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“This is what we’re looking at,” Captain Lorca said, throwing a schematic in the air with a flourish. The 3D tactical map took a moment to reconfigure itself, bouncing between emitters, then stabilized into a wire-frame of the top hemisphere of a celestial body. A moon, Keyla thought, if the craters were anything to go by.

“She has some kind of designation, but it’s just an alpha-numeric label. She so unimportant she doesn’t even rate a name. Except…” Lorca reached out and gently stabbed the display with two fingers. Their perfect stiffness and the inexorable penetration of the 3D model carried an unmistakable sexual fission.

“Here,” Lorca said with satisfaction, having found the moon’s G-spot. The map opened like a flower, revealing a vast spider web of drydocks and berths. “It’s a shipyard,” he explained, “right in the hear of a hollow moon. It’s ingenious.”

“Starfleet has also used asteroid-based facilities,” Saru said from his station. “This very ship was launched from asteroid base A-2011.”

“Not the point, Mr. Saru,” Lorca said with a touch of irritation. “This is an entire shipyard hidden away on their border. Well-hidden and well-protected beneath miles of solid rock, which is going to make reaching and destroying it very, very difficult.”

The bridge went silent. Of course they had known it was coming, but on some level none of them had imagined that Lorca would come right out and say it.

“Sir…” Saru said slowly. “Attacking a Romulan facility is…”

“An act of war, Mr Saru? It sure is,” Lorca stepped away from the holographic display and squared himself off to his incredulous crew. “And the Romulans are going to be very quick to retaliate against the people who did this--which, given the location and the recent activity on the border, will be assumed to be the Klingons.”

“That is…” Saru stammered. “Sir, that’s…the morality of such a tactic is highly questionable.”

“Questionable or not, It will open a second front against the Klingons and bleed their forces. Not to mention the fact that it will give the Federation a diplomatic entrypoint with the Romulans that they haven’t had in a hundred years.” Lorca’s predator’s gaze swept the bridge crew. When it touched on Keyla, she felt a familiar flash in her stomach, the kind she got with a dangerous lover.

“Let’s not forget,” he said, “we’ve not inflicted one Romulan casualty. We’ve attacked listening posts, drones, and this shipyard is completely automated. There are no life-signs. We haven’t drawn blood.”

“Still,” Saru said plaintively. “The risk we’re taking is immeasurable.”

“Immeasurable and immaterial,” Lorca said with certainty. “We’re fighting a war for our very existence. Any risk is a risk worth taking.”

“What do you need us to do?” The words were out Keyla’s mouth before she even knew she was thinking them. It didn’t surprise her, though. Lorca was right, and he was trying to save the Federation. More than that, though, buried not-terribly-deeply in her personality, was the instinctive need to give her all in service of her commander. Such a good German you are, she heard her father say.

Improbably, she was backed by a chorus of murmurs of agreement. The bridge was suddenly filled with a sense of building energy as everyone straightened up a little at their stations. 

“That’s what I like to hear, Detmer,” Lorca said with a conspiratorial smile that made Keyla’s pulse quicken despite herself. “Now let’s talk about how we’re going to attack this facility…”



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