"In the time it takes for reinforcements to arrive, the mutineers could be anywhere," the attaché said. At some point, Trius would have to get around to learning his name, but today was not that day.
"And? This is hardly a Starfleet problem. Magellan has orders to treat N'Vek as a target of opportunity. I see no reason why they should actively engage your dissidents for you. Are we done?"
"I would hope not," the attaché replied. "Smooth diplomatic relations are in both of our interests."
"Then talk to a diplomat. I've met a few excellent ones, and my secretary can provide you with their contact information on your way out. Alternatively, you can give us all the information you have on N'Vek."
"I've given you everything that we're cleared to give. Name, rank, serial number of the senior staff, last known position, and class of the vessel."
"So, nothing of value. Come back when you have something interesting to say. I repeat, are we done?"
"We have a contact," the sensor technician called out from her station. "It's deep in the nebular cloud, but it's got a power signature in line with Magellan."
"Helm, plot an intercept course. Close slowly, and keep the star between us. I fully expect this to be a trap."
The bait orbited close to a protostar. The ball of hydrogen gas had a core temperature of 4000K; hydrogen molecules couldn't hold their bonds together, deuterium fusion stirred deep within it, but it would be another millennia of collapse before it burst into life and begin fusing pure hydrogen.
The high temperatures, gasses, and radiation made it a sensor nightmare. Ironically, the same conditions made a cloaking device less effective- it couldn't disperse the excess energy quickly enough to prevent a shadow from forming.
Magellan wasn't operating in the blind, however. A collection of probes expanded her senses. They operated in a low-power passive mode, rendering them nearly undetectable. When they sensed the Dontara-class vessel, they broadcast a message- straight to the bait. The bait, in turn, acted as a covert relay to Magellan. Even with subspace transmission, there was a significant lag in the system, but if everything went according to plan, it wouldn't be a problem.
"Repelling parties, report status. Boarding parties, report status," Dekospos commed down to the security office and transporter rooms. He had made a controversial- and risky- call. He didn't want the attackers to get the opportunity to escape or self-destruct. Even with a well constructed ambush, the chances of such a thing happening were all too great. It was a significant risk to the boarding party, and it also incurred the added risk of the enemy vessel sending her own party. "We have a confirmed contact. They're closing into our engagement envelope."
"Hold position," the commander ordered. "They've spotted us. Let's see what they do."
"We can't, sir- the star's interference is disrupting our view of the enemy vessel. I would assume they're attempting to make a run for it."
Accursed caution; boldness might have prevented them from making a break. Still, if they acted quickly… "Belay that last. Execute a transverse orbit. Bring us close to the star and use a gravity slingshot. I want to get around the star before they can accelerate away." The manuever would bring the ship around the star with more velocity than Magellan could have. They should be able to get a salvo off before Magellan escaped their engagement envelope. And they were packing a little more firepower than standard Dontara class vessel- it should be a nasty surprise. They would deal with Magellan and then find N'Vek at their own leisure.