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Old November 14 2012, 03:46 AM   #64
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"

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Shuttlecraft Oyekan

As a reflex, Ensign Kittles threw a hand over her eyes. The bright flash dissipated by the tint on the forward shuttlecraft window, but it still left spots in Karen’s eyes. She tried to blink them away rapidly as she brought the tiny vessel’s shields up.

Oyekan had come out of warp to the unexpected sight of a Romulan Bird-of-Prey, an old one that had been around in her grandmother’s day and a low slung, lethal vessel moving in on it. And then, seconds later, space had become ablaze, and now only the menacing ship remained.

Sensors detected that the ship had locked weapons on her. Kittles knew in her gut that hailing them would be a waste of time, and she also was certain that this ship was responsible for murdering her colleagues.

Part of her wanted to run, but she knew her colleagues deserved more than that. Ronald deserved more than that. Karen set her jaw and poured all power into her engines. Biting her lip, pushing down her fear, the ensign engaged warp drive. She would get them, before they got her.
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The Burning Claw
Command Deck

Deoch nearly jumped out of his seat. He was dumbfounded. “Wha-what is that madman doing?” He hadn’t even had a second to savor the destruction of the Romulan warship before more prey showed up. But this time, the Venturi didn’t know which would be prey or predator.

“It looks like they intend to ram us,” Nadeen calmly replied, a hint of admiration in her voice.

“Evasive maneuvers!” He hissed, restraining himself from bounding out of his seat to the helm. He blinked furiously as he watched the smaller craft getting larger in the main viewer. Gasps and hisses filled the suddenly claustrophobic room.

“The shuttle’s impulse engines have just been activated,” Nadeen replied, still calm, “It’s at full impulse now.”

Deoch’s heart thudded in his chest as Krendt pounded furiously at his control panel. The ship creaked with the strain as he attempted to move out of the way. Burning Claw’s struts howled in protest, but the ship lifted just above the barreling shuttle.

The sigh of relief had just left his chest, on the way to his lips, when the ship shuddered so violently that it nearly pitched him from his seat. The bridge filled with a horrific screech that made him clamp his hands over his ears. He shivered, as if feeling the skin of his beloved ship being shorn off. Lights blinked maddeningly as the deck plates trembled and klaxons joined the cacophony. Aft consoles sparked with smoke and fire, prompting quick thinking personnel to grab fire extinguishers hanging from the walls. Within seconds the calamity was over.

“What happened?” He asked, choking on the thin film of acrid smoke now permeating the bridge, “Where’s that shuttle?” Deoch wiped tears from his eyes as he waited for a response. He was hoping that its foolhardy pilot hadn’t gotten himself killed because the captain dearly wanted to shred that space scow.

Gedrik looked up from the hood of his console, his eyes brimming with tears. He sniffled, before answering, “The shuttle…is gone.”

“Status,” Deoch barked, standing up. He wiped snot from his nose. “How bad did it hit us?”

“The initial reports are not good,” the first mate said after looking down again.

“How bad?” Deoch clenched his fists as he stomped over to his second’s station. He really had the need to throttle something, or someone right now. Sensing his mood, Gedrik took a step back before answering.

“We avoided a head-on collision but the shuttle accelerated before we could bypass it completely.”

“That much is obvious!” The captain shrugged his broad shoulders before sweeping an arm around the room. His temperature began to rise as he looked at the blackened, burned out terminals. It would cost a lot of credits to replace them, and he shuddered to think about additional repairs.

“The collision took out part of our nacelle ring, we’ve lost warp power as a result,” he answered, his voice cracking. “Impulse engines are also offline.” Deoch flexed his shoulders, trying to hold on to his calm.

“How long for warp?” The idea of being stuck in this maelstrom, not to mention the regular dangers of the chaotic expanse, twisted a knot into his stomach.

Gedrik shook his head, “Engineering says they will not be able to restore them. Serious repairs are needed and they don’t have the tools onboard to do it.”

“Engineering?” The captain sneered, “Patch me through to Grebinold,” he demanded, “I have no time for his obfuscations!” Though the Pakled engineer was one of the best Deoch had ever hired, as typical with his kind, he his childlike speech and behavior masked a deceitful, cunning mind.

The first mate swallowed hard enough for Deoch to hear it. “Grebinold is dead.” He said.

“Well, who in the Five Hells is down there running the show?” Fear bubbled just under the cauldron. Grebinold understood the ship’s cantankerous propulsion system thoroughly.

“What about the Zibalian?” He asked, hoping that Grebinold’s assistant was still alive. He had bought the boy on after finally acceding to Grebinold’s demand for more skilled expertise than the brutes doing the dirty work he required.

“Yes,” Gedrik replied, breathing easier. Deoch’s hand swung out, ripping into the man’s too forgiving pebbled skin, his claws tearing easily through his cheek. Their soft skin was another sign of Horned weakness.

Clutching his cheek, blood seeping through his fingers and running down his arm, Gedrik stifled a cry, but his eyes blazed anew with old resentments. He saw the man’s eyes flick to the disruptor hanging from his holster. The captain smiled, daring him to.

“Do you know what that was for?” Deoch asked, wiping his blood stained hand across the chest of his tunic. The first mate wisely didn’t reply. “Don’t think you can breathe easy around me, not when this ship is in shambles.”

Gedrik bit down a retort. Deoch wished the first officer had the guts to speak his mind, because he really wanted to let loose. “Stay on the Zibalian like I will on you if you don’t get impulse back online as quickly as possible.”

“But captain,” the first mate gingerly ventured, “what about the polaric ion device? Readings indicate that it is nearby.”

“This vessel was nearly cleaved in two by some psycho and all you care about is that damned regulator?!” Deoch fumed, holding up his bloodstained hand, his razor claws protruding. Gedrik shrank back. “Your first duty is to me, to this ship! Do your duty, and then we’ll see about your littler regulator. For all this trouble you’ve put me through, that regulator better earn its weight in latinum!”

“But…I thought we were going back home?” Gedrik said, his face falling along with his faltering voice.

Deoch laughed, a discordant, grating sound even to his own ears. “Nobility has its place and all, but it doesn’t pay for new nacelles or whatever else we’ve lost. You can run your studies on it, see if you can replicate it, I don’t care, but I’m selling that piece of trouble to whoever can cover our expenses.” Done with the absurd scientist, the captain turned his back on him.

Deoch stepped away, to check the rest of the ship, when Gedrik’s voice pulled him back around.

“Captain?” He called, after clearing his throat. Deoch snorted as he turned.

“What is it now?!”

“You’ve been relieved,” Gedrik said, clutching his disruptor in his shaking hand. Deoch looked at the barrel of the weapon and then up into his eyes. Their color had changed, as had their intent. He had survived enough duels and brawls to recognize that look anywhere.

“So, you’re finally one of us now,” he chuckled before lunging. Gedrik pulled the trigger.
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