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Mark had finally escaped Tactical and not a moment too soon. Bridge duty was something he was going to be saddled with more now as chief, but he'd been raised as a solider first. In the trenches with the grunts, away from the command and control center, was where he felt at home. He'd quickly prepared and been with the first group to beam over. The Scorpiad ship itself held countless unknowns and potential threats, but it was somewhere he could use his battle-trained senses. As he finished his climb down and felt the floor give slightly on his boots, he took a deep breath and savored the moment. Further down the hall lay the weapon Victria had discovered, which spurred him onward.


"Cycling through the protocols in search of one that will deactivate the weapon," Victria's voice crackled over his comm as he came within range.


Though others had come in to analyze the system, she had not moved from her chosen console, finding everything easily accessed from the terminal. While the others searched hesitantly -- not wanting to push or activate anything that could set off a horrific chain reaction -- she continued to easily sift through the Scorpiad database. Her gaze continued to stray to the fixed window on the left side of her terminal, which sent a rush of anger through the emotional link Mark shared with her.


He produced a scowl for a moment as he moved towards her and her anger bloomed inside of him. He could already feel it on the ship, and she'd given him better directions here than that useless ensign two decks up. He tried to sneak in behind, as well as the EVA suits would allow. "I trust you know what you're doing?" He said half jokingly as he glanced to the left, trying to get a look on what was aggravating her.


"Not really," she replied evenly. "But I can at least read the language and do not have to rely on incomplete translations. What are you doing here? Come to have a look at the star-killing, planet destroying weapon?" She did little to hide the bitterness in her voice.


"Yes, I had to see it with my own eyes." He paused, and actually looked it over again. He understood her frustration well. "I knew the Scorpiad were behind this, but it's still somewhat shocking. At least there's proof now."


"Yes. We have confirmation," she said coldly. "We know their specific targets, both those they have already destroyed and those they are planning to destroy. We can guess at a rough estimate of how many they have killed."


"Bastards." He didn't like the situation any and Victria naturally amplified it. "How many?"


"Hundreds of thousands. Colonies, worlds, systems. They are targeting any that oppose them. I doubt this is the only weapon of its kind. Likely, there are other ships of this model moving through Al-Ucardian space."


He shook his head as he felt his own anger rise. "Starfleet treatises across the round table, and everyone pretends like they won't turn on Camelot after they're finished with the rebellion. I feel your frustration, which was why I was surprised you stayed... odd that this is where we've been led too."


"I made certain promises," she said in explanation, but did not expound. "This information will be extremely valuable if placed in the right hands."


"The right hands?" He asked with a raised brow. "Such as?"


She glanced up at him briefly, unwilling to say more over the open comm with others listening in. Instead, she changed the subject. "How does the Captain intend to bring this ship back to Federation territory without it being reclaimed by the Scorpiad?"


"I think that's still a work in progress. He had Commander Admiran working to make the ship space worthy. He says he can do it in 24 hours but..." He trailed off, glancing around the room. "...I don't know. If we actually get this thing moving the Captain wants to set this thing down on Avalon for the scientists to pick apart." He shook his head, deciding not to state the obvious about how the Scorpiads would feel about that.


"Mmm," she said neutrally. She, of course, had her own plans for the ship and the information within, especially the schematics on the weapon itself. "I am still waiting for the pincer to snap shut."


"Yeah, me too..." His eyes unknowingly scanned the floor for any tiny scorpions. "I can only imagine the crisis we're already stepping into."


"The Captain's superiors are fools if they think the Scorpiad can learn how to peacefully coexist. This weapon proves they remain the ruthless conquerors they have always been."


"The memory of the Dominion War is still fresh on many people's minds" He sighed, his own mind taken back to that time. "They won't risk an open war while the situation is contained thousands of light years away."


"So I have been told," she said grimly. Straightening, she left the console and moved to one of the wall panels, regarding it thoughtfully. "How do you feel about the Federation absorbing this technology?"


Mark stepped back to look over the weapon again. "Well, it's impressive in its... vastness, but I can't approve of the blood that's stained it. Technology like this... shouldn't even exist."


"But it does, and it has been used, and it will probably be secretly integrated into one of your ships, provided that Ah-Windu finds some way to get it back to Federation territory without rousing the Scorpiad." Her gaze narrowed as she thought on other possibilities -- possibilities involving Al-Ucardian rebels with this sort of power. "If they discover that you have it, they will demand it back. Or start a war."


"There's that too... there doesn't seem like much of a right way." He frowned, and glanced over to her. "What would you do?"


"Do you really need to ask?" Her gloved hand tapped out a coded sequence on the panel and she studied the new menu.


"You could at least make something up, so I don't have to worry you're going to try something." He eyed her over as she worked. It wasn't a possibility that he liked to consider, but consider it he had to.


"I would destroy it," she said flatly. "No good can come of this ship."


"As would I... though that's not how it'll happen." He leaned against the wall, his displeasure apparent.


"No," she agreed. "More blood will undoubtedly be spilled."


"Only question is when..."

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