The Journeys of the USS Thunderchild (Episode One: Loose Strings)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Akirapryde, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Contributor: Kunanaki (Playing Mordicia Noonia)

    Welcome to Flight Operations Mr. Noonia (part three)
    USS Thunderchild, NCC-63549
    Deck 13, Hanger Deck
    AKA: The Dragon's Lair
    Stardate: 53834.29

    Mordecai nodded as Paxton and Duncanson got permission to enter the restricted zones. The pair rushed over to the wounded fighter. Mordecai watched them for a moment then his attention was taken by a group of deck hands working in a near by maintenance bay. Before taking a step, he checked the marking to make sure he was still in a free zone. After realizing that he would be okay, he walked over to them.

    "Good evening, I am Mordecai Noonia" he said as he walked up to the group of crewmen. They all smiled and greeted him with hellos. Mordecai knew that they were working on a fighter's power transfer grid but didn't what to seem pretentious. "What are you guys working on?"

    One of the green vested crewmen got up and shook Mordecai's hand, "I am Steven" he said friendly. "We are having problems with the power transfer from the main engines to the torpedo." Mordecai nodded as Steven continued, "unlike normal launch systems, these Peregrine class fighters carry their torpedoes under their wings. There is no launch tubes," Steven explained. "The power to activate them is drawn from the main engines and transferred to the torpedo via this harness" he said showing a burned out power harness. "This happens often to only our Peregrine fighters as the Valkyries don't carry torpedoes."

    Mordecai nodded and smiled as he knew the answer already, "I can see where your problem is. The power grid is out of alignment with the main engine. A simple recalibration should resolve that issue."

    Steven nodded as the others laughed, "that is a clever fix but there is one problem." Mordecai looked a bit puzzled as Steven brought up a schematic of the power and engines of the fighter.

    Even before Steven had a chance to explain Mordecai knew why his idea would fail. "Is that a Remodulator from a Transporter System?"

    "Yes" said a female dressed like Steven, "I am Samantha. It was my idea for these fighters. The Remodulator takes the pure energy from the impulse stack and like a transporter filters out everything but...."

    Mordecai couldn't help but complete her statement, "the energy particles that are desired for thrust."

    Samantha nodded, "Yeah that's right. It doesn't make them faster but it does give them a hell of a boost in accelerations. Almost twenty percent faster than other Peregrine class ships."

    "I see where your problem is coming from," Mordecai said as he looked over the harness once more. "The pure energy particles are burning up the harnesses after repeated uses."

    One of the other techs nodded, "Yeah. We are replacing harnesses after about ten to fifteen uses."

    "So we were hoping that we could find a way to correct the issue" Samantha said.

    Mordecai nodded, "So who is working with you on this from Engineering?"

    They all started to laugh "Engineering?" Steven spoke up laughing with the rest of them. "They wouldn't be caught dead down here" he joked and got up. He walked over to Mordecai and patted him on the back, "I used to be a cook before. Samantha, a Transporter Tech" he said then motioned to the two other techs, "those two were both from operations."

    Samantha took over, "we had been in Flight Operations for nearly two years now." She looked around, "heck, most of us here had been with Flight Ops since before refit."

    Mordecai looked confused at the statements, "so how many are actually engineers?"

    Samantha looked around as Steven answered, "seven now."

    "Six" Samantha corrected. "Remember that Tyler accepted that promotion to Starfleet Academy."

    Steven nodded, "Oh yeah for got about that. Six," Steven answered. Mordecai looked around at the dozens of hands he saw working on the Hanger Deck. "There were nearly twenty before refit. But most were transferred over to Starfleet Academy to set up classes on what we created here. Most of us had been trained by them and now carry on with what we were taught."

    "Wait, what about all the transfers off the ship" Mordecai asked.

    "Oh those weren't from Flight Ops. Most of us remained here to help the CAG out" Samantha answered. She continued, "We all want this to work and we all wanted to support the CAG and Lieutenant Paxton. How could we abandon them."

    Mordecai nodded as he looked over the power distribution issue, "so what about all this I heard about the CAG being this really bad guy?" Mordecai wanted to know how the flight felt about their CAG.

    Samantha picked up a power harness as she thought of the question. No one answered the question right away as if to give it considerable thought. There was no sense of fear or lack of sincerity in them as they thought of their answer. Samantha finally looked up, "you are talking about CMO-26?"

    After Mordecai nodded in answer to her question she continued. "Listen, you have to understand that down here we are family. I knew one of the weapons officers that were lost that day" she explained. As she started to remember that happened on that fateful day, her eyes started to well up that gave them an almost shine effect. "Because most of the crew left the ship during the refit, you new guys only heard how they were left behind. Bu.....bu....." she tried to work out.

    Placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder, Steven took over. "We were there when the fighting took place. Those guys were heroes. Most of them had returned to the ship after their fighters were damage. All of them took to new fighters and returned to the battle. Not one remained aboard during that fight. It was only by a trick of fate that put Bonham on the bridge that day. And we are lucky he was. The ship was taking a pounding that day. Hell I didn't even think we were going to survive. When main power was restored, we had not choice but turn and run."

    Samantha took in a deep breath, "All you new guys hear is how we left our fellow crew members behind. That is all that many of you care about. But for us, we are alive because of their sacrifice. We are alive because of the CAG and that impossible call he had to make."

    Mordecai nodded, "I am sorry for bringing up painful memories. But I really wanted to know. You have a great thing going on down here. Can I ask one more question?" The group all nodded and he continued, "why Hollywood?"

    Steven smiled a bit as he answered, "next time you take a trip down to Engineering take a look around. All those lights, the fresh pressed uniforms, prefect hair, everything so neat and tidy. Your world is all fame and sparkle. So why not Hollywood? Better than what your fellow engineers call us. To them, we are Deck Scrubbers or Deck Monkeys."

    Mordecai nodded and just then was called back by Lieutenant Paxton. But before he could leave, Samantha took hold of his hand and looked in to his eyes. "There is something you need to know. Not one of us here, not even Lieutenant Paxton, that wouldn't gladly follow that man right in to the flames of hell. He IS one of us, pure and simple."

    As Mordecai walked back over to where his tour guides were waiting, he reflected on what he learned. There was a drastic lack of support for Flight Operations and the Hanger Deck. They had talented people but regardless of all their efforts, the lack of support was still there. Being stationed in the Engineering Division he hadn't noticed it first hand but now he could see it. Looking around, he could see the lack of support first hand. Mordecai felt that this lack of support wasn't due to trained personal not wanting to do the work down here. It was far more insidious then that. It was a lack of understanding and education. Commander Bonham had just taken a risky gamble from what Mordecai was thinking, but he had an idea already.

    He witnessed that they could of course could service their own things down here, but without bodies this section would collapse. Instead of half of the Engineering Division sitting on their hands even in an emergency, the section could be spread. In fact, Engineering could create a whole new section that just supported the Flight Deck. Mordecai knew how to make this work. He had experience from been a part of a large ship crew before. Also he enjoyed building a camaraderie with his fellow engineers. He also always enjoyed teaching and learning, it's part of the reason he stayed out of the Limelight. Not because he couldn't, but because it felt right to see others succeed and learn and grow.

    As he reflected, part of him was lost remembering the trials and tribulations of this group of crew members. The other part of him realized that this was a chance for him to do some good that was beyond a normal ken. 'This is the purpose of this Ship. We're not a ship of peace and exploration, but one of defense for the Federation. The modifications to this ship have been so that this Flight Deck can launch a very old type of warfare into a very new environment' he thought as he continued to make his way over to where his tour guides were waiting. 'This deck may be the thin line of difference whether or not we go home. In engineering, I've always wondered about the purpose of the USS Thunderchild and its focus.' A burning sense of purpose struck him here, 'now I know' he thought as he finished reflecting.

    Lieutenant Paxton turn to face Mordecai as he walked up as she pulled off a length of cord from her EV suite, "Hollywood, we are all here to learn new paths." she said walking closer to him while handing the end of the cord to Noonia so that he could attach it to his own belt. Lieutenant Duncanson pulled off the same amount of cord and affixed it to Noonia's belt as well. "Before I was part of your Starfleet, I was in the Republican Guard" she explained as she doubled checked the cord and made sure that he was secured to her suite. It was clear that they were going somewhere without gravity. But what Mordecai noted was the sound of her voice. Speaking about her history caused a very real emotional reaction in her voice.

    "Would you believe that before that I was a artist" Paxton continued with a sense of sadness in her voice. She added, "I was young and foolish back then. I guess it is something that all races share in common. The ignorance of youth" there was something more to the story but she didn't go in to it. Their journey appeared to take them over to a large cargo transporter pad with a type eleven shuttle craft resting on the pad. A group of crew members were going over the craft very carefully as they scanned the ship with their tricorders and doubled checked with their own eyes.

    It was the first time that Noonia had seen Paxton fall silent due to having nothing to say. Lieutenant Duncanson spoke up to cover the silence as they continued to walk over to the pad. "I was a Marine Infantry Officer before I requested to be transferred here, Lieutenant" he explained as he moved by the shuttle craft. He smiled as he ran his hand on the shuttle, "this might interest you Lieutenant." he added, "This shuttle craft is rather special. There are only five like them in all of Starfleet. It was designed for our kind of operations" he said as he turned to look at Mordecai. "They extend our own sensor ranges and act as a secondary flight control during combat missions" he explained as the three of them moved next to the shuttle craft. "This one is about to support our continued search of the system. They have more sensors and tracking equipment than some small starships. A crew of five and the speed to hang with our fastest fighters, they are worth their weight, Lieutenant." He nodded to the shuttle as if it was a living being. "Because of their special missions, they are called Cat's Eye," he concluded.

    After regaining herself, Paxton spoke up once more, "We are taking you to the flight deck Lieutenant." Mordecai almost missed the fact that she didn't call him Hollywood. "On the Flight Deck there is no gravity, nor atmosphere. Because you are not wearing an EV Suite, we have to keep these cords on you for your own safety. Also, we won't be able to hear you unless you key up your comlink."

    On that noted, both of his guides put their helmets on. Paxton also slid a sleeve over her tail and attached it to the back of her EV Suite. There were sounds of seals being made as both of his guides double checked each other and his own life support belt. From this point on, their voices were transmitted over communication channels. "Shall we show you the real business end of this ship?" Paxton's voice came over the comlink. There it was again in Paxton's voice. That kind of pride that no amount of humble demeanor could hide. Paxton gave the signal that they were ready.

    Mordecai noticed that the two Craft Handlers along side of the shuttle and a safety officer were ready to go with them. Like the two lieutenants with him, these three personnel were also wearing armored EV Suites and were armed with phaser pistols. It was something that Mordecai couldn't help but ask. He activated his comlink, "Lieutenant" he said turning to Paxton. "Why is everyone armed?"

    Paxton nodded, "Twice this ship was boarded. The first time by Cardassians. The second time by the Dominion. Both times, they used that big flight deck as their means of access to our ship. The first time we were not ready to repeal boarders. Cost us allot of lives. The second time we were and we will always be ready down here."

    Mordecai couldn't help but noticed that despite the distraction that his little tour might have caused to the three crew members their focus remained on the shuttle. Mordecai had seen other shuttle bays in operation but none seemed to have their operations conducted like this one did. With a nod from the safety everyone and the shuttle were transported to the Flight Deck.

    The flight deck was all that it was made up to be. And only one word could best describe the entire deck, massive. The entire deck was well over four hundred meters long and just over three decks tall. A lone runabout was coming in for landing at the far end of the deck. It was moving at nearly full impulse which was not normal for Mordecai. It almost seemed as if the craft was going to crash in to the ship till a set of tractor beams caught the runabout in mid-flight. After the tractor beams caught the runabout, they brought the craft to a slow. Then it was moved over to one of the transporter pads along the port side of the deck. A number of deck personnel moved towards the craft as they secured the runabout for transport. At each end of the flight deck, Noonia could see the force fields that protected the deck from the vacuum of space. It raised a question about why having them engaged if the deck was depressurized and didn't have gravity.

    Mordecai watched as the shuttle craft that they had beamed up with as it was moved in to departure position. It was strange for Mordecai cause he knew that the craft could simply hover towards the large opening and depart under its own power. It was in that moment that Paxton's voice came over his comlink, "There are a series of tractor and repulser beams along each end of this deck with a third set of tractor beams along the center. These make up our launch and recovery systems. They are splint in to three separate systems with the fore and aft systems mirrored with each other. Power is supplied to each system independently via the EPS networks. During none warp operations, we launch forward and capture aft. During warp operations, we reverse the operations" Paxton explained.

    This caused Mordecai to almost gasps as the idea of launching during warp speed was highly dangerous. Let alone landing on a ship traveling at warp speed. He just looked in disbelief over what was said. Lieutenant Duncanson laughed, "that was the same look Admiral Tate gave when we told him we have done it a few times already."

    Mordecai shook it off as he watched the Deck Captain gave directions from the center of the deck near the departure end. Because there was no atmosphere here, Mordecai could hear nothing beyond his own little force field secured bubble. He watched as the shuttle craft was moved in to position under its own power. The Deck Captain took over issuing orders as the craft handlers backed off. The pilot acknowledged this transfer by flashing the lights of the shuttle off and back on. With the deck crews backing away, the shuttle was ran through a series of tests before the Deck Captain was sure that the craft was ready for departure. Mordecai watched as this silent operation played out. It was as if he was watching a silent play preformed by a elite troop of performers.

    The entire operation played out before Mordecai's eyes with a level of perfection that could not be denied. The repulsers took hold of the shuttle craft and started to build up tension to sling the craft out of the ship. "A slow moving target departing the ship would make for a easy target to enemy fighters or near by ships. Because of this, we rocket departing craft out at over full impulse speed. This is done so that they are not easy targets during combat situations," she explained. "We operate as if we are in combat at all times" Paxton added.

    It was then that Duncanson's voice broke in, "we train and carry out our duties in such a way that regardless of rather we are in combat or not, we perform at the same level. This keeps our proficiency at the same high levels regardless of the situation."

    Mordecai was looking forward to watching the departure as everything was building to that point. It was if the entire world around him was hanging on this one moment. The Deck Captain was issuing the final orders to deck hands and pilots. He stood in a circle just off center of the shuttle as the craft slowly hovered. The repulser energy could be seen as it was building up the wave to hurl the shuttle out and away from the flight deck. Ever the engineer, Mordecai could see how this operation was to work. The interlinked repulser emitters created a pull push energy around the craft. His mind could see how each system in this operation was critical and how they worked with each other. It was if time had stood still as the Deck Captain pivoted on his heels as he dropped to a knee. He pointed down the departure end of the deck as he was clearly giving the launch command to those watching. It was the moment that Mordecai was waiting for.
  2. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Welcome to Flight Operations Mr. Noonia (part four)
    USS Thunderchild, NCC-63549
    Deck 13, Hanger Deck
    AKA: The Dragon's Lair
    Stardate: 53834.29

    The moment was building with all the anticipation as Mordecai watched. He had seen the diagrams of the launch system but never really seen it in action. Now he was about to get a front row seat to one of the latest technologies Starfleet created. He watched with a half smile on his face as seconds seemed to last for hours. He could see the force building just by the multi-color transparent energy field as it grew in intensity. From an engineer's point of view it was remarkable watching a technology inspired by a child from the USS Enterprise being employed in such a way. However it was his keen mind that locked on to the starboard side emitters as their transparent glow seemed to fluctuate. Something was wrong and Mordecai just realized it.

    Not even seconds after the craft started to move forward, one of the safeties at a pedestal along the port side of the deck raised his arms in a cross like fashion. It was too late, the repulsers had already started to vault the craft forward. In that moment a set of repulsers on the starboard side of the departure end of the flight deck failed. There was a massive soundless series of sparks as the set of repulsers failed sending sparks showering down from the starboard wall of the departure end. The lack of the repulsers on the starboard side sent the shuttle rocketing towards that side as the port side repulsers were still set at full power. Milliseconds started to tick down as the preprogrammed safeties started to engage. Power to all forward repulsers were cut in an attempt to allow the shuttle to correct its own departure path.

    Mordecai stood in disbelief over what he was watching as the shuttle rolled as the pilot fought to regain his path. The pilots' efforts were to no avail as the next set of milliseconds saw the shuttle slammed in to the starboard side of the forward. As the shuttle slammed in to the side of the Flight Deck, a fantastic shower of sparks and flames erupted from the shuttle like a giant flower blossoming. Red lights kicked on as more explosions rocked the flight deck and caused the ship to shutter. In that moment as EPS conduits exploded along the side of the Flight Deck, the lights flickered and went out. Local Emergency lights flicked on as the powerful indicated a loss of power to all three power grids for the section of the ship.

    At the forward end of the ship, the bright white glowing shield emitters of the forward doors flickered and failed. The shield was there to protect the deck from the vacuum of space. Now that the shield had failed, nothing protected the ship from that vacuum. However with no atmosphere the twenty deck personnel were not sucked in to space. As the shuttle racked the side of the ship as it completed its attempt to depart the ship, its bright red engine glow flickered and grew brighter as showers of sparks, flames and debris flung from the crippled shuttled. Pieces of the shuttle flung back in to the flight deck as deck personnel rushed for cover. Normally a shield would have activated cutting off that section of the deck from debris. However with the power outage the shields didn't activate. Instead sparks and debris showered deeper in to the flight deck.

    Mordecai stood in disbelief over what he was seeing taking place. His mind barely was able to comprehend the fraction of time the entire situation had gone from a normal departure to pure chaos o the flight deck. A second explosion rocked the deck as the starboard section of the forward flight deck bulked. Mordecai knew that that could only be a secondary explosion from below the flight deck. Before he knew what happened next, he felt two pairs of hands grabbing him and forcing him to the deck. Mordecai could see the armored suite of Lieutenant Duncanson directly over him as Lieutenant Paxton covered the two of them. Together the pair of lieutenants formed a wall around Mordecai and he couldn't understand why till he felt the impact against the armored flight suits. What ever hit them, hit with enough power to force the group to shutter.

    As the jolt subsided, Mordecai couldn't tell if it was the ship that had moved or those directly around him. As they started to raise off of him, he could see a large section of shuttle debris floating aft ward as it bounced off the deck. A large dent in Lieutenant Paxton's suite told him the very real dangers that were taking place. He also realized that his own belt offered no protection to these hazards. Suddenly he felt so naked and all but helpless. Lieutenant Duncanson helped Mordecai to his feet as he heard his comlink chirping and making a strange noise. It was clearly damaged by being tossed to the deck. Mordecai could tell that Paxton had been injured by the way that she limped and favored her right side. The two deck officers were talking but Mordecai couldn't understand what they were saying.

    Finally Duncanson turned to Mordecai and spoke but again, he couldn't understand what was being said. Paxton removed her straps from Mordecai as Duncanson tried to explain to him what was going on. Mordecai shook his head as he motioned that his com wasn't working. At the same time he watched as Paxton worked her way towards a access hatch as Duncanson grabbed him. It took Mordecai a few seconds to link the fresh red and white paint rubbed on to Paxton's green suite to the scope of what happened. Duncanson pulled Mordecai along with him across the chaos that was now the Flight Deck. Already the deck hands were rushing in to action. The lack of air prevented the fires from spreading but that didn't mean what had fuel wasn't going to burn. It didn't matter their wounds, deck hands worked together to get the fires under control. Beyond the main doors, a stream of sparks and debris marked the path that the shuttle had taken beyond the ship.

    As Mordecai took in the scene, he noticed one very important clue to the scope of what just happened. He could see the front of the ship from the Flight Deck. The large light that illuminated the ship's registry had gone out. And beyond that, the two large bow lights, red and green, used for visual navigational reverence were also out. Those two sets of lights were on two separate systems. This told Mordecai that the power failure was not limited to the flight deck but to much of the ship. As they crossed the Flight Deck, Duncanson turned to Mordecai and pointed at a balcony Near the top of the of the flight deck. Next to the balcony was what appeared to be an air lock and beyond that a control room. Duncanson motioned that they were going up there. Mordecai nodded his understanding and held on to Duncanson's arm tightly.

    Duncanson took a leap upward and fired his suites thrusters. This gave him enough momentum to land on the balcony safely with Mordecai in tow. He walked over to the air lock as Mordecai noted that the air lock had no power. Duncanson manually opened the door and led Mordecai in to the air. Once Duncanson closed and sealed the outer door, he pulled a long cable out of a pocket in his suite and plugged it in to the air lock access panel. Within minutes Mordecai heard the airlock activate and the air around him pressurize. Once the light on the panel turned from red to green, Duncanson took off his helmet. He turned to Mordecai, "the explosion caused a ship wide power disruption" Duncanson explained as the inner airlock door was opened from the inside.

    He turned and walked in to the Flight Operations Center as another lieutenant walked up to him, "We have fires across the hanger deck as one of the fuel lines ruptured. The power grid has suffered a feed back knocking out most of this section. As side from a handful of internal sensors and reports we have little contact with the Hanger Deck. Cat Eye Three is reporting an emergency as their warp core is overloading. What reports we have, the atmosphere in the hanger deck is becoming toxic as the fires rage. The bridge wants to know what help we need. Your orders Sir?"

    The situation was grim but nothing that they hadn't trained for before. He nodded to the lieutenant, "Inform the bridge of the situation down here. We will need damage control and fire fighter teams to report to the hanger deck." He turned and looked out the window. Taking in the view of the Flight deck, he noted the open space beyond the failed shield. He glanced down at the sensor readings from the hanger deck. The temperature was rising fast as was the toxic levels of the air that remained in there. He knew that Paxton was heading down there to lead the damage control effort personally. "Crack the center mag-lifts. Only enough to bleed out the atmosphere of the Hanger Deck" he ordered.

    He knew that by now, everyone down there should have had their suites sealed. If not, it wouldn't matter. If the fires were not brought under control, they could spread beyond the deck. He had been aboard a starship where fires had gotten out of control. This ship was lost as well as half of the crew. He had to make sure that the fires couldn't spread. He knew that Paxton also knew this and would expect him to do what he had to do to save the ship. He turned to his control team, "I gave you an order. Crack those seals!" On that, two crew members went to work.

    Mordecai walked over to the window and saw the six large plates shift ever so slightly. Thick blackish smoke started to jet out of the six plates and vent towards the massive open forward Flight Deck door. Within seconds, the thin stream was like a raging river of black smoke. Mordecai watched as it seemed that his very ship was bleeding out from the wounds she had taken. He knew that if the plates were moved too much than the hanger deck would explosively decompress and crew members could be blasted in to space or killed from flying debris. He looked over as he watched Duncanson managed the plates personally. It was like threading a needle. Too little, the smoke and heat would build up again. Too much and he risked the lives of the people below decks.

    "We need to do something about that shuttle crew" Lieutenant Duncanson said as he turned to Mordecai. "Down below this room are the maintenance bays. They should be sealed but no promises. A runabout is under going routine maintenance there."

    Mordecai didn't need more information. "The transporters on the runabout" he stated as Duncanson nodded. "Right, on it Sir." Mordecai pointed at a crew member who was standing in the back with a purple vest over his EVA Suite. "Come with me" he ordered the crew member as Mordecai activated his belt once more and walked over to a hatch. Before he slipped through the hatch, Mordecai took in the Flight Control Center. The situation was of chaos, but everyone here was calm and carrying out their duties. Voices were calm as information was relayed up to the bridge. Teams were being coordinated between here and the bridge as everyone was fighting for the survival of the ship.

    Mordecai vanished through the hatch, "Whats your name, Crewman?" he asked the woman behind him.

    After she slipped her helmet on, she followed him towards a ladder that went up and down. "T’Dess, Crewman First Class T'Dess, Sir" she said.

    Mordecai climbed on to the ladder and started to make his way down, "T'Dess? That is a Vulcan name, right?"

    She followed him on to the ladder and moved down above. "Yes, Sir" she answered climbing down the ladder. "My father died when I was very young. So my mother remarried to a Vulcan. I love him very much and wanted to show that. When I was old enough, I changed my name to T'Dess. It means lady of the north. I choose it cause it was the name of his grandmother."

    Mordecai nodded as they reached the hatch that opened up the flight deck hatch. Even though his belt protected him from the lack of pressure and atmosphere, the heat could be a problem. He opened the hatch and saw the hatch at the base of the Flight Deck landing. It was glowing red and Mordecai knew that they couldn't go that way. "We need a way around. Suggestions?"

    She nodded, "There is a secondary route on the other side of the flight deck."

    There wasn't much choice as he motioned for her to lead the way. She leaped down the rest of the way as she avoided the glowing red hatch in the center of the floor. As he slipped the last few rungs of the ladder he sealed the hatch behind him. He gave her a nod as she manually opened the hatch. The rushing of air was almost unnoticed except for the bit of smoke in the small hatch area fleeing in to the void beyond it. Once more, Mordecai found himself on the damaged flight deck. Once more, he found himself in silence as he followed T'Dess across the flight deck. Large chunks of shuttle still floated over the deck as crew members were getting wounded off the deck. The pair slipped passed a piece of the shuttle's nacelle and over a piece of metal. They rushed towards the center of the flight deck and six massive plums of smoke venting in to space.

    There simply wasn't time to go around them. They had to try to navigate between the plums and the force that the smoke was venting out in to space. Mordecai motioned for a cord and T'Dess handed him a cord from her suite. As they continued to run towards the plums, he attached the cord to his belt. He couldn't deny the fear in his heart. The plums had to have been filled with hot toxic smoke. Getting sucked in to one could easily mean his own death. T'Dess could survive a bit longer but if she was blasted in to space, the smoke could mask her location leaving her to a cold lonely death. The pair ducked down low and carefully worked their way between the large plums. Despite the vacuum, Mordecai could swear that he heard the rushing sound of the plum just meters from his head. The heat made him sweat even from this distance.

    The ship shuttered once more under him as he felt another explosion from below. Mordecai had been trained for emergencies just like this. He had even been in a holodeck simulation that seemed so real. But right in this moment, nothing could have prepared him for this. Half way through the plums they had to slow to a crawl and drop to their hands and knees to get past the worse of the plums. The heat and the pressure of the smoke was pushing his belt to its limits. However in his heart, Mordecai knew that they shuttle crew needed to get off that shuttle. With out power to the ship's transporters, the Thunderchild couldn't save them. With the Repulse still recovering from her own power issues, those fellow crew members counted on him. They pushed onward past the plums.

    Once they had cleared the plums, the pair got back up and ran the rest of the way across the Flight Deck to another hatch. T'Dess manually opened the hatch and slipped inside it. Mordecai followed her in as he closed the hatch behind him and sealed it. Once T'Dess had pressurized the compartment, she activated her mic, "The space below us has a very high toxic level. I don't know how your belt will react to that. Stay close Sir."

    There are times when Mordecai hated being an engineer. This was one of those times. He knew what the limits of his belt was. The belt was never designed for this kind of activity. It would offer some protection but not much. He nodded to her, "I know, crewman, carry on" he said as he motioned her to open the hatch leading down.

    With that, she opened the hatch and thick blackish smoke drifted upward. The temperature rose fast as the pair moved down the ten meter ladder towards the floor of the hanger deck. Moving downward was almost as if descending in to hell. An explosion had knocked the hatch off center allowing toxic fumes to seep in to the access space. T'Dess had to push her suite to force the hatch to open. As the damaged hatch moved forward and opened, the scope of the damage was finally realized. Along the starboard side of the hanger deck, fires shot upward as equipment burned. Dozens of crew members were in groups of four and five with each group fighting their own fires. Red lights indicated the crisis as alarms sounded across the deck. The Computer's voice called out the toxic levels of the deck and urged the foolish to evacuate. Mordecai could see why the automated systems were not in use. The ship wide power failure had knocked them out of service. This meant that the crew had to fight the fires the old fashion way, with foam!

    Just in that moment, the ship shuttered again as a Peregrine fighter exploded. Massive amounts of flame and debris rocketed upward. Luckily most of that was sucked out to the flight deck instead of raining burning material down of those fighting the fires. Still the force of the explosion was enough to blast a near by fighter high in to the air. It crashed in to the ceiling as it bounced back towards the deck. Crew members scattered as the fighter bounced hard on to the deck and skidded across. The runaway fighter skidded across the deck slamming up against a parked shuttle. Without fear of their own lives the members of Flight Operations, both pilots and deck hands a like joined forces to fight the fires that ranged. On the far side of the deck, Damage Control Teams were just showing up to help fight the fires.

    Mordecai took in a deep breath and motioned for T'Dess to move forward, "We have to get to that runabout" he said pointing to a runabout near the aft section of the hanger deck. It wasn't the one that Lieutenant Duncanson had suggested but it was going to have to be the one they used.
  3. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Welcome to Flight Operations Mr. Noonia (part five)
    USS Thunderchild, NCC-63549
    Deck 13, Hanger Deck
    AKA: The Dragon's Lair
    Stardate: 53834.29

    Mordecai waved T'Dess forward was they worked their way along the port side wall of the hanger deck. Smoke, heat and the crisis made getting across the deck hard enough. But with people rushing about fighting the fires and moving wounded added more chaos to what was going on. All across the deck, the red lights flashed as the computer continued to call out the hazard of the situation. The heat was building despite the fact that they were trying to slowly vent the deck to space. Mordecai didn't have time to think about the situation across the hanger deck as he worked his way over to the parked Runabout. Crawling over a large wing section from a fighter, he saw a gloved hand sticking out from under the wing.

    He waved T'Dess over, "we have to move this" he said as he tried to life the large wing section. It was just too heavy for him to move it alone. T'Dess walked over in her EV suit and grabbed it with both hands. The section was heavy but together they were able to lift the section up and move it over. As they moved the section, they saw Samantha and Steven laying under the wing. Steven's clear face plate was shattered and Samantha's EV suit was ripped along her right leg. Both had been badly wounded. Mordecai reached down and picked up Steven as he directed T'Dess to pick up Samantha. "Lets get them to the runabout" he said over the roar of the fires around them.

    T'Dess nodded as she reached over and picked up Samantha. Now burdened with the extra weight, the pair continued to move for the runabout with more difficulty. However they were determined to reach the runabout and within moments they did. Mordecai and T'Dess reached the the runabout and the safety that it offered. Mordecai walked on to the flight deck and set Steven down on the floor of the runabout. He didn't have time to check the two wounded for injuries as he was already working against a clock. He rushed over to the controls of the runabout and powered it up. His hands glided over the controls as he activated the transporters of the runabout. "T'Dess go see if there are any more wounded near by while I get the transporters on line."

    Mordecai worked the controls fast as time was fleeting. It didn't take him long to realize that there was simply too much interference between him and the wounded shuttle to get a lock on the passengers. He needed more powerful sensors to get a transporter lock. He activated the comlink of the shuttle as he attempted to reach the Engineering Station on the bridge. Using his knowledge of the communication protocols, he was able to manual rout the signal to the station he needed. He hoped that someone was paying attention to the incoming call.

    He was relieved to hear the voice of one of his newer friends, Ensign Jain. "Who is this?" she said in a hushed voice. There was clearly a great deal of activity on the bridge by the level of verbal communication that Mordecai could hear. The crisis in the hanger deck was clearly being dealt with from the bridge as orders were being barked.

    "Its Noonia, Jain" he said in an urgent tone, "I need access to the ships main weapon's targeting sensors."

    "Noonia? what the hell are you doing? The hanger deck is on fire" she said then paused. "Where are you?"

    Mordecai shook his head, "Listen Jain, please I need those sensors now."

    "Ok ok, hold on" She said.

    Mordecai knew that during a crisis situation, the ships priority protocols would ensure that weapons and defense would have energy priority over other systems. It was the only way he could think of to save those crew members on the wounded shuttle. He just didn't have time to run through the normal chain of command to act on his plan. Within seconds, Jain came through as his board lit up with access to the ships main targeting sensors. He worked fast to convert the sensor feed over to his own runabout's transporter targeting feed. In what could be described as a minor miracle, Mordecai tricked the runabout's transporters in to thinking that their own targeting senors were the Thunderchild's own main weapon sensors. He could now see the five crew members aboard the stricken runabout. "Jain, let Sick Bay know that I am beaming five wounded to their location."

    As Ensign Jain replied, "okay Noonia, I'll send the message."

    Mordecai set the transporter up and locked on to them. Within seconds he beamed the first group off the wounded shuttle. He beamed them to the runabout first then redirected them to Sick Bay in a second beaming. Once he was confirmed that the beaming was successful he repeated the step two more times beaming the entire crew off the shuttle. Just in time as the shuttle's warp field confinement finally failed. The shuttle was engulfed in a fiery explosion. Mordecai leaned back and let out a sigh of relieved that those five were saved. After that short break, he went back to work and locked on to Steffen and Samantha. He beamed both of them to the sick bay.

    T'Dess walked backwards as pulled a wounded crew member behind her. There were two engineers helping other wounded crew members following her in to the runabout. Shortly behind them was Lieutenant Tina Jacobson, the senior officer of the Impulse Engineering Section of the Engineering Division. "Who is in charge here?" Lieutenant Jacobson asked. Her face covered in black smudges and her uniform showing signs of the desperate battle beyond the runabout.

    Mordecai turned from the controls, "I am sir!" he said in a professional and respectful tone as he rose up from the chair.

    Lieutenant Jacobson nodded, "Lieutenant Noonia, right?" she asked. He nodded as she continued, "great idea Lieutenant. We will use this location as a triage center." She turned to her fellow engineers, "notify the teams to bring wounded here." She tapped her combadge, "Lieutenant Jacobson to Doctor McCoy. We located that site you asked for. We are setting up a triage center now." She paused and looked back to Mordecai, "Do these transporters work?" Mordecai nodded as she turned back to her combadge, "We can beam your teams here once they are ready."

    Mordecai nodded as he turned back to his station. Already he was getting a message from Sick that a team of six were waiting to beam over. He started to beam the first set over while sending the next group of wounded to sick bay. Shortly after that the communications channels opened up as he could hear Lieutenant Paxton's voice. "Control, we can't get these fires under contol like this. We need to explosively decompress the hanger deck. I want you do give us a five minute count then open the mag-lefts all the way. This should vent the fuel and kill the fires."

    Shortly there after Mordecai heard Lieutenant Medart's voice over the Com-Channels, "Belay that. My people don't have the suits to protect them from an explosive decompression. One minutes isn't enough time."

    "We are losing the hanger deck, Lieutenant" yelled Paxton over the roar of a near by fire. It was clear that Paxton didn't like having her order countered by the Chief Engineer. "We have to get these fires out, now!"

    Mordecai looked out the main window of the runabout and saw the fires raging. Even with the atmosphere being vented, there was still enough fuel in the hanger deck to sustain the fires. He searched the scene carefully and could see the damage control teams working side by side with the hanger deck personnel. They wore the same life support belts that he was wearing and he couldn't help but think, 'why aren't they in EV suits?' It didn't matter, the debate that was taking place was well outside of his control. Instead, Mordecai followed his orders and beamed the next set of wound to the sick bay.

    Over the channel, Lieutenant Noonia heard Captain Campbell's voice echoed with authority. "We can not afford to loss the Hanger Deck. Flight Control, you have your orders. Prepare for a explosive decompression, in five minutes. Medart, order your people back. Paxton, you and your people are going to have to cover those fires alone till we can pop those lifts. Now, lets get those fires out."

    Lieutenant Jacobson paused long enough to hear the orders and before they were relayed to her, she rushed out of the runabout yelling for her teams to pull back. The sensors on the runabout reflected the plan already building. The lifts were sealed to allow the pressure to build so that once they were fully opened, the pressure would vent the fires out and bring the situation under control. Mordecai worked over the controls to ensure that the runabout would be safe from the plan. At the same time, T'Dess continued help wounded in to the runabout.

    "Mordecai" he heard Jain's voice over the private channel. "Are you still there?"

    Mordecai nodded even though he knew she couldn't see him. "Yay, I am here" he replied as he searched for other wounded around the runabout. Its sensors searched through the smoke and rubble for life signs. Each time he detected one, he directed T'Dess to where that life sign was. So far the pair had managed to rescue six of their ship mates as well as the five from the shuttle.

    There was nervousness in Jain's voice, "you know what they are going to do right?"

    "Yeah" he said. "Look, I am down here. There really isn't much option. The fires are burning pretty hot out there. The ease venting is just taking too long to starve the fires. Something has to be done" he explained as he searched. He muted his end of the private channel and opened up a link with his partner. "T'Dess, that is all of them. Get back to the runabout" he ordered.

    Jain's voice echoed in the background, "Mordecai please be careful."

    Mordecai nodded, "I plan too" as he watched his clock. It was only a few more moments then the mag lifts could be fully opened and the entire compartment would be vented to space. He checked the sensors once more and noted that the ships emergency systems were brought up to full power as the ship readied itself to the massive change in pressure. It was not just a simple thing as opening a door. A radical change in pressure like this could rip the guts of the ship apart. What was being planned was risky at best. Seeing that the ship had already been weakened by a number of internal explosions, a lot could easily go wrong.

    He had only seen this kind of fire fighting done in simulations. He wasn't even sure if the refitted haul of the Thunderchild could handle the drastic change in pressure that it was about to under go. He turned in the chair to see T'Dess rushing in to the main cabin of the Runabout. Wounded shipmates littered the floor and aft section of the runabout. Medical personnel had beamed in to the runabout and started to triage the wounded. "Seal that hatch" Mordecai ordered as he knew that the countdown was about over.

    As T'Dess turned to close the hatch she saw an engineer rushing through the smoke and debris. He was waving his hands in the air for them to see him. "Lieutenant!" T'Dess called out to Mordecai.

    Mordecai rushed to the door and saw the shipmate. He knew the man and worse knew that there wasn't enough time to wait for him. Already the red lights around the mag-lifts were rotating signaling the event that was about to unfold. Mordecai turned and saw the four unprotected medical personnel and the wounded on the runabout. It was only a matter of time as he reached up for the door control as a massive rush of wind was just being heard. T'Dess put her hand on his hand to stop him, "We can save him!" she said as she pulled of her life line cord and handed it to Mordecai. On that she rushed out in to the hanger bay. Mordecai took the cord and coiled it around one of the consoles of the runabout. He held tight to the cord as he saw the winds rush upward for the mag-lifts at hurricane strength.

    T'Dess ran out and activated her thrusters leaping up in to the air just as the wind was lifting the engineer off the deck. Mordecai watched as this crewman was risking her life to save the life of someone she didn't even know. In that moment he knew what it meant to be human. For all of their greatness and foolishness, humans had always had one true claim to fame. Their deep routed desire to help others in need. Even if doing so was not popular. Mordecai watched as T'Dess reached out with her hand and grabbed the engineer's ankle. "PULL LIEUTENANT!" T'Dess cried out in a very unVulcan like, emotional filled voice.

    The metal cord cut in to Mordecai's hand as he pulled with all of his might. A pair of medical personnel rushed over to help in the desperate rescue operation. Together they all pulled against the rushing of the wind. This was only half of the struggle. If they didn't seal the hatch to the runabout, they would be without air and the wounded would be in danger again. With renewed effort, they pulled hard as the metal cord continued to cut its way in to their flesh. Mordecai closed his eyes as he focused on one thing and one thing alone. "PULL" he yelled at the top of his lungs and above the sound of the rushing air.

    Painful foot by painful foot, T'Dess and the engineer were pulled towards the runabout. As the air was vented out in to space, the fires started to die off as the Hanger personnel used their own life lines to keep them from being blasted in to space. Just as the last bit of air was venting out, T'Dess and the engineer were pulled in to the runabout and the hatch was sealed. Mordecai dropped back on to the floor with his back up against the control console of the craft. Over the channel everyone in the runabout heard Paxton's voice, "The fires are out!" In that moment, the runabout filled with cheers from the wounded and the rescuers.
  4. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Pit Stop (Part Two)
    Stardate: 53834.65
    Ruins of Logan City
    World: Terra Nova (Eta Cassiopeia III)
    Location: Eta Cassiopeia star system, Sector 004, Alpha Quadrant

    Maura set in one of the pilot chairs of the Susquehanna going over the reports of the work completed. The sisters started the repairs during the late night hours after they first arrived, the repairs continued throughout the following day and in to that night. Thanks to the added help of the Novians, Seona and her sister were able to complete the vital repairs to their stolen runabout. As she scanned her notes of the past few hours, she would best described that time as organized and effective while repairs on the Susquehanna were carried out. Maura didn't like the idea of sitting still for these repairs but there was no other choice. The damages demanded that the repairs be made. The fact that Maura was able to limp the Susquehanna to Terra Nova was a testament to her skill as a Marine pilot.

    Before today, the sisters had relied on a long lists of tricks and traps that had been created and laid out by Seona ahead of time. Now those tricks had been either used or could no longer be trusted. Maura knew that her skills as a pilot were going to be more in demand than ever before. The entire 4th Fleet was out there searching for the sisters and they still had light years to go. The road ahead did seemed all but impossible, yet Seona had explained how important it was that they complete this journey. That the fate of the Federation and billions of innocent people depended on their success. While Seona kept most of what she knew all others, what she did tell the Novians about their critical mission gave them a sense of pride when they agreed to help the sisters. Because of Maura's and Seona's generosity and compassion, the Novians bestowed their respect and assistance on the sisters. It was not long till the sisters were called, "suitable Oversiders."

    Maura continued to read over the repair reports. The list was long but Maura was grateful that nearly all of the repairs were completed. Despite their best efforts, some components were too badly damaged and needed to be replaced. Luckily Seona was able to convert parts from a few damaged shuttles to help create suitable replacement parts for the Susquehanna. Thanks to Maura's knowledge of the nearby ruins of a Starfleet Marine training base, they were able to restock the runabout's supply of mirco-torpedoes. The sisters were also able to secure a Tricobalt device to forward Seona's end game plan.

    Despite the completed repairs, Seona's offer to help the Novians left the Susquehanna's Deuterium reserves were nearly spent. Despite all of the work done to repair the runabout, without Deuterium the ship was nearly helpless. A situation that Seona wrote off as unimportant and one that Maura hated. The pair argued over the issue twice during repairs. Both times, Seona had this belief that their needs would be met along the way. Seona couldn't explain it, but somehow she knew that their needs would be met. Seona had pointed out that it was by her trust in their path which brought them to Terra Nova and this turned out to be a blessing. Seona begged her sister to understand and not be worried. Maura hated to agree but this time, Seona was right. Still Maura made her concerns well known. Not worrying about something like this was beyond the highly trained Marine's ability.

    With parts from the Marine base, they were also able to repair a broken sub-space transceiver for the Novians. Ricard decided to keep the current situation on Terra Nova silent till after the sisters had fled the world. Despite the offer from Ricard to hide the sisters, Seona still had her fears. Any moment a Starfleet ship could enter orbit. In reaction to this fear, they did their best to shield the Susquehanna's energy signature by taking the engines and power sources off line. It was a hard choice for Maura to make because that meant that the engines would be taken to a zero state. This meant that restarting the engines would take valuable time. Time that Maura feared they didn't have. However, the benefit of this action was that the runabout could not be detected from orbit by its energy signature. From orbit, the Susquehanna would be able to blend in with the surrounding city.

    Using her Marine training, Maura had a large camouflage net erected over the runabout to protect the ship from visual scans. From inside the runabout, Maura organized both repairs of the ship as well as defensive operations. She worked closely with Lethan, Ricard's oldest son, on matters of defense. Lethan turned out to be a surprise for Maura. The man was not only attractive but a quick learner in terms of space combat. Because Maura was not longer giving Starfleet any assumptions about under estimating them, Maura was desperate to keep the odds in their favor. Lethan came up with a very clever plan that could help the sisters in a pinch.

    His idea was to beam their captured anti-mater in a wide dispersal pattern behind the runabout. Once the beaming was completed, the anti-mater would react with the surrounding space and cause micro explosions. Not enough to do sever damage a larger ship but enough to blind that ship and confuse weapon targeting sensors. Maura liked the way Lethan thought and worked with him to hammer out this plan. It was more than enough to catch any captain off guard. Especially one who was in close pursuit of them. This little trick could prove to be the deference between life or death for the sisters. Maura knew that the game had changed and the odds were mounting against them.

    Clever tricks alone would not save them in any future encounter with Starfleet. Maura wanted to find a way to straighten the shields. Working closely with Seona and Lethan, the three of them came up with a very Novian way to increase the runabout's shields. They stripped the shield emitters off of two shuttles and added them to the Susquehanna. With all three sets of emitters working at full power, it wouldn't be long before the entire grid was blown out. However during a very short period of time the Susquehanna would be able to take two times more damage than anyone would suspect. Just long enough to make an escape from a future Starfleet trap.

    For all of her abilities at the helm, Maura knew that the Susquehanna could never out run a Starfleet ship in straight line chase. Nor could it hope to win in a armed engagement. Any future encounter had to be limited in time. This was because other Starfleet ships would be on stand by to quickly react to any sighting of the stolen runabout. No, Maura was not going to underestimate Starfleet's ability to organize and carry out an effective search and capture. She knew that they would focus on neutralizing the runabout and even possibly beaming them off of the craft against their will. Maura thought long and hard of any possible way they could escape an escalated encounter with Starfleet. To her disappointment there were none. For Maura, this meant only one thing. That they had no choice but to avoid the next set of encounters all together. There was simply no other choice.

    Luckily for them, the Novians were kind enough to provide the sisters with the latest Federation updates regarding their stolen runabout. Sadly these reports were not the same as the ones that were issued to Starfleet vessels. But they were more than what the sisters had before landing on Terra Nova. The updates were those issued to Federation and civilian boomers in the area. According to these updates, Starfleet placed the location of the Susquehanna over a dozen light years away, and badly crippled. Noting the repairs that were completed and their actual location, the reports were far from actuate. This information helped the sisters plot their next heading along their over all goal. A goal that Seona kept to herself. For now, all Maura knew was that they had to reach the badlands. That was their current objective. Despite working closely with Ricard and Lethan, the sisters never spoke of their plans to the Novians. And none of the Novians asked.

    Maura was able to find a hole in Starfleet's search pattern. She knew almost right away that it was a trap. However knowing it was a trap meant that she could use that to her advantage. There was still a sensor drone that had not used yet close enough to be useful. Maura thought that it could be used to trip the trap. No she was not expecting Starfleet to fall for that trick again. In fact she was counting on them not to fall for that again. If Maura's plan worked out, then she and Seona could avoid another encounter with Starfleet altogether. Maura studied the locations of some of Starfleet ships in the area. Her training and close working relationship with many of these captains gave her an advantage. As dark as the situation might seem, there were rays of light peeking through these clouds.

    One such ray of hope was that Ricard had a name of a boomer captain that had often helped the Novians in the past. He was a trusted friend that traveled these parts regularly. This boomer captain was a smuggler that had worked with the Bajoran Resistance then later with the Maquis. The captain knew trade routes and also knew how to move without drawing suspicion. With the help of this name, Maura was able to create a plan to help them escape the current search area and move closer to their next objective. As Seona would put it, it was another ray of hope and that they should be grateful. Maura would be grateful once they had completed their tasks and no longer on the run from Starfleet. She didn't like this situation at all.

    Even with this name, it was far from a sure thing though. It still required the sisters to convince this captain to agree to help them. Ricard could only promise that the captain would be willing to listen to the sisters' plan. He would not promise that the captain would agree to help. It wasn't much but Maura wasn't complaining. With all the help they got from the Novians and now this gift, it was all more than enough to give Maura some hope that they might actually reach the end of this road. Where ever that end might be. For their help, the Novians could easily find themselves in trouble with Starfleet and even possibly the Federation.

    As Maura continued to review the reports issued by the Federation regarding their limited supply of micro-torpedoes being expended during their battle with Admiral Tate to be miss leading. However she wanted to ensure that this misinformation played in to their favor. She would focus on realigning the four phaser emitters so to spare her torpedoes. In keeping this a secret could help out in an unavoidable encounter. Then there was the lone Tricobalt device. While Seona had her plans for the device, Maura didn't want to write it off just yet. Though the Susquehanna was not equipped to fire device, Maura could still find it useful. These surprises could help turn the odds within any future encounter with Starfleet towards the favor of Maura and her sister.

    By nightfall, the Susquehanna was back up to nearly full power again. Far more than what anyone would suspect after the reports of the damage the runabout suffered at the hands of the Valley Forge. While she wasn't about to underestimate Starfleet, she hoped that the reports issued to the Boomers would be at least similar to those that were issued to Starfleet ships as well. According to those reports, the Susquehanna was badly damaged and lacked not only full power but shields as well. A fact that was no longer true and one that Maura hoped she could use to their advantage. Drawing on what they knew of the ships in the search group, Maura knew that they couldn't relay solely on speed. But the Susquehanna still had a much higher maneuverability over all the ships in the search grid.

    Maura turned in the pilot's chair as she switched to the PADS holding the design specs of their opponents. There were four classes of ships that they had to be concerned with. As Maura studied each class, she knew that each held their own advantage and disadvantage. She knew that each of these captains would be studying the Susquehanna and her abilities. Maura had to ensure that she knew each ship that they could face as well as their crews. While Seona slept in the back of the runabout, Maura spent her night studying what Starfleet was planning to send against them. Luckily for the sisters, Admiral Tate was a proud officer and wouldn't ask for help until he was sure that he was over his head. However the different starship squadrons each brought their own skills to the search grid.

    Maura first looked at five Ambassador-class ships assigned to the search pattern. Namely the USS Zhukov, NCC-26136, who had been spotted by a boomer less than three hours ago near Trill. The Zhukov was captained by a seasoned officer but her crew was mostly cadets and a few training officers. The Zhukov had impressive fire power and speed but lacked combat experience. Response times will be much slower then her veteran counterparts. Still a dangerous ship that shouldn't be discounted.

    Then there was the aging USS Merrimac NCC-1715, a old Enterprise-class ship pushed back in to service during the hight of the Dominion War. The Merrimac was leading a group of scout ships near Plexion Nebula. The scout ships with their large powerful sensor arrays could prove to expose any movement that the Susquehanna were to make within the nebula. These scouts could move through the nebula and give chase, but their lower warp speed didn't make them much of a threat to the Susquehanna. The largest threat of this group was the Merrimac. Even though her haul being nearly a hundred years old, the Merrimac was more than a match for the runabout. The ship's crew were all veterans and had prove themselves under fire during the Dominion War. It was this group that Maura was counting on the play their part in her plan for them to escape.

    Then there is the six Excelsior-class ships of Foxtrot Squadron running search patterns that spanned nearly fifty light years. Each of them could easily over power and over take the Susquehanna in just about any encounter. They posed almost the greatest of threats to the sisters and their over all plans. Scatted along the next three sectors, getting past these six ships would be difficult. 'But not impossible,' Maura thought as she scanned over the specs of the ships. Maura scanned the reports of where these ships were as she took a sip of her tea.

    She leaned back in her chair, "Computer, playlist Maura Four. Play Omnia, Odi et Amo." On her command the flight deck of the runabout filled with Celtic music. Maura had always found Celtic music relaxing. She leaned her head back as she soaked in the music for a moment. She could see the sectors of space in her mind. The ships and their projected movements danced across her mind as she searched the map in her mind. Getting past them would not be easy if they were still on station. She needed the Merrimac to expect Seona and her to keep playing their sensor drone tricks. She needed the Merrimac to act just the way it should. 'It wont be ease' she thought.

    'They will have to expect the Susquehanna to try to runaway from the search grid,' Maura thought with her eyes closed. She knew that Foxtrot Squadron was Admiral Tate's way of trying to force them in to running and turn this in to a race of speed. One that the Susquehanna could never hope to win. She listened to the music as her mind played out the different possible outcomes where they crossed paths with one of those Excelsiors. There was no way to limit an encounter with Foxtrot Squadron. The unit had to be moved if they were to reach the Bad Lands.

    She picked up the last PAD and sighed heavily. The single largest threat to them was the USS Thunderchild. Despite the lack of fanfare for her launch just a few days ago, Boomers across the sectors were all talking about the Federation's first dedicated carrier. Maura knew the captain better than anyone out there. He was brilliant and for them dangerous. She would not expect him to fall for any simple trick of the mind.

    Maura had always known that the Thunderchild was going to be a threat to them. And now, Admiral Tate was placing the Thunderchild in play. The positioning of the carrier meant that it could quickly respond to just about any course that the Susquehanna could make. This limited Maura's options and she knew that this was Admiral Tate's over all plan. To force the sisters in to making a desperate flight away from the Thunderchild. And thus pinning the Susquehanna in between the Excelsiors and either one of the other two groups. But knowing the plan meant that Maura could plot her next action around it. Admiral Tate would not move the Thunderchild till he had some kind of confirmation of the runabout's location. Distance was what Maura needed on the carrier.

    Sightings of the Thunderchild placed her making high warp for Admiral Tate's stricken group. Knowing where the Thunderchild was, was of vital importance to Maura. While in any other encounter, it would pit the runabout against another single ship. An encounter with the Thunderchild would pit the runabout against a large mother ship and numbers of equally matched smaller craft. Alone the Thunderchild and her wings of fighters could easily entrap the Susquehanna in any foreseeable encounter.

    The more Maura thought of the number of possible encounters, the odds never seemed to be on the Susquehanna's side. No matter what Maura thought of, the end results would be the same. The Susquehanna would find herself entrapped in a running pursuit with anywhere between five to ten fighters while the Thunderchild organized the capture from a distance. She opened her eyes, "Caught between the anvil" she said thinking of the carrier and its fighter wings, "and a hammer" she said speaking of Foxtrot Squadron.

    Captain Jackson would not be the kind of man to simply fall victim to some trick. She knew him all too well. She wouldn't be surprised if at this very moment, he was studying her own military record. "Tell me Jack" she whispered, "Do you remember us now?" She said closing her eyes. "Tell me Jack, can you feel me thinking of you in this moment." she continued to whisper to herself. "Do you remember how we would play our games of hide and seek? How I used to always beat you." She smiled as she remembered those found memories.

    Maura opened her eyes once more and returned her mind to the specs of both types of fighters that the Thunderchild carried. She shook her head, "We have to avoid the Thunderchild. At all cost." she said as she set the PAD down and picked up another data pad. "I wonder if you will remember me now Jack" she said as a smile crossed her lips. She sighed heavily, "the only way to keep ahead of Starfleet was to not have an encounter with the Thunderchild. It was just that simple," Maura said.

    Maura's eyes scanned the specs of an Antares-class freighter as a smile crossed her lips. The ship had been modified to maintain a warp factor of seven for long periods of time. Much faster than the Susquehanna and this could help them make up for some lost time. But most importantly, according to Ricard, his friend had dealings and contacts within the black markets. For Seona's plan to work they need to get their hands on some gold-pressed latinum. Selling most of the anti-mater would help them raise the needed latinum for the final stages of Seona's plan. Maura couldn't deny the fact that for them to reach their goal, they had to get passed nearly a dozen Starfleet ships that were searching for them. The odds were not in their favor and this guy seemed like their only hope.

    It was that moment that Ricard rushed on to the Susquehanna calling out for the sisters. He turned from the entrance just in time to catch a startled Maura with a mek'leth in hand. Maura had learned to use the Klingon weapon during her assignments with Imperial Klingon Defense Forces. Startled by Ricard's rushed entrance, Maura had jumped up from her chair sending PADs across the deck of the Susqeuhanna. Her stance was a clear indication that she was more than ready for combat. Ricard rose his hands in a non-threatening manner, "Burier your blade Oversider" he said with a hasten breath. Maura nodded as she lowered the blade but didn't put it away. Maura didn't like being surprised. "We have trouble" he said as he tried to catch his breath. "A group of bounty hunters are coming."

    Maura's face twisted with anger, "bounty hunters? how?"

    "Tet" he said softly as his voice came under control. Tet was an out spoken local who didn't agree with helping the two fugitives. While Tet was out spoken against the sisters, he had never posed a threat to them before. It was clear now, that he had become a threat. Ricard continued, "he has a friend who works for these bounty hunters. I suspect that he sent a message to them telling them that you were here. Warned them about you and that you are trapped here." Ricard still held his hands in a non-threatening manner.

    Maura nodded as her mind switched to that of a Marine Officer. "Okay, how many and how much time do we have." She had to weigh her options.

    Ricard lowered his hands as he spoke, "Five of them coming this way. All heavily armed. They landed just beyond the city an hour ago. They left two more are guarding their ship. They are moving through the ruins as we speak. My men will hold them off for you to escape."

    Maura knew that Seona would not approve of Ricard and his people becoming involved in this. Even if they needed the help of the locals. She shook her head, "no, inform your people to keep clear of all of this. You have done more than enough for us. There is no need for any more involvement from you or your people." She knew that it would take critical time to bring the Susquehanna's engines on line. So running was out of the question. She had only one choice, to fight. Still, in that choice she knew she had a wild card. "Tell me, do you know how many are they looking for?"

    "One" Ricard said plainly. "They were only told of your sister. You are a buried to them." Because Tet disliked the situation, he had never came aboard the runabout. Because she was so busy during the repairs, Maura never had a chance to leave the runabout. Because of this, he never saw Maura and thus was not able to warn the bounty hunters of her. This was her wild card, the bounty hunters would not suspect crossing paths with a Starfleet marine. Her plan was already forming in her mind as she smiled.

    "Good. Thank you Ricard" she said coming up with a plan, "Go and help them. Tell them that you and your people were forced to give Seona aid. Give me about thirty minutes to get ready for them. If you can avoid it, do not tell them about me." She said moving back to the control panel and started the sequence that would bring the engines up to full power. "If you have to, tell them everything. Do not place your people in any further danger." Maura explained as she noted the clock on the console which gave her the countdown till the engines were ready.

    Ricard nodded, "Oversider" he said to Maura's back, "You Earthers might call it luck. I say the Great Rocks brought you two here. I hope you and your sister to stop this war before more suffer. You both can count on us" he said with a smile and a nod

    Maura nodded as she turned to face him. She stepped forward as she switched her mek'leth to her off hand and held out her right hand for him, "I want you to know Undersider, that I was wrong when I said that we shouldn't help you and your people. You Undersiders, are good and honest people. I am honored that we dug together here." The two shook hands and exchanged a moment of respect before Ricard turned to rush from the runabout.

    Maura turned to the Co-pilot chair and smiled as she saw the compression phaser rifle resting in the chair. "Well it looks like I still wont have a chance to use you yet" she said while holding her mek'leth. This coming battle would all be close quarters where she alone would have the advantage. Getting the rifle was something that Seona didn't agree with, but Maura convinced Seona of it. Maura had asked Ricard, who was more than happy to, to recover the weapon from the marine base for Maura. Maura activated the perimeter sensors of the runabout and sealed the two doors. At the same time, she killed all the lighting within the ship. This was going to be a dirty, nasty battle and those bounty hunters wouldn't know what hit them.

    On that note Maura picked up the rifle and turned to walk towards the aft section of the runabout. In her mind, Maura was working on her plan to fight back the bounty hunters. However a scream from Seona brought Maura back to a heighten sense of alert. She rushed off the flight deck and towards the aft section of the runabout. Maura's heart raced as she ran the short distance to the only crew quarters on the runabout. She saw Seona on the bed thrashing about as Seona screamed out in pain. Maura ran over to the bed and slid on her knees to the edge of the bed. There was clearly concern in Maura's eyes over the condition of her sister.

    Maura tried to comfort Seona and bring the trashing arms under control. However, Seona was in a state of panic as she tossed and turned nearly violently. Seona's eyes shifted across the room as she continued to fight off some unseen attacker. With each new scream, Maura face filled with dread. Maura tried to hold her sister but Seona thrashed out more, preventing Maura from holding her down. Changing her plan, Maura leaned back on her heels grabbing Seona's bag by the strap. She pulled it over to the floor where Maura was kneeling. Maura drove her hand in to the back searching it for some unseen item.

    As frustration filled Maura, she took the bag and dumped it out. Her hand's shaking as she searched the contents till she found the hypospray with red liquid in the bottle. "Shhhhhh" Maura said as she pulled Seona close and held her tight. It took a few moments for Maura to get Seona under control enough to use the hypo. Seona continued to fight through this unseen nightmare as Maura fought to control Seona's arms. Seona seemed to be lost between some nightmare world and that of the real world. Maura pressed the hypospray up to Seona's neck and activated the medical device. Maura held the spray to Seona's neck long enough for the dose to be injected in to Seona's body.

    Within seconds Seona calmed down as Maura continued to hold her tight. Seona seemed to slip back in to a state of sleep as Maura pulled her sister close. Maura held her sister tightly but a surprise came over her face. Maura's eyes widened as she pulled her hand back from Seona's back. Her hand was covered in blood. Maura couldn't explain the blood as she looked completely confused. Seona's back was completely covered in her own blood and fresh wounds as if she had been whipped and beaten for hours. Maura's eyes filled with anger and pain as she looked closer at the fresh wounds.

    "Oh Blessed Goddess, what have they done to you?" Maura said softly as she pulled the bruised and bloody Seona close. She looked down at Seona's back to see several clear lines of blood showing through Seona's shirt. There was no way Seona would be helpful in repelling the bounty hunters. Maura reached over and grabbed a Dermal regenerator. She activated the device as it projected a bluish glow. Carefully, Maura hovered the device over the multiple cuts and bruises, "Baby, I am so sorry I can't protect you from this" Maura said as she rocked Seona. Within seconds the wounds started to heal but Maura knew that Seona would need more long term medical treatment as many of these wounds were too deep for the Dermal regenerator to heal.

    Seona gave off a deep sigh as she drifted back in to the realm of sleep. Maura rested her head on Seona's head as a tear fell from Maura's closed eye and landed on Seona's cheek. "Oh baby, what did they do to you in that nightmare place." Maura said as she continued to rock her sister.

    Time seemed to slip away as Maura held her sister close and comforting her. Just over that of a whisper, Maura hummed a child's melody for her sleeping sister. Maura hated what those people at Starfleet Medical had done to her sister. Maura just pulled Seona in close and rocked her slowly. "I want to protect you, Sis, but I don't know how to protect you from this," Maura said as a tear slipped from her face.

    Maura almost forgot about the loaming danger of the bounty hunters till the computer alerted Maura of hostiles approaching the runabout. Maura turned her head and nodded, "Sit this one out baby sister." Maura said as she carefully placed Seona back in to the bed. "I will take care of those who would do you harm" Maura said as she pulled the blanket over Seona. Once more, Maura would go in to the breach. But this time it would be in defense of her own family instead of for loyalty of the Federation. She knew in her heart that the Three Goddess would see her through this day. She picked up her mek'leth and turned to walk out of the room. It was time to stand and fight. This day, Maura was going to win.
  5. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Cats and Mice

    Stardate: 53835.2
    Within the system: UIH-0351
    Asteroid Field, Search Sector Gama Three
    The VF-84 Squadron (AKA the Jolly Rogers)
    Commander Bonham, Commander Air Group

    "I am so getting sick of these damn asteroids! So how many more are we going to scan before someone realized that runabout ain't here!" the voice of Lieutenant, Junior Grade Paula Pender spoke over the comlink. The tension in her voice was clear to hear even for those in the flight operation center aboard the Thunderchild. Since the fire that gutted the Hanger Deck, the tension of the pilots were reasonably high. Lieutenant Pender was a veteran of the last months of the Dominion War and one of the first pilots to be selected for this elite unit. During the war, her assignment was piloting a Peregrine-class fighter. The same kind of fighters that makes up the Thunderchild's VA-164 Squadron. It was her experience, skill and cool headed approach to piloting that made her a easy selection for VF-84.

    For well over eight hours, the six pilots and fighters of VF-84 had been flying long patrols throughout this asteroid field. Without the key use of their Cat Eye scout shuttle, this made their search much more taxing on the pilots. Before this patrol, both Alpha and Beta wings of VA-164 Squadron AKA the Ghost Riders, each ran their own eight hour patrols through the asteroid field. While normally the patrols were not meant to be overly long, it was piloting in and out of these asteroid fields that was racking havoc on their nerves. Operations in deep space were not overly difficult. However in an asteroid field where sensors were not fully operational, things became a million times more complicated. Not only did the pilot have to track their own flight path, but monitor two dozen other objects moving in completely different directions. Now, the Jolly Rogers were being pushed to their limits.

    Cadet Treasach laughed as he said, "I think the Admiral is really searching for an asteroid without a name." The Benzite cadet was only a month away from his graduation from Starfleet Academy. When he was asked to join the Squadron. A remarkable pilot and member of the first class of fighter pilots Starfleet Academy has put out. Despite his age and lack of field experience it was his skill on the 'stick' earned him a place in the prestigious VF-84 Squadron. Commander Bonham saw him during training and requested to have the Cadet do his Cadet Cruise aboard the USS Thunderchild. "Maybe he wants to name one after himself." It wasn't a funny joke, but it was enough to break the mundane of this patrol.

    The laughter filled the com-channel as the other pilots took to the statement. That was, all but one. "Alright, focus on the mission everyone," snapped Commander Bonham. His voice was not characteristic and held more than a hint of frustration. "We started this mission with six fighters, I am not about to loose one because someone is too busy cracking jokes." The stern voice of Commander Bonham brought the laughter to a stop.

    "Sir!" Lieutenant Junior Grade Etxebarria spoke with a high pitched 'r' sound in her voice. The Caitian is the only member of the Jolly Rogers who had trained with the fighters during their development. "I am tracking a target that matches the energy signature of our runabout" she explained. Each of her 'r' seem to roll with her statement. "Target at one two eight by three one by zero seven nine. Speed is....74,770 km per second" Lieutenant Etxebarria was another Dominion War veteran pilot. Like Lieutenant Pender, she was also a experienced Peregrine fighter pilot with a number of kills under her belt. Originally she had planned on leaving Starfleet but it was Commander Bonham who had convinced her to renew her commission and join the Jolly Rogers.

    "Commander, I have the target as well" the voice of Lieutenant Josef Ferrer cut in. Lieutenant Ferrer was the ranking officer of the Jolly Rogers and an original member of the Thunderchild's flight crews before the refit. During the war, he was known for being reckless and too brash. Now, the seasoned pilot has become a bit tempered by his experiences. "I think if we fall back, we could maintain our sensor lock while the Ready One squadron deploys to support us" Lieutenant Farrer explained. It was the standard plan that had been ordered by the CIC. Which was right from the books as to how to handle situations like this. The orders were clear, everything was to be done by the books. No unnecessary risks were to be taken. This order came right down from the Admiral himself. But Bonham knew that none of this would be by the books. After all, those books were written by Admirals who were using tactics that were nearly fifty years old.

    Sure the orders were sound and ensured that each patrol had enough back up should they stumble across the stolen runabout. It was the safest of plans and ensured that no pilot would find themselves out matched with the stolen runabout. However it forced the pilots to give up valuable time in exchange for waiting for the ready one squadron to arrive on location. In the past twelve hours, they had two sensor contacts with what they believed was the stolen runabout during the second set of patrols. But by the time the ready one squadron arrived on station, the contact vanished deeper in to the asteroid field before visual contact could be made. It became clear to the pilots that this was going to be a cat and mouse game, and that was only adding to the frustration of the pilots.

    There was a pause over the com-channel as the pilots knew what falling back meant. Another chance for the contact to vanish before visual contact can be made. "Negative" Commander Bonham finally said. Each of the other two times the contact showed up Commander Bonham had wished he was there to make the call, but he wasn't. However right now, he was here to make this call. "We are going to get a visual on this contact" the Commander added. After a few seconds he added, "Farrer, I want you to take the rest of the Squadron ahead on a wide L pattern. Run your sensors as wide and as active as you can. Make sure you are easily tracked."

    He paused a moment before adding, "I will take Ensign Noguerra with me" he said speaking of Ensign Étaín Noguerra. A brand new graduate of Starfleet Academy as a shuttle pilot and one of the newer members to the squadron. The reason behind her addition to the squadron was a mystery even to her. "We will dip low and circle that big asteroid at the far side. Once on the other side of that asteroid, we should have a clean line of sight on our contact. This way we can at least we can see what we are chasing out here.

    Over the com-channel a voice broke in from the USS Thunderchild's Combat Information Control or CIC. "Be advised Jolly Rogers, you are to fall back. We are deploying the Ready One Squadron at this time. Do not risk an encounter without backup. Is this clear?" The voice was stern and easily understood. The order was completely by the book and Commander Bonham knew that this would allow the contact to vanish once more.

    Commander Bonham shook his head. Once more he spoke up, "Negative. CAG's Discretion. We are going to make visual contact with this sensor contact. Then we will fall back and wait for the Ready One Squadron." While on the surface, it did appear that Commander Bonham was ignoring his orders. Honoring a CAG's Discretion to command his Air Group while they were aloft was a time honored tradition going back to the days when sea going carriers sent warplanes in to harms way. A tradition that had not been part of Starfleet before and one that may not be part of Starfleet now. It was something that Commander Bonham didn't really care about. The only thing Commander Bonham was concerned about was how Admiral Tate would handle having his orders ignored. 'That will have to be up to the captain to handle. For now we are going to find out if we are wasting our time or not.' Commander Bonham thought. As he didn't wait for the CIC to confirm his plan his switched his attention to the task at hand, "Farrer, you have your orders. Ensign Noguerra, you are on my six. Let's go find this runabout." He turned his fighter over on its wings and banked hard away from the rest of the group.

    Lieutenant Farrer acknowledged the orders as he took command of the rest of the squadron while Ensign Noguerra broke in over the com-channel, "Aye Sir!" Her fighter broke hard over as she took up her position behind Commander Bonham's own fighter. The squadron split up in to two groups as they increased speed towards the ghostly image on their sensors. Within seconds Bonham and Noguerra's fighters both vanished from all sensors. At the same time, the rest of VF-84 lit up the area with their own sensors. It was nearly impossible for anyone to miss the fighter group as they circled wide around the asteroid.

    Back aboard the USS Thunderchild Admiral Tate looked up at Captain Campbell as the five officers who are assigned to the CIC fell silent. All eyes fell upon Admiral Tate who didn't seem to like his orders being ignored. Bonham was taking a major risk by disobeying the orders, and Captain Campbell knew it. But Campbell had his CAG's back. With a nod to the Admiral, Campbell ensured that the Admiral would remain silent. Admiral Tate had faith in his officers, including Commander Bonham. Still, it was clear that this issue was not over. But for now, the rouge plan would be allowed to continue.

    Carrier operations were still very new to Starfleet and Admiral Tate had a lot riding on this crisis. The Admiral took in a deep breath as his eyes shifted back to the view screens as everyone returned to their duties. He slowly let out his anger with his breath and watched helplessly as the operation played out before them. "Your man better be right Captain, or I will have his career." Admiral Tate whispered at a level that only Captain Campbell could hear. Captain Campbell only nodded.

    Meanwhile back in the cockpit, Commander Bonham pushed the throttle forward as he started to take the fighter to its maximum speed. He knew that he had to clear this large asteroid field before the rest of the squadron reached the outer edge of sensor shadow. If he didn't the sensor contact would flee the area and his plan would fail to gain a visual contact. It was critical for him and Ensign Noguerra to be in position to spot the contact while the rest of the squadron caused it to flee deeper in to the field. "Hang with me Noguerra" he said noting that she was falling back a bit. "You are doing fine" he encouraged.

    The situation was understandably frightful as the two fighters were becoming dangerously close to the asteroid as they sped through their orbit. Their speeds were being increased as the gravity field of the asteroid was starting to sling them around. On the far side of the Asteroid and beyond the shadow of it, the rest of the Squadron were making a wide sweep. To the far side of the asteroid, the sensor contact started to react to the rest of the squadron moving to remain out of visual contact. In doing so, moving in to position for Commander Bonham and his wing-man to catch sight of it. Time was ticking down as the three sensor groups switched to a much more dangerous game of cat and mouse.

    "Sir, aren't we pushing it a bit too fast" the nervous voice of Ensign Noguerra spoke up. Her Irish accent was thick as well as her fears. While the Flight Operations couldn't track the pair of fighters, they could hear everything that was said between them. They also knew how the fighters were reacting to the speed and untested maneuver.

    Commander Bonham checked his own sensors. She was right, they were pushing the very limits of the fighters, but he knew the fighters could take it. "Its okay Ensign. We are going to conduct a simple roll. Lets put the asteroid under us" he ordered. He knew that piloting was one part skill, one part luck and one part perception. In their current angle, their large cockpit window was filled with a giant rock. While they didn't need to the window, it could be unnerving for the rookie pilot. By inverting their fighters, the asteroid would be out of sight and thus a bit more out of mind. He carefully executed the roll and watched as his wing-man followed suit. "There you go" he said softly, "feeling better, Ensign?"

    Her voice seem to be a bit more steady now, "Aye Sir." It was still clear that her nerves were still being pushed to their limits.

    Commander Bonham checked the data being streamed in from the rest of the squadron. He noted that her angle placed her right behind him. A sign of a good wing-man. Despite her own fears, she wouldn't leave his six. He went over the locations of the rest of the squadron. Their current position kept them out of sensor contact with the target and the rest of the squadron. This also meant that the contact didn't have sensor contact with the two fighters either. "Two minutes, thirty five seconds, Ensign." Commander Bonham said. He saw the medical data on his wing-man and knew that her heart rate was still dangerously high. "Tell me Ensign. Back at the Academy, did you take Commander Lindquist's Combat Maneuvering Course" Commander Bonham asked. He knew the answer to his question but wanted to get her mind off of the risks of their dangerous operation.

    Her voice was still filled with fear, "Aye Sir."

    "Commander Lindquist and I are good friends" he said speaking of his former shipmate. "While our parting wasn't in the best of conditions due to bloated egos, we had actually mended our friendship during the Thunderchild's time at Utopia Yards. Commander Lindquist had been the unofficial CAG aboard the Thunderchild during the Dominion War. He had personally trained me on space fighter combat. In all practical terms, Commander Lindquist is writing Starfleet's books on carrier operations and Deep Space Fighter Operations. The two of us had created a wide range of tactics during the Dominion War that are now being taught at the Academy. It was by Commander Lindquist's recommendation that you was assigned to Starfleet's very first active carrier combat fighter group" he explained.

    "Sir" she said questioning the direction of the conversation. Her voice was starting to ease a bit but that fear was still holding tight to her mind.

    "That's right Ensign" Commander said softly as he checked his sensors. They were less then twenty meters off the asteroid's surface at speeds that would seem insane. He made a short adjustment to follow a long canyon on the surface as he checked behind him to make sure that she was following close to his tail. "He came to me with your training records. Would you like to know what he had to say about you?" Commander Bonham watched her medical scans which indicated that she was still suffering from increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and increased breathing. The pair of fighters zip in and out of the canyon. At times with only a few meters to spare on either wingtip. He noted how her skill was right where he had expected it to be. She hung to his six with the skill of a veteran pilot, just as he knew she could. The thought of how Captain Campbell would react in such maneuvers almost brought a smile to Commander Bonham's face. He made a mental note to take the Captain on a 'familiarization' flight in the near future.

    Her voice was still filled with fear, but she never backed off on her wing-man. She knew her place in the formation and refused to give up any space between them. Her hands worked over the controls as she followed him through the canyon. Their speeds were now nearly twenty percent faster than the very limits that the fighters were designed to handle. This caused a new wave of fear to raise in her heart. She refocused her attention on her wing-man. Her eyes fixed on watching what her commander was doing. "Aye Sir" she said than added, "I never thought he liked me. Because he was always so hard on me."

    Commander Bonham checked his sensors and noted only two minutes, five seconds remained in their maneuver, "He told me Ensign, that if the Federation's first fighter unit were to survive the test of time, that it would need natural pilots like you and Cadet Treasach," Bonham said than added, "He also said, that I would be a fool not to assign both of you to this very unit. He spoke of you personally though. He told me that you took to flying like most of us take to walking. Something about it being in your blood" he commented then added, "care to explain?"

    "Aye Sir" She replied with "one of my ancestors was Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde. A decorated officer with the British Naval Air Arm. He lead the No. 825 Naval Air Squadron's Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers in an attack against the German battleship Bismarck. Through out my families heritage, there are aviators. Even the helm officer of the NX-2 was related to me. Ever since Commander Lindquist found out about it. He always said that flying was in my blood." She paused for a moment to remember her experiences back at the Academy. "But I had always thought he didn't like me. He said that I was wasting my ability and skills on helm operations and shuttle training. There were times he challenged me to quit. And I am not proud to admit it, but I almost took him up on his offer a couple of times."

    "No Ensign, you are mistaken," Bonham said softly as he watched her heart rate steady a bit. "He actually thought very highly of you. He called me a fool for ignoring your skills. Truthfully I wasn't going to assign you to this unit cause you were only trained as a shuttle pilot and helmsman. The two of us argued over you for almost an hour over some drinks. He finally convinced me to give you a chance. I am not disappointed in that decision at all. It IS in your blood." Commander Bonham said as he checked his sensors one last time. 'Thirty seconds' he thought, "Okay. Listen up Ensign. We are going to invert once more and push our engines just a bit more. At the end of this canyon we are going to dive away from the asteroid. Before we can do this, we will have to build up the last bit of speed. All I want you to do is watch my tail wings and follow me. Don't focus on any thing else."

    "Aye Sir" she said as she started to roll her fighter over. Once more the large asteroid filled her cockpit window. Her heart rate jumped up a bit as the actual distance between her fighter and the large rock was revealed. She looked right in to the tail of her commander's fighter and cleared her mind. She didn't want to admit it, but she was filled with a sense of pride that the man who she had at one point referred to as her mortal enemy had spoken so highly of her.

    The twin fighters had rolled over on their wing tips once more as the bluish glow from the engines grew brighter. The force of the increase in their speed pushed them both back against their seats as the inertial dampeners attempted to compensate for the increase in gravitational force on the two pilots.

    Back at Flight Operations, the computer was signaling the assured destruction of both craft since the beginning of the maneuver. But to the relief of everyone, the two fighters were still intact. The stresses sensors on the fighters were all in red as their speed reached 97,026 kilometers per second. There were more than enough comments of the insanity of the maneuver. To his credit, Admiral Tate kept his silence as he shot a glare at Captain Campbell. It was almost assumed that within any moment the fighters would break apart under the stress.

    Back in the cockpits, with the end of the canyon in sight both fighters were pushing beyond the very limits of the craft's design. But like a pair of cool headed, skilled surgeons, the fighters snaked their way towards the end. Just beyond the asteroid, the sensor contact was already well on its way fleeing for the safety that the deeper asteroid field offered. There was no way the rest of the wing would be able to catch the contact or gain a visual sight on it. The rest of the wing did their part in chasing the target right to where Commander Bonham wanted the target to be at just the right moment.

    Within seconds, the pair of fighters rocketed out from behind the asteroid so fast that the contact was not able to react to the appearance of the two fighters. The maneuver placed the two fighters in clear view of the sensor contact. The dangerous maneuver placed them completely cut off from any support from the Ready One Squadron or the rest of their own squadron. But the dangerous maneuver also cut off the escape for their target. Meaning that the rest of the wing could be in a position to support them in a matter of moments. That is, if the two fighters could survive long enough for help to arrive. Luckily for Bonham and Noguerra, survival would not be an issue today.

    "DAMNIT!" Commander Bonham cursed as he locked his targeting sensors on the contact. "I have a lock on our runabout" he added in frustration. "CIC, I hope you are seeing this" he said as he scanned the targeting drone. The screens within Flight Operations lit up with what the Commander was seeing. He switched the safeties off on his pulse phasers and targeted it. "I am done playing!" He said as he watched the highly maneuverable drone attempt to flee the two fighters. Anger filled his eyes as he pulled the trigger on his stick. The twin pulse phaser fire destroyed the drone in a bright light that lit up his cockpit. "CIC, be advised that we have located and destroyed one targeting drone. Give my squadron one hour and I bet we will find the other sensor contacts to be drones as well."

    Admiral Tate didn't bother to speak as he just waved his hand. He turned to walk out of the CIC with a look of anger over his face. It was clear that once more, he had been made a fool of again. This was becoming personal for him. Finally he spoke as he was reaching the entrance to CIC. "Captain Campbell, deploy the rest of the fighters and all other assets. Lets follow the Commander's lead. Inform all Commands within the search group that the Susquehanna had escaped the system." Originally he had wanted to play it more safe to avoid being led in to further traps. However with the brash and bold actions of Commander Bonham, it was clear that the runabout was not here. It was only a matter of proving the findings. "Find the rest of those drones, damnit" he ordered. Even his long time friend, Captain Campbell knew better than to comment. "In the time being, I have to place a report to Starfleet Command" he added.

    Within the next several hours, with the full scope of the Thunderchild deployed at once, two other Targeting Drones would be discovered and destroyed. The hunt was done with little care for any possible traps that might have been laid. With the search over and no further sightings of the runabout, it was clear that the Susquahanna was no longer in the system. The only questions that remained were where she disappeared to and how long ago did she manage to flee. Unofficially, the hopes of locating the lost runabout would fall to an idea offered by Commander V'rol.
  6. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Steady Workout
    Stardate: 53835.42
    HoloSuite 1, Deck Two
    USS Thunderchild
    Admiral David Tate, Captain Phillips and Captain Campbell

    Today the holosuite took on the appearance of boxing center out of earth's twentieth century. The space was wide open with an old fashion boxing ring in the center of the room. Images of great boxer from across the centuries line the walls while a range of different training devices line the edges of the structure below the images. There was a heavy sent of musty sweat in the air as what would be expected in such a place. A number of hologram figured trained at versus devices while a pair of boxers worked their way around the ring as they exchanged blows.

    This was one of Admiral Tate's favorite programs when he choose to retreat during his down times. Considering what has happed over the past few hours, he had good reasons to retreat. First his flagship was rendered useless at the hands of a mentally twisted fugitive. Next the pride of his career suffered a malfunction that had already caused a fire storm back on Earth. Even before the smoke cleared, he was already fielding calls from his supporters. He reassured them that this was not the first time a fire occurred aboard a Federation Starship and it wouldn't be the last. If this was not enough, the fugitive had once more played him and his team for fools. His anger was raging over the situation. He had to blow off some steam before he took someone's head off.

    With the duties of Admiral so far away, here he could collect his thoughts and unwind after an incredibly long and eventful day. Admiral Tate was dressed in typical fashion, wearing pair of red boxing shorts while his hologram opponent was dressed in blue shorts. Normally he would ensure that the two of them were equally matched. However today was not a typical day by a long short. His anger boiled over and had to be released. He ensured that the program ran higher than his actually ability allowed.

    The bruise on his face reflected the increase in level of the hologram. He needed to be challenged. He wanted his abilities tested. And he was more than up for the challenge. The hologram wasn't fairing much better. With all that steam to blow off, the hologram was really taking a pounding. They danced around the ring attempting to get the upper hand on the other. Tate wasn't making this match easy as he was clearly raising to the challenge. The sounds of a pair of men dueling it out could easily be heard while a third man outside the ring spoke.

    "I am not so sure that capture of this fugitive alive, will be possible." Captain Phillips said from outside the ring while the Admiral exchanged blows with the hologram again. "I was speaking with my contacts in Starfleet Intelligence, Sir. Aside from the official investigation in to this matter, they have revealed to me in confidence that a secret investigation has discovered evidence that this person, this Seònaid Melville, may have links to radical elements in Cardassia." He explained as he turned his attention to his PADD. "While this information is intentionally being withhold from official reports to protect their sources, they were able to give me some details of what was uncovered. The links between Melville and this group are growing more compelling with each day. According to my contacts, these are the same people who were responsible for the attempted assassination of Elim Garak which claimed the life of Admiral Haden three months ago."

    The news angered Admiral Tate as he preformed a series of rapid combinations on the hologram. He was all to familiar with the assassination of Admiral Haden. He had narrowly avoided being killed in the explosion. It was lucky that Jackson had summoned him away from the meeting at the last moment to review plans for an upcoming meeting. Still, Admiral Tate didn't let the situation cloud his current focus. In this moment, his focus was on a hologram boxer right before him. During his Academy days, Admiral Tate was a champion boxer who was unbeaten for nearly ten years. It was only after he decided to stop competing and refocus his attention on pursuing his career that his title was finally given to another boxer.

    He would often joke that the reason for giving up boxing on the competition level was to give the rest of Starfleet a fighting chance at the title. Currently Admiral Tate holds the record in Starfleet for the longest run as Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of Starfleet. "Phil" he said using the common nickname for Captain Phillips, "there better be more than hear say on this. I will not order the death of this young woman simple because your contacts feels she is a threat or because some shadowy agent might have heard something damning" he snapped as he hammered the hologram with a powerful left, right hooks that were one of his signature moves. The hologram stumbled back as the Admiral continued, "Phil, I can't tell you how much I detest the idea of ordering this woman's death. So give me a" he strained his voice as he punched the hologram once more while the hologram landed a sound blow on the Admiral, "something better than hear say."

    Captain Phillips nodded, "I understand Sir. I have pushed my contacts as far as they are willing to go to give up information. Sir, you know how they are. Think back in the past. It was in fact my contacts that warned us of the bombing on Korma. How many lives were we able to be saved that day. I could spend hours listing all the times my contacts have come forward to warn of terrorist attacks across Cardassian space that saved lives. My contacts are hardly wrong."

    Admiral Tate nodded as he dodged an attack and took another one to the left midsection. He knew that Captain Phillips was right. Those damn spooks in Starfleet Intelligence were hardly ever wrong. During the past eight months they have given up vital information that saved lives. But this was different, now it was assumed that he would act on this information to order the death of a woman who was just as likely mentally ill and was in desperate need of medical help not death. "I know what you are saying Phil. But I need more before I order her death. You have to push them for more. Anyway, continue," he said giving the man permission to continue with the briefing.

    "Yes Sir," Phillips said then continued. "So it would appear that just before our fugitive was liberated from the Velos Internment Camp, she was personally visited by both Gul Ocett and Gul Macet. Currently both of these individuals are wanted by the current Cardassian Government for crimes against the Government. Gul Macet, as you know, has been responsible for stirring up negative emotions against Federation involvement within Cardassian space. Gul Ocett was the one who is suspected as being the one who planned out the assassination of Admiral Haden. Sources have been able to confirm to my contacts that the fugitive was broken by the Cardassians during her imprisonment and is now a willing operative working for Gul Macet."

    Admiral Tate clearly didn't like the news as he pushed back against the attack on him landing a hand full of sound blows. Both man and hologram were locked in a bitter battle that was taken its toll on both. "I am not liking where this is going Phil," he expressed.

    "Indeed Sir" Captain Phillips said as he continued to read from his PADD. "However it can't be over looked that all of this is happening during a time when Garak will be outside of Cardassian Space at Admiral Ross' ceremony. My contacts suggests that she might be in fact going to make a move against Garak himself while he is on Deep Space Nine. If this were to happen, then the...."

    "Damnit Phil" he said delivering a powerful blow in to the hologram. "I know what will happen. A Starfleet Marine killing the hero leader of Cardassia. It would shatter what confidence the Cardassian people have in the Federation. No amount of spin, could ease that kind of scenario." Admiral Tate switched back to a defensive position as he danced across the ring with the hologram moving in on the attack. "What about this spy. What do your contacts have to say about this whole spy business."

    Captain Phillips shook his head, "I have pushed my contacts hard on this one. While they are aware of a number of 'leaks' that could only be from a Federation personnel. They are currently looking in to the leak of the level which you informed me of. I have to admit, when you brought those codes to me I was shocked. Who ever had that kind of information would have access to Flag Officer Security Clearance. Sir, maybe if you could tell me how you came across this information, I could let my contacts know and this could help them find the leak."

    Admiral Tate knew that the information came from Captain Campbell, but he knew in his heart that Campbell was above any accusation of being a spy. He was not going to drag his friend in to this mess. "Sorry, Phil. You have your contacts and I have mine. This one will remain my secret, for the time being." He paused as he took a series of rapid punches from the hologram. After he pushed the hologram back he continued, "so you mean to tell me you don't have any ideas, or even a guess?"

    There was no hinting in the Captain's voice as Phillips spoke, "Sir, if I have to guess. I would say, that the leak was Captain Campbell. I know it would be hard to accept. After all, you got him this very command. All that you had done for him, would prove to be a painful betrayal. But it all makes sense. Captain Campbell has a history with the fugitive. He and her sister shared a strong love affair when they were children that lasted up till they were teenagers. Sir, he hid this fact from Starfleet and from you. His ship was the first ship 'attacked' by the fugitive. But her knowledge of the ship could indicate help from within. He happened to have a message waiting from her via some Priest that he knew as a boy. Again, facts that he withheld that could have prevented the attack on us." Captain Phillips could have continued but the glare from Admiral Tate brought the list of reasons to a halt.

    Instead Captain Phillips switched gears, "while this is circumstantial evidence, you have to consider that he might be the spy we are after. After all, what is the point of his desires to protect the fugitive to the lengths that he has gone so far. I have already shown you how he is withholding information about the direct relationship with the fugitive's sister. For motive you only need to look to Velos. It was by your order that the evacuations were halted and she was left behind. He could blame you for the hell that she suffered on Velos. One doesn't forget these things Sir. If you just consider what I have said you will see I am tel......"

    Admiral Tate was enraged by the claims to such a point that he hammered the hologram with a left cross and an right hand upper cut. The blows sent the hologram stumbling backwards, "That's enough!" he yelled out in anger at the same time as the blows. As the Hologram was stumbling back on its feet, Tate turned to Captain Phillips, "You listen to me God damnit, cause I wont say it again. Campbell is not a traitor. SO unless you have any hard evidence to suggest otherwise, then stow that kind of talk. I want evidence that can prove who the spy is." he turned just in time to catch the hologram making an attack on him. He let out a cry as he delivered another left cross that sent the hologram stumbling to the right. "I wont chase ghosts."

    "Sir, with all due respect. What will you do when Captain Campbell starts to attempt to cast doubt off of himself and on to others. Would you be so willing to defend me or any of your other aides with such clarity? Sir, I have always been by your side." There was passion in Captain Phillips voice and he was clearly upset that the Admiral wasn't listening.

    Admiral Tate sighed as he walked over to the ropes and leaned on them. As he moved the hologram reacted to the action by lowering his fists and waiting to resume the fight. Admiral Tate rested his gloved fists on the top ropes of the ring. "Listen Phil, we go back to the Academy. I was there for you when your parents died. I know you just as well as I know Jackson. Hell, we have been friends since even before the Academy if you count that weekend before we started at the Academy. Nothing has changed and nothing will change. But you see, this is just what the spy would want us doing. Turning on each other instead of looking for that hard evidence. There is a spy in my camp, and I need to know which one it is. I trust you and Jackson with my own life. So I am leaning heavy on both of you during this crisis. I have to know where this leak is. So find me this evidence. If not, I will have to hand this investigation over to Starfleet Intelligence."

    Captain Phillips nodded, "your faith in me is reassuring. But if Jackson is the....."

    "Hey..." Admiral Tate said waving his hand, "Jackson is no traitor. So leave it at that." He demanded as he shook himself off and turned to face the hologram. "Tell me what else you got" He added as he readied to continue his work out. The hologram responded by reading its own stance and moving closer to make an attack.

    "Garak's ship will be arriving at Deep Space Nine in just over twenty four hours. All security steps have been taken to ensure his safety. I have spoken with Colonel Kira Nerys. I have given her a complete update of the crisis and she has informed me that DS Nine is ready to receive Garak and his party. However she has requested the most recent image of the fugitive at large. Sadly we don't have anything other than her Starfleet Medical image. We can be assured that this image is no longer applicable to the situation at hand," he explained then paused a moment.

    "As you know, this will mark the first time sense the end of war that the key leadership of the Cardassian Government will be outside of Cardassian space. Our ships have been placed on full alert and are ordered to expect anything. My contacts suggest that Gul Ocett and Gul Macet are planning something, but at this time it is unclear what. These two Guls have a handful of ships supporting them but nothing that could compare with the might of the Cardassian military or our own fleet. My contacts insist that what ever they are planning will be limited to their scope of influence. Which could be protests and minor acts of terrorism. However, I urge you to not under estimate these two Cardassians. They have proven to be ruthless in their goals to drive the Federation from Cardassian Space."

    Reading from his PADD, Captain Phillips continued, "Reports have it that they are using the Rolor Nebula just inside Breen space to hide their ships from our detection. Though there is no direct link between the radicals or the Breen Government however since the end of the war, the Breen have been very silent about these incursions in to their space. This could indicated a possible link between the Radical Cardassian Movement and the Breen Government. But as it stands now, the Breen Government does not appear to have any links to what is going on."

    Admiral Tate shifted on his feet to dodge another attack by the hologram, "But that doesn't mean they wont take the advantage should something happen. What about those reports of a Breen build up along their boarder?"

    Captain Phillips nodded, "Those reports are still confirmed. Nearly fifty ships have been amassed along the Cardassian/Breen boarder. However the Breen are claiming that they have become worried about the increased tensions between the government and radicals within Cardassian space. My contacts have also indicated that they also don't like the idea of Starfleet ships operating near their board within Cardassian space."

    Admiral Tate nodded, "Worried my ass. I wouldn't be surprised if those bastards had a hand in these escalating tensions."

    Captain Phillips nodded, "Indeed sir. What of the new communication's protocols? I will need to have the new protocols so that we can relay them to our ships."

    Admiral Tate dodged the hologram's attack as he countered with a gab to the hologram's lower ribs. "Starfleet Command has decided to issue new protocols via a secured network from within Starfleet Intelligence. It will remain as such till the leak in my camp can be sealed. Hell, they might ensure that this doesn't happen again."

    "Sir?" Captain Phillips questioned then added, "So we are to be left out of the loop on this?" There was concern in his voice.

    Admiral Tate didn't seem to notice as the hologram attempted to land a series of attacks which the Admiral successfully blocked. "Yes, that is correct, and it was done by my order. I wanted my command to be cut out of the loop. Those protocols are too vital to leave to my pride. I trust all of you. But I won't deny the facts. This leak is in my camp, Phil. Someone close to me has betrayed my trust and I mean to safe guard my fleet from that betrayal."

    Captain Phillips nodded, "So even you don't know of the new protocols?"

    Admiral Tate shook his head, "Nope. Again it was by my order. I have also asked Starfleet Command to place the rest of my staff on Deep Space Nine under close observation till this mess is cleared up."

    Captain Phillips nodded once more, "So keep your friends close and....."

    "Yeap and..." Admiral Tate said slamming his fist in to the hologram once more with such force to knock the larger human backwards a bit. "Keep my enemies even closer. But as I said, you and Jackson are my closest friends. I wouldn't discount that the spy knows this and that I am on to him or her. When the time happens, I will need both of you close to me." He backed up as the hologram lowered his arms in reaction to Admiral Tate's actions. Tate turned back to Captain Phillips, "I mean it, Phil. I trust you two with my life. And I need you both, now more than ever before."

    Captain Phillips nodded, "we have been your friend for over two decades. I am sure I speak for Jackson as well when I say this. Both of us will stop at nothing to clear your camp of this damn spy. Trust me, if nothing else, I will clear your name Sir," Captain Phillips pledged. He paused a moment before adding, "sir, could you just give me all that you know about this spy including the information about the codes you discovered. I will pass them over to my contacts and they will use their sources to find this spy. You know that they are resourceful."

    Admiral Tate hated to admit it but Phillips was right. Each time, his shadowy contacts spoke they were hardly wrong. They were a resource that could be exploited. But Tate hated them for the sake of what they were. He had major issues with spooks in general. But he had more reasons to trust those ghosts in Starfleet Intelligence than he actually wanted to like them. It was a well known fact that as much as Captain Campbell disliked Doctors, Admiral Tate hated spies. Regardless of which side they served. Near the end of the war, he had actually shocked his entire staff by placing his Starfleet Intelligence Liaison officer in to an airlock because it became known that she was keeping secrets from him. He kept her in that air lock till she finally came clean with all that she knew about that situation. Before letting her out, Admiral Tate had threaten to space the woman if she didn't stop speaking in half truths and withholding what he considered vital information.

    After that event, Starfleet Intelligence enlisted the services on Captain Phillips as their Liaison Officer to Admiral Tate's staff. The move created a unspoken truce between Starfleet Intelligence and Admiral Tate. As the hologram closed on Admiral Tate, he drove his fist in to the hologram and followed up the opening with another series of combinations, "Damnit Phillips!" he cursed "Damn games of cloak and daggers." he added as he drove fist after fist in to the hologram knocking the figure back. "Give me my warships, a battlefield and an enemy that I can see. This is the war I want to fight. Not some cowardly enemy hiding in the shadows with whispers and poison as their weapons."

    With a final powerful blow, the Admiral cried, "God damnit I hate dealing with these spooks." The blow knocked the hologram's head sending a spray of blood in to the hair. The hologram fell backwards on to the mat. Admiral Tate backed up turned to Captain Phillips as he thrust a glove towards him, "No Phil. You have the resources of your damn spooks. That is enough you need. Now find me that spy or else you will go a few rounds with me in here!" he said pointing his glove in the center of the ring.

    On that note, the door hissed open and Captain Campbell walked in to the holosuit. Admiral Tate turned and waved at his long time friend, "Jack" he said with still a bit of anger in his voice. It was clear by the sweat and blood that Admiral Tate had been working out for a while. "I hope you brought your gloves Jack. Cause I am growing tired of beating up on your holograms. I would like some real meat to beat up on." he said letting out a laugh, "Oh and none of that kicking, flying peter pan crap you call fighting. This is boxing, Jack." Admiral Tate walked over to the edge of the ring and rested on the ropes as the hologram disappeared from the center of the ring. Tate shot a look at Captain Phillips, "Unless you have anything else. You have your orders."

    Captain Phillips nodded, "Yes Sir" he said with a very official tone. Captain Phillips turned and started to walk for the door. Upon passing Captain Campbell, he spoke in a lowered voice, "his is not happy today. Best to keep your guard up and avoid the upper cuts."

    Captain Campbell nodded as he knew that the warning was well called for. No one knew the Admiral as well as these two men. When Tate was not happy, he took out his anger in the ring. There was more than enough reason for Admiral Tate not to be happy. Captain Phillips left the holosuite. The door hissed closed and vanished in to the wall of the gym.
  7. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Steady Workout (Part Two)
    Stardate: 53835.42
    HoloSuite 1, Deck Two
    USS Thunderchild
    Admiral David Tate and Captain Campbell

    Captain Campbell nodded as he approached the ring, "Its called Mixed Martial Arts David. And I keep telling you and I would be glad to teach you the combat form." Captain Campbell climbed up on to the outer side of the ring and started to climb between the ropes.

    Admiral Tate laughed as he waited for Captain Campbell to get ready for the match. "No thank you. I will stick to my boxing," he said backing towards the center of the ring. "So what is the word from the hanger deck?"

    "We will be fully operational in four hours" Captain Jackson said softly as he climbed in to the ring. "Both Engineering and Flight Operations are working steadily together to get the major repairs completed" he briefed as a hologram coach appeared with a pair of gloves. The hologram started to put the gloves on Jackson while he stood there. "I don't see a reason to put back to Utopia Yards" he said knowing that his was going to be something that Admiral Tate wanted to avoid. "There were no fatalities and the only serious causalities will be back to work by the end of the week."

    "That is great news Jack. But I heard a troubling thing just a few minutes ago" Admiral Tate said. "I have it on good authority that your Senior Deck Officer and your Chief Engineer went to blows down in sick bay. This happened right in front of enlisted crew members. Clearly not the behavior of Starfleet Officers. How do you expect to handle this" David asked as he waited.

    Captain Campbell sighed, "Well yes Sir. Lieutenant Paxton and Lieutenant Medart have a love hate relationship. They have been at each others throats since Medart took over as Chief Engineer a few months ago," Jackson informed. "It wasn't the first time they had come to blows. But in truth, it is more Lieutenant Paxton than Lieutenant Medart. Rebecca" he said speaking of Lieutenant Paxton, "she doesn't have much tolerance for incompetence. And Lieutenant Medart has a lot to learn about being on a starship. I wont deny the young Lieutenant knows her stuff. Hell, I would put Medart's skill and knowledge up against any other Chief Engineer across Starfleet."

    "I see," Admiral Tate said as he waited for Jackson's gloves to be secured. "So what was the fight about?"

    Jackson checked the gloves once the hologram had completed its task. It wasn't that he suspected the hologram failed to do it properly. It was more a force of habit to make sure your gloves were on tightly. "What I was told about the fight was that Medart had commented her suspicion that accident and fires that occurred afterwards was more likely due to operator error than equipment malfunction." Once he was sure the gloves were secured he nodded and hit the gloves together. The hologram vanished as Jackson and David started to stalk each other around the ring. Captain Campbell continued, "but this exchange goes further back than that. The two have had this petty bickering and is only a manifestation of the tensions between the Flight Deck and Engineering."

    Admiral Tate nodded as he listened, "I don't like tensions between divisions on my ships Jack, and you know that. Explain what is at heart of this tension."

    As the two danced around the ring Jackson explained the rivalry, "Since refit, the rivalry was centered on many members of Engineering feeling that the Flight Deck personnel were stepping on their shoes. Before this rivalry appeared only to be more of just a mild disliking of the situation. However it is coming to my attention that the rivalry is more deep routed than that. This became evident in the two different findings of the cause of the accident."

    Admiral Tate moved in for a quick attack that was easily dodged by Captain Campbell, "differing findings? I only recalled reading about one finding issued by Damage Control."

    Captain Campbell shifted from the attack and attempted to counter attack. However Tate moved out of the way of the attack with grace. "There is a junior officer by the name of Mordecai Noonia that ran his own investigation. His findings differ from those of the official investigation. Where Damage Control suspects that it was in fact operator error, Mr. Noonia suspects that that the accident was caused by improper preventive maintenance and lack of understanding of the special nature that the Flight Deck as to operated under."

    Admiral Tate moved a bit closer as Captain Campbell continued to brief the Admiral on the crisis that shut down the Flight Deck. "Patty cake" the Admiral said taking the first successful jab to Captain Campbell's face. The blow was short but fast as the impact cause the captain's head to pop backwards a bit.

    It was easy for Jackson to recover from the hit as he continued the briefing, "he found that the rotation of the emitters exceeds the manufacturer's specifications by a considerable margin." In reaction, Captain Campbell throw his own jab at the Admiral.

    Admiral Tate nodded as he easily dodged the attack, "I see. Explain."

    The two men continued to move around the ring looking for a better openings, "So the manufacturer says that the system needs to be serviced every two hundred full cycles or once a month, which ever occurs first. And this is what Engineering as set their maintenance schedule by. However Flight Operation could very easily exceed this cycle on a weekly basis. During combat simulations based on the Dominion War, in a combat situation, Flight Operations could exceed this cycle almost daily. Also because of labor involved in maintenance of the entire launch and recovery system, there is simply not enough trained personnel in Flight Operations to carry out this degree of maintenance. In fact, we only have three personnel in Engineering who are specialized in tractor beams and can carry out this level of service. For a ship our size, we have two more personnel than what Starfleet Command says we need. But the truth in Mr. Noonia's findings are, that Starfleet Command doesn't really understand our needs and can't compare us to other Akira Class ships."

    Captain Campbell moved slowly and saw an opening. He stepped forward catching Admiral Tate with a right, left combination series of hits. Tate reacted by pulling his hands and arms in close to block the last two powerful blows. As Campbell pulled back for a third hit, Tate unleashed his own powerful hits. The two men moved back from each other as they railed against the bows. "So what do we do?" Admiral Tate asked.

    The two men rejoined their blows nearly at that same time. Yet neither blow was enough to cause any harm to the other. "I have my best people working on the repairs. We will return to full operation without going back to Sol with our tail between our legs. I promise this, David" Captain Campbell said then continued as he landed a series of quick jabs on the Admiral, "as far a Paxton and Medart. They are both good officers. I will have a sit down with both of them and get this feud between them and their divisions settled."

    Admiral Tate nodded, "okay so what about the fugitive." He sidestepped the rest of Campbell's attack and countered with a couple of hard hooks that sent the seasoned captain against the ropes. Blood dripped from Captain Campbell's lip and nose as Admiral Tate pulled back and allowed his friend to get back to his feet.

    Jackson shook his head clear of the last attack. "Sir, I am not so sure what to think about her. Look, I didn't know that I knew her before this all started. Yet, I do know her. My memories have been restored. Damn, it seems like a holo-noval if you ask me. When I look at her plan, I can see each step she had taken. But it is so hard for me to see what her next step will be" he explained leaping back in to the fight. Jackson landed another set of quick jabs on the Admiral but before he could push his advantage, the Admiral was already pushing back. "Its like she is ghost of my own that I can't get the upper hand on."

    "This is not like you, Jack" Admiral Tate said with a strong cross that forced Captain Campbell back to the ropes. "Normally you would be able to see through all of this and know what their over all plan is. You are my best strategic mind, Jack. What's gotten in to your head?"

    Jackson pulled himself off the ropes once more. He knew that there was little hope of beating his old friend at boxing. But he was not about to go down without a strong showing. He raised his hands and moved in for another series of attacks, "I don't know David. Its like, those coordinates. They mark words in Cardassian space. Sure, they could be worlds she means to target. But there is one problem with that. The coordinates are not of the worlds themselves, but close to them."

    As Captain Campbell continued Admiral Tate blocked the attacks while listening. Once he had a chance, Admiral Tate interjected, "I know, I took what you told me and had our ships investigate the coordinates. There is no strategic value to these coordinates. No military bases, no shipyards, even mass of populations."

    Captain Campbell changed up his attacks to the defense once Admiral Tate got the upper hand again. Powerful incoming punches forced Jackson back some but not enough to break Jackson's over all plan. "I just don't get what the strategy is here. The only thing that I can follow is that she has now placed our ships right there. So if that is her goal she had archived that, but then it beckons the question, why."

    Admiral Tate drove fist after fist in to the midsection of Captain Campbell forcing him back towards the ropes again. "Well we have intelligence that suggests that she might make a run for the Bad Lands. However, the Argus Array as detected a signature that resembles our stolen runabout operating near the McAllister C-5 Nebula. I have ships moving to investigate, something tells me that this is just another targeting drone transmitting a false signature."

    Jackson caught hold of Tate's arms and pinned them against his own body forcing the Admiral's attack to come to an end. "Her use of drones is really mind blowing at first. She reprogrammed them like a genius. But she can't possibly think we are going to far for that tick again. Plus the McAllister C-5 Nebula doesn't fit." he said as the two men struggled against each other. Jackson holding fast to Tate's arms giving him a chance to catch his breath.

    "Your right, it doesn't fit. But we can't ignore it either." Admiral Tate said as he finally broke free from Jackson's arms. He fell back a bit getting ready to renew his attacks. "Lya Station Alpha which isn't far for the nebula hasn't been able to detect anything but the sensor contact. However, we can't ignore the fact that our fugitive could have sabotaged the station's ability to detect her movements," Tate explained.

    "Again, that just makes even less sense, to me." Jackson said as he drove a fast straight jab in to Tate's face causing the older Admiral to fall back. Jackson followed up with a series of left right hooks driving his advantage. "Think about it, She has to know that we can track her from a number of locations. So lets assume she can reach the nebula. We have ten ships in that area as well as five Cardassian ships all patrolling not far. She would be just as trapped as she would have been here. Plus this move was just too predicable, I can't imagine that this is how she'll trip up."

    Taking the blows and waiting for an opening, Admiral Tate gave up ground. "You know, this reminds me of that assassin we had to face on Auriano." The Admiral said as he fainted back. As Jackson took the bait, Tate slammed his powerful right in to Jackson's head sending Jackson stumbling back. More blood splattered from Jackson's face as he landed heavily on the ropes.

    The blow caught Jackson completely by surprise as hung on the ropes trying to get his head from spinning completely off his neck. Instead of bouncing off the ropes, Jackson took hold of the ropes to steady himself. He lifted his gloved fist to Tate to stop further attacks. Jackson looked off in to the distance as if to remember something. "Auriano" he mumbled as Tate moved forward in a normal fashion with his gloves down. "The assassin that played us each step of the way."

    Admiral Tate nodded, "yes, I know I was there remember?"

    Jackson wasn't paying attention to Tate anymore, "he played a game of chess with us. Making us move his targets to where he wanted them to be killed." Jackson leaped up to his feet, "Computer delete my gloves" he ordered and in that moment his holo-gloves vanished from his hands. "She is not going to the Bad Lands nor is she hiding in the McAllister C-5 Nebula."

    Tate looked at him confused, "So where is she going?"

    Jackson smiled, "I don't know yet. But I know where she is not."

    "What do you mean Jack you are starting....."Tate got this smile on his face, "Oh you are getting that look Jack. But the only two leads we have are the Bad Lands and the McAllister C-5 Nebula. We having nothing else to go on and besides" Admiral Tate said switching to his commanding voice. "I have already promised the Klingons to support them in the Bad Lands. It is the most likely way she will use to get in to the heart of Cardassian Space."

    Jackson started to walk out of the ring but stopped. He turned back and walked over to his friend and rested a hand on the Admiral's shoulders, "listen, go to the Bad Lands, help the Klingons. But I need the freedom to explore this. Trust me David."

    There was no point in their friendship that David Tate didn't trust his close friend. However in moments like this, he could see deep in to Jackson's eyes. And knew in that moment, that Jackson was on the verge of greatness. Admiral Tate nodded, "We will miss your fighters as we search the Bad Lands. But go, chase down this feeling you have. I will transfer my flag over to the Repulse and lead the rest of our ships to the Bad Lands."

    Jackson nodded, "thank you David."

    Admiral Tate backed up, "Computer delete my gloves" he commanded and like Jackson's gloves, his too vanished. He tapped his com-badge, "Admiral Tate to Captain Vakath" he said and waited.

    Captain Vakath's voice came over the channel, "Sir."

    "Captain inform your crew and my staff that we are returning to the Repulse, as soon as possible." Admiral Tate ordered. "We will be proceeding on towards the Bad Lands while Captain Campbell will be taking the Thunderchild elsewhere."

    "Yes Sir," Captain Vakath replied.

    Admiral Tate closed the channel as he turned towards Captain Campbell, "Okay I'll cut you loose. Now go find me this fugitive."

    Captain Campbell nodded, "Aya Sir!" On that Jackson moved for the edge of the ring while activating his own com-badge, "Commander V'rol, please meet me in Astrometrics."

    As Captain Campbell was leaving the holosuite, Commander V'rol replied, "I am on my way, Sir."

    Shortly after leaving the holosuite, Captain Campbell found himself in the powerful Astrometrics. The Astrometrics Lab served the sole purpose of stellar cartography, a science and practice of making maps and projections of space. Here in this small lap, various different systems are used to organize and catalog space and objects in space. It was one of those labs that had originally been suggested in being removed during refit. Now it would prove to be vital.

    A lone stellar cartographer stood beside Captain Captain as Commander V'rol walked in to the room. Commander V'rol couldn't help but notice the blood on the Captain's uniform or the fresh bruises on his face. Across the vast screens of Astrometrics were maps of Cardassian Space and worlds that were highlighted. From the casual observer, one could mistake the maps and worlds as random dots on the screen, but to Captain Campbell there was something here.

    "The coordinates that we found in the hologram, Captain" Commander V'rol said walking in. It was clear that the Captain and the stellar cartographer had been intensively working on something.

    Captain Campbell nodded, "We just got the last ones loaded up" he explained motioning to the different screens before them. "Okay, now I want you to get them all on one map" Campbell instructed the stellar cartographer. The different screens merged in to one large map.

    It didn't take V'rol long to see what was going on as he turned to face the maps. "You think that there is some link between the target worlds, Captain" he asked wondering what it was that the Captain saw that he had missed. "We searched for a link before and found none. Had we missed something."

    Captain Campbell nodded as he said, "snipers."

    Commander V'rol turned to his Captain, "snipers Sir?"

    Over the channel Lieutenant T'Lora's voice broke in, "Captain, Admiral Tate and his group have beamed back aboard the Repulse. He sends you his luck and wishes for good hunting. The Repulse and her sister ships will continue on towards the Bad Lands. Your orders Sir?"

    Captain Campbell nodded, "Thank you Lieutenant. My orders are, all stop." He closed the channel as he turned to Commander V'rol. "You are correct, Number One. But, that doesn't change that these coordinates are in fact targets."

    Looking up at the maps the only reasonable targets were the Federation starships that now were hovering right at the coordinates. "Our ships are the targets" Commander V'rol questioned.

    Captain Campbell nodded, "indeed, we put our ships right where she wanted them to be. From the very beginning, she wanted our ships there." He motioned to the large map that now indicated the locations of Starfleet ships. "Okay, now I want you to invert the angle of attack and show me a direct line of sight with each point. Eliminate all points that don't have a direct line of sight with one or more other coordinates."

    Commander V'rol walked around the large center control console and stepped before the massive maps as the stellar cartographer worked through millions of possible angles. The massive computer of the Thunderchild processed the information as the cartographer worked over the controls. Patterns were created then removed as the massive screen lit up with activity. Captain Campbell moved next to Commander V'rol as the two men watched the screens, "you see Number One, as a sniper you have to have direct lines of sight to take a shot. I don't think she is going to these points. I think she needs them for something else."

    Commander V'rol nodded as he watched the lines start to take shape. Within moments, lines from each target area started to converge at one point. "Deep Space Nine," Commander V'rol said softly as the final line converged at that point in space within the Bajoran System. "What does it mean, nothing has the range to reach these targets directly from Deep Space Nine."

    Captain Campbell patted V'rol on the shoulder,"I know. But now we know." As he tapped his com-badge, "Captain to the bridge!"

    "Bridge, Sir" Lieutenant T'Lora said coldly.

    "Set a course for Deep Space Nine, maximum warp. Also send word to Deep Space Nine and inform them of our ETA and also inform Admiral Tate of our current heading." Captain Campbell turned to leave the room, "I am on my way up there."

    Commander V'rol couldn't deny what he saw. There was no other logical explanation to it. Deep Space Nine was the point in which all angles coverage on. "Most intriguing" he said turning to follow Captain Campbell to the bridge.
  8. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    A Touch of Murder to Spice Things Up
    Stardate: 53835.73
    Maintenance Access L7
    Deck 12

    Saturday Feb 19 2377

    The black scorched marks along the walls covered the area with a thick blackness. It defined for all those entering the area, that they were walking in to a heavily damaged area. Maintenance Access L7 was one of the hardest hit areas during the resent accident on the Flight Deck. This access area lead up to the Launch and Recovery Tractor Beams systems and ran parallel with the fuel lines that ruptured during the first moments of the accident. Within this access conduits ran up from the Hanger Deck and through the entire Flight Deck. Along the back wall of this access were the main power relays that rose up from Engineering and fed most of the ship. There are four such accesses along the Flight Deck, two forward on each the port and Starboard sides. And two aft at the same points.

    These accesses were designed to ensure that if one was damaged that the other three could support the ship with the power it needs during combat. However during the accident, a series of powerful backfeeds along the EPS Conduits triggered fires and explosions within the access areas. These fires ignited the fuel lines that fed the Flight Deck. While the vacuum of space protected the Flight Deck from fires, the back flash caused in on the Hanger Deck only intensified the crisis. All across L7, twisted metal and burned out components showed the force of the fire and the heat that was generated. The Thunderchild was lucky to have survived the fires with out needing major repairs.

    A Damage Control Team of three crew members moved up the ladder as they laughed at the shared story. Their bright colored uniform were in sharp contrasted to the walls and decking around them. Each carried a flash light on their wrists as they made their way up the ladder in to L7. "Wait wait" crewmen Kaluza said as he laughed, "let me get this straight. He did all that within twenty fours?" he said turning around and reaching below the hatch. He pulled up a pair of large cases from the crewman below.

    Crewman Dustin Yonkers laughed as he nodded handing up the cases, "yeah, twenty four hours." Crewman Yonkers said as he finished climbing up the narrow ladder. The fresh clean marks on the ladder reflected the recent repairs that had been done to it. He turned and reached down to pull up another case from below.

    "Your lying" laughed crewman Raquel Stefanovic. Her voice echoed from below the deck as she passed up the last case. She started to climb up the ladder in to the maintenance access area.

    "No I am telling you the truth," Crewman Yonkers laughed, "I heard from my roommate. He was there, and saw what went down in the Lounge" Yonkers continued to defended. The three crew members checked each other as they all stood on the landing of L7. The space was normally tight but because of the damage, this made the space seem even more tighter than normal. A blown out panel behind them showed the exposed EPS circuits that had blown out. With power to this section dead, the panel was safe.

    "Okay" crewman Kaluza, "hold on. I want to make sure those seals are still in place before we open the hatch." He pulled his tricorder and scanned beyond the hatch. "Something is off, the tricorder is giving me some funny readings."

    Crewman Yonkers moved up with his own tricorder, "Yeah I see it too." he said then paused. "Well the odor will still suck but the atmosphere is still going to be breathable."

    "Looks like that patch we welded in place this morning is still holding" crewman Kaluza said as he put his tricorder away.

    Crewman Stefanovic moved forward and placed her tricorder on the hatch, "Setting the power transfer to the hatch motors." Her to shipmates backed up to allow her to power up the hatch so it can be opened. She started to tap on her tricorder. "this will take a moment" she added.

    "Hey Yonkers, set up that portable purifier so we can have some fresh air while we work" Crewman Kaluza.

    "Sure," crewman Yonkers said as he turned and dropped to his knees. He opened up one of the cases and started to set up the unit. Within seconds, a soft humming sound was heard as the unit started to filter out particles that were in the atmosphere.

    "Damnit, the hatch motor is jammed" crewman Stefanovic said in frustration as she hit the hatch. "I thought we fixed that this morning!"

    "We did," crewman Kaluza disputed as he walked up next to her. His eyes scanned her tricorder readings, "this doesn't make any sense. Get on that side of the hatch and help me," he said pulling out a pair of magnetic hatch handles.

    Crewman Stefanovic nodded as she took one of the handles. Both crewmen got ready to force the hatch open. With their combined effort, the two forced each side of the large hatch opened just a bit. Once the hatch was pried open Crewman Yonkers moved in to help pushing the two halves of the hatch further open. The three crewmen backed up from the hatch as they secured the doors, "I just don't get it, we fixed this before we left for breakfast. Why......"

    The space beyond the hatch was much more severely damaged than the rest of the area. It was here that the main explosions first occurred and then spread outward through the EPS Conduits to the rest of the two decks. But what brought the three crew members to silence was the bloody mess of a body laying face down near the far side of the space. Unlike everything else in this room, the body had no signs of being burned. The pool of blood next to the body reached across nearly the entire floor. Crewman Stefanovic let out a stifled cry as she took sight of the scene.

    Crewman Yonkers took pause as he backed up, to shocked to even speak. The body had been beaten so badly that its skull was crushed and mangled nearly to a point that it was unidentifiable. A bloody piece of pipe that belonged to a cooling line rested next to the body. There were parts of skull and hair stuck to the pipe. It was clear that this was the murder weapon. The gold uniform told the three crewmen that the victim was an engineer. But it was Crewman Stefanovic that made the identity. She spoke from behind her hand, "Isn't that Lieutenant Medart?"

    "It was...." crewman Kaluza said as he scanned the body with his tricorder. While the unit was not a medical tricorder, the unit could tell him that Lieutenant Medart was dead. He reached to his com badge. "Crewman Kaluza to Security. You need to get a team up Maintenance Access L7."

    Crewman Stefanovic turned and buried her face in crewman Kaluza's chest. It wasn't the sight of the body that shocked her. It was the brutality of the attack that brought her to tears. Someone so loved in Engineering by her fellow engineers was just laying in a pool of her own blood. It was more out of respect than fearing the investigation, that the three didn't enter the space. Instead, the three crew members stood by and waited for security personnel to show up outside of L7. Even before security showed up on the scene, word of the murder had spread across the entire ship. It was crewman Stefanovic made a heartfelt call down to Engineering to inform them of the murder.

    Sat Feb 19 2377

    Sat Feb 19 2377

    It had been such a long night thanks to the accident that had transformed her Hanger Deck in to a hell in the middle of space. Lieutenant Rebecca Paxton stumbled in to her quarters for the first time in over thirty six hours. Her body hurt from the intense day as her mind cried out for refugee. She could still smell the fire around her as she stumbled in to the darkness. While she might have left her Armored EV suite back in her locker, she could still smell the smoke. Sometimes she hated her heightened sense of smell. All she wanted to do was just flop down on to her bed and sleep till her next shift, 'which was' she thought looking at the clock in her room. She sighed heavily, "in three hours."

    The high pitched sound of a kitten's meow drew her canine like ears. her ears shifted to pin point the source of the sound. Her head turned in the direction of the sound. Her hair was no longer in the tight pony tail that she had started yesterday with. Instead it seemed to just hang loosely from her head. Her fur was matted and covered in soot from the fires. Despite her smile, the look of total exhaustion was clearly seen across her canine like face. Her movements were slow as she favored her lift side. Her eyes tried to shift as if to locate the source of the sound that had captured her attention. It was not the wounds that she had suffered during the accident that caused her suffering currently. It was in fact that she had people in sickbay. Luckily all would recover. Still, she felt personally responsible for their current condition.

    "Lights, dim" she said as she crawled deeper in to her darken quarters and within seconds the lights turned on just enough for her to see where she was going. She smiled as she saw the little gray and white kitten coming out from under the bed on the left. "Ah, so now you love me, Lucky" she said as the kitten came up and started to rub on her leg. Paxton kneed down to pet the small creature. It purred to her touch, "oh after this morning, I figured you wouldn't want to love me" she explained "You showed me how much you loved me by urinating on my uniform, remember?" she said with a bit of labored laughter in her voice. "You almost made me late this" she paused at her sense of time loss. "Yesterday morning," she corrected herself as she ran her paw like hands over the small creature. "So I hope you are taking to space travels okay. What, a few weeks ago, you were half starved hiding in my hanger deck."

    She said shifted her body so to be resting on her knees as she changed her voice to mimic the Captain's voice. It was a horrible imitation but it was comical, "Paxton, Kittens don't belong on my boat." she playfully said as she pet the kitten. She returned her voice to normal, "What the big mean Captain doesn't know wont hurt him," she laughed a bit, but her laughter reflected the pain from the wound she had suffered during the first explosion. "You little, Lucky taught me to grow. I didn't know anything about how to care for you. Despite the Federation data base, you showed me that there was more to caring for you than what was recorded."

    After a short patting, Rebecca slowly and painful stood up. She held her right side as if trying to ease the pain. She stumbled over to the replicator. "A small bowl of warm shredded fish and chicken and a small bowl of milk" she said softly and glanced back at the little kitten. Her smile grew, "whole milk" she added. Within seconds the replicator acknowledged her commands and the two small bowls appeared on a metal tray. She picked up the tray and walked back over to the kitten who had moved in to the center of the room.

    Once more Rebecca lowered herself to her knees and placed the tray on the floor for the little animal moved for the milk. The bowl was nearly as large as the small kitten was. It rested its forward paws on the edge of the bowl and leaned over it as it started licking from the milk. Rebecca started to pat the little creature as she laid down next to it. She was so tired from the highly charged, emotional day. Her hunger was so great, but she was just so tired. She ran her hand over the little creature with great care not to hurt it. The milk was clearly appealing as the kitten kept purring as it eat.

    Rebecca felt so tired after the long day. Her eyes were becoming so heavy that they were slowly drifting downward. There was just something relaxing about the way this strange little creature made that purring sound that seemed to induce sleep on her. So many times, Rebecca had come home from very long hours on the flight deck to this little sleep inducing creature. So many times she had drifted off to sleep right here on the floor next to it. At first she had suspected that the creature was dangerous to her race but Doctor Bell had assured her that this wasn't the case. He even took the time to run a full physical over the small creature to make sure that the little creature was healthy. It was by his suggestion that she kept the animal in the first place. He told her that the little creature was a baby and had somehow got separated from its mother. That it needed someone to look after it.

    Doctor Bell had told her that being able to care for the little creature would help her with the insomnia that she had suffered. He explained that such animals love unconditionally, much like her own race. That they were life time companions like what she was missing in her life. No one on the ship knew of her loss like Doctor Bell. He was the only one she could trust with her....'condition'. She just didn't trust anyone else with what was going on in her life. And there was no way she was ever going to be in the same room with Doctor McCoy.

    As Rebecca had many times before, her mind drifted back on the man that hurt her so much. She didn't blame him for what happened, after all it wasn't like she didn't see it coming. She had been warned ahead of time about what she was getting in to. No warning could have changed how she felt about him or that she was willing to give up everything for him. Now that the warnings came to light, nothing changed the pain that she suffered now. Just as her eyes were becoming settled and her mind started to drift in to the world of sleep her ears detected the sounds beyond her door. Her eyes snapped opened as a chime from the door sounded and drew both of their attentions towards the door. "Yes?" Rebecca said almost half asleep as she lifted her head from the floor.

    The door hissed open as Rebecca's eyes tried to adjust to the flood of light that now blinded her. Finally Rebecca saw Lieutenant Tabby Ó Ruaidh and pair of other security officers behind the female human. Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh spoke clearly and in a tone of authority, "Lieutenant Paxton, will you come please come with us." While Rebecca's eyes told her that there were three members of security at her door, her ears told her that there were more in the hallway.

    Rebecca eyed the three security officers as her eyes narrowed as she rose up from the floor and rested on her arm. "What is this about" Rebecca questioned then her eyes narrowed as if she could see right through their intentions. She saw that each were armed with phasers and the two in the back had their weapons in their hand. Fear befell Rebecca as her mind raced, 'what did I do now?' she questioned.

    Her fear took hold as she uttered, "what if I choose not to?" As Rebecca's mind raced, all she could think was if that abomination of a Chief Engineer had reported their little exchange earlier today. Rebecca knew that Starfleet had rules against what was said but she really didn't think that anyone would really be upset over it. She only spoke the truth, and if that was a crime so be it. She had expected another one of 'those' talks from the CAG about being understanding to those of different cultures or not to say hurtful things. Truthfully, she couldn't understand how Starfleet could have ever won the war while worrying about the feelings of others all the time. But she never thought the little rat would have sent security after her.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh facial expression didn't change, "Lieutenant Rebecca C. Paxton. I will not ask you again. Please come with us."

    Rebecca noticed that the two officers behind Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh were becoming more tense at the situation. 'This was serious' she thought as she moved to her knees. It wasn't her eye sight that gave their movements away, but the sound of their uniforms slowly and carefully rubbing up against itself. Her ears moved and focused on the sounds around her. Even her kitten, Lucky, could sense the change in the environment as it stopped purring.

    Rebecca's eyes widen with surprise. "Hey, calm down" she said raising her hands in surrender. She knew what she had said and done was wrong. She was not about to make this whole situation worse over some hurtful words and a 'slight tap' on that abomination's face. The surprise on Rebecca's face over the seriousness of the situation was clear. "Okay okay! calm down. No need for weapons. I will do my time in the brig. After all that abomination deserved it" Rebecca confessed. She wasn't sorry and nothing in her voice reflected it. After all, Rebecca felt completely justified in what was said and done during the exchange up in Sick Bay.

    It was Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh's turn to be surprised as she waved her people to stand down. Lieutenant Paxton's temper was well known across the ship as well as the feud between Paxton and Medart. Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh had half expected this to be much harder than it was looking like it would be. "So you admit to what you did to Lieutenant Medart" Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh asked. She waved her team in to the small quarters as the kitten ran for the safety of the bed.

    Rebecca was true to who she was and she knew that she had behaved wrongly in sick bay. Sometimes she allowed her temper to get the better of her. She didn't feel guilty over it, but this didn't change that she knew she was wrong. "Yeah, I admit it" Rebecca said accepting her fate of a few days in the brig. She rolled her eyes as she stood up and knew she was going to get a long talking to by the CAG now. 'Great' she thought as she watched the team of security walk in to the room.

    The kitten disappeared under the bed as the Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh and two other security personnel moved in to the room while two more security personnel secured the door. Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh waited till they had secured Lieutenant Paxton before speaking again. "Lieutenant Rebecca C. Paxton, you are here by under arrest for the murder of Lieutenant Kira Medart" Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh said in a very professional manner. Everything in which Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh did was directly by the book. The only changed in Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh's plan was in that the confession of the suspect to the crime. It changed the over all plan from a simple escort to security for questioning to apprehending a suspect who confessed to the murder.

    Rebecca's eyes widen with shock and surprise as she tried to open her mouth but nothing came out. Horror filled her heart and numbed her mind as Rebecca tried to speak. 'Say something' her mind yelled. But her voice was caught in her own throat. As Rebecca was trying to figure out what the hell was happening, Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh tapped her com-badge, "Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh to Commander V'rol. We have the suspect in custody. She actually confessed to the murder. We will be bringing her to security for questioning at once, Sir."

    The chirp of the com-badge indicated that the channel was closed as Rebecca let out a scream, "NO" she struggled against the two officers holding her. "Wait, no..." she tried to struggle and continued, "that is not what I meant." Rebecca's mind was spinning as continued to struggle and fight for them to listen to her. "I didn't kill anyone!"

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh motioned for the door to the quarters be sealed as she tapped her com-badge, "Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh to transporter control. Security protocol three, Six to be transported directly to security. Within seconds, the room was empty as the group was transported directly to security. All that was left in the room was the soft sound of a meow from under the bed. The entire event had been carried out in all the perfection and efficiency that any Vulcan would have been proud of. Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh's official report would show that Lieutenant Paxton first confessed to a crime and allowed herself to be arrested then a moment later recanted the confession. Nothing of the event would be left out of Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh's official report. Internal sensors were recording the entire event so that everything would be recorded for the official records.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  9. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Interrogation of Lieutenant Paxton
    Stardate: 53836.16
    Interrogation Room Three
    Deck 15, USS Thunderchild

    Lieutenant Rebecca Paxton set in the interview room silently and alone. The amount of time she had been here seemed like forever. However, her mind told her that this was only an illusion created by the blank walls. She had a long conversation with her own legal adviser not too long ago. He explained to her about her rights and made sure that she was aware of what she was being questioned over. He asked her if she wanted him to file any formal requests in her defense. Lieutenant Paxton flatly denied as she held to her claims of innocence. Her mouth got her in to this mess, but at least now she wasn't facing murder charges just yet.

    Rebecca looked up to the wall and saw the large Federation symbol on the wall. She knew what it meant, not only for her but for her people. It was the Federation that came to her peoples' rescue when no one else had. She knew in her heart that the truth would set her free from this, but she feared where the truth would take her. What stood before her was not something for those who were weak of heart or of stomach. During the war, she had heard stories of what happened in rooms just like this one. She wouldn't deny that she was scared. She had good reason to be scared. She slowly took in a deep breath and let it out just a bit slower.

    Lieutenant Paxton looked around as that sense of despair crossed over her. She had been in rooms like this one before, but never for such a serious reason. She let out a deep sigh of desperation as she laid her head down on her crossed arms. Just a few hours ago, she was getting pats on the back for helping to fight the fires within the hanger deck and saving lives. Now she was under arrest for the murder of Lieutenant Kira Medart. She closed her eyes as she thought of the events which led her to this chair once more. She couldn't believe that all this was happening. She knew that each and every action in this room was recorded. She wondered if Captain Campbell was watching from his ready room. Her eyes scanned the room in hopes of seeing any sign of those sensors. She almost expected that at any moment he was going to bust in and put an end to this whole mess. How could anyone think that she murdered Lieutenant Medart. "This has to be some kind of sick joke" she half mumbled "he's not dead." A tear dripped from her eye as she took in another breath and rested her head back on her arms.

    After almost an hour of waiting, the door hissed open and a pair of Security Officers stepped in to the room. Lieutenant Paxton was almost grateful that Captain Campbell hadn't assigned his Chief of Security, Commander V'rol, to the investigation. Instead, they sent Lieutenant Tabby Ó Ruaidh to head up the investigation. Rebecca lifted her head as she wondered why the Captain hadn't rushed to her defense. 'Did he have doubts about my innocence' she wondered as she watched the two officers walk in to the room. Her heart wanted her captain to rush in a save her from this nightmare. Or to at least stand by her side during it. Just as Rebecca was about to speak Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh spoke up.

    "Oh hold on" Lieutenant Tabby Ó Ruaidh said as she motioned for the other officer to follower her, "I forgot something." Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh, turned to Lieutenant Paxton, "Hang on. We will be right back" she said softly then the two officers turned and left without another word.

    Rebecca dropped her head back on to the table with a thud. She knew that it was a mind game being played by security. It was the third time that they came in and then before anything started they had some reason to leave again. She had also felt the change in temperature as they had caused it to raise nearly ten degrees. Also the air had become thicker forcing her to work harder to take in her breaths. Then there was that sound, it wasn't painful, but it was there. Just below everything else, there was this pitch like sound. On top of all that, she was just so tired from pulling a double shift on the hanger deck and then the accident. Her insomnia was making this whole situation so much worse. She was beyond anger at this point. She just wanted to cry. As much as she hated to admit it she wanted to be held to told it would all be okay. She knew in her heart that if she was found guilty of this murder, she would be returned to her people to face her own fate.

    That was a fare worse than death. 'Please come to me' her mind begged for him. She so much wanted to call out for him. She missed him so much. His touch and the way he made her laugh. The man she had given her heart to and now was gone. Another tear dripped down from her eye. She didn't really think of him very often, but during times like this should couldn't help but think of him. His absence rested heavily on her, she missed him so much.

    After about another thirty minutes, the pair of officers returned. However this time, they had another officer with them. Once more Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh spoke, "You know, Lieutenant Commander Fazehas" she said motioning to the Andorian officer. "Despite your statements that you don't wont him here. I have asked him to sit in on these conversations and to continue to act as your appointed legal council."

    Commander Fazehas walked around the table and took a seat next to Lieutenant Paxton who didn't bother to raise her head from the table. The Andorian took some time to explain in detail what was going on and that she could be charged with murder. He made it clear that this was no game and that if she had any questions, ask him. Rebecca just wasn't paying much attention to what he was saying. She was just so tired and it was clear by her expression that she was on the edge of depression.

    The other two officers set down across from Lieutenant Paxton. Commander Fazehas finally got her attention and spoke softly to Lieutenant Paxton, "As I have told you, they are holding you under suspicion for the murder of Lieutenant Kira Medart. This investigation is being conducted under a military tribunal rules. I will ensure that your rights are not violated. Plus you need to know, you don't have to answer any of their questions."

    Rebecca didn't lift her head as she nodded her understanding, "I know Council. You told me all this before. And I told you that I don't need you. I am innocent of these charges," she said. She paused for a moment before adding, "I have nothing to hide." It was a lie but Rebecca knew in her heart that the two had nothing to do with each other.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh nodded to Commander Fazehas, "this is correct Lieutenant, you don't have to answer any of my questions. IF you have nothing to hind, then the sooner we get to the truth the sooner this nasty business will be over. So shall we begin?" She paused a moment then activated her PADD, "For the record, please state your full name."

    Rebecca half lifted her head, "Lieutenant Rebecca......."

    Her answer was cut off by a slam on the table from Lieutenant Lorenzo as he slammed his hand down on the table next to Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh. The sharp sound caused almost everyone to jerk in surprise, "Give us your real name!"

    Rebecca's keen hearing reacted to the sharp sound forcing her to flinch in pain as her head shot up as she was startled by the sound. The only person at the table that didn't jump was Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh. She only waved off the Lieutenant sitting next to her. Commander Fazehas was going to say something, but Rebecca waved him off as well as she shook off the pain in her ears.

    With a heavy sigh Rebecca nodded as her eyes looked down at the table, "My true name is Binti Wa Mvua Na Ya Wazi, Msafiri Juu Ya Anga. I have taken the human name of Rebecca Cairo Paxton." Her eyes didn't shift up from the table. The ringing in her ears was painful enough, but her physical state was clearly interfering with her ability to think straight. Instead she just looked down hoping that at any moment the door would hiss open and in would walk Captain Campbell saying all this was over.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh's voice was soft and kind as she spoke, "That is a lovely name, Lieutenant. Do you mind telling me what it means?"

    Rebecca looked up at the woman speaking to her and tilted her head in surprise, "It means, Daughter of the rain and of the plain, sister of the wind, traveler upon the sky" Rebecca finally said softly.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh nodded as she said, "that is lovely. Tell me Lieutenant. Can you please explain to me your relationship with Lieutenant Kira Medart?"

    Rebecca looked down as she spoke, "I didn't kill him" with a large degree of sadness in her voice. "Why can't you understand that."

    "Because you admitted to killing her," Lieutenant Lorenzo said forcefully correcting the use of him over her that Rebecca was doing. He also leaned forward raising his hand up once more. The motion caused Rebecca to flinch once more out of fear of the sharp sound that seemed to be coming. It was the objection of Commander Fazehas that halted the noise this time. Instead Lieutenant Lorenzo just stated, "brutal murders are not unknown to you, are they. I know a killer when I see one. Why don't you tell us about Cairo."

    "Cairo" Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh said waving her hand to call off Lieutenant Lorenzo's action. Her voice was prefect in leaving the impression that she didn't know what was being talked about. The true was that she knew all too well what happened in Cairo. Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh had studied Lieutenant Paxton's file in detail.

    Rebecca looked down and started to speak but was interrupted by her legal adviser, "You don't have to answer that question Lieutenant."

    Rebecca only shook off the warning and continued, "My middle name is Cairo. It was the city on Earth where my father was employed by the Federation Culture Council. It was the first city I had seen, I was born on a refugee ship. So this was all so new to me. I loved that city. My father worked at the New Cairo University. He taught Alien Cultural studies. When I was old enough, I attended too as an art student. I remember that night when it happened as if it happened only yesterday." Rebecca dropped her head and looked down at the table in defeat as the memory flooded her mind.

    "Our host family were remarkably kind to us. No one in the Federation or beyond had ever been as kind to us as they were. Sometimes I used to think that they must have been so special to welcome a strange family like us. They took us in and taught us so much. They had a son and daughter who was about my age. I grew up with them and we all studied art at the university together. The year that it happened, we had a rather hard week with finals. So that night we were out celebrating the end of our finals. I used to think that you humans celebrated for just about any reason. It was so fun. I never had Obelisk before. It is kind of like a wine but much more."

    "We were having such a good time, just the three of us and our bottles of Obelisk. I shouldn't have had so much to drink but I did. A man and woman came up to our table asking odd questions about me. At first the questioned didn't make any sense to me. But everyone was laughing at us. Ramla, the daughter of my host family suggested that we leave. I didn't understand why all this was happening. But I did as she suggested. We were getting up and walking towards the door when the woman waved a bone from her plate at me telling me to beg for it."

    A tear slipped from her eye as she continued her story. Even though the anger of the memory filled her heart, Rebecca couldn't hide the large degree of guilt in her voice as she continued, "I don't know why I turned around. Ramla begged me to stop, but I as so anger at this. I had been told that the Federation was different. That it didn't matter what you looked like. That everyone was accepted for who they were. They were all laughing at me. Someone even pulled on my tail, which made me even more anger." She looked up with tears in her eyes, "It just wasn't right." Rebecca looked down once more as she paused to collect her thoughts.

    After a few moments of silence Rebecca continued to tell her story, "I just wanted to tell that woman that her actions were hurtful. I just wanted to tell her that she was being disrespectful to me and my people. But everyone was laughing and she started to show me how to beg for that stupid bone." Along with the sense of guilt came a wave of anger over what happened as she gripped her fist. "I tried to speak to her but her stupid laughter and actions kept cutting me off. Everyone was laughing at me. So I turned to walk away but then she barked at me. I know what an Earth dog is. I am not an Earth dog!" she said with anger in her voice but more importantly to those watching were those tears of pain. The kind of pain that can only come from guilt and sadness.

    There was no hiding these emotions. "I don't know what happened next, I just snapped and attacked her. I leaped on her and forced her down on to her back and just kept hitting her. I guess my actions surprised everyone in the bar because everyone just stood there watching me beating that woman to death." Rebecca said lifting her hands and looking at them in shame.

    Rebecca paused as she took in a deep breath to regain her emotions. "The family of the woman I killed spoke in my defense at my trail. I was surprised as was many of my people. It was just something that didn't happen in my culture. By our customs, my father stood over me in judgment. The Council of the Republic wanted to show the Federation that we were just as civilized as any other culture. That this kind of behavior would not be tolerated. My father thanked the woman's family for their kind words. I remember how he looked down on me during that day. There was so much disappointment in his eyes. I don't know why I had had so much to drink that night. The flavor of that drink just tasted so good." She looked up once more, "I am not blaming the drink for my actions. I know they were my own."

    Once more her eyes dropped back to the table as she lowered her ears in sadness and continued, "after all that was done on my behalf, my father still sentenced me to a life of service within the Republican Guard. Here I would serve the Republic till my death in the line of duty or of old age. I will never be able to go back to the life I once had. No one in my culture would ever accept me for who I was. That life is over for me. I don't know why I killed that woman. I can't bring her back. So now I await my death so that my sins will be cleanses from my soul." Rebecca lifted her eyes as she showed the two Lieutenants across from her the burden of her soul. It was something that simply couldn't be faked.

    "Life aboard this ship is kind of like what you call parole for me. I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize this. If I get sent back to the Republican Guard because of something like this, I will be forced to endure what is called, The Death of Ten Thousand Stones."

    It was something that Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh knew. She had researched it before the meeting, but still Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh asked, "Could you explain what that is please?"

    Rebecca nodded, "its called, Haki Mara Mbili, which basically means double times justice. There are no repeat offenders within the M'bwa M'witu culture. If a person commits a crime they are sentenced to serve the Republic as part of the Republican Guard till that debt to the Republic is paid. If that person commits another crime during that sentence or the same crime again during the rest of their natural life time, they suffer the Haki Mara Mbili. A death sentence where the convicted is slowly crushed under ten thousand stones. Each stone is placed by the family of the victims as well as the family of the convicted. The act, by my cultural beliefs, cleanses the families of the sin that were forced upon them by the convicted. It allows the family to continue their life without the burden of those sins." She paused a moment, "I know that the Federation doesn't approve of this. But it doesn't change that this is what I will face if I am returned."

    Rebecca continued, "so trust me, the name says it all. I don't want to die, not like that" she said but it was not the full truth and Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh knew it. "I didn't kill Lieutenant Medart," she spoke with the full truth this time and again Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh knew that as well.

    Lieutenant Lorenzo laughed, "okay then, tell us where you were during the time of the murder" he said then pushed a PADD before her. On the PADD showed the time of death and the lack of data regarding Lieutenant Paxton whereabouts during that time.

    Rebecca looked down and only said, "I was out......" there was that pain once more as she trailed off her statement.

    It was clear that Lieutenant Lorenzo wasn't going to give up, "out where!?" he yelled at her while slamming his hand down on the table before anyone could react to it. This time, the slamming was with a much sharper sound causing Rebecca to flinch in pain. "Did you realize you were out of milk and decided to swing by the store and pick some up on the way home" he paused then yelled in a sharp voice "Where were you!?!" His yelling was filled with sharp vocal sounds that it was clearly having a painful effect on Rebecca as she flinched in pain.

    Commander Fazehas tried to intervene on Rebecca's behalf but her anger got the better of her. She couldn't hide the pain in her ears anymore as she looked up at him. "I was just out!" she yelled back as her anger took hold. "I was out. But I DIDN'T SEE MEDART! I DIDN'T KILL KIRA MEDART!" she yelled back. Rebecca tried to pull back but the pain was so intense in her ears.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh could sense that this was a truthfully statement that she was looking for. But she needed facts to support her gut feeling on this.

    Lieutenant Lorenzo was going to continue the yelling match with his hand raised again but Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh gently waved him off. "If you don't mind Lieutenant Paxton" she said bringing Rebecca's attention back to the table. Lieutenant Lorenzo just walked away from the table while the conversation continued. "Tell me something. You and Lieutenant Medart had this issue between each other. Can you tell me why you disliked her?"

    Rebecca made a serious effort to calm down. Her mind raced as she only offered one word, "him."

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh tilted her head to the side as she questioned the statement, "him?"

    "Your science is so much better than ours is," Rebecca said still trying to calm down. "I never denied this. Sometimes, I look at what the Federation can do with their technology. I have never seen anything like it. I remember the first time I saw a holodeck. I ran till I almost passed out trying to reach the end of it. There are those of my people who think that your Federation is almost God like. There are those who think you are the children of the Gods. The remarkable things you can do with your technology."

    She paused a moment then continued, "but Kira decided to do something that violated all of nature. HE change his sex. But the science can only change the outside. He smelled like a man in a woman's skin. He sounded like a man to me. He was a man to me, without question. At first I was so confused when I first met him. But then I became anger because my eyes told me one thing and my senses told me something else. It was so strange to me not to be able to trust one of my own senses. He was an abomination to nature."

    She paused a moment as she looked down once more. Rebecca hated to say those words but her ears were killing her and she just wanted all this to be over. It was the truth, regardless of if they wanted to hear it or not. "Yeah, we didn't get along. But it wasn't only because of this. I tried to work with him and tired to look past this horrible thing that he did to himself. I tried to understand why someone would do such a thing. But the more we talked, and the more we worked together I realized that he wasn't a leader. Everything about him was so fake. So I stopped trying to understand and just disliked him. I just couldn't respect him. No matter how much I tried, I couldn't respect him. Even his own people didn't respect him. We bumped heads a lot. We had some pretty ugly blow outs. He would talk like a woman but he is not a woman. It was just so unnatural." She explained and picked up the PADD.

    "Don't believe me, look it up. I spent time in your brig for each of those offenses. I am not ashamed to admit this. I am not proud of my actions either, but they are the truth" Rebecca said slid the PADD back towards Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh. As Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh scanned the PADD, Rebecca rubbed her ears and wishing the ringing would go away.

    Lieutenant Lorenzo moved towards the table, "I say we just get Commander V'rol in here and rip the truth from her mind in one of his mind melds." It was a threat that was meant to gain a reaction out of Lieutenant Paxton. Everyone in the room knew that the M'bwa M'witu had deep routed fears of telepaths. It was a race of telepaths that had enslaved the M'bwa M'witu when they were just coming out of the stone age. Because of this, telepaths were treated with great fear across the entire culture. Mind melds were not only forbidden by the M'bwa M'witu faith but by their laws as well. Such things were feared worse than death its self. Lieutenant Lorenzo's empty threat was used to summon up the fear within Lieutenant Paxton and the look across Rebecca's face confirmed the results. The M'bwa M'witu sitting across from them shuttered as if someone walked across her grave. It was a primal fear that nearly sent the woman in to panic.

    Once more Commander Fazehas tried to intervene but Rebecca cut him off as she proclaimed, "I said I didn't kill that.....person!" Rebecca half cried as the fear of a mind meld took hold. She had heard horror stories of these strange practices. "Please believe me" she begged Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh as Rebecca reached across the table almost as if pleading for her life. But it was more than just that. It was fear of that shadow race that no longer exists today, but only in the darkest parts of the M'bwa M'witu mind. Like a specter reaching its cold dead hand in to Rebecca and gripping her heart, Rebecca pleaded for her life, "PLEASE....."

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh reached out and took hold of Rebecca's hand as to reassure the Lieutenant that at least this woman was here to protect her from the man behind her. "I want too. I really do. But I have to know where you were during this time."

    Rebecca didn't withdraw her hand as she looked down. "Air lock six just off the flight deck" she said looking away in despair. "I......" she started and paused, "there is just so many people on this ship. I can't ever be alone anywhere. I have tried" she said as tears started to flow from her eyes. "I might get a moment here or there. But give it time. Soon I can hear them coming. There is just no where to be alone. To be silent. So I go out the airlock. I bypassed the security sensor with a small wire that is hidden in the panel next to the air lock."

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh continued to push deeper, "tell me what you were doing out there."

    Rebecca didn't want to answer but she glanced up at Lieutenant Lorenzo. She knew that this horrible man would force that telepathic nightmare on her if she didn't comply. All of her thoughts, her secrets, all that she was would be open for everyone to see. She would have no privacy anymore. Her fears, her hopes, her love would all be open and subject for all to judge her on. "I hook up a life line and I just float above the ship. Sometimes I think about just cutting the line and drifting a way in silence. But I always come back." She looked down, "I have spoken with Doctor Bell about this often. He can confirm what I am saying. During the time you are talking about I was out of the ship floating" she said in defeat.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh rose up from her chair with a nod, "thank you Lieutenant. We will confirm your information. In the meantime, it is important that you remain here till such a time that we can clear your name." Rebecca didn't say anymore as the trio rose up and left her alone once more. Rebecca just dropped her head on the table as she started to sob softly.
  10. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    On the hunt for a killer
    Office of the Chief of Security
    Deck 15, USS Thunderchild
    In Route for Deep Space Nine
    Stardate: 53836.27

    As Captain Campbell and Commander V'rol watched the monitor of Rebecca laying her head back down, Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh walked in to the Chief Security Office. "I will send Lieutenant Lorenzo to check her story with the air lock while I speak with Doctor Bell," the investigator explained while looking at her PADD for a moment before continuing, "A search of Lieutenant Paxton's quarters reveal more damning evidence. On the floor near the entrance to her lavatory were traces of Medart's blood in the carpeting. The blood traces were consistent with as if it had fallen off something. Prior to my meeting with the suspect, I personally over saw the search of Lieutenant Paxton's quarters. I conducted the search in such a way as to help element Lieutenant Paxton as a suspect. I was also able to eliminate Lieutenant Paxton's roommate as a suspect because she was in holodeck one with almost a dozen other officers and crewmen playing in a holo-novel during the time of the murder."

    She lowered her voice a bit as she continued to explain "Sir, might I be so bold" she spoke softly. After a moment to collect her thoughts, she voiced her concerns. "Sir, I suspect that the investigation is being misdirected, intentionally. I don't have any proof to this at this stage, however my instincts are telling me that this is all too clear of a closure. Paxton and Medart are known rivals. Paxton is known for her temper and the two have been known for their very explosive verbal conflicts. Maybe I am wrong but it just feel too neat and tidy. I know I can not ignore the evidence before us, nor can we account for Paxton's whereabouts during the time of the murder."

    She paused just long enough to gather her breath and her thoughts. "But it just doesn't feel right. I suggest that we continue with the official investigation publicly. But we should not make public any findings that indicate we are looking at other suspects." She paused a moment to allow them to think of what was said then added, "your thoughts Sir?"

    Captain Campbell wanted leap from his chair and call all of this off. But he knew better, instead he remained silent and allowed Commander V'rol to speak with a nod, "Lieutenant, continue your investigation as you deem necessary."

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh nodded, "Sir, I understand that I am new to the crew and I hope you don't consider me out of line for saying this. But I fear that there is something wrong with how the current security officers of this ship conduct themselves. It is as if....." she said softly but a beep on her PADD brought her to a pause. "This is interesting. The Science Department was able to piece together Lieutenant Medart's PADD." she said showing them a series of mathematical equations. "I am sorry but this is out of my field" she admitted but Commander V'rol knew what he was looking at.

    He nodded as he took the PADD and loaded it to a wall monitor. "Curious" he said looking over the equations. "These are Warp Field Equations" he explained as the two officers in the room listened. "There is a harmonics to these equations that would appear to be nothing more than background effects of our warp field as it existed near normal space. These kinds of harmonics are common. Or at least this is how it was meant to look. These harmonics here are too stable for them to be simple background effects," he said looking over the data that was offered by the Science Department.

    Commander V'rol continued as his looked over the finding that Medart had uncovered. "Lieutenant Medart had uncovered something in a matter of hours that our entire Science Division couldn't have seen without her help" he explained turning to Captain Campbell. "Someone had used a very advanced code to turn our warp field in to a very large and very powerful antenna."

    Captain Campbell slowly rose up from his chair, "okay, I understand what you are saying but how?"

    As Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh listened, Commander V'rol explained, "by using our warp field, someone would be able to send and receive messages without alerting anyone on the ship. The message traffic would appear as background harmonics to anyone taking notice. However these messages had to be sent while we were at warp for it to work. According to this, the harmonics was discovered and reported to Lieutenant Medart. I am suspecting that we are looking at our motive for killing Lieutenant Medart. She found the first solid evidence that the spy that Seona spoke of, is or at least was aboard our ship. Because of this, the spy had to murder Lieutenant Medart to keep her silent enough."

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh nodded, "During the course of our investigation, we were able to identify that Lieutenant Medart had placed a request to the computer for the location of the Captain. This was just an hour before her death. I don't suspect that she had a chance to meet with you, Sir" She said looking to Captain Campbell. She continued, "That request was made outside of the quarters of crewman Masaru Dragovic. It was our belief that he was the last one to speak with the Lieutenant before her death. We were able to discover that she sought crewman Dragovic down in his quarters after leaving her morning engineering meeting abruptly."

    She reached out for her PADD and Commander V'rol passed it back to her. "We found that he had placed a message to Lieutenant Medart in the middle of his overnight shift last night. That message was read before her morning meeting by Lieutenant Medart, and deleted from the mainframe by the lieutenant herself just after she walked out of the meeting. Crewman Dragovic is a warp field coil expert. When questioned by my team, he seem worried and nervous to speak to my team. During the time of Lieutenant Kira's death, he claimed that he was in his quarters with two of his roommates. We have confirmed his story and as such can eliminate him as a suspect."

    As she read her PADD, "he claimed that the message that was sent was only routine information. But this doesn't add up because Lieutenant Medart went to great lengths to remove the history of the message. We could only uncover the fact that something was sent to her, nothing more. The investigating officer was able to learn after Crewman Dragovic finally broken down was that he was hiding something. He had discovered the harmonics during his routine maintenance of the warp coils. When Lieutenant Medart spoke to him about the report, she asked him directly if anyone else knew about the report he sent her. He told her no, so she instructed him that he couldn't tell anyone about it till she had a chance to speak with the Captain. She made a point to inform him that he very well could be in danger."

    At this time, Captain Campbell finally spoke up, "Okay, so someone used our warp field to send or receive a message. Do we know what the message was or to who it was sent to?"

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh shook her head, "No I don't have that information at this time. Though this would be the most logical reason why she went to such lengths to remove his message to her. She suspected that there was a spy aboard. The very spy that you are speaking of. I will push my teams to uncover the nature of the message. I believe that this is the first step towards finding the real killer." On that she paused, "I also believe now, without any doubt, that Lieutenant Paxton is not our killer. As I said, the evidence against her is simply too neat and too prefect. To my own surprise, my team dug in to the sensor logs, there is no evidence of tampering."

    She paused a moment before continuing, "If Paxton's story checks out, and I suspect that it will, then this means that our killer has the knowledge to infiltrate our systems without our being able to detect such tampering. To protect Lieutenant Paxton from the killer, I suggest that we act as if we still suspect her as the killer. This should ensure that the killer makes no move against her or against the steps he or she took to frame Lieutenant Paxton."

    Commander V'rol nodded, "sir, I do not suspect that the killer is aboard our ship any more. I suspect that the killer is a member of the Admiral's staff. With your permission, I would like to contact someone in his staff and inform him of what we have found here. I believe that we can trust this person." V'rol knew who he wanted to speak to but decided that it was best not to surrender this information at first.

    "Who is this person you wish to contact" Captain Campbell ask while half assuming it was Captain Phillips. Phillips was a good man and trained by Starfleet Intelligence. Who better than to help find this spy that had turned to being a killer.

    "Captain Vakath is the person I suspect that we can trust in the Admiral's staff" Commander V'rol said not wanting to reveal more.

    Captain Campbell looked at V'rol with almost a shocked look on his face, "Not Captain Phillips?"

    "No Sir," Commander V'rol added. The Captain's close friendship with Captain Phillips was well known. However it was clear that the Captain would not be satisfied unless he told the captain everything, "I suspect that Captain Phillips is our spy and murderer."

    "You have to be joking" Captain Campbell snapped as he waved Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh out of the room. "Conduct your investigation Lieutenant" he tossed, excusing her so that he and V'rol could continue this conversation in private.

    "Sir" Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh said as she smartly turned and walked out of the room.

    Commander V'rol stood his ground as he waited for Captain Campbell to challenge his logic. He wouldn't have to wait for long. "Commander V'rol," Captain Campbell said softly as he found a chair. There was anger in his voice at the thought that his friend, his close friend could be a murderer or even a spy. "We hardly know each other. What a few weeks. Maybe even less. So I don't suspect that you understand how much I put in to friendship. Loyalty to me is, paramount to everything." He said leaning forward in his chair. He couldn't believe that Phillips was a spy let alone a murderer. "God what am I about to say" he said softly.

    "Captain" Commander V'rol managed to get out before Campbell waved him to silence.

    "I am also not a fool" Jackson said as he set back up and leaned back in his chair. "Place your communication, Number One," Jackson added as he looked up. "God I hope you are wrong."

    Commander V'rol nodded, "Yes Sir" and started to walk out of the office.

    Captain Campbell looked back to V'rol as he was walking out of the office, "What is our ETA to Deep Space Nine?"

    "We will be arriving in just over twenty eight hours, Sir" Commander said calmly as he waited by the door.

    Captain Campbell nodded as he turned in his chair. 'Twenty eight hours' he thought with disappointment. "Thank you Commander, I need to be alone right now," Jackson said as he pondered how much could go wrong in twenty eight hours. "Oh, Commander forward everything we know of Seona to Deep Space Nine Command along with our ETA. Lets make sure they have everything we have" he said then paused. "Wait" stopping the Vulcan at the door once more, "No not everything, Commander. Only what they need to know. Lets keep her genetic history a secret for now."

    Commander V'rol nodded, "I will use discretion Sir"

    Captain Campbell nodded, "thank you Number One." On that note Commander V'rol left the security officer. Captain Campbell set there in a chair leaning his head back. His thoughts drifting back to the years that he and Captain Phillips had known each other. He searched his mind trying to find any clue that he might have over looked that would have warned him that Phillips was a spy or capable of being a cold blooded murderer. No matter how much he tried, he just could find anything that might suggest such a person existed in Phillips. Phillips had never really had any sense at commanding, but he was a fine officer. Loyal to the Federation and a trusted friend. He remembered how Phillips on a number of times went beyond the call of duty to help save people during the war.

    Despite the higher than average combat losses the Fourth Fleet suffered during the war, they were always loyal to each other. Captain Phillips worked in the shadows with his friends from Starfleet Intelligence while he and Admiral Tate fought evil on the battlefields. He remembered the adventures that the three of them shared across the Federation during the war. Together, he and Phillips rode Admiral Tate's raising star. They were like brothers, like family. 'How could Phillips be a traitor' he questioned himself.

    He reached over and picked up his PADD and with a heavy sigh, he ran over a long list of officer candidates. He still needed a Chief Medical Officer, a Chief of Operations, A replacement for V'rol in security, and now, he had to fill another critical post on his ship. He couldn't understand how such a remarkable ship found it so hard to recruit strong officers. Then again, he had fine officers already aboard. Maybe he would just promote those officers. He typed on his PADD, 'look in to possibly promoting Lieutenant T'Lora and Lieutenant Tina Jacobson for Senior Staff positions.'

    He got up from the chair and walked over to the large monitor on the wall. It showed Paxton still in the interrogation room. She was laying with her head down on the table still. He couldn't be sure but it appeared that she had passed out right there in the interrogation room. He shook his head as he looked at her. He didn't know what was worse, if she was the murderer or if Phillips was. He knew both of them better than anyone on this ship. Phillips had spent most of the past three years working in the shadowy world of spies. She on the other hand had a nasty temper that had more than once got her in to trouble. He titled his head a bit as his eyes carefully went over her features. "No" he muttered as he looked at her. She didn't have a temper, it was just in how she talked and treated everyone around her.

    He recalled the first time she had come aboard. It was just after the fall of Deep Space Nine to the Dominion. The war had taken a very ugly turn against the Federation and new recruits were being brought aboard. Captain Hoffman had requested the new recruits to replace combat losses among the ship's marine detachment. Back then he was just a young Operation's Officer and she was more or less cannon fodder. He was standing there along with Captain Evelyn Hoffman and Executive Officer, Commander Zdenko watching the new recruits walking off of the shuttle. It was clear that even in this war, the Federation was changing. "Its about time we got more fodder" Captain Campbell remembered Commander Zdenko's comments as these new soldiers were crossing the large shuttle bay.

    There were about sixty in the group of mixed alien and human soldiers but he could only see one of them. The phrase bright eyed and bushy tailed was not lost on her as she crossed the deck. Her combat uniform and her large rifle was almost misplaced with her eyes. Despite her appearance and disposition, Jackson could remember the look in her eyes. Behind that hard exterior beat the heart of a artist and he could see it. Sure she wanted the rest of them to see that she was a harden warrior and killer. But deep down Jackson saw something completely different in her.

    It would take him months of getting to know her to learn the truth of who she really was. But it was a journey so worth the effort. He saw how soft and beautiful she really was. Back on that shuttle deck, it was her bright blue eyes caught his attention and ignited a passion in him that the never thought possible. Of those sixty, she was the only one to survive the war. And much to his own effort, he looked out for her behind the scenes. Sure Captain Hoffman knew the truth, but she didn't say anything. Beyond that, there were only rumors that were whispered. And he made sure that she would be protected from those rumors. More Flankers would come aboard but she would out live them all. Captain Campbell looked at her with a heavy heart as he placed his hand on the monitor.

    "You have come a long way" he whispered softly to her, "but I can't help you right now." He wanted nothing more than to go to her and tell her everything was going to be alright. But he knew he couldn't, he knew that she would stand alone. Just like she had in the past, just like the rest of the Flanker Platoon that she once was a part of. He wasn't allowed to show her any favoritism back then. He was able to slip around that back then. But today there was no avoiding that. He was no longer just an operations officer, everything had changed since then.

    He took in a deep breath as he looked at her. Her fur was still covered with the dark dirty patches of the fire. He often wondered why she kept pushing herself as hard as she did. Even for as much as he knew her, this was a mystery to him. He would never know. For that door was closed and locked behind him. He had changed, his place in Starfleet had changed. Yet she hadn't.

    She was still a criminal serving time for a cold blooded murder. He watched her with her head down on the table. He watched her for a moment longer with his hand on the monitor. He wanted so much to take her from this place, but he knew he couldn't. Instead he reached over and turned off the monitor. He finally let out the breath that he had been holding as he turned and walked out of the office.
  11. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Contributor: NinjaPanda127 (as Ensign Lylliana Skytower)

    Run in with that Devil
    Deck 5, Section 8
    USS Thunderchild, NCC 63549
    Enroute: Bajoran system's Denorios belt
    ETA: 2 Hours
    Stardate: 53839.17
    Sunday, Feb 20, 2377, 2135

    Lylliana lay upon her bottom bunk, nestled in the shadows cast by the above bunk. The cabin she shared with three other room mates was dimly lit, providing just enough light so she didn't strain her eyes whilst fiddling with her PADD. She was watching a letter from a former classmate talk about her experience on another ship. Life aboard the Thunderchild was in sharp contrast to life aboard any other Starfleet ship. Even those aboard freighters had more living space then she did. It wasn't like she considered the author a friend or even sought the letter, but it came anyway. Reading it seemed almost like having it rubbed in her face. This ship was just so cramped for space and Lylliana couldn't stand having to be so close to others.

    Without warning, Ja'nell walked in. Lylliana looked over mildly at the noise of the door hissing opening and then closing behind the foot falls of her room mate. Ja'nell was one of Lylliana three roommates. Another ensign like herself, Ja'nell carried herself like a modern day prom queen with her long legs and unrealistic long blond hair. In description, Ja'nell was the prefect image of beauty and Lylliana hated it. Ja'nell walked in stretching while taking her uniform jacket off as she walked over to a small dresser that belonged to her. With a hand running through her hair, she whipped her long blond hair as if performing for a room full of camera. Lylliana rolled her eyes at the act of self appreciation as Ja'nell was clearly admiring herself in her own mirror.

    "At it again are we? " Ja'nell giggled, referring to Lylliana almost always having her nose stuck in her PADD, especially as of late. "You know, you'll never get a hot guy that way." Ja'nell pulled out a dress more fitting on Risa than a starship from her small dresser. She continued speaking as she turned about facing Lylliana's bunk while removing her clothes, "You should really go out to the Lounge more often." Lylliana obviously not keeping tabs on the conversation. "Do you know how many single, and should I mention simply gorgeous Flight Crewmen there are!?" Ja'nell's voice fluttered on, fanning herself while standing there in her under garments. "You could surely find yourself a date or two there..."

    Ja'nell hopped into Lylliana's bunk, she slowly pulled up white stockings up one of her long legs. "They love this" she said softly as she ran her hand over the stocking to make sure that it was smooth while she acted as if she was daydreaming. Ja'nell looked over at Lylliana just laying there beneath the soft glow of her PADD and furrowed her brow, "LYLLI!"

    Lylliana jumped, almost hitting her head on the top bunk as she went to sit up, "WHAT!?" she turned, rolling on her side to face Ja'nell and paid attention to the conversation so Ja'nell would stop bugging her.

    "Did you not hear me? You need to get out there!" Ja'nell scoffed, aggravated as she bent over, resting her chin in the palm of her hand as her elbow came to rest on her knee, a dreamy look coming over her face. Lylliana knew that look well, and tried to keep the grimace off her face, as Ja'nell let out an audible sigh, "I mean, if you don't get out there, how are you going to get noticed. Like me? " Ja'nell looked over at Lylliana

    Lylliana knew all too well how Ja'nell was noticed by the entire crew. Ja'nell wasn't aboard more than twenty four hours before she found her first party and earned herself the nickname 'Party Girl.' A fact that didn't really bother Lylliana that much, but what bothered her was Ja'nell's need to teach Lylliana how to be just like her. Ja'nell would say, 'how do you expect to be a Recreations Officer if you don't know how to have a good time.' Being a member of the Science Division, Ja'nell had it all, brains, looks and popularity.

    Ja'nell continued with her eyes glossed over as she spoke, "Commander Bonham was so dreamy today. Can you believe he handed me a tray today!?" Ja'nell swooned, falling back across Lylliana's legs as she laid back, "He turned to me in the lounge, and offered it to me, allowing me to get something to eat first." Ja'nell giggled, "He must have been going out to the Flight Deck or something.."

    Lylliana looked at her roommate and shook her head, "really Ja'nell. He is the CAG on the Flight Deck... I'm sure he's out there everyday. And you do look like you are starving. He was probably thinking," does her best mimic of Commander Bonham, "Better let this chick eat, she might waste away, shes so thin.. "

    Ja'nell rolled over and scowled at Lylliana, "Don't make fun of my future husband like that!" She rolled over on to her side and looked at Lylliana, "I mean think about it. He and I together." She rolled back over on to her back and fanned herself with her hand. "I am in love" she added.

    Lylliana rolled her eyes as she pushed the star struck ensign off of her legs, "more like lust" she said trying to kick her blank off of her. "Anyway, he has a girlfriend and I don't think Klingons take to having their mates taken from them."

    Ja'nell set back up putting her other stocking on, "oh that can't last. What does a Klingon know of real love. She is just" she said as she ran her hands over her other stocking ensuring that it was smooth.

    "You are impossible," Lylliana said as she rolled over and flipped her feet to the floor and standing up adjusting her clothes. She had just as much as she could handle from the partly dressed star struck ensign.

    Ja'nell stood up as well, "Where are you going?"

    Lylliana sighed, grabbing her PADD and her uniform jacket that was resting on the back of a chair near the door, "Going to find your future husband and ask him to stuff a sock in your mouth" Ja'nell huffed and was about to protest, but Lylliana escaped before she could say a word. Stepping out in to the corridor, Lylliana called out, "Computer, Locate Commander Bonham please." She paused her motion as she waited for the computer to reply. Using this time, she secured her jacket and ensured that her uniform was prefect.

    The computer chimed and the electronic female voice came on, "Commander Bonham can be found in the Flight Multipurpose Room, Located on Deck 13."

    Lylliana took a deep breath and walked for the nearest lift that would take her down to Deck 13 and to the Commander. She had been browsing through some of the computer logs and personnel files she had fond on the Commander. She had found that Commander Bonham had actually been part of a band that had played here on the USS Thunderchild. She couldn't help but sigh as she noted that he was the lead singer of the band which played a version of metal from Earth's history. While she might not like the musical selection, she wondered if he could be useful for the Ice Cream Social event Lieutenant Noonia and her had been working on.

    It wasn't a bad idea because even she noted the sharp divide between the Engineering and Flight Divisions. Lieutenant Noonia had approached her with the idea of a social event. What was born out of that conversation was for a large social gathering for the crew to get to know each other. She still wasn't so sure about her posting aboard this ship as a Recreations Officer. After all, her field of study was in mathematics and physics. When she got her posting assignment to this ship, she almost laughed thinking it was just a joke. But it wasn't a joke and now she couldn't figure out why she was here. But she was here and her first major event was already being worked out.

    She had most of the particulars done, and had told Noonia to leave it to her. Perhaps the commander could sing some songs, or they could sit and pre-record some tunes to set the mood and have them playing during the event. She sighed, running her hand through her hair, lost in her own little world as she passed some other crew members that nodded or waved to her in passing. She had even passed Ensign Townsend who gave her a half smile and a friendly wave. He tried to keep pace with her for a bit as it seemed he was done with his shift for the day.

    "So I was thinking, you know, how about getting something to eat down in the Lounge?" he asked softly.

    "Ensign Townsend," she came to a stop and turned to face him. "I do apologize, but I have a meeting with Commander Bonham to discuss some particulars of a mission and I really need to get there and think on these matters without distraction" she lied. She knew that Townsend was attracted to her, but she just didn't feel the same way about him. With that defeated look on his face he nodded and executed a smart retreat. Lylliana sighed and turned to continue her course. She had tried to be short and discreet with him, seeing that he had taken it roughly and her delivery was less than kind. Lylliana shook her head.

    She couldn't think on the matter of Townsend, not right now anyways. One thing Commander Bonham had said to her that day in the Lounge had stuck with her, He had her assignment changed to the Thunderchild. Why? She couldn't wrap her head around it, and of all places, why as a Recreations officer? Of all the things that she knew she could be capable of. Why assign her as a Recreations officer. She was determined to find out those answers.

    She arrived at the multipurpose room before she realized it. She wasn't completely sure what a multipurpose room was but her mind didn't give that much thought. She stood there facing a rather large set of double doors with bold letters claiming Authorized Personnel Only Lylliana lifted her hand to knock and as soon as she had, two deck hands stepped out in a jovial manner, discussing something funny as they almost ran into her.

    "Oh!? Well hello there cutie..." the brown haired male addressed her. Both crewmen were checking her out with smiles on their faces. Their behavior was not crud by any standard, just not what Lylliana appreciated.

    Lylliana couldn't help herself, her eyes narrowing in annoyance at being called cutie. "Check your selves, crewmen" she snapped causing both of them to snap to attention. After all, Lylliana was an officer and they were enlisted. Still, she knew that Ja'nell would have rolled across the deck at the statement like a cat given catnip over the comment. She on the other hand was not amused. "I am looking for Commander Bonham..." she said flatly, and in a somewhat demanding tone that clearly communicated that she didn't care for whatever philandering he had in mind.

    The other male, also dark haired, leaned over jabbing his friend in his side with his elbow whispering into his ear with a chuckle, the two of them nodding to each other. Lylliana raised an eyebrow, watching the two of them converse for a moment before turning to her, "Yeah, sure." The first crewman said, "Commander Bonham is just inside around the corner or so. You can't miss him. Just go past the row of lockers and he's in his, um,"

    "Office...." the other deck hand added as both men smiled, almost too nicely. "Here, ma'am, let me get the door for you" he said as he entered a code on the door lock. Within seconds the large double door opened.

    Lylliana nodded, "Thank gentlemen" she said walking pass them while rolling her eyes, Perverts...

    Lylliana sighed walking into the large room that resembled a common locker room. She searched the rows of lockers and heard voices from somewhere deeper in to the room. "So this is a multipurpose room" she questioned as she walked down a row of lockers. "It looks a lot like just a regular locker room" she said as she looked around almost surprised that it wasn't just called a locker room. She turned the final row of lockers following the two crewman's directions and froze in her tracks. Her eyes grew wide with horror as she finally realized what else was located with a locker room. Before her was a large open space with a number of shower pedestals littered the center of the space. Showers that were currently being used by members of the Flight Crew.

    Before her eyes in completely different stages of wash were squadrons of men and women naked in the showers. Lylliana froze where she stood for a moment, her only salvation was the fact that no one had noticed her yet. 'Keep silent, Lylliana and just back up' she begged herself. Moving slowly she covered her eyes with her PADD as she back up slowly. Her silent retreat was cut off when she hit something firm behind her. Lylliana fought back the terror as she knew what just happened.

    "HOWDY LADIES AND GENTS! IT LOOKS LIKE WE'VE GOT OURSELVES A LOST LITTLE MOUSE!" she heard yelling out loudly in a western style of speech.

    The shouting draw in the attention of the entire shower area to a flush faced Lylliana. Lylliana couldn't help herself, 'Oh gods why?' she thought.
  12. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Contributor: NinjaPanda127 (as Ensign Lylliana Skytower)

    Run in with that Devil (Part Two)
    Deck 13, Section 1
    USS Thunderchild, NCC 63549
    Enroute: Bajoran system's Denorios belt
    ETA: 2 Hours
    Stardate: 53839.17
    Sunday, Feb 20, 2377, 2135

    Within seconds, the laughter filled the area at the comment made behind her. As Lylliana turned around she saw that her retreat had been cut off my Lieutenant Paula K. Pander. Lieutenant Pander only had a freshly wet towel slung over her shoulder and wore a black cowgirl hat. Without warning Lieutenant Pander slide up closer to Lylliana as she pulled the towel off. With a wide sweep, she tossed one end of her towel around Lylliana and took hold of it on the other side. The act trapped a horrified Lylliana, who could only just pray that the moment or her life would just end. She heard Pander's laughing voice from the other side of her PADD saying, "Oh I caught me a wee little mouse in the showers."

    Before Lylliana realized it, a long tail snaked its way over her shoulder almost as if tapping her shoulder to get her attention. At the same time, it's owner, Lieutenant Etxeharria, got Lylliana's attention from the opposite side as the Caitian ran her hand in Lylliana's hair. Purring as she spoke from the other side, "I love little lost mice." Lylliana's face grew even redder with embarrassment as Lieutenant Etxebarria stood along side her while Pander held her trapped with that towel. Both seasoned pilots must had just exited the showers a few moments before Lylliana's arrival.

    Lylliana stood there frozen her mind not completely sure how to react to the situation or the bare reality of what was going on around her. Her eyes some what wide, as she scanned about the room. She tried to avert her eyes so she wouldn't look directly at anyone. But to her horror, she really had no where to turn. She heard that country bumpkin voice of Pander and the playful puff from Lieutenant Etxeharria in hear ear. She didn't listen to the joke that they made about a mice trapped in a maze. She didn't even care as she tried to cover her eyes. As a shiver ran down her spine while she was feeling very uncomfortable around these two ladies.

    It was clear that the two pilots had playful thoughts in their minds as they continued to stoke Lylliana's embarrassment. But what ever those thoughts were, they were cut short by a ruthless towel snap from somewhere behind. The unexpected attack caused the Caitian to leap up from the surprise as Ensign Étaín Noguerra walked up from the shower area. Lylliana jumped at the sound of the towel snapping, and cracking the air like a whip.

    It was clear that Étaín had just walked from the shower area. She called out almost laughing to the pair of mischief makers, "leave her be, you two." Étaín coiled her towel as she readied for another attack. Caught out flanked, the two lieutenants shifted around Lylliana as they prepared to defend themselves. Lylliana quickly found herself free from the towel entrapment.

    Lylliana looked up to see and hear a familiar sound. It was a voice from home as Ensign Noguerra walked up dripping of water. 'Of course! she was just in the shower,' Lylliana thought as she tried to look at the floor. Her eyes searched for anything to hold her attention.

    As if this couldn't possible get worse, Lylliana heard from down the showers, "Hey the CAG got the Rec Officer to pay us a personal visit." Someone else yelled out, "How about a song and dance!?" The jokes broke up the playful fight as everyone started to laugh.

    While still holding her PADD to block most of the sights around her, Lylliana noticed the large tattoo on Lieutenant Pander's back. It covered nearly Pander's entire back and was of a large humanoid female rabbit holding a old style phaser in one hand and tossing a pair of dice in the air with the other hand. The entire tattoo was made up of mirror images of the same female rabbit but one was fully colored while the other was only black. Also each of two pilots before Lylliana had matching tattoos on their right shoulder. Lylliana figured that this tattoo had to be a symbol for the unit.

    In the center of this unit tattoo was a black skull and under that skull was a pair of crossed bones. That was the known logo of the Jolly Rogers Squadron. Above the tattoo were the downward curved letters of VF-84 Jolly Rogers. Under the tattoo were different names. On Panders Tattoo, the name Lucky was shown. On Lieutenant Etxeharria's tattoo was the name of Princess. Lylliana couldn't see Étaín's right shoulder but assumed that she had one as well. Thanks to Étaín's intervention, their game with the little mouse was over. The pair of seasoned pilots turned and started to walk down the row of lockers away from a very grateful Lylliana.

    Étaín continued to walk towards Lylliana till she was right up on her. However just as Ensign Noguerra was about to walk passed Lylliana she said, "Hey! You are..." she said as she got a closer look at Lylliana. Étaín reached up and pulled Lylliana's PADD down from obscuring Lylliana's vision. Within that moment she added, "Lylliana Skytower. From Edinburgh, right?" Étaín said pushing the PADD down further so that Lylliana's face was no longer obstructed. "Remember me? I am Étaín, Étaín Noguerra" she added, "we were on the same shuttle for San Francisco to Utopia. I seat next to you the whole trip. I didn't know you were going to be assigned here!"

    Lylliana's eyes followed her PADD as it moved downward, and kept her attention locked on to it. 'Oh I never notice, this PADD was made on Vulcan' she thought trying to keep her mind off the bodies around her even while Noguerra spoke to her. "... Ye... yeah.... that's..." Lylliana cleared her throat a bit. She started to trying to regain her composure. Keeping her eyes from looking up, lest she see something more, "Yes, well.. uhm. Neither did I." Lylliana's eyes shifted here and there as she spoke. Her eyes would search the area from her PADD, to her shoes, to the floor, to the corners where the walls met the floor and so on. She tried to keep looking away, shifting uneasily on her feet, "But, uh... Ensign Skytower here to see Commander Bonham..."

    Lylliana's eyes shifted up to Noquerra's face making a point to move in such a way to avoid other areas of the pilot's body. 'wow! They really clean those ceilings good down here' she thought while clearing her throat once more. "He.. is uh...he is here. Isn't he..?" 'Oh god, just tell me where his office is so I can get out of here,' she begged fate to lead her from this situation.

    There was laughter as Lieutenants Pander and Etxeharria peeking from a set of nearby lockers. Lylliana heard them doing something but wasn't about to glance back there. Lieutenant Etxeharria mentioned as she closed a locker door, "if our little mouse would like to come play. We are going to the Halo Deck for drinks." Lylliana had heard the stories about the Halo Deck. It was an exclusive place on the ship that the Flight Ops personnel had created for their own. The Halo Deck was normally a place only used by Flight Ops, the only place on the entire ship where one could get normal alcoholic drinks. Rumors had it that even the Captain had taken to throwing a few back on the Halo Deck.

    However it was the stern voice of Lieutenant Ferrer that brought that idea to a close. He walked in to sight with a towel over his shoulder and spoke with a deep harsh voice. "I don't think so ladies," Lieutenant Ferrer said. Lylliana knew the second in command of Flight Operations well and now she knew more of him than she had ever wished for. "Sixteen hours in a simulated training mission and you two still want to go out and party?" he said waking up as he put his towel over his head and started to dry his hair.

    Both Pander and Etxeharria's eyes lit up as if they had a real chance to get over to the Halo Deck for some drink. Lieutenant Ferrer put all those hope to rest before either pilot could answer.

    "No!" he commanded as the two pilots pouted. "We have a Oh five thirty preflight mission briefing," he explained. "Reaper wants to make sure that everyone is up to speed before we are wheels up" he added.

    Lieutenant Etxeharria's made this childish like pouting face as she moved her curled up hands over her eyes as if she was crying. Her head tilted to the side for added effect while Lylliana just rolled her eyes and thought, 'Ja'nell would fit right in here.'

    Lieutenant Pander moved her hands on to Etxeharria's shoulders as if to comfort a child while the Caitian said "all training and briefings makes for a sad kitty" while trying to hold back a smile. Pander only nodded with a pathetic look on her face as she looked at Lieutenant Ferrer while her wingman seemed oh so sad.

    For his credit, Lieutenant Ferrer wasn't having any of it, "Lucky you are a bad influence on her. Both of you! finish getting dress and then go get some sleep" he ordered pointing for the exit. "Oh and to make sure you two aren't otherwise temped, I spoke with the deck boys, they know you two aren't allowed in the Halo Deck tonight." he advised.

    It was Pander who spoke up at this dark plot against their night time exploits, "Ya' know sheriff," she said with her thick western accent, "there ain't a watering hole in these here parts that you can keep us out of." On that and before Lieutenant Ferrer blew his top, the two pilots laughed as they made their hasty departure down the rows of locker. Just before they vanished from sight, both turned and stuck out their tongues playfully at Lieutenant Ferrer.

    While this was going on, Ensign Noguerra smiled over to Lylliana as she moved in closer to whisper, "don't worry about all of this. It is a lot, but you get used to it" she said with a reassuring nod. There was something that Lylliana couldn't help but notice on Noguerra's shoulder. It was the fresh tattoo on her right shoulder. Lylliana assumption that every member of the Jolly Rogers had similar tattoo was confirmed. Under Étaín's tattoo was the name 'Styx'. Lylliana could only assume that that was her call sign within the unit.

    Lieutenant Ferrer only smiled as he rolled his eyes and turned to the pair of Ensigns left standing around him. "You are out of place Ensign Skytower. You are not allowed to be in here during this time."

    Étaín held up her hand, "don't get mad at her, Blaze. It was just a mistake." With a nod from the Lieutenant as he motioned with his fist and out stretched thumb over his shoulder, Noguerra turned back to Lylliana, "catch you around, I have to going." On that note, Ensign Noguerra rushed to catch up with the other two pilots.

    Lylliana watched Étaín rush down the row of lockers from the tip tops of her eyes while trying to avoid eye contact at all costs. She didn't look up still trying to get a hold of her embarrassment, "I am sorry Sir, I didn't know. I was just looking for Commander Bonham and was told his office was here somewhere."

    He laughed at the statement, "well kid, you are kind of in the right place. Just wrong time." He motioned her to follow him. Lylliana gave a sigh of defeat as she had little choice but follow the lieutenant. He walked back towards the showers, "Okay Ladies and Gentlemen, seeing how we all have time to crack jokes. Lets get on with our night" he bellowed out loudly. Lylliana looked down as she continued to listen to what the man commanded, "Lets move it! Get your selves rinsed up and clear this area." Within moment pilots started rushing out of the shower area like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

    Lylliana kept looking down at her pad as she heard pilots moving around her. 'I am not looking up' she thought as she heard the Lieutenant move before her.

    She looked up just in time to hear him say, "Commander Bonham is down there, get moving Ensign. Don't keep the man waiting" he motioned down a row of shower pedestals.

    Lylliana blinked a few times, having more bare bodies run past her than she had seen in.... well pretty much ever. She tried to keep to herself, holding her PADD to her face now. Trying to, well do anything that would block out the images of everything she just saw. 'This will take some serious therapy' she thought as she fought the reddish color on her face. But it was when she heard Lieutenant Ferret's words, she felt doom looming over head. She gave a quiet nod as she walked down the row like a death row inmate who had just accepted their fate.

    She sighed, feeling completely miserable now. She brought her PADD down from her face, and looked up to the ceiling as she walked down a ways. She stopped before coming to the last pedestal. It was one of the very few still being used. Lylliana fixed her appearance, straightening her jacket and her pants, pushing her hair from her face and composing herself. If she was going to have to do this, she might as well maintain what dignity she had left.

    There was no confidence in her voice as she called out, "Commander Bonham, I needed to speak with you about... " as she came to a abrupt stop as he stepped from around the shower. She had figured that he wouldn't be any different than the others that she had seen already. But she try to holout hope that something could have changed. Her eyes widened once more, and it became painfully obvious she was not in her element.

    Commander Bonham stood at a shower station seemingly attempting to enjoy a long hot shower. Steam rose up around him only adding to Lylliana's feeling of being uncomfortable. His hands worked soap in to his short cut high and tight blond hair. Like any member of the Starfleet he was in very good physical condition.

    Despite attempting to look away, she couldn't help but notice the burns across the back of his body. She had heard the rumors about these wounds. From what she had heard, he suffered them during the battle of CMO-26 and he was proud of them. This was her opportunity to witness these wounds, first hand. The burns covered must of his upper back and arms. She didn't want to stare at them but she couldn't help herself. It was if she could see the flames working their way up his back as she followed them towards the base of his neck. 'It must of have been a living hell' she thought thinking of how painful getting those burns on his body had to be.

    The next thing that stood out, and almost caused her to stare, was his well conditioned body. Lylliana knew that Flight Ops ran their own physical fitness program separate from the rest of the ship. This was largely due to the fact that most of the Deck Hands were marines who wanted to move up from infantry. Those marines brought with them a more intense physical training program that was of a much higher standards then that of Starfleet's own standards. Even some of the security section conducted physical training with Flight Ops as did all of the marines from the tactical teams.

    "Is that Ensign Skytower" he asked as he started to rinse the soap out of his hair and off his face. She noticed the same tattoo on his right arm as the other members of the Jolly Rogers. His nickname on his tattoo was 'Reaper'. Luckily for Lylliana, the center post of the shower station allowed just enough to the imagination. He added as he tried to get the soap out of his hair, "what can I do for you ensign" as the soapy water washed down over his face forcing his eyes to be closed.

    Lylliana stood there, mouth slightly agape, as her eyes scanned over his figure. Not once, well at least ever since early science biology days, had she ever seen the human figure like this. Even then, it was only in pictures and nothing with his physic. She couldn't shake the image of a leather and armored clad Scandinavian deity when she looked at him. She kinda got lost staring until his question shook her from her stupor.

    Lylliana blinked a few times, coming back to reality having to shake her head a bit to clear her thoughts. She tried to look down at her PADD, to remembered, 'What did i come here for?' she brought her hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose and gently apply pressure as though she was trying to push the images of the commander from her minds eye. She cleared her throat.

    "Uhm, yes... well.. " her hand covered half her face as her eyes shut tight at this point while shaking her head, "I was told you were in your office.." she spoke up. Now realizing what the two deck hands were chuckling about when they directed her in. 'Damn perverts,' she thought coldly about them.

    She opened her eyes once more to look at him, as he continued to wash. Okay, she could see what Ja'nell was getting at, he was sort of dreamy. A smile came to her lips as she stood there silently, before the Commander made a noise clearing his throat. Lylliana jumped a little, getting out of her little day dream trance and turned around finding him way to distracting to concentrate. 'Curse you Ja'nell!'

    She lifted her PADD up, opening a simple personnel file on Commander Bonham, "Uhm, anyways. I had seen on your personnel file and on some other ship records that you sang in a band." she tapped through a few more files, multiple images and video recordings opening and closing as she busied away to pull up the information on the ice cream social event, "I was hoping I could talk to you about that and a few other things if you had a moment to spare..."
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  13. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Contributor: NinjaPanda127 (as Ensign Lylliana Skytower)

    Run in with that Devil (Part Three)
    Deck 13, Section 1
    USS Thunderchild, NCC 63549
    Enroute: Bajoran system's Denorios belt
    ETA: 2 Hours
    Stardate: 53839.17
    Sunday, Feb 20, 2377, 2135

    Commander Bonham smiled as he noticed the young Ensign blushing while she would peak at him from the corner of her eyes. Despite the fact that his heart belonged to someone else and he wouldn't it, he still enjoyed the simple fact that women found him desirable. He didn't bother trying to interrupt Lylliana as she clearly was struggling to keep her thoughts about what she was doing here. 'Opps there she is again peaking' he grinned as he thought. It was endearing in a way as she kept trying to look away only to look back at him. It kind of made him feel young again and he liked it.

    'You old dog, she could be your younger sister' he chastised himself getting the thoughts of her out of his mind. He couldn't deny that she was an attractive woman. There was this way that the steam from the showers seem to give her skin that slippery look. It only tempted his imagination even more. He put his head in the flow of the water to force his attention to divert from her. 'Get a grip you old dog. After all, that could never be.' he continued to think. It would be the last time he would think of her in that light during this conversation. After all his heart was spoken for and all of the Dominion couldn't keep them apart. Not now anymore. Once this crisis was over they would be together and this ship would be nothing more than a series of painful memories.

    He finally had the heart to save her from her own embarrassment. "Time, Ensign" he said softly as he continued his shower. "You have excellent timing. It would appear that you have caught me with no room to escape," he joked as he held his smile. "So for the time being I am all yours" he said as he added some more soap to his sponge.

    She rolled her eyes, "ah yes...lucky me... " she mumbled half to herself. She turned about holding up her PADD with his file on it. This way she wouldn't have to watch him shower. "Well anyway, it says here you played a concert for the crew members before."

    "Yes I have, Ensign. We set up a moral concert in what used to be the shuttle bay," he answered her statement. "Filled the entire bay" he added.

    "Yes Sir, well. Lieutenant Noonia has brought it to my attention that we are in need of a rally for the troops, so to speak.." she brought her PADD down and flicked through a few things and opened another file. There were more than a few video files of that concert. From her research the concert was broad cast to nine ships and was a huge success. One of their songs was a smash hit during the war and became a battle cry near the end of the war. He could have easily made a future with his singing. They produced a few albums right here on this ship. But all that stopped after CMO-26. According to what she could find, he never sang again.

    'Here goes nothing' she thought. "It is my hopes.." she continued to speak after his interruption. She was looking at a particular image of him on the stage in the shuttle bay as she spoke, "to bring a sense of community and comradely back to the crew Sir.." She blinked and realized that her mind was wondering again. She flipped back to another image as she looked up and held up an image of a snowy scene and people ice skating. "I was thinking perhaps," she pulled the PADD down and looked up to him, catching his gaze and holding her own in that moment. 'damnit' she thought shaking his gaze from her own. "Sir, I am requesting that you help to lighten the mood. If you would play or perhaps pre-record something so we can play some music at the event. I would greatly appreciate your assistance. "

    Her posture had somewhat shifted, as she stood a little more taller, and more confident, holding his gaze with hues of blue, honest and endearing. "And one more request," she moved to find a bench to sit upon, crossing her legs as she got comfortable, unzipping her jacket a touch as the room was fairly warm with the steam. She was careful not to unzip it too low, as she felt that this was way too personal already. 'Come on Lylliana, you're on a roll... don't loose confidence now.. ' she thought to herself. She returned her gaze to his face refusing to loose ground. It was strange, he was just over there washing as if there was no one around him. 'How could he be so claim like this,' she wondered.

    She shook her head as she tried to harden her face to keep her thoughts focused, "Sir, I am not questioning your decision or your actions. However, I have found it rather odd that I have been brought aboard the Thunderchild and as a recreations officer no less." She tried to appear calm, and collective, but her nerves were beginning to show through, "why did you have me stationed here? I have an excellent knowledge and grasp in the field of mathematics, far better suited to other duties than a rec officer. I was meant for the Mars Utopia station under Captain Jurnell, supposedly to help in the development of some new program or another."

    Commander Bonham didn't look over at her as he continued his shower while she spoke. There was so much of her cousin in her mannerisms. But unlike him, her confidence only ran so deep. He could see her nerves just barely holding on. Something her cousin had over come through surviving hours of intense combat. But she would learn to over come that also while serving aboard this ship.

    She waved her hand in the air, as though she were dismissing something, "I don't know the finer details, but to be pulled from such a project to be a recreations officer." she brought her arms down, crossing them over her knee, and her eyes narrowed to his own, "Well, you can understand my curiosity. I'm not a simpleton, Commander, so I would greatly appreciate it if you'd fill me in on why I was brought aboard." She rested her elbow on her knee, and brought her chin to rest in her hand as she awaited his response...

    Finally as she drew her statement to a close he turned around to allow the water to rinse his back off. "Ah Captain Jurnell. Good officer but doesn't know how to hold his liquor or cards. Lost one hell of a beat with me." he glanced over at her, "do you play cards?" he asked then saw her shake her head. "No matter" he said then paused a moment before adding, "I imagine, the results of that single card game and a pair of mischievous pilots at their best are biting Utopia now," he joked as he continued his shower.

    As he laughed he continued, "the plan was brilliant, but I couldn't take the credit for it. I only played a small part in it. A few hands of poker, was my role. I couldn't convince Starfleet that you needed to be assigned to the Thunderchild, so I turned to my best agents of chaos. I didn't tell them the reasons why it was important for you to be aboard this ship. Not that they needed a reason to be agents of chaos, for them it was just another fun filled day. I just told them that it needed to be done. They took to my mission with greatest of joy as it was an opportunity to cause chaos. That was more than enough for them," he explained.

    [COLOR=#000000] As he explained how she ended up here and the plot that took place, Lylliana's mind filled with anger. Her future had been manipulated by a pair of 'mischievous pilots!?' She could already imagine which two pilots were involved in this stunt. She didn't say anything out of fear of losing what composure she had managed to regain. Instead she only stood there and gritted her teeth.[/COLOR]

    "Well what I am willing to tell you, ensign, is the reason why you are the Rec Officer. That is an easy enough question to answer. It is because our science department was already filled up and I could secure another slot for you. So I searched the slots aboard and found a hand full open. Most were in the galley but I noticed we needed a Rec Officer and your experience at the Academy was enough to fake a fitting of that bill nicely."

    He reached up and grabbed his bottle of body wash and added more to his sponge. "Captain Jurnell wasn't happy about losing you. But with the right motivation, he quickly suggested that your assignment here was best for all parties involved." With soap filled hands he shifted half facing her, "like I said, the man couldn't hold his liquor" he added with a smile and resumed his shower.

    He didn't turn back to see the anger on her face as he laughed, "their loss was clearly our gain" he said with a nod. "Look at you already planning a event for the crew. I knew you would fit right in....." He cut himself off in mid thought.

    He noticed that her eyes kept drifting down towards the center of the shower station. He smiled as their eyes met again and she realized that he caught her staring, again. He couldn't help but find it humorous that even though she was angry, she couldn't help peak. "As for your event. When is this planned for?" He asked not sure if it would work within the current crisis. But he did know he wanted nothing to do with it.

    Lylliana frowned with a somewhat audible sigh as she pulled her eyes away. Her hand slide up her face, resting her forehead in her palm, after thoroughly massaging the bridge of her nose. "If this is how half the junior staff gets to meet you, then no wonder they are all obsessed." she mumbled frankly to herself, not trying to hide the fact she said it, but not speaking up completely audibly. Her mind was dealing with a number of emotions and it was causing her head to hurt.

    After a few moment, regaining her composure she spoke up to a more audible level, "The event is a suggestion from Lieutenant Noonia. He is concerned for the crews moral and I am simply taking lead of his idea." she shrugged. She thought about what Bonham had just said to her. 'He couldn't find a slot to put me in?' her eyes narrowed to him, watching his moves, kinda staring now while she was lost in thought, 'Oh.... dodgy... ' a smile came on her face, fully realizing now what he has just done.

    Lylliana rises to her feet, straightening her jacket. '20 seconds of insane courage....' she thought as she stepped closer to the shower, "I believe you still haven't answered my question Commander." her voice steady, yet somewhat lighter in tone, "For what reasons would you request my reassignment to the Thunderchild, especially if there was no readily available assignment to be had?" She stood just outside the spray of water now, having swallowed hard after asking her last question, arms crossed as she felt like even at this distance she was still too incredibly close for comfort.

    He watched her walk forward as he thought about what she had just said regarding the upcoming event. But he knew better. This conversation had nothing to do with that social event. "Let's cut to the chase, Ensign" he said with that voice of authority that was common among leaders. "The event is only your excuse to be here right now," he said calling her out.

    Lylliana's arms unfolded, as she felt herself become completely undone. "Well Commander, the event was a legitimate excuse" she tried to deflect. "AND also the reason I had come to speak with you. Lieutenant Noonia has a wonderful idea that I am expanding upon and could use your performing expertise," she explained. "But you still didn't answer the question. I deserve an answer!"

    He knew Noonia was a go getter kind of officer. The junior lieutenant was already making waves down in Engineering, which was just what Bonham had hoped for. If the Thunderchild was to survive the peace after the Dominion War, it would need officers like Noonia was. For so long, this ship was a warship fighting what appeared to be an impossible war. Designed and meant to carry the war to the Dominion worlds and Cardassian worlds. There were even deep raids beyond the wormhole that had become more than note worthy. But the war was over and now it was time for this proud warship to learn how to be a starship.

    He dismissed her claim of failing to answer her question with a wave of his hand. A motion that he noticed got under her skin. "I didn't answer the question of 'why' because I choose not to answer it" he said without emotion. He could see from the corner of his eyes that the statement inflamed her. 'Good Lylliana, lets see you get anger. Show me your teeth' he thought. Even if his promise didn't prevent him from telling her, it was clear she wasn't ready for the truth. He thought of another path that he knew wouldn't answer her burning question of why, but might help her understand the direction her life was now taking.

    "Tell me Ensign, I am sure you had heard of the Pathfinder Project. Your name was part of a long list of requested personnel to join that project" he explained while turning to finish his shower. Time was running out and he wasn't about to let this runt of an ensign would cost him his shower allowance.

    "Sure it is a major project. Yes, names will be made out of this project. But not for those like you. The spotlight will be consumed by those with more experience, more standing in Starfleet. Yes you might, if you are lucky, get your name on a paper or even mentioned in a speech with gratitude." Bonham explained as he continued to wash his body. "But you will never be able to stand in your own light among minds like that."

    He had cut through her guard and her courage had ended. His words stabbed her at the core. The Pathfinder Project was a noble idea and she knew she had the skills to help accomplish something great with long range communications. "You don't know that" she said, but even in her heart she wasn't sure if she thought differently. Her voice almost trembled as she spoke those words. She straightened her back as if trying to be larger than she really was.

    He rinsed the soap off his face quickly and leaned in towards her, "look around you Ensign." His sudden action nearly causing her to step back from him. "There has never been a ship like this one. Never had a mission like this kind before. Here you won't have to share the spotlight with anyone," he poked his finger at her getting her slightly covered blouse with soapy water. "No! Rec Officer is not you finally posting on this ship. But that position was but a vessel to get you aboard. At one point fate will offer you an opportunity to move beyond that place that you are currently holding. And when that time comes, be it sooner or later, you will show everyone what you are really capable of."

    He returned to the water and finished washing the last bit of soap off his body. He reached passed her to pick up his towel. Pulling it down and across his body, he stepped forward towards her. "Tell me something Ensign" he said coldly as he looked right in to her eyes. "Would you rather live the shadows of others all of your life. Or stand on your own and take center stage." He motioned for her to follow him as he walked passed her. "If you would rather serve in the shadow of someone else, I can send you right back to Pathfinder."

    She mirrored his direction as he motioned for her to follow. Despite her injured feelings, she was sour now, and at the point of snapping. She spoke up against him, "The Pathfinder Project is a noble project, noteworthy in fact.." She tried to stay calm, cool and collected as she spoke, "Yes, I have the skills to be a great influence and help to the project. I know that I can make an impact there." Even as the words left her lips she wasn't sure if she wanted to make an impact. After all, there were millions of brilliant minds that worked behind the scenes. She didn't have to be in the lime light. At least that was what she thought.

    Lylliana sighed somewhat aggravated and defeated all at the same time, "Commander. No disrespect, but of course I will not fall behind and follow in someone's shadow," she said softly trying to believe what she was saying. "And quiet frankly, you obviously brought me here for a reason and therefore, logically" she narrowed her eyes at him as she used the Vulcan word to turn a phrase, "it makes no sense for you to send me back to a project where, once again quiet frankly, I will shine and make a difference no matter what anyone says or thinks" she snapped.

    At this point she had moved closer to him, and was almost at the point of seeming to reprimand him for ever making the statement. She hadn't realized how close she had moved to him. Surprised, she stepped back, and fixed her jacket, straightening her appearance and once again regaining composure, "Again, no disrespect Sir." Her blue eyes now bright and smoldering as they glared to his own. She wouldn't allow anyone to tell her what she was and was not capable of. She hoped that she was stronger than that.

    Commander Bonham led the smaller and younger ensign through the stacks of lockers as he dried himself off. He carried himself without shame or regard to the inexperienced ensign walking behind him. From the back she could see the extent of the burns that ran down his back much more clearer. It appeared that they started at his midsection and worked their way up his back. They covered most of his neck and part of the right side of his face. The rumors of his wounds during the Battle of CMO-26 were hardly even close to the reality. Even after nearly being burned to death, he still maintained control on the bridge long enough to save the ship. Lylliana couldn't imagine what pains this man felt during that fateful battle.

    The few remaining pilots that were finishing getting dressed were all paying attention to the conversation between the two officers. He listen to her words without given any sign that they had an effect on his opinion. "Ensign, I think you are missing the point." He said with his voice slightly over hers. He wanted to push her. He had to see where her breaking point was. If she had what he truly believed she was capable of, she would have to learn to access what was beyond that breaking point.

    He spun around flipping the towel over his shoulder and looked down in to her eyes. His mannerism and stance could have easily been mistaken by anyone that this conversation was taking place on the Bridge. Or anywhere else but the Flight Ops locker room just moments after his shower. "Yes, I have the skills to be a great influence and help to the Pathfinder Project" he said mimicking her tone and voice. He wanted her angry if she was going to see what laid before her.

    "You think you are on par with great minds like Reginald Barclay!?" he said as if he was dismissing her abilities. Actually the truth was, that he knew she could compete on their level if not even beyond. But she had to realize that for herself, it wasn't something that he could just tell her. "Truthfully ensign, you have good grades. But is just about it. None of your instructors could even pick your photo out. Some didn't even recall your name and you were still in their class. You have all the smarts you need, but lack the ability to make an impact. Hell, Starfleet Communications didn't put up a fight for you. Two signatures and your life changed, just like that."

    Lylliana followed him through the row of lockers. She stopped short as he turned about coming utterly too close to her.
    His words echoed in her mind like knives being thrown across the deck at her. "Yes, I have the skill set to be a great influence and help to the Pathfinder Project" his mimicking her tone and voice was enough to make her anger.It made her so mad that she almost saw red. But what followed next was unimaginable to her. "You think you are on par with great minds like Reginald Barclay!?" How could a senior officer dismiss her abilities just like that. She was hurt, no she was anger. She was both hurt and anger at what was said. Then came more pain in his words, "Truthfully ensign, you have good grades. But is just about it. None of your instructors could pick you out of a photo line up. You have all the smarts you need, but lack the ability to make an impact. Hell, Starfleet Communications didn't put up a fight for you. Two signatures and your life changed, just like that." She wanted to cry but she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of seeing it.​
    She glared at him through her anger and pain. She knew she had the grades, the know how and she wasn't about to have some pompous ass Commander try to tell her any different. Sure he had done a great service for Starfleet during the war, but honestly, he was a jerk. "Reginald Barclay doesn't have half of what it takes to navigate his way out of a paper bag. Let alone the skill to contribute effectively to the Pathfinder Project!" She was hot now, her voice raised, as the crowd drew in. She really didn't think of what she was saying. She was just hurt and angry. "Yeah, ya know what. Go for it. Take me back to Starfleet Research! At least then it'll give me the chance to prove you and everyone else wrong about my capabilities instead of wasting away here as a Recreations Officer!"

    He looked in to her eyes as if he was looking deep in to her very soul. He could sense the uneasiness his glare was causing on her and moved closer to push the moment. 'Fight me....come on girl....push back....' he taught as he glared in to her eyes. "Want to waste your life in the shadows others, give me the word ensign and I personally take you back to Starfleet's Communications Research Center. Run right back to Sol with your tail between your legs. Cause you don't want to be noticed. That's why you made a point to not stand out." he put his finger on her chest and pushed just enough so that she knew that she was being pushed. His voice matched her own, "that was why you only got good grades and not prefect grades like you should have gotten from the beginning!"

    She looked stunned at his command but before her mind could summon up a statement he cut her off, "That's right." He said to her shock, "I checked your test scores. You got solid scores but the entire time your scores were lower than what you should have gotten. You intentionally did what you could to not get noticed."

    He stepped forward forcing her retreat as her eyes widened with the revelation that he knew. In his eyes, he knew he had her up against the ropes, "I bet I will enjoy reading the paper written by the great minds from Pathfinder and look Ensign" he said motioning to a make believe paper between them. "Here at the bottom" he intentionally antagonized her, "barely even a footnote, GREAT INFLUENCE by Lylliana Skytower!"

    His nose flared as he looked in to her eyes. Nearly losing his cool, he stepped back as he attempted to refocused his attention on getting dressed finally. He knew he was pushing her hard and could tell that she was starting to break. It was then he noticed that they had drawn an audience. He snapped on them, "YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE TO BE!" he yelled so loud that everyone jumped.

    She was hot standing there breathing so hard that she wanted to punch something. The crowd had fallen silent, as they watched in shock at what was going on.

    He was going to dress this little upstart ensign down while ripping down her walls, but he was not going to allow her to be come the center attention for on lookers. He added snapping, "GET OUT OF HERE! ALL OF YOU!" while waving his arm across the air for added effect.

    When Commander Bonham turned around snapping at everyone, she just stood there glaring at his back. She gritted her teeth, and gladly started to turn away as he commanded everyone out. She needed to cool off and the holodeck was begging her to come now.

    With that command issued, he spun as he saw that she was walking away, "Not You!" he jabbed his finger towards her in the air, "We are far from finished here" he commanded motioning his finger towards the deck. His face reflected his tone, as he was completely serious about this conversation. She will never know that in this moment, she will choose between what awaits her beyond known space or to live a life in the shadows of others.

    He had spent months finding just the right crew members for this ship. Even after the rumors that this ship and its fine crew would be his, this was always his goal. He wanted this ship's mission to succeed. He believed in the concepts of Carrier Operations, and what it meant for Starfleet. But he was only a Commander, and critics in Starfleet had their own intentions with this ship. So he had to work within the limits of what he had.

    Still, he had made a promise and he would not break that promise till the day he dies. She stopped and spun around on her heel to face him again. As he looked in to her eyes, she could easily see the lines and bubbled flesh that were the results of his burns. Where the fires of the bridge had forged him in to the man that he was now. She was hot, and was now fully irritated. She didn't want to be disrespectful of his rank, but she'd be damned if she'd allow anyone to talk down to her.

    His eyes were focused on hers in that moment, "So tell me" he said bringing his voice and tone were much lower now. "How long do you think it will take Captain Campbell to realize that you are completely over qualified to be a Rec Officer" he asked as he motioned to her PADD.

    She opened her mouth to retaliate, but shut it quickly as it seemed his tone of voice changed slightly. Instead she listened and then realized he was antagonizing her on purpose. Her eyes widened ever so slightly. She finally realized why everyone was so drawn to him. Why so many had given their unending loyalty to him. It wasn't his looks, or his charm. In this moment right here, she saw something in him that his critics failed to see. It was his love for those he lead, suddenly she felt so foolish.

    He turned to his locker and pulled out a fresh uniform and started to get dressed. "Our Chief Science officer is a waste of the uniform" he said snapping her attention back to the conversation. "Completely too involved in his little projects to do this crew any good. Where this ship is going, no one has ever explored. Not in to deep space, but in to experimental technologies and tactics. Tactics that were never thought of ten years ago. Everything about this ship is new and will offer you a life time of experiences that you will never have back in Sol." He explained while pulling his shirt over his head and down over his torso. He finally turned back towards her searching her up and down once more.

    He looked in to her eyes once more with hardly an expression on his face. He was hoping that she would know the right path to take. He would look out for her as best as he could. But if she was unwilling to live her life to the fullest, he wouldn't be able to help her. "Tell me Ensign, do you desire to run back to Sol and to a life in someone's shadow or will you dare to follow me in to the unknown?" On that, he turned and pulled a small metal pocket flask from his locker and tucked it in to his uniform for safe keeping. He waited for her answer and kept his gaze focused on her.

    She stood there, pondering for a split second. He stood there dressed in his red uniform looking more like a Starfleet Officer than he had before. She thought about just taking the struggle to him in her own way. But she hadn't fully progressed through her training to be confident enough to take him on. She knew the flight deck had their own rigorous training schedule and saw the results across his body. He could out duel her any day anytime. She also knew it wouldn't be smart to start something unless you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt you could win it.

    She gripped her PADD tightly, feeling its weight to remind her. "That depends Sir... " she finally answered his question, almost through gritted teeth. "How long do you dare to stand and lead?"
  14. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Contributor: NinjaPanda127 (as Ensign Lylliana Skytower)

    Run in with that Devil (Part Four)
    Deck 13, Section 1
    USS Thunderchild, NCC 63549
    Enroute: Bajoran system's Denorios belt
    ETA: 2 Hours
    Stardate: 53839.17
    Sunday, Feb 20, 2377, 2135

    He looked at her with the eyes of a mentor. Her faith in her own skills was arrogant and dangerous for someone like her. He wouldn't deny that she was smart or had the ability to learn so much more. He allowed her to finish that wave of anger and work towards hanging herself. It was important for her to realize what was at stake. He nodded as he listened to her. She was ready to be led, if he was willing to lead her. Which for the time being he was able and willing. But soon, he would have to let her sink or swim on her own. He had a future somewhere else and he couldn't loss sight of that.

    He rose up once more pulling down on his shirt to straighten it. He towered over her as he looked the part of Starfleet Commander. Sure the actual size difference wasn't that much between the two. But what made him seem so much larger than her was that sense of presence that he could summon up and command. A gift that took years to prefect and could be used in situations just like this to rob others of their own confidence. It was clearly having an effect on her.

    Her eyes never left his, except in the briefest moments when he would turn around. Her shoulders relaxed a bit as she stood there before him, feeling almost completely disarmed. As he took his seat, she swallowed hard, trying to hold her ground in his presence. 'Don't back down, don't back down... she thought repetitively to herself. Of course he held a domineering presence that overshadowed hers.

    She made mental note in the back of her head to work on overcoming that. To her shock, in that moment as she looked up to him, she saw him more attractive than before. He commanded her attention and her respect. Lylliana looked in to those deep blue eyes and wondered what was it about him that caught her imagination like this. 'damnit Lylliana!' she thought forcing her mind back on the conversation.

    He drew in a deep breath before he spoke as he locked his light blue eyes in to her own. "Ensign" he said commanding her attention, "No matter what happens tomorrow or the next week or when ever, I shall always stand and lead" he said. It wasn't completely a lie. He knew that by this time next week his life would completely be changed. The Thunderchild and its mission would be a memory for him as he wanted to take this life in a new direction. But for the moment no one needed to know of his plans for the future. No one, not even this little ensign.

    "But" he added waving his finger between them, "what will make the difference is how far are you willing to take this path. I won't lie, the path you are on now is much more dangerous than back in Sol. You might not even survive it." he said softly as he turned and took a seat on one of the benches between the lockers. He motioned for her to sit next to him but she choose to remain standing. He changed his tone to be more fatherly than filled with authority.

    "But each day, you will live your life to the fullest" he said remembering another young pilot that stood before him just like this ensign is right now. Scarred of continuing as a combat pilot, scarred of what the next battle will bring. A pilot that was related to this young ensign. "Pathfinder is a noble project. I will never take this away from them. I have met Barclay before. You give him far too little credit. The man is smart. Hell smarter then me at least. But you are a rare type of person, Skytower" he said using her last name rather than her rank. He had respected for this woman and what she went through as a kid. This was more than just a meeting between Commander and Ensign. "One who will never know her fullest potential living in someone's shadow" he said softly looking down.

    She stood there, watching and listening to him. His entire demeanor shifting causing the air in the room to shift with him. Of course she was angry, more or less she was also hurt, but wouldn't show it. It was true, Barclay is a competent man, but she had seen his work and knew of his name for a long while. She knew that she had the drive and desire to always beat out her peers, this causing most of her isolation in the academy. She didn't want to deal with the drama of what that competition brought. Bonham's words cutting her to the core as stood right there in front of her, doubting her ability to shine. 'Better in front of you then behind your back, Lylliana Skytower" she thought for a moment.

    His hand reached in to his uniform and pulled out that little metal flask. He saw the words on the flask but didn't care to read them. There were pain in those words, the flask it self carried pain for him. 'So much pain for such a small thing' he wondered as he opened the flask and took a drink from it. He offered it to the ensign but she rejected it. He shrugged his shoulders and closed the flask. He took in a deep breath as he gathered up the rest of his thoughts. "I will keep my word. If you truly desire to go back, I will take you back, personally. But trust me in this. It will be at Pathfinder where you will waste away under the shadows of those around you."

    She looked down at him sitting there starring at that small metal flask. The flask was old and worn. Dented from being dropped a few to many times. There was even a mark where it had been welded. She saw the words etched on it, 'First in, Last out, Always Family'. She couldn't understand why this one Starfleet Commander had taken such an interest in her. She had never met him before being assigned to this ship. 'Who are you Commander Bonham and why are you so determined to guide my path' she thought during his moment of silence.

    Commander Bonham slowly stood up as he looked at her once more. She had strength to survive this path, he knew she did. But did she have to person courage to face this. This is what he didn't know. He stepped back from her as he realized that he was just a bit too close to her for his own comfort. He turned as he started to walk down the racks, "Computer End Program" he said loudly.

    On that moment, the entire locker room and showers vanished revealing the single largest secret of the flight deck. This entire space was actually a holodeck. Not like any other holodeck that Skytower had seen before. This one was different in design and she could tell that the operations of this holodeck were also not the same as a normal holodeck. Her eyes searched the room as she followed in amazement. 'That is why it is called the multipurpose room' she thought. But this room wasn't listed in the directory as a holodeck.

    Commander Bonham continued to issue his commands to the computer. "Computer, load and run Flight Operations Briefing Room. Upload the current training objectives for Stardate 53840." Right before her eyes, the room changed to a large briefing room. The entire area was lined with chairs and desks. At the front of the room was a large podium meant for who ever was giving the briefing. Along the walls around her were maps of the local space as the entire upcoming training for tomorrow morning.

    Lylliana watched as the locker and shower room changed into a briefing room. She blinked looking around as she knew that space on this ship was a premium. But she never imaged that they would have converted part of the ship in to holodeck and used it like this. This addition, or change however was surprising to her and clever. But the idea of this actually made sense.

    It was one of those ideas that actually seemed silly that no one had thought of it before. She had once thought about having living quarters and different areas being simple holodecks to compress living, working and other spaces into one convenient space. It astonished her to see something fully active like this. This ship was full of surprises and she did want to know more.

    However what seemed to have gotten both of their attention was the sounds of a pair of beings in a lovers embrace. Commander Bonham and Ensign Skytower both turned to see a holographic Commander Bonham and Lieutenant Kinchlirah locked in a lovers embrace. They stood there dressed in formal clothes more suiting of a prom night than on a Starship. Soft romantic music could be heard as the holographic lovers continued to kiss under the soft light of a disco ball. Commander Bonham let out a cry, "PANDER!" he snapped so loud that it took Lylliana by surprise and caused her to leap a bit.

    Oh it was too easy for Lylliana as she turned to him with a smile on her face, "wasn't there something written about those who attempt to control chaos." This was a moment that she wasn't about to let pass for her. She grinned when his eyes befell her.

    He turned to face her with anger filled eyes. It was clear that he wanted to say something as his slightly bent towards her with his finger waving between them. With his mouth opened and anger in his eyes he only looked at her while she smiled back. "Computer delete the characters within this program" he finally commanded and on that the two lovers vanished as well as the lights and music.

    He shook his head once more and turned from her walking over towards a large desk. "Ensign, what matters now is not what I am willing to do," he said trying to regain his cool and refocus the conversation. "But how far you are willing to explore your life. What you are really capable of. This is what the path that this ship can offer you. This is something that Pathfinder can't give you. So don't think of this as what I can do for you. I have done everything possible for you already just by getting you here."

    She cleared her throat, "Sir. " she closed her eyes and shook her head. She hadn't gotten the answer she was looking for, but knew that he had something in mind. She struggled a moment in her thoughts. She would have to ultimately put her faith and trust in whatever it was he had planned for her, and know it was the right path. When she opened her eyes, the look had changed. They were still as bright as ever, but somewhat softer in their appearance. They still blazed with a fiery passion, but they weren't smoldering over in anger. She would prove him wrong and she would do it right in front of him.

    She stuck out her hand to shake his, "I will trust in your judgment Sir and make my mark here." taking his hand she would grip it firmly, "I will prove what I am truly capable of, and I hope you have a front row seat." the last bit in her face she clipped at him in a challenging tone, with a bit of an arrogant smirk and glint in her eyes.

    He held her hand tightly as he looked in to her eyes. They were bright and filled with promise of a remarkable future. A future that he knew she was capable of. But she needed to do this, not for him or anyone else, but for herself. "I know you will" he said softly, "but don't do this for me. Don't do this for anyone. Do this for yourself. Tomorrow I may die. Tomorrow we all may die. Live your life to its fullest today. Not for me. Not for them" he said speaking of anyone in general. "Live this life for yourself Ensign."

    If he only knew what tomorrow would bring for him personally. The pain, the suffering, the loneliness. But he could never guess what horrors awaited him tomorrow. Lately he stopped worrying about tomorrow and actually started to hold hope for something more than just pain of his memories. But in this moment, he knew she needed someone to gain strength from. In this moment, he would be there for her. To push her in the right direction. Once she was underway, he would move on with his own plans for a different kind of life. A life as a husband to the woman that he loved so dearly. He had made up his mind to leave all this behind and live his life for himself finally.

    Here in her eyes, he could see his long lost friend. The family she never knew. The family that immaturity had denied her of. He didn't judge his friend for that mistake. But if that long lost man could see the woman that that child had grown in to today. How proud he would be of her now. He opened his mouth to add something but the intercom cut him off. "Commander Bonham. Please report to the Captain's Ready Room for a Crisis Briefing." In that moment, it was clear that something was left unsaid.

    Lylliana watched him for a moment, the arrogance falling from her face as she listened to what he had to say. Her eyes searched his face for a moment. What was he not telling her? She could see it, somewhere deep in his eyes. She looked for the moment, trying to find the answer, and just as he went to open his mouth, the intercom broke the moment.

    Bonham only shook it off and nodded as he tapped his badge. "I am on my way, Sir" he said then closed the link. He gave her a nod as he let her hand go. "As you were Ensign" he said releasing her from the conversation. He turned to leave as he started to walk out.

    She stood there a moment, dumb founded as she walked him leave the multipurpose room. "What are you not telling me Bonham" she questioned as the doors closed behind him. She looked around the holographic briefing room as she started to stroll around the large room. She saw photos along the walls. She walked over to them and scanned them. "So many that had died" she said softly looking at the number of pilots that had died during the war. "Even though the war was over, these ghost still hunt this ship" she added softly.

    She held her PADD firmly in her grip as she turned and walked out of the holographic briefing room. Lost in her own thoughts, she headed back towards her living quarters. The familiar hiss of the door as she entered filled the room. Then there was the welcoming reminder of Ja'nell as well as the two other ensigns that she had to share the room with. God she want so much to just have her own space. They all greeted her but Lylliana was lost in her own thoughts.

    "I told you, man was dreamy" Ja'nell said as she raised an eyebrow at Lylliana's demeanor, "but I called dibs on him. His mine" she proclaimed.

    Lylliana just ignored them as she shuffled in and flopped down on her bed. Her mind lost in what could the Commander be hiding from her. He was more than what the eyes showed, that much was clear to her.
  15. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Final Acts....(Part One)
    Stardate: 53839.19
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9
    Colonel Kira Nerys, Bajoran Militia, Commanding
    Operations Center

    It had already been a long day for Colonel Kira Nerys by the time her duty shift had ended several hours ago. There was the mountain of paperwork that was had to be done and a long list of new arrivals that needed to be reviewed. As she set there in Sisko's chair staring at her screen she pondered why it was still called paperwork. 'Was it Bajoans desire to hold on to past,' she wondered silently. 'I mean after all, it hasn't been on paper in over a hundred years. So why are you still called paperwork?' she thought while poking her monitor. She spun in Sisko's chair to look out the large window behind her. 'It is a silly thing that we call something it is clearly not' her mind wondered as if she was talking someone in the room.

    It wasn't that she was mad or depressed, she just missed her dear friend. It had been over a year since Captain Benjamin Sisko's disappearance within the Fire Caves of Bajor. She just sometimes felt so alone on this crowded space station. Of her friends, only Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax remained. The station was filled with so many new faces. The march of time seemed to have trampled over her. In an attempt to distract her mind, she continued her mental conversation, 'I mean I am not one to hang on to the past.' She sat there in his chair, in his officer, on his station. After all Deep Space Nine will always be known as Benjamin Sisko's Command.

    She turned back to her desk and looked at her monitor once more. 'Maybe we should call you screen work,' she thought as she looked over all the reports and files she needed to review. 'After all of you are on a screen and not on any paper,' she thought with a smile and tapped on the screen of her monitor. She knew that she was just being silly, but sometimes it just made her feel good to act like he was still here. She let out a deep sigh of sadness as glanced over to that ball sitting on his desk. It was just a symbol that he would return, and she knew it.

    For now, it was still something hard for her to get used to, that he wasn't here. She missed her friend dearly. That so many were gone from the station. She missed all of her friends. The station seemed to be very different now a days when she would walked its corridors. There are days that she can almost remember the echoes of their laughter. The adventures of days past often fill her memory as she would wonder the station. But now, those adventures belong to someone else. Even as she set there pondering her own adventures when she taught Cardassians who to fight like resistance, she saw the adventures someone else being told right before her eyes.

    Staring her in the face was the latest report on a fugitive that Starfleet was hunting down. "You would think that all of Starfleet could find one woman and a runabout," Nerys said as she read over the report. The report read like one of Julian holo-novels. At first this fugitive crashed a party on earth, then escaped Starfleet Medical and in doing so she killed several people. Then after going silent she resurfaces pulling off a daring attack in the USS Thunderchild, followed by taking on not one but three heavy Starfleet Cruisers. Nerys shook her head as she kept reading report after report. It was almost laughable that one female could make entire fleet look so foolish.

    "See look at this," she said speaking out loud to herself. "They didn't even include a updated image of her," Nerys commented as she read over the reports. A report flashed on her monitor which caused her to laugh. She activated her intercom, "Lieutenant Hristov please come in here" she said then turned off the intercom. As she waited for him to walk in, she leaned back in her chair as she continued to read while smiling. "That's one more for the girl and zero for the Federation," she mumbled.

    It wasn't long before Lieutenant Hristov walked in to her officer. He was a good Starfleet officer but sometimes a bit too eager to rush headlong in to a crisis. He was assigned to the station just under a year ago and had become one of her most important officers. His loyalty was something she knew she could count on. He had this ability to use his height to tower over her. On more than one occasion, she used that ability during conversations with suspected smugglers. For a human, he was very attractive. She often joked how he was a blue eyed, blond hair devil that had already won the hearts of more than a few dabo girls. However as officers go, he was solid and that much Nerys was grateful. "Lieutenant Hristov, can you please explain these reports we got from Starfleet about this fugitive?" Nerys said softly.

    He nodded as he walked up to her desk and stood just in front of it. "Colonel they sent us the latest information regarding the missing runabout, the USS Susquehanna." Lieutenant Hristov explained. "According to Starfleet and Bajoran sources, there are mixed reports about the Susquehanna. Once set of reports place the runabout heading deep in the bad lands. A pair of Klingon Bird-of-Prey made contact with the Susquehanna just short of the bad lands. They that it was luck that they found her hiding in a asteroid field. Now according to the two Klingon Commanders, they blame each other for allowing the runabout to escape. Each stated that the other got in the way while they chased her through the asteroid field. They both claimed that they made no attempt to contact the runabout however these claims appear to be false. There is supporting evidence that the runabout never once fired on them."

    Nerys looked up from the report, "Didn't fire on either Bird-of-Prey?"

    "No Ma'am," he said looking down at his PADD and continued to read, "However both Bird-of-Preys were somehow disabled. Neither commander has returned our request to know how our little runabout was able to disable them. So, I got my hands on their computer files and was reading over the records of what really happened. It appeared that the fugitive, this Seònaid Melville, had made a series of open channel communications taunting them. They even replied on a number of occasions. Just when one had the upper hand, she would taunt the other in to action. The rivalry between the two Commanders grew so intense during the chase that one actually fired on the other disabling that Bird-of-Prey."

    Nerys almost laughed at the calamity as it was explained. "Shortly there after, the safeties were removed from the Klingon torpedoes and they were set for proximity detonation. This allowed the torpedoes to be fired at point blank ranges."

    "That is dangerous" Nerys said turning in her chair and looking out the window once more. In her mind, she pictured the chase through her mind.

    Lieutenant Hristov nodded, "Yes, but according to what we know. The Susquehanna had preformed some pretty daring maneuvers during the chase that prevented the Klingons from getting a solid lock on her," he explained.

    "Meaning that the safeties would prevent the torpedoes from getting near hits" Nerys said softly.

    He nodded noting that she couldn't see him. "So the move was considered necessary in attempts to stop the Susquehanna from escaping. However it was in this action that the Susquehanna was able to disable the last Bird-of-Prey. Using their own torpedoes against them, the Susquehanna led the torpedo back at the ship which fired it. The proximity explosion was more than enough to disable the last Klingon ship. Both Klingon commanders were very upset over what happened. They have sworn to aid the fugitive on her journey to Sto vo kor because of it."

    Nerys gave a little laugh as the report was read. "So this fugitive used Klingon hot headed behavior against them" she said with a nod. "I like her" she added. "But that just doesn't make sense. We have the same kind of runabouts aboard, and there is no way a runabout could cover that distance. The runabout was spotted in the Sol system before she had her encounter with the Thunderchild. Then her run in with Admiral Tate. Each of these locations are within the range of a runabout. But to cross that distance in the amount of time, its out of the abilities of a runabout."

    He nodded, "I think I can account this. There is a report issued by Saber-class ship belonging to the 4th Fleet. The report states that they stopped a suspected smuggler out of the Eta Cassiopeiae system. The search crews discovered that the the smugglers flight plans had been altered. According to the true plans, the transport had recently made a stop at Terra Nova. This caused the search teams to dig deeper. While his cargo hold was empty, they did find traces of tritanium. But surprisingly, it was in his engineering spaces that they made a surprising discovery. Three anti-mater bottles that matched those from the USS Valley Forge."

    Nerys nodded, "Where did this take place at? And is there any way we can tell how long ago the Susquehanna was aboard this ship?"

    "The search teams are holding the smuggler and his crew for questioning." He said reading over the reports. "But they do not believe he has any further useful information regarding the fugitive. However his ship is capable of spanning the distance within the time frame easily. After being confronted with the evidence, he admitted that he picked up the runabout over Tarra Nova. He only spoke to one female but suspected that there was someone else aboard the runabout. However she made a point to keep everyone out of her ship. He said that the female he met behaved 'odd' when he spoke to her."

    "Odd? explain" she turned around in her chair to face him.

    He nodded, "Yes he said that she talked of the Dominion War not being over. That the Federation was in dire danger of attack from the Dominion." He flipped through his notes, "according to the Captain, she also acted distracted in a number of conversations. He truly believed that she believed what she was saying."

    Nerys moved her finger over her own monitor as she searched for something. "Her Starfleet medical records did show that she was suffering from a mental break down. It sounds like this is our fugitive."

    Hristov nodded, "I would agree. Our smuggler was paid for his troubled in those anti-mater bottles."

    He changed screens as he continued his report. "He took the ship and its presumed two occupants to just outside of the badlands a several hours ago. The last he saw of the runabout, it was moving in to the ring system of a gas giant. Some time there after, that the pair of Klingon Bird-of-Prays made their encounter with the Susquehanna."

    Nerys looked up from her monitor, "wait!" She said holding out her hand, "let me see that." He handed over the PADD to her for her review. "I know this system. Its less than an hour from the Bad Lands. We used to use it all the time for smuggling during the occupation. The Klingons didn't come across the area till well over an hour later. The Susquehanna should have been long gone" she said handing the PADD back.

    "Maybe she was still working on repairing damages from her encounter with Admiral Tate" he said taking back the PADD. "The reports from that encounter reflected that the runabout was heavily damaged."

    Nerys leaned back in her chair once more, "Why not conduct your repairs in the Bad Lands. There are dozens of places a small runabout could hide and never be found."

    He looked confused, "why else hold short of the Bad Lands and risk an encounter. I mean she couldn't have intentionally allowed the Klingons to spot her. It was a dangerous encounter that could have ended in the Susquehanna being destroyed. It just makes no sense."

    "It does if you really want everyone to believe you are heading in to the Bad Lands" Nerys said pulling up a star chart on her monitor. "By the time these reports reached us, the Susquehanna could have already been in system." she said hitting the table, "Damnit."

    Hristov looked surprised, "Ma'am, what?"

    "Hours, it could have been here for hours," Nerys said as she flipped through her reports. "Notified Bajoran Militia Command and inform them that the Susquehanna could already be in system."

    He nodded as he made a note in his PADD, as Nerys rose up from her chair and walked for the doors leading to the Ops Floor. Hristov followed close behind as she walked on to the Ops Floor. "Communications, Search for any reports of runabouts within our system. Confirmed or unconfirmed.

    The small framed female Starfleet Officer nodded, "Yes Ma'am. There is a report earlier today of a runabout passing Olmerak at high warp. However we have not been able to confirm that report. A Bajorian patrol ship thought that they picked up a warp signature of a runabout just within system around lunch time. However once they arrived to check it out, they found no trace of a ship." She read the reports then looked up. "Sadly Colonel, there are reports all over the sector regarding Starfleet's lost runabout. The Cardassian's stopped a runabout just this morning filled with medical personnel. The Ministers back on Bajor are starting to ask questions. They want to know if Bajor is at risk from this fugitive."

    Nerys walked over to the large center table and switched it to a map of the entire sector. The officer was right. There were dozens of reports of runabouts. Most were all mistaken identities. But everyone is looking for this runabout. "Tell them no, we have everything under control. But still let us play it safe. Issue a general warning to all departing and arriving ships to report any and all sightings of a Danube-class runabout. Give them the most recent information about the Susquehanna's energy signature" she ordered.

    Nerys could feel that the Susquehanna was near by. She couldn't put her finger on it, but it was close. "Lets coordinate with Militia Command" she added. "We will deploy our own runabouts to start searching the system. We will cast our net wide and see what we happen to catch." She paused and looked up at him, "Do we even know what this female human fugitive looks like?"

    Hristov nodded, "yes Ma'am" he said walking up beside her and showing her his PADD again.

    "So we only have an old Starfleet Medical image to go off of?" she questioned.

    Once more he nodded, "Starfleet suspects that she has already alerted her appearance. The smugglers gave a very contrasting description of what this fugitive looks like. I don't suspect we can even go off of that. So basically, aside from her being a female, we don't have anything further to go on."

    "Just great" Nerys said as her eyes searched the map. "Communications, notify Admiral Tate and inform him that we believe that the Susquehanna is either on her way to Bajor or already here." She turned to Hristov, "what is the ETA on the Thunderchild?"

    He scanned his reports, "Just over two hours."

    She gave the map a nod, "If I am wrong, than the Susquehanna will slip through the Bad Lands. But it doesn't fit." Colonel Kira stood there searching the map for any clue that could help her figure out what was going on. Their were reports of runabouts all over the place. 'Of course there are. Danube-class runabouts are as common as shuttles are' she thought. Now that commonness is hampering the search for this one runabout. "Anything else" she asked softly.

    "Yes Ma'am. That transport with new recruits from Bajor arrived a few hours ago. They have been checked in to their rooms and will be waiting for your meeting with them tomorrow morning." he gave a bit of a laugh, "They are 'a bit too eager to get their training starting' according to the officer that greeted them."

    On that note, the officer standing at the security console spoke up, "Colonel, we have a report from security that just came in. They caught Quark messing with a security sensor in one of the upper docking ports. They found a Starfleet com-badge on him, however it was not one of ours. The report said that he was acting pretty suspicious." He said looking up from his station.

    Nerys smiled at the thought that some things simply didn't change. Quark had promised to behave during the Admiral's promotion ceremony. It wasn't like he had a choice, she twisted his arm till it nearly broke and made him promise. But now with the current crisis, it was more important that he behaved. But deep down inside Nerys knew that he would break his word at the first chance he got. This was the reason why she placed extra security personnel to watch him and his associates. She looked out the large window and gave a slight laugh, "oh Quark, you never fail to be yourself."

    Nerys turned from the table and nodded, "Thank you Ensign, inform security to take Quark to Odo's...." she paused as the memory of Odo suddenly gave her a painful blow to her heart. "I mean the magistrates office." Nerys said softly as her heart felt the pain of loss love take hold of her for a moment. Odo was the one person that she missed the most. "Tell them that I will deal with Quark personally. I will teach that little toad to break his promise to me." she mumbled as she straightened her uniform.

    She walked with purpose towards the lift as she motioned to Lieutenant Hristov, "You have Ops. Let security know that I will meet them there." She informed as she continued to walked over to the lift. Her mind let out another long sigh as it had already been a long day and she was well past ready for bed. But now she had to deal with Quark. She walked up and in to the lift, she waited for it to work.

    Lieutenant Hristov waved his hand towards the lift as to warn the Colonel, "Don't forget that the lifts in the central core have been acting up most of the night."

    Just as he spoke, Nerys attempted to activate the lift but it only clicked and chimed as if something was wrong with it. She let out a sound of frustrations.

    He continued, "Between the lifts and other systems malfunctions, one would think that we were infested with gremlins."

    Nerys dropped head as her shoulders slumped. A frowned crossed her lips as she looked across Ops with disgust. "I miss the old days" she said with frustration. Then with a nod, she turned and walked for one of the side corridors leading away from Ops, "Let security know that I will be there as soon as I can" she said while walking for the exit. "Information the maintenance teams that they better get these lefts fixed tonight!" She let out a grumbling of frustration, "I miss O'Brien!"

    Lieutenant Hristov nodded, "Yes Ma'am. Already on it. Maintenance can't figure out what is wrong with the systems. They think it might be somewhere between the links with the power distribution systems and the main computer control circuits. But they are not sure where."

    Nerys didn't reply as she walked off the deck of Operations. She so badly missed her friends. She couldn't allow her mind to be distracted. Cause now, she had to deal with Quark. If anyone wanted on this station or to move something, they would have to go through Quark. Her anger at the Ferengi had clouded her thoughts as she continued to walk down the corridor. All she could think of was how he had broken his promise and about this missing runabout. There was something screaming at her mind but she couldn't put her finger on it. In a way, she welcomed the long walk as she stormed her way from Ops. It would give her time to build up a good sound anger at Quark before she arrived to rip his ears off.
  16. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Final Acts....(Part Two)
    Stardate: 53839.19
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9
    Colonel Kira Nerys, Bajoran Militia, Commanding
    Operations Center

    Colonel Kira didn't notice till it was too late that she was walking towards a young female Bajoran wearing a militia uniform. Based on the uniform and the rank, the young woman was a cadet from Bajor. The woman had long blond hair with hints of pink highlights that ran throughout her hair. Along the sides of her head, her hair was woven in to a tight French Braid. At the base of her neck, the pair of braids gave way to a fluffy pony tail that was draped over her shoulder. Where the braids transitioned in to a pony tail was a short pink ribbon that was woven in to the pony tail to give it a bit more form. At the end of the tail the ribbon was tied off.

    Colonel Kira couldn't help but question the different styles of hair back on Bajor. Looking the young cadet up and down with a cross look, Kira noted that her own PADD had more time in service than this young cadet. She rolled her eyes as she noticed the smile of the young cadet's face. Nerys noticed the odd worn brown leather bag over the cadet's shoulder. Something about the bag stood out but Kira couldn't put her finger on it.

    There was a noticeable increase spring in her step and glimmer came over the cadet's eyes once the young woman noticed Nerys. The Bajoran Cadet was clearly one of those new cadets that came aboard earlier today. Colonel Kira remembered what it was like when she first came aboard. 'The cadets these days just don't have a clue' Nerys thought to herself as she dismissed further thoughts on the bag and the odd feeling came along with it. But it was that look in the young cadet's eyes that got her. It was that look in the eyes of those who dared to dream of heroes. 'Great, another fan' Nerys thought hating the idea that she was known as a hero across Bajor.

    "Excuse me, Colonel Kira" the young officer said softly with a smile. There was a notice of nervousness on her voice as she spoke. After all, for this young cadet was meeting a legend renowned across Bajor. "Cadet Akorem Tarel, Reporting to the station command" the woman said as she pushed her PADD towards Nerys. It didn't take much to assume that the PADD contained the Cadet's orders. "Transfer from the Bajoran Military Academy" the young cadet continued as she tried to push her PADD towards Nerys, "and might I add, I am SO honored to serve along side you Colonel."

    It was odd for Nerys to hear old Bajoran spoke. The Cadet's name loosely meant Mother of Fire. However it was that final statement caused Nerys to roll her eyes once more at the young cadet. Nerys didn't even bother to look at the PADD as she waved it off. "Do you know what time it is, Cadet? Don't you think this could have waited till morning like the rest of the other cadets?" Nerys wanted to get going and deal with Quark. He had to be involved in what was going on. She could feel it in her bones.

    "Ma'am, I just want to make a good impression" the cadet said with her broad smile holding fast. Slowly she withdrew the PADD and looked down, "sorry Ma'am. Everyone will be looking to impress you tomorrow. But I want to be better than them. I want to show you that I am the kind of officer that you were." She almost giggled that made Nerys cringe at the thought, "you have always been a role model to me since I was young."

    Nerys sighed heavily 'since I was young' she repeated the cadet's words in her mind. 'Am I really that old' she questioned as her hand found her own forehead. "Look cadet" Nerys finally said after rubbing her temples. 'It had been such a long day' Nerys thought as she didn't really feel up to baby sitting tonight. She didn't have time for this. Of all the days, this was not the day to babysit.

    Finally Nerys said as she motioned behind her, "Ops is down that corridor and then take a left at the next junction. You will find a Starfleet Lieutenant named Hristov there. Give him your orders, and tell him I told you to speak to him. Have him show you the Ops. I will be back in about an hour. Then we could sit down and talk over a raktajino" Nerys said softly. She knew what it was like to be that young eager officer wanting to make a good impression. It might have been a long day but this young woman didn't deserve to be ignored because of it. "Inform Lieutenant Hristov that I told you to wait in Ops for my return."

    The young Bajoran smiled actually grew as she let out a bold "Yes Ma'am!"

    Nerys rolled her eyes at the cadet's enthusiasm as she thought, 'cadets these days.' There was excitement in the cadet's voice over the idea of some one on one time with a legend. Colonel Kira nodded as she added "oh and that brown shoulder bag of yours and your hair," she said pointing out the two offenses. "neither are regulation. So I expect them fixed by morning" Kira snapped in a stern voice. But in a softer tone she added, "but for tonight, I will let it slide."

    The young officer pulled her shoulder bag close to her and nodded, "yes Ma'am" still beaming with excitement over a personal meeting with a hero of Bajor.

    Nerys allowed the cadet to pass and watched her for a moment as the cadet continued her way towards Ops. Nerys smiled for a moment as shook her head. "What is the academy doing sending us these air heads" Nerys wondered under her voice as she let out a slight laugh as she watch the cadet vanished around a corner. She turned and continued to rush her way down to the Magistrates Officer. She had a meeting a rather painful meeting with Quark. 'At least it will be painful for him', she thought with a smile.

    The young Bajoran cadet vanished around the corner as she continued to make her way towards Ops. Carefully she followed the directions that were given to her and within moments she found herself coming up to the last turn that would lead in to the Ops Center. This was the center of all command and control for the station and for the entire sector. It was the nerve central that was one of the most protected areas on the station. With numbers of security sensors and personnel between here and the common areas, even reaching this far would be more than enough for any intruder. For any intruder, this would clearly be the end of the road in their attempts at wrong doing.

    Only a few brave souls have dared to risk turning that corner and taking on both Starfleet and the Bajoran militia. For Seona, she knew that once she crossed this line, there could be no going back. One way or another, she knew that her life would be ending tonight. She was in complete acceptance of this fact and was ready to do what was necessary for the Federation. Nothing was going to stop her from protecting the Federation from the Dominion attack she knew was coming. Nothing anyone could do was going to stop her now. She has come too far, traveled too long. No spy, no starship, no one was going to stop her.

    Coming aboard earlier today gave her the valuable time to set up her plan. Unlike her other plans, this time she didn't bother to create an exit strategy in her plan. Once she turned that corner, this is going to be a one way trip. She knew that once she stepped foot in to that room, there was no walking out of that room. Her death would assure the life of the Federation. Seona took in a deep breath as she felt pride in what she was about to do. As she walked closer to the final turn, she thought of the steps that had brought her to this point.

    Getting aboard proved to be much easier than she had thought. She had smuggled herself aboard a Bajoran transport that was carrying a group of cadets. Thanks to a dermal regenerator, she was able to make herself appear to be Bajoran. Thanks to a replicator, she created a near prefect matching uniform that the cadets were wearing. But it was being accepted by the cadets and the station personnel that was her masterful stroke. Studying them during the trip, she learned that they came from different schools. A search dug up a school that was not represented by the other cadets. Instead of trying to include herself in the different circles of the cadets, she kept to herself. She needed one of them to reach out to her.

    That was when she met Antos, a son of a powerful Minister who never wanted for anything. When he set his sights on Seona, she knew that he was her ticket aboard the station. She played off the shy cadet nearly perfectly. And he made it so easy by talking about himself nearly the entire time. When he wasn't talking about himself or his family, it was Colonel Kira and how legendary she was. She didn't have to ask him anything about cadet life or how to be Bajoran. He literally flooded her with ideal chatter. At the end of the trip, she wanted to kill herself. But the time spent with him was about to pay off. After all, her disguise as a cadet was only surface deep. There was no record of her being on that transport and station security would know this.

    Once they docked, she didn't have to make an effort to be close to him. He had sought her out. Antos took her by the arm as if they were lovers and led her towards the exit. Her concerns and fears were buried very deep as she played her part flawlessly. She had allowed Antos to lead her through the docking collar as she had noticed that station security had been stepped up. There were a number of dignitaries aboard as well as the man hunt for her which was already well in full swing. Deep down inside she could feel her own fears boiling. If she couldn't get aboard, if she was caught, saving the Federation would be impossible. Once her forged documents sent up the flags, Antos was quick to defend his new found attraction. She had played it off but he made the scene.

    The scene was large enough to get them to allow her aboard. However she knew it would be only a time till they would check her credentials. Once that happened, the man hunt for her would begin here on the station. She didn't have much time to act. Luckily Antos didn't hold his drinks as well as he had planned. Though Seona spiking his drink didn't help either. He would wake up tomorrow morning with one hell of a hangover and luckily would have missed all of the fireworks. During her time alone on the station she went to work making sure her plans were in place for her moment in history. A moment when all eyes would turn to her and she would save the Federation.

    No one bothered to question the young Bajoran cadet as she made her through the station. She just acted like she belong here since the very beginning. She even helped a transporter tech with an alignment problem when he caught her in a transporter room. At first he was suspicious when he walked in on her as she was tending to her own plans for tonight. However after helping him work through his own issues, he thanked her as the two parted company. She was almost surprised at how well members of the station crew just looked past her as if she had been here the entire time. She thought that she would have been stopped by someone and questioned when she was working in an access. But Starfleet personnel just walked past her as if she was invisible. But she wasn't, she was just minding her own business.

    When she needed help getting around, some even gave her directions. Not even Colonel Kira bothered to question a wide eye cadet just reporting to the station. Now, Seona stood at the apex of her goals, her destiny. Just beyond that last turn, was all that she had worked towards over the past few months. Everything that she needed to save the Federation was just beyond that turn. While the crew of Deep Space Nine were looking at the end of a long work day. Seona was looking at the night, as just the beginning. Tonight was going to be her last night alive and she meant to make the best of it. Now, it was time to finish what she started. Taking a breath, Seona started to walk those final steps towards the Ops Center of Deep Space Nine.

    "Tell me Major, can you feel it?" Gul Bolon said coldly. The tall Cardassian officer and former captor came up behind Seona and whispered in to her ear.

    Seona's eyes widened as she froze for a moment. She reached in to her bag and drew a phaser as she spun around. She had the weapon set to heat. She had decided on this setting because it would cause a nasty non-leathal wound. And in this, she hoped that it would force her attackers, her Starfleet attackers, to respond with lethal force. She looked down the empty corridor as her weapon searched for any target. Her body trembled at his voice as she scanned the corridor, "where are you bastard" she said softly spinning around searching both directions.

    Seona closed her eyes as she tried to get her fears under control. 'Come on Seona, this long road is so close to being over. Get a grip' she thought as she turned and leaned up against the bulkhead. She could feel his breath on her neck as he had whispered to her. She fought to focus her mind on the moment. Without looking Seona lifted the flap on her bag and returned the phaser to its place. She started to search the bag for something.

    It wasn't long till she pulled out a handful of empty hypo-bottles. As she pulled them out, a small number of them slipped from her grip and fell to the floor. They made tiny empty glass sounds as they scattered across the deck. Seona slid down to the deck as she search through the empty bottles that remained in her hand. Noting that all of them were empty as, let them fall from her hand to the deck. She pushed her hand in to her bag once more and pulled out more bottles. Her heart sank as she knew what it meant. Her eyes filled with tears as her search continued more frantically. "Come on, I only need one more. more...." Seona whimpered as she felt him hovering right over her.

    "Ahhhh, no more medication, Major" he gloated as empties bottles slipped from Seona's fingers and down across the deck around her.

    She leaned back on her heels putting her entire weight against the bulkhead as hopelessness tried to take root in her heart. A pair of tears worked their way down her face as she looked down the corridor at the entrance to Ops.

    "Major, you know what that means" he said as he ran his hand over her long pony tail. "What will you do" Gul Bolon asked as his hand lifted her pony tail up as he pulled his hand from it.

    Her pony tail slipped from his grasp and fell upon her shoulder. Her whole body shuttered at his touch. She hated it, as memories of what he did to her filled the walls around her. She watched him abuse her. Days bleed in to days as she couldn't control her eyes as she saw the horrors of her captivity.

    Seona dropped the bottles as her eyes shifted to the entrance to Ops just down the corridor once more. She could hear them down there laughing and talking. Their voices carried and echoed down the corridor as they laughed during their shift. She turned her head as she rested her head against the bulkhead again. Before her eyes, she saw the woods of her childhood. A large bonfire with children laughing and dancing around it. Her eyes filled with tears as she fought to keep her mind focused. Once more her hand searched the bag once more while Gul Bolon moved like a predator on the hunt around her. Soon, he was kneeling before her with that look of victory in his eyes. That look he had in his eyes each time he watched her violated.

    Gul Bolon smiled as got up and walked towards the opening in to the Ops center. "Give me what I desire Major and I can help you."

    Seona whimpered fearful that seeing him near the entrance that it would trigger an alarm. She wasn't ready for that yet. She shook her head with pleading in her eyes. If someone saw a Cardassian, no less a Gul standing in Ops, security would be called and her plans would fall apart. Seona's hand continued to search as she pulled out hand full of empty bottles from her bag. Each bottle slipped from her fingers and fall about the floor around her feet. Despair was starting to set in as tears blurred her vision as she heard the loud music from the bonfire. Down the corridor, she saw herself as a girl dancing. She knew that she needed her medication if she was to continue this. She needed her mind focused on the task of stopping Bolon from destroying the Federation.

    Gul Bolon peeked in to the Ops Center "Here, tell me the code to the array and I will help you take back control over your mind," he offered. "Tell me how to reactivate it and I can ease your suffering."

    Seona closed her eyes once more as the tears welled up. She couldn't control it any longer, the tears just started to flow from her eyes. She desperately needed her medicine to silence him. Finally she pulled one out as the Gul turned to face her. She lifted the bottle to the same level as her eyes. Looking through the bottle, she saw that it was just about an eighth full of a red liquid. 'Please' she thought as she rolled the bottle in her fingers and watched the red liquid move within it. It just might be enough for her to complete what she had to do. She had to save the Federation from destruction. 'Please Crone, please give me the strength to complete this journey' Seona offered in prayer to one of the Triple Goddess of the Wiccan faith.

    Gul Bolon shook his head, "ah Major, still not enough" he said moving back towards her. "Give up, and give me what I want. I will ease your suffering."

    Seona shook her head as she loaded the partial does in to her hypo. "It will have to be. I will never give you what you want." With shaking hands, she injected herself. Seona focused her eyes on the bonfire just feet from her as she fought to calm her mind. "You will never have the array. It will never help your defenses," she hissed at him.

    Then under her breath and in a painful whisper she added, "For all, tragically great are made so through a certain morbidness.... all mortal greatness is but disease." On that she injected herself one last time. All her hopes now rested on if she can complete her taste before her control ran out. Slowly Seona relaxed her arms and allowed them to lower down to her side. Her eyes drifted closed as she could feel the medication taking hold of her mind. She held her eyes closed tightly as she focused her mind.

    It took all of her effort to control something that was nothing less than a hurricane of thoughts and emotions deep within her own mind. Those voices that were not her own were slowly growing silent once more. The empty hypospray slipped from her grip as it fell down to the deck beside her. Her mind slowly became steady and her thoughts were once more those of only her own. With her hand shaking, she reaches back in to her bag and pulls out a tricorder.

    Taking a deep breath as Seona looked up and down the corridor. There was a sense of gratefulness about her as she was alone in her mind once more. Seona opened the tricorder and enters a set of commands that would start her preprogrammed plan. It would take a few moments for her program to take full effect on the stations systems. During that time she waited for the medication to take full effect. The dose was limited and now so was her time.

    She didn't have much time left, if she was to complete this mission. If she was to save the Federation from the horrors that she knew was coming. In her mind she knew it was coming, she could feel it just beyond her vision. She tried to warn them. Warn them of the traitor, warn them that the Dominion was coming again. No one would listen to her, so only she knew it was coming. She could see the ships in orbit over numerous worlds. The death toll that would be raising. The suffering and the battles. Starfleet ships would be all be helpless to defend themselves from these unseen attackers. "No, I will not allow this to happen" Seona promised as she drove the visions from her mind.

    The tricorder acknowledged that the command had been sent and her program was now starting. Seona returned the tricorder to her bag. Next she drew out a isolinear tag pistol and checked it to make sure that it was in firing order. After switching the pistol to her off hand, she reached back in to her shoulder bag and pulled out a second tag pistol. Once more she checked this weapon as well to ensure that it was in firing order. With all things finally in order, she rose herself up back to her feet. She reached across her body and felt her dampening device under her uniform and knew that it would help her reach her goals tonight. All they will see is her ghostly image and will not be able to get a transporter lock on her. "This the end of my road" she proclaimed soundly, "may I die tonight so that millions will live tomorrow" she prayed softly as she placed both pistols against her forehead.

    Resting the pistols on her head, she closed her eyes. The timing of Seona's plan was critical and had to take place at the same time as departing Bajoran transport. She went over the details of why this transport was important. Its hold was secured for the trip back to Bajor. The tags would signal one of the station's transporter units, and the target would be beamed to that ship's hold. She wasn't expecting the crew to remain out of contact till the transport arrived at Bajor. But the secured hold would make them spend valuable time getting out and alerting the station of what happened. All she needed was just enough time to secure the Ops Center to carry out her plan. If all things played in her favor, she would be finished long before anyone could reach Ops to stop her. As always, time was a factor for her. After she completed what had to be done, nothing else matter. Only then would the Federation be saved from a brutal surprise attack.
  17. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Final Acts....(Part Three)
    Stardate: 53839.19
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9
    Seònaid Melville, Fugitive
    Operations Center

    Seònaid Melville opened her eyes as she rose up to her feet. Being as silent as she could, Seona carefully moved the rest of the way down the corridor towards Ops. Stopping short of the entrance, Seona lowered herself just out of sight of those in Ops and uttering a silent prayer to the Triple Goddesses. She summoned up all of her inner strength as Seona readied herself for this final act of heroism. She knew in her heart that this would not only be her final hour, but her finest. 'One last act to save the Federation' she thought then her mind added, 'Goddesses, don't let me fail in this.'

    On that Seona rose up like a spring pivoting on her feet and stepped in to full view of the Ops Center with her weapons at ready. Seona didn't waste time as she searched her first set of targets. She saw the look across their faces and knew that she had won surprise. Some tried to react while others were frozen by surprise. Seona took aim at the first pair of officers located on the Security and the Operations Stations. Her tags ripped past a tall blond hair blue eyed officer who was standing at the center table. Before either officer could trigger an alarm, both Starfleet Officers vanished within seconds in a bluish transporter hum. As the lone officer in the center dove over a console seeking cover, Seona tucked and rolled towards the center table. Seona's timely action allowed her to dodge a phaser beam which narrowly missed her.

    Lieutenant Hristov was quick as he came back over one of the consoles with his phaser at ready. His quick reaction gave him a target as he shifted on his feet while taking aim with his phaser. He readied his phaser to fired at Seona while she was coming up from behind the center table. Another phaser from one of the other Ops personnel fired as well at her. That phaser shot hit just behind Seona sending a shower of sparks over her head while she took aim at Hristov. With his better aim, he fired at Seona from behind his cover just before she had a chance to fire at him.

    In his mind he knew that this battle was won. The red beam of his phaser ripped through the air catching Seona on the upper shoulder. The hit caused Seona to stumble back as he smiled, 'got you' he thought. The phaser was set to stun and it was a solid hit, he expected this intruder to drop. But to the Hristov's surprise it didn't stun her. She didn't fall, in fact she once more took aimed at him. Lieutenant Hristov yelled out, "Computer! Intruder Alert! Operations!" He dropped back behind his cover as a tag narrowly missed him. He heard something behind him being beamed from Ops.

    [COLOR=#800000] [/COLOR]The computer made a sound as if it was attempting to speak but only gibberish was heard across Ops. Everyone knew of the reports of Soena that had already been spread across the sector. Lieutenant Hristov knew now that this had to be that fugitive which Starfleet had been hunting for the past few days. He cursed his weapon for not stunning her as he dialed up the stun setting. Lieutenant Hristov motioned for a Starfleet Officer to join him in an attack while a female Bajoran officer would move to the security station and manually trigger the intruder alert. Both gave their nods in understanding of his orders.

    Carefully Seona moved around the center table trying to locate her next target without allowing herself to become a target. She didn't understand why that phaser didn't stun her, but she was not looking a gift horse in the mouth. She searched for her next target as she could hear the last four officers moving behind their consoles. She knew that they were up to something as she moved slowly searching for any sign of them exposing themselves. She saw a Cardassian guard moving from one cover to another just inside a side office. Seona tried to take aim but he was out of her sight before she could fire. She could count five maybe six total targets in and around Ops. They still had the advantage of both time and numbers. Seona knew that she had to end this quickly.

    Lieutenant Hristov came up from behind his console as did the other officer. Both men took aim and fired. Soena managed to dodge Hristov's beam as she shifted her body to the left. However the second phaser also set on stun hit her in her left chest. The hit caused her to stumble but this time she knew how to compensate for it. At the same time, she once more took aim with both pistols and fired. The Starfleet officer that hit her and the Bajoran running for the security station both vanished in seconds. Just as before, the stun setting had no effect on Seona.

    Lieutenant Hristov knew his options were running thin as his staff were being beamed somewhere. He took a glimpse of where the intruder was and planned his next attack. He tapped his communicator only to hear it buzz and chirp. The sound told him that the communications were off line. Considering that there was no alert from the phaser shots, he figured that they were cut off from support. It wasn't hard for him to size up the situation. The lifts were off line, and the exits were clearly kills zones. They had little choice but to fight. He saw Ensign Carmody with her phaser at the ready.

    Ensign Carmody motioned to him that she had set her phaser to kill. He didn't like the idea of killing the intruder. He wanted there to be another way. But considering that the first two hits set on stun didn't stop the intruder, it was a necessary evil to defend the station. He nodded as he motioned the location of the intruder within the room. He held up three fingers, informing her of a three count that they will begin their attack on. His plan was simple, both of them would launch a combined attack on the intruder from two separate angles. His hope was that at least one could get a shot off at her before being beamed to God knows were. She nodded her understanding.

    Seona moved slowly around the center of the room using the main table as cover as she searched for her last two targets. She stayed low to give the last two officers as little target as possible. She would only pause long enough to get a idea of where they were, then continue to move. It was now a game of cat and mouse. Her eyes watched the only two exits of the room noting that it would be a temping escape plan for one or both of the officers. She could feel her opponents in the room and knew that they would not surrender the room without a fight. Nor would they flee for escape. Her mind focused on the task of securing the room. Her virus would only keep the computer and communications down for a short period of time. Time was running out for her and she had to put these last two targets down before her program ended its cycle.

    Seona reached out with her hearing as she heard the change of a phaser setting. She heard the failed attempt to activate a com-badge. She could hear them moving about around her, hiding from her sight. Seona closed her eyes and allowed her hearing to filled in what her eyes failed to detect. They had to know that the Operations Center was cut off from the rest of the station. Seona heard other foot steps around her. 'Boots' she thought as she reached out further with her hearing. 'Soldiers' she pondered as she tried to locate the source of that new sounds. She checked her watch and let out a soft sigh.

    The clock was ticking down and Colonel Kira would be arriving at the Magistrates Office shortly. Once she did, she would realize that the report and communications were faked. Once that event occurred Colonel Kira would lead an armed assault to retake Ops. Seona had hoped that it would be Colonel Kira who would take her life. But for that to happen Seona had to secure Ops first. Seona moved in to a position where she knew that the two remaining officers would have the advantage. There wasn't enough time to recalculate her plan for the new soldiers. She would have to deal with them once she got rid of the two Starfleet Officers. But for now, she needed them to attack instead of running out the clock. Once they attacked, she would be able to counter it. Then she could deal with the other soldiers.

    Noting that the intruder was just on the other side of his station, Lieutenant Hristov knew he could take her down without having to kill her. He motioned to Ensign Carmody to follow his lead. IF his attack failed, she would have a clean shot to kill the intruder. He communicated his intentions and her role in his plan. She nodded her understanding of the plan. He waited as the Intruder continued to move closer to his position and was making herself open to a close in melee attack. Lieutenant Hristov smiled as he figured that this was going to be over in just a few short minutes. Either he will disable the intruder or Ensign Carmody would kill the her. One way or the other, Ops would be saved.

    Taking the bait, Lieutenant Hristov leaped over the console as he yelled, "NOW!" He used his arm to hold up his body, he kicked his leg out and to the side. However, Seona's actions was much faster then he had expected as she spun around taking aim at him. Seconds clicked by painfully so as he dropped his supporting arm allowing the gravity to drop his body in reaction to what Seona was doing. In that moment as she spun, even before her eyes took sight of him, she pulled the trigger. Seona's tag narrowly ripped passed him as he heard something behind him being beamed out of the Ops Center. Not willing to give up his attack, he attempted to kick her with his left foot. Lacking the coordination he wanted, his kick was wild as Seona side stepped it. Now all his hopes rested on Ensign Carmody's aim to finish off the intruder.

    Despite Ensign Carmody moving from her position just before she popped up to fire, Seona's eyes were already shifting to where the Ensign was. Seona could see out of the corner of her eye a pair of Cardassian Guards getting their weapons ready. If Ensign Carmody could manage to fire first, the Ops Center would be secured. Milliseconds turned in to hours as both women shifted their aim at each other. Seona's long blond pony tail flipped through the air as her left hand swung wide to take aim at the two guards entering from a side entrance while her most serious threat stood just feet from her. Seona shifted on her heels giving the Lieutenant next to her part of her back as she readied to engage three different targets.

    Ensign Carmody sprang upwards in to firing position with her phaser taking aim at Seona. There was a pounding in the young Ensign's ears. Only later would she realize that that pounding was her own heart beating. Ensign Carmody's short blond hair whipped upward as she came in to full firing position from behind the Science Station. In that moment confusion crossed Carmody's mind as she couldn't understand what the intruder was taking second aim at. It would be a costly mistake for the young ensign. Both females leveled their weapons in to position as they took aim at each other as only heartbeats passed in that moment.

    Their eyes met in that brief moment as the two woman locked their own sights on each other. Ensign Carmody had never taken a life before this day. She had often wondered what the feeling would be like. However, she was surprised to realize that in this moment she didn't feel anything. It was all training that focused her mind. Her body reacted to years of conditioning and training. There was no fear, no hate, no emotions at all. All the Ensign could do was to think of her training and react to it. For Seona, this was a world of difference. She didn't have time to think as she already committed her actions. With her shoulder in full motion she pulled the trigger while her eyes shifted to the guards at the door.

    Both weapons functioned flawlessly with their triggers were activated. Unlike Carmody's phaser that didn't have to reload, Seona's own pistol ran through its reload once the tag was launched. Seona's tag flew through the air passing right below the red beam of Carmody's phaser. The tag hit Ensign Carmody in the gut and a soft beeping sound told the fate of the young Ensign. Within seconds she would be with the rest of her friends on that Bajoran transport. She would never know if she hit or not. The beam cut through the air sizzling the air around it as it made its way towards Seona.

    The red beam of the phaser ripped past Seona just as she rolled her shoulder back and down in an attempt to dodge the incoming fire. If it was not for Carmody's confusion, her aim might had been more true. However this time, the beam ripped pass Seona and exploded on a console behind her. As sparks filled the air around Seona, she dodged a disruptor fire from entrance. Her left hand weapon fired at one of the guards. Her right hand weapon was just seconds behind it. She took aim with it and fired that one was well. Both Tags flew true and were only seconds apart. Seona wasn't given time to think as Lieutenant Hristov launched his next attack on her back.

    Not fully understanding why she gave him her back, or why she made that radical movement a few seconds ago. Let alone what she was shotting at, Lieutenant Hristov shifted his weight and landed both feet in to Seona's back. The twin blow lunged her in to the center table. With the force of the blow that sent her against the table, she bent over the losing her grip on both pistols. Lieutenant Hristov wasn't wasting any time as he leaped off the table and towards her. His blow ready to come crashing down on her back.

    However Seona wasn't about to let that happen. Seona recovered from the attack as fast as it had happened. Pushing off of the table, she side stepped his attack driving her fist in to his lower side. Like profession fighters, Seona and Lieutenant Hristov exchanged blows. However Seona was just faster than he was. For all of his power, her hits were just doing more damage and he couldn't understand why she was beating him. Everything he tried, she was able to block or evade. She was just too fast for his attacks, but he was not about to give up the fight or Ops.

    Seona slammed her fist in to Hristov's chest knocking him back and heavily winding him. Hristov stumbled towards the Commander's Office finally gaining his footing at the stairs leading up to the Commander's Office. Seona was on the attack as she pursued him. Her next attack was a knee to his gut forcing him to double over. She continued her combination attack on Hristov while she spun around planting her right foot in to his chest. The combination attack sent him slamming in to the back of the one of the stations. Seona was in pure form as she spun to carry out her next attack. Hristov was just getting his breath as he saw her from the corner of his eye. She had him dead to rights and he knew it.

    "Major" Gul Bolon said from the entrance to Colonel Kira's office then added, "Guess what?" There was that gloating again.

    Seona turned to the sudden arrival of Gul Bolon like a specter from her worst nightmares. She lowered her guard as she stood stunned just long enough to take her eyes and mind off of Lieutenant Hristov. Seona never saw the attack from the Cardassian Guard as he flung himself towards her once more. He kicked her in the side of the head causing her to stumble towards the Colonel's officer. Knocked of balance and slightly dazed, Seona fought to regain her footing. It was too late as Lieutenant Hristov was on top of her before she could react to the attack. He wrapped his large arms around her neck in a sleeper hold.

    Hristov didn't want to her hurt her, but he had to end this battle. He knew who she was now and had read her personnel file. He knew that she was suffering from mental instability. So hurting her was the last thing he wanted to do. He held the pressure against her neck hoping that her mind would let go before her body did.

    She knew that there was no why Bolon was here. He had to be a specter. Or was he. Seona fought hard to bring her mind under control. Her mouth gasps as her mind fights for breath. She tried to focus on the red uniform of the man holding her. "He's Starfleet" she pleaded. To her horror she didn't know if she was trying to convince herself of the truth or trying to lie to herself. Terror filled her eyes as she looked up and saw Bolon looking down at her.

    "Don't resist me Major" Gul Bolon said as he walked towards Seona with a smile on his face.

    Seona panicked as the arms of the Cardassian Guard was cutting off her air supply. She could feel her body growing weak under the submission attack. She drove her elbow in to his side trying to weaken his grip on her. Despite the power of the blow and the cracking of ribs, the attack failed to gain her any ground. Even though the guard let out a deep grown from the pain of the attack but he didn't loosen his grip on her. She could see Gul Bolon smiling as he stood there. There was victory in his eyes as he stood there watching her slowly be choked to death. But she knew he wasn't there. He couldn't be. Or was he!? She simply couldn't tell anymore. She could feel his pleasure over her suffering. She knew that the Cardassian Guard behind her was real. She could feel his heartbeat through the choke hold. Or was he an illusion of her mind as well. 'Is Gul Bolon really here!' her mind thought in a panic.

    "Come on Major" he said gloating. "You knew that this was where it all had to end. All your plans had to bring you back here." Gul Bolon laughed as his hand waved around. To Seona's horror she saw the landscape of Velos beyond the windows of his office. "We both knew that you would come home once more."

    Seona fought hard to remain focused but the lack of oxygen was making her efforts impossible. As her eyes shifted she could see the Gul Bolon's officer around her. The rest of his guards standing as they waited for their turn with her. He had brought her back to Velos! Her mind tried hard to refocus. "I will not let you destroy the Federation!" she managed to say to Lieutenant Hristov's surprise. Seona grabbed her right fist and used her left arm as a power multiplier. She drove her right elbow in to Lieutenant Hristov's side. "I will stop your attack" she cried out as loud as she could, "If it is the last thing I do! I WILL STOP YOU BOLON!"

    She repeated the attack with more power as she was filled with anger over what she knew was happening. Bolon was going to have his men beat her and do unthinkable horrible acts to her, AGAIN!She kept driving her elbow in to Lieutenant Hristov's side. With all her might she kicked up and pushed off a console spinning both of them around while Hristov tried to keep her under control. The pair spun around as Seona readied her elbow once more.

    Seona could see the ghostly illusions standing around the center table once more. This was not of her memory, but she saw it as if it was. They were looking over a large illuminated map of this region of space. Their distorted voices echoed in her mind as she continued to drive her attacks home.

    "Don't worry, Starfleet will never see the attack coming" One of the figures said as Seona's eyes widened in horror. "I have made sure of it. Once the attacks are over, the Federation Council will have to accept the change in Government. They wont want another prolonged war."

    She knew that they were plotting to destroy the Federation. Seona let out a scream as she drove her elbow in to the side of the Cardassian Guard. "NO!" she screamed out as she pulled her will power up, she had to escape Bolon and warn Starfleet. She had to let them know what was coming.

    The power of the repeated hits sent Lieutenant Hristov slightly in to the air as he fought for control over Seona's neck. She was much stronger than he had ever imagined. It was all he could do to just hold on to her let alone keep the sleeper hold intact. He tried to tightened his grip on her neck as he fought to keep the woman under control. Another elbow broke his grip and sent him stumbling back towards the center table. Before he realized it, she was back on her feet once more and filled with rage.

    She spun hard slamming her left foot in to the side of his head. Lieutenant Hristov spun to the right as he was flung on to the center table. Even as he was trying to recover from the attack, he felt two powerful punches to his lower back. The blows knocked the wind out of him. This time, he was the one fighting to keep the blackness at bay. It took all of his might just flip over and try to get back up.

    Seona planted her hands around the Cardassian's neck as he laid on the table. She would kill him right here, right on Gul Bolon's desk. She tightened her grip around his neck as his eyes grew larger. "Look in to his eyes Major" Gul Bolon whispered in her ear. "How many times did I allow him to take you. I can't remember." Seona lifted up the Cardassian from the table by his neck and slammed him back on to the thick glass table. "That's right, Major. Kill my guard. Its okay. I will allow you this, my love" Gul Bolon whispered once more.

    She hated this guard like no other. She knew what his touch felt like. She hated him when he touched her. She hated it when he was doing those horrible things to her. She felt Bolon's breath on her neck as her mind screamed out in agony. There was a female scream from somewhere in the room. Or was it in her mind? Seona could no longer tell anymore. All she could feel, all she knew, was that this monster had to pay for what he did to her. She tightened her grip on his neck as the flashbacks ripped through her mind.

    Slithering across the table was a Scottish Adder, the same one that nearly killed her as a child. She didn't care, all she cared about was killing this one Cardassian for what he did to her. She could feel his touch on her skin all over again. She could feel him doing those things to her once more. She slammed his head against the table once more as anger filled her mind. All she saw was the Cardassian Guard who was aloud to have his way her when Gul Bolon was too tired or bored to do it himself.

    Lieutenant Hristov's eyes started to roll up in to the back of his head as he made a last ditch effort to loosen the grip on his neck. He hit both her forearms with his own arms. The attack was too feeble and too weak to have any effect on Seona or her grip. She only looked in to the Cardassian's eyes as she knew his death was at hand. It was all she could do was to have this bit of revenge. "Kill him Major" Gul Bolon said with a hint of laughter in his voice. "Its okay. I never really liked him anyway. Always whispering behind my back. Always plotting against me." Once more the room was filled with a female scream. Seona looked up from the Cardassian and saw herself standing by the turbolift.

    But she wasn't here on the station. It was more like looking through a window in to another place, another time. Seona couldn't explain what she was looking at, but she knew it was her. She felt herself looking back. Behind the woman the looked just like her was a tall mountain castle. The woman on the other side of the Ops screamed out Seona's name once more. Seona only gazed at herself standing there in some snow covered wooded area.

    Seona's eyes widen as her mind couldn't understand what was going on any longer. Seona turned back to see the Cardassian on the verge of death. His body failing, his eyes no longer moving. "FOCUS!" Seona heard herself cry out from the other side of Ops. Seona closed her eyes and shook her head. When she opened them she could see the Starfleet Lieutenant near death. In shock, she backed up letting him go. Without any grace or control, he slipped from the table and flopped to the floor below. He cough and fought for breath as he laid on the floor. Seona continued to back up as she searched the room once more. Her hands were shaking uncontrollable as her eyes revealed the Ops Center once more. Her eyes were filled with tears as she feared she couldn't control her own mind any more.

    Scanning the room, she noted that Gul Bolon had vanished once more. She looked down at the Starfleet Lieutenant who was still coughing as he fought to regain breath. She moved backwards to the back side of the Operations Station and reached down to pick up one of her pistols. She walked past Lieutenant Hristov on shaky legs while he rolled over to his hands and knees. He would survive this day, but Seona knew she wouldn't. Without even a glance at him, she pointed the pistol at him and fired. Within seconds his coughing faded from the room as he was beamed over with the rest of his friends.
  18. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Final Acts....(Part Four)
    Stardate: 53839.19
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9
    Seònaid Melville, Fugitive
    Operations Center

    Seona took her shoulder bag off as she centered herself at the table. She dumped out the contents of the bag across the center table. A type two phaser slid across the table as it fell from the bag. Seona glanced at the weapon set on heat, but didn't take it. She knew that she would need it for the final stand of her plan, but not right now. The next item that took her attention was a Bajoran plasma grenade wired to a harness. A deactivated bioscanner was also linked to the harness and the grenade. She would make sure that her final stand was just that. After she saved the Federation, nothing else mattered. She didn't belong here, she should have died with the rest of her unit back on Velos. And soon she would rejoin them in the afterlife. But right now, she didn't have time to think about what was going to happen.

    Seona picked up a metal case from the small pile and set it on the side. Under the case were a set of Mek'leths banded together with a leather straps. The blades were coated in blood as was the leather straps that held them together. Laying next to them was a Klingon knife called a d'k tahg. Seona looked at them with a sense of wonder, she had never seen them before. Without thinking she picked up the d'k tahg and looked at it. Visions filled her mind of using the weapon against bounty hunters, but she couldn't remember it happening. Her hand shook while holding the heavy knife as she could almost hear someone pleading for their life at her hands. She slammed her eyes closed as she tried to block out those sights and sounds. Shaking her head to clear her mind, she secured it under her belt in the small of her back.

    Along side the mess of odds and ends was her tricorder, the same one that she used to hack her way in to the computer core of the USS Thunderchild and a pile of preloaded PADDs. In the center of the pile was a holopicture of Maura, Jackson and herself. They were teenagers standing by a large rock next to a waterfall. A tear filled her eye as she looked at the picture as she ran her finger over the image. She had discovered the picture in a safe at Doctor Jackson's home. She seemed so happy back then. 'That was before the Estate' she thought bitterly. Somehow she had forgotten about that place and what they did to her there. As if Velos wasn't enough for one mind to endure, then when all this happened, she remembered that really happened at the Estate. "I wont go back" she promised herself.

    She set the image down next to a larger pile of empty hypo bottles that had rolled out of the bag and across the table. There were just so many of them now that some even fell on to the floor. She didn't know why she kept the empty bottles. Maybe it was a record for herself of how intense the battle for her mind had become. Maybe it was a road marker to let her know how close to her own death she was becoming. She shook her head as she looked across the pile of bottles. She had created the medicine while she was at Doctor Jackson's home on Mars. She didn't know how she knew what to do to create it, but it seemed to just come to her. So much lately had just come to her. Things she never knew she could do were almost like second nature to her. It terrified her as she didn't know what she was capable of.

    The images of that lieutenant just moments ago filled her memory. The look of death in his eyes as she choked him. Not someone else, but by her own hands. She raised her hands to cover her face and almost wept. She was not weeping for what is happening to her, but to what she has done to others. "Is this who I am to be. I murderer?" she said shaking the thoughts from her mind. "No, I am not a murderer. I have a mission to do" she demanded. She took in a deep breath as she cleared the doubt from her mind. She reached down and picked up Her tricorder and placed it on her person. Then she picked up the PADDs and the metal case with a nod as she said, "Time to get to work, Seona."

    Seona rushed over to the Computer Pit and leaped down in to it. She opened the case revealing a set of isolinear chips that were each attached to the case by a long flat colorful ribbon. She pulled a series of chips from the central computer of Deep Space Nine and replaced them with chips from the case. Seona took her time to make sure of each chip she pulled as she tied her case in to the central computer. She looked up from the case as she spoke, "Computer, scramble all command codes for the next sixty minutes."

    Within seconds the computer responded in a female voice, "Unauthorized attempted access. Verify Identity, please"

    Seona returned her attention to the case as she pulled a few more chips and once more replaced her own chips with those that she pulled out. This time, she pulled her tricorder and started to enter in some additional commands. Once more she double checked the link between her case and the central computer of Deep Space Nine. Seona looked up, "Computer, scramble all command codes for the next sixty minutes." Seona waited for the computer to answer. If she didn't have the right combination than she would be locked out of the computer and trapped in Ops. Her mission would end right then and there.

    The computer's female voice returned, "Acknowledged. All Commander Codes are now scrambled for the next sixty minutes."

    Seona nodded as she knew that she had complete control over the station. She was in control of Deep Space Nine. "Computer, activate all security force fields across the entire station. Seal off Operations and the central core with a level ten security force field." As the computer acknowledged the commander Seona climbed out of the pit and started to get to work. Seona knew that the force fields would not stop Colonel Kira. By now, Colonel Kira had to know that the station had been hijacked. But the attempt was to only slow the Colonel down. After all, Seona hoped for a fateful run in with the Colonel soon enough. Seona paused as she approached the center table once more. "Computer" Seona said as an after thought, "Scan the Central Core and Operations. Are there any Cardassians life signs in the area?"

    After a few moments the voice of the computer was heard once more. "Negative" the computer responded as Seona looked around the room almost as if she didn't trust what her eyes were telling her.

    Seona tame to a stop then turned as she returned to the computer pit once more. "Computer, open security protocol. Run a continuous scan for any Cardassian bio signs within the Central Core or within Operations. Alert operations of the location of any Cardassian bio signs detected once they enter this security protocol zones. Trap the Cardassian intruders within an isolation field till Security can respond. Configure the protocol and encrypt it" Seona said as she returned to her case and moved more chips around and further bypassed the security protocols of the station's mainframe.

    The computer responded, "New Security Protocol configured and encrypt."

    Seona climbed out of the pit once more as she said, "Run Protocol till otherwise ordered to stop." She walked over to the central table and all of her things.

    "New Security Protocol running. There are no Cardassian Bio-signs currently in the security zones" the computer responded.

    Once more she found herself glancing down at her cherished memories were now laying on the table. She picked up a holo-camera and looked through the images. Pictures that she had taken since the beginning of this wild adventure. Seona wanted to try to understand what was driving her or at least to understand where she had gone and what brought her there. So she took as many holopictures as she could to record what she had done. She wanted history to know who she really was, and what she really meant to do. There in the memory of the holo-camera was a self recorded confession she made. In it, she explained what her plan was and why it had to happen. She explained the threat to the Federation and that no one could stop it but her. She wanted to be remembered not for the murderer that she feared she was becoming but as the hero that her sister was.

    "Computer run the new security protocol in shadow mode" she said as looked down at the different pictures with a bit of sadness in her heart. Seona didn't want any Cardassians trying to hack her new security protocol. She knew that they were coming, she could feel them just beyond the moment. "I will be ready for them" she said running her hand over the Mek'leths. There was determination in her eyes to stop them. "They wont win today. The Federation will stand strong, I swear it" she pledged.

    Her eyes lost on the recording of her performance on Terra Nova. She flipped through the images and stopped at that homeless family that she protected against thieves. It was all within this little camera. "I hope that someone will understand why I am doing this" she said softly and added, "why is there so much suffering in the galaxy?"

    The computer acknowledged her commands once more as Seona set down the camera and headed for the science stations. "Time to get to work" she said as she walked towards behind the station. She held the PADD over the station as she paused once more. She scanned the room carefully once more before placing the PADD on the terminal. "Computer, create file folder named Seona AVP-One" she commanded and waited for the creation to be confirmed. Seona nodded, "upload the following data at this station. Transfer all data to Seona AVP-One. Run Preprogrammed Encryption, titled Night Wind. Once these tasks for this station are complete, ease all data located on this PADD."

    Once more she waited for the computer to accept the commands that she gave it. She knew that what had to be undone would take time. But she was smarter than they were. She planned her steps long before she stepped on Deep Space Nine. She played out her actions here in her mind weeks ago. She walked over to to the communications station. She placed the second PADD on the terminal. "Computer realign all subspace antennas. Match each antenna to their corresponding coordinates within this PADD" Seona ordered and set the PADD on the upload port.

    This time the computer refused the command, "unable to comply. Instruction would sever Deep Space Nine from the Federation or Bajoran Subspace Networks. Instruction is in violation of communication protocols."

    Seona let out a huff of frustration as she whipped around and walked with purpose over to the computer pit. "I will show you a violation" she complained. She leaped down in to the pit and dropped to her knees once more. She scanned the chips with her tricorder once more and tapped in a few commands, "don't you understand, all of this was already written, you can't just say no" she spoke to the computer. She pulled a couple more chips out and replaced them with her own chips that were hard wired in to her case. "Computer realign all subspace antennas. Match each antenna to their corresponding coordinates within the PADD at the Communication Station's upload port" Seona ordered.

    This time the computer complied, "All subspace antennas are currently being realign to uploaded coordinates. Communication Black Out in two minutes. Advised to stop current course of action. Communication Black will prevent all communication to and from the station along Allied Subspace Networks."

    "Computer, continue with the realignment" Seona said with a nod as she once more climbed out of the computer pit and walked back across the operations center. "No computer will stop this" she mumbled as she reached the science station once more and started to run her fingers across the station's controls. "Computer, aside from my own protocols, are there any other non-Starfleet or non-Bajoran programs running in the background of the mainframe of the central computer." Seona continued to scan the station for any other programs currently running. Her eyes raced over lines of code as the computer scanned its own operations. "Computer increase transfer rate of the data displayed on this monitor by a factor of twenty" Seona commanded.

    "There are no other programs that meet the prescribed parameters" the computer replied with. In reaction to her second commend, the lines of code flew by at such a speed that they almost appeared a blur.

    Seona didn't even realize the speed as she searched each line of code. Nor did she noticed the slight nose bleed that started as it formed a little blood drop at her nostril. Seona nodded, "Computer, copy the file Seona AVP-One"

    "File Copied"

    Once more that demon spoke. "Ah Major, what are you doing?" Gul Bolon said as he walked around the central table of Operations.

    Seona looked up in shock as she spoke, "Computer, are there any Cardassians in Operations?" She couldn't stop looking at him as she started to shake while standing there. Fear filled her heart as she prayed it wasn't here.

    "There are no Cardassian Bio-sign located within Operations" replied the computer.

    Seona shook her head, "run a complete diagnostic on all internal sensors."

    "Diagnostic is currently being run"

    Seona turned her head away from Gul Bolon as she attempted to refocus her mind, "Run the copy of Seona AVP-One" As she tapped a command in to her station. "Computer show all Emergency Protocols for Deep Space Nine on this monitor" as she was completing the command the first of the Emergency Protocols filled the screen. Even before it she realized it, she had read the file. "Increase data transfer rate by a factor of twenty" she commanded and like the lines of code, the images swept through the display seemingly merging one image in to another. A drop of blood landed on the monitor as she read the protocols.

    "Copy Seona AVP-One currently being run" the computer said "Operation Complete in two minutes."

    "Major, you can't keep playing these games with me. How long do I have to hurt you" Gul Bolon said as he ran his hand through her hair.

    Seona fought hard against her fears as he touched her. 'He is not there' she kept telling herself. but she could feel him, hear him and see him. God she could even smell that vile cologne that he always wore. She brought her left hand up to the side of her head as she fought to control her shaking, "Your not here!" she whimpered softly forcing her mind to keep reading. She had to find what she was looking for. Tears started to mix with the droplets of blood on the monitor. She put her hand done on the monitor to steady herself.

    He leaned in so close that she could smell his breath. She hated it. She hated him. Her hands started to shake as his hand ran down her hair and across her cheek. "Tell me what I want to know Major and all this will end."

    "Diagnostic on the internal sensors complete. All sensors are operating within their normal parameters" the computer said out of the blue.

    "Ah Major what do we have here?" Gul Bolon said as Seona reached behind her back and drew out the d'k tahg that she took earlier. She couldn't help but watch it in his hand before her. "This is a warrior's weapon" he said coldly as he rolled it around for her to see. "Just like the one I found on you the day I captured you."

    'No' her mind whimpered, 'I never owned one' she tried to say but the words failed to cross her lips. Instead she called out, "Computer" Seona said as despair filled her voice. "Scan Operations for any Cardassian Bio-Signs" Seona said as her eyes filled with tears and her voice echoed the pain of her heart. Part of her wanted there this Cardassian to be real while another part of her prayed he wasn't. She held the d'k tahg with so much force that her fingers nearly went numb. She saw it in his hand before her face. Right there before her own eyes, she saw him holding it.

    "There are no Cardassian Bio-Signs within Operations or the Central Core"

    Seona let our a heart felt scream filled with pain as the d'k tahg was driven in to her left hand. "Why Major? Why do I have to hurt you?" the force behind the blow was enough to shattered part of the console.

    Seona looked down to see the d'k tahg pinning her hand to the console. She cried out in pain as her knees gave way under her. Only her spared hand which was now stuck to the console kept her from falling to the floor. "Leave me alone!" she cried out with so much pain and with tears almost flowing. She reached up and pulled her self back up on weakened knees. "I will stop you Bolon, I swear it," she said with passion and hatred for him.

    But Gul Bolon wouldn't be denied as he motioned for his guards to enter Ops. After all, this was his officer on Velos. Why wouldn't he have his guards here. "Major you belong to me. You always have, and you always will."

    From somewhere beyond his officer she could hear, "Warning a hostile viral program has been detected within the Short and Long Range Sensor systems."

    Seona blinked a bit confused about the strange female voice that sound a lot like.....'I am still in Ops on Deep Space Nine' she thought trying hard to hold on to that voice. She looked around once more and saw her hand stuck to the console before her. Seona reached down and tried to pull the blade out but it was stuck. She took hold of the hilt of the d'k tahg and pushed it with all her might to the side. The weapon snapped along its blade. She tossed the hilt to the floor as she pulled her hand up the broken blade and freed it. She reached next to her and picked up the third PADD and placed it on the upload station for this console. "Computer, upload the following files. Copy the file and run the copy. Encrypt the original files in to Seona AVP-One. Same as before."

    "Warning, Deep Space Nine is no longer part of the Federation or Bajoran Subspace Networks. Deep Space Nine is currently in a state of communication's black out" the computer warned and then it added, "It is advised that the Supspace Antennas be realigned to their original coordinates."

    Seona saw was she was looking for in the Emergency protocols. "Computer freeze data stream" she said looking at the Emergency Power Distribution Protocol. She reread the protocol and its commands. "Computer, under the Emergency Power Distribution Protocol, Release all safe guards on the Main Power Core, Auxiliary, and Emergency Power Systems," she commanded trying to not smell that monster that lurks just behind her. "Reroute all station power to the subspace transceivers."

    The computer clearly didn't like that, "Warning, prescribed action would risk signification damage to the communications systems."

    "Time is fading Major" he said as he ran his hand over her head. "Stop fighting me and give in to what I desire. Damn the Federation and Starfleet. Accept me as your owner."

    Seona closed her eyes as she felt his touch on her, "Computer follow the command as issued" she begged. She the whispered in a whimper, "I wont let you destroy the Federation."

    "Under the Emergency Power Distribution Protocol, all safe guards have been released on the Main Power Core, Auxiliary Power, and Emergency Power Systems," the computer confirmed. Then added, "all station power has been rerouted to the subspace transceivers."

    From somewhere beyond the mist of her mind, she heard music playing. Seona searched the forest around her as she moved through the trees. The moon was full while the stars seemed to dance to the music. She came upon a large bonfire as adults and teens danced around the music. She saw herself laughing as they sang and danced around the fire. In the brief moment, Seona wanted to step over the tree to join the song and dance but something held her back from doing it.

    In that moment she felt something hit her from behind. She stumbled in to Bolon's desk knocking things from the desk. She spun to see a Cardassian guard getting ready to attack her again. She blocked his first hit with ease but never saw the second attack coming as he caught her with a hook. The blow sent her on to the desk and then over the other side on to the floor. She struggled to her feet once more as a second guard wrapped a cord around her neck and chocked her. She fought for air as her hands and arms flailed as she was lifted off her feet by the cord. The first guard slammed his fist in to her gut causing what little air she did have in her lungs to explode up her throat. She gasps for breath as Bolon watched her struggle.

    "Major, please don't make this any harder on you than it has to be. I want the codes for the array. If you tell me what they are, I will tell my men to stop," Gul Bolon said as he leaned against the Security Station.

    Seona tried to fight back but the guard behind her held her tight. 'Wait' Seona thought in desperation. 'Security Station' she thought even though she could hear the music of the bonfire just over there. The trees, the office around her were all so real. But he was leaning against the Security Station. The console that was still on Deep Space Nine. She closed her eyes and found against her own mind. She exploded with force as she rammed her elbow in to the guard. The guard before her hammered her over and over but she wouldn't give up. She kicked him forcing him back and resumed her attacks on the man still trying to chock her to death. She grabbed his hand as she bent both of them over. In doing so she was able to flip him over and break free of his grip.

    As loud as she could Seona cried out, "Computer!" The desperation filled her voice. "Lock transporters on all Cardassian bio-signs within Operations" she struggled out as blood spit from her mouth. "Beam them to security" she ordered.

    "Unable to comply, there are no Cardassian Bio-signs within Operations or the Central Core."

    Across Seona's memory, she saw Kira Nerys standing there in front of Quark's Bar as another Cardassian Guard leaped at her. She side stepped the attack only come face to face with a Scottish Adder. It flung its self at her in an attempt to bite her. She pulled back just in time to get hit from the side. "Hi, I am Major Kira Nerys" she heard Major Kira saying. Her voice filled with pleasantries.

    "Good morning Major Kira, I am Major Maura MacConnell and this is my Tech Officer, Lance Corporal Seònaid Melville" Seona saw her sister Maura shaking hands with Major Kira.

    Seona saw her younger self greet Major Kira with a hand shake.

    A second guard moved in for the attack but Seona fought back bitterly against the Cardassian Guards while Gul Bolon watched with a sadistic smile on his face. Before she realized it, she was in a battle against three Cardassian guards as more entered his office. Was it in his office or were they in a forest. She didn't know where she was any more. All she knew was that she had to fight if she didn't want them to rape her again.

    Major Kira laughed a bit, "Are you two sisters? You look so much alike."

    Both Starfleet Marines laughed off the statement as Major MacConnell answered, "Oh we get that a lot, but no. We are not sisters."

    "Well still" Major Kira said with a smile, "that was a beautiful song" she said commenting to the song that Seona and her sister had done when they first arrived at the station. "What is it called?"

    Seona's younger version answered, "Alive."

    Major Kira nodded, "well if you two ever need anything, just let me know. I am the Bajoran liaison officer here on Deep Space Nine."

    Seona was loosing this battle and she knew it. There were just too many to hold off. If only Major Kira was here. But she was back on Deep Space Nine. It seemed so far away now, Seona thought in despair. 'But it wasn't' she thought as she was kicked off her feet. She hit the deck of Ops hard and looked around. She saw the snake again moving across the floor. She heard the music and laughter from the bonfire. She could see the Cardassian Guards moving in to claim their prize. Her mind screamed out in agony as she couldn't tell which was real and which was illusion. She prayed as she called out, "Computer, disable ALL force fields! INTRUDER ALERT OPERATIONS!"

    An alarm was sounded that echoed across the station as the Computer answered the call, "All Security Personnel Alert. INTRUDER ALERT has been activated in Operations. ALL SECURITY PERSONNEL ARE TO RESPOND TO OPERATIONS." Red Lights filled her illusions but didn't make the guards go away. One kicked her so hard that he knocked her sliding across the deck. The snake made and attack at her once more. She scurried away from the attack knowing that its bite could kill her, like before it nearly did.

    Once more, she heard the computer of Deep Space Nine speak up again, "All files have been compiled and encrypted. Hostile viral program within Long and Short Range Sensor systems has been cleaned. All sensors are now functioning correctly." there was a pause, "Warning, a Cardassian scout ship has been detected at the edges of the long range sensors. All subspace antenna have been realigned to their new coordinates."

    "Major, I wont let you resist me" Gul Bolon said as he waved off the guards. "Tell me what I want to know or this will continue!" He spat at her while pulling her hair, "What is the access code for the Array!"

    Seona's face was covered in blood as she looked at Gul Bolon with hate in her eyes. "I will never stop resisting you" she spat at him. "Computer, Transmit Seona AVP-One across all Supspace Antennas."

    "Unable to comply with instructions. Instruction requires manual commands from the Communication Console"

    With a powerful backhand, he slapped her spraying her blood across the back of a station. The blow knocked her on her back and caused her vision to blur as she heard him say, "See Major, even our computer knows that you have lost."

    This was it, everything she worked for was in the balance. Her entire plan now rested on one command that had to be issued on the communication's console. There was no choice for her, Seona reached out as her body cried out from the beating it already took. Gul Bolon stood up watching her with delight over her suffrage. She glanced over at her sister talking to Major Kira, "I've danced my last dance and with this final act I sing my last song...." she whispered as she pushed off the side of a console towards the communication's station.

    Gul Bolon motioned for his men to keep up their attack on her. Like water rushing down on her, they continued their brutal attack without mercy. Through her pain she pushed harder for the console while pulling herself across the deck. She had to reach it no matter what. "I pray you found both of them to your liking ... my dearest sister...." There were tears dripping from her eyes as she crawled no longer able to stand. She pulled the deck along her sides as it seemingly shifted to loose sand. She felt her body sliding under the shifting sands of what was now the deck. Her mind no longer caring between reality or illusion. All she focused on what that panel. She could see the flashing lights of the commands that needed to be entered to finish her plan. No longer did she care about anything else but those lights.

    She pulled herself closer with each new attack against her. Her body screamed out as she felt bones breaking. "You died for me, now it is my turn to die for them" She said reaching with all of her might to reach the console. The sand underneath started to give way as she felt she was slipping from this world to some unknown horrors that waited for her beyond. The red lights of the intruder alert still filling her vision as the songs around her continued to play. That snake working its way through the sand. Everything around her played out as memories collided. She was so close to the console, she could just barely reach it. She watched in horror from across the room as she saw the horrible things that Gul Bolon had done to her. But it wasn't her, it was her sister and she was made to watch helplessly. "Maura" Seona called out to her sister reaching out for her sister.

    In that moment, the sands under her finally gave out. She slipped further in to the loose sand as now she got further and further away from the console. Seona's eyes widened with horror as she realized that she was failing everyone. With one last desperate lunge forward, she pushed for the console with all her might. However she just wasn't strong enough as her hand just barely brushed it. The sand simply took hold of her and pulled her down in to the darkness. With a lasting scream from the back of her mind, Seona cried out in agony as the last of the sand covered her face and blocked out the last bits of light in her life. That agony filled scream would be the last thing the computer would record of Seona. Her screams echoing in her memory now mixing with the thousands of other memories. Her mind had finished its transition in to an emotion and memory filled hurricane that now ranged out of control.
  19. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Unlocking Secrets (Part One)
    Stardate: 53839.48
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9

    The daily activities on the promenade were slightly less during the midnight hours opposed to the normal operating hours of the station. Even though there is no official 'day' or 'night' in space, many people often maintain their normal routines based on the Stardate's official time. The lighting across the promenade was no different between midnight and noon, yet for the people on the station there was a difference. The only noticeable change was that most of the merchants choose this time to close their stores. Most, but not Quark's. Like always, Quark's was a buzz with activity as people were coming and going.

    Standing on the second level near one of the large bay windows that over looked the wormhole, were two well know station figures. Just beyond the windows hanging in space like a ornament waiting to be hung on a tree was Starfleet's first official warship, the USS Thunderchild. There was hardly a person in the entire sector that hadn't heard of the new ship. It was not only a major step for Starfleet but showed a different direction that Starfleet might take. The ship was a pure warship that was designed to fight and win wars.

    Lieutenant Hristov stood by the window looking out over the wondrous ship next to the station. It was impressive sight to be hold. On the surface, it looked just like any other Akira Class ship. However it was what was under the skin that really mattered. He had seen a number of the reports that covered the project. But he wasn't convinced that this was the right direction he felt that Starfleet should travel. The Thunderchild Project was conceived to build warships, not starships. Lieutenant Hristov was like so many, this project triggered internal debates regarding the role of Starfleet and future ships like the Thunderchild.

    Standing beside him, Colonel Kira stood looking out at the same ship. For her, she saw something completely different. For once, the sector had the kind of ship that it needed to combat the different threats that ranged from Cardassia to Bajor and beyond. The ship was swift and carried more fire power than most other ships in the sector could muster. More importantly it was flexible to deal with a number of combat threats. The Thunderchild was the ship that many Federation Allies have been begging for since the end of the war. She smiled at the mighty starship and turned to give a nod to Lieutenant Hritov.

    On that nod, Hristov taped his communicator, "Thunderchild we are ready at the alternate coordinates for transport."

    "Understood Deep Space Nine. Please stand by" the voice said over the comlink.

    Within a few moments, six bluish glows appeared as the transporter process started. As the blue glow grew in size the materialization process started to come to its completion. Within seconds, six Starfleet officers stood before Colonel Kira and Lieutenant Hristov on the promenade. It was Colonel Kira who spoke first, "Welcome to Deep Space Nine" she said trying to act pleasant even though the situation was far from pleasant.

    Captain Campbell stepped forward, "its good to see you again, Nerys" he said to his long time friend. During his tour on Admiral Tate's staff, he and Nerys had become friends as he coordinated Starfleet and Bajoran operations. "So why the change in transport locations?"

    Colonel Kira looked around to make sure no one was in ear shot. "We want to keep ops just the way we found it. It is our hopes that your people might find something that we missed" she explained. Then she had to ask with a smile, "Enjoying your new command?"

    Captain Campbell smiled as he nodded, "She's a fine ship. Everything I could have hoped for, and more..." He paused as he turned to look at those behind him. "I wish we had more time, Nerys." He said softly as he turned back to face her. "This is my Executive Officer, Commander V'rol" he said as he motioned to the Vulcan next to him.

    Colonel Kira gave a nod, "Commander."

    Commander V'rol returned the nod politely, "Colonel."

    Captain Campbell motioned to Doctor McCoy, "This is my Chief Medical Officer, Doctor McCoy."

    While Colonel Kira moved to welcomed Doctor McCoy aboard, it was Lieutenant Hristov who had to ask, "Are you related to..." he said but cut himself off to allow her to answer the very obvious question.

    Doctor McCoy gave a nod and a playful smile as she answered, "Great Grand Father." She referred to the famous Doctor Leonard McCoy. "My Grandmother was Joanna McCoy" Doctor McCoy added. She loved the attention that her family name brought her. That attention made her feel special, which was the reason why she became a Doctor and joined Starfleet. She wanted to walk in her father's foot steps even if it was only as a councilor.

    Before the conversation can grow beyond that, Captain Campbell interrupted, "flirt on your own time. Right now, we have a lot of work that needs done in a short amount of time." He motioned to the two engineering officers at the back of his group. "This is my Chief Engineer Lieutenant Jacobson and her assistant Lieutenant Noonia." He saved Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh last for a good reason. "This is Lieutenant Tabby Ó Ruaidh, she is our Senior Criminal Investigator."

    "Greetings, and welcome to Deep Space Nine" Kira repeated once more. She hated formalities but knew that they were important for cooperation. Colonel Kira motioned to Lieutenant Hristov, "This is Lieutenant Hristov. He is Starfleet's liaison officer to the station."

    Captain Campbell and his staff had already read the reports of what happened here during the attack. So he knew how close the Lieutenant had come to death's doorstep. Campbell held his hand out, "glad to see you are better after your ordeal."

    Lieutenant Hristov shook Captain Campbell's hand, "Thank you Sir, nothing that Doctor Bashir couldn't handle."

    Captain Campbell shook the man's hand then turned to face Colonel Kira once more, "Okay so we read the reports, and we have so many questions. So much just don't make any sense." He paused a moment before adding, "first let me ask this, how are your systems doing?"

    Colonel Kira shook her head as she motioned for them to follow her. She walked along the promenade towards a set of stairs as she explained what was going on, "we still don't have shields, any of them." It was odd for Campbell to hear her speak in a softer voice than normal. "We have started repairs under the cover of system malfunctions. What ever she did to our shields, we are having the damnest time trying to fix it. Very few people really know what happened in Ops tonight."

    Captain Campbell listened carefully then turned to his two engineers, "Go with Lieutenant Hristov and see what help we can give them. Call in more engineers if you need to. But get those shields online" he ordered then turned to Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh, "I want you to go with them also. I expect a full report of what went on in Ops." Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh gave a nod and fell in behind Lieutenant Jacobson. The reason why he wanted Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh in Ops cause she wasn't on the need to know list regarding Seona.

    "Yes Sir," Lieutenant Jacobson as with a nod then motioned for Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh and Lieutenant Noonia to follow her.

    Once the four Lieutenants were on their way and well out of earshot, Captain Campbell turned to Colonel Kira, "so before we see her, what else is there to this." He said then paused a moment before adding, "What wasn't in the report, Nerys."

    Kira motioned the three remaining officers to follow her, "We didn't manage to fight our way in to Ops as we reported. Something else happened Jackson. Something that I can't explain" she said softly as she started to lead them towards the station's sick bay. "She, the intruder, disabled all of our force fields across the station. We don't know why, but she did. We were at least thirty minutes away from acting on our plan to secure Ops. Then all suddenly the shields just dropped."

    She paused in her recounting of the situation. After a breath she continued, "when we got there, it looked like something beaten the hell out of her." She stopped at the top of the stairs and put her hand in the air for him to see, "Jackson, someone staked her hand to one of the consoles." She wasn't leaving anything to chance in that description. "Then they kicked the hell out of her and left her a bloody mess on the deck unconscious."

    Jackson nodded as he listened, "was there anyone else in Ops with her?"

    Colonel Kira shook her head, "no" she said pulling out a simple device. "However she was wearing this" she said handing the dampener to Captain Campbell. "Its some kind of homemade dampener." While he looked at it she explained, "thanks to that thing, we were unable to see what she was doing on internal sensors. If there were others wearing the same thing, we wouldn't have detected them. During the entire time she controlled Ops, she made several requests to the Computer searching for Cardassians in and around Ops. It was almost as if she feared them. Even near the end, she was almost desperate in her search for any Cardassians. The odd thing was, my own security personnel don't suspect that there was someone else there. There is just no supporting evidence as to why she ended up like this."

    Captain Campbell handed the device over to Commander V'rol as he listened to the briefing. After a few moments Commander V'rol spoke up, "Simple, functional and cleverly created."

    Colonel Kira nodded, "yeah that's what my people said too. Nothing she had was remarkable. Just clever in how they were made from common parts."

    Captain Campbell finally spoke up after Colonel Kira explained the final hours of what happened in Ops, "listen Nerys, she, um, Seona" he paused a moment then added, "that's her name, Seona," he corrected himself. He just didn't feel right not including her name. "Seona is an empath. And a powerful one at that. Plus we have evidence that she was poisoned" he explained. "This poisoning is causing her to um loss her grip on reality. Though I don't know how to explain the physical damage." he paused and turned to Doctor McCoy, "is it possible that her own mind caused harm to her own body?"

    "There are races out there that can cause physical harm on their own bodies simply by force of mind. My Great Grand Father, encountered such a species called the Minaran around 2260's, I think. A humanoid species native to the Minarian star system. The empathic Minarans were a peaceful, pre-spacefaring species that were physiologically mute. They were not only able to sense the emotions of others, as Betazoids could, but appeared to have an innate desire to help others. They possessed the ability to absorb pain from another person and to heal injuries. Identical wounds then appeared on the Minaran, and they were able to dissipate the absorbed injuries through their own body. Minarans were also capable of adapting after contact with other species; if exposed to passion and bravery, they would become passionate and brave. It was not known, however, exactly how empathic Minarans communicated."

    She paused a moment to make sure that she correctly remembered the details of that mission. "So it is possible that a telepath's mind in the right situation can cause wounds and harm to him or herself" Doctor McCoy finally concluded.

    Commander V'rol gave a nod as he said, "your briefing of your Great Grand Father's mission was flawless."

    McCoy smiled, "thank you. He has been such an inspiration to me. I have studied all of his former missions and adventures."

    "Indeed" Commander V'rol said turning his attention to Colonel Kira.

    "Yeah we knew about the poisoning but not her telepathic powers. Bashir found it and was able to stabilize her before her head exploded" Kira said as she turned and continued to walk down the stairs.

    Doctor McCoy followed behind the group as she knew that Colonel Kira was lying. She gave Captain Campbell a nod letting him know that something was wrong, "so was Bashir able to neutralize the poison" she asked.

    Colonel Kira shook her head as she answered, "No he wasn't. But he is not giving up on her....Seona." With a heavily sigh, she continued, "So we still don't know what her over all plan was." Kira said changing the subject. "However she did manage to clean our systems of a virus that was preventing us from detecting a Cardassian scout."

    Captain Campbell took the change in stride as he walked along side of Colonel Kira while his two officers followed. "I know. We spotted it at the edge of our sensors when we came in to system." He waved off Kira's question, "Don't worry, I followed your request. We didn't make any action to show we detected them. They were scanning the area pretty heavily. Gave us a few scenes as we closed on the station. Any idea what they are doing?"

    "No," Colonel Kira answered while shaking her head, "I spoke with Garak about it just a little while ago. He assures me that he nor any of his people are aware of that ship or what it is doing here." She glanced back at Captain Campbell, "there are not many times I believe Garak. This, however, is one of them. His own ship can't even detected the scout ship and we are trying to figure out how to fix that."

    "Sir," Commander V'rol spoke up as he followed with his arms behind his back. "Based on what we know and taking in to account Seona's warning of a pending attack. It might be advisable to move the ship in a more defensible condition."

    "Agreed, Commander" Captain Campbell agreed, "Contact Commander Bonham, have him take the ship to yellow alert." On that note he paused and came to a stop. Turning to Commander V'rol he added, "make sure Bonham understands, do this quietly. I don't want to tip our hand." On that note, he turned to Colonel Kira, "you might want to get the station ready for attack also."

    "Wonderful" she grumbled, "getting ready for combat while our shields are disabled." there was frustration in her voice as she taped her communicator, "Kira to Ops." She waited for someone on in ops to answer. She then issued her orders, "start quiet evacuations of all nonessential personnel. And we need those shields operational."

    Captain Campbell waited for the conversation between Colonel Kira and Ops to end before talking again. "So in your report you suspect that Seona wasn't attempting to do anything hostile towards the station."

    "Thats correct. I don't" she replied with a nod. "First piece of evidence was that she made no attempts to harm our people during her first attack despite having the means to do so. Second, our runabouts which were not on the station at the time of the attack as well as Garak's own flagship are still blind to that scout. I ordered one of our navigation probes to link up with the station. The resolution is horrible, but sure enough that's a Cardassian scout ship out there. Lastly, what ever she was doing, she was planning on doing across the entire sector. She almost blew out our subspace transceivers to do it" she opened the secured door in to medical, "I am not so sure she is the terrorist that Starfleet has painted her to be."

    Once more Doctor McCoy motioned to Captain Campbell that Colonel Kira was withholding information. He nodded his understanding as they entered Deep Space Nine's medical facility, Captain Campbell had one last question, "any information about that scout ship out there?" He figured that she wouldn't have any reason to withhold information on that.

    "what we can tell is that that ship is emitting some kind of pulse off its navigational deflector. What we are able to learn is that that pulse is what is telling the virus to over look the ship." Colonel Kira explained.

    Captain Campbell only listened as he followed Colonel Kira through the sick bay, the colonel shook her head, "thanks to our intruder we were able to identify that virus in nearly all of Deep Space Nine's systems as well as our runabouts, Bajoran ships, and even Garak's own flagship was infected." On that note, she stopped and turned to face Captain Campbell, "Do you suspect that the virus has infected more than just us?"

    "I think" Captain Campbell answered with a somber tone, "we suspect that its infected most, if not all, of the 4th Fleet." On that note the walked the few steps towards where Doctor Bashir was waiting for them.

    Colonel Kira motioned to introduce Doctor Bashir but Doctor McCoy cut her off, "Oh Doctor Bashir needs no introductions." It was clear that the two had known each other before hand.

    Captain Campbell noticed the playful grin on McCoy's face as if the two were romantically involved or wanted to be at least. Yet this grin disappeared when Doctor McCoy saw a Trill walk in from a back room. He could only roll his eyes, 'Is there a female in the entire galaxy Bashir hadn't had a relationship with' Jackson questioned himself. Jackson knew of Bashir's well earned reputation of being the man whore of Deep Space Nine.

    "This is Lieutenant Ezri Dax" Doctor Bashir introduced the counselor of Deep Space Nine as Doctor McCoy huffed.

    Captain Campbell waved off the drama and asked for the medical briefing. He listened to the medical briefing that Bashir gave with great interest. The scope of the poisoning had grown much more intense than they had predicted. Based on what Doctor Bashir had uncovered, stress and Seona's attempt to self medicate made the poisoning much worse. The situation was pretty grave from the sounds of it. However, while he knew that Nerys was being truthful he also knew that she was not being completely forthcoming. He listened to the briefing that Bashir gave and realized that they were leaving vital bits of information out. Bits of information that his people already knew. 'Secrets' he cursed but held his tongue for the moment.

    "Enough" said Campbell and added, "this is ridiculous! We already know that she is an augment. We also know by her personnel files that she was romantically involved with Doctor Bashir during the war." Captain Campbell exposed. He took a breath then continued, "What you don't know is that she is my sister." He turned to Colonel Kira, "Nerys, we need to be open with each other if we are to be able save my sister."

    Colonel Kira nodded as she unfolded her arms and asked in surprise, "are you an augment also?"

    "Yeah," he answered not wanting to answer but he needed them to trust him. "It s a very long story that you wont see in any official report. But for now, we need to save her."

    Lieutenant Dax stepped forward, "Bashir is an augment as well" she said. Bashir's remarkable abilities and their origins had become a well known fact.

    Bashir nodded, "yes but Seona is very different. Unlike me, where my augmentations were done after birth. Seona's were done long before she was born" he picked up a tricorder and scanned Captain Campbell, "remarkable. The scans don't reveal it."

    Doctor McCoy nodded, "my own staff uncovered the remarkable degree of genetic changes that had been done to both of them. The level of work on this level was amazing." She paused and looked over at the Captain who was getting annoyed by being the subject of the conversation like this. "Most of my staff have already been sworn to secrecy about this."

    "Mine as well," Bashir said as he put down the tricorder and led them in to the room where Seona was being treated. Even for those like Campbell who had no medical background, they could tell the situation was dire. Doctor Bashir started to explain, "the fact that she is still alive is remarkable unto its self. She should have died from the overdose weeks if not months ago. I had to put her in to a deep coma just to protect her mind from its self."

    Captain Campbell moved along side the bed and dared to brush her hand. This was as close as he had been to his long lost sister in over a decade yet he never felt further away from her. "Doctor" he said then paused looking at her sleeping. Her features were so innocent. The wounds she had suffered in Ops had been healed already by Doctor Bashir. So now she had this sleeping beauty appearance to her as she laid there. "She knows whats going on. Is there anyway we can talk to her?"

    Doctor Bashir moved to the other side of the bed looking down at Seona, "Allow me to explain. Every last one of her neural pathways were firing at once. Even though she was unconscious her mind was still out of control. Deep in her brain, her neural pathways are firing at such a rate that they are actually creating heat. This heat was literally slowly cooking her brain. I was able to stabilize her by putting her mind in this deep coma. She is as close to brain dead as I can take her without killing her. If this doesn't work, I am going to have to put her in suspended animation." He paused as he looked up, "I don't know if I can save her from the poisoning."

    Doctor McCoy moved to stand at the foot of the bed, "what if we remove the drug from her system?"

    "I had a few ideas using the transporter buffers. But so far my tests have failed" he admitted. "The poisoning in her system has spread so much that it has woven its self in to all of her cells. I can't remove enough that it wont come back. Maybe if I had her on my table a few weeks ago." There was this look of despair as he explained the situation. He looked up to Captain Campbell, "I saved an entire world from the worst the Dominion had to offer, I can save her. I just don't know how right now."

    "I know Doctor" Captain Campbell said looking down at her. Jackson knew so much about her that he can't believed he had ever forgotten her. He hated what his mother and father had done to him. She was his sister, and they took her away from him. He now remembered so much about her. He knew that she loved riding horses just after it rained. That her favorite game was cats and mice, a version of the time old hide and sneak game. She loved picking fresh strawberries in the spring time. He knew how much she had looked up to him and her sister Maura. He even remembered when she was bitten by a snake and nearly died because of it. This is why it made his next actions so hard.

    For he knew that she had valuable information locked in her mind. Information that could prevent a war. That information was about what was going on and he needed it. The Starfleet officer that he was stepped forward in to his mind and demanded that he act to protect the Federation. "Doctor, I need to talk to her. She has vital information" Campbell proclaimed as he looked up at Doctor Bashir.

    Doctor Bashir leaned over the table as Captain Campbell looked back down at Seona, "I don't care what you think she has. If I wake her she will die in minutes."

    Campbell snapped his gaze up to meet Doctor Bashir's eyes, "If we don't find out what she knows, millions could die. Now I need to speak with her." Anger filled Jackson's mind as he hated doctors and now he understood why. It was what his parents as doctors had done to him which was why he hated them. They created her and then took her away from him. It had been those childhood memories which were buried so deep, and had been leaking in to his conscious mind. This is what had been fueling his hatred of Doctors all this time. As he looked at Bashir, all he could think was 'damn doctors.' "Now I need to speak with her. So we have no choice but to wake her."

    Bashir dug his heels in, "No" was all that he said.

    Commander V'rol knew that both men would not back down and each had sound reasons for not yielding their side. He motioned his hand in the air to get their attention. "Gentlemen, I have an alternative. But it is not without risks."

    Bashir didn't look trusting and for that matter neither did Captain Campbell. Colonel Kira, Doctor McCoy and Lieutenant Dax stood silently as Commander V'rol continued, "I could create the mental link that would allow Captain Campbell to speak with Seona in her current state. However with her mind in such a chaotic state, you must be aware of the dangers. While I can impose some calm and order. This will only be limited and by no means safe."

    For a moment the two men glanced at each other. Then Captain Campbell turned his head as he looked at his First Officer, "how...." he started to ask then paused. "Unless Doctor Bashir has anything against, us doing this" Captain Campbell said with a bit of discord in his voice.

    Bashir knew all to well the metal powers of the Vulcans. There had been a number of papers written on the subject. Detailed studies had long proved their techniques to be sound. "I don't have any reservations about trying this" he said and moved out of the way to allow Commander V'rol to replace him on the other side of the bed.

    "I will have conduct a Mind Meld with you Captain and then with Seona. You will have to understand that everything you see in this will only be your minds own interpretation of what really is. You must be on your guard Captain for if your mind wonders away from mine, you could be lost inside her mind." Commander V'rol explained as he stepped over to the bed. He took in a deep breath as he spoke, "Doctor McCoy, I will need you to monitor us. If you sense that we are in danger, please have Doctor Bashir awaken us." He turned to Doctor McCoy, "it is vital that you focus on us. Because of the state of her mind, I might not be able to sense all of the dangers. Do not think twice about waking us out of it."

    Doctor McCoy nod, "yes sir." she said as she took in a few deep breaths. Being part Betazoid Erica knew the dangers of touching the minds of others. But she never took part in anything like this before. She was concerned that she lacked the experience to help. Still she cleared her mind and focused on her Captain and First Officer.
  20. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Unlocking Secrets (Part Two)
    Stardate: 53839.48
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9

    The Ops Center of Deep Space Nine was a buzz with activity as Technicians worked hard to try to safely undo the damage that Seona had done. Ten technicians worked steadily to try to repair the station's Operation Center and clear each subsystem that Seona had touched. They couldn't afford to be careless as Seona's reputation was already well known. Before Seona released control of the station, efforts to retake Ops was plagued by traps that beamed security personnel back to the Magistrate's office. Fear of setting off another trap made this process painfully slow.

    While repairs were underway, Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh stalked around like some predictor searching for some scent of her prey. She was searching for anything that could help her understand what had happened. Her mission was much more difficult than that of anyone else. She had to understand why Seona did what she did and why she changed her intentions half way through her end game. No easy tasks for the veteran investigator. But so far she had some solid leads as to what was going here just moments before Seona slipped in to her complete mental break down.

    "My God this is complex" Mordecai Noonia said with excitement. Mordecai stood at the Science Station as his hands moved over the console issuing commands. He stood there watching lines of code which made up Seona's program move slowly across the screen. He couldn't actually do anything with the program as it was locked in a secured quarantine folder. But he could look at the lines of code that created it.

    Lieutenant Jacobson walked up along side Mordecai as he worked. She looked down at the monitor, "what do you think of it?"

    Mordecai was lost in the marvel that was before his eyes. "I have never seen such complex programming like this before" Mordecai explained. Then he added "Just look at fluid of how each line of code is in relation to the next. I so much want to see more of it." He glanced over at Lieutenant Jacobson, "this is art work, Lieutenant."

    Unimpressed, Lieutenant Jacobson turned and started to walk away, "Mr. Noonia, can you clean it?"

    Without looking up from the console he nodded, "well yes." He answered a bit confused. "I can clean it. But I am not sure if we should," he turned to face her as he continued "Ma'am, this level of programming just doesn't happen along every day." The idea of destroying something like this just stumped him. "Why would we want to destroy this?"

    "Mr. Noonia, that is a hostile viral program that could very well be another one of her traps." Lieutenant Jacobson said as stopped while she turned to face Mordecai, "We can not risk the lives on this station because you find it fascinating."

    Mordecai turned from the station to address her, "Lieutenant, I don't believe that this program is of hostile nature. It is just not written like that. There is just so much more to this than...."

    "Mr. Noonia," Lieutenant Jacobson said with frustration in her voice, "Our orders were clear. See what we can find. We did that. We know what she did here, and how she did it. Then we have to return this room back to normal operations prior to any attack, which might I add, is heading our way." She stepped forward, "I understand that you find the level of programming interesting. We will secure the program for now. There will be time to study this programming once the crisis has passed. But the program will have to be destroyed once you have studied it." She paused hoping that her statement would have eased his concerns a bit. "I have one other question for you. Can you get the shields back on line?"

    Mordecai turned back to the station and looked down at the lines of code slowly scrolling across the monitor. He knew that he should be focused on getting the shields back on line, but he couldn't resist driving deeper in to this program. "I am sure that its possible" he said then added as he turned once more to face her. "While we know what she was doing, we don't know why she was trying to do it. All of this seems to be larger than just Deep Space Nine or its shields."

    He paused a moment to collect his thoughts. "We know that this is some kind of ant-viral program. We have been able to uncover the proof that this program was designed to counter another program that has infected Starfleet systems across the sector. I know that the method that Seona had chosen to send her program would have disabled Deep Space Nine, but there is another way we can send it without risk to the station."

    The anger in Lieutenant Jacobson's eyes was clear to see, "Mr. Noonia, do you know beyond any doubt that that program is not some kind of trap waiting for us to stumble across it and activate it?"

    He so much wanted to tell her that he was sure that this wasn't a trap, but doubt stood in his way. With a heavy sigh he finally offered, "No Ma'am." Mordecai sighed once more as he turned back towards the monitor. But he felt deep down inside that this wasn't a trap. There was just too much in those lines of code for this to simply be a trap. He saw how something like it, was used here on the station. It had to be something else other than a trap, it just had to. Feeling renewed he turned to add something else but was cut off.

    "Then Mr. Noonia, I would suggest that you focus your efforts on getting those shields up" Lieutenant Jacobson ordered and turned to walk away.

    Mordecai dropped his head in defeat as he heard the order. He knew that Lieutenant Jacobson was over looking critical information about what was going on. Seona had come here for a reason. She could have done this anywhere else but she choose this place at this time. Everything had been so carefully planned out. Nothing she did was by chance. He turned to face the monitor once more and continued searching the lines of code of her program. He knew that he should follow the order but there was just so much more to that program. It was vital to her plan but he wasn't sure what her plan was.

    There was a secret that was locked within these lines of code. He just needed time to find out what it was. Mordecai knew that each programmer had a signature as to how they hacked systems. He could lie to everyone and make up some excuse about how understanding this signature could help him understand how she disabled the shields. But he knew that this wasn't the case. It would only be an excuse to keep doing what he wanted to do in the first place. 'How could she have created something like this' he pondered.

    His hands started to move over the console as he scanned the lines of code once more. It would take him weeks if not months to unlock this complex program. In the back of his mind, there was the fear that he might not ever be able to unlock it. 'No, there has to be an easier way' he thought as his eyes scanned the program. 'I could activate it' he thought glancing over at Lieutenant Jacobson as she was speaking with a couple of Deep Space Nine Engineers. He turned his attention back to the console and started to go over the activation protocols of this program. 'My god, its a ghost program' he realized as he activation protocols.

    This masterful crafted program was designed to infect ships and stations and spread from one host system to another by what ever means the program could find. It would literally ghost from one system, one ship, one station, to the next. For all of his studies, he had never come in contact with an actually ghost program. In theory, they look remarkable. They would use any method of energy to travel between systems. But in actual practice, no one has ever been able to create one. That was till now. Mordecai was looking programming history in the face.

    He scanned the program more as he tried to unlock its secrets. The method of its functions were clearly discernible as he researched it. The program was designed to infect a ship's communication systems. From this point, it would spread in two fashions. First, it would shift through the host ship crossing from the communication systems to the sensor subsystems. Once in the sensor subsystems it would search out programs that matched a preset signature. The program would continue to spread across the host ship searching system and subsystems to include shuttles and other craft linked to the host ship. Second phase of the program was at the same time it would clone its self and reach out to other ships in communication range and spread new host ship.

    All of that was easy enough to understand. But it was in the complex codex that made the program even possible was where he was lost. The idea that an intelligent program could survive passage inside an EPS conduit or along a sensor beam was just not possible. 'A virus designed to hunt down and kill another virus' Mordecai thought as he continued to explore this program then added, 'with an intelligence at that.' "Marvelous" he said softly.

    He knew that Seona was not trying to harm the station even though her actions had left the station all but defenseless. He searched for another way that he could over come the security protocols of her program. If he attempted to hack the program it could self destruct leaving him with nothing. Leaving history with nothing to prove that this remarkable program ever existed. He couldn't do that, but there was another way.

    Again there was activating the program and recording it in action. But he couldn't just move Seona's plan forward. The Subspace antennas had all been reset to their original azimuths. There was no way he could realign them without other's noticing him. That was a problem, but one that he could over come. He just needed to enlist some unwilling assistance. But first he needed to set something up. He remotely accessed his own personnel terminal on the Thunderchild and quickly converted one of his older sensor programs. He wanted to record Seona's program in full operations. It was the only way he could truly understand how it worked and thus figure out how to replicate it. It took some time but he finally completed that task. Now his own program was ready to conduct its surveillance mission.

    "Lieutenant" Mordecai said turning to get Lieutenant Jacobson's attention. "I suspect that a complete computer core shut down and reboot will reset the Stations Protocols and return control of the shields back to us." Mordecai switched from the screen about the virus to those of shield control. It was a plan that he had discovered almost an hour ago, but he didn't say anything. He wanted to use the shields as cover so that he could explore the program first. Also he was worried that the security protocols within Seona's program would have caused the program to self destruct should the computer go through a reboot. A risk he didn't want to take.

    Lieutenant Jacobson turned and walked over to the science station. She scanned the screen carefully, "I really don't want to have to shut down the station and reboot the entire computer core. Is there another way?"

    Mordecai knew that there was another way. But that would mean destroying the programs that Seona used to access the mainframe. She had worked so hard to get here, he couldn't do that to her. But at the same time, he didn't want to lie to his Lieutenant, "Lieutenant, I am sure that there are other ways. But the fastest method would be to reboot the entire system." It wasn't completely a lie and he could live with that. "However we will need to transfer some of the data streams over to Garak's Flagship."

    He noticed Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh's stern look at him, he added, "nothing that will violate security protocols. Those functions will be transferred to the Thunderchild. But because Deep Space Nine's core is formatted more similar to those on Garak's Flagship, they would retain more of their integrity being stored in a Cardassian Computer system." He shrugged his shoulders, "anyway, we can scan the files coming back for any issues before they are reinstated within Deep Space Nine's systems."

    He had a plan and it was simple. Do a data transfer to both Garak's Flagship and the Thunderchild. Within that data stream, he would upload the program that Seona had written. If he suspected correctly, the program would do what it was designed to do and spread to all ships within communication range of both host ships. Before anyone could stop it, it would be traveling along the subspace networks infesting ships and stations along the way. Working through both the Cardassian and Federation networks, the program would spread even fasten that Seona's own plan would have. He saw the hologram that Seona had written, warning of a war that was coming. Everything she had done had lead them up to this point. 'There is just no choice in what has to be done' he convinced himself. He would finish what she started.

    Lieutenant Jacobson shook her head, "are you sure Mr. Noonia?" Tina knew engines like the back of her hand. Many thought that she was born in an impulse engine. She had this way of telling if something was wrong just by feeling the engine. Of course this more because she had been working around engines since she was nine. Her parents were both merchants and she had been raised on their ship. But when it came to programming at this level she wasn't as experienced. This was the reason why she relied on those like Mr. Noonia.

    There was another way and he knew it. But he needed access to both networks. He already had access to Starfleet's through the Thunderchild. But he needed access to the Cardassian computer core to make Seona's modified plan work. "I am sure, Ma'am" he said plainly.

    She didn't like the idea of it, but figured she had little choice. "Let me talk to the Cardassian Commander and set everything up."

    Mordecai nodded as he smiled, "thank you, Lieutenant." He watched Lieutenant Jacobson walk away. He gave her another nod before turning and started to set up his own plan. "I really hope you are right, Seona" he softly prayed to himself as he worked. First things first he had to do was create a clone file. This file would ensure that the station's security protocols didn't detect his plan while he set out to make it happen. He pulled Seona's program from its quarantine folder while masking his steps using his clone program. He glanced up at the security station and saw Ensign Carmody tending to her own work. She made no notion that her systems were alerted when he transferred the program from its quarantine folder. He let out a sigh of relief, 'one hurdle down' he thought.

    He had to safe guarded his plan carefully cause if anyone detected his actions too soon, they would destroy her program. To ensure it was protected, he encrypted his protocols and the special package so that neither ship would be able to detect it. He worked carefully and steadily making the changes needed. What surprised him was that he only needed to add a few extra lines of code to Seona's program. Her own program was so well written that it was designed to evolve with different methods of transfer. It actually started to make sense to him as each new line of code was written. As if the program was helping him rewrite its self. 'Careful with what you are doing' he warned himself but like always in situations like this, he just didn't listen.

    'God this could be so dangerous if I am wrong' He paused while he curled his fist and brought it up to his mouth and bit the middle knuckle of his index finger. 'Once I do this, there is no going back. The genie will be out of the bottle. I could be dooming us all' he pondered looking over the lines of code before him.

    It was the very first time Mordecai Noonia ever felt doubt about anything in his life. Before him, the console was awaiting his command to compile the new data stream in to two separate signals. One encrypted for the Thunderchild and the other for Garak's flagship. The command flashed as he thought of all the ways that this could go wrong. So many nightmare scenarios filled his mind IF he was wrong about her. Once compiled and transmitted, neither host ship would be able to detect the virus till it was too late to stop it. He lowered his hand towards the compile command and paused once more, 'oh god what am I about to do' he thought.

    He closed his eyes as he recalled everything that Seona had done to get here to this point. She attacked and boarded Thunderchild so that she could steal the command protocols she needed to write this very program. She faced off with three Excelsiors so that she could force the ships of the 4th Fleet in to positions to act as her long range antennas. She squared off with two Klingon warships to throw everyone off the trail of where she was really going.

    Then she came here to put her final acts in to motion. So much was riding on her plans. But something stop her cold in her tracks here. He didn't know what that was but he knew that it stopped her. Now, he stood here where she stood. Throughout her entire journey to this very console she had so many opportunities to kill and she never did. She even saved a life along the way. He looked down at the console and saw the shattered section where someone had staked her hand to the console. She had endured so much for her plan, she believed in it.

    "Mr. Noonia, is that transfer ready?" Lieutenant Jacobson said from the communication's station. She was standing along side a pair of Deep Space Nine Technicians as all three were getting ready for the reboot.

    Mordecai nodded, "almost...hold on" he said tapping the compile command. The screen changed showing a bar that reflected the status of the compiling. "Give me one more minute, Lieutenant" he said delaying so that the computer can prepare the program for transfer. Finally the screen changed showing the words, 'Foreign Program Compiled And Formatted To Specified Parameters' in red. Mordecai smiled as he typed in the commands that would transfer the data streams over to the communications station.

    "Lieutenant, I am ready for the transfer and reboot" Mordecai said calmly. "Once you send the data stream and have confirmation that it was received, I suggest that we reboot right away. This will ensure that our down time is limited."

    Lieutenant Jacobson looked at Lieutenant Noonia with a bit concerned in her heart. But she wrote it off as just being over stressed. She hadn't slept in nearly twenty four hours thanks to the repairs needed on the Flight Deck. "Sending the data streams now" she announced.

    Mordecai watched the transfer status from his own station a Deep Space Nine technician walked over to the Science Station and stood next to him. Mordecai knew that there was no hope of hiding what he did now. It was only a matter of time. He didn't suspect that he would have to hide it, that is if he was right. If he was wrong, he suspected that would be the last of his worries. Instead of worrying about it, he just focused on doing his job and making sure that the reboot was as fast as possible. "Both Garak's flagship as well as the Thunderchild report data streams have been received and we are ready for reboot," Mordecai announced.

    Lieutenant Jacobson nodded and looked over to Lieutenant Hristov, "its your station, Sir" she said with respect in her voice.

    Lieutenant Hristov nodded, "Okay people" he said bring the secondary Ops Center online, "we are going to do a complete shut down of the Core and reboot. All stations reset your mainframe links to Zero Zero Two One Six."

    The technician at Mordecai's station nodded, "Sir, All stations reporting ready for reboot."

    On that Mordecai stepped back and allowed the station technician to do his job. After all, his work was already complete. He checked his clock and estimated that Seona's virus had already started to spread beyond the first two hosts. 'There was no stopping the virus now' Mordecai thought as he watched the scene play out in Ops. "It's all up to fate" he mumbled.

    "Sir?" the technician said as he turned to Mordecai.

    Mordecai only waved off the Technician and shook his head.

    The Technician shrugged his shoulders and called out, "Mainframe is ready and secured for reboot."

    Lieutenant Hristov nodded, "All stations, secure for reboot in five...."

    "LIEUTENANT!" Ensign Carmody called out, "The virus is not secured in its quarantine folder. It was moved under the command from the Science Station."

    All eyes shot over to Mordecai as he stood there next to the center table. It was Lieutenant Jacobson who cried out, "what have you done!" In that moment the all lights went out while the sounds of the station when silent as the station's mainframe shut down and started its cycle to reboot.