728: Last Stand: One

by Commander Salvek
After An Eternity
Soundtrack: Barbossa is Hungry by Klaus Badelt

-=Aboard the Romulan ship=-

Salvek felt the tide of the battle turning. What was once an Away Team of six, outnumbered four to one by the Romulans, was now a swarm of fifty Serendipity crew, outnumbering the Romulans two to one on their own ship.

The Captain had not taken this battle lightly. Since her team arrived, the transporters provided wave after wave of additional crew.

Arie maintained her position, safe aboard the shuttle. In the hanger, the battle raged on. The Romulans continued to fall as they were now the ones scattering for any cover they could find. Salvek sported a fresh gouge across his chest, where a blast from a Romulan weapon came within a razors edge of ending his life. The front of his uniform was cut and stained green. His flesh burned with every bead of sweat that ran down his skin into the wound.

Still, he pressed on, unfazed by anything happening to him or around him, except for the fact his child was still very much in peril.

From the shuttle, Arie watched her father, on the front line of the battle, wishing very much he would just step to the back. She had seen the shot that nearly took his life, and snapped her eyes shut. No amount of training could have controlled the fear she felt as she slowly cracked her eyes open, expecting to see the Captain kneeling over his fallen body, or the relief she felt when she saw Salvek was still on his feet.

“Captain! Look!” Salvek bellowed over the sound of the battle. He was pointing with his phaser towards a female that had joined the Romulan side of the battle.

“Taris. I see her!” Zanh Liis acknowledged, raising her weapon towards Taris.

The Romulan Commander knew better than to present herself as an easy target, and moved around quickly, keeping cargo containers or other Romulans between herself and the Starfleet crew at all times.

Aboard the shuttle, Arie was once again looking at the controls. Next to the controls for the shields was the weapons display. The shuttle sported two disruptor cannons, which were not much of a match for a ship, but could certainly wreak havoc against a room full of men with hand weapons.

*I really shouldn’t, the adults should handle this. * She thought.

Just in case they needed her help, she locked the weapons on the largest mass of Romulans, at the doorway of the bay. She looked at the turrets mounted on either side of the front of the ship, and determined they were high enough off the ground to be fired safely, without hitting any of the Sera crew.

Still, Romulans or not, she had no desire to kill anyone.

*A warning shot wouldn’t hurt anything, would it? *

She adjusted the aim of the weapons about seven meters over their heads, and began to divert energy into the disruptor banks.

“Why is that thing humming?” TC Blane asked, as he fired his weapon.

“Don’t know,” Zanh Liis answered. “A bomb?”

Salvek looked back over his shoulder, and saw the disruptor banks beginning to glow.

“Back! Everyone get back!” He yelled. It was too late to do anything to stop Arie.

Arie fired the disruptors, and the wall above the Romulan force exploded into a cascade of sparks, jagged metal and molten fragments. With no where to run but deeper into the room, the Romulans escaped death as best they could, only to find themselves surrounded on all sides by Starfleet officers.

“Drop your weapons all of you!” Blane warned, “We’re not using the stun setting anymore.”

Realizing there was no escape, the Romulans accepted their capture, tossing their weapons aside. Salvek dropped his weapon as well, and ran to the shuttle. Arie saw her Oso-mekh approaching, and lowered the shields to allow him aboard. Salvek ran up the ramp and into the cockpit, throwing his arms around Arie.

“Father, you are injured. You must return to the ship.” Arie said.

“I will soon enough. I am just so happy you are safe.”

“Happy?” Arie said, raising her eyebrow and wrinkling her nose at the same time. A gesture only possible if one was the child of a Bajoran and a Vulcan.

“Happy,” Salvek confirmed.

With Arie out of danger, his mind wandered to other matters. He took her hand, and brought her down out of the shuttle. They approached Zanh Liis.

“Kellyn?” Salvek asked first.

“You don’t want to know how close it was,” Liis answered, nodding to indicate that Lair would recover.

In her sweet and innocent way, Arie said the first thing that came to her mind, as she saw the Captain standing beside Keiran O’Sullivan.

“I’m sorry I ruined your Honeymoon.”

Liis dropped to a knee. She was never sure what to say at times like this. “It wasn’t your fault, it was the Romulans. Keiran and I will finish what we started, but we had to come help Lair Arie,” she said with a wink. Arie nodded.

“Taris?” Salvek asked.

“Not among the captured.” O’Sullivan answered.

Liis stood back up, and waved Blane and Lindsay over so they could hear the plan.

“There’s too much damage to the Sera, so I’m going to have Ledbetter shut down every system on the Polaris except life support. We’ll use that ship as a brig for now and tow it back to Starbase. Reece reports no sign of shuttle or escape pod activity, which means Taris is still here. Lindsay, Blane, O’Sullivan and I are going after her.”

She looked at her First Officer. His uniform was bloodied and torn, his skin filthy with dirt and sweat, and his eyes heavy with exhaustion.

“Salvek, your orders are to take your child home to your wife.”

“I will not,” Salvek answered defiantly.

Liis was about to begin issuing orders to Keiran, Will and TC, but stopped suddenly, returning her attention to Salvek.

“What did you say?”

“I will not. Please transport my daughter back to the ship. I am going with you to find Taris,” He shifted his eyes from Zanh Liis to Lair Arie, “She will never hurt you, our family, or anyone else, ever again.”

“You realize that was an order, not a suggestion, Commander?” Zanh Liis asked.

Keiran, Will and TC’s eyes bounced back and forth between the Captain and First Officer, as if observing a tennis match. They were used to Liis being the renegade, and Salvek the voice of reason, not the other way around.

“You may have my commission if you wish. But I will be going with you.”

“I should just have Reece beam you back.”

Salvek did not answer. If the Captain chose that course of action, there was little he could do about it. Zanh Liis stepped away from the group, and tapped her com badge.

“Zanh to Reece.”

[What is thy bidding, my Master?]

“Please beam Arie back to the ship, and see that she finds her way to Lair Kellyn. I want you to have Ledbetter prepare the Polaris to hold the Romulan captives, and beam them over there. Then get our people off this ship. Everyone except myself, O’Sullivan, Lindsay, Blane…” She paused for a moment, still not sure just how she felt about the next words out of her mouth. “And Salvek.”

[Will do. Captain?]

“Yes, Reece?”

[Please be safe. Sera out.]

Liis pulled her weapon up to her chest. “Let’s go.”


Taris ran down the corridor, away from the battle.

It was not over. Her crew was dead or captured, the vessel was swarming with Starfleet, but Taris was never going to give them the satisfaction of victory. Never. She’d destroy the ship and everyone aboard and escape, and start all over again.

She had done it before, she could do it again.

She heard the sounds of another nearby, and crouched down. If it was Starfleet, whoever it was would suffer a quick death. She saw a figure come around the corner, in a Romulan uniform. The man pulled the access cover off of an escape pod hatch, and prepared to crawl inside.

“Tolleth!” She shouted, training her weapon on him. The man froze, looked at Taris, and stepped back out into the corridor.


“Where the hell are you going? Were you going to abandon me, after all I’ve done for you?”

“Of course not,” He replied nervously. The muzzle of her weapon had his undivided attention.

“I thought not. You and I are going to Engineering. We’re going to set an explosive on the warp core, and use the explosion as cover while we get out of here on an escape pod.”

Tolleth knew the likelihood of her plan succeeding was thin. If he left on his own, he may make it back over the border and be rescued by his fellow Romulans. If the Federation captured him, he could trade his own freedom for evidence against Taris. If however he were captured with Taris, the Federation would likely throw the book at him for assisting her escape. If the Romulans found them both together, they would be executed on the spot.

In his mind he calculated just how long it would take him to dive into the escape pod, shut the hatch, and eject the pod. He weighed this versus how quickly Taris could fire and kill him. His eyes shifted towards the hatch, and suddenly he felt his chest burn.

Taris had sensed his indecision, and made the choice for him. Tolleth crumpled to the deck, and Taris was gone an instant later.

For Tolleth, everything went blank. He thought he was dead, until the sound of a voice, and the sensation of his body shaking, awakened him. Through his hazy vision, a man’s face began to take form.

“Where is Taris!” TC Blane yelled again, shaking the man by the front of his uniform.

“Engineering. Explosive.” Tolleth answered, before slipping back into unconsciousness. Blane set him back down on the deck, and the Federation team was gone.

He lay on the deck, unmoving. A moment later another man appeared. Rada Dengar saw Tolleth, and rushed to his side, pressing his fingers to the Romulan’s neck. There was still a pulse, barely. He tapped his comm badge.

“Dengar to Reece.”

[Go ahead.]

“There is an injured Romulan here. Request permission to transport with him to Sickbay.”

There was silence on the other end for a moment, as Rada waited for a reply.

[I don’t know if that’s the best idea.]

“He could have killed me and he did not. He doesn’t deserve to die if we can save him. I owe him that much.”

Again there was a pause, and before Rada ever heard a reply from Dabin Reece, the transporter swept himself and Tolleth off the deck, and over to Sickbay on the Serendipity.

-=Engineering, Romulan Ship=-

Salvek and Blane crept around the corner, at the front of the team.

TC nudged Salvek with the butt of his rifle to get the First Officer’s attention, and gestured towards the warp core. Taris was there, with her back to the group. She was working feverishly to wire a bomb to the chamber that contained the quantum singularity used to power the ship. Salvek noted that she had also made the mistake of setting her weapon down on a nearby station to do so.

Blane, Salvek, Zanh, Lindsay and O’Sullivan each crept into the room, fanning out into a semicircle around Taris. They had her every possible escape route cut off, and she was hopelessly outnumbered.

“I know you’re here, Captain,” Taris said without ever turning away from her work, “You’re too late.”

Zanh Liis twitched on the trigger of her weapon, wishing very much that Taris would step away from the warp core and the bomb attached to it, so she could finish her off once and for all.

“There’s nowhere to run Taris, its over. You can either set off the bomb and kill us all, or surrender. But there is no way in hell you are getting through all five of us to get off this ship.”

Commander Salvek
First Officer
USS Serendipity NCC 2012