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Who Said What?

Posted on Sun Aug 6th, 2023 @ 1:21pm by Commander Amaya Lance & Ensign Alex Brewster & Lieutenant Commander Savin & Lieutenant Didrea Zade & Lieutenant Bharani Gupta & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mason Malone & Jerant van Rijn

Mission: Wrath of the People
Location: Bridge
Timeline: MD08 - After 'Alpha Section Mission'
3015 words - 6 OF Standard Post Measure

It was happening again. Amaya's hand tremors almost sychronised with the pounding of her heart in her chest. The smell of acrid smoke as something burned in the background; the darkened lights of the bridge; the distant sounds of people reporting yet more damage.

"I..." she hesitated. Again.
 I can't do this. The thought was pervasive, the outside stimuli pervasive. "Prepare...prepare to abandon ship..." she said. Too quiet for most of them to even hear. But by that point it was likely too late. There were sounds of boots on deck, of disruptors and phasers going off. As she sank to the deck, the bridge spinning around her, she wondered just how many more lives she had been responsible for losing...again.

Oblivious to the running boots on deck, Savin turned his head as he saw the captain collapse. He caught her, barely in time, before she fully hit the deck and lifted her up towards the command chair in an attempt to make her comfortable. Once that was done, he straightened, searching for Jerant. As the bridge was darkened, he couldn't see him sign so he had to rely on telepathy insofar the Betazoid's innate talent was working again.

The realization struck that he was suddenly in command, a situation he'd never been in before. "Status!" He called out, then telepathically ordered his aide to get closer. Turning, he faced Gupta. "Anything from the other modules? Are ship wide communications operational?"

After she sent Mason to go deck-by-deck to take down pirates, Zade did a quick search with internal sensors to see where her team was. There were four security officers on the Alpha section, excluding herself, and once she located them she conveyed her orders to them. She had barely gotten ahold of them to pass along instructions when the comms went to full static, and she only hoped that they heard what came through. At minimum, Mason could help convey the orders.

Then, there was movement.

The Trill saw the shimmer of two transporter beams and pulled her phaser and set it to heavy stun. She then aimed at the beam near the Captain's ready room and waited for the transport to complete to confirm it was a pirate before shooting. The pirate had barely any time to get oriented before getting shot, collapsing into a heap on the ground.

The second pirate, a grey-haired feline, got a chance to get oriented and aimed her rifle up at the one who shot her comrade. She fired off a few rounds before taking aim at what she assumed was the Captain, a fear-striken human.

Zade ducked when she saw the other pirate aim, the wall displays behind her exploding, and when she straightened she saw the feline point her weapon at the center of the room. Moving fast to get the first shot, the Trill aimed and fired, sending the feline onto her back and the enemy fire into the arch behind the center chairs. Pausing for a moment to make sure both pirates would stay down, she turned her attention to the center chairs to see Lance collapse, a pang of fear hitting her. Did she get hit?? No, the second pirate's shot missed, she was sure of it. She had started to leave her station to assist but paused when Savin caught her and checked up on her.

NONONO!! Bharani thought as she fumbled for the phaser hidden within her console. She had done this a thousand times during drills and training, hell even the orientation during her first week on the Athena spent a great deal of time going over this particular safety procedure. However, in the thick of battle, when it was the real thing and not something that might happen, she just couldn't get her hands to work correctly. Thank the stars for security officers like Zade.

"Ship-wide comms are out," Zade reported, returning to her station. "Security is working to track down the intruders." Glancing down at the console, she added, "the pirate ship has ceased fire and is maintaining position off our starboard side." Now that the alpha section was disabled, the pirates probably no longer saw them as a threat.

Bharani had her arms braced on the console in front of her. Breathe, breathe! She told herself, scared that her automatic functions had forgotten how to keep her alive. But she was alive and that was the main takeaway from the last few minutes, now she had to help make sure they all stayed that way. "The comline is fried," she reported. "I think by design, but I think I can change the carrier so that the combadges are back up and running in a few minutes."

Savin could easily sense the panic behind him, and he needed the woman focused. Her report gave him the opportunity to distract her. "Do it," he ordered, "we need to know the status of the crew." He nodded towards the security chief. "Lieutenant Zade, secure the intruders. Can we get weapons back online? Shields?" He needed to know just how damaged or helpless their module was, even if there was no way now to contact the other modules.

He glanced around the bridge, not quite certain what else he could or should do. He was operating on what made sense to him, not necessarily on what he knew which needed to be done. "Make sure everyone is armed," he finally ordered, as he glanced back at Gupta. "Our priority repairs should be communications and propulsion. We need to retreat."

Bharani wanted to remind the Counsellor that she was a scientist and not an engineer but she held her tongue. In situations like this, she knew that everyone had to pull together and if she wasn't going to be a warrior queen like Zade then she had to put her brain to some kind of use. "Aye Sir," she said.

Nodding, Zade left her station to handle the intruders, aiming her phaser at them in case they woke up or were faking it. "Shields may be easier than the phaser banks," she offered, pausing at the bridge's weapons locker. She entered in her code before grabbing some restraints, then cautiously approached the first pirate and kneeled to secure him. As she did so, she flagged down an ensign from one of the nearby workstations and asked him to pass out weapons from the locker, watching the ensign scurry off. "The starboard phaser bank took a direct hit," she continued, moving the pirate's arms so she could secure them at the wrists. "It needs to be replaced completely. The port phaser bank survived, but access to the system is on deck four, section B, which is overrun by our intruders." Hopefully once comms were back up, Zade could get ahold of Mason or someone else to head that way. Once the pirate's hands and feet were secured, she then did a quick pat-down to make sure there weren't any hidden weapons.

The counselor remained silent for several long seconds as he considered the information that was presented to him. "What about torpedoes? Does this module have such an option? Shields is definitely a priority, we do not wish for more intruders to beam aboard."

It worried Bharani that their new leader didn't even know the capabilities of the ship they were on, if he didn't know how was he meant to protect them all? She wished that Lance was back in command, but in reality, was she any better? The woman had fainted, or died, who really knew? But at least she had some experience. "Combadges should be operational," she reported, happy she had got something right. "Erm, shouldn't someone check on the Commander?"

"Thank you lieutenant," Savin answered gratefully, "the captain should be coming around any minute now. In my experience, a fainting moment usually does not last longer than a few minutes." On his part, he wished he had looked more into the ship's capabilities now. "I am keeping an eye on her," he promised.

Content that the first pirate wasn't going anywhere and the weapons were removed, Zade stood and made her way to the second pirate, aiming her phaser at the unmoving form just in case. She kneeled next to the feline and secured her hands and feet the same way as the first one. Once the pirate's limbs were secured, she did the pat-down, but then froze when she felt something round and metallic in one of the inner pockets, small enough to fit into her hand and cold to the touch. The shape of it was less concerning than the very quiet click that came from the same pocket after she touched it. She cautiously removed the item and recognized its shape once she laid eyes on it.

It was an explosive.

She felt it start clicking in her hand and muttered some Trill only Jerant among present company would immediately understand. She needed to get rid of it, and fast. It had no countdown timer on it, so she had to assume there was less time than there actually was. Even if there was time to transport it off the ship, it would take too long to figure out if they currently had the energy to do so. Quickly looking around, she laid eyes on the ready room doors and scrambled to her feet before sprinting to it, the device in her right hand. She hated to destroy the office, but it was the only thing that would minimize the damage this thing was going to cause. An office could be replaced, people could not.

Jerant suppressed a chuckle as he caught the Trill's choice words, but chose not to relay them, since he figured it wasn't to be picked up anyway.

Coming to a stop at the access panel, Zade used her security override to open the door. She tossed the explosive in so it would land as far away from the bridge as possible, then pressed the button on the panel to shut the doors. "Computer, seal the ready room doors and erect a level ten forcefield around the ready room, security authorization Zade gamma six five tango!"

"Not enough energy for a level ten forcefield," came the computer's reply.

"Then the highest level we have power for!" Zade shot back. As she quickly backed up, she heard the door hiss as it sealed shut. Her heart was pounding as she anticipated what was coming next. "Move away from the door!" She ordered to those nearby.

A vibrating BOOM came from the office a couple seconds later, sending a tremor across the entire bridge. The wall and door that separated the ready room from the bridge became a mosaic of rubble, beating against the forcefield aggressively enough to eventually overload the emitters. The moment the forcefield failed, a cloud of dust and smoke forced its way onto the bridge, debris spitting across the floor and through the air.

The debris and dust made visibility a problem for the hearing impaired 'acting captain'. "Computer, engage air filtration!" He called out, "is anyone injured? Jerant, make your way to me, I cannot see you in this dust."

Obediently, the Betazoid moved closer, keeping an eye at those around him. Air filtration is slow. he signedit may take a little longer.

Savin tried the glance around again, coughing lightly as he inhaled the dusty smoke. "I need suggestions," he finally called out. He was at the end of his ideas, and beyond shields and engines, he felt at a loss on what else to do.

A short, sharp cough from Amaya signalled that she was stirring. The smoke in the air triggering her lungs to protest and thus bring her back to consciousness. The bridge was a mess, she quickly realised. There were bodies, and the dim light meant it was hard to ascertain who they belonged to. Pirates...or Starfleet.

"S...Status report?" She managed to choke out, pushing herself slowly to her feet.

"The module is disabled, we have no weapons, no shields and no thrust," Savin reported as he moved to help her, "we have communications, to a degree but comm badge only. We do not know the status of others on this module. I believe all intruders on the bridge are now disabled, but your office suffered considerable damage in the last attack." He paused. "Prior to your awakening, I had asked for suggestions ma'am."

Even though she had backed up enough, Zade still got pelleted by the debris and covered her head with her arms. As soon as the explosion subsided, she looked back toward the ready room, a gaping hole replacing the door she had opened just seconds before. Coughing from the dust, the Trill covered her nose and mouth with her arm as she returned to her station. Scanning for the pirates on internal sensors, she noticed a lot of them closing in on engineering, and saw Mason's and Iska's signatures. She saw an equally large number around deck five, as well as the comm signals of the other two security officers. "Zade to Harrison." Silence. "Zade to Kivel, respond."

A sense of dread hit Zade in the stomach at the lack of response, and she hoped that they were merely unconscious. "Zade to Malone, Iska, come in!" A hint of desperation was in her voice, a silent plea that she didn’t just lose four people. With the lack of response, however, she had to assume the worst. "Captain, I've lost contact with the security teams. All decks below deck two are overwhelmed with pirates."

The situation was dire. And, of course, Amaya couldn't ignore the fact that she had been overwhelmed and passed out at the worst possible moment. Some Captain she was. Not that her being conscious was going to help matters if she couldn't pull herself together.

"We're no match for that ship out there on our own," she said, verbalising thoughts at least so she could shut out the violence. "Forget weapons and shields. We need communications. The other sections need to know our status."

She almost tripped over a body in the darkness. The darkness. Just like the void. Lost...and so many dead... Her hand twitched. A reminder of everyone she had failed the last time. And the officers around her looked to their Captain for leadership and strength. But those were things they wouldn't find in her, and she couldn't inspire confidence if she had none herself.

"Things did improve once I stopped trying to change what other people thought of me and took control over how I thought about myself." Lieutenant Ryan's words from the previous day rang in the back of her mind. They had been comforting, but also appropriate. Take control, she willed herself. Stop trying to be what you think they want, and be what you ARE. The thought spiralled into a quietly uttered self-affirmation. "You're a scientist, not a soldier." She coughed. The smoke was hard on the lungs. The smoke...

Lifting her head, Amaya took a short breath. "Lieutenant Zade, we should still have life support access. The ship is equipped with anaesthezine gas - releasing that into the air systems will effectively neutralise anyone not on the bridge. Do it now." She looked at Gupta and Brewster. "Communications. The dorsal sensor relays run up to the Observation Lounge behind the turbolifts. You can ping the Gamma section by routing a bypass through those relays. Go now."

"Yes Ma'am," Bharani said as she rose from her station and made her way to the door at the back of the bridge. She felt slightly calmed that decisions were being made, even if they had all just nearly been killed by an explosive.

"Lieutenant Commander Savin." Amaya turned to the counsellor. "We're effectively blind without internal sensors, and those pirates will be rushing this way once they work out our plans. Someone with telepathic abilities should be able to sense when and where those attackers might be. I need you to act as our early-warning, and keep Lieutenant Zade informed. Can you do that?"

"I can try ma'am," the counselor offered, "but to do that, I will need to concentrate all my efforts towards my telepathic ability." He paused, considering his options. "But I will do the best I can."

Initially, Zade opened her mouth to protest the order. Gas the entire ship?? What if it didn't affect the pirates, what if they had planned for this? But then she saw the reasoning behind Lance's order, and the newly-discovered confidence in her tone told Zade that she was of sound mind and knew what she was doing. The Trill needed to trust her. Tapping on the console, Zade then reported, "releasing the anaesthezine gas on decks two through seven."

At that moment, Zade's comm badge beeped. "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.

Mason's timing couldn't have been worse. Zade had literally just pressed the button to release the gas. "Go fast," she responded. The momentary relief of knowing that at least one of her team was still standing was overshadowed by the progress of the gas as it circulated the ship. They had minutes, at best, to get somewhere safe.

Meanwhile, Savin had moved to the side to be 'out of the way' and sat himself down on the floor. To do as he was tasked to do required a different level of concentration so he needed to reach a kind of meditative state and to do so, he needed to be comfortable. He beckoned Jerant to remain close so he could be warned just in case. Closing his eyes, he allowed his mind to actively wander.


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