Star Trek: Theurgy

Star Trek: Theurgy | Season 1 => Episode 05: Courage is Fear | Part 2 => Topic started by: Auctor Lucan on December 24, 2018, 02:59:46 AM

Title: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [D06|1005]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on December 24, 2018, 02:59:46 AM

CHAPTER 05: THE BATTLE OF THE APERTURES [ DAY 06 | 1005 hrs. ]


We spend our lives, all of us, waiting for the great day, the great battle, or the deed of power.
But that external consummation is not given to many: nor is it necessary.
So long as our being is tensed, directed with passion, towards that which is the spirit of all things,
then that spirit will emerge from our own hidden, nameless effort.

―Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/f/f3/Ep05---Coreless-Moon.png)
>> Click For Full Resolution (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/f/f3/Ep05---Coreless-Moon.png)

"Personal Log, Supplemental. Stardate 57556.23. While my fate aboard is still uncertain, I do know that the warp jump has just reached it's end. For one hour, the ship was locked in the warp solution that our T'fanrell provided us as a means to escape Admiral Sankolov. During this hour, it has been revealed to us - we who served on Vector 01 - that not only are the Borg about to invade Federation space, but all those of our crew abducted by the Savi have been killed. Fed to machinery of the white dreadnought that we barely managed to get away from three days ago. These news were hard on Commander Trent, since Heather McMillan was one of those who Nicander saw. Sufficed to say, Wenn Cinn remains our Commanding Officer.

Moreover, we have learned that Doctor Nicander - one of the Infested - used the same kind of farseeing to learn the shield harmonics of the Rotarran. While this might give credence to the Doctor's word and will to aid the crew, the more worrying aspect of that feat is that the Borg are about to invade, and there is a Host serving close to High Chancellor Martok. The nameless darkness we fight seek the knowledge of the Collective - to get access to the hive mind - and there is Host right at the gates, ready to be assimilated at the onset of the invasion.

Currently, we are in the Ithacae System, a stone's throw from the Coreless Moon. Our coordinates were set to the fourth planet, but the warp field did not carry us all the way there. Now, we prepare to stop the Borg, and to set a new course. For the Heart of the Azure Nebula."


― Lieutenant Commander Dewitt, the USS Theurgy

[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Tyreke_Okafor) | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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The sight of the Coreless Moon on the viewscreen did nothing to settle Tyreke's nerves, knowing that this was - allegedly - a place that had wiped out a Klingon carrier and its Phantom fighters. It seemed so derelict, and yet had some kind of hidden defence system. The reports from the away team that had visited the place suggested that - as far as Heather McMillan had learned - the moon's defence systems were depleted by then, and that they had naught to fear. Looking at it's ominous sight, Tyreke certainly wasn't interested in staying to find out whether or not the reports were correct.

"While propulsion system diagnostics are underway..." he said to Wenn Cinn, who sat in the centre chair on the Main Bridge, but also glanced towards the helm and Lieutenant Derik Veradin, "...I think we need to calculate how fast we can get to the apertures, now that we're out of the warp jump." At the Science station, Tyreke was accompanied by Vivian Martin and Vael Kaeris. Martin had the main console, and Kaeris was seated next to Okafor.

Next to Veradin, who would be telling them the distance for the next jump, sat Nator 159, the Acting Chief of Operations since Natalie Stark was standing next to Wenn Cinn. Behind them, at the holo table, Cameron Henshaw was back in her ordinary working environment. Meanwhile, in Tactical, Leon Marquez was back at his station, with T'Less and Salem Martin - Vivan's brother - at the stations behind Marquez. In Engineering, Suq was present with O'Connell down in Main Engineering. Behind Suq were Morgan Song and Ensign Carla Abner. Further towards the front of the bridge were Selena Ravenholm and Faye Eloi-Danvers, the latter having taken the seat of the late Keval ch'Rayya.

The bridge crew was ready, and as soon as ETA was settled, the Captain was expected to say words about what awaited them. Martok and a Klingon fleet might be there, at the heart of the Azure Nebula, along with the Cayuga, but be that as it may, the fate of the Federation was in the balance.

This was, however, the moment when someone unexpected entered the bridge.

An Asurian, no less.


MEANWHILE | FGC-SR37-758 | THE HEART OF THE AZURE NEBULA


(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/2/2f/Ep05--Apertures.png)
>> Click For Full Resolution (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/2/2f/Ep05--Apertures.png)

[ High Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog | Bridge | Negh'Var battleship IKS Negh'Var | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
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Entering the bridge of the IKS Negh'Var, Martok snarled to the present bridge officers. "What is this Federation starship I hear about?"

Martok had no inclination to rename the ship for his old bird-of-prey, like he had done with the carrier-version of a Negh'Var when he'd selected a flagship for himself. That damaged carrier had been sent limping back behind the Empire's borders, and this current command of the IKS Negh'Var was more out of necessity than choice. He was not so vain that he'd only lead a ship under the proud name Rotarran into battle. The older Negh'Var would suffice, and the stakes were too high.

"It's the USS Cayuga, Chancellor," said N'Garen, whom would serve with him still, along with the other trusted officers from the Rotarran. Since her hair had been melted in the battle with the Theurgy, N'Garen had shaved that side of her head. "They are saying they survived an encounter with the Borg in this nebula. They claim they know how to open the hidden gate, and to destroy it. Their Captain, a Human female named Ziegler, say they wish to speak with you privately. They have questioned my honour in not telling me anything more."

Martok loathed political schemes and tactics to begin with, even if he had to learn to navigate such waters when he took on his role, but openly refusing to speak with his bridge crew? He did not like the sound of it, even if it wasn't unheard of. It did irk him how strongly N'Garen reacted to the request, but most of all, he wished to know who this Ziegler was.

"Do we know anything about this ship?" he said curling his upper lip as he considered his options.

"Science vessel. Long range explorer. The Captain - Ziegler - is what stands out," said N'Garen, obviously having looked the ship up already. "She used to be the First Officer on the Theurgy, up until last year, when the multivector dreadnought went rogue. Chancellor, I do not believe this can be a coincidence."

Martok narrowed his eyes. As conspiratory as N'Garen was acting, there was some merit to her claim. What were the odds that the Theurgy would be in the Azure Nebula alongside the ship that it's former XO now commanded? What did this Ziegler wish to tell him our of eashot from the rest of his crew? Were it lies to affect his actions, or things of actual merit? He had little to loose, since the Empire had heeded his call, and mobilised a small fleet of ships within less than a day from the first sighting of the Borg cube.

He saw them there, on his viewscreeen. Four Vorcha-class attack cruisers and seven K'vort-class bird-of-prey. More were on the way, all other missions abandoned.

"Hail this Ziegler. I will speak to her here," said Martok, folding his hands into fists as he stared on the screen. Yet no feed came. After a couple of seconds, Martok turned to look at N'Garen. "I said, hail that starship. I will judge the merit of their claims."

"Chancellor..." said N'Garen, and somehow, the tone of her voice did not match the new threat on the horizon. "There is another ship. It's dropping out of warp now."

(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c3/Ep05--BorgCube.png)
Click For Full Resolution (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/c/c3/Ep05--BorgCube.png)

[ The Borg Queen (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=The_Borg_Queen) | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ]
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Standing in her alcove, the Borg Queen opened her eyes - seeing with far more than those organic orbs might.

She saw the twelve Klingon ships in front of Cube M-582, along with the small Federation starship. The sensors told her how many living beings were aboard those vessels, available for assimilation. Expected outcome of a battle was set, the tactics required predicted. The priority was, of course, not the assimilation of more drones. No, the presence the ships were not opportune, since the arrival of the invasion force was due.

The Queen stepped out of her alcove, staring ahead of her as she walked - smiling faintly at the prospect of clearing out the area surrounding the apertures. All unnecessary organic tissue had been removed, her body restored to fit the royal platform. She had shed neither regret nor made any sound of pain when her limbs had been severed, and the majority of her torso had been discarded. She made her wish known, her will seamlessly executing her command. She was not separate from her vessel, much less the drones. She was the one who was many. She was the Borg.

++++
NEW PRIMARY DIRECTIVE SET: NEUTRALISATION OF 13 VESSELS
/ TECHNICAL DATA FROM RECENTLY ASSIMILATED UNITS INDICATE EXPECTED OPPOSITION TACTICS AND CAPABILITIES


And thus, what would be known as the Battle of the Apertures began.


OOC: All right! New chapter is up! :) Considering how this is the day before Christmas, I feel that it wouldn't be sound to set a 7 day response time to this starter just yet. I will simply post it for now, and start up discussions about the development starting today. I hope this finds you all well out there, and that you are looking forward to begin the final chapter of this Episode. Don't forget to check out the Borg Queen!

Edit: Here is a new page I've made to help everyone learn what their characters might be doing! LINK (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Episode_05_Situation)

The naming convention for Chapter 05 threads is CH05: S [D06|1000] Insert Title. The important thing here is to keep the start-time at 1000 hrs. for the time being, running parallel with this thread. Once certain upcoming decisions have been made on the Main Bridge, I will be able to open up for a time span of Supplemental threads between 1000 hrs. and XXXX hrs.


Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: FollowTomorrow on December 30, 2018, 07:25:28 AM
[ PO Dyan Cardamone/Sar-unga Neleo | Multiple areas, ending in the bridge | USS Theurgy ]

Every day, at pre-determined times, Dyan checked her channel for contact. Though her Sheromi contact had withdrawn, the Asurian government could still leave her messages regarding orders. So every day since the battle of the Starbase, she checked her channel. Without fail, she checked, and without fail, nothing was in her inbox. Until suddenly, there was.

It was like Christmas. Better than Christmas. It made her scream in delight, jump to her feet, hop around a bit. It made her run, full speed, knocking over a poor crewman, as she stormed towards the bridge. The universe was a cruel, cold place, but damn if she didn't feel like luck was on her side today. Their side.

The doors to the turbolift couldn't open fast enough, the lift wouldn't move fast enough. Somehow this wasn't a message that could be transmitted via combadge. She had to be there, see the faces of everyone on the bridge, feel their fire for battle light back up.

So when she got to the bridge and the doors swished open, she forced herself through the gap before it was open enough for her body, and shouted before she even saw who was there.

"It's Thea!" She cried out, "She's alive! I've got a message from Thea, aboard the Versant! Give me the comms--I mean, Captain! I need to use the comms, I can get my channel on the viewscreen!" Her face alight, her tail whipping about with unprecedented speed, her hair not even fully dried--the hope was contagious. Even without knowing the full situation, this opened the doors to so many exciting possibilities--including the one that they would find their entire crew, alive and well. She hoped everyone here could feel that as acutely as she could.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triage on December 30, 2018, 08:44:05 PM
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cameron_Henshaw) | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan & @FollowTomorrow
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Cam idly wondered if her family had a Betazoid ancestor somewhere, because she swore she could feel the emotions so palpable in the air. But more than likely it was just the nerves. They'd been from one adventure to the next, with barely a moment in between to pause and take a breath. It felt like everything was determined to see the crew of the Theurgy and any ally into an early grave. For a swift meeting with the Nameless Dark. If she were more religious like the captain, she would think they were being bedevilled.

It seemed, as rested as she could possibly be, her mind was still not at one hundred percent, because she'd left her PADD sitting across the bridge on a console, instead of in her hands. Sighing, she left her post hurriedly, swiped the PADD, double-checked to make sure it was indeed hers, then started making her way back...and that was when it happened.

All she saw were horns and a scaly tail, belonging to the one Asurian who wasn't trying to kill everyone aboard right then, but her mildly pensive brain sent her straight into catatonic panic, and she barely managed to go, "HWAUF!" before she was on her back, staring at the ceiling, her uniform probably covered in Dyan's bootprints as the excited woman had literally just bowled her over, having leaped out from the turbolift doors Cam was passing on her way back to her station before they'd even fully opened. Instead of hurriedly getting up, she just lay there a while longer, contemplating her life, the fate she seemed to have been given, and her role in everything.

What was that about Thea being alive? Wait, did that mean Ives...? DYAN HAD A DIRECT CHANNEL TO THEA?!?

Cam was on her feet and moving closer to the main viewscreen, eyes transfixed.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Arista on January 02, 2019, 02:46:22 AM
[ Captain Anya Ziegler (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Anya_Ziegler) |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, Anyone else.
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Sat on the bridge of the Cayuga, Anya Ziegler waited. She had sent the message to Martok and, so far, the Chancellor hadn't taken the opportunity to reply. Now, as idle fingers picked at the stitching on the arm of her Captain's chair, Anya held her tongue. She craved to order another repeated hail, but that could just exasperate the situation.

Watching the Negh'Var class warship silently loom on the viewscreen flanked by multiple other Klingon vessels, Captain Ziegler felt her stomach twisted with nerves. The knowledge that a parasite was operating aboard Martok's previous command could turn this meeting asunder, if it hadn't already. Patience was a virtue, but then, most of the time there wasn't an immediate threat of Borg invasion. Ziegler held a small section of her bottom lip between her teeth until it was no good.

"Hail Martok again." She called. Ziegler needed to know if the Chancellor would help or hinder them. If it was the latter, then Cayuga would not survive. Not against this Klingon armada. "Please trying to impress the importance of the situation on the Chancellor, politely."

Before there was the chance of acknowledging her order, there was the sound of alerts ringing out across various consoles. The bridge suddenly began a hive of activity compared the stillness of a moment before.

"Captain! A Borg cube has just dropped out of warp," called Nina Carpeland, the helmswoman. Her hands flying across the station in front her, obviously anticipating the very next words about to come from Anya's mouth.

"Red Alert. Battlestations!" Ziegler had dreaded this moment ever since she volunteered her ship into harms way again. With the loss of Martin, progress in converting the torpedoes to Lieutenant Commander Kaeris' plans had been slow. Too slow. Time however was not on their side anymore. Now they needed to move. Ordering the helmswoman, Ziegler tried to remain stoic in the insurmountable odds. "Evasive manoeuvres.

"Send a message to Martok." She then called, turning towards the Ops station. "Ask the chancellor to defend us while we attempt to destroy the apertures."

Holding onto the arms of her chair as the interial dampeners struggled to compensate for Cayuga rolling into action, Ziegler hoped that Theurgy wouldn't be long.

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: patches on January 07, 2019, 12:28:04 AM
[ PO2 Kino Taer | Security Center -> Bridge | USS Theurgy ] @CanadianVet @chXinya @Auctor Lucan @bridge folks

The hostage situation was finally resolved with the interdiction of a friendly enough Bellerophon NCO assisting Ducote and Bremmer, and so that left Kino Taer wondering what to do next. It was time for her first break of the day or near enough and she traded places with another petty officer who came in so that she could head to the Security Centre's lounge. Bremmer would be back soon enough and the Trill wanted to talk with her about the hostage situation a bit off comms. Taer's nervousness had leaked through to her lover in the past hour and she knew Eliska would empathize with why. A similar thing happened while Kino was recovering from losing her arm and leg, in those early days between the surgery and regular physical therapy to familiarize herself with her new cybernetic limbs and relearn skills.

Being taken off the front lines was not an entirely unfamiliar thing to the veteran petty officer, but it was decidedly very low on her list of things she liked. It meant more paperwork, typically, boredom, and most importantly, it deprived her of doing. Taer was the kind of person that rarely stopped moving or tinkering. That constant movement kept her fit and active. It also conveniently made it far less likely for her to dwell on the things that made her anxious or afraid. She and Bremmer seemed alike in that; and it was one of the reasons that they got along so well. Bremmer was one of the few Taer worked with regularly that could not only keep up but also challenge her.

The act of walking through the doors into the Security lounge room was enough to reset her train of thought. Kino looked around to see who else was there, nodding in greeting, as she walked to the replicator for something to slake her thirst. A stray look settled on a PADD on a nearby table, which triggered a thought that was completed by her hand going towards where she kept the PADD from the previous night.

"Oh, sh-," she muttered as she did an abrupt about-face to jog out of the door. She had a message to deliver. Nicander's intelligence last night about the parasite in the Klingon fleet was clearly important, even if she didn't yet fully understand what he was talking about regarding this darkness he kept talking about. Whatever he meant, it was clear that his warning regarding the parasite on Martok's ship was high priority, which meant the ship's commanding officer needed to hear it sooner rather than later.

Should have paid more attention in those classes back on Trill, Kino, and maybe you'd understand this parasite business more. Daddy did secure some of the finest tutors on the planet for you.

Thankfully, the trip to the Bridge was a quick one, but she wasn't the only one who needed to deliver an urgent message to Wenn Cinn. A female Asurian she recognized as one of the crew transfers had barreled over an Ensign on her way out of the other turbolift to the Bridge. Kino was about to rush over to her to make sure the cute woman was okay, but the Asurian (Dyan Cardamore or something, right?)  yelled out something that caught everyone's attention.

A message from Thea? No wonder she was excited.

She followed Ensign Henshaw to the main Bridge, ready to listen to this message. Kino also moved into the captain's field of view and waved her PADD, signaling that she needed to talk to him when he had a moment.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on January 07, 2019, 12:30:07 AM
[Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Watching the warp streaks collapse into the nebula-shrouded starfield at last, Cinn breathed a sigh of relief that the ship managed to hold together for the hour long insanity of the F'rell Maneuver.  The unlit side of the shattered moon hovered in front of them, the massive crags visible at the edges where the light shone through.  As much as he'd love to sightsee though, there was too much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Engineering didn't waste any time, the moment the warp drive shut down they started a full range of diagnostics, and Okafor was right on top of things as he always was.

"Agreed.  Helm, plot a course for the aperture field, best possible speed.  We can't stay here any longer than absolutely necessary."  It took Cinn a lot of willpower to not check the chronometer every thirty seconds since he'd returned to the Bridge, knowing that Nicander's predicted window for the Borg invasion was open was making it impossible for the Bajoran to think about much else.  Numerous battle plans floated through his mind, but effectively none of them would end in their survival.  "Ops, prepare a message drone.  Load it with all of our logs and any personal messages marked for future delivery."  Glancing over to Stark for a quick moment his voice dropped to a near whisper.  "Hopefully someone will be able to remember us."

Soon enough, Engineering signaled that they were ready.  With nothing requiring them to stay it was time to dive into the belly of the beast once again.  Standing and assuming a commanding pose, Cinn turned around slowly, taking in the faces of everyone on the Bridge.  There was no denying it, there was a high likelihood that they'd all be dead or assimilated by the end of the day.  Some words came to him, an old sermon from a vedek in one of the camps he grew up in.  His mouth opened to share them with his crew but before anything came out something exploded out of the turbolift, throwing Ens. Henshaw to the deck.  The whirlwind was so loud that it took him a moment to realize that it was Cardamone, and that she was actually speaking Standard.  "Cardamone!" he couldn't help but bark, trying to snap her into some proper decorum.  "Dyan..." he repeated, softly this time and walking up to her to put his hand on her shoulder.  As he spoke he could hear someone working a console behind him, a metallic tapping accompanying the console sounds. "There's a high likelihood they're all dead and Thea compromised.  Even if that wasn't the case, we can't..."

Mid sentence the lighting on the Bridge changed, the colors washing out.  He could feel a presence behind him, but before he could turn around Rez's voice whispered into his ear.  "Yet the Theurgy is not one.  You must make Theurgy whole."  Before he could process that, the light and sounds of the Bridge resumed as if nothing had happened.  "Captain!"  Selena Ravenholm shouted from the front.  "I have the message Dyan's referring to.  Arrived via non-Federation subspace tightbeam, but there's a sub-channel with a Starfleet identification code: Thea's.  Security checksums are valid."  VISORless thanks to her little mishap in Engineering, her artificial eyes shone across the bridge at the Bajoran.  Her voice contained quite a bit of surprise in it, much like everyone else.

The galaxy stopped for Cinn with that revelation.  As the Bridge exploded all around him he could only stand in shock.  Finally, he regained his composure.  "On screen." he ordered, regaining his chair after wordlessly taking the PADD Kino had brought with her.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on January 07, 2019, 12:37:51 PM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Tyreke_Okafor) | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
When prompted by the Commanding Officer, the message from Thea was plain on the viewscreen, the text superimposed in front of the Coreless Moon. Added with the text was the digital voice of the A.I., sounding far more alive than the intercom had ever done since the Continuance Protocol was executed. It followed the protocol of a distress call, the beginning of the message heard in emergencies since many centuries back.

[Mayday, Mayday. This is Thea - the interface of the Federation starship Theurgy - at Stardate 57553.67. My current position is 277-mark-383, aboard the Savi Precept-ship Versant. I have been contained in a lab environment until three minutes ago, and just gained access to the ship's systems. This enabled me to send this message.]

Okafor spoke up. "That's just fifteen minutes ago." The message continued.

[I was liberated by Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran, Lieutenant Cross and Lieutenant R'Rori from the USS Endeavour, their ship attacked by the Borg before their escape pod was picked up by the Savi. I have been informed that Commander Tiran was able to gain assistance from a Savi individual aboard this ship, and R'Rori has told me that there are others from my crew aboard. It is, however, unknown how many are still alive. There are search teams - labelled Kill Teams by the Lieutenant - sweeping the ship, and there is a power struggle taking place among the Savi as I send this message. Outcome unknown.]

Frowning, Okafor had no means to wrap his head around the whole situation, but what drew his attention... was how Commander Ducote had appeared on the bridge, and was able to take part of Thea's message, which wasn't finished.

[On behalf of anyone still alive aboard this ship, from my own crew or any other captives on the Versant, I ask for immediate assistance. If the Endeavour was attacked by the Borg, the knowledge of her crew is key to protect the Federation. The lives of my saviours are now threatened, and I am forced to sever this connection. It is unknown if I will be able to link with the Versant's systems again. Do not attempt to reply, since the Savi might intercept the source of the transmission.]

There was a pause, which Okafor ran a hand over his bald head, knowing that things were getting complicated. Thea ended the transmission.

[Please, if this message reach either of my hulls, we require immediate assistance. I repeat, the coordinates are 277-mark-383. The number of survivors aboard this ship is unknown, but the Federation may be in direct danger of a Borg cube in Federation space. Thea, out.]

In the lingering silence following the transmission, Okafor considered what the Commander of the Endeavour might be thinking, since he had dismissed the importance of the Theurgy's captives on the Versant in comparison to the Borg threat - perhaps rightly so. Still, Tyreke couldn't help but wonder if the man still stood by that sentiment now, knowing there were officers of his own held captive.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on January 07, 2019, 10:53:45 PM
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

With the situation in the cargo bay resolved for now (on the condition that the Bellerophon crew get a fuller picture in the near future, which he couldn't help but see as fair given the circumstances), Ducote had headed back up to the bridge, unwittingly following Kino Taer through the same course. When he got to the command deck, intending to bring Kai up to speed on what had happened below, he instead found no sign of the human mountain.

The commander sighed. It had been strange, arguing in favour of the Theurgy as he had been. He was still 'officially' ambivalent about the situation, but still. He felt something of a fraud, having made the arguments to their safety, that there was more to the situation than they'd been told, and to be as patient as they could just a little longer. And all those arguments worked so well on me the first time round, didn't they? He shook his head. Perhaps he did believe it. Maybe things had gone far enough that he didn't have a choice any more.

"Sort my head out later," he muttered.

"What was that, sir?" a redshirted crewman asked from her station as he passed behind her.

"Ah, nothing, sorry."

Across the bridge came a call. In his reverie, he hadn't been quite paying attention to proceedings, but the transhumanoid called out to the captain. "I have the message Dyan's referring to. Arrived via non-Federation subspace tightbeam, but there's a sub-channel with a Starfleet identification code: Thea's. Security checksums are valid."

Thea. The ship's AI. Well, this should be good. The gestalt on the bridge rang with shock and excitement.

It began its preamble, with the scientist (his favourite liar, the man who'd tricked them aboard while on the Niger) providing the timescale. Recent.

[I was liberated by Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran, Lieutenant Cross and Lieutenant R'Rori from the USS-]

Some part of his brain continued to listen to the message. But it wasn't any part that was consciously registering it. Those parts were all busy with not registering anything any more. His ears rang, and his lungs began to burn. A steadying hand reached out to the nearest support stanchion before he leaned - well, sagged - against it. His gaze turned glassy as he stared at a point somewhere beyond the opposite bulkhead. He wasn't sure if he wanted to punch a hole in the nearest console, run a marathon, throw a party, or curl into a ball. Perhaps a combination of all of the above. The burning in his lungs became urgent, and he sucked down a breath.

Straightening, he pushed a hand through his hair before grasping the back of his neck, pacing a small circle into the deck with nervous energy before forcing himself to stillness again.

She's alive.

For now.

She's alive. And whatever else you can call her, she's a fucking survivor.

Won't matter a single bit if the Borg make it through.

A secondary realisation; there would feasibly be other Endeavour survivors. Plenty of escape pods would have launched along similar trajectories to Blue's lifeboat... if they'd been picked up by these Savi, too...

"Ha," came an unbidden, mirthless bark. Nicander had been lying, trying to undermine their resolve.. his assertion that the abductees from the Theurgy had been killed was proven objectively false. Just one more nail in his coffin. Fuckin' told them they shouldn't have trusted him.

He felt someone's attention; glancing over, he met Lieutenant Okafor's eye. Observing him. Evaluating. What, was he supposed to try and wrest control of the ship? Fly in some fated charge towards his crew? They had survived this long. Against odds no one had any right to ask of them. They would cling on a little longer while he - while the Theurgy - made sure they wouldn't be assimilated on retrieval.

But I am coming, Blue Tiran. Believe it.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Stegro88 on January 08, 2019, 09:02:10 AM
[ Tesserarius Lorad | Personal Quarters | Deck 08 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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The light from outside the window was the only source of illumination inside the room as its single occupant was sprawled naked on the bed, staring up at the ceiling as his body slowly finished drying from the shower he had just had. His morning had been somewhat chaotic and he had felt the need to shower after remembering that his last shower before that had been the previous evening before he had had dinner with one Sera vers Aldnoah. Lorad's memories, while not complete, painted a pretty good picture of what they shared; especially as they had awoken in bed together naked that morning. 

Unfortunately, before either could discuss anything, some sort of emergency had happened and Lorad had found himself summoned to the ship's Engineering section by Lieutenant Commander Dewitt to assist in using the Apache's cloak for the Theurgy's vector. In the end, he had had to building an entirely new device, something his sister would never believe he had done despite her lessons to him, that had actually worked.

But he had also been injured by an exploding EPS conduit and his trip to sickbay had been interrupted by what he understood to be fellow rescued Starfleeters that tried to take the sickbay hostage. He'd dealt with that and tried to retreat to the Apache to treat his injury himself but even that had been prevented by a boarding party in the Upper Shuttle Bay. 

And finally, once they had escaped whatever situation they had been in, he had been trying to check on Samala when he had been recruited to stop a bunch of rescued survivors from a ship called the Bell-her-pon instead.

Now, he just wanted to relax. 

He was almost worried that if he left his quarters, something else would happen.



"Mister Lorad, would you be available to come down to Main Engineering on Deck 25," came the disembodied voice over the ship's intercom. "It is about your cloaking device."

"What now?" Lorad grumbled in Reman as he reached for his pants.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: FollowTomorrow on January 08, 2019, 08:25:05 PM
[ PO Dyan Cardamone/Sar-unga Neleo | Main Bridge  | USS Theurgy ]

Dyan paid absolutely no mind to Cam. She may have felt something under her boots, but she didn't know or care. Her message was the most important thing in the room right now. It was more important than the borg cube that just dropped out. For as much respect as she held for Commander Wenn Cinn, it was more important than him too.

So when she was scolded, doubted, she felt angry. He came close, she bared her teeth, her wet hair sticking to her face--and was soon proven to be in the right, naturally. She delighted in the shock of her commanding officer, and followed him to listen to the message in all it's glory.

Thea, her voice! Her real voice! The nebulous ship AI come to life before her. Despite all the shit thrown at her, she lived. Her heart sang for battle, for Thea's sake. For the sakes of all that still lived.

"We'll be better equipped for battle with the borg if we have Thea aboard, and our numbers bolstered by the remaining survivors. Maybe we could have captive Sheromi too!" She dropped her opinion out there, knowing it was neither asked for nor wanted. Battle called, and it was in her blood to answer. She imagined a battle with the borg--deadly to everyone. She did not imagine she would make it out alive, but such is the universe's way. Death came for them. Glory to she who fought to the end.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on January 08, 2019, 11:36:57 PM
Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin)| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton
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Salem was a bit more rested walking onto the bridge of the Theurgy. he had finally gotten to speak with his sister, and put aside all of the concerns about this ship and it's crew that he had. He could now more or less focus almost entirely on the battle to come. It was a bit odd serving on the same ship as his sister, it wasn't something that the two had ever done before. Now they were both on the bridge in the same shift. He was half worried that if someone called for a Martin in haste he could attempt to answer some vague science question, thankfully their stations would be apart. "First day on a new ship, and we are about to enter a battle with the borg... just another day in the glorious Federation."

"Good luck big sister." He said regarding the few minutes that the two had been born a part. The elevator opened a few seconds after cutting off any and all in-formalities his body shifted his posture straitened, he breathed a nervous breath.

Walking out onto the bridge however he was in awe for a moment. Salem had served on Galaxy class vessels, it wasn't back when they were the most advanced, and it certainly wasn't a famous ship, but he remembered that awful clumsy bridge design. How many times over the course of his term on it did he go tumbling over that god damn rail? one time he did a full on flip over it and into his captains non too impressed with him lap.

After that he had been posted on the Cayuga, a more flat, and tactical design to be sure. More advanced, though his dream posting in those days would have been on one of the few Sovereign class vessels. They had fascinated Salem though they had never really been mass produced. He would blame that on the heavy cost of production, and the fact that the former flag ship had been made obsolete within the decade it had been produced thanks to more advanced designs.

Like the Theurgy.

If 16 phaser arrays had been over kill in Salem's mind, than 17 with a possible 27 was elimination with extreme prejudice. Every part of the bridge as he walked about it seeing the helmet section for the first time since it had been reattached left him bedazzled by it all.

There were full on holographic displays of their ship in orbit around the coreless moon. The Bridge was the biggest he had ever served on, bigger than the Galaxy class, which despite being a luxury vessel in it's time had always felt cramped. Compared to that feeling The Theurgy's bridge was open, no massive rail or elevation, everything seemed more grounded and open.

Never in his life had he dealt with an odd tactical layout like this. Three tactical stations. Even the Prometheus Class only had one, then again those ships were a labor shortage waiting to happen considering they could basically fly themselves remotely.

So could the Theurgy, but now wasn't the time for that argument. Now he had to check out his work station, learn the controls for the most advanced warship ever built, and figure out which seat was his. There were three of them after all. He knew he wasn't the chief tactical officer here, so he took one of the back stations.

"Lieutenant Martin Reporting." there was a few seconds of silence as he sat himself down into his chair. The controls never really changed, but The Theurgy cooked wtih a lot more power than the Cayuga did, he did a quick inventory over the system, checking how much fire power they had in stalk.

then came the message. A call from help from prisoners stuck on another ship. People abducted from the ship, and the ships own AI proclaiming it's self alive. He blinked looking at his controls. He breathed deeply for a moment feeling some stinging sensation in his lower back that he had to adjust the seat for. He swallowed his mouth feeling a touch more dry.

Their crew were prisoners aboard an alien vessel. He wanted to speak out about going to get them. He could very much relate to the struggles of a prisoner of war. If he were in the captains chair this would be the single most easy decision that he would ever have to make, change course grab the people that were left behind.

But he wasn't. He was in the seat that armed the guns, and they were locked and due for a battle with a larger more looming threat. He couldn't believe he would ever agree with those words spoken to him back on starbase alpha as he overlooked earth.

Words spoken to him by an Admiral who had pinned a medal on his chest for his 'heroics'. 'We just have too many other priorities right now'.

Just the fact that there was a situation where that could be true made Salem want to vomit, and he could taste the small amount of bile and rage at the back of his throat. He had to focus on the guns, keep his mind open to the situation at hand, and couldn't let his mind slip into the thoughts of a prison camp. As simulation of the alpha quadrant was a far more prevalent threat than a few prisoners.

Cardamone spoke about them being more equipped if they got the people, and technology being held by those prisoners. He turned towards the captain. Wanting to speak his mind. "We shouldn't leave our people in the hands of an enemy."

He said it, he didn't want to say anything because this was too close to home for him, but at the end of the day, people held captive... no he had to speak. He would never live with himself if he didn't.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on January 09, 2019, 12:48:29 AM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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The door whisked open and two people entered, one much taller than the other. The taller was a lieutenant of Science Division, as her dark teal collar and gold pips indicated. She was also Romulan, as the pointed ears and gentle brow ridges indicated. A glance was given to the young woman she'd entered with and then dark green eyes surveyed the bridge. She noted the unique layout and nodded to herself as stations started to match up with expectation. Tactical there. Science, Ops, etc all were arrayed around the room with people manning them or moving between.

Some of those people were quite animated and one of the more animated ones was speaking of a message. It seemed a very important one to that young woman. A few people here Vanya knew by sight, including the young Ensign, whom looked rather disheveled. It caused a memory subroutine to fire off from years ago at the academy. The same individual looking much the same after a literal run in with the Romulan. It seemed that Cameron had maintained a standard. You had to give her that. 

The Captain had the message routed to the screen and Vanya noted Okafor, doing as requested. He had seemed very competent in the Science meeting and she nodded, turning those dark green Romulan eyes towards the screen. Vanya's head tilted gently as the voice of Thea came forth and flowed. It was the first time she, had personally witnessed the voice of the ship and the voice's tonals flowed over her pointed ears easily. The android appraised and decided 'What a beautiful voice'.

She listened to the request for aid, from the ship, to the ship, and her crew. To save both herself and missing members of the ship's compliment and crew from other Federation vessels. Okafor confirmed her mental calculations. About 15 minutes had passed since the stardate indicated in the message. Which meant it was near real time intel and something that could be acted upon if the command staff decided.

The voice on the screen. The ship's voice. Thea's voice, beseeched for aid and indicated that the crew of the Endeavour, with her at this point held intel valuable to save the Federation. Considering all that had gone on in the past few days and the revelations that the android had to compute, that was saying a lot. It could be of worth with out measure. Not to mention Thea was in danger.

A pulse of emotion went through the android. Thea 'was' the ship. An artificial life form some what like her self. Just.. a much... much.. MUCH larger body. Still to Vanya this was another PERSON, another BEING, calling out for aid. Not only for herself but for other crew-mates and other members of Starfleet.  Vanya had no real experience with Cinn as a CO but she did have experience with the person currently holding the XO slot. Swiftly, even for an Android, Vanya came to the mental conclusion that action would be taken. She didn't know what exactly that action might be, the ship had multi vector possibility, which opened it up for more options than your average ship. Still something would be done. They were either heading for that conflict with the Borg, or to save Thea and the abducted crew, or both, at the same time.

Her dark green eyes went to Natalie and she gave a nod. The high pony tail bouncing and shimmering in the bridge lighting. A slender, long fingered, hand raised and brushed Stark's arm for a second, radiating support and faith in the other woman, then Vanya was turning. She strode forward and starboard towards the Science station. Long legs carried her swiftly to position. Glancing at the read outs a nod was likewise given to Okafor.  She didn't have the same emotional investment that many here on the bridge had. Still, she knew that they had jobs to do. Important ones and that the fate of a great many people rested on the shoulders of this ship and crew. Vanya would help as best as she was able. She knew some of this crew. Had learned with them. Grown with some of them. While she may not know all nine hundred and some odd officers and crewmen, she knew a select few and knew them to be good people. She would do her best to help those and others through this.

So she stepped up to the Science Station along side the dark skinned human and prepared to carry out what ever orders the Captain gave out.

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on January 09, 2019, 07:03:13 PM
[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @FollowTomorrow @Masorin @chXinya  et al

Following the departure of Marquez, T'Less had continued her work cataloguing their inventories and drawing up patterns and planning manoeuvres. While one's average Cube didn't tend to pull any strange moves itself, having to hit the same spot over and over again to force a critical overload in one did rather limit one's own options when it came to evasive movement. Not to mention the apocalyptically-powerful tractor emitters used by the Borg.

There was a feeling of something in the pit of her stomach. It wasn't nervousness - not yet - but there was an anticipatory edge to it. Truly, this promised to be a fight the likes of which even she had never seen in the thick of the Dominion War, but she still held such base sanguinary apprehension beneath her.

What she felt, and even relished, was the entirely justifiable fear of the Borg. She doubted she would find herself crippled by it, which was even better; as she had said to Ensign Henshaw earlier that morning, it fuelled her reactions. Perfect. 'Fire for effect, with prejudice', it was to be.

Then came Cardamone's couriered message from Thea (bowling over Cameron in the process, though she seemed unhurt). T'Less' spirits lifted; the abductees were, in part at least, alive, and Thea was active. She pitied the hostile vessel that found itself with such a formidable AI aboard and liable to run rampant through its own systems. She wouldn't have been surprised if she forced a Savi capitulation single-handed. The petty officer followed it up with an appeal to rescue their crew - echoed by Lieutenant Martin next to her.

There was a joke in there somewhere about suffering one mutiny and it leading to the whole ship thinking it had become a democracy, but she didn't feel eloquent enough to make it.

"Strategically unsound," she offered as counterpoint, pitching her voice to reach the captain. "The apertures must be closed in the next couple of hours, or the entire Quadrant is at risk. Our crew will have to manage without us for a little longer; after all, they have made it this far. And now Thea is free, despite her inconvenience at the end of that message, and she has access to their systems. 'The needs of the many', Captain."

And the Borg would be a fight to fight.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: The Ostrich on January 10, 2019, 11:03:58 AM
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Theurgy ]

[Show/Hide]

Vivian bounced on her toes and nervously chewed her lip as she rode the turbolift to the bridge beside her brother. She could feel the turbolift nearing its destination when Salem spoke, quietly wishing her luck. She smiled at him and winked "You too little brother." Then the doors slid open and the twins stepped out onto the bridge, heading for their respective stations.

Vivian had barely taken her seat when Dyan raced onto the bridge, claiming to be in communication with Thea. Her eyes widened and her head snapped round to focus on Captain Cinn. He ordered the message onscreen. She chewed her lip again as Thea's voice echoed out across the bridge, requesting help.

Vivian wanted to help, oh how she wanted to drop everything and rush to aid Thea and the others trapped aboard the Savi ship. Dyan advocated that approach, as did her brother. However the Vulcan tactical officer T'Less dictated that to be an unsound strategy, and Vivian found herself agreeing.

She switched her gaze back to Cinn before calling out across the bridge. "Captain, I must agree with lieutenant T'Less. As much as I wish we could rush to save Thea and the other officers, we must think of the needs of the many. The Borg are coming sir. We are prepared to take them on now. If we wait they may break out of the nebula and wreak havoc in the nearby systems. My department have concocted multiple plans to help us neutralize the Borg. We must use them now, before it is too late."

The Borg were the ultimate enemy. The antithesis of everything the Federation stood for. They had to be contained and halted in the Nebula here and now. If they failed, and the Borg gained a foothold in the sector it would spell doom for nearby civilizations. As it was whenever the Federation faced the Borg, this would be no mere battle, but an ultimate test of the iron will of the Federation, and the daring bravery of the Starfleet crews who opposed the mechanical monsters.

Vivian swallowed nervously, drawing on her deepest reserves of courage. They would come out of this alive, they had to. For the fate of the Quadrant lay in their hands.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: patches on January 10, 2019, 06:39:00 PM
[ PO2 Kino Taer | Bridge | USS Theurgy ] @chXinya

It was somehow a surprise to hear Thea's voice, her real voice. Intellectually, she knew the sound files that played were the same either way but there was some subtle difference when it was the AI proper versus the regular ship's computer. Maybe it was the cadence or the word choice or just some indefinable trait that marked when a synthetic voice was "living" or merely a recorded response. It was a question better filed away for later musing, as movement caught her eye.

Ducote.

The man was pacing and she frowned slightly at that before the memory of which ship it was that he came from. Thea had mentioned being freed by three survivors from the USS Endeavour, a ship that the Theurgy now knew was destroyed by the Borg. Ducote and the others from that ship had acted like they were the only ones, so finding out there were more out there must have been a shock. It left the commander, for once, entirely speechless. Kino expected him to try ordering the ship to this Versant.

Not that it would have taken the crew much convincing, it seemed like, because others on the bridge spoke up instead. The Asurian, clearly excited, spoke up for the abductees, as did a tactical officer that Kino didn't recognize. Two others piped up in support of continuing on to the apertures. Being a career Security NCO whose job duties kept her mostly in places that benefited more from her specific explosives-related expertise, Kino rarely found herself on the Bridge. Hearing and seeing others openly offer their opinions unasked for when it was the Commander's decision was not something she expected, though a part of her was amused.

Well, I guess we're closer to anarchy than I thought.

For her part, the Trill had stood still and silent, hands clasped behind her back. During the Dominion War, Taer had been in actions that included both prisoner of war rescues and counter-boarding. She knew her capabilities and that of the people she'd be working closest with and was comfortable with her chances either way - they'd likely die taking on either the Versant again or the Borg. She'd just have to do her best to ensure their victory was appropriately costly.

A lull in the conversation gave her an opening and Kino cleared her throat to gain Wenn's attention before pointing at the PADD she handed him.

"Captain, I spoke last night with Doctor Nicander. He requested I pass along some vital intelligence about the Klingons and Borg related to the parasite threat. The message is recorded on that PADD for your listening pleasure. You may want to listen to it before making a decision, sir."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on January 12, 2019, 05:18:59 AM
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]

What a wicked web you weave Fate. Why? Why now?

Derik stepped out of the turbolift, feet carrying him on autopilot to his station. A quick check at his station showed much of the damaged from their last battle had been patched or repaired. Least we wont die from a core overloading anymore.

"Helm, plot a course for the aperture field, best possible speed.  We can't stay here any longer than absolutely necessary." The order came, snaking its way into his thoughts.

"Aye Sir." Derik responded more from habit than actual intention. "Course set,"

[Mayday, Mayday. This is Thea - the interface of the Federation starship Theurgy - at Stardate 57553.67. My current position is 277-mark-383, aboard the Savi Precept-ship Versant. I have been contained in a lab environment until three minutes ago, and just gained access to the ship's systems. This enabled me to send this message.]

Veradin listened to the transmission, snapped out of his own mindscape at the sound of a familiar and welcome voice. Thea?

[On behalf of anyone still alive aboard this ship, from my own crew or any other captives on the Versant, I ask for immediate assistance. If the Endeavour was attacked by the Borg, the knowledge of her crew is key to protect the Federation. The lives of my saviors are now threatened, and I am forced to sever this connection. It is unknown if I will be able to link with the Versant's systems again. Do not attempt to reply, since the Savi might intercept the source of the transmission.]

If Thea is alive still then there is a chance the rest of our missing are too. We can get them back! Derik's chest swelled with hope. Rescuing his crewmates would certainly improve their situation, both in manpower and moral.

[Please, if this message reach either of my hulls, we require immediate assistance. I repeat, the coordinates are 277-mark-383. The number of survivors aboard this ship is unknown, but the Federation may be in direct danger of a Borg cube in Federation space. Thea, out.]

The helmsman's fingers brushed across the controls, running calculations using distances required, travel time, fuel, and everything between. He kept one ear open, listening as the crew talked, plugging in new variables as the each one spoke. The results that appeared were not favorable in the slightest. No no. He ran the calculations again. Same results. A third time, just to be sure. Same results again. Like one of those ancient human record players, the Trill kept running the calculations over and over, each time receiving identical feedback until he could bare to run the numbers no more. A deep pit formed in his gut, vast, filled only with what seemed like an endless void. That spark of hope he had mere moments ago disappeared into said void, extinguished by truth before his very eyes. He turned in his chair to their new CO.

"Sir." Derik projected so that all on the bridge could hear him, his face unable to hide the damning realization as he tried to form the words. "Ba....based on our current ship status, we can't reach the Versant, rescue the crew, and make it to the apertures before the Borg arrive. Even if I ran the engines until they were destroyed and useless we still wouldn't make it." The Trill visibly swallowed the bile rising in his throat. "We...we....we will have to choose. Do we stay on course to the Apertures and leave the crew behind? Or do we turn about and rescue the crew and miss our window for the Borg?"

Veradin always hated these kinds of impossible decisions. There were just no good choices available. Either way they were damned. Starfleet doesn't stand for leaving their own behind, and yet if they didn't, the Borg could assimilate thousands upon thousands before they were even challenged. Yet if they did leave the crew behind to engage the new threat, the survivors on the Versant would be left to their own fates, whatever that may be. Bile rose in his esophagus again.

Wicked web indeed.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triton on January 12, 2019, 02:17:12 PM
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | In the Calm Before the Storm ]
Att: bridge crew + Those mentioned.   @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Top Hat @Brutus @Triage  @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich  @Stegro88

Leon stepped off the turbolift and was back on the bridge with a loaded datapad at 0958 with just a slight perspiration on his brow from an inspired jog from his quarters, with a Lt. Commander's vest variant uniform to go with his leather jacket which he'd had wrapped for the jog, and donned for on the bridge. The CTO returned to the now-repaired holotable after drawing his pad from his jacket pocket. An hour of rest, or even less in this case, was all he needed under these circumstances to get back to work at best efficiency, even though his reunion with Alessia should have been a happy one, but they each had to form respective reports for their colleagues or loadout packages and had to focus on that-- After small talk and brief reminiscing and of course, some needed comfort and spiritual reinforcement by both of them. Prudent officers used their efficiency at all times, according to Alessia citing Lawrence of Arabia. Not one of Leon's favorites, but he appreciated her sentiment and fondness for history.

The CTO used the holotable's console to cross-reference his own and any existing attack patterns best suiting the Theurgy against the Borg.  Lt. T'Less's reports and strategies were already being categorically being projected and approved for 'Operation Loaded Dice', with each time Leon ran a simulation using Theurgy's current combat readiness showing more favorable odds with each moment. 'Loaded Dice' was Leon's creative codename for a plan to use a Borg's own design against itself as a cover against its other faces or support craft whilst hitting the cube's weakened point long enough to take it offline if not critically disable it before moving on to another, like Ninjas against Samurai: Blind them and hit the weak points. Dishonorable, but necessary. Particularly against a cybernetic species with no concept of honor.

Exchanging his reports from the other two officers, Leon greeted in trained Vulcan as a courtesy to T'Less when he met up her, and he thanked her for her input, then offered a more direct handshake to Vivian's brother. "It is agreeable to see you, T'Less, well done. Lieutenant, having one Martin aboard is valuable enough, but with two of you assures me we're in good hands. Now, let's get going." He said when they'd been put to work.

A few taps of his pad later and the holotable reacted accordingly. Leon began explaining the latest on a team-based airstrike the Wolves could deliver against a Borg Cube. Marquez's variant required a Conn-Plotted course that would keep Theurgy on a cube's pre-sighted and disarmed side, while the rest of the Cube was blinded by the wolves' 'flashbang' tactic. If he could cloak the vessel and attack with it, that was a needed upper hand in their next fight.  "With an EMP missile or antimatter spread to confuse their sensors and tractor emitters, we could let the wolves take their target down down one layer at a time with our as our ship hits the Cubes here, here and here. Starfleet Tactical believes these coordinates are command and control sections distributed throughout the craft.  'Battle bridges', as it were, though it is likely they are key power junctures for respective axes of the vessels. What is certain is this is where Captan Picard had the fleet at 0-0-1 target the Cube during that engagement." Fortunately, Lt T'Less' analysis was already somewhat in agreement. Incorporating her work with his was not difficult or dissimilar  the program put both their plans into effect was yet to be seen. Fortunately, it was off to a good start with his A-CTO.

Despite their extensive list of enemies, the Borg were one threat to anyone else who might somehow serve as an ally in their fugitive state. "Ensign Henshaw's logs have proven instrumental in preparing for another Klingon dogfight." Leon wished he could have added a better term for 'trouble', but kept it neutral as he stated around the holotable as his program's patterns were projected in color-coded adversarial display. "The Sword held her ground against the Rotarran, but we have learned not to underestimate this craft's full capabilities. Cloaked fighters, for one, a cloaked fleet for another, including Dominion War Era and contemporary craft alike. Given our destination and what it means to the Chancellor, I'd bet on a larger force than the one that splashed our fighters." He explained their next likely threat.

Leon turned to the Ship's former CTO, and issued orders best suited to her experience with the ship's weapons. "Lieutenant T'Less: As more of our defensive capabilities come back online, prepare our phaser settings for random dispersal and fire rates, specifically, for a Borg encounter. Work what antimatter armaments we can spare, they're one advantage we have via our fighters. In case we run into any other hostiles, draw up five of your preferred armament configurations for an apropos counter-offensive package with intent on disabling Martok's vessel and rescuing him as needed. Make sure those five plans can be applied to our other pursuers for... variable effect." Leon planned for certain contingencies, rather than cement to any one plan that could hardly evolve or change as the situation called for. Such as the Asurians or Sankolov's ships. Switching between several configurations gave them options.

"If the Chancellor is Alive, kicking and convinced, he's an ally. Dead, he's a martyr and soon thereafter, so are we to anyone who finds those logs when the dust settles. The Empire's concept of revenge is one thing compared to their concept of rage." That too, was a concept he was reminded of by Zyrao during a later meeting. Marquez suspected that hard-liners or the parasites themselves would use the assassination of their Chancellor by the Federation as a rallying cry for war.

As Theurgy arrived at her destination, the Captain had ordered all logs and unsent messages deployed. Leon was glad, as both Leon and Alessia had incidentally posted a joint-video letter to both of their respective families in the last hour, if any of their relatives weren't already sequestered by Sankolov or his fellow parasites they'd hear it from Alessia and Leon. It was a simple pair of messages, but forthright about their stories since they'd parted ways over three years before, when there was an expected wedding after the war's end. Marquez hoped this message-in-a-bottle was insurance to some future civilization of the dangers here and that he, she and others existed as participants of a war that was too out of time and out of place.

But he wasn't an El-Aurian to decide. He'd had enough lip from one of them in particular despite his steadfast politeness that broadcast the contrary. Working with Zyrao made Leon feel as comfortable as someone who'd just shook hands with a cactus, but her centuries of expertise and experience with the KDF made up for that attitude that was admittedly somewhat refreshing. The attitude it gave Leon an excuse to curse, rather than the stunning odd-used F-bombs he used once a blue moon on Resolve.

Then the Asurian, Dyan Cardamone, broke the news.

"Well, I'll be." Leon held off on that statement he was likewise captivated by word of Thea's contact and the summary communiqué.

"I have the message Dyan's referring to. Arrived via non-Federation subspace tightbeam, but there's a sub-channel with a Starfleet identification code: Thea's.  Security checksums are valid." Comms specialist Ravenholm reported.

With a telltale indicator from the CTO console, Leon verified this transmission from a tactical standpoint. "Confirmed, Captain. Thea's Signal. Firewalls in effect." Marquez reported from his console when he dashed over at the mention of Thea, but kept the AI from interfacing with Theurgy in case this was a trap or bait, or more likely just in case this was the queue for action stations. Maybe there were survivors aboard after all. Maybe even Jien Ives. Privately, Leon was concerned for K'ren and Sinead mainly. Thea's message gave him that much hope. Leon listened intently, personally recording the transmission and snapped reactively, at anyone at the holotable, nodding sharply to mark those coordinates onto the computer, which answered with a marker on their holo-map, and the axe-shaped Superdreadnought appeared on the map of the Azure Nebula, relative to their position at the Coreless Moon and the last known position of the task force, grimly dubbed 'Point Bellerophon'. Leon had entered those coordinates himself with a timestamp so as to forward CONN with any calculations for the vessel's possible trajectories for a CO-ordered response, if any.

As Thea spoke, Leon was already working on both his screen and pad towards finding what limited cross sections and readouts they had on the Versant, just in case some or at least one of his plans were greenlit in the attempt to engage the Borg or rescue their crew. Vivian's brother spoke up and despite agreeing with him, Marquez firmly replied, "Steady on, Mister Martin. I concur with the lieutenant, this is also our chance to stop the collective.  Work with Engineering: Calculate the possibility of the Reman's cloaking device utilized within the next hour. Then prioritize any phaser bank or torpedo bay not yet to 100% for repairs and get them online. If firing while cloaked is an option, so be it, but don't ask our Reman guest or the repair teams for the impossible. Avoid shutting down additional phasers for the time being. We'll need whatever's ready, pronto <A.S.A.P.>." Leon evenly stated as he indifferently accessed the weapons diagnostics for a real-time preparation for yellow or red alert. Battle was imminent; his gut instinct couldn't shake the hunch of certainty.

A perverse idea crossed Leon's imagination of somehow arranging for the Superdreadnought being pit against a Borg Armada while rescuing Theurgy's crew and captain actually made him anticipate that possibility if Thea's report was accurate about the abductees having allies. And more possible if Reman cloaking technology would work with the power that the entire ship could bring to power it.

At that moment, Kino Taer made the CTO's contingency plan regarding the Parasite in the Chancellor's inner circle: Exposing this treachery would rally the Klingons the way Starfleet's Infiltration of Ty'go'kor had exposed a Founder infiltrator. One man could summon the future as T'Less's people said. In this case, one AI.[/i]

[Show/Hide]
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triage on January 15, 2019, 11:29:48 PM
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cameron_Henshaw) | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Triton, @Top Hat, @Patches, @The Ostrich, @Argyros & @Cosmos
[Show/Hide]
With a quick nod in appreciation and acknowledgement for Kino's concern, Cam returned herself to waiting for the message to play and she did not have to wait long. Thea was well. There were crew members from other ships as well as Theurgy that were alive. Jien Ives was among them, for sure!

Jien Ives was alive...He's alive.

HE'S ALIVE!!!

A smile appeared on the girl's lips, something that hadn't been seen much, if at all, this past week, and then the tears came unbidden, from a combination of joy and anguish. "Jien's alive..." said Cam, not loudly, but she wasn't whispering either.

But it couldn't all have come at a worst possible moment. The Borg threat! Jien would surely not approve of the choice to choice to come after them if he knew what the crew knew right then. He would have sent them to aid the Cayuga, the Klingons and everyone else first, even if the Versant was burning down around him, he would send them. But without Jien...without Thea, it was like the heart and soul that made the Theurgy was gone, and how well would they fare? She cast a frantic glance towards Wenn Cinn. The Bajoran was a stable and even man, and he had steered them through with examplary leadership. Natalie Stark had great strength, more than she even realized herself, and both Carrigan and Jennifer led with strength and courage, whatever their faults, these three and Cinn made a formidable force with the power of the multi-vector dreadnought.

But they are not Jien, and they are only half the strength and capabilities without Thea.

As much as it seemed so heartless, cruel and selfish to argue what the others said, Cam, the little Yeoman, the insignificant ensign, had to offer a counterpoint, and stand with the woman who had run her over as well as Salem.

"Captain," said Cam as she moved towards the tall man, "I don't disagree with the others, about the Borg...but, we need Thea...and Captain Ives...they're the heart and soul, if you'll pardon the metaphor." She knew how weak her statement was, so she added all her emotion, pain, hope and desire into her next words, "Yes I know it is selfish, and counterpoint to say that I think the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many this once. We need to be truly and completely whole once more, or...or everything will be lost...sir."

That sounded even stupider out loud now that she had said it, and made her sound so callous and uncaring about the fate of the quadrant should the Borg succeed in establishing a beachhead, but the Ensign stood firm, even defiant, in her stance, and she watched Cinn to see what he would ultimately decide in.

After this, we've simply got to find time to take shore leave on Risa...
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on January 16, 2019, 05:41:00 AM
[ Captain Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

As Thea's voice filled the Bridge once again Captain Cinn could hear nothing else but her and the background noises throughout the room.  Even after the message ended you could hear a pin drop as everyone present processed what they just heard.  He could feel his own pagh surging underneath his dark skin as the news of their compatriots being alive started to hit home.  Rez's statement earlier echoed in his mind, the pagh'tem'far from a few days ago following quickly afterwards.

The Bridge exploded all around Cinn in the meantime as everyone jumped in to express their opinion.  Shockingly, the bridge crew seemed to be evenly split between continuing on to the aperture field or rescuing the captives.  It made some sense though, with more crew (especially many of the normal senior officers) and Thea herself back aboard the ship would be in a much better position to fight the Borg, and that was before factoring in the regulations about answering distress calls.  On the other hand, the was The Borg and if Nicander was right, this was the invasion that would end everything.

Before Cinn could ask, Veradin was already plotting the coordinates Thea gave, but the news wasn't good.  Any hope of both picking up the captives then racing off to the battlefield was dashed with the report that they were in opposite directions.  The Versant was closer, but when up to an hour away (warp drive's attitude depending) that was cutting it way too damn close, doubly so with the high likelihood of having to fight their way to their compatriots, or to cut them a way out.  They almost didn't have enough time to get to the field as it was, and that was assuming the warp nacelles held.

Finishing his silent deliberations, Cinn would feel the gravity plating pulling him down to the deck.  This was an order he desperately didn't want to give, but the choice was an illusion.  "Continue to the aperture field Mr. Veradin.  Best possible speed."  I'm sorry... he thought to Captain Ives and all the others.  With luck the Borg threat will be stopped and they can circle back to rescue the abductees.  "Okafor, send a probe to those coordinates, I want to know if they move from that location and a way to track it for later."  It wasn't much, but at least they were trying.

Slumping back into the captain's chair, the Bajoran tried not to look defeated, that he was just trying to relax before plunging headfirst into hell.  Tapping his lap with the PADD still clutched in his dark hand, Cinn watched the holofield shift into the familiar warp streaks as the Theurgy shuddered its way past the warp barrier.  Realization hit a few moments later, the tapping stopping as he looked at the report's title.  "Nicander..." he whispered, the pieces clicking into place.

"Stark, take the conn.  Ducote, with me."  Jumping out of the center seat, Cinn made a beeline for the turbolift, not even checking to see if their visitor from the Endeavour was following.  "Deck 7."


GM OOC Note added: With this post, now that we are on course towards the apertures in the heart of the Azure Nebula at a warp speed of 9.95 (which is as fast as the Theurgy can go atm due to all the damage), 7 days of posting now begin where all reactions to Captain Wenn's decision should be posted on the bridge. When 7 days have passed, I will turn the hands of time one hour forward in this thread, and the Theurgy will join the Battle of the Apertures. Please bear in mind that Martok and his fleet plus the Cayuga will have been fighting the Borg Queen for that hour, so please mind the debris field when we drop out of warp. :)

This post also opens up for Supplemental threads set between 1005 and 1110 hrs on Day 06, which is the time for this last leap through the Azure Nebula. These threads should have the naming convention CH05: S [D06|XXXX] Insert Title, and it is the last chance you all have to write any scenes prior to the battle. Bridge officers may call in relief officers in order to leave the bridge for such scenes, of course. The only thing important to keep in mind, is that at 1100 hrs., the Red Alert will be sounded, meaning all hands to battle stations, since it would only be 10 minutes until they drop out of warp. So, the threads you may write in the hour between 1005 and 1110 hrs must have a Red Alert at 1100 hrs., if the scene is depicted at that minute.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on January 16, 2019, 08:41:34 PM
Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin)| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton  @Doc M.
[Show/Hide]

Salem took long slow breaths as he started to listen to everyone around him, tallying votes. He knew that votes weren't how Starfleet handled these situations, and he wasn't surprised that most were able to focus on the big picture, he was told to steady himself and get back in line by his own commanding officer. He understood why that order was being given, and Martin had to chew his lip for a moment.

Still his eyes were looking out to every single person whom had voted against the rescue, their faces etching into his mind, these people were, the ones whom Salem understood he couldn't trust.

And the worst offender was someone he had just gotten back. If looks could kill, the glare he shot across the bridge to the science department would have incinerated his twin. He chewed on his lip, she was his superior officer, she was family, there were a lot of reasons he could not berate her for her choices or raise his voice against her. But oh he wanted too. Out of everyone on the bridge if there was one person whom he had expected to back him up, who understood what it was like to be stranded away from friends or family or what it was like to have someone close to them restrained it should have been her, yet her face was among the others on his shit list.

He could understand the situation, one Borg Cube versus twenty seven individual Federation ships, he had seen the damage first hand. He knew what even a single one could do to worlds, and worst yet they were like cockroaches.  if even a single cube got away the untold damage it could cause and the worlds it could infest could make yet more cubes, and an infestation across Federation space would spread that no army could stop. Seconds were precious and the fighting would be immense. He had duties he needed to attend too. He turned back slowly, letting himself breath, and take his focus away from his stupid nerd of a sister, and her the needs of the many bullshit, and just do his job.

He tuned back into reality with slow breathing exercises he had been taught in therapy, and grappled with the struggle at hand. The first thing he had to counterpoint was Lt Cmdr Marquez's theory on the borg and the co'ordinates used by Jean Luc Picard in sector 001's battle with the borg. "Sir, it has been shown many times over the Borg are a hive mind, they posses no need of a bridge, further more that singular cube was modified to house a sort of Borg science vessel, and the data used in that battle was given to Picard by the voices of the collective. It very well may have been a trap tactic, as the debris field from the cube prevented immediate fire upon the Sphere, like sacrificing a pawn to protect a better peace in a game of chess. There is no telling if the cubes we will be facing today have the same modifications as the singular vessel used in the battle above earth, and further more no telling if such an area has not been adapted or modified since that invasion."


"In battle against a modern cube against the Cayuga there were no gives or nor weaknesses at any point in the hull of the cube, what we did was load several high yield torpedoes and fired them consecutively at the same location, taxing their regenerative ability by causing stress to a singular location. In the first encounter with the Borg when the Enterprise was whisked away to the gamma quadrant it was shown that stressing the vessel's regenerative abilities slowed them down considerably. If we are going into a fight against multiple cubes we may not be able to position ourselves between any two direct weak points if they even exist so I'd suggest selecting fire based off of areas easy to hit repeatedly rather than trying to focus fire any one hard to reach location."
 Having seen a single cube in action and survived by taxing the ship for all it had been worth he knew that with a ship like the Theurgy that had far more overwhelming fire power they could do repeated damage much easier.

He turned to his console trying to hail engineering to do as he had been told, though he stopped for a moment.

Wait did he just say this ship had a Reman cloaking device? How the fuck did they get that?!

He shook his head pack that information away for later. "This is Lieutenant Junior Grade, Salem Martin to main engineering, I need a status on the Reman cloaking device, we need it operational within the next hour, also we are about to be going up against people with really big guns so if you could get as many torpedo tubes operational as possible those of us up in tactical would really appreciate it."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Doc M. on January 17, 2019, 01:36:20 AM
[  William Robert O'Connell (https://fc01.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2014/219/f/7/oconnel_row_01_by_auctor_lucan-d7u6n2x.png) | Voice over the communications system | USS Theurgy ]  Atten. @Argyros, @Auctor Lucan, @chXinya, @Cosmos@FollowTomorrow, @Masorin, @Patches, @The Ostrich@Top Hat, @Triage , &  @Triton.

[ On second thought maybe it's high time we got a move on, ] a masculine voice muttered.  Salem could hear a man clearing his throat before he responded in a louder and clearer tone.  Well it was only somewhat clear, but it was sure loud.  [ O'Connell tuh Martin, we wuz jest getting thuh that now.  Mister Xan... or is it Efreya-Xan?  Jesus Christ son, how many times are you gonna move th' hyphens around in yore name anyhow? ]   There was a pause as O'Connell cleared his throat again.  [ Lieutenant junior grade Suq Reylin Efreya-Xan is doin' his best tuh install it intuh our main deflector array, but th' whole Theurgy is a damn sight bigger then jest th' Helmet.  Mister Lorad is here to assist but even so at th' very best it Ah cain't rightly say when it's uh gonna be.  Hold on sir, let me consult with th' Lieutenant.  Ah'll git back tuh yuh as soon as Ah'm able. ]



OOC:  If you page my character, don't be afraid to send me a PM letting me know!
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triton on January 17, 2019, 05:48:31 AM
[ Lt Cdr Leon Marquez | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | In the Calm Before the Storm ]
Att: bridge crew + Those mentioned.

Leon thanked his lucky stars he'd never had to deal with the Borg face to face, but at the academy when they were the face of evil after their discovery and battle, Leon had to involve himself on ways to beat them face to face or ship to ship. There were no capabilities or tangible advantages. Marquez had even experienced a supervised holo seminar on what to do if encountered in the field. Leon voluntarily had himself 'assimilated', to see how soon it would take for him to use his phaser on himself, rather than spend eternity as a battery. There weren't any holodeck safeties this time.

"Noted, Mister Martin. We have taken Cayuga's tactical response into our calculations as a keystone factor in our response." the CTO reminded, he wouldn't dream of reminding anyone all of their loss, though. "We also have wolves this time." Marquez reminded further of the advantage key to following up his and T'Less' growing digital archive, in a tone firmer than he'd intended as if to rebuke  as if he hadn't been heard the first time. Despite the tone, he let the Lieutenant give his address. Marquez skipped the 'forget-the-speech' retort this time, he hated long-windedness unless it was necessary.

As, if for emphasis, a scan crossed his station indicating a highly-probably launch bay location, that had been located within a short distance of one of the cubes' laser emitters according to a rendering of the Enterprise-D's first encounter--wasn't that the Delta Quadrant? It was still under debate if cubes were identical, more so than drones. O'Connell's reply came through on audio.  "During World War II, Gurkha Commandos learned to trick their Imperial adversaries into shooting each other during the confusion of jungle warfare and exploiting the chaos. I trust that inspires your faith in the plan." Leon made eye contact with Salem and smirked devilishly, conveying a response.

Another wild idea crossed his mind about what to target on a Borg Cube and its additional craft. Archived scans of identified Cubes at separate encounters overlayed and cross-referenced where Spheres or other polygon craft would be launched from. Marquez hoped Martin was wrong about diversity, but only time, and incidentally the cloak, would tell. Leon issued a memorandum about the possibility of tampering with the cubes' or Theurgy's own IFF frequencies and was chasing the possibilities in the computer's theoretical files. It was only a matter of time now before it was time to roll the loaded dice.

 
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: FollowTomorrow on January 18, 2019, 03:39:04 AM
[ P.O Dyan Cardamone/Sar-unga Neleo | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

The bridge was now in chaos. Everyone was doing their own thing, and also another person came in with a message, and also Thea's voice was here even though she personally wasn't. The rancor suited Dyan just fine, but she wanted to know what the decision actually was. As far as she knew, there were opinions everywhere. She glanced over at the acting Captain. Wenn Cinn had her respect. If anything, she respected him and his crinkly face and nose more than she respected Ives, the actual captain of the ship, who would certainly be coming back after...

After the borg attack. It was decided; they would reach the borg first. Dyan did not know many things, but she knew this; She did not expect to survive battle with the borg. More than that, if the borg managed to assimilate her, they would know about the Asurians. Her people's secrecy would be compromised. Did she have a choice in this matter? Her tail whipped about, watching the bridge come alive with action. All her life, she'd been ready to die for what she believed in. Now she didn't know if she could. Could she really end her life before the borg found her?

She stood by the Captain's chair, watching the viewscreen. Her bold visage became serious now. There was no smile to her, and her tail became still as she questioned.

Why is it that now, of all times, she felt fear?
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on January 18, 2019, 02:46:07 PM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]

Vanya's fingers were tapping a console in the Sci grotto on the starboard side of the bridge. Officers were voicing their opinions on what they should or shouldn't do and Vanya was a little thrown by that. The ships she'd served on were not so much decided by committee.  This was a special circumstance she supposed, so the Captain might be allowing voiced thoughts. Vanya however kept her opinion to herself. Noone had asked her and she was technically just 'attached', to the crew at the moment. Her opinion may not even be wanted. She sure wasn't going to give it with out being asked.

Looking to Okafor, Vanya raised her brows as if to ask him if this was common practice. Different ships were, well, different, after all. Then Vivian was coming onto the Bridge and Vanya offered her a silent nod when she came over. Commander Martin  voiced her opinion on the situation and Vanya's dark green eyes looked to her then back down to the display where she was working. She'd gotten up to give her seat to the superior officer and with a flick of her fingers moved the work to a standing screen in the Science area. If Vanya disagreed with the Lieutenant Commander, her face did not betray such thoughts.

At the mention of the Science team's plans, the Romulan gave a bit of a nod. The modification to the Tri-fold verteron displacement grid were coming on line. Slender fingers moved with astonishing speed as she entered in the refined and specialized calculations. She had been the CSO on her own ship, so her basis for Starfleet Sciences was wide. More than 'just' her chosen specialty.

A few more moments and the modification protocols were complete and Vanya sent them to the console in front of Vivian while also ensuring Ops and Tactical had the information. "Commander." Vanya spoke softly to LtCmd Martin .

The reconfiguration would allow Ops and Tactical to refocus the shields on the fly, faster than before and with more precision. This would allow Theurgy to parry incoming weapon fire more accurately and help to prevent shield emitter overload. Well, to prevent it from happening as quickly anyway.

The Romulan glanced over to Ops and then back to Tactical to ensure the information had gotten to where it was supposed to be. She'd remain on station to ensure the changes were in effect and maintained peek efficiency. 

With that aspect concluded she changed the read out to began amplification of the primary spacial field discriminators. Specifically, she was entering in refinements to detect Borg warp signatures and power sources. The sooner and further away they could detect the Borg the better they'd be. A few seconds more of warning or prep time may literally result in the success or failure of the mention. Vanya worked swiftly to try and give them those extra seconds, or even fractions of a second.

It sure looked like they could use every micron of help they could get.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on January 18, 2019, 11:02:47 PM
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Fife

There was never enough time. Nator was now thoroughly bored with hir internal monologue throwing up the phrase 'two hundred engineers and a fortnight in drydock' and found hirself rolling hir eyes at least three times an hour whenever s/he caught hirself thinking it. The ship wasn't combat ready, not if it had to take on a KDF fleet, a Starfleet flotilla, and the Borg. Probably not even one of those things at a time. Their hull was still porous, their magazines run down, and their power systems...

Nator supposed that if the Borg had gained any schematics of the Theurgy when they encountered the TFA ships in the nebula, they at least wouldn't be able to shut down huge swathes of their grid with the expected level of ease. It was so heavily rerouted, patched, and jury-rigged that it was a whole new brand of resilient. Imagine that. One of the best defences against a cybernetic civilisation might end up being 'security through obscurity' after all.

Internal sensors showed hir an Ops crew tag in the Jefferies' tubes near one of the more crucial junctions in their new and improvised EPS grid. The overall integrity of the grid was.. suboptimal, and so s/he wanted as many sets of humanoid eyes to verify the diagnostics as possible. S/he sent a message to the tunnel-crawler.

Around hir the bridge was a hive of activity; the message from Thea had energised people to pull in various directions. For hir own part, s/he had no real pull towards people s/he could no longer reliably remember, and so stayed quiet. S/he follow whatever order s/he was given.

No movement from the tunnel-crawler, and no acknowledgement. Nator resent the order. Come on; I do not have the time for this.

[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Triton @Masorin

Commander Marquez arrived back on the bridge, though he didn't appear to be any better rested than when he left. She wondered if an hour or so would have been long enough to recover from the Helmet's tumultuous day anyway. He greeted her in Vulcan, for reasons presumably his own, as the UT was more than sufficient and had the side benefit of sparing her from an alien's poor accent. She settled for nodding in response, handing over her report.

His subsequent orders matched almost entirely what she'd been working on for the last hour; anti-Borg contingencies, though he did add that she should exploit their antimatter stocks, too. Usually, she'd be leery of using the ship's primary fuel source in such an engagement when replenishing it was a dicey prospect without the logistics chain of the wider Fleet to support them. However, she couldn't deny the fatalistic logic behind it. If they didn't use it, their chances of success diminished. If they did, so did their chances of escape. However, the latter case was still a 'solvable' - the former was not.

Lieutenant Martin, however, posed a new problem. She could hardly miss the look he shot her when she advocated addressing their primary threat. Inconvenient, but she wasn't sure how to address it at this moment. They all had more important things to be doing if they were to survive long enough to pick up their crewmates. She missed them as much as anyone else - and one or two of them more than she cared to admit - but they had a duty to discharge first.

Always one more thing...

Regardless, she filed away his account. Any scrap of information would be useful in the coming engagement.

[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @chXinya

The acting Captain ordered that they continue to the Borg foothold. He wanted to feel relieved, he wanted to feel as if he was doing the right thing... but he wanted to see Blue again. See who else survived. Find out if they knew of anyone else. If he hadn't been picked up by this ship, he'd already have been told who had been rescued, whose bodies had been recovered, who was still missing... on the Theurgy, all he had was silence and worry.

Enraba-me, this is such a fucking cluster.

Half-heartedly, he made another circuit of his patch of the deck, at a loss. "Fffff-" he hissed to himself.

"Ducote, with me," Wenn said, at least giving him something to snap him out of it.

The hybrid's hand dropped from the back of his neck, slapping against his leg as he watched the Bajoran breeze past him. Sure, why not. He followed the bulky man into the turbolift.

"Deck Seven," came the order as the door closed.

"Nicander, then?" Ducote guessed as the lift descended. "If the abductees survived, the fucker lied," he all but growled. "He's been manipulating you from day one."

Black eyes regarded the dark Bajoran as the commander glanced at the captain. "Any point in trying to dissuade you from talking to him now?"
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: steelphoenix on January 19, 2019, 10:39:38 PM
[ Lt. Cmdr. Vael Kaeris | Turbolift | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat  @chXinya @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on January 20, 2019, 07:04:13 PM
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @Triage @Triton @FollowTomorrow @chXinya @Masorin @The Ostrich @Hastata-Nerada @Cosmos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Be back at 1100. Dismissed."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Hastata-Nerada on January 20, 2019, 09:47:06 PM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @
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The Borg were an imminent threat, no doubt. A massive, imminent threat that Tyreke wished he never had the displeasure of having to deal with. He pondered, briefly. If he were a drone, would he still feel? Would he need to worry about what it was like being assimilated after that? A shudder ran its way through his frame as he envisioned the alternate possibility of a drone being completely aware and helpless during their time in the Collective, their mind being slowly eroded and overran as they could do nothing but watch themselves move according to some ceaseless, collective will. Tyreke blinked a few times. He tried to fill his mind with thoughts of a field he saw on Bajor, filled with lush grasses and flowers that bore an odd resemblance to lilacs.
Enough of that, there were orders. With a quiet and resigned exhale, Tyreke's fingers moved over the console and brought up the probe manifest. A class-5 probe perhaps? He wasn't sure whether the power and range of the probe was excessive, but these were their crew, survivors, other people in danger. The time for second thoughts could come later, he input the coordinates and launched the probe.
After a second of watching it sail away into the cerulean depths of the nebula, Tyreke turned his chair towards the command seat, or rather towards Lieutenant Commander Stark, as Cinn was now vacant. "Probe is away, we will be able to observe telemetry up to a range of forty-three billion kilometers with full chemical and spectral analysis."
Tyreke turned back solemnly to his station, but paused as he heard Stark's orders. "I want - no, I need, all of you at your peek when that time comes. Be back here at 1100 hours, on the dot. Until then, feel free to call in relief officers as needed."
An hour? It didn't feel like enough time. Nowhere near enough in fact, but to be fair, "enough time" before facing the Borg constituted a literal eternity in Tyreke's opinion. "Be back at 1100. Dismissed."
Tyreke glanced at Lieutenant Commander Martin, almost as if to confirm, then back to his console. He was not sure how the others would react, but he knew that this time he would not be the first to do so.



Apologies for the short post. Regarding the class-5 probe, this information was based on the TNG technical manual, which gave a detailed description of the probe's capabilities.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Fife on January 21, 2019, 08:49:18 AM
[ CPO Ekon Okotie-Eboh | Jefferies Tubes | Deck ?? | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Top Hat
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Eboh drifted through a vast and empty void, utterly weightless and relaxed. When was the last time he had had the opportunity to rest like this? He certainly couldn't remember! The reprieve was welcome, though the strange noise was spoiling it. A shrill noise, pulling him back to reality and ruining his peaceful drifting. There it was again, a high pitched, chirping noise, accompanied by a voice. Eboh groaned and he begrudgingly opened his eyes, the slight movement proving enough to send a lance of pain through his head. The air around him smelled acrid and thick, which only served to add to the assault on his senses. The chirping sounded again, though this time he was able to recognize it as his combadge.

Someone was trying to get a hold of him.

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

What the hell happened?

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

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

Wherever here is... he thought to himself. The hand he had held to his head felt wet, and as he lifted it away from his temple he found his fingers to be sticky and glistening with partially coagulated blood. He wiped his hand on his uniform before he spoke again. "I'm unsure of which section I'm in, sir," Eboh finally continued, his voice sounding groggy. His eyes pulled away from his hand to survey his surroundings once again as he continued to report in. "I can tell you that this Jefferies tube has seen better days, and the EPS grid in this section will need a good deal of repair before it's up and running again." Eboh let out a soft groan as he shifted his position, turning onto his side and pushing himself up onto his hands and knees. "I'll need some time to give you a more detailed report, but I'll need more hands to get this section back up and running." Eboh's head throbbed as he made his way towards the damaged section of the Jefferies tube, hoping to get a better idea of the extent of repairs required. "If you could ask whoever you send to bring a medical kit, sir, that would be a big help as well."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on January 22, 2019, 10:30:00 PM
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Atten: @All bridge crew
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We're leaving our people behind. The words didn't even seem real as they reverberated through his head. These are our crew, our friends, our loved ones, and we are going to leave them behind... Derik wished he was joined right at this moment. The confidence and surety of many lifetimes might have taken the edge off what they were doing. It's for the greater good. He kept telling himself. It's all for the greater good.

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

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

Did he?

Yes. You've been given an order.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veradin tapped the controls, the Theurgy hurling towards an uncertain fate.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on January 24, 2019, 10:50:33 PM
"Personal Log, Supplemental. Stardate 57556.34. One minute ago, the Theurgy went to Red Alert, and our arrival to the apertures draws near. Even here, on the Allegiant, everyone are ready. Or at least as ready as can be.

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

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


― Lieutenant Commander Dewitt, the USS Allegiant, Docking Bay


1105 HRS. | FGC-SR37-758 | THE HEART OF THE AZURE NEBULA


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ The Borg Queen (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=The_Borg_Queen) | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ]
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Standing tall, the Borg Queen saw five more Klingon ships drop out of warp in front of Cube M-582 and its surrounding debris field. Even though they could not see her, she greeted them with a serene smile. She was the Borg, and some of them would - after all - become a part of her.

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

++++
PRIMARY DIRECTIVE STILL IN EFFECT: NEUTRALIZATION OF ALL ADDITIONAL VESSELS
/ SENSORS INDICATE EXPECTED OPPOSITION TACTICS AND CAPABILITIES


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on January 26, 2019, 02:42:51 PM
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | 1005 hrs ][/color] attn: @Fife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Overconfidence will undo you, hathain.~


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

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

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

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

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

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

And I will burn down the sky.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on January 29, 2019, 04:20:48 PM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Main Bridge | Deck: 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]
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Sitting in the science grotto off to starboard, Vanya felt the ship come out of warp. The almost inappreciable shimmer of the bubble dissolving and throwing them into local space caused the Romulan's eyes to flicker up to the main viewer. Her mind perceived what she saw and started to catalog and label what was being seen. The debris field. The flotsam and jetsam of a number of destroyed or partially destroyed ships. Hunks of those same ships spiraling and rotating across the screen. Among the ruined, ripped and shorn hulks, numerous bodies also tumbled through the void.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A brisk nod and Vanya's fingers flew over the console. The modification to the Tri-fold verteron displacement grid was online and Vanya was monitoring it. Making minute adjustments on the fly to keep it at absolute maximum capacity. The reconfiguration would allow Ops and Tactical to refocus the shields on the fly, faster than before and with more precision. This would allow Theurgy to parry incoming weapon fire more accurately and help to prevent shield emitter overload from happening or happening as quickly.

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

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

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

It was time to kick some fucking ass!
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on January 29, 2019, 09:53:06 PM
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How could he quit now?

Still coming, Blue. The Queen herself couldn't stop me.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triage on January 31, 2019, 01:00:26 AM
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cameron_Henshaw) | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Top Hat, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos & @Hastata-Nerada
[Show/Hide]
Cameron had used the break given by Natalie to rush down to the Fighter Assembly Bay and locate Thomas, quickly relaying the message from Thea. There was hope. And even a little hope (false or otherwise) was better than nothing! Ives surely lived, as did most of the crew. They had to be. When she returned, after a fervent prayer that she wasn't just banking on false hope, and that everyone was really well, she returned to her post, as sharp-eyed and ready as can be.

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

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

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

This was going to be the hardest most dangerous fight they'd ever gone through and they were far from whole. But if it was to be their end, then by God, it was going to be such an end, history will remember them not for being traitors, but for teaching the Borg the meaning of fear.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Hastata-Nerada on February 01, 2019, 12:09:56 AM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

The tall science officer glanced down at his station. If they were going to pull this off then this was the time. The twenty-seven corridors of spacetime architecture lay invisible nearby, their deadly interiors churned out of sight, filled with a mass of exotic particles that could wipe them out in an instant. If necessary, the shields could be harmonized to what he was fairly certain but not entirely sure was the proper frequencies for the apertures. He even had them queued up, just in case the Theurgy had to use them. With luck, it did not have to come to that.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on February 01, 2019, 03:08:23 AM
Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin)| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton
[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

T'Less told him to check for assimilated ships, he nodded. "Checking for signs of engine activity." If they were lucky than there wouldn't be much. Their scanners were able to make a better lock on than what he had been dealing with on the Cayuga, but the explossive gas was still omni present.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on February 01, 2019, 05:57:35 AM
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya 
[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

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

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

Running her hand over the arm rest she turned her gaze to the Bajoran next to her. She knew what she wanted to do. What she wanted to say, to order. But it was not her place to do so. "Orders, Captain?"
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Arista on February 01, 2019, 10:35:47 PM
[ Captain Anya Ziegler (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Anya_Ziegler) |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, Anyone else.
[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

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

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

"Tactical..." Anya bellowed "Tell me your boys have another soliton wave ready."

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

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

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

"Captain, new ship entering the area. It's the Theurgy!"

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

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


GM Note: Changed the details about the methodology in which to open the aperture and then destroy it. First, a soliton wave is beamed from the sensor array against the aperture. It acts like a key to open it and make it visible. Then, after it's open, it might be destroyed. The means of opening the aperture is from the Destiny book series (so don't ask me why the sensor array is used instead of the deflector, but we'll go with what the books gave us here. :) )
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on February 01, 2019, 11:33:43 PM
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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A part of Derik had wanted to dismiss himself before the battle again. The stress of everything, the timing, was killer on his heart, like something had wrapped a great hand around it and squeezed. Yet the comfort of his chair, these familiar controls, helped to still his mind and body. He fed on it, like the stories of Trill being joined for the first time connecting with their symbiote. There will be a reckoning when all this is over. I hope I get to see it.

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

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

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

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

Derik suspected that despite the warning, they would be entering the field quickly. He took a look around the bridge while he waited for orders, knowing full well that some of the faces on the bridge might not be there after this was over. 
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: fiendfall on February 02, 2019, 12:57:30 AM
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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

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

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

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

A cursory overview of the Theurgy's main systems showed she had withstood warp surprisingly well; nothing had actively  broken, and the hull integrity, while sub-optimal, was passable. There were a lot more battle preparations to be made, however -- the state of the weapons array in particular was... not good. A few torpedo tubes had been returned to functionality manually but still more were inoperable. Morgan calculated which ones he could get running quickly from here, by recalibrating the induction actuator or rerouting to auxiliary frequency stabilisers. At the very least, he could get Tactical something to work with. The rest... they would have to cross each bridge as it came.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: The Ostrich on February 02, 2019, 09:54:30 AM
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 01| Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

"Captain!" She called across the bridge "Can we communicate with the Cayuga? It would be beneficial to both ships if I could liaise with their science department and gather what information they already have on the area."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on February 02, 2019, 10:41:55 PM
[ Captain Wenn Cinn (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Wenn_Cinn) | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: All
[Show/Hide]
Whatever Cinn had imagined to see when the Theurgy dropped out of warp, none of his expectations had quite prepared him for the sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[WE ARE THE BORG. WE WILL ADD YOUR BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS TO OUR OWN. YOUR CULTURE WILL ADAPT TO SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.]

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

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

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

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

++++
NEW DIRECTIVE: NEUTRALISATION OF VESSEL DESIGNATED 'THEURGY'
/ SENSORS INDICATE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE PRIOR TO ENGAGEMENT


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

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

And then, nothing could stop her.


OOC: Besides the orders Cinn gave, which should be plenty to write about as it is, here comes battle objectives for you all to use in your writing, and you have 7 days to post! Please check off one objective each, and you have full liberty in setting up details and arranging where the drones appear and what they do. Change or adapt these objectives as you wish too, thinking of it as a writing exercise, as long as the overall intent is still to repel these boarders. Have a look! [Show/Hide]
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on February 03, 2019, 12:24:02 AM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Romulan put a boot on it's chest and wrenched her axe from it's mechanical arm and turned. All in all that had only taken a matter of seconds, but seconds could be life times in battle. She'd kept Stark from being assimilated but the battle was only seconds old. There were two more Drones on the bridge. Danger had not yet passed.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on February 03, 2019, 04:44:54 PM
[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @chXinya et al

Fire at will.

Her favourite phrase.

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

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

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

Send, send, send.

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

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

Focus. Focus. Focus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Lieutenant," she addressed Martin, their reeling shields taking another hit from a Borg disruptor. "Prepare an antimatter spread. We need to make a statement."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Hastata-Nerada on February 04, 2019, 08:40:30 PM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

The Theurgy shook again and Tyreke stumbled and fell back in his chair. His phaser clattered to the deck as sparks flew from the walls. Was there a ruptured conduit somewhere? For once in his life, the pessimist won out. All they could do now was try to survive as long as possible. If resistance was futile then they could at least force the Borg to pay for every victory...
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on February 04, 2019, 09:40:08 PM
Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin)| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ][/b] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan
[Show/Hide]

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

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

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

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

"Kill... Me."

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

His center found, Martin returned to his chair, and regarded the new chief tactical officers orders. "Agreed, preparing a message." He said reading the ship to fire.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triage on February 09, 2019, 09:50:30 AM
"Often times success doesn't come from strength, but from flexibility and adaptability."
― Debasish Mridha MD

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

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

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

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

Isel and Donna had engaged a small assimilated Bird-of-Prey, while Daniel and Alessia were in the process of saving a Klingon escape pod...Cam didn't realize Klingons actually had escape pods. She thought the warriors had a habit of going down in battle. Shrugging, she then squeaked in alarm when she saw Tessa's fighter getting caught in a tractor beam. All the communications were mostly issued by Thomas, but Cam now spoke, addressing the Wolves, [Goldeneyes is caught in a tractor beam. If any of you can render assistance...] she quickly marked out the best and fastest flight paths to the entrapped fighter pilot from all directions, and then she traced the location of the tractor beam, marking it out for the fighters. [...I've highlighted your tactical maps. Taking out the tractor beam at the source or overloading it with debris might help. Bloodwing, be advised, motion detected near you. Watch your sensor feed.]
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on February 10, 2019, 06:33:09 AM
[Captain Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

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

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

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

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

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

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

As the Theurgy moved in the Borg responded with only a few moments of hesitation.  Two Klingon ships that had been marked as disabled earlier started to move again, each angling towards the mulit-vector dreadnought...
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on February 10, 2019, 01:22:14 PM
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya et al

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Where are those reports?" Wenn barked.

Nator glanced around to the ensign's post - and saw her slumped on the deck under her console, which was cracked and blackened. Baring hir teeth, s/he hurriedly pulled up the damage reports hirself. "Minor EPS overload, upper decks, rerouting. New hull breach, deck seventeen starboard, forcefields holding. Shields are up and holding for now, Captain."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on February 11, 2019, 09:56:01 PM
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @FollowTomorrow @trevorvw et al

God, we never stood a chance.

The assessment was not necessarily applicable to their current situation, but as the full extent of the battle became apparent, Ducote saw how, well, futile the Endeavour's reaction had been. A flotilla of KDF cruisers hadn't yet been enough to destroy a Cube - how could a single, ambushed science vessel have managed? The truism that 'only a fool picks a fair fight' was far less fun when you were the one on the receiving end of the mismatch.

Callouts were made, orders issued, and long experience of hearing those tones helped him snap out of his reverie. Today was a day to fight like Amasov - he'd survived the Borg once. Surviving them now would bring him level with the Old Man. His face set as his resolve recovered.

Ducote ran over their personnel dispositions again, a final last-second check. Wenn had the same idea:

"Commander Ducote, make sure Kai Akoni is aware of the development here on the bridge, so that he may alert his teams of any boarding Drones that may be due, and find out the status on our Reman cloak..."

"Aye aye," he responded, tapping his badge as the Bajoran turned away to continue issuing orders. "Akoni, Ducote. We have engaged the Borg. Prepare to receive guests-"

The deck rocked as the Theurgy took a battering. "-merda na minha.. prepare quickly. Out." The next hit took down their shields, a new wave of alarms sounding and the floating display before him lighting up red to highlight the damaged sections - with blinking dots representing foreign transporter signatures. There was even a cluster on the-

"Shit," he muttered, looking over as the trio of drones finished materialising and sprang into action. One of the bridge crew, a vulcanoid he at first thought was merely trained to shield their thoughts, launched herself at a drone menacing the command team, soon treating them all to the sound of ringing metallic impacts. Fuck's sake, Soong, now you're leaving them all over the galaxy? He drew the phaser the local security bods had finally allowed him, and tried to draw a bead on one of the others, but there were too many moving bodies betwixt him and the Borg - not to mention more than a few flying phaser bolts of their own.

Lowering his arm, but keeping hold of the phaser, he turned his attention back to the display, monitoring how well everyone else was faring. Slow work, predictably - even before a drone got its personal shield working, they were tough nuts to crack. Ducote made sure there was a live link between this readout and the security centre, if there wasn't already. He knew Kai well enough that he was confident the man would call for help if he needed it. Initiative had always been something he encouraged.

Worryingly, several of the Borg signatures were stationary, paused in compartments and corridors. On cue, warnings of computer intrusion came up. Where's the rogue AI when you need it? A secondary report popped up on the status of their firewalls. Gradually, the number of Borg signatures ticked down as the crew responded. He allowed himself a breath. Okay. We have a cloak?

Ducote raised his hand, still gripping his phaser, to tap his badge to ask after that before Engineering beat him to it.

"Lieutenant Suq to Bridge. Cloak is ready to go. We had a drone in here, so the Borg know we have it. Remember not to fire weapons under cloak unless you really want to be seen for some reason."

"Acknowledged, Lieutenant. There's a security team nearby; I'll route them to you. Bridge out."

"... where is that cloak?" Wenn demanded. Reasonably enough, in the circumstances.

"Cloak is ready!" he called forward, adding, "The Borg are aware of it."

Message relayed, he went back to helping coordinate their boarding defence effort, pinning down drones with crossfire where they could, or just obliterating them with massed fire otherwise. One team in a ventral section even managed to evacuate one by dropping an emergency force field that had covered a hull breach. Ducote raised an impressed and more-amused-than-he-ought-to-be eyebrow at the sight of the little blinking dot leaving the vessel and fading from the display. One of the ensigns at the station next to him cut off a drone with a series of force fields, then flooded the impromptu compartment with vented plasma from an overhead line. "Ouch," Ducote commented as he watched the dot vanish, clapping a hand on his shoulder. "Nice work."

The young officer shrugged. "Security in that section were busy."

Trent called up about a vulnerability, but didn't deign to give many details - not that it mattered; Wenn and Stark obviously knew what was up. He wasn't sure he was happy about the prospect of taking a dreadnought into a close debris field but it was technically a shortcut and they were running short on good options anyway. But still. Things weren't hopeless.

First shots out, neither combatant down.

What else you got?
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: fiendfall on February 11, 2019, 11:04:20 PM
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

The bridge had exploded into a frenzy of action and death, sending Morgan's stomach skittering; but everywhere there was danger, the crew of the Theurgy rose to meet it. There was Lieutenant Okafor, taking down a drone; there was the Vulcan in Tactical, flinty and cool as she fired on the enemy; there was the Science officer from the Cayuga, meeting the Borg head on with an axe.

Morgan wasn't a fighter, but he didn't need to be. He had a job to do. He kept to his post. A strange, focused calm settled over him as he turned back to his console. He supposed this is what it meant, to believe in your team. The threat within the bridge was handled; he could focus on the one without.

The shields. They were what was important now. He'd already scanned the ship for life readings, pulling gravity and life support from everywhere that was unmanned and non-essential. He was walking a tightrope, a delicate balancing act between cutting too much power and leaving some crew members stranded, or not cutting enough and leaving them all exposed. And the shields were hungry.

But they were also holding. For now. More than holding; the tertiary grid had flickered back to life. Good, that should keep any boarders away. Any more, at least. His scan had brought up Borg life signs on multiple decks of the Theurgy, and he raised the report with Security. No doubt the crew members on those decks were reacting in much the same way as had those on the bridge, and the firewalls were holding off the cyber intrusions. With any luck, the boarders could be subdued without any significant loss of life.

The Cube hung in front of them, impassive and cold. Almost uncaring, as if this entire engagement was beneath it, of no more consequence than the swatting of a fly.

'Life support has been cut in all non-inhabited areas, sir,' he reported to the captain. 'Primary and secondary shields at 80% power and climbing; tertiary back online, but regen is compromised. Weapons array at 90% functionality.'

And then came the call about the cloak and -- okay, now they had a chance. They were limping, but they were still alive. Some insects can bite, after all.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on February 12, 2019, 12:48:38 AM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]
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Vanya wrenched the axe free of the fallen foe and scanned the bridge for threat. Others had moved to and engaged the other Borg as she fended the one off of Natalie. A curt nod and a flick of her wrist shed the blood and fluids from the blade of the Romulan axe, splattering the floor. The blade gleamed in the glare of the emergency lighting.

A last glance at the fallen Borg to ensure the thing wasn't going to get back up. The deck shuttered and her dark green eyes came up. Only now after the initial melee was over did her systems elevate damage reports to primary awareness. Looking down she'd see that she hadn't come out of the confrontation unscathed. That saw-tool-thing on the Tactical Drone's cybernetic appendage had caught her in the upper right arm, cutting her from shoulder to elbow in a long line. Dark green Romulan blood seeped from the wound but if one looked close they'd see dark gleaming duranium under the sliced flesh. A shake of her head and she rotated the arm. The bioflesh sheath had been cut but the duranium endoskeletal structure was functioning at normal performance parameters. 

As she assessed herself the systems ramped down from the fire-walled performance levels they'd been at during the combat. Returning to something more resembling every day sort of operating status. Well every day operating status while in the middle of a massive combat with a Borg Cube.

A glance went to the XO and Vanya raised the axe saluting her. Then gave a nod and a wink. Turning she strode back towards the science station. Metallic clicks and whirrs faded into the background of the over all noise on the bridge as the Romulan axe's blade refolded itself into the haft and Vanya raised the haft up and over her shoulder. Returning it to it's sheath.

Stepping back to the Science grotto she bent and scooped a phaser off the deck. Checking it she nodded and slipped it back into Okafor's holster. "Keep this close Lieutenant. You may have future need of it" Pausing she assessed his head wound. Reaching past him she felt under the console and her hand gripped the handle of a med kit. Pulling it out she flicked it open. Looking through it she gripped a dermal regenerator. Flicking it on she started to pass it over his wound. She was no doctor but she had the standard first aid courses that every officer was required to take as well as the Bridge Certifications which were a step up.

Dark green blood dripped down to splatter the dark gray shoulder of Okafor's uniform as she saw to his wound. He would need to visit a real doctor if the ship survived the encounter. Vanya was just trying to keep the wound from bleeding all in his eyes and keep him on the deck and fighting. A few passes of the regenerator and she raised pointed brows. "Still with us Tyreke?? We need you. You ready to show these cybernetic horrors why they don't mess with Sci-Division??" 
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: steelphoenix on February 12, 2019, 08:58:48 AM
[ Lt Cmdr Vael Kaeris | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]

Vael gave the borg only a passing moment of attention as they appeared on the screen, the patchwork cube dominating the battlefield as they tended to do, monolithic, inelegant.  They were offensive on so many levels, particularly to Vael.  As a heterogeneous species that sought to advance themselves through slapdash assimilation and incorporation of technologies, they were repulsive academically, standing in stark contrast to his belief that biology alone could improve and adapt beyond the harsh metallic confines.

But there was something more.  His own species, appearances aside, were insectoid to a degree, arising out of their own primitive hive mentality to become a small but indisputable power in the quadrant that had been able to stand alone on a single world, independent of even the mighty Federation for ages.  Only recent events and conflicts had prompted them to hesitantly set aside that isolationism -- and from what he had heard growing up, the early interactions between his people and StarFleet had very nearly resulted in disaster. This... borg hive was, to a bactrican, as much an insult as a ship of homo neanderthalensis might be to humans.

Casting an appraising glance across the PADD in his hand, his lips thinned slightly.  Plans were progressing apace on the ship but he had to admit to some disappointment that the Cayuga had not yet succeeded in taking out some of the apertures.  Admittedly, their task was complicated by the geometric monstrosity that stood in their way, a monstrosity that had turned its attention to the Theurgy in a moment's breadth.

A deluge of weapons fire from the enemy rocked the ship.  All around him, chaos rang out as the bridge crew relayed the various failures, the collapse of their shield grids and the imminent incoming boarders.  On queue, or so it seemed, a series of green transporter signatures flooded the bridge, several near the tactical table where Ducote and some others had been coordinating, but even as the drones focused on their potential targets, the romulan, Vanya, was upon them, seemingly tearing one apart with her bear hands -- a feat that prompted an undisguised raising of Vael's eyebrow.  Something to look into at another point, he assured himself.

Another conflict near the front of the bridge had already resulted in the attempted assimilation and subsequent death of one of the crew, and Lt. Okafor himself seemed far worse for wear from the initial engagement, although Vael's hasty assessment determined that it wasn't anything a medkit and three weeks of significant rest and relaxation wouldn't overcome.  Still, it was a compromise in their overall efficacy.  Fortunately, the romulan was able to tend to his more immediate needs with a dermal regenerator.

"I have taken the liberty of designing a..." he paused, considering the best way to describe the device so as to minimize the amount of explanation required, "Borg jamming device.  Small, designed to function like chaff that can be scattered through the debris field.  They are intended to create a local disruption in borg communications similar to a neurotoxin.  It won't affect the cube, but may limit its communications with any remotely deployed drones until they adapt."

Transferring the data to the local science stations, he continued, "They can be replicated and deployed without an active targeting lock and they are small enough that they should ostensibly blend in with the background debris until activated.  If we start deployment now, it may give us a few critical seconds to focus on the apertures."

Pointing to the screen, he continued.  "Twenty would be the bare minimum, scattered in these areas, but the more we can deploy, the better.    The borg have the advantage of strength and numbers.  We need to control the field."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on February 13, 2019, 05:56:05 AM
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All
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"Helm! Cycle through any Omega, Lambada and Omega-series of evasive manoeuvres while we make our way around the debris field. We need to last, to survive, so that we can open and then destroy that aperture. Where the Cayuga may have failed so far, we will not. Engage!"

Ah Hell. Here we go.

"Aye Captain." Derik's turned back in his chair, queuing up a random sequence to try and keep the Borg from acquiring and maintain a weapons lock. Before he could even initiate the sequence, a volley of torpedoes impacted their shields.

"Damn it!" Derik cursed to himself. He did his best to use the debris field just as the Cayuga was doing, as a shield. It was.....less than successful. Another salvo impacted the shields before the Theurgy slipped behind one of the larger fragments.

"Captain! The third shield grid failed! I am reading Borg signatures aboard already! They a..." Carla Abner tried to call out.

[WE ARE THE BORG. WE WILL ADD YOUR BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS TO OUR OWN. YOUR CULTURE WILL ADAPT TO SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.]

Chills ran down Veradin's spine. Those words, those dreaded words, had preceded many a Borg massacre. It was like their mantra, spoken just before great tragedy befell any who were unlucky enough to catch their attention.

He flexed his hands, breaking the ice in his veins. Now was not the time to lose his nerve. Soft light reflected off the bulkheads in front of him, their glimmer announcing uninvited arrivals. He turned, seeing the drones finish materializing. However, seeing the three intruders dealt with so efficiently was comforting.
As comfortable as anyone could be engaging the Borg. He left the drones to his crewmates. He had larger concerns.

The order came to duck into outer debris field, Veradin finding a large enough opening to move in. Despite the change, the Borg's weapons were still hitting too close for comfort. "Omega series ineffective. Switching to Lambada patterns." The pattern change took only moments, Derik winced as fragments bounced off their hull anew. He prayed Thea woudnt be too upset when she saw herself again.

Dodging the incoming fire was rough. If it weren't for the all the wreckage, they'd be gone already. That being said all the explosions were sending even more debris hurtling towards the ship.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on February 14, 2019, 03:18:26 AM
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer & Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers, Communications | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Arista @Auctor Lucan @Top Hat @Masorin @CanadianVet @chXinya @The Ostrich @Hastata-Nerada 
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They both had their orders, and for the moment, as the battle was engaged, both were in coordination mode, linking up their ship with other forces out on the battlefield. Natalie kept her face impassive, resisting the urge toward any resentment. The cold voice of the Borg robbed that way in any case. Resistance, they told her, was futile. And every Federation Encounter on a major scale had shown that no, it wasn't quite futile. It was just horrifically costly.

While Nat turned back to the command table, Faye was already busy at Communications' pushing aside thoughts of a nurse she loved and a crew on edge, to focus on her task. There would be multiple channels going out of the ship and she had her orders. On her console was a series of quick notes from Vivian Martin and the science team on the bridge, just enough so that she could follow what it was she needed to get.  Her fingers danced fast - Getting too good at this - and the hail went out. "USS Theurgy calling USS Cayu - " was as far as she got before the first round of torpedoes hit.  The world rocked around her, sending her stomach up into her throat.

"Damn!" Natalie shouted out, bending over the table slightly. She was just pulling up a visual of the Allegiant as it was setting out, readying a comm channel. She had to reset it now that -   that was when the  second torpedo barrage hit, sending the shields crashing down and alarms thundering. The cold voice of the Collective made itself known:

[WE ARE THE BORG. WE WILL ADD YOUR BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS TO OUR OWN. YOUR CULTURE WILL ADAPT TO SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.]

Chills ran down the spine of the collected crew of the USS Theurgy. Faye stiffened in her seat, while Natalie was forcing herself to stand back up straight.  Something exploded above the Comm station - an ODS conduit? Showering Faye with sparks that blinded her to the sudden green swirls filling the bridge. But the drones....she felt them. She felt them, and she was afraid. The endless maw of the Collective beckoned like a harbinger in the dark, clawing and eternal. There was no mind. There were infinite minds.

She screamed a silent scream, but by the time it finished echoing between her ears, it was over, on the bridge.

Lt. Cmdr. Stark bucked into the table again, feeling, more than seeing, what had just arrived around her. She pushed up and back, turning to stare at it. A drone. A large drone - male, she thought - one of three, turning directly to her. Oh, there were others around, but Natalie knew it was her that the thing had locked onto. All the training in the world, all the holodeck simulations, the lectures in classes from those that had survived....none of it truly prepared someone for the moment they faced the walking nightmare that was a Borg Drone.

And she had thought those damned plants were bad.

It spun toward her, having beamed in less than half a meter away, drill whirring in the sound of the red alert, hand extending, tubes arching up out of it....Except, there wasn't a hand any more. There was a wet splash of liquid gore that coated her shirt. There was the fetid smell of half dead blood.

There was Vanya.

Like an avenging angel out of myth she swung her ax, so fast that Natalie only registered it after it had happened. She;'d barely had time to step back ,to reach from the phaser that she and all the others on the bridge were armed with. The drone spun, and Vanya parried. Even knowing the woman could take it, seeing the saw-blade score a hit was hard to watch. Natalie paled, and reached for the phaser, but by the time she got it out of her holster, her friend was wrenching the drones neck around.

This was a harsh reminder that Vanya had been programmed, long ago, to be an effective spy and killing machine. Here and now, this was what her best friend was. Her oldest friend in the fleet, was every bit as capable as her designers had hoped. And so, so much more. Thank God she's on my side she thought, managing a shaky smile.

After all that, they didn't say a word to each other. Vanya gave a little salute, and a cheeky wink that brought a smile to Natalie's face. It felt so alien in the moment that she had to shake it off physically, but the haunted look of near assimilation was gone. And Vanya would have seen the smile, just for her.

It had been so consuming that she missed the mess at Tactical. It would come as a shock later when she registered that Leon Marquez was no longer on the bridge. Or the ship. Except as scattered particles. She shared that nod with Vanya, expressing more in that look than she could in words, and turned back, sucking in air as the noise around her returned.

Ens. Eloi-Danvers had noticed. She hadn't watched, but she had felt. Felt the agony of assimilation start ot rip through Leon Marquez. The desperation and struggle, the way he was losing. And then the moment of satisfaction, before there was nothing else left. It bleed away, replaced by the grim satisfaction of a job done, gruesome though it was, of Martin (Salem). Of Duty.

Duty....

Two hails went out, one after the other, from different parts of the bridge.

"Allegiant" Natalie had called, "If you haven't figured it out already, you are a go. Ms. Natauna I don't care if you have to beam over there and  tan Martoks hide, you get him on our side." A distant part of her mind was horrified at the words she'd spoken about the distinguished Chancellor of the Klingon Empire. "God Speed."

On her heels was Faye, her hair astray, cheeks red from the shower of sparks, staring a her console as the environmental systems swept the smoke away. Her voice was a bit more raspy, where Stark's was full of spit and fury. "Repeat, this is the USS Theurgy, calling USS Cayuga. We are going to attempt a run to open the apature. Please transfer any and all relevant data." And as she spoke, she opened a data-link, patching in Martin (Vivian) and her team. "Commander  Martin, prepare for data dump from Cayuga" she said, hoping it would come through. Hoping they weren't all dead.

In the distant part of her mind, she reached out, trying to find the mental presence, decks below, of the one person here that mattered most to her, to see if that mind was still there, and not swept away into the Collective. Because she had felt others go.

Back on the holotable, Natalie looked up, watching as the display zoomed out to take in more of the debris field. She cocked her head to one side, listening to the voice of Commander Trent over the internal communications network. She didn't have much time to process his words - good though they were - because movement on the holo display tore her focus away. She completely missed the revelations about the cloak, and the debate going on at Sciences.

Something had just shifted....there!

"Captain! Two Vorcha-class cruisers inbound on pursuit vector bearing 199.3!" She warned Wenn, and then reached out and manipulated the holograms, pulling the focus in on those ships. "No Klingon life signs remain. Designate cruisers as Borg. Tactical! Execute Attack Pattern Sierra-seven on Borg Vorcha's.".
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: The Ostrich on February 14, 2019, 09:59:14 AM
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | USS Theurgy ]

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Everything had gone to hell. The ship had taken a hammering from the Borg torpedoes, which had quickly overwhelmed their shield grid. Then the dreaded welcome of the collective had echoed across the bridge, and mere seconds later the shit had hit the fan as a trio of drones beamed aboard.

As chaos erupted across the bridge Vivian hunkered down over her console trying to work as energy beams and bolts flew across the bridge. She saw Vanya bounding across the bridge to engage the Borg, somehow the Romulan woman had acquired an axe, and was using it to great effect. As her fingers raced across her console the chaos continued to reign, and Vivian heard Okafor crying out behind her, something had happened, but she was too busy to spare the man more than a passing glance. He seemed to be fine, so she ignored him and returned her focus to the streams of data flowing across her screen. She was vaguely aware of Vanya's return, and noticed the Romulan tending to Okafor, perhaps Vivian hadn't checked as closely as she should have.

It was now that she heard a call from Ensign Eloi-Danvers across the bridge "Commander  Martin, prepare for data dump from Cayuga"

"We're ready when they are Ensign" She called back, then turned her attention to her nearby subordinates. "Up on your feet lieutenants, the Cayuga will be transmitting any moment now, I'm going to need your assistance in sorting the information when it comes through. Be prepared to tune the sensor array to the correct frequency for the soliton waves to open the appetures. Kaeris, do what you must. Get your chaff out there are quickly as you can." Even as she spoke a small notification appeared, alerting her of the incoming data dump. "Let's get to work people!"
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Arista on February 15, 2019, 01:20:18 AM
[ Captain Anya Ziegler (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Anya_Ziegler) |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus , @Doc M. , Anyone else.
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Ziegler cursed quietly, inaudible to the rest of the bridge over the sounds of the battle. Once again, the last run at the apertures had failed. They were running out of variations of the frequency to try. Kaeris hadn't been overly confident with his initial calculations and now the Captain understood why. Rather than venting her frustration at an absent officer, she hoped that they eventually could get it right and not have wasted their lives in a fruitless fight.

The Cayuga creaked and groaned under the fast manoeuvres that Carpeland inputted into the helm as fast as she could. The woman was a great pilot and vastly skilled. Anya just hoped that after everything, the ship wouldn't shake itself apart under the strain.

"I-Incoming torpedoes!" Jance Davron, the latest Chief Tactical officer, called out above the din. His hands shaking as they moved across the controls. Obviously, he was trying to activate appropriate defences but was struggling. "Brace for impact!"

Ziegler's hands flew to the armrests of her command chair. Gripping tightly, Anya could feel the metal frame through the cushioning of the seat and closed her eyes, scrunching up her face, waiting for the hit. After a few seconds, nothing happened. The ship felt the same, no loud noises of explosions against the shield, nor the whine as the inertial dampeners strained to keep them seated. Cautiously, she opened her eyes and glanced over at the tactical officer

"Torpedoes destroyed captain, a fighter saved us. Transponder reads 'Wolf-07'." The young man readied his displays as he attempted to find a new firing arc on the Borg. Suddenly, he looked up and across towards his captain. "Wolf 7 is out of control. She's on a collision course!"

"Tractor beam!" Anya barked back, watching as the viewscreen flicked orientation to show the spinning ship. "Halt that fighter and recover it. The pilot gave us a second chance."

"Aye. Activating beam now." Davron responded and on the viewscreen, a pulse of blue light enveloped the fighter, bringing the rotation to a sharp stop.

Before any other recovery action could take place, the bridge was hit with an almighty sound. The sound of wrenching metal as deck plating ruptured under the cacophony of an explosion; Almost immediately, billowing smoke started to fill the bridge as green flames licked up from the breach. An EPS conduit had burst firing ignited plasma into the air.

Luckily no one had been stood over it, and for that Anya was truly thankful. As officers rushed to pull fire extinguishing equipment from behind hidden panels. Ziegler coughed, trying to breathe as the air became increasingly hot and smoky.  Stepping out of her chair, Anya moved closer to the viewscreen, so to see what was happening as the visibility in the smoke was becoming harder. From the operations seat, the officer called out the damage.

"Major EPS breaches across four decks." The officer coughed and spluttered, trying to finish their announcement. "Damage reports coming in now. Tractor beam and transporters down. Weapons, shields, propulsion, communication and life support still active. Captain, we've got a lot of wounded."

Sure enough, the fighter that had saved Cayuga and then had to be helped itself now hung frozen in space. The tractor beam had failed before managing to pull it into the shuttle bay and there was nothing else they could do to save the brave pilot. With a silent prayer, Ziegler had to push that Lone wolf from her mind. She wasn't responsible for them anymore, she had to save the crew she could.

"Get damage control to seal those EPS conduits. We need power back and co-ordinate injury reports with Sickbay. We need to-" Anya's orders were interrupted by the operations officer.

"Incoming hail from Theurgy. Audio only"

With a distinct crackle, the communication came through. Transfer all data regarding the apertures. Theurgy was taking up the mantle of opening them. Anya wished she could say she was relieved.

"Science..." Ziegler called as the fires were put out and the air scrubbers began to suck the smoke from the command centre of the Cayuga. "Send them everything we've got."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triage on February 16, 2019, 01:04:25 AM
"Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East."
- Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King

[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cameron_Henshaw) | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Nolan, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Iron Ferrox, @BZ, @Top Hat, @Numen, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos, @Kinvarus & @Hastata-Nerada
[Show/Hide]
Every now and then Cameron would risk diverting her attentions to the bridge around her. Just to make sure there weren't any new Borg drones showing up. But she was soon absorbed in the events unfolding between the Allegiant, the surviving Klingons, the Cayuga, and all the Lone Wolves out there. And her first cry came when she saw the Reaver jump out of warp. The main sensor station would have registered it sooner, but she still called out, "Captain! It's the Cinsaj. It's dropped out of warp!" She turned to look at her tactical read, and updated, "It's moving to engage the Borg Cube...THEY'RE SHIELDS ARE DOWN! Detecting multiple successful warhead impacts! Vulnerabilities opening up in sections thirteen-through-thirty-five on the cube's western facing."

The bridge could pick up on Devyrie's communique to them and the fighters, but she was having trouble receiving any replies or response. "Computer, initiate response to the Cinsaj, rotate hailing frequency and boost transmission, update troubleshoot package." She was going to see if the ship's systems could update and fix the problem with the Reaver's communications system. Having an idea, she darted over to Vivian's station and whispered to the tall woman, "Commander," she said, "could you try using a burst of radion from the main deflectors to essentially sneak our hailing system through whatever is blocking us from replying to the Cinsaj?"

Once she got her response, she left Vivian to do what she had to do, and the young Yeoman returned to her own station, and began to update the flight pattern for the Wolves, and the Allegiant. She marked out the routes to get to the Borg cube the fastest, having heard Thomas' declaration of intent and his request for help, she spoke as she continued painting the safest and fastest path for them all. Every single ship. "Ops to Razor, acknowledged," she clipped off succinctly, "adjust your course twenty degrees due north, north, east. Ops to Allegiant and all flights, Cinsaj too if you can hear, recommended flight paths in your Tactical. Engage Attack Pattern Alpha. Angel, divert from your path to vector two-two-mark-four, watch for debris."

Her eyes shifted to a warning on her tactical, but she continued to guide the Wolves as best as she could, "Salvo, move to vector seven-nine-one-mark-zero, then engage thrust ten kilometers and initiate recommended attack pattern at your leisure. Good hunting, everyone."

There was a small ship approaching at warp. She couldn't be certain what it was. "We have incoming, unknown vessel."

And it was at this time her mind went of all things to Silim Parnak. She hoped the Cardassian was all right. There were Borg drones boarding the ship. How much more could their ship take?

The unknown vessel soon dropped out of warp and it was a...a civilian freighter??? It had to be the worst possible place for a ship like that to randomly pop up! Before she could even think of sending a message to the freighter to go to warp and get out of the danger zone, the transponder signal changed to that of a Valkyrie Mk III. Could it be??? Cam felt hope soar through her heart when the fighter reappeared, and she realized it might be a survivor. But who?

That answer came soon enough, when none other than Miles Renard contacted her. "Ops to Renard, acknowledged. Designating you as Wolf-Zero-Zero. Welcome back." She couldn't quite keep her joy from her tone, "Cayuga is a friendly. Repeat, a friendly. Sending an update package to your tactical feed. Stand by."

She smiled and turned to give the good news after sending Miles the latest data with a brief summary on the turn of events. "Captain, lieutenant-commander Renard is back, and he's joining the fray."



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Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on February 16, 2019, 02:35:47 AM
[ High Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog | Bridge | Negh'Var battleship IKS Negh'Var | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
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Martok cut the feed from the ship called 'Allegiant', and addressed his bridge crew. "For the honour of the Empire! wo' batlhvaD!"

The IKS Negh'Var had been caught in a tractor beam from the Borg cube, and their shields were failing. His new weapons officer, who had replaced N'Garen, had already alerted all the closest Klingon ships to try and protect the Chancellor - to have the beam emitter destroyed - but Martok already knew that their disruptors and photon torpedoes would be ineffective. For the past hour, they had modulated their weapons in ways dating back as far as their records could take them, and there were only so many options for their cannons. Martok had already resigned to the fate of the Negh'Var, which would either be destroyed outright once the shields failed or become boarded again. Regardless the outcome, there would be songs sung - somewhere - about this battle, fought at the border of the Empire.

Sealed aft sections of the ship already held assimilated crew. There simply hadn't been any time to deal with the bodies yet. This second time, if they would come aboard, Martok held little hope to be able to repel the drones. Their disruptors had failed, and the drones were not only versatile up close, they also had forcefield that would - eventually - adapt to their blades as well. Of this, he was certain.

So, when the field percentage dropped rapidly on the screen, and there was naught to be done, Martok closed his remaining eye briefly, readying himself for whatever came next.

What happened... was unexpected.

"Chancellor!" came the call from behind him, and the deck below Martok's feet rocked, "we're free! Our ships penetrated the cube's shields! Something happened to it!"

Martok bared his teeth in a grimace that could almost be considered a smile. "Whatever it was, don't tarry. Smite that thing with everything we have left!" He stepped through the thick smoke of the bridge and seated himself anew in his chair, opening a comm link to the present and incoming ships. "This is Martok. All ships, concentrate fire on the Borg cube now! Fire everything!"

Once the Negh'Var had joined the battle effort, peeling away the outer hull of the cube in fiery chunks of metal, Martok turned his eye towards the Theurgy, the words of Zyrao Natauna coming back to him. He made a low sound in his throat, not keen on admitting fault, but if that ship was innocent of all that Starfleet Command claimed, and wasn't even to blame for Drex's death, then it meant that N'Garen had been one of those... Infested. His bridge crew had things well in hand, shouting back and forth, so Martok issued the hail to the Theurgy himself.

Once the hail came through, visually or merely by sound, he spoke. "I'd rather say this to Ives' face, but I have spoken with Zyrao Natauna, and I have witnessed this... parasitic threat with my own eyes. The Klingon Empire will be your ally... yet further discussions must wait. There are Borg to kill, and an invasion to repel... but the true enemy will be known. Martok out."

After he cut the feed, a simple message tapped into his armrest signalled the Klingon fleet that the Theurgy was an ally. No more had he sent it, however, before the tide of the battle turned again.

"The cube has adapted!"

[ The Borg Queen (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=The_Borg_Queen) | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
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Watching the puny ships in the debris field around her, the Queen wasn't smiling any more.

One of her drones had uploaded intel that had been laced with a sophisticated program that disrupted core functions of the cube - corrupting the algorithms of the adaptive shield matrix of both the cube as well as the personal force fields of her drones. That, in itself, was a negligible disruption, since it was quite temporary. Within seconds the program was isolated, and the affected algorithms were purged and reinstalled. The concern was the timing of this slight inconvenience, since it allowed the circulating vessels of Klingon origin as well as the Federation's crafts to compromise the outer sections of her cube.

The Queen was not overly concerned, of course, since Cube M-582 - just like all of her cubes - could remain functional even if 80% of it was rendered inoperable. This, due to the decentralised and redundant nature of its key systems, where there were hidden tiers of tactical systems below the ones lost. Whatever components of the inner layers that were damaged, they could quickly be repaired. Therefore, she patiently, methodically, dealt with the threat in her systems, and did not let the irritation over the setback get to her. It was, perhaps, a remnant trait of her original species, before the Royal Protocol. When her name had been T´Less.

When her shield matrix had been restored, her retaliation... was immediate.

The Klingon ships could do the cube no more harm. Nor could the fighter craft or the Theurgy. Phaser fire and disruptors were moot to her defences. Moreover, they were in the open, firing against her, with no debris in the way. She was the Borg, and they would all answer to her. She raised her hand slowly at her sides, and disruptor beams of her own riddled the closest Klingon ships. Some of them were so damaged already they disintegrated at the first shot. Others were rendered defenceless, crashing into the debris field by the inertia of her blasts. Then, for the more distant targets, she fired gravimetric torpedoes from all sides - the succession of ordnance piercing through the debris in search for warp signatures.

The IKS Negh'Var, as species 5008 called it, lost a section of of its aft fuselage and a portion of its starboard side. The Theurgy... however, was momentarily gone from her sensors. The Borg had assimilated the technology of cloaking devices from many species, so it was apparent what might have happened. Had her gravimetric torpedoes been sent to target her drones aboard the Federation starship, she would have hit it, but as it were, the seven torpedoes passed it by. Oddly enough, the Theurgy was only gone for a couple of moments... It reappeared, and she could target it once more.

It was, of course, merely a brief delay. Her shield matrix protected the reduced mass of Cube M-582 against both the Federation crafts and the Klingons, and it was only a matter of time before they were all destroyed or assimilated. The cube would eventually be repaired, and all the resistance they had shown would - as always - prove futile.

She slowly turned her head with the movement of the Theurgy, and pelted her with new torpedoes. One fired each second, striking either debris or its shields. The high yield of her ordnance penetrated those shields eventually, and she saw how one of the nacelles gave out, leaving a trail of plasma behind it. Then, one of the ventral nacelles also began to bleed, and she smiled, seeing how the ship tried in vain to escape her attention. With the Klingon fleet in shambles, it was only the two Federation ships left posing any negligible threat to her invasion of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

The Queen even saw them on the bridge, through the cortical implant of a regenerating drone. From the drone's prone position, she saw a tall, dark-skinned humanoid in command, and the feeble efforts of the bridge crew. They were trying to reach the sealed aperture. That much was plain, but it would be too late. They had no means to open it. Much less destroy it. She could almost admire their resolve. Then again, it could just be the abject terror. A primitive response. When they were drones, they would be more perfect. Well above such base instincts.

A sensor reading spiked, diverting her attention. She turned her head towards it. She saw it there, suddenly having appeared.

A white ship, larger than most the Collective had encountered. A smile creased the corners of her black eyes, for she saw not just an unidentified species, yet catalogued. She saw advanced technology, more sophisticated than most encountered. But what truly piqued her interest... was something which she had sought for centuries. She stopped firing against the damaged Theurgy and Cayuga, her attention diverted entirely towards it.

At last, within my grasp. The thought came when she sensed it there, at the head of the ship.

Perfection.

She sent the ship her greeting when she hailed it, her remaining drones speaking as one. She heard it too, echoing within the cube.

[WE ARE THE BORG. WE WILL ADD YOUR BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS TO OUR OWN. YOUR CULTURE WILL ADAPT TO SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.]

[Show/Hide]

OOC: You all have 7 days to post, meaning that the deadline is the 23rd of February. In your upcoming posts, you need to illustrate the following sequence: A) Martok's hail, instilling hope of the Klingon Empire being the Theurgy's ally, at long last. B) The cube being damaged by the onslaught of weapons fire from the Klingon fleet, the Theurgy and its small crafts. C) When the adaptive shield matrix goes back online, and the Queen retaliates, damaging two of the Theurgy's nacelles and causing more damage to the Cayuga. And then, finally, D) The immediate reaction when the ship behind the [Show/Hide] button above drops out of transwarp. Besides this sequence of events, which lasts for 1 minute In-Character, here are also Battle Objectives to add during and after that minute! Have a look! [Show/Hide]
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on February 16, 2019, 05:49:17 AM
[Captain Wenn Cinn & Selena Ravenholm | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

Trying not to grip the arms of the Captain's Chair hard enough to snap them off, Captain Wenn watched the battle continue to unfold around him.  The reports he needed started to come in, the delay chalked up to interference from invading drones.  The cloak was ready, Trent's virus was giving the Borg a nasty cold (hopefully), said drones were contained or dead, science was coordinating with the Cayuga, and the assimilated Klingon ships were being held off.  There was one ship that was the Bajoran's main concern though.  Snared by a tractor beam, the Negh'Var had made no attempt to respond to the Allegiant, at least none that they'd reported back.  It was still an open question on where Martok stood towards the Theurgy,

Something changed with the Borg, and Martok was the first to notice it.  Without warning every Klingon weapon unloaded onto the cube, tearing massive chunks out of the outer hull in seconds.  On the Theurgy's bridge, Selena Ravenholm looked up from her console with surprise, helping Faye coordinate communications between the ship and her support craft while also spearheading their cyber-defenses.  "Captain, there's an incoming message from Chancellor Martok himself."  Putting it on speakers without being told, Martok's booming declaration of allegiance lifted a weight off of Cinn's chest.  The channel closed before he could respond, but the Borg didn't give him a chance anyway.

"They've adapted!" someone shouted, but Cinn couldn't tell who as he was already reacting.  "Cloak the ship now!" he ordered Ops, praying he was in time.  If the Borg had adapted to their weapons and the virus this fast there was only one thing that would follow.  The lights dimmed and the ship's chorus of computer sounds faded to almost nothing as power was redirected to the Reman device nestled in engineering.  It was a gamble, if there were any active drones that had eluded them then the Borg could use their collective network to track them and target the ship that way.  But the Prophets were with them this time, as the Queen enacted her vengeance on the fleet.  It was a horrific sight, Klingon ships were exploding in droves.  "Get us to the aperture, fast." he told Veradin.  There was no time to spare.

They didn't get far though.  Someone near the engineering console spat out a curse, the only warning the Bridge got.  The lights died completely for a moment before coming back to full, but the systems didn't power up with the same speed as the lights.  Cinn's stomach dropped to the deck when that happened, he already knew what the next line was going to be.  "We've lost the cloak!"  The torpedoes were only seconds behind.  Impact after impact rattled the ship throwing people everywhere.  Cinn gripped the chair so hard his dark knuckles turned white, but he couldn't hold it.  A massive explosion somewhere in the aft pitched the ship hard and the Bajoran was thrown to the deck.  A second one followed soon after, almost righting their orientation but threw Cinn into the air.  That flight was a bit short though, and the way his head was spinning all he could see was the grey and white pillar holding him up out of the corner of his eye.

Over at the communications console, Selena managed to hold on thanks to her prosthetics, but working was impossible under this barrage.  After it finally let up (why would it let up?) she looked down to find her console a mash of hash.  Working to reboot it, Selena looked to Cinn to see what he wanted to do first, and her eyes went wide in horror.  The drone that killed Abner at the Engineering station was back on its feet and the Bajoran had somehow managed to be leaning against it.  The phaser burns on the armor had the cybernetics-riddled guts of the drone on full display, but it didn't seem to care.  Already reaching out with its good arm, Selena had no time to think.  Her feet kicked against the bulkhead at the proper angle and with all the force she could muster.  Flying across the Bridge her back slammed into the drone knocking all three of them to the deck in a heap.  Grabbing the good arm, Selena wrenched, doing everything she can to keep it away from the two of them.  "A little help here?"

As soon as the drone was dispatched for good, Tactical called out the arrival of a new ship.  Selena immediately assumed that it dropped out of warp while they were preoccupied with getting their asses kicked and couldn't help but make a mental wish.  Enterprise, Enterprise, Enterprise, come on be the Enterprise...  It wasn't though.  And it was the last ship she expected to see.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on February 16, 2019, 01:29:54 PM
[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Masorin @chXinya @Brutus @Triage et al

"Captain! Two Vorcha-class cruisers inbound on pursuit vector bearing 199.3!"

"Lieutenant Martin, the stern battery is yours. Disable those ships," T'Less said, focusing on the primary threat on their starboard flank. Their port forequarter was for now left to autonomous operation, obliterating any chunks of debris that strayed into their path before the helm had to deal with it. Their capacitor charge ticked steadily down - probably less than twenty minutes of sustained fire available. Not that it would matter much beyond that either way.

"... Vulnerabilities opening up in sections thirteen-through-thirty-five on the Cube's western facing."

Section 13 will do nicely, T'Less mused, focusing all firepower on that quadrant while they had the window. A torrent of phaser blasts and torpedoes poured into the wounded vessel, carving a bloody chunk out of it while the opportunity presented itself. Secondary explosions blossomed deep within the Borg ship, a satisfying number of lights going out in that volume as a local power distribution node was slagged. The Klingons were enjoying similar success, cheerfully shaving layers from the outside of the colossal ship themselves.

All very impressive-looking - fodder for the songs, I'm sure - but if you could focus your fire, that'd be wonderful.

Martok hailed them, finally having seen sense, but that conversation was for other people. It wasn't relevant to her, except for being able to take the non-assimilated KDF ships off her targeting priority list.

The Vulcan resisted the temptation to check just how operational the Cube was - she knew it wouldn't matter until the thing finally stopped kicking. Assume it was at 100%, and try and obliterate it anyway. Stop when done. As if to emphasise her point, the Cube began swatting KDF ships out of the sky. The spectacle distracted her for an instant - but she realised she wasn't getting the same feedback reports she had been a moment ago. A grim feeling descended. T'Less tested a few new nutations, just to be sure.

"The Cube has adapted. Weapons ineffective," she reported, reducing her output to point defence and course clearance while she searched for an alternative. She considered launching their AM spread now, but Wenn ordered the cloak tested. As it powered up, cannibalising the power generation for most of the ship, the weapons locked out - right as the Cube sent another spread of torpedoes their way. I can't shoot them down...

"Brace!" she called. Needlessly, as it turned out, because the torpedoes failed to maintain lock through the cloak. Which, predictably, failed to last. Never an easy road. The Hermat at the Ops station was cursing - and the Borg began to throw singular torpedoes at them. Small, relativistic targets using the debris for cover... every single one of the Theurgy's point-defence shots went wide or hit an intervening object early. The Borg at least were having similar problems, but they still landed some grievous hits on their warp engines regardless.

It was all T'Less could do to stay in her seat, fingers aching as her vulcanoid strength held her in place. Alarms screamed.

As if our power problems weren't bad enough after using the cloak...

Not unrecoverable, but they still needed time - a resource sorely lacking.

"Launching antimatter spread."

The nebula lit actinic white with annihilations as the Theurgy scattered antimatter at the Cube. Physics didn't much care what your shields were tuned to - any matter touched by its antiparticle would dissolve into gamma rays and regret. What was stopped by shields would still interact with the nebula itself, spreading further whatever AM was left over with the energy imparted by the parts that had met their end. A navigational hazard for the Borg, even if nothing else. But what did get through would be impossible to adapt to - whatever else you could say of the Borg, they were definitely made of matter.

"We have incoming; unknown vessel," Ensign Henshaw reported.

A transwarp signature, unfamiliar. But then the silhouette resolved, dwarfing even the Cube. "The Versant! Target locks attained."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on February 16, 2019, 05:00:19 PM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Bridge | Science Grotto | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @chXinya @Arista @The Ostrich @Hastata-Nerada
[Show/Hide]


Vanya completed the passes over Okafor's head with the Dermal Regenerator and nodded to herself. He'd likely need to visit sickbay once this was all over for better treatment and scans for a concussion or cranial fracture but he wasn't gushing blood right this second so the Romulan called it good. The Regenerator itself was slapped back into the kit. Kit flipped shut, pivoted and slid back into it's slot under the console.

Vanya's dark green eyes flickered up to the view screen, tracking the happenings there and correlating them with the call out's she heard over the bridge and then down to the science station. Commander Martin called out to prepare for Scientific datadump from the Cayuga and Vanya gave a curt nod. "Aye Commander. On it!"

Things were still happening. Okafor and Martin were in the chairs in the Science grotto now so Vanya was standing at a console. The information from the Cayuga started to come in. Information from -her- team. The Romulan offered a tight smile. She'd been stranded here but her team on the Cayuga were still pressing on. She was proud of them.

Assessment of the information was started. Romulan eyes flickering back and forth rapidly as the information scrolled up the screen at a steady pace. Vanya knew the science team there. She had collected and trained them. Worked with them for some time. So she knew the eccentricities of each officer and crewman in the department. That made her uniquely equipped to correlate the data assess it and seek out flaws. Her Android nature allowed for the rapid ... pardon the wording, assimilation of the data, and internal computation at a rate that exceeded biological norm.

Even as Vanya worked the problem a new flight of Borg-peedos were headed their way and the Vulcan Tac officer  yelled out a Brace! Vanya's left hand reached down and to the side, triggering the extendable crash restraints on both Okafor's and Martian's chairs, her right hand came up and clamped onto one of the overhead grab bars by the station. What her academy roomate had once called "Oh-shit bars" but then the ship cloaked. The lights dimmed the consoles dimmed and the Borg-peedos missed. The console that Vanya had been working dimmed as well but the Android kept working the problem in her head till Ops got power back. Oh wait. No the Cloak had konked out. Well, her console came back on line. That was good.

There! "Commander Martin . I've isolated the problem! Applying corrective measures now!"   She had found the problem deep in one of the computations of the program written for the apertures. It had been coded by one of the Science Department's computer experts. An Edosian whom was quite pleasant to work with but who had a disturbing tendency to use base 30 instead of base 10 in math. Usually this was handled by the computers with out a problem, but sometimes, such as this one, a minute discrepancy could pop up, as it had.

Vanya did the math in her head and her fingers started to punch in the corrections. Time was of the essence and.... Vanya's typing skills were extraordinary. The console let out a high speed string of beeps chirps and warbles as the new computations were being entered.

Then the renewed attack of the Borg scored tremendous hits. Overloading the inertial dampeners to the point that the shock-waves were felt through the ship. Vanya had been feeding in corrections at the console with both hands, dexterous fingers typing like mad. The dark metallic green nailpolish flickering in the emergency lights as she strove to get the corrections input.

The Borg-peedos cared not for one Romulan science officer. In fact, it was their job to make sure she couldn't do hers.  They hit the ship and the deck bucked. Vanya was no longer in one of the Science Grotto's chairs. They were occupied by the flesh and blood members of the team. Nor was she holding the oh-shit bar at that exact moment due to rapid fire input of computational correction. As the impact translated through the ship it flung Vanya violently. She was 6'2"/188cm, and though her Duranium endoskeleton made her more solid than your average girl it didn't make her crazy heavy, at 180lbs/92kg. So, yes, the Android was flung aft. Her body flew a few meters and hit the deck rolling. Dark green blood from the cut on her arm staining the carpet with each complete roll till, WANG!! She hit the leading Starboard side of the tactical station, at floor level.

Had she been biological a deep groan or cry of pain likely would have escaped her. As it was her pain receptors lit up and her body shuddered once. Then a green blood soaked hand slammed down on the deck and she clawed her way to her feet.  The hip length long black hair had been braided and woven up into a 'crown' around her head. Some had come loose and hung down on the left side now. She tried to tuck it behind a pointed ear as she staggered back towards the Science grotto. The impacts and rolling of the ship making the short distance more difficult than normal. Blood was running from her left ear making the gleaming black hair with the green sheen stick to her neck on that side.

"Hostile by the Captain! Respond Forthwith!"
 
She would respond herself buy Cinn had been flung away from Vanya and she knew she couldn't get there in time.

Getting back to the Science Grotto her hand came up and this time.. grabbed the Oh-shit bar. The other came down and fed in the last few corrections for the Aperture solution and she nodded to Vivian. "Solution entered. Transmitting now." 

She sent the program to Selena."WO Ravenholm, transmit the package to the Cayuga, high priority, Expedite!" 
They needed to make sure both ships had the information in case one of the ships was lost.

Vanya's eyes came up and fixed on the view screen as that large white ship dropped out of warp. A sharp Romulan brow rose and her head tilted slightly to the side.... Well. That's not something you see everyday.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on February 17, 2019, 08:13:31 PM
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @fiendfall et al

For the last minute or so, hir job had been less about resource allocation and more about chasing Borg malware through their network in conjunction with their cyberneticists. Thankfully there were only a few intrusion points in their grid so far, which made the job of isolating them a little easier. But still, trying to fight an electronic warfare attempt from a species of computer-people riddled with nanotechnology was its own special kind of hell.

On top of that, the reports coming in from their damage control teams scrolled past hir console. They made for grim reading in their own right, too. Behind hir, the gravelly voice of the belligerent newbie called ahead about the cloak being ready. Grief. Just what we need; someone else's technology base married into ours. What could go wr-

Nator sobered as s/he realised just who was going to be responsible for making sure that all worked smoothly. Hir mood turned downright foul when s/he read what they were asking for to power it. Is that a typo? S/he scratched at hir panel with a claw tip. Dead pixel?

"Fuckin'... can't even send an accurate number..." s/he muttered to hirself as another light fixture overloaded in a corner. "What do they think we are? Starbase One?"

"Cloak the ship now!"

Oh, no. Hir hands swept over their expenditures as s/he wondered what to cannibalise first. Shields were obvious, as they couldn't be used under cloak anyway. But it wouldn't be sufficient alone. "Ah, standby, Captain, allocating-"

The cloak activated. One of the engineers below, apparently by coincidence, decided that then was the time. And Nator suddenly very well understood that the projected energy requirement had not been a typo. "Engineering...!" s/he called over to Song, without really knowing what even to ask for. Diverted warp power? Grief. S/he barely even paid attention as the Borg bracketed them with another torpedo volley as it slid by.

S/he swore. S/he didn't know what to do. S/he continued to swear, shuffling systems around as s/he could. It was all useless.

The cloak dropped. Or was turned off. One of the two. Power returned to the ship, though there was a gaping deficit for a second or two while the generators struggled to catch up. An alarm sounded from their short-term reserves - critically low. A few minutes to restore the buffer. Come on, come on, come on...

Fresh hits - on their engines. Klaxons screamed, the superstructure groaned, more flashes of overloading conduits lit the bridge. "They're targeting our nacelles!" s/he called. The inertial dampers barely kept up with the assault; Nator felt hirself sliding out  of hir seat and only by sinking hir claws into the edge of hir panel did s/he stay still. S/he saw reports that damage control were already on the way - good, because there was a rupture in a deuterium line on deck 22 that would wreak pure havoc if it detonated now, not to mention the new hull breaches and mounting casualties.

The half-prosthetic woman at comms called for aid, wrestling in a pile with a regenerating drone and a dark-skinned Bajoran. "A little help here?"

Nator was closest, certainly given how most of the security crew were still picking themselves up from the deck. S/he drew her type-II and vaulted the comms console, kicking the drone's free arm away and planting hir boot on its shoulder as s/he crouched down, fangs bared as s/he punched the muzzle of the phaser repeatedly into the drone's teeth while making sure there was clear space behind its head and not, say, an officer's leg or something.

Crack. Crack. Crunch. Nator winced, but shoved the barrel of the pistol into the thing's mouth - inside the boundary of any adapted force field it might care to project - and pressed the firing stud. An orange beam speared through its spine and into the deck behind the drone as the stench of charred necrotising flesh reached hir nostrils. A couple of the drone's circuits sparked, thin white smoke rising, before it went still again.

Knees flexing to keep hir level as the ship shuddered again under a new barrage, s/he hauled the enemy off hir colleagues. "Any injuries?" s/he asked, offering a hand to help them up.

"The Versant!" called Tactical.

The Hermat said something untranslatable, hurrying back to hir station, and wondering what exactly it had been that s/he'd done to deserve the last few months of hir life.


ooc: AL wanted me to clarify that the cloak was activated by F'Rell and deactivated by Samala quite without Nator's input. I can't image it having gone any better with the resident amnesiac in charge, though.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on February 19, 2019, 06:37:42 AM
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All
[Show/Hide]
Martok's declaration of a truce, even one that was temporary, was a like being doused in refreshing cool water. At least Veradin wouldn't be dodging Klingon weapons too...yet. Despite dipping into the ever-expanding field of hull fragments and corpses, the Cube's weapons kept finding them.

"They've Adapted!" Someone yelled, who the Trill could not identify in the chaos.

"Cloak the ship now! Get us to the next aperture, fast." Captain Cinn ordered.

"Aye sir." Derik tried to comply, but his console was complaining about power being drawn away from the engines to power the cloak. Engineering, you are not making this easy. He was however grateful for the reprieve from being targeted by the cube. With the cloak active, they would be much harder to hit and the shields might actually get a chance to start regenerating. Derik moved towards the aperture, feeling rather confident.

It was short lived. Veradin was mistaken, deeply mistaken. They had barely made it a quarter of the way there when all hell broke loose.

Someone had spat a curse from behind him.

The lights flickered and died for a moment as power failed to reach them.

Oh hell. The cloak. The realization felt like being stabbed with a white hot iron.

Collision signals flashed up on his display from the incoming fire, which was right on top of them.

"Brace!" Derik yelled right as the torpedo hit the first nacelle. Despite him yelling for everyone to hold on, the Trill himself was knocked from his station as the ship pitched hard from the first blow. Fuck! Derik didn't even have time to climb back into his chair and gauge the damage as a second torpedo hit, crippling another one of their nacelles. Veradin was thrown back onto the deck, his head ringing from the not so gentle kiss of the steel on the back of his head. FUCK! The ship stopped shaking long enough for the dazed, and slightly blurry eyed CONN officer to regain his station.

What awaited him were flashing warning symbols, damage displays, and blaring alarms all screaming for his attention. The damage was substantial, almost catastrophic. "We've lost two nacelles and are venting plasma, engines compromised, mobility SERIOUSLY compromised. Captain if we lose another engine, we aren't going to be able to navigate the debris field let alone dodge any incoming fire. We'll be target pracitce."

Not that we aren't already...I'm down half my engines, fighting an enemy that has pinpoint accuracy, even through all this junk. What else could go wrong?

His navigational sensors registered a new contact, huge, looming, dwarfing the cube like a small child, familiar drive signatures. Derik looked up at the holo-display. Angular, white, vaguely arrow shaped. The Versant.

Derik you idiot. You just had to think it didn't you? When will your learn your goddamn lesson?

Yet despite the feeling of dread as the massive dreadnought sat there in open space, the Trill felt a small spark of hope. Their people were nearby now, well within reach of rescue if the opportunity arose. Wait. Hope? In the midst of all this? Madness...

...yet he doubted he was the only one that felt this way.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on February 19, 2019, 11:03:45 PM
[ Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin)| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] @Top Hat @FollowTomorrow @The Ostrich @Auctor Lucan @Triton
[Show/Hide]

The cloak did not last very long, they were visible almost as soon as they had been invisible, and as soon as they were they were hit again. The hard slap of damage, shook the bridge, His head slipped for a moment his body bouncing off his console. A cut forming over his left eyebrow for a moment as he hadn't braced himself in time.

He shook off the damage and listened to the bridge around him. So many people were calling for attention, trying to figure out one thing after another. Damage reports scrolled along the side of the tactical console for him to ignore them. The loss of two of their nacelles was bad, but the difficulty was the aft weapons. One of the aft Pulse Phaser arrays had gone off line, damaged probably by shrapnel in all of the chaos, or a hit by their own nacelle he wasn't sure what took it down, the problem was it was gone now.

More than that they had two Vorcha class ships behind them. All life signs reported were Borg, T'Less ordered that they be disabled, and he couldn't agree more. "Firing arc's are limited." He said doing his best to track a lock on the Vorcha behind them.

The problem with the Vorcha was that it was thickly armored, it's front profile was very narrow due to it's elongated neck. If they were above them it would be easier, but from behind with limited fire power.

"Captain, I recommend Separating the helmet section. The ranger has more weapons that would be useful in this fight."  He finally got a lock, and fired aft torpedoes, launching both barrels one photon at each ship.

The new ship, again behind them, was something of a chaotic throw of the dice. His eyes saw the massive projection on the holographic display, and heard Evora's call it the Versant. An old proverb came to mind in all this chaos.

There is always a bigger fish,
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: fiendfall on February 20, 2019, 10:07:51 PM
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

In the brief moment they were cloaked Morgan scrambled to meet its power-hungry demands, fingers flying over the console as he tried to reroute everything they had and dump it into the cloak. Nator had already cut power from the shields, calling to Engineering to help without any real instructions; Morgan squeezed what he could out of all non-essential systems without killing them, pulling from the warp drive, from sensors, from force absorption--

A warning flashed up on his screen; he keyed in the manual override, kept going. They needed more, more power, but the cloak was consuming everything he threw at it and there was only so much he could get even with cutting systems off at the knees, and the cloak needed so much, so much that they'd need a whole new untapped power source and that ship had sailed, he'd already pulled that for the shields. They were running on empty and hoping to power the cloak with nothing but fumes.

A volley of torpedoes screamed past, Nator swore loudly off to the side, and the electronics abruptly died. For a second the bridge was lit by nothing but the dull glow of the emergency lighting as the Theurgy gasped for power like a dying fish; and then the lights flickered back to life, along with various screeching alarms. Morgan's console rebooted in time to blare critical warnings at him: the cloak was down, their shields were non-existent, all systems running on low power, the generators floundering--

The ship lurched violently, throwing Morgan out of his seat and sending a chain reaction of small explosions through the relays above. They were hit. The alarms redoubled their efforts; Morgan pulled himself up to assess the damage, ears ringing. One engine lost, ion radiation flooding the area and plasma venting from the casing. The bridge was in chaos, lit by the red strobe warning lights, shouts flying overhead as the captain fought a regenerating drone.

Another hit, the ship bucking again with the loss of power to force absorption systems; Morgan was ready this time, braced against his console. Two engines down. He rerouted their plasma, sending it back to the systems he'd pruned. Shields were most important now. Even with two engines lost they weren't out of this fight, not quite, but any further hits to primary utilities would cripple them. One weapons array was down, along with various tertiary controllers and several starboard thrusters, but that was due to damage, not power -- they would have to wait.

Shields charging, Morgan fed what power he could spare to the sensors; he'd never fully cut them, flying blind would be suicide, but he'd decreased the range and they'd briefly lost sight of parts of the battlefield while cloaked. Tactical would need all the information he could get them now. They powered up slowly, painstakingly extending the range, and then--

And then there was a ship looming over them. It was bigger than anything Morgan had ever seen before, bigger than the Cube, silvered and sharp and cruel, and-- 'the Versant!' somebody cried, and Morgan's synthetic heart clenched. He'd only seen this ship in holos, in his debrief, but what he'd heard... They'd exchanged one enemy in the Klingons for a far more sinister foe, and were caught between a rock and a hard place just as surely as before.

Perhaps all they could do now was hope the Savi and the Borg fought each other like warring lions, giving the Theurgy time to make it to the aperture unmolested. They would have to sacrifice their crewmates still imprisoned on the Versant, of course, and once the aperture was opened the Savi and Borg would likely turn on the Theurgy and rip her to shreds, but they'd known what they were heading into when they had set their course here. The captain had already chosen stopping the Borg over saving their crewmates, or protecting their own lives. This would just be a continuation of that decision...

No. He had to believe they could still make it. It was foolish, but what choice did he have?  Defeat begins in the mind. So he did what he could, and he listened for orders. The rest they'd have to take one step at a time.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on February 21, 2019, 02:53:13 AM
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer & Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers, Communications | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Triage @chXinya @Top Hat @Masorin @Cosmos @The Ostrich @Fife @fiendfall @Hastata-Nerada 
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For a moment there was a rush of exhilaration. The message had managed to make its way to Martok, and the Empire had decided to play ball. Natalie hung her head, taking a long, low breath. She watched, as round after round bore into the cube from the fleet of Klingon battleships. All around her, the spaceframe of the Theurgy shook as well, unleashing her own fire and fury toward the Borg that invaded their space, and threatened their survival.

"Come on,  come on, come on," Faye was muttering from the semi damaged communications console, gripping tight at the edges. The girls knuckles were white, her face starring down the bridge toward the viewscreen. There was still this ever present sense of dread that was blanketing her telepathic senses, forcing her to try and keep her mental walls in check, and firm. Trying (if not exactly succeeding) in blocking out individual thoughts. Even with the dread, her own and the ships, she should have been better at it than she was.

Even the presence of Selena Ravenholm was a blank mask to her, right there in the aux station. Though that could as much be her enhancements as anything else. It wss she who had eagerly notified the Captain that Martok was hailing in the middle of the cacophony of weapons fire.

The hope was shortly lived, as Natalie swallowed an oath. Sweeping her hair back, she shouted an order about defensive measures, acting on instinct. "Pattern Omega-12, helm!" she bellowed out, a maneuver that would have them dipping about in a loop to reach their new heading toward the aperture. Between this, and Cinn's call for the cloak, the ship managed to dodge that first harrowing round of torpedoes. But only the first.

The lights died. Someone screamed, and then they flared back on, just in time to illuminate the bridge before ....Natalie was thrown damn near clear across the back room when the next strike scored home, lancing damage to the nacelles. She rolled into a heap on the far side of the table, groaning in pain. Why had they stopped? she asked, pulling herself to her feet, mirroring the actions of Ens. Eloi-Danvers, whom had flipped over the comms station while Ravenholm had managed to hold her place.

Pain was lancing through the Betazoid, her own, and others. She spat blood as she came to her hands and knees, hair hanging over her face. Whipping it back, she twisted her head a bout, taking in the room - in time to see Selena go flying across the room.

"What the Hell?" Someone was shouting toward the comm station, to Ravenholm, and Faye knew that was where she needed to be as well. Some package needed to be transmitted to the Cayuga. That was all she needed to know, for the moment. The cybernetic warrant officer was too busy dealing with a Drone. Pushing aside her own fear, Faye climbed into the damaged communications well and found a functioning panel.

"Comms acknowledged, Science," she snapped off, still tasting blood in her mouth. There was a new well of fear from the bridge as something large seemed to appear in a flash of light on the view screen. She couldn't look up. She had to force the transmission..."Package transfer to Cayuga completed."

"Oh you have got to be kidding me," Natalie deadpanned, on the heels of Ens. Eloi-Danvers and Lt. Martin. She turned and starred looking at the all too familiar form of the Versant. That's the damned icing on the shit-cake, the executive officer thought as she watched it hanging there. The last they had heard, Thea was attempting to secure the crews freedom, but they had not been able to warp to the location to the ship to retrieve their crew. And now the Savi vessel was there, in the battle with the Borg. But who is in control....

"Captain!, We cannot let them assimilate that ship." Having stated that fact, she turned her attention again the status board. "Helm, bring us about, keep whichever nacelle is the least damaged pointed away from the cube. Engineering station, do we even have the spare power to run in multi-vector mode?"
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Doc M. on February 21, 2019, 11:20:40 AM
[ Ensign Jance Davron  |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Arista @Auctor Lucan

Meanwhile, on the bridge of the USS Cayuga, Ensign Jance Davron was starting to rethink his career choices.  That wasn't true.  At the current time, there was no time to think of anything.  He could only let his training take over and hope that Captain Zeigler could pull them through.  From his spot at the tactical station information was coming at him so fast!  He was glad that times like this, communications duties were handled by another officer. 

And right now that officer, Ensign Yavya Vass of Bolarus IX was saying "Captain, we're getting a call from Wolf-07!" in a girlish chirp that betrayed her fear.

Jance's blood ran cold as he heard the fighter pilot's report:

[ Goldeneye to Cayuga! ] Tessa cried.  [ "The Pragh's crew has been assimilated!  The Borg have taken it over and they're preparing to fire upon you! ]

But there was no time for panic.  There was work to be done.  "Confirmed," Jance reported from his station.  "The Pragh has a weapons lock on us.  The debris field is preventing them from getting a clear shot.  Lifesigns aboard the bird of prey read four Klingons, eight Borg.  Make that three Klingons, nine Borg.  Wolf-07 is turning to engage them now."

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Hastata-Nerada on February 21, 2019, 02:57:57 PM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All @Cosmos
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Through the pain and chaos, Tyreke was dimly aware of Vanya slipping his phaser back into its holster. "Vanya?" he whispered, as she bent down to fetch something from the science consoles. Vanya, who had just killed a Borg drone with a terrifying display of strength, was bringing something towards Tyreke's face... and the pain abated. There was something incredible about Vanya, or at least Tyreke thought so. But the battle raged on, and he could not afford these distractions. As he looked up into the face of the Romulan, he heard her question and nodded, the edges of his mouth formed a forced smile. "I am fine, thank you, let's... yes, let's put these nightmares in their place."

As Tyreke sat himself again at the console and made sure to fasten the harness properly, he heard Martin report the incoming data dump from the Cayuga and looked over his display. Chaos gripped the bridge. Emergency lighting flickered on and off, the nebula was lit in a great blaze of antiparticles, weapons screamed their death cry in the blue void. The shield frequencies were ready (he hoped), but the soliton waves... Tyreke did not have time to address those thoughts. He barely noticed Vanya adjusting the soliton wave variance, and alarmingly quickly at that, was this normal for Romulans? Nevertheless, the Borg warheads slammed into the Theurgy, shaking the vessel's groaning hull as tremors arced throughout its interior. Tyreke was held in place by his harness, but Vanya fell, despite Tyreke's effort to reach out and grab her arm.

As Vanya picked herself up and sent the solutions to Martin, Tyreke unfastened himself and grabbed the same dermal regenerator that was used to heal him. He turned towards Vanya and reached out towards her. "Lieutenant, are you-" He paused. Hesitated. She did not seem to be in pain from what he could tell, though she was bleeding profusely, the viridian content of her veins quite evident. "Are you okay Lieutenant? You are injured."

A cry from tactical made his blood run cold. The Versant. An enormous ship, one which dwarfed the cube. Tyreke knew what it was, its alabaster, blade-like hull was one he recognized easily, for there was no other abomination like it. But perhaps there was some hope? Thea was aboard, and last they heard all aboard were rescuing themselves.

With the dermal regenerator still in hand, Tyreke turned his head and reached out towards his console. He swore. The nacelles were gone, the nacelles were gone. There was only one escape route left for them. "Shields are at the ready! We can enter an aperture if we need to!" he announced. Debris littered the bridge, and something in the room sounded like a conduit had burst. Something had to be done. Tyreke reached out and pressed a button on his screen. The Theurgy's sensors primed themselves, their subspace manifolds whirred to life, as the first soliton wave raced forward from them. While normally used to detect objects at warp speeds, they now offered the key to the salvation of so many numerous souls. But Tyreke did not watch as an aperture opened like the maw of some great beast.

Instead, he reached out towards Vanya again. "Do you need help? Are you okay?" he asked, with his brow furrowed. The situation was dire but he would not let anyone perish here if he could help it.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Triage on February 21, 2019, 05:58:45 PM
[ Ens. Cameron Henshaw (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Cameron_Henshaw) | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Brutus, @Masorin, @FollowTomorrow, @chXinya, @Top Hat, @Numen, @The Ostrich, @Argyros, @Cosmos, @Kinvarus & @Hastata-Nerada
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The joy of a rediscovered crew was lost in the chaos of the battle, and Cam's statements went mostly unheard. The Yeoman understood the severity of the situation, and she supposed there was nothing to be done but to continue performing her own tasks. Borg Drones kept popping in, though, and she wasn't sure how long it would be before they succeeded in wearing down the bridge crew, who'd been putting up a valiant defense thus far. But the losses were racking up. Leon was gone, Tyreke had been hurt. She checked on Natalie and Cinn to make sure the most important people were okay. Visual inspection said they were all ri-...

WHAM!

The impacts of the Borg's attack struck home into the beleaguered dreadnought, and Cam had been unable to grab hold of something to keep from being tossed. Small and light as she was, the girl had slammed head-first into the mission ops' tactical display station, then the second impact threw an already concussed Cam into the seat of someone's chair, she wasn't sure whose, it could be the captain's, or someone's station, and she had landed on the back of her neck, her legs flailing with the momentum of her flight, leaving her in a most undignified position, but that was the least of her worries. Her body felt like one big receptacle of pain, and red clouded her vision as blood from a gash in her scalp and forehead oozed freely.

Someone had said the Versant? Then that meant...

"...Jien..." was her weak exclamation, before blackness took her over and she felt nor saw anything else.



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Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: steelphoenix on February 22, 2019, 05:08:44 AM
[ Lt Cmdr Vael Kaeris | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]

There were distinct moments in his career, but none more so than this, when Vael regretted that his training ensured that curse words were not the go-to of his vocabulary.  Still, they had their appeal, whether it be in response to the seeming incompetence of some, the thunderous assault that hammered against the hull, or the outrage that some species would have the audacity to undeservedly presume his subjugation.

His efforts at remotely replicating the jamming relays was hampered as someone hamfistedly deployed some sort of cloaking device.  He could only presume that the device was unauthorized by Starfleet as there were precious few exceptions made to the Treaty of Algeron, but the subsequent power failure that cascaded through the ship's systems merely punctuated the incompatibility between the two systems -- one that any reasonable engineer should have safeguarded against.  It only took him two weeks aboard the Endeavour to convince the captain of the necessity of bulwarking portions of the power system to allow the crew to isolate damaged or corrupted systems.  But, he supposed, they had been tasked with a very particular mission that necessitated such precautions.

The power systems rebooted, the lighting on the bridge returning to some semblance of crimson-tinged normal even as others around him vented their particular flavor of slang and epithets.  Vael opted to allow the others to express his own frustration rather than open his mouth.  The second relay had failed as a result of the disruption, forcing him to begin anew.  The ship rocked as another assault from the cube tore through the ship.  If anything, the ship was in dire need of repairs even before he and his fellow refugees had been lured on board, but given their status, there wasn't a starbase or outpost within a hundred parsecs that would give them safe haven.

Chaos swallowed the bridge once more as another drone attempted to reassert itself.

Time was an asset they were rapidly running out of and everyone seemed too focused on the short term goal.  "Engineering, I am transmitting schematics and a deployment grid.  One relay is already in place," he stated, "these need to be replicated and released as quickly as possible.  No less than twenty but the more you can manage, the greater our advantage.  Advise the bridge once complete.  Kaeris out."

One task delegated, he moved towards the Theurgy's CSO, inclining his head slightly so as not to seem as rude as he might otherwise seem to be in such dire circumstance.  "Allow me," he said, calling up the parameters on the neighboring screen, his irritation at the mangled calculations hidden beneath the implacable expression on his face.  His brow furrowed slightly, the corners of his lips drawing tight as he began to review the scanning frequencies, rapidly filtering through the errors with an almost preternatural awareness.  The Romulan had managed to make a good many corrections to whatever tangled mess the Cayuga had been trying to implement and transmitted the corrections back, but there were still some elements that could stand further refinement.   "Good job, lieutenant.  Here are some additional variables to assist in narrowing our scan field," he said with a nod to Vanya.  "Thank you."

Someone announced the arrival of another ship -- but his awareness was subsumed in his work, interfacing the protocols to the Theurgy's sensor grid, the nascent apertures lighting up faintly across the navigational consoles.  "We need to finish neutralizing these apertures and get out of here before the situation becomes untenable.  We need at least 15 seconds total to breach the threshold of the first one that the Borg will come through."  His dark eyes moved from those nearby him, to Ducote, and finally to the dark skinned Bajoran who sat in command even has his hands continued to implement the next stage of the operation.

He targeted another of the apertures in the queue, working to refine the sensors and adjust the wavelength of the soliton particles; it was a delicate procedure, like reforging a key made of glass that was already in the lock.  So many eyes were on it, so many hands working to perfect everything...  "I believe we can generate an escape route with Mr. Okafor's shield adjustments.  There's no way to tell where we might end up but perhaps we should avoid destroying that one for the moment."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on February 23, 2019, 01:15:11 PM
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @Brutus @trevorvw @Triage et al

A detached part of Ranaan's mind was considering that outside of these situations, he tended to reflect on such moments with a sort of nostalgic romanticism. The excitement and the struggle. Perhaps it was the dramatic streak in him. But now? When he was still in it? He couldn't help but wonder why he ever wished to experience this stuff ever again. The gestalt on the bridge was still trending ever towards the extreme - stressed, and scared, and determined, and raging against their impossible odds. He found it a constant background distraction.

A Betazoid ensign whose name currently escaped him (Danforth? No) was acting as something of a lightning rod for all of these myriad emotions, full-Betazoids being naturally easier for his hybrid talents to pick up than 'mundanes', even while she coordinated with the Cayuga.

While the battle raged along outside, he had to split his attention between the remaining drones on the bridge (still not wanting to open fire just yet and risk hitting a member of the crew) and the holo table. More often than not, he found himself having to widen his stance and flex his knees to avoid sliding into one of the bulkheads as the inertial dampers struggled to absorb the punishment meted out to the Theurgy. One by one, the number of drones aboard was reduced, and the team on the bridge coordinated with the Security centre on deck 7 to encircle and destroy the remaining few.

That said, now that they had adapted to their weapons the solutions to destroy the drones, the solutions those repelling the boarders had to employ were getting ever more creative. In more than a few places it seemed their damage control teams would have even more work to do than they were facing already.

"Deck Seventeen clear," he reported for the log. "Team Four-"

The display changed. Ducote frowned. "-standby. Maintain patrol. Out."

The Security Centre dropped off the display entirely. He prodded a finger at it, prompting a note to scroll into existence. Before power loss, Borg signatures detected in the brig.

Nicander.

He slapped his badge. "Akoni, Ducote. We just lost all telemetry from the Security Centre. Casualties likely; there were Borg in there before the power went down. There was also a transporter signature, but I can't pinpoint the destination." He left the implication hanging that the good Doctor had escaped somehow. "Repelling the boarders is still primary, but secondary is to perform a sweep and find that man. Out."

The cloak activated and sucked just about every spare watt of power out of the ship. And more than a few that weren't exactly spare, either. The holo table flickered and went out, and only came back as the ship took a fiendish series of hits. He heard the telltale groan of damaged subspace coils - he'd heard the same noise in the last moments of the Endeavour's life.

Not that he had much opportunity to reflect on that; the impacts took him halfway off his feet the same as half the rest of the bridge. He yelped as his injured knee made contact with the hard deck, but it wasn't enough to distract him from the sensation of someone fading from his awareness. Ducote looked over and saw the battle manager slumped against the foot of the captain's (empty) chair. "Mãe de Deus e todos os seus sobrinhos malucos," he muttered, scuttling over to her while swearing at his now-dead leg for refusing to cooperate.

"Hey," he said as he reached her, a hand on her shoulder. "Can you hear me, Ensign?" Nothing.

Looking at the contact between her neck and the stanchion he didn't want to move her too much, but he still gave her a brief first-aid inspection. One of her pupils was blown wide open, but his gentle prodding/massage of her skull didn't reveal any obvious grinding sensations or deformed bones at least. Hopefully just a concussion and nothing worse.

Ducote looked up, searching for the first person to make eye contact and 'volunteer'. "Hey! Can we site-to-site? She needs sickbay."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Arista on February 24, 2019, 04:16:38 PM
[ Captain Anya Ziegler (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Anya_Ziegler) |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, @Doc M. , Anyone else.
[Show/Hide]

It had taken minutes to clear the bridge from the smoke and it showed. Alongside the twisted metal where the deck plating buckled under the ferocity of the EPS fire, the rest of the panels were coated in a dark smoky film. What once had light greys and silvers were now black. Looking at it, Ziegler knew it'd take a long time to get back to looking pristine. Far too long. It was a reasonable analogy for the Cayuga, even if it broke her heart to think of it.

With her vision back onto the viewscreen, the captain surveyed the battle underway. The Klingons continued to give their all to the cause, no quarter held. In fact, it seemed that that Martok's ship had gained a second life. Pummelling the Borg with everything they had.

"Captain, the Negh'Var is hailing Theurgy." The clear voice of Ensign Vass, operations officer called out. "It appears they're declared her an ally."

Ziegler breathed out an audible sigh. She had been worried at that moment that Martok wouldn't see Theurgy as a friend and the fight would get just that much harder. Thank goodness for small blessings. Now they just needed to get the blasted aperture frequencies working.

"Captain, we're getting a call from Wolf-07!" Vass followed up, causing the reality to deny anyone the chance to enjoy the moment gave them.
 
[ Goldeneye to Cayuga! ] The pilot cry filled the bridge. [ "The Pragh's crew has been assimilated!  The Borg have taken it over and they're preparing to fire upon you! ]

"Confirmed." Davron reported from his station.  "The Pragh has a weapons lock on us.  The debris field is preventing them from getting a clear shot.  Lifesigns aboard the bird of prey read four Klingons, eight Borg.  Make that three Klingons, nine Borg.  Wolf-07 is turning to engage them now."

Anya watched the Valkyrie turn on the viewscreen. Wolf-07 had become their guardian angel and Ziegler wasn't going to let them get destroyed.

"Target the Pragh." She ordered. "Fire torpedoes once Wolf 7 is clear of her run."

With bated breath, Ziegler watched as Goldeneye finished her shooting and cleared. Tactical reported the torpedoes away and before the Pragh could fully respond to actions, it was gone. A huge orange fireball consumed the vessel leaving over debris and dust. With over 75% of the crew borg, certainly on a vessel of that size, there wasn't much chance of saving them. A heroes welcome in Sto'Vo'Kor was better than the fate that awaited them as drones.
With the immediate threat gone, Ziegler needed to get her head back in the game. Big picture thinking. She finally turned to Ops.

"Any news from Theurgy? We need those updated frequencies"

"Receiving data packet now." Yavya called from her station, the usual chipper tone gone from her voice. "Captain, the borg have raised their adaptive shielding!"

Before Anya would say anything, Cayuga was hit. Inertial dampers strained under the impact and with the horrendous sound of twisting metal, many of the bridge crew - Ziegler included, were thrown from their seats. The bridge itself was a cacophony of noise as people regained their chairs, silenced alarms and righted the ship. Damage reports came from every department, the worst was from the engineer station.

"They've hit the starboard ventral nacelle. Leaking warp plasma!" The officer yelled.

"Seal off the nacelle!" Ziegler shouted back. Without that nacelle, they couldn't sustain long warp travel but, for now, they didn't need it. Two would suffice if the need arose. Not that they were abandoning the battlefield any time soon.

On the viewscreen, out of nowhere, a new player filled the space. The ship was unlike anything Anya had ever seen. The sheer scale of it put most starbases to shame. Was this the ship that have stolen Ives and the rest of the crew? How could they defeat this as well as the cube?

"Captain! The borg have disengaged all weapons. They're focussed on this new ship." The alert came from tactical, breaking Ziegler from just staring awe at the size of the vessel.

 "This is our chance. Helm, plot a new run to aperture A-17." Anya ordered. This was the time. Make or break. Carpeland's hands deftly followed the instructions and the Cayuga set out at pace. Ziegler didn't stop now. "Science, prepare the sensor array. Tactical, Arm torpedoes."

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: The Ostrich on February 25, 2019, 12:14:55 PM
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 01| USS Theurgy ]

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They had barely received the data package from the Cayuga when Ensign Henshaw appeared at Vivian's elbow. She had some crazy idea about using radiation from the deflector to get a signal to the Cinsaj. It was possible, but it wouldn't be easy. The other scientist seemed to be hard at work, and didn't need her peering over their shoulders. They were all professionals, and Vivian trusted them to do their jobs.

Her fingers danced across the controls as she began her work to try signal the Cinsaj. Out of the corner of her eye she kept watch over the developments across the rest of the bridge. It seemed that the cube was taking significant damage under an assault from their fighters and the tattered remains of the Klingon fleet. That was good, things seemed to be going in their favour.

Everything went badly wrong moments later when the Borg shields popped back up and a volley of Borg Torpedoes smashed into the ship, and Vivian's face smashed into the console. She gave a pained grunt as she peeled herself off the console, and tasted blood on her lips. Bringing a hand up to her mouth she found the blood leaking from her nose. She tried to wipe it away, but only succeeded in smearing it across her face in a large streak. From the frantic calls across the bridge Vivian gathered that they had taken significant damage.

As Vivian returned her attention to her sensors, she saw a new vessel enter the field...a very large, very familiar vessel. The Versant had returned for them. Her blood ran cold and she swallowed nervously, and directed a scan toward the ship in a vain attempt to discover their intentions. Curiously, when the data flowed in, she was reading a multitude of different life forms aboard. The Savi were not the only ones on that ship! "Captain!" She yelled out across the chaos of the bridge "I'm reading multiple familiar lifeforms aboard the Versant. Sir, our people are alive!" There may be nothing that they could do just yet, but that glimmer of hope and light in this dark hour would do wonders for the morale of the crew.

With that scan done she began retasking the sensor array toward the more urgent task of aperture opening. The other scientists around her had almost perfected the calculations for their soliton waves, and as Vivian looked over it, it seemed to fall into place. Simultaneously she received confirmation that the sensor array was now ready to fire the soliton wave and open the aperture. Vivian's fingers raced across the controls before her, and while Vael Kaeris was looking at the contingency plan of opening a second aperture, Tyreke Okafor had activated the sensor array. She turned to look across the bridge at the viewscreen, seeing the blue beam shining upon the hidden aperture, and then turned to Wenn Cinn and Natalie Stark. "WE'RE FIRING THE SOLITON WAVE NOW!"

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Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on February 26, 2019, 01:38:35 AM
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Dr._Lucan_cin_Nicander) | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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When he materialised, Doctor Nicander had no more than looked around before he was thrown off his feet - the toss and turns of the battle getting worse. He knew little of battles, but that usually wasn't a good sign. By the winds, will this Cycle end here this time for me?

Putting his artificial hand on the Captain's desk in hir ready room - the office now occupied by Cinn - Lucan got back on his feet. He had already masked himself from internal sensors, as a precaution as much as keeping security focused on the drones instead of trying to find him. Without wasting time, he flipped the computer console open, and with a few quick commands, he'd activated the live feed of the bridge, witnessing the development as a spectator in the adjacent room. The thing inside coiled, excited about the development, but Lucan knew the stakes, and was properly agitated with the situation. Narrowing his pale grey eyes to see the details on the screen, he activated the audio as well.

[The Versant is hailing us!] someone on the bridge called, and a feed was revealed on the viewscreen. On that very same viewscreen, Lucan could see how there was some kind of antimatter cloud entering a thick debris field, moving towards a Borg cube and sparking detonations as it went. He could also see the Theurgy and the Cayuga sending blue beams from their sensor arrays upon something hidden beyond that debris field. The aperture. When a familiar voice was heard over the link to the Savi ship, Lucan's eyes widened, and he shifted his gaze to the speaker.

[This is Captain Jien Ives,] said the male form of their lost Commanding Officer. Next to him stood Thea, and seated next to them was a bald Vulcan. [We've taken command of this ship, and while the presence of Borg is disconcerting enough, we need a report on the situation now. Lieutenant Cross. Fire!]

Quickly, Lucan pinpointed who were on the bridge, and to his dismay, Counselor Ejek wasn't present. Since he was locked up, Cinn, Stark and the others had refused to hear him out. They had shunned him, unwilling to give any credence to his words. They didn't trust him after his parasite had been known. Thus, they didn't know all the variables of the situation, and here they were, on the brink of utter peril, without enough knowledge to make an informed decision. He cursed the winds for forcing his hand, but he had no choice. He had to yield himself. If he tarried, Ives might made the wrong call. Every moment counted. He was out of the chair and running into the bridge the next instant, with no time for second thoughts.

When the sliding doors parted, and he took a couple of long strides into the bridge, there was a sudden, bright light from the viewscreen. He raised the charred sleeve of his uniform to cover his eyes, and even as it abated, he kept his arms raised, emerging in front of the holotable. The one named Ducote was behind him, but his eyes were on the others, and the Captain on the side of he viewscreen. "I am unarmed!" he called, forestalling the remaining two security guards from opening fire at him completely out of turn. When the light from the attack of the Versant faded, he saw that the joint venture of the Cayuga and the Theurgy had been successful. The four kilometre wide aperture had burst open.... but so had the Borg cube - with three wide holes straight through it. No time. Lucan had to speak. "I could not let myself be assimilated, and I had to escape from my cell. Irrelevant. Captain! Hear me! That subspace tunnel, a Borg invasion force will come though it any minute now! It is one of the deciding steps in the enemy's plans. They have enabled the Borg, and mean to exploit the Collective as a means to further their own plans."

The aperture was open, and Lucan could see - behind Ives' shoulder - that there was some kind of commotion. Was that Morali?

Someone in Tactical was arming and firing torpedoes to destroy the aperture, but the outcome was know before Lucan saw it. "No, don't do it! I have tried to tell you, but you just won't listen," he said next, casting his eyes about, while Ives seemed to be making another hail, to the Lone Wolves, without killing the feed to the bridge. The torpedoes, they sped to their destination, impacted against the edges of the aperture. Upon impact, the edges shuddered. The opening collapsed... but the tunnel.

It remained, only wider.

It had to be at least five kilometres wide, and there was no seal for it any more. The aperture had been opened permanently, and Lucan had been too late. "You can't do it that way! I have tried to tell you! In the other Cycles, there was a singular object. A device that could rend subspace asunder. Well that is a subspace tunnel! In one cycle, it almost stopped the invasion. It's supposed to be a secret in Starfleet, but the Borg call it Particle 010! Do any of you know what it is?"

Reserved as Ives might have been, the development and what Nicander was raving about now held his attention. [I know what it is,] he said, and shifted... to her female form. She tilted her head and looked at Nicander through the vid-link between the Versant and the Theurgy. [It's called an Omega device. Are you saying it will seal the tunnel if detonated?]

"Yes... and no," said Lucan and he almost laughed at the absurdity of the situation, where the bridge was in full activity just to keep the ship together. Long range sensors chirped a warning against approaching vessels. It was the vanguard of the invasion force, already having entered the subspace tunnel. Within the minute, they would be seen in the distance of the tunnel. This, Lucan knewt. How might he explain? "It's not like you can get the detonation needed by just blowing it up. It won't be enough. The device needs to be activated. It is supposed to be some kind of box, with a mechanism you have to solve by hand. The one who opens it... will die. Warp speed within several light tears will become impossible, and subspace communication will no longer work within that radius, but the subspace tunnels... they will all wither and be destroyed - all of them - stopping the Borg invasion."

Despite all the commotion of the battle, all the raised voices, Lucan's words seemed to make Ives reach a decision. [We have this device in our possession. Here, on the Versant. We also have a tablet that details the locking mechanism.]

Hearing this, Lucan's eyes widened. By all the winds, could it be true?

What he said next, it was something he'd considered, in the event of the device being present, but he had dismissed any such chance. His words were without doubt, however, since he knew what he had to do. "Captain, I request to be the one that stays behind," he found himself saying, "to activate it, while the Theurgy escapes at maximum warp. I know you will need to leave at a speed higher than warp nine. Then, you'll make it."

Little did he know... that it was too late for that.

Next to Ives, the Lone Wolves and the Allegiant were working with the KDF to tear the cube apart from within, but it might just be too late. The aperture was open, the seal destroyed, and the vanguard mere minutes away.


OOC: First to post, @Brutus , with Morali reacting to the aperture being opened. Then, you all have 7 days to post, meaning that the deadline is the 5th of March. In your upcoming posts, you need to illustrate the following sequence: A) The Theurgy hailing, and Captain Ives, Thea and Lt. Cross appearing on the side of the screen, asking for a sitrep. B) The Versant opens fire against the Borg cube. See No Milk Run and Space Trash Rampage for more description on what happens there. C) When the blinding light fades, it is revealed that Nicander is on the bridge, and he is revealing things that no one present has cared to learn from him because of lack of time/distrust (please don't kill him since he's unarmed and not offering any threat? lol) D) Tactical (NPC Jonas Arisaka, Martin or T'Less) fires the primes torpedoes, and they do destroy the aperture, only the tunnel is left behind - permanently opened without any kind of seal. D) The implications of using this largely unknown Omega device, which is on the Versant, and how it's plain that the Theurgy will never be able to outrun the blast. E) Whatever Morali might say on the Versant, having a seizure in reaction to the aperture. Added to this, how it would take many years to leave if caught in such a phenomenon, without any means of communication. Besides this sequence of events, here are also Battle Objectives to add during and after that minute! Have a look! [Show/Hide]
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on February 27, 2019, 04:51:00 PM
[ Lt (jg) Sarresh Morali (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Sarresh_Morali) | Bridge Module  | Precept-ship Versant ]
[Show/Hide]

He was standing on the bridge of the Versant when it happened. He'd been hovering near Thea, as the hologram had little or no ill will toward him, unlike their commanding officer. His all too human eyes were searching the image on the main screen, of the bridge of the Theurgy desperate for a glimpse of his Sel. Where is she? Let her be okay, please, let her be safe, he pleaded, to whom, he did not know.

It was just a tickle at first, as they'd arrived in system. The fear of seeing the Borg, he thought initially. But then his hand gave a good, hard twitch, one that he had no control over. 

Light burst forth on another of the displays, washing over Morali. They'd triggered the appature, he realized distantly as he began to froth at the mouth, falling over. That sensation was washed away from him, just as the light had consumed him. He was flung far from this place, and yet, back to this place. Hovering above the field of stars and gasses that made up the Azure nebula, and then further, further back, like standing in the middle of a holo-tank at Stellar Cartography, only...more real. 

The names came to his mind in a haze, a list of planets, seen first as if displayed before him on a LCARs display, but then, one after another, as worlds in sea of black, raging and on fire. Beta Thoridor, Adelphous IV, and Devnar IV; Yridia, Hyralan, Celes; Khitomer and Rura Penthe;

"Deneva, its entire population slaughtered, not assimilated." Sarresh was speaking aloud now, not realizing it. Not seeing, nor feeling the eyes upon him. "Regulus, Elas, Troyius, Ajilon, Archanis, Castor and Risa, another beautiful gem devastated by an unfeeling menace, which would take years - decades to recover. Xarantine, Vestral, Mempa. Qo'noS, Vulcan, Andor, Coridan, Tellar, and Beta Rigel, the major battle to come... Mars. Jupiter. Earth...so many other worlds.

"63 Billion lives, snuffed out" he said loudly, with a tone of horrified finality. And that....that was the way it was supposed to go. "And we don't even have slip stream."

They'd suppressed it, he realized belatedly. His friends on the Relativity had missed that little trick. The incursion had to have happened before Sarresh came back, he rationalized, so as not to set off his little gift. Had that been the nagging little headache he kept waking up with? Another ship, he now knew, was supposed to have found three cubes here..."Aventine" he spoke its name, as he felt a hand take his and haul him up, another on his back, steadying him.

"The invasion of 2381 began here," he said calmer now, on the heels of Dr. Nicander's pleas and Captain Ives words. "The Borg fleet sweeping into the quadrant, throwing every major power into chaos and reshaping the geopolitical structure of the galaxy in its wake. And that Captain, is the way history was supposed to go. But the Aventine was supposed to find them, not the Endeavour nor the Cayuga. Or Theurgy." A pulse of pain radiated out from the base of his skull, down his spine. If someone hadn't had their hand on his back he would have fallen again. "And she was supposed to have slipstream. It was the key to winning....and they fucking suppressed it."

Was this his fate? To find the answer and tell of it, always too late? 


GM Note: The one who helps Sarresh to sit up in the end is V-Nine, the Savi medical android, for sake of reference in upcoming posts, if your character is seeing Morali on the viewscreen.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on February 28, 2019, 12:41:06 AM
[Captain Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

When he could untangle himself from the Borg corpse, Cinn shakily regained his footing.  As soon as he was confident the Bridge was no longer spinning and wobbling around him, he reached down to help Selena up. "Thanks for that, I owe you both a spring wine." he said to her and Nator, the one who'd had the thought of feeding the phaser to the drone.  That had been a lot closer to assimilation than he had ever wanted, and tried to best to keep the adrenaline shakes from kicking in there on the Bridge.

Returning to the captain's chair once again, Cinn didn't have to ask for a situation report, everyone was tossing them all at once.  Two nacelles out of commission, that meant maneuverability was compromised.  Phasers were iffy at best, and with the Borg having adapted, it was not like they were going to be of much use anyways.  Tactical wanted to go to MVAM and Stark was already checking to see if that was possible, but Cinn needed to assess further before giving that order. Kaeris and Okafor were confident they could open a second aperture, and as a contingency plan, possibly allow Theurgy to slip through it without turning everyone into radioactive ash.  Drones were still loose on the ship, with Ducote furiously trying to corner and eliminate them.

And then there was the Versant, hanging there in space like a bad dream.




"Hail the Versant." Cinn ordered, finally noticing how slick his face had gotten from sweat and wiped his face with his sleeve.  Curiously, he didn't get a response.  "Ravenholm, I said hail..." Freeing his eyes from the cloth, the Bajoran saw that the viewscreen was a hash of digital static.  So were the displays on his armrest.  All of the consoles were hash, and... he was alone on the Bridge, the lighting washed out in a stunningly familiar way.

"Theurgy is whole again." Captain Ives stated.  Jumping out of the chair, Cinn turned to see hir standing by the turbolift. She in her female form he saw, her hands behind her back.  "The Wenn's journey is approaching its end."  A somewhat vague statement, but his pagh itched in a way it hadn't in ages.  Instead of confusion, a sense of finality brought some understanding to him.

"The Wenn's linear existence ends." Stark was sitting at Ops, the chair turned around to face him.  "Darkness shall not pass. The light of the Wenn will obliterate the shadow before it falls upon Bajor."

"We have a plan!" said Cinn, and tried not to bellow at the Prophets.  "Everything we have is ready to force that aperture closed. I have come here to do exactly what you want me to do, and you are keeping me from doing what I must."

"The Wenn has forgotten." Ducote looked up from the Mission Ops table, his face free of the accusatory tone that one would normally take with a line like that. "The Wenn must leave the Theurgy to save it. That is the pattern that had to be altered. To preserve Bajor, and all else in your linear existence."

"But what can one man do against that?!" Cinn's patience was wearing out, a dark hand gesturing to the viewscreen as if it was still showing what was happening outside.

"What can one do against the many?" A new voice filled the Bajoran's ears, one Cinn had never heard in person, only in recordings.  Turning towards it, to his astonishment, the Emissary himself was there. Benjamin Sisko, sitting at Engineering.  "One ship against an entire fleet? That's a hell of a Plan B!" said an unfamiliar woman's voice. It echoed through the room, the source unseen.  "The right one can do whatever is needed."  The Sisko picked up a round object from the console, tossed it between his hands while he walked towards Cinn, and then and held it out for him to take.

Wrapping his fingers around it, the curiosity in his pagh was impossible to ignore. He looked down from the Emissary's face, and saw a metallic ball with a red light in the middle. It looked like it had moving parts, like a puzzle. Cinn turned it over, looking into the red center... only to be blinded by an impossibly intense light.



Back in the Captain's chair, Cinn blinked in surprise as reality snapped back to the chaos.  There was a lull, though, as Captain Ives seemed to be explaining something.  [We have this device in our possession. Here, on the Versant. We also have a tablet that details the locking mechanism.]  Doctor Nicander - of all people - spoke up from behind Cinn, but he didn't turn from the viewscreen, his focus on the round object currently being displayed: the exact same thing that the Emissary gave him in the vision. Nicander was quick to offer himself up as the sacrificial lamb, to stay behind with the Borg to seal the aperture himself.

Cinn didn't even hesitate.  "No!" he barked, standing out of the center seat.  Softening his tone, the dark-skinned Bajoran looked at his Infested friend with apology and pity.  "That is not your task Doctor, as much as you want to be free of that parasite we can't put the fate of the Federation into your hands."  Hands, which visually illustrated the problem. Cinn gestured towards them. One hand his own, the other - the artificial - was not his. A reminder about how Nicander lost that hand. "You told us the Borg invasion was the goal of the enemy, a lynchpin in their plans.  If the parasite seizes control while you carry the one item that can stop the invasion, then there is nothing to stop them."

At this point, the voice of Sarresh Morali could be heard, listing the fallout. 63 billion lives. Countless planets. It further emphasized Cinn's point, just as much as the implications sent a cold shiver up his spine. And then, when the Infested had let the Borg assimilate everything, they would be a whisper in the hive mind. Driving the Queen mad, and making the Collective collapse upon itself - tearing itself apart.

Turning back to the viewscreen, the old Security Chief addressed his captain and crewmates one last time.  "Those who have been on Theurgy since we fled Earth knows that I was killed, blown out of a hull breach. To all of our astonishment, the Prophets saw fit to bring me back, for a reason I could never surmise." Cinn sighed. It was the end of he road. "But now... I know what They've seen." 

Struggling to keep his emotions in check, tears still started to tease the edges of his sight.  "The Prophets have come to me in a pair of visions the past few days... guiding me to lead the ship to this moment. It is my purpose, the pretext for my extended life. After you've left, I have to seal these apertures. That is the sole reason why I still exist among you. I'm sorry... but it is the only way."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on March 02, 2019, 03:21:31 PM
[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote & Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Brutus @Fife @Masorin @trevorvw @Triage et al

Ducote crouched by the chair as someone beamed the unconscious ensign to sickbay. But with the spectacle of the perforated Cube, he had to stand again. Cross! Finally, some visible proof that he was alive. Hearing it was one thing, but seeing it was another. Despite everything, despite their dire situation, he felt his spirits lift. He tried not to strain to see around corners to see if Blue were there, too.

"I'm unarmed!" shouted a familiar voice. Nicander, on the bridge, because of course he was. This ship needs a thorough command code audit. The hybrid drew his phaser again, dialling it up to a suitably-high setting, and aimed it squarely at the back of the good doctor's neck while he rested a hand on the back of the captain's chair for a bit of support against the ship's still-reeling inertial damper network.

He tapped his badge. "Akoni, Ducote. Never mind about Nicander; we got him. Out."

At Tactical, T'Less was largely ignoring the intrusion. Nicander wasn't assimilated, and there were at least three phasers pointed at him - she trusted Security and their guest support to keep an eye on the infested physician. Besides any of that, her console flashed a dread warning.

"Borg signatures on long-range sensors," she reported. "Many signatures. Positive lock achieved on aperture. Firing for effect."

Thumps rang through the hull as the spread launched. They would collapse the thing and then the Theurgy could focus on how to get out from under TFA. Simple.

"No, don't do it! I have tried to tell you, but you just won't listen."

"Logically, no, we won't. We can't," she asserted, frowning somewhat at her panel. "Lieutenant Martin, are you-"

The after-flash was fading from the quantum detonations, and sensors relayed the demise of the aperture, but the subspace tunnel behind it had proven rather more resilient against the zero-point onslaught from the torpedo spread. "Well this is bullshit," she deadpanned, quietly.

"Captain, I request to be the one that stays behind to activate it, while the Theurgy escapes at maximum warp. I know you will need to leave at a speed higher than warp nine. Then, you'll make it."

"Ha, you have to be joking," Ducote opined, though was drowned out by Wenn's loud denial - but the Bajoran did go on to say exactly what he'd been planning to anyway. Then... some stuff about being resurrected? The Brazilian kept quiet, but he did rather prefer his religious experiences and beliefs to remain in the purely spiritual sphere rather than having eyewitness proof of a miracle. Took all the fun out of it, before any other existential crises.

"... After you've left, I have to seal these apertures. That is the sole reason why I still exist among you. I'm sorry... but it is the only way."

At that, Ducote did take his eye off Nicander for a moment. One person for billions was always going to be a worthwhile trade however you sliced it, provided the one in question was a volunteer without duress, but offering to suicide was still a wrench. "Is there no activation delay? Could we not solve it and slap a timer on the thing?"
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: fiendfall on March 04, 2019, 10:59:45 PM
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Morgan hadn't expected to feel such a strong wave of relief at seeing his captain alive and well, and by the bridge's reactions, he wasn't the only one; the whole room seemed to let out a breath it hadn't known it was holding. Ives was alive, Thea was alive, the ship that hung before them like a guillotine wasn't their enemy. Something could be done, something would be done.

He redoubled his efforts; his ears would lend nothing to the conversation with the captain. He was more use elsewhere, his console still flashing the message from a Lieutenant Commander Kaeris in Science. Not a name he knew, but as he scanned the information he recognised the directive: the jamming devices to contaminate the queen's connection to her drones. He couldn't replicate the schematics remotely, the best he could do was co-ordinate. He tapped his combadge, hailing Master Chief O'Connell.

'Petty Officer Song reporting from the bridge, sir. I can implement the grid from here, but I need someone on the ground to get these schematics replicated and ready for deployment. Any hands you can spare would be appreciated.'

Any more he might have said was lost as a blinding light scored through the bridge, almost burning Morgan's retinas with its intensity. He turned away, eyes squeezed shut, and when he looked back it was to see several holes gouged in the Cube; the Versant had fired on it, and the queen had no answer to the unfamiliar tech. For now, at least. No doubt she would adapt quickly.

All the more reason to get these jamming devices out quickly. He returned to his work, repurposing relays for the deployment grid. Someone in Engineering hailed him; the line was poor, he couldn't make out the voice. The devices were ready for launch. Morgan mapped the grid onto the relays, simulating the devices' trajectory into the debris field, and initiated deployment. With any luck, that would leave the Borg uncoordinated and undirected.

And then he heard raised voices, one in particular he hadn't heard in a long while, and turned to see Doctor Nicander, a man Morgan hadn't seen in the flesh since before his injury. A man who was a traitor, one of the enemy, but a man who was stood here unarmed, hands raised, talking about the apertures, and the Borg, and an Omega device...

Another conversation he wouldn't be any use to, but as Nicander grew louder and more desperate, Morgan couldn't help hearing what he said.

A speed higher than warp nine. With cold hands, he brought up the statistics on the ship's warp capability. The drive had sustained minor damage, not enough to significantly affect their capability on its own. But there was also the power loss, the blown EPS lines, the lingering corruption from the drones' attempts to hijack the system. In all, the numbers added up to nine, but that was all they had in common with the factor they would need to escape the blast.

He cast around for a solution, gaze catching on the sight of the subspace tunnel, now gaping even wider than before. Nicander wasn't lying, their torpedos had only made it worse. Both the doctor and their acting captain were so eager to die for this, so eager to martyr themselves to this cause. But instead it would be the whole ship that sacrificed itself, over something as basic as warp.

'Captain,' he said. 'Our warp capability is heavily reduced. The drive can sustain a factor of no higher than 7,2.'
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: steelphoenix on March 05, 2019, 01:54:18 AM
[ Lt Cmdr Vael Kaeris | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 1 | USS Theurgy ]

This was why Vael never wanted to look up.  Looking up would invite the input of new elements that he had no time to consider and yet weighed heavily on his senses such as they could do aught else but pry their way into his thoughts.  The new vessel, immense and awe inspiring in its own rights, had managed to single-handedly sear three holes through the cube as readily as the Borg themselves might have done to any standard Starfleet vessel.  Clearly this was a vessel that either vastly out stripped the Borg capabilities or it was one completely unknown to them and both prospects brought about a tirade of questions that permeates his brain to the point that he had little choice but to force them aside.

Versant.  That was the name the others on board seemed to give it.  He would have to make a point to look into the matter at a later and less life-threatening moment.  The screen flashed, displaying a handful of officers aboard the Versant.  Had they commandeered it?  Had they secured the cooperation of another species.  Vael narrowed his eyes.  Two he did not recognize, but the third... Cross?  The corners of his lips tightened.  There was something distinctly incongruous in his features.  Was this an accident?  Vanity?  Or purposeful deception.

He turned his gaze to Ducote even as another all too familiar form burst forth from the ready room.  The so-called host, as disheveled as he had been in what had passed for his prison cell, now stood in the midst of the bridge shouting at those on the viewscreen.  It was almost too much for him to bear.  In the midst of a battle, someone would have the gaul to transport a prisoner into proximity of the bridge-- he had to credit someone else in this moment.  Thinking this Nicander person had managed the feat alone was entirely too much to accept and would require a full examination of the security protocols of this vessel-- something that he had the very distinct impression had crossed Ducote's mind as well.

[ Engineerin' tuh bridge.  We've received yer schematics an' will be setting up yer deployment grid on th' double.  We'll be getting th' first relay up in two shakes of uh lambs tail.  O'Connell out. ]

At last, the call back to the moment that he needed.

"Acknowledged, engineering."

With a nod to Wenn Cinn acknowledging the status of his side project, he moved to CSO's station.  "We have confirmation that they can be shut down if we're focused and an obvious example of what happens when we're not.  Commander, I believe we can attempt an assembly line of sorts if we can dedicate team members to refining the specific soliton signatures and hand off to the next in line to shut it down.  If we can decouple the starboard and port sensor arrays, we may be able to do this two at a time.  Three at a time if we can coordinate properly with the Cayuga.  I don't recommend we sit idle while someone contemplates deployment of an omega device."  Whatever that was.

Yet another question to file away for the possibility of future inquiry.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on March 05, 2019, 03:38:30 AM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Bridge | Deck X01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]


Vanya's voice returned to Okafor's query, tight, the Romulan tonals a touch harsh as she martialed her control. "Not all that ok. It hurts like a Narssican Razor-cat cut me."  Dark green eyes flickered down to the wound on her arm. She'd engaged the Borg with her axe and had parried quite well, considering. Still the tactical drone was built for direct offensive capability even more so than Vanya who's primary design had been espionage, infiltration and covert removal of targets. The bastard had slashed her once with it's saw before she removed it as a threat to her friend and the rest of the crew.

The dark green copper based blood had splashed poor Okafor's uniform when Vanya saw to his wound. Now he had the dermal regenerator in his hand and was coming towards her. She almost dismissed it for later, but it did hurt. It really did. Vanya was at heart a sensualist, but she preferred good sensations to bad ones. She was no pain-slut. This hurt and hurt could be distracting. Could slow down her computational speed if she had to dedicate system resources in blocking out the pain receptors that were screaming very loudly just now. So she didn't dismiss it, and nodded to Okafor. Reaching over she pushed up the uniform sleeve roughly above the apex of the cut and let him go at it. He was an officer. The academy gave very basic first aid training to them all. He could wave the regenrator over her arm and seal the wound.

When he got close through the muscle and blood he might note the duranium indoskeleton underneath. The cut was pretty deep. A gleam of dark metal might wink out at him as he worked.

Then the door to the ready room opened and Nicander came onto the bridge. Vanya damn near whipped out the axe again but other officers seemed to be on it, so she let Okafor continue his efforts as she watched and listened. She didn't know Nikky personally but she'd been briefed and shown the holos. Stark had confirmed it's veracity, and Vanya trusted the woman with her life, so it had to be true. Dark green eyes narrowed and those pointed Romulan brows knit together in what could not be mistaken for anything other than a very hostile look indeed, fired towards Nicander with the force of disruptor bolts.

Then Captain Ives was on the screen. Vanya listened but her eyes remained on what she considered a major threat in their mists.

Then the torpedoes were fired, crys of alarm as they had a rather unpredictable and inverse effect to what the ship had been trying to achieve. A rather unlady like and non-android like Romulan curse fell from Vanya's lips.

A glance was given to her arm and she nodded to Okafor. "Thank you" Then motioned to the Science stations. The ship was sure going to need them.

Proposals about a device were going on and then Nicander offered to stay behind. Only Romulan training and will kept the bark of dark laughter from escaping her, and Vanya shook her head, thinking that would be a really bad idea.

Then Winn offered to do it. Thing was... he was saying it was his god's will and mentioned visions. Visions. Oh. Joy. One guy's infested by parasites that pretty much are Demons of legend of a thousand worlds, trying to sow universal chaos and destruction, and the other guy... he's getting multiple visions over the past few days from his dear and fluffy gods.

These two options were not exactly the ones that Vanya would want to choose from.

When Lieutenant Commander Kaeris came up and spoke of his idea, Vanya listened and shook her head gently. "Begging the Commander's pardon, sir, but I don't think we're going to be around long enough to pull that off. If I'm understanding this plan, we will need to --not be here--, very soon indeed. Decoupeling multiple sensor arrays might leave the ship blind when we very much need those eyes and ears. Doing so in the middle of..." Her hand flicked to the viewscreen. "May get us all killed."

Her words were given in a respectable tone, the warning offered to the two senior Science officers, Kaeris and Martin. Vanya was the CSO of the other ship, but not this one. It'd be their call. Vanya would do as ordered, but suddenly blinding the ship on both sides in the middle of a pitched battle with the Borg, that they were planning on fleeing from at all possible speed just seemed like a very bad idea to her.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Hastata-Nerada on March 05, 2019, 03:50:58 PM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]

Vanya's tone was tight, but this was understandable given the stressors. The damage was substantial to put it lightly. Engaging a tactical drone in melee? What was she thinking? No matter, she was injured, and possibly undergoing assimilation as they stood there now that Tyreke thought about it. But as he stepped closer to Vanya, something caught his eye. There was something... reflective? Some kind of dark metal was barely visible deep within the wound, almost reminding him of... something. He could not quite remember, but it was decidedly not natural, whatever this was.

While Okafor administered the dermal regenerator and watched the wound seal, he reached for a tricorder to see if he could check over Vanya's internals. At the very least to check for nanoprobes doing their nefarious work. Just as Tyreke reached for a tricorder in the med kit... A sight he thought he would never see that day manifested itself. Lucan cin Nicander, in the flesh (or what was left of it), walking onto the bridge. Tyreke didn't care about the tricorder in that moment, he even paused with the regenerator as his blood ran cold again. This... traitor? No, not really, he was a puppet. This monster was here, before them all, this demon who had hidden among them for so long... And yet Nicander seemed to want to halt the dark creature's plot? Was he truly resisting that horrid beast after all?

Ives was also saying something, something... strange. What was an omega device? What could that be- oh. A device which destroyed subspace... was this real? Tyreke's mind was reeling at the sudden surge of events and this knew knowledge. It seemed to be but it was hard to believe. How could something so dangerous exist? How could it exist all this time and he'd only just now heard of it? Whatever this thing was, it seemed to be the only way to halt the Borg in their tracks.

As Tyreke finished patching up Vanya, Cinn stood and spoke. Hearing this man, who seemed to be chosen by the prophets themselves, was enough to get Tyreke to refocus. There was purpose in Cinn's voice, and who could blame him? Had Tyreke not spent so much time on Bajor himself, had he not been to Deep Space 9, he might have dismissed the idea of the Prophets as superstition. If Benjamin Sisko's fate was truly decided by such enigmatic and powerful beings, then it was no stretch to believe that Wenn Cinn had been chosen for a purpose as well.

It was almost poetic, really. A man chosen by luminous beings to foil the machinations of chaotic darkness. Despite that, it didn't seem like the Prophets were entirely fair in their judgement. Who were they to bring him back only to wrench him away when they decided to? Cinn had been a bastion to the crew, and he was about to leave them again because of a decision which was made for him. Nevertheless, a plan had to be formed. As Tyreke took his seat he pulled up his shield frequencies and the sensor readings of the apertures.

He turned his chair to face the rest of the bridge. "If needed we can enter an aperture." he said. "I have prepared frequencies to shield us from the radiation, and we may enter at any time." It was untested, but there was never any time to test it. If they did this, they'd have to hope for the best...
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 05, 2019, 11:54:10 PM
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Dr._Lucan_cin_Nicander) | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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Standing there, with his arms having fallen to his sides, Doctor Lucan cin Nicander couldn't believe how quickly his request for redemption had been dismissed. It was not just how... in-stride he'd been refuted. Sarresh Morali had just confirmed everything he had tried to tell the crew, validated his word and honesty, and still they wouldn't heed him, much less honour his wish to give his life for the crew. On top of it all, his old friend Wenn Cinn claimed the howling Prophets have finally revealed their purpose in bringing him back, and Cinn was willing to just die - needlessly - even though he was the Second Officer of the ship?

"No," said Lucan and shook his head, his mismatched hands closing into fists. Inside the blackness laughed at him. Scorned him for his inadequacy. He might have known the thing tried to incite his anger, and take control, but the frustration, the sense of numbness, it was more prominent than his ire. "By the winds, Cinn, you don't need to die... Me, I cannot live like this. I have to set things right! Captain, do you know what this is like? This is existential torture. Please, let me do right by the crew, for all the years I failed you. You must let m-"

[You, or what has controlled you, and might yet do so?] asked the female form of the Captain, her stare adamant, even though she must have heard too little about him from the others on that Savi dreadnought. When she turned her oaken eyes to Cinn, she was no less wiling to accept his claim. [As for you, Commander, the crew and I need you, so this is not the time playing the martyr, regardless that the Prophets have told you. Thea, check the sensors, how much time do we got, and as the gentleman in the back said, can the device be remotely activated?]

Behind the Captain, there seemed to be fighting. The Savi seemed keen on retaking the bridge. Ives, however, was focused on the viewscreen, her seemingly having faith in the other abductees. Thea, who still carried her positronic brain and its makeshift power-rig and tablet, answered at his side - eyes distant. [We will have visual confirmation of the first cubes within two minutes, and they are accelerating. As for the Omega Device, the locking mechanism appears complex, and requires opposable thumbs, or some kind of delicate mechanical rig, but we don't have time for such an intricate assembly, much less the software for it.]

As for their means of a getaway, Lucan turned his pale eyes towards the Asian engineer on the bridge, Morgan Song, who just announced that they couldn't clear the shockwave - the ship mustering an inferior warp factor. It seemed the man Lucan had brought out of stasis had just dealt them all a death sentence, until Lieutenant Okafor spoke up, telling them they might have safe passage through a second aperture. That was, if they could get one open. But where might it lead? "The ship could end up anywhere, Captain," he said, compelled to warn them all, and barely able to keep the frustration of being refuted out of his voice, "even in another Galaxy. By the winds, we might never make it back to continue the mission."

[Tactical alert. More vessels approaching,] said Thea, the Versant's sensors evidently picking something new up. [It is Task Force Archeron, ma'am. ETA... three minutes.]

Admiral Sankolov, thought Lucan, knowing the other Host would try to get assimilated. As if the Infested and the starships weren't bad enough, they were all manned by innocent crews. If they set off the device, it would subject them all to a subspace-dead zone for decades, or destroy them outright. If the Theurgy fled through an aperture, would they follow? It seemed the cruelty of the Prophets might affect them as well, the winds of misfortune strong. The Captain was apparently hard pressed for a quick solution, and it was evident how she hated all options. The bald Vulcan was saying the Versant was charging its weapons, and how the Allegiant and the fighters would clear the cube before the next attack. Jien paced the vid-feed, for just a few seconds, before she had to make a decision - likely one of the hardest she had to make for quite some time.

[Commander Martin, use the sensors and isolate the differences in a second aperture, then calibrate that beam to open it. Every second counts,] she told the Chief Science Officer on the Theurgy, and then the stream of orders came in rapid succession. [Thea, stand by to transport all officers on this ship to the Theurgy on my command, and make sure to bring the android. Lieutenant Cross, once the small craft have cleared the cube, fire at will, and use the torpedo launchers as well. Mister Veradin, get the coordinates from Martin and set a course. Theurgy Tactical, give the cube everything you've got left. I will hail the Cayuga, which I assume is still commanded by Anya Ziegler? I will tell her to leave, and carry the torch if we can't return. To warn the Task Force and make them turn around, if she can. I leave Martok to you. Give him my regards. Someone secure the Doctor, and order the Allegiant and the Wolves to follow us, wherever it might be we'll end up. Commander Wenn....]

Suddenly, the Captain didn't seem to find the words. Lucan ground his teeth, knowing how readily he'd take the Bajoran's place, and make it easy for Ives to give that order. The conflict was evident in the Chameloid's face, and Lucan knew how Cinn had served her loyally since the Theurgy was commissioned. As if offering meagre comfort, or rather some kind of counsel, Thea spoke up next to her on the viewscreen.

[Captain, the abductees need the android, and she is sapient. I would offer to sacrifice my mobile emitter, but... no matter how I calculate the odds, I need to stay on the Versant until the last moment, else the Savi will reclaim command of this ship, and Sclergyn will either fire against the Theurgy, or manage to pursue us through the aperture. There are innocent children aboard, and we need to send the Savi out of here. I cannot be in two places at once. ]

Time being too short, what Jien said next might be indirect, but clear. [Cinn... If there is any chance. Any. Survive this. If you don't... we will sound the echo that will go down all of history, carrying your name,] she said quietly, her voice almost brittle, and then turned her head to the Savi bridge. [Lieutenant zh'Wann, collect the device, and bring it over there, along with the instructions. Theurgy Ops, stand ready to receive us all. I don't care if this invasion is supposed to happen in another timeline... Let's end it before it even begins. Ives out.]

The thing inside was screaming, wanting Lucan to use the sub-network and beam out of the bridge. He wouldn't. What was the point? The darkness wanted him to lash out, and strike down the ungrateful, insolent fools. Lucan shook his head, denying himself the impulse, jaws clenched. He locked eyes with Cinn. All he could muster, was one final plea.

"Old friend, you are more useful here alive than I am. Please, let me end this." The officers were already acting on orders, the commotion surrounding them, but Lucan didn't care, beseeching Cinn to grant him respite. "I don't think I can live with the memories. They haunt me, all the time, and the Radiant is dead. There is no hope for me."

A final attempt, not just to find redemption, but to spare his friend from a fate thrust upon him.


OOC: First to post, @The Ostrich , with Martin using Vael Kaeris data to open the second aperture. Then, @Argyros sets a course towards it, leaving it open-ended before they pass through the opening. While this happens, @Masorin and @Top Hat , you guys have Tactical give the cube a parting wallop, and Ops announce the abducted starting to come aboard in the transporter rooms? @Arista , I can send you the hail from Ives, to incorporate in your post with Ziegler. @Brutus , time for Stark to contact the Allegiant and the Lone Wolves, and for Faye to contact Martok with the due warning. @chXinya , I think this may be your second to last post with Wenn Cinn, Thea telling him over his combadge that Lieutenant zh'Wann has been beamed over with the device and the Savi datapad, and that she hand it over to him personally in the (damaged) Upper Shuttle Bay. Then, I suppose Cinn steps off the bridge for the last time? @Hastata-Nerada , @steelphoenix and @Cosmos , you have posted very recently, so you can chill for a short while, or post in a reactionary manner if you feel compelled to? Up to you guys, but there is more to come! Same with you, @fiendfall , but perhaps deploying Kaeris' jamming devices via transporters, to keep the Queen a bit more blind? @Triage , I am assuming Cameron is still out, so I leave it to you if she picks up on anything.

Let's take one step closer to the finish line everyone! :)

Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: The Ostrich on March 06, 2019, 11:55:57 AM
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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Vivian watched the torpedoes streak toward the aperture, her heart filling with hope and relief. They had done it, they had prevented the Borg invasion. She was turning back to her console as Nicander burst onto the bridge, claiming their torpedoes would fail to seal the aperture. Unfortunately, moments later, he was proved right. The torpedoes detonated, and the aperture grew wider.

Vivian swore violently and turned to her console, where had they gone wrong? This was very bad, very very very bad. There wasn't actually a word to describe exactly how bad this was. She was vaguely listening to the conversation between the other bridge officers, both on the Theurgy and the Versant, as she ran her eyes over the countless lines of calculations and streams of data pouring in.

Discussion seemed to revolve around an Omega device, whatever that was. It was possible that was the device that she and Hi'Jak had examined what seemed like a lifetime earlier. Apparently both Wenn and Nicander seemed to think they would be the best choices to detonate this device, and destroy all of the apertures. Frankly, she didn't want to lose either of them.

The activity going on around the bridge didn't concern Vivian right now. What she needed to do was focus on her team, and find some solution to the newest set of problems which were cropping up. Around her, Kaeris, Vanya and Okafor were all vying for her attention, all throwing out suggestions and ideas. Then from the Versant came orders from Captain Ives, open another aperture. One task at a time.

Kaeris had already scanned one of the apertures some time ago, so Vivian took that data and began to run through it, flicking through the math and data before her like her life depended on it. When she thought about it, her life actually did depend on it, as did the lives of the whole crew. "Vanya! Prepare the sensor array to fire a soliton beam on this frequency. Okafor! Liaise with tactical. Activate your shield modifications as we enter the aperture. Kaeris! With me! You scanned this aperture, I could use your eyes on the math."

For a frenzied minute the science team raced to open a second aperture. When everything finally looked correct, and Vanya signaled the sensor array to be ready, Vivian took a deep breath. "Soliton beam firing." The beam lanced out, across the viewscreen, and struck the pocket of space in which the aperture was contained. Space warped and twisted and the aperture was forced open. It didn't take long. "Second aperture open!"
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on March 07, 2019, 09:08:31 AM
[ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All
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Derik was stunned, unable to move for a good few moments. An all too familiar voice sounded behind him. Nicander, the CMO, the infected. Here. On the bridge. He could feel another panic attack coming on, held back only by the knowledge that if he lost it here, their mission would be put at even further risk. The Trill took several deep breaths, centering himself, that small part of him still wishing he was joined for the mental stability it would provide.

He listened, silently, as Lucan offered to sacrifice himself to use the Omega device. Such nobility and self-sacrifice for the chance at redemption. Yet Wenn had a fair point. They couldn't trust Lucan to maintain control long enough to use the device. And yet...Cinn was proclaiming it was his duty, per the prophets, to take on the mission himself. This Bajoran, this guiding beacon while Captain Ives fate was unknown, was going to throw his life away for them, for the Federation, for the future.

Then fate played another one of her cruel twists.

Oh Captain, My Captain... The age-old phrase passed through Derik's head as their long-lost Captain reemerged on the bridge of the Versant. The Chameloid joined the argument, agreeing that Nicander was not the right choice to leave behind.

They are arguing over who will die. Over who will essentially commit suicide. Why must there always be death?

"Commander Martin, use the sensors and isolate the differences in a second aperture, then calibrate that beam to open it. Every second counts. Thea, stand by to transport all officers on this ship to the Theurgy on my command, and make sure to bring the android. Lieutenant Cross, once the small craft have cleared the cube, fire at will, and use the torpedo launchers as well. Mister Veradin, get the coordinates from Martin and set a course. Theurgy Tactical, give the cube everything you've got left. I will hail the Cayuga, which I assume is still commanded by Anya Ziegler? I will tell her to leave, and carry the torch if we can't return. To warn the Task Force and make them turn around, if she can. I leave Martok to you. Give him my regards. Someone secure the Doctor, and order the Allegiant and the Wolves to follow us, wherever it might be we'll end up. Commander Wenn...."

"Aye Captain." Veradin responded to the order, quietly enough to be heard but not interrupt her and intently listening as the rest of the orders came down. Derik set their course, accelerating in a parabolic arc to swing closer to the Versant to maximize transporter efficiency. At least the Captain hasn't changed much. Still barking orders with such insanity and confidence. Their course was suspect, moving closer to such a dangerous vessel. The risk was worth the reward though. They'd only get one pass before time ran out, one chance to save their crew from the Versant.

"Cinn... If there is any chance. Any. Survive this. If you don't... we will sound the echo that will go down all of history, carrying your name." And there it was. Decision made. The Trill heart sank, knowing that there was no time to find better solution but also knowing that it meant the death of a great man, even if he was living on borrowed time.

The CONN officer checked his displays again, happy that no more of their maneuverability had been compromised. He brought up the autopilot program, keying in the course he intended, and set the system to take over. It would only be for a few moments, but there was something he wanted to do.

The Theurgy course now locked, Derik turned in chair to look at Captian Wenn Cinn one more time. He had never really prayed before, as Trill didn't really have gods. Yet despite this, he somehow felt compelled to do so. No. Compelled was the wrong word. He had to do this.

"Prophets....If you can hear me" Derik whispered under his breath, keeping his mouth from moving too much as to not be noticed, "Save Cinn. If you did indeed bring him back to use the Omega device, then save him after his task is done. The Federation needs people like him now more than ever. We need bright stars like him to light the way to peace once more. Save him. Please."

His prayer sent, a last look stolen, Derik turned back to station, intent on doing his damned best to make Cinn proud. He'd carry on just as Captain Ives said, carrying Wenn's name upon their journey to save the Federation. He hoped to see him again but resolved to make him proud either way. He'd do whatever it took to make his sacrifice worth it.

Autopilot deactivated, Derik took control back, empowered by his renewed sense of duty.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Top Hat on March 08, 2019, 12:30:55 AM
[ Lt JG Nator 159 | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Brutus et al

The aftermath of the naval-scale graviton cannon tearing the Cube several new ones meant that the terrifying weapons output from the hulking vessel slowed to a near stop as the few power generators within that weren't outright obliterated were turned towards structural integrity and shielding. In turn, it meant that s/he hirself could divert hir attention from firefighting and damage control to some rebalancing and reserve replenishment, at last. No telling when their next chance would be, nor how long this one would last.

Steadily, their shield strength ticked upwards, as did their faltering structural integrity field. Nator allowed hirself to take a breath, glancing at the Trill helmsman to see how they were doing. There were even a few lower-priority items that s/he could now address, the most pressing being taken care of by more immediate teams or being less urgent now they weren't really being shot at. Even their auxiliary reserves were beginning to fill out, speaking to the sheer power generation available to the design. Perhaps there was more merit in the dreadnought idea than s/he'd been giving it credit for lately.

Next on hir list.. the turbolift network had been stymied by what amounted to a system fault - one of the assimilated control hubs on deck 4 had been firewalled by the rest of the network. S/he shut it down, letting the network simply automatically reroute to compensate, and saw the amber lights turn green. "Turbolifts back in action," the Hermat reported, under the Captain's comm. S/he perked up as s/he heard them address hir.

"... Theurgy Ops, stand ready to receive us all. I don't care if this invasion is supposed to happen in another timeline... Let's end it before it even begins. Ives out."

True to word, shortly after the communiqué cut hir transporter operators reported that an outside link had been established. "Shields down; abductees arriving in all five transporter rooms, sirs. Triage teams en route."

[ Lt T'Less | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy | Lasting Damage ] attn: @Masorin @Auctor Lucan @small craft et al

The Vulcan woman was feeling a certain amount of professional jealousy. The Versant had bested them once before, prompting Ives to trigger the Continuance Protocol in the first place, but seeing the Savi's prodigious battery turned against the Borg simply made her wish that the Theurgy had been outfit with similar graviton cannon herself. They made entertainingly short work of the Cube. The Lone Wolves and the Allegiant made quick use of the opening, taking the opportunity to make a trench run and bombard the Borg ship from within.

There's a fitting human expression about rubbing salt in the wound, I think.

~As ever, my warnings about cockiness fall on deaf ears.~

Don't be sour, hathain. We live another day.

~Look at that sensor return again, would you?~


Speaking of salt, the remains of Martin's AM cloud had finally made it through the gas and debris, and was approaching the gutted Cube. She expected that they knew it was coming - it was hardly subtle, being a white-glowing mass of gamma-emissive antibaryons as it was - and still mostly expected the Borg to put up some field defence against it. The radiation might not bother their drones while it was still outside their ship, but contact with the cloud would be deleterious for the vessel as a whole.

But there was nothing. Had they already begun a regeneration sequence? The cloud drifted closer.

Then it made contact.

The sapphire sky lit brilliant, actinic white for an instant as the better part of a metric ton of antimatter contacted the near facing of the Cube. The afterglow revealed a cross-section of the Borg deck plan as most of the outer plating was annihilated, the remainder glowing a lurid golden yellow as it tried to shuck the colossal energy load it had just absorbed. But most telling was the fact that the Cube was now drifting gently away from them; they either couldn't or wouldn't spare the energy to their engines to counteract the relatively gentle photon pressure.

"Hm," she uttered, like some assayer judging the quality of a piece of stone, and finding it wanting. She made a last check to make sure their fighters and support craft were clear, then limbered up the broadside again while the helm pulled them around. "Lieutenant, weapons free."

Every last surviving power generator, weapon hardpoint, tractor emitter, and distribution node she could detect was targeted with a randomly-assigned nadion frequency, courtesy of every single pulse phaser array with an adequate firing arc. In contrast to her earlier, laser-focused narrow bombardments, this was a broad-impact scorched-earth walking barrage. The Klingons added their own not inconsiderable firepower to the effort. Fuse-delay torpedoes from their fighter crews detonated deep within the Cube to amplify the damage done. Vast chunks of superstructure were amputated from the ship, amid clouds of smaller debris comprised of tritanium plate and evacuated drones. A growing plume of green plasma fire guttered in the nebula.

A flight of tricobalt signatures streaked into the gaping wound in the Cube, and finished its destruction. The Versant. "That was mine," she complained. To the wider bridge, she announced, "Borg Cube one, combat ineffective." She paused, then added, "For the moment." Knowing the Borg, it wouldn't pay to assume the Cube was out of it until it had been even more thoroughly dismantled. 

Only cost hundreds of lives this time, rather than thousands. My kingdom for a Versant in every engagement.

[ Cmdr Ranaan Ducote | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan @chXinya @Fife @BZ @patches @Numen et al

Ducote was grateful that the crew of this ship were still able to see sense, and choose the least-bad path. Unfortunately, it seemed they were convinced that this Omega thing would detonate once activated, and the only way to do that was by manual process. No chance to switch the thing on and throw it out of an airlock. He hated choices like that. He hated situations were there was no optimal route out. He remembered his shitshow of a Command course - how he'd been utterly convinced that he had failed it after the (simulated) casualties his ship had sustained, and been completely surprised when he was issued a pass-with-merit grade and promoted into his third solid pip.

This time, the casualties could not be simulated. They weren't even his crew and still he wished it didn't have to happen.

He couldn't read the doctor, beyond registering his presence. But he was clearly upset that Wenn was looking to be the sacrificial lamb in question - which merely confirmed his initial kneejerk feeling that he shouldn't have been the one to take the device to seal the way behind them. Nicander seemed permanently upset that no one was taking him at his word, but Ranaan wasn't sure how anyone could. His submitted data would be evaluated, but that could hardly happen instantly... and he himself was thoroughly unreliable, if the parasite could not be detected but also infused the man's every word.

But then came the announcement that the ship would be taking on the survivors from the Versant, and not even the bright spectacle of the Cube's demise could hold his attention. His brain threw up several good justifications, not least of which was that he had to check on his crew after their separation, and that he was essentially a fifth wheel up here anyway. But mostly, even he had to admit that he wanted to find Blue. There was no real way he could pretend otherwise.

He didn't really mind who surmised it, either.

As a bonus, the lifts were now working.

Ducote jutted his chin to one of the goldshirts also covering Nicander. "If he twitches, nuke him." A nod in return; good enough.

The Brazilian tuned his phaser down to a more sensible level before returning the weapon to his belt, then turning for the rear of the deck. "Vael, keep me informed!" he called as he strode away, not really expecting anyone else to keep him in the loop as an outsider.



The turbolift deposited him on deck five; with a pair of transporter rooms, Ducote figured this was the likeliest place he'd find survivors from the Endeavour. Blueshirts were already jogging past him in the direction of the pads - he followed. A few officers were already coming out of the doors... none he recognised yet, and all clad in strange-looking one-pieces. He strained to see through the crowd, feeling out with his empathy for any familiar tones.

"Come on. Come on..." he muttered.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on March 09, 2019, 02:35:34 AM
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer & Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers, Communications | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @chXinya @Auctor Lucan @Cosmos 
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They didn't have enough speed to escape. The thought echoed in both Natalie's mind, and Faye's, though the latter shared the feelings and words with more than just the current first officer. Many of the crew, she knew, felt their stomachs bottom out. Despite the joy of seeing Captain Ives again, there was more and more mounting horror. Faye let her coal black eyes sweep across the room, pausing briefly at Dr. Nicander (his mind still a blank slate, but no longer a comfort) and...Ah...well, another one she thought, finally putting that bit together, a face to the presence she'd felt.

But then there was the burning determination of Captain Wenn that drew her attention to him, watching as the Bajoran crossed the bridge. Natalie Stark was up on her feet, face pulled into a dark frown as she too watched. The Ops Chief wanted to feel relief but there was none. None at all. Her mind flashed back to a conversation she'd had with Lt. Vanya in 'her' ready room, and the thoughts she'd had at the time. This isn't how I wanted things to happen.

For a moment, emotions caused her features to crumple. Anger, at Nicander. At the Borg. At the parasites. The Savi, though their ship might prove useful. Elation that the Versant had arrived in time, possibly. Worry and despair at the news that the couldn't simply warp away. It was deafening, the feelings that Natalie was broadcasting, and across the bridge, only a life time of Telepathic control, coupled with years of diplomatic training kept Ens. Eloi-Danvers hands from shaking.

No time for that now, Faye. The taskforce is about to hit and you've got work to do. He's making the sacrifice play. You suffered through the Kobiyashi Maru and this is part of the job, she schooled herself, as she bit her lip again. There would be marks on it from stress nibbling, from the sorrow she felt. Selfishly, she took into her a bit of that determination and surety that Wenn Cinn seemed to have infused in the sinew of his very being.

Orders needed to be given, and the Mission Ops station seemed to be abandoned. The Ensign - Henshaw, Natalie remember - had been beamed away to sickbay with an injury. She couldn't be bothered to find someone else to take the station over. Instead she moved around the status table to and punched up the comm links, relaying the orders herself.

"Mission Ops to the Allegiant and all Lone Wolves, there is no time to dock. Prepare to receive new shield harmonics and follow the Theurgy into the second aperture. Tow those who can't make it there on their own." This wasn't how any of them would want things to go down but these were the cards they'd been dealt. Natalie might be a piss poor poker player but she managed to convey calm, firm orders all the same. Never mind the way her heart pounded in her chest, racing just as fast as it could as the ship in turn raced against time, chasing the unknown.

"Before you enter, load the new shields, or you will not make it through to the other side. Please acknowledge." She waited until she got the call offs from the others and nodded, announcing to no one in particular, "They're on the way in. Harmonic adjustment package sent."

Faye heard the words but paid them little heed. Instead, she was pulling open a new communications channel - marveling at how much this ship could handle even without the heart and soul of it's AI. The frame of the ship shuddered from the firing of the soliton beam, as Faye spoke.

"Theurgy to Neg'Var and all remaining KDF ships. Be warned - we are planning to detonate a device in the aperture network. The resulting explosion will sunder subspace in the near by stellar vicinity. If you do not wish to be stranded her for the next few decades we suggest you execute a strategic withdraw. Carry the fight to the rest of the quadrant." A moment of insight, as a huge hole was blown out of the Borg cube on the screen, and then she added, "And establish a defensive perimeter around the resulting subspace dead zone. Q'pla, Chancellor. Theurgy, out."

She hoped she hadn't over stepped her bounds, but she had dealt with the Klingons on a daily basis while stationed at Khitomer. Faye had to trust her gut. It was the right call.

After it was all said and done, Natalie looked back up, eyes sweeping the bridge. They darted over to the center seat, where Cinn had been sitting. Where Ives would be shortly? Over to where Cinn was, with Nicander, the latter pleading his case all the same to the former. Given the choice to trade one or the other, Natalie knew which she'd like to get rid of. An ugly thing to think, to feel, but it was an ugly thing that had been done to her. And if that brought some sense of absolution to the man that had been Lucan Nicander, then that was all well and good.

But as her eyes moved on, settling on the back of Vanya's head, she knew it couldn't be the Doctor. They couldn't trust the snake in his gut.

The braids that were done up so intricately, showing off the pointed ears were what drew her eyes. We won't be getting you back to the Cayuga any time soon, Vanya. I'm sorry. And yet a part of her wasn't. She didn't have the time to dwell on that, or where their journey would spit them out, despite seeing the aperture rip open in space and time.

They had to survive the next few minutes.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Cosmos on March 10, 2019, 05:15:33 PM
[ Lieutenant Vanya (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Vanya) | Bridge | Science Grotto | Deck 01 | Vector: Combined | USS Theurgy ]
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Vanya's attention was on the screen as the aperture was blown wide open and her pointed Romulan brows knit in a look that just read "Fucking Figures." The moment didn't last long though. Orders were being passed and Vanya glanced to the screen then to the Command crew, finally they swung over to Vivian. "Vanya!" Oh! Vivian had learned her name. It was no longer "Romulan!" A part of Vanya's mind was pleased by that "Prepare the sensor array to fire a soliton beam on this frequency."

Vanya nodded and turned to the console. "Aye, Commander."Fingers flew over the interface. Calculating and re-configuring the sensor array to carry out the Lieutenant Commander's orders. As the modifications were being fed, in, dark green eyes flickered over to the dark skinned human beside her as he worked with Tactical on the shield modifications. Returning to her on work, she fed in the last of the modifications, android quick her eyes double checked her work and then she looked to Vivian.

"Array online, ready to fire." A flick of her fingers and she shifted control to Vivian's panel.

Vivian fired the beam and Vanya's eyes flickered up to see the second aperture open. A memory from the Academy filtering through her head as she remembered a briefing on the Starfleet Exploratory Division. The words left her lips as a whisper. "We cannot abandon this rabbit hole for fear of a traumatic encounter with our own culture."  Well their own culture was headed this way at high warp, with ill intent, so through the rabbit hole it was.

As if she felt eyes on her, Vanya turned, looking over her shoulder to the XO. Finding those eyes Vanya held them for a long beat and gave a nod. The motion soft, but very clear to the other officer. She was in it till the end. Then, the Romulan slipped the XO a wink.

Could be worse. They could be facing this alone.

Vanya returned her attentions to the science grotto, least some minute observation go missed and make this entire endeavor go pear shaped.



Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on March 13, 2019, 03:19:59 AM
[Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy]

With one single command, Captain Ives sealed his fate.  Not that it was theirs to decide, the Prophets had made Their will known as far as Cinn was concerned, and not even his beloved Captain would've made him change his mind.  The Bajoran was glad that he wasn't going to have to fight his own crewmates to get to a shuttle, fratricide, even non-fatal, was not how he wanted to fill his last moments.

It was clear that his time as commander of the Theurgy was at an end.  Without even looking to him for confirmation, as soon as Captain Ives gave the orders the crew, regardless of ship of origin, jumped to fulfill them.  Ops and engineering performed miracles in getting the ship ready for the dive through the aperture, which science was hard at work opening up.  Stark was on the comm with Chancellor Martok so that the Klingons could evacuate.  Tactical moped up the last of the Queen's cube before she could take them down with her.  Ducote was the only one who didn't stay to perform his duty, as soon as Nator reported that the turbolifts were online and the Versant started beaming people over the man was out the door.  Cinn said nothing about it, only silently wishing him well that he found whoever it was he was looking for.  [Commander Wenn.]  Thea's familiar voice beamed out of his combadge.  [Lt. zh'Wann has been beamed to the Upper Shuttle Bay and is awaiting for you there.]

With that in mind, there was one more person on the Bridge that needed help.  Nicander was pleading to go, seeking absolution.  That was not something Cinn could grant, the Prophets had spoken, Ives had agreed, and the device was waiting for him in the shuttlebay.  That didn't mean he could leave the poor soul standing there though.  Turning to face his old friend one final time, the dark-skinned Bajoran did something that no one in their right mind would ever have done.  Stepping into arms reach, Cinn put his hand on the Câroon's shoulder and looked him straight in the eye.  "Something I learned in the Resistance: 'As long as you are alive, there is always hope.'  You've beaten that thing so far, you have the strength to beat it still.  I didn't get a chance to tell you, but Ms. McMillan is alive.  Thea called ahead to tell us the news, but I couldn't share it with you because of my own failings.  You're stronger than almost everyone I know, if anyone can claw their way out of this darkness, it's you."

Stepping back now, Cinn took one last look around the Bridge, taking in each face that still remained among.  So many new faces replaced those from the beginning, but despite all the pain, all the arguments, all the fights, they were meshing together in a way few crews ever could.  He tried to think of something to say, but nothing came to mind.  Time was running short anyways, someone will find and play the letter he'd made years ago, that would have to suffice.  Nodding to Stark to give his final support, Cinn readied himself for his destiny.

"Nator, beam me directly to the shuttlebay."


GM Note: Second half of this post is about to appear in Storm Glass, as a JP with ThanIda zh'Wann, and in the presence of Bellerophon susrvivors (including Hathev) and Sera vers Aldnoah in the Upper Shuttle Bay.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 14, 2019, 08:51:06 AM
[ Doctor Lucan cin Nicander (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Dr._Lucan_cin_Nicander) | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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Cinn put his hand on Lucan's shoulder and looked him in the eye, the dark skin a contrast to the ashen patterns of his charred uniform jacket. The impulse that rose from the abyss was to twist that arm until the socket tore and then do the same with the Bajoran's vertebrae. The last thing Cinn would see would how he beamed out of the bridge, off to kill the Andorian and take the device from her. The stakes for the Infested were high, the Borg key to tearing down the Galaxy back to its primordial state. Yet what Cinn said...

...was impossible. Lucan felt his brow knit in consternation. How was it possible? He'd seen Heather McMillan die. Vapourised after the Host on the Versant found her, right in front of Ives. The vision had been plain, the certainty of her demise clear. Could he not trust what he saw in the blackness inside him? Was his ability just a means to manipulate him? The questions rose like bile in his throat, not able to make sense of it. Then why had he been able to help the ship against the Rotarran? Cinn said he had faith in him, that as long as he was alive there was hope, and that he believed Lucan could free himself from the parasite.

The Bajoran stepped away, and Lucan stood there, benumbed and confused. He looked down at his hands, the baseline prosthesis telling him what he'd done, and what he was still capable of, and his other being his own flesh. The malevolent impulses that churned in him grew louder, the Bajoran's departure imminent. Images flashed before Lucan's eyes, where he rammed his metal hand through the visor of the closest security guard, and then seized the rifle. He'd set it on wide dispersal, and kill everyone - Cinn included. He was too fast for them all. Then, he'd reach a console, and depressurize the Upper Shuttle Bay, making sure that the Andorian and that device was lost in the debris field. He turned to look at the security guard...

...but the Radiant had disconnected his mind from the parasite's. The fickle notions were still there, but he did not have to rely on the thing inside him to keep him alive. Therefore, he quelled the impulse, knowing that while he could have let the darkness prevail, he could oppose it. He did have a will of his own, regardless the nature of his visions.

Wenn Cinn vanished from the bridge, the light dancing over Lucan's face. His words seemed inadequate, but the man was the first to show him sympathy - recognizing him to be a man instead of a monster. Years of loneliness and doubts, always hiding his true nature. "Thank you..."


OOC: An intermediate post, since I can't post with Ives until after he's had a chat with Ziegler in an upcoming JP. I also know that Masorin and Hastata-Nerada are working on something, and I think there are a couple more coming up as well. Stay tuned! :)
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on March 14, 2019, 09:10:41 PM
[ Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin) & Tyreke Okafor (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Tyreke_Okafor)| Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]  attn: @Hastata-Nerada @Auctor Lucan @Argyros
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Watching the anti matter cloud render the cube ineffective was wonderful, watching the hundreds more that were ready to start coming out of the aperture that they couldn't close was far far less happy. He listened to the chaos around them, watching as a second aperture was opened, his first instinct was to launch a drone, but one couldn't be readied in time to even tell where it was going.

Tactical scanners were having a hard time getting a read on anything that was through the gateway, if they entered that thing he had no clue where it would make them end up, and yet they were. It was plain and simple they had no other choice. Even so the telemetry from the sensors was all over the place.

For now he worked on what he could focus on. He could focus on the firing of weapons, igniting as much of the gas around the borg aperture as possible. It wouldn't be much, but he would make sure that the borg would fly into a wall of fire.

However the readings from the sensors were in turn being directed to another console. Tyreke Okafor was busy syncing up his prepared shield frequencies with the opened apertures, and the right frequencies were now becoming apparent. His fingers flew across the screen of his console as he uploaded the proper shield data to tactical. "The shield frequencies for the proper apertures are being uploaded now." he called to Salem, as he made sure a notification came with it.

The ping from Okafor along with his voice clear across the bridge made him nod. He started to work on the modifications needed to the harmonics. He felt a shift and shudder as they took another stray hit, and winced, he watched as the cube was reduced to dust, but there were hundreds more just approaching the edge of it's aperture. "Whom ever is setting off that subspace bomb better do it quick." He said under his breath.

He didn't want to jinx it. He knew how important this was, and he buffered the shields as much as he could. "I'm firing a probe into the aperture ahead of us." He said prepping a class one probe with the shield harmonics and firing it through one of the forward facing torpedo bays. "It won't give us much, but if we can cut through the static we might get a glimpse of  the other side, sending the data back you lieutenant!"

Okafor watched the feed from the probe with baited breath. It flew into the aperture, its inorganic sensory equipment raced along the interior and observed it with utmost ease. And so it was that Tyreke was able to observe that the aperture was safely clear of Borg. With a brief exhale of relief, Tyreke turned his seat towards Salem.

"Aperture is clear!" Tyreke called out. There was nothing else to say. It was their best way out, and the probe reported the right frequency for his prepared shield harmonics... It was a way out. A way to survive.

That was good enough for Salem. Still he felt like he couldn't breath at the moment. Now was the do or die moment.


Joint Post by Hastata-Nerada & Masorin
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Arista on March 16, 2019, 03:55:43 PM
[ Captain Anya Ziegler (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Anya_Ziegler) |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Joint post by Arista & @Auctor Lucan  Attn: @Doc M. , Anyone else.
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Without the interference from the Borg cube and with the correct frequencies, the whole process seemed to go much smoother. When the aperture opened, Ziegler breathed a sigh of relief, at least until Ensign Vass, the operations officer on duty, alerted the bridge and changed the image of the viewscreen.

The large newcomer had wrought destruction onto the borg cube, on one it's flat sides there was a gaping hole. As if raining destruction while you blinked, a second and then a third appeared. The vessel, capable of causing such damage with ease. Who could do this to the borg? The very sensation causing a sick feeling to well up in her stomach.

"Incoming hail from unknown vessel" Vass called, bringing up a sight Anya wasn't ready for. On the viewscreen, Captain Ives appeared - in her female form - and Thea was next to her. A bald Vulcan was seated at a console as well, but it was Jien who spoke up once the hail was answered.

[Anya,] she said, a quiet smile touching her features, the voice momentarily garbled by the connection, the image flickering.

Standing, Ziegler felt a rush of emotion seeing her old commanding officer again, though it wasn't the rush she expected. The frustration, the anger, that had been boiling behind the surface for months was gone. That had been spent through a slap to a face of an innocent bystander. For all the faults that Ziegler could have pinned on Stark, almost losing command of the Cayuga was not one of them. Now as the human watched her equal on the viewscreen, she felt a twang of regret. All that rage, that emotion, gone on someone undeserving and now, when it was needed, all Ziegler could muster was a turbulent storm of remorse and unexpected nostalgia.

"Jien..." She finally replied, still surprised at the absence of conflict she felt within. "It is unexpected but not unwelcome.

"Stark has taken me through the details." Anya stole a quick look over the others on the viewscreen. They all looked as if they had been through hell, even Thea, and she suspected that Ives was undoubtedly thinking the same. "It's hard to believe, but the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction."

On the screen, the shapeshifter continued.

[You are also familiar with the Omega Directive. We have in our possession a device that will detonate an unknown number of molecules. The invasion is pending, and we mean to detonate it, and thus destroy all the subspace tunnels. It is the only way to stop the Borg at this point.]

"You have an Omega device?" She retorted incredulously, unbelieving at the fantastical nature of the events that have unfolded.

After everything that they had been through. Ives was willing to risk all to protect the Federation, just as Anya remembered of the Captain. However, before anything else could be said, there was a call from the Ops station, interrupting the conversation. Multiple signatures were detected in the aperture and they were systematic of Borg Cubes. Time was running out, and fast.

"What's your escape plan, Captain?" Anya questioned her counterpart. "This can't be the end."

[The Theurgy will go open an aperture and go wherever it leads, and since we don't know where that will be... the Cayuga may be the only ship that can continue the mission here in Federation space... and cast the Infested into light.]

It was like a verbal gut punch. The realisation that not only was Theurgy sending themselves to an uncertain demise, but Ives was also passing the mantle of their mission onwards. In the background, there was confirmation that Theurgy was indeed opening another aperture. Anya tried to remain stoic and resolved, but she felt as if she was a small child who had just had a sword and quest thrust into her hands.

"Let us come with you." She countered, trying not to let the emotion of the situation overwhelm her. "We can travel togeth.."

[No,] said Ives, the interruption made without having to raise her voice. She shook her head, the bitterness plain. [I am sorry, Anya, as much as I would like to have you by my side, the Archeron and its fleet are inbound. This ship's sensors can see them, and they have a bearing of three-one-seven mark nine. They are about to arrive here in about two minutes. The Cayuga need to escape the shockwave at maximum warp... and make the task force turn around. The Theurgy has already alerted Martok, and the Klingons are withdrawing as well. Every second counts, but I hope to see you again... despite how long it might take until then.]

"I understand." She said, accepting her new mission. "We won't let you down."

Ziegler had been strong in her conviction. Despite burnt carpets and missing deck plates, she really would help. She just needed to be smart.

"Jien, there are officers from the Cayuga aboard Theurgy. Take care of them." She had rushed to start the fight with the Borg and now she was leaving more behind. It was almost enough to make her feel sick. Instead, she swallowed down the despair and used it to fire her resolve. "I will want them back."

[That I promise. Protect the truth, Anya. Spread it where you can. Be wary of Sankolov, however. He is one of them.] So much unsaid, with so little time. Next to Jien, Thea gave Anya a smile, before the hail ended. [Ives out.]

Those on the viewscreen disappeared, leaving over the view of the open apertures in their wake. Without the eyes upon her, Anya sank heavily into her captain's chair. She felt the weight of the obligation that Ives have placed on her. Save the ship. Save the Fleet. Spread the word, but don't trust anyone.

"Bring us about. Prepare for maximum warp." She finally called, watching the movements on Theurgy the various support vessels. Sometime niggled at the back of her brain, and there was no way she wanted to learn the field of battle before satisfying it.

"Open a channel to Wolf 7." Anya called to operations. Once Ensign Vass confirmed the channel was open to the Valkyrie, the captain continued.

"Wolf 07, this is Captain Ziegler." She said by way of introduction. "I know this is unusual, but I just wanted to thank you for actions today. In real terms you saved us. 

"You may be Goldeneye, but to us, you'll always be our guardian." For once, Ziegler was glad to be limited to audio only communication. No faces, no judgement. With a small, sad smile, Anya finished her thoughts. "Until we meet again, safe travels. Cayuga out."

With little else to say and no time to say it. Ziegler exhaled heavily through her nose. No one would have believed a mission to this nebula could have ended in such a way. So many gone. So many missing. As Anya watched Theurgy, quite possibly for the last time, she said a silent prayer.

"Helm, get us out of here..."
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 17, 2019, 02:29:45 AM
[ High Chancellor Martok, son of Urthog | Bridge | IKS Negh'Var >> IKS Vor'nak | Azure Nebula ] Attn: All
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On the IKS Negh'Var, Chancellor Martok had ordered the ship to turn around and charge the cube once more, not about to limp away like some injured Targ just because the ship was heavily damaged. It might even have been destroyed, had it not been for the Theurgy warp fighters. Something Martok would remember, should he speak with Ives again. The cube's retaliation may have been fierce... but since he was still alive, Martok would not run from this foe. His word instilled bravery in his bridge crew, and they had complied - the Negh'Var aflame as it rounded on the cube once more.

"jaj vIghaj!" he had roared, for they would own the day. His fleet may have been decimated, but there were more yet alive. More of the Empire's ships to come, all having answered the call to arms against this foe. "All shi-"

The ravished hull of the Negh'Var had then shuddered, and Martok flinched at the eerie, greenish light that came from the viewscreen. Three beams cut into the cube, and his weapons officer told him about an immense, new dreadnought having arrived, and it had turned the tide of the battle once more. Martok had grinned, the identity of the ship a secondary concern, for he knew an opportunity when he saw one. "As I was saying, all ships open fire. Phantom raiders, enter the cube, and gut it from the inside!"

Evidently, the Theurgy's warp fighters had a similar idea. What followed was a glorious display of enemy annihilation - the cube disintegrating blow by blow. The remaining fleet of the Empire, the Theurgy, raiders and warp fighters, and the white axe of a dreadnought, all pooling their efforts to obliterate the enemy. Happenstance allies against a common foe? Martok did not know, and it did not matter. The Borg threat stood above any circumstance.

And when it fell asunder, Martok curled his upper lip in a triumphant sneer - the flare-lights dancing on the bridge. Behind him, his loyal crew raised a loud roar of victory. Once it subsided... the hail came.

[Theurgy to Neg'Var and all remaining KDF ships. Be warned - we are planning to detonate a device in the aperture network. The resulting explosion will sunder subspace in the near by stellar vicinity. If you do not wish to be stranded her for the next few decades we suggest you execute a strategic withdraw. Carry the fight to the rest of the quadrant, and establish a defensive perimeter around the resulting subspace dead zone. Q'pla, Chancellor. Theurgy, out.]

Martok's mien turned grim, eyes darting in thought. It would be foolish to dispute such an absurd claim. Motives for anything but the truth escaped him, but it was the sight of the Borg vanguard that settled the matter. He was no scientist, but Ziegler had told him the nature of the tunnels during that first hour of battle. If those tunnels were all destroyed, along with the Borg, then good riddence. Threats to the Empire's borders, all of it. "This is Chancellor Martok. Acknowledged. meQtaHbogh qachDaq Suv qoH neH." Only a fool fought in a burning house. "The Negh'Var to all ships, heed the female voice from the Theurgy. Stragglers will be old and frail by the time they cross the border!"

"Chancellor, this ship can't go to warp!" called one of his bridge crew, but Martok had already foreseen that problem.

"Martok to the IKS Vor'nak!" he called, and the image of it's current captain appeared on screen. "You just arrived, so you will work with my crew to evacuate the Negh'var. Command other ships to aid as needed. Give them my regards."

[Aye, Chancellor!] said the Commanding Officer of the Vorcha-class ship, General Tanas, and with the given urgency, it did not take a full minute before Martok was right there next to him. He clasped the old Klingon's arm in greeting, the smell of victory still sweet.

"There will be songs about this day," grated General Tanas, the history between them long, pre-dating the Dominion War.

"Of glorious battle... with strange allies," agreed Martok, and then assumed command. "Set a course back to the border! pIvchem Hut!" And the IKS Vor'nak was the last of the Klingon ships to depart the battlefield.

(https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/3/3b/IKS-Vor%27nak.png)
Click For Full Resolution (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/images/3/3b/IKS-Vor%27nak.png) (Original by Kurumi Morishita (https://www.deviantart.com/kurumi-morishita/art/Afterlife-724570912))

[ The Borg Queen (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=The_Borg_Queen) | Cube M-582 | Azure Nebula ]
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Metal platform compromised. One limb missing. The individual once known by the name T´Less was enclosed in absolute silence. The quietude belied the sights before her eyes, however, as her remaining arm latched on to the tumbling debris. Her black, metallic irises sought the white ship, which had come to destroy Cube M-582, with no hull or shields between herself and the end of the battle. It was, however, merely the beginning. This she knew, and therefore the damage done to her current body and the loss of the cube mattered naught.

She had stayed her fire against the white ship, because like all of her cubes, sensors had detected the presence of perfection. Particle 010 had been there, an unknown quantity of molecules, and she had meant to seize it. The acquisition of the molecule and it's properties was the very reason why Federation space was a priority over many others to begin with, since boronite ore was required to stabilise the molecule. It was an ore believed to be found in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Unfortunately, since she had stayed her hand, the white ship had attacked - utilising a weapon of graviton shear unlike which any species she'd assimilated had ever built.

So, with one arm and her feet against the smoking debris, she turned her head, her mien indifferent to the plight of her current body - sparks running over her female metal figure. Unshielded as she was, the personal forcefield generator of her body was depleted in protection against the many detonations. The radiation of the Azure Nebula was slowly eating her lifeless flesh as well, but she was unconcerned, since the Royal Protocol would recreate her from another drone in her Collective, randomly chosen in accordance to the criteria of the program. If there was no Queen found, a Queen would be created. Already, with the first cubes in sight farther down the subspace tunnel, her memories of the white ship and the Omega molecules were synced to it.

The Borg Queen's eyes were solely upon the white ship... until the Omega device suddenly vanished, only to reappear on the Federation starship Theurgy, likely via transport. Immediately, as she held on to the debris, she reached out to her drones and the cubes via the hive mind.

++++
NEW PRIMARY DIRECTIVE SET: ACQUIRE PARTICLE ZERO-ONE-ZERO SUBSTANCE


Only there was no confirmation made. No recipient acknowledgement. It was as if something interfered with her subspace link. The reason... was lost to her as well, the sensor readings of the newly arrived cubes not reaching her any more. There appeared to be something in the debris field around her that undermined her connection to her Collective. The data on the white ship, the new directive about Particle 010, its whereabouts and the fallout of the battle. It was all trapped, a far as she knew, in her deteriorating body.

Then, came the hailstorm of torpedoes from the white ship, and the current Queen was lost in the bright fallout.

Already, the Collective searched for its queen... and would soon execute the Royal Protocol.


OOC: All right! Any stragglers who have yet to post on the bridge of the Theurgy should do so now, because my next post will be with Jien Ives and Thea, and the end is coming soon to this Chapter, and the free-form Epilogue will begin. I will hopefully be able to post with Ives and Thea tomorrow or Monday.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 17, 2019, 02:57:27 PM
[ Captain Ives | Precept-ship Versant >> USS Theurgy ]
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Behind Captain Ives and Thea, who were alone upon the raised dais on the bridge of the Versant, the A.I. had raised new layers of forcefields. After having watched the Borg cube's remaining parts get obliterated by tri-cobalt torpedoes, and finished the brief conversation with Anya Ziegler, Jien turned her head to look upon the Savi that had finally managed to breach the bridge. Armoured Antes were there, along with Scions, and a mere glance told Jien that there was in-fighting among the two castes of the species. It would likely be the same on other Savi ships eventually, a revolution having started that day. Personally, however, she could not make the plights of the Savi a priority over the mission. She didn't have any solution to offer them either, and perhaps this uprising of the Antes was expected. Perhaps it was the natural development, given the way the Scions had subjugated their antecedent caste. Jien had many regrets about the development, but she would do as much as she could to - at least - spare them from being trapped in the Azure Nebula for decades.

"Are you sure you can't activate the transwarp drive for them?" she asked Thea, looking away from the chaos that Thea had warded them from, seeing how the A.I. shook her head.

"The transwarp drive requires a cool-down period of three hours between each jump, Captain. I will, however, be able to send the Versant out of the nebula at maximum warp. Despite the damages, the ship can muster Warp 9, and according to my calculations, that will be sufficient. I wonder, however, if that is wise, given the circumstances. Are you sure we can let this ship remain at large?"

Jien watched the Theurgy open a second aperture, launching a probe through the new tunnel, while the Borg were approaching fast through the first tunnel that had been opened. "The Admiral already convened with other leaders among the Scions before our insurgency, so we are already known to the Savi as a whole. Saving this ship may be a deciding factor in them judging our actions fairly, and keep them from hunting us down. It may not be the last time we encounter the Savi... but what we do now will decide how they will greet us next. I hope they might still honour the word of the Voice, despite what we had to do in order to get here."

"Aye Captain," said Thea, inclining her head, "I'm ready to transport you back to my Main Bridge. This interface will be with you before my hull pass through that aperture. I will make sure the Savi don't take back command here, cancel the warp jump, and attack us before we are safe."

"Thank you," said Jien, seeing that the time was nigh, "Energise."



In a shimmer of light, Captain Ives appeared on the bridge, standing in front of the CONN and Ops stations. With a quick glance towards the viewscreen, she rounded on the bridge crew. If anyone announced her presence, she didn't hear it, instead setting her steps towards the command chair. "Is Wenn Cinn's shuttle deployed?" she asked, her voice tight because she still didn't like the situation forced upon them, and allowing the Prophets to have it their way.

"Yes, Captain," said Nicander, standing there with two armed guards close to him, and the Doctor sounded as bitter as Jien felt.

"If there are any fighters that need to be towed, do it. I am not leaving anyone else behind here," she said, and took her seat. Momentarily, she looked around, wondering where Carrigan Trent was. Right then, she did not want to know, whatever his fate being would just serve as a distraction. She made eye-contact with Stark, inclined her head to the young woman in acknowledgement that she was the acting XO at the moment, and then returned her attention to the aperture directly ahead. She did not waste any thought on everything that she'd endured since last she'd been on the bridge, much less what the crew had been through. "Mister Veradin, take us through, and we don't want to be in the tunnel when the Omega device is activated."

Seconds later, just before the aperture would swallow their ravaged ship, there was another shimmer of light, and Thea appeared on the bridge, standing next to the command chair with her positronic brain in her hands. "The Versant's warp drive is powering up. The Savi will be gone in ten seconds."

"Well done, Thea." Jien oaken eyes were on the sensors, showing the shuttle in their wake, everything riding on the next minute.


OOC: While posting is free here, I need one in particular from @Argyros , followed by @Arista. Then, lastly, @chXinya . Stay tuned! :)
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Argyros on March 19, 2019, 07:58:39 AM
 [ Lt. JG Derik Veradin | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @All
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"Mister Veradin, take us through, and we don't want to be in the tunnel when the Omega device is activated." The returned Captain Ives ordered.

"Aye Captain." Derik finished their parabolic arc, the Theurgy's bow aligned with the second aperture. "All hands," He announced, "Brace for entry." The engines flared, accelerating to maximum sustainable velocity. The hull began to shake as they were pulled into the subspace tunnel, the eerie green the Borg so loved, filling the viewscreen. The tunnel molded to just bigger than the ship. Adaptable technology these tunnels are. Creepier still. He fell back into his training, keeping one eye on the tunnel walls and the other shifting between the viewscreen and his readouts.

Navigating the tunnels was difficult at best, crazy at worst. The Trill tried to use their sensors and the probe sent ahead of them to find a way through. Yet the tunnels arced and changed so fast it was hard to keep track of where they were headed. Without a clear path, Veradin's course was erratic, randomly chosen at the behest of his gut feelings. Derik trusted his instincts as a pilot, hoping they would lead them to a safe harbor.

Another prayer to gods he didn't believe in just for good measure.

Why?

Because every tiny advantage helps. And if someone answers? Big Help.

Something was wrong however.... the tunnels were...shifting.... collapsing. The Omega Device couldn't have been detonated, yet right? He glanced at his sensors. No sign of subspace instability. The hell? "Shit." Derik muttered under his breath.

It had to be something else, and his best guess was that, whoever built the tunnels likely had some kind of navigation system. Some kind of technology that would sustain the tunnel around the mass of the ship. At that point, he did not know if the ship would make it through before the integrity of the tunnel was compromised. He did not waste his breath on saying something. The sensors were there for others to look at too. He had to find the exit at the end, and fast. That was his task.

His sensors pinged a path, a route out. Fuck it. Their direction shifted as Derik keyed in a new course. They needed out fast, for better or worse.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 21, 2019, 01:33:07 AM
[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
[Show/Hide]
While the Theurgy danced its way through the twisting tunnel at a break-neck speed, Captain Ives remained seated in her chair - hands curling hard around the armrests. The inertial dampeners were no longer at peak efficiency, so they didn't quite compensate for the sharper turns that Veradin was making. There were shouts about the integrity of some systems, the stress of the subspace tunnel flying causing the dorsal-port nacelle to flicker on- and offline.

"Ignore it, Veradin. Maintain focus," she said, loudly enough to override the din on the bridge. Of course she felt fear claw its way up her spine, for no one present knew the nature of the tunnel - at least as far as she was aware - and it was anyone's guess what may happen if they happened to hit the walls. Best case scenario, they would appear somewhere along the path towards the destination, and worst case was that the subspace to real space transition would pulverise the ship. Jien slowly rose to her feet, while the shimmering gullet they descended into didn't seem to have an ending. "Steady as she goes... Just get us through."

There was no way of knowing when Wenn Cinn would activate the Omega device. Any moment could be their last.

On the sensors, there was no sign of the tunnel's end, but Jien saw the Lone Wolves struggling to keep up, and to keep themselves from hitting the shifting and twisting walls. The Allegiant was there as well, towing a fighter through it all. In fact, some of the warp fighters were towing their fellow wolves as well. Somehow, it seemed like the tunnel grew more narrow the farther they went, and suddenly, the size of Thea's hull became a real issue. Jien found herself holding her breath, but said no more as she did not care to disrupt their helmsman's concentration. At that point, the bridge had grown completely silent, aside from the groaning reverberations of their harried ship - each new banking and roll seeming final.

They were past the point of no return, with no means to go back whence they came. They had no option than to continue forward, and to make it through before Cinn activated the device. Knowing how powerful the Omega molecule was, the shockwave would reach them and tear the tunnel apart. If the shields didn't fail them, and the nature of the tunnel didn't kill them, it was certain that the tunnel would collapse upon itself, and they would all suffer a catastrophic transition into real space, or just cease to exist. In all honesty, it didn't matter. There was but one way to survive, and that was to reach the end...

A minute passed, the number of times the Theurgy almost struck one of the walls far too many to count. It seemed that it would continue forever, shrinking to the point where they no longer fit, and the saucer's edges would tear.

And then, suddenly, the sensors were blank.

For a second, Jien thought the worst had befallen them. That there was no guidance for Derik to follow, no marked route ahead, and Jien's eyes widened, fearing that the final moment had come - the tunnel a dead end.

Yet as it were, the Theurgy was enveloped in quiet darkness. It took a few moments for the eyes to adjust, but then... there were stars out there. We're through... After almost a week in the Azure Nebula, normal space seemed so unfamiliar. That was when Jien let out her bated breath, and delayed her order until the Lone Wolves and the Allegiant joined them.

"Well done, Mister Veradin. Now, clear away from the aperture," she ordered - the opening still gaping wide to the aft, and they could not afford being caught in front of it. She threw a quick glance towards the navigation readings, but they were still re-calibrating after entering real space. They had no means of knowing where they were yet, but she knew one thing for certain.

There was only a single shuttle between the Borg and the unknowing Federation - one resurrected man sacrificed to save billions.


OOC: This is it, everyone! This next post is your last one in this thread! Make it count, for the Epilogue will begin with the Lone Wolves and the Allegiant all docking, and allowing for any kind of closure you guys want to write for your characters in this Episode! :)
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Arista on March 24, 2019, 09:47:34 PM
[ Captain Anya Ziegler (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Anya_Ziegler) |  Bridge | Deck 1 | USS Cayuga ] Attn: @Auctor Lucan, Anyone else.
[Show/Hide]

Feeling the tell-tale thrum of the engines reverberating through the deck plates, Anya Ziegler looked back over the bridge once more. It was starting to get to the point that the Captain wondered if the ship would ever recover from its traumas. Holes and burns from both Asurian and Starfleet weapons fire marked the walls. A burnt section of carpet outlined the remains of the EPS fire. Shaken crew clung onto consoles as if for dear life. They were tired. Ziegler felt it too. Inside her, there was a small part that wanted to give it all up. To slink off to a repair facility, perhaps in orbit of Risa, and just try to forget.

Anya couldn't do that. She had a promise to Ives, but more importantly she had made a promise to herself. Hold yourself to a higher standard than which you judge others, she had told herself. That, alongside her oath as Captain, meant she couldn't just quit when things got tough. Besides, she still had crewmen on Theurgy. Some by choice, like Martin, and others who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Others that were caught in the wrong place were those in Task Force Archeron. Sankolov could not be trusted. Ives had warned as much, but those working under the Admiral? Most likely they were good Starfleet officers just following orders. For hundreds of years people have argued the suitability of 'just following orders' as a defence for taking actions that would otherwise have been deemed inhumane. Anya had taken part in such debates since the academy. All she knew is that, whether they were all infected by parasites or just one, they wore the uniform. That uniform meant they at least deserved a chance to be saved.

"Open a direct channel to all the ships in Task Force Archeron. Priority one." Ziegler ordered. At this moment, she needed to be careful. Anya had promised to take up the mantle of spreading the truth, but there was no logical sense in immediately declaring themselves fugitives. With Cayuga in its current state. They would need access to Starfleet repairs and provisions. That meant the Captain had only one real choice. To let the other ships know what was going on, but to omit certain truths.

"This is Captain Anya Ziegler of the USS Cayuga. You must evacuate the area immediately. We encountered a Borg cube and a network of transwarp apertures. The ship has sustained heavy damage, but the cube has been destroyed using the technology of a race called 'The Savi'. They also have possession of a device which falls in under the Omega Directive. This device will be used to close all the apertures halting an impending Borg invasion, but the resulting explosion will destroy any vessel in the local area. To clear the shockwave, you must be travelling no slower than warp 9 and be on a heading of three-one-seven mark nine."

Ziegler tried to be as clear and concise as she could with the limitations she imposed on herself. She just hoped it was enough.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: chXinya on March 25, 2019, 12:34:30 AM
[Lt. Commander Wenn Cinn | Shuttle 3 | Azure Nebula ]

As soon as the shuttle cleared Theurgy's main shuttle bay, Cinn pointed it at the goal: one aperture hanging in the blue-lit gas like an ominous wound.  Instead of gunning for it though, he cleared the debris field and shut down the engines, killing as much of the power output as he could.  Inertia was now in control, his momentum drifting the small craft towards destiny.  Time was of the essence, but the timing had to be right.  If he rushed to the subspace tear, Theurgy and the others would still be in range.  Too late, and some of the Borg will have escaped the blast zone.  On a more practical note, even after reviewing the directions, Cinn needed to focus on the small ball sitting in his lap, he couldn't work both it and the shuttle at the same time.

With the cockpit mostly dark, Cinn looked out of the canopy in silence for a moment, watching as the last of the Klingon ships jumped to warp with the familiar relativistic blur as each vessel punched through the warp barrier.  The Bajoran wondered which one Chancellor Martok had claimed as his own, wishing he could send a message and thanking him for his help with the Queen.  Their first meeting was far from cordial, too many died on both sides, but Cinn wished the man well nonetheless.  The Chancellor was a Klingon, battle was what he lived for, and he held on to his honor when he could've abandoned it in his quest for revenge.  Worf was right to name Martok as a Chancellor.

Hanging in space like the weapon it was, the white hull of the Versant was like a warning, an example of the dangers brought to the cosmos by those who had succumbed to their arrogance.  Cinn had no idea what happened on that ship after they appeared out of nowhere and kidnapped Captain Ives, Thea, and many of his crewmates.  The specter of their presence drove one of the best officers he'd ever met to the brink of despair, threw everything into chaos.  He couldn't help but wonder just why they acted the way they did, but that was a mystery for someone else.  At least he could draw comfort in knowing that those who were taken were back, but what scars did they carry?  Finally, the rear of the massive ship flared white and it disappeared from view, off to only the Prophets knew where.

The time grew short, and the aperture was starting to grow large on the viewscreen. Setting the Savi datapad in front of him so that he could see, Cinn's dark hands started to work the ball.  Small panels slid and clicked into place, allowing different hemispheres and spherical sections to rotate, opening up new paths.  It was a marvelous puzzle he thought, and despite the situation he was actually enjoying himself. The simplicity of it belied the danger within though.  As his hands worked, Cinn couldn't help but appreciate the irony of his current situation.  He came to this part of the Azure Nebula to cancel an apocalypse, but now he was going to cause a different one.

Shortly past the halfway point, the comm system chimed, reporting an incoming message.  Glancing up, his eyebrows rose at the notice of a recorded message sent by Ida.  Cinn looked out to see Theurgy vanishing from sight in the second aperture, shields shimmering under the radiation barrage.  Knowing there wouldn't be another chance to see his deputy's final thoughts, Cinn continued to work on the device, but called up the recorded message.

[Cinn,] said Ida on the screen, her blue skin dark around her eyes. It looked like she was standing in the shuttle bay still, using one of the consoles to make the recording. [I couldn't say what I wanted to you in person. By Lor'Vela, not because time was short... but since I feared I would not bear through it. The officer in me would have demanded that you'd stay, and convinced you - somehow - that you still had an obligation to protect this crew. I wanted to throw a tantrum and strike you down, and keep you from leaving us again.]

Ida looked away on the monitor, a grimace passing over her face before she could continue. Tears were running from her eyes at last. [But as I w-will ever be your Deputy, I know you give your life for us all. Billions will live on, and too few will know it was because of you. Nonetheless, I still h-have to tell you how much your absence will be felt. Wherever your accursed Prophets m-may take you, know that you w-will always remain with us. I will do m-my utmost to protect this crew in your stead, and to do better than I did last w-when you were gone. No one can ever replace you.] The transmission was failing as the Theurgy passed through the tunnel, but the hurt was plain in his Deputy's face. [I will m-miss you.]

Tears filled Cinn's eyes, bluring Ida's blue countenance frozen on the screen.  He didn't know what to say, and there was no way to answer.  A green light bathed the entire cockpit in a sickening pallor.  Looking up, a Borg cube hung in space above him, a sensor beam sweeping the area around it.  Something in that beam was reacting with the nebula gas, fluorescing green as it passed through.  Several more cubes obscured the aperture as they approached the terminus, black shapes heralding the end of everything.  Time was short, and Cinn was ready.  He wiped his eyes clear and steeled himself.

Quickly, the sphere twisted with the final steps, the locks opening one by one.  In just a few seconds one final release was exposed: a hexagonal button flashed red, begging to be pressed.  Instantly, the green beam returned, bracketing the shuttle and nearly blinding Cinn.  [Particle 010 identified. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.]

"Its all yours." Cinn retorted, holding the sphere up as if the Collective was on the comm screen instead of remaining its faceless conglomeration of voices.  "Computer, execute!"  Surging to life, the impulse engines powered to 110% and brought the shuttle onto the preprogrammed course, the dampeners struggling to keep up.  Fighting to get his lungs to fill thanks to the acceleration, Dark flesh held onto the sphere with a death grip.  Tractor beams tried to catch the shuttle but it was too fast. As soon as it crossed the terminus the shuttle was safe from the cube, at least for the moment.  Dozens more were in front of it, already alerted to the perfection heading right for them.

Unshielded, radiation cooked the Bajoran inside the duranium shell.  His flesh sizzled as his dark skin reacted to the onslaught, the DNA breaking apart.  His vision blurred as his corneas clouded over, but he didn't need them anymore.  In his eye Cinn saw his mother in her prime, arms extended for the hug that she'd always craved when he was a child.

With one reflexive motion, Wenn Cinn's thumb pushed just half a centimeter and red turned to yellow.  Dropping the sphere, both halves fell away from each other to expose a dodecahedral light-pattern in the air, a blue-white light shining from within. Then, for a few seconds, it became a perfect sphere of light with impossible geometric shapes inside it - twisting around the axis. It lasted no longer, before the light turned to all-consuming fire, and enveloped everything.

The Wenn did not see this. For him, his world had turned pure white, and he was too busy greeting all those who were waiting for him in the Celestial Temple.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 25, 2019, 03:58:33 PM
[ Admiral Sankolov | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Archeron ]
[Show/Hide]
Spearheading its task force, the Archeron sped towards the heart of the Azure Nebula.

Admiral Sankolov sat in the commanding officer's chair, his visage grim while he listened to the officers around him on the Odyssey-class bridge. At one point during the last hour, one of his fleet's scouting ships had picked up on a full-scale battle being fought, and had immediately returned to the Archeron with the coordinates. Klingon ships, the sensors had said, and Sankolov had given the order. Thus, the fleet was bound there, and due to arrive within minutes. While he didn't reveal much to his senior staff, the Admiral knew quite well what battle it was... and what the outcome would surely be.

Sankolov had been informed, three days earlier, that Martok's son had been lost in an engagement with the Theurgy, and Starfleet Command's request for aid had been answered at long last. When the Empire replied, the fate of the Hakkarl had subsequently informed Sankolov that the Theurgy was indeed hiding in the Azure Nebula, and had deployed all of the ships at his disposal to enter it - beginning the search that had finally yielded the contact with the renegade ship that morning. The First Minister and Ark Royal - along with half of the Archeron fleet - had already been searching the nebula since the battle at Starbase 84. A single probe with a message had come from them, and while Sankolov had deleted the message in the probe, saying it was compromised, he had known their fate - lost as they were to the Borg Queen's first incursion. He could, of course, not allow any other Commanding Officers in the task force learn about the Borg presence.

The Admiral had held high hopes for that first encounter with the Borg, that a Host on the First Minister might get herself assimilated. Unfortunately, that had not been the case - the abyss festering inside Sankolov revealing how the Host's body had been destroyed before then during the battle. Therefore, all hopes lay in himself or some other Host being assimilated instead... so that the fate of the Galaxy might be sealed. He knew of one Host on the Rotarran - or whatever ship Chancellor Martok might use - yet only a few minutes past, when Sankolov had closed his eyes to gaze into the blackness, to determine a successful assimilation, he had learned how even that Host must have been destroyed before assimilation.

"Admiral, an priority one hail from an approaching Federation starship. It's the USS Cayuga! She's heading from the battle, hailing all the ships!"

Sankolov reserved judgement, accepting the hail with a gesture since he knew other Captains in the task force would.

[This is Captain Anya Ziegler of the USS Cayuga. You must evacuate the area immediately. We encountered a Borg cube and a network of transwarp apertures. The ship has sustained heavy damage, but the cube has been destroyed using the technology of a race called 'The Savi'. They also have possession of a device which falls in under the Omega Directive. This device will be used to close all the apertures halting an impending Borg invasion, but the resulting explosion will destroy any vessel in the local area. To clear the shockwave, you must be travelling no slower than warp 9 and be on a heading of three-one-seven mark nine.]

During the message, Sankolov had closed his eyes anew, searching for a Host on-site of this battle. There were two Scion hosts present, but they were in no location to determine anything about the battle - appearing as if they fought their antecedent caste aboard the Versant. Searching further, he found the troublesome one aboard the Theurgy - the irksome Host that had resisted yet served them for years. But through his eyes... Sankolov could barely see anything. There had been Radiant involvement, and it was exceedingly hard to determine what that Host was seeing. The bridge of the Theurgy? The viewscreen... showing some kind of tunnel with shimmering walls. Were they escaping through the Caeliar subspace tunnels?

"Admiral! What should we do?" asked the Tactical Officer, and Sankolov's eyes snapped open - his scowl apparent. Omega Directive, he thought, remembering one of the Cycles shown to him before, where such a device...

"Turn us around, and do what she says." Indeed, as much as it vexed him, it was not entirely implausible that Ziegler spoke the truth. He did believe, however, that she was omitting things. How could she not, when she'd been at Ives side before the Theurgy was stolen at Earth? If that crew on the Cayuga had listened to Ives, then they were all a liability, and he would have to deal with them somehow. "Now, Lieutenant. Spread the word."

"Aye, Admiral. Archeron to all ships, new course: three-one-seven mark nine. Maximum warp! Engage!"

Oh, how Sankolov wished to relent to the raw emotions that seethed inside, and lash out towards the present skin-puppets. I wished to rend their flesh and savage their insides. Just like the Niga virus, the Borg had been key, and yet if the device was activated, it would delay the utter corruption of the Galaxy, and change the initial turns of the pending galactic war. Sankolov's hands curled into fists upon his armrests, and he ground his teeth shut. How could this Cycle be so different from those that came before? No other time had the Borg invasion been stopped. Not even before their involvement had the Queen been denied.

"Should I reply to the Cayuga as well?" asked his officer.

"Yes... tell her this," he said, and a small smile found its way into his face, creasing the the strata of controlled hatred, "that I look forward to seeing Captain Ziegler personally, and learn from her directly what happened in this battle."

No more had they set the new course and accelerated to their highest warp factors, when all the remaining ships in the task force saw the detonation on their aft sensors. Gasps and visual magnifications were made. It was spreading, the shockwave immense, and it tore up subspace as it went. Any sirillium deposits in their wake were ignited as well, and the scale of the blast was unprecedented in all of recorded Federation history. It had the bridge crew in awe...

...while Sankolov rose from his chair, and left the bridge - the viewscreen lighting up behind him.

He could not let the Host body's public image become compromised in a fit of rage, killing all the present officers.


OOC: I know that people are about to post with their characters on the Theurgy bridge, so I am giving you two days at most to get those posts up, the last day being Wednesday 2019-04-27. Then I will post one last time with Ives (et al.) in this thread and lock it.

In the interest of allowing for further development for all characters, however, my next couple of posts will be open up the Epilogue ahead of time. Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: fiendfall on March 25, 2019, 11:19:42 PM
[ PO1 Morgan Song | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Despite everything, despite the danger and the fear and the death, despite the Borg and the Savi and the endless, endless running... Despite it all, Morgan couldn't help gazing out at the battlefield with awe, taking in the myriad vessels, the numerous fighters and explorers and scientists of every species who had all turned their minds to one impossible goal. No matter the outcome of this battle, they were making history. He just hoped they would be on the right side.

And then they were plunging into the subspace tunnel, weaving erratically as the walls seemed to hug them ever tighter. Morgan kept an eye on the sensor readings until the signatures of the Cayuga and other allied ships disappeared, and they were truly alone once more, hurtling through unknown space to find an exit onto who knew where.

The spark of excitement that jumped in his chest was unexpected. Was that exhilaration? They'd fought a Borg Cube and won; the feeling was almost giddy in its ridiculousness. They were so, so lucky.

Not all of them; not the Lieutenant Commander. Not those who had died or been assimilated. The giddiness faded, but Morgan redoubled his focus on his work. The time for grief would come later, none of them could spare the time now.

He was thrown to one side in his seat as the ship took a sharp turn, warnings flashing on his console as the outer reaches of the Theurgy almost clipped the side of the tunnel. He didn't want to think about what might happen if they did ever collide with the wall. It was a scientific improbability that they'd even made it this far; he didn't want to push their luck.

The Lieutenant at the helm was doing a good job, despite that. The information relay from the sensors was sparse at best, leaving them pretty much in the dark. Morgan wouldn't have wanted to navigate a spoon with this little information, much less a starship. A few frequency recalibrations to expand the range and boost the signal from the probe was all he could offer; he hoped it would be enough for the helmsman.

The journey seemed to last both an age and mere seconds, all at once. And then suddenly they were through, not so much spat out the other side as just appearing there, like a light flicked on. The black expanse of space greeted them, unfamiliar yet somehow welcoming. And behind them, the gaping maw of the aperture. On the other side, the Lieutenant Commander was facing his own death with the presence and composure they had come to expect of him, to rely on from him.

We will sound the echo, the Captain had said. This ship that was a home for lost souls, secrets, and ghosts. They would carry his name.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Brutus on March 26, 2019, 03:29:48 AM
[Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Stark, Executive Officer & Ens. Faye Lintah Eloi-Danvers, Communications | Bridge | Deck 01 | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]Attn: @Auctor Lucan 
[Show/Hide]

He left the bridge, and Natalie remained at the Mission Ops station, her fingers spread out over the console. She could see the faces all across the bridge from there. Nicander, forlorn. Ives, stoic. Vanya, determined. So many, looking to the spot where moments before, Wenn Cinn had stood, as if they could see his figure in the wake of the transporter beam, before forcing their eyes back to the view screen, or their stations. Back to duty. No time to morn, not yet.

The ship was turning toward a secondary apature that had been opened up. She could hear someone at Sciences confirming that the tunnel they'd be taking was clear of Borg. She let out a sigh of relief, even as her console gave a ping, and a call came in over the comm's for the Mission Ops station. Natalie blinked, listening, her face hardening as she heard the words.

"Control, why do we have a shuttle breaking free of the Theurgy? Over."

"Wolf-lead, this is Control," Stark answered, and there was an odd sort of coldness to her voice, that even the comm system could pick up on. Distant, almost harsh. "Get your birds into that aperture and steer clear of that shuttle. That's carrying..." there was a pause and then, "Its going to stop the Borg. Don't ask how, don't interfere, just get you and your Wolves out of here, now. That's an order, lead. Acknowledge."

There, done, she thought, but then paused. If Thomas Ravon was calling in and asking questions, well...there was other notices to be delivered to. As the ship came about, she punched up a new channel. "Mission Ops to Fighter Assault Bay. The ship will enter a subspace tunnel to execute a tactical retreat. Stand by to receive the squadron once we're through. Everyone hang on tight and we'll be out of this shortly. Stark, out". It wasn't any less cold than her response to Thomas, the tone at least, but she made the effort to give the people down in the Fighter Assault bay a bit of hope. To know that they were getting away.

All because of Wenn Cinn. GODDAMMIT She screamed in her head, shut her eyes, and sucked in a breath. Not the time, and that was that. It was like pulling armor back on, and Natalie was standing up, looking across the bridge, meeting her Captains eyes and returning a slow nod from where they had beamed aboard.

At the comm station, Faye let out a long sigh of relief as the words of Chancellor Martok were played out for her, having still had the channel open with the KDF forces.  "This is Chancellor Martok. Acknowledged. meQtaHbogh qachDaq Suv qoH neH."

"Only a fool fought in a burning house." Faye whispered the translation and swallowed softly. Louder, she said, "Chancellor Martok confirms his forces will execute a strategic withdrawal." Even now, when the leader of the Empire could not hear her relaying the news, she would not do him the dishonor of calling the action a retreat. "They'll keep a perimeter around the nebula once they get clear, Captain."

And with that, her part was done. Now there was nothing else for her to do, but hold onto her controls, and tamp down the feelings swirling around her. She could hear Ives order the helm to take them through the opening. Not that it would do any real good, but Ens. Eloi-Danvers began to think very, very positive thoughts in the direction of the Trill officer seated at CONN, as if willing him to succeed.

Braced against the Mission Ops station, Natalie could feel the ship straining almost from the moment they passed into the aperture. Transwarp was not something the Theurgy was designed to deal with. And while they had remodulated the shields to handle the radiation of the corridor, there was only so much that could be done to account for the sheering effect of the transit. She bucked forward at one point, when the ship seemed to bounce over and eddy in space, and she could hear the Captain shouting orders to helm, encouraging Derik Veradin to stay the course.

"Wolves are holding formation," Natalie called out, feeling a need to do something, to keep them informed some how. The pack was tight in on the wake of the Theurgy and she could only imagine how much more harrowing a flight it must be for the fighters out there in the conduit, so much more at the mercy of the subspace winds.

And then they were out. Just like that. Faye and was looking around at the darkness of space, reaching up to sweep her hair back and will her heart beat to slow and return to normal. She could feel the relation, and the sorrow. The fear and anger were there too. The bridge was a light with emotion, quietly expressed. She swallowed, longing suddenly for a glass of Ichor-berry tea. A taste of home.

Because wherever they were, she was certain it was far, far from home.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Masorin on March 27, 2019, 10:22:06 PM
[ Lt JG Salem Martin (https://uss-theurgy.com/w/index.php?title=Salem_Martin) | Main Bridge | Vector 01 | USS Theurgy ]  attn: @Auctor Lucan
[Show/Hide]


Salem felt blood trickling his brow, with everything that had happened, the head wound he had gathered from his earlier bounce had re-opened, but his entire focus was on the ship. While they were in the aperture the majority of their sensors were confused and useless. The readings they got while they were in the space between spaces were muddled, confusing, and basically useless, and every second they spent in that space was one more before the biggest boom in their life.

Salem swore he could feel the ship bounce off the walls of the aperture, the entire vessel was shaking like it was about to fall apart, he couldn't ascertain exactly how damaged everything was. Salem was braced against his chair, his hands gripping his console as the whole place was tense and he swore he could feel a sense of motion sickness, he envied how composed Morgan could be in this situation.

And then they were out, adrift in the quiet of space. faint stars littered the view screen, deep space, normal space. Theurgy's sensors were still recovering from everything, but the probe he and Okafore had sent ahead of them was still here with them and broadcasting.

With the interference from the nebula gone, he could use the probe to get an idea of where in the galaxy they were. It took a few seconds to ping it up, and he felt a wave of relief wash over him. A tense breath that he had been holding in escaped him as he almost fell back into his seat his muscles loose, and his body feeling less sick than it had a few moments ago.

"We are... bordering, the  Mutara Nebula, We are still in the alpha quadrant." He didn't want to even know the odds of that, the aperture could have gone anywhere in the known or unknown universe, but they were in a place where the computer recognized them.

There was a beep on his tactical relay, and he looked at it for a moment. His personal view could only show him so much, but he almost laughed when the sensors picked up something outside the ship. "Captain, permission to adjust the view screen. It's not tactically relevant but I think everyone will want to see this."

When the okay was given Salem put in the command to show the crew what he was able to see on the main view screen. A flock of rare, but large pink creatures had to suddenly divert their course, Startled they moved slightly away from the ship, while their mass sail like appendages caught the solar wind of one star to travel to the next. The endangered species of Gormanganders. They were a small flock traveling through deep space. Gliding gently through the abyss making no sounds as they went yet able to communicate to one another. Keeping them in a mass pod. A small family of rare and endangered species, that more than a hundred years after the Federation had discovered their existence they still didn't entirely understand how they existed.

Salem leaned back into his seat, this was one of the reasons he had joined the Federation, not to save the universe from destruction, but the soft peace of seeing things rare, unique and wondrous. He wiped the blood from his brow, finding a small mix of his own tears as well. The release of tension making him feel more elated than he had since entering the Azure Nebula.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: The Ostrich on March 28, 2019, 01:30:37 AM
[ LtCmdr Vivian Martin | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

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Vivian held grimly to her seat as the ship traveled through the tunnel. It was a very bumpy ride, and with the amount of battle damage they had taken it was possible, Vivian thought, they the hull could quite easily and likely shake itself apart. There was very little she could do now. The sensors were feeding everything they got to the helm, in some vain hope that it would make their journey safer.

The journey seemed to take an eternity, but sooner than Vivian expected, the walls of the tunnel gave way to the blackness of space. The inky blackness was unfamiliar after their time spent in the Azure nebula. Vivian gave a sigh of relief and relaxed in her seat as she gazed out the star field. She heard her brother's announcement that they were in the Alpha quadrant and raised and eyebrow. That was impressive. The aperture could have spat them out anywhere in the Universe, and it had picked what was in the grand scheme of things, the backyard.

Salem's next announcement was more interesting. When the screen changed, Vivian gasped and stood quickly. "Gormanganders! Oh wow...they're beautiful...I never thought I would be so lucky to see some."

Some part of her mind wanted to scan them until the sensors gave up and died, but the rest of her told that part to shut up and enjoy the moment. They had regained their lost crew and Captain, prevented a Borg invasion, shaken Task Force Archeron, and lost good people. She felt tears gathering in her eyes and rolling down her face. From joy, sadness, or weariness she knew not.
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Hastata-Nerada on March 28, 2019, 02:20:44 AM
[ Lt. Tyreke Okafor | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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The yawning maw of subspace swallowed the ship and its reunited crew. The battle was over just like that. The hull lurched and groaned, and Tyreke gripped his console for dear life. Not out of any danger of falling again, but just out of the sheer ordeal that was so close to concluding. He counted the seconds. One. Two. Three. His shielding held, he did not appear to be disintegrating. Four. Five. He had forgotten to check Vanya properly. Maybe when they were out, or after she had been patched up in sickbay. Six. Seven. The probe continued to broadcast, it was safe, alive, no threat to them. Eight... Or nine? He lost count. It didn't matter, it was about to be over, or so he prayed it would. Beye would be nice to make... It required quite a bit of oil, but they had survived the impossible, just this once would be fine. Food was a good thought, to guard himself from the ideas of what surrounded this ship and its crew.

And then the light was replaced by inky blackness. Little by little, Okafor could see stars peeking out among the void. They were safe, at last. He leaned back and exhaled, the tension in his body vacating him so fast that he nearly fell limp. After a few seconds he heard it. Bordering the Mutara Nebula, chillingly close to Federation space. The likelihood of that was more than a little too close for comfort. Okafor's head turned to face the viewscreen, as gentle creatures moved in a pod across it. Their fin-like limbs effortlessly carried them through the vacuum, coasting on radiation pressure and a current of neutrinos. Gormaganders, one of the rare sights in the galaxy. Okafor let out a short laugh. Then another, then a joyous cry as he realized their miraculous voyage, which turned to quiet lamentations as the reality of their loss sank in. There he sat, for some time, as his weary form took the time to let everything go...
Title: Re: Chapter 05: The Battle of the Apertures [ Day 06 | 1005 hrs. ]
Post by: Auctor Lucan on March 28, 2019, 02:09:54 PM
[ Captain Ives | Main Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]
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The Theurgy cleared away from the aperture, the Lone Wolves and the Allegiant following. The bridge crew were working on damage control and finding out where they were, but Jien had risen from her command chair to watch the part of the viewscreen showing the mouth of the tunnel from whence they had come. No more had she gotten out of her seat when it happened.

A bright light, in which the silent detonation could be seen filling up the innards of the tunnel - collapsing it as it went. Jien's eyes narrowed against the minute brightness, because as fast as the shock wave would have travelled, the tunnel was ceasing to be, and there was no means for the blast to reach beyond the mouth for more than a moment. In the final second, the aperture was a white disc of flaring light trying to reach the space they were in, and then...

...it was gone.

And so was Wenn Cinn.

Jien looked down towards the deck, thinking about how unjust it was, that they had to loose Cinn when he had just returned to them. It was clear, however, that the man had been successful in his undertaking. He had activated the Omega device, and depending on how many molecules were contained in the thing, the Azure Nebula would be a dead zone. Seeing what had happened to the tunnel they had used to escape in, there was no doubt that all the cubes they'd seen were obliterated, and both the Alpha and Beta Quadrants had been saved from the Borg. It was with mixed feelings that Jien raised his head at the mentioning of their destination... and their startled company.

It was a great relief, to hear they were not stranded millions of light years away from the Sol System, but in the outskirts below Klingon and Gorn space, close to the hollowed-out Mutara Nebula. Jien knew these sectors well, though before she might start to think about possible safe havens, the gormaganders filled the viewscreen.

Such a stark contrast to the battle in which they had just fought, they were rewarded by the magnified sight. Perhaps it was a reminder, that there were good things yet to fight for. The effect of the high-strung bridge crew - the sheer relief - was contagious, and despite all the losses suffered, Jien found a small smile touching her face.

"Mission Ops, clear the Allegiant for docking, and let the wolves back home."

- FIN