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Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #25
[ Maya | Deck 11 | Main Sickbay | USS Theurgy ]
Maya made a mental note to inform Doctor Nicander about the “contact” that McMillan had apparently made.  After the Istar incident it was foolish to ignore something like that.  There was no point interrupting him right now, what with Hylota’s baby and all.

[ MCPO William Robert O’Connell | Corridor outside the Spacedock Control Room | Level 14 | Starbase 84 ]  

"Starbase security inbound. Cover me."

“Here they come!” Petty Officer Johnson cried as a quiet electronic hum struggled to be heard over the “red alert” claxon.

Chief Petty Officer Amlas Keyah tapped a stud on her webgear before tearing a small grenade off it and tossing it into a group of six glowing silhouettes that were appearing in the corridor.  The webgear the team wore wasn’t merely a series of straps secured by a belt that held the teams portable gear, it was also a device used for personal protection that used subspace harmonics to generate a personal force field.  Called SAFTI gear, short for Subspace Armor Field Tactical Integration gear, the system had been juryrigged by O’Connell and his friend and shipmate Senior Chief Petty Officer Calvin Reagar.  Like the personal armor systems of the past, it wasn’t perfect.  The prototype was only capable of protecting a standard sized person for over ten minutes from weak attacks like physical blows or slow moving projectiles. Billy Bob predicted that the system would protect a wearer from shots from phasers, disruptors and other particle beam weapons for two minutes at best assuming the weapon was fired at standard settings. A beam that could disintegrate a human would likely get through in seconds.

That was why CPO Keyah had tossed the grenade.  It was a flashbang grenade filled with antinadions that were supposed to interfere with phaser beams for a few seconds before the station’s air filtration systems removed it from the corridor.  Hopefully it would make a phaser set on kill have only enough power to stun or even better, not do anything at all.

In case it didn’t work, everybody else in the corridor activated their SAFTI gear.  Even if the rigs had limited power this was something you didn’t want to save for later.

CPO Keyah, PO Rivard, and SCPO Cam fired first as the station’s security team to materialize.  As the best shots in the team they didn’t wait for the antinadion grenade to go off.  They crouched as if they were 18th century soldiers using “Brown Bess” muskets so that the rest of the team could fire over them, and to ensure that they themselves weren’t hit by friendly fire from a trigger happy engineer who hadn’t held a weapon since the last holodeck training session. 

The grenade went off right as PO Johnson was firing, startling the engineer and causing him to waste his first shot on the ceiling.  O’Connell placed the barrel of his Accipiter directly over Cam, firing over the Andorian to stun incoming security team before they got they received situational awareness, AKA knew what the rut was going on.  Manfredi was at his left firing over Keyah and Johnson was at his right firing over Rivard.  CWO Luff didn’t fire, but instinctively stole a glance over his broad bulky shoulder to make sure there wasn’t a second team beaming in behind them.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #26
[ Hylota Vojona & Vinata Vojona | Waiting Room | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor Lucan

          Vinata smiled and nodded. "I think that my sister will be resistant to having me as her assistant with how I am pushing for her to take this duty shift off. I figure I should just step away and let someone else handle working with her. I will just do my job sir...but I feel I will be focusing on assisting others, I feel it is best to take things slow to get myself eased back into service after all that has happened as of late." He gave a soft chirp before taking a deep breath and spared one last look to his sister as he muttered to himself. "Just hope we have another 24 hours on the pregnancy." Taking a deep breath Vinata went to make sure that the hypospray doses of sedative were fully restocked and prepared for the things to come.

As Vinata got to work his sister could not help but glance his way and watch him, despite her irritation with his insistence over her sitting out this shift Hylota still wanted her brother to be safe. Turning her gaze back to Maal, Hylota gave a weak smile, she was not going to make a good parent, Maal might not be ready for a child, but he could at least help her understand what it meant to be mother to a child. As Maal spoke of how he was sorry about what had happened to Vinata while in his care Hylota sighed and put a finger over his lips and shook her head no. "I do not need to hear it, the matter is closed, you were forced to do something you clearly hate yourself for. You almost died trying to save my brother, the fact you tried is all I need." In the back of her head Hylota thought of how she had gotten the closure she had needed already.

As Lucan came over and spoke with Hylota she smiled and nodded. "Indeed, I feel that when this is over I will be looking forward to the time off though." As Lucan then teased her about Vinata, Hylota could not help but sigh. "I am the head nurse, I need to prove I am worthy of my post even if it is a token expression of my worth. If we are facing hardship I want to be here with my piers." Not but mere moments after giving her little speech on needing to do this Lucan was tasking Maal to be her aid. Hylota wanted to protest and fight that she did not need any help, but she held her tongue and let things play out, she hoped Maal would refuse truthfully. However as Maal accepted the role Hylota looked to him and then sighed. "Alright then. I was intending to take up a place behind the medical desk and overlook the readouts for patients, keep an eye out for warning signs and allocate the nurses where needed most." She turned to look at Maal. "He will bee a big help at keeping in the loop." In the back of her head she repeated what Maal had said, "I can Brig the administrative work to her." Quite the Freudian slip there, showed Maal was still feeling guilty.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #27
[ Wenn Cinn |Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84] Attn: FollowTomorrow, Kaligos, Auctor Lucan, All Others

The area under the Subspace Acquisition Grid was a relatively large open space, dimly lit with a number of different pieces of equipment strewn about. Cinn didn't pretend to understand what they all did. That was an Engineer's job. It was his task to ensure that they got safely up to the communications tower and ensure that the message got out. So when it was that they beamed into the section, immediately he began to scout the area with his eyes.

There was a number of doors out to various corridors and side rooms that would need to be secured before they could continue. Straining through the dim lights, Cinn believed he would see the hatch which would lead them to the Jefferies Tube. He wasn't exactly looking forward to the climb. As a man of a large size, the tubes themselves were a tight squeeze. He hadn't gotten stuck yet but the irrational part of his brain always worried about it when he was to undertake that specific activity.

"Isley, Cardamone secure those doors." He ordered firmly, pointing out the doors in question. All in the all, he still wasn't sure on Nathaniel Isley. Partially he'd taken on the troubled crewman as a favor to Renard. Cinn had read the reports on the investigation, inconclusive as it was, and wasn't that impressed. He'd give Isley the benefit of the doubt for now but he would be watching closely, ready for the take down.

All at once the color palette of their dim room changed. Red lights bathed the away team. It was completely apparent that the Starbase was now on tactical alert. Putting together an assessment of the situation quickly, Cinn knew they wouldn't be alone for long. "DEFENSIVE POSITIONS!" He called, ensuring his weapon was ready. "Ravenholm, if you could find a way to get that hatch open. I have the feeling we need to move quickly."

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #28
[ Dr. Nicander | Main Sickbay | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Zenozine

"Excellent, then the desk is yours," said Lucan with a smile and made an inviting gesture towards it. Maal still looked a bit embarrassed, but at least it seemed like he would be able to wo-

[Red Alert. Red Alert. All hands to battle stations. Red Alert...]

Thea's announcement on the intercom made the staff in Sickbay aware that something had gone wrong, or at least in regard to the silent and covert approach to the Starbase. By that time, Lucan estimated that the boarding teams would be on the base, but they ought to just have beamed over, and the Theurgy would be facing the collective forces of the Orunal-class base for the entirety of the boarding team's missions, which could last for some time depending on the opposition they faced at their insertion points. Moreover, if the base was aware of the Theurgy's presence, those boarding teams would not have an easier job.

Lucan was split in his thoughts on it, he found. The parasite rejoiced, while he was not certain if he liked the odds for his own survival. Again, that conflict of interest. The doubt he could not shake, not act upon.

"Listen up everyone! Activate the EMH programs in the Battle Sickbays, and make sure the staff there has not ventured too far away. I anticipate that we will be splitting up quite soon," said Lucan and walked over to the wall that held the schedule, tapped a few keys below it, and was instead granted the sight of Starbase 84 - the viewer revealing how the starbase was slowly opening its torpedo launchers along the edge of the mushroom head. His key staff likely gathered behind him, and they'd see what they were up against. "This is it. Prepare to receive wounded personnel and..."

[Warning. MVAM mode countdown initiated. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven...]

"Here we go..." he said and turned to face the Ovri, the Vulcan, the Klingon and the Radiant, along with other staff that had paused to see Starbase84 on display. "As I was saying, patients are to be treated based on their order of urgency. In other words, the Triage System applies."

When their patients arrived, their experienced nurses would evaluate their need for treatment by using the Triage System. Emergency patients first. If there was danger of the patient's life, treatment would begin immediately or as soon as possible. Where there was need for emergency care but no imminent danger to health and functioning, treatment could wait. If there was no emergency care required, the patients would be sent off to their quarters, or anywhere that they wouldn't be in the way.

"May the winds be with us," he said, and switched off the view of Starbase 84 before walking off.

[ Lt Cmdr. Miles Renard | Wolf-01 | Fighter Bay | USS Theurgy ] Attn: The Lone Wolves Squadron

The pilots' jargon had been quite reassuring for Miles as he heard the chatter on the squadron channel, seeing Rawly taunt and jest where she stood in her cockpit. For a moment, he thought that the spirit of the wolves lived on, despite losses, friendly fire and betrayal of trust. Tentatively, he thought that despite how Isley had confessed to neglect, Carver being dead because of it, and the losses from the mutiny, they were still the same as when they had fought Starfleet - before he had ended up in the damaged transporter buffer. Under Jaru Rel' command, they might have lost good pilots to the harrowing chase across the Alpha Quadrant, but they had never lost their spirit.

As Miles now faced the most important battle yet, he doubted himself and his ability to command the Lone Wolves. He told himself that it was not his fault, that what had happened was beyond his control. He liked to believe that... had it not been for that look that Rawley's helmet gave him before she seated herself. In that brief look lay the betrayal she'd placed at his feet - the blame for the tactic he had used in the battle against the Calamity. He tightened his jaw, knowing that while Rawley put on a show, trying to bolster the squadron's spirit... things might never be the same again.

The Red Alert was heard across the Fighter Assault bay, and instead of the tingle of fear for what may come, he found his thoughts going to Sar-unga, whom would be behind enemy lines at that point.

[Allegiant and Lone Wolves, launch now.]

With a sour grimace, Miles closed his eyes, and he pushed away those doubts, his worry for his mate, and tried to focus on what lay ahead. It was too late for second thoughts, or questioning himself. He had a new wingmate in Gun-Shy after Carver died, so he could not afford to show himself to be less the pilot he had been before the mutiny. He tapped his comm system, and gave the orders as he ignited his thrusters at the lowest setting - making his Valkyrie taxi out into the centre lane.

"This is Wolf Leader. We have clearance to  launch. I repeat, we have clearance to launch. Power up all systems and launch by elements," saw his Valkyrie's displays flare to life, detecting the other wolves as their systems came online. "Once out, fall into Echelon Formation and report readiness. We defend Thea by elements... and sink out teeth into anything that comes near her. Wolf Leader out."

With Gun-Shy directly behind him to his left, he ignited his launching thrusters and took off along the flight hangar. He saw the indication on his control panel that Thea was going into MVAM, and when he and Gun-Shy shot out of Vector 02 and came about to face Starbase 84, he could see Thea's Vectors separating. They were to defend all three of them, but it was hardly the first time. It was a lesser concern than that of his squadron, and if they would still be able to function as a pack.

[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All

Behind Jien's back, he knew that the tactical display table would show the Theurgy split into three vectors, and the Lone Wolves would be launching too. Jien could already see the Allegiant on the viewscreen in front of him, having shot off in a roundabout course to provide better sensor readings for Thea and Tactical CONN both. When Trent spoke, it brought a deep frown to Jien's face, and she rose to her feet again, turning to look at her First Officer.

"Why else could they have raised their shields?" she asked, but did not wait for a reply. With a glance towards the readings on the edge of the viewscreen, determining that long range sensors did not pick up any approaching ships in the closest sector, Jien took his query to the officer that had his eyes even further out than they did. "Bridge to Stellar Cartography. Look again, and report immediately on indication that there is anything inbound."

The Stellar Cartography lab had a far greater processing capacity, with its own computer core devoted to rendering results far beyond what long range sensors reached. It was, however, a far more crude instrument - unable to render in real-time like the sensor array's normal data did. Yet whatever delays the readings might have from cartography, imprecise in its output, it might just give them the first indication of hostile ships approaching.
"We might stand without answers now, but we know what we must do," she said, settling the matter for the time being. Better to save any mistakes for the debriefing, and focus on the mission at hand. Already, the torpedo launchers on the starbase were being opened, and the readings shouted of phaser banks being powered up. Weapon signatures inside the space dock. Why was there indication of phaser fire from the base, but no beams shot towards them? Was it their boarding parties? No, hand held phasers did not cause such readings. "Let them make contact first. Whatever time we can gain will be in our favour. Let me know if they try to hail us."

By then, Jien would have expected the bay doors to open, so perhaps, just perhaps, Thea had accomplished to lock it down - preventing all docked starships and fighters from launching against them. "Mister Tovarek, most of your drones will be deployed as a distraction during our escape, but with the base detecting us this early, we might need them before then. How many are fitted with hardpoints?"

[ Thea | Spacedock Control Room | Level 14 | Starbase 84 ] Attn: DocM.

In her background processes, Thea had already breached the starbase LCARS and sealed all spacedock operations, yet it was one thing to close down operating programs and quite another to make sure those programs could not be accessed remotely and reactivated again. So, while she kept her eyes and her rifle pointed to the door from whence she had come, she was also shredding sub-routines and overloading hardware in the wake of her invisible progress. 76 %... 82 %...

He only had hard-wire access to spacedock controls, and around her, consoles flared up as she overloaded them, yet she did not blink, keeping her auditory sensors on what might be happening in the corridor. She detected continued phaser fire, shouts and screams, bodies toppling to the floor, and after a few seconds, only the fizzling circuitry around her was heard. 94 %... 100 %.

She yanked her cord free from the main console and tucked it inside her projection again - her holographic abdomen re-sequenced to cover her emitter again - and then she stepped back to open fire on the console. It was rendered useless in three rapid shots, but she did not linger - already running towards the doors. She paused only to let them open for her, then she was out - eyes along the sights of her rifle.

The sight that met her were six unconscious security guards lying in a disjointed heap upon the floor, neutralised before they were able to mount any defence against the crew from the Theurgy. She turned her head O'Connell's way, and social convention dictated that a small nod of confirmation was in order. "Spacedock lock-down accomplished," she said, turning her head in the direction towards where the primary reactor control room would be. "On to the next objective?"

Unfortunately, the element of surprise would be lost to them, and the guard deployment increased.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #29
[ Dyan Cardamone | Transporter Room 1| USS Theurgy] Attn: Boarding Team 01

Dyan gazed at her teammates, wondering if they'd all make it out alive and how much damage they'd cause on the way to accomplishing their mission. In her mind, she wasn't even sure if they'd achieve their goal. She couldn't trick herself into believing things would work out anymore, now that she's standing on a transporter pad, waiting for the countdown. Her trigger finger itched though, and she was more than ready to take out some pent up aggression, even if their effort may not bear fruit.

The countdown began and the Asurian faced forwards, staring at the wall and waiting with held breath. Mentally, she urged the count down to go faster, damn it, nobody has time for slow counters. At the count of 'three', she released her held breath and tried to force herself to breathe normally. At the count of 'two', she screwed her eyes shut. Keeping them open while transporting had a habit of making her nauseous. At the count of 'one', she gripped her rifle tight...

[ Dyan Cardamone | Insertion Point 01; Subspace Acquisition Grid| Starbase 84 ] Attn: Boarding Team 01

She opened her eyes again to a dimly lit, open area. She could honestly say this was underwhelming, compared to what she was expecting. Wenn Cinn ordered her to secure that door, which she moved to do. It was way too quiet, too dark, nothing was happening--

Ah, there we go, she thought. Red Alarm Klaxons sounded off and echoed around the room and rattled her head. That's the sort of tension she was expecting. "That's more like it!" She called out with a wicked laugh following right after. She took a position just out of sight of the door, in case anyone came running down the hall at them. Nothing would get past her, she thought!

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #30
[IrnaShall ch'Xinya | Stellar Cartography | Deck 15]

The moment the Red Alert klaxons sounded, Shall's eyes looked up from his console, antenna snapping to attention.  Here we go. he cheered in his own head.  With just a few taps the lights came to full and the three main screens came to life.  The familiar mushroom of Starbase 84 filled the center of the middle screen, lights glittering all over its hull as if everything was normal.  Not for long... Shall smiled, eager to get some action after his long recovery.

Standing up and pushing the stool to the side of the platform (just by the junction with the walkway), the Andorian held up his hands as if in supplication.  "Thea, engage holographic systems, object focus: Starbase 84."  A few tones of acknowledgement sounded and the main screens shifted, the starbase zooming forward as if the ship were warping towards it.  Instead of a collision though, the structure materialized in midair directly between Shall's hands and in front of his face.  Testing the new controls, he turned and rolled the hologram, looking for any sign of anything leaving the starbase.

The comm sounded not long after: "Bridge to Stellar Cartography. Look again, and report immediately on indication that there is anything inbound."

"Stand by Captain." Shall answered, eyes already scanning the star field on the screens for any sign of something moving fast.  Nothing was visible, but of course that didn't mean a thing.  "Thea, scan for warp-field distortions in local space beginning with normal lanes and possible hiding spots."  He'd took the opportunity to identify the likely places to hide an ambush beforehand so Thea would know what he was talking about.

While she did that, the scientist tried another tactic.  Accessing the subspace sensors he overlaid the results onto his hologram.  In an instant the faux-starbase lit up with all sorts of false colors showing different subspace signals it was emitting by strength.  Most of it was bare while there were a number of bright spots at strategic places across the hull, clearly its own subspace sensors.  The comm array blazed with a bright white, but it caught Shall's eye for more than that.  Shifting the station and zooming in so that he could focus on the array, Shall then had the display run backwards through time.  The results were just what he thought, as strange as it was: the output of the comm array was steady, and not of the strength needed for an open hail.

In short, Starbase 84 wasn't talking to anyone on the outside.  As soon as its Red Alert kicked in the internal communications lit up sections like a Christmas tree, and the strongest source before that was a small cluster in the docking areas.  Something was going on in there, but Shall didn't want to guess.  He had his own question to answer.  Speaking of which, "Stellar Cartography to Bridge, there's no sign of anything coming out of hiding, and the station hasn't made any attempts to call for help."

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #31
[Provisional Ensign Lin Kae| Main Engineering| USS Theurgy]
Attn: Auctor Lucan

When Rihen gave him the little hug, Kae couldn't help but flinch inside as he still wasn't at ease with what he was going through at present and it made him uncertain about how he felt about people who before he had certain feelings for.

Rihen for instance; did he really feel the way that he had felt for her or was he just projecting how he felt onto her without meaning to?

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted when she slapped him on the arse and he bit the inside of his left cheek by accident as he really wasn't focused as he should be on things at that moment. "If you say so, Rihen. I'm just hoping that I don't fuck this up like I did the last time.." he said in a slightly bitter tone as he kept his eyes on the various feeds going through the systems and waited for his chance to redeem himself.

Suddenly the intense and sharp stabbing pain erupted behind his left eye and he quickly whipped his left hand up to massage the space next to his left temple with two fingers pressing firmly against it as he fought back the now semi-familiar feeling. "oh prophet's please..not now.." he muttered hopefully.

[ Chris "Husker" Slayton | Wolf 04 | Fighter Bay | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All In Fighter Bay.

Husker couldn't help but smirk just a little bit about Ghost's comments and simply replied with "Well where it comes to the drinks, as my oldest brother would say why don't you put your credit's where your mouth drink a pint for every fighter I down and vice versa, Ghost." before he turned his head to face the Brisish pilot's bird and gave her a wolfish smile. "Or do you not have the stomach to face a real drinking challenge?" he teased further.

Once he was done however, his bravado went away as he turned his head to look over at Tessa's fighter and silently hoped that they would make it through the mission as he was really hoping to see where his..thing, whatever it was...that the two of them had started that had lead to much confusion on his part would go and while he wasn't used to it, he was actually enjoying the feeling of uncertainty and looking forward to more of it amusingly enough.

Husker quickly opened up a private channel to Goldeneye's fighter and said quietly into it "Hey, what do you say that after all of the combat and bravado, you come by my quarters and we just chill. You, me, the bed and just the quiet. Think you'd be up for it?"

As he waited for an answer, the call went out for the squadron to be deployed and Husker's attention became rather focused on the operation ahead as the Wolves waited to have their leashes slipped..

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #32
[Nathanal Isley | Insertion Point 01; Subspace Acquisition Grid| Starbase 84 ] Attn: Boarding Team 01

In all honesty Nathan was far from a fan of transporters. One of the advantages of being a pilot was the fact that he had rarely had to deal with the things. He didn't suffer from any anxiety about them but they also never sat well with him. Not since the academy where he had overheard a bunch of science officers talking.

"So they don't really transport you, they just rip you apart, scan you, and reconstruct those bits into a clone of you somewhere else. In essence they are killing you every time they work."

Leave it to the sciences to ruin a perfectly good magical device. Once they got to the landing point he nodded towards Cinn as he was given an order. "Yes Sir."

Nathan was still very much trying to learn the paces of security work. He honestly had been expected to pass over this entire trip. It presented him with a lot of backs he had to cover. He had been sure to keep the safety of his rifle on, and as he moved to press his back against a wall covering his door he looked to Cardamone, who he was working with on keeping the flank clear.

The last time he had been watching someones back it hadn't gone very well. This time his heart rate was normal, and he felt fine. He had skipped breakfast unlike last time and while he was hungry he also wasn't hallucinating or so he thought... yay for progress?

Taking the safety off his rifle he set it to a low stun. He wasn't going to take any chances this time. "Okay, doors covered."

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #33
[ Ryuan Sel | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: AuctorLucan & Nolan

She knew the plan, she knew the drill, and as the transporter beam released it's grip on her, Ryuan knew her fate was far less certain. Taking a moment to acclimate herself with the complex, it was one thing to see it on paper or even in a holodeck another to know this was the real deal, Ryuan immediately began scanning the room. Ida's orders came as expected and she nodded. She was the pointed end of the stick this time, the surprise for the defenders, and she would be lying if she didn't feel fear.

But the mission required her to pretend she was station security and for this she'd grown out her hair and lost the earring, making her look a lot more like just another Starfleet officer, more likely to blend in amongst the throngs of security aboard the station. Her hope was to not be noticed, the grenades she stowed on her person ignored until it was too late. She also knew she was most likely going to be injured or killed by the time this was done, her two grenades were at maximum stun and she hoped she wouldn't be caught in the blast, otherwise she would be out cold.

Moving towards a place where she could se the approaching guards, but also look like she was at her post, Ryuan moved out to a vantage point just beyond the executive complex, and in the main path of any advancing security forces.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #34
[ Tessa May Lance | Wolf 07 | Outer space | Near the USS Theurgy ] 

As Tessa sat in her cockpit and attempted to put herself into "the zone" Commander Renard's voice came through her helmet.

"This is Wolf Leader. We have clearance to launch. I repeat, we have clearance to launch. Power up all systems and launch by elements.  Once out, fall into Echelon Formation and report readiness. We defend Thea by elements... and sink out teeth into anything that comes near her. Wolf Leader out."

One by one the Valkyries played follow the leader and launched themselves into the black.  As the USS Theurgy separated into three warp capable starships, the squadron of fighters formed a 'V' with Renard's fighter at the corner.  Once the action started they would divide into elements.  Iron-Fox and Gun-Shy would be the lead element, Morrigan and Husker was the next one. Ghost was paired with Hat Trick, AKA Quint Birch and Outrider AKA Ensign Gregor Strand was paired with Chief Petty Officer Carolina Archer, callsign Game. That left Goldeneye and Hurl AKA Tessa and Hurl together for the duration.  All of Renard's pilots were ordered to report their readiness, so Tessa didn't hesitate once she was in formation.  "Wolf-Seven and Wolf-Eight standing by."

Tessa expected to hear the other Wolves checking in.  Instead she heard a familiar husky voice in her headset over a private channel.  "Hey, what do you say that after all of the combat and bravado, you come by my quarters and we just chill. You, me, the bed and just the quiet. Think you'd be up for it?"

The absurdity of Husker's flirting when the squadron was staring death in the face struck Tessa as funny and she laughed out loud.  She should have been furious at him but what could possibly embody that 'Death or Glory Spirit' more than making a date for after the suicide mission?  Replying over the secure channel Tessa decided to go with the flow.  "I'll be there with bells on big boy," she assured him.  At this point it didn't matter if either one of them had any energy to do more than sleep.  The important thing was something to look forward to.  Tessa had gone into this mission assuming it was going to be the last one she ever flew, one way or another.   Husker's offer promised that somehow, someway, there would be a tomorrow.

[ Maya | Deck 11 | Main Sickbay | USS Theurgy ]

"As I was saying, patients are to be treated based on their order of urgency," Doctor Nicander said as he tore his pale grey eyes from the view of  Starbase slowly opening its torpedo launchers along the edge of the mushroom head. "In other words, the Triage System applies."

"Understood Doctor," Maya acknowledged with a respectful nod.
"May the winds be with us," he quietly invoked before replacing the view of the medical department's duty schedule and walking away. 

Maya glanced at the alien who called herself the deceptively Terran name of Heather McMillan.  "As an orderly you'll be assisting the nurses," she informed the little radiant.  "Herbert and Maal will be working in main sickbay today so you'll be receiving most of your instructions from them."


[ MCPO William Robert O'Connell | Corridor outside the Spacedock Control Room | Level 14 | Starbase 84 ]  

The six security specialists didn't have a chance.  O'Connell's team got the drop on them and once they were hit with by the TR-120s they dropped like flies and hit the deck.  Cam, Keyah, and Rivard rose to their feet. 

"Okay let's move like we got a purpose," O'Connell hissed.  "Luff whut you doin'?"

"I'm making sure we don't get snuck up on you Terran turdpole!" the Telarite grunted back.  Even when speaking softly his deep baritone seemed booming.  "All of you younglings are lucky to have someone experienced like me who can stay alert!"

"Spacedock lock-down accomplished," Thea reported as she glided up behind Luff.

Luff jumped and made a squealing noise like pig.  Hearing such a high pitched sound coming from the deep voiced Luff made O'Connell blink and take a step backwards.

"Careful there Luff, I don't think they heard you on Rigel," SCPO Verguy Cam quipped as his antenna wriggled like two caterpillars engaged in rhythmic dance.

"Stuff it up your blue backside Cam!" Gimli Luff growled.

"On to the next objective?" Thea continued as if Chief Warrant Officer Gimli Luff, the veteran of over two and a half decades in Starfleet, hadn't been frightened like a little girl.

"Darn tootin'," O'Connell grunted as he led the team down the corridor.  "We gotta get to th' reactor room afore they put up th' security forcefields!  Let's move out, double time!"

They made good time, until they reached the section of the corridor where the upper half of the right wall was a thick, transparent aluminum window overlooking the base's immense internal spacedock.  Then they got distracted.  Boy howdy, did they get distracted.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #35
[ Cameron Henshaw | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: AuctorLucan & Summerdawn

Cameron fell in behind Zaraq as they took cover behind the furniture of the lounge. Henshaw could feel her heartbeat pound in the throat as she looked over the tables to see what was going on. Her fingers would be trembling as she really wasn't exactly fit for field combat. She felt somewhat safer in the SAFTi gear yet she believed it could be a false feeling of security as the starbase guards wouldn't be working on stun settings as their base was being boarded.

She looked over at Zaraq and asked him softly "How long do we need to stay here?" the adrenaline rushing through her veins had rendered her sense of time to nothing as she imagined they'd been siting her for far too long already. She needed to talk to the commander of the base, her adoptive father. She wanted to do something where she could make herself useful. Moving a little in her place it was obvious that Henshaw was becoming restless and impatient of waiting here.

Her eyes followed Ida now, the blue skinned warrior that seemed to be at te ready for the incoming patrols to be dealt with. Cameron bit her lower lip as she asked Zaraq once more "Shouldn't you be next to her to cover her more?"

[ Simon Tovarek | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Ives

Tovarek stood at his station as he processed the raw data that came pouring in. He shook his head as he didn't get why the station was at red alert already. It didn't make any sense to him before Ives asked him a question. He looked up from his station and glanced over at Ives "I'd have to check with the flight deck captain, but I believe we should have a dozen of the drones ready to be deployed instantly. We do still have another eighteen being fitted for our escape, but those aren't ready for active combat yet." he replied to Ives.

He sent a quick message down to the flight deck to receive confirmation and once it came in he nodded "A dozen drones at the ready captain. Do you want to launch them now?" he queried as he looked over to S'Iti. Her jocks about to take control over his drones and use them to their skills to be as annoying as possible to base defensive wings.

[ Amelya Duv | Transporter Room | Deck 12 | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy  ]

With a security team and some combat medics Amelya Duv prepared herself for an eventual deployment on the starbase. Duv wasn't present at Sickbay as she figured she could be needed more as a medical officer in the field. Armed with a hand phaser and her medical gear strapped on her back, Amelya looked at the people who were with her. The group consisting out of a group of 3 more medical staff and 4 crewmen of security. They were wearing the SAFTI gear yet did not have the rifles the boarding teams had. Instead they had the standard issue assault rifle phasers set to stun nevertheless.

The tension was hanging in the air as Duv smiled and said "Alright ladies and gentlemen. Time to wait for our cue." she felt a little nervous but then again who wouldn't be on this moment throughout the entire ship. So to relieve the tension a bit she started with small talk with the medical and security staff. They were just abiding their time while the mission clock just ticked further and further...

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #36
[Selena Ravenholm | Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84]

The moment the transporter was finished Selenia was sweeping the room with her TR-120, but instead of looking for hostiles she was looking for points where she could link into the Starbase's system or even some fun toys that might be around.  Unlike the others on the team, her occular implants gave her perfect vision in the dim lighting, and she was even able to filter out the effects of the red alert lighting when it snapped on.  "That was fast!" the woman growled over the alarm.

Cinn started barking orders in an instant, and Selena was already ahead of him.  "I'm on it!."  she practically yells as she crouch-runs to the door.  Locked of course, but it was child's play to pry the control panel off and reset the control chips to override the lock.  Ready to open it, the cyborg turns to Cinn and nods, waiting for the go ahead.  Quickly tapping her right temple, the gunsight view from her TR-120 appeared on the right side of her vision and a quick thought command overlaid that with some targeting assistance.

Hefting the large rifle with the one hand for the moment, Selena's hand hovered over the now-functional door control.  The moment Cinn gives the word, the door is open, and anything waiting on the other end would be in for quite the surprise.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #37
[ Sithick | USS Allegiant Warp Core Room ] Attn: Auctor, Angles

Bringing the Allegiant online meant powering up the warp core, and bringing everything online. The room was a bustle with the three man team, and it's largest member was no different as he ran the gambit of checklists and safety's that had been drilled into him by Starfleet training. He hadn't powered on many ships in his time with the Federation he had normally been with them when they were already started, or he had been working on a station where they were parking. Each time he went through these lists there was something new and exciting to learn.

Seeing the Warp Core come to life and the room start to fill with all that all too familiar pulsating noise as matter and antimatter were smashed together to grant the rest of the ship power. All of it contained by heavy shielding and directed to every station aboard the ship. So far it seemed that power was getting everywhere it was supposed to go. They were clean for launch, and good for warp if they needed it.

There was an increase of heat throughout the room, engineering was always the warmest part of the ship, that was why Sithick enjoyed it so much. Giving one final check of the list as he blinked he raised a claw and pressed his com badge, and slowly leaned his head towards the thing. While his normal speech was with an accent, his translator cleaned up the radio chatter. Even so his voice was low like a guttural growl. He lacked higher pitches, but was eager to report in. "Sithick to bridge all checklis's report positive. Zhe warp core iz ready at your servize."

ending the transmission he looked over the team. He had two cadets in his midst, the other member of his current three man team. He felt at ease for a moment. The ensign on the bridge was his commanding officer, but for the moment his team was moving smoothly even if the cadets did as they always did and gave him a wide breath of air. He was a little nervous being one of the more experienced in the room he never really thought he would get to give any kind of orders to a team.

For now though he was well within his element, and he took a moment to have his nostrils flair his broad chest expand and his mind to be calm, awaiting orders and problems.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #38
[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All

"A dozen drones at the ready captain. Do you want to launch them now?"

Tovarek's voice made Jien turn her eyes to the Science Officer, but she shook her head. "Let's not play that card just yet. We might need them soon, so power them up and ready them for launch for the time being. Trent, have the drone pilots stand by for immediate deployment."

No more had she given the order than she heard a chirp from the intercom. “Stellar Cartography to Bridge, there’s no sign of anything coming out of hiding, and the station hasn’t made any attempts to call for help.”

"That is bound to change soon, so keep your eyes on that horizon for the time being. Ives out."

The starbase had yet to open fire, even though its tactical systems were primed against them. Indicators on the edge of the bridge's viewscreen showed that they were locked on to by the closet torpedo launchers on the base, and the power signatures from the phaser banks suggested that they too were set to fire any moment. Ives turned to Trent. "Inform the other two vectors to circle the base at a distance. Gamma and Theta manoeuvres, to make the base have to switch launchers when trying to keep a lock on us. Also, prepare all measures that the EW suite can summon. Scramble their sensors. Lieutenant S'Iti, execute Gamma-1 manoeuvre to starboard. Keep us mobile and keep the distance."

"Aye, Captain," the Cardassian ex-Marquis said from the helm, seated next to Stark.

[Incoming transmission,] announced Thea on the intercom. [Audio only.]

"Let's hear it." Jien raised her chin and kept her hands closed at her sides.

[This is Captain Hawthorne. Starbase 84 will defend itself by whatever means necessary. Subspace calls have been dispatched to all starships within range. Surrender, and you will be spared. If any hostile action is taken, we will open fire. Either way, your voyage ends here.]

Jien had expected as much. Time was precious, and there was no telling what kind of forces Stellar Cartography would pick up from there on out. Long range sensors would later yield the details, but if the Andorian on Vector 3 could give them any indication, it would help. She took a breath, about to answer...

A new chirp was heard. [Another transmission, Captain.] Thea patched it through.

[This is Starbase 84. We have detected your boarding parties. You had your chance, and already, you force my hand. Hawthorne out.]

The distant base lit up when he first barrage of torpedoes launched, and streaks of phaser beams pierced the darkness. Jien clenched her jaw, and she needn't even look at Trent or S'Iti to to alert them. She knew the base commander to be tough before she knew where he had been posted - on the edge of the RNZ - and regardless how his daughter might be aboard for all he knew, he certainly did not make any compromises when it came to the thousands of people he was charged to protect. Duty above all. Justice. She had read his file many times. Jien would still attempt to speak with Hawthorne, but she had to change gears completely in her rhetoric, and let the first volley pass to make herself heard. Her thoughts went to the teams on the base...

...hoping they would still make it through.

[ Lt JG Evelyn "Ghost" Rawley | Wolf-09 | Cockpit ] Attn: The Lone Wolves Squadron & the Allegiant

Husker had challenged Rawley to a drinking competition if they made it back, and she had gladly accepted before they launched, thinking that the new pup really did not know what he was up against.

Once they were in echelon formation, Rawley reported in. "Wolf-Zero-Nine and One-Zero both standing by," she said, speaking for both herself and Hat Trick to save some time. The Tactical HUDs screamed of weapon signatures from the base, and she expected anything to happen, and quite soon. Once the whole, diminished pack had reported in to Renard - her element being last - he spoke up on the squadron channel.

[This is Wolf Leader. Wolves one through four, we defend Vector 01. Outrider and Game, you take Vector 02.] Since the carrier section of the ship had most teeth, Rawley had expected that it would only get two wolves even before the briefing they'd had before the launch. Lastly, Miles told Tessa and her the obvious. [The rest of you, you have Vector 03. Wolf Leader out.]

Rawley could not help feeling the butterflies in her stomach. This was it. This wa-

Warnings flared up. The HUD glared red, indicating enemy fire. "Shit!" She dove, rolled to port, and thick phaser beams overshot her - missing her with a few feet and turning her entire cockpit orange in the glare. "Hat Trick, come on!"

Together with her wingmate, she shot off towards where Vector 03 was - hoping Goldeneye and Hurl were on their six. In the distance, she thought she saw the Allegiant being fired upon too. Fuck, how could the shit have hit the fan already? The tossers on the base really didn't mess around...

OOC: Another post is due here for the boarding teams. :)

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #39
[ Boarding Team 01 | Below the Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84 ] Attn: 1) Arista 2) FollowTomorrow 3) chXinya

Just when Ravenholm announced that the boarding team had access, opening the door, the inbound security detail did not come from there. No, it would seem evident that their 'new' life-sign readings on the base had been picked up by starbase security, and the arrival was heralded by a sound of a transporter beam-in - six figures slowly materialising twenty yards away.

"Incoming!" called one of the NCOs on Wenn Cinn's team, just before he got behind cover - taking aim against the figures that were about to solidify. His name was Calvin Reagar, and some would call him a veteran - having seen combat at Bajor, Cardassia, and Dorvan V. He'd fought in the Dominion War as well as the Borg's in Sector 001. Yet as experienced as he was, hand-picked to be aboard the Theurgy by Wenn Cinn himself, it was never easy to face the inevitable fact of the first engagement. His stomach tied up in knots, teeth bared in determination in spite it all, he had already powered up his TR-120. Terrain was shit, but he had a clear shot. The detail would be present within four seconds - emerging out of the transporter buffer. One second left.

"Right flank, two targets," he called to Wenn Cinn's team, telling them which ones he'd shoot, and leaving the other four guards for them to dispose of. Said and done, he exhaled, eased the trigger in twice, and he took out two of the guards consecutively before they even took as much as one step.

Then, his aim swivelled towards the remaining targets, anticipating they'd be falling too...

[ Boarding Team 02 | Thea | Spacedock Control Room | Level 14 | Starbase 84 ] Attn: DocM.

While she had noticed how she'd accidentally frightened the Telarite on O'Connell's team, she did not allow it to pause progress for the mission - asking if they should set out instead. She heard the trade of comments too, but pushed the recording and analysis of the exchange to her background processes. Fortunately, O'Connell gave the order swiftly that they needed to move on. So, as according to how they'd drilled their movement back on one of her holodecks, she fell in line and moved with the organics - rifle at the ready.

The fact that she could not rely on internal sensors telling her what lay ahead forced her to rely entirely on the optical sensors in her projection - her eyes - and trust that the simulations done for this phase of the boarding plan had been accurate. After all, they had run down this corridor a hundred times together. Therefore, the difference from the simulation was instantly seen when they passed by a thick, transparent aluminium window overlooking the base's immense internal spacedock.

For what she saw there made her emotion chip send too much data to handle. She gasped at the sight, straggling behind. The reactor control room was far down the corner in the next intersection, but she had no reason to pause. She just couldn't help it - the repercussions of her actions too vivid. "No...."

She had sealed the docking bay doors shut, as according to plan, but one of the risk elements when doing that had been underestimated. The Red Alert had been sounded, and the base was launching its warp interceptors to deal with the threat of the Theurgy. The interceptors were built for speed and not for precise manoeuvrability. So, Thea's eyes were wide as she saw the first wave strike against the massive bay doors, or veering off in desperation to survive, only to collide with their wingmates. The staccato conflagrations reflected against her wide eyes as much as upon her digital soul. "No!"

As ghastly as the sight was, it was made more horrible by the scene's silence - no air in the spacedock acting as a conduit for the explosions. She imagined to feel the reverberations when the fuselages hit the bay doors, lighting up the corridor where she lingered. The data from her emotion chip first clogged her processor with the number of lives lost from what she could see, odds for injured too. Another analysis showed how the dead damaged Ives' credibility too, undermining the Theurgy's mission. One objective was to not kill anyone unless they were forced to do so in self-defence. From Thea's vantage point, she thought between thirty and forty interceptors were compromised in their launch, and the spacedock was filling up with with the rest of the base's Air Group, soon to be two hundred crafts with nowhere to go. Thea also saw how one damaged Luna-class ship was trying to manoeuvre through the debris field and interceptors, but the rest of the docked starships remained upon their docking pylons - locked there by her.

Worst of the emotional impact was that she was reminded of the first time she had killed Starfleet officers, forced to do so by the infected staff during the Niga Incident. They had puppettered her projection and made her kill Head Nurse Jovela among others, and those acts - while not entirely her fault - were still etched into her memory banks. Now, she war directly responsible for forty people, and their surviving families.

The horror she was made to feel by the datafeed had stopped her in her tracks, but for the organics, it was just a matter of seconds until O'Connell noticed it. Those seconds were more than enough to make her realise what she had done, and how unfortunate the timing of those launching orders were. They had not counted on the Red Alert... but they should have. Thea raised her free hand and covered her mouth, and the tears that were close at hand might not have been organic, but still just as real for her.

"This w-was not supposed to happen... It was not in the simulations," she said, regardless if anyone heard her. She knew she had to move on, but the data built exponentially with each horrible conclusion reached - the raw guilt eating up all her reserve memory.

[ Boarding Team 03 | ThanIda zh'Wann | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Nolan & Summerdawn

Ida had a good vantage point where she hid, and while she heard Henshaw's restlessness and her hushed conversation with Zaraq, she did not look away from the entrance to the EOC or where the security detail would likely show up - coming to fortify this key area on Starbase 84. She knew that Ensign Ryuan would be in place by then, so it was just a matter of waiting for a short while longer. The problem was that every second made it more likely that their life-signs would be detected. That they had beamed into a public place had helped a lot, giving them more time than Wenn Cinn's team would have at the top of the base.

Zaraq had merely shrugged with a massive shoulder when Henshaw asked how much longer they had to wait. Then, when she asked if Zaraq shouldn't be closer to Ida so that he might protect her, Ida almost turned her head to give the Captain's yeoman a raised eyebrow. As it were, she remained motionless, eyes still down the sight of her rifle, and Zaraq gave his answer.

"The Deputy can take care of herself," he rumbled in a low voice. "You are a key component to our mission..." When Ida heard him say this, she could almost hear in his pause that the Klingon meant to say that Ensign Henshaw did not have the same training or experience, but it seemed that his time in exile had taught him some modicum of respectful manners, yet perhaps that was only because the two of them came from the Harbinger that he showed good manners.

Then, the security reinforcements arrived into the lobby, six people filing in through the double doors to the open area of the lobby and heading for the glass entrance of the EOC. Ida raised a hand in Henshaw's and Zaraq's direction to silence them, but she never looked away.

Where is Sel? Ida wondered, until she saw movement behind the six guards. The walk across the lobby would take ten seconds at the most, then the Bajoran would have to act; taking advantage of the transparent blast walls opening - making the present, small detail inside vulnerable too. By Lor-Vela, let her timing be true...

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #40
[ Commander Trent | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All

From where he stood at Tactical, Trent was keeping an eye on Yukimura as he was manning the EW suite.  When the Lieutenant brought up that new addition to Theurgy's capabilities, he knew to start slow.  The goal was to gradually bring up the barrage of background noise, to do so slowly enough that the sensor watch on the Starbase would not have an idea of what was hitting them.  However, for the time being the reactive jammer was kept offline for the time being.  After all, there was value in keeping things under wrap for a time.

And additionally, he had made sure that the point-defence grid, for the time being, would be limited to the clusters that were installed as part of Theurgy's original fit, as opposed to some of the pallets that had been acquired on Black Opal.  And what was currently free to fire, it had taken him and Arisaka some time but they had come up with a way to step down the apparent effectiveness by inserting 'dummy fire' into each burst of defensive fire in order to give the illusion of system degradation and loss of performance. 

Starbase 84 would see a ship that had been through hell and back and was accordingly operating below its design specifications, but in reality they would find she was as good as new, if not better.

But if anything, Trent was watching the sensor readings coming from the Starbase.  There was indeed some phaser fire, and definite targeting sensor emissions.  And one active warp signature within the spacedock.  And with further examination, the Executive Officer had to speak up.  "Captain, there is one ship active in there, and a lot of auxiliary craft.  It's the Resolve, Ma'am,  Believed lost three years ago."  However, before he could continue, hailing frequencies were opened.

When Hawthorne hailed them first, Trent spoke in his boom mike.  "All fighters, all vectors, stand by to receive fire.  Allegiant, set up your sensor picket, keep an eye out for incoming starships.  Be ready for action."

But there was little time to get reports, because the Starbase was opening fire.  "Incoming torpedoes!  Point-defence active and tracking."  As the warheads came in closer, pulses of rapid phaser fire lanced out from the three vectors and intercepted the incoming fire.  The Starbase's phasers, on the other hand, found the shields.  "Shields are holding."

And now, it was time to establish space superiority.  "Mister Arisaka, have your fighter element launch a tetryon strike and follow it up with two passes with your pulse phaser.  Your target is the Starbase's tactical control array.  Take it out."

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #41
[Jaya Thorne | USS Allegiant Bridge] Attn: Auctor, Kaligos, Allegiant Bridge Crew

Jaya tapped her index finger lightly against the edge of the helm control display.  She clenched and unclenched her jaw as her eyes flicked back and forth from her touch screen to the main viewer.  As soon as her CO gave the order, Jaya's fingers hit the newly ingrained sequence and the ship launched from dock 10.  Her ship.  Jen may have been the CO, but she wasn't at the helm.  Jaya was.   And as the Allegiant left the Theurgy's dock, a smirk appeared on Jaya's face.  There was nowhere the PO1 felt more at home than at the helm, piloting a starship.  It had taken years for her to get to this point with Starfleet, but as the Allegiant's drive activated and the craft dove into the vastness of space, Jaya knew everything had been worth it.  This was where she was meant to be, here in this moment, and nothing would steal this perfect memory from her.

Jaya's hands reacted nimbly to her CO's orders as she input their heading and calculated for the Starbase's phaser range.  It was a tricky line to walk, being close enough for accurate sensor readings but far enough away that you weren't in danger of being fired upon.  Jaya maneuvered the Allegiant as she had been taught since they had arrived on the Theurgy, but she had to guesstimate what the phaser range might be.  There was a standard range for ships, shuttlecraft and bases, and those were the numbers she was using.  She hoped she was right, but they wouldn't know until SB84 fired on them.

As the com filled with reports of 'mission-a-go' Jaya thought the hard part was over.  Their plans had been launched and now all that remained was to stay focused on the mission at hand.  She rechecked her heading and made a slight adjustment to bring the Allegiant a little further away.  Sensor readings were still strong and full, but she worried about her calculations regarding the Starbase.  While the Allegiant was an amazing little ship, she doubted it could hold out long against the full weapons array of a Starbase. 

"The Lone Wolves are away and in formation.  Bringing the Allegiant about to stay out of the line of fire."

But the prideful, happy sentiments Jaya had been enjoying had disappeared when the ship was rocked with a cursory blast from the Starbase.  "Shit.." She mumbled under her breath as her fingers rapidly input a new heading to move even further away from the base.  Apparently the Starbase could hit them, or at least graze their shields enough to make her uncomfortable.  "Moving to maximum sensor range!"  She'd be damned if her first real flight in more than 5 years was going to be her last.
"Relationships are not my strong suit; I deal in evenings."
 - Jaya Thorne, Asst. Chief CONN Officer, Ensign [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #42
[IrnaShall ch’Xinya | Stellar Cartography | Deck 15]

“That is bound to change soon, so keep your eyes on that horizon for the time being. Ives out.”

Of that, Shall was certain.  There’s no way a major starbase like SB84 was going to be alone for more than an hour at best.  With a literal push, the holographic version of Starbase 84 was shut down and the cartography system reset to the 2D screens only.  Almost as soon as the station was on the screen the communications array lit up like a beacon.  “There goes the call!” Shall calls out to the room, not sure if Thea was listening.  “Where’s it going…” he mutters, fingers flying over the console.  The screens moved quickly, the view rolling and pitching as the Andorian tried to follow the subspace broadcast’s path.  And then, there it was, a reply.  The tight-beam subspace transmission came screaming through the space underneath the cosmos in an instant.

Setting that vector directly in the middle of the wall screen, Shall switched the view away from the subspace sensors and overlaid data from multiple sensor suites.  Visible light would be useless of course, but thankfully he didn’t need it.  Taking control of the long range sensors the way he was wasn’t part of his normal duties, normally he’d be part of damage control in combat situations, but this was different.  The bridge crew had their hands full with the Starbase itself, so it was up to him to be the ship’s eyes in the distance.

Speaking of the Starbase, the first volley hit Vector-3’s shields.  It wasn’t much of a hit, just enough to throw the Andorian into his console.  Bracing himself on the edge of it, it was just an annoyance.  So far.  Momentarily distracted though, the information Shall needed almost escaped his notice thanks to the numerous chart lines and false color overlays on the screen.  Transferring the data chart to his console, antenna rose straight up and quivered a bit.  There was a massive ion bloom on the outskirts of a system approximately 6 light years away.  It was too far out to look for the characteristic warp bubble distortions, but an ion bloom of that size in that location could only mean one thing.

“Stellar Cartography to Bridge!  I’m reading reinforcements approximately 6 light years out, we’re looking at maybe 30 minutes maximum before they get here.  Short end could be as little as 10.”

[Selena Ravenholm | Below the Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84]

The moment Reagar made the call about the incoming transporter beam, Selena whirled around and knelt in a combat stance, TR-120 up with both hands.  The targeting reticle in her VISOR shifted around as the cyborg picked her targets.  It would be much for efficient to use a wider beam to take down the entire team, but from where she was there was no way keep members of her team outside of the shot.  “Left flank, two targets.” she called out, settling on the two semi-materialized forms on the outside.

Reagar may have been a good shot, but he wasn’t blessed with cybernetic upgrades like Ms. Ravenholm was.  The moment the transporter beam released the security team, two imperceptible projectiles smacked both of Selena’s targets square in the chest.  Thanks to her VISOR she could see the normally invisible magnetic pulse that disables their nervous systems, causing them to drop like sacks of meat.  Reagar's victims fell a fraction of a second after hers, and for a brief moment she felt pity for the poor saps in the middle of the formation, they were bound to get multiple hits.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #43
[ Tessa May Lance | Wolf 07 | Outer space | Within phaser range of Starbase 84 ] 

Tessa's Heads Up Display (HUD) revealed the weapons hardpoints on the station powering up.  Tessa felt her stomach clench as she focused on the job at hand.

[This is Wolf Leader,] Commander Trent's voice murmured in Tessa's ears. [Wolves one through four, we defend Vector 01. Outrider and Game, you take Vector 02.  The rest of you, you have Vector 03. Wolf Leader out.]

The warning chime sounded as Tessa's HUD indicating a weapon's lock.   "I'm spiked!" Tessa cried.  "Hurl, Beta one to port!" she cried as she climbed slightly and then dove hard to port, just in time to avoid a phaser beam that was wider than her fighter. 

To her relief the voice of her wingmate filled her helmet.  "Copy that Goldeneye.  I'm on your six."

"Acknowledged Hurl," she said as they followed Ghost and Hat Trick to the Theurgy's Vector 03.  "Stay with us and try not get yourself killed!"

[ MCPO William Robert O'Connell | Corridor outside the Spacedock | Level 14 | Starbase 84 ]  

"No!" Thea whined.

O'Connell stared at the destruction in the spacedock in mute disbelief as the first interceptors to launch met their doom.  What was happening?  How could this happen?  Why did they launch when the doors weren't open?  In a flash it hit him.  The computer didn't know the spacedock doors weren't open.  Otherwise it would have corrected the problem or sent a safety override to the fighters that the pilots would have to manually disengage if they wanted to launch.  And the dipshit pilots were so dependent on the data from their flight computers that a half dozen of them hadn't bothered to look out their cockpit window before activating their main thrusters.  Who the hell had given them permission to launch?  Thea should have kayoed everyone in spacedock control.  The gorram fighters shouldn't have launched without permission from spacedock control.  Mister Murphy of Murphy's Law fame was definitely stationed here.

"Oh my god," Johnson muttered.  "What happened?  Is the station under attack?"

Verguy Cam tore his Andorian eyes away from the carnage to give the bearded human a dirty look.

"Besides from us I mean," Johnson corrected himself lamely.

"Master Chief, we're supposed to be the good guys..." Manfredi muttered.

"We are!" Billy Bob O'Connell growled.  "It's not our fault they couldn't tear their eyes from their panels to look out the window!"  O'Connell's face flushed when he realized that the accident in the spacedock had created doubts and demoralized the team.  Without conviction in their purpose, without their fire in the belly, the boarding party wouldn't have the initiative to commit the violence of action to minimize their area of vulnerability and they would increase their chances of being neutralized by the station's security forces.  In other words, if they second guessed themselves now they would screw up and make mistakes.  They would hesitate and get themselves killed.  The Theurgy would be destroyed, disabled, or driven away and the bad guys would win.  It was time to nip this in the bud.  "Get ahold of yourselves!" O'Connell barked.  "We can't afford to get soft now!   We gotta be as ruthless as unfeeling as a computer right now and get the job done!  You don't see Thea makin' a fuss do ya?"

Cam rolled his eyes as he, Keyah, and Rivard stepped away from the transparent aluminum wall to reveal Thea to Billy Bob's vision.  The holographic girl was staring into the spacedock in mute horror, her innocent brown eyes misting up and a hand over her mouth. 

O'Connell rolled his own eyes before stepping forward and putting a hand on Thea's shoulder.  "Hey, it wasn't your fault," he assured her.

"This w-was not supposed to happen... It was not in the simulations," the digital damsel stammered.  Whatever algorithm that governed her morality threatened to overwhelm her completely.  She looked as miserable as a Cardassian who couldn't lie.

"It ain't your fault Miz Thea," O'Connell insisted as he put his large meaty hands on her shoulders and turned her away from the window to face him.  "It's the fault of the officer who gave 'em permission to launch.  You took out the fellers in Spacedock Control.  They should have been waiting fur the okay and somebody gave it to 'em," he said.  "Somebody who's tryin' t' make us look bad.  That's the only explanation that makes sense, Thea.  The enemy decided to sacrifice 'em to give us a bad name."

That did the trick.  It was like a light was activated in the eyes of the rest of the boarding party.  Guilt and horror had been replaced by righteous anger and grim determination.  Their warrior's edge had been restored, and they had what it took to get the job done.

Were Billy Bob's words true?  Who knew?  Probably not.  The ding-dong who had given the order probably thought the doors were open, but right now, who cared?  O'Connell thought it was true and had managed to convince the others.  Now if only Thea was convinced.  He didn't need her guilt eroding the determination of the boarding party.  The rest of the team would take her word as gospel.

"Now don't say a word, Miz Thea," he ordered as he wagged a fatherly finger at her.  "You jest suck it up and get the job done.  We got too much work to do.  People are depending on us."   He looked up from her to address the rest of the team.  "Come on let's get along now, and vamoose afore we git spotted!  Move like you've got a purpose!"

"Yes Master Chief," Rivard and Johnson replied automatically.  Soon the boarding party was double timing it down the corridor again.  As they did so O'Connell ran the possibilities through his mind.  The starbase had reacted so fast it was as if they had been expecting them.  The Theurgy must not have been as invisible as they'd hoped.  That meant that there were probably more than just the standard two guards outside the reactor room.  He hoped the SAFTI gear they were wearing would stand up to multiple shots if his team was half a second too slow. Nothing was more demoralizing than losing a few fellers and since Kowalski couldn't beam the rest of his team to him they didn't have that many fellers to spare.

OOC:  Making the assumption that it normally takes more than eight men to seize control of a reactor room from an enemy force and since the deflector shield is up O'Connell and company have been overtaken by events and have to make do.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #44
[ Sithick | USS Allegiant Warp Core Room ] Attn: Auctor, Angles

Sithick had flown in many ships, some held together with 24th century duct tape others like the Allegiant were more streamlined. He had to admit that there was a lot to like about the Federation. Their technology had simple understandable repair guides that were almost always forgotten, everything was replaceable and there was a lot less static to deal with when working on repairs. Compared to other ships the Allegiant could have been a cruise ship for all he cared.

But combat was never smooth sailing. To his credit his broad stance and unique claws allowed Sithick to sway with the ship as it rocked from a hit. He was back in his element even as there were a few minor sparks thrown around him. That was of course the one minor complaint he had about Federation technology all of these touch screens exploded at a mild brush of of energy. In his time as an engineer he had seen more people committed to sickbay due to burns from 'exploding consoles' then he had any other kind of injury.

As the Allegiant rocked and swayed he heard a scream and his head swayed towards the source of it. Cadet Zhong Wu had managed to fling himself painfully to the ground it seemed, shivering from... Burns due to exploding consoles, Hello darkness my old friend, Sithick lumbered slowly over to the cadet who was shivering from the pain his wounds was giving him.

"What are you doing get away from him." Cadet Vitaly walked up looking like he was about to try and attack the Gorn. As if he were about to eat his fellow officer or something. The Gorn's yellow eyes flashed with annoyance narrowing dangerously as his head tilted towards the smaller cadet. Brave little fool that he was, he was also being dumb and offensive.

A claw slowly moved up to his chest to press on his com badge. "Engineering to medikal, I'm taking Cadet Zhong up to your sickbay, he has fallen, esstent of injuries iz unknown." Honestly he probably should have expected this, the cadets had only ever served on stations before. They didn't know how to walk on a starship. They were also fragile human beings instead of something sturdy. He reached down and with two claws gently scooped the unconscious cadet from the ground cradling him gently against his broad chest.

"Cadet, do your Job." It wasn't a threat, or anything more than a single statement as Sithick started for the stairs pushing the other man aside so that he could be on his way with slow careful steps not wanting to hurt Zhong as he carried him off to Sickbay.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #45
[ Dyan Cardamone | Boarding Team 01 | Below the Subspace Acquisition Grid | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Arista, chXinya, Auctor Lucan,

Dyan was no robot nor was she a highly experienced war vet, but she was a good shot and had quite a bit of pent up energy. Their first engagement of the mission sent thrills up her spine. She crouched down, mirroring Ravenholm.
“Center, two targets.” She announced, and took aim with her rifle.

She was not as fast as the vet or the cybernetically enhanced woman. Her targets had the chance to react, but only briefly. Dyan took good care to aim at the center of her targets' mass before making each shot. She had confidence that she would hit.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #46
[ Heather McMillan | Main Sickbay | Deck 11 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Maya, Lucan Cin Nicander, Herbert & Maal


Hearing the alarm and warning, McMillan took a deep breath, to ready herself mentally for all that was to come. Mostly her thoughts went to the few people she had begun opening up to, lately, like Carrigan Trent, Simon Tovarek, Carrigan Trent, Hylota Vojona, Carrigan Trent, Doctor Nicander, and Carrigan Trent. Idly, as she grabbed a field kit and attached it to the right side of her waist, along with a scientific tricorder and a medical tricorder, she wondered just how much danger the man would be exposing himself to now. She questioned the wisdom and necessity of it all, but finally gave it up. Those thought lead to futile loops that she nor any other Radiant could ever begin to comprehend or solve. Rather, she turned her attentions to what she could do, and that was tending to the wounded, of which many was likely to come.

She turned her attentions on Maya and smiled her best smile, even if she was probably fooling no one (she was terrified). The events of the mutiny still haunted her, as they had forced her out of hiding and running around and doing all sorts of frightening things, not to mention all the awkward moments since then. And now they were facing a Starbase. smiling was one of the last things she wanted to do, really. "Got it!" said McMillan, and she darted off in one direction before twisting about and running back to Maya, "Uhm...who's Herbert and Maal?"

Without thinking, she went back to standing on tip-toe. Bunny rose to stand on his hind feet as well.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #47
[ Boarding Team 03 | Ryuan Sel | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Auctor Lucan & Nolan

Ryuan fell in with the guards, hoping that for the few seconds she needed, her presence would not be noticed in the group. The guard in front of her noticed her but assumed she must have been an extra body assigned to the detail he'd never noticed, perhaps one of the advanced tactical personel. That oversight would come back to haunt him. For Ryuan, the half walk half run of the unit felt strange, even more so as she knew they had a wolf in their midst.

The seconds ticked by but once the detail arrived at the gates, things kicked into overdrive. The doors opened as expected and the detail moved to enter the complex. As per the plan, Ryuan followed them in through the doors, silently dropping two grenades at her feet as she walked. The timing had to be perfect however as if she was even a fraction of a second off, she could get caught in the blast and shrapnel of her own weapons.

At the last second, Ryuan yelled grenade, sparking panic and dove away from the door, praying the door would protect her. Two ear shattering bangs went off, dropping several guards and disorienting the rest. That was the signal for the rest of the team to charge while confusion reigned. Seeing a guard near her reaching for a panic button, Ryuan butted the back of his head with her rifle, dropping him to the floor. It was then that the guard in front of her recognized her. He tried pulling the trigger of his rifle, only to have nothing happen. His eyes went wide, desperately seeking a weapon of some kind, not realizing the energy dampening effect of her grenades.

(OOC: Feel free to join the melee. :P )

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #48
[ MCPO Nolak Kalmil | Deck 11 | Main Sickbay | USS Theurgy ]

Being a man of action Nolak Kalmil had enough being stuck in sickbay. After his revival and surgery nearly a day ago his mind was made up. From hell to high water he's getting out of Sickbay and head someplace where he'll be useful. All that remained was the best opportunity to make his move. After leaving a small log in his personal record he took action.

From his biobed he noticed hanging on the wall an engineering uniform. Nolak stood slowly his muscles aching as he walked over to the wall and took the uniform down. Then he walked over to a computer interface quietly he said, "Computer, run override command Alpha Tango Kalmil 318 Silent." Thea chirped in acknowledgement. A smile appeared on his face as he gained full access to the computer systems. "End holographic privacy program 3."

The white robes faded away. His muscles screamed at him as he laboriously put the uniform on taking much longer than he intended. He noticed that the uniform was much larger than himself, so he rolled the arm sleeves and cuff of the pants so they at least don't interfere with his work. He then took the golden communication badge off the front of the uniform and tossed it upon the biobed.

"Thea," He rarely ever called the computer by it's name. "Mask my bio reading from sensors sweeps, encryption code 3817. If someone tries to break the code do everything you can to delay them as long as possible. Chief out." The computer beeped in acknowledgement. He placed his hand onto his neck and felt the scars from surgery the skin still painful to the touch. His fingers also brush over the rank pin on the collar as he walked towards the exit. Thinking, I just might be reduced to ensign after all, as he grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his neck. He also grabbed a hypospray that was carelessly left on a tray near a biobed. Must be my lucky day, are is final thoughts as he exited the recovery ward and into main sickbay.

Main Sickbay was a buzz of activity as nurses and crew member shuffled about getting ready for the battle that was minutes away. He needed to get down to Vector 3 segment of the ship before the ship activated the MVAM systems. Everyone in sickbay appeared busy getting ready for the wounded that was sure to be arriving any minute now. Nolak's only thought was to avoid three people, his friend Dr. Nicander, the lovely Doctor Maya, and the Klingon Nurse Maal. They were only ones who had any real interaction with the Chief after his awaking and had the authority to prevent him from returning to service. The rest of sickbay staff he'd hoped would be too busy with their own duties to pay him any heed.

By chance he didn't see any of them as he walked across the sickbay headed straight for the main exit. He held the hypospray he found in the recovery ward hidden in his rolled up sleeve of the over sized uniform, just in case he needed to use it. As Nolak neared the main exit a voice spoke behind him.

"Now, where do you think your going, Master Chief Kalmil?" The low deep voice said behind him. The Chief turned around on the heels of his bare feet and looked up at the taller Klingon Nurse Maal standing nearby holding a PADD.

"Look around you Maal, we about to go into battle, and you expect me to a coward and hide on a biobed. You should know me better than that. This ship and crew are in danger and I intend to protect it and everyone on it. So, if your going to stop me nurse, now is your golden opportunity. However where's the honor in that? If I die then it's a good death in combat, not like a sniveling coward." Nolak Kalmil said in a stern calm voice.

The towering Klingon youth looked at the Deltan man in recognition of his words, but as first, he shook his head. He did not seem to be moved by the words of honour as much as other Klingons might, with served as a reminder that he had been raised by humans. Yet he did not move to intercept the patient either, looking at him from underneath his thick, dark eyebrows. Perhaps he thought of the larger picture, and how the former Cheif Engineer might make a difference in the most important battle the Theurgy would fight since they fled Federation space. Perhaps he did not want to think that the decision to stop Kalmil would have repercussions for the crew as a whole, or perhaps he was already too busy, and neither time nor desire to wrestle with a patient who was recently operated. Whatever thoughts passed behind the lingering look the Klingon gave Kalmil, he said naught more... and walked away.

With the hypospray readied, Nolak turned away from the Klingon and continued his walk towards the door. His bare feet cold to the touch of the ships floor. With a quick glance at a computer panel he saw the ETA countdown to the arrival to Starbase 84, which just reached zero. It meant that the ship would in all likelihood enter MVAM combat phase and separate into three combat vessels.

Every muscle in his body still ached he stepped through main doors into the corridor. With time quickly running out he started to jog heading to the closest turbolift. Over the main speakers the Thea's voice chimed out, [Thirty seconds to MVAM maneuver initiated] This sent a chill down his spine as he started to run. His muscles burning as the computer started it's silent countdown.

[Warning. MVAM decoupling sequence imminent. Remain at your battle stations.]

He reached the turbolift and stepped inside, "Thea, override safety protocol and get me down to Vector 3 Now!" He nearly shouted at the panel as he grabbed the railing inside the turbolift. His body lurched as the turbolift moved downward through the decks. Feeling the butterflies of near weightlessness before the sudden jolt as turbolift came to a sudden stop.

He nearly collapse to the floor from the pain as the speaker overhead said, [5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Separation Sequence in progress.] A sigh of relief escaped his lips. He could hear the airlocks somewhere overhead closing as the ship shuddered and began to split apart.

Re: Chapter 02: Crucible

Reply #49
[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All

Jien had heard Trent mentioning the single starship that had launched inside the spacedock, but no more could be said before Starbase 84 opened fire - bright orange beams cutting the distance and striking their shield. The point defence system kicked in, protecting the fortified command ship that was Vector 01. The shields held, Lieutenant S'Iti at the helm was taking them through evasive manoeuvres that helped minimise the impact against their shields, and Trent ordered Vector 02 to engage with the starbase pre-emptively - meaning to destroy it's tactical sensor array. Arisaka's voice was likely heard in Trent's ear-piece, and Jien reckoned it was an acknowledgement since she could see Vector 02 and it's fighters closing the distance to the base. The two fighters throttled up, the flares of their impulse engines bright lights of defiance against their odds.

[Stellar Cartography to Bridge!  I'm reading reinforcements approximately 6 light years out, we're looking at maybe 30 minutes maximum before they get here.  Short end could be as little as 10.]

With the bridge staff devoted to the ensuing battle, Jien certainly did not regret allocating long range sensor responsibility to the Andorian on Vector 03. She did have regrets about what he said, however, because the boarding teams had barely touched ground on the starbase, and reinfocements were due to arrive in just ten minutes. By that time, Starbase 84 might have managed to get their bay doors opened, and Commander Salazar's Air Group with interceptors would have launched to engage them and the Lone Wolves. Odds were looking more grim by the second, and yet she could not let it faze her - no doubts seen in her face. She had to make Hawthorne listen to her, if not only to gain time and respite.

"This is Ives," she said in response to Ensign ch'Xinya. "We need more than that. How many in the first wave? What's their warp signatures? Let us know the moment you learn something substantial. Ives out."

As Vector 01 rolled to port and then overshot a new series of phaser beams from the starbase - the inertial dampeners almost compensating fully for the momentum - Ives walked up behind Natalie Stark and placed a hand on the back of her chair. "Hail them, and if they won't heed, send this message: The Theurgy is not here to harm anyone on the base. We must defend ourselves, but we have not come to do battle. The boarding teams only have the objective to ensure the most minimum of casualties in this operation, where we hope that you will listen to us, and understand that we are truly not the enemy you have been led to believe. Cease fire, and hear us out."

Having given her orders to Stark, Ives turned back to her seat at the centre of the bridge and as she did, she locked eyes with Junior Lieutenant Morali, who's primary duty - aside from the tasks Tovarek had no time for - was to keep his eyes out for temporal breaches in their vicinity. Wordlessly, with that look, she enquired as to whether they should suspect another Calamity-class hunter suddenly appearing through a rift in time.

When she resumed her seat, her oaken eyes fell on the tactical readings on the viewscreen. "Magnify and follow the trajectory of those wolves," she said, and the viewscreen homed into the progress of the two Valkyries, showing how they made their approach against the base, dodging and rolling to avoid the cutting beams of phaser fire. Ives witnessed their battle-honed skill, feeling like she was on the edge of her seat even if she wasn't, because the dance they preformed in their death-defying assault was nothing short of miraculous. Split decisions, instinct, and sheer luck preserved them. In the end, they deployed countermeasures to keep photon torpedoes from locking on to them. And in their wake, Arisaka was both on the defensive and keeping a firm lock on the base's tactical array - waiting for the tetryon cannons on the Valkyries to punch a hole in the shield.

A couple of kilometres out, the two Lone Wolves deployed their large cannons, since they had needed all the manoeuvrability they could muster to stay alive up until that point. Ives held her breath, counted the seconds, knowing the cannons needed to be charged, and that they had to fly more straight. The phaser beams from the base came closer by the moment. One of them took a hit, wobbled, but kept going. The second one took two hits, loosing its aim. It fired nonetheless, punching a hole that was too far out. The first one fired... aim true.

Arisaka was ready, launching a full spread of quantum torpedoes - the tactical array being such a critical target. Before the torps reached the base, the two Valkyries broke off. Yet the base never ceased firing its phaser banks, flaying the Lone Wolves during their escape. The quantum torpedoes struck home... yet the hole in the shield was too narrow, and it had regenerated too quickly. The base had already launched torpedoes against both the Valkyries and Vector 03, forcing them to veer off before the flares of the impacts settled.

That was when the first Valkyrie was hit by a photon torpedo, sent cartwheeling off in a burning wreckage. The second one still had countermeasures left, but it took a hit too. The shields on Vector 03 held, a flaring blue sphere, and Arisaka got out with - according to the tactical read-out - minor hull damage.

Unfortunately, the base's tactical array had taken some damage, but appeared largely intact.

"Report," said Ives, her teeth clenched, fearing what Trent might say. Another wolf dead, unless she'd managed to eject somehow, and the array still operating... If the wolf had died, she'd died in a failed assault.

[ Boarding Team 02 | Thea | Spacedock Control Room | Level 14 | Starbase 84 ] Attn: DocM.

Hearing O'Connell, Thea wished to believe in his estimates - to think that she was not directly to blame. Of course, it was merely guesswork, impossible to know the mathematical truth of the poor timing and the lack of a functioning spacedock control system. There were too many possibilities, uncertain in all regards.

Flight Ops, the people on another level who gave clearance to the Air Group to launch, could simply have given clearance to the fighters before Thea disabled the bay doors, to their horror realising that the bay doors did not operate when they tried to open them from there. They could have tried to contact the staff Thea just rendered unconscious in the spacedock control room, too late realising that there was no one answering. By then, the first fighters were already away - eager to join the fray.

"Regardless," she said, almost feeling as numb as when her emotional chip was deactivated, looking at the debris field and the Knight-class interceptors that tried to navigate inside the closed spacedock, "it can't be helped now."

She cleared her throat, rubbed her hand across her eyes and took a deep breath. She turned to O'Connell with her teeth clenched, suffering the aftermath of her shock yet knowing they could not linger any more. "The mission objective is more important than my good name and repute of my crew. Already, we stand accused for worse, and therefore, we must continue. My thanks, Master Chief O'Connell."

The human was already telling them to move on, and Thea followed along with the rest of the boarding team... but she could not help but throwing one more glance out towards the debris field, knowing that the imagery would forever be stored in her memory banks.

[ Boarding Team 03 | ThanIda zh'Wann | Executive Offices Complex Lobby | Starbase 84 ] Attn: Nolan & Summerdawn

Ida had watched with a held breath as Sel brought up the rear of the arriving detail, hoping that they would not look at her twice. The Bajoran was easy on the eye, for certain, but given present circumstances, she hoped that face did not draw more attention than the Red Alert.

Sure enough, Sel made it all the way to the opened doors, getting inside the EOC. Ida knew the Mistress-at-Arms was going to act before those doors closed, but even then, the detonation of the grenades came as a jarring surprise - compelling her to finally move out. Sel was alone in the aftermath of those two blasts, and they had to get in there.

"Come on!" she called and leapt over the table that she had been behind, hitting the floor running. She hoped that the others in her team were just as alert, and were right behind her. Cameron and Zaraq, along with the others, had made this run before in on the holodeck a hundred times - practising for this very situation - and she knew they should be able to keep up. Closing the distance took them a couple of seconds, and then they were inside the smoke-filled security checkpoint.

In the haze, Ida saw Sel dispatching one of the guards, but she had no time to catch the outcome. A security guard was getting out from behind a cover he'd found to shield himself from the blast, and Ida intercepted him before he got his rifle up. Even if the phaser rifle wouldn't have fired a beam against Ida, he didn't get the chance to learn about the dampening field. She levelled a blow with the end of her TR-120 against the man's midriff, and then gave him a savage backhand blow across the jaw - sending him into the edge of a counter. He fell without a word getting out.

Zaraq fired his TR-120 to dispatch two guards, but the last one was getting back on his feet closest to Yeoman Henshaw. Ida quickly raised her own rifle to shoot the man if the pinkskin didn't see him in time.

OOC: Another post coming up tomorrow with the Allegiant and the Lone Wolves in this thread. Too late to finish those sections for me, it being over 4 am.

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