[USS Vanguard] The Morning After the Nightmare Before

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:14:35 +0100 (BST)

[After 'Coyote Kate's Ranch goooooes bye, bye!' (Mark)]

?Those polymer encounter suits they wear are pretty spectacular.? Santos 
observed, leaning on the remainder of the rail alongside Kieran. ?I?d have 
thought a slug of this calibre would have put a pretty big hole in it.?

?I hit him with one of the tranquilliser rounds.? Kieran admitted, with a 
shrug. ?The memetic polymers were more than capable of sealing that hole, there 
wasn?t even much of a coolant leak.? Cynan?s face darkened as he overheard, 
drawing near.

?I thought you were using live rounds?? Santos arched an eyebrow.

?I didn?t have time to change ammunition and get in position.? Kieran 
explained, not looking up. It wasn?t entirely true, but it would do for an 
official explanation. He turned, and could see from Cynan?s expression there 
was likely to be an unofficial explanation as well.

?So, what do you have for me?? The Commodore enquired, now that both were 

?Conjecture, mainly. We don?t know nearly as much about the Breen as we?d like.?

?More than we need to.? Cynan put in.

?We?ve recalibrated the Breen disruptors with a stun setting, so we?ve improved 
armaments, though in limited supply.? Kieran pointed to the small row of 
metallic green weapons on a hastily repaired table nearby.

?Once the patient?s stabilised we?d be better advised to pull back to the town, 
secure a single area.? Cynan offered, gesturing to the remains of the farmstead.

?Agreed.? Santos nodded, a conclusion he?d already come to himself. ?Looking 
ahead, though, what are they after??

?They aren?t.? Kieran?s observation caught them both a little, and he turned to 
begin counting items off on his fingers. ?Breen are arrogant to the point of 
xenophobia ? they don?t cooperate with locals unless they?re forced into it. 
Their only alliances on record have been of mutual distance or their strange 
relations with the Dominion. They don?t operate singly, they always come in 
groups. It?s possible the remainder of this one?s group are injured or dead, 
but given the pristine condition of his equipment, unlikely.

Breen occupy territory en masse, they establish staging posts on the ground and 
operate terrestrial campaigns ? sensors didn?t show anything of the sort when 
we came in. Coupled with the fact that Breen don?t operate scouting missions 
that we know of ? they believe they?re good enough to simply move in ? and they 
don?t trade for commodities, there?s no reason for them to be here. 
Strategically this planet is unimportant, economically it isn?t much better, as 
if that would concern them.

There?s no reason for a typical Breen to be here, alone.?

?Reasonable, so far. There are some big assumptions in there, given that we 
don?t know a great deal about the Breen.? The Commodore was wary, but it wasn?t 
too far-fetched, so far.

?So we?re left with the possibilities that he?s here by accident ? a crash, 
most likely ? or for some reason he?s a renegade.?

?With a Damping Field?? Cynan interjected.

?That?s the catch. Breen don?t typically employ them, and from the signals I?ve 
been able to measure there are three here, laid out to cover this area.?

?Stolen?? Santos asked.

?Do Breen have thieves?? Cynan queried.

?Every society has thieves," Kieran observed, "even if they don?t have money. 
It?s a possibility, it would definitely make him a rogue if he is. The 
implication, though, is that if he is a renegade, someone may be looking for 

?And sending up a craft with a Breen warp-signature is just going to bring them 
crashing down on us?? Santos finished. Kieran could only shrug.

?It?s conjecture, but it fits the facts as we know them.?

?You?ve triangulated the damping field emitters?? Kieran nodded. ?Right, Mr 
Mandrake I want you to take them out, if you can. More information is the 
priority, at the moment.?

?Are you going ahead with the launch?? Kieran asked.

?I? let?s see how things pan out. I?m not ruling anything out yet. Get to it, I 
have to check on our ?patient?.? With nothing to add, the two junior officers 
watched the Commodore go.

Sighing, Kieran turned to face Cynan, ready for the blast.

?Didn?t have time to get in position and change ammunition?? It wasn?t even 
worth defending the statement, which only seemed to irritate Mandrake more. ?I 
told you to use live ammunition.?

?It wasn?t necessary, and there wasn?t time to argue.?

?That wasn?t your call!?

?It was my finger on the trigger. My nightmares, my sleepless nights. I chose 
not to kill anyone, and now we have a source of information we might not 
otherwise have had.?

?You endangered all of us, and put the Prime Directive at risk.?

?The Prime Directive is shot to hell here, and you know. Breen interference, 
energy weapons, warp-drive, damping fields, tric??

?I was the ranking officer, I gave you an order!? Cynan interrupted, his voice 
chilling for the quiet as much as anything.

?So charge me.? Kieran snapped back, his eyes narrowing. ?If it?s that 
important to you, charge me. Call for an inquiry, lay your charges, and give me 
a few days off in my quarters whilst a tribunal?s convened. And while your 
waiting, try to decide what it is that irritates you more: the fact that I 
didn?t kill your enemy, or the fact that I didn?t agree with your decision.?


?I want to go to my quarters when we get back and sleep easily knowing that I?m 
better than the sort of scum we look down upon, scum like the Breen. If I shoot 
to kill first chance I get, I can?t do that. You can, you personalise 
confrontations, and let loose your ?swift and terrible anger?. That anger?s 
there already ? it?s here now. That?s the issue, not a tranquilliser round.?

Silence held for a few moments, Cynan?s glower deepening.
?I?ll be saddling horses, it?s about fifteen miles to the first emitter.? 
Turning away he couldn?t help the itch between his shoulders.

To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! 
Security Centre.

USS Vanguard: http://www.ncv80221.net/default.htm
Vanguard Archives: http://www.freelists.org/archives/ncv80221
FreeLists: http://www.freelists.org

Trying to contact the USS Vanguard managers? Send an email to:

Other related posts:

  • » [USS Vanguard] The Morning After the Nightmare Before