Table of Contents
An Empire Divided - Page 2
Luckyness of life.
Sam's vision flickered back in forth between consciousness and unconsciousness something was getting louder. He could hear the outside world but was stuck in this never ending hell his mind had created. He forced himself mentally to stay more in the present, not in the “Alice in Wonder Land” which was to him a living hell. He opened his eyes and looked around some man was waving a small device in his face, as his eyes focused, he noticed it was a medical tricorder, he also noticed the man using it was the one who had been doing all the yelling not too long ago…before the explosions. Sam really hoped that the man was done with the yelling. His head felt as if his mind was going to jump out of his head. It was as if his brain was hosting a legion of Klingons who didn't want to be there and were banging to get out. His arm still felt as if it had been placed on a stick and turned over and over on an open flame.
“That is one lousy headache,”said Sam.
"I'll bet, I'll have you back up and flying us through quasars in no time." said the man which Sam still hadn't figured out what his name was.
The last thing Sam wanted at that moment was to be moved, but it was inevitable as the man, Sam was now getting to know as more than just “the man who yells” and another woman which he had never met, but looked as if she was of higher rank than Ginny and Horrus, had began to pick him up out of the hall and back towards sick bay.
As they placed Sam on the medical bed.
Hi, don't worry you're going to be fine, what's your name cadet?"said the woman who had helped Sam to the bed.
"Sam Jones ma'am." replied Sam.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Sam, I'm Olivia Torv, you've got a nasty bump on your head, I'll leave you with our medic Ginny, she's quite capable."said Olivia.
Sam looked into Ginny's eyes, he was glad she had been uninjured through all of the explosions.
“Well you have better luck than me, Ginny.”said Sam.
“Shh, rest you've been through a lot, I'm going to start the dermal procedure on your arm, and put this(holding some medical instrument that Sam had no idea the name of) on your head to make your brains mesh back together.”said Ginny
“Sam your alive and we had no casualties yet… rest and don't worry about everything else thats going on, get your health back first.”
“Just one thing Ginny, what's that guy's name, the one who put me on this bed?”
“Ah well he's a good man…I had him pinned wrong, thought he was a bit temperamental, but he's a good guy.”
“Well whatever that had to do with anything I don't know, now rest.”
Sam fell asleep a Ginny gave him a dose of something strong enough to knock him out for a couple of hours, but instead of dreaming his usually nightmare, he dreamed of Ginny and the first time they had met.
Sym Fra Hop
Engineering was a hive of activity, with all the power surges and the loss of artificial gravity on some of the decks, Sym needed all the help he could muster. At least he manged to get the gravametric plates and the graviton generators back on-line, or rather one of his teams had.
He couldn't believe what was happening, his first mission as chief engineer on this boat, and almost everything was going wrong. First a computer malfunction in the medical LCARS, then multiple power surges on alot of the EPS conduits, and now the turbo-lifts had frozen. With the loss of the turbo-lifts, almost the entire crew was stranded. They were having to use the Jeffrey's tubes to get to their destinations, which was inconvenient. At least the communications were still functioning, Sym thought grimly, until they too became sabotaged.
"Engineering team bravo 7 reports that they have managed to reroute power back to sickbay" One of Sym's junior engineers said.
"Tell them good work and get them to start work on the EPS power taps on deck 5, section 13." Sym said, looking at his console, checking the status of the repair work not yet completed.
"Aye sir" The engineer said.
Sym left the crewman to check on the status of the warp drive, so far it had remained unaffected. He had his assistant monitor the warp core to make sure that whomever was running amok around the ship didn't damage the warp core.
"How's the warp core, Tormass" Sym asked his assistant.
"It seems to be functioning ok, there a slight imbalance in the power transfer circuits, but nothing serious. I'm realigning them as we speak." The officer replied.
"Excellent, what about the turbo lifts? Are we any where near getting them running again" Sym asked.
"Not yet sir. There's a team working on them at the moment. They estimate about half an hour." Ensign Garfield reported
"Okay, that's to be expected."
"Any luck on that program you found?" The Ensign asked.
"Not yet. I've been a bit distracted with the ship falling down around us." Sym said with a grim smile, "I'm going to check up on the repair teams. Carry on."
Sym walked over to the MSD to check up on the repair work, although most of the repair work was pretty much straight forward. Some of the damaged systems required some detailed repair work. As he was checking the display, he noticed that some of the repairs had been stopped. That in itself was not strange, Sym had learned that when repairing something you had to take one step forward and two steps back.
"Mr Garfield" Sym called to his assistant, "Who's working on the power relays for decks 5 through 6? The work seems to have stopped five minutes ago and no progress has been made since."
Ensign Garfield looked up from the warp core console to look at his superior, "I sent Ensign Pascal up there." he said with a questioning look on his face.
Sym shook his head, "He seems to have stopped his repair work."
"That's strange, he's normally quite efficient." Garfield offered.
Sym frowned and touched his comm badge,
=^= Commander Hop to Ensign Pascal. Report. =^= Sym spoke into his badge.
When Pascal didn't respond, Sym exchanged a look with his junior.
"Curious." Sym said, raising an eyebrow,
=^=Hop to Pascal, respond please =^=
Silence was his only answer.
"Computer, locate Ensign Pascal please." Sym asked the computer.
"Ensign Pascal in in Jeffery's tube 36, beta." The computer responded in a dry emotionless tone.
"That's only 3 decks away" Sym said, checking the MSD
"You think he's the saboteur?" Garfield asked
"I can't discount the possibility. I'm going to have to inform the Captain and security."
Sym tapped his comm badge again, =^= Engineering to Security. =^=
=^= Security, Dale here. =^=
=^= Lieutenant, it's good to hear your voice again =^= Sym said, =^= I've lost contact with one of my engineers. He's not responding to my calls. =^=
=^= Would you like me to send a team to check it out? =^= Lieutenant Dale asked.
=^= If you would. He may be the saboteur, so be careful. =^=
=^= Of course. Whereabouts is he?=^= She asked.
Sym gave the location of the missing engineer.
=^= Have you informed the Captain yet? =^=
=^= Not yet, I'll do it once I have finished talking to you. Hop out. =^=
Once his conversation was finished with the Security Chief, he immediately contacted his Captain.
=^= Engineering to Captain Taggart. =^=
=^= Go ahead Commander. =^=
=^= Captain, I've lost contact with one of my engineers. He isn't responding to my calls. I have informed security and Lieutenant Dale is sending a team to investigate. =^=
=^= Where is his last known location? =^= Captain Taggart asked
=^= He was known to be on deck 5, in Jeffery's tube 36, beta. =^= Sym reported
=^= Have you got an estimate on the repairs yet? =^= The captain asked.
Sym gave the captain a report on the repairs made and the repairs yet to be made.
=^= Thank you Chief. Carry on, I'll get Lieutenant Dale to give you a progress report. Taggart out =^=
The sickbay was quite filled and busy. Engineers are running around repairing panels and equipment. Doctors tending to the wounded. The remainder of the people there was a security squad led by Tiberius Quintius. He stood there with a look of question. Suddenly he snapped back to reality. Pulling out his phaser, he signaled for the rest of his team to follow him. They ran through the deck to the Jefferys Tube where a man lied still.
The team covered Tiberius as he knelt down towards the man. Searching him, he noted that the man was missing a phaser. It was an engineer officer. Pointing as men he said, "You two, scan the rest of the deck. I need a medic here stat. We have an officer down." Just then, he focused his eyes at the tube. He walked over to the tube and look down it. Coming to a realization, he tapped his comm badge.
=^= Tiberius to Lieutenant Dale=^=
=^=Go ahead, Cadet=^=
=^=I need security teams on Decks Three and Four. We have a saboteur head down towards this direction. Tell them to look for a person armed with two phasers. More than likely, he'll have an engineering uniform on. But pay attention for two phasers.=^=
=^= Okay we have three teams heading up that way=^=
=^=Good. Tiberius out=^=
"I want you two to stay with this officer. Notify me as soon as he wakes up. Hopefully, he'll be able to identify our saboteur." With seconds, Tiberius was off to the Jefferys Tube, heading down to Deck 4.
=^= Tiberius to Lieutenant Dale=^=
=^=Go ahead, Cadet=^=
=^=I need security teams on Decks Three and Four. We have a saboteur head down towards this direction. Tell them to look for a person armed with two phasers. More than likely, he'll have an engineering uniform on. But pay attention for two phasers.=^=
=^= Okay we have three teams heading up that way=^=
=^=Good. Tiberius out=^=
Rynen turned to Draka, her wrist light cutting a path through the darkness. "Well then.. Shall we head down to deck four ourselves? This is getting tiresome, anyways." She stated, a smile tugging at her lips.
"I'm up for it." He responded, so the two floated down the hall towards the nearest Jefferies tube. "And hopefully the artificial gravity will be working on that deck."
Rynen laughed as she opened the door to the tube. "I kind of enjoyed the floating around. Now get going." She said jokingly as she motioned for Draka to get in. Rynen slipped in after him, closing the door behind her.
A few minutes later, the two security officers were down to deck four, where artificial gravity was indeed working. They were about to get out of the tube and out onto the deck when Draka suddenly stopped. Looking around him, Rynen was about to ask what the hold up was, but the words never left her mouth. She saw what the hold up was. In front of Draka was the crumpled body of a security officer. Blood slowly oozed from a phaser burn on his head. Rynen clenched her jaw and her eyes narrowed at the sight. "This has gone to far…" she muttered under her breath, tapping her combadge.
"Lt. Dale to sickbay." she said.
"Kinkaid here." a strained voice replied.
"I need a medical team down to the Jefferies Tube on deck four, section 7. I have a wounded security officer. It looks like he has a very severe phaser burn and is in pretty bad shape."
Horrus sighed, as if they didn't need another injured person in sickbay. "I'll send a medic down right away."
"Thanks. I can't wait around. I have to make someone pay for this." she stated coldly. "Dale out."
Captain's Log: Stardate 62140.4
We are currently on our way to the G'Hrel system. I have been perusing the documents available for the system, yet details are sparse, and I don't know what to expect out of this trip. Starfleet has sent us on a routine supply delivery, but something in the back of my mind keeps telling me something isn't quite right, that Starfleet hasn't told me everything I need to know.
I have received a lot of new crew while docked, and they are adjusting quite well, particularly my new Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Commander Hop, who I am happy to receive on a transfer.
I must say however, that this crew is getting its run for the money. I had been hoping for an uneventful trip for once, but as a Captain, I really must stop wishing for what I know won't ever happen. We had been experiencing computer troubles shortly after leaving dock, leaving most of the crew to arrive at their checkups at the same time. My medical officers are understandably stressed, and more computer problems have been arising throughout the ship. In all my time in command of the Horizon, I've never seen it under so much mechnical stress. The Lady, I fear, is getting old, albeit a bit arthritic in her joints. Maybe she has seen her time…
However, it may not be her fault. Reports all over the ship are unanimous. We seem to have picked up a saboteur while docked. Security is currently trying to apprehend the suspect and security checks are being conducted. It may be a very real possibility that this saboteur has been put here on purpose, to prevent us from reaching G'Hrel. Which brings me back to my first point. This may be a routine delivery, but Starfleet hasn't told me everything I need to know.
Draka Ren Colok
Rynen gestures to Draka to lead the way, their phasers drawn… they kept their eyes and ears opened, when suddenly the beam of a fired phaser cuts the dim air. The blast strikes the wall well over Rynen's head… a poorly aimed snap shot. Following that footsteps were heard, whoever fired fleeing from the security officers.
Rynen growled at being shot at,"Halt, security here! I demand you cease and desist! Well.. that formality's done.. let's get him!", she said, starting to run down the hall, Draka running alongside her, heading towards the corner where the attacker fled. As they neared the corner Draka flung out an arm, having barely heard an odd beeping sound. He looked to Rynen to shout,"Bomb!', just as said bomb exploded… the device set to knock power couplings down to drop barriers to foreward progress in the sabateur's wake. Unfortunately for Draka and Rynen he underestimated what would happen.. the power coupling swinging down directly towards Rynen as he shielded her eyes from the blast, the severed cable sparking malignantly.
Draka reacted quickly, shoving Rynen to the side, her shoulder bouncing off the bulkhead as Draka's right hand drops his hand phaser to grab the sparking end of the power coupling's cable…. gritting his teeth as the electricity courses through him, keeping the cable in place as his metallic grey hair stands out slightly and starts turning a silvery color, through gritted teeth he shouts,'Quick Lt Dale! Get after him… I can't hold this long!"
The Delian security officer grunts and pulls the cable a bit further away from Rynen, booting his phaser towards her to replace the one she dropped that landed too close to where the cable strains against Draka's grip…
All the roar about in sickbay was now down to a quite dull hum, everyone could now breath a sigh of relief, the engineering crews had gotten all systems up and running and now all that was left was the cosmetic aspect of the deck repair. Olivia now just having finished treating a head contusion found Horrus in the main office leaning over the console.
“You should get some rest.” She said while leaning in the door way.
“Hmm? Oh, yes, right that, I suppose, I have to finish this analysis on that microbial data that came in yesterday.” He said plainly, still staring at the screen.
“Alright, I've had about enough of this, crewman Kinkaid I hereby order you to go get some rest, you are relieved of active duty until you can devote a full nights rest and return well rested. You've dealt with a lot over the past 48 hours and we are eternally grateful for all of your help but now we can wrap things up here just fine, go get some sleep.”
Horrus looked up at Olivia who had a stern look on her face, he sighed heavily “If that's what you want I guess I can't disobey direct orders.” He smiled.
“Good, common, I'm heading to the mess hall to grab a bite, I'll walk you down to your quarters.”
“Do I get a corsage too?” He grinned.
"Kinkaid here." a strained voice replied.
"I need a medical team down to the Jefferies Tube on deck four, section 7. I have a wounded security officer. It looks like he has a very severe phaser burn and is in pretty bad shape."
Horrus sighed, as if they didn't need another injured person in sickbay. "I'll send a medic down right away."
Horrus looked up at Olivia, "Duty calls".
“Just get up you moron, I'll come with you.” She said grimacing, the two left sickbay walking down the hall, the two walked briskly while carrying med kits as they passed a jeffries tube access, a noise caught there attention the access door for one of the tubes was opening, they turned around to see who it was, a man exited looking frantic. Horrus had never seen the man before but Olivia looked like she had seen a ghost, the man turned and noticed the two, he seemed slightly stunned, then his face relaxed and a sinister grin appeared on his face towards Olivia. “Doctor Torv.” He said still grinning.
Olivia was speechless, “Olivia? You know this officer?” Horrus asked, still she kept silent.
“Oh, just in passing, but for now I must be going, enjoy your day, I do hope its most exciting.” The man turned and entered another jeffries tube access adjacent to the one he had exited out on the deck from.
Horrus had a confused look on his face, “That was odd. Who was that?” He asked.
“I…. you make your way to the to that injury, I have to go take care of something before its too late." She responded already turning to walk away.
"Olivia? Are you alright?." Horrus asked concernedly.
She turned her head in response still walking away, "Just get to that injury!"
Horrus looked blankly, he knew he didn't have much time, he would have to see what all the fuss was about later. Horrus rushed down the hall, he wrapped around the corner to find the security officer officer unconscious lying on the floor. Horrus knelt down and began to scan him, "Kinkaid to sickbay."
"Go ahead." Giles answered.
"I need a site to site transport, this security officer has a massive head contusion coupled with a phaser burn, get the surgery bay prepped and ready we don't have much time."
"One moment." Giles responded.
The security officer became conscious for a brief moment and glanced at Horrus while blood dripped down his forehead, "Did we catch him?"
"I don't know ensign, but I'm sure he won't get far after you dealt him that blow."
Horrus attempted to comfort the ensign who was beginning to daze back and forth between consciousness. "Yeah, gave him quite the run for his money."
"Kinkaid to sickbay, wheres that transport?!"
"Standby, we're trying to reroute power, that surge screwed up a lot of our systems."
"Giles, I don't have that kind of time, get that transport now!"
The two dematerialized off of the deck and back into sickbay, Giles immediately activated the body imaging scanner, and with Sophie's help began treating the ensign. Giles focused intently on repairing the damaged artery of the ensign. "He's fading fast, Sophie see if you can spot the bleeding and get it under control, Horrus go get me that surgical tray, we've got our work cut out for us here." The trio attempted to stabilize the ensign, hopefully they had made it in time.
*Quarters, Olivia Torv*
Olivia sat down next to her console and punched up a security access only screen. "Computer authorize secure link authorization Torv three seven beta nine, encrypt channel highest level."
"Channel open." The computer responded.
A mans face appeared on the screen, he was plain looking man but appeared to be bothered by the transmission, "Why are you contacting me now?"
"We have a problem."
Sam stood up from the med bed Ginny had finished healing his wounds and had moved on, he looked around to make sure no one was looking and took a hypospray that looked to have some kind of energy boost medicine in it, he slipped it into one of the pockets on his uniform and walked out of sick bay.
He headed toward one of the turbolifts and stepped in.
Sam hoped that they worked, "Bridge."
As the lift shot upwards, he pulled out the hypospray and gave himself a shot. He would need it for his shift, he hadn't mentioned how tired he was to Ginny because he knew she would of had him go to his quarters and rest, that was the last place he wanted to be at the moment.
Sam wanted to be on the bridge where all the action was, there he would know whats going on with the ship. He would of never of been able to go to sleep with all that had happened the last few hours.
The door of the turbolift opened to the bridge and Sam stepped off and headed to the helmsman's chair on the bridge and relieved the officer on duty. Sam looked at the sensor information that was being streamed to his station, they were still on course for the G'Hrel system.
Sam wondered if Captain Taggart really knew what they had been sent to do in the G'Hrel system, it was odd that they weren't even at the system yet and the ship was getting blown up. Who was this mysterious saboteur? That was a question of the year in Sam's opinion, was it one of the new crewmembers or did the ship have a stowaway?
Sam sat pondering all this while watching the displays on his station and occasionally looking up at the viewscreen to be mesmerized by the flashes of stars passing at warp speed.
The Quick and The Stunned
Tiberius ran down the corridors of the deck through, what seemed to look like, a battlefield. Security officers were down left and right. It was enough to strike fear in many. But Tiberius wouldn’t waver. No change in his emotion or stature. This is enough, he thought to himself. As he rounded towards the tube, he came to a stop. Tapping his comm badge he said;
=^= Quintius to Lieutenant Dale.=^=
=^= What have you got, Quintius?=^=
=^= I need whatever security officers we have left to clear Decks Two, Three, and Four. Then on Decks One and Five, we need to blockade the Jefferys Tubes and the turbolifts. This is going to end now.=^=
After a half hour, Decks 3 and 4 were cleared of most Starfleet Personnel. The cadet sensed he was getting closer to the saboteur. His sprint slowed to a steady walk. Phaser in both hands he held it to his chest. Approaching each corner cautiously he walked, until a flash rang by him. Hugging the wall, the cadet looked down and saw a loose panel. With a quick thought, Tiberius popped his head around the corner, the Ensign fire a phaser shot at him. Tiberius quickly ducked back to the corner, but not before throwing the loose panel across the floor. The panel spun all way the to the Ensign’s feet, bringing him to the ground. In one motion the cadet strafed around the corner firing his phaser at the off-guard Ensign. He fell completely limp to the ground. The cadet walked over to him, tearing a piece of Pascal’s uniform off, Tiberius tied and secured his wrists. The Ensign had been stunned by Tiberius' phaser fire.
=^= Quintius to Lieutenant Dale.=^=
=^= Go ahead =^=
=^=I’ve secured our infamous saboteur. I need a security detail down to Deck Three, Section Five. Cadet Quintius, out =^=
Sym Fra Hop
For the last several hours, Sym had been crawling through the Horizon's jefferies tubes. With the turbo lifts out of action, he was having to inspect the repairs made on foot. A quick glance at the location indicator on the bulkhead told him he was somewhere between decks 7 and 8. Another two floors and he will be at his destination. He made to the end of the current tube, climbed out, wiped the sweat from his brow and began to climb the ladder in front of him.
He had barely made it up two rungs when he was contacted by Ensign Garfield.
=^= Main Engineering to Commander Hop =^=
Sym paused in his climb and after steadying himself, tapped his comm badge.
=^= Yeah go ahead, Tormass. =^=
=^= Sorry to bother you sir, but security has found the saboteur. =^= The engineering ensign reported
=^= Spot on. =^= Sym replied, =^= Whereabouts did they find him =^=
Sym listened as Garfield gave the location.
=^= Damn, that's right near the starboard computer core. I hope he hasn't had a chance to get in there. =^=
=^= No sir. The computer core sensors haven't indicated any intruders in the core.=^=
Sym thought hard for several moments,
=^= Inform security I'm on my way. I need to check the core. Hop out=^=
Sym looked down at the shaft extending below him, "I need more exercise" He said, beginning his climb down to deck four.
Rynen Dale & Owain Taggart
Rynen sat backwards on a chair facing an empty cell in the brig, clenching and unclenching her fists. What's taking so long? she thought, her anger growing with each passing moment. Right on que, the door of the brig opened, and Cadet Quintius stepped in, his hand firmly holding on to the arm of Alistair McCay. He was accompanied by two other security officers who stood at the door, waiting on Rynen's orders.
"Put him in the cell." The betazoid growled, her eyes narrowing as she watched Tiberius lead the small man into the cell infront of her. Alistair had a calm look on his face, but his intense blue eyes betrayed him. They had a wild, insane quality- like the man wasn't entirely there.
Rynen stared at Alistair as Tiberius turned on the forcefield. "That will be all, thank you gentleman." She said, not even bothering to look towards the security officers. Tiberius started to say something, but Rynen simply pointed to the door. She wasn't in the mood to talk. This man in front of her had wounded several of her officers. It was not something she took lightly.
As soon as the door closed, she stood and walked up to the forcefield. McCay walked up to it midway, looking at the officer in contempt, almost sneering at her. He knew what he had done. He knew he would eventually be caught, but he didn't care. "Nice of you to visit me. I'm very glad. Your skills are admirable, really. I thought it would take you and your team longer to catch me. Why don't you sit down and relax, and tell me all about your frustrations."
That set the normally calm betazoid off. She tapped the control panel next to his cell to deactivate the forcefield. She walked up to the small man, grabbed his collar with both hands, and shoved him against the wall. "I'm not here to play games, McCay," she spat, "Now tell me what the hell you are doing on my ship." Her normally soft eyes held no mercy.
"Games?!", exclaimed McCay as he brushed himself off, "Games? Oh, you honestly wound me. I was honestly only fixing the bulkheads. You really must bother someone else. And would you please stop manhandling me?"
Dropping him, she tilted her head to look at him, a smile forming. "Well then. Shall we get down to business?" she asked.
Tell me what you were doing a voice in Alistair's head stated menacingly. Alistair slapped at his head, felt like he had an itch in his brain, but realizing the source of his irritation, looked on at the woman. "If I told you, you wouldn't believe me. And even if you did, then I'd have to find some way to kill you."
"Then I guess we'll do this the hard way." she stated coldly, the smile still on her lips. She closed her eyes, the lids flickering. Alistair didn't even realize what was going on until his thoughts suddenly turned to…
"Section 31. They sent me here to stop your ship from heading to the G'Hrel system", he said quickly without a breath, as if he was forced to say it. "Hey, wait a minute.. I didn't.."
"What did I tell you?" the woman said, more talking to herself than to Alistair. "Why would they do that?"
Suddenly, Alistair stood up straight distancing himself from her while looking her in the eyes. "My organization has special …. interests on G'Hrel IV. We believe Starfleet sent you in error. In other words, we don't feel the Horizon needs to meddle in our affairs. You would only be doing yourselves a disservice, mark my words. If you think that this is a simple cargo delivery mission as Starfleet would have you believe, then you're dead wrong. There's more at stake here than you realize. Trust me, you don't want to deal with the affairs we support. It would only end in ugly ways. Possibly even the loss of your ship. That, we'd make certain."
This set Rynen off. Her hands suddenly grasped McCay's neck, tightening as she talked. "If you or anyone in your organization lays another hand on this ship…" Alistair's arms flailed, attempting in vain to stop the lieutenant. He was choking as Owain, who wanted to desperately see Rynen in action with this person but was occupied for much of the time, had come in late and concerned. "What's the big commotion?", Owain asked as he looked at Rynen who seemed to be quite irritated by the man, "Let him go, before you kill him." Rynen didn't turn to look at him. He grabbed ger gently, trying to pry her away from Alistair. "We don't want to kill him."
She let go, and turned to Owain. "Are you sure about that? He didn't seem to mind killing my officers." she spat at him, glaring. "Fine, you can deal with him. I'm off duty now anyways." She turned away from the two perplexed men and walked out of the brig. "We can't have him get us to his level. We don't kill our prisoners. We capture them and give them to Starfleet if they're a threat.", he told her as he walked out after her, "If I have anything to do with it, he might end up on Rura Penthe."
Clenching her jaw, Rynen turned and looked him in the eye. She didn't even need to say anything, as the anger in her eyes expressed her thoughts. She turned and walked away.
About half an hour later, Rynen was sitting in stellar cartography, still trying to calm down. She didn't need the swish of the doors behind her to alert her to someone's presence. Still staring at the screen full of stars, she said "I wondered how long it would take you to come check on me."
Owain nodded, "I knew you needed some time alone to sort things out. You looked pretty shaken up. What happened? Did he say anything to anger you?"
Turning to look at him, she shook her head. "He didn't really say anything. But I read his thoughts, Owain. I was in his head." She trembled slightly as she spoke.
Owain came closer and sat down, "And they must of been pretty bad thoughts. I can only imagine what you went through."
"Yeah.. I was just so mad at him to begin with. Seeing McCorski lying in the Jefferies tube with blood all over his head… I knew I needed to do something. If I didn't, how could my officers ever trust me again? I would have betrayed their loyalty." she said, looking down.
Owain nodded, "I understand. You did what you thought felt right. You went with your instincts.", he said while looking at her and then holding her, "So, did you ever find out what all of that was about?"
She wrapper her arms around his waist, burying her head in his shoulder. After taking a moment to breath in his air, she looked up at him. "Section 31. They don't want us going to G'hrel."
Owain was surprised by this. He didn't really know what Section 31 would want with the ship or anything with the mission itself. "Really? I wonder why. They can't really have anything of interest way out on the edge of the Frontier. G'hrel is just outside the Federation Border. Unless they're hiding something we don't know about…"
"He said they had special interest in G'hrel. They don't want us snooping around." she stated. "I don't think Starfleet knows anything about it."
"All the more reason to go ahead as planned. Perhaps we can investigate what Section 31 is doing there. But, better alert Starfleet. Our welcoming party, if anything is to be believed, won't welcome us with open arms.", He said as he looked at her with admiration, "Good job on interviewing our saboteur."
"Thanks." she said, smiling for this first time that evening. "How about treating me to dinner, then?"
"That sounds like a plan.", he said with a smile. He then walked over to the console on the walkway and entered some coordinates. The view of the stars and planets zoomed on G'Hrel and the other planets in the system. "It looks like we're nearly there."
She stood and came up next to him, reaching down to grasp his hand. "I'll guess we'll have to eat quickly, then." she said, a twinkle finally back in her soft eyes.
Draka Ren Colok
After Rynen had chased after the sabateur Draka had cast the power cable aside, wincing in pain as he held his right arm close to his side, left hand tapping his comm badge,"Security to Engineering, downed power cable on deck four, section Alpha-One-Two-Two. It's a hazard to anyone corssing through.". Following his reporting the cable to engineering he moved down the passage, holstering the phaser laying on the ground, tapping his comm badge again,"Computer, erect a level ten force field on deck four, section Alpha One Two Zero.", he says, watching ahead until the telltale shimmer appears to indicate a force field was raised. He widened his stance, his metallic silver hair shimmering in the dim lighting. He raised his left hand and concentrated, his hand suddenly firing several bright blasts of energy at the forcefield, the silvery color bleeding out of his hair which left it the metallic grey once more.
After telling the computer to drop the force field he moved on, one handed climbing down the jeffries tube to deck five, from there he made his way to his quarters, stripping off his burnt and charred uniform top. He then slipped out a personal medkit he keeps, stocked full of burn ointments and salves, some of which he used on the burns all up and down his right arm and hand, bandages were then wrapped over the worst of the burns on his upper right arm near the shoulder, his forearm just below the elbow, the area of his wrist and over his seared palm. After tending to himself he carefully slipped a new, clean uniform top on, applying his comm badge before he made his way to report in at the main security office.
Sam smiled, he was happy that it was not his job to find the saboteur. Most of the time it was hard to find somone who was smart enough to be able to sabotage part of a ship, if the Horizon's security team was good they would have him in a day or so. As long as this saboteur didn't blow up the engines then he would be able to continue to do what he loved doing, which was flying the ship.
It did piss him off though that a person could sink so low that they were willing to put someone elses life in danger. So far no one that Sam knew of had been killed, but that was luck. Sam headed for his room, to have a drink after his shift, just a shot to take away the tension he felt.
Before he got there a crewman ran towards him.
"They caught the saboteur!" and with that he continued to run.
Sam smiled aparently the Horizon security team was excellent…
He stepped into his room and went to find his good scotch, after he found it he poured himself a shot and downed it, he loved the burning sensation he felt as it went down his throat. He sighed his shift on the bridge had been uneventful, he sat on his bed and fell asleep glad that he wouldn't be awoken by any explosions, or loss of gravity. His last thoughts before falling asleep were of Ginny and whether he would see her later when he woke up.
After they took the Ensign into custody, Tiberius proceeded on his way. Engineers were quite busy with repairs in the sickbay and lower decks. The air smelt of burnt circuits and soldered wire. The wall panels were letting in a cool air that put a chill in the air. One could barely walk three meters without being run over by another officer. As he made his way to the Jefferies Tube, Tiberius over heard a couple of engineers arguing over an open panel.
“This is what the configuration shows,” argued an Ensign.
“It should go this way,” said another.
Hoping to end his headache, Tiberius walked over to the two. “You going to fry out more circuits doing it either way. You can’t loop a power board into another. That’s basic engineering. Look.” After pulling and plugging a few wires from other boards, the lights lit up. The boards were back to working properly. One of them looked up at the Cadet.
“How did you know that,” the ensign asked.
“I’ve worked on a few vessels in my time. Plus look at the section you’re on. That’s the wrong section on this deck. Pay closer attention to your tricorder.” After he was done, he continued on his way. Taking one last look around, he vanished into the tube.
Later on, Tiberius had made his way to his quarters. He sat down for the first time since his interview with the Lieutenant. Reclining in the chair at his desk, he took a deep breath and said, “Computer. What is the E.T.A to the G’Hrel system?”
“E.T.A TO G’HREL SYSTEM IS TEN MINUTES,” the computer sounded off.
“How moving. No rest for the weary.” He stood up and tapped his comm badge.
=^=Cadet Quintius to security=^=
=^=This is Ensign Malkari.=^=
=^=Scott, I’m on my way down there. Now, as matter of fact.=^=
=^=Good. We’ll need some help prepping.=^=
=^= As I expected. Quintius out.=^=
The security deck was busy with security officers walking around. Tiberius, coming down through the tube, looked quite discontent. At the bottom, Ensign Scott Malkari greeted the cadet. Standing as tall as Tiberius, Malkari was smiling so big.
“Limitless technology at our finger tips and I have to use ladders to get where I want to, “ Tiberius said quite sarcastically.
“It’s nice to see you’re in such a good mood.” Malkari’s tone was quite condescending. Smiling, Tiberius and Malkari walk away from the tubes. The two began helping out the prepping in the security deck. Officers were coming and going, getting armed with phasers. Others continually doing scans over the ship.
Sym Fra Hop
"Chief Engineers personal log, star-date 62164.8.
Repairs to the damage caused by the saboteur are nearly completed. I am also pleased to note that the turbo-lifts are up and running again. Having the crew use the jefferies tubes was awkward to say the least, things where beginning to get a bit crowded.
I'm also concerned about the type of damage our saboteur caused. From the pattern of it, it looks like it was intended to slow us down. However, I have been analysing the diagnostics I performed on Sickbays power conduits after they exploded and I have found something I don't like the look of. Embedded in one of the control programs was a single line of code, that once activated, would increase the power going through the plasma conduits forcing it to overload. It seems that repairing Sickbays LCARS activated the code, forcing the overload. Why the safeties didn't work is still a mystery, a mystery I want solved. I have my best computer experts looking into the code, seeing if they can identify anymore rogue code's.
Although I have only been on this ship for a short time, I have come to realise that this new department of mine is an extremely efficient one. Almost the entire department is very competent however a couple of my staff would benefit from some extra training. Log end."
Sym leaned back in his chair, looking out of his office at the warp core. It's soft blue light mesmerising him. He continued to stare at it for several minutes, running a few engineering problems though his mind. He was interrupted by Ensign Garfield.
"I'm sorry to bother you sir, but we're due to enter the G'hrel system in a little under five minutes." The ensign informed him.
Sym sat up in his chair, "Thank you Tormass, can you keep an eye on the shop while I go to the Bridge? I want a nose at this system"
"Yes sir." Garfield replied
"Spot on, I'll be back soon." Sym quickly strode over to the turbo-lift at the rear of Main Engineering and took it to the bridge.
He entered the bridge and immediately took up the engineering position, relieving the duty engineer. Sym quickly ran a check to make sure that engineering was ready to disengage the warp drive when asked to by helm control.
Beautiful. Peaceful. Intelligent. Those were words once used to describe G'Hrel IV. Looking at the planet now, one would never have those words come to mind. The G'hraal had been happily minding their own business, the way the universe had intended for them to live, a perhaps backwards society compared to modern standards; an iron age consisting of swords, spears and other melee weapons. It hadn't even dawned on them that perhaps there was more to the universe than just their world. It had all changed over 1300 years ago when outworld visitors had forcibly rectified that situation by giving them advanced weapons and technology.
War. Ravaged. Dominance. Those were words that were now used to describe it. The G'hraal, for the most part saw the technology as a gift from above, especially to the biggest nation on the planet, méng Qiáng shì, otherwise known as The Mighty People. The Mighty People ruled the planet with an iron fist, instilling fear and violence using their technology.
Pride. Honour. Duty. The Mighty People had ways to lure people to their cause. To most G'hraal families, it was an honour to be selected to fight with the People's Army. Candidates went through thorough training, given tests based on several aptitudes and skills. Those chosen went to fight for the Mighty People, others went to School. Either way, you worked or you didn't. That was the way of the Mighty People.
Survivalist. Outsiders. Reclaimers. There were those who disagreed with the méng Qiáng shì, however. Idealists who recalled the days when G'Hrel IV hadn't known technology, believing that the G'hraal were better off before when they had been using swords and spears. There had been an insurgency movement, their people hidden away in a network of tunnels far below the surface, planning for better days.
Deo Zhang was one frustrated individual. He wanted to get an answer soon; wanted to go to school. But he couldn't go to school before he had received the answers he had been waiting for. For a G'hraal, one had to go through tests to determine if one went to school or would go fight among the People's Army. He was just tired of waiting, disgruntled really. Bureacracy is slow. Really really slow, he thought. He was laying down in bed, looking up at the ceiling wondering what was taking so long. Surely a year was enough to process the results.
Living in his Grandparent's house wasn't quite the same as when he had been living with his Parents. His parents were different. They were idealistic. They knew what was best for G'Hrel, or so he thought. His Grandparents were MP sympathisers and supported the cause.
Deo was disgruntled. He couldn't figure out what they were fighting for. They seemed to have everything they needed. Why did they have to bother the others who wanted to try to leave peacefully? His father had fought for an insurgency long ago. He was sure he would have told him, but now his father was dead, all thanks to the great and wonderful cause of the méng Qiáng shì.
His bedroom door squeaked open and his Grandparents walked in. Grandfather Zhang sat at the foot of the bed. "We have an answer, son. We will help you get ready. You will be do great honour to the Zhang Family fighting alongside The People's Army. You should be proud. It is the will of the People."
Deo sat up in his bed and nodded, "Yeah? Well, I'm not going.", he said as he crossed his arms.
Grandfather Zhang frowned and looked insulted, "Excuse me?"
"You heard me. I'm not going."
Grandfather shook his head, "It is the will of the People. You will do great honor for our -"
"Honour, Pride and all that, yeah, I know. Do you honestly believe that or are you just going along with what they want you to believe? If I can't go to school, I have no future here."
Grandfather looked hurt and showed it, "Oh, come now. Your future is secured. The Army brings great potential among our people."
"I've heard that before, Grandfather. I don't believe in the 'cause'. All this fighting and for what? What does it really bring us?
"Honor and Pride…"
"Honor and Pride? That's it? That's not a whole lot for all of the violence we're getting. Look at the planet, Grandfather. Have you honestly looked at it recently? We used to have such a beautiful planet. Now all of it is War…"
"What will you do then?"
Deo thought about it long and hard these past few nights and knew his answer. It was definite. He knew what he wanted to do. "I'm leaving. There's an insurgency movement starting up again and it's what I want to do…"
Grandfather shook his head, "Your father…."
"Yeah! What's the problem with my father? My father fought for what he truly believed in, not what some government wanted him to think.", Deo said as he gathered his belongings including his spear. Spears were given as gifts to those who had hit the age of consent; the age to fight. They were a powerful symbol of age and maturity, and perhaps one of the few truly G'hrel things still used by anyone. "What my father did, he did it for the people. The true G'hraal. The G'hraal from when things were so much more peaceful, before those visitors came here. When we didn't let technology cloud our judgement and lead our every way. I'm leaving to fight for a real cause."
Grandfather took Deo's arm with a firm grip. "You can't go. They'll find you once they know you've deserted them."
"I haven't even joined them."
Grandfather nodded, "Yes, but it is the will of the people."
"Let them find me then. I'll kill them." And then Deo left, and that was the last they would see of him. Both Grandfather and Grandmother looked up at each other, worry in their hearts. It was only a matter of time now before the PA knew.
It had seemed like a lifetime, those six weeks. Six weeks that were quite eventful, however, as there had been a Saboteur running around trying to prevent them from getting to their destination. Six weeks of chaos that when looked back on, looked like a cruel training excersize, especially to the new recruits who had come aboard recently.
At some point, it had looked like the ship was going to fail on him, but he should of never doubted her. Thanks to Commander Hop, they had mostly everything fixed again, right on schedule for arrival. And that was a good thing, as they didn't know what to expect and he didn't want the ship to be vulnerable when he counted on her the most.
This was their moment; the moment they'd all been waiting for. G'Hrel was now practically within reach, and every one of his senior officers had taken up their positions on the bridge; even his medical officers Crewman Kinkade and Dr Torv joining in. Sitting in the center seat, he nodded to Cadet Jones, signaling him. Normally, he would of given this job to a higher ranking officer, but the passion that this cadet displayed was contagious. Plus, he had come to count on him quite a bit lately.
"Cadet, take us out of warp, please.", he intoned. They gradually slowed out of warp, the elongated star patterns returning to their normal polka dotted selves. As a matter of safety due to the new information he had gathered, red lights were now flashing around the bridge, signaling a heightened yellow alert. "Take us into G'Hrel's orbit, if you will.", he added to the cadet as they slowly approached the planet under impulse.
If a Vista of Paradise is what Owain and his crew had been looking forward to, they would surely all be disappointed at what lay before them, because what they saw was quite depressing. The planet looked ravaged with war, nothing like Owain had ever seen before, and perhaps similar looking to what Cardassia had looked like during the Occupation. It looked like a planet that had been warring for centuries and had trouble escaping it. And suddenly their delivery of supplies looked more like a relief effort for the dire. He had to be careful now where he stepped. He had to deliver these supplies. They were all the more urgent now, knowing what this planet was going through. But he didn't know any of the parties involved in this war; didn't know who to trust. It was all new to him, a bit like stepping into the world of Oz and seeing all the unfamiliar. He knew however that these supplies shouldn't fall into the wrong hands. This, he had to make sure. It was a very delicate situation to be in. And yet…. he had to be neutral in all this without knowing who he was giving these supplies to. All he had was a name. Major Anderson.
In all this was the silence on the bridge, the quiet noise of the electronics and people working at their stations, the red lights casting glows. Waiting was the hardest part now. They had to wait for their one contact. And it was the operations officer who had cut the silence like a knife through butter, all attention on him now as his station beeped.
"Sir, we've got an incoming transmission from the planet", the officer stated.
"Major Anderson?", Owain asked the man, but the officer shook his head.
"No sir, it appears to be someone else."
Uneasy at this revelation, Owain stood up and walked forward towards the viewscreen. "Put it on screen."
The planet before them dissolved to be replaced by an elder looking man. He was quite primitive looking, looking a bit like he had come from the planet they were at on their last mission, equipped by a spear he was holding.
"Unidentified vessel. Please identify yourself.", the man on the viewscreen statted matter-of-factly.
"We are the United Starship Horizon, from Starfleet. We come bearing supplies for one Major Anderson.", Owain replied to him.
The man nodded, "I am Lucata of the United Tribal Allies. We are the bearer of all communications to all who come here. Your vessel has been expected, however the one you call Anderson is undisposed at this moment in time. We will however let him know of your arrival and will contact you when ready."
The communication was cut quickly and Owain felt an odd chill run up his spine. He didn't quite know what to make of it. However, he had to pass the time, and so he called a staff meeting to find out what to do for their duration.
Sym Fra Hop
Sym stared at the view-screen for several seconds after the transmission from the planet had finished. Something did not add up, he thought that the ruling government were called The Mighty People. Just who were the United Tribal Allies, Sym knew that there were factions on G'Hrel that opposed the way that world used technology. Sym had seen the same on many worlds, Earth included. The appeal of a simpler life was very strong, Sym himself enjoyed camping with the barest of essentials. Sometimes it's nice to get away from it all.
Sym reverie was interrupted by the Captain ordering a conference. The absence of Major Anderson was worrying indeed, a number of possible scenarios playing though his head. Sym quickly shoved them to the back of his mind, conjecture would do no-one any good.
The engineer followed the Captain and other officers into the conference room, and took a seat. While they waited, Sym activated the computer terminal in front of him. He needed to refresh his memory where G'Hrel was concerned. He called up the relevant information, and shook his head. The cultural upheavals happening on the planet below them were complicated, not to mention the fact that the planet had been war ravaged for some time. That was the reason they were there, delivering relief supplies to the world below.
With the possibility that things could be going wrong, Sym had made sure his department was ready for any eventuality. He was mildly confidant that they should be able handle anything the planet below could handle.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka worked on the security deck, busying himself with going through the weapons stores and maiking sure each security officer has a hand phaser and phaser rifle assigned to them, making sure their certifacation and testing in marksmanship and the like is up to date. He then sent notices to any officer who's certifacation was close to running out, which would cause a violation of the duties. As he worked he ignored the bandages beneath his uniform sleeve over his right arm, also ignoring the bandage wrapped around his hand to cover his burnt palm. Also ignored were the looks from other passing security officers at said bandages, not feeling up to explaining himself, he merely didn't meet their inquisitive looks. Those tasks completed as the ship entered orbit over G'Hrel, he then went about making sure the weapons assigned to the Lt, himself and other top security personelle were fully charged and cleared for use. He muttered to himself,"No telling what'll happen at this place after all…", he said.
Tense. The only way to describe the feeling Horrus felt as he stared at the hovering ball of a planet on the view screen. He looked around at the officers on the bridge all staring deep into there consoles attempting to scan, probe, understand. The individual who had appeared on the screen Horrus had found to be….cryptic. Horrus had prided himself on being able to read people quite well but this individual his body language was closed, his movements tight.
"Grey…" He muttered. At a young age he Horrus had learned to identify colors with peoples memories or personalities, he didn't often tell many people this fact because he thought others might often view him as crazy and different but then again, "How much more different can you get if you're in the Federation?" He thought to himself.
Shortly after the bewildering man left the screen the Captain looked unnerved. He ordered the command staff the the briefing room, Olivia turned and faced the captain, "Sir, a situation regarding a patient had arisen just before we arrived on the bridge, I feel I must tend to it immediately, would it be satisfactory if Horrus took my place in the meeting and apprised me of the information afterward?"
Horrus and the Captain looked at each other with a confused look and then back at Olivia, "That's not quite standard protocol Lieutenant, the information we will be discussing is of an officers nature. I'm sure you understand." The captain responded.
"I do apologize captain but I have a duty to my patients, Horrus is a bright individual and I have somewhat taken him under my wing, I have no doubt about his abilities to keep chain of command and maker sure all information stays where it is suppose to." She fired back quickly.
Owain pondered momentarily, "Alright, but lets not make a habit of this, Crewman." He said now looking at Horrus, "Report to the briefing room, welcome to the team."
"Thank you sir." Horrus responded as he made his way into the briefing room. He said nothing but couldn't help but wonder if Olivia wasn't hiding something, as the last critical patient had been cleared as stable and all other issues were under control by Sophie and Giles. Something wasn't right but he would have to figure it out later.
"Thank you captain, I again apologize for any inconvenience." Olivia stated.
Owain responded with a smile, "You're right, you have a duty for the well being of this crew, I understand, dismissed."
Olivia nodded and made her way to the turbolift, the doors shut her view off from the bridge and she inputted the turbolift vocal command. "Brig."
Horrus sat down around the table surrounded by officers, a small fish in a big sea is exactly how he felt. He hoped he would be able to hold his own in their ball court.
Olivia approached the doors to the brig which were being watched by a security officer. She put her on best smile and lostened the bun in her hair to let her blonde locks flow "Sometimes the cheapist tricks are the best." She thought. She approached the guard who seemingly attempted to look past her.
"Afternoon cadet, I have to administer a standard vaccine for the Terrelian flu to all members of the crew, nothing to be worried about. I was just in the area and thought I would cover anyone here that I missed." She smiled.
"Yes ma'am, go right ahead." The cadet responded.
Olivia pulled a hypospray from her jacket and pressed it to the cadets neck, immediately after administering the shot the cadet began to feel dizzy and wobble. "OH dear." She exclaimed. "You seem to be having some adverse affects to the treatment." Olivia grabbed the attention of a passing officer, "Please escort this man to sickbay he's having an allergic reaction to some medication, I'll see to it a security replacement is found."
"Thank…you…ma'am" The security cadet slurred as he was escorted down the hall.
Olivia grinned and waved her fingers politely, waiting for the two to get out of sight she turned towards the door panel, using her tricolor she gained the access code and opened it, she stepped into the brig and up to the cell of Allister. He noticed her presence immediately, "Olivia, how lovely to see you. What brings you down to my humble abode."
Owain watched as his crew made their way to the briefing room, his mind still not sure what to make of Lucata and the UTA. The man he had seen on the viewscreen was strange. Not just strange, but strangely primitive, and his tone had suggested that Anderson was not just "undisposed", but that perhaps this Lucata knew more than he was willing to reveal. Whatever the case, it created a strange feeling. Owain had only one contact in Anderson, and now he had none, and he suspected some foul play involved. They were alone now, in a sea of no cares.
His mind was distracted by Olivia asking to attend to one of her patients. He knew duty all too well, wanted her in the briefing room, but had understood her reasoning. He knew patients were sometimes needy. This was to be expected. He never gave it a second thought as he dismissed her.
His thoughts drifted back to the mission, back to Anderson. His "disappearance" had caused concern among the crew. He sensed the tension. Their mission's purpose had shifted now. It wasn't just about supplies. It was also about Anderson. They had to find him.
He looked at his crew with determination, with resolve. "I know what you're all thinking. Where do we go from here? We have no place to go and we still have our supplies to deliver. We will deliver our supplies if it's the last thing we do. The UTA…."
Commander Langford interrupted the Captain, and Owain shot him a glare. "Sir, I've looked through all the G'Hrel documentation that Starfleet has to offer, the little we do have, and there is no mention of the United Tribal Allies. Whoever they are, I don't feel like I trust them."
Owain nodded, "That's a good point, Commander. The way they presented themselves was of a neutral fashion. However, if there is no mention like you've noticed, it's possible they were created recently as things have escalated here. However, the fact remains, we have no contact with Major Anderson. This troubles me as he was our only contact. So, what do we do from here? We find him. I have the feeling he's down there, and we'll find him and deliver our supplies. So, this is what we'll do. Commander, you'll go down to the surface with an Away Team. Take Lieutenant Dale, and two other security officers and Crewman Kinkade. Once on the surface, you'll no doubt encounter many obstacles, but your main job is to reach Major Anderson. Once you have found him and his location, you're to report back to the Horizon, and then we'll beam down the supplies."
He looked at his crew. Perhaps they thought he was crazy for letting them go on this dangerous mission, but it had to be done. It would be dangerous, he knew, especially considering they didn't know what to expect, but as usual, his motto was always to expect the unexpected, especially on strange worlds. "I know it sounds like something the Starfleet Marines should be doing. I won't kid you all, it's dangerous out there, and one of you could be killed. That's the price we pay for exploration. But I have faith in you all. I know you can find out where Major Anderson is and what's going on. Any questions before you all go?"
Rynen had been standing at the tactical station when Lucata's face had appeared on the viewscreen. A slightly sick feeling had risen from the pit of her stomach as he had said that Major Anderson was "undisposed" at the moment. This did not bode well. She could feel Owain's uneasiness as the communication ended suddenly.
Entering the briefing room, Rynen took a seat next to Horrus. It was odd that he was there instead of Lt. Torv. Something must have come up.. Rynen thought. She could tell Horrus was a bit unsure of his place here, being surrounded by all these officers. She knew what it felt to be the "new kid on the block", so she turned to him and smiled. "How are you today, Crewman?" she asked polietly. He replied that he was well, and the two made small talk until Owain entered the room to start the meeting.
Langford's comments about no mention of the UTA in Starfleet records piqued her interest. Her thoughts flew back to what Alistair had said. "If you think that this is a simple cargo delivery mission as Starfleet would have you believe, then you're dead wrong. There's more at stake here than you realize." Were they being set up?
Bringing her attention back to the meeting, she was pleased to hear that Owain didn't plan on joining the away team. There was no way she could properly do her job with him on the team. The two had grown very close, and she knew her feelings would only have been a hazard to everyone. She looked to Kinkaid again when the Captain said he would also be on the away team. There eyes met and he offered her a small smile.
When the Captain asked if there were any questions, one immediately came to mind, stemming from her 'conversation' with Alistair. "What if Anderson doesn't exist? What if we're just a pawn in all of this?"
Sam watched the viewer, his shift had started 2 hours ago, he was surprised at how primitive Lucata was. "Were all of his people dressed, and used antiquated weapons"thought Sam. Sam listened to the dialogue and was surprised when the man said that Anderson was busy.
“They had waited all that time, and now that their supplies were here the man was too busy? That's fishy.”thought Sam.
As the communication between the planet and the Horizon was cut, Sam had an odd feeling in his stomach something wasn't right. Owain had called the staff into meeting, he assumed that it also meant him sense he had been on the bridge and all. It had just hit him that ussually the chief helmsman would have been the one to do everything he had just done, he must have impressed Owain somehow or perhaps Lt. Mc Willson had somehow pissed the Captain off, actually Sam hadn't seen the Lt since the last mission, perhaps he was ill that would explain why he hadn't been around, he made a mental note to check up on him and report to him once the meeting was over. Sam decided to go into the meeting, it was always easier to ask for forgiveness if he was wrong.
Sam walked toward the readyroom and discreetly listened as Olivia made her leave and asked for Horrus to take her place Sam thought it was odd why didn't she just have Horrus take care of the sick bay he had proven himself. He stepped up his pace and got to the readyroom and took a seat, it wasn't any of his busyness what was going on with the medical department, and he wasn't the captain.
Sam settled in and listened, that is once the meeting had started and the Captain hadn't told him to leave. He listened and had to stifle a smile the Captain wasn't going to lead the away mission himself, after the last mission who could blame them, but on the other hand he felt sorry for the security squad the Commander had gotten better but Sam wasn't sure whether his ball had dropped yet or not, Lt. Rynen would probably end up in command, and again Sam had to cover his face and hold his breath to keep from laughing, not at the Lt, but at the Commander who had not earned Sam's respect quite yet.
When the Captain mentioned the marines, Sam had to bite his tongue, to keep from saying “Well a security team is ten times what the marines are, at least the security has brains and aren't brainwashed.”but he held his tongue it wasn't his place, and maybe there were some good marines that he hadn't met, or perhaps he had just gotten some really bad apples. Sam's vision flashed, he was on the bridge of his ship surrounded by starfleet marines all of them pointing weapons at his crew, he had been caught with his illegal cargo, his wife was on the ground with a phaser shot to the abdomen. “Let me help her” he had pleaded with the marines, but they wouldn't let him…and there she died without a loving hand, or soothing words. Yet again that arrest was how he had ended up in starfleet,if she hadn't died he would of still been smuggling, even if his parents had taken the ship away, all he had needed was her, but she was gone now.
His vision came back to the present, but his anger still burning in his heart. Sam found it hard to listen, but acted as though he was, and hoped that no one noticed his little spell, or the fire he could feel in his eyes. All he could think about was getting this meeting over and having a drink or two.
Don't get to comfortable
The security deck was busy with everyone prepping for the arrival on G’Hrel. There were whispers of some communication’s problems. Chief Petty Officer Colok was having all security personnel line to get equipped with phasers. The air was thick with the smell of sweat and nervousness. Most of the department consisted of younger men and women, either newly enlisted or fresh out of the academy. There were a select few who had seen combat either during their time in Starfleet or before they had signed up. Tiberius Quintius was one of these few individuals.
The cadet didn’t much care for this planet. In the past, he could recall the stories that his customers would tell about this place. He knew G’Hrel had no friends, just the occasional ally when it suited them. “People like that are to be kept at a distance,” he thought to himself. After a moment of pondering, he snapped back to reality.
He neared Colok, as the Chief Petty Officer was suiting up the other security officers. Most everyone there was equipped with a phaser. Tiberius saw Draka getting ready to close the phaser rifle container. He reached over and stopped him before he could lock it. The Officer looked up at him and Tiberius spoke saying, “Trust me when I say that we'll be needing those.”
Horrus' stomach sank. "What the hell has that woman got me in to this time.." He thought to himself. The chief of Security Rynen Dale who was seated next to him glanced over with a polite smile that seemed to say, "It'll be fine relax." Horrus was always the skeptic he knew something would happen and most likely on his watch. He kept glancing over to Rynen who seemingly appeared to be enjoying something. "Great, either I'm insane or they've sat me next to a telepath." He thought.
As his grimmace continued to grow he noticed that Rynen was smiling and nodding towards him as to say "Right on the nose."
Horrus' expression grew blank with disdain, he smiled unhappily at Rynen to acknowledge his latest discovery.
His attention now back towards the matter at hand, Horrus realized he had been chosen out of a staff of superior officers he himself only a crewman recruit to assist as the field medic on a possibly dangerous unknown away mission. The prospect of which seemed…unsettling. Why now? What reason? Why not Olivia?
Olivia. That what was the issue that seemed all wrong ever since her mysterious patient issue arose on the bridge, no more secrets it was time for answers, "I may have to go on this mission but to hell if I'm doing it blind." He thought.
The captain dismissed the meeting and Horrus set out for sickbay.
"Olivia, how lovely to see you. What brings you down to my humble abode."
Olivia stared back in to his dark eyes, "I was preparing to ask you the very same question."
"Oh come now, surely we can't both be here on missions of hospitality and diplomacy? You're a lieutenant now are you? How exciting for you."
"Can the crap, I'll ask you again, WHY are you here?" Olivia's voice became stern. "What business do they have with G'Hrel?"
"My dear Olivia, how you still think in such small scales. I would be far more curious as to what would take you from such pressing work on the Kinsey to this claptrap of Federation technology."
"Lets just say I wanted a change of scenery." Olivia responded glibly.
Allister chuckled, "Of course." His eyes narrowed and his smile broadened as if he had come to a realization. "It appears as if we have a common interest after all Olivia, and you said we could never work together."
Olivia seemingly now having a similar realization but hers was far less entertained, she stood her ground firmly stepping close to the forcefield, "You can't have it." She whispered.
"Who says its not mine to have?"
"Science. That's who, you would attempt to destroy the one thing we have been in search of all of this time?" She responded.
"You Olivia are aware just as I am of the vastly complicated possibilities both positive and negative if it is to be discovered, I am simply here to insure that does not take place." Allister remarked.
Olivia seemed puzzled, "But you wouldn't destroy it, no…that would stop all chances of exploitation which you have shown quite a knack for all of this time….Ohhhh now I get it, you want it for yourself, you're going to keep it, and use it for your own gains."
"Not me personally but you're generally correct, yes." He smiled.
"There's just one little hole in your plan there Alister, you're behind this forcefield and I have authority on this vessel. I won't let you get to it."
"Olivia, I've always liked you, so let me give you a piece of… friendly advice. You know as well as I do if you interfere it will be your undoing."
"If that's what it takes. Besides, I've spent my whole life wanting to be talked about, maybe now I'll get the chance if you're right." Olivia turned and walked out of the brig, Allister gritting his teeth as he watched her depart from his view.
Walking into the turbolift she closed the doors and locked them, breathing deeply she took a moment to gather her composure, "Sickbay."
A moment later after stepping out of the turbolift she arrived in sickbay where Horrus was waiting in her office.
"I think you owe me an explanation." Horrus said.
Olivia's heart began racing, "What about..?"
"Why am I going on this away mission for you and WHERE is this mysterious patient? The one you OH so HAD to take care of."
"I lied." She responded.
"Oh." Horrus was surprised by the candid response.
"I don't normally like to do those types of things to the captain but I'm having some home issues and I had to send a very urgent message to my mother, you understand. As for your mission I think you have out shined every hope I've had for you thus far and proven yourself worthy, besides, someone will need to replace me one day." She said biting her lip.
"Oh, well, I suppose that makes sense. I guess I got all riled up for nothing. Well I better get suited up as it were. Thanks, I appreciate the gesture.
"Anytime." Olivia responded. Horrus left sickbay and Olivia took her seat. Cupping her face in her hands she wasn't sure what she hadn't gotten herself into but she would have to see it through.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka nodded to Tiberius at his words, signing out a rifle for himself, slinging it over his right shoulder as he finalizes a few details of the weapons allotment. As Draka returned to the security office a security officer approached him. "You're to report to transporter room One Three Alpha, at fourteen hundred hours, Chief.", she said, moving back to her post after he nodded in acknowledgement. He checked that his hand phaser was secure in it's holster, before he made his way from the security office, starting the short trip to the designated transporter room, having had about fifteen minutes before he was to be there.
Draka entered the transporter room, moving over to the officer assigned there, checking the status of the rest of the Away Team.
"Beam down is scheduled for eight minutes so they should be here any minute now.", the officer said, to which Draka nodded, moving to the side of the room to wait.
Owain nodded at Rynen as she asked the question and understood where she was coming from. He had been wondering the same thing. It was one of the many things he had to ponder in this situation. "Wether he exists or not, it's up to us to find out. I have a certain feeling he holds a key to the fabric of complexicity of G'Hrel. If you can get to him, we can probably find out much more about what exactly is happening, but… knowing too much could also put us at certain risk. Tread carefully. Watch your every step, and be aware of who you befriend. Know your alliegiances. Getting in too deep with one party, may set off a spark."
She had smiled warmly at his answer. He shared a certain warmness, and knew that not being part of the Away Team was a good thing in her eyes, in her mind even. It was going to be a very difficult mission, he knew, and it signaled more respect and more trust in those who were leading it, including even Commander Langford who had come a long way.
When Owain had arrived to the Transporter Room hours later with Commander Langford in tow, he was pleased to see everyone ready and waiting for departure. "You've come a long way, Commander. When you first came aboard, I never thought to see you in this position, leading an away team on a dangerous mission. In some aspects, this would be one of the most dangerous missions in my career. I expect you to lead all the members of the away team safely, that I trust in you."
"Thank you, sir. It means a lot to me. I'll do my best and I won't let the team get injured if I have any say in it."
Owain nodded and the team walked over onto the transporting platform. Langford gave a glance at Owain, which Owain returned. Langford knew how difficult this had to be, sending the crew away on a very dangerous mission where some might be killed. On the flipside, he wouldn't have the safety of the Horizon. He would be on his own in an unfamiliar territory, with no voice to guide him. The thought itself chilled his bones. He tried to stay calm and not show sign that he was actually scared of all this; he himself had to be a leader. Well, nothing like a first time, he thought. There's no time like the present.
"Commander Hop, energize", Langford told the Lieutenant Engineer. Hop worked at this console, starting the cycle that would bring Langford and his team to an unfamiliar place, much like Dorothy had gone from familiar place to unfamiliar, in the blink of an eye. However, he didn't **have any red shoes like Dorothy did to get him back to safety.
-= G'Hrel Surface =-**
There was an uneasy feeling in his stomach as the transporter columns began to rearrange his molecules. He hated the feeling. When their bodies were halfway at the original location and at the destination, the mind was confused, as if being in a halfway state between delusional and normal as one location faded away to be replaced with their destination. The mind was suddenly there, and their body ached to catch up. Disorientation settled in for the first few moments. Once they were on firmly footed ground, they could start looking around.
"Everybody alright?", Langford called out to his team, "Wow, that seemed to take forever.", he said, glancing around and looking at where his team members had arrived. Lieutenant Dale, Chief Petty Officer Colok, Cadet Quintius, Crewman Kinkade and a science officer he didn't know had all made it here safely.
He sniffed the air. It smelled of sulfur, like a battlefield, although he wasn't sure if it had always been like that. In contrast to the sulfure, they had actually landed in a beautiful shaded grove, with wide leafy trees, and a lake. "Are we in the right place? This is beautiful," he said while approaching and cupping some water with his hands.
A ticking sound could be heard accelerating quicker and quicker as the science officer approached the lake, "I wouldn't do that if I were you, sir. There appears to be some radiation emanating from that lake."
Immediately, Langford let the water drop onto the soil and shook his hands dry, "Thank you, Ensign. I'm afraid I don't know your name."
"That's quite alright, sir. Name's Lawrence. Lawrence DeForrest."
"Quiet, I hear something. Someone must know we're here. ", Rynen stated, phaser drawn. The rest of her security team had done as well and were alert. They all heard branches cracking. Suddenly a doglike creature came racing towards them, barking. None of the team was fast enough and it came hurtling towards Horrus, throwing itself at him, licking him. It didn't seem so much dangerous as happy, and everyone started laughing as Horrus' bewildered look pleaded for mercy. "Get this damn dog off of me!"
"Well, at least someone's happy to see us", Langford said, laughing.
With the meeting over Sam walked off the bridge he headed for his room, he needed a drink and perhaps a smoke. He sat down and poured himself a drink and then pulled out his Aldarian cigars, lighting one and held the smoke in, between the two he was soon relax. Sam new that Ginny was probably still on a shift or something. He really didn't want to see her at the moment anyways, at the moment she was reminding him to much of his deceased wife, and he just wanted to forget it all.
Around an hour later Sam woke up he had fallen asleep, but he didn't remember what he had dreamed about, which after thinking about was probably a good thing. He stood up it was time, he needed to exercise he hadn't much this week, and the had 10 hours before his next shift. He headed to the turbolift and from there to the Holodeck.
“Computer, play Mr. Jones combatsim 21 please.”
He had brought a slew of programs on board when he came on board, after thinking about it he had been on board about 3 or 4 months now, it was beginning to be his home.
The visual that now replaced what had been the holodeck with its metallic look to a desert look, the heat pounded into him, it was well above 100 degrees, and now three Klingons appeared in front of him.
“Computer play Gylcerine by Bush.”
The music started and Sam rolled his head back to pop his neck.
“Continue program, computer.”
The Klingons advanced the first one swinging, which Sam dodged and hit in the back, the second one he also dodged but barely, Sam had kicked his knee in, but the third one his Sam squarely in his nose sending him 2 meters back on his back.
He felt pain shoot through his nose and warm fluid flowing freely out of his nose and onto his uniform. Sam stood all three Klingons stood smiling obviously happy they had injured him, the heat was making the him feel miserable.
Sam took his hands to his nose and pushed popping the cartilage back into place, he would worry about the rest later. He had forgotten that when he programed this one he had placed a “go-around” so that he wouldn't have to get permission to turn off the safeties.
A bat'leth was now in front of him.
Sam took it and looked at the Klingons, “Todays a good day to die, no?”
In unison the three Klingons said “Indeed”
Sometimes it seemed to Sam that death would be preferable to life, if it wasn't for Ginny, he probably would have already inbraced death, but his no fear of death was what made him a good pilot, he pushed things further than most because he wasn't afraid to die.
This time Sam was ready and cut them down with ease, feeling the warm blood again all over his face, but this time it was pink, it was from the Klingons.
“Looks like I thought of everything when I made this program”thought Sam.
He had made over 300 combat simulations each harder and under different conditions, so he didn't remember them all.
Now the Klingons disappeared and 6 Klingons that were alive materialized.
“I must have made this when I was in great shape, or new that I would one day have a death wish.” He said to himself quietly.
“Computer resume program.”
1 hour later
After getting several more cuts and a broken wrist Sam fininshed the program the last one had been him and two other humans against 10 Klingons, and it was this one the Sam had received the broken wrist and several deep cuts.
As the program ended and the room materialized back into the cold metallic surrounding that were there when the deck was not in use. Sam dropped down to the ground breathing deeply, it was good to know that he was still alive.
He limped back his room and used the medical tricorder to fix his broken wrist and his cuts, but left his nose, he had looked at it in the mirror and had decided it added character to his face.
Sam laid down on his bed absolutely exhausted, he had to be up in 8 hours…he hoped something more than the norm., would happen this mission the last one had been boring for him since he had stayed on the ship. He passed in to a deep sleep, he hadn't slept this well since he had joined Starfleet.
Sym Fra Hop
"I'm having some slight difficulty, the radiation is causing interference in the integration matrix. I'm having problems completing the transport. Compensating." Sym said as he attempted to finish the transport.
His fingers moving across the panel, he boosted the gain on the primary energising coils. Fortunately the process worked, although Sym would have to send a team up here to replace the coils because he noticed a slight variance in them.
"Transport complete, Commander Langford and his team are safely on the planets surface." Sym reported.
THIRTY MINUTES LATER
Having finished his duty shift, Sym went to his quarters to get a change of uniform. Once he arrived, he entered and immediately saw that he still had some containers to unpack. He spent the next hour or so unpacking. His diploma from the Daystrom Institute, his letters of accreditation and other odds and sods. Sym sat down on the couch and picked up the holo of his mother. If she could just see him now, she would probably disown him. His mother wanted him to join her veterinary practice on Earth, but Sym rebelled. After more than three years studying at the old Royal Veterinary College in Britain, Earth, Sym dropped out to enrol at the daystrom institute and eventually join starfleet. It seemed like an age ago since he left earth.
Shaking his head trying to rid of those memories he considered ancient history, Sym looked out at the vista in front of him. The planet G'Hrel turned slowly in front of him. From up here, the scars of hundreds of years of war could clearly be seen with areas of green. Apparently the world was fighting back.
Throwing the holo on his bed without a glance, he had a shower and got into a fresh uniform. Better go and get something to eat, he thought to himself.
Leaving his quarters, he made his way to the mess. After getting something to eat, Sym made his way to the bridge for his bridge shift. Once he stepped off the turbolift, he made his way to the engineers console, relieving the ensign on duty. From here, he directed the engineers on duty to make sure the everything was in order and that the engineering crew could respond to an emergency without delay. Sym was concerned about the events that had overtook them all in the past few days, so he carried on monitoring the ships systems. If there was one saboteur there could be more, so Sym had his engineers work in pairs. It wasn't that he didn't trust them, he did. Better be on the safe side.
-= G'Hrel Planetside: The Grove =-
"Maxxxxxxxxxxximus!", a voice called out from what seemed not so far away, and then after a period of silence, it called back again, "Maxxxxxxxxximus!"
The laughter surrounding the dog had died down, and now again, the security officers were alert when they heard the voice. "Someone's coming", Rynen stated as she heard broken branches a few feet away. The voice had sounded like a teenager's voice. It seemed perhaps to be a bit of overkill, but they had to be prepared for any situation, teenager or not. Finally the source of the voice had come within range and revealed itself.
After a moment of shock at seeing people at the Grove and noticing the dog he was calling for, he said, "Oh, come on, boy! How many times do I have to tell you not to hump anyone's leg??" The dog whimpered, detached himself from Horrus and walked back towards the kid.
"I'm terribly sorry about that", the kid said as he walked slowly up to Crewman Kinkade, all phasers on him. "My Dog tends to be a little friendly. Seems he likes you. If he can trust you, that means I trust you. Name's Deo Zhang, by the way."
Langford, at seeing the kid, realized that he couldn't possibly pose any danger, so he put a hand up to the security team, "You can put those away. Seems like we'll not be needing those." Grumbles followed his words as the phasers were hostlered. Then Langford looked at Deo Zhang, "What are you doing way out here? Isn't it dangerous?"
Deo Zhang nodded, "Yeah, you betcha it is. My Dog ran off, and I figured I'd find him here. The Grove's my favourite spot, you know. Used to be sacred, that is, until the People's Army did something terrible to it."
"Wait, back up a minute. The People's Army?", Langford asked.
Deo Zhang rolled his eyes, "I should of figured you weren't from around here. The People's Army are dangerous", Deo Zhang said, "The Mighty People. They control everything. They started the war with everyone else here. Supposed to be an honour to join their military, but I disagree. I think it's time for the war to stop. They want me as an officer, but I ran away from home. Legend states that there's an underground city somewhere, dating centuries. Used to belong to some tribe, but now there are rumours of insurgents who have taken up residence. That's where I'm heading. I'm trying to find it anyway.
"Does the name Anderson ring a bell?", Langford asked.
"Anderson…. Anderson. Well, there are many rumours of people hiding from the People's Army. Maybe he's holed up in the underground city. Why you asking?"
"We have some medical supplies that he needs, though we couldn't find him.", Langford explained.
Deo Zhang nodded, "Well, you're welcome to follow me. I know the lay of the land to a certain extent. It's a long voyage, not for the weak-hearted. The legend is of a faraway place that not many get to; many die before arriving. But we've got to leave now. The People's Army will be after me once they realize I'm not becoming an officer. They'll want to kill me, and anyone venturing with me. Come on, Max. We've got to go." Max responded by barking, looking at the Away Team and whimpering, "He wants you to come with us."
Langford glanced at his away team, motioning forward. He figured he could trust this kid. He knew of a possible place where Anderson could be hiding. He decided to take his chances and follow.
-= Zhang Residence =-
A loud rap on the door startled the Zhang Grandparents. Grandfather Zhang walked up to the door and peeked through the peephole, "Who is it?", he asked. A loud voice from outside replied. "We are here for Deo Zhang. Open up.", the voice replied.
Nervously, Grandfather Zhang looked on at Grandmother Zhang, who could only think this wouldn't end well. He reluctantly opened the door, and an officer of the People's Army stood in the entrance, two other officers at his side. The officers walked right in, looked around unapologetically and walked up to the Grandparents. "Where is Deo Zhang?"
Grandfather Zhang kneeled and bowed before the officer, "He's not here. He must be playing outside with Maximus.", he said in his best effort to lie.
But the officer in charge sensed something was amiss and wasn't satisfied. He picked up Grandfather Zhang from the floor and looked him straight in the eyes, his voice louder and lower, "Where is Deo Zhang?", he repeated, "It is an honour to be chosen Officer of the People's Army. If one does not accept the honour, it is an offense of the highest degree, an insult to we, the Mighty People. Insurgence will NOT be tolerated. We will find him, and we will kill him."
Draka Ren Colok
Draka had looked to this Deo Zhang fellow as he talked with the Commander, taking up a position on the left flank, looking the area over, his phaser rifle aimed at an anlge towards the ground so even if he accidentally misfired, he wouldn't hit anyone. He listened to the talk, grunting softly as Deo told of him skipping out on service.. and that the People's Army would come for him… to kill him and any he is with. That, coupled with the Commander's follwing gesture for the Away Team to move foreward didn't sit well with Draka… He got a sense of forebording, covering the left flank as the Away Team, plus Deo, started to move out. Normally his mind was strong against casual mind or emotion reading by telepaths and the like.. but with the distraction Rynen could sense a bit of the foreboding he felt. They group moved for a good hour, covering decent ground considering they were on foot, when Draka paused and tilted his head, raising his rifle to cover his flank, calling out softly,"Heads up Commander, Leuitenant…. I hear engines. It could be trouble."
After Draka's announcement the Commander called a halt, Rynen ordering everyone to get to cover in tactical positions in case the engines came closer, and the vehicle's occupants were hostile… long, tense moments passed…
Sam woke, the first thing he noticed was that he had missed fixing a couple of cuts, there was dried blood on his arms. He tried to move, but he was extremely sore.
"Guess I over did my work out," he said to himself.
Forcing himself to move he got up and headed for the sonic shower, after showering he looked himself over and used the medical tricorder to fix the cuts he had missed hours before. He then got dressed and headed for the 10 forward to find something to eat.
Sam stepped in and looked around, they had lost thier last bartender when they had last docked at the station and had not recieved a new one, but that didn't matter to Sam he had his own stash. He walked to the bar to see what the cheff had made, but nothing on the list sounded good.
He made his way to the replicator.
"Steak and eggs with pancakes, make the eggs medium over easy."
He picked up the tray and went to sit down at the tables to eat his food before his shift. Sam looked around, it was relatively empty, he guessed most were either on a shift or on the planet. The doors to 10 foward opened and Ginny walked in Sam hadn't seen her in a day or so, they had been working opposite shifts.
They talked over breakfast, catching up on what they both had been doing the last couple of days. Sam got up, he promised to see her later on their shifts would be ending within hours of each other this time.
Sam walked to the turbolift and headed up to the bridge. He stepped off and took his spot at helm, he looked up at the view screen the planet was on it, he wondered what kinds of interesting, dangerous, stuff the away team was getting into. Sam longed to be with them in the middle, to be able to fight, to have control of a weapon, and contol of his destiny. But instead he was sitting on the bridge reading sensor reports that were needed to navigate the ship. He longed for action, to give him something to do, to give him the opportunity to show his captain his abilities as a pilot.
The group had been climbing up a hill towards the underground city when Draka had heard the engines. Rynen gingerly climbed towards the peak of the hill, keeping low to the ground and her phaser rifle at the ready. She spotted an armoured vehicle traveling along a dirt road. She was just about to return to tell Commander Langford of her discovery when the sound of gunfire erupted behind her. A bullet flew over her head, narrowly missing.
Bolting down the hill, Rynen yelled at the others to run for cover. Draka and Tiberius turned their attention to the crest of the hill where soldiers had started to appear, laying down cover fire for Rynen. Langford, Crewman Kinkade, Ensign DeForrest, and Deo had already begun to sprint towards a nearby grove of trees. "Draka, go with them! You need to make sure to keep Deo safe!" Rynen directed, squatting next to Tiberius behind a large boulder, her blood pumping. Draka began to protest, and the betazoid turned at him and glared. "Forget the heroics, Petty Officer! I'm trying to make sure we all make it out of here alive." She stated.
As Draka made his way to the trees as well, Rynen and Tiberius continued to fire at the advancing troops, picking them off one by one. Bullets peppered the boulder, sending rocks flying. One whizzed past Rynen's head, catching her on the cheek. She swore and shot the last soldier in the head, a scowl on her face. After wiping the blood on her cheek with her sleeve, the Lieutenant stood to survey the carnage. About half a dozen bodies littered the hillside in front of the two security officers.
"Not too bad for a days work, eh?" she said partly to herself and partly to Tiberius. He now stood next to her, his phaser rifle held lightly in one hand. "Now how about we get ourselves some new clothes?"
After changing in to the uniforms of two of the People's Army soldiers and making an attempt to hide the bodies, Rynen and Tiberius headed in the direction that the rest of the away team had gone. As the two jogged towards the trees, Rynen decided to check in with the Horizon and tell the Captain what had happened.
"Lt. Dale to Horizon." she stated after tapping her combadge. There was no response. She tried again, to no avail.
"It appears we are alone." Tiberius stated, a grim look on his face.
All that he could hear was the sound of his own heart beating and his breath racing as he trampled the brush beneath him. Horrus snapped back into reality as he ran next to Langford and DeForest with Deo leading the front. "I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready."
That was all Horrus could hear of DeForest constantly chanting as they ran, seconds raced by which seemed like hours to Horrus. For him it seemed as though all time had come to the slowest pace possible yet he could move freely as though he was caught in some sort of rift.
He looked closely, he could see the beads of sweat floating gracefully off of Langford's face as he slowly exhaled. He studied his surroundings momentarily before turning his attention to a bullet that had caught up with the group and had managed to get past all of the brush. He turned his head slightly to come into full few of the bullet, the cylindrical piece of metal slowly turning as the wisps of air passed, it seemed almost magical. However, time had no intention of maintaining its magic forefront. Horrus turned his head back in front of him and seemingly the time spell broke, and the four continued to run but Horrus quickly realized DeForest was no longer running and was on the ground.
"Deforest!" Horrus yelled as he ran over. The sound of weapons fire echoing over them has horrus pulled out his tricorder.
Langford and Deo quickly rushed over, "What happened?!"
"Oh we thought we'd stop for tea, you know, just us." Horrus responded while administering a pain reliver to DeForest. "He's been shot."
"Is he alright?" Langford asked.
"I don't know, why don't you get shot and tell me if you'll be alright." Horrus again replied as he treated DeForest who was gritting his teeth as hard as he could.
"CREWMAN." Langford yelled now irritated with Horrus' behaviour.
"DUMB QUESTIONS SIR. DUMB QUESTIONS, They get dumb answers." Horrus responded in kind. "He'll recover, the bullet grazed an artery in his leg, however it'll make keeping up this five k we had going on quite impossible.
Deforest bared his teeth, "You'd better know what you're doing doc."
"Relax, I use to be a chef." Horrus smiled, "Deo, fetch me a strong piece of wood about the length of his leg, it has to be flat, we need at least two."
"Right." Langford helped Deo look around for two pieces of wood that would suppliment as a splint for DeForest's leg.
"Am I going to die?" DeForest asked breathing heavily.
"Well, my my your christmas wish list is just packed full of fun isn't it? Don't consider yourself so lucky, its a minor wound, you'll be fine, we just need to get you back to sickbay to treat it properly. Just lie still, I'll be right back."
Horrus stood up and walked over to Langford who was holding some wood, "Doctor, I don't understand the need for the splint, I didn't see any bleeding or bullet wound in his leg."
"Congratulations Sherlock you've won our prize." Horrus hushed his voice, "The wood is for a splint yes, its to immobilize the leg."
"But it hasn't been hurt."
"So whats the point." Langford continued.
"To make him think that its just a leg wound and he'll be fine."
"Because the bullet is lodged in his spine and I don't have the equipment to help, and putting him into hysteria won't make matters better will it commander? Because for the time being his legs are as useless as our comm badges." Horrus said sternly.
"So what are our options?" Langford asked.
"Well unless you can make some sort of hover craft out of brush, we need to keep him pretty motionless. You're the commander, you tell me." Horrus looked on blankly.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka turned and sprinted towards the woods, cheeks burning a bit at Rynen's admonishment, his embarassment having faded by the time he entered the woods. He approached the other Away Team members, a noise catching his attention. He froze, before stalking around in a wide circle to the left around where Kinkaid as he treated the wounded DeForest. Draka saw the source of the sound, a handful of the soldiers from the small search caravan he first heard. This group had split off to flank the strangers and their prey. Draka crouched and approached, stealthily… he was able to pinpoint the enemy numbers.. four of them.
"This will take pinpoint precision…', he thought to himself.. before launching himself from around the tree. He fired off his phaser rifle… several bright beams launching from the tip of the weapon. The two rightside soldiers took phaser blasts to their torsos, dropping senseless to the ground. Draka started to bring the weapon around, but underestimated the speed of these highly trained troops. Thinking quickly, he lurched to the right, rifle brought around to keep their firearms from being brought to bear on him. He twisted, launching a kick towards the belly of the first soilder and his foot landed solidly. The soldier dropped to a knee as Draka ducked and swerved under a burst from the second soldier's assault rifle, gripping the weapon to jerk it up and away, pointing to the sky. Draka then fired off three quick punches to the man's middle.. and a headbutt to his face. The soldier's nose crunched and he stumbled backwards, collapsing unconscious. Draka turned towards the first soldier, left forearm brought up to catch the soldier's right, a knife held in that hand. Draka quickly pressed towards him, bullrushing him solidly into the unyeilding surface of the tree, backing up to slam the man against the tree again to render him unconscious as well. Draka quickly gathered up his phaser rifle and the weapons of the four soldiers, hurrying to where the commander and the others waited, dropping the firearms and knives as he neared them.
"We had four guests off to your left flank, sir. I took care of them, they'll be unconscious for a bit…", he said,then moving to take up a defensive position near the commander and the others…
-= USS Horizon: Bridge =-
It all seemed to be going relatively well, though Owain was getting a bit worried as his team hadn't yet reported in. To say he was nervous about this mission was an understatement as he couldn't stop biting his fingernails. He tried not to show his worry to his crew, however, and kept it to himself. Any sign of worry would not be good for morale, knowing the dangers the away team faced. Normally, silence was a good thing as it meant everything was working smoothly, but in this case silence was deadly, and the Captain of a Starship knew this very well.
"Sir, communication is coming in", the ops officer stated as he looked up from his console.
Owain nodded, "Put it on screen." He looked at the screen and frowned as a person appeared on the screen. "Admiral Caine. I didn't expect to see you here. I thought we were the only Starfleet ship in the area.", Owain said as he greeted the Admiral, "Captain Owain Taggart. What can I do for you?"
Admiral Caine smiled warmly as he looked at the Captain of the Horizon, "Captain. This is a very dangerous area. It is advised you leave this system as soon as possible. You do not want to poke your nose into business you have no idea about. That would be a bad idea. I have sent you warnings, and you didn't heed them. You've met Ensign McCay, I'm sure. He was only trying to save you the trouble of finding out what it would be like to be here. I suppose you'll find out if you don't heed my friendly advice to get out of this system. Just some simple friendly advice if you know what's good for you and your crew.", he said relaxing and pleased with himself, "Another thing, Captain. You have something I want. You'll give it to me."
"What do you want, Admiral? Just say it. If it's games you want, I'm not willing to play them with you.", Owain told him matter of factly.
"Don't be so coy, Captain. Those medical supplies you have on board. If you give them to me, then I will forget you came here and let you be on your way. I know you have an Away Team down on the surface. Officers of the People's Army are currently searching for them, at my orders. Let's just say, no harm will come to them if I get what I want."
"Not if I can help it, Admiral.", Owain told him, then motioned to cut communication. He glanced around the bridge, looking for answers, not knowing exactly what just happened. He just knew he was angry, seething really, for the crimes this man was committing. It was all clear now. The pieces of the puzzle were all coming together. McCay had been put aboard to try to stop the Horizon from reaching G'Hrel. This Admiral Caine, or whoever he really was, perhaps under the power of Section 31, wanted the planet to himself. He probably was the one behind all this war. Just thinking about it made him reel. He had heard the reports about the disappearance of Admiral Caine, and now it all made sense, for the worst.
Alarms directed his attention towards the Operations Officer who looked up in a state of exasperation, "Sir, unidentified ships on route!"
"Put it on screen.", ordered Owain.
What he saw was definitely unidentifiable, unique to the system, although they looked like small fighters, similar to what would fit in a cargo bay, and there were numbers of them heading their direction.
"Sir!", came the operations officer again, "They're moving in fast. Aproximate time of impact, less than 3 minutes."
"Red alert, battle stations!", Owain ordered, gritting his teeth as he sat sat down in his command chair. Next, he flipped a switch for the shipwide intercom, "This is your Captain speaking. All hands brace for impact!" It would definitely be too close for comfort.
Then looking at Sam Jones, he barked out, "Show me your stuff, flyboy. Evasive Maneuvers". Again, flipping another switch, he ordered Engineering to give them all they got.
It was a storm out there. A storm of ships. They were outnumbered, but the ships weren't firing. They were still heading straight for them. Straight for impact. "Kamikaze. They're in a suicide run.", he stated.
There wasn't much they could do. They were outnumbered, and not very maneuverable compared to the small ships. The best they could do was to try to avoid them, a bit like maneuvering through an asteroid field determined to collide with a ship.
The next minutes were rough. Time seemed to jump back and forth. The small ships collided with the hull, tearing it apart and greatly damaging it. It was an effective strategy, to be sure. The collisions threw many officers away from their assigned stations,including Owain, despite the evasive maneuvers being executed by Cadet "Flyboy" Jones." They simply weren't enough. He knew though that if he were to get out of this alive, he would need a smaller ship. Much smaller.
Things had maintained a placid calmness in sickbay while the away team was on the mission. Olivia was attempting to figure out all she could about McCay's mission but was having no success. As she took another sip of her coffee klaxons rang out through sickbay signaling red alert,
=/\=Bridge to sickbay prepare for wounded.=/\= Came the command from the bridge, followed shortly after by =/\=ALL HANDS BRACE FOR IMPACT.=/\=
No one had time to react, the whole ship felt as though it had been tossed in a blender, everyone was thrown about like childrens play things.
Olivia couldn't see, she could hear the klaxons still, and voices but couldn't see, she slowly came to and opened her eyes. It looked like sickbay had been hit by a neutron bomb. Gliles tended to the wounded but with no equipment function things were falling apart quickly.
Olivia clambering to her feat began barking orders, "Sickbay is NO longer hospitable we've got to get these people out of here and down to the mess hall, we can make a triage center there, where's Sophie?"
Giles looked at Olivia, and then looked at a corpse covered in a sheet, "She was the first."
Olivia didn't even know how to respond, she had to keep moving, she couldn't let this stop them, "ALRIGHT, EVERYONE WHO CAN MOVE, GET TO THE MESS HALL NOW, EVERYONE WHO CAN HELP GET THESE PEOPLE OUT OF HERE."
Everyone pitched in their effort to help get the wounded out of sickbay, the ship rocked back and forth as conduits and tubing hung from the ceiling, many areas of the halls has been blocked and they group was forced to utilize the jeffries tubes. Olivia realized what deck they were now on and sought out Giles, "Get the rest of them to sickbay, there is one more patient I need to go help." She said hastily.
"Understood." Giles turned his attention back towards the groups, "Alright peoples lets move move move!."
Olivia turned away from the group and headed back down the jeffries tube. Finding several areas blocked by debris she was forced take a subverted long ways around the deck before arriving at her destination, the brig.
Forcing the door open immediately she was struck in the face and taken aback, the damage to the ship had let the force fields in the brig fail and McCay had escaped. Olivia stepped back, reeling from the shock as McCay stared on. "Call it off!" She yelled.
"What has been set in motion cannot be undone! I told you not to investigate what you possibly can't understand Olivia, and now you'll pay the price!" McCay lunged forward and tackled her, Olivia was able to over turn him and deliver him a swift blow in the temple, she attempted to run but as she arose McCay grabbed her leg tripping her. She turned over on her back to see him standing over her with a large piece of piping, "I warned you to stay away, and now you'll suffer the consequences."
Olivia looked around, McCay was preparing to strike, she swung her leg and tripped him, she was able to get up and once again began to ran as the ship rocked back and forth.
Sam hadn't been in StarFleet long but he was pretty sure that most Admirals didn't show there ass like that one had, and he had a pretty good feeling that they were about to be attacked.
Sure enough a couple minutes later there were reports of unidentified ships headed there way. Before being told Sam had already jumped into action and was trying to evade the ships, but it was like trying to take a large moutain and dodge a tiny fly.
He managed to dodge a few but many more were hitting the hull, sweat started to pour down Sam's brow. "I need to dodge these ships or we'll die where we're all sitting."he thought to himself.
As he was dodging them a thought had came to his mind,"The Captain called me "Flyboy Jones" I guess I finally have a nickname, I guess I'd better live up to it."he thought with a smile on his face
Sam pushed the Horizon to her limits, and was barely able to stay in his seats, and that was with knowing which way he was going to go next, so he had no idea how anyone else was staying in their seats.
He thought fleatingly of Ginny and wondered if they would make it out and if he would see her shinying face again or not. He quickly focused, he didn't know how much more they could take. The captain was going to have to come up with a miracle of some kind because according to the sensors the enemy ships were relentless, and plenty of them. Once again he was glad that he was not in charge and only had to worry about his flying, which under the circumstances he thought he was doing an exemplary job.
Sym Fra Hop
“Get that plasma relay by-passed.” Sym yelled the order over the klaxon, “We need to get what power we have to the shields.”
“It’s not working sir. The by-pass has failed, whoever’s attacking us took out one of the primary plasma conduits. We have power outages all over the ship.” Came the terse reply.
Shit, Sym muttered to himself as he ran over to the MSD. Whoever was on Ops duty was doing a hell of a job with what resources they had at the moment.
However, it was a losing battle. Those ships ramming the Horizon knew exactly where to hit them, but many more were missing their mark. Judging from the power levels of the internal dampers and Sym’s own stomach, their pilot was doing a spectacular job keeping them out of the way.
Sym fingers flew over the control surface, several of the secondary transfer systems were still functioning. Sym activated them and the ships power levels began to rise steadily, systems that were in danger of shutting down were now reactivating.
“Yes!” Sym exclaimed, before the entire floor suddenly lifted up, throwing Sym and several of his engineering staff around. Dazed, Sym lifted himself up and noticed that Ensign Garfield was not moving. Sym motioned one of the duty medics to see to him.
“Commander,” one of his engineers hollered, “We have hull ruptures all over the ship. I’ve managed to get containment fields activated over the ruptures, and I’ve sealed off those areas which don’t have power to the emitters.”
Sym grabbed the edge of the console as the Horizon continued its evasive manoeuvres. With those ruptures, the ship will not be able to enter warp. The finely balanced warp fields would collapse under the strain.
“The Captain’s not going to be happy.” Sym muttered
Olivia limped as fast as she could down the corridor which was laden with debris, she felt McCay closing in behind her his foot steps coming closer and closer with hers. She sought refuge in a jeffries tube but not before throwing one of her shoes down the corridor hoping to throw him off. She held the door open ever so slightly enough to see McCay walk past a few meters and then stop seemingly confused at the discarded shoe in front of him.
McCay turned his head at the call of his name but it was to late, as he turned his it met dead on with a piece of conduit and knocked him out cold.
"Lights out." Olivia said dropping the conduit piece on the ground.
=/\=Torv to Giles=/\=
=/\= Giles here, where are you Olivia, we need you in the mess hall we have a real mess on our hands here=/\=
=/\=On my way, I had a really nasty piece of dirt stuck on my shoe and I had to remove it for good. Torv out.=/\=
Olivia leaned over McCays body, "Don't always be sure of your opponents strengths McCay, it will be your….undoing."
Horrus, looked on at the security officer who bravely saved the groups life, "Well if there are no more mercenaries on there way to disembowel us I highly would recommend moving on."
Langford cut Horrus off, "You said it wasn't wise to move DeForest what with his….uh, leg injury and all."
"Unwise yes. Necessary, absolutely. In case you hadn't noticed commander we are in the middle of some sort of war zone and we aren't being given the normal pop and circumstance that some foreign dignitaries are usually as lucky to receive. Besides, if we keep moving me might be able to at some point make contact with the Horizon and get back."
"If there is anything to get back to." DeForest said groaning in pain.
Everyone's attention suddenly turned to him, "What do you mean?" Langford asked.
"Well it stands to reason that if we were taken for hostile then the Horizon was too." DeForest responded.
"Don't be to hasty with your assumptions, we aren't aware of what kind of vessels or pure level of technology many of these people have, it is unwise to make such remarks at this time." Horrus responded in a direct serious tone. "We must keep moving, and I have no doubt your security team will say the same, however you are the commander and the leader of the pack in this case, you much direct us."
"Oh NOW I am allowed to direct?" Langford looked on at Horrus.
Horrus leaned in closely to Langford, "I'm not exactly Starfleets normal type, but I'll tell you one thing….COMMANDER, I'm damn good at my job and I've been doing this whole little "doctor" thing for some time, so it would be wise to take my advice and not dismiss what I have to say just based on my rank."
"Rank is no substitute for attitude, crewman." He snaped.
"And Rank is no substitute for arrogance, so if you'd like we can all stand here and let this man die because of your slow and poor decision making skills or we can continue to move in hopes of a rescue." Horrus snapped in response.
"THAT IS ENOUGH. You may be new to Starfleet but you shouldn't be new to the idea of a command structure, when we get back I'll see to it I take strict disciplinary actions against your disregard for the chain of command Kinkaid, don't you dare speak to me like that again."
"Watch me." Horrus said, he walked away from the commander and went back to treating DeForest. He wasn't sure why he was so hostile towards Langford, ever since he had arrived on this planet he felt remarkably different, stronger, more powerful, healthier, more agile as if the planet carried healing properties. His experience with watching the slowing of time earlier on was just proof of this to him, he wouldn't tell anyone what he felt until he was sure what was going on, for now he would just have to settle for keeping quiet.
Commander Langford's confrontation with Horrus surprised him. He hadn't known Crewman Kinkade for very long, but for whatever reason, it seemed the officer was very irritated. Something about this planet was bothering him. Of course, tending to patients when amenities weren't available was understandably frustrating, especially when they had ennemies on their tail.
"We've got to move quick," Deo Zhang told him as he looked up at the Commander, "If we don't move soon, the People's Army will have us in their grasp."
He saw Horrus give Zhang a sharp look and nodded, "We're doing all we can, but -"
"Yeah, you have injured. I can help.", Zhang stated while running off into the direction of some flora. There, he searched around for a few moments, while taking a glance at the road to make sure nobody was coming, "Ahh, here we go", he said as he snapped off a few leaves, then walking back to Horrus, extending his hand, and offering the leaves. "Give him these. Ancient tribal remedy my Father thaught me. It should help him calm his nerves and stop the bleeding. If it helped for spears, it should help against those bullets. Have him chew it. The saliva will form a natural reaction that will get into the blood stream. He'll still be in pain, but it will be lessened, and he'll be able to walk around until something better can be done."
Without waiting to be thanked, he went to scout ahead with the security team. There, he pointed out a less obvious path that went into a forested area. "Here we go. Up there. It takes us away from the main road. The legend states that this area is sacred; the home of tribes past.It won't be too far now. If I'm right, we should arrive by nightfall."
Owain Taggart & Sam Jones
Several moments had gone by before Owain regained conciousness. The air was putrid, smelling of burnt electronics, the fumes wafting over the bridge. When he opened his eyes, he found it burnt his eyes. It was a struggle to open them. That's when his senses told him something had gone terribly wrong.
His head was pounding. He must of taken a terrible hit when he was thrown from his chair. He tried to get up, but it was painful, but he did his best. He had to. He had to find out what had happened and what the extent of the damage was. He looked around, sniffing the air. It was terrible, and this was only the bridge. There had to be much more damage elsewhere.
Panels were strewn around, broken; wires shorting out. Looking at his beloved bridge, he couldn't help but wonder if this would be her last flight. Admiral Caine had known exactly where to hit her, and the tactics he had used, which Starfleet hadn't been prepared for, had hit the Horizon hard; had punched through the shields as if they hadn't even existed. The Kamikaze tactic was very effective, he surmised. It was one that despite the best of efforts, a big ship like the Horizon couldn't easily evade, much like navigating a dense asteroid field.
It hadn't taken too long before other people on the ship gained back their momentum, as reports from the different departments started coming in. It wasn't looking terribly good. There were a lot of injured, and a temporary sickbay had been set up in the Mess Hall. The Horizon would probably be limping back home, that is if it even could limp. Engineering in particular was trying hard to keep the ship going, but the ship wouldn't be able to take much more stress.
Speaking of navigation, his bridge crew seemed nowhere to be found at first glance, but a mumbled cry for help captured his attention. He had found Sam Jones pinned under a pile of rubble. He cleared the rubble and tried to help him up, "Mr Jones, are you hurt?"
Sam's head swam before his eyes, there sharp pains probed his head, Owains question reverberated inside Sam's head. "No sir, just peachy sirs…I didn't know you had a twin brother… ,"said Sam, with a twinge of a smile, he was actually seeing more than just two but thought it better just to say two incase there were only one. "Don't you know any of his weak spots Sir?" he asked knowing full well that Owain didn't otherwise he would of already used them.
Owain nodded, "We never saw it coming. He caught us off-guard. Don't you worry though. You did your best. This man is not Starfleet, the best I can assess. He's a rogue, plain and simple."
Sam pulled himself up onto what was left of his chair,which wasn't much, he could now easily feel a warm liquid which meant he was cut on his head. "Ginny will get a good kick out of this every damn time I get hurt its my head." thought Sam to himself, and with that thought he smiled even with his head hurting, he would get to see her again and soon by the way his head was bleeding.
He looked down at his smashed console, "Sir my console is smashed do I have permission to take her into manual?"
Owain nodded, "Go ahead. But Engineering might start screaming."
Sam punched the only button that wasn't broken and that was because starfleet had intstalled it under the console, and an old Joystick type contols system, like they used to use in the older days where gasoline fueled airplanes flew the skys on earth popped into place,to the right of Sam. "Well sir, if this works I'm buying the whole engineering team a round of Romulan Ale." At this point Sam didn't care if Romulan Ale was illegal or not.
He nudged the joystick, the horizon's thrusters pushed her over into that direction, taking that as a she had something left he hit the acceleration button and was surprised by the burst of speed that shot out of her, he now tried to dodge the astroids and whatever else seemed to becoming there way, but all he could tell off was a cracked console which blinked in and out of power and the view screen which appeared stuck in the forward direction with a huge crack from top to bottom.
"Well sir this won't last forever…"said Sam.
Owain nodded, "That's fine. Nothing much can be done in this state. Give it all you've got. We've got to punch them where it hurts. Or at least die trying. Ramming speed, Flyboy."
Sym Fra Hop
=^= Engineering to bridge. Captain, we have hull ruptures all over the ship, and we're venting plasma from the port nacelle. I'm afraid that we cannot use the warp drive, it would tear the ship apart. I've also lost 20% of my department. What ever you're doing, hurry up. I don't think we can take any more.=^= Sym's voice was strained
Sym waited for the response, however all he heard was the moans of injured crew and the warning alarms. It was not long before the captain answered.
=^= Understood Commander, transfers what ever power to the shields and helm control. Flyboy Jones had to take manual control of the helm so I need you to make sure the internal dampers are up to it.=^= The captains terse reply sounded strained.
=^= I'll get right on it. Engineering out.=^= Sym closed the channel, hesitating for a moment. Flyboy Jones?
Sym shook his head, he hated manual helm control. For one thing it it put unnecessary strain on the Structural Integrity Grid of which the internal dampers were a part. Sym's fingers flew over the MSD panel with practised ease, transferring what power he had at his disposal. His display showed that the Operations console on the bridge was no longer working, so he had one of his engineering team take over that job.
Sym collared one of the standby officers, "I need you to monitor this console, if the readings go past this," Sym ordered, pointing at the display, "Inform me immediately."
Without waiting for a reply. Sym ran over to the warp-core, appearing next to the engineer posted there.
"What's the status of the core Shren?" Sym asked the Andorian.
The Andorian's antennae focused on Sym, "Intermix is within norms, but the magnetic coils are beginning to fluctuate. I was just about to correct it."
Sym patted her on the shoulder, "Carry on."
As Sym was preparing to continue his ministration of engineering, he turned to one of the medics. Sym pointed to Ensign Garfield, who was beginning to stir.
"Can you see to my assistant first, please? I need him." Sym asked one of the paramedics.
"I decide who gets treatment first, sir!" The mans response was verging on rudeness.
Sym's temper immediately flared, who was this upstart. The stress of this battle was beginning to get to him, normally he would laugh at the man instead of shouting at him.
"Now you listen to me you miserable little vomit stain!" Sym stood face to face at the man, "If you don't look at him right now, I'll shove into the warp-core and then you can play the anti-matter tango."
The medic took a step back, shock evident on his face.
"I'm fine sir." Tormass said, trying to get to his feet and failing.
"No you're not. I need you at peak fitness, or close to." Sym replied, his anger subsiding slightly.
A movement at the corner of his eye distracted him. The medic who was rude had brushed past him and knelt beside Garfield. He ran a tricorder scan and pulled a hypo out of his pack.
"Your assistant has a concussion and internal bleeding, but he should be fine in a moment." The medic said as he pushed the hypo to Garfield's neck, "I've given him something to dull the pain and stop the internal bleeding."
After he had finished healing Sym's assistant, the medic stood and approached Sym.
"Your next, Commander." He said, pulling out a protoplaser.
"Hmmm? I'm fine." Sym said confused.
"No you're not. I don't know if you noticed, but you have slight injury's that need medical attention."
"Forget that," Sym replied, brushing the mans hand away, "Hows Ensign Garfield." Sym asked.
"He'll be fine, but he needs to get to sickbay and get treated."
"Good. Tormass, take what crew can be spared and get to the bridge. The helm console is on the fritz, with most of the systems." Sym ordered
Ensign Tormass nodded with a grimace, clearly he had a headache from the concussion. "Aye sir. I'll get straight on it."
"Belay that order, Cadet", Owain told Sam. The navigator looked up from his helm console with an understandable look of confusion. "Huh?"
Moments earlier, as he had predicted the Chief Engineer would, the reports had come in and they hadn't looked good. Multiple injured and the ship was losing structural integrity, and they had put his plans on hold. It wasn't something he could do with the ship in this condition. He wouldn't do it, couldn't do it, for the safety of the crew. It had been a rash decision; a desperate move for this hot-headed Captain.
"We can't. We just can't. The structural integrity of this ship wouldn't be able to take it. It's not something viable at the moment, Cadet. I have to put the safety of the crew first and foremost, else I might put my command into question. We'll have to find some other way…"
Some other way was right. He was racking his brain, trying to come up with a reasonable solution in all this. A Captain's crew often showed their best abilities under stress, where most of the creative thinking came from. It was like a well-oiled machinery. It was in times like these that the Captain looked for answers, and where the crew so deftly delivered them. Crucial times for crucial tactics.
This time it was the Ops officer who had the answers. He looked up from his console, or what worked out of it, and grinned, "Sir, we've finally got a visual of the planet's surface."
"Put it on screen.", the Captain ordered, and the planet's surface was seen on the viewscreen momentarily. What drew Owain's attention was a largely developed area.
"That's the main city, Sir. The area controlled by the Mighty People. You can see that it takes up most of the planet. If you look towards the center of the city…", the officer said as the image zoomed in, they could see a large building that was taller and larger than any of the others, "That building houses both the Military, The People's Army, and the Government. Presumably, that's where the command to launch the ships at us came from. Either they were computer controlled or…."
Owain nodded. He saw where this was heading, "Or the People's Army trains people at young ages within their ranks, their life's job to take their life into their hands. Well, that's nice. I'm sure once chosen, they don't have much choice in the matter. Taken from their homes and ordered to duty. Life can be pretty rough. Not a choice like Starfleet…" He sighed heavily.
"And sir, if you look over here, " the officer said as he zoomed in on the other end of the planet, there seemed to be underground caves that couldn't be very well penetraded by sensors. "There are caves there. Presumably that's where the Away Team is headed. We can't track them in real time, because don't have their signals, but I assume they'll be there in a few hours if their pace is good."
"Where is Admiral Caine?", asked Owain. It was a very good question that nobody had thought to ask, but they all wondered where this Caine was."
"Well sir, I don't see a Starfleet ship in the area. It could very well be cloaked, but I can't be sure of it since our sensors are limited at the moment. My best guess is that he's currently on the surface."
"In that Government building", Owain suggested.
The officer shrugged, "It's as good a guess as any."
Owain grinned, and felt good for about this for the first time in moments. It had started looking dire, but he had just found his idea.
What the Away Team didn't know was that an elite unit of the People's Army, namely called Raven Core, had been dispatched to look for Deo Zhang. They had also been the same ones who had been to the Zhang residence, and they were closing in on the Away Team. Currently, they stopped at the side of the road where there had been a recent battle, and were investigating the fallen officers. They noted that the uniforms had been stripped of them, and one of them knelt at the site of the blood and took out a communications device and a lense popped out as he pointed at the blood, while he described the sight he was seeing.
Admiral Caine, his feet propped up on his desk and smoking a fine cigar was thinking that this was the life. He was currently listening to the report coming in from Raven Core. "… battle here. A few of our people have been stripped of their uniforms. Sight of blood is warm. They can't be far off.", the voice of the officer said as he pointed his camera to show the trail of blood that had been left behind. Caine acknowledged the report and closed the connection, taking another puff from his cigar. He was in a perfect place, all too smug after the recent attack on the Horizon. He couldn't possibly think the Horizon had anything left to offer.
"Flyboy, I have a special mission for you.", Owain told to a surprised Cadet Jones, "How would you like to fly a shuttle?"
Jones nodded, "I'd love to, sir. You know I would."
"Go to the Shuttlebay. With some of the other pilots, I want you to coordinate an effort. Recon work, if you will. Your primary job is to find out if it can easily be targetted. We'll want to put a stop to Caine. Your duty is not to observe, as we already know where he is. Rather it is to be observed", Owain explained, and continued on as he had Sam's full attention, "Then when you and your teams hit them, The Mighty People won't find it suspicious."
Sam stood up from his broken chair, he had been given an order. He planned to accomplish it too, the captain wanted him to lead an attack/recon team into a hornets nest so to speak and he was to be seen, so that the city would know that they were attacked first.
He couldn't wait to get into a shuttle and fly, the Horizon had been pratically slaughtered and it was now payback time. He planned on giving those bastards down on the planet hell. Who knew how many innocent crewmembers had been killed in this unprovoked attack. For that matter was Ginny still alive? This Admiral Caine had a lot to explain, he had obviously gone rogue, else why would he have attacked the Horizon, a starfleet vessel?
Sam wlked off the bridge, the turbolifts were offline so he took the jefferies tubes and ladders own toward the shuttle bay. On the way down he got his teams together. First he would need his pilots, and he would need the best.
“Computer who are the top two qualified pilots,besides myself, currently on board the Horizon?”said Sam.
“That would be Enisgn Torenz and Cadet Lorentiss.”
“Ok and the top three tactical officers?”
“Ensign Jorntin, Ensign Bombins, and Cadet Korg.
Sam tapped his communicator.
“This is cadet Jones to officer Torenz, Lorentiss, Jorntin, Bobins, and Korg, please report imediately to the shuttle bay, and you have best beat me there, Cadet Jones out.”
Sam was halfway there he flew through the jefferies tubes as fast as humanly possible. His head punded from the injury he had received earlier on the bridge, but he just pushed himself harder. Finaly he arrived at the shuttle bay and was pleased to find that the men he had requested were already there waiting for him.
“Alright we don't have much time so in short Captain Taggart has put me in charge of a shuttle mission down to the planet. Torenz and Korg will be fly the “Bombay” and Lorentiss and Bobins will be flying the Livingston, while Jorntin you'll be with me on the “Dallas.”Now we'll be flying low to the city so that we are seen, and hopefully they won't fire on there own city. Our objective is to recon and take out what we can, hopefully we can hit those hangers that these kamakazie fighters are coming out of. I shouldn't have to remind you that the Horizon can't take much more damage… Let's do in men, good luck.”
With that Sam walked toward the shuttle “Dallas,” he had enjoyed make the speech. Sam looked over the “Dallas” as he stepped on it was state of the art, Sam sat down into the pilots chair and Jorntin sat down behind him and to the right.
“This is Cadet Jones to Captain Taggart, requesting to leave the Ship with the recongruop.”
“Permission granted and good luck Flyboy Jones.”
Sam smiled at the nickname he had so recently received he liked it.
Sam started tapping the codes and information needed to undock, soon he released the docking clamps, and they were soon out of the docking bay and flying through space towards the planet, He punched up the view of the ship onto the viewscreen, at once he wished he hadn't he would really see the damage that the kamakazie ships had done. He could see that in several places only force fields were keeping the ship from the vacuum of space, there was debris just slowly floating away from the ship and the debris was also all around them, how many people had been killed in this attack, and how many more would die before this was over?
“I swear they'll pay for this.” Sam said to no one in particular.
Sam and the other two shuttles flew through the planets atmosphere they headed for the city, and when they approached it the sky was lit up with phaser fire from all directions.
“Alright this is the “Dallas” to the “Livingston” and the “Bombay” lets stay low and loose do what you can not to be hit, we're headed for the main base, so this will only get worse. Jones out.”
Sam took the “Dallas into a controlled dive narrowly missing buildings he hoped that whoever was aiming and firing the phasers wouldn't want to hurt the innocent people in the buildings below. It wasn't long before he noticed that they didn't care at all about innocent people, the blasts blew apart the city below the shuttles. Sam did the only thing we could do and that was to try and dodge the shots and shoot at the phaser towers when possible.
Finally they were within sight of the base, he took the “Dallas:” and did a quick fly around.
=^=“This is Cadet Jones to the Horizon….Horizon please come in…”=^=
“Sir we're being jammed.”
“O.K. then if they want hard ball we'll play hard ball.”
=^=“Alright “Bombay” and “Livingston” I count 6 hangers and several buildings, lets take out the hangers and whatever else we can, our long range communications with the Horizon have been jammed so lets unjam them.”=^=
Sam saw several fighters launching, now they would have to dodge both phaser fire and the kamakazie ships. Sam and the other shuttles were able to take out the hangers without too much difficulty but the air was so thick with phaser fire and ships that they couldn't keep from being hit.
=^=“Alright its getting to hot around here all ships back to the Horizon, I'll try to distract the ships and the phaser fire so that you can make your escape back to the ship..”=^=
Sam looped around and let Jorntin take out what ships and towers that he could, as he flew several blasts hit the ship, and several conduits exploded. Sam was starting to lose control of the ship.
Sam looked over at Jorntin, what he saw made him sick, a piece of shrapnel had gone through the top of his head and had came out of his jaw, he was dead.
“Damn it I”m responsible for another death…”said Sam.
Sam stood he didn't have time to sit, the shuttle was about to crash. Sam quickl lined the shuttle up with one of the bigger buildings, he hoped that Admiral Caine would be killed when the shuttle crashed, he knew it wasn't likely but he still hoped it would.
“Have some of your own medicine you bastards.” Sam said out loud.
He stood and moved to the transporter, luckily it was still operational. He quickly set coordinates into it, he hoped that they would be somewhere not too public but he didn't have time to pick a spot he was about to crash. Sam energized into an alley way, he looked around to make sure no one had seen, he looked down hat his communicator it was crushed and broken, so even if he wasn't being jammed the communicator would never work again. So he then started looking for a place to hide.
A door opened and Sam jumped raising the phaser he had brought with him, but then he saw a woman, with the deepest blue eyes he had ever seen.
“Hurry come inside, quick.”
Sam didn't know who she was but he didn't have time to argue he needed to get off the streets, the military of this planet would take him as a prisoner if he was found.
He now wondered how the hell he was going to get back up to the Horizon, and how pissed off the Captain would be that he had lost his shuttle. Sam slowed his pace of his thoughts, he would just be happy with the other two shuttles getting back safely, he didn't want anymore deaths on his hand, after all he had hand picked these men, and one of them was dead because of it. Sam stepped into the womans house and looked into those beuatiful deep blue eyes and decided to take one step at a time, and the first step was to find out who this beautiful woman was and how to get back to the Horizon.
When Aiyla arrived, everything was a disaster. People were running around all over the place in a state of panic. There were so many people wounded. A few feet in front of her, she saw a young woman about her age hovered into the corner of a wall. The woman had her face buried in her hands and was sobbing. Aiyla walked up to her and asked her what was wrong.
“Do not worry about me. I will be fine.” The woman spoke.
Aiyla noticed that the woman appeared flushed and her eyes had a glazed look upon them. She put her hand upon the woman’s forhead.
“You are running a fever, I can see that you are not doing so well. I see that the left side of your face is swollen. Do you know what is wrong?” Aiyla questioned her.
“It is not important. There are so many people hurt right now. I can wait till they are taken care of. It is just my tooth. I believe I have an infection. “ The woman said as she shrugged her shoulders.
Aiyla sighed in a moment of minute frustration. She knew this woman needed help but was to stubborn to ask for it.
“You know”, Aiyla spoke, “the fact that you are running a very high fever means that the infection is starting to get into your brain. That can lead to death. You must take this seriously. You are just as important as everyone else here. One less person is one less helping hand we have. I am going to find the docter and that is final. Do not argue on this with me.”
The woman looked up at her and mustered up a small smile of relief. “Well, thank you.”
Aiyla reached into her satchel and pulled out a small vile.
“This is clove oil. It is especially good for numbing the mouth. I am going to drop some into your mouth. It will help relieve the pain in your gums, but as for the rest, that is the docter’s job. Now come with me. We will go find you help now.”
The woman stood up, somewhat reluctantly as Aiyla took hold of her hand. Aiyla motioned the first person she saw over to her.
“We need the docter. Please tell us where to go.”
You will find it after three turns. You go all the way down this hall, then make a left. The second entry way after that you will make a right. Then you are there. Got it?”.
The young man stated in a rushed sort of way.
okay, said Aiyla and nodded a silent thank you to him. The man tipped his hat off to her and then walked off quickly.
They walked down the hall , making the correct turns and then they saw that they were there. There was an older lady standing at the doorway.
“hello, I am Aiyla and this woman with me needs help. Can you make sure that she does not leave until she sees the docter?”
The lady nodded a yes to Aiyla and summoned the woman that she had brought to come in and sit down.
Aiyla looked at the woman one last time and swiftly walked out of the entry way and back down the never ending hall. She then realized that she would come upon many circumstances here, some big and grand, some more trivial. She continued walking ,wondering where circumstances would lead her to next.
The two officers trudged on through the woods. Deeper and deeper they went, where the trees seemed to grow together as one plant. Any shimmer of sunlight was choked by the over growth of forest. The plants in the forest had a bright turquoise color to them. Some of the floral life gave off a scent of sulfur and carbon.
Suddenly, a still silence covered the forest. This silence stopped the two officers dead in their tracks. Just as they turned to see what might be there, a sounding pop rang out in the air. Hastily, Tiberius pushed Rynen away causing her to fall to the ground. The bullet sliced through the leaves and plants, striking him in the right leg. The Lieutenant regained herself and opened fire on the on coming threat. Pulling himself up on a fallen tree, Tiberius began to return fire.
His thigh was spilling out blood all around him. Quickly he ripped off a piece of his sleeve and tied off the wound. Continually exchanging fire, the two officers began heading deeper into the woods. Rynen went to grab Tiberius in an effort to help him.
“I’ve got it! We need to keep moving,” Tiberius said, as he pushed her away.
The two continued firing as they headed farther into the woods. Every step for Tiberius was as painful as the one before. Their constant firing was giving they just a little more time to get that much further away from the oncoming enemy.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka trudged through the woods with the others, phaser rifle scanning the left flank. As they walked, following Deo Zhang as he helped scout the way, they heard gunshots off behind them at a moderate distance. Commander Langford called for a brief halt before speaking,"More of the soliders must have found Rynen and Tiberius… let's pick up the pace. They'll have to elude our persuers and catch up with us."
After speaking commander waved them all foreward. Draka gritted his teeth, not one to enjoy leaving teammates behind. While every was distracted with pushing through some rough underbrush, he slipped back, unseen. Draka then started back towards the gunfire at a jog, ducking under low branches and swerving around bushes, keeping up a steady pace. The gunfire grew closer, interspersed with phaserfire. As Draka drew nearer, he noticed two clusters of the Raven Core soldiers. One group, which suffered quite a few casualties from Rynen and Tiberius' phaser fire, continued to fire upon the two Starfleeters. The other group, a half dozen in total were moving stealthily to flank the outnumbered and pinned down officers. Draka narrowed his eyes, putting all his own stealth movement to the test as he moved to intercept the six Raven Core, moving behind cover, ducking around trees, and once he reached a short distance from the creeping soldiers Draka rose up, using a tree as cover and started firing. Draka's phaser pulses split the air, striking two of the soldiers in the back, pitching their unconscious bodies foreward. Draka adjusted his aim and fired another burst towards the rightmost soldier as they started to turn, two pulses striking the man in the chest, tossing him backwards. The other three well trained soldiers recovered quickly, snapping shots off towards Draka, bullets tearing into the tree Draka hid behind. Waiting for a break in their fire he lunged out, rolling behind a thick stump, firing a barrage towards the three soldiers, dropping another. That's when a burst from one of the remaining two soldiers found him, two of the bullets grazing him, the third landing fairly solidly in Draka's left side. He grunted in pain sprawling out, lifting his phaser rifle with one hand firing wildly at the two soldiers as they hastily reloaded their rifles. Draka didn't know what greater beings may have guided his wild shots, but one pulse struck the left side soldier in the face, the one on the right nailed in the chest, both men dropping. Draka's armed dropped, grunting in pain as he brought his left arm up to press against the wound, working on getting himself behind cover as he tried to stand. The firing tapered off some from the other firefight, a couple explosions scattering the remaining soldiers there, who drew back to regroup. Rynen and Tiberius' hand phasers, set to overload. Draka could hear them heading his way, they having heard draka's tussle… He grunted, slumping against the tree, waiting, trying to focus himself enough to move under his own power…
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