Final Flight of the Bladewing pt. 1

Varo'then leaned slightly back in his command chair, musing about the peculiar encounter he had on the Federation outpost the previous week. What an odd assortment of beings they had assembled together. An even stranger game was played as well... something about truth and deceit...
Varo was shaken out of his revere by his tactical officer repeating himself, something he must have missed. "What is it?"

"We are tracking that anomaly once again. It seems to be moving around the system in an organized fashion.... almost as if looking for something. The residuals could possibly be some kind of cloaking technology."

"I see. If we pursue what would our estimated time to contact?" said Varo.

"Estimated within the hour Commander, however I cannot be certain as we are only seeing residuals and echos of the object. Not it's exact position" replied the tactical officer.

"Acknowledged, lay in a course, best speed... activate cloaking." Varo responded with a gesture.

The R.R.S. Bladewing faded from view and its engines surged forward to it's destination, seeming every bit the predator of its design namesake. The refitted Mogai seeming to swoop through space, cutting it's own silent path to it's prey.

After his brief stay aboard Outpost Argo, Varo'then had been given orders to investigate a small system off the usual trade and patrol routes by Republic Command. Apparently several smaller scout ships and a small craft of colonists had gone missing with little trace nearby. One of the colonists had been some person of note, as it gained attention from somewhere up the ranks. Incidentally, Varo happened to be the closest to the region when the call was put out. Five days... for five days they had been silently waiting for any sign of activity. On the second day they had briefly detected this same signature, however further away. As soon as they detected it and moved to intercept, it had seemed to vanish.

So they continued to wait and watch, not truly knowing what they were looking for. If Varo had inherited anything from his father, it was his short patience. Unfitting of a species renowned for their patience and subtle tactics before the fall or Romulus. The boredom and seeming low significance of this mission had Varo practically climbing the walls from restlessness. He longed to be back on the offensive against the Tal Shiar, or even talking with the peculiar Caitian aboard his new found base of operations. The life of a scientist or explorer would not have been kind to Varo, should fate had steered his life in other directions. He had no patience for cataloging anomalies, or simply observing what looked to him to be a black screen of repetitive stars and particles.

Varo's only real solace from this was his "hobby". When not in his command chair aboard the bridge, he would often be seen making his own special improvements to seemingly random components aboard the ship. Busying himself with fixing or "optimizing" as he put it, anything that attracted his attention. Nothing from replicators to eps consoles were safe from his attentions. There were a lot of things that never made sense to him. People and their random behaviors, governments and their machinations, animals and their circular existence... but machines.. machines spoke to him. They had clear cut order and purpose. A task devoted to them and they to their task. Machines did not deceive nor lie. Machines did not consume simply for waste. They were simply the meeting between form and function, always evolving. They only needed someone to help them along.

Varo threw himself into first fixing any bugs that were in minor subsystems that the engineers workload did not allow them to immediately address. Then he moved on to consoles here and there that he felt needed some optimization as he saw fit. The ship spoke to him in a sense. Nudging him to continue her growth. As if he was a gardener, picking weeds and tending his garden in a delicate balance. Working on components was the only thing that seemed to bring fourth that Romulan like patience in him. Meticulously realigning up to outright redesigning parts of his ship brought him a peace unique only unto itself.

"Commander we are near the last known coordinates of the anomaly. No readings are showing. We lost the trail as we dropped to impulse." Varo's combadge chirped.

"Acknowledged. I'll be up there shortly." He replied. Varo methodically put his tools into a worn bag of which was never very far from him, and made his way to the bridge.

"Report." Varo said as he entered the command deck. The main screen showed a ringed planetoid some distance away and the ever present blanket of black and pinholes. Varo scrutinized the screen, awaiting his officers response.

"We are approximately five hundred kilometers from it's last known position. No new readings have surfaced." the officer replied.

Varo crinkled his nose in frustration, causing the dark green tattoo on his forehead to shift slightly beneath his shaven hairline. it did not make sense. They were so close. How could whatever it was just vanish. It was here only minutes.... then it hit him. It was if the realization struck him in the middle of his troubled brow. It wasn't gone. It had stopped. Why would it have stopped here? There seemed to be little of interest in the area. Then his stomach sank. Sharp, cold understanding dawned over him. It's waiting for us.....

Almost as if on queue. As Varo began to mouth the words to turn and escape, the massive Tal Shiar cruiser decloaked. Obscuring everything on the viewsceen. No ringed planetoid nor blanket of stars could be seen past the seemingly endless razor like protrusions and green tinged hull. The ship seemed of nighmares, all angles and malevolence. Before Varo could even make it to his chair, the first volley of weapons fire erupted from seemingly endless points along the hull of the nightmare ship.

Continued in Final Flight of the Bladewing pt.2

Part 2.

Fire and blood.... they seemed everywhere in equal measure. No time for words. The Cruiser began attacking the Bladewing while she was still cloaked. Shields down... unprepared for the assault. Lamb to the slaughter....

Engineers and tactical officers scrambled furiously to salvage the situation. Consoles ruptured all around them as they moved to save themselves. Some already bleeding from injuries, fighting on to save the punctured ship. The Mogai refit began to list to port as dampeners and stabilizers began to give way. The din of orders and weapons hits to the hull drowned out anything coherent. Chaos and fear.
These men and women had seen countless battles in their lives. They fought for their freedom and existence every day. They were Romulan. They were the lost children of a planet the galaxy itself snuffed off of the map. Yet they remained defiant. Stalwart in the face of almost certain defeat. They felt that defeat finally catching up to them all. Time to pay up for all the times they had narrowly escaped death. Some moved to flee... some began to panic, the racket of explosions and the calls of the dying too much for them. Just as hope was to wink out a single voice pierced the fear and noise....

"Get back to your stations! We are not through! Do not cower in fear to these Tal Shiar dogs! All emergency power to forward shields! Engineering get the engines back on line! We must resist! WE WILL GIVE THEM A FIGHT TO SEND FEAR TO ALL WHO OPPRESS US!" Commander Varo'then's voice boomed over the ships remaining coms. He stood in front of his command chair, knife edged clarity in his purpose. Unwavering calm in his poise. That clarity carried in every word he spoke, and they listened.

Soon Varo'then was systematically giving rapid orders to his departments and the assault lightened somewhat from the shields being restored. Even so, the Bladewing had suffered sever damage on many decks. The ship began to slowly fire back and lethargically maneuver itself to protect its crippled wing, like a grounded hawk. Her lessened weapons seemed to have no visible effect on the nightmare ship. Its blade like hull still intact and deadly. Shields holding against the crippled ships counter assault.

The Bladewing made what was to seem a run for the planet nearby, the massive cruiser pursued. Weapons fire erupting in a near constant stream from its forward arrays. With the Mogai's engines improving despite the assault due to tenacious engineers, they only had one advantage against the behemoth. Maneuverability. As soon as the pursuing ship attained full impulse for the chase, the Bladewing made a breakneck vertical turn and spiral the cruiser had no hope of matching with its sheer size. Putting the injured warbird on an attack vector across the top of the nightmare ship.

"We only get one shot at this! Just like when we were defending the colonies! reroute all power to the forward weapons and ready the tachyon burst! Transporter room! Are you ready?!" Varo'then boomed.

"Yes commander... though I can only send about ten of you. Jolan Tru Commander.... tell of us to our people and what we did today.... transporters ready on your command." Replied the engineer.

"Jolan Tru...I will never forget...."

The mogai surged towards the top of the Tal Shiar cruiser with all the power her engines had. Everything else went into the massive overloaded weapons burst that erupted from her forward banks. The Tal Shiar shields came near to buckling but held, then, as the last defiance from the battered R.R.W. Bladewing, she poured the last of the auxiliary systems power into a tachyon burst into the same point the weapons hit. The Tal Shiar commander didn't react fast enough, confident in his victory.

The Bladewing smashed into the top of the massive ship at full impulse........

To be continued......... Final flight of the Bladewing pt.3

Darkness.... Varo'then's eyes struggled to adjust to the near pitch black inside the alcove where he and his surviving ten had beamed.

No time to look... must find something to hold on to....

It was deafening and took them all off of their feet. The force of the impact of the Bladewing only moments after their transport was titanic.

Republic and Tal Shiar alike were flung about the ship. The impact not caring of friend or foe.

Outside, hulls buckled superstructures battled in a massive war of immovable object versus unstoppable force. The Bladewing's bridge and neck were gone... crumpled or buried into the upper hull of the Tal Shiar cruiser. Her wings scrarped along the exterior of the ship as momentum carried her across, leaving massive rents in the top of the nightmare ship. Massive hull breaches venting sparks, plasma and unfortunate Tal Shiar into the cold of space. In the vast vacuum of space, no sound was heard, but inside.... the din is deafening. Massive screeches of metal on metal dragging across power links, plasma conduits and external hull. The screams of the injured and dying Tal Shiar joining the symphony of pain and destruction.

The massive thing of nightmares, the invincible nightmare cruiser, had been badly wounded.

Varo and his crew reeled from the initial impact. One of their number, Tovan, had died from shattering his neck across a bulkhead when they were all thrown.
They struggled to find their footing. No time to mourn. No time to despair. They had to use this window of chaos and destruction to move on the bridge..... and Kill as many Tal Shiar scum they came across. No words were needed. Varo had trained them well. As they pulled themselves from assorted bulkheads and surfaces, the nine officers gathered in front of Varo. Weapons at the ready. Vengeance in their eyes. The cacaphony of the Bladewing's dying sacrifice could still be heard, but further away now. Metal on metal, like the dying cry of a great bird of legend. Varo's team had to move.. NOW.

At the slightest of signal, Varo and the other Romulans began moving through the dark corridors. Only illuminated by the eerie green light cast by the Borg modifications the Tal Shiar had proudly installed upon this ship. The team moved through with the practiced efficiency of a team that had done this countless times for their survival. The few Tal Shiar they encountered were quickly and most often silently dispatched. The boarding team moved through the damaged hulk like deadly wraiths in the dark. Sweeping through hallways and corridors, killing anyone they found with frightening efficiency.
Normally Varo would ahve abhored such flagrant loss of life, but there was no room for error here. They had to make it to the bridge and complete their task, or their brothers' deaths would have been for nothing.

Outside... in the silent, cold, blanket of space, the Bladewing finally released her death grip on the Tal Shiar cruiser. Drifting behind the damaged hulk, bodies and debris floating freely from her shattered frame.

If one could have heard in that deadly vacuum, they would have detected the subtle vibration beginning to emanate from deep in the Bladewing's battered hull. The bleeding heart of the wounded bird. The source of power that allowed the Romulans to venture into the stars. The warm hearth by which countless space faring officers were sustained through their travels. Now it would be all of their deaths. Bringer of assured annihilation for all unfortunate enough to be near by.

The singularity core was going critical.... Varo and his survivors had mere minutes before the Bladwewing, as well as the Tal Shiar ship, along with himself, would be ripped apart by the even horizon and shock wave from the death throes of his own ship.

To be continued... Pt. IV
Plasma bolts and disruptor fire everywhere.
Varo cursed to himself, things were going well aboard the Tal Shiar ship until an attentive guard on the command deck caught sight of them. He rushed to a panel and quickly sounded an alarm before Varo's team took him down. Despite the Romulans making good time towards the lift to the bridge, they soon found themselves in a fire fight in the hallway, only meters from their target. The longer this lasted, the more the Tal Shiar remaining would rally against the boarding party.

To make matters worse... Varo had been keeping a count in his mind. He knew it would not be long before the Bladewing delivered her last defiance. Surely the core would be close now, and Varo had to make sure they were clear. He was encouraged however, that if his party failed in this assault, they would at least have the satisfaction of knowing they had wounded and distracted the Tal long enough to take them down with them into death. Either way it went in those next few minutes, Varo had assured these soulless persecutors would not leave this system alive. They would pay for their ambush on his ship, they would pay for the lives they had taken. Of this Varo'then was certain.

Varo snapped out of thought and quickly dodged a plasma bolt intended to catch him in the head. He rolled clear and returned fire. His modified disruptor pistol melting though the makeshift cover the Tal Shiar officer had been hiding behind. He was awarded with a cry of pain as the bolt found its mark.

Varo had spent many sleepless nights modifying his personal arms and armor. His talent for "improving" things was not limited to his ship. The lines between roles were often blurred in this New Romulan Republic. Often science and engineering officers would find themselves applying their skills to tasks that Federation structures would have relegated to "Tactical" officers alone. There was no true trinity like this when survival is your all encompassing goal. Varo had modified his personal defense in ways that would make the most hard lined Federation tactical officer take pause.

Varo cursed again as he watched another one of his officers fall to the encroaching crossfire. Eight. Subcommander T'leth had fallen a few minutes earlier when they had almost run headlong into this trap. V'ket would join her now in the ranks of the fallen that haunted Varo in his late hours, alone in his quarters. Varo knew they were losing. Losing time and lives in this standoff. It had to break now or they would all be dead anyways from the soon encroaching release of energy from the shattered ship outside.

Varo'then felt down to his belt in the darkness. He pressed a button on a circular device resting on his belt. At the same time, with his other hand he pulled out what appeared to be the handle for something. As Varo's belt device quietly whirred to life, the handle began unfolding from itself into a wicked blade as long as it's wielder's arm. The glint of the metal faded as Varo's personal cloaking device blurred him fro sight.

Varo knew he had limited battery life on the small cloaking unit, so he made haste. He scaled the debris and ramshackle cover in one leap, which he turned into a roll in midair. Barely being missed by stray weapons fire. Varo rolled across the ground, then sprinted low, covering the distance between the two forces in astonishing speed. Varo slinked over the barricade, and into the middle of the opposition. The first Tal Shiar didn't even see what killed him. Only the feeling of cold metal gliding through his torso. Before he could even react, he was laying on the deck, insides revealed.

Six.... Varo's eyes quickly identified his targets in the green twilight. Only one had noticed his comrade's evisceration in the din of weapons fire and shouting. Varo quickly closed the gap between them, and with a lightning fast motion, beheaded the officer for his observance. The sight of another of their number falling mysteriously caught the attention of the other four behind the barricade. They ducked bhind their cover and shouted to each other. Chaos, fear, and confusion beginning to overtake them. Varo's remaining eight took this as a sign to push the advantage. They rushed the makeshift bunker firing their disruptors, narrowly missing their hidden commander.

Varo dodged the friendly fire and continued his deadly stalking of the now wild eyed Tal Shiar. For a moment Varo considered giving them the chance to surrender, they were still Romulan after all. All those thoughts were dispelled when a wild plasma bolt from a panicked Tal Shiar grazed Varo's shoulder. Varo moved deftly to the side of the frenzied officer and simply inserted his blade into the enemy's side, and out the other, instantly severing bone and organ. In one fluid motion, Varo slid the blade out of the already dead officer and caught his shipmate across the chest and face with an upward slash. Two. Varo searched for his remaining prey in the flickering light and darkness. Crouching like a feline ready to pounce, keeping note of his officers advancing on his position. One bold, but foolish of the pair stood and fired at Varo's team. He was quickly dispatched by close range disruptors. Gore painting the bulkhead behind him.

Varo stood and searched for the remaining enemy. Darkness reigned again as Varo's team silently advanced on the barricade. Varo feared being accidentally fired upon by his own team at this close of range in the darkness. As he deactivated his cloak he spoke. "Jolan Tru. Good job. Collect their weapons, we must get to the bridge! Quickly!"

Knowing all to well the voice of their commander, the team stood down and walked the last few feet to the barrier.

"I've got you! Damned rebel scum! Lay down your weapons or he dies!" The remaining Tal Shiar spoke in the dark as Varo felt the barrel of a plasma rifle press into the back of his head.

To be continued... pt. V
Cold metal....

All the Tal Shiar felt as he was divided, groin to head... cold, unfeeling metal.

The mistake he made was not of his own, but from Varo'then's penchant for thinking ahead. When he had deactivated the personal cloak, he had not disabled the secondary function of the device. A motion accelerator. It was what made Varo capable of covering the spaces between the warring soldiers so quickly, what made him able to move through their ranks at blinding speed. Before the would be assailant could make good on his threat, Varo had already dropped down to one knee, and with a upward stroke, sliced the officer in twain. Enhanced vibration blade easily dividing meat and bone on it's course upwards.

Varo's team didn't even flinch. They had been through countless incursions with their Commander, countless dark corridors filled with death like this one. Each of them knew with certainty, though their leader was an engineer at heart, a creator of form and function. He was a warrior. A deadly representation of what most Romulans had to become in a galaxy poised to destroy them all. But this man.... this Commander. He was something even further. Something almost mechanical in the way he wasted no motions, and efficiently dispatched his foes with cold calculation. Commander Varo'then did not enjoy death, but he dealt it swiftly to those who threatened him or his kin. No emotion save perhaps regret afterwards. Regret for ending the life of yet another Romulan deluded by the Tal Shiar, whom was once a brother. Varo's remaining crew would follow him unquestioningly, their loyalty for this man bordering on zealotry.

Varo's eyes flicked to the doorway of the turbo lift. No time for regret. Varo quickly pried the door open and removed the ceiling panel inside the circular chamber. He climbed on top of the lift with ease, then helped pull up his remaining eight. They tugged off packs from their backs and layed them on the roof of the lift producing grappling hooks attached to old style projectile launchers. Luckily for them, the Bridge was only four decks up from their current position. His team wasting no time... as they knew the stakes they faced. Every moment they tarried was time ticking away their chances of surviving this.

With practiced coordination, four of the eight fired upwards, hooking into the maintenance ladders' rungs a few hundred feet up. Lines almost unseen in the omnipresent darkness and green glow of borg technology. Each of them attached devices to the ropes. Two to a rope, the devices bagan to whir and quickly carry the invading crew up the walls of the lift. Ahead of them on the maintenance ladder was their Commander. As they had been setting up, Varo had been bounding up the small line of rungs with his motion accelerator aiding is rapid ascent. Varo had already scaled past two decks before his team began their mechanically aided ascent below him. The Commander knew they were running out of time, likely too much now. He calculated that their escape from the event horizon at this point would be near impossible, but he had to try. He would not capitulate after all the sacrifices his crew had made. As Varo scaled past the third deck door, his team began gaining on his position. By the time they rose to the command deck doors, they were right below him, the grappling hooks attached several feet overhead.

Quietly as possible, Varo produced a small tricorder like device and scanned the bridge on the other side of the door. Three life signs. Twice as many weapons signatures. They were expected. Varo glanced down to his device, noting the battery was nearing critically low levels. Varo would only get a few seconds of cloaking, and perhaps less from the overworked accelerator. Motioning down to his closest crewman, they handed him what appeared to be a rectangular box. On one side were buttons and a display. On the other, magnetic couplers. Varo placed the device on the middle of the door and pressed a button on it's face. The magnetic surface instantly attached itself to the metal door. Varo'then then quickly typed on the keypad to the device. He motioned for everyone to hug the wall of the lift tube, and moved to the side of the door. Varo silently counted to himself and placed his hand on the now weakened cloaking device module. Timing would be everything here.

The shaped charge detonated inward. Deafeningly shattering the silence, debris and shrapnel peppered the Tal Shiar inside. Deadly metal fragments splashing across the bridge. One Tal Shiar was caught too close to the blast, he was shredded beyond recognition, laying in a heap not far from the breached door. As soon as the Tal Shiar Commanders regained their bearings they began laying down fire on the jagged hole in the doorway. In that moment of disorientation, Varo had bounded through the breach with his cloaking device active, quickly moving across the bridge behind the enemies before they started to fire on the hole. Varo's team safely beneath the smattering of plasma beams impacting the wall opposite the door in the lift tube.

Varo'then lunged towards the closest Tal Shiar, likely the first officer, as he felt the motion accelerator give out. He suddenly felt like he was moving through water after being accustomed to the artificial enhancement's speed. Just before Varo's blade was to connect with the officers shoulder blade, his cloaking gave out. The Tal Shiar caught the movement in the corner of his eye and jerked to his left. The blade bit into flesh. However it was only superficial, as the officer had moved enough to only be struck in his right arm, and not the death blow Varo had intended. The strike was glancing, taking a chunk of armor and flesh, but not taking the whole arm. The officer cried out in pain and whirled around to shoot the now winded Commander. A wild plasma bolt caught Varo in the left arm as he dodged to the side to avoid a fatal blast.

Varo felt the searing pain rocket through his arm and travel through his body. He rolled behind a console and gritted his teeth in pain. His left arm useless, Varo fought to regain his composure. The wounded officer stalked towards the console as his Commander kept his weapon trained on the doorway. Varo struggled to get his feet under him, to try and dodge the finishing blow he knew was coming. But he was exhausted and reeling from the pain in his arm. Sweat pouring from his tattooed brow, Varo looked up in time to see the First Officer training his rifle at Varo'then's chest from over the console.....

To be continued... pt. VI
Green spray...

Romulan blood covered Varo'then in a fine mist. The disruptor bolts blossomed from the First officer's chest in brilliant green flashes. Varo faintly registered weapons fire from across the bridge. He heard some one cry out in pain. The lifeless body of the first officer slumped over the console Varo had used for cover moments before, his plasma rifle clattering to the floor.
Varo was hurt, exhausted, in agonizing pain every time he tried to move his left arm. He planted his right arm underneath him and forced himself up towards the console adorned with the dead Tal Shiar. Varo slowly, painfully inched himself upwards, using his good arm to pull himself up the back side of what appeared now to be the helm console. The recently slain officer's blood ran a green trail down the cold metal onto the floor in a sickening pool.
Varo finally got his knees beneath him. The weapons fire was all over the bridge. Green flashes on an already green illuminated bridge. The Tal SHiar captain was putting up a hell of a fight. Varo paused a moment. He would only get one shot at this, and if he failed, he would likely die. Varo silently slid the dead romulan's rifle over beside him. Mustering what little speed he had left. Varo grasped the handle tightly in preparation.

Varo slung the rifle from ground to across the top of the console. In the same motion he dared peak his head from behind his cover. As the rifle impacted the top of the console, the Tal Shiar Captain turned towards the sound.
Time seemed to slow. In the space of a breath, the fates of these two captains would be decided. Their eyes met.... mirrors of cold determination. In another life these two could have been peers. Perhaps even friends. Their bearing and steadfast resolve had gathered before them followers, crew that would live and die by their orders. Compatriots who fought as fiercely for their captain and the honor he upheld in their eyes, as they did for hearth and home.

Except that is what separated and defined them. Varo had no home. No hearth. And these tyrants took what little he had left. The Tal Shiar hesitated in surprise. Varo'then did not. He squeezed the trigger to the plasma rifle. Green bolts of energy struck the tenacious enemy captain in the chest and head. Another Romulan life wasted by the infighting of an already struggling race.
In less than a moment Varo's remaining crew was rushing into the bridge. Accessing systems as S'vet helped Varo to his feet. She walked him, bleeding but triumphant to the center command chair and helped him sit. Varo noticed another of his number had fallen in the fight at the doorway. He knew without knowing that the young man had given his life and exposed himself long enough to save his captain with a killing shot to the first officer just in time. His reward had been a plasma bolt to the chest.

Varo activated the main screen. He was greeted with a sight that gave him hope, and sickened him at the same time. The Tal Shiar had started to sluggishly move away from the remains of the Bladewing. She bled plasma and sparks into space around her. The raptor lay on the cold ground. Bleeding. Taking her final breaths. Heart slowing.

Varo watched with a heavy heart as the first signs of the breach began on the view screen. He was only lightly aware of the activity around him. His remaining few rushing about the bridge attempting to get the shields back online and put more distance between them and the conflagration of force soon to come. His world faded away with exception of the image before him. His ship. His garden of technology. His home and the one place he had felt...normal. He watched as the Bladewing began to crumple into herself, the event horizon expanding outward from her center. Intense gravitational forces pulling the ship in upon itself. Bulkheads and girders, metal and energy. None escaped that pull. All bowed and twisted to the immeasurable forces of gravity. Varo stared, unblinking as his ship, and what crew had remained, we folded and crumpled into a pinpoint. For a moment that seemed forever, the singularity loomed. Blackness swallowing debris near it, as if wanting to consume every trace of the Bladewing into it's maw of death. Then with tremendous energy it collapsed in upon itself. As soon as the hole in space shrank to a microscopic speck. It released the force of the implosion.

The shock wave was massive. All the built up gravitational forces and the force of their collapse echoed out into the area in a great wave of force. The Tal Shiar ship was tossed like a toy ship in a sea. The silent wave of crushing force pushing the ship as if a pebble. Everyone was tossed from their feet. Remaining Tal Shiar below decks were dashed against walls and bulkheads. Varo's crew were rocked, but had braced themselves knowing what was coming. They hugged railings and consoles with death grips. Varo'then gripped the sides of the chair but remained there. Pain rocking through him from the use of his still bleeding arm.

Finally, the chaos subsided. Varo's vision blurry from the pain. But still he stood. He stood in the middle of the bridge for all who remained to see. Blood, ash and sweat from brow to feet. Bearing unmistakeable. With authority belying his pain and fatigue. He turned to his crew as they stood and collected themselves. Their eyes filled with awe for this captain whom had lead them through the maelstrom of certain death, to a moment of salvation and victory.
"There will be time to remember those whom have fallen. In their name we have taken this nightmare thing. But now we must secure this ship for our people. We have taken it from the hands that would enslave and kill us. Secure all entries to the bridge and lockout all other consoles besides the ones here. " Varo commanded with a presence that filled the room. He showed none of the pain that seared through him, nor his grief at losing all those souls under his command. He showed only the iron resolve of a captain. Of a man who had lost more than anyone should have to, but put that behind himself for the good of those he would lead.

"Take us to New Romulus. Take us home."