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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:27 pm 
Resident of the Kingdom of Eternal Cockjobbery
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Meru and Cratel, the latter with his arm hanging uselessly, made their way to the bridge.

"The captain can't move his legs!" Gleck announced.

"We've got people in worse shape here," Shirazi said. "I can't feel anything down there anyway. Sergeant, take over the tactical board, Meru..."

"I know my job," she snapped, crouching next to M'Lara.

"Engine output stabilized at one-third," Lee reported.

Shirazi tapped his comm badge. "tr'Valdran, bridge. We need cloak."

"What did you do? What did you DO?" tr'Valdran shouted. "We had subspace feedback through the entire system! I don't know if I can generate a cloak."

"We need the cloak. Prioritize on that," Shirazi ordered. "Bridge out."

Yhrea stirred. "Frank," he muttered as he rolled to his side. "Next time, ask the technician first."

"Yeah," Shirazi said.

"Atmosphere breach in the cargo bay!" Gleck shouted. "Locking it down!"

Meru looked up from her patient. "Sergeant, if you can spare any marines from the damage control, I'm going to need help getting the lieutenant to sickbay."

"I'll get you some bodies," Cratel said.

"Green light on the shields," Lee said. "Showing twenty-seven percent capacity."

"Bring them up," Shirazi ordered. With no displays he was flying blind.

Meru stepped away from M'Lara and crouched down beside him, her medical tricorder whirring furiously. "I need to get you on a table," she said. "Your spine is wrecked from the L-3 down."

"Can it wait?"

She hissed air through her teeth, then gave him an injection.

"That better not have been a sedative," he said. She shook her head.

"Stimulant to keep you from crashing out, and a block. Now, I can do a quick patch to stabilize things and prevent further damage. It's going to hurt."

"Kinda like the numb," he protested.

"Shut up," she said, shifting him slightly. She pressed a device against the side of his abdomen, and suddenly fire shot up his back in blinding spasms of pain.

"FUCKING HELL!" he yelled.

"Don't squirm," she ordered. "There. That'll do to prevent degeneration and give me something to work with when I do get you on the table."

He winced and forced himself to stay still as the agony subsided down to a dull, radiating ache.

The doors whisked open and a pair of marines charged in with an A/G litter. Meru bounced to her feet and looked at Yhrea. "Don't let him move around too much and get him below as soon as possible."

Yhrea looked up from the PADD he'd been working on and nodded. Meru jogged away as the marines carefully put M'Lara on the stretcher. After they'd departed, he handed the PADD to Shirazi.

"I routed all the tactical displays onto this," he explained. His face was dappled with flash burns from the exploded console, but he seemed otherwise unharmed. "I'm going to go inspire the technician to get the cloak working once more."

"Go ahead."

He studied the PADD for a few moments. "Gleck, inform the Riskadh we are not combat-effective, but as soon as we get the cloak back on line we can function in a recon capacity."

Gleck swore for a moment, then nodded.

_________________
When the Frog God smiles, arm yourself.
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"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:49 pm 
Resident of the Kingdom of Eternal Cockjobbery
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The chamber housing the cloaking devices had been cramped in the initial design of the D-12. Adding an entirely new system to the space made it downright claustrophobic.

Yhrea slid into the room to find tr'Valdran pulling at his hair frantically.

"Yhrea!" he said. "I don't know what to do! Even if we get the cloak up we'll be leaving an ion trail for sure!"

"It's better than nothing," Yhrea said. "Get it working. Now."

tr'Valdran stared at him with wide, panic-filled eyes. Yhrea slithered forward, turning sideways to get past a complicated rat's nest of wires and tubes. He managed to avoid disturbing them too badly as he grasped tr'Valdran's vest and pulled him closer.

"Listen to me. You will get the cloak working or I swear on my ancestors that I'll beat you to death with my bare hands as well as whatever blunt objects and flat surfaces I think will make a pleasing sound when I slam them into your skull."

tr'Valdran squealed and pulled away, then reached up to pull a makeshift keyboard display toward him. His fingers beat out a staccato rhythm on the keyboard, then he reached over to twist a dial. The machinery began to hum, at levels that would mostly be inaudible to human ears but set Yhrea's teeth on edge.

"Is there anything I can do?" Yhrea asked.

"You can not threaten me," tr'Valdran said, his lip quivering. "You know that physical threats are not always the most effective means of persuading people."

"Of course I know that," Yhrea said. "But it is the most effective means of persuading you." He scooted forward to look over tr'Valdran's shoulder. Meaningless high-order equations, symbols, and readings shimmered across the display. "Other people, I blackmail with secrets, threaten their families or material possessions. It's very situational. But you have nothing to threaten, everyone knows you're a worthless addict, and even if you had surviving family they would have disowned you long ago."

tr'Valdran winced. "There aren't many of us left," he muttered. "We should be supportive of each other."

"Supportive?" Yhrea felt his fists clench. "Listen, you worthless sack of dung. Out of the billions who died in the Dominion War, the loss of the homeworld, and this war, the fact that you are among the living nauseates me. That there are so few of us still standing that someone might think you and I come from the same species makes me want to flush you out an airlock. The reason we're have our current predicament is because you're so unreliable and unstable that the captain felt that consulting with you on a critical maneuver would be a waste of time."

"Well that's his fault," tr'Valdran said, shoving the keyboard up. He stepped around the side of the cloaking system and pulled a cable loose. "What did the human do?"

"He flew through an enemy frigate and ejected the aft torpedo magazine in an attempt to put one through their warp core. It worked a little too well."

tr'Valdran peered from from around the nest of cables, his eyes widened in horror. "And... we're still here?"

"Obviously so. Now fix the damn cloak!"

***

"Bridge, primary cloak restored. It's going to leak, there's nothing I can do for it."

Shirazi looked at his readout. Tolbert had called for marine backup to help her with the engines- Kolar had been another casualty of the unplanned decloaking. Engines were at sixty percent nominal. He was down a secondary disrupter, but that less of a concern. In this sort of fight, one disrupter more or less only mattered in how much it would tickle a Borg vessel's shields.

"Activate cloak, set course for the Gilgamesh," he ordered Lee.

_________________
When the Frog God smiles, arm yourself.
Image
"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Ideal situation: No bloody cloak-and-dagger pulse-laser meetings to begin with.

Slightly less ideal: Not in the bloody Badlands, transporters fully operational.

A touch less ideal than that:
Scylla not busy, able to loom over freighter menacingly.

Pretty bloody un-ideal:
Scylla too busy to loom, but not distracted.

"Aaand reality, even worse, because of the fucking Borg," Leyton muttered to himself, mostly drowned out by the pervasive growl of the heavily-modified shuttle's drive. Even with the heavier shielding afforded the small craft by the mass of extra generators and other assorted knickknacks that packed the aft compartment, he still took the care to bank around the more energetic portions of the plasma storm, both avoiding danger and to mask his approach as best he could. The throttle was slid all the way forwards, the tiny craft screaming across the intervening space as fast as could be safely managed -- faster, really. Caution was all well and good, but the Borg put a deadline on matters, a substantially aggressive one.

"Now, if they're trying to keep this all quiet, they won't want a docking clearance transmis--there." A shuttlebay door opened on the flank of the gas miner. An invitation if he'd ever seen one, but still... A deft touch on the controls curled the modified shuttle inwards towards the bay, then snap-rolled it away with dramatic speed just when it would have been most predictable in an attempt to bait out an attack. With a quiet snort at its failure to materialize, he swung around for another approach and slipped inside.

Hands flitted over a few pieces of hardware, doublechecking that everything was in order before triggering the hatch. Custom, heavy sidearm -- check. Standard phaser sidearm -- check, because the first thing to go on a proper modified weapon was a stun setting. Communications booster in the left boot heel, transport beacon in the right.

With everything in order, Leyton took a quick glance at the repeater displays for the close-environment sensors for one last ambush-check, then triggered the hatch to go see what the fuck was worth pulling this now, of all times.

_________________
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Last edited by White Haven on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:39 pm 
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General Havoc wrote:
The Sphere did not know what hit it.

Caught completely off-guard by the suddenly-materializing vessel, the Sphere's shields bucked with a barrage of phaser strikes even as torpedoes sailed into it from a second Defiant-class ship that it had not expected to find, and had no way of knowing was not hiding in the Badlands for just this purpose. The Sphere's shields sustained a tremendous battering, but the Roberts turning away precipitously enabled it to survive the assault with shields intact, albeit badly torn up. So rapid was the Roberts' attack and withdrawal that the Sphere barely had time to fire a few desultory shots its way, none of which did anything useful.

But the Sphere was not afraid, and the Sphere was not prepared to concede defeat, nor to allow other prey to escape. Imperturbably, it switched off its tractor beam, leaving the stricken Gilgamesh to her fate with the drones already aboard, hurling another volley of four torpedoes at the motionless ship as it did so, the better to knock its remaining shields down in case another wave of drones turned out to be required. And then it flew after the Roberts, flinging more torpedoes at the nimble Defiant, seeking to close to tractor range and do to this destroyer what it had just done to the last one.



USS Samuel B. Roberts

"We've done it Skipper, Sphere has broken off the Gilgamesh and is in pursuit." Came the proud voice of Shraf. Shepard nodded at the Andorian.

"Good job. Guisti, keep us moving, let's see if we can use these columns to lose pursuit and get back around for another run. Shraf, keep up rear fire." The Lieutenant Commander ordered. She kept an eye on the tactical plot, the local space seeming to spin and twist around on the display as the helmsman continued to fly the Sammy B. like a fighter. "Kreiger, see if you can find anybody else from the task force, we might need help with the Sphere."

The Defiant continued to bank and shimmy. The rotary launchers proved their worth as they joined their fire with the rear torpedo tubes, launching photon and quantum torpedoes any time the angle was right. The Sammy B. kept moving, looking for the right moment to break around a column and make another attack run.

_________________
Morpheus:I remember that I am here not because of the path that lies before me but because of the path that lies behind me.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:57 am 
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Khanjar plunged into the roiling mass of the Badlands at medium warp, chasing after the Borg contacts, its passive sensors struggling to keep track of them in the storm's interference. She ran cloaked and shielded, invisible to most sensors as plasma streamers flowed smoothly around her with minimum disturbance. It was normally a risk to run with the shields up for an extended period, but it was suicide to go unshielded within the Badlands. Hopefully the interference hid the cloak's defects, and even the Borg were unlikely to expect to be stalked by a cloaked vessel in a plasma storm. Thus the battlecruiser chased its quarry with stealth and boldness.

Relaxed into her chair, Riov Charvanek sang softly. The bridge had excellent acoustics, to easily convey the captain's commands across it, and so was conveyed the Riov's song. She was an excellent singer, talented and professionally trained in her youth, she could have had a magnificent operatic career if she'd wished it. Instead Ishtar made a habit of singing softly during quiet times, it was a quirk that she fell into as a Lieutenant without quite realizing it, and her superiors at the time had allowed it after noting the efficiency and harmony with which her subordinates worked with each other. It was thought her voice had a soothing and focusing effect on those who heard it, easing away fears and tension, and strangely heightening awareness rather than causing distraction. None of this had ever been verified, indeed it didn't even make sense, but it had entered the greater mythology of her crew. They believed it, and perhaps that was enough to make it true.

Adding to the mystique of it all, rarely did anyone ever have to interrupt Charvanek's song, she simply stopped as soon as something came up, even if with eyes closed or looking the other way. It was so when a surprised and confused sensors officer reported into the sudden silence, "We've lost them, all scanners are clear, no contacts."

Commander Sigrun leaned in to one of the technicians, "Look for for their subspace wakes and any eddies they may have left in the plasma storm."

It only took a moment, "Got a track! No, two tracks, designate alpha and beta, diverging away from each other and consistent with Borg spheres. Beta track is fainter but we can still follow it."

"Make best speed and stay on track alpha," ordered the Riov.

"Making best speed and following track alpha," answered the helm.

Ishtar continued her song.

"Save your tears
for the day
when the pain is far behind
On your feet
come with me
we are soldiers stand or die

Save your fears
take your place
save them for the judgement day
Fast and free
follow me
time to make the sacrifice
We rise or fall
"

The tachyon sensors suddenly lit up and she fell silent as a technician examined the data feed, "Intermittent tachyon emissions, on bearing 263 mark 010. They look like Borg cloak sweeping beams."

"Who would be crazy enough to go cloaked out here? That is, besides us I mean," wondered erei'Riov t'Keres.

"That's near track beta's estimated location, whoever it is, the sphere or its escorts must have found them," observed Captain Mirai.

"Agreed," said Charvanek, "change course and plot an intercept on beta."

"Intercepting beta," confirmed the helm.

A minute later the tachyon pulses ended, and the tactical plots were clear save for the estimated courses of the two spheres. Nevertheless the battlecruiser continued her advance, for the Borg were out there, they had found something, and Khanjar would find them in turn.

As they bore down on the tachyon source on the way to the intercept point, the subspace sensors suddenly went crazy and a fraction of a second later something akin to a subspace blast wave washed over Khanjar, rattling the whole ship. In engineering alarms blared as subspace feedback and power surges tripped circuit breakers, forcing the ship down to Warp 2.

On the bridge, ratings stared agape at the readings they were getting, until one finally exclaimed, "Ma'am! We've got a single massive subspace disruption ahead of us! Still plotting distance... It's the same area as the tachyon emissions. I've never seen of anything like this! It's like someone set off a wormhole weapon or something!"

The rating's supervising officer gave him a reprimanding look for the slip in professionalism, and he shut up as Fulla Sigrun provided a more professional opinion, "It appears to be a subspace extrusion into real space. Not a natural occurrence even in the Badlands, and thus most likely artificial. Recommend caution, at close range such an event would shatter the ship."

"Neither the Borg nor the pirates have anything that can do that," observed t'Keres, "someone else is out there."

Chief Engineer tr'Vitege then called in to report, "We have no significant damage beyond a couple of electrical fires, but we need to briefly shut down the warp field entirely to reset the circuit breakers. We might have blown a coil, don't recommend high warp until we can inspect it. Beyond that, she's holding up."

"Very well then, helm take us out of warp. Ops drop cloak and go all active on sensors, full power. We're not going in blind, so eyes on the skies everyone," ordered Riov Charvanek. "Navigation, plot course to the site of the anomaly. Go to maximum safe warp as soon as the drive's back up and take us to 75 000 km of the event's nexus."

Khanjar's warp field shut down. Her shields went up to full strength as she dropped her cloak, and her sensors burned outward into the raging maelstrom, struggling to pierce through its veil of burning plasma. Moments later the warp engines flared to life again, and not long after the battlecruiser appeared at about a quarter light second from the disturbance's origin point.

With active sensors pinging she was able to make out the two Klingon ships, the residue from the subspace extrusion event, the notable lack of any Borg in the vicinity, and signals indicating Borg and Federation contacts further on. Khanjar's warp engine flashed to life briefly, and in the blink of an eye she was 70 Mm closer.

"IFF confirmed," said the systems officer, "they're the B12 Bird of Prey Meh-T'a, and the Vor'cha attack cruiser Riskadh. The Meh-T'a is long retired, no other data. Riskadh is a-"

"Just forward it to my console khre'Arrain," Ishtar cut her off, "we've not the time for formalities. Hail Riskadh and ask for their status and update on the tactical situation. Nav, I want an intercept course plotted on that Borg track and ready to execute as soon as we've closed communications with the attack cruiser."

_________________
Lys is lily, or lilium.
The pretty flowers remind me of a song of elves.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:03 pm 
Resident of the Kingdom of Eternal Cockjobbery
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Without Yhrea on the sensor board, Shirazi had to interpret the new arrival on his own. Whatever the blasted thing was, it didn't seem to be Borg. It was signaling the Riskadh, so he'd leave that to Kadon.

(Assuming Kadon didn't take out his inevitable anger at the impromptu subspace weapons test Shirazi had just dinged the Riskadh with by vaporizing the Meh'Ta. But the court martial or field execution or whatever could wait until the present action was concluded.)

One thing standard cloak gave them was use of the primary weapons battery once more. However, with Kolar down, he couldn't count on Tolbert alone to keep the ship up to speed, especially after the battering it had just taken.

Still, as a last resort the option was on the table.

"Steady on the helm," he ordered Lee. "We need to get to the Gilgamesh."

***

"No, no, counterclockwise!" Tolbert yelled. Peenostinga, the Ferengi marine, looked back at her in exasperation.

"Clocks have numbers, not directions!" she yelled back at Tolbert, holding the wheel in frustration.

"This way!" Tolbert mimed the motion. Peenostinga began cranking the relief valve, which in turn cut back on the keening steam whistle that had also turned the compartment into a sticky, tacky sauna.

Tolbert squirmed in next to Kolar's corpse- nothing short of a fusion torch would serve to dislodge the technician from his final post, a grisly exercise they didn't have time for. She adjusted the engine attenuation that his final death spasm had thrown completely out of whack, then checked the board.

"Okay, watch that board there!" she pointed. "The two displays on the left are fine at yellow, everything else should be green. If anything changes color, let me know."

"What about this red one here?" Peenostinga asked.

"SHIT!" Tolbert launched herself across the room to deal with the latest engine crisis.

_________________
When the Frog God smiles, arm yourself.
Image
"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:33 am 
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Lights died on the Riskadh's bridge and the auxiliary weapon's console died. Emergency lights flickered and then kicked in and damage control lights flared and data flooded into the bridge. "Shield status!" Kadon barked.

"Shield collapse," said Kallor. "Reinitializing. Subspace pulse knocked them down."

"Get them back up!" Kadon snarled. "Damage?"

"No significant damage showing," Kallor replied. "Shields marginal, regenerating at eighty-two percent standard rate."

"Comms are garbage," said Aaveroke. "Fractures in the primary transceiver coil, bringing the secondary online. There's a lot of noise in subspace, should clear in a minute or two."

"Captain," said Arikel, "the damage may actually be more severe than that."

"Kagga's crown! Helm, get us moving. Close on the Gilgamesh's last known position. Kallor, get those shields back up. How are the guns?"

"Disruptors are still charged, torpedoes loaded," replied Kallor.

Kadon turned towards the nook at the right side of the bridge where his Executive sat amid the controls of the science station. "Executive. Analysis."

"The subspace explosion appears to have propagated through the ship at the sub atomic level, tearing apart atomic bonds like an extremely localized disruptor effect. Damage is random and mostly minor, but it includes ship's crew and the ship's hull. Which is already developing stress fractures. We are closer to catastrophic hull failure during heavy maneuvering. Exactly how badly we're hurt will take time and detailed scans."

"Understood," Kadon replied. He took the news calmly, but it wasn't really news. The Riskadh had been dying slowly, piece by piece, since the war began. Sometimes they got time back with rescued crew and salvaged equipment, but the ship's future was inevitable. Every Klingon knew a warrior could only endure so many wounds, no matter how great his spirit or talented his physician.

"All combat systems are, however, functional. Helm, take us after the Gilgamesh. Zan Aaveroke, notify me the moment we get subspace communications back. Action!"

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It's not that I'm unforgiving, it's that most of the people who wrong me are unrepentant assholes.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:00 am 
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The moment the shields went down, Borg appeared simply everywhere within the Gilgamesh, packed into every conceivable space. The screams and shouts of the refugees began immediately afterward, as the Borg scented prey.

Those aboard the ship tasked with readiness for anti-boarding procedures were on hot standby since the fight began, but the sheer numbers of the Borg incursion necessitated some desperate measures.

Captain Solheim hit the panic button to the side of his console, and the five-point restraints of his seat snapped free, just as the hum of the systems in the ceiling of the bridge grew audible. "Down!", he shouted in Romulan, as he dove to the floor.

A strange, horn-like alarm sounded once throughout the ship, as if a herald of the chaos that ensued - and all the crew got as low to the ground as they could, dragging whatever refugees they could reach with them.

Two turrets dropped from the ceiling of the bridge and ports opened up in a six different corner points of the room, just as Captain Solheim hit the floor. A sheer maelstrom of phaser shots, disruptor bolts, and hardpoint slugs flew above the bridge crew's heads for a full five seconds. Similar ports and turrets opened up within engineering, the medical bay, and the lounge, each sweeping its area mercilessly with a cavalcade of fire for the same five seconds, before all of it stopped at once.

At that signal, the crew all over the ship scrambled to their feet, and did their best to clear those same rooms of Borg, armed with Romulan hand disruptor pistols and rifles, Federation phaser rifles and pistols, and most of all, the TR-116 transporting sniper rifle.

The bridge crew was not unaware of events outside the ship, despite the desperate fight happening within it. Swift slapped a command on her interface as she dove past her console just as the tractor beam was released from the ship, and as the fresh batch of heavy plasma torpedoes sped closer, intent on shattering the destroyer's shields once again.

Without any further warning, the Gilgamesh leapt into Warp 5 in the direction it faced before leaving warp again two seconds later, coming to a dead stop with cloaking device engaged. However, the Gilgamesh did not retreat from the fight without leaving a token of it's fond esteem toward the Borg - four phased heavy plasma torpedoes flew toward the Borg sphere in an arc, aimed directly at the sphere's heart.

_________________
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

- William Gibson


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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:30 pm 
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USS Spector
Battle Bridge


"Subspace tear!" Came the call from the comm, the information echoed from the Peregrines as the ripples reached them. The Spector was quick to share the information with the fleet. Kirk trusted the Humboldt to figure out what and why, all she cared about at the moment was the where and what next. Triangulation was easy, with the sheer number of ships in a protective sphere, which put the tear somewhere out where the Riskadh, the Meh Te, and the Gilgemish had gone.

The thought of the Borg with a subspace weapon was terrifying, but a moment's thought considered it unlikely. The Borg wanted to assimilate, not destroy. "Serin, those Frigates will change course to investigate. Plot their most likely, fastest course," and please don't let that be right thru the fleet, Eoife added silently.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:34 pm 
Resident of the Kingdom of Eternal Cockjobbery
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The pain was increasingly distracting. It had gone from a throbbing ache to a fiery radiance that erupted anew every time Shirazi shifted a little. Mere breathing was sending burning shivers of pain throughout his back and legs.

Just had to get through the engagement. A rating had taken over M'Lara's seat, giving him an actual qualified gunner once more on the chance they either needed to take a shot or had a golden opportunity for one. Cratel had rigged a sling for his arm and relieved the marine guard on duty for the bridge.

If the Borg boarded them right now they would probably be a walkover anyway- the key was as always to not be boarded.

"No signals from the Riskadh," Gleck reported.

No signals, but they were moving to engage. Wonderful, he'd undoubtedly fucked over their comms too.

"Hail the other vessel directly, request support," he ordered.

Just focus on the shitty tactical situation, he thought. It was a pleasant distraction from whatever the hell was going on with his body.

_________________
When the Frog God smiles, arm yourself.
Image
"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Primary Sensor Console, Bridge, USS Humboldt

With most of the crew on the IRW Saehir affecting repairs, it fell to to the Sensors Officer, Lt. Karvak to pour through all the telemetry from the probes. Normally all this data would be filtered and sent to her by the ensigns at other stations, but in this case it was all routed through her bridge console. She was focused at the moment on tracking the borg ships distressingly close to their taskforce, but then something happened. Her eyes widened, she had seen this before. She sent it to her CO, Lt Cmdr Zuvok. He looked over it and something came over him, a sense of reverence and awe that only a physicist could experience when viewing something with the terrifying implications of what he saw. A subspace shockwave, generated by an instantaneous subspace rift that knitted itself back together almost as soon as it was formed. Like the ripples on the surface of a pond emanating out from a thrown stone, the wave had propagated through subspace and space-time itself, throwing sub-atomic particles hurling out in advance of the distortion. Near the epicenter, these particles would be dense enough to cause havok on ship systems, as the particles tore at the subatomic structure of atoms, altering the microcrystalline structure of metals, disrupting elecromagnetic fields, ionizing components of large organic molecules. It would be a mess, but one that was localized and would not cause horrific damage to everything within several light minutes like a sustained subspace rift would.

Starfleet had experimented with producing them during the war, but nothing worked. A sustained subspace rift was easier, and had been accomplished decades ago. These worked, but they had drawbacks. They caused long term damage to a large area, but their instantaneous effects were less crippling. They also were more theoretically difficult to weaponize in ship to ship combat. Good for making an area impassable and unusable, bad for ship killing.

He sent the telemetry to the captain

"Captain, we have something you may wish to see."

"I have it... what did this?"

"We have no idea. The sensor net's resolution in that area is not good enough to have precise telemetry on much of anything. We know there was a fight between two frigates and the Riskadh. That is all."

"Could the Klingon's have deployed a subspace weapon of the sort we saw?" this was not an actual question as if he expected the answer to be "yes", it was more a statement of confusion.

"No, or at least, I doubt it. The Klingon's simply do not have the technical skill, institutionally at least. They certainly have the will, but I doubt they succeeded where we failed and if they had, I am reasonably confident that Kadon would have informed us. If this was a case of older subspace weapons being used--the sort specifically banned at Khitomer, then it would be a possibility. We have all torn up that treaty. If he did have such a weapon, he would have used it against that Cube, not against a frigate."

"The Borg?"

"A... terrifying prospect. However, the Riskahd survived. The frigates did not. We are getting telemetry from two other ships, unknown configuration at that range, bu not Borg. It could have been one of them.

"We need to find out how that was done. As soon as possible."

"I concur. Wait. Where is the Meh Te? Sensors?"

Lt Karvak went through her log

"She disappeared. The Borg used active tight beam Tachyon scans to locate her, found nothing. In the badlands at close range, no Klingon cloak is that good. No cloak is that good. Not against the Borg."

"Did they ever send us their technical specifications?"

"Not that we received. It is possible that command decided to withhold that information if they received it."

"We shall have to see what happened post facto."

At that, Tlorn spoke directly into their minds as he turned back to his work.

This is our little project, officers. Command need not know about it until we have results beyond the theoretical. I need not mention the implications for an old project of ours.

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There is no word harsh enough for this. No verbal edge sharp and cold enough to set forth the flaying needed. English is to young and the elder languages of the earth beyond me. ~Frigid

The Holocaust was an Amazing Logistical Achievement~Havoc


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:44 pm 
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The warrant officer shook her head, "Can't raise the Riskdah, not even a ping-back, there's a hell of a lot of remaining subspace noise, but I think their comms are down."

"They're moving, coming about toward track beta!" reported Commander Sigrun.

"We're done here then. Maximize weapons power and execute intercept course on track beta," ordered Riov Charvanek.

The Khanjar's engines flared to life as she pointed herself at the Borg signals, followed by her warp drive activating and vaulting the ship at her prey. The battlecruiser was confident in her ability to take a sphere alone, but if there were Federation ships out there, and Riskdah would lend her support, then so much the better.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:39 pm 
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"Damn it to the Fire Caves!" Meru swore, pulling back from her work. "I'm a surgeon, not a mechanic!"

M'Lara lay on the table in front of her, chest open. Klingon organs lay nestled against numerous synthetic devices designed to replicate normal bodily function. Reaching down with a bloodied hand, she tapped a fresh series of commands into the medical system.

"I don't even know how these prosthetics are reacting, but the ones that are still working are working against me half the time," she muttered. A fresh alert chimed urgently and she ran her hands under the sterilization field before plunging back in.

She reached in and tugged gently on one of the prosthetic organs, pulling it aside. "Why did they even install this? They could've done a simple bypass! Do they have doctors or butchers?"

She held out a hand. "Pressor field," she ordered. Shras Shran, the Andorian marine, passed it to her.

"Don't ever, ever let the Klingons operate on you," she warned him.

"Duly noted," he said.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:10 am 
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If Captain Leyton expected to see a party of armed men prepared to shoot him down, or perhaps some terrible monster lunging out of the darkness of the Gas Miner's interior, he was to be disappointed. Literally nothing greeted him as he entered the ship, not a soul, not a peep, not even a console with information as to what he should do now. Indeed, unlike so many ships in the fleet on which battle was raging or had just finished doing so, this ship seemed completely empty. Cavernous bulk freighters like the Breen Gas Miner were always very lightly crewed, the automated systems taking up the load in a far cheaper fashion, but this seemed a bit much.

For several minutes, he could find no sign of life aboard the ship, as though it were a derelict bereft of life or crew. Yet the tricorders and other sensors continued to insist that there were lifeforms aboard this ship, though it was considerably more coy about the location of these various lifesigns. Something within the Gas Miner seemed to be throwing off the sensors locally, and so it was that when something finally did appear, the tricorders gave no warning of its presence.

"Captain Leyton," came a voice from somewhere within the cavernous dark. The voice echoed around the dark chamber, seeming to come from many directions at once. "Thank you for coming on such short notice and with such little information. I'm sorry to disturb you in the middle of a crisis such as this, but I'm afraid my information is for your ears alone, and cannot wait on time and circumstances."

From high above, on a darkened catwalk, Leyton could see a dark silhouette appear from within the inky blackness, remaining in the shadows, but exposed just enough to be noticed.

"Tell me, Captain," came the voice, "how much do you know about the events surrounding your father?"

*---------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

The Samuel Roberts flew through space like a dancer as it ducked and wove, twisting around plasma columns and lashing at the intervening space with torpedoes from its aft launchers. The Sphere pursued at flank speed, ignoring the two phased torpedoes which contrived to hit it, swerving with less verve but just as much skill around and past several columns of plasma. The shots the ships traded were more or less ineffective, as the ships were moving too fast in too many directions through too much of a sensor-erasing soup to manage more than the occasional lucky shot. But all of this changed when the Samuel Roberts decided to dodge around a particularly large Plasma gyre, not one of the world-shattering megastorms that occasionally rocked the badlands, but a major vortex nonetheless, one quite capable of baking the Roberts like a pie.

Which meant that the Borg Sphere likely turned a few heads upon the destroyer when it plunged straight into it.

For an instant, the Sphere was lost to sight, and then suddenly it emerged, plasma streaming off its shields in quantities that would have melted most ships to slag, shields or no shields. How the Sphere could possibly have survived plunging through a storm of that magnitude was unclear, yet survive it plainly had, and with aplomb, and having deftly cut directly through the obstacle that the Roberts had flown around, the Sphere now found itself close enough to the Roberts to employ that most terrible weapon of all, its tractor beam.

For the second time in five minutes, the Sphere locked its tractor beam on a Defiant-class ship, bringing the gyrating Destroyer to an abrupt halt, its primary weapons facing away from the Sphere, useless now but for gestures of futility. For a moment, the Sphere held its prey in place like a fly trapped in a spiderweb, and then all at once, the Sphere fired six heavy plasma torpedoes at the Roberts, its transporters already preparing the first wave of Borg to deploy to this new, and very juicy target.

*-------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

The turrets that popped out of the ceilings and bulkheads of the Gilgamesh were a highly unwelcome surprise. So was the sheer congestion of the ship. But the Borg were flat immune to panic, and had subroutines to deal with confusing situations. They set to work immediately, caring nothing for what dangers they might face or what casualties they might incur in performing their duties. The crew of the Gilgamesh may or may not have expected the advent of the turrets, but the civilians aboard did not, and many crew were too burdened to undertake the appropriate remedies. The result was predictable. Within seconds, the Gilgamesh was a writhing, sanguinary abattoir, filled with struggling men and women, bodies and pieces of bodies, screams, weapons fire, and the smell of burning flesh. Men rolled on the floor amidst half-dead drones, knife to nano-tube, in corridors and engineering spaces, and the broom closets that on a Defiant, passed for crew quarters. Civilians panicked, seizing weapons and firing them wildly at all and sundry, or were shot down by Assault Drones only to fire their phasers in one last twitch of a nerve into a roomful of refugees. The casualties were appalling, but no less heavy on the Borg side, as drones were ripped apart by desperate crewmen, scythed down by defense turrets, or shot apart by transported slugs fired by men they could not even detect. Yet even as the ship burst into warp, the drones responded with blistering waves of fire, blasting most of the turrets to pieces and jamming assimilation tubes into the command consoles of others, overloading the defense system in a shower of sparks. And just as the crew, or what remained of them, reached the crux of their battle to overcome the Borg, some quirk in the Borg intrusion software interacted strangely with the Gilgamesh's anti-intrusion protocols, and all of the lights failed.

On flew the Gilgamesh, out of control, flying blindly at Warp 5 through the badlands, its lights off, and inside, a black, seething pit of Borg and fire and screams and death. On it flew, into the night, as those aboard it screamed and fought and died by the dozens, all alone in the dark.

*--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

Eoife's plea went unheard.

The subspace burst was visible to every ship in the fleet, and every ship beyond, that much was certain, and no sooner had the two Frigates detected the aftermath of a subspace detonation at a location they already knew contained several of their own vessels, than the Frigates swung round and accelerated, making the best speed they could without outrunning their own sensors as they flew back towards the location of the blast. Unfortunately, the direction in question led straight through the assembled fleet of civilian and military vessels, and would almost certainly take them into sensor range of the massive Artificitor-class Fleet Tender, as well as the several cruisers which protected her.

Not that two Frigates could threaten such an assembly of firepower, but that was hardly the most salient risk.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:23 pm 
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USS Spector
Battle Bridge


Fuck you Murphy, fuck you hard, Eoife cursed as the two frigates turned right for the fastest course to the subspace tear, and right through the fleet. "Intercept course, best speed. Open channel to the fleet." she ordered, and Helm responded immediately. At the comm officer's nod Kirk spoke "The Spector moving to intercept Borg Frigates before they reach the fleet. If we can fool them into thinking it's just me, we might still pull this off. Kirk out."

More orders snapped out as Kirk mentally prepped herself for the two-against-one fight. Yes, they were 'only' frigates, but they were Borg and hard to kill. "Set Red Alert, get all passengers stored safely. Torpedo Room, give me full loadout, prep everything we have. Sensors, I want firing solutions at furthest possible kill range in this storm. I want to batter them from as far as possible before we're forced to knife range." A hail of Ayes answered her commands, and the Spector warped out to meet the Borg Frigates as far out as possible.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:05 pm 
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The bridge crew had quickly been replenished by the reserve ratings. It wasn't his first team, but everyone was up to spec on the consoles they were running.

"No response from the Gilgamesh on hails," Gleck reported.

"Bring us around on an intercept for that sphere," Shirazi said.

The Riskadh was non-communicative and an allied vessel was getting hammered out there. His tactical screen was showing it as the Samuel B. Roberts and there was no way the shields would hold up to the beating they were taking. "Ready to fire main battery. Target the tractor beam array on the sphere."

The very likely outcome of this was going to be a Borg sphere turning them into an expanding cloud of gas and debris, but it was their one shot at breaking the trapped Defiant loose before it could be assimilated.

"Lee, one pass and then break wide and run flat out. Don't let them scratch up our paint job. Oster, stand by to reengage cloak after we make the shot, but do not reengage until I give the order. If we can dupe the sphere into chasing us, we'll take that."

He traced the course on the padd, then echoed it to Lee's console.

He snorted and hammered his fist on the deck as fresh pain radiated up his spine. When the maneuvering got heavy, this was not going to be a fun ride.

"Execute."

The Meh'Ta surged forward at maximum available power. As the angles lined up, the vessel dropped from cloak and the enhanced disrupter/torpedo system located in the bow fired, a single megaburst of coruscating light followed by a half-dozen torpedoes.

It wasn't enough to seriously damage a fully-shielded sphere, but maybe it would be enough to take the tractor offline.

"Lee!" Shirazi shouted as the ship vibrated the energy unleashed from the primary system.

"Hauling ass now," the helmsman reported in a subdued monotone, fingers flashing across his controls in a tightly controlled dance.

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GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:39 am 
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The Riskadh flew through space, leaving a churned trail of plasma in its wake as it pursued the Borg Sphere. Battered shields regenerated as the Klingon attack cruiser surged down its prey's warp trace.

"New contact!" Arikel shouted from her spot at the sciences station. "Parallel to us and closing. Vor'kang class."

"Ours?" Kadon barked.

"Nonstandard reading," Arikel replied. "The hull has been heavily modified . . . a crude missile cell system has been retrofitted to the forward hull. Other indications are inconsistent with Borg assimilation."

"Captain," said Aaveroke, "communications back on line. The Khanjar is hailing us. They're asking for our status and the tactical situation."

"Executive-" Kadon began.

"The crew is nearly half Romulan," Arikel answered in anticipation of her captain. She spoke as if doing a life signs scan on a ship in the Badlands with a just rebooted Klingon sensor system was a routine, rather than extraordinary, act. "Remans and Klingons are also present.

Kadon smiled. A Klingon smile was rarely reassuring to anyone who was not anticipating violence. A tap of the controls put the Khanjar on Kadon's foot repeater screen. "Give them our warmest fraternal greetings Aavoeroke. Tell them we are operational and in pursuit of a Borg Sphere." He marked the forward part of the battlecruiser, around the missile cells where the rebuild might have compromised the shield envelope and added volatile fuel and explosives. "Kallor confirm."

"Confirm," replied Kallor. "Can target on your word."

"If our new friends prove less than honorable," said Kadon. "And if we still have weapons after they hit us." A dull chuckle worked its way around the bridge.

Aaveroke sent the requested greetings. "Greetings Battlecruiser Khanjar. This is the Imperial Klingon Vessel Riskadh under the command of Captain Kallor zantai Khemera. We are currently operational and appreciate your concern. We are in pursuit of a Borg Sphere that is attacking an allied vessel. We would gladly accept any aid you can offer."

"Borg Sphere ahead!" Arikel shouted.

"Torpedoes, tight salvo," barked Kadon. He turned to his helmswoman. "Khedira, evasive on your discretion. Bring us in. Kallor, hold disruptors until close range and then core them."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:46 pm 
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USS Spector
Battle Bridge


"Range in 1min, Mark," Helm called out, and Eoife tightened her seat restraint. The main screen showed the Borg frigates, with the Spector coming in from their port flank, nearly dead level with them. One Frigate was in the lead, the other trailing off to sideboard. The difference in distance wouldn't be a problem for the torpedos, but it might not be a sure strike.

"Firing solutions on both Alpha and Beta targets, all tube ready!" Weapons called out, designating the leading Frigate target alpha. The range was ticking down.

There was no more time to weigh options. "All tubes, Target Alpha. Ripple Fire." All torpedo tubes launched a barrage towards the nearer Frigate, then reloaded and fired again as fast as they could, sending a swarm of missiles towards the so-far unsuspecting Borg. "Keep us at range, evasive manuevers. We don't want tractored."

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:09 pm 
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General Havoc wrote:
The Samuel Roberts flew through space like a dancer as it ducked and wove, twisting around plasma columns and lashing at the intervening space with torpedoes from its aft launchers. The Sphere pursued at flank speed, ignoring the two phased torpedoes which contrived to hit it, swerving with less verve but just as much skill around and past several columns of plasma. The shots the ships traded were more or less ineffective, as the ships were moving too fast in too many directions through too much of a sensor-erasing soup to manage more than the occasional lucky shot. But all of this changed when the Samuel Roberts decided to dodge around a particularly large Plasma gyre, not one of the world-shattering megastorms that occasionally rocked the badlands, but a major vortex nonetheless, one quite capable of baking the Roberts like a pie.

Which meant that the Borg Sphere likely turned a few heads upon the destroyer when it plunged straight into it.

For an instant, the Sphere was lost to sight, and then suddenly it emerged, plasma streaming off its shields in quantities that would have melted most ships to slag, shields or no shields. How the Sphere could possibly have survived plunging through a storm of that magnitude was unclear, yet survive it plainly had, and with aplomb, and having deftly cut directly through the obstacle that the Roberts had flown around, the Sphere now found itself close enough to the Roberts to employ that most terrible weapon of all, its tractor beam.

For the second time in five minutes, the Sphere locked its tractor beam on a Defiant-class ship, bringing the gyrating Destroyer to an abrupt halt, its primary weapons facing away from the Sphere, useless now but for gestures of futility. For a moment, the Sphere held its prey in place like a fly trapped in a spiderweb, and then all at once, the Sphere fired six heavy plasma torpedoes at the Roberts, its transporters already preparing the first wave of Borg to deploy to this new, and very juicy target.


USS Samuel B. Roberts

Shepard was watching the plot, watching Guisti fly, listening to Shraf calling out torpedo shots. Just another day at work for the fighting ship. And then that Borg Sphere came barreling through that storm, way too close. The Sammy B. was in the midst of leveling off, preparing for a banking turn the other way, around another storm, when the tractor beam struck true. The ship lurched to a stop, the internal dampeners overwhelmed for a moment. Shepard's coffee mug went flying forward, and she would have to, if not for the seat restraints the bridge crew had. As it was, she was slammed forward into them.

"SHIT!" She said, slapping the comm system. "Brace for incoming!"

She might have thought to try some trick, to do something, but there wasn't time for her to plan and issue orders. But that's why she trusted her people, especially the cold Andorian, who loved a good fight and was manning the weapons station. Shraf took the initiative, looking over targeting sensors, seeing where the Sphere was, what weapons could be brought to bear. The fore and aft weapons were out. The rotary launchers and the dorsal phaser array. His fingers flew with the grace of one with years of practice. The doral launcher began hurling torpedoes towards the incoming, hoping to detonate in the path of the borg torpedoes and set them off early. The dorsal phaser added it's energy to the endeavor, the beam reaching towards the torpedoes.

And while the blue skin tried to save the ship, the Samuel B. Roberts impulse engines strained against the hold of the tractor beam.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Alpha Quadrant, Badlands
IRW S'harien, Bridge


"Riov, message coming in from a Federation shuttle recently launched from the USS Scylla." The Romulan communication officer said.
"Let me hear it." Riov Cretak said.

"Riov Cretak. Are we going? It has to be something about the tender, that's the only thing our vessels have in common. We can work out the rest on the way, but we need to get underway now if we're going to do so at all."

Galen Cretak hesitated for a moment before his left hand moved and a channel was opened with the heavily modified shuttle. As the sensor systems of the S'harien kissed the hull and energy fields of the shuttle Riov Cretak arched a brow for a moment at the information that the sensors of his Warbird revealed to him. The shuttle was heavily modified far more so than just about any other shuttle he had encountered.

"Captain Leyton, I will not be able to join you in this little mystery. I have a situation developing aboard the Locarian Star that has to be handled now before it spirals out of control. Furthermore, should the Borg breach our screens and make it to the Saehir itself, someone has to be ready to meet them. I am certain that any words regarding concern about the situation you are about to walk into would be redundant at this time. I will give whatever assistance that I can should it be needed." With those words said he allowed Captain Leyton a moment to respond before the channel was closed. Romulans did not believe in luck and he doubted that Leyton had not taken adequate precautions. Nonetheless, that the Federation captain was taking a risk was not in question. The question was if the risk was justified.

Alpha Quadrant, Badlands

Twin shuttles left the relative safety of the cavernous shuttle bay of the IRW S'harien orienting themselves in the void of space before accelerating towards their intended target. They carried within them a variety of tools of war ranging from the mundane to the more esoteric. The Locarian Star beckoned in the distance with the promise of an exchange with one of the oldest adversaries of the Romulan people. When they arrived on the periphery of the Locarian Star, they approached in formation and slipped through the shields of the Cardassian vessel due to the knowledge of its specific shield frequency.

The Romulan shuttles landed one after the other in sequence digorging their payloads of Romulan and Reman forces with practiced alacrity mere moments after ascertaining the number and disposition of forces within the shuttle bay of the Cardassian freighter. The men and women of the IRW S'harien were aware of the general circumstances aboard the vessel and were armed accordingly. Their orders had been specific about their expected treatment of any Orions or similar forces barring their way further towards their intended locations.

Alpha Quadrant, Badlands
IRW S'harien


"All forces report readiness Riov."

"Execute"

The IRW S'harien shifted in space as its emerald colored impulse drives flared to life. The Warbird separated itself from the IRW Saehir reluctantly turning in space at one quarter impulse until it had separated itself from the side of the Romulan fleet tender and oriented itself to face the Locarian Star. The Warbird continued to move towards the Locarian Star for a few more precious seconds closing the distance between freighter until it came to a stop. A moment later, both of the forward arc tractor beams reached out and sought to snare the Cardassian freighter. As the tractor beams sought to entangle the Cardassian freighter in an embrace with the Warbird, a series of active sensor sweeps reached out. These were deep scans seeking to pierce through the hull and into the passages within. The sensor sweeps continued for close to a minute before they ceased. Their purpose was to identify the positions and numbers of key personnel both friendly and hostile within the Locarian Star.

"Open a channel with the Locarian Star." Riov Cretak commanded.

"Done Riov." His communication officer said.

Riov Cretak watched the blank main screen on his bridge and waited for five seconds before he spoke.

"I am Riov Galen Cretak of the IRW S'harien to the Orion personnel aboard the Locarian Star. I am aware of your efforts to secure the vessel for your own purpose. I am aware that you have barricaded yourselves in the bridge and even now seek to gain access to the ship's drives. Your attempts will not succeed because I am not going to allow the Locarian Star to leave this formation. Should your attempts to secure the drives succeed, I will take it upon myself to cripple the freighter before it can leave my tractor beams. " He waited for a moment before he continued.

"Since the task force that my ship is in follows Federation protocols, I will attempt to negotiate in good faith. If your forces releases all hostages and disarms, I will guarantee your safety as you are transitioned to a ship of your choice within the task force. Given the history of our people, I do not expect that you will choose my ship. If you choose to continue on your current course of action or harm a single hostage, then I will be forced to cease negotiations and take more active measures to secure the Locarian Star. Given that we are in a war zone you will have three minutes to come to a decision." Riov Cretak waited for ten seconds and should a response not be forthcoming the channel was closed.

Riov Cretak hesitated for a moment and spoke. "Weapons, Transporter rooms are we ready?"

"We are Riov." The response was nearly immediate from his tactical officer.

"If they do not comply I want the plan to go to the letter."

The IRW S'harien was a Romulan warship and it had been outfitted to contend with a wide range of diplomatic and military scenarios. This was such a scenario. While the Federation had always treated biogenics with a certain level of disdain their usage was indicated in many situations such as this. Unlike the Federation, the Romulan Empire had neither the disdain nor the lack of will to use such tools. The S'harien also planned to fully exploit of the transporter capabilities of Romulan forces.

Alpha Quadrant, Badlands
Locarian Star, Main Engineering,
Deadline minus 60 seconds

Sixteen Romulans accompanied by eight Remans arrived on the main engineering deck. The leader of the group appeared to be a tall Romulan female whose posture and mannerisms left little doubt that she expected to be obeyed. Her eyes sought out and found whom she had sought, the most senior Cardassian in her immediate line of sight.

"I am khre'arrain D'varo. I and my second will assist you in resisting the efforts of the bridge to exert control over this place. You will show the others to the junction points where the hardened connections that lead to engineering are located." She said.

The Reman commandos carried the necessary ordnance to physically sever the nerves that joined Main Engineering to the rest of the ship. It was a last resort of course as destroying things was generally far easier than putting them back together. Nonetheless, her orders had been clear. She was to work alongside the crew of the Locarian Star in resisting at all costs. If her skill and that of her second was not up to par, then destroying the connections physically was an adequate fall back.

Khre'Arrain D'varo retrieved her PADD and began to work her companion following a moment after.

Alpha Quadrant, Badlands
Locarian Star, Deck 1
Deadline minus 15 seconds


Romulan and Reman forces gathered in specific locations within the top most deck of the Locarian Star. Three full squads of sixteen men and women scattered in three separate positions. Their armament varied from disruptor rifles and pistols to the more esoteric designs that had been introduced since the struggle against the Borg. Each squad settled on its designated position and waited. Individually, each squad was aware that assaulting a prepared position was generally a losing proposition. However, they had a handful of advantages that shifted the odds in their favor.
Technology was such an advantage. Specifically, the standard weaponry of the Reman commando against the Borg. The capacity to shoot through walls was one that could not be understated. The capacity to scout through walls was also a pleasant side effect. It was through the usage of these weapons in conjunction with PADDS that the intricate preparations in the entry points had been discovered. The Orions had taken great pains to make direct entry unattractive. Breaching an entry point in other locations had been considered but ultimately rejected. It would have been too time consuming. Instead, steps had been taken to shield the Romulan and Reman forces from the internal sensors of the Locarian Star. When they made their move, it was hoped that the Orion forces which secured the bridge would not be aware of their actions until they were breaching the entrances.

Personnel was another advantage. Romulan forces trained hard for boarding actions against the Borg and that training naturally carried over when other groups of personnel were involved. Defending or attacking the Borg brought with it specific challenges that no other power in the quadrant could match. A great deal of the basics still applied however. Every man and woman Romulan or Reman was fully prepared for the task at hand as they waited for the time to act. Finally, ideology was the third and final advantage. Unlike the Federation that needlessly avoided avenues of attack or technologies due to moral or ideological concerns, the Romulan Empire had embraced all aspects of Warfare. It was this willingness to do whatever it took to win that made the Empire both feared and respected.

Alpha Quadrant, Badlands
IRW S'harien, Bridge
Deadline minus 5 seconds


Galen Cretak waited as the three minute deadline that he had given the Orion forces approached and took a breath. He was vaguely aware of what transpired past the sensor range of his Warbird. The sensors of the S'harien strained to pierce the veil but was rewarded for its efforts with mere fragments of what transpired with the rest of the task force. The major subspace pulse had been sudden and shocking. His science officers were currently struggling to explain to him what exactly could have caused such a pulse. His first instinct had been to rip himself away from the Saehir and approach the source of the pulse. He had dismissed the thought uncertain that leaving the vulnerable Saehir defenseless was the correct course of action and trusting in the abilities of the ships that had left his immediate sensor range. The attackers that approached the Spector however were quantifiable and a direct, known threat. The situation with the Locarian Star had to be dealt with before he would commit his ship to the aid of the Spector. As the deadline arrived his eyes focused on the main view screen. If the Orions did not contact him within the next ten seconds, he would commit to ridding them from the Locarian Star by any and all means at his disposal.

vet. tie. til. sie. sev...

_________________
The Peddler of Half Truths.
"Not OP, therefore weakest." - Cynical Cat (May 2016)
"A dog doesn’t need to show his teeth as long as his growl’s deep enough, his food bowl is full and he knows where all the bones are buried." - Frank Underwood


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:42 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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"Clear!"

Humanoid shapes moved rapidly in the flickering darkness of the ship, before equally suddenly becoming as still as death.

With so much of it around, it was morbidly easier than it might have been otherwise.

The small procession moved quickly and quietly, and eventually reached the doors to the bridge. Carefully disabling the traps on the door, Captain Solheim motioned with his good arm for the troops with him to make a push into the room itself.

Their caution was not necessary in this moment, but certainly not unwarranted. Not after the past hour.

"Clear!" Adranis' voice rang out, his eye focused on the eyepiece for his rifle, now slowly sweeping and scanning the rooms adjacent to the bridge. There had already been far too many Borg surprises, in his estimation.

Walking with some difficulty, Captain Solheim moved to the center of the bridge, and yanked up the carpet, revealing a locked safe, to which he applied a key that was stored on a chain, beneath his uniform. When unlocked, it revealed a lever, which Captain Solheim stared at for a moment before decisively pressing.

The computer systems slowly came online, and after they did, the lockouts began to clear after verifying biometric data from those present (and still alive) on the bridge. However, the lights still refused to come back on.

"Swift, get us stopped, and find out where the hell we are," Captain Solheim said, wiping a few previously missed unidentifiable parts from his uniform.

Sitting down, though keeping her pistol ready, Swift sat at her console, her eyes rapidly moving through several screens before her face twisted. "We're far off course in the Badlands. Shit."

"Bring us to a stop, Swift. We'll... have to do some checks of Engineering, but we'll need to start making our way back," Captain Solheim replied tiredly. "Adranis, what's our current internal state on the ship?"

The older Romulan safed his rifle, and slung it over his shoulder as he perfomed some checks on his own console. After a few moments, he shook his head, looking grim. "In short Captain, about as bad as it must've been on this ship before you drafted me and the others. We're down to thirty two."

"Thirty two crew? How many refugees?" Captain Solheim asked, looking surprised.

"No," Lieutenant Adranis said quietly, looking grim as he confirmed his findings. "Thirty two non-Borg on the ship. We have fourteen crew still alive, and that number includes us, Captain."

Silence hung like a cloak on the bridge for a few moments, broken by Captain Solheim's next question. "What's the status of Engineering?"

"That I can answer," Commander Inzeti said heavily as she and Doctor Melisande walked onto the bridge, the Commander in what remained of her usual uniform, while Doctor Melisande was dressed in a black tactical uniform. "Chief Engineer Dawson is dead. She obliterated a sizable mass of Borg in Engineering, but she gave her life to do it."

Doctor Melisande nodded grimly at this. "I had to identify her by the trace amounts of DNA that the blast left behind," she said quietly, as she sheathed a knife and a disruptor pistol. "There were very few traces left of her left - or anyone else that was down there, for that matter."

Captain Solheim rubbed his remaining hand over his face for a moment before replying. "What's the status of the remaining Borg on board?"

"Contained, for now," Lieutenant Adranis replied. "Most of the remainder are locked up either in random people's private quarters, or the mess hall."

"You made sure that those places are cut off from any part of the network or the ship unless absolutely necessary, right?" asked Captain Solheim.

Lieutenant Adranis snorted. "Of course, Captain. I used Tar Shiar standard procedure for dealing with live Borg, plus some. It won't be pretty, and anyone performing repairs on the ship later is probably going to hate us, but it'll work for now."

Silence once again fell over the bridge, as the living occupants of the bridge took stock of the past hour. This silence was broken at last by the Captain. "Swift, get us back to the Riskadh's last known position, and make sure we get there as quickly and safely as we can. Send a status update to the Riskadh when you can as well, while you're at it. Everyone else..."

He trailed off, even as he took off his outer uniform shirt, and fashioned it into an old-fashioned sling for his badly burnt and now-useless arm. "Everyone else, we have cleanup and fixing up to do before we get there. Let's get it done."

_________________
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

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Last edited by rhoenix on Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:01 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:44 am 
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A warshrike orbited hungrily above the Khnajar's bridge, as the ship's action stations were abuzz with the activity of the officers and technicians who worked to bring the massive engines of war contained within her to bear on the vast target far ahead. She swooped low on a intercepting course under the sphere, keeping her vulnerable ventral section away from both her enemy and her new friend. Engines and shields flared bright as she approached her target, but it was her toward her massive disruptor banks the majority of her destructive energies were being funnelled.

"Riskdah has regained communications!" reported someone, "Captain Kallor sends us is warmest greetings. He is operational and in hot pursuit of a Borg sphere."

Riov Charvanek clicked her tongue with mild exasperation. "Captain Mirai, you have the helm, back off and let him go him first. erei'Riov t'Keres you may fire after the Riskdah does. All weapons free, all weapons free, slag the target in one pass." Much ink had been spilled on the subject of how to tell when exactly a Klingon was threatening you. In Ishtar's experience the answer was always, and at every opportunity. Also in her experience, the best response was to simply hang back and be his wingman. An experienced warrior would not interpret a support manoeuvre as anything other than a move from strength, nor would he reject the battering effect enemy shields.


A barrage of torpedoes and disruptor fire erupted from the Riskadh, followed closely behind by a dozen lances of bright energy searing their way out of Khanjar through the burning aether. She kept the ripple fire up as the range closed rapidly, first shooting with her frontal beams, then her dorsal and side weapons. Finally, at point blank range, Khanjar veered away sharply, corkscrewing around the sphere and then diving past it as she released her missiles. An instant later, the sphere found itself active pinged by the targeting systems 48 missiles.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:11 am 
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The Borg were renowned for the strength of their sensors, but the Badlands cared nothing for anyone's pretensions of advancement. The Frigates flew on with no evident idea that there was a wedge of torpedoes aimed in their direction, at least not until they hit.

The port-side Frigate took the worst of it. Thirteen photon torpedoes crashed into its flank without so much as an instant's warning, no time to align shields or alter the frequency to adjust for incoming fire. Exterminator frigates were tough, wiry ships, capable of absorbing far more punishment than they should have been, but this many torpedoes simply blotted it out of existence, his frame shattering into a hundred million pieces to be scattered throughout the Badlands like so much chaff.

The second ship had better luck. Shielded from the majority of the torpedoes by, among other things, the hull of its fellow, the Frigate had fractionally more time to react to the torpedo barrage, fewer warheads to dodge. Two torpedoes struck the Frigate on its port flank, enough to shake the shields, but not breach them. The rest missed, either from the same interference that had shrouded them until now, or because they had already struck the burning wreckage of the other Frigate.

Winging over, the Frigate turned, its active scanners blasting away at the surrounding interference, locating the target that had destroyed its fellows. Bad though sensor performance was, it soon identified its target, a blob of sensor data that could only be another hostile warship. Whether the frigate could identify its assailant or not was unclear. Likely it didn't matter.

A volley of two plasma torpedoes flew out of the Frigate's sleek frontal weapons pods, followed seconds later by another two. All four torpedoes accelerated to killing speed as they approached their target, locking on with dogged resolution. Behind them the frigate followed, closing the distance with the intention of employing its disruptors to send this mystery attacker to the same place its wingman had just gone.

*----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

Though it did not know it, the Borg Sphere's experience was not entirely unlike the Frigate that the Spector had attacked. Ambushed by two destroyers in as many minutes, the Sphere could not fail to be aware of the possibility of further attack, but with the tractor beam still locked and the torpedoes on their way, it could do little but hope that nothing else was forthcoming.

This was not its day.

Not one but two enormous Klingon Battlecruisers emerged from the Badlands like predatory sharks, appearing on the Sphere's sensors with all the subtlety of collapsing skyscrapers. With them came a third ship, smaller than the battlecruisers, but still Klingon in nature, and the Borg aboard the Sphere saw this, and knew instantly the number of their days. In vain did the Sphere fire back at the oncoming Klingon task force, hurling three torpedoes into the Khanjar along with a dusting of disruptor shots, before it lost all capacity to fire on anything. The combined firepower of an up-gunned Bird of Prey and two Klingon Battlecruisers simply annihilated the Sphere wholesale, detonating it like a bomb and transforming the majority of its mass into rapidly expanding gas, while the rest was blasted into twisted wreckage, swept peremptorily aside by the cruisers' main deflectors. Only after the Sphere was gone did its torpedo volley strike the Samuel Roberts, whose attempt to interdict the torpedoes was unsuccessful. The torpedoes hurled the ship end over end, spilling the crew like ninepins, crushing the shields like an eggshell. But the followup waves of Borg, designed to occupy, assimilate, and otherwise capture the ship, were not forthcoming, for they were all dead.

*----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

Like a wounded bird, the Gilgamesh limped back the way it had come, shorn of most of its shields and much of its crew. The remaining Borg within were corralled, at least for the present, and the computer locks, combined with the physical remoteness of the penning areas from the vital systems the Borg wished to penetrate, kept the ship under crew control for now. Yet as they flew back in the direction of the rest of the task group, the Gilgamesh suddenly encountered something they did not expect.

The sensors saw it first, indeed the sensors were the only ones to see it, for the Badlands would not allow visual confirmation over anything but close distances, and the scale of this detection rendered that singularly unwise. What it was, the sensors could not resolve, but it was Borg. Big and Borg. So big that it could only have been a massive Borg Cube, or perhaps a multitude of Spheres and Frigates flying in tight proximity to one another. It could even be both.

Whatever the signal was, it was so massive that even the Badlands could not hide it for long, and the Gilgamesh found its ugly splotch splayed all over their sensor readouts. One ray of hope they could find in the massive formation's movement. It was not moving towards the Gilgamesh, and indeed showed no signs that it even knew the Gilgamesh was there. Where it was going, Gilgamesh could not presently determine, but it was plainly going somewhere, moving at roughly Warp 5 through the endless fires of the Badlands, with no sign of what it was expecting to find once it got there.

*----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

It was three seconds to go when the Locarian Star's bridge made contact with the S'harien.

The screen, when it came up, showed an Orion female, dressed, if that was the word, in revealing scraps of clothing, and armed with a heavy polaron rifle patterned on a Jem'Hadar rifle. In the aftermath of the Dominion war, millions of such weapons had been available for the taking, and arms dealers without count had vacuumed them up for resale. With the design simple enough to reverse engineer, the result had been a glut of homemade variations on the standard Jem'Hadar pulse rifle, produced en-masse by every third-tier power in the Alpha Quadrant who wished to arm their troops against their neighbors. These weapons were invariably crude knockoffs of the efficient original, prone to power failures or even core explosions at the most inconvenient times. But all of them were lethally effective at their primary duties of killing their opponents with extreme prejudice.

"Riov Cretak," said the Orion. "I am Captain Mavaras. And if you want this ship, Riov, it's all yours, as soon as me and my people are given a vessel and allowed to leave this fleet. I'm not interested in picking a fight with you and yours Riov, but I will not be dragged to Bajor like some lowly criminal to be hanged by the Federation or assimilated with the rest. I have two dozen hostages in here with me, all of them rigged with bomb collars, and enough armed men to make any attack you launch more expensive than you're willing to pay. But if you can arrange us a way out of this fleet, alive, with our weapons and enough supplies to make a run for it, you can have these slaves and this bucket with my blessing."

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Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:31 am 
Resident of the Kingdom of Eternal Cockjobbery
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Watching the sphere blow was satisfying, but there was no time to celebrate.

"Reengage primary cloaking," Shirazi ordered as Yhrea crossed in front of him and took over an unoccupied station. The Romulan began rerouting displays in order to resume his duties on the sensors. "Yhrea, find me the Gilgamesh if it's still out there, otherwise find me the pieces and see if there are any lifepods. Gleck, inform Captain Kadon that we will set a patrol pass to nine-seven-four mark sixteen unless he has other plans."

Hopefully that was the extent of the Borg probe into the Badlands for the moment. The shootout would undoubtedly bring more, but maybe they could get out of this without a bigger fight, at least long enough to get the tender and the civvies moving again.

He checked the status update from sickbay on his PADD. Two dead, one missing, a half dozen wounded including himself and M'Lara. No update on M'Lara's condition yet, and the flaring pain coursing along his spine reminded him that he really needed to be in the sickbay himself.

But not until the current crisis was resolved.

_________________
When the Frog God smiles, arm yourself.
Image
"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:28 pm 
Resident of the Kingdom of Eternal Cockjobbery
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Tolbert cocked her head to listen to the whine as the engines struggled to maintain speed while dumping energy into the capacitor bank to recharge the main gun. She clambered over the reaction housing to flip a series of knife switches and initiating a flush of the primary coolant system.

"Wretched cold-worm profit-redistributing curs!" Steenga cursed as she held the fusion torch steady, attempting to cut through the spar holding Kolar's body in place. The metal stubbornly resisted the torch but redistributed the heat along its length, discoloring the paint on the wall that it had been merged with and causing smoke to rise from Kolar's skull as his hair began to smolder. The sickening odor of burnt flesh and hair flooded through the compartment, threatening to overwhelm Tolbert's already shaky stomach.

"Torch isn't going to work," she reported as she snapped the device off and flipped up her goggles. "We'll have to use a saw."

"Second..." Tolbert stopped to think for a moment. "Second cabinet, lower shelf. Be sure to put it all back where you find it or the chief'll have all our skins."

Steenga bared her well-sharpened teeth in a feral smile. "I'd like to see him try." She squirmed past Tolbert, pausing to give her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "Square up, hew-mon. There are worse ways to die."

Tolbert opened her mouth to reply, but a fresh whistle from her monitor called for her attention.

_________________
When the Frog God smiles, arm yourself.
Image
"'Flammable' and 'inflammable' have the same meaning! This language is insane!"
GIVE ME COFFEE AND I WILL ALLOW YOU TO LIVE!- Frigid
"Ork 'as no automatic code o' survival. 'is partic'lar distinction from all udda livin' gits is tha necessity ta act inna face o' alternatives by means o' dakka."
I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain


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