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Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #25
[ Dr. Nicander | Jefferies Tubes | USS Theurgy | Vector 02 ] Attn: Triage & Nolan

Down once more through Thea's hidden tunnels crept the two, down that path that Lucan feared would be his end. And all the while, he feared the the blackness inside him, that it would resurface from darkness deep as the abyss. For while humans called it 'hell', his people feared the abyss - the deadly fall from their empyrean cities. Having been so twisted by the presence inside him, gaining clarity of mind caused a kind of vertigo that unbalanced him - the fear of his soul being tainted again the predominant thing in his mind.

The battle thundered around them, shook the tube they were in and cast them about. Pushing onward, he crept ahead of Heather - the Radiant - and he was trying to focus. He knew he had to stop Maya, but how could he do so without revealing what he knew? Could he tell Heather he had not been himself? The truth could set him free, couldn't it? No, there was no time... Was that his own notion or the parasite's? He couldn't tell, but he knew only the life he'd led on the Theurgy, and the public image he had created. He identified himself more with the fabric of lies he had woven and laced his friendships into, rathen than the truth of what he had been. Heather's powers had cast what he'd done in the garish light, and he recoiled from admitting to anything of it. Vividly, all the vile things he'd done came to mind. Killing infected during the Niga Incident. How he had stabbed Garen Nelis and then burned him from inside out. How he blew Arcorn Neotin off Thea's hull on Theta Eridani IV. Strangled Hylota - Hylota - while fucking her, only to erase her memories of it. The wildly inappropriate conduct with many of his patients, all manipulated to not speak of it. Countless acts, weighing him down, as he tried to do something right - rectifying what he knew he could.

With Heather's help, he hoped he could. A Radiant, shedding light into the abyss.

"Doctor Duv," he said after tapping his combadge with his tattooed hand, "wherever you are, I need you back in Main Sickbay. I fear that Doctor Maya is not who she claims to be, using the cover of battle to do something aboard this Vector. She almost killed me before she vanished into the Jefferies tubes. Until Security catches up with her, I am trying to follow her and stop her."

Another impact from phaser fire shook the Vector, and Lucan could almost hear how something scraped against the hull with a metallic noise. How could that be? Were the shields gone? By the winds, were they completely unprotected against the Starbase and whatever else was out there? Knewing they could die any moment, Lucan crawled faster. They had found Maya's combadge early on, and Thea could only say where there were Vulcan life-signs. There were a few, but only one of them had been in the Jefferies tubes, but when asked to stop her, Thea couldn't raise any force-fields, much less contact the present personnel. While Lucan had known where Maya was heading, Thea had told them enough to lead them there without his prior knowledge being known.

"It is not much further!" he called back to Heather, who lit the darkness behind him. To ease her worries, he attempted to jest, even if it did nothing to lift the fears he harboured inside. He remembered the mutiny. "We really should stop meeting like this..."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #26
[ Heather McMillan | Jefferies Tubes | USS Theurgy | Vector 02 ] Attn: Lucan cin Nicander
It was fast becoming habit, McMillan thought, as she clambered through the Jefferies Tubes once again, armed with little more than her wits, medical kit, and her light. Her mind raced with all sorts of fears as to the trillion and one ways a Radiant can die. Unlike last time, she didn't hide the fact that she was a walking glow-in-the-dark, so Dr. Nicander didn't need to use a torchlight or hold on in his teeth. Then again, there were those convenient little probes that followed a person and lit the path before them these days. But once more, an unnecessary feature with her around, and they didn't exactly have time to go back for supplies. Nicander was in a frantic hurry for some reason, and McMillan couldn't fathom why.
Moreover, why her???
Even one of the wounded personnel in the medical bay was more capable than her in assisting the good doctor. She started slightly and looked up at Nicander as he spoke to Duv. Personally she approved that he failed to mention her presence. Since the idea of her following to try and help stop a Vulcan sounded like a punchline for ancient Earth stand-up comedy.
"GYAH!" McMillan shrieked and clung desperately to the ladder when the ship shook yet again. Unlike earlier in the Medical bay, there was no place for the Radiant to daintily hop around to avoid shaking with the ship. Now she was at risk of having her arms torn off whilst climbing. She prayed they would reach their destination soon, before her strength and will left her, what little she had left.
It concerned her that the impact sounds were different, and if she could read Nicander correctly, he noticed it too. He was more experienced than her in these matters, so if she got the impression that he was worried, then it was probably a good time for her to start panicking.
That was when Nicander opted for levity, and it certainly made McMillan laugh, if a panicked, absolutely terrified laughter, like mad denial of the situation. "At least I'm not thinking you're about to kill me..." Her body began to glow in a greenish light as she felt sickened, but she looked up hopefully, "'s really not much further? I don't fancy losing my arms if the bloody ship gives another shake like the last one."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #27
| MCPO | Nolak Kalmil |Main Engineering | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy |

With protective panel removed to the antimatter injector, Nolak began to analyze the damage. Light from within was near blinding as he squinted to see several connection wires severed. Farther back he could see a stream of hot toxic gasses flaring out a crack in the plasma converter. Although his respirator filtered out the toxins, he could still taste the metallic fumes flowing into his nostril and mouth. This left a very dissatisfying taste in his mouth as he adjusted his tools and took out a macro welder.  Beads of sweat rolled down his bald head from the intense temperature. He reached back into the emergency supply locker and took a pair of welder’s glasses. He smiled to himself, Well, someone made sure to keep this locker prepared and stocked up. I wonder who. He momentary took a second to check the maintain log, Ensign Lin Kea: Date: *.Error.* So, that young man was everywhere, hope he’s doing well. Nolak thought to himself.

Taking a strip of duraplex metal he forced it over the fissure and began to work with the welder. While he worked super heated gas began to strip the outer layers of his EVO gloves, and he could feel the heat through the gloves. The longer this repair took the hotter the gloves got. This took a little more time than needed as he struggled inside the cramp compartment after a hard strike upon the ship. He felt the ship shields deflect another strike from somewhere just as he was nearly finished with his quick repairs. He planned on returning after the battle and check on his handy work more carefully, but this impromptu repair should hold for the moment. As he pulled away he quickly reattach the loose wires back into their proper spot, before pulling out from the cramp compartment and quickly replace the protective panel.

Falling back to the floor he quickly removed the burning hot gloves and tossed them to the foot of the locker. The outer surface was charred to a crisp and the several of the protective layers were peeling off like skin on an onion. Glancing at his hand he could tell that his left hand which held down the metal strip was burned. Not being a doctor but having extensive experience being burned, he could tell that it was mostly first degree with a couple spots on his fingertips that were close to second degree burns. After blowing on them for a couple seconds and feeling the soothing breeze from his lips Master Chief Kalmil stood up and walked over to the service computer. The readouts were starting to stabilize in the anti-mater injectors but critical errors were still showing something else was damaged. He narrowed the problem to one of the main deuterium fuel tanks main power cable had been severed. Grumbling to himself as he grabbed the smoldering gloves he quickly weaved his way through the lower engineering bay to where the problem was.

A large power cable swung dangerously around the tank and every time it contacted something it sent a shower of sparks shooting into the air around it. A support beam from somewhere above had fallen and caused the separation. Shouting to the computer, “Thea, shut down power cable TK2478.

[Acknowledged,] the computer responded. [Power output disengaged.]

Climbing onto the tank he reached over and grabbed the cable and brought it back into place and started to work, when suddenly the ship rocked again from another strike. This caused him to lose his footing and fall to the floor below him causing him to yell out in pain as his whole body responded to the sudden shock from the fall. Grimacing and fighting to stay conscious he climbed back up the tank and concluded his quick repair. He then quickly returned to the computer station, checked the readouts, reactivates the entire power grid to the tank and fuel transfer systems. Moments later the entire ship is purring and humming like a very happy kitten. He then puts the welder, and glasses into his tool belt, attached the now near useless gloves to it as well. He returned to the ladder, grabbed the towel wiped his face, and started his long climb back up to the main engineering level.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #28
[ F'Rell of the Twelfth House | Upper Shuttle Bay | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: Auctor, SummerDawn

The thought occurred to F'Rell that there must be some relationship between K'ren and Liam that she was not aware of, at least judging by what she could discern by his reaction. However, that thought was quickly dismissed when she was able to observe K'ren's current state. While she was very unfamiliar with the biology of humanoids, especially a hybrid like K'ren, it was clear that she had some degree of injury, a notion heightened by the medical technicians currently attempting to extract her from her exosuit.
F'Rell briefly caught two words uttered by K'ren's somewhat limp form. "The ship?" The T'fanrell pondered for a few seconds. Was she asking which ship they were on? Or what happened to the Resolve? A quick decision was made as F'rell moved in closer to quickly brief K'ren. "We are on the starship Theurgy, they have come to the Resolve's rescue, but the Resolve itself is no more." She paused, and briefly tried to suppress alarm colors before continuing. "I am sorry, there was nothing that could have been done, the ship was quickly falling apart." The last portion of the sentence was expressed in what F'Rell approximated to be a deeply concerned tone, as she had heard the ship wrenching itself into shards of metal around her, with entire sections becoming muffled to her senses as they ruptured and lost pressure. "Many crew are safe though..." She quickly added. She wasn't completely sure if it was true, but it made her feel better to say.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #29
[ Amelya Duv |Main Engineering | USS Theurgy | Vector 03 ]

The heat of the phasers from both the security guard as herself had made the temperatures around them rather hot. Amelya's skin had been moistened by sweat and some droplets just ran down the side of her face and down her neck as she wiped her forehead from time to time. Her cheeks were a bit flushed as the uniform she was wearing felt far too thick for the job she was doing. She wondered how engineers managed to hold out down here when things got heated. The door started to bulge now as it seemed they were nearly through.

"Alright, hold up, we'll do the last bit in a second." she said to the security guard as she stopped firing her phaser. She tried to see if she could figure out what the condition was behind the door and she needed Rihen's help for that. She tapped her combadge and called out to Rihen "Rihen, what is the situation with the fire suppression system?"

[This is Neyah,] came the winded reply from Amelya's combadge, [I am at the EPS relay n-now. It is fixed! Nolak Kalmil didn't activate the suppression system, but I just got Thea to do it! The flames should be getting quenched right now!]

A smile came to Amelya's face as she heard the good news from the civilian "Great news Rihen, work your way back to us. We're about to go check. Stay at the door though, you'll be able to visit Kae once he's out and cleared by us."

They started firing again to breach to the last bit when Nicander contacted Duv.

[Doctor Duv, wherever you are, I need you back in Main Sickbay. I fear that Doctor Maya is not who she claims to be, using the cover of battle to do something aboard this Vector. She almost killed me before she vanished into the Jefferies tubes. Until Security catches up with her, I am trying to follow her and stop her.]

Amelya stepped back from the door as she shook her head and replied to Nicander "Doctor Nicander, I can't make it back to Sickbay at this time. I'm in engineering at the moment. The situation here is too delicate for me to leave at this point. I will make my way back to sickbay as soon as possible."

She stepped back to the door as the security officer kicked the door open. The hot blaze escaping the room and blowing Duv's hair looser a bit, making it look like she came out of a tornado. She ventured in first as the fire suppression system had done it's work, smoldering pieces of metal sticking out of various parts of the interior showing just how much damage had been done. Duv took out her tridcorder in order to locate Lin Kae more quickly as she moved forward, watching her step at each obstacle she had to pass.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #30
[ CPO Liam Herrold | Upper Shuttle Bay | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: Hastata-Nerada & SummerDawn

His happenstance lover's exo-suit, was something Liam noticed that the medical personnell on the Theurgy were familiar with. Even when strapped to the hover-gurney, unable to move her head, they managed to strip the plating and EVA-layers underneath piece by piece - baring sweat-matted fur to the cool air of the shuttle bay. What F'Rell said was not exactly cheerful news, but it was the truth. In all honesty, Liam had no idea what would happen next for the crew of the Resolve.

"The battle is still underway, your pack still fighting," he said to Neko and reached out to hold her hand, no longer a gauntlet-like grip meeting his skin but the soft skin and fur of her hand. "If there is anything they can do to protect the crew, they'll do it. You know they will. Whatever the Theurgy is doing here, they can't stay for too long because then the base's reinforcements will arrive, and we'll all be done for."

"The patient is ready," said the EMH, his balding head catching the artificial light of the shuttle bay while he covered Neko with a blanket to preserve her modesty. "Inform Main Sickbay that there is a body to take to the morgue here when we exit Multi-Vector Assault Mode. Deck crew, you are free to move the cockpit aside."

Liam looked towards the edge of the cockpit where he stood by K'Ren, suddenly the realisation that Merlin was dead catching up with him. The man, Miles Jackson as his real name was, had owed him ten replicator rations from the past three card games. Seemed he would never get the spoils of victory, and frankly, Liam wasn't sure he'd want to play poker any time soon again. He looked back at Neko, and he didn't know what to say, except for those inadequate words people always said. "I am sorry..."

Soon, the anti-grav units were powered up, and K'Ren was rushed towards the Vector's sickbay. Liam was with her step by step, with the EMH on the other side and F'Rell swimming right in their wake.

How many more have died? he couldn't help but wonder, glancing over his shoulder as the cockpit was prepared to be cleared from the middle of the bay area. Will Neko be the only survivor?

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #31
[ Commander Carrigan Trent | Bridge | Vector 01 ]

There was a tense moment between the XO's words and the Captain's own.  For a moment, he wondered if Ives would order him to fire regardless.  And, what was worse, he would actually do it.  Because he was her strong right hand and the extension of her will.  If he disagreed with her, it would be in private and away from prying eyes; but in combat, there was no room for uncertainty in the chain of command and all he could do was voice his recommendation on the fly, and let her make the call.  And when she hailed Orcus to dictate the terms of her surrender, Trent let out a sigh of relief.  Of course he would have followed the order to fire, but that did not mean he would have enjoyed it.  Not when he could still see the frozen, swollen shape of the crewman who'd been sucked out into space during his escape from the Archeron, the one he had bumped into with his stolen runabout, in his dreams. 

However, he was instantly all business again.  The situation was bad and getting worse.  Orcus was out of the fight, and Covington, in that Reaver no less, had left Chester adrift and dead in space.  But with Stellar Cartography reporting that the Task Force was close by, there was no way they could make that fight...

When ordered to make ready to send for their cloaked reinforcements, Trent nodded as he prepared the hotkey on his station.  It was a single control press now, just waiting to be activated.  But there was still the need to provide option.  Looking down at his board for a moment, he had to shake his head.  "Captain, one way or another I don't think we can fight off Sankolov when he drops out of warp.  At least not for long.  What we need is for the boarding parties to expedite and get out of there.  We should get the Resolve's fighters and the Reaver docked in a hurry since they don't have one of our escape courses.  But at least, the warp core breach put out a lot of subspace noise; when we get out of here, they shouldn't be able to track us."

Then, he took a deep breath.  "And we need to cut Resolve loose.  That little maneuver put some serious strain on the moorings at our end, and from what I can see we tore some hull in the process and I'm reading a lot of structural compromises in her main frames.  She's a serious liability at sublight as it is, but if we go to warp, her structural integrity won't hold and she'll get shredded, and us along with it."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #32
[ Tessa May Lance | Transporter Room Three | USS Theurgy | Vector Two | Deck 12 ]  

On the circular cluster of transporter pads, Tessa Maya Lance appeared in a shower of sparks.  She was screaming like a frightened child when she materialized in a sitting position and fell on her rump.

"You okay, Ma'am?" Petty Officer Tenchi Koizumi asked when the shaken young officer stopped shrieking and looked around in confusion. 

"Y-yeah, Koizumi," the shuddering Tessa stammered as she hugged herself.  "Tip top."

"That's good," Tenchi sighed as he flashed a reassuring smile.  "I was afraid that..."

[O'Connell to Theurgy, beam up Boarding Team Two!] the voice of Master Chief William Robert 'Billy Bob' O'Connell ordered over the sounds of weapons discharging.  [Beam us up immediately yah hear?  Beam us up yesterday, toot sweet!]

"Acknowledged," Tenchi Koizumi's replied.  "We'll beam you aboard as soon as we're able."  He looked up from his console to glance apologetically at Tessa.   "Um... Ma'am?  I'm going to need you to vacate that space."

"What?" Tessa blinked.  "Sure!  I gotta check in with sickbay and let everybody know where I am anyway," she conceded as she staggered to her trembling feet with all of the surefootedness of a newborn fawn.  "Gotta go," she added as she tottered unsteadily to the door. 

"Take care ma'am," Tenchi said offhandedly as she left the transporter room.  He reset the controls, homing in on the combadges of the master chief's boarding party, ready to bring them aboard when the Theurgy's second stardrive vector passed in front of the hole in Starbase 84's shields.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #33
[Doctor Hayden O'Connor| Isolation Ward 02| USS Theurgy Vector 02]

Given the life-threatening battle raging in space, Hayden would hardly say her guard was down after she had safely secured her charges into the Isolation Ward, but she did feel some degree of relief, and she hoped Hylota did as well. She didn't need to be reminded they were far from safe, but just to add to her anxiety, she fought to remain upright as the ship seemed to jerk and buck under her feet regularly, often accompanied by sounds she wouldn't allow herself to contemplate. Whatever happened now, at least she had gotten Hylota to a safe place to give birth as O'Connor had promised. Even if either of them wanted or needed to, Hayden knew they couldn't risk removing Hylota from the birthing pool. Not only would any potentially viable eggs certainly expire, but Hayden couldn't guarantee what would happen to the female Ovri in the process. For all she knew, consequences could arrange from an excruciating labor and delivery to something instantly life-threatening. All things considered, if lives were at risk either way, Hayden would rather die doing something she loved than risk harm to another being in the process of trying to save herself. O'Connor hadn't consciously had time to think such a thought, but nevertheless, it was how she felt.

Eyes carefully but discreetly monitoring Hylota as she undressed with Maal's support, Hayden continued to contemplate whether she should take the opportunity to change into something privately more suited for the pool, but her gut told her it wasn't the right time to leave Hylota just yet. She reminded herself it could still be hours before the Ovri was ready to push, and she would feel a lot more comfortable once at least Hylota was safely in the pool where she could relax and allow things to progress naturally. She smiled as she heard the female nurse remark the two of them could be trusted and there was no need to worry about a gown or privacy. Whether that was indicative of Hylota's personality or an indication of just how far things had progressed in a seemingly short time, Hayden wasn't sure, but she allowed her eyes to cast further downward in a simple means to ascertain just that. Normally, Hayden was skilled enough to tell where a mother to be was in her labor simply by how she moved and the sounds she made, but even with the similarities between Ovri reproduction and the other women she had cared for, she wasn't about to make assumptions about everything. From what she could tell from a quick visual inspection, Hylota was contracting regularly and preparations for the upcoming Lane were well underway, although it didn't appear her cervix was anywhere close to being fully dilated. It was difficult to tell from her vantage point, but she was certain Hylota wouldn't be shy about keeping her in the loop, and that the physiology wasn't so different that O'Connor would be caught completely unawares when the time came. Hayden would worry about medical tricorders and manual exams once Hylota was safely in the pool, and it was comforting that her brain seemed to offer one step at a time just as it would with any other delivery in any other circumstance. Especially under these circumstances, O'Connor was grateful to have such "muscle memory" so to speak.

The doctor relaxed ever so slightly as Maal  managed to successfully ease Hylota in the tub despite what was that best described as a rough ride going on around them. O'Connor even managed to smile as she heard Hylota express her pleasure at being submerged in the water. At her core, Hayden derived pleasure from being able to alleviate suffering and she took pride in being able to do so for any laboring mother. She felt additional pride as she watched Hylota take charge of her own delivery by removing her own top. It might've been a small thing, but it told Hayden Hylota was feeling safe enough and confident enough to focus on the task at hand. Whatever small role Hayden had played in that consequence, she was grateful.

O'Connor was just about to turn and get into her own comfortable clothing for the pool, and indeed, she had her back to the pool when she heard a large splash behind her. Instantly, O'Connor thought the battle had reached the Isolation Ward and that she had mere nanoseconds until she was at the very least fighting for her life, if she wasn't about to lose it already. Tears instantly pricked behind her eyes and has stifled cry emerged from her lips. She couldn't stop herself from turning back to face whatever her heart was already dreading she would have to accept. It took her several moments to actually "see" what was before her, but when she finally did, she didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The sight of the Klingon nurse sputtering in the water near Hylota was completely unexpected and Where She Not so filled with fear and other competing emotions, she might've laughed heartily and let the moment fill her with additional joy on top of the joy she usually felt on such an occasion. In fact, seeing the Klingon nurse so flabbergasted would've added to Hayden's peals of laughter and she would swear to herself to include that very moment in her future retellings of the story.

As it was, however, with Hayden on edge and contemplating, at least on an unconscious level, their impending demise, all the scene did was confirm for her she couldn't afford to leave Hylota alone with the father of her potential children.  Maal was panicked and while that was completely understandable given his potential impending fatherhood, she wasn't naïve enough to think that was all it was. He understood the battle raging outside and he understood they were a hair's breath from potential incapacitation at best and death at worst. Considering how rattled he had been already, she knew she didn't want to risk leaving Hylota alone with him if she didn't have to. Intellectually, somewhere in the back of her mind, she might've known she didn't need to be so dramatic about something so small, but seeing this labor and delivery go smoothly had become Hayden's sole focus. It was the only thing she could control at the moment, and consequently her universe had shrunken to the size of Isolation Ward Two.

She found herself beginning to strip, as much because she was uncomfortable from the humid air in the room as because she was focused on getting to Hylota as quickly as possible. By the time she entered the pool, she was clad in her uniform pants and bra. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew she might remove her pants eventually, but for now, she was just glad to have the freedom to move her arms without the restriction of her tunic and uniform jacket. She might've felt exposed and embarrassed more it not for the fact she was focused on the task at hand.

Moving over to Maal,, she offered calmly, "Nurse Maal, I need you to take some slow deep breaths and get yourself together. We all know this situation isn't ideal, a reality no one understands better than Hylota, but the situation is what it is. I'm going to need your help and so is she. As I know you know, we can't force the birthing process, nor should we for the sake of mother and potential offspring. Hylota's body knows what to do, and it's our job to keep her calm and help her get comfortable so she can progress. This could take some time, and I know we're all worried about what's going on around us, but right now, our only priority is to take care of Hylota. Is that understood?"

Moving over to the female Ovri, Hayden touched her on the leg gently. "Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable? I can examine you to see how far dilated you are, but I don't have to do that right now if you don't want me to. I imagine I'll be able to tell quite a bit by other means as things progress. In the meantime, just take your time and breathe. You let us know when you feel the need to push and we'll be ready."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #34
[ ENS K'Ren | Upper Shuttle Bay | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: Auctor Lucan & Hastata-Nerada

The news from the EMH was like an emotional hammer blow for K'Ren. Merlin had been her backseater for as long as she could remember, one of the more experienced pilots in the squadron, and a good friend of her deceased mate. How many more would die, how many of the squadron would return  this day to have a drink in memory of their buddies. She hoped she would not be the last of her pack, that others would survive. She also knew a battle beyond any they'd ever fought raged outside, death all around and many would not come home. Her battle it seemed was over, the damage to severe to be patched up and sent out.

K'Ren reached out and took Liam's hand in her own, the delicate feline fingers squeezing his hand. "It was his time Liam. I just hope that his death was not in vain, that it meant something." As the anti-grav lifted her and the triage team began to move her, she held on Liam's hand, hoping to encourage him as much as his presence encouraged her. "We are alive Liam. They will live on in our memories." She gently ran her thumb over his rough skin. "I also made a promise to you I intend to keep."

The trip to sickbay was quite short, at least it felt that way and as they entered sickbay, K'Ren could hear the voices of the medical staff tending to the wounded. She gave one final squeeze of Liam's hand, smiling up at him. "I'll see you in a few hours." she remarked, letting go of his hand as she was wheeled into surgery, leaving Liam on the outside looking in. Transferred to the surgical bed by the triage team, the arch came over K'Ren's torso and even as the doctor spoke, telling her what to expect, she could feel the anesthetic taking hold, her eyes fluttering, the bay growing dim as she caught one last glance at Liam, a smile on her face.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #35
[ Brig | USS Theurgy | Vector 02 ] Joint Post by Doc M. & Auctor Lucan

Opening her eyes, Sonja Acreth heard the commotion. A smile touched her lips. It was time.

Slowly, she stood up behind the force field, her black dress falling straight around her legs. She had washed by her basin, dark, wet hair raked back behind her ears, and droplets of water remaining on her bare arms and the low cut of her back. She stretched, awaiting the sight of her kinsman, but when her liberator appeared, it was not the one she'd expected. "Oh?" she said, raising her eyebrows, "I wouldn't have guessed you would help us too."

"I am responding to your medical emergency," Maya replied as she stiffly set down her box and jerkily turned her attention to the panel that was just to the right of Acreth's cell.  Her voice was as neutral and emotionless as ninety nine of the ship's computers serving Starfleet.  "It is paramount that I get to you by whatever means necessary, and remove you from the isolation ward. Given the import of your health, and what you mean for the mission, I have been sanctioned to subdue any opposition I meet."

"I see," said Acreth, tilting her head a bit, "You are not entirely here are you?" She chuckled and brushed her fingers over her forehead, looking towards the deck in amusement. She didn't know if her kinsman had sent a puppet of his out of convenience or necessity, but either way, he had sent her, and the cycle could begin anew. Her eyes fell on the small stasis unit, and a shiver went up her spine in the knowledge of what was inside it. Ancient knowledge, shared among kin. The vessel of their victory, whenever it might be. Perhaps as soon as this cycle, perhaps the next. Either way, it was her assignment to bring it where it was supposed to be. The good doctor was the nexus of the crisis, the origin of their storm, but she was the mother of the outbreak. Together, they would prevail, as they had done so many times before.

Only this time, there was a Vulcan puppet making it happen, and it amused Acreth a great deal - wondering just how Nicander had done it this time.

With sound almost beyond human hearing, the force field went down.  Moving as jerkily as a marionette, Maya knelt and picked up the box Lucan had assigned her.

Smiling, Acreth walked up to the Vulcan and raised her hand to her cheek. Her host's middle finger was broken, not cooperating fully as she patted the puppet. "Good girl," she said sweetly, "I believe that's mine, isn't it?"

The Vulcan handed her the stasis unit. "Inside you will find all substances related to your treatment," Maya replied as she made what on the surface appeared to be eye contact.  "Please follow any instructions accompanying it to the letter.  If you have any questions, please contact the ship's pharmacist immediately."  After handing Acreth the box.  Maya stood there with her arms hanging loosely at her sides and stared directly ahead.  Occasionally she would blink.

Listening, running her fingernails over the flesh of her face, Acreth was trying to deduce what Nicander had done to the Vulcan, and if there was any more use of her. It seemed evident she thought she was a patient, so it could be the key to make further use of her before she was disposed of. It was worth a try, at least, and if it didn't work, she could just as well kill her. "Oh! It seems the... instructions are that you will need to accompany me from the... the isolation ward to my quarters, but you need not worry, I know exactly where my residence on this ship is, so I can lead the way."

"Very well," Maya replied dreamily.  There was no conflict so Maya allowed herself to remain with the patient, not knowing that this 'patient' was in fact the disease that could kill the United Federation of Planets.

With a glance down to the stasis unit in her hand, Acreth ran the other through her wet hair and began to walk out of the Brig. She stepped up to the lifeless form of the Brig Officer, whom she knew as Striker. She looked down at him, saw that he was alive, breathing evenly. The urge overcame her, to finally act on her true nature. He leaned down and picked up the hand phaser, switched the setting with her thumb. Narrow beam, setting 8. With a lopsided smile, and a small moan of satisfaction, she burned out his eyes - one at the time. The frayed nerves made his face twitch, mouth falling wide open - making a third cavity that stared up at her.

"My, my do you look surprised..." she said and chuckled as he was coming to, beginning to stir from the pain, but she lost interest in him already.

Acreth was interrupted as a pale white hand griped her wrist using only the thumb, forefinger and middlefinger.  The thumb dug in between the escapee's radius and ulna causing her to drop the phaser.  At the same time a second set of fingers was pinching Acreth's trapezius nerve bundle, paralyzing her momentarily before both hands abruptly released her.

In her trancelike state, Maya had attempted to subdue the patient when it became clear she was going to harm herself or others, but when upon touching Acreth, the little Vulcan's touch telepathy gave her an inkling of the other woman's dark and twisted psyche.  To call it foul, blasphemous, or diseased would be an understatement.  There were no words to convey the predatory evil that the momentary contact had revealed.  Maya had emerged from her trance from the tranquil peace of somnambulism to the nauseous nightmare of awakening.  Her face flushed a dark green; the little Vulcan clutched her stomach and willed herself not to start retching.

And in Acreth's face, the twisted nature within her could be seen as she rounded on the Vulcan - her possessed mien a rictus mask of ancient horror.  It wasn't just distorted by the numbing pain of the Doctor's grip - the acute assault upon the host's nervous system - but also the chaos being's fiery anger at being attacked by the puny mortal. The sound that rose from the host's throat was not entirely contained within the bounds of its present existence - the cry a distorted echo from the void beyond.

The backhand strike caught Maya across her face, and sent her head-first into the bulkhead.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #36
[ MCPO Nolak Kalmil | Main Engineering | Vector 03 | USS Theurgy ]

The ladder climb up between decks was starting to drain the Master Chief of his energy. Combined with the humid hot temperature and over exposure to radiation he was beginning to feel the effects of fatigue.  Still a few decks below the main engineering level he stepped off the ladder onto a service platform and leaned against the warp core main structure to catch his breath. Still wearing the respirator he removed it and took in some deep breaths.  Now really wishing he hadn't given the hypospray away he leaned over the railing and spat up some blood. No doubt from the effects from the radiation and perhaps from all the banging around had affected the surgery to his neck. Looking around he could tell the ship was still in danger so he moved over to the service monitors and glanced at the read outs, checking various data and damage reports while he fought the dizziness. The ships lower shields were still malfunctioning and a few other ships functions were boarder line on the fritz.  He made a couple adjustments to the power grid from this panel, but he still needed to get up to the main level to have full engineering control.

Having had this momentary rest he returned to the ladder and quicken his pace up the ladder. He skipped a few rungs whenever he found the energy do so. Looking over his shoulder from time to time he could see the crew had manage to pull out the pinned crew members and were performing emergency treatment of their injuries. The next level up Nolak could no longer see the medical crew or Ensign Abner as he neared the main engineering level not far above him. 

Without warning the ship rocked violently as he barely managed to hook his arm and elbow around the ladder rung. His body slipped off the ladder and had he not held on for dear life he'd be at the bottom of the warp chamber again. The sudden jolt to his body and shoulder as he swung out and away from the ladder caused him to let out a painful yell as he felt the joint in his left shoulder slip out place. His body slammed back into the ladder and he quickly regained his footing. With his good arm and the sudden rush of pain and adrenaline he quickly climbed the remaining section of the ladder.  His left arm was nearly useless as he stepped off the ladder. Having finally made it to the main engineering platform he lowered his shoulder and charged the computer station slamming his shoulder back into place. The pain sent him to his knees as he collapsed in front of the station.  The world spun around him as everything became a blur. While he sat there regaining his senses Nolak took the towel yet again and looped it around his neck creating a sling for his now injured arm before rising to his feet.

At the computer station Nolak quickly made the final adjustments to the newly repaired warp power grid and diverted majority of the newly available power to the remaining weapon platforms before flipping the intercom to the battle bridge. "Master Chief here, I've manage to avert a critical overload of the warp core, for the moment. However, looks like our shields are about to completely fail, and there's little I can do about that. That's all in the hands of any available repair crews scattered throughout the ship.  On a plus side, I've revamped our weapon output and that should help you deal with those pesky fighters, and whatever else your targeting. Make it count, because I'm dying in here and the medical team can't reach me while the warp containment shields are activated. Engineering out."  He said calmly trying to hide the pain and frustration in his voice.  Speaking to the computer, "Thea, how much longer can I withstand the radiation before it's to the point of no return."

The computer responded, [ I'm sorry Master Chief Kalmil, Insufficient, data. Bio scanners are malfunctioning, and you blocked out your bio readings in sickbay, remember.  I can estimate that without medical aid, your chances of survival decreases considerable the longer you remain within the containment field. Shall I lower the shields and allow you to leave?]

Nolak Kalmil, answers her, "Thank you Thea, that's a negative."  Then he returned to dealing with adjusting the ship shields to provide the maximum amount of protection with what little power he had left.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #37
[Hylota Vojona| Main Sickbay| USS Theurgy| Vector 02] Attn: the Counselor and Auctor Lucan

          Hylota breathed deeply as she looked at Maal as he continued to panic, as he got flustered over the situation at hand, true her own mind was slipping to the extremes and she could feel her filter was not all there as she spoke, but at the same time she was getting more and more irritated with Maal as this strong man, one who had tried to save her brother, despite failing. A man who she had found an attraction to despite his lack of attractive features in Ovri society, was now making himself look like a bumbling buffoon. Then as the ship was suddenly wracked with another blast from the battle, Hylota barely had the sense about her to grip her chair and grunt as she was shaken, the water in the pool sloshing about in large waves as it splashed into the sides of the tub, which had thankfully been built with splashing in mind. Sadly however Maal had been..distracted and had ended up falling into the pool with Hylota, it was this bumbling act that made Hylota begin to get angry with the man. As Maal stood up and then made a proper ass of himself by asking Doctor Hayden, no he had not even been that courteous, he had simply called her a human as he insisted that they haul the eggs out of Hylota, this pushed Hylota over the edge.

With a slightly distressed groan Hylota sat more upright, she was sure one of the eggs was close to working its way out...but it felt really weird. Taking a deep breath Hylota collected herself before she reached out and slapped Maal across the face. "WILL YOU SNAP OUT OF IT! You are a medically trained NURSE! Do I need to send you back in for TRAINING!" Hylota hissed and took a few deep breaths as she took back the more reclined position. "You seemed good at your job when we met, you were strong and bold, you did what was needed of a moment, understanding THAT is why I do not hate you Maal, but right now you are making a proper ass of yourself and I am  tempted to send you out to find Vinata." Hylota took another few breaths before she closed her eyes and clenched her jaw before she spoke again. "But these are your children, you need to be here, so I want you to take a moment, collect yourself and ACTUALLY BE HERE!"

Hylota took several long deep breaths and she shuddered as she clenched again as she looked back to Doctor Hayden as she began to give Hylota some encouragement and tried to get her to relax and have Hylota fill her in on what was going on. "I-I do not know what is going on this time, it is much more intense than an unfertilized clutch, I also am feeling a more more discomfort than I think I should." Hylota grunted as he shifted in her seat. "One of the eggs feels a lot harder than it should, it is so rough and uncomfortable." She took a long deep breath and  squirmed a bit on the chair. "Sadly I do not think that I will be getting the clutch going just yet, but it does not feel as thought this is going to be an easy delivery." Hylota took a few more deep breaths as she felt her body getting prepared to begin the laying process fully.

Hylota could feel her body tightening and stretching internally as it moved to begin pushing the eggs out of her body, and as it began to get going the water around Hylota's opening was beginning to look distorted as her body's natural lubricants began to be produced in greater amounts to try and encourage smoother laying. She panted and took a few long deep breaths as her body began to get the egg moving, and egg that contained a malformed calcified mass as it did not grow correctly and was proving to be slow to move. Looking up at the ceiling as the room was quiet from the chaos outside of it. "I just hope Vinata is alright, fool should not have come back to work just yet, he is still jumpy, he needed more time to think." Hylota closed her eyes and began to breath as she tried to push the first egg through her body.

[Vinata Vojona| Main Sickbay| USS Theurgy| Vector 02] Attn:  Auctor Lucan

          As Vinata was given a rather dry explanation as to what he was going to have to do for the patient, he listened intently and jut blinked for a few moments as he tried to collect himself as he realized that he was going to have to take care of this on his own, that he was going to have to do everything he could to save the arm, before it got too late. As Lahkesis turned and left to take care of other matters, leaving Vinara to turn to look at his patient as he could just blink and think out what he needed to do. Swallowing hard he quickly rushed off to gather a stasis container, he needed to find one that would be the right size for the appendage, he would have to clean it of metal once he was finished with the patient. He finished finding what he needed and he rushed back to the patient and he set the machine down before smiling to the patient. "Alright, we need to get your arm in stasis, with the shaking on the ship due to the combat, once it is safe we can take care of your arm so that we can get it prepped for healing."

Vinata put a hand on the patient's shoulder and one on the arm before gently pulling it away and set it into the stasis container before starting it up and letting it rest in stasis before Vinata took up some tweezers and a few other tools and sat beside the table where Vinata began to get to work. "Alright I need to remove the metal shrapnel from your wound, then I will take care of sealing the wounds and then I will do my best to close up your more superficial wounds while we wait for the doctor to be ready to take you in." He gave his best comforting smile as he reached to the stump of an arm and began to peel the metal and melted glass from the wound. Vinata was tense behind his smile, he was dealing with smells he did not want to think about, it was all so sickening and made his stomach twist into knots as he remembered the smell of the corpse he had been pinned under.

The only thing that took his mind from the horrors of the past was the plink of the metal and glass onto the tray Vinata had prepared for this. It took him the better part of five minuets to clean the worst of the wound, he needed to peel the metal out and clean up any seepage before using his tools to seal things up. Vinata had to take a tricorder back over the wound to scan for any more foreign material before he could move on. Vinata spent as much time as he could removing the more surface damage, removing the slag and other embedded material from the crewman's face and arm. Vinata had also made sure to put up the holographic curtain around the patient so that there would be no panic if someone were to look at them.

Of course in the shaking of the ship Vinata was a bit shaky, he would let out weak yelps and grip the table to steady himself as he would fight back panic, he needed to take his mind back, he was not in the triage center, he was not pinned to a table or under a fried corpse, he needed to remember where he was, to take a moment to remember where he was, he needed to look around to see the world as it was so that he did not get lost in the fear that was lingering at the back of his mind. For now at least he managed to get the patient cleaned up and his uniform stripped down with the larger bits of metal and glass removed, there was more work needed, but Vinata did not want to try and go beyond what he felt he could do comfortably.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #38
[ F'Rell of the Twelfth House | Battle Sickbay | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor, Summerdawn

Swimming slowly alongside the group, F'Rell quietly observed the individuals around her, taking care to avoid the strange and sometimes unnerved glances from the Theurgy crewmembers. Or at least that's what she assumed they were, it was difficult to tell when most humanoid species were as luminous as bricks. Liam and K'Ren definitely did seem close, almost as if they were... affectionate? "Liam Herrold, may I ask, do you and-" She stopped suddenly as she recalled a moment in the fighter bay when strange noises and phrases had come from a nearby craft, the source of which did not seem to be aware of her presence lurking further within. To onlookers it would have appeared as if she suddenly ceased speaking as the luminous color she usually emitted had suddenly drained from her skin. Just as quickly as it left, it returned and she attempted to approximate a dismissive gesture to indicate that whatever she was saying was irrelevant. "Actually, do not mind that, it is not important."
Shaking off the realization that she may have witnessed a very private moment between the two, she instead turned towards the EMH after K'Ren faded from consciousness. "Excuse me, I was wondering; now that she is out, do we have any way of discovering whether or not there have been any other survivors? And if so, where can we locate them?" She paused and felt as if she should add a bit more, to shake off any present worries. "Also, please inform the commander of this vessel that I would be willing to inform them as to the circumstances behind my presence among the crew of the Resolve. I do not wish to cause alarm."

OOC: So sorry about the delay, it's been weird over here. Rest assured, it should not interfere with my posting too much more than it has.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #39
[ Nurse Maal | Isolation Ward 02 | USS Theurgy | Vector 02 ] Attn: 1) The Counselor 2) Zenozine

To Maal's great chagrin, he was not only slapped by Hylota but chastised to various degrees by both the women, telling him to get his mind together and focus on Hylota's needs. That was exactly what he thought he'd been doing, but with his smarting cheek being the evidence, he had apparently let the panic get the better of him. But how was he not supposed to panic? The shields were gone! Hylota was in pain! They could die any moment! He was going to help deliver his own... eggs - children - and he had no idea what he was supposed to do. Helpless in the situation, at the mercy of any stray torpedo or phaser beam out there in the battle, Maal had no control whatsoever of the situation at hand, without a clue as to how he was supposed to handle anything.

"One priority... One priority..." he repeated where he stood in the water after the Counselor had spoken, his cheek still hurting because Ovri females were the physically stronger ones. When had the human undressed? He blinked at the lack of uniform jacket and undershirt, then he dismissed the conundrum, looking between the two females in the birthing pool. "Yes, Counselor. My apologies, Hylota. I... I will bring a tricorder."

Said and done, clothes soaked, Maal climbed out of the birthing pool and lumbered like drowned targ for the closest set of medical instruments. Right then, the Vector sustained prolonged enemy phaser fire, and the deck shook underneath his slick feet. Slipping, he caught himself the edge of the tray holding the instruments, and he tore them all down to the deck in his fall. The bulkheads came alive, two EPS relays exploding and sending sparks into the birthing pool's surface - water sloshing over the edges in the commotion. Smoke gathered in the ceiling, where two sheets of plating had come loose and fell down - one tumbling across Maal's wide shoulders. He snarled by the pain - unable to suppress his very Klingon reaction - but with great determination, he reached for the tricorder and began to crawl back across the shaking floor to the pool. Pointed teeth bared, he returned to the females, made an ungainly climb into the pool, and began to scan Hylota - trying to keep his footing even if he had no free hands to hold on to the edge.

[Intruder Alert. Intruder Alert,] came Thea's voice on the intercom, overriding all the noise, as if the Red Alert wasn't enough. One priority... One priority...

There was nothing they could do about any boarding parties, and little did they know the alert was an escaped prisoner.

[ CPO Liam Herrold | Battle Sickbay | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: Hastata-Nerada

Neko's words had been reassuring when it came to Merlin and his end, the pilot having died fighting. It had been his time, and they were still alive, alive to remember who they had been, and what they had been fighting for. Liam had nodded, squeezed her hand, and chuckled in embarrassment when she'd brought up the promise she had made. "I'll hold you to that..."

Soon, he was standing in the Battle Sickbay on Vector 01, seeing the EMH and a couple of physicians put K'Ren to sleep. F'Rell was about to ask him something, but changed her mind, making some odd gesture that he could not interpret. He knew some mannerism of the T'fanrell, but not nearly enough to be sure about the nuances of her communication. She couldn't have guessed what the promise was about, could she? Wait a minute, were she flying around in the hangar while we were..?

The potential embarrassment was spared from him when F'Rell spoke to the EMH instead, her asking about any other survivors from the Resolve. The EMH rolled his eyes as he prepared for surgery. "I am a doctor, not missing people service," he said dryly before returning to K'Ren. He continued once he had begun his preparations, his back turned to them. "Perhaps you should ask the computer. I keep hearing her subroutines are more advanced than my own. She might even be able to leave a message for the Captain, like some crude answering machine from the twentieth century..."

Blinking, Liam decided to give it a try. "Computer, where is the rest of the crew form the Resolve?"

[Crew from the USS Resolve may be found at Symbiotic Docking Airlocks 01, 02 and 03, the Battle Sickbay, as well as the conference lounge on Deck 01. Please specify.]

"Where is Erik Randall?" he asked, hoping his friend and COD wasn't far away.

[Chief Petty Officer Erik Randall is not on board.] There was a pause, before the computer added something that the Resolve's computer never would have done. [I'm sorry, but my sensors detected his life-sign vanishing before he could reach either of my airlocks, and it was concurrent with an explosion in your ship's EPS grid... right where he and several others from your crew were. There is a 93,334 % probability that Randall did not make it. My condolences.]

Numb, Liam stepped away, not knowing if he was supposed to react to the behaviour of the computer or her news first - mind split and equidistant to comprehension in both regards. Randall, dead? No, he had been right ahead of me in the corridor where I found F'Rell... He can't be dead. And how could the computer offer me condolences? No, she must be wrong. Intelligent, but wrong. Randall wouldn't...

Listlessly, Liam sat down on a chair - eyes staring emptily ahead of himself. He just couldn't accept the idea... "Erik can't be dead... He... was just..." Liam trailed off, blinking, not knowing what to say.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #40
[ Dr. Lucan cin Nicander & Heather McMillan | Corridors | USS Theurgy | Vector 02 ] Joint Post by Triage & Auctor Lucan
"At least I'm not thinking you're about to kill me..." Heather's body began to glow in a greenish light as she felt sickened, but she looked up hopefully, "'s really not much further? I don't fancy losing my arms if the bloody ship gives another shake like the last one."
"We're almost there," said Dr. Nicander, and after he'd reached for the handle of the grate above him, he climbed out into the Security Centre's gym. Once he was out, he reached down to help Heather up as well. He didn't bother to close the grate again, and he almost fell back into the darkness of the Jefferies tubes when the Vector was hit by another barrage of phaser fire. Or torpedoes. He really couldn't tell what was which beyond the fact that the attack had not been dampened by any shields.
"AAAHH!" McMillan shrieked in fright, hopping around like a terrified doe. Eventually she simply resorted to lying low to the ground. Quite without realizing it, the young Radiant had a vice-like grip around Nicander's ankle, in a vain attempt to prevent him falling over into the Jefferies tubes. If he had fallen, the truth was his greater weight and her far-reduced own would send them both to their deaths. As it was, the man was probably not even aware of the frail hand holding on to his leg, considering her concept of a vice-like grip was akin to a newborn kitten trying to hold something.
"Thea, which way did she go?" called Lucan after he tapped his combadge, face cast in red alert lighting as he looked down - seeing McMillan. He reached down to help her as she was quickly straightening up and brushing herself off, her eyes doing a quick visual examination of the doctor's condition. Being in possession of his mental faculties again, Lucan felt liberated, even though his face still hurt from Maya's strikes.
[Internal sensors in your area is offline,] answered the Ship A.I. through his combadge. [No Vulcan life-sign has been detected leaving the Security Centre.]
"She's still here?" he said, but he feared that Acreth may have decided to leave her behind, most likely killed her. "Has any other personnel left?"
[One human life-sign was detected leaving the Security Centre. All attempts to reach posted officers in the area have failed. The identity of the individual is unknown. My surveillance system is still offline, so I cannot optically verify who it is.]
Another thing Lucan had done, only everyone thought it was the Calamity A.I. when she'd boarded the ship and killed half the Senior Staff, which seemed so long ago. The surveillance system remained offline after Lucan destroyed it, but he didn't need it. He already knew which human had left. They were too late.
"Where is the human going?" he asked, already out of the gym and heading out into the main area of the Security Centre. Upon reaching the Aide's duty station, he saw an Ensign lying on the floor. He quickly crouched down to check the pulse while Thea answered him, his bloodied lab coat settling around him.
[The individual is heading towards the Science Labs.]
"He is alive, just unconscious," said Lucan with a glance towards the Radiant, and then he saw that the sliding doors to one of the interrogation rooms left wide open, the Brig visible beyond the room since the opposite door was also open. "Look..."
McMillan had been quietly trailing the doctor doggedly on tip-toe, looking partly like she was sneaking, and she was certainly quiet enough. Like a hunted mouse following a cat. When she saw the downed ensign, the young woman was already reaching for her tricorder when Nicander informed her of the man's survival, allowing her to exhale in relief.
Then she followed the doctor's gaze to the open door, which was unusual, but with the amount of damage the Theurgy was taking, some malfunctions were bound to occur. She only hoped that this was the last battle that the ship had to face, or the question of repair was going to become a serious issue...wait.
Her eyes studied the room beyond, and she saw an empty brig, with force fields down. A brig that had held a single prisoner, and literally the most dangerous being in the universe as far as McMillan was concerned. From the time she had heard about the woman, the young woman avoided this place like it carried the plague of darkness. She had heard what Sonja Acreth was capable of, and the prospect that she was now running free, had the girl shaking down to her toenails, and it wasn't because of cold weather.
"W-wasn't that where Ac-Acreth was...? Oh bloody hell..." McMillan's voice had gone all the way up into a terrified squeak. What was Maya doing?!?
"Thea, can you stop her?" asked Lucan, overriding Heather.
[Negative. My force-field emitters are offline, and the life-signs of the crew in her way have vanished.] There was a pause, in which it was apparent that Acreth had just killed anyone in her way. [She is in the Temporal Observatory Lab, no longer moving. She is accessing Junior Lieutenant Morali's computer system, but I have no access to the Temporal Affairs Officer's equipment, all of it left behind by the Relativity.]
"McMillan, come!" said Lucan, heading for the exit and the corridor, leaving the Security Center behind. "Thea, keep looking for Maya, but dispatch more guards to stop Acreth. We're heading there too." Of course, Lucan feared he already knew where Maya was, lying dead in the vacated holding cell or vaporised by a phaser, but there was no time to search through the brig. No time. Acreth was already in the lab...
"Hwuh?" said McMillan, her eyes widening, "Doctor...DOCTOR! No!" She started out after the man, but mostly because she didn't want to be left too far behind and alone in this place, now that Acreth was loose. "For God's sake, doctor, please stop! Dr. Maya is one thing, but if it's Sonja Acreth, you are in no position to take her on, and if Maya's with her..." Oh the horrors that could be inflicted between a mad Vulcan and...and whatever Sonja Acreth was.
"Please, we need more help! Let Thea get security guards least two!"
"If Maya let Acreth out of the Brig, she might be dead," said Lucan bitterly as he started down the corridor. "Security is on the way, but if she is loose on the ship, we're all in danger, and we have to do something. Everyone's at their battle stations, not suspecting whatever she might do. Thea, sound the intruder alert, keep your sensors on where she's at."
[Intruder Alert. Intruder Alert. Security to the Temporal Observatory Lab,] came the call in the corridor, where the intercom was online. Lucan rounded the corner of the next intersection... and stopped in his tracks. While Thea had said life signs had vanished where Acreth had gone, the sight of what she'd done was far more graphic than the computer's inadequate description.
"By the winds..." said Lucan, and while he should have grown accustomed to the sinister imagination of the parasites, the way Acreth had... toyed with the crewmembers that were strewn about in the corridor made him feel sick. They had all tried to stop her, and they had suffered the consequences before they died. In fact, Lucan was not sure he could count how many they were. The bulkheads were smeared with blood and ichor, and the overhead light flickered from phaser damage.
Quickly, he decided he had to spare Heather McMillan the sight, lest she would never follow him. He needed her, so before she caught up with him and reached the corner and the ghastly sight, Lucan stepped back and put his tattooed hand over her eyes, his other hand at the small of her back. "You don't want to see this... Trust me. Let me lead the way... I will remove my hand when they're out of sight," he said, voice thick. Not just from the carnage, but in the knowledge of what he had been - what he had been capable of before the Radiant pushed the darkness back into the abyss of his soul.
McMillan, to her credit, in her personal opinion, only whimpered once. Nicander could block her sight, and probably just as well, if it was bad enough that he didn't want her to see it, but he could not block her nose, and she could smell things slightly better than most humans. Nor could he block the sound. It wasn't a cacophony, but the silence, and the occasional sizzle and spark of damaged bulkheads and lights, none of which were the result of the battle raging outside. She could smell the coppery scent of blood in the air, based on how well she could smell it meant that much was outside of people's bodies. It was probably for the best that she had developed a tendency to stay behind the doctor rather than keeping up.
Her light was gone, with darkness in sight came darkness in body. Only her hair continued floating up at the slightest movements, as they were wont to do. Tightly she clutched the doctor's hand that was gently placed over her eyes, in part to keep balance, and in part to make sure that hand stayed there until he so chose to move it. That smell was going to be the stuff of nightmares to come, even if she was spared whatever horrific sight it was he didn't want McMillan to see. Despite all this, her palms began to glow, helping to warm the doctor's hand.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #41
[ Ensign Six, Ensign A'vura Zeshryr & Cir'Cie | Airlock > Conference Lounge | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] JP by Vystori & Auctor lucan. Attn: Arista, FollowTomorrow & Conference Lounge

By the time Six made it to the Theurgy she and Suq were no worse for wear, well, other than the hard gash on the top of her head that is. The rest of her looked frazzled, long braids flying all over the place and smoke and dirt all over her face, uniform, and hands. But aside from all of that, no worse for wear. When they reached the entrance of the Theurgy Six stopped a security officer just on the other side of the door and requested to be taken to where the rest of the bridge crew had been placed.

"Aye," said the man, looking between Six, Parnak and Suq, an odd gathering to say the least. "The rest of your friends are on Deck 01. I can take you there." Said and done, the guard quickly took the three of them to the turbo lifts, and escorted them all the way - his step hurried given the situation at hand.

Once in the conference room though Six took a moment to glance around at those that were inside. She noticed most of those that she'd worked with on the Resolve, and one from the station, Hi'Jak, an acquaintance she was a little more surprised to see. She did not, however, see the Captain of the Resolve there, and she walked up to a familiar face to ask if he'd made it on board yet. "Ensign... I'm sorry, I don't think I had gotten your name yet. Has the Captain made it here as of yet?" she asked A'vura with her blank expression.

"No, not yet, and it's A'vura," Zeshryr said back, "You're Six, right?" Six nodded and glanced toward the door.

"Indeed. If he doesn't make it here soon though I'm afraid he might not. What's the status so far on the ejected warp core?"

A'vura shrugged and glanced back over at the view screen that held the bridge of the Theurgy. "It was used to disable that ship. They just said that reinforcements are on the way, but it seems the Theurgy has a mission that isn't finished yet."

In the background of the briefing room, the Vulcan Cir'Cie lingered with the crew from the Resolve. She thought about the possibility to offer advice, but tactical situations were not her forte. She had nothing to offer Ives, merely hoping that the mission parameters were met and that they were able to escape in time. The odds, however, were not... ideal.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #42
[ Lt Hi'Jak|Conference Lounge | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: All

Jack looked around the confrence lounge. When Sera had introduced herself as the captain of the Sabine he found it kind of amusing. It was technically correct in that she was a captain outside of the normal Starfleet definition. Back in the 20th century he supposed she would be a member of the merchant fleets, which once the world was united never really existed again in human cultures.

Klingon's for their part had plenty of merchant vessels, it was what happened when anyone could own a ship, and every ship flew under the banner of a different house. Sure they were all united for the 'empire' but two different fleets could have extremely different tactics, and two houses didn't even need to speak to each other when in the same area. What the Federation gained in it's unity the empire had in it's diversity.

Putting aside the duel nature talk for a moment Jack let out a long sigh of relief when he saw Six enter the briefing room. "Six, I thought you would have been locked up in a brig or dead by now."

They had attempted to arrest Jack the moment he had gone to the labs to work. He had assumed they would have done the same to her. Which while they were aquanted with one another he still wasn't really sure if the woman was a friend.

Seeing Six also kickstarted his brain as he looked at the situation they were in. They were on board a vessel that was an enemy to the Federation being hunted by a captain who had betrayed the Federation, and about to be hit down by a Federation fleet.

"Well that's it." Jack spoke to himself for a moment thinking it over.

"Captain... Jane.. ivans?" He suddenly realized he really hadn't paid nearly enough attention to those briefings about the theurgy as he should have. Not being able to fully recall the name of your future captain was probably a bad thing, especially because Jane was a womans name.

"Sorry I realize I'm not all that familiar with your persona at this moment in time, but have you by any chance been able to run a decryption on the files i gave you? Cause we could broadcast that. The incoming fleet has no reason to believe you or the crew of the resolve, but me and ensign Six aren't from the resolve, we're from the Starbase, if you can give us a live video broad cast to the fleet we can call out Hawthrone for every violation of the rules he has done today, and then some."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #43
[ Lieutenant Keval ch'Rayya | Conference Room | USS Theurgy ] Attention: Arista, et al

Keval kept his attention focused on the situation shown to them on the view screen before him as his light blue eyes flicked back and forth, taking in everything as quickly as he could with his antenna barely moving at all as he showed how well that he could multi-task as he kept one ear on the conversation around him.

When he heard the question come from the former Borg behind him, Keval took in a deep breath and simply said "Our captain isn't coming, Ensign. He did what was necessary to protect our family." in a tone that booked no further conversation on the topic for the moment. "There will be time for that later, right now we need to focus on being able to survive the day and pay back Hawthorne for what's happened this day."

Mentally, Keval knew that his tone could possibly be considered to be cold but to those who had served with him thus far from the Resolve would know that right now he was more focused on the tactical sitatuion and how to adept things to ensure the saftey and success of his crewmates...his "Clan"..

When Hi'Jak entered the room and made his comment, Keval simply turned his head just a little bit to take in the hybrid with a slightly emotionless expression but the eye that focused on him was full of an emotion that Keval worked very hard to keep back this day;

Vengeance..a complete and utter need for it, raw and pulsing.

"You, Lieutenant, are preaching to the choir as you pinkskin ancestors would say."

Keval turned his head back fully to the information that was coming through and looked for the ident marker for the small craft that he had helped just before leaving the Resolve and hoped that they were still around.

After all, he owed someone a drink and he hated drinking alone.

[Provisional Ensign Lin Kae| Main Engineering| Vector 03| USS Theurgy] Attn: Nolan, Auctor Lucan

There was an intense pain in his lungs as he tried to breathe, it was almost like he was a fish stuck in an oven but he fought through the pain and tried to roll over onto his side, coughing hard as he did so as he noticed that he only had vision in one eye.

He tried to raise his right hand to see why he couldn't look through his left eye but found that he couldn't move that hand which felt heavy and numb at his side..the fact that it felt numb told him that the pain receptors was working but overloaded.

He looked around with his one good eye and saw that things were smoldering slightly before a huge wracking cough exploded from somewhere within him and it made him double over in pain as he quickly brought his good hand to his mouth and when he was done coughing he looked at it and saw the amount of crimson mixed within with other fluids.

"Not much time is there..." he muttered to himself as he forced himself to stand and then stumble over to a station that was still operational before he started inputting commands the best that he could with only one hand as he coughed some more but not like he did a couple of minutes before hand and what information started to come up surprised him and made him wince. "Thea, if you can dedicate any run time to run a type three radiation shield around the chief..that might help him just a little bit."

He had to stop talking as the effort to say all of that alone was enough to send him into another fit of coughing as he doubled over and this time the coughs where even louder and more painful and the man spat out a small stream of bloody fluids as he tried to gasp for breath.when the faint noises he heard behind him was close enough that he could turn to look at Doctor Duv from the Harbinger.

He allowed himself a moment to smile, it was a weak and pained thing but he was trying to show that he was happy somehow. "Hello Doctor..can you tell Cameron I tried?" he said in an attempt to be cheery through a damaged throat before another spasm of coughs hit him again.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #44
[ Task Force Archeron | USS Archeron | Main Bridge ] Attn: All

The mystical field of stars around the starbase; the plethora of planets and the outlying nebula, it had all fallen dark as the star passed behind the planet the base orbited. The twilight battle was joined by an almost instantaneous arrival of an overwhelming show of force. It was a vast array of heavily armed starships exploding into existence - all dropping out of warp. Before them lay the mighty siege of Starbase 84, where both the USS Orcus and a Defiant-class ship designated the Chester had suffered extensive damage - both adrift. Parts of the starbase was also venting plasma, besieged by USS Theurgy.

The USS Archeron spearheaded the reinforcements, an Odyssey-class beast almost as big as the Theurgy, alongside three Sovereign-class ships; the Ark Royal, the First Minister and the Monarch. The the entire formation of the task force were twenty-four starships strong. Aboard the bridge of the fierce, formidable Archeron, Admiral Sankolov remained seated in the centre of the bridge. As he watched the viewscreen, he thought about how this this was made personal months ago; raging vendetta. He thought of the nigh destroyed Orcus on the screen, how it had come to their aid above Theta Eridani IV, and how Slayton had insisted to be their forerunner to Starbase 84.

"Admiral, we're entering weapons range." One of the crew told their Commanding Officer.

"Excellent," Sankolov said, standing up - the air of authority drawing the eye of the bridge crew. He brushed his hand over his uniform, as though wiping dust off of his insignia. It had been a long, gruelling hunt. One that had taken them far and wide. He had missed his chance to destroy the Theurgy many times, and he had no intention of making that mistake again. He had the full might of Task Force Archeron behind him, and Ives had yet to retreat and make a run for it. In fact, Sankolov had been surprised to see his adversary linger.

"This is Admiral Sankolov," he said, patched through to his companions in battle. "We are in striking distance of the Theurgy. For too long, Ives has evaded the long arm of our fleet. Today, it ends. I want your full attention. Move out on my mark."

Sankolov waited for his officer to give a nod, signalling that they all reported readiness. "Defiant-class ships, move forwards and encircle the Vector 01. You are going to box in and overwhelm the Helmet. Don't let it out of your sight."

"The Benjamin Sisko, the El Dorado, the Elizabeth, the Encounter and the San Paulo are all moving out, sir." From the enormous grouping, the five appointed ships broke free from the pack, moving at haste to engage.

"The Dauntless and Kusanagi, put yourself between the base and the Theurgy. The Supremacy and the Conquest, you handle the Sword. Ark Royal, First Minister and Monarch, focus fire on the Stallion. Everybody else, I want you to form a circle of containment around the battlefield. We must not let any fighters or any part of that wretched ship escape again."

"All ships moving out, sir."

At this, Sankolov stepped forth on the bridge, overlooking the oncoming battle on the viewscreen. From his view, his loyal ships were now obstructing the line of sight to the Theurgy and the Starbase. The Admiral put his hands behind his back, holding one hand with the other. This was where his kin's reckoning would be made. The outbreak of the Niga virus had not come about in the present timeline, so all that remained was to ensure the destruction of the Theurgy, and keep the Federation ignorant of their involvement. Even without the virus, the wars to end all wars could still be waged, and reduce everything to ashes.

"Admiral! There is a priority one message from Starbase 84, sent on all channels. Patching it through."

[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Vector 01 ] Attn: All

Time was up, and the Archeron's fleet had arrived. Seeing their numbers being deployed, Ives could wait no longer for the boarding teams on the base to accomplish their mission. At least not with the forces available. They had one last chance, and he hoped their sacrifice was worth it. Anything for another minute, the simulcast due any given moment. The person named Hi'Jak had a good suggestion, all depending on the evidence available.

"Trent, send the Asurian signal, but don't leave them out there alone. Order whatever fighter elements that are left to aid our allies, but keep them close. Stark, decouple from the Resolve. Aisha, coordinate the reintegration sequence. Enter Standard Operation Mode as soon as possible, and be prepared to go to warp on my command."

Then, as if their prayers had finally been heard, the simulcast reached them from the starbase.

Yet... it was not quite the message Ives had made...

[ Priority Message | Starbase 84 | Emergency Fleet Simulcast Override System ] Attn: All

Upon the screen, a view of the Theurgy's bridge appeared, centred on the Captain's Chair.

There sat Jien Ives, bare-chested and holding the hilt of his dai-katana - the sharp point resting against the deck next to the chair. The imitation of a dragon tattoo sprawled across his left shoulder and down his chest, and his gaze was firmly locked upon the viewer of the recording. Already, the Senior Staff of the Theurgy would know something was amiss... because the Captain had worn a full uniform when the recording had been done.

"I am Captain Jien Ives, the Commanding Officer of the Federation starship Theurgy, and formerly a Starfleet officer," said the Chameloid by means of introduction, his voice monotone - soulless in the grave delivery. "By now, the news about me and my crew should have reached all corners of the Alpha Quadrant, so it's fitting that you hear this now, directly from me... instead of any excuses Starfleet Command may have for my actions."

Shifting the grip on his sword, Ives tilted his head forward - piercing the viewer with his stare. "At the beck and call of Starfleet Command, I peddled peace for many years, but it grew apparent how peace to the Federation was not the same as the peace for the people of all the planets I saw. All depending on Federation membership, Starfleet would grant or deny aid in any crisis. If it was in the interest of the Federation, I would be delegated to mediate. Yet if it was against the Prime Directive, then I was supposed to stand by and watch genocide take place before my eyes. I ask simply what others have asked themselves before, but dared not act upon. How, how can the invention of warp travel be the scales upon which millions, billions of lives are balanced, when the Federation possess the means to end wars and hunger across the whole galaxy?"

Ives rose from his seat, his imposing figure filling the screen - gaze unflinching. "It's because the Federation is flawed, as insidious as it is corrupt, and only looking after its own interests of expansion. Utopia is only available for the worthy, while the rest may burn for all that the admiralty care. Peasants, outcasts and unclean. Ignorant they are deemed, and condemned to perish and rot unless they learn the means to reach us on their own. Do you not ask yourselves how many millions of brilliant minds have been lost just because the Federation only saw to its own interests?"

Having made his statement, Ives raised his chin to the viewer. "You stood by and let them die when you could have made them your equal. The Federation will either have to change its policy, or learn from the new Romulan order, which will include the uplifting of species what would otherwise be left to die. True, sustainable growth is achieved not through denial, but inclusion. Through acceptance. This is Captain Ives, and I hope you are all watching... and learn the truth about the Federation's neglect: The extent of your crimes against species who never even got the chance."

Then, the screen went dark.

OOC: Next poster: Nolan.

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #45
[ Edena's Quarters > Main Bridge | USS Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Joint Post by Nolan & Auctor Lucan. Attn: All

The message had been uploaded by one of the boarding teams, the simulcast sent. They had been unaware of the false content inside it, and by then, the first bits of it would be seen all over the entire Starfleet communications' network. Including, of course, the Theurgy. Jona Rez' lips - or Edena's - formed a small smirk as his objective was completed. Now, he would try to save the crew, depending on whether they'd listen.

Placing the PADD down in Edena's own quarters, Jona stood up and walked out into the corridor. The former SI officer marched his way to the turbolift as the Red Alert klaxon kept blaring. On his way to the lift, there were a few crewmates laying wounded on the floor. They did not see him, so he ignored them. When enemy fire hit the Vector, he shifted his weight to compensate, hardly missing a step.

Once he got off the turbolift, his sudden appearance on Deck 01 had been overlooked easily enough, as most of the focus laid with the unfolding battle, yet also seemingly nearing  its end. Without pausing, Jona walked into the security checkpoint. The guard stationed there stood up to restrict her access. "Sorry Miss Rez... I can't al-"

His sentence broke midway as Jona simply pulled out the hand phaser from behind his back and shot the guard on sight before he could finish. "That's quite all right. They'll want to hear this," he answered idly as he walked over to the station, made his security override, and gained access to the bridge.

As the message came to an end, the doors whooshed open at the bridge and Jona stepped inside. His weapon in Edena's hand was trained on Ives, and even if he was without real intent of shooting the Chameloid, it stopped whoever would raise arms against her.
There was a hectic atmosphere on the bridge in the wake of seeing the message, and Jona could virtually smell the panic of some bridge staff. "Ladies and gentlemen. Fellow crewmates," he opened up as he looked at the viewscreen, a frown on his forehead as he witnessed the magnitude of the battle taking place before him. Task Force Archeron was present, but moreover, saucer-like ships were decloaking and engaging Sankolov's fleet.

Rounding on the person that walked onto the bridge, Jien first saw that the person was armed, and then that it was Edena Rez, wearing a red-collared Starfleet uniform again. "Rez?" she asked, but then she realised who it truly was, and that made her change... to his male form. "Jona." It was not a question. As a Chameloid, Jien had a habit of studying other people, and the Trlll's bearing was not that of his past First Officer, but his tormentor in Starfleet Intelligence. Jien usually associated with Jona while in his male form, therefore he had changed.

"Are you the one behind this?" he barked at the Trill, since it was so apparent that Jona must have been the one to change the recording of the simulcast. Given what was at stake, Jien snapped a few orders to his bridge crew, not about to be intimidated by the Trill or his phaser. "Thea, send for guards. Trent, maintain transporter distance until all boarding parties are back, whatever it takes, but tell Wenn Cinn to maintain access until further notice. Stark, try to find a copy of the right recording, and then send it to him immediately."

At first Jona just shrugged, the person in the body of Edena was standing on the bridge and looking rather nonchalant. He was unimpressed by Ives' fury and commands. "Well, yes," was the response to whether or not he was behind the altered version of the simulcast and if it was Jona in control of Rez's body. Although Ives seemed to be pretty sure about that.
"To be fair, Jien... You shouldn't let Cinn try to desperately maintain access to the transmitter. In fact, Natalie can stop looking as well. There's no copy left of your original message. No personal logs from the crew either. There..." Jona paused as he swallowed and seemingly got a bit unbalanced in his stance, wavering a little before he could continue. "The dispersion of those personal entries would just have caused more pain and chaos. Especially with the message sent out today."

"Why?" snapped Jien and rounded on Jona Rez again, his face twisted in ire, "Have you been working with the enemy all along? Is this why you betrayed this crew? Is this why you meant to side with Declan Vasser? How could you do this to us?"

"Betrayed?" Jona sighed and shook his head. "No Jien, this was never about betrayal... It just seems that you lost sight to the bigger picture. You fail to see what damage your message would inflict on Starfleet. How can any officer - or former officer in my case - let you continue on this crusade?" It was time to call out the captain and his crew about their folly, and he looked between them all.

"You are all so self-obsessed about your innocence, which I can understand. Yet risking the lives of millions just to clear your names? Inciting war across the whole Federation just so that you can return home? It goes against your oaths as sworn officers of Starfleet. You were about to throw all the political factions in the galaxy into chaos, shedding doubt unto the heart of the Federation, leading to riots - the seeding a civil war just the beginning! The lives of countless civilians would be risked over the goal to unmask the infiltrators, whom we must presume have most of our higher commanding officers under their thumb! Just think ahead for once, and see the ramifications of your actions!"

He looked back towards Ives. "You have made a military decision to protect your ship and crew, but you are a Starfleet officer, Ives. Repeatedly, you have claimed to uphold these standards. We don't put civilians at risk, or even potentially at risk to save ourselves. Sometimes we lose the battle and sometimes our lives. But if we can't make that choice, then we can't wear this uniform. Yes, it will be horrible if we all died a gruesome death or got captured by these enemies, perhaps tortured to death. Who knows what they have in store for us? Nevertheless, you should stand down now, before it is too late. Raise the white flag of surrender."

Jona lowered his phaser. "Because rest assured... the version of the message sent out now is not all it seems. The encrypted truth will reach the right people, people who could make a difference and discretely change the tide of this development, instead of smashing the problem with a sledgehammer. You and your crew had to be made scapegoats, shifting the focus away from my contacts as they'll begin their work."
He looked around to the assembled bridge crew. "I hope you understand now, that your simulcast would only have endangered those you all sent messages to, crumbled all faith in the Federation Council and caused so much death that we'd be no better than the enemy. Ives has misled you all, but now, he will likely take the full blame just to shorten your sentences."

Ives stood there, hearing his past mentor speak of the bigger picture once more.  He had forsaken Starfleet Intelligence to end up a diplomat, peddled peace and mediated conflicts through the galaxy. He, if anyone, knew the risk. "Wars, as a rule, fall within the compass of history. They mark the pitch of competing powers, the end of some and the ascendancy of others - the ebb and flow of dominance across the millennia. Yet you have heard Acreth's words."
Jien stepped up to Edena Rez's possessed body, his calloused hands fists at his sides. "There is a war that all species in the galaxy have waged for so long they have forgotten the languages they first used to describe it. A war that makes mere skirmishes out of the destruction of empires. There is no name for this war, much less a name for this enemy. We cannot reference what transcends the short interval of our comprehension. This war began when our most ancient forerunners were little more than savages roaming the wilds, in an age before the first script was yet to be made. They seek Reverse-Creation; to revert everything to primordial ooze."

"Oh, come on now, shape-shifter! You truly believe the words of a mad woman? We all know she's been used as a pawn by the usurpers. She'll say anything that would work our hand into their agenda!" Jona replied as Ives came closer. "Even if this war has been raging since eternity, submerging our galaxy in war and destruction - chaos upon so many - why can't we even try to-"

"This enemy represent chaos, indeed, meaning to tear down all order and construct we have ever achieved. This war cannot be fought quietly... at the risk of your whispers falling silent. I knew the risks, and I meant to take them!" Ives said, admitting the knowledge of the risk, but justifying it, "The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, however inconvenient, and it's the guiding principle on which Starfleet was based. I will stand up and tell the truth about what has happened. Even though I have bartered for peace for years, despite how I know the cost of war, I will not have the call to arms silenced! I will smoke these snakes out into the open!"

Jona let out a vile Trill curse. "Do you even hear yourself?!" Jona replied with anger in his voice. In the background, across the viewscreen, explosions could be seen as the fighter elements and drones fought the opposition, outnumbered. The saucer fighters that had decloaked earlier was cutting hard into the opposition, firing beams that had some kind of graviton shear. Task Force Archeron was trying to hail them, Sankolov, most likely. Jona Rez wasn't finished.
"You're talking about the risk of a galactic war here! Unleashing it upon the rest of the galaxy, and as we both know, most of the races out there aren't ready for it. You will be asking for everyone out there to arm themselves to the teeth, to trust nobody. All the work that our exploratory vessels did will have been for naught. After this war, there will be no more trust, as you'll never know for sure who's one of the enemies and who isn't.
"Not to mention the fact that the infiltration probably started at weapons facilities or manufacturers, law or military instances! You're signing a death penalty for everyone out there!" Jona's stolen eyes were going over the present bridge crew as he shook Edena's head. "Surely some of you must understand that this plan will only lead to genocide and mass slaughter of innocents. There must be another way."

"There isn't. The enemy must be known in order to be fought," said Ives, unrelenting in his position "We knew of the Dominion, and therefore we could take measures. Now, we can't." Ignoring the phaser, Ives turned away from Rez, meaning to deal with the situation somehow.

The eyes of Edena's body came to rest on the Temporal Affairs Officer. "Morali... You of all persons should know what kind of destruction these usurpers have prepared for us. You of all should know what could lie ahead. Ives has brought you back from the dead, made you a new shell at the cost of lives of our fallen people. You better step up to live up to that expectation, stop him where he might be wrong. If not, who knows... perhaps you just volunteered in order to try and save your people, as much good as it did."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #46
[ Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark and Lt. (jg) Sarresh Morali| Main Bridge | USS Theurgy - Vector 01 ]

"Standby, Captain," the voice of Sarresh Morali answered when Ives ordered him to look at the new evidence on Hawthorne, but he never looked up.. He didn't allow himself to be distracted. "Pulling the details now; there's a lot here. And yes, I already decrypted it." Sarresh snapped off in response to the voice over the coms. He had to focus; this could be the linchpin, what allowed Ives and his crew to change the tide, if they could prove it....

But for Natalie, it was much harder to ignore what was happening. The viewscreen seemed to swell with the wreckage of the Orcus - even across the vacuum of space the COps could see plasma fires flickering across its mangled hull. They had done that to a sister ship. True, that ship would have done the same or worse, but she had helped, along with everyone else. It was her help with the release of the Resolve's's warp core that had stripped away both the carrier ships shields and ablative armor, and allowed Cmdr. Trent's torpedo barrage to do so much crippling damage. It had been what was needed. It had been what was needed. Over and over, she reminded herself of that, and summoned up some of the steel she'd gained in her spine from her command of the Allegiant days earlier.

And now Task for Acheron was back, or would be, in mere moments. She agreed with the XO - the Resolve had to be let go, and fast. So when Ives gave the order, she turned her attention to that, blocking out everything else, save the sound of her name - always keyed in to that - and began to work in tandem with Lt. S'iti to make sure they were able to drop the Luna-class hull in a way that would keep it from slamming into any of the other vectors. The angled the vector between the two of them, Natalie routing power to the tractor beams again, while Aisha did the hard work of piloting the ship. As the viewscreen began to fill with the warp flashes of the incoming task force, Natalie cut the umbilical cord power to the Resolve from there, physics took over. Even in a vacuum, inertia was a thing. And with the tractor beams no longer holding vessel in place, the Resolve shot forward on a trajectory away from the Helmet, which Lt. S'iti pulled into an impressive come about maneuver, looping it back in towards its other vectors - just in time for both women to look up in shock at the image of their shirtless captain.

Fear gripped Natalie, a it tended to when she witnessed Ives male form - especially half dressed. But this - this was wrong, this was so, so much worse than that primal fear she had been fighting. Gasps filled the bridge as the message that was given - oh no. This was supposed to be their vindication. Their warning to the galaxy. Their one chance to clear their names and save the Federation from the threat within. She could hear her heart pounding in her chest, faster and faster. What had happened? How, how could it go so horribly wrong.

She failed to notice the sliding doors opening from the security checkpoint at the back of the bridge. Neither did Lt. S'iti. Both women were too stunned to do anything at all. But she couldn't fail to hear the sudden rush from security. Phasers snapped up, but to no avail, for Edena Rez already had the Captain in her sight.

Sarresh edged closer to the Trill from his console, eyes wide in shock at everything going on. It had all gone wrong, and now this? A new traitor in their midst? His eyes seemed to dart about, shock and surprise crawling across his face. He could feel eyes, all over the bridge, on Rez but - but one guard was eyeballing him. He froze up, swallowing, eyeballing the - the officer was young. Non com. Security giving him a look. Fine, can't move, made sense. Guard didn't want him moving, getting in the way. Sarresh could respect that.

Natalie snapped out of her stunned state and turned her attention to her console. Rez claimed there was no copy of the proper transmission file, but she wouldn't believe the Trill. Not without looking herself. Sure, there was a chance the Trill was telling the truth, but Natalie was one of the most talented forensic computer experts on the ship - it came with the job of being in charge of Operations. She knew her way around a computer system. Maybe, just maybe, she could recover the file.

She didn't listen to Rez justification, just moved to verify what the Trill said she had done, had actually happened. She turned back, looking at the captain and and swallowing the fear that rose up at his current form. But as Rez laid the blame of a future civil war at their feet, Natalie found she couldn't speak up. She didn't dare break the captains focus.

Next to her, Lt. S'iti finally began to execute the oders she'd been given prior - they needed to come out of MVAM, and crazy Trill or not, she had a job to do. Scaled fingers flew across the console, but the vectors were still far, far to distant from one another. And with all that was going on, she couldn't open a channel to tell them to change course.

Sarresh watched as the Trill and the shapeshifter argued back and forth. This wasn't supposed to be how it went, was it? Those eyes narrowed, and his fingers curled on the top of his science console. Too far away to do anything, even if there was almost nothing he could actually do. He was a scientist, not security - though he did remember that moment, in the sickbay, taking out the assault team of mutineers...Of course, he had neither phaser nor medical tool turned impromptu weapon on hand.

The eyes of Edena's body came to rest on the Temporal Affairs Officer. "Morali... You of all persons should know what kind of destruction these usurpers have prepared for us. You of all should know what could lie ahead. Ives has brought you back from the dead, made you a new shell at the cost of lives of our fallen people. You better step up to live up to that expectation, stop him where he might be wrong. If not, who knows... perhaps you just volunteered in order to try and save your people, as much good as it did."

Those enhanced eyes of his went wide in shock, Sarresh's mouth dropping open. Aware of every single set of eyes on him, the would be human swallowed his shock. He had made a promise to Ives, and now was the time to live up to it. He  ignored the taste of bile in the back of his throat at the reminder of his mission, the failure to save Amikris, the cost, the likely death of his former species. He thought of what would happen if the parasites were left unchecked. What would happen to Ryuan Sel right now if they didn't get the teams off the starbase. What Rez had done to their chances... " Just how pathetic are you. You died a long time ago, Jona Rez. You should give up your ghost act and leave this matter to the living."

Faster than even he thought possible, the same guard that had eyeballed Sarreh wiped his phaser around from behind his back, shouting out, "How Dare you try to subvert the will of Morali!" Every face on the bridge turned, almost as one, to watch as the young man depressed the firing stud and a beam blasted the Trill off her feet. "Morali's will be done!"

"Noooooo!" Cried out Sarresh, staring, mouth agape as some kid, some wet behind the ears boy shouted obscenities at the Trill, all in his name. The devotee scowled, realizing that Edena - Jona, whatever - was still a threat. He had forgotten to change the setting! Hastily, he thumbed the power bar over, swinging it to the far right and increasing the deadliness of the beam. He hadn't killed Rez outright, though the shot was deadly all the same - but she could retaliate, and that could not be allowed. "I won't let you stop him, I won't let you hurt Morali!" The die-hard cultist cried out, just as the rest of the security guards slammed into their young colleague.

The guard's hand clamped down over the would be hero's hand, squeezing, trying to push the phaser up and a way, clear the immediate threat to the crew. But the guard, he clamped down too hard, and his targets thumb depressed the firing stud even as he pushed the attacker - the boy, really, so very young - out of the way, twisting them about. The searing hot beam lashed out, far too low to fail to miss someone, though not at all in the direction the non com fanatic had originally intended.

For Lt. S'iti, there was no chance to duck, no chance to get away - and perhaps most mercifully no pain. The angry orange beam struck with deadly force to the back of the Cardassian woman's head, the energy ripping through her scaled skull, searing her synapsis. She was dead before her body crashed against the helm, and then slid down to the bridge floor. The vector lurched to one side, adrift on its course back to the rest of the Theurgy, the ship flying without input. Sarresh stared on in horror - Rez had been shot, and so had their pilot, by some fanatic that thought he was....was what? A God? A savior? A damned fool is what he was.

Sparing no time to watch Lt. Cmdr. Stark react in horror to another helm officer being blow away as she stared on, helpless yet again, Sarresh lept across his console, skidding over to the wounded Trill. The dying Trill.  Even not at the maximum setting, the damage - from the phaser bolt, the impact, or both, had been done.

"Answer me!" Sarresh pleaded, gripping Rez by the hem of her shirt - Jona was the one in charge but it was Edna who was dying. "Who are they? You've just damned us all so you can tell me, right now." Anger, guilt, need, they all swirled around in Sarresh's gut. Blood stained his fingers, the knees of his uniform, polling under Rez as he shook her, but Sarresh didn't care. Those stolen eyes of his read out the woman's injuries - she wouldn't survive. The symbiont might, but there was no time to wait. He needed to know - he needed to make it right. This was all his fault. "Who is it that is listening. Who is it that is going to hear that's fucking mess of a message you sent and understand that we aren't traitors. Who is going to keep the parasites from controlling the Federation? Who is going to trust us. WHO DAMMIT!?"

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #47
[ Lt.Com. Martin | Conference Lounge > Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Mathis, everyone on the conference lounge, Theurgy bridge crew,

For Martin, it was as if everything had suddenly turned upside-down, the fact that Ives was evidently a shapeshifter being the least of her worries. In such a short span, the identity of the Asurian signal had been revealed, an entire fleet had warped in, the Orcus was crippled, and then... the message. A terrible message, one of a radical movement which almost convinced Martin that the ship was full of traitors after all. But that was not the end of this sudden insanity. As it became clear that the message was not the intended broadcast, Martin peeled herself away from the wall to better focus and monitor the developments on the bridge. What information could have been contained in the true message? What was this about infiltrators? Who was this mysterious Trill threatening everyone?

The questions sent Martin's head spinning, like a maelstrom of terror and quandaries. She closed her eyes, tried to pull her thoughts together. She was a scientist, she could work through this logically. Opening her eyes again, Martin returned her attention to the bridge just in time to see disaster unfold. As the searing orange phaser beam flared into existence, time seemed to slow. She felt like she was moving through water as she broke into a sprint, spurred on by some base impulse to somehow desperately avert impending disaster. The few seconds it took for her to reach the door of the conference lounge seemed to stretch on forever, as both the trill and the helm officer fell.

Pausing, Martin swore and quickly shouted to Derik, "Veradin! Quick, with me, the helm officer is down, they might need you!" before before she bolted out to the bridge, briefly letting the nearby security guard know that Derik was a CONN officer. But upon arriving, the sight before her told her that she was too late, the damage had already been done.

[ F'Rell of the Twelfth House | Battle Sickbay | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Auctor
F'Rell pondered the computer's- no, an AI? Was the Federation making improvements in positronics? Regardless, the words it spoke resonated within her. She had tried to avoid thinking about it too much, but it occurred to her that many of her recently made friends would not return again. As the realization hit her she sank slightly, growing closer to the floor of the deck.

"I see." she acknowledged. She did not even bother with trying to add any sort of inflection or tone to the translation, for now she simply preferred to collect her thoughts. "Liam Herrold..." she uttered slowly, "I think that we should perhaps find the others. The others who are still alive. It might be helpful to find out who is still with us."

She paused, considering that perhaps Liam might also wish to spend time by K'Ren's side a bit more. She wasn't quite sure how humans handled this sort of thing, as a T'Fanrell she was used to relationship collectives commiserating together, though she had learned that most humanoids tended to express friendships or shared passion in a singular nature. Trying her best, she spoke again. "If you would like to remain here with K'Ren I can leave you with her if it is better that way."

She hoped that was the right thing to say. The thought also occurred at the back of her mind that it might be wise to locate some form of sustenance, as she was reaching the limit of what she could regenerate and feeling somewhat woozy. "Either way, I fear I must go, I need to find some way of healing myself."

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #48
[ Lt. JG Suq | Conference Lounge | U.S.S. Theurgy | Vector 01 ] Attn: Conference Lounge [Show/Hide]
When Suq arrived, the conference room was filled with people that he knew, but did not wish to speak to just yet. The impact of what was happening was still settling in his mind. This was supposed to be a good day. They were to come home, cry and hug and celebrate, sleep in comfortable beds, have a real, cooked meal, and walk about without the fear of something sudden and dramatic happening to them.

He pressed his back against the wall, near a corner, and looked at the vid-feed of the Theurgy's bridge and the war on its viewscreen. It almost felt like a dream or hallucination, something so surreal that it couldn't be true. But he had hallucinated before. Like all youth, he'd taken psychoactive drugs in his time, and he knew what a hallucination felt like. This was painfully, frighteningly real. He had to look down at the carpet. If he threw up, he'd rather direct the vomit towards his own feet, not towards the conference table.

“Our captain isn't coming, Ensign. He did what was necessary to protect our family.” He heard the words. He didn't want to. Hearing them out loud made it real. Kendrick was gone. Suq should have taken his place. The chief of engineering should have died doing his job, in engineering, like he's supposed to. He could have made up for the warp core's deaths. He could have re-balanced the scales. He felt a cold sweat on his body, his frightened mind thought the liquid was blood.

When he looked up again, he could not believe the number of ships he saw. Previously, there had not been that many. Now, it seemed an entire task force was there. Even a powerhouse like the Theurgy couldn't stand her own against a task force. Before he could think, his attention snapped to the priority message from the Starbase. That message sealed his beliefs. He should have never followed orders and allowed himself to be placed on a traitor ship. He should have stayed in engineering. He'd die here anyways, either at the hands of his new captors or at the guns of the task force. But what about everything he had seen? The data on his PADD? The voice he had heard that was so clear and familiar? What was this video about? What was going on?

Suq's whole body shook, he had to sit down on the floor to steady himself. His head buzzed at a million miles per minute. He felt the overwhelming power of his own death looming over him. Perhaps he had already died and was just dreaming. Was he even real? Why was it so hard to breathe?

None of these thoughts and experiences had happened to Suq before. The Efrosian had always performed unusually well under pressure. There had been many times he was close to death, but none of them felt like this, like he was drowning in all the new stimuli coming through. Shouting from the Theurgy's captain and some Trill. He couldn't keep up. There was just too much. Now, there was even fighting on the bridge on the screen, people dying.

As Suq ducked his head between his legs, trying to drown out some of what was happening, he missed a spectacular flash of green-blue light that lit up the whole view of the battlefield...

[ Chief Marshal Akri Sitaio | A.R.B. K'thill | Outside the Battlefield ] Attn: All [Show/Hide]
Chief Marshal Sitaio stood in the cockpit of her MK IV Overseer, outfitted with six deflector dishes. Her hands folded behind her back, her body tense, her face stuck in a wild grin as she surveyed the battle before her. Yes, the Federation was quite a sight in battle. They fought with a level of organization and order, and with a ferocity and passion. Any Asurian could find the blend admirable, to say the least. There would be epics written about the Theurgy alone, though it was hard to say what sort of masterpieces would be written about the battle.

The Chief Marshal's ship-mates, a gunman and a communications officer, stood at their positions, readying themselves for battle. The electric excitement in the air was tangible. Tails whipped about. The silence was deafening.

Before them, under the command of the Chief Marshal, lay the power of fifty-seven Asurian vessels. Their Ventrak cloaking, a type of cloaking unique to the Sheromi alone, made them almost perfectly invisible. Three squadrons of nineteen saucers each laid in their respective positions: One above the battlefield, squadron Ket; Two below, Ter and Aut. Packed in the hulls of squadron Ket were metal garbage, used ship waste, and a few mines scavenged from ships they'd pirated long before the battle. Packed in the hulls of squadrons Ter and Aut were the finest pilots and gunners the Asurians could offer.

Each and every ship practically vibrated with the exact same tension. This was their shining moment. They had promised this Captain Ives thirty fighters, but who were they to avoid battle? It had taken some all-out fighting to settle that the whole Asurian fighter force would not follow them to Starbase 84. As for what was happening, Sitaio concerned herself not. She did not care for the communications between the Starfleet vessels. That was for the higher Asurians to decide, perhaps the Sheromi. She had her pointed ear out for one message only, the sign they all waited for.

Sitaio heard her communications officer stir. His tail whipped about as he made the announcement. “We've got the signal. They call for aid at last. Theurgy tactical is transmitting signatures for their ally fighters. I'm spreading the word." The male looked up to see a wicked grin and wild eyes on their leader's face. All knew that the one named Ives would not call unless absolutely required, out of respect for the Asurian people. They were just about to make first contact, and a lasting first impression it would be.

"And so it starts!" Sitaio barked."Flight Marshal Hollu Neleo, squadron Ter, begin swarming. Focus on taking down their shields. Archeron, Ark Royal, First Minister and Monarch are all priority targets. Be swift about it."

On the small screen below her eyes, one Hollu Neleo, a wizened older gentleman with broad shoulders and wide horns appeared. His sharp face came to life as he he spoke - a voice that had commanded hundreds of battles before. [It is as you've commanded, Chief!] He replied to his commanding officer's orders, and he patched his voice through to his squadron. [Steady on your paths, pilots! Victory will come to the Neleo. Show them Asuria!] Before the Sitaio closed the feed, he saw how he narrowed on the Theurgy. She imagined he thought of Sar-unga, and meant to protect her at all cost.

At once, the nineteen saucers of Ter decloaked and shot forth. They flew up in graceful spirals and curves, weaving between debris and ships as if they had choreographed the death-defying dance a hundred times. Their deflector shields lit up, brilliant blue-green flaring as they charged and then fired their graviton beams at the shielding systems of all the larger ships. Some saucers were firing more than one beam at the time, targeting multiple starships. The Federation ships lit up with the same striking blue green as their shields could not repel the unexpected energy. The green beams disrupted their shields, pierced in seconds alone, and caused severe damage through the resulting gravimetric shear.

The saucers moved quickly, and each of them in their own direction as the individual pilot saw fit, there was no true way to predict the flight path of the swarm. There was no formation, no organization, nothing to predict except chaos. Some flew over the task force and back down again, some remained below. All of them went wherever they damn well pleased. On the viewscreen aboard the K'thill, the Chief Marshal's face lit up with the blue-green light displayed nearly everywhere. Her pilots had swarmed like this many times before, only never before in the Alpha Quadrant. It had worked so many times before during pirating. This was, for them, like practice. Their targets were large. That was the only difference, and it did not concern her. Their power as a group would not be reduced if they managed to hit one or two saucers down.

"Flight Marshal Aris Sareto, prepare squadron Ket. As soon as they move to counter Ter, that will be your cue. Target the lesser ships. Push them into one another. You have permission to ram. Kinetic shields up as soon as cloaking goes down. Pay attention to those called 'Defiants'. They are small and powerful, like us. If you can pierce the command center of a ship, you must."

Aris Sareto, a towering wall of a man sat at the controls of his ship, in the background of the screen before Sitaio. He was fortunate enough to have a communications officer to answer for him, while he gave out his own orders. [It is as you say,] said the officer, Sareto speaking in the background. Below the task force, the Ket squadron uncloaked. Before moving, their kinetic shielding came up, a shimmering of light that seemed far too thick to be the same as the Federation shielding. They took longer to spring into action as their shielding reached full power. All nineteen saucers went screaming past the Theurgy, glowing discs flinging out the end of some invisible railgun. The grace of Ter squadron was just not here. As enemy shields weakened, saucers from Ket squadron flung themselves at full speed towards the hulls of those starships, sometimes nudging the smaller ships far too close to the hulls of larger ones. Favored targets included pylons between nacelles and ships. Their new ally, shapshifter Jien Ives, had told them to take advantage of these structural weaknesses, which albeit being a non-lethal way, was rather quick and effective.

Sitaio paused to see this, before speaking to the last squadron. "Flight Marshal Auria Neleo, Squadron Aut, if your squadron has not activated their mines, do so now. Prepare for disposal. We will not carry a single piece of garbage home. Victory is Asuria!"

[It is as you command!] An energetic voice replied. In the pilot's seat sat Auria Neleo, a young, sprightly man. A nearly-identical man with a nearly-identical voice manned the controls in a seat next to him. Unlike the other ships, no one could stand in the lab section of the saucer, which was soon to be exposed to the vacuum of space. Auria and his brother Nuria worked in silent symphony. There were no two warriors who united as well as they, and Sitaio knew it. [Let's bring 'em down!].

Aut squadron swooped down from above. This squadron had a flight pattern, as they smeared garbage across the field just in front of the task force. Chunks of satellites and abandoned communications towers, bio-waste, carcasses, empty containers, warp core components, plasma waste in barrels, scraps of metal, old fuel, chunks of furniture and firewood, powders of unnamed substance, and damaged storage containers began to litter the field. If it could fit in a saucer, it was dumped. Hidden among the garbage were mines.

They could hardly be called mines in the legal sense, though. Although some were gravitic mines, scavenged from leftover battles, most were simple homemade bombs strapped to a proximity sensor, hidden in crates and barrels and inside half-constructed cabinets left to drift among the garbage. The area just in front of the task force was dangerous to travel - even for saucers. If the garbage and explosives did not meet the hull of a ship, or the shields, the deflectors would trigger the explosives before being pushed aside. It was a tactic the Asurians took full advantage of.

And so the tides of battle drew in, revealing a force unknown to the Federation. Their signal read as alien, their communications difficult to decipher, their weaponry and their cloaking unlike anything seen before. In every heart - beating wild - and in every great warrior piloting their saucers, they knew one thing.

This day, Akri Sitaio thought, glory comes to the Theurgy. Victory is Asuria.

Much thanks to Lucan for writing with me for this post!! It's a real pleasure!

Re: Chapter 07: Cost of Truth

Reply #49
[ USS Resolve Wreckage | Adrift ] Attn: All

Since being cut loose, the Resolve drifted silently in space. It's life support exhausted, it's shields gone. The engines dead. The hull of the abandoned ship was in every sense of the word a graveyard. A tomb in space ready to be pulled apart and decommissioned. During the priority message, the inertia from having been cut free from the Theurgy caused the ship to drift a considerable distance, small pieces of debris flaking and breaking off from where there had once been a nacelle.
Then, as Task Force Archeron deployed its forces around the starbase, the Aerowing broke decoupled from the Resolve's saucer section. The small ship was suddenly at full power, it's shields charged from it's earlier encounters. Aboard it, there was a single life sign. The shuttle's tractor beam caught a loose partition of Resolve's hull, pushing the broken section of the saucer upwards like a shield. It started to make a run towards Starbase 84.

[Captain Tristan Kendrick | Aerowing ]

Kendrick could hardly think of a worse day than the one he had been having. A whole task force had followed the renegade Captain Ives, and by the sound of the priority communication sent out moments prior, he may have just handed over his crew to a mad shapeshifter. A shapeshifter with strange allies, it seemed, since a new force of saucer-like fighters were decloaking and attacking the task force. He was too weary to be surprised by it.

The Aerowing had been in low power mode, drifting with the wreckage of his former ship, laying in wait. Only two systems had been active as it drifted in the cold void of space to draw as little energy and attention as possible. The environmental controls heated the small bridge of the Aerowing, and the communications system. Every unregulated form of communication that came from the Starbase 84 was being filtered and listened too. He had one target left in this world that had any weight to him one thing that could bring him piece and he just needed a voice in the dark.

Then he heard it. The voice of the only traitor that mattered. "Computer, two to beam to Shuttle Bay 5-C," and the automatic reply that denied him that request. Kendrick smiled, locking onto that single line, Hawthorne was trying to run. He triangulated the source in a couple of seconds.  Kendrick cut the communications feed once he had the location and turned the ship to full power, there would be no hiding anymore, if Hawthorne was getting ready to run, then it was time to cast off the remains of the Resolve and make his charge.

His crew out of reach, and in the hands of a traitor. His ship in tatters, destroyed by a different traitor. Everyone on the verge of a fight they couldn't win, and here he was... a man half dead and yet somehow still breathing. Kendrick was done with speeches. They hadn't solved his problem earlier, and the last one he had made which had proclaimed Hawthorne's intentions had been lost with the Resolve before it could be sent or transmitted. There was nothing more he could do to clear the name of himself or any of the crew. But Hawthorne needed to be stopped, and now that he had a location and a ship. He could force his way into the starbase, and make sure that Hawthorne paid for all the crimes he had committed against the Federation.

When he had reached to the Aerowing, he didn't know how long ago it was, he had raided it for every medical supply he could find. His body was laid to waste by radiation, with a large amount of burns covering his body. He had lost some of the thickness in his hair from the initial exposure, and currently sustained himself with a mixture of painkillers and steroids that no doctor would have prescribed. It was only through his background he knew what he could inoculate without loosing consciousness.

He made no effort to contact the Theurgy. Whatever side the traitor Captain was on, he knew there wasn't anything he could add to that fight. While he was sick of traitors, he had already chosen to side with that one, and his crew was aboard. There was, however, one thing he could do. The same objective that had made him decide to leave Marquez behind. As the Aerowing broke off from the battle around it, using a part of the Resolve's hull as a shield to avoid detection and block stray phaser fire, Kendrick soon deactivated the tractor beam, breaking off to head for a singular objective. Starbase 84. He had thought he'd have to penetrate it's shields somehow, but just as he came into range...

...the shields in his way dropped. Little did he know that one of the Theurgy's boarding teams had cleared his path. However it happened he was grateful for it.

With Starbase 84's shields down, Kendrick made a silent thank you for whatever had happened, and he armed his ship's full complement of micro-torpedoes. He fired away, his launchers coughing ordinance into the hull. Once they had all been spent, still not slowing down, he used his pulse phaser cannons against the small target area. Air and debris vented against the Aerowing's deflector field, and before any structural integrity shielding could be raised, Kendrick's small ship burst through the hull of the starbase and into the atmospherically pressurized recreational dome - the sight of grass and the Executive Officer Complex tower filling the viewscreen.

The ship shuddered at the sudden switch between impulse and atmospheric flight, the systems compensating for the change. Kendrick had to steel himself against a shot of pain and try to keep control of the ship as it made ascended towards the EOC tower in the center of the dome. He chuckled for a moment, his ship likely visible through the windows that overlooked the usually peaceful promenade. He opened a comm line to the Command Center at the top floor. His dry cracked voice and video display would likely show just how ready for the grave his body was at this point. His dying yet satisfied grin would tell anyone still left in Ops exactly what was about to happen. "Going somewhere, Hawthorne?"

With words of the past echoed, Kendrick closed his eyes. With the shields down, Ives crew could beam out. He could point his ship firmly at the one traitor who had destroyed his ship, killed members of his crew, and worse, would sent the entire Federation into war. A traitor who with the chaos of the day could very likely be called a hero for his actions, but he would not live to see the next day. He would not get to continue selling Starfleet secrets, befouling the institution that Kendrick had held dear, and throw the Alpha Quadrant into the greatest war ever witnessed.

Kendrick would be a dead man, but he would go down content that at least one traitor could do no further harm.

He opened fire into the Command Center, shattering transparent aluminium glass and tearing the area apart with his pulse phasers.

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