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PROLOGUE: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance [Part I]

EPISODE 03: Unconquerable Soul | Prologue: Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I

[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]


"Jesus Christ," said Winterbourne, eyes wide. "We are dead..."

"Red Alert!" proclaimed Jien, hands made into fists by her sides where she stared upon the viewscreen. "Can we get away?"

"I might have a minimal chance to escape," said Thea, referring to herself as a ship, "Yet the Harbinger is not fast enough, even if the repairs on the Akira-class starship had been completed. Furthermore, the Valkyries are not in the Fighter Assault Bay, and their Warp engines are inferior to the task of outrunning this fleet. The time it would take for all Valkyries to dock with me would be two to three minutes as best."

Winterbourne supplied the death sentence. "ETA for the fleet to reach Theta Eridani IV. Seventy-two seconds."

"I want ideas, and I want them now," said Jien in her cutting voice and turned away from the sight of the fleet. She took her seat in her chair, and listened to what her Bridge crew could suggest.

"I recognise more than half of the ship names. We know this adversary," said ThanIda zh'Wann hurriedly where she stood at the control panels at the back of the Bridge. Her blue fingers had pulled up the Starship signatures from their sensors. "This is Task Force Archeron, led by Admiral Sankolov. We fought the USS Archeron and several of these ships just before we managed to escape to the Mahéwa System and the planet Niga. As you may remember, we barely managed to get away. We lost many people."

"Sankolov..." mused Jien, leaning forward with her arms upon her knees. "Speak up people. We don't have much time."


[ USS Harbinger | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]

Her arms folded underneath her breasts, T'Rena looked dispassionately upon the view screen - seeing the same image that the Theurgy was most probably looking at.

Below her unruffled surface had blossomed a fickle flame of actual concern. The greatest chance of escape would be to leave their ship behind and beam aboard the Theurgy. Even greater was the chance if the Harbinger could delay the pursuit - sacrificing itself for the sake of the Theurgy. This was not what she had hoped for, since she had yet to convince Captain Vasser that he may not decide upon self-sacrifice. His import was paramount to their mission, and in loosing him, they would be forced to rely upon the suicide mission which Captain Ives and his crew had set out upon. They had witnessed the strength of the parasitically joined people they were up against, and it had left no room for doubt in T'Rena's mind that they had but one - perchance extreme - option. This development had forced her to a silence born from dilemma.

Should she openly advocate the survival of her Captain and herself - so that she may enlighten him - by recommending that they beamed aboard the Theurgy, or should she recommend the most logical solution; that the Harbinger stayed behind to fight the fleet any buy the Theurgy the time it needed to get away? The Valkyries were a resource too, but they were inferior to this fleet by themselves. The fickle flame of concern turned to anger, for she thought it too soon. Captain Vasser had to know. Had to learn what had to be done.

Now, it may be too late.

All she could do, was to wait for her Captain's orders.


OOC: The following characters are present on the Main Bridge of the two starships:

USS Theurgy:
Captain Ives, First Officer Rez, Ship A.I. Thea, Helmsman Winterbourne, Chief Tactical Officer Sjaandin Fedd, Deputy zh'Wann, Chief Engineer Tatiana Marlowe, Chief of Operations Natalie Stark, Chief Science Officer Simon Tovarek, and Holographic Specialist Lin Kae.

USS Harbinger:
Captain Declan Vasser, First Officer T'Rena (tactical), Helmswoman Aisha S'Ithi, Acting Chief Eng/Ops Selena Ravenholm.

Red Alert has been issued on both ships. Current status for the departments are as follows:

Security: On the Theurgy, Security is preparing to guard key areas of the ship in case of being boarded. On the Harbinger, the last surviving Security Officer - PO3 Dyan Cardamone - may be ordered to oversee Transport of the high priority prisoner to the Theurgy depending on Captain Vasser's orders.

Tactical Conn: Both the Theurgy's Lone Wolves Squadron and the Harbinger's Dor'GhItlh Squadron are escorting the two starships, pending new orders from the Squadron Commanding Officer and the Wing Commander.

Medical/Counselling: Over a hundred injured to treat in the Sickbay areas. Everyone with medical expertise is expected to assist in saving the body count from rising.

Engineering/Operations: Addressing issues that may have arisen because of the volcanic tremors before leaving the ground and the high degree of ash in the air on the planet. People that in the last minutes were Transported to the transport buffers are to be freed into the Transporter Rooms. Further orders are pending from the Chief Engineer and Chief of Operations respectively.

Science: Orders are pending from the Chief Science Officer.

Don't forget to read the Epilogue on the previous board!

Final note: The encounter with this fleet will be quite brief, do not worry. The focus will be on the main plot between the Harbinger and the Theurgy from this point on.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #1
Sjaandin Fedd flinched involuntarily at the veritable shockwave of surprise and panic that hit him from all sides. These people were Starfleet officers, himself included, and they did not panic; however, within the privacy of their own heads they might allow themselves a moment to go Oh shit, what do we do now? Scrunching his eyes closed, he took a deep breath through his nose and slammed his hand into the console, splitting the skin. A bit of blood trickled down the side of his hand, now split open from his pinky finger to his wrist, but he ignored it. By the Holy Rings, they had just finished dealing with the Calamity, and now this.

He heard the Captain speak and turned to listen, face framed by his strong shoulder and his hair, which usually seemed to fall well even when unkempt. Thoughts began to bubble into his mind unwanted, like water just beginning to boil. Survive... Will... Something about an acid lake, but the captain's iron focus ran through it all like a solid core. Fedd's brow hardened as he struggled to zero in on what was being said.

She asked for ideas. Sjaandin glanced at the information scrolling down his console, and provided a tactical analysis.

"Captain. I suggest we direct all fighters to immediately engage the Defiant-class escort, pending activation of MVAM and joining them. It thrives at engaging targets larger than itself, so we will be giving it multiple smaller targets to think about. Aside from the Archeron itself, it poses the biggest threat. We target their weapons systems and propulsion. Then, we go for those Excelsior- and Miranda-class dinosaurs. They're slower and less manoeuvrable. We can punch a hole in their lines and head for Klingon space."

Anticipating her objections, he continued. "It might anger the Klingons, ma'am, but I think even Sankolov will think twice about taking an entire fleet through the KNZ. The entire High Council would tear their beards out. The Empire's been distracted of late with the Romulan civil war on their doorsteps; we might be able to find a quiet section of space long enough to transfer personnel from the Harbinger and/or complete repairs, and at the very least get those Valkyries back on board. Even if the Theurgy did outrun the fleet, it wouldn't last, and our fighters and the Harbinger would be space dust. On top of that, I don't need to tell you what the flagship is capable of. Even without someone like Sankolov on board, even if we weren't running out of ordinance, this ship would have trouble besting a Odyssey-class cruiser on her best day."

His beetle eyes bored into the captain's occasionally rippling features, fiercely confident in his abilities to follow whatever order she dished out, even if the order were to disregard his proposal completely.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #2
Looking in awe at the screen as he spotted all the starhips just creeping closer to them, Simon Tovarek couldn't help but swallow hard as he realised how fucked up the situation really was. He wondered why his scanners picked up nothing from them, even though he had scanned the system for calamity, these ships should have been spotted if they were there all along. Perhaps it was just in the moment that power got diverted to beam away every living soul off the surface of Theta Eredina... Just when all energy got redirected that the scanners would have minor flinches, allowing the fleet the slip past. Yet it didn't matter how or when it happened. All that counted was how they would get the hell out of this peculiar situation.

Listening closely to Sjaandin who had assumed the role of Tactical, Simon nodded as it was a good plan. Yet he had his doubts if they had enough firepower to break through. While they waited for Jien's reply Simon spoke up now. Simon's eyes slowly went over the captain and he looked over at Cal at the helm before sliding his eyes further to the other crewmembers on the bridge. "I like the plan of Lieutenant Fedd captain, perhaps we could try to disturb their sensors with a barrage of rounds that would explode between us and the Acheron group. Creating a sort of radiation field that would render their scans blind so to speak. A disadvantage however would be that we couldn't be able to scan them either, yet with so many of them we're bound to hit something if we fire sporadically. Another option could be that we accelerate the destruction of the planet behind us. The ionosphere could cause for massive disruption, if we truly want to be bold, we could use the gravity field of Theta to fling us around the planet and hurl us towards Klingon space. A very daring and not entirely harmless tactic, yet it might work if we get our bearings right. However, the choice is yours captain." Simon concluded as he told his science teams to start preparing on both scenarios, he wanted to know what the probabilities were if their plan got chosen and what they had to do exactly. Time was a luxury they didn't have!

He now waited as well for the captain to decide or for other chief officers to come up with other ideas. In the meantime he inputted data into his console to help his teams at getting the info they needed. Yet now and than he looked up from his console to look at the creeping task force.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #3
Shunting the power to the thrusters and monitoring the progress of their ascent and compensating when necessary, relief washed over Tia as they exited the atmosphere.  She looked down at the console and began to send power to areas that needed it most for their escape.  When she looked back up her stomach fell through her feet, a miniscule pause was all she allowed herself and tearing her horrified gaze away she looked back at the console.

Fingers raced across the board, shifting power from anything they had spare into the shields and engines.  She looked at the information on the crew still in the transporter buffers, there were still a few to go but as soon as everyone was clear she would shut them down, emergency transporters only.

The Betazoid had a plan to get them away safely.  "Great," she thought, "you work on getting is out of here and I'll just work on keeping us together long enough to make it."

This ship was a mess, she'd seen colanders with fewer holes in it.  It had felt like they had all gone from the frying pan, into the fire - literally in her case - only to jump right back into the frying pan.  Did the Universe hate them so much that not one break could be caught?  If they lost this one and if she discovered there was some kind of deity waiting for her she would be certain to give it a piece of her mind.

Looking at the state of the ship she realised the best option would be to shore up the important bits most likely to give in first during a fight. It's all she could do, having spent so long trying to get this beast back into shape on the hell-planet below only to have more holes blown in it by the Calamity and those time-jumping bastard fighters the only thing she could do was to try and make sure that they could get into warp in the first place and it held together when they went into warp.

Tia sent orders down to Engineering to that effect; engines and structural integrity as priority for repairs.

"Lin, I need you on finding a way to expand the warp bubble around our fighters if we can't get them all on board before we get out of here," she looked at the Lieutenant briefly before focussing once more on the console in front of her.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #4
[Lin Kae - Theurgy bridge]

His new commanding officer issued the order, and he was quick to start pulling up the subroutines involved in completing the process.  "Expanding the bubble like that will result in a decreased stability of the warp field by a margin determined by the size of the bubble," he warned, feeling the need to explain to Tia something that was horribly basic, probably insulting to her intelligence, but in a crisis, it could have possibly been forgotten.  A need to add something constructive overtook him, as well as a hope to prove himself capable to this new superior he found himself with, so he added something that he could do to compensate. 

"I can write a subroutine for the warp field to shrink it's size based on the positions of fighters.  As they get closer to the ship, the warp field can decrease in size, allowing it to better stabilize.  It should serve to make any turbulence caused by the expansion dissipate as the fighters near."  It was something at least.  All they could hope was that the Valkyries were able to close the gap with the Theurgy before the ship potentially tore itself apart with warp speed and an unstable warp field bubble.


[Declan Vasser - Harbinger Bridge]

Out of the frying pan and into the fire seemed an apt choice of analogy.  They had an armada of Starfleet vessels staring them down, with enough combined firepower to take them out under ideal circumstances for their two ship alliance, let alone when they were crippled and lacking in resources.  Actions needed to be taken, and it needed to be now.  "Open a secure channel to the Theurgy, maximum encryption."  What Declan had to say to the Captain of the Theurgy wasn't for anyone to overhear.

"Captain Ives, I think it's time we considered putting into action plans neither of us truly wanted to use."  Declan and Jien had discussed the use of cloaking technology, despite the fact that they were highly illegal by Starfleet regulations, treaties years old.  As much a crime as it was, it was the only possibility they had of surviving a fleet of ships like the one they were faced with now.  He didn't refer to it by name, just in case Jien was being more covert about it's use, even among his bridge crew.  "I believe our best hope of survival would be in lowering our shields and feigning surrender, allowing us the time to activate that contingency.  In addition, I would like to transport our prisoner, Sonja Acreth, to the Theurgy while our shields are both down.  She escaped containment once already, and I'd feel more secure with Theurgy's larger number of security officers and better power reserves for force fields to hold her.  Beam along the security officer I have with her as well.  She will keep watch over the prisoner."

Declan gave the order to his bridge crew to let Dyan Cardamone know of the pending transport, just so she would be prepared for it, and not caught by surprise, as well as to prepare their own "countermeasure," trusting they would know he referred to their own cloaking device.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #5
[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]

Lieutenants Fedd and Tovarek spoke up, and Jien overheard the two engineers' exchange. Thoughts racing as fast as her heart was, Jien remained seated in her chair, yet her mien betrayed none of the turmoil inside. Her focus was in the absolute upon what was being suggested and the means of survival they had. Not just their survival, but the preservation of truth. If the truth died with them, there was no telling who might oppose the enemy.

By the point that the HUD of Jien's chair lit up with a message from Captain Vasser, the time was up. Jien snatched up the ear-piece in the chair and listened while the declaration came.

"The fleet is here," said Thea, the projection's eyes nailed on the viewscreen, "I am reading weapon signatures. They are gradually spreading out. Meaning to cut off all possible escape routes." Her red chameleon bodysuit glimmered as she turned her head towards Jien, who was listening to what Vasser said on the secure channel. "At this point, the chance to outrun the fleet without engaging it is gone. The Harbinger has 0,157 % chance of escaping with us. The Valkyries are-"

"Dispatch this non-verbal message to all starships in the fleet immediately. Include the Harbinger." said Jien and stood up from her chair, tossing the earpiece behind her, "In accordance with the rules of military honour and by the laws and customs of war dating back as far as the Hague Convention, we - the USS Theurgy and the USS Harbinger - surrender on the condition that no hostile actions are to be taken against us before an agreement can be settled. I repeat. We surrender, but not unconditionally. Dispatch the message now, Thea."

The hologram's face may have betrayed momentary despair, but she executed the order. "It is done, Captain..."

"Mr. Fedd, drop the shields," said Jien next and turned her oaken eyes towards her new Tactical Officer. "Do it now."

"Captain, we can still get away!" said Winterbourne, whom uncharacteristically seemed to wear his emotions on his sleeve. "I can get us out of her-!"

"Be silent, Ensign," snapped Jien like a kick in the teeth, her countenance a mask of stone as she addressed the helmsman, "Hold this position and be ready to take evasive manoeuvres. Tovarek, keep our sensors on the fleet and me posted about its activity. Fedd, I want you to raise our shields at a moments notice if they open fire. Stark, initiate prisoner Transport from the Harbinger's Brig to ours, including the posted security officer. Commander Rez, call back the Lone Wolves as well as the Harbinger's squadron to our Fighter Assault Bay. Have them line up for docking. Thea, stand by to open the bay doors for them."

The silence that fell over the Bridge was thick with meaning. With reproach and regret.

Yet Jien was not done. In her mind raced thoughts which there was no time to give voice to. I cannot give this enemy the chance to fight, because that would give them the opportunity to silence us. No, a tactical surrender is the only option. Infuriate him. Unsettle him. One should never fight for honour’s sake when there is so much at stake. We need time. Time to torment and irritate your opposition. Time... to undermine his advantages.

"We must make surrender our tool of power," she declared, and with regret about the fact that she had to give the order, she turned to Lieutenant Marlowe, "You will be Transported to Main Engineering. In storage compartment 7-C, with the encryption Delta-Four-Niner-One, you will find a cloaking device that was constructed by my orders. The Harbinger has one too. They were completed in time, but not installed into our systems. I need not tell you that you have virtually no time at all to do this, but Thea will be there to help you, along with your new Engineering crew. Thea, initiate the site-to-site Transport now and take Marlowe with you. Lin Kae, do as your Chief ordered. Calibrate our Warp field to encompass our fighters."

Jien turned to Rez at Mission Ops, setting her hands on her hips. "If we can avoid using our cloaking device, I want the fighters out there. If we have to cloak, they will be close enough to dock with us quickly. I would prefer the former, but we must be ready for both alternatives. Open up a channel to the SCO:s. Iron Fox and... Phantom - was it? Have all the fighters ready to sync their set course with the Theurgy if we jump to Warp. Make it seem like you are about to dock, and be ready to do so if required."

"What course should we lay in and send to the Valkyries, Captain?" asked Winterbourne at the helm.

"The KNZ, Ensign," said Jien and gave Lietuenant Fedd a quick yet faint smile. The Betazoid was right. It was the best route of escape, even if it took them further away from where they were headed. The Romulan border would have served the same purpose, but it was not like they were in the condition to enter Romulan space regardless of the civil war that was going on there. Jien glanced towards Tovarek before continuing to speak to the CTO. "I don't want any weapon signatures visible on their sensors, yet stand by to arm and fire ordinance in accordance to Lieutenant Tovarek's suggestion. I want us able to raise a thick smoke-screen between us and the Archeron on a moment's notice, and I would not mind if we can also hit that Odyssey-class cruiser as hard as necessary to stun them. The whole fleet may be spreading out, but we need to blind the Archeron as best as we might. Work together to set up the barrage with whatever EMP calibration we have available at the moment."

"We are being hailed."

Jien's heart was still beating fast, and while they were dissipating, the fluctuations in the texture of her form still lingered. She was also still wet from head to toe, with her mimicked uniform clinging to her, and some of the ash still stained her appearance. Jien took a deep breath to collect herself - raising her chin as she came to stand in the middle of the Bridge. "Make it look like you are defeated, people. We might just fool them yet. Keep communications minimal and encrypted. Share the link with the Harbinger Bridge." Then, while raking back wet hair from her face, Jien clenched her jaws and gave the command. "On screen."


"Jien Ives. Declan Vasser. Traitors to Starfleet," said the well-known face of Admiral Sankolov in his Russian accent whilst staring at them, "You have deprived yourselves of the protection of Federation Law when you raised arms against fellow Starfleet Officers. With the lives which you have taken over the past months, you have destroyed the only right on which your continued existence depended, and have manifested to the whole Galaxy that there can be neither peace nor truce with you. So with the superiority of Starfleet Command behind me, I consequently declare that you - as enemies and oath-breakers - have rendered yourselves liable to Starfleet's swift retribution... without any measure of pardon. In other words... we will not honour the conditions of your surrender."

Jien Ives folded her arms underneath her breasts as she met the hollow-eyed stare of the Admiral, not flinching from the declaration. "In your own words lies the truth about the corruption of the fleet we once belonged to. The fleet I swore my oath to would not stoop to this level." she said quietly, eyes hard as she made a sweeping gesture towards the many ships around them. "If you kill us like this, there are too many witnesses to the slaughter. Among them, critical thinkers that will question the motives behind your orders. You know that you would make martyrs out of us. I am quite sure that you want that as little as we do... for you might make both us and the truth immortal."

And thus the show began, while behind the scenes, measures were taken for the final act.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #6
[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]

Her hands were surprisingly steady, all things considered. Too much over load already, to panic, perhaps? By all rights, a few weeks ago seeing the StarFleet - enemy! - ships filling the view screen would have sent her into a panic and left her curled up in a corner of some Jefferies tube. Then again, when all this started she wasn't the senior Operations Officer for the ship. Perhaps she could have afforded a few moments of panic. Now though? That was not an option.

She was too busy handling the overloaded transporter buffers to worry about the fact that they were gearing up to be slaughtered. With every passing moment, a new crewmen materialized in the overflowing cargo bays where Natalie had begun to route the pattern buffers. She kept an eye out for Rory, and thought she saw his pattern materialize earlier, but couldn't be sure - with no working internal sensors, and (as Thea pointed out) given the large number of the mixed crews that had been pulled onto her ship, it was nearly impossible to track individuals.

But that train of thought was dashed aside when the Captain called out to her, specifically, to initiate a prisoner transport? Now? She spared a glance back at he Asiatic looking woman in the command chair, but only gave a non-verbal nod of assent. Swallowing hard she opened up a coded channel to the Harbinger while Ives went about delivering more orders. It sounded like she would have two transports to manage, but in the grand scheme of things, that was not a large issue in and of itself. The trick was freeing up space in the pattern buffer to handle the transports. Thankfully her continued efforts to materialize crew (having had no orders to the contrary for preserving power or any other such constraint) would pay off in this instance.

And speaking of power drain....a cloaking device would certainly put a drain on their reserves. She'd have to hope that the integrity of the pattern buffers wouldn't be compromised, because they would certainly need to cut back on the re-materialization efforts to free up enough energy to run the cloaking device. Even with some small adjustments from the Federation to the Romulan designed Cloaking device, it was a resource hog. As she clipped in her own comm earpiece, she idly wondered how the Harbinger would manage.

"Theurgy to Harbinger," she said over the secure channel, "Prepare to initiate transport of prisoner directly to brig. Please confirm when prisoner is secure for transport, over." Even as she send the request she aligned the transport targeting sensors. WIth both ships down she was able to lock onto the prisoner's signal. Now she just needed word that the ship was ready to go. In the background, she could hear the muffled whine of the transporters already, initiating the site to site transport of Lt Marlowe and Thea. And just in the nick of time, as the view screen lit up with a transmission from the USS Archeron

Look Defeated? Natalie thought to herself, as she slumped a bit more in her chair, still awaiting the response from their sister ship in arms. Not much of a stretch...

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #7

Dyan remained at her posts only letting Sonja out of her sight long enough to find water and a rag to wash the blood from her eye so she had use of both. In her little area of the ship she didn't know much of what was going on. Only that they left that damn planet behind and went to red alert after that. She wanted to know. Wanted to know if the two ships that where a symbol of hope to her where going to survive. That her people would have their chance to live on land again and not just within the metal hull of a ship. They needed non processed air, true dirt they could grow crops. They needed a place they  could call home. That was why she had taken this mission. To see if this Federation was the key to it. How could she have known what she would find. Her inner conflict wouldn't show as she leand back in her chair her eyes never leaving her single prisoner. When the order came in that she was to be beamed to the Theurgy she would only acknowledge with an aye aye as she stood slowly feeling the pain from her leg and shoulder. If she where in her real body the injuries would have healed already. But this body, this human like body limited her ability to heal as quickly as she normally would. One quick glance at the other woman comfirmed she was still out as Dyan double checked the power levels on her rifles and grabbed the confiscated weapon. It had been left in her care and she wasn't about to leave it laying around.

Pulling two sets of hand cuffs out Dyan slowly approached the woman making sure to keep her weapon trained on her as she lowered the forcefeild. Her approch was slow and careful as she gently knelt down slipping one cuff on one leg before slipping the other on the other ankel. She wasn't taking chances on her prisoner escaping again. As the cuffs clamped down she felt some relief, after all it was hard to be a threat when you couldn't walk. Slowly moving up she rolled the unconscious woman on her stomach before cuffing her arms behind her back. In Dyans mind the prisoner was secure. Standing she used her now free hand to steady her weapon as she slowly backed out of the cell raising the forcefeild once more. Reching up she lightly tapped her com badge.  "This is Cardamone, prisoner is secure awaiting transport," she reported as she knelt down knowing if something went wrong it was best to be a smaller traget.
  

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #8
U.S.S. Harbinger Bridge
"Captain Ives, I think it's time we considered putting into action plans neither of us truly wanted to use."

Selena nodded hearing his words and waited for the captains orders.  When she heard them she was on her feet and pressed her combadge.  Computer, special authorizations, Ravenholm, Selena; Password :Firefly; Protocall: Gamma One Eight Five ; Energize.  In the blink of an eye she was enveloped in a shimmer of transporter energy as she disappeared from the bridge on her new mission.

Wolf 01 Miles Renard
Within one of the Valkyries Miles noticed as he gave the orders to begin docking.  He knew he would be the last one in as he settled his ship between the warp engine pylons of his home.  "Mission ops, Wolf 01 reporting Squadron is within docking range Fighters in the shadow."  In the shadow referring to all of the squadron having positioned themselves in a tight formation around the Theurgy all in places that under most conditions were barely outside the normal reach of the ships usual warp bubble. requiring only a minor expansion of the field to encapsulate the whole squadron within Thea's field  Still he couldn't give into just standing there waiting to dock as he made sure to position himself with still a nice line of fire towards the flagship of the fleet just in case.  If he was gonna get fried to a crisp in a hail of enemy fire he was going to make sure he was able to throw out a good slew of his own before he found himself seared to a crisp.  There was always the emergency teleporter but he had his doubts it would do him any good.  If they all opened fire he would simply transport from one exploding cockpit to the insides of a ship equally reaching the same state.  S for now he waited as he received his instructions.  He was unsure what they meant but he did know one thing. Whatever the two captains were plotting, he had a feeling it must be something big.

U.S.S. Harbinger: Bridge

Aisha looked behind her.  Before shaking her head before tapping her combadge and saying quietly.  Conn officer Aisha S'Iti's log.  "The paleface's betrayals know no borders.  Not even the distances of countless lightyears can dull the blades of their kind's countless false promises.  They will always hide behind their so called laws.  Laws that they change when it becomes convenient to destroy those who stand in their way.  They craft words to say peace while plotting war and finding new ways to take away the rights and cultures of all those who don't assimilate into their fold as the pawns they prefer.  Let it be known on what may be my last breath that not even the ones who's skin I wear can craft lies as cunning as the laws of these co called soldiers of peace."  She released the badge as what may be her final log was stored into the computer of a ship that would most likely be swiped aside with her last words swept under the rug just like the memories of countless others.

U.S.S. Harbinger: Main Engineering:

Selena Walked towards the main engineering station.  Her stride was firm and quick as she walked towards the storage compartments walking wuickly into the warp core room and climbing the ladders to Storage Compartment  6-M.  Chief Engineer: Ravenholm, Selena.  Access code: Spectrum: Authorization: Delta Alpha Sigma Eta;  Unlock.  The locker of sorts opened and she took out the object she had helped create.  It was a meter long and third of a metre wide cylinder with two vertical sections of what looked to be clear fluid with silver metal plating around the top and bottom and in a metal band of sorts around the center  as well as a few metal strips connecting top to bottom on either side.

Despite the certain moral ramifications of the objects use she felt a sense of pride seeing it.  Part of her knew what they were doing could cause an interstellar war if found out but an even bigger part of her beamed with a certain kind of pride only a inventor knows when they get to test out a new prototype.  Would her baby work or was it all a bunch of theory with no physical Merrit.  Soon she would have to find out.  She took the object with her and opened up a panel built into the side of the main engineering console where she placed the device and began to hook it into the console's control and display systems as she looked to an engineer asking him to run a power supply hardline from the main warp core directly to the device's power inflow port.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #9
"In accordance with the rules of military honour and by the laws and customs of war dating back as far as the Hague Convention, we - the USS Theurgy and the USS Harbinger - surrender on the condition that no hostile actions are to be taken against us before an agreement can be settled. I repeat. We surrender, but not unconditionally. Dispatch the message now, Thea."

At Jien Ives's words, Fedd turned to stare at his C.O. in shock. "Captain!"

"Mr. Fedd, drop the shields," said Jien next and turned her oaken eyes towards her new Tactical Officer. "Do it now."

He stared fiercely at her, but he could hear the plan in motion inside her head. He did not know what she was up to, but he knew wheels were turning, and anyway she was his captain. "Yes ma'am," he said smartly, and lowered the Theurgy's shields without hesitation. He nodded at her next order, and keyed the preliminary prompt into his console, his finger hovering above the button.

The silence that blanketed the bridge became a cacophony inside Sjaandin's head. Tactical surrender... nfuriate him. Unsett... The captain's determined thoughts were adrift on a sea of confused and conflicting voices. It took him a moment to pick her physical voice out of the mental chorus, and he realized their "surrender" was but a ruse. How shameful of him to doubt her, even for a nanosecond! He grinned over his shoulder at her as she mentioned setting a course for the KNZ. Sometimes Fedd nailed it.

So they had a cloaking device; the rumours were true. Fedd had always thought it absurd that the Federation had ever allowed itself to sign a treaty prohibiting the use of the things. It was a perfectly viable technology; they might as well sign away their rights to use replicators, for gods' sakes. He had never complained about it or voiced any discontent during his years abroad or in Starfleet, it was just an item of curiosity for him. Now, however, they were renegades and outlaws, wanted men and women. Technically they weren't even a part of the UFP anymore, as their enemies would no doubt gleefully remind everyone. So really, they would not be violating any treaties.

"Yes, ma'am," he said quietly in response to her further orders. "I'd recommend getting above them. That ventrally-mounted quantum torpedo turret on the saucer is lethal. We should concentrate our fire on that, and then their impulse manifolds. Most Odyssey-class ships' shields are weakest there." To Tovarek he said, "I'm prepping two torpedoes for short-range detonation, maximum yield. It ought to scatter across a sufficiently large area for our smokescreen. Any suggestions for the payload?"

Instead of charging phasers, he began rapidly tapping out attack patterns. Max phasers to that launcher, pass through the Archeron's negative zb axis, full phasers on their impulse manifolds. Unless they fixed that... he hoped they had not. He was about to start calculating which of the old clunkers looked the most vulnerable when Thea's announcement stopped him cold.

The captain wanted them to look beaten? Fedd quickly swiped his bloodied hand across his face, leaving a dark red smear. As Sankolov appeared on the viewscreen, Sjaandin became aware of a prickling sensation at the outer periphery of his Betazoid senses. He realized it was the fleet, spreading out to surround and enclose the Theurgy like a school of piranhas swarming their prey. It was awful from a telepathic standpoint, like a shrill supersonic whine that you cannot quite hear yet still feel. He pressed two fingers between his eyebrows and tried to build his temporary barriers, but the onrushing thoughts were too numerous, too constant. It was like trying to build a sandcastle in the crashing surf.

So instead he let it flow over him and surround him. He submerged himself in it, and began to get a vague picture; not very detailed at this range, but enough to sense intent. Those other crews on those other ships, they were just following orders... but the lines led back to the flagship, which was a nexus of murderous malice aforethought. He had no idea who, or how many, but the fact was clear.

A bead of sweat appeared on his temple and slid down his face, wiping a thin line through the blood smeared there. Sjaandin realized he had goosebumps. Fingers shaking, he struggled to send a brief mental message to the captain's mind: [glow=blue,2,300]The other ships.... just following orders... but someone or something on Archeron wants to murder us.[/glow]

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #10
[USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]
Surrender?

The words echoed through the head of Simon Tovarek as he froze at his station for just a split second. 'Surrender? We wouldn't surrender, not after all we've gone through...' he said to himself in his mind and his eyes lurked up to meet the female body of the captain. Than it happened, she explained what the plan was and a small smirk presented itself on Simon his lips. He nodded at the newly given orders and started to calculate what ordinance would be best to sustain a thick so called smokescreen. Actual smoke would be useless with electronics and sensors yet something with high radiation could disrupt anything or anyone from seeing through it. Yet he first had to focus on scanning every single ship out there. His fingers moved quickly over the panel as he scanned each ship for weapon signatures and possible hostile manoeuvres.

As the information started to run in on his screen, Simon looked up at the encircling fleet. He chewed on his lower lip yet maintained a cool and arrogant look on his face. He didn't really know how he had to look defeated. Figuring it would be better not to look to much to Sokolov's face he continued his work on sensors and sent a brief encoded message to Sjaandin with the suggested type of ammo for the torpedoes. Once he was done with that, he carried on with scanning the ships, mostly a couple of them at the same time.

[Valkyrie - Wolf 11]

Thomas realigned his fighter within docking range while looking at the spectacle of ships creeping before them. He waited for instructions of ops or Miles what was next and his thumb slowly slided over the master arm switch. He was eager to get some more action after missing most of it in an actual fighter on Theta. He wanted to bash some skulls, rip through metal or just kill something. He'd probably head to the sparring area if they got out of this alive to just work out his frustration a bit, yet that would only be the case if they survived this new ordeal. He maintained radio silence and looked around at the other wolves that were hanging pretty close to the Theurgy now. You could see the scorchmarks and light cosmetic damage on the Theurgy from taking off from Theta. It was somewhat pretty in Thomas his eyes and on a good day he'd probably try to crack a joke about the new camo on the Theurgy. 'Something to remember when we get back...' he thought to himself.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #11
Tia could barely believe what she was hearing.  There was an uninstalled cloaking device that the Captain wanted to have installed and running in a matter of minutes.  Actually she couldn't decide what part was the most unbelievable.  While her mind was whirring away at the thoughts her body reacted instinctively to the orders and she stood and moved out of Lin's way to be transported.  The sensation of being disintegrated and reformed shook the puzzlement out of the way for now at least and she ran through Engineering to the storage compartment she had been told about.

Still not quite sure if this was real she typed the code into the panel only to be surprised as it opened and revealed a rather plain looking device.  Tia wasn't sure what she had actually expected, perhaps some bright light and ominous music?  Waving over an engineer she had him help her carry the metallic cylinder to a panel where she could access the main power conduits.  This beast would need some serious juice according to Thea.

Jury rigging a cloaking device into a system was not something Tia had ever thought was in the realms of possibility.  As she crawled into the opening in the wall she yelled out for tools that would be handed to her by whoever was there, she had no idea whose hand it was.  Muttering under her breath about not being a Romulan and hoping to hell and back that this was going to work she persevered.

"I need this thing connected to a console," she hollered, arse and legs visible while the rest of her was in the wall, "just don't make it anything that controls what we need to live and I don't care which you choose."

Her fingers were starting to hurt again, objecting to the hard and fine motor skills required to patch the thing into the power.  Thea was stood over her shoulder giving her specifics of power consumption and operating requirements so Tia could make the adjustments necessary to make sure it both worked and didn't blow up when it was switched on.  A voice yelled to her that the device was plugged into a console and to watch out because there were now trailing wires near her feet.  She grunted an acknowledgement before swearing at the power cable being an awkward ass.  A loud thump was heard in the wall and it was swiftly followed by a broken coil spanner being thrown out of the hole. 

Standing back up Tia was so busy watching where her feet were after the warning that she bashed her head on the top of the open wall panel, this was followed by a list of expletives and a stumble to the console the cloaking device had been jacked into.

"Thea," she looked at the hologram, "I need a diagnostic on this thing.  Is it going to work?"

Thea ran her fingers over the console, "Everything seems to be operating within normal parameters, Tia.  I can't see how it wouldn't work.  I'm sorry, it's the best I can say in the circumstances."

Tia placed a hand on her shoulder and smiled, "Your best is most people's above and beyond.  Just be prepared to make any adjustments on here if necessary.  I'll stick near the device and be ready to do any patching up it needs.  I think you'll be better on this, you're faster than any of us and besides I have never played with a toy like this one."

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #12
Main engineering USS Harbinger

Selena smiled as she looked at the device seeing the power flowing to it.  "Captain the device is connected and I have power going to it.  It's gonna put one hell of a drain on the warp core though.  "I'm going to have to monitor it constantly while it's on down here.  Thea should be fine since she is able to think more like a human and adjust as she goes." she added half breathed "that and her engines had more repair than a roll of engineering tape and a couple spot welds."  she then breathed a moment making a few minor power adjustments, "Seriously if I don't coddle this thing like a baby we'll be leaving a trail of chronoton breadcrumbs for the fleet to follow us with.  And that's if we're lucky.  All it'll take is one hick-up in the engine and we'll end up phasing back into normal space dead in the water or stuck phased out of normal space forever.  not to mention that given our lack of power I'm going to have to use both our shields and deflector array just to project the damn thing."  She smiled softly as she then sighed. thinking to herself  'At least Thea should be fine, her systems should be in good enough shape to hold together the field with just their regular shield array.'

In the meanwhile as she awaited the command to activate the device she smiled as she looked through other operational parameters and smiled as she noticed the changes she had made in the ship's security logging systems hadn't been modified.  'Soon I'll have your secret Mr. Vasser.' she thought to herself.  As she plugged herself into the console knowing her full attention would be required when the time came.

She allowed herself a smile when she saw the feed from the bridge and committed every word of the opposing Captain's statements to her memory.  It was clear in her mind now what she had to do.  His words would be heard across the Galaxy soon the citizen's of the Federation would know just how far their mighty and oh so perfect Starfleet had fallen.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #13
[Tessa - Valkyrie - Wolf 07]

Tessa growled at the orders that was being given. She watched the growing space that was just out of reach as she thought all this was crazy and madding. She slowly sent herself back around to dock though she started to set the course for just in case of needing to Warp away though she would rather fight her way out. Tessa couldn't help but think of the short exchanging of words with Zaraq. 'Tool of murder with in the co-pit'. She knew she couldn't run from the fact that she was just that once she was in her fighter she was looking for blood. She wanted the action and the rush of the fight it was as if that was all she was there for within the Valkyrie. It was like she was a different person outside the attack fighter. She couldn't help but touch her shoulder that still boar bite marks from him. "Come on! We can take them.." Tessa called out to the other wolves.

She should have this fear of death but yet her very callsign was the bringer of death 007. She was just glade that none of the doctors within the Theurgy didn't have this as a nick name while they worked because many of people would had to die in a roll with in their care. And losing members of a crew was never a good thing. Tessa had learned through her years of duties and services that living a on a ship like this one death may it be close to you or not it still had effects on every member of the crew. It was like a wild fire burning quickly through the forest.

She slowly moved toward the docking but yet she pulled back a little bit she wanted to be last one in if this was the case. In her mind ideas was already turning. Ideals that would be risky and could cost her life and even get her into trouble. She growled at her thoughts as she wanted to do better and follow orders but yet following orders took away her given right to think for herself, or were those given away once she signed on the doted lines so many years ago. It was hard to think it was only a short while ago, learning about her father and training to be a pilot and the lost of her mother. The time seemed to fly by her and what really did she have to show for it other than the Valkyrie within she was sitting in. There was no real stories of Tessa, the crazy pilot. That was what she wanted in the history books to be know as the crazy pilot for doing something off the wall to save the crew. Yet she didn't wanted to go down in a flame of glory just yet.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #14
[Lin Kae - Theurgy bridge]

The feeling of an entire fleet watching their every move made Kae act a little more carefully, as if every single one of them could see his fingers flicking against buttons on his console, trying to expand the warp field bubble.  His console ran simulations, telling him whether or not his calculations would result in a collapse that could potentially rip them asunder, and thus far, he hadn't been able to rework the complex mathematical equations to succeed, but he was getting closer.  When finally the solution found itself, and he had gotten the maximum yield from the warp bubble, he gave a small, almost invisible nod to the captain, letting her know that things were ready on his end when the time came to make their escape.



[Declan Vasser - Harbinger Bridge]

"Admiral, doesn't the Geneva Convention bar the mistreatment of prisoners of war?  Not just those within the Federation but those who are taken captive by them?  Harbinger is a warship, has always been at the forefront of battles for Starfleet, and even we followed the basic tenants of how to deal with prisoners of war.  That you would waive those most basic tenants would make me question the validity of this.  How can we trust you represent the best interests of the Federation when you can be so lax with the rules?  You wouldn't be the first Admiral to act against the will of the Federation.  Admiral Dougherty's involvement with the Son'a, Admiral Pressman's cover-up of the USS Pegasus."

Vasser would make the Admiral justify his orders, if for no other reason then to drag out the conversation, and provide the time needed to install the cloaking devices that would be their only hope of survival.  The fleet before them could massacre the Harbinger, and even the Theurgy, such an advanced ship, couldn't possibly take on a fleet of such size, and escape would be narrow, especially with it's Valkyries still not docked.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #15
[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]

After Jien Ives said that Sankolov would make martyrs out of them, and Captain Vasser challenged the validity of the Admiral's orders, the intimidating man on the viewscreen straightened, and he levelled a stare upon them so void of empathy that the temperate words he spoke could not be mistaken for aught else than cold vehemence.

"The Geneva Convention does no longer apply to you or your crews, for you were never fighting a war. You are neither officers nor soldiers," said Sankolov and raised a steady hand to point towards them. "You are mere terrorists, and there will be no due process. Is that clear enough for you? No quarter will be given for your kind. Whatever terms upon which you say you surrender means nothing, because there are no old laws concerning war crimes what gives you the right to ask Starfleet of anything, least of all mercy. If you want to cite ancient decrees, how about you reflect upon the actions taken during the War on Terror in the twenty-first century?"

What he said made Jien reflect upon the words that Lt. Fedd had spoken in her mind with his Betazoid abilities, and she could not shake the impression that Sankolov was the centre-point to Fedd's impression. Jien raised her chin in challenge, arms still folded, "Is that why you are not letting the rest of your fleet listen in on this conversation, Admiral?" They were dancing on a knife's edge, hope being that they would get enough time to prepare, and Jien's heart was beating fast despite her unemotional demeanour.  "As long as you have this secure hailing frequency between us alone, you can say whatever you like and order your ignorant Captains to open fire without questions asked. They heard our message of surrender, so they wi-"

"Do you have any idea how many true Starfleet officers have died by your orders?" interjected Sankolov, jaws clenched, "Do you know how many under my command you have killed? Do not come to me... and tell me those uniforms you are still wearing would give you any kind of bloody clemency. You even dare challenge my authority in this matter after all that has happened these past months? Are you so blind to your own actions?"

Behind her stony face, Jien hoped for word from Thea any moment, telling her that the cloaking device was installed. It was a fine balance, to challenge Sankolov and yet keep him talking instead of giving the order to the fleet to open fire.


[ USS Theurgy | Brig | Deck 07 ]

When the order of prisoner transport had been given, ThanIda zh'Wann had immediately left the Main Bridge via the turbolift... since she knew right away who the prisoner was. She had been there when Sonja Acreth escaped from her holding cell the first time, and if they somehow survived the Archeron a second time, she was not going to let a prisoner attack them from within the ship.

Running through Deck 07, uniform ripped and dirtied and her blue skin and white hair stained by ash from Theta Eridani IV, she was shouting to her surviving junior officers in Security via her combadge about the fleet they were facing, and that they were to support the personnel at the forward torpedo launchers and the torpedo magazines. "Alpha and Beta teams, you are closest. Get there right now!"

She burst through the sliding doors of the Security Office moments later, soon keying in the clearance to enter the Brig. As she stepped through, she unholstered her phaser pistol from her thigh and kept it low as she approached the shimmering lights in the middle of the oblong area. There materialized two people, both covered in blood but one in a security uniform. Ida recognised the prone form of Sonja Acreth immediately and spoke to the newly arrived Harbinger guard.

"Welcome to the Theurgy, Pinkskin," Ida said and simply grabbed one ankle of the stunned prisoner, expecting help with the other one in order to drag the woman into a holding cell. "We have more pressing concerns than keeping watch over this creature. I can post my Brig Officer here but we need to leave now."

Ida explained what she had seen on the Bridge while she calibrated the forcefield that would detain the enemy in the cell. "I heard a report from Thea saying she got out and killed ten people on the Harbinger," she said, hurriedly finishing the encryption protocols she was running. "I am sorry for your loss, Petty Officer. I am the Deputy here. ThanIda zh'Wann. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Ida glanced towards the sorry state that the other Security Officer was in. "Are you fit for duty or need I send you to Sickbay?"


[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]

A minute or two had passed. Things were not looking promising, so when Sankolov looked away for a moment, Jien nodded to Mission Ops to order the Valkyries dock. They were sitting ducks out there and they needed the protection of the cloak. "The desperation of our mission, defying the fleet for the purpose of survival... should that not raise the question of our motives? Why do we desist unless we believe it imperative tha-"

"Your motives are second to your actions," said Sankolov, overriding Jien with his cold yet cutting accusations, "and since you betrayed the Federation, Starfleet Intelligence have managed to uncover crimes which you committed well before you opened fire upon your comrades in the fleet. Declan Vasser, you killed Chief Science Officer Cameron on the USS Angelo ten years ago. Not only that, but you also blackmailed your former Captain so that you could take over command of your vessel. He is now an Admiral, and has come forth with what you did. Jien Ives, your crimes are even worse, where you killed fellow officers on the Imperator and the Vendetta during the Dominon War in order to earn field promotions to further your career - exploiting the war for your personal benefit."

Jien could but shake her head at the vile lies, but she supposed it was inevitable that Declan's and her names would be dragged in the dirt by fabricated stories about their service records. "What about our crew? What crimes have they committed that were not on our orde-"

"Enough! Starfleet Command has given the Priority One order of your unconditional destruction, and therefore you will be obliterated." Sankolov pushed away from where he stood and gave the death sentence. "This has been a long time coming, but now, the families of those you have killed will finally know peace in your demise. End transmission. Open fir-"

"Evasive manoeuvres! Raise shields and fire! Now!" shouted Jien to Winterbourne and Fedd as she rushed back to her chair, sitting down to look upon her HUD with a grim face, hoping despite what it entailed for the message she expected from Thea, and there was - indeed - a message blinking there.

PHASING CLOAK INSTALLED.
WILL BE PROJECTED THROUGH THE SHIELD ARRAY.
WARP SPEED UNATTAINABLE WHILE CLOAKED. INSUFFICIENT POWER.
STANDING BY FOR ACTIVATION.

Lieutenant Marlowe had made it in time. Yet they could not go to Warp...

"Link audio to the Harbinger. Winterbourne! Set a course for the smoke screen and get us as close as safely possible! Full impulse! Tovarek, be prepared to shift shield output energy to the new phasing cloak! Activate it only when we are close enough to the screen in order to vanish from the fleet's targeting sensors. Stark, get the people out of the buffers now or we might lose them in the power fluctuations! Fedd, use whatever countermeasures we got to keep any torpedoes from reaching us until we disappear from their sensors. Brace yourselves!"

A bold move, to attempt vanishing in plain sight. More so by flying into the kind of smoke screen that Fedd and Tovarek had managed to raise, but it was the best chance to avoid being targeted by all the ships around them.

Her knuckles white as she held on to the arms of her chair, Jien Ives gave no voice to her prayers - her eyes hard slits as it all unfolded. She hoped the Harbinger would follow her lead, or find their own way to cloak before it was too late.


OOC: Please NPC Winterbourne's evasive actions and setting off towards the smoke screen as you all see fit. After the cloak is up (lights going out and alarms of power failures going off as the cloak is activated), and a sigh of relief has been had, its entirely free to describe how the entire Task Force Archeron is shut down one ship at the time: left adrift with no windows lit. As if the power went out in all of them. An explanation for this can be found in Part II of the Prologue, where we will continue next. First, however, make this vanishing act as epic as you all like in this thread! :)

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #16
Miles received the Miss-ops orders and ordered the docking to proceed even faster.  As the ships one by one docked he smiled seeing the last aside from his enter the bay.   He was nearing the entrance when he felt a hard shudder from the Theurgy's engine wake before he pitched following to match its course as contacts lit up the sensors showing enemy weapons fire erupting everywhere.  A low cough-like bark echoed from his mouth as he cursed in his native tongue before triggering the ship to unload every bit of its payload as quickly as possible in a fleet wide spread.

The microtorps and scatter torps reached an invisible wall of sorts and his hud came alive with A blitz of electronic countermeasure signals as a veritable smoke screen erupted between the fleet and their two ships.  The missiles continued down their paths and scatter torps detonated in a cloud of microtorp fueled flak cloiuds causing multiple enemy photons to detonate in front of the countermeasure wall only adding to the bedlam.

"Wolf 01 to Theurgy, My payload is empty, Initiating emergency docking procedures.  Clear the pad and ready the nets'n-sprinkler's cause it'll be a rough landing."

The fighter pitched itself into a spin Ccatching up with the Theurgy in their high speed dance.  He matched her speed then throttled up to close the gap as the Theurgy and the small fighter neared the "smokescreen".  He felt his ship shudder as he closed within the warp field bubble of the Theurgy.  His ship nestled in the center between the 4 warp nacelles.   He tapped the maneuvering thrusters causing him to drop below the horizon of the lower nacelles and throttled up closing the distance.  "Just like a mid flight refuel in the old sims."  He said to himself gliding in for the last few meters before he felt the docking tractor beams grab ahold of his ship right before the Theurgy pitched into another evasive turn. 

He is ship floated within the bay as he cut the engines but his ride wasn't over yet.   Until his fighter was safely touched down on the pad he his momentum and the Theurgy's weren't the exact same.  Computer, manual override, reverse the maglev field on the repulsors on my mark.  The fighter lowered further towards the ground and soon the pads touched metal.  "NOW!"  The pads touched the metal of the deck and the inverse repulsors kicked in pushing the fighter's landing pads into the launch bay's floor as he locked in the magnetic locks that held the fighter to the deck during emergency ship manuevers.  An echoing screech of metal on metal could be heard as friction and inertia tried to overcome the pull of  a powerful EM field usually used for takeoffs and the artificial gravity of the Starship.  Luckily the latter two were stronger and Miles felt a buck in his seat as he felt the artificial gravity of the Starship take over for his own fighter's gravity systems.  For a moment he just breathed nearly fainting as he practically collapsed back into his seat.

"Renard to Mission ops."  Miles said breathing heavily as the hiss of the pressurized cockpit could be heard over the com.  "All fighters are safely onboard the Theurgy.  I repeat all Wolves are in the Den.  Tac-Conn is awaiting further orders.  Calling all members of squadron to flight deck to relay further orders if needed."  He then tapped his com badge as he began to climb from his ship.  Wanting to collapse on the floor never so thankful for being on the ground.  "Renard, to all able bodied members of the Lone Wolves squadron report to Flight Deck immediately.  Until Cap calls all clear we are still on Ready-5.   Fuck it I want us on Ready-1."  he said in a tired and nearly exasperated tone.  "Now get in here and let's get our birds ready for relaunch if needed.  Far as I can tell this fight is far from over."

((OOC: any other lone wolves who want to make a post regarding their own docking please keep in mind your ship should be in the docking bay shortly before Theurgy begins evasive maneuvers so as not to conflict with this post.))



USS HARBINGER: BRIDGE

Aisha cursed to herself hearing the Admiral's words but held her tongue.  'Yea go ahead hold the gitmo internments as a example of a 'good' policy.  Shoulda known its the same policy the Feddies took with the Maquis that they caught.  NO trial just hold in internment until 'it all blows over' Great policy morons.  Looks like they decided to just go with the burn em all and let God sort em out policy though.  Not that this was much of a surprise to her.'

Engineering
Selena watched her feed as she made the minor tweaks to the system and smiled as she saw the power feed began to flow correctly.  she used her direct input to link into the computer and send a message to the bridge display.  Phase systems are ready awaiting activation orders.

Of course in the back of her mind she knew if they escaped she would have to find a way to prove or disprove the allegations the admiral had made about both captains.  Though for her own reasons the charges against her own Captain, her original target by her real employers, took precedence above Ives.  She would have to dig deeper but at least now she knew where to start looking.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #17
[Tessa - Valkyrie - Wolf 07]

Tessa had seen that Iron Fox was not leaving any chances for her to do what she wanted to  do. As she watched each ship dock she shook her head. She  knew better. Risking  her own life was different to risking someone else's life. "Damn." she whispered to herself as she dove down toward the docking bay hatch. It was clear that this could be rather hard to try to get in and not slam into another ship that was docking. She slipped towards the door as she bit her lips. As her hands were shaking and sweaty, not sure what this fight was going to bring. She was trying to keep cool about it as they were one of the first lines of defense that Theurgy would deploy if all else failed, or so it seemed to Tessa.

She swooped towards her spot on the deck. As she slowly started to land, she couldn't help but look toward the door to see that Iron fox was having a hard time bringing in his ship. She bit her lips thinking it was her fault. If she had just moved and got in as ordered he wouldn't had to do a risk drop like that. She landed her fighter. As she sat there turning off everything though she would rather just sit in the pit for a moment as she always did once she docked. It was like a good time to look back on what she had done. Yet she hadn't really done anything but it seemed that she made a mess of things.  She looked back at the docking bay door that was now shut as the rumbling sounds of the ship shifting, trying to get away from the enemy that was once allied to them. 

She pressed the button to open the cock-pit. She sighed lightly as she was ready for that promised drink but they were not out of the fire yet. She pulled her legs up to her chest and shot upward as she stood on her seat. She swung her right leg out and found the ladder that was waiting for her as she climbed down. She bit her lips as she heard her order yet her mind seemed to be shifting through thoughts fast in that very moment. She didn't know why. Maybe maybe it was because of the fact she didn't know if she was going to live or die but her mind was on the night she spend with Zaraq.

They hadn't really seen each other since the week of rest as it seemed that they were never on the same shift. She knew other couples would make time to see each other but yet they hadn't. She was not even sure if they was even a they. She could be reading in to what they shared too much but yet he filled a part of her that seemed to longing for something more, well, more like he fed her pussy very well. She blushed as she shook her head for a moment. As she heard Miles yell out what he wanted them to be, Ready-1.

She shook her head a little more as she started to go over the main flight check for her fighter. She pulled out a rag and started to wipe down her fighter around where the weapon is discharged. She slowly wiggled in fingers around the holes. The longer she wiped the more relaxed and calm feeling that seemed to always take over her as she washed her fighter filled her. She nearly forgot where she was as she wiped on. She even started to sing lightly to herself. The longer she got into her made up song the louder she got.


"Hush child as the moon rise
Let the moon be your light
In the darkest of hours
When things seemed to be darker than what it should be
Look to your fellows
Strong and true
For we are all one in this darkening Den

We all fight to drive away the dark
We are one, we are a pack
Fighting as brave souls do

"Brave souls that glow in the moon light
Facing everything that is thrown at them
So, Hush child, For the wolves are out tonight
Protecting all that are is weak by light of the moon.

The Wolves are out tonight
By the Light of the Moon
Hush Child and rest your head
For everything is going to be alright. 

For the wrong will be right
Before the time the sun hit the sky
Everything will be like a bad dream

Hush child as the moon rise
Let the moon be your light
In the darkest of hours
When things seemed to be darker than what it should be
The Wolves will be out by the light of the moon
Fighting like brave so do."


Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #18
USS Theurgy | Brig | Deck 07

'Why the hell do they have beam everywhere? Beam here. Beam there' Was the last thought that entered Dyan's mind before she felt herself being beamed. As they reformed her eyes where still locked on the prone figure of Sonja Acreth. There was no way in hell she was letting the woman escape again under her watch. As she heard another woman speaking her head turned slightly looking in direction of the blue skinned woman. As soon as her head moved in that direction Dyan regretted the motion as her head started swimming once more. It took a few seconds for her head to clear after she stood. "Thanks, Cardamone," she said leaning down grabbing the other foot having no trouble dragging the prisoner. When Acreth was firmly held locked in the holding cell Dyan allowed herself to breathe for a few seconds.

As Ida explained what she had seen on the bridge Dyan found it hard to believe. They escaped hell only to be thrown in the middle of another. "So basically we're screwed without any lube?" Dyan asked having never been one for flowery speech. Bring her hand up to brush some loose hair behind her ear she felt something she didn't think she would. It took a couple brushes of her fingers over the top curve of her ear to drive home the fact it was slowly starting to curve upwards once more. It wasn't much right now. Only a slightly misshapen bump on her ear. But to her it was a sign that unless she got to her medicine things where going to happen quicker then she though. Her pale skin bleached as the though that somehow her body was already starting to revert back to its original form. She had switched back and forth several times before to know what to look for and every time it was her ears the reverted back first. She had been so lost on the implications of what this would mean she had almost missed the fact that she was being addressed.

"Sorry," she whispered quietly as she forced her mind to focus on what they where doing. "I'm sorry too but this isn't the time. When everything is done. It will be a time to grieve over everyone we lost," she said straightening her back knowing she had to get back to the Harbinger and back to her room. "I am the last security officer of the Harbinger. Dyan Cardamone. Its a pleasure. If it is alright ma'am I would like to get back to my ship...I hate leaving her unprotected," she said desperate to get to the medication that would keep her change from going any further. "As long as I am needed ma'am I am fit for duty,"

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #19
[ USS Theurgy | Brig | Deck 07 ]

After being done calibrating the force-field that would contain Sonja Acreth, Ida briskly made her way towards the closest weapons locker. That meant leaving the Brig behind and stepping into the main area of the Security Office. While Dyan had spoken, Ida listened, but then paused her stride as she directed herself to two of her staff. "You two are on Brig duty as of right now. I want one of you to have visual on the prisoner the whole time and the other one stationed by the control station. Set your weapons to highest stun. Understood? Go."

Once she reached the weapons locker, Ida looked towards the Pinkskin and answered her request. "I sympathise, Petty Officer, but this is not the most tactically wise moment to take such requests to the Bridge. They are probably trying to negotiate with the fleet's Admiral as we speak, and I will not have a untimely Transport request ruin the delicate situation. Also, we need all the help we can get to prepare for the imminent fight on our hands. With so many in Sickbay, we need t-"

"Cardamone? What are you doing here?" came a deep, rumbling voice from a large figure that entered through the sliding doors. It was the new Master-at-Arms, Lieutenant Zaraq, whom has been posted on the Harbinger one week ago. His shaven, Klingon head tilted forth as saw the state of the Petty Officer. He took a deep breath, as if scenting her. "Is that blood on you?"

Ida knew his thoughts. The planet's uproar would not cause such bloodshed. Burns, yes, but the Petty Officer did not have a particle of ash on her. "Acreth got out of her Holding Cell, Master Zaraq," said Ida and handed him a Type III phaser assault rifle. She picked up one of her own as well before closing the locker. "The prisoner was recaptured but Cardamone was the sole survivor. Cerrato and the rest in Security are gone. This is, however, not the time to grieve. There is a whole fleet of Federation starships out there."

"I heard, Deputy..." rumbled Zaraq as he wrapped his large, calloused hands around his weapon. He looked towards Dyan, his breathing deep with emotion, yet eyes as hard as they ever were. "Survival must be earned, and you have earned yours at great cost. Yet you earned it nonetheless, Cardamone. It is but a pity we cannot watch over the bodies, allowing the spirits to leave their vessels and go to Sto-Vo-Kor."

"Let's move out," said Ida, steps quick as she headed for the exit, "you two are with me. We're going to the security checkpoint next to the Bridge. The other teams will assist with the tactical systems across the ship, but we need to protect the Senior Staff in any way we can."

It was on the way to the turbolift that the Theurgy began to toss and turn with evasive maneuvers - the inertial dampeners not quite able to compensate for the onset of battle.


[ Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 ]

At the point where Miles Renard was climbing out of his cockpit, and where Lance was singing by her own Valkyrie, Rawley was stalking back and forth around her own - like a rabid dog tied to a leash.

"What the fuck are we doing in here?" she demanded to know from no one in particular, wielding her helmet in her right hand as she screamed and kicked a trolley with engineering tools so that it fell over. The effort made her stumble and she caught herself on the ladder next to the attack fighter. "We are supposed to be out there! Bloody hell, I did not get out of Sickbay to be called back to the base ship before the true battle began! This is fucking bollocks! Piss and loose shit in a steaming fucking bowl!"

Nightmare walked past her, tapping Rawley on her shoulder in a cursory gesture of comfort before reaching the pilot just beyond her - Nathaniel Isley. Hannah, ever the party girl, had decided to thank her saviour in earnest. So when she reached Nathan, she made a fist in his white flight suit and turned him towards herself, ans she kissed him thoroughly right there in the Flight Hangar. "Thank you for the save, Maverick," she said once she parted from him, a bit breathless, and she winked to him before walking away - heading back towards her own Valkyrie again since they needed to be ready.

Beyond Maverick stood the Mk II Valkyries of the Dor'GhItlh Squadron; eight scourged and burned bodies of hull armour that had seen far more usage than they were meant for. Patched and repaired countless times for two months of peril, they now looked like bats out of hell where they stood, and their pilots mirrored their fighters on all accounts. Grizzled and hardened men and women stepping towards their Wing Commander to hear his words to them. Phantom stood in the centre, speaking in a low voice and turning his half-melted face this way and that in the stark light of the hangar. His words were not meant for the Lone Wolves, as much was plain, and his pilots did not seem interested in speaking with them either.

Rawley looked their way and spat on the deck - continuing to fume in the shadow of her borrowed Valkyrie. She would much rather have been standing next to the Reaver she'd taken aboard, but it was not space-worthy until the Chief of the Flight Deck had fixed it. As it were, she did not know if she'd be able to fly either one of the fighters again...


[ Sickbay | Deck 07 ]

Amidst the first volley of fresh injuries that arrived were a woman from Engineering.

Dr. Nicander was alerted by the glimmer and re-materialisation of a transport being made, followed by a blood-curdling scream and thrashing of limbs on top of one of the biobeds. As it were, Lucan could initially not tell if it was the cloth of her uniform or the flesh of her arm that flagged for mercy, much less if she had turned into a smiling Vidiian... or her lips and cheeks had been seared away.

Plasma burns, he thought as he reached her side and had to force her head to the side - injecting her with a sedative through the sharp hiss of his hypospray. "Nurse!" he called, as he saw the panicked seizures subside and heard the scream end in a gurgling noise. He had already switched to a medical tricorder. "Cordical stimulator! Initiate an isosynaptic pulse!" he shouted and pointed for Nurse Maal - who stumbled over there and placed the stimulator against the unburned side of the patient's neck.

Since there were no other nurses available, Lucan put the tricorder down and adjusted his hypospray in preparation for the reticular treatment. Already, the diagnostics began to whistle the tune of cardiac arrest. "Now, nurse!" he shouted just as he injected her, and Maal was there the moment later - issuing the the first jolt through the biobeds panel. "Nothing... Increase the electrolytic levels to 87 milijoules."

"Adjustment complete, doctor," said the Klingon youth, and the ship rocked hard as if the Theurgy flew into something - making him almost stumble.

"Again!" With another jolt, the biobed emitted a steady chirp, yet even with the pleasant development to have one of Engineering owing him her life, Lucan found himself toying with the idea to increase the electrolytic levels to a staggering seven joules - just to make the grinning puppet dance to the tap of his finger. "She is stabilizing, but unless we can repair the damage to her arm, she might require cybernetic implants, along with... extensive cosmetic surgery. For now, bring dermaline gel, while I charge the regenerator."

As the nurse ran off, Lucan looked down to the bared teeth and the distended eye while his hands tuning his medical instrument. The unburned eye was closed, yet even if the lidless one stared up at him, he did not let his amusement show. What pretty teeth you have, m'dear. Why not keep smiling for the rest of your life?

Then, there was another transport made, and a male engineer in gold was helped to lie down and tended to by another doctor. This patient like he had suffered burns as well, yet nowhere near as critically as the smiling woman at Lucan's mercy. Calmly, eerily so, he compensated for the ship's rocking movements while he lowered the dermal regenerator towards the red and black scabs - efficiently targeting the worst damaged areas first. It was merely a means to stop the bleeding. It was not like he had time to do something more for her right then.

There were more crew members a-coming, yet all Lucan concerned himself with was to not smile back to the engineer beneath him - imagining Sarresh's face there instead.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #20
"Yes, ma'am," Fedd exulted, teeth bared as he first dropped the finger he had been holding over the shield activation, and then slammed his hand down on the firing controls. At the last second, he had decided to take out the Archeron's launcher first. Two quantum torpedoes streaked brilliantly towards the underside of the flagship's saucer section, expertly targeted to their mark: that deadly, goddamned torpedo turret. The next two torpedoes out of the tube no doubt looked like they were aimed at the Archeron as well, maybe her bridge; but halfway along their journey they suddenly detonated and scattered a highly radioactive silicate of Tovarek's specifications across the flagship's bow, forming a cloud hundreds of metres across.

Technically Captain Ives had ordered Fedd to use countermeasures, but the best defence was a good offence, and if that turret remained operational it would overwhelm their defences in seconds. He dutifully switched to phasers, raising a crisscross screen of fire that would hopefully intercept anything that came through.

As the helmsman guided them swiftly into position, Fedd transferred shield control to the science station. "Tovarek, I'm giving you control of the shields. I recommend we cloak as as soon as possible." He kept the Theurgy's phasers targeted on the Archeron's aft torpedo launcher, ready to fire if it did, although there was no guarantee Sankolov wouldn't try to execute a rolling manoeuvre.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #21
Fighter bay

Hearing her protests regarding the situation Miles made his way towards His semi injured squadmate.  "Ranger, You aren't the only one who would rather be out there defending our home."  he said softly understanding the frustration as he placed a hand on her shoulder reassuringly.    "But we have to trust the Captain.  You know as well as I do that if the only way for the Theurgy to get out of this was to order us all to our deaths to protect Thea's escape he wouldn't hesitate to allow us to leave this life in a blaze of glory and phaser fire so that the rest could live."

"Look on the bright side though.  The fact that we were ordered in here to dock must mean he found some other means to escape than cutting his losses and sacrificing Thea's defense to escape.   Besides while I was taking to mission ops I overheard part of a hail on the bridge.  Apparently part of Ives gambit was to feign a surrender but our enemy has instituted a no quarters no prisoners approach.  If Ives didn't have a plan that avoided destroying our opposition then you know as well as I that we would be out there right now.  What I do know is this; right before the Theurgy took evasives I noticed a lot of electronic interference between us and the fleet.  for lack of a better term I would call this some kind of sensor smokescreen as My sensors couldn't penetrate it or see the opposing fleet at all after the screen went up.  I don't know what he's up to and I can't say I like being in the dark any better than you.  But he's had faith in us for many battles.  Let's have faith in him for this one."  He was trying to reassure her but in a way he was trying more to reassure himself.  From what he had saw he was thinking the same things as Ranger.  "Why the hell aren't we out there doing our jobs."

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #22
[ USS Theurgy | Brig | Deck 07 ]

Some part of her was happy it was over for her. That she wouldn't be solely responsible for the killer woman. If she escaped her again and Dyan did nothing to stop it she knew their deaths would be on her. Because she didn't fulfill her duty. That weight was off of her. Now though she had a new weight to take its place. To make sure they didn't find out she was less then human. With everything that happen to the two ships she was sure they would not need this to add to their problems. Not to mention the problems it would cause her own people. They where counting on her to find a way to make a peaceable first contact. Their ships where starting to become over populated and there where worries prolonged development on ships would bring about defects in the younger generations. They needed dirt, air and water. They needed a place they would call home.

"Aye, aye ma'am," Dyan spoke softly knowing she wouldn't be getting back to her medication as soon as she would like. She recognized the deep rumbling voice before she saw who it belonged to and she couldn't help but smile looking over to Zaraq or Zar as she had come to call him in the short time they served with each other. "Zar. Its just a prisoner transport," she said smirking slightly to the shaven headed Klingon before her eyes looked over her rifle making sure it was still charged as she liked. "Yea, its blood," she whispered softly the sharp memory of waking among dead bodies turned her stomach as she could feel a few tears stinging the corners of her eyes. She knew there would be time to cry later but now wasn't the time.

Hearing the deep rumbling voice somehow made her smile slightly. Her head slowly rose looking back at him offering a halfhearted smile. "They are the lucky ones Zar, they will no longer know our pain and suffering. Only the bliss beyond the vale," She spoke falling into step behind Ida. Almost subconsciously her hand went up to her ear feeling a small flood of relief seeing the bump hadn't grown any more. For now at least her bode seemed semi stable. She didn't like even that much of it showing. She had to get to her medication as quickly as she could before her body became active again and more started showing. Once more she would be charged with protecting senior staff and she was alright with it. On their way to the turbo life she couldn't help bur smirk ever so slight. "You look like you got a couple more muscles,"

As the ship tossed and turned the inertial dampers didn't quite seem to soften the effects to much. Her body fell against the walls causing her to grunt slightly. Her hands continued grasping her weapon as she tried to force her legs to steady themselves. "I think its hit the fan," Dyan growled out as she used on hand on the hall trying to make her way towards the turbolift.

Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #23
[Thomas Ravon - Fighter bay]

Hearing the order that they had to dock made Thomas feel like he was getting sick. They were fighter pilots, they couldn't do much if nothing at ll while they were docked inside the Theurgy. Just as he prepared to put his bird down, the engines of the Theurgy growled and activated. With a rather harder thud than anticipated Thomas placed his bird down and powered down while he looked at the rest of his squadron fly in. Miles most probably made the most spectacular landing he had seen in a while. By the time Miles came in hard Razor had come out of his fighter and had to cover his ears for the screeching scraping. He couldn't help but grin at Rawley boiling over once more yet he couldn't blame her and waited for her. He patted her on her back and walked with her towards the flight. His eyes however looked for Skye and once he spotted her his eyes continued to gaze upon the fighterwoman as they passed the Harbinger crew. Thomas felt a cold shiver run down his spine as he saw Phantom and his battered yet ferocious looking squad.

[Simon Tovarek - Bridge]

While Jien kept walking the very thin line between stalling and imminent death, Simon kept a very close eye to his sensor panel. The task force's ships were nearly in position to unleash a hellfire of torpedoes and phaser fire on Harbinger and Theurgy, the result would be utter and complete decimation. Yet they hadn't charged up entirely yet so that meant Jien was doing something to keep them at bay, right? Or they were waiting for final confirmation to execute them here on the spot. The thought pattern of Simon got disrupted as he heard a slight change in voice of Sonkolov. The panel started to flare up with warning and Simon reported in to Jien with haste, yet keeping his voice calm as they still had some wild cards to play. "Captain. The task force is charging up weapons rapidly, expect incoming fire in 5 seconds."

He saw the information flash by that cloaking was ready to phase and he bit his lower lip as Fedd launched the specialised payload towards Acheron. He looked up at the main viewscreen to see his so called smokescreen with his own eyes. It was just for a few seconds yet it seemed like an eternity as the torpedoes made their way to their destination. Than the first torpedoes hit the Acheron, it made Simon wonder why Acheron had failed to use countermeasures. It made no real sense yet than the crescendo of his work happened. The torpedoes that seemed inbound to the Acheron diverted and detonated. A green eerie glow released dispersed between them and the Acheron.

Just now Fedd informed him that the controls for the cloaking device had been turned over to him. "I can see so lieutenant." He answered with a coy smirk to Fedd and he informed the rest of the bridge crew. "Initiating cloak phasing." he said loud and clear and entered the controls to do so. Yet just as he pressed the activate, his scanners picked up an abnormality at the task force. It made Simon wonder if the sensors were already being disrupted by the forcefield or if something else had been in play while. He looked up at the viewscreen for visual confirmation and he could indeed see that the Acheron's left and right starhips seemed to be shutting down. It was as if they turned dark and became a bit of uncontrollable chunks in space. Yet it was too late to scan them to be sure as the radiation field blocked any means of scanning. Yet the last thing their enemies would see, was the disappearance of  both starships before the green glow closed up any means to make visual contact with them. Yet it would leave them with a few seconds of being baffled before even their scanners wouldnot be able to scan through the screen.

As information started to flow in once again Simon reported to Captain Ives once more. "Captain, cloaking device has worked perfectly. Systems are somewhat stable so far but I recommend we start making a move before the field fades. I reckon we have about a minute before the most powerful sensors will be able to punch through, thirty seconds at most after that most ship sensors will be able to scan for us." he looked up now and Winterbourne now added to the conversation. "Captain, course for KNZ is set. Warp is still down while cloaking is active. How do you wish to proceed?"


Re: Prologue: [Under the Bludgeonings of Chance | Part I ]

Reply #24
Hell was breaking loose around her, consoles fizzed and died, engineers worked on patching things up enough to get them out of there and yet all Tia could think of was the piece of illegal technology she was stood beside.  As Thea worked on the console across the room Tia was focussed on keeping the hardware connected and running.  She glanced around to observe her new team in full action, including the borrowed Boslic, they were good and glancing back down at the device she hoped her work with it would see them out of danger for long enough to get to know them better.

A violent shudder rocked her and a loud explosion nearby shook her nearly off her feet.  Looking up she saw the plasma conduit that had exploded still flaring and two crewmen lying on the floor.  One was flailing and screaming while the other moaned softly.  Yelling as best as her still-raw throat would manage she called for an emergency transport to the sickbay for the injured crew and then at two others to put out the fire.  There was enough falling apart in Engineering without a fire adding to the issues. 

The machine beside her feet made a sound like a wounded tiger and Tia responded with a growl of her own and she bent down to readjust the power management on the device itself and the sound subsided.  As she stood back up the noise began again.  A swift kick hurt her foot more than the machine but it stopped the noise and she warily eyed the consoles for any sign that it was going to pack in but was thankful to see it had no intentions of defying her again.

 
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