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|November 22 2014, 01:57 AM||#1|
The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild (Episode One: Loose Strings)
"Acting Captain's Log, Stardate 53829.04"
"Where to begin." Sighs for a moment
"We are one day out of Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards enroute for Deep Space Nine. The USS Thunderchild NCC-63549, has once more risen from the ashes of its near destruction. This time our near destruction was at the hands of the Dominion and their ruthless Jem'Hadar fighters. During the final hours of the Dominion War, we were conducting rapid raids behind enemy lines. During one of our raids when we were jumped out by a handful of Jem'Hadar attack ships. At first the attack seemed random, but as the battle continued it was clear that somehow the enemy knew where we were and how to hit us hard. The attack came swiftly and without warning as they pounced on us from a nearby asteroid field. During the hight of the battle, both Captain Evelyn Hoffman and Executive Officer, Commander Zdenko were killed."
Another shorter sigh
"Prior to the battle, my role aboard the ship was as a pilot assigned to the tactical fighter wing. However due to injuries from a prior battle, I found my post on the Bridge coordinating the fighters with the ship's actions. I wish I was anywhere else but on the bridge during that battle. If I was just in my fighter with my brothers and sisters, I wouldn't be here today to leave this log. But fate had another role for me and now I must fulfill that role, rather I like it or not."
"With our core leadership dead or not on the bridge I was forced to assumed command of the ship. The battle was brutal and the Jem'Hadar once more proved how they can be a very aggressive enemy. With the bridge smashed I was forced to act as both Commander of the ship, Tactical Officer and Helm Officer all at the same time. As the battle raged, there were times that I was the only active officer on the Bridge. We took a heavily pounding during the battle and at one point we lost main power. I remember back during the Academy how it was said that within any military unit is a group of people on the verge of chaos and panic. This may be true, but not for this crew! They ARE the exception to that rule. Despite loosing nearly all of the senior staff, the junior officers held their departments together. I don't think any commander could ever be more proud of any crew during such a situation as I am after the fact. This ship survived that battle because of its junior officers and the crewmen that supported them."
"As the battle continued, engineering was able to restore main power and had beaten the Jem'Hadar fighters back. However this short breathing room came at a heavy price. So many of the ship's crew and our fighter pilots had paid a high price. Still despite our best efforts, time and the battle were shifting against us. Sensors detected a pair of Breen warships closing on our position. We only had minutes till the Breen were to arrive and the Jem'Hadar ships were regrouping to renew their attack on us. I was left with the painful decision. Do I order our retreat or stay and fight. In retreat I save the ship and whats left of the crew. And at the same time I would be abandoning our fighters at the edges of the battle. Staying and fighting didn't ensure that we could save those brave pilots or meant I could retreat later. My God, what a painful choice."
"With our warp engine back on line, I gave the order to withdraw from the area. I remember the moment those words slipped my lips. Those who agreed with my order followed them without question. Those who didn't turned and gazed at me. I felt their pain and knew what was in their minds. I was breaking one of the most important unwritten rules in Starfleet. Never leave your shipmates behind. How could I forgive myself for what I was about to do. I was leaving my own brothers and sisters behind. I could hear their voices as they were locked in a life and death struggle. I didn't have time to think, the window was closing on our escape. I demanded the order be followed and what was left of the bridge crew obeyed it. I never gave that order a second thought at the time. But it is all I can think about now."
"I can still hear the communication channels echoing in my memory when I close my eyes. The voices of my brothers and sisters calling out to me. They begged for us not to abandon them. Pleaded for us to come back and get them. But we didn't have a choice. I didn't have a choice. It was either leave or the whole ship would be lost. I won't lie, I do wonder sometimes if we could have pushed forward and broke the Jem'Hadar lines. And in doing so, allowed our cut off fighters to come aboard. Would we have been caught by the Breen during that attempt. I have replayed the battle over and over again in my mind. Each time, trying to figure out what I could have done to save them. To do something better than what I feel like I had to do."
"I guess the worse is not really knowing if I made the right call or not. I know for a fact that this will become an order that will haunt me for years to come. I can see this in the eyes of those crew members that remained aboard during and after the refit. So many of them look at me with honor and respect, but there are just as many that look at me with hatred and disgust. So many had been lost during that battle. So many friends and shipmates who had perished, could I have saved my fellow pilots? The unanswered question that will also haunt be, this much I am sure of."
"I know that Lieutenant Jenifer Luther, one of our engineers, thought my actions were cowardly. She has made her opinion of my actions and of me personally clear on a number of times during our repairs. I do feel for her loss. Her husband, Lieutenant Markus Luther, was a member of my fighter group who was still fighting when we were forced to withdraw. Both of them had been a pair of my best friends and now he is gone. Jenifer wont speak with me unless it is about the repairs or in regards to official business. I have tried to express my sorrow for her lost but she shut me out. Maybe it is something I deserve. After all, I alone stand by my actions and because of them, he is gone. Markus had been listed as missing in action but after the war his remains were discovered. Now his official status is listed as killed in action. My best friend is dead, and my order is to blame. I am to blame for his death. How could I ever expect her to forgive me when I can't forgive myself."
"If you ask Star Fleet, they think I made the right choice. I have a shiny new medal to prove their thoughts of my actions. 'Showing Courage and Leadership in the true spirit of Star Fleet' is what the plaque reads. Vice Admiral Ross patted me on the back telling me I did a fine job in saving my fellow shipmates and the ship. Some even suggest that I was a hero in my actions. I don't feel like much of a hero. Jenifer requested a transfer off of the ship two months ago. I don't blame her. I know that look in her eyes when she looks at me. I couldn't even bring myself to look her in the eyes anymore. She left the ship with hardly any fanfare. I guess her days of exploring the galaxy are over. She has returned home and started to rebuild her life. I too feel the call of the stars fading in my ears as well. Its time for me to find a new life beyond Starfleet as well. I don't think I have many more battles left in me."
"After the battle, the ship was in shambles and main power failed not an hour after we made our escape. For nearly three hours we were dead in space and the crews' nerves were on edge till a pair of Romulan Warbirds showed up. It was lucky for us that they did, they were able to tug us back to Deep Space Nine. To think, that I would have been so grateful to see Warbirds. It was under the orders of Vice Admiral Ross, that I would remain in command of the Thunderchild as we limp our way back to the Fleet Yards for repairs. He tasked me with an amazing mission. To command the complete refit of the ship. The vision of Admiral Ross and Admiral Tate was remarkable. An honor that I don't think I deserve. The repair crews couldn't believe that the ship had survived. By this time, we realized how badly our ship was damaged. But the Thunderchild was a proud and strong ship. She had survived the Battle of Sector 001 and she would also survive this. During the nearly year long repairs, I was promoted to Commander as I continued to over see the repairs and refit of the ship."
"During our repairs, I had to replace Lieutenant Luther as she departed the first chance she got. I was lucky to stumble across a upstart fresh Lieutenant Kiera Medart. Smart kid but she has no real idea what is beyond the Sol System. I caught wind that she was looking to leave the shipyards and we needed to new Chief Engineer. Who knew that my pretty shiny new medal won me some favor with Star Fleet Command. I went to Admiral Ross and spoke with him about her request to joining our crew. I mentioned how she was leading much of the repairs and the installation of the new engines. I pointed out that no one knew this ship better than Lieutenant Medart. Next thing I knew, she was promoted to full Lieutenant and her transfer was approved."
"For all of her smarts though, she has failed to be able to locate the problem with our warp engines. It would appear that we are bleeding off energy via our warp field. She has sworn up and down that her engines are operating at peek efficiency, however the loss of energy is still there. The problem started to show its self right after we left the Fleet Yards. During the last few hours, I have made a point to dog her about her new engines and the loss of power. I know it is getting under her skin but I need to see where her breaking point is. I plan to push her even harder tomorrow if she can't correct the problem by then. Hell we only been out of the yards for just over a day. There is no reason why the engines should be bleeding power like this."
"The energy bleed off is enough of a problem but there is also the annoying problems with our computer have been plaguing us since we left the ship yards. The good news is that the random false alarms are giving the security teams a run for them money. It is good training if you ask me. Still, I would like to deliver the Thunderchild to her new Captain in prefect working order. If only Lieutenant Medart can fix her engines or she better have a good reason as to why we are bleeding energy. That or I all give her some close personal combat training with our resident Klingon exchange officer."
Laughs a bit, "Lieutenant Kinchlirah seems like a fine officer. Her combat record is rather impressive. She brings to the ship a whole new point defense system that is singly designed to protect the ship against small ships like Jem'Hadar fighters. A massive power drain on the ship, but creates a interlocking network of micro phasers that can track and engage these fast moving targets at close ranges. The system is remarkable if it will function as Lieutenant Kinchlirah claims. On a personal note, when the rumors came down that I might be assigned as Executive Officer Lieutenant Kinchlirah and I had to end our personal relationship. We have assured ourselves that this is only temporary. Once I deliver the ship to Deep Space Nine and her new commander, I have my own plans."
"Ensign Arendse made a bothersome comment to me yesterday. He said that he was inspired to serve under a hero like me. I will give the young ensign credit. One day he will make a fine Tactical Officer, but his current judge of character is off. I am no hero. A hero would have been able to save those pilots before we withdrew from the battle. No, I am just that guy that made that call. For right or wrong, I must accept what I ordered. And because of that order, my best friend is dead. My fellow pilots are dead. Would Captain Hoffman or Commander Adolfs had made the same call? No, I do not see myself as a hero. I don't think I ever will."
"Currently we are enroute to Starbase 74. Limping along due to computer and warp field problems. The Thunderchild is operating on a skeleton crew and will be picking up the rest of her crew once we arrive. At that time we will also be picking up our new fighter wing along with their fighters. I had had the flight crews stationed at Starbase 74 to continue with their training. I managed to hand pick most of the pilots that would make up this ships new wings. Some of them are combat vets, while others are fresh from the Academy. Together they make a strong mix of skills, experience and fresh ideas. I am sure that our new captain will be impressed with these men and women."
"Speaking of, tomorrow morning we will be rendezvousing with the USS Intrepid to pick up our new Captain and Executive Officer. I personally know Captain Campbell. He served aboard as a Operations Officer during the war, before joining Admiral Tate's staff. He is a good officer and a friend. I can't think of a better officer to lead this fine ship and her crew. As for the new XO, there are only rumors about who that might be. My own guess is that Captain Campbell already has one in mind. As for my role, I have fulfilled my duty. I have seen the ship from space wreck to rebirth. Today, the USS Thunderchild has become the first official carrier in Starfleet. This along with my own long term plans, I have to say my career couldn't end on a better note. That considering how I reached this point in the first place. This is much more than what I dare ask for."
"After our short stay at Starbase 74, we will be departing for Deep Space Nine where our ship will take part in the promotion ceremony of Admiral Ross. I have it on good authority, that the Admiral has personally requested our ship along with a few others to be part of his ceremony. The Thunderchild was his Flagship during the invasion of the Velos system. While that invasion failed, the aftermath of that operation put this ship on the path that turned it in to what the Thunderchild is today."
"Commander Addison Bonham, acting Commanding Officer, USS Thunderchild, End Log."
More of this story to come or join the story and full game at:
Last edited by Akirapryde; November 22 2014 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Included web site of Star Trek: Reborn
|November 22 2014, 03:17 PM||#2|
Personal Thoughts and Opening Scenes
“Chief Engineer's Log, Stardate 53829.04 ”
“Wow, still not used to saying that.” Giggles a bit
“I can't believe my luck. First it was good, and then the engine I helped put in this ship is giving me loads of trouble. It's like... like the way I was in my teens. I rebelled against my parents a lot then. My engine... Another thing I need to get used to saying... My engine is just like a teenager. It doesn't want to do as I tell it to, no matter how much screaming at it I've done in the Jeffries tubes when no one else was around.”
“Today has so far proved eventful, to say the least. Not two days into our leaving Utopia Planitia and already I'm getting pressed harder and harder by Commander Bonham, our acting Captain. I've never had to work under this kind of pressure, not even at the Academy. I have a feeling he's testing me, but I can't be sure if he's just naturally impatient and hot-headed.”
“I still have no clue how our power is getting drained. I feel like a surgeon who can't find the correct artery that's causing internal bleeding...” Pause “...Unless the patient is being stabbed in different spots, just out of sight of the surgeon. But who would do that so far inside Federation space? If this were a different era, like that of Captain Kirk's time, I'd suspect our Klingon exchange officer, Lieutenant Kinchlirah. But with all the help we've done for the Klingons, and vice versa during the Dominion War, I can't point the finger at her. Besides, she hasn't given me cause for suspicion. Except for a few outbursts and rumors, she hasn't shown any kind of malicious intent to harm the ship.”
“No, I have to rule out the possibility of sabotage. This is a problem that the work crews at Utopia Planitia have made, so I have to clean up our-I mean their mess. Nothing puts engineering work through it's paces like actual usage. Simulations can only do so much. If I can't fix this problem it will put a black mark on the reputation of the shipyards. The shipyards my parents are assigned to.”
“My mother and father couldn't have been more proud of me when I told them of my promotion to Lieutenant and posting as a chief engineer. To be honest I think my mom was rather jealous of me, seeing as it took her twice as long to reach Lieutenant, Junior Grade, when I made it to full Lieutenant in half the time. But that didn't stop her from hugging and kissing me over and over. To be honest it got kind of embarrassing, especially when her superior officer walked in on her giving me an especially big smooch on the cheek...”
“My dad wasn't as emotional as my mom, but he still hugged me in one of his trademark bear hugs. Unfortunately during my 2 years at the shipyards, I wasn't able to work with either of my parents directly. My dad was on another work detail the entire time I was there. He was working on one of the new Prometheus-class ships, so a lot of his work was classified. To be honest I was rather jealous of his assignment. I would have loved to have helped laid the foundations for such a magnificent ship. But I was able to help repair and refit the Thunderchild, a ship I'm quickly growing attached to.”
“Unfortunately not so much of either had happened, to be honest. With all these malfunctions and the warp energy bleeding through the warp field. You know, its almost like we are dragging a weight behind us. But still, I am pleased with these new warp engines. Trouble and all. I was leading one of the best teams at Utopia Planitia by the time I transferred to the Thunderchild. All of my team's work was higher than Starfleet spec. But the other crews seemed to not put their all into the ship's systems. Once I became chief engineer I made sure to check on the team leaders, making sure that their teams completed the work well. Too many times I had to get on someone's ass for not fixing something the correct way. It seems like I had too many slip by me.”
“I haven't had a lot of sleep since we left the shipyards. And my engineering crew, what there is of it, are all pulling double shifts to try and fix the problems that slipped past my oversight. I just wish that we could have gotten the rest of my crew before leaving, instead of having to fly out to Starbase 74 to pick them up. With just a skeleton crew it's almost impossible to find and fix all the bugs in the systems.”
“I have to tell the Commander that I cannot fix the power drain issue. Not with a skeleton crew, at least. My parents always told me that if there was a problem I couldn't solve, I was to 'google it.' That's an old Earth term that meant researching what could be the answer. I'm kind of a history nerd... Well, I've searched through the Starfleet database, and couldn't find an answer that was plausible to our situation. I just have to keep searching through the bowels of the ship to find the problem. More sleepless nights. Maybe I can raid sickbay for some stimulants stronger than coffee.” Yawns “The doc and their medical team isn't supposed to board until Starbase 74.”
“I hope I'm not transferred off the ship when we get there. I don't think I can solve the power loss before then. But I have taken care of most of the small bugs when they pop up. Like the problem with the Ops station on the bridge not displaying the correct sensors. That was a pretty bad issue. Luckily I caught it right after we departed. To think that we were getting the wrong sensor readings for almost six hours. Lucky we didn't fly in to another ship or something. Another issue was with a short in the Captain's Ready Room. Commander Bonham was complaining about a light that kept burning out. That was actually one of my easiest fixes. It was just a problem with an EPS conduit housing being damaged. Everything else has been just one headache after another. This ship has more gremlins than I ever imaged it could.”
“I could really use some rest. Maybe a good night's sleep will help me with my problem tomorrow.”
“Lieutenant Kiera Medart, Chief Engineer, U.S.S. Thunderchild.”
Contributor: Kinchlirah (Former NPC)
Welcome Aboard Lieutenant Kinchlirah, again
Standing on the pad of just prior to transport, Lieutenant Kinchlirah looked around the ship that carried her back in to Federation space. She was returning to her first official posting aboard a Federation ship. Sure serving along side them in battle was one thing but this adventure had opened up a completely new experience for her. One that brought something in to her life she never dreamed from a human. It was General....er Chancellor Martok's idea that more warriors of the Empire serve along side our Federation allies. It is a trail program that had some success in the past. But for her, it meant so much more than just that. She was hoping beyond hope that this would open up doors for her that would other wise not be offered to her in the Empire. Already, she found something she never dared possible. All that was left was to continue down this path. She gave a nod to the transporter operator and soon she was beamed off the ship.
She stared through the transporter shimmer at the sight of the USS Thunderchild. There is a Petty Officer, Vulcan female, at the transporter controls and a young human man stands in front of the control platform just between the transporter pads and the Petty Officer. He wore the rank as Ensign as he smiled at me and said, "Welcome Aboard Lieutenant." She heard his Klingon and found it horrible and could only think, 'my reception committee.
The Klingon warrior is an impressive sight to most "starfleets". Nearly two meters tall in her military boots, she is clad in the traditional uniform of the Empire. There is a bright medal on her chest. Her hair is a cloud of red and it is displayed in full traditional style as so to show off her thick forehead. Her eyes are large, penetrating, and brown. The center of her chest was exposed in traditional style. Lieutenant Kinchlirah was well endowed just like most Klingon women. Hanging from her left hip was a Klingon Disrupter and on her right a traditional Klingon Blade. Lieutenant Kinchlirah smiles at the two crew members and it is a predatory display. She could see how the Ensign was uneasy at the sight. Her over-all impression is disconcerting, to say the least.
The Ensign introduces himself, but she stopped him with a hand, "Your Klingon is insulting. I can speak English just fine" Lieutenant Kinchlirah said coldly. Shifting uneasily, he reached for the large bag beside her - her personal effects. She also reach for it and they took hold of the handle. The pair stop and stared into each others eyes for a long second. He lifted the bag and so did she. Again they pause and stare.
He said, "I can carry this Lieutenant." He seemed determined to do so.
She was not some weakened beast and was determined to carry her own belongings. The bag was now suspended between them as she assure him, "I am quite capable." The Ensign gave another tug and she immediately counter by giving her handle a yank.
For the moment, they both had forgotten about the transporter technician. No one knows that that Petty Officer thought of the scene which was playing out before her. It must seem like a comedy routine just for her benefit as the two of them were struggling for possession of the bag.
Knowing his place, he bowed as he let go of the bag, "Yes Lieutenant, I am sorry." He took a step back and motioned for the door. "This way please."
He had surrendered the bag far to easily which disappointed Lieutenant Kinchlirah. She took the bag with such force that it whipped about. The battle over the bag ended before it could begin. She turned and headed for the door with the Ensign following closely.
The Thunderchild was in impressive ship. She was to be the first of her kind in the Starfleet. Lieutenant Kinchlirah had done her homework on the ship. After the Dominion War, the Federation had learned a valuable lesson regarding small ship tactics. The Thunderchild was to be a test bed of new technology, which was why she was here in the first place. This mighty ship had undergone nearly a year long refit to act as a carrier. The joint project involved some of the best minds that both the Klingons and Federation had to offer. Lieutenant Kinchlirah had been helping in developing a different kind of defense grid for the Thunderchild. The ship still carried its main weapons systems, however thanks to the Empire the Thunderchild carried a grid of weapons specially designed to target and engage smaller ships at closer range.
After the over all tour, Lieutenant Kinchlirah was pleased to finally see her weapon grid installed. She had been here before but had to leave a couple of months ago. The weapon grid had not been fully installed prior to her departure. She had been edger to see what was done since her departure. Her specifications were what she had planned them to be. She had left very clear instructions and she was pleased to see that they were followed.
She noticed that some of the new crew had come aboard since her departure. It was clear that some of these new recruits haven't seen a Klingon before. Their looks made her feel uneasy but she shook it off quickly. She knew the score aboard this ship. Being a Klingon aboard a Federation ship was one thing. However for Lieutenant Kinchlirah, being a scientist and a Klingon offered its own issues. She was brought to her cabin that she used to occupy a few months ago.
The Ensign attempted to explain the luxuries of the ship only to be stopped by Lieutenant Kinchlirah once more. "Ensign, I understand you are new. However I have been here before. I was part of the first phase of this ship's refit. So I know my way around" she said while turning around. She dropped her bag on the table as smiled, "Even your Brig is like Risa."
The Ensign nodded as he retreated, "The Duty Rooster has been posted Lieutenant. You are expected on the bridge within the hour. Also, Commander Bonham sends his regards." He said as she looked around the room.
She smile top herself at the name, but made to outward expression. With a nod she said, "Excellent, Ensign. Inform the Commander that I shall be there as soon as I get my things put back away."
He nodded as he continued to back out of the room and left without another statement.
Lieutenant Kinchlirah walked slowly over to the bed. It was not a Klingon bed, but over the past few months she had come to welcome it. Her untimely departure from the Thunderchild was of a personal nature and Commander Bonham didn't like not knowing, but accepted her request to keep it private. As she had promised, she had returned.
For the past few months, it was her work that had been the center focus of the Thunderchild's defensive systems. Thirty separate phaser arrays lined the ship on both top and bottom. Each array were independent of each other with their own back up power supply and targeting systems. The idea was that once the ship was placed on Red Alert the system would switch to automatic fire mode. It would be able to track and target fast moving ships at very close ranges. And engage those targets once the Tactical Officer removed the safety. The system was interlocked with advanced IFF systems to keep friendly fighters from becoming targets. If the test system worked, than she would be honored throughout the Empire for its development.
She walked along her quarters and came to a stop at her dresser. Her belongings were just as they had been the day she left two months ago. She ran her hand over the Bat'leth hanging over her dresser. She remembered the day that she was welcomed in to the Order of the Bat'leth. When she was young, no one thought she would make it this far. After all her love for science had easily over shadowed her love for battle. But she had found in battle, the science of war. She smiled as she reflected on her life and the rewards that came with her hard work.
She turned and walked for the bathroom and the shower beyond. It was time once more to prove why General....Chancellor Martok choose her for this critical mission. The way he put it, one would think that the fate of the Empire rested solely on her and her project. Her success and that of the Thunderchild would open up a new future for the Empire and change the balance of power once more.
|November 27 2014, 06:05 AM||#3|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Just Twenty Four Hours out of Sol System
USS Thunderchild, NCC-63549
Commander Bonham, Acting Captain
Commander Bonham stepped on to the bridge with a look of concern on his rugged face. He had been summoned to the bridge by the Operations Officer regarding yet again another issue with computer control. "We can make it better Fleet Yards said. Seems to me that we have had more problems with our systems than ever before." He grumbled as he stormed passed Lieutenant Kinchlirah and the tactical station. It had been a very eventful day with false alarms and sensor blackouts across the ship. What made him the most mad over the situation was that no one, NO ONE on the ship could explain the rash of system failures.
Commander Bonham stood just over two meters tall and was a well built attractive human. Normally, a nasty burn that covered the left side of his face and went below his uniform often disguised his smile and the soul of a man that had great care for his shipmates. While he could easily have the scar removed, Commander Bonham has chosen to keep it as a reminder of that day he abandoned his best friend. Unlike so many officers from the Dominion War, he bore his scares for all to see. The years on this ship has taught him both courage and humility in the face of death. If it was not for his latest rounds with Starfleet Medical and their councilors, he would have been cleared for a position of Executive Officer. To him, it was those very scares that held him back from command. However to Starfleet Medicial, it was his inability to forgive himself that was holding him back.
Starfleet Medical was the last thing on his mind right now. He had much larger issues if he was to deliver this ship to its new commander safely. Their problme now was once one system went in to failure, it would cascade across other nearby systems. Teams would be dispatched to repair the faulty system only to find that the system was operating normally. "Tell me Lieutenant" he said speaking to Kinchlirah, "What do the Klingons call gremlins." There was a hint of humor in his voice but it was clearly a front as anger boiled just below the surface. He stormed passed Tactical on his way across the bridge.
The tall Klingon watched the ship's commander cross the bridge as she answer, "Gremlins? Yes, I know what you mean. We have many names for them. Pakleds. Ferengi. Tribbles. Sometimes we call them 'starfleets'."
As he walked across the bridge of the Thunderchild towards the Operations Station there was purpose with each step. He was in foul mood and dared anyone to cross him this morning. He knew that they were doing their best under the conditions. But being out of control like this was testing him. Still despite his anger, the crew had become his family. During the ship's repairs, he has come to know each member of this crew like they were his personal family. Even the twenty two cadets they took on two weeks ago. Commander Bonham took the time to get to know each of them on a personally level.
The situation on the Bridge of the Thunderchild seemed to be in a hyper sense of tension. "Talk to me Ops" he said in a deeply calm yet demanding voice.
Lieutenant T'Lora hands drifted over the controls of her station, "Sir, I have detected some more strange operations from the central computer. However I am finding it harder this time to locate which systems are being effected......Puzzling" Her Vulcan face shifted as the information revealed a new problem. Her hands moved over the console, then without looking up from her station, "I am detecting an unauthorized transporter operation."
Commander Bonham rushed over to the Ops Station, "What do you mean? Which transporter?"
Her hands glided over her controls as she discovered more information regarding the situation. Her station lit up as the situation evolved, "Sir......." she said as she looked up, "All of them." She paused for a moment, "I am confirming twelve separate site to site transporter beams across the ship. All beams have originated from within the ship and terminated within the ship."
"Damn those upgrades" Commander Bonham said with a cruise. "Some one locate our Chief Engineer and inform her that the transporters are acting up now."
Lieutenant T'Lora looked up from her station, "Lieutenant Medart and her entire engineering shift are currently located on deck fourteen, Holodeck two."
Commander Bonham looked at the young Vulcan with shock, "What are they doing there?" His frustration was no longer.
Lieutenant T'Lora returned her attention back to her station, "It would appear that they were just transported from Engineering to the deck fourteen." Commander Bonham was about to cut in to say something when the Vulcan cut him off with urgency, "Sir, I am detecting another unauthorized transporter operation cycling up."
Commander Bonham looked over the controls, "Shut it down!"
In that moment a buzzing sound filled the bridge as the five personal of the morning bridge shift started to glow in a soft blue light. Even as the transport was taking place, Lieutenant T'Lora fought in vain to halt the transport. However it was too late. Within seconds, the entire bridge crew were gone and five other crew members stood scattered across the bridge. The look on their faces showed their confusion. Each of the new inhabitants of the bridge carried some kind of tool. Finally an Andorian stepped forward and activated his com-badge, "Crewman Thelev ch'Irroh to Flight Operations, my deck crew and I were just transported from our stations on the flight deck to the bridge. The Bridge crew is not at their stations on the bridge. Please advice."
Deck 16, Section 8:
Commander Bonham and his bridge crew rematerialized in the ship's Gymnasium. There was clear anger over his face as he looked around. He tapped his com-badge, "Lieutenant Medart these computer issues have gone far from annoying to, FIX MY SHIP!" The anger dripped from every word as he looked around calculating how long it will take to get back to the bridge. However over the com-channel, a strange garbled noise was heard. Bonham turned in anger back to his staff.
Deck 8, Section 15:
The sounds of transporters down the corridor could easily be heard as the supposed transporter malfunction continued send members of the crew across the ship. At this point, each transporter was acting independent of the others picking up members of the crew and transporting them to another position within the ship. TurboLifts are all nonfunctional as well as voice interface with the computer. With engineering and the bridge not manned by their crews, it has become hard to bring the situation under control. Sounds of urgent calls down the hall indicated the chaos and confusion that has been caused by the 'malfunction'.
The corridor lit up with the soft blue glow of a transporter. Normally this would trigger a number of alarms on the tactical officers sensors on the bridge and within Central Security Station three decks above. However those stations were not currently manned by their crews. Also due to the 'malfunction' it was suspected that it would be nearly impossible for the computer to identify this one signal as that of an intruder. However with the latest upgrade that the Thunderchild had, the computer did detect the signal and identify that the origin of the beam was not from the ship. This caused an alert to be sent from the internal security sensors to both the bridge and Central Security. At two separate stations within the ship an intruder alert signal was activated. However neither stations were manned so there was no one to react to it.
As the transport completed, the woman dressed in a Starfleet uniform stood in the middle of the corridor. Her uniform indicated that she was a member of an engineering section. This would allow her to move about without drawing much attention to herself. Her long fiery red hair stood out as did the fire in her eyes. This fire from her eyes, reflected a deep routed mission that was driving her. Once the transport was completed she reached with her right hand up to a small device on her left shoulder and activated it with a few taps. Once the device was activated she cupped the right side of her face with her right hand and tapped a device in her ear with a finger, "Susquehanna, transport complete. Sensor dampening field has been activated."
The device on her shoulder was clearly homemade and ensure that the internal sensors of the ship could no longer detect her. Despite the upgraded sensors on the ship they would only be able to detect a shadowy ghost of her body. The device was playing havoc on the internal sensors of the ship making identifying the intruder all but impossible for the ship's stricken computer. All it could tell was that the intruder was a female and possible human. Beyond that, the ship could not gather any further information about her. It was the same device that allowed her to breach another Starfleet facility a weeks ago. However unlike today, she had been able to slip in and leave completely undetected. Today however, she wanted to be detected. Today, her mission called for her actions to be witnessed but her identity to still remain a mystery. 'All in good time' she thought as she gave a nod to herself.
Despite her goals today, she still had to move with caution. After all, the goal didn't call for getting caught. The Thunderchild proved to be more problematic getting on board undetected. Three times she had attempted to get on board only to trip the upgraded internal security systems. A number of fail safes had prevented her from taking the security systems completely off line. Truth be told, she was getting frustrated with the whole issue. Scrambling the entire Computer was starting to look like an inviting idea. However that would send the Thunderchild back to the shipyards for months of computer repairs. And worse yet, possible injuries. That was something she was unwilling to accept at this stage. She came up with this plan just before the Thunderchild left the shipyards yesterday. It was daring but offered the limited possible risks of other's being hurt. After all, she didn't have any issues with the crew of this ship. She only needed to complete her mission and that meant accessing their computer core.
A light brown leather pouch with a flap hung from a strap that crossed over torso. The pouch hung just above her waist and looked more like a purse. There were no markings on the pouch and the flap fastened with a simple leather tie. The intruder reached in to her pouch with her left hand and pulled out a tricorder. Carefully as her eyes scanned the corridor, she opened the tricorder and started to scan the area. Her voice seemed to be the only voice on the deck "continue to monitor the situation, Susquehanna. I can detect that damping field just a few meters away from my position. I am preceding towards Computer Control Center." Though the sensors could not detect her physical form, it was able to detect and record her voice. However it was unable to detect the signal which was being transmitted to the device in her ear.
Another female voice softly spoke in to the intruder's ear, "Confirmed. Our transporter protocols are still in effect. I am still detecting a large number of independent transporter signals across the ship. A number of intra communication traffic across the ship indicates the crew is in a state of chaos. Aside for who is in the Computer Control Center, your deck is clear of life forms. Proceed with caution. This wont last for long, you need to be quick. Be advised, there is an intruder alert single that has been triggered. However it would appear you were right, it has not been acknowledged by either security or the bridge station. There is no indication that the crew is aware of you beaming aboard. I will continue to limit their ability to track your movements from here and watch their attempts to regain control over those effected systems. Be safe." The transmissions that the intruder heard were only in her ear. No one around her would be able to hear what was being told to her.
The intruder nodded as she moved down the corridor, "understood. Keep monitoring my progress. I don't want to have any security personal sneaking up on me." She left the channel open as she started to walk down the corridor.
The intruder cautiously proceeded down the corridor as she used the tricorder to scan the area around her. She could easy identify the dampening field which prevented her from beaming directly to the Computer Control Room. The plan had been simple, override the Computer Operations by using Starfleet's own command codes. Set the crew in to a state of chaos and exploit the situation so that she can download the data that she needed. Then slip away before the crew could react to her actions. She had thought that she had calculated everything that could go wrong with this plan.
Seconds after her plan started, she detected a dampening field in the Computer Control Room. She wasn't sure if the dampening field was as a result of the 'computer malfunctions' which she had caused across the ship. Or it could have been someone detected the computer virus that she had uploaded in to the Computer Core yesterday and was reacting to it. Or as a result of a crew member reacting to the supposed random transporter malfunctions which was clearing a path for the intruder. It really didn't matter why the field within the Computer Control Room was set up. The fact that it was there was enough of a problem.
This forced her to beam in a corridor instead of the Computer Control Room as she had wanted to. She wouldn't lie, the speed of the damping field had impressed her. She already had her thoughts as to whom had attempted to ruin their plans. Still, now she had to adapt to the change in the situation. There was simply no choice to back off now. Tomorrow the Thunderchild's situation would change. No, she simply had no choice but to continue now. She had already passed the point of no return two weeks ago. She simply couldn't go back now. The fate of the Federation now rested in her hands alone. No one had believed her so now she had to do the unthinkable to protect the Federation.
The change meant that her limited time would be pressed even tighter than before. She had planned for the entire infiltration was to last four and a half minutes from beginning to end. The download of the date would take two and a half minutes. Now, she was forced to amend her time tables. Still she could not remain on board for longer than four and a half minutes. This deadline was the amount of time that it would take a security personal to override the lock outs that isolated this deck from the rest of the ship and reach the Computer Control Room. There was nothing left to chance, it was four and a half minutes. Not one second longer or else she risked capture and a return to Starfleet Medical. The very thought of that place caused her heart to race with fear. They tried to murder her and claimed it was a suicide attempt. She couldn't go back, not while the fate of the Federation was in the balance. Capture was simply not an option for her. She couldn't go back, she won't go back. She had to prove to them that she was not lying. And the truth that she needed was hidden in this ship's memory core.
However she couldn't tip her hand, not yet. He knew that she had escaped and was out for revenge. He had tried to kill her once already and he wouldn't stop now. She had tried to run and hide but his people had found her back on Mars and tried again to silence her. But now everything had changed. Now she knew who he was and she was able plot and plan for his actions. She knew that he had the resources of Starfleet behind him. No one would listen to her, no one would believe her. The crew of this ship would carry out his orders without question if they caught her. They would kill her just like he had tried on Earth. With her death, soon would follow the Federation. No, she couldn't trust this crew, capture could not be accepted. No matter the cost. It was because of this baseline fear, she had no choice but to get away before the crew could react to the situation.
Even if they could escape the ship, they were not out of harms way yet. Their runabout, the Susquehanna, despite being state of the art for a runabout, but it still had its limitations. It could never hope to out run a ship like the Thunderchild. This was why they had to keep surprise and time on their side. The success of their mission depended on keeping at least two steps ahead of Starfleet. Just like at the Proxima shipyards, they were able to take full advantage of Starfleet's weaknesses. Getting their hands on the Susquehanna while it was at the shipyards was no easy task. It was in taking the runabout while Starfleet was still unaware that the little ship was even missing, this was a work of art.
Our intruder worked her way up the corridor hoping that her luck would continue to hold out despite the changes to her over all plan. Still cautiously and with great awareness moved up to a door and scanned inside it. "Susquehanna, I am at Computer Control Room. The scans indicate that the field is in fact originating from within the room. I am detecting a few life signs within the room but the field is preventing me from getting a fix on numbers or races. Can you penetrate the field and beam them out?"
The ear piece came alive once more, "No, the field is too localized and is scrambling my targeting sensors. Look, it's too dangerous. Let us switch places and I will clear the room for you."
The intruder started to tapped a few commands in to her tricorder, "No. There is not enough time. It will be just like how you trained me. Don't worry, I can do this" she said as she closed her tricorder and placed it back in to the pouch. "Plus we will never get this close to the data again. We have to continue" she explained as she pulled out a set of darkened thick glasses and earplugs out of her pouch. "I have overrode their security lock outs and am proceeding forward with our plan. I will contact you when I have the room secured. Out" she said then removed the comlink from her ear and held it in her hand as she put the ear plugs in her ears. Then she placed the comlink in her pouch with one hand and slide the glasses over her eyes. As she pulled a metal canister from her pouch. It was crud but would be highly effective for her desired goal.
The intruder didn't like the idea of a direct confrontation with Starfleet personal. However, from the very beginning she knew that this was a risk that had to be accepted. She pulled the pin on the canister and remained low as she activated the door controls. On her command and to the surprise of those inside, the door hissed open. She rolled the canister in to the far side of the room where she saw the most personal. She shielded her eyes by turning away and covering her ears as the device went off. A loud popping sound erupted from the device as the entire room filled with a near blinding light. Nothing permanent just enough to give her the upper hand in the coming battle. She moved in as the doors closed behind her.
She scanned the room carefully as she sized up each of the four crew members. Even as the man standing next to her was drawing his weapon, she took the vital moments to examine the situation. In preparation for this mission she understood the importance of learning as much as she could about the crew. She felt that hours of study would be the difference between success or failure. Each bit of information no matter how trivial was critical to success. For her, this mission was simply too important to leave to chance. As she took in a deep breath her heart rate slowed and her eyes shifted from target to target. Each crew member coming in to prefect vision through her mind's eye. Carefully and rapidly she assessed each one.
To her left was the young Ensign Stanton Faulknen in a golden uniform. He graduated from the Academy three months ago and the Thunderchild was his first post. His dedication to his duties and eagerness to learn more earned him the respect of the ship's acting commander. He scored average in most of his classes but never seemed to give up no matter the obstacles before him. He was from a small town just outside of San Fransisco. He has had a relationship with a woman back home that was going on six years. He had recently acquired a ring which he had planned to give her next year on his shore leave. His position on the ship was with Security and was currently on duty.
This area was part of his normal patrol so she had figured that an encounter with him was probable. To her disappointment because of his location in relation to the concussion blast, he didn't suffer as much as the other three crew members had. This meant that he was much more aware of what was going on around him. Also his better training in security operations as well as the simply fact that he was about to target her with a phaser made him particularly dangerous. It was these reasons why she placed Ensign Faulknen risk assessment as the highest in the room and therefore he had to be subdued first.
Turning to face the intruder was the Vulcan Computer Specialist Lieutenant Paaleia. One of nineteen Vulcans aboard the ship. She graduated the Academy three years ago and served aboard the Thunderchild during their last ill fated mission. She had decided to stay on board after the ship returned to the shipyards for repairs. Her scientific mind made her a good selection for Computer Specialist though she has noted in her personal logs of her passion for music. There were more than ten entries in her personal logs regarding Commander Bonham. However, Lieutenant Paaleia felt that the Commander only saw her as more of a daughter rather than an acceptable mate. A situation that the Vulcan did not find logical. The intruder could empathize with Lieutenant Paaleia's conflict in having feelings for a superior officer.
Lastly, there were a pair of cadets set at their consoles within the computer control station. They were both reacting much slower to the situation than the first two officers. Cadet Arron Vangelos and Ashlea Galven. Both came aboard a few weeks ago as part of their cadet cruise. Each had scored unremarkable in their classes which is why they were not given better assignments for their cruises. The intruder placed their threat level as low on her list.
The intruder could plainly see the open tricorder on one of the consoles. It was clear that it was the source of the damping field. As she finished her assessment of the situation her eyes glided back to her single largest threat, Ensign Faulknen. Her breath now fully drawn and her body and mind fully switched in to combat mode. The sounds and smells of the coming battle triggered thoughts locked deep in dark places of the intruder's mind. Ensign Faulknen had just fully drew out his phaser and was just starting to swing it towards the intruder.
The intruder side stepped to the left in a fluid motion closing on the young security officer as he attempted to take aim at her. The intruder's speed was much faster then Ensign Faulknen had expected and her experienced gave her an unfair advantage over him. The intruder caught his wrist as he attempted to take aim at her at the same time she drove her left elbow in to his soft side just below his ribcage. The blow winded the young Ensign taking the fight from his lung and weakened his resolve.
If he had realized the close ranges, the young Ensign would have never reached for his phaser. It was a classic rookie mistake. The intruder comforted herself with the thought that at least in this encounter, he would survive and learn from the mistake. Something that so few of her closest friends had the opportunity to enjoy. But still she meant to make him pay dearly for the mistake. To make it a lesson that he would not soon forget. Holding his right wrist firmly, she twisted his wrist turning his elbow upward. At the same time she drew back her left arm and raised it above his right arm. She brought it down on the fully extended joint.
The arm bent in such a way that it clearly broke, the sound of the joint breaking was clearly heard in the room. The phaser flung from his grip and flew somewhere across the room as the intruder whipped the broken right arm like a rope. The young Ensign let out a scream filled with pain as he was helpless to stop the intruder. The intruder pulled on the damaged arm as she spun him around and built up momentum. Using her leverage and speed she sent the Ensign stumbling towards a nearby consoles. With the motion that was given to him, he flipped over the console and temporally vanished from sight.
Even before the Ensign was no longer a threat, the intruder was already tracking Lieutenant Paaleia. The Vulcan was in full motion to intercept the intruder when she had walked in to the room. As the Lieutenant plotted out her own actions, the intruder was considering the possible attacks that the Lieutenant could carry out. The intruder controlled the speed of the attack and this gave her an incredible advantage over the defenders. Lieutenant Paaleia's ability to act without emotion and fully with logic made her very dangerous as well as predictable and the intruder was not about to underestimate either. As Lieutenant Paaleia moved in for the attack, the intruder spun to the left side of Lieutenant Paaleia and drove a powerful punch in to the side of the Vulcan followed by another powerful blow to the lower back. The intruder's actions were clearly a martial arts form that Lieutenant Paaleia had seen back on Vulcan.
The two hits were surgical and meant to stun the Vulcan long enough for the next attack. For all the power of the twin hits, Lieutenant Paaleia spun as she blocked the third attack. Realizing that Lieutenant Paaleia had recovered faster than expected, intruder shifted her attacks in mid motion by dropping her torso and in doing so avoided Lieutenant Paaleia's swing. Again, the intruder actions were much like a martial arts form favored by many Vulcan officers. Like a great cat, the intruder sprung up and forward with a powerful side kick to Lieutenant Paaleia's right side shoulder. The force of the kick thrust the Vulcan to the right and square in to a bulkhead. The blow snapped the Lieutenant's head back and sent her stumbling down to the deck.
The intruder knew that the two cadets were moving to engage her long before they realized that their actions were detected. As she landed after her kick on Lieutenant Paaleia, she hit the deck in a roll to buy time and steel the advantage from the two cadets. With all her motion, she leaped her body back up in to the air once more. In mid air, the intruder spun her body over and in to a spinning kick. The top of her boot landed square on the side of Cadet Vangelos head. The blow sent him half stumbling half flying backwards and over the console that Ensign Faulknen had just stumbled over. The Ensign Faulknen was just recovering from his own beating when he was knocked back to the ground by Cadet Vangelos. The two shipmates were no longer a current threat as the intruder shifted her attention Cadet Galven.
Cadet Galven didn't waste any time as she unleashed a series of rapid random attacks on the intruder. It was clear that Cadet Galven had focused a bit too much time studying Computer Operations and Technology rather then her personal combat classes. The intruder was easily able to deflect each attack with skill of a martial arts' master. What Cadet Galven didn't realize was that the intruder was using the cadet's attacks to set the cadet up for defeat. The intruder deflected the cadet's last attack and using the momentum of the attack, the intruder spun the cadet around and locked her neck in a choking hold. The cadet let out a helpless scream as panic filled her mind. 'One, two, three' the intruder thought as she counted carefully. Too much time in the choke hold and the cadet could be seriously injured. The fight faded quickly from the cadet as her body went limp and the intruder let the cadet slip to the deck in a deep slumber. The battle was over for the young Computer specialist.
From the intruder's periphery vision, the intruder took notice of Lieutenant Paaleia moving at her. The motion of the Vulcan's arm was a clear indication of the Lieutenant's next attack. 'A Vulcan neck pinch....really?' crossed the intruder's mind. Such a classic Vulcan attack and for the trained infiltrator, easily blocked. It was a logical move for Lieutenant Paaleia, end the battle right here with one attack. The intruder shifted her weight in full motion as the battle tempo never slowed down. Using her speed the intruder shifted to the left while grappling Lieutenant Paaleia's attack. While Lieutenant Paaleia might be stronger than the intruder in normal situations, the use of momentum gave the intruder much higher advantage than the Vulcan's pure strength. The intruder spun around Lieutenant Paaleia body taking with her the Vulcan's arm and tightening the grapple hold. "Good night!" the intruder said as she surprised the Vulcan by reversing the neck pinch. Lieutenant Paaleia fell to the deck in a heap of unmoving flesh.
During the intruder's training for this mission, it was clear that the upper hand would at one point in time shift to the Starfleet defenders. It was a risk that could not be ignored. So as part of her training for this mission, she focused on what would happen once the upper hand shifted against her. It was Cadet Vangelos who bravely leaped from the console and grappled the intruder. There are times when timing just wasn't in your favor. In this game, Cadet Vangelos was able to get behind her before she realized he was there and grappled her in a tight bear hug style attack.
To both of their surprise, he was able to pin her arms just above her waist. It was in that moment that the intruder knew that the upper hand had shifted. Time was critical to steel back the advantage. In that moment, and much deeper in her mind something was unleashed. The intruder glanced at the reflection of the being behind her on a nearby monitor. She saw the Cardassian holding her fast in his arms.
"Settle down you Federation whore!" he spat at her.
Terror filled her mind as she knew what was coming next. It always came like this. The group of guards would hold her down and force their way with her. Panic filled her mind as she let out a terror filled scream that shocked everyone in the room. Her eyes refocused on pure survival. She fought back like a caged animal twisting and struggling with all her might. She had to ensure that he couldn't further secure and tighten his grip. The intruder flexed her body and twisted it over and over again to work his arms just a bit looser.
Her mind raced forcing herself to realize where she really was and not to allow these illusions to ruin their chance of success. Once more she screamed as she could see those nasty Cardassians lining up to take their turn with her. She fought both in her mind and with her body. She couldn't loss control, 'Goddess, please not now!' she screamed in to her own mind. By sheer force of will she could see past her nightmares and see what was going on. It was in that moment she spotted Starfleet's last critical mistake.
She spotted Ensign Faulknen rushing to where the phaser had been flung. She knew that due to this mistake she had time to work herself free. But that time would soon elapse. She had to work free, NOW! She used her motion once more and snapped her head backwards right in to the cadet's face. The impact broke his nose and caused both to stumble. Still he held her fast yelling for the Ensign to help. With the Cadet dazed slightly, the intruder bent her whole body forward as she thrust her right leg out and beside him. Bending as much as her body would allow, she forced her joints to bend beyond their limits. This caused her great pain but the attack had to be landed. She screamed out in pain as she landed her kick to the back side of his head.
The blow blurred his vision slightly and forced him to stumble forward towards one of the consoles. With their position right where she needed them to be, she put her final plan in to motion. She leaped up while he held her tight. Bending her knees she planted both of her feet on the console. With all her might she pushed herself off of the console and backwards. The motion sent both Cadet and the intruder in his arms stumbling backwards towards a nearby bulkhead. She timed her next action with such perfection that even a Vulcan would be impressed.
As Cadet Vangelos hit the bulkhead with his own head, she slammed her head once more in to his weakened face. The combined impacts took their toll on the young cadet. His grip gave way as he slid down to the deck. The sound of the door to the mainframe room hissed open in reaction to the cadet and the intruder being near the door. The Cadet slipped down towards the deck with thoughts of starships in his dreams. The battle for the Computer Control Room was reaching its conclusion and till this moment not one crew member had been permanently injured. A fact that she could take pride in. Still there was no time for reassuring herself as the battle was not over yet.
The intruder landed lightly on her feet with her center of gravity centered perfectly. Her eyes fixed on Ensign Faulknen who was just raising up from behind a console with his phaser in his off, left, hand. It was clear that this was not his dominate hand, but he was still focused on using the weapon. The smile on his face told her that he had assumed that the battle was over and he was the victor. 'Arrogant' she thought as the two carefully plotted out their next actions. Not even seconds passed as the two took their next actions.
Time faded away as the two combatants locked glares at each other. She saw hatred and revenge in his eyes. In her eyes, he saw her determination. In just a few short moments, she had taken down three of his shipmates with what seemed to be little effort. He had every intention to make her pay for her attack on his ship. It was these emotions that she knew all too well, revenge. 'If he only knew' she thought. What he could never understand was that he was the last person standing in the way of her mission to save the Federation. In her eyes, Ensign Faulknen saw the kind of determination that would not be denied. It was as much a test of wills as it was a test of speed.
Ensign Faulknen knew what had to be done and this guided his actions. His finger moved over the phaser while taking aim with the weapon. He changed the settings to heavy stun. He smiled cause unlike her first attack on him, now he had range on his side. He assumed that this automatically gave him the advantage. She had no weapon and thus he knew he had beaten her. It was arrogance that blinded him to the consequences of his actions. So what if she got a bit hurt from the stun. It was what she deserved for what she did here today. With little regard for cover or the skill that she had shown to this moment, he rose up from behind cover and took aim at her. Her speed and reaction was as fast as it was when she first walked in to this room. She leaped to the right side so fast that it was hard for the Ensign to track her.
Her actions were faster than what he could predict as he fired his phaser at her. He couldn't deny that the shot was a bit blind as she moved just moments before he hit the fire button. He watched her as time seemed to slow to a painful crawl. She reached out for the open tricorder on the console next to her. She snatched it up and flung it at him as she let out a loud grunting sound. The phaser beam passed over her left shoulder and in to the mainframe room. The tricorder spun on its flat side like a Frisbee towards him. Ignoring her desperate attack, he tracked her with the phaser counting on his next shot to hit her. A shot that would never come as the tricorder impacted his head causing his vision to blur and go black. The tricorder broke as it smashed in to bulkhead near where the Ensign had been standing. The battle for the Computer Control Room was over just moments after it started.
Last edited by Akirapryde; November 27 2014 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Cleaned up broken code, added heading
|November 27 2014, 08:16 PM||#4|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
"...Sato, check the-" The hum of a transporter beam ringing in her ears was the first sign that she knew something was wrong. Before she knew it, it was too late to stop what was about to happen. At first she was disoriented. 'Wasn't I just in Engineering looking at a diagnostic panel?' she thought as she looked around at her engineering team. All seemed to be just as disoriented as she was. The entire main engineering division was standing around the vast gardens of one of the holodecks on board of the Thunderchild.
It took Lieutenant Medart a few seconds to get her bearings. She knew this wasn't earth, but this also wasn't engineering either. 'Great' she cursed herself, "now the transporters are acting up." she looked around for the exit arch of the holodeck and she called out "Computer, exit." The computer responded with some kind of unintelligible gibberish. Lieutenant Medart let out a huff of frustration as she called out, "Computer, arch." Again the computer replied with an unintelligible gibberish. With a heavy sigh, she shook her head as the situation hit home, 'another thing I need to fix.' The weight on her shoulders was getting heavier and heavier by the minute.
She looked around and did a quick headcount to see who was with her. It seemed that her entire engineering staff including those who were working in the twin Impulse engine rooms were also transported to this holodeck. Just like they were, she was puzzled as to why they were beamed to the holodeck.
It was time for her to take control and start fixing this new malfunction. 'So the holodeck was still operational' She thought then put her priorities in line. 'End the holoprogram and reconnect with ships computer. Lastly find out why the transporters went haywire' she thought taking in the situation. Within moments she pointed to a crewman, "Crewman Kiev, find the computer terminal so we can get out of here" she commanded. She then turned to Lieutenant Jacobson, the senior officer of the Impulse team, "Tina, get a team together and start fingering out what is wrong with the computer interface." Lieutenant Medart turned and watched as her team were all watching her.
She motioned to Lieutenant Ottmar, her right hand in warp engineering. "Todd, I need you to find a communication hub and see if we can reach the bridge. We have to let them know about the malfunction."
Before anyone had a chance to react to the orders, a fussy broken communication link broke through the sounds of the vegetation. Despite the weak communications link, everyone knew the voice of Commander Bonham. "Lieutenant Medart these computer issues have gone far from annoying to, FIX MY SHIP!"
The young Lieutenant Medart took a deep gulp as she looked around as if she was searching for God himself. "Lieutenant Medart here, Commander. I was just about to contact you" there was clear nervousness in her voice as she spoke. It was clear that she didn't want to give this report. "It would appear that the transporters are malfunctioning right now. My team and I were beamed in to a holodeck and are currently trapped here. As soon as we can get out of the holodeck I will, sir. Voice commands aren't working so I'm having a crewman get the door open for us. I'll personally head to the computer core to shut it down so we don't have to continue to have these issues, at least for now."
She knew that this wasn't what the Commander wanted to hear but it was the only option if they were to fix the computer. The backup core could support the ship for the time being. But not at full operations, so she knew that they would have to keep the ship at low power until they can get the main core fixed. It was the only option they could offer the Commander at this moment.
'Good,' she thought. 'Maybe he'll let off my back a little since I thought about our other issues and had a plan on how to stop these problems. I just hope none of the crew were beamed to their death in space or halfway inside a wall because of me' she looked down as she thought. She should have been able to track down these malfunctions by now. But she couldn't understand why the computer was acting up like this. She had gone over hundreds of lines of code and found nothing wrong. The weight of the guilt was sitting heavy on her as she waited for the Commander to respond. That was even if he could hear what she reported. 'Great' my first real chance to show my skills and my ship is bound and determined to watch me fail.
In the Gymnasium Commander Bonham looked around at his bridge crew as the broken and static filled report from his Chief Engineer was coming over the communication's channel. "Computer!" he yelled out and was answered by unintelligible gibberish. By this point, his anger was clearly seen across his face. Before he spoke, Lieutenant Kinchlirah and raised her hand to stop his action.
"Before you act Sir" she said calmly and looked in to his eyes. "I was just in contact with a janitor who had been beamed in to the security office. I could hear an alarm over the broken comlink and talked him through how to figure out what was going on. It would appear that we have an intruder alert. Deck 8, Section 15" she informed.
In that moment the reality of the situation started to sink in. His eyes went wide as everything finally clicked. He turned around and realized that his entire command staff had been taken out of action in one series of transports. His mind switched gears as he turned and opened up the channel once more to Lieutenant Medart. "Belay that Lieutenant" he ordered to Lieutenant Medart. He continued, "Get your team together. Your orders are Lieutenant, make your way to the Bridge. Take the Main Computer Core off line at once. Lock out all command functions from there. Shut it all down. We have an intruder situation aboard. Make sure your people are ready to defend the Bridge."
He paused to hear the hum of another transporter operation. Within seconds he saw a three man security team beamed in to the Gymnasium. He didn't like the developing situation. He added to the open line, "Lieutenant we do not know how many intruders there are. Gather up as many crew as you can find. Get a force shield around the bridge and secure it all costs. Is this clear Lieutenant?"
As he waited for a reply from his Chief Engineer, he turned to Lieutenant Kinchlirah. "Take those security personnel and find our intruders." He paused then gave a stern look, "Lieutenant, defend the ship." His order was clear and to the point. "I will take the bridge crew to the Emergency Computer Core. From there, we will regain control of the ship systems."
He heard Lieutenant Medart come back over the com link but stopped her with the additional order, "I want you to send some of your team to take the main power relays for the transporters off line also. It would appear that our transporters are making this crisis worse for us."
Lieutenant Medart replied over the broken comlinks, "Yes, sir." Her voice was very distorted and nearly impossible for the Commander to understand. He shook his head as he knew the crisis could only get worse from here.
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|November 28 2014, 01:56 AM||#5|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Deck 8, Section 15 Computer Control Room
USS Thunderchild, NCC-63549
Commander Bonham, Acting Captain
The battle had been hard fought and was over within moments of its beginning. The intruder reached towards a console as she ripped off her glasses and pulled out the ear plugs. She returned them to her pouch as she pulled out her comlink once more. Catching the used canister between her feet she hoped it up much like a soccer move. It was flung upwards and she caught it with her waiting hand. She didn't want to leave anything behind that would give Starfleet something that they could use to track who she was. She returned the canister and its pin back to her pouch. Time was ticking down as she figured that the crew had to know that the transporter malfunctions was just a cover for her intrusion of their ship. Her only hope was that they didn't know where she was or her goals. This bought her just enough time.
Returning her ear piece to her ear, she slid to a stop before one of the consoles. She pulled out her tricorder once more, "Susquehanna, I have secured the Computer Control Room and am opening the data link now!" she said out loud as she opened her tricorder. The battle had eaten up valuable time so she had to rush. She tapped her tricorder a few times as she entered the commands needed to start her plan, "Time!"
The female voice on the other end replied, "T minus one minutes, forty five seconds. Data link has been created and uploading security protocols now. Hold on....scanning their internal communications networks." There was a pause over the communication link, "Be advised, security has been made aware of an intruder on deck eight, section fifteen."
The intruder blinked as she spun around scanning the room, "how is that possible!" Even before she could finish her statement the answer became clear. In the doorway leading to the Mainframe Room lay a third cadet on the deck. It was Cadet Madhev, another Vulcan aboard the ship. The intruder knew that this cadet along with a few others had been a last minute addition to the ship's crew. Her remarkable skills in science and computers pushed her through Starfleet Academy faster than even her fellow Vulcan classmates. Cadet Madhev had a younger sister back on Vulcan. They had just exchanged a series of person messages regarding the upcoming long deployment.
This was not Cadet's Madhev's normal shift. 'What the hell was she doing here!' thought the intruder as the situation ran through her mind. The cadet had to have been here when the malfunctions started. When the intruder came in to the Control Room, Cadet Madhev had to have been in the Mainframe Room, which was the chamber that actually housed the Computer Core its self. She had to have heard the combat and called security. The room was small and crowded with the Core. When the intruder and Cadet Vangelos slammed in to the bulkhead next to the door, the intruder remembered that the door had opened. When the door opened and exposed Cadet Madhev, it was then she decided to try to engage the intruder. If she had just remained safely in the Mainframe room, she would have been unharmed. When the intruder dodged the incoming phaser fire from that security ensign, it hit Cadet Madhev instead.
The phaser wound to the cadet's head was clear for the intruder to see. "Damnit!" the intruder cried as she reached down to the base of the console nest to her and pulled the first aid kit from its holder. "Susquehanna, We have a serious causality. Keep the corridor clear of security personnel. Buy me as much time as possible."
As the intruder rushed over to Cadet Madhev's side, she fell to her knees and opened up the kit. The female voice on the other end of the comlink spoke once more, "Their computer confirms Security Level Ten Accepted. Clone program is interfacing with their Computer Core now. Stand by.... Got it, we are in control. Starting bulk memory data transfer. Also uploading new protocols. Security personnel are attempting to respond to the alert. Locking on and engaging transporters. Time, T minus, fifty seconds. I am not detecting the damping field, I can beam you out at any time."
The intruder didn't waste time to respond to the statements as she focused on the young cadet. She scanned the cadet with a medical tricorder and allowed a frustrating sound to slip from her lips. The cadet's life signs were dropping fast. She couldn't understand how a phaser set on stun could have caused so much damage to a person. 'unless......' she thought of the different setting on the phaser. "This is why I didn't bring a damn phaser! There was no reason for him to fire like that!" she said pulling a hypo and injecting the cadet, "stupid.....stupid..." She worked with all the haste that she could to set up a device on the cadet's forehead. Finally she answered her female accomplice, "NO! Just keep buying me time." The intruder paused as she continued to work to save the cadet's life, "she's dying."
"They are attempting to regain control over their transporters. I am not sure how long I can keep blocking their efforts. Locking on to another security team on Deck Seven just above you, sending them to the weapons pod." There was a pause, "Damn! I have lost control over internal sensors, switching to our own sensors. The link holding. Luckily we have that sensor dampening field around you." The female voice said then added, "Transfer at forty percent. Data is clean and starting to increase in transfer rate."
Once more the intruder injected the Vulcan with another hypo and activated the device which caused the Vulcan's whole body to flex a bit. "Come on, fight!" The intruder scanned the Vulcan's body once more as she watched the life signs as they continued to drop, "don't give up on me!" There were tears in her eyes as she could relate to the pain that Cadet Madhev's sister would feel. The pain was so unbearable she couldn't let that little girl suffer as she did. Her mind clouded as she remembered the intense heartache that came with that pain. Beyond the walls of the Computer Control Rooms, the intruder could hear the sounds of intense combat. Explosions and the screams of the dying filled her ears. She looked over a raise of near by rocks and knew that it was only moments before a enemy patrol would be coming by.
"FIGHT MADHEV! Don't GIVE UP ON ME!" In the distance there were sounds of intense weapon's fire as she could see from the corner of her eye a Cardassian moving behind one of the consoles. She fought back the dark memories once more as the pain of the past rushed forward. She did everything in her power to calm her mind but her mind was racing to save the Vulcan's life. She couldn't loss control, 'please Goddess, not now.....' she begged.
The female voice spoke over the com-badge, "Bulk data transfer at eighty percent. I am losing control over their transporters systems. I have to get you out of there! T minus thirty seconds till mission termination. Locking on to you, get ready for beam out."
"NO! Not yet!" She never shift her eyes from the cadet whom she was working on saving, "I am not leaving her to die!" the intruder yelled out. She looked down and in a moment she saw a yeoman laying in the dirt. A large pool of blood had gathered.
A male voice called out to her, "Corporal!" The intruder looked up and saw a Starfleet Marine holding his hand out to her. In his other hand was a rifle and his uniform was covered in dirt as if he had been in combat for weeks. "She's dead! We have to go!"
A near by explosion caused the intruder to loss sight of the Starfleet Marine. Through the smoke of the Computer Control Room she could hear his voice. "Don't be a hero" the vile Cardassian said as he moved along the edges of the room. He stepped over the unconscious bodies of the Starfleet Personnel. His voice was filled with hate and evil. She knew him all too well, and she hated him. "The array, tell me the codes to the reactivate it and I can save her. I can save all of them. Just give me the codes."
Terror filled her heart as she shook her head. It was that kind of terror that one can only feel when they are faced with an evil that could have only crawled out of hell it's self. "NO! NEVER!" the intruder cried as her voice was filled with terror and fear at the same time. She had long before swore to die before she would give up the codes to the array. Emotional pain filled her voice as the tears blurred her vision. Somewhere in her mind, a scream snapped her mind back in to reality. At her knees, laid a Vulcan cadet, or was it a middle aged yeoman. Her hands shook for a moment as the intruder shook her head from side to side trying to clear her mind's eye.
Over the comlink, the other female voice sounded worried, "What? whats going on? Heads up! Scans shows security Personnel attempting to reach your section from Deck Nine. I am sure they are aware of what I am doing. Clever! They are using the EPS crawl spaces to mask their location." There was a pause then a bit of laughter. "Not so fast boys. GOT YOU! energizing! Enjoy the bio-waste tanks!" More laughter over the comlink, "Their life signs are stable and strong. Just wish I could see them swimming in that waste. Bet they didn't like that to much."
The intruder had no clue of what her partner was saying as her mind fought for control over reality and her heart begged for the cadet's survival. "Uh?? No. Nothing" the intruder's mind continued to race, "Sorry. keep me informed," the intruder said as she heard the explosions around her. The screaming of soldiers dying. The intensity of the battle raged around her as another explosion rocked the ruins of the once proud temple her unit had used for their last stand. Once more the intruder returned her focus to the wounded Vulcan, "I can't let her die!" The smell of burnt flesh filled the air as a pair of Cardassian Fighters rocked over head. Their bombs landing not far from the fox hole that she was using for protection. It was happening again, that out of body experience that plagued her for so long.
The skies were filled with the orange glow of explosions as the sounds of heavy energy weapons filled her ears. "Commander, we have to get out of here" yelled a tall bloody man dressed in a Starfleet Marine armor. He carried a TR-120, which was a magnetic pulse rifle, in his arms. It was clear that he was wounded and worn from the extended battle. From her advantage point high above the scene she could see her friends, her fellow soldiers below her. These marines were her family. There were others within the group that were not part of her military family. They were dressed in almost rags. Those were armed with what ever weapons they could get their hands on at the time. Even as detached as this was, the pain of the vision was nearly unbearable. In the real world, her tears dripped from her face as she knew that they would all die.
She saw a red headed female marine officer returning fire and yelling out commands, "reinforce that flank!" as a missile rocked over head and exploded somewhere behind them. Hidden in a small hole and protected by another pair of Marines, a blond female marine worked a communication uplink. "Where is the fleet!" the Major yelled as she fired her own TR-120.
Another female soldier rushed up as a new explosion filled the area. Throwing herself in to the air to avoid the explosion, she flew towards the foxhole. Within seconds the female marine landed right next to the blond. Two other marines flew in to the air as their death cries echoed in the memory. "Leave it to the fleet to miss all the fun! So where are those evac shuttles!?" screamed out the other female marine. Like the others, this one was dressed just like the rest of the marines and equally worn and wounded from the battle.
The blond looked up from her comlink equipment, "Fleet Support keeps ordering us to hold our position, Sixty Seven degrees, Five Minutes South, by One hundred degrees East. They are attempting to break through. However resistances has escalated considerable."
The Major rushed over to the blond through the smoke, "Tell Fleet Support we have been holding this position for three hours and are getting hammered. We can't hold out much longer. We need those shuttles!"
The blond turned up from her uplink. Blood covered her face as the horrors of this losing battle filled her eyes. "All I am getting is that we are to hold our position and stand by. It seems as if there is some argument on their end. I can hear their voices. It sounds so confusing on their end."
Another male soldier screamed from his fighting position while he returned fire, "Don't they know we are dying here!"
The world snapped back in to full vision. Once more the intruder was back aboard the Thunderchild as the female voice screamed out over the communication link, "HEY FOCUS!! Data transfer has been terminated. The mission time has elapsed. You have to get out of there!"
The intruder opened her eyes to see the young cadet laying on the deck before her. Her mind blurred from the memories as she looked at her hands shaking uncontrollable. Her vision had become blurred by the tears in her eyes. But the realization of life and death before her had not changed. "Susquehanna, you have to give me as much time as you can" she leaned down and placed her mouth over his and started CPR. In between breaths the Intruder cried out, "Come on Madhev, fight!"
The female voice broke in once more, "They've cut power to all of their transporters. I cannot cover you anymore. I have to beam out of there now."
The intruder didn't reply as she repeated the steps of CPR till Madhev finally let out a deep painful cough erupted from her lungs. The intruder sighed heavily as she placed the medical tricorder on the Vulcan's chest and tapped Madhev's own com-badge, "Computer Control to Medical Bay! Phaser wound to the right upper skull. Intracranial hemorrhage along the extra-axial. Subdural hemorrhage due to scoring of the bridging veins in the subdural space between the dura and arachnoid mater. Bleeding has been confined but not stopped. Prepare for Emergency Transport." Just as someone on the other end was asking who was placing the report, she closed the link.
The intruder spoke to her own ship. "Susquehanna, lock on to this medical tricorder and beam it and the cadet site to site, to the Thunderchild's ships medical bay." Her voice was filled with that presence that demanded that her order be followed without question.
"Standby, I have something strange on the sensors. I got the lock" There was a pause, then the Cadet's body glowed blue as she vanished. "Transport complete. She is in the medical bay. Can I beam you out now?"
With the time running out, their mission was now in jeopardy. The intruder was filled with a renewed sense of urgency. She turned and started to rush for the console and her own tricorder. Deep within her mind were the echoes of that long forgotten battle and the pain that came along with those powerful memories. Her mind raced with the events of this day as well as those of the past. She never heard the warning over her comlink about a sensor shadow right outside the door of the Computer Control Room. She moved as fast as she could towards the tricorder hoping that she could escape without further Starfleet involvement. It was the hissing of the main door in to the room that finally caught her attention.
The intruder turned just in time to catch a glimpse of the Klingon in full motion within the doorway. With all her power, lieutenant Kinchlirah slammed her fist in to the intruder. Her long red hair flew to the side as the blow landed across the intruder's jaw. The Klingon had hit her full and had drawn blood! The power of the hit was so much that it nearly knocked her completely out. Blood droplets flew onto the wall and fell to the floor. The Intruder had never felt such a powerful attack!
This kind of blow might have dropped nearly anyone else but this hit had another effect on the intruder. Something deep in the intruder's mind "clicked" and her instincts kicked in. Turning the power of the blow in to momentum even before the Klingon had fully recoiled from the swing; the intruder spun her on her heels. She absorbed some of the impact of the blow with the momentum of her body.
Dropping her torso, she was able to redistribute her center of gravity and coil her body into a spring. Blood dripped from her mouth as she came full around, ready, near the floor. The Klingon was poised for for her next attack. They locked eyes. To the intruder, it was a well known fact that Klingons were by far the best warriors in the Galaxy. All humans had a deep rooted and well founded respect for those warriors. After all, the intruder had fought side by side with Klingons during the war and on each occasion, they had earned her respect.
During that brief moment while they stared into each others eyes, it was clear that the Klingon had recognized the intruder. Lieutenant Kinchlirah paused, as a memory sprung forward from the ghosts of days long gone. Lieutenant Kinchlirah knew this intruder... but couldn't place how or when they had crossed paths.
In the intruder's eyes, the enemy couldn't help but see courage. The kind of courage that can be found in the heart of a Warrior. There was no hate, no anger in the intruder's eyes. This was not about the ship or anyone aboard. For this intruder, her actions aboard this ship were somehow demanded by some unknown reason. Just as in this very moment, the Klingon will carry out her duty to protect her ship. The fact that the intruder had taken the full force of Kinchlirah's first blow and was still willing to fight back was impressive on its own.
With all her might the intruder sprang upward and forward. At the same time she let out with a powerful yell. The yell mustered as much inner strength as she could summon. Unlike other battles that Lieutenant Kinchlirah had been in, where she had heard the cries of pain or weakness, this was a Warrior's yell that signaled the coming battle. The entire situation filled Kinchlirah with a sense of excitement - to face off with an opponent that was willing to go blow for blow.
This intruder might be small compared with a Klingon; however she didn't lack honor nor courage. In that, Kinchlirah could respect this intruder.
Up came the Intruder like a great spring unloosed. Using the built up energy and momentum from the first hit, the intruder's counter attack was both fluid and steady without a single break in action. The over all recovery and continued speed of this short but intense combat couldn't help but impress Lieutenant Kinchlirah. The intruder used her size, speed and leverage to their fullest advantage against the Klingon. As the intruder sprang upwards, she spun her body bringing her feet forward and landed a twin kick on lieutenant kinchlirah. The double kick attack against Kinchlirah's chest was powerful and could have easily knocked any normal person off their feet. However, this person was a large Klingon.
For all of Lieutenant Kinchlirah's skill in combat, the blow did have its desired result on the larger, more powerful Klingon. The exchange of energy between the intruder Kinchlirah was just enough to knock the larger Klingon off balance. The intruder landed on her back as Kinchlirah stumbled backwards into the corridor. The power of the intruder's kick caused Kinchlirah to yield valuable ground as now the doorway was controlled by the intruder.
The next action would mean the end in this short combat. Lieutenant Kinchlirah had the advantage now. The intruder's attack was masterfully carried out, however it ended with her landing on the deck. While the Klingon, on the other hand, was once more outside the room she had tried to secure. Not a second was lost between the two as each knew their next action would mean victory for their own cause. This was no longer about skill or power. What would happen next would be determined only by sheer speed alone. This type of contest placed the intruder in the advantage.
While regaining her balance, Lieutenant Kinchlirah was far from out of this battle. She surged forward once more with a sense of determination in the set of her jaw. Letting out her own Warrior's cry! The excitement of the battle filled her - she smiled! For, win or lose, the past few seconds had been the most exciting since she had arrived! Each time she served alongside Starfleet Personnel, she had noticed a trend that bothered her. They had automatically assumed 'the Klingon' would make for a good target... needs to be taught a lesson... or something.
This was different. Here was an intruder who had a mission - a goal! Some driving force behind her actions! While Lieutenant Kinchlirah didn't know what this mission was, she knew it was there. This intruder fought with both determination and Honor. An Honorable foe for an Honorable Klingon!
The door and victory were only milliseconds away. Already Lieutenant Kinchlirah saw that the intruder was also in full motion. Once more, timing was going to be everything.
The intruder kicked her feet into the air and coiled them back towards the deck as she flung herself upwards back to her feet. Her red hair flew through the air. Distance closed so fast that Lieutenant Kinchlirah could make out the blond roots along the intruder's scalp. The intruder could not withstand another attack from the Klingon. Lieutenant Kinchlirah was going to make sure of this fact.
BUT... In defeat, a warrior may still find victory through cunning. Once more, the pair locked eyes. The intruder reached for the door controls. Lieutenant Kinchlirah drew back her fist to deliver a final mighty blow. The grin on the Klingon's face could easily be mistaken for something else. In this case, it was the thrill of this short, intense battle. (Or just simply... exercise.) Lieutenant Kinchlirah continued to let out her scream as her fist surged forward at the intruder's head. However the blow would never come. The doors hissed closed once more. The clicking sound told Lieutenant Kinchlirah that the locks had been activated.
Her fist impacted with a loud... crunch.
With the door only acting as a momentary delay, she had only seconds, "Susquehanna, lock on to me and be ready for beam out!" She half yelled as she flung herself over to the tricorder on the console. With her body surging with adrenalin, her hand reached up and deactivated the device on her arm. In that moment, a ghost came in to prefect view of the ship's intruder sensors. Once more the ship detected the intruder and sent a renewed set of alerts of the intruder and her location. Now, the ship's computer could identify the intruder as Petty Officer, 2nd Grade Dolores Traver. Last known to be under the care of Starfleet Medical just a few months ago before she escape their custody.
Only seconds had passed and the intruder could hear the Klingon attempting to by-pass the locked doors. "Susquehanna, now!" she called out as she snatched up the tricorder from the console. That simple tricorder would hold the key to everything they are doing. Within that tricorder was her ability to right a crime that had gone unpunished for too long. To avenge those betrayed. He would be made to pay for his crimes! 'Please Goddess, don't let this end here' she prayed as she heard the door unlock and start to hiss open as she heard the transport start.
Her body now covered in blue as the intruder could see the Klingon rushing in to the room with three other armed security officers. The look on the faces of the security officers was that of anger. The Klingon on the other hand, had a different look. Just like that, the intruder was gone from the ship. For all of their training, all of their technology, the Thunderchild had been infiltrated and their shipmates subdued by this lone intruder. Despite their best efforts and security protocols, valuable data had been stolen. The anger of the security personnel was clear and written across their faces. For the intruder however, the quest for justice would continue one more day. Yet a new question was now raised. Who's justice would prevail in this contest.
Not even seconds later, the intruder was back aboard the USS Susquehanna holding her valuable tricorder. An attractive red headed woman spun in the one of the command chairs of the runabout. "You really took your sweet time over there, Seona" the red headed woman said. Behind her and through the main view ports the mighty Thunderchild hung in space. Stars whipped passed as both ships were traveling at warp speed. The proximity of the Thunderchild to the runabout meant that the much smaller ship was using the Thunderchild's own warp field to 'hitch a ride'. The woman got up from her chair and moved over to the intruder, "Oh merciful Goddess, your face" she said with concern as she grabbed the first aid kit and started to walk over.
The Seona smiled as she waved off her companion, "It hurts more than it looks" she laughed as she walked towards Maura. "As for being late, that was a move right out of your own pay book, Maura." Seona flopped in to one of the pilot chairs as her energy seemed to fail her. She appeared exhausted as she allowed her arms to flop towards the floor. She looked out through the main viewing window at the Thunderchild just above them. She could easily make out the port side warp core ejection hatch and the red yellow markings that outlined the hatch.
Maura moved over with the first aid kit and tended to the nasty wound on the side of the intruder's face. "Goddess, what hit you, a brick!" With all the care of a nurse, Maura moved Seona's face so to get a better look at the wound.
Seona laughed, "No. Worse! It was a Klingon." The pair laughed at the joke over the nasty wound. Seona spun in her chair towards the controls and started to run her hands over them. "Securing tethers and deploying the anchors now" Seona added as she continued worked the controls. "If the program in their Emergency Computer Core runs right, they won't be able to regain control over their navigation, warp engines or helm for the next ten minutes. That should give us more than enough time to get out of here."
Once the commands were issued to the runabouts controls, the Thunderchild started to drift further and further away till the smaller runabout was no longer in the Thunderchild's warp field. In a blink of an eye, the Thunderchild rocketed away as the two ships separated. In that moment the Thunderchild's energy drain vanished completely and its power outputs returned to normal. The added strain on the warp field that was caused by the runabout's close proximity also vanished. With the tethers disconnected the Thunderchild was able to identify the source of the energy drain on the ship. It was positively identified as the USS Susquehanna. A Federation Danube class which had been modified to serve as Admiral Stamen Sartre personal launch. According to records, the tiny ship was currently reported undergoing standard maintenance at Proxima shipyards.
Maura watched the mighty Thunderchild slipped from vision as it continued on its current course and speed. "You were wrong by the way. It took them nearly ten minutes to lock down the Command Codes and the Computer Core. As for engineering, seven minutes to activate emergency override protocols. Thanks to your plan, we had control over their computer core in less than four minutes. Who knew that Starfleet ships were so vulnerable to suck attacks." There was a bit of a smile on her face as she explained how the crew had reacted to their invasion of the Thunderchild. "The only problem with your plan was the time you spent to save that crew member. Seona, I know you did what you thought you had to do. But you really need to be careful" Maura had a genuine look of concern on her face.
Seona nodded, "yeah I know." Seona said as she continued to work the controls, "but I couldn't let her die." she sighed for a moment, "though, the memories are coming back more intense. I am going to have to adjust the dose age." She paused a moment to wonder if the Cadet would survive or not.
Maura had a look of concern on her face. "Seona, maybe this is a sign. Look, we have the files we can send them to Starfleet Intelligence and run. Maybe we can find some help for you. Please Seona, we have to think of what those memories are doing to you."
Seona shook her head, "No Maura!" she waved off Maura's hand. "He will never stop hunting us. Starfleet can't be trusted to stop him or the attack" she demanded. "No we have to see this through." There was concern on Maura's face. "don't worry about Starfleet, I left a complete log of how we infiltrated their systems and how they can prevent such attacks in the future."
Maura looked shocked, "you did?"
Seona laughed, "well yeah, I am not a traitor you know" she said as her hands glided over the controls. "Coming to a stop" Seona added as she continued to work the controls of the runabout. Her hands ran over the controls with determination. They were away from the Thunderchild, but not out of danger yet. It was important to remain one step ahead of Starfleet at each turn. To underestimate Starfleet would mean certain capture and surely certain death. Seona's eyes ran over the controls as she issued in further commands. "Okay I am deploying the decoy probes now" she said softy as five small probes shot away from the runabout.
Maura only nodded as she continued to treat the nasty face wound. The Susquehanna's own sensors confirmed what they already knew would happen. Each probe left a warp trail as it departed, and that matched Susquehanna's own warp signature. However Seona had added a slight change to the probes programming. She knew that Starfleet would not be fooled by five identical warp trails. So she ensured that each warp field appeared as if it was masked in some way. As if the probe or the Susquehanna was attempting to mask its own trail. The masking was done completely at random as would be the Susquehanna's own warp trail.
It wasn't as if she was trying to hide the warp trail. Seona knew that this would be self defeating to their plan. She knew that the Thunderchild would be able to detect the warp trails. No she wanted to confuse the Thunderchild as to where they were actually going. Force time to remain on their side and cause the Thunderchild to react to them. The warp trails would be hard to find, but not impossible for the Thunderchild. It was more important to misdirect them.
"Let us get out of here" the Seona finally said once she was sure that her long range sensors detected the mighty Thunderchild coming about. She entered in to the helm their next direction and left just as the last set of probes were entering warp. She checked her watch and noted that everything was happening right on her time table. The reaction of the Thunderchild's crew was right on time, finally. 'Lets play cat and mouse' she thought as she watched the scatter of probes and their own warp trail behind them.
The Maura sighed as she finished treating the wound. "I knew I should have went." She said softy, "Seona, it was foolish of you to insist on you going. Next mission, I will go."
"I know its foolish Maura, but you can't go. You have to remain out of sight. He doesn't know about you yet. I can't afford from him to know you are helping me" Seona said as she rose up from the control. She touched the side of her face and felt no further pain. "I just can't believe I forgot to lock that stupid door" Seona said softly.
Maura smiled and reached up and took Seona's hand, "Hey baby sis, its okay. Even we can't be expected to think of every little detail."
Seona reached in to her sack and pulled out the tricorder. After looking at it for a moment before handing it to Maura, "So do you think they will take the bait?"
Maura nodded, "After today, I don't think they'll have to choice" she said opening up the tricorder. "After all, nearly half of the of the data is in regards to Admiral Ross and Admiral Tate. They will have to notify him of what happened. Once he knows we are after him, then he will have to start reacting to us. Then we can have our vengeance." She said as she scanned the data on the tricorder. "Now it is up to the Thunderchild to play their part in our game."
Seona smiled as she nodded, "Next, its time that we show our selves to him. Lets let him know that we are alive and well. Lets see how he deals with that fact." Seona stood there for a moment before adding, "soon sister we will have our justice. Soon they all will be avenged."
Maura gave her sister a hug, "Go get some rest" she said softly. Then Maura turned and set back down to check the controls, "We have a couple of hours before we reach the space lines. I want to continue your training."
Seona nodded as she turned and walked towards the aft section of the runabout. "I am glad you are here, Maura" she said as she came to a stop and half glanced over her shoulder. There was much more that she had wanted to say but she couldn't bring herself to say it. "I....." she stuttered then continued, "I don't think I could have made it this far without you."
A look of concern came over Maura's face again, "hey, something wrong?"
Seona looked back towards the aft of the ship, "no" she said with a lie. There was something wrong but she couldn't say it. Instead she shook her head as she said, "no, that blow just really shook me up." Seona continued walking aft, "I do need to rest." Within seconds, she vanished leaving Maura alone of the flight deck of the runabout.
Maura turned around in the command chair of the runabout. There was a look of concern on her face. Something was off with her little sister and Maura knew it. The trick was uncovering what was bothering her little sister. That was the mystery. Maura scanned the controls of the ship as she leaned back. The Thunderchild was already making maximum warp for where the Susquehanna had been. Maura smiled as she watched the long range sensors loose sight of the Thunderchild. "Time to play your part Commander Bonham. Notify Starfleet that there are terrorists out there looking for a pair of your star Admirals. And they will let him know we are coming," she said softly.
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|November 28 2014, 03:23 PM||#6|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
En rout to rendezvous with USS Thunderchild
VIP Quarters, USS Intrepid
"Captain's Personal Log Stardate 53829.04
This is Jackson Fionn Campbell, the new captain of the USS Thunderchild, at least I will be when I rendezvous with her at Starbase 74. I cannot wait to see her again, to walk her halls or to enter the bridge. To sit in the captain's chair? I still cant believe she is about to be mine. I can't think of a ship I would rather take command of than the Thunderchild. It is one thing being a Captain and adjutant to Admiral David Tate. But it is something completely different commanding a starship. I still remember when the command was given to me by Admiral Tate. The Thunderchild is to be Starfleet's very first carrier. This command will surely be one that will be written in to the history books. Not that the Thunderchild wasn't already in the history books. A fine ship with a heroic history.
The last time I saw her we had crawled back from the Cardassia space with our tail between our legs. Ambushed by a handful of Jem'Hadar attack ships, we never even saw coming. If I recall, I was in a scheduled meeting with Lieutenant Jenifer Luther, our ships chief engineer when the attack began. Tactical Officer Bonham took control of the bridge after the Captain and XO were killed. Even then he was a fine officer and he proved himself in an impossible situation that day, a situation I am not envious for missing. He lost both his best friends that day and the respect of much of the crew. They obviously do not know the cost of leadership or the toll it takes.
Fires had sprung up all over the ship, people were laying wounded or worse down every corridor. Power was failing everywhere as the ship took a heavy pounding that day. I knew my efforts would be better severed helping where I was rather than trying to return to the bridge to take command. Beside filling me in while in battle would not have been the best use of our time. I remember the end of the fight, most of its a blur but, toward the end I was trying to help a young ensign who had taken a piece of shrapnel to the chest. He was bleeding badly and there was no way to apply pressure without pushing the shard deeper into his body.
When that lad died, I sat back on my heels and looked out the window as one of out fighters was destroyed in a blast of light before the Jem'Hadar attack ship turned toward the Thunderchild. I could see more of our fighters out there but they could not stop the Jem'Hadar from firing in time. I shouted for everyone to brace for impact. The explosion had knocked me off my feet and into the adjacent wall knocking the air from my lungs. In that moment, I thought that this was going to be the end of us all. We would never escape this battle.
My head was swimming, outside I could still see our boys fighting. I remember thinking we needed to run, needed to get out of here. Our shields were dead and our haul wasn't going to last much longer. I cursed Bonham, 'get us out of here you fool', I think I even yelled it out loud. Another impact and another trip into a wall. I believe that's when I broke my nose, or at least when I noticed it was broken. A medical officer saw me then and tried to help but I brushed him off, telling him to help someone who was actually hurt. As he walked way I noticed he was bleeding himself and pretty badly. I stepped to help him when we went into warp. The acceleration with our ship degree of damage sent me off my feet.
That's the last thing I remember before waking two days later in a hospital bed in Deep Space Nine. A broken nose, three cracked ribs, a concussion, and a eight inch scar down my left shoulder blade. I was awake just in time to see her depart the space station. I remember watching her being tugged in to warp. Her haul was smashed and the scares of the battle were clearly visible. I actually thought that would be the last time I would see the Thunderchild. Surely they would take her to deep space and scuttle her. Fate played a hand in the Thunderchild's return to glory.
Later that day I was given my orders to report to Admiral Tate as soon as I was fit for duty. Admiral Tate had been a long time friend and hell taught me everything I know about leadership. It took almost a week before the doctors finally released me from their care though I bet they wanted to keep me longer. Being bed ridden was not going to be my fate. I started working for Tate the next day. We spent the next year helping the Cardassians rebuild their shattered Union. The Dominion had been beaten and driven from our space, but in their wake was left suffering and destruction that bordered unspeakable.
Now, I sit here looking out the window of this Intrepid Class ship eagerly waiting my new ship. The last time I was aboard, I was her Operation's Officer. I haven't named my XO yet, but after tomorrow my ship will have a Captain. Tomorrow I will be returning to the Thunderchild as her Commander.
"Captain's Personal log, Stardate 53829.72
I still do not have my ship and now I find that she has been attacked. I hate this, that I am not there to lead my ship. It appears that a young women snuck onto the ship and injured several of the crew and stole a number of sensitive files about Admiral Ross and Admiral Tate. I have ordered the Thunderchild to change heading and meet directly with the Intrepid so that I can take command of the ship and the situation.
What is surprising to me is that the clues are as confusing as those files that were taken. It would appear that we have three possible suspects. According to our files, the intruder could be a Petty Officer named Dolores Traver. She was under the care of Starfleet Medical till she escaped a few months ago. However this is where the clues take a nasty twist. We have DNA evidence that suggests that our intruder is either Corporal Seònaid Melville or Major Maura MacConnell. Both Starfleet Marines, and both killed in action during the Dominion War. Corporal Melville was killed during the invasion of Velos system. I know how bloody that failed invasion was, I was there. What a quagmire that was. So many lives thrown way for nothing. Major MacConnell however would survive the invasion as a POW only to die just days before we could liberate her POW camp.
I remember attending Major MacConnell's funeral. She was a member of my clan back in Scotland, and a full member of the Black Watch. I saw her body during the viewing. So what I don't understand is how her blood got aboard my ship. Okay, so even if she did survive the war, why attack a Federation ship. Major MacConnell's record indicates nothing less than a loyal marine. She trained on Vulcan and even was asked to teach at their Vulcan Institute for Defensive Arts. She has a combat record longer than I have ever seen and half of her commendations seem almost legendary. Within marine ranks, they called her 'The Gypsy'. None of this makes any sense at all.
On top of that, it turn out the intruder also stopped to help one of the more serious injured personnel of my crew. This intruder saved this crewman's life according to my medical staff. Not the safest thing for an intruder to do but crazy enough to sound like Maura or at least one of her ghosts. Her death was because of something just like that. She and her unit were always known to take risks even when these risks would put their own safety into jeopardy. During the battle of Velos, dispite her unit being assigned to a given task, they went off mission to raid a Cardassian POW Camp. Despite the risks to their own safety, her unit managed to save nearly six hundred Federation and Klingon prisoners of war. This act actually caused the unit to become trapped behind enemy lines and the survivors end up as POWs themselves. But they still managed to save those POWs at the end of three day operation.
We have been searching over the files that were stolen and trying to figure out what this intruder was looking for. None of this makes any sense. Most of the files pertain to Admiral Ross and Admiral Tate in some way or another. It is unclear what they were specifically after. I have sent a report to Admiral Tate and updated him on the situation. Currently Admiral Ross' promotion ceremony at Deep Space Nine is still going to take place. But I can't help but think that we are missing something here.
Okay so why invade a ship to take files that you could just download remotely. Why place yourself in such danger? Then why risk your mission to save a life of a Cadet? And what is confusing the most is why leave a complete description of what you did and how you did it. As if she wants me to make sure that this doesn't happen again. We have already informed Starfleet Intelligence about all of this. They are just as confused as we are. None of this makes any sense.
I have given orders to the Thunderchld to have her runabouts ro pursue the trail of the USS Susquehanna, while the Thunderchild meets up with me. Still, finding the Susquehanna seems like finding a needle in a hay stack. She masked her trail just enough to throw us off but not enough to hide her trail. Its like she wants us to follow her but not too closely. Where is she leading us?
In the mean time I will continue to read these files and try to find some answers. Why are they targeting Admiral Ross and Tate?"
"Bridge to Captain Campbell" an overly feminine voice breathed through Campbell's communicator.
"We are approaching the Thunderchild. Transporter room 2 will transport you there as soon as you are ready"
"Acknowledged. Computer, end log."
|November 29 2014, 04:28 AM||#7|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Welcome Aboard, Captain
Twelve Hours from Starbase 74
Captain Jackson F. Campbell, Commanding
Commander Bonham walked the long corridor as he reflected the events of his first official command. It has been just over six hours since the mysterious intruder invaded the USS Thunderchild and the crew is no closer to solving the mystery as to who the intruder was. In fact, if he had to rate his own performance, he wouldn't give himself very high marks. He felt out of his element as acting Captain of the ship. Bonham was actually looking forward to give this ship over to the Captain in a few minutes. It wasn't like he felt that he wasn't up for the command, but he couldn't help but feel as if he didn't deserve it. 'All I had to do was take the ship to Starbase 74 and look what happened' he thought as he summed up his command record.
To make matters worse, Lieutenant Kinchlirah in all of her Klingon stubbornness refuses to accept the Computer's identification that the intruder as Petty Officer Dolores Traver. Kinchlirah referred to the profile of Dolores Traver as a shuVak or servant, not fitting of being a warrior. Kinchlirah cited the short combat between the two of them as evidence to this. It was because of this, Kinchlirah couldn't accept that Traver was their intruder.
Nor will Lieutenant Kinchlirah accept that the intruder is Major Maura MacConnell as per the acting Chief Medical Officer's DNA identification of the intruder. Unlike Traver, Kinchlirah couldn't explain it, but she refused to accept that the intruder was Major MacConnell. This has sprung up some heated debates between the Klingon Tactical Officer and both the Science Department and the Medical Department.
Despite these debates and with a near complete lack of evidence Lieutenant Kinchlirah claims that neither of those identification match her own eye witnessed account of the encounter. With nothing else better to go on, Commander Bonham has granted Lieutenant Kinchlirah the time to expand her own investigation in to who might be responsible for the attack. While the ship's crew might not know who was behind the attack, it was clear what this intruder was after.
The intruder had managed to take over 65 teraquads of seemingly random data from the ship's computer core. However thanks to the science department, they were able to go over the data taken and verified that nearly half of the data stolen were all linked to Admiral Ross, Admiral Tate and their staff. Included in what was taken were personal logs, official reports, and activities. The rest of the data all appeared to be random bits of data to cover up the true target of the intruder. Commander Bonham personally placed Lieutenant Paaleia and two other computer techs in charge of rebuilding the worm in hopes of learning more about the intruder and her abilities.
The worm was impressive according to Lieutenant Paaleia. In her own words, it was truly a work of a master programmer. After its mission was complete, the worm self deleted itself. What made it so impressive was the skill used to mask the worm's actions till it was too late for the ship's own computer to react to it. The worm was also highly advanced in its search algorithms as it was able to search massive number of memory blocks at one time. It was twice as fast as the most advanced Starfleet search program. Sadly, this impressive worm was not able to be rebuilt fully. After six hours of work, Lieutenant Paaleia conceded that the most she and her team will be able to salvage was about one third of the worm.
However this was more than enough to help identify the programmer who created the worm. Her team had seen this style of programming by a very limited number of Starfleet programmers during the war. These programmers were used by Starfleet Marines to help hack their way in to Cardassian mainframes. Many of these programmers played a key role in understanding the Dominion communication array on AR-558. However all of these highly specialized programmers were either working for Starfleet Intelligence and accounted for or were killed in action during the war. Another seemingly dead end.
Thanks to the work of Lieutenant Paaleia and her team, three more virus were discovered in the ship's computer systems. One virus left the veteran Vulcan near speechless. It was a type of clone program that simulated normal computer functions while the entire system was actually hijacked. Regardless of what the crew commanded the computer to do, it only simulated the actions while the actual ship reacted to commands from elsewhere. This virus only survived for a few minutes till the ship's computer was able to identify it and neutralize the threat. However during that limited time, the Thunderchild had no control over her own helm, navigation or engines. This virus was clearly used to help the invader escape the ship on her terms.
The next virus was the one which took control over the transporters, internal sensors and internal communications. With controls of the transporters routed off the ship, the intruder or someone else was able to target select personal of the ship and transport them from where they were to another place on the ship. Using the ship's own sensors, the intruder or someone else was able to ensure that the Deck 8, Section 15 would remain clear of crew members while the data was stolen. This virus also allowed someone to monitor internal communications freely. Like the search worm, both of these viruses self destructed as well.
The last virus seemed to be linked with the long range sensors. It was some kind of masking program linked to the sensors. This virus surprised Lieutenant Paaleia and her team. They have no reason to suspect that this virus was written by the intruder. However, based on the data, this virus had gone undetected for weeks. Lieutenant Paaleia is unable to answer why the virus was detectable now. Her only answer was one that Commander Bonham didn't like very much. It was Lieutenant Paaleia's suggestion that it was something that the intruder had done that revealed this last virus. Once more, with one answer came more questions.
His deck crews led by Lieutenant Paxton were able to figure out how the intruder was able to fool the ship's sensors and remain so close. They actually took a space walk and found that the intruder had used tethers to form a direct link to the ship's sensor grid. Based on what they found, as far as the Thunderchild was concerned, the little runabout was just part of the ship. The intruder actually found a way to fool crew members who might have been looking out a window or view port. The intruder painted the runabout jet black and turned off all the running lights. The intruder ran cords of lighting along the haul of the runabout. These lights simulated stars whipping past while the ship was at warp. While the ship wasn't cloaked, it was very hard to detect. A clever low tech way of over come a possible problem. It was a bit of good news, but it also raised some bothersome questions.
The only bit of solid good news was that no one was seriously injured during the attack aside from Cadet Madhev. However the young cadet's wounds were inflicted by her own shipmate. A fact that Commander Bonham was going to bring up to Ensign Faulknen regarding phaser combat in close spaces. Nonetheless, it was surprising that there were no major causalities. Not that Commander Bonham was complaining. Still, a lone intruder made his crew look like a ship full of second year cadets. This bothered his ego more than anything else. Searching for warp trails was equally upsetting and proving to be just as frustration. Based on scans, there were nine equally hard to find warp trails. Each had a variance that could mean it came from the real USS Susquehanna. Each trail headed off towards major areas of space travel making tracking the trails at long distance much harder.
He simply didn't have the resources to follow all of them at the same time with the Thunderchild. If he commanded the Thunderchild off in the wrong direction he risked loosing what other trails as they dissipated. He decided to dispatch all four of his runabouts and all four warp capable shuttles to follow the numerous warp trails which were left behind by the intruder. As the scouts were deployed, he ordered the much faster Thunderchild to follow the most logical trail to its end. This bought them enough time to a hasty rendezvous with the USS Intrepid so that the Captain and XO can come aboard. The commander hoped to have something to report to his new captain and XO. However his trail came up cold as they discovered the trail ended at a Class IX Long-Range Multimission Warp Probe. They had followed one of eight decoys.
Based on the specs of the USS Susquehanna, the runabout was not capable of firing this model probe. Based on what they discovered with the probe, it was not launched via a normal torpedo launcher. This proved that the intruder could adapt to the limitations of what she had on hand. He and Paxton had gone over the specs of this runabout and attempted to figure out what kind of modifications would be needed to fire this probe. After four hours, they found out that the Susquehanna is even more dangerous then they first realized. This was topped by the computer viruses and the personal sensor damping device. The technical knowledge of the intrude was clearly on par with the best minds he had aboard the ship. These facts alone seemed to discount the computer's identification.
'At least Lieutenant Kinchlirah is right in that respect' he thought as he continued to walk towards the transporter room. He continued to ran over the encounter, the more he thought of it. The more it was clear that this intruder was one step ahead of them. This bothered the commander greatly. Based on voice recording, she knew her way around the ship. She knew their security protocols and more importantly, she knew the crew. It was clear that she was speaking with some unknown accomplice during the encounter. 'Most likely aboard the Susquehanna' he thought. This person could have been operating the ship's systems during the encounter. Commander Bonham felt as if he was in a match of strategy, logic and tactics with a Vulcan.
"Steps behind and still trying to figure out the rules of this dance" he mumbled to himself. "No, the trails are not meant to mislead us. Only to slow us down" he added as he paused for a moment.
An hour ago, two more reports from the scouts came back and they were disappointing. Two of his runabouts had discovered two more decoys. With three trails down, that only left six others to come back. 'Six' Commander Bonham thought. It seemed like such a small number, yet in this moment it seemed like a massive number. Commander Bonham thought for a moment before tapping his combadge, "Ops!"
The voice of T'Lora, the acting operations officer came up, "Ops here Sir." Lieutenant T'Lora had been assigned to Operations during refit. Her posting to the position was not permanent as she had expressed a desire to return to Vulcan to continue her studies. She only stayed aboard as a personal favor to Commander Bonham. The ship was sorely under manned as it was and couldn't afford to loss another skilled officer.
"Tell me, T'Lora. Of the remaining trails, how many of the trails lead away from the Sol system?" Commander Bonham asked as he stood there in the center of the corridor. He wasn't sure but something told him that if they were meant to follow the intruder, then it would only be logical that the trail would lead them away from Earth. Or at least that was what he was hopping.
T'Lora gave a moment before answering, "four Sir."
Bonham nodded, "Okay notify Flight Ops. I want those four trails focused on. If I am wrong it wont make much difference in all my other screw ups today. So lets bet that I am right."
"Yes Sir" she replied.
Bonham closed the channel as he turned to walk in to the transporter room. He blamed himself for not realizing that a stolen runabout had gotten so close that it could tether itself to the ship. An intruder was able to hack their computers and board the ship. He blamed himself for the fact that a cadet nearly lost her life. He just shook his head and was grateful that the Captain and First Officer were about to come aboard. Bonham turned and looked at the transporter tech.
"Sir we are ready to beam them over" informed the transporter tech.
Commander Bonham nodded, "Energize."
With that command the transporter lit up and a single person beamed aboard. It had been just over a year since he had seen Campbell. Back then, it was Commander Campbell and Bonham was just a Lieutenant Commander. Campbell and he had always had a good working relationship but they came from two different worlds. Campbell had always been close to Captain, then later Admiral, Tate. Bonham had always been a lone wolf kind of officer. When Bonham was selected to join the unofficial fighter wing during the war, Campbell was already on his way for Command. Bonham had always knew that Campbell was a far better leader than he was. So when he found out that Campbell would be taking command of the ship, he was proud to serve under Campbell.
Bonham was surprise to only see Captain Jackson F. Campbell standing alone on the transporter pad. 'Where is the First Officer' he thought for a second. Before too much time wasted away, he stepped forward and with all the honor and dignity of a Starfleet Officer. He called out, "Welcome Aboard Sir!" He added, "The USS Thunderchild awaits your command, Sir."
Captain Campbell stepped off the pad with a smile on his face "thank you Commander. I am honored to be back aboard." After a short protocol to transfer command of the Thunderchild Campbell motioned for the commander to follow him as he walked for the corridor. "I have been reading your reports Commander and I have to say this is an exciting way to take command." It was clear that Campbell was not an ordinary officer by how he carried himself.
Bonham listened carefully and couldn't resist the bait, "I wouldn't call the past six hours exciting, Sir." The pair continued to walk down the corridor as the conversation continued.
Campbell smiled as he half turned and looked at Bonham, "are you sure? Tell me, when was the last time anyone hijacked a Starfleet Starship's computer and single handedly seized control over the computer core. This lone intruder bested even our resident Klingon. Then leave behind only mysteries for us to solve."
Bonham looked puzzled but answered nonetheless, "Never Sir."
With a nod, "that is my point" Captain Campbell said with a smile. "Starfleet Intelligence has been in regular contact with me over this. Across all divisions they are scared that we are some how vulnerable to this kind of attack again or was this just a fluke."
Bonham followed the Captain around a corner, "Sir with all due respect. I forwarded everything we know to Starfleet Intelligence and to our Chief of Security on Starbase 74."
Captain Campbell nodded as he waved his hand in the air, "I know. And this left them wanting so much more. You just don't know the questions this event has given rise to" Campbell explained as he walked in to the turbo lift. "Deck Two" he commanded to the lift. "Listen Bonham. This intruder has given us a remarkable opportunity to gain some much needed spot light. If this carrier program is to survive, spot light is what we need." He laughed a bit, "if I didn't know better, I would suspect that Admiral Tate set this all up. But I know thats not the case."
Captain Campbell leaned up against the wall of the turbo lift, "still we need to find this intruder or this spot light will turn to poison to us" he said with a sense of seriousness came over his face. "I did some calculating and I have already ruled out some of these ghost trails" Captain Campbell said as he handed over a PADD to Commander Bonham. "I want you to focus your search on these trails" Captain Campbell ordered. In that moment the doors hissed open and Captain Campbell stepped out, "I am going to my cabin to get a shower and change. Set a course for Starbase 74, maximum warp. Its time that we man up completely for what is to come. The runabouts can sniff out our rouge runabout. I want a full briefing in an hour. My Ready Room."
"Yes Sir" Bonham said as he stood there looking at the orders as the Captain left the lift. Just before the doors closed Bonham stopped them by stepping in their way. "Sir wait" Bonham called out. Captain Campbell paused and only half turned. "Sir what about our First Officer. Will we be picking up our First Officer up at Starbase 74?"
Campbell laughed, "No Commander. You will be the First Officer till I find someone better." The words hit Commander Bonham like a fist to the gut. "Also, Commander Ponic has decided not to join our crew as our Commander of Air Group. So I will be looking at possible candidates as a replacement. I expect a list of references on my desk in two days." Captain Campbell said as he resumed his pace for his cabin.
Commander Bonham stepped back allowing the doors to close. "Yes Sir" he said as the doors hissed closed. "First Officer," he said as the lift remained motionless, "me?" He looked down at the orders and let out a heavy sigh, "bridge" he finally said. The lift reacted to the order as Bonham leaned up against the wall of the lift and rested his head against the wall. "Why does everyone think I can lead people. Don't they remember what happened last time I was in command" said as he looked up to the ceiling of the lift. The doors hissed open a few seconds later and revealed the bridge. Bonham saw that center chair and once more felt its weight on him.
However in that moment, he saw someone that lifted his heart. In his gaze he saw Lieutenant Kinchlirah at her station. She half glance up at him as she continued her task. He remembered the last night that they spent together. It was only a couple months ago but it seemed like only a few hours ago. As her eyes locked in to his own, all fears and doubt seemed to wash away. He smiled and lifted himself off the wall. It was like her own will and strength was lent to him. "Okay everyone" he said with a loud strong voice as he walked on to the bridge. "Captain Campbell is aboard and has orders for us" he informed, "so we are going to show him why we are the pride of the Forth Fleet." As he walked past Kinchlirah, he gave her a slight smile.
|November 29 2014, 03:00 PM||#8|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
The period, immediately after the Dominion War, is one of my favorites and the same I'm writing in myself at the moment. My only, minor nitpick would be that the story could use another beta read or so for grammar and spelling.
Definitely going to keep reading.
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|November 30 2014, 04:26 AM||#9|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
If you think this is good, just wait.There is much more to come. These posts are our (cleaned up) game posts. Some of these Characters are actually player Characters in our game. While the story is my idea, they deserve the credit for the actions of their characters.
LOL As for my spelling and grammar. I will try to do better. But this has always been my bane.
As for Kinchlirah, the concept came in part from a player who dropped the game. I was thinking why wouldn't Klingons have scientists. I mean after all they built some pretty nasty warships. In Enterprise we learned so much about the culture but it wasn't really explored as much as it could have been. So in her, I want to explore more about who they are. More then just warriors. But as a whole person.
|November 30 2014, 04:40 PM||#10|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Twelve Hours from Starbase 74
Captain Jackson F. Campbell, Commanding
Lieutenant Kinchlirah hands drifted over the screens of the Situation Table while other members of the bridge crew tended to their own duties. The table and its alcove were added to the aft section of the Bridge as a location where the Command Staff could meet and go over vital information without leaving the Bridge. The concept wasn't an new idea to Starfleet. During the year long refit, Bonham had been in charge of over seeing the refit. With the new mission of the ship, Bonham knew that the Command Staff would need a place to watch the battle unfold while still manning the bridge. While going over ship designs he had uncovered a set of schematics for the NX class ships. The NX had a very similar table in the aft section of its bridge as well. Bonham liked the idea so much that he asked if one could be added to the bridge of the Thunderchild.
Unlike the table on the NX class, this table could be lowered down to the floor and raised up only when needed. With the glass surface made of transparent aluminum, the table could resist a large degree of punishment when lowered to the floor. Its surface could be made to match the floor, concealing its presence. When raised, the table can act as a powerful projector giving the bridge crew a three dimensional view of the space around the Thunderchild. A set of holoemitters around the table gave the table remarkable focus and made for very detailed information. All the operator needed to do was to point at the section desired and the focus of the table would recenter of that part of the image. The table was tied directly to the ship's computer and also could act as a briefing area on the bridge.
Lieutenant Kinchlirah carefully went over four images that hovered over the table. As if four separate files were hovering in space over the table, Kinchlirah moved her hands in the air and manipulated the images. Before her hovered the personnel file for Major Maura MacConnell, Corporal Seònaid Melville as well as battle data. Her mind was focused on the task at hand, but she was not unaware of what was going on around her. She knew that coming up behind her, Commander Bonham was stalking. She smiled to herself as the memories of them a few months ago came back to mind. Despite his attempt to be silent, she could hear his motion. "Haven't I warned you about sneaking up on a Klingon, Commander" she said. It was almost impossible for those outside of earshot to hear the playful tone in her voice. She wouldn't allow anyone to know her true feelings for Commander Bonham.
As he side step around her, he smiled, "you have Lieutenant" he said. His voice was calm and braced. If there was anything currently between the two, it wasn't easy to tell. "You have also said that a Klingon could never be surprised. I mean to prove this wrong." It wasn't clear by his voice but in his eyes held the love that he had for her a few months ago. The first time Lieutenant Kinchlirah came aboard was just days after the major refit had started. Her mission at the time was to have her point defense system installed aboard the Thunderchild. The system was part of a larger technology exchange between the Empire and the Federation. It was designed to engage fast moving smaller targets much like the Jem'Hadar fighters that had swarmed Klingon ships during the war. It was a very fitting addition to a ship like the Thunderchild
The two had spent long hours working on this defense systems of the ship. Very few knew that Bonham and Kinchlirah had history before the refit. That history grew until it wasn't long before the two fell in love with each other. Their heated affair was the talk of Utopia Yards. Bonham had always been seen as a pretty boy with blue eyes to die fore. The burn marks on his face only added a deeper level of mystery to his appearance. Some even referred to Bonham as the Thunderchild's own Will Riker. Some females at Utopia Yards even referred to Bonham as a heartthrob.
No one understood why the relationship ended abruptly, it seemed to be going strong then one day Kinchlirah was leaving the Thunderchild. Neither Bonham nor Kinchlirah would speak of it. After she left, Bonham seemed noticeable sad that she had left. Now that she has returned, many wonder if the relationship will resume or if it would be over. Rumors across the ship and around the ships yards was that the relationship never really ended, it just went behind closed doors. Since she came back aboard, side from friendly playing the couple has not shown anything other then professional respect towards each other. "What are you looking at" Bonham asked as he moved to the other side of the table. He scanned the files that hovered over the table.
"I am searching for, what do you call it? A needle in a grass stack?" Lieutenant Kinchlirah said as she continued to read the files. Her eyes couldn't help but find his as she spoke. She saw in his eyes, the reflection of her own feelings towards him.
Bonham smiled as their eyes met as he heard the intentional mistake. He knew that she had studied all her life to be where she was today. Studying on Earth was something she had wanted since she was a girl. He also knew that she often enjoyed playing down her own intelligence allowing others to guess who they were dealing with. "The Invasion of Velos?" he questioned as he manipulated one of the files around so that he could read it. "The Invasion from Hell, as many would call it" he added.
Lieutenant Kinchlirah nodded, "I have heard stories of this battle from my brother. Its strange that such a battle would barely a historical footnote during the first year of the war. Both Major MacConnell and Corporal Melville fought in the invasion. They were serving in your Starfleet Marines. They also served in the same unit. Corporal Melville was the unit's senior communication tech and Major MacConnell was the unit commander." She looked up from the table and right in to Bonham's eyes once more. "These reports seem to be leaving much out. I know many of the stories from my brother, but I want to know more. Wasn't the Thunderchild part of that invasion," she inquired.
Bonham nodded, "Oh yeah, we were there. Admiral Ross had chosen the Thunderchild as his flagship during the invasion" he explained and then righted his posture as he folded his arms across his chest. He really didn't want to go down this road but he knew he didn't have much choice now. "So what do you want to know?" He took in a deep breath as he was getting ready to go down that dark place in his own memory. He couldn't help but realize that his mind had so many of these dark places. 'Had the war ruined me' he questioned himself.
Kinchlirah knew Bonham better than most. She knew that he wore his wounds much deeper than what was visible. There was a link here and she could feel it. "I am sorry to do this, but I want to know everything. Please tell me what you know."
Bonham nodded as he took a deep breath. "Well, the war was just getting underway. We had lost Deep Space Nine and pay them back in kind. Sure we just recaptured Deep Space Nine, but we needed a victory to rally behind. Velos seemed like a good bet. It was prison world that was far enough way from the main battle lines that could open up a new front. Velos had been used during the Cardassian/Federation war and rumor had it that there were still some Federation POW's held there. When this invasion was planned, it was a well known fact that Velos was holding current POW's from enemies of the Dominion. With the war shifting the way it was, no one was really looking at Velos. However when these plans were drafted it seemed almost impossible to ignore them."
He played with the display revealing a series of defense platforms, "Velos had a defense array which was used as a model for the system built to protected Chin'toka system. Velos' defense system was not as vast as the one being built in the Chin'toka System but it was still critical for the defense of the region around Velos. In fact, the defense array at Velos was critical in keeping this sector protected. It was the heart of a series of detection and defense networks that took the Cardassians two decades to build. Chin'toka was to join this network," he explained softly.
He leaned forward and pulled up the historical records of the battle. "The plan was actually Major MacConnell's idea. She had a hell of a strategic mind on her. She knew that taking Velos out of the war would open up a vast region of the Cardassian Union to attack. One big misconception about the war was that we faced defeat after defeat during the first year. Actually the truth is that we had a lot of little victories here and there. The Marines really worked their tails off trying to hold off a tidal wave. But the little victories were not enough to stop this tidal wave. Velos was suppose to divide this tidal wave against its self. The plan was brilliant if I say so myself. Everyone who saw the plan was encouraged by it. But the big question was, could her unit get behind enemy lines and shut down the array before the fleet could arrive. This was critical to the mission's success. Major MacConnell was sure her unit could accomplish their part of the mission."
He continued to play with the images to that Kinchlirah could see what he was talking about. "So the small fleet departed Deep Space Nine with Admiral, well Captain back then, Tate was in command of the orbital assets while the ground forces were led by your older brother Kras."
Kinchlirah nodded, "Yes I recall him speaking about this battle, as I said. Kras often referred to this battle as Starfleet Marine in their finest hours."
Bonham nodded, "yeah. Heroes were born of this battle. And those same heroes also died during this battle. Once the fleet reacted its holding point, Major MacConnell took her unit aboard four runabouts. What happened next would go down in the history books of the Marines. Almost right away, the Cardassians and their Dominion allies knew about the attack. There was doubt that the mission could be successful. However the green light was given anyway. Despite the Cardassians knowing what her goal was, Major MacConnell and her unit was able to complete their mission. You should have seen the reaction on the bridge when we saw the defense grid going down. Velos was open for invasion. No one knew how she and her unit took down the array, but the array wouldn't come back online till it was destroyed after the war. Even after the invasion, the Dominion did everything in their power to restore the array with no luck. This would be one of few real victories of the invasion. From that day on, the Dominion had to position ships along the region. Ships that could have been used against the Federation and her allies later in the war."
There was a moment where pride creped in to his voice as he spoke, "Captain Tate gave the order for the space assets to start the invasion." He brought up an image of Major MacConnell and her personnel file. "Now, you see that Major MacConnell's nicknamed is gypsy. She earned that nickname because she often went on her own doing her own things. This was no different. With her part of the plan completed, all she had to do was withdraw back to their own runabouts and make it back to our own lines. You see, the Cardassians had nearly half the planet covered in a dampening field. So the only way for them to get out was by transport. But that is not what she did."
"No one knew what she had planned instead. She turned part of her unit for the prisoner of war camp that was almost twenty kilometers away from their target area. To everyone's shock, her unit liberated the camp and started to evacuate the prisoners using her own runabouts. As the battle shifted, her unit and the freed POW's had to take refuge in a mountainous temple overlooking the prison camp. After the first day of battle, we all actually thought that her plan could succeed. However that was before the Cardassian and Dominion reinforcements arrived. On the ground and in orbit, the tide had shifted against us. It was then we realized that this had been a trap from the beginning. Major MacConnell's unit was cut off behind enemy lines and their only hope was a closing window to get shuttles and runabouts in and out. We could have evacuated her entire unit at one time but she wouldn't leave behind any of the POWs."
He looked down, "when word came down that the window had closed cutting off the remaining POW's and MacConnell's unit, I think many of us took it like a kick in the gut. The orders were given that the fleet was going to pull out, leaving Major MacConnell and her unit behind. We had hours to do something. So a handful of us junior officers decided to make one last desperate run to get them out. We tried to get as many runabouts and shuttles together but math is a horrible thing. It doesn't matter what you do. If the math doesn't work, then there is nothing you can do to change that. It was my idea so I lead those craft in to a hell storm of fire. I don't think I will ever forget that night. We came in hot and fast and still lost two shuttles and a runabout going in." He looked up to the ceiling of the bridge, "god you should have heard Captain Tate dress me down when we got back."
He looked back at her as he continued his story, "it was like landing in the middle of a nightmare. The ground was soaked with blood." He closed his eyes as he remembered that night, "I recalled seeing my footsteps as we got ready to depart." Once more he opened his eyes and looked at her, "to think that many people died. Not just Humans, Vulcans or Klingons. But Cardassians and Jem'hadar as well. The field was littered with these dead bodies. I was on the ground for only fifteen minutes, and that was fifteen minutes too long for me. My God, I couldn't imagine what those Marines were going through."
He paused a moment to regain his thoughts. The memories were painful as he could almost hear the screams of the dying and the sounds of explosions. "The Dominion was pushing again hoping to catch us on the ground. I never saw Major MacConnell but one of her officers told me that she and her people would hold the lines while we evacuated the wounded and more of the POW's. We loaded up the remaining craft with as many people that we could get to fit. When we lifted off, I remember seeing the lights of hundreds of Cardassians getting ready to make a final push. Getting back was no easier as the Dominion was not about to allow us to leave. We lost another shuttle on the trip back. Instead of leading the retreat I held back with another runabout. We did our best to keep those fighters off the shuttles but there was just too many of them."
He stepped back and leaned up against a console, "so when we got back to the Thunderchild, we learned that MacConnell's unit had been over run shortly after we departed. It was a slaughter Kinchlirah. Before the Communication line when died, The bridge crew of this ship heard her" he said pointing at an image of Corporal Melville, "die." He paused a moment before continuing, "The entire battle, Corporal Melville was giving landing instructions to incoming shuttles, calling in fire support and giving details reports of what was going on. I remember as she talked us in to our landing sight. I could hear the weapon's fire over the channel. I had hoped that the report of her death was false but after the war, her body was discovered in a mass grave. Like I said, heroes were made that day. Melville was just one of those heroes. Her voice never choked till the bitter end. Velos was their finest hour."
Lieutenant Kinchlirah pointed at an image of Major MacConnell, "and her?" she asked then added. "Do we know what happened to her?"
Bonham only shook his head, "No. According to camp records she was killed by the camp commander just days before the camp was liberated after the war. Though there was no body found to support this. To think, that she survived the war in that camp only to be murdered just after the war."
Lieutenant Kinchlirah shook her head as she looked at the image of Major MacConnell. "I look at this image and I know that this is not the person I fought" she said but there was doubt in her voice. "The training is there. The skill, the Spirit of the Warrior. This was all there, but the eyes. This is not our intruder." She reached across the space above the table and with one fluid motion she wiped away all the files. She keyed up an invisible keyboard and brought up an image of Corporal Melville. She manipulated the image so that only Corporal Melville's eyes were visible. "This is our intruder! I know it" she proclaimed. "But the training is not there. And now you tell me that she is dead." She looked up and in to his eyes, "tell me, why would a ghost want to come back and haunt this ship?"
"Now that is the million Latinum question" Captain Campbell said as he walked up behind Lieutenant Kinchlirah. "I take it we are finding out the identity of our intruder?"
Lieutenant Kinchlirah shook her head, "not conclusively, Sir."
Captain Campbell looked down at the large pair of eyes gazing back up at him from the table, "so" he said changing the image to see the full face. "This is who we are looking at for being responsible for the attack?"
Commander Bonham stepped forward, "well Sir, as you can tell this person is dead. So there is much more to be uncovered."
"I am expecting something more definitive for my briefing, Number One" Captain Campbell said looking down at the image. He turned to Lieutenant Kinchlirah and smiled, "I have heard quite a bit about you Lieutenant. Honored Warrior and Hero from the Empire. I'm glad to have you aboard, Lieutenant. Chaq may' maH holodeck qaStaHvIS HeghDI' jIH settled vItul" he said in Klingon.
It was clear by her expression that his Klingon left much to be desired. But the meaning came across clear. Lieutenant Kinchlirah shifted her stance a bit reflecting that the way the conversation just turned was uncomfortable for her. "If you insist, Sir" she replied with her eyes shifting from Commander Bonham over to Captain Campbell. "For now Sir, I have work to complete if I am to be ready for your briefing. If you will excuse me" she said coldly and deactivated the table. She turned without waiting for the Captain to reply. As she walked away, the table slowly lowered while the glass table top turned off and shifted in to a color that matched the flooring.
As the two men watched her walk to a near by lift, Commander Bonham spoke up, "Don't be offended Captain, Lieutenant Kinchlirah is not like other traditional Klingons."
"Obviously, perhaps I should apologize" Captain Campbell said shaking his head. Campbell motioned for Bonham to follow as he walked towards his ready room.
As the two men worked their way across the bridge, "Its not that Sir. Kinchlirah, You see is different. Growing up as a Klingon means others will see her only as a warrior. Yes she can fight. But she is much more than that." The two walked in to the Captain's Ready Room. As Campbell took his seat, Bonham choose to sit on the lavish sofa. In his voice was much more than just respect for the Klingon Exchange Officer. "She has had to fight her whole life. First among other Klingons just to earn their respect. And that was not easy for her because she has chosen a path other than being a warrior. Now, with outsiders who only see her as a warrior. Truth be told if Starfleet Command would have allowed it, I would have made her Chief Engineer of Chief Science Officer. But surprising as it sounds, It was easier to get her posted as the Tactical Officer, and we really need her aboard, Sir" Commander Bonham explained.
Campbell had known of the relationship between Bonham and Kinchlirah before coming aboard. The feelings that Bonham felt for her were clear to Campbell. However instead of saying anything, Campbell only nodded and allowed his new First Officer to continue. "Don't apologize Sir. But try to look past her race and see the brilliant woman that she is." On that note Bonham paused as he looked Campbell in the eyes. "Sir I am bound by regulations to inform you that Lieutenant Kinchlirah and I have been romantically involved. We both decided to break it off just before she returned to the Klingon homeworld" he said using only half of the truth. The whole truth was that she ended without speaking to him about it. He never wanted their affair to come to an end. "She wasn't expecting to return so it seemed like a wise move for us. As it stands now, we have not rekindled our relationship."
The Captain looked outside one of his large windows and smiled as he leaned back in his chair. "I am well aware of your relationship Number One" he finally said. "Hell Addison, it would have been impossible for anyone to not notice your relationship. Just about every female on Mars weeped when it happened" Campbell joked. The truth was, that Starfleet Intelligence had already dug in to the relationship to ensure that this was not a security risk for the Thunderchild Program.
Bonham looked down and sighed, "Sir, we will not continue the relation..."
The Captain turned in his chair as he cut off Commander Bonham with a smile, "Do you think she would prefer tri-dimensional chess or Strategema?"
"I choose my words carefully when I spoke to Lieutenant Kinchlirah, there is more than one way to do battle, Addison" Campbell said changing the conversation.
The Bonham looked a bit confused, "Kal-toh, sir"
Campbell thought a moment than said, "Yes, I know what game you prefer Commander. I'm not sure you could handle another loss like last time" there was a smile on his face as Campbell spoke.
It took a moment for Bonham to switch gears but he finally got on track. "Sir, if your memory is troubling you I could escort you to sick bay" he said smiling and added, "the last time we matched wits, it was a three day event and you only won by a narrow margin." Bonham waved his hand to ward off further talk about the past, "It is her preference as well. I taught it to her nine months ago and she can already beat me. That is what I love about her. Her mind is really something else Captain."
"According to her Personnel file, she is a remarkable woman" Campbell said as he got up and walked over to his replicator. As he walked across the room he added, "it's good to see you again, Addison"
Bonham nodded as he answered, "if it were under better conditions, I would agree Sir. However, the ship was infiltrated. I have a cadet in the sick bay that nearly lost her life. No one has any idea what this person was after or who this person is." As Captain Campbell was about to order up a bottle of Scottish Whiskey Bonham stood up, "If you would wait Sir. I have a surprise for you" Bonham said as he got up and walked over to a panel on the wall, "I figured that synthehol that you had to drink while on Admiral Tate's staff might have worn your taste buds." Bonham activated the security code and the panel opened up. Campbell nodded and walked up behind Bonham to see what he was doing. "So I did some shopping before we departed Mars" he said pulling out a bottle. Bonham turned around and handed the bottle over to Campbell.
Campbell read the bottle and rested a hand on Bonham's shoulder. "Scottish Whiskey. The real thing?2201" Campbell questioned. It was against a number of regulations to have real alcohol aboard. But this was Scottish Whiskey and Campbell being an honorary member of the Black Watch was not about to turn his nose up to such a gift. "Something special about that year?"
Bonham smiled as he returned to his place on the sofa, "I did some research. In 2201, Starfleet laid the keel for the first space going USS Thunderchild. Like us, that Thunderchild tested all kinds of new technology. A new warp six engine and the first of her kind to employ such an engine. So I figured that seeing how we are creating history with this ship, it was only fitting to find a bottle from that year. Like bridging history. Finding it was not easy, either. Took me over three months to find that bottle."
Campbell laughed looking at the bottle, "Okay. So tell me, Number One. When did you find out I was being assigned as Captain?" Campbell walked over to his desk and picked up a pair of glasses.
Bonham only smiled, "Oh come now Sir. You know I have my ways"
Campbell nodded as he walked over to the sofa and placed both glasses down. "We tried to keep this secret till the ship was actually through her space trails." Campbell opened the bottle and poured the golden liquid in to both glasses.
Bonham nodded, "True but some secrets just keep be kept" he said picking up the glass. The truth was something completely different. He had found out thanks to Lieutenant Pander who had found out after she seduced one of Admiral Ross' aides. It was one of few times that Lieutenant Pander's nightlife had benefited the ship. But Bonham wasn't about to let that cat out of the bag.
Captain Campbell raised his glass, "To a fine ship that will make history."
Bonham nodded as he touched his glass to the Captains. He took a sip from the glass and enjoyed the flavor and burn down his throat. It was something that synthehol simply couldn't match. "Sir, the Thunderchild is a fine ship" he finally after a moment of pleasure from the drink. "We have a crew that any Captain would be proud of. But are you sure that you want me as your Number One? I didn't think Admiral Tate would have approved of this. You know, after what happened and all."
Captain Campbell gave out a deep laugh at the shift in conversation. "You are right about this crew. As for Tate" he said taking another sip, "you two have your issues and history. I can't over look that. But he will back my choices for this ship. I have his complete support when it comes to this ship and this program. The Thunderchild has to prove successful. That is why you are here. I wouldn't want anyone else by my side."
Bonham looked in to his glass and sighed, "thank you Sir for your support. I wont let you down." Bonham didn't want to inform the Captain about his plans to transfer off the ship. There was already more than enough going on to be worried about that. Plus he assumed that the Captain had already gone to bat for him with Admiral Tate, so he didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. "Sir, I just don't know if I am cut for this anymore. After all, look what has happened already. And well you know about the last time I was in command...."
Campbell raised his hand to end the list of why nots, "it's not your fault, Addison. I read the reports. I'm not sure anyone could have prevented this attack. Now enough of this. You are my Number One till I have someone better. Is that clear?"
Bonham nodded, "Yes Captain."
Captain Campbell took another drink from his glass and smiled. Bonham was just like how he remembered him after that battle. If Admiral Tate had his way, Bonham would have been drummed out of Starfleet. But Campbell knew Bonham better and wanted him aboard this ship. Campbell wasn't about to give up on Bonham. But what Campbell wanted to know was if Bonham could find that officer that he had once been. That man who stood up to a Admiral and led a flight of shuttles in to hell and back. The Bonham that Campbell remembered was a fine officer who was most likely the best pilot in the entire fleet. There was no doubt in Campbell's mind that Bonham was the right man for this job. But he wasn't sure if Bonham still believed that, and that was the real question.
|November 30 2014, 09:38 PM||#11|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Chief Medical Officer and Ship's Counselor
Contributor: Leana (former player)
Chief Medical Officer's Personal Log:
"I am trying to enjoy what remains of my shore leave here on Starbase 74. It can sometimes be hard for me to relax. I always feel like there is something I'm forgetting when most certainly there isn't. Councilor McCoy always implores to 'talk to me about it', knowing full well I don't want to. I am not a typical Orion...."
She rolled my eyes. "Computer. Delete last sentence."
"I did, however, take Erica's advice and took some holodeck time this morning. Though it was only simulated, I had missed my favorite beach on Sigma Orionis. The warm suns. The violet sand. A drink in one hand and soft violin playing in the background. Truly my kind of day. Though after about an hour of bliss I remembered I was to meet Erica for lunch. This assignment has already been long for me. For the past year, all I have been doing is wondering Mars waiting for the refit to be completed. I miss Orionis.
"As I left the holodeck, I was accosted by a Ferrangi who seemed to think that I could be purchased. Just a reminder of my heritage, I suppose."
Once more she sighed heavily. "Computer. Delete last two sentences."
The beeping sound notified her that a transmission was coming in. "Computer pause recording."
"Computer resume recording. Hold that thought. I have just received word that the Thunderchild has undergone an attack during my time away. From what little I have read of the acting CMO's reports, there is a lot of confusing going on. From what the reports tell me the intruder's identity is a mystery. How can someone's identity be unknown today? There has to be a mistake somewhere. It sounds like I will have my work cut out for me."
Doctor Leana Vanleare, Chief Medical Officer, USS Thunderchild. End Log"
Contributor: Vertroue (former player)
Counselor Erica McCoy's Personal Log:
"Sometimes talk is to much...When I can get everyone else to talk why can I not talk about me?"
Erica shakes her head at her terminal. Carefully she picks herself up from her desk. With her vacation nearly over she is waiting for the USS Thunderchild to arrive at Starbase 74. With a heavy sigh she starts pacing the room.
"When there is a war going on people need to talk. The very few other trained Counselors on board Thunderchild are good...But they need more work. They need time. With all the time during the refit, it surprised me that many of my team were more interested in day trips around Sol. So now here we are. There is no more time. The ship is ready and will be in a few days."
"I had a chance to really enjoy a much needed vacation with my good friend Leana. Sometimes I forget how much she means to me. Clearly one of the best Doctors I have seen in a long time. I think my Grandfather would even be impressed with her skills. We had a chance to spend some time with my family during this vacation. Mom and Grandmother were both great, but Great Grandfather made a point to avoid the gathering. As he often does."
"I had a chance to introduce Leana to my family. I know that she takes too much of her job to heart. In this short shore leave finally managed to get her to loosen up some. She is decidedly different then any other Orion I have met to date. Not a bad thing, in fact, it gives me a better knowledge on the facets of different cultures." Erica turns to the computer and sighs. "I am waxing again." Erica starts to pace again.
"Dr. Vanleare, is one bundled ball of emotional energy. Sometimes she really needs to lighten up. But she doesn't. Instead she dives so hard in to each case, giving all of her heart to what ever is in front of her. I have been after her to open up some. She needs to talk, either be it to her log, or to someone in the flesh. All that matters is that she does. That and relax, good gods that woman doesn't slow down!"
"We had lunch earlier today where she made light of a situation with a Ferrangi on her way to meet me. Only to a trained eye was it noticeable that it had her on an edge. Sometimes I hate being able to read emotions and sense their surface thoughts. I know the run in really bothered her. You would think in her uniform, someone would know better....."
USS Thunderchild has been attacked!
Be advised all leave is hereby canceled! Expect to return to the Thunderchild upon arrival
"Crap! Computer end log."
Computer logged out as Counselor McCoy
|December 1 2014, 04:40 AM||#12|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Captain's Ready Room
Captain Campbell, Commanding
The captain's ready room was filled with the senior staff. This included Captain Jackson Campbell, Commander Addison Bonham, the ship's current XO, Lieutenant Kiera Medart, the ship's Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Kinchlirah, the ship's tactical officer and Klingon exchange officer. Attending the meeting via Subspace communication were Commander Leana Vanlaere the ships Chief Medical Officer, Lieutenant Erica McCoy the ships Counselor, and Commander V'rol, the ships Chief of Security.
The topic of the meeting was the recent attack on the ship by an unidentified woman. Unlike the Captain and Commander Bonham, most had not been aboard the ship for years and lacked that strong friendship among themselves. For most this was their first time serving together and even worse some had not even had a chance to report to the ship before the crisis began. Others like Lieutenant Kinchlirah were aboard for temporary posts. Lastly, there was Lieutenant Medart who not only was completely new to the ship, she was completely new to service beyond the Sol system.
After being given his blessing, Lieutenant Kinchlirah stood up and walked over to a monitor on the wall. She activated it as she began her presentation. "I know that the computer disagrees with my findings and so does the medical staff. I am not blinded by what must be because your records say so. Nor was I impaired by her flash and concussion device as were other witnesses to this intruder. I saw her eyes and I know who she is." A image of Major MacConnell came up with physical stats along side the image. "Based on her size in comparison to my own size, Major MacConnell, regardless of life or death, is too tall to be our intruder. Petty Officer Traver is simply too meek in the eyes." Lieutenant Kinchlirah explained. She turned to face the image of Petty Officer Traver.
"This woman" she said motioning to a picture of Petty Officer Traver. The image was a file image taken before her capture by the Dominion during the war, "is not our intruder." Lieutenant Kinchlirah ran her eyes over the image slowly as she thought. "I know you may find this hard to accept or see this as conjecture. All three of our suspects share one thing in common. Velos. Petty Officer Traver was liberated after the war on Velos. Major MacConnell was a POW on Velos and was murdered by the camp commander, according to reports."
She took a moment to pause and think of her next words, "But in my heart I know that these two first women are not our intruder. I read there personnel files over and over. Whom I battled with in that brief moment in time, in the main computer control room was not either of these women. There was fire in her eyes that can only burn from a heart of a warrior. Passion for what ever her goal had to be." Once more she paused and took in a deep breath as she turned to face the officers of the room.
"I admit that there is much in this that we don't know. But to further pursue this, Petty Officer Traver would be a mistake." she turned to the control panel and turned both images off and then she brought up a third option. "It is my opinion that this woman is our intruder." She said bringing up an image of blond human female holding a Violin. The image was clearly taken somewhere on Deep Space Nine.
"I have seen those eyes before. It was back on Deep Space Nine. She fought a Klingon who was assigned my ship. His name was W'Kanga from the House of Varnak. A Klingon that saw victory as more important than honor its self. Her ability to take hit after hit was impressive. I would not have believed it if someone had told me about this fight. But I saw it, I was there. He picked the fight with her expecting an easy pray. She turned out to be much more than she appeared. Like me at the time, he was young and inexperienced. But he was strong, much stronger than she was. She however was cunning. Allowing him to expend his energy in the fight. She managed to keep light on her feet and what blows she couldn't dodge she deflected. However that also meant that she had to take some painful blows. Each time, she got back up and taunted him. Finally, he made the mistake she was looking for. Tired from his own attacks, and eager to end this embarrassing match he left himself open. I watched her put him down with a series of combination blows that ended with a flying leap kick as the finish. My shipmates and I were shocked at what we had seen."
She brought the image out a bit showing Quak's Bar. She was wearing civilian clothes and the image was some kind of ad for the bar its self. "When we were stationed there, I know that I had seen this human before hanging out at Quak's with Doctor Julian Bashir. They used to frequent the bar on a number of times before this fight took place. However after this fight, um, around Stardate 52022.71, I never saw her again. And trust me, I had meant to speak with her about her fighting style. It was quite unusual to say the least. I believe my former commanding officer might have some information on this woman, so I have taken the liberty to request it from him. I am pleased to inform you that after hours of searching" she said turning to the image, "I was able to identify our intruder as Corporal Seònaid Melville. While the DNA does come close, it is not enough for a positive match. But I know that this is our intruder. According to Starfleet Marines, Corporal Seònaid Melville was killed in action during the failed invasion of Velos."
Lieutenant Kinchlirah brought up Corporal Melville's personnel file for everyone to read as she continued, "I know that this is not probable but the other matches simply don't measure up to what I saw. Who I hit. No, I know this for a fact, Corporal Seònaid Melville is our intruder."
Once more, the image zoomed in on the woman and her violin. Captain Campbell couldn't help but noticed the woman standing next to Corporal Melville was Major MacConnell. On his own display he moved the image around to get better angles on what he was looking at. In the image it appeared that both women were standing on the second floor balcony of Quak's waving to people below as if they had just preformed for the audience. He remembered that Major MacConnell had often invited him to join her unit back when the ship had put in at Deep Space Nine. He never made the time to join them. A mistake he was now wishing he hadn't made. She had often seemed to act as if they knew each other. Truthfully it kind of set him back a bit.
In the image, he saw that they were both smiling and neither were in any kind of uniform. Both women were wearing traditional Scottish Tartans. Major MacConnell's Tartan was of deep green, dark blue and black. Captain Campbell owned a kilt very similar to that. That was the Tartan of the Scottish Black Watch. The woman known as Corporal Melville wore a Tartan of blue, green and black which was of his own Scottish Clan. If Lieutenant Kinchlirah was right, than this meant that the trail was now taking them towards Earth. Captain Campbell knew knew just the man to speak to now. Father Douglas McLeod knew just about everyone in their Clan. It was time to shed some light on who was this ghost from the past. And Father McLeod was the man to speak with.
Lieutenant Kinchlirah's investigation revealed new light as to who the intruder was. However it didn't help with why she attacked the Thunderchild or where she was. The tall Klingon was replaced by Commander Bonham who got up to speak. "According to Operations, the intruder's attack on our computer seemed random but it was far from random. It was a targeted attack on files linked to Admiral Ross and Admiral Tate and their staff. Personnel Files, Logs, Tactical and Strategic Reports, everything. Somehow she managed to clone a Admiral's level security clearance. We have already notified Starfleet of the type of data taken. Strangely, no file accessed and copied were dated 2376 or later. Meaning that all the files were prior to 2376. A lifetime ago in the terms of information security. It was as if this was part of the search parameters. This means that the damage can be mitigated but doesn't shed any light on what the intruder was looking for."
He moved on to the nature of the computer attack, "She had everything timed out during her attack. She knew how long it would take us to react to the situation and plotted every move within that time table. A very highly precise attack and one that not just anyone can accomplish. She turned our own systems against us to hinder our response. This all shows us that our intruder shows a degree of forethought that makes her remarkably dangerous. Our intruder is also well thought out. She was able to use a computer virus to hide the fact that she stolen the USS Susquehanna from the Proxima shipyards. They actually had to physically check each bay, each holding area and each sub-yard before they could confirm that the runabout was not there. During this time, they actually argued with me that they were missing a runabout. While I have no doubt that she is dangerous, I can not ignore the fact that she saved Cadet Madhev's life. Clearly, a decision made in the heat of the moment. But listening to the voice recordings of the attack, you can hear that she had a strong familiarity to loss of life."
"But also as you listen" he paused to play a recording of the intruder.
"If you listen to the desperation in her voice, she was unwilling to leave the Cadet to die. There was a personal connection to the Cadet as the intruder knew the Cadet's name. I spoke with Cadet Madhev in depth on this matter. She has no knowledge of the intruder. This means that the intruder had been stalking us for some time. But we are clearly not her primary target. Based on this, In her eyes, I don't think we are seen as her enemy. More like, the means to a goal. Plus listen to how she presents her case to our medical bay. There is clearly advanced degree in medicine. I am under the assumption that this intruder has already thought of what her next series of actions will be." Commander Bonham took a moment to take in a deep breath as he searched the eyes of the senior staff.
"Even as we speak of her now, she is two steps ahead of us. We need to quickly figure out what her over all goals are and move to get ahead of her." During the past year, he had a number of senior staff meetings back at the repair yards. He made similar comments like this a dozen times. But in this moment he realized that was no longer the commanding officer of the ship. His eyes fell on the Captain, "My apologizes, Sir. I meant no disrespect. This is your meeting, it is your course of action that we should decide on." Commander Bonham said as he moved to sit down.
|December 2 2014, 09:14 AM||#13|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Lieutenant Medart paid little attention to the briefing as others were talking. Instead she was more focusing on the information on her PADD. It wasn't as if she meant to be disrespectful, but there were a number of issues going through her mind at the same time. First she had been constantly rethinking her suggestion. She knew her facts were right but she hated that she doubted herself. So because she doubted herself, she forced herself to look at the data in as many different ways to ensure that she didn't miss anything. She had already had a number of little missteps and she wasn't about to make another one.
Second was the way the intruder had used the ship's own senors against them. It was masterful in the way they created a kind of fake skin around the runabout and fooled the Thunderchild in to thinking that skin was part of the ship. Looking at the data now, it all made prefect sense. This was the reason why the energy drain was happening on the ship's warp field. The senors could be fooled but not the warp field. 'Mass is still mass.....' she was thinking but her train of thought was interrupted by a long bit of silence in the room. She lifted her head to see that everyone was watching her. 'Oh great, I'm up to bat' she thought.
She slowly rose up to her feet as she cleared her throat. She turned and looked towards the captain across the large conference table. "I've been able to determine two warp trails that are the most likely courses of the runabout. Basically I checked the volume of gas of each warp trail and compared it against how much the Susquehanna normally produces when at high warp. That got rid of all but two of the trails." She paused to bring up on monitor the mathematics of how she came to her conclusion. It was all so simple to her. She was even able to check her work using a number of highly detailed charts.
"One leads towards Hellaspont Nebula. Read Admiral Tate is hosting a war game with part of the 4th Fleet near there and, according to Lieutenant Kinchlirah, that area is well known for smuggling." Once more she brought up a number of other charts and graphs showing the increase in smuggling over the past five years.
She smiled as she felt like she was on a roll. "The other warp trail leads to Starbase 74. The Lieutenant informed me earlier that currently there are only four runabouts and our fighter group stationed at the Starbase. So we could send word to have those units conduct searches in the area. But I don't think this is where the Susquehanna is going. If I was going to hit a Starfleet ship I wouldn't be caught dead getting near a Starbase. That is just inviting danger. But seeing how the Admiral and his ships had moved their war games to this area to discourage the smugglers and pirates. It is unlikely that the intruder knows about these war games. Its more likely that she is heading a path that will take her near Hellaspont Nebula."
She hadn't realized that during this time she hadn't taken a breath. Now with her lungs almost depleted, she paused just long enough to take a breath. She glance towards Kinchlirah before looking at the captain again. "I have conferred with Lieutenant Kinchlirah before this briefing and it is my recommendation that we should head to Hellaspont Nebula to intercept the Susquehanna." She smiled broadly as she felt as if she had really scored points in her briefing. She had even ensured that her charts and graphs were visually appeasing.
Captain Campbell flipped through the charts and the other resources provide and with a nod he spoke up. "Your data looks pretty sound to me, Lieutenant. Nice work. We will maintain our course for Starbase 74 and inform Admiral Tate to be on the look out for the Susquehanna."
Medart was floored at the Captain's comments, "Sir, I am sorry but didn't you hear me? I said that it is my belief that the Hellaspont Nebula is where the Susquehanna is going. Shouldn't we change course and intercept?"
"Lieutenant" Captain Campbell said as he looked up at her. "We belong to the 4th Fleet. There are over a hundred starships in the 4th Fleet. We have the largely Susquehanna out numbered. We do not need to chase her all over the sector like some mad man. We coordinate our actions with the rest of the fleet through Admiral Tate. Admiral Tate is currently ahead of her with a number of ships. With your help, they will know what they are looking for and will be able to trap her. If we are needed to assist, then we will need a full crew and our fighters" he explained softly. With a smile he leaned back in his chair, "see Lieutenant, this is how we do it. We work together and coordinate our actions with the rest of the fleet. Understand?"
She nodded as she took her seat. She didn't understand why they couldn't make the capture but she wasn't about to argue this point with the captain. Instead he motioned for the next person to offer their opinions. It was Dr Leana Vanleare's turn to speak up.
"Sir if I can" she said via subspace channel. "While I am unaware of how the intruder was able to get aboard the Thunderchild, I do know that she has advance medical knowledge. I listen to the replay of her voice through the transmission." She played back the recording for them to hear again.
"Having gone over the reports of my staff regarding Cadet Mahdev's condition, our intruder was completely on the mark with her diagnosis. Which is remarkable. Even with a tricorder, you would need a greater understanding of the device to determine an intra-axial hemorrhage from an extra-axial one. I agree with the Commander, this person has advanced medical training. I doubt that she could have just 'picked that up on the road', or whatever the expression is."
It was clear that her time spent with Dr McCoy and her lessons in common Earth phrases just snuck into her report at the Captain's briefing. 'Fantastic' she thought then regather her composure.
"If she is indeed human and IF her identity is still in question, I suggest that we look into personnel files of medical schools. She has to exist somewhere. She may have altered her appearance, but with the right program I think we could 'snif her out'. Her clothing may also give us a better starting place as well if it is common among a certain group of Earthli-.....people." She didn't mean to make this mistake in calling them Earthlings. Sometimes she tended to forget that Earthlings don't like to be called Earthlings. "Though Dr McCoy may know more about that than I do. What are your thoughts, Captain?"
"May I cut in please Captain" said Doctor McCoy. During the meeting thus far she had been listening to both the spoken meeting and listening to the audio file from the intruder.
With his permission she continued. "I am going to point this out." Erica plays back part of the recording to the meeting.
Thinking for a moment Dr. McCoy continues.
"As Lieutenant Kinchlirah has already stated, the appearance of the Intruder matches that of Petty Officer Traver. Whose last assumed location was on Terra. If this was indeed the Petty Officer, which would be interesting as she was reported to be in a relapse mental breakdown after her ordeal on Velos VII would conflict with the almost calm person that was dealing with not only the injury but also that of implanting the security override to retrieve those files. Unless I am mistaken those files needing to be in a specific data search that would normally be easy to access if you have plenty of time. She did not have that luxury. From the sounds of it she was not only in a hurry, but was also dealing with several different fights between the time she entered the room till the time she was transported out."
"The Intruders voice also belied underlying emotional distress. As if there is much more here than meets our eyes or in this case our ears. I would advise to not be quick to jump to conclusions about what is happening. Even if we truly think we understand. As for our Petty Officer. We don’t know what happened to her when she was on Velos VII in that camp. According to her file, she never really wanted to talk about her time there. But if history is the key, it isn’t a pretty picture that could be painted. This can change someone completely, from meek to a fighter. But Lieutenant Kinchlirah saw her in action and from the sounds of it meek to fighter doesn't cut it. She was very well trained and Petty Officer Traver was never that good.
Pausing and taking a sip of water next to her,
“The files we have on Petty Officer Traver, again Lieutenant Kinchlirah has me on this, show an individual that had worked well under orders. But just that, Petty Officer Traver had always been willing to follow any orders given to her. But she never really excelled at anything. Kind of like just going through the steps of living in stead of truly living life. These are not the actions of the person on that audio file. To me, this seems too much like two people. Which given the fact that the DNA almost matches that of Major MacConnell, could very well be true. The Majors’ file does not list any family, but is it possible for it to be a close relative such as a sister in that picture?”
The Captain nodded as he took in all that was said. "I can see where my medical staff is coming from. There is no reason for us to change heading. This much is clear to me. However there is something I want done. Starbase 74 is hosting a very special guest. Gul Bolon. Don't bother searching for him, you wont find him. His location has been a very closely guarded secret, and for good reason. The Federation is meaning to transfer him to the Klingon Empire where he will stand trial for the horrors that he committed. It is most likely that he will be put to death by the Klingons. And this is the reason why this is all being kept secret because many in the Federation are against this transfer. So what makes Gul Bolon so special? He was the Camp Commander of Velos VII Internment Camp. Commander V'rol, I want you to take our two Doctors and question Gul Bolon about Major MacConnell. Lets see if we can prove rather she is a live or not." He waited for the nod from V'rol before continuing.
He paused a moment, "I don't think that this Petty Officer is our intruder. I would really like to believe that the dead have not chosen to hunt my ship. That leaves Major MacConnell. With no body, lets at least rule her out or put her name on our list." He was about to change subjects when he remembered something. "Oh, don't worry about the whole getting in to see the Gul. I will talk to the Starbase commander. Being on Admiral Tate's staff allowed me to make a lot friends, and he is just one of them. You will have a chance to speak with the Gul. Just don't waste this meeting. Get to the bottom of what happened to Major MacConnell."
He looked around, "Okay before we move on. Does anyone have any questions?"
|December 3 2014, 01:52 AM||#14|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
With the new evidence before him, it was all that Captain Campbell could do but not become lost in the image that Lieutenant Kinchlirah had found. Something so innocent like a holoflyer could rip open unrealized emotions. He knew that his staff were all watching him as his fingers traced the face of Major MacConnell. 'If these women really are from my clan, then I may know someone who can tell me more about them.' He half whispered half thought. He didn't glance up as her eyes almost seemed to grip his gaze and refuse to let go. As if a voice from the shadows of his memory were calling out to him to not let go of these feeling. A voice calling him to look deeper in to the darkness and see what is not seen. "I know a Priest" he said to his command staff. "He is a well respect man among my clan and if anyone knows about these mysterious women, its him" he finally announced.
"Everyone, if you will. Please be quiet will I a place a call" he said as she turned his monitor over to the subspace communication net. "I want everyone to listen. What we uncover may shed some light." He said as he prepared for the communication link. Father Douglas McLeod was well known in his Scottish Clan. But it would be the first time he would ever reach out to the old Priest. Still the man was well respected. With no objections the Captain turned in his chair and opened up the link.
"Computer, open up a subspace link to Father Douglas McLeod location, Edinburgh Scotland, Earth"
After a moment a elderly man appears on the screen. The image of the man in his sleeping clothes almost brought a smile to Campbell's face. Campbell recognize the man immediately as the person he was looking for. "Hello?" said the old priest, his voice is rough but pleasant, "Its not like Starfleet to reach out at this hour. How my I be of help Captain?"
"Father McLeod, I am sorry for the late hour of this call but I really need your help. I'm Captain Jackson Campbell of the USS Thunderchild. Proud member of both the Black Watch and Clan Campbell. I was hoping you might be able to help me?"
His old face looked as if he was thinking a bit then all of a sudden he brightened up in to a smile. "Oh my goodness. Blessed by our Father in Heaven. It's you Jackie ole boy. How have you been m'boy. It's been so long since I have heard from you."
'This old Priest was clearly out of his mind' Campbell thought as he didn't remember ever meeting this man before. 'Better to play in to the old man's failing memory than to upset him' Campbell add as the old Priest finished talking. "My apologize Father, I know it has been a while since I've called the church. I will make a better effort in the future. Unfortunately, I am not calling for pleasure or spiritual guidance, I need information about the women in this picture"
Pressing a few buttons on the computer's panel the picture was sent all the way back to Earth. Campbell could hear several quick beeps through the monitor that told him that the image had arrived on Father McLeod's monitor.
He laughs, "Call son? Its been what, eighteen, twenty years since I last saw you. Oh lad, you used to get in to so much trouble." he looked at the picture. "Oh them? you mean the MacConnell sisters?" he added as he leaned back in his chair. "I remember how you and the older girl, oh what was her name. Maura! Yes, Maura! I am sure of it. How you two used to always get in trouble together. Lad they still talk about how you two used those holoprojectors and copied old man Grant's sheep." He laughed as he continued, "oh it took poor Grant what a whole day to figure out which were his sheep and which were made up of holograms." Father McLeod kept laughing, "I remember when they caught the Las, and they tried to make her give you up. Sure everyone suspected you were in on it with her, but she never gave you up. Four days she sat in that cellar till her foster parents finally gave up asking" his laughter at the flood of memories didn't reflect any intention to deceive. This is what bothered Campbell the most. He knew he had never met Father McLeod in person before.
"Oh lad, this is a treat for an old Priest" he added softly but a bit of coughing caused him to pause before continuing. "That one loved ya lad, it was shame you moved away. I really...." he started to cough again. It seemed to be worse but after a while he finally regained his composure. "Oh my boy, the years haven't been kind to this old priest. The Our Father came down and claimed my beloved Kenina two years ago. I am grateful that she was taken in her sleep."
He paused as he tried to bring his thoughts back in to order, "Oh I am sorry, a busy starship captain like you doesn't have time to listen to me ramble." he looked at the pictures once more, "So lad, what did you wish to know about the MacConnell sisters that you didn't already know?"
If recent events couldn't have been more strange, Captain Campbell just crossed over in to a realm of shadows and illusions. He took a deep breath and spoke softly. "Father, are you sure you have the correct Jackie, I don't recall that at all. Not the getting in trouble or the sisters. What was Maura's sister's name anyways?"
The old priest laughed, "You are Ken and Selina's Jackson. Right?" he paused a moment for Campbell to nod. "Here give me a second." The old rose from his chair and hobbled over to a book shelf behind him. He ran his finger over the books till he found one. "Ah here it is," he said as he pulled out the book and returned to the monitor. He started to flip through the pages of the photo album. "I Baptized you when you were just a babe. I remember your mother cried when the water washed over you. She was so proud." He sounded so sure of himself that it actually was starting to worry Captain Campbell.
He pulled out a picture, "Here you go lad" he said as she scanned the image and sent it over to the Thunderchild via subspace. The image ripped away any doubt in Campbell's mind that something was terribly wrong. Within the image set three children upon a large rock near a river. Two of the children, a boy and a girl, were clearly early teens. They were holding hands and the boy was smiling so shyly and the girl was blushing. The third child was sitting between and just below them. This child was a younger smaller female. The image seemed to be so natural as if it was taken during an outing or something. Campbell taped a command in the computer sending a closed message to V'rol to authenticate the image. Commander V'rol only replied via the monitor that he will begin at once.
What blew Campbell's mind was that he recognized himself in the image. 'How could this be, I should remember this!' Campbell thought as he heard Father McLeod continue, "that was taken the summer before you moved to Mars. Oh, and her name, that one there, the younger one. Her name is Seònaid, but she always preferred Seona. It was at a youth retreat. It was the last one you and Seona would attend."
He smiled as if he had just won a chess game. "Now tell me, lad. Do you question the memory of this old priest now?" The smile on Father McLeod's face showed that he was being censer in his statements. Sadly, with the revelation of her name came more questions.
Campbell thought long as he looked at the image, 'who are these girls and why don't I remember them?' Leaning back in his chair as he tried to smile sincerely. "Thank you for this" Captain Campbell said as he desperately tried to remember anything about what the old priest was talking about. "I don't remember the sisters, nothing at all. My first time on Earth wasn't until attended Starfleet Academy. As I was growing up I don't recall ever being any kind of trouble maker. My parent may have loved me but they are renowned scientists, "Campbell said as he was building his own case. "If I was caught misbehaving they would have had me survey every plant in our local atrium or would have had me write a report on foreign metals from some distant star system," he said speaking of his own upbringing.
"And my mother, she always knew when I had done something wrong, her position on the President's Council for Scientific Research made her into a human lie detector. So trust me, hiding something from my mother was nearly impossible. It made me sharp as a knife for sure but she was a surgeons scalpel compared to most. My family never so much as broke a rule that I can think of. So I just don't think we are talking about the same teenage who you remember me as" Campbell explained. He wanted to redirect the conversation back to the sister. So he asked, "father, why did Seona not go back to camp the following years? Did Maura ever go back?"
The old priest's smile faded, "That son was somewhat of a mystery to me. It wasn't long after Seona' turned ten there was a big dispute. Sure they claimed it had to do with you and Maura being caught out in the woods. But you two weren't doing anything wrong out there. I told them it was natural for two young lovers to be kissing and that such a drastic change for all three of you was not a wise idea. I found out later that there was so much more going on. Having been around the block for just over a hundred years lad, I picked up on things."
He paused a moment before continuing. "This had nothing to do with what you and Maura were doing. Seona was sent to live with other foster parents in the village of Torridon. Maura wouldn't see her sister again till much later. You and your family moved to Mars."
In that statement, Campbell knew that he had the Priest now. His family had always lived on Mars. He had pictures and everything to support this. "Father, I think you are mistaken....." was all that Campbell was able to get out before being cut off.
Father McLeod smiled and held up a hand. "Trust me lad, I am not mistaken. A few months after that, you showed up at the church with plans to reunite Maura and her sister. It would appear that you two kept in close contact after the move. According to you, the grand plan was that the three of you would run away and live together. Lad, you two were just teenagers and hadn't a clue. I couldn't allow this. At the time I just didn't know the truth." He lowered his head as he signed, "I am sorry I had to contact your parents. Your mother was fit to be tied when they showed up."
He looked up once more, "I know loosing you broke Maura's heart and being separated from her little sister was making it all worse. She would spend much of her time here at the church. I don't think she wanted to be at home because it reminded her what wasn't there anymore. I looked out for her till she ran off to join Starfleet," he paused as he thought.
"I would travel to see Seona each spring to continue her education in religion and philosophy. I would run letters back and further but I don't think that helped much. You lad, I didn't see you till after you graduated from the Academy. I had hoped that you and Maura would have met back up. You know, seeing how you two were at the Academy during the same time. Sadly, you seemed to have moved on with your life. When Maura returned from Academy for a family reunion, she seemed so hurt. The death of love, Lad, that is the worse of all feelings."
Captain Campbell just wasn't buying this story till a message flashed on his monitor. It was V'rol with disturbing news. The image was genuine! With a heavy sigh Campbell asked, "what do you remember of my plan to reunite Maura and Seona, Father?" This whole conversation was upsetting to say the least. How could Jackson not remember nearly half of his childhood. Then again, what about the memories he did have. 'Keep him talking' flashed in Campbell's mind. It was all he could think of right now because none of this made any sense. 'The MacConnell sisters are from my clan and they seem to have a stronger connection with Father McLeod. Perhaps he is helping the sisters, lying for them, playing a game to trying to confuse me or something.' Captain Campbell thought as he listened to what the Priest had to say next.
Father McLeod shook his head and smiled a bit, "Lad, that was it. Maura loved her sister as much as she loved you. And you lad, you loved Maura as much. I truly believe that in your hearts, you thought that together the three of you would do just fine." He paused a moment before talking, "I know that Seona and Maura were exchanging letters twice a year. See the sisters both spoke prefect Scottish Gaelic. I taught them the language of their ancestors they came to live in our community. It seemed to have brought them closer together." He rubbed his chin, "I am sorry rambling again."
Father McLeod looked down with sadness, "Not that any of this matters, Maura is gone. They didn't even have a body to bury. I know that she was not Catholic, but even her own believes had certain rights that had to be preformed. I did my best for Maura but with out a body, I couldn't do her justice."
Father McLeod slowly looked up from his desk, "tell me Lad, what is all this about?"
The revelation that the sisters spoke Scottish Gaelic continues to make this conversation even more confusing. It is a language that Jackson had been able to speak for as long as he could remember. Yet neither of his parents knew a word of this ancient language. Up until this point he figured the father was lying or mistaken. Even with the picture as evidence, Jackson didn't want to believe what he was being told. But now Jackson was no longer so sure. 'The three of us being able to speak the same language is definitely interesting turn of events' Jackson thought to himself. And then added to his thoughts, 'but if I really did know them why can I not remember any of this?'
Captain Campbell was starting to doubt his own memories. "Father, did you also teach me to speak Scottish Gaelic" Jackson asked softly.
The old priest shook his head, "No lad, I didn't teach it to you. Though the amount of time that you and Maura spent together, I thought she taught it to you. After all Lad, you two had a strange knack for learning things quickly. I remember when Father Seòsaid Kelly taught you two how to play three dimensional chess. Oh the Good Father, God bless his resting soul, was a great chess player. After a year though, the two of you were beating him on a regular basis. It got him so mad that he quit playing either of you. The only match you had, Lad, was Maura. You two would spend hours in my office playing each other to draws. Truthfully I had never seen anything like it. Sometimes you two would just look at the chess board in the middle of a match and then say that the match was over. When I would ask, you two would just say that it was clear that neither of you could beat the other in that match."
He smiled as if thinking about something, "I remember suggesting to your parents to have you two compete in the Federation Chess Competition. Neither of them would have it, saying your studies were more important."
Now that was something that Jackson could accept. He loved games of strategy. He could watch a match play out and know who was going to win long before it was over. "I do love a good game of chess." Jackson started to loosen up as he smiled at the old man and lean forward, "Father, what about Seona? didn't she learn chess with us?
The Father nodded, "aye, I do believe so lad. The wee las was like a puppy to you two. From the day she could walk she follower you two about. You took her under your wing as if she was you own sister. I guess you felt bad for her seeing how their birth parents were killed. I really don't know much of the what happened to them, they just showed up in the middle of the night. They were brought to our community from the city. Your parents and their foster parents were very close so it made sense that you three got close also."
He looked sad, "It had its tests from time to time. The last big test for our community was when Seona's sister tried to sue for custody of her little sister. I remember it quite well. It was right after Maura graduated from the Marine Academy. It was rough going for everyone involved. Even some members of the Clan were split on this. Your mother came in from Mars to talk to Maura personally about the case. I remember seeing Maura leave after that meeting. She was in tears and left. I found out that she dropped the custody suite and returned to the Marines. I never saw her again."
What Jackson was learning was heartbreaking to say the least. More troubling was the fact that he still had no memory of these events. He knew that his mother often traveled but all those were due to her duties for the President or the Science Council. After a moment to take in what was said, Jackson finally asked, "what else did she like to do? Seona that is."
Father McLeod smiled once more. "Oh Lad, she loved that violin I gave her when she turned nine. It was an old thing I found at a thrift store and reconditioned it for her. She loved playing it. Even made some hologram videos of herself playing. The only kid I know that could program complex hologram programs. She even at a young age, she was brilliant child."
Jackson could help but interrupt, "Do you have some of those holograms?"
The old father looked strangely back at Jackson, "Its strange that you ask that. I have a set of recordings that she left for you." He worked his hands over the controls of his computer, "I will send the entire package to you."
This confused Jackson even more but he waited for the download to finish while he asked another question, "you said that you keep in contact with her. When was the last time you spoke to her?"
The father nodded as he spoke, "aye yes lad, We would speak regularly before the war. Here and there I would get a message from her then nothing. I didn't know if she was a live or dead. When they told me she had been killed in action, I was heartbroken. I buried her next to her sister. It was raining that day when I laid her to rest Lad. But like a ghost lad, without warning, she showed up in the middle of the night here at the church. Jackie ol boy, all the time I have known her. I have never seen her so scared. She had a nasty wound on her back from a energy weapon of some kind. I wanted to call the authorities but she begged me not to" he paused a bit before continuing. "Half starved, half terrified for her life and running from something."
He cleared her throat before going on, "She said she was in trouble and needed help to get off world. When I asked her what kind of trouble, she only told me it was best I didn't know. I trust her and treated her like my own daughter. So I helped book her passage off world. A few days after she left the town was visited by a pair of Starfleet Officers. They said they were from Starfleet Intelligence but acted like a pair of thugs. They asked everyone all kinds of questions about some Petty Officer. They said that she was wanted for murder. But I knew they were lying. I knew Seona would never murder someone. It just isn't her, boy."
This conversation was really adding more twists to the situation than Jackson cared to admit. But he had to know the truth, "do you know where she ended up?"
The old priest shook his head, "after she left here I tried to follow her but her trail went cold. I guess those two officers lost her trail too cause they returned a few days after that and threatened me. They questioned me for hours. I didn't have anything to give them. Seona is a smart girl, lad, she knows how to not be found. Hide and seek was her favorite game as a child you know." He said but Campbell didn't know. "She used to keep you two searching for her for hours. When I demanded my attorney they let me go and it was the last time I saw them."
Jackson believed what the old priest was saying but wanted to make sure. "I would really love to get in contact with her, any ideas how I could do that?"
Once more the priest shook his head, "lad if I knew I would have helped your rude friends from Starfleet Intelligence. But Seona won't give me any details about what was going on, other than someone was out to kill her. She wouldn't tell me who that person was or why. Only that he was powerful and untouchable. I am sorry lad, she didn't tell me anything of her plans or where she was going. All she did ask of me was to give you that package. I can't tell you how she knew you would call but she said sometime in the future you would be calling on me to ask about her. She made me promise to answer any question you had as truthfully as possible."
Jackson looked at the file as the transfer completed. There were five holoprograms within the data stream. The title line read simply, 'I know my life is over, please don't forget who I was before it all changed' To Campbell's surprise the line was written in Scottish Gaelic. Jackson finally asked, "she knew I would call?"
"Aye lad, I don't know how. But she was for sure you would call" the priest replied.
It was what he had expected. After all why make the plans if she didn't expect him to call. "Any guesses as to who was after her?"
The priest leaned back in his chair and sighed, "No lad, I don't know. But I have to tell you this, who ever it is can instill fear in her like I have never seen before. It was if she was more fearful that something was going to happen to all of us instead of herself. She said that she hadn't slept in five days and had been on the run from 'them' since she escaped. I asked her where she escaped from but she wouldn't tell me. I asked who they were, she wouldn't tell me. Lad, I am telling you this girl was scared. She passed out before she even finished her soup. I treated her wounds while she slept. She was really beaten up. Someone had pushed her to her limits and was not letting up."
Jackson thought of changing the subject a bit, "do you know what my mother said to Maura?"
"Aye, I do" he said. "Before Maura left I asked her what was said. Maura told me that your mother said she could have Seona committed to a mental institution if Maura didn't drop the case. Further more, Maura had to break off all contact with Seona. It was the reason why I helped Seona get away from her foster parents. I am the one who secured her false identity." He smiled as he rubbed his head, "Even criminals need God's forgiveness every once in a while lad."
Jackson perked up, "False Identity? Can you give me a name?"
He nodded, "remember lad, she made me promise lad to answer all your questions. I gave her the name of Seònaid Melville. It was mother's maiden name. But I am surprised you don't know this already. I told those two Starfleet Officers the same thing as well. Told them just about everything I am telling you. But they didn't ask these kinds of questions. You know, you guys should learn to communicate more."
This troubled Jackson a lot, "do you remember the names of the intelligence offices?"
"Aye lad, Smith and Jones" he said firmly.
Jackson didn't even bother to push that. It was clear that they were fake names. He did ask, "what kinds of questions did they ask?"
"At first it was the normal questions. Then when I told them her name. They pushed me for more information about her military training and what she did. I didn't know anything about that. We only talked about personal things. But they wanted to know if she would betray the Federation. I laughed off the question, its Seona lad. She loves the Federation. She loves Starfleet but it was the Marines who was her family. The Marines saved her from her foster parents and that place she lived in.
Jackson nodded and found the situation growing more complex, He was going over the hologram programs as the Priest was talking. The degree of programming was impressive. He sent the file over to Medart so that she could look deeper in to them. "Where did she learn this level of programming" he finally asked.
The old priest laughed, "lad, she had the best teachers money can buy. Her foster parents would bring in some of the best minds from across the Federation just to teach her. I to think how lucky she was to have such generous parents looking out of her. She wasn't allowed to attend regular school because her foster parents felt that it stunted her education. Come to think about it, I don't think she had many friends once she moved to Torridon. The Estate she lived on was massive. But I don't recall her talking about friends at all."
Jackson thought for a moment than asked, "Why were things so bad that she had to move to the estate and new foster parents?"
"I don't think it was the actually foster parents themselves. After all, everyone who lived and worked on the estate treated the Seona very well. I think it was more the illness and the after effect is the reason why she was moved. You see lad, the two of you, Maura and you that is, were always being seen by Doctors. I used to think how strange it was that you two were always being seen by doctors. But your mother ensured that you had the finest in treatments. I lead the charge against this illness. Truly driven by the hand of God she was. You three had the same condition. I guess that is what drew you three together" the priest explained. He took a deep breath as he thought a bit.
"I guess I should explain from the beginning. Each month you and your parents would take trips in to Edinburgh to be seen by a specialist doctor for your condition. Your mother and father worked hard to find a cure for your genetic disorder. I remember when everyone found out. You were never suppose to have survived your first year. But you have always been a fighter Jackie ol boy. I think they call it, Krussk Syndrome. It attacks the mental and nervous system. But I would talk to your mother about it. From what I understand it infects one and three million humans. Now lad, that is the will of God. Three children infected with this very rare illness only miles apart. Not only that, but surviving this horrible illness. I used to tell your mother that you and Maura were meant to be together."
He paused a moment then continued, "When their parents passed away, the sisters were moved here and stayed with Doctor Volante and his wife. They were personal friends of your parents. During the first few years they lived here, Maura seemed to get sicker while you were getting a bit better. But after a while the treatment was starting to work for her too. But with the girls' immune system weakened, it was best to keep them away from other people. This was why they were not allowed to attend school. Your mother devoted most of her life here to finding a treatment for the illness. She really sacrificed her life for you three."
"I remember one time, Maura had a relapse. I was called in just in case to give the girl last rights. I remember seeing little Seona in the corner crying. Your father was so angry that he threatened to take Seona back to Edinburgh. By morning, the relapse passed as did the anger between your father and mother. I wont pretend to know what the entire situation was about but I know the emotions between them over Maura's condition ran deep. A few months after that was when the treatment really started to take hold and soon Maura didn't need further treatments."
"When you moved away, Maura remained with Doctor Volante's family. Seona was moved to Torridon. A small coastal village up the coast. She stay at an estate own and operated by Starfleet Medical. I think your mother knew the man that ran the estate there. Um, I don't recall the name but I am sure he is a Vulcan. Some Admiral I think. He took Seona in as his own daughter. It was really a very nice place. Everyone there loved Seona and she was always treated so nice. But she was always so alone. She missed you and her sister. I never understood why it was important to keep the sisters apart lad. I don't think I have much more to offer you lad. Tell me, is it true? Is Starfleet hunting Seona down? If so, why?"
Captain Campbell leaned back in his chair and sighed heavily. He simply didn't know enough about the truth to answer. What he did find out left more questions than answer. "I'm afraid at this point there isn't much I can tell you. We are still just piecing thing together ourselves, but you have been a tremendous help, father. I will be sure to let you know if we do find her."
He coughed more but got it under control. "Lad, if you find her. I don't want you to forget that she is a good girl. For as long as I have known her, she has never willingly hurt another being. I don't buy these claims that she killed anyone and you shouldn't either. Lad you act like she never existed before. But she remembers you like the older brother you were to her. Maybe if you just give yourself a chance to remember that." He coughed even more, "I have to go. Be well Jackie ol boy."
The transmission ended and Captain Campbell just looked around the room almost lost as what to say. There was a heavy weight on his shoulders as he searched the faces of his staff. He wasn't sure what he was looking for but knew it wasn't here. Normally it was a moment like this when Admiral Tate would step in and make an order. But this was his ship and his ordeal to deal with. He took in a deep breath. 'There's no going back now' he thought. "Okay, V'rol you have your orders. Medart, I want you to put a team together and get in to these holo programs. It was clear they were meant for us. So lets see what we can find in them. Anyone else have any other questions or comments?"
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|December 4 2014, 01:52 AM||#15|
Re: The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild
Captain Campbell leaned back in his chair as the feeling of a thousand gazes rested on him. His entire life he had one image of his childhood and family. Now Father McLeod words were like a wrench being thrown in to a glass window and revealing something completely different. His looked around the room at his senior staff as they all watched him. 'Direction Jackson' he thought and added, 'no time to contemplate now, Jackson, your people need to see you in charge.'
He leaned forward resting his arms on his desk, "Commander Bonham."
"Yes, sir" the Commander said with a nod.
Captain Campbell look at Commander as if daggers were being thrust in to the man's eyes. Campbell made sure that there was no doubt in what was about to be said. "Commander, until this mission is over I not longer have a private life to you. I want you to conduct the most thorough security background check possible and I want it done on me. Find proof that this claim is accurate or put it to rest once and for all. There is simply too much at stake now."
Commander gave his captain a nod as he said, "sir, it is possible that what this Priest said could be false. It is highly unlikely that something like this could have gone this long without detection. With that said, I will find the truth. Where ever that truth takes us, we will find it. But I might require the help of our Chief of Security."
Over the subspace channel Commander V'rol nodded as he spoke, "I will speak with some of my contacts in Star Fleet Intelligence. I too also agree with Commander Bonham, something like is unlikely."
Captain Campbell had to have answers to what was just revealed. He nodded, "thank you both of you." After that he turned to Lieutenant Medart and Lieutenant Kinchlirah, "Chief, get with Lieutenant Kinchlirah and analyze those holovids. That last vid, at the end, that landscape appears like somewhere on Bajor. I can't put my finger on it. But I think I have seen this before."
While Lieutenant Medart nodded, it was Lieutenant Kinchlirah who answered, "yes captain."
"Doctors. it will take me a bit to set up your interview with Gul Bolon. In the meantime report to Commander Bonham. I want to know everything there is to know about this Krussk Syndrome, find out what doctor I supposedly saw in Edinburgh." He said then paused a moment, "Also, I want both of you standing by when we arrive. I want a full evaluation done to see if I show any evidence of this disorder, past or present. I want to know if any of this has a possibility of being true"
Both doctors nodded their head in acceptance of the orders. Captain Campbell looked around the table as if this crisis had just reached out and ripped out every memory he had of his home and childhood. With a heavy sigh he leaned back once more. "I don't remember any of this" he finally said. He didn't know what else to say as the words seem less than adequate. "None of it. I don't remember a childhood on Earth, at least not until I joined Star Fleet. I don't remember the MacConnell sisters and I can't recall one time where I have met the father. Now, I'm not sure what is going on but I want answers."
He looked around once more as he said, "if there are no more questions, you all have your orders." He motioned for the door continuing, "you are all dismissed." He was distrout over what was revealed. Something was nagging at him about all of this. As if a crack was made in a wall in the back of his memory. This nagging feeling that there was much more than what was being discovered. As the senior officers all rose and started to leave, Captain Campbell motioned to Lieutenant Kinchlirah. "Lieutenant Kinchlirah, if you would stay for a moment" he finally said with a level voice.
The Lieutenant stopped and turned toward the captain as she stood at attention. She patiently waited as Lieutenant Medart was the last one out the door and it had closed behind her.
Once the door was closed she finally spoke up. "Yes, Captain" she said calmly. Her muscles were tense as she already had an idea of what the captain waited.
Captain Campbell sized her up as he motioned towards her, "relax Lieutenant, take a seat." He motioned in the general direction towards a table along the wall.
Confused and not fully understanding what the captain wanted she only replied with "Sir?" as she remained standing.
The captain stood up as he started to see that this was going to need a bit more of a direct approach. He smiled as he said, "I would like that match if you are, Lieutenant?"
Lieutenant Kinchlirah took a deep breath, her displeasure was obvious. "If you wish, Captain. When would you like to proceed" she commented.
"Why not, right now," he said as he walked around the large table that occupied part of his office, ready room and briefing room. When he first reviewed the plans of this ship's refit, he didn't think he was going to enjoy having these rooms merged in to one. However Bonham and the designers really did a nice job giving the split level room a feel of a wide open and inviting space. "We have a 12 hour trip ahead of us and plenty of time to get to work, that is if this crew is as good as I think it is."
Looking around as he walked across the room she sighed. "But right here, Sir?" The confusion was still seen in the lieutenant's eyes.
"Why not?" he said as the Captain stepped toward her and she stepped back instinctively, raising her hands to defend herself. But the captain didn't attack, instead he stepped right past her to a corner of the office where a table and two chairs were. A very simple box sat on the table. The Lieutenant recognized it immediately as she lowered her hands and continued to watch what the captain was doing.
It was Kal-toh, the very game Commander Bonham had been teaching her. As it turned out she was pretty good at it. Any game that she could employ mathematics gave her an advantage. Kal-toh was a Vulcan game of intense strategy that could be played solitary or by multiple individuals. The object of kal-toh, is not about striving for balance but about finding the seeds of order even in the midst of profound chaos. Lieutenant Kinchlirah saw the game as a prefect game where mathematics and strategy are married in to one fluid system.
The Captain sat at the table and removed the top of the box and began to prepare the game. He looked up her to see her still standing defensively, "Lieutenant, believe me when I tell you that I have a great love for the martial arts and would be all to happy for the workout, but I'm told you do not enjoy a physical combat, have I been misinformed?" The Captain almost sounded hopeful.
Realizing that she had yet to fully drop her guard, she took a deep breath as she shook her head. "No sir, you have not been misinformed." She moved to take her seat, "I grew up in a household of six older brothers and sisters."
"Isn't that a bit larger than most Klingon households?" The Captain asked.
"Yes, it is unusually large by even Klingon standard. My childhood was surrounded by this constant struggle for superiority." She said as she watched him set up the game. "My childhood was always centered on being a warrior. Everyone expected it of me, trained me for it, demanded it of me. And I hated it. I have always had a drive and love for science and mathematics, not war." She paused as she looked around the walls of the briefing room. "When you look at me, you see a warrior" she said as her eyes moved over the room slowly. "Yes I am large and yes, thanks to my brothers and sisters, I am capable. But when I look for a figure to act as a role model, it is not some Klingon warrior of yesterday. Not my mother or father. No, It is Doctor Reyga to who I desire to be like. He had strive to break the break the profile of his race and prove that alone he was capable in HIS desired field. Not what others saw in him." She paused once more as her eyes moved back to the captain.
With a heavy sigh she continued, "I am more than what you see, Sir. Personally I detest the profile that because I am Klingon, I am some drunken, loud mouth brute that enjoys combat and the endless quest for honor through blood lust." The Lieutenant fell silent as she watched the final pieces being laid out. She realized that she was speaking out of turn. Something that Commander Bonham had warned to her about. In his warning he added, 'Be patient, Captain Campbell is a understanding man. I have in the past trusted my life in his hands. And you can learn to do so also. If you give the man a chance.'
The captain nodded "funny how things work out Lieutenant." He had already read her personnel profile. She was most likely one of the more intelligent beings on the ship. Her skills in both science and in engineering would have easily landed her a role in either Engineering or in one of his Science departments or as either of their heads. Commander Bonham was right, the language of exchange program was clear. She could serve in security or as a tactical officer, but elsewhere was not included in the program. A issue with language that he had planned on correcting at his first available time. But for now, she would remain as Chief Tactical Officer of the Thunderchild.
"How is that Captain?" She said plotting her first set of moves.
"In my family I was pushed into the sciences and I hated it," Captain Campbell said as he recalled the memories of his childhood. Even now, those memories seem to be brought in to question. He couldn't help but wonder if what the Priest had said was true or not. What scared him the most was he didn't know what he actually was hoping for. "well maybe hate is a big strong, but it was not something I wished to pursue. I take it you know who may parents are?" She nodded as he paused for a moment then continued.
Being a student of science, Captain Campbell would have been surprised if Lieutenant Kinchlirah didn't know who his parents were. After all, his mother was one of the most knowledgeable geneticist in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Her work for the President of the Federation and the Science Council against human augmentation made her a crusader for the cause. She helped write almost all the laws that governs augmentation in the Federation. His father was a well known and renowned botanist who has devoted his life to helping the sick and needy of the Federation. Currently Doctor Ken Campbell was leading the Federation's relief mission on Cardassia Prime. "They were not very happy when I took up an interest in sports and even less so when I joined Starfleet."
She nodded, "Sir, for me. Hate is the right word. When you first suggested that I 'train' with you in combat. It was if you had offered me a great insult." She held up her hand and cut off his next statement, "I know you meant no offense by it. But you did nonetheless. I do not wish to be a warrior. I never have. When you look at me, I do not want you to see a warrior. I am a scientist by heart and by desire. This is what I would prefer you to see. But even your own all welcoming Federation wont see me any different...." she paused for a moment and then lowered her head, "Forgive me, Sir for speaking out of place." she was genially disappointed with her statement.
"Its okay" He said and taking note of her discomfort, Captain Campbell decided to change the subject. "Well, for today why don't I just show you what a real Kal-toh opponent is like, the Commander has never been all that good" he said jokingly. Commander Bonham was probably one of the best non-Vulcans players on the ship. However, since he learned how to play, not even the best of the Vulcans could beat Captain Campbell. Strategy simple came that easy to him. "just don't tell him I said as much" Captain Campbell added with a smile on his face.
The Lieutenant nodded as she looked back up. The Captain handed Lieutenant Kinchlirah a piece, "Ladies first." The Lieutenant grunted but did not object as she played her turn. The pair played back and forth, as the pace of the game increased more quickly than an average game. Kinchlirah was the first player to show an advance but the Captain responded quickly with several moves that put him in a strong position. "So, tell me about you and the Commander, Lieutenant."
The Klingon hesitated during her turn for a moment but recovered quickly. "Sir, the Commander and I do have a history but it ended a short time ago." There was much more but she held back from adding it. "Truthfully Sir, our relationship has been recorded with Starfleet Security. Beyond that, there is nothing else to talk about. It is over."
"That is a shame," Kinchlirah looked at the Captain as he made the comment. "Are you sure there are no embers left?" The Captain pressed without looking at her, laying his own piece.
"Sir?" The Klingon said as she thought of her next move while trying to hide her emotions. They were there and she couldn't deny them. But at the same time, she didn't want to deny them. She loved Bonham with all her heart. He was one of the first who actually saw her for what she desired to be seen as. It was because of this that there is deep routed love between her and Commander Bonham. She wondered if word had somehow slipped back to the Captain regarding their accidental encounter within the Jefferies tubes a few hours ago. Neither of them knew the other would be there, as it was simply by mistake the pair crossed paths. It was a prefect meeting if only they had allowed their emotions to get the better of them. Instead, they parted after a short uncomfortable silence. She didn't think that anyone had seen the meeting. Before that, they had made a point to avoid each other where the situation could appear suspect.
"It's your turn Lieutenant." the captain said placing his next piece. He really never thought about it as he placed his pieces. For some reason, he just knew where to place them. It didn't matter if it was in game play or on the battlefield, he just knew what to do. This sense is what had made him one of the best minds in Starfleet.
Lieutenant Kinchlirah made a quick move, hardly paying attention to the game, "Sir, as I said. There is nothing else to be spoken on the matter." In her heart she knew otherwise, but it was the way it had to be. It was the price for serving aboard a Starfleet ship. Here the rules were different than on a Klingon vessel. She never thought that she would find love let alone in a human. But once more the galaxy had surprised her.
She thought that this assignment would open a door that would have otherwise never been opened aboard a Klingon vessel. Her dream was to prove herself and later be able to continue her education on Earth. Where one day she would become a master in her fields of study, among some of the best minds in the galaxy. All of whom had studied on Earth as well. Earth was well known for holding some of the best and brightest minds in the galaxy. It was a place she so desperately wanted to go and study. However the political situation simply wasn't helping her move towards her over all goal. This was the reason why she volunteered for the officer exchange program. She need to serve aboard a Starfleet vessel to earn the trust of the Federation. This was the only way she could hopefully have an opportunity to study at some of the best institutions in the galaxy. She knew that one Klingon had earned the unyielding trust of the Federation and she hoped that she could follow in his footsteps. It was going to be a long road but her heart was set on this path.
Then came Commander Bonham and those eyes that melted her heart. The passion that they shared was unrivaled by any other passion she had ever felt before and she doubted that she would ever feel again. He brought a new level of emotions to her world. He was an intelligent, compassionate and romantic man. The Captain looked at the Lieutenant and she met his eyes, Captain Campbell on the other hand was a hard man, she could tell he was a fine warrior. It was this 'warrior' attitude that she hated most about him. There was more to life than war and being a warrior. Captain Campbell was so much like her father and siblings. If she were to bring this man home, they would take her relationship much more seriously than if she were to bring Commander Bonham home to them. But Bonham and she had a plan to resolve this. Bonham would earn the respect of her father and family, by showing them who he really was.
Captain Campbell's eyes left little room in his next words, "Lieutenant, I will not have secret romances aboard my ship and I will not tolerate said relationship to distract anyone from their duties, and most importantly, Kinchlirah, I don't want to see it unless we are on shore leave. Am I clear?"
The thought of his accusation enraged Lieutenant Kinchlirah as her sight turned to a glare. 'How dare he' she thought as she fought back the urge to drive her blade through his throat. She might be only a mere scientist but she did have honor. She so much wanted to ignore the fact that she was Klingon and something else, but in moments like this she felt rage. There was no reason for anyone to suggest that she or Commander Bonham would lie about their relationship. If they choose to continue, they would do so in the open and damn what others thought.
She shared a love with the commander that she was willing to die for. It was painful enough attempting to ignore those powerful emotions. Her glare penetrated the captain deeply. Nothing of what he said after the accusation mattered to her. Without realizing it, she had gripped the hilt of her d'k tahg. Her mind raced as she tried to fight back that urge to kill the man that just accused her of having a secret relationship. Forcing herself, she released her grip on the hilt as she placed both of her hands on the edge of the table. She had always believed that idea let alone the act of lying was dishonorable. She said it had ended and that was it, it had ended. "There will be no secret relationships" she said in a harsh tone. "On or off this ship" she continued coldly then added with a great degree of harshness, "Sir."
The Captain played another piece as he had noticed the Lieutenant's hand move to her weapon. Always the cool commander, he keep his face from showing it and was quite impressed when she place her hands back on the table. 'So she can be rattled but has control over it' he thought then added, 'good to know.' He wasn't quite sure what to make of her. He knew he had gotten under her skin which was why he questioned her honor in the way he did. She had claimed she did not wish to be seen as simply a Klingon Warrior. He wondered how far that went. In his opinion she seemed to be struggling with it. If she did not share the Klingon view of battle, he had to know how she view their idea of honor. He hoped she had not lost that part of her heritage, for this was his favorite part about the Klingons. The Lieutenant watched as the Captain smiled, "Kal-toh" he said playing the final piece.
"Sir?" Lieutenant Kinchlirah said confused. Looking down as he placed the final piece. The mass of rods sprung to life and lit up, she had lost, badly. Her anger faded as her eyes drifted back to the captain. He was cool and collected despite the situation.
"You know, Lieutenant, you really should pay more attention" he said with a smile.
The Klingon stood and lowered her head at the defeat, "You would make for a fine Klingon" she said as she looked him in the eyes. She assumed his actions were to bait her and they did just that. In that moment she felt foolish for allowing her emotions to run away with her. Still the words had stung and it would not be soon forgotten. "Yes, a fine Klingon" she reaffirmed.
The Captain stood and bowed he head in return, "I tend to take that as quite a complement," he said without a hint of sarcasm.
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