USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Remember Me

Posted on Sun Mar 12th, 2017 @ 1:36am by Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Lieutenant No Name

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: The Facility; Various
Timeline: Mission Day 69; 09:30

Nealey lay in the bed and after checking the time she was surprised nobody had come to wake her up. That set the alarm bells ringing inside her mind that either the plan had failed or Tolan had decided to leave her behind with Kazyah to take the blame for the whole situation. Looking at the sleeping woman next to her Nealey whispered into her ear softly to try and wake her up. They evidently didn't have much time if they were going to get out of there alive.

"Cat...wake up" Nealey whispered.

Cat reacted almost before she was fully awake the moment she heard the whisper and she rolled to strike at whoever it was, her hand curled into a fist. She saw Nealey out a breath. "What time is it?" she whispered.

"It's about 09:30. I've only just woken up...nobody's tried to wake me up by calling or knocking which is a bit worrying. Before we think about our next plan of action...I could use some food. Do you want anything?" Nealey replied.

"Nine thirty?" Cat said as she came out of bed and put her boots on. "Why weren't we woken up before now?" She shook her head and began to do an inventory on her items.

Nealey shrugged as she prepared herself for the day ahead. She was told by Tolan she would be woken up at 08:00 but that clearly didn't happen - the stun grenade booby trap was still in place and there was no other way into the room.

"I don't know. We were supposed to be woken up about an hour and a half ago...but something must have changed or something has gone wrong. I guess our best way out of here now is to take down that bastard ourselves...and I know it'd be a stupid question to ask you if you're up for that" Nealey replied.

"Do you really have to ask?" Cat said as she went to the terminal to see if it were active.

Nealey grinned. "No. I was always a bit of a loose cannon...which is probably why the XO doesn't like me so much. If you can get that thing working there's something I want you to scan for...in the mean time I'll make breakfast"

Nealey went over to the replicator and after banging it with the palm of her hand and repeating her order she managed to replicate a pile of breakfast pancakes. They looked just as good as the real thing but whether they tasted right was a different story. This replicator evidently had a fault with receiving its orders.

"Who wants pancakes?" Nealey asked.

"Can you get it to make some bananas and syrup?" Cat asked as she removed a panel from the terminal and began to remove isolinear chips.

Nealey went back over to the replicator and replicated some banana slices and some syrup to go with the pancakes. Bringing the small ramekin of syrup and a small plate of chopped bananas over to the table where the pancakes were she looked on with interest.

"Apparently there's a secret weapon the Maquis worked on stored in the lowest level of this dump and Saalkan's managed to get his mitts on it. I wonder if we could strap him to it and send him into space along with it..." Nealey commented.

"A Maquis weapon?" Cat asked without looking up from her work. "I'm surprised that anything survived from that era, let alone be still functional. What the hell did they do to this thing, anyway?"

Nealey shrugged. "I don't know - all I know is he's planning to use it if he doesn't get what he wants. He actually reminds me of my adopted sister throwing her toys out of the pram if she don't get an ice cream. There's a lot of stuff the Maquis left behind in this dump although not all of it is any use...but that weapon definitely is"

"You know what really gets to me?" Cat asked as she put the panel back on the terminal and activated it. "The fact that I'm the Assistant Chief of Intelligence and I don't seem to know a fucking thing. That really gets on my nerves and I'm ready to shoot a dozen people at random on the highest setting."

She moved over and loaded up her pancakes with banana sliced and then poured syrup over everything before she sat down. "It's almost like I don't exist here."

Nealey helped herself to the rest of the syrup and started to eat her own pancakes. She felt a connection with Cat but she wasn't sure what it was - whether it was the kiss they shared or how they felt about their positions on the ship. She looked at Cat and gave her a smile that would melt butter before replying to her.

"Well Cat...you exist to me and I do know how you feel. Sometimes it's like I'm just called on when I'm needed then sent back into my hole when they're finished with me. Now after these...why don't we go and put ourselves on the map and make people notice us?" Nealey replied.

Cat snorted as she took a bite of her pancakes. "My career is probably going to be over with by the time I get done," she said. "I've faced nothing but bullshit from the moment I stepped on this ship. Do you know how that feels, Nealey?" she asked. "It feels like I'm not wanted or needed while everyone runs around me doing everything and I'm left clueless and in the dark."

A deep sense of sadness filled Nealey's body as the memories she had fought to suppress for so long started to come back again. Holding back her emotions she looked at Cat sombrely with it clearly obvious her eyes were filling with tears.

"Yeah...I do know how that feels. I was made acting Chief Operations Officer and whatever I did...I was told it was wrong and made to feel like I was incompetent. I know Captain Ainscow and I know for a fact she will fight tooth and nail to keep you on that ship...because I know for a fact she won't trust him again after all of this" Nealey replied.

Cat looked up and saw the tears, but there was nothing she could do at the moment. "Yeah, but I'm Intelligence, Nealey. It's my job to know things and I feel like a crewman recruit that walked off the street after coming from a backwater planet. I've been treated like a mushroom the entire time I've been on the ship. As for Captain Ainscow, she won't be able to save my career because I'll probably end up dead."

Nealey sniffled before speaking.

"You're so much better than the way you feel...you really are and you're going to come and prove that with me after we've eaten these. I'm not the only one who believes in you and wants you to be given the chance you deserve to prove just how good you are. And you are not going to end up dead because I won't let you die...ever. You're the only person other than the Captain who makes me feel like a person and not a button pusher" Nealey said.

"We barely know each other, Nealey," Cat pointed out. "Then there's me threatening to kill you. Still, I'm glad you're on my side and that you didn't try to kill me while I was sleeping."

Nealey smiled weakly.

"That doesn't matter to me - I like you and I think it'd be a massive loss to the ship and Starfleet Intelligence if you ended up dying. But I am sorry I tried to kill you and I promise I won't try that again. It's just...I've found it hard to suppress my anger recently and I saw red. I liked our kiss though" Nealey replied.

"It's up to me...to us...to do something," Cat said as she got up and leaned over to give Nealey a kiss. "I have an idea." She removed her combadge and stun gloves, then retrieved a tiny knife from her boot before she sat down.

"It's not the most ideal solution to our problem, but one thing at a time." She pried to cover off the combadge and looked at it for a moment before she set it aside. Next she began to strip the padding off the back of the gloves carefully. "If I get stunned, you'll know this was a really stupid idea. If I can use the power cell from this to hook up to the combadge, I may be able to tap into the system here and send a signal out."

Nealey's sense of sadness started to disappear the moment Cat's lips met hers. She watched as Cat worked on her commbadge and the stun gloves. It wasn't something she'd tried before but it was worth a shot at the very least.

"Hey...can you get me a pair of those when we're done? If you can get enough range on that at least someone will pick it up and answer our call for help or at least relay it to Starfleet" Nealey replied.

"One thing at a time," Cat said as she removed the tiny power cell from the stun gloves and some leads. She bit her lip as she attached it to the combadge circuitry and let out a slow breath. "I'm not dead yet. Can you remove the panel off the terminal again?" she asked.

Nealey reached over for the panel and prized it out of its housing - placing it to one side out of the way. The idea would give whoever came to rescue them a much more accurate position of the base and they wouldn't have to waste time scanning for it if they somehow stumbled across the planet.

Nealey smiled. "What would we ever do without you?"

Cat gave a chuckle and shook her head. "What you did before I came here," she said as she removed one of her remaining surveillance devices and rigged it to the circuitry of the combadge. Once she had it set up, she took it all over to the terminal and set it down, going silent once more. She studied the circuitry and made a decision before she connected it together and took a breath.

"If you want a kiss before I activate this, now's the time," she said. "Odds are good it'll blow before it works."

Nealey was only too happy to oblige and gave Cat the sweetest lingering kiss she could before letting her continue with her work. If it worked then their desperate cry for help from the outside could very well be answered.

"It'll work. Think positive" Nealey said softly.

Cat returned the kiss before she turned her attention back to the amalgam she had cobbled together and tapped the combadge. "This is Lieutenant Catalina Ghatto and Lieutenant Snowdon of the Vindex," she said after she made sure it was on a Starfleet frequency. "Does anyone read me?"




With the Bird-of-Prey now under their control Martha had assumed command and had the bridge to herself for a few minutes. As she sat in the rather uncomfortable command chair and closed her eyes for a moment she heard a rather irritating noise coming from one of the consoles on her left.

Standing up from the chair Martha proceeded over to it and after finally working out what it was showing and rotating through the frequencies to clear up the message she answered it - although the noise continually repeating had grated on her nerves quite a lot. Finally she managed to get it to work and she played back the transmission.

"This is Lieutenant Catalina Ghatto and Lieutenant Snowdon of the Vindex, Does anyone read me?"

Martha managed to work out how to reply after ten seconds or so of pressing buttons.

"This is Lieutenant Cusack. Where are you Lieutenant?" Martha said.

Cat breathed a sigh of relief and looked at Nealey questionly. "That's a good question. Do you know?"

"We're in the former Maquis base on Veloz Prime Lieutenant" Nealey replied.

Martha nodded - it appeared that they'd finally found what they were looking for. There were a couple of loose ends to tie up the captured ship but they wouldn't be standing for too long once the Endurance's engineers had worked their magic.

"Sit tight ladies - we're on our way. We've got a couple of things to sort out but we'll be ready to come and get you soon. What can you tell us about our opposition?" Martha asked.

Nealey spoke. "Well I'm not sure on exact numbers but the last I heard was a group of Klingon mercenaries is due to arrive at about 11:00 - on top of that there could be as many as 30 guards. Ensign Andrews and Commander Tolan are with us...but we're having trouble trying to reach them"

"Alright Miss Snowdon. Do what you can to hinder them in the mean time - we'll be there soon" Martha responded.

Nealey smiled at Cat and was finally happy help was on the way and they would be on the way out of this dump sooner rather than later. Where Martha was calling from didn't matter - it was Martha none the less and it really meant help was on the way.

"Okay Lieutenant - we'll do what we can. We need medical help for Miss Fuentes too - she's in a bad way" Nealey replied.

Martha made a note of all that Nealey had told her whilst scanning for the exact location of the base on the planet. At best they could land the Bird-of-Prey near to it although it was unlikely the eight people on board would be able to take on the thirty or more opponents in the base.

"Understood. Cusack out" Martha concluded.




"You did it. Well done!" Nealey exclaimed.

Cat breathed a sigh of relief as she ended the communication. "Now I'm down a combadge, a pair of stun gloves and one of my surveillance bugs. I have my energy knife and some bugs left, but I really wish I had my personal cloak and transporter. That would really help us out because once they find out what we did, they're going to come. At least I still have the phaser and you."

"Hey...you'll always have me unless you tell me to get lost. Shall we get the hell out of here and take out that weapon before they come looking? I don't think it'll be long before Saalkan works out where that came from. We should move that weapons crate before we do though" Nealey replied.

"C'mon, then," Cat said as she went over and hefted the heavy assault phaser. "We have places to go and weapons to blow up."

Nealey grinned and collected her Cardassian disruptor rifle and put the belt carrying her grenades around her waist. After ensuring she had what she needed she started to drag the weapons case into the room opposite. Her small size meant nothing as her surprising strength made quick work of it.




"The weapon is supposedly on the lowest level so that's three levels down. There's a cargo lift which takes us right there but that might be guarded...or we can take a much smaller ventilation shaft which is a bit closer and probably not guarded. That takes us into the storage room as well but it's a bit of a drop onto the observation platform. Shall we go kill some guards or practice jumping?" Nealey said.

"How about both," Cat suggested as she went to grab the other side of the weapon case. "After the past few days, I'm ready to kill someone or something."

Nealey grinned and led the way towards the cargo lift which would give them direct access to the weapon. She knew it was operational because she'd used it with Tony when they had been ordered to repair the surveillance equipment in the area. Deciding it would be best to inform Tony the weapons had been moved she decided to send him a message.

=/\="Snowdon to Andrews. Opposite room..."=/\= Nealey said.

Tony replied =/\="I get you. Stay low - I'll be in touch"=/\=

The two women arrived at the lift and sure enough it was guarded by two Rigelian heavily armed guards who Nealey hadn't seen before. They must have arrived overnight because they certainly weren't here last time there was a briefing.

"Take your pick..." Nealey whispered.

Cat gave an evil grin and instead of picking one, she activated the heavy phaser weapon and set it to wide beam before she fired and took both the guards down. "Sorry, not sorry," she said as she switched back to normal beam.

Nealey gave Cat a cute smirk and walked over to the cargo lift. She called the lift and a few moments later it arrived. With the doors open Nealey indicated to Cat to help her drag the two guards into the lift to keep their bodies concealed. With that done she closed the doors and set the lift's destination to the very lowest level of the complex.

Nealey grinned. "Nice shot"

"I'd have to be blind to have missed," Cat said as they finished loaded the guards in. She checked the setting on the SAP and noted the remaining charge. "What's in the crate?" she asked. "I didn't check it out."

"Weapons for our friends to shoot the rest of Saalkan's cronies. Andrews is on his way to get them so I can only assume the uprising is about to start...they'd better leave that Vulcan bastard for me...I said I'd kill him and don't like breaking promises" Nealey replied.

"The one I want is Linn," Cat said. "He's snowed me from the day I came aboard this ship and when I find him, he'll be lucky if I don't vaporize him on sight."

Nealey gave Cat a cute smirk as the lift gradually slowed to a halt and the doors opened. Holding Cat back with her left arm she stepped into the doorway of the lift and aimed her rifle at the visual sensors positioned either side of the lift.

"That's those taken care of. It's just through these doors here" Nealey said.

Again dispensing with the security measures Nealey pointed her rifle at the access panel and fired. When the panel exploded the the twin doors opened slightly.

Nealey smiled. "Let's get these things open and send this thing out into space"

"Space?" Cat asked as she helped pull the crate out after checking for any sign of opposition. "We're on a bloody planet!"

"Erm...look up" Nealey said.

Nealey pointed to a hatch several levels up from which the Maquis planned to launch the weapon. She walked over to the control room which was currently powered down - but she knew it wouldn't be easy to get it up and running again.

"Alright...let's get this thing switched on and out into space" Nealey said.

Cat looked up and whistled. "Well shit," she said as she headed over to the controls. "Mama said there'd be days like this," she muttered as she began to familiarize herself with the controls.

Nealey kept a close eye on the door to ensure they weren't ambushed if those in the security control room had picked up the alerts from the "deactivated" visual sensors just outside of the launch bay.

"When we get back to the ship you and me are going to D15. No buts" Nealey said.

"D15?" Cat asked as she worked at bringing the console online before she glanced over her shoulder.

Nealey giggled. "The bar on the Vindex. I hear there's a few new features being installed next time the ship goes into dock. But I think we owe each other a drink after all of this crap is over"

"You're insane," Cat laughed as she activated the console after a few minutes. "I expect to be taken to Risa and given a massage by one of their six fingered masseurs while being fed treats and fanned."

Nealey gave Cat a sweet smile and had just the idea. They were in the Alpha Quadrant and it made perfect sense for them to make the most of it.

"Then let's go to Risa. You and me...but I get to give you a massage first" Nealey replied.

"You got it," Cat said as she activated the sensors. "And we're online and ready."

Nealey looked over at the console which was now activated. She walked up to Cat and looked at her with a devious look which gave away exactly what she was thinking - to send this weapon into space and make sure nobody could ever use it.

"Want to press it together?" Nealey asked.

"That could be taken so wrong," Cat said even though she knew what Nealey was talking about. "Let's do it." She reached to lay a finger on the control and waited for Nealey to do the same.

Nealey put a finger on the control too and felt like they were about to save so many lives. The weapon was similar to the one Voyager encountered in the Delta Quadrant but this one was much more powerful and had a psionic amplifier which would me devastating to whatever target Saalkan chose. If it detonated well away from the star system then it couldn't anyone.

"Three...two...one" Nealey said.

Nealey pressed the button at the same time as Cat and initiated the 30 second countdown sequence which would send the weapon harmlessly into space.

"We've saved so many lives today...but you've saved mine too" Nealey whispered.

Cat breathed a sigh of relief and looked over at Nealey. "I did?" she asked, confused.

"Yeah. You made me feel like I'm a person who matters and I can't thank you enough for that" Nealey replied.

"You are a person, Nealey and you do matter," Cat said. "Just remember what you said in six months."

Nealey smiled cutely and felt for once in her life that someone actually made her feel special and like she had a purpose in their life. It was hard to believe a day ago they hated each other and now they were seemingly friends and about to take a trip to Risa after returning to the Vindex.

"I will - I promise. Now...do you want to stay and watch this wretched thing blast into space or shall we go and find that stupid bastard Saalkan?" Nealey asked.

"Let's wipe these assholes off the face of the galaxy, then we can party," Cat said as she picked up her phaser again.

Nealey grinned and picked her rifle up before leading the way out of the control room and towards the exit. She gave the weapon one last look before heading out of the doors and back towards the lift - although when she looked towards the lift there were four guards already waiting for them.

"Drop it Snowdon" the Cardassian said.

Nealey grinned at Cat before shooting the man who addressed her square in the chest and dodging another shot from the other Cardassian next to him. This suited Nealey down to the ground - she loved fighting her way out of things and it gave her a chance to vent her anger.

Cat fired her SAP on the lethal setting and vaporized the Cardassian next to the one that Nealey stunned. "Drop it? Looks like he got dropped. Why are you sparing them?"

After dispatching a much larger opponent into a wall mounted console - which exploded on impact - Nealey grinned and shot the stunned man again to ensure he wouldn't get back up again.

"I was saving something for later" Nealey replied.

The fourth opponent had made a break for it in an attempt to escape in the lift - put he wasn't fast enough as Nealey again used her disruptor rifle which sent her now lifeless opponent crumpling to the floor. After opening the lift's doors she entered and pressed the button to take them back up to the floor the hostages were being held on.

"Hopefully by now there'll be some action going on...as long as they save some for us I'm happy" Nealey said.

Cat headed out as the bodies hit the floor and looked around for other targets. "Now who's getting greedy?" she asked.

As the lift whirred up to its destination Nealey wondered what the next plan would be. Heading straight for Saalkan's lab would have the element of surprised but it was bound to be a lot more heavily guarded than the lift was.

"I've got all I want in this lift. I just like to have an excuse to practice my shooting and Muay Thai skills without getting into trouble for it" Nealey replied.

Cat checked the SAP again and looked over at Nealey. "Isn't Muay Thai food?"

Nealey giggled and shook her head.

"No Cat. It's a martial art I've become pretty good at since I joined the Academy...I went to a martial arts studio after my tutor could see I had anger issues. It's helped me a lot in more than just being able to defend myself too" Nealey said.

"All I know is boxing and the basic style taught at the Academy," Cat said. "But I was Cadet Senior Grade champion in twenty-three eighty-four for my weight class."

Once the lift stopped Nealey raised her rifle ready just in case they were ambushed when they left the lift. She decided it would be best for them to go to the holding cell and hope the hostages, Tolan and Andrews were still there.

"Right...holding cell..." Nealey said.

The lift doors opened and surprisingly there was nobody there - perhaps the uprising had already begun or they were diverted elsewhere in the complex. Nealey wasn't going to take that for granted though and she cautiously led the way to the holding cells.

Cat deployed one of her tiny surveillance drones and held out a hand to stop Nealey from going around the corner. "I wish I had my tricorder with me, but if anyone's there, it has a Type I phaser on it," she whispered.

"If there's nobody there...then we should go after our targets while the guards are looking for us. If we stick together one of them might escape - but if we split up it splits the attention of the guards. Once we're away from this dump we can debrief and then I might have to dig my Risa program out. I'm not sure Captain Ainscow plans on staying at Deep Space 9 for that long" Nealey replied.

When the little probe didn't fire, Cat nodded. "Well, I didn't hear anything, but it may not think there's any enemies there. It isn't programmed to recognize Starfleet personnel as enemy."

"Alright let's go and take a look" Nealey said.

Leading the way back to the holding cell she deactivated the forcefield protecting the manual door before throwing it open. The look on her face said it all - the holding cell was empty and so was the opens weapons crate on one of the bunks. It so far appeared that the back up plan was underway - although whether it had been successful or not was a different story.

"So...nobody's here after all" Nealey commented.

"What's next?" Cat asked as she retrieved the tiny drone and kept it in her right hand.

"I guess you go after Linn and I go after Saalkan. The longer we wait around here the less chance we have of getting both of them..." Nealey replied.

"I'd rather not split up," Cat said.

Nealey smiled. "I know but we need to if we're going to do this. If we stick together we make a single target...at least if we split up then we're two separate targets and we divide Saalkan's strength. We need to do this Cat...but I promise...when we get back to the ship I'll dig out my Risa program and I won't let anybody disturb us"

"I doubt I'll live to see the program or the planet, Nealey," Cat said as she leaned in for a kiss then checked her weapon. "Remember me." With that, she headed out to hunt the Chief of Intelligence.

Nealey waited for a few moments and turned on her heel for Saalkan's laboratory - knowing full well she probably wouldn't come out of the encounter in one piece or indeed alive. She wanted Cat so much but Nealey knew taking down Saalkan was something she owed as a personal favour to Captain Ainscow.

 

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