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Jarred Thoran

MSNPC Grand Admiral Lorrein Dels’an - The Secret Is Out

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((Ambassador’s Yacht Kirym - Somewhere in the Kaleth Woods, Tibro))

 

Thoran: Ambassador, how long do you think it will take for somebody to pick up the signal and make tracks towards us?

 

Too soon for her liking. If she were General Asil she would have a special operations team waiting to depart Keibrom as soon as the distress signal was detected armed to the teeth. Thankfully she was not like such a contemptible officer. Perhaps he was in no hurry to confirm the success. But in her heart, she knew they were on the way. If Asil planned for the crash to kill her, he wouldn’t be so subtle as to switch off helm control rather than plant a bomb.

 

Dels’an: Around an hour if they were ready to leave as soon as they received the signal. Perhaps we will be fortunate and the assassins are ill-prepared. At most I would expect them to make it here within two hours. It’s imperative that we are not here when they arrive.

 

McKnight: We need to go, now. Whoever wanted us dead will most likely send someone to make sure we are.

 

Dels’an: Indeed.

 

Serala: About that plan of yours, Commander Revix. It’s very noble of you, Commander. Especially for a group of non-Rihannsu. However, in my opinion, sir, it would be best if we all remained together. The more of us there are, the better our chances of survival are.

 

Divided into smaller groups they would only make it easier to pick them off one by one.

 

Revix: Response

 

Thoran: Commander Serala does make an excellent point. It would make us easier to track, presuming anybody comes looking for us, but our odds are better together.

 

Dels’an: These will not be poorly-trained troops. If you are caught alone you’ll die.

 

She could speak with authority on that point. Only two years earlier she had been the primary author of the new standards for Advanced Combat Training in the Valcarian armed forces.

 

Serala: Sir, in my condition, this isn’t going to do me much good. And since our man has a weapon, it seems only right you should be armed as well. Especially if you have reason to believe your life is also a target for your enemies.

 

Revix: Response

 

Serala: Captain, Ambassador. It seems there may be a few more weapons if either of you would like one. But I sincerely hope they won’t be necessary. If we are fortunate, someone on our side will have noticed our absence and will find us before our enemy or enemies do.

 

Thoran: Thank you Commander.

 

Lorrein accepted the phaser she was offered. After switching it to a higher power level, she holstered the weapon and began to assist Jarol in collecting the final equipment in preperation for their departure.

 

Dels’an: Thank you, Commander Serala.

 

Revix/McKnight/Nehir: Responses

 

 

((Timeskip: An hour later.))

((Abandoned Outpost - Somewhere in the Kaleth Woods, Tibro))

 

The trek through the woods had involved considerably less weapons fire than she had predicted it might. The wildlife had mostly remained out of their way and she had yet to hear the telltale sounds of engines that would indicate they were discovered. Even at the distance of the outpost, they would hear anyone approaching from a distance towards the crash site. Nobody was waiting to ambush them at the outpost itself, only a thick layer of moss and vines covering the door.

 

Serala: Well, we’re here. Home sweet home.

 

Thoran: Home. Yes.

 

Lorrein looked around the outpost and saw exactly what she was expecting. The featureless metal walls were bare and most of the furniture and equipment not bolted down was gone. The engineers assigned to decommission the base had done a very thorough job. The Starfleet marine began searching the rooms ahead of them.

 

McKnight: We're clear. Looks like no one's been here in a long time. 

 

Dels’an: This outpost has been out of service for nineteen years. The last people here were a team of technicians who removed anything left of value.

 

Revix/Nehir: Responses

 

Serala: :: looking at the wounded woman :: How is she doing? That trip could not have been easy for her.

 

She had been checking on Commander Faris frequently, always careful to remain by the people carrying the stretcher when she was not doing so herself. The commander was her most trusted staff member, and Lorrein had no intention of leaving her side during the officer’s time of need. Isona had earned at least that much loyalty.

 

Thoran: She is in critical condition. If she doesn’t receive medical attention soon then I doubt she will make it.

 

Dels’an: When we find those responsible, heads will roll!

 

Anyone who she found to be remotely connected to the sabotage attempt would be wise to find the farthest and darkest corners of the empire and hide there. Lorrein was furious. There would be no hiding place remote enough to keep her from finding them. And then she would find General Asil and Director Varus.

 

Revix/Nehir: Responses

 

Serala: Amuro, that fancy gadget of yours on your arm. Do you think you could use it to reach the ship? Maybe tie into your commbadge? Not trying to be funny here, and I know our supply of tools is severely limited, but I’m not an engineer and I am grasping for ideas here.

 

McKnight: Sorry, ma'am. I can't even tell where exactly we are without navigational data.  Hopefully, the Atlantis will know something is up, since we haven't checked it.

 

Revix/Nehir: Responses 

 

Thoran: Regardless the idea has merit. It can’t make our situation any worse. I’d also recommend that we take the time to search the area for supplies and post a lookout in the observation tower.

 

Nehir/Revix/Serala: Responses

 

Dels’an: I am unsure what of use the decommissioning team would have left behind, but it might be worth the time to search.

 

Commander Thoran removed the communicator badge from his uniform and threw it to Jarol, who caught it with one hand.

 

Thoran: If you hear, see or even smell anything that seems out of place, contact us immediately.

 

Dels’an: We will, Commander Thoran.

 

Revix: Response

 

Thoran: We will search the surrounding rooms, see if we can find any supplies.

 

Nehir/Serala: Responses

 

Dels’an: If you will excuse me, Commander Revix. I must attend to my wounded crewmember.

 

Revix: Response

 

Isona was barely clinging to life. The bleeding had stopped, frozen by the winter cold and the pressure of the blankets she had been wrapped in for the journey. Lorrein held the commander’s hand, which felt like that of an ice sculpture. There was barely any hint that she was still among the living.

 

Dels’an: Asil and Varus won’t get away with this. Once we take the throne they’ll wish they never showed their faces in the Outlying Territories…

 

The Outlying Territories had always been her domain. She had brought a few of the planets under the empire’s control herself in the many campaigns that she had waged. Lorrein had homes on each major world in the territories and had forged most of her legendary career in the region. Field Marshal Gatol had come to her realm, tried to kill her, and harmed her people. She didn’t realize her mistake until she turned to see the surprised looks of the Romulan and Starfleet officers who had been in the room to hear that little piece of information.

 

Revix: Response

 

Anyone: Response(s)

 

Well, there was no way to unsay that...

 

((Flashback - The Imperial Grand Palace at Ghrandla - Valcaria - 239610.07))

 

The atmosphere in the War Council meeting chamber was even more tense than it usually was. The death of the Chief Advisor two weeks earlier had shook the entire upper level of Valcarian leadership. Everyone wondered who would be Emperor Altharra’s new right hand. And the loss of his most trusted advisor had only left the already-ill Altharra in an even more alarming condition.

 

Lorrein was seated at the ornate round table on Altharra’s right. On his left was Field Marshal Gatol. Director of State Security Afflor, Commandant Kryon, and the new Overseer of Planetary Defense were also at the table. As always, two elite-troopers silently stood watch over the meeting from the door. They had just finished with status reports, and Field Marshal Gatol had been the first to bring up the looming question of the Chief Advisor post.

 

Gatol: Your majesty, there is also the matter of appointing a new Chief Advisor. There are many candidates who…

 

Altharra: No. There will be time enough for that later, Field Marshal.

 

Field Marshal Gatol was a stubborn, narcissistic, and self-serving monster. But, just like a broken ship’s chronometer, he could still occasionally be right. Leaving the physically drained emperor with no clear heir was a crisis waiting to happen.

 

Dels’an: Your majesty, I must concur with Field Marshal Gatol. It is important that the position- ::The Emperor was not following her words, seemingly incapable of keeping focus on anything in the room.:: Are you feeling well, your majesty?

 

There was no reply from the Emperor, only a few attempts to speak followed by his imperial majesty collapsing on the floor. The two etroopers standing guard at the doors rushed to help him. Not detecting any vitals, they began emergency chest compressions in an attempt to revive him. Based on their expressions and the sounds of their scanners, they were less than successful.

 

Trooper: He’s still not breathing! Someone alert the medical center.

 

A wordless conversation was happening between the members of the War Council. They had failed to secure the appointment of an heir to throne only moments earlier, and now the Emperor lay dead on the ground. If they did nothing, the news would leave the room in moments and they would lose control of the situation. Something had to be done.

 

Dels’an: oO Are we really going to do this? Oo

 

The group had reached a silent consensus. Rebellions, declarations of independence, and all manners of destabilization would rock the Valcarian Imperial Republic to its foundations if they had no new leader to reassure the people and maintain control.

 

Gatol: Now.

 

Phaser fire stunned the two etroopers before they would spread the word to the medical center, the rest of the guard, and the Imperial Palace’s clerk to make the announcement to the public. Besides, having the most elite soldiers in the Valcarian Empire running around answerable to no authority was a frightening prospect. She, Gatol, and Kryon lowered their weapons and took their seats back at the table.

 

Afflor: News of what we’ve seen here cannot be known to the public. The situation is too delicate already. Until a successor is in place we can’t risk it. We would have every governor, advisor, and every self-important admiral trying to be the one to be crowned. For the sake of the Empire and the war, this secret remains from the people. Nobody can know until continuity of leadership is re-established.

 

Everyone in the room hated each other. Altharra had chosen his appointees wisely to ensure they could never unite against him in life. But that strategy fell apart upon the occasion of his death. It was going to be a fight to see who could secure their claim first. She knew that at least Gatol and Afflor liked their chances of personally taking the throne. But they all could agree that the fewer people who knew, the better.

 

Dels’an: Agreed.

 

Gatol: Agreed.

 

Kryon: Agreed.

 

Of course, news did spread through the upper echelons of power. But it was still a closely kept secret, with only enough people being told so that battle lines could be drawn up and the fight to put a successor on the throne could be carried out in secret. 

 

((End Flashback))

 

Lorrein had hoped to tell everyone the news in a much more controlled and diplomatically comfortable setting. It would be more helpful in terms of gaining their support and future cooperation with her and her allies. But the cat was out of the bag and it was best to just tell them the truth.

 

Dels’an: Everyone, please come in here for a moment.

 

Revix/Thoran/Serala/McKnight/Nehir: Responses

 

She waited for the Starfleet and Romulan officers to assemble in the main hallway before continuing.

 

Dels’an: You deserve the right to know why I’ve been targeted, and it isn’t just because of diplomacy. ::She sighed, took a deep breath, and continued.:: Emperor Altharra died almost four months ago. He dropped dead right in the middle of a War Council meeting. That’s why I didn’t want the elite-troopers here for our meeting. And that’s why I was targeted. Other factions are also attempting to seize control.

 

Revix/Thoran/Serala/McKnight/Nehir: Responses

 

Dels’an: Myself and those who I’ve aligned with think that throwing endless troops and ships at the Caraadians and having no communication channels built up with foreign powers is not an efficient use of the empire’s resources. I do apologize for withholding this information, but the intention to build bridges is still true. And given the danger that the power struggle has brought upon us, you have the right to know.

 

As she let the information sink in, she surveyed the crowd for their responses. She had no idea how past experiences with the Valcarians and the revelation that Emperor Altharra was gone would sit with them. 

 

Revix/Thoran/Serala/McKnight/Nehir: Responses

 

Grand Admiral Lorrein Dels’an

Ambassador-at-large

Valcarian Imperial Republic

 

===as simmed by===

 

Lieutenant Commander Anath G'Renn

Chief Medical Officer, USS Atlantis

A239402AG0

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