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CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Chapter 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]
Attn: IronFerrox, Searcher, Kurohigi, CanadianVet & Doctor Maya. Optionally: Zenozine & Cathreen Dawinter

[ Holographic Lab | Main Engineering Lv.2 | Deck 08 | 1300 hrs. ]
Attn: Lin Kae & Skye Carver

In the Theurgy's Holographic Specialist laboratory, the doors remained locked after Selena Ravenholm stole Thea's mobile emitter. It had been the only copy of Thea that remained after her pasitronic brain had been shut down by the encryption specialist and the standard Starfleet computer interface had been activated in her stead.

Lin Kae had been electrocuted by the civilian, shot in the back just after he learned that she had completely locked him out of the ship's systems. He had not managed to activate Thea's emitter in time, and now she was gone. The docking station had been found empty once he came to, the recharging cycle left incomplete. Moreover, the ship's entire holographic grid had been overloaded, the emitters fried by the very same woman that had overpowered the Bajoran prodigy. The same emitters were used to project forcefields across the ship, but no more. Not unless the emitters were repaired, and could be activated stand-alone from the ship computer.

An hour had passed since the Holographic Specialist was shot. If he had already come to, the question was how much had he wallowed in regret... and how successful had he been in finding a way out of his laboratory with the tools he had access to?

Meanwhile, a Lone-Wolf would have climbed from the belly of the starship - avoiding the search parties sent by Captain T'Rena. An hour of stealth and survival, ascending the decks one at the time. If she reached Deck 08, she would be closing in on her dear friend's laboratory - her private mission being to make sure he was safe, and to lend aide to someone that was key in retaking the ship for Captain Ives. The lab was behind one of the doors in Main Engineering, and the area lay mostly quiet. Those of the crew loyal to Ives were in hiding, and those loyal to Vasser had gathered in Cargo Bay 02 after the Commodore's announcement.

In the end, the wolf was only an open walkway distant from the sliding doors between them... when a shout was heard far below in the vertical chamber of the ship's Warp Core.

It originated from a couple of decks down, partially hidden by the criss-crossing walkways that led to-and-fro the three reaction chambers... but the light of phaser fire could still be hinted from the terrace that the Lone-Wolf had reached. Was it one of T'Rena's search parties? Regardless, they were gone as quickly as they had appeared - the wild chase continuing elsewhere. After the commotion, someone was bound come to investigate, but there might just be enough time to grant the Lone-Wolf passage across the last walkway... and to get into the locked Laboratory.

[ Two Decks Down | Outside the Warp Core Control Room | Deck 10 | 1300 hrs. ]
Attn: Carrigan Trent & Billy Bob O'Connell

Sometime during the past hour, before Lieutenant Commander Trent and Chief O'Connell had managed to reach the Main Computer Core on Deck 06, Sjaandin Fedd and his three security guards had intercepted them.

They had been close to their goal, but the Chief Tactical Officer had his Betazoid abilities to guide him, and he had managed to predict where the the two humans had been heading to. He would have done the same thing if he had been in their position - to attempt restoring Thea to full functionality.

Also, while Sjaandin did not know the Maintenance Chief as well as he had wanted to, Sjaandin knew Carrigan Trent quite well. They had worked together in countless tactical exercises, run simulations together at the Academy, and now that they were fighting each other, Sjaandin used it to his advantage in order to keep the humans busy - preventing them to even try bypassing the encryptions that Ravenholm had put into place. He even caught himself enjoying the wild chase through corridors, the daring descents through Jefferies tubes and the momentary exchange of phaser fire before the chase continued once again.

They were just passing through Main Engineering's bottom floor when Sjaandin called out against the retreating back of the two humans. "Run!" he shouted with a winded smile, "Run like the wind, for I can still sense you! I will still know where you are!"

He chuckled when he saw the facial expressions of the three security guards. Their moronic opinions of him - that he was mad - was quite vivid to him, but it was their wide-eyed stares that amused him the most. "Come on lads!" he said and raked some hair away from his damp forehead, setting off again, "Onwards!"

With his hand phaser in a two-hand grip, he took chase once more - firing whenever he caught a glimpse of them. The battle they now fought was one of attrition, but Sjaandin was confident he would be victorious in the end. It was not like he could be outwitted when he knew their thoughts, and besides, he was in excellent condition, so surely he could catch an amputee and... what did they call it? Ah, yes, a grease-monkey. Any given day.

This battle of wits with the humans was a fight he liked... but he did not like the idea to track down Cameron Henshaw. He did not like that bit at all... even if he would still do it. He had to, for sake of the future Galaxy.

[ Living Quarters | Deck 08 | 1300 hrs. ]
Attn: Selena Ravenholm. Optionally: Cameron Henshaw or Wenn Cinn

On the floor of the quarters laid the body of Selena Ravenholm, her cybernetic limbs sprawled wide by her fall. The dataport at the back of her neck was opened, and a cable coiled itself across her body. At the end of the cable lay a spherical object. A mobile emitter, inactivated, yet a voice could be heard from its crude speaker.

"This is Thea, is anyone there?" it said, the non-reverberant sound of the small speaker not emitting any low audio frequencies - making the voice sound flat and digital. Not loud enough to be heard through walls. "A copy of my A.I. is stored in this emitter and while I am unable to access key systems, I may be able to restore power to my pasitronic brain core again with the use of my projection. If anyone hears this, you must remove the cable to activate this emitter. Please, I have been made aware of what is going on aboard, and Declan Vasser must be stopped."

While the small speaker emitted the voice of the A.I., the civilian programmer just lay there, lifeless in the wake of the battle they had fought. Thea had no eyes to see the body with. She did not even know if Ravenholm was still alive, but if she was, Thea hoped that the implants in the human's head had been accessed in time before the link had been severed, and that the human had come to see the error of her ways. Chances were Ravenholm was dead, but until that could be determined, all Thea could do was to try and call out for attention - not liking the odds of someone actually hearing her. Nonetheless, she couldn't do anything else than keep trying.

"This is Thea, can anyone read me? I am..."

OOC: This thread, named 02:System Reboot, will contain the scenes with all characters that are involved in the effort to reclaim the Theurgy ship's systems from Vasser and T'Rena. This thread will eventually be continued in an upcoming thread in due time, at which point will be determined as things evolve. The events in this thread start at 1300 hours, which is one hour after the end of the previous Chapter. It is free to make up what has transpired during the hour that has gone by since the hostile takeover based on what has been suggested above. Lastly, please make sure to tag your posts by [Character] and/or [Location] for ease of reading.

This Chapter in the Theurgy story is dedicated to Mr. Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015. May he never be forgotten.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #1
[ Selena Ravenholm | Living Quarters | Deck 08 | 1300 hrs. ]

The hacker lay on the floor and her eyes began to flutter open.  She had been awakened by a voice.  SHe wasnt even sure of the voice much less the words as the visor over her eyes began to come to life dimming the world before her overly sensitive cybernetic enhanced eyes.  she felt a pain in her neck.  something that ached and throbbed.  she reached back touching it and winced in pain as she felt fingers touching raw blistered flesh that seemed burned, fused to something coming out of her neck.  "The hell?" she thought horrors about the stories of Borg's tactics of assimilation crossing her mind wondering if she had became conscious mid process only to learn of her horrors only before having her individuality stripped away to become part of the hive mind.

She closed her eyes and began to focus more think where the soreness was.  where the burn was and recalled the location was her own computer link port.  Burns at the link port, whatever she was linked to must have had an electrical surge.  That would explain the burns and why flesh seemed fused to the cord.  She would have to have medical remove her data access poet which had obviously been destroyed in the surge and build herself a new port.  Wouldn't be too hard of a process really less complex surgery for medical even than the widely common visor implant surgery for the blind.  If she could get to her quarters she could probably just program in the implants parts into the replicator and have it built in an hour.  an hour.  With that thought she wondered what time it was and had the visor pull up a chronometer readout.  looking at the time she tried to access her back up memory knowing her last memories were from hours earlier.  She hardly ever kept her tertiary memory unit that out of date, especially not prior to linking with something with a surge risk. 

She began putting the pieces of the puzzle together.  Burned out data link connector, Memory restored to point in past more out of date than usual.  last memories are on harbinger and I appear to be on the theurgy based on the location readout she just pulled up on her visor.  Reaching back she gently tugged on the cord and found it wasn't coming out.  'Damn,' she thought 'Gonna have to cut the cable loose its fused to my skin by burns.'  Burns and....probable concussion she thought.  Memory in Backup memory unit is empty and unit appears inoperable now  must have been a full emergency memory dump.   Probably from the surge,  Immediately she thought of the kinds of injuries that she could have sustained the least of which included mild concussion symptoms the worst of which she didn't even want to consider knowing in the worst case scenario with a surge she could have essentially been electrically lobotomized.  for now she settled on the likelyhood of her throbbing headache aside from the burn being the symptoms of her brain treating the memory dump like a concussion.

The mystery of the missing hours solved as a concussion like situation she focused on the voice.  and allowed herself to wake into the real world letting her augmented cyberneticly altered sensors tune things correctly to the best approximation of the norm for a human.  As the volume leveled she began to hear the voice of the Theurgy's computer.  Following the trail of the cord fused into her neck she noticed the mobile emitter and stared in shock.   She had been accessing Thea's core conciousness?  But why?  wait a surge.  "Thea!" she gasped with immediate worry hoping that the emitter wasn't damaged as she grabbed it examining it.  she examined the sphere and sighed.  Thank whoever is out there, there was no apparent damage. 

"Thea its Ravenholm.  I don't know why we were connected but I seem to have experienced a major electrical surge from your holo emitter.  My data link cable implant is fried and my backup memory unit seems to have been activated and is now inoperable as well.  On visual inspection Your Mobile emitter appears to be undamaged.  I am disconnecting the link cable from the emitter's port  Please belay automated activation and await activation command."   She disconnected the link plug from the emitter and stepped back.  "Thea, activate from the mobile emitter."  she said as she let the cable dangle from her head knowing the only way to remove it would be cutting the cord thank goodness she was with Thea, the AI could probably easily create a holographic knife to cut the cable off so at least it wouldn't be getting in the way.  More importantly maybe Thea could tell her what in the hell was going on that put them together linked in this room.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #2
[ Lt-Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Deck 10 | Vicinity of the Warp Core Control Room]

Trent had anticipated being chased at some point. The instructions he had given O'Connell had been followed. They were to make for a swift yet indirect approach to the computer core. However, something the Intelligence Officer did not fully account for was the Betazoid's telepathic abilities.

From a purely tactical standpoint Trent was already in Fedd's head. Twenty years they had known each other and despite the long hiatus in their regular meetings, the Theurgy's tactical officer was still very much the Cadet he had known all these years. Sjaandin, in his assessment which was further sharpened by his years in Intelligence, was overall an inelegant tactician very much in the same vein as Horatio Nelson and while he could grasp the nature of a tactical problem easily enough he lacked the deeper instincts and insights that allowed Trent to capitalize on the most minuscule flaw or misstep. Not to be misunderstood, had had always known his old friend's technical abilities and grasp of procedures and protocols were stellar. But he lacked imagination. Such was the final critique when they graduated from Starfleet Academy and were granted their ranks as Ensign.

Trent had edged him towards the top of the class by a seemingly small yet incredibly important percentage points. The hard and inflexible portions of his trade he excelled at, but his instructors had been thoroughly impressed by his tactical acumen, but thought him a little slow to act at times. But this was no flaw of his, Trent knew. He just needed to have a chance to think.

So when the chase began and they were forced to double back, the Intelligence Officer found himself continually reassessing the situation. And at first, truth be told, all he could do was react and trust in O'Connell's knowledge of the ship's warren of Jefferies tubes and maintenance accesses. But, as they neared some of the engineering spaces, more space became available, maneuvering would become possible. And they had a chance. Curtly, he tapped the Master Chief on the shoulder, and with a swift hand gesture, signalled they needed to split up for the time being.

And it was just in time to hear the Betazoid speak, letting them know exactly how he was tracking them. And that spoke volumes. That was uncharacteristically overconfident, arrogant even. And stupid. One never revealed what he did not have to. Not to an enemy. So odds are the mind-meld had affected his higher functions and impaired his judgement. And that was an advantage greater than any other the Ives loyalists could ever hope for.

Having gained separation from Billy Bob, Carrigan heard the exhortation to the Security men and waited. He had an ambush already planned. And then, he sprang it. One of his goons was standing at a corner, one foot forward. Perhaps Trent did not have a shot in his center of mass, but he had a shot. One swipe of his thumb increased rhe power setting of his phaser and he fired a single burst, just above the exposed ankle. As the guard toppled forward, the Intelligence Officer lowered the output back to maximum stun and cut loose with one more blast, that one striking true into his ribcage and silencing the scream of agony he had let out when a neat, cautherized hole had been bored into his lower leg.

And, as he relocated, Trent called out. "One man down, Fedd! You know how this is going to end! Your men don't need to die or get hurt, and neither do you! Disarm and lock yourselves into a closet! Vasser and T'Rena won't be pleased but you'll live! They can't throw away a tactical officer from an airlock, they can't afford it and we both know that!"

Part of him hoped he'd be able to reach his old friend past that brainwashing. But to his eminently practical appraisal of the situation, it was highly unlikely.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #3
[ Sjaandin Fedd | Vicinity of the Warp Core Control Room | Deck 10 ] Attn: Carrigan Trent & Billy Bob O'Connell

Sjaandin had raised his phaser instinctively when the security guard was shot and fell to the ground, only to be silenced by a stunbeam to the torso since he had fallen into Carrigan's line-of-sight. Sjaandin curled his upper lip in ire to the incompetence of the people he surrounded himself with. Carrigan began to talk from his position, and that gave Sjaandin some time to condition the ground - so to speak - by getting his bearings straight. He closed his eyes as Carrigan spoke of T'Rena and Vasser, but not because he was listening. He was doing reconnaissance, pinpointing the imprint of thought and emotion in the closest vicinity, and after having chased his old comrade from the Academy and the Chief Engineer for over an hour, he could find them rather easily.

They had split up. The Chief Engineer was moving elsewhere. Sjaandin opened his black eyes in understanding, and looked towards the two remaining personnel at his side. One was from Engineering, the other Security, and they both looked to him for orders - unsure what to do. He raised his hand to signal towards a second door, not replying to Carrigan yet but giving an quiet instruction. "You, through there, third intersection ahead. O'Connell will come from the port side," he said and the young crewman from Engineering left. "You, go around there. Catch him from the other side of Main Engineering if he gets through. Move it."

After the two had nodded and sped off, rifles readied to lay their ambush ahead of the moving Chief Engineer once he reached that intersection, Sjaandin finally replied - quietly putting his back to the wall next to the opening whence Carrigan had vanished. "The question of 'cost' again," he said and chuckled bitterly, scratching his chin with the muzzle of his phaser, "Captain Ives kept talking about it; how we can't afford fail this mission. The cost of war. How it was steep for us. The cost on our conscience, to kill our own. It always sounded to me that Ives was justifying the murders he - or she - ordered us to commit. 'For the sake of the mission'. All the time. Like some broken log-recording."

Sjaandin took a deep breath, readying his stance to sprint. "You know what, Carrigan? Vasser wants to make it stop. We have lost this battle already. If you can't see that, then I wonder who ought to have become salutorian in my stead." He took deep breaths, bending his knees a bit. "Can't you see? It's long overdue we fell back so that we may win this war when we are not flying around in this damaged, depleted ship that is barely holding together after all that is has been through. Don't help Ives kill all these people. Let them have a second chance. If not for them, for the future generations - freed from the parasites in our midst."

It was time. "Remember Tuvok? How he used to reprimand us?" he called, setting his phaser to wide dispersal, "He was a fine instructor, and his Vulcan logic applies rather well now, doesn't it? The needs of the many outweighs t-"

He moved before he finished, emerging in a crouching position and firing rapidly with his wide dispersal stun setting. He did not want to kill Carrigan, but let T'Rena have him change his mind. Walls of energy pelted the nooks and depressions of the corridor, washing against the edges that Carrigan may be hiding behind. Constantly firing - to keep his opponent from stepping out and firing back - Sjaandin set a mordant stride down the corridor to find where Carrigan was hiding. With his eyes, but also his mind - meaning to intercept whatever move his old friend might make.

[ Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Living Quarters | Deck 08 ] Attn: Selena Ravenholm

Thea had fallen silent when Ravenholm's voice was heard, falling back into a defensive mode of operation where she did not want to repeat the battle she had just fought. It seemed, however, that the concern she heard was genuine from what little she could derive from the audio input. She was granted plenty of information to process even before the cable was removed from the emitter, so when Ravenholm had distanced herself and said it was ok to project herself, Thea did.


The anti-gravity units in the device raised the emitter from the floor - making it levitate at the centre point of her projection. The emitter then created a holographic field bubble equal to the maximum amount of volume and reach that Thea herself could take up in any direction. As the holographic field matrix activated, Thea's form appeared, obscuring the emitter from sight. She stood there in her golden chameleon body suit; her cautiousness activating sub-routines from her Security programming. She locked eyes with Ravenholm immediately, and while she did not raise her guard or signal any promise of bodily action, her perfectly still stance seemed to suggest sudden movement even more than a combative stance might.

"You were not yourself. I activated your backup memory to try and restore you," she said, not yet going into the details about how that hadn't been as easy as it sounded. "What is the last thing you remember?"

In order to brief Selena, Thea had to know how much of a backlog she had to communicate. Also, it would grant her more time to study the human and see if she showed any signs of still being at the mercy of T'Rena's mind-meld. At the same time, she had to be effective about it too, since judging from the data package that she had downloaded, Captain Vasser had already assumed command together with the former Master Acolyte.

If such was the case, Captain Ives Commander Rez were already in the Brig, and the Harbinger personnel had seized the majority of the ship. Her pasitronic brain had been inactivated and she - the ship - was running on the subroutines of the backup Federation computer program. Thea was marooned from her own physical body, merely existing through the emitter and its unique storage capacity and duplicate processors.

It was an otherworldly feeling, to be disconnected from her own systems and not knowing all the minute data that was usually flowing through her background processes. She did not like it at all... being as disembodied as she were. She suppose this was what humans and other organics felt all the time, but that did not make it any easier for her to cope with.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #4
[ Master Chief Petty Officer William O'Connell | USS Theurgy | Deck Ten | Main Engineering ]

To William Robert O'Connell, it seemed as if there was a tracking device planted on them.  Fedd and his goons had managed to track both himself and Carrigan Trent with ease.  It must have been Sjaandin Fedd's mind reading ability, but didn't it have a range limit?  Billy Bob had hoped that once they had left his presence, it was out of sight, out of mind, but there was no such luck.  Somehow, no matter where they went, that crazy Betazoid bastich was able to find them. 

There was no time to figure out how; Trent and Billy Bob had to keep moving.  They had led their pursuers on a merry chase from deck six down all the way down to deck ten.  O'Connell didn't think there was anyone alive who knew every nook and cranny, every access hatch and Jeffries tube as well as he did.  Sjaandin Fedd was the tactical officer, not the security officer.  He shouldn't  have known how to anticipate where Trent and Billy Bob would end up each time they gave them the slip. 

As the doors to the bottom floor of main engineering opened before him, O'Connell was unsettled by the lack of personnel inside.  There should have been at least ten engineers at their stations, Captain Ives was taking the Theurgy into battle for God's sake!   The accident (sabotage?) they suffered earlier should have had a team of engineers checking and rechecking the hasty repairs at the very least!  Where the frack was everybody?

Trent tapped O'Connell on the shoulder and gestured that they should separate.  Just as the order registered Billy Bob heard Fedd's voice echo behind them.  "Run! Run like the wind, for I can still sense you! I will still know where you are!"  His voice was hoarse from exhaustion, yet still perversely gleeful.  That explained why he and Trent weren't shot yet.  The mind reading bastich was enjoying himself too much. 

It also explained why Trent had decided they needed to separate:  Fedd must have been reading Trent's mind.  Of course he was.  Carrigan Trent was an unknown factor who had allegedly infiltrated Admiral Sankolov's task force and somehow disabled the enemy ships allowing the Theurgy and the Harbinger to escape.  It made sense that Trent thought they should split up; with Fedd fixated on Trent maybe Billy Bob could try something clever.

And boy, did he have something clever to try. 

Billy Bob ducked behind the master systems display table and rabbited in a serpentine pattern to hide behind the warp core as Carrigan Trent heroically led their pursuers out of main engineering.  Correction:  Most of their pursuers.  It seemed that one of them had decided to go after the master chief.

O'Connell recognized him as one of his own men:  Crewman Dom Fok, who had recently been transferred to main engineering.  Billy's eyes darkened when he realized who had most likely sabotaged the EPS grid and left Lieutenant Marlowe in critical condition.  He fired a shot at Fok but the lanky crewman dodged behind the master systems display table and returned fire.  Thankfully they both had their phasers set on stun.  Only someone who was desperate and stupid would fire weapon set to kill this close to the warp core.  

And right now Billy Bob was both stupid and desperate.  He thumbed his phaser to 'kill' setting as he dashed behind the warp core and climbed a flight of stairs to stop at a landing halfway up to the next deck.  As predicted, Dom Fok pursued, and stayed under the stairs so that Billy Bob couldn't get a direct line of fire.

Billy didn't need one.  On each side of the warp core was a tank of plasma coolant, a nasty substance that could take the flesh off a man's bones and then dissolve the bones as well.  As long as the Theurgy didn't go to warp, the ship wouldn't explode if just one tank was ruptured.   "Sorry crewman," O'Connell muttered as he pointed his mark two phaser pistol at the coolant tank and fired.  The beam of light hit the coolant tank and...

...was absorbed by the forcefield that had been set just before O'Connell had gone to the bridge over an hour ago.  Billy Bob himself had ordered it activated in a fit of paranoia as he left, even though the ship wasn't in combat yet.   Oops.

O'Connell snapped out of his self-recriminations by an angry Fok.  "Hey!" Crewman Fok protested as he marched up the stairs and pointed his phaser at Billy.  "Did you just try to drown me in plasma coolant?"

"Well, yeah," the master chief admitted lamely.  "You were shooting at me!"

"My phaser was set on stun, you idiot!  We're trying to take you alive!" Crewman Fok scolded.  "Firing a phaser set to kill in main engineering, how stupid do you gotta be anyway?"

"I wasn't thinking straight!" Billy yelped.  "I really haven't been getting enough sleep lately and between you and me I think I'm still a little hungover..."

"Shut it!" Crewman Fok ordered.  "Shut your mouth you stupid hillbilly!  And drop that phaser right now!"

Billy Bob looked at the phaser he held uselessly in his hand.  "This phaser?"

"What phaser do you think I mean you moron?" Fok sneered.  "You heard me," he snapped as he gestured with his weapon.  "Drop it right now!"

"Okay, don't shoot," O'Connell sighed as he complied.  The clattering sound the phaser made when it hit the deck sounded awfully loud to Billy Bob.

"Now put up your hands and march your sorry butt over in front of me," Crewman Fok ordered, "or so help me I'll shoot your sorry ass and carry y..."

Dom Fok's words were lost when O'Connell tackled him and sent them both tumbling down the stairs.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #5
[ Selena Ravenholm | Living Quarters | Deck 08 | ]

She nodded, " My most recent "restored" memories took place according to the backup data imprint at just before 1100 hrs.    Based on current visor chronometer readings It is currently 1300 hrs of the same day.  I appear to have a non recovered space of 2 hrs.  Highly irregular," she considered. "my memory backup system usually sets a backup point once every quarter hour."

She conentrated for a moment still suffering from the excruciating headache her memories after the joint senior staff meeting being a bit fuzzier than the rest.  "The last completely clear memory I have is shortly after the senior staff meeting this morning.  Since i knew I was going back to the Harbinger I made sure to create a manual "restore point" just in case something unexpected happened upon returning to my home ship.

"I have fuzzy memories after this point fragmented I guess a good analogue for you would be corrupted files that only fragments are able to be deciphered from."  She concentrated a moment trying to piece it all together through the blinding headache hearing a memory of a voice in her head.  "Yes.  I returned to the Harbinger I was on the bridge and the XO informed me that she needed to inform me of something regarding our mission to the Starbase.  I went into the room she began saying something...something about the mission being too risky.  Then... it all goes blank.  Sorry I have no memories after that point in time not even fragments.  I think I can hear a voice afterwards but I don't know if ts a memory of me speaking, or someone speaking to me."  Sorry if that's not much help."  she said wishing she had some way to fill in the gaps.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #6
[Carrigan Trent | Vicinity of the Warp Core Control Room ]

Trent's words were less entreaties to cease hostilities than means of judging the state of Fedd's mind. The intensity of the chase had already established he was fully committed to it and whatever had been done to his mind would not allow him to see reason or yield. Had his mind been cleared, Sjaandin would know doubt at this point. He'd take pause and take time to try and understand the situation better. But instead, he just parroted the same sort of things Vasser and his Vulcan bitch had already said a hundred times.

But when he began to speak of Tuvok, Carrigan knew his old friend was up to something. The man couldn't stand being reprimanded in that cool, composed voice and, realizing he had nowhere to go, he found himself needing to improvise. Fedd was unimaginative at best so he would come in hard and heavy. As such, the Intelligence Officer pulled a panel from the bulkhead and waited.

Phaser-fire shrieked in a wide dispersal as the tactical officer came in closer and closer and then, Trent had his moment. With a grunt, he heaved the panel cover that had served as his cover at his former classmate and followed it at a run. Fedd, surprised by the attack, dropped his phaser when the metal connected with his chest, only to have Carrigan barrel into him and drive his synthetic knee into his lower ribs.

As the fragile bones broke beneath that savage strike, the Intelligence Officer brought his prosthetic hand down hard onto his opponent's right collarbone and that one also snapped like a twig beneath the unyielding metal. Still driving forward, Trent pushed the startled Betazoid back, unaware that a broken rib had driven deep into his lung, and deeper yet to scratch at his heart when they finally connected with the far bulkhead.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #7
[ Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Living Quarters | Deck 08 ]

Standing still, Thea listened to what Selena could tell her about the last moments that she remembered before her memory turned blank. If the story was anything, it was a verification that Ravenholm had likely been mind-melded by T'Rena in the XO Ready Room on the Harbinger. This, added with the data package that Ravenholm had uploaded to the mobile emitter while she was linked to it all gave Thea a fairly good idea about what was going on. More so than Ravenholm, for certain, since she obviously didn't know the peril they were in, and what needed to be done.

There was no call for immediate caution in the civilian's presence anymore. Therefore, Thea's chameleon body suit changed to the teal colour of Starfleet Medical and stepped around Ravenholm's back. "Please hold still and listen carefully," she said and raised her hands to brush away the back of her hair so that she could inspect her fried dataport. She fingered the area with great care to not cause too much pain, and she spoke of what she knew while she attended to the injury. "As of 1200 hrs. today, Captain Vasser has overtaken the command of the Theurgy, and Captain Ives is in the Brig together with Commander Rez. T'Rena is now..."

And while Thea explained all the plans for the overtaking - since she only had the data package to work with in her narration - she also tried to detach the cable from the back of Raveholm's neck. Unfortunately, she had no such success. At least not without proper medical equipment or engineering tools. She decided to cut the cord a couple of inches away from the data port, and did so with the sharp edge of the forcefield that her mobile emitter created, this in shape of a serrated knife. As she sawed, she finished talking about what she knew. " if Vasser and T'Rena was successful, then the crew still loyal to Ives is being rounded up and subjected to the mind-melds of all Vulcans present, since they would be the first to be targeted. Moreover, it would seem that I have no access to my systems, so you were successful in deactivating my Ship A.I. and replacing it with the backup Federation computer. Furthermore, you locked out the Senior Staff from computer access. You have also disabled the entire ship's holo- and forcefield emitters, this merely to keep me from projecting myself with their help. You even managed to steal my mobile emitter, knowing that a copy of me was stored inside. Then we fought, and after I defeated you by activating your memory storage, we woke up in this room."

Walking back to stand in front of Ravenholm, Thea carried the end of the severed cable and the serrated blade in her other hand. "If we are to help Captain Ives, and learn how far along Vasser and T'Rena are with the hostile takeover, then we need to access the main computer core and re-activate me. As it is, with this stand-alone emitter, I have no access, and I cannot foresee any resistance en-route."

Dropping the severed cable on the floor, Thea was being entirely pragmatic, not letting her emotions overcome her. There was more to be said about Vasser and his plans, but they needed to start moving first. "Do you have any additional suggestions or priorities? We need to move now, and restore the ship to Captain Ives before my daughter finds us. If she does, I will be destroyed, and we are all dead."

OOC: Ran out of time tonight, but I will be posting back to both of you, CanadianVet and Doctor Maya. I just prefer to do so when I am not nodding off all the time, lol. It has been a long day.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #8
Selena listened nodding, "well that at least does explain the suspicions I had before this."  she said thinking abut the truth of it all.  "I'm really surprised i didn't put it together on my own but I guess it's as they say and hindsight's 20/20."  She said looking around and running her hand over the small length that was tethered to her burned out port.  "The mind meld theory does make sense.  Especially considering the information I have on "Captain" T'Rena.  A master acolyte such as her would theoretically be able to use a mind meld to change a person's motivations and moral standards to what would be needed to essentially brain wash them to do as she wishes.  As such I think the best idea would be for me to continue to act as if I am still under her whims.  I will need to know everything about my mannerisms during the time you saw me changed to accomplish this.  More importantly given what you just told me about what i was attempting to do I think it would be for the best if we lead them into believing the mission was a success."

She paused a moment. her head throbbing for a moment as a whisper made itself apparent again.  it was like a worm within her mind, a drill boring into her brain.  It was becoming far more apparent to Selena what the voice was.  Whatever effects the mind meld had were not fully gone.  The Vulcan had a place in Selena's mind and was not going to stay pushed aside forever.  Knowing that time was limited in this way as well Selena continued.  "Given that apparently I was operating on my own path of actions my next step in the mission would most likely be to report in that the Thea Holographic Entity and her mobile emitter has been captured and reprogrammed.  My next action would be to take the reprogrammed Theurgy entity to the main computer core and upload it to replace the makeshift standard AI systems currently running.  She cringed for a moment.  There's one problem with using that sequence to our advantage.  If I did things as I usually would then the Main computer itself is encrypted to prevent others from reprogramming it.  Given that there is always the possibility of a resistance movement in any takeover I would counter the chance of attempting to reinstate previous command parameters by locking down the computer in such a way that only I would be able to access it.  Given the risk of death in the mission and my state of apparent loyalty at the time to Vasser's mission I most likely would have provided an override of my lockouts to my superiors."

She looked towards Thea concentrating a moment,  "I believe the best course of action would be to take refuge in a combination of the arrogance of our enemies and their reliance on the work I was supposed to have done.  I would suggest we act as if I have succeeded in reprogramming you.  First we contact my "superiors" requesting one of their presences at the main computer core.  I will explain that I provided them access but did not give that access to my self under possibility of capture.  If you act like you indeed are reprogrammed as I was attempting to reprogram you and I do not give them reason to believe anything odd happened then we should be given the necessary means to reactivate your systems and give you access to your full access to systems."

"If I executed my mission as I assume I would, then I probably just sectored off the Theurgy prototype AI interface in the core and defaulted the computer to running on a default Starfleet computer interface.  Most likely all I should have to do to restore you to your proper operations will be to just reinstate the copy of your AI already in the computer since it most likely is a copy made at the very moment that I begun my work.   If all else fails we can still resort to a plan B of active resistance and attempting to fight out way to the main computer and with your data processing speeds and my knowledge of hacking secure systems the two of us should be able to "crack" our way past whatever security systems I put in place in order to force the computer to restore your old AI systems of if that fails we can resort to a manual memory dump from your emitter which should also contain the original command access file systems and your own personality as well thereby placing Ives and his senior staff back in command of you."

She smiled finishing based on the information given.  "I believe given our current situation using an active resistance would most likely be best left as a backup plan and letting them think you are "their" Thea would probably be advantageous for the both of us.  Do you have any objections to this plan?"

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #9
[ Ensign Colin McArthur | Main Engineering | Deck 10 ] Attn: Billy Bob O'Connell

The Aide in Security was having a change of work environment, that was certain. While he usually sat by his duty station on his allotted shift, ever since T'Rena - now Captain T'Rena - came to visit, he had been drafted for several new duties - all of which included a phaser rifle in his hands instead of a PADD. Sure, he had taken his courses and was a better shot than average, but running up an down the entire ship in a shoot-out with those who still through Jien Ives was right? He could hardly claim he was over-qualified.

Sjaandin Fedd had sent him going around the area, so he went. Shoulders stiff. Sweating. Blonde hairs teasing his eyelashes as he held his pupils trained along the sights of his rifle. He heard voices, talking. Crewman Fok? Was he talking with the Ives loyalist? It was not far off. He thought he was making too much sound as he progressed along the walkways around the Warp Core, but it was just as likely his nerves making him think too much. Where was Fok and O'Connell?

The answer came crashing down ahead of him - the two men tumbling down the stairs from the level above. McArthur's heart skipped a beat and he dove behind cover, barely keeping his rifle from touching the floor in the process. What should he do? He had to know what happened, right? He peeked out, the rifle in a white-knuckled grip, and saw the aftermath of the fall. He had a good vantage point, didn't he? Should he take the shot? He had to make a decision of his own. He had his orders.

"Don't move!" he said and stepped out, aiming at the Chief Engineer, but even as he said this, instinct - or indoctrination - made him discharge his phaser nonetheless. Yet he shot wide off the target, but he moved to compensate the straying aim with both his eyes along the sights - firing again. And again. He homed in on the engineer, but he had ruined the element of surprise. Fearing the repercussions, he crouched down behind the cover of a railing. "Can you just surrender already? We have been chasing the two of you for an hour already."

McArthur shifted backwards to try and circle around - aiming for the element of surprise nonetheless.

[ Sjaandin Fedd | Vicinity of Warp Core Control Room | Deck 10 ] Attn: Carrigan Trent

It happened too quickly. He sensed Carrigan being close, but not until he was right in his face did Sjaandin realise just how closely Carrigan had opted to wait for him.

So with timing impeccable, the prey defended itself - a panel thrust into his chest and unbalancing Sjaandin completely. His winded lungs were bereft of air, and he didn't even notice how he dropped his hand-phaser since his Academy comrade was inflicting brutal harm upon him. Metal knee and edge of hand, breaking bones and making Sjaandin suck for air. Breathe... Breathe... he told himself, keeping himself from fainting. In mere moments, he was shoved across the corridor, and Sjaandin ended up with his back against the wall. He felt like he had been rammed by a starship.

"You bastar-" he could not finish what he was about to say. There was too much blood in his mouth. He coughed, and saw the sanguine colour spatter the deck plates. Something was wrong. He couldn't breathe properly. His chest hurt, and his step failed him. He had meant to engage Carrigan in a fist-fight but his balance was off from the pain and the thickness in his throat. He managed a swing or two - even if one arm was not behaving as it should - going for the head with his fists, until the third swing unbalanced him and he came down on one knee.

"Damnable... human," he grated through bloodied teeth and pushed with trembling thighs to get back on his feet. He did get up, breath laboured, and swung his fist again - going for an uppercut. He refused to acknowledge the protests of his body, merely for the sake of keeping up swinging his fists at Carrigan. Only he could't muster the strength to do so in the long run. He was too short of breath. In moments, he was leaning against one of the bulkheads. "You are going to have them all killed. You don't... know these people like I do... You don't care about this crew... You have not fought... to protect them... You don't know, Carrigan. I do... I do."

He raised his guard again, still not giving up. One arm was barely moving. He tried to focus on reading his comrade - circling him. "You will just fail... again. What makes you think... you can fight, in odds as these; knowing our enemy."

OOC: Preferring forum-posting, I hope you are ok with me writing the second guy here too, Doctor Maya? I tried a JP first but but as the text grew, and I figured that with Sjaandin about to topple over, a JP would have been too much of an extensive affair at this point, and troublesome in that the other players would not be privy to read it until it was finished.

IronFerrox, I will be posting with Thea in the next turn since its a quarter past 2 am now.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #10
[Carrigan Trent | Vicinity of the Warp Core Control Room ]

Trent could hardly believe his success against Fedd. Surprise had been total. The two strikes he delivered had both been successful and his old Academy comrade had been left gasping for air, his right arm hanging useless courtesy of a snapped clavicle. When he began croaking an insult, only then did the Intelligence Officer begin to realize the extent of the damage he caused when the Betazoid let loose two awkward swipes he had absolutely no difficulty evading, slow and clumsy as they had been.

Far from what an expert in hand to hand combat as Fedd was known to be should be able to do.

And from the pallor that began to steal across his face, it did not take a physician to know there was severe internal bleeding.

But still, he fought on and after a brief assault, Carrigan settled for standing outside his former classmate's reach, his guard not lowered but not quite as high as it should be. When he resorted to leaning against the bulkhead to remain upright, the Lieutenant Commander let his hands drop, and listened. "You're right, old friend. I don't know this crew like you do. But you're also wrong. I care about them and fought to protect them and I do still. That's why I stand against Vasser."

His tone was quiet, barely above a whisper of sandpaper. "I know our enemy better than you think." Trent knew Fedd was done for. The shortness of breath, the blood he was coughing up, all signs of traumatic damage to his lungs. The fact he had done nothing but defend himself did not change a thing to ease the pall of sadness that fell upon the Human.

And he decided to reveal what he knew of their enemy. "Sjaandin, our enemy infiltrated Starfleet because they know we're the only ones who can stop them. They mean to destroy our universe as we know it, cause total dissolution so they can consume it. Vasser is a maniac. How many did he murder in cold blood with his sabotage? How many have been killed trying to resist his attempt to take this ship? Damn it, one of your shipmates was murdered right in front of the two of us, right there on the Bridge because he tried to resist! He was just a kid, Sjaandin yet he showed more courage than Vasser ever did. And now, with what resistance against them was mustered at each other's throats, we're doing their work for them!"

Trent did not even keep his hands up. Instead, he settled for staying out of his faltering opponent's range. "Look at yourself, old friend, what being mind-raped by T'Rena did to you. There's no way the Fedd I knew at the Academy would have been that arrogant, that overconfident. There's no way I should have gotten the better of you in just one pass. I've always been the better tactician, we both know it, but this was... too easy. You should have seen this coming but instead, you came at me like a drunken Klingon, no tactics, just hammering away."

"Listen to me, please. We're Starfleet officers. We follow Starfleet protocols and Starfleet regulations because it's who we are. As members of Starfleet, we're strong and smart and dedicated; as part of Starfleet, we can fight. Vasser put that aside and choose to act like some thug, yet he promotes himself to a flag rank so he can assert control. So not only is he just a criminal, he's a hypocrite as well. He can't be one of us only when it suits him and play by his own rules the rest of the time, it's all or nothing."

Fedd was fading fast. Before long, he would collapse, then lose consciousness, then die. Trent knew it, and no doubt his friend knew it too. "Please, old friend. Remember our oath. We stand for the Federation. Today, the few aren't Captain Ives and those who stand with her. The few is Vasser and his delusion. The many aren't the crews of our ships, it's every living being in four Quadrants."

Tears started to form in the corners of the Intelligence Officer's eyes. Unless he got to Sickbay in a hurry, Fedd would be gone from this world in moments. And even if he did reach a surgical bay in time, it was uncertain at best. "You still have a chance to do what's right. Command access was locked out by you. Unless you relinquished all permissions, which I doubt you had the time to do, you've still got them. Reinstate my command access before it's too late. Give me a chance to make this right, before Calamity finds us again. Fight like I've seen you do hundreds of times, until the last possible second! Do it for Starfleet, for the Federation."

"Or do it for yourself, for the man I know you are."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #11

[ Skye Carver | Holographic Lab | Main Engineering Lv.2 | Deck 08 | 1300 hrs. ]
Attn: Kurohigi

From the bowels of the ship, she slinked and hid though part of her yearned to fight.  Skye was pissed at this takeover, yet another betrayal heaped upon many and she wanted to tear someone limb from limb but she was only one and had no idea who was truly on Ives' side.  Another few moment of hiding and she made it up to the eighth deck.  His lab was close but as she eased along, she couldn't help feeling exposed.

As phaser fire went off below, she'd ducked and tried to listen for voices and any clues but as quick as it had started it was over and now she stared across that open walkway.  It was the only way to get to him and Thea, no getting around it she told herself but it didn't help that gnawing at her gut.  Still, the seconds were ticking and she knew she was going to have to scoot across quickly so she took a deep breath and moved.

Rather than slinking or running, acting as if she belonged there and had a purpose, she strode out along the walkway at a steady pace.  She didn't rush or look around, simply walked along like she owned the catwalk.  The few of Vasser's people she'd seen, they were arrogant and acted as if nothing would touch them so this was the only way she knew to try to blend in until she got across.  It happened quicker than she thought.

No one had called out and she didn't think anyone was around but when she found the door was locked, she did utter a low snarl.  That didn't bode well for her friend so she opened a panel and withdrew two magnetic disks, placing one on each side down low of the split then gave a short burst of her phaser to the locking panel, knowing it would likely draw someone but she would deal with that if it happened.  For now, she had to get to Lin Kae.

With a foot on one and her hands on the other, she pushed with all her strength until a gap just wide enough for her opened and then tumbled forward, staying low with the phaser ready to fire on anyone shooting at her.  No one was standing that she could see and her heart beat wildly.  Was he not here?  Why was the door locked?  "Lin Kae?" she whispered and slinked to the side, moving to look behind the desk where he usually sat.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #12
[ Master Chief Petty Officer William O'Connell | USS Theurgy | Deck Ten | Main Engineering ]

When William O'Connell hit the deck he saw stars.  Belay that.  He was the whole frakin' Milky Way.  He probably saw some gorram black holes while he was at it, and they was supposed to be invisible to the naked eye.  Main Engineering spun around him for at least thirty seconds before becoming a blurry double image.  As two warp cores solidified into one, his other senses started coming back.  His body registered an impressive number of aches and pains, including a massive headache and a sore back. His hip hurt too. So did his stomach and his jaw. Come to think of it, it was hard to find a part of his body that didn't hurt in some way.  His sense of taste was not rewarding, for his mouth tasted like a combination of bile and cotton, with a tiny hint of blood for good measure.

Well like Walker Keel used to tell him when he served aboard the USS Horatio almost two decades ago:  Pain is the universe's way of telling you that you're alive.  And William Robert 'Billy Bob' O'Connell felt very much alive right now.  

So was Crewman Dom Fok, who was lying on the deck groaning in pain.  The poor bastich probably had a concussion and likely had broken something as well.  Even though O'Connell knew that the poor Fok had been mesmerized by an insane Vulcan, he still couldn't help being angry at him.  "Tryin' to take us alive?" Billy snorted as he sat up just to see if could.  "Tell that to Lieutenant Marlowe.  You're lucky I left enough of you to snore!"

Crewman Fok responded by moaning as he sat up.  Of course he did.  There were tiny low powered inertial compensators installed in the stairs to ensure that a tumble down them wasn't a death sentence.  That is, there was supposed to be.  Most of them didn't work anymore; they had either been overloaded during combat or their components were scavenged for more essential systems.  There must have been a few of them still working otherwise both Fok and O'Connell should have broken something on the way down.

Billy Bob punched Fok to make him stay down and that's when he heard someone shouting at him. 

"Don't move!" Ensign Colin McArthur cried out as he stepped into the open wielding a phaser rifle.  

O'Connell grunted something in Mandarin before rolling to the side and scrambling to his feet.  He ducked into the chief engineer's office as phaser bolts hit the wall just centimeters away. 

McArthur didn't even bother aiming; he just fired religiously in a fashion that in earlier times had been known as 'spray and pray'.  After all he was bound to hit something.

And the something he hit was Crewman Dom Fok.  The poor Fok had chosen that moment to try to sit up again when he should have remained prone on the deck.  Fok wouldn't be involved in this fight anymore, regardless of what the phaser rifle was set on. 

Billy chanced a glance out the chief engineer's office to see what was happening in main engineering.  MacArthur was crouching down behind the cover of a railing.  He was acting mighty timid, and why wouldn't he?  When the chase had started it was four to two.  Now it was just one to one. 

Billy's hand went to his hip.  There was no phaser there.  Crewman Fok had made him toss it before they had both tumbled down the stairs.  So where was Dom Fok's phaser rifle?  There it was lying right beside his body.  It was only a few meters away but with MacArthur out there on the warpath, it could have been parsecs away for all it was going to help.  Billy searched his person for the small concealable holdout phaser he had carried but it was gone too.  It must have fallen out of his pocket at some time during the chase. 

In seconds, O'Connell assessed his options:  Maybe he could throttle the son-of-a-targ to death with his penis.  Billy considered his manhood big enough to do the job, but since Captain Ives frowned on assault with a friendly weapon, he needed to think of something else.  Time for what was once considered an Olympic sport back home on Nimbus III, the telling of tall tales, in other words, bullsmegging. 

"You look nervous son!" Master Chief O'Connell called out as he looked around for a tool or a device that could get him out of this fix.  "I think you look like a man who's in over his head!"

"Can you just surrender already?" Ensign McArthur moaned back.  "We have been chasing the two of you for an hour already."

"Can't do that son," Billy Bob warned him as he opened a toolbox and rummaged around inside.  "Before he left home my pappy told me never to work for anyone that needs mind control to ensure my loyalty!  T'Rena got to you, didn't she?  She's messed with your head, son!  She's bit you on the neck and made you one of her ruttin' brides!  If I was you I'd concentrate real hard and try to figure out which thoughts are yours and which thoughts are hers afore it's too late!  But you better do it someplace else or I just might shoot you down where you stand!  You hear me, son?" 

O'Connell risked a glance out the door to check on McArthur's position only to discover he had lost it.  While Billy Bob had been flapping his gums Ensign McArthur had been moving, but to where, the master chief couldn't guess.  "Oh well," he muttered.  "Time to put my cards on the table," he added as he squatted in the doorway pointed  a handheld device known as a gravitic caliper at Fok's discarded phaser. 

A handheld graviton emtter, the gravitic caliper used gravitons to manually adjust plasma flow and right now Billy was using it to retrieve Fok's weapon.  O'Connell thumbed the control wheel and a quiet electronic hum emitted from the little device.  The rifle sized phaser wiggled before rolling and bouncing across the deck towards the master chief. 

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #13
[Lin Kae - Holography Lab]

He had been left unconscious by the attack of the cybernetic woman from Declan Vasser's crew.  He didn't remember getting her name, but he wasn't likely to forget the image of her shooting him.  Perhaps it was a mercy that she didn't set her weapon to kill, or maybe she hoped to make use of his knowledge later and left him alive just in case.  In either event, he had been rendered unconscious, only beginning to come to at the sound of the lab being entered forcibly.  He kept himself prone, intending to take whoever it was by surprise if he could, though such plans went out the window as soon as he heard his name from a familiar voice.

"Skye?" he whispered back, as he slowly got to his knee, keeping low as he crept over to her.  Had she come all that way just for him?  He couldn't believe it!  On second thought, actually he could believe it.  It was totally in her character to look out for someone that mattered to her, and he had managed to find his way onto that list, between the body switching during the Ishtar Incident and the mapping of her skin for the creation of Thea's new tactile enhancements.  She didn't leave someone behind if they mattered to her, and he found himself thankful for that.  When the two were face to face again, he felt he had to ask, "how bad is it?"

He knew things always managed to go horribly for their crew, that the worst case scenario usually was the mst likely one.  Why should today be any different?

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #14
[ Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Living Quarters | Deck 08 ] Attn: IronFerrox

Listening to Selena, Thea considered the situation and what might be the best course of action. It did seem like Selena's idea to play along as if they were both acting according to the mutineers' plan held a lot of merit. There were too many outlying factors considering the fact that she did not have access to her internal sensors and did not know how easy the path to the Main Computer Core would be, but in theory, deception was preferable to active resistance.

"Agreed," she said and walked towards the exit of the quarters, "Let us leave now and you can contact the Captain or the Commodore en-route. I suggest we make haste, and while the odds are unknown, we might be able to activate and restore me to full working capacity."

She would have resequenced her projected image to carry her phaser - the one Lin Kae had made for her - but the problem was that there were no projectors to carry the beams beyond the sphere of her emitter field - security protocols inactive or not. If she found a phaser, she would gladly arm herself, but for the time being, she would have to manage without any weaponry. If things turned out as planned, she would not have any need for a weapon.

At least not until she came face to face with the leaders of the mutiny.

Since Selena probably did not know what code she had used to lock the door that was in their way, Thea opened the control panel and removed a couple of chips from it. Then she pried and pushed the sliding doors apart with the strength of her fine-calibrated forcefields, and she soon led their way into the corridor. There was no one to be seen. "All clear. There is no need to act any other way than usual. Your behaviourism was the same as when you approached me yesterday for the first time, if only a bit more... despotic when you were challenged. Don't over-sell it, so to speak, and you should be fine. Go ahead. Make the call."

OOC: Two more posts for CV and Maya half-done, but I will post them tomorrow since its 1.42 am here now. Sorry for the slight delays, RL stuff in the weekends have been hectic, that's all.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #15
[ Selena Ravenholm | Corridor | Deck 08 ] Attn:Auctor Lucan and Kurohigi.

Selena nodded as she watched Thea work and listened to her assessment of the plan.  "Good, I will not have to act much.  Sounds like I was acting as I would if I were given freedom to accomplish said objective via my own means.  I apologize that you had to experience what I am like when someone in in between me and my objectives.  Still, sounds like I just need to make sure they believe I feel that my personal objectives are still those they have previously made me believe are my own." she said assessing her current circumstances.

She took note of her location by getting taking a look at the corridor markings identifying their current location.  "Deck 8 we appear to be in one of the nearest living quarters to the Holographics labs.  Shouldn't be too difficult to make our way to the main computer core as it's on this very deck."

On her way towards the nearby turbolift the cyberneticly augmented human taped her com badge.  "Comadore Vasser, Captain T'Rena; I apologize for my extended silence.  I have just finished successfully reconfiguring Thea.  The updated AI interface is with me and we are on Deck 8 on route to the Deck 5 -- upper -- computer core."  I have locked out all others from accessing the core aside from the two of you.  I will need one of you to personally grant me access to the core in order for me to re-upload Thea.  Thea's Mobile emitter is functioning perfectly and she is responding in accordance to my reprogramming.  Ravenholm out."

Selena sighed knowing that was done and finally realized that Thea was severely lacking a means to assist if things got hot. She then smiled relieved as she touched her hip having forgottten about the type two that she had been given for the mission to supplement her own weapon.  She took the phaser and handed it to Thea.  "I always seem to forget when someone gives me one of these things to carry.  So used to my paralizer that I forget about these things when they give me one." She said shrugging,  "Thea, you may as well go into security mode,  We better not risk letting you get recaptured after all.  she said already adopting the act fully.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #16
[ Ensign Colin McArthur | Main Engineering | Deck 10 ] Attn: Billy Bob O'Connell

Having retreated and circled the warp core, Colin was bearing down on the Chief Engineer's position from the opposite direction. Therefore, he caught the movement of the rifle sliding and rolling slowly across the deck plates from afar. O'Connell had taken refuge in his new office, which he probably hadn't had time to visit since Tia Marlowe was short-circuited by her own heroics. Thing was, those loyal to Vasser actually thought the efforts of the dark-haired woman were to be lauded since the sabotage had got out of hand, but with her injury, they still had Selena Ravenholm to put things back in order and run the department. She had been an asset on the Harbinger, and now, she was instrumental to the overtaking of the Theurgy.

So, the former Maintenance Chief was - if in a pinch - supposedly expendable. Problem was that even if Colin saw things the way his new Captain did, it was a very clear reason why he preferred the aide's duty station in Security to killing people. He found the idea to kill anyone when they had the technology to immobilise and apprehend people without injury abhorrent. So, he would rather stun the man that was hiding than kill him, which was why shooting his comrade from Engineering earlier did not weigh too heavy on Colin's conscience. His pride, for certain, because friendly fire was still not okay regardless the setting on his rifle.

He approached the office from the other side, perhaps coming up behind O'Connell's left shoulder if he had taken refuge in the office. If he was pulling Fok's rifle towards himself with some clever engineering tool, he was most likely facing that way too. The rifle was almost at the doorway, so Colin decided to act before it was too late. He raised the butt of his own rifle to his shoulder and began to shoot at the doorway and the rifle from afar. Doing so, he also picked up his pace. Twenty feet. Fifteen feet. His rifle coughed bright beams that cast Main Engineering in stark shadows and brilliant light. Breathe, Breathe, Colin... But don't stop moving.

The edge of the railing caught his elbow as he closed the distance, and he veered off to the side from he imbalance it caused him. He hit the wall ten feet from the doorway, going down on one knee and cursing, but his rifle was up again after just a couple of seconds - eyes along the sights and trying to orient himself - to spot and shoot the engineer if he had tried to run.

[ Sjaandin Fedd | Vicinity of Warp Core Control Room | Deck 10 ] Attn: Carrigan Trent

Sjaandin wore a foul grin, the pain making him suck breaths though his bloodied teeth. He glared at Carrigan as he began to lecture him, and when Sjaandin tried to step after the man - to backhand his old friend and shut him up - the Intelligence Officer easily remained out of his range, and he stumbled into the opposite bulkhead of the corridor. The impact jarred something inside, and he coughed more blood. It was getting harder and harder to to stop coughing once he started. Carrigan's words were not lost on him, however, because his proximity glowed with sadness and empathy. Sjaandin already saw himself dying in Carrigan's thoughts, but he refused to believe it. How could he? He was still determined to stop him, even if the reasons were getting muddled by the lack of air.

When Carrigan said he was not himself, that he fought poorly, he wanted to protest, but another fit of coughing had him down on one knee and leaning against the bulkhead with one forearm. Carrigan had not counted on the edge he held with his bionic limbs. How many times had he fought with them since he almost lost the Harrier and his life? He had been a drunkard and retreated to a desk. No, Carrigan had just been lucky, and Sjaandin had been in full possession of his mental faculties.

With a thick roar, he tried to make his friend stop talking and fight him, tackle the man off his feet, but it only resulted in his body hitting the bulkhead again, and his legs gave out completely. He was lying on his face, wheezing against the deck plates, trying to get his arms to cooperate and roll over on his back. It hurt too much. His hands shook as he tried to shift his weight, but it was as if he was being smothered by his own body. Carrigan spoke of the oath they shared, and how they had interpreted it differently. The eerie thing was that the image of Carrigan's thoughts felt so familiar, any yet did not add up with his own. His mind narrowing down, like a focal point burning irrelevance and clearing the truth, he suspected his friend could be right, but there was no time to pursue the illusive traces he found. Carrigan asked him to act, and help him, and in the end, with the weight of knowing that he was about to die he tried to answer.

"Ravenh-" he grated, teasing another fit of coughing from his struggling lungs. More blood dribbled out of the corner of his mouth, but he managed to turn over on his side, "Ravenholm cut you out... Not I. Pushed the button... That's all..." In the end, regardless which Captain had the right of the matter, Carrigan was right about that they would all die if the Calamity found them. The ship had to be ready, the crew at its duty stations, otherwise it would all have been for naught. Question was if helping Carrigan would prevent that or expedite the Theurgy's readiness.

Wheezing though his teeth, body shaking from the lack of oxygen, Carrigan shifted his black eyes to the figure of his old friend in the corridor - the choice ultimately his own and depending on his trust in the human. He could barely make out the silhouette of the man standing above him, but he could see his passion. His determination. His unyielding will to succeed and oppose the enemy. Sjaandin also saw his compassion, and the building blocks of rising from his years-old depression. He was rising, and Sjaandin was falling. That was what settled it. Not allegiance, but belief in the greater good for the galaxy he was leaving behind, and the destruction of the USS Calamity.

"Tactica-" The coughing made his eyes fail him for a few moments. "My access... Limited overr-"

No air. He almost panicked. He couldn't speak anymore. His eyes widened, and he willed his arm to move, limp fingers reaching for the blood he had coughed up. Everything narrowed down. The focal point getting smaller by the moment. He clawed at the blood before his eyes. Purpose lost. Only action.

Then nothing.

[ Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | En-Route | Turbo-lifts ] Attn: Selena Ravenholm

Her digital mind fully focused on the resolution of the mutiny and restoring herself to full access, Thea did not comment when she accepted the hand phaser from Selena. She nodded in confirmation to the suggestion and her chameleon body-suit switched to the golden security colour just as the turbolift doors opened for them.

"Apology accepted," she said as they stepped inside, and she deftly checked the power cells in the acquired weapon and altered her stance - one side forward and the phaser held low in a double-handed grip. "Sorry for popping your implants." Her eyes weren't blinking, the double meaning of her words lost on her because she was activating the same kind of close-quarters combat, targeting and covert tactics software that she had used when she fought during the Niga Incident. And, ironically, when she had fought Selena Ravenholm one hour ago.

Yet this time, they were not in a simulation. A fact that Thea was very much aware of; that what happened was very real. Her pasitronic brain was shut down, and she was only running on the same kind of processors; hardware that Lin Kae replicated on Nimbus III and installed into the emitter. Prototype photonic memory banks housed her projection and its critical software on the emitter, added with the data relevant to her personae - the data necessary without wireless access to the ship's neural network and databases. The reason why her tactical software was installed was because Lin Kae had done so in preparation for her to board the Calamity - something she had yet to divulge for Ravenholm because she did not know if Captain Ives would sanction the incursion. In fact, she did not even know if Captain Ives was still alive.

After the turbolift doors closed, T'Rena answered - her voice heard from Selena's combadge.

[This is Captain T'Rena,] she said, the background noise of her halcyone voice betraying that she was also moving, [Unless Commodore Vasser does so first, I'm authorising access as soon as I reach a control panel. I am currently engaged in combat with one of the resistance cells. Stand by.] From the static of the combadge, there came distinct sounds of phaser fire. Then running, shuffling, grappling noises. Panicked gasping. Bones breaking. Screaming. A muffled voice overriding the cries. [My thoughts... to your thoughts... My mind...]

Then the audio-feed cut.

The sounds had made Thea's emotional data-feed bog down tactical runtimes. She swallowed and glanced towards Selena, not commenting but feeling powerless to assist her crew - not even able to see what was happening through her internal sensors. She was blind, relying on what her digital eyes saw, and estimating the damage already done on lacking data.

OOC: Kurohigi & Searcher: My thoughts (no requirments) would be that Lin Kae and Skye could try and locate the emitter, and then intercept Thea and Selena at the Main Computer Core since the emitter can be traced there via tricorder. Then, it's a question whether or not Lin Kae and Skye can trust Selena and Thea as the latter two access the core. For how can Lin Kae and Skye Carver know that Thea has not been reprogrammed and Selena is actually on their side, especially after having shot Kae and stolen the emitter more than an hour ago? *grin* Up to you guys if you like the idea.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #17
the double entendre was lost on the augment as she looked around trying to come up with various alternate plans in case their mission was not so easily accomplished. Now that they were walking to the turbolift she had a moment again to think and contemplate but her head seemed to pound all over. She grabbed at her head and steadied her hand on the turbolift wall as the door shut.

"This is Captain T'Rena, Unless Commodore Vasser does so first, I'm authorizing access as soon as I reach a control panel. I am currently engaged in combat with one of the resistance cells. Stand by... ... ...My thoughts... to your thoughts... My mind..."

Hearing those words Selena gripped her head as a surge of raw thought seemed to cascade through her brain causing her head to pound as it never had before.  Selena was down to a knee and was doubled over in pain the pain was so intense she began heaving before the little food she had ate that morning came surging upwards and was soon splattered over the turbolift floor. SHe was cringing in pain and... something else her eyes squeezed shut as she mumbled angrially whispered to herself.  "NO...Get the fuck out of my head!  Out...OUT! You green blooded slut, GET OUT!"  she screamed loudly as she heaved again a mixture of bile and stomach acid joining the already present mess on the turbolift floor.

When she finally looked up again here eyes were completely bloodshot.  "Thea, I don't think we got rid of her completely." she said knowing that speed was now more imperative than ever before as the part of her, or the combination of herself and the Vulcan ice queen, who had attacked Thea before was still somewhere within her mind trying to push itself back up to the surface.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #18
[ Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Turbolift ] Attn: Selena Ravenholm

Surprise may not have been the most common of Thea's reactions, but it was nonetheless what happened when Chief Ravenholm doubled over and vomited upon the floor of the turbolift. Thea took a step aside and crouched down, laying a hand on the human's back as she heaved. Her security subroutines may have been active, but that made her not completely emotionless to the programmer's plight. The catalyst had evidently been T'Rena's voice, and the words she screamed confirmed it.

When the episode had passed, the turbolift chirped and opened its doors for them. They were on Deck 05, and there was no alternative but to continue. Thea leaned out with her phaser raised to check the corridor in both directions. There were no movements, so she put her shoulder underneath Selena's closest arm and helped her move on. She had noticed how shaken Selena was, but there was nothing to be done about the problem.

"Your memories were restored from a point before you were subjected to the mind-meld," she said and kept her eyes along the sights of her phaser - held before herself in a one-handed grip since she helped Selena to keep on moving, "but the synaptic pattern displacement that the Vulcan mind-meld creates is still in effect. The vertigo you feel is your mind not being able to make sense of what you know and how you should act with that knowledge. These things are connected, but that connection was severed since you do not know why you should act like T'Rena showed you - the memory of her imposed logic now lost. You cannot ground your thoughts in knowledge."

There were new sounds coming from the corridor behind them.

Whirling around on her feet, doing her best to help Selena turn with her, Thea saw the search party coming out of an intersection they had just passed while she had been speaking. Four of them, armed with rifles. Her targeting program was activated, distance calculated along with their speed of movement. Yet Thea did not fire. She did not know how to best convince the group to leave them be. It was Selena that had to act as if she was on top of things. The Ship A.I. hoped she could muster the strength despite the condition she was in.

"What's going on?" one of them asked, frowning as they drew closer - rifles raised since Thea had her phaser trained on them. She decided to wait on Selena's choice. The odds that she could drop all four of them before they returned fire was 70,464 %. At the barest signal seen in her peripheral vision, she would open fire.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #19
[ Master Chief Petty Officer William Robert O'Connell | USS Theurgy | Deck Ten | Main Engineering ]

As the phaser rifle rolled and bounced towards him O'Connell heard a shrill scream as phaser bolts hit the bulkhead both inside the doorframe and on the exterior.  McArthur must not have been able to see him, the shots were too high and Billy Bob was crouched on the floor.  If he had been standing one of the shots would have got him.  Crouched or not, the master chief was still too gorram high.  He dropped prone, lying on his stomach with his arms out in front of him holding the gravitic caliper before him as if it was the most heavy duty magic wand ever sold on J.K. Rowling's Diagon Alley.

The buttstock of the phaser rifle hit Billy in the face, causing him to flinch and drop his gravitic caliper.  He picked up the weapon on rolled to the left to get out of the doorway as he thumbed the settings on the phaser with his eyes closed. 

The reason O'Connell's eyes were closed was because they hurt like Hell.  His whole fraggin' face stung.  But it was a good hurt, because now he had a weapon. 

As Billy opened his eyes and checked the phaser setting, he noticed that some of McArthur's shots were now hitting the deck where he had been lying just moments before.  McArthur must have been a lot closer, and knew exactly where Billy would have to position himself if he wanted to shoot back.  The mutinous ensign could keep the master chief pinned down indefinitely if he wanted to.

That is, if the master chief was willing to fight fair.  If there's one thing he learned from Sun Tzu and all those other historical folks is that you fight fair only when it doesn't matter who wins.  O'Connell shifted so that he was on his knees facing the wall.  Keeping low, he leaned over to the right and fired the phaser rifle one handed through the door.   He couldn't see McArthur.  With only his right arm exposed he wasn't going to, actually.  But he didn't need to. Not with the phaser beams the ensign was firing giving away McArthur's general location and O'Connell's phaser rifle set on wide-angle stun.  It was the particle beam equivalent of using shotgun pellets to fire a cone instead of a beam, only instead of lead the phaser fired nadion particles that would knock the ensign on his can and render him unconscious. 

Wide angle stun wasn't a setting normally used aboard your own starship:  It could cause sensitive equipment to malfunction or burn out if they weren't protected properly. But just about everything in main engineering was protected by an energy surge and anything that wasn't had probably shorted out already.

O'Connell was rewarded by the sound of something clattering and hitting the deck.  Billy Bob peaked out check his marksmanship.  Sure enough Colin McArthur was slumped against one wall, dead to the world, his weapon on the deck next to him. 

The master chief should have found something to restrain him with in case he got up again but there was no time.  Trent was facing an opponent who could read his mind all by himself.  His best bet was for O'Connell to show up even the odds.  Besides, assuming Trent was still ambulatory, if Billy Bob wanted to help he better do it before the adrenaline wore off and his body told him how injured he really was.  

A chief doesn't make excuses and neither does a master chief.  O'Connell gripped his phaser rifle like a holodeck action hero and dashed out of main engineering. 

He didn't go far when he found two figures loitering in the corridor.  Sjaandin Fedd was in a bad way, and from the ashen color of his skin and the trickle of blood coming out of his mouth he wasn't long for the this universe.  Carrigan Trent was standing over him, just out of arm's reach speaking as quietly as a priest giving last rites.  And that's what they were, because Sjaandin was dying right before Billy's eyes.

William O'Connell got a mite worried when his vision starting getting blurry.  Had his tumble down the stairs done more damage than he thought?  Then he realized that there were tears in his eyes.  Sjaandin Fedd wasn't a villain.  He was a victim.  He must have fought T'Rena with everything he had when she put the whammy on him.  No wonder he'd been acting as crazy as popcorn on a hot stove. 

Fedd had been aboard the Theurgy since the beginning.  Like O'Connell he was a plank owner, a member of the original crew.  And now he was dead.  Killed and denied even the honor of fighting the good fight to the end.  Everything the Betazoid had had been taken from him.  He'd fought and defended the Theurgy all this time but had ended his life as a mutineer, proving that a halo only needs to drop a few inches to become a noose.  The Theurgy had lost another warrior, someone who fought to defend the freedom that was the right of all sentient beings, and in the end died with his freedom to choose taken away from him.  Fedd had lost in every way he could.  And in many ways, so had everyone aboard the Theurgy.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #20
[ Skye Carver | Holographic Lab | Main Engineering Lv.2 | Deck 08 | 1300 hrs. ]
Attn: Kurohigi

His voice was like the sweetest song and she hurried over to him, grabbing him up in a bear hug.  "Thank all that's holy you're okay," she said then held him out to give him a good once over though there was no sultry or smoldering expressions.  There was very real concern for him and the situation in general as she looked him in the eyes.  "It's bad.  Vasser stated a takeover and some of our own crew mutinied.  I figure they've got the captain in the brig but I'm betting someone's working on getting him ... her ... out," she said stumbling over gender but refusing to say 'it' as that was just downright disrespectful.

"You were locked in so I'm also betting they've found a way to disable Thea, likely reprogramming her to do what they want," she growled, looking very much like an angry momma wolf.  "I knew you'd be the best one to get her back so when hell broke loose on the launch pad, I found a way to the Jeffreys tubes and made my way here."  She hesitated then, giving him one of those rueful lopsided smiles.  "I'm the brawn to your brains but we gotta get our girl back," she said, not realizing how it sounded like two parents going on a manhunt for the people who kidnapped their child until it was said and then she started to laugh.  "That is so wrong on so many levels," she snickered then tried to compose herself.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #21
[Carrigan Trent | Vicinity of the Warp Core Control Room ]

There was very little left for Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent to do. He watched his friend, the ability to speak robbed from him by a vicious counter-attack that should at least have been blunted by this certified martial arts expert, as he used his blood to write a single word on the deck. Kriskov. Like the Kriskov Gambit, one of his favourite tactics when playing three-dimensional chess back at the Academy. It was a written code, obviously meant to be used in case he was incapacitated. A limited override. It was a place to start and...

Then all thoughts of tactics and implications left the Intelligence Officer. He could see Sjaandin's chest convulsing as he struggled to draw his last breaths, his limbs twitching then stilling as the blood supply became insufficient. And then, the rattling of a ragged last breath escaping his lips. Trent finally closed the distance and kneeled by the Betazoid and, more as a reflex, he placed two fingers at his neck and confirmed what he already knew: Fedd was dead.

Trent's own breathing sped up for a few moments and he blinked hard even as he fought back tears. Angrily, he wiped at his eyes before reaching for Fedd's face to drag his eyelids shut. His old Academy comrade, a friend of two decades, was dead. "You won't be forgotten, old friend. I'll make sure they know of the last thing you did." The words were murmured, and immediately followed by a deep breath. As he rose, Trent pulled the combadge off the corpse's chest and turned about, only to see Master Chief O'Connell standing there. The maintenance chief had a serious and saddened look on his face, something not many people saw from him. His uniform was dirtied and torn, his knuckles scraped and raw. So, there went the other two men...

Pinning Fedd's combadge to his chest, Trent walked to his companion, his face set in a determined mask. Time to grieve would come later. First, there was work to be done. He had an access code he could use and it needed a tactical console to be entered. A limited override. That meant at least a toehold to command access. Clapping William Robert O'Connell on the shoulder as he walked past, Trent spoke again, his sandpaper whisper speaking of purpose and indomitable will.

"Change of plans. We're going to Deck 8, Vector 3 Battle Bridge. Lead the way."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #22
as soon as she heard the voices down the hallway Selena was snapped back into a need for composure and walked out of the turbolift.  Looking down the hallway she saw the approaching group.  She only recognized one of them but it was enough to make her pretty sure what side they were on.  "Ah, Jamelson, good to see you!" she said in a relieved way to the Engineering Lieutenant JG who by the rank pips was the Most senior member of the party despite the other gold shirt being the speaker from a few moments ago.

The quartet was a strange group if ever she saw one.  Of the four the clearly most uneasy with the type three was a blue shirted extremely young male Denobulan ensign.  Selena could only guess that he must have been a fresh graduate from the academy when he had been placed on the Harbinger and judging by the hypospray on a holster where a type two phaser would normally be it could be guessed that he was likely a medical officer conscripted into the taking of the Theurgy as a field medic for the other three.

Despite being the greenest of the group by rank the Red shirted Human crewman seemed in her element, 'Probably someone from the tactical end of the command-conn branch' she thought noticing how she seemed to carry the type three with that same loose hold that an overly green security Petty Officer who has never seen combat would.  It was too obvious she was overly exited to see actual combat. by certain gleam in her eyes despite the obvious run-ins with resistance.

The one she recognized was an engineering officer who she had assigned as one of the lead members of the Harbinger's engineering team.  He was a bit young looking to already be a Lieutenant JG and most thought him a prodigy in the engineering field based on his work but the assumption was far from the reality.  Jamelson was an  ‎El-Aurian.  A member of a race of long lived slightly empathic aliens who seemed to have a well...different way of looking at time-space than most other humanoids.  Most notable among their traits was aside from them appearing identical to humans aside from the long lifespans. They were known as a race of listeners.  Jamelson was no different; he rarely rushed into a decision and weighed every option the way only a seasoned engineer would.  In fact the reason she knew him so well was that he was the one who had lead the engineering team who had constructed the cloaking device for the harbinger which she had programmed.  Needless to say they knew each other and among the quartet he was the ranking officer.

Despite Jameson being the ranking officer the man on point was a tall, gruff, middle-aged, Catian male with the Insignia of a C.P.O.  By the scars that could be seen through his furred face it was obvious he had seen hand to hand combat before and by the bit of--still red--blood staining his security gold uniform it was more than clear he had seen action very recently and was probably still a bit on edge and ready to shoot first and ask questions later.  It was also clear despite his rank being lower since this was a military operation he was likely the boss in this outfit.  "I said What's going on, I ain't repeating myself a third time."  he said again pointing the phaser at Selena not caring about whatever reunion she had with the Engineer.

Selena looked back at him sternly. Her cold partially artificial eyes locking onto his knowing the best idea was to throw her own weight as senior staff around a bit and make it more than clear that it was obvious that to the Captain and Commodore that her own mission was far more important than whatever they were doing here.  "Sor-ree," she said indignantly  "I had assumed by the rank pips that I was speaking to the one in charge here. I assumed you must be here on Captain's orders to escort us to the computer core on this deck." she said with an air of superiority assuming the quartet were now hers to order around as essentially bodyguards to assure their successful voyage to the main computer core.  She continued now giving orders to the quartet.  "Jameson, you got rear guard, Red, Medic you are on our right and left, Fuzzy, you still have point.  My last communique from Captain T'rena was cutoff by enemy fire and I don't plan on letting anyone get in the way of our mission.  Objective is the main entrance to the computer core.  T'rena has authorized entrance to myself and Thea only so once we get there I want you to establish a post at the door until I have completed uploading Thea's updated operating parameters to the main systems drive.  Time's crucial so lets move it."  She said drawing her Paralizer and moving forwards towards the direction of the systems core expecting her point man to take the hint and jump to the job taking the lead and assure there was no opposition in their way as they neared the first corridor intersection in their path.  It was clear though by the way she held the pistol like weapon she was more than prepared to not let a lagging behind security officer slow her down and would clear the corridors of opposition if that's what it took to get Thea to the objective point.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #23
[ Master Chief Petty Officer William Robert O'Connell | USS Theurgy | Deck Ten | Vicinity of the Warp Core Control Room ]

Sjaandin Fedd was dead.  Everyone aboard the Theurgy had lost a dear friend.  Did Carrigan Trent even know who he just killed?

"You won't be forgotten, old friend," Trent muttered.  "I'll make sure they know of the last thing you did."

Yup.  He did.  Everyone aboard the Theurgy had lost a dear friend.  No exceptions.  And if the Theurgy's crew couldn't restore the soul of Starfleet, this scene would be replayed billions of times all over the Federation.

God that hurt.  It hurt so much that Billy Bob couldn't even feel it.  He went numb.  No doubt the full implications of this would keep him up at night, again.  The horror of what they were up against, the true horror was so bad that he couldn't wrap his head around it.  And right now that was a good thing.

When Trent rose and walked towards O'Connell, he had his game face on.  It must have hurt so much that the bionic officer couldn't feel it either.  O'Connell didn't have the heart to tell him that the new counselor transferred over from the Harbinger, and probably couldn't be trusted, but he had a feeling that Trent wasn't the kind of guy to bare his soul to a counselor anyway.

"Change of plans," Trent muttered in that quiet soulless voice of his.  "We're going to Deck 8, Vector 3 Battle Bridge. Lead the way."

"Aye-aye sir," O'Connell nodded before walking past him and leading him to an alcove hiding an access ladder.  "Deck Eight, this way."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [02: System Reboot]

Reply #24
[Carrigan Trent | USS Theurgy | Deck 8 | Vector 3 Battle Bridge]

There was no time for grieving even the loss of his oldest friend. And truth be told, Trent was not feeling any sorrow at this time. Instead, he was filled with a cold, dangerous anger. He was not usually one for letting his passions get in the way of doing his job but it did not mean he was not subject to them. However, he had a natural talent for channeling them positively, using them to his own advantage.

And it was with grim determination that he followed the acting Chief Engineer another two decks up and a few sections forward, slowing down long enough only to grab a tricorder from a supply locker. He hardly cared what O'Connell would think of this, but he needed the damned thing. If his plan was to work, he needed to effectively see through bulkheads and this was the next best thing.

Upon reaching the Battle Bridge door, Trent raised his captured tricorder and began to scan through the door. There were three lifesigns beyond it, and no weapons. Every Battle Bridge was staffed with minimum manning at any given time in case of an emergency. So odds are, there were three junior officers there, holed up and contained, ignored by Vasser for the time being. The absence of weapons definitely ruled them out as mutineers, seeing how T'Rena was more than happy to open up every weapons locker she could find and arm every last person in this mutiny.

So, it was without announcing himself that he opened the door. Before him were three ensigns, two in red and one in gold, vehemently arguing until the hissing of the door interrupted them. They were fighting about their next course of action, debating surrender, returning to their quarters and, from the oldest of the three, who was the only one at a station, that they man their post. That man, who stood at tactical, was the first one to break the newfound silence. "T'Rena or Ives? Who's the captain?"

Trent looked at him levelly. That man still had maintained his head and kept cool. Judging him to be well in his thirties at the least, the Intelligence Officer could only think the man came up through the non-commissioned ranks. That man had a use. The other two, they would need to be jarred. "Ives, who else?"

Carrigan then looked at the other two crewmembers, the one in red was the one to speak next. "Just who are you, Sir and how are we supposed to know you're not with them?" The young woman, maybe six months out of the Academy, had a point. But the amputee had no need to speak, for the Ops officer was the one to speak up. "He's Lieutenant Commander Trent, that defector we picked up same time Commander Wenn came back. I was on duty in the quartermaster shop when he came in. The man disabled a whole fleet to join up with the Captain. He's with us."

"Glad you agree, Ensign," quietly replied the Intelligence Officer as he walked to the tactical station, displacing the older fellow who manned it. With practiced ease, he then entered the code given to him by Fedd and before him was a short list of personnel. Himself, the yeoman, Tovarek and a few others. People he'd obviously hoped would join Vasser's cause and could be put to work quickly. Pressing on his name, the computer, speaking with Thea's voice but completely devoid of its customary character, spoke. "Command access restored."

Then, Trent's face briefly showed a savage grin. He was back in business. Bringing Thea back online was still important, but he had command access. And he was on a Battle Bridge. He now had access to the greatest resource of any ship: her crew. And this crew was scared and confused. They needed leadership. With a few more keystrokes, the combadge he took from his old friend was re-keyed to himself and he walked to the command chair. His good hand came to rest at the top of the back rest for a moment.

Command. He had given it up years ago. He thought it was the right thing to do at the time, and maybe it even was. But not permanently. Starfleet Intelligence recruited him and gave him a new purpose, but deep inside, he was still a tactical and command officer. And that had awoken when he had his initial meeting with Jien Ives. He needed to step up. "Computer, enable Battle Bridge! All consoles to full access, authorization Trent three seven four nine Epsilon." Once more, the soulless computer voice spoke. "Access enabled."

And only then did he regard the people around him. "Ensigns, man your stations. Master Chief, get these doors secured and then take Engineering. I want a full damage report and to know what's going on shipwide."

Then, he looked down upon the command chair. It was time to do it. "Shipwide channel." He simply rasped as he sat down and took a deep breath.

["All personnel on the Theurgy, I am Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent. By now, you all know Declan Vasser and T'Rena have begun an attempt to hijack this ship by force of arms after a minimum of two sabotage attempts. I do not know the exact number of casualties at this time, but I know for certain Chief Engineer Tia Marlowe is fighting for her life, Helmsman Cale Winterbourne was murdered in front of me and Chief Tactical Officer Sjaandin Fedd was killed attempting to follow illegal orders."]

Trent then took a deep breath as he settled into the chair. The memory of his friend, drowning in his own blood, still trying to enforce the will of a madman and an insane Vulcan until the very end, flashed before his eyes.

["They have accomplished this by planting some of their crew on our ship and by using mind melds and possibly other telepathic techniques to twist the perceptions of members of this crew. Vasser has also ordered the widespread brainwashing, the mind-rape, of every last person on our ship regardless of whether or not they join him.

Since Captain Ives and Commander Rez have been detained by Vasser and his cohorts, as a senior officer on the ship's rolls prior to this attack, I am assuming command as one of Captain Ives' lawful delegates under the auspices of Starfleet regulations pertaining to continuity of command. As such I will retain command of the Theurgy until such as time as I am relieved or ordered to yield command by the proper authorities or murdered on the word of the criminal Declan Vasser."]

His tone had started out low and even, but he had failed to notice how his volume and intensity increased as he spoke. Trent did not realize it, but he was mot just advising every soul on board of the situation but he was actively seeking out to inspire his shipmates and to restore a semblance of order on board. It was his time to rise from the ashes. This ship needed a commanding officer, a lawful one. Hopefully it would be only temporary, but he was ready.

["Now, I ask all of you to listen to me. This enemy we fight needs us, the ones aware of its existence, at each other's throat. It needs Starfleet to be riven with cracks and to lose all confidence in itself and from the Federation at large. As such, so long as we remain Starfleet, so long as we remain true to our oaths and our procedures and regulations, we are strong! Vasser promises you what? Murder? Hiding? Forsaking everything you are? Look inside you! Look around you! To this vessel, to your shipmates! As advanced as the Theurgy is, she needs her crew! She needs all of you! Your friends and shipmates need you! If you are Starfleet, I ask you to remain at your posts and man your stations! I ask you to do your duty. If you are one of Vasser's accomplices, know that my first concern is to this ship and the enemy that hunts us. As such, I ask you ay least not interfere with those who choose to do their duty as Starfleet personnel. But if deep inside you remember who and what you are, your assistance will be most welcome.

Those of you who choose to serve the Federation as you best know how, I am thankful for your duty and I will be honoured to command you for as long as is needed to resolve this crisis."]

Trent took another deep breath. His own exhortations had quickened his heartbeat and from within he could feel the surge of confidence that filled him. Who had that speech been for, really? The crew? The Captain? A warning to Vasser and T'Rena? Or was it for himself, so he could be more like the man he had once been, the man who once captained an albeit minor starship but let her into battle against overwhelming odds, managing to maul them before being destroyed?

["This is Lieutenant Commander Trent, interim commanding officer. All stations, all departments: close up and report readiness!"]

Only then did he look around the Battle Bridge. The argumentative helm officer, she was the first one to speak as if to atone for her previous doubt. "Propulsion is still locked out but helm is answering, Sir!" Then, her neighbour at Ops. "Compiling a report for you now, Commander." And finally, from behind him and to starboard came the report from Tactical. "Full shields and weapons ready on your command Sir."

Would O'Connell follow him? Trent was reasonably certain he would. But still, he'd definitely want a reply from him to cement the deal.

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