Literary Challenge #41 : Call to Arms
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Join Date: Sep 2012
04-04-2013, 01:59 PM
3 hours ago
Lieutenant Christa Harrington's eyes widened looking at the PADD. She was sitting straighter in Captain Beringer's Ready Room as she read and re-read the information presented. "Captain, that's where the Black Talon Project is located!"
Kathryn lifted her hand to both calm and silence the excited Lieutenant. "I know. Details are limited and I just learned the
is en route to the station as well. She's days away but I want this situation resolved before then. We are going to make sure your Project stays on that station."
1 hour later
"Captain, their forward shields are down!" Anthi's usually calm demeanor disappeared at the climax of the battle.
Kathryn stood and pointed at the burning starship on the screen. "Weapons, Fire!"
From the lower rear hull, a large missile was ejected. Its bio-neural intelligence quickly scanned the area, locked on the enemy ship, activated thrusters and primed the warhead. The
banked to starboard as the warhead sped toward it's victim three kilometers away. The Orion Brigand Cruiser coughed a torpedo at the missile but was shot down by the massive projectile's point-defense system. The missile penetrated the forward hull like a needle into a puss-filled bruise. Internal atmosphere vented for a half-second before the detonation ripped the ship apart. Chunks of burning hull and thousands of small debris, metal and organic, blossomed from the fireball that consumed the rest of the ship.
On the bridge, Kathryn looked away from the screen to the crew on the bridge. "Good work everyone. Anthi, you and Karl are on the assault team. Omazei, contact Lieutenant Harrington and Commander Aldet to meet us in transporter room two; you have the con. I'm giving this op two hours with reports. At that mark, bring in the M.A.C.O. Team for clean-up and recovery."
The Trill Science Chief nodded gravely and started tapping at her console.
10 minutes later
The Assault Team was assembled in the transporter room and all were strapping kits and checking weapons. The click-and-clack merged with the hum of the ships engines to be the only sounds around them. Kathryn noticed the concentration on the team's faces and decided something more needed to be said. "Ok, I need to say something before we head out. The Orions on the station have lost their way out. That means they'll be fighting to get out of a corner. They'll be more vicious on defense, so we need to keep up the offense. There are two objectives in this order: security of the crew and preservation of research material. Lieutenant Harrington is on the Team for the secondary goal." She looked at each of the team as she spoke. "But there is a tertiary objective: enemy combatants are to be treated with extreme prejudice."
Medical Chief Aldet Tdeni, spoke after several seconds of silence, his human baritone voice almost booming even in his attempt to keep it conversational. "Sir, is that necessary?"
"Yes, Aldet. The research conducted on the station is highly sensitive and therefore valuable to the war effort. For that reason, only the research staff and this Team are allowed to walk away from this situation."
Security Chief Karl Melango spoke next, "What about the
Kathryn looked in his direction. "They will be turned around if ... when ... we succeed."
Anthi was next, her Andorian antennae twitched nervously as she spoke. "These are Orions, Sir. Are we here because of your vendetta?"
Everyone looked at Kathryn for a response. They all knew bits of her past but no one was really sure what was truth or fiction. For her part, she looked down, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she looked back to Anthi, her affect was neutral as if she resigned herself to what was said next. "'Duty to Starfleet before duty to self', that is what I said to Admiral Decker when I spoke for this crew as we joined the Dawn Patrol Task Force. Thank you for keeping me honest Anthi. Right now, we are alone, so my orders are for the safety of the station crew and protection of the research."
Kathryn felt insincere saying it but her words were true and she hoped by saying them she would believe them. But she could tell her First Officer was not convinced. Looking at the others it was hard to tell if they were convinced either, yet she knew they would follow her orders. Kathryn slung the phaser rifle over her shoulder, nodded, and turned to step onto the transporter pad.
1 hour later
She lifted the rifle to her shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The orange beam raced to her target, burned through the shielding and pierced into the helmet. She raked the beam down into the torso as the body convulsed to death. Releasing the trigger deactivated the beam and silence returned to the darkened corridor after the armored soldier collapsed. Kathryn peered down the hallway and waited a few seconds. Not hearing more sounds, she exhaled in relief and looked at her assault team. Everyone's armor was scored in various places but the Team was intact and doing very well. They were looking down a corridor with a side path a few meters to the right. The research hub was at the end of the hallway and the greater concentration of the remaining invaders and station crew were kept.
Kathryn motioned for Aldet and Karl to advance down the side path, the other two with her against the final door. As the team split, Christa set up a phaser turret at the intersection of the hallway while pointing toward the door. Anthi watched the doorway while Kathryn turned to face the path they came from.
Harrington whispered, "Turret is set up and primed."
"And you are sure the suit doesn't conceal anything the user holds?" Kathryn whispered over her shoulder.
The Engineer nodded as she made a final adjustment on the remote turret.
"Ok. Anthi, you're up."
The Andorian took a few steps back and lowered the assault gun to quietly place it next to Kathryn who then slung her rifle over her shoulder to heft the large weapon. Anthi removed a folded cloth from her backpack and started fitting into the black body suit. She zipped up to her breasts, reached behind the new layer and tugged at her Andorian combat knife before zipping up to her neck. Pulling forward a cowl than covered her head, she tapped a code onto an unseen pad within the suit above her right breast. Anthi suddenly became invisible excepting for a very faint silhouette seen only barely as she moved toward a Jefferies tube.
The hatch plate moved to the floor by unseen hands, a few seconds passed and was lifted back into place.
Kathryn smiled. "By the way Harrington, next time I tell you to turn over everything to me, do it. This time I'm glad you didn't." She tapped her badge twice.
Her badge vibrated as Karl responded silently. She tapped twice again to send the code designed to let Karl know that Anthi and Harrington's
5 minutes later
Kathryn looked at her PADD as it revealed the technical layout of the room beyond the doors. She grinned as the enemy red dots were congregated near a console, while the station crew green dots were huddled in a corner next to a single red dot. Anthi's blue dot slowly moved toward the lone red one. The rest of the Assault Team surrounded the room at both entrances. If Kathryn opened her door the turret would have a clear line of sight to the enemy. It would be too easy.
Inside the room
Anthi was three meters away from the Orion guard. He was a hulk of a man and was menacing the crew with a deadly stare. His back was to Anthi as she approached. She unzipped the suit, reached for her knife and charged. One scientist saw the knife appear out of nowhere and became visibly terrified. The Orion spun to look and raised the disruptor pistol as the blade flashed across his neck. Anthi grabbed the pistol and twisted it away with one hand. She spun the knife in her other hand then drove it hilt-deep into an eye socket. She was splashed with orange blood.
Outside the room
The blue and red dots touched. This was it. Kathryn pressed the trigger to the assault gun and braced herself. That was Harrington's sign to open the door. As the door hissed open the group of Orions spun around to face the attack. They drew weapons just as the assault gun released its charge. The automated turret clicked at it found targets and started firing large phaser bolts as well.
The group of Orions burst into mists of blood and puffs of smoke as the barrage of phaser bolts chewed and burned into them.
5 minutes later
, this is the Captain. Crew is secured, Team is safe, situation under control. Stand by."
"Understood, Captain. Glad to hear your voice. Standing by."
She looked down the hallway to watch Anthi removing the stealth suit out of sight from everyone else in the room. Aldet was scanning the station crew with his tricorder and conducting necessary triage. Christa was talking with the lead researcher at a console, schematics concerning the stealth suit were visible between them. Karl was inspecting the Orion bodies for anything considered valuable to determine the 'why, who and what' of their coming to the station.
Kathryn walked to and knelt down to an Orion body. She tore at an arm sleeve. Karl watched her and looked at the exposed arm. A dark scar ran down the arm. He recognized the gang symbol and looked to Kathryn.
"Is that -"
Kathryn interrupted but did not look away. "Yes." She pulled out a tricorder and started scanning the bodies. Karl stood and watched, knowing the Captain owned the situation. Anthi walked up to Karl, surveyed the scene and waited as well. She finished and stood. "None of these." Kathryn stalked to the lone sentry Anthi dispatched and repeated her scan.
Once the scan was complete, the display informed Kathryn there was a match. She opened a smaller PADD strapped to her thigh, keyed in a command and struck through a name from a list. When she returned to Karl and Anthi, she pointed a thumb over her shoulder. "That was one of them."
"... and all enemy combatants were neutralized and the station was secured. Replacement parts and components are being transferred as we speak."
"Good work Captain Beringer. Are you sure you don't need
to assist? Maybe a joint patrol of the system perhaps?" The Captain's bald head shined in the light of his Ready Room. He smirked slightly in a way that was inherently charming to Kathryn, but she couldn?t tell if that was a genuine feeling from her or not.
"Thank you Captain Daikar but unfortunately that will not be necessary."
Kathryn's thought disappeared quickly. "By the time you arrive we'll have handled that and anything else. But if the situation gets worse I'll be sure to contact Starfleet with a special note to you?" She rolled her mind's eyes to herself.
"That would be welcome. I hope to hear from you in the future either way. Daikar out."
The screen went blank and Kathryn sighed in relief and looked at Anthi sitting on the other side of her desk. The First Officer leaned forward in her chair and rested her arms on the table. "Kathryn, officially speaking, have you told anyone in Starfleet about the details of your past?"
"Do you think my judgment is biased?"
Anthi sat back. "Not really, but I'm not in the mood to start doubting you."
"Good. Let me know when that happens. To answer your question ... no, and for the record, that is how it will stay."
"So, what happened here was ... coincidence?"
Kathryn nodded and smiled. "Luck more like it. So, lucky me, right?"
Kathryn S. Beringer
The Dawn Patrol
Veritatum Liquido Cernene
Last edited by cmdrscarlet; 02-17-2014 at
. Reason: Frakkin' Punctuation