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Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]


[ Lt. Carson | onboard the Apache | Romulan Space ] ATTN: @BipSpoon   @Stegro88     @Nesota Kynnovan @Number6 @Dree

He hated this fucking job, but he hated the Infested even more. Wasn’t a particular fan of Romulans, though he’d be damned if he ever breathed a hint of that anywhere near the LT leading one of the two major missions at this damned R&D facility. Only a handful of their overall team remained with the Apache, while the rest were currently infiltrating the facility. Carson didn’t know if he was among the “lucky” ones to remain behind or if they were the ones damned to death because he could feel it in his bones, people were going to die on this mission. A lot of them.

“I’ve got two latinum bars on the LT,” he turned his head to smirk at Martin, the only other crew member still on the bridge while the rest of the skeleton crew manned their stations elsewhere, “she’s going to blow this whole place sky high.”

Martin cocked his head, staring at Carson as if he were an idiot, “Why the fuck would I want to bet against that when that’s rather what part of the mission is about?”

“Well,” Carson snorted, “I didn’t say whether she would do it while she and the others are safely aboard the ship.”

“I can’t tell if you’re hoping people are going to die on this mission or if you’re just so fucked up that you’re assuming we’re all going to die,” Martin glared at him a few more seconds before sighing and shaking his head, “Probably both.”

Carson shrugged, gaze wandering back to his console, observing the monitors as they beeped this and that regarding their away teams. It was about time to check in with the rest of the skeleton crew, make sure everything was up to speed and ready in case shit went south–and it would. He may hate his job, but he didn’t hate EVERYONE on the crew so much that he’d be the fucking twat to get them all killed.

OOC: The objective of this thread is to infiltrate the facility, scan the triggers and anything else useful for combating the thalaron-based weaponry. There is a story prompt that may be accessed during the time on the facility if anyone in this mission thread, or the other mission thread, is interested in taking that on. I will be NPCing Bip's characters of Henshaw and Rez until Bip gets back.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #1
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]  @Stegro88  @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan  @BipSpoon @Dree

Cameron squeezed her eyes shut as she waited for their team to get through this next round of security protocols before they could enter the station proper. They were barely inside the station on their mission, and they’d already almost lost one of their teammates. Okafor’s suit malfunctioned just shy of their entry point. If sh’Laan hadn’t been quick on the response, the medical officer would’ve shot clear past the station and continued on into open space until his propulsion unit had given out entirely. It’d been a damnably tricky approach, and she made a mental note to speak to Ives about increasing their suit training. They’d had to double up more and nearly compromised their approach since more members on their team were not fully qualified for all the suit maneuvers, which was part of what led to Okafor’s malfunction.

Glancing at the rest of the group, Cameron gave them a reassuring nod (a gesture she wished someone would do for her). “Red team should be infiltrating on the opposite wing by now and will plant explosives as they make their way to the docking bay. We are to contact them if we become compromised only, then they’ll start rattling the pots and pans to draw off attention so we can complete our mission. We are to rendezvous with them in the docking bay at 0100. That gives us seven hours to find everything we can to give our people a leg up against Tal’Aura.”

Cameron waited for questions or comments, inwardly sighing when the last hatch baring their way to the station was opened, compliments of bypassing the security protocol. Seven hours was a long time and not enough, giving them plenty of opportunities to get caught or succeed.


The Theurgy-based NPCs in this chapter are: Amelya Rez (NPC), Tyreke Okafor (NPC), Chief Warrant Officer 2nd Class Guy Benton (NPC), Lt. J.G. Vince Kennedy (NPC).

If you opted in for the odd and bizarre secret prompts, you can use these in any of the chapters.

Rye, PC, and Hans may choose to join this chapter or the other, TBD.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #2
[Lt Reika Sh’Laan | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@Stegro88  @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz  ((later on: @RyeTanker  @P.C. Haring  @Hans Applegate ))

Reika stood only feet away from Henshaw who seemed to be gathering her thoughts as everyone congregated just outside the last barrier to entering the station.  Everything in Sh’Laan wanted to pull at the blasted EV suit.  ‘These weren’t made for Andorians,’ she thought.  And they weren’t.  Her antennae were plastered flat forward against her head.  She could feel them squirming trying to work their way into a more comfortable position.  ‘At least these suits have climate control settings, so my eyes won’t burn from drops of sweat.’ 

At that moment at the head of the group, Henshaw started giving them what would likely be their final briefing before they entered the research facility.  While she listened to the Ensign, Reika glanced diagonally at Okafor to ensure he was recovering emotionally from his snafu with his EV suit.  Despite the suit's environmental controls, Reika could see beads of sweat dotting his brow.  But from what she could tell, he seemed to have his mental faculties about him again and his attention was at the front of their column on Cameron.

Her eyes gliding back to the short woman in the front, the Andorian took in everything Henshaw was saying.  Seven hours.  Seven hours to find a needle in a haystack.  Sure they had tricorders with them, but in a station this size the thaleron triggers could be almost anywhere, there was no guarantee that they were going to find them all …  They weren’t even given a number - instead they were told just to find them and gather the data - in seven hours.  And while seven hours felt so short for their task, seven hours also gave them an eternity to get caught or wounded or … worse.

As her thoughts paused momentarily on the ‘or worse,’ a picture of Kino flashed across Reika’s mind, and she deliberately pushed it away.  This was not the time to worry about either of them.  This was the time to focus on the mission - to be all in - to be single-minded. And while she loved that gorgeous Trill and would do everything in her power to be reunited with her, she couldn’t allow herself the luxury of thinking of her right now.

With eyes and thoughts back on Henshaw’s last words, Reika drew a long slow breath as she waited for anyone else's questions and thought of a small piece of earth literature she had memorized at one point that felt very fitting in their present circumstances. 

‘Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our [Romulan] dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage.’
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #3
[Lt Vanya| Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@Stegro88@Dree   @Nesota Kynnovan a Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz tz  ((later on: @RyeTanker Tanker  @P.C. Haring Haring  @Hans Applegate ))

As Vanya looked around the enemy space station, she considered the paper portfolio nestled in her gear back on the ship  It was a proposal on the positive uses of Thaleron, written by a Theurgy lab orderly.    Nueva had once been a promising officer, but this research, like the subject itself had burned through and obliterated her career.   If they were still in the Federation, Vanya would have committed a court martial offense.   She would have been drummed out of Starfleet, but not before some vengeful admiral had her freedoms overridden and had her dismantled and archived in some back water annex of the Daystrom institute.
  
Few things made Vanya more uncomfortable than Thaleron.   She tried to weigh things up rationally.   Perhaps it was the destructive potential of the stuff.    As a scientist, every thought and position she had told her that it was something that should be destroyed, and every piece of Thaleron research should be locked on a fire wall where after successfully entering a 47 character encryption key, the person must take an ARA test to confirm that they are not going to use the data to construct a weapon, just that they are looking to counteract the effects of one such bomb that had been created somewhere else.  

On the other hand, she was much like a Thaleron weapon herself.    They were both created by Romulans.   They were both designed to be weapons of last resort, her an android that was against all Romulan doctrine on synthetic life forms, Thaleron a weapon that could rip the life from a world.  And yet…

She had been allowed to escape.   Her creator had given her a spark of self-determination and independence – something that many cultures had feared in AI’s since the earliest speculative fiction on a hundred worlds.   And yet, she had not attempted to usurp organics, or enslave them, or do anything other than what was asked from her as a Starfleet officer.    And yet, just by doing that and doing what was ultimately right, she was a renegade anyway.    

Was her mother, and Crewman Nueva truly that different?   She might be an officer of Vanya’s grade, or above, but in focusing on illegal Thalaron research, she had doomed herself to scientific oblivion, in the same way her mother cand condemned herself to death for something that she believed in too.   It was clear from the research.  

Still, the time for debate was past.   The mission was clear.   

"Let's do this." she said at last
Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #4
[ Major Sareth | Deck 20 | Aboard the Tal’Shiar Ihnerha Faehht Emaifha Laeosa Mniohr (Tal’Shiar Second Secret Disease and Weapons Research Space Station) |  Romulan Space, approximately 24ly from Romulus ] @BipSpoon @Stegro88 @Nesota Kynnovan @Number6 @Dree

He found it most fascinating that a mere day after they’d finished their drills for a station breach, they’d been truly breached. Sareth had felt the jolt of the Starfleet ramming into the station, and so knew that this was no mere drill. He’d already been in the process of ordering everyone in his sector to arm themselves and switch on the Hvei’khenn units when the orders came in from Riov Vrikol himself to do that very thing. Sareth distinctly remembered the bloody the Hvei’khenn unit had made of the Nausicaan test subjects they’d pitted against it in its trial runs. He didn’t look forward to cleaning up the mess the unit would make of any unauthorized personnel it came across. Still, such messes were necessary when guarding the type of technology they had aboard this station.

Sareth paused in his movements when he heard Vrikol speak on the overhead.

[ Our station has been breached by Starfleet personnel. They are here to steal from us, to destroy us; we cannot let them. All station personnel are to remain armed and on the alert. Do not attempt to question the intruders. Incapacitate them in whatever manner necessary. Once you capture them, take them to the commander center for that deck for further processing. Do not abandon your stations; do not give up ground. ]

Sareth smiled, catching similar smiles of confidence from the men and women around him. A few smiles turned into looks of confusion when Vrikol continued, this time in Federation Standard.

[ We know you are here, Starfleet. We are hunting for you, and we will find you. ]

Sareth understood it plainly enough and happily translated for those who didn’t know, garnering another round of smiles. His personal PADD beeped, and Sareth glanced down to see the clearance for the Ghalai toxin. None of them were in danger, but for those Starfleet vermin seeking to steal from them, they would be very, very soon.

For reference, the neurotoxin is scentless and tasteless and spinning images and sensations into victims minds and leaving them temporarily mad and thoroughly incapable of fighting back. And the attack and defense units are this

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #5
Lt Reika Sh’Laan | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@stegro88 @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @RyeTanker @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate

Reika’s eyes had been on Henshaw, waiting for the order to move out to be given, but as the voice came over the COMM system.  “Our station has been breached by Starfleet personnel.  They are here to steal from us, to destroy us; we cannot let them.  All station personnel are to remain armed and on the alert.  Do not attempt to question the intruders.  Incapacitate them in whatever manner necessary.  Once you capture them, take them to the command center for that deck for further processing.  Do not abandon your stations; do not give up ground.

Then she heard another voice, “We know you are here, Starfleet.  We are hunting for you, and we will find you.

The other team was onboard by now.   Hopefully, they were already about their work of setting charges.  It was time to move.   Reika looked over at Henshaw with a nod.  Then glancing at the others, she gave another nod and started off. 

On her way to the station, the Andorian had studied the schematics, so she knew where she could go.  The problem was that none of them knew where to go.  And that wasn’t the only problem.  they didn’t know exactly what or even how many of the items were looking for.  They only that these - seemingly everyday items - held the trigger of the Thaleron Radiation.  Likely they would need to do a room-by-room sweep scanning for anything that could trigger the radiation. 

The Andorian input the code they had managed to steal and opened the final barrier between them and the Tal-Shair was gone.  With her weapon cradled in her hands, she started off down the corridor. 

Eerie quiet surrounded them as the small group infiltrated the station.  Coming upon the first room, she glanced behind her making sure that the person to her rear was ready to cover her if someone was in the room.  Breeching the room, she swept her rifle across the room and once she was certain that they were alone, the blue skinned woman held her weapon in one hand and pulled out her tricorder with the other scanning the room for anything that could be a potential trigger for the dreaded radiation.  But after moments, her tricorder told Reika that this room was clean.   She holstered her scanner and once again grasped her rifle in both hands, moving on to the next room.
Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #6
[ Ensign Cameron Henshaw | Storage Bay | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ] Attn: @Stegro88 @Nesota Kynnovan @Ellen Fitz @RyeTanker @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate
[Show/Hide]
Cam awkwardly held the rifle in her arms. She was no soldier, she’d been in a few scrapes, sure - but a soldier she was not. Hearing the voice over the comms system of the Romulan Base was certainly not the way she wanted to start the mission. “Timeline just moved up.” She remarked, to those around her. She wasn’t just going to lie to them, and was likely doing a terrible job at hiding her own apprehension. For the first time in a long time though, she felt as though she had something to come back to, not just work. So she steeled her nerves, and swallowed down the fear that threatened to consume her.

There was no way they had seven hours.

That part of her, the part that brought the ups and downs in her emotions, tickled the edge of her mind, prodding her with intrusive, unhelpful, and paranoid thought. She licked her lips, and held the rifle up in a ready position as she pushed forward, Tyreke Okafor took up the position beside her, each of them taking a quadrant of view as they pressed into the station.

She felt a jolt, and it certainly didn’t feel like a small one, her arm institúyelo reaching out for the man next to her to steady herself. Each of them did so, and quickly regained their footing, “What was that?” Cam asked, not really caring who answered, any answer would help.

She pressed in on a room to the left, it looked like a storage bay. “Let’s start the sweep.” She sighed, then opened her tricorder, scanning each of the crates in the room. She heard a creak from her left, Okafor, on her right, looked up and his eyes went wide. All Cam saw as she turned her head was a single red eye, and a massive chassis before she was flung across the room and into a shelf, she shouted out over the local comms, they were made anyhow, damned if she died in a fucking storage bay. “Contact!” As she shouted it however she saw Okafor move out from behind a crate and open fire on the metal monstrosity that had emerged from…somewhere in the room.

The machine tanked the hits, its exoskeleton clearly scorching but it wasn’t enough. There was four clean shots to its chest before it picked up Okafor in its hand, and leveled the weapon…no, the cannon that served as its other arm against his chest, firing once and dropping his limp body to the ground. “Okafor is down! Need backup!” Cam jumped out from behind her cover, and dialed up the setting on her phaser, dangerously high. She pulled the trigger once, aiming for a bulkhead to the rear of the mech, what looked like an EPS relay.

It exploded, throwing cam back even further…and catching the mech in an arc of energy, causing it to momentarily freeze. Her entire body hurt and even worse she felt…strange, like the room was spinning, and those thoughts that plagued her daily grew ever louder. “No, no, no…not now.” She muttered, her breathing quickly becoming labored.

[Amelya Rez]
Amy heard the call over the comms and pressed forward, not knowing what part of her shattered mind compelled her to now run INTO danger instead of the opposite direction. Jona ran right beside her, as real as any other crew member to Amy, though only she could hear him. Only she could see him. Only she could touch him. She was haunted by him, night and day.

She turned into the room, seeing Henshaw on the ground, she looked to be hyperventilating, the blast likely knocking the wind out of her. She turned her eyes forward, seeing the mech frozen in the arc of energy, and the body of Okafor on the ground before it. Much of its armor had been blown off by the blast, but for the time being it was stuck. Amy opened fire with her phaser as she ran towards Henshaw, grabbing her by the straps on her shoulders and dragging her from the room, the whole time the yeoman protested, and screamed as much as she could. “Henshaw! Calm down, I need to-“ Cam elbowed her straight in the shin, desperate to get away.

“Who the fuck decided to send this one?” Jona shouted, firing his phaser. In reality, Amy dragged with one hand and fired the phaser at the mech with the other, though her mind told her a different tale. As she breathed, heavier and heavier she felt…dizzy. “Woah…” She muttered. She’d taken an antitoxin before she’d come aboard but…she opened her tricorder, and sure enough there was something in the air. “There’s something-“ She coughed, even over comms, “In the air…”

Jona picked her up by the shoulder, slinging his rifle, in tandem as Amy secured hers, and dragged Henshaw from the room. “Need more guns in here!” Amy shouted, as she began to treat Henshaw, who luckily had escaped with only minor injury, and whatever was in the air. She felt it, but somehow that. Extra presence in her mind…it kept her centered, at least from the time being. He guided her, talked her through what she needed to do, and when the EPS unit turned off, and the mech got free, he raised his rifle, just as Amy raised hers, and started firing at the monster. Their actions were one and the same. What he did, she did. Even if she saw him doing it…they was her actions alone. Something she had yet to fully grasp.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #7
[Lt. Vanya | Corridor| Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ] Attn: @Stegro88  @Nesota Kynnovan ynnovan @Ellen Fitz @RyeTanker  @P.C. Haring @Hans Applegate  @BipSpoon


Vanya had met Romulans before.   Hell, not long ago, there was a pow wow, to use the human idiom, for them on the Theurgy.   Yet to hear the voice of the full empire here in their space, far away from the comfort of Theurgy or the idyllic version of the Federation that seemed further away than ever send a cold shiver down her spine.     These people wanted to dismantle her, to sift through her mind for every engram and catalogue it of its secrets, then cast her remains into an industrial replicator to be recycled.  

She was torn.   On one hand, she wanted to go back and flee, despite being a machine, the fear was real.   On the other hand, there was an opportunity to save her friends, and possibly herself.   There was a low probability of success, but short term it might give her crew more time to find the triggers.     

She took out her tricorder, and desperately hunted for the triggers they were looking for.   The device circled through all the frequencies.   The reading wasn’t complete but the direction was clear.   She sent a remote message to the others and showed them the trail to follow.   Wordlessly she ran in the opposite direction.    She came to a communications and stared at it directly.   She hit a control on her helmet, the visor slid aside to reveal her Romulan face, the ridges and ears would be picked up by any security camera watching.   She closed her eyes and hit a panel.  

As she did, she registered the toxin in the air.   Although she was spared most of the destablilisng effects of the gas, she did feel it affecting her skin, sending pain racking through her body as her respitory system transferred it to her skin.     Once again she cursed her creators for giving her this body… she wanted to tear the skin from her flesh, to some how make it stop… but she had a perception to maintain.   She began to cough.   

“This is Tal-Shiar operative 3347 you are impeding a classified operation.   Do not impede my team.   I repeat, do not impede my team.” She rasped between fake coughs.    It was going to be a touch act to maintain  but if she could slow them down, buy them time, perhaps they just might get through this.  

She wondered how long it would take.   Her face may even be programmed into a list of Romulan defectors, but hopefully as a target, she would have more intrigue and they would come for her first.  
Inhabiting my head are:

[Lt. Vanya |Assistant Science Officer| USS Theurgy]

[Lt. J.G Foval |Assistant Diplomatic Officer |USS Theurgy]

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #8
[Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space]
Attn: @Stegro88, @Number6, @Ellen Fitz, @RyeTanker, @P.C. Haring, @Hans Applegate, @BipSpoon

Lieutenant Junior Grade Amanda Ashby briefly held her pace and knelt down behind a hoverjack which someone had left in the maintenance corridor. She had heard the announcements over the COMM system and, if those hadn’t been scary enough as they were, the eerie silence that followed made it even worse. It felt like anything could come at them at any time and, knowing (or rather not knowing) the Tal Shiar, there was a high chance that something would come at them indeed. From behind the relative safety of the crate which was loaded onto the hoverjack, the blonde-haired Martian closed her blue eyes and took a couple of deep breaths in an attempt to calm down and get her breathing back under control.

While she did so, Amanda reminded herself that she’d come here to do a job. Out of everyone aboard Theurgy, someone had considered her to be amongst the best people for this assignment and she wasn’t about to let anyone down. If she wouldn’t do her job because she was too busy cowering over nothing, someone else had to pull her weight as an additional burden.

With a final deep breath, Amanda steeled herself and opened her blue eyes once more. Not willing to be a burden upon anyone, the Martian Lieutenant Junior Grade now had her breathing (and her nerves) firmly under control again. She lowered her rifle and pulled up her tricorder with her right hand before scanning the crate on the hoverjack. A soft sigh escaped her lips upon discovering that she hadn’t been taking cover behind the one crate which they were looking for, and a relieved smile began to adorn her face.

The smile wouldn’t last though because, mere moments later, Amanda could hear a loud crashing noise followed by the voice of Ensign Cameron Henshaw booming over their internal communications. Contact. For a brief moment Amanda could feel the adrenalin coursing down her spine to give her that overly familiar cold shiver, but upon hearing the sound of phaser fire, she quickly put her tricorder back onto her utility belt and raised her rifle.

At first she hadn’t even registered that Tyreke Okafor had gone down, instead focusing on covering the Starfleet Officer who was running right in front of her. She could clearly see the mech standing there, trapped by an arc of energy, and for the briefest of moments she could see the body of a Starfleet Officer laying on the ground right before it. Before she could see who it was however, the Starfleet Officer in front of her began to fire at the mech and Amanda followed suit; aiming her own rifle and calmly pulling the trigger as Valyn Amarik had taught her. Strangely enough, the kind words of the woman now had a very soothing effect on her.

Don’t squeeze the trigger, gently pull it.

It wasn’t until the Starfleet Officer in front of her ran towards Cameron Henshaw and spoke up when Amanda managed to identify her as her friend; Lieutenant Amelya Rez. For the briefest of moments she turned her attention to the woman, given how the mech was stuck in the arc of energy and relatively harmless at the moment. When she saw how Amelya got elbowed in the chin, Amanda’s first instinct was to help her but upon seeing that Amelya began to drag Cameron from the room while firing her phaser at the mech, Amanda followed her example and opened fire once more, only pausing briefly to allow Amelya and Cameron to pass.

”I’ve got you covered!” Amanda wasn’t sure if Amelya had heard her response to the shout for more guns but, while her blonde-haired Trill friend began to treat Cameron behind her, Amanda kept shooting at the mech. It remained stuck in the arc of energy, at least for now, and parts of its damaged chassis now began to glow a hot shade of red from the sustained phaser fire. She was so focused that she didn’t even knew if anyone else was firing at that moment, but all she knew was that the mech was a threat that needed to be taken out. With that in mind, Amanda briefly looked over her shoulder, if only for a second, to shout”I need more firepower in here!”.

Re: Chapter 1: Triggered Much? [ Day 1 | 1800hrs ]

Reply #9
Lt Reika Sh’Laan | Maintenance Corridor | Romulan Space Station | Romulan Space ]
@Stegro88  @Number6  @Nesota Kynnovan  @Ellen Fitz  @RyeTanker  @P.C. Haring  @Hans Applegate

Reika had methodically been making her way through the large storage room.  She was aware that others had entered the room behind her.  From her days in Tactical, she knew that she had to continuously be aware of the location of all friendlies at any given moment.  To not do so, could have disastrous consequences.  But while making mental notes of the different locations of the others in the room, everything seemed to happen at once.

Something hissed through the ventilation system on the station along with the breathable air.  Some of the others had removed their helmets.  While Reika hadn’t, she could still hear the serpentine sound that was produced.  Before she could wonder what it was and how it could or would affect the others, she heard Cameron yell, “Contact.”  She and Okafor had engaged with … what was that thing?  A Mech? It was a large metallic creature.  It wasn’t a humanoid - or one at least as she understood it.  The lone feature on its head was one large red eye in its center.  The eye seemed to have the ability to do more than see the visible light spectrum.  It likely had heat sensors and infrared capabilities. 

She watched it fire something from its hand into Okafor’s body which fell limp to the ground.  She wanted to yell at the creature - not that it would do any good.  But she would be damned if she let the man whose life she had recently saved, die in such a manner if she could help it.  ‘Okay,’ she thought, ‘The thing has a type of energy cannon in its hands.  Lovely.’ 

But while her brain was processing what happened.  She once again heard Henshaw yell.  This time it was, “Okafor is down.  Need backup.”  Reika was already on her way.  But as she moved both Rez and Ashby opened fire on the monstrosity.  So Reika took the opportunity to grab Okafor by his EV suit and drag him into the corridor.

Chaos reigned.  Voices cried out.  “I need more firepower in here.”  “3-2-1 NOW.” Phaser fire flew in against the creature from every direction.  Maybe it was slowed, but it wasn’t taken down.  Once Reika had Okafor out of the room into the relative safety of the corridor, she returned. 

The OPS officer had a thought.  Creeping back into the room while the firestorm was still underway, Reika sought concealment that would allow her to stay hidden until she was ready.  Crouched behind some kind of metal storage container, Sh’laan leaned her head back against the crate.  The move she was about to make was risky, and it was taking her a moment to psyche herself into action.   A picture of Kino popped into the Andorian’s mind, but she pushed it away.  ‘No,’ she told herself trying not to dwell on the picture of the voluptuous Trill with creamy skin and spots that wanted to fill her mind and thoughts.  Reika took a deep breath, and from her position, the OPS officer stood with her phaser rifle at the ready.  Taking careful aim for the creature’s eye.

As Sh’laan stood and raised her rifle, the monstrosity was alerted to her presence and raised a hand once again - this time toward her.  But the Andorian wasn’t paying attention to that.  Training took over.  Slow steady breath.  Place a finger on the trigger.  Gently squeeze.  And breathe again.  Two things happened at virtually the same time.  Reika hit the creature’s eye dead on, blinding it.  Whether permanently or temporarily, she didn’t know.  But at the same time, the creature fired on the Andorian.  Reika tried to dodge its shot - and almost did, but it tore through her suit and caught the outside of her left arm which went limp and her suit was now exposed to whatever the toxin in the air was.

The Andorian never cried out despite the searing pain that radiated throughout her whole arm.  She tried to inch her way toward safety once again, but she wasn’t sure if she would make it.  Blue blood flowed freely from the wound.  Through her microphone on her helmet, with tremendous effort Sh’laan called out, “A little help?

Lieutenant Reika Sh’laan, Assistant Chief of Operations (V3) [Show/Hide]
Ensign Sashenka Kreshkova, Unassigned Wolf Trainee [Show/Hide]

 
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