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Old March 7 2012, 11:09 PM   #222
Location: Lyon, France
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Chapter 25

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Qwert settled against the wall, breath coming in a harried rush. He had scrambled his way through the maintenance veins as quickly as possible, though that wasn’t very fast anymore. His arms and legs ached.

Once he had his breathing under control, he reached forward and pressed his fingertips to the control boil next to the nearest opening. Lkim had explained how to use them as best he could, but Qwert still felt uneasy as the protrusion opened up. He felt warm, pulsing flesh encase his hand up to his wrist. The flesh sucked at his fingers, sending shivers up his arm.

If this doesn’t work… Lkim had not been sure whether the station would react to him considering that he wasn’t Laurentii. Qwert had decided to take the risk – it was more important to have Lkim in place to create a diversion. He just hoped he had been right.

With a wet smacking sound, the flesh wall in front of him drew back, creating a small opening. Qwert was so surprised that for a moment he forgot Lkim’s instructions. He remembered just in time, grasping the small nubin of flesh beneath his fingers, twisting it. The opening stopped growing.

Qwert peered through. He was lower down than before, just above Laurentii head level. Lkinym and his band of priests were in front of him, a few feet away. From here, he should have an easier shot at the enemy kruin.

Twisting the nub again, he forced the portal to close further. Once it was the size of an eyehole, he allowed himself to sit back and relax. Now all he had to do was wait for Lkim to do his part.

Shuttle Picard

When hologram-Ianto saw the Behemoths reach weapons range of Redemption and felt the bridge begin to jerk and shake around him, shuttle-Ianto brought the sublight engines online, guiding the snubnosed shuttle Picard out of the bay and into open space.

Immediately, his shuttle self was forced into a sudden evasive manoeuver to avoid an incoming Laurentii fighter. (0.01% of his mind trawled the incoming communications from the fighters that were scrambling around him and tagged the fighter as a tadpole). He flipped the shuttle on its back and passed between two bolts of energy, his instinctual reaction ten times faster than any non-positronic pilot could manage. Moments later, the tadpole vanished in an explosion of flesh and blood and metal and fire, destroyed by one of Starburst Squadron.

“We’ve got your back, Picard.”

Ianto activated the comm system. “Thank you, Starburst Leader.”

“Now what do you say we get on with this before my people get spaced?”

On Redemption’s bridge, hologram-Ianto smiled. “With pleasure.”

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Lkim, havac of the Laurentii Hegemony, warrior in the service of the holy Seefu, the general who had subdued the Hrud, the Kanasi and the Loos during the sacred crusade that had carved the Laurentii a place in this galaxy, crouched in the bile of the maintenance veins, wondering how it had come to this.

In all his years, he had never expected that one day he would be fighting with heathens against his own people. Of course, he would never have imagined the sacrilege and blasphemy that he had witnessed hours before in the kruin’s chamber. He had always known that Lkinym was an ambitious man and that he scorned Asuph’s decision to overlook him as his successor. Nevertheless, to go to such lengths…

Looking through the small portal, Lkim waited to see a similar portal open on the other side, confirming that Qwert had reached his position. He hoped that the strange old man would be able to use Ispaoreai Hyps’rat’s hussard’s. In all probability, he would. After all, it had been designed by the gods in such a way as to grow to embrace any of the races that the Hegemony welcomed into its fold.

Idly, he wondered whether the Federation would ever step into that embrace. Kruin Asuph had been so determined to get his hands on the Sarine that he had been willing to do something the Hegemony had almost never done in its history – ally itself with another group of races without embracing them into the greater whole. Now that he was gone…

The first step is to stop Lkinym’s insane war, Lkim told himself. Then we will see.

Across the way, he saw the portal open. He felt a surge of relief, followed by panic as the portal continued to open. For a moment, he feared that Admiralqwert had lost control, but gradually the portal slowed, then stopped. He could just about make out the man’s bald head and overlarge ears, then the portal closed again.

Lkim breathed a sigh of relief. The Ferengi had done it. Now it was his turn. Gripping the claw-like kasuistar in his hand, Lkim leaned forward and prepared to fire.

Shuttle Picard

Now comes the hard part, Ianto thought.

The Redemption-bound Ianto, the one that had transferred himself into the main computer of the starship to survive the destruction of his android body, reached out to act as a fulcrum for all of the other facets of his being. Creating a link between himself, the hologram-Ianto on the bridge and the shuttle-Ianto juking and diving through the masses of tadpoles trying to stop him reaching the station, Ianto fed the information streaming from Redemption’s much more elaborate sensors to his avatar aboard the shuttle.

The link-up and the instantaneous transfer of information took up most of Ianto’s remaining processing power. What it allowed, though, was for him to constantly cycle the frequency of the electrical field surrounding the shuttle’s torpedoes, notably the three containing the Borg nanites. It had been agreed that it was better to fire a full spread at the station, both as a distraction tactic and insurance against the station destroying the incoming warheads.

With the frequency cycling almost instantaneously to that being emmitted by the station and picked up Redemption’s sensor array, Ianto homed in on his target.

Hornet Fighter

Her people were being slaughtered.

Turner flipped her fighter through a series of dives and barrel rolls, her stomach dropping despite the artificial gravity generators that hummed in the fuselage behind her. She narrowly avoided the fire from an oncoming tadpole, then brought her ship around in a sudden snap roll. The pursuing tadpole was directly in her sights. She tightened her finger on the trigger and the enemy ship vanished in a splatter of fire and flesh.

Every time she killed one of them, she felt her stomach tighten. It was one thing to destroy a machine of steel and plastisteel, it was something else to destroy a living creature. Never mind that creature was trying to destroy her too.

She shook her head. She checked her screens and saw that two more of her people had gone, their fighters destroyed, in the time it had taken her to take care of her pursuer. Five now. Andrews, T’shak, Krim, Covak and Lawrence. Fuck it.

Slipping out of range of another attacker, she searched for the shuttle. It had managed to survive the maelstrom, her fighters keeping the enemy tadpoles off it. It was almost there.

Come on, you bastard, she thought as she destroyed another tadpole, her own fighter shaking as she was caught in the crossfire between two more. Finish it!

Shuttle Picard

It took Ianto 0.0001 seconds to recognise that he was within range of the station.

He allowed himself an extra 0.0018 seconds to confirm that the current shield frequency would hold long enough for his barrage to get through.

He took 0.00025 seconds to decide that the Redemption-bound Ianto’s analysis of the frequency pattern should allow him to discern three supplementary frequences just in case.

0.00200 seconds later, he had finished realigning the frequencies of his torpedoes.

0.00327 seconds after entering range, the Ianto-shuttle mind activated the launching sequence.

The torpedoes would take over five hundred times as long to reach their target. But they would be primed and ready.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Once he was in position, Lkim nevertheless waited for a few minutes until one of the soldiers moved out of range of Qwert’s position. It would be no good for him to create a diversion if one of those soldiers immediately began covering the walls and ceiling in search of another shooter.

The moment the soldier had moved on, Lkim sighted along the claw weapon. Qwert had explained his plan: take out one of the priests on your side and the soldiers and the priests will automatically scramble to protect Lkinym on that side. Within a few seconds, they will realise how stupid that is and they will spread themselves out. But those few seconds should be more than enough.

I hope you’re right, Lkim thought. Closing one eye, he made sure he had the priest firmly in his sights, and then he fired.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

The burst of green energy exploded from the far wall, lighting the kruin’s chamber in flickering emerald flames, engulfing one of the priests on Lkinym’s far side. Qwert tensed as Lkim’s attack birthed chaos, the Laurentii soldiers leaving their posts to converge on the soon to be kruin, while the priests screamed orders in the Laurentii’s strange tongue.

As he had hoped, the initial reaction of both the soldiers and the priests was to protect Lkinym’s other side. The group moved away from him, giving him a relatively clear shot on the usurper.

Just like Tindan, Qwert thought, remembering his assassination of a Vorta on Golan IV. I’m only going to have a few seconds, though.

Bringing the Laurentii claw weapon to bear, he brought Lkinym into his sights and prepared to pull the trigger.

Hornet Fighter

Turner pulled out of the corkscrew, exploding out of a mass of five tadpole fighters just in time to see the shield around Onyx Station erupt into brilliant white light. Her heart leapt at the sight and she checked her screens. Flipping up on one wing, she fired at one of the enemy fighters, vaporising it.

Did they get through? Did they get through?

Her questions were answered as her sensor package chimed. She allowed herself to relax.

“Package delivered,” she announced over the comm. system. “I repeat, package delivered.”

As her pilots shouted their happiness, she took a deep breath. Now we get out of here.

Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)

Mere moments before he pulled the trigger, the whole station shook beneath him. Qwert was thrown to the side. The jolt forced his finger back against the trigger and an eruption of heat and light exploded towards Lkinym.

He fell to the floor, the wall blocking his view of what had happened on the other side. He scrambled back to his feet within moments, only to be thrown to one side again as the station shook once more.

What is happening?

When he finally managed to get to his knees and peer through the opening, he realised that something had gone terribly wrong. Lkinym was still standing, looking down at one of the priests lying prone at his feet. On the other side of the kruin’s chamber, a group of Laurentii soldiers were dragging Lkim out of his hiding place.

And another group were heading straight for him.
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