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Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #50
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @trevorvw et al

God, we never stood a chance.

The assessment was not necessarily applicable to their current situation, but as the full extent of the battle became apparent, Ducote saw how, well, futile the Endeavour's reaction had been. A flotilla of KDF cruisers hadn't yet been enough to destroy a Cube - how could a single, ambushed science vessel have managed? The truism that 'only a fool picks a fair fight' was far less fun when you were the one on the receiving end of the mismatch.

Callouts were made, orders issued, and long experience of hearing those tones helped him snap out of his reverie. Today was a day to fight like Amasov - he'd survived the Borg once. Surviving them now would bring him level with the Old Man. His face set as his resolve recovered.

Ducote ran over their personnel dispositions again, a final last-second check. Wenn had the same idea:

"Commander Ducote, make sure Kai Akoni is aware of the development here on the bridge, so that he may alert his teams of any boarding Drones that may be due, and find out the status on our Reman cloak..."

"Aye aye," he responded, tapping his badge as the Bajoran turned away to continue issuing orders. "Akoni, Ducote. We have engaged the Borg. Prepare to receive guests-"

The deck rocked as the Theurgy took a battering. "-merda na minha.. prepare quickly. Out." The next hit took down their shields, a new wave of alarms sounding and the floating display before him lighting up red to highlight the damaged sections - with blinking dots representing foreign transporter signatures. There was even a cluster on the-

"Shit," he muttered, looking over as the trio of drones finished materialising and sprang into action. One of the bridge crew, a vulcanoid he at first thought was merely trained to shield their thoughts, launched herself at a drone menacing the command team, soon treating them all to the sound of ringing metallic impacts. Fuck's sake, Soong, now you're leaving them all over the galaxy? He drew the phaser the local security bods had finally allowed him, and tried to draw a bead on one of the others, but there were too many moving bodies betwixt him and the Borg - not to mention more than a few flying phaser bolts of their own.

Lowering his arm, but keeping hold of the phaser, he turned his attention back to the display, monitoring how well everyone else was faring. Slow work, predictably - even before a drone got its personal shield working, they were tough nuts to crack. Ducote made sure there was a live link between this readout and the security centre, if there wasn't already. He knew Kai well enough that he was confident the man would call for help if he needed it. Initiative had always been something he encouraged.

Worryingly, several of the Borg signatures were stationary, paused in compartments and corridors. On cue, warnings of computer intrusion came up. Where's the rogue AI when you need it? A secondary report popped up on the status of their firewalls. Gradually, the number of Borg signatures ticked down as the crew responded. He allowed himself a breath. Okay. We have a cloak?

Ducote raised his hand, still gripping his phaser, to tap his badge to ask after that before Engineering beat him to it.

"Lieutenant Suq to Bridge. Cloak is ready to go. We had a drone in here, so the Borg know we have it. Remember not to fire weapons under cloak unless you really want to be seen for some reason."

"Acknowledged, Lieutenant. There's a security team nearby; I'll route them to you. Bridge out."

"... where is that cloak?" Wenn demanded. Reasonably enough, in the circumstances.

"Cloak is ready!" he called forward, adding, "The Borg are aware of it."

Message relayed, he went back to helping coordinate their boarding defence effort, pinning down drones with crossfire where they could, or just obliterating them with massed fire otherwise. One team in a ventral section even managed to evacuate one by dropping an emergency force field that had covered a hull breach. Ducote raised an impressed and more-amused-than-he-ought-to-be eyebrow at the sight of the little blinking dot leaving the vessel and fading from the display. One of the ensigns at the station next to him cut off a drone with a series of force fields, then flooded the impromptu compartment with vented plasma from an overhead line. "Ouch," Ducote commented as he watched the dot vanish, clapping a hand on his shoulder. "Nice work."

The young officer shrugged. "Security in that section were busy."

Trent called up about a vulnerability, but didn't deign to give many details - not that it mattered; Wenn and Stark obviously knew what was up. He wasn't sure he was happy about the prospect of taking a dreadnought into a close debris field but it was technically a shortcut and they were running short on good options anyway. But still. Things weren't hopeless.

First shots out, neither combatant down.

What else you got?
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #51
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

The bridge had exploded into a frenzy of action and death, sending Morgan’s stomach skittering; but everywhere there was danger, the crew of the Theurgy rose to meet it. There was Lieutenant Okafor, taking down a drone; there was the Vulcan in Tactical, flinty and cool as she fired on the enemy; there was the Science officer from the Cayuga, meeting the Borg head on with an axe.

Morgan wasn’t a fighter, but he didn’t need to be. He had a job to do. He kept to his post. A strange, focused calm settled over him as he turned back to his console. He supposed this is what it meant, to believe in your team. The threat within the bridge was handled; he could focus on the one without.

The shields. They were what was important now. He’d already scanned the ship for life readings, pulling gravity and life support from everywhere that was unmanned and non-essential. He was walking a tightrope, a delicate balancing act between cutting too much power and leaving some crew members stranded, or not cutting enough and leaving them all exposed. And the shields were hungry.

But they were also holding. For now. More than holding; the tertiary grid had flickered back to life. Good, that should keep any boarders away. Any more, at least. His scan had brought up Borg life signs on multiple decks of the Theurgy, and he raised the report with Security. No doubt the crew members on those decks were reacting in much the same way as had those on the bridge, and the firewalls were holding off the cyber intrusions. With any luck, the boarders could be subdued without any significant loss of life.

The Cube hung in front of them, impassive and cold. Almost uncaring, as if this entire engagement was beneath it, of no more consequence than the swatting of a fly.

‘Life support has been cut in all non-inhabited areas, sir,’ he reported to the captain. ‘Primary and secondary shields at 80% power and climbing; tertiary back online, but regen is compromised. Weapons array at 90% functionality.’

And then came the call about the cloak and — okay, now they had a chance. They were limping, but they were still alive. Some insects can bite, after all.
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #52
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]

Vanya wrenched the axe free of the fallen foe and scanned the bridge for threat. Others had moved to and engaged the other Borg as she fended the one off of Natalie. A curt nod and a flick of her wrist shed the blood and fluids from the blade of the Romulan axe, splattering the floor. The blade gleamed in the glare of the emergency lighting.

A last glance at the fallen Borg to ensure the thing wasn’t going to get back up. The deck shuttered and her dark green eyes came up. Only now after the initial melee was over did her systems elevate damage reports to primary awareness. Looking down she’d see that she hadn’t come out of the confrontation unscathed. That saw-tool-thing on the Tactical Drone’s cybernetic appendage had caught her in the upper right arm, cutting her from shoulder to elbow in a long line. Dark green Romulan blood seeped from the wound but if one looked close they’d see dark gleaming duranium under the sliced flesh. A shake of her head and she rotated the arm. The bioflesh sheath had been cut but the duranium endoskeletal structure was functioning at normal performance parameters. 

As she assessed herself the systems ramped down from the fire-walled performance levels they’d been at during the combat. Returning to something more resembling every day sort of operating status. Well every day operating status while in the middle of a massive combat with a Borg Cube.

A glance went to the XO and Vanya raised the axe saluting her. Then gave a nod and a wink. Turning she strode back towards the science station. Metallic clicks and whirrs faded into the background of the over all noise on the bridge as the Romulan axe’s blade refolded itself into the haft and Vanya raised the haft up and over her shoulder. Returning it to it’s sheath.

Stepping back to the Science grotto she bent and scooped a phaser off the deck. Checking it she nodded and slipped it back into Okafor’s holster. “Keep this close Lieutenant. You may have future need of it” Pausing she assessed his head wound. Reaching past him she felt under the console and her hand gripped the handle of a med kit. Pulling it out she flicked it open. Looking through it she gripped a dermal regenerator. Flicking it on she started to pass it over his wound. She was no doctor but she had the standard first aid courses that every officer was required to take as well as the Bridge Certifications which were a step up.

Dark green blood dripped down to splatter the dark gray shoulder of Okafor’s uniform as she saw to his wound. He would need to visit a real doctor if the ship survived the encounter. Vanya was just trying to keep the wound from bleeding all in his eyes and keep him on the deck and fighting. A few passes of the regenerator and she raised pointed brows. “Still with us Tyreke?? We need you. You ready to show these cybernetic horrors why they don’t mess with Sci-Division??” 
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology

Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark – Security Officer – Combat Medic

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #53
[ Lt Cmdr Vael Kaeris | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]

Vael gave the borg only a passing moment of attention as they appeared on the screen, the patchwork cube dominating the battlefield as they tended to do, monolithic, inelegant.  They were offensive on so many levels, particularly to Vael.  As a heterogeneous species that sought to advance themselves through slapdash assimilation and incorporation of technologies, they were repulsive academically, standing in stark contrast to his belief that biology alone could improve and adapt beyond the harsh metallic confines.

But there was something more.  His own species, appearances aside, were insectoid to a degree, arising out of their own primitive hive mentality to become a small but indisputable power in the quadrant that had been able to stand alone on a single world, independent of even the mighty Federation for ages.  Only recent events and conflicts had prompted them to hesitantly set aside that isolationism -- and from what he had heard growing up, the early interactions between his people and StarFleet had very nearly resulted in disaster. This... borg hive was, to a bactrican, as much an insult as a ship of homo neanderthalensis might be to humans.

Casting an appraising glance across the PADD in his hand, his lips thinned slightly.  Plans were progressing apace on the ship but he had to admit to some disappointment that the Cayuga had not yet succeeded in taking out some of the apertures.  Admittedly, their task was complicated by the geometric monstrosity that stood in their way, a monstrosity that had turned its attention to the Theurgy in a moment's breadth.

A deluge of weapons fire from the enemy rocked the ship.  All around him, chaos rang out as the bridge crew relayed the various failures, the collapse of their shield grids and the imminent incoming boarders.  On queue, or so it seemed, a series of green transporter signatures flooded the bridge, several near the tactical table where Ducote and some others had been coordinating, but even as the drones focused on their potential targets, the romulan, Vanya, was upon them, seemingly tearing one apart with her bear hands -- a feat that prompted an undisguised raising of Vael's eyebrow.  Something to look into at another point, he assured himself.

Another conflict near the front of the bridge had already resulted in the attempted assimilation and subsequent death of one of the crew, and Lt. Okafor himself seemed far worse for wear from the initial engagement, although Vael's hasty assessment determined that it wasn't anything a medkit and three weeks of significant rest and relaxation wouldn't overcome.  Still, it was a compromise in their overall efficacy.  Fortunately, the romulan was able to tend to his more immediate needs with a dermal regenerator.

"I have taken the liberty of designing a..." he paused, considering the best way to describe the device so as to minimize the amount of explanation required, "Borg jamming device.  Small, designed to function like chaff that can be scattered through the debris field.  They are intended to create a local disruption in borg communications similar to a neurotoxin.  It won't affect the cube, but may limit its communications with any remotely deployed drones until they adapt."

Transferring the data to the local science stations, he continued, "They can be replicated and deployed without an active targeting lock and they are small enough that they should ostensibly blend in with the background debris until activated.  If we start deployment now, it may give us a few critical seconds to focus on the apertures."

Pointing to the screen, he continued.  "Twenty would be the bare minimum, scattered in these areas, but the more we can deploy, the better.    The borg have the advantage of strength and numbers.  We need to control the field."

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #54
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All

"Helm! Cycle through any Omega, Lambada and Omega-series of evasive manoeuvres while we make our way around the debris field. We need to last, to survive, so that we can open and then destroy that aperture. Where the Cayuga may have failed so far, we will not. Engage!"

Ah Hell. Here we go.

“Aye Captain.” Derik’s turned back in his chair, queuing up a random sequence to try and keep the Borg from acquiring and maintain a weapons lock. Before he could even initiate the sequence, a volley of torpedoes impacted their shields.

“Damn it!” Derik cursed to himself. He did his best to use the debris field just as the Cayuga was doing, as a shield. It was…..less than successful. Another salvo impacted the shields before the Theurgy slipped behind one of the larger fragments.

"Captain! The third shield grid failed! I am reading Borg signatures aboard already! They a..." Carla Abner tried to call out.


Chills ran down Veradin’s spine. Those words, those dreaded words, had preceded many a Borg massacre. It was like their mantra, spoken just before great tragedy befell any who were unlucky enough to catch their attention.

He flexed his hands, breaking the ice in his veins. Now was not the time to lose his nerve. Soft light reflected off the bulkheads in front of him, their glimmer announcing uninvited arrivals. He turned, seeing the drones finish materializing. However, seeing the three intruders dealt with so efficiently was comforting.
As comfortable as anyone could be engaging the Borg. He left the drones to his crewmates. He had larger concerns.

The order came to duck into outer debris field, Veradin finding a large enough opening to move in. Despite the change, the Borg's weapons were still hitting too close for comfort. “Omega series ineffective. Switching to Lambada patterns.” The pattern change took only moments, Derik winced as fragments bounced off their hull anew. He prayed Thea woudnt be too upset when she saw herself again.

Dodging the incoming fire was rough. If it weren’t for the all the wreckage, they’d be gone already. That being said all the explosions were sending even more debris hurtling towards the ship.

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #55
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer & Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers, Communications | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Arista @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @Masorin @CanadianVet @chXinya @The Ostrich @Hastata-Nerada 

They both had their orders, and for the moment, as the battle was engaged, both were in coordination mode, linking up their ship with other forces out on the battlefield. Natalie kept her face impassive, resisting the urge toward any resentment. The cold voice of the Borg robbed that way in any case. Resistance, they told her, was futile. And every Federation Encounter on a major scale had shown that no, it wasn't quite futile. It was just horrifically costly.

While Nat turned back to the command table, Faye was already busy at Communications' pushing aside thoughts of a nurse she loved and a crew on edge, to focus on her task. There would be multiple channels going out of the ship and she had her orders. On her console was a series of quick notes from Vivian Martin and the science team on the bridge, just enough so that she could follow what it was she needed to get.  Her fingers danced fast - Getting too good at this - and the hail went out. "USS Theurgy calling USS Cayu - " was as far as she got before the first round of torpedoes hit.  The world rocked around her, sending her stomach up into her throat.

"Damn!" Natalie shouted out, bending over the table slightly. She was just pulling up a visual of the Allegiant as it was setting out, readying a comm channel. She had to reset it now that -   that was when the  second torpedo barrage hit, sending the shields crashing down and alarms thundering. The cold voice of the Collective made itself known:


Chills ran down the spine of the collected crew of the USS Theurgy. Faye stiffened in her seat, while Natalie was forcing herself to stand back up straight.  Something exploded above the Comm station - an ODS conduit? Showering Faye with sparks that blinded her to the sudden green swirls filling the bridge. But the drones....she felt them. She felt them, and she was afraid. The endless maw of the Collective beckoned like a harbinger in the dark, clawing and eternal. There was no mind. There were infinite minds.

She screamed a silent scream, but by the time it finished echoing between her ears, it was over, on the bridge.

Lt. Cmdr. Stark bucked into the table again, feeling, more than seeing, what had just arrived around her. She pushed up and back, turning to stare at it. A drone. A large drone - male, she thought - one of three, turning directly to her. Oh, there were others around, but Natalie knew it was her that the thing had locked onto. All the training in the world, all the holodeck simulations, the lectures in classes from those that had survived....none of it truly prepared someone for the moment they faced the walking nightmare that was a Borg Drone.

And she had thought those damned plants were bad.

It spun toward her, having beamed in less than half a meter away, drill whirring in the sound of the red alert, hand extending, tubes arching up out of it....Except, there wasn't a hand any more. There was a wet splash of liquid gore that coated her shirt. There was the fetid smell of half dead blood.

There was Vanya.

Like an avenging angel out of myth she swung her ax, so fast that Natalie only registered it after it had happened. She;'d barely had time to step back ,to reach from the phaser that she and all the others on the bridge were armed with. The drone spun, and Vanya parried. Even knowing the woman could take it, seeing the saw-blade score a hit was hard to watch. Natalie paled, and reached for the phaser, but by the time she got it out of her holster, her friend was wrenching the drones neck around.

This was a harsh reminder that Vanya had been programmed, long ago, to be an effective spy and killing machine. Here and now, this was what her best friend was. Her oldest friend in the fleet, was every bit as capable as her designers had hoped. And so, so much more. Thank God she's on my side she thought, managing a shaky smile.

After all that, they didn't say a word to each other. Vanya gave a little salute, and a cheeky wink that brought a smile to Natalie's face. It felt so alien in the moment that she had to shake it off physically, but the haunted look of near assimilation was gone. And Vanya would have seen the smile, just for her.

It had been so consuming that she missed the mess at Tactical. It would come as a shock later when she registered that Leon Marquez was no longer on the bridge. Or the ship. Except as scattered particles. She shared that nod with Vanya, expressing more in that look than she could in words, and turned back, sucking in air as the noise around her returned.

Ens. Eloi-Danvers had noticed. She hadn't watched, but she had felt. Felt the agony of assimilation start ot rip through Leon Marquez. The desperation and struggle, the way he was losing. And then the moment of satisfaction, before there was nothing else left. It bleed away, replaced by the grim satisfaction of a job done, gruesome though it was, of Martin (Salem). Of Duty.


Two hails went out, one after the other, from different parts of the bridge.

"Allegiant" Natalie had called, "If you haven't figured it out already, you are a go. Ms. Natauna I don't care if you have to beam over there and  tan Martoks hide, you get him on our side." A distant part of her mind was horrified at the words she'd spoken about the distinguished Chancellor of the Klingon Empire. "God Speed."

On her heels was Faye, her hair astray, cheeks red from the shower of sparks, staring a her console as the environmental systems swept the smoke away. Her voice was a bit more raspy, where Stark's was full of spit and fury. "Repeat, this is the USS Theurgy, calling USS Cayuga. We are going to attempt a run to open the apature. Please transfer any and all relevant data." And as she spoke, she opened a data-link, patching in Martin (Vivian) and her team. "Commander  Martin, prepare for data dump from Cayuga" she said, hoping it would come through. Hoping they weren't all dead.

In the distant part of her mind, she reached out, trying to find the mental presence, decks below, of the one person here that mattered most to her, to see if that mind was still there, and not swept away into the Collective. Because she had felt others go.

Back on the holotable, Natalie looked up, watching as the display zoomed out to take in more of the debris field. She cocked her head to one side, listening to the voice of Commander Trent over the internal communications network. She didn't have much time to process his words - good though they were - because movement on the holo display tore her focus away. She completely missed the revelations about the cloak, and the debate going on at Sciences.

Something had just shifted....there!

"Captain! Two Vorcha-class cruisers inbound on pursuit vector bearing 199.3!" She warned Wenn, and then reached out and manipulated the holograms, pulling the focus in on those ships. "No Klingon life signs remain. Designate cruisers as Borg. Tactical! Execute Attack Pattern Sierra-seven on Borg Vorcha's.".

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #56
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | USS Theurgy ]


Everything had gone to hell. The ship had taken a hammering from the Borg torpedoes, which had quickly overwhelmed their shield grid. Then the dreaded welcome of the collective had echoed across the bridge, and mere seconds later the shit had hit the fan as a trio of drones beamed aboard.

As chaos erupted across the bridge Vivian hunkered down over her console trying to work as energy beams and bolts flew across the bridge. She saw Vanya bounding across the bridge to engage the Borg, somehow the Romulan woman had acquired an axe, and was using it to great effect. As her fingers raced across her console the chaos continued to reign, and Vivian heard Okafor crying out behind her, something had happened, but she was too busy to spare the man more than a passing glance. He seemed to be fine, so she ignored him and returned her focus to the streams of data flowing across her screen. She was vaguely aware of Vanya’s return, and noticed the Romulan tending to Okafor, perhaps Vivian hadn’t checked as closely as she should have.

It was now that she heard a call from Ensign Eloi-Danvers across the bridge "Commander  Martin, prepare for data dump from Cayuga"

”We’re ready when they are Ensign” She called back, then turned her attention to her nearby subordinates. ”Up on your feet lieutenants, the Cayuga will be transmitting any moment now, I’m going to need your assistance in sorting the information when it comes through. Be prepared to tune the sensor array to the correct frequency for the soliton waves to open the appetures. Kaeris, do what you must. Get your chaff out there are quickly as you can.” Even as she spoke a small notification appeared, alerting her of the incoming data dump. ”Let’s get to work people!”

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #57
[ Captain Anya Ziegler |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus , @Doc M. , Anyone else.

Ziegler cursed quietly, inaudible to the rest of the bridge over the sounds of the battle. Once again, the last run at the apertures had failed. They were running out of variations of the frequency to try. Kaeris hadn’t been overly confident with his initial calculations and now the Captain understood why. Rather than venting her frustration at an absent officer, she hoped that they eventually could get it right and not have wasted their lives in a fruitless fight.

The Cayuga creaked and groaned under the fast manoeuvres that Carpeland inputted into the helm as fast as she could. The woman was a great pilot and vastly skilled. Anya just hoped that after everything, the ship wouldn’t shake itself apart under the strain.

“I-Incoming torpedoes!” Jance Davron, the latest Chief Tactical officer, called out above the din. His hands shaking as they moved across the controls. Obviously, he was trying to activate appropriate defences but was struggling. “Brace for impact!”

Ziegler’s hands flew to the armrests of her command chair. Gripping tightly, Anya could feel the metal frame through the cushioning of the seat and closed her eyes, scrunching up her face, waiting for the hit. After a few seconds, nothing happened. The ship felt the same, no loud noises of explosions against the shield, nor the whine as the inertial dampeners strained to keep them seated. Cautiously, she opened her eyes and glanced over at the tactical officer

“Torpedoes destroyed captain, a fighter saved us. Transponder reads ‘Wolf-07’.” The young man readied his displays as he attempted to find a new firing arc on the Borg. Suddenly, he looked up and across towards his captain. “Wolf 7 is out of control. She’s on a collision course!”

“Tractor beam!” Anya barked back, watching as the viewscreen flicked orientation to show the spinning ship. “Halt that fighter and recover it. The pilot gave us a second chance.”

“Aye. Activating beam now.” Davron responded and on the viewscreen, a pulse of blue light enveloped the fighter, bringing the rotation to a sharp stop.

Before any other recovery action could take place, the bridge was hit with an almighty sound. The sound of wrenching metal as deck plating ruptured under the cacophony of an explosion; Almost immediately, billowing smoke started to fill the bridge as green flames licked up from the breach. An EPS conduit had burst firing ignited plasma into the air.

Luckily no one had been stood over it, and for that Anya was truly thankful. As officers rushed to pull fire extinguishing equipment from behind hidden panels. Ziegler coughed, trying to breathe as the air became increasingly hot and smoky.  Stepping out of her chair, Anya moved closer to the viewscreen, so to see what was happening as the visibility in the smoke was becoming harder. From the operations seat, the officer called out the damage.

“Major EPS breaches across four decks.” The officer coughed and spluttered, trying to finish their announcement. “Damage reports coming in now. Tractor beam and transporters down. Weapons, shields, propulsion, communication and life support still active. Captain, we’ve got a lot of wounded.”

Sure enough, the fighter that had saved Cayuga and then had to be helped itself now hung frozen in space. The tractor beam had failed before managing to pull it into the shuttle bay and there was nothing else they could do to save the brave pilot. With a silent prayer, Ziegler had to push that Lone wolf from her mind. She wasn’t responsible for them anymore, she had to save the crew she could.

“Get damage control to seal those EPS conduits. We need power back and co-ordinate injury reports with Sickbay. We need to-“ Anya’s orders were interrupted by the operations officer.

“Incoming hail from Theurgy. Audio only”

With a distinct crackle, the communication came through. Transfer all data regarding the apertures. Theurgy was taking up the mantle of opening them. Anya wished she could say she was relieved.

“Science…” Ziegler called as the fires were put out and the air scrubbers began to suck the smoke from the command centre of the Cayuga. “Send them everything we’ve got.”

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #58
"Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East."
- Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Nolan, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Iron Ferrox, @BZ, @Top Hat, @Numen, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos, @Kinvarus & @Hastata-Nerada
Every now and then Cameron would risk diverting her attentions to the bridge around her. Just to make sure there weren't any new Borg drones showing up. But she was soon absorbed in the events unfolding between the Allegiant, the surviving Klingons, the Cayuga, and all the Lone Wolves out there. And her first cry came when she saw the Reaver jump out of warp. The main sensor station would have registered it sooner, but she still called out, “Captain! It's the Cinsaj. It's dropped out of warp!” She turned to look at her tactical read, and updated, “It's moving to engage the Borg Cube...THEY'RE SHIELDS ARE DOWN! Detecting multiple successful warhead impacts! Vulnerabilities opening up in sections thirteen-through-thirty-five on the cube's western facing.”

The bridge could pick up on Devyrie's communique to them and the fighters, but she was having trouble receiving any replies or response. “Computer, initiate response to the Cinsaj, rotate hailing frequency and boost transmission, update troubleshoot package.” She was going to see if the ship's systems could update and fix the problem with the Reaver's communications system. Having an idea, she darted over to Vivian's station and whispered to the tall woman, “Commander,” she said, “could you try using a burst of radion from the main deflectors to essentially sneak our hailing system through whatever is blocking us from replying to the Cinsaj?”

Once she got her response, she left Vivian to do what she had to do, and the young Yeoman returned to her own station, and began to update the flight pattern for the Wolves, and the Allegiant. She marked out the routes to get to the Borg cube the fastest, having heard Thomas' declaration of intent and his request for help, she spoke as she continued painting the safest and fastest path for them all. Every single ship. “Ops to Razor, acknowledged,” she clipped off succinctly, “adjust your course twenty degrees due north, north, east. Ops to Allegiant and all flights, Cinsaj too if you can hear, recommended flight paths in your Tactical. Engage Attack Pattern Alpha. Angel, divert from your path to vector two-two-mark-four, watch for debris.”

Her eyes shifted to a warning on her tactical, but she continued to guide the Wolves as best as she could, “Salvo, move to vector seven-nine-one-mark-zero, then engage thrust ten kilometers and initiate recommended attack pattern at your leisure. Good hunting, everyone.”

There was a small ship approaching at warp. She couldn't be certain what it was. “We have incoming, unknown vessel.”

And it was at this time her mind went of all things to Silim Parnak. She hoped the Cardassian was all right. There were Borg drones boarding the ship. How much more could their ship take?

The unknown vessel soon dropped out of warp and it was a...a civilian freighter??? It had to be the worst possible place for a ship like that to randomly pop up! Before she could even think of sending a message to the freighter to go to warp and get out of the danger zone, the transponder signal changed to that of a Valkyrie Mk III. Could it be??? Cam felt hope soar through her heart when the fighter reappeared, and she realized it might be a survivor. But who?

That answer came soon enough, when none other than Miles Renard contacted her. “Ops to Renard, acknowledged. Designating you as Wolf-Zero-Zero. Welcome back.” She couldn't quite keep her joy from her tone, Cayuga is a friendly. Repeat, a friendly. Sending an update package to your tactical feed. Stand by.”

She smiled and turned to give the good news after sending Miles the latest data with a brief summary on the turn of events. “Captain, lieutenant-commander Renard is back, and he's joining the fray.”


Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #59
[ High Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog | Bridge | Negh'Var battleship IKS Negh'Var | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
Martok cut the feed from the ship called 'Allegiant', and addressed his bridge crew. "For the honour of the Empire! wo' batlhvaD!"

The IKS Negh'Var had been caught in a tractor beam from the Borg cube, and their shields were failing. His new weapons officer, who had replaced N'Garen, had already alerted all the closest Klingon ships to try and protect the Chancellor - to have the beam emitter destroyed - but Martok already knew that their disruptors and photon torpedoes would be ineffective. For the past hour, they had modulated their weapons in ways dating back as far as their records could take them, and there were only so many options for their cannons. Martok had already resigned to the fate of the Negh'Var, which would either be destroyed outright once the shields failed or become boarded again. Regardless the outcome, there would be songs sung - somewhere - about this battle, fought at the border of the Empire.

Sealed aft sections of the ship already held assimilated crew. There simply hadn't been any time to deal with the bodies yet. This second time, if they would come aboard, Martok held little hope to be able to repel the drones. Their disruptors had failed, and the drones were not only versatile up close, they also had forcefield that would - eventually - adapt to their blades as well. Of this, he was certain.

So, when the field percentage dropped rapidly on the screen, and there was naught to be done, Martok closed his remaining eye briefly, readying himself for whatever came next.

What happened... was unexpected.

"Chancellor!" came the call from behind him, and the deck below Martok's feet rocked, "we're free! Our ships penetrated the cube's shields! Something happened to it!"

Martok bared his teeth in a grimace that could almost be considered a smile. "Whatever it was, don't tarry. Smite that thing with everything we have left!" He stepped through the thick smoke of the bridge and seated himself anew in his chair, opening a comm link to the present and incoming ships. "This is Martok. All ships, concentrate fire on the Borg cube now! Fire everything!"

Once the Negh'Var had joined the battle effort, peeling away the outer hull of the cube in fiery chunks of metal, Martok turned his eye towards the Theurgy, the words of Zyrao Natauna coming back to him. He made a low sound in his throat, not keen on admitting fault, but if that ship was innocent of all that Starfleet Command claimed, and wasn't even to blame for Drex's death, then it meant that N'Garen had been one of those... Infested. His bridge crew had things well in hand, shouting back and forth, so Martok issued the hail to the Theurgy himself.

Once the hail came through, visually or merely by sound, he spoke. "I'd rather say this to Ives' face, but I have spoken with Zyrao Natauna, and I have witnessed this... parasitic threat with my own eyes. The Klingon Empire will be your ally... yet further discussions must wait. There are Borg to kill, and an invasion to repel... but the true enemy will be known. Martok out."

After he cut the feed, a simple message tapped into his armrest signalled the Klingon fleet that the Theurgy was an ally. No more had he sent it, however, before the tide of the battle turned again.

"The cube has adapted!"

[ The Borg Queen | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
Watching the puny ships in the debris field around her, the Queen wasn't smiling any more.

One of her drones had uploaded intel that had been laced with a sophisticated program that disrupted core functions of the cube - corrupting the algorithms of the adaptive shield matrix of both the cube as well as the personal force fields of her drones. That, in itself, was a negligible disruption, since it was quite temporary. Within seconds the program was isolated, and the affected algorithms were purged and reinstalled. The concern was the timing of this slight inconvenience, since it allowed the circulating vessels of Klingon origin as well as the Federation's crafts to compromise the outer sections of her cube.

The Queen was not overly concerned, of course, since Cube M-582 - just like all of her cubes - could remain functional even if 80% of it was rendered inoperable. This, due to the decentralised and redundant nature of its key systems, where there were hidden tiers of tactical systems below the ones lost. Whatever components of the inner layers that were damaged, they could quickly be repaired. Therefore, she patiently, methodically, dealt with the threat in her systems, and did not let the irritation over the setback get to her. It was, perhaps, a remnant trait of her original species, before the Royal Protocol. When her name had been T´Less.

When her shield matrix had been restored, her retaliation... was immediate.

The Klingon ships could do the cube no more harm. Nor could the fighter craft or the Theurgy. Phaser fire and disruptors were moot to her defences. Moreover, they were in the open, firing against her, with no debris in the way. She was the Borg, and they would all answer to her. She raised her hand slowly at her sides, and disruptor beams of her own riddled the closest Klingon ships. Some of them were so damaged already they disintegrated at the first shot. Others were rendered defenceless, crashing into the debris field by the inertia of her blasts. Then, for the more distant targets, she fired gravimetric torpedoes from all sides - the succession of ordnance piercing through the debris in search for warp signatures.

The IKS Negh'Var, as species 5008 called it, lost a section of of its aft fuselage and a portion of its starboard side. The Theurgy... however, was momentarily gone from her sensors. The Borg had assimilated the technology of cloaking devices from many species, so it was apparent what might have happened. Had her gravimetric torpedoes been sent to target her drones aboard the Federation starship, she would have hit it, but as it were, the seven torpedoes passed it by. Oddly enough, the Theurgy was only gone for a couple of moments... It reappeared, and she could target it once more.

It was, of course, merely a brief delay. Her shield matrix protected the reduced mass of Cube M-582 against both the Federation crafts and the Klingons, and it was only a matter of time before they were all destroyed or assimilated. The cube would eventually be repaired, and all the resistance they had shown would - as always - prove futile.

She slowly turned her head with the movement of the Theurgy, and pelted her with new torpedoes. One fired each second, striking either debris or its shields. The high yield of her ordnance penetrated those shields eventually, and she saw how one of the nacelles gave out, leaving a trail of plasma behind it. Then, one of the ventral nacelles also began to bleed, and she smiled, seeing how the ship tried in vain to escape her attention. With the Klingon fleet in shambles, it was only the two Federation ships left posing any negligible threat to her invasion of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

The Queen even saw them on the bridge, through the cortical implant of a regenerating drone. From the drone's prone position, she saw a tall, dark-skinned humanoid in command, and the feeble efforts of the bridge crew. They were trying to reach the sealed aperture. That much was plain, but it would be too late. They had no means to open it. Much less destroy it. She could almost admire their resolve. Then again, it could just be the abject terror. A primitive response. When they were drones, they would be more perfect. Well above such base instincts.

A sensor reading spiked, diverting her attention. She turned her head towards it. She saw it there, suddenly having appeared.

A white ship, larger than most the Collective had encountered. A smile creased the corners of her black eyes, for she saw not just an unidentified species, yet catalogued. She saw advanced technology, more sophisticated than most encountered. But what truly piqued her interest... was something which she had sought for centuries. She stopped firing against the damaged Theurgy and Cayuga, her attention diverted entirely towards it.

At last, within my grasp. The thought came when she sensed it there, at the head of the ship.


She sent the ship her greeting when she hailed it, her remaining drones speaking as one. She heard it too, echoing within the cube.



OOC: You all have 7 days to post, meaning that the deadline is the 23rd of February. In your upcoming posts, you need to illustrate the following sequence: A) Martok's hail, instilling hope of the Klingon Empire being the Theurgy's ally, at long last. B) The cube being damaged by the onslaught of weapons fire from the Klingon fleet, the Theurgy and its small crafts. C) When the adaptive shield matrix goes back online, and the Queen retaliates, damaging two of the Theurgy's nacelles and causing more damage to the Cayuga. And then, finally, D) The immediate reaction when the ship behind the [Show/Hide] button above drops out of transwarp. Besides this sequence of events, which lasts for 1 minute In-Character, here are also Battle Objectives to add during and after that minute! Have a look! [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #60
[Captain Wenn Cinn & Selena Ravenholm | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Trying not to grip the arms of the Captain’s Chair hard enough to snap them off, Captain Wenn watched the battle continue to unfold around him.  The reports he needed started to come in, the delay chalked up to interference from invading drones.  The cloak was ready, Trent’s virus was giving the Borg a nasty cold (hopefully), said drones were contained or dead, science was coordinating with the Cayuga, and the assimilated Klingon ships were being held off.  There was one ship that was the Bajoran’s main concern though.  Snared by a tractor beam, the Negh’Var had made no attempt to respond to the Allegiant, at least none that they’d reported back.  It was still an open question on where Martok stood towards the Theurgy,

Something changed with the Borg, and Martok was the first to notice it.  Without warning every Klingon weapon unloaded onto the cube, tearing massive chunks out of the outer hull in seconds.  On the Theurgy’s bridge, Selena Ravenholm looked up from her console with surprise, helping Faye coordinate communications between the ship and her support craft while also spearheading their cyber-defenses.  “Captain, there’s an incoming message from Chancellor Martok himself.”  Putting it on speakers without being told, Martok’s booming declaration of allegiance lifted a weight off of Cinn’s chest.  The channel closed before he could respond, but the Borg didn’t give him a chance anyway.

“They’ve adapted!” someone shouted, but Cinn couldn’t tell who as he was already reacting.  “Cloak the ship now!” he ordered Ops, praying he was in time.  If the Borg had adapted to their weapons and the virus this fast there was only one thing that would follow.  The lights dimmed and the ship’s chorus of computer sounds faded to almost nothing as power was redirected to the Reman device nestled in engineering.  It was a gamble, if there were any active drones that had eluded them then the Borg could use their collective network to track them and target the ship that way.  But the Prophets were with them this time, as the Queen enacted her vengeance on the fleet.  It was a horrific sight, Klingon ships were exploding in droves.  “Get us to the aperture, fast.” he told Veradin.  There was no time to spare.

They didn’t get far though.  Someone near the engineering console spat out a curse, the only warning the Bridge got.  The lights died completely for a moment before coming back to full, but the systems didn’t power up with the same speed as the lights.  Cinn’s stomach dropped to the deck when that happened, he already knew what the next line was going to be.  “We’ve lost the cloak!”  The torpedoes were only seconds behind.  Impact after impact rattled the ship throwing people everywhere.  Cinn gripped the chair so hard his dark knuckles turned white, but he couldn’t hold it.  A massive explosion somewhere in the aft pitched the ship hard and the Bajoran was thrown to the deck.  A second one followed soon after, almost righting their orientation but threw Cinn into the air.  That flight was a bit short though, and the way his head was spinning all he could see was the grey and white pillar holding him up out of the corner of his eye.

Over at the communications console, Selena managed to hold on thanks to her prosthetics, but working was impossible under this barrage.  After it finally let up (why would it let up?) she looked down to find her console a mash of hash.  Working to reboot it, Selena looked to Cinn to see what he wanted to do first, and her eyes went wide in horror.  The drone that killed Abner at the Engineering station was back on its feet and the Bajoran had somehow managed to be leaning against it.  The phaser burns on the armor had the cybernetics-riddled guts of the drone on full display, but it didn’t seem to care.  Already reaching out with its good arm, Selena had no time to think.  Her feet kicked against the bulkhead at the proper angle and with all the force she could muster.  Flying across the Bridge her back slammed into the drone knocking all three of them to the deck in a heap.  Grabbing the good arm, Selena wrenched, doing everything she can to keep it away from the two of them.  “A little help here?”

As soon as the drone was dispatched for good, Tactical called out the arrival of a new ship.  Selena immediately assumed that it dropped out of warp while they were preoccupied with getting their asses kicked and couldn’t help but make a mental wish.  Enterprise, Enterprise, Enterprise, come on be the Enterprise  It wasn’t though.  And it was the last ship she expected to see.

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #61
[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @chXinya @Brutus @Triage et al

"Captain! Two Vorcha-class cruisers inbound on pursuit vector bearing 199.3!"

"Lieutenant Martin, the stern battery is yours. Disable those ships," T'Less said, focusing on the primary threat on their starboard flank. Their port forequarter was for now left to autonomous operation, obliterating any chunks of debris that strayed into their path before the helm had to deal with it. Their capacitor charge ticked steadily down - probably less than twenty minutes of sustained fire available. Not that it would matter much beyond that either way.

"... Vulnerabilities opening up in sections thirteen-through-thirty-five on the Cube's western facing."

Section 13 will do nicely, T'Less mused, focusing all firepower on that quadrant while they had the window. A torrent of phaser blasts and torpedoes poured into the wounded vessel, carving a bloody chunk out of it while the opportunity presented itself. Secondary explosions blossomed deep within the Borg ship, a satisfying number of lights going out in that volume as a local power distribution node was slagged. The Klingons were enjoying similar success, cheerfully shaving layers from the outside of the colossal ship themselves.

All very impressive-looking - fodder for the songs, I'm sure - but if you could focus your fire, that'd be wonderful.

Martok hailed them, finally having seen sense, but that conversation was for other people. It wasn't relevant to her, except for being able to take the non-assimilated KDF ships off her targeting priority list.

The Vulcan resisted the temptation to check just how operational the Cube was - she knew it wouldn't matter until the thing finally stopped kicking. Assume it was at 100%, and try and obliterate it anyway. Stop when done. As if to emphasise her point, the Cube began swatting KDF ships out of the sky. The spectacle distracted her for an instant - but she realised she wasn't getting the same feedback reports she had been a moment ago. A grim feeling descended. T'Less tested a few new nutations, just to be sure.

"The Cube has adapted. Weapons ineffective," she reported, reducing her output to point defence and course clearance while she searched for an alternative. She considered launching their AM spread now, but Wenn ordered the cloak tested. As it powered up, cannibalising the power generation for most of the ship, the weapons locked out - right as the Cube sent another spread of torpedoes their way. I can't shoot them down...

"Brace!" she called. Needlessly, as it turned out, because the torpedoes failed to maintain lock through the cloak. Which, predictably, failed to last. Never an easy road. The Hermat at the Ops station was cursing - and the Borg began to throw singular torpedoes at them. Small, relativistic targets using the debris for cover... every single one of the Theurgy's point-defence shots went wide or hit an intervening object early. The Borg at least were having similar problems, but they still landed some grievous hits on their warp engines regardless.

It was all T'Less could do to stay in her seat, fingers aching as her vulcanoid strength held her in place. Alarms screamed.

As if our power problems weren't bad enough after using the cloak...

Not unrecoverable, but they still needed time - a resource sorely lacking.

"Launching antimatter spread."

The nebula lit actinic white with annihilations as the Theurgy scattered antimatter at the Cube. Physics didn't much care what your shields were tuned to - any matter touched by its antiparticle would dissolve into gamma rays and regret. What was stopped by shields would still interact with the nebula itself, spreading further whatever AM was left over with the energy imparted by the parts that had met their end. A navigational hazard for the Borg, even if nothing else. But what did get through would be impossible to adapt to - whatever else you could say of the Borg, they were definitely made of matter.

"We have incoming; unknown vessel," Ensign Henshaw reported.

A transwarp signature, unfamiliar. But then the silhouette resolved, dwarfing even the Cube. "The Versant! Target locks attained."
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #62
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Bridge | Science Grotto | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @Arista @The Ostrich @Hastata-Nerada

Vanya completed the passes over Okafor’s head with the Dermal Regenerator and nodded to herself. He’d likely need to visit sickbay once this was all over for better treatment and scans for a concussion or cranial fracture but he wasn’t gushing blood right this second so the Romulan called it good. The Regenerator itself was slapped back into the kit. Kit flipped shut, pivoted and slid back into it’s slot under the console.

Vanya’s dark green eyes flickered up to the view screen, tracking the happenings there and correlating them with the call out’s she heard over the bridge and then down to the science station. Commander Martin called out to prepare for Scientific datadump from the Cayuga and Vanya gave a curt nod. “Aye Commander. On it!”

Things were still happening. Okafor and Martin were in the chairs in the Science grotto now so Vanya was standing at a console. The information from the Cayuga started to come in. Information from -her- team. The Romulan offered a tight smile. She’d been stranded here but her team on the Cayuga were still pressing on. She was proud of them.

Assessment of the information was started. Romulan eyes flickering back and forth rapidly as the information scrolled up the screen at a steady pace. Vanya knew the science team there. She had collected and trained them. Worked with them for some time. So she knew the eccentricities of each officer and crewman in the department. That made her uniquely equipped to correlate the data assess it and seek out flaws. Her Android nature allowed for the rapid … pardon the wording, assimilation of the data, and internal computation at a rate that exceeded biological norm.

Even as Vanya worked the problem a new flight of Borg-peedos were headed their way and the Vulcan Tac officer  yelled out a Brace! Vanya’s left hand reached down and to the side, triggering the extendable crash restraints on both Okafor’s and Martian’s chairs, her right hand came up and clamped onto one of the overhead grab bars by the station. What her academy roomate had once called “Oh-shit bars” but then the ship cloaked. The lights dimmed the consoles dimmed and the Borg-peedos missed. The console that Vanya had been working dimmed as well but the Android kept working the problem in her head till Ops got power back. Oh wait. No the Cloak had konked out. Well, her console came back on line. That was good.

There! “Commander Martin . I’ve isolated the problem! Applying corrective measures now!”   She had found the problem deep in one of the computations of the program written for the apertures. It had been coded by one of the Science Department’s computer experts. An Edosian whom was quite pleasant to work with but who had a disturbing tendency to use base 30 instead of base 10 in math. Usually this was handled by the computers with out a problem, but sometimes, such as this one, a minute discrepancy could pop up, as it had.

Vanya did the math in her head and her fingers started to punch in the corrections. Time was of the essence and…. Vanya’s typing skills were extraordinary. The console let out a high speed string of beeps chirps and warbles as the new computations were being entered.

Then the renewed attack of the Borg scored tremendous hits. Overloading the inertial dampeners to the point that the shock-waves were felt through the ship. Vanya had been feeding in corrections at the console with both hands, dexterous fingers typing like mad. The dark metallic green nailpolish flickering in the emergency lights as she strove to get the corrections input.

The Borg-peedos cared not for one Romulan science officer. In fact, it was their job to make sure she couldn’t do hers.  They hit the ship and the deck bucked. Vanya was no longer in one of the Science Grotto’s chairs. They were occupied by the flesh and blood members of the team. Nor was she holding the oh-shit bar at that exact moment due to rapid fire input of computational correction. As the impact translated through the ship it flung Vanya violently. She was 6’2”/188cm, and though her Duranium endoskeleton made her more solid than your average girl it didn’t make her crazy heavy, at 180lbs/92kg. So, yes, the Android was flung aft. Her body flew a few meters and hit the deck rolling. Dark green blood from the cut on her arm staining the carpet with each complete roll till, WANG!! She hit the leading Starboard side of the tactical station, at floor level.

Had she been biological a deep groan or cry of pain likely would have escaped her. As it was her pain receptors lit up and her body shuddered once. Then a green blood soaked hand slammed down on the deck and she clawed her way to her feet.  The hip length long black hair had been braided and woven up into a ‘crown’ around her head. Some had come loose and hung down on the left side now. She tried to tuck it behind a pointed ear as she staggered back towards the Science grotto. The impacts and rolling of the ship making the short distance more difficult than normal. Blood was running from her left ear making the gleaming black hair with the green sheen stick to her neck on that side.

“Hostile by the Captain! Respond Forthwith!”
She would respond herself buy Cinn had been flung away from Vanya and she knew she couldn’t get there in time.

Getting back to the Science Grotto her hand came up and this time.. grabbed the Oh-shit bar. The other came down and fed in the last few corrections for the Aperture solution and she nodded to Vivian. “Solution entered. Transmitting now.” 

She sent the program to Selena.“WO Ravenholm, transmit the package to the Cayuga, high priority, Expedite!” 
They needed to make sure both ships had the information in case one of the ships was lost.

Vanya's eyes came up and fixed on the view screen as that large white ship dropped out of warp. A sharp Romulan brow rose and her head tilted slightly to the side.... Well. That's not something you see everyday.
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology

Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark – Security Officer – Combat Medic

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #63
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @fiendfall et al

For the last minute or so, hir job had been less about resource allocation and more about chasing Borg malware through their network in conjunction with their cyberneticists. Thankfully there were only a few intrusion points in their grid so far, which made the job of isolating them a little easier. But still, trying to fight an electronic warfare attempt from a species of computer-people riddled with nanotechnology was its own special kind of hell.

On top of that, the reports coming in from their damage control teams scrolled past hir console. They made for grim reading in their own right, too. Behind hir, the gravelly voice of the belligerent newbie called ahead about the cloak being ready. Grief. Just what we need; someone else's technology base married into ours. What could go wr-

Nator sobered as s/he realised just who was going to be responsible for making sure that all worked smoothly. Hir mood turned downright foul when s/he read what they were asking for to power it. Is that a typo? S/he scratched at hir panel with a claw tip. Dead pixel?

"Fuckin'... can't even send an accurate number..." s/he muttered to hirself as another light fixture overloaded in a corner. "What do they think we are? Starbase One?"

"Cloak the ship now!"

Oh, no. Hir hands swept over their expenditures as s/he wondered what to cannibalise first. Shields were obvious, as they couldn't be used under cloak anyway. But it wouldn't be sufficient alone. "Ah, standby, Captain, allocating-"

The cloak activated. One of the engineers below, apparently by coincidence, decided that then was the time. And Nator suddenly very well understood that the projected energy requirement had not been a typo. "Engineering...!" s/he called over to Song, without really knowing what even to ask for. Diverted warp power? Grief. S/he barely even paid attention as the Borg bracketed them with another torpedo volley as it slid by.

S/he swore. S/he didn't know what to do. S/he continued to swear, shuffling systems around as s/he could. It was all useless.

The cloak dropped. Or was turned off. One of the two. Power returned to the ship, though there was a gaping deficit for a second or two while the generators struggled to catch up. An alarm sounded from their short-term reserves - critically low. A few minutes to restore the buffer. Come on, come on, come on...

Fresh hits - on their engines. Klaxons screamed, the superstructure groaned, more flashes of overloading conduits lit the bridge. "They're targeting our nacelles!" s/he called. The inertial dampers barely kept up with the assault; Nator felt hirself sliding out  of hir seat and only by sinking hir claws into the edge of hir panel did s/he stay still. S/he saw reports that damage control were already on the way - good, because there was a rupture in a deuterium line on deck 22 that would wreak pure havoc if it detonated now, not to mention the new hull breaches and mounting casualties.

The half-prosthetic woman at comms called for aid, wrestling in a pile with a regenerating drone and a dark-skinned Bajoran. "A little help here?"

Nator was closest, certainly given how most of the security crew were still picking themselves up from the deck. S/he drew her type-II and vaulted the comms console, kicking the drone's free arm away and planting hir boot on its shoulder as s/he crouched down, fangs bared as s/he punched the muzzle of the phaser repeatedly into the drone's teeth while making sure there was clear space behind its head and not, say, an officer's leg or something.

Crack. Crack. Crunch. Nator winced, but shoved the barrel of the pistol into the thing's mouth - inside the boundary of any adapted force field it might care to project - and pressed the firing stud. An orange beam speared through its spine and into the deck behind the drone as the stench of charred necrotising flesh reached hir nostrils. A couple of the drone's circuits sparked, thin white smoke rising, before it went still again.

Knees flexing to keep hir level as the ship shuddered again under a new barrage, s/he hauled the enemy off hir colleagues. "Any injuries?" s/he asked, offering a hand to help them up.

"The Versant!" called Tactical.

The Hermat said something untranslatable, hurrying back to hir station, and wondering what exactly it had been that s/he'd done to deserve the last few months of hir life.

ooc: AL wanted me to clarify that the cloak was activated by F'Rell and deactivated by Samala quite without Nator's input. I can't image it having gone any better with the resident amnesiac in charge, though.
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #64
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All
Martok’s declaration of a truce, even one that was temporary, was a like being doused in refreshing cool water. At least Veradin wouldn’t be dodging Klingon weapons too…yet. Despite dipping into the ever-expanding field of hull fragments and corpses, the Cube’s weapons kept finding them.

“They’ve Adapted!” Someone yelled, who the Trill could not identify in the chaos.

“Cloak the ship now! Get us to the next aperture, fast.” Captain Cinn ordered.

“Aye sir.” Derik tried to comply, but his console was complaining about power being drawn away from the engines to power the cloak. Engineering, you are not making this easy. He was however grateful for the reprieve from being targeted by the cube. With the cloak active, they would be much harder to hit and the shields might actually get a chance to start regenerating. Derik moved towards the aperture, feeling rather confident.

It was short lived. Veradin was mistaken, deeply mistaken. They had barely made it a quarter of the way there when all hell broke loose.

Someone had spat a curse from behind him.

The lights flickered and died for a moment as power failed to reach them.

Oh hell. The cloak. The realization felt like being stabbed with a white hot iron.

Collision signals flashed up on his display from the incoming fire, which was right on top of them.

“Brace!” Derik yelled right as the torpedo hit the first nacelle. Despite him yelling for everyone to hold on, the Trill himself was knocked from his station as the ship pitched hard from the first blow. Fuck! Derik didn’t even have time to climb back into his chair and gauge the damage as a second torpedo hit, crippling another one of their nacelles. Veradin was thrown back onto the deck, his head ringing from the not so gentle kiss of the steel on the back of his head. FUCK! The ship stopped shaking long enough for the dazed, and slightly blurry eyed CONN officer to regain his station.

What awaited him were flashing warning symbols, damage displays, and blaring alarms all screaming for his attention. The damage was substantial, almost catastrophic. “We’ve lost two nacelles and are venting plasma, engines compromised, mobility SERIOUSLY compromised. Captain if we lose another engine, we aren’t going to be able to navigate the debris field let alone dodge any incoming fire. We’ll be target pracitce.”

Not that we aren’t already…I’m down half my engines, fighting an enemy that has pinpoint accuracy, even through all this junk. What else could go wrong?

His navigational sensors registered a new contact, huge, looming, dwarfing the cube like a small child, familiar drive signatures. Derik looked up at the holo-display. Angular, white, vaguely arrow shaped. The Versant.

Derik you idiot. You just had to think it didn’t you? When will your learn your goddamn lesson?

Yet despite the feeling of dread as the massive dreadnought sat there in open space, the Trill felt a small spark of hope. Their people were nearby now, well within reach of rescue if the opportunity arose. Wait. Hope? In the midst of all this? Madness...

...yet he doubted he was the only one that felt this way.

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #65
[ Lt JG Salem Martin| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton

The cloak did not last very long, they were visible almost as soon as they had been invisible, and as soon as they were they were hit again. The hard slap of damage, shook the bridge, His head slipped for a moment his body bouncing off his console. A cut forming over his left eyebrow for a moment as he hadn't braced himself in time.

He shook off the damage and listened to the bridge around him. So many people were calling for attention, trying to figure out one thing after another. Damage reports scrolled along the side of the tactical console for him to ignore them. The loss of two of their nacelles was bad, but the difficulty was the aft weapons. One of the aft Pulse Phaser arrays had gone off line, damaged probably by shrapnel in all of the chaos, or a hit by their own nacelle he wasn't sure what took it down, the problem was it was gone now.

More than that they had two Vorcha class ships behind them. All life signs reported were Borg, T'Less ordered that they be disabled, and he couldn't agree more. "Firing arc's are limited." He said doing his best to track a lock on the Vorcha behind them.

The problem with the Vorcha was that it was thickly armored, it's front profile was very narrow due to it's elongated neck. If they were above them it would be easier, but from behind with limited fire power.

"Captain, I recommend Separating the helmet section. The ranger has more weapons that would be useful in this fight." He finally got a lock, and fired aft torpedoes, launching both barrels one photon at each ship.

The new ship, again behind them, was something of a chaotic throw of the dice. His eyes saw the massive projection on the holographic display, and heard Evora's call it the Versant. An old proverb came to mind in all this chaos.

There is always a bigger fish,

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #66
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

In the brief moment they were cloaked Morgan scrambled to meet its power-hungry demands, fingers flying over the console as he tried to reroute everything they had and dump it into the cloak. Nator had already cut power from the shields, calling to Engineering to help without any real instructions; Morgan squeezed what he could out of all non-essential systems without killing them, pulling from the warp drive, from sensors, from force absorption—

A warning flashed up on his screen; he keyed in the manual override, kept going. They needed more, more power, but the cloak was consuming everything he threw at it and there was only so much he could get even with cutting systems off at the knees, and the cloak needed so much, so much that they’d need a whole new untapped power source and that ship had sailed, he’d already pulled that for the shields. They were running on empty and hoping to power the cloak with nothing but fumes.

A volley of torpedoes screamed past, Nator swore loudly off to the side, and the electronics abruptly died. For a second the bridge was lit by nothing but the dull glow of the emergency lighting as the Theurgy gasped for power like a dying fish; and then the lights flickered back to life, along with various screeching alarms. Morgan’s console rebooted in time to blare critical warnings at him: the cloak was down, their shields were non-existent, all systems running on low power, the generators floundering—

The ship lurched violently, throwing Morgan out of his seat and sending a chain reaction of small explosions through the relays above. They were hit. The alarms redoubled their efforts; Morgan pulled himself up to assess the damage, ears ringing. One engine lost, ion radiation flooding the area and plasma venting from the casing. The bridge was in chaos, lit by the red strobe warning lights, shouts flying overhead as the captain fought a regenerating drone.

Another hit, the ship bucking again with the loss of power to force absorption systems; Morgan was ready this time, braced against his console. Two engines down. He rerouted their plasma, sending it back to the systems he’d pruned. Shields were most important now. Even with two engines lost they weren’t out of this fight, not quite, but any further hits to primary utilities would cripple them. One weapons array was down, along with various tertiary controllers and several starboard thrusters, but that was due to damage, not power — they would have to wait.

Shields charging, Morgan fed what power he could spare to the sensors; he’d never fully cut them, flying blind would be suicide, but he’d decreased the range and they’d briefly lost sight of parts of the battlefield while cloaked. Tactical would need all the information he could get them now. They powered up slowly, painstakingly extending the range, and then—

And then there was a ship looming over them. It was bigger than anything Morgan had ever seen before, bigger than the Cube, silvered and sharp and cruel, and— ‘the Versant!’ somebody cried, and Morgan’s synthetic heart clenched. He’d only seen this ship in holos, in his debrief, but what he’d heard… They’d exchanged one enemy in the Klingons for a far more sinister foe, and were caught between a rock and a hard place just as surely as before.

Perhaps all they could do now was hope the Savi and the Borg fought each other like warring lions, giving the Theurgy time to make it to the aperture unmolested. They would have to sacrifice their crewmates still imprisoned on the Versant, of course, and once the aperture was opened the Savi and Borg would likely turn on the Theurgy and rip her to shreds, but they’d known what they were heading into when they had set their course here. The captain had already chosen stopping the Borg over saving their crewmates, or protecting their own lives. This would just be a continuation of that decision…

No. He had to believe they could still make it. It was foolish, but what choice did he have?  Defeat begins in the mind. So he did what he could, and he listened for orders. The rest they’d have to take one step at a time.
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #67
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer & Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers, Communications | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Triage @chXinya @Top Hat @Masorin @Cosmos @The Ostrich @Fife @fiendfall @Hastata-Nerada 

For a moment there was a rush of exhilaration. The message had managed to make its way to Martok, and the Empire had decided to play ball. Natalie hung her head, taking a long, low breath. She watched, as round after round bore into the cube from the fleet of Klingon battleships. All around her, the spaceframe of the Theurgy shook as well, unleashing her own fire and fury toward the Borg that invaded their space, and threatened their survival.

"Come on,  come on, come on," Faye was muttering from the semi damaged communications console, gripping tight at the edges. The girls knuckles were white, her face starring down the bridge toward the viewscreen. There was still this ever present sense of dread that was blanketing her telepathic senses, forcing her to try and keep her mental walls in check, and firm. Trying (if not exactly succeeding) in blocking out individual thoughts. Even with the dread, her own and the ships, she should have been better at it than she was.

Even the presence of Selena Ravenholm was a blank mask to her, right there in the aux station. Though that could as much be her enhancements as anything else. It wss she who had eagerly notified the Captain that Martok was hailing in the middle of the cacophony of weapons fire.

The hope was shortly lived, as Natalie swallowed an oath. Sweeping her hair back, she shouted an order about defensive measures, acting on instinct. "Pattern Omega-12, helm!" she bellowed out, a maneuver that would have them dipping about in a loop to reach their new heading toward the aperture. Between this, and Cinn's call for the cloak, the ship managed to dodge that first harrowing round of torpedoes. But only the first.

The lights died. Someone screamed, and then they flared back on, just in time to illuminate the bridge before ....Natalie was thrown damn near clear across the back room when the next strike scored home, lancing damage to the nacelles. She rolled into a heap on the far side of the table, groaning in pain. Why had they stopped? she asked, pulling herself to her feet, mirroring the actions of Ens. Eloi-Danvers, whom had flipped over the comms station while Ravenholm had managed to hold her place.

Pain was lancing through the Betazoid, her own, and others. She spat blood as she came to her hands and knees, hair hanging over her face. Whipping it back, she twisted her head a bout, taking in the room - in time to see Selena go flying across the room.

"What the Hell?" Someone was shouting toward the comm station, to Ravenholm, and Faye knew that was where she needed to be as well. Some package needed to be transmitted to the Cayuga. That was all she needed to know, for the moment. The cybernetic warrant officer was too busy dealing with a Drone. Pushing aside her own fear, Faye climbed into the damaged communications well and found a functioning panel.

"Comms acknowledged, Science," she snapped off, still tasting blood in her mouth. There was a new well of fear from the bridge as something large seemed to appear in a flash of light on the view screen. She couldn't look up. She had to force the transmission..."Package transfer to Cayuga completed."

"Oh you have got to be kidding me," Natalie deadpanned, on the heels of Ens. Eloi-Danvers and Lt. Martin. She turned and starred looking at the all too familiar form of the Versant. That's the damned icing on the shit-cake, the executive officer thought as she watched it hanging there. The last they had heard, Thea was attempting to secure the crews freedom, but they had not been able to warp to the location to the ship to retrieve their crew. And now the Savi vessel was there, in the battle with the Borg. But who is in control....

"Captain!, We cannot let them assimilate that ship." Having stated that fact, she turned her attention again the status board. "Helm, bring us about, keep whichever nacelle is the least damaged pointed away from the cube. Engineering station, do we even have the spare power to run in multi-vector mode?"

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #68
[ Ensign Jance Davron |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Arista @Auctor Lucan

Meanwhile, on the bridge of the USS Cayuga, Ensign Jance Davron was starting to rethink his career choices.  That wasn’t true.  At the current time, there was no time to think of anything.  He could only let his training take over and hope that Captain Zeigler could pull them through.  From his spot at the tactical station information was coming at him so fast!  He was glad that times like this, communications duties were handled by another officer. 

And right now that officer, Ensign Yavya Vass of Bolarus IX was saying “Captain, we’re getting a call from Wolf-07!” in a girlish chirp that betrayed her fear.

Jance’s blood ran cold as he heard the fighter pilot’s report:

[ Goldeneye to Cayuga! ] Tessa cried.  [ “The Pragh’s crew has been assimilated!  The Borg have taken it over and they’re preparing to fire upon you! ]

But there was no time for panic.  There was work to be done.  “Confirmed,” Jance reported from his station.  “The Pragh has a weapons lock on us.  The debris field is preventing them from getting a clear shot.  Lifesigns aboard the bird of prey read four Klingons, eight Borg.  Make that three Klingons, nine Borg.  Wolf-07 is turning to engage them now.”

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #69
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All @Cosmos

Through the pain and chaos, Tyreke was dimly aware of Vanya slipping his phaser back into its holster. ”Vanya?” he whispered, as she bent down to fetch something from the science consoles. Vanya, who had just killed a Borg drone with a terrifying display of strength, was bringing something towards Tyreke’s face… and the pain abated. There was something incredible about Vanya, or at least Tyreke thought so. But the battle raged on, and he could not afford these distractions. As he looked up into the face of the Romulan, he heard her question and nodded, the edges of his mouth formed a forced smile. ”I am fine, thank you, let’s… yes, let’s put these nightmares in their place.”

As Tyreke sat himself again at the console and made sure to fasten the harness properly, he heard Martin report the incoming data dump from the Cayuga and looked over his display. Chaos gripped the bridge. Emergency lighting flickered on and off, the nebula was lit in a great blaze of antiparticles, weapons screamed their death cry in the blue void. The shield frequencies were ready (he hoped), but the soliton waves… Tyreke did not have time to address those thoughts. He barely noticed Vanya adjusting the soliton wave variance, and alarmingly quickly at that, was this normal for Romulans? Nevertheless, the Borg warheads slammed into the Theurgy, shaking the vessel’s groaning hull as tremors arced throughout its interior. Tyreke was held in place by his harness, but Vanya fell, despite Tyreke’s effort to reach out and grab her arm.

As Vanya picked herself up and sent the solutions to Martin, Tyreke unfastened himself and grabbed the same dermal regenerator that was used to heal him. He turned towards Vanya and reached out towards her. ”Lieutenant, are you-” He paused. Hesitated. She did not seem to be in pain from what he could tell, though she was bleeding profusely, the viridian content of her veins quite evident. ”Are you okay Lieutenant? You are injured.”

A cry from tactical made his blood run cold. The Versant. An enormous ship, one which dwarfed the cube. Tyreke knew what it was, its alabaster, blade-like hull was one he recognized easily, for there was no other abomination like it. But perhaps there was some hope? Thea was aboard, and last they heard all aboard were rescuing themselves.

With the dermal regenerator still in hand, Tyreke turned his head and reached out towards his console. He swore. The nacelles were gone, the nacelles were gone. There was only one escape route left for them. ”Shields are at the ready! We can enter an aperture if we need to!” he announced. Debris littered the bridge, and something in the room sounded like a conduit had burst. Something had to be done. Tyreke reached out and pressed a button on his screen. The Theurgy’s sensors primed themselves, their subspace manifolds whirred to life, as the first soliton wave raced forward from them. While normally used to detect objects at warp speeds, they now offered the key to the salvation of so many numerous souls. But Tyreke did not watch as an aperture opened like the maw of some great beast.

Instead, he reached out towards Vanya again. ”Do you need help? Are you okay?” he asked, with his brow furrowed. The situation was dire but he would not let anyone perish here if he could help it.

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #70
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Top Hat, @Numen, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos, @Kinvarus & @Hastata-Nerada
The joy of a rediscovered crew was lost in the chaos of the battle, and Cam's statements went mostly unheard. The Yeoman understood the severity of the situation, and she supposed there was nothing to be done but to continue performing her own tasks. Borg Drones kept popping in, though, and she wasn't sure how long it would be before they succeeded in wearing down the bridge crew, who'd been putting up a valiant defense thus far. But the losses were racking up. Leon was gone, Tyreke had been hurt. She checked on Natalie and Cinn to make sure the most important people were okay. Visual inspection said they were all ri-...


The impacts of the Borg's attack struck home into the beleaguered dreadnought, and Cam had been unable to grab hold of something to keep from being tossed. Small and light as she was, the girl had slammed head-first into the mission ops' tactical display station, then the second impact threw an already concussed Cam into the seat of someone's chair, she wasn't sure whose, it could be the captain's, or someone's station, and she had landed on the back of her neck, her legs flailing with the momentum of her flight, leaving her in a most undignified position, but that was the least of her worries. Her body felt like one big receptacle of pain, and red clouded her vision as blood from a gash in her scalp and forehead oozed freely.

Someone had said the Versant? Then that meant...

“...Jien...” was her weak exclamation, before blackness took her over and she felt nor saw anything else.


Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #71
[ Lt Cmdr Vael Kaeris | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]

There were distinct moments in his career, but none more so than this, when Vael regretted that his training ensured that curse words were not the go-to of his vocabulary.  Still, they had their appeal, whether it be in response to the seeming incompetence of some, the thunderous assault that hammered against the hull, or the outrage that some species would have the audacity to undeservedly presume his subjugation.

His efforts at remotely replicating the jamming relays was hampered as someone hamfistedly deployed some sort of cloaking device.  He could only presume that the device was unauthorized by Starfleet as there were precious few exceptions made to the Treaty of Algeron, but the subsequent power failure that cascaded through the ship's systems merely punctuated the incompatibility between the two systems -- one that any reasonable engineer should have safeguarded against.  It only took him two weeks aboard the Endeavour to convince the captain of the necessity of bulwarking portions of the power system to allow the crew to isolate damaged or corrupted systems.  But, he supposed, they had been tasked with a very particular mission that necessitated such precautions.

The power systems rebooted, the lighting on the bridge returning to some semblance of crimson-tinged normal even as others around him vented their particular flavor of slang and epithets.  Vael opted to allow the others to express his own frustration rather than open his mouth.  The second relay had failed as a result of the disruption, forcing him to begin anew.  The ship rocked as another assault from the cube tore through the ship.  If anything, the ship was in dire need of repairs even before he and his fellow refugees had been lured on board, but given their status, there wasn't a starbase or outpost within a hundred parsecs that would give them safe haven.

Chaos swallowed the bridge once more as another drone attempted to reassert itself.

Time was an asset they were rapidly running out of and everyone seemed too focused on the short term goal.  "Engineering, I am transmitting schematics and a deployment grid.  One relay is already in place," he stated, "these need to be replicated and released as quickly as possible.  No less than twenty but the more you can manage, the greater our advantage.  Advise the bridge once complete.  Kaeris out."

One task delegated, he moved towards the Theurgy's CSO, inclining his head slightly so as not to seem as rude as he might otherwise seem to be in such dire circumstance.  "Allow me," he said, calling up the parameters on the neighboring screen, his irritation at the mangled calculations hidden beneath the implacable expression on his face.  His brow furrowed slightly, the corners of his lips drawing tight as he began to review the scanning frequencies, rapidly filtering through the errors with an almost preternatural awareness.  The Romulan had managed to make a good many corrections to whatever tangled mess the Cayuga had been trying to implement and transmitted the corrections back, but there were still some elements that could stand further refinement.   "Good job, lieutenant.  Here are some additional variables to assist in narrowing our scan field," he said with a nod to Vanya.  "Thank you."

Someone announced the arrival of another ship -- but his awareness was subsumed in his work, interfacing the protocols to the Theurgy's sensor grid, the nascent apertures lighting up faintly across the navigational consoles.  "We need to finish neutralizing these apertures and get out of here before the situation becomes untenable.  We need at least 15 seconds total to breach the threshold of the first one that the Borg will come through."  His dark eyes moved from those nearby him, to Ducote, and finally to the dark skinned Bajoran who sat in command even has his hands continued to implement the next stage of the operation.

He targeted another of the apertures in the queue, working to refine the sensors and adjust the wavelength of the soliton particles; it was a delicate procedure, like reforging a key made of glass that was already in the lock.  So many eyes were on it, so many hands working to perfect everything...  "I believe we can generate an escape route with Mr. Okafor's shield adjustments.  There's no way to tell where we might end up but perhaps we should avoid destroying that one for the moment."

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #72
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @trevorvw @Triage et al

A detached part of Ranaan's mind was considering that outside of these situations, he tended to reflect on such moments with a sort of nostalgic romanticism. The excitement and the struggle. Perhaps it was the dramatic streak in him. But now? When he was still in it? He couldn't help but wonder why he ever wished to experience this stuff ever again. The gestalt on the bridge was still trending ever towards the extreme - stressed, and scared, and determined, and raging against their impossible odds. He found it a constant background distraction.

A Betazoid ensign whose name currently escaped him (Danforth? No) was acting as something of a lightning rod for all of these myriad emotions, full-Betazoids being naturally easier for his hybrid talents to pick up than 'mundanes', even while she coordinated with the Cayuga.

While the battle raged along outside, he had to split his attention between the remaining drones on the bridge (still not wanting to open fire just yet and risk hitting a member of the crew) and the holo table. More often than not, he found himself having to widen his stance and flex his knees to avoid sliding into one of the bulkheads as the inertial dampers struggled to absorb the punishment meted out to the Theurgy. One by one, the number of drones aboard was reduced, and the team on the bridge coordinated with the Security centre on deck 7 to encircle and destroy the remaining few.

That said, now that they had adapted to their weapons the solutions to destroy the drones, the solutions those repelling the boarders had to employ were getting ever more creative. In more than a few places it seemed their damage control teams would have even more work to do than they were facing already.

"Deck Seventeen clear," he reported for the log. "Team Four-"

The display changed. Ducote frowned. "-standby. Maintain patrol. Out."

The Security Centre dropped off the display entirely. He prodded a finger at it, prompting a note to scroll into existence. Before power loss, Borg signatures detected in the brig.


He slapped his badge. "Akoni, Ducote. We just lost all telemetry from the Security Centre. Casualties likely; there were Borg in there before the power went down. There was also a transporter signature, but I can't pinpoint the destination." He left the implication hanging that the good Doctor had escaped somehow. "Repelling the boarders is still primary, but secondary is to perform a sweep and find that man. Out."

The cloak activated and sucked just about every spare watt of power out of the ship. And more than a few that weren't exactly spare, either. The holo table flickered and went out, and only came back as the ship took a fiendish series of hits. He heard the telltale groan of damaged subspace coils - he'd heard the same noise in the last moments of the Endeavour's life.

Not that he had much opportunity to reflect on that; the impacts took him halfway off his feet the same as half the rest of the bridge. He yelped as his injured knee made contact with the hard deck, but it wasn't enough to distract him from the sensation of someone fading from his awareness. Ducote looked over and saw the battle manager slumped against the foot of the captain's (empty) chair. "Mãe de Deus e todos os seus sobrinhos malucos," he muttered, scuttling over to her while swearing at his now-dead leg for refusing to cooperate.

"Hey," he said as he reached her, a hand on her shoulder. "Can you hear me, Ensign?" Nothing.

Looking at the contact between her neck and the stanchion he didn't want to move her too much, but he still gave her a brief first-aid inspection. One of her pupils was blown wide open, but his gentle prodding/massage of her skull didn't reveal any obvious grinding sensations or deformed bones at least. Hopefully just a concussion and nothing worse.

Ducote looked up, searching for the first person to make eye contact and 'volunteer'. "Hey! Can we site-to-site? She needs sickbay."
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #73
[ Captain Anya Ziegler |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Doc M. , Anyone else.

It had taken minutes to clear the bridge from the smoke and it showed. Alongside the twisted metal where the deck plating buckled under the ferocity of the EPS fire, the rest of the panels were coated in a dark smoky film. What once had light greys and silvers were now black. Looking at it, Ziegler knew it’d take a long time to get back to looking pristine. Far too long. It was a reasonable analogy for the Cayuga, even if it broke her heart to think of it.

With her vision back onto the viewscreen, the captain surveyed the battle underway. The Klingons continued to give their all to the cause, no quarter held. In fact, it seemed that that Martok’s ship had gained a second life. Pummelling the Borg with everything they had.

“Captain, the Negh’Var is hailing Theurgy.” The clear voice of Ensign Vass, operations officer called out. “It appears they’re declared her an ally.”

Ziegler breathed out an audible sigh. She had been worried at that moment that Martok wouldn’t see Theurgy as a friend and the fight would get just that much harder. Thank goodness for small blessings. Now they just needed to get the blasted aperture frequencies working.

"Captain, we're getting a call from Wolf-07!" Vass followed up, causing the reality to deny anyone the chance to enjoy the moment gave them.
[ Goldeneye to Cayuga! ] The pilot cry filled the bridge. [ "The Pragh's crew has been assimilated!  The Borg have taken it over and they're preparing to fire upon you! ]

"Confirmed." Davron reported from his station.  "The Pragh has a weapons lock on us.  The debris field is preventing them from getting a clear shot.  Lifesigns aboard the bird of prey read four Klingons, eight Borg.  Make that three Klingons, nine Borg.  Wolf-07 is turning to engage them now."

Anya watched the Valkyrie turn on the viewscreen. Wolf-07 had become their guardian angel and Ziegler wasn’t going to let them get destroyed.

“Target the Pragh.” She ordered. “Fire torpedoes once Wolf 7 is clear of her run.”

With bated breath, Ziegler watched as Goldeneye finished her shooting and cleared. Tactical reported the torpedoes away and before the Pragh could fully respond to actions, it was gone. A huge orange fireball consumed the vessel leaving over debris and dust. With over 75% of the crew borg, certainly on a vessel of that size, there wasn’t much chance of saving them. A heroes welcome in Sto’Vo’Kor was better than the fate that awaited them as drones.
With the immediate threat gone, Ziegler needed to get her head back in the game. Big picture thinking. She finally turned to Ops.

“Any news from Theurgy? We need those updated frequencies”

“Receiving data packet now.” Yavya called from her station, the usual chipper tone gone from her voice. “Captain, the borg have raised their adaptive shielding!”

Before Anya would say anything, Cayuga was hit. Inertial dampers strained under the impact and with the horrendous sound of twisting metal, many of the bridge crew – Ziegler included, were thrown from their seats. The bridge itself was a cacophony of noise as people regained their chairs, silenced alarms and righted the ship. Damage reports came from every department, the worst was from the engineer station.

“They’ve hit the starboard ventral nacelle. Leaking warp plasma!” The officer yelled.

“Seal off the nacelle!” Ziegler shouted back. Without that nacelle, they couldn’t sustain long warp travel but, for now, they didn’t need it. Two would suffice if the need arose. Not that they were abandoning the battlefield any time soon.

On the viewscreen, out of nowhere, a new player filled the space. The ship was unlike anything Anya had ever seen. The sheer scale of it put most starbases to shame. Was this the ship that have stolen Ives and the rest of the crew? How could they defeat this as well as the cube?

“Captain! The borg have disengaged all weapons. They’re focussed on this new ship.” The alert came from tactical, breaking Ziegler from just staring awe at the size of the vessel.

 “This is our chance. Helm, plot a new run to aperture A-17.” Anya ordered. This was the time. Make or break. Carpeland’s hands deftly followed the instructions and the Cayuga set out at pace. Ziegler didn’t stop now. “Science, prepare the sensor array. Tactical, Arm torpedoes.”

Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]

Reply #74
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ]


They had barely received the data package from the Cayuga when Ensign Henshaw appeared at Vivian’s elbow. She had some crazy idea about using radiation from the deflector to get a signal to the Cinsaj. It was possible, but it wouldn’t be easy. The other scientist seemed to be hard at work, and didn't need her peering over their shoulders. They were all professionals, and Vivian trusted them to do their jobs.

Her fingers danced across the controls as she began her work to try signal the Cinsaj. Out of the corner of her eye she kept watch over the developments across the rest of the bridge. It seemed that the cube was taking significant damage under an assault from their fighters and the tattered remains of the Klingon fleet. That was good, things seemed to be going in their favour.

Everything went badly wrong moments later when the Borg shields popped back up and a volley of Borg Torpedoes smashed into the ship, and Vivian’s face smashed into the console. She gave a pained grunt as she peeled herself off the console, and tasted blood on her lips. Bringing a hand up to her mouth she found the blood leaking from her nose. She tried to wipe it away, but only succeeded in smearing it across her face in a large streak. From the frantic calls across the bridge Vivian gathered that they had taken significant damage.

As Vivian returned her attention to her sensors, she saw a new vessel enter the field...a very large, very familiar vessel. The Versant had returned for them. Her blood ran cold and she swallowed nervously, and directed a scan toward the ship in a vain attempt to discover their intentions. Curiously, when the data flowed in, she was reading a multitude of different life forms aboard. The Savi were not the only ones on that ship! ”Captain!” She yelled out across the chaos of the bridge ”I’m reading multiple familiar lifeforms aboard the Versant. Sir, our people are alive!” There may be nothing that they could do just yet, but that glimmer of hope and light in this dark hour would do wonders for the morale of the crew.

With that scan done she began retasking the sensor array toward the more urgent task of aperture opening. The other scientists around her had almost perfected the calculations for their soliton waves, and as Vivian looked over it, it seemed to fall into place. Simultaneously she received confirmation that the sensor array was now ready to fire the soliton wave and open the aperture. Vivian’s fingers raced across the controls before her, and while Vael Kaeris was looking at the contingency plan of opening a second aperture, Tyreke Okafor had activated the sensor array. She turned to look across the bridge at the viewscreen, seeing the blue beam shining upon the hidden aperture, and then turned to Wenn Cinn and Natalie Stark. ”WE'RE FIRING THE SOLITON WAVE NOW!”


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