Literary Challenge #45 : Freestyle
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Join Date: Sep 2012
06-27-2013, 04:35 AM
"In the softest voice there's an acid tongue.
In the oldest eyes there's a soul so young.
In the shakiest will there's a core of steel.
On the smoothest ride there's a squeaky wheel.
In the sweetest child there's a vicious streak.
In the strongest men there is a child so weak.
In the whole wide world there's no magic place
so you might as well rise.
Put on your bravest face."
Neil Peart, 21st century musician
"at what point, does a traitor become a patriot, and a patriot a traitor?"
This was the question. The answer, sadly was much harder to come by. General T'maekh Rylov (retired) pondered this as he piloted the shuttle craft through the shield portal. Given his rank and reputation he was cleared for such solo jaunts, even as paranoid as the Tal'Shiar was. Sometimes he found that he could think best away from other minds, just drifting observing the sweep of the galaxy outside the viewports. The experimentation with prisoners he had found distasteful, but he was told repeatedly it was necessary. Not that they really cared for his opinion, after all he was but a historian now. But this...this would tamper with the very soul of the Rihannsu. Even the Empress could see that, at least once he thought so. Now however... There was no choice, this had to be stopped. But how?
Ferlan system, USS Agamemnon
"Ships Log, First officer Mirra Olaneov reporting. It's been twenty seven hours since Captain Evan's shuttle was due to return from a medical conference on Starbase 39. We have joined up with the USS Dauntless in searching for the Captain, it's not like Rhonda to vanish like this. Commander Schrodinger of the Dauntless thinks she may have picked up a trace hit on some faint tachyon emissions that may have come from the Captains shuttle craft, they are investigating that lead while we backtrack, checking systems between our rendezvous point and the Starbase-"
"Sir, I'm picking up something"
Mirra paused the log recording, the Andorian looking up "What is it?"
The tactical officer, a young Lt from Denali peered at her readings, brushing her bangs out of her eyes "picking up a small craft, shuttle craft size, but not one of ours..."
"getting a visual, Romulan Sir" Sachen said, her fingers automatically sliding over to the weapons panel "not New Romulus romulan either according to the markings. One lifeform on board, Romulan."
|Calm down Lieutenant, it's only a shuttlecraft." she thought for a moment "hail them, maybe they've seen something."
"one thing I picked up from Captain Evans, it never hurts to ask nicely."
He never expected to run into a Federation capital ship here. Yes it was an older Galaxy class, but still quite formidable. But what he really did not expect was a polite hail. "This is the USS Agamemnon We apologize if we are intruding in your system, but we are searching for a missing shuttlecraft carrying our Captain, she was returning from a medical conference. Have you seen any sign of the ship?"
"some questions answer themselves." he thought, his dilemma on what to do resolved as he responded. "this is T'maekh Rylov. Is your captain Human looking, 1.58 meters height, white hair and covered in black fur?"
Seeing the looks on the bridge of the Federation ship he simply nodded "I assume by your expressions the answer is yes. We must speak."
Thirty minutes later.
The Dauntless had rejoined the Agamemnon, it's captain beamed over to confer with their 'guest'. Rylov had not been disarmed, though the two very not pleasant looking security goons behind him made him sure that they were not very happy to have him that way. As soon as the Dauntless captain joined them, a spotted Caitian who almost reeked of that foul stimulant that humans drank, 'kaffee' or something like that, the Agamemnon's First Officer who up until now had been silent turned to him "Alright, what in the frozen hells is going on?"
"Some months ago, the Tal'Shiar had managed to acquire several thousand personnel files of your officers, and of KDF officers as well. Naturally they were looked into, both for tactical value and to find information that could be useful. Such as your captain being a refugee from another time line, and her medical records from her arrival in our timeline"
"I don't understand, Why would they want her over that? I knew she had some kind of genetic condition that was killing her, that they fixed, but she never really went into details."
"Because the records were sealed, however the Tal'Shiar are Very resourceful" Rylov replied, placing a data chip on the briefing table "it was kept quiet as these abilities were eliminated when Starfleet doctors cured her of the mutagenic virus that was destabilizing her DNA."
Mirra looked over the chip as if it was a live weasel, but it was standard Starfleet Issue as he continued "the Audio sadly was not recovered, but the video was more than enough to interest my superiors." She put the chip in, and saw security images of a shuttle bay in Starfleet Headquarters, time stamped over six years ago. There was a bright flare, and a portal opening in the middle of the bay. As two security guards rush towards it, a figure emerges.
"It's her.." Mirra says as she watches wide eyed. "younger though"
"looks like she was pushed too" Commander Schrodinger adds, sure enough there can be seen a blue fur covered hand sticking out of the portal for a moment. The figure turns yelling something at the portal just as there is a wave from the hand, then the portal collapses. Then all hell breaks loose.
Rylov glances over his shoulders at the Security goons |it would seem that security forces the galaxy over are...overzealous one could say." as one of the ones on the viewer fire a phaser at the black and white and red clad figure, no the red isn't part of the outfit, but blood. "Wounded, disoriented, pulled out of the middle of an intense battle and thrown elsewhere, it is amazing she did not kill anyone." there is silence in the briefing room as the wounded girl fires what looks like plasma blasts from her hands, cutting through the Security forces. One ducks into one of the shuttlecraft, taking off and bringing the shuttle's weapons to bear, only to see her shout something at the ship..then take off into the air after it before the screen went blank.
"from the report, she fired a blast that went through the shuttles shields and disabled it, bringing it down, before passing out herself. Naturally you can see why she came to the attention of the Tal'Shiar when they saw this, especially since they wish to use this in their research based on the work or Dr Amar Singh."
"Oh crap, indeed."
"What do you mean you haven't found anything abnormal? You've seen the reports!"
He tried not to sweat "other than some changes from a tailored retrovirus, such as is used to repair genetic defects, we can find nothing markedly abnormal in the specimen's DNA"
Colonel S'tarna frowned at the Centurion before her "It is obvious that the humans have only suppressed her abilities, they would not give up such a weapon as this, nor would she have given up such power..Perhaps we are going about this the wrong way. The answer may not lie in her cells, but in her head. Have her prepped for telepathic interrogation. I will go in myself and rip the secrets from her mind."
He watched the argument with a jaundiced eye. Part of him thought himself a fool for not just going to New Romulus, or the Reman Obisek. While he had many qualities he found distasteful, sitting around discussing when action was called for was not one of them. But the Federation had always preferred words over action, at least he had seen during his long career fighting both against and alongside them.
"the shields are too well defended, there's no way your idea will work Schrodinger! We've sent messages, once we get reinforcements-"
"Which at maximum warp could be either hours or days away-most of them are dealing with a Borg incursion. If you want her back before they mind rip or dissect her to find out what they want we don't have time to waste." Schrodi stood up , her tail tip twitching "allright, the plan is a little risky-"
"A LITTLE? Not to mention the potential environmental damage-"
"To what's basically a dead rock that the Tal Shiar have a base on? Besides, I've run the simulations three times, it's well within stress limits."
It was time to speak "And it is audacious" He stood and walked over to the display on the monitor "if the Commander's helmsman is as good as she says, this will work."
That seemed to mollify the Agamemnon?s XO slightly "isn't that the word you used to describe the attack of the United Earth fleet at the battle of Cheron, as well as General Martoks defense at the Battle of Mempa?" she asked.
That caused him to raise an eyebrow "I had heard that my minor scribblings were translated and disseminated outside of Romulus but I was not familiar with how widely they may have been known."
Mirra smiled, the first one she'd had in a while "your work is highly regarded as an evenhanded review of historical battles. It is on the Starfleet Academy reading list, and I believe the KDF as well-though I think their translation lists the Klingon translator as the author."
Rylov just snorted "That somehow does not surprise me." He turned to Schrodinger "are you sure your helmsman is good? Your timing must be perfect."
Everyone looked at the Caitian, who was in a conversation with herself seemingly, before her eyes regained focus "we just went over it a fourth time, we'll have plenty of clearance- and yes, Poonta is that good. it will be a piece of cake!"
The Ulhan was bored. Traffic control wasn't exactly a busy position on a isolated world such as this, and one locked as tight at T'rakat...well there was a lot of free time for study, or reading some of the more, questionable data chips that he had picked up from a slightly sleazy Ferengi merchant on Dronza station. Fortunately Subcommander T'ral wasn't here, she would not be amused by his choice in reading material. As he was engrossed in his entertainment, one of the consoles chirped for attention. Scowling, he glanced up, then hit the button to silence the alarm-an automated supply shuttle was leaving the shielded area for a run to a lab on one of the outer moons, as it did every few hours. The light changed color, as a section of the shield shut off to allow passage.
Suddenly the sky overhead lit with a flash, causing him to drop his view pad and look up. The air roiled and churned as lightning and plasma discharges lit the sky and was that a streak of light ...as if something had warped into the atmosphere? No, couldn't be , that was insane..
"This is Insane!" yelled the Tellerite at the helm, the Defiant class ship dropping out of warp a mere ten kilometers from the planets surface. The energy from the ships momentum had literally turned the clouds around them into a roiling fiery mass, ionizing a good portion of the planet's upper atmosphere in the process. "Shields at fifty percent, targets locked," said the trill at the weapons console, not waiting for orders as the ship shuddered from the torpedoes leaving the tubes , streaking down towards the shield generators on the horizon as the expanding shock wave from their entry spread around the ship like a halo. Then there was the other problem. While the Defiant ships may look aerodynamic, in reality they tended to behave in an atmosphere, and this close to the ground, like a duck with a lead plate strapped to its butt.
"Last torp away, lets get out of here!"
Ponta kept her hands on the warp control, but didn't activate them "we can warp now, anytime now, Ponta?"
"the bow is still below the horizon, we warp now we'll make a nice sized crater" she muttered, hitting the thrusters trying to bring the nose up, as the readout on the altitude continued to unwind..."don't blame me that the ships arse is as big as yours Cap'n"
The shock wave had knocked the Uhlan to the ground, as well as flattened several of the out buildings. He looked up to see what was going on, it was obviously an attack, an orbital bombardment, but how could they penetrate the shields....his eyes grew wide as he saw the flame shrouded shape falling overhead as the air grew hotter. Finally when it was seemingly about to hit there was another flash, and a light trail heading over the horizon, the friction from which fried him where he was standing.
"I'll be dammed, it worked"
Mirra sat in her first officers seat, it was more comfortable to her, and she could better access her tactical readouts there "and there's two, no three, make that four ships dropping out of cloak and going to warp pursuing the Dauntless...damn."
"It was an acceptable risk, and the best way to flush out the picket ships in orbit, as well as take down the shields." Rylov replied as the Agamemnon warped into the system "as long as the Dauntless does not try to engage them but leads them on a chase, that will buy enough time to grab your captain and get out of here." he said as he headed to the turbolift, Sachen and two others with him "hopefully in the chaos we can get her without any further bloodshed."
The first officer nodded "I hope, good luck General."
He just smiled grimly "thank you, we may need it."
They were away, but barely. "How bad is it?" Schrodi asked as panels in the back of the bridge sparked and smoked, they really needed to stop making those out of flammable materials.
"Shields at 27 percent, and we're losing calibration on the injectors, the stress from the gravity well damaged three of the crystals, if we don't drop out of warp in the next few minutes the engines will do it for us when they fail."
"Torpedoes are reloaded" replied Ponta , the tellarite woman grumbling "and we've got four Romulan vessels in pursuit, looks like a T'varro, two Mogai and a D'Deridex..seems you've gotten their attention."
It was chaos. Oh sure , it was a Tal'shiar outpost, but the majority of the personnel were scientists, half of them were panicking over the attack, and the other half were trying to get data on just what had happened when Rylov and the two Vulcan security officers dressed in Romulan uniforms beamed down. He had managed to take two steps before one of the scientists ran up to him.
"General! Thank the great bird you are here, there's been a catastrophe! A comet fragment has exploded in the upper atomosphere-"
he was cut off by a second scientist "Comet? no, it was a ship warping into the atmosphere-"
"that would be insane" the first scientist argued. Rylov cut them both off "Where is Colonel S'tarna?"
"she is in lab seventeen Sir" replied a harried Centurion, who was busy trying to herd the scientists to shelter "would you like an escort?"
"No, I know the way, continue with your duties."
The Centurion saluted and turned to the scientists, herding them down the corridor while they continued to argue with each other. "Seventeen, I should have known she would take her there."
"whats in that lab?" replied one of the 'romulans' in Saschen's voice, the holoemitter disgisuse giving nary a flicker as they moved quickly down the emptying corridors, the inhabitants of the base evacuating to shelters.
"Telepathic interrogation. Are either of you skilled in that use of the mind?" Saschen shook her head "I'm basicly just an augmented human Sir" the Denali colonist replied while the other one who was Vulcan nodded "More in how to resist such an intrusion, General."
He nodded as he led the two disguised Starfleet officers into the lift with a pained expression on his face. "Just as well, it should be me that confronts S'tarna over this. She is my wife after all..."
It had seemed like a good bolt hole at first, system so far off the beaten path it did not even have a name, just the designation NGC 23591. How were they to know it was also known to the Tal'Shiar, and the massive field of asteroids held another small lab? So now they had six Romulan vessels on them. To add to the fun, some of the asteroids were filled with pockets of meteron gas, the warp drive was offline, the inertial dampers were barely keeping up with Ponta's seemingly insane maneuvering through the asteroids, and the coffee maker was broken. The only bright spot was the gas and asteroids was keeping the larger Romulan ships out of the fight at the moment, the two, no now three D'Deridex warbirds out of range at the edge of the field. They had gotten the T'varro by dropping mines as soon as they came out of warp then igniting a gas pocket behind them with the aft phasers. The first Mogai had tried to follow the nimble Dauntless through a gap that was closing as two several kilometer wide asteroids rolled towards each other, with predictable results. The last one on the other hand, had a much better pilot at the helm.
"Shields at ten percent"
"You'd think the computer would at least sound worried" Schrodi muttered as she continued her scanning, holding on to the arm of the captains chair with one hand as the Dauntless went inverted yet again following the terrain of one of the larger asteroids, plasma bolts from the Mogai behind them barely missing.
"Hope you got an idea soon Cap'n, running out of tricks up here " Ponta yelled over the din. Just about every light on the boards was red at this point.
"Workin on it...got it! Here's what we're gonna do..."
Colonel S'Tev Malor watched the battle just out of range. The smaller IRW D'vin was getting the range of the Federation intruder, when the human ship suddenly cut it's impulse drive, then spun 180 degrees while still going backwards through the asteroids from inertia?
"they must be insane!" his weapons officer said as the D'vin was caught by surprise, phaser cannons tearing through the ships shield and hull..as well as the meteron gas pocket it had pursued the fleeing ship through. The screen flared from the explosion, then the telltale implosion as the singularity core. "Damnation! Did they at least get the humans?"
"I'm not picking up either ship sir..."
There were no lights. Or sounds for that matter other than moans as people slowly got to their feet. "Everyone ok?"
"Define ok." came a grumbled reply. Lt Davon helped Ponta to her feet carefully in the light gravity of the asteroid, the Klingon science officer then turning to her captain "Have I told you that you are insane?"
Schrodi opened one eye as the emergency lights came on , the other bloody from where panel fell from the ceiling of the bridge, cutting her scalp "Not today, no."
The blond Klingon woman laughed "you are inane, Sir." she said as she carefully pulled out a medical kit and helped her captain sit up. Schrodi just waved her off "no time for that, help the critical cases first. Ponta?"
"we're right where you wanted us Cap'n....500 meters underground in a cavern of frozen meteron gas."
She got to her feet, carefully as the ships grav was offline, taking a few seconds to come back down to the deck. "Told you it would work. Now we run silent for a while, and get what we can working again."
"you think maybe they'll think we're dead and leave?"
Davon shook her head "they are romulans, they are through, and will want proof."
"maybe we'll get lucky" said Schrodi as she carefully headed towards engineering.
Ponta snorted "yeah, and since you're wishing for the impossible, I'd like a pony."
Lab seventeen was deep underground, like most of the facilities on this station. Fortunately the alarms by the Dauntless's attack on the shield generators and subsequent destruction of most of the above ground facilities took care of most of the security, being they were housed above ground. Rylov kept his weapon holstered, as did Sachen and Lt Sarna. Not as if anyone was going to challenge the General. "here we are" he said, tapping in a key code then frowning. "No access, I am not surprised. I had said that this line of research is wrong..as was most of what the Empress was doing of late."
"no worries" replied Sachen, pulling out her tricorder "These shouldn?t be too hard to hack..there we go." there was a click and the door slid open. The room was sparse, with several examination tables and on one of them-
"Captain!" Sachen rushed in, the naked black furred form on one of the tables unmoving, with a metallic helmet connected to cables to machinery in the room covering her head. She went to pull it off only to be stopped by the General "it is a Psionic enhancer, remove it while someone else is in her mind will kill her."
"but there's no one else in here-wait." Lt Sarna looked up at a window high on the wall, there was a female Romulan inside wearing an identical helmet. "I thought Romulan telepathy required touch, as Vulcans do?"
He shook his head "it is an Iconian device, used for subjects that are too dangerous for that. another thing that should have been left forgotten."
"so how do we get her out then?"
He walked over and looked at a spare helmet with revulsion "By going in after her. She can eject intruders from her mind, but the device prevents her from using free will" he says, flipping a couple buttons on a panel "which I have now rectified. I do not think we will be disturbed, but cover the door anyway." he said, taking a deep breath and putting the helmet on.
It was Earth. Oh not the earth of this dimension, for one it was on fire, and the technology was both far more primitive, and yet advanced. He was familiar with Terran culture, as both a general and a historian, but he knew such a massive statue of a human holding a globe on his shoulders had never been built in this time line. Alien ships appeared out of portals overhead, perhaps memories of the great battle Captain Evans was in before she was thrown into another time line, before everything shifted, the battle going away, the trees along the avenue green, with happy people walking and flying about as S'tarna went through another memory. Fortunately, he could easily hear his wife shouting at her captive, he sighed and steeled himself for what was to come. As he headed towards the center it shifted again, now a hospital like corridor, masked physicians walking to and fro, with far too many guards, some wearing skintight blue and yellow suits covering everything, including their faces. All ignored him as he followed the noise. S'tarna threw paper readouts across the room screaming down at Captain Evans who was shackled and kneeling before her
"How can you not know how to replicate how you were created?? she shrieked, not noticing the psychic shackles releasing. ?I WILL KNOW THE TRUTH!"
"S'tarna! That is enough!"
She whirled on him, eyes reflecting the madness he had denied to himself she had succumbed to for so long "T'maekh! Yes, you can get the answers from her!"
"I will not be a party to infecting the Rihannsu with this abomination" he said angrily.
"Abomination? But it is POWER! Power to DESTROY our enemies, to purge the Galaxy of all who have caused our people so much injury!"
"THAT WILL NOT BRING THEM BACK!" he roared in response "More killing, to claim vengeance for our son? He died on Romulus with billions of others. It is past, S'tarna. You could kill the entire galaxy, and it would not bring him back.."
"..an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." came a hoarse voice. Rhonda got to her feet looking a bit worse for wear, S'tarna's eyes going wide, sliding further into madness "How can you..you! You did this, you traitor!" she snarled, unleashing her mind on T'makeh-only to have the attack blunted by Evans
"you're in mah head , remember?" she said as the memory around them shifted again. "You want the truth? The secret behind those powers ah used to have?"
S'tarna blinked, she was a child, no , older, seeing the memory first hand. "I was thirteen. It was a spring day, a few years after the first alien invasion up in New England, not that it was much of an impact in north Florida where ah lived." Rhonda said, as she and Rylov watched. S'tarna could do nothing but ride along inside the memory, following in the footsteps over four hundred years and another time line ago. "mah daddy was a game warden, he let us come along to get some pictures of some eagles that built a nest on top of a crashed alien ship. Was supposed to be safe..think he blamed himself for what happened."
"Like I blamed myself...for the death of my son." Said Rylov quietly.
"some things just happen" she replied, the scene shifting. "My brother was three years younger, and a brat. Always getting into things he shouldn?t..." they saw him find what he thought was a puppy and come back running with it to his sister...except the puppy was green and mutated. The creature that burst out of the palmettos after it's young was huge,a skunk once, mutated by the alien chemicals from the crashed ship
"I saved up two years of birthday money for that camera" Rhonda said, as S'tarna, stuck in the memory threw the Nikon SLR at the creature that was after her little brother, seeing it shatter as it hit it, then turn and come after her. S'tarna screamed as she felt the six inch fangs ripping through her, the mutagenic venom burning through her veins, hearing the thunder as Evans father burst through the bushes, firing his service pistol until it was empty. "so , you wanted the truth.? Rhonda said "it's nothing that you can copy. Nothing that you should copy...unless you want to see people in constant agony while the very thing that gives them the 'power' you crave...kills them slowly."
S'tarna screamed again then faded out as she disconnected from the iconian device. The memory faded around them as Rhonda smiled a bit "guess she couldn't handle the truth" she said before collapsing. Rylov ripped the helmet off of his head , blinking as his vision readjusted, Sachen looking at him curiously "done already? You just put it on..."
"yes, she's out" he says, pulling the helmet off of Evans. He glanced up at the window of the viewing room, there was no one there. He pondered for a second of going after her..but she was lost. The alarm klaxons began going off seconds later "it seems our welcome has worn out" he says, lifting the unconscious captain in his arms "lets go."
There was the familiar tingle of the transporter, and they were back on the Agamemnon. Rylov handed Evans over to Dr Mot, the Bolian waiting in the transporter room with a med team as Sachen hit the com "we're aboard Mirra, lets get out of here."
on the bridge Mirra turned to the helm only to hear a shout from tactical "Sir, we've got multiple incoming warp signatures!"
USS Dauntless, 4.7 hours later
Well she was right. The romulans were stubborn. Though taking something that handled like a waterbufflo on rollerskates like a D'Deridex into an asteroid field this dangerous is something Schrodi would
consider insane, the Romulans's fear of failure seemeed to be outweighing their better judgement. They had seen two of them passing by the opening to their hidey hole as they continued repairs. The drive was
back up, though for how long was an issue. Shields, sixty three percent, better than nothing. Staying put was not an option either as the warbirds had begun active scans, and lobbing the odd plasma torpedo
into asteroids here and there to shake things up. If that wasn't bad enough, the radiated heat from the Dauntless was melting the frozen meteron gas, forming a pocket around the ship. If they diddn't move
soon it would be moot.
"All hands, stand by."
Schrodi took her seat, wishing for the tenth time today that seat belts was something Starfleet believed in. If she got out of this, she'd mandate them on every station. "Ready Ponta?"
The tellarite nodded, her sprained leg splinted "ready to-oh hells."
A shadow fell inside the opening of the cavern, as one of the warbirds moved over the entrance "We've got a problem."
"calm down, don't think they've spotted us.." the Warbird most likely did not, as it turned slowly so that it was facing away "it's running a sensor sweep, soon as they turn tho they'll have us."
Schrodi got quiet, looking over her shoulder Ponta saw that her eyes had that glazed over look she often did when she was coming up with something. "Stand by on the tractor beam" she said as she opened her
eyes, quickly punching in a quick programming change.
Lt Davon had worked with Schrodinger long enough not to question seemingly absurd orders "tractors standing by" she said, watching as the bow of the warbird slowly turned, untill it was pointing towards the
"hotstart, nav lights on!"
there was a vibration in the decking as the drive restarted, the nacelles begining their normal blue glow, anticollison lights flashing in the darkness of the cavern.
"WE have them sir!" The Centurion mannning the helm yelled over his shoulder. Major T'rav simply smiled "Excellent, FIRE!" The ship barely lurched as the heavy plasma torpedo launched into the cavern in the
asteroid in front of them, the blinking lights of the Federation fools illuminating their demise.
"WE got incoming!"
"Ponta hit it! Lock on the torpedo with tractors!" Everyone grabbed something as the inertia dampers were still slightly out of sync, the Dauntless rocketing towards the incoming torpedo, the reprogrammed
tractors both slowing and moving it a few meters..As Poonta scraped the bottom of the cavern with the hull the missile barely passed over the top of the ship, heading towards the meteron gas pocket behind
T'rav watched the readout, blinking "how the hell did you MISS?" he yelled as the Dauntless shot from the cave like a proverbial bat out of hell, passing between the upper and lower hull of the D'deridex,
the giant warbird lurching from the interactions between the shields. As soon as the Dauntless cleared the hull it pulled sharply up. Before he could even stand and give the order to pursue a bright light
caught his eye, before the meteron gas asteroid exploded through the opening in it's crust, ignited by the plasma torpedo detonating deep inside.
Colonel Malor cursed as the federation ship seemingly burst through the Sontal, the blast from the asteroid turning the once proud Warbird into a floating field of fried subatomic particles. Still, it seems
perhaps they had underestimated the explosive force of the frozen gas asteroids, as one after another began detonating, the Terrix climbing for saftey along with the other Warbird. At least the quarry was
flushed, time to end this.
The ship rocked and shuddered as asteroid after asteroid went up "I think that explosion took out a few more asteroids Sir!" Davon yelled over the din
"how many more?"
"All of them I think!"
She hung on as the ship shook like a dog thashing an old sock "we can't stay in here!"
"we get out, we're sitting ducks, shields won't hold under a warbird, much less two!"
Schrodi's ears folded back. "everyone dies eventualy, if it's our turn, lets do it on our feet."
There was a stillness on the bridge for a moment, despite the ship shuddering as the crew lookea at each other, and nodded
"Aye Aye Cap'n. helm ready!
"Torpdeos and phasers, cocked and locked!
"Engineering reports ready!"
Glancing at the static filled screen she took a deep breath. "lets dance."
He diddn't expect the humans would come out to fight, as much as they had been running. Still, it was better this way. This way he would have proof to take back to the Empress, rather polite of them to offer
themselves up. The Dauntless climbed out of the asteroid field, phaser cannons blazing as it roared seeminly on fire, trailing burning meteron gas it it's wake, the Terrix and R'ten returning fire. Phaser
cannon bursts smashed the R'ten's shields, allready damaged by the explosions, torpedos blazing through the opening impacting the warbirds hull. A valiant attempt, but not good enough as the plasma blasts
ripped through the weakend shields of the Dauntless, cutting along the allready charred hull. The R'ten pulled off, damaged by the attack but not down by a long shot as she retured fire again, this time a
burst disabling the already damaged engines of the aptly named Defiant class ship.
Everything was red, or out. Torpedos gone, phasers burned out and the drive...The computer still diddn't have the decency to sound worried about anything "shields failed, hull integrity is below twenty
"no @#^%. Ponta tried to get up, wasn't able to as her leg wasn't exactly bending the right way. "they're coming about" she said, the viewscreen cracked and barely holding an image.Schrodi helped her to her
seat as she sat down in her own, which was at a bit of an angle, seems the deck plate it was attached to buckled. As the two warbirds, one showing scars from their atack , the other unfortunately whole
turned towards them she sighed. "Damn. I'm sorry."
He stared at the smoking , burning wreck off the bow. HE should send over boarding parties to capture them, but after this much, and losing this many ships..no. Better to not take chances they'd be as
resourceful in repeling a boarding as anything else they've done this day "Finish them." he ordered, the ships lurching from the heavy plasma torpedos rocketing from the tubes. "Sir, I've incoming warp
The Colonel just smiled "finally, my reinforcements, late to the party."
She couldn't do more than watch helpelessly as the torpedoes closed in on the crippled ship, growing larger in the flickering viewscreen-untill from off to the port side there was a barrage of phased polaron
cannon bursts, destroying the their incoming demise. she blinked as another ship came into view, it's four nacelles and Terran Empire yellow trim making her wonder if she had gone mad-untill she saw the USS
crudely painted over the ISS on the Warhawks bow. There was another flash, then a third as two more ships dropped out of warp, the USS Tunguska and the USS Agamemnon. The latter broke off from the other
two, shields extending around the burning Dauntless, enhancing it's SIF field as well as stablizng the hull while the other two ships turned towards the Warbirds, weapons blazing. The Tunguska's beams cut
through the damaged warbirds shields, sending it's core critical while the Warhawk's cannons hammered the Terrix's shields. untill Malor gave the order to retreat, the warbird jumping to warp.
"We're being hailed" Darvon said from her station, holding her broken arm to her side. "on screen, assuming it works." It smoked and sparked, but after a minute Admiral Missy Travis of the Warhawk's smiling
face was on the screen, along with Admiral Moira Stern of the Tunguska and Mirra from the Agamenon "nice of you to send up a flare so we could find you"
"how did you know it was us?" Replied Schrodi, blood covering her fur. Admiral Travis just grinned "Well we decected an entire system exploding, and since Moira was with me-"
"Ey now, I only blew up a starsystem once, and wasn't my bloody fault!" Replied Admiral Stern.
"did you get her back?" Schrodi asked as the bridge started to wobble.
Mirra nodded "yes, as you said it was a piece of cake."
"that's good, remind me never to say that again. I think I'm going to pass out now" She said, crumpling to the deck with a thump.
4 days later, Earth Space Dock
Admiral Quinn was known not to be a man who upset easily. Calm, paitent, an excellent diplomat and leader. It took a lot to get that vein in his forehead throbbing visibily. Like Commander Schrodinger in his
office yet again...this time with her first officer, though with a still healing broken leg Ponta wasn't standing heels locked together at attention like Schrodi was.
"I've got engineering at Utopia Planitia wanting to know just HOW you got mud and grass stains on the hull of your ship! and that was before it was shot to hell.." he rubbed his head and sat down. "Thing is,
I can't fire you as much as I'm tempted." he said, looking back at her report again. "everything you did makes sense after the fact, and if there hadn't been more Tal'shiar ships in the area than your intel
said, it would have worked perfectly."
She relaxed just a bit at that. "Still..where in God's name did you ever come up with an idea so insane? Warping INTO atmosphere?" he shook his head "downside is Tactical Evaluations wants to talk to you.
Being you pulled off something impossible they want to debrief you. Probably call it the Schrodinger Manuver or something" he said with a sigh.
"oh they can't do that Sir, I diddn't invent it."
"you mean someone else did something that stupid?" he asked wide eyed "who?"
"Admiral William Adama, Sir."
Quinn looked confused "who?"
"You woudln't have heard of him, he doesn't exist in this reality."
He just sat back down and put his head in his hands "you make my head hurt Schrodinger, Dismissed."
The two of them saluted, Schrodi pushing Ponta's wheelchair out the door. Quinn sighed "looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking."
On the turbolift the two of them ran into Rylov. He had returned with the Agamemnon, and was waiting for a transport to New Romulus "I heard shouting as I was waiting for the lift by the Admirals office, I
take it he was less than pleased with you?"
Schrodi just shook her head "he's prety upset, really chewed my ass this time." she said, as Ponta looks down the Caitian's back "Don't worry Cap'n, you've still got plenty of ass left."
"Thank you, Ponta."
He left them as he got off in the medical section. He had one more stop before his ship was due "Excuse me" he said to one of the nurses "I am looking for Captain Rhonda Evans."
"that's a coincidence, I am too" the nurse muttered "Two worst types to have as paitents in the universe, doctors and starship captains, and Evans is both. I think she's this way." The nurse lead him up a
level marked Pediatrics. there wasn't anyone by the desk, instead they seemed to be clustered down the hall, with many of the young paitents, children of Starfleet crew assigned to the station. She looked
much better than the last time he saw her in the Agamemnons transporter room, though her leg was still in a brace, sitting beside a small Trill child who was listening while she ran her fingers over some
type of stringed insturment, then began to sing.
"And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mould a new reality
Closer to the Heart
Closer to the Heart
The Blacksmith and the Artist
Reflect it in their art
Forge their creativity
Closer to the Heart
Yeah, it's closer to the Heart
Philosophers and Ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the Heart
Yeah, it's closer to the Heart
You can be the Captain and
I will draw the Chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the Heart"
There was quiet applause as she finished (it was a hospital ward after all) and she smiled as Rylov stepped out of the doorway where he was watching. She handed the instrument to one of the older children,
letting them try it out then got to her feet as best she could. "General, I was hoping to see you before you left."
"Please, that title is past. I am a mere historian now, at least I was. I'm not sure what I am anymore to be honest."
Rhonda nodded "still, I wanted to thank you."
"you must know, that I did not do it for you."
"Ah know." she sat down on the edge of the observation window "you did it to protect your people, to keep them from being turned into abominations like I was."
"ah, so you remember that."
She shrugged "I'm not upset, it's the truth. Though" she said " you did pick a harder way to go about it than you could have. You could have easily snuck in to the lab with a disruptor, turning me into
crispy sub-atomic particles."
"the thought had occoured to me to be honest."
"why diddn't you, if you don't mind me asking?"
He looked out the window at his reflection, and the to him alien world spinning slowly below. "I read your file. I know that you did not choose the path you follow, that you prefer to be saving lives, than
sitting in command of a heavily armed Starship."
Rhonda nodded and smirked ironicly "soon to be heavier armed, They've scheduled the Agamemnon for the Galaxy II refit to Dreadnaught class" she said, sighing a bit.
"Perhaps it is because they do not expect you to use the heavier weaponry unless there is no other option available." He shrugged, and looked out the window again. "S'tarna, took the loss of Romulus hard. My
son died while trying to get civilians on the last ships leaving, giving up his own spot, and his wife..." he closed his eyes. "she was a healer. Yet when she had to, she took dommand of a Warbird that was
crippled..and saved several transports from the Borg a year later. How could I then not try to save you, someone who is so much like her?"
She nodded "I can see that." there was an announcment for the transport to New Rommulus over the PA. "one thing though, remember this. there is no such thing as a mere historian. People like you are what keep the facts straight, so that people that come behind might not make the same mistakes."
He actually smiled at that "I will keep that in mind. Good luck to you in the future Captain Evans."
"and to you as well." She watched him go, then got back on the crutches, before she was late for her next physical therapy session.
Last edited by knightraider6; 06-29-2013 at