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

Reply #25
[ Lt. Cmdr. Vael Kaeris | Turbolift | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat  @chXinya @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan

The PADD in his hand was interfaced to the secure science subnet that had been stitched together to allow ready interfacing between the labs that even now raced to design and implement the various stratagems that had arisen from their impromptu brainstorming session.  As was common aboard the Endeavour, Vael found himself coordinating between the teams, providing input and recommendations as he kept abreast of their projects.  His own particular expertise would be best focused in preventing assimilation in the first place, but under the current time frame, the best option for preventing assimilation lay in preventing the Borg ingress at the source.

The analogy was the same, whether on the microscopic scale, or the macroscopic.  Each cube was a nanoprobe, and to the Borg, the alpha and beta quadrants were little more than drones meant to be drawn into the collective.  For the barest moment, he considered that he had made a mistake when he chose to specialize in medical sciences over weaponry.  The possibility of deploying the Bactrican defense grid against the Borg brought a momentary smugness to his train of thought only to have it cast aside by the very practicality that had caused him to recommend the science staff be prepared to take their own lives.  One failure, one missed opportunity, and the Borg would gain another powerful tool at their disposal.

He straightened himself, swiping through the various project logs, ensuring that no records were retained at his finger tips.  The PADD was a tool, nothing more.  As a member of the royal house, he'd long been inured to the the possibility that his own life might need to end for the betterment of others.  The prospect of being taken hostage, being used as a pawn against the government was enough of a threat.  Assimilation aside, there were other methods by which to secure secrets or critical data.  Changing alignment?  Rudimentary.  All his life, he had been taught to observe, resist and counter such plots.

Considering the Borg.  Death was the simplest method.  This truth was logical, but did not sit well with him.  Should they survive this encounter, he would need to consider other alternatives.  The Cardassians, it seemed, had at least given it some thought.

As the door opened to the bridge, he lifted his eyes from the PADD, ready to step forward, only to find the dark skinned Bajoran commander stampeding inward, Ducote on his heels.  Beyond, Vael, could make out the bridge, unusually crowded it seemed and only now resuming some semblance of its regular order -- although the facial expressions of those he could make out seemed oddly at counter purpose. 

His dark eyes studied the commanders as he raised the PADD and forwarded a note to the Theurgy's CSO with a basic assessment of their ongoing science efforts.  "If I may, sirs," he stated from the back of the turbolift as it was now heading to deck 7, his tone as impassively neutral as ever, "you look as if you could use a sounding board."

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

Reply #26
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @Triage @Triton @FollowTomorrow @chXinya @Masorin @The Ostrich @Hastata-Nerada @Cosmos

Exiting the small office had been easy enough, as had entering the bridge. Natalie let Vanya proceed her, watching as the Romulan came to a soft halt and took in the bridge.

"Its pretty expansive," she whispered to her friend as she walked past, heading to the XO's station, (though still feeling Vanya's presence next to her), coming to a stop near Wenn Cinn. She caught his comment and gave a little nod of her own, keeping her face calm. He was acting civil, so could she. They still hadn't had a chance to really sit and talk. There hadn't been time and both had a duty.

A shame that if we're remembered at all after this, it will be as traitors. The dark thoughts kept creeping back into her mind, despite everything that Anya had told her. Confronted by the Borg, it was rather hard to feel anything else.

She got to feel a good deal of shock and surprise when news of the message came in. Natalie allowed herself to sink down, into the XO's chair, as she listened, barely aware of the touch of her friend - a moment of solidarity and comfort. They were alive after all? Some, at least. Faces began to flash before her. She'd looked at the reports of who was gone. She'd seen some taken before her eyes. Her people.  Her crew. They were a family and they weren't dead. Thea wasn't gone.  Natalie cared about the ships AI. She was as alive as Vanya, as any member of the crew.

We have to go back. Its what Trent was saying all along, and look, he was right! she thought, feeling a burst of vindication for the man that had started to mentor her on the path to command. The training had been woefully short so far, but those first few lessons had held her together during the past week.

All around them, the crew started voicing their opinion. Natalie wasn't entirely sure how she felt about this. This was a ship, and they had a Captain. Ives would have asked for thoughts, perhaps, but the crew would have been wise enough not to speak up with out permission. Trent might have. Maybe. As First officer. Which meant Natalie probably should, for their current captain.  Or at the very least tell the others to pipe down. Many seemed to agree with her impulse, to go and find and save their friends.

Swallowing, the woman turned her blue eyes over Wenn, and felt the warmth and hope she'd begun to harbor drain out like water thought a sieve. Natalie could see the decision in his eyes before he spoke. Could hear the finality of what was to come when the helm officer made it clear to the rest of the bridge that they were in an 'either or' situation. That as impressive as the Theurgy was, she could only achieve one of their now two goals - save her people, or join in the fight to stop the Borg from possibly dooming the whole galaxy.

You son of a bitch she thought, only to chase the unkind words away as fast as she could. She looked at the text of Thea's message and did her own mental math, finding herself in resigned agreement along side Lt. Veradin. Damn she thought, as aloud, she said softly, "Thank you, Mr. Veradin."

Almost on top of her quiet words, Cinn spoke. It was exactly as she thought he would go, based on the look in his eyes from before. Ending the discussion. she watched as the man as sciences - along side Vivian Martin, from the late Resolve, and unsurprisingly, her friend Vanya - punched out the orders to launch a probe. She allowed herself to believe that she could feel the ship shudder as the device was launched, but knew that was just an over active imagination, running a bit wild in the face of the orders just given, and the reality of where they were going and what they would do when they arrived.

Barely had she had time to nod toward Okafor before Cinn was bolting up in his chair, ordering her to take over and snapping something off at Ducote, the man from Endeavour. What the hell?? Natalie thought, blinking in surprise with a healthy dash of disapproval, as the Bajoran cleared the bridge in a rush. Wiping the frown off her face, she stood and moved over a chair, easing back into the deceptively comfortable center seat.  She let her gaze drift over her shoulder to see their resident Asurian standing guard, and cocked an eyebrow up, as if to ask "Shouldn't you be at your duty station?" without actually saying it. Instead, she addressed helm.

"Steady as she goes, Mr. Veradin. Best possible speed," confirming the orders from Cpt. Wenn, who had by now cleared the bridge. Speaking of which, she thought, looking at the chronometer, and a plot out of their current course and speed, as well as ETA at the aperture site.

"At our current course and speed, we'll be reaching the battle site at 1110 hours," she addressed the bridge crew. " I want - no, I need, all of you at your peek when that time comes. Be back here at 1100 hours, on the dot. Until then, feel free to call in relief officers as needed." Here an I am, again, telling people to take a break. What a glorious job I have, she thought bitterly, repeating herself from not too terribly long ago. "Go to the bathroom. Stretch your legs. Meditate," Come to terms with the fact that not only are we leaving our friends behind, we're likely going to die facing the Borg she added in silence.

"Be back at 1100. Dismissed."

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

Reply #27
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @

The Borg were an imminent threat, no doubt. A massive, imminent threat that Tyreke wished he never had the displeasure of having to deal with. He pondered, briefly. If he were a drone, would he still feel? Would he need to worry about what it was like being assimilated after that? A shudder ran its way through his frame as he envisioned the alternate possibility of a drone being completely aware and helpless during their time in the Collective, their mind being slowly eroded and overran as they could do nothing but watch themselves move according to some ceaseless, collective will. Tyreke blinked a few times. He tried to fill his mind with thoughts of a field he saw on Bajor, filled with lush grasses and flowers that bore an odd resemblance to lilacs.
Enough of that, there were orders. With a quiet and resigned exhale, Tyreke’s fingers moved over the console and brought up the probe manifest. A class-5 probe perhaps? He wasn’t sure whether the power and range of the probe was excessive, but these were their crew, survivors, other people in danger. The time for second thoughts could come later, he input the coordinates and launched the probe.
After a second of watching it sail away into the cerulean depths of the nebula, Tyreke turned his chair towards the command seat, or rather towards Lieutenant Commander Stark, as Cinn was now vacant. ”Probe is away, we will be able to observe telemetry up to a range of forty-three billion kilometers with full chemical and spectral analysis.”
Tyreke turned back solemnly to his station, but paused as he heard Stark’s orders. "I want - no, I need, all of you at your peek when that time comes. Be back here at 1100 hours, on the dot. Until then, feel free to call in relief officers as needed."
An hour? It didn’t feel like enough time. Nowhere near enough in fact, but to be fair, “enough time” before facing the Borg constituted a literal eternity in Tyreke’s opinion. "Be back at 1100. Dismissed."
Tyreke glanced at Lieutenant Commander Martin, almost as if to confirm, then back to his console. He was not sure how the others would react, but he knew that this time he would not be the first to do so.

Apologies for the short post. Regarding the class-5 probe, this information was based on the TNG technical manual, which gave a detailed description of the probe's capabilities.

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

Reply #28
[ CPO Ekon Okotie-Eboh | Jefferies Tubes | Deck ?? | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat
[Show/Hide]Eboh drifted through a vast and empty void, utterly weightless and relaxed. When was the last time he had had the opportunity to rest like this? He certainly couldn’t remember! The reprieve was welcome, though the strange noise was spoiling it. A shrill noise, pulling him back to reality and ruining his peaceful drifting. There it was again, a high pitched, chirping noise, accompanied by a voice. Eboh groaned and he begrudgingly opened his eyes, the slight movement proving enough to send a lance of pain through his head. The air around him smelled acrid and thick, which only served to add to the assault on his senses. The chirping sounded again, though this time he was able to recognize it as his combadge.

Someone was trying to get a hold of him.

Eboh shook his head in an attempt to clear it, then forced his eyes fully open. He was laying on his back, and found himself staring at the top of a Jefferies tube. He craned his neck, looking up along his body’s axis to peer down the tube ahead of him. It was smoky, but clear. Turning his head again, he looked downward, along his body and past his feet. He found that the tube told a much different story in that direction…

What the hell happened?

The tube was a mess. Part of the structure of the Jefferies tube had bucked inward, half-blocking the tube in that direction. Sparks danced through the air, sent on random arcs by a blown EPS relay. The amount of smoke in the tube told the Ops Chief that the one he could see was not the only damaged relay. Eboh couldn’t remember what had happened. He remembered a ship-wide announcement telling them to prepare for the Theurgy’s reintegration… Then nothing. If the state of the Jefferies tube was any indication, he should be happy he was still in one piece. If he had been even 10 feet further down the tube, things would have turned out very differently.

His thoughts were interrupted by another round of chirping, each shrill noise sending a needle of pain through his head. Eboh brought both hand upward, his left hand pressing against the side of his head as the right made it’s way to his chest, his fingertips tapping the combadge. ”Eboh to Ops… I’m here…” he said as he blinked his eyes several times in an attempt to clear his vision.

Wherever here is… he thought to himself. The hand he had held to his head felt wet, and as he lifted it away from his temple he found his fingers to be sticky and glistening with partially coagulated blood. He wiped his hand on his uniform before he spoke again. ”I’m unsure of which section I’m in, sir,” Eboh finally continued, his voice sounding groggy. His eyes pulled away from his hand to survey his surroundings once again as he continued to report in. ”I can tell you that this Jefferies tube has seen better days, and the EPS grid in this section will need a good deal of repair before it's up and running again.” Eboh let out a soft groan as he shifted his position, turning onto his side and pushing himself up onto his hands and knees. ”I’ll need some time to give you a more detailed report, but I’ll need more hands to get this section back up and running.” Eboh’s head throbbed as he made his way towards the damaged section of the Jefferies tube, hoping to get a better idea of the extent of repairs required. ”If you could ask whoever you send to bring a medical kit, sir, that would be a big help as well.”

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

Reply #29
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Atten: @All bridge crew
We’re leaving our people behind. The words didn’t even seem real as they reverberated through his head. These are our crew, our friends, our loved ones, and we are going to leave them behind… Derik wished he was joined right at this moment. The confidence and surety of many lifetimes might have taken the edge off what they were doing. It’s for the greater good. He kept telling himself. It’s all for the greater good.

His fingers hesitated over the controls, apprehensively setting their course and speed. The “engage” button stared back at him, bright, accusing, cruel.

You have to do this. A voice in his head spoke.

Did he?

Yes. You’ve been given an order.

So what? It wouldn't be the first time someone mutinied or disobeyed commands.

Do not let personal attachments put millions of lives at risk.

If we can’t save our own people how can we be expected to save millions?

In war, there are casualties. If we wait, it could mean the destruction of so many worlds, including the Trill. The needs of the few and all that. Sometimes sacrifices had to be made. They are never easy, and never wanted, but they are what they are. If those missing are lost, and we stop the Borg, we will have saved many more than just a few crew members.

Derik had to admit there was no real argument against that fact.

We all knew what we were signing up for when we joined Starfleet. We’ll save as many as we can when we are done with the immediate threat. Steel yourself. There is far more to come.

No kidding. The Borg. Quite possibly the Federation’s greatest adversary, and the they were going to engage them without a full crew, without their ship’s AI, damage everywhere, and moral effecting those that were left.

"Continue to the aperture field Mr. Veradin.  Best possible speed." Captain Cinn made the call.

If there is any sort of divine being out there, please just let us survive the next 24 hours. And please, please look after those we are leaving behind. Give us a chance to save them later.

“Warp 9.5. Aye Sir.” The words were like acid upon his tongue.

Veradin tapped the controls, the Theurgy hurling towards an uncertain fate.

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

Reply #30
“Personal Log, Supplemental. Stardate 57556.34. One minute ago, the Theurgy went to Red Alert, and our arrival to the apertures draws near. Even here, on the Allegiant, everyone are ready. Or at least as ready as can be.

I know that everything is riding on this battle. Whatever design the parasites have for this Galaxy, this is likely a part of their tapestry. A full scale invasion of the Borg, and also, their means to undermine the Hive Mind itself, once the Borg Queen have laid everything to waste, and absorbed any lifeforms left into her Collective. I take this moment to make one final log, in case my crew and I don't make it.

Mother, Father. I love you. It is years since we spoke, and you will likely not get this message, just like you didn't get the last one I tried to send you, but if it somehow does reach you, please know that your daughter did everything she possibly could to keep you safe. This was the reason I became a Starfleet officer. To protect you, and all the innocent lives behind Federation borders. It sounds like some holonovel when I say it, making me want to laugh... but this is truly the hour of reckoning. Wish your little girl some luck?”

― Lieutenant Commander Dewitt, the USS Allegiant, Docking Bay


[ High Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog | Bridge | Negh'Var battleship IKS Negh'Var | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
The debris field was ever expanding on the viewscreen, making navigation alone suicidal, let alone trying to approach the Borg cube. At the centre of that field, almost completely obscured by rapid flashes of disruptors and gleaming wreckage, it waited, guarding something unseen to the naked eye.

Martok's face was lit in plasma fires on his bridge, and the IKS Negh'Var shook from impacts against the unshielded hull. With a great roar, Martok tore his bat'leth free from the Borg drone that had been about to assimilate N'Garen, sending the last boarder to the deck in a shower of sparks and pasty flesh. When the roar ended, he saw not gratitude in N'Garen's face, but annoyance. She raised her disruptor against him.

"Thank you, Chancellor," she said, the tone belying her words, and fired.

As surprised as Martok was, it was only sheer fortune that made the disruptor bolt strike against his bat'leth. The energy burst tore the weapon apart, and Martok ended up on the deck, smoke rising from his gloves. Incredulous, he stared upon his weapons officer, who merely shifted her aim towards him, about to finish him off.

Praised be their honour, his harried yet loyal bridge crew leapt to his defense. Togh, son of Maun, took the bolt meant for him, and his body disintegrated between Martok and N'Garen. Two others reached the Klingon woman, attempting to tear the disruptor from her hand, and stabbing her repeatedly with their D'k tahg. They failed to subdue her, to kill her, even though they shouldn't. N'Garen snarled and picked the first one up - like he was a mere child - and tossed him across the bridge. Then, she seized the second one's head, and squashed it - like it was made of gagh - against the bulkhead.

Martok did not need to make sense of what he saw. His warrior's instinct made him draw his own disruptor. Even though the Borg had adapted to the bolts, N'Garen was no Borg - even though she had seemed intent on becoming one. So, he opened fire from where he lay on the deck, and watched the bolts eat away at her figure in the smoke. For some reason, she did not die! She staggered, yet she was still standing. Then, she moved towards him, even when she was missing a limb and parts of her torso, she came for him with her disruptor raised - eyes gleaming from the plasma fires.

It was not until Martok managed to hit her head that the body fell down, landing next to him.

"Chancellor!" came the call from someone, while Martok edged away from the twitching carcass, soon climbing back to his feet.

"Aye!" he called, baring his teeth and tearing his eyes away from whatever it was that had assailed him.

"N'Garen, she let them board us!" he heard from one of the present officer, "She took away energy from our shields. We can still continue the battle!"

"Then what are you waiting for?" snarled Martok, stepping over a fallen drone and setting a murderous gait back towards his chair. "Raise our shields anew, and tell Captain Ziegler that our fleet can give her another hour! More of our ships are on the way, and the Klingon Empire will not yield! Tell her, to open that tunnel, and destroy it!"

[ The Borg Queen | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ]
Standing tall, the Borg Queen saw five more Klingon ships drop out of warp in front of Cube M-582 and its surrounding debris field. Even though they could not see her, she greeted them with a serene smile. She was the Borg, and some of them would - after all - become a part of her.

Her wish was made manifest, her control of the cube and its drones complete. She instructed them about the development.


The five Klingon ships acted as Klingons might, their commanders bold despite the evident fate of those who had rushed to their death before them. They were a mere nuisance. The setbacks during the last hour had not been caused by the Klingon ships. The few out there in the debris that were still intact were completely assimilated, soon to come aboard the cube. The others had merely served to get in her way. What she truly hunted through the debris field - hounding it as she were with her Cube's tactical systems - was the small yet agile Federation ship what used the debris to its advantage. The USS Cayuga.

Normally, the Queen would not have distinguished it from the rest. What made this small ship significant, was how it was attempting to open the aperture that from which her forces would enter the Alpha Quadrant. It had made several attempts, having managed to get close enough, but as of yet, the frequency had not been a match. Of course the Queen would not let it continue.

Thus, she was currently clearing the debris field with the cube's weapon systems, and taking away the Cayuga's hiding places. With nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, the Queen had just exposed the small ship again with a new barrage against its position. When the Klingon debris was decimated, she did not let up - chasing it into the open with consecutive beams.

"Found you," she said, as if she spoke to a mischievous lover. The Cayuga would have been destroyed right then... unless a newly arrived Klingon bird-of-prey got in her way. A mere delay, of course, the hunt continuing since resistance was futile.

This was, however, when her sensors revealed yet another Federation ship, dropping out of warp on the other side of the debris field - on the opposite side of the sealed aperture. The Queen turned her head and the sensors told her the name of the ship.

It was the USS Theurgy, registration NX-79854. She tilted her head and smiled quietly. The ship appeared far too damaged to be of any greater consequence, despite it's larger size. It was too late anyway, since her forces were due to come through, and seal their fate.

OOC: This thread here is reserved for the following IC locations for the time being:
- The Bridge of the USS Theurgy (All bridge personnel, same as earlier in this thread)
- The Bridge of the USS Cayuga (Captain Ziegler + NPC bridge crew)
- The Bridge of the IKS Negh'Var (Martok + NPC bridge crew)
- The Borg Cube (The Borg Queen)

First poster, @Top Hat , writing Lt. T'Less at Tactical and NPCing Leon Marquez as needed. Ducote in Support Staff area. The scene on the Theurgy bridge opens up with a tactical report to Captain Cinn and the present officers. For sake of situational awareness, here is a rudimentary sketch of the situation, from a bird's view:
After @Top Hat has posted, 7 days of posting begin for all present officers, including orders from Captain Cinn. Additional Supplemental threads will be posted for A) Theurgy non-bridge scenes, repelling boarders, setting up cloaking device etc. B) The Lone Wolves Squadron (+ the Reaver Cinsaj upon arrival) C) The Allegiant + 4 escort warp fighters D) The Versant bridge module (once it arrives)

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

Reply #31
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | 1005 hrs ][/color] attn: @Fife

"Eboh to Ops... I'm here..."

Ah, yes, good, now to figure out who the hell that was. S/he didn't know the name, but their combadge tag was listed under hir department - perhaps as a secondment? A left-over from the Cayuga, maybe? Whoever they turned out to be, they sounded like shit. A faint slur behind the words. Nator listened to the man's report, patchy though it was, and frowned a little to hirself, wondering if s/he shouldn't just send the man on to sickbay.

S/he was, however, a utilitarian at heart, and so elected for a delay. And it's not as if I have the right to be preaching to anyone else about how careful they should be about their health, is it?

"Acknowledged, Eboh. Internal sensors are patchy in your volume; please forward your report as soon as is practical. There's a damage-control team in the next section from you; re-routing them now. One should be first-aid trained. Just, ah, try not to fall asleep until they're there?"

[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | 1105 hrs | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Bridge in general, @chXinya @Triage @Auctor Lucan @Masorin

There was something about dropping down to combat speeds from high warp that was just immensely satisfying. The subtle resonance in the deck as the audible frequency of the engines briefly matched the modulations of the inertial dampers, the supralight Doppler tunnel giving way to the view of realspace before them... and what it held.

Tumbling hulks and fragments of hull panels, structural spars, plasma coils, hundreds of bodies... they hung like a grim nimbus around the monolithic Borg vessel, lit from within by the green flashes of Klingon disruptor cannon and Borg tractor beams, occasionally flaring a longer, lambent red as the evacuated gases were illuminated by the inexorable march of a cutting beam. She hadn't seen a scene like it since the Battle of Chin'toka.

And only one Cube so far. Good. Knock them down one at a time.

~Overconfidence will undo you, hathain.~

Her console trilled a dozen warnings, flashing yellow on a panel already rendered in red due to the existing alert condition. She took a single second to read through and mentally file them away by threat potential before calling them out. As the sensors detected the various ships, icons began to populate the main viewer, scrolling data points travelling up one side of the display.

"Borg Cube, bearing zero-zero-three mark two, holding position and scanning us now. Negh'Var-class battleship, bearing zero-three-five mark two-one, moving across our course. Heavy damage. Five Klingon Vor'cha-class cruisers deeper in the debris field, condition unknown. At least two birds-of-prey; they keep coming in and out of cloak. Better estimate in one minute. These ships-" she flagged several drifting KDF vessels of varying tonnage, "-are apparently inactive, but I can only detect Borg signatures aboard; no Klingon life signs.

"IFF transponder detected for the USS Cayuga, on the other side of the Cube."

"Ensign Henshaw," barked Marquez, "Launch our fighters; support that ship."

T'Less' fingers played her console like an instrument while she arranged locks and selected appropriate firing patterns. The torpedo tubes were loaded, the phaser supercapacitors were charged, the shields answered full output. They were ready. "Lieutenant Martin," she said, no longer projecting to the whole compartment, "Please monitor the assimilated KDF ships. It would not be ideal if they surprised us."

Turning to the centre seat, she added, "Active target solutions locked in for the Cube, Captain. Passive locks attained for the remaining active KDF ships. All targets within effective range brackets. Say the word."

And I will burn down the sky.
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 #32
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Main Bridge | Deck: 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]

Sitting in the science grotto off to starboard, Vanya felt the ship come out of warp. The almost inappreciable shimmer of the bubble dissolving and throwing them into local space caused the Romulan’s eyes to flicker up to the main viewer. Her mind perceived what she saw and started to catalog and label what was being seen. The debris field. The flotsam and jetsam of a number of destroyed or partially destroyed ships. Hunks of those same ships spiraling and rotating across the screen. Among the ruined, ripped and shorn hulks, numerous bodies also tumbled through the void.

At the center of it all was the Borg cube. Vanya’s eyes narrowed as she perceived the enemy. Disgust rolled across her emotions. Her mind sped up beyond general every day operating status. If she had a physical heart it would be beating faster, dumping adrenaline into her system. This would quicken her reactions, sharpen her senses, allow her to react to threat more swiftly and accurately. Vanya lacked the adrenal medulla, and associated  hormones to achieve such a state.

What she did have was a brain built to emulate the Romulan one and hyper advanced programming that worked along side heuristic processing to let her ‘think’ and ‘learn’.  That creation, though mechanical had subsystems and such to also emulate the adrenalized state in humanity. Internal power allocations were optimized in survival situations. Survival subroutines were brought online and to a higher tier of priority. Sensor input was maximized to take in more data, so that it could be analyzed and energy was enhanced to react to said sensory input faster.

The end result was much the same, if the means and processes were mechanical instead of biological.

She took in the main view screen for 1.0987 seconds then went back to work. Her hands moving over the console as she checked the status of the improvements she’d implemented to assist in the upcoming battle. It sure looked like the Theurgy would need every atom of help she could get.

When the XO had dismissed them previously, some may have gone to pray. Some to seek out friends. Perhaps write letters to home to be transmitted at a safe time and place, once this was all over. Some may have stared out at the streaking stars as they warped through space to arrive on station. Introspection and reflection.

Vanya had done some of that, as she exited the bridge and took the turbolift down to the armory. She’d even had a bit of introspection and reflection on her way down the hall. She’d entered likely waited in line a few minutes and then made two acquisitions.

When she’d returned to the bridge there was a phaser on her hip, and what appeared to be a meter long slender shaft of some sort with a grip on one end over a shoulder. A few moments had been taken and her hip length black hair had been woven up into slender braids. Those braids had then been afixed around her head in a tightly woven crown. This would keep it from getting in her way, or the way of others in crucial moments, or if gravity was lost.  This gave her a rather different aspect than normal, but her pointed ears and brow ridges would still prevent her from being mistaken for a Vulcan.

She hadn’t made a big deal of it. She just returned to her station and gave the XO a firm nod. She was present and ready to do her duty.

Now they had come out of warp. The Tactical Officer was announcing the tactical situation. The cube, the Negh’var, and the Vor’cha’s, and Cayuga on the far side of the cube. Vanya’s eyes tightened just a fraction at the corners. The ghost of emotion passing over her face. The Cayuga was still in the fight. Still doing her part. Hell yeah!

A brisk nod and Vanya’s fingers flew over the console. The modification to the Tri-fold verteron displacement grid was online and Vanya was monitoring it. Making minute adjustments on the fly to keep it at absolute maximum capacity. 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 from happening or happening as quickly.

“Tri-fold verteron displacement grid online.” A nod towards ops and tac for that.

Quieter to the Sci team in their grotto. “Scanning for hidden or obscured life-signs in the debris field and ships.” If Borg were on the damaged and careening ships, the crews may be hiding or behind stronger bulkheads to avoid assimilation. This might make them harder to perceive with a standard scan. But then that’s why you had a science team. For non standard scans, and ideas.

Vanya strove to do what she'd been trained for, to add to Theurgy's collective whole. Time for introspection and reflection were over.

It was time to kick some fucking ass!
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 #33
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Ducote hovered around the aft area of the bridge, his earlier nervous energy at learning more of his crew yet lived returning with a vengeance. This time, however, it wasn't the good news that buoyed him, but a much more immediate dread of what they were about to face. In some ways, the destruction of the Endeavour felt as if it had been a lifetime ago. In many others, it could have been a mere five minutes.

A holographic model of the Theurgy hung over the table in the middle of their little chamber, marked with tags and coloured dots to represent the various security and engineering teams scattered around the vessel, concentrated on the more vital areas. The commander sighed to himself; he didn't really even know what to suggest to improve the various departments' current plans. Even if he had been in a position to micromanage, he would have suppressed the temptation.

A PADD appeared in front of him while he stared at the projection, making him blink. "Thank you, Ensign," he said, knowing she didn't technically have to provide the report of their personnel disposition but appreciating that she had. All exosuits checked out and active, all available personnel with any sort of boarder-repelling experience (or interest at this point), damage-control teams standing by, every functioning transport inhibitor pulled out of storage and distributed...

It would still only take a single, solitary drone to take advantage of a single, solitary mistake to start the failure cascade.

He swallowed as they dropped out of warp into a debris field, surrounding a Cube. His jaw visibly clenched. It took no effort at all to hear that chilling, interplexed, cacophonous chorus in his head, despite the fact the Borg had yet to broadcast their standard-issue greeting. Lower your shields and prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

How on Earth had Amasov done it? He'd first faced the Borg at Wolf 359, one of the few survivors among eleven thousand casualties. Then again in Sector 001. Both times, his ship had been crippled and his crew decimated. In the latter case, more than half had been killed, and the fore half of the Endeavour's saucer had been removed entirely. She'd been laid up in dock for most of a year after that battle.

Perhaps he had possessed a superhumanoid resilience. Perhaps he had been the consummate Starfleet Captain, doing his duty no matter what. Perhaps he had been simply stubborn.

If that last one was the case, then at least Ducote had a hope of emulating his feat. He could find some new reserve of grit if he had to. The number of times just this week he thought he'd been ready to give up, he had managed to surprise himself by clinging on anyway. After all, he still wasn't quite done saving his crew from the Borg.

How could he quit now?

Still coming, Blue. The Queen herself couldn't stop me.
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 #34
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Top Hat, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos & @Hastata-Nerada
Cameron had used the break given by Natalie to rush down to the Fighter Assembly Bay and locate Thomas, quickly relaying the message from Thea. There was hope. And even a little hope (false or otherwise) was better than nothing! Ives surely lived, as did most of the crew. They had to be. When she returned, after a fervent prayer that she wasn't just banking on false hope, and that everyone was really well, she returned to her post, as sharp-eyed and ready as can be.

Her tactical map and read began to show her telemetry and the layout around the ship. It was a mess, but doable. She charted flight paths that the Wolves could take.

“Yes sir!” said Cam when Leon issued her orders, and she addressed Thomas, “This is Mission Ops. All fighters, you are cleared for launch. I repeat, you are cleared to launch. Await further instructions from your SCO and your Flight Leaders. Be aware, debris field expanding towards the Theurgy's position."

She then relayed a message to Commander Dewitt in the Aerowing, Allegiant, you are cleared to launch. Protect the Cayuga. Bridge, out.”

This was going to be the hardest most dangerous fight they'd ever gone through and they were far from whole. But if it was to be their end, then by God, it was going to be such an end, history will remember them not for being traitors, but for teaching the Borg the meaning of fear.

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

Reply #35
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Tyreke Okafor was the sort who found solace in solitude. While it could be fun to join others, a quiet time of work served to take his mind off of things. Yet, in this instance, even his usual calm was penetrated by the urge to panic, to run away and hide somewhere. There was little reassurance to be had against the Borg. They were a terrifying force. Technologically superior and capable of adapting to an alarming degree. An implacable menace which made Tyreke shudder at the thought of. Borg did not want resources, they did not want food, they did not want money. They wanted people. The Borg did not come for your dilithium or your latinum, they came to absorb you, to jack circuits into your brain and strip away your will like some horrific and bloated cybernetic amoeba. Worse still, for every soul they devoured, for every flesh they corrupted, they grew stronger as they pillaged information from the subject’s gray matter and destroyed their thinking mind. Tyreke couldn’t help but think of what Captain Picard had said when he was assimilated… he knew the Borg, he was aware of them… were other drones then aware of what was happening? Were they prisoners in their own mind, as they watched some callous overriding will puppeteer their body and force it to maintain the disgusting machinery of the collective?

All these thoughts and more were what filled Tyreke’s head as he sat at a desk for thirty-five minutes before he grumbled in frustration. He walked over to a mirror and stared at himself. When was the last time he maintained his beard? After a brief shower he was back on the bridge, and watched the calming azure gasses race by at superluminal speeds.

When Tyreke was seated, he mentally counted down the seconds until… a barely perceptible sensation occurred as the Theurgy rocketed back into the normal region of spacetime. A sight to behold raced up to meet them. Debris everywhere, a menacing cube standing before them. The rapid emerald flashes of scathing disruptor fire lit up the nebula like fireworks, and yet the cube stood fearless. Several of the Klingon ships had been disabled, several more were in the process of being consumed by the biomechanical horror they faced… yet they fought defiantly, with Chancellor Martok himself leading the charge (though the very thought of the one-eyed warrior served to remind Tyreke that the ground between the Theurgy and the Klingons was rather precarious).

The tall science officer glanced down at his station. If they were going to pull this off then this was the time. The twenty-seven corridors of spacetime architecture lay invisible nearby, their deadly interiors churned out of sight, filled with a mass of exotic particles that could wipe them out in an instant. If necessary, the shields could be harmonized to what he was fairly certain but not entirely sure was the proper frequencies for the apertures. He even had them queued up, just in case the Theurgy had to use them. With luck, it did not have to come to that.

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

Reply #36
Lt JG Salem Martin| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton

Tracking the assimulated KDF ships, he was already working on targetting solutions. his head turned slightly to see the the massive complete holographic display of the battle their sensors were building showing all the ships in relation to the others.

He wished that the Cayuga had something like this. He could see the signatures for the Cayuga, his old home. He felt more safe here than he did there considering he knew what the cube had done to that ship during their first encounter, but then came the problem.

There was only one cube. The scouting mission had shown two massive cubes showing up to meet. There was a debris field, but still only one cube. "Scanning the debris field." He wanted to get a better map of what had been destroyed here, what was the graveyard that they were looking at? did the Klingons manage to take down a cube? Or were there just a mix of klingon bodies among the debris.

T'Less told him to check for assimilated ships, he nodded. "Checking for signs of engine activity." If they were lucky than there wouldn't be much. Their scanners were able to make a better lock on than what he had been dealing with on the Cayuga, but the explossive gas was still omni present.

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

Reply #37
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya 

The others had left the bridge. Natalie had not. She had remained, silently fuming over just what was so important that Cinn had rushed off and dumped everything on her shoulders. And weren't you just complaining about losing independent command, and despite all the stress, how you kind of liked it? And now you're complaining because you were left in command again? Make up your damn mind, Stark.

Her internal monologues were getting snippier and snippier. That was a problem. Not one she really had time to reflect on. She'd watched Vanya return, hair done up and...armed to the teeth, or near as much as Natalie could recall. But she hadn't said a word, just met the Ops officer turn XO's eyes and given a steady nod, so Natalie had responded in kind. After which, she'd stood, and walked over to the bridge replicator, punching up the manual commands for a glass of ice water and a pill to settle her stomach.

If only they made one of those for a tumultuous mind she'd thought bitterly, swallowing a less bitter pill than the one of her conscience. On the way back to the center seat, she too had grabbed a phaser from the weapons locker on the bridge and configured it to cycle through settings. All this, while reviewing yet another status report.

Now however, she was resisting the urge to leap out of her chair. Glad for the pill she had taken, Natalie at least did not have to deal with a sudden urge to vomit in terror at the sight of the cube. It was so....very....big. Though, a small part of her noted that the scale of the Savi ship made the impact of the cubes size less than it might be. But there was no denying that in the flesh, the ship was a six-sided piece of a nightmare brought to life before her eyes.

"I want those weapon locks on the ships that are 100% Borg life signs," she reminded tactical, based on the information they, and sciences were feeding her. "If the ships themselves aren't fully assimilated yet we may be able to remove them from the equation before they come along far enough to pose a true threat. Because you can bet the farm that the drones on those hulks are doing everything they can to put those vessels back in the fight, and not on the side of angels." She stared at it, ignoring the small ping on her armrest that noted the confirmation of launch orders from the flight deck. If you could call Klingon's angels, she'd belatedly allowed, if only to herself.

Running her hand over the arm rest she turned her gaze to the Bajoran next to her. She knew what she wanted to do. What she wanted to say, to order. But it was not her place to do so. "Orders, Captain?"

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

Reply #38
[ Captain Anya Ziegler |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, Anyone else.

“Evasive manoeuvres! Find us a new hiding spot!” Ziegler shouted over the din of smouldering electronics, metal creaking and worrying sound of debris crashing against their shields. With the latest hit, sparks rained down from the ceiling, temporarily blinding Ziegler from the scene unfolding on the viewscreen.

“Aye Captain” called Nina, expertly gliding hands over the controls. The woman was skilled, but the situation was so chaotic that Ziegler wasn’t sure if Thea herself could track everything. All they needed was one more opening. Then they could try again. So far it had been five attempts. Five tries to open the apertures. The next would be the sixth.

Silently, as Anya attempted to put a stray hair back into the mess that was her bun, she cursed this whole plan. They were running out of variations of the soliton wave frequency and with the majority of her staff aboard Theurgy, those left were having hard work getting Kaeris’ specifications correct.

“Message from Martok, Captain!” The ops officer yelled. “More ships are on their way, the Chancellor estimates that we have one hour to enact our plan, so we need to get on it.”

Ziegler growled, the news of re-enforcements aside, what did he think they were trying to do? Weighing up her options, the Iroquois class listed heavily under Carpeland's ministrations. They needed to wait for the next opportunity to try again.

“Tactical…” Anya bellowed “Tell me your boys have another soliton wave ready.”

It wasn’t a question, more of an order. The new Chief Tactical officer seemed to pale under the request, as if he wasn’t pale enough already. Jance Davron had seemed like a suitable replacement, but he was not living up to expectation.

“I…I…I…” He stammered, fighting to get his words out as his fingers moved across the console in front of him. Ziegler sighed heavily. She didn’t want to remove the officer, but she was very tempted.

It was then that a call came across the bridge. One that Captain Ziegler had been waiting for.

“Captain, new ship entering the area. It’s the Theurgy!”

Thank everything. Cinn came. He kept his promise. Anya breathed a sigh of relief as asteroid debris smashed up against the shield, making an awful concoction of noise. This was what they needed. A small window of opportunity presented itself. Ziegler’s orders were loud and clear.

“Helm, set up another run at the apertures. Science, prepare the sensor array with the next closest frequency of the soliton wave. We’re going in!”

GM Note: Changed the details about the methodology in which to open the aperture and then destroy it. First, a soliton wave is beamed from the sensor array against the aperture. It acts like a key to open it and make it visible. Then, after it's open, it might be destroyed. The means of opening the aperture is from the Destiny book series (so don't ask me why the sensor array is used instead of the deflector, but we'll go with what the books gave us here. :) )

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

Reply #39
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
A part of Derik had wanted to dismiss himself before the battle again. The stress of everything, the timing, was killer on his heart, like something had wrapped a great hand around it and squeezed. Yet the comfort of his chair, these familiar controls, helped to still his mind and body. He fed on it, like the stories of Trill being joined for the first time connecting with their symbiote. There will be a reckoning when all this is over. I hope I get to see it.

“Arrival in 5….4…3…” Derik’s finger hovered above the deactivation control. “2…..1….Dropping out of warp.” The vessels decelerated, a little more rocky than usual on account of the damage. He made a mental note to check every part of the engines when this was over, even if he had to EVA to do it. “Accelerating to combat speeds.”

Derik tapped into the sensor data, setting his displays to actively update as each new piece of debris was identified.  The broken hulls of many Klingon ships dotted the space, flinging pieces of themselves into the void. They created an ever-expanding field consisting of several larger fragments surrounded by thousands of smaller ones floating about in random patterns. It was a good thing they had shields. Their outer hull was going to get ripped apart if they lost them. Sensors also indicated that the Caguya still lived, darting in and out of cover. Some good news at least.

How many lives have been sacrificed to the Cube already? All this wreckage does not bode well.

Derik turned in his chair. “Captain, the debris field will make approaching the cube difficult. The erratic nature of the wreckage will make avoiding all of it nearly impossible. We will suffer impacts. I would also like to report that while necessary repairs were completed, the engines are still a little sluggish.”

Derik suspected that despite the warning, they would be entering the field quickly. He took a look around the bridge while he waited for orders, knowing full well that some of the faces on the bridge might not be there after this was over. 

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

Reply #40
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Things happened slowly, and then very, very fast. The moment of indecision, when all eyes turned to Wenn Cinn, and it seemed everyone felt they had the right to speak their mind – the right, or the need – seemed to stretch on for ever, tension growing only to be burst by the captain’s order. Morgan couldn’t fault the man’s logic, but he saw the reaction on the faces of his crewmates, and even on those of some of his superiors. He understood their pain all too intimately. But the decision had been made, and they would all have to live with the consequences. Whatever they may be.

They would also have to live with the more immediate results. This was where things sped up: the order was given, and it felt like mere moments before they were dropping out of warp to survey the scene of battle before them. A scene strewn with debris and spacecraft, including a number of Klingon vessels and the USS Cayuga, in various states of disrepair. And then, looming over them all... the Borg Cube. Morgan had heard stories, of course he had, but seeing one for himself... It was chilling in a primal, horrifying, almost unreal way. Disembodied and floating, he watched himself watch the Cube.

They had been doomed from the start. No matter the captain’s decision, they would have been flying towards suicide. The ship was in no shape to take on an enemy of this magnitude, they had barely escaped their last encounter alive. He supposed at least now they would die for something bigger than themselves, bigger than the Theurgy. It was a cold comfort.

Stark’s orders cut through Morgan’s haze, bringing him back to himself enough to feel the cool of the console beneath his fingers, the ache in his chest as he breathed. Good, he could use that. As long as he was hurting, he was still here, he could ground himself. Now was not the time to lock himself in his own head; they had made their decision, and now they would act on it, and either way he had a job to do. People were relying on him.

A cursory overview of the Theurgy's main systems showed she had withstood warp surprisingly well; nothing had actively  broken, and the hull integrity, while sub-optimal, was passable. There were a lot more battle preparations to be made, however -- the state of the weapons array in particular was... not good. A few torpedo tubes had been returned to functionality manually but still more were inoperable. Morgan calculated which ones he could get running quickly from here, by recalibrating the induction actuator or rerouting to auxiliary frequency stabilisers. At the very least, he could get Tactical something to work with. The rest... they would have to cross each bridge as it came.
Lt Cmdr Hathev - Counselling - Chief Counsellor
"Logic without ethics is no logic at all." [Show/Hide]
Ensign Inej 'Avi' Avirim - Security - Investigations Officer
"Live fast, die stupid." [Show/Hide]
Xelia - Civillian - Holoprogram Designer
"Envy isn't your colour, babe." [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #41
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]


Everything had gone wrong. Everything. Every single thing. Vivian wanted to curl into a ball and hide somewhere dark and quiet until this whole blasted situation was straightened out. Unfortunately, she was not able to do that. She was forced to put on a brave face and do her duty, as was every other officer on the bridge of the Theurgy. The Borg Cube was imposing, its shape filled the viewscreen and turned Vivian’s blood cold. In order to prevail they would need the best of the best, to do their best. Thankfully, Vivian was confident that those on the bridge would be those people.

She could hear Lieutenant Vanya doing her job without being asked. That was good. Vivian liked that about the Romulan woman. She was a capable officer, a gifted scientist, and beautiful to boot. No! Now was not the time to admire how beautiful her subordinates were. Vivian mentally kicked herself and flicked her eyes to the screens before her. She was aware of Okafor and Kaeris, the two handsome men were also hard at work, pouring over the data on their screens. Wait...had she described them as handsome? Well, she wasn’t wrong. Grimacing to herself, Vivian mentally kicked herself again. She was far too distracted right now.

As she poured over the data on her own screen Vivian couldn’t help but feel they needed more. More of what she wasn’t sure, more of everything would have been great...except the Borg, less of them would be even better. Chewing her lip Vivian looked toward the main viewscreen, hoping to find a clue to her missing moreness. Thankfully, she did.

”Captain!” She called across the bridge ”Can we communicate with the Cayuga? It would be beneficial to both ships if I could liaise with their science department and gather what information they already have on the area.”

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

Reply #42
[ Captain Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All
Whatever Cinn had imagined to see when the Theurgy dropped out of warp, none of his expectations had quite prepared him for the sight.

For there it was, indeed. Tactical called out it's bearings, and the bridge crew did their best to sort out what was left of the Klingon fleet. Hidden in the expanding debris field were ships both assimilated and still fighting. One Negh'Var battleship, and it might be that Martok was still there, upholding the honour of the Klingon Empire. Given the battle fought in the very same area of the Azure Nebula the day before, Cinn had no illusions about the High Chancellor being interested in talking with him anew. Therefore, with the Allegiant as the means to relay the message, Cinn could but hope Zyrao Natauna was able to succeed where he'd failed at diplomacy.

Diplomacy, in a battlefield such as the one he gazed upon, it seemed a quaint notion, but it was imperative that the Theurgy did not have to fight the Klingons as well. The Allegiant had already launched, as well as the Lone Wolves, as according to the battle plan set before their arrival. Tactical reported readiness, and First Officer Stark ensured that they wouldn't be surprised by the Klingon ships that had been fully assimilated. Target solutions acquired. Veradin informed them about the difficulty of approach, and Martin suggested immediate contact with the Cayuga. Stark asked what the orders would be. Now, it was time to begin.

Prophets, have I erred in coming here, instead of making the Theurgy whole again? What is your design? What is my purpose?

There was no time for regrets. He'd made his choice, and he'd stand by it.

And stand he did, pushing himself out of the Command chair as he issued his orders. "Helm! Cycle through any Omega, Lambada and Omega-series of evasive manoeuvres while we make our way around the debris field. We need to last, to survive, so that we can open and then destroy that aperture. Where the Cayuga may have failed so far, we will not. Engage!" Then, he turned his head towards Marquez, T'Less and Martin. "We have this window of opportunity to give all we have against that cube, before it adapts its shield matrix. I want to take out disruptor emitters and torpedo launchers on the sides of the cube that will be facing us. Fire at will as she goes! Assimilated Klingon ships are secondary targets, but they need to be dealt with if they engage us."

The Theurgy was already moving when Cinn turned to Cameron Henshaw and Natalie Stark at the holotable. Ducote was there as well, and Cinn included him with his eyes as he spoke. "Commander Ducote, make sure Kai Akoni is aware of the development here on the bridge, so that he may alert his teams of any boarding Drones that may be due, and find out the status on our Reman cloak. Stark, contact the Allegiant. It's time Zyrao Natauna set the record straight with Martok. Henshaw, I want to know when the Lone Wolves reach the Cayuga. Keep us posted."

That was when the first barrage hit the Theurgy's shields, Veradin not having any chance to avoid it. The impact made Cinn stumble, and sparks shot out of one of the bulkheads, raining over his uniform. "Damage report!"

Ensign Abner at Engineering straightened herself in her seat and made the tally. "We lost 42% of power in the second shield grid and 68% in the third!" she announced. "Seven high-yield gravimetric torpedoes. Shield regeneration underway, but if we're hit like that again, we'll suffer new hull breaches, and I suspect we will have Borg beaming over here."

Cinn clenched his teeth together, refusing to believe the Theurgy was done for, even if one more hit might seal their fate. The Prophets protect this crew. We could not have come here just to die! His large hands closed into fists. His orders to Engineering were plain. "All auxiliary power to shields! We have to reach the aperture! Morgan, shut off life support and gravity in all vacated areas of the ship, and reroute power to ensure our survival. Ensign Eloi-Danvers!"

He rounded on the Diplomatic envoy at the front of the bridge. "Speak with Ziegler. Find out why they haven't managed to open the aperture yet, and work out a solution with Vivan Martin and her team. I don't care to know what's wrong with their soliton waves, I just want ours to succeed where theirs have failed." While he talked, his brown eyes ad gone to the four scientists present, one of them having to stand since there were only three seats. "Ready the sensor array, go there if you have to, but make sure Tactical knows what configuration our torpedoes must have once we get that aperture open. Okafor! Did you manage to find the shield calibration we needed in order to use another aperture as an escape route? I want that option available, should we need it."

Then, the second hit came, worse than the first.

"Captain!" called Abner, eyes wide. "The third shield grid failed! I am reading Borg signatures aboard already! They a..."


Three lights appeared on the large bridge, and Wenn Cinn anticipated it, not about to let the voice forced through their intercom to deter him. He drew his hand phaser from his side, and together with the present security guards, he riddled the figures of metal and pasty flesh with phaser bolts. Prophets, I implore you, he thought, thoughts running fast, and the orange light of the ensuing firefight reflected in his bare teeth. Let us at least make the attempt!

"Ops! Talk to me! Reroute power and restore shields on the side facing the cube!" Once the last drone toppled over, more yet to come, Cinn raised his voice so that the back of the bridge could hear him, "And where is that cloak?"

[ The Borg Queen | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
With a quiet smile, the Borg Queen tilted her head. She was looking at the newly arrived Federation starship with her black eyes, having decided to make the process short. There were a lot of people on it, larger than any Federation ship the Collective had encountered before, and like the puny little ship that had eluded her so far, Starfleet had continuously proved themselves more resourceful than Species 5008 - the 'Klingons'.

The smaller ships that had arrived were of little consequence. She let her cube's defences handle them with automated protocols. Yet that new ship? She gave it her warmest welcome.


The first barrage had surprised them, her torpedoes striking hard, and the second allowed her to send her drones aboard the ship - the lapse in their shielding adequate enough. Once she'd ensured that she was about to assimilate the ship eventually, she returned her attention to the smaller ship hiding in the debris field. She really did not care for the amount of time it had taken so far to destroy it. Especially since she knew that it was the second time her Collective had attempted to assimilate the crew. It had almost become a matter of principle, that the starship designated 'Cayuga' yet resisted. It was futile, after all.

"Oh, are you making another attempt?" she said, her smile returning when her sensors saw how it made another pass towards the sealed aperture. "Patience, dear. It is due to open soon."

And then, nothing could stop her.

OOC: Besides the orders Cinn gave, which should be plenty to write about as it is, here comes battle objectives for you all to use in your writing, and you have 7 days to post! Please check off one objective each, and you have full liberty in setting up details and arranging where the drones appear and what they do. Change or adapt these objectives as you wish too, thinking of it as a writing exercise, as long as the overall intent is still to repel these boarders. Have a look! [Show/Hide]

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

Reply #43
[ Lieutenant Vanya | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]

Battle was joined. A full barrage of incoming gravimetric torpedoes slammed into the quickly maneuvering Theurgy broadside. Shaking the ship. Vanya frowned and fed in new computations into her shield modifications as quick as a blink. The second barrage came in and slammed into the quickly adapting shields and sparks flew on the bridge. The acrid scent of insulation burning wafted through the air as the crew were jolted from the impact. The enhancements were helping, but the Borg were just that damn powerful. That they hadn't been cored with the first two flights of torpedoes, said something. Vanya just hoped it would keep doing so.

A shake of her head and she fed in a third of over 4,000 alterations she’d done up in preparation for the battle. If they survived 4,000 hits, well. She’d address that problem when it drew closer. Around modification 3,500.

The first boarding party appeared and phasers were drawn and the drones were cut down. Vanya’s eyes flickered up for a fraction of a second, to compute the outcome of that engagement and then back to her station to continue her efforts.

The loud… ‘Announcement’ of the Borg thundered and Vanya felt a spike of emotion. Fear? Apprehension? She wouldn’t be assimilated. She would be out right destroyed. That was a very small solace in the grand scheme of things and she wanted neither to happen. Nor her crew mates and friends to become assimilated either. Nor the ‘culture’ which she had joined, that of the Federation. So this was indeed a frightening thing for her. She considered for a fraction of a second disabling her emotion chip, but refrained for now. She hated turning it off as it left her robotic and muted. Emotions could be intense, such as the fear she was feeling now, but ‘not’ feeling it could be even worse. And what if she took damage in that state and it was never able to be reinitialized?

Orders were being given and crew jumping to. She maintained her station and continued trying to assist with the shields. That the Borg had put boarding parties on the bridge and elsewhere signaled that the shields had holes. That they were being exploited so Vanya strove to find and send such information to Ops.

Then the sound came again The Borg weren’t waiting around for the crew of the Theurgy to fix their shields. A new trio of Borg beamed onto the bridge. A new location this time. Back near the holo-table.

Vanya’s eyes snapped around and locked on. Time didn’t so much slow down for her, as computing sped up. She saw the unique transporter signatures of the Borg materializing back there. She looked at the crew around the table. The XO was back there and a tactical adjunct. Not to mention the table itself which could be used against the Theurgy should it be fully accessed and compromised.

These were all factored in even as the transporter beams were fading and the Borg themselves materializing. Vanya’s hand came up and slapped the release for her seat’s harness, the crash webbing retracting back into the chair. A shove and she was propelled away from the console. Romulan Android strength moved her swiftly from sitting, into a line of contact. The three borg had appeared very close to crewmen there at the tactical table. This would make phaser shots into the group difficult. Least you hit your own people, and phasers for engagement with the borg were not set on stun.

The three Borg took in the people around them and arms came up, reaching for the closest crew. Henshaw, Ducote, and Stark. Vanya was already in motion.

Her body reacted to programming, sure, but it was no different than biological. When she moved she didn’t read code. She decided to move and the proper mechanical processes were accessed and carried out. A human wouldn’t think which muscles he or she needed to flex to get up from a table, and walk across the room. They just got up and did it. Such was the same for the android. Just as biologicals could choose to walk across a room, walk swiftly, jog, or even run or sprint. So could she.

Vanya totally redlined her physical components and streaked across the bridge in full sprint. As she moved her mind was racing as well. Three drones reaching for people. Ducote was unknown to Vanya but Cameron and Natalie were not. They were friends, as well as fellow officers. Friends for years.

Vanya couldn’t hope to physically engage three drones at once. She was fast, she was strong but she was not that fast and strong. Decisions had to be made in under a second. Memory was accessed, and yes, even emotion. She could engage one.

The Romulan’s left hand reached up, light from the bridge playing off metallic green nail polish for a fraction of a second. The grip of the meter long shaft strapped over her shoulder, was snatched. As it pulled free the unit was activated. Metal unfolded at the end of the shaft even as it came up over the shoulder. Re-configuring into the shape of wicked sharp blades of a Romulan battle axe.

One of the Drones was reaching for Stark. The Ship’s XO. Of the three at the table, tactically the highest in rank in this engagement. The most tactically needed for the ship, and continued optimal operating and highest chance to maintain survivable outcome for all. Tactically it would be an easy choice.

Her Friend. Her best and longest friend. That fucking monster was reaching for and hoping to Assimilate her best friend. Protocols that were written years ago flared up the list of priority and engaged. Vanya rushed THATone!

The axe came around in a gleaming arc and HHHHHHHHHHHHHACK! The flesh and blood arm with the assimilation tubules reaching for Stark was taken off at the bicep! The blades transecting flesh, bone and no small amount of metal as it severed the grasping appendage. Gravity took hold of the now detached arm and it started to fall to the deck. It had descended to about hip level when the Borg looked over at her, and one would swear, shoot the Science officer a glare.

As the arm fell to about knee level, the Borg was already reacting. A heavy mechanical arm with some sort of cutting saw came up and swung towards the attacking officer.

WANNNNNG! Vanya got the axe up in time to parry, but the force behind the arm moved her back a half step. The Borg swung again. WANG! She parried to the side. She did not want a prolonged battle with this thing. The more swings it got in the higher the chance it would beat her defenses. As it came around a third time she parried and used the beard of the axe blade to slam down and entangle the robotic limb.

The Borg activated the buzz saw at the end and it whirred into life. The highest pitched ‘dentist drill’ sound filled the bridge. Vanya glared and kept the arm entangled with the axe. The tactical drone advanced and pressed Vanya back. Which drew him away from Stark. Good so far but he was angling her towards one of the hard bulkheads. Vanya did not wish to be pinned. She took another step back and pivoted her weight. Which was more than the drone expected. The axe jerked the arm to the side and the Android’s right hand came up to clap to the side of the drone’s head. The spin was continued, using the Drone’s own immense strength against it. Allow it to flow but in a newly directed way. The drone came around and Vanya lifted and heaved, again redlining her body’s servos and motivators. The done left the deck and slammed into the bulkhead with a resounding CLANG!

Expressionless it hung there still trying to power the buzz saw towards Vanya’s throat. Gripping the side of the head Vanya’s thumb found the eye-socket and with a small almost insignificant wet popping sound, ruptured the Drone’s remaining biological eye. Using the eye-socket and side of the head as a grip she slammed the skull into the bulk head. CRACK!  And again. And Again! On the third slam something inside broke and shattered.

Vanya tightened her grip and WRENCHED to the side. The flesh and bone skull parted with the steel and cybernetic components, spraying the Science officer with gore. The drone, deactivated and fell down, it’s weight clanging to the deck.

The Romulan put a boot on it’s chest and wrenched her axe from it’s mechanical arm and turned. All in all that had only taken a matter of seconds, but seconds could be life times in battle. She’d kept Stark from being assimilated but the battle was only seconds old. There were two more Drones on the bridge. Danger had not yet passed.
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 #44
[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @chXinya et al

Fire at will.

Her favourite phrase.

She let Martin take care of the things that didn't involve shooting. Because now she had a wonderful collection of pulse phaser arrays and autoloading torpedo tubes with which to make an impactful demonstration to the Borg. The Theurgy was not in an optimal condition, but there was more than a small part of her that wanted to show probably-Martok on that Negh'Var what the entire ship constituted could achieve. Beat you to a standstill with a third of a ship, Chancellor. Now witness what we can do.

The phasers stitched orange lines across the sapphire nebula, flicking between targets on the facings of the Cube that came into view while the helm pulled them around to support the Cayuga. Weapon ports, tractor emitters... every bit helped. The positively lovely thing about pulse arrays was that each individual pulse in any given salvo could be modulated and nutated individually compared to its neighbours, reducing the efficiency of Borg adaptation protocols.

T'Less' fingers tapped a tattoo on the console before her as she stared at is as if it had personally offended her. Pattern D6; send. Thea's broadside rippled, searing phaser bolts screaming through the debris field. The torpedo tubes thumped with EM recoil as they launched their payloads. Pattern A7; send. Switching to nutation algorithm Sierra. Pattern C2; send. The Vulcan watched as the rate-of-change meter ticked steadily upwards, commensurate with their phaser capacitors registering that their energy expenditure rate was now beginning to outpace replenishment. It ticked down to [99%]. Eyes flicking back to her target locks and manual crosshairs, T'Less continued hammering in fire selections and ordnance choices.

Send, send, send.

A tiny crease appeared between her brows, the realisation too late. A Borg torpedo salvo slammed into their shields, requiring her to brace against the panel rather than slide out of her seat. She should have been on top of their point-defence fire. Fear that her lapse would get people killed. Adrenaline spiked through her. Her hands paused on the console while her knuckles whitened, illuminated by an overloaded conduit in the deckhead as it shed sparks over the Tactical station.

"All auxiliary power to shields!" Wenn's voice sounded far away.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Then the second salvo hit the giant target they represented in the debris field.

"The third shield grid failed! I am reading Borg signatures aboard already!"

One of the lights on the bridge formed on the other side of her console - right next to Commander Marquez. Surprised, he drew his phaser, but the drone knocked a gauntleted fist into his wrist before he could draw a proper bead... and the type-II clattered away across the bridge. He gave a grunt of indignation, but was too close to withdraw safely and so brought his arms up into a guard before hammering a kick into the drone's ocular implant. The Borg's head snapped round, implant sparking - but its other hand caught Leon's foot before it could get back to the deck.

"Vete a la chingada," he instructed the drone, perhaps sensing what was to come next.

A pair of tubules punched through his pant leg and dumped millions of nanoprobes into his calf.

The drone released Marquez, letting him fall to the deck off-balance. Elsewhere on the bridge, metallic impacts rang out as Vanya engaged another drone. This one, however, turned dispassionately towards her and Martin - and the powering-up phaser pistol she held. T'Less' bolt caught it in the face, her off-hand having resumed typing commands into the console, and the drone toppled over backwards to crash into the deck. A blanket of explosions coated the face of the Cube nearest them as the sensors picked out the emplacements and projectors on its surface, marking them for destruction by the Theurgy's hand. Not all of those targets were permanently taken out of commission however, some of the adaptations warding their weapons off already. T'Less made more adjustments.

"Lieutenant," she addressed Martin, their reeling shields taking another hit from a Borg disruptor. "Prepare an antimatter spread. We need to make a statement."
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 #45
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

One of the more curious sensations in life is that which occurs when a person’s point of view changes rather suddenly. Tyreke knew of it, and how one's’ brain accelerates its own energy consumption to speed its processing, ever so briefly and slightly, to compensate for the sudden shift. It is why when one turns to look at a chronometer, the first second seems to last slightly longer than the rest. This was Tyreke’s experience as the Theurgy lurched. He had started to stand for only half a second when it happened, the seat’s harness had not even finished retracting. The ship jolted as the torpedo barrage struck the Theurgy’s resilient shields, and the time it took for the console to rush up to meet his face seemed longer than it should. Not by much, just by a near margin, but still an experience which he could remember in detail. A crack was heard as his skull struck the console, and he continued his descent towards the deck with stars in his vision.

Dazed but not defeated, Tyreke hoisted himself back up as the sound of the Borg mantra filed his ears. There was shouting on the bridge as well? He took a moment, and felt his head, where blood oozed out of the wound it sustained when he became suddenly more familiar with his console than he ever wanted to be. Tyreke hoisted himself into a partial kneeling-crouching position, only to see multiple corpses of the cybernetic monsters lying on the deck. Just as suddenly, three more materialized, but it did not take long for the crew to leap into action again. Vanya in particular, like some insane axe-wielding warrior, gutted the Borg with such brutality and efficiency that Tyreke felt something rise in him, most likely his breakfast. The Romulan was gifted with terrifying strength, and Tyreke made a mental note to remember that. Maybe it was the pain and the sight, he wasn’t entirely sure.

Tyreke’s head swam. He picked himself up as the pain seared like a knife in his skull, one arm braced on his chair. But he only did so just in time to see something horrible happen. He could only watch as a drone seized Marquez by the leg and its tubed fangs leapt out to strike, pouring its mechanical venom into the officer before it. ”No!” Tyreke checked his phaser. Had the Borg adapted already? He resolved to find out, and he aimed his weapon at the drone which had attacked Marquez. Half-blinded by the pain throbbing in his head, he aimed through his clouded vision and fired. He missed. Fired again, again, the orange beam arcing across the bridge. One hit its mark. The drone stumbled as the phaser seared through its arm. Not severing, but damaging. Still not enough. The other struck the Borg closer to the chest, the energy surged into its exoplating. Tyreke let the tension out of his arm as the drone toppled backwards, its internal machinery non-functional and the poor soul who it once was dead.

The Theurgy shook again and Tyreke stumbled and fell back in his chair. His phaser clattered to the deck as sparks flew from the walls. Was there a ruptured conduit somewhere? For once in his life, the pessimist won out. All they could do now was try to survive as long as possible. If resistance was futile then they could at least force the Borg to pay for every victory…

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

Reply #46
Lt JG Salem Martin| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan

A Borg drone had just teleported in standing over the three tactical officers, for a moment Salem had thought was where his life was gonna end. He had survived Cardassia only to be killed by the Borg. But the Drone had grabbed Marquez instead, Salem had pushed himself out of his chair and fumbled for his weapon dropping it, in the moment. More used to ship weapons than hand guns he stumbled and his hands shook.

Thankfully it seemed T'Less was more on the ball than him, she fired and took the Drone down. Martin's heart was pounding in his ears, it was panic all around him, and yet T'Less was already back at her console. Already working on the problems that existed outside of the ship.

Salem for his part was starting to recover, walking back to his console, when he felt something grab his leg.

He almost jumped out of his skin as he looked down, and saw Marquez. He heard T'Less call for him to make a spread, His attention however was on the man on the ground. He knelt down paying attention to the chief of tactical, he looked at the mans pained face, seeing his veins across his face. He heard an order. He wasn't sure if anyone else had heard the voice of the commander. They were quiet struggled, he had to strain his own ears to hear it over the confusion of the bridge, or maybe he just didn't want to hear them.

"Kill... Me."

Salem looked down at the man with a sense of sadness, Salem was still holding the phaser he had drawn. He dialed the gun up to it's highest setting, he hoped this would make it painless. He pointed down at his commanding officer as he shook his leg free from Marquez's grasp. Salem fired incinerating the now former chief of tactical, following the his last order. He watched Leon burn away leaving no trace of the mans infected body. He died free, not a prisoner in his own mind, or in some god forsaken camp. That at least would give Martin enough room to sleep tonight if there was a time when he got to sleep.

His center found, Martin returned to his chair, and regarded the new chief tactical officers orders. "Agreed, preparing a message." He said reading the ship to fire.

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

Reply #47
“Often times success doesn't come from strength, but from flexibility and adaptability.”
― Debasish Mridha MD

[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Top Hat, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos & @Hastata-Nerada
Plans rarely survived contact with the enemy. Cam couldn't quite remember where she picked up on that particular snippet, but it very much applied to the situation before her now. The debris was actually the only thing keeping them from the worst of the Borg's wrath. They were clearing away the obstacles, which was also being used by the Cayuga for shelter as they worked to open the apertures. At the same time, the Lone Wolves were flying through the piles like little bugs. And the ability to maintain order was easier said than done. Eyes frantically following each fighter, Cam struggled to keep track of everything, as well as the tactical readout of the approaching Cube, encroaching ever closer to the Cayuga.

If they registered Ziegler's vessel as a threat, that meant they were on to something.

The impact from an attack shook the bridge, and sent the young woman sprawling to the floor. To her fortune, she suffered no real injury. Dyan running over her hurt more than this fall. She'd also seen enough information to update the tactical feed for the Wolves, but she found herself reaching for a hand phaser even as she scrambled on the floor, trying to put some distance between herself and the Borg drone. She had backed herself all the way almost to the captain's chair before she thought to aim her remote-shaped weapon at the drone, and squeezed the trigger, sending a lethal beam of energy directly into its head. She flinched when a orangy-red beam arced overhead, fired by Tyreke. The man had missed a shot, but he'd taken down the other drone.

Her Android friend Vanya dispatched her chosen adversary with an impressive display of strength and ferocity. With the threat to the bridge momentarily addressed, Cam quickly got back to her feet, looked at the drone she shot, altered her weapon's frequency and fired at its legs and hands, severing the limbs at the joints. Just in case. Once she reached her station, she noted that Thomas was rescuing Evelyn, who had managed to deal some damage to the cube itself. “Brilliant work, Rawley!” said Cam to herself, then she quickly updated the tactical stations of the damage reports to the cube, and the latest placements of all targets as seen and fed back to the Theurgy by the fighters.

Isel and Donna had engaged a small assimilated Bird-of-Prey, while Daniel and Alessia were in the process of saving a Klingon escape pod...Cam didn't realize Klingons actually had escape pods. She thought the warriors had a habit of going down in battle. Shrugging, she then squeaked in alarm when she saw Tessa's fighter getting caught in a tractor beam. All the communications were mostly issued by Thomas, but Cam now spoke, addressing the Wolves, [Goldeneyes is caught in a tractor beam. If any of you can render assistance...] she quickly marked out the best and fastest flight paths to the entrapped fighter pilot from all directions, and then she traced the location of the tractor beam, marking it out for the fighters. [...I've highlighted your tactical maps. Taking out the tractor beam at the source or overloading it with debris might help. Bloodwing, be advised, motion detected near you. Watch your sensor feed.]

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

Reply #48
[Captain Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

As chaos erupted over the Bridge Cinn did his best to remain calm, or at the least look like he was keeping calm.  Those who could were already enacting his initial orders while people suddenly faced with drones reacted as they did.  Lt. Vanya flew across the room faster than he ever thought was possible and dispatched one drone with some sort of bladed weapon.  Lt. T'Less and Okafor double-teamed the second drone, but Marquez went down.  Leaving them to deal with it, Cinn was already adding his phaser fire to the third drone which had busied itself at the engineering station, burning the cyborg into a husk of itself.  It wasn’t in time to save Ensign Abner sadly, the drone had fired off a blast into the woman’s chest at point blank range.  The sound of another phaser behind him caused the Bajoran to whirl around, but instead of another drone he saw the last of Marquez vanish into atomic ash, Martin standing there with a look of abject horror and pain on his face.  Cinn didn’t ask, there was only one reason why he would’ve done such a thing.

No more drones beamed on board for the moment, so either the Queen had moved on already, or the Borg found a weakness somewhere else.  “Where are those reports?” he barked.  Someone should've filled in for Abner already.  Spotting Okafor and the massive gash on the man’s face, Cinn pointed at him and ordered “Medkit!” before regaining his seat.  Stark didn’t need to have to assume command because of another weapons volley throwing their current CO into a bulkhead.

“Drones reported on Decks 7, 16, 22, security is already responding.” someone called out immediately.  “Multiple computer intrusions from those decks, countermeasures currently holding.”  “Get those locations to Akoni.” Cinn retorted.  Their new chief probably already had them, but a little extra reminder never hurt anyone.

In the holo-display Cinn peered through the debris, gas clouds, and flashes of weapon fire to see that the cube had latched onto something small with a tractor beam.  Fearing the worst, he had that portion enhanced and sure enough, there was the Allegiant.  Firing off a quick prayer to the Prophets out of instinct, it was answered almost immediately when the tractor emitter exploded and the yacht was freed.  He could hear the chatter from mission ops behind him, filling the room with noise.  Outside of the ship, the constant staccato of phaser and disruptor beams accompanied by torpedos of numerous flavors filled the display with visual noise.  It was all starting to drown out the calm of The Plan, and Cinn was starting to lose himself in it.

Thankfully for everyone on board, some thing managed to pierce through and give the sinking Bajoran a lifeline.  "Bridge, this is Trent.  Weapon is away and the Borg are vulnerable.  I don't know how long I bought you, but make it count!”

Thanks to the lack of time between the message from Thea and the present, Cinn and Stark were probably the only ones on board who knew that that message meant.  He’ll fill the rest of the bridge crew in later, they had their opening.  “Helm, take us into the debris field, use it to cover our approach to the apertures.  T'Less, take whatever shots you can.”

As the Theurgy moved in the Borg responded with only a few moments of hesitation.  Two Klingon ships that had been marked as disabled earlier started to move again, each angling towards the mulit-vector dreadnought…

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

Reply #49
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya et al

The Cube held position. Stationary was bad, by generally-accepted strategy and hir own predatory instincts. Stationary meant being outmanoeuvred was inevitable - or, rather, it would if the thing you wanted to flank wasn't functionally identical on every facing. And given the Borg's horrifying capacity for repair and regeneration, it wasn't even as if presenting such an easy target for their gunnery was necessarily going to work against them. Nator gritted hir teeth as s/he half-listened to the chatter behind hir. Usually, s/he hated having this much clear space behind hir - old instincts again, no doubt - but it turned out that only having to listen for voices s/he recognised was a lot less stressful than having to match them to faces every time.

The ship was in lamentable condition for such an engagement, without even considering the navigational complications. The Hermat glanced at the helmsman, not envying him in the least, before going back to hir own work.

Hir panel screamed at hir as the first volley of torpedoes hit them, nearly throwing the svelte humanoid from hir seat. Rebalance, rebalance, drain port grid to feed starboard-

The second came too soon. The shields breached, and the intruder alarms sounded instead. Nator turned the air blue in hir native tongue, thumping a fist into one end of hir panel in frustration.

"Ops! Talk to me! Reroute power and restore shields on the side facing the Cube!"

Oh, well, fair enough I suppose. I was just going to leave us swinging free in the breeze but just because you asked so nicely... "Already working, sir!" s/he called out instead, shoulder blades already itching in anticipation of a pair of assimilation tubules. Hir brand of stress-releasing sarcasm would be the opposite of helpful right now.

The generators themselves did not read to be damaged, at least after the surface-level diagnostic which was all they had time for. But their automatic power cycle, while safe and efficient specification-wise, was not useful when you needed the shields now. She dumped reserve battery power into getting the tertiary shield grid up to at least prevent any new drone invasions. [Warning: bypassing standard procedures may result iOVERRIDE ACCEPTED. Field projectors activated.]

With the small breathing room that gave hir, s/he focused on getting the main bulk of their defensive screens back even as the Borg took potshots to try and bring them down again. The generators took up the slack, feeding the secondary and primary grids as they spun up. They were weak, but they were there, and the longer they could go without taking a significant hit, the stronger they'd get.

As if on cue, the telltale sound of an EPS conduit burst echoed on the bridge, the ambient light shining white in the shower of actinic sparks produced.

"Where are those reports?" Wenn barked.

Nator glanced around to the ensign's post - and saw her slumped on the deck under her console, which was cracked and blackened. Baring hir teeth, s/he hurriedly pulled up the damage reports hirself. "Minor EPS overload, upper decks, rerouting. New hull breach, deck seventeen starboard, forcefields holding. Shields are up and holding for now, Captain."
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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