[USS Vanguard] RPG: Project Sirius

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS-Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 08:03:08 -0700 (PDT)

Fleet Captain Dominic Santos
Starbase Brigadoon
After all recent posts

Disguises had been discussed, but Dominic Cesar Santos ruled out
scurrying from his own starbase, especially with St. Cloud hovering

At 1800 the night before they departed Santos received a visitor in his

"Come in," he said.

Denville D'Angelo entered with a PADD.

"Sir, the information you requested," D'Angelo said with a trace of

Santos took the PADD without a word and using his personal code,
unlocked the security D'Angelo had placed on the data.

"Did you cover your tracks?" Santos asked.

D'Angelo tilted his head at him, in a look as close to weariness as
possible without outright insubordination toward his commanding

"Right," Santos said with a trace of a smile. "Forget I said that. And
I probably shouldn't ask how you came by this information."

He handed the PADD back to D'Angelo and looking into the distance,
said: "Have that destroyed."

"Aye, sir," D'Angelo said.

"Good work, Lieutenant," Santos said. "Thank you."

D'Angelo nodded and left.

At 0600 the next morning, Santos met his party at Bay 6.

They were nearly through the umbilicus before a voice stopped them

"Stop where you are."

Santos didn't think it possible that a voice or a single command could
chill an entire room, but then, he had never met anyone quite like
Piers St. Cloud.

Santos turned to face St. Cloud.

"Go on," he told his band.

St. Cloud stepped forward. "I said, 'Stop'!"

Santos noticed St. Cloud was barely checking his anger, and he was
surprised to find it amusing.

Then a feeling of both calm and intense anger enshrouded Santos, and he
was on auto-pilot.

Santos turned to face St. Cloud, Cmdr. Stern, and a contingent of six
security personnel in full assault gear.

"It's overkill, but that's St. Cloud," Santos laughed internally.

"I've been waiting for you, Nick. I've been waiting for you to slip up
and fall into my trap. And how stupid of you to walk right into it."
St. Cloud walked toward him, biting out each word between gritted

This man really hates me, and I still don't know why, Santos thought.
I've made a dangerous enemy for life and now I'm about to turn him
against me forever.

Santos walked toward him. "I want to give you a way out, Piers." One of
the security officers actually laughed.

"Pardon...me?" St. Cloud said increduously.

"You don't want to get in the way of this. I could order you to step
aside. I outrank you. That would be best for everyone."

St. Cloud actually seemed to get bigger as he breathed deeply,

"Corporal, have this man arrested and board this vessel. Have everyone
aboard arrested and placed in the brig."

The security officers lifted their phaser rifles and advanced quickly
toward Santos. He bowed his head. Then the shadow of a grin creased his
face, and for a moment he actually felt ashamed that this should fill
him with glee.

"Belay that order, Corporal," Santos said quietly.

The quiet forcefulness stopped the security. They looked at one
another, unsure of themselves.

"I said 'Arrest that man'!" St. Cloud bellowed.

"Project Libra," Santos said.

He was amused to see St. Cloud's mouth fall open.

"Do you want to discuss that with me, or do you want me to say what I
know in front of these men?"

St. Cloud clapped his hands, and the security personnel lowered their
rifles and backed into the corridor. Margaret Stern looked at him and,
with some defiance, turned and left.

"You don't know anything," St. Cloud said.

"I know that you have been involved in an ultra-secret operation, an
illegal operation to produce ketracyl-white, bring the Jem'Hadar gone
ronin after the war on our side. Column after column of shock troops,
loyal to a few in Starfleet and the Federation."

"I choose to say nothing," St. Cloud said.

"You don't have to."

The silence stretched endlessly.

St. Cloud broke it. "What do you want?"

"I want to go rescue Cynan Mandrake. And I want Vanguard back--you know
what I want."

"No," St. Cloud protested weakly.

"Oh, yes. Otherwise, I will use every contact I know, talk to everyone
who's involved in watchdogging Starfleet and let them know about

"This is blackmail. This is treason."

"What you're doing is treason. When I return, you will have stepped
down from command of the Vanguard and turned her back to us. There is
no negotiation."

"How do I know you'll fulfill your end of the bargain?"

Santos smiled and turned toward the vessel.

"Ask yourself who could have known all this," he shot back.

St. Cloud watched as the vessel withdrew its rampart, obtained
clearance, and departed the docking bay.

He stood there for a long time, wondering how victory could have been
so close only to be snatched away from him. Then he thought about Stern
and what she knew and decided he had to have a word with her.

In space, Desdemona Barrett-Brown approached the captain.

"Everyone's settled in, even the Trills."

"Thank you again, Des."

"You can thank me later. I have to be crazy to expose myself like

Santos nodded. "So what bargain did you strike with Jiggs, anyway?"

"You don't want to know," she said.

Santos smiled and nodded.

"Do you think we'll be in time to save Mandrake?" she asked.

"I don't know, Des. I hope so."

Light-years away, Mandrake's "lieutenant" thumbed the phaser to maximum
and pointed it at Mandrake's head.

"Tell me one reason I shouldn't aerate you...'boss.'"

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