USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Operation Jailbreak

Posted on Sun Oct 30th, 2016 @ 2:15pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: USS Vindex and USS Bozeman
Timeline: Mission Day 7; 19:00

It was time for action. The Vindex had liberated the Renown and to conduct their repairs they had remained in the nebula to give themselves some protection. The ready for action Vindex had located the Bozeman and Claudia knew her crew were ready for action. Claudia had christened their plan "Operation Jailbreak" - because that's literally what it was.

"Let's do this. Miss Zuzan target their warp drive - we don't want them getting away" Claudia instructed.

Amber nodded and targeted the Bozeman's warp drive. The Miranda-class was no match for the Vindex and she was confident that they'd be able to overpower the Bozeman with ease. Her only concern was if they tried to self-destruct the vessel before the away team had completed their task.

"I have a target lock" Amber said.

=/\="Ainscow to Garlake. Are you guys ready?"=/\= Claudia asked.

Storr listened to his commanding officer's voice as it reverberated in the Marine "Team Room". He nodded to the three marines that shared the table with him as they simultaneously put down their playing cards and rose.

=/\= We're ready, ma'am, and will be at the transporter pad in five minutes awaiting your command. =/\= Captain Garlake replied after tapping his comm badge. The other three were already half in their tactical suits as he reached his locker and began retrieving his mission gear. The MCO had learned long ago that waiting was the hardest part for any mission and cards helped pass the time. That, and keep the unit rivalry pumping.

"Drex, you'll owe me two pistol cleanings if you keep losing as badly as you have been," th'Rrone said with a smirk. The two had been cutthroat in the last few hands and some steam had been let out from the high-pressure training they had conducted over the last couple days.

"Perhaps," the trill replied as he double-checked his phaser pistol's charge, "or maybe I'm just luring you in for a complete and humiliating defeat."

The Andorian shook his head as he shut his locker with a *slam*, his antenna bobbing in time. "Words, words...only results matter."

Finishing the last strap on his calf sheath for the KBAR, Storr wiped his hands and then placed them on his hips. "Alright ladies, if you're done henpecking each other, it's time to go do some real work."

Claudia was pleased to hear that the Two Five's team were ready to go once the Bozeman had been disabled. She hoped they could be in and out within ten minutes - although as long as the Bozeman didn't call for any help the Vindex would have a lot more time.

=/\="We'll give you a call when we're ready. Ainscow out"=/\= Claudia instructed.

"I just hope they don't call for any help..." Claudia commented.

Amber detected that the Bozeman was charging its own weapons and had turned around to face the Vindex. They surely didn't think they could win a battle with one of Starfleet's "big hitters" in the Gamma Quadrant?

"They're charging weapons ma'am" Amber commented.

Claudia nodded. "Fire phasers. If they try and get away then you can do what you need to"

"Aye aye" Amber replied.

The Vindex opened fire and after a brief firefight the Bozeman's engines had been disabled - at least temporarily. They wouldn't be able to get away very quickly.

"They're broadcasting a distress call. We'd better hope the Cukela isn't combat ready yet...other than that I'm not detecting anything...yet" Amber reported.

Claudia nodded. =/\="Mr. Garlake. You have ten minutes and then we need to get out of here"=/\=

Storr and his team were already mounting the steps to the transporter pad when four marines burst through the door, their uniforms not bearing the same combat patch insignia as the four from the 2/5. Turning, Captain Garlake instinctively placed his hand on the handle of his phaser pistol before remotely recognizing the group. While they were fellow Marines, all the talk of insider threats and the relatively unknown nature of the Renown's crew made the transporter room fill with a less-than-trustworthy environment (no matter what their Captain's said about each other).

"What's the hurry, Warlords?" Storr called out, referring to the members of the 2/2 by their battalion nickname. "Worried you'd miss out on the fun?"

"We wouldn't want to miss out on that Captain. Besides - Commander Ainscow sent us down after Captain Hutchinson decided to send us over to help you guys out" Rice replied.

Captain Garlake squinted his eyes. He had trained with his men for this specific mission for two days now and suddenly they were going to have four complete strangers join them? He prided himself in ensuring his marines were inculcated in the six elements of space marine operations: purpose, simplicity, speed, security, repetition, and surprise; and while all marines had a generally similar foundation, he had no idea how these four had been trained on the Renown and the battalions were well known for having more than professional rivalries between them. While he trusted marines more than fleeters, he still needed to ensure (for the safety of his men at the very least) that this was an authorized mission deviation.

=/\= "Captain Ainscow, Captain Garlake. Please confirm that you're ordering four Renown marines to join me?" =/\= he asked, knowing full well that he was eating into the already too-short timeframe he had to rescue the Starfleet loyalists on the Bozeman.

=/\="I did Captain. Mr. Hutchinson sent them over to help out - although he was quite insistent about it. Good luck - if you have any problems give us a call and we'll see what we can do here"=/\= Claudia replied.

=/\= "Roger, ma'am,"=/\= he replied before jerking his head to the side to call the four marines up to join them on the pad. "You heard the Captain. This is going to be fast and furious. Without having worked together, I'm going to need each of you to follow the lead of my marines so that we mitigate cross-fires as well as double our firing positions. Rice, you're with Billings, Hicks, you're with Drex, Morgan, you're with th'Rrone, Keating you are with me. Do any of you have an EOD or security background?"

Rice, Hicks, Keating and Morgan all nodded. Rice had made sure of that when choosing the squad to take over to the Bozeman so at least there'd be no time wasted bring people up to speed.

"We're all up to date Captain" Rice commented.

"That'll help. Here's a quick ROC drill..." the MCO began as he spilled four tungsten chips onto the transporter pad, the four marines hunching around him as he went over the assault and retrieval plan in less than ninety seconds. If Infantry Officer School taught him anything, it was how to be quick and succinct in battle planning. It also didn't help that he had some excellent mentors in the art when he was enlisted. "Any questions?"

Nobody from the Renown team had any questions but Rice made extra sure by giving them all a knowing glance before turning to face his counterpart on the Vindex.

"Nothing from us. Let's do this" Rice said.

Storr nodded to the newest members of the assault team and motioned to the transporter pad. There were too many to conduct a standard beam-in but with the right modifications of the pattern buffer and integrating certain elements of the cargo transportation system (the details of which made his head spin and glad that he was in the line of work he was currently in rather than engineering), they would be able to make a single transport of the entire team. The downside of this was that they would not be able to utilize the transporter system for another seven minutes after the initial use. Three minutes might seem like a lot of time but when seconds counted, it very well might not.

=/\=Engineering to Bridge, we're experiencing some fluctuation in our impulse stabilizers after the attack. I'm compensating but I don't think we should stay in the nebula much longer.=/\= Himmel turned to one of the engineers Hawk, "Senior Chief, go to the impulse drive and make sure those stabilizers hold up."

Claudia sighed. She had hoped to give Storr and his team ten minutes but if they took that long they may not have a ship left - she would have to get Storr and his team to take no longer than five minutes if they had a chance of escaping with the ship still intact.

=/\="Alright Lieutenant - do your best. I'll ask the boarding team to try and get it down to five minutes then we'll leave"=/\= Claudia replied.

=/\=we'll do what we can down here, Captain. Himmel out.=/\= Himmel rushed over to an engineer at the pool table, "alright, lets keep her together."

Claudia tapped her commbadge.

=/\="Sorry to rush you Mr. Garlake but we need to get this down to five minutes. Our impulse drive stabilizers are starting to fluctuate and we need to get out ASAP...unless you can steal a shuttle or find another way off the Bozeman?"=/\= Claudia said.

Captain Garlake raised a brow. All eight marines were at the ready, their MCO about to give the command to energize when he tapped his commbadge.

=/\=Ma'am, we'll be finished in as much time as you give us, though I'll leave the extraction to your engineering team given the current limitations."=/\= While his response might have been the epitome of professionalism, the apprehension in his gut revved to eleven; an unknown situation, limited preparation, last-minute team changes, now cutting their time in half was making him feel like he was back at IOS though this time with many lives on the line. No matter his feelings, they needed to go and Garlake gave the signal to the transporter chief who dutifully began the process to scramble their atoms.

=/\="Glad to hear it. Ainscow out"=/\= Claudia replied.




The blue/white sparkle faded from his vision just as a phaser bolt singed his right temple, causing Storr to immediately fall to the ground in a prone position while the other marines took up supporting positions behind the bulkheads to his left and right. The MCO was a sitting duck in the middle of the corridor while what seemed like two to three individuals were firing from hastily prepared positions at the entrance to the brig with at least two others firing from around the entrance. ((Four minutes: Thirty seconds)) They didn't have time for this...retrieving a pulse grenade from his right hip, Captain Garlake primed it as Rice and Drex both found their targets, the two Consortium members tumbling to the ground. Allowing gravity to be his friend, Storr rolled it down the corridor and closed his eyes and opened his mouth after shouting "Frag Out!" in order to attempt preservation of his sight and hearing due to the close nature and lack of cover between him and the targets.

((Four minutes)) The explosion was impressive with the electrical "blast" wave was felt more than heard, his sight white after opening his eyes despite them being pressed closed so hard it brought tears. It only took a few moments for the ringing in his ears to subside and while the white crackle in front of his vision took a bit longer, he knew that those on the far side of the hallway were in much, much worse shape.

"Right side, begin bounding...left, cover!" he yelled while raising himself to a crouch and rushing forward to the opposite side of the blockade. It was holo-vid nonsense that had the battle-hardened heroes giving silent commands and non-verbal signals to their troops, everyone advancing steadily with an energetic and driving theme music in the background. Nothing was further from the truth as with phasers firing, breaths coming heavy, your pulse pounding in your head, it took everything in you to hear yourself think, let alone hear someone giving directions or calling for help. The time for covertness had passed, the enemy knew they were here and it mattered more to his squad that everyone knew what to do and who was reloading then trying to maintain silence.

((Two minutes: forty-five seconds)) Rice, Hicks, Keating and Morgan were actually doing quite well, despite the impromptu and rushed integration, while Billings, Drex, and th'Rrone had taken them on as battle-buddies without any reservations. Storr made a quick internal note to commend them all for this but as more phaser blasts careened through the air, letting him know that not everyone had been subdued with the first blast, he was reminded that it wasn't over yet. "Frag Out!" echoed in the cooridor again and Garlake this time was able to get behind a bulkhead as the second blast flashed in the brig proper, several *thuds* sounding that it had had its desired effect.

Standing, Storr hopped the makeshift barricade and entered the brig, four Consortium brutes on the ground and (currently) incapacitated..it seemed that they were not prepared for a direct assault. He let out a chuckle as he looked over three brig cells, only one occupied. That was the Marine specialty: first in, last out, and usually via the front door. The remaining loyalists were all crammed into the single cell and as Garlake took in the scene, his face went from the previous comedy to ashen fear: it was rigged with a bomb, just like in their most difficult and (admittedly) failure-prone simulations on the brig. Storr stepped forward as a Vulcan science ensign stepped forward, his mind awash with deja vu. *How is this even possible?* he thought as he looked down at his chronograph. ((One minute, thirty seconds)) "One of you Warlord frakkers up here NOW!" he bellowed as Keating seemed to materialize out of nowhere at his side. "You have thirty seconds to disarm this device or we're all finished," he said to the Englishman, a look of stone on his face as Keating's matched the MCO's with the order. Captain Garlake didn't mention the fact that the transporters still had three and a half minutes before they had reset and allowed for a return trip.

Phaser fire erupted behind them as Keating began inspecting the bomb. Storr looked up at the Vulcan, who pressed his hand to the forcefield entrance in the sign of their people. "Live Long and Prosper, indeed," Garlake whispered, his hand meeting the Ensign's. Storr felt a tug at his waist which released him from his revelry, the source being Keating forcibly removing Garlake's KABAR from the sheath and (to the Captain's horror) slicing through every wire, the strands falling to the ground sputtering like beheaded electrical snakes. Miraculously, the bombs blinking lights ceased and the forecefield lowered. Storr blinked and looked down at Keating. "Marine, I don't know how you did that..."

"Not now, boss, we've got to MOVE!" an Andorian voice from behind yelled before an equal yell emanated from Drax, his right chest hit with a phaser beam and the marine falling to a knee. They were pinned in the brig, the entrance now closed but soon to be overrun. Rice knelt beside the Trill and began administering self-aid buddy care to stabilize the wound. "Where are we going to go? We're trapped!" Billings said, barely audible over his phaser as it began sealing the door to the brig. The Vulcan from before stepped forward, serene and seemingly oblivious to the situation. "We can leave, but someone will need to stay behind."

((Thirty Seconds)) Storr wasn't sure that he heard right. "What? Where? Brigs are meant by design to be limited in engineering access, to include transportation. If you've got an idea, I'm all ears."

"In accordance with the third iteration of they Tukayyid Accords, in order to provide for prisoners of war in an emergency situation, brig cells on early ships were designed to be jettisonable in an emergency so as to afford them the same potential for survival. Unfortunately, the controls must be initiated from outside the cell.

Storr's brows knit together. They couldn't beam out for another minute, the Consortium forces were about to breach the door, and his time limit was virtually up. Was this the SFMC version of the Kobiashi Maru? How could he ask anyone to stay? Of course, that only meant one option.

"Alright, everyone into the cell, I'll activate it from here," Garlake ordered. No one moved. "NOW!" he roared, physically pushing the Vulcan in front of him back into the cell. Those already in the cell moved back as far as they could to allow the marines in, the small space already above capacity. One didn't move.

"Sir," Drex said, a cough bringing up frothy blood(a sign of massive respiratory injury), "I'm injured and...and I don't think I'm going to make it. You go, I'll stay." Storr moved to physically launch the Trill into the cell when Drex leveled his phaser at the MCO. "I'll make this easy for you, sir. Please go. Now." Storr blinked. ((Five seconds)) He had known Drex only for a short while but he enjoyed the man's easy-going personality and ability to make friends with anyone (even a rough South African Marine Captain). Now was the time for sacrifice and the Trill made a choice, despite the long life that lived within him. Garlake knew that each symbiote was a national treasure to their people and he wasn't about to let the man throw it away, no matter the level of injury. Just as he was about to make a step forward, the phaser be d*mned, he felt a hand on his shoulder just at the neck and suddenly everything went black...

((External view of the Bozeman)) Brig pod two's explosive bolts blew in clockwise sequence, the cell slowly separating from the main craft in silence as it picked up speed thanks to a small thruster under the body. As it was exiting from the ship's shields and not coming from the outside, it passed through the newly-raised electrical barrier without incident just at the two-minute mark from separation.




Claudia turned to Amber at the Tactical station.

"Beam them back aboard!" Claudia said.

Amber nodded and beamed the away team and the rescued Renown crewmembers back aboard the Vindex.

"We have them" Amber replied.

Once the rescue had been completed Claudia was more than happy to inform Soren that the Engineering team wouldn't have to battle to keep the ship in one piece due to the destabilizing impulse drive modifications.

=/\="You'll be pleased to know we're leaving the nebula Mr. Himmel"=/\= Claudia said.

Himmel sighed deeply in relief =/\=gut to hear!=/\= He went over and checked his monitor =/\=systems are leveling out and nothing posing a threat. I may need to do a once over before we do anything more exciting=/\=

=/\="Good work. I owe you all a beer - Ainscow out"=/\=

"Miss Wilson - take us to Rakhar and put us above the North Pole. Best possible speed" Claudia instructed.

"Yes, Commander," Annie replied, very happy to be getting out of the nebula she'd grown to hate. It's emptiness, the confrontations it presented and the problems it caused the Vindex. Gladly, she set the course and engaged.

Claudia breathed a deep sigh of relief.

"I'm glad that's over," Claudia said.

"No sign of pursuit," Akiva said without looking away from his console. Danger was never averted until sensors confirmed it. His fingers danced across the readouts. "Ship systems remain stable." He sat back for a moment and let out the breath he had been holding. After rubbing his forehead, he looked at the console with softer eyes. A look of parting. "Goodbye," he whispered to it, his hand lingering in a tender caress as he stood up. "Captain," he said as he turned to Claudia and allowed a relief officer to take the Ops station, "permission to assume the first officer's chair?"

Claudia turned back to face Akiva and smiled. She was happy that they were out of the nebula and now they were able to regroup with the Renown and start their next assignment. She gestured towards the vacant seat to her right before speaking.

"Please do Commander" Claudia replied.

Akiva slowly approached the chair next to Ainscow and seated himself without aplomb. He turned to Claudia and nodded, allowing himself a quick smile.

With a sigh of relief Claudia relaxed into her chair as the Vindex moved away from the nebula and towards Rakhar. She was glad to be out of it and ready to move on to their next assignment - although something told her it wasn't going to go as she was hoping it would.

 

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