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Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #50
[ Sar-Unga Neleo/Dyan Cardamone | Security Checkpoint | Outside Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @CanadianVet

The time had come much quicker than she had anticipated. Her whole body felt like it quivered. She entered the bridge with a wicked smile. Her tail was whipping about in delight. Not only was she prepared to fight Trent, but anyone who did not follow in accordance with these orders. Not that she was a religious rule-follower herself, but any chance to stir up trouble was one she took with delight.

She stepped over towards Trent, a billion words rushing by and she wasn’t sure which ones to say. She allowed Dewitt to continue her announcement, and while she was talking the Asurian readied the transport protocol. In a few short seconds, they’d be beamed away, Trent in his fancy VIP quarters, and herself and...someone, probably, left there to guard him.

Unlike Dewitt though, Dyan did glance up at Trent. Partly because she wanted to hear what he had to say for himself, and partly because she hoped he would fight. The struggle would be the most delicious thing. So she paused, just a short moment, and then even if he was mid-word, she spoke.

And off they went.

[ Lt. Jg. Suq | Main Engineering | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy ]

“I don’t know what you think you’re doing up there--” Suq answered the bridge, his voice starting to crack and show the actual fear underneath, “But if you hear F’rell say ‘don’t fire weapons or we’ll probably explode’, then don’t fire our weapons.” When he heard the awful, awful sound that came from...somewhere, deep in the bowels of the ship, he was sure they would die in seconds. But by some miracle, they didn’t. He had abandoned the cloak in that split second to work on keeping them alive. “You’ll kill us all, every last one--” He couldn’t handle this stress for too much longer. What happened to all his stamina, all his courage? He used to be better than this. Right now, his voice sounded like a man who had just barely missed a bullet. Death missed by centimeters.

Curiously, he realized that he wasn’t speaking to Trent anymore. The new voice he heard sounded like...a female, at least, nice timbres going on there. Probably Dewitt. He’d like to meet her.
“Got it, okay, give me five seconds, I’m re-routing power from auxiliary systems, but you don’t have much, and whatever you do fire will break cloak. Keep power to weapons below 17% and we won’t die, but they will see us.” His voice stabilized, he forced it to, but his hands trembled because death was so close and he couldn’t slip back into his dissociated, out-of-this-world mind again. He was so, so scared.

He left the console he was at and sprinted back to the one used to control the cloak. With power re-arranged, he’d been given himself just enough to create a shield bubble that would keep the plasma in. But, he realized, if they were really firing weapons, there’s no reason to hide the plasma trail. They’d be visible regardless. In hindsight, the cloak was a shitty idea if they were going to fire.
“You’ve got a choice. Take the cloak off and I can get us out of here in a few minutes, or keep it on and it could be a half hour to three hours, depending on how much power you’re drawing.”

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #51
[ Ensign Ryuan Sel | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Sel wasn't sure if there was expected to be any conflict when Dewitt made her move, yet as the order came in she grabbed her Accipiter and held it firmly in her grasp, not activating the auto-targeting system yet. She didn't want to engage any function of the rifle unless she had to, knowing full well what the gun could do to someone. It was not her goal to ever use it on one of her crewmates, but she knew she had to stay alive. She'd spoken to Lorad about this. If she did her duty it increased her likelihood of seeing Sarresh alive, or at the very least she had to keep the people around her alive. She had to at least keep Vivian alive, even if she had no clue what her encounter with the scientist meant, if anything.

She watched as people around them moved and reacted, the uncertainty of the moment came crashing down and it seemed there was a freezing effect of everyone who had not been prepared. Her security personnel all pulled weapons and stood at the ready. If anything was about to go down, if anything at all was about to happen, she knew they were going to be ready for it. The question was, who would stand with Trent, and if anyone did, were they going to be an idiot about it.

[ F'Rell of the Twelfth House | Main Engineering | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy ]

At the sound of Suq saying her name F'Rell almost looked up at him, almost commented in thanks that he trusted her judgment, but there was no time. The ship around them was red-lining left and right and it did not seem that she had the time to do anything. And just like that, as if on cue, a console near F'Rell blew as a power surge ripped through it and blew the conduit under it. The whole of the plasma network was unstable and the warp core was hanging on by a thread. F'Rell could see all of this and she knew full well that the ship could not stand much more of this. Between the cloak draining on their systems; the damage to the coolant systems, something it seemed Suq had done something about yet they were still gaining more heat than they were losing; and the drain of the weapons systems; it did not seem like the ship would hold together all that much longer. They were running out of options and the whole of the power system would go into a critical overload if they did not act.

And then the solution became clear. If the system were purged, if a massive burst of energy went through it and they focused the burst into the warp nacelles and then shut the system down, they could achieve warp speed almost immediately and then they could begin repairs as soon as the network cooled down. The longer it took the more likely it would be that the system would overload and be unrecoverable. There was too much strain. They needed one massive push and to shut the damn thing down.

She once more activated her translator to connect her to the bridge. "<I have a possible option to get us out of here, but I must advise that it is completely dangerous and likely to cause an overload, but unless we act soon the core will breach and we will lose the ship anyway,>" she explained, the voice of her translator tense. "<Currently the system keeping the dilithium crystals from fracturing is working at full functionality, due to the increased pressure inside the core, if it shut down for only a second the crystals would fracture and a massive outpouring of power would flood through the power distribution network and likely overload the whole ship.>" She explained as best as she could as simply as she could. She knew that most humanoids were not experts in this matter and indeed many of her own kind could barely keep up. "<However if we deactivate the system and funnel all of the excess energy into the warp nacelles it will throw the ship into an uncontrolled jump, likely exceeding speeds of 9.9997 warp according to the Starfleet scale. I believe the ship can handle such a jump, but we would need to deactivate every other system on the ship the instant before the crystals fractured or we would blow those systems as well, likely until we can repair the nacelle we will lose the ability to go to warp as well. We can get life support back within hours of the jump, there is enough oxygen in the system to sustain the crew that long.>"

It was a dangerous plan. A plan that would see the ship flinging itself in whatever direction it was facing for as long as it took to burn off the power output of the surge, which according to the F'Rell's rough calculation would throw them between 6 and 15 light hours from their current position in only a handful of seconds. But it would make them fundamentally untraceable, their warp trail would be destroyed by its own volatile nature due to the imbalance.

"<I can program the jump to prevent it from taking us into anything dangerous, but I cannot determine how far we will go because I cannot predict how much power will be unleashed by the increase in surface area of the dilithium crystals. The choice is yours Captain.>"

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #52
[ Tesserarius Lorad | Vector 01 Engineering | Deck 06 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Lorad could tell that something had changed, and it wasn't just with the engineering crew and the warp core; although that was serious in and of itself. But Lorad couldn’t help with that. Which left him free to watch the comings and goings of the engineering room. Injured crewmembers were assisted out while healthy, or at least less injured, ones moved about trying to make repairs. And through all of this, the pair of armed guards stood like silent shepherds guarding their flock; relaxed but alert. And then everything about them changed.

All at once their postures shifted. They stood up straighter, more alert and their hands dropped to rest on their holstered phasers. If Lorad had had to guess, he would have said that the ship had been boarded but there were no alarms. Something wasn’t right.

"Bridge to Engineering, we need to know exactly how much defensive fire we can deal to save the officers on those fighters without compromising the core, and how much time you need down there until we can safely jump to warp. If there is anything to do about the plasma leak, fine, but we need to leave as soon as possible."

Lorad knew that voice. That was Commander Dewitt. Had something happened on the Bridge? He knew that the ship had been using its weapons; the floating snake and short man kept going on about not using them but they still had fired. But that didn’t explain the guards’ shift.

“I think I am going to go to sickbay,” Lorad thought to himself as he heaved himself up off the deck. “Maybe they can tell me what is happening,” Lorad considered as he made his way out the door, cradling his arm and side as he moved.

Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf 07 | Azure Nebula ]

“This is crazy Donna, even for you,” Chance thought to herself as she pulled down and away from the Dauntless. Foxfire and herself had been nudging in ever closer to the Akira-class starship, seeing how close they could get before their former home decided to fire back at them. “Playing chicken with an Akira is a quick way to end up dead. Where the hell is the Theurgy? Them taking out the Bellerophon would make for a lovely diversion anytime now.”

Chance didn’t have to wait long before her request was answered. Weapon’s fire erupted around the Intrepid-class vessel and the Dauntless, seeing its companion under fire, immediately turned to lend aid.

“Foxfire, Delta-1. Execute,” Chance ordered, bringing her fighter around in a dive that would take it underneath the Akira. Advancing her throttles to the maximum, Chance readied the photon torpedoes that the crew of the Dauntless had loaded aboard her warp fighter that morning. Now she would be returning them.

One she and Foxfire were low enough in relation to the Dauntless, they executed the 2nd half of the attack pattern, pulling back on their controls to point their ships directly up at the belly of the beast; the weakest point on an Akira.

“Remember, we detonate the weapons pod and we can kiss the ship goodbye,” Chance reminded her wing mate. “I know you love your torpedoes but try to make sure they only hit the nacelles.”

Any reply that Foxfire might have said was lost on Chance as someone proved that they were still paying attention on the Dauntless. The ventral phaser array charged up and fired a beam at Chance and it took all of her considerable skill at the controls to pull Wolf-07 into a barrel roll that literally took her around the phaser beam. Alarms blared in the cockpit as the fighter let its pilot know that energy was being depleted from the dorsal shields. But the beam ended and Donna straightened out.

“That was too close,” Chance whispered as she lined up her sights on the larger vessels starboard nacelle. “Targeting the starboard nacelle,” Chance informed her wing woman as the Dauntless fired at Foxfire. Wolf-08’s evasive action once again reminded Donna what a talented pilot Isel Nix really was. “Among her other talents,” Donna added silently as she waited for the target lock. “Locked!” she called out as the tone changed to signify a lock. Mashing her thumb down on the stud, Chance fired off a pair of torpedoes that were quickly followed by a second pair. Holding her fire, Chance waited to see what effect hers and Foxfire’s combined 8 torpedoes would have.

The torpedoes sailed through the clouds of the nebula and impacted the ventral side of the Akira; the shields flaring into life before he collapsed under the strain. It had really only taken 7 torpedoes hitting the same small area to bring the shields down. The last torpedo had actually passed through between the spars that connected the nacelles and weapons pod to the main hull.

“Shit that was close,” Chance exclaimed a seeing how close the torpedo had come to the pod. “But the shields are down. Switch to hellhounds. We have to get them through before the shields come back up." An urgent beeping suddenly began to ring around the cockpit. “Foxfire, break off. We’ve got company,” Chance said as she reefed the control stick over. Ahead of them, two warp fighters launched from the Dauntless and immediately bore down on the evading Wolves.

“What the...?” Chance wondered after checking her screens. “Wolves 05 & 06. They aren’t supposed to be here. Fuck.” She was trying to think of a new plan that would keep them alive when the beeping started again.

“Oh great, this keeps getting better and better,” Chance lamented as her former flight leader began to fire at her.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #53
[ CWO3 Liliana "Meerkat" Walton | Wolf 13 | Space around the Dauntless | Azure Nebula ] @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @Fife @Vox

“Alright, we’re coming up on the Theurgy’s reported position. Status check, Bulkhead?”

“All systems green. Scylla and Blizzard are confirming the same for theirs.”

“Great. Dropping out in 3 … 2 … 1.”

The silence resumed as the Valravn returned to realspace, its twins appearing on other side of it. Liliana Walton, aka “Meerkat”, had already discussed what they were going to do over a shared encrypted channel that Blizzard had opened upon her return. It was a lengthy and heated conversation, but the decision was mutual and final. They would join with the rest of their pack on the Theurgy.
[Whoa, is that…?]

“Yup, Blizzard. That has to be the Theurgy firing from cloak somehow.”

Liliana watched soberly as the Bellerophon belatedly attempted to defend itself against the sudden assault. She heard audible gasps from the others over the open communications channel as the Intrepid-class ship was destroyed and she closed her eyes momentarily with a sigh.

[They just destroyed the Bellerophon.]

“Pretty quick too. Did you see how she rolled at the last minute? They must have hit the deuterium tanks rather than the lateral sensor arrays.”

[How do you figure that?]

“I’ve done it in simulations. It’s a weird angle to hit, but easier than you’d think when both ships are moving. Go help Wraith, Blizzard. Scylla and I will assist Chance and Foxfire. Remember to update your IFFs, people.”

Affirmatives rolled in with a short, but notable pause from both pilots. Walton couldn’t really blame them either. The scene they were arriving at painted a far more catastrophic picture than they anticipated. With the Bellerophon’s death, those few survivors would need to be rescued quickly but the Dauntless and Black Wolves would still prioritize the Theurgy’s destruction. Already, chatter indicated that the Dauntless’s commanding officer was demanding the Black Wolves clear the space around the Akira-class ship. Warlock hadn’t responded yet, but Lily could easily enough see what he would want her to do.

“Open a channel to the Sabine and the, ah, other ‘traitorous wolves’ that Metalhead was talking about.”


“Hi, Sabine, Wraith, Foxfire, and Chance. This is Black Wolf-13, callsign Meerkat. Wolves 14 and 16 are accompanying, callsigns Scylla and Blizzard respectively. Requesting you mark us as friendly. Blizzard will assist you, Sabine. Scylla and I will deal with Whiskers and Sneaky.”

[This is the Sabine, I'm a bit busy here!] There was a pause in which the reception broke, likely from the shuttle taking a hit. [Yet burn me, your timing couldn't be better. I'm passing the word to the Theurgy, 'Lone Wolves'!]

Lone Wolves…?

With a shake of her head at the odd accent and sign off, Liliana accelerated her fighter to combat speed, her wingmate following closely behind. Blizzard sped off in a different direction, her heading clearly indicating her intention to intercept one of the fighters in the melee centered on the Sabine. Hopefully, the loyalist Black Wolves would be none the wiser about the former White Wolves intentions until they actually opened fire but Meerkat knew of Warlock’s paranoia. Metalhead’s own open distaste for his former squadmates had similarly rubbed the veteran pilot wrong. She had flown for over twenty years by this point, gathering ratings for an assortment of small Federation craft that ran the gamut from the smallest shuttle to even larger runabouts. Even with the friends and fellow officers that defected to the Maquis, she could recognize the underpinnings of honor and duty in the reasoning they used to turn traitor.

It was the same here. The speech given at by Commander Trent, the words from the Theurgy’s own squadron commander, and the way she noticed Theurgy’s Valkyries seemed to aim towards disabling all indicated a strong morality that still aligned with Starfleet’s principles even as they took aim at the same officers that they used to call fellows. There was a righteousness to their cause that didn’t mesh with the tone given by Captain Ives in hir broadcast. Liliana just couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of something deeply wrong as the orders and story given seemed to contradict what she had seen and heard personally. She had flown and drank with the White Wolves that abandoned the Orcus for the Theurgy and Wraith, one of those leaving now, was a member of her own flight. They were her pack, far more than Warlock’s own squadron could be at this point.

“Looks like we’ll have to approach nearly head on for this, but surprise should be on our side. 25 seconds to intercept.” She paused for a moment, drinking in the sight of the looming Akira-class she was about to help disable. “Y’know, Haqr, we’re well within transporter range. You don’t have to come with.”

“I know. I would follow you to Sto’vo’kor, Liliana Walton.”

“Kind of creepy when you say it that way, but thanks? Scylla, Meerkat. Let’s do Delta-3. It’ll be close, but you remember the dance we practiced during phase 2 testing? Yeah, that. Remember to disable, not kill.”

“Weapons hot. Targets acquired.”

“Great, here goes!”

The two Valravns skimmed the ventral side of the Dauntless before suddenly diving steeply on an intercept course for the pair they were targeting. They flew close together, turning into a slow corkscrew that alternated phaser fire on the Valkyrie Mk IIs that were chasing Chance and Foxfire. The fire was meant more to catch the pursuers’ attention and force them to break off.

“Scylla, go to port!”

As they passed through, Scylla banked hard to port and Meerkat did the same going starboard and from there, the two would now pick at their self-assigned targets. Liliana picked the one following Foxfire. Lily herself had kitted out her fighter for space superiority – the skill and tenacity of the Theurgy’s fighter pilots being known to her pursuers by now. She hadn’t expected to use that kit against fighters launched from the Dauntless, but then again, she hadn’t also expected the Theurgy to be cloaked either.

Life is funny that way.

She saw her target break on her sensors, ostensibly to reposition to a less vulnerable firing position. Walton flipped her craft around, the frame and inertial field complaining slightly at the sudden high-G maneuver, and took off after it. She bracketed the fighter’s course with phaser fire and then suddenly she was being bracketed by phaser fire.

“We’re being targeted by one of the Dauntless’s arrays, Meerkat.”

“Oh, is that what all this is? Thought we bought tickets to a fireworks show.”

It seemed the Dauntless had caught on to what was happening now and were dedicating its ventral and stern weapons to the threat posed by the defectors. An alarm rang out when one beam very nearly connected but for a last-minute turn out of its way. She accelerated to full combat speed after that, knowing it would take a few seconds for the capacitors to recharge. The next shot was still close, but more easily dodged. The pilot she was attempting to pin down, Sneaky, was living true to his callsign and managed to evade her fire long enough to double back in another attempt to get at Foxfire.

“Target bearing –“

“I got him, I got him.”

In her rush to get back on his tail, Liliana’s fighter took a direct hit from the Dauntless, setting off another alarm.

“Shields down to 20%.”

She frowned at the report from Bulkhead as she finished getting a lock on Sneaky, her left hand quickly selecting one of her EMP missiles.

“EMP 1 away.”

Her Valravn’s phasers kept firing, scoring a pair of solid hits that brought the enemy fighter’s shields down. When the EMP missile hit, what was left of the shields evaporated and the Gryphon fighter started to fly more erratically. Thinking quickly, Meerkat aimed specifically for the fighter’s wings, firing off shorter beam bursts that largely, if narrowly, missed. The ones that connected nearly broke off Sneaky’s starboard wing and she could tell the other pilot was struggling to avoid going into a spin. Between that and the residual electro-magnetic energy from her torpedo, Sneaky suddenly couldn’t maneuver well enough to dodge her fire, a fact that the more veteran pilot took advantage of nearly instantly with a well-placed shot to one of his impulse engines. The Gryphon began spinning out of control and the pilot launched his escape pod.

“Scratch one. Foxfire, this is Meerkat. Your tail’s clear.”

“Torpedo incoming!”

“Shit!” She pushed the throttle back to the max and pulled hard to port, both to avoid the escape pod and the incoming torpedo. This time, she also took a moment to drop one of the ECM micro-torpedoes she carried for this sortie, silently thanking whatever bugged her about today enough to make sure she had them. It worked, fooling the torpedo’s guidance systems towards the chaff but it didn’t detonate on contact. Instead, it exploded within a few meters and it took Walton a moment to figure out why. It wasn’t unusual, but it was definitely something significant.

“Oh, stars. Meerkat to Foxfire, Scylla, Chance. The Dauntless is firing torpedoes set to proximity. Watch out!”

The space around the Dauntless was suddenly going to be a lot more hostile with the Akira-class ship pulling out more of its stops to stay in the fight. Lily turned the fighter to go back to the other three, diving to dodge more phaser fire. She laughed loudly when Bulkhead piped up from behind her.

“Well, you did say we had tickets to a fireworks show.”

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #54
[ Commander Carrigan Trent | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @The Ostrich @Triton @Brutus @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @BZ @Absinthe @Argyros

And at last, the distance closed, and Vector 1's weapons lashed out.  Not in the long-range, position-marking way Dewitt had initially ordered, but it was the executioner's stroke Trent's hand had been forced into by his Executive Officer when she ordered the incoming fighters not to break off and regroup elsewhere but to come in and engage.  Streams of coherent energy lashed out, and at such a short range, Bellerophon's shields, at merely at a fraction of their maximum potential, were criminally insufficient against the onslaught. 

Shields failed, and the hull behind them was mercilessly pounded.  Primary deflector, impulse engines, communications, warp nacelles.  He watched before him as the Intrepid-class ship heaved and bucked under the unexpected attack.  How the helmsman tried to madly twist her away from the massacre, to interpose intact shields. 

And then she broke her back and two uneven halves drifted apart, spewing atmosphere, plasma and debris.  Yes, Trent had ordered a mission kill rather than the destruction of the vessel, but one could never be certain when calling for the use of starship weapons.  There was always this chance of what his instructors referred to as the Golden BB, whatever a BB was, that would cause catastrophic damage through sheer dumb luck, even when taking care to avoid such a fate.  It had many causes, from a non-standard placement of components, something that failed in just the wrong way under fire, or any of a million others.  "Move to intercept Dauntless," he then called out. 

There was no time for anything else.  The fighters would never last long against that ship either. 

But Dewitt spoke again after she came to him.  What was she doing there in the first place?  And her tone, it was a clear challenge.  "I beg your pardon?", was all he managed to get out before she went on her explanation. 

And her words hit him like a hammer.  She attacked him, openly and publicly.  That alone was bad enough.  But not only had she misconstrued his words and intents, she utterly abused his trust and violated the confidence in which they had been spoken.  That was when the mask of calm fell. 

Trent's face contorted into a mask that at time showed grief, anger and betrayal.  But mostly, a fierce fury and in his eyes danced the light of a dangerous, black hate.  He had carefully metered out his fire at the strike on Black Opal to avoid casualties, even refrained from firing to take out their computers because it would have gutted the station, even when not taking them off-line would have cost them that resupply stop.  He had personally boarded the station to secure a faster surrender to prevent the further loss of life.  He had trusted her with a key role as his adjutant.  She had counseled him to keep hope alive and not fall to despair.

But she, who now stated the success of the mission as her priority, had said his own honour, integrity and sense of duty were meaningless.  That he would lead them all to their deaths; as if she was morally superior, effectively murdering their captured shipmates by being so willing to abandon them. 

And when he met her eyes, he did not even try to hide just how much he hated that woman at this time.  What made it all worse, there was no chance to resist; there were simply too many armed people on edge on the Bridge, that making any sort of effort to fight would end in a bloodbath; so for now, he had no real choice but to submit.  But it hardly meant he would do so meekly or quietly.  "You are a hypocritical faithless coward and murderer who hides behind the letter of her orders, and I am ashamed I ever put any trust in you, you fucking disgrace to the uniform."

His voice was low and hard and cold enough to turn the heart of start solid, dripping with a loathing he could not, would not, bother to hide, and before he could enjoin the others to resist the attempt, the call to energize the transporter was made, and he dematerialized, barely stifling a scream of rage.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #55
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Attack Maneuvers ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @CanadianVet @Brutus @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @Mathis @The Ostrich  @JayLatte  @Blue Zephyr @Absinthe @Argyros

There was an unusual sense of calm before the scene that unfolded, starting with his opposite on the holotable. Leon had designed an opportune strike on the Intrepid-class. Like the Starbase 84 personnel he stunned in the control room there, there was no emotion in the need to carry out his duties as Chief Tactical Officer on a mission to save the Federation. From all threats, foreign and domestic. A cold comfort to the people he was about to kill.

"Mister Veradin, once we rake Bellerophon, give me a parabolic intercept for Dauntless, full impulse.  Commander Marquez, you will have to open fire at longer range than we'd like, but you will have one chance to give the fighters some supporting fire.  Make it count."

Like wasn't the word or term Marquez would have... liked to compare his attacks with. Despite the almost-forgotten score with Admiral Ross for leaving the Hornet out to dry more than a few occasions, interrupting him from proposing to his then-girlfriend was the last straw. And the fat man probably wasn't even aboard. Just more Federation lives sacrificed. Wasted. What was there to 'like' about killing his own people?

Despite F'Rell's warnings from Engineering, Leon had to coordinate to make his barrage count. Just another wrinkle. Marquez replied with a firm but reassuring address when the options were presented to him, and he had to work with them. Reman and human tech were probably nemeses in compatibility.  "F'Rell. Trust me. Firing." Avoiding the gaze of the XO, Leon's focus was on his handiwork, reacting to the T'fanrell's admonitions and at the last moment, the CTO initiated the computer's safest projected firing solution and intensity. If this was a hunt, it was logical for the fugitive to take out the searchlight before the hounds were given a mark. Marquez found his own mark on the Intrepid-Class and Theurgy fired. Leon made his shots count before heeding F'Rell's warning.

Aiming this nubile vector and its arsenal was almost second-nature with this new interface. Privately, Leon likened this tool to designing homes or architecture in an old holodeck program. The presence of several armed personnel however, was not a good omen. Despite their initial meeting, Leon was additionally avoiding the loose cannon El-Aurian sabotaging Commander Trent's grip on control; Leon would have ordered her off the bridge long ago if it were him. Given the barely-contained menace between the two senior officers, Leon was ready for anything in the event one of them or their allies was another parasite. Cautiously, he avoided their path and their view, lest he had to respond to the worst-case scenario; hiding his apprehension.

It was just a sense of justice that he felt as he disconnected himself from watching Voyager's sister ship explode out of view. It was in two distorted halves with debris and presumably humanoid remains on display "Target..." he snorted for a heartbeat or less "... destroyed. Reading Escape pod distress signals and life signs, many injured. Many... KIA." At least not all hands were lost when that ship tried to evade the Helmet's alpha strike as their fighter support kept the Akira-class busy. One more moral conundrum to fear.

Things went to hell almost in synch with that damned report, not having the gall to turn to live feeds of the destruction he'd caused. Dewitt made sure of that.

"I am sorry, but I am hereby relieving you of command under Starfleet Regulation Six-One-Nine. You should have let us leave, when we had the chance. Now, too many officers have been killed because of you and Heather MacMillan."

What an excuse.

"Because of Heather McMillan being abducted by the Savi, Commander Trent has become emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions. The proof of this is obvious, but also made in personal confession to me days ago, in how he will try to go up against the Versant with this Vector alone purely to reclaim her. This, in complete disregard to this crew and of how this last Vector alone now carry the truth of Starfleet Command. You have seen how Commander Trent is now jeopardizing the future of the Federation by irrationally fighting when the ship is not fit for it, risking a warp core detonation. He wants the ship reintegrated towards the purpose of reclaiming Heather, at any cost, even though we are clearly the last Vector remaining. We are lucky to yet be alive... and I need not remind you. Captain Ives' orders were to protect the truth."

What Bullshit. The Rendezvous option was the best hope of pooling resources toward the next step in fighting them together. A full crew and reunified ship was the best hope to ultimately succeed in their primary mission. They beamed out Sinead right before his eyes and . This proclamation didn't inspire confidence--especially about being lucky. Despite this moment, Leon continued  to track the situation in the battlespace. Time wouldn't stop for excuses or big words. More ships were on their way and the Fighters were already in play, as was A'vura. If he could screen them in a snap-judgement call, he'd do it while the coup played out.

"My orders have gone out to the entire ship. Security has secured all centers of operation, and present personnel will incapacitate Trent on these grounds if so needed... but he will now be Transported off bridge for confinement until further notice. I don't do this on a whim, and despite the risk you have put us through, your actions were a matter of the heart. This is the least I can do now to spare your dignity... and not have you dragged off the bridge. Energize."

Incredible. Renegade ship or not, this was not a good mutiny. "Reading Escape pods and distress signals." He reminded the person occupying the center seat. "Commence Rescue Operations?" An expert at concealing emotion through an unflinching poker face, Leon asked out of necessity, knowing well that Dewitt didn't seem the humanitarian type, despite her words. Best not to give her a reason to make enemies with a face he recognized from the Academy at his years there. Leon would be lying if he said he didn't pity the CO. If anyone betrayed him like that, Marquez would have activated the PA and declared a mutiny was in progress in mistranslation of Starfleet regulations.

"You are a faithless coward and murderer who hides behind the letter of her orders, and I am ashamed I ever put any trust in you, you fucking disgrace to the uniform."

God knew Leon agreed with him. This would not stand, not now. Not in the name of the Bellerophon. That was when he picked up comm chatter on his earpiece and marked a new formation of Valravns on the holotable display into green icons. Perhaps the great mapmaker in the sky worked in mysterious ways after all. 

"Steady on, Helm. Designating new allied contacts." Leon glanced at his former crewmates, innoccuously turning his head as if to crack his neck, but was the most subtle 'Don't.' expression to Martin in particular who knew that was discreetly a signal not to get involved, implying no one do anything foolish. His mind meanwhile was on the mission, "Sabine, Confirm new IFF Status on incoming Fighters?" a good architect [even one of destruction] worked with as many tools at his disposal as possible. Trent's final orders regarding the USS Dauntless were in the balance. Would Dewitt be cold enough to kill another one of her own ships? Marquez might have.
Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy

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

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #56
[ Ensign Isel “Foxfire” Nix | Wolf-08 | Azure Nebula ] @Auctor Lucan @Stegro88 @patches @Vox @Firefox013

[Shit that was close] Came Donna’s voice over the comms, the concern audible in her tone. Their torpedoes had only narrowly hitting the weapons pod. Isel heard the rest of what Donna had to say over the alert that had just begun to ring throughout her cockpit. [Foxfire, break off. We’ve got company.]

Isel gritted her teeth as she pulled hard to port, pulling back at the same time so as to spiral in an erratic pattern, making it harder for the two warp fighters that had just launched form the Dauntless to get a clear shot. Isel only barely registered what Donna said next before she had to slam her fighter out of the spin, just barely avoiding the incoming phaser fire that was lancing in her direction from Wolves 05 & 06.

”I don’t think they’re happy to see us, Chance!” Isel snarled, her concentration and the rapid change in her course causing a strain in her voice that drowned out her sarcasm and humour. ”And after I let Cactus cop a feel the other day, too! Prickly bastard! Fuck!” The last curse was prompted by an impact against her shields as one of Sneaky’s shots scored a glancing hit. Her fighter’s shields held, though they were still recovering from the Dauntless’ barrage. ”Donna, tell these fuckertards that I’m cute and I'm little, and that they should stop fucking shooting me!” Isel couldn’t help but laugh as she spoke the words, at the same time she sent a few phaser shots of her own lancing back at their pursuers, the aft wing-mounted type VII phasers scorning a hit on Sneaky’s port shields as they scrambled to evade the erratic fire.

”Hah! I hope Cactus’ console blows in his face! Fucker had sticky hands anyway!” Isel growled with a dark smile crossing her features. The reprieve was short lived, however, as the two bandits maintained their pursuit and kept up their harrying fire. The Vulpinian’s expression turned from dark satisfaction to frustration at their dogged pursuers, then to puzzlement as a new voice came over the coms.

[Hi, Sabine, Wraith, Foxfire and Chance. This is Black Wolf-13, callsign Meerkat. Wolves 14 and 16 are accompanying, callsigns Scylla and Blizzard respectively. Requesting you mark us as friendly. Blizzard will assist you, Sabine. Scylla and I will deal with Whiskers and Sneaky.]

Meerkat and Scylla are coming too, huh? The thought played through Isel’s mind even as the preoccupied-yet-still-alluring accent of the Sabine’s pilot could be heard responding. The phaser fire lancing past her fighter became more erratic, and Foxfire took the opportunity to quickly check her sensors. Sneaky and Whiskers were dodging fire from Meerkat and Scylla.

Give ‘em hell, ladies!

Isel kept up her evasive maneuvers the incoming fire from Sneaky being more easily avoided now that they, in turn, were being fired upon by Meerkat. Another quick glance at her sensors told Isel that Scylla had taken up pursuit of Whiskers, who had taken up pursuit of Donna. Suddenly Sneaky’s fire became more concentrated, and Isel was hard-pressed to dodge the bastard’s phasers. Sneaky managed to land several more glancing blows, leaving Isel’s shields greatly diminished.

The incoming fire suddenly let up, and a moment later Meerkat’s voice came over the comms.

[Scratch one. Foxfire, this is Meerkat. Your tail’s clear.]

”My tail's white, fluffy and adorable, Meerkat, but roger that! I owe you one!” Isel grinned as she spoke, then pulled her fighter about. She was hoping the reprieve would last long enough to allow her shields to recover somewhat before they made another run at the Akira-class. She quickly checked her sensors to see how Donna and Scylla were fairing against Whiskers, though she only had time to note that both Chance and Scylla were still alive before a dangerous glow illuminated the inside of her cockpit. An explanation quickly followed as she once more heard Meerkat call out.

[Oh, stars. Meerkat to Foxfire, Scylla, Chance. The Dauntless is firing torpedoes set to proximity. Watch out!]

”Fuck, that doesn’t help things.” Isel muttered before keying open her comms, ”Meerkat, this is Foxfire. Once Scylla and Chance deal with Whiskers we need to try and render the Dauntless immobile.” Isel saw more torpedoes being launched by the Dauntless and cursed the fact that she didn’t have an RIO to help feed her combat data. ”And I guess try not to get blown the hell up while we’re at it…” She added the last part while maneuvering her Valkyrie to try and get out of the cone of vulnerability of the Dauntless’ torpedoes. "If we can score some hits and keep their shields from fully recovering, Chance and Scylla can hit the nacelle once they're clear."

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #57
[ Ensign Ryuan Sel | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: peeps on the bridge

Watching the scene unfold before her eyes, the readouts on the visor of the helmet of her exo-suit telling her everything she needed to know, Sel felt her gut tie itself into knots. This wasn't right. She was loyal to the cause, she always had been, but this was not what she had signed up for, she knew better than this, and hearing as there was a pause between the request to begin rescue operations and the order to do so. At this point, she was security chief so any that they rescued were her responsibility, but she knew she couldn't allow them to stay in space, in those nightmarish escape pods.

With a gesture she pulled off the helmet and tossed it aside, showing her face for the first time since she stepped onto the bridge, her tired eyes moving directly to Dewitt. Now was not the time to hesitate, they had already taken the center chair from one of their own and now she was looking at the one who ordered it and having a doubt. This was dangerous. She would take the responsibility for this one. To hell with the consequences.

"Do it, Mister Marquez, get as many of them as you can, while we still can," she said in a strong, clear voice as she stepped toward the new captain of the vector, her eyes never leaving the other woman's. She directed what came next directly at Dewitt, her tone almost pleading. "We are Starfleet, we don't do it like this. We need to rescue the survivors. I stood by you before, don't make me doubt that now."

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #58
[Lt JG Derik Veradin I Main Bridge I Vector 01 I USS Theurgy] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @CanadianVet @Brutus @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @Mathis @The Ostrich @Absinthe

"Mister Veradin, once we rake Bellerophon, give me a parabolic intercept for Dauntless, full impulse.  Commander Marquez, you will have to open fire at longer range than we'd like, but you will have one chance to give the fighters some supporting fire.  Make it count."

Derik's fingers danced across the controls, keeping one step ahead of the power requirements as each maneuver was ordered. With strains on the core from the cloak and weapons systems, he pulled the absolute minimum power necessary. It was a challenge to say the least. Everything on the ship was screaming for power but without propulsion, they would become target practice. One eye checking flawless keystrokes, one on the holo-display and viewscreen and his ears open for the next command was all Derik could do.

Then the tension on the bridge reached a crescendo.

"I am sorry, but I am hereby relieving you of command under Starfleet Regulation Six-One-Nine. You should have let us leave, when we had the chance. Now, too many officers have been killed because of you and Heather MacMillan."

A mutiny?! Now of all times?! Here in the middle of a crisis, Derik could hardly believe what Commander Dewitt was doing. They needed unity not division. He half turned in his chair, keeping one hand hovering just over the controls. He couldn't help but watch. Mutiny aboard a Federation starship, even in desperate times, was rare.

He listened to Dewitt's reasons, each one a hammer blow against Commander Trent. She had betrayed his trust, revealing the deeper meanings behind his actions. What greater reason to fight than for love? It was only as she was explaining her actions, that Derik finally saw the security officers stationed at key positions on the bridge. His leg itched where he kept his knife. Defending the captain would be useless however, despite his sense of honor screaming at him to do so anyway. Those security officers could take down anybody before they got a shot off. Dewitt had planned this well even if it was for the wrong reasons.

If they didn't stay here, and the other vectors were still out there, they may never reunite. They were stronger together. She had to know this. Derik wanted to reunite with the others for personal reasons as well. There were people on those vectors he cared about. She had to care about those people too, right?

"You are a hypocritical faithless coward and murderer who hides behind the letter of her orders, and I am ashamed I ever put any trust in you, you fucking disgrace to the uniform." Commander Trent's words were quiet, but there was no mistaking what he said. They were filled with barely contained loathing and a rage so deep it was like staring into the darkest part of a deep, deep ocean.

Derik ground his teeth as Trent was beamed off the bridge, stomach twisted into a tightly bound knot. This wasn't the way things should be done. It spit in the face of everything he had learned at the Academy, everything the Federation stood for. Then the question came if they were to initiate rescue operations for the survivors of the Bellerophon. He desperately hoped they would. Even if they were being controlled by those parasites, they were no doubt killing people Derik knew. Academy friends? Classmates? Certainly people who where just following orders. If they could rescue any of them they had to try. Too many had been lost already.

"Your orders Captain?" The last word laced with restrained venom.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #59
[Zyrao Natauna | Strategist |  Starfleet Shit Storm | Mutiny |  Poor Tastes & Bad Decisions]
@Auctor Lucan @Triton @Argyros @Absinthe

They were told not to fire.

They fired anyway.  Of course they did.  Zyrao put the bridge of her nose in between her forefinger and thumb and squeezed for a moment.  There were times she wished that she had just stayed with the Hakkarl and become space dust.  At least then she wouldn't have to sit around and be testament to the idiocy that had clearly infected the universe while she was with the Klingon.  In a genitalia measuring contest on the Bridge the whole situation just ramped up.  You had Dewitt that was plotting and planning something, Zyrao could feel that it was coming up the culmination of whatever her plan was.  There was a shift on the Bridge, something that stated without words, that the dynamic here was about to change.  Trent was pissed, he didn't like Dewitt going behind him countermanding his orders, and while his orders were often shit, he was the boss.  Not her boss, but the boss to the people in the horrible uniforms and collar jewelry.

Dewitt turned, her eyes burning into Trent's back side, as she began to speak.  Starting with the moniker of 'I'm sorry'.  Was she?  Zyrao doubted it, she didn't seem, at all, sorry for what she was about to do.  Zyrao sat there watching everything begin to unfold.  She had no idea who Heather MacMillian was or why that would have anything to do with Trent.  She imagined it was a lover, family, something that would cause him to make poor choices.

The Savi?

Her grey eyes shifted around the bridge.  Surely, someone would stand up for him.  While Zyrao didn't agree with his methods when they met, surely he was not the same with his own crew.  He had been someone that had been the First Officer for a while, as far as she could tell.  There had to be those that were loyal to him.  Those that would not stand for such a display of disrespect.  Mutiny was a hard street to walk.  It was a career ending move, at best.  Both parties would likely lose their places in the Fleet.  Trent because he would have now lost the respect and confidence of the crew around him for having been tossed out on his ass.  But also, Dewitt because she decided, in the middle of battle no less, to relieve the man of duty.  In a very public and demeaning way. 

Zyrao saw not a single person rise, not a single officer on the Bridge stood up to defend the man that had been sitting in the center seat all this time.  Either he is more inept than I thought, or these people have no sense of loyalty. she thought and shook her head in disbelief.  [/i]What the universe have I done.  I should have stayed with the Klingon.  Who wants to work, or command, a ship of people that could be swayed so easily.  Her stomach turned.  I wish Sera were here, she would understand my disgust of this bridge. she thought nastily as she watched Trent stand up with the first fire in his eyes that she had seen on the Bridge yet.  His horrendous whispering habit had finally been tossed to the side for something garnering actual volume.

This man would have kept his seat. she thought cooly, but it was too late for him to rally the troops and get things done.  He had been deposed, tossed off his seat, and before he could even give them the earful they likely deserved, he was beamed off the bridge.  Zyrao looked at everyone on the Bridge making eye contact with the few that were watching the spectacle and did nothing.  She felt it was not her place, nor did she know Trent well enough, nor did she feel that going after him would be prudent.  Part of her wanted to spit on the deck plating at take her leave.  Loyalty was something that she thought she would find an abundance of here, it stuck her as very odd that she had found none on this Bridge.

The other part of her realized that Dewitt had likely not made the decision lightly.  While, it was not done in the manner that Zyrao would have preferred there was likely no 'right' way to do it.  She couldn't want for him to make more poor choices.  Lives were at stake here.  They needed to get themselves safe and secure.  They needed to get away from the Task Force and they needed to figure out what the next step was.  There was a plan in place, and now, sadly, Trent had no part of it.  It was his own doing.  He made poor choices, whether he was actually compromised or not, Zyrao couldn't say.  She hoped that he would find himself a stiff drink in his Quarters and pass out.  Take a load off, and let the Bridge go.

She doubted that would happen though, Trent seemed like that guy that was going to pace grooves in the deck plating with worry.  Everything now, was out of his control.  Slipped through his fingers and he would likely not have control of the ship again.  For someone like Trent, it would bother him greatly and weigh on his shoulders that he had no control of what would happen now.  Marquez was working behind the scenes getting things set up and waiting for someone to give him the nod to get a escape pods to the now wounded ship.  Her eyes shifted over to Sel when the woman stated to do it, they were Starfleet and didn't do it 'this way'.

What way is that? she thought to herself as she stood up and brushed a hand through her shorter hair.  She hoped it meant that they were the kind that offered aid.  Wasn't that the point of the Fleet, though if rumors were true this ship was no more a part of the Fleet.  They were nothing more than a ship of deserters and law breakers.  Those things she didn't really mind, over much, but she didn't understand where the Fleet she had always heard tale of had gone.  It certainly didn't seem to be present on the Bridge at the moment.  At least, it hadn't been.  Maybe now, maybe things would settle down now. 

Veridian, she liked that guy.  The venom in his voice was enough to prove that not everyone was accepting of the situation.  She smirked a bit at the helmsman but she wasn't sure that he saw or not.  She hoped that he had though.  While she didn't exactly think that Trent should be in charge she was not certain Dewitt had better ideas.  But, this was what they had to work with now, and they were going to have to get themselves out of the shit storm they were sitting in the center of.

Zyrao's eyes shifted to Dewitt.  “What's the plan?” she asked the woman, surely she hadn't taken the center seat without one.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #60
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ] Attn:


The Vector moved with grace, swooping in close to the Bellerophon and decorated its hull with weapons fire. Vivian watched the results on her screen and gave a small gasp of horror as they cleaved the Intrepid class vessel in two. Her fingers raced across the controls of her station quickly confirming that the Bellerophon had launched its escape pods. A moment later Marquez confirmed that reading and announced it to the bridge. At almost the same moment, as Vivian turned to face the rest of the bridge, Commander Dewitt made a move of her own.

Vivian sat, frozen in shock as she watched Commander Dewitt take command with frightening speed and precision. The quick actions of the Security department in support of Dewitt clearly stated that they had received prior warning that this was happening. Vivian’s wide eyes followed everything, flinching at the venom in Trent’s last statement as the transporter energized and carried him off the bridge. Even after he was gone Vivian still sat frozen in shock, it wasn’t until Sel (Oh beautiful Sel) spoke, confirming Marquez’s request to save the crew of the Bellerophon, that Vivian finally snapped back to reality.

”Commander Dewitt” She called, her voice carrying clearly across the bridge ”While I don’t approve of your actions, you have my support for the time being. However, I agree with Ensign Ryuan, we are still Starfleet. It is our duty to help those survivors. If we don’t help to rescue these people you will lose a vast majority of those who currently support you.” Vivian surprised herself with the steely defiance in her voice. She would not take no for an answer.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #61
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: 
The battle began in earnest - lashing out of the array, on Dewitts orders and the out right anger she felt from Trent. Her head snapped around as she looked at him, and for all the anger in his eyes, it paled to what she felt rolling off of the man. A tremble ran down her spine, and it was not at all pleasant. She watched him collect himself and begin to issue orders.

"Once we open fire on Bellerophon, broadcast the previous message, still encrypted.  Omnidirectional, full power. We'll already be telling the galaxy where we are by firing weapons; might as well make full use of that window."

"Aye aye. Sir." Faye barely managed the words. Jennifer Dewitt, another figure she barely knew, had just stepped away from where she had loomed over Faye's shoulders, giving orders to the vessel know as Sabine, before Vivian had worked her magic. The first officer left Faye reeling in the emotional and mental riptide of Dewitt's thoughts, on top of what she'd felt from Trent. So much anger, so much frustration, such doubt, tightly bound by determination. Something under the surface that she just couldn't peg down, that source.

In truth, Faye was entirely too scared and keyed up to sort it all out.  Too many people, too many thoughts, too many emotions. Focus she said to herself as Dewitt went away and more orders were issued. She pulled the message from before and readied the comms array. As she worked, more and more calls came in, which she routed into the overhead systems as required. She'd let the other Wolves handle their own IFF designations, though she did let out a bit of a snort at some of the banter.

She almost went hysterical over it - a very near thing indeed.

That feeling went away as the combat renewed. Horror swept over her, even as she pressed the button to trigger the message, as per orders. Once again, the Helmet called out to her sister vectors, a beacon in the night, as space filled with energy discharges, and the USS Bellerophon broke its spine, venting atmosphere and bodies. She could feel the horror from others, the regret - Trent - and the inhmane coldness from Marquez, whom had taken the time to plot things just so, and had seen his tactical planning turn into wholesale slaughter by one wrong turn.

She was breathing fast. Too fast. Hyperventilating? near enough. She was listening in on the calls from Engineering. She couldn't avoid it. If she had been able to keep her head, and focus on more than just the task of routing queries and sending encrypted messages she would have known.

But she failed to realize that the mounting tension was all drawn into a mutiny, until Dewitt spoke, and once again, the anger from Trent stole her breath away. Her hand smacked down and the burst signal was cut off. Transmission sent, but perhaps not as long as it could have been.

Her eyes swung over to Vivian, but she saw that she was looking back at Leon. Faye saw his little shake of a head, and felt, more, the silent message of don't. She swallowed, and watched, waiting for the order to begin rescue operations. This was wrong. This was all so wrong. We need to reunite with the other vectors....its the best chance we have for survival. its.... She stopped. Faye realized, in that moment, that she was as compromised as Dewitt had just accused Trent of being. She wanted to meet back up with the rest of the ship because she wanted to see Riley again. She was scared for the nurse, worried that she'd not see her again. Dewitt was going to rob her of that chance.

But she was just a low ranking Ensign. What could I possibly do? Apparently, force the issue, if you were an angry Bajoran woman. A gauntlet of a sorts was thrown by the acting security chief, and backed by Vivian Martin. There was very little that Faye could add to the situation, but she coughed, quietly, an spoke up. "Per regulations, Captain, we are required to render aid in such circumstances." Her voice was soft, but it did not shake. Which was surprising, all things considered. Must have been that diplomatic training. Her gauntlet was more subtle, perhaps, but thrown none the less. If Dewitt was going to quote regs to lock up Carrigan Trent....

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #62
[ LtJG. Sephiria “Scylla” Arn | Valravn class Warp Fighter “Wolf 14”| Flying Chance’s wing | Near Vector 01 | Asure Nebula ]

Fingers drummed on the padding of the figher’s throttles, same for the ones on the stick. Fingers moving, tapping to a rhythm that could be faintly hear through the pilots reflective visor, the armor giving her a more powerful, mechanical-esque, appearance than normal. The suit was the latest version pilot armor for warp fighter pilots. The music being played on the pilots personal audio channel was classical earth music from the early 21st century, an American band called Disturbed, their song titled “Are You Ready?” The Bajoran RIO in her back seat, just rolled his eyes.

Alert eyes scanned the readouts on the advanced Fighter’s cockpit displays and on her built-in HUD system too. Though alert, the pilot was nonetheless thinking over a great many things. Her feelings and convictions heavily shaken by recent events, things had gone to hell in a hand-basket and now everyone wanted the destruction of one of Starfleet’s greatest assets and her crew. Some of her friends were among them and she definitely didn’t want to have to hurt them, which is why she went along with this harebrained scheme the others had come up with.

She thought of the arguments, what she had seen and heard, what was said and by whom, it felt wrong, all of it. Specially the dogged determination of these forces sent after the Theurgy, there was some odd, almost palpable something wrong about it all. “This damn thing is so messed up. But I have to trust in Meerkat and the others.” she thought as her left hand went and hovered over a special toggle she had set up in her cockpit.

Their Warp Fighters smoothly dropped out of warp after Meerkat called the mark. So far, things had gone smoothly with her just following chances lead but the other fighters were starting to worry her and the Dauntless was not far behind at all. “Meerkat, this is Scylla, whatever you’ve got planned just get on with it cause I think we are about to have company.” She said, while bobbing her head gently to “Black Wedding” from This Moment.

Just then, before them, the intrepid class starship Bellerophon was destroyed by an attack from what was, if anything, the Theurgy’s number 1 vector, the saucer section of the ship, there were 2 more out there, but it seemed like they weren’t around at the time. “Ouch, that had to hurt!” Was Sephiria Arn’s first emotional comment. She did care about the deaths but, this sort of thing happened far too often for it to perturb her the same way it does most.

Scylla listened in as some of the others spoke up then, listened to something a bit more to the point from the flight lead. [I've done it in simulations. It's a weird angle to hit, but easier than you'd think when both ships are moving. Go help Wraith, Blizzard. Scylla and I will assist Chance and Foxfire. Remember to update your IFFs, people.] After hearing that, Sephiria quickly modified her IFF settings, making sure to send it to Meerkat for when she contacts the odd shuttle called the Sabine she had spotted earlier. “Wolf 14 copies team leader, weapons are hot, flashing IFF codes to you for transfer, codes sent.” Was her calm reply as she manoeuvered as ordered.

Scylla’s menacing Valravn fighter gently, smoothly fell into place, it’s pilot still enjoying some old Earth music, part of their classical styles and a type known as Hard Rock or Metal depending on taste and preferences. Her hands gracefully moved the controls in a deft, confident grip, the grip someone far higher rank than she was would have normally developed, damn that accident and her PTSD. “Right with you Meerkat, keeping formation, following your lead.

She moved her bird gracefully, following Meerkat, smirking a bit. “Sorry peeps, but yall get to see what I can really do today, no holding back I’m afraid!” She said, engaging her manoeuver to port after Meerkat indicated she do it, firing as ordered, even signing one of the now hostile Mk.II Valkyries, the Gryphon type as some called them. Soon though she was dodging return fire and something else, something felt odd. “Stay alert girls, I do not like WHOAH!” she dodged a torpedo and managed to slam extra power to her rear shields, literally riding the blastwave clear. Alarms rang in her cockpit but she silenced them while moving back around, deftly twisting the agile Valravn in on a supporting course to Meerkat, opening fire alongside her. “I got your back Meerkat, Chance! Let's save Foxy’s tail!” She said then blinked, seeing torpedoes coming at them. “Oh well, holy crap, that’s bad!

[Oh, stars. Meerkat to Foxfire, Scylla, Chance. The Dauntless is firing torpedoes set to proximity. Watch out!] She deftly dodged yet another blast. “Okay that’s it no more missus nice host!” The joined trill grinned as she locked onto the same fighter Meerkat was on, adding her own considerable firepower to the mix. Sephiria’s feet, hands, eyes, everything, legs, arms, all working together as the skilled pilot unleashed many more years experience at the stick than many were graced with as she tapped into memories, experiences, those that would help her fly and fight. Her breath slowed a bit, eyes focusing. “Move and I’ll back you up Meerkat!” She spoke as she slid back in with her wingmate, keeping tight and lending her own fire as well as some very fancy blocking manoeuvers, the new Valravn was definitely proving its worth in Scylla’s hands. “Come on Chance, stick with me, we gotta get this guy!” her fingers gently squeezes the trigger, firing a volley of advanced phaser canon shots out at the enemy fighter.

A barrage of phaser beams lance out at incoming torpedoes, taking a few out well away from them. “Hahah, this fighter has phasers in the back too numbnuts!” She said, apparently taunting the Dauntless crew, on an open frequency no less. Well it didn’t take long for them to try lobbing more torpedoes at them. “Whoops! Hah! Missed!” She said, her fighter's rear banks helping prevent many torpedoes getting even remotely close.

Chance, I’ve got your six, concentrate on Whiskers and take that bastard out!” She said in her clear, matter of fact tone as she deftly moved her Valravn with foot pedal, sliding control system use, judicious throttle and thruster usage, to keep herself as a shield for anything coming from the rear. “You got this!” She smirked, keeping position, following the other fighter. “Scylla on station here, don’t worry, we’ve got this!” She stated as they engaged their targets.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #63
[ Sera vers Aldnoah | Cockpit | SS Sabine NX-59846 | Azure Nebula ] Attn: @Vox @Fife @Stegro88
To her great chagrin, after the brief talk with the one called Meerkat and confirming the IFFs to the Theurgy, Sera had lost track of Wraith. Thus, the second pass was uncoordinated, and she hadn't any assistance from A'vura - being in the aft compartment and trying to find the helmet while the Sabine tossed and turned. The inertial dampeners couldn't quite compensate for the manouvres that Sera had to put the Sabine through, and when one of the Valravn fighters came in from on high and pelted her dorsal shields with phaser beams, Sera had to hold on not get flung out of her seat. Burn me, those emitters had bite...

When she got her bearings back, she felt herself being pulled at from behind, as if the Sabine tried to suck her out of her seat. She turned her helmet, and saw the hull breach in the deckhead. Her yellow eyes wide, cursing in Câroon under her breath, two things were clear. The Valravn had managed to penetrate her shields, and A'vura was nowhere to be seen. As if to punctuate the fact that the Orion Starfleeter was gone, the Sabine's structural integrity field kicked in, and sealed the breach. Able to move again, Sera checked the sensors, trying to spot the life-sign, but A'vura was lost in the soup of the Azura Nebula. She had to remind herself that there were three hostile crafts out there, and she'd lost the initiative in the fight.

Burn you, Sera, focus! There was nothing she could do for the green woman. She spotted the second Valravn heading her way, and she had to do something about it. She had no time to ask the computer for a damage report - having muted the irritating voice a long time ago - but armed her heavy pulse phaser cannons, charging them for a warm reception. "Think I will break off? Guess again."

Instead, she set a course straight towards the Valravn, pushing her impulse throttle all the way forward, and jammed her gauntleted thumb down on the firing command. The heavy cough of her wing-mounted cannons reverberated in the Sabine's spaceframe, and to avoid the beams coming her way, she rotated her trusted ship, In the end of her charge, she turned it sideways, so that she could continue firing whilst the Valravn shot her by. Before she came to Starbase 84, she'd only had a couple of phaser strips to use in situations like that, but now? Oh, this was so much better. Once more a stray thought went to Melissa Wright, in thanks for the Sabine's refit.

She had sustained two grazing hits, and there was a fire somewhere behind her on the ship, but the Valravn was bleeding too - the plasma trail of the hostile craft vanishing into a blue particle cloud. Time to find that Lone Wolf she'd lost. "Sabine to Wraith. Burn you, what's your status? Where the the bloody ashes are you at?"

[ Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Dewitt | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All 
Before he had been removed from the bridge, Trent had sent them towards the Dauntless, leaving the broken Bellerophon behind in order to aid the fighters. TFA was inbound, Dewitt had demanded clarity from Engineering in what options the Vector had, and Suq had needed a few seconds to give her an answer. What they got at first, was a mere 17 % of weapon capacity without the cloak. It was a rather depressing preliminary reply.

In that time it took for Engineering to give her a clear answer, the aftermath of relieving Trent from command was clear on the bridge. The present officers advocated rescue operations of Bellerophone personnel, even though Task Force Archeron was almost on top of them. Where was the logic in getting themselves killed? Didn't the mission matter to them? Dewitt suspected that a few of them had officers dear to them on the other Vectors, or on the Versant, and they refused to accept how they were gone already. Ensign Sel even tore off her helmet and told Marquez to commence resque operations, even though he had no means to do anything of the kind from the Tactical station. It was the officer at Ops that might start beaming in officers. Sel's thinly veiled threat didn't pass unnoticed either, and when other officers offered support to the idea, it became clear that they were just as emotionally compromised as Trent had been. Do they think I am stupid? That I don't see how they try to make the ship linger for just a little while longer?

"I sympathise with the idea to lend aid if we can," she said, her voice clear and loud in her authority. "But if we stay, we'll be destroyed, and we won't be able to help our own on those fighters. You heard Mister Suq. As much as we all want to do more, we simply can't. If we stay, we are toothless and exposed - the chance to escape and continue the mission lost. In six minutes, the third and last Rendezvous is over. I can't stress this enough; don't you think the others would have come by now, if they were still alive?"

Then, Suq spoke again from Engineering. [You've got a choice. Take the cloak off and I can get us out of here in a few minutes, or keep it on and it could be a half hour to three hours, depending on how much power you're drawing.]

This, with the meagre 17 % of phaser energy output, Dewitt assumed.

She gave it a couple of seconds of thought, keen on adapting to the situation. Command was not to stick to your guns if given new information. She regretted the situation, but there was no helping it. She tapped the buttons on her armchair, summoning the holographic tactical display on the deck before Ops and CONN. She spoke again. "ETA for the closest of the Archeron ships is only three minutes at the most, Mister Suq. You have that much. Deactivate the cloak, and set to it. Dewitt out."

Then, she addressed the present bridge officers again. "Three minutes, everyone. We have no shields, meagre phaser output, but we ought to be able to launch a few torpedoes via atmo-release. Furthermore, we have the Thames, and its prepared payload. So, we use these three minutes as best as we might. Ready? Tactical, distract the Dauntless and lend aid to the fighters that way, but from afar. Helm! Stay within transporter range to the Bellerophon. Evasive manoeuvres? Fine, just don't leave transporter range. Ops, rescue those in most dire need. As many as you can. Security, prepare to receive hostile survivors in sickbay and the transporter rooms, and coordinate the your staff deployment with Ops. Zyrao Natauna, you should be able to access remote control of the Thames and detonate it close to the Dauntless. Not too close though. Ensign Eloi-Danvers, we're about to have Bellerophon survivors aboard. Use the intercom in the beam-in areas to try and convince them that we're not hostile. Natauna! Since Eloi-Danvers will be too busy, brief our fighters and the Sabine what's about to happen as well. Martin, you worked with F'Rell to get us away from Starbase 84. Work with Engineering and help her and Suq get the powe-"

The electronic voice of F'Rell could be heard again, speaking fast. [<I have a possible option to get us out of here, but I must advise that it is completely dangerous and likely to cause an overload, but unless we act soon the core will breach and we will lose the ship anyway. Currently the system keeping the dilithium crystals from fracturing is working at full functionality, due to the increased pressure inside the core, if it shut down for only a second the crystals would fracture and a massive outpouring of power would flood through the power distribution network and likely overload the whole sh-.>]

Dewitt had heard enough to realise it was an option that needed far more clarity to it. It sounded vastly unsafe. She tapped her armrest and transferred the incoming call from F'Rell to Martin's station - it continuing to play out there. There was no time to waste. "Like I said, Martin, work with F'Rell and let us know what consequences that option will have. Will we live through it?" She then looked towards the bridge officers, most already have set to their tasks. "Make each second count before we leave, people!"

If they couldn't leave right away, then they would make a difference while they could. Oh, how she regretted that Trent had made them stay, exceeding their ship's abilities, but now, Dewitt had no choice but to adapt. It was what Command was about.

Decloaked, Vector 01 would defy the odds, and charge enough power to beam out.

OOC: Since there were three separate instances with input from Engineering, I shaped the timing in accordance. Since there were no tangible references towards what Suq and F'Rell said in prior posts, I think this timing is most plausible. Hope it makes sense! Free posting order for all. I noticed that Ravenholm is a bit out of the loop in Engineering,@chXinya, so perhaps some new input from @FollowTomorrow's Suq? Plan something fitting? @Stegro88, Lorad is going to Sickbay, so please set the scene with the injured Bellerophon officers getting beamed in there.

All Supplemental Threads that are started between characters on this Vectors will have to be set before this time of 0810 hrs. on Day 06, but not afterwards, and they should also be posted on the Part 1 board. Just like in the interregnum, Supplemental one-on-one threads are started at your leisure! Supplemental threads should be named Chapter 05: Supplemental [Day XX | YYYY hrs.] Insert Title, and can extend as far back as right after the battle with the Versant and all the way up to 0810 hrs on Day 06, where the third Rendevouz began.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #64
[ Lt. Jg. Suq | Main Engineering | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy ] @Absinthe @chXinya @Auctor Lucan

He had been praying, quietly, under his breath as he worked. There was an old children’s prayer, meant to guide the lost, frightened child back home, and he was reciting that. After a few moments, he did not hear anything from the bridge. He had no way of knowing exactly what their plans were, or even what just happened, but he saw that, at least for now, they were not overdoing it with the weapons system. His prayers answered, he tried to feel relieved. Instead, he just felt like his chest was closing up.

A quick puff-puff from his inhaler to force his airways back open and he was back in business, for now. After he said not to fire, they didn’t fire. As much as he loved his Resolve Family, some of them were stubborn. Stubborn enough to put Suq’s own life, and the lives of other Family members at risk. Whatever happened up there, he thanked the Spirits for it.

"ETA for the closest of the Archeron ships is only three minutes at the most, Mister Suq. You have that much. Deactivate the cloak, and set to it. Dewitt out."

So that was it then, they were running. The last stop to regroup and Archeron ruined it, for good. He had the cloak down in a second after her command.
“No more cloak guys. Folks up top said we’re getting out of here.” He announced to engineering, “Let’s get her ready to warp. We got three minutes, hear me, three minutes. No more crazy shit, we’re leaving and we’re leaving in one piece.”  Apparently, F’rell had an option, but Suq had already received orders and passed them on. He stepped down from the console dedicated to the cloak as it powered down. The warp core sounded a little bit better now that the cloak was off, but this ship wasn’t in good shape. She needed her other vectors. Facing a whole task force? Out of the question.

Still, it hurt. Knowing that his family, his real Family, they were...shattered. He felt shattered too. He already lost his blood family. What would he do without his Family?

He would operate, he supposed. Just like he always had.
"Ravenholm, I need you to pull as much power as you can from all systems save weapons. F'rell, I dunno what you're doing, but I need you to keep an eye on the math. I'm going to start the warp process and I need you ladies to keep us from overheating." He called out, and as he did, he moved towards the core itself. Really, jumping to warp shouldn't be such an involved process, but they were hurting and hurting bad. He wanted one person on each task, so they could focus only on that task. The more hands, the less likely they were to die.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #65
[Zyrao Natauna | Brigadier of Badassery | Shit Needs Done |  Leave it to the Expert |  Time to Shine]
@Auctor Lucan @Wolves @Brutus @Absinthe @Firefox013 @The Ostrich

Science spoke.  Zyrao's eyes shifted to the woman that said she could back Dewitt but would not stand to see the Fleet kill it's own.  What is this?  Sudden loyalty?  Where was this when the Asshole in the Center Seat was tossed on his ass?  She wondered how long these people had been sitting on their dislike for the man.  She had apparently not been the only one that disliked him, though hers had been from the get-go.  Watching people he served with discount him so quickly, so easily, unnerved her and made her wonder just what kind of ship that Ives had run.  The impressions she had attained of Ives during their very brief conversation before her inevitable departure from the Klingon Defense Force. 

Grey eyes shifted again, looking at the woman at the sstation that seemed to be having a hard time filling her lungs.  She did not quite seem to be hyperventalating but she was fairly close to it.  That wasn't something that they could handle right now.  If she ended up passing out due to the panic that was seemingly taking over her in this situation Zyrao would have to pull her to the side and taken over her seat.  However, she hoped the woman was strong enough to get through this.  She was necessary to the Bridge.  She needed to get her shit together and make this happen.  Everyone did.  Dewitt had thrown the bridge off of it's rhythm.  Now they had to find a new one, they had to find their voices again. 

“We have a job to do here, Officers of Starfleet.  We will not let the events of today mar what our purpose here is.”  she said to them all quickly.  Her voice was firm, but there was an uplifting quality to it.  It was as good of a pep talk as anyone got out of Zyrao but it wasn't as though they hadn't worked in the past.  She had been an officer, a general, she had been commanding troops when these Officers had not even been born for the most part.  She hoped that now, her words would help those on the bridge focus better and get the jobs done.  Whatever had happened was done, they could do Trent no service, Ives no service if they failed now.

The weight of the office sat heavily on the shoulders of Dewitt.  Zyrao could almost see the physical change that came over her as she realized that the bridge, itself, was emotionally charged.  It wasn't just that Trent had made poor choices but that they all were still holding out the hope that missing officers, and those other vectors, were still out there.  They would just appear in the darkness and rejoin.  They would kick some mother fuckers and get the fuck out of here and back to safety.  But, that was not easily the case.  They may not be able to remerge the vectors, they may not be able to find their missing officers, they may never see those crew again.  Sera. the lone thought entered her mind before she pushed it back outward.  She could not have a moment of weakness.  What Dewitt needed now was action, strategy, and support. 

Dewitt wasn't wrong.  They couldn't wait around with the cloak engaged forever.  They needed to lend support to the engines so they could get out of here without melting themselves down.  Staying here to let their loved ones come home to a melted chunk of floating space metal was not going to do anyone any good.  She could understand the hope behind wanting to reunite with the others, but she could understand the necessity to save their skins first.

“perhaps there is a way to leave a message for the other Vectors.  Encrypt it with something that only Ives or the other Vectors would know.  Something that perhaps could be used to attain our new position once we leave this one.” she shot across the Bridge, hoping that perhaps it was doable and there fore would bridge a gap for those that wanted to stay and the orders to pull anchor and go.

Her name was called out in the midst of Dewitt giving her orders.  I have.. orders?  her brow rose in surprise, but she didn't mind at all.  She was finally being allowed to be part of the ship and the Bridge.  The whole point of being up here was to lend her aid and she hoped that she could finally prove that she had the worth inside her that the Klingons and other races had seen from her as well.  Her chin rose and she gave a simple nod.  But, realizing that Dewitt might not have seen it she quickly said, “On it.” without all the senseless uses of ma'am and sir, and all that shit that was grossely unnecessary and she found too many Fleeters worried far too much about whether the monikers were used or not.  There were so many other ways to show respect which had nothing to do with titles.

She looked over at the PADD in her hand.  Sure enough, she had the control of the Thames.  She was going to have to get it to the Dauntless, close enough to wound them, not close enough to really do the kind of damage that would take the ship out, she assumed.  Just close enough to give them too much busy work to be able to come after them.  That was what was important right now.  Being able to get away without someone tailing them.  Finally, she was called again, her eyes flickering up from the PADD where she was making her thoughts and plans for the Thames as she heard that she would be the voice that could speak to the fighters and the Sabine to explain what was going on for the moment.

Her back straightened significantly.  “Got it.” she quickly stated.  It would be best to do that part first, let the Wolves and the Sabine know what was going on with the ship.  So they knew what to prepare for.  She had received a small badge for her chest when she had fully integrated herself on the ship so that she could be paged for such instances.  It was this device that she used now.

“Natauna to Sera.” she said calling the Sabine first.  “We are dropping our cloak and preparing to leave the area.  We are sending a payload to the Dauntless to incapacitate them while we make our escape.  Be warned of possible explosions and of our possible vacation of the area.” she said quickly, but then added.  “Be safe out there.”

Letting the badge go she tried to get herself to contact all the wolves that were out there.  “Strategist Natauna to the Theurgy Wolves Squadron.” she said giving a momentary pause so that the words could sink in.  “We are preparing to vacate the area.  A payload is being sent to the Dauntless, prepare for the fall out there of.  If we chose to vacate prepare to follow.  Adjust your flight paths accordingly.” she stated calmly and then she let her badge go again. 

Now, it was time for the Dauntless to get busy.

She pulled her PADD up and perched her hip against the holo table.  She wasn't using it right now but she was appreciative of the support.  She looked over the various controls that would work on the Thames and she was glad to be of service.  To actually be able to use her abilities for the good of the ship.  Quickly she began to pilot the ship.  It was a war zone out there, litterally with all the fighters, the massive ships, and the Sabine.  She hoped that she wouldn't have to say good bye to Sera already.  That would be a harsh thing to have to go through all of a sudden.  It wasn't love, no, Zyrao was unsure that love would ever be in the cards again.  But, she appreciated the companionship that she shared with Sera and didn't wish to lose it.  Besides, the bunk on the Sabine would be much less comfortable when it was cold and lonely.

It wasn't exactly hard to get the Thames into proper position.  There was enough space between the Theurgy and the Dauntless.  But it was littered with the crew that flew the fighters and of course the Sabine.  She needed to get it close enough to the Dauntless and yet in a place where she could imagine the Fighters at least stood a chance of being outside the blast zone.  The debris field floated around the Thames as she moved it closer.  She knew exactly the spot that would cause enough damage to be debilitating but not enough to murder the people on board.  They didn't wish for a massacre they wished for a distraction.  When she knew that it was in the right spot she informed.  The Thames came to a stop at the port side.  She tried to get it as close to the Dauntless as possible and as far from the Fighters as she could.  The Thames sat to where the blast zone would most definitely damage the Dauntless but hopefully the casualties would be minor.  Though she had settled it closer to the back of the ship's port side.  So that she could cripple their engineering systems if possible.  Without full engines they could not follow the Theurgy and therefore they would have a better chance at getting away.

“I am initiating the detonation now.”  she informed the Bridge only seconds before she depressed the position on the screen that would make the explosion a reality.  Now it was time to see if all her years of strategy and training had paid off and she had been a boon to the Bridge as a whole.

It felt good to be useful.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #66
Lt. JG Donna ‘Chance’ Petterson | Wolf 07 | Azure Nebula ] 

Chance grunted as she threw Wolf-07 into a gut-wrenching turn to avoid another of the Dauntless’ proximity fused torpedoes. The Akira-class starship was starting to become a real problem as it moved towards where the Theurgy had destroyed the Bellerophon. A warning chime from her sensors caused Chance to roll to the side just in time to avoid a stream of phaser shots from Whiskers.

“You are really starting to annoy me, Whiskers,” Chance said absently towards her former Flight Leader, despite her inability to hear Chance’s words, even as Chance brought her Valkyrie up in pursuit of the Caitian. The pursuit should, by all rights, have been difficult and dangerous but luck was on Chance’s side and Whiskers found her flight path cut off by one of the others. As she tried to evade, Chance cut her off and a long burst from her pulse phaser cannons brought the shields down on Wolf-05 and stitched a series of impacts across the dorsal side of the warp fighter.

As the craft, its nacelles beginning to flicker and dim, drifted off under its remaining momentum, Chance closed for a final pass that ensured that one of those darkened nacelles would not function ever again. Satisfied that the fighter was removed from the fight, Chance brought her fighter around and began to look for Foxfire. She was just about to call Isel when another woman’s voice addressed them instead.

"Strategist Natauna to the Theurgy Wolves Squadron," the voice addressed them. After a brief pause to ensure she had their attention, the woman went on. "We are preparing to vacate the area.  A payload is being sent to the Dauntless, prepare for the fall out there of.  If we chose to vacate prepare to follow.  Adjust your flight paths accordingly," she directed calmly before the channel closed again.

“Nice of them to let us know,” Chance thought to herself as she finally spotted her Vulpinian lover/ex-lover just ahead of her. As she glided up beside Foxfire, her mind considered their options. “We still have to take out the Dauntless. And Wraith and the Sabine, while maybe not needing the help, could probably use it.”

“Chance to Foxfire, Meerkat and Scylla,” Chance called, activating her coms. “Depending upon the success of the Theurgy’s strike, I recommend that Wolves-07 & 08 roll in for a follow up secondary strike,” Chance proposed. “Wolves-13 & 14. Up to you if you want to stay around for a tertiary run or break off to assist your element mates and the Sabine.” A beep from her console informed Chance of a new contact approaching the Dauntless’ port quarter. From her position under the Dauntless, she had a clear view of the detonation of the craft.

The nebula writhed and twisted away from the explosion and the Dauntless itself was pushed sideways by the blast. Its impulse engines flickered and Chance looked down at her screens to confirm what she already suspected.

“The Dauntless has lost shields,” Chance called out. “Now's our shot. Foxfire, call the run,” Chance asked of her wing mate give that the Vulpinian was ahead of her. “Meerkat and Scylla. See you on the other side.”

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #67
[ Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: 

As Faye focused on the bridge, she could feel the aftermath of Jennifer Dewitt's actions wash over the group. More and more, people realized what had just happened. Almost as if a switch had been thrown, mind after mind registered, and accepted the new state. They weren't all happy about it - far from it in fact. If she so desired the young diplomat could start pointing from one officer to the next and voicing aloud their position. She could keep it simple - yea, or nay. Of course, Ens. Eloi-Danvers did no such thing. Of all the things she could do, short of pulling a phaser on Dewitt and shooting her there on the spot, there was little worse the telepath could do right then.

 So she buried her thoughts and everything she knew about what everyone thought deep into the recesses of her mind and turned back to her console. She slid her hands over the controls and took a steadying breath. Dewitt was on edge. Ryuan Sel was on edge. Leon Marquez was...well. Now wasn't the time. Not with one engineer after another talking over each other with ideas and options on an open comm line. She worked to fliter out any background noises as she opened up her own channel (as well as ignore the frustration coming of of the First off - Captain? Off of Dewitt).

Taking a deep breathe, Faye opened a channel to the sickbay and transporter rooms. "Attention attention, prepare to receive personnel from USS Bellerophon. Security is en route. Sickbay, prepare for triage. Casualties inbound." She waited and watched her board, and then, as her control board notified her of the first wave of survivors being beamed aboard, the diplomat put on her game face.

"Attention, Bellerophon survivors. This is Federation Diplomatic Attache Eloi-Danvers, currently assigned to USS Theurgy. In accordance with Starfleet General Order 9, regarding the treatment of injured in a combat scenario, as well as Federation Regulation 27-b; we are affecting search and rescue operations as able to rescue as many of you and your fellow crew. Repeat, we are in the process of rescuing as much of your crew as we can. We are prepared to receive injured parties in sickbay. Anyone with medical training, please self identify to the officers as you arrive, and you will be escorted to help treat your fellow shipmates," she paused and centered herself, before continuing.

"I know you are scared right now, and angry. You have every right to be. But we are trying to save as many lives as we can. And we cannot do that if you attempt to impede rescue operations. Please. We will make this clear, but right now, despite everything that you have been told, and everything that has just happened, we are not the enemy. We are trying to defend ourselves, and we are trying to save your lives.  Again. This is Federation Diplomatic Attache..." She began to repeat the message. Faye figured that using her diplomatic rank (a title granted to her in 2378 upon her assignment to the Cortes). Maybe they'll listen to a diplomat over what the perceive to be a traitor. I just hope to the Gods Sickbay is ready for this. I wish Riley was down there to help...

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #68
[ Tesserarius Lorad | Vector 01 Battle Sickbay | Deck 07 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Lorad sat on the bed and watched the goings on inside the aptly named battle sickbay of this Vector. Most of the staff were treating members of the crew who had come in with a range of injuries; most of them from in or around Engineering he guessed. He had seen enough burn injuries to recognise easily.

“Alright Mr Lorad,” came a cheery voice from beside him and Lorad turned to see a female nurse standing there with a smile and a tricorder. “Let’s see what ails you, shall we?”

“Burn here and here,” Lorad stated simply as he pointed to his left arm and side. “Plasma conduit.”

“Well,” the nurse began, taken aback by both the Reman’s voice and matter-of-fact nature, as she raised her tricorder. “Give me a second to see how bad they are and we’ll get them all fixed up.”

“Him say 2-degree burn,” Lorad said as he pointed to the holographic doctor on the other side of the room.

“2-degree?” the nurse wondered, trying to puzzle out the Reman’s odd speech pattern before her tricorder gave her an answer. “Oh, 2nd-degree burns. Well he was right. Not to worry. We’ll have you fixed in a jiffy.”

“Jiffy?” Lorad mimed, not knowing the word as the nurse walked away to retrieve something.

"Attention attention, prepare to receive personnel from USS Bellerophon. Security is en route. Sickbay, prepare for triage. Casualties inbound," came a female’s voice over the ships internal broadcast system. Lorad didn’t understand the entire message but he did understand enough of it to know that the sickbay was about to get a whole lot busier.

“Alright then,” the nurse said as she returned. “Let’s see if we can get you out of here before this place becomes a madhouse.” It was not to be, however, as she had bearely begun to heal the burns on his side before the first casualties from the Bellerophon were transported directly into the sickbay. As everyone began shouting, some desperate and some angry, the woman’s voice from earlier began to speak again.

"Attention, Bellerophon survivors. This is Federation Diplomatic Attache Eloi-Danvers, currently assigned to USS Theurgy. In accordance with Starfleet General Order 9, regarding the treatment of injured in a combat scenario, as well as Federation Regulation 27-b; we are affecting search and rescue operations as able to rescue as many of you and your fellow crew. Repeat, we are in the process of rescuing as much of your crew as we can. We are prepared to receive injured parties in sickbay. Anyone with medical training, please self-identify to the officers as you arrive, and you will be escorted to help treat your fellow shipmates," there was a pause in the broadcast before the woman’s voice continued.

"I know you are scared right now, and angry. You have every right to be. But we are trying to save as many lives as we can. And we cannot do that if you attempt to impede rescue operations. Please. We will make this clear, but right now, despite everything that you have been told, and everything that has just happened, we are not the enemy. We are trying to defend ourselves, and we are trying to save your lives.  Again. This is Federation Diplomatic Attache..."

The repetition of the woman’s message was cut off by a renewed wave of shouting and yelling even as more casualties were transported in. But it was the arrival of a quartet of armoured security officers that set off a dangerous situation.

One of the less-injured crew from the Bellerophon snatched a nurse’s phaser from her hip and held her in front of him as a human shield with the phaser held to the head. He began to shout demands to be released and for the ship to ceasefire and surrender. At the same time, the security officers drew their phasers and pointed them at the hostage taker and his hostage while also covering the remaining casualties in case any of them tried something similar. But even as everyone was shouting, no one was doing anything; it was a standoff.

“Is that set to stun?” Lorad whispered as the nurse stood beside him, paused in her treatment as she watched the situation unfold.

“Err, ah, yes,” the nurse stammered back. “I always set it to stun.”

“Good,” Lorad said as he casually stood up, snatched the weapon from the nurse’s hip and bought it to bear on the hostage. Without hesitation, he shot the hostage in the torso. Now deadweight, the injured Bellerophon crewman did not have the strength to support her weight and as his shield fell to the deck, Lorad fired again and stunned him as well.

The silence in the sickbay was deafening at what everyone had just witnessed. Violence that was both abrupt, calculated and succinct all at once had ended a situation before it turned bad. Taking a step forward, Lorad straightened up to address the new arrivals.

“I hungover, burnt and in pain,” Lorad declared loudly and clearly for all to hear. “Choose treatment awake or asleep. Choice yours.” His declaration delivered, Lorad waited to see how everyone would react. When it seemed that everyone was relaxing and settling down to do what was needed, the Reman walked back to the nurse that was treating him as the sickbay returned to life. Holding out her weapon, Lorad apologised. “This yours. Sorry.”

“Ah, you’re welcome,” the nurse stammered, accepting and holstering the phaser. “What you just did was...”

“Others need you more,” Lorad said, cutting off the nurse gruffly. “Go them,” Lorad directed as he turned towards the door. His injuries weren’t that serious in comparison to the others that were arriving and he was pretty sure he could treat them himself. Even Reman Shock Troopers were taught combat medicine.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #69
[ Ensign Isel “Foxfire” Nix | Wolf-08 | Azure Nebula ]

Isel had seen the small craft approaching the Dauntless from the port side and wondered what the hell it was doing there. Then the craft, which appeared to be a runabout, had detonated in spectacular fashion, the blast causing a stir in both the Dauntless and the nebula around her. The Dauntless’ impulse engines flickered, their power appearing to be momentarily disrupted by the runabout’s suicide run. Isel absently wondered if there had been anyone aboard the runabout, though that hardly mattered in here and now. If there had been a pilot, they were nothing more than space dust now.

Foxfire’s thoughts were interrupted when she heard Chance’s transmission and glanced out of her cockpit, seeing Chance’s fighting off her starboard wing. The Vulpinian let out a long breath when she saw that Chance was still alive and in one piece, though there was no guarantee of that remaining the case as they still had the Dauntless to contend with.

”Roger that, Chance. Follow my lead.” Isel replied over the comms, giving her Human lover a thumbs-up before turning back to her controls and bringing her fighter about so that they’d be attacking from the ventral aspect of the starboard side. ”Let’s hit this bitch hard and fast and get the fuck outta here! Use Hell-Hounds set impact detonation.” Isel called to the fighter off her wing as she readied herself for the attack run. ”Attack pattern Delta-4, Chance. Drive those torps home quick while they’re still recovering. Target is the starboard nacelle.” Isel drew in a deep breath before calling the final command. ”Execute!” As she growled the final word, she pushed her fighter up to speed for the attack run, arming her Hell-Hound hardpoints. The Vulpinian’s brows knit together in concentration as she targeted the starboard nacelle while at the same time attempted to maneuver and avoid the fire still coming from the Dauntless as it struggled to recover from the runabout’s attack. Even so, the diminutive pilot couldn’t resist the urge to add another quip for the woman in the other cockpit. ”And for fuck’s sake, lover, don’t be stingy with the torpedoes!” Isel added cheekily.

”When am I ever stingy with you, you vixen.” Chance responded. The Vulpinian grinned as she imagined Donna rolling her eyes in her own cockpit.

A moment later the fighter let out a small beep, confirming the targeting lock. ”Target locked! Firing Hell-Hounds!” Isel reported, punching in the command even as she spoke. Isel watched the twin cluster bombs streak off, making a beeline for the Dauntless’ nacelle. A moment later another pair of torpedoes raced forward from off to Isel’s right as Donna let loose with her own payload.

”Bombs away, let’s… Fuck! Incoming!

The Dauntless was wounded, but she was hardly crippled, and once their torpedoes were away the two fighters were quickly forced to take evasive action as the Dauntless fought back with her ventral phaser array. The first shot of the Dauntless’ phasers streaked past, coming dangerously close to Isel’s port wing, the Vulpinian just barely having gotten out of the way by putting herself into a corkscrew maneuver. As it was, her shields still took a light glancing hit from the beam, leaving them once again diminished. Luckily for Foxfire, someone aboard the Dauntless had been paying attention and had realized their plight, and the ventral phasers quickly redirected their fire to intercepting the incoming torpedoes that threatened their warp nacelle.

The Dauntless’ second volley managed to knock off one of Isel’s torpedoes, the third taking one of Donna’s as well, though they could hardly hope to destroy them all. The remaining pair of torpedoes found their mark, detonating as they struck the Starboard nacelle and sending their payload of smaller ordnance to spread damage across the body of the nacelle. The numerous explosions left a series of deep scores in the outer casing of the warp nacelle, the power faltering as a result of the massive damage inflicted by the multiple strikes. What was left of the Dauntless’ starboard nacelle finally flickered and died as the two Gryphons streaked away from the Akira-Class starship.

”Starboard nacelle is down. That’ll stop them going to warp anytime soon, though they can still pursue at impulse.” Isel said over the comms as she put her fighter through it’s paces, flying through a series of evasive maneuvers as the Dauntless turned her ventral phasers back on the two offending fighter craft. A quick glance at her sensors told her they were far from being in the free and clear, however. ”Shit, the Dauntless is coming about to a pursuit coarse, and I’m picking up weapons signatures. Looks like the Dauntless hasn’t given up just yet.” Isel keyed open a channel to the other two pilots in the area.

”Meerkat, Scylla, this is Foxfire. The Dauntless is still pursuing the Theurgy at impulse.” Foxfire reported, ”If you ladies would care to have a go at knocking out their impulse capabilities, Chance and I will try to use our ECMs to keep some of their torpedoes away from the Theurgy as it withdraws.” Isel grunted as she sent her Gryphon into a hard turn, rolling herself laterally to just narrowly avoid another lance of phaser fire from the Dauntless. ”And watch yourselves. They’re plenty pissed at this point!” Isel spared a quick glance at sensors to make sure Chance was still in one piece, having lost sight of the woman during her mad evasive actions. ”Chance, we’ll try and disengage without getting our asses blown off. Arm your ECM. We may need to try and help screen the Theurgy from some of those torpedoes.”

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #70
[ Lt. JG Logan "Wraith" Hale | Wolf-15 | Azure Nebula ]

Once the attack had begun the plan had been simple, take out the Dauntless. Accomplishing that would be a hell of a lot harder granted but in terms of where to go and what to do, simple. That however changed once the other Wolves showed up and started giving them hell.

Which had led to the current scene of Wraith's Valravn fluidly dancing in twists and twirls, zigs and zags through the battlefield as he dodged phaser beams and torpedoes, the pilot thankful for how nimble the fighter was, although that fluidity was interrupted when he had to throw the ship hard to the right to raise the crafts left wing, glancing out the window as he watched what he was sure was at least his 5th torpedo in as many minutes fly beneath the raised wing.

"That was a little closer than I'd like." he muttered as he straightened the craft out, only to see an enemy fighter in front of him only to frown when his HUD showed another enemy appear behind him. Smirking slightly, Wraith throttled down on his ship, letting the craft behind him catch up a little.

"Uh what are you doing?" Zeke asked from the seat behind him.

"Something crazy." Logan replied, waiting a few seconds before hitting the thrusters and speeding up again, grinning behind his helmet when the ship behind him increased it's speed to give chase, even as the ship in front of him continued to close in as well.

"What do you mean something crazy?" The RIO asked as he watched the scene unfold before him, the enemy fighter ahead getting larger and larger across the front window as the HUD showed the rear enemy closing in as well. "Logan? .... Logan? ... Loooogaaaan!" The man said and then screamed as it looked like they were seconds away from dying before he felt the G's hit him even through the inertial dampeners when the Valravn sudden shot upwards in a corkscrew straight up, the area behind them lighting up in bright orangey yellow as the two craft collided and exploded.

"Yeeeees?" Came the far too cheery voice of his pilot from the seat in front of him.

"I. Hate. You." Zeke panted back as he tried to get his heart rate to lower, only to hear his friend chuckle.

"No you don't, you love me." Logan replied as he levelled the ship out again only to realise that during his whole amazing piloting display to not get blown up as well as the game of chicken he had just played had pulled him way too far out of position to help Sera and cursed under his breath, quickly turning the ship around and heading back towards the main battle.

As the fighter flew back towards the chaos of the battle before them, Logan found himself frowning down at his console when a voice he recognised came over the Comm.

"[Hi, Sabine, Wraith, Foxfire and Chance. This is Black Wolf-13, callsign Meerkat. Wolves 14 and 16 are accompanying, callsigns Scylla and Blizzard respectively. Requesting you mark us as friendly. Blizzard will assist you, Sabine. Scylla and I will deal with Whiskers and Sneaky."]

"Guess that our Flight Leader listened to Blizzard." Logan said aloud, not that Zeke wouldn't have figured that out.

From behind him Big Zee nodded as he tapped on his own console "I guess soo. IFF is updated and the Sabine is on a heading of Mark 143 point 59, marking her on the HUD."

"Thanks big guy." Logan replied as he adjusted the heading and flew towards the craft, grateful that Blizzard had not only made it back but managed to find some help too, he owed that girl a beer or two once they had settled...well wherever they were going to end up, be that on the Theurgy or another ship.

As he closed the distance he could just make out the Sabine ahead of him when his comm beeped and her pilots voice came over the system.

"Sabine to Wraith. Burn you, what's your status? Where the the bloody ashes are you at?"

Taking a moment to pull his fighter up beside the craft he hit the comm "My status is alive and well thank you as for where I am....well if you'd care to direct your attention to your left, you'll see me." He said as he glanced to his right and waved out the window at her. "Sorry I'm late, I was busy trying not to get blown out of the sky."

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #71
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Attack Maneuvers ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @CanadianVet @Brutus @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @Mathis @The Ostrich  @JayLatte  @Blue Zephyr @Absinthe @Argyros

The holographic display table continued to produce a visual representation of the situation with Sabine and her fighter escorts. One by one, green icons appeared on the display and Leon clapped to himself lightly, uttering a trio of words that clearly indicated approval <That's more like it>. Just the remedy for the change in leadership-- the shortest of moments to think out his feelings as he sensed they could be under scrutiny; In what time they bought before this mutiny occured, there was hardly anything else that could be done to stall or resist this coup. Not without serious consequences or the fact that a Betazoid junior officer was on the bridge and could sense his barely-contained fury at the prospect of being stranded here without a plan and forced to fight to the death against further Starfleet incursions. Guilt and vengeance eclipsed Leon's mind --though far from any thin red line of emotional compromise-- as he surveyed the display's readout of debris that the former Intrepid-class ship which housed a Flag officer who had unknowingly set the Lieutenant Commander and former XO away from the command path post-Dominion War, and into this chain of events.

Those lost were his fault, though in reality, the blood was on the usurper's hands; Leon wished he could overpower a security officer and force an immediate stalemate. This was still in the wake of the momentary jolt his mind could afford. Either Leon or Vivian would be in command if he could do what he knew he had to do. Ensign Sel's willingness to save the Bellerophon survivors was hope he wasn't alone in his contempt for Dewitt. And from this moment on, he could focus on the mission at hand to put to rest any thoughts of contesting the change in command.

Marquez would mourn his involvement in this situation later. In any pertinent window of time and incidentally, survival, everything hinged on how the Vector could slug it out without cloaking and without her captain. The Kinetic and phaser cannons were priming up to intercept and destroy any incoming photon torpedoes the Dauntless could unleash on the Vector or their allies, which he now had IFF diagnostics and scans aligned in the computer and with real-time comms.

Meanwhile, as Theurgy primary weapons continued on their attack vectors, Marquez magnified a quadrant of the holo-display around the detected distress signals and escape pods from the Bellerophon. In secret, he was scanning around for Admiral Ross's signal, but only to a lesser extent as he indicated precisely which pods had survivors and wounded, for priority medical treatment and transporter activation.

"Attention attention, prepare to receive personnel from USS Bellerophon. Security is en route. Sickbay, prepare for triage. Casualties inbound." The Diplomatic Officer (and cause of Leon's concern) reported.

The Betazoid, Ensign Danvers, admirably got to work in the olive branch toward these survivors as he patched the escape pods to her station, allowing him to return to focus on the usurper's orders. Hopefully, Faye was too busy with her duties than to sense any willingness to countermand her 6-1-9. Leon knew he could be next and tacked that thought alongside his intentions to play along for now; the CTO avoided eye contact with Jennifer Dewitt out of habit, but carried out his orders. The thought of recommending her promotion would have to wait as a security alert buzzed in an orange overlay and buzzed an alert:

"Security alert: Arm-fast reported in Sickbay. Constable Klex: Security detail to intervene and seal off that deck." Leon reported at Ensign Sel, "Ensign Sel, I believe the situation is well under control here. Apparently not everyone might consider our translation of General Order Nine valid." He chose his last word carefully from any list of reasons to state in as neutral a tone as possible. There simply was no logic in disrupting the transfer of command and he had his part to play, but matters had to be adressed. A throne made of bayonets was a tough chair to behold. Get comfy, 'Captain' he internally growled.

"Screening callsigns:.... Scylla, Blizzard, Wraith, Meerkat, Foxfire, and Chance. Any other friendlies speak now or forever hold your peace." Leon transmitted to the friendly IFF frequency-identified pilots, to finally draw the battle lines, adding any vessel engaged with the Dauntless to their roster of allies, which included Sabine. If only they could spare a RIO to make off with a Runabout from the Akira's hangar. Leon would have risked an officer for such a venture in guerilla-like tactics to make up for the loss of their runabout. Without Vector 2's industrial replicators, there was no assurance of a replacement craft.

Meanwhile, the battle buzzed on the tactical display and several fighters and particular callsigns were demonstrating what the advantage of carrier-based craft could accomplish thanks to carefully-selected combat simulations against Federation craft. When contact with the Mirror Universe was made, Leon and a few in his course were pit against Terran counterparts of identified vessels of that abominable universe. It was disturbing to see that training pay off; in another lifetime, he might have been aboard one of those Valravns. He wondered if somewhere out there, Alessia was--

The allied fighters were under fire, and his Capt-- his *acting* captain had given him orders to cover them by any means necessary.

The pulse cannons and phasers snuffed torpedoes that were fired from angles unexpectedly launched at delayed-ignition sequences against the fighters engaging the Dauntless. Her CTO was good, but Leon grimly realized he was better, despite his dwindling advantage of their temperamental cloaking capabilities. The fighters were doing the heavy lifting in this engagement while he made sure they survived long enough to neutralize their pursuers. The holographic display made it easier to aim and manually prioritize the torpedoes targeting the escorts. A timer ran indicating the estimated time of the Task Force's projected arrival.

With the rest of the Task Force all hearing reports from the Akira's bridge, vengeance would motivate the other ships to punish Vector One with that much more incentive. Undoubtedly, despite Danvers's heartfelt urgency, reports of hostages were sure to cross into the reports throughout TFA. The USS Benjamin Sisko alone was enough to make short work of the Vector with what little weapons power remained. The Runabout was among their last cards to play.

"We are preparing to vacate the area.  A payload is being sent to the Dauntless, prepare for the fall out there of.  If we chose to vacate prepare to follow.  Adjust your flight paths accordingly," came the El-Aurian Tactician who was at least pulling her weight in taking the burden off his shoulders for ancillary tactical support, though he'd much rather have Tarsi up here, she was where she was needed most, securing Theurgy's torpedo bay.

"Theurgy to Friendlies: Confirm. Break off and bug out: Game-changer inbound. MOVE!" the former runabout skipper, callsigned Striker, barked on Zyrao's heels. Despite their decreasing odds, Leon was gaining confidence with the trusted helm control that Veradin was demonstrating as the Vector managed to set up the inbound game-changer Leon indicated in the form of their runabout.

One of the tactical displays lit up as the Thames accelerated to ramming speed and detonated just off the Dauntless's hull, stripping off its shields as the warp nacelles dropped offline. Fortunately, this wasn't a fatal repeat of the Bellerophon, at least not at first. "They're vulnerable, Captain." He indicated, waiting final confirmation before opening fire.
Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy

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

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #72
[ CWO3 Liliana "Meerkat" Walton | Wolf-13 | Azure Nebula ] @Auctor Lucan @Vox @Stegro88 @Fife @Firefox013

Liliana smirked and shook her head slightly at Scylla’s taunting as she and Chance finished off Whiskers. She barked out a laugh at Isel’s response to her message.

[If we can score some hits and keep their shields from fully recovering, Chance and Scylla can hit the nacelle once they're clear.]

“Roger that, Foxfire.”

She turned the fighter to begin an attack run on the Dauntless, but didn’t have time to do much more than line up a shot before another voice came over the comms. This woman sounded unfamiliar and with a strange accent reminiscent of Bulkhead’s own Klingon accent.

[Strategist Natauna to the Theurgy Wolves Squadron.] I guess that’s us now! [We are preparing to vacate the area.  A payload is being sent to the Dauntless, prepare for the fall out there of.  If we chose to vacate prepare to follow.  Adjust your flight paths accordingly.]

The channel was closed, preventing an immediate response but it sounded to Walton like this “Natauna” wasn’t prepared to listen to a response anyway.

“Alright, Bulkhead. Where’s this ‘payload’ she’s talking about?”

“Looks like a … runabout. Danube-class. I’m not seeing any weapons active on it. Heading to the port side of our target.”

“… Wait. Are they – are you really saying they’re going to detonate a fucking runabout next to the Dauntless?”

Fortunately, all of the fighters were on the opposite side of the ship but there was still quite a visible effect from the runabout’s explosion just off the port side of the Akira-class ship. She didn’t need to check her sensor readings to confirm what was visually very clear – the Dauntless had lost her ships and was likely dealing with some pretty severe damage to her port side.

“Meerkat, I’m showing some power fluctuations. Shields are down.”

“Their power grid is probably dealing with some issues after that hit. It’ll reroute quickly. This will let Chance and Foxfire make their run.” Liliana keyed open the channel to her wingmate. “Hey Scylla, let’s do as they suggest and go assist the Sabine. Also run interference between Theurgy and Dauntless. If you can get a couple hits on the Dauntless’s sensors or their impulse engines on the way, go for it. Bulkhead will send your RIO the targeting data.”

“I’m sending what now?”

“The stuff she needs to hit either impulse engines or sensor arrays without hitting something sensitive like what the Theurgy did to the Bellerophon.”

“Sending. You should see the possible targets as well.”

“Good boy.”

She smirked, knowing that the Klingon behind her was probably shaking his head at her response. He was used to her teasing by now, having weathered it for a good portion of the Valravn test flights she flew. The two made an unexpectedly good team despite a rocky beginning when the Klingon felt mildly insulted that a petite human woman was barking orders at him out of seemingly nowhere upon his arrival to Luna Base. Apparently, someone hadn’t informed him of who Chief Warrant Officer Walton was. Liliana was oddly proud of helping him develop a sort of wit that played well with her own, especially since he had moments that reflected why he was “Bulkhead”.

The path she too for her burn to the Sabine and the lonely Valravn making a bold last stand against the Sabine, Blizzard, and what looked to be a Wraith that was coming around to the Sabine. Her helmet’s HUD lit up targets of opportunity on the way, but she didn’t look to be in a good path to take advantage of any of them unless she changed course or risked exposure to additional phaser arrays. The gunner on the Dauntless was devilishly good, stripping away most of her fighter’s shields but she managed to avoid any physical damage. At the range she was flying the Valravn, any direct hits would mean almost certain death.

Lily could tell the Sabine was clearly damaged, but it had done the job. The remaining Valravn was trailing plasma.

Ah, that’s Metalhead, looks like. I guess the two others must have gotten scratched out by Wraith.

“Open a channel to that fighter.”

“The one you want to shoot at?”

“That very one!” She waited until she got the confirmation from Bulkhead. “Hey, good job lasting this long!”

Meerkat. I thought you were one of the loyal ones.”

“You seem a little angry, Metalhead.” Her voice tightened as she continued, dropping the pretense of joviality as she made some weapons selections. He would be too busy with Blizzard and the Sabine to realize what she was going to do, she figured. “Just out of curiosity, did you know what was happening before you forced me to make a blind choice?”

“Does it matter? You didn’t defect then. Why not?”

“You know why. But hey! Don’t fret. You are right about something, though.” There was silence from the other end, likely because his focus was staying alive. “I am too pretty to associate with jackasses.”

She pulled the trigger and let loose a barrage that tore at the other pilot’s damaged nacelle, lighting up a plasma fire that brilliantly illuminated the doomed craft for one beautiful moment before its destruction was complete.

“I saw an energy signature right before it blew. It looks like the ETS got them out in time.”

“A pity. He always was better at giving denials than receiving them. Meerkat to Sabine, you still alive in there? You look a little banged up.”

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #73
[ Ensign Ryuan Sel | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: peeps on the bridge

With the word given to start rescue procedures, Sel stood down. She could feel how tired she was, just how broken she felt, as she turned away. She put her helmet back on, hiding her face from the rest of the crew on the bridge, hiding the shame and anger that painted itself across her features. This was not what she wanted. She wanted Sarresh back, she wanted to go to him and feel his arms around her, to hear his voice, and let him give her what little comfort could be had in this never-ending nightmare. 

But now it seemed she would have to be without him. She would have to fake being strong and pretend she knew what she was doing for even longer. She felt the eyes of the bridge crew on her, she felt how some of them would think she had both betrayed them and their cause by not fighting against Dewitt when she had taken command. She had made her stand, she had drawn her line and it seemed that Dewitt had yielded. But what good had it done? They had lost the majority of their friends, of their ship, of all that mattered. All they had now was a truth they could not share. 

She hated the universe with an active passion at that moment. She wanted it all to burn.

With the word given from Lieutenant Commander Marquez she gave a stiff nod to her remaining security officers on the bridge and made her way to the turbolift. "I'm on it," she said flatly, her tone betraying the conflict within her.

She knew how to handle this situation at least. She'd go to sickbay and tend to those who were being rescued from the debris of the Bellerophon and her escape pods. It would be a matter of explaining to them that as of that moment they too were fugitives, but they were alive, which was more than could be said for some of their crewmates.

[ F'Rell of the Twelfth House | Main Engineering | Vector 01 |USS Theurgy ]

In engineering, things were only marginally better. Without the cloak drawing power from the core F'Rell was able to route power back to systems and lower the power output of the core. It was still redlining, but now the problem was within hand. The ship would not be able to take much abuse if it were to enter a fight and though she was aware of this being their last chance to reunite with the rest of the crew, that was not a problem F'Rell concerned herself with. She had those she cared most for there. True, her 'Noble Ancillary' was much reduced at this point, but she knew the chances of them standing and fighting the massive ship that had broken them before was highly unlikely. 

Survival was the only objective. There was no greater concern. 

"<I am sending you my equations,>" she said over the comms after she had been transferred to whoever was in charge of the science station on the bridge and quickly hit a button on her translator to patch the mathematical formula for the unregulated warp jump to the said science station. It was an unstable and dangerous thing to do, but it would be the fastest option and if her equation was correct it would allow them to burn off the excess energy from the core without risking a warp core breach. Any attempt at a controlled acceleration would only risk more damage to the ship. 

"<Mr. Suq, do not engage the warp core beyond its current level without letting me know. Any additional pressure inside the matrix will fracture the dilithium crystals and we will be forced to make the unregulated jump. If I can plot out the jump with the science department it would work better than if we simply jump,>" F'Rell said not even looking up to her friend. Her voice was strained, clearly stressed. Though the translator that allowed for the strain to be heard was new, the subharmonics that always could be heard of her true voice seemed to show more stress. There was clearly something wrong, more than just what she was talking about, but she had no time.

Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]

Reply #74
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn:


Vivian was immensely relieved when Dewitt agreed to allow them to rescue the Bellerophon survivors. Not only because it was the right thing to do, but also because she had no idea what she would have done had Dewitt denied this request. When the next order flew her way, to assist F’Rell Vivian nodded and took a seat back at the science station.

<I am sending you my equations,>” The electronic voice of F’Rell buzzed through to Vivian’s station, along with the promised equations.

”I’ve got them F’Rell, thank you.” Vivian’s fingers danced across the console commands as she manipulated the math before her. Quickly scanning her eyes over it Vivian nodded to herself, the plan seemed sound, and very risky. The fact that the jump would be unregulated was the biggest cause for concern, that and the fact that they would be losing so many systems, even temporarily. She worked quickly and calmly, ordering the computer to begin plotting possible headings for the jump.

Watching the data flowing across her screen Vivian nodded in approval and tapped her combadge ”Martin to F’Rell. Your numbers look good. What else do you need from me? I’ve already got the computer working on possible headings, how far do you estimate this jump will take us?”

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