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Tor'kath, "Enough Of This"

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((Interrogation Room, Unknown Warship - Orbit Around Zakdorn))
::Finally getting the resolution to his burning questions, Tor'kath was relieved to know that the endeavor had been successfully completed. The pilot Mar Valek had managed to secure the objective, and having finally broken the Starfleet captain Renos, he was certain that the warship's true intent at Zakdorn was still secure. He was ready to return Renos to nir own ship and disappear into the ethers, but his henchman had accidentally administered a mortal blow to the captive. Tor'kath had already risked the anonymity of his ship and the organization it belonged to by interjecting against the Darwin; if its captain was killed by his hands then all hopes of remaining incognito would be lost as Starfleet hunted them through known space. Tor'kath was close to panic.::
Tor'kath: Quit your simpering excuses, and go fetch a medical officer! He's breathing, but barely! ::standing and shaking a quivering fist at the henchman:: I swear, if you've killed him and brought the wrath of Starfleet against us, I'll shove that painstik down your throat!
::Sullenly, the henchman fled from the room, leaving Tor'kath to stand there and wonder why the fates continued to conspire against him. As if bidden by his sour thoughts, a slight shuddering shook the deckplates of the warship.::
Zixo: =/\= Tor'kath to the bridge. Immediately. =/\=
Tor'kath: oO Why me? Why now? This was so close to being resolved!! Oo
::Casting one last desperate glance over the prone form of the J'naii captive, Tor'kath sprinted from the room enroute to the bridge, to see what else the fates had in store for him.::
((Bridge, Unknown Warship - Orbit Around Zakdorn))
Tor'kath: Report!
::Entering the bridge, Tor'kath witnessed the USS Darwin displayed prominently on the viewscreen. Its orbit appeared perilously close to Zakdorn, and if he wasn't mistaken the hull was starting to glow as it encountered the thin exosphere around the planet.::
Tassa: The Darwin is going down. The dumb fools drifted too close to the planet, and they'll probably burn up in the atmosphere. Good riddance.
Zixo: Warp drive is online, and we're ready to leave. The Darwin is hailing us, though.
::The warship's commanding officer was highly conflicted. On one hand, Tor'kath would like nothing more than to beam Renos back to the Darwin and high-tail it out of the system, leaving the Federation starship to its fate. However, he also knew that if the Darwin was destroyed, then Starfleet would never rest until they tracked him down.::
Tor'kath: What is the Darwin's status?
Zixo: Shields down, venting plasma, ship-wide system failures. It's in rough shape, Tor'kath.
Tassa: So what? They stuck their nose where it didn't belong, and now they're paying the price for their sanctimonious actions. Let's just leave and be done with it.
::The helmsman's dismissive attitude grated on Tor'kath. She wasn't looking at the full picture. If everything went south and their identity was determined by Starfleet, and the full force of the military arm of the Federation rained down on their organization, she could claim innocence through compliance of orders. Tor'kath would have no such protection from the wrath of his superiors.::
Zixo: Their commanding officer is hailing again, Tor'kath.
Tor'kath: ::indecisive, conflicted:: Patch it through, audio only.
Thomas: =/\= Captain, we have sustained a catastrophic problem with out power grid and we are drifting into the atmosphere. Our Chief Engineer is incapacitated…….and….we need help. Blasted, hate this more than you can imagine, but, please help. I’m not sure we’ll get power online soon enough to pull up from the atmosphere. =/\=
::Tor'kath was torn. He could hear the stress in the man's voice, and he could see the ventral hull of the Darwin continuing to glow brighter on the viewscreen. But, what could he do? What was the right choice? He cursed the fact that it had come to this. He had signed up to pick up a shuttle in neutral space, and whisk it away undetected. It was never supposed to get this involved and complicated. Now, he had a Starfleet captain in his possession, dying or already dead by his hands, and a Starfleet ship he had attacked that was about to be destroyed. And all of this was most likely recorded by the Zakdorns.::
Thomas: =/\= Captain, please. Do you really want a Starfleet vessel to go down with your name written all over the evidence. Don’t do this, please. We don’t have anything that you want…..but you do us. Please help us and return our Captain and we’ll be on our way. Captain, we don’t have much time. =/\=
::Putting voice to his own thoughts, the Darwin's interim commanding officer confirmed the worst case scenario. Should the Darwin perish, all blame would be placed on Tor'kath. He couldn't allow that to happen. With an exasperated sigh, he paced the deck in indecisive contemplation for a full minute before finally issuing a barked order.::
Tor'kath: Bring us back into orbit of Zakdorn. Lock a tractor on the Darwin and pull it to a safe orbit. Then, beam their captain back to them. Once that's done, we're warping the heck out of here.
Tassa: What?! That's the stupidest -
Tor'kath: ::exploding:: Shut up and do what I say! The sooner this is done, the sooner we leave!
::Sullenly, the helmsman brought the warship back into place around Zakdorn, and the tactical officer prepared a tractor beam. During the moments it took to do this, Tor'kath watched with growing concern as the Darwin's hull continued to ablate in the heat and friction of the atmosphere. The bulbous dome of the ship;s forward section appeared to take the brunt of the damage, as the ship sunk lower and lower into the atmosphere. He started to become nervous that he had waffled for too long, and that his efforts would become too little, too late.::
Zixo: We're in position, preparing tractor beam... Wait, Tor'kath, I'm detecting a surge of power from the Darwin!
::In total disbelief, Tor'kath felt himself frozen in place as he watched the Darwin break its descent and maneuver into an advantageous position. Having turned their backs to the Darwin in order to maximize their tractoring efforts, they now found themselves at a tactical disadvantage to the Starfleet vessel as it opened fire on them.::
Zixo: Dammit! We're in range of the Zakdorn satellites again! They're firing... brace for impact!
::The warship shuddered violently as it was plastered from all sides by incoming fire. Finding his seat, Tor'kath swore loudly as he came to the realization that the Darwin had stolen a move from his own playbook and used it against him.::
Tor'kath: Return fire! Full shields! Get us out of here! ::jabbing a finger at the ship on the viewscreen:: Hurt them in the process!
Zixo: They have no shields on their sphere section, concentrating fire there!
::Their own phasers and torpedoes rained down on the top of the Darwin's forward structure, resulting in heavy explosions. The warship's tactical officer, fully aware that Starfleet design places a ship's bridge on their uppermost deck, tried to permanently disable the Darwin by destroying its command center. Based on the damage dealt, the starship should have been dead in the water if the breached and smoking top deck was any indication, but it continued coming strong.::
Zixo: We're losing shields, Tor'kath! We need to get away from the Zakdorn defenses!
Tor'kath: Enough of this! Prepare to leave, maximum warp -
Henchman: =/\= Chech'tluth to Tor'kath! I arrived back to the interrogation room with a medic, just in time to see the prisoner being transported off the ship! We've lost him! =/\=
::This was their ruse all along? To attack them just long enough to get their captain back? Tor'kath laughed at the irony of it all, considering that he was just about to send their captain back anyways.::
Tassa: The enemy is engaging warp, they're getting away!
Tor'kath: Good riddance. To both Renos and the Darwin. Plot a course back to safe space, maximum warp.
::Aimed in the opposite direction that the Darwin had departed in, the warship jumped to warp, escaping the barrage of the Zakdorn defenses and the terrible set of circumstances that they should have never encountered in the first place. Though the battle was done, Tor'kath's trials were only just beginning. He would have to answer for all that had transpired to his superiors, and it would not be a cordial meeting.::
Tor'kath: Transmit the following message to the Darwin, audio only. =/\= It never had to be this way. You forced my hand from the beginning, and the status of your captain and your ship are on your own shoulders. If I never see your accursed ship again, it'll be too soon. =/\=
Zixo: Transmission sent, though I cannot confirm whether they've received it or not.
::Slumped in the captain's chair, Tor'kath barely acknowledged the statement. He was drained, and wanted nothing more than to hide away from the universe. He had the objective in hand, but at what cost? He had engaged Starfleet, and they would not forget that, and neither would his superiors. This was a hollow victory.::
Tor'kath: ::mumbling:: I don't care. Just take us home.
MSPNPC Tor'kath aka Raikenoff - Commanding Officer, Unknown Warship
~as simmed by~
LtCmdr Maxwell Traenor - Chief Science Officer, USS Darwin NCC-99312-A
Graphic Contest Taskforce =/\= Publicity Team
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