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The Twisted Knife

Posted on Sun May 24th, 2020 @ 7:02pm by Commander Jacob Kane

Mission: In the Family
Location: USS Athena - Bridge
Timeline: MD-5 - Concurrent with 'Negotiations'

Kane watched from the bridge as the small cluster of Paratan ships loomed over the moon that lit up the viewscreen. They were small. Barely the size of a Nova-class starship; maybe longer but narrower in shape. Like cigars floating into orbit. Then they opened fire on a small area of the surface - plasma-based weaponry, from the looks of it. Similar to the ones he'd seen attacking them a few days earlier.


"The site has been levelled," Lt Dash reported from Tactical. "Reduced to craters."

He waited, seeing them turn and head back towards the planet. Over in seconds, apparently.

"Commander, we're being hailed by the Glory."

Kane straightened his uniform as he motioned for them to put it up. Duke Alonso's face appeared in front of him.

"It appears we have survived, my friend. I thank you." The Duke nodded gratefully.

"I'm not your friend," Kane replied tersely. "We arranged this to stop the murder of you and your people because of our incidental interference. The ship you're on is disarmed and under remote control. And there you will remain, for now."

"As you say, sir." The Duke nodded again.

"Commander. One of those Paratan ships is altering course. Looks like they're running scans on the Glory." The report from Kevan at tactical was not entirely welcome. Kane's jaw tightened as he glanced over. There was no reason for them to be approaching or running scans without due cause. They were deliberately looking at the Glory. But why?

"Alas, it looks like I may be needing your help again, Commander..." Alonso shrugged on the screen. Kane could see the look in his eye.

"You did something. What did you do?" he growled. Alonso's sheepish grin was enough of a giveaway. Again, he just shrugged.

"I have been fighting for many years, sir. I am not as helpless nor foolish as you expected me to be. Now you face another problem: will you continue to protect us, or not? This time our blood will be on your hands, of course..."

Kane scowled. This entire mission was starting to feel like playing poker with Romulans and Cardassians. If one didn't stab you in the back, they'd probably be handing the other one the knife. He landed a fist on the armrest of his center chair, then glared at the Ensign at Ops to cut the channel.

"Damn..." he muttered. In employing a little subterfuge to get out of causing an incident, he was about to cause another one through the underhanded tactics of this idiotic Duke.

"That Paratan ship is closing, sir. Orders?"

Kane eyed the situation. Another rock-and-a-hard-place call. Either let the men die - on board a Federation-licenced vessel - or defend them and cause yet more problems with the Paratans. They needed another option.

"Hail the Paratans."

"Channel open."

"This is Commander Kane of the USS Athena. You are approaching a Federation vessel. State your business." He let it hang a moment.

"No response, sir." That was frustrating. And odd; the Paratans weren't supposed to be this belligerent. At least, not in a situation like this.

"Fine. Lock a tractor beam on the Glory. Keep them out of range of those Paratan ships." Kane paused. "And set a course to return back to Paratus IV." He leaned back in his chair. "I think it's about time Duke Alonso returned home."

Commander Jacob Kane
Commanding Officer
USS Athena


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