Last time, D’Magio and T’Chall were being shown Charr hospitality at Butcher’s Block, as the two captains were being fed a plateful of meaty goodness thanks to Flintlock’s generosity. After a while, D’Magio was asked to tell a story of how she had to chop off her own tail.
Under cloak, the SS Panthera, a B’Rel Class vessel stolen from the Klingon shipyards orbiting Qo’Nos, silently cruised through the Cardassian system. There had been reports that the Jem’Hadar along with several Cardassian splinter groups calling themselves The True Way, were attempting an attack on the civilian government of the Cardassians. An attempt to throw chaos into the Cardassian system, and usher in a void which could be filled by the True Way, thus ushering in a step back for the Cardassian people reflected only by the time they were ruled by the Dominion.
The Panthera normally wouldn’t be interesting in the internal political struggles of a people. The captain and crew, all Ferasan, were pirates. Unfortunately, they had become interplanetary enemy number one (when the different alliances throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants weren’t busy with the Borg, Tholians, or Species 8472). Their last big haul they were caught. By a retrofit escort vessel, a Defiant Class starship called the U.S.S. Ocelot. To add insult to injury, it was a Federation starship captained and crewed completely by Caitians. Long distant relatives of the Ferasan, but also a long hated relative.
And now, the Panthera was to enter this hostile area and retrieve information on True Way movements in exchange for spending fifty years in a Federation prison. On the one hand, they had their freedom. On the other hand, they had to work for the Federation. Or the Klingon Empire.
“Report!” D’Magio ordered as she walked to her command chair.
“We’re within transporter range of the facility,” M’rella announced, a Ferasan male trained as a communications officer. “There’s some communication back and forth, but not as much as there could be. I’ve also determined a lot of it is manufactured, to make any passing ships believe this to be an uninteresting way station.”
“In other words,” H’radda called out from the weapons station. “They’re hiding in plain sight. We could easily target the facility and destroy it.”
“No,” D’Magio said as she held up a hand, stopping H’radda. “We need to download their computer data. Can’t do that when it’s destroyed. Can we access it from orbit?” she asked of M’rella.
“No, Captain,” he said after a quick scan. “They’ve got triggers and alarms, their security is antiquated, but it’s also well put together.” He looked back from his station to D’Magio. “We can beam down to the surface, though. They aren’t shielded.”
D’Magio considered this, and after a moment’s thought called out to specific crew members. “S’ril. M’rella. H’radda. And K’miir. You’re with me. We’ll beam down to facility, download the information, and get out. K’liss, you’ve got the bridge. Give us half an hour and head for these coordinates,” she said as she punched in a series of coordinates on the navigation console.
“How are you going to get out?”
“They have a shuttle bay on site,” D’Magio said. “We’ll steal a shuttle craft.”
The orders were given, the crew was ready, and D’Magio’s away team was ready for transport. A good mix, as D’Magio and H’radda both had tactical experience, M’rella was a communications specialist and had engineering experience. K’miir was his backup (and his mate). And S’ril was one of the ship’s medical officers, used a great deal of times on boarding and away missions. A tactic D’Magio picked up on and used after many experiences with Captain M’iia T’Chall of the U.S.S. Ocelot.
“Hang on just a minute,” T’Chall said as she shifted the small cub in her lap. The young male had become so interested in D’Magio’s story, that he just sat right down and listened. Still holding T’Chall’s tail, mind you. “You began using that tactic after encounters with me and my crew?” D’Magio perked an eyebrow at the question, but eventually nodded. “I am mildly flattered and somewhat disturbed.”
The crowd that had grown around the camp fire chuckled at the comment. There was even a couple of Norn, one human and now three Sylvari and an Asura that had joined the Charr as they all listened intently to D’Magio’s story. “Can I finish now?” T’Chall nodded politely. “Very well. So, my crew and I beamed down to the Jem’Hadar facility, intent on retrieving the information needed to stop the terrorist plot. An easy mission, but these are Jem’Hadar, and easy is something you should never use when talking about Jem’Hadar.”