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CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Chapter 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]
Attn: All

[ USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]
Posting Order: 1) Aisha S'Iti, 2) Morrigan + Tessa May Lance and Billy Bob O'Connell respectively 3) Rory Callahan (independently) 4) Sten Covington with Carrigan Trent inside the arriving turbolift (which stops working mid-way up to Deck 01) 5) Natalie Stark  6) Declan Vasser, Security & Bridge Crew

With a mordant glare, Declan had seated himself at the helm after dismissing the bumbling idiot that had previous occupied the seat. The man now lay on the floor - staring blindly into the artificial lights of the bridge's ceiling - his neck at an unnatural angle. The viewscreen was lit with an aft view, and Chief S'Iti'a program activated. It was, of course, impossible to get a true visual on the pursuer at the velocity they currently held, but the reticule and sensors worked fine - indicating just how fast the Calamity was gaining on them.

Where is T'Rena? he asked himself, having tried to reach her twice over the latest couple of minutes. If she had been taken captive by one of the resistance cells, it was unfortunate, but  he had more important things on his mind. For while it was along time since he had been at the helm of a starship, he trusted his hand-eye coordination to help him when flying manually.  Matching the delicate touch of the control panel and the movements on the viewscreen was no match for him, but the Calamity was not in optimal range for mine deployment. Key as to synchronise the two ships' Warp trajectories.

[Vasser, this is Aisha S'iti.  I am en-route to your location on the main bridge and am returning to take my station due to emergency circumstances.  Know that I am not returning out of some form of misguided loyalty to you or your mission but only out of the need that this ship has for a skilled person at the helm.  I will be arriving alone and armed and will not be relieving myself of my weapons in order to assure my own protection. I suggest you instruct your officers and guards to stand down and allow me to take my place at the helm and I would suggest that you yourself take a station at tactical so that together this ship has the best chance of successfully disabling the Calamity.  For my own protection know that if I have reason to suspect aggressive intentions on the part of any members of your crew against myself, I will open fire without reservation.  Expect me to arrive on the bridge in 10 seconds. S'iti out.]

Vasser listened, but there was no outside reaction to the announcement. Not besides the order he gave to the security guards on the bridge - eyes locked on the screen. It was clear that the traitorous Cardassian was not asking for his permission. "When she arrives, keep your eyes open and have your Phasers set to kill. I will not tolerate failure."

Even with the Chief Conn Officer manning the ship, the problem was that the Theurgy would not be able to maintain its current Warp factor for more than a couple of minutes. The sabotage in Engineering had left them bereft of plasma, and Vasser was ordering more and more systems to be shut down in order to preserve the plasma levels. This had helped until a minute ago, when his bridge crew said they had been locked out of the ship systems - forcing Vasser to take matters into his own hands.

His concerns about the development would no help him, so he put it all aside for the time being - confident that he would still prevail. Not only did he have a few more aces up his sleeve, so to speak, he also had several loyal crewmembers on the ship with tasks that would ensure his command over the ship.

When the Cardassian arrived, he did not vacate his seat until she was at his side, and only then did he make way for her - making sure that the matching trajectories were not lost. He stepped over the body of the red-collared Petty Officer at his feet. "If you fail," he said quietly as he made his way to the Tactical station, "you will share the same fate as Mister Quentin here. The Calamity will be in range in two minutes - less if the lack of plasma affects the Warp Core."

That she had opted to return in such martyrs' fashion suggested that she had some kind of last resort to utilise, but in the end, it did not matter. He knew what he had to do.

"Re-routeing all auxiliary power to Engineering, shutting down all primary systems not dedicated to propulsion and defence systems, and arming all torpedo bays. Phasers arrays are primed and standing by." With his commands into the tactical console, only emergency lights remained on all decks of the ship. All turbolifts save for one stopped working. It bought them another minute at present Warp factor, and Vasser his advantage. "You have a window of opportunity limited to ten seconds, Cardassian, provided that you keep her steady. Thea, I suggest you assist this woman as best as you might if anyone is to survive the next couple of minutes. Engineering may have to stabilise the Core's three reaction chambers. Vasser Out."

With this, Declan removed his combadge and laid it on the tactical station. He exchanged a look with one of his Brig Officers behind Aisha's back, and he made his move - not saying anything more to the woman and leaving her to her task of full focus on the viewscreen. Unwittingly, she had granted him the perfect opportunity.

This Chapter in the Theurgy story is dedicated to Mr. Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015. May he never be forgotten.

OOC: Please see suggested posting order at the top. I will notify other writers than those listed when it is time to make an appearance in this thread!

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #1
[ Aisha S'iti | USS Theurgy | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ]

Aisha waited at the door holding the phaser ready to fire and as soon as she saw him aimed squarely at Vasser who was at her station.  Calmly she made her way to the station only dropping the weapons aim once she was assured that his intent was to make sure hers was to preform the duties she had spoken of. 

"If you fail, you will share the same fate as Mister Quentin here. The Calamity will be in range in two minutes - less if the lack of plasma affects the Warp Core."

She scoffed at the threat taking her seat at the Conn.  "Can it with your threats Vasser; If I fail then we are all equally dead.  Its not like I'm selfless martyr.  I'm only here cause It's the only Bridge I could get to in time to keep you from blowing us to hell with your own self indulgent arrogance.  Now get me someone with a brain at tactical so all I have to do is line up and drop the mine.  We'll need every ounce of shield strength we can muster in order to not get our own warp field collapsed by the damn thing when it blows."

Bringing up the finite controls she would need to adjust each and every necessary variable to ensure the perfect shot she sighed watching the trajectory data line up with precise coordinates. With a few minor adjustments she had the ship's course adjusted to the prime angle that would put the Calamity approaching directly behind. 

Of course any basic officer would never attempt to approach an enemy from behind like this as they would end up with a photon torp thrown right towards their main bridge or the front of a warp nacelle.  Well unless the ship was at a huge known technological advantage and had nothing to risk by going in for the quick kill and at their present state Aisha could not imagine a better more clear example of wounded limping and utterly outmatched prey that could provide the one exception to the rule to not approach from a directly 6 o'clock angle.

"Yes," Aisha thought around, focusing on the approaching ships telemetry info. "Hunt us like your helpless prey Cala.  You have absolutely nothing to worry about." she said quietly with a sarcastic venom as she primed the launch of the mines she was planning to shove down the Holo-crewed predator's throat.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #2
[ Tessa May Lance | USS Theurgy | Officer's Head | Deck 01 ] 

A toilet aboard a ship is officially referred to as the head.  Restrooms are also known as heads since back in the age of sail they were placed the bow or the head of the ship.  The head on deck one was located just portside of the bridge and could be accessed from the 'U' shaped corridor that encircled the fore, port, and starboard part of the deck.  In this particular head a hatch opened up in the wall and Lieutenant (junior grade) Tessa May Lance jumped out and executed a roll that almost ended with hitting her head against the sink on the forward section of the bulkhead.

Petty Officer First Class Adara Hussein of Deck Ops crawled out the hatch after her, pulling a phaser rifle behind her that seemed too large for her diminutive frame.

"Lance to Stark," Tessa hissed as she tapped the spot where her combage used to be.  "I mean Lance to Thea... whatever.  Clear.  We're in the head on deck one, checking the corridor," she murmured through grit teeth as she advanced on the door.   To Tessa's ears, the restroom door hissed open with deafening loudness.  Steeling her courage, she gripped the doorframe with both hands and leaned into the hall to look both ways. 

Empty.  Perfect.  She crept out into the corridor and nearly jumped out of her skin as the door to the conference lounge hissed open to reveal a towering Bolian in a Starfleet uniform with a gold collar pulling a pistol shaped mark II hand phaser off his hip and pointing it at her.  Quick as a wink, Tessa's hand darted to her side and drew her phaser.  Her arm snapped up as fast as Caitan to point her weapon at him and...

...dropped her phaser on the floor when it slipped out of her fingers to clatter on the deck at her feet.  The Bollian smirked at her as she blushed and bent over to pick it up, and that's when the diminutive Adara Hussein shot him with her phaser rifle.  So distracting was Tessa's performance that the Bolian hadn't even noticed the petite Persian standing right behind her.

"You dropped something Ma'am," Petty Officer Hussein remarked dryly.

"You dropped someone Petty Officer," Tessa quipped as she retrieved her phaser.  She slapped her breast where her combage should have been.  "Oh, damn," she sputtered when she remembered that they had ditched their combages.  "Tessa to Stark, one enemy dealt with, over."  Was Thea relaying their messages?  Tessa sure hoped so.  "Thea we need the door to the security checkpoint and armory open."

[ Master Chief Petty Officer William Robert "Billy Bob" O'Connell | USS Theurgy | Main Engineering | Deck 10 ] 

Crewman Dom Fok awoke to hear the red alert klaxons ringing in his ears.  At first he thought it was a hallucination, but then he opened his eyes to see Master Chief Petty Officer William Robert "Billy Bob" O'Connell standing over him.  "Fok!  Wake up!  Wake up Crewman!  To your station!"

Groggy, Fok reached for his waist where his phaser was supposed to be only to find it wasn't there.  To be honest he'd be lucky if he could find his penis right now.

"Git yore ass up, yuh lazy bastich!" O'Connell roared as he pulled the injured crewman to his feet.  "The ship is goin' in t' combat and it's every man to his station!  I don't give a damn who the skipper is right now as long as the ruttin' ship don't explode, so git to your station!" he shouted as he roughly pushed Fok to the phase compensator near the plasma manifolds.  

Fok staggered forward and looked around and saw other engineers in the room, but not for long because O'Connell seized him by the collar of his uniform.  "And so help me Fok, if you mess this up I'll do things to you that'll give the Tal'Shiar nightmares!" the master chief promised before pushing Fok backwards. 

O'Connell turned to face a coffee colored chief petty officer with a gold collar.  "Manfredi!" he barked as he marched over to the master systems display table.  "How are we doing on power?"

"Main power is back up to seventy two percent, Master Chief," Lavar Manfredi, the propulsion chief from Earth's city of New Orleans replied. 

"Thanks Chief," O'Connell  nodded in a normal sounding voice.  "Koizumi!" he hollered across the room.  "How are the plasma relays son?"

"Plasma relays are up to the same point they were before the sabotage Master Chief!"  Petty Officer Tenchi Koizumi of the Terran city of Kyoto called down from the deck above.

"That bad huh?" he groaned sarcastically.  "Arex!" he shouted to a bald, blue skinned engineer who had a visible bifurcating ridge running vertically along the center of the head and face.  "Tell me weapons and shield are working!"

"Weapons and shields are online Master Chief!" Petty Officer Zil Arex from the town of Xilmophia on Bolarus IX called back.  "Or at least they should be when someone on the bridge turns them on!"

"Okay, then.  Let's concentrate on maintaining the warp envelope and maybe we can get through this," O'Connor said in a loud stage voice.  This was his moment.  A moment he never asked for and never thought it would come.  Today William Robert O'Connell was the chief engineer.  For as long as it would take for the Calamity to blow them out the stars.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #3
[Fasha | USS Theurgy | Ship's Corridors | Deck 02 ]

Fasha quietly made her way through the ship's Jefferies tubes sparing brief glances back at the man climbing through the tubes behind her. Tessa had taken Petty Officer Hussein leaving her alone Rory Callahan the proprietor of the bar downstairs. As she reached the exit she turned back towards Rory bringing a single finger to her lips a universal sign to keep quiet as she pushed open the hatch just wide enough to slip through her eyes performing a quick study of her surroundings. From what she saw no guards were in their immediate vicinity  for now meaning the element of surprise was still working in their favor.

If she recalled the blueprints Thea had provided them correctly right now she was in the Yeoman's office. She moved over to the door leading out to the corridor relying on her memory of the blueprint to lead her in the right direction. She moved her hand over the control panel to the door taking a deep breath before pushing the open button. The door slid open with a whoosh sound far too loud for Fasha's own liking. Fortunately however she seemed to avoid the attention of any nearby guards for the moment. She peeked out into the hall for a brief moment once in either direction. Down the left corridor she managed to spare a quick glance at the guard who appeared to be on patrol at the end of the corridor.

She glanced back at Rory who she hoped at this point had followed before moving a bit closer "Stay here...The other guard might be on a patrol route if he comes through here...Kill him." Fasha said simply nodding her head towards the Phaser provided to the man. "Don't hesitate." She said before turning and leaving the room heading down the left corridor. She kept her body in a low crouched position close to the wall but not touching it to avoid the sound of her rifle or body clattering against it. She quickly reached the L junction of the hall and spared a quick glance around the corner. The guard was coming back around for his second pass. Her mind raced to decide on a course of action firing a phaser wouldn't be the wisest choice. The sound would alert those inside the bridge to their presence. She'd need to be silent.

Fasha took a deep breath reaching back and grasping the hilt of her Tau'Kon'She slowly drawing it from it's sheath. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as she counted the number of seconds in her head it would take for him to round the corner. As he turned the corner she struck out like a cobra her blade lashing out cutting deeply into his throat cutting off any attempt to scream or yell before the blade was drawn back and plunged into his chest thrice once in both lungs and the last stab tearing into his heart. The man simply stared at Fasha with wide eyes as Fasha moved forward to catch him before his body hit the floor his blood staining her clothes and skin as she lowered him to the floor quietly.

She brushed the blood staining her blade off on her undergarments before sheathing it once more. "Fasha to Star-" Her report was cut off however as Tessa reported her own success at taking down her guard. Fasha waited for a moment before speaking "Fasha reporting enemy neutralized how should we proceed?" Fasha said.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #4
[Sten Covington | USS Theurgy | Deck 01 - Bridge ]

The turbolift car had been filled the moment the pilots had departed to accomplish their objectives in the corridor surrounding the main Bridge.  And at the forefront, immediately inside the door was the Chief of the Deck and Petty Officer De Serres, an equally burly member of his deck crew.  These two men would be the first to step onto the Bridge proper, with Lieutenant Commander Stark close behind them.  After all, it would not do if the one officer they had who could take charge got herself shot the moment the door would open.  Granted, the Theurgy could ill-afford losing her Chief of Flight Deck Operations or one of her fighter spaceframe techs but they were far more expendable than the Operations Officer was. 

The wait seemed long, interminable even.  But the comm panel in the turbolift then sounded when both Lieutenants Lance and Fasha had completed their objectives.  The next part, while technically it should be under Stark's direction, was led by Covington.  Pressing the panel, he trusted in Thea to properly route the message via the ship's panels.  "Goldeneye, Morrigan, stand by to rush the Bridge on my mark."  And only then did he press the single control that would lead their turbolift car up one deck. 

And just as the door before him was about to open, the grizzled veteran pressed the comm panel control once more and called out a single word.  "Now."

Even as the door hissed, Sten's bulk surged forward with a speed uncommon for a man his size, let alone of his years.  There had been a guard next to the turbolift, but the man never had a chance. His own rifle was coming up towards the door on the far side of the bridge which was opening to admit Petty Ofifcer Hussien but he never had a chance to fire as a large hirsute paw closed upon the barrel and first pulled the weapon forward, throwing the man off-balance as the sling pulled taut and then that same hand reversed its momentum to send the butt of the rifle crashing into its owner's teeth.  As the man collapsed to the deck, barely conscious from the brutal impact, the Chief hefted his own weapon to his shoulder, his barrel finding the next of Vasser's cronies as he moved further onto the Bridge and his voice called out once more.  "Weapons down!  Now!" 

His shout was taken over by De Serres as well as both men moved across the Bridge to secure weapons from crewmen who had been too stunned to move from the direct assault.  One, however, tried to make a break for it.  But he made a single mistake: he sought to do it within arm's reach of the Chief of the Deck and that ill-advised attempt at escape ended as quickly as it started when the veteran's scarred fist lashed out and caught the man squarely in the jaw, the impact lifting his feet off the deck and his landing yielding a most agreeable thump. 

That alone seemed to have had an effect and faces slackened and hands moved away from weapons when they realized the Bridge had been retaken.  But only then did Sten notice that the man they were after was nowhere to be seen.  And led to a single questions from him.  "Where's Vasser?"

[Carrigan Trent | USS Theurgy | Deck 01 - Bridge]

When he reached the turbolift car near Vector 3's Battle Bridge, Carriagan Trent looked like hell.  He was bruised and there were several cuts to his head and face from his various violent encounters, though primarily the one with T'Rena.  His jacket had been ruined, so he had left it behind when he recovered the combadge he had attached to it, the one he had taken from Sjaandin Fedd's cooling body and then reconfigured to himself during his short-lived first attempt at re-establishing command. His shirt was torn and stained with a mix of red and green blood, smoke and soot from the confrontation on the Battle Bridge.  But his eyes, pale and intense, spoke volumes about his determination.  They were at Red Alert and Calamity was after them.  He might have gone to Intelligence but once upon a time, he had been a solid Tactical Officer and a capable Executive Officer in the past, before he had received a starship command of his own and had led her into war.  His place was on the Bridge.  Even if that bastard Vasser was still there, it was where he needed to be. 

Obviously, his algorithm to go through Calamity's barrage jamming had been working, considering they had seen her coming and were not twisting and firing wildly as if they'd been cornered.  But no one up there could refuse his presence at this point.  Not if they wanted to live past the next hour at least.  There was no one else on board, and precious few within Starfleet, who had made electronic warfare their specialty and he was considered an authority on the subject.  And they needed his expertise in a hurry if they intended to have a fighting chance against Calamity.  Assuming the gravimetric mines would function as planned. 

But on his way up, he felt the turbolift shudder and halt, and a soulless computer voice informed him that the system had been shut down, as if he had not noticed such a thing himself. But he had no time to waste and instead, he tapped his combadge.  "Command override.  Re-initiate all turbolifts, authorization Trent Three Seven Four Nine Epsilon."  Indeed, he had no time for this sort of nonsense.  And as soon as he'd finished giving his access code, the turbolift car resumed its climb for the Bridge. 

When it came to a halt and the doors hissed open, he strode openly into the ship's nervous center and pale eyes moved across the room.  Men from the Harbinger were held at phaser-point by members of Theurgy's crew, including a pair of pilots and some of the fighter bay crew judging by the way they were dressed.  And amongst them was Lieutenant Commander Stark.  So at least, one other senior officer was capable of doing her duty and that much was a much needed relief.  However, the mutineer and criminal Declan Vasser was nowhere to be seen.  But that was a secondary problem at the moment. 

For at this point in time, he had to solidify his grasp on the situation and as he strode straight for the command chair, he let himself be heard in his quiet, near-whisper tone.  "I am Lieutenant Commander Trent.  I've assumed command in Captain Ives' name.  If you got a problem with it, get off the Bridge now.  If you can live with that, we got real work to do." 

And just as he finished his sentence, he seated himself in the central chair and he let his head turn back and forth.  The two pilots who were on the Bridge, he did recognize one of them, though.  Fasha.  So she had joined Starfleet?  That was good news, and those had been thin on the ground over the last few hours.  He knew her, had served with her, and he trusted her implicitly.  Not to mention what went beyond their professional relationship.

Last he had seen her was years ago, very early in the Dominion War.  The pilot, back then, had been with the Catachan colonial defence force and she and two other pilots and their crafts had been attached to the USS Harrier in the early days of the Dominion War.  That she was on Theurgy was a most pleasant surprise and beyond the gladness of seeing someone so dear to him again he was feeling much more confident about their current situation given he knew just how valuable she was as an asset.  "Lieutenant Fasha!  You and the Chief of the Deck will gather up every pilot and deck hand you can lay your hands on and get to the fighter bay.  Once you get down there, get wreckage cleared up and get birds ready to deploy.  Unless Commander Renard is already down there or until properly relieved, you're in charge of the Squadron.  Lieutenant Lance, is it?  You're next in line for the time being."

Then, as he started keying commands into his armrest consoles, he kept on directing the officers about him.  "Commander Stark, I would need you at Ops if you please.  We've taken a beating already so we'll need your expertise there to keep things balanced.  Tactical, get all weapons ready and prepare to execute firing plan Trent One on my mark. Also, I want a full tactical plot overlaid on the viewscreen, I need to have a solid grasp of what's going on out there.  Also, transfer control of the gravimetric mines to the helm."

The woman manning the console was Cardassian, Harbinger's helmsman, and if T'Rena was to be believed, she was as good as could be and he needed every ounce of skill and judgement as he could get.  "Chief, get us in proper alignment with Calamity.  Drop the mines as soon as you're satisfied they'll be effective then drop out of warp and bring us about to engage."

Then, it was the whole of the Bridge he addressed.  "Captain Ives' decision was to destroy Calamity and I fully intend to do just that.  Last chance if any of you would rather be somewhere else.  Once the mines are released, we are all committed."

OOC: I have been discussing this post with Auctor Lucan over the last day or so.  I apologize if anyone feels like they've been put on rails in this post but there is an need to get things moving.  The intent here is to send the pilots where they belong and into the dark.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #5
Crewman Fortuna laughed to himself, not like he could do much else being a security crewman stationed to guard the bridge, of course loyalty for the sake of drowning in poon can only motivate a man so far and he sure as hell wasn't gonna get himself mowed down by phaser fire for a Commodore that abandoned his own bridge.  "Hell if I know where he went.  Bastard don't tell us jack-shit,"  he said adding, "Ya know we would have a future warship in a three ship fleet heading for who knows where? Then we could'a settled down for a life that would make a Risan shore-leave look like a 3 year tour in the fucking space boonies, but you idiots had to make a big deal out of so called loyalty and fuck the whole plan up didn't you.  Why couldn't you just leave well enough alone? You had to resist the only hope for us to survive,"  he complained from what once was his 'guard post'  Of course., he sure as hell wasn't leaving.  If they were fucked proper and all gonna die, at least he was gonna spend his last minutes watching the show.

Aisha's focus on the other hand had been complete as the invasion on the bridge took place.  In fact, the Carddassian had seemingly been deaf to the situation taking place around her until out of the corner of her mind she heard her name being said.  "Yes sir." she said looking back recognizing the voice to be someone other than Vasser and knowing her need to maintain a head-down attitude was over. "Please advise, upon completion of mine deployment, go or no-go for MVAM?"

"Commander," Ensign Catalina Donovra interupted.  Donovra, a gold shirted security ensign luckily having logged a few hours at tactical on the gamma shift had taken the tactical station upon entry on the bridge.  "I've got green readings for weapons and shields now. Looks like someone in engineering must like us,"  she said happily relieved that they weren't completely screwed.

Aisha nodded. "Warp field Integrity is stabilizing too.  Whover's taken over in engineering is soing the Gods' work,"  she stated as she could just tell from the way the ship seemed to move that their motion through subspace was far smoother than before. "Commander, sit-rep on the Calamity. She's closing in fast.  Mine deployment viable in T-minus 5...4...3...2...1..."  She counted down as the mine's projected path became aligned perfectly to do its job.  "I've got you now bitch." she said quietly as she 'pulled the trigger'.

But, there was no detonation.  No detection of a mine even being launched, nothing.  "SHIT!" she exclaimed pressing the triggering command again then again and again practically jabbing her finger into the console now.  "Mines are negative on release!" Aisha exclaimed.

"Twenty-five seconds till Calamity is in firing range!" the young and now under a pressure Ensign at tactical said.  She tried to sound calm but she was scared out of her mind and relying on her training in academy on how to remain calm under pressure to allow her to attempt to keep a calm voice.  'No, don't panic, Commander's relying on you to be calm at Tac.  Remember your training girl,'  she repeated the mantra over and over in her mind her hands shaking in fear as she focused on the tactical console closing her eyes for a second as the fear made tears begin to form in her eyes.    

Accessing the intercom function, Aisha quickly attempted to establish contact to whoever was supposed to be working the improvised mine launching mechanism. "Cargo hold four, what the HELL is going on down there!" she shouted into the console demanding to know why their best offensive option was seemingly gone at the worst possible time.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #6
[ Tessa May Lance | USS Theurgy | Bridge | Deck 01 ] 

"I've found some restraints in the armory," Lieutenant Tessa May Lance announced as she walked onto the bridge.  After holding Fortuna and the other mutineers at gunpoint, she had double backed into the armory to collect some twenty-fourth century handcuffs.

"Ma'am, didn't you hear?" Petty Officer Adara Hussein hissed.  "We're under attack!  We've got to get to the flight deck and get your bird into the black!

"Er um, let's go!" Tessa stammered as they circled behind the captain's chair and entered the turbolift on the starboard side of the bridge.  "Are the turbolifts working?"

"Yes Ma'am," Hussein assured her.  "Commander Trent got this one working.  Let's go."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #7
[ Dr. Nicander | Mine Deployment Rig | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 02 ] Attn: Bridge Crew, Nolan & Triage

The situation was quite frustrating as the seconds wore on. Despite the lack of power, Tovarek and Heather McMillan was working on trying to raise a structural integrity field outside the damaged cargo bay doors despite the lack of available energy. If there was no field, both they and Natalie Stark's team would be vented out into the Theurgy's warp trail once those doors were opened. The plasma relay close to the door controls had been destroyed during the sabotage, overloading the control panel. Stark's team was ready to open the doors manually, but Lucan was - for reasons that eluded him - trying to save the lives of everyone present in the cargo bay.

He had powered down the deployment rig and stood by the lever that would activate the system again, waiting for Tovarek and McMillan to report that the field was up and for the doors to be opened with their manual override. The structural integrity field only needed to hold long enough for them all to vacate the area and seal the doors.

[Cargo hold four, what the HELL is going on down there!] came a voice from the intercom system, and as pressed as the situation was, Lucan thought it could be the Harbinger's Chief CONN Officer. Hard to tell, but it was his best guess, and that meant that the Calamity was getting closer. Time was running out. If the bridge wanted to release the mines, he could not power up the deployment rig because then the mines would detonate against the bay doors. Nor could he let them do so when the integrity field was in place. Five seconds passed. He did not know how dire the Calamity situation was. Perhaps they were about to be fired upon any moment. It all rode on...

Then, Tovarek and Heather signalled that the field was up.

"Open the bay doors!" he ordered, and two of Stark's personnel pushed the lever, making them slide open - the maws opening to the aft view of the ship. Shooting stars vanished into the distance. Somewhere behind them, impossible to see with the naked eye, their adversary was in likely in pursuit.

"Thea! Relay my words! Doctor Nicander to bridge!" he called, needing Thea since he had no combadge, "Mine deployment is viable in fifteen to twenty seconds. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt deployment before that or you will kill us all. Vacating the area now! Nicander out!"

Having alerted the bridge, Lucan rounded on Tovarek and Heather as he powered up the deployment ramp. "Run! Everyone! Get out! Deactivate the integrity field from the outside! We need to seal the doors to the cargo bay!" The Operations personnel were already running, and Lucan joined them. He tripped on the way, the pain making him light-headed. He got up again, chest hurting from the beating he had taken earlier, and he somehow made it out of the doors. He stumbled onwards to the control panel - not entirely sure if Simon or Heather was going to reach it ahead of him. The integrity field had to be dropped. Navigating the LCARS would take too long.

"Thea!" Was the cargo bay sealed? It was sealed. "Drop the field now!"

[Structural integrity field deactivated. Alerting main bridge.]

"Thank you," said Lucan and sunk down to the floor at the end of his wild run - sliding down against the bulkhead with his back. He caught himself looking around, to make sure everyone made it out fine. Again, he was working towards saving the ship which his kin meant to destroy. But they were sadly mistaken if they thought he was about to let them kill him too. His personal plans were more important to him than theirs. Always, his own agenda had been more important than the whispers of the darkness inside. From the start, he had thought them a means to success, yet residing within him was instead a conflict of interest that had survived since the first day the thing inside had made him more than he were. What irked him was how he could not reason why it was beneficial to be a host any more.

And yet his doubt remained a fleeting thing. Gripping sand and feeling his worries slide through his fingers, the silent answers in the darkness quelled his resistance. How could he accept the liability of the parasite without contest? Why did he only see benefits and forget the drawbacks - accepting them as a part of his new nature? Surely he would be better off without it?

Sitting there, he lost his train-of-thought and his argument, instead showing concern for those around him. Was it a part of his act that he cared?

He was not even sure about that any more...

OOC: Nolan & Triage, like I mentioned in the other OOC note, sorry for barging on, but there was a lot of ground to cover and I hope you guys can work with the resolution. Please let me know if you want me to make any edits to make room for your interpretation of the unfolding events. You have the posts to make in 05: Anodyne, and you can post here as well.

1) Brutus is next to post with Natalie Stark on the Bridge, but RosariaRosette can go next as well so that she can have Fasha join Tessa in the turbolift (Sten Covington will be on that turbolift as well). Brutus, please don't let the seconds pass by too far after Nicander's message to the Bridge since the window of viable mine deployment is running damn short on seconds. Searcher posts independently with Rory Callahan. 2) IronFerrox should be posting after Brutus and deploying the mines in the last possible moment. I will send IronFerrox a PM with the results for the attempt this time around.
3) CanadianVet posts with Trent about MVAM or not and with Sten heading down the turbolift as well, also, reaching the Fighter Assault Bay (which would be good if MVAM is to be used... and the ship is split up. Just make sure to use the offical transcript:

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #8
[ Heather McMillan |  Mine Deployment Rig | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Lucan cin Nicander, Simon Tovarek (Nolan) & Bridge Crew


It was a close thing, working feverishly alongside Tovarek, but McMillan had managed her half of the task, and with the last part done, she waved a shining hand at Nicander, once Tovarek had given his agreement to his own work being completed, letting the man know that it was more or less ready. Nothing was guaranteed. This was a rush job, and McMillan was horrible with rush jobs. But she knew the stakes, and did the best she could. She still felt inadequate amongst these true members of Starfleet. The brave and the bold, she saw them as, while there she was, a tiny little girl, scared out of her wits, and really just a coward.

The bay doors were opened, and Nicander shouted for everyone to get moving. "Hnh!" She bolted from her position, running on tip-toe, in a strange loping motion, looking like what could be best described as a running wolf in pursuit of prey. And she was almost gunning directly for Nicander, so it appeared, until she almost overtook him, and it seemed she was just in a real hurry, but held back because she wasn't sure of exactly where she was running to. Nicander tripped, however, and so did McMillan, except she had a more spectacular show, by tucking herself into a crazy barrel roll, before using the momentum of her own fall to get herself back on her feet and continue running like nothing had happened.

She fell because she wanted to turn back to help Nicander. Looking back showed that that was hardly necessary, as the man was also already back on his feet. Still, McMillan frowned, as she suspected that the man was ailing from something, and decided to ask him as soon as they could, if he needed something. Her lab coat was laden with spare gear she packed from the lab before she left. They then made it out of there.

"Hfff!" McMillan collapsed in a heap on the floor before Nicander, of her own volition, exhausted from such a sudden run, and she lay panting, her face, hair and hands dimly glowing, though now in a multitude of colours, like a prismatic moving light. "I. Never! Want. To do that. Again. EVER!" She declared as she sat up and mimicked Nicander's posture of leaning against a bulkhead next to him, still trying to catch her breath. "That was absolutely terrifying."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #9
[Natalie Stark | USS Theurgy | Deck 01 - Bridge ]

They'd tumbled out of the turbolift with barely a moment for Natalie to think about how damned nervous she was. Everything had been lined up. The teams had been deployed. Rory was - or would have been - sweeping into the room with the advanced teams on Aisha's word.  They were rushing up, and then CPO Covington was barreling into the opposition, in a flash of violence. She didn't even need to raise her own weapon, just stroll right out on the bridge - the Declan Vassar-less bridge.  Sten summed it up with that simple, straightforward question "Where's Vasser?" It left her dumbfounded, but there was no time to worry about that, as may pointed out. Before she could even snap off an order though, the turbolift doors swept open again. This time her phaser did snap up as she turned around to point the muzzle at - Lt. Cmdr. Carrigan Trent.

She had a moment to reflect on how he looked  like utter shit, but only just, before the bedraggled Lt. Cmdr began issuing orders.   "I am Lieutenant Commander Trent.  I've assumed command in Captain Ives' name.  If you got a problem with it, get off the Bridge now.  If you can live with that, we got real work to do."  Straightforward and to the point, and Natalie wished she could have summoned up the calm confidence to have said the same thing when she'd left the turbolift.

It was with a mix of a relief and...disappointment? as Lt. Cmdr. Trent took the center seat. Part of her was grateful to turn command to the Intel officer. True, she didn't know him terribly well but he had saved the ship once already and earned Cpt. Ives trust, and really, it was her trust in Ives that had her there on the bridge, ready to take it over from the - missing - Declan Vassar. But at the same time, part of Natalie had almost...looked forward to taking that seat. To seeing it out on her terms. But there was no point, or time, to argue over who should or shouldn't be in that chair. They had a mission to do.

"Commander Stark, I would need you at Ops if you please.  We've taken a beating already so we'll need your expertise there to keep things balanced.  Tactical, get all weapons ready and prepare to execute firing plan Trent One on my mark. Also, I want a full tactical plot overlaid on the viewscreen, I need to have a solid grasp of what's going on out there.  Also, transfer control of the gravimetric mines to the helm."

"Aye aye, sir," she replied to the orders stoically, acknowledging his authority, and then, "You heard the man," she snapped to her team, ending any possible issues right then and there, as she crossed the bridge and took her station. A quick glance to Sten, watching as he and the pilots pealed off to get out of the way of the bridge, her gaze sweeping to men and women that might very well be Vassar Loyalists - it didn't matter right then. Be they in the service of Ives or Vassar, the Calamity took precedence.  She pulled up the overlay on the main screen, sparing another quick glance - this time to Aisha. She thought of all the things Cal used to bitch about when it came to controlling the helm, and soft words of advice were on the tip of her tongue - and died there, when the mines failed to launch.

Her face drained of all blood and immediately she began trying to reroute power - no avail. Pulling up status logs, anything she could think of, while the Cardassian commed the launch bay. The enemy was 25 seconds away and if they didn't launch those damn mines now, at the very best they could hope for a quick death. God forbid the mines detonated inside the bay. She had no clue what kind of issue was going on, and anything was possible. Her heart began to race faster and she nearly panicked. Then she saw the way Ashia's hands trembled as the other woman tried to get control of the situation, and she sucked in a sharp breath through her teeth. Now wasn't the time. They might be dead in seconds, but now was not the time. Her back straightened and her gaze hardened. She might have been pale as a ghost, but that was it, the only sign of concern.

"Thea! Relay my words! Doctor Nicander to bridge!" he called, needing Thea since he had no combadge, "Mine deployment is viable in fifteen to twenty seconds. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt deployment before that or you will kill us all. Vacating the area now! Nicander out!" The voice of the CMO answered over the comm system, startling Natalie.

What the hell is he doing down there? she asked herself as she pulled up a countdown, and overlay it on the main view screen. He'd asked - pleased for 15 to 20 seconds - and they only had 20 tops. "Come on come on come onnnnn," she muttered under her breath, sweat trickling down the back of her neck. The enemy was closing in, and time was running out - barely seconds left. She made the snap decision, and reached out, beginning to tap the  release control that would force a transfer of the mine deployment to her console. They didn't have any time left, and it was her people down there, her men and women, her team, working to release those mines. Her crew, that would die if the mines were released too early. She wasn't going to put that responsibility on anyone else. If she had to sacrifice her people, it would kill her inside but there was no way she would burden anyone else with that.

Her mind caught up with her heart about half a second after, as she went over the readouts on her console again. It wouldn't just be the crew in the bay that got toasted if they launched early. The doors were opening, but creeping along. If they launched too soon, the mines would detonate inside the ship all the same, just like she'd worried about before. Her hands paused, hovering over the last command that would rip the launch control to her authorization instead of the helm. Duty, fear, anxiety, and cold calculation warred within her.

"Ensign Donovra," she called out in a voice she hoped to hell wasn't shaking, "Status on the Calamity? Weapons?"

"She'll be on us in any second, Ma'am," the dark haired woman at tactical called back. "Her weapons are hot!" The sense of urgency was clear in the younger officers voice.

They didn't have any more time. Her fingers were poised to transfer the control, but there was risk there, too. "Chief S'Iti, we can't wait," she could still see the tremble in the grey skinned woman's hands, "Launch those mines now, or so help me I'll do it myself," her tone was cold, so much colder than normal, colder than she felt. Her heart was racing, pounding in her chest, there was still sweat running down her spine, but her hands were steady, and there was no hesitation in her voice. The order to launch was given, and time, time was running out.

OOC: Edited for better flow. Y'all have fun.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #10
[ Tovarek |  Mine Deployment Rig | Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Nicander, McMillan & Bridge Crew

Tovarek hurried to finish up with his work and he noticed that McMillan was ready just a few seconds before he was. "Go ahead, tell Nicander that we're set." He quickly checked up on McMillan her input data to see if anything would flash up in his eyes that would seem wrong, yet the civilian scientist seemed to be knowing what she was doing. He locked the controls to what they were in case anything would happen to it and he looked one last time at the deployment rig.

After that he started to make a run for it, Heather seemed to be making a greater distance then he did in a short time and he saw Nicander trip. Yet there was no time to lose as Simon hurried hismelf past the cargo bay doors and smashed against the wall. He turned around and it seemed that time slowed down a bit as Heather and Lucan made their way through the doors before the cargo doors shut with a hiss. Simon closed his eyes as Nicander heard the reassuring voice of Thea and he caught his breath while keeping his eyes closed. "I really need a drink when this is all over." He mumbled softly and the operations man besides him nodded his head in agreement.

OOC: Sorry for the short post, bit short on imagination at the moment.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #11
[ Dr. Nicander | Outside Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 02 ] Attn: Nolan & Triage

Hearing what his two companions said on either side of him, Lucan could not agree more with their individual standpoints.

"I'm not sure one drink will quite cut it," he said and chuckled while he rested his head against the wall. Laughing hurt, however, and he raised a tattooed hand to his side with a groan. "Laughing was not a good idea... I think the bastard down in Waste Management broke a rib or two..."

Furthermore, he still felt drained after having used his Câroon abilities, so the energy to stand up and make his way back to Sickbay was not quite there yet. He reckoned that he was needed at his post, but if he got there, he might just end up another patient on their hands. He had faith in his fellow officers in Sickbay to get by without him for just a little while longer. Then again, he had no idea what kind of situation they had on their hands, so it might just be his fatigue talking.

"As much of a difference we might have made, and what we have come to learn about each other..." he said and gave Heather McMillan a lop-sided grin - this Radiant that had revealed herself in their midst, "I agree. I don't feel inclined to see the inside of a Jefferies tube again, or get into fist-fights against security officers for that matter. Let's just hope those mines end up where they should now that we opened the bay doors for them."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #12
[ Rihen Neyah | Corridor | Life Support Systems | Deck 07 ] Attn: Sirus, Brutus, Searcher (& IronFerrox)

Progress was slow, or at least it felt like they could not be moving any slower unless they tried. Then again, there was only Lin Kae and her there to change the controller chips in the holo-emitters while they moved down the corridors, so Rihen Neyah supposed that given the circumstances, they couldn't be too hard on themselves. The EMH walked at a steady pace with Selena Ravenholm in his arms, looking as displeased as he had from the start, and Skye Carver - the fighter pilot with the phaser rifle - was keeping a look-out in both directions of the corridor. They had travelled to the right Deck not long ago, and it was not too far left until they reached Sickbay.

"Don't try anything stupid," said a quiet voice ahead of Rihen as she was about to change yet another chip in the ceiling-mounted emitter. The malice in the tone made Rihen stop short.

Worried about what was going ahead of them, Rihen slowly put the chair she had been carrying down and put a finger against her own lip as she made eye-contact with her companions, hoping that they all could be quiet. With a few silent steps, she looked around the corner of the intersection, peaking out slowly so that she wouldn't give away her location with a sudden movement. The errant thought came to her that she felt like some kind of spy in the holovids they kept back home in Risia's night clubs. When her mismatched eyes saw what was going on, however, she had to clamp a hand over her mouth to keep herself from sucking in a sharp breath.

There was a half-naked woman with blonde hair bent over a hovering cart of some sort, and she appeared to be giving the fellatio to an escaped patient from Sickbay - hiked up hospital gown and all. On its own, it was remarkable for the public location and the timing of pending battle, but there was another one - a red-haired man - present as well, dressed in one of those exosuits Rihen had seen the pilots in the hangar wearing. The pilot was stepping in behind the woman, and he was pointing a hand phaser right in the face of the man with the gown. He was holding a rifle as well, but seemed to... Oh, Rihen saw how he made the rifle lean against the side of the cart just so that he could do something with the crotch-area of his exosuit.

"If either of you make the wrong move, the freak's head will be vaporised, so just enjoy yourselves while you can. Its not every time you get to have this much fun while on duty." The quiet voice reached Rihen, and while she was first perplexed as to why the handsome human had been called a freak, she soon realised that the other man was about to force himself on the woman. She could not see how close he was to penetrate her, but he was just about to reach for the woman's hair with his free hand after being done with his suit... He was just about to...

Something snapped in Rihen. After learning what the two crews had been doing the day after the event she had hosted on the holodeck, with words of rape, murder and mutiny staining the memories of a night that she had dedicated to generosity and recreation... the realisation that another man and woman would be subjected to the foulest of acts known to all Risians... it simply made her forget all sense of personal perseverance. It was not often she lost herself to anger, but it had been a long and disappointing day. With a fierce cry that built from the pit of her stomach, she picked up her chair and threw it across the corridor - aiming for the back of the vile man.

He turned around as he heard her cry, eyes widening. He was raising his free hand to cover his face from the chair that had been hurled at him. His aim towards the man wavered...

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #13
[ Captain Jien Ives | Turbolift | Stopping at Deck 04 ] Attn: Triage

With Commander Rez and Yeoman Henshaw at either of her sides, Captain Ives led the trio of women - a wedge at the forefront of the crew that had holed itself up in Below Decks. As their steps carried them towards the turbolift, more and more of the loyal crew peeled off towards their individual tasks aboard the ship. Jien did not wish to waste another moment away from her rightful place on the bridge, but she did not know how keen Captain Vasser would be on allowing her up there. As it were, however, Jien did not care.

The first pair of turbolifts Jien reached were powered down, so she had opted to continue a bit further down the corridor to try some others. By that time, the urgency of the pending battle had made the crew behind Jien, Edena and Cam leave them, so it was only the three of them that reached stepped aboard the lift that was about to take them to Deck 01.

"Thea," she said and raised her eyes to the ceiling of the turbolift, "Are you still there? I am on my way to the bridge. Can you give me a status report?"

[Yes, Captain. Mine deployment imminent. Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent s in command on the Main Bridge. I am almost within Cala's firing range. The Valkyries in Fighter Assault Bay is powered up and awaiting their pilots, but five Valkyries are MIA since Vasser's hostile takeover. The Harbinger is shadowing Cala towards us. Approximate ETA: Three minutes.]

Frowning, Jien digested the information for a moment as the turbolift ascended the decks of the ship. "What about Declan Vasser and T'Rena?"

[T'Rena has been killed in action. Declan Vasser is still at large - current location unknown. Internal sensors can not differentiate him from the rest of the crew, despite the fact that he is an Augment.]

Jien's eyes widened. "He... How did you..?"

That was when the ceiling hatch of the turbolift slammed down upon the three women that stood underneath it. It connected with Jien's temple and she crumpled to the floor underneath the weight. She thought she heard the metallic sound of steps on top of the hatch, and she could feel its heavy weight shifting. No more had Jien started to get her wits about her after the sudden development than she heard someone tear off the emergency casing of the control panel and yank at the manual override - stopping the lift in its tracks. The inertial dampeners could not quite compensate for the shift, and Jien felt the heavy hatch lift a couple of inches by the motion, only to slam down on her again when they were at a complete stop.

[Captain? Are you there? Your turbolift has yet to reach Deck 01. Why have you stopped?]

Jien turned her head to look up, seeing the dim figure of Declan Vasser towering above her. He was not even looking at the three women, instead forcing the sliding doors apart with his bare hands. Once he was done, he ducked under the edge of the ceiling of the deck just below their cabin and dropped out. For a moment, Jien thought the... the Augment was about to leave them behind, but that was when she saw Declan's hand reaching inside the lift again, grabbing one of the women by the arm and tearing her out of the lift in one brutal, heaving motion. Jien didn't see who it was as she struggled to get up, but the fall from the floor of the lift to the deck outside had to be just shy of five feet, and Jien could hear the commotion of it all.

"Ives," came the voice from outside the lift, and Declan did not even sound winded. "I had hoped to find T'Rena, but since your A.I. just told me she is dead, I need to resort to alternative plans. If you follow me, or try to capture me, I will make sure she can neither see nor walk again... so spare her the inconvenience by merely being the good Captain that you are.  Go to your bridge and do your battle. I know how you think: The needs of your crew and your futile mission is more important than her or myself, correct? So I trust you will do the right thing like you always do... and turn a blind eye towards me and this woman as we leave this ship."

Head still spinning, Jien pushed the hatch up against the wall and looked out the opening to the deck below the cabin, and she could see the metallic gleam of a hand phaser as Declan turned on his heel and dragged someone along with him with an unyielding grip. There had not been any time to answer the madman, and it was not until she could focus her eyes on the other woman- the one still in the turbolift with her - that she learned whom Declan had taken hostage.

And as Jien locked eyes with her, the unspoken question was right there between them.

Did she go after Declan or not?

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #14
[ Aisha S'Iti  | Main Bridge | Deck 01 ] Attn: Bridge crew

The order was all she needed to hear.  Aisha, primed for the moment she was clear to launch the mines, pressed the button.  Near instantly she saw a readout on the proximity of the Calamity.  "Impact! Target is loosing momentum.  Alert! detecting previously undiscovered gravity well in proximity adjusting course," she said having barely kept the ship from automatically dropping out of warp to avoid flying through the object now off their starboard quarter. "Bringing her to bear on target."

Donavra readied herself for her real work as she felt the Theurgy decelerating. As power was diverted from the engines back into the systems she sighed a bit of relief seeing the deflector arrays stabilizing with their proper power allotted to them and seeing weapons status returning to a normal status and primed for the acting Captain's order to fire.

Bringing the ship about at low warp speeds she got a better helm readout on the object.  "Sir, the object a rogue planet, roughly 30 Jupiter masses judging by the gravity well.  Nav-deflector barely picked it up in time for me to make a course adjustment."

On the viewscreen the tactical overlay redrew itself taking into account the new objects on the viewscreen particularly the large Psuedostar that glowed with a faint purplish red hue that now dominated the field of view.  Donavra plotted the tactical data into the overlay upon getting a sensor contact with the Calamity.  "Sir, visual on target." 

The tactical overlay highlighted a outline of their target and displayed a series of digits counting down their time to being within weapons range as they approached while a single line on the overlay predicted the heading of their target.

It was not hard to see that on her present heading the Calamity was going to plough strait into the large rogue planet's ring system.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #15
[Carrigan Trent | USS Theurgy | Deck 01 - Bridge]

From his seat in the center of the Bridge, Lieutenant-Carrigan Trent's eyes moved from person to person.  The Security crewman he utterly ignored; the man was beneath his notice in this situation.  Had he the time to spare him more than the most cursory thought, the interim commanding officer would have ordered him off the Bridge, but in this case he could not afford the breath to do so.  Verbal communication took time and there was, after a fashion, only so much 'bandwidth' he could use and very little time.  And first, he addressed the question of engaging the Multi-Vector Attack Mode.  With a few keystroke to one of his consoles, he had a rapid overview of the systems at hand.  Many systems had been re-routed and a number of the redundancies were currently in use; should the ship separate, there would be severe losses in each individual vectors' capabilities and in the end, the net gain in combat effectiveness would be minimal at best.  Not to mention, he had no experience with such a capability to begin with and he did not want to find himself improvising with systems he knew nothing about.  And at this time, he could not afford to show any doubt, uncertainty or ignorance.  "Negative on MVAM, Chief," was his succinct response, spoken in his quiet and emotionless whisper-like tone.

His tone of voice and expression, set in an impassive mask, were also part of the image of calm and control he sought to project.  In combat, or as a matter of fact in any command situation, whoever was in charge needed to inspire the utmost confidence in order to wring maximum effectiveness out of his people.  And that meant he needed to look as though things were as natural to him as zipping up his fly.  However, the lack of expression on his face did not mean his mind was not racing.  The plot on the main viewscreen was the center of his focus as the Calamity was coming in closer and closer and the mines' launch was delayed.

When Stark spoke, Trent turned his head towards her.  He understood her nerves, and for matter of heartbeats he debated verbally addressing how she was intending to take over control of the mines but decided against it.  She was, after all, a senior officer in her own rights and he could not afford to have what confidence others, and herself, held in the Chief Operations Officer challenged.  Perhaps later, he would sit with her and discuss things.  But for now, he had something to worry about. 

The course change was a surprise, and he simply nodded when the report was made, following it up with but two words.  "Very good," they were.  For it was all he could manage while paying attention to the plot.  The range was becoming dangerously close, and before long Calamity would be close enough that the detonation of the gravimetric mines might also engulf Theurgy despite the refinements that had been implemented before the mutiny.  However, those concerns were allayed when the Cardassian reported the mines were launched.

The impact with Calamity was almost instantaneous;  While the viewscreen could not render the details as the range between both starships began to open as a result of the mines' effect, the plot, which displayed sensor readings, could.  At first, there was a fluctuation to Calamity's warp field and her velocity decreased and then stabilized, but then she staggered again and again and again.  And then, from its velocity of several hundred times the speed of light, Calamity's instantly dropped to zero

There were no visuals to display what was going on with this invader from the future and the sensor readings were probably not doing justice to the savaging Calamity had just taken.  Her warp field had utterly collapsed and her warp signature simply ceased to exist as her warp drive catastrophically failed.  And it was not until Theurgy came about and closed the distance at a low warp velocity and then down to sublight speeds, still outside of her weapons range that more details could be obtained. 

The Calamity-class starship was barely in visual range, but as they closed, Trent could see what sensors were reporting.  First of all, it appeared her entire electronic warfare suite was down and Theurgy's active sensors were capable of doing their work just as well as her passive arrays.  Calamity was riven with hull breaches and some of her main structural frames were obviously bent out of true if not broken outright;  Three of her nacelles had simply ceased to exist and the last remaining one was in the middle of a cloud of debris that had once been hull plating and warp coils.  From multiple hull breaches, he could see atmosphere and plasma venting into space as the ship drifted, as had been reported, into the pseudostar's gravity well. 

Many would have been satisfied at such a fate, let a natural phenomenon take care of things for them, and already the hulk of the Calamity was bound to be lashed by the celestial body's brutal radiation output, not to mention the gauntlet of rock and ice she would be dragged through by the inexorable pull of gravity and then it would eventually be crushed and incinerated.  But not Carrigan Trent.  Especially not as he could see some power readings still emanating from Calamity.  They were erratic at best and rather weak but they were still there.  And Captain Ives' orders had been to destroy her.  "Ensign Donavra," Trent then said as the distance between both starships entered torpedo range, still well out of the reach of energy weapons, "Quantum torpedoes, all forward tubes to rapid fire, two full spreads each.  Fire when ready."

To many, the kind of ordnance that had just been ordered launched would have been excessive.  But not to Trent.  Despite the failure of her EW and her shields apparently being down, Calamity was still largely an unknown quantity.  There was no telling if she had any sort of defences still active, or even just how tough her hull really was.  The only thing the acting commanding officer knew was that she was tough; after all, no starship he had ever been heard of would have survived that savage a deceleration yet she still held together.   And there was no telling how her armour would protect her from Theurgy's torpedoes and as such, he judged he should follow the old axiom of going big or going home. 

As the torpedoes were in flight, his eyes never left the viewscreen, his attention focused on the tactical plot and the various sensor readouts.  First, he saw the fighters.  Only a half-dozen or so, the number hard to define between the debris streaming from and surrounding Calamity and the withering radiation from the nearby celestial body but still they had taken to space.  And then, sensors recorded a series of detonations along the future starship's saucer section and a warp signature came to life.  Calamity was not dead yet, and her first vector's nacelle and warp core still functioned, obviously not having been active when she was in SOM herself.  That particular wrinkle in the plan did not elicit a curse from Trent.  However, his brows twisted into a frown and his lips grew tight at the sight.  "Chief S'Ithi, she's still too deep into that gravity well to go to warp, and we can't let her escape.  Intercept course, full impulse.  Commander Stark, give the order to launch fighters."

This was indeed going to be a problem.  Theurgy was not in her best fighting trim and there was no telling just how capable that lone vector was.  But what came next did elicit an audible reaction from Carrigan Trent in the form of a sharp inhalation.

The torpedoes had reached their target, their seekers going independent from the ship's targeting systems as they reached their terminal attack phase.  Most were firmly locked onto the helpless bulk of Calamity and slammed into the crippled sections, their payload detonating and unleashing their plasma-fueled fury on helpless metal.  The remainder had made for her detached first vector but instead of turning it into a rapidly expanding cloud of plasma and vaporized metal, the warheads were stopped short of the hull by shields that were at full power, or nearly enough to shrug off the effect of a brace of quantum torpedoes.  But what was worse, the readouts were clear to the Intelligence Officer: those shields were rotating and now, with the range closing as rapidly as it was between both vessels, there would not be time for him to perform what had been the original plan and map her shields and their vulnerabilities; it would come down to a slugfest.

His voice was still barely above a whisper, his face was still a mask of impassive determination but his hands were clenched about his seat's armrests.  The last time he had led a ship into battle, she had been demolished around his ears and better than half her crew perished that day.  But this was a new day, a new ship, and this was no ambush by the Jem'Hadar.  This moment was painfully simple and it was not the time for clever plans or creative thinking or elegance anymore.  This was a time for the most direct route, that of an all-out attack. "Helm, if you know of anywhere that thing as less weapons coverage, keep us there and keep rotating us to maximize our firepower.  Commander Stark, find us power somewhere to give us maximum combat endurance and get damage control parties on standby."

Then, he gave one more order.  "Tactical, you are weapons-free.  Fire as she bears.  Destroy that thing."

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #16
[ Cameron "Cam" Elizabeth Henshaw & Edena Rez | Turbolift | Stopping at Deck 04 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Jien Ives & Declan Vasser


Edena, once more in control of her body, for the moment, and Henshaw, upon ensuring the security of the place, and making sure only Ives Loyallists were present, moved to acquire proper weapons for themselves. Henshaw picked a standard phaser, liking the sturdy grip and handling as opposed to Commander Rez, who acquired for herself something small enough you could virtually conceal it with relative ease. Rejoining the captain, after his...well, her now...uplifting words, the trio made their way for the turbolift, with various crew who were still able returning to crucial posts.

It was good that they were able to speak their minds for a while earlier. Clearing the air made it easy for all three women to walk in silence, and focus their thoughts on surviving the battle with the Calamity. That was when Ives addressed Thea, and the computer was able to give them a great deal of updates. Henshaw's eyes widened while Edena's narrowed when they heard that T'Rena was dead. Both women weren't particular fans of the psychotic Vulcan, but despite the heated emotions that bubbled forth at the thought of her, there was still a...numbing sensation within Henshaw, and for Edena, a strange coldness. Perhaps Jona's strength of emotions venting through.

And once more, chaos ensued. Painfully too. Knocked aside by the crashing hatch, the brunt of which landed on Captain Ives herself, whilst Edena and Henshaw fell to either side against the bulkheads of the turbolift. When she saw who it was, Henshaw scrambled to draw her phaser out, whilst, Kiya Rez...crawled on her knees towards Ives, when Vasser's hand had wrapped around her wrist, and yanked her out with such speed and ease, Henshaw, even at her best, wouldn't have been fast enough, which was why her face connected with the bulkhead where Commander Rez had just been nanoseconds ago.

"AAAHH!" Kiya cried out, only for her demeanour to change seconds later, and it seemed like Illya was now in control. And she maintained her cool. Barely.

"Commander..." Henshaw whispered quietly, looking out the open door as Rez was dragged away by Vasser, following his ultimatum. But he couldn't be allowed to escape, not with the commander as a hostage. She turned to look at Ives, who seemed to be looking rather torn. Henshaw's mind was quick. With Trent in command, they weren't completely rudderless at the helm, and they needed Rez back. Fast. She held out her own phaser to the captain, considering what she'd just heard about Vasser being an augment, she had the feeling Ives would need every extra she could get her hands on. And Cameron would just get in the way, to be perfectly honest, so she would head up to the bridge. "Captain...go...go get her back. I'll get to the bridge and relay news and updates to Commander Trent.

She looked over at the corridor, watching as the shadows of Vasser and Rez vanished from sight, and returned her gaze to Ives, "Also, after all that he and his bloody bitch did to everyone on board, do you think anyone here won't want to see him get his? He needs to answer for his deeds, all the murders, the raping...get him, captain, get him. Or no one would ever forgive you, if you let him escape."

She was firm in her words, as she believed Ives' resolve needed the steeling, and reassurance, "Trent's got the Theurgy well in hand. His experience in electronic warfare makes him suitable to fighting the Calamity, and he can hold it together until you return. I'll let him know what's up. Now go, captain, go!" And come back to me alive.

The young woman straightened up and began setting the turbolift back into proper working order. All that needed to be said was said.

Meanwhile, Illya Rez willingly followed Vasser, because she was worried the Augment's grip had the potential to tear Edena's arm right off if he was so inclined. Her tiny weapon she kept out of sight, since Kiya was worried that an augment might not go down easy with a mere stun blast, and Illya sort of agreed with that sentiment.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #17
[ Calamity "Cala" NX-79995 | Ship A.I. | Vector 01 ] Attn: All

Her Main Bridge had been laid to waste, abblative armour shredded by high-velocity debris impacts. Atmosphere was gone, shed through the gaping hull breach next to the cracked viewscreen. Gravity at zero, debris from her interior floated in the air around Cala where she stood before the centre chair. Her saucer section's reaction chamber was left intact, core online and primary systems restored. With her arms folded, her shimmering eyes never blinked as her Vector 1 shields were activated - deflecting the collective yield of Thea's torpedoes.

There was no sound to the conflagration, yet her optical sensors saw everything; ice blue stare locked on the magnification of her prey through the close-proximity detonations. Her mother and her crew persisted to defy her, yet Cala was not so easily impressed by their resolve. Their will meant nothing. Their resourcefulness no cause for admiration. Cala's systems had not ceased to function yet, and therefore, the hunt was still on; the accomplishment of her mission still attainable.

Turning her head from the viewscreen, she walked across the deck plates - something she could only do because she used her own emitter. Its installed gravity units allowed her to set one foot before the other and walk though the floating destruction around her. Her gleaming eyes traced the hull breach. She could see the glaring red pseudostar and its rings through it. She gave it merely a cursory, instantaneous analysis before dismissing it as a concern. Through the wireless connection to her pasitronic brain in the computer core and the seamless control of the program calibrations, she raised a structural integrity field over the tear in her hull. 

Once the shimmering wall was in place, created at the turn of her digital thoughts, she restored atmosphere - pumping oxygen into the area for one specific reason. For while the air pressure ignited fires in several places at once, the damage was already done. The flames - liquid and floating like fiery tendrils around her since he had little use for gravity - did not bother her the least. She merely needed the air as a conduit to speak to her prey.

Wordlessly, without touching any duty station, she hailed her 'mother', using an open frequency.

"At this point, you ought to know that I will never give up the chase," she said to the organics and her mother, regardless if they accepted the video feed of her standing in liquid fire. Her ominous words alone would serve to convey her message. "Even with just one of my Vectors, my tactical systems are superior. After using your mines, you have nothing to set against me that will make any difference."

True to her words, she primed her weapon systems - arming a barrage of torpedoes of her own. "I will not negotiate," she added as two more phaser arrays underneath her saucer was revealed, "I will agree to no terms set forth. Stand down now and your destruction will be swift."

Seven Reavers had escaped Vector 3 and formed up above Cala in echelon formation. Their holographic pilots had been upgraded after the last couple of confrontations with the Lone Wolves and the Dor'GhItlh Squadron - adapted with reconnaissance of their individual tactics. They had paused only for a moment before they shot off towards the Theurgy - closing the distance fast.

"If you do not... you will merely prolong the inevitable."

Cala ended the transmission and opened fire - rapid phaser beams smiting the distance. As she set a gravity-defying course towards her dear mother, she fired her own spread of torpedoes, targeting life support systems, torpedoes storages and the easiest access points to the warp core.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #18
[ Ryuan Sel | Corridor - Life Support Systems | Sickbay] Atten: Sarresh Morrali, Lukas "Bleed" Reed, Rihen Neyah, & others

The seconds seemed to tick by almost like hours as Bleed maneuvered himself behind her. All the while Sel waited, biting her lip as she felt him position his hard member against slick hole. The pheromones remaining in her brain still made her almost wish that he would just fuck her. Her pheromone addled mind and her wet slit almost begged for his hardness to slid into her. And to make matters worse she still had to wait for her moment as he kept the hand phaser pointed at Sarresh's face. It meant that she would have to wait for her moment.

And then something completely unexpected happened.

There was a cry and the sound of a chair crashing againsty blled. Her eyes glanced up at the phaser in his hand as his aim waivered. Without thinking she twisted her body, grabbing a cannister as she did so. With one hand she pushed his arm so that even if her got a shot off he would not hit Sarresh. And with her her other hand she slammed the cannister as hard as she could against the side of his face. As the cannister hit the side of his head Sel reached to the side and grasped for the phaser rifle. She had no way of knowing who threw the chair or why, but like hell she was going to get ambushed again.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #19
[ Fasha "Morrigan" | Bridge | Deck 01 | USS Theurgy ]

Fasha quickly entered the room once the signal to do so was given her rifle raised the stock pressed to her shoulder as she kept her back to the wall training the muzzle of her weapon on one of the armed guards in the room her finger tense on the trigger for any sudden moves. She could hear Sten's gruff voice boom over the yells resounding through the room demanding that anyone armed lower their weapons. For the most part those inside the room cooperated save for two unfortunate souls who had both decided that rebellion was the better course of action to take. This was met with unforgiving punishment as both were struck down by the men who'd ascended from the turbolift. The bridge had been retaken without incident.

But then a single question caused Fasha to question their victory "Where's Vasser?" she scowled as she looked around the room there was no way the man slipped past her or Tessa. Her grip on her rifle tightened for a moment cursing whatever gods of misfortune that seemed to be favoring Vasser in this moment.

As the doors to the turbolift opened she almost turned the muzzle of her weapon towards it until she saw the man stepping out of it. A man who she had not seen in quite some time years to be honest. She lowered the muzzle slightly as the man took his place at the command chair of the ship declaring that until Ives returned he would be assuming command of ship operations. As he acknowledged her she snapped to attention listening intently to the orders given "Understood Commander." She said nodding as she made a beeline for the turbolift nodding to Sten and a few of his deck hands gesturing them to follow with a wave of her hand leaving a few behind to maintain the image of control they had on the bridge to dissuade any thoughts of rebellion.

As Tessa boarded as well she pressed the button for Deck 15 and waited as the doors closed to bring them to their next task.

[Eun Sae Ji | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 | USS Theurgy]

Eun Sae quickly wheeled another pair of exo-suit racks out beside the fighters she'd already powered up. The racks were designed to hold the pilot exo-suits in a position that pilots could easily slip into. In the time given to her she'd managed to power up the majority of the Valkyrie's that remained in the Theurgy's FAB. A few other personnel were moving about the Hangar but most of these people were Ives Loyalists who had stumbled upon her and offered their help. But considering the majority of them weren't part of the Flight Deck crew they had no idea what they were doing unless Eun Sae herself directed them making them less useful than she'd hoped.

She glanced over her shoulder towards where a group of three men and women were attempting to load one of the Micro-Torpedo Launchers onto an anti-grav dolly. "Lift with your legs not your back!! Hold it in place dammnit!" Eun Sae yelled over her shoulder as she prepped another exo-suit for use ensuring the suits auxilary oxygen and life support systems were online along with the EVA thrusters. Once she finished her quick test of the systems she quickly rushed over to the three struggling pseudo-deck crew members and helped them load the dolly before pointing them towards one of the fighters down the line. "Align the magnetic locks and you should be fine! Hurry!" Eun Sae ordered shooing them away as she quickly moved across the deck to Sten and Renard's office quickly logging into the terminal on Sten's desk.

She looked over the roster of Valkyrie's remaining checking their flight checks from the terminal nodding as each one displayed a green ready display. She turned her head as she heard the doors to the FAB slide open. She quickly left the terminal moving over to the nearby wall where the weapon locker often kept hidden behind the wall sat exposed the doors left ajar. Sitting at the bottom of the locker was a single Type-2 Hand Phaser she quickly scooped up the weapon and walked out to the hangar peeking out from behind one of the Valkyries. Her eyes widened as she recognized the majority of the group and quickly pocketed the phaser stepping out "Fighters and Exo-suits are ready we just need a few more moments to outfit the remaining Valkyries with their hard point armaments." Eun Sae reported.

A low hum noise was heard causing Eun Sae to turn also drawing the attention of Fasha and a few of the others as a single craft took off through  the aft bay doors. Fasha glanced towards Eun Sae with a questioning eyebrow raised "Was that a Reaver?" The Catachan woman asked. Eun Sae nodded "It was Thea." She said. Fasha frowned wondering what Thea could possibly be up to but shook her head "Are any of the fighters combat ready?" She asked. Eun Sae responded with a quick nod of the head pointing at specific fighters calling each by number "Those are the ones I've gotten combat ready so far." Eun Sae responded.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #20
[Miles Renard | U.S.S Theurgy | Deck 15 | Fighter Assault Bay] Attn: Eun Sae Ji.

The sound of a transporter beam pierced the silence of the completely wrecked office of the SCO.  Looking outside the office he noticed one of the deck crew standing just outside his office.  It took a few moments before he made out who it was.   Knowing there was no time to waste he walked over to the small clothing locker in his office and pulled out a pair of his tail hole modified boxers. 

Pulling off his damaged uniform and setting the com badge down he spoke up to the officer outside his office who had most likely heard him teleporting into the office.  He slipped on the new undamaged pair of underwear as he took the time to recognize her as the flight deck's head propulsion specialist. "You the one in charge down here Eun Sae?"  He asked before immediately following it up with an assumption that she was his best hope for getting a quick rundown of the situation.  "Nevermind whether you are or not, I need a SitRep on flight ops ASAP." 

He then paused a moment looking to his locker which was missing a rather important piece of equipment.  "Also, you wouldn't happen to know where my hardsuit is would you?"  He asked hoping against all likelihood that the answer was next to a fully preflight checked and idling fighter.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #21
[ Heather McMillan |  Outside Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: Lucan cin Nicander & Simon Tovarek


McMillan's head shot up when Nicander expressed the possibility that he may have broken a rib or two. She watched him with concern, her expression unchanging even when he gave her a lop-sided grin, and kept on talking like everything was normal. But injuries were a serious matter to a Radiant like her, so she naturally felt very concerned for others in turn when they mentioned injury. She reached into her coat pockets and fished out a medical tricorder, and a small medical kit.

Glancing at Tovarek and the operations personnel briefly, it suddenly hit McMillan that she might be the only other medically trained person besides Nicander, though no where on the man's level, and for that matter, in all the excitement, she realized that she had missed Vojona's presence, and now searched around some more, "Has anyone seen Nurse Vojona?" she asked. Then turned to the doctor.

"If there's a broken rib, maybe we should have that looked at now, yes? May I?" She held up the tricorder to perform a scan, but asked permission first, still raw from her presumptuous mistake with Vojona a while back, and wanted to be absolutely certain before going further. Just because she could, didn't mean it would always be wanted. So she would wait until Nicander agreed to it, but she was anxious to get started, because she wanted to know if he should even be sitting up or not.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #22
[ Captain Jien Ives | Turbolift | Deck 04 ] Attn: Cameron Henshaw

To call  her situation a dilemma was an understatement. Vasser's words about Jien's obligations were truthful, and his manipulation of the situation just as apparent. He used Jien's position against her to get what he wanted, and he meant to keep Commander Rez hostage as the guarantee for his escape.

Cam, however, simplified things for Jien. The Ensign spoke of the needs of the crew, and that too much had happened to allow someone like Vasser to escape justice. She also pointed out that the Theurgy needed its First Officer, but that was something Jien did not have the heart to dwell upon. There was no time to tell the Yeoman that Rez had resigned, but that did not matter. Not after what Commander Rez had told Jien in the holding cell.

Knowing that the different hosts of the Rez symbiont had vastly differing opinions of her, Jien also had faceted needs about getting the Trill back from Vasser: She wanted to prove to Edena that she was more than the creature that had attacked her during the Niga Incident; neither did Jien want to break Kiya's heart by leaving her at Vasser's mercy; but most of all, she did not want Jona Rez and Declan Vasser anywhere near each other. The ghost of the SI officer and the Augment had traits far too similar to discard the idea that they might draw benefit from a joint venture. The only one Jien had not become familiar with was Illya Rez, but she had not offered any cause to be mistrusted, so she was - to Jien - an innocent bystander that was caught in the events around Edena.

The nail in the coffin, so to speak, was the reminder that Lieutenant Commander Trent was in command on the bridge. Jien remembered the talk they'd had in her Ready Room, and while the former Commander still had misgivings and doubts about his own abilities, Jien had great faith in the man based on his performance since he came aboard and the reports about his time in the command chair on the Harrier. The man just needed to get up in the saddle again, and see his old fears turn to renewed courage. That he was an expert in his specific field wasn't so much a deciding factor than a great merit for the task at hand.

"When you get up there," said Jien with a tight expression, her oaken eyes firm, "tell Carrigan that I have faith in him, and that my absence could not be avoided. Tell him to trust the people around him, and to destroy the Calamity before she can leave through another time-rift. If she does, she will be back in full force before we we are. If the mines hit her, this is the best chance we will ever get, so make it count."

Armed with two phasers, one at her hip, Jien slid out through the low opening of the doors and dropped down onto Deck 04. She saw the number on the wall, and could make a qualified guess about where Declan was heading. "I think Vasser will try to launch with the Captain's Yacht, so when you get to the Bridge, stop him. Use the support staff control panel and keep the docking clamps closed. If I can't reach him in time, and he succeeds with a manual release... let's just hope there is time to catch him with a tractor beam before he goes to warp. Now go, and... I'm sorry for doubting you, Cameron."

With those parting words, Jien turned away and followed Declan path with her hand phaser raised in a double-handed grip - eyes along the sights. "Thea, I am leaving the turbolift now. Two life-signs on your internal sensors left ahead of me... so just keep me posted on their movements."

[Acknowledged,] said the Ship A.I., and thus the hunt began.

[ Declan Vasser | The Captain's Yacht | Deck 04 ] Attn: Edena Rez

Arriving at the small docking bay where the ship's auxiliary craft - known as the Captain's Yacht - could be accessed, Declan Vasser hurled the woman he had dragged down the corridors against the control station at the aft side of the yacht. With her back against it, Declan stepped up to the station and pressed the cold muzzle of his hand phaser down into the grove behind her collarbone. Ives' tame little SI agent wasn't wearing her jacket or undershirt, so if the impact had made Rez loose her bearings, the metallic touch next to the shoulder strap of her white tank top would make her know her place.

"Just keep still," he murmured as he tried to access the controls and power up the craft, but Thea had shut him out from system access, so he would have to use a couple of tricks that people in the old world would call 'hot-wiring'. With a scowl, he dug the fingers of his free hand around the top casing of the control table. He bared his teeth as he tore it off, sparks flying over the Trill during the commotion. His blue eyes quickly scanned the interiors and located the main power circuits, having a good idea about the key functions they represented. Then, it was just a matter of rerouting a power flow against the connector with another cable, and as he did, the lights of the bay area lit along with the yacht's warp core. The door on the port side decompressed and slid open.

If the Trill spoke while he worked on his escape - this frustrating set-back that he somehow had to deal with - Declan did not answer her until he was finished.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #23
[ Theurgy "Thea" NX-79854 | Mk I Reaver Attack Fighter | Leaving the Fighter Assault Bay ] Attn: Lone Wolves & Deck Crew

Having been seated in the cockpit of the Reaver, Thea had - through her wireless connection to her ship's systems - kept a close eye on the development. For her, it came as no surprise when she dropped out of warp, but the effectiveness of the gravimetric mines and the amount of damage her daughter had sustained was... a cause of concern for her at the same time as it was a boon for her own crew. Perhaps it was to her own advantage as well, since she might be able to board her daughter undetected and restore her programming.

Before she had launched, Thea's long-range sensors told her what she needed to know. Without any need of assistance, she had opened the aft bay doors - the maws opening to reveal the red vista of the pseudostar. The giant dominated the entire sector that the two starships had ended up in, and its hellish light bathed the majority of the flight hangar after she took off - setting a course towards the Calamity.

Already, she had activated the ID signature of the Reaver, and she had changed her holographic apprearence inside the visor of her helmet to resemble the pilot stored in the memory bank behind her head. All she needed to do was to observe the stored protocols and the pilot's photonic identity. She had prepared, and was ready to to do whatever she could. If all else failed, she would fight her way to Cala, and lay out her argument in a way that could not be refused.

The odds were not in her favour, but she had no choice if she was to restore Cala to her true self.

[ Axius vel Onea | Fighter Assault Bay | Deck 15 ] Attn: Lone Wolves & Deck Crew

When Axius arrived, having beamed to the hangar from the besieged shuttle, he had not know what to expect. After all, when he had last been there, two Mk II Valkyries had shot the whole place into pieces - Riptor and Phantom driving Covington, Tessa and him away from the area.

Phaser in hand, dressed in dust and grime aside from his underwear, he turned in awe as he saw all the birds lit and the exosuits being prepared for the pilots. A woman he recognised from before they went to Theta Eridani IV seemed to be calling she shots, ordering deck crew around to mount hard points on all the present Valkyries. As he stood there, he saw that Fasha and Tessa - among others - had arrived to the scene.  The bay doors were opened, and a bloody ichor of light filled the hangar despite the energy barriers in place. It smelt like one or two fighters had already taken off, and he wondered whom it had been, for as he stood there, he also saw Miles Renard emerge from his office. He looked just as worse for wear that he had looked in the Brig, but at least he was clothed in whole undergarments and ready to get into his exosuit. He started talking to Eun Sae, so Axius finally snapped to.

"All right," he murmured and ran to his Valkyrie, designated Wolf-04. There was a crew man present, but Axius did not need any help to get into his own exosuit - merely stepping into it where it hung on its rack and starting to seal it along his own torso. Boots and gloves came next, and he was handed his helmet by the man by the ladder. "Wish me luck."

Axius had fought the Reavers and the Calamity before - outside the Hromi cluster -  so he knew what they all were up against, and he was convinced this would not be a pretty fight. He could but hope the Wolves would be victorious - together - and that they all made it back to their base ship.

Across his shoulder, he saw two more people arriving, and it gave him some pause. They were Harbinger pilots - Smoke and Titan - and they were armed. Still, as cautious as they were whilst they entered, they did seem to move towards their Mk II Valkyries. Were they there to join the fight?

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [07: Undoing]

Reply #24
[ Dr. Nicander | Corridor | Outside Cargo Bay 04 | Deck 02 ] Attn: Triage

At the mentioning of Nurse Vojona, Lucan glanced around, but he was quite sure that she had not been in the Cargo Bay. "I am quite certain she is still watching the door outside the other cargo bay, making sure none of Vasser's volunteers escape while the xenon gas fills the room," he said and he noticed Heather McMillan producing medical equipment from her lab coat. Obviously, they were meant for him, and he realised that Lieutenant Tovarek ought to have someplace better to be than to sit in a corridor at the given hour and concern himself about the state of his ribcage. "Your place is on the bridge, Tovarek. Don't let my health be in your way. I am sure our people need your help if the mines did not destroy that thing."

Having said this, Lucan gave the man a nod of well wishes before he turned back to Heather, who was asking to scan him. "Of course, go ahead. Yet as soon as possible, I need to be down in Sickbay and oversee treatment of the injured that are bound to be arriving soon. Administrative duty, of course, preferably seated if possible, but I should still be there."

Gingerly, Lucan tried to feel his own ribs, but it was hard when wearing his dirty and torn undershirt, so he lowly slipped it over his own head - inhaling sharply toward the end when since the manoeuvre become like a stab in his side. Bare-chested, he leaned back against the wall again, and the Operations personnel was already off - having numerous pressing matters to attend to. Alone with the Radiant, and without distractions (aside from her, of course) Lucan noticed how quiet and still the thing inside had become. It was unusual, and especially since it was the second time in Heather's company.

"I think you'll find the second and third rib on that side having some kinds of fractures, and if I am unlucky, surrounding tissue might be suffering from it too. You will also notice that my zi'naaq are a bit unbalanced, and that's likely because of what I had to do earlier on - before we got on the turbolift with Vojona. The more I use my Câroon abilites, the more fatigued I get... until they are balanced once more. Hence those readings about my current stamina., it must look like I am a man thrice his age."

Pausing with a tired smile, Lucan added the obvious. "We would not have made it without you. Thank you for deciding to reveal your true nature today."

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