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Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #50
[ Lt JG Evelyn "Ghost" Rawley | Wolf-09 | Cockpit ] Attn: The Lone Wolves Squadron & CanadianVett

Whilst under heavy fire from the starbase, narrowly keeping her Valkyrie from sustaining enough hits that her bird's regenerative shielding couldn't handle, Ghost caught up with Vector 03 together with Hat Trick, and just behind them, Goldeneye and Hurl joined them. Being as they were chased by lances of orange phaser fire from Starbase 84, there was hardly any breath for reporting status, but Rawley tapped the squadron comm between two volleys.

"This is Wolf-Zero-Six and One-Zero, shadowing Vector-Zero-Three!" she called, baring her teeth at the gargantuan structure of the starbase, fitted with far too many phaser banks than she cared for. Just as she looked, two torpedo launchers opened fire against them, the flares seen in tandem with the warnings blinking on her HUDs. "Evasive manoeuvres! Hat trick, with me, and deploy counter-measures between the base and Thea on my mark!"

[This is One-Zero, acknowledged!] came the answer from her wingmate, and as the torpedoes shot towards them and Vector 03, Rawley counted the seconds while she adjusted her trajectory, coming up next to the hull of their charge. She took two hits from the base's phasers while doing so, tossed back and forth in her seat, but she could not stray from her position until...

"Three, two, one, now!" she called, quite crudely, but Hat Trick heard her. As one, they deployed ECMs into their wake, and throttled up their birds so they shot ahead of Vector 03. The barrage of torpedoes hit hard, and the conflagration from the impact against the countermeasures filled Rawley's cockpit with its glare. Wordlessly, she prayed that none got through, but she could tell from her systems that there was no torpedo lock on her own bird. Nor did Hat Trick from what she could tell, no indication shown, yet she did see how Outrider and Game - protecting Vector 02 - were not so fortunate. With widening eyes, she saw their shields shredded by phasers on one HUD, and she cast her helmet about to see what they were up to. She followed the sensor spike to the base, and saw them trying to punch a hole in that massive shield, and how Vector 02 unloaded a spread of quantum torpedoes against the base.

Whatever they tried to destroy - likely the targeting array on the base - it seemed a failed attempt. She saw how Game was hit - hearing her own computer making that dreaded chirp that told her one of her pack mates might have died. "Bloody tossers!" she felt her heart sink, but gritted her teeth together and snapped to it, only hoping that Game had energised her ETS in time.

[ Dr. Lucan cin Nicander | Main Sickbay | Vector 02 ] Attn: Zenozine and all in Sickbay

The Assistant CTO had spoken on the intercom before the attempt on the targeting array was made, and Nicander had heard it along with the rest in Main Sickbay.

[All hands, this is Arisaka. We have orders to make an assault on the base, the objective being to take out its tactical sensor array. Brace yourselves.] In the brief pause, Lucan imagined he heard a wordless request for them to prey to whatever deities they still believed in. [Arisaka out.]

Not the least impressed with the idea, Lucan made the short run to the viewer on the wall in Sickbay and keyed up a tactical screen. It showed how Vector 02 was going in, following two Valkyries as it did so. The turbulence increased underneath his feet as the shields were hit by phaser fire, and he swore under his breath, knowing that they would enter effective torpedo range in a manner of seconds. He rounded on his medical staff, his lab coat flaring out in the movement. "Secure the patients! Hold on to something!" he called, even if he told himself he did not care for their well-being. He certainly wouldn't mind seeing one or two split their skulls on something as the torpedoes hit, as long as the deck was not depressurised and he was spaced through the bulkhead. Yet to his own surprise, he even moved to Hylota, helping her get down on the deck plates behind the nurse's duty station. She shouldn't be standing up, pregnant and all, and there was no one else close enough to help her down.

Lucan had meant to make some glib remark behind the duty station, some quip about... something, but then tge first torpedo hit the Vector and whatever thought he'd had was shaken out of his mind. He fell sideways, hitting his own head against the edge of the duty station, and he swore vehemently in Câroon. The turbulance continued, two more torpedoes hitting home judging by the way sickbay moved under their feet...

...and then they seemed to be retreating. Arisaka's voice was heard on the intercom anew. [Battle Bridge to Sickbay, prepare to recieve injured personnel. Arisaka out.]

Lucan put a tattooed hand to his temple, and found his fingers bloodied. What irony...

[ Dr. George Hernandez | USS Allegiant | Medbay ] Attn: CanadianVet, Kaligos & EAC

George's knuckles where white as he held on to the arm rests of the small medbay, staring at the computer console on the table. It was showing him what the people on the bridge saw, and he did not like it the least. So much deadly energy unleashed against them and the other parts of the Theurgy, against the Valkyries and their poor pilots. Good riddance, he hoped that if the Allegiant was hit, the Manta-class scout-ship was built well enough to keep the hull intact. He had much preferred the peace and quiet on the Opal... but it was not like he could wind back the hands of time, could he? Then again, he was not sure he wanted to, knowing the truth about Starfleet Command.

[Moving to maximum sensor range!] shouted their helmswoman, Jaya Thorn having been taught to fly their allotted tin can merely two days ago. It was not a reassuring thought to George, so he shook it off, trying to find confidence in the fact that she had been unmatched as a shuttle pilot on the Black Opal. On the console, he saw glimpses of the attempt made to destroy some vital part of the base's systems, and mouthed a prayer for the fighter pilot who's Valkyrie was destroyed, hoping there had been enough time to eject from the disintegrating fuselage.

No more had he finished his prayer when he heard the unique voice of Sithick from his combadge. [Engineering to medikal, I'm taking Cadet Zhong up to your sickbay, he has fallen, esstent of injuries iz unknown.]

George tapped his combadge to respond to the Gorn. "Hernandez here, standing by," he said and got on his feet, eyes darting across the medical instruments so that he could make sure he knew where everything was. While he had arranged everything the way he wanted it, like he'd done during the mission simulations, it was something else entirely when outside the holodeck. While he waited for Sithick to arrive, he heard the voice of Jennifer Dewitt from the computer console.

[Allegiant to Theurgy. Deploying the TPS probe now. Target; that tactical array,] she said, and George closed his eyes, having hoped Jennifer didn't chose to do so. It had been a part of the simulations, a pre-planned option if the fighters failed, and he hadn't liked the prospects at all. The probe was designed to detect cloaked ships, apparently, but now, it would paint some kind of tetryon sensor target for all vectors of the Theurgy and its fighters. From afar, all crafts would supposedly be able to concentrate their fire on that painted mark. Dewitt was heard again. [Thorne, we are going in. New course; One-Zero-Niner, mark Four. Employ whatever tricks you know, but you must take us that close before we launch the probe. We will be far inside the base's weapons envelope, to keep the probe from being shot to pieces before its activated. Do you understand? That targetting array must be destroyed.]

George certainly did not envy the Petty Officer at the helm. Not the least. It was all riding on her now.

By then, Sithick arrived in the medbay, and Hernandez moved to help ease Zhong down on the biobed. No more had be been put in place before Dewitt's voice was heard again, and this time, her voice came both from the computer console and the Gorn's combadge.

[Bridge to Petty Officer Sithick. Stand ready to release the clamps and deploy the sensor probe through the airlock. Deployment is imminent. Dewitt out.]

The Gorn's strength was going to be needed to quickly handle some of the moorings on the probe, which sat in the middle of the airlock. Once it was out there, its guidance thrusters would take it where it was needed - remote-controlled from the bridge as the probe was. Hernandez locked eyes with the Gorn before he'd leave, and he just couldn't help making a joke - wasted as it might be given the situation. "I wonder why there isn't a morgue on these shuttles. People seem to be dying to get there..."

With a bitter little laugh, George then attended to Zhong - not letting the possibility of imminent death get to him.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #51
[ Nolak Kalmil | Turbolift 7 > Main Engineering | Vector 3 ]

Master Chief Nolak Kalmil stood in the turbolift his uniform too large, sleeves and leg cuffs rolled in bundles his feet still barefooted. A towel is tightly wrapped around his neck. Letting go of the lift's railing, he walked over to the computer console. An unknown period of time passed as he stood leaning against the wall. He was dealing with the pain in the back of his neck and the rest of his body still coping with the recent surgery. He felt the ship shudder as the ship shields took fire from Starbase 84. This snapped him out of his painful daze and he focused his attention away from the pain.

"Computer, show me the quickest route to engineering." The computer chirped in response and displayed a map onto the screen. He looked at the map displayed, current deck 18. Tracing his finger along the map leading to main engineering located in the mid section below on deck 25. "Computer, I need you to make a pair of sandals in replicator 182, just down the hallway. Thank you." The computer beeped as he stepped out the turbolift into the hallway.

After a short walk away he grabbed the pair of sandals from the replicator then put them on. He then continued towards the next main turbolift which would take him down to the proper deck. The ship shuddered again as the shields took another hit. Damn it, what the hell was the Captain thinking taking on a Starbase. Lucky I wasn't at the officers briefing. I would of really railed into her logic.

As he walked down the hallways, random crew members and a few civilians gave the short Master Chief a puzzled look as he walked by them lost in thought. No doubt looking at him dressed funny with a towel draped around his neck, like an ascot. None of them interacted with the man as they rush to their post or their living quarters. 

Reaching the main turbolift for Vector 3 section of the ship he stepped inside. "Deck 25 please." Thea, beeped as the turbolift began to move down. Next to the computer interface he checked a few damage reports while he waited for the lift to finish. Boy, whom ever is left in charge is not really ready for the job. He thought to himself as the lift stopped moving. He stood there a few more seconds reading additional data readouts when the turbolift doors opened.

In walked two crew members carrying another wounded. They looked at him and one said, "Hey shorty do you mind, we need to get this man to Battle Sickbay." Nolak looked at them and walked out the turbolift without saying a word. The action outside the turbolift was a blur of crew members running about making minor repairs or performing random assignments. He walked swiftly through the hallways. Somehow he felt that the ship was much larger than his memory remembered it to be. At one point he almost made a wrong turn and became lost before finally arriving to the Main Engineering.

From the moment the the doors opened he could tell engineering was just how he left it, chaos all over again. Only this time he will be working with complete strangers on a ship he really wasn't all that familiar with. Even if he did helped build it from the warp core out in space dock. Never realizing that it was in fact a completely different ship than the one he barely kept together a mire two months earlier.

The doors slid shut behind him as he looked into the busy engineering bay. "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Master Chief Petty Officer Nolak Kalmil, former Chief Engineer of this vessel. Some of you who are members of this ship should remember me. Greetings again, as for the rest the odds are good you may even know me as a professor from Starfleet Academy. Those of you that are from either the USS Harbinger, or where ever else you came from I greet you." He said this with a slight bow to his head then continued. "Introductions done, who's the person in charge while Master Chief O'Connell is on the away team?" Nolak said with an authoritarian tone in his voice.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #52
[ Wenn Cinn | Starboard Sparring Ring] Attn: Kaligos, chXinya, FollowTomorrow, Auctor Lucan, Anyone else

Hearing the familiar whine of the transporter, Wenn Cinn and his team took cover, well, all but one. Petty Officer James Madsen stood frozen, fingers clenched so hard around his type-II phaser that his knuckles were bone white. The operations officer was assigned to assist Ravenholm in the event that she needed him, and although young and unexperienced, he had performed adequately in the training. Obviously, it wasn't enough or wasn't effective as he was petrified, staring down the six transporter beams head on.

It took Cinn a few moments to realise that not everybody was where they should be. Just as the transporters finished their cycle, he sprang into action, leaping up and pulling Madsen to the floor by the back of his collar. The phaser held in James' hands clattered to the floor, as if the single act of aggression from Cinn had seemingly broken the spell. Reagar, Ravenholm and Cardamone all stepped into motion, working as a team, they quickly stunned the incoming security team to submission. They were fast, efficient and effective. He'd have been proud, if it wasn't for the quivering wreck in his hands.

"You alright, son?" Cinn asked simply, rolling off of the boy. He breathed a soft sigh, trying to work out a plan of what to do about Madsen.

"Y-yeah. I think so..." Came the croaked reply.

"Good, now we've been over this many many times. All we need to do is a bit of climbing and running. Leave the gunning to security and just focus on the job at hand - getting to central communications." Cinn spoke softly, trying to reassure the petty officer. "You've done this plenty at the academy. It's just a run." Madsen nodded meekly in replied and Cinn smiled, patting him gently on the back. "Good, you just stay with me and we'll get there."

"Alright!" He called, standing up. "Let's get moving. Reagar, head us up. I'll take rear." It wasn't that Cinn didn't want to lead from the front but with having to look after Madsen and keep an eye on Isley. It would be easier to watch them all from that position. As the team converged on Ravenholm, Cal Reagar scouted ahead, climbing into the Jefferies tube and up the ladder with ease. Up one deck, Cinn knew there would be a doorway opening to the corridor. They would need to make a dash to the next junction and into one of the rooms there. The team had practiced this multiple times, so he was sure they would know where to go. He just hoped they could get there before Starbase security figured their first team was down. As he headed across to the group, he collected Madsen's discarded Phaser and tucked it into a pocket of his SAFTI gear. He'd hold onto that for now. Madsen had no use for it.

Setting up position to cover by the hatchway, Cinn waved Isley and Cardamone over. One by one, they all climbed up and off that deck. Madsen was second to last, holding himself close to Cinn as requested. As they huddled by the door to the corridor, Cinn said a silent prayer.
"Move out." Prophets protect us.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #53
[ Hylota Vojona & Vinata Vojona | Main Sickbay | Vector 02 ]

As things in sickbay began to prepare for the ensuing battle Hylota had taken charge of looking over the medical list, keeping a close eye on the patients that were set aside and made to wait for treatment, if any conditions deteriorated she was prompt to move them up the list so that those in need of aid were receiving it in a timely manner. Of course as one of the older patients got up and saw themselves out of the sickbay Hylota watched curiously as he walked to Maal and spoke to him briefly before leaving, Hylota intended to ask him about that, but her data padd began to beep as it informed her that one of the patients with minor head trauma was beginning to suffer a brain hemorrhage. Getting up from her desk Hylota directed some of the nurses to the patient as to get him to a bio bed immediately.

In the meantime Vinata was focusing more on the clean injuries, focusing on internal injuries and broken bones, the sight of blood still made his stomach turn, thankfully nowhere near as badly as it had been previously. Vinata watched as Nolak had spoken to Maal, he did not know what was going on, but he knew that the next chance he got he was going to have to talk with Maal. Sadly his intentions to talk with Maal were cut short and forgotten as Lucan instructed the staff to brace and secure patients. Vinata felt his heart race as he quickly reached over the bio bed, bracing himself over his patient and using his own body as a loose restraint to keep his patient from falling to the ground.

As the ship was about to be hit Hylota had gotten up from her chair and was preparing to lower herself to the ground when Lucan rushed to her side and assisted her to the ground, holding her as the ship was struck and shook violently. Hylota yelped loudly as everything shook, her body carrying the vibrations more strongly as her pregnant belly shook with each impact. Thankfully things did not shake for very long and the ship quickly recovered, sitting up Hylota began to breath a bit more heavily as she looked around the nurse station, tools were scattered over the floor along with an assortment of data padds and...blood. Hylota stared at the blood for a moment before seeking the source out and looking at Lucan and his injury. Hylota was quick to act, looking around she picked up a first aid kit and slid it in front of Lucan. "Here Doctor, you need to take care of yourself before anything else happens." Opening it and taking out the simple medical tricorder to begin scanning Lucan to get an idea of how extensive the damage was.

Meanwhile Vinata had ridden out the strikes, his patient was in discomfort from the shaking, but at least they had not fallen to the ground. Vinata took a moment to collect himself before going to gather the proper hypospray to ease the crewman's pain and make them well enough to head back to their quarters, their injuries were minor, and with the two hits that the ship had just taken they were going to be seeing much more drastic injuries, this meant they would need open beds and space to put the more drastically injured patients. Looking around Vinata looked for Lucan to try and get confirmation of his plan. If they spent the time waiting for the injured patients to come in, rushing out the lighter injuries Vinata figured they could free up a lot of space to work with, but he needed to track him down to get Lucan's opinion on the matter.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #54
[ Sithick | USS Allegiant Medical Bay ] Attn: Auctor, Angles

Sithick sniffed at the young cadet. The scent of burnt flesh, and blood were around him, but he could also hear the shallow breathing of a man who was most likely concussed. Helping him into the bed he was about to ask the medical chief of the black opal if he could be of assistance to save the cadets life. But was cut off by his own communicator. It seemed his work was never going to be done, and he closed his eyes and tilted his his head towards his com link understanding that the next part of his job was underway.

He turned to the doctor when he made his joke. His yellow eyes turning towards the man, before his lips peeled back into a very wide toothy smile a low sound of a chuckle rumbling through his body. His translator spoke for a moment after registering his alien language and tongue motions, it was simply too much of a hassle to speak the Federations tongue when there was so much shit to do. plus he wasn't sure the joke would translate well but he would try some attempt at humor anyway. "Outlaw sector philosophy clearly states; why build shields when you can have more...." the translator paused for a moment searching for the best replacement word and finally came to a conclusion on a earth term from a table top game in the early 20th century. "Dakka.*"

"No need for morgue when you have the cold of space." He turned and started to walk away from the  medical bay and started down his way towards the aft of the ship clicking his comlink to acknowledge his orders. Stepping heavily as he pulled himself into the airlock.

The thin wall that now separated him from the vacuum of space was very apparent. While the Gorn could survive the cold of space the actual vacuum would kill him, rapid exposure would lead to his death as it would not be the controlled exposure he had done back in the klingon escape pod. He was painfully aware of this fact and decided that he needed to move as quickly as possible to get this probe ready for deployment. The probe was currently magnetically locked into place, Moving through the room he felt the vibrations of the locks as the ship adjusted and moved through space. He started to work on removing the various locks, but more importantly arming the Tetryon probe so that once launched the device would do as instructed.

It was slow work as his claws tapped away at the mine's locks as he had done so in the simulations. There was a click and the mag locks inverted, lifting the device slowly off the ground as he stood next to it. This was the dangerous part, with the probe free the device could move around the room, the only thing keeping it secure now was a powerful tether that was supposed to open remotely deploying the device. However before he could leave and get out of the current danger zone he still had to arm it.

*Dakka: for those uninformed the term Dakka comes from warhammer 40k, and is the Ork word for amassing and firing automatic weapons to the point of it being gun porn, sometimes referred too as multi lazer masturbation.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #55
[ Boarding Team 03 | Cameron Henshaw | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Lucan & Summerdawn

As time ticked by ever so slow for Cameron the two loud bangs made her cover her ears for a second. She knew it was going to happen though, yet being prepared to something and hearing the real thing is something entirely different. She wasn't sure but she could've sworn that the moment the grenades went off, she had yelped out and grabbed Zaraq by the arm. It was a harsh reminder that this wasn't her place. She wasn't trained or prepared enough to be out in the field, this close to hostile combatants.

Next she could hear Ida's order, loud and clear as Zaraq leaped out of cover, Cameron flinching for just a second and doing the same. Her one second delay however had given the security detail a head start as she sprinted across the room towards the smoke. She could hear the discharges of Zaraq's rifle and the punches being delivered by both Ida and Ryuan. The haze however caught Cameron more than she anticipated, coughing a little and feeling the sensation of the haze prickling against her eyes. The combination of both had brought her in the situation where she couldn't anticipate the unaffected guard as he got back on his feet and raised his rifle.

Luckily for Cameron Ida had spotted the man as he prepared to dispatch of the mission specialist. A shout to get down by Ida was instantly followed by Cameron as Ida aimed her own rifle in order to dispatch of the guard. The man however was quick on his feet and heard the warning as well, spotting Ida as she trained her gun at him. In a last ditch effort to evade the shot he tossed his own rifle towards Ida, causing it to hit the rifle enough as Ida fired at him. The shot missed and the guard wasn't startled by this chance as he pounced Cameron and quickly reached down for the parsteel blade that he kept with him. A little souvenir he bought when being on leave. He had carried it around as a fail safe in case he'd be without weaponry. Crawling back up on his feet and keeping the specialist between himself and the boarding party he held the blade tightly against the throat of the Yeoman.

They got up on their feet as his eyes jolted from Zaraq to Ida and eventually to Ryuan. "Let go!" Cameron struggled, causing for her and him to keep moving not allowing a clear shot for most people. Cameron could feel the frame of the guard against her back, he was well toned as she could feel his muscles overpower her easily. The blade being pressed tighter against her throat, just a moment away of splitting open her skin superficially. The guard bent her arm around her back, causing her to stop the struggling as he hissed "Stop it!" he looked at the rest "Guns on the ground now or this woman will be pouring out a fountain like you've never seen before." he threatened the remaining boarding crew.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #56
[ Boarding Team 03 | Ryuan Sel | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Lucan & Nolan

Even as the initial explosions went off in the complex, the signal for the team to make their move, and the energy dampening field took effect, Ryuan was already mentally counting down the seconds till her weapon went online again. The grenades by design only created a temporary dampening field, useful for the sort of fast sharp attack on a position where you still wanted your weapons to work. Within half a minute the team's weapons would be online and it was in that critical last few seconds, that Ryuan and Ida found themselves in a standoff.

Her weapon raised and pointed at the man's head, the only clear aim point she had, Ryuan could only hope the man's cranium was solid enough to withstand the energy release of heavy stun. She didn't want to kill the man, he was only following the orders of his superior, as was she, but in this moment there was no time to sit down and compare notes, decide who was in the right. No, she only had the certainty of her mission, and he stood between her and the success of that mission.

At close range stun could kill, and Ryuan could only utter a prayer to her gods that the man's skull was solid enough to withstand the violent influx of energy, and that the dampening field had dispersed enough to permit her weapon to fire as she pulled the trigger on her rifle. The familiar kick and flash as the pulse of phaser energy lanced out across the intervening feet was all Ryuan felt but for the hapless guard, the effect was immediate and devastating.

The man fell back, his hand going limp, the blade clattering to the ground as his lifeless body crumpled to the ground. Ryuan could see from her vantage as she lowered her weapon the man was beyond hope. She'd seen enough phaser wounds in training to know the man was dead, mercifully he'd never have felt the injury, death being near instantaneous. She glanced to Ida, "There was no other choice."

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #57
[ Dyan Cardamone | Boarding Team 01 | Below the Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Arista, chXinya, Auctor Lucan, Kaligos

She almost felt sad to have to leave this spot. She knew if she stayed, she'd eventually find another fight. But her mission wasn't to eliminate the entire security team of the Starbase. She turned, and to her surprise, there was Wenn Cinn, and one terrified Petty Officer James Madsen. He was shaking, on the ground. She hadn't seen what happened, but she could infer that Cinn probably took Madsen down before either of them could be shot at.

A thought came to her, that Madsen was weak and should not be on this team. He could get someone killed. But that was not how Starfleet functioned. All people, regardless of their combat ability had some sort of worth, apparently. She just couldn't see how the petty officer had any. She huffed, the only sign of impatience she allowed to slip from her otherwise collected composure.

It was time to move on. She left her thoughts about Madsen in this room as she followed behind Reagar. Onto the next trial.

Time to give 'em hell

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #58
[ Dr. Nicander | Main Sickbay | USS Theurgy ] Attn: 1) Doc M. 2) Triage 3) Zenozine

Having put a tattooed hand to his temple to stem the bleeding, Lucan heard Hylota through the ache spreading through his skull. The familiar chirping of a medical tricorder told him the Ovri was on top of things. Odd, how in the split moments of personal injury, there was clarity in his head about his true priorities. The crew needed him. Suddenly, he did not just see them as cattle bound for slaughter, and he asked himself how he could have betrayed them. For years, he had lived a fairytale of lies, yet they did not see him as a liar. They all saw him as their benefactor. If it weren't for the thing inside, then he...

Then he what? The certainty of his inevitable fate as a host settled once more, and he shook off the errant thought. He had no choice, so he might as well enjoy himself to the best of his ability before his kin did not need him any more. After all, he could not betray Kisane's memory for the sake of a crew that would very likely be dead within the hour. No, it was time to act.

Like a veil put before his eyes, he forgot the very idea that anything he could do for the crew mattered.

"It's just a laceration," he announced, seeing the tricorder's readings across from Hylota and determining that he had no concussion. Then, his pale grey eyes fell on her abdomen, the fact of her unborn offspring touching something inside him - the doubt resurfacing for a moment - before it faded away again. It was time. "I can tend to it myself. Just hand  me that dermal regenerator in the med kit and I'll find a mirror."

He said this with an embarrassed smile, got the regenerator, and stood tall behind the duty desk, in turn helping Hylota back on her feet with the same hand that held the medical instrument - the other hand still pressed to his temple. In standing up and helping Hylota, he made eye-contact with Vinata. The word of Arisaka had not escaped him. There were patients inbound. "Prepare for arrival of injured personnel. Clear the last beds in the ICU and prep the ER. There are still beds available in the Recovery Ward. I will return shortly," he said and showed his bloodied hand to Vinata. He then saw Maya, McMillan and Maal appearing in the corridor, the tremors of sustained phaser fire lessened. "Doctor Duv is on standby for beaming onto the base, so you are in charge, Doctor Maya."

Just as he said this, the sliding doors opened and the first patients arrived, helped along by their fellow crewmen. Mostly injuries from falling, Lucan saw, and some plasma burns where relays had blown, some burns worse than others. Yet as they arrived, he left with the dermal regenerator, heading to Surgical Suite 02 and the mirror he meant to use.

Quite fortunate, how he had been granted the perfect excuse to set his plan in action.

[ SCPO Calvin Reagar | Beneath the Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84 ] Loose PO: 1) ch'Xinya 2) Kaligos 3) FollowTomorrow 4) Arista

With his rifle on his back, Cal quickly climbed the ladder behind the door, breathing through his nostrils and biting down hard in his focus - the mission at hand more important than trying to think about how he might help Madsen. Wenn was already on top of that complication, so he needn't add his voice to the matter. He was just glad he hadn't been shot in the back. A small thing fortunate in a task far from complete - the mission objective still some levels away.

At the end of the ladder, he pulled forth his rifle again and waited, letting the others catch up to him as they climbed the ladder behind him. When he judged the closest ones were ready if they were chanced upon, he pulled the manual release of the maintenance access door and shouldered his way into the corridor - eyes along the sights. He whipped his aim about as he checked for movements, heart beating loudly in his ears. While the holodeck had been one thing, this was something quite else, knowing that the mission rode on all of their collective shoulders. A quiet word to those behind him. "Clear."

With that word, he set off down the corridor at a brisk pace, still not lowering his rifle as he moved. There was not time for stealth. Not if the Red Alert had been sounded. He knew so, even if he wished that they could have taken more precautions. He had wished to bide his sweet time before stepping into each intersection, listening in quietude for movements. Now, he only had Ravenholm behind his shoulder, and the tricorder she carried. It was a matter of speed to get to where they needed to be, and there was simply no time for it. Each passing minute, Thea suffered the full attention of the base's phaser banks and torpedo launchers.

Regardless how sensitive Ravenholm's tricorder was... it didn't help when the opposition appeared from behind.

Cal heard the grate being kicked open behind the boarding team, and he rounded on the loud noise. He had ended up on the wrong side of the team, with Wenn Cinn and Madsen closest to the security guards that spilled into the corridor. "Shit," he cursed under his breath, seeing the two guards that rolled into the corridor opening fire against them. He already saw movements in the opening from whence the first two had come, so there were bound to be more of them in Jefferies tube that they had just passed by. "Cover!"

[ Lieutenant ThanIda zh'Wann | Transporter Room 03 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Nolan & SummerDawn

Cursing, Ida had bared her teeth when the security guard managed to throw his useless rifle at her just when she was about to drop him. The impact of the Type III against her own TR-120 made her shot go wide, and quick as the man was on his feet, he had managed to take the Yeoman hostage.

While the guard challenged the boarding team, Ida counted the seconds too, seeing Ryuan Sel in her peripheral vision and how she had the best angle for her shot. Yet as the seconds bled away far too slowly, Ida was more concerned that the guard would call for reinforcements, and ruin their element of surprise. Another moment gained, another moment spelling imminent disaster, until finally... Ryuan took the shot.

It was over the moment the rifle filled the security checkpoint with its orange glare. The guard fell down in a disjointed heap of limbs, and the parsteel blade clattered in a metallic emphasis of the fact against the floor. Ida lowered her rifle from where she had tried to get a clear shot from the front - the pinkskin being in the way for it - and took a deep breath. Sel told her the obvious, and Ida inclined her head in confirmation. The ridgenose told the truth.

"By now, internal sensors must have detected that shot, so we have to take the quicker route." It was far from ideal, the original plan having been better suited for them to get to the Command Center without being noticed. Now, the element of surprise might have been lost, and they had to make their way there in a more bold way. Otherwise, they'd stand no chance of getting there without being intercepted by more security teams. "Zaraq."

"Aye, Deputy," said the hulking mass of the Klingon at the back of the room, and he walked past the jefferies tubes access to the turbolift, and he produced a small device from his SAFTI gear's utility pockets. It was a small jammer, the unit being able to scramble the life-signs around it for a short period of time. Say, for example, the duration of a riding the lift to the Command Centre's level in the EOC. The device was complementary from Selena Ravenholm, a black market unit that she'd brought aboard, and it just proved itself useful. Ida turned to the boarding team in the smoke-filled security checkpoint.

"You know the drill. Ensigns Cameron and Ryuan, you come with me and Zaraq, riding the turbolift. The rest of you," she said, facing the thre NCOs that had brought up the rear guard until that point. "You take the route through the Jefferies Tubes, as we had originally intended. You'll be detected on sensors, but you'll be able to use the tubes to your advantage. We rendevouz at the Command Centre's exterior corridor. Move out, before they deploy any teams here!"

Unceremoniously, Ida put a hand on Cameron's shoulder, with no words or comfort but with the clear signal that it was time to move, and they had precious little time. She headed into the turbolift after Zaraq activated Ravenholm's device, dragging Ensign Henshaw along with her if she needed to.

If they were fortunate, starbase security would not investigate the lift that would go directly to the EOC's top level, since according to sensors... there would be no one on the lift. For Ida, she knew the ten second ride on the lift would be the longest ten seconds she'd experience in a long while - standing there with the pinkskin, the ridgenose and the big, bald ridgehead.

[ PWO Rihen Neyah | Main Engineering | USS Theurgy ] Attn: DocReno & MasterRat

"If you say so, Rihen. I'm just hoping that I don't fuck this up like I did the last time.."

Hearing sweet Kae say those words somewhat confirmed the hear-say Rihen had heard about him; that he had done something terrible when the ship visited that Black Opal base and fought off a Romulan ship. Such a disheartening comment, and Rihen's heart broke a bit hearing him say it. Surely it was not all that bad? She had tried to lift his spirits, dispel whatever dark thoughts had been bothering him, but if he had such deep regrets, it seemed it would require far more than some jesting and a slap on his bum to get through to him.

"Hey, hey, sweet Kae," she said and stepped up next to him, running a hand through his hair and hoping he'd turn towards her - meeting her mismatched eyes. She smiled to him, her usual warm smile, and she said something she'd never said to any of her patrons down on Risa. Nor any people she'd met on Nimbus III. "Do you know why I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself? Because my father taught me something besides juggling blades on the stage of  the circus I was raised. He taught me that the greater part of our misery, of any unhappiness we feel, it is all determined not by our circumstance... but by our disposition. If you truly hope you won't fail again, it says more about you - far more - than that you once did."

She said this and tousled his hair, flashing him another, wide grin, before she walked off to take care of her next row of duties. She had no idea whether or not she'd reached through to him, but she hoped her words would stay with him. Minutes passed, and she stole glances towards Kae now and then to see how he was faring, and duties became more and more demanding the longer into the battle they got.

Eventually, the voice of someone Rihen had never met came from the entrance to Main Engineering, and she turned her head to look at him in consternation. The bald man made a formal introduction, all of which Rihen had little time to listen to and didn't bother to either since she'd certainly remember having met the handsome fellow on the Theurgy. In the end, the former Chief Engineer asked who was in charge.

"Me, Ensign Carla Abner, right over here!" called the blonde woman who they were taking orders from now that O'Connell was on Starbase 84. She was a pretty woman from the Harbinger, whom Rihen was confident would have had a lot of attention from patrons if she'd been raised on Risa. The woman was busy delegating orders, taking her job quite seriously too, and certainly didn't seem like she had time to enquire what the former Chief Engineer was doing there. The man had not partaken in any of the drills for the mission, as much Rihen knew, but if he used to be Chief Engineer... perhaps he could help nonetheless?

"What are you doing here, Mister Kalmil?" called Abner before directing herself to two men close by her. "Rodriquez and Kaizumi, free up power to the shield emitters and notify the bridge its available if so required! We should be able to increase regeneration by 3 % if you reroute Nine-Alpha and Five-Delta relays!"

Then, Abner's green eyes returned to the visitor. "Aren't you supposed to be in Sickbay?"

Rihen watched from the background, not sure what she should think, but tried to focus on her duties.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #59
[ Boarding Team 03 | Cameron Henshaw | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Lucan & Summerdawn

Petrified by fear Cameron held still against the guard as she saw Ryuan line up the shot. the eyes of the yeoman widening before she shut them tight and heard the discharge of the rifle. The tight hold of the parsteel blade against her neck faltered nearly instantly. It was a sigh of relief that escaped from her lips as the blade fell down in front of her feet. Her eyes opening slowly as she heard the thud of the man dropping lifeless behind her. It took a few nanoseconds before it hit her, her legs starting to tremble and her eyes turning more watery.

She glanced over at Ryuan and nodded thankfully at her before she looked down at the floor. She felt like she came short of the party and her legs trembled more profoundly now. Her breathing became more erratic, shallow yet not receiving enough oxygen to her muscles and organs that needed it the most. She looked up again when Ida was standing in front of her. Her hand came to rest on her shoulder and it was supposed to bring her some solace perhaps. The conversation that had been held was not picked up by Cam as she felt Ida tug her towards the Turbolifts.

She closed her eyes as she tried to regain her normal breathing once more, keeping her hands in front of her mouth and nose as she tried to regulate her breathing. This was only a panic attack, she had seen so before and just had to control herself. Once the elevator doors opened she had managed to get her breathing back to normal, she was however still shaken by the events and swallowed hard as she waited for the rest to enter the elevator first before joining them.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #60
[Nolak Kalmil | Main Engineering | USS Theurgy | Vector 03 ]

Main Engineering was massive, lines of computer banks and readouts peppered the walls in a half circle around the main computer terminal in the center of the main control area. The semi-transparent monitors flashing bits of data and readouts from all parts of the ship dance across each one as the engineering crew of a couple dozens dance about performing duties.

Farther into engineering st-robing in a light blue tone light stood the massive matter/anti-matter reaction core. The matter reaction injector (MRI) stood towering several decks above and below the main engineer deck. The noise of her ‘heartbeat’ USS Theurgy humming in the background as supercold deuterium is converted into energy. Ever other deck spreading away from Deck 25 there was another rampart of service and repairs computers with see through transparent monitors. Each deck arches out and away from the circular chamber housing the entire core. The monitors light the deck giving them a neon blue glow adding to the ambient lighting. All decks are connect by either a ladder, or a small two person lift.

The main warp core, is a towering fourteen decks from top to bottom. The MRI with a diameter close to 10 meters wide bathes the entire engine compartment a light blue light color as it pulses from the warp core. Every deck with a computer station surrounding the core has one short gangway leading to the core it self. From the gangway one could look up and down and see nearly all fourteen decks from a dizzying perspective. The railings on either side the only security between solid flooring and a free fall to the bottom. The central core itself is surrounded by a small repair platform each with various monitor readouts. Only the main engineering level is the computer station capable of complete computer access and control commands.

As Master Chief Kalmil walked through the room. His mirror polished bald head reflected the lights within the room. Walking in sandals and a ruffled up uniform too big for him, he shot an expression towards Ensign Carla Abner, as though she had slapped him across the face. “Sickbay! Haw, I’d clawed my way straight from the gates of hell, and escaped that infernal pit of despair. Besides, I’m a Starfleet engineer, not a voodoo witch shaman like our charming Doctor Nicander.” Chief Kalmil recognized of of the men Carla Abner was giving orders to. He added, “It’s great to see a familiar face Petty Officer Tenchi Koizumi, glad to see your still alive and looking well.

Chief Kalmil then turned and moved to some storage lockers and took out a workman’s belt with a few repair tools hanging from it. As he wrapped it around his waist he continued across the room.

Looking back towards Ensign Abner as he continued heading towards the main warp core terminal. “Look, my main field of expertise is in warp design and power management. So if you have no objections I’ll locate myself by the core itself and keep Thea from having a heart attack and going critical. At the moment we should all work together like a well oiled machine, there’s little time for us to have a power struggle over command structure. Besides if O’Connell left you in charge, I’ll not question his judgment. However,” He emphasized on the word however, “if you can’t handle the stress don’t hesitate to ask for help, every second is precious if we are to survive this day.

As he passed a young man sitting at a computer station he taped him on the shoulder, “Increase power to Deck 27’s life support by eight percent it’s about to……” Suddenly the ship shuddered again from another direct hit from the starbase. Chief Kalmil grabs the man and yanked him out of his chair just as a shower of sparks erupted from the computer station, sending them both to the floor.

For a split moment everything turned white as pain overwhelms his senses as he hit the floor. He quickly recovered and stood up trying to hide the painful expression on his face. He glanced at the man he just yanked and looked at Ensign Lin Kae, hologram specialist. A crew member he knew and worked with before his injury. Seeing that he’s okay and uninjured, he then looked back at the station he was sitting at. Which is now a smoldering pile of computer bits and exposed wires. “Looks like your okay, Mr. Kae. Try to find another working station and let’s all stay alive.” Turning back to Ensign Abner and points to the core, “I’ll be found there if you need me,” then continued his advance towards it.
I hope this works, if not tell me and I'll gladly edit, change, or delete it.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #61
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| Main Sickbay| USS Theurgy]

As the battle raged outside the confines of the infirmary and beyond, a cauldron of mixed emotions churned inside Hayden O'Connor. Some of them were easily recognizable and swiftly attributed to the realities of facing battle. Every Starfleet medical provider understood what those feelings were. Even if they couldn't be fully experienced in training scenarios, simulations came close enough most of the time. They had to. Starfleet couldn't afford to have its highly trained medical personnel freeze the first time battle threatened to knock them off their feet. After all, saving lives in the middle of battle was difficult enough without having to suppress the effects of a double shot of adrenaline.

Some part of Hayden was responding exactly as her training dictated. Some part of her brain was telling her what to do as if she were a Starfleet officer serving the Federation she believed in and once knew to be as reliable as her own existence. Make sure the path to the wards was clear. Make sure that the supplies were stocked. Check to ensure tricorders and bio beds were properly calibrated. Mentally review basic triage protocols as the wounded came pouring in. Tend to patients in the ward. Take the time to offer reassurance even as you classify patients streaming past you, demanding treatment, if not with their voices, with their eyes. In these moments, it was easy to believe this was just another challenge they would get through with determination. In a crisis, Starfleet officers couldn't afford to dwell on the possibility of their deaths. They had to act on instinct, tamping down on the anxiety, anticipation, regret for opportunities not taken.

Even aboard the Theurgy, where service aboard was anything but routine, Hayden had had to learn how to manage the cauldron of emotions within her so she couldn't just function on a regular basis, but so that she could be in a position to calm emotional storms for others. Yes, they were being hunted. Yes, they were losing people far too often. Yes, psychologically everyone was suffering to a degree and at a rate that seemed impossible to manage. All of these things were realities for Hayden O'Connor and every member of the Theurgy crew, but no one could stay sane or healthy living in that crisis mode daily.

The result?  A way of life that demanded suppression of any thoughts of future crossroads or the risk of impending doom. In short, many of them knew the future critical points in their fight to ensure their long-term survival, but as long as they were weeks or even hours away, sanity demanded they be pushed down, to be dealt with later.

Except later was now, and as the ship rocked beneath her feet, the significance of this battle and the consequences of potential failure were hard to ignore. If they couldn't truly convince others to join their fight, to believe that Theurgy crew weren't traitors this critical juncture in Captain Ives' plan, it was hard for Hayden to imagine where they could turn. If they didn't survive this battle...

Shaken from her reverie by Hylota's words to Doctor Nicander, she realized she had shielded the patient nearby with her body purely out of instinct. Even as Hylota's gravid body reminded her just how much precious lives were at stake, O'Connor was already yelling at herself to get back into medical mode. They weren't dead yet, and if she were destined to die today, she wouldn't have her family believing she had died frozen in fear.

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