The bridge was quiet, and the light crew for the graveyard shift mostly kept their attention on their consoles; they were running diagnostics where they could, and otherwise occupying themselves with things such as solitaire, sudoku and writing letters home. Tom Rogers sat in the command chair, keeping an eye on the tactical systems from the display in the arm of the chair.
“Sir? We have an incoming hail on a Klingon emergency frequency,” Ensign Maloc spoke up from Operations.
“On screen,” he directed. The petite form of a Klingon woman in a Klingon Defense Force uniform appeared on the main view screen. “This is Lieutenant Tom Rogers of the Federation Starship USS Takeda Shingen, how can we be of assistance?”
“Commander K'Etra, of the House of Kortha,” she returned Tom's introduction. “We just had a fugitive run with our only shuttlecraft assigned to the station. He is wanted for murder and the nearest Klingon ship will likely lose him before they could respond. He is headed into Federation space.”
Tom was quiet a long moment, then looked over his shoulder at Ensign Maloc. “Any sign of the shuttle on our sensors?”
”Yes sir, they just adjusted their trajectory to attempt to skirt us, and they're currently just beyond tractor beam range,” Maloc returned. Tom bit his lip with a frown.
”Now I reckon that it would be no trouble at all for us to collect your fugative,” Tom allowed. “However, I also reckon this question of jurisdiction might figure in as a problem. If he rabbits back into Klingon space-”
”The Empire and the Federation are allies, are they not?” She grinned wide at him, and Tom sighed. “I am authorized to clear you for pursuit, on our terms. Bring him back alive, and the shuttle in running condition, and there will be no problems.” She seemed to consider a long moment before the word 'please' escaped her lips to punctuate her statement. Tom raised his eyebrow, for it was in English, and though her accent was think, it was clear what the word was.
”Only because you asked so nicely, lil' lady,” Tom finally agreed. “Please provide us with the registry number and the last known course, so that we may confirm that we are pursuing the correct vessel.”
”Of course, sending the information now.” She closed the channel as Ensign Maloc confirmed to Tom he had received the information.
”Open hailing frequency to the ship,” Tom directed. When Maloc nodded, Tom cleared his throat, standing up. “Klingon shuttlecraft qIj lIy, stand down and prepare to be brought into our shuttle bay. We act under the authorization of Commander K'Etra of the Klingon De-”
”I know who she is,” came the growled response as a Klingon man appeared on the view screen. “I didn't do it, and they won't give me a fair trial. I will surrender to you under the condition your ship will grant me asylum and see to my fair trial.”
”Done,” Tom agreed.
”Sir, can we-” Ensign Maloc started to protest, and Tom turned to him, drawing his fingers across his neck. The ensign closed his mouth, and muted the comchannel.
”If we can't do it, we will find someone who can. For now, he is willing to surrender himself. We do not want to pass up this opportunity, looking up the regs for it.”
”Unmute the channel, please,” Tom directed. Ensign Maloc quickly complied and Tom turned back to the view screen with a wide grin.
”If you would kindly cut your engines, we'll pull you right into the shuttle bay for safe keeping. I'll have a couple of security officers meet you down there, just as a precaution mind you. Then we can get you settled somewhere safe and cozy, set up a meeting with the Captain, and go from there.”