Previous Next

The Battle For Engineering

Posted on Tue Aug 8th, 2023 @ 6:06am by Ensign Rimal Iska & Commander N'Garzi Zora & Ensign George Paxton & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mason Malone

Mission: Wrath of the People
Location: Deck 3
Timeline: MD8 :: after initial attack and 'The Tubes of Terror'
2839 words - 5.7 OF Standard Post Measure

Gripping his phaser rifle tightly, Iska leaned against the wall of deck three to catch his breath. He had some scratches and a developing black eye, thanks to the unforgiving console he slammed into during the initial attack, as well as what felt like a broken rib, but was otherwise unharmed. He and George barely managed to get off deck four, which was crawling with pirates. At some point, Zade had contacted the Bajoran to give him a heads up that Mason would be nearing his location soon, so he decided it would be best to wait for him on deck three, near one of the maintenance rooms by engineering.

He certainly wasn't going to wait on deck four.

The sound of movement made Iska push off the wall and raise his weapon, a faint whine indicating that it was powering up. He debated asking the noise to identify itself, but he also didn't want to draw attention to himself. "Wh-who's there?" He asked, deciding to chance it.

Looking like he'd been in a serious scuffle or two, sporting several bruises across his exposed skin, a shirtless Mason emerged from the shadows, phaser trained on the other officer. His aim wasn't quite as steady as it was supposed to be or how he'd like it to be, his left arm trembling a little. Unnoticed to himself, his right arm was covered in blood, coming from a deep gash that ran across his upper arm. "Chief Malone," he said through gritted teeth, "who're you?"

Recognizing his fellow security officer's name, the Bajoran cautiously lowered his rifle. "Ensigns Iska and Paxton," he responded, referring to the engineer behind him. He looked the man over, seeing that he had clearly run into some pirates. The blood on his right arm was startling, but from a quick glance the injury didn't seem that bad. It was hard to tell in the warm glow of the red alert lights. The man was still standing, which was a good sign, but Iska could see the slight tremble in Mason's phaser. "You're injured. I think there should be a med kit nearby. What happened to you?"

George was here? "I got in a fight with four pirates. I was sent to clear the decks. Zade remains on the bridge." Now that his attention was drawn to the blood on his arm, he frowned. "It probably looks worse than it is," he muttered, so not to alarm Paxton, though he was definitely in pain.

"Mason?" George moved out from the shadows, with a brow furrowed in concern. He was a bit battered himself, but any pain he had felt washed away with his growing concern over Mason. He reached over to a nearby panel and pulled out the med kit that Iska had referred to. "We ran into some pirates too, but it looks like you had more fun than we did," he smiled softly as he scanned his partner and did what he could to fix his injuries temporarily. He was no doctor, but he at least had enough knowledge to keep things from getting worse. "Better?" He asked.

Mason very briefly cupped his partner's cheek, offering a fain smile. "I'm fine," he promised, "this is what I'm trained for remember?" He glanced around. "Is it only you two here? Perhaps we can hold engineering together...when I left the bridge, there were intruders on other decks. I can't get them all on my own. The ship is defenseless, it's down to the crew now."

Iska kept watch as George tended to Mason's injuries. If there was one thing he learned from his Occupation-seasoned father, it was to always protect your comrades. "It's just us, but we only got here about a minute before you. Zade was able to relay orders before comms went down. I was to meet up with you, and Harrison and Kivel are working up from the lower decks." He didn't know much about the two security officers aside from knowing that they worked a different shift. "We may be able to get some help from others in engineering..." As he was looking around for more pirates, Iska started to grow uneasy. The news that the ship was defenseless was heavy, and the Bajoran knew they had their work cut out for them. "There's a lot of pirates on deck four. I'm talking over twenty," he added, still watching out for unwanted company. "I suspect they will come for engineering next. If we can limit the number of entries into engineering, I think we have a chance."

"How many entrances to this area? if more than one perhaps we should barricade the others, force them to come through the one I did," Mason suggested. "Can we use phasers to weld the doors closed?" He looked at either engineer for an answer, as it was a question he didn't know the answer to.

A bright green disruptor blast flew past the three officers and exploded on contact with the wall behind them. "Hegh!" Yelled a Klingon woman as she took aim to fire again. Her three comrades followed her lead, all aiming their various phaser pistols or rifles in the direction of the Starfleet scum and the corridor lit up in the various colours of the energy beams and blasts.

Iska flinched when green weapons fire buzzed over his head, then aimed his rifle and fired back. He moved into a more protective stance between George, Mason, and the pirates, but was quickly pushed back into engineering by their fire. "We need to move!" He said. Were these pirates from deck four? One of his shots took down a pirate, the one to the left of the Klingon woman, and he winced when a disruptor blast barely grazed his side, burning the fabric of his uniform and the skin underneath.

In reflex, Mason shoved George behind a nearby console, aiming his phaser at the newcomers. "jegh!" He snapped back at the woman, before firing at her. "You ok?" He continued towards Iska, moving to find some cover as well. Keep firing at the door, we have to keep them from getting a foothold here."

George, still internally a little shaken from his venture through the jefferies tubes with Iska, held to the console for a second as he tried to think of a way to help. He was pretty good with a phaser and, though most wouldn't guess it, he had great instincts in a battle, but he needed something better. It didn't take long for the notion of an emergency shutdown to cross his mind. George stood up amongst the crossfire and started to type in on the console in front of him, occasionally shirking from blasts of phaser fire. Within seconds, alarms started blaring and the blast doors began to lower. They'd be trapped in engineering with the pirates that were already present, but at least no new enemies could join in the foray.

"I'm fine," Iska replied to Mason. The blast had grazed the forming bruise he got when he was literally shoved into a console earlier, agitating the injury, but he clenched his teeth as he did his best to fight through it. He moved to a new position that kept him in front of George and continued to fire. When the alarms started going off, Iska briefly glanced behind their attackers to see the blast door lowering. That was smart. From what he remembered, that would bring down the blast doors for all the entries into engineering, not just the main door they were near.

"Good thinking ensign!" Mason called out, trying to keep things professional even though he couldn't hide his pride filled smile. He fired another shot at the intruders. "You will surrender," he told them.

George sidestepped to take cover but the next flash of light grazed him and set him off balance, tumbling behind a nearby wall as the pirates that they trapped inside engineering closed in. The barrier had helped but wasn't a permanent solution if they wanted to stay alive. Think, George thought as he struggled to pull himself up from the ground. There had to be something else they could do.

"I don't know that we can hold them all off. There's still too many," he shouted out to Iska and Mason as he picked himself up from the ground.

Mason hadn't noticed the enemy's beam striking his partner. He felt a trickle down his bare arm as he twisted to fire at the pirates, wondering why they weren't making any progress. "We need somewhere to hide, to take a stand," he suggested, "was the office in this level?"

One of the human pirates was growing bored with how long this was taking. He knew that his Klingon companion would be enjoying the thrill of the hunt, it was all a game to her; but for him, the longer this went on the more chance they had of losing ground, especially with the blast doors closed. He knew they had to be careful with their shots, no one wanted to hit the warp core and get killed in a very quick, and very firey explosion... except B'Mira he corrected himself internally.

Seeing the three officers clustered near the core end of the room gave the man an idea. The core on Federation starships was surrounded by a protective forcefield, so no one accidentally fried themselves. The heat alone was enough to send someone running to the medical bay pretty quickly, he knew these three wouldn't be able to stand it for too long. Popping up from behind the console that had sheltered his during their barrage of phaser fire, he aimed for the station closest to the core and fired.

Warning! Containment field offline the computer warned in its static voice.

No, no, no, George thought. This was not good. His eye's darted around the room, there was no way to maintain control of engineering. They had lost this battle. "The maintenance room, over there," he pointed to a door about fifty feet behind them. "It has a separate shielding circuit because of the equipment inside. It's our best chance to get out of here."

"Go," Mason ordered, tapping his comm badge with a great deal of effort. "Lieutenant, it's Malone.... We lost engineering ma'am, we're going to try and get out." Mason's voice sounded strained as he gave a very clipped report of what happened. He signed off then started to usher the others forward. "Go go, take the lead ensign you know this place better than we do," he added through gritted teeth.

Iska was closest to the core when the containment field fell, and he cried out when the heat blasted his right side. Backing away quickly, he followed George and Mason into the maintenance room, somehow shooting down another pirate before the doors closed. The second they had some ounce of protection from the pirates, Iska dropped the rifle and shed his jacket, pain clear in his expression as the fabric agitated the burn. On his right arm, which had taken the brunt of the heat, his shoulder to his elbow was an unpleasant shade of red, and he could feel the heat hit his cheeks when he tried to assess the damage. The painkiller he had taken in the Jefferies tube must be wearing off, because every little movement reignited the sensation of his arm being set on fire. The Bajoran dropped the jacket on the ground before picking up his rifle again, slinging it wearily across his good shoulder.

The human pirate watched as Starfleet's finest scurried away with glee. His plan had worked and they had successfully taken the engineering room. He stepped over the fallen Bolian that the Bajoran had blindsided and made his way to one of the auxiliary power stations. He ignored the Bolian's pleas for help and the Klingon's chants of triumph and reinstalled the containment field around the warp core. Once he was successful he turned his attention to the bridge command subroutines; if he was able to tap into those, the ship would be theirs.

Glancing at Mason, Iska gauged how well they could continue. Fatigue was starting to catch up to the Bajoran, and the other security officer wasn't looking great either. George looked relatively alright, but he was an engineer. Even with the skills Iska had witnessed, he doubted that George would last much longer as well. "We need medical attention," he decided, looking to George.

"And quickly by the looks of it," George furrowed a brow of concern at Mason and grabbed the medkit stored in the room. One good thing about working in engineering, was that just about every room had one. "This should help, at least temporarily," he injected both men with a hypospray as his mind racked through options. Though the maintenance door was now sealed, he knew it was only a matter of time before the pirates found a way in and there was only one way out that he could think of. The jefferies tubes.

"I think we're out of options besides this one," he opened a maintenance hatch for the jefferies tubes and signaled for the other two to crawl in. He hoped that they would follow his suggestion without question, but George had no intention of following them into those tunnels from hell. Just looking in the space had him on the edge of a panic attack and he knew that would only slow them down. Besides, if the pirates did get through, someone would need to slow them down or else Iska and Mason had no chance of making it to sickbay with those injuries.

Mason said nothing for several seconds. Now that he had a few seconds of no fighting, he was starting to feel weak. The earlier patch had come undone and his right arm was covered in blood. His other inuries too were bleeding again and he was looking considerably paler than before. "I don't know if I can make it anywhere else," he confessed as he looked from Iska to George, knowing the latter has serious issue with confined spaces. And he had no intention of leaving anyone behind if he could help it. It was increasingly difficult to maintain a professional composure when he wanted nothing more than to reassure his partner that he'd be fine, that they'd all he fine.

"You definitely won't make it if you stay here," he tore a piece of cloth off of his shirt and tied it around the spot where Mason was bleeding. It wasn't perfect but that plus the second hypospray he had already administered should be enough, he thought. It was at least the best he could do. George took another step toward Mason and tenderly caressed his chin, turning his partners face to his. "You must try, Mason.". He then carefully kissed the man before unceremoniously shoving him into the Jefferies tube.

Mason cried out as he was pushed inside, his intended protest over being kissed while on duty promptly cut short.

"Let's go," George motioned Iska towards the hatch hurriedly and once the man was inside, he knelt down himself to be on a level with the jefferies tube. "I need you to take care of Mason. Make sure he gets to sickbay. I'll only slow you down in the tubes. Now get going!" George slammed the door shut before either could object and pointed his phaser at the latching mechanism, sealing it shut.

He stumbled backward and then sat against the door of the maintenance room, exhausted, as a tear fell down his face. He hoped Mason would be alright, but he was sure he made the right decision. He was on the edge of a panic attack just looking at the tunnel so any attempt for him to join them would not have been beneficial. At least this way, he could fend off the pirates longer if they managed to breach the maintenance..."What is that?" George's eyes darted toward the white clouds billowing from the vent above just as he started to feel dizzy. "This...this isn't good..." he whispered as his body slumped over on the floor.

"Qapla'! Qapla'!" The Klingon screamed in glee but the human was too busy trying to lock the bridge out of all command functions to bear her any notice. He nearly had it when a tickle at the back of his throat made him cough. He coughed a few times, but it was one of those tickles that refused to budge, he coughed some more and felt a tightening in his chest. It was only at this point that he realised that his companions were coughing too. His foggy head turned towards one of the upper air vents, clearly connecting the dots before his critical thinking had been able to. Sonofabi- He was unconscious before his mind could finish the sentence.


Previous Next