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How The Hobus Star Went Supernova

Posted on 15 Oct 2016 @ 7:08pm by Commander Volus tr'Keirheol & Subcommander Dhael t'Anaka & Centurion Lyirru tr'Illialhae & Sublieutenant Varuh tr'Krell & Valkis tr'Tellus

Mission: Revealing Truths
Location: Deck 10 - Wardroom
Timeline: MD5 - 1000 Hours

The senior staff was assembled in the wardroom. After the away team's return to the Imperiax late in the night, Volus had instructed them to first stop in to the Medical Bay to have Doctor Sienae check them over, before returning to their living quarters to get cleaned up and to have a well earned rest. Less than seven hours later, everyone had gathered to learn more of Dhael's mission on Trelleb V and whether or not she'd been successful.

Before getting to that though, Volus wanted an update on his Tal Diann Master's plans for Major Kaol as it painted a very large target on the ship and its crew; a target that the Tal Shiar were likely to pursue in earnest.

"Lieutenant, I trust that you have something in mind for the Major?" he inquired of Valkis. "I've felt the wrath of the Tal Shiar before and it's not something that I would like to go through again."

"I want to retrieve his information. I want to know everything he knows," Valkis said calmly. "And then I will clean up." His voice had changed into a dangerous tone.

Concerned with what was just said, the Commander pressed on the matter some more. "Has he done anything to warrant you treating him this way? His history within the Tal Shiar aside, he is still Romulan. And therefore he is still subject to the laws that govern the Empire." Although it was completely possible that the whole matter went beyond the Guard and was between the two intelligence organizations.

"Commander, with all due respect, but this is a matter between the Tal Diann and the Tal Shiar. They are out of control, and we make sure that they do not overthrow our government. Regardless of what he did or not, he is a hostile spy. And I treat him like one. Believe me this, I do not like it that way, but whatever happens, we cannot let him survive. Then we can at least profit from his knowledge and prevent a situation like this the next time. We were polite long enough. We ignored that the Tal Shiar attacks our laws, even our constitution, and nobody stops them. It is time to act." Valkis was absolutely serious about it. "They went too far."

Lyirru nodded in agreement. "We can not simply allow this to continue. The Empire isn't as strong as it once was but allowing the Tal Shiar to run amuck will only allow the Romulan people to slip further away from galactic stage."

"I understand that there are institutions that are to check and balance the Tal Shiar. The Tal Shiar court for instance and - nominally - the Praetor and the Senate." Varuh added. "However, I also understand that said institutions have not been enough to keep the Tal Shiar at bay and make it fulfill its original duties to the Empire and D'Era. Given the circumstances now and our experiences with them, I stongly believe that my father was assassinated by rogue Tal Shiar elements while being an investigator for the Tal Shiar Court. And we had our share of experience with them, too. Remember the issues we had with the sensor phalanx after recommissioning the Imperiax, Sir. Remember the war almost started between Empire and Federation at Tarod. Remember us covering up for them on Xolecis. And now this. With all due respect, Sir...I must concur with Valkis. This has to stop."

"I do not disagree with your observations," Volus told them. "The Tal Shiar practically ruined my military career and I was only allowed to return to duty because the Empire needed experienced commanders following the destruction of the homeworlds. You need to consider the remainder of the nearly four hundred crew that are aboard this ship. I don't dispute that perhaps something should be done, but it must be with caution and without condemning everyone aboard into a war with the Tal Shiar. We all know what they are capable of and if they should ever learn about what you plan to do to the Major, then many lives will be put at risk. All I urge is for you to be careful."

Varuh sratched his had and thought hard. Then he spoke up.

"I wonder, whether we can turn this against them. I hardly believe that there is enough salvageable material from their capital ship left to trace any leads from their demise towards us. In fact, we can reinforce the assumption that the ship has been sabotaged from within. We have rescued the Major from his shuttle as being able to be testified by the hangar bay crew and the security detail. We were proceeding by standard procedures as we did not know exactly what he was doing there nor could we confirm his identity in due time."

He smiled evilly - a feat most disturbing given his cleanly shaven head displaying mourning tattoos.

"IF however, we would be able to know his Tal Shiar override codes - or use old ones even" he glanced over to Valkis "...we could have him try to 'escape' the Imperiax for whatever reason in the salvaged shuttle and - most unfortunately suffer lethal decompression trauma caused by failing internal shuttle integrity. All we need is to have a man in a space suit 'escorting' him and then set course to let's say Federation or Cardassian space, accelerate to I guess three-quarters impulse. This would be enough to cause a rupture in their hull with the desired effect - the shuttle falling apart totally. Then we start a rescue operation while contacting both Tal Shiar and Tal Shiar court and inform them instantly of the odd behavior of one of their agents, find his corpse together shortly afterwards with some 'evidence' of high treason - like Borg nanites, secret plans or whatever. Voilá: instant scapegoat being a high-ranking double agent for the Federation or believe it: the Cardassian Obsidian Order. Such a heinous act of treason does truly call for inquisitional matters within the Tal Shiar and open some currently blind eyes in the senate, doesn't it? In this case we would leave this scenario as white knights and untarnished honor. I would even volunteer piloting the shuttle. Just a little idea I had."

"I like it. Gets rid of the 'problem' and keeps our hands clean. I'd be willing to assist the mission." Lyirru added nodding.

"The most important thing is that we are not afraid. There is no mnhei'sahe in fear," Valkis added, "yet one should not be too carefree. I support the plan."

"And I think four hundred hands on the Imperiax would weigh not much when compared to the casualties a civil war emerging as logical conclusion of the Tal Shiar's antics." Varuh added.

Dhael had sat back and listened whilst the others discussed the fate of Kaol. She hated him. She hated the Tal Shiar. And yet...

"What you're proposing is as devious and underhanded as they are." she finally uttered. "Murdering him will make us as bad as the organization we all agree we oppose." she added, "Don't get me wrong, I hate the Tal Shiar probably more than most thanks to my dear, beloved parents." her voice was like venom as she mentioned her mother and father, "But I'm not sure that I want to be part of a cold blooded, premeditated murder. That's their signature dish, not mine."

Volus had to agree with the Subcommander. "As I have said, I urge caution. We are one ship. We cannot wage a war by ourselves against them." He looked towards the Tal Diann Master. "Valkis, you said that this is a matter between the Diann and the Shiar, then for now let it remain that way. Do not involve any member of this crew in your plans." The Commander regarded both Lyirru and Varuh. "That includes the both of you as well. Do not get involved. A time may yet come when it will be required of us to act against them but now is not that time. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Sir." Varuh replied. He trusted Volus in chosing the right way for them out of this mess. The V'ashnu, a capital ship with all hands lost is nothing the Tal Shiar would ignore. He was sure Kaol's life was forfeit - one way or the other - to keep the Imperiax safe. Keeping Galae out of this and letting the Diann duke it out with the Shiar was maybe the best option. He still felt uncomfortable with being recognized as devious and underhanded as Tal Shiar personel but then his father - Tal Shiar himself - had been a good teacher. A too good teacher, he mused. He wondered what might have become of him if he had chosen a different career path.

"With all due respect, sir, we are involved." Lyirru replied before sighing. "But will differ to your judgement." The Commander had a point, there was no point in turning into Klingons to solve Romulan problems. They were more civilised than the Klingons after all.

Valkis nodded. "In this case I am forced to claim Major Kaol as prisoner of the Tal Diann. His holding cell will be under my control only, and it is up to me, and only me, to interrogate him and execute any orders given by the Tal Diann. I hope that I made myself clear."

"No!" The words were out of Dhael's mouth before she could stop them. She glared at Valkis for a moment then turned to Volus, "Tell me that you won't allow this. It's your ship and he's your prisoner."

"That may be so," the Commander said, partly agreeing with his first officer's statement. "But we have no choice in the matter. Commands from either intelligence branch often supersede those from the military. We are already enemies of the Tal Shiar. I do not wish to become the Tal Diann's. Frankly, I do not really care what Valkis does with the Major." Beyond compassion, Volus couldn't really understand why Dhael seemed to.

"Yes Sir." Dhael replied, the muscles in her jaw clenching with anger as she fought back a further retort. It wasn't like she could say what she was really thinking in this situation right now.

"Just to touch on Lyirru's comment regarding our involvement in this incident," Volus began as he turned his attention to the Centurion. "Yes, we are involved in a way. I do not contest that. However, we will follow protocol as we normally would." The Commander began to recite as if he were transcribing a log. This obviously wasn't the first time he'd been through something like this. "While traversing through this sector, we picked up a disturbance on long range sensors; a collapsed singularity once belonging to a Romulan starship. We altered our heading to investigate. Once we arrived, we discovered that the debris belonged to a Tal Shiar destroyer, the I.R.V. V'ashnu. A number of scans were completed to determine the reason behind the containment failure of the V'ashnu's singularity core. No survivors or escape pods could be found in the area." For all intents and purposes it was true. The entire crew was dead. That included Kaol. He wasn't now but it was unlikely that he'd be alive once Valkis was done with him. "Does that satisfy you Centurion?" Volus asked.

Lyirru nodded, "I meant no disrespect, Commander. The Tal Shiar annoy me with their dealings. It will not help the Romulan people in the future. That being said, my logs will fully support your version of events." He said with a respectful nod.

"As I will support this with the analysis results of the debris cloud. The readings we have are beyond doubt." Varuh added.

Volus didn't really expect anything less from his crew. He appreciated that they valued his experience as a commanding officer. With the topic of Major Kaol and the Tal Shiar dealt with, it was time to move on to other matters. "Moving on. As you are all aware, days ago we went to the Trelleb System although the reason why we did so was never revealed to you." The Commander then looked over to his First Officer so that she could explain the situation.

"We travelled there because I was contacted by an old friend." Dhael began as everyone turned their attention to her, "He told me that he had information on what really happened to the Hobus star system. Unfortunately, Kaol interrupted us and killed him." she explained, the hurt at her friend's needless death visible in her eyes. "But not before he gave me this." she reached out and set a tiny data chip on the desk.

Valkis knew that information could be worth millions of lives. Yet he wondered which kind of information the chip might contain. "And what do we find on this?"

"That is the question Lieutenant," Volus said as he leaned back in his chair. Since Dhael's trip to Trelleb V he'd been eager to find out the secret information that her friend supposedly had. They were moments away now. He looked to his First Officer. "The datachip was given to you, Subcommander. You have the honor of revealing its contents."

With a nod, Dhael activated the viewscreen in the middle of the table then inserted the data chip into the computer terminal beneath it. A series of blueprints began to display accompanied by pages of text.

"This is not what I expected," the Commander commented. It was obvious from Volus' facial expression that he was a little disappointed with what appeared to be on the datachip. Although he had no idea what to really expect from its contents beforehand, he'd hoped for some clear-cut answers. "It appears to be technical data for some sort of device."

Looking over at Varuh, Dhael said "It looks as if you're going to have some work to do." she turned her attention back to the viewscreen, wondering what the device was and how it was connected to Hobus.

"I'll help Varuh look these over. Two sets of eyes will be better than one." Lyirru said volunteering his services.

"Much appreciated, Lyirru. I wonder, what that is." The engineer answered.

"Find out," Volus told them. "Make it your top priority but keep this matter discreet. No one beyond this room is to know of this discovery until we have more information."

Lyirru nodded, if indeed the Hobus supernova was done deliberately then he would not sleep until they could uncover the truth so he could avenge the needless death of his family and so many others.

Varuh's spine crawled. The plans of the device could answer some questions but give raise to many many more to which he might not like the corresponding answers. Nevertheless it was his duty to D'era to try and do his best in uncovering its secrets.

* * * * *


+++++ ALPHA-ONE SECURITY ENCRYPTION +++++

Commander's log, supplemental. In two days, the Imperiax will be arriving at Starbase Dha'Rhi where I expect we will be staying for a few days while we wait for our new orders from Galae Command. Until that time I am left to ponder the contents of a report that was submitted to me earlier today. Centurion Lyirru and Sublieutenant Varuh have completed their analysis of the datachip that was given to Dhael. Her contact may have been correct in saying that the truth about what really happened in the Hobus System, eight months ago, is contained within it. The datachip contains plans for a weapon of devastating power. From the simulations that were run by my officers, this weapon unnaturally accelerates the growth of a stable star and forces it to go supernova. The energy that is then released, is harnessed, and redirected to a specific target. This might serve to explain why Romulus and Remus were the only planets affected by the Hobus shockwave. It is gravely concerning to me that someone has obtained the power to unleash this type of devastation. What is even more concerning is that it happened in Romulan Space. Who designed this weapon? Why was the Tal Shiar trying to obtain the datachip from Dhael's friend? Do they know who was responsible? Were they the ones who were responsible? Suggesting that... is dangerous. Lyirru and Varuh could not get me any further answers. It seems that in the files, there is no indication as to who is the mastermind behind this weapon of mass destruction. For now, we have no leads. I can only hope that something will come up at some point in the future. I want to see this through and find the person behind the destruction of the Hearthworlds. They must pay for the deaths of so many. We will keep looking. The truth will be revealed... in time.

 

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