"Strangers in a Strange Land"
An ear-splitting ring rang through Lieutenant Ba'lon's head. It was enough to keep him where he was on the floor for several minutes, while shaking off the daze every so often. He hoped to regain his footing and hopefully figure out what the heck was happening. Then he heard the moan from underneath him, he looked to find his friend and fellow officer, Lieutenant T'Lea—a petite, Asian Vulcan with light brown hair that was longer gently resting upon her shoulders. She appeared to be unconscious from what the Dalfian could see. In fact he was a little worried that maybe he caused her to hit her head off the grated floor.
Hesitantly he touched her neck, hoping for any sign of a pulse, until he realized how stupid that was of him. There wasn't a way to determine a Vulcan pulse like that, and he would have face-palmed himself if it were for the splitting headache constantly pounding from the back of his head. Then as he tried to lift himself up, all of the sudden he stopped with a small wince escaping his rocky-lips. A sharp, searing pain shoot along his back, keeping him where he was. Then came the smell of burnt fabric, filling all four of his nostrils, making the brutish Lieutenant furrow his stone-like brow. He remembered seeing where the surge was going next through the consoles, and then remembered the sound and heat from the explosion behind him. Figured there would of been shrapnel from something that close exploding. Still Ba'lon knew he had to try and move, he didn't want to squash his friend and finding out who else was alive was the next step, before trying to get T'Lea and himself out of this burning death trap.
Gathering what he could of his strength, Ba'lon then rolled onto his side, removing himself off of T'Lea. Keeping an eye on her too see if she was close to waking up, he skimmed the operations and science station platform of the Command and Control room. Fires were blazing with sparks continuing to shower down on the floor in some sections. Smoke became thicker and made it little by little, harder for him to breathe. As the Dalfian Lieutenant forced himself to sit up, he checked under the console they we're right next to, and looked for the emergency med-kit. With any luck there was a re-breather in with the case, and if they were extremely lucky—more then one.
With a forceful kick to the trapezoid shaped panel that covered up the medical supplies, it flapped down and dangled there on it's hinges. Quickly Ba'lon drug himself agross the grated flooring and reach in to pull out a the standard, Starfleet grey med-case. Putting it upon the floor he pressed the release switches on the edge facing him, he heard a click from both in unison and raised the cover up. Inside there he saw the usual med-kit equipment, a hypo-spray, hypo-medicine capsules to plug into the spray—each one with a specific label. A thin, curved silver, field cordical stimulator below the hypo, beside it there was small, square, grey device. Ba'lon figured it was a dermal regeneator. In the top section of the case held the usual bandages, laser scalpel, cauterizer, among other things. The kit had almost everything you needed in a first aid kit.
Grabbing the med-kits tricorder first though, he checked out T'Lea's bio signs, and they seemed to be in order... for a Vulcan. Putting away the medical scanning device, he then reached for the hypo-spray, locked in one of the clear capsule filled with a blue-ish liquid, and pressed it to the side of her neck. Punching in the precise dosage at the back of the nozzle, which was still just as tiny as ever and a little bit difficult for him. Ba'lon managed and hoped it'd be the right amount to wake her up... or worse case scenario... he get to see a Vulcan hyped up like a hamster on caffeine. Or better yet, like that human from that earth program someone loaned him... Back to something. Ba'lon couldn't remember much more then it saying it was part three though.
Taking a deep breath and then slowly exhaling it out of his four nostrils, Ba'lon pressed on the back panel of the hypo. The familiar hiss came from it as the waking agent seeped into the pores in the young looking, Vulcan's neck. After he removed the spray, the hulking, Dalfian found himself leaning over his unconscious friend. Seemingly there was no reaction yet, and looking at the dosage he programed in, he was sure it was enough for her species. Injecting any more probably wouldn't be such a good idea, so he decided to give her a minute and lightly nudged her on the shoulder every so often.
“T'Lea? Come on, wake up,” spoke the brutish orange, stone-like alien quietly, whilst keeping an eye out for anyone else that seemed to be alright.
At the moment the Asian Vulcan Lieutenant's eyes slowly began to flutter open. Taking in a breath it was sharp and abrupt. She continued to lay there for a bit though, to allow the sudden pain in the back of her head to subside. It wasn't going easily, but with luck, T'Lea figured that maybe she would be able to meditate and block the pain somewhat. Doing her best to drown out he distractions, she closed her eyes slowly and started to wipe her mind clean of random thoughts. Focusing on the blankness or whiteness could call it... pretty much focusing on nothing was the key, to blanket out every stray thought. Soon there was no pain, or to describe it more accurately... the pain was somewhere else, far away and faint that it was pretty much non-existant.
Ba'lon watched as T'Lea slowly opened her eyes once more, and as she attempted to sit up he braced her with a hand on her back. “Easy, T'Lea. You have a mild concussion and a few bumps and bruises... if I'm reading this thing right,” he siad, gesturing the tricorder in his other hand.
“Thank you, Lieutenant,” she thanked Ba'lon in her usual Vulcan, unemotional tone and then stiffened up a bit. “I do believe your readings are correct though. This is... very agitating.”
“You? Agitated? How can that be?” Ba'lon mocked jestingly.
“I appreciate your sense of humour to bring some... levity to the situation. But I do not believe it is the appropriate time, Lieutenant,” replied T'Lea while getting to her feet with Ba'lon's aid as he rose with her, subtly grunting from the pain. “Are you injured as well?”
“I'll heal...,” replied Ba'lon gingerly touching around his back, “Might take some pain killers though. Granted my Mother would have my head if she found out I injected such a substance. But... in this case... I'll make an exception and do the forgiveness chant later. To appease Mom, even if I don't tell her.”
With an eyebrow raise, T'Lea gave him a rather questioning look but decided to just accept it and not delve into her colleagues personal matters. “We should attempt to find other survivors and then find a way out of this as soon as possible. I'll scan around, and you can attend to your needs.” She then took the tricorder from her friend and flipped it open as she wandered over to the first body she found, splayed along the grated floor. Unfortunately they were dead, but the Asian Vulcan didn't let it bother her, at least not on the outside. Quickly she moved to the next person and so on, and so forth.
Meanwhile Ba'lon replaced the capsule in the hypo-spray he just used with the pain killers variant, which held a green liquid. As he pressed it to the side of his neck, he injected the chemicals, then suddenly from the corner of his eye, he saw some movement. Looking in the direction of the upper platform, holding strategic command stations, and docking console consoles, he saw the column of light emanating out of the floor. The light was fractured every time there was movement from inside, Why would someone be inside the computer core, he wondered? Unless they tried to shut down the cascade that went through most of the consoles? Tapping his com-badge, he quickly looked to find T'Lea, “Ba'lon to T'Lea.” There was no response and assumed the communications signal relays were fried. Great, more stuff to fix later, thought the Dalfian to himself.
Checking to see where T'Lea was again, he slowly limped his way over towards her, trying his best to remain as quiet as possible. Just in case the humming and ruffling from the cooling systems inside the computer core weren't enough to block out any noise being made from his limping. Something just didn't sit well with Ba'lon, even though it was entirely possible that someone was in there working on repairs. He wanted to be safe and get some back up before checking it out. Maybe even grabbing a phaser or two, if he could find one.
T'Lea was crouched next to a young, female ensign, and from the tricorder readings there was not much that could be done to save this person either. They were barely alive as it was but they wouldn't be for much longer. The Vulcan lieutenant found herself staring the eyes of the dying, blond, curly haired ensign, covered in large burns and scrapes from head to toe, and massive burnt puncture through her abdomen. It was indeed cauterized but the internal damage was worse how it looked on the outside.
Even calling upon her Vulcan disciplines became difficult as the sound of the young ensign's hyper ventilating, was all that could be hear over the constant sparking and burning consoles. But it wasn't just that. It was also the fact that this ensign's eyes remained wide open and stared right back into hers. The light within them slowly fading into a blank stare as her breath slowed down to utter, squeaking gasps while desperately clinging for life. T'Lea stayed with her, even though she wasn't obligated to, but from what she knew of humans—this was the right thing to do. Logically it didn't make sense to her, and moving onto the next person would of been the correct procedure... There was something in the young ensign's eyes that kept her there, and maybe in some strange way... comforting this girl before she went, was logical in some way she just could not see. In fact not too long ago this could of been her, if Ba'lon hadn't jump in the way of her exploding console when he did.
Maybe somewhere within her Vulcan heart, there was indeed some shred of emotion felt for this poor victim. Slowly T'Lea reached a hand out and gently closed the deceased ensign's eyes, and silently she hoped that this person was able to find a sense of peace in wherever her essence escaped to. There was similarity there between the two races. In that both had a soul, even though what the Vulcan's believe was what they called a Katra. From what T'Lea had read on human beliefs, it didn't seem to be all that different.
Soon after T'Lea heard the shuffling limp of someone moving behind her, and from the sounds of the subtle grunting due to her Vulcan hearing, the Asian-Vulcan Lieutenant figured who it was. “Yes, Lieutenant?” T'Lea asked without looking, while starting a scan ont he fellow beside the young ensign.
“T'here is someone's in the computer core, up there. Look,” said Ba'lon quietly while gesturing with his right hand towards the open computer core.
Taking her attention from the tricorder she then gazed up towards Ba'lon pointed on the high level behind the ops and science consoles. Indeed there was someone in there as the column of light form inside the core was being fractured by someone's movements. Raising an eyebrow, she looked over to her colleague. “Another survivor, perhaps?”
“Perhaps...,” Ba'lon repeated looking T'Lea with concern in his eyes, then as he looked back to the open core, “Perhaps not.”
T'Lea slowly looked in the direction her friend was looking, and had to admit that she was indeed curious. Though there was what the human's called a gut feeling that there was something indeed off about this.
GS1: Storage Compartment 22.
The dark, short hair, athletically though bruised, Lieutenant Tara Renn found herself alone in that nearly barren storage compartment. She wasted no time attempting to get from the makeshift shackles around her wrists, that was subsequently chained to the floor in front of her. Trying with all her might, even though every time she did, the pain from her broken ribs shot through her like a hot poker being jabbed into her side. That chain just would not break. Cursing under her breath, Renn slowly slid down the back wall to the floor, attempting to catch her breath. She had to give it to the guy, he certainly knew how to make a good pair of cuffs at least, she just wished she wasn't the one that was cuffed with them. Renn grinned as she thought about how they could be fun under a different set of circumstances, before shaking off that thought.
Sitting there on the floor again, Renn began to inspect the room for anything she could find to free herself. Unfortunately there was only a few boxes, some tools, what looked to be the casing of a hand phaser, and the open panel with the mini-panel and monitor attached to it. Things certainly weren't looking to be in her favour though. While laying her head back against the bulkhead she closed her eyes as the pale, blue light above caused her some discomfort. Or it was a combination of the neck pinch and the light and everything else that ached all over. With a sigh she lowered her head and then slowly eyed the tools over again, checking them out one by one, hoping to at least find something within reach to use to cut the chains, or at least free her from the floor. Then maybe, she would have a fighting chance whenever that saboteur came back.
All of this did start to remind her of a time when she found herself captured and held prisoner, by a small band of Cardassians. Though in all honesty she did not want to remember that particular memory, not now or ever again. Under her breath she cursed the room for somehow drawing that memory to the surface, even though it was stupid, blaming a inanimate object was just foolishness. But nevertheless it surfaced and Renn foundself beginning to relive that time, within the confines of her mind. In fact one could call it prison of her own making.
The sent of the dusty, dark and damn cavern was the first sensation to come back to her. Then there was the light of a burning fight pit, made by the Cardassian soldiers as they tried to remain warm during the long night. Being on a lone mountain-ranged world, far away from either homeworld, gave no sense of comfort to any of them. But that one Cardassian, she assumed was the leader eyed her for a long time that night. Renn could feel his eyes piercing through her and reluctantly undressing her—she could smell burning desire reeking off of him. It disgusted then young, Bajoran officer to no end. What she wouldn't give to break free of her binds, just so she could tackle and beat that monster within an inch of his life, then squeeze out his last breath with her hands wrapped tightly around his neck. The primal need to watch the lights go out within his eyes became almost dire now. She hated the Cardassian bastards who occupied her world, pillaging, using up the natural resources, raping and butchering civilians at their leisure, and oppressing the entire people under their boot.
Renn realized it wasn't the exact same situation like it was back then, and that the Cardassian occupation and the Dominion war that followed had been over so many years now. That was another thing that crossed her mind, was it a new Dominion plot? Could this person be working for them? Maybe he was a Changeling, or some other shape shift race of sorts?
Then from the corner of her eye she spotted something on the floor. She looked at the small, five inch, cylindrical grey device, which had a thing, rounded neck connected to a flat nozzle. It appeared to be a laser scalpel, a quality one in fact, and also one of those high-energy types. If she could somehow reach it, maybe it would be enough to cut through the chain at least. Renn believed it to be worth a try, as there weren't many other options popping up right now.
Doing her best to manoeuvre herself over enough, the inured Tara Renn extended her left leg outward in hopes of reaching with her foot, enough at least slide the small surgical instrument closer. Though after the first two attempts caused her ribs to send hair-splitting arcs of pain through her upper body, she found herself already regretting this choice of action. Instead of giving up though she gitted her teeth, and tried to hold back the gagging from the dryness in her mouth, coupled by the shocks of pain from her side, and begrudgingly continued her attempt.
GS1: Corridor en-route toAdmiral Headly's Office.
Amanda and Charles walked along down the corridor together, side-by-side, but not holding hands. Though the thought crossed their minds and a few times on the way up to her office, their fingers brushed quite a bit. Neither one wanted to be the one to take the first step in making things go any further for one reason or another. Deep down the yearning for that connection was strong for both of them, but still, they fought it off and buried those thoughts even more. This was not the place or the time for that, not while the station was on Yellow Alert with a terrorist playing hide and seek somewhere. In fact he could be anywhere, attempting to sabotage anything and everything. Destruction so far had been the only goal they could figure, well destruction and fear, or possibly to show how unsafe the Federation really was. And if thise was done by an already established enemy... the question was “Why now?”
“Hmmm?” inferred Charles, looking in his ex-wife's direction, seeing her looking straight ahead. From what he could tell she was certainly deep in thought. “I haven't seen you that deep in thought since... well... in those thirteen years of being with me.”
“Lot can change over time, Charles,” Amanda replied with a sigh, “I'm trying to piece together the reason, or reasons... why something like this is happening now. As well as who could be behind it,” she turned to her ex-husband and continued, “Who has what to gain by starting a wave of terror with us now? Romulus and Remus have been destroyed, and those who didn't want to come to us for aid banded together as pirate factions. But in a long drawn out conflict, they must know they wouldn't last very long. The Dominion are obeying the last non-aggression treaty we've had them sign, though from the reports... it is possible they are dipping their toes in this neck of the woods again. The Borg wouldn't even think of doing this. There's the So'na, but I can't see it being them either. Cardassians?”
“I don't know if we can really pinned this one any one of them, maybe if they were working in a group...,” Charles interrupted and once he mentioned possibility of others working with Borg, they both shared a look of disbelief.
“Nah,” they both said in unison as they shared a small laugh.
“That doesn't seem likely to happen, in any universe,” said Charles, stepping out of the way of an incoming crew member coming from the other end of the hall. “It's all possible that this could be something new.”
“I doubt all alone though,” added Amanda as they turned the corner and quickly walked towards the twin, gun-metal grey doors, with a maroon center that lead into her large office.
“I agree,” Charles chimed in, “Whoever is behind this... they are seldom ever alone.”
Stopping just outside Headly's office, Amanda turned around to her husband while punching in her door code without looking and said, “Being armed for bear isn't sounding so bad now, is it?”
“I can't say I'm anymore thrilled about it then I was earlier,” Charles said, looking just a calm as ever though there was a stern disapproval in his eye, behind that little smile he gave her on the surface. “But I'm sure it will come in handy. Eventually. And hopefully for constructive purposes rather then the what they are obviously designed for.”
“When have weapons ever been known to be used for that, right Charles?” questioned Amanda with a little grin of her own. Then the doors behind her whooshed aparted with the usual sound and she was first to enter the darkened office space.
Captain Gibson watched his lovely ex-wife enter the darkness of her office and slowly seen the lights dimly illuminate the room from within the darkened doorway. He thought about what she had just said for a moment and then grinned to himself to an old Starfleet mission brief that was required reading at the Academy during his younger days as a first year cadet. Then he said quietly to himself before entering the room, “I can think of one occasion where it's applicable.”
GS1: Security Office.
Admiral Gary Radcliffe stood behind the shoulder of another middle aged looking Security Officer who he had gotten to know for the passed few years. They both huddled over the laptop console, trying to get the CNC communications back up. All there came from the speakers though, was static, though a few minutes earlier everything was fine. Then suddenly someone shouted there was an overload in progress, and the sound of explosions blanketed out everything else. Until there was only nonthing but the static they were hearing now.
“Still can't reach CNC, Chief?” Gary asked.
“No, Admiral,” replied the silver haired, European, Security Chief while adjusting his gold uniform jacket before getting out of his chair, heading over towards a wall safe. He punched in a code, heard the click and hiss and then turned the grip before prying it open and reatrieve a couple hand phasers. The Chief tossed one to Gary and slid the silver and black, thinly curved and flat weapon on front of his left hip. Gary did the same as he followed him out of the small, violet-grey office. “We're going to have to go up there and see what's going on. And I'd rather you be armed, Admiral. For your safety. I'll be taking up most of my officers with me. If it's the saboteur that's behind it. Could get messy.”
“I appreciate that the concern, Chief Lorenzo,” Radcliffe said appreciatively. “But I will be accompanying you and your officers. No butts. And it's Admiral's prerogative, understood?” he added, and held up a hand to stop Lorenzo from protesting any further, “And we're going, right after I inform Fleet Admiral Headly.”
“Yes sir,” said Lorenzo said with a hint of disapproval in his voice.
Radcliffe tapped his comm-badge, causing it to make that little electronic chirp, “Radcliffe to Headly.”
Lieutenant Ba'lon searched with his long vision across the far end of the Command and Control deck. What he was looking for was a mini-weapons locker, he needed to grab a couple phasers for him and his friend T'Lea—who was still checking over the dead and injured. Just in case things got heated if whoever was in the computer core, wasn't friendly. Spotting something that looked like small weapons cabinet in the wall, covered over by debris, the brutish Dalfian then attempted to limp his way over towards it.
“I think I see a hand phaser locker under there,” said Ba'lon passing his Vulcan friend, crouched in front of another body.
T'Lea looked in the direction he was heading in and raised an eyebrow at the mix of collapsed grating and broken pieces of bulkheads. Perhaps his enhanced vision did give Ba'lon an advantage to see hidden objects. Turning to look and see if anyone was coming out of the computer core, she hoped that her friend was right about the weapons locker. If whoever it was happened to be the one behind the terrorist actions on the station, they no doubt could use the fire power, at least maybe to hold this person in custody. T'Lea had no doubts that security was indeed on their way. Just that getting the doors open or the turbolifts operational was another matter entirely. Although if need be, there were other ways to get in and out of C.N.C. None of them were fast passages though.
After limping and grunting as he struggled his way over top of fallen bulkheads, damaged consoles and what have you, Lieutenant Ba'lon reached wall. Still turning to see if their guest had heard all that ruckus, he sighed with relief that no one appeared to see what was going on. Now just to remove the drbris before him without getting the person's attention was another matter entirely. Gently, but forcefully, he grabbed onto the edges of the grating. Ba'lon gave one more look see and then heaved with everything he had. Scratching against the other debris, caused a small, though loud, screech to escape. The Dalfian froze and quickly checked to see if there was anyone popping out of hte computer core again.
The movement inside the core stopped for a moment, then slowly started to continue whatever it was doing. No one peaked out of the hole to see what caused that noise. Although Ba'lon was sure that whoever it was heard it, and wondered to himself why they didn't come out to investigate. He knew he could have... after taking several deep breaths to calm his nerves. Sadly it was a characteristic of his race to be cautious.
Once finished, T'Lea closed up the tricorder and attached it to her right hip, allowing the magnetics to kick in and grip the metallurgic fibres in the fabric of her uniform. Then she moved up to a nearby console in the same direction that Ba'lon was in, though only a few feet away from him. While typing in some commands to see how bad the communications were, she hit the volume control and turned down the sound level of the buttons. It was a good precaution with the possibility of having a intruder in the vicinity. From the read out monitor, T'Lea could see that the comm-relays were fused, both the transceiver and receiver were both shorted out. This told her that any hope of calling for outside assistance would not be likely, albeit futile. Though if the standard ways were cut off, there could very well be a not so standard, or orthodox way to get around it. Perhaps tapping in through the replicators or transporters came to mind. As an old teacher of hers taught her during her time at the Vulcan Science Academy: “Once you eliminate the possible, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
GS1: Storage Compartment 22.
Inching her foot ever closer to the laser scalpel on the dark, grated floor, Tara Renn held in the urge to grunt from the pain in her side. Oh did she wish she had more of that stimulant in her system now, though that wasn't the main priority right now. The thing to do now was to get free and then take a look at that console. She knew the terrorist had used it to beam himself away, and from the looks of it, the miniature screen had doubled as a mini-monitor of sorts. Then glancing over at her belongings on the floor, the flap left open, Renn considered going after that next instead.
Finally she reached far enough and carefully slid the laser scalpel over, and managed to get i between her feet. Reaching down with her cuffed hands she was able to grab in a under-handed grip, while examining the surgical tool for the activation button. It didn't take her long to realize there were two and quickly pressed in the bottom one with her thumb. The emitter shortly activated a thin, red energy blade. It's hot-white cored reflecting in her eyes as the twenty-eight year old Bajoran woman, caught herself staring at it for a long time.
The red glow gave off no heat from what she could tell, but that light was enough to make her think back to that campfire. As the memories of that night flowed back into her mind, her face got scrunched up as the anger swelled up within it. Quickly forcing herself to focus on the task at hand, she stabbed into the chains with the energy blade. Sparks and trailing clouds of smoke lifted off of the impact point and drifted upward, dissipating into the recycled air. It was only a matter of seconds before the chains dropped with a loud CLACK and CLANK against the metal grating. Unfortunately Renn didn't feel brave enough to try cutting off the cuffs though, given how close they were to her skin. But at least they could prove useful in hand-to-hand combat maybe. If the occasion should ever arise, and in fact part of her hoped that it would. She had every intention on cracking that terrorist's skull open if given the opportunity.
Clicking off the instrument she quickly, though clumsily crawled on all fours, gritting her teeth through the pain all the way over towards her duffel bag. Granted it was a short distance, but with that constant throbbing from multiple broken ribs, among everything else that hurt; that distance seemed or in fact grew to be longer that it really was. Reaching into her duffel bag she pulled out the mini-med-kit and took out the hypo once more. There was barely enough in there, and sadly that was typical for such a small kit of supplies. Cursing it she shook her head and injected the last of it into her system, and just as Renn assumed, barely enough to take away the pain.
“Better then nothing...,” she exhaled and then slowly, cautiously stood to her feet. Renn did feel a little wobbly, perhaps woozy, but she did her best to take care while quickly walking over to the open console. Checking it out she seen where the transporter had been tied in, though how he was monitoring everything and not being detected was another thing to figure out after. As she ignited the scalpel again, the young Lieutenant tactical officer reached into the open panel and slowly eased the tip of the blade towards the connecting, tri-copperite wires. With a flick of her wrist they were instantly cut and she quipped, “Let's see you beam out now.”
She signed in relief that there were no sparks, no explosions, nothing to say that it was rigged to take out anyone that tampered with it. She thought about it for a second and figured maybe he never thought of anyone getting this close to his handiwork. Although that was a bit peculiar that someone with that kind of knowledge wouldn't have rigged this to blow if there had been any tampering. Then her eyes shifted to the mini-monitor—that was when the realization kicked in. “That must be rigged at least...”
GS1: Admiral Headly's Office.
Amanda Headly sat along with her ex, Captain Gibson on one of the comfy sofa's, the one closest to the doorway on the upper level, in front of the large window that towered them both. If there was ever a moment to feel like insects in the vastness of space, without needing a suit to keep you from exploding from the insie out, this was it. The wide open panorama of the twinkling darkness, together with the almost holy illumination of the atmosphere from the planet below. Combine that with the lights from the station and the other celestial, planetary bodies in the distance. It was indeed, breathtaking, even to those who work in this impressive scape of infinity on a regular basis.
They both casually sat there, chatting and enjoying a class of wine while in each others company. There was no sense of rank, or duty as they talked. This wasn't about that, but rather this was a personal conversation, one where they would have to be alone to have. Rather then out in the open where anyone could eavesdrop on them at any time. Neither of them wanted the uniform to get in the way, and Amanda took that a bit further, by having the front of her uniform jacket open a bit. Though she did this to be a little more casual and relaxed, she did realize that Charles could see a bit of her exposed cleavage, and absentmindedly pulled her jacket a bit closer, to conceal herself a little more. The though that the alcohol could be effecting her did cross Amanda's mind though, cause this wasn't synthahol. No, this was the good stuff, the real, genuine article, inhibition lowering drink that you had to bring on board yourself. Or know someone who owed you a favour or two, though sometimes it was given as a gift, depending on the occasion.
After taking a sip from the decanter glass, Charles looked at it and said, “Klethnorian, 2293?”
“Yes,” Amanda replied, raising her glass to take another sip of hers though also to hide her smile. “You've had it before?”
“Yeah, once.... This same year actually,” he replied.
“I got it a month ago, from a Cargo drop,” she said, taking a deeper sip, “It was a gift.”
“Mhmm. Well an interesting year..., from what I've read anyways,” added Charles, looking at the dark, purple-red liquid as he swirled it around in the large glass before taking another sip, “A very... interesting year.”
Amanda stared for a long time at Charles as she drank, only realizing she was drinking a little more and faster then she should have. Tipping the glass back away from her mouth she caught a bit dribbling down her lip and wiped it away. Indeed this stuff was nearly as potent as Romulan Ale from what she was told by the Cargoship Captain that she bought it from.
Few moments later, Charles felt as if he was being watched and turned to find his ex-wife staring out the window. Shifting himself he looked out into the vast darkness, filled with swirling colourful nebulae towards the far right. Some vessels orbited around them as well and he thought he recognized a couple of them. “Makes you realize how small we really are out here...,” said Charles then their gazes met, and he finished, “wouldn't you agree?”
“Yeah, it really does...,” she replied distantly, staring down into her glass and saw her reflection within the dark liquid. For the longest time Amanda allowed it to look back at her and wondered if she really wanted to drown herself in the intoxication, to let it all go, in order to allow herself to feel any brief inkling of intimacy. Especially from him, though from what she could discern from looking at him, Charles didn't seem like he was interested in getting back together. In fact he did seem a little happier that he wasn't hitched anymore. Was she really that bad of a wife?
“Charles...,” Amanda spoke quietly, just enough for him to hear her. He looked over to her, and their eyes met met. At that very second they could almost read each others minds, maybe it was because of how long they had lived together back in the day. Like most marriages, you just learned a lot about your significant other and it sticks with you. Even after parting ways, there is always a lingering imprint left behind on the other.
Amanda involuntarily lifted off the couch and hesitantly crawled on over towards her, charming ex-husband, only stopping to put down her glass on the coffee table beside them. She leaned in close, close enough for him to feel her warm breath against his own lips, and just as she was about to make contact—Charles stopped her.
“No Amanda,” he said, willing himself to hold back with everything he had. He could feel his heart pounding loudly in his chest, even wondered if she could hear it herself. Charles hoped she could not though, because if she knew how much he wanted this too, there would be no stopping it from happening. He just did not want to wake up the next morning to find that this was all due to the alcohol and the lowering of inhibitions, with the emotions of regret swooping in soon after and lingering like a bad aftertaste. “It's not... a good idea... not right now, Amanda.”
Admiral Headly searched Charles' eyes, hoping to find any smidge that he could of been lying. To her disappointment and yet, also to her relief, Captain Charles Gibson had the best poker face she had ever seen; even to this day. She watched him turn away from her for a bit as he took another sip of wine, and then slowly sat back herself as she regulated her breathing from the heavy, chest heaving breathes she had been taking moments ago. Amanda wasn't sure if was the alcohol or that fact that her ex had just shut her down from something she believed truthfully they both needed. Although instead raising her voice, or telling him to get out Amanda just rose up from the couch and started to hook the zipper of her jacket. While walking up to the railing across from where they sat, she zipped it up and tucked the jacket down. All the while taking a deep breath to reorganize herself.
“I should get going,” he said, a little more sombrely then he probably would have liked; and with that he placed the still half full glass upon the table then headed for the doorway. When the doors whooshed open, Charles stopped himself with a hand on the wall, then turned back to his lovely ex-wife who still had her back to him as she stood in front of the railing. For a while he couldn't take his eyes off her and part of him did consider it was indeed the wine. From his past experience with it Captain Gibson did come to understand why. When they said Romulan Ale was instant drunk, Klethnorian was that times two and probably then some. Though manageable if you controlled how much and how fast you drank at least. Unfortunately he had to learn that the hard way but that memory was for another time.
“It's the wine, I know how potent it is. We don't want to regret something happening the next day.” Charles said, hoping for that to some how smooth things over. “But it's probably best to not just slip right back into that, at least.... not for now,” he added a little more calmly then finished, “We just got reacquainted with one another. It's too soon. I'm... sorry, Amanda.”
“Of course you are,” she said while forcing her scowl into a smile as she held back tears that wanted to pour out. Headly turned back and sauntered over to the table, picking up the little bit of wine that remained in her glass and looked at through the ambient light that outlined the edge or the window's force field emitters. “You're right though... this stuff has a heck of a kick.”
“Maybe you should not finish that glass,” he said taking a few steps toward her and holding up a hand, “Maybe wait until... tomorrow, okay, Amanda?” God he wished she'd listen so he could head out and go back to his quarters in order to sleep off the drunken effects he was barely able to fight off. Keeping himself in check was indeed becoming quite the struggled, though he was sure there could be something in the station's sickay that he could take, at least Charles hoped there was.
“Why wait till tomorrow, when you can do today!” she blurted, almost hysterically and downed the rest of the glass in one shot. Tilting her head forward again, Amanda held the glass against the side of her head before lowering it to her side and giving her head a quick shake, as if she just took a shot of tequila. “What am we doing?”
“We were enjoying each others company, chit-chatting about things. Though I don't think we really did discuss something we should have been..,” he told her looking out the window as he practically shuffled closer to her, trying to himself from stumbling. “But with how drunk we are right now... it may be best to save that for another time.” Charles reached out for his ex and gently rubbed up and down her arm, before he took the glass out of her hand and helped her sit back on the couch. “We both in no condition to do anything, let alone talk right now.”
“You're right, no more wine... only synthahol from here on in. At least no hang overs when you consume that like the shuttle load,” Amanda chuckled and leaned back against the soft cushioning of the dark, violet couch with the palms of her hands pressed lightly over her eyes, then running her fingers through her curly, shoulder-length brown hair.
“Amanda, I am sorry for how I've been in the past,” he finally said, “But rushing back into something like that... after so many years of being apart.... it just wouldn't be good. For either of us.”
“You forgot how many years we've been separated?” she questioned and then eased her self to sit up. Once sitting straight as she could get, Amanda gave him a questionable look and enjoyed how much she was making him sweat now. Putting him on the spot like that. Well she was enjoying it a little bit, but not to much. “Well, Charles?”
“Could be the wine's effects...,” he said almost mumbling as he trailed off and almost reached for his glass but decided against it. “Look, I'm sorry Amanda.”
“Don't sweat it, Charles... I can't even remember either anymore....,” Admiral Headly sorely admitted and rose up from her seat while moving back towards the railing. “Though you are probably right that it's the wine messing with our heads. Good stuff this Klettmoran... or whatever you call it.”
“Klethnorian...,” he corrected while slowly standing himself and slowly moving up behind her, then almost hesitantly wrapping his arms around her waist from behind. He watched her turn slightly in surprise, but soon relaxed looked him in the eyes. “I'm honestly surprised I can remember that right now, let alone correct you on it.”
“That's one thing I didn't miss,” she told him with a bit of a laughed, “Well maybe that's not true. Don't we love each other for our faults as much anything we admire about one another? Isn't that what it's supposed to be like? Through thick and thin? Sick or in health? Till death do us part?”
Charles held her close and slowly got her moving with him, almost like a slow dance while looking her in the eyes and softly said to her, “Sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't work out like that exactly. And ... it takes little more work I suppose. Though through thick and thin?” he asked, gesturing to his slightly thicker exterior compared to her thinner, though slightly taller frame, though she still looked great in his eyes. Part of him would admit at least to himself, he was curious to see her out of that uniform again. She certainly got his blood flowing, there was no doubt of that.
“I wasn't being literal, Charles,” she admitted with a chuckle, giving him the once over. “Though... I can't say it's a turn off.”
“Well that's good to know,” Charles replied with a small, but genuinely, hopeful smile. And honestly at this point, Charles wouldn't of minded if they took things a little further now, even though he new almost certainly that was the alcohol talking. If Amanda initiated it now, he would go with the flow.
“Uh-huh?” she nearly belted in laughter as she nodded to him in acknowledgement. “So what is it that we should be talking about...”
Charles had to think for a second, and for the life of him couldn't remember what it was he meant before. Well he had to hand it off to the wine for making him forget now. Or congratulate it on the bad timing, or perhaps the wine maker. “Got to love our timing..., cause for the life of me I can't remember what we should of been talking about. Though I'm sure it'll come back to me later,” with that he leaned in close gently pressed his lips against hers.
“Sounds good,” she replied finally opening her mouth as their kiss became more heated and passionate. Only to be interrupted by the voice of thier life long friend, Gary Radcliffe.
“Radcliffe to Headly.”
They quickly and reluctantly broke their kiss, finally snapping out of that haze they were in due to the alcoholic influence. Charles while rubbing his neck, leaned against the dark, wood railing with the other hand. Amanda took a few steps over towards the lounge couches and kept her back to him. She needed to control herself a little more, to be professional for this communique.
Tapping her comm-badge the chirp came sounding out, and then she answered with a bit of annoyance and disappointment in her voice, “This is Headly. Go ahead.”
“Am I interrupting something, Admiral?” asked Gary curiously.
“No...,” Amanda replied a tiny bit sombrely, “Not really. At least it's nothing that can't wait. Is there something wrong?”
“We're not sure,” he answered uncertainly, “We seem to have lost all contact with C.N.C. Mister Delgado, his team and I are heading up there not to find out what's going on. Communications seem to be cut off at least, and internal sensors are being jammed by low level ionic-subspace fields. I won't lie, Amanda... it could very well be....”
“I'll be right there,” she stated with seriously tone and she was indeed, one percent serious, at least she believed she was and quickly marched, a little clumsily towards the turbolift exit.
Charles grabbed her arm and pulled her back, because he knew she was going out there in a almost blind, drunken rage. “Wait a second, Amanda. Neither of us are in any condition to go out there and deal with the situation. At least not like high-ranking Starfleet Officers. Right now we're too under the influence of real alcohol to do much good. We'll just get in the way.”
“Let go of me me, Charles,” she demanded and tried to pull away from him. Charles held her there and looked her in the eyes seriously.
“I'm your commanding officer!” she snapped. “Now... let. Me. Go.”
“Amanda!” Charles suddenly raised his voice, snapping Amanda back to reality. It honestly was the first time he's ever done that in a long time, and from the look in their eyes they both knew it scared them both a bit. “Think. Or a least look at yourself in the mirror. You know you're not fit for duty right now. -Neither of us are. Gary can handle the situation for us. He's an Admiral after all isn't he?”
“Yes...,” she relented after a long pause and putting everything into perspective, “You're right. But I should be there.... Oh why did I drink so much...?”
“We weren't thinking then,” he said to her calmly, “But we have to keep our heads now.”
“You're right,” she admitted and tilted her head back, closing her eyes gently as the small, dim lights still seemed to cause her pain. Tapping her comm-badge again she said, “Admiral Radcliffe. I'm afraid I won't be able to join you. Not yet. Can you handle it Gary?”
“Sure, I can handle it. Are you alright, Admiral?”
“Yes,” she answered quickly then added just as quickly, “More or less. I just had a little too much to drink.”
“This time of day?” questeioned Gary of the comm-link.
“It was a special occasion,” she explained and wanted to leave it at that. “Captain Gibson will be joining you though.”
“Charlie's able to lend a hand?”
Charles tried to tell her no by rapidly shaking his head while mouthing “No.”
“Yes, he's holding his liquor quite well, better then I at least,” she replied, smirking in Charles direction and enjoying the futility of his situation. “He'll be there momentarily.”
“Okay, we'll be standing by for a bit before we move in. We'll meet him in corridor delta-nineteen. Gary out.”
“Amanda!” exclaimed the disgruntled, intoxicated Captain, “I in no condition to help them in this. You know that.”
“Yes, but Doctor Song has something that'll help sober you up enough to not get your ass shot,” she informed her drunk, ex-husband, “Also, I out-rank you, Captain. But I don't want to say it's an order... but that doesn't mean I won't make it one.”
“Okay, Admiral...,” replied Charles reluctantly, “I'll go do that. You just get some sleep then. You're obviously more out of it then I am.”
“Obviously...,” she groaned, “Can already tell this is gonna be a bad one come morning.”
“I'll get going...,” he said while moving towards the door, but turned back one more time to his almost hung over ex. “You get some rest. I'll check in when I can.” She just waved he off.
Charles then walked into the turbolift and left.
GS1: Storage Compartment 22.
Renn quickly but carefully examined the mini-monitor and its connection to the open panel in the wall. From what she could tell the booby trap was that if you took off the monitor it'd self destruct, at least that's how it looked to her. Four mini-explosive charged lined the back of black-grey, rectangular screen, that was a little bigger then her hands. Tapping a button the screen's edge allowed her to switch between different video feeds, finally she came to the on fire Command and Control. Tara Renn's eyes widened in horror but once she realized there was movement by two officers, she was able to calm down, but not for long. The computer core was open and someone was inside it from what she could tell.
“There you are you bastard...,” she muttered and quickly went over to a Jefferies tube on the lower part of the adjacent wall. Cracking it open the Bajoran Lieutenant came face-to-face with a full sized, Photon Torpedo. Staring at it for a whole two seconds, it then suddenly was covered in streams of blue energy before dematerializing away into thin air. “Damn,” she cursed, then realized maybe she could track it on that monitor. Just as she was about to go to it, the monitor shorted out with explosions of sparks all over the back of the device. “Damn... so much for that.”
With that Renn gritted through the pain that throbbed in her side and started her way down the small, cramped, lengthy space of the Jefferies tube.
GS1: Small Arms Armoury 285.
A Jefferies tube hatch in a junction was swung open and crashed hard against the wall. Soon Lieutenant Renn toppled out onto the floor and staggered her way up towards one of the nearby weapons lockers in the large, rectangular, darkly lit armoury. Punching in her access code into the tiny, fifteen button combination lock, came a click and hiss. Stumbling to her feet, Renn was able to pry the door open, to take a look at what was in stock here. Thankfully there was an array of rifles, small and large, even compression variants. Hand phasers line the inner sides of the doors as well. At the bottom she spotted a few belts of three sonic grenades each. A smile formed across her lips and she quickly grabbed the one of the belts, tossing it over her shoulder. Next the twenty-eight year old Bajoran took off a regular phaser rifle that had chrome platting on the sides. Pulling the panel on the back open, charged the phaser coils, then she hit the power-setting button to arm it. Thoguh before she headed back into the tube, she strapped a hand phaser to her hip.
Renn was ready for war now. All she hoped was to get a clear shot at the son of a gun, right between the eyes. Just one would be enough for her.
Ba'lon continued his clearing of the debris as quietly and quickly as he could possibly go. T'Lea kept watching for any sudden movement of their guest coming out of the computer core. So far things were going good, though both of them wondered how long their good fortune would hold out. She looked over towards he friend as he attempted to move a broken bulkhead, easing it to the floor.
Finally the Dalfian could reach the control panel and hesitantly typed in the release code, at least one he know. The button sounds were at least on low volume, though they did seem still a little loud for his liking. Holding his breath, Lieutenant Ba'lon continued with the unlocking and waited a moment before pressing the enter control. Turning to look to his friend, she gave him a nod and then just as he turned back to the wall safe... sparks exploded close to him, he trailed a red-orange, thin energy beam up to a man in a blue uniform jacket, with ridges all over his face.
“I missed on purpose,” he explained loudly for both of them to hear, “That was warning shot. This isn't.”
Suddenly a phaser beam struck Ba'lon in the left arm, though he was able to move out of the way, causing the super-heated death beam to graze him. Should rolling under a console, he evaded the next couple of shots as they exploded the glass, back-light console tops. T'Lea hid behind a nearby console, though across from her brutish, now more slightly more injure, colleague. Both of them were still able to make eye-contact with one another at least. Only cut off by the showering of sparks, caused by the Altered Man's constant phaser fire from the thin, emitter strip at the front of the weapon. Allowing him to fire in multiple directions without moving his wrist, just by programming in firing patterns.
“You are only prolonging this minor conflict,” he said aloud, then pulled hte underside trigger and fired another volley of phaser strikes in their respective locations, “You have no weapons, no chance of escape. I know I'm coming off as a cheezy villain, but really. Do you want to play this game with me? You already know what I am capable of. Don't draw this out any further then it needs to be.”
“Why did you kill all those people!?” exclaimed Ba'lon, almost grimacing from the pain in his pain and now the burning graze in his arm. Sadly for being a rock-like species, it wasn't doing much to dull the pain he was feeling He guess that was one characteristic most races shared... a reception to pain. Now if he could only get closer, he'd of clobbered this “D'motch-ta.”
“Why does any revolutionary, terrorist, or radical do what they do?” the Altered man retorted, and fired another phaser blast towards Ba'lon.
Sparks showered over him, causing the muscle bound, injured Dalfian to shield himself while cursing under his breath. He was indeed getting sick of this and started to move on out of cover, only for T'Lea to stop him with a raised hand. Lucky he noticed her gesture and hid back down, though then he saw the hand phasers she was holding. Quickly he gestured to her to toss him one and she did.
“Well no matter, you're armed, this will get a little more interesting... until it becomes yet another waste of time.” The Altered Man stated and kept his eyes peeled for any sudden movement. “You won't be living long enough to understand what this is all about. But to be honest... I'm fine with that.” He fired again while walking towards the staircase, leading down to the level they two hiding Officer's were on.
Suddenly T'Lea shot her own phaser, followed by Ba'lon as they did a quick draw, only to see the Altered Officer dodge both and fired from his unmoved hand, holding hte phaser. They managed to hide behind their cover not a moment too soon, but the consoles exploding certainly did little to comfort them. Until the sound of the main door forcibly being opened from the outside, on the other far end of the Command Deck, alerted both T'Lea and Ba'lon that backup was on the way.
The Altered Man typed with his thumb on the four button strip on top of the hand phaser, a new firing pattern and increased the power level to maximum.
Once the doors were slid open enough, Chief Lorenzo Delgado attempted to slip through only to be shot in the chest and completely vaporized into red-orange dust, until nothing remained. T'Lea saw it happen right before her eyes and when s he looked to Ba'lon, even he could see the distress emanating from her. Indeed that was a first for him to see her in distress, but honestly he couldn't blame her. Not in this situation anyways.
Quickly he fired at the Altered Man, drawing away his and allowing more security officers to slip in, though some of them weren't as lucky. Out of the twelve that there were, not counting Admiral Radcliffe, only five managed to make it in. Radcliffe stayed behind the wedge opened doors, firing his phaser when he could, though missing just like the rest. T'Lea managed to nick the attacking, ridge faced Officer in the leg. Alas the attack did not stop, instead he increased his rate of firing while manoeuvring through the phaser beams coming at him in multiple directions.
“What is this guy?” asked one of the aiding Security Officers, watching the enemy avoid being hit by three beams at once. Suddenly he was struck in the face by a the Altered Man's beam weapon and disintegrating into thin air, while screaming in pain until finally all there could be heard was phaser fire.
GS1: Corridor Delta-Nineteen, Outside C.N.C.
Gary kept himself in cover from the phaser beams that kept strafing his way, covering the door full of sparks every time they impacted. Sadly he had to watch the security team members disintegrate before his very eyes, one-by-one. First was a good friend he had gotten to know during his time here at G.S.1. Though they both knew someone had to get in and try to draw the fire away, they were expecting anyone to die on the first try. At least Gary didn't expect him to bite it that fast, but then in retrospect they probably assumed too much. Whoever or whatever this guy was, he was certainly no amateur in the field of combat.
Holding back the urge to rush in himself, Gary did his best to return the incoming volley's with his own hand weapon. Though there were a few close calls when he peaked around to shoot, and still ended up missing. “Damn...,” he muttered under his breath. “Where are you Charlie boy... could use some help right about now...”
Just then Charles came down the other side of the corridor, though he kept a hand along the railing closest to the grey, metal wall surrounding the Command and Control Deck. He caught his best friend's attention and they nodded to one another. Once he got to the doorway, he leaned up against the other side across from Gary. “What's the situation?”
“Our mystery terrorist is going trigger happy against three of the security officers that are left, plus two other officers trapped inside from what I can see,” said Gary peering in through the gap of the doors. “Looks like Lieutenant Ba'lon and Lieutenant T'Lea. Both are being assigned to you... if they make it.”
“Good, good...,” said Charles shaking off the effectsof that shot he got from Doctor Song on the way over.
“You alright, Charles?” asked the older Admiral, gesturing to his close friend with a nod of. Honestly he was worried about him. “You seem out of it.”
“I'll be alright, had to get a shot. It's... working... more or less,” replied Charles, not wanting to go into any further. “Now let's see if we can find a way of taking this guy out. Short of killing him. I think we all want some answers as to why he's doing this. Or what he's up to.”
“Honestly Charlie boy, I rather throw him out the airlock right about now...,” admitted Admiral Radcliffe, but then he reluctantly added, “Though finding out what the heck is going on and why... I am a little too curious to pass that up, only see the life get sucked out of him and frozen in a vacuum.”
Charles and Gary both shared a chuckle and then noticed something moving on the rafters above the battle taking place. Gibson was first to notice it was a woman in a grey, dirty and ripped tank top with a Phaser rifle slinged around her shoulder.
Gary squinted his eyes as best as he could and somehow made out the image of who it was, crawling along the beam. “Looks like Lieutenant Tara.... Delgado lost contact with her hours ago, had a search going but nothing came up.”
“From the looks of her though,” said Charles then he looked to Gary, “I think we can tell why.”
“Indeed, looks like she's been through hell.”
“Maybe she was caught near destruction of the Docking Pod, there was some debris that struck a section of the station,” stated Charles, “Well then... let's give her some cover.”
“Age before beauty,” jested Gary as he gestured with a hand for his best friend to go first. They both looked at one another and shared a quiet laugh.
Charles then tapped his comm-badge, “This is Captain Gibson, concentrate your fire, Admiral Radcliffe and I are coming in. So cover us.”
“But Captain, I do not believe you or the Admiral risking your lives is the appropriate action you should be taking,” came T'Lea's reply over the comm.
“We'll be the judge of that, Lieutenant,” Admiral Radcliffe told her sternly, “You just follow your orders and cover our asses. We've been around this block many a time. We can handle our selves.”
“Aye, aye, Admiral,” replied the Vulcan Science Officer disapprovingly.
Once their conversation ended, Charles and Gary gave each other one more look. They both knew they were too old for this, and agree this could be very stupid. At least though, neither of them were trying to be the hero, all they were attempting to do was to give Lieutenant Tara some cover. Hoping it'd be enough to allow her to take her shot.
“Ready....?” Captain Gibson asked his long time best friend, holding up a phaser in his right hand.
“Ready as I'll every be, Charlie,” replied Admiral Radcliffe, a hint of uncertainty in his voice, though he quickly dismissed it and focused on the task at hand.
Charles ran in and shoulder rolled under a phaser beam that nearly nicked him and hid under on console that took the next three shots that came his way. “That was close,” he said to himself, catching his breath and looking to see where Gary was.
The Admiral did not make it much further, just a few feet from the doorway, hidden behind the arch-way was as close as he could get. Gary knew his limitations and did not dare to try and pull off what the Captain had just done. His body was already sore enough as it was and he didn't need to thrown his back out, trying to be a cowboy. “Was that necessary...!?” Gary called out.
“The roll!?” Charles questioned back aloud, “Maybe not... but it was fun!”
Radcliffe just shook his head disapprovingly and took a shot at the Altered Man, striking him in the hip. He watched the attacking alien stumble back a bit, and gestured to the middle aged Captain to look. Charles did so and noticed a bit of a limp to the assailant now that wasn't there before.
“What did you set your phaser on?” he asked Gary, tapping his badge.
“Near maximum stun,” replied the Admiral before taking another shot, though this time he missed and hid behind the archway as another phaser blast hit the front of it. Sparks flew all around him and forced him to stay out of sight for a bit. He definitely did not want to be next on the receiving end of that particle weapon anytime soon.
“Got'cha,” muttered Charles as he set the phaser to maximum stun, typing away on the four button strip they all had. Then he turned and fired from out of cover and struck the Altered Man in the right shoulder, only forcing the terrorist to flinch back and stumble a bit. Though when the attacking Officer came back, he came back hard and fired constant volley's in multiple directions from the emitter strip without moving the weapon itself. Charles then figured he must be really fast to reprogram a different pattern so quickly. It made him question how they'd get another shot in and how it was possible that he just didn't finish them off yet.
“What's he waiting for...?” wondered Charles, peering over the top of the console he hid behind, only to be forced back under it by an incoming beam of orange-red energy. Quickly peeking out to the side, Captain Gibson then fired his phaser again and struck the Altered assailant in the chest, making him stumble back a bit. Charles tapped his comm-badge again, “This is Captain Gibson. Everyone concentrate on his body. Chest. Stomach. I don't care.”
Everyone else acknowledged the orders, and one after another quickly fired at different times, each one striking the bugger on the body somewhere. Once they figured he was staggered enough, they all came out and concentrated their fire on him from all angles. The Altered Man seemed to be backing up, edging closer to the opening of the computer core, arms wrapped tightly around his sides as the phaser beams hit him all over, like on big concentrated spotlight. What no one could see was that he was typing in another firing pattern and when they saw that he was about to fire—only Gibson, T'Lea, Ba'lon and Radcliffe managed to get behind cover. Two of the three remaining security Officers were vaporized, while the third lost his right arm, that held his weapon.
The young Security Officer dropped to the grating and screamed out in agony as he felt cauterized stub where his arm used to be. The remaining higher ranked Officers could only watch as he had to suffer, until finally he too was fully taken out by another beam of energy from the assailant. It was at that point they attempted to shoot at the bastard again, just to find out he was ready and quickly kept them hidden from his sights as he fired another barrage.
“I'm going to end this now,” stated the Altered Man coolly and confidently, “I have too much work that needs to be completed.”
“Yeah... I bet you do,” muttered Gary as he attempted to fire only to jump back behind the archway as the console on the other side, exploded from return fire. “Damn... wish she'd hurry up.”
Charles and T'Lea both fired striking the assailant in the shoulder again, and quickly returned to hiding as Ba'lon got in a good shot as well.
“Captain, I believe he is getting weaker every time we hit him,” T'Lea informed Charles, looking in his direction. Charles quickly took another glance and quickly hid from incoming shot, with sparks showering down over him.
“I think you're right. You two set your phasers to maximum stun, maybe we can tired him out faster.”
“Aye Captain,” replied T'Lea hitting the correct buttons to increase the green light bar above it to full.
“Aye, sir,” acknowledged Ba'lon as he did the same and they both fired again before taking cover quickly afterwards. More explosions going off from the incoming enemy phaser.
The Altered Officer smirked and slowly took a few steps back as he prepared to make a running jump. Then out of the blue, three black with blue trimmed canisters landed before him. He froze and eyed them wondering what the heck they were. As the realization finally came to him his dark, piercing eyes when wide with confusion and fear. Quickly he tried to escape down into the open core but just as he turned the three grenades detonated! At first it felt like a flash-bang, minus the actual flash, but the constant, high-pitched ring was there. Though unlike a flash-bang this sonic ringing did not go away as quickly and the constant sonic waves that bombarded the Altered Man, made him hold the sides of his head and ears as he wailed back and forth. Scanning up above him he finally saw where the three grenades had come from, and prepared to shoot the upside down, hanging Bajoran.
“You!” mouthed the Altered Man as his actual voice was snuffed out by the overlapping sonic-waves.
Renn had her rifle ready and already pointed right for the bugger's head. She watched him wail about and slowly start to drop to his knees. The stunning feature of the non-lethal explosives was working pretty well from what she could see. Even allowed her self a small smirk while taking in a deep breath and holding it in, easing her finger against the trigger of the phaser rifle.
Just was the assailant was about to pull the trigger on his hand phaser, a stray beam came out from behind the console where Gibson was hiding, and struck the weapon from the fake Officer's hand. The Altered Man didn't flinch or curse, he just went to pick it up again, never minding the fact that the maximum stun setting more or less acted like an EMP burst to the interior electronics, disabling the weapon from being used again, until it was repaired.
Suddenly three bolts struck the Terrorist in the face and dropped him like a bad habit upon the grated floor, echoing a loud BANG. Since the sonic grenades finally dissipated, and all that could be heard now was the cracking of raging fires, the fire-suppression system hiccupping on and off, not being able to fully activate. Then there was the sparks that constantly burst out of impact points from phaser fire and damaged consoles and panels, showering down onto the grating and bulkheads as they fizzled out.
Everyone slowly exited from their hiding places and stared at the fallen assailant laying on the upper level floor. Then each one of them glanced up at the rafters to find, Lieutenant Tara Renn dangling there from a behind with her legs, still holding the phaser rifle in her hands.
“Nice shot,” said Charles.
“Thank you, sir,” replied Renn, disengaging her rifle's power cell to standby and slinging it over her shoulder.
Charles looked back over to the fallen enemy and wondered if he was dead... or just laying there, waiting to make a move and kill them all.
Admiral Radcliffe walked up besides his old friend and then looked up towards the Bajoran Sharpshooter above. “Lieutenant Tara, if you're done hanging from the rafters, mind coming down here to help us take him into custody? Well after you get some medical treatment.” With that Gary tapped his comm-badge and ordered more security and med teams to the Command Deck.
“With pleasure, Admiral,” stated Renn, eyeing the fallen menace that plagued the station for the last day or so. She didn't believe for a second that this was over yet though, not by a long shot. There was just something in her gut telling her so. She figured it was what humans called a “hunch”.
Unknown to anyone but Renn, as she could see him clearly from her vantage point, the Altered Man laid there with a smirk upon his face...