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Cptn Swain

Drinking While Negotiating

Author's Note: This log occurs shortly before last Sunday's sim.



Outside of the wormhole, a collection of Starfleet, Romulan, Klingon and Bajoran vessels had begun to form a defensive perimeter around the wormhole and the still-yet-unfinished husk of Lyonesse Station. Leading the fleet, the sleek lines of the Sovereign-class USS Iowa cut a sharp contrast to her flanking Miranda-class escorts Bounty and Aix. In the conference room, Vice Admiral Jonella Hayden pressed her uniform, before turning to face the hologram of her fellow Vice Admiral Misha Abronvonvich. She knew the man by reputation more than anything else, and though there had been some natural tension between the two flag officers regarding the operational chain of command -- those tensions had seemed to fade as both clearly respected the other.


“Jonnelle,” Misha said, his voice more tired than she’d ever remembered him sounding. “I’ve been notified the President will be going live in a few hours; then we’ll be getting underway. I am transferring my flag to to the Constantine. As we discussed Corizon has managed to convinced the Al-Ucard to send a fleet to aid our efforts but...”


“But you’re still not sure if we can do anything,” she said with a nod. “I don’t disagree, but I don’t see any better options. The plans presented for intercepting the device seemed... risky at best.”


“I don’t see many better options, either. I am going to give Swain to go ahead on the least risky of the two. Have you been able to get anything more from the long range sensors on those movements?”


She shook her head, turning away from a moment. “No,” she said. “The Romulans are dispatching a scout to see what they can find. I understand Enarrain N’Dak will be arriving soon to take command of the Romulan forces?”


“Yes, his warbird left a few hours ago. They should reach the system tomorrow. How many ships as the empire sent?”


“Two squadrons,” she said. “That was the most they were willing to part with for now. The Klingons have been more generous.”


Misha’s hologram flickered a moment and his face grew dark. “Oh for god sake.”


Jonelle’s own expression darkened. “What is it?”


“Unless I am seeing things,” he said, his voice strained. “A Scorpiad warship just entered the system.”


“The Scorpiad?”




Corizon would be lying to himself he said he was unmoved by Victria’s return to his orbit. He thought that he’d gotten the messy goodbye out of the way the last time they’d seen each other, but the prospect of the wormhole being closed forever had reminded him of how much of his life had revolved around the relationships he’d made during his time aboard the station and the Excalibur. While he was also more than a little interested in what Sorehl was doing arriving aboard an Al-Ucard vessel for a moment had managed to forget the looming crisis that had just unphased outside of the station.


That moment was ruined by his combadge chirping, followed by a kurt summons to the command deck to meet with Abronvonvich and Varen. Leaving K’Vorlag to “entertain” their guests, he quicked headed to back up the ramp into the commanding officer’s office.


“What in the hell is that thing doing out there?”


Corizon lifted an ear. “I assume you’re referring to the Scorpiad vessel?”


Abronvonvich’s cold glare might have caused a lesser officer to buckle into prostration on site, but Corizon remained collected -- almost as if he’d been through this particular round of questioning more than once. “Yes.”


“Well,” Corizon drew in a breath for dramatic flair. “With any luck, the same thing the Al-Ucard are doing -- preparing to aid us in our effort to stop the destruction of the wormhole.”


Varen glowered almost as severely as the Russian flag officer. “With any luck? You mean not only did you not bother to tell any of us that you were inviting them to the party, but you didn’t even bother to secure their cooperation before doing so? What in the...”


“I think I am more than capable of carrying out this inquisition, Captain.”


“Of course, apologies, sir.”


“You know Corizon, this is why you got your marching orders? This kind of stunt is exactly why no one in Command came to your rescue and why no one will be sorry...” Corizon was actually grinning at the verbal assault. “Wipe that damn smile off your face, Captain or I swear to god I will put you in the brig and leave you here when we evacuate...”


“Admiral,” he said cooly. “First let me correct the record. I didn’t call anyone other than the Al-Ucard, which I informed you that I would be doing. Why is every time something happens on this station it has to be my fault?”


“Because it usually is your fault,” Abronvonvich hissed. “So you didn’t contact them, then why are they here?”


“Based on the conversation the Excalibur was having with their commander -- who I believe you might remember, a G’jjjak -- it would appear that Commander Tandaris Admiran called him.”

“The Trill?” Varen said before Abronvonvich cut him off. “Wait... they called him? Oh for godsakes.”


“See it’s not always my fault.”


“Oh don’t try and play innocent. There’s no way he would have done this without talking to you first.”


“Or his commanding officer,” Varen offered, leveling a glance towards the general direction of the Excalibur. “Surely he wouldn’t take such an action without Swain’s approval.”


“You don’t know Admiran,” Corizon said with a chuckle. “But, yes, he did bring it to me before doing it.”


“And you thought this was something I didn’t need to know about, Ah-Windu?”


Corizon nodded. “I didn’t think it would work, to be honest. Our attempts to contact them through official channels had failed and, well I couldn’t imagine the Scorpiad actually coming here just because Tandaris beckoned him; but you have my apologies for not informing you, Admiral.”


Misha took a very deep breath. “If we weren’t on the edge of oblivion and we both weren’t on the verge of retirement, I would kick your ass for this little stunt, but for now I am going to pretend that you had told me about this ahead of time and that its going to work out fine.”


“I’ve always found positive thinking to be one of the best weapons, sir.”


“Oh it's going to work out because you’re going to make it work. I want you head over to Excalibur and take over negotiating with the Scorpaid commander.”


“Yes, sir.”


Corizon left without further bandying or posturing, leaving Abronvonvich and Varen alone. “Should I press the matter with Swain?” Varen said when they were alone. “Even if Corizon says Swain didn’t know...”


“No,” Abronvonvich said with heavy sigh. “I owe Swain and the Excalibur for rescuing my boy.”




The Excalibur’s bridge was still a twitter with activity with Corizon arrived, though he had little time to take it in before he was ushered in Swain’s office. “Well,” Corizon said as the door slid closed behind him. “It looks as if Tandaris is more persuasive than I would have imagined, Tandaris. Though I have to say,” he paused making a chiding gesture, “starting a civil war is a little extreme. Even I’ve never done that.”


Swain lifted a brow, skeptically. “I find that hard to believe, Ah-Windu.”


“There’s no proof of it.”




Anyway,” the Dameon moved towards the cabinet in the corner to make a drink. “As I told you before I beamed over, Misha has decided to punish me for this by making me work out a deal with Greg.”


“Better you than me,” Swain said, frowning deeply. “And perhaps it would be best if Tandaris wasn’t involved further. Greg didn’t sound too thrilled with him.”


“I can imagine so,” Corizon said, taking a seat with a drink in hand. “I mean, he’ll have to wait a hole moulting cycle for that arm to grow back.”


Asher rolled his eyes though Corizon wasn’t sure if it was at the comment or the drink. “Well,” he said after a moment, “let’s go ahead and get him on the line. I am sure you won’t mind if I observe?”


“Sure.” Though clearly it wasn’t a question and Asher sat about having Rhan connect them through to the Scorpiad. Part of Corizon had rather hoped he’d just not answer and go home, or at least wait till Corizon had finished his drink -- but as usual the galaxy was never so kind. After a few moments, the viewer flickered to life with Greg’s ugly ‘mug.’


The Scorpiad clicked away, annoyed to be bothered again so soon and even more annoyed that he was being faced with the strange creature he’d heard was called Corizon. “Make this quick,” he almost hissed. “I have no time for games.”


Corizon smiled, baring his fangs. Swain wondered if that was intentional. Men. “Good afternoon, I am Captain Ah-Windu Corizon of the Federation of Planets. I’ve been asked to open a dialog with you. I understand that you’re here to settle some sort of score with Commander Admiran.”


“Settle a score?” the Scorpiad’s chelicerae worked furiously, “is that some human expression for killing?”


“After a fashion, I suppose.”


“Then yes. I am here to ‘settle a score’ with the perfidious Trill.”


“Well,” Corizon said, taking a sip of what Swain now saw more clearly to be the 2336 Andorian whiskey he’d been saving, “I am afraid that for now, you’ll have to hold off on your quest to kill him. We’re a bit busy and we need him.”


“And? I don’t care.” Greg was clearly disinterested in Tandaris’ work schedule. “I could just destroy his ship... and you along with it.”


“You could,” Corizon replied, again baring his fangs. “But then you’d be shot out of the stars; which I suppose would mean you at least died for something, but is killing a Trill really what you’d like to go out on?”


“As if your pathetic vessels could strike me down...”


“In case you missed it,” Corizon said flatly. “We did defeat your people in battle multiple times already and at the moment, Camelot has every weapon on the station trained on your already damaged vessel.”


Greg ‘frowned’ -- in so much as an arachnid could frown. “You will give me Tandaris and I will leave you be.”




“Then we have nothing more to discuss, prepare yourself.”


“Really,” Corizon said, “that’s the best you can do? Listen, Greg, I understand you’re upset about losing your arm...”


“It’s not just my arm!” Greg’s cadua suddenly flashed into view and the hiss of his body chamber decompressing caused the hair on Swain’s neck to prickle. “He ruined everything! Now the Royal Court has labeled me a traitor!”


“Yes, yes,” the Dameon said a little more laissez-faire than Swain expected, “and I am sure that’s very inconvenient for you, but I need Admiran alive and besides if you kill him, then we won’t be able to stop some rogue Jem’Hadar from blowing up the wormhole, and then just think how angry the Royal Court would be with you. I am sure -- despite their prostration -- they’re still intent on getting their hands on it as an energy source for the nursery. I mean it’s not like they’ve found a suitable replacement.”


Greg glowered, as Corizon made his way to the cabinet and refilled his glass. “At any rate,” Corizon said, before Greg could respond. “I can’t give you Tandaris now, maybe later.” Later? Asher flashed a concerned glance to Dameon -- who shrugged it off with long sip of whiskey.


“Later,” Greg said, incredulously. “How much later?”


“Well, I mean after we’ve saved the day at the earliest.”


“Hmm,” Greg was clearly considering this, and his chelicerae were working back and forth, back and forth. “Perhaps.”


“Oh, it’s the only way you’re getting him. And don’t think,” Corizon tossed back another sip, refilling the glass afterwards and returning to the desk, bottle in hand. “And don’t think you’re just going to get to sit here either.”


“What do you mean.”


“I mean you’re going to have to work for your pay.”


“My pay? I am owed vengeance. This is not a negotiation!”


Asher had decided this had gone on long enough. “Listen, Greg,” he said to Corizon’s surprise. “What Captain Corizon is saying is that you can’t expect us to just turn him over without some sort of assistance. Besides, if you help us, the chances of us actually living -- thus you having the pleasure of killing Tandaris yourself go up.” What the hell was he saying?


Corizon took another drink and smiled, fangily towards Swain, then to Greg. “Exactly. Look, you help us with this little matter of the wormhole and a subpace weapon and we’ll see what we can do about Tandaris. I am not going to promise you can kill him. But, eh, maybe you settle the score in some other -- less fatal way.”


Greg didn’t respond right away, but after a moment, his mouth pieces began moving again. “I will think about you offer. Send me the details on your situation and the weapon.”


Corizon nodded and the communication cut off. Swain immediately reached for the bottle.

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