Posted on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 @ 8:05pm by Lieutenant JG Kevin Lance & Captain Mystery Ellis & Lieutenant Commander Feyd Relor & Lieutenant Brooks Balrog & Lieutenant Jamie O'Connell & Lieutenant Ares Curillo & Ensign Lucas Miles
Location: USS Independence
Lieutenant Balrog and the freighter captain appeared on the bridge of the USS Independence.
Mystery glared at the freighter captain, it took all the resolve she had to keep her temper in check "You and I need to talk NOW. My ready room," she seethed, looking at Balrog "I can handle him, assist on the damage repairs to the ship." looking at the freighter captain "You come with me and don't get any ideas." Mystery led the way to her ready room.
Captain Reynolds meekly followed Mystery, although his agitated state was plain. Kevin discretely activated the security feed in the Captain's Ready Room and called a security detail to the bridge.
Balrog saw his opportunity to escape the action. This was one thing he was good at. First he slid the the back of the bridge, next to some stations that were currently unoccupied. Then to the edge of the turbo lift, behind the security detail. And then finally into the turbo lift itself.
< Turbo Lift >
"Deck 9," he said as he began to speed away closer to his quarters.
< Ready Room >
The minute the ready room door closed Mystery spun around "You owe me answers. You send out a distress call and I order my ship out here. I send an away team over to find you deliberately disabled your ship. What the hell is going on? My ship gets attacked and is badly crippled. I want answers and I want them NOW," Mystery demanded "That is an order!"
Mystery’s imperious tone seems to stiffen Captain Reynold’s resolve somewhat as he bristled in response, “I was traveling to Canopus IV with legitimate, bonded cargo, minding my own business, when these aliens disable my ship and kidnap my family and crew. The aliens say that they would kill them if I didn’t do as they said and send a distress call. I’m the victim here!”. The captain paused then resumed in a more pleading tone, “We are Federation citizens. You must save my family!”
"Have you not noticed my ship is in pieces? When they contacted you and had you send out a distress call did it not occur to you to put a hidden message in it? There are ways to do it so it's not detected. Just what do these aliens want? You now have a crippled star ship and a freighter that has no fire power. SO you tell me how in the hell I'm supposed to save your family and crew?" Mystery asked as she walked to her desk and opened a drawer removing a phaser she kept there and slipped it into the pocket of her uniform making sure Captain Reynolds didn't see her do it.
Captain Reynold’s shoulders dropped a bit in resignation, “Typical Star Fleet. If you aren’t going to do anything but protect your own arse, I request to be returned to my ship.”
"I never said I wasn't going to help you. But getting my ship back together is primary. And no your not going back to that freighter. But right now my ship is in no shape to take on anything," Mystery said "Once my ship is back on line then yes we'll help you. I need as much information on those aliens that you can give me."
Captain Reynolds shrugged, “I’m not sure what more I can tell you. We were caught completely surprise. They appeared on my bridge though circles of light and took my crew hostage. They disabled the ship and forced me into sending the distress call.” He paused for a moment, then added, “They did say something about the Federation allowing the Borg to assimilate their homeworld.”
"The Federation would never permit the Borg to assimilate anyone be it Federation citizens or not. You were miss informed. I've never dealt with the Borg and hope never do," Mystery remarked "Question is now how far can I trust you?"
< Bridge >
Lt Area Curillo returned to the bridge and resumed his scans of the anomalous readings. Being rescued by other means than blasting his way out was preferable but his Spartan blood did hope to have some butt to kick.
“Lieutenant Curillo,” Ensign Takach reported as Ares took over the science console from her, “the majority of our sensors are off-line due to the unknown radiation. Ensign T’Sol’s deployment of plasma is starting to have a favorable effect and the systems are starting to come back on-line but the aliens destroyed our probe during the recent exchange of fire.”
"By Zeus I leave for a few hours." Ares cursed under breath.
Ares was alerted by the computer to a warp signature emanating from the anomaly. "Captain this is Lt Curillo. Short range sensors are detecting a warp signature near us," Ares reported via comm link.
"How close lieutenant?" Mystery asked.
"The enemy ship is departing the system," Kevin reported, "Shields and weapons are coming back on-line but we only have half warp capacity. Engineering is working on restoring full capacity."
"Do we have enough power to follow them?" Mystery asked
"Yes, but they are likely to outrun us," the CTO replied.
Mystery looked at Captain Reynolds, "The freighter captain informs me that those aliens have his crew and family. Lay in a pursuit course. If the information he's told me is right we have to rescue them."
"Aye, ma'am," Kevin nodded to the officer at the helm.
Lucas nodded as he was following the conversation. It was good to be back on the Bridge, and even better to be back at the helm of the Independence. He laid in a pursuit course for the unknown ship, setting speed at warp factor four, which was all the ship could manage at this time. However, when he tried to engage the warp engines did not activate.
On his screen, he saw an error message from the warp core drive, which Lucas suspected had to do with part of the ship being out of phase. He flagged the error message to Engineering but he suspected they probably already knew.
In the mean time he turned to Lieutenant Lance who was in command while the Captain interrogated the freighter Captain, "Sir, warp engines are offline and I am unable to pursue the alien ship. I do have impulse engines however." He paused as if deep in thought. "I recommend we launch a reconnaissance probe to follow the alien ship until we are able to pursue them at warp or they reach their destination."
"Probe storage was damaged in the attack," Kevin replied to the Flight Ensign, " Long range sensors will need to suffice. What I am wondering is why they haven't warped out already. They are keeping just outside our weapon range, waiting for something."
< Engineering >
" O'Connell to T'Sol " Jamie said after tapping his Comm Badge.
"T'Sol here Lieutenant"
"Have everyone from our department meet in Engineering in ten minutes, it sounds like we have a lot of work to do." Jamie ordered.
"Aye" Lieutenant" was the answer.
Quickly Jamie made his way to his quarters and grabbed the worlds fastest shower followed by a nice clean uniform. He felt really grungy after the Away Mission. Then he made his way to Engineering.
Walking into Engineering Jamie made his way up to the elevated platform "Can I have everyone's attention please. This Ship has had a tough go of it and we need to get Her back to 100% as soon as humanly possible. Star Fleet designs their ships to have the relays burn out in the event of weapons fire, aside from physical damage, to keep the major parts of the system intact. We're going to have to pull fifteen hour shifts, with an hour for eating, to get Her back on Her feet. Grab your PADDs which has the Ship's schematics and each one of you take a jefferies tube and check every single relay and replace whatever is damaged. Meanwhile I want Johnson and Decker to fix the hull breaches on decks seven and twelve. T'Sol I want you to check our Computer's sub-routines to make sure that the aliens didn't screw anything up. I'm going to start preliminary testing on the warp core and weapon systems. This is what Engineering is all about people and this is what you signed up for; so let's get it done!"
As everyone started on their assignments "Lieutenant you left me in charge and I let you down keeping the ship in tact" T'Sol said logically.
"It's not your fault T'Sol, you had no way of knowing that our Ship would take this kind of damage. Besides I hear that you came up with the solution to get the Ship back in phase and did some pretty fancy flying to boot" Jamie responded reassuringly. "Now let's get to work."
Jamie was running the tests on the Warp Core, and after a few hours, T'Sol approached him "Lieutenant it would appear that the aliens had no adverse effect on the Computer Systems; they would appear to be fully functional."
"Well that's the best news I've heard all day; looks like we caught a break" Jamie responded "You can help me. I'm almost finished with the Warp Core so why don't you start with the weapon systems." T'Sol nodded yes and got right to work.
After the preliminary tests were run on the Warp Core "Computer do we have power to 'cold start' the ship's engine" Jamie asked with fingers crossed.
"Yes the power has been restored to the Warp Core so a 'cold start' is possible" the Computer answered.
"Initiate Warp Core cold start" and the engine came to life with a fifteen minute warm up period. The time passed quickly and the ship's engine seemed to be 'purring like a kitten'.
"Computer run a level four diagnostic on the Warp Core; is full warp possible" Jamie asked with fingers crossed on both hands.
After several minutes had passed "Level four diagnostic complete; full warp capabilities has been restored."
"Lieutenant O'Connell to Captain Ellis" Jamie said with some excitement in his voice.
Still keeping an eye on the freighter captain "I hope this is good news lieutenant." Mystery said
"I'm happy to report that the Ship has full warp capabilities at your disposal and we're working on getting the weapons system up and running. Also the bulkheads on Decks 7 and 12 have been repaired and we should have all of the bad relays replaced soon."
"That's the best news I've had, plot an intercept course and adjust speed accordingly," Mystery replied as she looked at Reynolds "This better not be a lie."
"Engineering to Tactical are the weapons back on line yet" Jamie asked Tactical.
“The systems knocked out of phase by the alien radiation are back on-line,” Kevin reported, “but there is physical damage to the port side phaser array and torpedo tubes 2, 5 and 6. I have ordnance teams working on repairs but would appreciate assistance from engineering.”
"No problem, Crewman Decker and Johnson are on their way to your ordnance teams now. Keep them as long as you need them; we're pretty well set in Engineering for the time being" Jamie responded.
After another hour had passed all of the Crewman from the jefferie tubes checked it with O'Connell, one by one, having completed all of the relay repairs. "Good job people, now I can check that off our repair list." Jamie said happily.
"O'Connell to Crewman Decker" Jamie said after tapping his Comm "How's the repairs on the torpedo tubes coming along".
"We just finished up, we'll be back to Engineering shortly" Decker responded.
"We're all set here, why don't you and Johnson grab some food before you return to Engineering; it's been a long day" O'Connell out.
Indeed it had been a long and exhausting day; but it wasn't over just yet.
< Sickbay >
As soon as Feyd materialized on the Independence, he immediately made his way to Sickbay. It was, of course, in a state of utter chaos.
All biobeds were full, and the nurses in Sickbay looked like a ballet of white uniforms moving from wounded to wounded. Lights and flashing consoles galore assaulted the Doctor’s senses, and he tried his best to make sense of it all.
“Report.” He barked, as he strode in, all business.
“The wounded…” started the EMH
“I’ve managed to…” started Nurse Grimm
He ignored the EMH and turned to Grimm. “This ass*ole give you any trouble?” He said, glaring ruefully at the EMH.
“Uh…you could say that.” She said, hiding her discomfort. A conversation for another time.
“Nurse Grimm, sitrep.” He commanded.
Evidently Sickbay was at capacity, and one of the cargo bays had been turned in to a temporary overflow hospital. Glancing over the protocol his team had used to separate wounded, Feyd decided his place was Sickbay.
“Nurse Grimm, computer…guy, get your asses to the cargo bay. I’ll handle things here.” He said, matter-of-factly. When they hesitated, he shouted “Did I stutter!?”
"There aren't holographic projectors in the cargo bay," the EMH observed.
Feyd scrubbed his hand through his hair, and plastered a forced smile on his face, showing all his teeth. "Of course there aren't" He replied, "Then I guess you will assist me here. Won't that be fun?"
"I'm a doctor, not a playmate," the EMH replied deadpan.
Feyd rolled his eyes. “You start with patients 1664 and 1665, plasma burns. 150CCs of Kelotane. I’ll take the ones suffering from exposure.”
"Yes, Doctor," The EMH moved quickly to comply.
< Bridge >
Following the report from Engineering moments ago, Lucas had taken the ship to maximum warp in pursuit of the alien ship. Thankfully, they still had sensor information on the ship and its location. As such, the Independence was able to follow.
"Captain, we are being hailed," the communications officer called out to Mystery.
"On screen," Mystery ordered, she'd just come from her ready room followed by Captain Reynolds, nodding to security "Keep an eye on him."
The image of the alien commander appeared on the viewscreen, "You've won this round, Federation, but we'll be back."
"Return the freighter captain's crew and family," Mystery said
"What would induce me to do that?" the alien asked, "Are you proposing an exchange?"
"If I were what would you want in exchange for the return of the freighter captains crew and family?" Mystery asked
"I would be willing to return the crew in exchange for yourself and you second in command," the alien smiled, "I will even go so far as to guarantee that you will come to no permanent harm if you cooperate."
"Consider it done," Mystery said. "Return them and I'll agree to your terms."
“We have learned the better of trusting the Federation,” the alien responded, “As a show of good faith, lower your shields and power down your weapons. Then we will make the transfer.”
“Captain, this is a bad idea,” Kevin warned.
Signaling to have to conversation muted Mystery turned to Lance "Keep the weapons charged just make sure they cannot be detected same with the shields. The minute the freighter captain's crew and family are aboard pivot about and get us out of here. Just before we jump to warp target the engines on that ship and fire." signaling to have toe conversation un-muted "I'll agree as long as you do the same and have the freighter's crew and the captain's family beamed aboard."
Kevin did as the Captain asked. Keeping the shields in stand-by to be raised at a moment’s notice was easy enough. Making their weapons look powered down while keeping them at the ready was much trickier. He would have to shunt the weapon’s power to every non-essential system he could think of, then switch it back at the Captain’s command. It would take a few seconds for the weapon capacitors to recharge but it might work.
“Enemy coming out of cloak,” Kevin announced, “Tracking three…four, no, five targets.”
A ring of energy appeared on the bridge just in front of the viewscreen. Through the portal, Mystery could see several humanoids huddled together under the guard of alien weapons. “Step through the portal if you will,” said the alien commander over the inter-ship communications.
"I'll step through once they are on my ship," Mystery said "I have no way to know if you'll hold your end of the bargain. You show good faith in sending them through first then I'll board your ship."
"The Federation has demonstrated that they are not to be trusted," the alien's voice hardened, "You and your second with be secure aboard my ship before I release the hostages
"You've proven not to be trusted either, but if the only way to get them back," Mystery said as she walked to the portal and paused "Once they're aboard get to safety and see to further repairs." with that Mystery stepped through the portal with the executive officer.
Once through the portal, two guard each grabbed Mystery and Silk and roughly pushed them towards the end of the large room. A fifth alien said, "Go!" and the freighter crew rushed through the portal. The last thing that Mystery heard were the thankful sobs of Captain Reynolds as the portal dissipated.