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The World Belongs to the Brave

Posted on Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 @ 3:36am by Lieutenant Commander Jael Steiger & Dutch Lowek

Mission: Spoilt Settlers
Location: Jael & Dutch's Shuttle
Timeline: One day after La Casa de Russian

It had been a long journey for them all, but it was rather worthwhile for Jael. Not only was she able to reunite with an old Intelligence partner and plan what was expected to be a surefire siege but she was able to learn about all of the men and women that had come upon The Russian and found a new home with him. She had been correct in her first observation that the people weren’t Starfleet but they all had at some time or another served for the Federation.

A prime example was Big Mike.

Big Mike was the man who had greeted Jael and Dutch so warmly with the muzzle of his rifle when they first arrived to The Russian’s hideout. He was a very quiet, solemn man which countered his 6’3” height and broad muscular build. A former Starfleet Marine, Big Mike was one of the top military snipers in the quadrant with a rumored kill count that reached the high double digits (This was according to his fellow comrades. Big Mike shied away from ‘bragging’). After over 20 years of giving himself to the Federation, the brass turned him into a scapegoat for a failed mission, deemed him ‘damaged goods’, and sent him on his broken merry way into society.

The Russian came upon Big Mike who turned to underground fighting as a way to feed himself at night. He took him in and gave him a safe haven amongst others who suffered from a similar fate at the hands of Starfleet. Many suffered from PTSD and had been unable to integrate back into civilian life.

What The Russian did for them was extraordinary: he gave them hope when there was none left. It only made sense as to why their loyalties held strong for him. If it wasn’t for him none of these people would have been willing to lend Jael and Dutch a hand in securing the ship.

Jael walked onto the Bridge of her shuttle as she felt the buzz of the engines dropping out of warp. “We are close?” Her eyes met with the back of Dutch’s head as he kept his focus on the panel in front of him.

“Just pulling into the sector where the Centaurus is. Or at least should be.” Neilri, the young raven haired El-Aurian woman and former Starfleet pilot who was controlling the helm, answered for Dutch knowing was working on a locate of the vessel.

The Russian clapped his hands excitedly in anticipation. “Alright, amigos!” He nodded to Neilri who opened up a secure comm so the two other shuttles filled with the rest of The Russian’s people could listen in on the briefing. “There are 40 of us and 300 of them, but I know most of you have seen worse odds and have lived to tell the tale.” He let out a slight chuckle as he gave Jael a wink. “The beautiful Commander Steiger has requested our assistance in ensuring the safety of her Commanding Officer and her crew. I know some of you would rather give the Federation a big fat middle finger for what they have personally done to you but I am asking you to set aside your grievances just this once.” His voice took a deep serious turn, which happened on the rarest of occasions during the most serious of assignments. “Think of this as a personal favor for me.”

The Russian paused, giving Jael a hardened nod. It was time to officially get down to business.

Jael, who had been setting up the blueprints of the Centaurus on the large console screen and sent them over to the accompanying shuttles. She had only pretended to be busy in her own work but felt every word that came out of the Russian’s mouth. Her whole career Jael had been surrounded by the purest form of evil that existed in the galaxy which caused her to lock herself tight as a survival instinct. Save for Dutch and The Russian, she never trusted anyone, especially after the death of her parents. She didn’t even trust the other Intelligence officers she worked with.

Jael couldn’t risk taking anything at face value.

But the past two months had opened her eyes to a whole other side of humanity that only existed in Jael’s mind as a theory. Commander Nolan and the rest of the crew, while often excruciatingly difficult to deal with, had forced her to look at herself and her own thoughts and behaviors towards others.

These men and women sitting inside the shuttles waiting for their orders had come to Jael and Dutch’s aide knowing barely a lick about them. They were willing to risk their own lives to help people they didn’t even know. None of them knew what they were stepping into (for all they knew the colonists could have made an honest mistake in their studies and really had no evil intent) but the people didn’t care.

They all had the common ground of having walked a similar path in their careers, giving their lives to the greater good only to have it thrown back in their faces. Their stories were all very similar to her own officers aboard the Centaurus. If the ‘Second Chance Squad’ had happened at an earlier time, would these people have been a part of its crew?

After typing in the last commands, Jael turned to the rest of the men and women before her. “I first wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for being a part of this and for your previous incredible service to the Federation.” Her cool voice sent chills through Dutch’s body. It was incredible to see Jael’s strength and courage and loyalty to her officers and people she hardly knew. He couldn’t help but think he probably had something to do with it…

“The Centaurus is a large Galaxy-class vessel though not in the greatest condition as it was only barely refitted recently before we shipped out. Per the evidence Dutch and I have, the worst case scenario is these so called ‘colonists’ have overpowered the vessel in order to use it for some unknown purpose. Our final determinant of that will be the status of the vessel when, or if, we come upon it. I will attempt to hail Commander Nolan in her ready room and her quarters. If it is business as usual, Dutch, The Russian, Big Mike, and I will be going on board to confirm everything is stable. If there is no response, and depending on the status of the vessel, we will break up into our teams and beam in the unfitted decks surrounding the three key locations. If our worst case scenario is indeed a reality, the people will more than likely focus their efforts there. The Russian and I will be leading the team that will be contacting the Bridge, Dutch will be leading the team facing the Security decks, and Big Mike will be leading the team taking care of the Main Engineering.”

Jael then pulled up a picture of Phillipe and a list of the other colonists onboard. “You all have already been briefed about these people. We are severely outnumbered but, fortunately, the only weapons they have access to are the ones in our Armory so we at least have the capabilities to overpower them. Do not fire unless fired upon. When we beam aboard you will get into position in the Jefferies tubes surrounding your chosen location, asses the situation, and wait for the signal on your comms. Since this can be considered a hostage situation I will make my attempts to speak with Monsieur Deubratonè and talk him into submission. My success with that will be unlikely as he is a very aggressive narcissistic man…”

“And not just because he’s French,” The Russian jumped in to help lighten up a bit of the tension in the shuttles.

Jael smirked as the rest of the people let off small chuckles. “He is a borderline psychopath so expect the signal to come and you will make yourselves known. You must be quick to disarm as I do not know if they managed to sneak in their own personal comms.”

The woman paused as she looked over the eager eyes planted on her. “If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Expect to be ready in the next 30 minutes. Dismissed.”

The quiet mumbles of the men and women began as Jael turned back to her screen to look over the wrinkled smug face of Phillipe. Once again her gut instincts were correct. Something had been brewing on the Centaurus ever since these people had come aboard and it began to simmer while she and Dutch were at the conference. It finally came to a rolling boil when the pair came upon the supposed planet that the new colony was going to be built on. In the next hour or so either the pot was going to boil or the heat was going to be shut off underneath it all.

Hope for the best, expect the worst.

Dutch came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. Even though Jael was in work mode which meant they were partners, not husband and wife, he had to show her he was there for her both professionally and personally. He was more than surprised when she reciprocated, placing her arms on top of his. “What I wouldn’t do if I was given 5 minutes alone in a windowless room with that guy…”

Jael’s lips tilted up as she shook her head. “This one is mine, Dutch.” She scrolled through the long list of names with the tip of her finger. “Dem Mutigen gehört die Welt.


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