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Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #25
[ Ens. Nathaniel Isley | Maintenance Bays | The Versant ] @Triage @BZ @steelphoenix @Numen
Prone to anger as he had become, prone to passion, emotions running high and low, Nathaniel Isley felt like he was caught in the rise of a storm. A storm that already raged inside, unbridled, and yet he weathered that storm. Somehow. Perhaps it was because of his Starfleet training, keeping him sane, when the Romulan torrent of emotions ran wild.

Taking deep breaths, he listened to the Andorian, the former Kzin, the Betazoid and the Human with the strange eyes - glowing in the dark. Planning, where they should be killing. He wanted nothing rather than descend that staircase, tear the door mechanism apart, and pry those doors open. He wanted to hurl himself at this leader of the beasts, blasting it apart. Those present were not Corrected. They were corrupted. And the thing awaiting them below was at fault for it. In lack of unleashing his fury opon the whole population of this nightmare ship, he would concentrate it on one living being. This Scion would take it all. Not because Starfleet protocol forbade him, but because this Savi asset denied him - making him and the others bereft of the satisfaction to kill the scientists that oversaw the Correction Program. Just one bug seemed a poor compensation.

Eventually, the talking ceased, and Isley's dark eyes sought either of the NCOs. One that Sinead hadn't claimed. Briefly, Nathan hoped the meditation had helped the woman come to terms with things. Eventually, he nodded to tall Human male, and the dim light flickered over his own Romulan forehead with the motion. "You're with me. We'll use the pillars for cover. We move close enough for the kill setting to activate, and stay within close proximity. You understand? We don't let up. We don't give it time to breathe."

Did they even breathe? Didn't matter. As long as it could bleed.

"I understand," said the Human NCO, looking ill at the prospect.

"What's your name?" asked Isley.

"Fredrik Thurnell, Chief Petty Officer."

"You can do this, Chief. Just stay close to me, and do what I say. Okay?" Then, Nathan looked towards the rest gathered there on the platform. "I suggest we go down there. The quicker we can get the escape routes from Tiran's asset, the sooner we can get off this damn ship."

He wasn't sure where he stood with Ives any more, with the demotion, followed by the reveal of what Maya had done to him. He had regained the rank of Ensign, at least, but he had lied just to get out of the Brig. He wasn't trying to liberate Ives because of his rank or the prospect of a career, of course, but he... No, there was no rhyme or reason to whatever lay between him and the Captain since the Niga Incident. He could not put it into words. All he knew, was that he was willing to die for this mission, perhaps not out of loyalty, but to prove himself reliable after what he'd been forced to do to Skye Carver.

Then, they all descended into the darkness below - to the gates of the beast's lair.

OOC: Since Isley is just an Ensign, and there were ideas about that door, I will let you all end your next posts with the door being opened. @Triage , you post next, and everyone's next post should end with entering the Nest. I can take it from there. Feel free to name the six Redshirts NPCs if you all like as we go.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #26
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Auxilary Transporter Platform - Scion Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @steelphoenix, @BZ, @Fife & @Numen
There was little else to be said in the end. The ideas were all tallied and added up, flaws in each plan addressed, evaluated, corrected where possible in as little time as they could manage, no plan was truly perfect, and no plan was guaranteed to last past the doors opening. There could be a Scion waiting right at the door, there could be every Scion behind the door waiting with guns aimed at them, or there could be Semathal holding a weapon to Jien Ives. So much could go wrong, and so much was left uncertain. But what could anyone do but strengthen their resolve, take courage from one another, and hope.

So Sinead found herself leading the way, and standing before the door. The access panel looked almost so foreign as to be unrecognizable for what it was meant to do, or what purpose it served, but logic dictated what it was most likely to be, and having heard Nathaniel's plans with one Fredrik, the former whom had the intention of drawing attention to himself and the chief petty officer with a frontal assault, Sinead felt finding a way to open the doors without detection prudent to maintaining the element of surprise for as long as possible. Referring to her PADD on her wrist, she called up the design specs of the panel, and the simplest, if not necessarily the most convenient way to remove it without alerting the entire ship.

Remember what I saihd. thought Sinead to Zephyr with a quiet look at the woman, then she turned her attentions to the task at hand. Rewiring and gaining access to the door was easy enough, the trouble was to do so without triggering any alerts. She realized that she had been fortunate when removing the panel itself that she hadn't set off anything, as the PADD's information had suggested tamper alerts in some of their systems, though this door panel was thankfully not one of them, mainly due to the general accessibility of this door being available only to Semathal and the specific Scions. No one would be foolish enough to dare crossing them, was apparently the thought and belief behind the lack of an alert system here. Taking advantage of that, Sinead's engineering skills and know-how came into full effect as she quickly learned the ins and outs of Savi technology, she carefully detached the wire for the detection alerts, while maintaining the power supply, then she undid the locking mechanisms.

Soon the doors could be simply opened without requiring access. “Be readyh for anythin',” said the Bringloidi as she drew her pistol and placed a hand over one end of the door while one of the officers mimicked her actions on the other side, also with a pistol in hand. Once rifles and pistols or both were ready, and once she readied herself for whatever waited on the other side, she drew the doors open and aimed her weapon forward. They were going to save Jien Ives and get him off the ship one way or another. Nothing mattered now, except the Captain's survival and safety. Well, that was not true. Sinead wanted everyone to survive, and she was going to fight tooth and nail to the last breath for her crew.

Her family.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #27
[ LtJr. Khelleshar sh'Zenne | Day 6| Auxiliary Access Outside the Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Triage  @BZ  @steelphoenix

Shar couldn't avoid rolled her eyes at the declaration of the humanoid who designated himself as a former Kzin. A brainless beefcake full of bravado, a know-it-all full of conceit. Just what they needed in a delicate mission where their lives and those of everyone else hung in the balance. The Andorian cared little if she must perish in their captor's lair, but before that she wanted the mission to be carried out successfully. Without endangering others. They already had enough problems with the unknowns that awaited them in the Scion's Nest as to have to worry that a haughty child in the body of an adult male jeopardized the mission to prove he was better than the others. Her white brows furrowed deep on her eyes, her combative nature ready to throw away her desire to stay professional and brush-off the felinoid to stick to the plan. However, she couldn't unleash her wicked tongue, as the betazoid that held the med-kit came forward to introduce herself ... and to agree with the shen's words. With her desire to stay true to the principles of the Starfleet. With the general features of her plan.

Shar wasn't used to warm smiles and encouragement. She tended to antagonize almost everyone she met, she was used to fight tooth and nail for the recognition of her plans and decisions, for her work being acknowledged. Zeph's sincere and positive reaction to her words caught her off guard. She hesitated for a moment, not knowing if the betazoid was making fun of her, antennae wringing slowly with suspicion. But it soon became clear that this was not the case. It was just a cheerful woman that agreed with her. Recognize that fact in the shitstorm in which they were immersed puzzled her for a second. So much that she allowed herself to relax slightly her sour expression for a second, barely a glimpse of her face without her usual bitterness etched on it. She could almost hug the woman to thank her that kind words. Almost. Maybe in other life.

However, the change of expression was fleeting, when the one that presented herself as Lieutenant JG O'Riley also agreed to follow her plan. The andorian must struggle with the warm camaraderie feeling that grew inside her. But she couldn't allow herself those childish distractions. She must remain focused, professional. Then the human with glowing eyes continued to outline the plan. The Andorian had a hard time following the strange cadence of her words, her intonation so different from the standard to which she was accustomed. When she got to understand her contribution, she just nodded curtly, showing her agreement. "I'm Lieutenant Junior-Grade Khelleshar sh'Zenne, from the USS Endeavour. Shar, for short” She finally introduced herself, just before everyone started the descent to the beast's lair. Like most Andorians, she knew that her name was impossible to pronounce for non-Andorian throats and preferred be referred with her shortened name to hear how the name of her Keth was perpetrated.

Without further ado, she followed the group down the stairs. As soon as they reached the level of their enemy's hideout, O'Riley went to work on the lock on the door, while the rest of the group distributed into the different groups for the assault. Shar, on the other hand, squatted by the bulkheads, with the savi's padd in her hands. Once she understood the basic functions of the device, she began to analyze the blueprints provided by their benefactor, Moby. The room where Echtand would perish seemed to be strongly protected, the ventilation and maintenance ducts could only be accessed from inside the room except for the entrance in front of which they waited. Once they got through the door, if she kept stuck to the left wall and advanced several meters, she could access to a ventilation duct. From there, Shar could ascend to  a narrow ladder to the ceiling of the chamber, to then dragged herself by another conduit to perched over the center of the room, from where she could act as a sniper. The Ops. Officer tried to fix in her memory the turns and bends of the path she had chosen. She needed to act fast once they entered the nest and neither of them couldn't afford to waste time looking at the padd once the attack started.

Unsure if her plan could be carried out, she studied a second route, one that would take her from the door to the upper platforms that surrounded the room as quickly as possible. If she couldn't use the vent, she would try to advance as far as possible while the frontal attack distracted the beast, looking for the blind spot of the creature. Just when the shen nodded to herself, both routes memorized, and grabbed her weapon to prepare for the impending battle, the voice of the human announced the imminent opening of the doors. Shar stood up, the pistol firmly gripped in her fist, antennae crushed against her scalpl with determination. The door opened with a soft hiss. The first group stormed in the room, following the lead of the assault team leaders. The Andorian took a deep breath and prepared to join the second wave of attackers, ready to plunge to the left as soon as possible. A silent signal indicated that the second group needed to enter the room and Shar hurried to move. The hour of battle had reached them at last. With long strides, Khelleshar crossed the lintel, not sure what she would find in the other side.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #28
[Lt. Zephyr Praise | Doorway to Domination | Semathal' Lair | Savi Ship]
@Triage @steelphoenix @Auctor Lucan @Numen

It was go time.

Zeph felt her stomach twisting and was glad that she hadn't really had time to eat breakfast.  The last thing they needed was for her to lose her fruity breakfast on the floor tiles and alert the Scions to the presence of the infiltration team.  Her mind thought back, again, to Khorin and what he had needed to say to her before everything went down.  But, she supposed it was something she would have to ask him later.  Something that she would have to figure out what she had the time.  He had better make it through his collection of the Reaver.  She knew that as soon as they were all back together she would be head counting for the boisterous Klingon. 

Right now though, she needed to focus.  Remember her training.  Having been a researcher for some time she was a little rusty, probably, when it came to using her phaser.  Hopefully, it was like many other things in life and you never really forgot how to use things.  She knew she could still play with a Bat'leth she had done that in the holo decks along with hitting the gym regularly.  She had just not found it fun  nor important to keep up on her phaser skills.  The voice in her head helped her focus, she shifted her eyes over to the woman that was working to get the doors open for them and nodded simply.

It seemed the Andorian was, at least, interested in giving her name.  Zeph's answering smile for the knowledge of her name, rank, and ship was bright and almost out of place in a environment like this.  Her bright smile lit up the room for a moment and she gave a nod.  “It's a pleasure, Shar.  I hope we can talk more when we're not about to jump feet first into a fight.” she beamed at the Andorian before turning her attention back to the door.

It was time to race in there, time to take the leader down, and get their escape plans from the Engineer's connection.  People probably thought that Zeph had been hurt by Blue, but that was not the case.  When she stepped up to the angry and wounded engineer she knew exactly what she was getting herself into.  But, she found often, that with people as gravely wounded as Blue Tiran, just the hope and prospect of someone caring.. someone that would listen helped.  If Zeph made herself available the woman might come seek her out at some point.  Or at least feel safe to seek someone else out.  Regardless, she could also feel how wounded the woman was.  Talking about it would cause her to fall apart and the cracks in the surface of her psyche to become cavernous chasms.  Zeph understood the desire not to fall apart here and in front of everyone else.  Blue Tiran was a very strong woman.

The doors opened and Zeph pulled out her phaser with the rest of them.  She stood next to Shar because she too, was going to go up high.  She was the doctor, and the one that could help treat whatever had happened to Jean Ives.  This was highly important and she would be needed.  Thus she couldn't run in there and get herself killed.  As much as she wanted a hand in whatever death was dealt the asshole that decided to kidnap and experiment on others, she knew that her job was something completely different.  She looked over at Shar and gave her a bit of a nervous smile. 

“I'm going up with you.” she whispered quietly as she stuck to the woman while they entered the room in the second group.  As Shar split from the group so she could be the sniper, Zeph followed so that they would be together. Zeph could at the very least lay suppressive fire from above while the others were doing what they needed to.  She wouldn't be sitting up there having a snack while the battle raged, but she needed to remember what was important.  There were plenty of officers to take Semathal down, she was going to be needed after that. 

Or if she saw an opening to get Ives out while Semathal was busy.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #29
[ Deacon | Day 6 | Auxiliary Access Outside the Scion's Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Triage  @BZ  @Numen

At his admission, he did his best to close down his perception of those around him.  Unwise, perhaps, but reflecting on thier questions, doubts and concerns would simply be another distraction.  One dark eyed female addressed him, speaking of sore muscles and finding his center -- the very same sentimental nonsense that kzinti so disdained about the members of the Federation.  A telepath... Betazoid, no doubt.  His lips tightened against his fangs but he repressed the urge to bear them in threat, reminding himself that now was not the time to cultivate new enemies, especially not in the midst of a mission to rescue his Patriarch.

Taking a deep breath, he availed himself of the advice given, finding the circumstance extraordinary enough to warrant a new approach.  Finding his center was a concept foreign to kzinti.  He'd heard the term many times before and he supposed it was akin to removing ones self from the fray, to stand apart and observe.  It was the Black Priest way.  It was at the very heart of his training, and here he stood ready to rend and tear at this... scion or whatever it professed to be like some first year soldier.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he drew himself inward.  Observe, Deacon.  Observe, learn, exploit.  That is the way of the Black Priests.  It is your way.  Be smarter than the prey.  Savagery works only against those who have no means to rise above it.  "We have not seen these creatures in action.  Do not lose yourselves in the moment," he said, his tone far more controlled, instructive.  "Do not take your eyes of this scion for it is likely it knows more about us than we know about it and that gives him a distinct advantage until we can acquire its counter.  But if the opportunity to strike presents itself, do not hesitate.  These creatures care nothing for us or our well being.  They've mutilated us for their own ideals and, at the slightest test of resistance, were ready to discard us for base components."

He readied the weapon he'd been given, giving no more question to its utility or its lack of honor.  "If you must take this creature's life, comfort yourself in knowing it will spare no second thought in taking yours, and with it removed, we might be able to save countless more."  Turning his gaze towards the door, he bared his fangs, the swirling sparks of gold in his eyes overwhelming the blue almost completely.  "Hunt well, monkeys."

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #30
[ Ens. Nathaniel Isley | Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

His heart thump-thumping in his chest, his goal just in sight, and danger on all ends. He could die here. He understood and accepted that he could very easily lose his life here. It was only a question of how much bug guts he could get on the wall before he went down. He felt his blood scream, as the Klingons said, as the doors before them opened.

He would be the distraction. He would be the very first half-Vul---Romulan to step foot in the chamber here. So when the doors opened, he did, his weapon clutched in his hands tight.

The first thing he noticed was that the room was dark. It felt cold, though he couldn’t ascertain for sure whether it was because of the fate he faced, or because it was actually a bit chilly. There were pillars of some sorts around the room, it almost felt like the shadows leaked from the ceiling down these pillars. He saw the Azure Nebula in it’s fully glory on display in a large viewscreen, and he followed the light it cast onto another scene…

Ives! He thought, and fear took his voice away. On the other side of the room, there was Ives, and she—he? Nathaniel couldn’t tell hir sex at this time, because s/he was so covered in blood. There was so much, just all over. S/he was held in an oval-shaped quantum stasis field, with some sort of machine on either side that, presumably, maintained the field. Ives, held hostage like this—this was not the image Nathaniel wanted to see. It’s not how he wanted to greet his captain and former lover.

“What in the hell He shouted, with a determined pace towards the looming shadow that dominated the room. Semathal, he presumed. “Do you think you’re doing with our Captain looking fresh out of a meat grinder like that! Have you no respect for authority?!”

The irony of what he was calling for was not lost on him, but his emotions, his sheer passion was taking him on a journey. He wasn’t going to fight it. He was going to get in it's face, cause it to focus on him. Almost there, almost there…

“Do you have any idea what you’re doing?! Release the Captain at once!” Yes, now he was nice and close. In it's personal bubble. He readied the weapon, “I’m busting Ives out of here, whether you like it or not!”

He realized in an instant, as he, a tiny little Romulan staring up at whatever sort of bug Semethal was, that this was the stupidest thing he has ever done. Period. He was placing a lot of trust in his teammates to get this shit right the first time.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #31
[ Captain Ives | Scion Nest | Main Research Hull | Precept-ship Versant ]

The days, hours and minutes had been filled with the same sounds in the darkness. Besides, of course, when the abuse began. Then, he made the sounds, in one form or another, emitted through whatever throat the Scion made him wear. It had become a broken constant. The torment, almost a welcome comma in ceaseless darkness, the senseless violence a reminder of existence. Plagued by doubt and pain, regret and dying hope, Jien, was - for better or worse - still alive. Only then, at that given hour, Semathal had left him to bleed, making the pain and injury linger when it normally wouldn't. To what purpose? Jien didn't know, and had begun to think where wasn't any purpose to it. Perhaps that was the point.

An expression of what the enemy truly were. Chaos.

For while the hosts of the enemy were with purpose - being vessels of control - with just enough order... they still perpetuated that which had infested them. The symbiotic relationship was merely of ambition, the result being entirely in the nameless darkness' favour. Often, in listening, in trying to learn more, Ives had wondered what made the hosts willing to accommodate that which had overtaken them, and at first, he'd reasoned that they were selected because of some trait. Yet later, he had come to think that wasn't the case. For he remembered Cameron Henshaw's father, and did not think him willing to serve. No, it was something else. Perhaps it was more insidious, in how the minds of the infested were bent in some way, to make them accept their inevitable fate.

Such things, such notions, were all Jien had, as he weathered the abuse, and tried to remain defiant.  Of late, it had become difficult, and he kept seeing Heather MacMillan being vapourised before his oaken eyes.

The sounds, these new sounds in he darkness, they made him open those eyes. The quiet light of the Azure Nebula was still there. Always, and he had come to loathe it, and associate it with his imprisonment. Yet there were new sounds, and through the haze of pain, he drew a rattling breath, and lifted his head. The movement was all that he could muster...

...until he saw new shadows in that darkness. Voices. Even a known one. Isley?

"Guards!" called Semathal in his clicking voice, and even as he didn't want to, Jien flinched from the sound. Jien struggled, feebly, to move, as he saw members of his crew opening fire against the Savi Admiral. With Isley, who looked strange, was another officer, but they all wore the same, strange black suits that the Savi wore. The light from the phaser beams flickered over their limbs as they made their first assault against the Scion. He was protected, by suit and some kind of wearable force/field, but that onslaught against Semathal was unbridled, and eventually, both the suit and the forcefield failed under the collective energy yield of the assault.

Yet even as a couple of beams pierced through the Scion, making holes through its hideous bulk... it remained on its three feet.

"It's..." Jien tried to speak, the rattle rising in power as he saw the peril his crew was in. "It's an Infested!"

Too late. Semathal moved, and it was as if its movements were not bound by the physical restrains of the host body. Suddenly, it had impaled the young officer next to Isley with one arm - having covered five meters in virtually no time at all. With a motion of utter disdain, the Scion threw the trashing body aside, and with the turning movement, it kicked at the rifle in Isley's hands - tearing it's aim far to the side. Jien was sure it might have killed Isley next, if it hadn't been for more officers being present, dying by the second because they were too close to the demonic alien's range of movement.

The main entrance to the nest had opened too, and there were Antes pouring through the high gates. Six of them, wearing black armour and helmets, armed with graviton rifles. For some reason, they began to fire at the balconies, until Jien saw that some had taken refuge there. The distance was too great to make out any individual faces, but the alarm animated him, making him try to stand, despite what Semathal had done to him.

At that point, the majority of the officers that had tried to make a direct assault against Semathal were running for their lives. Others had their limbs yanked free from their torsos, or their bodies torn open by the Scion's blade-like fingers.

OOC: Seven days of posting begin anew. Think of this as if fighting a dragon in its lair, and have fun! :)

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #32
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Balcony | Scion Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @steelphoenix, @BZ, @Fife & @Numen
Stealthy as ghosts, the team that was to take to the balconies had made their way across by whatever means were available to them, whilst Nathaniel Isley led a team forward, loud and proud, to keep attention drawn on them. By the time she had reached a balcony, a fair distance from the rest, Sinead O'Riley had seen how quickly the situation had deteriorated. Captain Jien Ives said something, and she definitely heard Infested, and watching how Semathal moved confirmed it. She had reviewed the records pertaining to the accounts about Sonja Acreth, and the behaviour was similar. The poor officers with Nathaniel barely had a chance, and lives were being ended. She had only scant moments to act.

“Begin video recording an' give meh th' physiology o' th' Scions,” said Sinead to her PADD, hoping it had voice recognition software as well as a holovid caption mode. She also recalled the accounts about Ian Hawthorne. The only being that could remotely match the human infested was a Romulan, but even so, he was barely holding his own. The big problem now was that this Infested was a Scion, and from what she could tell, they were so different from their predecessor species, the Savi, they might as well be an entirely new species. It was as if they were the result of an evolution after enduring a million years of continuous warfare. This would put their physical capabilities beyond anything Sinead had ever faced. She was likely overestimating them, but it was far better to do that than to underestimate.

She could only hope she would make even a sliver of a difference.

Unslinging her rifle, she rested the barrel against the edge of the platform, then gripped the pistol with her other hand. Still not the most optimal, but she had two weapons ready to use now, and not a moment too soon. Falling back on her experiences and training fighting in the Dominion War, Sinead drew on every ounce of concentration she could muster as she began to multitask. Observing Semathal's movements, she tried to anticipate where he was going to be next, whilst also making note of Nathaniel and the rest of the officers on the ground level, while adjusting her rifle's aim and ducking her head to avoid a graviton shot from a Savi defender. Using only her peripherals for them, and making sure her Rifle was on stun, she squeezed the trigger, letting fly with a steady beam of energy. Moby had warned them about harming the Savi, and Sinead took that seriously. She did not want to be the one to cause them to lose their only Savi benefactor's support.

While firing on the Savi, she kept her main focus on Semathal, and aimed a little ways from where he actually was, making sure Nathaniel was away from the danger zone before she squeezed the trigger on her pistol, firing off a short burst of bolts. The PADD in the meantime was feeding her the information she requested. Knowing the weak point of the bug-like being was one thing, now the hard part was actually getting a hit. But Sinead was relentless, and until she was dead, she wasn't going to stop trying to hit the Scion. Meanwhile, she continued firing with her rifle, slightly more inaccurately, but her main intent with the rifle was to keep the Savi ducking for cover or until they were all stunned and subdued. Captain Ives was right there, and she needed to end the threat of Semathal, so that Zephyr could get to work. They had to succeed.

As the Jem'Hadar believed: Victory is Life.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #33
[ LtJr. Khelleshar sh'Zenne | Day 6| The Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Triage  @BZ  @steelphoenix @FollowTomorrow

Khelleshar didn't hear clearly the Romulan's words as he approached with decided steps to the monster in the room. The words, the boastfulness, the full bravado didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was that the four Scion eyes turned towards the pilot, the empty black wells staring at Isley emotionless, like a cruel child would look to an insect under a magnifying glass. The rest of the advance party stretched on either side of the Romulan, the nebula bluish light shining diffusely and ominously in their weapons, the shadows of the tall pillars darkening their faces. The abductees dwarfen in front of the impressive mass of the Scion that towered over them all as an immeasurable mountain of chitin, bladed limbs and palpable malevolence.

Time seemed to expand infinitely while the pilot endured the unnatural scrutiny of the monstrous creature, pitting their will against each other. Finally, the jaws of Semathal clicked an order and time rushed forward, accelerating as if it were sliding down a frozen slope, faster and faster, approaching without the option of stopping towards an unknown destiny.

The Andorian saw out of the corner of her eye how O'Riley was sliding towards the platforms on the right with the grace and silence of a predator that stalks her prey. Shar dived to her left, looking for the vent. For her fainting, she found that the betazoid fulfilled her threat and followed her closely. The shen didn't want the responsibility of take care of the life of the only doctor present. She didn't want to have to watch her back. She wanted to make sure that the mission was carried out, that was true, but she also wanted the opportunity to be careless, to commit an intrepid and extremely stupid act that would allow her to finish with everything without feeling guilty. A final sacrifice that washed away the shame that carried her name. But Zephyr's presence had stolen those options. The life of the doctor was more important than her own, since the life of the other crewmen, of the Theurgy's captain, depended on her survival. She had to be protected at all costs. Shar gave her a poisonous look, the antennae firmly pressed against her scalp, her face distorted in a hideous grimace.  For a second, her blue eyes met the betazoid's full-black. And in that pich-black pupils the andorian only found resolve and trust. Faith in the others. Faith in her. Shar felt her stomach churn. She hated not being able to hate her. It was a detestable contradiction

Either way, she couldn't waste time on such considerations, so she looked away and kept running forward, determined to get to the maintenance entrance as soon as possible. Behind her, the sound of the Scion's chitinous legs reverberated in the room, the hiss of the steel-like legs tearing the air, the buzz of the phaser shots crackling in the air, the beat of the shields, the odd sound of Savi's weapons whirring incessantly. The incredulous gurgling of the first wounded. The rattle of the first dying body against the floorplates. The Andorian dropped to her knees as she reached the grating. She skidded a couple of meters and crawled back on her footsteps, the rifle that slung on her shoulder painfully hitting her ribs. She studied the entrance to the air duct frantically, her fingers digging into the tiny slits. She threw, she kicked, she struggled with all her strength. But the grid remained in place. All her knowledge, all her abilities were useless. She didn't have tools. And the grid was riveted to the wall. Out of sheer frustration, Khelleshar grabbed her weapon with both hands and threw a couple of blows with the rifle butt. The only answer she got was the tintinnabulation of metal against metal.

"Shelat!" She grunted with disappointed as she got back on her feet. She didn't look if the doctor kept herself next to her, she simply hung her rifle on her shoulder and made a slight gesture with her hand, indicating that she should follow her.Meanwhile, the chorus of gunfire in the center of the room had grown into a deafening fanfare. They had no time to lose. The following minutes became in a shapeless blur. A succession of ramps, ladders and platforms, one stride after another, a leap after other, several tumblings. Shar didn't stop at any time, until she reached the highest platform.

Once there, the Andorian launched herself on her belly. The impact against the floorplates received her with a pang of pain in her lower abdomen. Shar didn't want to deepen into the reason for such pain. She hovered over the raging battle, her hands gripping firmly the rifle. She leaned a little more over the edge of the platform, until she loomed precariously over the room. The vertiginous fall made her dizzy as she looked down into the abyss. Any false move would be a sure death.

The Andorian supported the barrel of her rifle at the edge of the platform and took a deep breath. She pointed towards the huge mass of the Scion, looking for a very specific point of its anatomy. Inhale. The shields of the monstrous Savi flickered. Exhale. A flurry of gunfire hit Semathal from the other side of the room, bouncing on the shields and creature's chitinous skin. Inhale. Bright red blood covered the room's floor, the volunteers of the frontal attack fought desperately for their lives. Exhale. Some of the Ante bodyguards noticed the presence of the rioters on the upper platforms and began firing at them. Inhale. A graviton shot whizzed past Shar's head, bristling her hair and leaving an aftertaste of ozone at the back of her throat. Exhale. The monstrosity that massacred her companions moved at an impossible speed for a creature of such size. Inhale. For a second, the black-eyed nightmare raised its head. Shar held her breath. The shields flickered again. She pulled the trigger. The phaser blast flew straight to Semathal's head, only to bounce off the shields at the last moment. Shar kept holding her breath, her aim still under her crosshairs. The swirling light that signaled an active shield disappeared. Shar pulled the trigger again. Exhale. The Scion let out a sharp grinding sound, blue blood spilling from its face. One of the chitin plates over its eyes had disappeared. The Andorian allowed herself a shark-like grin. Her shot had barely scratched the creature, but no matter how superficial the wound, it had hurt it. What could be hurt could be killed. She cocked her weapon again and inspired once more. Another shot. Just that.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #34
[Lt. Zephyr Praise | Platforms |  Death's Door |  Saving Lives |  Safety in Numbers]
@Numen @Auctor Lucan

She got the feeling that she was not what the Andorian expected.  But, Zephyr was used to catching people off guard.  She was actually somewhat talented at it.  It was probably why she had so many friends that were so varied.  She hoped that she would be able to actually make friends, that she would live through all of this horror and get herself to safety.  She hoped that she would find a new place to be and people that wouldn't ask too many questions.  There was much about her life that she wouldn't be able to talk about.  Working on a Black Site did that to people and she wouldn't be able to even tell people that part.  Just that she had been working and that was all she could say.  It would be difficult to form friendships and relationships with those that sought outright clarity and complete honesty.  Zeph was lucky in the fact that she was empathic and therefore could tell if someone was being authentic or not.  Still, she  hoped that it would all be all right when they were rescued from this place.  She, for one, could not go back where she came from.

It still surprised her that not a single person asked her where she was from.  She chalked it up to the fact that the Theurgy crew likely thought she was from the Endeavour and vice versa.  She wasn't going to tell them they were wrong at this time.  Everything was so heavy and fast right now she didn't need to put that kind of weight on herself.  Who knew if she would even survive the fight today.  She sure hoped so, she needed to get down there and help the Captain.

The man down below might not be her Captain but it was someone that was in need of medical assistance.  Zephyr was never the sort that could step aside while people needed help and just watch.  It wasn't in her blood, in her heart, or in her soul.  She would help those in need no matter their race or home.  It was just about her being needed and having the skills that they desired so greatly.

Zephyr crawled with the blue woman across the beams that were so high above the battle below.  She could literally feel the man's death as the beast down there skewered him on his massive claw and flung him to the side. For a moment, the young Betazoid paused, and nearly wretched.  She was a strong woman but feeling someone die was a completely different thing than just seeing it.  Seeing it you could distance yourself to it, you could remind yourself of the future, what steps needed to be taken in the future.  Your goal.  The endgame.  But feeling, the flicker of life just sputter out like that, the pain and agony, the shock and surprise, before the quiet.  It was so hard for her to wrap her mind around for the moment.  Her face turned pale, bright white, and she took a few shuddering breaths. 

What do you see, Zephyr.  I see... I see the metal plates. she thought to herself running through a mantra that her counselor had spoken to her about.  What do you hear?  I hear the sounds of battle, of people fighting.  What do you smell?  I smell blood.  What do you feel?  I feel the grate beneath my fingers. she completed her training and her eyes opened.  Shar hadn't gone too far ahead and Zephyr pushed herself forward so that she could get closer again.  Up ladders, across more platforms she followed the Blue woman trying to keep up with her though feeling useless for the most part. 

Up above, Shar dove for the plating and Zephyr lowered herself more carefully to the ground, clutching the medical kit with her entire being.  Her eyes shifted around looking for the Captain.  Surely he was down there, and there, she spotted him.  He was barely standing on his own two feet but he was forcing himself upright which meant that his will power was paramount.  That was good, she was going to need that will power for when she got down there to treat him.  Shar was already firing shots, and Zeph could sense the Ante's down below that were firing up them.  She grabbed up her phaser and took aim on the highest stun setting and began to at least try to take some down.  She was just doing blanket coverage because she couldn't see them as high up as they were all too well.  But she could feel them when they were stunned and fell.  She had been able to get at least two of them, she thought, and hoped that it would at least make it easier for the others to get them.

While she was doing so, the storm of shots at their platform began to reign more heavily.  We've been found. she thought as she ducked down and wondered if there was a way that she could reach Ives.  Closing her eyes for a moment she opened her mind and hoped that she could connect with Ives in a mental capacity.  She had never sought to do this before but she wanted to try.  She felt the oddity that was the mind... it was nothing that Zephyr had ever felt before.  She only touched on it lightly, and didn't dive into any memories or surface thoughts.  Just a slight presence.

~Excuse the intrusion, Captain, my name is Lieutenant Zephyr Praise, a Scientist and Medical Doctor for the Federation.  We are here to rescue you and provide aid.  We are coming.~  She hoped that if he received the message and understood it, that it would at least give him more courage and of course the hope necessary to make it through the battle to when she could get down there to him and actually treat him.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #35
[ Deacon | Day 6 | Scion's Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Triage  @BZ  @Numen @FollowTomorrow 

Deacon made a sour and indelicate sound in the back of his throat as he watched the first of the invasion team all but eliminated within the span of a few moments.  He persed his lips, wondering if this, perhaps, was the secret reason Kzinti avoided names among the undistinguished rank and file... so much easier to report that soldiers one through fifteen had fallen in battle than to wrack one's memories for their names.  But, they had done as any kzinti warrior would do... lunged heedlessly into battle, a battle cry on their lips.  They would've made any patriarch proud.  Well, if they'd lived.  And if patriarchs didn't disdain monkeys as much as they did.

And here he thought he'd taught them better.  Perhaps he'd been too cryptic.  Telling them that the scion knew more about them than they about it... implying that only greater knowledge would offset that advantage.  Oh well.  This is why the front lines were the front lines and strategists stood apart.  His eyes followed the movement of the massive creature, flitting periodically to survey the territory around it, harkening back to the hunting strategies all young kzin were taught. Size, strength... these were insignificant hurdles.  Practically everything the kzinti hunted were three to ten times their own size with strength and ferocity to match.  Speed was, perhaps, the truest issue in this fight.

As the antes entered the room, their graviton guns drawn to support the scion, Deacon spared a wicked grin.  "What a novel little toy.  No ears to speak of on those giant heads, so I'll have to take a different type of souvenir," he thought to himself.  Still, it was but another of a long array of ranged weapons.  Dishonorable, unsatisfying.  But full of opportunities for the right engineer.

Returning his gaze to the scion, he slowly shifted his position, minimizing his aspect against incoming attack.  He would prefer to restrict the terrain into which the scion could move.  Fire, caltrops, pits, snares... all the things that would be useful in the open against an unthinking beast would likely trip up his own would-be companions here, as ungraceful as the monkeys seemed to be for the most part.  That left him with few options.  Taking aim, he readied himself, carefully tracking the creature's movements, waiting for the opportunity to strike.

The andorian fired, striking the insectoid beast in the head.  It was enough of an opportunity as he unleashed a searing bolt of energy from his own weapon, not aimed for the head, but for one of the oddly jointed legs, knowing it unlikely to completely immobilize their target, but hoping it more than sufficient to slow it down.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #36
[ Ens. Nathaniel Isley | Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

When the thing lurched and spoke, many things happened at once. The young man next to Isley was snuffed out so quickly and in such a cruel way—impaled, and then thrown to the side as if he were no more than garbage. It’s limb came towards Isley and he was sure that he would meet his end next. Instead, his gun went flying into the darkness, landing...somewhere, likely. He never heard it hit the ground, because his body was knocked over and his head hit the ground. He heard ringing in his ears instead. He was closest to Semethal and did not see what happened to the team behind him, but he knew the Scion had attacked them. He did not need to see them to understand what fate met them.

He was clearly outmatched. It registered in his mind that this Scion was Infected. Knowing what he did about the parasites, he was so outmatched that simply being here, pushing himself up to his feet a few meters from Semethal, was suicidal. But he was behind the Scion, no longer the center of attention, and he already had an idea.

He sprinted towards the guards. Time felt like it was going by too fast, like he made it there quicker than he should have. They had weapons too, and they were firing at those in the balconies. That was, until Isley came.

He grabbed one guard, specifically his arms, and redirected the gun at...well, everything. There were two people trying to use this gun. What wound up happening is a spray of weapons fire, mostly at the hulking figure of Semethal, but also at the viewscreen, the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the balconies, and particularly the other guards. He tried to elbow the guard in the face, but it was a struggle to do so. Weapons fire sprayed everywhere before Isley finally got control over the weapon.

“You didn’t kill me yet you over sized shit-beetle! What the hell kind of swipe was that anyway?! I’ve seen children fight better than that! Hey, fuck all of you too!” He called out, and turned to the fellow guards. He fired at and around them, to force them to back off more than to hurt them.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #37
[ Captain Ives | Scion Nest | Main Research Hull | Precept-ship Versant ]
Helplessly, Jien Ives watched the carnage unfold - unable to assist in any other way than warning them.

The second notion that came to him was to tell them to stop. To leave, and save themselves, leaving him behind. He was not worth the lives of all those people out there. Isley, for one. He didn't want Isley to throw his life away in a futile attempt to save his life. The Scion was Infested, and there were more of the Savi on the way inside the nest, armed and armoured. Isley had retreated from Semathal, thankfully, and Jien saw him fight the Scion's personal guard. While there were beam energy whipping about the nest, he did manage to deter the personal guard's steady advance, half the success being on account of those firing from the research lab balconies.

There.... was suddenly a distinct voice in his mind, seeing the development. A voice that tried to allay his fears, and give him hope. Yet at the same time, in contrast to her words, Semathal had just dug its claws into the leg of a young officer Jien didn't recognised, and with the grip, the Scion smashed the officer to death against a pillar. Three consecutive swings, without pause for breath or delay. The officer was likely dead from the first of them, but by the time the Savi Admiral tossed the mess of meat and bone aside, there was no doubt to it. The only boon, was that the beast had stood still longer than he'd done before in the ensuing battle.

And someone on the balconies fired away, pelting the Scion with phaser energy, and since its forcefield had already taken its toll of shots from Isley, the rest that Ives didn't see, and the now dead officers strewn across the nest... the force field was finally breached.

Jien saw how Semathal lurched from the shot it sustained to it's head raising a clawed hand to it. Meanwhile, another man Jien... couldn't place... came for the Scion, and used the opportunity to fire at one of it's three legs. The screeching noise was short-lived, however, for the Admiral was not entirely itself. It was more. Other. And it didn't waste a moment to close the distance to the last shooter down on the deck, and directed a backhand strike towards him that would - if it hit - likely send the shooter rolling across the deck.

Trying to focus, to think clearly, Jien raised his eyes to the balconies. He could barely stand upright, but he would not just be lying on the floor. Seeing Semathal hurt, at last, had indeed stirred hope, and he would answer the telepath somehow. He closed his eyes a moment. Leave me behind. You should escape, not fight. It is Infested. You are too few.

When Jien opened his eyes again, he could see beams from Isley's weapon piercing Semathal - perforating the Scion's massive bulk. It seemed to do naught more than agitate the demonic alien, which rounded on Isley, about to kill him. Jien couldn't do anything about it. Fortune favoured Isley only in the fact that Semathal was a little bit slower, one leg damaged. Furthermore, the fighting had taken Semathal directly beneath the lab balconies along the bulkhead.

The personal guard was not deterred, however, since they made a second advance, four armoured Antecedents firing against the balconies anew. The railings had begun to give away from the graviton beams, crashing down towards Isley, the shooter with the tail, and Semathal.

That was when Jien saw glowing eyes in the dark, directly above the Scion's limping path.

OOC: Seven days of posting begin anew! @Triage goes next as previously discussed? The rest have no set posting order, so just chime in when you can within those seven days. :)

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #38
Nae I no be thinkin' meself smart or brave. Stupid, aye, very much soh!
- Sinead O'Riley, Cause and Effect.

[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Balcony | Scion Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @steelphoenix, @BZ, @FollowTomorrow & @Numen
They were losing, they were dying. The captain was no closer to safety than when they first came in. There was no feasible way to get Zeph safely over to him to render aid, and they. Were. Dying. The loss of one life was one too many that Sinead didn't want to see. Semathal had to be stopped, and he had to be stopped now. Her PADD was recording the entire incident, and she knew what she could do to even the odds. There were three possible outcomes that she could see. The best one guaranteed she could maintain a modicum of control, but in case she couldn't, she locked eyes with Zephyr, and nodded, thinking at the Betazoid, If I start attacking everyone, shoot me.

“Continueh recordin',” said Sinead to the PADD, “forward live feed t' Moby. Forward with message, urgent: Critical failure imminent. Assistance required. Semathal too strong.”

She removed the PADD from her wrist, slung her rifle, ducking her head to avoid a graviton beam, then holstered her phaser pistol after making sure it was set to its maximum power. She stood up, watching as Shar's shot finally destabilize the gigantic Scion, bringing him directly under her balcony. She looked at Deacon briefly and said softly, “Go low, I be goin' high.”

Without any further ado, she leapt from her perch, the PADD continuing it's assigned task of recording and providing a live feed to Moby, with an urgent message. Semathal's form zoomed up to meet Sinead as she swung her legs forward, her left hand gripping the back of his neck, as the momentum carried her onwards. She twisted her torso to lock one arm in a scissor, and she balanced herself in front of him, supporting her weight by her right palm on his shoulder, her left hand drawing out her pistol with lightning speed, and she stuck the barrel into what passed for the Scion's mouth, then without further delay, squeezed the trigger.

This either worked, or Moby would need to send another team to finish what they started.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #39
[ LtJr. Khelleshar sh'Zenne | Day 6| The Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Triage  @BZ  @steelphoenix @FollowTomorrow

Shar was a privileged observer of O'Riley's suicide attack through the sight of her rifle. While she was preparing herself  to keep weakening the Scion's cranial plates, she was able to watch how the bright-eyed human burst into her line of vision. For a few seconds that seemed to extend infinitely, both O'Riley and the Scion struggled, the insectoid creature trying to get rid of the threat posed by the human, this determined to fullfil her desperate attack. Finally, the engineer got her goal and embedded the barrel of her weapon deep down between the monster's chitin mandibles. Sinead didn't hesitate a second on pull the trigger, aiming from with the Scion mouth to the plateless spot of his head. Instantly, a shower of dense blue blood was projected from the side of Semathal's head, mouth, cheek and jawline blasted open. Shapeless pieces of flesh and exoskeleton spilled around the creature, smearing everything around them with cerulean vital juices. The gargantuan creature emitted a high pitch scream, an unnatural sound in which surprise, pain and anger were plaited. One of his jointed legs hit violently the body of his attacker, hurling off the human against the farest window. The last glimpse of the woman that Shar could see was the human flying towards the blurry image of the nebula, her body limp as a broken toy.

Almost at the same time, the Andorian was forced to duck behind the railings, due graviton beam fire intensifying against her position. The shen crawled on her elbows and knees away from the edge as shots increased around her, tearing shards from the floor panels. In a few seconds, the parapet that protected them collapsed under the intensity of the shots, plunging into the main room, many meters below them. "Zztann!"Growled the Andorian between clenched teeth, while looking within Zephyr's eyes. She found the doctor too close to the void for her taste, her hands firmly gripped around the medkit, a vacant stare in her black eyes. A chill ran down the spine of the youngest member of the Zenne clan. The betazoid wasn't there, or at least not totally. She was using her mental abilities for ... for something that escaped the understanding of the Andorian. Whatever she was doing, she seemed only tangentially aware of what was happening around her, making her an even more vulnerable target. "C'mon, wake up!" Shar yelled, standing on her feet and shaking the doctor. Regardless of her reaction, she rested one of her hands on the doc's nape, forcing her to keep herself crouched, while using her body to shield her from the next burst of gunfire. She was the only doctor among the attackers' group, she must keep alive, no matter what it cost.

When they had almost reached the balcony point closest to the wall, a violent impact shook the platform, causing both women to stagger. Shar lost her balance and fell painfully on her knees. A metallic moan resounded on the platform they occupied, the structure that held it mortally wounded. The glances of both women crisscrossed for a second, while the rostrum leaned slowly toward the center of the room, plunging in slow motion into the void. Shar dropped the rifle, which scurried across the increasingly sloping surface until it disappeared over the edge of the damaged platform. "Get yourself safe!" Shouted the Andorian as she struggled to cling to the falling surface of the balcony. Her fingers searched desperately for a crack, any crevice that would allow her to move toward the safety where Zephyr remained, but the metal surface was as smooth as a first year icefield. Shar clung to the platform, keeping herself from falling from sheer force of will. But it was not enough.She had managed to avoid plunging towards the abyss but she was unable to move towards a secure position. And the platform tilted more and more every second, slowly but inexorably approaching her to a certain death. In a desperate last act, Shar pushed forward slightly and extended her left arm in front of her, fingers desperately extended toward Zephyr. If only she could reach her hand. If only...

A flurry of graviton gunfire whizzed around them again, permeating the air with the acrid smell of ozone. Shar screamed as one of the shots hit the shoulder of her outstretched arm, numbing pain spreading from the wound. The Andorian's fingers contorted and Shar lost the weak grip that held her to the platform. She felt herself falling...

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #40
[Lt. Zephyr Praise | Platforms Above Death | Crawling with Andorians | Boosting a Captain]
@Auctor Lucan @Numen

Zephyr was not even there.  Her eyes were zoned out as she made a connection with the man down below, the one that was hurt and most definitely having a hard time.  He had been through a lot, there was no doubt what so ever, but she hoped that he wasn't destroyed.  That was all that they needed, these people, the ones from the Theurgy needed him to be fine.  Maybe not whole, but not destroyed.  They needed a Captain that they could believe in, stand behind, and boost up.  They had come here for him because he had meant something to the crew.  The sign of a good Captain, the sign of the man and the kind of Captain he was for the people under his command.  Zephyr had no doubt that he was worth saving and she hoped that he wouldn't do anything stupid like sacrifice himself just for the fact that it would make people stop fighting for him.  What he didn't realize was that they weren't here for just him.

This was part of the deal.

~Leave me behind. You should escape, not fight. It is Infested. You are too few.~  The male voice slid back into her mind, it was odd, not having it be Khorin that she heard.  He was, so far, the only one she had allowed into her mind at the moment.  Still, she knew that it was the captain, the feel was right, she could tell that he was pulling himself back together.  He didn't want them to die, but he didn't want to die either.  Despite what his words were, it seemed that he was gearing up for a fight at the very least. 

~Your people beg to differ.  They believe you are important but you are not the sole reason we are here.  A bargain has been struck to save your people, the people of Starfleet, and the others that are imprisoned on this ship.  You will not be left behind.~ her voice was kind but she was firm and stalwart in her mental voice.  So he would know that she spoke the truth.  ~Do not gi-~

Her voice stopped suddenly as she felt someone shaking her violently where she was in her body not in her head.  Her dark eyes blinked and she looked at the blue face of the woman that she had taken herself with.  A moment, was all it took to realize how bad the situation had grown from the moment before she had latched onto Ives' mind, and the fact that she was near a large drop to death down below.  She swallowed heavily. 

“Sorry!” she cried out, it was clear on her face alone that she hadn't meant to put herself in danger like that.  “I just wanted to tell the Captain that we were coming and what was going on.” she told the woman in front of her.  “Though in hindsight I probably should have given you warning.  I'm here now.” she admitted as she looked at the Andorian.  Thankful that somehow she had been able to keep herself and Zephyr both alive at the same time.

She stumbled after Shar and then both of the women were stumbling forward as a shot rocked the whole platform.  It wasn't going to last much longer and if they both fell from this height they were going to die.  We need a grapple gun or something, super archaic, super handy.  Could be pink.  She thought as Shar fell down to her knees.  Zeph, in her stumbling she fell so that she crashed into Shar just a little bit but caught herself well enough.  Her eyes searched the Andorian's face for a moment trying to figure out if she was in need of medical care right now or if it was something that she could push through and get on with the day.  Something that Zephyr could take care of then.

There, just ahead, was a platform that was still securely bolted to the wall.  Zephyr pushed herself at Shar's comment towards the platform so that she could get to a place where they weren't about to plunge to their deaths.  Turning quickly her eyes looked down at the woman that was clawing at the scaffolding that was currently lowering itself over and over and over again.  She gasped softly, and crawled to the edge.  She didn't want her to fall, she could not have the death on her hands.  She had enough of them and she really would like not to have another one added to the tally. 

“You're supposed to get yourself to safety too!” she admonished the woman gently as the woman reached for Zephyr.  Zeph tried to ground herself as well as she could, the woman had once been eternally clumsy but a wealth of training and age had changed that largely about her person.  So she felt much better about reaching out over the precipice of doom for Shar.  Hooking an arm and a leg around one of the platforms railing that was still in tact and fully bolted to the deck plating.  Of course, while she was wrapping herself up as best as possible so that she would be able to support the Andorian properly the woman slipped out and her hand let go of what had once been a firm ground support for her. 

“No!  You will not die today.” She said to Shar as she darted out without thinking of her own safety.  Gripping the bar as much as she could she reached out and grabbed a hold of Shar's Savi uniform.  Holding her for a moment, her strong scientist hands wrenching in the fabric there giving Shar a moment to grab onto Zephyr's arm as well.  “You can't help if you're dead.” she said quickly as she began to work to pull the andorian up enough that she could get enough of a purchase on the platform that she could get to safety and both of them ended up falling backwards on the platform breathing heavily. 

“Well.  That wasn't okay.  And exciting.  And hey can we save death defying circus maneuvers for the holodecks once we're off this boat?” she asked with a bright smile as she looked over at the Andorian and sat up.  “We have to get to Ives.” she admitted to Shar before she crawled over to a small hatch that seemed to lead to a ladder that would take her back down to the deck.  It would be a long climb down but if she could get down there she could crouch and hopefully lie in weight til the time that she could actually help Ives and get him all patched up.  Who knew what had actually been done to the captain, but the doctor and the Scientist in her wanted to set it all back to rights.

“I'm going down.” she told Shar.  “I'm going for Ives.”  Zeph didn't wait for an answer she began her descent to the ground floor hoping that Shar could give her cover.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #41
[ Ens. Nathaniel Isley | Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

There was significant damage done against Semethal. He saw the balcony go down. Was that his fault? Probably. That’s okay. He snatched the gun from the Ante and used it to smack the Ante in the face. He did the same to the next one, and in no time the Antes’ guns were aimed at him.

Already he expected to die a handful of times in this battle, and here he was again expecting to do so. And never did happen. He grabbed one Ante, rolled him over his shoulder and pelted them over at another, and he ran at yet another with fury. He wasn’t going to die here. Like the very belief that he would not die sustained him, he kept going, throwing some poor unconscious Ante at the doorway where even more were coming.

“You think all of you can take me?!” He shouted down the oncoming Antes, giving them a moment’s pause as he established his power, mostly by aiming his gun at them. “You couldn’t take my dick! Come at me you fucking penises!” And he began to spray weapons fire, forcing the oncoming Antes to either take cover or get hit by bits of interior collapsing.

Semethal was taken care of. He knew that because, a minute before all this, he was sprayed by chunks of something semi-solid and gross. It came from Semethal, so he assumed that the Scion had…exploded. He didn’t want to look at that, actually. Let’s not. He was trying nice and hard not to puke all over the Antes he was trying so hard to intimidate. He hoped the flesh and blood made him look intimidating, for what it was worth.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #42
[ Deacon | Day 6 | Scion's Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Triage  @BZ  @Numen @FollowTomorrow 

Retaliatory strikes.  A common response.  Perhaps not so quick, but common.  Wounded prey often lashed out at the cause of their pain.  He flexed backwards, expecting to shift under the swipe to reposition himself, a tactic he'd performed dozens of times back on homeworld growing up, learning to hunt.  But that was before the correction, that was before the fundamental change in his skeletal structure, and where he'd adapted to his changed in mobility on a conscious level, the old instincts held true to what had gone before.

A sharp pain erupted from the back of his head as it strafed the ground, his muscle memory overcompensating for the kzinti rib lattice that he no longer possessed, the flexibility in his back as a human ironically more significant even as his legs folded under him, the scion's swipe passing a hair's breadth past the tip of his nose.

Biting back the pain, he rolled to the side, focused on the flailing of the target so as to avoid being stomped on physically even as his own internal monologue of critique assailed him.  Alone, such an unseemly position would likely have proven fatal for him.  Damaged as it was, the scion still moved and struggled with all the ferocity of a grlor even at 1/25th the size.  Analysis now was hardly ideal. Survive the battle and redress the mistakes in recovery and laugh over the scars.

Deacon caught a flash of movement above him as the female bringloidi descended from her perch making another direct assault on the creature's head.  An excellent strategy.  Had he the position and strength, he'd've set his own weapon into the wound rigged to explode.  Wishful thinking.  A momentary blood lust that would have been glorious.  Wasn't there a klingon in here?  A klingon should be singing opera right about now.

Focus... focus...

He supposed it was fortunate that the personal entourage of ante guards were more focused on the balconies above or the officers in their midst.  It made for fewer things to dodge from his position.

The bringloidi's stratagem had done significant damage to the creature's head -- at least what had remained of it.  But it wasn't enough, not to him, not to reality, not to whatever had crawled inside and taken control over the chitinous puppet.  Either way, Deacon had not scored enough against the beast.

Again, he raised his weapon, this time taking aim for the center of the legs and pulling the trigger, whether to sever spine from hip, or even disable another limb, he was intending to ensure this thing never had opportunity again to move from this spot.  Immobilized, it would die.  He was convinced, even as he felt  the warmth of his own blood beginning to drip down his neck, the edges of his vision blurring.  It would die... even if the monkeys had to do it...

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #43
[ Echtand qi Versant | The Archive Access | Precept-ship Versant ]
Standing above the dead body of the Memory, Echtand had just finished his transmission to Blue Tiran, in which he'd forgiven her for what her actions had led to; the death of twenty Antes. She'd freed a Deltan from the biolabs, and not told him, but Blue had done it before the accord was made. Had she told him, he might have been able to save the Deltan's life, but now, the Eye had spotted her in the night, and had the escaped specimen slain. Because of the Deltan, the Eye had deployed search-teams through the entire Precept-ship to find out who had issued the female's transport.

He wasn't entirely sure why he'd let Blue's actions pass without repercussions. Perhaps it was because of his own level of commitment to success, and he needed the specimens still? For some reason, he could not bring himself to cut her off, and made them all scapegoats. Whenever the notion came to him, he saw the eyes of his mother and father anew - the reproach in their stares as they were led to their deaths in the biolabs.

Whatever might compel him, Echtand had now killed both the Eye and the Memory, and waited outside the Achive Access, the blood of two Scions on his hands. He remained true to his ambition. There was no turning back any more. All he needed now, was to wait for word about Semathal, and access to the Archive would be his - unfiltered by his mere level as Voice of the Savi. With the Eye, the Memory and Semathal gone, he'd gain full disclosure of the Archive's history on the Code, and the key to his people's true origin... before the Scion Directive.

The seconds felt like minutes, the minutes like hours, without word from those that would breach the Scion's Nest, and rid the Versant from its admiral. He'd aided the specimens in the Aerodrome, but there was no word from the other areas yet, and he found himself pacing back and forth, passing by the body of the Memory again and again in wait for the access confirmation. He refused to indulge in doubt, certain the circumstantial evidence would prove him right once he was inside the Archive.

There was a whirring noise from his tablet, and he raised it to see a message, at last, from the Nest. Though it was not the message he wanted. "<Failure imminent?>" he said, incredulous. The team was armed, was it not? Had he not granted them access to the Nest, and an element of surprise? Were Starfleet so inadequate? Had he overestimated their will to live? There was a blinking symbol next to the message, which would render him a live feed from the wearer of the tablet. Frowning, he tapped the symbol, and the tablet projected the holographic scene as the sender experienced it.

Seeing what transpired, Echtand was taken aback. Being up-close to semathal and seeing the sender blast the Scion Admiral's head open at the side. For a moment, he thought it was over with.... but then the sender - tagged Sinead O'Riley - was thrown away from Semathal. The tablet kept up the live feed, however, and Echtand could hardly credit his eyes. The Admiral was still moving. Still fighting? Incredulously, from afar, Echtand saw a tailed specimen fire against the damaged body of the Scion, the phaser blasts eating away at the lower body, yet Semathal still struck the weapon out of the specimen's hand, and leapt towards its assailant.

"<Cack!>" Echtand had no idea what was happening, but he knew that his whole endeavour was in peril. Even if he beamed the specimens in the hideout to the Nest, they were likely not armed or prepared. There was no time. "<Cack!>" Fuming, Echtand realised he had no choice. For all his planning through the night, he had not anticipated this scenario. Nonetheless, with deep bitterness and trepidation towards what he'd witnessed, he extended a finger towards his tablet, and issued a reply.

I WILL ARRIVE THROUGH YOUR ACCESS POINT. DO NOT ATTACK ME. Once that was sent, after giving the vault behind him one last glance, he accessed the transporter system.

[ Captain Ives | Scion Nest | Main Research Hull | Precept-ship Versant ]
Jien had no words to give the telepath, the sight of the battle drawing his eye - any words forgotten.

Illuminated still by the blue stasis field, face mauled and body broken, hope had stirred him. The pain felt was a feed from a mimicked form, a construct of his morphogenic matrix. The only reason he could move, and might yet remain sane, was because there had been no use in perfectly mimicking human pain reception. While the agony was felt, it was not anything akin to what a human in his position might.

His despair was in seeing the development, helplessly watching those who'd come for him getting slaughtered by the Infested thing in the nest. Watching from where he stood, O'Riley had ended up behind a pillar, and Isley was too far off, dealing with the personal guard, but he believed they were retreating. The balconies were crashing down against the deck, and yet two female figures seemed to have managed to avoid the fall. Semathal, however, had disarmed the tall figure with the tail, and closed a grip around his neck. Decapitation was imminent, those nacreous claws about to close - even if the Scion's footing seemed precarious. Damaged, yet not damaged enough, and still remaining upright. In that instant, Ives got the notion that the victim had to be the Kzin. Deacon.

"No..." he wheezed. Yet something in his peripheral vision caught his eye. Another figure entered the nest. Another Savi. The one who once visited the Scion. With long strides, armed with a graviton pistol, Ives expected him to kill those on the balconies, or shoot Isley in the back. Yet instead, when the figure raised his weapon, he fired against the ceiling. A careful shot made, before the Savi rounded on the Scion. Semathal, in turn, had yet to decapitate Deacon - it's remaining eyes turning towards the new arrival.

There was Savi speech heard. A loud proclamation from the Ante, which made Semathal toss Deacon aside. Whatever had been said, it made the Scion lurch towards the Ante. It sounded as if Semathal tried to answer, to issue some kind of voice commands, yet his head was too damaged, making the sounds no more coherent than a broken facet of blue blood. Was Jien watching some kind of power struggle? The Ante had his wrist raised towards the advancing Scion, tapping commands into a tablet. Two things happened.

The front entrance of the nest was sealed, shutting out the personal guard that Isley had pushed into retreat - leaving the pilot inside the nest. Secondly, as if the Ante was conjuring spells with his fingers, blinding yellow geometries appeared in the dome of the nest, and struck down against Semathal. Over and over again, the yellow lights smote the Infested, and gradually stripped away his outer chitin armour.

Though while the Scion screeched through a damaged throat, it still advanced towards the Ante.

"Kill it!" snapped the Savi, still tapping at his tablet, the words in accented Federation standard as he asked the remaining Starfleet officers to finish the fight. Slowly, focused on his typed commands, the Ante stepped backwards, but Jien saw that it was only a matter of seconds before the remains of Semathal would reach this unexpected ally in the nest. Deacon had slowed the Infested down considerably, but it was still moving, and still alive, animated by the nameless darkness.

OOC: By the end of this next round of posts, Semathal should be sufficiently destroyed to cease moving. Echtand will continue to strike him with purification fields throughout your posts, until there is only smoking soup left, but Echtand needs help stopping the advance and blasting the Scion into smaller pieces. Otherwise, he's done for.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #44
[ Lt. JG Sinead O'Riley | Balcony | Scion Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @steelphoenix, @BZ, @FollowTomorrow & @Numen
For a moment, Sinead dared to hope, as her pistol unleashed the full power of a vapourizing phaser blast, that it would be over. But even as she redecorated the wall behind Semathal with Scion goop and brain matter, the foul thing screamed, hurting the unprepared Bringloidi's eardrums, she realized she was now riding an extremely furious eight foot tall rampaging monster. Even as she released her leg lock on one of his arms, his middle leg kneed her, hard. The impact knocked the breath out of her and she silently flew towards a display window. Forcing air into her lungs, she twisted herself as she sailed, until she landed roughly on the floor, lying uncomfortably on top of a Graviton rifle, belonging to one of the Savi guardsmen that had entered to assist Semathal.

Nathaniel was holding the entire Savi reinforcements remarkably well by himself, and she slowly pushed herself off the ground, seemingly forgotten in the excitement of it all...or Semathal was working with only half his brain and therefore, was not functioning with his full faculties. Either way, she saw Zeph making her way to the ground, approaching the captain. Sinead felt momentary panic at the doctor's actions, but she stamped it down in light of the fact that it was down to them, now, and they could ill-afford to keep anyone from trying to contribute. Deacon had jumped down just before her, but he suffered injuries, a concussion by her guess, and now the Scion had the tailed human in its hold. Her phaser pistol had flown out of her hand when Semathal kicked her, and was on the far side from where she was. She swung her phaser rifle around, only to notice the side of the weapon sparking and sizzling.

The weapon had taken the brunt of the Scion's kick, suffering damage, saving Sinead from the worst of it. Even so, the woman could feel pain with each breath she drew, and suspected at the least, bruised ribs. Getting into a kneeling position, she picked up the Graviton rifle after abandoning her phaser, and examined it. The functions were essentially the same. She noticed a message coming in on her PADD and she tried to raise her voice, “MOBY IS COMIN', DO NO' BE SHOOTIN' HIM!”

When the Savi appeared, Sinead's sense of shock lasted for only a brief moment. Logic told her that Moby had to be of significant influence. Echtand qi Versant was certainly that. Though his alliance with them was curious, she focused on the assistance and tactical advantage he just provided them. Sealing the Savi security force outside mitigated distractions from their only task at hand. On top of that, he had called down some sort of laser support systems that began to destroy the Scion's chitinous armour. “Protect the Savi!” Sinead wheezed as loudly as she could, and whipped the Graviton rifle into her hands, taking careful aim.

The others began their attacks, and Sinead took aim at Semathal's legs, beam after beam seared out from the rifle and cut the creature's legs, “Semathal!” the Bringloidi shouted, “Look at yeh! Yeh are weak! A failure! Th' Scions are an embarrassment. How can yeh call yehself superior?!?” The laser support continued its brutal work on the Scion, tearing away more protection and leaving it vulnerable to attack by the Starfleet officers and Echtand.

She kept firing at the creature's legs, and continued taunting him, trying to draw his attention to herself. “Yeh are bein' brought low by lesser beings. How does it feel?” She squeezed the trigger and drew a line from its middle leg to most of its back. “If yeh want th' Savi, yeh cann crawl t' him.” One final beam completely cut the middle leg right at the joint, and another leg was cut in half, but the woman kept firing, determined to reduce the Scion to nothing but atoms. “Officers, DESTROY TH' SCION!!! Her eyes blazed like blue suns, and she stood up, firing as she drew closer.

Rarely did Sinead allow her emotions to rule or dictate her actions ever since embracing the ways of Surak. But this once, the Bringloidi indulged herself, and allowed anger, indignation for countless lives devastated or lost, due to the alien before her that she was firing on, and so she poured her hatred, and raw fury into every single shot. She made every moment the most painful cut into the Scion. She inflicted suffering. And she took sadistic pleasure in it.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #45
[ LtJr. Khelleshar sh'Zenne | Day 6| The Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Triage  @BZ  @steelphoenix @FollowTomorrow

She had saved her. She barely knew her, not really, and in spite of it, she had save her. She'd grabbed her dark garment and dragged her to salvation,drawing an inconceivable strength from nowhere given her petite frame. Risking her own life looming over the void without considering her own safety. Despite the little love she had for her own existence at that moment, the Andorian's self-preservation instinct still worked perfectly so that as soon as she was able to reach one of the edges of the battered platform, Shar clung to it, putting all her strength to climbing to the balcony, lightening the task of her savior. Finally they both rolled down the platform, away from the danger of a sudden fall. The Andorian rolled on her back, panting heavily. Zephyr's breathing did not seem much more uniform. Shar turned her head to look at the woman to whom she owed her life without knowing what to say. Maybe she should thank her it. Maybe she should blame her for stealing the chance to die on a mission, with a real meaning. So she simply stared her, antennae lashing against her forehead. Shar opened her mouth to say ... something. Anythig. But the betazoid doctor talked before she could form any words. And she smiled. Shar wasn't even able to understand what she was saying. It was just that she offered hope. And in the dark despair in which the Andorian was plunged, she was like seeing suddenly the light of day again. It just blinded her. She didn't deserve hope. Not her. The Andoria's shame.

However, she couldn't reveal herself against that positive feeling she offered her, because with the same rapidity that she had launched over the edge to save her, Zephyr stood up proclaiming her intention to go in search of Ives, using a hatch to reach the lowest level. Even before Kelleshar regained verticality, Praise was already descending the narrow ladder, taking the lead. She took a second to look at the hole through which the other woman had disappeared, still uncertain how to feel about her. Zephyr really tried hard to be endearing to everyone. It was an attitude that had always disgusted Shar. And still, the betazoid started to grow on her. Like a parasite. The Andorian bit her lower lip hard, until the delicate surface opened, staining her mouth in indigo. Without giving a further thought to the subject, she ran forward and began to climb down the ladder, in pursuit of Zephyr.

The descent lasted what seemed like an eternity. The shaft was narrow and even darker than the rest of the Savi installations, with barely a spot of dim lighting every ten rungs. Most of the climbing happened almost in complete darkness, the noises of what happened below distorted and amplified until they were converted into an unintelligible clamor. It was like being inside a percussion instrument of the size of a starship. The Andorian found it difficult to hear even her own thoughts, let alone unravel how the fight was unfolding.

When they finally reached the lowest floor, Shar quickly grabbed Zephyr by the elbow to keep her from running wildly in search of the captain. "Just wait a minute, remember you are the only doctor here" he rebuked her, more for giving vent to the bitterness that was innate in her than because the betazoid had done something crazy so far. Except, of course, save her life. She didn't want to deal with the contradictory feelings that caused her, so she was quick to evaluate the situation. The floor plates were smeared with red and blue blood, the smashed bodies of the advance squad covered the ground like a macabre harvest. The Andorian's eyes moved quickly in search of the Scion. The creature was heading toward the door through which they had entered the room, his strides slower and less secure than the last time she had seen him through the sight of her rifle. Despite the grotesque wounds he had suffered, the absence of an important part of his head, the terrible damage to two of his three lower appendices. In spite of everything, the creature moved, guided by an unnatural energy against one of the contenders. A savi. A savi who was screaming in a heavy accented Federation Standard while he tapped frantically on the padd attached to his arm. Almost instantly, yellow lights began to flash over the Scion, dissolving little by little its chitinous armor, but without stopping his ominous advance. The only logical deduction is that this new savi was an ally. And their only ally among the bulb heads was Moby.

Her reasoning was confirmed when O'Riley's voice echoed through the room, asking for protection for the newcomer as he fired a crazed blast against one of the monster's three legs, which broke with an unpleasant wet crunch. Even with only two barely functional legs, he kept moving forward. "Go for Ives. Don't put yourself in danger, don't do anything foolish. I cover you, " she ordered to Zephyr before releasing her elbow and gripping the phaser pistol. It was not by far the most dangerous weapon against that creature, but the Andorian didn't have anything better available. Turning her back to the doctor, she straightened to face the Scion's rear, calibrated the weapon in the higher settings and began firing at the monster.

Her shots were barely able to dissolve small pieces of the gargantuan Savi's armor or caused black burns if they managed to reach the bluish flesh of the creature, where one of the yellow flashes had weakened the impenetrable shell. But Semathal kept moving forward. Desperate at the futility of her attack, Shar took a decision. She manipulated the settings of the weapon until she could overload it and ran towards the Scion. When she got close enough, she threw the gun, re-turned into a grenade. Just before hitting the Savi's right shoulder, the gun exploded, vaporizing a good portion of the creature's arm and damaging his torso. At the Andorian's horrified gaze, the monster kept moving forward.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #46
[ Deacon | Day 6 | Scion's Nest | The Versant ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan  @Triage  @BZ  @Numen @FollowTomorrow 

His hazy delirium was snatched away in an instant as the creature was upon him, snaring him by the thin flesh of his neck, the serrated claws of its opposite hand ready to strike.  Did it expect fear?  Groveling?   Tears?  Clearly it had mistaken Deacon for one of the monkeys he resembled, but his heart and his will remained steadfastly kzinti.  At any moment, he could be cast from the mortal world to join the eternal hunting ground and if such a fate were to fall, he would welcome it bravely, with eyes open, as his god would demand.

This thing clawed at the edges of his perception, foreign, hungry, a twisted visage that defied understanding, a terror made manifest.  It hammered against the edges of his ziirgah whether attempting to instill him with dread or stir a moment of regret, but Deacon remained defiant, unwilling to allow even the smallest breach in his mental defenses.  He would deny this creature.  What it had done to his flesh, he would grant it no ingress to his mind.

And then, he was cast aside, as another entered the nest, causing the scion to turn its half exposed head and charge in protest of the newest assault against its person.  An ante?  Deacon frowned.  These creatures were a hazard to themselves and others.  The universe might well be better rid of them all.  But for the sake of the captain and the remainder of the crew, he was avowed to do no harm to the pale skinned bastards, no matter how great his desire.

The scion was, however, another matter, and as it continued to lurch forward, the others continued to lash out at him.  One beam tore through the remaining leg, an explosion tore a deep hole in its torso, sending one of those clawed arms flying.  No no... Deacon wasn't done.  This thing woke him up and now he wasn't done.  Drawing the weapon that had managed by some miracle to remain in his grip, he fired towards the near-hollowed remains of the creature's head.  One of the humans had briefly mentioned a thematic feasting day centered on the consumption of seared flesh encased in hardened shells, often scooping out a liqueous concoction of spiced vegetables... what was the word?  Salsa... yes... why did this moment make him think of...?  FOCUS... FOCUS...

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #47
[ Ens. Nathaniel Isley | Scion's Nest | The Versant ]

He thought he’d be doing this forever. His main goal was to fight Semethal, and here he was constantly swamped with the big bug’s personal ant pile. And just like ants, they  never stopped coming from their little mound. He beat them back, uses suppressive fire, but they were tenacious. He was reaching a point where he couldn’t get a shot in at Semethal…

Suddenly, the doors were closed and locked, right in front of his face. He paused, just for a half second, to see if the doors would open once more and he’d be swarmed again. Sure enough, they stayed closed. But why?

He turned around, and the answer was clear. It was Echtand, their grey, creepy benefactor. He was using pinpricks of light to mince Semethal, and how effective it seemed! How did he know to come here? It didn’t matter, he thought, as he trained his weapon on Semethal once more. The fight would renew, and Isley was invigorated. For Ives, he thought, for Ives!

He felt the excitement in his blood as he began bolting towards Semethal, passing Echtand as he did so. Sinead’s screamed orders, he screamed back, a wordless expression of...of everything. All this change, all the secrets uncovered, all the lives that had ended. Bright flashes of light came from his weapon, each one piercing the lump of biomedical waste that Semethal had come to resemble. He had no fear of death—doing this was far more important. It gave him meaning. He felt so damn alive.

Hunks of flesh carved from Semethal’s body dropped, looking like sloppy cuts of meat that fell off a butcher’s table. Blood sprayed everywhere, he was sure his face and clothes were stained. Isley had placed himself between Echtand and Semethal, so close to the parasitic beast that he could smell the flesh of the bug as he ripped through it with shot after shot after shot. Semethal was close--but Isley's passion felt bigger than any bug right now.

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #48
[Lt. Zephyr Praise |  Lets Get Medical, Medical |  I Want to get.. Medical |  Not Enough Hypo]
@Triage @Numen @FollowTomorrow @steelphoenix @Auctor Lucan

The floor was chaos.

Should have stayed up top.  Zeph admitted to herself, though she would never say such things out loud.  Black eyes surveyed the scene around her as she finished climbing down the ladder and turned to see what was going on.  Here, on the ground floor the large Scion seemed even larger than he had before.  Up above even though she could see the difference in sizes of the Fleeters and the Scion it was a whole different thing to see it up close.  They're so brave. she thought to herself.  Zeph had been through a lot and flashes of a certain Botanical Lab incident she had been privy to played against the shadows of her mind.  However, that had been years ago and while red flashing lights still sometimes triggered her initial fear reactions she found that she was better able to stop them.  She didn't fall prey to it the way she had when she was younger and when the memories were fresh.

One of the woman screamed out that Moby was coming.  Zeph's eyes shifted widening slightly at the mention of the alien that only the Angry-One had seen before.  Still, she didn't know what her purpose was going to be down here but she ultimately wanted to get over towards Ives and see if she could help the captain.  If she could take away his pain or at least heal whatever had been done to him externally maybe he could even join into the fight.  Or at least, be less of a liability.

She moved, or well, she tried to but her elbow was grabbed behind.  Zeph whirled around and found that Shar had ninja-followed her down the shaft.  Zeph had been just trying not to die.  One wrong foot in the darkness would have sent her body into a crumpled and broke heap at the bottom of the shaft.  However, she had manged to make it by just being absolutely careful, focused, and it helped that she had taken it one rung at a time.  One- two, one- two.  Now, she was out she realized that she had been so focused on her own descent that she hadn't heard the Andorian making the same one.  Still, Zeph was then reminded that she was their only doctor.  To be safe, stay close, and Zeph's eyes widened slightly.

She understood the sentiment.  But, she could also fight on her own too.

“Don't think I'm weak, just because I have a medical license.  However, I don't think thats what you're thinking.  I know I'm the only doctor and we have to fix Ives, and any of the others.” 

A warm comforting smile crossed Zeph's face as she put her small petite hand on top of the Andorian's.  “Don't get any crazy ideas out there of dying for prestige.  You're the only Andorian.” she winked.  “We need you.”

They turned and things were crazy.  There was Moby screaming out about killing the Scion that despite having lost most of it's head was still making for the white headed alien.  Zeph could feel the hatred on the end of both parties, and probably the slight panic of Moby that was coloring the fact that he could very well die if they didn't get to him.  The Andorian and she were still almost holding hands and watching the carnage of battle unfold around them.  Shar told her to get to Ives, be safe, and she would be covered.  Zeph's smile was a warm and bright thing that lightened her whole face.

“I couldn't ask for anyone better.”

Zeph turned and tried to focus.  There in the blue light was the Captain standing, sort of, but obviously in pain.  Who knew how well he had been cared for here but if she had to hazard a guess it wasn't very good.  She had been changed, fed, and kept.  But, he had been sent up here and who knew what the crazy bug man had done to him. Need an exterminator.  I am the exterminator!  Okay I'm not .. I'm the Health Bringer!  Zeph crouch walked, hoisting her med kit up over her shoulder for a better more comfortable fit as she worked her way over to Ives.  Her eyes were on the battle as well because one wrong graviton beam and she was a smear on the deck plate.  She couldn't be a smear, she had too much good left to do in the world.  Still the battle, was intriging and distracting at the same time.  The large bug charged for the Ante.  The Ante was screaming.  Beams fell from the ceiling carving parts of the being off or.. getting rid of them.. whatever it was doing it was working.

Still it moved.

It's like one of those damn bugs that would survive the apocolypse.  What was that one movie with the robot who had a pet bug... I can't remember, but I feel like this is his descendant.  She thought as she felt the light of blue glowing around her and knew that she was closing in on Ives.

I got to hurry while he's distracted.

Zephyr looked over where Ives was in the blue light and started to move faster.  Only in the dim lighting she didn't see the body of a dead alien on the ground.  She tripped over it and crashed into the deck plating.  A slight pop in her shoulder told her, well.. the pain actually, told her she had likely dislocated it in the fall.  She would be all right, nothing someone couldn't help her with, hell she could pop it back in herself with something to grab onto.  Right now though, she was going to have to be careful.  Getting up she found that her face had come into contact with one of the rifles.  Carefully, she picked it up and looked at it.  This is kind of a cool design.  I wonder if we could reverse engineer something like this back on whatever ship we get put on after this. she thought as she stood up holding the weapon. 

Ives, I have to get to Ives. she reminded herself.

Zeph turned to see the Captain rather close.  She started forward when an errant beam was caught by her peripheral vision and she ducked down quickly.  Crouching.  The gun, shifted in her hand, and her finger slid into the trigger guard without her realizing it and. … boom!  A beam shot from the rifle and right across the room.  Straight through what was left of the brain matter that had once belonged to the large Scion beast.  It was now blue liquid brain juice that slid through the remaining body parts and pitter pattered onto the deck plating below it before the entire body fell.  Whatever was left of it.  Bits, parts, and small pieces all slopped down with a thick wet sound. 

Silence, for the moment. 

“Oh!  Ives.” 

She didn't even realize what she had done.  Tossing the rifle that wasn't going to do her any good what so ever she worked her way to Ives.  “Hey Cap. I'm Zephyr Praise, Lieutenant and medical Doctor.” she smiled warmly at the man.  Kneeling down she opened her Medical kit and pulled out her tricorder so that she could get a reading on what exactly was going on with the Captain. 

“I think there are a lot of people here that are really glad you're still around.  We've got an alliance with some of the aliens on this ship.  Mutiny and some kind of plan to help the white headed guy back there against the creepy bug guy that … “ she looked over her shoulder “Is good now.  Anyway, we're going to get off this ship.  So, we need to get you all fixed up too.” she looked up and smiled at him warmly.  “Just going to scan you for any kinds of damages for a minute okay?” she beamed over at him warmly and began to work him over with the scanner hoping that it wasn't anything she couldn't fix.  Or at least triage for the time being.

"Strange, I am getting two readings..."

Re: Chapter 04: True Nature [ Day 06 | 0900 hrs. ]

Reply #49
[ Echtand qi Versant | Scion Nest | Main Research Hull | Precept-ship Versant ]
Focused as Echtand was, the rising fear tethered, he was trying to tune the yellow blasts of fission to vaporise more and more of Semathal's hard and soft tissues. Scions were created to withstand the pressure of space, and the safety protocols kept him from dissolving the deck beneath the advancing Admiral. Thankfully, the specimens present aided when called upon, and with a common effort, they attacked the animated corpse, or at least this.... thing that should be dead already. He had no means of knowing how Semathal could still move, but he was applying all his acumen to stop the Scion.

One of the Starfleet officers even interjected himself between Echtand and the moving monstrosity of tough flesh and steaming chitin armour. As surprising it was, it presented the difficulty of changing the light-vectors to spare the specimen, but it also granted him an opportunity. He accessed the safety protocols of the Nest, which took him more seconds than he cared for, and disabled them. After that, he fired off new purification fields, which were far more... efficient.

From a 90 degree angle, Echtand blasted Semathal, his own face twisted into a mask of revulsion and hatred. The tight control on his emotions was brittle from facing the thing before him and the protective Romulan. The Starfleet officers cut the Scion to pieces, blasting away parts of its torso, making Echtand have to cover his face with his arm. He gave up his fine-tuning calibrations, merely hitting the 'Repeat' command over and over again, and with the safety protocols offline, along with the precision shooting of the present specimens, the thing that used to be Semathal collapsed on the deck. Five more blasts it took, before there was nothing more than a biomatter trail of soup across the deck, and the body finally gone. So was, incidentally, the deck plating where the Scion has drawn it's last breath.

His scientific curiosity compelled him to ask those present if they could explain what had happened, but his concern couldn't remain with Semathal, now that it was dead, and instead initiated his command access to the Versant. His breathing elevated, he cued the authority protocol, and waited for the result. Only then, in the wait for recognition, he raised his black eyes to the present specimens, and inclined his head to the Romulan.

"My thanks," he said in Federation standard, trying to calm down the rapid beating of his two hearts. "I am waiting for command recognition, now that Semathal is gone. The Versant will be trying to scan for its life-sign, which is routine protocol. I will then be able to release your Captain." He paused, looking at the survivors. "I do not know how the Admiral could be this augmented against physical violence. Had I known, I would have aided you better from the start." The bodies littered the nest, which was a clear indication of his failure. More so than theirs.

Irritated at how his precautions had been inadequate, Echtand had still heard what the Betazoid female had said, and while he might just transport himself to the Vault once more, there was no point in doing so without command access. Therefore, with his graviton pistol at his side, his steps led there, to the female's side, and he offered the obvious explanation to the dual readings she had detected on the crude Starfleet-issue tricorder he had replicated for her - just like he had replicated all their armament and suits. When he spoke up, the mild curiosity of the conundrum was plain to him.

"The Aspect Maker's readings should not be showing two biological aspects at once," he said in his contralto voice, the Federation standard coming even easier when using scientific terminology. "I know this, because the morphogenic matrix of your Captain is not made to create dual forms. Rather, there must be a second reading in the stasis field. The reason you cannot isolate it is because the tricorder is set to just read mass."

[ Captain Ives | Scion Nest | Main Research Hull | Precept-ship Versant ]
Hardly able to credit his eyes, Jien watched, whilst swaying on his feet, how his tormentor was brought to its gruesome end. The whole nest was flashing from the brilliance of the blasts and weapons fire against the Scion. It was only through common effort, and coordination, that Semathal finally stopped moving, and the last pieces of its massive bulk could be vaporised.

As battered as he was, layers upon layers of congealed blood on his form, Jien slowly turned his oaken eyes towards the Betazoid in front of the stasis field, who was scanning him. He wished to tell her that whatever afflictions he suffered, they were merely a part of his present form. Yet while pain was not the same kind of issue that it was for real Humans, the toll taken upon his present form - which he could not change - was making it hard to focus on her words. She spoke about there being two readings, but he could not sort it out properly.

Then, the Ante came. This one that had come to the nest a few days past. Obviously, an ally, and not a Scion, so Jien looked at him indifferently - not yet settled on what he thought of the tall figure. The alien also spoke of a second reading, and Jien wondered what it was about. "Please explain," he managed, his throat dry.

Echtand qi Versant glanced his way, and there was no pause, no sign of irritation. Perhaps science - despite applications thereof - was an arena in which Starfleet and Savi could meet in understanding, askew as they might be in terms of progress. "I'll verify," said the Ante and raised the tablet on his wrist, starting to issue commands into it. "There is actually a second life-sign in the stasis field."

"Someone else?" asked Jien, frowning, since he couldn't see how it was possible. The Savi was already loosing credibility.

"Contrary to the beliefs of the Federation's Science Division," said Echtand, seemingly familiar enough with the progress of science in Starfleet, "bio-molecular disintegration does not mean cessation. In other words, while disassembled, biomatter can be held in animated suspension if preserved from decay by electrostatic energy. This vapour is what you've detected."

There was a pause of silence. "Vapour.... McMillan," said Jien, not wanting the reminder, "Semathal killed her."

Echtand seemed to be annoyed now. "'Disintegrated' should be the term."

"Semantics aside," said Jien, wishing that he could leave his state of perpetual torment, not having it added upon, "can you deactivate this field?"

"Of course, I am just waiting for the clearance," said Echtand, frowning at Jien now. "If I do, however, the second life-sign's biomatter will start to decay. Does this hold no relevance to you?" The Ante seemed surprised, for some reason.

"She's dead," said Jien, frowning with his mauled face at the pale aspect of the alien outside the field.

"Yes," said Echtand, but it was as if he could not see the congruity of the argument. "In a medical sense, she is now dead. I am saying that re-integration is possible, and yet you dismiss it? I thought Starfleet was built on more noble principles than waste of life, yet as far as I have understood the way the Scion Directive has changed my people, perhaps I am too quick to pass judgement."

Stunned, Jien found himself stepping closer to the edge of the stasis field. "Re-integration?"

By then, there were loud noises coming from the main entrance of the nest, with the personal guard gradually breaking down the doors with graviton energy and force. It would not be long before they were inside. Echtand glanced in that direction, seemingly conflicted about how much more he had time to tell them. "I may be the Voice, but before I earned my position, transporter technology and science was my main field. I am trying to tell you that the genetic coding of this individual, it's sequence, should be stored on the Versant. Using the DNA sequence, I can easily isolate her atomic fragments in this stasis field. Under other circumstances, I'd propose the reconstruction and re-animation her fragmented set of biosystems, assembling it from billions of subatomic particles. Unfortunately... it seems we have run out of time."

Jien felt his heart beating faster in his chest. "She's a Radiant," he hissed from his broken face. "Do it. Now."

Echtand frowned. "I fail to see..."

"She is a key to stopping others like that Scion!"

Clenching his teeth together, the Ante was an intelligent being, and in a couple of seconds, it seemed like he could derive things others mightn't, having witnessed the Scion's abilities, and realised that there was some kind of explanation for it, and perhaps also a means to fight them.

"I will try," Echtand said, and then looked towards the others, even as the main entrance was destroyed. "Stop them. Their armour have transporter inhibitors, so use lethal force if you have to. I see no other recourse."

Captain Ives didn't even have to give the order, the look he gave them was clear enough on the importance. They had no choice.

OOC: In this next round of posts, there will be 10 armoured Antes to deal with. Don't let them shoot Echtand while he re-materialises Heather McMilllan, just like Doctor Jetrel tried to do with the victims of Rinax in the Voyager episode named after him (the relevant part is at 43 minutes in). Here is a link to the Memory Alpha article. Whereas Janeway and Tuvok failed, the Voyager's systems inferior to the task, perhaps Echtand might do it? ;)

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