USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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The Takeover Begins

Posted on Sun Aug 13th, 2017 @ 3:15pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Megan Atkinson & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Master Warrant Officer Lucinda Ingham & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Arturo M'Rohass & Lieutenant Elijah "Eli" Dreznik & Lieutenant Arkady Sjet Dr & Ensign Finn Fulton

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Mortuary; Bridge; Main Engineering
Timeline: Mission Day 101; 12:30

With the alien having forced his way into the isolation booth using brute force he had cornered Lucinda. Holding a medical instrument in her direction the clearly agitated and angry man was desperate to get off the Vindex at any cost. He could do it alone - but there was no way he wanted to leave his crew behind.

"Wake them up. Now!" the man shouted.

Lucinda was scared but she did her very best to not show the man she was frightened. At the end of the day she had a job - but she knew setting the four of them loose could have disastrous consequences for the Vindex and its crew. They knew nothing about this species and there was every chance they could easily take over the Vindex.

"I can't do that. I don't know anything about you and your species" Lucinda replied.

The man scoffed. "I will help you. Get in there and wake them up"

"And then what? You'll kill me? We didn't shoot down your ship so your issue is not with us" Lucinda protested.

The man paced towards Lucinda menacingly and lowered the instrument he was holding. He could tell the doctor was being truthful on the former but the latter he did not believe. If the ship he was on was not responsible for their crash then why were they on it?

"Get in there and wake them up. If you help us then I won't kill you" the man responded.

Lucinda slowly walked into the mortuary and pulled open the first pod. Looking at the alien - who was still holding the instrument - Lucinda folded her arms and demanded instructions.

"Alright. You're going to tell me how to wake them up - otherwise I'll take my chances and let you kill me" Lucinda said.

The man reeled off a list of instructions and ensured Lucinda did exactly as he said before giving her the next instruction. After ten minutes or so the other three aliens were in various states of consciousness.

"What now? I'll probably be getting a court martial for this so it had better be good. If you want help getting off your ship I'm not an engineer so you're out of luck there I'm afraid" Lucinda replied.

The man chuckled. "Oh I know that. We want our shuttle back and after we leave this ship...we are going to destroy it"

As the tall doctor felt a sense of betrayal she realised that in reality the alien would have killed her. With any luck Eli and Arkady would be able to alert Security - but it had been a long time. Surely they would have done it in fifteen minutes?

Lucinda nodded. "I hate to tell you this but there's a lot more than one person on board this ship. You won't find taking it over and getting your shuttle up and running very easy"

"You're going to get them to hold off" the man responded.

Lucinda shrugged. "If you think so. I'm just a doctor - I'm low down on the ladder so I don't have the authority to order people around. That's even if I have a weapon being pointed me"

"If you don't then you and many...many others will die"

Lucinda shook her head in disbelief.

"So you were threatening me and saying if I didn't help you you'd destroy the ship - and now you're saying even if I do you're going to destroy it anyway" Lucinda replied.

The man stood behind Lucinda and held the scalpel close to her neck. The Warrant Officer was trying to buy time but it was clear that Security wasn't going to come.

"You listen and you listen carefully. You will do whatever I tell you to do otherwise I will kill you. Are we clear about that?" the man hissed.

Lucinda reluctantly nodded and watched as two of the three aliens came around and started looking at their commander and the doctor he was threatening. The commander let Lucinda go and shoved her into the bulkhead next to them - talking in an unknown language to the two men.

Another fifteen minutes later the four aliens were walking behind Lucinda - with the commander holding a scalpel close to Lucinda's back. To keep a low profile - at the commander's orders - Lucinda had taken them through the quietest corridors that she knew of.

"Take us to our shuttle. We need some weapons" the man demanded.

Pausing to think where the shuttlebay was Lucinda headed led them there. A few cramped Jeffries Tubes later they were outside the main shuttlebay. What Lucinda didn't know was that the shuttlebay was protected by voice authorisation codes and she wouldn't be able to get them in.

"Open it" the man ordered.

Lucinda pressed the button to open it - however the console buzzed and denied the doctor access.

"Access to this area is restricted to authorised personnel only. Please state your identity and your voice authorisation code to verify your identity"

"Do it" the man said.

Lucinda sighed. "I'm a fucking doctor. I don't have access to a shuttlebay containing an unidentified alien craft which invaded our territory"

The man turned to one of his men and gave him a nod. Using his sheer strength the man kicked the console twice before it shattered. Reaching inside he pulled a number of components out before the doors opened very slightly. Prising them open two of the men went inside and emerged a couple of minutes later - with Lucinda hearing weapons fire in the mean time.

"So you promised me you wouldn't hurt anyone and you end up shooting the people in there. I should call security...although I hate to say it...they will be on their way now. Whatever you want to do...do it now" Lucinda said.

The commander grabbed Lucinda by the neck and threw her into the bulkhead before pinning her against it.

"You're going to take us to engineering...the quiet way. Or you are going to die"

Lucinda gently removed her commbadge and carefully pressed it in as she tossed it down onto the floor.

"What is that?"

"It's a tracking device. If I leave it there then they won't be able to track us..." Lucinda replied.

"Lead the way"




Meanwhile on the bridge Claudia was minding her own business and relaxing in her chair.

"Captain...I have a transmission coming from within the ship" Ensign Callander reported.

"Put it up" Claudia ordered.

=/\="What is that? - It's a tracking device. If I leave it there then they won't be able to track us... - Lead the way"=/\=

"Where is it?" Claudia asked.

"It's outside the main shuttlebay. The sensors reported unauthorised weapons fire in the area about two minutes ago...the weapons signature matches that of the alien shuttle. I'm scanning for biosigns now" Callander replied.

Claudia turned to Akiva in the chair next to her.

"How the fuck did they get out? I thought Eli and Arkady were down there performing an autopsy on them" Claudia asked.

"Kavod haMet," Akiva whispered. "There was nobody else hiding on that shuttle. All we did was..." He trailed off with a gasp. "We had Biynah access its computer core! It may have triggered an autonomous response in the cybernetic organisms."

Claudia immediately realised that perhaps rummaging around the alien shuttle perhaps wasn't such a good idea.

"Perhaps not. Let's seal off the surrounding areas and work out how to find them. We must find Lieutenant Dreznik and Doctors Sjet and Ingham immediately" Claudia replied.

Akiva tapped his commbadge. "This is Commander ben-Avram to Security. We have an intruder alert. Lock down Decks 8 and 9 immediately."

=/\="Delameilleure here. I'll send teams to Decks 8 and 9 immediately. I suggest you shut down the turbolifts and seal off our critical areas"=/\= Emilie replied.

Claudia tapped her own commbadge. She was about to give an order she never thought she would - but she knew she had to.

=/\="Miss Delameilleure - I am ordering you to use the kill setting. These people are dangerous and need stopping"=/\= Claudia said.

There was a pause as Claudia knew she'd just ordered Emilie and the Security department to kill the aliens. If they could wake up after supposedly being dead who knew what else they could do.

=/\="Lieutenant?"=/\= Claudia demanded.

Emilie replied. =/\="Yes Captain"=/\=

Claudia then looked to the flight control station ahead of her.

"Mr M'Rohass...please take us out of warp and hold position. Make it look like we're having issues with the warp drive - just in case our alien friends are able to see what we're doing" Claudia instructed.

"Taking us out of warp now, Captain," Arturo said. "Everyone grab hold of your favorite internal organ."

To add to the charade, Arturo took a second to hit all call on his console.

"This is Lieutenant M'Rohass!" he said, trying to sound a little frantic. "All hands brace for emergency stop. Our warp field is collapsing!"

Despite his warning, Arturo managed to fake an unplanned warp field failure without too much turbulence. He let the ship drift while firing the maneuvering thrusters seemingly at random as if the Vindex was experiencing some kind of system failure. After a few moments of this, he stopped pretending that the maneuvering thrusters were malfunctioning, and got the ship under control. In truth, the ship had never been out of control. His seemingly random firing of the maneuvering thrusters was not random at all.

"All stop, Captain," Arturo said. "What did you think of my acting? I'll have you know I was a regular in Starfleet Academy's theatre troupe!"

Claudia smiled. "I'll have to bear you in mind if we ever decide to do a musical. That actually gives me an idea...someone remind me later"

"Disable turbolifts on Decks 8 and 9, and then raise shields," Akiva ordered. "We need to be ready for anything."

"Aye, sir," Ensign Callander said.

Akiva looked to Claudia. "Captain, do you think that will be enough?"

"I sure as hell hope so. With Decks 8 and 9 sealed along with the turbolifts their only way out is through the shuttlebay - although we've got to hope they haven't already slipped through the net. My only concern is they may try and take over this ship if they've found theirs is in the state it is. Normally that wouldn't be a concern with only four of them to deal with - but we know nothing about them" Claudia replied.

Akiva shook his head and repeated, "Lehizdayin kavod h'Met."

"Mr Callander - scan for the alien biosigns and alert security when you've found them" Claudia ordered.

Steven replied. "Yes Captain"

=/\="Ainscow to Sjet, Dreznik and Ingham. Please report to the bridge immediately"=/\= Claudia said.

=/\= "Sjet to Madame Captain, I cannot. Please direct me to security team tracking my nurse," Arkady's accent was thickening up, like muscles tensing around a familiar core of steel. "I have unfinished business with my autopsy patients." =/\=

Claudia moved around to the Tactical station and looked at the console as Steven worked in co-ordination with Emilie who was leading security teams to lock down Decks 8 and 9.

=/\="Doctor Ingham's commbadge was used to transmit a message which we picked up here - it would appear she has been taken hostage. Her commbadge is apparently static outside the main shuttlebay"=/\= Claudia replied.

=/\= "They will not stay near the shuttlebay. Madame Captain I suggest venting their shuttle to space. If they can get in, and get to it, we will not have super fun day. But they will find it harder to get shuttle through vacuum." Arkady was panting over the combadge, running hard. "Also, tell Cat at helm he is quite convincing. A+ thespian. Would give ovation of standing."=/\=

Claudia nodded. =/\="We need to keep that shuttle Doctor unless we have no other option. Weapons fire was reported in the main shuttlebay but absolutely no signs of any attempt to open the shuttlebay doors. If you can link up with our Security Chief and let her know everything you know about them we might stand a chance of taking them out before they damage the ship"=/\=

=/\= "Shoot them, very much. Is not rocket science. Why do Starfleet peoples enjoy making things so complicated," Arkady grumped. "Also, why do you make it so peoples have to run very far to get to places. Will design better ships. Arkady class. Will be best ship." =/\=

Akiva rolled his eyes at Claudia. Their CMO was a special one, all right.

"Speaking of the Security Chief," he said to Claudia, "I have not heard from her yet."

=/\= "This is Dreznik," said Eli in a calm, collected tone. "I am aware of the situation, Captain. I have accessed a weapons locker and I am armed...and on the hunt." =/\=

=/\="Alright Lieutenant. Be careful - Ainscow out"=/\= Claudia responded.

Tapping her commbadge again Claudia sought to get information from her acting Tactical Chief.

=/\="Ainscow to Delameilleure..."=/\= Claudia said.

The search for the aliens and Lucinda had been fruitless and with sensor scans and visual searches of Deck 8 and Deck 9 it had appeared they were too late in locking those decks down. Had they gone up or down?

=/\="No...we haven't found them. Decks 8 and 9 are clear of their biosigns. They have wounded a number of personnel in the main shuttlebay and we found Doctor Ingham's commbadge outside the shuttlebay..."=/\= Emilie responded.

=/\="They're either heading here or down to engineering...but where is the question. Keep searching Lieutenant - Ainscow out"=/\= Claudia replied.

"That's bad," Akiva said. "Very bad. I say we lock down Engineering and keep searching."

"Agreed. Mr Callander - lock out Decks 22 and 23," Claudia instructed.

Callander nodded. "Aye Captain."

Arturo tried his best not to appear antsy. He was strongly considering asking if he could have one of the other FCOs come to the bridge so he could join in the hunt for the Vindex's uninvited guests. But that wasn't the real reason he was antsy. Intellectually, he knew that Xiulan could take care of herself, that she was almost entirely independent. Almost. However, if she wasn't sheltering in place, which she probably wasn't, that would mean that she was looking for bandits to beat up. Problem was, if the bandit's heat signature didn't give them away, one could practically walk right up to her and not be recognized as a threat until she made physical contact with them. He wanted to hail her but first of all, to do so would be highly unprofessional, and secondly, she'd be really pissed if he checked up on her in the middle of a situation like this. So Arturo made a deal with himself. He'd trust in Xiulan's instincts and abilities for now, but if something gave him a reason to be concerned, he'd find a discrete way to check up on her. In the mean time...

Clackity clack. Clackity clack. Clackity clack.

Arturo drummed his claws on his console.




Meanwhile Megan was in Engineering and had no idea what was going on above them - she was busy working on some diagnostics with Finn and had no idea about the aliens whose shuttle she had helped take apart were about to storm into Engineering into a bid to take over the ship.

"So...are you going to apply for the Chief Engineer role when we get to Starbase Unity?" Megan asked.

"I thought about it," Finn began, "but I figured I would need to be assistant first. So my plan was, put my name in the hat, let people know I am interested in progressing and when you get the job, I can get made the assistant," he smiled.

Megan smiled. "I'm sure you'll do well either way - you're a good engineer and definitely our gain. If you could just pass me the-"

Suddenly the doors of Engineering slid open and the four aliens - along with their hostage Lucinda - entered the room and started firing at those present. A few were hit but instead of running the risk of being caught Megan grabbed Finn's arm and pulled him into the nearest Jeffries tube - shutting the hatch behind them.

"Thanks," Finn replied as he tried to catch his breath. "Why hasn't the intruder alarm gone off? It would have locked down the core. I hope they don't hit it, or we are all in trouble."

"We'll have to find a way back out there and lock it down. If whoever's out there gets hold of it we could be looking at a warp core breach" Megan replied.

Deciding to get in touch with the bridge Megan did her best to keep her voice down to avoid giving their position away to whoever was out there.

=/\="Atkinson to Bridge. We have weapons fire in Engineering - get Security or the Marines down here before they kill us all"=/\= Megan whispered.

A look of horror appeared on Claudia's face - if the aliens gained control of Engineering they could destroy the ship. Storming into Engineering could result in heavy casualties - however the longer they sat there the longer it gave them to damage or destroy the ship.

=/\="Stand by Lieutenant. We'll send help as quickly as we can"=/\= Claudia replied.

((Somewhere near the Shuttle Bay, a mad Russian doctor is running back towards Main Engineering carrying an axe, and speaking words in his native tongue that are...colourful. In fact many are the mortal enemy of the colour red.))

"I think it's about time we fought back..." Claudia said.

"Yes, ma'am." Akiva tapped his commbadge. =/\="Ben-Avram to Security. We have an Intruder Alert in Main Engineering. Seal all ways in and out, then shoot to kill."=/\= He met Claudia's unwavering eyes as he repeated her previous order.

=/\="Aye, sir."=/\=

"Captain...we have a hail coming from Engineering" Nealey reported.

Claudia nodded. "Put it up"

The leader of the alien group appeared on the screen whilst his three colleagues were holding a number of hostages - including Lucinda - close by.

"What the fuck do you want with my ship?" Claudia demanded.

The man sneered. "You're going to turn it over to me"

"That is not going to happen. If you haven't noticed we have engine problems so it's wouldn't be much use to you anyway" Claudia countered.

The man chuckled. "Oh it will. You have 10 minutes to send an engineer down here to get this ship moving - or I will destroy it"

The screen then went blank.

Nealey didn't know what to say. Her usual way of going about things heavy handed would not do the people in Engineering any favours. The only thing she could do now was help any attempt to retake Engineering as best as she could.

"The Security teams are already on their way," Akiva said to Claudia. "I just hope they get there in time. These aliens seem capable of anything."




Arkady trotted to a stop near the sealed doors to Main Engineering, nodding a panted greeting to the assembling Security breach team.

=/\="Arkady to Bridge, I am to join breaching team if all is good. I have patients inside who both need prompt medical attention and to be pronounced dead," he took a deep breath before adding. "Ochen' mertv."=/\=

Claudia was happy to hear from the Chief Medical Officer again. She was keen for him to offer advice to the Security team who would infiltrating Engineering - although she wanted to work out a plan of attack with Mark and Storr first.

=/\="You know more about them than most of us so I want you out there helping Security. If you haven't already meet up with them and hold position until we give you further instructions"=/\= Claudia responded.

=/\= "Otlichno," Arkady said with a clap of his hands, the comm link still relaying his words as he addressed the Security team. "We are dealing with tool using humanoids. Initial scans say they are human like, with cyborg additions. But these additions only supplement current capacity, they do not replace. Disabling the mechanics will not hamper overall combat effectiveness. But...treat like Borg all same: hit them fast, hit them hard. If energy weapons become ineffective pickup rifle from the business end, use as club. Very hard to modulate a shield to defend crushed skull. If you do not know how to do this thing, I will demonstrate with big Slavic grin on face. Leave you pretty image for later life." =/\=

 

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