Star Trek: Theurgy

Star Trek: Theurgy | Season 2 => Episode 01: Advent of War => Topic started by: Auctor Lucan on March 16, 2021, 11:55:03 PM

Title: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 16, 2021, 11:55:03 PM

CHAPTER 07: ALL OR NOTHING | DAY 03 | 1555 HRS.


STARDATE 57654.78
APRIL 18, 2381
1555 HRS.

(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/thumb/7/71/CHAPTER_07.png/1024px-CHAPTER_07.png)
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[ Captain Ives (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Captain_Jien_Ives) | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Oneida ]
Attn: @Hope @Luciain @Nero @chXinya  @jreeves1701 @Stegro88
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"Drop us out of warp. Red alert," said Captain Jesse Jackson on the bridge of the Oneida, addressing Lieutenant Lail at the helm. The lights dimmed and Jien Ives turned his head - being in his male form - towards Jackson. The Commanding Officer of the Iroquois-class ship glanced towards the tactical station. "Commander Ikthan, what are we facing?"

"As I said, two Klingon warp signatures (https://uss-theurgy.com/forum/index.php/topic,3099.msg31925.html#msg31925), dead ahead," said the Rigellan CTO, his prompt having make Jackson give the order to disengage the warp engines. "Large bird of preys, too early to give classifications. Long range sensors trace them back from a Ty'Gokor-class outpost, which belongs to House Mo'Kai, so we can assume hostile intent. It looks like they set out on an intercept course right after we picked up the Sabine. Estimated odds of bypassing them are... poor at best. Not without sustaining critical mid-warp damage, and rupture of our warp field. We'd be thrown out of our subspace envelope and suffer catastrophic sheering damage. I'm afraid we had no choice but to drop to impulse and make a stance."

Tellarite curses came from the figure next to Jackson, where Commander Mag'Lev stated the irking truth of the situation. "We are still five long minutes out from Qo'noS... and any delays will have that Negh'Var ship and its escorts catching up to us sooner rather than later."

"Oh, Commander, we still have a head start," said Jackson with a lopsided smile, evidently used to his XO seeing the glass half full. "Yet these two Mo'Kai ships ahead of us are still a concern. Captain Ives, your thoughts?"

Looking at the sensor readings, Jien weighed the available options. He recalled something that the immobile Android down in the shuttle bay had said.... and eventually made the call.

"We stick to our original plan," he said, turning to face the bridge crew. "We launch the Sabine, and as the Oneida draws the attention away from it, the shuttle use a newly installed propulsion technology to get past the birds of prey. Lieutenant Logan Hale will remain here, however, to provide the Oneida a tactical advantage with his Valravn fighter. All the while, you act bait for House Mo'Kai, as the Sabine reaches Qo'noS and we bring the Chancellor to the Great Hall. Just as we intended to begin with."

"The ETA on those birds of prey are just four minutes. Won't they turn to give chase on the Sabine instead? You won't likely get away unseen, and the Klingons knows about that fake transponder by now," objected Lt. Daius Shar from the science station, wide eyes even more curious at that point.

"It won't matter. If the specifications on the technology are as predicted," said Ives with a faint smile, think about what V-Nine had said about the new ZPE booster, "then they will never have a chance of catching up to us."

"All right," said Captain Jackson, and soon concurred with a nod. "The Oneida will deal with these two birds of prey and then resume course towards Qo'noS. We hope to stay ahead of our pursuers - Gorka and his larger ships - because while she is fast and nimble, the Oneida will hardly stand a chance against that kind of firepower, and I doubt one warp fighter can make a difference in that regard either. No offence towards Lieutenant Hale's skills, of course."

"It's settled then," said Jien, and tapped his combadge, stepping towards the turbolift. "Ives to Chancellor Martok and Sabine mission crew. We're being intercepted, so report to the shuttle bay for launch. We will use the device Ravenholm built from V-Nine's components and make it to Qo'noS ahead of schedule. The Oneida will cover us while we get away."

"Good luck, Ives, and thank you. If you and your crew hadn't persisted, this new enemy would still have kept us in the dark, and torn us apart from within," said Jackson, and Jien paused by the turbolift to respond.

"You too, Jackson. Thank you, also, for the additional officers that will be on the Sabine. I am sure we'll need all he help we can to get into the Great Hall safely." The Sabine would be a bit crowded for the remaining short flight time, but Martok needed the protection. "We'll speak further after we make it through this, and rest assured... once Thea catches up, she will come to your aid. Just use the codename King gave you, and they will know you are an ally."

"Understood, and godspeed." Jackson went to sit down in his command chair. "Raise shields the moment the Sabine is out of the bay, and arm forward torpedoes. I want-"

The sliding doors closed in front of Ives, and he descended to the shuttle bay.

Alone, he afforded himself a deep breath, remembering the old words his crew had lived by since they first fled Earth, six months past. Courage is fear, when it has said its prayers.


OOC: This is the starter for Chapter 07: All or Nothing, where we follow the Sabine as it uses the ZPE booster to get straight to Qo'noS, bypassing planetary defences and eventually landing in proximity to the Great Hall. Posting order is not set, @Nero @chXinya  @jreeves1701 @Stegro88, but you all have 7 days in which you all need to get your characters on the Sabine! A separate starter will be posted for the Oneida's showdown with the two Klingon ships, while this thread will focus on the Sabine's mission, leading all the way to the Great Hall. At some point, there could be ships arriving to Qo'noS (like the Oneida or the Theurgy), at which point more writers will chime in here as well.

The objective in this thread is to deal with House Mo'Kai assassins that are lying in wait to intercept Martok, and once in presence of the Klingon High Council, an attempt will be made to sway the Council towards the mission and the Empire's public opposition of the Infested. This, by using both the real Simulcast message - shown for the first time in the story - as well as trying to expose a present Infested among the Councillors. A small number of new characters on the Oneida will be coming along to Qo'noS as well, if the character profile is plausible for that.

Roughly 2 hours of travel time have passed for the Oneida to almost reach Qo'noS, during which everyone on the Sabine and the new characters introduced on the Oneida can be featured in Supplemental threads, only belonging to Chapter 06! The naming convention for these threads is CH06: S [D03|XXXX] Insert Title, wherein XXXX marks the time. These two hours on the Oneida is set between 1400 hrs. and 1555 hrs, after which some characters will leave on the Sabine here in Chapter 07.

Attn: Everyone! This is just one side of Chapter 07, because here is a short list of Supplemental threads that will be detailed in an upcoming Newsletter, which covers the other facets of this last Chapter of Advent of War:  :) Click here!
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Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on March 20, 2021, 03:57:41 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | SS Sabine | Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | USS Oneida | EnRoute To Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Hope @Luciain @Nero @chXinya @jreeves1701
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After spending some time aboard the Oneida after getting her burns treated, Mickayla had returned to the Sabine and locked herself into the storage room so that she could have the peace to think about what she was going to have to choose to do in the near future. That had been 20 minutes ago and she was still no closer to having made a decision about what Martok wanted of her. And she didn't have long left to decide.



"Why now?" Mickayla asked, her eyes losing their distant gaze and locking onto Martok once more, almost challenging him. "Why tell me this now?"
 
Martok paused, looking at her for a moment before he continued. "Because when I kill the Targ that has dared challenge me, I will have a choice. I can dissolve the entire House and discommendate all its members for treason. Or I cede House Mo'Kai and all its holdings to your father in his stead, showing mercy. I question, however, why I should do such a thing, when Mo'Kai has so readily committed treason."
 
"You're asking the wrong girl that question," Mickayla replied, surprising even herself with her almost sarcastic tone. "I was raised on Earth, by Humans. I don't know what it means to be Klingon. I have never met my father and the only thing I know about him is that he fucked my mother while one or both was drunk.  But you already know all that," Mickayla challenged, her demeanour becoming more annoyed. "So, I ask you, Chancellor, again. Why tell me about my heritage now?"
 
Martok tilted his head, his browridge sharpening his glare in answer to her tone. "Because your father, on behalf of your voice in the Great Hall, might unite the Empire in these dire times, in how those who have pledged for House Mo'Kai will then fight by my side still, and stand against the Praetor and the Infested." He did not speak to her as if she was a child, but his reminder of the greater stakes at hand was a keen one still. "Speak for your father, and you aid your Captain and me both, on this mission we share."
 
"Finally, some answers," Mickayla thought as she considered how to answer the man before her. "And yet he still seems to miss the point."
 
"Chancellor, with respect," Mickayla began, her tone now calmer. "I have never met my father and until you told me it just now, I didn't even know his name. And yet you ask me to speak for him, to make a decision about him and hundreds, thousands of other people that I have never met. Tell me, could you do that?" Mickayla asked. "Could you speak for a man regarding his loyalty based on nothing more than his name and what another member of his family has done? Because if Gorka killed his on family to get to where he is now, then not all of House Mo'Kai challenges you. But how many remain are yet still loyal is the question."
 
"I cannot speak for someone I do not know, only for myself. I'm sorry," Mickayla apologised sincerely. "But I will stand by your side and do what I can to see that you remain Chancellor. Even if that means removing Gorka as an obstacle. Permanently."
 
Martok shook his head. "Duty compels us to do things we mightn't do, Mickayla MacGregor, so I urge you to give this some thought, and see the grander image and not just the boundaries you put before yourself." He stepped past her, about to leave, before he levelled his remaining eye on her. "If you will not speak and try and unite my Empire, then I cannot trust having House Mo'Kai next to me in battle. Then, I can but hope your father makes a reappearance before I raze your House to the ground." And with that, he left her there in the darkness.



"Can I speak for a great house, for people, that I know next to nothing about?" Mickayla asked herself in the darkened room. She didn't know. But her conscience was telling her that she couldn't allow Martok to execute or subject them to discommendation without more cause than the great house they were currently serving. "Innocent until proven guilty," she whispered, not liking where her train of thought was taking her but unwilling to let it go either.

"Ives to Chancellor Martok and Sabine mission crew. We're being intercepted, so report to the shuttle bay for launch. We will use the device Ravenholm built from V-Nine's components and make it to Qo'noS ahead of schedule. The Oneida will cover us while we get away."

"Time to get this show on the road again," Mickayla said as she reached for her bag and the Klingon armour within. It was the more formal version, with the cut-out that highlighted her cleavage but beyond that glaring weak point, it was just as strong as her combat version. If anything, the platform boots that went with it were a greater weakness but Mickayla had spent time walking, and training, in them in case she had ever found a need to have to fight in them. She just hadn't expected that to be so soon.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on March 20, 2021, 08:48:20 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/2/28/M_w-o2.png) Lt. JG Logan Hale, callsign "Wraith" (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Logan_Hale,_callsign_"Wraith")| Shuttle bay | Deck 10 | USS Oneida] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Hope @Luciain @Stegro88 @chXinya @jreeves1701
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"We will put ourselves between the Sabine and the Klingons and hold off their fire until the Sabine can safely go to warp," Hunter suggested. Logan studied the tactical data for a moment and then decided to follow his RIO's suggestion. Alith was right. It was the best decision they could make.
The fight was going to be difficult. Logan and Alith were on their own. Except for the Oneida, of course, but that was something entirely different. A ship-to-ship fight in no way resembled or was even comparable to fighters fighting other fighters. David versus Goliath, that was more of a comparison that came to mind. Without a proper wingman, it would be damn difficult to win. But the pilot felt compelled to wrest a victory from the battle ahead. Not for his own sake, but for that of his fallen comrades, Liliana and Dev, who were killed in a cowardly attack and no longer had the opportunity to face death in a fair fight. But especially for Alessia, his little sister in spirit, he was not going to let the Klingons go home with a victory.
Fortunately, the Oneida still had some leftover ordnance on board from its previous mission and was able to rearm the pilot's Valravn. He pointed to the fighter. "Let's go."
Logan grabbed his helmet from the wing of the Valravn, and Alith did the same. As she climbed into the fighter and began pre-flight checks, Logan spotted Captain Ives stepping out of the turbolift. The captain followed a group of security officers who were also headed toward the Sabine, all equipped with melee weapons. Logan nodded to the ranking officer of the Theurgy.
"We'll have your backs until you can go to warp. Safe travels and good luck, Captain."


Meanwhile...


[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Security Centre | Deck 4 | USS Oneida ]
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[Changing plans] it blared through the ship's internal radio. RraHnam was making final preparations for the crew's incursion into the Great Hall when she received information that they would be delayed. Rivera ordered her to join Captain Ives' crew of the Sabine with a couple of officers. The Caitian growled irritably when she learned of this. She had no problem accompanying Captain Ives. In fact, it was planned already, but she hoped to have the Oneida in Orbit to aid them.
"Got it," she finally confirmed a moment later. "Brightman, take over the preparations as discussed and have the landing party on standby. The Oneida will follow the Sabine as soon as possible and then we can use help on the planet surface."
The human male nodded in affirmation and issued further orders to prepare the crew for the battle ahead. RraHnam indicated a handful of volunteers to follow her and get their weapons ready. And even though RraHnam knew the anti-nadion field would protect the Great Hall, she kept her phaser with her. Who knew how far they would have to push through enemy attackers before the dampening field took effect? RraHnam just wanted to play it safe.
On the way to the shuttle bay on deck 10, she stopped again briefly at the armory to pick up her special order, because after learning from Chancellor Martok that this dampening field surrounded the Great Hall, she had to find and arm people with close combat experience. Some of them wielded batons, others, like Captain Ives, swords of various designs, but the burly feline woman had another weapon in mind.
"Here you go, deputy. Fresh from the replicator."
The quartermaster placed a rod of duratanium alloy, a good meter and a half long and three centimeters thick, on the table in front of him. Its interior was hollow to save weight. It did not, however, make it any less dangerous in any way. One end of the rod was unadorned, completed with a small sphere no larger than two inches in diameter. The other end, however, was adorned with a blade about twenty inches long with four crossed edges. Her eyes widened as RraHnam took the spear, wrapped with a synthetic thin rope, and cradled it in her paw. It was well balanced and for the short time, the quartermaster had done a particularly good job. She ran a finger along one of the edges and found that it was tremendously sharp.
"Good work, quartermaster. Really good work. Thank you."
"You're welcome, deputy. Good luck."
Even though the traditional decorations were missing, RraHnam thanked the man and wrapped the Caitian weapon in the cloth provided. She made her way to the shuttle bay. On the way, she met her volunteers who would accompany her on this mission. The Deputy Chief of Security nodded to them all and joined them. She took the lead.

[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Shuttle bay | Deck 10 | USS Oneida ]
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When the door to the shuttle bay opened, she saw bustling activity. The deck crews were getting the two small ships ready. The SS Sabine was manned and the fighter with the human/vulcan crew was also getting ready to launch. RraHnam nodded to the two and thanked them in her mind for watching over her friends aboard the Oneida.
Together with her volunteers, she boarded the shuttle. The flight was not going to be pleasant. It was much too cramped in the shuttle for that, but they would endure. Now it was up to them to make sure that Chancellor Martok got to the First City and the Great Hall as unharmed as possible.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on March 23, 2021, 12:23:26 AM
[Selena Ravenholm | SS Sabine | USS Oneida Shuttlebay] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nero @Stegro88 @Hope @Luciain @jreeves1701

Hunched over the small worktable that she'd cleaned off and claimed for her own use (without asking, and if Sera ever asks, that small crate that's now under the table had always been there), Selena did her best to keep her hands steady.  The last three components for their little booster sat in a line between her chest and the finished product, the casing sitting off to one side, each ready to be plugged into their slots.  "Ok V-Nine, another minute and we're all done at last."  The human kept her grumblings to herself from here, this had already taken far longer than she ever expected it to.  Over the past two hours it felt like she had to remake the same subassemblies three times each, this Savi tech was shockingly exact in how it had be pieced together.  Having a power source that could rip the entire ship apart if mishandled made it hard to argue though.

Having learned her lesson from the earlier hangups, Selena blinked and brought her little HUD up again.  The blue overlay in her vision helped guide her hands, the sensors built in showing her the exact angles to insert the chips, how much force to push them in with, and even how much power needed to route through the circuitry.  Once all three parts were in place a diagnostic started automatically, and to her relief everything came up green.  She breathed a heavy sigh of relief and collapsed backwards into the seat.  "All green across the board V-Nine!  We're in business at last!" she called out towards the head, where the android was busy being a door.  "Not that we have anywhere to go in a hurry now..." she muttered under her breath before snapping the casing around the assembled booster.

The laws of the universe were absolute, so of course that's when the call came from Captain Ives.  Groaning in exasperation, Selena snapped up the cylinder with one hand while rolling out of the chair, hitting the ground running.  Her mind was already racing with possibilities, and there was one that had her full focus almost immediately.  "V, what's the chance that if we use the booster to jump straight into Q'onos's atmosphere we'll either burn up or turn ourselves into paste against the ground?"  The intake port she and V-Nine had installed was still exposed, a quick push and twist had the booster in place, ready to go.  That done, she then raced to the cockpit to bring up any information the Oneida was already piping down to them.  "Even money says if we spend more than a minute in space we'll have Klingon's all over our asses, and they are never gentle."
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: jreeves1701 on March 29, 2021, 01:23:44 PM
[ MCWO Larant | SS Sabine | Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | USS Oneida | EnRoute To Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Hope @Luciain  @Nero  @chXinya  @Stegro88

Larrant had misstepped in his interactions with Sera vers Aldnoah. The problem with having been connected with so many minds through the Diad relationship was that he was now undecisive with his interactions with other humanoids. When Larrant argued with himself it was much more complicated. The consensus among the mental remnants was that a gift was in order, a peace offering to comfort, to apologize, to lull Aldnoah into a false sense of security. The last coming from the Vorta. The only mind Larrant could speak with a physical representative of he dare not risk. Hedril was serving aboard a Starfleet vessel somewhere. He could reach out to her mentally. But what if she had been taken over by the parasites they are fighting. Larrant would be putting the mission in jeopardy. What if Hedril's superior officers had been compromised. He would be putting her life in danger. No, he would have to deal with this emotional conundrum on his own. Besides the effort would be too taxing, not to mention too dangerous. His consciousness could get lost in the complex ether of interspace. Most corporals only sensed the physical, the here and now. Psionics were aware of another plane. For advanced telepaths like the Medusans, there was so much more beyond the material plane. To expand your awareness too far was to stretch it beyond the ability to contract back.

So a gift he thought. The Medusan had been dealing with the difficult understanding of physical beings' obsession with acquiring material objects since severing the diad relationships that had sustained his presence among the Federation and Starfleet. Now in a solitary existence in an effort to avoid the pain of losing another intimate partnership, Larrant had quarters of his own and space to accumulate his own stuff.

He had become good at picking things up, but not so much at justifying doing so. On the Ganymede, his quarters were filled with random baubles from self-sealing stem bolts, eating utensils, game pieces, rocks, and deutronic circuits. If he had trouble ascertaining what was important enough to keep, how would he know exactly what was important to gift to Aldnoah in an attempt to apologize for offending her. If he got this wrong the journey to Qo'noS was going to be even more awkward.

The time on the Oneida was short, and he had managed to gather a few nicknacks from many of the public spaces onboard. Larrant had collected a white queen from a 3-D Chessboard from the crew lounge, a hairbrush from the Salon, a set of dice from a children's game in the youth education center, and a sonic shower head from the temporary quarters he had been given so that he could take a break from the confines of his containment pod. With such an eclectic array of objects to choose from, Larrant had spent the better part of the hour prepping the Sabine for the final leg of its journey debating with the echoes in his mind as to what object to select and how to give it to Aldnoah.

Rotating his containment pod so that the viewer faced the pilot who was running her own preflight checks, "MISS ALDNOAH, DO YOU HAVE A MOMENT? I WISH TO SPEAK WITH YOU REGARDING OUR RECENT EXCHANGE. IT IS APPARENT THAT I OFFENDED YOU. FOR THIS, I APOLOGIZE. CORPORAL EMOTIONS ARE DIFFICULT FOR ME. NORMALLY I WOULD LEAVE SUCH UNFAMILIAR THINGS TO MY DIADIC PARTNER. HOWEVER, I HAVE BEEN A SOLITARY MIND FOR SOME TIME. BUT EXPERIENCE SUGGEST THAT THE CALCULUS OF THIS SITUATION DEMANDS AN OFFERING OF RESTITUTION." With a hiss and click, a compartment in his pod opened and a tentacle appendage emerged, its pinched manipulator claw extended toward Aldnoah holding two cubic objects with six marked sides. "I HOPE YOU ACCEPT THIS TOKEN. IT SEMED APPROPRIATE WITH YOUR PASSION TO MANIPULATE THE ODDS."
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on April 08, 2021, 11:44:29 AM
[ Captain Ives (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Captain_Jien_Ives) | Shuttle Bay | Deck 10 | USS Oneida ]
Attn: @Nero @chXinya  @jreeves1701 @Stegro88
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When Jien had been spotted by the Lone Wolf by the Valravn, he had stepped away from the others who were heading for the Sabine. Once in ear-shot, Logan Hale had spoken up. "We'll have your backs until you can go to warp. Safe travels and good luck, Captain."

"Likewise, Lieutenant, and thank you," Jien said to him and inclined his head in turn before heading towards the Sabine. He gave the man another glance before leaving, hoping dearly the two Tactical CONN officers would make it through. "The Oneida is our ally and we have few of them, so do whatever you can to protect her once we've left for Qo'noS. I will see you at Qo'noS."

By the time Jien stepped aboard the repaired shuttle, he overheard Selena Ravenholm speaking with V-Nine, whom remained immobile in the doorframe she'd wedged herself in. "V, what's the chance that if we use the booster to jump straight into Q'onos's atmosphere we'll either burn up or turn ourselves into paste against the ground?" 

Pausing, Jien listened to the android's response while Selena headed towards the cargo hold, which had the access port to the small warp core. The cybernetically augmented human brushed shoulders wit the larger frame of CPO MacGregor when she stepped out of the compartment, wearing full Klingon armour. Curious, Jien knew Chancellor Martok had requested the officer to come along, yet for reasons not entirely obvious to Ives. V-Nine could barely turn her head where she was, but her lens pulsed with the sound of her digital voice when she gave her detailed answer to Selena.

"Oh, dear. Well, I think the chance is relative to the exactitude of our timing. If the count-down is calibrated well enough relative to the distance of the target, this shuttle can switch to impulse engines beyond the planetary defences but before the atmosphere entry. Based on the exact moment of initiating the warp drive, and our given coordinates at the time, I can generate an exact nanosecond in which the warp field has to be dissolved."

Jien had a question of his own. "How quickly will that thing get us to Qo'noS?"

"Oh, hi Captain!" said V-Nine, turning her cranial unit towards him. "Well, considering my estimated output of the booster given its specifications, our ETA is one minute, but I need to know the actual energy output before I can make the estimation. Needless to say, I would hate to miscalculate when the margin of error is virtually zero..."

Martok and his bodyguard, Kudesh, arrived and after she had installed the booster, Selena stepped past them all, heading for the cockpit, while Jien went to lean against the doorway to it. Ravenholm seemed concerned about the launch.  "Even money says if we spend more than a minute in space we'll have Klingons all over our asses, and they are never gentle," she said, but Sera vers Aldnoah - already being in the cockpit and running post-repair diagnostics - gave her answer with a rueful smile.

"That's likely true, but burn me, some do like having their ashes hauled like that."

Jien merely shook his head, and when he looked towards the aft compartments, he saw Larrant's containment pod approaching the cockpit as well, so he stepped away to allow for easier passage, meaning to speak with Lieutenant RraHnam and the Oneida officers that had volunteered to accompany them. Behind him, he could hear the Medusan's awkward apology and offering of a gift. In the end, the Navigation Specialist managed to phrase himself rather well, and Sera's reply wasn't a dismissal.

"Burn you, I don't know of half the things you just spoke about, but I know dice well enough, and I do enjoy beating the odds. Apology accepted, box-boy," she said, and reached up to hang the dice at the upper edge of the viewscreen. "Now, give me a solid course so that the android can give me the data I need to time the warp jump's ending. Sabine to Oneida, permission to launch, over?"

[Permission granted. Good luck out there.]

"You too. Sabine out. Course laid in. Captain?" asked Sera, turning her attention to Ives, whom had yet to reach the Oneida officers in the back of the small ship. Jien knew that it was time. With everyone aboard, and enemy ships bearing down on the Oneida, they had to get going before it was too late.

"Take us out," he said, his sheathed dai-katana held at his side, and grabbed on to a railing in the ceiling with his free hand. The airlock closed, and as he watched the viewscreen, he saw how the Sabine exited the shuttle bay after the Valravn launched ahead of them. Trace spatial particles in the outer sector of Qo'noS made for a green and gold backdrop, and in the far distance there weren't two bird-of-preys... but four. Jien cursed under his breath, knowing that the odds for the Oneida and Lieutenant Hale weren't promising any more. He did see, however, that Captain Jackson had ordered to launch the Oneida's aerowing shuttle as well.

[Wolf zero two to Sabine... Good luck, Sera.] Hale's voice. Sera made no immediate reply, and Jien had to give the order. It was time to leave, for they couldn't linger any longer.

"Now," he said quietly, hoping the Savi technology wouldn't smear the Sabine across the sector.

"Engaging warp drive," said Sera, and whatever was to be expected... turned out wrong. There was no extraordinary jolt or effect to the shuttle caused by the ZPE device attached to the warp core - the subspace field generated as they always were. There was no relative stress to the shuttle due to the heightened velocity. The effect was merely seen on the displays in the cockpit, as well as the navigational output. "Blasted storms... Deuterium and antimatter annihilation rate is crazy, but whatever that thing is, it is keeping it all together for now with its own power... Bloody ashes, when do I stop it? We're heading straight towards the planet!"

"Oh, right. Ahem, accessing navigational array," said V-Nine, otherwise immobile, but she seemed to have tapped into the shuttle's computer wirelessly. "Calculating warp speed and distance. T minus 42 seconds and counting. Sending time estimation now. The margin of error is in the range of nano-seconds, so you cannot disengage manually."

"Shit, so I need to tie the warp controls to that timer? Give me a moment," said Sera, and Jien realised that their lives depended on the Sabine stopping shy of impacting with Qo'noS. Martok surged to his feet, and while silent, he clearly did not care to have the Klingon homeworld and the capital city levelled by the manner of crater a warp-carried shuttle would make.

"Twenty seconds left," said Jien in warning, and the tension was rising in the shuttle. Sera kept cursing under her breath, and Jien was just about to order her to disengage prematurely... when the scavenger finally pulled through.

"There! The flaming warp field will terminate just prior to atmospheric entry, right?" she asked, turning to look in V-Nine's direction and past all the passengers in-between. Jien stepped aside to look at the Android.

"Correct," V-Nine said. "Warp field dropping in five, four, three, two, one."

(http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/8/8b/Kronos_2259.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140315231239&path-prefix=en)

The viewscreen was filled with the surface of Qo'noS, and off to the side, the damaged moon named Praxis could be seen looming in the far distance. Sera immediately switched to full impulse and the Sabine shook by the rapid atmospheric entry. Tactical alerts came in, with many Klingon ships recognised on sensors, some of them likely hostile. Martok stepped up to the cockpit, and Jien made room for the Chancellor.

"Use this clearance code, and put us down at these coordinates. It will be the best way to enter the Great Hall without making it too easy for House Mo'Kai's assassins," he growled, tapping at a console, before returning to Kudesh and MacGregor. Sera set the course, and the First City began to spread over the viewscreen, sprawling across the terrain. The clearance code seemed to have some effect, since they weren't challenged...

...until they were but a few kilometers out from the centre of the capital.

"I'm detecting weapon signatures. They have a lock, Cap-" Sera got no further. An unknown number of surface-to-air disruptor turrets caught them, and the Sabine shook violently, making Jien hang on to the railing in the ceiling. Clearly, they had been expected. "Shields down to 15 %! Navigation systems and transporters offline. Subspace communications are down too. Impulse output dropping. Burn me, we can't be hit like that again."

"Take her down below the rooftops!" roared Martok, and Sera didn't have to be told twice. The Sabine dove, and then levelled out above a wide street leading straight to the domes of the Klingon seat of power. There was a plasma fire close to the transporter alcove, and V-Nine lay on the deck plating, unable to get up. The Chancellor cursed and pointed towards an area in the distance. "Put us down there. We'll have to get to the Great Hall from the back instead. It will take longer, but we'll use the old streets to our advantage..."

"Everyone, get ready to move out," said Jien and made his way to the android. With some effort, he managed to put her in a seated position, and he looked into the flickering lens. "V-Nine, are you there?"

The answer was a static noise. A screech that didn't carry any comprehensible words. Clearly the android was damaged, and she wouldn't have been able to accompany them anyway. Hopefully, she could be repaired, but there was nothing they could do right now. Ravenholm had to accompany them to the Great Hall, her skills and the preparations she'd made key to the mission, so even if she was the most qualified to help V-Nine, there was no time for that right then. They had to reach the Great Hall, but Jien couldn't just leave the android alone on the shuttle either. "Miss Aldnoah, we might need the Sabine to get us out quickly, so you stay here. Protect our means of escape, and do whatever you can for your ship to be ready."

"Aye, Captain. Larrant, will you stay as well?" she asked the Medusan, since she likely needed help defending the shuttle if she needed to repair it. Soon enough, regardless the answer, Sera put the Sabine down in a dark alleyway in the shadow of the domes. It would likely take them an hour to get to the Great Hall, and Martok couldn't call for aid on the way there either. Ironic, how the current Chancellor had been rendered helpless so close to his own seat of power.


OOC: Lengthy bit, but we're there! Besides any reactions to the development above, I would love if the next round of posts would cover 1 hour of time where they traverse the city towards the back of the Great Hall, avoiding detection as best as they might. They are cut off from communications and have to rely on themselves to get there. If you feel inspired, feel free to illustrate how they are assailed by House Mo'Kai assassins in the narrow alleys, but there will be more chances for that once they get out of the streets. If you wish, you can also have warriors from House Martok appear and save them, allowing them to slip away. NPC Kudesh and Martok to some degree if you have to, but leave it ambiguous how many Oneida officers are accompanying them, along with whom they are (opening for new Applicants). Most importantly, have fun!

@jreeves1701 , if you want to have Larrant stay with Sera and V-Nine on the Sabine, we can write a Supplementary thread in which Mo'Kai warriors appear and try to kill them there? In that case, would you consider writing the starter for that scene? The Naming convention for that thread would be CH07: S [D03|XXXX] Insert Title.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: jreeves1701 on April 08, 2021, 05:50:30 PM
[ MCWO Larant | SS Sabine | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan   @Hope  @Luciain   @Nero   @chXinya   @Stegro88

Before the Captain could exit the Sabine, Larrant spoke up, "CAPTAIN, IF I MAY. I HAVE AN IDEA TO AIDE OUR MISSION. WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE CHANCELLOR, MY POD HAS THE ABILITY TO DUPLICATE HIS APPEARANCE VIA THE HOLOPROJECTORS. IT WOULD NOT PASS A SENSOR SWEEP BUT TO AN IMPASSIONED ASSASSIN, IT WOULD BE A VERY CONVINCING RUSE. I COULD THEREFORE LOGICALLY LURE THEM AWAY CLEARING YOUR WAY TO THE GREAT HALL."

Larrant was uncertain if such a tactic would be approved by Martok but he proposed it nonetheless. If Martok's rivals knew there was a chance that the Chancellor would make it to Qo'noS, they would likely have placed agents on the First City streets. Larrant's proposal was to lure them away with a decoy, thereby improving the odds that Ives and Martok would make it to the Great Hall. Larrant even thought about suggesting Ives morph into another copy but held that tactic to himself. Perhaps Ives would come to the same idea on hir own.

In answer, Ives looked towards Martok, whom merely grunted in affirmation and stepped up to the Medusan, letting him scan him before they would depart.

"Move out," said Jien eventually, and changed... into her female form. Instead of a Starfleet uniform, she wore more inconspicuous clothing in drab brown colours, hiding her weapon inside the folds of a cloak. She led the way, shoulder to shoulder with Martok, into the shadows of the Klingon streets.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on April 11, 2021, 09:28:12 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Security Centre | Deck 4 | USS Oneida ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 
[Show/Hide]
RraHnam did not open her eyes again until she felt the Sabine come to a stop. Traveling in a sardine can at speeds well above warp factor nine didn't scare her, but the possibility of ending up in a stain on the floor of Qo'noS if the flight ended even a few tenths of a second too late did. The Caitian was no space jockey, and she would certainly never understand the appeal of such risky maneuvers. Unconsciously, she clawed at the seat to hold on. In vain, she also tried to slam the claws of her feet into the much more metallic floor.

The Deputy Chief of Security rose immediately after she regained her clear vision, which didn't take a second. She grabbed her spear and left the shuttle to secure the perimeter with her squad. One of her guards took care of the plasma fire on the transporter platform, but then soon joined them. The android in the doorway seemed to have been hit harder. RraHnam certainly could have helped, but they had neither the time nor the tools for that now. So, the robot, apparently named V-Nine, had to wait.

RraHnam sucked in the air as the airlock doors opened and gave them a view of the dark alleys of the First City. Inwardly, she was glad to finally feel earth between her toes again, but there was no time. She ordered a defensive perimeter and took a few steps out herself to look at the immediate surroundings. The mantle of darkness had already settled over the First City. The bright remains of Praxis were visible in the sky. Far and wide, no one was to be seen. They were safe for now. But that would change quickly. Opportunists as well as loyalists would soon make their way to the landing site and by then they all had to be gone.

The surrounding area seemed safe. A secluded park. Trees half-hid their landing site, no one to be seen. Tall buildings framed the greenery. RraHnam ordered two of her people to stay behind with the pilot Sera vers Aldnoah and protect the shuttle. She watched as the captain's form changed and he slipped from his male to his female form. As she did so, she also noticed the change in her clothing and looked down at herself. Her Starfleet uniform was striking. Any Klingon in their right mind would notice her. RraHnam opened her uniform and removed the gold shirt underneath. Garish colors were a hindrance here.

"We look like Harabas." the security officer explained to her people. "See if you can find anything to mingle with quickly."
RraHnam used her claws to undo and remove the seams on the sleeves and pant legs of her uniform, exposing her muscular limbs. The Starfleet clothing kept restricting her movement. Knotting the sleeves and pant legs together, she fashioned an improvised carrying strap for her spear, which she then slung around her shoulder. She wore the gray-brown cloth in which the spear was wrapped like a cloak. It was wide enough to wrap her up to a large extent, but not large enough to cover her completely. She left her shirt behind in the shuttle.

Shortly thereafter, the man named Larant also transformed, and RraHnam only now realized that it was a containment unit wearing a holographic projection of a human. Interesting. Larant, after brief modifications, took the form of the Klingon chancellor.
"Larant, I suggest you take Kudesh and most of my troops with you. Let's focus as much attention on you as possible."
From the background, she heard Martok's giant bodyguard grumble. In a heavily Klingon-tinged Federation standard, he told the Caitian that he would not leave his chancellor's side and did not think much of her proposal. But RraHnam saw it differently, so she explained to the warrior.
"The deception only works if everyone believes he is the real Martok," she pointed to the holographic copy of the chancellor. "How convincing do you think a single Martok is, accompanied by a horde of Starfleeters, but traveling without bodyguards? And besides, you know the way to the Great Hall."
The real Martok grabbed the shoulder of the increasingly angry Kudesh and whispered a few words to him. Kudesh looked at him in surprise. Reluctantly, the rooster nodded briefly and then finally followed the Caitian's recommendation.
"This isn't over yet, petaQ[1]!" he rumbled.

RraHnam remained firm. She returned his angry stare. Her ears perked up in attack, her flews pulled up, exposing her pointed fangs. She tensed her paws and thrust out her claws. Then she hissed briefly. She turned away from him. She could not let herself get carried away. Kudesh was not her enemy. They had to work together. But it was hard. She hoped Larant's idea was successful and that they made it as unscathed as possible.
"Good luck."

RraHnam closed in on the captain and the chancellor. Their footsteps were not audible. So, she took the vanguard and scouted the area. After Martok had told her the approximate direction, she quickly found her way until she met two Klingon warriors in one of the narrow alleys, between all the garbage of the restaurants, which had already closed at that time. The two men seemed to have had quite a bit to drink already, but they got in the way of the small delegation.
<Hey, look at that, M'varr. Isn't that the traitor, Martok?> one of them bellowed in Klingon.
<You know what, Krem. I think you're right. And this must be his ...>
RraHnam didn't let him finish. In one leap she jumped toward the two drunken men and grabbed one by his hair. She hurled him full force against the wall. The man staggered back, dazed. Any other humanoid would have been knocked unconscious by this collision, but the man's forehead plates were too thick for that. They protected him from this fate. However, they could not protect him from being hit on the back of the head with a pipe lying around. The man finally went down unconscious after all.
<M'varr! Dude, that was...>
The security officer did not let him speak again either. With an elegant twist, she swept him off his feet and hit him in the head with the pipe. Unconsciousness seized him as well. She threw the improvised weapon away again.
Rra could just have them stunned using her phaser pistol, but weapon fire would have drawn much more unwanted attention to them then simple handywork. She grabbed both men and leaned them against the wall. She briefly checked the pulse of both, which was still clearly regular. That gave the others enough time to catch up.
"Just a couple of semi-strong drunks," she explained tersely. "They won't be any danger to us. Tomorrow they'll wake up with a proper headache. Let's move on."
petaQ = Asshole
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on April 19, 2021, 02:55:37 AM
[Selena Ravenholm | SS Sabine | First City | Qo'nos] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nero @jreeves1701 @Stegro88

As soon as Larrant returned to the shuttle Selena gave up the second seat for him, the updates with the Oneida were just about done and he was the better navigator.  Not to mention there was the jerry-rigged piece of unknown technology plugged into the warp core in the back that could use some eyes while it worked.  The moment everyone was on board Captain Ives didn't waste any time, they were spaceborne in moments and at warp seconds.  The cybernetically enhanced woman could hear Sera's cries of shock from the cockpit, and she smiled.  Artificial eyes locked onto the warp booster and switched EM bands every few seconds, her implanted recorders soaking up every bit of data she could see.  Between that and the plans, maybe, just maybe, engineering could duplicate this thing and give Thea herself a similar advantage.  I hope she handled Gorka well enough... she worried.  Her friend was a formidable combatant after all, but Gorka had a lot of ships...

As the minute of extreme warp counted down the booster continued to perform admirably, the only sign of stress she could see was a slowly building glow from its core and a whine that she doubted anyone else could hear.  The Caitian that joined them maybe, but that'd be it.  Thankfully they didn't have to worry about the slapdash technology, right on the mark the warp drive shut down and the Sabine dropped to impulse with nothing more than a shudder.  Starting up a diagnostic just to be safe, Selena figured her job was done here in the back and left the engineering closet to see the results.  Leaning in the cockpit door, both arms braced on the doorframe Selena looked in awe as Qo'nos filled the canopy.  She kept silent while Sera, Larrant, Ives, and Martok worked, keeping out of their way as best as she could in the cramped quarters.

In the end, holding onto the frame like that is probably what saved her from getting crushed by V-Nine when the Sabine was slammed by multiple emplacements.  Selena could hear the servos in her arms strain to keep her upright and she bit back a few curses and grimaced at the banging behind her.  Sera rattled off a number of downed systems and Selena ran back to the closet to see if there was anything she could do from there.  She did what she could (which wasn't much), but at least the shooting stopped quickly.  Once they were on the ground, she came back forward, kneeling next to V-Nine.

"See if you can do something for V while we're gone too, can you?" she asked those staying behind, looking at the android with concern.  Someone had already picked her up and set her to the side, but she wasn't speaking and that flicker in the lens was troubling.  There was nothing she could do now though, the Chancellor needed to get to the Great Hall, and she had the evidence he needed in her bag.

Stepping out into the Klingon night, Selena's eyes immediately switched over to a low-light mode, the blue glow in her irises disappearing and her vision turning into a high-contrast greyscale mode, multiple non-visible spectrums added into the dilated pupils adding to the detail she could see.  The plant life in the park they'd landed glowed in the infrared as photosynthesis wound down.  While was was distracted the Caitian took charge of the security arrangements and took point, the cyborg completely missed the argument with Kudesh, it was just background noise to her now.  "I'm not seeing anyone around, area's abandoned for the moment."

While RraHnam took point, Selena took up the rear.  The paralyzer in her right thigh stayed inside its little compartment for now, while it wouldn't kill anyone who knows how much attention the little bolts would bring, especially in the dark.  As the little group of galactic VIPs and two extras moved down the alleys she would occasionally look backwards, always at a random time, to see if they'd picked up a tail.  Thankfully they hadn't, the only one she had to admire was RraHnam's which of course soon jumped ahead of them, maybe she'd caught a scent of something?

Selena's suspicions were soon proved somewhat correct, two large grunts appeared out from an alcove, boisterous voices already calling out just who it was that was approaching.  They didn't get to do much more than shout though, before Selena could plot out a parkour route to introduce the drunks to a new kind of punch-drunk the Caitian was on top of it, KO'ing one with two quick introductions to the Klingon's head and the other went down in a sweep.  If she hadn't seen it with her own eyes Selena could've sworn that they'd just come across the remnants of a drunken brawl, probably due to someone refusing to pay a tab.

The human whistled in amazed approval of the cat's work.  "When they do wake up I doubt they'd remember what hit them." she said with a nod.  "The Lieutenant's right though, we need to move, and fast.  There's no guarantee no one heard the yelling."  As the group continued down the bar Selena took a moment to stop by the groaning bodies just long enough to liberate some currency off of them.  There was no telling just how useful some coin might be at getting through a few gates.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on April 21, 2021, 04:48:57 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Alleyway | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Nero
[Show/Hide]

So far, her first trip down to Qo'noS was going about as well as she had expected it to have gone, after a fashion anyway. There was the dramatic arrival involving weapons, the confusion about what to do next and then dealing with someone who had had too much bloodwine. Altogether, about as Klingon a welcome as you could imagine. The issue that the empire was on the verge of another civil war that would, in ways that very few knew about much imagine, decide the very fate of the Klingon Empire and the quadrant.

"If we are aiming to move fast, I'll take point," Mickayla proposed, her mek'leth held loosely in her right hand. She hadn't yet had the opportunity or necessity to use the blade but she was under no illusion that that would not change soon enough. As pragmatic as she had been during their descent and their initial foray into the streets, now it was her turn to step forward. "I can blend in far better than anyone else present and can make sure the way is clear. All I need to know is if I make a wrong turn."

When her proposal was acknowledged, the Klingon set off, her stride full of purpose as she continued on in the direction that they had been travelling, keeping to the alleys and dashing across streets when she came to them. They were able to maintain their pace for almost 30 minutes, only need to stop a few times to allow crowds or vehicles to move out of their path before continuing onwards. Mickayla was almost thinking that they had managed to avoid any pursuers, idly sparing a thought for both Sera and the Sabine and Kurdesh and the others with him when she came around a bend and almost ran straight into a trio of warriors, armed and wearing the crest of the House Mo'Kai.

"Hold there!" one of them barked, his hand coming up with a disruptor held in it. The others with him were holding bat'leths though they also carried holstered sidearms. "Where are you off too, girl? It's not safe around here."

"I can take care of myself," Mickayla retorted, bringing herself up to her full height and tightening her grip. "No traitor will get past me," she declared.

"A true Klingon daughter," the man responded, lowering his weapon. It was at that moment that movement behind her drew their attention from her and Mickayla knew that the time had come. Before anyone could utter a sound, the security officer's blade plunged into the belly of the middle Klingon, the razor-sharp edge barely stopping as it penetrated the armour and bit deep. As his companion's caught up to what she had done, Mickayla ducked under a hasty and haphazard swing from a bat'leth and wrenched her blade sideways before withdrawing it, disembowelling the talker before continuing her spin and cutting her attacker down at the knee, severing the limb. 

Her last adversary was prevented from immediately retaliating by his dying companion blocking his path but he soon sidestepped him and raised his bat'leth to chop down at the kneeling female. He was confident in his blow and looked askance at the female before him as she rose up and deflected his weapon sideways. He never got the chance to consider a second attempt as Mickayla drove her d'k tagh up into his head, burying it up the prongs caught on his jaw.

As blood flowed down over her hand, Mickayla pulled her knife free and allowed the corpse of the warrior she had killed to collapse to the ground next to her other victims. One was dead while the last was clutching at what was left of his right leg, trying to stem the stream of blood that was passing swiftly through his fingers. Stepping over to him, Mickayla held the tip of her mek'leth at his throat.

"How many more are between us and the great hall?" she demanded.

"I will tell you nothing, traitor!" the Klingon taunted. "I go to Sto'Vo'Kor proudly," he remarked before releasing the stump that remained of his leg and allowing it to bleed freely. Mickayla accepted his choice and by the time that everyone else had caught up and gathered around, Mickayla was surrounded by three cooling Klingons.

"Let's keep going," Mickayla urged as she began to move off. "We can't be far."
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: SaraKnight on May 01, 2021, 04:03:39 AM
[ Amissa aka "Emerald" | SS Sabine | First City | Qo'nos ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Nero 
[Show/Hide]

Amissa shook off the effects of the crash landing, wondering just how her life had taken such a crazy change of course in such a short period of time. Only a few days ago, she had been a fighter pilot with the Sapphire Wolves. Now, she had just survived a crash landing on the Klingon Homeworld, caught up in some kind of conflict that she had never expected to be part of.

When the call had come for security personnel to act as an escort for the mission to Qo'nos, Amissa had volunteered. She had only been temporarily assigned to the Oneida anyway, pending Starfleet's recommendation of how to handle her situation.

After a harrowing launch from the Oneida, they had been harried by Klingons until their escort had diverted them. What had become of the Klingon ships, she never knew. What she did know was that a short while later, the image of Qo'nos had come into view, the shell of their moon hanging like a foreshadowing of doom.

As the shuttle approached the planet, Amissa ran through her equipment list. She had opted to wear her Exosuit. Granted, she was on assignment with the Security Department for now, but the suit had been issued to her prior to her unfortunate encounter with the Romulans, and she felt it her responsibility to care for it until such time as she could trade it in for a security Exosuit, or got back in the pilot's seat again. If she ever did.

Diamond is dead because you failed to obey orders fast enough. Maybe if you had, your ship wouldn't have been damaged and Diamond would be alive today. Do you really deserve to fly again?

That question had been running through her head since she had effected her escape from the Romulans, and even more so once the Oneida had picked her up.

Amongst her weapons had been the standard issue of a Type-II Phaser pistol, a Type-III Phaser Rifle, and a combat knife, along with backup power cells for both phasers. There would have been no mistaking her function with the team, white exosuit or not.

They hadn't been in space over Qo'nos very long before the planetary defense systems began an assault on their vessel. The pilot had done a steep dive, making for the First City, even as their shields were quickly depleted. "Take her down below the rooftops!" she heard the Klingon Chancellor roar.

Amissa had begun to wish she was back in the cockpit. Not that the current pilot wasn't capable. In fact, she was probably better. But Amissa didn't like the helpless feeling she had experienced during that descent.

"Move out," came the order from Captain Ives, and Amissa fell in with Lt. RraHnam to set up a defensive perimeter. "We look like Harabas." the security officer explained to her people. "See if you can find anything to mingle with quickly." Amissa noticed the Caitian begin to alter her uniform and wondered how she was going to blend in.

I'm wearing a Starfleet exosuit, and even if I weren't, I am bright green. How am I going to hide that?

Amissa shrugged. She was just going to have to improvise. For now, she fell in with the rest of the security team as they followed the Captain and the Chancellor. The Lieutenant took off at the lead, but Amissa remained with the main group. As the passed various garbage deposits, she found a rather smelly and tattered garment that would serve to at least minimally cover her exosuit. She quickly draped it over herself, not much relishing the odor it was emanating, but sure that she would be glad to have it before too long.

She quickly caught back up with the rest of the group and came on them just as they reached Lieutenant RraHnam who was propping a pair of Klingon warriors against a wall.

"Just a couple of semi-strong drunks. They won't be any danger to us. Tomorrow they'll wake up with a proper headache. Let's move on."

Amissa nodded her acknowledgement and stayed near the main group. With any luck, she might pass as a mercenary for a short time.

Aye, Lieutenant. The sooner we reach the Great Hall, the better I will feel about this.

And once more, Amissa found herself marvelling over the series of events that had brought her to a darkened back alley in the capital city of the Klingon Homeworld. It was a long way from her life as a pleasure slave for the Syndicate, but she wondered if she was any safer.

OOC: Well, here's my first post. I hope I did this correctly.  :) 
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on May 03, 2021, 11:38:32 AM
[ Captain Ives (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Captain_Jien_Ives) | First City | Qo'nos ]
Attn: @Nero @chXinya  @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight
[Show/Hide]
In the shadows of the First City, Captain Jien Ives kept pace with Chancellor Martok, and while neither of them bespoke the obvious, Jien had taken on Kudesh's role as the old Klingon's personal guard. For who better protect the Chancellor than the person who's mission, crew and life depended on the Klingon Empire not crumbling under the machinations of the Infested?

The companions who left the Sabine behind were a formidable gathering of Starfleet officers, from the Theurgy and Oneida both, and they demonstrated their prowess at turns through the dark Klingon alleyways. The future of the war was at stake, the redemption of Jien's crew just a small facet of all that rode on Martok remaining in power, and it seemed the reality of the moment had fully settled into the companions as they made their way towards the Great Hall. Without the potential opposition of the Klingon Empire, the Infested would be unchallenged in their sway with both the Praetor and Starfleet Command - orchestrating the war from both sides of the trenches. Worse yet, the Theurgy crew also knew the Infested would be able to utilise whatever resources were at the Scion High Council's disposal as well, so having the Klingon Empire fly the banner of truth in a battlefield of lies was beyond crucial. Loosing the Empire might decide the outcome of that war before it even truly began.

The Theurgy had fought valiantly for over six months, with next to no allies, to defend the truth and to try to - in vain - make their voice heard. Jien had suffered personal hardships and losses, people dear to her killed and herself bearing unseen scars of torture, all of it leading up to precarious straits of the moment. With the entirety of House Mo'Kai doing all it could to kill Martok before they reached the Klingon seat of power. So, after Mickayla MacGregor, whom had scouted ahead, had dispatched three Klingons with the emblem of House Mo'Kai on their armour, Jien Ives offered no rebuttal or comment about taking those lives. If needed be, with no other recourse, deadly force would simply have to be the answer, as regrettable as it was. Only a few of the Oneida officers carried phaser armament, and inside the Great Hall, that option would be entirely off the table. Knowing this, the weight of Jien's sheathed dai-katana seemed heavier in her hand.

Jien merely inclined her head inside the cowl of her drab attire, and didn't slow down - unblinking eyes watching the shadows.

The next thirty minutes, those remaining between them and reaching the back of the Great Hall, would have been uneventful hadn't it been for the perimeter House Mo'Kai had raised around the building. If it hadn't been for Martok and his knowledge of the city, they would have walked straight into an ambush. Instead, the Chancellor had taken them through a narrow alleyway that emerged on a dark terrace. It overlooked a small square, and beyond it, the a staff's entryway to the building could be seen in the flicker of a torch, but as Martok told them all to be quiet and crouch down by the railing, he pointed towards different ends of the square - where the shadows were alive.

"There, there... There, and there, and two more by the door," the Chancellor whispered, and there might have been more for all Jien knew, because she could barely make out the movements of Mo'Kai assassins in the dark. She simply had to trust that Martok knew where all the hiding places were. Looking at the narrow streets that emanated into the small square, and how the group could split up to take care of the individual assassins, she turned her cowl to the officers behind her.

"Lieutenant RraHnam, there are at least ten assassins ahead. Split your team in two between yourself and Lieutenant Amissa, and deal with those four, hiding along the western side of the square. Ravenholm, the two in that alley are yours. Chief MacGregor, that street is yours, where two others are hiding. I will take the long way around and deal with those posted by the entrance. Martok, you hide here until the coast is clear."

"I am perfec-"

"Chancellor, we cannot risk your life to an assassin's blade. A single cut of poisoned steel and all of this have been for naught. You ought to remain here."

"Fine," growled Martok, curling his upper lip, but Jien had already turned her attention to the others.

"Move out." That was all she said, before she set off down the closest intersection, meaning to descend upon the Klingons from a rooftop close to the rear entrance of the Great Hall. She had her form mimic the soft soles of jika-tabi whilst she ran. She preferred to adopt those features for her feet not just for the flexibility of the soles, which allowed the wearer a greater degree of grip than rigid-soled shoes, but because they were nigh soundless against the pavement. She kept out of the torchlights, sprinting across alleys with miniscule light, until she climbed the small building closest to the door - letting the rooftop carry her the last of the distance. Once there, she leaned out, and espied the two assassins that Martok had pointed out. She realised, seeing how motionless they were, that if she hadn't known they were there, she would never have spotted them. With just a quick glance towards the other sides of the square, she took a deep breath... and leaped down.

She landed with a rolling motion, distributing the impact of the landing harmlessly along the forward movement. She came up standing and with her momentum, she cleared Arashi from its scabbard - the rising cut coming straight from the sheath and slicing the back of the closest Mo'Kai assassin. The force of the cut had driven the air out of the Klingon's three lungs, so he did not raise an immediate cry of pain, but the second assassin was on his toes, coming at her with an overhead strike. Jien could barely make out the length of the black-painted steel in the dim light, but managed to slide out of reach - the swing of the mek'leth missing her by a hand-span. In his rear hand, the assassin had a kut'luch, and he came after her with that next. At that point, however, Jien had her bearings, and was prepared.

Without turning her back to the opponent, she twisted and pushed the knife-hand out to the side with the flat of her blade, and drew blood by slicing in a rising arc. The scrape of the edge against black-painted armour drew sparks, but judging from the grunt, she knew she'd cut through. Another swing of the mek'leth followed, in which the Klingon meant to use his range and strength to split her from shoulder to hip. Hours upon hours of daily practise and repetition had her act by instinct rather than thought, and with the collective experience of honing her skills to that degree, she stepped into the swing, but raised her sword diagonally - letting it slide off harmlessly to the side. She felt the impact of the Klingon weapon in her shoulders, but rather than absorbing it, she let it propel her overhand strike as she came out behind the Klingon's back. That was the end of it. The Klingon took a couple of disjointed steps out into the square, while his head rolled in the other direction.

The first Klingon - with his back cut and teeth bared - turned around in time to lock eyes with Jien, before she delivered another cut across his chest, and sent him to Sto'vo'kor. After both bodies fell to the pavement, she shook the blood from her blade and sheathed it in a fluid motion, before gauging the progress of the others.

Once they were all accounted for, Jien raised her hand in Martok's direction, signalling for the Chancellor to come out of hiding. To her surprise, he appeared not far away from her, with a bloodied blade in his hand. Jien raised an eyebrow at her old friend, who merely snarled his answer. "There was another, one which I didn't see at first. Don't begrudge me the opportunity, Ives."

"I see," she said, shaking her head, before she led the way inside the Great Hall.


OOC: Handle your allotted assassins, and then I will cover the next phase, leading up to the Klingon High Council chamber. You have 7 days. Have fun!
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on May 08, 2021, 07:51:43 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight
[Show/Hide]
The Klingon way of fighting was often very dirty and very personal. Although the honorable warriors rarely admitted it, many of them were just as devious as humans and sought the shadows as their allies. They liked to lure their opponents into ambushes and often won only by sheer superior numbers. They too often fought the weaker and celebrated the slaughter of them as a glorious victory. Many young Klingon warriors were taught these ways at an early age. They were made to believe that it was the only way to achieve honor, the only way to enter the Klingon paradise, Sto'Vo'Kor. But RraHnam also knew stories of truly honorable Klingons. They hired themselves out as doctors, scientists, or even as simple farmers. They dedicated their lives to their work and taught their children to live honorably according to the teachings of Kahless.

And then there were the Mo'Kai, who interpreted all teachings differently and who were willing to use any means to achieve victory. They did not shy away from the use of poisons, the weapon of a coward. Often, however, they lurked deep in the shadows to kill their opponents when they were asleep. They stabbed them in the back or used their eloquence to incite their enemies against each other. Still, they were passable warriors and in a duel with them one always had to be careful.

RraHnam nodded in affirmation as Ives ordered them to join Lieutenant Amissa and her other soldiers in securing the western flank. The Caitian knew that Amissa was actually a fighter pilot. They had rescued the emerald Orion woman after the Romulan raid on the Tactical CONN Training Center Omega near the Paulson Nebula. Her Valkyrie had received a lot of damage at that time and had unfortunately become unfit for flight. So, she temporarily volunteered her services to Oneida's security department and RraHnam selected her for this mission. She raised her paw and told Amissa to attack the front hidden troops of Mo'Kai Assassins with the other Oneida security guards, while the Caitian wanted to take care of the rear unit of Klingons.

"Be as quiet as possible while doing this. We don't want to draw any unnecessary attention to ourselves." the security lieutenant explained the obvious as she removed her spear from its makeshift sling and cradled it in her paws.

Sheer overwhelming force.

RraHnam sucked in the air. She took in the scents of her surroundings. Her whiskers twitched excitedly. She smelled Targs and her stinky droppings. Tension was in the air. It was quiet, almost too quiet. She still smelled the blood of the Klingons MacGregor had killed still clinging to her clothing. RraHnam smelled the fear sweat of some of her comrades. She couldn't blame them. They were deep in the lion's den here.

Her golden eyes had adapted quickly to the twilight, allowing her to see farther and more clearly than most. RraHnam quickly and quietly climbed to a canopy that would lead her almost to the front of her opponents. The Mo'Kai assassins were expecting her, that much was clear, so they had to use their element of surprise. RraHnam began to run. Then she pushed off, jumped, and hurled her spear at the right of the two men. The force of the impact threw him back. The four crossed blades pierced his breastplate and bored deep into his body. The shock and blood loss ensured a quick end. The man was dead before he hit the ground.

Startled, the other warrior turned around. As he did so, he raised his bat'leth into a defensive stance in front of him. He quickly understood what was going on. But the woman, who was as adept at killing as he was, was just as quick. RraHnam landed elegantly in front of him. She raised her head and smiled dangerously at him. Her pupils constricted to narrow slits. She licked her lips. Then he made an unexpected leap forward. The surprised officer tried to dodge the bat'leth, which he thrusted forward. RraHnam leaped past him. She used the momentum to deliver a kick to his knee, forcing him to crouch. The warrior looked startled at the tattered pants and realized that the Caitian was using her claws to kick at him. RraHnam quickly straightened up and grabbed her spear. With a jerk and a short twist, she released it from the body of the opponent she had killed earlier. Now it was her turn again. With a similar sequence of attacks as his before, she worked her way forward. He tried to do the same and roll past the female soldier. But RraHnam speculated on it. She spun around with a jerk and brought the spear around in one swift motion to slit the Klingon's throat from the backhand. Gasping, the man went down. RraHnam knelt beside him and placed her hind leg on his bat'leth. Her paw she placed on his shoulder.

"The Sto'Vo'kor will welcome you with open arms, Warrior."
After he breathed his last, she placed his sword of honor on his chest. Even though he was a Mo'Kai, he was no less a Klingon and RraHnam respected their values and this one had lost out in an honorable duel.

RraHnam joined Captain Ives after making sure Amissa and her people had taken care of the other two Klingons. She nodded to the captain and smiled knowingly as Martok explained himself. Now the gates of the Great Hall lay before them.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: SaraKnight on May 09, 2021, 10:08:52 PM
[Lt JG Amissa aka "Emerald"|First City|Qo'nos] Attn:  @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @Auctor Lucan
[Show/Hide]

Amissa walked with the rest of the team, trying her best to remain vigilant. She was on Klingon territory, and one thing she knew about Klingons was that they could smell very well. And with the nasty odor coming off her ratty cloak, coupled with the sweet smell of her sweat and the emerald hue of her skin, she was fairly certain it wouldn't take much for a Klingon to spot her. She wasn't exactly sure what the Klingon policy was regarding Orion Slave Girls, so she didn't think trying to pass herself off as one would be a good move, though it certainly would have been handy if she knew for certain.

She also had to be conscientious of her walk. Amissa knew that due to her extensive years of training with the Syndicate, she had an almost innately sensual gait and if she wasn't careful, it would be noticeable as well. She pulled her long, black tresses over her face and ducked her head, hoping it would help conceal her further.

If I am lucky, the Klingons will get one whiff of this cloak and decide to leave me the fuck alone.

She doubted she would get that lucky, but despite her misgivings, thirty minutes later the group found themselves on a darkened terrace that overlooked a small square which led to an entrance to the building beyond it. The Chancellor signalled them to be quiet and they all crouched down behind the railing while he whispered to Captain Ives, pointing at various locations.

"There, there... There, and there, and two more by the door," the Chancellor whispered. Amissa looked at the locations where the Chancellor had pointed, but it was too dark in those locations for her to see from this distance. Still, she had the general locations and was certain if she got closer, she would know where to look.

"Lieutenant RraHnam, there are at least ten assassins ahead. Split your team in two between yourself and Lieutenant Amissa, and deal with those four, hiding along the western side of the square. Ravenholm, the two in that alley are yours. Chief MacGregor, that street is yours, where two others are hiding. I will take the long way around and deal with those posted by the entrance. Martok, you hide here until the coast is clear."

Amissa started to acknowledge the order, but the Chancellor began to protest and she settled for a nod of acknowledgement to the Captain.

"I am perfec-"

"Chancellor, we cannot risk your life to an assassin's blade. A single cut of poisoned steel and all of this have been for naught. You ought to remain here."

The Chancellor growled out a "Fine," and Captain Ives turned to the rest. "Move out."

Amissa noted the Caitian woman's nod of acknowledgement, and then she turned to face Amissa herself, pointing to the group of warriors in the front.

"Be as quiet as possible while doing this. We don't want to draw any unnecessary attention to ourselves."

Amissa nodded at the Caitian, then signalled the others to fall in. She exercised as much stealth as she could manage in the exosuit, regretting even more that she had chosen to wear it. Without it, her natural grace and agility would have made things easier.

Another problem with trying to initiate a surprise combat against trained Klingon warriors was their size and strength. Klingons were just big. And strong. And while she didn't mind large, strong men in certain instances, combat was not one of them. They were going to have to exercise lightning tactics to take these warriors out, otherwise a prolonged battle would go very badly for her given that she was only five-and-one half feet tall and 114 pounds soaking wet. The exosuit would help some, but it wouldn't take them long to overwhelm her. At least she had help.

When they got close enough, she signalled the other security officers and they took off at a sprint. Amissa was hoping to catch them unaware and prevent them from raising an alarm. The plan mostly worked. While the team dealt with one of the warriors, she launched herself at the other, hoping to bury her combat dagger into the warrior's chest before he could act. But he was faster than she gave him credit for.

The knife struck home and was buried deep into the Klingon's right shoulder just below the socket. But Amissa's inertia had carried her past him and the dagger was ripped from her grasp. Now she was facing an angry Klingon warrior who had just been wounded. He whipped out his mek'leth and spun to face her, crouching as he sized up his opponent and not even bothering to remove her dagger from his shoulder. Apparently, one small, unarmed Orion woman was no real threat and he wielded his blade in his left hand.

Behind her, she could hear the others battling with the other Klingon warrior and was grateful neither had the sense to raise an alarm. Of course, in the case of the Klingon she was facing, he probably assumed she didn't need to. And judging from the sounds behind her, the other one was too occupied to take the time.

"toDSaH! Did you really think you could defeat a warrior of House Mo'Kai so easily?

Amissa did not respond. She just dropped into her own defensive stance, waiting for the inevitable attack. She didn't have to wait long as the warrior stabbed at her and she dodged, the blade striking a blow on her exosuit. He didn't stop, however, and swung his mek'leth at her head. Amissa ducked the swing, allowing herself to drop low enough that she planted her hands on the ground and swept her leg out to take out the Klingon's footing. As hoped, he fell backward and Amissa finished her move by completing the circle of her sweep to bring her own feet under her. Without pausing her actions, she sprung up and landed on the Klingon's abdomen, winding him. Reflexive action caused him to drop his blade and Amissa swept it up in her grasp. Still in motion, she swung the blade high and buried it deep in his chest before he could recover from her sudden assault.

She left the blade in the Klingon, but removed her own and stood to see the others finishing off their own Klingon warrior. Nodding in approval, she signalled the team and they returned to the main group.

"Mission accomplished."
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on May 11, 2021, 07:11:47 AM
[Selena Ravenholm | SS Sabine | First City | Qo'nos] attn: @Auctor Lucan @SaraKnight @Nero @jreeves1701 @Stegro88

Catching up with the rest of the group quickly enough, Selena kept a watch on their rear as they slipped their way through the city towards the Great Hall.  Thankfully their attempts at keeping unnoticed but the closer they got the more she got nervous: Mo'kai was not this stupid, they had to have something waiting for them.  To his credit, Martok was the first to spot it as opposed to the cybernetically enhanced human.  Kneeling next to the Chancellor Selena's eyes switched over to night-vision mode and the assassins waiting in the deep shadows outside the Hall were as plain as day.  Ives took Martok at his word and Selena gave her the thumbs up at her assignment.

As quiet as a mouse, Selena crouch-walked along the terrace railing to get to a nearby rooftop, a simple enhanced jump was more than easy enough for her, even if the landing was a bit rougher than she intended.  Staying low with a grimace she waited and listened for any sign that the Mo'kai goons below noticed or thought it was worth checking, but they didn't.  A little shake of the head was the only sign of her displeasure at that laziness and continued forward with slow, calculated steps.  The slow pace was two-fold, the woman did not want to make any noise this time so she gingerly checked each point of contact between her limbs and the rooftop for anything that might creak, groan, clatter, vibrate, or do anything to betray her presence.  The other side of the coin was that her communication implants were currently scanning for any devices her two targets might have on hand, a nice little distraction would be the perfect tool right now.  And as luck would have it, one of the Klingons below forgot to secure his commlink.

Crouched on all fours and moving like a cat, Selena's internal protocols made short work of the commlink's security functions and she was in, the full array of functions filling the right side of her vision.  She couldn't help but peruse some of the files he'd stashed on it as well, some quick copy actions had his entire contact list in her own drive, completely decrypted.  Text messages were next, she'll look through those in more detail later, could be some good nuggets in there.  The photos though, eyebrows rose at some of the saucier ones.  My my....someone's been looking for some alternate sources of...profit.  At first she didn't think the Klingon/Ferengi "negotiation" pictures were worth saving, some of the things he was doing to the Ferengi's ear will haunt her dreams tonight, but it was intel...

By the time Selena was directly over the two Klingons she was done with the commlink and ready for the main event.  A quick look up and down the alley revealed no one else was here, all the other assassins were busy being dispatched elsewhere, none of the staff were coming or going, nor were there any passerby's.  Satisfied that they were alone, Selena looked down at the shadowed ground beneath her and plotted out her moves, her vision marking the movement paths and waypoints with each mental note.  That done, she sent one last command and set the program running.  Watching from the rooftop edge, her hands gripped the stonework hard and servos primed.

Gotcha! She smiled as the one assassin took his eyes off the road and pulled out his commlink, buzzing away with a lit display and raucous tone drowning everything out with its full-volume blast.  Both Klingons were completely distracted while he struggled with the controls trying to shut the thing off and they had no idea that above them mechanical arms let a lithe human woman flip herself completely around her shoulders and drop vertically behind them with little more than a soft clack of metal on stone.  The only warning the commlink-wielding assassin got was the sudden jerk of his partner's head sideways, he turned just in time to see Selena's arms unwrap themselves from his partner's head to let the body drop like the sack of meat it now was.  Dark eyes went wide in shock and the commlink followed the body as he reached for something on his belt, but not even a Klingon was a match for this cyborg in combat mode.  Leaping forward Selena's arms grabbed an overhead protrusion from the wall while she wrapped her legs around him entirely, pinning his arms to his sides, and with the leverage from above she swung as hard as possible, slamming his back into the stone wall hard enough to drive the air from his lungs.  Squeezing with her legs she gave the man a smile as she felt his body react to his body's struggles for air, bones creaking under the load as he tried to get free.  "Oh...so not just the Ferengi, but little ol'' me?" She coos, the honor-less deviant's look of shock and horror at hearing his secret whispered out loud telling her all she needed.  "Don't you worry, I'm sure he'll join you soon." She teased right before the light disappeared from his eyes, the blue glow of her own the last thing they see.

Disentangling herself from the new corpse Selena gently set herself back onto the ground and slid both bodies deeper into the darkness, a pair of quick searches netting her a few more coins, and knives.  Silencing the commlink with a remote command she scooped it up as she walked back to the group, pocketing the device after disabling it.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on May 11, 2021, 12:03:59 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Street | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @SaraKnight @Nero @jreeves1701
[Show/Hide]

Crouching next to the railing as she had been directed, Mickayla looked out on the square before them, straining her eyes to see what didn't want to be seen. If it hadn't been for the look of calm assurance on Martok's face, Mickayla might have doubted him but soon enough her eyes were able to pick out the shapes of Klingon warriors, no doubt more assassins from House Mo'Kai. They had laid an effective if the group had continued on their path towards the Great Hall. Instead, Martok's diversion to the elevated terrace had saved them all from a potentially grisly fate.

"This is going to messy," Mickayla mused after receiving her objective of eliminating the two Klingons in the street. There was no way that she could approach their hiding place without being seen unless she wanted to drop off a three-storey structure right above them. "Looks like I am going to have to risk an open approach again."

Shuffling back, Mickayla took the alleyway back down to street level and approach the square. Steadying her nerves, Mickayla began to walk down the street, dragging her leg and clutching at her side as if she was injured. The dried blood on her mek'leth added to the look of a warrior who had seen battle and not come away unscathed. She hoped it would be enough that she would be challenged instead of killed on sight.

She was almost to her target's location, her plan beginning to crack apart as she worried that the assassins might ignore her completely when the sound of a commlink echoed through the square. It was so unexpected that the assassins in hiding shifted, revealing their positions as Mickayla drew level with them.

"Now or never," Mickayla noted, pivoting on her heel, all traces of her feigned injury gone as she reached for her d'k tagh. Her sudden shift drew their attention back to her, but they were too slow to realise the threat she had been. Now, they were off balance and out of position and Mickayla capitalised on it. She plunged her mek'leth into the belly of the closest Klingon, a tall male that was still trying to bring his disruptor up to shoot at her. Mickayla twisted the blade, carving a hole big enough for her arm through his insides before releasing the blade and allowing it to fall along with the body of the male.

Her remaining opponent was female and instead of trying to shoot her, had opted to drop her weapon and draw a knife of her own. Now, the two squared off, each trying to gauge the abilities of the other from the way they moved. The female hissed at Mickayla, baring her teeth and slashing out with her knife. The blade passed within arm's reach of Mickayla but not close enough to be a threat. The female kept snarling and slashing, never once stepping closer to actually try and harm the Starfleet officer. It was more like she was trying to keep Mickayla away from her.

"What is wrong with this woman?" Mickayla wondered, taking a step to the side to see how her opponent would react. "Nothing. All she did was pivot. Is this a bluff? A trap?" 

Deciding to test her theory, after the female's next slash, Mickayla stepped in and grabbed at the wrist holding the knife. Surprisingly, she was unhindered as she clenched her grasp, the wrist beneath now held firm and with a strong pull across her body, Mickayla spun her opponent around to expose her back. Performing the drill by rote, the Chief plunged her knife several times into her target until the female lolled back in her arms as her life drained away. 

It was only then, as her face was lit up, that Mickayla realised she had just been fighting, just killed, a female Klingon that could not have been older than 20 standard years old. Pulling her knife free and feeling the warm blood beginning to coat her hand, Mickayla lowered the body in her arms to the street as she took a moment to think about what she had done. 

"Just a kid!" one part of her mind muttered, looking down and staring into the lifeless eyes there. "No time. Must keep going!" another part urged. It was right, she had a mission, but it seemed so callous to just brush off having taken a life so young, so full of potential. Mickayla had killed before, many times, but never like this.

Shaking her head and reminding herself why she was here in the first place, Mickayla retrieved her sword and began to walk away before pausing. Looking down, she saw the female's d'k tagh laying on the street and she bent down and retrieved it and its scabbard from her body. Sheathing it, Mickayla moved off towards the rally point as she attached the new weapon to her armour.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on May 20, 2021, 05:02:32 PM

1720 HRS. | STAFF ENTRANCE | THE GREAT HALL


[ Captain Ives (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Captain_Jien_Ives) | The Great Domes of Qo'noS | The First City | Qo'noS  ]
Attn: @Nero @chXinya @Stegro88 @SaraKnight
[Show/Hide]
Once inside, the motley crew from the Sabine found themselves in a hallway with doors along both sides, leading to a set of double doors on the other end of it. There was not a soul in sight, the only movement coming from the fires lit along their path. Chancellor Martok led the way, knowing where they might head, and Jien kept pace with the grizzled Klingon - sword sheathed at her side.

"How far to the Council Chamber?" she asked, and Martok paused his step... only not to give her an answer - eyes staring ahead.

"There are always loyal guards posted here," he grated, a snarl reverberating deep in his throat. He raised a finger, and pointed towards a dark patch on the stone floor. The firelight danced on the reflection, and it wasn't a leap of imagination to deduce how it was either wine or blood spilled there. "Another ambush, likely set to spring beyond those doors. There are no terminals here either, the staff relying on traditional duties, so I have no means to contact those loyal to me. The room beyond have terraces lining the path, and we'd be easy targets. We should take the long way around... through the barracks."

Ives clenched her jaw, not keen on the delays they might suffer, especially when this close to their destination.

"Lead the way," she said nonetheless, and gave the others a glance to gauge their readiness. With the ambush set on the courtyard they had just left behind, as well as this longer route they had to take, it seemed they would have to blend into the shadows of the great building for a while longer. Still, they were off the streets, and it was now just a matter of time before they ran into Klingons loyal to their Chancellor. Surely House Mo'Kai hadn't set more traps? If they had, Jien had to wonder if there weren't more Councilors that had decided to aid Gorka on site.

They knew of one, whom Rov, son of Pekdal, had divulged to Martok back on the Theurgy, after he'd been incarcerated. The name hadn't been a surprise either, since that Councilor had opposed Martok at many turns before the present day.


1743 HRS. | KLINGON HIGH COUNCIL CHAMBER | THE GREAT HALL


[ K'Tal, son of Machi, of House K'Tal (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Story_NPCs#K.27Tal_son_of_Machi_of_House_K.27Tal) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'noS ]
Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan @Brutus @Ellen Fitz
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"Who goes there?" growled Councilor Kopek, raising his thick eyebrows in K'Tal's direction. The old Councillor had spotted him as he was about to leave. K'Tal cursed under his breath with his back turned towards Kopek and the other Councilors. The communicator device in his pocket was whirring with new messages, keyed to alert him. He could not openly respond, however, so he had to go to his office, just like he had done when he spoke with those on the Theurgy's bridge, less than half an hour ago.

I can hardly hardly blame my bladder a second time, he thought as he turned around to face Kopek and the rest.

"Bah, Gorka is on the way here, and if he is to make his claim, I mean to find our current Chancellor. Else, House Mo'Kai has no one to level their challenge against. No one present to answer the accusations. I will not be long."

By wielding the truth, the dark stare Kopek gave him as he turned away was rather telling, but K'Tal didn't linger, heading straight for his office and pulling up his messages. One such stood out, and made him bare his sharp teeth.

  Councilor K'Tal, this is Lieutenant Commander Rutherford, Chief Diplomat aboard the Starfleet vessel Theurgy. I am contacting you with a contingency plan Chancelor Martok and I discussed before he left for Qo'nos. It is essential you get us clearance to deploy a diplomatic team to the surface via shuttlecraft, so we can present to the council the possibility for a continuation of chancellorship of the House of Martok, as well as provide you with evidence towards the traitor in your midst. A science officer will assist you in using that proof to deploy countermeasures against him. We're putting everything on the line here and I am putting my faith, and that of Chancellor Martok in absentia, in you to help us see it through.

K'Tal, was still digesting the new intel as he accessed the flight control logs... only to see that a landing clearance had already been given to the inbound Theurgy shuttle. He hadn't issued it... and it was immediately clear whom might have done so. Two quick steps and he was at another console, one meant for his operatives in the shadows. "This is K'Tal, team nine, head for the southern landing platform immediately. Protect the Starfleet officers on the shuttle designated Roslaind Franklin and escort them to my office. House Mo'Kai mean to kill them all."

Cursing, he knew he couldn't stay and wait for them either. Looking around, he picked up a data tablet, synced it with the open computer console, and headed back towards the Great Hall. At least he would be able to correspond with them, if they were still alive.


1745 HRS. | SOUTHERN LANDING PLATFORM | THE GREAT HALL


The shadows were alive, watching the Type 11 shuttle descending towards the platform. With steel painted black and with eyes sharp, the shadows waited for the small Federation craft to settle down unto the pad. Only once the engines were switched off did they stir, slowly making their way towards the airlock - skirting around the firelight from the torches that were mounted around the area.

With murderous intent, the three assassins of House Mo'Kai waited for the airlock to open, and once the hiss was heard, they didn't wait for long to gauge the readiness of the passengers. They did not consider armament or sensors, relying on the element of surprise. They simply moved in, blades drawn, and would cut them all down.

Gorka, son of Margon, would be the next Chancellor, and the Theurgy had no business to interfere.


OOC: Please welcome @Brutus , @Nesota Kynnovan and @Ellen Fitz ! :)

This group thread now covers two different events. On one hand, we have another round of posts from @Nero @chXinya @Stegro88 and @SaraKnight where roughly 30 minutes need to pass, during which these different things could happen. These are all objectives that you can all pick and choose from, and you have the full latitude to depict the listed events or any other development you decide you want to write, these merely being suggestions:
[Show/Hide]
Moving the hands of time forward to 1745, when the Type 11 shuttle designated Rosalind Franklin lands on the platform, there are three House Mo'Kai assassins lying in wait for them. Aboard the shuttle you can have 1-2 NPC redshirts that you can have killed off, of you like, but at the end of your three posts, K'Tal's spies will reach the landing platform to kill off any remaining assassins. I will NPC the spies after you three have posted, @Brutus , @Nesota Kynnovan ad @Ellen Fitz !
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on May 23, 2021, 02:53:19 AM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
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It was like one of those holonovellas, like "Trapped with the Mummy" or "One night over Rannoch III" which both her bonding partner wrote. RraHnam's whiskers twitched when Martok told them that loyal guards were usually posted in this corridor. They had walked into a trap with their eyes open. First the comparatively light fighting in the forecourt, now this. She looked around searchingly. Her golden eyes searched the walls and nearby doors for hidden objects. RraHnam was sure they were being watched.

"They want us to take their planned route," she agreed with Martok, who announced another ambush. So, it was only wise to take a detour. Even if an Anti-Nadion field ensured that particle weapons would not work, it was not impossible that the Klingons possessed crude projectile weapons. Although it was common knowledge that Klingons tended to prefer hand-on-hand combat, there were also many cowards in their ranks. Oddly enough, most of them gathered in the ranks of the Mo'Kai. RraHnam checked the fit of her pulse-fire phaser pistol, which remained firmly holstered. If these cowards dared to drop the protection of the Anti-Nadion field, they would regret it.

The Caitian opened the door to which the Klingon chancellor pointed. Beyond the door was a short corridor leading to the barracks. A gruesome picture revealed itself to the group as they entered the guards' sleeping quarters. At least a dozen corpses were scattered around the room. All the throats had been slit. They had been left to bleed out, stripped of their honor. The room reeked of blood. Huge puddles had formed on the floor. The grip on her spear tightened. RraHnam absorbed the details, but this room reeked only of death. She spared herself any comment. This was neither the time nor the place to joke. RraHnam pulled up her lips. Baring her fangs and growling, anger was building up inside her. Anger at this senseless violence. Feelings that had been forgotten rose to the surface again and RraHnam didn't know if she should fight the Mo'Kai honestly or just tear them apart. It wasn't until someone put a hand on her shoulder that her thoughts shifted back to the here and now.
"One man can slit four thousand throats in one night," Martok quoted a Klingon proverb in disgust, and RraHnam could only agree with him. This was the act of dishonorable bastards.

The security officer knew they had to move on, yet she was disgusted to wade through all that blood. She had no choice, though, so she put one foot in front of the other and kept walking. She left small pink tracks on the ground that clearly showed her bunion prints. Klingon blood soaked into the fur on her feet, and she knew she needed a good shower after this mission. She took a deep breath. RraHnam carefully opened the nearest door a crack wide and peered through. For a moment she listened into the silence and only when she was sure that no one was waiting for her, she opened the door completely. Ready for battle, she stepped out into the hallway and peered in both directions, holding her spear in front of her.

Martok showed her the way and RraHnam went ahead. It was some time before they came to an intersection from which she heard footsteps. She motioned to the rest of the people to be quiet and listened for a moment. She counted four pairs of boots and relayed her acoustic observation to the captain and the others with brief hand signals. The security officer was getting ready for an attack. RraHnam was ready to strike when the four guards turned the corner and were surprised to meet the group of Starfleet and Klingon personnel. The three men and one woman recognized their chancellor and took a stance. <Chancellor Martok. We feared you where...>
<Oh, come on,> Martok grumbled from the second row as he squeezed between the captain and the Caitian. <Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.>

The guards wore loyalist insignia and were delighted to see their chancellor. They were just heading to the barracks for their end of duty, but that quickly changed when the chancellor told them of the monstrous atrocity that had occurred there. The young Klingons could see the burgeoning thirst for blood, and Martok used this anger to rally the warriors to his cause. Without thinking twice, they joined the troop and brought a lot of fighting power with them. Each of them carried a Klingon's sword of honor, the bat'leth, a mek'leth, the d'k tahg, and various qhonDoq. RraHnam could only imagine how efficient these warriors were with a variety of these bladed weapons. After all, they lived for combat. Interestingly, with the four additional guards, they advanced faster than before. The warriors knew their way around the lower levels of the great hall and helped them maintain a pleasantly quick pace despite various detours.

Only when they entered a larger meeting room, used by many Klingons as a conference room, were they slowed down. Out of the shadows stepped several Klingon warriors. Unlike their escort, however, these bore the markings of the House of Mo'Kai. They surrounded the group and cut them off from the council chambers. The whir of brandished bat'leths filled the room, but otherwise there was a palpable silence. The Caitian soldier's ears perked up and her tail began to swing about in excitement. Her pupils constricted to narrow slits. She gripped her spear tighter. RraHnam prepared to leap almost unnoticed.

Then one of the Mo'Kai raised his bat'leth over his head and let out a battle cry. The fight began. RraHnam leapt and executed a wide swing with her spear, forcing the three enemy soldiers in front of her to keep their distance. She hissed aggressively, making it clear that she was no longer in a joking mood. To her right, one of the Mo'Kai tried to stalk her, but her ears heard his cheap attempt. She thrusted the blunt end of her spear in his direction, forcing him to make a defense out of his attack and step back into the huddle. His crony on the other side sensed his chance had come, but on this side the cross bladed tip of her weapon, proved far more dangerous. While he tried to parry her attack, she slashed the back of his hand, not only injuring muscle, and tendons, but at the same time destroying important nerve pathways that now rendered his hand useless. Screaming wildly in pain, the man dropped his bat'leth and grabbed his d'k tahg. Against all logic and reason, the man threw himself forward to his death. With a powerful thrust forward, she drove her spear into his chest just below the neck. In the process, she severed his trachea and esophagus and vital blood vessels. In addition, his neck and back vertebrae took great damage from her attack, causing the man to fall to the ground like a wet sack.

RraHnam now faced only two opponents. They looked each other in the eye for a moment and seemed to wordlessly agree on a tactic of trying to attack at the same time. While one tried to land a hit with his sword of honor, the other tried to grab her spear. With the Klingon on the other end of the spear, the Caitian tried to fend off the other warrior's attacks. Finally, she let him have the weapon and pushed off in an elegant spin to put distance between herself and the two attackers. RraHnam assumed a crouched posture, one paw stretched far from her, claws extended. The other hand was on her back, feeling for the pulse-fire pistol in its holster. She was aware that the Mo'Kai knew that phaser fire wouldn't work here, but she had something else in mind. With a gliding motion and thanks to her past as a Vra'shan Blitzer, she pulled the weapon out of the holster and threw it at the Klingon's head with her spear in his hands. A battle frenzy began to swell within her. A split second after the throw, she leapt forward again and at the man's neck. She sank her teeth into the flesh of the staggering man. RraHnam felt his warm blood flow in her mouth and bit down hard. The man cried out in pain and he tried in vain to free himself from her bite. With her strong arms and thanks to the claws reinforced paws, she held his arms in place. The soldier forced him to act as a shield and made sure that the suffering warrior was always between her and the other attacker. Finally, her victim went limp and sank to the ground. RraHnam let go of him, only to bring a foot under her spear and lifted it up. She caught him and was now about to face her last opponent when he was cut down with a few quick strikes by one of the loyal warriors.
<Chancellor, go forth! You must reach the council chambers. Go! We'll fend them off. For the Empire!>

<For the Empire!>, Martok reluctantly agreed with the young warrior. The Mo'Kai shouted all sorts of insults at him, calling him a coward and a traitor. But Martok had come so far now to not be stopped by words of simple warriors. He bravely endured the taunts and prayed to Kahless that his warriors could fend off the assassins long enough. One by one, the troops ran to the other end of the room and slipped through the heavy doors.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Ellen Fitz on May 24, 2021, 03:27:52 PM
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Type II Shuttle "Rosalind Franklin" | Southern Landing Platform | The Great Hall | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight

They are clean.

Enyd refused to pause in her study of the intel reports to check her hands. They were not covered in blood. Javec had been dead for years. And she was on an away mission that couldn't afford ill-timed eccentricities in connection to latent grief. The away team had already HALO jumped, and those remaining were on the last leg of their journey to the Great Hall. There was no time for the silliness of old memories haunting her.

To further distract herself from this unwelcome haunting, Enyd glanced up to the rest of the shuttle's occupants. Ensign L'Nari, she'd met briefly on the ship, a fellow member of the diplomatic corps. Her role was to covertly pass encoded messages back to Theurgy. Enyd had only met Lieutenant Junior Grade Morali upon boarding the shuttlecraft. He was to check on the anionic devices set up by Councilor K'Tal while Enyd employed all her knowledge of Klingon politics and behavior to further the claim of Martok. The other two security personnel onboard had not bothered to introduce themselves, and in the crush of the pre-jump shuttle, Enyd hadn't felt the need to insist on pleasantries.

Looking back at the PADD in her CLEAN hands, Enyd furrowed her brow. She was no longer studying the PADD's contents so much as playing over events and fitting these events with objective details. Just hours before, Gorka's forces had boarded Theurgy, with both sides suffering casualties and likely costing Gorka alliances among some of the Houses. General Chu'vok's intercepted transmission from Gorka to Eriska regarding Daa'maq, led one to conclude the infested Dr. Nicander had seen through must've been of House Kopek. Martok had a grandson, previously unknown, who could be counted on to continue the bloodline now that it was undetermined if Martok had survived the crash. And there were yet three undecided houses--removing the corrupted Kopek from the equation--whose allegiancess could be swayed to Gorka or Martok, depending very much upon their current success.

The shuttle began its descent, pulling Enyd from her studies. Enyd set aside the PADD and double-checked the straps that held the tik'leth to her body. She had no idea which House Pa'Qis had been from, but she supposed the House markings on the blade would move the coming discussions along faster than if she'd come without it. As it was, Enyd hoped she wouldn't have to rely on it alone for defense. She double-checked the security of her phaser and inwardly sighed in relief. Greater chances of survival at a distance for someone of her stature.

Making eye contact with one of the security personnel, Enyd nodded towards the shuttle doors. "No doubt there is an ambush awaiting us somewhere between the landing pad and the Great Hall." It did not take Vulcan logic to deduce that strong possibility considering earlier events. "When those doors open, we form a diamond formation and move as a group as quickly as possible to the building." Enyd glanced at the other occupants of the shuttle, regretting not knowing more about the craft's capabilities. "If possible, vent steam or some sort of smoke once we have landed. If there is an ambush waiting on the landing pad, that would further impede their attack, though admittedly also impair our visuals as well." Realizing not for the first time that though she was the highest-ranked, she was the shortest of their group, Enyd added, "If there is none, well, then we can just claim a flair for the dramatic in our arrival and still beat a quick pace to the building."

The shuttle settled on the landing pad and Enyd waited till she heard the craft settle completely before she stood and moved into position by the door, signaling for the others to join her. Now it was just a game of good timing.

"Let's go quick, steady, and don't get separated." Pulling the phaser from its holster, she held it at the ready, waiting for the door to open and the rest of the group to file out as one.
________

OOC:  Link (https://uss-theurgy.com/forum/index.php/topic,3144.0.html) to "Discovered Identity" detailing the mentioned intercepted transmission.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: SaraKnight on May 27, 2021, 04:43:24 AM
[Lt JG Amissa, Callsign "Emerald" | The Great Domes of Qo'nos | The First City | Qo'nos ] Attn: @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @Ellen Fitz
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Once everyone had regrouped, the Captain had them move on. As they moved along, it became more and more apparent that the Klingons were planning an ambush. She envied her Caitian team leader for her senses. Amissa could tell there were warriors in the shadows, but she could barely make them out.

After a brief conference, Chancellor Martok redirected them to a less obvious route. It had become clear that an anti-nadion field had been set up negating their phasers and disruptors. If a battle did erupt, it would be hand to hand. That might be fine for the Klingons, or even Lt. RraHam. But Amissa knew that the only reason she had survived her last fight with a Klingon was due to the fact that she was wearing her exosuit. And she had no doubt it was in need of repairs. If another fight did come to her, her only real weapon would be her natural agility and reflexes.

Following the Chancellor, the group eventually came to a door which RraHnam opened. It led to a short corridor beyond ending in a barracks room. Inside, a minimum of twelve bodies lay around the room, throats cut and left to die in disgrace. This was not the vaunted Klingon honor she had heard so much about. This wasn't even the style of the Syndicate. Whoever had done this had been cold and calculating, and cared nothing for honor.

"One man can slit four thousand throats in one night," she heard the Chancellor say. From the way he said it, she had a sense that it was some form of proverb.

One that is all too true.

The team continued on, leaving the grisly seen behind. She paused as Lt. Rrahnam signalled everyone to be still. Amissa heard several heavy footsteps approaching and gripped her combat knife tightly.

Well, here we go.

But instead of meeting a fight, four warriors came around the corner and met them. After establishing that they were loyal to the Chancellor, they once more proceeded on, and Amissa took comfort in the increased numbers.

With the presence of the four newcomers, they were able to make better time since these guards clearly knew their way around. They had just entered a large meeting room when several Klingons stepped from the shadows and surrounded them. There was no conversation, only the sound of bat'leths swinging through the air. Amissa dropped into a defensive crouch and waited for the inevitable attack to begin.

And it did begin. With a loud battlecry, one of the Klingons lifted his blade over his head and attacked. Amissa's reaction was a bit slower than Rra'Hnam's but she snapped into action as two warriors charged her.

She dropped low as one bat'leth swung for her midriff. She then quickly leapt into the air as the second one came low, aiming to take her head off. She managed to just clear the blade, but while she was still airborne, the first one hooked his blade around clipping her ankles. Amissa came down hard, but went into an immediate roll, dodging the blades of her opponents the entire time. Just as she was nearing a wall, she kicked her feet out and used the wall to start a backflip, flipping over a pair of bat'leths as their wielders let out cries of victory that quickly turned to grunts of frustration. Amissa had flipped over the blades and had regained her footing once more, now behind them.

She took advantage of their brief disorientation to plunge her knife into an opening in the second warrior's armor, driving the blade deep. He let out a cry of pain and she could see it had been a devastating blow as he fell to the ground. He wasn't dead - yet - but he was certainly out of this fight. The only problem was that when he fell, he had stripped her knife from her hands.

Realizing the green-skinned woman was now weaponless, the first warrior got a triumphant look on his face, but Amissa once more took advantage of his overconfidence. She quickly scooped up the other warrior's bat'leth and was prepared to defend herself once more when the first warrior suddenly sprouted the tip of a mek'leth from his chest. His eyes glazed over as he slid off the blade and Amissa gave an appreciative nod to her rescuer. But he spared no time for the niceties, having once more turned to the battle.

The Klingon warriors with them began to call for the Chancellor to make his escape to the Great Hall, claiming that they would take care of these warriors. Amissa tried to regroup with the rest of the team, but as she neared the team, a Mo'Kai warrior got a cheap shot at her from behind, puncturing her exosuit from behind. It didn't get too far in, however, as one of the loyalists removed the head of her attacker before pulling the blade out of her suit. She was pretty sure the tip had pierced her about an inch as she could feel a trickle of warm fluid down her back, and she hoped it wasn't too serious. They were far from any medical aid at the moment.

She still had enough energy to keep going, but she was in a lot of pain. She gripped the bat'leth tightly and braced herself on the walls as they kept moving.

"The coward had to go for a cheap shot," she said between ragged breaths, "but I think I will be fine as long as I can get stitched up in the next hour or so."

She also needed sleep. Or some stims. Between the battle and her natural sleep rhythms, Amissa was starting to feel fatigued.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on May 31, 2021, 06:03:35 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Barracks | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @SaraKnight @Nero @chXinya
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Mickayla was beginning to lose track of both time and the number of Klingons she had killed. She'd remember later, she knew, as she always did, but right at that moment, with both hands now slick with Klingon blood, the Chief couldn't say. They were on a mission of the utmost importance and the order had been given; those that stood in their path were to be removed from it with extreme prejudice. And she had done just that. First, when moving from the crashed Sabine to the Great Hall, and now within the hall as they attempted to get to the High Council Chamber.

They had just been ambushed by a group of Mo'Kai warriors and Mickayla was wondering just how many more of them could be in their way. She had only the most basic understanding of the Klingon political structure and had no idea just how many warriors made up each of the Great Houses' forces. But she was left hoping that Gorka's were starting to run short even though her gut was telling her that more blood was going to be shed before they came upon the venerated hall that was the High Council Chamber.

After passing through another set of heavy doors, Mickayla rotated up to the front of the group. It was the smart move to allow those that were tired to try and gain some of their strength back even as they continued forward. From that position, she was the first to see the approach of a pair of Klingons, both looking somewhat battered. She hissed a warning to those behind her and steadied herself, ready for another ambush. Thankfully though, both warriors pulled up short and knelt, presenting themselves to Martok.

"I am Avird and this is my brother Atring," the taller of the two introduced. "We are loyal warriors of the House of Martok."

"You two look like you have seen some action," Mickayla observed.

"Truly," Atring agreed. "We had numbered eight when we arrived by those traitorous targs have killed those that came with us."

"How much more opposition are we looking at?" Mickayla asked, trying to assess their situation.

"There shouldn't..." his voice trailed off as growls echoed through the hall. The two brothers spun about and reached for the knives at their hips, even as the two of them uttered together. "Jackals!"

Mickayla didn't have time to ask them more as more growls preceded the sounds of padding feet hurrying along. Her first view of beasts was as hurrying white clouds approaching through the gloom. Soon enough though, the clouds took form, and the Chief could see what was attacking them. Jackal Mastiffs. Mickayla had seen images of them several times over the years, but this was her first encounter with a live specimen. And it looked to be a violent one as the four beasts charged at them, baying as they neared. 

Dropping her Mek'leth, Mickayla steadied herself, knife in hand as she waited to see which of the hounds would target her. Once one had singled her out, Mickayla's focus zeroed in on it, everything else falling away as she hunched over, presenting her armoured forearm as a target. She needed it distracted so that she could use her knife. She had to get its focus away from her weapon, if it even recognised it as one, so that she could defend herself. Thankfully, the canine took the bait.

Gathering its legs under it midstride, it lunged at her with open jaws, teething flashing in the dim light before latching onto her vambrace. The weight and momentum of the animal carried Mickayla to the stone and she grunted at the impact even as the jackal attempted to wrench her arm sideways. It clawed and snapped at her, and the Chief ground her teeth as she feet its claws gain purchase in her skin several times. Through the pain though, she knew that she was in the best position to strike at the mastiff, and she wasted little time in doing so. 

Fresh blood coated her hand once more as she drove her d'k tagh into the canine's side. The beast squealed above her but renewed its attack on her, its enormous central tooth running a line across her exposed chest and drawing blood in its wake. Again, and again Mickayla stabbed, until finally she either hit something important or the cumulative toll of the wounds added up. The jackal above her whimpered as strength left its body and it collapsed down onto the woman, driving what little air remained from her body.

Time stopped as she lay there pinned. It could have been seconds, or minutes or hours to the Chief but she couldn't tell. Finally, the carcass was hauled off her and she was able to take stock of the situation around her.


OOC: You're right, Attack Targs sounds weird. I found an alternative.
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Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on June 09, 2021, 05:01:10 AM
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Sarresh_Morali) | Shuttlecraft Interior| Rosalind Franklin| Southern Landing Planform | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS ] Attn: @stardust @Ellen Fitz @Nesota Kynnovan  @Auctor Lucan 
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Checking his gear for the fourteenth time, Sarresh Morali reflected on just how he had ended up on a shuttle craft full of diplomats on the way to the Great Hall, the seat of government at the heart of the Klingon Empire. It was almost enough to be amusing. The real punch line was he had volunteered, for a multitude of reasons that would likely as not irritate both Captains Ives and Ducane. That notion brought a hollow grin to his lips, and he almost snorted. But that was beneath him.

Had he been given a choice in the matter, Sarresh would have preferred to be suited in one of the Savi stealth rigs. While his time trapped aboard the Versant had not been a pleasant experience, he had come to appreciate the grey skinned bobble headed species' ability to come up with rather impressive gear, and having worn the stealth suite more than once, found it absolutely perfect for such an occasion as this. Alas, they were supposed to be the good little party of diplomats and scientists. The other team had already vacated the ship. Sarresh scowled at that, for all the wrong reasons this time, but shoved them aside. 

He'd volunteered for this mad mission as a favor to Samantha Rutherford. She needed help. He stepped up. It was a simple as that really. Sarresh did not have many people he could claim to care about on this ship. She was one of those very few, and so he'd answered her call. And now he was baby sitting her subordinates. Even if one of them did out rank him, he still saw himself as having to take care of them, not the other way around. 

I never professed to be anything other than arrogant, he thought again, this time allowing himself that small grin. 

Besides which, he was up to date on the anionic equipment that was to have been deployed ahead of their arrival. More so than many on the ship, Sarresh had a vested interest in making sure that Jien Ives was alive. The former Ash'reem had sacrificed everything on the bet that Ives, above all others, would be the one that stood the greatest chance of stopping the infestation. Without their leadership, the already poor odds were of a magnitude worse. He would not allow that to be the case, not if he had some chance to affect things. And while Ives might have preferred Sarresh safely ensconced aboard the Theurgy, where the temporally locked memories in his brain might be protected, Sarresh had decided that Ives was missing, they didn't get a say in the matter. 

After all, at any point those memories could crack open again, and some vital detail could come foaming up out of his mouth at just the right moment, and if he weren't on Qo'noS that would be a shame wouldn't it? The logic had held enough to get him a spot on this mission. Besides it's not like I can't hold my own in a fight. There was a pile of Klingon bodies that had been piled up in front of the entrance to the Temporal Observatory some hours before that proved the point rather succinctly. Sarresh had dipped into that dark, fearsome well of talent he didn't remember learning but clearly knew so well to deal with that threat, just as he'd dealt with the attack in sickbay months before during the rendezvous with the USS Harbinger.

Shaking his head to disburse the dark memories, Sarresh walked over to the far side of the compartment where he hefted his own captured prize. Again, that flicker of amusement surfaced on his face as he looked over and watched Lt. Madsen, the mission lead, strapping a Klingon short sword to her back. He wondered if she had claimed the weapon in the fighting aboard the Theurgy as he had, or if she'd had the blade for far longer. He'd never find out if he didn't ask, but Sarresh didn't care about it quite that much. For himself, in addition to the bag of equipment needed to possibly tend to the anionic apparatus awaiting them in the Great Hall, the strange eyed human had brought along what looked like a very sleek tricorder, one of the phaser pistols often assigned to security officers, such as their gold shouldered non com escorts, and one slightly used Klingon bat'leth. 

Bracing his hands atop one of the wrapped hilt points of the blade, he listened as Marsden addressed the others. Glancing from human to Caitian, and then the guards, Sarresh let out a soft sigh and turned on his heel, closing the distance toward one of the engineering control panels. "Honestly the easiest option is to vent some of the plasma from the nacelles. It'll bellow out and possibly do a number on any lurking assailants. Of course, we couldn't easily walk through that without the proper safety gear. But...atmospheric thrusters could be reconfigured to vent their pressurized gas at an angle that would serve our purpose."


OOC: The bat'leth was acquired during a drafted, but unposted scene to have been set in the battle log: Whomever Remains.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on June 11, 2021, 04:37:01 AM
[Selena Ravenholm | The Great Domes of Qo'nos | First City | Qo'nos] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @jreeves1701 @Nero @SaraKnight

In the rear, Selena nearly walked right into one of the loyalist warriors when he stopped short.  One of her networking implants recognized a ping in the local network (one of very few she'd picked up, but just like all the others she'd had no luck getting into as of yet) and the door behind her slid closed with a heavy clunk.  More bodies stepped out of the shadows between the pools of torchlight, naked blades gleaming with patterns of reflected firelight.  A mechanical hand slowly slipped towards the hidden compartment in her thigh but she thought better of it, the quarters were just too cramped for the pistol stashed inside.  The silence between the two groups as they stared each other down was so thick it was amazing the twirling bat'leths didn't cut it apart.

Then someone made a move.  Selena couldn't see who, there was too much muscle between her and the vanguard, but in almost a blink the sounds of clashing metal filled the room.  Dropping to the floor and bracing herself on her hands, Selena's leg kicked out to trip up the first onrushing hostile, the woman's kneecap shattering with a wet crunch as the synthetic material smashed into it like a piston.  Her momentum carried her forward and down to the floor, bat'leth disappearing behind her and she screamed.  Rolling onto her back Selena's eyes widened in shock at the sight of one of the sword's end points embedded deep into the other's flesh, just above the pubic area.  Before either could respond someone's arms ripped it out of her and swung it back down as a mercy kill, ending the screams with little more than a gurgle of blood.

Instinct (and maybe some automatic combat software) kicked in shortly after and Selena dove into the fray.  One of their new friends took a backhanded blow from another bat'leth, staggering him back and opening him up to getting disemboweled.  Seeing the sword arcing around for the kill the human leapt towards the friendly to get in between, arm jutting out for a block.  Simulated pain shot straight into Selena's brain a moment later as her arm crashed into his at full force, bones crunching under the impact.  Howling with pain the Mo'kai stooge dropped the blade and Selena drove her knee straight into his groin, bowing him in half so that she can finish him off with a double-fist to the back of the neck.  Moving on before the body even hit the floor the cyborg yanked the d'k'tahg off of someone's belt and embedded it between another's ribs without breaking stride.

The rest of the brawl ended up a bit of a blur in Selena's memory, a near endless cavalcade of limbs and blades and blood.  Somewhere in there her foot slipped on something slippery and she fell under a swinging bat'leth, pure luck keeping her head attached to her shoulders.  Later something big and heavy smacked her right in the temple sending her to the floor along with an entire constellation of stars.  She had no idea what happened next, the next thing she knew someone was hauling her down another hallway with the sounds of battle fading behind them.  "'Id we whin?" She slurred to her crutch.  The blood on her face had already gone tacky so it took a little bit of effort to wipe it out of her eye.

Able to move on her own again after a very brief rest, Selena still stuck to the rear.  Turning around every so often to do a random check for new shadows it looked like the rear guard back at the brawl had managed to keep anyone from that group from pursuing.  That didn't preclude the idea of another wave in front of them though, the pair that appeared from around another corner were proof of that.  Bloodied bodies and knives gave everyone a clue to what was coming, but the sight of those massive jaws surrounded by fur froze the woman up.  It was a good thing Mickayla was up front, she took on one of the beasts all on her own while the other three barreled past her towards the others.  The brothers held their ground, working together to scrap with one jackal leaving the other two to the Starfleeters.

Unsure of what to do, Selena was too slow at first, the last jackal got through the line and lunged right for her.  Massive teeth clamped onto her leg with impossible force, the sudden weight pulling her to the floor with a scream that was cut short when her chest hit the ground, knocking the wind out of her.  The beast's head whipped around frantically trying to tear the leg right off of her body.  Cautions and warnings filled the woman's vision as the mechanisms in her leg strained under the brutality and the outer sheathe was already buckling under the bite force.  With so few options all she could do was kick with the other leg as hard as possible, hoping to smash something sensitive.  Blow after blow glanced off of the animal's angled head without seeming to faze it.  Something blurred the light above her, visions of the final jackal crushing her neck drained the blood out of her face.

It didn't happen though.  Something growled above her, but the weight vanished off of her leg with a yelp and splash of something wet.  Quickly pulling her limbs in Selena reflectively rolled to get out of the way and into the wall.  Using it as a support to get back to her feet (the damaged leg was having some trouble manipulating the artificial musculature), she saw Martok roar in victory as he pulled a blade out of the canine that had literally tried to rip her limb from limb.  When he turned towards her all she could do was nod in appreciation.


The rest of the fight didn't last much longer, the jackals were fierce but once intelligence and numbers always win out in these cases.  Looking around at the aftermath Selena noticed Mickayla pinned under her prize, feeble movements hinting that she was trapped.  Limping over she used her augmented strength to lift the dead animal's weight off of her and flop it to the side.  Holding out a hand to help the other woman up she saw the blood leaking out of several nasty-looking wounds.  "Can you move?  There's no way they didn't hear all that."
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nesota Kynnovan on June 15, 2021, 08:53:18 PM
[Ensign L'Nari | Shuttlecraft Rosalind Franklin | Southern Landing Platform | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS]
Attn: @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Auctor Lucan

When she initially applied for the Starfleet Diplomatic Corps following her graduation from Starfleet Academy in late 2377, L'Nari did so in the understanding that her 'front line' would be diplomatic negotiations. The most dangerous aspects of her career would involve either minor job-related injuries, such as stubbing her toe on the edge of her desk, or the commute from- and to work. As a Linguist whom specialized in six completely different languages, the black-furred Caitian hadn't only accepted that knowledge, but even embraced it as tightly as one would do with newborn kittens.

That's why, as she listened to the words of Lieutenant Madsen, L'Nari genuinely wondered just where she had gone wrong. It was probably when she intended to review the report on the Daa'maq-mission for anything they might have overlooked, maybe something small that had seemed insignificant at the time. When she arrived in the Diplomatic Council Offices, she had stumbled onto Lieutenant Commander Rutherford and Lieutenant Madsen by sheer chance and, in the absence of Faye Eloi-Danvers, the dubious honour of volunteering for something dangerous passed on to her.

Upon hearing how Lieutenant Madsen told them not to get separated, words which she further accentuated by drawing her phaser and holding it at the ready, L'Nari once again remembered the near-disaster which had been the Daa'maq-mission and genuinely regretted that she hadn't thanked for this assignment when she still had the chance. Contrary to the Lieutenant however, the black-furred Caitian hadn't drawn her phaser yet and instead looked at Lieutenant Madsen's weapon with a hint of discomfort in her green eyes; to say that weapons training hadn't exactly been her forte was quite the understatement and, as such, L'Nari hoped to keep her weapon holstered if possible. If not for her own safety, then definitely for the safety of the much better-trained people around her whose actual job it was to keep Lieutenant Madsen, Lieutenant Morali and herself safe.

Before she could say anything, her green eyes came to rest upon Lieutenant Morali as he placed his hands atop his bat'leth and spoke up as well. Upon hearing his suggestion about venting plasma from the nacelles, any potential assailants that could be waiting for them on the other side of the doors seemed like a much lesser evil and L'Nari began to glare at the man. "No." As she spoke, L'Nari's slightly-accented Caitian voice matched the indignant expression on her black-furred face. "There are regulations against precisely that kind of thing for a reason, it is way too dangerous!" L'Nari briefly turned her attention towards Lieutenant Madsen to see if the woman could truly agree to something as outrageous as that, before she turned her attention back to Lieutenant Morali again. "I mean, we're diplomats!" While she was opposed to any form of violence whatsoever, especially when it was directed towards her, L'Nari knew that just their diplomatic immunity might not be enough to defend them. As such, she shrugged before quickly adding "We might as well see how far we can stretch our immunity before it wears out. At the very least it can buy us enough time to make it to the relative safety of cover, right?" 
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Ellen Fitz on June 16, 2021, 05:01:10 PM
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Type II Shuttle "Rosalind Franklin" | Southern Landing Platform | The Great Hall | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Brutus  @Nesota Kynnovan  @Auctor Lucan

Though they'd known each other for the span of this ride into likely chaos, Enyd already respected Lieutenant Morali. He carried himself with purpose, and she appreciated his cut-to-the-chase view of problem-solving. As evidenced by his suggestion. Turning to her fellow diplomat, Enyd could hear the uncertainty in her voice, and in truth, Enyd felt it reflected in her own gut. It took a lot of willpower not to wipe her hands on her trousers to clean them of the blood Enyd rationally understood was not there. Eyeing the remaining two of their team, the security personnel looked more eager for the door to open than worried about safety protocols.

As the senior officer, Enyd realized much of their success banked on whether she could hold it together at a crucial moment. Taking a deep breath, she used a direct but calm tone of voice as she first addressed the young Caitian. "I hear what you're saying, Ensign L'Nari, and I respect it. We are diplomats, but we are also in a situation where cowboy diplomacy with guns drawn may keep us alive long enough to fulfill our mission. A fanatical Klingon couldn't care less about diplomatic immunity."

Enyd gazed at Lieutenant Morali and nodded. "Use the pressurized gas, Lieutenant. The rest of you," she signaled the two security personnel and waited till they stepped closer before she continued. Pointing to the taller of the two, "You have point." Then, stepping back so he could take the lead, Enyd motioned to the other. "You take the right flank." Enyd assumed her position angled diagonally behind where Morali could step in on the left flank if he wished and nodded to the Caitian, "You may fall in beside me in the back." It wasn't a perfect diamond formation, but it would do.

As soon as everything was set, the lead security personnel engaged the airlock. As the door hissed open, the following seconds proved their earlier ethics debate, and Enyd's attempts to safeguard their team, had both been in vain. No sooner had the lead security personnel emerged from the craft when a large Klingon materialized. He was visible just long enough to slice off the point man's right arm before rapidly twisting out of sight. Blood drenching interior and exterior alike, the man crumpled to the ground in paralyzed agony. Enyd reached out towards L'Nari while she ducked closer to the ground to make a less available target. Moving through the spray of blood, the remaining security guard quickly pulled his screaming comrade back into the shuttle, with Enyd training her phaser on the obscured area just over his shoulder.

This was where training became the maker or breaker of an officer and a mission. Enyd had never considered herself a fighter or a warrior, but believed she came from a legacy of resilient survivors. Stubborn survivors. Training was not just for the physical demands of leadership, but the mental ones as well. Enyd recognized mind counted just as much in a time like this. And her mind was uninterested in having survived the hell of Cardassian torture just to die on Qo'nos on her first blasted mission.

The air filling with the wounded man's screams of anguish, Enyd growled, "There's no time!"

As much as she wanted to use a field medkit and spend more time trying to save him, they couldn't afford to. They couldn't stay in the shuttle. There was no telling how many more Klingons were on the landing pad. So the choice, as she saw it, was to die by being overrun in the shuttle or die in an effort to make it to the Great Hall. No real debate there.

Enyd wrenched the remaining security back to his feet. Her hands were wet now, with real blood, and somehow that served to soothe her nerves instead of further frazzling them.

"Chancellor Martok disclosed that anti-nadion emitters dampen any energy use once we are inside." She moved her phaser from one hand to the other while she wiped the blood off on her trousers. "We have until the interior of the Great Hall to make use of our phasers." Careful not to slip in the blood left by their still suffering comrade, Enyd took position at the entrance to the shuttlecraft. "We can exit to the south from here. Make every shot count while you can. Let's go!"

Enyd tried to take off in a run but slipped. She fell awkwardly, and painfully, to her knees in the blood. The security personnel quickly overtook her. Pulling herself back up, and snatching her phaser from the congealing pool of blood, Enyd followed the man across the landing pad. Not unexpectedly, but still suddenly, another Klingon appeared out of the shadows with a snarling growl, blade brandished. The remaining security had swifter reflexes than his counterpart and fired off a quick energy burst before the Klingon could strike. Enyd kept moving. She spared a glance to see how Morali and L'Nari were faring before returning her attention to her own steps. Not much further, and perhaps...just perhaps, they could make it.

OOC: Techno-babble line regarding phaser use compliments of Auctor, not my imagination.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on June 18, 2021, 02:27:02 PM
[ Captain Ives (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Captain_Jien_Ives) | Through the Barracks | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ]
Attn: @Nero @chXinya @Stegro88 @SaraKnight
[Show/Hide]
As the motley Sabine crew had progressed through the barracks of the Great Hall, they had faced two altercations, both threatening the lives of the Chancellor and the group of Starfleet officers.

In the first, even though they got aid from Klingons loyal to Martok, House Mo'Kai had ambushed them in a conference room. Jien had stayed close to the Chancellor, drawing her blade in his protection, and the fight had been brutal and much longer than she'd preferred. In the end, injured as some had been, the Klingons loyal to Martok had stayed behind to hold off the assassins, and Jien had shook the blood from her blade - pushing on through the barracks with her jaw set and her eyes affixed to the path ahead. If asked, she'd be hard pressed to tell how many Klingons she'd killed.

Next, two more Klingons loyal to House Martok appeared, but Gorka's followers had opted to use crude beasts to guard the Council chamber proceedings. Martok slew one of them, Mickayla another, while the last two went for Jien and the Klingons that they'd just encountered. The vicious animals had carried a momentum that knocked the two brothers off their feet, one of them mauled in short order. Jien had drawn her blade in a rising arc, cutting the second jackal's neck. It's hide was thick, however, and Arashi did not dig as deep as she had meant it to, leaving her open for the beast's fangs. With the full force of it's jaw around her left forearm, Jien's mimicked nervous system made her hiss through her teeth, and her form shimmered since her morphogenic matrix tried to compensate for the abuse. The jackal yanked its head back and forth, unbalancing Jien, but since the pain was superficial, she dug her feet in... changed to his male form instead just so that he got more leverage... and drove his sword into the creature's torso.

After he'd skewered it, hoping to hit the heart with the blade, the hilt of his weapon was torn out of his grip by the thrashing of the beast. It let go of his forearm though, freeing him long enough to let him find his footing properly. He glanced at the savaged remains of his forearm, being reminded of the abuse suffered at the hands of Semathal. With that dark memory in mind, Jien bared his teeth at the wounded animal. He stepped up to it, grabbed the hilt with both hands, and twisted the curved blade around inside the jackal's skewered torso. It grew limp with a whimper, and Jien tore the blade free, eyes already trained on the last creature.

It lay there, together with the two dead Klingon brothers, too wounded to rise. Jien walked over, checking on the status of the group, before he dealt a double-handed strike unto its neck - severing the spine of the creature below the skull. With all four jackals dead, and the Sabine team having suffered wounds from the fighting, Jien saw a figure at the far end of the barracks. He wore the emblem of House Mo'Kai, and he'd just witnessed the demise of his loved jackals. In a howl of grief and hate, he ran towards Martok with his bat'leth raised. Jien was not about to leave the Chancellor's life to chance, so he stepped past Martok to intercept the Klingon - sword coated with the blood of the Klingon's well-trained beasts. With the memory of the Scion's Nest in mind, Jien's calloused fingers curled around the hilt of his weapon.

He side-stepped the Klingon weapon, and dealt three consecutive cuts. One across, followed by a rising slice along the back. The Klingon had then fallen to his knees, doubled over, so the last strike claimed the head. In Jien's mind, he imagined it to be Semathal's four eyes looking up at him from the dusty stone floor, but he knew he'd never have that satisfaction. He stood tall, looked at his mangled forearm, and shifted his form so that the wounds and the torn fabric of his drab attire was whole again. He felt weakened, however, since his morphogenic matrix could not sustain much more abuse of that degree. Jien looked towards Martok. "How much farther?"

"We're nearly there. Come, this way."

Leaving the bodies where they lay, Jien sought the eyes of the survivors, now being down to just himself, Chancellor Martok, Selena Ravenholm, Deputy RraHnam, Lieutenant Amissa and Chief MacGregor. Most were hurt in some way, and the rest of the Oneida officers had fallen to the blades of House Mo'Kai.

Gorka, son of Margon, had a lot to answer for, just as the Houses that had sworn themselves to him.


SOUTHERN LANDING PLATFORM | THE GREAT HALL


Running through the firelight and shadows of the Great Hall, K'Tal's sworn men raced the stairs that led to the southern landing platform - ordered by the Head of Imperial Intelligence to save the Theurgy officers that were being ambushed at their shuttle. They would be late, they knew, but they would not willingly grant House Mo'Kai's assassins any spare time to finish what they'd intended. It had been an educated guess on K'Tal's behalf that an ambush had been laid, for why else would House Mo'Kai have granted landing clearance to a Theurgy shuttle? The 'fat glob fly on the wall', as as their master was called, was more clever than he looked, and the sight that met K'Tal's men when they emerged on the platform showed how right he'd been.

Mo'Kai assassins had beset the shuttle Rosalind Franklin, and they were making a run towards the door that the four House K'Tal warriors emerged through. They saw how the Theurgy crew fought back, or rather fled for their lives, whilst the black-clad figures of dark leather and black-painted steel cut into them. The advantage that the Starfleet officers had was that they had phaser weaponry, while the Mo'Kai warriros did not carry any disruptors because of the dampening field that permeated the air of the Great Hall's interior. Perhaps that's what may have saved their lives in those crucial moments of leaving the airlock, but K'Tal's men would not let them fight alone. With a thundering roar, they ran out on the platform to fend off the attackers still alive. What ensured was a brief yet bloody fight, which left them standing victorious and facing the remaining Theurgy officers.

"I am Tavek of House K'Tal," said the leader. "We will bring you to safety, where you will be able to correspond with K'Tal. He has to be present in the Council chamber, however, but the line of communication has been prepared. This way."

And down they went, heading straight for K'Tal's office, which was more or less adjacent to the council chambers... in which new development were to be witnessed on K'Tal's surveillance feeds - displayed on his computer console.


THE KLINGON HIGH COUNCIL | THE GREAT HALL


[ K'Tal, son of Machi, of House K'Tal (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Story_NPCs#K.27Tal_son_of_Machi_of_House_K.27Tal) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'noS ]
Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan @Brutus @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]
When K'Tal returned to the Klingon High Council... Gorka was there.

He could almost sense it as he passed into the chamber. The hushed atmosphere that had come to lay over the council. The large Head of House Mo'Kai, who's grandfather had been much smaller when he attacked K'Tal on that balcony the day before, thankfully did not notice K'Tal slipping into the chamber again. The mountain of a Klingon warrior paced the open chamber, his shaved head glinting in the firelight - eyes ablaze.

"Our Empire has been built for greatness, and while some of you find it a weakness to dabble in politics and treaties with the Federation, that is actually a sentiment I share with Martok, even if he has proved to be a traitorous coward. For like you all, I was misled in thinking he believed in the Kithomer Accords. It turns out he is colluding with the Romulans. With the Praetor, and give full aid and hiding to the renegade Starfleet ship called the Theurgy. A ship who's captain has split from his own fleet and killed thousands of his own in his service to Tel'Aura. Or perhaps it was Donatra, whom Martok has recognised as challenger to Tel'Aura. Bah, does it matter?" Gorka made a dismissive gesture, the firelight catching the weapons he carried on him. "Either way, Martok has shown his traitorous nature. Whatever the Empire was to be gained by siding with the Federation may just have been lost, since he was never the leader we believed him to be. His kin is slain, by a bastard son of his, and even though the Theurgy crew bear responsibility for his late son, Drex, son of Martok, still the scum in our Empire's seat of power value whatever deal he has made with the Romulans - siding with his son's murderers. He has no honour!"

Normally, K'Tal would be silent, and not interfere. Watching from the wall. Yet he found the words leaving him before he could stop them.

"You merely speak ill of our Chancellor because his bastard son, Morjod, killed your father," he offered quietly, yet in the silence of the council chamber, his voice still carried, and Gorka rounded on him.

"Like you killed my grandfather, K'Tal, you fat cur!" bellowed Gorka, drawing a mek'leth.

"Merely in defence," K'Tal found himself hissing, even if the presence and promise of violence that Gorka emanated was overbearing, even at a distance. He raised his chin, and his voice. "Because you conspired with Councillor Kopek to have your grandfather killed by my hand, knowing I would see him coming, so that you may claim House Mo'Kai for your own, and even claim the Chancellery in your grandfather's stead. Now, who is without honour?"

"Insolence!" boomed Kopek, looking even more murderous than Gorka despite his age. "Falsehood! You lie before the Council! I will have your head for this!"

"Of course you would. The fly knows to much, doesn't he?" K'Tal's smile felt stiff on his face. "That's why you picked me for this farce of yours."

That was when a set of double doors slammed open at the side of the council chamber, and in stroke Martok, along with Starfleet officers that must have been on the shuttle with the Chancellor. Seeing them, K'Tal feared less for his life, and the relief in knowing that the Sabine shuttle's crew had made it spread through his portly frame. Martok, at the head of the group, levelled his one-eyed stare at all the Councilors present.

The deafening silence was brittle, like glass carrying too much weight.

"House Mo'Kai," he said, his booming voice rising to the vaulted ceiling, "House Kopek. You have both conspired to slay me. Openly, and by intermediates, like the craven Targs you are. I have personally spoken with Rov, son of Pekdal (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Story_NPCs#Rov.2C_son_of_Pekdal), and he attest to your commitment in having me killed aboard the Theurgy."

That name made the Councilors stir, remembering the role Rov had played years before. Martok wasn't finished, however.

"Rov killed loyal men of mine, meaning to kill me as well. Before he named you both, he had infiltrated my men, and run his blade into a hologram that had taken my place. Today, Gorka and Kopek, the future of both your Houses hang in the balance... at my mercy."

Gorka drew himself up, eyes dead calm, the ire a cold flame. "I will kill you before then, for this Council will not recognise a traitor who collude with the Romulans. Your house has no future, and it will die with you today, so that the Empire may stand proud again."

K'Tal noticed how the appearance of one of the figures in Martok's company shifted... suddenly wearing a Starfleet officer's uniform with four pips in the collar. Captain Ives?

"Ravenholm, if you would be so kind?" said the Chameloid, directing himself to a female figure with cybernetic arms and legs, before he turned to the present Klingons. "The rumours about our Romulan ties have been greatly exaggerated by a common enemy. An enemy, one of which is present even in this very room... the only question being whom among you it is that represent them."

At this point, the Klingon Councilors were all upset, and K'Tal could barely hide his amusement, before he looked at the data tablet in his hand, which was connected to his office. He read the message from the other team of Starfleet officers while the spectacle unfolded in the council chamber.


OOC: So, @Brutus , @Nesota Kynnovan and @Ellen Fitz, finish up the fight, and in the end of your upcoming posts, it would be awesome if you had your characters in K'Tal's office, witnessing the development in the Great Hall above, and type a message to K'Tal so that the preparations with the anyon emitters can be completed. Once that's done, in the next posting round after this one, it is time to make a grand entrance to the Klingon High Council Chamber and - perhaps - voice the accusation that Kopek is an Infested, another stating that House Martok does have a future in a grandson that Gorka conspired to have abducted by House Torg, for example? :) Feel free to NPC Tavek too, of course.

@Nero @chXinya @Stegro88 and @SaraKnight, end your posts inside the Klingon High Council Chamber. I have a couple of ideas and suggestions for your characters, all optional, and perhaps they are best discussed over PMs or DMs for this phase, since there is a lot of detail to this situation. :)

Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on June 28, 2021, 06:33:20 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

The Caitian woman passed through the large portal into the main hall only moments later than the Klingon chancellor. Her weapon, uniform, and fur, especially her muzzle was stained with blood of various species. The walk through the large building had been exhausting and brutal. The soldier had been forced to take lives, but unlike the corpses they had encountered in the barracks, her opponents had at least had a chance to earn their honor.

Now they had reached their destination. She had kept her word, but they were not yet safe. There were always some scurvy individuals who wanted to throw a spanner in the works on the last few meters. RraHnam therefore kept her eyes open, and her other senses sharpened. Every step she took was now well calculated and planned. Her feline physiology now suited her. She became the dangerous hunter in the shadows. RraHnam deliberately kept a low profile and almost disappeared into the darkness of the diffusely lit room. Many dark corners provided plenty of cover and anonymity for possible assassins.

Conversation fell silent for a moment as the chancellor entered the meeting chamber, eliciting a surprised, and in some cases relieved, sigh from all present. Among a few, however, were well audible disapproval. Everyone was now suspect. Everyone could immediately draw their d'k tagh and charge at the chancellor. But they would not count on the Caitian, who moved silently behind them. In case of an emergency, she would jump forward and defend the Klingon chancellor. Even with her life if necessary.

RraHnam looked at the partially astonished facial features of those present, and she kept an eye on Martok's greatest challenger, Gorka. She recognized the man she had previously only seen on a holographic recording. In person, he was quite impressive. He was tall and seemed extremely strong. But he also seemed proud and arrogant. Actually, typical character traits of Klingons, but in this one they seemed especially pronounced.

Captain Ives, who changed back into her familiar uniform, ordered the cybernetically enhanced Ravenholm forward. She was to demonstrate something to the gentlemen, and RraHnam was also interested to learn what it was.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on June 30, 2021, 01:37:14 AM
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Sarresh_Morali) | Shuttlecraft Interior| Rosalind Franklin| Southern Landing Platform/Corridors | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz 

[Show/Hide]

Venting gas out into the landing zone wasn't quite as deadly as the plasma Sarresh wanted to shunt, but orders were orders and they didn't seem to have the time to properly suit up. Sparing naught but a passing glance at the diplomats - no one had ever accused him of being diplomatic - he strode up to a side access panel and typed in the commands, dragging the sword along with him before slinging it onto his back, drawing the phaser pistol as the Lieutenant gave the order to rush out. 

That...didn't go as well as it could, one of the security guards taking a devastating blow right off the bat. What ensued was a mess. Combat always was. Sarresh was hardly the first to fire, surprising him. He was far from the last however, bringing his own weapon to bear and snapping off burst shots, trying to keep the fire over the heads of his colleagues. He was sure of one hit, a warrior some meters back from the fray, reaching up to hurl a tri tipped bladed weapon of some form at the scrum, only to take Sarresh's burst in the face, slamming him back into the ground of the landing zone.

Sarresh was not given long to bask in the glory of a spot on shot, as more snarling, black clad warriors seemed to pour out of the mist, as the crew of the shuttle made their attempt to break past and cross the relatively open killing field. Or Shuttle Port, as it were. He had no time to think, not time to plot, nor plan, he simply rushed out doing his best to protect the others. An...odd and disconcerting impulse to be sure. None of these people were friends of his, nor, if he were to be bluntly honest, of key import to the grand mission he'd been given.

Yet instinct took over, training he never remembered taking exerting himself, and he moved with a grace unbecoming his normal mannerisms. At one point he found himself body checking a Klingon half again his size, his shoulder digging up and into the would be assassin and sending him stumbling back enough to bring his phaser up and blast a salvo into the warrior's gut. A blade whipped past where Sarresh's head had been as he staggered back, and nearly took his nose off his face. Before he could retort, another blade flicked out of the darkness and took the assassin's hand off at the wrist, spraying a burst of lavender blood that coated Sarresh from shoulder to stomach. 

A Klingon in more traditional armor nodded in respect to the scientist, before turning to face another of the black clad hitmen, leaving Sarresh a blessed moment to catch his breath before lining up his next shot. He did not question his luck, correctly chalking it up to Klingon politics, and in short order, he was standing next to Lt. Madsen as Tavek made terse introductions and ushered them through to the Great Hall. Sarresh fell in line toward the end of the group, acting as something of a rear guard along side a few of the house of K'Tal's finest. The security guard that had managed not to be wounded stuck to the front, and Sarresh was pleased to see that the warriors assigned as their protective detail were doing their best to herd the diplomats near the center. 

Soon, he thought to himself, gripping the strap of his equipment bag. They wove their way through the corridors of the heart of the Klingon Empire, making their way to whatever redoubt K'Tal had prepared for the Starfleet team. Soon enough he would have his hands on a console and then, he'd to get personally strike back at the enemy that was responsible for all the suffering in his life. There up ahead were the doors, two guards in the colors of House K'Tal placed near the junction, blades drawn, watching for any intruders.

Sarresh never noticed the savage smile that split his lips, nor the answering grins from the warriors around them. The grouping pushed into the cramped confines and Sarresh split from the others, alien eyes darting about. Turning to Tavek, he clipped off a terse query. "Where are the emitter controls? Here, or do I need an escort elsewhere?"
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nesota Kynnovan on June 30, 2021, 07:15:57 PM
[Ensign L'Nari | Southern Landing Platform | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS]
Attn: @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Auctor Lucan

In all honesty, L'Nari didn't really knew what she disapproved of more; of Lieutenant Madsen's words regarding the use of 'cowboy diplomacy', to hear that Lieutenant Morali was allowed to shunt pressurized gas out onto the Landing Platform, or the sheer fact that she had little choice but to jump headfirst a dangerous situation once again. At the very least they wouldn't be walking out into plasma but nevertheless, as the airlock door hissed open and the away team began to emerge from the Rosalind Franklin, it wouldn't take the black-furred Caitian a very long time to reach a conclusion.

It happened fast. Before L'Nari even properly realized it, a tall Klingon Warrior emerged from the pressurized gas and attacked the lead Security Officer just as the man stepped onto the Landing Platform. As the man crumpled to the floor, the young Diplomatic Attaché momentarily froze as her green eyes stared at the spraying blood in a mixture of shock and pure horror. Within mere moments Lieutenant Madsen quite literally pulled her back to reality however, as the woman unexpectedly reached out and quickly pulled her down to the deck of the shuttle. At that moment, between the anguished screams of the critically injured Security Officer and the Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer's growl that there wasn't any time to help the poor man, L'Nari grit her teeth to hold back on a comment before drawing her own type-2 phaser from its holster. While doing so however, her green eyes briefly came to rest upon Lieutenant Madsen and as they did so, there was little doubt about the contempt she began to feel for the woman; instead of ordering her, as a Diplomatic Attaché who already voiced her concern about fighting in the first place, to stay behind and save the life of the Security Officer, Lieutenant Madsen condemned the poor man to death for the sake of cowboy diplomacy.

Despite her own personal concerns however, L'Nari knew that there was absolutely no room for argument in these kind of dangerous situations. As such, when Lieutenant Madsen ordered them to go, the black-furred Caitian did so without looking back. It was done, the decision had been made.

Just as she was about to take off however, L'Nari saw how Lieutenant Madsen slipped and fell down onto her knees. Maybe it was the adrenalin that was now rushing through the black-furred Caitian's veins, most likely in combination with the newfound contempt which she felt for the other woman, but instead of helping her ranking Officer L'Nari instead overtook her as well; leaving Lieutenant Madsen behind to fend for herself while she rushed out into the open. As the Diplomatic Attaché stepped onto the landing platform, she immediately double-backed and pressed her back up against the hull of the shuttle. Knowing that she at least wouldn't have to worry about getting attacked from behind anymore, the Diplomatic Attaché dropped to one knee and assumed a firing position as taught at Starfleet Academy before opening fire at anyone not wearing a Starfleet uniform.

She wasn't quite sure how much time had passed until a thundering roar signalled the arrival of Klingon reinforcements. It felt like an eternity had passed at that point though, during which she'd managed to stun one of their assailants and, as she tried to provide him with covering fire, almost accidently shooting Lieutenant Morali, but upon discovering additional Klingon reinforcements L'Nari's resolve immediately began to waver. Just as she was trying to decide whether to make her stand at the shipping crates or to make a break for the shuttle, she discovered that the Klingon reinforcements were, in fact, their reinforcements.

From that point the battle went quite fast and remarkably bloody; one of the Klingon Warriors made his way to L'Nari and quickly shoved her towards the center, where the black-furred Caitian also found Lieutenant Madsen, and between Lieutenant Morali, the remaining Security detail and their new Klingon friends, L'Nari didn't even had to fire her phaser anymore. Which, in all fairness, was safer for their protection detail as well while they were ushered towards the safety of K'Tal's office.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Ellen Fitz on July 01, 2021, 05:12:06 AM
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Chancellor K'Tal's Office | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS] Attn: @Brutus  @Nesota Kynnovan  @Auctor Lucan

When the leader of their reinforcements introduced himself as a member of Counciler K'Tal's house, Enyd holstered her phaser, wiped her hands on her pants, and made quick work of pertinent introductions on their side. They wasted no more time with pleasantries, which Enyd appreciated, and quickly fell into place, heading towards a safe area for direct communication with K'Tal. Looking over to L'Nari, she inwardly sighed. The woman's disgust with the previous orders had not escaped Enyd's notice. Despite her misgivings voiced in the shuttle and displayed in her body language, L'Nari had performed well under fire. While not aggressive as Morali and purposefully positioning herself into a place to take a life or risk her own, the Ensign had not crumpled under pressure. Enyd had actually respected the Ensign's choice to move past her when Enyd fell. She had told them not to waste time and good on the woman for following through entirely.

Enyd made a mental note to commend the woman's performance later, first to Rutherford and then to L'Nari herself. No doubt, until they could clear the air between them, and perhaps even after, the Ensign would not appreciate the sentiment. But again, that came with the pips. You rarely had the time or luxury in the field to explain the method behind the assumed madness. Enyd just hoped that L'Nari was mature enough to sit down in the after-mission debriefing with Rutherford so they could get everything out. It would be a very frustrating and soul-grating posting for L'Nari if she allowed her disgruntlement with Enyd to fester.

Enyd glanced at Morali and thanked whatever deity he ascribed to that he'd been here with them. Where L'Nari had exhibited reluctance to assume the potentially violent defensive position, Morali had not displayed the same hesitancy. Worth more than his weight in the fight, even with the Klingon reinforcement's late arrival. He had been quick, efficient, and deadly, and most appreciated for this part of the mission. Enyd had no doubts that his next role would be just as effective in accomplishing the more covert part of their being here. When she glanced over her shoulder, it did not surprise Enyd to see a smile touching the man's lips. From what she'd been told of him by Rutherford, the excitement of being in action against a foe was to be expected.

The smells and lighting of the corridors they traveled through reminded Enyd of the Kajunpak't, and, unlike some of her peers who also transferred from that ship, the reminders brought a half-smile to her lips. She was curious if she'd meet her Klingon friends here once this was over, and they weren't all already dead. If dead, then, if they died well, maybe they'd meet up for a drink in the afterlife.

They passed a magnificent display of some sort decorating the hall before turning and seeing a heavily guarded door. Enyd would love the freedom to explore this place, to get to know the warriors and people of this world as more than just caricatures of their race. But Enyd swallowed the questions that dared to touch her throat regarding the meaning behind the display and instead mutely followed their escorts into a chamber adjacent to the room the other fierce guards defended.

Once they arrived at the aforementioned area of safety, Enyd quickly interjected after Morali's question with a directive of her own. She should've made this demand as soon as the escorts arrived at the landing pad. However, the relief of being able to get her still standing mission members into safety had momentarily overrun her heart and mind. Turning to the remaining security officer and glancing between him and one of the Klingon escorts, Enyd pointed back the way they'd come.

"We have a gravely wounded crewmember in the shuttle," she explained to the Klingon warrior staring at her. Enyd knew, in truth, the security personnel could already be dead if he hadn't managed to tourniquet his wound, which his Starfleet training would have taught him to do in a crisis. Turning her eyes back to the security officer, Enyd gave a quick nod. "Please, return to the shuttle to see what can be done. We are secure here." She indicated the rest of their escorts.

Looking away from the security officer, her eyes fell on the surveillance feeds on a computer console. It was clearly showing the council chamber, and already she could see the movement of those individuals within the chamber. No doubt they'd see K'Tal soon enough. Taking another look around, Enyd surmised this was Councilor K'Tal's personal office. Safe indeed. She trusted Morali to take care of the emitters as ordered, and Enyd kept her eyes on the console screen as she spoke over her shoulder to L'Nari.

"Do what is necessary to set up communication, Ensign L'Nari." She glanced at one of their escorts. "How do I tell the Councilor that we are here?" Her understanding of their written language was rudimentary at best, and without guiding insight, she'd likely hit an alarm button instead. He leaned forward and showed the area on the console she was to use, and in an added gesture of goodwill, he hit another button, and the display changed to Federation standard. Giving him a thankful nod, Enyd quickly typed out, "We are here. Safe. Thank you for the escort. Owe you blood wine."

Enyd didn't want to send a dissertation worth of information and further distract the Councilor, but she felt the need to quickly add a few more items. "Infested is assumed to be in House Kopek. Also, General Martok has a legitimate grandson. Have evidence for both." Enyd knew her definition of evidence and the average Klingon's may differ, but at least she had enough proof to satisfy some.

Enyd nibbled on her lower lip as she waited for a response, be it via text or through the surveillance cameras.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: SaraKnight on July 01, 2021, 08:15:18 AM
[Lt JG Amissa, Callsign "Emerald" | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'nos ] Attn: @chXinya @Stegro88 @Auctor Lucan @Nero
[Show/Hide]
Amissa struggled to stay on her feet. Between the blood loss - albeit slight, thanks to her exosuit - and her Orion sleep cycles, she was starting to feel the exhaustion. Things had been happening at a breakneck speed and she was still struggling to make sense of it all.

Like the fact that she had now seen Captain Ives change forms twice. One male, one female. So what was the correct pronoun there? He? She? The most appropriate for whichever form was in use at the time? And how was that happening anyway? She knew there were such beings out there that could shapeshift, but this was the first evidence she had ever seen of it.

Someone - she thought it was the Klingon Chief Petty Officer - had killed a number of targ along the way, and they had been joined by several Klingon warriors loyal to Chancellor Martok. Most of them had stayed behind to battle opposing warriors so that the group could affect escape to the High Council Chambers.

She felt bad as she watched the Captain skewer two of the jackal-like beasts that had also been sent after them while taking a severe looking bite on the arm. At this point, it was about all she could do to stay alert and on her feet. And the worst part was, phasers were still inoperable due to the nadion field in the area.

This is why I am a pilot. Fighting a horde of Klingons is not what I was trained for. I sure hope I can get back in a fighter when this whole thing is over.

She looked over at the one called Ravenholm, who was apparently some kind of cybernetically enhanced individual, and was impressed. She seemed to have taken quite a beating in the fight with the jackals, but was still functional. Sizing up her injuries, Amissa decided that if this person could keep going, so could she.

Finally, they had reached their destination and silence fell over the hall as Chancellor Martok made his entrance. She did hear a few grumbled protests at his presence, but that was to be expected. In fact, give all that they had just been through, she would have expected more objections.

Having gotten to their destination, Amissa decided all she could do now was try to remain erect and watch the proceedings play out. The Captain, who was once more in the female form, gave a gentle nudge to Ravenholm and Amissa was curious about what the woman had to say.

As the humans say, I guess this is where the shit hits the fan. This should be extremely interesting.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on July 03, 2021, 02:39:07 AM
[Selena Ravenholm | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'noS] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Nero @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz

The last leg of the march on the Council Chamber was more of a limp for Selena.  The list of caution and warnings in her HUD was one of the longest she'd ever experienced, and the damage wasn't just internal.  Where the jackal had bit down on her leg the outer sheathe was crushed with pieces torn out, exposing the dark grey artificial musculature underneath.  Even that was showing some marks, a few of the coils had been snapped letting eagle-eyed observers get a glimpse of the framework underneath.  If it wasn't for the fact that she could disable the simulated pain signals the woman probably wouldn't be able to walk.  There wasn't much she could do about her head though, a quick wipe of some cloth cleaned up the worst of the blood but there wasn't anything that could be done for the headache until she got back to the Theurgy.  Selena just bore the pain though, there was a job to do, and Klingons would never tolerate a whiner.

When the goal was in sight, Selena opened up a little compartment in her arm and pulled out a small isolinear chip, one of the many copies that she'd handed out in the shuttlebay before they left.  This was it, history was about to be made and she was in prime position to record it all.  Martok wasn't one to wait for though, she almost missed the way he just burst through the double doors like an ancient linebacker.  A step or two behind the Captain, Selena's glowing eyes scanned the room quickly, face scans marking the scowling Councilors's names for her in her augmented vision.  Gorka didn't need any introduction to her though, and with the look on his face right now it was clear that he wasn't going to be happy until someone's blood was on his hands.

Chancellor Martok was an impressive sight in a fight, and he was clearly up to the battlefield in this room as well.  The stunned silence from his sudden appearance was the only opening he needed and he didn't mince words.  Instantly the gauntlet was thrown, but as far as the Chancellor was concerned, he'd already won.  Gorka didn't take it lying down though, and his counter-threat was quite cold for a Klingon.  Ives took it from there though, their shift to their male form caught Selena's eye and she knew it was time.  The Captain made their own statement, and the woman held up the chip waiting in her hand.  At the same time she sent a mental command to a special compartment in her leg, prepping the special device hidden within.

"Councilors, Chancellor," Selena nodded to each group in turn, "this is a message Captain Ives has prepared, detailing the current galactic situation facing all of us, Federation, Klingon, and Romulan alike.  With your permission Chancellor Martok?"  With a quick nod from Martok Selena confidently walked over to a data port and slipped the chip in, conscious of all the eyes staring at her.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on July 03, 2021, 04:15:39 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @SaraKnight @Nero @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]

"I must look quite the sight," Mickayla said to herself as she looked down at her armour and tried to imagine what her face and hair would appear like to match. She was covered in blood, both Klingon and Jackal, and some of it was even her own from cuts and slashes she had received on their journey. The worst was a moderate slash across her chest and up onto one of her breasts that was continuing to bleed despite her physiology's best efforts to the contrary. "Stupid design," Mickayla thought, being careful not to verbalise her thoughts. "Who creates armour with such a glaring weakness?" She growled mentally, trying to forget that she had chosen this version of her armour and not the one that would have granted her more protection.

Following along, she heard the announcement that they were close, and she tightened her grip on her weapons in preparation for any remaining opposition to their advance. But none appeared and they had reached the last set of doors baring their way to the council chambers. Without being ordered too, Mickayla stepped forward to assist in their opening and moments later, the doors slammed open, heralding their arrival as Martok strode forward, leading them into the hallowed hall that was the Klingon High Council Chamber.

"This should be fun," Mickayla told herself as she took up a position near enough to both Martok and Captain Ives, ready to defend either of them if it was needed.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on July 12, 2021, 01:52:14 AM

K'TAL's OFFICE | HEAD OF IMPERIAL INTELLIGENCE | THE GREAT HALL


When the human with the odd eyes addressed Tavek with his question, the Klingon could answer readily since he had taken part in the preparations that the leader of his House had made. With a gruff gesture, he indicated the large computer console at the desk. "The Head of Imperial Intelligence has enabled access to the emitters through that. There will be no need to crawl around the old ventilation shafts like rodents. We did that already."

It hadn't been the most rewarding assignment K'Tal had given Tavek and his men, but apparently the emitters had been important enough. Tavek wasn't entitled to the details and grander picture, but apparently the emitters were supposed to kill this new enemy that had infested the ranks of the Council. The science of it was, of course, entirely beyond him.

The female human spoke next, and the request was sound, it a bit belated. With decades of experience working in and out of the shadows, leading small units for the glory of the Empire, Tavek made a dismissive snort, and his soot-covered ridges barely caught the overhead lights of the office. "I already left men behind to see to your fallen and protect your shuttle. You likely didn't notice them." There was no need to say it in a derisive manner, so he didn't. The Federation had a habit of underestimating Imperial Intelligence, thinking him and his warriors brutes playing dress-up as spies, and he was content if they kept thinking that. Made his duties easier. "If his life can be spared, it will be. I suggest focusing on the mission ahead and worry about the losses afterwards."

Once the three officers had started working at K'Tal's computer console, which had multiple screens, Tavek watched the message typed up and sent to the Councillor.

WE ARE HERE. SAFE. THANK YOU FOR THE ESCORT. OWE YOU BLOOD WINE.
INFESTED IS ASSUMED TO BE IN HOUSE KOPEK.
ALSO, GENERAL MARTOK HAS A LEGITIMATE GRANDSON. HAVE EVIDENCE FOR BOTH.

While higher strata of politics were beyond Tavek, he knew that if the Infested were of House Kopek, and Martok's bloodline wasn't at an end, the next few minutes could potentially lead to an honourable victory. That was, of course, if Chancellor Martok survived...

That was when Chancellor Martok appeared on the surveillance feed from the Klingon High Council Chamber, and Tavek reached past the shoulder of the Caitian female to unmute the feed. They heard Martok speak, challenging both House Mo'Kai and Kopek. That suggested that the Chancellor may be aware of Kopek's involvement, but judging from what was being said by the shapeshifting Captain of the Theurgy, the newly arrived did not know what the human female had written to K'Tal, that House Kopek held one of these Infested.

The eyes in the Great Hall had to be off K'Tal at that point, because the Head of Imperial Intelligence managed to respond.

JOIN US HERE WITH THIS EVIDENCE, PREPARED TO REVEAL IT.
YET SOMEONE NEEDS TO REMAIN IN MY OFFICE.
THE EMITTERS REQUIRE THE CORRECT ANYONIC PHASE VARIANCE.
AND THEY NEED TO BE ACTIVATED WHEN IT'S TIME.

When K'Tal had replied to the message, the cyborg woman had started to play something to the upset Council.


OOC: 1/2 of the post is up! So, @Brutus , @Nesota Kynnovan and @Ellen Fitz, this brings your group's space-time up to be concurrent with the scene in the Great Hall, where Martok & CO have appreared! :)

Tomorrow, I will post again for the scene in the Great Hall and illustrate what Ravenholm's recording says, since I am not quite happy with it yet and the hour is late here. If you three manages to post before I do, that's all good, but you may as well also wait for the next part of my post here since there will be more meat to sink your teeth into. Needless to say, the time it takes for Ravenholm's recording to play will also be enough time to have L'Nari and Enyd escorted to the High Council chamber. Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on July 13, 2021, 02:51:20 PM

THE KLINGON HIGH COUNCIL | THE GREAT HALL


[ K'Tal, son of Machi, of House K'Tal (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Story_NPCs#K.27Tal_son_of_Machi_of_House_K.27Tal) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'noS ]
Attn: @Nesota Kynnovan @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Stegro88 @Nero @chXinya @SaraKnight
[Show/Hide]
After he had replied to the Theurgy crew that were in his office, K'Tal wondered how they could know there was an Infested in the House of Kopek. Was this because of that Doctor that Martok had mentioned over the past couple of days? The Infested that had been severed from whatever bound the enemy together in their common efforts, now held in the Theurgy's bridge? Yet if he was severed from that unknown entity... how could he be certain?

Regardless, the cybernetically enhanced human began to play the prepared message, and an emitter in the ceiling projected a large image of Captain Ives, standing in full uniform and with his hands behind his back. [I am Captain Jien Ives of the Federation starship USS Theurgy. After returning to base in San Francisco, on Stardate 57277.16, at the end of a long diplomatic mission to Romulus, my crew managed to pick up transmissions that revealed how officers in Starfleet Command were impersonators of the people they once were - possessed by a new enemy to the Federation and in fact, all intelligent life in the Galaxy.]

Gorka interjected, his voice filling the pause in the message. "Bah! Where is the evidence of this? There is none I have seen that can't be conjecture. In fact, this is a waste of time, and hold no relevance in this hour!"

"This is what was supposed to have been sent from Starbase 84, and you all should listen well," growled Martok in response.

The message continued, even if Councillor Kopek was moving towards the woman and the dataport, slowly navigating the throng of other Councillors to reach her. K'Tal, ever the watchful fly, saw it, and he began to move as well, meaning to intercept the other Councillor. While this happened, the voice of Captain Ives detailed what had really happened.

[Before the truth came out, my crew's secretive efforts to deal with this threat was compromised, and we had to flee Earth in order to save ourselves and protect the truth we learned. Since then, we have been hunted by our own fleet, our pursuers merely following orders and whatever fabricated truth Command had given them about me being a Romulan defector. Admiral Ian Sankolov is one of the enemy behind what is happening, leading Task Force Archeron and giving specific instructions to not accept our hails, saying that the A.I. aboard our ship will gain access their computers via the subspace frequency. He has also claimed that my crew is long dead, and that the A.I. is manning the ship with holograms of my crew. At every turn of these past months, the Federation News Network have inflated these lies, and failed to report how in every engagement with Sankolov's task force, we have been on the defensive, fighting for survival.]

"Bah, end this. I still hear no proof," Gorka said derisively with a brusque gesture, but Martok barked for quietude. Meanwhile, K'Tal was almost at Kopek's side, while the recording continued. Both Kopek and him were obscured by the other Councillors, treading the outer edge of the chamber.

[More importantly, they had neglected to mention how we never opted to cross the Romulan Neutral Zone, even if we've had every opportunity to do so. Surely, if we reported to Romulus, we would set a course for there and not linger in Federation space? If our ship was the prize to hand to the Star Empire, why would we remain here, beset by our own fleet?] the projection of Ives said. K'Tal pushed past two Councillors so that he might be in the way for Kopek. [Starfleet's operational authority are no longer themselves, including the Commander in Chief, the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Starfleet Operations. These three individuals, along with an unknown number of others in the organization, are just a few of these Infested. We have learned that they are victims of parasites from beyond our own dimension of reality, and included in this message are recordings of them speaking amongst each other and from the confines of our brig, alluding to their nature. These parasites do not appear on tricorder scans, and while my crew is still investigating their nature, we know they exist in a state of flux. It is evident that the parasites are of chaotic origin, meaning to tear down the structure of all societies - actively trying to dissolve the Federation and all other galactic powers from within.]

"I think the Council needs to hear this," K'Tal said quietly and stepped in Kopek's way. The stare Kopek gave him was disconcerting - a shiver running up K'Tal's spine. He never saw the hand that went for his throat. He just felt the pressure around his neck building and his lungs being bereft of air. He fumbled for his mek'leth...

[The diverse fauna in the Galaxy have a multitude of examples (https://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150316-ten-parasites-that-control-minds?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F) wherein a parasite controls its host, and in principle, these seem no different in that respect.] The throng of Councilors obscured what Kopek was doing to K'Tal, whom finally reached the handle of his mek'leth. He couldn't make any sound with Kopek's hand around his neck, but he struck nonetheless, burying the blade in Kopek's gut... yet still the grip around his throat remained... and Kopek didn't even flinch whilst he stared into K'Tal's eyes. That was when he realised what he was facing.

The message... It has said there was an Infested in House Kopek, but it was Kopek himself that was one of them!

[Yet these parasites are linked somehow to their origin; an apparent gravitational anomaly in intergalactic space at the centre of the Laniakea Supercluster, in the Zone of Avoidance, which is impossible to observe in visible wavelengths due to the obscuring effects of our own galactic plane. It is a concentration of mass... thousands of times more massive than our Milky Way. It is observable by its effect on the motion of galaxies and their associated clusters over a region hundreds of millions of light-years across.] K'Tal wasn't listening anymore, the grip was hardening, and he felt his vertebrae giving in. He tried to claw at the fingers, kick and thrash, but his feet were off the floor and he had no air left. [A nameless darkness that is devouring everything.]

With his eyes clouding over, K'Tal reached for the handle of his mek'leth, and he pulled it out of the Infested. In panic, he then went for the wrist of the hand around his throat. He had no strength left to sever it... but he laid the edge on the wrist... and began to cut at the tendons with jerky motions. He didn't know how many seconds it took, oblivion claiming him, but next he knew, he was on the floor, looking up at Kopek. The Infested was smiling, as if it enjoyed the pain. It was looking at its Host body's fingers while it tried to make a fist - the digits not working properly any more.

[This simulcast is a call to arms against this enemy, which means to destroy us all and everything we have accomplished. We have yet to find a means to free the Hosts from the hold of these parasites, and they can be anywhere...] Kopek stepped over K'Tal, and as he laid there on the floor, neck swollen, he couldn't warn the woman at the dataport. One of the Councillors had noticed that K'Tal was down, and he moved to help him, but K'Tal couldn't even tell him to stop Kopek. The recording was coming to an end. [Heed us, and let us fight back before they have turned us against each other. Please, see the evidence we have so far, and heed the truth, regardless the cost. This is Jien Ives, signing off.]

With eyes red with veins, K'Tal wheezed at the back of Kopek, whom seemed to hesitate, no longer heading for the one Ives had named Ravenholm. Perhaps there was no point to end the recording any more, it being at an end. Instead, the Infested seemed conflicted about either attacking Ives or Martok. A Councillor that tried to help the fat glob fly back on his feet was mocking him quietly, not noticing the bloodied mek'leth on the floor.

Instead, it was Gorka's loud voice that held the collective attention of the council chamber. "Martok! I will not have these false claims shroud the eyes of this Council! You seed preposterous lies to try and justify your actions, and House Mo'Kai will not have it. I have already announced my challenge, so fight me, or stand down as the craven you are! It was a long time coming, but today, your years as Chancellor come to an end, for the restored honour of the Klingon Empire!"

"Gorka, son of Margon," said Martok, levelling his remaining eye on the usurper, "because of the dishonour you and your House have displayed, throwing the Empire into civil conflict on the basis of ignorance and hatred of me, I call for you and your House to be discommended, and as I hold the power to distribute assets of discommended or dissolved Houses, what used to be House Mo'Kai will be allocated under someone else. Councillors! Heed me. Gorka's late grandfather had a brother, Nenkor, whom has a child in Mac'mon, son of Nenkor. His daughter is here today, and until Mac'mon is found, she will act as the acting holder of all assets that belonged to House Mo'Kai. I put to the Council now, to vote, in favour of your discommendation and the formation of the House of Mac'mon."

"Fight me, you old coward! Your House will die with you!" roared Gorka and towering over all other Klingons in the room with his height, he moved towards the Chancellor. The end of the Martok bloodline was brought up, but even if K'Tal had learned that it was untrue, he couldn't speak of it. Still struggling to breathe, and trying to see where the Infested was heading, he still saw how Captain Ives moved between Gorka and Martok, his hand on the hilt of his sword in quiet warning. Martok continued to speak, as if Gorka had said naught.

"Before I move to have the Council turn their backs on you, I will ask Mickayla, daughter of Mac'mon, to speak, as she and her father will inherit all that you will loose. She, just as all Houses who stand by me, know the truth of the enemy we face, as she has served aboard the Theurgy."

The Chancellor made a gesture with his open hand towards the Klingon beauty that he'd arrived with, but K'Tal couldn't afford the time to listen. He saw Kopek moving towards Martok, circling around the council chamber behind the backs of the other Councillors. He wheezed again, hoping someone could hear him, and see his hand as he stretched it towards the Infested Councillor.

The next turns of events would determine the fate of the Klingon Empire, and K'Tal couldn't even speak. Wheezing, he dug out his data tablet and began to type out the activation code for the anyon emitters with a shaking hand... but he feared he would be too late.


OOC: A suggested posting order to deal with this climactic scene! 1) @Stegro88, you post next with Mickayla, and please leave your post open-ended, alluding towards some commotion starting in the council chamber?

Next, the commotion! 2) @Nesota Kynnovan and 3) @Ellen Fitz , can you have your characters speak up/arrive dramatically with some words about Kopek and the Martok bloodline? This ought to draw the eye to Kopek, whom is going for Martok.

Then, 4) @Nero 5) @chXinya and 6) @SaraKnight, I suggest your characters somehow move to interject themselves between Martok and the Infested, Kopek, as he mean to kill the Chancellor? For the effects of the fighting, feel free to NPC Kopek's actions, as the Infested will be a force to be reckoned with as he mercilessly strike his way through to Martok.

7) @Brutus , clearly, it would be time to activate the anyon emitters, the activation code being sent by K'Tal, hopefully stopping him from killing Martok, whom you can NPC through what Sarresh sees on the surveillance feed. I will then post the outcome for when the anyon emissions spread through the chamber and reaches Kopek, and the subsequent outcome with Gorka and the ending of the Chapter! :) We're nearly there now!

Looking forward to your posts, everyone!
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on July 14, 2021, 06:35:46 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nesota Kynnovan @Brutus @Ellen Fitz @Nero @chXinya @SaraKnight
[Show/Hide]

As Mickayla stood just behind both her Captain, and the Klingon Chancellor, she had a clear view of the proceedings between Martok and Gorka. When it came to Klingon warriors, her second cousin was an exemplar. She couldn't be accurate, but she guessed that Gorka had at least 15-20cm on her, along with at least 40 kilograms of bulk to go along with it. His head was bald, the light of the rooms open fires casting dancing shadows across the ridges that adorned his forehead. Idly, Mickayla wondered how much Gorka looked like his father and grandfather and if the same blood was strong in her own father and grandfather. Maybe after this, if she survived, then she might try and track down images of her ancestors.

Ravenholm activated the Klingon's systems and a large hologram of Captain Ives appeared in the centre of the room in full uniform. After a moment, he began to speak and Mickayla, like most of the other Klingons she imagined, heard for the first time what she had heard was the true version of the message that should have been transmitted from Starbase 84. The Chief listened to the broadcast while keeping a watchful eye on the gathered Klingons that formed the High Council. Gorka tried to interject, his raucous tone in stark counterpoint to the projected Ives' own measured tone, but he was quietened by Martok's own voice.

Movement at the back of the throng distracted Mickayla for a moment but her view was obstructed, and she couldn't see the cause. Her attention was drawn back to the middle of the room as Gorka shouted again, demanding proof before being quietened by Martok once more. The broadcast continued to be displayed until the recording came to an end and Gorka bellowed once more, demanding that Martok cease with his false claims and lies and to fight him or stand down. Mickayla had to admit, Gorka was both persistent and determined. And then Martok responded.

"Time for you to make a decision Mickayla," the Chief told herself silently as Martok spoke, detailing what he wished to do to the House Mo'Kai before beginning with details of the branch lineage that lead to the Chief. The situation was spiralling, and it would only take a single incorrect phrase or motion for it to descend into a melee. Gorka had drawn himself up to his full height, but Martok refused to be intimidated as he turned slightly, gesturing at Mickayla to step forward and to speak on behalf of the father that she had never met. "Shit. Here goes nothing," she thought as she stepped up beside Martok, her hands resting on the hilts of the weapons that Captain Ruzaxo had given her.

"I am Mickayla, daughter of Mac'mon, of the House Mo'Kai. And I stand here before you as a witness to the truth of what you have just watched. I have fought against these parasites. I have lost blood due to their actions against the Theurgy and to the Federation. And today, I have lost blood due to their actions against the Klingon Empire," Mickayla proclaimed, her voice raised and firm. "You have been deceived cousin, and your blindness and hatred has clouded your mind until all you can see is the opportunity for personal gain. You seek power and you care not who or what you have to sacrifice along the way. That is not honourable." 

"You behave like a rabid animal in your drive to become Chancellor without care for the consequences of your actions. Of what will happen to the Empire if it is plunged into war, be it from without, or within. You call Martok a coward and yet it is you who have acted with dishonour. I am ashamed to call myself a Klingon if you are an example of the potential of the blood that flows through my veins," Mickayla went on, trying to gauge how the Council was taking her words. She hoped she sounded serious enough. "If Martok doesn't banish you, then I will gladly remove your blight from my House so that we no longer suffer from the dishonourable appetites of a fool."

"Tha am bàs air a thilgeadh,"  Mickayla told herself as Klingons began to move around.



OOC: 'Tha am bàs air a thilgeadh.' = 'The die is cast.' (Scots Gaelic)
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Ellen Fitz on July 17, 2021, 10:33:30 AM
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS] Attn: @Brutus  @Auctor Lucan  @chXinya  @SaraKnight  @Nero  @Nesota Kynnovan @Stegro88

Enyd nodded her appreciation to Tavek's explanation of men presently checking on their fallen comrade. While she would still not count herself an expert on Klingon body culture, Tavek was an efficient man weary of individuals who got their feelings hurt easily or who were quick to misunderstand Klingon manners. But Enyd didn't voice her understanding as a responding message came through the monitor that immediately drew her attention. K'Tal wanted them in the chamber, already armed with the evidence. So be it.

Speaking over her shoulder while pointing towards the console the man was already well aware of, Enyd called out orders, "Morali, you're to stay here to activate the emitters when the time is right." Turning, Enyd managed to stare down the taller Caitian woman. "You and I are going in there with the evidence for Martok's grandson and the Infested primed and ready to be shared. Most likely at a very loud and rapid level." Enyd moved towards the door, knowing that Tavek and his men would arrange themselves as necessary. "You blast them with evidence for M'ven's existence and I'll take care of the Infested."

The move from office to chamber was swift, yet Enyd was horrified to find that it wasn't swift enough. In a quick succession of events through the throng of council members, Enyd saw the last moments of the altercation between K'Tal and Kopek before the latter moved from the fallen Councilor towards Chancellor Martok. And none of the other Councilors seemed aware of the mayhem lurking under their very noses. Gruesome and terrifying as it was to witness, at the same time, the process of elimination of whom among the House was the Infested had effectively been brought to one: Kopek himself.

"Ensign L'Nari," speaking softly to her diplomat associate, Enyd nodded towards K'Tal, "Councilor K'Tal is over there, and we may yet need his assistance in our claims. Let's split up here."

There was no opportunity to say anything directly to the council, at least not yet, for as soon as the recording ended, Martok launched into a discommendation appeal to the Council against Gorka. All the while Kopek moved closer to Martok. Enyd made a decision then. Called into diplomacy though she may be, she was also a Starfleet officer, and their best bet for effectively fighting against the Infested required Chancellor Martok alive. Covertly unsheathing her tik'leth, she moved along the edge of the chamber parallel to Kopek, doing her best to outpace him and assume a position of authority from which to reveal the truth of his Infestation.

By the time she was within a few paces of Martok, an eye still on Kopek, Mickayla had been thrown into the limelight. The Klingon woman had not disappointed her shipmates or House with her bold response. If possible, the woman glowed far more beautiful here amongst her people, promising death to an enemy, than all previous times Enyd had seen her on Theurgy. As the overall mood of the council room shifted and murmured in response to Mickayla's vow, Enyd pushed her way forward. She held the tik'leth unsheathed at her side; the tip pointed to the floor, her body was angled in such a way that only those close and observant could see she held a weapon at all. And unless he could see through human flesh, it was unlikely Kopek had seen it.

"Chancellor Martok, honorable Councilors," Her voice echoing back from the opposite wall, Enyd was thankful she'd learned long ago how to project otherwise, this would not work, "I am Lieutenant Enyd Madsen. I serve under Captain Ives on the Theurgy." Enyd felt the stares shift from her face to the blood on her uniform, and she stood straighter. "Though Mo'Kai assassins proved a slight delay in our arrival, my team has valuable data to share. My associate Ensign L'Nari," Enyd nodded towards where the Caitian stood in the chamber, "has evidence that Chancellor Martok's line will NOT die with him." Her eyes shifting to Gorka, Enyd did her best to mimic a Klingon sneer. "Despite what some within this chamber may have claimed."

Enyd quickly continued, speaking over the stir this admission caused. "And the threat of the Infested does not lay at the door of the Federation alone. It is already here, in this room!" She pointed to Kopek. "It is within this body."

Perfectly happy to edit out the last bit on the Infested if we want to pace this out further.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on July 18, 2021, 06:15:36 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]
On silent cat paws, the security officer strode through the main assembly hall. She circled the cluster of Klingons and off-worlders, trying to keep an eye on them all so that she could intervene immediately if necessary. It was to RraHnam's advantage that the attention of those present was focused on Gorka and Martok, who were engaged in a fierce battle for leadership. Thus, the Klingons were distracted from her and would not pay further attention to her. This in turn gave her the opportunity to take a closer look at the reactions and body languages of those present.

As usual, one quickly spotted the lickspittles in such gatherings, swimming with the flow and twisting like flags in the wind. These worried her the least. The opportunists, on the other hand, were those whose facial expressions never gave much away. They usually pursued their own agendas and did not shy away from violence to achieve their goals.

A movement among the whole council caught her attention and the Caitian realized who the real enemy was. She recognized the man from the pictures in the file she had read in preparation. He was leading one of the houses that sided with Gorka. It was council member Kopek. He was choking another Klingon, whom she unfortunately only saw from behind and could not recognize. RraHnam wanted to throw her spear to stop the man, but they were standing out of reach on the other side of the crowd. The possibility of hitting someone else and thus starting a war was just too great. They were in an awkward position and the former Vra'shan professional now had to act quickly and ran. On silent soles she circled the group of Klingons. She kept an eye on Kopek and soon saw that an unknown human woman had also set out to stop the Klingon council member. The unknown woman, who shortly thereafter introduced herself as Lieutenant Madsen, deftly positioned herself between Martok and Kopek and spoke of evidence that would show that Martok's bloodline would not end with him. She also spoke openly that Kopek himself was one of the infested. Excited murmurs were heard and a sickening, gurgling laugh.

Kopek showed his bloody teeth in a sickening smile and walked on unperturbed. Whatever was going on in his head, the next thing he knew he was lunging to strike at the Starfleet officer. Rra saw him raise his arm and clench his hand into a fist. There was a lot of energy behind the punch, and it would have surely knocked the lieutenant in the red uniform to the ground immediately, but the security officer managed to intercept the Klingon's blow. It had been close. Awfully close. Lieutenant Madsen certainly felt the wind on her face. But RraHnam felt its power. It was indescribably strong, and it took enormous effort on her part to hold it. Fortunately, it seemed to irritate him enough that he now turned his attention to the Caitian security officer.

"Out of the way, Kitten." he grunted, baring his teeth. Under the tremendous effort, the former professional athlete managed to maintain a facial expression that showed effortlessness. Inwardly, however, she was screaming, and any empath nearby would feel her effort.
"Let's go!" said RraHnam finally under her breath, letting go of the Klingon's arm as she realized he was now lunging to strike at her with his other hand. She was able to duck under his blow, and the sudden break in tension in his other arm caused him to lose his balance for a tiny moment. Rra wanted to take advantage of this. In a normal fight, that would already spell the end. The opponent would be lifted off his feet after a quick sweep and lie on the ground where he could be controlled.

But what appeared so easy in her mind turned out to be an extremely difficult undertaking. She let herself slide to the ground in one fluid motion and used the momentum to sweep Kopek off his feet. He just didn't care. He stayed where he was and laughed. Kopek lifted a leg to kick at his opponent and RraHnam only just managed to dodge him. When she stood again, the expression on Kopek's face had changed.

"I told you to get out of my way, Kitten."
This time she couldn't dodge his punch. He was quick. His fist hit her in the face long before she could raise her hands to defend herself. Rra staggered back. She rubbed the spot he had hit and put some distance between herself and him. She felt the blood seep through her lips and spit out a few teeth shortly after. Fortunately, she was able to keep her spear with her. She now brought it between her and Kopek. A little more protection couldn't hurt. She had completely misjudged this man and now realized that he was just playing with her. His whole behavior so far, that he had his punch blocked, or that he let himself get off balance... It was all just an act. RraHnam had made a mistake. A serious mistake and for that she scolded herself inside. She had underestimated Kopek. She had underestimated the infestation.

It wasn't the first time she had fought a stronger opponent and it definitely wasn't the first time she had had to stand up to a Klingon. Especially not on this day. But Kopek was in a completely different league. His entire demeanor changed from one moment to the next. His posture, his charisma, everything was different. He seemed dangerous, even by Klingon standards. The grip on her spear tightened. Kopek and she began to circle each other. In one impossibly swift movement, the Klingon reached for her weapon and effortlessly wrenched it from her muscular arms. He threw it away carelessly. Then the real fight broke out. RraHnam was caught in the role of the underdog, as Kopek made it difficult for her to land a blow unless she wanted to land in one herself. His constant swings and kicks ensured that Rra was in a constant defensive struggle. Dodging, defending, and taking blows. There was no thought of dishing it out. With every blow he pushed her further and further back. Finally, she managed to find a gap in this seemingly impenetrable wall. The Starfleet security officer didn't want to miss the chance and jumped right at him. She tried to sink her fangs into his neck, but with his free hand he grabbed her and effortlessly lifted her up by the long arm. Helplessly, RraHnam hung in the air. She swung back and forth, generating momentum that she used to wrap around his arm. She clasped his body with her legs, trying to overstretch and eventually break his arm. The loud, ugly crack was clearly heard and suddenly the tension in his right arm dropped. He let it go and RraHnam fell to the ground.

Kopek looked more amused than pained and seemed to really enjoy the pain. Then he showed the Caitian that they were far from finished with each other. He showed her that the broken right meant nothing to him and continued to beat her as if nothing had happened. RraHnam was in pain, it was difficult for her to stay upright and avoid his blows, which found their target more and more often. At the same time, Kopek didn't seem to lose a bit of stamina or mobility. RraHnam hoped that someone would be able to stop this fighting machine, because she was clearly unable to do so. She had made a mistake and underestimated the infested Kopek. And now she paid painfully for this mistake.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on July 20, 2021, 04:39:29 AM
[Selena Ravenholm | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'noS] attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Stegro88  @SaraKnight  @Nero  @Brutus  @Nesota Kynnovan  @Ellen Fitz


Staying near the data port Selena stood by with crossed arms, watching both the long-delayed Simulcast and scanning the gathered Council for their reactions.  When Gorka tried to shout out holo-Ives she had to suppress an eye roll.  The blowhard can bellow all he wanted, Martok clearly had the authority behind his voice and he easily shut up the challenger each time.  Moving her attention away from the Chancellor and Gorka, Selena's eyes slowly shifted over the small crowd, most watching the broadcast with various forms of interest.  Something in the back caught her steel eye though, it looked like two were moving but with so many bodies in the way she couldn't see just what was going on.  Subtly shifting up to her toes she tried to get a better look but no luck.

Gorka managed to pull Selena's attention back to the fore when he managed to yell coherently for once, issuing something that she guess was supposed to be a final challenge.  Martok had none of it though, one-upping the upstart with the news that Mickayla herself was worthy of holding the reins to a Great House.  That rose her eyebrow in an almost Vulcan-like manner and Selena couldn't help but watch the Klingon woman step up to the plate.  Her speech was pretty good, plunging a verbal dagger right into the heart of it with a promise that if Martok doesn't win, she will.  The Council murmured in minor personal debates, giving a new arrival her chance to push up and make her statement.  Selena hadn't met this Lt. Madsen yet, but she was all business.  Curiously, she seemed to be staring at one Councilor in particular so she turned to see who she was trying to signal.

What she saw next was a blur.  Before she could recognize who the Klingon was RraHnam was in action, grabbing his arm mid-swing, one so fast it was a literal smear of motion to the woman.  Everything from that point made the cyborg feel like she was moving in slow motion: her arms untangled themselves from each other in the time it took for the Caitian to take a fist straight to the mouth, right hand dropping to the special compartment in her right thigh as soon as it was free.  A mental command popped the seal letting the side of her right leg just slide open to expose the grip of her Paralyzer, the one projectile weapon that would work in here.  By the time her fingers had wrapped around the weapon and started to pull the security officer was unarmed and they were circling, blocking her line of sight temporarily.

Lt. Madsen was still close to the fighting, at complete risk of getting knocked around by an errant fist, or worse.  Acting as quickly as she could Selena jumped forward to grab her arm and pull her back, her own augmented strength impossible to ignore.  Without a word she simply pulled and almost-literally threw the other woman towards Captain Ives and the others, turning just enough to make sure she survived the surprise trip.  That was all the time the brawl needed to result in that horrific crack that seemed to echo off of the walls.  Turning back to the fight Selena was in time to see RraHnam on the ground with the first of the Infested's blows already raining down on her.

"Hey!!" The enhanced human shouted, time snapping to normal speed at last as soon as the Paralyzer was pointed right at her target.  Kopek had just enough time to tilt his head up before a pair of razor-thin wires with very sharp barbs in the ends buried themselves into his face.  The Infested Klingon roared in shock and whipped his head back, nearly wrenching the weapon out of Selena's hands.  Struggling to keep control she brought her other hand up to grip the muzzle so that she can send the energy pulse, but that was all he needed.  Forgetting his earlier target Kopek rushed forward like an old linebacker.  Oh fuck me! she screamed internally, mechanical legs working instantly.  She jumped straight into the air, right over the Klingon's head with less than a moment to spare.

That was when something insanely strong grabbed her ankle.

Red warnings lit up on her HUD warning of extreme pressure on her left ankle and she could already hear the casing cracking.  That was the only warning Selena got before Kopek slammed her straight into the ground, right onto her back.  The wind getting knocked out of her lungs was the least of the pain.  Ribs shattered under the impact, she could feel something buckle in the back of her head and she couldn't move a muscle.  Barely rasping out something that was between a gasp and a wheeze, Selena was helpless as Kopek's face filled her view, a predatory smile plastered on a face twisted into something more akin to a Fek'lhr than a Klingon, wires still dangling from his cheeks.  With full-on glee a boot hovered in the air above Selena's chest ready to drop straight through her.

Between them, the snapping sounds ended with a final click: the gun now looked more like the hilt of a sword, and it was still held tight in Selena's mechanical hands.  A fraction of a second later the air between the two was bathed in fuchsia light and Kopek screamed in agony as far more volts than even a Klingon's nervous system could handle surged through his face.

Below him, Selena was smiling in her mind.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: SaraKnight on July 21, 2021, 02:10:24 AM
[LtJG Amissa, Callsign "Emerald"|Klingon High Council Chamber|The Great Hall|Qo'noS] @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @Nero @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @chXinya
[Show/Hide]

Amissa listened as the Councilors debated the merits of what they had heard. They apparently were not convinced by the recording and Chancellor Martok had to inform them that what they had heard was the correct version of a transmission from Starbase 84. Amissa did not know the full details of what was going on, but based on what she was hearing, the Council had received a doctored version of the recording they had just heard. One of the Council members, she didn't know his name, seemed to be the most disturbed by the recording and was making the most fuss about it.

And then came the challenge from the one identifying himself as Gorka. That challenge had been met with Martok's declaration that Gorka was now discommended and the Mickayla was now the heir to the House. That surprised Amissa, as she was not aware the Chief had any kind of connection to that House.

And then a Lieutenant that Amissa had never seen before stepped forward and addressed the Council, declaring that the Chancellor had an heir of his own and that one of the Klingons, the loud one, was actually one of the Infested.

The Infested. This was still rather new to her as well. She'd heard something about this on the Oneida, but hadn't really caught the full gist of it. But it could also explain some things that she had seen on Sapphire Station.

The Klingon didn't seem too happy with this and very shortly, a succession of people were attacked and neutralized by him. First was another Klingon, then the Caitian, RraHnam, and finally Selena Ravenholm. All had fought bravely so far, but all had failed to stop the enraged Klingon.

Amissa looked around and realized she was the next line of defense between this Klingon and Chancellor Martok, and even as Selena discharged some kind of device that lit up the space between herself and the Klingon, causing him to scream in agony. That act had saved her from sure death, but Amissa could see she was down and the Klingon far from done.

Damn it all. If they can't take him down, how am I supposed to?

Still, she was wearing her exosuit and had her combat knife. It wasn't much, and she was already injured, but she couldn't let this brute get to Martok, the Captain, or apparently Mickayla or the Lieutenant with evidence of Martok's progeny. Nope, it was now up to her.

Drawing her knife, Amissa quickly crossed the distance between them as the Klingon recovered from whatever had just been done to him. She drove the blade deep into his belly, hoping to take him out of the fight quickly, especially since he was already wounded. But, while the blade bit deep, it also snapped, leaving the blade in his belly and the handle in her hand.

Sonuvabitch! I'm fucked, and not in a good way!

Amissa ducked as the large Klingon turned his gaze on her, murderous intent clear in his eyes. As an Orion, she was lithe and nimble, but with the exosuit on, it slowed her reflexes just enough that he was able to snatch her hair, yanking her back and off her feet. But before she hit the ground, the Klingon amazingly snatched her throat in a vice-like grip.

Instantly, she felt her windpipe crush and her ability to breathe was cut off. In an act of pure desperation now, she drove her nearest knee up into his groin, hoping to cause enough pain to cause him to release her. Instead, his snarl of rage turning into a maniacal laugh and he raised her above his head, still gripping her throat tightly.

Puny Orion whore! You think you can stop me?! You are nothing but a green pest. A mosquito to be squashed.

Amissa was starting to see spots now and knew it wouldn't be long before she lost consciousness. Growing increasingly desperate, she began flailing with her legs hoping to land a kick somewhere - anywhere - even as she pounded his arm with her fists. In reward, he took his free hand and grabbed her right arm, twisting it up and behind her so that she felt it first pop out of her shoulder then break in several places along its length. She tried to let out a scream of pain, but with her windpipe closed off, nothing came out.

Apparently tired of her, the Klingon tossed her several feet away from her comrades and turned his angry glare on the next person in his path.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on August 01, 2021, 09:47:05 PM
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Sarresh_Morali) | Offices of Councilor K'Tal| The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Nero @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz 
[Show/Hide]

Sarresh could feel his heart still racing in his chest, even as they stood in the secluded room, no longer under the immediate threat of being slaughtered on the spot . They'd come through the battle, and while the former Ash'reem was sure he would never forget the smell of Klingon blood (being coated in it), he easily managed to keep the last meal he had where it belonged - in his stomach. Now he was eager to get to the next part of the mission. There was a deep, burning need to strike back at the parasitic monsters that were, quite literally, his mortal enemies. And now he had that chance, in a very direct way. 

The savage need wasn't very Starfleet of Sarresh. But he imagined his current Klingon hosts understood it perfectly well. He flashed a toothy smile to the Klingon aid - Tavek - who informed him that the hard part of setting up the emitters was done. So much the better.

Sarresh had come up next to Madsen for the moment his gaze flicking from the the controls for the emitter arrays, that had been configured into the desk before the bank of monitors, and watching the displays themselves, as if he could pick out the infested agent visually. The council chamber was the focus of the displays, which seemed perfect to Sarresh. If that agent was going to be present it would be here, in the Great Hall's main chamber. The doors to the chamber opened and a tension that he hadn't realized he'd been holding eased off of his frame. Oh, he was still nearly vibrating with the need to lash out, to hurt their enemy, but the worry he'd been harboring (for the state of the mission, he'd claim) abated at the sight of Martok and Ives.

Familiarizing himself with the set up of the controls for the Anyonic Emitters, Sarresh watched what was unfolding, seeing the response sent back from (he assumed) K'Tal himself. Where the head of house was in the chambers below, Sarresh could not tell. His  position was not being readily captured by the sensors. All in all, the former Ash'reem let out a snort. Of course someone would have to stay behind, and that was his job. He tilted his head up and over to look at Lt. Madsen and cocked an eyebrow up, silently asking if it needed to even be said that he'd remain.

Apparently it needed to be said, but he nodded at the woman whom had looked over his shoulder to him, all the same. She was issuing orders, while the drama was unfolding on the screens before them. Squaring off his shoulders, he immediately dismissed the mission lead from his thoughts, focusing entirely instead on his own task. When the moment was right is a matter of debate, he thought, perfectly happy to trigger the emitters now and rid the universe of at least one more troublesome parasite. 

However that wouldn't play well with the locals, and he had to take their political game into account. Letting out a sigh of repressed frustration, he began to call up the controls, readying the sequences for a simple toggle activation. The waiting, he knew, would be the hardest part for him. That irony was not lost on him, given he delt with time in all its glory every day. He lacked a certain patience now, ever since he'd come back to this forsaken century.

Ives recording ended. The speech that should have gone out to the galaxy months ago, at Starbase 84. Another of his failures, Sarresh supposed, internalizing the responsibility for the actions of a man he had no desire to have as a 'follower'. That mess still woke him some nights. Though now he had the amusing memory of Samantha's reaction to hearing about his own personal cult to counter some of that guilt. He hoped she appreciated his coming along on this, but time would tell. Having a friend was...difficult.

Time would tell. 

It was telling now, on the screen, as a frown passed over his face. "What is she up to?" He asked no one in particular, not really paying attention to whom was left in the room with him, as his eyes tracked Enyd through the crowd, now that she'd arrived. Didn't want to interrupt whatever was going on in the center of the chamber, he guessed. The frown remained in place as he tapped a finger on the console, next to the activation toggle. It sounded important, some blustering between Martok, Gorka, and some woman that looked vaguely familiar. A security chief that had been assigned to Ives' team, Morali realized, as she seemed to (verbally) lash out at Gorka. 

And there was Madsen, speaking up, and despite himself, Sarresh let out an amused chortle. "Gorka didn't like that being aired out right in his face," he noted dryly, leaning an elbow on the edge of the desk. He glanced down at the console, to see if the signal had arrived. Before it did, however, Enyd made a bold accusation as ever, accusing Kopek of being infested, drawing attention across the room. 

"Oh hell, this isn't going to go well." She was, as far as he could tell, going to get herself killed doing something like that. Why are diplomats so bloody frustrating, he groused. Sure enough, the moment he thought it, things went to hell, and Kopek attacked. He struck out, nearly taking off Madsen's head, though another Stafleet officer he didn't know got in the way. It had to be time. Yes, it needed to play out a bit, but all the same...He began the start up protocols, to narrow down and aquire the proper anyonic variance needed to rid the world of this particular parasite. Despite having memorized the process and the input sequences, it wasn't as easy or quick as he'd like, and he was forcing himself to try and remain calm. Too much haste and it might not work.

Watching a Klingon fight with a clearly broken arm, unbothered, was mildly sickening, but Sarresh couldn't know if that was normal for Klingon's. Would they see it as out of character? Beyond Kopek's abilities? Another figure entered the mix, the cybernetic officer from the Theurgy that Sarresh had seen from time to time on the bridge. Ravenholm, he thought, frowning as the fracas escalated rapidly. It was almost too much to follow, and even the other Klingon's in the room with Sarresh swore oaths right along side him when Ravenholm was snatched out of the air and brutally smashed to the floor below, only to see Kopek light up  like a warp core on overload a moment later.

There it was, the trilling, three tone notification, the flashing light. The go signal. Even as Kopek shook off the electric assault, and manhandled an Orion in a Starfleet exo-suit, Sarresh reached out...

Martok surged forward at that moment, even as Sarresh moved from the controls. Everyone was trying to stay between the Klingon Chancellor and the oncoming threat. And of course, Martok instead moved to meet the threat head on. He barked something coarse and goading in his native tongue, something that pulled a smile onto Kopek's face. But even as the other man tossed the Orion aside to face the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council head on with an alien laugh, everything changed.

Beneath the fingertips of Sarresh's right hand, the controls for the Anyonic emitters, strewn throughout the council chamber, had been depressed. The activation sequence queued up. There was a soft hum in K'Tal's office, and a smattering of letters in Klingonese script that scrolled across the main display screen as a light filled the room. Martok watched as the wretch that was Kopek seized up on the spot, and as the light faded, so too did the strength of the Head of the house of Kopek, crumpling before the Chancellor like a puppet whose strings had been cut, an odd reflection of the glow that had suffused the room, lingering in the shell's eyes.

"Huh. So that's what happens," Martok grunted, taking the moment in stride, as he walked forward to kick Kopek onto his back with the toe of his boot.



OOC: Apologies for letting this linger. Couldn't find the post where we see the effect of an anyonic scan on an infested or anything like that so, kinda winged it. Lemme know if that needs updating.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on August 21, 2021, 02:13:52 AM
[ Captain Gorka, son of Margon, of House Mo'Kai (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Story_NPCs#Gorka_son_of_Margon_of_House_Mo.27Kai) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | Qo'noS ]
[Show/Hide]
Furious at the craven Chancellor, who refuted his challenge, Gorka wasn't entirely oblivious to the existence of his extended family. In fact, he'd had Rov specifically try to kill Khorin since he knew he served on the Theurgy. What he hadn't anticipated was the presence of Mac'mon's daughter, who dared say she'd kill him if Martok didn't. He'd bared his teeth at her, ready to close the distance and put her in her place, yet the seething ire he held for Martok made his anger towards her a mere flame compared to a roaring bonfire. It was an anger that seared reason from his wit, even though he knew that with both Rov and K'Tal having tied him to Kopek, it would be too difficult to make the Council see the merit in his actions, even if they included having conspired to slay his weak grandfather.

"Will you all rather have the Empire fall against Romulus, by the aid of a traitor, than having a strong Chancellor, who will do anything to defend it?" he roared, refuting to believe that he'd come to the end of the road. House Mo'Kai still knew him to lead it!

The end of his proclamation, however, was lost to the sound of battle, and the raised voices of those newly arrived. Another Theurgy officer, a female, proclaiming Kopek to be this alleged 'enemy'. Kopek had been a trustworthy asset, his House having swayed many others to side with House Mo'Kai, and paved the road for his ascension up until that point. Though even as his roaring hatred clouded his mind...

...what he saw Kopek do inside the walls of the Great Hall, it gave Gorka pause.

Captain Ives caught Lieutenant Madsen when the cybernetic female pushed her out of harms way, and the Commanding Officer of the Theurgy made sure she kept her footing, his order to her simple after seeing the sword she carried. "Stand ready to defend Martok."

As if disembodied by the realisation that there might be merit to the claims about these Infested, seeing how Kopek preformed feats no Klingon a third of Kopek's age could, Gorka wasn't able to move. What he believed about Martok's guilt was cast in a new light, but he tried to squint at it - blind by his need for revenge. If Kopek had fooled him, used him when he'd arranged for him replacing Martok, then... the Council would see him as weak. No...

Gradually, as the Theurgy crew fought against Kopek, Gorka began to realise that he'd lost. House Mo'Kai would cease to be, and he'd suffer the worst kind of dishonour. As he stood there... all hope turned to ashes in his mind.

Kopek, the Infested, broke the arm of an armoured Orion as if the protective metal was mere tissue paper, and tossed her aside - Martok being next in line. "I have killed your kind before," Martok said to Kopek, upon which the older Klingon merely laughed - the sound seemingly coming from some eldritch existence beyond the Great Hall. Though the Infested never reached the Chancellor. A strange machine sound was heard... and Kopek fell heavily unto the dusty floor. Neither Ives nor the Lieutenant with the sword had to defend Martok before it was over, and Martok turned the body of Kopek over to make sure he was dead.

Only... that wasn't the case.

When Martok next to the the Infested, Kopek's eyes flared open, and he drew a gurgling breath. A sense of panic spread through the council chamber, the imminent death of the Chancellor expected, because of the grip Kopek had formed around Martok's ankle.

Though it was clearly a weak hold - the broken arm shaking.

"I.... am free..." came the rattling words of an old warrior's charred features. "Th... The darkness will know of this.... That I failed... That the thing inside me... failed. Heed me... Heed me!"

Was this the voice of the host, Gorka wondered numbly. The real Kopek? Martok crouched down next to the dying Councilor. "Speak."

"Praxis... Praxis will shatter, and hit the planet... One of them... is up there." Kopek swallowed, wizened face pale. Gorka, however, had stopped listening, for he realised that Martok had his back turned towards him, and that there were few - if any - eyes lingering upon Gorka where he stood in destitute honour. He was past the point of no return, about to loose everything, and that knowledge made him begin to move, while Kopek continued to speak - the faint words filling the silent council chamber.

"Another one... leads a Romulan ship, cloaked and bound... for this city... Thalaron blast..." Kopek coughed, as if his insides were mush, though perhaps he lingered because of brak'lul (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Brak%27lul). "Listen, if either fail... the other will succeed."

The rage of Gorka's shame prevented him to hear much more, his blood boiling in his ears. He was completely alone. Without allies, and soon without a House. His failure and pending loss of all standing, and the possibility that he'd been wrong all the time about the Infested and Martok being a traitor... it drove him to claim whatever he still could. He would die fighting to his death in the Great Hall so that he - at least - would be in Sto'vo'kor. And he would, at least, have avenged his father's death before he died. So with his D'K'tahg quietly drawn, he made for Martok's unprotected back.

"Chancellor..." Councilor Kopek said with his dying breath. "Save... our Empire."

Gorka stalled the roar in his throat as he descended upon Martok's crouching figure, even though he wished to let out all his rage. He held it in check so that he wouldn't alert his nemesis, and he put all of his weight behind the strike, the blade meant for the back of the one-eyed Klingon's neck. See me now, Father...

Only when he drove the sharp dagger into flesh did he cry out, eyes squinted in blood rage. "Die!!"

He had trouble to draw breath into his three lungs after that, and when Gorka opened his blood-shot eyes... he found another set staring into his own.

It was Captain Ives, having intercepted the stab and standing there with his feet braced wide, and with Gorka's dagger embedded in his chest. The Chameloid's figure was rippling, as if wet and changing, unable to retain its form. "You... first."

Only then did Gorka realise... that the Captain's long sword had skewered him as well. That long and curved blade. A fatal wound, perhaps... but he was still alive. He would still die fighting. In a rush of adrenaline, he tore his D'K'tahg from the Chameloid in order to strike again, and to reach Martok.

Only a Captain was seldom without a crew.


OOC: Free posting! My suggestion is that those who have characters still on their feet and can kill Gorka, they post first, and I want to see that it is a joint effort instead of one writer stealing the honour of the kill. @Nesota Kynnovan , @Stegro88, @Ellen Fitz and @Nero , you guys chat and decide how to coordinate this!

Once Gorka is dead, it would be time to contact the Theurgy about what they just heard from Kopek. Hope you like the development! It was a complete rewrite from what was originally the plan, writing out of Gorka's viewpoint instead of Ives'. Have fun writing your replies!
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on August 24, 2021, 04:08:01 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @Nero
[Show/Hide]

Her challenge delivered, Mickayla stood there, her jaw set and her body resolute as she waited for Gorka's response. But it never came. Instead, a commotion to the side erupted as other Starfleet officers arrived, quickly followed by a brawl breaking out. Standing there, watching the Klingon perform feats of strength beyond anything that his biology would be capable of, Mickayla's mind flashed back to the Aerodrome aboard the Versant and the Savi that she and the others had fought there. It struck her in that moment, despite knowing about it earlier, that she was now the only survivor of that encounter. Of the three that had escaped the aerodrome of the Versant aboard the Reaver, she had killed Gideon Drake during their escape from the Azure Nebula and Devyrie Okhala had died when a bomb was detonated in the Spearhead Lounge less than 48 hours earlier.

Snapping out of her flashback and chiding herself for it, Mickayla took in the situation again, this time finding the Infested Klingon was down, his breathing heavy and laboured as he spoke to Martok. Mickayla only followed along with some of what was said but it was enough to bring a fresh wave of concern to the young Klingon security officer that was feeling particularly out of her depth. It was only with the Infested's host's dying breath that Mickayla noticed the renewed threat to Martok. Fortunately, she was neither the first to notice, nor the quickest as Captain Ives intercepted Gorka's assassination strike, the D'k tagh piercing deep and sending a ripple across the captain's form. But Mickayla saw that her captain had also struck, skewering Gorka on his blade. But it wasn't enough.

Mickayla moved on instinct, stepping up next to her captain even as Gorka wrenched his blade free and moved to strike again. Without thinking, Mickayla intercepted the strike, diverting the knife blade into her own shoulder, growling at the wave of wave that suffused her body. But behind the pain, was adrenaline, as her physiology reacted to the injury. Growling anew, Mickayla reached up and grasped the taller Klingon's arm and wrenched it downwards, trying with all her might to tear it completely off. And while not succeeding, the now horrendously dislocated limb was useless and no longer a threat.

Not that she was sure Gorka noticed as she was not the only member of the Theurgy crew to react to his assault.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Ellen Fitz on August 28, 2021, 04:44:06 PM
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS] Attn: @Brutus  @Auctor Lucan  @chXinya  @SaraKnight  @Nero  @Nesota Kynnovan

Enyd had been through terribly rough times on Cardassia, and even during her training, she'd faced down more than a few training exercises gone horribly wrong, but nothing could really prepare a person for being used as a projectile for the second time in one day. No sooner had she revealed Kopek's Infested nature, an attempt on her part to stall him from his nefarious intent against Martok, than a Caitian officer Enyd had yet to meet intercepted a punch meant for Enyd's face.

The force of the near-hit carried a breeze that ruffled the bits of hair that had come loose in her earlier run. But before Enyd could unsheathe her short sword to aid the Caitian, a foolish feat but one she felt called to do, Enyd was suddenly airborne. The world spun out of focus, and instead of thinking of unsheathing the tik'leth to fight, Enyd instead refocused her attention to landing in one piece wherever it was her "savior" had thrown her.

A soft whoosh of air left her lungs, and her teeth jarred in her head when Enyd slammed into warm flesh. Or warm, powerful hands somehow caught her and pulled her down to a standing position in a smooth and confident move. It was only when the mass of flesh that broke her fall spoke that Enyd realized it was Captain Ives, his order to defend Martok quickly snapping Enyd's mind out of the spin of her earlier flight.

Kopek lay dying by now, Enyd's brief affair with defying gravity having caused her to miss how he'd ended up in his present state. He spoke of another Infested, on Praxis, and on a Romulan ship headed their way. Something, a bomb no doubt, would shatter Praxis, and a Thalaran blast would destroy this city. How lovely.

Enyd felt more than saw movement from her side and shifted on her feet in time to see Gorka's attempted attack on Martok. Her mouth dropped open in shock, horror more like it, when Ives boldly stepped in front of the attack, taking the blade directly into his chest, his features constantly shifting.

"You first," he'd said to Gorka, speaking as if getting knifed in the chest was the norm on a mission.

Ives' confident words charged Enyd's nerves back into action from the temporary inertia brought on by shock. Ives had been her captain for a matter of hours by this point, and she was uninterested in
1. Losing him, or
2. Letting him die unavenged.

This was assuredly a moment where the only diplomatic solution was to eliminate the threat altogether. The fiercely beautiful Mickayla seemed to think the same thing, falling into the fight with swiftness and skill as she diverted Gorka's secondary blade swing into her own shoulder. While the Klingon woman courageously distracted Gorka with her assault, Enyd decided it was prime time she fed the tik'leth its due amount of blood from this fray. Pa'Qis would be disappointed otherwise, and it seemed there would be no better time than the present to give the blade some "story-worthy" action.

Enyd unsheathed the short sword in one smooth gesture as she dropped to a crouch. With a slicing motion, she cut against the back of Gorka's right thigh to hamstring him before tucking into a roll behind him, and as she righted herself on the other side of his body, she cut against his left ankle to sever his equivalent to an Achilles tendon. She heard growls and yelps of pain but didn't pause to see if they were from Gorka or Mickayla as she stood, holding the edged tip of the blade against Gorka's leg as she stood, pressing in with her weight in a further attempt to slice through the length of his thigh muscle. Once she was back to her full height, Enyd pivoted out of attack range, or what she hoped was attack range, and waited.

Her eyes momentarily darted through the crowd to find her fellow diplomat, L'Nari. She knew already that the woman's face would likely hold an expression of 2 parts horror and 5 parts judgment at the turn of events and Enyd's actions. Saving Martok or avenging the captain, or drawing out the Infested, would none of them be excuses big enough to do what she'd just done. But then again, Enyd didn't exist to please the preferences of a younger diplomat, and she had been under direct orders to protect Martok. She'd just decided to interpret said orders to mean slice and dice the Klingon trying to attack Martok, thereby pleasing Pa'Qis if she ever saw the engineer again. And pleasing a gruff Klingon engineer seemed a more preferable option given the current state of affairs, for at least that route meant a higher chance of survival for all parties involved.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nesota Kynnovan on September 02, 2021, 01:37:45 AM
[Ensign L'Nari | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS]
Attn: @Brutus @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @SaraKnight @Nero @Ellen Fitz
Mention: @stardust @GroundPetrel

Even though she should have seen it coming, probably should have mentally prepared herself for the inevitability of more violence, it nevertheless caught the black-furred Caitian completely by surprise to hear Lieutenant Madsen blatantly accuse Kopek of being infested. All of her training at Starfleet Academy and her experience as a Diplomatic Attaché at various Federation Embassies had taught her how extremely valuable it was to stay calm and exercise the delicate form of art known as de-escalation. This was the second time she'd witnessed a direct accusation being voiced however and, almost as if events repeated themselves, Kopek displayed a sincere lack of appreciation which she'd also experienced aboard the IKS Maysiq earlier. Things escalated rapidly from that point and when Kopek struck out and went for Lieutenant Madsen's head, which he narrowly missed because another Starfleet Officer came to her rescue, it still caught L'Nari by surprise; drawing a sharp gasp from her lips while she took a step back to increase the distance between herself and any danger.

As things escalated further and, on Captain Ives' order, more people came to Martok's defense, L'Nari kept standing there as if nailed to the floor while she watched the situation unfold before her. She was still carrying the small diplomatic briefcase in her left hand, which kept reminding her of the important mission entrusted to her by Lieutenant Commander Rutherford, and as the entire situation became increasingly disturbing L'Nari knew she had little choice but to abandon her fellow officers in the Great Hall. With all the people already coming to Martok's defence, they could do without a rather unskilled and definitely unwilling fighter getting in the way so, deep down in the back of her mind, she knew that they probably wouldn't even miss her.

Still... it felt bad.

Tightening her hand around the briefcase, L'Nari took another deep breath before she turned around on her heel and began to march away from the fight at as fast a pace as her dignity allowed her to under the circumstances. Right before she reached the doors through which they'd initially entered, the black-furred Caitian turned around for one last time to watch the unfolding scuffle. It was just in time to see how Captain Ives got stabbed, which genuinely caused L'Nari to waver in the doorway for a brief moment; once again, it dawned on her that she was really abandoning her crewmembers in the middle of a fight, if only to carry out her own mission and save Lieutenant Commander Rutherford and her team from their possible demise. At that moment her green eyes came to rest upon Lieutenant Madsen and, for the briefest of moments, their eyes locked. If the Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer had any opinion on watching her direct subordinate abandoning her in the middle of a fight, it wasn't directly visible though as the short brunette Lieutenant only presented her with a grin.

Despite everything that happened thus far, it was that grin which burned itself into L'Nari's mind and disturbed her most of all. The image of her direct superior officer, a Diplomat at that, caught up in the middle of a fight while wielding a sword and grinning like a woman utterly possessed was downright shocking and prompted the black-furred Caitian to take a step back in the direction of the doorway. By now convinced that Lieutenant Madsen had become completely mentally unhinged at this point, L'Nari replied to the Lieutenant's grin with a look that could best be described as downright disturbed; the kind of look one would give someone if they genuinely couldn't care any less if they would live to see the end of the fight.

And with that, L'Nari turned around on her heel once more and walked through the doors. There were empty offices nearby, similar to the one of Councilor K'Tal, and the black-furred Caitian quickly made her way towards the nearest one. She was still legitimately concerned that there were more assailants lurking nearby and, even though she'd just abandoned her crewmates in the middle of a fight, part of her knew that they would still defend her if she'd came running back to them with danger hot on her heels. Once inside the office, L'Nari locked the door behind her and quickly made her way towards the desk before opening her briefcase; revealing the equipment which she'd received from the Intelligence Department. It was designed to create a looped distortion in outgoing signals, making it appear as if someone was trying to communicate, while at the same time allowing Lieutenant Commander Rutherford and her team to piggy-back their own communications onto the signal. Doing as she was instructed to (albeit just once), L'Nari rushed to set up the equipment and connect it to the console inside the office. Within minutes she was ready and, after closing her eyes and silently hoping that this would work, the black-furred Diplomatic Attaché switched it on and began to establish the communications that would grant the Chief Diplomatic Officer her much-needed piggyback signal.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on September 02, 2021, 06:16:03 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
[Show/Hide]
The muscular Caitian with the gray fur had fallen back a few steps and thanked her creators that the others present had managed to wrestle Kopek to the ground. RraHnam breathed heavily and felt the pain tremble through her body. Large sections of her fur were soaked with blood. Much of it was a dark pinkish color but dark red was also underneath. She wasn't sure how much of it was her own blood, and she didn't want to find out. At least not so quickly. The next wave of pain made her realize that she had taken a good beating. Some of her ribs were certainly cracked, if not completely broken. Kopek had been an extraordinary Klingon. However, the security officer of the USS Oneida doubted that Kopek could be even half as dangerous to her if he had not been infested by this parasite. His insane look would surely cost her one or the other sleepless night.

RraHnam tensed her paws and checked if her claws were still intact. To her relief, they were. Her duratanium implants still shone as they had on the first day. No blood had adhered to them. With her tongue, she checked the fit of her teeth, and again was relieved to find that they were all still in their usual place. But the dizziness that was now slowly making itself felt worried her. She grabbed her head and noticed that blood was coming out of one of her ears. That was not a good sign. One didn't have to be a medical doctor to understand that. Still the fight wasn't over yet and her job was still to make sure nothing happened to Martok.

She straightened up again when she saw how Gorka now wanted to make his move and dishonorably and cowardly stab the chancellor in the back. Slightly uncertain at first, then more and more composed, she put one foot in front of the other. Her tail tried to compensate for her insecurity with balance, which it succeeded in doing to a certain extent. She now had to stop Gorka. He was not allowed to reach his goal. Then a moment of shock that astonished her: Captain Ives threw himself into the attack of the Klingon usurper. It was a testament to devotion to his or her word. RraHnam wasn't sure anymore what gender the captain was right now.

The d'k tahg bored deeply into the Federation captain's chest. But the captain had another surprise in store for the attacker. The captain's sword bored into the Klingon's torso and seemed to paralyze him for a moment. A moment that did not go unused. The Klingon woman who had accompanied the group and bore a human name threw herself at Gorka to bind him. But that brought the Klingon back to the here and now, and he began to lash out wildly at her. The human woman, whom RraHnam spared the heavy blow from Kopek, also intervened, and attacked Gorka with her short sword.

The Klingon cried out in pain and slumped to one knee from the force of the weapon, but his will to fight was undiminished. Whether he still saw a chance to win and kill Martok, or whether this was just a last stand, the soldier was unable to say. However, despite the injuries, he managed to keep the two Federation members in check and occupied. RraHnam had to help them. She had to stop him. Holding her flank, she staggered toward the aggressive Klingon and grabbed his free arm, which was flailing wildly against the two women, trying to break away from them. She felt his still raw strength and will to achieve his goal. He was not going to let anything, or anyone stop him either. RraHnam took a deep breath against the pain in her chest that she needed to keep Gorka pinned down permanently. The Klingon fought back fiercely. The former Vra'shan professional had to use considerable force to subdue the usurper, despite the help of the other two women.

Finally, she used her claws. She felt many of them catch in the leather of his clothes and provide a better grip. Her implanted duratanium claws however cut through the heavy leather like a hot knife through butter and into his flesh. She could feel the blood seeping through the cracks in the leather. He roared bestially and tried to break free. RraHnam resisted strongly and after a few moments felt the Klingon's resistance weaken. The severe wounds inflicted on his body by the swords had caused considerable blood loss, and his efforts to free himself from the women kept his heart pumping faster. With each act of strength, he unintentionally squeezed more and more of the precious lifeblood out of his body, at least until his strength left him and his body began to disobey him. His limbs weakened; his resistance diminished. Gorka seemed to slowly realize his situation and stopped resisting, but this did not prevent him from spitting one or two biting comments in the direction of his opponent.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on September 05, 2021, 10:09:39 PM
[ Captain Ives (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Captain_Jien_Ives) | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ]
Attn: @Nero @chXinya @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
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The brutal damage dealt unto Jien's form had disrupted his morphogenic matrix, preventing him to retain cohesion. He held on to the hilt of his sword even though he could barely feel it in his calloused hands, preventing the Klingon usurper from reaching Martok. With teeth bared, he struggled to solidify his own frame, to make his mimicked nervous system convey his will to his limbs, and force his grip to remain true - to keep Gorka where he was. With his two-handed grip on the hilt of his blade, Jien's body shook from the effort of keeping the Klingon right there, and not let him tear the long hilt out of his hands. With that singular purpose on his mind, a sole focal point for his thoughts, Jien knew his crew was right there to do the rest.

Shivering from the nausea of trying to retain a failing physique, and straining that body to the edge of its ability, Jien closed his eyes to focus on the essential functions he needed. Skeletal linkage, tendons and musculature, leverage and force. These were things his Chameloid nature granted him without conscious effort, but not now, when he most needed it. So he willed himself to remain intact, and not feel the glancing strikes the usurper dealt unto him in the commotion that followed.

Until, eventually, Jien could feel the trashing of the Klingon abate - the pressure loosening against his blade.

Jien opened his eyes then, his features not fixed, and saw Mickayla close next to him, having seized one arm of the assailant. He could see Lieutenant Rra there, claws embedded deep into the Klingon's armour and flesh. Gorka was on one knee, and Lieutenant Marsden stood not far off, blade bloodied and ready to strike anew. Breathing laboriously into lungs not fully formed, Jien then looked into Gorka's dark eyes, and heard him spit his last words through his reddened teeth.

"QamvISHeghqaq... law' torvISyInqaqpuS...." he rasped, blood pooling below him in thick rivulets down his armour. The hate withered in his eyes only when his life bled out of him - his head falling forward.

With legs barely supporting him, Jien stepped back, twisted his grip, and tore his long blade free - the edge grating against the armour. The mountain of a Klingon fell limp in the grip of the two female Starfleet officers that held him. Jien swayed where he stood, and clenched his jaw, making his face regain its normal features. "HeghneHchavqoH..."

"Ives!" Martok barked, but Jien raised a hand to stop him.

"I just need a moment," he said hoarsely and sank down on one knee, supporting himself with the tip of his sword. "The Romulan ship, and Praxis..."

"These threats are known," shouted K'Tal, face and neck still red from the altercation with Kopek, but on his feet still. He raised his datapad. "The Theurgy has destroyed the Ta'rom, and the Liaison, Zyrao Natauna, say that Commander Stark has already deployed your crew to deal with the situation on Praxis as well as the warbird. Apparently, it has lost its warp capability and is presently hounded by your warp fighters, as well as the Freedom Sentinel."

Trying to collect himself, and for his form settle, Jien nodded, and then glanced towards Martok. "Show it."

It took the Chancellor a moment before he answered. "Your crew is wounded, and so are you, old friend. Let's call the physicians..."

"No... Show it," Jien swallowed and shook his head, glancing towards the confused Councillors. "Unite them."

It could not wait. What had been seen might be forgotten, the attention lost. Grimly, Martok nodded once. Solemnly, he stepped away, back to where Kopek lay on the stone floor. There were no words with which he might heal his Empire. Only action. Kopek, for all the years of rivalry and bickering in the High Council, had done the right thing in his last moments, so Martok crouched down and gently brushed the old Klingon's eyes open, looking deep into them. Then, he raised his face to the vaulted ceiling and roared, long and loud, a warning to the dead in Sto'vo'kor. They ought to beware, for a Klingon warrior was about to arrive. And in respect towards this act, the Councillors in the Great Hall joined him.

Though as the air ran out of Martok's lungs... he drew his dagger and violently carved Kopek open. The shock swept through the room, and it didn't dissipate as Martok rammed his gloved hand into the bared innards. Only the truth laid bare before their eyes would silence them, as the Chancellor seized the fused remains of the parasite and thrust it high into the air in his bloodied grip. Joined with ichor and organs, a demon-like serpent unlike which the galaxy had ever seen.

"This, is the enemy!" Martok roared into the faces of the High Council, who stepped back when he shook the beast in display before them. "These spawn of darkness infest our flesh and turn us against each other! Like Gorka, son of Margon, whom they made made heir to House Mo'Kai in order to divide our great Empire! Look at it! Remember it! For this is what we fight! The unseen! Beasts from beyond what we know! They have claimed the Praetor! They have claimed Starfleet Command! And yet these past days we have fought each other! House against House instead of an Empire as one, against demons of the dark!"

Gradually, the atmosphere in the Great Hall shifted from confusion, uncertainty, scepticism and scorn...

...into a unifying hatred against a common foe. These were warriors whom had just heard a call to arms.

"Heed me," said Martok, and threw the remains of the parasite to the floor, "and spread the word to every world, every fleet and all lesser Houses not present here today... that the Klingon Empire will stand ready. These demons can hide no more, because this hour, from here on, our eyes are open! 'ang'eghQo' quvHutlhboghjaghneHghobtaHvISghaH! "

Martok stomped the parasite with his heel, and the Klingon High Council roared in assent - fists raised to the ceiling.

Meanwhile, Jien - weary and weakened - looked towards his harried crew, seeing equally weary faces looking back at him. He inclined his head to them, for it was the acknowledgement he could muster. A 'well done', before he straightened, shook the blood from his blade, and sheathed it at his side.


OOC: Everyone are free to post again here for sake of closure and reaction, should you all feel so inclined. Please let me know if you prefer to not post with your character in this scene. My idea is that Brutus posts last, in reaction to what is happening on the Theurgy, so please let me know your preferences as soon as you have read up here. Next, I will be setting up both the Epilogue and Interregnum 01-02, where the Theurgy will have a couple of week so of relative respite... before the Romulan Star Navy invade Klingon space.

- QamvISHeghqaq law' torvISyInqaqpuS. = Better to die on my feet than live on my knees.
- HeghneHchavqoH. = A fool's only achievement is death.
- 'ang'eghQo' quvHutlhboghjaghneHghobtaHvISghaH! = Only an enemy without honour refuses to show himself in battle!

Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: SaraKnight on September 06, 2021, 06:39:59 AM
[LtJG Amissa, Callsign "Emerald"|Klingon High Council Chamber|The Great Hall|Qo'noS] @Nero @chXinya @Stegro88 @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @Auctor Lucan
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Amissa lay in a heap as others swarmed the Klingon who had just tossed her like so much trash. She gasped for air as her crushed larynx finally was able to allow a small amount to pass through, but oh it was so difficult to get that precious air. And to make matters worse, her twisted and broken arm lay at an awkward angle producing copious amounts of pain which only added to her body's need for air as she struggled to cope with that pain as well. She couldn't scream, she could probably not even whisper right then. All she could do was lay there and watch as the fate of the Klingon Empire was decided by others.

I came all this way, survived being hunted by the Syndicate, and now I am going to die on the floor of the Klingon High Council. But at least this death will have meant something.

And indeed it had. This kind of death she could accept. The kind the Syndicate had planned for her, not so much. That death was a waste, pointless. This one had meaning, it had value.

And who knows, someone just might save me yet.

Not that she held much hope of that. There were bigger and more important things going on than the poor Orion girl dying on the floor. As far as the Klingons were concerned, her death, if it came, would be an honorable one. And the Starfleet officers? Well, they had concerns of their own at the moment. Still, there was a small chance.

From her prone position on the floor, it was difficult to tell what exactly was happening, especially given the growing number of Klingon boots between her and the Infested Klingon. But, as if in a dream, enough boots parted to allow her a clear image of an impaled Captain Ives, now rapidly shifting through their forms, driving a weapon of some kind that she couldn't quite make out, through the body of the foe.

Then Lieutenant RraHnam leapt into the fray, tearing and gouging through the Klingon as if a wild animal, shredding her enemy. Finally, he succumbed to his injuries and fell to the ground and it was over.

She couldn't quite hear the words spoken between the Klingon Chancellor and the Captain, who had finally settled his form, but whatever transpired between them, she watched as Martok rose, moved over to the body of the fallen Klingon and lifted his eyes to the ceiling, a low rumble building to an intense roar issuing from within him.

And then every Klingon in the room followed suit and the roar so deep and loud, she thought her body might literally be turned to jelly from the vibrations. When it finally stopped, she could barely hear, so deafening was the brief silence to her.

Still struggling for air, she watched Chancellor Martok dig something out of the fallen warrior's body and hold it up for all to see. Even from her vantage point on the ground, the thing was clear to her, though with all the blood and gore dripping from it, she was hard pressed to categorize exactly what it was she was seeing.

"This, is the enemy!" she heard Martok roar. "These spawn of darkness infest our flesh and turn us against each other! Like Gorka, son of Margon, whom they made heir to House Mo'Kai in order to divide our great Empire! Look at it! Remember it! For this is what we fight! The unseen! Beasts from beyond what we know! They have claimed the Praetor! They have claimed Starfleet Command! And yet these past days we have fought each other! House against House instead of an Empire as one, against demons of the dark!"

She had heard something about this briefly on the Oneida, but she hadn't really gotten the whole story. Now, it appeared the infestation ran deeper and wider than she had known.

Could this be the thing that they were trying to conceal on Sapphire Station?

It seemed like a reasonable conclusion to her, and she just hoped someone would tend her wounds before she died and was unable to tell anyone about it. If it was true, then a major tactical station had been compromised along the Romulan Neutral Zone and the Federation was at risk.

Martok said more, but her Klingon was not so good and her breathing was so ragged that she finally passed out from the lack of air and the intense pain that was wracking her body.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Nero on September 08, 2021, 10:47:55 PM
[(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c2/M_gold_lt.png) Lt. RraHnam (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=RraHnam) | Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @jreeves1701 @Stegro88 @SaraKnight @Brutus @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz
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Even though Gorka was her opponent and his dishonorable act of trying to stab another Klingon in the back had secured him a place in the eternal ranks of the dishonored in Gre'thor, RraHnam treated his corpse with respect. It was different for her to fight Klingons than the Jem'Hadar, who were all just trained and cruel monsters. Klingons had a moral code, a concept of honor, and this was reason enough for the Caitian not to simply let this stray fool fall to the ground, but to lay him down gently. RraHnam closed his eyes.

As she sat up again, she nodded to McGregor, now remembering her name. A brief gesture of recognition and thanks. Together they had overcome this threat, and Ives pressed Martok to make clear to the assembled council members what it was all about.

The Klingon chancellor intoned the wailing cry that would announce to the gods that a brave and honorable warrior was on his way to them and that they should open the gates to Sto'Vo'Kor for him. The bloodcurdling roar filled the entire council chamber and RraHnam joined in as well, as far as her damaged chest would allow. As a child, she had learned much about Klingon culture and language. For her it was a sign of respect to mourn someone who gave his life to protect others. Kopek, despite the power that befell him, earned back his honor with his last breaths. He revealed to those present those attacks on the Klingon home world had been and were being prepared. Fortunately, another Klingon, whom the security officer could not see clearly, explained that the crew of the Theurgy, with the help of a ship known as the Sentinal, had already taken care of these problems.

Then, when the cry of lament had died away and driven by Captain Ives, Martok cut open the body of Kopek. A wave of horror followed which turned to outrage as the council members realized who the real enemy was out there. Martok held this snake-like creature in the air so that everyone could see it clearly, and RraHnam also memorized the image carefully. She heard the Chancellor's words and hoped that all the skeptics were now convinced. She was.

RraHnam gathered her belongings, which she had lost in the fight against the infected Kopek and went to join her people. Now that it was time for the soldier to wait for new orders, it was time to lick her wounds. Time that RraHnam immediately used to catch the fall of Amissa, who was temporarily assigned to her. The young Orion woman had fallen unconscious. Her exosuit looked badly battered. Probably she had several broken bones. The Caitian stayed with the fighter pilot until medical help arrived, which she could also use.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Ellen Fitz on September 09, 2021, 02:36:57 PM
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS] Attn: @Brutus  @Auctor Lucan  @Stegro88  @chXinya  @SaraKnight  @Nero  @Nesota Kynnovan 

Enyd had been so elated to see L'Nari still with the case of equipment in hand, the look of determination on the young diplomat's face evidence of the Caitian's intention to complete the rest of her mission, that Enyd couldn't help but smile. Obviously, the woman was not cut out for the front lines, yet L'Nari had kept to the mission and was using this scuffle as a diversion so she could slip out and make that communications link Rutherford had ordered. That fact had distracted Enyd from the fight and filled her with an overwhelming sense of pride in her fellow diplomat, leading to her smile of encouragement for the young woman's efforts. However, the smile of encouragement Enyd shot L'Nari only caused the look of determination on L'Nari's face to quickly shift to a more troubled one as she backed away, then turned on her heel and disappeared from the room. Uncertain of what had disquieted the Caitian so keenly, Enyd mentally noted another commendation to pass on to Rutherford concerning the Ensign before shifting her attention back to Gorka and the others.

In that split second of inattention, another Caitian had surged forward into the fray. In her movements, she was fierce, merciless, shredding Gorka's armor and his flesh with her claws. Gorka growled out Klingon insults to both the Caitiain assailant and to Captain Ives, but there was no stopping the inevitable. He was just steps away from death, and yet the warrior refused to submit. Enyd watched in a mixture of fascination and concern as the Captain, his body still struggling to maintain form, ripped his long sword from Gorka's body. Gorka fell, and slowly Ives' face returned to his normal male features. He spoke in Klingon, his body swaying from the wound and the exertion it took to keep his sword buried in the thrashing body of Gorka.

Enyd lowered her sword and shifted closer as K'Tal shouted out more truths to the High Council. Ives was still kneeling on the ground when Enyd stopped just shy of his side. She would not offer assistance unless it was obvious he needed it. She knew enough of the Klingon culture to respect that such an offer would only work against Ives, and not for him. She jerked in surprise when the room suddenly filled with the bellowing of Klingon voices. She'd momentarily forgotten their rituals for the dead and the entrance to Sto'vo'kor. Her eyes widened as she listened and watched the cultural display.

It was a testimony to her training that Enyd didn't wince when Martok abruptly dropped to carve open Kopek with his dagger. She knew Klingons felt no particular respect towards a corpse and yet seeing it so openly acted upon differed greatly from a mere textbook discussion had on another planet years before. The sight of the parasite Martok removed from Kopek's gut had Enyd shivering in horror and disgust. That something so small could cause such destruction!

She had not met Doctor Nicander on the ship, yet seeing these last moments of Kopek and how he'd come back to himself in contrast to how he'd been while under the parasite's control had Enyd's heart hurting at the same time that it hardened. The real Kopek had still been there the whole time, paralyzed to stop himself from all the killing and sabotage. He'd sought redemption in the end, allowed those precious few moments to offer something good to the world before passing into the next. If there was no way to render these parasites a non-threat within the Infested, if there was truly no way to remove them without killing the host, then there would be a potential bloodbath. A bloody Inquisition.

Martok spoke well to his people, calling to his cause the unified voice of anger against the parasite from the High Council. He then crushed the parasite's head under his heel for added measure, and Enyd had to mentally applaud his antics. Beside her, Ives had stood and sheathed his sword. Mimicking Ives' movements, Enyd ensured her blade's cleanliness before sheathing it as well.

She shifted her weight to lean closer so Ives could hear her over the din in the room, "I'm assuming the grandchild gift basket will have to wait," she nodded towards the door L'Nari had disappeared through, "Ensign L'Nari is establishing the piggyback communication Commander Rutherford needed." Enyd allowed her gaze to travel quickly up and down the captain, before she spoke again, "Do you need assistance, Captain? Thanks to your timely catch, I'm unharmed and can help if you need it." She smirked then, her eyes darting to his hands, then back to his face. "And about that catch, do you, by any chance, play the Terran game football, sir, because you're quite good with your hands."

Only after the words left her mouth did Enyd realize just how easy it would be to misunderstand them. However, she had learned long ago that bringing attention to a verbal gaffe only made it worse, and so she remained resolutely silent, fighting against the irrational desire to giggle like a schoolgirl whilst covered in blood and surrounded by death.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on September 18, 2021, 04:36:28 PM
[ CPO Mickayla MacGregor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Mickayla_MacGregor) | Klingon High Council Chamber | The Great Hall | First City | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan
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It was over. The relief that flowed through Mickayla was muted by the pain that emanated from her shoulder. Gorka's d'k tagh was still embedded there, the crest of the House Mo'Kai glistening in the firelight as it stared back up at her. Mickayla imagined that it was both crestfallen that its owner had died while also happy that another Mo'Kai was now in possession of it. The Chief couldn't decide which it was. Both perhaps?

She stayed back, next to Gorka's corpse as Martok, at Captain Ives' urging, addressed the council. She had understood the importance of the roar that the gathered Klingons had bellowed at the ceiling but had not joined in despite her blood calling for her too. It was a foreign act to her, no matter what her body was telling her. Then she had watched as Martok had carved the body open, revealing the fused parasite within that had controlled the fallen warrior and manipulated the Klingon Empire to the brink of civil war.

Blood seeped through her fingers where she held her wound, not daring to withdraw the blade knowing that it could be keeping her from bleeding to death. As Martok addressed everyone, thoughts rippled through Mickayla's head at what the future might hold for her now that Gorka lay dead at her feet.

"What will become of House Mo'Kai? I have uttered the challenge and Gorka now lays dead at my feet," she wondered. "Will my father come to claim his birthright? Is he even still alive? And if he does come, do I want to meet him?"

These and more thoughts swam through the security officer's mind as she also considered if she would return to the Theurgy or nor for medical treatment.
Title: Re: Chapter 07: All or Nothing [ Day 03 | 1555 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on October 05, 2021, 04:03:03 AM
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Sarresh_Morali)  | Secluded Office | The Great Hall | The First City of the Klingon Empire | Qo'noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
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There was never a good time to have an episode. Sarresh knew this well. There were however, bad times to have one. Secluded in an office in and of itself was not the worst thing ever for one of these, even if there was a Klingon audience, the same Intelligence officer that had helped lead the Starfleet team into the Great Hall from the landing platform to begin with. Having it while watching the Captain be stabbed, however, was less than ideal by a considerable margin.

Sarresh had taken such a visceral satisfaction as he watched the Klingon Kopek crumple in upon himself, the insidious parasite that had taken over the council member's body succumbing to the Anyonic waves triggered by Sarresh himself. There, before him, had been visual proof that he, Sarresh Morali, had struck back at the unseen enemy haunting the ranks of not only Starfleet Command, but every major power in the quadrant. That unspeakable force bent on the end of all things, and the sole reason that Sarresh had returned to his native time instead of remaining where he preferred, aboard the Relativity.

For a long moment, Sarresh indulged his hate for those parasites, reveling in the creatures pain. The smile on his face might have rivaled any of their Klingon host's after a good, hard won fight.

But then, to his surprise, he felt his smile fall away, replaced with something much closer to remorse. It was not Kopek's fault that he had been infested. As far as Sarresh could tell, no one had a say in what happened to them. The odds of someone willingly turning to such a creature was odd, and perhaps for the first time, Sarresh was being remind of this with his own two eyes. Thus, while he was eminently satisfied to deal a direct blow to the enemy, he found himself feeling sorry for the host. The wind had come out of his sails, and he sunk back, sparring half a glance toward Tavek. Unlike Sarresh, Tavek had, to that point, seen no true proof. But now....now he saw the final gasps, the struggle of Kopek to get out that last message of warning and let the entirety of the Great Hall know of the remaining threats. That was what a true hero did; to die a warriors death, fighting to the end for the Empire, now freed of the shackles of the parasite that had wrapped around his very core essence and used him for who knew how long.

The news that the departed Kopek had managed to deliver before drawing his final breath was dire, and needed passing along, something Tavek seemed already primed to do, reaching past Sarresh to utilize some of the other consoles in the room. This left Sarresh momentarily alone with this thoughts. Though it seemed to drag on forever, in truth, naught but seconds passed. Sitting back in the chair, Sarresh made the key mistake of opening his mouth, and saying, "Well, that's that then."

Which was the exact moment that everything fell apart once more.

"That stinking, honorless P'taq!" Tavek spat, seeing as Gorka rounded on the Chancellor. For good measure, Sarresh hit the button to discharge the Anyonic Emitters once more (to no avail this time). He supposed it could have been possible that another of the infested, in the body of a telepath perhaps, had some how pushed Gorka over the edge. But no one dropped from the array, its discharge unnoticed in the fray that was developing. No, all that could be seen was the hulking brute lunging at Martok -

- And Ives getting in the way.

"You have got to be fucking kidding me!" Sarresh spat out, coming out of his seat and bending over the station, to better see Ives, a blade buried in their chest, starring down Gorka as the crew lept into action. But he did not see the fight that followed , for at the same moment that the Theurgy's captain spat defiance in the face of the cowardly Klingon usurper whom had tried to stab Martok in the back (literally). Of course Ives would interpose themselves between the two belligerents. But no sooner had the words let his mouth, than everything around him changed.

Cries filled his ears, and the smell of something electric and burning filled his nose. Followed shortly by a sickening, organic snap, and the earthy stink of death. More yelling, now, as Sarresh felt deck plating under his cheek. His body tensed, and curled in on itself, eyes open, watching, hearing. Two voices - the same voice - yelling at...each other? A blink, and there was a moon. There was a corridor. There was a...Human...with a punch-able face. Not Ducane? But....familiar.

Another blink....and he found himself someplace warmer. Too warm. Too humid. The thump of feet, stepping in unison. There was the alien voice of the collective in his hears, distant, steady. A face, too familiar. With cords pulling in and out of her head. A new voice of the Collective that seemed to fade into nothing. A glimpse of another time? Another place? What should have happened? What had not? He knew everything, and nothing, and it terrified him.

The images came faster and faster, one after another, each making less sense then the last, and yet more sense. Things that were. Things that are. Things that had not yet come to pass, but might. Or might not. Ives, dead on the floors of the Great Hall. Martok Dead. Gorka Dead. All of them dead. All of them living. All the images, hurling through his mind until all that Sarresh could hear was a keening wail. Unbeknownst to him at the time, it was his own voice, as he lay seizing on the floor of the secluded office in the center of the Klingon Empires governmental political heart.

Tavek had not been idle during this sudden collapse of the scientist assigned to asisst K'Tal in ridding the Empire of an infestation. Even as a fight unfolded on the monitors before them, a different kind of fight played out in the confines of the sporadically convulsing human. Leaning out the door, the warrior bellowed down the hall, "yIghoSchoHQo'!"

There was little else he could do not being a trained medic himself. The spy dropped to his knees and turned Sarresh onto his side, as foam bubbled up between the mans lips. "I do not know if this is something humans do for amusement to worry other races but you will stop this now, do you hear? There will be no dishonorable deaths on my watch."

Sarresh's only response was to spit out a ragged warning, in a mad giggle:

"He broke through..."

- FIN