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Topic: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out' (Read 8847 times) previous topic - next topic
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Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #25
Lt. JG Dantius Thi Anh-Le | Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy   attn: @stardust @BipSpoon   @Swift  @Pierce  @Stegro88

Anh-Le took the report in one hand while taking a sip of her coffee with her other hand.  (Well, she would call it coffee.  People not raised on Vietnamese cuisine would probably call it a coffee-based milkshake at this point.  That, or diabetes in a cup)  "Thanks, and good work, Ensign.  Give yourself a pat on the back."  She'd need  to give the Ensign a favorable write-up later. 

Dark eyes flicked over the PADD.  Sub-Level 03.  Anh-Le nodded to herself.  Secure.  Multiple locking chokepoints with biometric ID.  They would keep an intel officer down there.  Klingons weren't actually stupid, and the ones running their intel services, well...idiots didn't last long in this kind of job., she was going off on tangents easily.  It might be time for more diabetes in a cup. 

Anh-Le keyed her comm on.  "We have a possible lead.  Sub-Level 03.  The time index is consistent with when they brought Commander Fisher down."  This would be a lot easier if she could just peek through the enemy systems and verify the data, but beggars couldn't be choosers.  "Operate on the assumption that he's down there.  Lieutenant Pierce, Commander Rutherford, I'm forwarding relevant data."  The still-raw wound in her side throbbed.  Serves me right for getting into melee with a Klingon.  Now, if she'd had a few more sword lessons from Lillee...well, actual, full-length lessons, more than 'lessons' that quickly got taken over by stress, hormones, and Anh-Le's chronic problem with functioning around pretty girls (she still had no clue where she'd found that burst of confidence!)...

Might as well wish for a bow, arrows, and space to use them.  Beggars, she mused again, couldn't be choosers. 

Focus.  Job at hand.

"Expect an ambush when you get down to Sub-Level 03.  Just in case.  They might not have moved people into place yet, but better safe than sorry.  When you get down there, you've got at least three sturdy doors with biometric ID to get through.  This is the place they hold the important guys.
OOC: Sorry for the delays, grad school and my job in the fossil collection are kicking my butt.  2 whole cabinets so far full of specimens that have been uncatalogued anywhere from 11 to 99 years!  Absolute madness.  Some aren't even prepped! 
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #26
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | The Apache | Hawk-class Runabout | Upper Atmosphere | Qo'nos ] attn: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @Pierce

On the screen before her, the birds-eye view of the compound and the layers of structural data, heat signatures, com-badge signals and energy blooms, the Commander could follow the current developments in real time. Watching the individual players move across an asymmetrical chess field in whichever move their qualification afforded. So far there had been no energy discharges registered by the sensitive instruments on the Apache, still, at least two heat signatures just started to drop vital signs. Which meant the team was living up to its covert codex, for now. Letting delicate finger tips slide over the sleek screen, the blonde enlarged the current quadrant, getting a closer look at the layout, as Lieutenant Byrne was one of the first she picked up on the newly established comm link. Zooming back out at the audio cue, she found Lorad’s signal still where he had been left of, receiving a text acknowledgment instead of an audio one, maybe he had been in no space to reply verbally to protect his cover.

“Petty Officer Lorad is in defensive position with oversight on the compound, he’ll guard the exits for extraction.” she relayed to the intelligence chief on the ground, all the while typing out orders to the Reman with one hand: ‘Stay in position, relay any relevant movements on the exterior to command and stay in preparation for extraction. The shuttle will not be able to wait.’ That being sent, Samantha returned her attention to the aggregated group of signals. Then, a Klingon communications stream was highlighted, tapping it sending the blaring snarl of a voice shouting ‘Alarm’. The half Vulcan blood in Sam’s veins threatened to freeze as her lips non-verbally voiced a silent epithet. “Guys, the perimeter just lit up like a Christmas tree! The jig is up. Your only chance is to push forward and deeper into the compound, we’ll take care of an extraction plan.”

It was in that moment that Anh-Le relayed her new intel on a possible location, which sounded extremely promising. Kind of like a spoon of water after a long pilgrimage through the northern desert on Vulcan. Pulling up the data, which was immediately available via the data link to Theurgy, the blonde overlayed additional levels on the viewscreen, scrolling through the available data. With the much closer proximity to the compound, within the shell of its dampening field, the Apache could get much higher resolution scans then its mothership in a shifting orbit.

“Lieutenant Dantius, I’ll patch you into the Apache’s main sensor array and reroute emergency power to boost scanner resolution. We should be able to penetrate at least two sublevels and get a rudimentary image of Sub-Level 03.” Giving Samara a fleeting apologetic look the commander let her fingers dance across the sleek stage once more, supplying their sensors with additional energy. Almost immediately the outlines of hallways and rooms started appearing ghostly beneath Sub-Level 02. But without the additional oversight, it was hard for the diplomat to make much sense of it. Luckily, Anh-Le would be able to get the very same data. On the screen it seemed as if there was a single corridor shooting off the elevator here, easy to defend and a colossal trap if unprepared. There were a few intermittent life signals in the area as well.

“Away team, pending Lieutenant Dantius’ detailed analysis, I am sending you the life sensor feed available on Sub-Level 03. Proceed with caution, seems like the ant-hive is abuzz.”

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #27
[ Lt. Alana Pierce | Klingon Compound | Qo'nos ] | ATTN: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @stardust | [Show/Hide]

Pierce watched as the Romulan woman easily downed the two Klingon soldiers. In the meantime, she heard a communique come alive in her comm systems of the suit. It was Anh-Le who keyed her comms on.  "We have a possible lead.  Sub-Level 03.  The time index is consistent with when they brought Commander Fisher down. Operate on the assumption that he's down there. Lieutenant Pierce, Commander Rutherford, I'm forwarding relevant data."

The navigation display on her suit lit up with the schematics which she promptly hit the forwarder to the rest of the team headed for the infiltration. "Message received. We're moving into the lift system."

Alana didn't have much time however as what she didn't know was that the Klingons had already noted their presence. Disruptor fire and phaser fire could be heard outside the perimeter of the building. The next communication from Anh-Le came through promptly informing her of the situation at hand, despite her already gathering that information based on sensors and her ears.

"Expect an ambush when you get down to Sub-Level 03. Just in case. They might not have moved people into place yet, but better safe than sorry. When you get down there, you've got at least three sturdy doors with biometric ID to get through. This is the place they hold the important guys."

"Reading loud and clear!" A few Klingon soldiers rushed out of the lift as Pierce and her comrades nearby came to the bulkheads nearby it for cover. "Concentrate your fire on their torsos. We don't need them getting back up!" She yelled to those in listening range. Pierce landed a solid shot, lighting up the Klingon's armor in a blazing gold hue before he collapsed.

Her internal comms kicked back up this time from Rutherford. "Petty Officer Lorad is in defensive position with oversight on the compound, he'll guard the exits for extraction. Guys, the perimeter just lit up like a Christmas tree! The jig is up. You're only chance is to push forward and deeper into the compound, we'll take care of an extraction plan. Away team, pending Lieutenant Dantius' detailed analysis, I am sending you the life sensor feed available on Sub-Level 03. Proceed with caution, seems like the ant-hive is abuzz."

Not what Pierce expected to happen so soon, but she wasn't surprised it occurred. "Aye Commander. Message received loud and clear! Pierce out." She dodged another shot from the nearby Klingon as part of it connected with her shoulder, damaging part of the suit and causing some blood to char on her arm. The pain shot through her left arm sharply causing her to collapse before grasping the bulkhead for balance. She looked about, at Lt. Amarik.

"If you have a blade, find the lead Klingon..." she paused briefly and discovered him behind the others. No doubt a dishonorable targ. She pointed at him. "Don't harm him, he likely has the biometric codes to get us below this level. If we can manage to incapacitate him, we need his handprint. How we get that hand I'll leave it up to you. Fisher likely doesn't have much time."

Checking internal sensors for the facility, she saw Lorad's position. She tapped her comms, "Give cover fire to Lt. Byrne and the other security officers on site. Be ready for us. I anticipate we won't be long inside but hard to tell yet."

After turning the attention back to the Klingon grunts in the facility, she was able to approach a console and tap into it for better readings. Thankfully she had some experience in Klingon tech, which unsurprisingly hadn't changed much in a century. Her fingers danced on the controls as she placed a codebreaker into the system. "Pierce to command, patching you into this console, provided they don't lock us out. I need intel on a way out once we get below levels. We may lose comms below the surface so we'll look for a sign from the you on how to get out." She scanned the facility briefly between disruptor fire. Thinking she found the area Fisher is in. It appeared to be...some sort of poor excuse of a holding cell.

A large shadow appeared above her as someone shot him and the body thudded hard. She turned and fired another shot off incapacitating another Klingon soldier nearby as he dropped his bat'leth nearby. Quickly she dashed to the fallen soldier, reached to his bladed weapon, and charged another grunt clearing the way for Amarik to complete the task of the biometrics.

"Move in!" she yelled as she dashed into a sliding posture beneath another soldier and sliced the next Klingon before she left it impaled on him on her way to the lift. The stench of blood and filthy Klingon's filled the air. The other officers

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #28
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik | Klingon Compound | Qo’Nos ] Attn: @Pierce @Swift @Stegro88 @GroundPetrel @stardust
Valyn looked at the approaching man, and gave him a nod. Two teams wasn’t ideal, she had a feeling they’d need as much firepower as they could pack into one assault if it came to it, but she knew she had to be adaptable in that sort of situation. She looked up the hall one more time and narrowed her gaze, scanning it once but her attention returned to her sector, and albeit briefly, to Byrne.

“Yea…” She trailed off. “Or even if we find one, where the hell it leads to.” She adjusted her rifle and looked at Pierce.

Dropping the first two guards was quick. Simple. An old habit that boiled straight to the surface with minimal effort. The ease of it disturbed her on some level, but not enough to break her attention from the mission. She’d spent nearly her entire life doing exactly the sort of work she was doing then, this time though for what she once considered her greatest enemy. This time, she was rescuing the Starfleet agent, instead of being the one sent to kill them or disrupt their allies.

As the map popped up on her wrist, she gave it a quick look. He was all the way down there? She studied it for a moment before letting out a deep breath. She slowed her breaths, and along with it, her heart rate. She was bringing herself into a different state entirely. She wanted to be able to execute each maneuver with perfect precision, and was falling back on an old method of bringing her focus to the forefront. However, it wasn’t in the cards for her to get all the way there.

"Guys, the perimeter just lit up like a Christmas tree! The jig is up. Your only chance is to push forward and deeper into the compound, we'll take care of an extraction plan."

She heard the weapon fire, and the warning in her earpiece and immediately sprang to action. She verified the setting on her rifle, and adjusted the dispersal pattern of the energy blast it emanated to her comfort. It only took her a second. As the live scan came to the forefront of her wrist display, her eyes widened a bit. “Fuck.” She muttered, all to herself but those right next to her probably heard it anyhow. She brought her body down slightly into a ready position, and her cheek rested against the side of the weapon. Her body language shifted into that of a soldier, ready to fire at just about anything that wasn’t confirmed to be friendly.

She looked to the side for cover. It was minimal at best. As she heard the doors to the lift hiss open, and the heavy footfalls of the Mo’Kai warriors, her rifle spun to focus on them. She fired twice, hitting the same soldier both times. He went limp after the first round connected with his chest, the second round slamming first into his abdomen, and by proxy, the Klingon himself into one of his allies. The Klingon that was struck with the corpse of his comrade tossed the other to the side.

Valyn watched as a round connected with Pierce, and she used the moment to lay down covering fire. “Cover me!” She shouted at some of the other officers as she ran towards the injured officer. Her finger repeatedly slammed into the trigger, sending a show of fatal lights down the hall. The bolts functioned as moving torches, a faint yellow hue painting the walls as the progressed forward, momentarily forcing the Mo’Kai to take cover.

She reached to her side, for her emergency medical kit and produced a small, metallic probe. The tip of it lit up with a squeeze and she ran it over Pierce’s shoulder as she filled the Romulan in. “Got it.” She stuffed the probe back into the designated spot and looked towards the leader. She’d run a regenerator over Pierce’s arm but it wasn’t exactly a permanent fix. “You need a hand.” She gave the woman a nod and smirked slightly before she brought her rifle back up, this time holding it with the knife stuck to its side, ready to go.

She fired once, hitting one of the Klingons with the leader in the hip. He let out a roar of agony but after a second shot, that contacted his pronounced forehead, her nearly backflipped and ceased all sound and movement. She watched Pierce run forward, picking up the Bat’Leth and...she was clearly a bit impressed. Valyn didn’t need telling, and kept herself close to the mission CO. She dropped her rifle, letting it connect to the suit on the chest and instead brought her knife out, moving quicker without the task of keeping her rifle trained and ready.

She leapt over the corpse of the man who’d been impaled, and aimed her feet at the chest of the leader. They connected, slamming him backwards into the wall. She kept her momentum going, and rolled to her feet as she connected with the metal floor. However, the Klingon wasn’t far behind her. His own knife came out in a flash and he swung it at her, eyes wild with fury.

“bIHub 'e' Damevchugh!” He shouted at her. She just shook her head at him.

“Not today, big guy.” As his knife came out to start a powerful blow, she slammed her knee into his thigh, and brought her elbow forward with all the power she could. It connected with his cheek, splitting his cheek open. However, he hardly reacted and instead thrust his knife forward. It was the opening that she needed. Her eyes flashed up, noting a pipe hanging over her. She jumped straight up and grabbed it. She had hoped it would hold her weight, and it did, but only for a moment. She’d given herself the power to get up on his shoulders, which he responded to only by slamming her against a wall.

However, she had not dropped the pipe. She released her legs from his neck, and landed on her feet. A knife in one hand, and a metal pipe in the other. He roared at her, and swung. The knife connected with her face, drawing blood from her own cheek in kind. The moment of elation however, granted her a blow. She swung the pipe forward, straight into his jaw, and on connection she heard an audible ‘CRACK’ to join the hum of the vibrating metal. He screamed in pain, words entirely indistinguishable from nonsense. She swung again, this time as he began to double over, sending him to the ground at once as she panted. He wasn’t dead, he was moving, sobbing. Blood poured from his mouth and dripped from his ears. Using the moment, she fell upon him, grabbing him. She gripped him by his braid, and pressed his hand against the console in the lift, granting them access to the lower levels. “Let’s move!” She shouted as the console flashed green. She took no chance however, and as she released the Klingon and he fell to the ground, she brought her rifle up and verified the kill with a single flash. Then she removed his hand with the knife, using a strip of fabric from his uniform to secure it to her suit. “In case we need it again.” She had no intention of dragging a screaming, fighting, Klingon into the depths to gather help from his friends.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #29
[PO3  Lorad | Klingon Compound | Qo’noS ] 

Disruptor fire piercing the night was not a sound that Lorad was unfamiliar with. The number of times he had heard, or even caused it to shatter the peace of the darkness was unknown to him but each time he heard it, his reaction was the same. This time was no different as his heartrate picked up and his head automatically began searching for the source of the weapons fire. It was made easier because before the trio of disruptor bolts was heard, Lorad had heard the pulse of a phaser rifle. That and the second burst of disruptor fire. Samuelson, Hildebrandt and Jones were taking fire but also returning it.

“ALARM!” a guttural voice boomed across the courtyard and Lorad turned back in time to see a Klingon disappear back into what he had identified as the control room for the compound. It was on the highest level of central tower. Pierce's command to cover the three below was understood and Lorad shifted to the other side of the tower and glanced down just in time to see the three officers using their suits to scale the wall. Below them, two cooling Klingons lay unmoving.

“Cover the courtyard,” Lorad ordered, knowing that he was breaking the chain of command but there were more important things to care about. “I am going for the control room,” he advised, activating his own boosters to send himself over the parapet and down to the wall walk. Glancing at the courtyard, Lorad jogged off as Klingons began to stream out and phaser rifles began to fire behind him, activating his comms. 

“Lorad is going for Control Room.”

[ Crewman Samala | The Apache | Hawk-class Runabout | Upper Atmosphere | Qo’noS ] 

Samala had tried to be as patient as possible, just sitting there, knowing that that was her job but now, with things starting to go wrong, she wanted to be on the ground instead of sitting in the pilot’s seat. But that was where she needed to be.

“We have a problem. Two ships, just appeared on sensors, coming this way low and fast. Too far to tell what they are but they’ll be here in 12 minutes,” Samala advised. “Want me to deal with them?”

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #30
[ Lt. Alana Pierce | Klingon Compound | Qo'Nos] | ATTN: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @stardust | [Show/Hide]

Lt. Pierce watched as the Klingon hand was swiftly cut from the arm of the solider, used on the security panel and carefully placed on Lt. Amarik's suit. The dangling limb was hopefully unneeded on but one could never tell. With an extraction of this magnitude and the limited time, everyone was expected to take added precautions and think for themselves in this situation.

The sounds of the klaxons and soldiers firing disruptors were overbearingly loud. The lift doors closed in the peculiar fashion that Klingon stations generally held. A few security detail with Pierce and Amarik, although a few had been hurt during the firefight. The pain in their eyes Pierce felt burning into her soul. The former XO of the USS Eagle knew that it was growing the possibility they may not make it back in their current condition. Her own shoulder not withstanding. Yes, the dermal regenerator repaired some  of the damage but on a whole, she still needed a sickbay briefly when they returned. Or if...

Lift doors grinded open as the machinery likely neglected over the years whined as heavy pieces of metal separated them to the floor Fisher was residing. Klingons ran to their position and as quickly as they ran, they were dropped on the deck. Hard metal making thudding sounds as the bodies hit the floor, leaking the purplish fluid that gave the monsters life. Pierce stood from her crouched position and motioned her fingers forward for the security detail to give cover fire around the next corridor.

She ran out and motioned for Amarik with a nod, almost saying to her to do what needs to be done with the security system to get to Fisher's location. Her internal comms on her suit still had static but the occasional blip of an updated signal from above the surface. Over 400 years since radio technology had been created and signal was still an issue with depth and thick walls metal walls.

Alana leaned into the next doorframe as she watched several other Klingons get phasered to the floor. Amarik was out of her line of site at this point. She peered at her wrist mounted map and was disturbed by a bright blast of disruptor fire close enough to her head that her left ear lost hearing briefly. A quick tuck and roll later and she was in the next door frame, clutching her phaser rifle in hand now, and ready for a fight.

She leveled her rifle off of her knee as she steadied the shot. The end of the corridor was dimly lit but not too dim for her laser scope. Unfortunately she wasn't quick enough when one of the security detail screamed as the disruptor fire met his shoulder, rendering him unable to fight back. She fired unsure if it connected or not. A distant thud was heard ahead. Another short scan and she ran forward to connect with the last security officer left since the brawl took place.

With any luck Fisher was still alive. As they approached the final door, the screams and yelling of a human male could be heard nearby. Clearly something the Klingons had either done to him or drugged him with were giving the man agony. Turning to her wrist mounted comms she yelled into it, "This is Pierce! I hear Fisher ahead! If you can hear me, extraction is welcome as soon as you can. I'm going in!"

As Alana finished her comm, she failed to take notice of a Klingon soldier coming from behind her with a D'k tahg in hand. He lifted his hand and was about to strike the killing blow as the final security officer, Lewis, took the blunt end of the blade in an attempt to hold back the warrior from stabbing his mission leader. He dropped into Pierce as she backed up right into another Klingon. The life appeared to leave Lewis as she pulled the blade from his torso. No time to check on him as she threw the blade at the Klingon in front of her right at his face as he bellowed in agony before falling too. Leaning back, Pierce grabbed the Klingon around his neck in an attempt to throw him over her shoulder but ended up getting held by her arms instead.

"Argh!" Pierce yelled.

The Klingon held tight. Pierce failed to estimate her current level of strength in this body she had now compared to earlier fights she'd been involved in. He held her tight. "batlh chomuSHa'ghach."

"batlh tlhIngan!" she yelled back smirking beneath her helmet.

The Klingon grunt laughed and led her off to the same chamber Fisher was in. Pierce tapped a homing signal on her wrist mounted map as the Klingon dragged her to the room. The door opened and Fisher sat in a chair. Beaten, bloody and rambling to himself in some form of hysteria. She couldn't help but wonder what they'd injected him with. He looked definitely rough. "Fisher? Commander! Are you okay? We're here to rescue you."

"Worry about yourself fe-male! We have much bigger plans in store for you! Hehehe!" The sound of his disgusting gutteral laugh made something inside Lt. Pierce squeamish as he pulled off her helmet. "Hahaha, an interesting fe-male too. Very... beautiful..." he spoke, sniffing her crimson hair.

She felt sick to her stomach at the sound of his words and the proximity of his face to hers. Fear briefly glimpsed her eyes as she retained focus enough to ignore his words. She just had to wait long enough for Amarik and or someone else to zero in on her position now that Fisher was in her line of sight. If help didn't come quickly, she was going to have to improvise.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #31
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Makeshift Holding Cell | Sub-Level 03 | House of Mo’Kai Staging Compound | Qo’nos ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @BipSpoon @stardust @GroundPetrel @Pierce

Suddenly snapped back to reality, as though his perception of it hadn’t ever been in question, Fisher stood from where he had dropped to his knees just a few minutes earlier, and though the ear-shattering klaxons blared, he was compelled to pull bloodied grimy hands away from the ears they had instinctively sought to protect. The intensity of volume worsened the ache in his skull, but he did not desist in his effort to focus on it; he’d remembered his training, and how deep focus could steel oneself from the effects of a hallucinogenic interrogative agent. Immediately there was an effect too, as the visage of Samantha, unafflicted by the sound that also besieged her turned to face Fisher, only to dissipate from existence in a literal eyeblink. His manifestations, they couldn’t maintain a hold of him as long as he could keep the periphery of his subconscious clear, that was how this particular drug seemed to work. Had he figured it out? Could this really be a way to combat the images he was seeing, and allow him to regain control of his perception of reality? Glancing at a stone-faced Hurley next, the man, or rather Fisher’s imagination of him, narrowed his eyelids before likewise in an instant, he was gone.

Alone again, it was cathartic.

[ Control Room | Central Tower ]

At once, all the concerns that Jurael had brought up with the Commandant flashed through his mind as he realized the compound was under attack from some sort of outside force, likely Federation having come to rescue their wayward comrade held in the sub-level. Rage pumped through his veins as he remembered all of the bureaucratic answers and excuses, he’d received in response to those raised concerns, though the time for gloating about them would come later on, after these intruders were repelled. Still, the anger of indignation was there, omnipresent in his thoughts, and outwardly evident by the tightness of his grip upon the disruptor he so wanted to run off into combat with. Another time, he might have done just that, but as it was, Jurael was responsible for coordinating the sparse few defenders that were spread out through the compound, most of whom were anything but adept warriors. His men, the two dozen he’d managed to bring in from different posts, would do what they could, but there was just too much territory for them to effectively lock it down. It was the same problem for the other facilities loyal to the House of Mo’Kai, as they all pulled from the same shallow pool of warriors, and the only solution was to spread them out evenly, and when or if one of them got hit, call for reinforcements.

Jurael was more than annoyed that his facility had been the one which would necessitate said outside help. However, he would put his pride aside in service of his future Chancellor. Gorka demanded only success, and the retention of this captured spy and the secrets reposed within his brain were well worth the personal sacrifice of reputation.

“You! Reinforcements from the north and south! Now!” he barked at one of the Klingons situated at a console.

An understanding nod later, Jurael watched as a readout on the main monitor displayed an apparent acknowledgement of their request for support. Far from ideal, it would take somewhere in the neighborhood of ten to twenty minutes for the gunships to arrive and make drop off. They likely could have halved that time, had his requests for drills been taken seriously.

“Activate all defensive systems!” He commanded, stepping over to check a monitor which showed several intruders working to move through the interior of the base, no doubt searching for their captured comrade. The men between them and the spy were on their own for now, as he couldn’t afford pulling any of the guards posted along the walls, less there were additional enemies yet to breach them. “Lock it all down!” he added, pointing to another Klingon who without hesitation began inputting commands into the control systems. If he could delay their rescue effort long enough, he knew they could stand a better than even chance at repelling it outright, and maybe even capture some additional prisoners to present to the General. It was the activation of anti-ship defenses which would prevent any immediate exfiltration, at least as long as those were operational, and Jurael knew it would likely only be a matter of time until they were disabled if these intruders had any sense or capability, which he rightfully assumed they did. After all, amateurs wouldn’t dare such a dangerous gambit like storming a fortified position on the Klingon home world. “Pull back any scouting teams outside of the perimeter wall and order them to take up positioned near the base of the central tower! We cannot allow these Federation scum to disable our defenses!”

“What of our forces guarding the prisoner in the sub-level?” raised the concern of a Klingon seated at another console.

“They’re on their own; we must ensure that escape is impossible for the whole of these intruders!”

“But, Doctor Por’ghek has said--”

“Doctor Por’ghek is not in charge of defenses! I am! We cannot afford to send anyone else to the sub-level!” snapped Jurael. Were he not so undermanned, he would have slit the throat of the imbecile who dared challenge his orders, but as it was, he needed every last one of these fools at his disposal. All the same, he knew that the Doctor would indeed still raise the ire of the Commandant unto him, especially if the prisoner did escape from their facility.

His reputation as a warrior, and combat leader were at stake.

[ Base of the Central Tower | Compound Interior ]

As the Lieutenants breached the interior of the compound, descending down into the sub-level with Crewman Lewis and Petty Officer Hebert to back them up, Byrne, Prince, and Tucker moves to set up a defensive position to prevent anyone else from following after. It was likely that Pierce and Amarik had plenty of Klingons awaiting them in the depths of the facility as it was. “Tucker, you’ve got the left. Prince, watch the right.” He pointed out to both respective alleys of suppressing fire that could be provided, and without hesitance both members of the strike team moved to get into position, each knelt behind some crates which would afford them some measure of cover. Aside from the alarm klaxons which were blaring, it appeared that the inner most part of the compound was under control, and the spy had half a mind to go out and help the team fighting outside of the perimeter wall. Before he could however, Lorad raised the comms, and ordered someone to take up his place as overwatch. “This is Byrne. I’m on it!” he responded quickly, giving a nod to both Tucker and Prince before darting across the open area that stretched from the base of the tower to the interior of the perimeter wall.

Outside, he could still hear weapons discharge as the other team fended off the enemy. Time was of the utmost importance, and if he didn’t scale himself up to the parapets fast, they might suffer casualties, which they honestly could ill afford. Thankfully, the thrusters installed in these exosuits made such an effort little more than a hop, skip, and a jump.

Once atop the walkway that lined the length of the old fortress wall, Byrne approached the edge that peered out into the wilderness beyond and raised his rifle in advance of taking a shot. He could see at the base, just ten or so meters to his left, that Hildebrandt, Jones, and Samuelson were pinned down by brilliant green bolts of disruptor fire surging at them. An occasional ruby pulse volleyed back at the Klingon assailants in order to keep them honest, but if he didn’t intercede sooner rather than later, the Klingons would bear down upon and inflict real damage. “I’ve got them.” Byrne spoke calmly into the comms, resting the fore end of his rifle against the edge of the wall as he lined up the second of the two Klingons that had discovered the team in the first place. Exhaling softly, he depressed the trigger and a high-pitched whine later, the phaser blast crossed the distance between himself and target in an instant, dropping him. “You're clear! Get over the wall, and inside! Move!” he ordered, scanning left and then right for other targets, catching the movement of branches some fifty or so meters further out. “I’m pretty sure we’ve got other Klingon patrols coming in on return!” An instant later, he saw forehead ridges which confirmed his suspicions, and he began cycling the trigger on his phaser rifle to lay down a base of fire.

“Go! Move it!”

[ Base of Perimeter Wall | Compound Exterior ]

Their guardian angel.

Someone had come to their rescue and alleviated the near constant spray of Klingon disruptor fire that was pinning them down, though whatever reprieve there was to be had, it was to be short-lived. Byrne had called out additional incoming Klingons that were returning from apparent patrols, which meant that the little window of time they had to scale the wall and get inside the compound was severely limited.

Standing from where he had gone prone a few minutes earlier, Samuelson leveled his rifle in the direction that their overwatch was firing on, and he too began to apply the pressure, shooting with alacrity. “Peter! Letty, go! I’ll cover!” Behind he heard the sounds of movement as both his comrades began using atmospheric thrusters to launch themselves up, scaling over the wall with relative ease. A moment later, as two additional bursts of reddish-orange phaser blasts began firing off into the distance, he recognized his own opportunity to make a similar traversal up and over. Stowing his weapon, he sprinted toward the wall, then at the last second fired his lower-mounted jets and flung himself up, landing with a bit of a stagger on the parapet above right after. “Letty, head down and join Prince and Tucker at the tower. I’ll stay here with the Lieutenant and Hildebrandt! Go!” Not giving it another thought, Samuelson dropped to a knee a few meters to the left of where Byrne had set up, his weapon re-trained and firing off into the distance as a few straggling Klingons attempted to return volley only to be cut down in a rather unceremonious display of defensive superiority.

[ Makeshift Observation Room | Sub-Level 03 ]

Chaos had erupted all-about him. How unfortunate, thought Doctor Pohr’ghek as he stepped away from the screen that had been giving him a direct feed into the spy’s cell. And, just when the effects of the drug were starting to elicit the desired effect. “Compile all data we’ve expunged from the subject and send the encoded burst transmission at once. Before they disrupt our outside communications.” The Doctor paced behind a pair of Klingons whose fingers danced across a console at lightning pace, creating the secure file which contained all relevant information they’d gotten up to this point. An instant later, confirmation came via an alert on screen; the data packet had made it out. Gorka, and his allies would receive it; and so long as they knew the decryption algorithms or had an AI which could crack them, they’d know of this ‘Hurley’ and ‘Samantha Rutherford’ that the prisoner had revealed. Nodding succinctly, the Doctor then stopped near both of his attendants, standing between them. “Excellent. You’ve performed your tasks admirably. That will be all.” He said, raising a disruptor and firing into each of their backs before either could even know what had happened.

Stepping forward, he reached out to touch the console before disappearing into a shimmering gold field as he was transported away, the console erupting from a pre-programmed overload a second after.

[ Main Corridor | Sub-Level 03 ]

They’d made it so far so quickly.

The two Lieutenants, Pierce and Amarik, were a spearhead that seemingly couldn’t be stopped, and Lewis and Hebert were just trying to keep up with them as the tore through one Klingon after another. It was quite the display, and Hebert was starting to think they’d make it all the way to wherever Commander Fisher was being held without incurring so much as a delay. “Ahhh! Damn that stings!” he hollered aloud as he caught a stray disruptor bolt in his shoulder, the sting of seared flesh and bone firing all matter of synapses throughout his brain as he registered the pain at about an eleven on a scale from one-to-ten. This wasn’t the first time he’d been shot, but it certainly had hurt worse than any of the previous instances. It staggered him enough that he lost his sense of bearing too, and when it returned a second later, he saw that it had very nearly cost him his life, though Lieutenant Pierce had thankfully managed to intervene on his behalf, a shot having dropped the Klingon guard that had sought to end him. “I’m good!” He replied, a lie since he most certainly wasn’t ‘good’, but as a combat medic, he knew well enough that the hit he’d sustained wasn’t immediately life-threatening.

No, that came next when the Lieutenant moved on ahead with Lewis close in tow, the latter of which dropped like a sack of potatoes after taking the brunt of some kind of a wayward attack meant for the former.

There was a scream from Pierce, and Hebert ran forward, putting the pain in his shoulder in the back of his mind as he knew he needed to get to Lewis with some immediacy if he’d have any chance of saving his life. “Jackson! Hang on!” he shouted as he dropped to a knee beside his comrade, all but throwing a field medic’s kit down on the ground next to where he’d knelt. There was a gash, long and deep running from his left pectoral down across to his lower right abdomen, and a deluge of blood was quickly escaping the wound. Quickly, he scanned the downed team member and could see that the blade had cut clean through muscle but hadn’t pierced sternum and ribcage. Internal organs were spared, but had absorbed the force of the blow, and as a result his heart was beating irregularly within his chest cavity. “Alright. I got this.” He said more so to himself, entirely ignorant of the scuffle unfolding behind him between Lieutenant Pierce and the very last of the Klingons still standing upright on this level of the compound. Reaching into his kit, he grabbed a small device which and from it he withdrew two smaller components that he attached to different areas of Lewis’ torso. Punching at the controls of the device, there was a sudden pulse that caused the injured team member’s body to jump slightly, and an alert chirped to inform Hebert that the first attempt at correcting an irregular heartbeat hadn’t succeeded.

“Oh not you don’t!” He hollered at Lewis, actuating a second pulse, and this time the alert tone from the device sounded different. Hastily, Hebert returned the emergency defib unit to the kit and grabbed a canister of bio-foam and began spraying it into the long wound, the white expanding foam mixing with the red of blood to make a pinkish hue that ran the length across his chest.

Reaching to activate his comms and call for help moving Lewis back to the surface, Hebert stopped when a nearby wall-mounted console exploded.

[ Makeshift Holding Cell | Sub-Level 03 ]

The lights inside of Fisher’s cell flickered, and a set of observation sensors perched discretely in the corner burst into sparks as some sort of a power overload sent a massive surge throughout the systems in the sub-levels of the compound. Ducking instinctively in reaction to the ruptured devices as they spat bits of plasma at him, Fisher narrowed his eyelids in an effort to try and make clear sense of what was happening.

Someone was coming for him. A rescue?

But what had happened to the old standard of ‘No one will clam you!’ that he’d come to know, understand, and even accept? That had been the generally known operating mantra of Starfleet Intelligence, at least it had been during all of the infiltration operations he’d run and been involved with in the past. Spies were sent out into the field, often times on missions that were near impossible to achieve, and if they disappeared, it was declared an acceptable loss and they were all but forgotten. The only hint as to their fate being the addition of a brand-new Starfleet Delta carved into the marble wall in the lobby of Starfleet Intelligence’s office back on Earth. Blinking as he settled down into the chair at the middle of his cell, the beaten and battered spy had a thought come to him that ached far worse than any physical ailment of his; that this wasn’t real at all. Just another machination of his ever-devious mind, meant to give him just a hint of hope in advance of plucking it way at the last second in some kind of sick game of cat and mouse. The klaxons hadn’t cleared his thoughts, as he had so hoped, it had only triggered the next phase of whatever haunting tricks his own mind would play on him.

“No. No one’s coming for me.” He said to himself aloud, his voice barely audible over the sound of the still blaring klaxons. “They don’t do that. They don’t rescue us once we’re caught. They don’t track us down and find out what happened to us. They write us off. That’s what they do!” he said a little more loudly, clearly his subconscious starting to get a rise out of his conscious self.

“Oh, they don’t? Then what the fuck was I doing on Betazed?” answered a voice Fisher hadn’t heard in almost seven-years.

Fisher’s heart stopped in his chest when he saw the impatient face staring at him, full of the same piss and vinegar that had been there all those years ago on the then Dominion occupied world of Betazed. Suddenly, anything he had been sure of, was gone, replaced with a new questions and doubts, some which he’d not even considered until this moment, though they were now omnipresent in his mind.

“Yeah, that’s right. Amazing how a little bit of an electrical overload finally got you to remember me.” Swaying from side to side on the balls of his feet, Brody stood like a raptor ready to pounce its prey as he glared into Fisher’s face. “Certainly didn’t remember me when you were fucking my wife.” The accusation stung true to the very heart, but this visage of someone from the spy’s past didn’t seem ready to relent. The realest hallucination yet, and seemingly uncaring of trying to pretend he was anything else. “Oh but you knew then, just like you know now. You just pretended you didn’t. Hid that from her. Tried to hide it from yourself, but you couldn’t. Not forever, anyway. I’m here now though. Not going anywhere either.” Peering back behind him at some commotion going on outside of the cell, Brody stepped closer to Fisher, kneeling down so that he might look right in on those sage green-eyes once more. “Now you’ve put her in danger, the same way you put me in danger. The same way you almost got me killed. Because you just don’t know when to quit. When to cut loose. Your arrogance, and ignorance of the consequences got you caught, and now she’s out there, trying to save your ass the way I did!”

“Mason...” Fisher tried to speak. “...Brody, I...” He stammered, the guilt he’d been trying to avoid getting to him now.

“ what?” pressed the hallucination. “Say it!” He shouted.

“I’m sorr--” the door burst open, Brody disappeared and was replaced by a Klingon holding a familiar crimson-haired woman by the throat. They backed into his cell now, and Fisher could vaguely recall hearing her address him a moment earlier, though he’d ignored it. Someone was coming for him. A rescue? But what had happened... “Agggh! NO!” Fisher hollered, lunging up from the chair he’d been seated in as the Klingon presented arrogantly his back to him for the faintest of moments. Instincts and conditioning kicked in subconsciously, the training of Starfleet Intelligence winning over all other considerations in the moment, even though Fisher wasn’t certain what he was witnessing was real or not. It didn’t matter though. There was still an overriding awareness that a Klingon holding some woman hostage was a target worth attacking, regardless of the context, especially if there was a clear enough opportunity, and there had been. Seizing upon the Klingon, Fisher’s arms were indeed unbound, dispelling the confusion he’d had over it just minutes earlier. Immediately, one hand grabbed at the bladed weapon pressed to the throat of the redhead, cutting into the flesh of his fingers and palm and drawing crimson. The other though, dug deep into the Klingon’s throat and tore free a chunk of skin and flesh.

Letting out a guttural gasp through the hole so suddenly wrenched out of his neck, the Klingon released his grip on the knife and dropped to the floor of Fisher’s cell, hands going to try and stave off an imminent death.

Panting heavily, Fisher held unto the blade of the knife with his hand, it dripping his own blood down onto the floor as he allowed the piece of Klingon flesh to fall with a slight splatter beside the writhing warrior. Taking just a scant moment to get his bearings, the bruised Intelligence Chief peered about the immediate confines of his cell, looking for someone that had been there just a second earlier, though they were gone.

“Lieutenant?” He asked with some obvious confusion evident in his voice.

[ Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Kaylee nodded in appreciation of the kind sentiment the Lieutenant had extended her, a smile broaching the features of her face as she spun round to head back to her station and resume interception and dissection of any incoming intel they could. It was all hands-on deck for the Intelligence Department and situated all around her was every last Analyst and Encryption Specialist still on board Theurgy. They knew that the fate of Commander Fisher was at stake, as well as the rest of the team that were down there trying to rescue him. They weren’t necessarily a tight-knit group yet, but she and the rest of them had taken on the challenge of turning the tide against overwhelming odds, and thus far it seemed to be working. Hands flying across her console, Kaylee perused through the dozens of data packets as they were coming in, hoping to find something, anything else which might further help the effort. What was frustrating, and what made the task difficult, especially for Lieutenant Dantius, was knowing which pieces of information were of value, and which ones weren’t.

“There! Those!” Kaylee pointed to her screen. “Chris, bring that up!” she ordered one of her fellows.

“Lieutenant, we might have something else here.” She peered back over her shoulder to the green-skinned Chief Analyst.

On the screen, highlighted for easier focus and interpretation, was an impartial decryption of some sort of a burst transmission that Thea’s automatic subroutines had already deciphered, an incomplete communication originating from the compound, and response sent from several other nearby outposts. There were also scant sensor readings indicating powering up subsystems, though the info didn't seem to be specific enough to easily interpret. “I can’t make any sense of it.” Kaylee explained, pointing to the three of them in turn, looking back to Anh-Le once more. The fragments were almost gibberish, with a letter here or there, or a complete word interspersed even more randomly, though it was clear they had all pertained to Fisher, the Klingon Compound, and perhaps even the state of the rescue mission as it was unfolding live. What was being relayed to and from one outpost to the other? What kind of information had been hidden away in the intercepted burst transmission that had been sent from the base, and who had sent it? More importantly though, was there anything within what the team still on Theurgy were seeing which could directly benefit the operation?

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #32
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | The Apache | Hawk-class Runabout | Upper Atmosphere | Qo'nos ] attn: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @Pierce

Through years of rigorous exercise in her profession, Samantha had learned that it always got worse, before it would get better. That a plan was always only as good as the variables in it. And when it came to tactical diplomacy, then she had come to be pretty good at reducing this unpredictability to a manageable minimum. But that was the thing, really, the greatest difference in this situation, over what she was trained for: The element of planning that went into it. A negotiation was a long-planned occasion, where the strategy you had devised pretty much dictated your role and success. This rescue, and that was no judgment, had been cooked up pretty much on a moment’s notice. Where contingencies were reduced to assumptions of luck and fate, which weren’t really the kind of sentiments the plucky blonde usually considered backups, and it made her uncomfortable. A wildly human notion, only kept in check by her partly Vulcan nature, as dainty features still started to show the minute telltale signs of her human nature, for once, as fine lines deepened barely noticeably around her eyes and forehead. It may not have been a change akin to running around the cockpit like a headless chicken, but those who knew her, would understand it as a signal to worry.

Barely noticing Samala’s status update, as it got jumbled in the details relayed by Lt. Pierce, for the most part, the diplomat found herself growing weary of the oppressive restraint her Vulcan teachings imposed upon the human side of herself. How with incessant arrogance, like some self-regarding teacher, it was talking down to its seemingly infantile student. Treating them like a pet, almost. And in this moment, she’d had it, and everyone around her was going to have it too. “STOP! For a second … just stop!” she burst out, her voice sounding like a fourth person had entered the room in a passionate frenzy. Hands thrown up into the air, palms shielding the sides of her head in frustration, as blue eyes quivered beneath a forehead carved with decades of restrained heritage. Her grandfather would’ve pitied her, right in that moment, giving into her human side in the worst way possible. Letting go of years and years of braving through all the hardship on her logic and her confidence alone. But she wasn’t entirely Vulcan. Her breaking was both not as unnatural, as if she had been, neither was it as surprising or shocking. Which sounded like an excuse by her human nature, but in reality, it was the logic of her Vulcan quarter.

What that moment of ‘weakness’ meant, however, was that the gravity of the mission was flooding into her chest cavity with the weight of a thousand moons, dragging the pit of her stomach down into the abyss with that dreaded feeling of weightlessness, that poetic lyrics prescribed to butterflies, when in this moment it felt more like something akin to ferocious bats. The suffocating fear of losing the one person that had given her life the faintest semblance of meaning, beyond her duty, recently. That few scarce moments in between, that now resembled diamonds spread across plains of volcanic ash, like glimmering breadcrumbs. Feelings that her logic and restraint had kept at bay for danger of feeling mawkish or sentimental. Or betraying eternal trust vowed for in deep devotion, more than a decade prior. So long ago she couldn’t exactly count the years, but the feeling of guilt still rung like a distant bell all too familiarly, in the dark memories of her mind, through all this time. But this was the first time that fear overruled the guilt, heralding in a revelation, of sorts, that there was something between her and Andrew that had managed to furtively conquer her better judgment, and even will. Sneaking past her Vulcan restraint and guardedness, to plant a now sprouting seed into the wasteland her logical nature called control.

Burying her pate into the soft palms of her slender hands, lowering into the gentle embrace forward, icy hues concealed behind lash lined shutters, holding back the rising tide of desperation, Samantha struggled to keep her head above the surface of despair, if only just for a moment. Which may not have been becoming of her as a strong woman, or a superior officer, or a 1/4th Vulcan … but it was probably the single most important incentive she needed to bring this mission to a favorable conclusion. It was the one thing she had been lacking, to conquer the turmoil of chance and happenstance, rather than planning and preparation: a little less logic. “Fisher” Plump lips whispered almost inaudibly, enchanted by the voice on the comms. Azure orbs flickering up from beneath dainty fingers, glimmering with the rapidly dispersing moisture of anguish, pale palms soon found their way slammed against the lower portion of her console, which the computer did not register as a constructive input. Answering with an awkward chime instead, that fell to the wayside entirely, in the light of grander revelations.

The entire dialogue of the past minute suddenly flushed the blonde’s mind, sorting and aligning like a jigsaw puzzle, as her attention finally diverted back to the pilot – and to an extend the other crewman – who looked at her with a confusing sense of bewilderment. “Shut down the atmospheric engines and drop us to one thousand feet.” she ordered the pilot, figuring that such an unpowered decent would at least not give the two Klingon ships too much to go on, rather than a downward turbulence that could’ve simply been a meteorological phenomenon. It hadn’t occurred to her then, that Pierce’s statement wasn’t proof that they had found Andrew, but it was enough for her human side to go on. And that bitch was currently in charge. “Ready weapons systems for support. Sending you the locator signals of the away team members to avoid friendly fire.” she concluded swiftly, pushing the necessary information forward to the other two. Next in the cue of information in her mind, sorted neatly by descending priority at this point, was the blinking data link Alana had established too.

“Lt. Dantius, check the Klingon network for blueprints of the lower levels, I expect two potential evacuation routes to the surface within the next five minutes. And download as much data as you can, without compromising the stability of the connection. This might be our only chance.” Forwarding the uplink as she spoke, the diplomat’s fingers ran over the glass panel with newfound determination and vigor, drawing strength from her burning emotions, ignoring her pouting Vulcan physiology on the sidelines for now. Zooming into the sublevel and Lieutenant Pierce’s location once more, she found that her intermittent signal - with Amarik nearby - obscured periodically by the superstructure, was moving into a room which only had one door. A holding cell, if she had ever seen one. She didn’t even consider that the move had been involuntarily, but in truth, it also didn’t matter. “Lieutenant Pierce, can you confirm contact?!” Sam tried against the static. Meanwhile, Lorad was going for the control room, which would stir the pot enough so that Klingon movements would become uncoordinated – not that they generally were very … well. It was going to aid their extraction none the less.

“Byrne, Lorad is going for the control tower, assist him if you can and keep your team close together. We’re coming in for air support, but I’d prefer not to have to shoot circles around the whole lot of you.” she instructed swiftly to the next officer in queue, before moving on to the last order of the current business. “Lorad, you’ll get support to take the control room, try to disable as many systems as you can.” she instructed, without feeling to add the futile assurance of being allowed to ‘go wild’. Which seemed to be in his nature regardless of circumstance. Finally turning back to Samala, there was even the faintest hint of a smile playing on the blonde’s features now. Which stood in stark contrast to the glimmering trail of moisture, running down from the inner almond-tip of one of her pale blue eyes. There was now a thoroughly provident air to her confidence. One that maybe transpired a little more than usual, as it fell like ambers on the dried-out underbrush of everyone’s else’s deprivation of hope. It wasn’t as calm and collected as her usually demeanor, but that made it that much more contagious to anyone who was able to feel emotions.

“Drop the cloak on my command …”

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #33
[b]Lt. JG Dantius Thi Anh-Le | Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy[/b]   attn: @stardust  @BipSpoon   @Swift   @Pierce   @Stegro88

Anh-Le bit back a curse as she looked over the Ensign's data stream and discarded it as impractical to translate in the moment.  "Track everything about those comms.  Especially the destinations."   She could crank through that data later. 

That gave her an idea, though.  It would be one-way encryption, if the Klingons had any sense, so there was really no point in trying to use the local systems' encryption algorithms to decrypt the data...

But she could encrypt data of her own. 

The Klingons didn't seem to know that she was in the system yet.  Anh-Le had a hunch--this wasn't a black site in enemy territory, even Starfleet Intelligence sometimes used an on-board encryption protocol for internal messaging services. 

There.  A simple mailing system. Probably had bot accounts for the emergency response.  Anh-Le couldn't whip up a bot of her own on the fly, but she could quickly upload and re-task a spam virus that she'd used before to DDOS suspected foreign secured messaging services with nonsense mailings.  It went down to the Klingon computers fast, and Anh-Le set it to spam a loop of slightly modified versions of the outgoing Klingon messages in thirty seconds flat. 

She was halfway through writing a 'systems compromised' message in the clear, wanting to help with the scuffle she could half-hear over the comms but knowing all she could do was distract, when Commander Rutherford's call came through. 

"On it, sir."  She pulled up a map of the Klingon facility, sent the message without a signature, and navigated through the file folders as someone engaged a manual shutdown on the turbolift the strike team had entered through.  "They know you're there.  They're shutting down the lifts.  Go out the back, rear section has turbolifts and a stairwell.  Try not to get caught on the stairs."  Hopefully the files she was trying to remotely download weren't some Klingon's porn cache.  And even more hopefully the Klingons wouldn't be able to straight-up pull the plug.  "Expect reinforcements."  They'd be stupid to not have backup at the outposts the emergency signal went to.  "Give it..."  How good were the ships they'd have?  "Twenty minutes if we're lucky, but plan for ten." 

It hadn't gone completely to hell yet.  And besides.  No plan ever survived contact  with the enemy. 
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #34
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarik | Klingon Compound | Qo’Nos ] Attn: @Swift @stardust @GroundPetrel @Pierce @Stegro88
As Valyn ran, the severed hand swung with her own movement. She kept close to Pierce, the two of them carving through the compound as quickly as they possibly could. Each echo of her footfalls was met with another blaring drone from the klaxons, but Valyn hardly even noticed them. Everything besides her objective had fallen to the wayside. Her focus was entirely on the mission at hand, and nothing else.

She ducked as a disruptor bolt flew past her head and slammed into a nearby console, exploding in a shower of sparks and dissipating plasma. Her eyes locked with the Klingon as they ran down the hall and she increased her speed, watching as her comrades dispatched his allies. She threw her blade forward, knocking his weapon to the ground. Before he could reach it though, she was upon him. She gripped the strap at her hip connected to the hand, and swung it. Propelled by the weight of the hand, the strap flew around his neck. She leapt up, running across the bottom portion of the wall before she landed on his shoulder, grabbed the strap and pulled with the full weight of her body.

He struggled, with everything he had, slamming her backwards into a console before she twisted her leg to the side, wrapping the hook of her knee around his throat as well. She threw herself to the left, and his feet came out from beneath him. As they hit the ground, she heard a loud ‘crack’ from the Klingon, and after a single gasp, he stilled. Quickly, she retrieved her knife and rifle, and fell back into the group.

Giving Pierce a nod, she ducked to the side, towards the security console. It was in a small alcove, giving her some cover, but her squadmates had to pick up the slack, lest she wind up with a disruptor shot of her own. She ignored the incessant static in her ear as she quickly removed a small spanner from her hip. She started to work through the bolts that sealed the panel to the wall, but after a moment, and another shot flying past her, she grabbed her rifle, turned the setting down, and cut through the panel as if her weapon was a laser scalpel. She reset the rifle, and let it hang back at her side. Inside the console, was a nightmare of circuitry. Despite how tight the facility was locked down, the panel itself had been rigged in the most confusing fashion she could have imagined.

“Oh shit.” She said as she stuck a hand in, pushing one wire aside as she pulled her tricorder out with her other hand. Each wire was tied into another system, causing a multitude of redundancies and backups. “We have a little problem!” She shouted, “Try and get me a minute.” She ducked down further, to get a closer look inside but it wasn’t much use. The lighting was bad to begin with, but the flashing alarm system didn’t help much. Whoever had tied the system together had either done it for the sake of security, or because they needed a novel solution to a power supply issue. Then it clicked.

“Power.” She muttered to herself, before she picked up her rifle and looked around the hall. The nearest power junction was a few meters away. “Make some room!” She shouted to the others, aiming her rifle first at the power junction. “About to get dark.” She tapped her suit, a small light activating before she pulled the trigger. As the bolt made contact with the junction, it exploded with a shower of flame and spark. An instant later, the lights went out. The Klaxon quieted, and only emergency power remained, the flashing red illuminating the corridor every few seconds. “Lift is tied into the upper level junctions and emergency backup.” She made sure to clarify before any panic set in. She moved back to the now dark panel that housed the door controls, and started to manually crank the door open.

She too heard the man beyond the last door. She started to move, but an instant later heard a shout from Pierce. Her head turned to the side, trying to locate her through the dark. Seconds later though, she saw the signal on her wrist pop up. “Got you.” She ran at top speed towards the chamber that had been opened. She heard bangs, shouts, and the telltale noise of struggling bodies. As she pierced the veil of the doorway into the room, which too was lit a bit better than the corridors she brought her rifle up, aiming it straight at the struggling trio.

Before she had a clear shot though, the Klingon was dead.

“Pierce! Are you alright?” She moved forward, rifle aimed straight at the Klingon, despite the fact he was unmoving on the ground. She poked the body with the tip of her boot and looked at Fisher, impressed. Despite his obvious condition, he’d managed to kill a Klingon with his bare hands. “And what about you?” She looked at Fisher, trying to get a good look at his eyes. She didn’t bother with niceties or protocol. She was asking for the sole purpose of trying to figure out how they were supposed to get out, logistically. If someone couldn’t walk, that’d create a complication. One she wanted to at least attempt to adapt to. She gave both Pierce and Fisher a cursory look over, scanning for any obvious and serious injuries that needed immediate addressing. She handed fisher a bandage from her hip for his hand, but didn’t waste time trying to do it herself. “Wrap your hand.” She didn’t know how much blood he’d already lost, every drop was critical in that case.

The voice in her ear made her stomach drop a bit though. “No lifts. Great.” She let out a sigh that almost sounded like a hiss at the end and swiveled on her foot. “We have to move. If they’re shutting down the lifts who the fuck knows what they’re planning. They might try and gas us out. Or….more than likely they’re trying to funnel us out the back and are waiting for us. Either way there’s only one way out.” She waited for both of them to start moving some before she started off herself, activating the light at the end of her rifle. If something not friendly appeared on the business end of it, she didn’t plan to ask questions first. So much for backup power.

As she moved down the hall, she wasn’t disappointed with the Klingon response. Another group of them had started to form in their path, holding the line behind some crates and a hover-sled.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #35
[ Lt. Alana Pierce | Klingon Compound | Qo'Nos] | ATTN: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @stardust | [Show/Hide]

The comm chatter on the wrist-mounted part of Pierce's suit was getting more erratic as were the sensors of troop movements. The Klingon that had grasped her had seemed to drop almost as quickly as he had taken up arms against her. At a surprisingly quick speed, Fisher was standing next to her, clearly still confused about his scenario but with enough combat training to realize the need to act. He seemed to almost see her and then not again as he appeared catatonic again, despite the blood dripping from his blade and hand.

Within a moment, Lt. Amarik was also nearby Pierce and inquired on her status. "To be honest, I thought I was going to have to get a little creative but Fisher snapped out of whatever hallucinogenic they have him on briefly enough for him to act." She smirked as she too kicked the corpse on the ground. "He does good work. Coherent or not."

She leaned over and picked up her rifle as well as the dagger from the downed Klingon. She heard Amarik's note on the lifts being down and the oncoming onslaught.

Pierce tapped her signal booster in the confines of the facility. Although it'd only have a short burst, this one-shot was hopefully all they needed to get rescued sooner than later. "This is Pierce. We have Fisher. Lt. Amarik is with us. Need immediate extraction."

The room was darkened now aside from the klaxons overhead blaring, and glowing red. Several Klingons ran up to their coordinates. Pierce handed Fisher a Klingon disruptor in hopes he was coherent enough to fire some well-deserved shots off at non-Starfleeters. Pierce saw the power sled ahead which gave her an idea. "Cover me and then run like hell to the sled. We're gonna make that our way out of here."

Diving behind a bulkhead, she fired off some shots as she climbed behind the Klingons firing on her friends. Quickly she incapacitated them with a quick shot to the cranial ridges. Motioning back towards her comrades to catch up, she began tinkering with the anti-grav sled. Disabling the safeties, the two others caught up just in time for her to ignite the lift's propulsion system.

Much like the sleds in the winter on Earth, this sled was flying as quickly through the facility. Klingon soldiers fired and missed as the sled careened towards them, running them over in the process. The motion of the sled bouncing could be felt beneath as Alana laughed at the illogical predicament they now found themselves in. Klingon's ran to dodge the sled's high-speed motion as it took near breakneck speeds through the caverns. Alana attempted to steer the best she could through the halls as it went up a few flights, entirely bypassing the lift system. 

"Hold on!" she yelled as things grew louder. No doubt getting closer to the surface now. Her comms were now active again which told her everything she needed to know.

Moments later from the surface, Klingons could be heard shouting and yelling about near the tunnel system as barrelling out of the confines like a rocket was an anti-grav sled with three Starfleet officers atop as it ran over more Klingon soldiers. "Prepare to jump!" Alana yelled as she and the others dove off the unit before it collided with a group of Klingon attack dogs.

Pierce reached her wrist. "This is Lt. Pierce. We're out. Ready whenever you are!" She held her ground beside the others as they moved towards the cover of the trees. 

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #36
[ Crewman Samala | The Apache | Hawk-class Runabout | Upper Atmosphere | Qo’noS ] 

Samala knew that she should have clarified the orders that Commander Rutherford had issued. She also now suspected that this mission was now also a personal one for the officer. The shouted outburst only lent further proof to her belief. And then there was her base nature that whispered in her ear, telling her not to concern herself with either and instead do what she was born to do. What she had been trained to do. What she wanted to do.

“Understood ma’am,” Samala responded, cutting power to the Apache’s engines. It wasn’t a bad idea, and it did increase their stealth levels even further. The issue was the trajectory of their descent. If she let them just fall, the hull would heat up and potentially give away their position. Samala didn’t believe a Klingon could be that stupid as to think that they were a simple meteor over one of their compounds. The better solution was to use a gliding trajectory to descend, limiting the heating of their hull and keeping them invisible. The added benefit was allowing her to decide exactly where that she levelled off, after she checked to find out what Commander Rutherford meant by ‘1000 feet’.

As they descended, the announcement came through from the Theurgy that reinforcements would be on the way. A momentary panic set in as the hybrid wondered if she had made the wrong decision but was mollified when she remembered that her targets had been detected before the call had come through; ergo, these were not the reinforcements but some sort of patrol. Either way, they were a threat and Samala was going to eliminate them.

“Level at 300 metres,” Samala informed the officer behind her before adding. “On an intercept course with enemy ships. Intercept in 38 seconds.” The expected rebuke never came, instead a simple order to 'fire at will’. That, she was prepared to do. Bringing up the controls for the Apache’s Disuptor Cannons, she selected the beam setting before arming the ship’s complement of micro torpedoes. “12 seconds to target,” Samala announced as she looked ahead and locked onto the lead Klingon craft. “Tashanna, drop the”

The Apache’s systems came alive as the Reman cloak disengaged. With them no longer hidden from sensors, Samala increased power to the engines, adjusted her course slightly and then caressed the fire controls. A pair of powerful beams erupted from the gunship and split the air ahead of her before impacting against the side of shuttle the Klingons were using. The craft visibly wobbled in the air before finally manoeuvring out of the line of fire for the cannons. But Samala wasn’t done as she triggered a full volley of 6 torpedoes at the shuttle and then lined up on her second target. Both ships were now trying to actively avoid her, and probably calling for aid, but none would come for them. Samala’s eyes gleamed as she fired on the second shuttle with her cannons even as the night sky lit up with an explosion as the 6 torpedoes broke through what was left the shields of her first target and detonated, sending fiery remains crashing to the surface.

“Coming around,” Samala announced. She had overshot her target, only grazing them with her cannons as they had turned into her, cutting down the time they were exposed to just seconds. Now, she had to chase them. It wasn’t a short chase though. The Apache was the faster of the two ships and less than a minute later, Samala was firing again, her disruptor cannons scything through first the shields and then the hull of the Klingon craft, nearly cutting it in two before gravity seized it and dragged it to the ground below to create a second funeral pyre that night.

“New contacts, 8 ships approaching from the north. They’ll be at the base 11 minutes,” Tashanna announced from behind Samala. “Two of them just faded out,” she updated. 

“Not good,” Samala mused. Ships fading out on sensors when others didn’t was a telling sign of a cloak being engaged. Six versus one were terrible odds to begin with but with two additional cloakers, Samala was less than confident. 

“Setting course for the base,” Samala announced as she turned the Apache around and pushed the engines to full thrust. “We’ll be there in 4 minutes. Tashanna, transfer power from the cannons to the disruptor arrays and shields. Ma’am,” Samala said, getting the officer’s attention. “You might want to man the tactical console. It’s easier to fire the arrays from there."

[PO3 Lorad | Klingon Compound | Qo’noS ] 
Time was short, Lorad knew. Now that the alarm had been sounded, not only would the bases’ garrison be alerted but reinforcements would be deployed from other nearby locations. They needed to leave quickly. He counted on his sister to make sure that that happened but understood that the base was also likely to contain some form of defence against aerial assault, be it shields or weapons. Either way, the controls for those would be in the command centre. So that was where he was going. 

“Understood,” Lorad acknowledged, formulating a plan of assault as he approached the tower. He could attempt to breach the room from the catwalk but that exposed him to fire from the grounds. Alternatively, he could enter from the parapet and have to ascend two levels. The second option protected him from external fire but restricted his movements. Of the two though, the internal assault was the safer option given the deployment of the garrison. It would be close quarters combat, something that the Reman was extensively trained for.

First though, Lorad had to get through the door. He tried a solid kick but found the door unforgiving of his efforts; it was sealed. That he solved with a 10-round burst from his Accipiter into the locking mechanism and then a dry shot into the door itself, flinging the entrance open. Slinging his rifle across his back, Lorad drew his pulse phase pistol and kukri before stepping through the door. 

Inside, he found the room dusty and darkened, with sparks crackling from a wall mounted light fitting. Evidently, he had destroyed it when he had destroyed the door lock. He had barely begun to clear the room when a guttural scream from his right broke the air. Turning, Lorad barely had time to raise his arm to block an overhead swing from a bat’leth. Taking the hit on his right forearm, he brought his kukri up in his left and with a single powerful chop, disembowelled the attacking Klingon male. Shrugging off the powerful blow, Lorad shook his arm to dislodge the large weapon from where it was embedded in his armour, before starting up the stairs, phaser at the ready.

Advancing to the next level, Lorad found three Klingon warriors gathering weapons from a rack, evidently confident in their companion’s success in preventing intrusion form below. Lorad swiftly disabused them of that notion. Unlike his sister, Lorad, while capable of using a sidearm in his left hand, had never found it comfortable and his aim was severely lacking. But, also unlike his sister, he more than made up for that deficiency by being highly accurate with his right. If he shot at something, he hit it. And he demonstrated this now by putting a phaser pulse into the face of the Klingon closest to him. The warrior’s head snapped back, his face destroyed, and his body collapsed to the ground. Lorad tried a second shot, but his target dove aside and there was no time for a third as the Reman was slammed back into the wall by the third Klingon, his phaser clattering to the floor as it was dislodged.

The two of them struggled, each trying to gain the upper hand. Lorad was the stronger but the Klingon had him out of position and was able to keep him pinned through a combination of leverage and adrenaline. If he had time, Lorad knew that he could overpower the warrior but movement from the side drew his attention as the second Klingon rose up and drew his d’k tahg, his intention clear. Lorad’s pulse surged as he tried to free himself but seconds ticked away as the Klingon drew ever closer. Then a phaser pulse rang out, then another, and the Klingon fell forward to the stone floor, revealing Lieutenant Bryne behind him, phaser at the ready. It was all the distraction that Lorad needed as he pushed forward, freed his arms and then slashed the Klingon across his throat. The warrior’s eyes bulged as his life drained away down his chest but he said nothing with only a gurgling sound marking his passing.

“Couldn’t let you have all the fun,” Bryne observed as Lorad bent to collect his sidearm. “Reinforcements are on the way, as is your sister. We need to go.”

“We must clear control room,” Lorad proclaimed, heading for the stairs that would lead him up to the control room. “Safer.”

“I guess you’re on point then,” the Human remarked as he fell in behind the security officer. He almost immediately had to step over a Klingon body that had been slashed multiple times, shooting it himself when it twitched. “No pulse.”

The control room above was a mess when he arrived with the Reman already halfway across it, a series of bodies on the stone behind him. Seeing that panic was already setting in as the Reman entered the melee, Bryne brought his rifle up and joined the fray with short, controlled bursts taking down distracted Klingon warriors who had yet to take notice of his arrival.

Time was in short supply. There was no choice except to take the control room and prevent any kind of emplaced weapons from targeting the Apache. That meant rushing the room and surprising warriors that were no doubt prepared for his arrival. A hard task by all calculations. But he had faced harder. A Romulan’s whip cut deeper than most blades, especially those within The Pit. He had suffered there once, 30 hours of agony and pain before being released. He had been on the verge of collapse, knowing that it would bring death, and with it release. But he had been sent back to the others, reprieved as a warning from a new overseer wanting to set an example about meeting quotas no matter the cost. There was no training for surviving The Pit, but for this, he was trained for this. He was a Reman Shock Trooper.

He had dived through entry way, not even attempting to come through at full height, turning and rolling as he did to eliminate any flankers before coming up to his knees behind a console. As Klingons had advanced, he had risen to his full height and engaged them in close quarters battle, using their own comrades as shields to prevent a clear line of fire even as he himself hack, slashed and shot his way around the room. He was vaguely aware of Bryne’s arrival as his phaser rifle began to fire as well but he pushed that aside as he continued forward. HIs muscles ached but his Duritanium heart worked on tirelessly, pumping Reman blood through his body and allowing him to press on. His armour was scoured by both damage and bloody from Klingons but he ignored it, so intent was he on clearing the room. Then he was sent flying sideways by something he had never seen, his head ringing from where his helmet bounced off of a console.

Shaking his head, Lorad pushed himself up, only to be confront by one of the largest Klingons he had ever seen, a warrior so massive that the Reman would have sworn that he rivalled Martok’s bodyguard Kudesh. Growling within his helmet, Lorad brought up his phaser only to find it smashed. The Klingon smirked at him and drew a D’k tahg with his right hand and Lorad mirrored him, discarding his destroyed sidearm and switching his kukri to his right. 

“Egrix is going to kill you!” the Klingon declared in broken standard as he advanced. Lorad learnt two things very quickly. First, that the Klingon, Egrix, was not a trained fighter as he seemingly only used his bulk instead of anything else to win. And second, that his Kukri was not useful when it came to it being used as a stabbing weapon. Tha lack of a functional point preventing it from piercing the Klingon’s unprotected armour. For his glaring error, Lorad was stabbed through his side, the Klingons blade finding a small gap and drawing blood. Instead of capitalising on that wound though, Egrix had thrown him again, before stalking after him. That told Lorad everything he needed to know about the Klingon. Egrix was used to throwing his size and bulk around and getting his own way. That was all the advantage that Lorad needed. 

As the Klingon advanced on him Lorad blocked the wild jab from Egrix’s d’k tahg and immediately brought his kukri down onto the wrist of the warrior, severing it. As the warrior bellowed and staggered back, staring at the stump that was the end of his arm, Lorad dropped to a knee and, with both hands grasping the handle, used his kukri to amputate one of Egrix’s legs above the knee. The Klingon's roar of pain drowning out all other sounds to Lorad before silenced that too with another quick slash of his blade to the throat.

“Having fun?” Bryne asked from where he stood, phaser rifle resting on one hip.

“No,” Lorad groaned, checking his wound to see how bad it was. “We must shut down controls.”

“Tried that already, but they have been locked out,” Bryne responded, moving around to point at a display. “Good news is that there is only one functioning cannon left that can hurt us. Bad news, is that it is mounted on the roof of the barracks, which is still teeming with Klingons using it as a strongpoint. Any ideas?”

“Just one,” Lorad said as he shut his eyes. It had been weeks since he had tried to do this. But the familiarity of it from their month-long journey through Romulan space allowed him to do it with relative ease. Lorad himself was not telepathic, but his sister was and it was she that had established the link between them. Lorad only hoped that she was close enough to hear him.

<Sister, can you hear me?> Lorad called out mentally.

<Barely brother,> Samala replied. <We will be there in seconds. What is wrong?>

<There is a cannon that will target you. We cannot destroy it before you arrive.> Lorad explained. <Evis II, you saw with my eyes. Do so again,> Lorad told his sister as he opened his eyes once more and stared at the screen.

<I see it brother. Consider it gone,> Samala responded before the sense of her faded. Needing no more reassurance, Lorad turned to Bryne. “We should leave, sir. My sister is nearly here.”


Her brother’s message fresh in her mind, Samala altered course slightly to the right, putting a tower between her and the cannon emplacement. Locater signals were also displayed for her and she checked to confirm that none of them were nearby to her target before pulling up the Apache into a climb and unmasking them to the cannon. She only had moments, but it was all she needed. As she came to the top of her wingover manoeuvre, right at the point where she started to face the ground again, Samala brought the Apache to a halt as the first of two Disruptor pulses impacted their shields. Smiling gleefully, she launched a pair of torpedoes straight down, immolating the Klingon barracks and the cannon with it.

“Jesus Samala!” Tashanna exclaimed. “Warn us next time. Shields are at 43%. We’d never have survived another volley.”

“That’s why I did it,” Samala remarked casually, still grinning.

"How'd you know the cannon was there?" Tashanna asked.

 “Intel," Samala said evasively. "Setting down in the courtyard. Ma’am, if you would like to do the honours. Both for our friends, and those not,” leaving out the description of what she should do to any surviving Klingons.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #37
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Makeshift Holding Cell | Sub-Level 03 | House of Mo’Kai Staging Compound | Qo’noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @BipSpoon @stardust @GroundPetrel @Pierce

With heavy breaths, Fisher stood silent like a monolith at the center of this cell, a stern expression in his face as he glared down at the Klingon whose throat he’d literally just torn out with bare hands. That look of utter shock as the inevitability of one’s approaching death set in, he’d seen it many times before, from enemies and friends alike, and he’d always wondered when the time would come wherein, he too would be overcome by such stark realization.

Not today.

Blinking after he’d heard his name said, the focus of his austere gaze shifted round to get a clearer picture of what exactly this had all been about, though it soon connected from one synapse to the next, and he understood. Pierce, the Lieutenant who had only just been assigned to his department a few days earlier, and a retinue of other Starfleet personnel he’d not immediately recognized had come to get him. Accepting the bandage offered from a blonde Romulan, Fisher gave a simple nod as gratitude and acknowledgement. His hand was steadily dripping deep crimson unto the floor beneath where he stood, it coalescing with the blood which had spilled forth from the gaping wound he’d left in the neck of the now lifeless Klingon, and though he managed to stymy most of it with the appropriate application of pressure, the team’s apparent medic stepped forward to check it. In his other hand, he gripped the D’k tahg knife he’d wrenched free from Pierce’s assailant moments earlier, the necessity of being armed beyond paramount even in as compromised a situation as he was now. While he was more than ready to trust in the capabilities of Pierce and the rest of her team, he didn’t want to be just a burden, but rather offer some element of tactical capability. Besides, he had a clear enough read on the matter that he felt confident in who to shoot, and who not to. Klingons bad. Everyone else, good.

“Thanks.” he said, clearing his throat gruffly afterward.

Stepping forward to replace Hebert at Fisher’s side, Lewis, nursing an injury of his own as evidenced by how he seemed to favor one side of his abdomen with a gauntleted hand, the spy accepted an offered disruptor pistol from Pierce. A good four-inches taller than Lewis, Fisher took a stride forward, and recognized the importance of someone to lean against, as though he could stand, his sense of balance wasn’t exactly up to snuff.

“I’ve got you, sir!” exclaimed Lewis, who tucked underneath of Fisher’s left arm without waiting for approval first.

A prideful man, Fisher would’ve normally scoffed at the offer of help, but knew now that any protestations would only delay the progress of the mission, one in which he was decidedly not in command of. So, swallowing his dignity, he allowed the shorter Security Officer to provide some balancing assistance. Ahead of him, he watched as Pierce and her Romulan compatriot exited his dimly lit cell back into the connecting corridor, and once the medic too had followed after, Fisher and his human crutch began making their joint way forward, each of them with one arm extended, pointing a handheld weapon of some fashion. Each labored movement however came at an expense for the battered spy, who had clearly overestimated the degree of lucidity he was experiencing. To him, the passage of time was still at best, inconsistent, with the detail of the world blurring and sharpening with intermittent frequency that would have floored another man in his condition. Only through deep deliberate breaths, and an exceedingly strenuous effort to focus could he hold back the malaise from reclaiming an abject hold of his awareness, which would’ve eliminated any benefit he might’ve presented to the team and their exfiltration of this underground.

“You alright sir?” asked Lewis, who could feel each wobbly, disjointed step that the spy took.

“I’m fine.” He quickly reassured the Crewman, affording a nod to both Lieutenants at the fore of their spearhead while they were trying to figure a way out of this sub-level now that it had been so effectively locked down. At the request for covering fire, he leveled his disruptor in the same direction that the others began to open up at, his eyes struggling to fight away a persistent haze, he doubted he’d hit anything but began to fire all the same. Soon enough, return fire surged out at them, and under the beckon of Lewis, Fisher dropped down to find cover behind an exposed stanchion until the barrage of blasts ended, and he was helped up to his feet. He hated being so reliant on another person for directionality, but the simple matter was, his head hadn’t been screwed on right. “Yeah, we’re up on it!” he hollered after Pierce as she waved them forward to try and keep up with the blitzkrieg, she was unleashing upon anyone who was dumb enough to get in her way. It was an impressive display of combat effectiveness, and it paid in dividends when she’d somehow managed to find a functioning cargo-sled of sorts, everyone loading up onto it in advance of her throwing it into full-speed.

“Whoa!” cried out Hebert, the sudden shift in momentum nearly giving him a case of whiplash as he and the others clung on for dear life.

[ Observation Gantry | Central Tower ]

Emerging from the control room of the Central Tower, Byrne looked out at the compound below wondering what sort of plans Lorad had set into motion just a moment earlier. But, given the manner in which he’d conducted his business inside, especially in dealing with a massive hulking beast of a Klingon, he felt an inclination to let it happen without demanding explanation.

“Prepare for evac! We lay down a base of fire until our ride arrives!” he piped up over comms, catching glimpse of a pair of exosuited team members down below him, their weapons trained and firing ruby-tinged pulses off in a flurry of directions at the various points of entry which insurgent Klingons might enter. It was as good a plan as they had, and to an extent, wasn’t too far from what they’d drawn up back aboard the Apache prior to jump. From beyond the perimeter wall he could faintly detect a rustling of the trees, a telltale sign of returning patrols given the utter stillness of the night wind. “To the north! We’ve got inbound!” his voice re-joined the comms, a gauntleted hand pointing in said direction as an explosion at a barred gate blew doors wide open. Immediately, a cadre of Klingons with attack dogs in tow came pouring in, their disruptors held out and firing shimmering emeralds of energy that splashed against the base of the tower, nearly hitting several members of the team in the process. “They’ve breached the wall!” he cried out, reaching for the rifle stowed at his back in an effort to provide a new source of covering fire, but before he could he was hit in the back by a heavy weight that dislodged him, and sent him tumbling over the edge of the railing toward the ground below.

Landing in a heap, Byrne blinked for a long moment as sensation returned to his limbs, confirming that he’d been spared any sort of permanent paralysis from sustaining such a fall. Still, he ached badly now, though his eyes went wide as it dawned on him that he’d no chance to recover if he wanted to remain a living person, rather than a memory contained within whatever letter Commander Fisher wrote to summarize his death.

“P’takh!” spat Jurael, swinging a bat’leth down in a wide arc as he sought to decapitate the armored Starfleeter he’d just knocked from the observation gantry high above. Inconsolable rage flowed through him, as all the concerns he’d had about base security had been seized upon by these intruders, costing him no small measure of personal honor as result. “Egrix was fat, slow, and dumb! You’ll not best me so easily!” The incense in his voice was overwhelming, and without further delay he swiped the tip of his blade in a horizontal backswing, catching the Infiltration Specialist in his midsection, though the edge could not pierce through the armor plates. Still, the blow was hard enough that it crunched a rib and staggered him to the point of sending him back to the muddy ground, a follow-up soon to come in the form of a downward thrust, aimed at the upper torso of the armored human. The tip of his bat’leth found no flesh as it lunged forward, instead digging into the muck when his target rolled out of the way, and were he a different warrior, Jurael might’ve lost his balance, overcommitting with momentum, and tumbling forward. Instead, he planted a hard boot ahead, the foundation of which acted as a stop, allowing him to carry on with yet another attack from the opposite end of the Klingon battle sword.

“Shit!” exclaimed Byrne as he scampered backward in a crablike crawl, the angered Klingon warrior about to run him through in desperation.

A harrowing explosion later, the night was suddenly and ferociously illuminated by great plumes of atmosphere and energy, the detonation of two torpedoes sending a shockwave that condensed air instantaneously, and which thundered ear-shatteringly throughout the compound. Walls shook and crumpled away in acquiescence of the powerful charges, the nearby barracks completely obliterated, and the last vestiges of remaining power cutting out as overloads burned out every relay with prominence. It was a wonder the tower hadn’t collapsed due to the reverberation, though the precision of the strike was such that it mitigated any serious collateral damage to the maximum extent possible. For Byrne though, who had fallen a good distance from where the rest of the team had taken up defensive positions, it was effectively ground zero. Only the resiliency of his suit had alleviated him the grimmest and most succinct of fates, but oh-boy did his ears ring something fierce. With a groan he pushed himself up from a small pile of rubble and debris, his weapon having been tossed away somewhere by the immensity of the shockwave, he shook his head to clear his train of thought, the imperative need to get to the rest of the team at the base of the central tower being first and foremost of his concern.

“Lieutenant! Come on!” hollered Jones as she scurried out from cover, crossing a great distance in an act of selflessness, her past as a field medic getting the better of her in the moment as she felt the inescapable need to care for her teammates.

“Jones!” hollered Prince as she saw the medic run out of cover, very much aware of the Klingons about to pounce upon her and Byrne.

[ Junction-point somewhere between Sub-Level 02 and Sub-Level 01 ]

“Holy hell!” hollered Hebert as Pierce piloted the cargo-sled up and around several bends, the whole of the underground shaking violently as though a massive bomb had gone off an instant earlier. He, and the others were still clinging unto the vehicle as it bounced around and jostled in accordance with the dictates of the crimson-haired woman at the controls. “What was that?” he asked in awe.

“Door!” cried Lewis, pointing out ahead of Pierce.

Squinting as he tried to make out the apparent barrier ahead of them with some clarity, Fisher clenched tightly onto the railing that encircled the perimeter of the main cargo bed, doubtful that Pierce cared about any objections he, or anyone might’ve lodged. Judging by the maniacal laughter which escaped her, he knew they were relegated to nothing but passengers, and could only brace for the ride that was to be. Unlike the panicked tone betrayed by the hurried words of the young man seated next to him, Fisher exuded no outward emotional response, maybe a lingering effect of the drug coursing throughout his system, but also possibly due to the fact that he’d been through far crazier and outlandish moments of adrenaline inducing insanity. And, while it was a foolish thing for spies like him to go out in search of such chemically induced highs, regardless of how naturally they might’ve been elicited, in this line of work recklessness could get you or your fellows killed. Still, he liked the flare for getting things done which Pierce championed, leading them in a manner that reminded him of himself, and he couldn’t deny feeling just a smidge of exhilaration as their sled sped up ahead of making contact with the barrier preventing their escape.

“Door! Door! Door!” repeated Lewis to no avail, the sled smashing through with great force, blowing apart the wooden obstruction.

“Move!” Fisher hollered at his human crutch, mustering up enough strength to shove the panicked Security Officer off of the sled once Pierce gave up control of it, his heavier self, landing hard atop the armored team member as they skidded to a halt in the muddy courtyard at the base of the central tower.

The commotion of the sled, pitching hard against momentum, rolling, and tumbling like a flicked coin, paled in comparison to the explosions which had rocked the compound moments earlier, but it was still substantial. Watching in awe, Byrne saw the abandoned vehicle just miss Jones as she had been running to find him, it careening into the group of aggressively approaching Klingons, knocking, and crushing them about in violent fashion, the sounds of their grunting and death cries barely audible over the noise of barking attack dogs which fled in terror of that which their bestial brains couldn’t possibly understand. When all was said and done, Lieutenant Pierce had bowled a strike, leaving none of the group alive to persist in their attack, and having given Jones and himself a chance to regroup with the team huddled at the base of the tower, where the sled’s previous occupants were now retreating toward. Clutching the medic’s hand, they ran at full sprint until they came to a halt near where a very alive Commander Fisher was knelt.

“Nice delivery! I see you found the package too!” Byrne hollered toward Pierce in apparent approval of her methods.

[ Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Observing via long-range visual sensors, Ensign Maier stepped between data encryption specialists Benson and Chundab, the two Warrant Officers were rivals to put it lightly, but they were also two of the best sequence coders aboard, and they’d managed to acquire access to a series of low-orbit weather satellites which had been built by Vulcan scientists in order to study the effect of prolonged ecological change on the landscape of Qo’noS.

“Told you it wasn’t a waste of time.” Benson taunted Chundab.

Smirking, as behind her she could hear Lieutenant Dantius coordinating efforts with the Operational Lead, in this case Commander Rutherford, Kaylee watched as a massive explosion erupted from the compound, catching the attention of both encryption specialists. “Whoa!” she commented absently, the pit in her stomach feeling dull as concern for the strike team hit like a ton of bricks. An instant later though, she saw movement in the form of a team member running to cross an open area and exhaled in relief. “Wait, what was that?” she blurted out, having caught glimpse of something far more concerning. Her hands reaching out to the console in an effort to try and readjust the image, so that she could get a better look at what was going on down there. “What’s happening down there? Did you guys see that?” she asked, the heartbeat in her chest fluttering with anxiety.

“I think it was a cargo sled?” Chundab explained.

“Definitely.” Benson confirmed.

“Not that, that!” she pulled back on the level of zoom the satellite had of the compound, her hand going to a pair of what could only be described as swirling dust cloud in the field just outside of the southwestern portion of the perimeter wall. “Lieutenant?!” she called out to Dantius, both of the Encryption Officers leaning in for a better look of their own, Benson adjusting his black-framed glasses even. “Atmospheric thrusters!” She announced the moment it hit her, the girl spinning round to face her green-skinned superior. “Reinforcements! They’re already on site!” Indeed as she panned the hijacked video feed, they’d managed to get access to, the focus finding the center of one of two dust clouds, around which a dozen armed individuals could be seen top-down, their armor and weapons clearly of Klingon make and origin.

“How is that even possible? Their response time was ten minutes at minimum? It’s been what, five and change?” Chundab asked in confoundment.

“I guess they’re faster than we’d figured.” Answered Benson.

OOC: Mood Music [Show/Hide]

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #38
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | The Apache | Hawk-class Runabout | Upper Atmosphere | Qo'nos ] attn: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @Pierce

For the faintest of moments, Samantha could feel her heart grow weightless in her chest, as if raised from a deep pond by hundreds of little fairies, as an offering to their almighty king. The shuttle’s gravity systems took a moment, a mere fraction in time, to adjust to the sudden change in lift, offering a degree of ethereal refuge, from the weight of the mission, and their situation as a whole. An input pen, briefly floating up from its nook at the top of the console, barely noticeably, as if guided by ghostly apparition. While the measures of sunlight, cast upon floor and walls, shifted with an almost imperceptible jolt. When indeed it was not the star that had decided to change its trajectory, but the very mechanical shell they were contained within. Prompting all the shadows and hues of the cockpit to change in one swift instance, altering the entire mood, as clouds brushed past the windshield like excited steam.

Suspended in this very moment for far longer than it went on, contemplating the perception of everyone else around her in comparison. And eventually Samantha wasn’t only drawn from the embrace of the paladin by the counter motion of the Apache as engines sprung back to life, leveling the ship off at the demanded altitude. Give or take four point eight meters. But also, by the revelation that came through the almost siren like voice of Alana Pierce, confirming they indeed had found Andrew. A proclamation which prompted the little ball of muscles and vents, in her chest, to settle back almost absolved of the uncertainty and fear, its previous state had afforded the slender blonde. A moment in which mementos of the past became only the starting point of a journey unknown, rather than its terminus. And to that effect, as reality fell back into its regular measure of forward-moving existence, there was a distinct process of events that the commander had to catch up with, once her own time started falling back into sync.

The viewports flared with the discharge of energy, upon a foe barely distinguishable to the eye, which only became apparent as return fire made the shuttle shake like a mule tired of its master’s command. Bringing her hands to either side of the console, the diplomat was torn between keeping her balance, watching the telemetry on her screen and following the flashes of light outside, which transpired as if angels were playing ping-pong in the sky. Zooming out of the theatre of battle, however, the blonde found the distinct markers and trajectories far more compelling, than any look out the window ever could, in this moment. When it wasn’t about the beauty of creation as a whole, but the survival of some of its distinctions. Two signals subsequently vanished, only to be replaced by eight more … which weren’t great odds. So, now more than ever, time was of the essence. Even more so with the happening son the ground that the diplomat had to catch up with, not really that experienced with keeping track of situations faster developing than a hurt ego.

“Set us down in that rear courtyard.” she instructed, getting up from her seat on shaky feet, staggering over to the tactical console as quickly as possible, after having transferred all her sensor data there and to Samala’s navigational controls. “It’s closest to the majority of the team and relatively easy to defend.” Sam subsequently clarified, as the Apache came around to the perimeter of the compound already. But before her order was heeded, the ship swerved into a barrel roll, while the commander found her tactical controls to be temporarily overwritten, as a last stronghold came alight in front of them, sending Klingon troops flying about like remnants of a firework show. “The hell …” the blond exclaimed as an audible breath, falling utterly short in volume to Tashanna’s frustration. “Consider the crewman’s request seconded.” she thus added, clearing her throat and rolling her shoulders, belying the subdued sense of gratitude, for the stunt.

Having tactical back and a good overview of the grounds, via their previous scans and intel’s overlays, the diplomat programmed the computer’s targeting systems to the life feed of their away team, so they would be excluded from any of the covering fire, while the ship slowly descended into the enclosed quad, sending dust and debris up the sloping walls like ocean waves against embankments. Luckily, there were no Klingons left in line of sight, currently, apart from those one the ground from where the away team was congregating. Which the Apache, now on the ground, couldn’t hit anyways. The ship shivered one last time, until gravity established its momentary hold on the vehicle. “Alright, she’s done all she can for now … let’s secure the airlock!” and with such determination, the blonde rose from her chair, just as it was about to warm to her physique, swiftly stepping into the corridor, jogging towards the cargo area of the ship.

Pulling up by a weapon’s locker, the commander armed herself with a compression rifle, checking the power cell routinely, before switching it to full power. Not waiting for the other two women to arm themselves as well, she was already on her way to the aft airlock and ramp, taking up position at the very precipice. “Crewman.” She nodded at the controls, without further clarification, bringing the rifle to a steady position into the crook of her shoulder, aiming forward. With a mechanical clank and a hissing, like a dragon disturbed from eternal slumber, the back ramp cracked with a sliver of light, almost hitting the three of them like a phaser bolt. A notion of levity and danger at the same time, growing and dimming until it transformed into the world beyond, clouded by the residue of dust in the air, and the stench of smoke and cinder. A sort of transport sled lay slanted not too far from the ship, leaving a trail of disturbed dirt and body parts behind it, from a gaping tunnel spewing smoke.


Stepping down the slanted platform out of the Apache with heavy feet, as if wearing lead boots, Samantha let the barrel of her rifle skim through the back one hundred an eighty degrees of the courtyard, accessing the situation on the ground via her weapon’s enhanced scope. A couple of officers were up on the elevated walkways, spreading out from the central tower into the surrounding courtyards, while another group was taking up position by a few trees against the outer wall. Among them, a bearded man hunched against a colleague. Tapping her com badge with a temporarily retracted hand from the trigger, the diplomat welcomed the relieving chirp. “Rutherford to all away team members, regroup at the shuttle immediately. Klingon reinforcements will be here in two minutes.” And with that, at the lack of overbearing apparent danger, she beckoned only for Tashanna to follow her out into the open.

“Crewman, prepare for immediate departure.” she nodded back at Samala, blond curls waving in the wind like golden autumn birch in a fierce storm. Turning back her attention towards the approaching team, the moment once more seemed to slow to a crawl, as within the turmoil of smoke and debris, flickering of heat and despair, larimar ponds found refuge beneath the comforting shelter of lily pads once more.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #39
Lt. JG Dantius Thi Anh-Le | Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy   attn: @stardust @BipSpoon  @Swift @Pierce  @Stegro88

Reinforcements, already?  "I hate it when OpFor remembers to fight smart," Anh-Le muttered.  The Klingons must've had a silent alarm that fired off on the initial breach.  Whoever was in charge of security over there deserved a  promotion.  "Commander Rutherford, we're out of time.  I'm going to try to nuke their computers."  She tabbed her comms off for a moment and waved to one of the Ensigns.  "Get me one of the jump drives in the second drawer in that cabinet.  I want some nasty malware to dump on them.

But while the Ensign was getting the malware, there was the matter of the Klingon data still on their computers.  Anh-Le flipped through the files as fast as she could, searching for anything that might be Commander Fisher's interrogation and deleting anything that looked likely, knowing that any minute someone could manually hard-reset the system (it was the first thing Anh-Le would've done upon learning there was someone unauthorized in the system, but the Klingons were probably still caught off-guard). 

"Ma'am."  It was the cute female Ensign--Benton?  No, Benson.   I need to learn my co-workers' names.  "What do you want me to do with this?

The Orion squinted at the jump drive.  The DX-17.  A particularly nasty encryption worm developed from Romulan ransomware.  "Quick as you can, spoof the credentials of one of the base commanders and send the malware on that drive off to all the reinforcement sites.  Rename the file as...'Starfleet Commander interrogation update'.  Hurry, they've got to be sending someone to cut the power and do a hard reset soon."  Anh-Le turned back to the files, pausing at a folder with the suspiciously bland name of "Department of Person-Resources Policies and Procedures, Extended Version With Footnotes."  That was exactly the sort of aggressively boring-sounding thing you hid sensitive information in...

...or porn, Anh-Le amended that thought as she was confronted with a series of files with suggestive thumbnails and titles like "Barely Legal Gorn In Day of Ascension" and "Kahless and Lukara's Back Door Party".  It was an impressive stash, including some programs that Anh-Le knew sold for thousands of darseks on Quark Enterprises' extranet bazaar.  Probably took years to collect all of this.

To delete the files after saving a copy to Theurgy's computers so she could later sell them to crewmates for credits and holodeck timeslots would be extremely petty, unprofessional, and a waste of precious seconds. 

Which was of course why Anh-Le did just that and created an empty sub-folder inside the folder called "Thanks for the Stash", before scrolling down two more pages, where she found what at least appeared to be the real records on Commander Fisher's interrogation, leaving a copy of Luscious Lactating Lesbian Letheans (some Klingon had weird tastes, damn!) in its place, deleting everything else on that entire drive and counting the seconds until she could hit the recycle key.  

"Sent!" Ensign Benson called.  Anh-Le grunted, focusing on the file deletion and trying not to grit her teeth.  Finally, it finished, and she flushed the recycle bin...

...and not a moment too soon, as the Klingon system went down seconds later, kicking Anh-Le and indeed the entire Theurgy team off of a server that was now no longer on. 

"That's it.  They rebooted the system.  Commander Rutherford, you're on your own,  I can't help your team any more."  

There was nothing left to do but wait and hope. 
Really enjoying writing a halfway stable character for once...

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #40
[ Lt. Alana Pierce | Klingon Compound | Qo'Nos] | ATTN: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @stardust | [Show/Hide]

Hebert, Lewis, Fisher and Amarik were still hiding in the treelines with Lt. Pierce. Each one looking worse for wear with the lead females looking only slightly better in this particular situation. Bruises, blood and some nasty falls had befallen each officer as they'd attempted to retrieve Fisher, which they did flawlessly. The Apache could be heard landing now, the thrusters activated as the vessel landed in the courtyard. A communique could be heard over their commbages now.

"Rutherford to all away team members, regroup at the shuttle immediately. Klingon reinforcements will be here in two minutes."

Without waiting around to see those reinforcements they continued onward towards the shuttle that grew ever closer to them by the second. Each moment unsure if they would get shot down in the firefight around them. Alana fired her phaser at the nearby Klingons coming from the other side of the courtyard as weapons fire from the back hatch of the Apache could be seen.

Tapping her comms, she responded as loud as she could with all the blasts going on about them. "This is Lt. Pierce, we're almost to the shuttle. Coming from the east towards the gate. Cease fire on that side as we approach. We're almost there!"

The team continued to run as Lewis held up Fisher despite both men being rather nastily hurt. They'd definitely need medical attention once they got back to the Theurgy, she thought to herself as she observed their hobbled run. Amarik and Hebert were in much better running condition to the other two. As for herself, she had a few scuffs but nothing that required anything immediate.

Focused back on the approach, the Klingons landed and opened fire on the group dashing for safety. She looked back at the facility and noted how all the power went down momentarily. Most likely realized their team had piggy-backed the signal and gained access to the systems, and proceeded to shut them down to kick them out.

As Pierce helped grab Fisher and Lewis, she saw the others gain access to the shuttle with Rutherford firing like a wild person at the approaching reinforcements. She felt some semblance of safety now as she helped the others find their own. Although they weren't out of the woods yet, they were now ready to make their way home... Such a foreign concept for her to wrap her head around recently but it was to soon become that once they returned. With any luck, some of those Klingon bastards would go down before they left the surface too.

She watched on as more headed back to the shuttle to head back to the Theurgy, coming up beside Rutherford to provide more cover-fire to prevent any losses on a for the most part successful mission.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #41
[ Lieutenant Valyn Amarak | Klingon Compound | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Pierce @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @stardust [Show/Hide]
A single glance was bounced between Fisher and Pierce before Valyn finally chortled, and got a move on. “Clearly.” Noting the sled, Valyn checked the power setting on her rifle once, and made a break for it. The red light of the alarm klaxons flashed above, setting a faint, nearly unrecognizable shadow against the ground as she charged towards the sled. She didn’t stop, not once. Instead, she held her ground, a continuing motion forward covered by a violent barrage of fire from the end of her rifle towards just about anything that moved on the other end of it.

On arrival, she hopped aboard the sled. However, she grabbed a spare wire from the rig-up that Pierce had managed to make, and jacked it into the back of her rifle's power cell. Immediately, the rifle grew warmer and she braced it against the railing at the front of the sled, opening fire. Like a mounted machine gun emplacement, sending glowing bolts of energy directly into the aggressive forms appearing before them at a speed not typically possible for the rifle. One by one, emerging Klingons were struck with force as the bolts connected with them. One took a shot to the neck and flew backwards into a friend. Another, a shot to his abdomen, which left a smoldering, pungent wound as he fell, screaming.

Prepare to jump.

She continued to laugh before her attention refocused on the impending demolition of the sled. “Shit.” She quickly yanked the cord that had been plugged into the back of her rifle, and instead crouched at the side of the sled, ready to bail out at a second's notice. As they approached the entrance, she heard the volley from the skies strike the ground around them and within the compound. “What the fuck!” She shouted, looking over her shoulder to watch the glorious display of flaming plasma, explosions, and the settling mist that remained of organic life on the receiving end of the strike from their ‘eye in the sky’. Her shock however, was met with almost instantaneous laughter. A laughter that was consuming, and for those who hadn’t experienced the adrenaline of a warzone, reserved for madmen and serial killers.

“Hot shit! I owe them a drink.”

On the right, she noticed a single straggling Klingon, fiddling with what clearly appeared to be a comm unit. She aimed, and fired, hitting him square in the head as the unit fell to the ground with a clatter. She brought herself up to her feet, and brushed some of the dust from her legs before she found some of her other comrades that had jumped from the sled. She made her way to the treeline, and took point watching their rear as they waited.

She followed after Pierce, her head and rifle on a swivel. Two Klingons appeared to their West, and she fired two shots to match them. Each fell. She stood at the edge of the shuttle, firing on any new assailants moving their way, and helping any aboard who needed it. However, she was ready at a second's notice to step aboard.

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #42
[ CM3 Samala & Tesserarius Lorad | The Apache | Klingon Compound | Qo’noS ] 

Samala sat in the cockpit, using the Apache’s disruptor arrays to take shots at Klingons that exposed themselves while she waited. Commander Rutherford had ordered everyone to get to the Apache in two minutes, but that time was starting to stretch out impossibly, as if the universe itself didn’t want them to leave quite yet. She could feel more and more shots impacting her ship’s hull, and while she knew the armour could take the hits from light arms, if they brought up a cannon or one of those shuttles took back off and came over the wall, then they could be in for a more permanent stay.

<Brother, I really think it is time that we left this place,> Samala called out to Lorad, sensing his mind close by but not yet at the shuttle.

<Patience sister,> Lorad chided playfully. <The Klingons want to play some more.>

<Well if their fighters get here, playtime will be over,> Samala warned ominously.

<Very well then,> Lorad acquiesced.

Feeling the connection to his sister faded, Lorad refocused on firing at the Klingons that seemed intent on making sure that none of them left. His armour was pitted in two places where he had been unable to avoid disruptor bolts entirely but thankfully it had held up and he remained uninjured. He released a burst from his Accipiter, forcing several warriors to duck back into cover, preventing them from taking further action as more of his compatriots crossed the courtyard to the Apache. 

Bryne had gone on ahead as Lorad had set himself up to provide cover fire but now it seemed that it was his turn to withdraw. There was only one other member of the away team that had yet to make it to the Apache and they were already making their way along the wall towards the Reman vessel. Adjusting his grip to one more serviceable for on the move firing, Lorad hefted his weapon, releasing a final burst before breaking cover.

He was about a third of the way across the courtyard when an explosion to his left sent dust and debris flying. Ducking for a moment, Lorad observed that amongst the strewn rubble lay the now still form of the other armoured figure that had yet to reach the Apache. It took less than a moment for the thought to form before Lorad adjusted his advance, angling away from safety to retrieve the inert armoured figure. The dust clout aided his advance, obscuring his form as he came upon the downed figure. Not stopping to check who it was, Lorad slung his rifle before pulling them up and hoisting them over his left shoulder. Bracing them with his hand, he drew his pulse phase pistol with his right and began again his journey towards the Apache. 

Disruptor bolts burnt through the smoke, seeking out targets that the Klingons could not see. Lorad felt one glance off his shoulder pauldron but did not pause to inspect the damage, merely grunting as his forcibly raised his arm to shoot another Klingon coming over the wall. He could feel Samala reaching for him again, but he refused the connection, needing to focus on the battlefield around him. Another explosion sent him to his knees, but he drew upon the iron determination that had festered and grown in the mines of Remus to push forward, planting one armoured boot in front of the other until he felt the deck of the Apache under them. Only then did he open his mind to his sister.

<Samala. We are safe. Go!> he said, even as the ramp was being raised behind him. 

<Already am,> Samala responded, relieved that her brother had made it back safely. She brought the shields up first, grateful for the silence they brought from the weapon impacts on the hull. An instant thought to strafe the Klingons flashed through her mind but Samala banished the idea with uncharacteristic discipline. Now was not the time. Their mission was over. All that was left was for them to disappear and return to the Theurgy. Lifting off and immediately angling the Apache almost straight up, she advanced the throttle, sending them hurtling skyward at an obscene rate. As clouds began to flash past her, Samala diverted power to the cloak, bringing it online and rendering them undetectable. For good measure, she adjusted her course, throwing off the trajectory of anything that was blind fired at them. 

“We’re cloaked!” she announced through the Apache’s intercom, alerting everyone to their new condition. “Setting course back towards the Theurgy.”

Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #43
[ Lt. Cmdr. Rutherford | The Apache | Hawk-class Runabout | Klingon Compound | Qo'nos ] attn: @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Swift @GroundPetrel @Pierce

The courtyard of the Klingon outpost lit up like fireworks on one of earth’s countless holidays and a meteor shower at the same time. Flashes of radiant light and sparks strewn through smoke filled air as if shooting stars in a cinder nebula, expiring in sparkling flames for a simple wish to grant. Samantha could think of one thing she could wish for, but not quite on which of the myriad of flickers to place it on. Which was a sign of fate, maybe, that she was better aided in putting her trust in her own ability to make a favorable future come true. So, she sent fiery comets into the cosmic turmoil herself, cutting through the plumes with bright red flashes, wherever her enhanced rifle scope could detect an enemy contact. In many instances leaving nothing but a flickering scheme, falling to the ground numbly, obscured by the fog of battle and burning plasma.

Heeding Lieutenant Pierce’s warning, the blonde aimed her aggressive diplomacy towards that area of the compound regardless, to make out the pursuing stragglers, nonetheless. Picking them off one by one, like the shooting gallery she had been required to train on periodically, as part of her duty. Phaser volleys sometimes zipping uncomfortably close to those of their own team. They were too close to the endgame to jeopardize the mission by playing it illogically safe. She wasn’t going to lose anyone on the last stretch of this chapter in their journey. And at the same time, of course, she wasn’t going to pick one off herself either. But in the heat of the fight and with their immediate departure looming, who would’ve been able to tell anyways, right?! Surely there was no one judgy enough, in her department, to call her out on such heresy.

But eventually, maybe what she wished for did come true, riding on the back of a spark, bouncing across the charred ground. Alana and Lewis ventured up the aft ramp and into the cavernous embrace of the shuttle’s cargo hold. Prompting the diplomat to turn with their movements and relief herself from cover-fire duty, as more team members brought up the rear and stepped into the transport. Letting the phaser rifle sink into the extent of its shoulder strap along the slender curve of her side, the determined blonde picked the tricorder from her belt to take a preliminary scan of the man’s injuries. Willing herself deliberately to abstract him into a medical schematic first, before taking on the reality of his battered face in abject delirium.

“Take him to one of the cabins!” she instructed Lewis, her voice as unwavering as a dedication plaque. She wasn’t going to dispose of the man in one of the alcoves in the back like a spent coolant canister. Even if she had to rid a bunk of Samala’s collection of chewing toys herself.

Presiding over Andrew’s vital signs, like a hawk following its pray, Samantha squeezed her thin frame in one of the rooms ahead of both men to pull the sheets back on the cot under the assumption that whatever lay beneath was probably more sanitary. At the very least it passed her quick superficial inspection, as Lewis hoisted the bearded officer onto the mattress. The deck shook with one last impact before the gentle sway of levity absolved more worries, dissolving in the subtly changing hum of the energy grid, as more power was syphoned to the shields and engines. Undoubtedly a modest echo of the ship’s true momentum.

“Rutherford to away team, take a head-count and whoever has medical training, report to the forward bunks.” She instructed the crew after a short tap on her communicator once more, relieving Lewis with a demure smile and gentle nod. And for a moment, it was just her and Andrew, stray objects and boxes in the compartment subtly rattling, spare cables swaying, with whatever turbulent momentum persisted through the ship’s dampening systems. Even while sage ponds flickered to live beneath dark twigs and peach drapes as if emerging from a slumber, there was no real telling in what frame their perception would even be able to tell the realm of a dream from reality. Falling to her knees amidst the draped fabric at the crib’s side, the blonde supported herself with one arm on the mattress, letting her free hand gently brush away sot and sticky tresses from Drew’s forehead before calmly placing her warm palm to the contour of his temple and cheek.

“You’re safe …” she whispered. Her human trepidations of causing additional harm contradicting the sound logic of speaking especially loud and clearl, given his incapacitated state. “… got me worried there, for a moment.” she added, letting another bout of emotion cross plump lips that would’ve never passed the judgment of her Vulcan measure in any situation other than his seeming unconsciousness. “But if that was your lousy attempt at getting out of that dinner, you WILL have to do better.” A gentle huff of elated air left the beauty’s nostrils flaring ever so gently, letting the delicate lilipad of the moment, carry her safely across the pond of restraint, to gently place a kiss on the man’s cheek. Quite potentially reveling in the notion by herself, Sam was sure in one way or another, he’d get caught up on it eventually. Behind her, doors zipped open, as one of their team members entered with the emergency medical kit, heralding in a momentary dusk on their day of adventure together.

But even as she left the cabin for the moment, to oversee their final approach back to Theurgy and the end of the mission, she was sure that despite the heartbreaking déjà vu of it all, there was reprieve in the feelings that seemed to validate a different outcome … this time.


Re: CH07: S [D03|1723] Operation: 'Dinner Out'

Reply #44
[ Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Fisher | Makeshift Holding Cell | Sub-Level 03 | House of Mo’Kai Staging Compound | Qo’noS ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @BipSpoon @stardust @GroundPetrel @Pierce

Even though his captivity had only lasted a mere handful of hours, to have emerged so poignantly from the depths of an old, mildew and mold infested basement, out into the open expanses of the central courtyard felt utterly enthralling to the recently liberated captive. His nostrils flaring in response to the rejuvenating freshness of the air, Fisher inhaled heavily as though his heart were supercharged, the beating engine in his chest pumping a mile a minute in wake of the daredevil like stunt pulled by Alana, adrenaline surging through his veins like high-octane gasoline. The promise of rescue was one thing, and the heroic actions of his comrades another, but the action unfolding all around him, explosions, weapons fire, roaring atmospheric thrusters. All of it conspired in the back of his mind, triggering those ancient instincts for fight or flight that hadn’t yet entirely worked their way out of his more evolved sensibilities. And in Fisher’s case, more often than not his response was to fight, but in this situation, given his physical and mental deterioration at the hands of his doting Klingon hosts, it made far more sense to flight, a reality he was willing, ready, and generally able to abide.

About him, the winds swirled with abject ferocity while a familiar yet entirely alien craft he’d embarked some hours earlier rapidly descended, kicking up a tornado of crimson ash, ember, and flame which reached into the night’s sky from the decimated ruins of a building that it blown away just a few seconds prior in a supreme showing of superior firepower.

“Get clear! Get clear!” hollered Byrne, his hand waving for a contingent of the strike-team to move aside and make room for their chariot.

Overhead, a steady staccato of green energy pulses streamed upward, impacting the side of the Reman Assault-ship, doing little more than tickling the underbelly of the great beast. The source of the disruptor fire streaming forth from the edges of the near forest line, an insurgent force of Klingon Warriors that had been recalled from whatever patrols they’d been on before all hell broke loose, and the command to return and regroup made. Through the open gates, both Hildebrandt and Tucker positioned adjacent one another at it’s periphery, they trained their weapons and returned volley with a flurry of ruby-tinted pulses that lanced out across the distance in an instant, striking true, and not in an effort to stem the tide just long enough to make a hasty exit once the Apache had landed. It was a textbook attempt at holding the line while an enemy advanced on your position, and the sight of it stirred within Fisher memories of his own time spent as a Security Officer some years ago, before he’d slipped the proverbial cloak over his shoulders, trading his phaser for a venom laced dagger.

Soon enough, the Apache spun round in the courtyard, it’s rear loading hatch lowering in advance of receiving the strike team it had birthed just a few minutes before. The near twenty-five-meter craft barely small enough to fit within the confines of the enclosing walls that ran along the edge of the compound, though you’d have guessed it plenty petite given the deftness in which it was piloted.

Their stances low, the strike team members began to instinctively move for the respite that their newly arrived exfil represented, phaser rifles leveled and firing at anything and everything which even remotely resembled the ridged brow of a Klingon. In their minds, desperation would've been difficult not to feel, yet they were trained security personnel, and this was exactly the sort of affair they’d been ready for. At the head of the group, Samuelson and Hebert surged forth alongside Lieutenant’s Pierce and Amarik, each of them passing by the proverbial Valkyrie that had descended from the Apache as it landed, the uplifting gush of wind flaring her golden hair brilliantly as she joined in the orchestra of suppressive fire. “Commander.” Remarked Byrne as he too approached the loading ramp, spinning back to stand opposite her on the ramp, likewise providing additional support for the remaining members of the team that had yet to board, not to mention the cargo they’d come here to retrieve in the first place.

In the distance, the whine of additional atmospheric thrusters, higher-pitched in tone could be heard, a tell-tale sign of the gunship transports their Klingon adversaries were bringing to bear. Though, they would offload their laden payload before attempting to make any attacks on the compound from the air. “We’ve got incoming!” reported Tucker as both he and Hildebrandt peeled themselves away from the gate where they’d been posted up, a new torrent of shimmering emeralds chasing after them from wherever the reinforcements had been unloaded. “Go! Go! Go!” he shouted, catching pace with Prince, Jones, and Hebert, inadvertently bumping shoulders with the latter, sending them sprawling to the tarmac only. Unaware that his comrade in arms had fallen behind, quite literally in fact, Tucker and the others hastily ascended the loading ramp, entering the rear hold of the Apache as they knew not to block the path for others, or to delay liftoff any longer than was absolutely necessary. Besides which, Rutherford and Byrne seemed to be holding the line well enough without their added presence.

Pushing himself back to his feet, Hebert scrambled for his weapon for a moment, though it was a futile effort, the phaser rifle having came to a rest some three-meters-distance after clattering to the ground when he fell. Deciding against going to recover it with escape so close, he once more began to stride with alacritous purpose toward the Apache only for an explosion to rock him from somewhere on his right side, sending him back to the pitch rather unceremoniously. Strewn about, the world feeling as though it spun round him while consciousness and awareness seeped back into his mind, the thought that he might perish hit Hebert for the first time, just as prudently as the shockwave of the explosion that had cratered him in the first place. Verbally, and internally he swore at himself as he was resigned to succumbing to such a sad and untimely fate, though like a hand from the heavens itself, he felt himself hoisted upward from where he had lay, his stunned and aching body thrust over the gruff shoulder of the team’s towering brute of an enforcer.

"God?” Hebert coughed the name, barely aware of what was happening to him as the Reman scurried for the Apache.

[ Central Intelligence Suite | Deck 05 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Staring at the main viewer before them, there was little more that the combined support staff of the Intelligence Department could really do to affect the outcome of the rescue mission playing out. Instead, they watched from an aerial vantage point, the visual sensors of the ship having pierced the veil of the Klingon home world’s atmosphere that they might bear witness to the exfiltration. The compound, a circular ringed wall enveloping an interior series of smaller buildings, a central tower, and the flaming remnants of what had been identified as a barracks could be seen. Standing side-by-side, Guy Benson and Dez Chundab each held their arms across their chest, eyes unblinking as green and ruby energy pulses lanced out each other from indistinct figures on opposite sides of the struggle. Behind them, Sarah Benson, unrelated to Guy, turned away from Lieutenant Dantius in time to see the unfolding heroics of one team member hefting another over their shoulder, quite literally carrying them to escape, prompting her to bring a hand to her mouth in awe.

“C’mon! Get going!” Sarah said aloud, casting a worrisome glance over her shoulder to her immediate superior.

To the fore of the Reman assault ship, the assembly watched with concern as a surge of additional figures entered through an opening in the outer protective wall, a great threat to those that had yet to make it to the ship. Though, without any delay at all, a brilliant shimmering pulse of ship-grade disruptor fire erupted from the Apache, obliterating them in an instant.

“Whoa!” remarked Chundab, an impressed visage crossing his face as he looked to his left to Guy in order to gauge his reaction.

[ Interior Courtyard | House of Mo’Kai Staging Compound | Qo’noS ]

Grunting as the whole of him ached with dour resolve, Fisher clung unto the dual support carriage provided him by Crewman Jackson and Lieutenant Pierce, very much reliant upon them in the moment. The sounds of combat and the thrum of thrusters begging to be flared in order to leave this planet behind filled his ears with absolution, nearly bewildering him as he limped onward, drawing ever nearer to the loading ramp. Though his senses were assailed, overwhelmed by the combined effects of the enormity of noise and the lingering effects of whatever drugs still ran through his veins, Fisher recognized the fierce woman so defiantly stood at the base of the ramp, rifle in hand as it cycled with the veracity of ten-men. “Sam...” he whispered softly before being caught by a fit of coughing, the displaced and shattered rib in his side poking at his lung from inside as he struggled to climb the moderate incline of the ramp. The time for any display of affection toward the woman was hardly in sync with this moment, and rather than fight the ushering of Lewis who continued to drive him onward, Fisher instead glanced back over his shoulder to ensure she too made it back into the relative safety of the Apache.

What he’d not expected, was to see the face of a man standing just beyond Sam, cold brown-eyes glaring back at him with accusatory nature belied so heavily within. The message clear. One of warning. One of damnation for having dared tread someplace he’d simply had no right to. The sting of assumed guilt ran through Fisher far worse than any of his real-world injuries, as he remembered how he’d hidden his personal knowledge of the man that had once called Sam, his wife. Immeasurable was the weight that sump so greatly upon his body as he could hear the imagined words bespoke to him as though they’d been screamed right down the canals of his ears. ‘You will hurt her! Stay away! She’s not yours!’ And though Fisher desired to lash out at the accusation made at him, by no more than a figment of his devious and overriding imagination, he couldn’t muster the wherewithal or find the appropriate words. Instead, he turned away from the ghost of Brody that was haunting him, unwilling to look back at the man a second time, trying desperately to convince himself that what he had seen wasn’t actually real.

“That’s it! We’re good! Go!” hollered Byrne back into the cargo hold as he ascended the ramp, the last of the team to do so, his weapon still held at the shoulder-level, picking off encroaching Klingons as they tried to storm forth to no avail. “Get us out of here!” he added, a gauntleted hand slapping the control panel adjacent to the loading bay, causing the ramp to lift up and close shut. With the hiss of atmospheric enclosure filling the confines of the cargo hold, he turned about and immediately began checking names off of the list in his mind, ensuring that indeed, every member of the team had made it back. An instant later, as the order was given from Commander Rutherford to do exactly that, he nodded in surprised relief, a broad smile crossing his face. “All... accounted for. In fact... we’re heavy one Intelligence Operative now.” Pointing a finger at Prince in amusement, they threw arms round one another in celebration of the victory that they’d just all made. A most improbable rescue, with nary a severe casualty among them. One for the record books for sure.

[ Aft-Most Portside Cabin | Reman Assault Craft Apache ]

Gritting his teeth as Lewis continued to herd the wounded spy further forward as the thrum of engines firing permeated throughout the cramped interior of the Apache, Fisher nodded in appreciation of the similarly wounded man after he’d helped to deposit him unto the bed contained within this particular cabin.

“Commanders.” Remarked Lewis as way of excusing himself to see his own wounds tended to, he hastily exited.

Taking a moment to enjoy the oddly serene atmosphere provided by the tight confines of the cabin, Fisher breathed deeply in order to try and quell the rush of adrenaline in his body, not to stave off giving into the intense exhaustion he felt. In the forefront of his conscious mind he could distinctly remember the pain of the lash rendered against him during his interrogation, and the pang of guilt still ground deep into the pit of his stomach. Yet in an instant, it all seemed to fade into the recesses of his subconscious, replaced the calming touch of a hand pressed against the side of his weary face. The sensation of it’s familiarity still new, but also profound in how it affected him, a realization that only intensified as the voice which accompanied it spoke to him, the faintest hint of a French upbringing subtly detected by him as it soothed his nerves like an ancient salve of the Gods. “Safe and sound.” He answered, the consternation of weary anguish on his own face replaced by a slight smirk, one so recently reserved for her, and her alone.

“Worried?” He interjected, eyelids opening to reveal sage-orbs beneath them so that he might indulge upon viewing her graceful features yet again. “I had everything under control back there.” The tone in his voice one of obvious teasing, reserving his show of appreciation for the rescue for another opportune moment as to yet unrealized. A gentle kiss at the precipice of his cheek later, he yearned to ask her to remain a minute longer, but knew she’d had duties to attend to, and that he had injuries which demanded the immediate attention of one of the medics. “Wouldn’t dream of it, Commander.” He replied to her comment regarding their postponed dinner arrangement as she carefully slipped out of the cabin, leaving Petty Officer Jones to further triage his wounds. “Wouldn’t dream of it.” He whispered once more after Rutherford had gone out of an earshot, the omnipresent question as to whether or not she’d truly been there starting to grow with earnestness in the back of his mind as he let his eyelids close shut once more.

‘Confounding, isn’t it?’ asked a familiar voice, and Fisher could once more smell the acrid scent of cigarette smoke in his nostrils.


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