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Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [D06|1005]


We spend our lives, all of us, waiting for the great day, the great battle, or the deed of power.
But that external consummation is not given to many: nor is it necessary.
So long as our being is tensed, directed with passion, towards that which is the spirit of all things,
then that spirit will emerge from our own hidden, nameless effort.
―Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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“Personal Log, Supplemental. Stardate 57556.23. While my fate aboard is still uncertain, I do know that the warp jump has just reached it's end. For one hour, the ship was locked in the warp solution that our T'fanrell provided us as a means to escape Admiral Sankolov. During this hour, it has been revealed to us - we who served on Vector 01 - that not only are the Borg about to invade Federation space, but all those of our crew abducted by the Savi have been killed. Fed to machinery of the white dreadnought that we barely managed to get away from three days ago. These news were hard on Commander Trent, since Heather McMillan was one of those who Nicander saw. Sufficed to say, Wenn Cinn remains our Commanding Officer.

Moreover, we have learned that Doctor Nicander - one of the Infested - used the same kind of farseeing to learn the shield harmonics of the Rotarran. While this might give credence to the Doctor's word and will to aid the crew, the more worrying aspect of that feat is that the Borg are about to invade, and there is a Host serving close to High Chancellor Martok. The nameless darkness we fight seek the knowledge of the Collective - to get access to the hive mind - and there is Host right at the gates, ready to be assimilated at the onset of the invasion.

Currently, we are in the Ithacae System, a stone's throw from the Coreless Moon. Our coordinates were set to the fourth planet, but the warp field did not carry us all the way there. Now, we prepare to stop the Borg, and to set a new course. For the Heart of the Azure Nebula.”

― Lieutenant Commander Dewitt, the USS Theurgy

[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
The sight of the Coreless Moon on the viewscreen did nothing to settle Tyreke's nerves, knowing that this was - allegedly - a place that had wiped out a Klingon carrier and its Phantom fighters. It seemed so derelict, and yet had some kind of hidden defence system. The reports from the away team that had visited the place suggested that - as far as Heather McMillan had learned - the moon's defence systems were depleted by then, and that they had naught to fear. Looking at it's ominous sight, Tyreke certainly wasn't interested in staying to find out whether or not the reports were correct.

"While propulsion system diagnostics are underway..." he said to Wenn Cinn, who sat in the centre chair on the Main Bridge, but also glanced towards the helm and Lieutenant Derik Veradin, "...I think we need to calculate how fast we can get to the apertures, now that we're out of the warp jump." At the Science station, Tyreke was accompanied by Vivian Martin and Vael Kaeris. Martin had the main console, and Kaeris was seated next to Okafor.

Next to Veradin, who would be telling them the distance for the next jump, sat Nator 159, the Acting Chief of Operations since Natalie Stark was standing next to Wenn Cinn. Behind them, at the holo table, Cameron Henshaw was back in her ordinary working environment. Meanwhile, in Tactical, Leon Marquez was back at his station, with T'Less and Salem Martin - Vivan's brother - at the stations behind Marquez. In Engineering, Suq was present with O'Connell down in Main Engineering. Behind Suq were Morgan Song and Ensign Carla Abner. Further towards the front of the bridge were Selena Ravenholm and Faye Eloi-Danvers, the latter having taken the seat of the late Keval ch'Rayya.

The bridge crew was ready, and as soon as ETA was settled, the Captain was expected to say words about what awaited them. Martok and a Klingon fleet might be there, at the heart of the Azure Nebula, along with the Cayuga, but be that as it may, the fate of the Federation was in the balance.

This was, however, the moment when someone unexpected entered the bridge.

An Asurian, no less.


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[ High Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog | Bridge | Negh'Var battleship IKS Negh'Var | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
Entering the bridge of the IKS Negh'Var, Martok snarled to the present bridge officers. "What is this Federation starship I hear about?"

Martok had no inclination to rename the ship for his old bird-of-prey, like he had done with the carrier-version of a Negh'Var when he'd selected a flagship for himself. That damaged carrier had been sent limping back behind the Empire's borders, and this current command of the IKS Negh'Var was more out of necessity than choice. He was not so vain that he'd only lead a ship under the proud name Rotarran into battle. The older Negh'Var would suffice, and the stakes were too high.

"It's the USS Cayuga, Chancellor," said N'Garen, whom would serve with him still, along with the other trusted officers from the Rotarran. Since her hair had been melted in the battle with the Theurgy, N'Garen had shaved that side of her head. "They are saying they survived an encounter with the Borg in this nebula. They claim they know how to open the hidden gate, and to destroy it. Their Captain, a Human female named Ziegler, say they wish to speak with you privately. They have questioned my honour in not telling me anything more."

Martok loathed political schemes and tactics to begin with, even if he had to learn to navigate such waters when he took on his role, but openly refusing to speak with his bridge crew? He did not like the sound of it, even if it wasn't unheard of. It did irk him how strongly N'Garen reacted to the request, but most of all, he wished to know who this Ziegler was.

"Do we know anything about this ship?" he said curling his upper lip as he considered his options.

"Science vessel. Long range explorer. The Captain - Ziegler - is what stands out," said N'Garen, obviously having looked the ship up already. "She used to be the First Officer on the Theurgy, up until last year, when the multivector dreadnought went rogue. Chancellor, I do not believe this can be a coincidence."

Martok narrowed his eyes. As conspiratory as N'Garen was acting, there was some merit to her claim. What were the odds that the Theurgy would be in the Azure Nebula alongside the ship that it's former XO now commanded? What did this Ziegler wish to tell him our of eashot from the rest of his crew? Were it lies to affect his actions, or things of actual merit? He had little to loose, since the Empire had heeded his call, and mobilised a small fleet of ships within less than a day from the first sighting of the Borg cube.

He saw them there, on his viewscreeen. Four Vorcha-class attack cruisers and seven K'vort-class bird-of-prey. More were on the way, all other missions abandoned.

"Hail this Ziegler. I will speak to her here," said Martok, folding his hands into fists as he stared on the screen. Yet no feed came. After a couple of seconds, Martok turned to look at N'Garen. "I said, hail that starship. I will judge the merit of their claims."

"Chancellor..." said N'Garen, and somehow, the tone of her voice did not match the new threat on the horizon. "There is another ship. It's dropping out of warp now."

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[ The Borg Queen | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ]
Standing in her alcove, the Borg Queen opened her eyes - seeing with far more than those organic orbs might.

She saw the twelve Klingon ships in front of Cube M-582, along with the small Federation starship. The sensors told her how many living beings were aboard those vessels, available for assimilation. Expected outcome of a battle was set, the tactics required predicted. The priority was, of course, not the assimilation of more drones. No, the presence the ships were not opportune, since the arrival of the invasion force was due.

The Queen stepped out of her alcove, staring ahead of her as she walked - smiling faintly at the prospect of clearing out the area surrounding the apertures. All unnecessary organic tissue had been removed, her body restored to fit the royal platform. She had shed neither regret nor made any sound of pain when her limbs had been severed, and the majority of her torso had been discarded. She made her wish known, her will seamlessly executing her command. She was not separate from her vessel, much less the drones. She was the one who was many. She was the Borg.


And thus, what would be known as the Battle of the Apertures began.

OOC: All right! New chapter is up! :) Considering how this is the day before Christmas, I feel that it wouldn't be sound to set a 7 day response time to this starter just yet. I will simply post it for now, and start up discussions about the development starting today. I hope this finds you all well out there, and that you are looking forward to begin the final chapter of this Episode. Don't forget to check out the Borg Queen!

Edit: Here is a new page I've made to help everyone learn what their characters might be doing! LINK

The naming convention for Chapter 05 threads is CH05: S [D06|1000] Insert Title. The important thing here is to keep the start-time at 1000 hrs. for the time being, running parallel with this thread. Once certain upcoming decisions have been made on the Main Bridge, I will be able to open up for a time span of Supplemental threads between 1000 hrs. and XXXX hrs.

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

Reply #1
[ PO Dyan Cardamone/Sar-unga Neleo | Multiple areas, ending in the bridge | USS Theurgy ]

Every day, at pre-determined times, Dyan checked her channel for contact. Though her Sheromi contact had withdrawn, the Asurian government could still leave her messages regarding orders. So every day since the battle of the Starbase, she checked her channel. Without fail, she checked, and without fail, nothing was in her inbox. Until suddenly, there was.

It was like Christmas. Better than Christmas. It made her scream in delight, jump to her feet, hop around a bit. It made her run, full speed, knocking over a poor crewman, as she stormed towards the bridge. The universe was a cruel, cold place, but damn if she didn’t feel like luck was on her side today. Their side.

The doors to the turbolift couldn’t open fast enough, the lift wouldn’t move fast enough. Somehow this wasn’t a message that could be transmitted via combadge. She had to be there, see the faces of everyone on the bridge, feel their fire for battle light back up.

So when she got to the bridge and the doors swished open, she forced herself through the gap before it was open enough for her body, and shouted before she even saw who was there.

“It’s Thea!”
She cried out, “She's alive! I’ve got a message from Thea, aboard the Versant! Give me the comms—I mean, Captain! I need to use the comms, I can get my channel on the viewscreen!" Her face alight, her tail whipping about with unprecedented speed, her hair not even fully dried—the hope was contagious. Even without knowing the full situation, this opened the doors to so many exciting possibilities--including the one that they would find their entire crew, alive and well. She hoped everyone here could feel that as acutely as she could.

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

Reply #2
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan & @FollowTomorrow
Cam idly wondered if her family had a Betazoid ancestor somewhere, because she swore she could feel the emotions so palpable in the air. But more than likely it was just the nerves. They'd been from one adventure to the next, with barely a moment in between to pause and take a breath. It felt like everything was determined to see the crew of the Theurgy and any ally into an early grave. For a swift meeting with the Nameless Dark. If she were more religious like the captain, she would think they were being bedevilled.

It seemed, as rested as she could possibly be, her mind was still not at one hundred percent, because she'd left her PADD sitting across the bridge on a console, instead of in her hands. Sighing, she left her post hurriedly, swiped the PADD, double-checked to make sure it was indeed hers, then started making her way back...and that was when it happened.

All she saw were horns and a scaly tail, belonging to the one Asurian who wasn't trying to kill everyone aboard right then, but her mildly pensive brain sent her straight into catatonic panic, and she barely managed to go, “HWAUF!” before she was on her back, staring at the ceiling, her uniform probably covered in Dyan's bootprints as the excited woman had literally just bowled her over, having leaped out from the turbolift doors Cam was passing on her way back to her station before they'd even fully opened. Instead of hurriedly getting up, she just lay there a while longer, contemplating her life, the fate she seemed to have been given, and her role in everything.

What was that about Thea being alive? Wait, did that mean Ives...? DYAN HAD A DIRECT CHANNEL TO THEA?!?

Cam was on her feet and moving closer to the main viewscreen, eyes transfixed.

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

Reply #3
[ Captain Anya Ziegler |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, Anyone else.
Sat on the bridge of the Cayuga, Anya Ziegler waited. She had sent the message to Martok and, so far, the Chancellor hadn’t taken the opportunity to reply. Now, as idle fingers picked at the stitching on the arm of her Captain’s chair, Anya held her tongue. She craved to order another repeated hail, but that could just exasperate the situation.

Watching the Negh’Var class warship silently loom on the viewscreen flanked by multiple other Klingon vessels, Captain Ziegler felt her stomach twisted with nerves. The knowledge that a parasite was operating aboard Martok’s previous command could turn this meeting asunder, if it hadn’t already. Patience was a virtue, but then, most of the time there wasn’t an immediate threat of Borg invasion. Ziegler held a small section of her bottom lip between her teeth until it was no good.

“Hail Martok again.” She called. Ziegler needed to know if the Chancellor would help or hinder them. If it was the latter, then Cayuga would not survive. Not against this Klingon armada. “Please trying to impress the importance of the situation on the Chancellor, politely.”

Before there was the chance of acknowledging her order, there was the sound of alerts ringing out across various consoles. The bridge suddenly began a hive of activity compared the stillness of a moment before.

“Captain! A Borg cube has just dropped out of warp,” called Nina Carpeland, the helmswoman. Her hands flying across the station in front her, obviously anticipating the very next words about to come from Anya’s mouth.

“Red Alert. Battlestations!” Ziegler had dreaded this moment ever since she volunteered her ship into harms way again. With the loss of Martin, progress in converting the torpedoes to Lieutenant Commander Kaeris’ plans had been slow. Too slow. Time however was not on their side anymore. Now they needed to move. Ordering the helmswoman, Ziegler tried to remain stoic in the insurmountable odds. “Evasive manoeuvres.

“Send a message to Martok.” She then called, turning towards the Ops station. “Ask the chancellor to defend us while we attempt to destroy the apertures.”

Holding onto the arms of her chair as the interial dampeners struggled to compensate for Cayuga rolling into action, Ziegler hoped that Theurgy wouldn’t be long.

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

Reply #4
[ PO2 Kino Taer | Security Center -> Bridge | USS Theurgy ] @CanadianVet @chXinya @Auctor Lucan @bridge folks

The hostage situation was finally resolved with the interdiction of a friendly enough Bellerophon NCO assisting Ducote and Bremmer, and so that left Kino Taer wondering what to do next. It was time for her first break of the day or near enough and she traded places with another petty officer who came in so that she could head to the Security Centre’s lounge. Bremmer would be back soon enough and the Trill wanted to talk with her about the hostage situation a bit off comms. Taer’s nervousness had leaked through to her lover in the past hour and she knew Eliska would empathize with why. A similar thing happened while Kino was recovering from losing her arm and leg, in those early days between the surgery and regular physical therapy to familiarize herself with her new cybernetic limbs and relearn skills.

Being taken off the front lines was not an entirely unfamiliar thing to the veteran petty officer, but it was decidedly very low on her list of things she liked. It meant more paperwork, typically, boredom, and most importantly, it deprived her of doing. Taer was the kind of person that rarely stopped moving or tinkering. That constant movement kept her fit and active. It also conveniently made it far less likely for her to dwell on the things that made her anxious or afraid. She and Bremmer seemed alike in that; and it was one of the reasons that they got along so well. Bremmer was one of the few Taer worked with regularly that could not only keep up but also challenge her.

The act of walking through the doors into the Security lounge room was enough to reset her train of thought. Kino looked around to see who else was there, nodding in greeting, as she walked to the replicator for something to slake her thirst. A stray look settled on a PADD on a nearby table, which triggered a thought that was completed by her hand going towards where she kept the PADD from the previous night.

“Oh, sh-,” she muttered as she did an abrupt about-face to jog out of the door. She had a message to deliver. Nicander’s intelligence last night about the parasite in the Klingon fleet was clearly important, even if she didn’t yet fully understand what he was talking about regarding this darkness he kept talking about. Whatever he meant, it was clear that his warning regarding the parasite on Martok’s ship was high priority, which meant the ship’s commanding officer needed to hear it sooner rather than later.

Should have paid more attention in those classes back on Trill, Kino, and maybe you’d understand this parasite business more. Daddy did secure some of the finest tutors on the planet for you.

Thankfully, the trip to the Bridge was a quick one, but she wasn’t the only one who needed to deliver an urgent message to Wenn Cinn. A female Asurian she recognized as one of the crew transfers had barreled over an Ensign on her way out of the other turbolift to the Bridge. Kino was about to rush over to her to make sure the cute woman was okay, but the Asurian (Dyan Cardamore or something, right?)  yelled out something that caught everyone’s attention.

A message from Thea? No wonder she was excited.

She followed Ensign Henshaw to the main Bridge, ready to listen to this message. Kino also moved into the captain’s field of view and waved her PADD, signaling that she needed to talk to him when he had a moment.

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

Reply #5
[Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Watching the warp streaks collapse into the nebula-shrouded starfield at last, Cinn breathed a sigh of relief that the ship managed to hold together for the hour long insanity of the F’rell Maneuver.  The unlit side of the shattered moon hovered in front of them, the massive crags visible at the edges where the light shone through.  As much as he’d love to sightsee though, there was too much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Engineering didn’t waste any time, the moment the warp drive shut down they started a full range of diagnostics, and Okafor was right on top of things as he always was.

“Agreed.  Helm, plot a course for the aperture field, best possible speed.  We can’t stay here any longer than absolutely necessary.”  It took Cinn a lot of willpower to not check the chronometer every thirty seconds since he’d returned to the Bridge, knowing that Nicander’s predicted window for the Borg invasion was open was making it impossible for the Bajoran to think about much else.  Numerous battle plans floated through his mind, but effectively none of them would end in their survival.  “Ops, prepare a message drone.  Load it with all of our logs and any personal messages marked for future delivery.”  Glancing over to Stark for a quick moment his voice dropped to a near whisper.  “Hopefully someone will be able to remember us.”

Soon enough, Engineering signaled that they were ready.  With nothing requiring them to stay it was time to dive into the belly of the beast once again.  Standing and assuming a commanding pose, Cinn turned around slowly, taking in the faces of everyone on the Bridge.  There was no denying it, there was a high likelihood that they’d all be dead or assimilated by the end of the day.  Some words came to him, an old sermon from a vedek in one of the camps he grew up in.  His mouth opened to share them with his crew but before anything came out something exploded out of the turbolift, throwing Ens. Henshaw to the deck.  The whirlwind was so loud that it took him a moment to realize that it was Cardamone, and that she was actually speaking Standard.  “Cardamone!” he couldn’t help but bark, trying to snap her into some proper decorum.  “Dyan…” he repeated, softly this time and walking up to her to put his hand on her shoulder.  As he spoke he could hear someone working a console behind him, a metallic tapping accompanying the console sounds. “There’s a high likelihood they’re all dead and Thea compromised.  Even if that wasn’t the case, we can’t…”

Mid sentence the lighting on the Bridge changed, the colors washing out.  He could feel a presence behind him, but before he could turn around Rez’s voice whispered into his ear.  “Yet the Theurgy is not one.  You must make Theurgy whole.”  Before he could process that, the light and sounds of the Bridge resumed as if nothing had happened.  “Captain!”  Selena Ravenholm shouted from the front.  “I have the message Dyan’s referring to.  Arrived via non-Federation subspace tightbeam, but there’s a sub-channel with a Starfleet identification code: Thea’s.  Security checksums are valid.”  VISORless thanks to her little mishap in Engineering, her artificial eyes shone across the bridge at the Bajoran.  Her voice contained quite a bit of surprise in it, much like everyone else.

The galaxy stopped for Cinn with that revelation.  As the Bridge exploded all around him he could only stand in shock.  Finally, he regained his composure.  “On screen.” he ordered, regaining his chair after wordlessly taking the PADD Kino had brought with her.

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

Reply #6
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
When prompted by the Commanding Officer, the message from Thea was plain on the viewscreen, the text superimposed in front of the Coreless Moon. Added with the text was the digital voice of the A.I., sounding far more alive than the intercom had ever done since the Continuance Protocol was executed. It followed the protocol of a distress call, the beginning of the message heard in emergencies since many centuries back.

[Mayday, Mayday. This is Thea - the interface of the Federation starship Theurgy - at Stardate 57553.67. My current position is 277-mark-383, aboard the Savi Precept-ship Versant. I have been contained in a lab environment until three minutes ago, and just gained access to the ship's systems. This enabled me to send this message.]

Okafor spoke up. "That's just fifteen minutes ago." The message continued.

[I was liberated by Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran, Lieutenant Cross and Lieutenant R'Rori from the USS Endeavour, their ship attacked by the Borg before their escape pod was picked up by the Savi. I have been informed that Commander Tiran was able to gain assistance from a Savi individual aboard this ship, and R'Rori has told me that there are others from my crew aboard. It is, however, unknown how many are still alive. There are search teams - labelled Kill Teams by the Lieutenant - sweeping the ship, and there is a power struggle taking place among the Savi as I send this message. Outcome unknown.]

Frowning, Okafor had no means to wrap his head around the whole situation, but what drew his attention... was how Commander Ducote had appeared on the bridge, and was able to take part of Thea's message, which wasn't finished.

[On behalf of anyone still alive aboard this ship, from my own crew or any other captives on the Versant, I ask for immediate assistance. If the Endeavour was attacked by the Borg, the knowledge of her crew is key to protect the Federation. The lives of my saviours are now threatened, and I am forced to sever this connection. It is unknown if I will be able to link with the Versant's systems again. Do not attempt to reply, since the Savi might intercept the source of the transmission.]

There was a pause, which Okafor ran a hand over his bald head, knowing that things were getting complicated. Thea ended the transmission.

[Please, if this message reach either of my hulls, we require immediate assistance. I repeat, the coordinates are 277-mark-383. The number of survivors aboard this ship is unknown, but the Federation may be in direct danger of a Borg cube in Federation space. Thea, out.]

In the lingering silence following the transmission, Okafor considered what the Commander of the Endeavour might be thinking, since he had dismissed the importance of the Theurgy's captives on the Versant in comparison to the Borg threat - perhaps rightly so. Still, Tyreke couldn't help but wonder if the man still stood by that sentiment now, knowing there were officers of his own held captive.

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

Reply #7
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

With the situation in the cargo bay resolved for now (on the condition that the Bellerophon crew get a fuller picture in the near future, which he couldn't help but see as fair given the circumstances), Ducote had headed back up to the bridge, unwittingly following Kino Taer through the same course. When he got to the command deck, intending to bring Kai up to speed on what had happened below, he instead found no sign of the human mountain.

The commander sighed. It had been strange, arguing in favour of the Theurgy as he had been. He was still 'officially' ambivalent about the situation, but still. He felt something of a fraud, having made the arguments to their safety, that there was more to the situation than they'd been told, and to be as patient as they could just a little longer. And all those arguments worked so well on me the first time round, didn't they? He shook his head. Perhaps he did believe it. Maybe things had gone far enough that he didn't have a choice any more.

"Sort my head out later," he muttered.

"What was that, sir?" a redshirted crewman asked from her station as he passed behind her.

"Ah, nothing, sorry."

Across the bridge came a call. In his reverie, he hadn't been quite paying attention to proceedings, but the transhumanoid called out to the captain. "I have the message Dyan's referring to. Arrived via non-Federation subspace tightbeam, but there's a sub-channel with a Starfleet identification code: Thea's. Security checksums are valid."

Thea. The ship's AI. Well, this should be good. The gestalt on the bridge rang with shock and excitement.

It began its preamble, with the scientist (his favourite liar, the man who'd tricked them aboard while on the Niger) providing the timescale. Recent.

[I was liberated by Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran, Lieutenant Cross and Lieutenant R'Rori from the USS-]

Some part of his brain continued to listen to the message. But it wasn't any part that was consciously registering it. Those parts were all busy with not registering anything any more. His ears rang, and his lungs began to burn. A steadying hand reached out to the nearest support stanchion before he leaned - well, sagged - against it. His gaze turned glassy as he stared at a point somewhere beyond the opposite bulkhead. He wasn't sure if he wanted to punch a hole in the nearest console, run a marathon, throw a party, or curl into a ball. Perhaps a combination of all of the above. The burning in his lungs became urgent, and he sucked down a breath.

Straightening, he pushed a hand through his hair before grasping the back of his neck, pacing a small circle into the deck with nervous energy before forcing himself to stillness again.

She's alive.

For now.

She's alive. And whatever else you can call her, she's a fucking survivor.

Won't matter a single bit if the Borg make it through.

A secondary realisation; there would feasibly be other Endeavour survivors. Plenty of escape pods would have launched along similar trajectories to Blue's lifeboat... if they'd been picked up by these Savi, too...

"Ha," came an unbidden, mirthless bark. Nicander had been lying, trying to undermine their resolve.. his assertion that the abductees from the Theurgy had been killed was proven objectively false. Just one more nail in his coffin. Fuckin' told them they shouldn't have trusted him.

He felt someone's attention; glancing over, he met Lieutenant Okafor's eye. Observing him. Evaluating. What, was he supposed to try and wrest control of the ship? Fly in some fated charge towards his crew? They had survived this long. Against odds no one had any right to ask of them. They would cling on a little longer while he - while the Theurgy - made sure they wouldn't be assimilated on retrieval.

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

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

Reply #8
[ Tesserarius Lorad | Personal Quarters | Deck 08 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

The light from outside the window was the only source of illumination inside the room as its single occupant was sprawled naked on the bed, staring up at the ceiling as his body slowly finished drying from the shower he had just had. His morning had been somewhat chaotic and he had felt the need to shower after remembering that his last shower before that had been the previous evening before he had had dinner with one Sera vers Aldnoah. Lorad’s memories, while not complete, painted a pretty good picture of what they shared; especially as they had awoken in bed together naked that morning. 

Unfortunately, before either could discuss anything, some sort of emergency had happened and Lorad had found himself summoned to the ship’s Engineering section by Lieutenant Commander Dewitt to assist in using the Apache’s cloak for the Theurgy’s vector. In the end, he had had to building an entirely new device, something his sister would never believe he had done despite her lessons to him, that had actually worked.

But he had also been injured by an exploding EPS conduit and his trip to sickbay had been interrupted by what he understood to be fellow rescued Starfleeters that tried to take the sickbay hostage. He’d dealt with that and tried to retreat to the Apache to treat his injury himself but even that had been prevented by a boarding party in the Upper Shuttle Bay. 

And finally, once they had escaped whatever situation they had been in, he had been trying to check on Samala when he had been recruited to stop a bunch of rescued survivors from a ship called the Bell-her-pon instead.

Now, he just wanted to relax. 

He was almost worried that if he left his quarters, something else would happen.

"Mister Lorad, would you be available to come down to Main Engineering on Deck 25," came the disembodied voice over the ship's intercom. "It is about your cloaking device."

"What now?" Lorad grumbled in Reman as he reached for his pants.

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

Reply #9
[ PO Dyan Cardamone/Sar-unga Neleo | Main Bridge  | USS Theurgy ]

Dyan paid absolutely no mind to Cam. She may have felt something under her boots, but she didn’t know or care. Her message was the most important thing in the room right now. It was more important than the borg cube that just dropped out. For as much respect as she held for Commander Wenn Cinn, it was more important than him too.

So when she was scolded, doubted, she felt angry. He came close, she bared her teeth, her wet hair sticking to her face—and was soon proven to be in the right, naturally. She delighted in the shock of her commanding officer, and followed him to listen to the message in all it’s glory.

Thea, her voice! Her real voice! The nebulous ship AI come to life before her. Despite all the shit thrown at her, she lived. Her heart sang for battle, for Thea’s sake. For the sakes of all that still lived.

“We’ll be better equipped for battle with the borg if we have Thea aboard, and our numbers bolstered by the remaining survivors. Maybe we could have captive Sheromi too!” She dropped her opinion out there, knowing it was neither asked for nor wanted. Battle called, and it was in her blood to answer. She imagined a battle with the borg--deadly to everyone. She did not imagine she would make it out alive, but such is the universe's way. Death came for them. Glory to she who fought to the end.

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

Reply #10
Lt JG Salem Martin| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton

Salem was a bit more rested walking onto the bridge of the Theurgy. he had finally gotten to speak with his sister, and put aside all of the concerns about this ship and it's crew that he had. He could now more or less focus almost entirely on the battle to come. It was a bit odd serving on the same ship as his sister, it wasn't something that the two had ever done before. Now they were both on the bridge in the same shift. He was half worried that if someone called for a Martin in haste he could attempt to answer some vague science question, thankfully their stations would be apart. "First day on a new ship, and we are about to enter a battle with the borg... just another day in the glorious Federation."

"Good luck big sister." He said regarding the few minutes that the two had been born a part. The elevator opened a few seconds after cutting off any and all in-formalities his body shifted his posture straitened, he breathed a nervous breath.

Walking out onto the bridge however he was in awe for a moment. Salem had served on Galaxy class vessels, it wasn't back when they were the most advanced, and it certainly wasn't a famous ship, but he remembered that awful clumsy bridge design. How many times over the course of his term on it did he go tumbling over that god damn rail? one time he did a full on flip over it and into his captains non too impressed with him lap.

After that he had been posted on the Cayuga, a more flat, and tactical design to be sure. More advanced, though his dream posting in those days would have been on one of the few Sovereign class vessels. They had fascinated Salem though they had never really been mass produced. He would blame that on the heavy cost of production, and the fact that the former flag ship had been made obsolete within the decade it had been produced thanks to more advanced designs.

Like the Theurgy.

If 16 phaser arrays had been over kill in Salem's mind, than 17 with a possible 27 was elimination with extreme prejudice. Every part of the bridge as he walked about it seeing the helmet section for the first time since it had been reattached left him bedazzled by it all.

There were full on holographic displays of their ship in orbit around the coreless moon. The Bridge was the biggest he had ever served on, bigger than the Galaxy class, which despite being a luxury vessel in it's time had always felt cramped. Compared to that feeling The Theurgy's bridge was open, no massive rail or elevation, everything seemed more grounded and open.

Never in his life had he dealt with an odd tactical layout like this. Three tactical stations. Even the Prometheus Class only had one, then again those ships were a labor shortage waiting to happen considering they could basically fly themselves remotely.

So could the Theurgy, but now wasn't the time for that argument. Now he had to check out his work station, learn the controls for the most advanced warship ever built, and figure out which seat was his. There were three of them after all. He knew he wasn't the chief tactical officer here, so he took one of the back stations.

"Lieutenant Martin Reporting." there was a few seconds of silence as he sat himself down into his chair. The controls never really changed, but The Theurgy cooked wtih a lot more power than the Cayuga did, he did a quick inventory over the system, checking how much fire power they had in stalk.

then came the message. A call from help from prisoners stuck on another ship. People abducted from the ship, and the ships own AI proclaiming it's self alive. He blinked looking at his controls. He breathed deeply for a moment feeling some stinging sensation in his lower back that he had to adjust the seat for. He swallowed his mouth feeling a touch more dry.

Their crew were prisoners aboard an alien vessel. He wanted to speak out about going to get them. He could very much relate to the struggles of a prisoner of war. If he were in the captains chair this would be the single most easy decision that he would ever have to make, change course grab the people that were left behind.

But he wasn't. He was in the seat that armed the guns, and they were locked and due for a battle with a larger more looming threat. He couldn't believe he would ever agree with those words spoken to him back on starbase alpha as he overlooked earth.

Words spoken to him by an Admiral who had pinned a medal on his chest for his 'heroics'. 'We just have too many other priorities right now'.

Just the fact that there was a situation where that could be true made Salem want to vomit, and he could taste the small amount of bile and rage at the back of his throat. He had to focus on the guns, keep his mind open to the situation at hand, and couldn't let his mind slip into the thoughts of a prison camp. As simulation of the alpha quadrant was a far more prevalent threat than a few prisoners.

Cardamone spoke about them being more equipped if they got the people, and technology being held by those prisoners. He turned towards the captain. Wanting to speak his mind. "We shouldn't leave our people in the hands of an enemy."

He said it, he didn't want to say anything because this was too close to home for him, but at the end of the day, people held captive... no he had to speak. He would never live with himself if he didn't.

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

Reply #11
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]


The door whisked open and two people entered, one much taller than the other. The taller was a lieutenant of Science Division, as her dark teal collar and gold pips indicated. She was also Romulan, as the pointed ears and gentle brow ridges indicated. A glance was given to the young woman she’d entered with and then dark green eyes surveyed the bridge. She noted the unique layout and nodded to herself as stations started to match up with expectation. Tactical there. Science, Ops, etc all were arrayed around the room with people manning them or moving between.

Some of those people were quite animated and one of the more animated ones was speaking of a message. It seemed a very important one to that young woman. A few people here Vanya knew by sight, including the young Ensign, whom looked rather disheveled. It caused a memory subroutine to fire off from years ago at the academy. The same individual looking much the same after a literal run in with the Romulan. It seemed that Cameron had maintained a standard. You had to give her that. 

The Captain had the message routed to the screen and Vanya noted Okafor, doing as requested. He had seemed very competent in the Science meeting and she nodded, turning those dark green Romulan eyes towards the screen. Vanya’s head tilted gently as the voice of Thea came forth and flowed. It was the first time she, had personally witnessed the voice of the ship and the voice’s tonals flowed over her pointed ears easily. The android appraised and decided ‘What a beautiful voice’.

She listened to the request for aid, from the ship, to the ship, and her crew. To save both herself and missing members of the ship’s compliment and crew from other Federation vessels. Okafor confirmed her mental calculations. About 15 minutes had passed since the stardate indicated in the message. Which meant it was near real time intel and something that could be acted upon if the command staff decided.

The voice on the screen. The ship’s voice. Thea’s voice, beseeched for aid and indicated that the crew of the Endeavour, with her at this point held intel valuable to save the Federation. Considering all that had gone on in the past few days and the revelations that the android had to compute, that was saying a lot. It could be of worth with out measure. Not to mention Thea was in danger.

A pulse of emotion went through the android. Thea ‘was’ the ship. An artificial life form some what like her self. Just.. a much… much.. MUCH larger body. Still to Vanya this was another PERSON, another BEING, calling out for aid. Not only for herself but for other crew-mates and other members of Starfleet.  Vanya had no real experience with Cinn as a CO but she did have experience with the person currently holding the XO slot. Swiftly, even for an Android, Vanya came to the mental conclusion that action would be taken. She didn’t know what exactly that action might be, the ship had multi vector possibility, which opened it up for more options than your average ship. Still something would be done. They were either heading for that conflict with the Borg, or to save Thea and the abducted crew, or both, at the same time.

Her dark green eyes went to Natalie and she gave a nod. The high pony tail bouncing and shimmering in the bridge lighting. A slender, long fingered, hand raised and brushed Stark's arm for a second, radiating support and faith in the other woman, then Vanya was turning. She strode forward and starboard towards the Science station. Long legs carried her swiftly to position. Glancing at the read outs a nod was likewise given to Okafor.  She didn’t have the same emotional investment that many here on the bridge had. Still, she knew that they had jobs to do. Important ones and that the fate of a great many people rested on the shoulders of this ship and crew. Vanya would help as best as she was able. She knew some of this crew. Had learned with them. Grown with some of them. While she may not know all nine hundred and some odd officers and crewmen, she knew a select few and knew them to be good people. She would do her best to help those and others through this.

So she stepped up to the Science Station along side the dark skinned human and prepared to carry out what ever orders the Captain gave out.

Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology

Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark – Security Officer – Combat Medic

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

Reply #12
[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @FollowTomorrow @Masorin @chXinya  et al

Following the departure of Marquez, T'Less had continued her work cataloguing their inventories and drawing up patterns and planning manoeuvres. While one's average Cube didn't tend to pull any strange moves itself, having to hit the same spot over and over again to force a critical overload in one did rather limit one's own options when it came to evasive movement. Not to mention the apocalyptically-powerful tractor emitters used by the Borg.

There was a feeling of something in the pit of her stomach. It wasn't nervousness - not yet - but there was an anticipatory edge to it. Truly, this promised to be a fight the likes of which even she had never seen in the thick of the Dominion War, but she still held such base sanguinary apprehension beneath her.

What she felt, and even relished, was the entirely justifiable fear of the Borg. She doubted she would find herself crippled by it, which was even better; as she had said to Ensign Henshaw earlier that morning, it fuelled her reactions. Perfect. 'Fire for effect, with prejudice', it was to be.

Then came Cardamone's couriered message from Thea (bowling over Cameron in the process, though she seemed unhurt). T'Less' spirits lifted; the abductees were, in part at least, alive, and Thea was active. She pitied the hostile vessel that found itself with such a formidable AI aboard and liable to run rampant through its own systems. She wouldn't have been surprised if she forced a Savi capitulation single-handed. The petty officer followed it up with an appeal to rescue their crew - echoed by Lieutenant Martin next to her.

There was a joke in there somewhere about suffering one mutiny and it leading to the whole ship thinking it had become a democracy, but she didn't feel eloquent enough to make it.

"Strategically unsound," she offered as counterpoint, pitching her voice to reach the captain. "The apertures must be closed in the next couple of hours, or the entire Quadrant is at risk. Our crew will have to manage without us for a little longer; after all, they have made it this far. And now Thea is free, despite her inconvenience at the end of that message, and she has access to their systems. 'The needs of the many', Captain."

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

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

Reply #13
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ]


Vivian bounced on her toes and nervously chewed her lip as she rode the turbolift to the bridge beside her brother. She could feel the turbolift nearing its destination when Salem spoke, quietly wishing her luck. She smiled at him and winked ”You too little brother.” Then the doors slid open and the twins stepped out onto the bridge, heading for their respective stations.

Vivian had barely taken her seat when Dyan raced onto the bridge, claiming to be in communication with Thea. Her eyes widened and her head snapped round to focus on Captain Cinn. He ordered the message onscreen. She chewed her lip again as Thea’s voice echoed out across the bridge, requesting help.

Vivian wanted to help, oh how she wanted to drop everything and rush to aid Thea and the others trapped aboard the Savi ship. Dyan advocated that approach, as did her brother. However the Vulcan tactical officer T'Less dictated that to be an unsound strategy, and Vivian found herself agreeing.

She switched her gaze back to Cinn before calling out across the bridge. ”Captain, I must agree with lieutenant T'Less. As much as I wish we could rush to save Thea and the other officers, we must think of the needs of the many. The Borg are coming sir. We are prepared to take them on now. If we wait they may break out of the nebula and wreak havoc in the nearby systems. My department have concocted multiple plans to help us neutralize the Borg. We must use them now, before it is too late.”

The Borg were the ultimate enemy. The antithesis of everything the Federation stood for. They had to be contained and halted in the Nebula here and now. If they failed, and the Borg gained a foothold in the sector it would spell doom for nearby civilizations. As it was whenever the Federation faced the Borg, this would be no mere battle, but an ultimate test of the iron will of the Federation, and the daring bravery of the Starfleet crews who opposed the mechanical monsters.

Vivian swallowed nervously, drawing on her deepest reserves of courage. They would come out of this alive, they had to. For the fate of the Quadrant lay in their hands.

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

Reply #14
[ PO2 Kino Taer | Bridge | USS Theurgy ] @chXinya

It was somehow a surprise to hear Thea’s voice, her real voice. Intellectually, she knew the sound files that played were the same either way but there was some subtle difference when it was the AI proper versus the regular ship’s computer. Maybe it was the cadence or the word choice or just some indefinable trait that marked when a synthetic voice was “living” or merely a recorded response. It was a question better filed away for later musing, as movement caught her eye.


The man was pacing and she frowned slightly at that before the memory of which ship it was that he came from. Thea had mentioned being freed by three survivors from the USS Endeavour, a ship that the Theurgy now knew was destroyed by the Borg. Ducote and the others from that ship had acted like they were the only ones, so finding out there were more out there must have been a shock. It left the commander, for once, entirely speechless. Kino expected him to try ordering the ship to this Versant.

Not that it would have taken the crew much convincing, it seemed like, because others on the bridge spoke up instead. The Asurian, clearly excited, spoke up for the abductees, as did a tactical officer that Kino didn’t recognize. Two others piped up in support of continuing on to the apertures. Being a career Security NCO whose job duties kept her mostly in places that benefited more from her specific explosives-related expertise, Kino rarely found herself on the Bridge. Hearing and seeing others openly offer their opinions unasked for when it was the Commander’s decision was not something she expected, though a part of her was amused.

Well, I guess we’re closer to anarchy than I thought.

For her part, the Trill had stood still and silent, hands clasped behind her back. During the Dominion War, Taer had been in actions that included both prisoner of war rescues and counter-boarding. She knew her capabilities and that of the people she’d be working closest with and was comfortable with her chances either way – they’d likely die taking on either the Versant again or the Borg. She’d just have to do her best to ensure their victory was appropriately costly.

A lull in the conversation gave her an opening and Kino cleared her throat to gain Wenn’s attention before pointing at the PADD she handed him.

“Captain, I spoke last night with Doctor Nicander. He requested I pass along some vital intelligence about the Klingons and Borg related to the parasite threat. The message is recorded on that PADD for your listening pleasure. You may want to listen to it before making a decision, sir.”

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

Reply #15
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

What a wicked web you weave Fate. Why? Why now?

Derik stepped out of the turbolift, feet carrying him on autopilot to his station. A quick check at his station showed much of the damaged from their last battle had been patched or repaired. Least we wont die from a core overloading anymore.

“Helm, plot a course for the aperture field, best possible speed.  We can't stay here any longer than absolutely necessary." The order came, snaking its way into his thoughts.

“Aye Sir.” Derik responded more from habit than actual intention. "Course set,"

[Mayday, Mayday. This is Thea - the interface of the Federation starship Theurgy - at Stardate 57553.67. My current position is 277-mark-383, aboard the Savi Precept-ship Versant. I have been contained in a lab environment until three minutes ago, and just gained access to the ship's systems. This enabled me to send this message.]

Veradin listened to the transmission, snapped out of his own mindscape at the sound of a familiar and welcome voice. Thea?

[On behalf of anyone still alive aboard this ship, from my own crew or any other captives on the Versant, I ask for immediate assistance. If the Endeavour was attacked by the Borg, the knowledge of her crew is key to protect the Federation. The lives of my saviors are now threatened, and I am forced to sever this connection. It is unknown if I will be able to link with the Versant's systems again. Do not attempt to reply, since the Savi might intercept the source of the transmission.]

If Thea is alive still then there is a chance the rest of our missing are too. We can get them back! Derik’s chest swelled with hope. Rescuing his crewmates would certainly improve their situation, both in manpower and moral.

[Please, if this message reach either of my hulls, we require immediate assistance. I repeat, the coordinates are 277-mark-383. The number of survivors aboard this ship is unknown, but the Federation may be in direct danger of a Borg cube in Federation space. Thea, out.]

The helmsman’s fingers brushed across the controls, running calculations using distances required, travel time, fuel, and everything between. He kept one ear open, listening as the crew talked, plugging in new variables as the each one spoke. The results that appeared were not favorable in the slightest. No no. He ran the calculations again. Same results. A third time, just to be sure. Same results again. Like one of those ancient human record players, the Trill kept running the calculations over and over, each time receiving identical feedback until he could bare to run the numbers no more. A deep pit formed in his gut, vast, filled only with what seemed like an endless void. That spark of hope he had mere moments ago disappeared into said void, extinguished by truth before his very eyes. He turned in his chair to their new CO.

“Sir.” Derik projected so that all on the bridge could hear him, his face unable to hide the damning realization as he tried to form the words. “Ba….based on our current ship status, we can’t reach the Versant, rescue the crew, and make it to the apertures before the Borg arrive. Even if I ran the engines until they were destroyed and useless we still wouldn’t make it.” The Trill visibly swallowed the bile rising in his throat. “We…we….we will have to choose. Do we stay on course to the Apertures and leave the crew behind? Or do we turn about and rescue the crew and miss our window for the Borg?”

Veradin always hated these kinds of impossible decisions. There were just no good choices available. Either way they were damned. Starfleet doesn’t stand for leaving their own behind, and yet if they didn’t, the Borg could assimilate thousands upon thousands before they were even challenged. Yet if they did leave the crew behind to engage the new threat, the survivors on the Versant would be left to their own fates, whatever that may be. Bile rose in his esophagus again.

Wicked web indeed.

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

Reply #16
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | In the Calm Before the Storm ]
Att: bridge crew + Those mentioned.   @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Top Hat @Brutus @Triage  @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich  @Stegro88

Leon stepped off the turbolift and was back on the bridge with a loaded datapad at 0958 with just a slight perspiration on his brow from an inspired jog from his quarters, with a Lt. Commander's vest variant uniform to go with his leather jacket which he'd had wrapped for the jog, and donned for on the bridge. The CTO returned to the now-repaired holotable after drawing his pad from his jacket pocket. An hour of rest, or even less in this case, was all he needed under these circumstances to get back to work at best efficiency, even though his reunion with Alessia should have been a happy one, but they each had to form respective reports for their colleagues or loadout packages and had to focus on that-- After small talk and brief reminiscing and of course, some needed comfort and spiritual reinforcement by both of them. Prudent officers used their efficiency at all times, according to Alessia citing Lawrence of Arabia. Not one of Leon's favorites, but he appreciated her sentiment and fondness for history.

The CTO used the holotable's console to cross-reference his own and any existing attack patterns best suiting the Theurgy against the Borg.  Lt. T'Less's reports and strategies were already being categorically being projected and approved for 'Operation Loaded Dice', with each time Leon ran a simulation using Theurgy's current combat readiness showing more favorable odds with each moment. 'Loaded Dice' was Leon's creative codename for a plan to use a Borg’s own design against itself as a cover against its other faces or support craft whilst hitting the cube's weakened point long enough to take it offline if not critically disable it before moving on to another, like Ninjas against Samurai: Blind them and hit the weak points. Dishonorable, but necessary. Particularly against a cybernetic species with no concept of honor.

Exchanging his reports from the other two officers, Leon greeted in trained Vulcan as a courtesy to T'Less when he met up her, and he thanked her for her input, then offered a more direct handshake to Vivian’s brother. “It is agreeable to see you, T'Less, well done. Lieutenant, having one Martin aboard is valuable enough, but with two of you assures me we're in good hands. Now, let’s get going.” He said when they’d been put to work.

A few taps of his pad later and the holotable reacted accordingly. Leon began explaining the latest on a team-based airstrike the Wolves could deliver against a Borg Cube. Marquez's variant required a Conn-Plotted course that would keep Theurgy on a cube’s pre-sighted and disarmed side, while the rest of the Cube was blinded by the wolves’ ‘flashbang’ tactic. If he could cloak the vessel and attack with it, that was a needed upper hand in their next fight.  “With an EMP missile or antimatter spread to confuse their sensors and tractor emitters, we could let the wolves take their target down down one layer at a time with our as our ship hits the Cubes here, here and here. Starfleet Tactical believes these coordinates are command and control sections distributed throughout the craft.  ‘Battle bridges’, as it were, though it is likely they are key power junctures for respective axes of the vessels. What is certain is this is where Captan Picard had the fleet at 0-0-1 target the Cube during that engagement.” Fortunately, Lt T'Less’ analysis was already somewhat in agreement. Incorporating her work with his was not difficult or dissimilar  the program put both their plans into effect was yet to be seen. Fortunately, it was off to a good start with his A-CTO.

Despite their extensive list of enemies, the Borg were one threat to anyone else who might somehow serve as an ally in their fugitive state. “Ensign Henshaw’s logs have proven instrumental in preparing for another Klingon dogfight." Leon wished he could have added a better term for 'trouble', but kept it neutral as he stated around the holotable as his program's patterns were projected in color-coded adversarial display. "The Sword held her ground against the Rotarran, but we have learned not to underestimate this craft’s full capabilities. Cloaked fighters, for one, a cloaked fleet for another, including Dominion War Era and contemporary craft alike. Given our destination and what it means to the Chancellor, I’d bet on a larger force than the one that splashed our fighters.” He explained their next likely threat.

Leon turned to the Ship's former CTO, and issued orders best suited to her experience with the ship's weapons. “Lieutenant T'Less: As more of our defensive capabilities come back online, prepare our phaser settings for random dispersal and fire rates, specifically, for a Borg encounter. Work what antimatter armaments we can spare, they're one advantage we have via our fighters. In case we run into any other hostiles, draw up five of your preferred armament configurations for an apropos counter-offensive package with intent on disabling Martok's vessel and rescuing him as needed. Make sure those five plans can be applied to our other pursuers for... variable effect." Leon planned for certain contingencies, rather than cement to any one plan that could hardly evolve or change as the situation called for. Such as the Asurians or Sankolov's ships. Switching between several configurations gave them options.

"If the Chancellor is Alive, kicking and convinced, he’s an ally. Dead, he’s a martyr and soon thereafter, so are we to anyone who finds those logs when the dust settles. The Empire’s concept of revenge is one thing compared to their concept of rage.” That too, was a concept he was reminded of by Zyrao during a later meeting. Marquez suspected that hard-liners or the parasites themselves would use the assassination of their Chancellor by the Federation as a rallying cry for war.

As Theurgy arrived at her destination, the Captain had ordered all logs and unsent messages deployed. Leon was glad, as both Leon and Alessia had incidentally posted a joint-video letter to both of their respective families in the last hour, if any of their relatives weren’t already sequestered by Sankolov or his fellow parasites they'd hear it from Alessia and Leon. It was a simple pair of messages, but forthright about their stories since they’d parted ways over three years before, when there was an expected wedding after the war’s end. Marquez hoped this message-in-a-bottle was insurance to some future civilization of the dangers here and that he, she and others existed as participants of a war that was too out of time and out of place.

But he wasn’t an El-Aurian to decide. He’d had enough lip from one of them in particular despite his steadfast politeness that broadcast the contrary. Working with Zyrao made Leon feel as comfortable as someone who’d just shook hands with a cactus, but her centuries of expertise and experience with the KDF made up for that attitude that was admittedly somewhat refreshing. The attitude it gave Leon an excuse to curse, rather than the stunning odd-used F-bombs he used once a blue moon on Resolve.

Then the Asurian, Dyan Cardamone, broke the news.

“Well, I’ll be.” Leon held off on that statement he was likewise captivated by word of Thea’s contact and the summary communiqué.

"I have the message Dyan's referring to. Arrived via non-Federation subspace tightbeam, but there's a sub-channel with a Starfleet identification code: Thea's.  Security checksums are valid." Comms specialist Ravenholm reported.

With a telltale indicator from the CTO console, Leon verified this transmission from a tactical standpoint. “Confirmed, Captain. Thea’s Signal. Firewalls in effect.” Marquez reported from his console when he dashed over at the mention of Thea, but kept the AI from interfacing with Theurgy in case this was a trap or bait, or more likely just in case this was the queue for action stations. Maybe there were survivors aboard after all. Maybe even Jien Ives. Privately, Leon was concerned for K’ren and Sinead mainly. Thea’s message gave him that much hope. Leon listened intently, personally recording the transmission and snapped reactively, at anyone at the holotable, nodding sharply to mark those coordinates onto the computer, which answered with a marker on their holo-map, and the axe-shaped Superdreadnought appeared on the map of the Azure Nebula, relative to their position at the Coreless Moon and the last known position of the task force, grimly dubbed ‘Point Bellerophon’. Leon had entered those coordinates himself with a timestamp so as to forward CONN with any calculations for the vessel’s possible trajectories for a CO-ordered response, if any.

As Thea spoke, Leon was already working on both his screen and pad towards finding what limited cross sections and readouts they had on the Versant, just in case some or at least one of his plans were greenlit in the attempt to engage the Borg or rescue their crew. Vivian’s brother spoke up and despite agreeing with him, Marquez firmly replied, “Steady on, Mister Martin. I concur with the lieutenant, this is also our chance to stop the collective.  Work with Engineering: Calculate the possibility of the Reman’s cloaking device utilized within the next hour. Then prioritize any phaser bank or torpedo bay not yet to 100% for repairs and get them online. If firing while cloaked is an option, so be it, but don't ask our Reman guest or the repair teams for the impossible. Avoid shutting down additional phasers for the time being. We'll need whatever's ready, pronto <A.S.A.P.>.” Leon evenly stated as he indifferently accessed the weapons diagnostics for a real-time preparation for yellow or red alert. Battle was imminent; his gut instinct couldn't shake the hunch of certainty.

A perverse idea crossed Leon's imagination of somehow arranging for the Superdreadnought being pit against a Borg Armada while rescuing Theurgy's crew and captain actually made him anticipate that possibility if Thea's report was accurate about the abductees having allies. And more possible if Reman cloaking technology would work with the power that the entire ship could bring to power it.

At that moment, Kino Taer made the CTO’s contingency plan regarding the Parasite in the Chancellor’s inner circle: Exposing this treachery would rally the Klingons the way Starfleet’s Infiltration of Ty’go’kor had exposed a Founder infiltrator. One man could summon the future as T'Less’s people said. In this case, one AI.[/i]

Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy

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

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

Reply #17
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Triton, @Top Hat, @Patches, @The Ostrich, @Argyros & @Cosmos
With a quick nod in appreciation and acknowledgement for Kino's concern, Cam returned herself to waiting for the message to play and she did not have to wait long. Thea was well. There were crew members from other ships as well as Theurgy that were alive. Jien Ives was among them, for sure!

Jien Ives was alive...He's alive.


A smile appeared on the girl's lips, something that hadn't been seen much, if at all, this past week, and then the tears came unbidden, from a combination of joy and anguish. “Jien's alive...” said Cam, not loudly, but she wasn't whispering either.

But it couldn't all have come at a worst possible moment. The Borg threat! Jien would surely not approve of the choice to choice to come after them if he knew what the crew knew right then. He would have sent them to aid the Cayuga, the Klingons and everyone else first, even if the Versant was burning down around him, he would send them. But without Jien...without Thea, it was like the heart and soul that made the Theurgy was gone, and how well would they fare? She cast a frantic glance towards Wenn Cinn. The Bajoran was a stable and even man, and he had steered them through with examplary leadership. Natalie Stark had great strength, more than she even realized herself, and both Carrigan and Jennifer led with strength and courage, whatever their faults, these three and Cinn made a formidable force with the power of the multi-vector dreadnought.

But they are not Jien, and they are only half the strength and capabilities without Thea.

As much as it seemed so heartless, cruel and selfish to argue what the others said, Cam, the little Yeoman, the insignificant ensign, had to offer a counterpoint, and stand with the woman who had run her over as well as Salem.

“Captain,” said Cam as she moved towards the tall man, “I don't disagree with the others, about the Borg...but, we need Thea...and Captain Ives...they're the heart and soul, if you'll pardon the metaphor.” She knew how weak her statement was, so she added all her emotion, pain, hope and desire into her next words, “Yes I know it is selfish, and counterpoint to say that I think the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many this once. We need to be truly and completely whole once more, or...or everything will be lost...sir.”

That sounded even stupider out loud now that she had said it, and made her sound so callous and uncaring about the fate of the quadrant should the Borg succeed in establishing a beachhead, but the Ensign stood firm, even defiant, in her stance, and she watched Cinn to see what he would ultimately decide in.

After this, we've simply got to find time to take shore leave on Risa...

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

Reply #18
[ Captain Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

As Thea’s voice filled the Bridge once again Captain Cinn could hear nothing else but her and the background noises throughout the room.  Even after the message ended you could hear a pin drop as everyone present processed what they just heard.  He could feel his own pagh surging underneath his dark skin as the news of their compatriots being alive started to hit home.  Rez’s statement earlier echoed in his mind, the pagh’tem’far from a few days ago following quickly afterwards.

The Bridge exploded all around Cinn in the meantime as everyone jumped in to express their opinion.  Shockingly, the bridge crew seemed to be evenly split between continuing on to the aperture field or rescuing the captives.  It made some sense though, with more crew (especially many of the normal senior officers) and Thea herself back aboard the ship would be in a much better position to fight the Borg, and that was before factoring in the regulations about answering distress calls.  On the other hand, the was The Borg and if Nicander was right, this was the invasion that would end everything.

Before Cinn could ask, Veradin was already plotting the coordinates Thea gave, but the news wasn’t good.  Any hope of both picking up the captives then racing off to the battlefield was dashed with the report that they were in opposite directions.  The Versant was closer, but when up to an hour away (warp drive’s attitude depending) that was cutting it way too damn close, doubly so with the high likelihood of having to fight their way to their compatriots, or to cut them a way out.  They almost didn’t have enough time to get to the field as it was, and that was assuming the warp nacelles held.

Finishing his silent deliberations, Cinn would feel the gravity plating pulling him down to the deck.  This was an order he desperately didn’t want to give, but the choice was an illusion.  “Continue to the aperture field Mr. Veradin.  Best possible speed.”  I’m sorry… he thought to Captain Ives and all the others.  With luck the Borg threat will be stopped and they can circle back to rescue the abductees.  “Okafor, send a probe to those coordinates, I want to know if they move from that location and a way to track it for later.”  It wasn’t much, but at least they were trying.

Slumping back into the captain’s chair, the Bajoran tried not to look defeated, that he was just trying to relax before plunging headfirst into hell.  Tapping his lap with the PADD still clutched in his dark hand, Cinn watched the holofield shift into the familiar warp streaks as the Theurgy shuddered its way past the warp barrier.  Realization hit a few moments later, the tapping stopping as he looked at the report’s title.  “Nicander…” he whispered, the pieces clicking into place.

“Stark, take the conn.  Ducote, with me.”  Jumping out of the center seat, Cinn made a beeline for the turbolift, not even checking to see if their visitor from the Endeavour was following.  “Deck 7.”

GM OOC Note added: With this post, now that we are on course towards the apertures in the heart of the Azure Nebula at a warp speed of 9.95 (which is as fast as the Theurgy can go atm due to all the damage), 7 days of posting now begin where all reactions to Captain Wenn's decision should be posted on the bridge. When 7 days have passed, I will turn the hands of time one hour forward in this thread, and the Theurgy will join the Battle of the Apertures. Please bear in mind that Martok and his fleet plus the Cayuga will have been fighting the Borg Queen for that hour, so please mind the debris field when we drop out of warp. :)

This post also opens up for Supplemental threads set between 1005 and 1110 hrs on Day 06, which is the time for this last leap through the Azure Nebula. These threads should have the naming convention CH05: S [D06|XXXX] Insert Title, and it is the last chance you all have to write any scenes prior to the battle. Bridge officers may call in relief officers in order to leave the bridge for such scenes, of course. The only thing important to keep in mind, is that at 1100 hrs., the Red Alert will be sounded, meaning all hands to battle stations, since it would only be 10 minutes until they drop out of warp. So, the threads you may write in the hour between 1005 and 1110 hrs must have a Red Alert at 1100 hrs., if the scene is depicted at that minute.

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

Reply #19
Lt JG Salem Martin| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton  @Doc M.

Salem took long slow breaths as he started to listen to everyone around him, tallying votes. He knew that votes weren't how Starfleet handled these situations, and he wasn't surprised that most were able to focus on the big picture, he was told to steady himself and get back in line by his own commanding officer. He understood why that order was being given, and Martin had to chew his lip for a moment.

Still his eyes were looking out to every single person whom had voted against the rescue, their faces etching into his mind, these people were, the ones whom Salem understood he couldn't trust.

And the worst offender was someone he had just gotten back. If looks could kill, the glare he shot across the bridge to the science department would have incinerated his twin. He chewed on his lip, she was his superior officer, she was family, there were a lot of reasons he could not berate her for her choices or raise his voice against her. But oh he wanted too. Out of everyone on the bridge if there was one person whom he had expected to back him up, who understood what it was like to be stranded away from friends or family or what it was like to have someone close to them restrained it should have been her, yet her face was among the others on his shit list.

He could understand the situation, one Borg Cube versus twenty seven individual Federation ships, he had seen the damage first hand. He knew what even a single one could do to worlds, and worst yet they were like cockroaches.  if even a single cube got away the untold damage it could cause and the worlds it could infest could make yet more cubes, and an infestation across Federation space would spread that no army could stop. Seconds were precious and the fighting would be immense. He had duties he needed to attend too. He turned back slowly, letting himself breath, and take his focus away from his stupid nerd of a sister, and her the needs of the many bullshit, and just do his job.

He tuned back into reality with slow breathing exercises he had been taught in therapy, and grappled with the struggle at hand. The first thing he had to counterpoint was Lt Cmdr Marquez's theory on the borg and the co'ordinates used by Jean Luc Picard in sector 001's battle with the borg. "Sir, it has been shown many times over the Borg are a hive mind, they posses no need of a bridge, further more that singular cube was modified to house a sort of Borg science vessel, and the data used in that battle was given to Picard by the voices of the collective. It very well may have been a trap tactic, as the debris field from the cube prevented immediate fire upon the Sphere, like sacrificing a pawn to protect a better peace in a game of chess. There is no telling if the cubes we will be facing today have the same modifications as the singular vessel used in the battle above earth, and further more no telling if such an area has not been adapted or modified since that invasion."

"In battle against a modern cube against the Cayuga there were no gives or nor weaknesses at any point in the hull of the cube, what we did was load several high yield torpedoes and fired them consecutively at the same location, taxing their regenerative ability by causing stress to a singular location. In the first encounter with the Borg when the Enterprise was whisked away to the gamma quadrant it was shown that stressing the vessel's regenerative abilities slowed them down considerably. If we are going into a fight against multiple cubes we may not be able to position ourselves between any two direct weak points if they even exist so I'd suggest selecting fire based off of areas easy to hit repeatedly rather than trying to focus fire any one hard to reach location."
Having seen a single cube in action and survived by taxing the ship for all it had been worth he knew that with a ship like the Theurgy that had far more overwhelming fire power they could do repeated damage much easier.

He turned to his console trying to hail engineering to do as he had been told, though he stopped for a moment.

Wait did he just say this ship had a Reman cloaking device? How the fuck did they get that?!

He shook his head pack that information away for later. "This is Lieutenant Junior Grade, Salem Martin to main engineering, I need a status on the Reman cloaking device, we need it operational within the next hour, also we are about to be going up against people with really big guns so if you could get as many torpedo tubes operational as possible those of us up in tactical would really appreciate it."

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

Reply #20
[ William Robert O’Connell | Voice over the communications system | USS Theurgy ]  Atten. @Argyros, @Auctor Lucan, @chXinya, @Cosmos@FollowTomorrow, @Masorin, @Patches, @The Ostrich@Top Hat, @Triage , &  @Triton.

[ On second thought maybe it’s high time we got a move on, ] a masculine voice muttered.  Salem could hear a man clearing his throat before he responded in a louder and clearer tone.  Well it was only somewhat clear, but it was sure loud.  [ O’Connell tuh Martin, we wuz jest getting thuh that now.  Mister Xan… or is it Efreya-Xan?  Jesus Christ son, how many times are you gonna move th’ hyphens around in yore name anyhow? ]   There was a pause as O’Connell cleared his throat again.  [ Lieutenant junior grade Suq Reylin Efreya-Xan is doin’ his best tuh install it intuh our main deflector array, but th’ whole Theurgy is a damn sight bigger then jest th' Helmet.  Mister Lorad is here to assist but even so at th’ very best it Ah cain't rightly say when it's uh gonna be.  Hold on sir, let me consult with th’ Lieutenant.  Ah’ll git back tuh yuh as soon as Ah’m able. ]

OOC:  If you page my character, don’t be afraid to send me a PM letting me know!

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

Reply #21
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | In the Calm Before the Storm ]
Att: bridge crew + Those mentioned.

Leon thanked his lucky stars he'd never had to deal with the Borg face to face, but at the academy when they were the face of evil after their discovery and battle, Leon had to involve himself on ways to beat them face to face or ship to ship. There were no capabilities or tangible advantages. Marquez had even experienced a supervised holo seminar on what to do if encountered in the field. Leon voluntarily had himself 'assimilated', to see how soon it would take for him to use his phaser on himself, rather than spend eternity as a battery. There weren't any holodeck safeties this time.

"Noted, Mister Martin. We have taken Cayuga's tactical response into our calculations as a keystone factor in our response." the CTO reminded, he wouldn't dream of reminding anyone all of their loss, though. "We also have wolves this time." Marquez reminded further of the advantage key to following up his and T'Less' growing digital archive, in a tone firmer than he'd intended as if to rebuke  as if he hadn't been heard the first time. Despite the tone, he let the Lieutenant give his address. Marquez skipped the 'forget-the-speech' retort this time, he hated long-windedness unless it was necessary.

As, if for emphasis, a scan crossed his station indicating a highly-probably launch bay location, that had been located within a short distance of one of the cubes' laser emitters according to a rendering of the Enterprise-D's first encounter--wasn't that the Delta Quadrant? It was still under debate if cubes were identical, more so than drones. O'Connell's reply came through on audio.  "During World War II, Gurkha Commandos learned to trick their Imperial adversaries into shooting each other during the confusion of jungle warfare and exploiting the chaos. I trust that inspires your faith in the plan." Leon made eye contact with Salem and smirked devilishly, conveying a response.

Another wild idea crossed his mind about what to target on a Borg Cube and its additional craft. Archived scans of identified Cubes at separate encounters overlayed and cross-referenced where Spheres or other polygon craft would be launched from. Marquez hoped Martin was wrong about diversity, but only time, and incidentally the cloak, would tell. Leon issued a memorandum about the possibility of tampering with the cubes' or Theurgy's own IFF frequencies and was chasing the possibilities in the computer's theoretical files. It was only a matter of time now before it was time to roll the loaded dice.

Lt. Commander Leon "Striker" Marquez
Chief Tactical Officer, USS Theurgy
"No one left behind."

Ensign James "Jimmy" Mariner
Security Officer, USS Theurgy

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

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

Reply #22
[ P.O Dyan Cardamone/Sar-unga Neleo | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

The bridge was now in chaos. Everyone was doing their own thing, and also another person came in with a message, and also Thea’s voice was here even though she personally wasn’t. The rancor suited Dyan just fine, but she wanted to know what the decision actually was. As far as she knew, there were opinions everywhere. She glanced over at the acting Captain. Wenn Cinn had her respect. If anything, she respected him and his crinkly face and nose more than she respected Ives, the actual captain of the ship, who would certainly be coming back after…

After the borg attack. It was decided; they would reach the borg first. Dyan did not know many things, but she knew this; She did not expect to survive battle with the borg. More than that, if the borg managed to assimilate her, they would know about the Asurians. Her people’s secrecy would be compromised. Did she have a choice in this matter? Her tail whipped about, watching the bridge come alive with action. All her life, she’d been ready to die for what she believed in. Now she didn’t know if she could. Could she really end her life before the borg found her?

She stood by the Captain's chair, watching the viewscreen. Her bold visage became serious now. There was no smile to her, and her tail became still as she questioned.

Why is it that now, of all times, she felt fear?

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

Reply #23
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Vanya’s fingers were tapping a console in the Sci grotto on the starboard side of the bridge. Officers were voicing their opinions on what they should or shouldn’t do and Vanya was a little thrown by that. The ships she’d served on were not so much decided by committee.  This was a special circumstance she supposed, so the Captain might be allowing voiced thoughts. Vanya however kept her opinion to herself. Noone had asked her and she was technically just ‘attached’, to the crew at the moment. Her opinion may not even be wanted. She sure wasn’t going to give it with out being asked.

Looking to Okafor, Vanya raised her brows as if to ask him if this was common practice. Different ships were, well, different, after all. Then Vivian was coming onto the Bridge and Vanya offered her a silent nod when she came over. Commander Martin  voiced her opinion on the situation and Vanya’s dark green eyes looked to her then back down to the display where she was working. She’d gotten up to give her seat to the superior officer and with a flick of her fingers moved the work to a standing screen in the Science area. If Vanya disagreed with the Lieutenant Commander, her face did not betray such thoughts.

At the mention of the Science team’s plans, the Romulan gave a bit of a nod. The modification to the Tri-fold verteron displacement grid were coming on line. Slender fingers moved with astonishing speed as she entered in the refined and specialized calculations. She had been the CSO on her own ship, so her basis for Starfleet Sciences was wide. More than ‘just’ her chosen specialty.

A few more moments and the modification protocols were complete and Vanya sent them to the console in front of Vivian while also ensuring Ops and Tactical had the information. “Commander.” Vanya spoke softly to LtCmd Martin .

The reconfiguration would allow Ops and Tactical to refocus the shields on the fly, faster than before and with more precision. This would allow Theurgy to parry incoming weapon fire more accurately and help to prevent shield emitter overload. Well, to prevent it from happening as quickly anyway.

The Romulan glanced over to Ops and then back to Tactical to ensure the information had gotten to where it was supposed to be. She’d remain on station to ensure the changes were in effect and maintained peek efficiency. 

With that aspect concluded she changed the read out to began amplification of the primary spacial field discriminators. Specifically, she was entering in refinements to detect Borg warp signatures and power sources. The sooner and further away they could detect the Borg the better they’d be. A few seconds more of warning or prep time may literally result in the success or failure of the mention. Vanya worked swiftly to try and give them those extra seconds, or even fractions of a second.

It sure looked like they could use every micron of help they could get.
Lieutenant Vanya - Science Officer - Zoology/XenoZoology

Lieutenant Junior Grade Zark – Security Officer – Combat Medic

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

Reply #24
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Fife

There was never enough time. Nator was now thoroughly bored with hir internal monologue throwing up the phrase 'two hundred engineers and a fortnight in drydock' and found hirself rolling hir eyes at least three times an hour whenever s/he caught hirself thinking it. The ship wasn't combat ready, not if it had to take on a KDF fleet, a Starfleet flotilla, and the Borg. Probably not even one of those things at a time. Their hull was still porous, their magazines run down, and their power systems...

Nator supposed that if the Borg had gained any schematics of the Theurgy when they encountered the TFA ships in the nebula, they at least wouldn't be able to shut down huge swathes of their grid with the expected level of ease. It was so heavily rerouted, patched, and jury-rigged that it was a whole new brand of resilient. Imagine that. One of the best defences against a cybernetic civilisation might end up being 'security through obscurity' after all.

Internal sensors showed hir an Ops crew tag in the Jefferies' tubes near one of the more crucial junctions in their new and improvised EPS grid. The overall integrity of the grid was.. suboptimal, and so s/he wanted as many sets of humanoid eyes to verify the diagnostics as possible. S/he sent a message to the tunnel-crawler.

Around hir the bridge was a hive of activity; the message from Thea had energised people to pull in various directions. For hir own part, s/he had no real pull towards people s/he could no longer reliably remember, and so stayed quiet. S/he follow whatever order s/he was given.

No movement from the tunnel-crawler, and no acknowledgement. Nator resent the order. Come on; I do not have the time for this.

[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Triton @Masorin

Commander Marquez arrived back on the bridge, though he didn't appear to be any better rested than when he left. She wondered if an hour or so would have been long enough to recover from the Helmet's tumultuous day anyway. He greeted her in Vulcan, for reasons presumably his own, as the UT was more than sufficient and had the side benefit of sparing her from an alien's poor accent. She settled for nodding in response, handing over her report.

His subsequent orders matched almost entirely what she'd been working on for the last hour; anti-Borg contingencies, though he did add that she should exploit their antimatter stocks, too. Usually, she'd be leery of using the ship's primary fuel source in such an engagement when replenishing it was a dicey prospect without the logistics chain of the wider Fleet to support them. However, she couldn't deny the fatalistic logic behind it. If they didn't use it, their chances of success diminished. If they did, so did their chances of escape. However, the latter case was still a 'solvable' - the former was not.

Lieutenant Martin, however, posed a new problem. She could hardly miss the look he shot her when she advocated addressing their primary threat. Inconvenient, but she wasn't sure how to address it at this moment. They all had more important things to be doing if they were to survive long enough to pick up their crewmates. She missed them as much as anyone else - and one or two of them more than she cared to admit - but they had a duty to discharge first.

Always one more thing...

Regardless, she filed away his account. Any scrap of information would be useful in the coming engagement.

[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @chXinya

The acting Captain ordered that they continue to the Borg foothold. He wanted to feel relieved, he wanted to feel as if he was doing the right thing... but he wanted to see Blue again. See who else survived. Find out if they knew of anyone else. If he hadn't been picked up by this ship, he'd already have been told who had been rescued, whose bodies had been recovered, who was still missing... on the Theurgy, all he had was silence and worry.

Enraba-me, this is such a fucking cluster.

Half-heartedly, he made another circuit of his patch of the deck, at a loss. "Fffff-" he hissed to himself.

"Ducote, with me," Wenn said, at least giving him something to snap him out of it.

The hybrid's hand dropped from the back of his neck, slapping against his leg as he watched the Bajoran breeze past him. Sure, why not. He followed the bulky man into the turbolift.

"Deck Seven," came the order as the door closed.

"Nicander, then?" Ducote guessed as the lift descended. "If the abductees survived, the fucker lied," he all but growled. "He's been manipulating you from day one."

Black eyes regarded the dark Bajoran as the commander glanced at the captain. "Any point in trying to dissuade you from talking to him now?"
Nator 159: "I accept no responsibility for the ensign's manifest stupidity. Sir." [Show/Hide]
Ranaan Ducote: "A ship is a home; its crew a family." [Show/Hide]
T'Less: "Your odds of prevailing against us are... slim." [Show/Hide]
Valkra: "Come! We will shake the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor!" [Show/Hide]

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