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... Two in the Bush - Part 2

Posted on Sun Mar 19th, 2017 @ 4:11am by Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack & Lieutenant JG Lucia Cusack & Major Storr Garlake & Lance Corporal Thani th'Rrone

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: IKS BaHwiI'
Timeline: Mission Day 69; 09:45

When the energizing light finally dissipated, Jaya found herself temporarily blinded. Her eyes slowly began to adjust to the dim lighting.

"Where are we?" She knew they were aboard the Klingon vessel, but she was quite unfamiliar with its layout.

"It appears we're in the exact spot we planned to beam in - if I'm right Engineering should be to our right down that corridor" Martha replied.

The five Marines rematerialized in the opposite nacelle of the Klingon ship, both in order to take the mercenaries by surprise as well as give the maximum amount of space available for movement and combat. It was also the one time in their plan that Storr would be separated from Jaya and he intended it to be the last.

"Area's clear," A'zhor-Kain Malik said abruptly, the Bajoran's rifle sweeping the corridor towards engineering while the Orion held the rear.

The dim lights, musky smell and acrid smoke from fires somewhere deeper in the ship made Storr's blood beat more quickly, the alien environment seemingly made for combat. He unconsciously licked his lips, the five entering into a stack formation as they approached the starboard doorway to engineering. Checking his watch, they had 45 seconds until both teams were to breach the doors. The MCO took the second position, as it was statistically the most fatal and he refused to put his men there if possible...leaders lead for 30 seconds. The Marines pushed together closer. 15 seconds. The hot breath of Dupont over the MCO's shoulder was fogging up Storr's glasses but it wouldn't matter in 5...4...3...2...1...

Jaya let Martha lead the way since she did not carry a phaser herself. Instead she kept a tricorder ready, which gave her more specific readings than her empathy--though just barely what with the rush of adrenaline amping up her senses to the nines.

"Power fluctuations are building," Jaya said. "Lighting overload is imminent. How much farther?"

Martha wondered why a Counsellor was a part of the away party but at the end of the day she wasn't one to question orders in situations such as this one. Proceeding down the corridor the away team approached the engineering section of the Bird-of-Prey.

"Not long...we're nearly there" Martha muttered.

"Pity I don't have a phaser," Jaya quipped under her breath.

Martha replied. "You'll get one once you've passed your firearms training. Until then you'll just have to do without"

"Yes, ma'am." Jaya smirked from the rear position.

With the away team arriving outside Engineering Martha indicated for Lucia and Chris to stand back and let the Marines blast the door down. She aimed her rifle up at the door and watched as Lucia and Chris also did the same in preparation to attack any onrushing opponents.

"When you're your stuff" Martha said.

Thani carefully placed the shape charge on the massive durasteel door and pressed the red button. Just as the Andorian buried his face in his shoulder a painful flash of white-hot sparks and plasma shot from the device, a gaping hole dripping with molten metal now replacing what was once the middle of the door. At nearly the same instance, as if by circumstance, the dull interior lighting instantly popped to a brilliant sun-bright yellow. Guttural groans emanated from inside the engineering bay at which Maj Garlake felt a squeeze on his shoulder, the signal that the team was ready. He squeezed Thani's shoulder and the five bounded into the room, yelling a war cry at the top of their lungs.

Four Klingons were in the diminutive main engineering section, their silver and leather armor reflecting the light like diamonds implanted on their chests. Reaching for their phasers, the first three took cover and began firing at the marines while the fourth produced a bat'leth and began careening towards Shorinal, murderous rage in his red eyes.

"Vinar!" Storr yelled, swinging his phaser rifle towards the reeling Klingon and firing, the beam just missing his rapidly moving target. The Orion raised his phaser rifle to block the downward slash of the blade but momentum and a wicked edge won out, the rifle shearing and the two collapsing to the ground.

Martha saw the Klingon aboard to strike the Orion Marine with his blade and on the heaviest stun setting she shot the Klingon square in the chest - knocking out the man.

"Cusack...Lee...take the upper level!" Martha ordered.

Lucia and Chris quickly made their way to the upper level and almost immediately Chris was hit in the back by an opponent who overpowered him and kept him in a headlock with a knife at his throat.

"Drop it...or he dies..." the Klingon snarled.

Lucia slowly lowered her rifle to the floor before quickly drawing her sidearm and shooting the Klingon square in the head - although she wasn't so forgiving and had set her sidearm to the kill setting.

"You alright Chris?" Lucia asked.

Chris nodded. "Yeah. Thanks"

After confirming the upper level was clear Lucia called down to the party below to inform them of their finding.

"We're clear up here!" Lucia called.

Vinar stumbled under the now dead weight of the Klingon before tumbling to the ground. "Go on, I'm fine...just need to get this lug off of me!"

The other three Marines quickly bounded past their temporarily incapacitated teammate as it was more important to completely secure the room than help him out from underneath 250lbs of flesh.

Two remaining Klingons were in defensive defilade by the warp core, firing in a rapid staccato at the approaching invaders. "They're in there deeper than two ticks on an Arkansas coon hound!" Johnny Dupont mused, spitting on the floor by the main engineering status board that covered them from the disruptor fire. Storr grinned, then pointed to Johnny.

"Well, what is it that you get ticks out with, Lance?" the MCO asked, the two seemingly having a jovial conversation in the middle of a firefight. A disruptor bolt slammed directly into the console above Storr's head and showered the group with debris, reminding them that they were in the midst of deadly business.

"Fire,," Dupont answered, his face etched with a smile a country mile wide. Storr reached down and quickly examined his duty belt before removing an incendiary grenade left over from their dealings with the carna. He shivered at the thought of those bugs and the mission in the cargo bay in what had seemed months ago. Palming the grenade, he nodded to the two men.

"Frag out!" he yelled, hoping to alert the other away team members and depressing the thumb safety, lobbing the grenade over their cover and (surprisingly) accurately between the exterior bulkhead and the Klingon engineer's defensive point. The breath seemed to be sucked out of Garlake as it exploded, the binary agents combining to create an exothermic reaction which also was mixed with a binding agent that spread over the area, happily attaching itself to everything it encountered. Unfortunately for two Klingons, their skin was not immune.

A nearly prehistoric wailing echoed in the small room as the two Klingons burnt alive, the fat of their bodies accelerating the flames as it reached their skin. Storr stood and leveled his phaser rifle, thumbing the "dial-a-death" to kill and shot twice; the silence besides the few remaining crackling embers eerie.

Martha walked over to centre of engineering and summoned the away team to join her. She looked at Storr and decided it would be best to try and assume command of the ship from here rather than storming the rest of the ship and giving up their hold on Engineering.

"Alright...I think we should try and assert our control from here. If we leave here then we lose control of a vital part of the ship - thoughts?" Martha said.

"Take a page from Saalkan's book and cut life support from the Bridge?" Jaya offered. "That way we funnel them to us."

Martha didn't even hesitate to think about it. She looked at Chris - someone Martha knew understood Klingonese better than anyone else in her entire department.

"Make it so Mr Lee" Martha ordered.

Chris nodded. "Yes ma'am"

"Mr Garlake - suggestions on tactics to take out our imminent guests?" Martha asked.

The MCO stood in the middle of main engineering, looking across the charred and pockmarked room. Behind him rose the crackle of diminishing flames and cries of a wounded Klingon. In his nostrils was the sweet sticky smell of was a good day to die.

"Leave Cusack up top and I'll send Thani up there for precision fires from the high ground. Start progressively removing life support so that it funnels them here, but we need to make it look like our friends here won. Johnny, play dead over by the warp core after Vinar and I move his new dance partner over next to you so it looks like he's subdued you. I'll hide in the hallway and the rest of you can take positions on the perimeter...after they come through the door, we wait until they are all in and I'll cut them off from behind, putting them in a crossfire." Looking around the room, he made eye contact with everyone, resting longer on Jaya in hopes of getting a feel for how she had so far made it through their ordeal here.


Martha shook her head - she was satisfied with the plan and signaled for Lucia to stay on the upper level and wait for Thani to join her. Martha then helped the Marines enact Storr's plan to make it look like the boarding party had failed to take control of the engineering section.

"Alright...we're in business. Life support is shutting down in the forward end of the ship as we speak. We'll have about sixty seconds at the most before our friends arrive" Chris said.

Martha summoned Chris to join her in a position behind the warp reactor so they would remain hidden from view until they opened fire on any onrushing Klingons.

Lucia waited patiently for the Andorian to arrive and ensured the Klingon she had killed to save Chris was concealed from view to reduce any suspicion.

Jaya didn't know what else to do, so she hurried over to the corner hallway to stand behind Storr.

"Don't worry," she said in a blithe whisper. "I have your back."

Storr chuckled at Jaya's comment as he walked slowly backward until pinning the counselor between him and the bulkhead. While it was ostensibly to better protect her and provide greater concealment, the warmth of her body and the feel of her hands wrapping around his waist made him think of far more titillating things than close quarters combat.

Shaking his head, he ruefully removed her embrace and concentrated on the phaser rifle in his hands. *Fight now, play later*.

It is said that no plan survives contact with the enemy. It is also said that God looks out for fools, drunkards, and Marines. The clashing of these two maxims led to a near-gratuitous level of phaser fire, several edged melee skirmishes, and now what amounted to a classic standoff with three Klingons that managed to fight through the ambush and entrench themselves behind the warp core. While the Starfleet contingent had the larger numbers, the Klingons enjoyed a clear field of fire and the sensitivity of the warp core in their favor.

The MCO did not like the situation, more because it could have been avoided with faster and more accurate fire from everyone involved (including himself). Ducking behind a crate, he addressed the two ladies of the group.

"Lieutenant, Counselor, what's our next step? I'm a fighter, not a negotiator, and any of my proposals would involve high rates of energy weapon fire and potential casualties and/or a warp core, I'm all ears."

"Klingons aren't known for diplomacy," Jaya noted, her head poking around Storr's back. "But they do value honor and strength. Presenting a strong front could bolster one's bargaining position, if that's what needs to happen."

=/\="Vindex to assault team--report."=/\= The voice was Akiva's.

Martha replied. =/\="Stand by Commander. We're in a bit of a tight spot right now"=/\=

=/\="Back at you, Lieutenant. We're getting shot to shit out here. If you can't wrap it up quickly, then we're going to beam you out and let the Endurance blow those Klingon mamzerim to Kingdom Come."=/\=

Keen to complete their mission Martha decided to call off the back up plan and help fight their Klingon opponents to seize control of the ship before Akiva ordered them out of there. This was their only chance to sneak in stealthily and Martha and the away team weren't going to let it slide very easily.

=/\="That won't be necessary. Cusack out"=/\= Martha responded.

Turning to Storr she continued.

"We wait for them to arrive. We subdue the enemy and use whatever methods we can to force them to give us control of the vessel...that's what we're here to do after all" Martha called.

The Klingon opponents arrived - and there were a dozen Klingons in various positions around the Engineering section - which would be fine if they weren't armed to the teeth. Martha had a feeling her hunch was right because although life support to the key parts of the ship were cut off her tricorder suggested other than the dozen Klingons about to attack them there were at least another half a dozen in other parts of the ship - and closing on their position.

"Come out you Federation scum and fight like warriors!" the lead Klingon goaded.

Martha grinned. "With pleasure..."

Turning from her position behind the warp reactor Martha blasted the goading Klingon square in the chest and immediately sent the man flying into the wall positioned behind him before he crashed to the floor with a thud.

"You're outnumbered. You'll never get away from here alive!"

Chris lay down covering fire for Martha as she sprinted and dived for a new firing position to draw fire away from the fragile warp core. Once Martha was safely in position the Security Chief returned the favor for the Warrant Officer who took a similar position opposite Martha.

On the upper-level, Lucia was also laying down covering fire - trying to distract the attention of the trio of Klingons in the door to give those on the lower level an easier shot at their opponents.

Jaya felt the fight-or-flight response within Storr, and suppressed it as best she could through their direct physical contact. When an opening between suppressive fire presented itself, she squeezed his thick arm and whispered, "Go get them... hero."

The Marine's eyes squinted as he analyzed the various routes, fields of fire and positions of cover while Jaya's touch radiated warmth and her words of affirmation swelled his pride. It was an untenable situation indeed, yet he had an overwhelming aura of purpose, of possibility of...completion. He had never been so confident in himself or his team in his life and while he knew that it was mostly due to the spritely Deltan behind him, it was impossible to dismiss.

The Afrikaner bolted for the first row of engineering pedestals, disruptor blasts nipping at his boot heels. Swinging his phaser rifle around the corner with his momentum and firing twice, the bolts striking true and laid a Klingon flat. Retrieving the rifle back to his shoulder, the MCO looked up and whistled to the Andorian.

"Thani, suppressive fire on the left wall!" To others, it might seem to be a breach of secrecy or protocol but in the middle of a firefight only the loudest and candid directions could be heard and understood over the cacophony that was combat (especially in such small quarters). True, your enemy might well hear you but they are attempting to do the same thing; Storr wouldn't be surprised if the reason they had to yell so loud was because they were trying to out-talk their truly gave a whole new meaning to "a war of words".

Lance Corporal Thani th'Rrone rose to a knee from behind his cover and began firing rapid, sustained and aimed fire on the largest group of Klingons against the far wall, causing them to scurry for cover. The Andorian's smirk was immediately replaced by his own dive behind the scorched pillar as a volley of yellow energy impacted just inches from him.

It was enough. Storr lowered his shoulder and burst from cover in a flash, chewing up the short distance between him and the three Klingons in a mere breath. The impact was like a bowling ball into pins, though in this case the initial break was quickly followed by intense inter-personal combatives. The pile of bodies was flailing in kicks, punches, elbows, and various other body parts in attempts to land serious blows against their foe, as grunts and the occasional roar erupted. Luckily for the outnumbered Marine, twin phaser blasts peppered the three Klingons. Though they posed a greater threat when conscious, they now had become little more than dead weight, nearly crushing Major Garlake.

"Hrrmmuph!" was all LCpl Dupont could hear from underneath the pile of brown, ridged skin and leather armor. Heaving and hauling the three unconscious engineers to the side, he grasped Storr's forearm and heaved him to his feet.

"Thanks, Johnny," Storr breathed, dusting off his pant legs with a grunt. A puffy eye and ripped uniform under his right arm were only visible marks of the scuffle he had just unearthed himself from, though the Marine knew that he would be more than sore in the morning and likely have a shiner facing back at him in the mirror. Surveying his surroundings, he rested against the matter stream tube with a grin; nearly a dozen Klingons were sprawled in various states around Main Engineering, Vinar and Thani checking each for either vitals or data to exploit.

"I don't see the Captain here, boss," the Orion said, tossing a dozen name chips at his commanding officer. Garlake caught them by their chains and cursorily looked them over. "Think he's still on the bridge?"

Garlake nodded. "More than likely." Turning to the security chief, he continued. "We'll stay here and secure the rear if you feel comfortable going up there all alone." While the MCO's statement was somewhat ribbing, he knew that the two security members were more than capable of handling the bridge themselves. And, if not, hopefully, they wouldn't take out more than one or two of the remaining Klingons before the 2/5 had to reinforce...couldn't take away ALL the fun.

With the Marines successfully containing and subduing the Klingons in Engineering Martha, Chris and Lucia made a break for it in their EV suits towards the bridge. It was slow going but nevertheless it was progress - and they seemed to have defeated everyone in their path - but just as they thought they were on the home run they entered the bridge and found the Captain and First Officer of the ship standing there waiting for them with breathing apparatus. The Captain made a swing for Chris with his bat'leth - although before he could finish the job Lucia shot the man dead and trained her rifle on the First Officer whilst Martha walked around slowly to approach the man from behind.

"The game's up you big ugly bastard. Hand over the ship or die" Martha ordered.

The man sneered. "Never!"

"Are you quite sure about that?" Martha replied.

"Who are you anyway...Federation scum?" was the response.

Martha ordered Lucia to leave the bridge and wait just outside the door. With the door closed Martha didn't even give it a second thought - she wanted control of the ship and she wanted it now.

=/\="Vindex to assault team--report."=/\= Akiva felt desperate.

Martha replied. =/\="Stand by Commander. We're in a bit of a tight spot right now"=/\=

Lucia watched as the doors opened and Martha summoned her onto the bridge - with the craft now firmly under their control. The Klingon man was now unconscious in the command chair after giving into Martha demanding control of the ship.

"How did you manage it?" Lucia asked.

Martha grinned. "I can be quite persuasive"

=/\="Vindex to Cusack. I hope you have some good news for me, Lieutenant, otherwise prepare for extraction."=/\=

With Lucia giving her a knowing look Martha was pleased with Akiva's timing of requesting an update on the mission to capture the Klingon ship which despite its snags had ended up being a successful mission.

=/\="No need for that. We have control of the ship...give us a little while and we'll be ready to go"=/\= Martha replied.

=/\="Outstanding, Lieutenant! Bring your new prize about when ready, and we'll assemble into our planned formation along with the Endurance. Vindex out."=/\=


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