USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Fightback - Part One

Posted on Fri Aug 18th, 2017 @ 8:42pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Major Storr Garlake & Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass & Lieutenant Mark Whistler & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn
Edited on on Fri Aug 18th, 2017 @ 8:44pm

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Main Bridge
Timeline: Mission Day 101; 12:35

With the aliens' threat still ringing in Claudia's ears she knew the time to fight back was now. They had to retake Engineering as quickly as they possibly could - ten minutes wasn't a lot of time to come up with a plan - but Claudia had every faith in her crew that they could come up with something.

=/\="Major Garlake and Lieutenant Whistler - please report to the bridge"=/\= Claudia said.

As soon as she had finished speaking, Mark stepped out of the turbolift and looked at the Captain. "You called?" Mark asked. He had already been on his way to the bridge when the call had come through.

"I did. Those aliens in our morgue have woken up and strolled right into Engineering" Claudia replied.

"How many and are they armed?" Mark asked.

"Four. And they are armed...but based on what we do know about them it is far from us versus four. And they have hostages in a very dangerous part of the ship - so we can't go in aggressively. We're going to have to be careful with our approach" Claudia responded.

"Main Engineering is under lockdown," Akiva added. "Two Security teams have already secured the surrounding decks."

Storr grumbled and rolled over, glancing sullenly at the chronometer. Monthly he would work a mid or swing shift in order to assess and encourage his men that worked during the down times but luck would always have it that something was required the next day. So far, Lady Luck was batting 1.000. Sighing, he ensured that the breath was gone before he tapped his comm badge. =/\=On my way, ma'am=/\= Even though it was after lunch, the MCO still considered it morning...and he wasn't a morning person.

Several minutes later, Major Garlake emerged from the turbolift onto the bridge, his trademark cup of steaming black coffee in hand, already half-drunk. Nodding to the Captain, he began eyeing the conference room for the replicator and the upcoming refill.

Even though they hadn't seen eye to eye over the time he had been there Claudia decided it would be prudent to get Kazyah involved as his skills were a valuable asset.

=/\="Ainscow to Linn. Please report to the bridge"=/\= Claudia said.

=/\="I'll get there when I get there"=/\= came Kaz's voice through the comm system before the channel cut out.




With everyone now present Claudia opened the floor to them for suggestions on how to retake Engineering.

"Options anyone?" Claudia asked.

"Can we gas them?" Arturo asked. "Anesthezine or something like that? It is, of course, ungentlemanly, but so is taking hostages."

"Would any gas be effective against a cybernetic species?" Akiva asked. He shook his head after an instant's consideration. "No, that's as likely to harm our crewmembers as the aliens." He pounded his fist. "Our Engineers are not trained soldiers. If only we had somebody on the inside who could ensure the safety of the hostages during an assault. As it is, our hostages are sitting ducks."

"I suppose it depends on the cyborg," Arturo said. "If only their limbs are cybernetic, they might still have functioning lungs, in which case they would be susceptible to anesthezine gas."

"Well, I see two options. One is to use holograms. The second is to make a two pronged attack. Have a visible group plan an attack or barricade. They focus there, and then I'll go in through the Jeffries tubes, and take them out without them knowing." Mark said. "Cut out the lights as well. I work best in the dark."

Akiva furled his brow. "Do we have any data from the autopsy? We know darkness doesn't slow the Borg down at all. The aliens might be able to navigate the dark as easily as the Borg, or yourself for that matter, which means turning off the lights is only a disadvantage for the hostages and other rescuers."

"I may not be an engineer and simply get drool all over the expensive equipment," Storr began, taking the last draught of his coffee and looking forlorn into the now-empty vessel before turning back to the gathered group, "but aren't cyborgs adaptors? Being as how virtually all 'civilized' societies use energy weapons, wouldn't simple, raw kinetic energy via projectiles or edged weapons be more effective? With all the whiz-bangery we have, sometimes getting-back-to-basics is what's needed. That, and...I might know a guy that's a crack shot with gunpowder firearms."

"Gunpowder?" Akiva fell even more incredulous. "And if that doesn't work, perhaps a slingshot next. Or simple melee." He sighed in frustration. "Apologies, Major. If you have a serious proposal, we are all ears."

Storr's brow knitted and reddened but the Marine remained silent.

Mark immediately pulled out a dagger from the back of his uniform, one of his curved Kulak daggers, and brought it to the XO's throat. After three seconds, he removed it again. "What's wrong with the Major's proposal? This is your problem, you people always think high tech, and so do they. You ever read the reports of the Enterprise when they went back in time? Bullets took down a Borg drone. Knives can do as well, easier than energy weapons. Energy shields protect against energy, no one expects low tech." Mark said, glaring at the XO.

Kaz happened to walk into the room at just the right time to see the Lieutenant's actions for himself. With silent footsteps, he walked up behind the man, just as he pulled the knife away from the Commander's throat. With a firm grip on his wrist, Kaz twisted the man's arm, throwing his body to the side, as he used his other hand to slam the man's face into a console.

"Listen here," Kaz said, leaning close to talk into the man's ear. "If I ever catch you pulling a weapon on any member of this crew ever again, I will kill you myself. And I'd probably get some sick pleasure out of it."

He looked back up to Akiva as he pushed the Chief of Security away, causing him to stumble to the ground. "Sorry I'm late," he said, crossing his arms over his chest.

Akiva ran a hand over his neck, but did not turn away from Whistler's glare. "Lieutenant Whistler, once this crisis is abated, you will bunk up in the brig until the captain and I discuss potential court-martial proceedings. Until that time, you will do exactly as you are ordered and nothing more. Should you think to draw a weapon on another member of this crew, understand Major Garlake will have orders to shoot you to the ground. Judging by Mr Linn's words, that would be a mercy. Have I made myself clear?"

Storr had simply watched the altercation with incredulity, letting it play out rather than giving in to his baser instincts. Akiva's words caused a sneer to crack his otherwise stone face; while the two had only moments ago butted proverbial heads, he had the utmost respect for the XO and knew that the Commander trusted him implicitly.

Claudia stood in the middle of everything and glared at everyone. In all her life as a Starfleet officer she had never been in the middle of anything like this - and she was going to make sure it was the last time too. She took a deep breath before shouting at the top of her voice.

"THAT IS ENOUGH! THIS SITUATION COULDN'T BE ANY WORSE THAN IT IS AND YOU LOT ARE FIGHTING AMONGST YOURSELVES...SORT OUT YOUR DIFFERENCES RIGHT NOW!" Claudia shouted.

Claudia felt a slight twinge in her abdomen but did her best to suppress it. Now wasn't the time for her pregnancy to be revealed to everyone present on the bridge.

As he stood up, Mark held back his instinct to throw his dagger into the Intel Chief's left eye, and glared at them. "Soon as the crisis is abated, I'm outta here. I'm only here because you people can't keep officers here it seems, and you can't keep dead people dead." Mark said. "They have energy shields, you use something that doesn't involve energy. Either that, or just detonate an EMP blast, shut the bastards down."

"Save it for the JAG office," Akiva spat. "And there will be an EMP detonation in Main Engineering over my dead body, because that would most likely get the rest of us killed, too." He turned to Claudia.

"Captain, do we have any idea of who is in Engineering at this moment? We need an accounting of all personnel who are at risk. If we're lucky, maybe one of them can assist with a diversion."

Claudia nodded. "If my memory serves me well Lieutenant Atkinson, Ensign Fulton and Petty Officer Zatra were on duty when I went down there earlier. They weren't visible in the communication so presumably, they have evaded capture. Getting in touch with them should be the priority"

"Agreed," Akiva said. "Have we heard from Lieutenant Atkinson since she reported the Intruder Alert?"

Staying in the background to monitor the situation from his post, Callander shook his head.

"Nothing Commander. According to my scans she is with Ensign Fulton in a Jeffries Tube just above Main Engineering - but talking to her over the comm system may be unwise" Stephen responded.

"And the other engineer?" Akiva asked. "The petty officer."

Major Garlake, having now taken his position at Akiva's side with arms crossed, turned his head slightly to address the First Officer.

"Shadi. I think that she would be an invaluable asset in a situation like this. Besides her natural ability to breathe normally in otherwise deadly or debilitating gases, she is an incredible fighter, sir, one that I would give my right..." Storr stopped himself before completing the crude euphemism and continued on. "Well, would be very happy to have in my ranks."

Looking over to Callander, *Who the frack is this? Another new guy? Blerrie, breeding like rabbits they are*, he replied after a moment of thought.

"She's an Academy-trained engineer so should know morse code, right? It might be a stretch, but I couldn't imagine that the toasters in Main Engineering would know it. It would be dismissed as random interference but we could get a message across without alerting them." The South African cut his eyes first to Akiva and then Whisperer, wondering if they would have a redux of their previous conversation.

"Isn't Shadi the one who wants to eat the ship or some shit like that?" Kaz asked, scratching the back of his head as he tried to think of an encounter that he never bothered to commit to memory. "I distinctly remember someone saying they were going to lick my office."

Akiva shot Kazyah a strange look. "All right, then." He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. "By now, Doctor Sjet should have met up with one of the Security teams. I want two joint breaches with Security and Marine personnel working together; Security will secure the hostages while the Marines target the hostiles."

He looked at a glowering Whistler. "Despite the brash lieutenant's poor judgment, Mr. Whistler's initial recommendation was not a bad one." Akiva cocked his head to Kazyah. "Lieutenant Linn will accompany him into the Jefferies tube above Main Engineering to ensure he does not exercise poor judgment again. If the assault teams fail for any reason, you both move in and do whatever it takes."

Finally, he looked to Arturo. "Lieutenant M'Rohass, it looks like we've found your road agents. If worst comes to worst, please do whatever it takes to ensure they find no quarter in that shuttle bay."

"I'll get what I need and get into position," Mark said, as he turned and walked towards the turbolift. "I'm assuming you don't need them in one piece."

Claudia shook her head. "It's beyond that now. Just kill the fuckers and don't let them hurt anyone or do any damage to the ship"

Major Garlake simply nodded. While it wasn't his preferred plan, it was good enough and there was no reason to object...especially given the earlier display. As much as everyone harped on leadership, followership was a lost art.

The Tac/Sec Chief already having exited the bridge, the MCO turned to the nearest panel and called up the communication channel. Storr relayed his instructions to his First Sergeant who then dutifully filled in Alpha Squad and the Security contingent, who even now were awaiting his orders. It would be straightforward. It would be loud. It would be brash. It would be deadly. What else were Marines for?

"Captain, with your permission, I intend to follow everyone to Deck 23." He had no intention of picking up a weapon unless absolutely necessary, but someone needed to be responsible for the hastily concocted plan. Might as well be the one who thought it up.

Storr raised a brow at the XO's comments, making a mental note to ensure Akiva was in proper defilade when the action started. Can't have the First Officer going and getting all shot up, now.

Claudia nodded. "I will be setting up camp in the Strategic Operations Centre so I can keep a closer eye on things. Lieutenant Snowdon is in command of the bridge until we return - any questions?"

 

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