wouldn’t be the most dignified way to exit the bridge and possibly her command, but it would show the crew that she would fight for them until the end.

She jumped at the familiar sizzle of a phaser. Her eyelids flipped open just as she saw a sparkling beam punch into Commander Atwell and drove him to the deck.

Zileena stood on the upper deck, the phaser now shaking in her hand. Gilma threw herself out of her seat. She knelt down at the unconscious Atwell and checked his pulse. It was slow, but steady.

She looked up at Zileena and nodded grimly. Both women understood that they had just thrown away their careers. Then Rhizzo turned toward the stunned Erasia. “There’s your answer,” she bitterly stated.
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Main Bridge
USS Baltimore

Captain Thelius was done with the drama playing out on his viewscreen. “Enough of this hand wringing,” he declared. “Fire on the Ariane,” he ordered, “Targeting her propulsion systems.” He added, a bit too jauntily, “She’s going to have to sit the big fight out.”

“Aye sir,” the Xenexian at the tactical console replied. Commander Erean shook her head as twin golden spears arced from Baltimore and slammed into Ariane.

The Andorian would commiserate with his Argelian first officer later. Right now he had a dust up to resolve before the real battle began.
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