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Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

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There was something strangely unsettling about the aftermath of battle. Once the adrenaline had faded, the bodies had been collected and the ship was safe once more, a strange tense lethargy was known to occur, particularly for those who had been in the thick of the fighting. Something traumatic had happened, something world-shaking, yet the universe trundled along without a care in the world. It didn't feel right. It never felt right.

In the lower shuttlebay that morning, Lillee felt that uncomfortable lethargy more and more as she worked, cutting off a mangled hull panel from a damaged type-9 shuttle with a plasma torch. She'd taken off her jacket and opened her yellow undershirt collar as she worked, sweating slightly as she cut with extreme care, her long blonde hair tied back in a rough ponytail. There was no real risk to her; the torch had several safety mechanisms to prevent it from accidentally harming its user. Nevertheless, Lillee had no desire to cut too deep or cut into an adjacent hull panel, adding yet more work to what already promised to be a very busy day.

"Fvadt," Lillee muttered as the torch suddenly found increased resistance and she immediately switched it off. "Don't tell me...oh Elements, let it not be, let the Fire be merciful for once..." Setting the torch down, she pulled a tricorder off her belt and opened it up. After a few moments of scanning, Lillee sighed. "Buckled spaceframe? But why didn't you show up on the...oh curse you, of course, heat deformation from the EPS leak. It is just as well you saved my life once, little shuttle, or else I would be extremely mad right now."

Lillee wiped her forehead, taking a moment to breathe and process her irritation. She looked around the shuttlebay, far smaller and more compact than the main shuttlebay ten decks up, or the fighter bay on Deck 16. The place was a mess; there were disruptor and phaser burns on the walls, fire damage, a collapsed bulkhead and various other detritus of battle. A shuttle elevator was offline, leaving a large hole in the floor that had been carefully cordoned off. The repair area below the shuttlebay proper was in even worse shape, a fire having raged through it, the entire area sealed off until a repair crew could be spared for it. Even two days later, the air in the shuttlebay still stank of smoke and burned electronics, and to Lillee's sensitive nose, a hint of blood.

"It could've been worse," Lillee muttered to herself, though there was hardly any need to be quiet. She was the only person in the entire shuttlebay. The moment having passed, Lillee lit the torch and got back to work, forcing herself to ignore a growing apathy.

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #1
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

The events of this week had been a wild ride for Lauren. Things had certainly changed too. Since re-enlisting in Starfleet, she had been in the thick of it. Her mind wrestled with everything. The infested, the Klingons, the attacks, the shuttle escape on Praxis, and now the promotion. She just wanted to relax. How she usually did that was by parading through the shuttle bay. Likely the main shuttlebay and the fighter bay would be overrun by workers cleaning them up and conducting repairs. But the lower shuttle bay would be fairly vacant. A good place to visit at a time like this to think.

All the while she thought, her legs traversed the large ship as she grew to know new corridors every time she strolled through them. Occasionally she had to tap an LCARS wall panel to make heads or tails of where she was headed, but not today. This was a universal location on many starships of the Federations. It wasn't long before the familiar gray-ish steel tones appeared before her and opened showing the remains of what was probably a very plain but beautiful room. The shuttles all had some scarring but otherwise intact and the walls smattered with disruptor and phaser scorch marks. Klingon, human and other alien bloods stained the deck plating but it was still a welcome place to be despite it all.

She tilted her head into the air as she took in a breath to calm her mind but it kept on going albeit more slowly than it had previously. The stress and anxiety still within her but on a whole losing the edge from her current location. Strolling forward, she brushed her hand on a shuttle, the feel of the cold material of the hull chilled her palms. Well, at least the one that was still organic.

Out of the corner of her chocolate colored eyes she caught the light hair, likely blonde hair of a woman working on one of the shuttlecrafts. She wasn't familiar with her but recognized the type. She was most certainly a pilot too. A kinship only fellow pilots felt. She approached quietly as to not startle the other woman but wondered what she said barely catching, "It could've been worse," pass by her earshot.

Her boots clicked as she stepped close enough to be heard but to give her space. "Hey there! What could have been worse?" A little fear hit her as she spoke out clearly not reading the room but this was something Tessa had taught her. Putting on the smile and cheerful nature is helpful when the situation was grim.

"I'm sorry for interrupting you. I just couldn't help but notice a fellow pilot who could use some much needed uplifting." She paused and reached forward to the blonde's hand. "I'm Ensign Lauren Pierce. I'm one of the new Asst. Chief CONN Officers aboard only a few days ago."

She glanced forward to see what the pilot was working on and thought it prudent to inquire to help her. "Is there something I can give you a hand with?" Lauren stated as she grabbed some gear and a repair kit before kneeling nearby the same end of the shuttle that her new acquaintance was at.

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #2
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

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Caught by surprise, Lillee switched off the torch and looked at the stranger. She looked like any other ensign, for the most part; eager, cheerful and full of energy. Lillee was nonplussed by the stranger's question until she introduced herself, and Lillee forced a polite smile.

"PO3 t'Jellaieu," Lillee said, shaking Lauren's hand. "Lillee, if my other name is too tricky for your tongue. I am pleased to meet you, Ensign. I am one of the support pilots. Technically I am the 'chief' support pilot, but the distinction is typically irrelevant, to be truthful." At Lauren's offer of aid, Lillee's smile became more genuine; it was rare for new officers to voluntarily get their hands dirty. "I would appreciate that, you have my thanks. I've been working alone all morning."

Lillee paused a moment as Lauren knelt. "The shuttle sustained damage from disruptor fire. I've fixed the EPS leak, but the spaceframe is deformed from the electroplasma. The entire EPS grid and warp drive will need an overhaul, and the hull will need a lot of work as well. It will be days before this shuttle is back in service at best, perhaps even a couple of weeks." After a moment's consideration, Lillee turned around and handed a large sealed container to Lauren. "I can finish working on the hull later. For now, we need to drain the warp plasma. If you handle that, I can depolarise the nacelles as you go."

With that, Lillee fished around in the repair kit, found the tool she needed, and promptly straddled one of the nacelles. "To answer your question, I mean this." She waved around the shuttlebay. "I was here when the Klingons boarded. Six of them, stinking and shouting as Klingons do. We were fortunate to not lose more people than we did, or sustain more damage to the shuttles. The fighting was...intense."

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #3
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

The blonde woman, who Lauren just realized was a Romulan was fairly friendly, and knowledgable as far as she could tell. She was however surprised that there were no other individuals stationed to help Lillee with everything that had just transpired in recent events. "Hi Lillee. Nice to meet you!" A warm smile greeted her face as the redheaded woman kneeled to help with some tools.

"I have to say, I'm a little surprised they had no one here to help you out. Granted, we do have a lot of injured personnel too." Lauren grabbed the large sealed container from Lillee and listened for further instructions. "I think I can manage that." She got back up and went towards the juncture to attach the vessels' warp plasma conduit to the warp plasma canister to conduct the drain as she tapped the smaller LCARS display to activate it while Lillee worked on depolarising the nacelles simultaneously.

Listening to Lillee on the shuttlebay's recent battlefront vantage point definitely made her glad the one before her survived. "I'm just glad you survived. It sounds like things were fairly bad down here as they were in sickbay. When I left the shuttlebay early into the battle, I headed to sickbay with an individual and ended up stuck there for some time due to the firefight of incoming Klingon transporters. It was definitely intense there too." She paused while she waited for the process to complete on the plasma as she watched Lillee at work.

"Has it always been like that here? On the Theurgy I mean." Wonder sparkled in the woman's brown eyes as she observed the scenery around her. She was in awe at the capabilities of the Romulan's around a shuttle. Sure she remembered some of this from her Academy days but on the other hand, she remembered mostly how to pilot over anything else.

"I was actually on the Allegiant on the Praxis mission just before everything kinda calmed down. Thankfully, most of us made it back from that trip too but I'd be lying if it wasn't scary flying that ship through the moon back to safety."

Looking to change the subject to something lighter, she inquired about the Petty Officer's life. "So what brought you to the Theurgy? For me, it was a friend, who thankfully didn't die in the firefight in her Valkyrie."

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #4
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

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As she worked, passing her tool over the nacelle, Lillee carefully depolarised the nacelle inch by inch. It was tedious work, but at least the sophisticated gadget saved her the hassle of disassembling the entire nacelle, and Lillee had time to mull over the ensign's questions.

"From what I understand, it was always like this on the Theurgy, at least before Aldea," Lillee said, keeping her eyes on the small screen fixed to her tool, monitoring the readings carefully. "The Niga mess, sex-obsessed godlike aliens, evil future dreadnoughts, mutinies,  endless fighting against Starfleet...I've heard awful stories. At the Azure Nebula, this ship was barely holding together, and the crew were...they were not much better. There were so many dead. Truly, everything we've been through these past days is not so bad. By comparison, anyway."

Lillee flashed Lauren a smile, pausing her work. "Excuse my severity. I do not mean to make light of our losses. I think I have merely been hardened. Even during the war, I did not see anything quite like what this ship has been through." She frowned as she considered her tool's display, and pulled the tricorder off her belt, giving the nacelle a scan. "Fvadt, there's a microfracture in one of the warp coils. Plasma is leaking...ah, it's fine, it's just leaking back into the central chamber. Just keep the withdrawal rate at 1% or lower and we have no problems."

"To answer your other question," Lillee said as she got back to work, "I was not a volunteer. I was stationed on Earth a few months ago, at the SCE facility outside Khartoum, under Admiral Sobral. He ordered me to beam up to the Theurgy and inspect the Valkyries. I was deep in a Valkyrie's ass when the ship went to red alert and the shooting started. I had no idea what was happening, or even whom we were fighting for a time. We were at Earth, after all; who could be attacking us? There was no time to think, just work."

Realising that she was rambling a little, Lillee paused and took a breath. "I was in a Jefferies tube doing some repairs when the ship got hit. I was injured, quite severely, and they put me in stasis until they could safely attempt the surgery. By the time they revived me...well, the Theurgy had just arrived in the Azure Nebula. I had no real time to process anything until we got to Aldea."

Lillee paused at that point, her voice becoming distant. "I do not know how much you know of those days, but they were...intense is a good word? Terrifying is a better word? I fought...what, three battles there? No, four." Lillee became silent for a moment, then laughed briefly and shook her head. "Pardon my melancholy, ma'am, I can become very dour just before lunch. Your friend, the Valkyrie pilot. Would you tell me of her? I flew a Valkyrie in the squadron for some weeks; I might know of her."

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #5
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

Lauren soaked in all the information about the Theurgy that she wasn't necessarily privy to at this point in time. The vastness of their mission thus far and the terrible experiences left a lot to be desired by her but the fact that everyone was so willing to just pitch in and do what they could to keep the mission going gave her immense strength.

Keeping the withdrawal rate at 1%, she listened on as the Romulan woman continued her explanations as far as she was aware since coming on board. From the sounds of it, however, Lillee had been aboard since the very beginning albeit with a stint in stasis.

The conversation however shifted as Lillee asked about her friend in the fighter bay. Tessa. "Wow, that's all so surreal. I'm sorry that you had to endure that while you've been aboard. Certainly a lot scarier than I could imagine." Her hands were working without her thought necessarily on them as she dove into the story of Tessa.

"Well, Tessa is the Valkyrie pilot I came to know at MIMAS Station during the tail end of the Dominion War. While I was dealing with the hand the universe dealt me, Tessa has become a very accomplished pilot in her own right. Just narrowly biting the dust in the recent battle. If you see the fighter bay, in addition to Gorn and Klingon guts strewn about, you'll see parts of her fighter being dislodged from the interior. She crashed hard but survived it somehow. Testament to being on the Theurgy so long I guess."

Lauren exhaled allowing her hands to rest. "So what else do you have to do?"

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #6
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

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Lillee stood, biting her lip as she considered the crippled shuttle. "At this point, I might as well overhaul the whole shuttle. Between the hull deformation and warp coil fracture, I'll need to take it apart anyway, but that will have to wait until the deckhands can spare the time to make the warp core safe for extraction. Until then, there's nothing left to do except wait."

Her tone was melancholy, as if Lillee wasn't entirely talking about the shuttle, but she shrugged it off. Instead, she picked up a PADD, tapping through it. "Thea, please mark this shuttle for warp core extraction, low priority." Lillee gestured for Lauren to move, both of them carrying the equipment with them, and with the two women out of the way, Lillee added "Now lower the shuttle to the maintenance bay and move it to the containment area." With that, the deck beneath the shuttle lowered, the elevator descending with uncanny smoothness and silence. Within moments, the elevator lifted back up, this time without the shuttle.

Lillee glanced at Lauren, seeing an opportunity, and she smiled, grateful for something to break her morning apathy. "I need to take another shuttle on a test flight, scheduled for a few minutes from now. Would you like to join me, perhaps take the helm? The flight plan isn't much, just a few orbits and a quick warp test, but it could be fun, yes? I know that officers like you don't get to fly smaller craft often. The Allegiant is lovely to fly for a ship its size, but there is something so different about a type-9, how it responds to you. We can eat the midday meal while we're out there, trade stories."

Then Lillee grinned, a light sparking in her brown eyes. "I have heard of what the Allegiant did at Praxis, though I didn't know who was at the helm. I would love to hear about that. We can trade stories about Goldeneye also; I was her wingmate when we fought the Borg."

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #7
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

Lauren could detect a slight defeated attitude with the shuttle. What with the hull issues and the warp coil fracture, she was right. It'd likely be a while for the small ship to get the much needed overhaul she truly required. But Pierce listened as Lillee asked Thea, which she assumed was the Theurgy's AI, to mark the vessel and move it from the maintenance deck.

She was about to step off having helped work on the shuttlecraft, not knowing what else to do when she was quickly invited to test another vessel, but this time from the confines of space and not a maintenance bay. Excitement welled up within her, which she had to keep at bay from showing the giddy behavior she could sometimes channel, much like her friend Tessa. The opportunity too for her to bond with the Romulan woman and eat lunch and trade stories was something that excited her as well, especially knowing that it'd be a while before she'd Tessa again.

A smile cracked on her face as she let some of the enthusiasm shine through. "I would love to honestly. Aside from the Allegiant, I've not had the opportunity to pilot another vessel since before the Dominion War ended. There is something quite different about piloting a vessel you can feel as if it's an extension of yourself. Besides that, trading stories and lunch sound spectacular."

Pierce watched the other woman grin as she spoke. She locked her brown eyes on the other pilot's matching brown orbs. The comment she mentioned about the piloting job on the Allegiant and the passing stories of GoldenEye also was a fascinating opportunity for her to catch up on a friend too.

"Oh, that had to be an epic fight. The Borg?" She said with added interest. "I hear that's not an easy endeavor." She shook off her uniform however and approached the Type-9 shuttle they were discussing. "Ready to get that test drive in? See if she purrs or needs anything with a hands on approach?" Lauren laughed. "This should be fun."

She dropped the hatch of the shuttle and walked inside it getting familiar with the layout as she waited for Lillee to join her.

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #8
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Pierce

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Smiling at the ensign's enthusiasm, Lillee followed Lauren into the shuttle, closing the hatch behind them. "You're in command in here. If you want to make the shuttle roar, then that is your prerogative, yes? I don't think we will be flying through any Borg cubes today." Sitting down, Lillee began the pre-flight checklist, short though it was. "Warp, check. Impulse, check. Thrusters, check. Shields, check. Structural integrity..." Lillee paused, concentrating carefully on the readouts. "Check." She glanced at Lauren with a self-conscious shrug. "I wanted to be sure. I did set the shuttle on fire a few days ago. Phasers, check. Life support, check. All systems are green for launch."

With that, Lillee tapped a button, her voice shifting slightly, her intonation becoming slower, her accent less pronounced. "Shuttlecraft Jemison to Theurgy flight control, requesting clearance to launch for scheduled flight test. Two crew aboard: Ensign Lauren Pierce, PO3 t'Jellaieu."

The response was immediate. "Shuttlecraft Jemison, Theurgy flight control, you are clear for launch. Traffic is clear."

With that, Lillee tapped the control that opened the vast shuttlebay doors, the forcefield almost invisible to the naked eye. "Theurgy flight control, Jemison, acknowledged, clear for launch." The Romulan smiled at Lauren and gestured outside. "So. The Allegiant. I want details, please! How did you fly something that big inside a moon, never mind fly it back out with an explosion on your bum!?"

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #9
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Lower Shuttlebay | Deck 21 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

Lillee's insistency that Lauren be in command despite the other woman likely having far more advanced experience than herself gave her a quiet smile to herself. She afterall was the ranking officer aboard. So it did make sense to her but seemed odd. She approached the secondary seat next to Lillee as the Romulan woman prepped the shuttle thoroughly. When she mentioned that she wanted to be sure since it was on fire days prior, she understood the reasoning.

"Agreed. No sense having us being one of those fires from this ship too." She gave a funny look at her new friend. Finally sitting down, she eyed the controls and watched as Lillee prepared the ship for launch with the Theurgy.

The response was immediate. "Shuttlecraft Jemison, Theurgy flight control, you are clear for launch. Traffic is clear."

As Lillee finished the clearing procedure, she felt at peace. Something about getting into the vastness of space made her realize that the problems and bulkheads they dealt with on a daily basis meant nothing in the grand scheme of things unless they got to have fun and explore. Snapped back to reality by her co-pilot's inquiry, she looked over again slightly startled from her thoughts.

"Ah...the Allegiant. Yes, that was a fun flight to be honest. I was just brought on board earlier that day and had finished fighting off Klingons, I wasn't sure I was going to be chosen to go on that mission. Thankfully I did as no one else had seemed to have the experience needed to fly that puppy into Praxis." She smiled as she leaned back and remembered the details of that vivid ride.

"It was all so surreal. I was nervous for sure but all that flight training I did back at the academy seemed to help me more than I thought. It was as if..." Paused now using her hands as instruments of explanation and sifting her thoughts as if visually in front of the blonde woman before her. "...As if I was one with it. You being a pilot should understand that. I felt the energy flowing through me and the adrenaline channeled as I moved my hands swiftly across the controls. Firefight and barrelrolls, aplenty there. Haha."

She moved her hands in front in a quick motion, bringing them closer together as the excitement flowed back through her veins. "I remember Frank gifting me some reserve power from the cloak as we dodged distruptor fire from ships and the surface. Meanwhile we still had to be close enough for us to beam up our away team at a moment's notice. And we attempted to deactivate a bomb planted at the core of the moon. I'm sure you know how that ended up now."

Taking a breath, she dove back into her story. "So then I had little time. We had to drop the shields, beam them aboard meanwhile, instrument panels were detonating all over the bridge. I scraped that ship into the hole. Surprisingly the only thing we lost was the paint job on it. It was less than two meters on either side of the Allegiant that I had for margin of error. And once the bomb went off, well we had some back luck ahead and no way out. The other end of the cavern was enclosed and no space to detonate a torpedo so we rammed the ship through the other side, which thankfully was rather dense and shattered easily enough. The fire nearly engulfed the small ship as we used it to more or less rocket launch us from the core. It was INTENSE!"

Her breathing was all over the place as she regaled the story and explained the twists and turns. Gathering herself again she sat back. "Sorry, it was just such a rush to not get into it again. Dangerous but extremely fun. I was definitely scared but not enough to have fun with it in the situation."

Lauren checked the instrument panel as she calmed herself back down. Nothing to report and the shuttle was still operating under normal parameters. "So any wild stories you'd like to tell since I've been yammering about?"

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #10
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Hodgkin" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Pierce

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Lillee listened attentively, multitasking as she kept a weather eye on the shuttle's systems, as well as sensors. Even in the aftermath of a civil war, Qo'nos was still the capital world of a galactic superpower, and ships of all descriptions were coming to and from the world. All of them obeyed traffic regulations and adhered to the mandated orbits, of course; Klingon traffic wardens made liberal use of disruptor cannons for anyone who dared to be cheeky. Still, even in their tiny shuttle (with appropriate clearance), Lillee kept a weather eye on everything.

More, though, she listened with increasing awe as Lauren told her story. Lillee made all the appropriate noises, struggling to fathom doing the precision maneuvers that Lauren was talking about in the bulky Allegiant. When Lauren mentioned that she rammed the Allegiant through a rock barrier, Lillee simply stared at her fellow pilot, eyes wide.

"Okay, I am impressed, I admit it," Lillee said as she returned her eyes to her display. "The Allegiant is so bulky...fast, yes, and it flies smooth like most Starfleet craft, but flying something that big with so little clearance, at such a velocity? And then flying through rock to escape the explosion, hoping your shields and deflector are enough to break through?" Lillee licked her lips in envy, privately wishing that she could try it herself, as insane as it sounded, even as she wondered whether she even could pull that off. "Traffic is clear, system diagnostics report clear. Ready for warp trial."

As Lauren pushed the small shuttle into warp, Lillee pondered Lauren's question, smiling reflexively at the redhead's enthusiasm. "Wild stories, yes? I have some...I did fly the Allegiant when we pursued the Borg and engaged the Klingons, but that wasn't too wild. And truly, coming across the battlefield was...difficult. So many broken ships and bodies. Hiding from the Borg cube afterwards was tense...I think at least one person aboard wet themselves when that drone looked at us, I could smell it..."

Mulling it over, Lillee grinned as she finally thought of something. With nothing to do while the shuttle was at warp, she leaned back in her chair, turning it to look at her colleague directly. "I could tell you of Tessa," Lillee said thoughtfully, pulling a strand of blonde hair back behind a pointed ear. "We were wingmates only once, when we fought the Borg. The space around the cube was chaos. There was wreckage everywhere, ships still fighting, the cube firing everything, the Theurgy and the Klingons shooting back. Goldeneye and I were trying to get past the cube, through the debris field, to protect the Cayuga."

Lillee's smile turned sober. "The cube caught Goldeneye-my pardon, Tessa-in a tractor beam. I turned back. I did something...silly, if I am speaking true." She glanced at her display again, confirming everything was fine, before looking back at Lauren. "I did not believe I could destroy the emitter with my Valkyrie's weapons, so I told Tessa to go to max accel as I did. I intercepted the tractor beam as fast as I could, flying right through it a kilometer or so from the cube. It worked. Elements alone know how it worked, or how my Valkyrie survived the torque of the tractor beam, but it worked. The beam dispersed long enough for Tessa to break free, then push on to the Cayuga."

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #11
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Shuttlecraft "Hodgkin" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

Lauren was happy to have a friend at the helm. Both of them seemed to have had their bouts of battle and of fancy flying in the heat of battle. She sat back enthusiastically awaiting a tale from her blonde co-pilot. The details that came forth from the battle with the Borg was certainly interesting. That was one endeavor she had yet to deal with personally...the Borg. It gave her a shiver down her spine as she tried not to imagine the creepy mechanical creatures that got their rocks off on assimilation of other cultures, making them...less than unique. Lillee's tale of being in the presence of the drone only heightened her creeped out vibes.

"That had to very terrifying...I've never faced the Borg before but the Dominion or Breen weren't much better in my personal opinion. They're more brutal..." She gazed off before the tone shifted to Tessa and excitement came back to her.

The adrenaline hit her like a drug as she continued to listen in while keeping tabs on her instrument panel before her. Hearing the mad dashes that both Tessa and Lillee made only grasped her attention further. She felt as if she were going to fall off of her chair.

"That is just...just magnificent! That has to be one of the coolest flying stories I've heard. Plus in such small crafts to survive a Borg attack!" Her cheeks were raised as her face just flooded with so many thoughts and emotions over the tales being told.

She looked onward taking in the sight of the vessel in warp. "Lillee..." she paused briefly looking at her co-pilot softly. "Thank you for telling me this. I really appreciate it. And...thank you for bringing me along. I'm still trying to find my footing here and aside from Tessa and my department head, I don't know too many people yet."

As if a switch flipped afterwards, much like her friend Tessa, she switched gears. "What's your ideal place to vacation? Or to just wind down? I mean as much as we can on the Theurgy with...." she waved her arms around. "everything going on that is going on." She finished with a brief chuckle.

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #12
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Hodgkin" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Pierce

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"You're very welcome," Lillee replied with a smile, her eyes on her console as she tweaked the warp drive's intermix slightly. "Truly, it's nice to talk about this with someone who understands. I missed it. I have friends in the Wolves, but they are...um...different, yes? More intense, more vivacious, more eager to throw themselves into the fire. It is a different energy."

At Lauren's question, Lillee considered for a moment. "Aldea was lovely," she mused, leaning back into her chair to regard Lauren. "It is a beautiful world, and the people are wonderful. The culture, the music, the beaches, the rainforests...I would not mind returning to that world one day. I would not have thought that a Klingon protectorate would be so appealing, but there you have it. Even in the capital, you can barely detect the Klingon stench. I still don't understand how the gestalt functions, but the mystery only makes them more fascinating." Lillee winced at that. "Oh no. I have truly spent too much time in Starfleet if I am saying such things."

"Beyond that..." Lillee said thoughtfully. "Zellox is worth visiting if you ever find yourself on the other side of the Neutral Zone. With the gravitational anomalies, you can buy some wings from a vendor and fly for hours, if you wish. It is not advisable if you are drunk, however. Centurion Fevii didn't much like being vomited on from three kilometers up, but she never did find out which of us did it, or how they had such exquisite aim."

Lillee smiled with dark pleasure at the memory before glancing at Lauren. "On the ship, though? Nothing comes to mind. I have heard good things about the baths on Deck 06, but I have not had the chance to visit them yet."

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #13
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Shuttlecraft "Hodgkin" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

Interest flooded Lauren's mind as she tuned into her comrade's words. And of course watched the other woman's hands tweaking the shuttle's controls. She nodded as Lillee expressed her gratification about the conversation she was able to freely have with someone not of the Wolves caliber. "Yes, from what I learned of the Wolves and from Tessa, they're a lively bunch." She giggled to herself about it. Thinking about Tessa's crazy antics she'd heard about recently.

"Aldea does sound lovely. Too bad I didn't come aboard sooner. Could have relaxed some before getting pulled into the thick of it all." She gave a slight pout as she sat back into her chair. "Never been to Zellox...or heard of it for that matter. But being on the other end of the Neutral Zone makes sense why I haven't." She laughed at Lillee's comment about someone barfing on the Centurion from above levels.

"That had to be hilarious!" As she listened about on ship activities she was intrigued. "Baths? As in pools? I love swimming to be honest. That and exercising. Just helps me to unwind. We'll have to go sometime." She took in a big breath and expelled it. "Well, we should probably head back now. I think she works."

She turned back to the CONN and checked the controls. Turning the vessel around for a return trip in a slightly altered trajectory, she soon regretted the change in direction. The sensors were flashing without beeping which was what had alarmed her. "Um...sensors are detecting a... mine field? This can't be right. What a crappy time for this to happen! Must have been laid by Gorka's ships and forgotten about before their ships were destroyed." A frown wrinkled above her eyes briefly. "We were just having fun too. Well, maybe we can have more..." A grin lit up her lips as she smirked and looked at Lillee before turning to the CONN once more.

"Ready?" She said to her Romulan friend in the chair next to her. Her hands began to fly on the controls, the symphony of lit up buttons glowing in a almost random fashion as she propelled the small ship between these highly explosive mines. The feeling of chills hit her spine as she weaved between the mines, which unfortunately were also following her...at least a few were targeting them. If it detonated...well...it'd not look good for them she thought.

"Any ideas?"

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #14
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Jemison" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Pierce

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In a matter of moments, what had been an enjoyable test flight turned into a potentially lethal situation. Lillee swore under her breath as, before either pilot had a chance to react, the shuttle flew directly into the minefield at high impulse, the shuttle computer going berserk as mines started arming around them.

"At least you're having fun," Lillee said to Lauren sourly, concentrating intently on her board. "I'm shifting sensor readouts to you and transferring auxiliary power to shields, but these mines are so high-yield, I don't think we'll survive a direct detonation. Fvadt!" she exclaimed as an explosion rocked the shuttle. The mines were reacting, accelerating and maneuvering to catch the shuttle, but their automatic navigation was struggling to counter Lauren's piloting. "Shields holding, no damage. There's no time for the Theurgy to come get us at this rate."

Another explosion smashed the shuttle, causing a cacophony of alarms to ring throughout the cockpit, both women jerked violently to the side. "Shields down to 30%, phasers are offline, primary comms offline, severe buckling of the port nacelle struts. Bah, I just fixed this fucking thing!" Realising that there was no time for idle chit-chat, Lillee instead focused, her hands flying over her console as mines continued to swarm in around them. "Adjust course 78 mark 5, that gets us out of this mess the fastest."

She glanced at Lauren as another distant explosion flashed outside, too distant to be a threat. "Maintain high impulse, these things are built to destroy starships, not small shuttles. Oh Elements protect me, hope you're as good as I think you are, Lauren!"

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #15
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Shuttlecraft "Jemison" | Qo'nos Orbit] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

Frustration swept Lauren as she watched on the viewscreen and the sensors the damage being wrought to the small vessel. "Blast it!" She barked in-between her hands sending the shuttle dodging the mines. "I don't think we'll survive a direct detonation either!" Panic began to fill her lungs as memories of PTSD flew back to her. Only, if they blew up, she wouldn't be surviving any of it to have PTSD. And she had a friend aboard that made it more important to survive.

"I'm going to attempt something. I just hope it works!" She swerved the Jemison into the vector Lillee relayed. The yell of shields dropping to 30% startled her but not enough to make her hesitate any. "Aye!" Lauren yelled back at her continuing to fly in high impulse. Her hands danced across the controls swiftly and elegantly like a surgeon going into battle. The light display behind them of detonations continued to rock the vessel.

"What do you think? Vent the nacelle plasma to detonate mass mines and warp out? Or do we eject the core and brace for it? A third option is we use the tractor beam and tag a mine into the cluster!" She yelled as she continued to weave in and out of the paths of these mines another detonating unbareably close to the port nacelle.

"We're almost clear but need to get these mines still tractoring our tails!"

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #16
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Jemison" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Pierce

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There was no time for proper consideration of the options. Lillee was reduced to simply hanging on for dear life as Lauren flung the shuttle into increasingly desperate maneuvers, her thoughts flicking to her babes briefly. Of all the ways to die, it would be due to fucking Klingon mines? The indignity of it, that such a ridiculous thing would keep Lillee from the twins, made her clutch the console tighter. Her answer to Lauren's suggestions was instinctive, realising later than Lauren did that they wouldn't be able to outrun the mines and reach the other side of the minefield.

"Preparing to vent plasma," Lillee announced, hands flying over her console in a lull between explosions. "Once the explosion clears the gap for us, you won't have long to go to warp before the explosion hits us. Standby: venting plasma in three...two...one...venting!"

With that, there was little to do but hold on and pray, Lillee bracing for the crucial few seconds that would decide whether they lived or died. When one of the mines inevitably ran into the plasma and its basic sensors triggered the detonation, Lillee could only close her eyes, her heart hammering madly amidst the fire and fury.

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #17
[ Ensign Lauren Pierce | Shuttlecraft "Jemison" | Qo'nos Orbit] Attn: @Griff [Show/Hide]

The two women worked diligently to attack the problem at hand. Hands scrambled across the controls on the boards. She really hoped that she wouldn't die like this. It was one thing to go in the heat of battle or in a conflict, or even old age, but a mine field in a shuttle? No, this wouldn't do.

Her mind wandered back to the days at MIMAS before Tessa arrived where she had to weave through insurmountable mazes in a test fighter vessel. It was much like that time but...different. This time, there was no emergency beam out option and no one monitoring their situation. The vibrations shook the shuttle lurching her forward against the pane. Why the hell don't these things have seat belts? she pondered.

Lillee's announcement for venting drive plasma allowed her to put the next part into motion. "Once the explosion clears the gap for us, you won't have long to go to warp before the explosion hits us. Standby: venting plasma in three...two...one...venting!"

Lauren punched the warp button to hopefully propel them on the other side of the fleet above Qo'nos. It was a short warp jump but she prayed it was enough. The engines powered on quickly as the engines prepared for a quick launch at warp. One of the mines hit the plasma and ignited, sending a shockwave and residual explosions rippling across the rest of the minefield as the visage disappeared from view. The shuttle was struck with a part of shrapnel from the explosion, puncturing the rear hatch. The hatch erected a forcefield along the rear of the Jemison.

The shuttle lurched forward hard causing Lauren to brace with her cybernetic hand, crushing part of her armrest as she held tightly. The warp trail landed them where she had hoped. "Scanning for additional damage and our location. It appears we're back near the Theurgy now. But looks like the hatch is shot. We might have to beam out of the shuttle to get the door off safely. At least we're alive though." She let a small smile escape her face.

"Well Lillee, thank you for this ride. It was certainly eventful. Despite the mine's damage, I think we did alright and you fixed this one up good. Otherwise I doubt we'd have made it through that."

She swiveled her chair as she navigated closer to Theurgy's shuttlebay. "Thank you for letting me get to know you. It's been fun." She smiled warmly.

Re: Day 02 [1220 hrs.] A Contrast of CONN

Reply #18
[PO3 Lillee t’Jellaieu | Shuttlecraft "Jemison" | Qo'nos Orbit ] Attn: @Pierce

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When she felt the slight lightening beneath her buttocks as the shuttle decelerated out of warp, Lillee gradually opened her eyes, her entire body wound up as tight as could be. She gradually started breathing again, her wrists aching from how tightly she'd been clutching her seat during the escape. It took Lillee a few moments to realise that Lauren was talking, and she looked at the redhead with a slightly unfocused gaze.

"Oh...yes," she mumbled, glancing back at the breached rear hatch and wincing. "Elements above...I much prefer to be doing the flying than the one being flown." Lillee took some deep breaths, hating how much the near-death experience had affected her. She'd barely been flustered during the mission to Qo'nos. "You fly well, Lauren. You are perhaps a little insane, but all the best pilots are, yes?"

Lillee managed a weak smile at Lauren as she started working her console. "It has been...fun is not the word. Interesting? We will work together well, I think."

With that, Lillee pulled a strand of blonde hair back behind a pointed ear as she started communicating with the Theurgy, to warn them about the minefield and request assistance. It didn't take long for a couple of Valkyries to turn up and escort the damaged shuttle back home. The damage would be a huge pain in the ass to fix, but the resultant bonding between the two pilots was more than worth it.

 
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