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
    In the Mind of Madness
    Stardate: 53839.48
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9

    For Jackson, this mind meld was nothing like the one he had experienced before. The beginning was all the same as it was before. With the same words spoke by Commander V'rol in the beginning, it seemed like it was all going to be the same. But Jackson knew that it wasn't the same once it started. He felt his mind drifting as if it was leaving his body. He could feel the chaos around him that could only be that of Seona's mind. As the images in his mind cleared, he felt her mind becoming his world while V'rol led them deeper in to her mind. This was nothing like he had ever experienced before and clearly wouldn't want to do again.

    This new world in his mind was strange and nothing of what he felt her mind would be like. His mind raced to fill in the images. Around him, he started to see the world take shape. There was a reddish sky above them that was filled with smoke from near by fires. Around them were strange ruined structures that Jackson could almost place. 'I have been here before' Jackson thought as he searched the area with his eyes. Suddenly explosions in the distances told them that they were in the middle of some war. Two Cardassian fighters streaked across the sky as a large fire ball rose up from behind a ridge. Jackson stepped back in horror as the realization of where they were crossed his face. "May the Goddesses have mercy on us" he said, "This is Velos!"

    Lieutenant Commander V'rol turned to face Captain Campbell, "No Sir, this is not Velos. Everything you see is only a representation of your mind." He paused looking around for a moment. V'rol had to focused his mind so he could allow what Captain Campbell was seeing to become his vision as well. "Your mind is trying to fill in the gaps of what it can't understand within her mind. It is using images and places that Seona had been so that you can see what your mind doesn't understand." He turned and walked towards a large outcropping of rocks, "I didn't serve as part of this invasion" he added. He turned to face the Captain, "Tell me, why would your mind use this image for her mind?"

    Captain Campbell nodded as he walked over to his First Officer, "This place, this invasion is a very painful place for many of those who served here. It was meant to split the war in to two separate front lines. At the time, I was a favorite of then Captain David Tate. He served on Admiral Ross' staff and I was the Operation's Officer of the Thunderchild. But I often would be assigned to work closely with Captain Tate." Captain Campbell looked around and knew where he was standing. He didn't like this place at all. He could still hear the cries of the dying and the smell of burnt flash in the air. With a heavy sigh he turned back towards V'rol to continue.

    "Among the Admiral's staff, we all knew that Starfleet and its century old tactics were both inadequate for the job of protecting the Federation. So the plan was created to change Starfleet's strategy. Major......" he said then paused as he corrected it in his own mind. She no longer was just some Major in Starfleet Marines. Just like Seona, she was his sister. Someone that he loved and cared for so much. His heart was conflicted and his mind was confused. Still he continued, "Major MacConnell had created the plan, and it was brilliant. No one could figure out a flaw in it. But it ended up being a trap. Everyone in Ross' staff suspected a Changeling, but no one suspected that one of us was a traitor" Campbell explained.

    Commander V'rol looked around and nodded, "I had heard the reports about this invasion. It was a nightmare for many units that took part in it."

    "Yeah" Captain Campbell said nodding, "Even after the fleet was driven from orbit, some Marine units were still fighting. Still holding out for weeks afterwards." He motioned towards a large valley, "over there was where the fighting was the worse. But here is where a unit died. Not just any unit. They were a Hero Unit." He said looking around. Sadness filled his voice as he spoke. His eyes gazed up at the thick dark clouds that made up the horizon. They were chaotic and unlike anything else he had seen before. The clouds formed a wall that was just over a few hundred meters away and seemed to reach over top of them. "What do you make of that" he asked his Vulcan guide.

    "That is extend of my own ability to influence her mind" Commander V'rol explained as he looked up at the clouds around them as well. "It is by great effort that we can stand here right now. Beyond that limit, is the chaos of what the poison has done to her mind. Thoughts, images and emotions raging out of control. There is so much chaos here Captain, I suspect I might have over estimated my own abilities. Holding the chaos at bay is much harder than I thought it would be."

    "Don't MOVE!" the voice called from behind them as the sound of a phaser charging was clearly heard.

    Both men rose their hands as they slowly turned to see the dirty, blood covered Starfleet Marine behind them holding a phaser rifle. Her uniform showed the signs of the nightmare that she had survived through. She looked as if she had crawled through hell and back. But it was her eyes that captured Jackson's imagination. Her eyes seemed to be devoid of that spark that he saw in so many other eyes. Her eyes were the testament of a story about a million horrors which no life time could ever heal. She watched the two carefully with the rifle shifting between them not really knowing what to do next.

    Captain Campbell stood in disbelief at who he saw, "Maura" echoed from his voice as he stood there in shock. After a few blinks, he turned to V'rol, "She is just a representation of, what, my desire to help my sister?"

    Maura stepped closer shoving the end of her phaser rifle in to Jackson's face, "I'll show you who's a representation!"

    On that hostile act, Jackson stepped back with his hands still up as he heard his First Officer speak. "No Sir" Commander V'rol said softly as he made no threatening moves, "Fascinating. But this is no representation. This is in fact, the katra or living spirit of Major Maura MacConnell."

    Jackson turned his head slightly as he glanced at V'rol, "why do I have this feeling that you had already suspected she would be here!"

    "Indeed Captain, I had received a transmission from Velos," Commander V'rol started to explain. "Using the information that we supplied them, they were able to locate proof of what we suspected about Gul Bolon and his trophies." V'rol choose his words carefully as he watched Major MacConnell carefully. "Within the box among other things were a series of holovids detailing the horrors that Major MacConnell was forced to endure. The last of those vids revealed what I suspected was a mind meld between two very powerful and gifted telepaths"

    Captain Campbell rolled his eyes, "when we are done with all of this, remind me to talk to you about the meaning of timely information!"

    Commander V'rol nodded, "yes Captain."

    On that note Maura lowered her weapon, "Is that why I am here?"

    Jackson slowly lowered his hands as V'rol followed suite while asking, "tell me something Major. What was the last thing you remember before your death?"

    Maura slumped her shoulders as looked down, "I....." she started then paused. Taking in a deep breath as she lifted her head, "I crawled over to Seona and touched her. I" a tear slipped from her left eye as she spoke, "I just wanted her to know that I would always be in her heart." Her weapon slipped from her hand and fell to the ground.

    "Maura" Jackson said as he walked up and held her tightly. He remembered his love for her as she rested in his arms. It was strange for him because before any of this started, he never once thought of her. But now, he couldn't get her out of his mind.

    "I knew I was dying. I could feel my body burning up from the inside. Seona was made to watch me die." Maure pulled away from Jackson as she looked down. "Seona cried and screamed for them to save me but that monster just laughed and watched me suffer" Maura's rage filled her voice. Even the clouds reacted to Maura's anger, "Do you know what it feels like to have your body burned from the inside out. Hours, for hours, I felt the burning" she cried as the lighting flashed behind her.

    The change in the environment was clearly having an effect on Commander V'rol as he moved forward. "Major, there is no recorded evidence that a human has been able to transfer their katra in such a way" he asked hoping the change of subject would take her mind off of her death. "I have to ask, when did you sense you were within your sister?"

    She shifted between her legs as she looked around as if she was thinking. After a moment she whipped the tears from her eyes as she answered, "a few hours after my body had died. I was confused, scared and didn't realize what had happened. I couldn't understand how I was watching my death and feeling it at the same time. At first after Seona was liberated, I remained hidden. I didn't want to hurt her."

    Jackson nodded as he listened then asked, "what caused you to come forward from your hiding."

    "Bolon's voice" she said as her face twisted with anger. Thick black lighting bolts flashed in the skies around them. Their thunderous claps echoed against the rocks "I heard his voice in the memories of someone else." Her hands balled in to fists as she walked a bit away from them.

    As she turned to face them, the scene around them changed to reflect Earth. It was clear that they were standing somewhere near Starfleet Command Complex. Seona was walking along side of another woman. "I remember how happy Seona was. She was dealing with so much as it was. Her mind was just finally starting to recover from what those bastards had done to her," Maura explained.

    The reflection of Seona's memory spoke, "I am so happy you think I am coming along good, Doctor. Sometimes I am so scared that I will wake up and all of this would have just been another one of their tricks. I just can't afford to dream that this is real." Seona said as she walked along side the female Doctor, "I am just so scared."

    The female Doctor nodded, "And you know Petty Officer, that is a sign that you are healing. You are starting to accept what you see around you."

    Maura moved around the illusion as they started to fade, "I had spent so much time hiding from her. But when I heard those voices beyond her mind. I couldn't contain myself anymore."

    Commander V'rol nodded as he listened, "humans have been known to suffered from what appears to be split personalities after receiving a katra from a Vulcan. While there were many other cases, two such cases have been well documented by the Vulcan Science Academy. However there have never been a single case of a human being able to pass their own katra to another being."

    Maura turned to look at V'rol, "then how do you explain me?"

    Jackson remained silent as he had no explanation. Instead he just stood there listening to the two talk.

    "When we remove all logical explanations," Commander V'rol spoke softly. "What remains, no matter how illogical or unlikely must be the answer."

    Jackson turned back to Maura. "Do you know what is going on," he asked.

    Maura shook her head as she spoke, "when the storms started, Seona cut me off from parts of her mind to protect me. The struggle for her mind has grown steady since then. I helped but there was nothing I could do to stop it."

    V'rol nodded, "Seona's body has been poisoned."

    "Aye, I know," Maura said looking around. There was fear in her eyes as she continued, "I tried to help her but there was nothing I could do stop it." she said as the image once more changed to the insides of a shuttle craft. "She was sedated," Maura explained as two men stood over Seona.

    Commander V'rol watched closely as he could see the two suspects that were really responsible for the murders back on Earth.

    Maura continued, "I woke her up and helped her escape but it was too late."

    They were able to see the struggle between Seona and the two men. It was painful to watch but one man held Seona while the other one injected her with a hypospray. Seona let out a scream as she fought back like a caged animal. Like before, the image faded before much more details could be gathered. But it was more than enough for Commander V'rol to alert Earth Security as to who to look out for.

    Jackson looked around, "so can we speak with Seona?"

    Maura turned away from them and pointed beyond the storm to a mountain palace, "she has retreated there. Locked behind those walls. Not even I can reach her."

    Commander V'rol looked to the all impressive mountain fortress and nodded, "I believe that with your help Major I can guides us there."

    Before she could answer, Captain Campbell looked at her. "Maura, we have to speak with Seona. The fate of the Federation could be in the balance" he said as he moved towards Maura.

    Maura turned back towards the two visitors and nodded, "I will help you."

    Commander V'rol focused on his mental control as he walked up to Maura and placed his fingers on her temple. He reached in and touched her mind. "You have been within those walls before" he said. While he had never had to deal with this kind of situation before, Commander V'rol had done considerable research on dealing with Katras. He was recognized as an expert in the field within the Vulcan communities.

    She nodded, "Yes" as she said softly. "Its a place of protection for Seona. She created it when she was very young" she added.

    "I can see it," V'rol said, "I need you to focus on being within those walls." The two of them shared minds as allowed Maura to guide them from one place to another. Slowly the landscape of Velos faded as the walls of the palace took form around them. "There is a power here within these walls" Commander V'rol said calmly still holding Maura's head in his fingers. "A power that is terrifying to Seona, but protects her."

    Maura nodded, "yes, I know. He protects her." She stepped back as V'rol released her. "He is the reason why I can't reach her anymore." She motioned them to follow her, "I know the way from here."

    Even as they started to walk, the walls around them continued to take shape. Before their eyes, the Palace continued to take on its shape. Bright colored painting and tapestries lined white solid walls. The soft easing sounds of dilruba (or the Indian harp) seemed to flow from the walls of this place. The music offered a sense of peace and calm from the storm outside. Guards with traditional curved swords resting on their shoulders lined the corridors of the Palace. They stood ever ready to defend the Palace against any threat. There were winding corridors that opened up in to rooms filled with fantastic wonders. Despite the horrors of the storm beyond the walls, the Palace was a place of protection.

    As Maura led the way, she turned a corner and motioned for them to follow her, "its this way" she said softly. She continued to lead them through the passages of the Palace. With each step, they drew deeper and deeper in to Seona's protective mind.

    "Something about all of this seems so familiar to me," Jackson commented as he looked around. "I can't put my finger on it."

    Commander V'rol nodded, "The decor is of the 15th century in the Punjab region of southern Asia on Earth. This Palace is a representation of a Mughal Palace of the same region, same time period."

    Captain Jackson continued to look around as Maura led them through the palace, "why is all of this so familiar" he said then paused. "Punjab" he said softly as they turned and walked in to a large grand throne room.

    From ahead of them, a voice answered Captain Campbell. "Punjab literally means 'The Land of Five Waters.' It refers to the five tributaries of the Indus River," the voice said surprising them.

    Captain Campbell came to a stop as he instinctively reached for his phaser called out the man's name who set on the throne at the other end of the room, "Khan!" Before them set Khan Noonien Singh as he appeared just before his death in 2285.

    Not that anything other than the name was needed. For he was a man who needed no description or introduction. His name carried with it, tails of horrors, blood baths and nightmares of such a degree that even today, centuries after the Eugenics Wars, the name was only barely whispered. It was a name that summoned up all that was evil within humans waiting to be unlocked by the darkest of Science. The name spoke of that were lurking, waiting in the shadows of the minds of every human being. There was no degree of words that could describe what many humans would prefer to just ignore than face. But many who still remembered had put a name to this kind of evil, Khan Noonien Singh. For Jackson, this being before him was a clear and present danger to all that he stood for.

    But it was V'rol that placed a hand on Captain Campbell's hand and forced his phaser down, "Captain..."

    Commander V'rol didn't have a chance to finish as Jackson interrupted, "That is Khan Noonien Singh!"

    Now it was V'rol's time to interrupt his Captain, "No Captain, its not!" Commander V'rol turned to his Captain. "Khan Noonien Singh died during his run in with Enterprise after escaping the Eugenics Wars. What you see now is only a representation of the unbridled passion for power. A source of power unto its self, and for Seona right now. A means of protecting her mind against the poisoning that is trying to kill her."

    It was clear that Captain Campbell didn't trust the situation but he trusted his First Officer as he lowered the phaser. Still, he didn't put it away. Then again, he really didn't know what a phaser would do for him in Seona's mind. "We have to speak with Seona" he demanded to the figure before him.

    Khan smiled as he brought his fingers together, "you are the lost brother who forgot about us and now you expect to make demands here."

    Maura stepped forward, "listen, all that Seona worked for is at risk. We have to speak with her"

    Commander V'rol knew that the Major and his Captain had a much higher chance to get through to Seona than he did. He decided to remain silence as the other two made the case for why they should be allowed to speak with Seona. Instead he watched carefully the representation do the task that Seona created it for. All of this was fascinating to him as he watched the events unfold before him.

    Khan slowly rose from his chair, "we followed you" he said pointing towards Maura and then shifted his finger at Captain Campbell, "we tried to contact you."

    Jackson answered the challenge before him. He looked around the room hoping to see Seona somewhere. "I know you tried Seona. I didn't remember. I didn't know what you meant to me" he pleaded from his heart for her to hear his voice. "Seona. I wasn't listening. But my mind has been cleared and I know who you are" he didn't know what else to say. So he added, "please."

    Commander V'rol spoke up, taking his turn, "Seona. Our minds are linked through my Mind Meld. You are a powerful enough telepath. You can search our thoughts and find what we are saying is true."

    In that moment Seona appeared standing next to Khan. "I know" she said softly. Her voice timid as if she were a child terrified of the death that was at her doorstep. "I know what you are saying is true" she added as a tear dripped from her right eye.

    Khan put his arm out to block her attempt to walk towards them. "We can't trust them" he said coldly.

    Maura rushed forward half way, "you listen here damnit! You have no right!"

    "They are family!" Seona proclaimed, "yes, I can trust them." She stepped forward to Maura and embraced the spirit of her long dead sister. "I am sorry I ran from you" she said softly.

    Maura held her sister, "Its okay. I know why you ran."

    Captain Campbell walked forward, "Seona, I know your medical condition. But I have to know what is going on. What do you know of the pending attack."

    Seona stepped back from her sister and turned to wall, "that day we were in the park on Earth" she said as the same image formed around them. Once more Seona of months ago formed walking along side her doctor. Once more they were talking of Seona's recovery. However in this scene, the mental voices of those around them could be heard. It was as if there was a low whispering of a hundred voices around them. As the pair of mental phantoms continued to walk and talk, the scene played out for V'rol and Jackson to watch.

    Jackson watched and heard everything around him. His eyes widened with surprise, "Is this how it is for you" he asked walking over to Seona and her sister.

    Maura nodded, "this was how it was for both of us. The thoughts of everyone around us whispering in our mind."

    Seona walked through her phantom self, "for the longest time, I didn't understand what it was that I was hearing. Feelings, thoughts, hopes and dreams of those around me whispering to me" she said then turned to face Khan. "But once I retreated here, he told me" she said turning back to Jackson, "what it was that was happening to me and why I could hear the whispers."

    Maura nodded, "I have been able to do this for much longer than Seona. And after some time, I learned to silence the voices. But sometimes there were voices can not be ignored."

    The out of the blue, a voice echoed for all to hear. It should have been just like the other whispers but instead it rang out so loudly and clear. "I will show them all. I will bring them all down. All of their work will be undone. I swear it!"

    Seona motioned in the direction of a group of Starfleet Officers walking in to the scene. Jackson knew the officers well. They were Admiral Tate's staff, and he knew the voice that was whispering in to Seona's mind. It was the voice of his long time friend, Captain Phillips. "My God, He's the traitor!" Jackson said in disbelief.

    Maura stepped forward and placed a hand on Seona's shoulder, "He opened his mind to us and I heard Bolon's voice calling me to return from the grave."

    "Aye," Seona added, "but that is only the tip of his betrayal" she said as she waved her hand over the scene. "In his mind were the memories of what he had done. All of those who he betrayed. But this one was important to him. His final act against those who he blamed for his failed career."

    The scene shifted to that of the Operations Center of Deep Space Nine. But it wasn't Deep Space Nine. To Captain Campbell and Commander V'rol, they knew where this scene was. It was of Empok Nor. Around the center table of the Ops Center of Empok Nor stood a male and female Cardassian, a Breen and Captain Phillips. Laying across the table were the battle plans of what was coming. Captain Campbell walked around the table looking down at the images before him. Seona was right, it was a surprise attack and Starfleet was clear in the cross hairs. But the attack wasn't aimed at the Federation nor was the Dominion involved.

    "It's a bloody Coup!" Jackson said as his thick Scottish accent rang through.

    Everything was there before them to see. Seona nodded as she walked around the table. "He" she said motioning towards Captain Phillips, "would blind Starfleet and Cardassian ships while they would move to strike." She moved up behind the phantom of Captain Phillips frozen in his position at the table. "He wanted revenge against those that would over look him. His hatred of you and those around him drove him to this. He did this not for money, not for fame. He wanted you to suffer."

    Captain Campbell scanned the table and the plans carefully. The 4th Fleet had been maneuvered in to position to stop the coup cold in its tracks. Seona had masterfully played the 4th Fleet right where they needed to be to prevent a coup that could destabilize the entire region. But more importantly, they knew about the virus that would blind the Loyal Cardassian forces as well as Starfleet to the movements the rebel forces. She did all this and now she was about to die because of it. He turned to face Seona as he wanted to say something but couldn't. He had so much to say but didn't know where to begin.

    At a loss for words, Jackson Campbell turned back towards Khan who had taken his seat once more. Slowly Jackson looked around the Palace while the storm raged beyond. He remembered how Seona had almost died from a snake bite and realized that this part of her had saved her back then. He was just starting to realize what this representation of Khan was to her. Khan represented the augment genes that made up who she was. He was more than just her passion for power. He was the key to saving her life.

    Jackson stepped towards Khan, "you can save her life" he proclaimed.

    Khan nodded his head as he didn't even looked towards Jackson, "I can."

    "So why don't you!?" Jackson pushed.

    Seona turned in horror at the conversation, "cause I wont let him!"

    Maura and Jackson both turned to face Seona. There was shock on both of their faces, but it was Maura who spoke first. "Why! All this time, you could have been saved! Why wont you allow it?!"

    Seona walked over to Khan who remained seated in his chair, "cause the last time he saved my life, I nearly lost control over myself. He is dangerous. The things he wants me to do" she said then fell silent for a moment. "They scare me" she finally concluded.

    Commander V'rol motioned Campbell over towards him. Jackson hurried over to where V'rol was standing. Once the two men were close enough together, V'rol whispered, "Captain, the passions and thirst for power within Augments are well documented. Even the Klingons found them uncontrollable. Are you sure that it is wise that she should survive this?"

    Captain Campbell fired a glare at his First Officer then turned back to Maura. "Help her. Help her control him" he said walking towards Seona and Maura. "Listen, I understand what this could mean," Jackson said. He was desperate to save Seona "The two of you can control him. I know you two can." He reached out and took hold of Seona but looked at Maura, "I can't bring you back, but you can help me save her"

    Seona looked confused at the statements, "I don't know" she said softly.

    Maura nodded, "Seona, I can lend you my strength. I will never leave you. Together we can keep him under control."

    Commander V'rol watched the entire scene playing out before him. If the two were going to be able to control the pure Augment genes that ran through Seona, then they would need help. "I can ensure you safe passage to Vulcan. There I know people who will hide you away. They will teach you to better control your emotions and the desires that you will have to face."

    Seona turned towards Khan as he set there in his chair. He didn't look at what was going on. Instead he only looked out across the room with a blank expression on his face. "I am scared" she said as his head slowly turned towards her and he started to smiled back at her.

    Maura walked up behind Seona and placed both hands on her shoulders, "I will never leave you. I promise."

    Seona still wasn't sure about any of this. The memories of what he wanted her to do the last time were still haunted her today. She glanced at her sister and in that moment Seona knew that she could trust in her sister. She looked to Khan and gave him a nod. Like a force unleashed, he rose from his chair as his body started to glow. As he looked out beyond the Palace as he reached with his arms. To Captain Campbell and Commander V'rol, all they could see was a bright light that illuminated from Khan. The light from his seemed to burn them as it reached out throughout the room. Jackson tried to shield his eyes with his hand by there was no stopping the light as it reached outward from the Palace and spread across Seona's mind.
  2. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    Ahead Of The Storm
    Stardate: 53839.58
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    Deep Space 9, Medical Center

    Captain Campbell blinked a few times as he attempted to clear his mind. Being part of Seona's mind left him more connected to her than he ever imagined possible. There were lasting memories of her struggles that filled his mind. It was if he had taken part in this part of her life. He could see the faces of those who wanted to hunt her down and kill her. He saw the faces of those who she helped along the way. He hadn't realize that he was holding on to the side of the bed for support. He never imagined how many different lives she had touched since the day she ran from Starfleet Medical. The entire time, she feared one man over all others. This specter of her past was Admiral L'tus.

    Jackson saw the horrors that she had to endure during those years she was at the Estate. She feared Admiral L'tus and a return to his care. She spent so much of her life looking over her shoulder, fearful that his minions would move in and take her back to the Estate. To her, Admiral L'tus was untouchable. An honored member of Starfleet, but something so much worse. He operated within Starfleet yet his loyalties were not to Starfleet or what it stood for. After the war, Jackson knew that Seona feared her true identity would bring Admiral L'tus to her once more. Now thanks to these events, her real name was spoken in open. It was only a matter of time till Admiral L'tus would show his face.

    It was so much for him to take in in such a short period of time. The disorientating and slightly confusing nature had an effect on his mind. His mind was clouded by thoughts of Seona, not his own thoughts, but her thoughts. Her hopes, her fears, all of it was hers alone. There was a muffed sound in his ears as he tried to focus his mind. He blinked once more as he felt someone touching him. He turned his head to see it was Doctor McCoy. She was saying something to him and it seemed important. But her voice sounded like she was speaking in such a slow motion that her words just didn't make any sense to him. He leaned forward as he looked down at the medical bed. His eyes searched over a sleeping Seona. Her body and mind seemed so peaceful now. He knew that she would survive what happened to her. He couldn't explain it, but he knew she would be okay. He reached down and ran his hand through her hair with such softness and care. His little sister would be okay now.

    He felt as if something else was pulling on him. Demanding his attention but he couldn't clear her thoughts from his own. With great effort he focused his mind on the world around him. Soon it all started to come back in to focus. It was if his world was pulled back in to order with a sound like rushing air. Doctor McCoy pulled on his arm in an attempt to get his attention. As the rushing sound faded, her words became more easily understood. "Captain! Can you understand me!" she yelled out desperately trying to get his attention.

    Campbell Campbell looked across the bed at Commander V'rol who was just raising to his feet once more. "I...." he struggled to say. "I understand you, Doctor. No need to yell" He moved towards the foot of the bed using the bed to help support his weight.

    Doctor McCoy nodded as she lowered her voice while following him to the foot of the bed. "Lieutenant Jacobson has informed us that Lieutenant Junior Grade Noonia has unleashed Seona's virus across the region. Within moments, Bajoran long range sensors has detected a five ship Cardassian fleet heading our way. They will be here within thirty minutes" she explained.

    Jackson tried to take a step from the table but his balance was still off as he reached back for the table to steady himself. He wanted to tell the Doctor that he already knew about the inbound ships. Seona had known about the ships and their true plot. But the words wouldn't form in his throat. Instead he just opened his mouth as nothing came out. 'Pull it together' Jackson demanded of his own mind.

    Doctor McCoy continued her report, "Just a few moments ago, Admiral Tate sent us a priority message. He informed us that they have Captain Phillips in custody. He made it clear that you are ordered to contact him before you activate the Point Defense System. He ordered Commander Bonham to refuse to activate the system till you speak with the Admiral."

    Captain Campbell ran through what he knew of what was about to happen. He remembered the world that had become Seona's mind, but so much of it was already fading fast from his mind. He remembered the mighty strong hold that kept her safe. He also remembered Khan. He wouldn't be distracted by his hatred of the man that nearly killed his hero. Jackson locked his mind on to the facts of the Coup. He remembered that those behind the Coup had agents aboard the station. Thanks to the help of Captain Phillips, they were disguised as Starfleet personnel and were going to assassinate Legate Garak. The coming attack was nothing more than just a diversion for the assassination that was at hand. He finally nodded as he mumbled, "What is the status of the station's shields?"

    Colonel Kira gave Captain Campbell a nod, "Our shields and primary systems have all been restored thanks to your people."

    Captain Campbell nodded, "okay" he said trying once more to stand on his own. He was shaken but able to stand, "Doctor, Inform Lieutenant Jacobson to get her people back to the ship at once." He gave Doctor McCoy a slight push off as she walked from the room to issue the Captain's orders. On that he turned to look at Commander V'rol and spoke, "I am beginning to not like Mind Melds, Commander." As he spoke, he waved the Vulcan to his side.

    Commander V'rol had recovered much quicker than his Captain had. Still, Seona was a powerful telepath and her mind did have its effects on him as well. "understandable" the Vulcan said as he moved over to his Captain. Still, there was much of her mind that was shielded from his own.

    Jackson leaned in as he spoke very softly, "I saw who Seona was running from. This L'tus, and those he works with. If Starfleet is to know what happened to Seona. It won't be long till they find that she is on Vulcan. Then L'tus will find her. I can't let this happen. No one can know what happens to her from this point on. It has to look real." Despite the clouds in his mind, Jackson was sure of what he needed to do to protect Seona. Admiral L'tus worked for an organization that had considerable influence in the Federation. But was above its laws. "It has to look like she escaped and that we don't know the truth about her."

    Commander V'rol nodded, "understood Captain."

    Captain Campbell blinked once more to remove the final lasting effects from his mind. He straightened himself up as best as he could. "Commander V'rol, stay here on the station and work with Colonel Kira" he ordered then turned to Colonel Kira, "There is an assassination attempt in motion" he said as a matter of fact. "There are military leaders within the Cardassian Government that are in the mists of launching a Coup against Garak and his Detapa Council. The Breen are involved in the Coup, but to what extent, we don't know." He slowly took a step away from the table to ensure that his balance was restored. Once he was sure that he could stand on his own, he moved towards the door. "These assassins are aboard the station already and disguised as Stafleet personnel. Commander V'rol will help you locate them."

    Colonel Kira nodded and was about to question the situation, but her statement was cut off as Captain Campbell moved closer to her. Something else was at work and she realized it. So did Doctor Bashir, however like Colonel Kira, he too remained silent to see what was going to happen next.

    Taking a deep breath Jackson walked along side Colonel Kira and leaned in closer to her. Once she was close enough to whisper, he leaned in and spoke softly, "Commander V'rol will need your help. He will explain everything once you two are alone. There is more at risk today then just leadership of the Cardassian Government. I know, I can trust you Nery." She looked confused but nodded her understanding as they continued to walk out of the room.

    Doctor McCoy stepped back in to the door but stopped as she realized the group was walking for the doorway she was standing in. "Lieutenant Jacobson and her team have beamed back aboard the ship, Sir."

    Captain Campbell gave a nod, "Understand Doctor" he turned once more to Commander V'rol, "I will trust in you to take care of everything here. I see you once the battle is over."

    "Yes Sir," Commander V'rol move up along side Doctor Bashir as he replied softly with a nod.

    On that note, Captain Campbell tapped his combadge, "Thunderchild, two to beam directly to the Bridge."

    He gave a long look to Seona as she laid there on the bed. His heart hurt as he watched her on that bed. Just a few days ago, he never really knew her. Didn't know her from another marine that crossed his path. However now, he knew more about her than he ever wanted to know. He shook his head as he considered if he was better off not knowing what he knew now. He would never see her again after this moment and he hated that idea. But he also knew in his heart that she couldn't be allowed to fall in to Admiral L'tus' hands. There was so much he didn't know or even understood, but he knew one thing. His world had forever been changed and now he couldn't bare to take his eyes off of her. He took in a deep breath as he added, "energize" he commanded.

    Within seconds Captain Campbell and Doctor McCoy were both standing on the bridge. Commander Bonham turned and rose from the center chair, "Captain on the Bridge" Bonham alerted.

    Captain Campbell waved his hand in the air towards his crew, "at ease" he said as he turned to Lieutenant T'Lora, "Open a priority channel to Admiral Tate." On that he walked over to his command chair and took his seat. He often wondered why during a moment of crisis, most Starfleet Captains opted to beam to the Transporter room then rush back to the bridge. To him, it just didn't seem efficient to do that. Plus, he loved to make a grand entrance. He spun in his chair to face the Ops Station to his right rear.

    That was something else he loved about command. It was the center chair. While other starships were getting away from the concept of a center chair, he preferred it. For him, this was the most powerful place in the entire ship. From his chair, he could command his entire ship and its power. He ran his hand over the arm rest as the glanced at the system status display. He noted that the ship was currently operating at yellow alert. It would be only moments before he would order the ship to red alert. But first he had to reach Admiral Tate. "T'Lora" he said drawing her attention to him.

    She looked up from her console as her short cut neat hair flowed with her head movements. Lieutenant T'Lora gave a nod, "Sir, Admiral Tate is on the line. Switching to the main viewer."

    Captain Campbell turned in his chair to see Admiral Tate come over the large main monitor of the bridge. "Captain Campbell" the Admiral said with that authority tone in his voice. Jackson knew that this chat was not going to be a friendly chat. Jackson straightened up in his chair as he listened. "Thanks to what your security team provided, we were able to identify Captain Phillips as the traitor of the Dominion War" Admiral Tate said with a frown, "He didn't go down easily, but we got him. Thanks to a mind meld, we were able to learn some of his secrets. Captain Phillips had planned on destroying our ship in an attempt to throw the 4th Fleet in to chaos."

    Captain Campbell nodded, then int interrupted, "Its a Coup, Admiral."

    Admiral Tate nodded, "yeah, we know that now. The Breen were involved for a short period of time but no longer. Ships of Captain K'loet's Squadron caught a handful of Breen warships trying slipping across the boarder. When she confronted them, they turned and rushed right back to their side of the boarder. I guess they were not up for a direct confrontation with the captain more commonly known as the Ice Widow of Starfleet." There was laughter in his voice as he mentioned the Andorian captain.

    Captain Campbell knew Captain K'loet well from her exploits during the war. Captain K'loet had always been a brilliant combat officer and commander of the USS Osceola an Akira Class Heavy Cruiser. The Osceola was the flagship of the 3rd Strike Squadron which was formed around three Akira Class and four Ambassador Class heavy Cruisers along with an equal number of Destroyers and Scouts. During the Dominion War, she led her 3rd against normally over whelming odds. She often loved sparring against Breen commanders over Cardassian and Dominion Commanders. During large unit engagements, she would hunt down Breen ships that were known to carry some kind of legacy with them. The Osceola quickly became a feared and hated ship among Breen commanders.

    It was due to these particular engagements that she earned herself the nickname, the Ice Widow of Starfleet. Due to her combat record, Captain K'loet's name found its way on to a very short list to command the USS Thunderchild after the ship's massive refit. However she respectfully turned down the posting before any serious debate could be made over who would command the Thunderchild. She claimed her reasoning behind her move was that her Squadron had long earned her respect and loyalty. Many suspect that Admiral Tate had his hand in her removing her name from the list created by Starfleet Command. In removing her name from the list, Captain Campbell's assignment to this position could not be opposed by the critics of the program.

    Admiral Tate leaned in on his chair as he started to speak in a very dire tone. "Jackson, listen. We were able to probe Phillips' mind. He resisted but we were able to learn that he sabotaged your ship. Your point defense system has been sabotaged. If you activate it, then it will cause a massive cascade back feed across your power distribution systems. You can't activate the system, is that clear" Admiral Tate explained.

    Captain Campbell shook his head as he double checked his system status. "Admiral. David. This wont work. We have inbound Cardassian ships. They will be on top of us in minutes."

    Admiral Tate nodded, "I understand Captain. We are pushing our engines as fast as possible. Just hold things together till we can arrive. Withdraw if you have to."

    Jackson hated the idea of withdrawing. It just wasn't going to be an option today. He gave a nod, but knew it was only lip service. "Understood Admiral" Captain Campbell said then turned to T'Lora and motioned to kill the channel. He needed to get his ship ready for combat. His eyes first fell to Commander Bonham, "Scramble your air group, Commander and lead them in to combat" he ordered. Yet before Bonham could even move, Campbell added, "Commander. Give us a strong offense to keep them away from the ship."

    With a grin growing across his face, Bonham answered, "Aye Captain!" This is what he waited for. The day that he could prove once and for all the power of fighters over a single large starship. He gave a nod and turned to rushed off the bridge.

    Captain Campbell then turned his chair to Lieutenant Kinchlirah and shot a finger right at her, "I want you to find what that bloody bastard did to my ship" his Scottish accent ringing through as his anger flared. Captain Phillips had betrayed them, and now his crew was about to pay for that betrayal. Captain Campbell made no effort to hide his anger. "AND fix it. I need your system online and combat ready!"

    "Sir, with all due respect. The system has not been tested in a full combat status. We don't even have the all mounts that were required for the entire system" Lieutenant Kinchlirah protested. The conversation between her and Admiral Tate came to mind. He had promised that this would only be, as he put it, a Dog and Pony Show event. It was the only reason why she signed off on the schedule change for her upgrades. She had faith in her design but it simple wasn't tested for a real combat situation.

    Captain Campbell nose flared as he fired back, "that may be Lieutenant. But in less then twenty minutes we wont have a choice in this matter. Now get your system activated."

    "Yes Sir" she said not really wanting to fight this battle. On one hand she wanted to see her system prove to everyone that it will work. But on the other hand, if anything were to go wrong then it could kill her system once and for all. This wasn't going to be a fair test of her system and she knew it. She had to make sure nothing could go wrong with it. "I will need help" she asked "Permission to enlist the assistance of Lieutenant Noonia?" the large Klingon said.

    Captain Campbell rose from his chair, "you have him. Now get going!" he ordered as he walked to the rear of the Bridge. "Raise the Combat Situation Table" he ordered. Slowly the combat information table rose up from the floor as the panels flickered to life. Lieutenant T'Lora moved from her station over to her new post at the information table. On the other side of her, Lieutenant Duncanson moved to his post and would coordinate flight operations at the Captain's instructions.

    Lieutenant Kinchlirah gave him a nod as she too walked for the turbo lift while taping her combadge. "Lieutenant Noonia, this is Lieutenant Kinchlirah" she said waiting for him to answer. Once she heard his voice she cut him off, "Meet me in the weapon's pod and bring a pair of tool kits" the Turbo lift doors closed behind her cutting off the rest of her conversations to those on the bridge.

    Captain Campbell looked around the bridge as he took in a deep breath. He eyed the two officers beside him as he took his place at the head of the table. He stood there for a moment as his eyes searched across the table. The ship's long range sensors were now being tapped in to Bajoran long range sensor networks. It gave them a real time update of the enemy fleet closing on their position. "Bring the commander of Garak's flagship on the horn" Captain Campbell ordered as he took note of the situation. If they were to survive this, both ships would have to work together to fight off the larger number of enemy ships. He just hoped that he could trust Garak's crew.

    But all things were not lost. With Deep Space Nine at their back, they had a much better chance of winning this engagement. However he knew that the real battle would be between Commander V'rol and those unknown assassins. His hands moved over the table top as his fingers tapped the red dot that was named CUS01. It stood for Cardassian Unidentified Scout 01. Already, his ship was starting to collect data on the coming battle.

    Lieutenant T'Lora opened up a monitor on the table. It revealed a Cardassian Gul. The man started to speak, "I am Gul Trepar."

    Captain Campbell nodded as he spoke to the screen on the table, "I am Captain Jackson Campbell. We have an inbound group of Cardassian ships as well as a Cardassian Scout ship. Do you know anything about them?"

    Gul Trepar shook his head, "no, and Legate Garak is very concerned about them."

    Captain Campbell smiled, "I have reason to believe that there is a Coup that is being launched at this time. The Legate's life is in jeopardy. My First Officer is on Deep Space Nine now searching for the assassins. But we have to face these ships. Your opinion?"

    "My opinion Captain" Gul Trepar said coldly, "is that we protect the Legate with all we have."

    Captain Campbell nodded as his smiled held true, "my thoughts as well." He traced a triangle around the ship marked CUS01. The red dot now had a red triangle around it. Captain Campbell tapped the triangle causing a second set of lines to form another triangle around it. Campbell knew that the Thunderchild's powerful computer locked a firing solution on to the scout ship. From where he stood, he even selected the long range torpedoes for the job. Once the conflict started, that ship would take a full salvo of torpedoes. Enough to destroy the smaller scout class ship. "The Thunderchild will give you cover, but remain close to Deep Space Nine. This attack is only a diversion for the assassination of Legate Garak."

    "Understood Captain" Gul Trepar said then ended the link.

    Captain Jackson knew that every move he made was being watched. It was time to show them what this ship could do. Captain Campbell lifted his head and looked around. "Battle Stations" he ordered calling the ship to a combat stations.
  3. Akirapryde

    Akirapryde Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Nov 16, 2014
    Orlando, Fl, USA
    A Call to Arms
    Stardate: 53839.58
    Denorios Belt, The Bajoran System
    USS Thunderchild

    The lights were dimmed across the musty lounge that had no real name. According to the construction plans of the refit this space was meant to be a storage area for the Mill Shop. However it was re-utilized for Flight Operations personnel. During refit, the area started off as a storage area, but a couple of tables and chairs showed up. Slowly the number of tables and chairs continued to grow as it become an unofficial break area for workers and Deck Hands. Some time when the twin warp engines were being installed, a old fashion jukebox showed up. Next was a replicator and a make shift bar was build. Slowly the lounge started to take shape in to what it is today. Long before the two official lounges were constructed, this space was already serving off duty personnel. It was thought that once the ship's refit was completed, this space would simply be returned to its original purpose.

    However, none of the officers of Flight Operation wanted to give up their unofficial hang out. Despite the fact that it lacked all the amenities of the other two lounges. There were no windows, no bright colors, no plush carpets nor were their games and activities. Despite all of what it lacked, it had more personality than any other space on the ship. It began as a simple place where these personnel could unwind and rest when off duty. But as the refit continued, the space grew in to much more than what it was in the beginning. Gone was the make shift bar as a more permanent bar was built in place by the Mill Shop. The extremely dense walls allowed them to play their music as loud as they wanted without causing others in spaces nearby to be disturbed. To anyone walking in to the lounge, this place was home to the men and women of Flight Operation. This was noted by a large Dragon painted on the far wall facing the only entrance in to the space. Below the dragon were the words, 'Home of Starfleet's Own Dragons!'

    The walls were covered by art work and images of carriers from throughout the history of the entire Federation. These images and art work were all donated to the ship by friends of the crew members. Some images showed carriers during times of war, while others that were simply privately owned images taken by ancestors during normal daily activities. The most valuable pieces of this remarkable collection were a group of images donated by a Vulcan crew member. These rare images were of a massive hover carrier that roamed the Vulcan skies long before they took to the stars. Another painting was a mastered work of art that showed a large powerful carrier cutting through the ice filled waters of Andoria during a period of war for their race. Notably, not one of these carriers of history were space fairing. To bridge this collection, a group of crew members commissioned a painting of the USS Thunderchild during her year long refit in to a fully functioning carry.

    But none of these images or paintings carried the same degree of respect as the center piece of the lounge. In the center of the bar stood three scales models of arguable the most famous carries in Human history. These models were of the USS Langley, HMS Argus, and the IJN Hōshō. The models were positioned in such a way they they appeared to be moving in formation in the same direction. It was commonly known among Flight Operations that this positioning was done intentionally. It was to show that while these three historical ships were rivals during their time, today, they moved in unison as they were sailing in to history. Above the three models hung a wooden sign with the words inscribed on it, "For those who forged our path today, We Salute you!" An old fashion brass bell hung over the three models and a braided corded rope hung down from the bell.

    Those members of Flight Ops who were currently off duty set around the Lounge enjoying drinks and music. There was a slumber mood around the lounge as crew members talking, drank or just took a few minutes to their selves. The origin of the sour mood was centered around the recent report issued regarding the Hanger Deck fire. While the fire had been put out, the official report from Damage Control showed the rift between Engineering and Flight Operations. The report had laid blame of the accident and subsequent fire on Flight Operations. According to the report, it was the over usage of the launching and trapping system that caused the accident. The report didn't reflect the number of requests by Flight Ops to step up preventive maintenance on the entire system as demands on the system grew. Maintenance that according to Flight Ops, should have been carried out by Engineering.

    Near the entrance to the lounge was a red light that would normally signal the ship being called to battle stations. These red lights were common around all Federation starships. Along the top of the light a pair of screws had been removed that allowed the lens of the light to hang forward just a bit. It was more than enough to allow a black cable to be pushed between the lens and the wall. This cable was tied in to the light and ran upwards towards the center of the lounge. The cable ran through the frame work of the ceiling till it reached a metal pole. There the cable followed the pole downward as it coiled around the pole. At the end of the pole the cable tied in to a motor which powered a circular horn. No one knows who installed the device, but like the art work around the lounge it was part of the personality of the lounge.

    In that moment, the light on the wall started to flashed red as calm chime of the alert could be heard outside. However across the lounge and beyond, there was a sudden loud whistle that pierced the space and got everyone's attention. Seconds later a human voice recorded centuries ago called out from the strange horn in the center of the lounge, "General Quarters! General Quarter! All Hands man your battle stations!" Following the voice was a repeated tone that started to chime. While the rest of the ship was reacting to a more traditional Starfleet alert sound, down here in the Flight Ops, the centuries old General Quarters alarm blasted across the decks. Each of the alarms were taken just as seriously as everyone started to rush for their off duty General Quarters positions.

    The call to arms continued to echoed down the halls and corridors of the USS Thunderchild as the entire ship moved from a yellow alert status to combat stations. There was no questioning the alert as to rather this was a drill or not. Everyone had been trained regularly that when the call was issued by the Bridge, everyone reacted to it as if it was the real thing. To everyone across the ship, it didn't matter what was going on. General Quarters required the highest degree of urgency as everyone had only moments to reach their off duty posts. For Flight Ops, that meant, they had to push harder to get to the hanger deck and start dispatching the fighters as fast as possible. Those not en route for the multi-purpose room were arming themselves as they started to secure this section of the ship.

    Lieutenant Sorot set at the large desk with a blank expression on his face. For the past six hours, he had seen his understanding of space combat pushed to its limits as his combat flight training continued. His Vulcan expression reflected the deep thought that he was in. He was looking at a holographic image of a pair of fighters locked in a mock dog fight. The image was taken of his recent training simulation. Now they were frozen in midair before him. "I do not understand, my maneuver was flawless. Still, the enemy fighter was able to get behind me and kill me. This is highly illogical."

    Ensign Noguerra moved up behind the Vulcan helmsman and lean down on the desk, "You have to learn to set aside logic when locked in fighter combat. Logical maneuvers are predictable."

    "Learning to be unpredictable is the difference between life and death in fighter combat," Cadet Treasach explained as he walked up to the other side of Ensign Noguerra.

    Lieutenant Sorot turned to face the two junior officers, "the maneuvers, which the computer conducted went completely against historical lessons, and therefore flawed."

    "Yet it got behind you and killed you." Ensign Noguerra said with a smile, "you can blame us for that. We reprogrammed the computer to be more illogical than normal." She watched his eye brow slowly rise up as she continued. "One thing that Reaper teaches us, is that you have to learn to fly outside of who you are if you are going to survive out there."

    "We all have flying personalities" Cadet Treasach explained. "The enemy will learn this personality and use it against you in future engagements. Just as we study every battle, they will also."

    Sorot turned back to the holographic fighters, "so I have to learn to be illogical."

    Ensign Noguerra nodded, "if you expect to fly with us, you do."

    Before anyone could say another word, the lights in the large multi-purpose room went out without warning. The current holographic program, which was that of a large office for training, ended at the same time. The lights switched to red in a matter of a heartbeat as the room turned from its training room program to the locker room program. Echoing from other parts of the deck were the sounds of the General Quarters echoing down the corridors of Flight Ops. Beyond eye sight, an industrial replicator started to create armored suits for the off duty Deck Personnel who would be rushing in to the locker room within moments. These suits were created in the lockers of the intended owner. It was all part of the locker room program, so that each person had their locker filled with what they needed for the alert.

    "Class dismissed" Ensign Noguerra said as she turned and rushed for her own locker.

    Lieutenant Sorot moved from where he was sitting towards the nearest exit while Cadet Treasach followed Ensign Noguerra down the stacks of lockers. The two aviators started to remove their standard Starfleet uniforms as they got ready to put on their flight suits. Even before Lieutenant Sorot could leave the Multi-Purpose room, deck hands and pilots started to rush in from the three separate entrances. Each rushed to their own lockers and found their suits waiting for them. As suits were quickly put on, Lieutenant Sorot made his way to his own off duty alert post. Even before the locker room was filled with Flight Ops personnel, Ensign Noguerra and Cadet Treasach were already changed and heading for their fighters. It was a change for Starfleet to have their reaction times slowed by having to change before reporting to their alert stations.

    Prepping for combat in this fashion took time, but studies concluded that a protected crew could serve the ship better during combat than those who were not protected. Studies of past battles during the the Dominion War, showed that a sizable number of casualties were suffered directly due to exposure to zero atmosphere. Having the crew spend this valuable time wearing the proper protection ensured a higher degree of survivors after combat. While off duty personnel were getting ready for combat, those who were on duty were already fully ready for combat. Because the ship was at yellow alert, no one took to drinking or other activities that would hamper their actions during an alert. Thanks to months of intensive combat readiness drills as well as a change in duty rosters ensured that the member of Flight Ops were more than prepared for combat today.

    On deck four, the staff of sick bay were already getting ready for the coming combat. The scene in Sick Bay was of controlled chaos. In the center, Doctor Bell and Doctor McCoy stood side by side as Doctor Bell ordered his staff around. Those who were not considered in critical condition were being sent to their combat stations while beds were being prepared for the coming causalities that everyone expected. For Doctor McCoy, this was all pretty new for her. Being the acting Chief Medical Officer, this was her first combat situation and she didn't want to let anyone down. But already she knew the deck was stacked against her and her people, as the department was under staffed. But that didn't change the feeling she had that her staff would do their best today.

    The doors to sick bay hissed opened as Ensign Skytower walked in with the two other members of the Recreation Section shortly behind her. She walked up to Doctor McCoy, "Doctor, we are to report to Sick Bay during an alert" Skytower informed. She added, "what can we do to help?"

    Doctor McCoy nodded, "That is great, each of you" she said speaking to the three Recreation crew members, "grab a medical kit" she said pointing to a opened cabinet filled with medical supplies. She turned to a group of corpsmen, "I am going to assign each of you to a corpsman" McCoy explained.

    Her hope was to use what resources she had available to its best. She waved the corpsmen over and waited for them to arrive to the conversation before continuing. A few other non-medical personnel walked in and Doctor McCoy quickly called them over as well. Within moments, Doctor McCoy was surrounded by crew members from Supply and Commissary sections as well as the three crew members from Recreations. These and her Corpsmen would create her rapid medical reaction teams. The plan was not originally hers. The plan was actually created by Doctor Leana Vanlaere, the intended Chief Medical Officer for the Thunderchild. Doctor Vanlaere had already realized the issue with medical staffing. By using these rapid medical reaction teams, minor injuries could be priorities on location and free up beds in sick bay.

    Once her teams were assembled around her she continued speaking. "Each of you" she said to the corpsmen, "will be assigned two non-medical personnel. Each team will be assigned a section of the ship. Provide first aide to the wounded and help get more serious cases down here." She pointed out the teams, "Make sure you listen to your corpsman and be ready to help out as best as you can" she informed the non-medical personnel around her. "Each emergency medical kit has a remote control for the emergency transporters. Use them to get the most serious of cases down here at quickly as possible. Those less priority cases will be moved to the three aide stations set up" she explained. Again the aide stations were a creation of Doctor Vanlaere as hopes to take the pressure off of Sick Bay.

    She turned to Ensign Skytower, "Ensign" Doctor McCoy said calmly, "because I am not a medical doctor, I am leaving Doctor Bell in charge of the Sick Bay during the crisis. You and I will be assigned to the Flight Deck's aide station." Doctor McCoy knew that the Sick Bay was in good hands with Doctor Bell and she knew that she could serve the ship better on the front lines. On that note, Doctor McCoy turned from her teams, "Computer activate all EMH's."

    Within seconds, three holographic doctor's appeared out of thin air. Each spoke in prefect harmony, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency."

    Doctor McCoy stepped towards the three holograms, "I am Doctor Erica McCoy, acting Chief Medical Officer. The ship is being called to Battle Stations. We can expect a large number of causalities once the battle begins. You are hereby ordered to assist Doctor Bell and his staff during the crisis."

    All three holograms nodded as they answered, "Understood, Doctor McCoy." With their orders stated, the three turned and walked to different sections of the sick bay and joined their preassigned teams.

    Doctor McCoy turned back to her rapid medical reaction teams, "team leaders will find their assigned locations uploaded in to their PADDs. Do not forget the location of your supporting aide station." With that she gave a nod to Ensign Skytower, "Okay lets go everyone." she finally said picking up her own medical kit and lead the group from Sick Bay. Behind them, Doctor Bell continued to get the entire Sick Bay ready for the coming battle.

    As Doctor McCoy and Ensign Skytower made their way to the Flight Deck, Starfleet Marines were taking up positions within the ship. The Marines were dressed in their own combat armor and each carried a Compression phaser rifle as well as a type two phaser as a side arm. Their combat armor allowed them to continue to defend the ship even in highly radioactive environments. Along with the marines around the ship, members of the Thunderchild's own security sections were taking up their own combat stations. The two layers of defenders allowed the ship to respond to a larger number of boarding actions. Again, this was all done from lessons learned during the Dominion War.

    Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh walked down the corridor with a group of two security personnel and two marines. Like her marine counter parts, her and her security personnel were all dressed in combat armor. "I want you four to take up positions on the bridge. I know this is not your normal duty station, but the Captain wanted to add more security to the bridge during combat situations. Two marines in front facing aft and two security officers aft facing the forward entrances to the bridge. Defend the bridge at all costs" she ordered, then paused as she turned to the two security officers. "If we are going to loss the bridge, protect the Captain at all costs and evacuate him. This is Commander V'rol's direct orders."

    As Lieutenant Ó Ruaidh and her personnel continued to move on to their positions, Doctor McCoy and Ensign Skytower made their way to the Flight Deck. The trip to the Flight Deck was slowed by large thick doors that were sealing off sections of the ship. These doors as well as moving bulkheads were compartmentalizing the ship ahead of combat. This ensured that each section of the ship would be protected even if the section next to it was breached. It had only been moments since the order was given, calling the ship to battle stations. Already, well over two thirds of the ship was reporting that they were combat ready. Everything about this ship was taken from lessons learned during the Dominion War.

    The Hanger Deck was by far the most active section of the ship during the combat alert. Already, the Ready One Squadron had been launched giving the ship a minimal level of defense during the critical build up for combat. Now it was a push to get the remanding fighters off the ship before the enemy could reach firing range. Deck hands rushed as they readied each fighter for departure. They had limited time to get the fighters ready before the pilots walked on to the deck. This effort was aided by the influx of off duty Deck Hands rushing to the Hanger Deck. With backgrounds ranging from Cooks to Marines, everyone assigned to Flight Ops had been crossed trained for this one mission, this one moment in time. In everyone's mind, was one simple goal. Get the fighters aloft before the battle begins! Pride filled the air as these professional members of Starfleet set out to prove their critics wrong.

    A large air lock on the starboard side opened as all on the hanger deck took noticed of the group walking on to the Hanger Deck. They were the elite pilots of the Jolly Rogers Squadron. Each one of them had already earned their right to serve in this elite squadron. Leading the group as they exited the air lock was a man that everyone know well. The face plate of his combat helmet bore the likeness of his call sign. He was Commander Bonham or more commonly known across Flight Ops as the Reaper.

    From head to toe, the pilots were dressed in a modified version of the same kind of armor worn by Starfleet Marines. The armored suits were chosen because it was easily modified for its new purpose. These suits were able to link in with the fighter giving the pilots a much higher degree of control over the fighter and more survivability if their fighter was destroyed in deep space. It also provided a thirty six hour life support window if the pilot had to eject from the fighter during combat. A built in phaser dock on the right forearm gave the pilot the means to fight once grounded on a hostile world. The dock was a addition suggested by the Marines and was adopted to the suit's over all design.

    As they walked towards the Flight Line, each pilot turned and headed for their own Valkyrie fighter. The black/white Skull and Crossed Bones told all that bore witness that these fighters and pilots belonged to the elite squadron. Unlike any other craft created for Starfleet, the Valkyrie was designed for space superiority combat. Its sleek design was adopted so that the craft could function equally well in space or in atmosphere. To make sure that the craft took up as little space as possible while in storage, its wide wings were designed to be retractable within the main body of the craft. Built with a focus on sublight speed and maneuverability, and fire power, the Valkyrie Mk I was already the most advanced fighter in use by any power. Each pilot walked up to their own fighter as the leader of that craft's support crew approached the pilot.

    The pilots were saluted before they climbed up in to their own craft. The craft's support crew leader followed the pilot up towards the cockpit. The two worked as a team to ensure that the pilot was seated in correctly and surely secured in to the craft. While the pilot was getting ready for flight, ground crews finished their checks of the fighter. Once the pilot was ready, the leader climbed off the fighter. Once he was cleared from the fighter the foot and hand holds were sealed by the pilot. The large canopy slowly lowered down and sealed the pilot in the cockpit. The powerful twin impulse engines fired to life causing the rear of the craft to glow red as lights around the craft signaled the craft coming to life.

    The Ground Support Crews each gave a salute to their leader that their checks were completed. Within moments, the support leader turned to face the cockpit of his fighter. He waited till he was sure that the pilot was focused on him. In that moment, the leader gave the pilot a series of hand signals to inform the pilot that the craft was ready for departure. For months, they trained for this moment and now they were ready to deliver on that training. Despite the crisis, each person conducted their duties with a level of professionalism that any Starfleet officer would be proud of.

    Thunderchild Ground, Jolly Rogers One, Six In Flight, Hanger Deck, Requesting Combat Departure Commander Bonham's voice spoke over the communication channels.

    Jolly Rogers One, Understood Six In Flight, Taxi with the option to the Flight Deck via the trap doors. Doors are open and secured. Hold short of the Trap Doors. Once holding short of the Flight Deck Contact Tower on Combat Channel Five Two One.

    Thunderchild Ground, Understood, Taxi with the option to the Flight Deck via the trap doors. Doors are open and secured. Hold short of the Trap Doors. Once at hold Flight Deck Contact Tower on Combat Channel Five Two One.

    Jolly Rogers One, read back correct. Proceed as instructed.

    Slowly the six large fighters rose up off the ground as their landing gear retracted up in to the fighter. Each fighter rose above the Hanger Deck as their wings started to reach out from its storage positions. In side each fighter, the pilots were bringing their fighters up towards the six large openings in the ceiling of the Hanger. The openings allowed for direct access to the Flight Deck. With only meters on each side to spare, this was not a maneuver for the faint of heart.

    What made this maneuver easier was a tool adopted by Starfleet several years before. In 2368 a Ktarian woman by the name of Etana Jol attempted to seize control of the USS Enterprise using a device that linked to the users mind via the optical nerves system. The attempt failed but the device found its way in to the hands of Starfleet Research. After a series of modifications, now the device found its uses within the elite Jolly Rogers Squadron. Instead of allowing the user to become controlled by someone else, the devices now allow the user to 'see' through the fighter's own sensors and display vital combat information within their vision no matter where they look. This was the ultimate heads up display for the pilots and allowed the pilot to target enemy fighters just by focusing on them. The headset device was vital for piloting the highly maneuverable fighter.

    Thunderchild Tower, This is Jolly Roger One, Flight of Six, Holding short of the Flight Deck. Requesting Combat Departure. Once more Commander Bonham's voice spoke over the communication channels.

    The activity on the Flight Deck was just as rushed as it was below, in the Hanger Deck. The large doors forward and aft were both open as the ground crews were rushing to move craft around the Flight Deck in to their departure positions. In the center of the deck, the six fighters of the Jolly Roger Squadron slowly rose up through the six large openings from the deck below. The craft stopped motion just as they cleared the openings as they were instructed to do by the Ground Controller.

    Jolly Roger One, This is Thunderchild Tower, You are number one behind departing Cat Eye Shuttles. Taxi forward to pre-depature position and hold.

    The six fighters turned to face the forward section of the ship and started to hover in that direction. As a pair of Type 11 shuttles were getting their final departure orders, ground crews moved forward and waved each Jolly Roger fighter in to their departure position. Along the sides of each craft ground crews were scanning the craft to make sure that nothing was missed during preflight scans. Because the shuttles were no longer in need of additional attention, the ground crews focused their attention on the next set of fighters waiting for departure.

    As the pair of shuttles were vaulted from the Flight Deck, the communication channel came alive with the calm voice of Combat Controller cut in, "All Stations, this is Rolling Thunder One One." The call sign was well known to everyone listening to the Combat Channels. Rolling Thunder One One was the official call sign of Captain Campbell. "Be advised, inbound is thirty Jem'Hadar Fighters. On approach, two niner six by one fif eight. Situation IS hostile. Weapons are clear."

    As the situational notification was issued, the last of the pre-flight checks were completed and the thumbs up was given. The pilots in the fighters each saluted the Commander of the Flight Deck. Over the Tower's Combat Channel the clearance was issued, "Jolly Roger One, your traffic is a flight of four Danube-class runabouts departing from Deep Space Nine. After departure, turn right and fly zero niner zero. Contact Combat Control one channel one zero fif. Good Hunting, Sir. Cleared for take off!"

    On that note, the Deck Commander leaned forward and gave the signal to depart the entire flight of Fighters. Within seconds their engines burned red as they built up as much thrust as possible while the catapult system started to hurl the six fighters in to space. In prefect silence of space, the six fighters were propelled from the Flight deck in a blink of an eye. High above the departure end of the main flight deck doors, seven glowing red orbs streaked across space from behind the ship. The orbs were from the powerful main torpedoes of the Thunderchild's weapons pod. The orbs flew left as the Jolly Rogers turned their fighters right, thus ensuring that the fighters didn't cross the field of fire.

    High above the Flight Deck, the scene in the weapons pod was equally active. Here, members of the Torpedo Technicians Section as well as the three Ordnance Operations Officers were working to keep the main torpedoes working in prefect order during the battle. For cadets Ralf and Koizumi, this was to be their first cadet cruise as Ordnance Operations Officers. A few days ago, this was going to be a quick trip to Deep Space Nine then a series of combat drills while the ship was run through its paces. Now, the Thunderchild was involved in real combat. Luckily for the two Cadets, they had Lieutenant Çağri leading them through the crisis. A seasoned officer with a good head on her shoulders, Lieutenant Çağri was a fine officer and good trainer.

    Lieutenant Kinchlirah and Lieutenant Junior Grade Noonia entered the weapons pod complex through the starboard access hatch. Already a group of marines had secured the pod. It was clear that they were in a rush as the moved across the main level of the pod. Each carried a tool kit with them as the ordnance crews were rushing about tending to their own task. Lieutenant Kinchlirah pointed to a set of terminals near a corner, "The Point Defense system was created with five redundant mainframes. This ensures that if any one main system were taken down, the entire network will continue to function normally."

    Lieutenant Noonia nodded, "Okay so what make this one back up so important?"

    As Lieutenant Kinchlirah rushed up to the terminal she answered the question, "while each back up can upload to the rest. I made this one the master over the others. The Weapons Pod is a highly secured area. So access in to this area is very limited," she explained. However before she could get out the next statement the ship shuttered as it suffered its first hit.

    Over the intercom, Captain Campbell's voice could be heard, "Lieutenant Kinchlirah, We have fighters closing on our position. I want that point defense system."

    Lieutenant Kinchlirah rolled her eyes, "I thought we had thirty minutes" she mumbled to herself then tapped her com-badge, "Yes Sir. Lieutenant Noonia and I are working on it." She brought the system online and opened up the main matrix of the system.

    Lieutenant Noonia moved up to the terminal, "you were considering sabotage when you created this station."

    She nodded, "historical, internal sabotage has been Starfleet's largest weakness." She placed her hand on a scanner. "This is a DNA Identifier" she informed. Once the scanner identified her, it unlocked the matrix of the entire system. She motioned for him to do the same, "place your hand here." Unsure, Noonia placed his hand on the scanner. She scanned his DNA in to the system, "this will allow you to help me with the programming."

    The system identified him and she gave him a nod. "Now I need you to start searching the power transfer relays between the mounts and the ship's main distribution systems. I will search each Mount. We are looking for any line of code that doesn't belong. Resent changes will show up in red so that we can easily identify it. Any line of code in blue are changes I made two weeks ago."

    Noonia nodded as he started to work the terminal next to her. "Wouldn't it be easier to reboot the entire matrix?"

    Lieutenant Kinchlirah shook her head, "each mount is independent of the others. To reboot the entire system would take hours. Time I don't think we have" she said as the ship shuttered once more as sparks filled the port side access hatch. The combat had begun as the main torpedoes were being reloaded.