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Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #50
[ MCPO Nolak Kalmil | Main Engineering | Vector 03 |  USS Theurgy ]

Master Chief Kalmil, stood at the computer station next to the warp core working multiple tasks. He made adjustments to the ships internal scanners and had been contacting random crew members using their communication badge nearest to spots he needed immediate repairs. Sometimes he got lucky and contacted someone who knew what to do, and how to do it. Mostly he had to ‘talk walk’ the crew member through the repair procedure. While at the same time he was monitoring the overall ship’s power output. 

His years of experience and focus on certain fields in the Engineering Core, he was particularly good at shield/power distribution. So, by now he was probably driving the Battle Bridge crazy by powering down shielding one side of the ship and beefing it up in another side then back, as the battle ebbed and flowed in an almost fluid like motion. As he did this he was also slowly retracing Ensign Lin Kae’s path through the coding looking for that glitch, which had somehow had unfixed it’s self. Then he found it, the virus.

He was fascinated by it, the coding was amazing, a self evolving decoder/rewriter. If he had the time he could spend hours just browsing through each line and marvel and learn at how well this was scripted. But time was not on his side. There was no way he could delete or stop this virus at the moment, but he could confuse it and keep it busy for hours as he isolated the glitch. Using every code scrambler and decrypt program he knew of, he instructed Thea to ‘attack’ the virus by spamming it with new scrambled codes for it figure out. On one level he knew he was creating a digital monster the longer its core programming ran, but the 'off switch' was located deep within Thea’s core memory bank, or deeper in her prositronic brain. Which happened to be on another Vector in another part of the battle. Yet this digital baby was a far simple fix compared to just staying alive. It’s another problem for another day, an average day in the life of an Engineer Officer, he thought to himself. For the moment the virus became ‘entertained’ playing scramble games with Thea. With the virus distracted there’s a sudden boost to shield power and deflection abilities. Even better news, the entire ship is now engulfed in its protective bubble.

He made a personal log of his finding and encrypted it on an isonliner chip from his tool belt, just in case he doesn’t make it. He taped the chip onto the computer panel. As he glanced back to the Tactical display, suddenly the relief fleet began popping upon the scanners. He looked at it for only a couple seconds before saying out loud, “We are going to need more power. Thea, old girl you’ve got the controls again, try to keep us in one piece. I’ve got to tickle your upper matter injector nodes now. Tweak them and recalibrate, that should boost your power output by about 20%. How long is another issue.” He paused for a second and looked up to the top of the warp chamber and the long ladder climb up. “If the radiation doesn’t kill me, this climb up will. Wish me luck, besides if I’m still lucky, I have some Thorian brandy hidden up there, which is rumored to help aid people with radiation sickness. If nothing else, I’ll get shit face drunk, so it won’t matter anyways with this armada fleet here to turn us into plasma dust.”

Nolak flipped the intercom switch to the battle bridge, “Chief here, enjoy the shields while you still have them, I’m returning shield distribution back into your hands. Keep us in one piece. I need to repair something and will be away from the computer. Over.” He closed the channel and gave the computer station a loving pat before heading to the ladder. Nolak, gingerly took his left arm out from the makeshift sling and braced himself for the painful climb ahead of him.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #51
[ Ens. Derik Veradin | Conference Room & Bridge, Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]

Derik's head spun as way too many things suddenly seemed to be happening right on top of each other. There was joy and relief at seeing Suq arrive to the conference room. Worry about Liam and other members of their family still unaccounted for, most likely dead now. Surprise, horror, and confusion with the combined simulcast message and what had just occurred on the bridge. He didn't know enough of the players, and he was having trouble trying to process all of it. Were they on a ship full of traitors to the Federation like the message had said? The Theurgy crew seemed as surprised as he was at the message's content, so was it a mistake? Were they all about to die at the hands of the newly arrived Task Force? What in the hell were those saucer ships that had shown up to help them? "Fuck my life," he said without even realizing it until it'd been said.

Luckily, he was conditioned to follow orders and well-practiced at shutting out everything else when he had a job to do, and Martin had blessedly provided him with that. She was one of his remaining ranking officers and had ordered him into the Theurgy's bridge and to, he assumed, take over the CONN. All other thoughts and emotions were shoved aside as he ran after Martin, into the room that was still feeling the after shocks of the murders that had just been committed. Martin assessed the previous Theurgy helmsman, but Derik could already tell from the look in the Cardassian's eyes that she was gone.

Derik looked to Ives and Trent as he made his way to the CONN, wanting to see if either would order him to stop. Neither did, and the Theurgy was flying at considerable speed in the middle of a battle without a pilot, so Derik took the seat without any further hesitation. He was worried for a split second that maybe the Theurgy's controls would be all different than the Resolve's, and while there were minor differences, likely his predecessor's personal tweaks, he recognized the layout and quickly took the ship under his control. He took the ship into a set of complex turns to avoid some debris and make their way toward the other vectors, something he noticed they had been trying to do up until now. Traitors or not, he was on this ship and he was going to do his damnedest to keep them all alive.

A somewhat crazed grin broke out on his face, he'd been wanting not to feel useless. What was the famous phrase, be careful what you wish for?

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #52
[ Dr. Lucan cin Nicander & Heather McMillan | Corridors | USS Theurgy | Vector 02 ] Joint Post by Triage & Auctor Lucan
They entered the Science Department's area on Vector 02. Since they'd left Acreth's carnage behind, Dr. Nicander had already removed his hand from Heather McMillan's eyes. The Temporal Observatory Lab was just down the corridor, lined with the Red Alert lighting. The Vector continued to shake from enemy fire, and Lucan was not too far away from the Radiant in case she'd fall. Odd, how he came to care for her well-being so naturally when the darkness in his soul had subsided. Heather might not have expelled the demon from his mind entirely, but well enough for him to regret his actions. The carnage they had just stepped through struck a chord within him, knowing keenly that it was his fault they'd died. The shame of it was altogether new, and if he dwelt on it, he knew he'd been unable to continue. It was the crisis at hand that pushed him to continue, instead of succumbing underneath the weight of his actions.
"Thea," he said, looking around, "where's Security?"
[The closest guards are still three minutes away. There are hull breaches on my decks above and below yours, limiting access.]
So that's what almost made us fell back into the chute of the Jefferies tubes, thought Lucan, clenching his jaw. Dared they wait? Could the-
[Warning. My internal sensors detect an increase of chronometric particles inside the lab. Ensign Acreth is creating an artifical temporal vortex.]
Lucan looked towards Heather. How might he convince her? "The Calamity came through a rift in the space-time continuum, sent by her kind," he said, the urgency in his voice no fabrication. The Vector shook again from enemy fire. "She could be bringing something through! We have to stop her... There is no time to wait!"
McMillan's face was contorted with despair and resignation. "Yes, doctor," said the young woman. She could only imagine what horrific thing Acreth was bringing along this time. Hadn't the crew of the Theurgy suffered enough? The Calamity was bad enough, then there was the unexpected mutiny which finally exposed her to the crew at large. She barely weathered another tremor, leaping like a frightened rabbit, and somehow keeping a hold on the doctor.
She tried to consider what she could do to help the doctor and stop Acreth without violating her pacifism and non-violent code. "Let me go first," she finally thought of something, "maybe I can surprise her with a flash of light."
She paused in her thought, because Lucan was already trying to get the door open, the control panel not responding. Acreth had sealed herself in. Seconds were lost as he tore open then panel and tried the manual release for the doors, but she had jammed it from the inside. He cut his tattooed hand in the attempt, but he hardly felt it - the adrenaline thick in his veins. "Stand back," he said, holding out his arm before Heather to make her back away a bit, and he closed his eyes. He opened his zinaaq to the elements around him, his abilities to channel them so diminished from when he had lived on Câroon. With great effort, he found the focus despite his inner turmoil, and he pulled the energy from Thea's EPS grid inside him, making the lights flicker in the corridor. He opened his eyes, and they were lit by the energy he held in the structure of his seven zinaaq. He had funnelled the energy inside him, the fiery conflagration of plasma merely another shape of Fire that he could wield. And he did, because holding it was difficult, and releasing it was a necessity for survival.
He stepped forth and put his hand on the bulkhead next to the door, and he unleashed the energy upon the hinges inside.
McMillan retreated a little, having seen a similar display like this not too long ago, she knew that the Câroon doctor had abilities of his own, just like her. Of course, he could do far more damage than she ever could, but she rather wished he didn't have to. Despite having seen it before, this spectacular display of power and ferocity terrified the Radiant, who was pressing herself against the bulkhead and half-cowering. The plasma discharge was new, and the result was quite impressive.
The doors had given way...completely. The one on the right had shaken loose from its place, and fell inward. If Acreth was in there, there was no way she didn't hear that. There was no element of surprise left, and where was Maya? McMillan kept her eyes open for the Vulcan. However, the door on the left fell outwards, towards herself and Nicander, shocking the Radiant until she realized she had all but jumped into the doctor's arms in a panic. Nicander was busy himself, shielding his eyes from his actions, and as the smoke arose from all the destruction, McMillan began to cough, her sensitive nose suffering from the stench of burning metal.
Braving himself to face what he knew was inside, Lucan raised his head and stepped through the breached side of the sliding doors, entering the Temporal Observatory Lab. He could but hope they weren't too late. The winds have mercy...
McMillan, of all things, recklessly ventured forward, squinting at the smoke, her eyes glowing in a swirl of colours, whilst her palms began to light up, also swirling with colours and constantly moving, shifting. She placed herself ahead of Nicander, and to one side, semi-shielding him, and at the same time not obstructing him completely. She was instinctively bending the light around her. Aside from her fists and her eyes, the rest of her body seemed to be there one moment, and gone the next, with smoke and sparks shielding her from view further. Now where was Acreth and where was Maya?

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #53
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| Isolation Ward 02| USS Theurgy| Vector 02]

Like the Klingon nurse, Hayden was surprised when Hylota slapped him. She didn't condone the expression of violence, but she understood the frustration that preceded it. O'Connor knew the male nurse was under a lot of stress, personal as well as professional, but like Hylota, the counselor thought of him as a professional capable of doing his job under extreme stress. After all, he had reached out to assist Hylota when her labor began, so Hayden had hoped he would be in the right frame of mind, or at least as much of the right frame of mind as any of them could be in the middle of battle, with the ship fighting to stay afloat and with the crew fighting to stay alive. Hayden reminded herself to focus on Hylota and her words. The only thing that mattered right now was taking care of her and seeing her through this process, something that was only reinforced when Hayden heard the female Ovri's words. O'Connor could tell she was trying to maintain her focus and her calm, but the counselor could tell she was scared and trying very hard not to panic.

"I thought this delivery might be different if you conceived," Hayden replied with a reassuring nod. "I know we talked about the fact it may feel different and even more intense. I know it's frightening, Hylota, but I believe in you. I know your body knows what to do, and I promise, neither one of us are leaving you. You're okay, and we're not going to let anything happen to you. Just keep taking slow breaths. Do you want me to examine you?" O'Connor took note of the increasing fluid surrounding Hylota's opening. She knew things were progressing, and out of the corner of her eye, she kept an eye on Maal, who helpfully, seemed to calm down, and was heading for a tricorder. Although Hayden didn't really need an instrument just yet, she knew a scan could be useful soon, and besides, it would give the male nurse something to do, something to focus on.

Just as Hayden was about to take her own deep breath and once more focused on Hylota, she heard a noise and instinctively, she shielded Hylota. O'Connor didn't really know what was happening, but she knew enough to know something was falling apart, something major. As she rushed to shield the laboring Ovri, Hayden prayed. Hearing Maal roar, she winced as she saw the plating hit him and saw the spark. O'Connor opened her mouth to speak, but she realized, no sound came out. She fully expected to be electrocuted, and when she wasn't, a part of her couldn't move and didn't know what to think. The Klingon's roar startled her, but to his credit, he continued onward, eventually entering the pool with his prize tricorder. Suddenly, she felt guilty for ever yelling at him.

Just as she was about to apologize, she heard the blare of an intruder alert. Stifling a curse, she took a moment to consider her options. She had stashed a few weapons here, in anticipation of having to deliver Hylota during the battle. Thank God for small blessings. That was the one advantage of knowing the fight was a coming. "Maal, I have some phasers stashed in the locker up ahead. Will you stay with her while I get them? Our priority is still Hylota, but we need to be as prepared as we can to defend ourselves."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #54
[ Jona/Edena Rez | Main Bridge | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: Bridge crew, Sarresh Morali

Before Jona could respond to Sarresh, the shout of the Morali devotee sounded through the bridge. Jona stood no chance to turn around and look at the man or even fire a shot at Ives as the stun hit him full into the side. The Trill was swept off his feet and flew a meter to forward towards the captain's chair. The head of Edena slammed into the side of the chair, creating a large laceration on her temple. The blood flowing out quickly and drenching her spots in blood before soon enough her upper clothes got the same red color. Her breathing became erratic as the blunt force trauma sustained to her head would probably induce damage to her brain.

Jona felt the world drift off as the eyes of Edena narrowed, it was as if he was trapped in a tunnel, the vision seemingly distant while the other hosts now stepped up to their efforts to regain control. 'Enough!' shouted Edena in a bitter tone as she took control of the body. The Trill once having control back feeling every sore muscle and damaged part of her body. Yet Jona would not let this go without a fight. An internal power struggle ensued as Sarresh came to the Trill and gripped her by the hem.

The only thing the man could tell by now was that her breathing deteriorated rapidly. She was gasping for air as she whispered, murmured things to him. They'd be bearably be heard by the others as chaos ensued while they disarmed the follower. Sarresh could tell though Edena was in control "D-Don't..." she gasped with a weak voice as the bleeding was making it harder for her to focus on forming sentences "" she tried to continue as Jona regained control "Fool..." he managed to slip out as a grin before he spoke his final words once and for all "Elim Garak..." he said in a sigh before Edena grimaced in pain as she finally subdued the ghost of the past "...D-Dam-nit..." she gasped as she frowned and coughed up blood as well now. "He...He ma-... Jona.... Surpress..." was all she managed to bring out before she lost consciousness and laid there limp in his hands. With that Sarresh would be none wiser to what she tried to say nor get any info about who the message was aimed for or what the bigger plan was behind it.

[ Amelya Duv |Main Engineering | USS Theurgy | Vector 03 ] Attn: Lin Kae Rihen Neyah

Duv entered the smoldering room as their sensors went off due to the heat and lack of oxygen. The officer coming in behind her searched the room as Duv saw Kae standing by the console. The damage inflicted upon him devastating and probably lethal. Parts of his uniform were just ripped off his skin or intertwined with burnt flesh as it had smoldered it's way into the ensign. His right arm hanging loosely next to his body, at first sight Amelya assumed that either the muscles were damaged or a fracture was in place that prevented him from doing so. She rushed towards the ensign and stopped in front of him as the smell of burnt flesh reached her nostrils. Extensive damage to his left eye which could've been caused by an orbita fracture with damage to the eye nerve or just sheer force from the explosion and fire.

"Hello Doctor..can you tell Cameron I tried?"

Amelya smiled faintly and nodded "Sure ensign, sure, just set yourself down for me and try to relax right." she encouraged him as she scanned him. Initial scans indicated blood loss and dehydration due to the burn wounds, yet internal bleeding on multiple organs was detected as well and she made the call "Thea, I need you to beam Kae over to Sick bay as soon as possible. Beam him into an available surgical suite immediately and prepare staff for emergency surgery now." she said with a calm voice before she injected Kae with painkillers "Should make you feel a bit better right Ensign." she smiled as she knew he'd slip out of consciousness by the dosage or by the sheer damage that had already been dealt to him.

Next they were beamed out and Duv closed her eyes for a second before she felt back at him in the brightly colored Sickbay. "Nurse, start treatment on his major burns already and prepare everything for major surgery. What else do I need to see before I head in?" she asked as she wanted to take the time to look through the most urgent cases before she'd go into surgery. In the meantime she was already unbuttoning her uniform to get ready and change into surgical scrubs.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #55
[ PWO Rihen Neyah | Main Engineering | Vector 03 |  USS Theurgy ] Attn: MasterRat
Running through a starship while it was being fired at was not something Rihen had done before, and it was an experience she'd rather do without. She had managed to get to the conduit in time, had her chat with Duv, and now she passed through the sliding doors of the Main Engineering area again at a break-neck pace, nearly colliding with another engineer. Another phaser hit against the Vector's shields didn't help either, making her fall over on her side and hurt her arm against a console.

"Shade the moons!" she cried, her Risan curse barely heard as she climbed back on her feet, sweat stinging her eyes. With adrenaline pushing her, along with fear for Lin Kae's fate, she leaped towards the door where he'd been locked in - only to find both him and Doctor Duv gone. She had not made it in time to make sure her dear Kae was safe and sound, and could only hope Doctor Duv could treat him. Instead, she was left standing in the middle of Main Engineering, looking around at the chaos. "Thea? What's going on? How can I help?"

[Master Chief Kalmil is attempting to calibrate my core's upper matter injector nodes, potentially increasing my core's power output by 19,234 %. He will then attempt to treat his radiation exposure with Thorian brandy, which has a likely success ratio of 2,343 %. Proper medical attention is advised.]

"But I am no medic, can't you do anything?" she shouted over the din inside the battle-ravaged ship.

[A type three radiation field has been raised around the Chief as according to Ensign Kae's orders. I can make a site-to-site transport to sickbay, but given current tactical development, and in the interest of preserving my vector and its crew, it is advisable that Kalmil continues his task.]

"Okay, but keep an eye on him, will you? I have heard your Chief Engineers tend to end up in the morgue. If O'Connell doesn't make it back..."

Relieved to hear it, Rihen raised her mismatched eyes. She spotted Kalmil in his climb, and she could overhear a reply he got from the Battle Bridge too - barely above a whisper from his combadge given the distance. [This is the bridge. Copy that. We were wondering what was happening to our shields. Whatever you mean to do, do it quickly. Task Force Archeron is here. We are moving to reintegrate from Multi-Vector Assault Mode.. but Vector 01 is off course. MVAM or not, we will have to jump to Warp on short notice.]

Running over to a display, Rihen raised an image of Vector 01, seeing it keeling over whereas Vectors 02 and 03 were aligned for reintegration. "What is going on over there?" she said, eyes wide, while a whole fleet of Starfleeters were forming up around them. There were some kind of saucers out there too, blasting the fleet with green energy beams, and a lot of warp fighters still trading blows - impossible to tell if they were on their side or not. It was clear, however, that they wouldn't last much longer if they stayed. Even Rihen knew that Thea's Vectors weren't as quick on their own as when she was assembled and could use all three of her warp cores, and they needed every shred of speed they could muster. "We'll never make it out of here if we're split apart!"

There was a shimmer in the air above her, and she looked up - a wide smile touching her face. "Thea! You're back!"

Indeed, Thea's projection was up there with Kalmil, climbing alongside him. Rihen could hear her talking to him. "Master Chief," she said, her chameleon body suit shifting into its golden hue, "you are in no condition to continue. Tell me what you need me to do, and I will beam you back to Sickbay. I can do this without the risk of radiation exposure."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #56
[ Cmdr Carrigan Trent | Main Bridge | Vector 01 |  USS Theurgy ]

While things were still tense, the battle had started to turn.  The hulk of the Resolve had been dropped off, and instantly Trent found the weapons of the ventral aspect of Vector 01 useful again and he was able to add their weight of fire to the engagement.  But that relief was short-lived as Task Force Archeron dropped out of warp, and the order to call for their Asurian allies came.  With a nod, he keyed an open channel, sending omnidirectionally to avoid marking anyone's location, and he cut it off, the subspace equivalent of just keying the microphone on an old-fashioned radio set.

And an already confused situation got even more tangled, as a number of Asurian attack ships decloaked and joined the fray. 

But, despite being fully engaged in managing the battle in space, Trent was still paying some attention as to what was going on within the Bridge.  Until he heard the message that was broadcast across the whole Federation.  For a moment, a brief moment, he allowed his shoulders to sag; that had been a surprise, and he certainly had not idea how that had come to pass.  He and the Captain had reviewed the message and encoded it themselves.  It would have taken a master in encryption and communication protocols to modify it.  It would have taken Ravenholm or... Rez.  But he could not worry about that right now, not when the battle was getting thoroughly messed up.

As such, he did not get involved when there was phaserfire and further yelling.  The Captain had things in hand, or so it seemed, so he kept his focus where it was most needed.  So instead, he got on his comms even as some unknown ensign took the helm.  "All boarding parties, prepare for immediate retrieval.  Thea, you have my authorization to coordinate all transports."  There had been not specific orders to do so, but the mission was a wash; it was time to abort and cut their losses.  "All vectors, immediate reintegration; helmsman, follow the computer's prompts and and let the other vectors come to you, just keep us as steady as you can."  Then, he switched channels, this time to all fighters.  "All fighters and Allegiant combat landings and tactical docking!  Priority to Papa Bear,  Grey and White Wolves into the fighter and shuttle bays, Lone Wolves you board last.  All elements, you have no more than 90 seconds to park.  If you can't make it to the bay, latch onto the hull and we'll deal with you when we drop out of warp.  Lone Wolves and Allegiant, if you can't do either, you know the rendez-vous.  Asurian elements, we're aborting the mission; if you could cover us while we get set up to withdraw it would be much appreciated."

Then, he called out across the Bridge to the man at the helm.  "Helmsman, there's a set of pre-programmed coordinates in your console.  As soon as we've got all three vectors together, punch it to our best speed."

But he had one more order to give.  "Drone control, prepare for the bug-out sequence, tied to the helm for when we go to warp.  We've only got one crack at a clean escape, let's make it count."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #57
[ MCPO Nolak Kalmil | Main Engineering | Vector 03 |  USS Theurgy ]

The climb up the ladder had been one of the worst ideas he’d ever thought of doing. He was favoring his good arm the entire trip up the ladder, only using his left arm as sparingly as he could. Nolak’s left shoulder was now a massive swollen mass of pain, but he was determined to reach his goal. As he climbed he’d been quietly singing a classical sailor’s song from his native home, Blue Oceans and Fierce Winds. This upbeat shanty help kept his upward progress at a decent pace as he push blindly forward through the pain. He ignored the Battle Bridge update, because they were starting to get under his skin. He did smile at the thought that he was under their's as well.

As he neared the top, he heard the chime of the transporter materialize something into the engineering bay. Taking a moment to stop on the ladder he looked up and watched as Thea faded into view on the platform above him. He smiled for a moment before he continued up towards the top.

Master Chief, you are in no condition to continue. Tell me what you need to do, and I will beam you back to Sickbay. I can do this without the risk of radiation exposure.” He could hear her say as he made progress up the ladder.

Oh poppy-cock, I’m not going to Sickbay and that’s an order. No shenanigans, missy or I'll never let you hear the end of it.” He said with a hint of frustrated anger.

Now, once we are safely on our way away from this damn battle I’ll honor that request. Besides, I lied to you and the bridge. I haven’t a clue what I need to do at the top, besides a few recalibrations to your power grid; adjust the inflow of solid fuel matter; and whatever other impromptu hotwiring needed to make it all work. Something I need to do by hand, procedures that could very well be against Starfleet protocol and against your core programming.” Nolak, said between his breaths.

Anyways,” he continued, “I’ll need special treatment before I go to sickbay. My pheromone levels are no doubt off the charts, and if you recall last time I was taken to sickbay in this condition. I caused a spore outbreak. Who’s to say I can’t do that again. Beside it’s been four years and eight months since I last had a drink. So, I figure after cheating death I earned that bottle waiting for me.”  He finished his sentence just as he reached the top of the warp chamber.

He walked around Thea, on the upper warp platform slowly catching his breath. The top of the warp chamber was misty from a ruptured ventilation tube. The moisture was causing beads of water form over all the metal surfaces and display panels. Moving carefully he approached the main massive storage tank which held the primary fuel for the solid matter injectors for the warp core. He leaned forward using the towel sling he wiped the dew off the computer panel before gingerly replaced his left arm into it.

Nolak Kalmil, read the computer readouts, as Thea joined him up at the top. The golden hue from her body suit lit the shiny surface of the tank lighting up the dew drops and distorting their reflections with golden glitter. He reached behind the computer station and removed a wall panel exposing the wiring and a wooden box container intermingled in them. Nolak grabbed the box and returned to the computer station.

He brought up technical schematics of the warp tanks narrowing his search to where the intake valves were located and their various status display.  As he read the data he opened the small box and took out the bottle of dark red liquid.  The bottle was a clear blue in color, rounded at the bottom and twirled and tapered to the top with many façade sides. With the red liquor inside it gave the whole bottle a deep purple hue.  The top had been dipped in a black sealing wax and had alien engravings etched onto the top in the shape of smiling face with long fangs.

The ship shook from another phaser strike and the wooden box slid off the panel and clattered to the floor before toppling over the side walkway and down to the bottom of engineering. He looked over to Thea and said, “If you want to help out, monitor this station and give me stat read outs from the intake valves.” He points to the bar chart on the display, “Make sure I don’t go above this line here. I’m going underneath the tanks and manually adjust them while I drink this.” Nolak, tapped the bottle with his fingertips. “Thorian brandy isn’t a cure, but it will increase my resistance long enough for us to escape. Provided those morons on the Battle Bridge don’t squander this chance. They are lucky I haven’t just stripped all command functions from them yet. I think they are a bunch of amateurs from the looks of it.

Nolak took the tool belt off and then lied on his back and started to scoot under the massive tanks dragging the belt with him. He shuffled between tube ducts and power cables until he was next to the main junction where the tank valves and top of the warp drive merged. He peeled the wax off the top of the bottle, and could smell the rich alcoholic aroma as it tickled his nose.  He raised the bottle to his lips and took a huge burning swig. The effects from the strong liquor didn’t take long for him to feel it crawl through his body. The pain in his arm subsided and his mind became clear free to work on tanks with little pain.  A few swigs later he was singing his sailor shanty again while he rewired connections and modifying the power intakes/output to the warp core. He could hear Thea reading out figures from the station as he worked his mood brightened considerably.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #58
[ Lt Cmdr. Miles Renard | Mk III Valkyrie Cockpit | Wolf-01 |  Lone Wolves Squadron ] Attn: All Fighter Elements
The battle against all possible odds was still being fought around Starbase 84, and after Lieutenant Havenborn had succeeded to reach and neutralise the CAG of the interceptor forces, the rest of them were uncoordinated - only the White Wolves that hadn't sided with their SCO remaining as a serious threat. The fighter elements from the Theurgy and the Resolve would never have lasted as long as they had if it hadn't been for Terror, Sniper, Dragon, Angel, and the rest who defected. The last respite they had, even as Task Force Archeron appeared, was that Starbase 84 had ceased firing at them all.

Yet Task Force Archeron was a whole fleet of capital ships, and Renard knew that White Wolves or not, this battle could only end in one way if they con-

[All fighters and Allegiant combat landings and tactical docking!  Priority to Papa Bear,  Grey and White Wolves into the fighter and shuttle bays, Lone Wolves you board last.  All elements, you have no more than 90 seconds to park.  If you can't make it to the bay, latch onto the hull and we'll deal with you when we drop out of warp.  Lone Wolves and Allegiant, if you can't do either, you know the rendezvous.  Asurian elements, we're aborting the mission; if you could cover us while we get set up to withdraw it would be much appreciated.]

Miles, along with the rest of the fighter pilots out there, certainly did not have the luxury of listening to the contents of the Simulcast. They were in the middle of a dogfight, so how could they? Therefore, it was beyond his understanding why the XO said that the mission was being aborted. He had seen the Simulcast go out on his console, thought they had been victorious, and that some of Task Force Archeron might belay their attacks against the Theurgy. Why are we aborting the mission?

There was no time to question orders, however. Wringing the last power he had from his half-functioning engines, he set the course, dealing out his orders to all allied fighter elements. "This is Wolf Leader," he said, his slitted eyes following the saucers as they moved to defend their retreat. "White Wolves, you dock in the Lower Shuttle Bay. Plenty of room there for you all. Grey Wolves - Salvo and Kestrel - you dock in the Upper Shuttle Bay. Lone Wolves, make one circular pass to cover them, but prepare to dock as well immediately after completing your arc. We have virtually no time, so we might have to use our mag-locks and strap down on Thea's hull while she- "

His port wing was suddenly torn asunder by two high-energy phaser beams, and he made ocular contact with two White Wolves descending against him. He bared his teeth at them, yanked his stick back, and opened fire in his own defence - unable to even begin his circular pass around Thea's Vectors before he engaged with the Valravn fighters still loyal to the Orcus' CO.

Knowing he would never be able to dock with Thea, Miles' pulse phasers and mass drivers were both firing into the faces of the approaching White Wolves. I'm sorry Thea...

OOC: Retreat, retreat! :)

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #59
[ Lt Simon Tovarek | Main Bridge | Vector 01 |  USS Theurgy ]

The chaos that had been unleashed on the bridge after the false upload being depicted and the demise of Rez had startled some. Simon was slightly shaken behind his station as orders were given and a makeshift pilot took the helm from the Resolve. Simon wondered if the pilot would be up to the task. The ship very different from the Resolve. His eyes moved away from Veradin as he looked over at Rez as Morali seemed to get a feeling of human desperation as he seemed in shock. The turmoil behind the columns as security had overmastered the follower of Morali. Leading him back off the bridge as the man struggled feisty. Simon took a few moments to regain his own composure as he glanced at Natalie who was closest to him. He focused back to the task at hand as there was far too much going on to slip attention like this once more.

As he peered at his station he received the feedback of the drones. This being rather fulfilling, despite not being designed for full on space combat the drones had managed to kill off 8 ships in totals. Varying from severe disabling them to full on destruction. On top of that the flight paths showed that the drones did what they were supposed to do for this specific battle. They had confused and restricted enemy movements to less aggressive tactics as their signatures showed them to be full on Mk  III  Valkyries. Simon chuckled behind his station, despite the loss of life regretted by the mission.

Simon looked up as Trent addressed drone control, the final task of the Mk I Tovarek drones as they had proven their use so far as decoys and disruptors. Their final tasks would be a delicate one as Trent stated they'd only have on shot at this. As the pilots got new orders to fly their drones to the helm instead of harassing the straggling fighters and pursuers, Simon calibrated the drones for their final sequence. The standing orders were to line up behind the Theurgy and defend it from any lucky hits Acheron might fire upon them, the drones being used as a flying materialistic shield. However, their true purpose would soon be revealed. "Drones have received orders and are lining up, just tell me when." he reported back as he waited patiently for his creations to wrap this mission up.

[ Lt Thomas Ravon | Hybrid Fighter Cockpit |  Lone Wolves Squadron ] Attn: All Fighter Elements and Theurgy Flight Deck.

Hearing the direct order of Trent, Thomas looked around to know what his position before he plotted a course. Theoretically he had the fastest fighter in the fleet unless you counted on Covington's Reaver. Thomas acknowledged on the order of Miles to make a final pass before landing. Yet Thomas was unsure his fighter could handle a landing with clamps on the hull. "Crash landing it is..." he murmured under his breathe as he put the paddle to the metal. The jerky controls making his flight path not as smooth as he imagined it would be. Flying at maximum velocity, the fighter left an eerie blue like deposit as damage to the various systems began to weigh through.

In his final pass, Ravon unloaded everything he had on the oncoming targets that even dared to venture closer to the Theurgy. The combined firepower shredding through or scaring off any incoming fighters before his arc was cut short by an explosion just under his wings. His weapons had overheated as cooling had died down as he fired too much too quickly "Blew my load..." he smirked as he thought about the pun before he struggled to line his fighter up with the hangar bay. "Coming through! Theurgy Flight Deck, I'd clear the deck if I were you guys... Coming in hot!" he warned as he rocketed past a few Valkyries before slamming the brakes on the abomination. Reverse thrusters, something that had to go for a landing gear and everything that looked like airbrakes were deployed as he screamed into his helmet.

The fighter came in far too fast before it made rough contact with the flight deck. The gear snapped off and the thrusters struggled to get the fighter to a stop. The bulk head coming awfully close in just seconds, Thomas jerked the joystick making him slide over to his side before he almost got his rear against the wall. He fired up the primary thrusters and throttled up in hope that the forward speeding thrusters would prevent him from becoming a pancake against the flight deck wall. He nudged the wall effectively before the craft came to a full stop and powered down as he fell back against his seat and rsted his head against the back of his chair "Covington is going to fucking kill me..." he said with a dreaded tone in his voice as he knew Papa Bear would be properly pissed off at the damage he inflicted.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #60
[ Zelosa Ejek | Conference Lounge | U.S.S. Theurgy ] Attn: Vystori, Kaligos, FollowTomorrow, Auctor Lucan, Anyone else 

Watching the feed from the conference lounge, it was like being part in the worst sort of holonovel. The message they sent didn’t seem to be what the crew of Theurgy were expecting, and then a female trill by the name of Jona had forced her way onto the bridge. Whilst revealing her master plan, a fight had broken out. Despite being only mere meters away, Ejek wasn’t too worried but then something happened that chilled her blood.

In the struggle a shot rang out, hitting a nearby crewmember. The helmswoman was dead, faceplanting the console with a dull clunk before tumbling clumsily to the floor. As she fell, her lifeless flesh activated controls upon the console, pulling Theurgy into a slow list. It took moments for the internal dampeners to kick in and Ejek pulled her eyes from the viewscreen to concentrate on steadying herself. Only when she found her footing, did she look back up, seeing something that caused her to blanch.

On the floor of the bridge, the deceased crewman laid, her unseeing eyes staring vacantly into the abyss. It wasn’t the savagery of what had happened that had prompted Ejek’s stomach to twist, it was the face. There was no damage from the impact against the console nor any sign of surprise, the shot obviously having taken her life instantly, however the thick ridges around her eyes and the inverted teardrop on her forehead betrayed her kind. Ejek had just witnessed the brutal massacre of someone from her own race.

Around her she heard voices and could sense movement, but she didn’t really pay attention, tunnel vision focussed her onto that inert olive flesh. Ejek was unable to look away, the shock had caused her to freeze. During the final stage of the Dominion War, the Jem’Hadar had taken to the street, slaughtering millions. When they came for her and her colleagues at the Cardassian Bureau of Identification, Ejek had hidden herself in a storage locker. The screams of her co-workers still haunted her and no matter what Commander Kelar, the chief counsellor on Covenant – the ship that saved her, had said, there were times she couldn’t help by imagine their faces. Still, even in her most horrifying dreams, it failed to even come close to the real thing.

How did she not know there were other Cardassians within Starfleet? 

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #61
[Wenn Cinn & Selena Ravenholm | Communication Tower | Starbase 84] Joint Post by Arista & ch’Xinya Attn: Anyone else

Wenn Cinn knew something was amiss as soon as he saw Ives, shirtless, holding his sword. However, it wasn’t until Ives announced himself as a former Starfleet officer that Cinn tried to step in. As Ives, if that even was truly him, continued to blather on, Cinn moved to a nearby console, scanning across the LCARS interface for any obvious way to stop the broadcast. In his head he knew it couldn’t, that was the point of the whistle-blower system and why it had been chosen in the first place.

As fake Ives continued his message, the lies spouting from his captain’s lips was causing Cinn to get tense. All they had worked for, all that had been sacrificed, now being washed away. While he knew that he didn’t need public vindication, but it could have made their ongoing journey easier.

“No, no no, no no, NO!” He spoke softly at first, the words getting faster and louder until they crescendoed, culminating with the slamming of his fist into the console before him. Despite his great strength, it wasn’t enough to break the screen but it did flicker, wavering, before continuing its normal operation. Again, they had betrayed. Searching his mind, Cinn remembered the mission documents. Who oversaw creating the message? Who handled it when processing? Who had access following its completion?

Building a mental list of subjects, there was one who stood out easily. It was someone who had access to the message, someone who had the ability to influence technology to their will, someone who had joined Theurgy from the ship of traitors that was Harbinger

After all this time, had it been a long con? Conspiracy theories whirled in Wenn Cinn’s head as he turned. Eyeing his first suspect, the cyborg before him.

“What did you do?”

Considering how much phaser fire there was behind the door they probably should've been helping there, but Selena wanted to watch at least the opening of the broadcast to make sure that it was working.  As soon as Captain Ives appeared on the screen whatever celebration that was on her face was gone.  This was not the message she saw recorded.  Color drained from her face as the doppelganger’s words spread throughout Federation space, and her fingers started to fly across the controls, trying to find any sort of override or abort.  So absorbed into her search she jumped at the sound of Cinn's fist against the next console.

Cinn's glare was beyond accusatory and it took quite a bit of Selena's willpower to not shrink from it.  "I broadcast the message I was given, nothing more!" she fired back defensively, but immediately softened.  "I should've reviewed it first...." Her own fist slammed onto the console, eliciting a beep of protest.  "I knew I should've watched it first!"

From her reaction, it was obvious that Cinn had jumped to the wrong conclusion, however, his frustration could not be alleviated so easily. Whilst Ravenholm hadn’t bothered to check the message before broadcasting, there was still the issue of whom had changed it in the first place. Looking back the cyborg, his mind whirred on how to fix this.

“Can you reverse the editing? Some form of recovery?” He looked over the console before him, previously the recipient of his wrath, but Cinn had no idea what was possible with the technology available. “I need to call the captain. Maybe Stark can send us a new copy?”

As Cinn brought his hand to his chest, he felt the telltale whine of the transporter beam. They were being brought back! There was no real time to do anything beside a sidelong look at Ravenholm before the beam enveloped them both.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #62
[ Captain Jien Ives | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All
As soon as the Morali devotee had been subdued and unarmed, Jien had made his way over to Edena's possessed body and Sarresh Morali, eyes wide as he saw how the former Ash'reem tried to make the bleeding Trill talk - to tell them who'd just learned the encrypted truth hidden in the Simulcast. Through the incoherent mumbling and all the blood from Edena's head, Jien realised what could be happening before his eyes. The whole side of the Trill's head had a deep gash from the edge of the chair. A single name was all that came through, barely overriding the din on the bridge. Then, Edena's eyes rolled back, and Jien cursed under his breath.

"Emergency medical transport, now! Thea?"

[Yes, Captain,] came the voice from the intercom, and within a couple of seconds, Edena Rez's lifeless body was beamed out of the bridge. Controlling his breathing, he saw an unknown officer take Lieutenant S'Iti's place at the helm. It had to be someone from the Resolve, perhaps the same person who had been at the helm of the Luna-class ship when it docked with their Vector. There was shouting all over the bridge, and the Vector sustained a barrage of phaser fire from the closest starships. Sparks rained over Ives, but he felt numb, looking around himself as everything fell apart.

From the onset of the mission, things had been devolving into failure, all the possible things that could go wrong had: The early Red Alert. The unwillingness from Hawthorne to heed them. The Orcus and Captain Slayton. Jona Rez sabotaging the mission and ending up with a likely skull fracture. Aisha S'iti killed by one of the Morali cultists. Worst of all, no copy of the real Simulcast to send. Now, Task Force Archeron was still trying to hail them, Sankolov meaning to deal his threats while tying his forces around them like a noose. Jien looked at Carrigan Trent, saw his lips moving. His First Officer was already ordering to abort the mission and to prepare for retreat. It was the right thing to do, what they had agreed upon.

Yet as Jien looked at the viewscreen - seeing Starbase 84 behind the moving ships and the exchange of phaser fire - the failure was so bitter. They had been so close. They were on the very verge of making their call resound through the entire Federation, and yet they were about to pull away - to surrender the chance to throw the corruption into garish light.


No, he could not accept it. He had to beam over there. He could send the Simulcast - live - the evidence be damned. Somehow, he could get the word out on his own, convince them without the Acreth recordings, as long as he gained access to that communication array. "Thea," he said, the impulse having taken hold already. Yes, he would go there, clear the names of his crew, and set the record straight. Get them all the allies they needed. He could do it! He just...

...and then his eyes fell on Aisha S'Iti again, and the request for a transport turned to ashes in his mouth. In the Cardassian's lifeless form, he saw what would become of his crew if he did it. He looked around, trembling, at the gathered faces. They might not leave me behind. They would remain, fighting in chance he could return. Yet Sankolov had already come, and the Asurian forces could not rely on the element of surprise for much longer. Already, Sankolov was regrouping to deal with the Asurian threat, and they were already suffering losses. At this rate, the Theurgy would be destroyed within a couple of minutes. Perhaps less.

Moreover, Jien found himself questioning his own motives; Jona's words echoing in his mind as he balanced on the verge of impulse. What was most important to him? Mission or crew? What was the limit to extremes he would take in order to see the mission through? Was he truly considering leaving the crew he had sworn to protect behind in order to cry his call to arms across all Federation space? If he left them, they might all die, so even if he would actually get another message out, the evidence was lost, and it would just be for the sake of his own personal redemption he did it. Jona had said he only sought to clear his own name. No, sacrificing his entire crew for the mission in such a way was unthinkable. And what if Jona was right? What if I do send the Federation into civil war? Can I gamble the cost of truth, if it means the cost of my crew, as well as millions of lives? Just so that the nature of the enemy might be exposed, and to set the record straight?

A voice. Repeating itself.

[Yes, Captain?] It was Thea, and Jien blinked, swallowed as he looked once more at the looming figure of Starbase 84. The Simulcast was already sent, authenticating the falsehood of the public idea about him and the Theurgy. They had suffered grievous losses, and all the deaths would have been for naught if the aborted the mission. All the preparation, the drills and every single step that had led up to the mission would have been in vain. Never had they been so close to accomplishing their mission. Never had the idea to cut his losses been so difficult. All that Jona had left them with was a name.

Elim Garak. The Federation's Cardassian ambassador. He had just been sent the truth. He, alone, could be the sum of all their losses.

"Let us know when the boarding teams are accounted for," he said to the A.I., feeling numb as he returned to the Captain's chair. As he sat down, he adjusted his jacket and changed... to her female form. "...and when the surviving wolves are back in the den. Helm! Trust Thea to guide your hand, let the Allegiant dock, and then go to maximum warp as soon as the reintegration sequence is complete. Also, if we are to stand any chance of escaping, you must give Mister Tovarek here a brief count-down before you do. Understood?"

Jien's full lips were pressed into a thin line, and her oaken eyes were hard as she stared at the viewscreen. Hopefully, at least their escape plan might work... when all else had failed.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #63
[ MCPO William Robert O’Connell | Transporter Room Three | Deck 12 | USS Theurgy

In the meantime, in transporter room three on Deck Twelve four prone figures appeared on the transporter pads one by one in a shower of sparks.  They were joined by two standing figures, first the short slender graceful form of the ship’s holographic interface Thea, and finally the taller bulker form of Master Chief Petty Officer William Robert “Billy Bob” O’Connell.  O’Connell was saying something as he faded into view.  “Quick!  Grab mah… damn, damn, DAMN!” he grumbled, shouting his last word.  “Y’ jest had t’ beam me out at jest that moment, didn’t yuh?”

“Sorry Master Chief,” Petty Officer Tenchi Koizumi apologized as the stretcher parties standing beside him behind the transporter console came forward to take Billy Bob’s away team to sickbay.  “You know how it goes.  In the meantime we need to clear the transporter pads immediately.”

“You don’t have t’ tell me th’ drill,” O’Connell grumbled unprofessionally as he lumbered off the transporter and stepped to the side to let the medical teams do their work.  “Ah jest hope that wasn’t all fur nothin’,” he muttered as he undid the straps on his webgear, blissfully unaware that thanks to treachery of the Trill symbiont’s lingering personality of Jona Rez, the mission had been compromised before it had begun.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #64
[ Chris "Husker" Slayton & Lieutenant Talidenai zh'Idenna | Lone Wolf 04 and White Wolf 01 | Space around Vector 2 | USS Theurgy ] Attention: Warp-fighter related

Husker was finishing off another one of the last hostile interceptors when the message to do a full on combat landing came through from his SCO and he quickly checked around the area before opening up the private channel to Terror. "As much as I love hunting with you again, Tali, I need you to start getting your pups together and aboard the Theurgy if what the Fox said is on the nose."

Terror couldn't help but roll her eyes as she simply said "Alright but make sure that you don't forget the cat this time." before she quickly opened up her squadron's channel and shouted "Alright my pups, get your collective asses in gear and do what Lone Wolf Actual told you to do..." before she noticed that she suddenly had an additional flight under her command that had been on the sidelines only a little bit earlier. "Witch King, are you in the game on my side or..."

<I'm on your side, Terror, as is my flight. Had to make sure that the dark path was clear first.> came back the usual cryptic response from the man with just a cryptic history as the rest of his flight.

"That's good to hear, make sure that your cryptic ass along with the rest of your flight is aboard the Theurgy before it leaves. Last thing I need to hear is you bitching about missing your ride!" Terror said at which point she could've sworn that she heard Aria, Witch King's RIO, snickering.

<I won't but I do want to make sure that the Fuzzy Flyer gets aboard as well.> came back Witch King's reply.

Terror nodded as she recognized the tough little shuttle from the dog fighting earlier. "Understood. Keep her close and make sure she gets home as well, Cam. See you back on the boat."

Nothing more needed to be said as Witch King's flight gathered around the shuttle for support as Terror moved on as she noticed that the local airspace was slowly becoming devoid of the strange saucer like ships that had been helping them only a short time before as she looked for her partner. "Terror to Sniper, time to rack your rifle and come home." she said into their private channel.

<As Husker once said,  you're no fun.> came back the albino vulcan's voice as her fighter slowly descended from a small cluster cloud of debris to move next to her's. <I do believe that I am the squadron ace by sheer kill count this time.>

"I don't think they award that title by being a sneaky bitch, lover." Terror said with a hint of a smile on her lips.

<Not the point, Terror. Now I have my rifle racked..let us go and join our new den and see where the winds take us now..yes?> Sniper said, her usually emotionless voice held just enough of a question that Terror could almost hear a tone of anticipation in it.

"As always, my love, as always." Terror said as the two prototype fighters quickly looped around and headed to the back that Iron Fox had ordered them to report to.

Mean while Husker on the other hand was now alone with his thoughts as he quickly went around the air space, looking for the exo-suit markers for two specific pilots in a dire hope that either one of them could've escaped their planes in time, dusting several more hostile fighters as he went as he noticed that Thea had placed a counter on one of his screens that marked the time until he absolutely needed to be back in the Barn.

But he couldn't just leave without checking to see if THEY had survived somehow despite what he'd been told and saw..he couldn't allow himself to fly again if he didn't.

He quickly tore around the space, checking where first Gun-Shy and then Morrigan's valks disappeared in great flashes of pyrious light and when his scans came up with nothing, nothing at all for either one of them-he slammed his left gauntleted fist hard against a section of his cockpit that didn't have anything important and then checked the timer, his eyes widening as he saw that he only had a scant amount of time left before the Theurgy was going to jump out of the combat zone.

Husker did a quiet and quick little prayer for the two women and then executed the quickest and tightest immelian turn that he think anyone could've ever done and flew his Valk as fast as he could before dropping the last of his micro-torpedoes into a couple of White Wolves that had gone against Terror as a fitting yet brief memorial for his two lost squadron mates.

"Computer, pump everything that we have into the engines..redline the damned things if you need to but make sure that we get to our assigned landing zone before the timer runs out." Husker said as he started to feed the energy from the now empty launchers directly into the engines as well as he felt his Valk speed up even faster.

*Understood, Ensign* was the only reply that he got.

Husker was then quiet as he focused all of his energy into his flying, he felt a strange inner calm start to come over him as he threaded his way between clouds of debris from all manner of ships, attempts at weapons fire and all manner of other things as everything just seemed to start folding into one and other as he completed his last circular pass on pure instinct and he noticed that Lone Wolf Leader was still in the field.

"Husker to Iron Fox, are you coming or do you need a hand?" he asked in all serious as he started to adjust his alignment to use his tractor beams if it meant being able to save at least one person out of the two that he had failed in his own opinion this day.

[Provisional Ensign Lin Kae| Trauma Center| Vector 03| USS Theurgy] Attn: Nolan

Lin could only smile the best that he could as he saw the good doctor's efforts but didn't feel anything as the combination of medication and pain had dulled his senses to nothing as she helped him to be more in a sitting position. "Good..tell her that she and Soo  shouldn't stand over there,'ll mess up their hair." he mumbled through numb lips as his good eye rolled up into the back of his head as he finally went under.

Lin didn't feel and nor could he feel anything else that was going on because at that moment, his mind had pulled it's self into a state where Soo was there with him, her eyes full of concern for him as he just allowed his broken body to lay there in her arms and just allowed himself to feel like Cameron had told him to do only a day or so before..

But in the real physical, "Meat World", his breathing got shallower and shallower as while the drugs helped him with the pain they also lessened his need to focus on breathing as his badly damaged body started to realize just how badly things were for him..

[ Lieutenant Keval ch'Rayya | Conference Room | USS Theurgy ] Attention: Arista, et al

In all of his years of service to the Federation, Lieutenant Thy'lek KevalEndilev ch'Rayya could only think of one thing to say that best summed up everything that had happened in this day and what he had seen up to this point as well including the horrible "message" that painted Captain Ives and hir mission in a bad image, the gloating arrogance of the Trill woman and her actions on the Theurgy's main bridge that lead to the death of the ship's chief navigator.

"Well fuck." was all that he could think to say.

But once that one thing was said, he turned around to look at his fellow officers from the Resolve and saw the expressions on their collectives faces and much like that one day so many years prior that lead them to their long trek back to the Federation, he didn't know what to say or do that could help them with any of their feelings at that moment.

Keval the noticed Zelosa and her expression and then followed her gaze back to the screen then back to her, back to her expression and slowly he started to think of the one thing that he could think to do to help-something that he helped a fellow officer and friend do once many years ago.

Without saying a word, he calmly and quietly walked over to the Cardassian woman and did something that wasn't usual for the Resolve's Chief of Tactical and Second Officer to do, he gently took her by the shoulders and pulled her into a hug and just held her, hoping that the physical touch would be enough to pull her out of the frame of mind he recalled from his former fellow officer on the Athena on that dark day so many years ago.

It had been hard to do nothing for such a period of time, but if he could help Zelosa..then he would accept any punching or hitting.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #65
[ Command Center | EOC Tower | Starbase 84 ] Joint-Post by Striker N7 & Auctor Lucan

"Guys, we'll have to get moving soon!" Ensign Henshaw tried to warn the rest, yet her voice was hoarse and lacking in power to carry over the fighting parties.

When Ida raised her eyes, climbing back on her feet, she did not just see the viewscreen. In front of the display loomed the sillouette of Hawthorne, yanking Drauc's rifle out of his hands and sending him rolling across the floor as he did so. Hardly missing a step, he stepped up to Zaraq with the rifle in hand, and brought it straight down into the Klingon's head. The sound of the thick skull breaking like a melon against the floor hit Ida's antennae, and she saw his lifeless limbs twitching.

Leon "Striker" Marquez had almost fully dodged Hawthorne's earlier fatal swipe with his bionic hand, owing his survival to the Andorian Lieutenant Marquez was fast, but even he was caught off-guard and Ian's backhand blow knocked him several feet away, leaving the XO clutching at a gash that tore through his outfit from navel to ribcage. Wincing, he lept to his feet and gasped when he caught a glimpse of the new arrivals on-screen "What the Hell?!" Striker blurted out.

By Marquez's own estimate, the alien vessels numbered at least thirty ships, he calculated the odds at a glance, but he assumed there had to be more. Whatever the friend-or-foe situation was, Starfleet was facing the horrifying prospect of losing many good people today.  The death of the Klingon was one of them. For these precious seconds, Striker had time for one last gambit. Striker took his defiant stance, giving diplomacy one last attempt, gauging that this skirmish was going badly, and he had to stall for time, if only for a moment to tip the odds for his allies.  Recuperating for a moment as he cradled a cracked rib, Striker finalized his last stand.

Rolling away from the commotion, Marquez followed the security officers' example and re-secured his powerless but still-useful carbine. It was considered unwise aboard the USS Resolve to use phaser weapons as blunt instruments, but Striker didn't care; he had to use as much--if any at all, force as he needed to neutralize the alien controlling the Station Captain-- and millions of other lives depended on it.

"IAN HAWTHORNE!" Marquez shouted, drawing the Captain's attention, "This is your last chance! In the name of the Resolve and the others you've betrayed, Stand Down!"  Marquez took a sideways stance, hiding his carbine behind his frame, held by the barrel like an axe with the gun's handgrip to be used as the point of impact, like an executioner's axe-head.

"I already had the Resolve destroyed," said Hawthorne with rueful excitement and turned towards Leon Marquez, bloodied rifle in hand. The eldritch timbre of his voice echoed beyond the fabric of their mortal existence. "And while Admiral Sankolov will finish what I started... I will enjoy eating its First Officer's face while his heart still beats in his chest..."

Knowing Hawthorne was immune to taunts, Striker managed sneered again as he managed one anyway. "All right, Let's settle this. Man-to-*Freak!*"

Then, the creature that used to be Ian Hawthorne leaped against Marquez, his speed and strength no longer bound by the laws of physics in their universe.

In one quick, instinctive movement, Marquez barely managed to throw himself away when Hawthorne lept at him. As Ian passed, Marquez had begun swung the carbine at the point of maximum impact in the opportunity he had. He hit the back of the traitor's neck, and they both hit the metal floor at the same time. Marquez bared his own teeth as he growled angrily.  "I'll be eating revenge at the temperature your planet will burn at, you murderous bloodsucker!." Marquez mocked the alien's own spiteful enunciations, making direct eye contact with the murderer of his vessel and possibly, entire crew, just as the Aerowing appeared outside the glass canopy of the Command Center.

[Going somewhere, Hawthorne?] The sound of Captain Kendrick's voice filled the area, and he opened fire into the Command Center, shattering transparent aluminium glass and tearing the area apart with his Aerowing's pulse phasers.

Marquez followed his instincts, ducking for cover nearest the Andorian Security officer at the moment of Captain Kendrick's timely intervention, even though Striker's carbine was clearly damaged, it could probably still work. Glass and phaser energy riddled the area. During the ensuing chaos, he had time to silently thank the Andorian for saving his life from earlier, making a silent prayer for Captain Kendrick, figuring he would owe his life to his friend and Captain. Leon  wished he could salute his CO one last time, the most he could utter before his wound took his toll on his consciousness was "Thanks, Ken... Vaya con Dios."

Ida, having covered her eyes as they were being fired at, caught the pinkskin that had ended up behind the same duty station as her. He was bleeding from his side, likely from Hawthorne's metal hand tearing uniform and flesh alike. This, Ida could make out without much trouble, but her immediate concerns were elsewhere. She tried to see Henshaw, Sel and the Romulan named Drauc, but neither of them were could be seen from her vantage point - merely the crack of exploding EPS conduits and metal debris cast towards one side of the center. Whoever was flying the auxillary craft outside the glass dome of the center meant to kill Hawthorne, as much was clear, but Ida could not make any more sense out of it than that.

[This is Thea,] came a faint voice from Ida's combadge, [the shields are down. Transporting all of you out of there now. Energising.]

Before the shimmer of the transporter beam encompassed her and the bleeding pinkskin in her lap, Ida laid eyes on Captain Hawthorne. He was still on his feet, shoulder and neck blistered and burned from pulse phaser energy, and yet still on his feet. He was talking into his combadge from behind his cover - calling for reinforcements. That, was all Ida managed to see...

...before she vanished from the scene, along with the happenstance ally in their aborted fight.

OOC: Command Center layout: (Concept Art by John Eaves)
Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy

Lieutenant (J.G.) Alessia "Angel" Garcia
Valravn Fighter Pilot, USS Theurgy
"You're not the only one with a gun,"

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #66
[ Amelya Duv | Sickbay | USS Theurgy Vector 02] Attn: Medical staff, Dr Nicander, Lin Kae

While Amelya was being scrubbed ready for surgery on Lin Kae, the nurse informed her that his breathing was getting shallow and superficial. The drugs taking their effect yet compromising his breathing "Intubate him if need be, keep his breathing going, watch for burn damage on the larynx and report back to me if it starts swelling. We need to move quick before his lungs shut down due to the trauma or before he decides to slip through our fingers. Prepare a dose of adrenaline and epi for when we need it." she said clearly as she was about to head in to the surgical suite. The intubation was a needed as otherwise Lin's larynx would swell up from the burn wounds and block his lungs from receiving any fresh air.

However it was just then when Edena Rez was beamed in from Vector 01. Two security officers showed up and stood next to her on the biobed, their assault rifles at the ready as Duv frowned. "What happened to her and why are you here?" she asked the guards as one replied "Miss Rez has been part of the failure of the simulcast. She was shot at close range by one of ours with a rifle on stun. The impact caused for a laceration across her head," he briefed her as he got the short summary from security on the bridge. The Trill doctor shook her head as she walked over to her fellow Trill and looked at the readings of the biobed. The readings caused her face to pull a bit paler as she felt the blood seep away from her head. "S-She's dying..." she whispered under her breath as she closed her eyes and thought of a way to get her through this.

She tapped her combadge as she looked over the readings of the biobed. "Doctor Nicander, This is Duv, Edena Rez has been brought in Sickbay with a serious laceration and trauma.  Readings show that the pressure inside her head is rising rapidly so we'll need to act fast. I remember she was your patient, so how do you wish to proceed on this matter? I needn't tell you how time critical this situation is doctor." The damage that had been caused throughout her brain was extensive according to the scans. Yet that wasn't what troubled Amelya, what troubled her was that if they managed to save the life of Rez it would only be a question in what condition she'd be able to live. The alternative was already clearing up in Duv her mind, as an unjoined Trill, she could risk the procedure of having a joining. However risky it was in these conditions and despite the previous joining with the Rez symbiont itself had failed. "An alternative is that I stabilize her as best as I can and prepare her for a joining."

"Doctor! We're losing Lin." came an alarmed response from the surgical suite as she closed her eyes "I'll intubate him myself. Inform me when Nicander arrives," she said swiftly as she shot a look at the security staff "I hope for your sakes that you won't cause any more victims in this sickbay or I will have you both raported to your superiors." she growled as she never liked the idea of armed men in a room like this. "Bring Edena to the surgical suite in Nicander's office. Prepare a set for neuro surgery! We need to prevent her brain from clamping her nerves down her spine." she said to the next nurse that was appointed to the new patient.

With that Amelya rushed back to the surgical suite to perform the intubation on Lin Kae, she only hoped Nicander would reply shorty so she could move things forward while she tried to stabilize Kae.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #67
[ Sar-unga Neleo | Communications tower -> Transporter Room | Starbase 84 -> Theurgy ]

The excitement and tension built up in the room around them as Ravenholm worked. Sar-unga couldn't see her doing anything in particular, given they were in seperate rooms, but she knew how Ravenholm worked. She plugged in and sat there, but she assumed hacking into a Starbase required a lot of concentration and hard work that just happened to be invisible to the non-robotic. She was at least working as hard as everyone else, she thought. Her eyes flicked to another would-be intruder, head ducking behind cover, and she and him struggled to land shots on one another. Dyan, as usual won. The good guys always win.
Speaking of, suddenly Ravenholm was done. The cyborg behind her finished the transmission, and though Sar-unga was busy covering them, she couldn't help but feel a sudden wave of pride and joy. Finally, she thought! Victory was tangible in her hands. She felt untouchable.

And yet, her downfall happened so quickly and suddenly that she would not have the ability to describe what had happened later. The message had sent, she was covering her team, and before she knew it there were far more officers than she had been expecting. She fired fast and hard, but she must not have been paying close enough attention. Something hit her across the side of her face and her vision blacked out as she fell down, so she never got a view of her assailant's face.

She wasn't knocked out, but her vision was made spotty, and her confidence disturbed. Suddenly this fight wasn't so smooth sailing; she tried to kick them in the knees, she misjudged the distance, they moved back. She fired and missed, but she could get up and fire, fire again-- something shot her shoulder and she felt it numbed out, her trigger finger turned loose rubber, her arm, shoulder and chest very cold and filled with little needles, and parts of her vision still sparkling with flickers and streaks of light...

...Or was that actually real? She suddenly felt light, unreal as her body was torn apart atom-by-atom and reconstructed in the same way. And then she was in a transporter room. Familiar, a part of home, and filled with absolutely no hostiles.

The sudden 'pain' of numbness in her shoulder and chest, and the more standard aching pain in her head all reminded her that this was a very real fate, she could trust her eyes. She and her teammates were beamed aboard the Theurgy. Mission: Over. A deep laugh rumbled up from her chest.

But wait—this wasn't over yet. Right about now, she should be able to see the best part of the battle. Her good arm still wrapped around her gun, she trotted off the transporter pad and ran to the nearest console, shoving some poor ensign out of the way without even so much as an 'excuse me'. She tapped up a command, she wanted to see the battlefield.

And she saw, her eyes lit up like a child on Christmas.  She saw her people, her blood and kin in their saucers, and for the brief moment she had the console she could only see victory....

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #68
[ Chief Marshal Akri Sitaio | A.R.B. K'thill | Outside the Battlefield ] Attn: All

The cold brightness of the saucer did nothing to quell the passionate, burning fire in Chief Marshal Sitaio's eyes as she gazed across her battlefield. Her viewscreen showed both the battlefield as it was, and a holographic model of the field with targets of interest marked. She saw her people, she saw them fight well. They gave the newly arrived fleet no mercy, saucers firing in multiple directions as they defied the overwhelming opposition. As the shear of their beams cut shields and hulls, they tore pylons and nacelles asunder as best as they might. Garbage and used fuel littered the field, the makeshift proximity mines still laid ready to detonate. On Sitaio's viewscreen - as on most saucers' screens - these mines were made very clear. To the hostiles, they would not be so clear.

She witnessed not only success, but every Asurian loss. L'Keliath earned the title of the first casualty of war in the Alpha quadrant. In the the chaos of battle, it was difficult to tell which Starfleet ship had hit her. The saucer collapsed in on herself, taking the edges of space with her. If Sitaio hadn't seen saucers fall before, she wouldn't know what she was looking at. A gravity well bloomed on the battlefield, light and space twisting and warping in ugly ways. Though she was not close to the fuel waste originally, the sheer density of the 'explosion' pulled the nearby deuterium waste in and twisted it, leaving it with small swirls and eddies. A reaction started, the deuterium waste began to light up and explode like powerful firecrackers. The explosion's shockwaves rocked the Monarch's shields hard and to the saucer Reah with it. One Defiant-class ship was set off course. A second gravity well blossomed from the Reah, yet another hazard on the field.

There would not be saucer parts to collect, bodies to bury or examine. A bitter smile bloomed across Sitaio's sharp features.
This pleased her. Battle with her people would divulge nothing to the corrupted faction named the Federation.

“Chief Marshall, the Theurgy is aborting her mission. We're to cover her while her fighters dock.” The voice of her communications officer broke her contemplation to deliver sour news. The fire inside her jumped and burned hotter.

Before the battle began, she and her superiors met with the Captain and First Officer of the Theurgy. Sitaio had spoken very little—except to make it clear that running from conflict was not Asurian. She was up against a mighty force, a worthy opponent. She could feel in her bosom that her deflectors ached for action, her hands for blood, it pained her to deny that to herself.

“I see... Let them hear our acknowledgement. Pass this on to the Neleos and Sareto,” she replied, the cold fury leaking into the ship and making her subordinates painfully uncomfortable. Here was a powerful woman, displeased, and she was met with replies from her saucer elements that did not help her mood.

The twin boy Neleo appeared on one screen. [What? What cowards! They say we run? We're still drawing enemy blood!]

His father ordered his squadron, [Let it be known that the order is not my own. I will not wear the disgrace...]

Aris's powerful voice boomed. [Why are we running? We should finish the fight! For Asuria!]

To these, Sitaio did not reply. Her hands folded behind her back, she waited for comm chatter to die down before she gave her succinct orders. “Cover the Theurgy and her fighters. We will be the bloodied steel that ward the strikes from her her bent back. Anyone who strays from the defensive line in search for personal glory will not see my mercy. I have spoken.]

On cue, the saucers swarmed away from the direct and close engagement with the ships of the fleet. They flew in every direction, like angry wasps that would sting whatever they saw as a threat. The Chief Marshall hoped deep in her heart that all the starships would converge on the Theurgy.

Falling back into the defensive, Starfleet saw the openings and used them. Three more saucers devoured the space around them as they fell victim to torpedoes and direct energy beams from the Task Force, and Sitaio ascribed those losses to Captain Ives' folly. She would not forget. Ari was one of the fallen - without a word reaching her. Now, she personally needed to relieve this great ire building inside her.

"Decloak," was all she said, and had the Commanding Officers on the opposing ships heard her, they would know to fall back.

Then, she joined the fray - fearless in her bitter fury.

Pardon the double post folks!

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #69
[Lt. Dev “Dragon” Okhala| Wolf-05 | Formerly-USS ORCUS “White Wolves Squadron]

To say the battle wasn’t going well was an understatement. Dev could hardly nagivate the haze of debris, phaser fire and torpedo explosions that seemed continuous.

“D, if we survive this, remind me to take gambling with me.” Vinnie’s voice was so certain, so confident. Dev had no idea where the man got it from, even as her tactical display when alight.

“What do we got, Fury?”

“Multiple Starfleet signals. Looks like the rest of the task force is warping in, going to cut off any escape.”

Through gritted teeth, Dev managed out “I doubt it will work.”

She pulled her fighter toward, noting her element sticking to her, line abreast. It was a larger target, to be sure, but they were against mostly fighters, with the capital ships, temporarily, out of range.

“Wolf 5, Wolf 7. What’s the plan? Do we engage?’

“Copy, Wolf 7. Maintain course towards Theurgy, and await my orders.”

Dev was not about to surrender command of her small contingent, even under the best of circumstances. She would defer to her superior, but, given the circumstances, that was about it.


“Blast it!”

The incoming task force fighters came hurling in, phasers already cutting in. However, they had not anticipated the prototype fighters, and the shields held with little difficulty. Dev compensated for the shaking it gave them, and the sortie flew past.

“Drop counter measures, Wolves!”

The four fighters continued forward, but the ECMs dropped out, creating a tangled web of electronic noise that fouled the sensors. Dev throttled hard forward, outracing the attacking fighters.

“Flip-target their engines.”

Dev led them in a steep climb, turning her fighter over and able to see the incoming fighters. Most were  scrambling to avoid the interference, allowing Dev the opportunity to line up behind the leader. With careful precision, Dev’s phasers ripped in to the opposing fighter’s hull, piercing shields with incredible speed. The port engine sputtered under the strain of the impact. It gave out as Dev pulled over them, allowing the target to lag behind.

“Furry, how’d we do?”

“4 disabled, and one moving to cover. We have an opening to the Theurgy.”

“What’s the chatter?”

“Terror’s signaling to line up on her beacon and dock.”

“Copy that.”

Dev put full power in to her engines, the prototype cutting through the space in fairly short time. As they entered Theurgy’s controlled space, she throttled back, and prepared to dock. Her stomach rumbled uneasily, as she wondered at the welcoming partly. Her fighter moved in to position, the shadow of the larger ship filling her viewport, and creating a sense of stepping in to something completely unknown.
Lt. Devyrie "Dragon" Okhala
by Burningtransformation

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #70
[ Deacon | Runabout DeGrasse-Tyson | Leaving Starbase 84 ]   Attn: Anyone on the Allegiant Bridge

The runabout seemed to list to one side as Deacon navigated across the interior docking port en route to the bay doors.  It seemed that whatever emergency had struck the starbase had resulted in the interruption of some routine maintenance for the ship, but comparatively speaking, the defect was ultimately tolerable.  Deacon figured that he could probably reason out and repair the problem on his own, but first priority was to be away from this place.  At least here, removed from the actual super structure of the starbase, he no longer felt the results of the battle shuddering through him.

His claws moved across the console as he kept adjusting his heading.  Bad enough that the ship listed, but the Federation used Base-10 calculations for their measurements while Kzinti tended for Base-8.  He supposed it ultimately came down to how many fingers you had to count on.  But in practical application, one risked over compensating or accelerating uncontrollably if they weren't careful with their math.

Fortunately, the main doors to the docking bay had suffered some structural damage, resulting in a breach large enough for him to easily navigate through without the need for clearance -- something he doubted he'd have been able to negotiate from the helm of a stolen ship in the first place.  It was an obstacle he would gladly do without.

As the runabout slipped through the breach, Deacon became aware of the sheer scope of the events unfolding outside.  Federation starships of a dozen configurations were engaged in armed conflict with one another while a flurry of smaller fighter vessels wove dangerous patterns between them.  Such a spectacle would prove enough of a navigational nightmare, but in addition to the active conflict, a number of derelict husks drifted amidst a field of debris.  Finally, Deacon had to admit he was outmatched.

"Computer," he said, eliciting a compliant chirp in response, "plot a course out of this mess and prepare to go to warp."

"Course set.  Estimated time to clear the zone of engagement: three minutes, twelve seconds," the artificial voice replied in its helpful yet dispassionate way.  Deacon shook his head.  Useful as the computer was, there was no sense of urgency or commitment in its tone and thus no sense of measure or accountability for its success or failure.  It was all simply too matter-of-fact about situations of life and death, especially his own.

The runabout maneuvered along its course all but ignored by the bulk of the fleet.  There seemed little concern for the shuttle fleeing the starbase and he aimed to keep it that way.  If the humans wanted to fight one another, then perhaps the Patriarchy was right all along and the time to avenge three centuries of insult was at hand.  As he watched the battle unfolding before him, it seemed as though most of the fire was focussed on a smaller collection of ships, but a defensive line of saucer shaped vessels had moved to shield them from the main assault.

With a lurch, the runabout hugged close to the surface of a large chunk of debris -- possibly the hull of yet another starship.  This was the last major hurdle and he'd finally be done with this place.  "Computer, set course 332 mark 18 and engage at warp..."

His command was cut short as the lighting shifted to a sharp crimson and the klaxon sounded.  "Collision alert," the computer reported even as one of the saucers rounded the debris from the opposite side.

"Oh... ch'rowl..." Deacon muttered under his breath as a graviton beam lanced out from his unexpected adversary and tore deep into the runabout's side.  There wasn't time to fire back or adjust course to avoid and the shields proved as effective as tissue in the wind.  The DeGrasse-Tyson pitched violently to the side and his plans for freedom faded.  The console lit up with an array of warnings and alerts as system failures cascaded through the ship.

"Warning: Catastrophic damage to the starboard nacelle," the computer offered.

"There is no starboard nacelle!" Deacon shouted hotly, any semblance of control now lost as he watched a portion of his escape craft spin off to join the debris field, a trail of vented plasma painting spirals in its wake.

"Structural integrity at 14%.  Environmental systems compromised, lethal exposure in ten minutes.  Anti-matter injectors offline.  Magnetic containment field failure in one minute.  Warp core breach is imminent."

Deacon's eyes left the console.  There were no more answers to be found there.  Best case scenario, he had a minute and his options were dwindling fast.  The transporter.  He had hoped to avoid using it because it was a long shot at best and a one-way trip, but a one-way trip away from certain death made it suddenly more appealing.  He rushed from his seat to the back of the cabin where the transporter pad was positioned.  A series of conduits exploded and the lights waned, the consoles flickering erratically as fires ignited, causing noxious black smoke added to the atmospheric toxicity.

He grabbed hold of the transporter controls and studied the readings, looking for some viable target, any viable target. Long range sensors were fried and the short range had suffered in the assault.  The lateral arrays had been torn away along with the nacelles, giving him nothing but static in all directions.

"Thirty seconds to warp core breach."

Another series of explosions shuddered through the ship as more conduits overloaded and ruptured, feeding more fuel to the growing fires that were rapidly consuming the interior.  Power systems failed and the cockpit grew dark save for the red emergency lighting which continued to pulse like the beating of a heart.  He no longer had options.  Cook-fire and spit... and he was caught between them both.  He searched the static for anything, any hints, anything...

"Fifteen seconds to warp core breach.  Fourteen.  Thirteen.  Twelve..."

"There!"  The static of the scanners cleared for the barest of an instant revealing a single target.  One of the ships was still moving but had no shields.  If he had to surrender to custody again, it was far preferable to having his atoms scattered across subspace thanks to an anti-matter explosion.

"Nine.  Eight.."

He locked the target and activated the transport sequence, reciting a prayer to the Fanged God under his breath even as his vision filled with lights and he felt a momentary disconnection from the world around him.  The choking interior of the DeGrasse-Tyson faded from view, and another took its place -- the bridge of the USS Allegiant.

As the materialization cycle completed, Deacon gave a sigh of relief, still reeling from his harrowing escape, until a new realization began to sink in.... why weren't his feet touching the deck?

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #71
[Nathan | Communication Tower | Starbase 84 | beam out to Theurgy] Attn: Boarding party 01

"The fuck was that?" Nathan could hear the message as it was playing over basically everything, but it was complete and utter nonsense. Some kind of fabricated edition that was put up for display. Which meant that the mission was a complete wash.

His first ground mission, and all he had managed to do as security was screw up yet another place. What was more his attempts to delay the security team with phaser fire and explosions had only worked about half as well as he would have liked. Despite the fact that he had set his own weapons back down to a heavy stun he had still killed people for this mission, and now those deaths were for nothing!

Of course they had clearly decided to show the same amount of mercy on their side, having killed a good man already, which only made this all the more frustrating.

When he felt the static electricity of the transporters washing over him he cursed and muttered, ducking back into cover so he could stop moving and let himself be beamed out for the rescue. Grateful as he was, he still wanted to punch something or get a stiff drink but the thought that was constantly going around and around in his head was the one thing that made all of this feel all the more hopeless. "I could have been more useful in the air."

[Sithick | Allegiant Bridge ] Attn: Steelpheonix, EAC, Auctor, and Others.

Shields were down! He had just got them back up, and yet the shields were yet again down. What was more was that with the arrival of the fleet they were going to be in a terrible position.

The last time he was in a ship that was this badly damaged he had been the only survivor. This time however there was one key difference this time they had Jaya. He had to put every last amount of faith he had in her. He couldn't give her more shields, but going back to the hole he had made previously he searched other things he could deploy.

Their was very little he could do from the bridge of the ship. The Allegiant already had several shoddy last minute repairs, and he would be having a word with the few survivors of the Black Opal engineering team today about their transporter malfunctions. Reports, gods he loved reports he wanted to live to write more reports!

Looking to Jaya he simply had nothing left to say, just a rather forlorn and hopeful look towards her. "Get us the hellz out of here."

Sithick's eyes darted however when the light of a tranporter started to form a life form on the bridge. He blinked not sure who would try to board a ship that was so clearly sinking, it was either very desperate or really foolish.

Sithick turned his body to line up with the bright light, and once the creature was fully formed Sithick launched himself towards it. He had nothing he could fix, but now he had something he could hopefully hit.

He made sure to put all of his strength towards one powerful shoulder tackle aimed squarely at the new comers body, aiming to strike it as hard as he could. of course that was assuming he could hit the thing in the middle of the air. Zero G combat was always so tricky.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #72
[ Ens Ryuan Sel | Command Center | EOC Tower | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Striker N7 & Auctor Lucan

"No plan survives contact with the enemy" (paraphrased) -- Moltke the Elder

The plan had been simple, infiltrate the enemy facility, lock down the command center, isolate and pacify the commander, attempt to determine his allegiance and either rescue or eliminate him as a threat. That plan, as had the other elements in play she could tell, had gone awry, leaving them fighting a losing battle. So it was the thoughts of a Terran general from a bygone era that rang in Sel's ears as she crashed to the deck plating.

She felt the sickening snap as something in her ankle broke, a second snap as her wrist stopped her forward progress against a nearby bulkhead. It didn't however stop her forehead from contacting something hard causing her to see stars as her vision swam. Grunting in pain she only had time to glance back, to see her comrade Zaraq collapsed on the floor, to watch in detached horror as the possessed human crushed the Zaraq's head with his own rifle, like the Klingon was a Christmas nut.

She said a silent prayer as she unsteadily got to her feet, head swimming from the dizziness, the pain of her injuries making every move excruciating, the rush of adrenaline the only thing keeping her moving through the pain. Raising her rifle, now set as high as she dared, Sel kept the wavering weapon trained on Hawthorne, ready to take a shot when Ida or Drauc moved away from the possessed Hawthorne. The way they fought however, and the assistance of another as yet unknown officer into the fight, only ruined Sel's chances of getting in a clean shot, and as unsteady as she was, she wouldn't risk her own officers' safety for a chance at the man.

It didn't take much however, given the size of the room, and the number of displays placed around it, to see how the Theurgy fared. She'd seen tactical readouts like this before and noted the second vessel flagged as hostile, not Theurgy but another Starfleet vessel, perhaps an ally, a mole she'd not been privy to? And the screens only seemed to grow more chaotic as first a Starfleet task force beamed in, and then unknowns. That however was a matter for those in space, the more imminent threat lay before her, shielded from her fire.

And then, as if to change the whole tactical situation on it's head, the blaring of alarms as a shuttle-craft of some description  penetrated the command center's perimeter defenses. Ryuan had little time to react as phaser fire penetrated the upper transparasteel windows of the command center, sending debris scattering, and her ducking for cover as phaser fire far more powerful then her own weapons bracketed the room, tearing the place up like a scene from a old holo-vid war movie.

Crawling, staying low to avoid as much fire as she could, Sel crawled along the floor, weapon abandoned as it was no longer of use to her, towards Drauc & Cam, both of whom were sprawled out on the floor. Right now all she could hope to do was drag them both behind cover but as she reached Cam, her mission priority, she heard Thea's voice over her combadge. She had seconds to decide and being closer to Cam, she placed a hand on the young officer's ankle, holding on for dear life as the transporter gripped them both.

Her last glimpse of Drauc as she faded from existence, the last expression on her face was one of sadness. A choice had been made, one would stay and die, the other leave and hopefully live. She hoped Drauc understood the gravity of her choice, her loyalty to her people, her mission.

OOC: Command Center layout: (Concept Art by John Eaves)

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #73
[ Drauc T'Laus | Command Center | EOC Tower | Starbase 84 ] Attn: All

From his prone position, Drauc saw the Bajoran security guard from the Theurgy secure the human Ensign in their beam-out, likely ending up on the Theurgy. With the young woman not having a combadge, he could respect the Bajoran's choice. Yet Drauc blamed her not, because the battle was still being fought, and he was still alive... walking the righteous path.

Drauc had heard Hawthorne call for reinforcements, and it did not take long until every security guard inside and below the EOC Tower soaring height knew that their base commander was in danger. Looking out, Dracu saw the Aerowing strafing and firing high-energy beams into the already destroyed area, and Drauc could do naught more than admire the bold move that the Resolve's Captain had made. He could not fathom what drove Kendrick to such personal extremes - putting his life on the line when he had more crew than his First Officer to send out. Then again, it did seem like he was the only one left - the others having beamed out.

[My people see it, Captain,] came the voice from Hawthorne's combadge. It was someone Drauc recognised from his time in custody. A human named Mackenzie, the Asst. Chief of Security. [All units with visual contact, fire at will! I repeat, fire at will!]

Crawling to the next cover, Drauc saw how the Aerowing was suddenly under heavy fire. Apparently, the transparent panels of the EOC tower had been folded away on the lower levels, granting leave for the security forces on those levels to fire upon Kendrick and the Resolve's auxiliary scoutship. With so much phaser energy concentrated upon the ship, it did not take long for the shields to wear down, and the hull taking the brunt of the assault.

Drauc did not remain idle however, when Kendrick stopped firing into the command center. He got back on his feet, driven by battle instincts that he'd thought died inside him when he'd lost his brother. He ran towards Hawhtorne, and resumed the fight. He might be alone... but the victor had yet to be decided. With his brown, threadbare cloak whirling as he attacked the possessed human, and with the high altitude air of the dome coursing through the broken panels, Drauc would keep his promise to Kendrick... should the Aerowing crash down at the base of the EOC tower.

There was no room for further thought, as he exchanged strikes with the the Captain - only primal instinct of survival.

OOC: Command Center layout: (Concept Art by John Eaves)

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #74
[ Deacon | Allegiant Bridge ] Attn: Kaligos, EAC, Auctor, and Others

No gravity?  What sort of insanity had he transported himself into?  Admittedly, it was a marked improvement over impending vaporization.  A warp core breach was not one of those things he'd hoped to see first hand, at least not up close and in person.  Now where was he?  Another Starfleet vessel, for certain.  The humans clearly had a predilection for variety when it came to their ships, but he was fairly certain that there were certain consistencies between them... hulls, nacelles, environmental systems... gravity.

He was so caught in his attempt to orient himself that he very nearly missed the approaching gorn launching at him from a seat near the fore.  Deacon was no expert in Zero-G combat, but that was never his calling.  Had he anything but black fur, likely he'd have suffered the full regimen of military training and be expected to face this challenge head-on.  Black Priests, on the other hand, stood apart and did their best to look intimidating and the best way to do that was to be infuriatingly untouchable. 

With a sideways kick, his foot made contact with a nearby chair and he was sent out of the gorn's path.  Seriously, who would mistake this for an attack?  Well, truthfully, his people weren't always known for their stellar planning, but somehow he felt insulted by the presumption.  And truth be told, it did take every final shred of willpower he had to resist the instinct to throw down with the gorn, but then he'd have to kill everything else on the ship and pilot the whole thing himself and this day had already been taxing enough.

"I... surrender," he said, making a face as if the word itself had soured on the tongue.  "My claws are sheathed," he added, lifting his hands to demonstrate that he had, in fact, retracted his claws back into his meaty fingers, "and I'm unarmed."  His gaze was locked on the gorn but his statement was to whomever else might have been present.  He didn't expect gorn to stop unless stopped.  The reptile clearly had the advantage of height and reach and that clearly gave him the upper hand in this circumstance, and if nothing else, Kzinti prefered to choose their battlefields.

[OOC: If you want to know what he sounds like, he sounds like Chrisjen Avasarala from the Expanse, right down to the accent, except an octave lower.  :) ]

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