Re: Chapter 03: Knife's Edge [ Day 06 | 0840 hrs. ]
Reply #71 –
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Attack Maneuvers ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan @CanadianVet @Brutus @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @Mathis @The Ostrich @JayLatte @Blue Zephyr @Absinthe @Argyros
The holographic display table continued to produce a visual representation of the situation with Sabine and her fighter escorts. One by one, green icons appeared on the display and Leon clapped to himself lightly, uttering a trio of words that clearly indicated approval <That's more like it>. Just the remedy for the change in leadership-- the shortest of moments to think out his feelings as he sensed they could be under scrutiny; In what time they bought before this mutiny occured, there was hardly anything else that could be done to stall or resist this coup. Not without serious consequences or the fact that a Betazoid junior officer was on the bridge and could sense his barely-contained fury at the prospect of being stranded here without a plan and forced to fight to the death against further Starfleet incursions. Guilt and vengeance eclipsed Leon's mind --though far from any thin red line of emotional compromise-- as he surveyed the display's readout of debris that the former Intrepid-class ship which housed a Flag officer who had unknowingly set the Lieutenant Commander and former XO away from the command path post-Dominion War, and into this chain of events.
Those lost were his fault, though in reality, the blood was on the usurper's hands; Leon wished he could overpower a security officer and force an immediate stalemate. This was still in the wake of the momentary jolt his mind could afford. Either Leon or Vivian would be in command if he could do what he knew he had to do. Ensign Sel's willingness to save the Bellerophon survivors was hope he wasn't alone in his contempt for Dewitt. And from this moment on, he could focus on the mission at hand to put to rest any thoughts of contesting the change in command.
Marquez would mourn his involvement in this situation later. In any pertinent window of time and incidentally, survival, everything hinged on how the Vector could slug it out without cloaking and without her captain. The Kinetic and phaser cannons were priming up to intercept and destroy any incoming photon torpedoes the Dauntless could unleash on the Vector or their allies, which he now had IFF diagnostics and scans aligned in the computer and with real-time comms.
Meanwhile, as Theurgy primary weapons continued on their attack vectors, Marquez magnified a quadrant of the holo-display around the detected distress signals and escape pods from the Bellerophon. In secret, he was scanning around for Admiral Ross's signal, but only to a lesser extent as he indicated precisely which pods had survivors and wounded, for priority medical treatment and transporter activation.
"Attention attention, prepare to receive personnel from USS Bellerophon. Security is en route. Sickbay, prepare for triage. Casualties inbound." The Diplomatic Officer (and cause of Leon's concern) reported.
The Betazoid, Ensign Danvers, admirably got to work in the olive branch toward these survivors as he patched the escape pods to her station, allowing him to return to focus on the usurper's orders. Hopefully, Faye was too busy with her duties than to sense any willingness to countermand her 6-1-9. Leon knew he could be next and tacked that thought alongside his intentions to play along for now; the CTO avoided eye contact with Jennifer Dewitt out of habit, but carried out his orders. The thought of recommending her promotion would have to wait as a security alert buzzed in an orange overlay and buzzed an alert:
"Security alert: Arm-fast reported in Sickbay. Constable Klex: Security detail to intervene and seal off that deck." Leon reported at Ensign Sel, "Ensign Sel, I believe the situation is well under control here. Apparently not everyone might consider our translation of General Order Nine valid." He chose his last word carefully from any list of reasons to state in as neutral a tone as possible. There simply was no logic in disrupting the transfer of command and he had his part to play, but matters had to be adressed. A throne made of bayonets was a tough chair to behold. Get comfy, 'Captain' he internally growled.
"Screening callsigns:.... Scylla, Blizzard, Wraith, Meerkat, Foxfire, and Chance. Any other friendlies speak now or forever hold your peace." Leon transmitted to the friendly IFF frequency-identified pilots, to finally draw the battle lines, adding any vessel engaged with the Dauntless to their roster of allies, which included Sabine. If only they could spare a RIO to make off with a Runabout from the Akira's hangar. Leon would have risked an officer for such a venture in guerilla-like tactics to make up for the loss of their runabout. Without Vector 2's industrial replicators, there was no assurance of a replacement craft.
Meanwhile, the battle buzzed on the tactical display and several fighters and particular callsigns were demonstrating what the advantage of carrier-based craft could accomplish thanks to carefully-selected combat simulations against Federation craft. When contact with the Mirror Universe was made, Leon and a few in his course were pit against Terran counterparts of identified vessels of that abominable universe. It was disturbing to see that training pay off; in another lifetime, he might have been aboard one of those Valravns. He wondered if somewhere out there, Alessia was--
The allied fighters were under fire, and his Capt-- his *acting* captain had given him orders to cover them by any means necessary.
The pulse cannons and phasers snuffed torpedoes that were fired from angles unexpectedly launched at delayed-ignition sequences against the fighters engaging the Dauntless. Her CTO was good, but Leon grimly realized he was better, despite his dwindling advantage of their temperamental cloaking capabilities. The fighters were doing the heavy lifting in this engagement while he made sure they survived long enough to neutralize their pursuers. The holographic display made it easier to aim and manually prioritize the torpedoes targeting the escorts. A timer ran indicating the estimated time of the Task Force's projected arrival.
With the rest of the Task Force all hearing reports from the Akira's bridge, vengeance would motivate the other ships to punish Vector One with that much more incentive. Undoubtedly, despite Danvers's heartfelt urgency, reports of hostages were sure to cross into the reports throughout TFA. The USS Benjamin Sisko alone was enough to make short work of the Vector with what little weapons power remained. The Runabout was among their last cards to play.
"We are preparing to vacate the area. A payload is being sent to the Dauntless, prepare for the fall out there of. If we chose to vacate prepare to follow. Adjust your flight paths accordingly," came the El-Aurian Tactician who was at least pulling her weight in taking the burden off his shoulders for ancillary tactical support, though he'd much rather have Tarsi up here, she was where she was needed most, securing Theurgy's torpedo bay.
"Theurgy to Friendlies: Confirm. Break off and bug out: Game-changer inbound. MOVE!" the former runabout skipper, callsigned Striker, barked on Zyrao's heels. Despite their decreasing odds, Leon was gaining confidence with the trusted helm control that Veradin was demonstrating as the Vector managed to set up the inbound game-changer Leon indicated in the form of their runabout.
One of the tactical displays lit up as the Thames accelerated to ramming speed and detonated just off the Dauntless's hull, stripping off its shields as the warp nacelles dropped offline. Fortunately, this wasn't a fatal repeat of the Bellerophon, at least not at first. "They're vulnerable, Captain." He indicated, waiting final confirmation before opening fire.