Posted on February 28th, 2010 by Ashexana
Dark eyes framed by raven hair narrowed at the image on the viewscreen, that of two ships, linked by a docking port. The sleek lines of the Federation starship contrasted with the stark corners of the hapless cargo vessel, but she preferred the freighter; it was the site of her trap for the interlopers. When reports arrived that the Federation ship had taken prisoners, she had quickly figured out what information they’d give up, because those lackeys would talk, of that there was no doubt. Her conclusion was that when informed of a planned raid that they were close enough to stop, the Starfleet crew wouldn’t be able to resist riding in and saving the day. Even this far out, their reputation preceded them.
“Status?” she asked, her voice one that an outside observer might find oddly refined for a pirate.
“The weapon is aboard the Atlantis. Response of her captain is not known. Our cloaking device is functioning perfectly.” The tactical officer emphasized the word ‘perfectly’ with an air of pride.
“Money well spent, wouldn’t you say? I shall never understand their motivation for doing away with money. The gears of progress always require lubricant, and I can’t think of a better one.” The bridge crew laughed in reply, either out of genuine amusement or fear of getting caught not laughing at her joke.
She snapped her fingers and pointed at a security guard. “You, tea, now.” The guard obediently scurried away and quickly returned with a cup, loose leaf tea in a mesh ball already in the hot water. She nodded her thanks, even though she really didn’t have to, and swirled the ball around the water as she waited. Now that she thought about it, nuclear warheads were also pretty effective lubricants.
The cup of tea emptied itself as time passed, and was set aside. No word had come back from their strike team yet, and her confidence in them was starting to waver. If this ship’s captain were going to surrender in fear of being nuked, he would have done it already. Something must have gone wrong, and it was best to put some distance between her and her prey, but her confidence had to maintained in front of her crew. “Move us back a few hundred thousand kilometers. If there’s a blast, I don’t want the shockwave revealing us.”
The helmsman slowly backed the cloaked vessel away from the docked ships, retreating like a thief in the night that wanted to watch from afar as his victims discovered their loss and cursed their cruel fate.
Leaning forward in her chair, she rested her elbows on her knees while steepling her hands, eyes settling again on the dwindling form of the Atlantis.
I knew you would come someday, Federation. But this isn’t your place, and you’re a long way from home. We do things differently out here, as you’ll soon see like all the others have. Your laws, your order, and your arrogant assumptions are all unwelcome here. Around here, my word is law, and I’ll not have some upstart newcomers to my space usurp that.
Welcome to the Hinterlands. Now get out.