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Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

[ Lt. Carson | onboard the Apache | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @BipSpoon   @Stegro88     @Nesota Kynnovan @Number6 @Dree

He hated this fucking job, but he hated the Infested even more. Wasn’t a particular fan of Romulans, though he’d be damned if he ever breathed a hint of that anywhere near the LT leading one of the two major missions at this damned R&D facility. Only a handful of their overall team remained with the Apache, while the rest were currently infiltrating the facility. Carson didn’t know if he was among the “lucky” ones to remain behind or if they were the ones damned to death because he could feel it in his bones, people were going to die on this mission. A lot of them.

“I’ve got two latinum bars on the LT,” he turned his head to smirk at Martin, the only other crew member still on the bridge while the rest of the skeleton crew manned their stations elsewhere, “she’s going to blow this whole place sky high.”

Martin cocked his head, staring at Carson as if he were an idiot, “Why the fuck would I want to bet against that when that’s rather what part of the mission is about?”

“Well,” Carson snorted, “I didn’t say whether she would do it while she and the others are safely aboard the ship.”

“I can’t tell if you’re hoping people are going to die on this mission or if you’re just so fucked up that you’re assuming we’re all going to die,” Martin glared at him a few more seconds before sighing and shaking his head, “Probably both.”

Carson shrugged, gaze wandering back to his console, observing the monitors as they beeped this and that regarding their away teams. It was about time to check in with the rest of the skeleton crew, make sure everything was up to speed and ready in case shit went south–and it would. He may hate his job, but he didn’t hate EVERYONE on the crew so much that he’d be the fucking twat to get them all killed.

OOC: The objective of this thread is to infiltrate the facility, scan the triggers and anything else useful for combating the thalaron-based weaponry. There is a story prompt that may be accessed during the time on the facility if anyone in this mission thread, or the other mission thread, is interested in taking that on. I will be NPCing Bip's characters of Henshaw and Rez until Bip gets back.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #1
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]  @Stegro88  @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan  @BipSpoon @Dree

Cameron squeezed her eyes shut as she waited for their team to get through this next round of security protocols before they could enter the station proper. They were barely inside the station on their mission, and they’d already almost lost one of their teammates. Okafor’s suit malfunctioned just shy of their entry point. If sh’Laan hadn’t been quick on the response, the medical officer would’ve shot clear past the station and continued on into open space until his propulsion unit had given out entirely. It’d been a damnably tricky approach, and she made a mental note to speak to Ives about increasing their suit training. They’d had to double up more and nearly compromised their approach since more members on their team were not fully qualified for all the suit maneuvers, which was part of what led to Okafor’s malfunction.

Glancing at the rest of the group, Cameron gave them a reassuring nod (a gesture she wished someone would do for her). “Red team should be infiltrating on the opposite wing by now and will plant explosives as they make their way to the docking bay. We are to contact them if we become compromised only, then they’ll start rattling the pots and pans to draw off attention so we can complete our mission. We are to rendezvous with them in the docking bay at 0100. That gives us seven hours to find everything we can to give our people a leg up against Tal’Aura.”

Cameron waited for questions or comments, inwardly sighing when the last hatch baring their way to the station was opened, compliments of bypassing the security protocol. Seven hours was a long time and not enough, giving them plenty of opportunities to get caught or succeed.

The Theurgy-based NPCs in this chapter are: Amelya Rez (NPC), Tyreke Okafor (NPC), Chief Warrant Officer 2nd Class Guy Benton (NPC), Lt. J.G. Vince Kennedy (NPC).

If you opted in for the odd and bizarre secret prompts, you can use these in any of the chapters.

Rye, PC, and Hans may choose to join this chapter or the other, TBD.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #2
[Lt Reika Sh’Laan | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@Stegro88  @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz  ((later on: @RyeTanker  @P.C. Haring  @Hans Applegate ))

Reika stood only feet away from Henshaw who seemed to be gathering her thoughts as everyone congregated just outside the last barrier to entering the station.  Everything in Sh’Laan wanted to pull at the blasted EV suit.  ‘These weren’t made for Andorians,’ she thought.  And they weren’t.  Her antennae were plastered flat forward against her head.  She could feel them squirming trying to work their way into a more comfortable position.  ‘At least these suits have climate control settings, so my eyes won’t burn from drops of sweat.’ 

At that moment at the head of the group, Henshaw started giving them what would likely be their final briefing before they entered the research facility.  While she listened to the Ensign, Reika glanced diagonally at Okafor to ensure he was recovering emotionally from his snafu with his EV suit.  Despite the suit's environmental controls, Reika could see beads of sweat dotting his brow.  But from what she could tell, he seemed to have his mental faculties about him again and his attention was at the front of their column on Cameron.

Her eyes gliding back to the short woman in the front, the Andorian took in everything Henshaw was saying.  Seven hours.  Seven hours to find a needle in a haystack.  Sure they had tricorders with them, but in a station this size the thaleron triggers could be almost anywhere, there was no guarantee that they were going to find them all …  They weren’t even given a number - instead they were told just to find them and gather the data - in seven hours.  And while seven hours felt so short for their task, seven hours also gave them an eternity to get caught or wounded or … worse.

As her thoughts paused momentarily on the ‘or worse,’ a picture of Kino flashed across Reika’s mind, and she deliberately pushed it away.  This was not the time to worry about either of them.  This was the time to focus on the mission - to be all in - to be single-minded. And while she loved that gorgeous Trill and would do everything in her power to be reunited with her, she couldn’t allow herself the luxury of thinking of her right now.

With eyes and thoughts back on Henshaw’s last words, Reika drew a long slow breath as she waited for anyone else's questions and thought of a small piece of earth literature she had memorized at one point that felt very fitting in their present circumstances. 

‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our [Romulan] dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage.’
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #3
[Lt Vanya| Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@Stegro88@Dree   @Nesota Kynnovan a Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz tz  ((later on: @RyeTanker Tanker  @P.C. Haring Haring  @Hans Applegate ))

As Vanya looked around the enemy space station, she considered the paper portfolio nestled in her gear back on the ship  It was a proposal on the positive uses of Thaleron, written by a Theurgy lab orderly.    Nueva had once been a promising officer, but this research, like the subject itself had burned through and obliterated her career.   If they were still in the Federation, Vanya would have committed a court martial offense.   She would have been drummed out of Starfleet, but not before some vengeful admiral had her freedoms overridden and had her dismantled and archived in some back water annex of the Daystrom institute.
Few things made Vanya more uncomfortable than Thaleron.   She tried to weigh things up rationally.   Perhaps it was the destructive potential of the stuff.    As a scientist, every thought and position she had told her that it was something that should be destroyed, and every piece of Thaleron research should be locked on a fire wall where after successfully entering a 47 character encryption key, the person must take an ARA test to confirm that they are not going to use the data to construct a weapon, just that they are looking to counteract the effects of one such bomb that had been created somewhere else.  

On the other hand, she was much like a Thaleron weapon herself.    They were both created by Romulans.   They were both designed to be weapons of last resort, her an android that was against all Romulan doctrine on synthetic life forms, Thaleron a weapon that could rip the life from a world.  And yet…

She had been allowed to escape.   Her creator had given her a spark of self-determination and independence – something that many cultures had feared in AI’s since the earliest speculative fiction on a hundred worlds.   And yet, she had not attempted to usurp organics, or enslave them, or do anything other than what was asked from her as a Starfleet officer.    And yet, just by doing that and doing what was ultimately right, she was a renegade anyway.    

Was her mother, and Crewman Nueva truly that different?   She might be an officer of Vanya’s grade, or above, but in focusing on illegal Thalaron research, she had doomed herself to scientific oblivion, in the same way her mother cand condemned herself to death for something that she believed in too.   It was clear from the research.  

Still, the time for debate was past.   The mission was clear.   

"Let's do this." she said at last
Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #4
[ Major Sareth | Deck 20 | Aboard the Tal’Shiar Ihnerha Faehht Emaifha Laeosa Mniohr (Tal’Shiar Second Secret Disease and Weapons Research Space Station) |  Romulan Space, approximately 24ly from Romulus ] @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Nesota Kynnovan @Number6 @Dree

He found it most fascinating that a mere day after they’d finished their drills for a station breach, they’d been truly breached. Sareth had felt the jolt of the Starfleet ramming into the station, and so knew that this was no mere drill. He’d already been in the process of ordering everyone in his sector to arm themselves and switch on the Hvei’khenn units when the orders came in from Riov Vrikol himself to do that very thing. Sareth distinctly remembered the bloody the Hvei’khenn unit had made of the Nausicaan test subjects they’d pitted against it in its trial runs. He didn’t look forward to cleaning up the mess the unit would make of any unauthorized personnel it came across. Still, such messes were necessary when guarding the type of technology they had aboard this station.

Sareth paused in his movements when he heard Vrikol speak on the overhead.

[ Our station has been breached by Starfleet personnel. They are here to steal from us, to destroy us; we cannot let them. All station personnel are to remain armed and on the alert. Do not attempt to question the intruders. Incapacitate them in whatever manner necessary. Once you capture them, take them to the commander center for that deck for further processing. Do not abandon your stations; do not give up ground. ]

Sareth smiled, catching similar smiles of confidence from the men and women around him. A few smiles turned into looks of confusion when Vrikol continued, this time in Federation Standard.

[ We know you are here, Starfleet. We are hunting for you, and we will find you. ]

Sareth understood it plainly enough and happily translated for those who didn’t know, garnering another round of smiles. His personal PADD beeped, and Sareth glanced down to see the clearance for the Ghalai toxin. None of them were in danger, but for those Starfleet vermin seeking to steal from them, they would be very, very soon.

For reference, the neurotoxin is scentless and tasteless and spinning images and sensations into victims minds and leaving them temporarily mad and thoroughly incapable of fighting back. And the attack and defense units are this

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #5
Lt Reika Sh’Laan | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@stegro88 @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @RyeTanker @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate

Reika’s eyes had been on Henshaw, waiting for the order to move out to be given, but as the voice came over the COMM system.  “Our station has been breached by Starfleet personnel.  They are here to steal from us, to destroy us; we cannot let them.  All station personnel are to remain armed and on the alert.  Do not attempt to question the intruders.  Incapacitate them in whatever manner necessary.  Once you capture them, take them to the command center for that deck for further processing.  Do not abandon your stations; do not give up ground.

Then she heard another voice, “We know you are here, Starfleet.  We are hunting for you, and we will find you.

The other team was onboard by now.   Hopefully, they were already about their work of setting charges.  It was time to move.   Reika looked over at Henshaw with a nod.  Then glancing at the others, she gave another nod and started off. 

On her way to the station, the Andorian had studied the schematics, so she knew where she could go.  The problem was that none of them knew where to go.  And that wasn’t the only problem.  they didn’t know exactly what or even how many of the items were looking for.  They only that these - seemingly everyday items - held the trigger of the Thaleron Radiation.  Likely they would need to do a room-by-room sweep scanning for anything that could trigger the radiation. 

The Andorian input the code they had managed to steal and opened the final barrier between them and the Tal-Shair was gone.  With her weapon cradled in her hands, she started off down the corridor. 

Eerie quiet surrounded them as the small group infiltrated the station.  Coming upon the first room, she glanced behind her making sure that the person to her rear was ready to cover her if someone was in the room.  Breeching the room, she swept her rifle across the room and once she was certain that they were alone, the blue skinned woman held her weapon in one hand and pulled out her tricorder with the other scanning the room for anything that could be a potential trigger for the dreaded radiation.  But after moments, her tricorder told Reika that this room was clean.   She holstered her scanner and once again grasped her rifle in both hands, moving on to the next room.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #6
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Storage Bay | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ] Attn: @Stegro88 @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @RyeTanker @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate
Cam awkwardly held the rifle in her arms. She was no soldier, she’d been in a few scrapes, sure - but a soldier she was not. Hearing the voice over the comms system of the Romulan Base was certainly not the way she wanted to start the mission. “Timeline just moved up.” She remarked, to those around her. She wasn’t just going to lie to them, and was likely doing a terrible job at hiding her own apprehension. For the first time in a long time though, she felt as though she had something to come back to, not just work. So she steeled her nerves, and swallowed down the fear that threatened to consume her.

There was no way they had seven hours.

That part of her, the part that brought the ups and downs in her emotions, tickled the edge of her mind, prodding her with intrusive, unhelpful, and paranoid thought. She licked her lips, and held the rifle up in a ready position as she pushed forward, Tyreke Okafor took up the position beside her, each of them taking a quadrant of view as they pressed into the station.

She felt a jolt, and it certainly didn’t feel like a small one, her arm institúyelo reaching out for the man next to her to steady herself. Each of them did so, and quickly regained their footing, “What was that?” Cam asked, not really caring who answered, any answer would help.

She pressed in on a room to the left, it looked like a storage bay. “Let’s start the sweep.” She sighed, then opened her tricorder, scanning each of the crates in the room. She heard a creak from her left, Okafor, on her right, looked up and his eyes went wide. All Cam saw as she turned her head was a single red eye, and a massive chassis before she was flung across the room and into a shelf, she shouted out over the local comms, they were made anyhow, damned if she died in a fucking storage bay. “Contact!” As she shouted it however she saw Okafor move out from behind a crate and open fire on the metal monstrosity that had emerged from…somewhere in the room.

The machine tanked the hits, its exoskeleton clearly scorching but it wasn’t enough. There was four clean shots to its chest before it picked up Okafor in its hand, and leveled the weapon…no, the cannon that served as its other arm against his chest, firing once and dropping his limp body to the ground. “Okafor is down! Need backup!” Cam jumped out from behind her cover, and dialed up the setting on her phaser, dangerously high. She pulled the trigger once, aiming for a bulkhead to the rear of the mech, what looked like an EPS relay.

It exploded, throwing cam back even further…and catching the mech in an arc of energy, causing it to momentarily freeze. Her entire body hurt and even worse she felt…strange, like the room was spinning, and those thoughts that plagued her daily grew ever louder. “No, no, no…not now.” She muttered, her breathing quickly becoming labored.

[Amelya Rez]
Amy heard the call over the comms and pressed forward, not knowing what part of her shattered mind compelled her to now run INTO danger instead of the opposite direction. Jona ran right beside her, as real as any other crew member to Amy, though only she could hear him. Only she could see him. Only she could touch him. She was haunted by him, night and day.

She turned into the room, seeing Henshaw on the ground, she looked to be hyperventilating, the blast likely knocking the wind out of her. She turned her eyes forward, seeing the mech frozen in the arc of energy, and the body of Okafor on the ground before it. Much of its armor had been blown off by the blast, but for the time being it was stuck. Amy opened fire with her phaser as she ran towards Henshaw, grabbing her by the straps on her shoulders and dragging her from the room, the whole time the yeoman protested, and screamed as much as she could. “Henshaw! Calm down, I need to-“ Cam elbowed her straight in the shin, desperate to get away.

“Who the fuck decided to send this one?” Jona shouted, firing his phaser. In reality, Amy dragged with one hand and fired the phaser at the mech with the other, though her mind told her a different tale. As she breathed, heavier and heavier she felt…dizzy. “Woah…” She muttered. She’d taken an antitoxin before she’d come aboard but…she opened her tricorder, and sure enough there was something in the air. “There’s something-“ She coughed, even over comms, “In the air…”

Jona picked her up by the shoulder, slinging his rifle, in tandem as Amy secured hers, and dragged Henshaw from the room. “Need more guns in here!” Amy shouted, as she began to treat Henshaw, who luckily had escaped with only minor injury, and whatever was in the air. She felt it, but somehow that. Extra presence in her mind…it kept her centered, at least from the time being. He guided her, talked her through what she needed to do, and when the EPS unit turned off, and the mech got free, he raised his rifle, just as Amy raised hers, and started firing at the monster. Their actions were one and the same. What he did, she did. Even if she saw him doing it…they was her actions alone. Something she had yet to fully grasp.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #7
[Lt. Vanya | Corridor| Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ] Attn: @Stegro88  @Nesota Kynnovan ynnovan @Ellen Fitz @RyeTanker  @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate  @BipSpoon

Vanya had met Romulans before.   Hell, not long ago, there was a pow wow, to use the human idiom, for them on the Theurgy.   Yet to hear the voice of the full empire here in their space, far away from the comfort of Theurgy or the idyllic version of the Federation that seemed further away than ever send a cold shiver down her spine.     These people wanted to dismantle her, to sift through her mind for every engram and catalogue it of its secrets, then cast her remains into an industrial replicator to be recycled.  

She was torn.   On one hand, she wanted to go back and flee, despite being a machine, the fear was real.   On the other hand, there was an opportunity to save her friends, and possibly herself.   There was a low probability of success, but short term it might give her crew more time to find the triggers.     

She took out her tricorder, and desperately hunted for the triggers they were looking for.   The device circled through all the frequencies.   The reading wasn’t complete but the direction was clear.   She sent a remote message to the others and showed them the trail to follow.   Wordlessly she ran in the opposite direction.    She came to a communications and stared at it directly.   She hit a control on her helmet, the visor slid aside to reveal her Romulan face, the ridges and ears would be picked up by any security camera watching.   She closed her eyes and hit a panel.  

As she did, she registered the toxin in the air.   Although she was spared most of the destablilisng effects of the gas, she did feel it affecting her skin, sending pain racking through her body as her respitory system transferred it to her skin.     Once again she cursed her creators for giving her this body… she wanted to tear the skin from her flesh, to some how make it stop… but she had a perception to maintain.   She began to cough.   

“This is Tal-Shiar operative 3347 you are impeding a classified operation.   Do not impede my team.   I repeat, do not impede my team.” She rasped between fake coughs.    It was going to be a touch act to maintain  but if she could slow them down, buy them time, perhaps they just might get through this.  

She wondered how long it would take.   Her face may even be programmed into a list of Romulan defectors, but hopefully as a target, she would have more intrigue and they would come for her first.  
Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

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