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Call in the Cavalry [PLOT]

Posted on Thu Nov 29th, 2018 @ 11:01pm by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & 1st Lieutenant Jack Cunningham Jr & Lieutenant JG Jackson Smith & Master Sergeant Robert Schiano & Private Mark Collins

Mission: Mission 4: Riding A Pale Horse
Location: Planet ZP0442
Timeline: 18 July, 2394 - 0800 Hours

[ON]

When they left the little watering spot Schiano quickly realized that he was the best rider of the three. So he ran ahead as a scout. Over time he became disheartened as the trail let them back into an area where their technology failed them again. Without the tricorder to assist in navigation they were slowed significantly. Finally after a short time Schiano saw the Firebird on a ridge in the distance. He gave the hand signal for the all stop. In a whisper he spoke. "Sir I think we found the ship. The question is where do we look to see if anyone is here."

Jack was tired from the days of riding they'd endured to get to this point. He motioned for Collins to come closer. He hadn't become a good rider but he'd come a long way and appeared to have made peace with the horse. Mark nudged his steed forward, happy that the horse actually did what he asked instead of trying to bite him, as it had for the first day and a half.

"Sir?" Mark said as he rode up next to the lieutenant and the First Sergeant.

Jack pointed to the Firebird. The ship and landed upright, plowing into a massive sand dune and creating an even larger one in the process. The front of the ship was almost completely buried, with the rear of the ship sticking up at a slight incline. The sand on the sides was at least two or three decks high, giving the impression that the ship had lost a lot of mass.

"Private, pull out your fancy scope and let me know what you see," Jack said.

"Yes, sir," Mark replied and followed the order. Using the scope he started a systematic evaluation of the ship. "I can just make out the bridge above the sand. Looks like the front port nacelle is shredded. There's some holes and some of the windows on deck two near the rear are broken out. Oh. There's a hole in the side... wait. Sir, I see movement."

"What kind of movement?" Jack asked. They'd seen signs of more large cat-things and some lizards, during their travels.

"Well, it looks like the two-legged human variety, sir. There's a group of people clustered at the base of the ship. Some kind of camp. I see two old tents and a bunch of, well, stuff in piles," Mark said and pulled the scope from his eye. "Sir, I think I see a Starfleet uniform. It's gray."

"Crap."

"Ho-Lee S*&t..." Robert whispered he knew it was not proper but for him it was the best thing he could see as he saw what played out in front of him. "Sir I suggest a little RECONN. One of the three of us will walk right up to that little encampment. Apparently unarmed, however, I think we can fashion a palm phaser with what we have. The goal is to see if the Captain is here and alive, and if anyone else is here and alive. Once we find that out a signal will be given to the other two. Who will be stationed here and here." Schiano pointed to two locations within the trees. These locations left the encampment relatively caught in a crossfire. "Once the signal is given we can lay down cover fire while the one who went in can lead everyone to safety or if possible subdue the hostiles and take control of their camp. But if we do this we will only have a matter of minutes. I volunteer to go in for RECONN, with my EVAC training I am the best to get them out on the fly. Collins' dead-eye shot would be best in the trees, and as is protocol we don't risk command." Schiano laid out the best possible EVAC plan he could come up with given the resources and the terrain.

"First Sergeant, I appreciate your direct approach," Jack said. "But I don't think walking up to an armed camp with just the three of us is the best way to go. I know it grates on all of us but we are going to have to be a little more patient. Lets all try to move up behind the ship and see if we can get a better lay of the land. High ground is always preferable and they appear to be well situated there at the bottom. I doubt they are running patrols all around that perimeter. If the captain is in there, he's survived all these days and a few more hours won't hurt."

Robert nodded in agreement of the El T's orders. "I will take point." He said as he strapped his pack on and checked to make sure the power in his phaser was still active. "Collins bring up the rear with the scope. I think we may be able to get into the rear of the ship through the shuttle bay if needed." Schiano added as he began to follow the route indicated by Jack.

They skirted their way around the ship, making sure to keep an eye out for any Techlon patrols. Thankfully, they spotted none and an hour later, their entire vantage point had changed. They tied their horses up to a scraggly, pathetic looking desert tree and crept up the massive sand dune. Jack knew that anyone behind them would be able to spot their trail. It was impossible to hide the deep divots their feet were leaving. Collins grunted as they ascended, the big weapon weighing him down even more that Jack or Schiano. As they got closer to the far edge, he had the other two Marines join him in a crawl. They moved up and now had a good view of the enemy camp from behind. He spotted two figures in Starfleet uniforms but couldn't make out the faces.

"Collins," Jack said.

Mark pulled the scope out once more and swept it across the camp. "It's the captain!" He said. "And Lieutenant Jackson."

"How do they look?" Jack asked.

"Captain looks surly. He's got a couple wounds on his face but appears to be ok otherwise. The lieutenant looks like he's ready to jump someone. So... normal," Mark said with a grin.

"How many targets are there? Are the Captain and Lieutenant wearing their comm badges?" Schiano asked as the EVAC wheels turned in his head. His current line of thinking was to board the Firebird, see if transporters could be brought back on line and beam the two officers away. It was either that or a pincer assault to take out the enemy.

Mark looked back through the scope. "I'd say at least ten, maybe more if they are inside the ship," he said.

Their feet finally thunked onto metal as they reached what was the top of the buried Firebird

Schiano knelt down and touched the ship's hull as he spoke in a whisper. "From the ashes the Firebird rises. We are coming home."

Jack nodded. "Yes, we are." The Marine officer tapped his combadge but nothing happened. He sighed. "You know, something occurs to me. We know the weapons are working. Collins' scope's electronics have worked some of the time. Why not now?"

Collins looked at the lieutenant to make sure the officer was actually asking a question or asking himself a question like officers often did.

"Sir, you know, we were riding those horses and I doubt we were going in a straight line all the time. Maybe there's some kind of phenomenon that has an area of affect?" Collins said.

"That is a hell of an idea, private," Jack said. "It would explain why the ship is completely without power. What about the camp? Do you see any of those Techlons using technology?"

Collins looked down at the camp. He could see the captain and the lieutenant eating something and nearby, one of the techlons had a cargo container and was using a plasma torch or something similar to take the security panel off.

"Yes, sir!" Collins said.

"Alright then. We just gotta get out of whatever this area of affect is. First sergeant, what do you think?" Jack asked

Schiano thought for a moment, Jack was right if there was an area of effect they would have to get out of it if there would be any hope to overtake the enemy. "Sir I think a little more reconnaissance is in order. We have to map this field and find where its borders are. Once we have that information we can plan an attack. My suggestion is back track the way we came and follow the edge of the ship around. While we are walking we check our equipment once it starts working we have found the boarder. We then skirt that area until we get to the other side of the ship then we have a rough outline and can plan."

Jack nodded. "I like it. Lets move out."





Malcom sat inside the tent, trying not to itch at the sand flee bites. After days of doing nothing, he was beyond bored. He'd run through a thousand different ideas on how to escape, and was pretty sure that he and Jackson could if they wanted but the problem always came back to where would they go and how would they get there. The shuttlebay door was, apparently, not opening without some serious work. That had made the Rock Falcons very angry, especially Vance, their leader.

The original group, having subdued the two officers, had wasted no time in tying them up, throwing them in a tent and forgetting about them. It wasn't until they realized that there wasn't an easy way inside the ship that they'd come back to Jackson and him in an attempt to learn more. Malcom rolled off of his cot, wincing at the pain in his face. The original wounds had been made worse by the beatings they'd both received. But Malcom had had worse and the Rock Falcons weren't Klingons, thankfully.

"You awake, Jackson?" Malcom asked.

Jackson groaned, "No." He laid on his back, bruises and cuts covering a good portion of his body. His clothes where ripped and bloodied. Jackson turned his towards his mentor and opened eyes despite the layer of crusted blood trying to keep them shut. He noticed his captain sitting up on his cot, with a slightly exaggerated sigh Jackson pushed himself up and swung his legs over so he was facing his captain. "Figured out how to escape, yet?" Jackson grinned slightly. He knew that escape wasn't there problem, it was where would they go.

Malcom rubbed his eyes. They felt hot. "I decided to skip the escape part. I just called Starfleet Command and they are going to send the Fearless out to pick us up. Should be here any minute," Malcom said with a grin.

The tent flap opened and one of their Rock Falcon captors barged in. All of them dressed alike, making it hard for Malcom to figure out who was who but he thought this was the one named Carpessi.

"Time to eat," Carpessi said. "Lets go."

"Yes!" Jackson exclaimed as he rolled his eyes. "My favorite part of the day." He stood up showing no sign of pain or weakness and strode right over to Carpessi. Carpessi took a step back, Jackson had already shown to be fiesty and several of his captors carry black eyes and broken noses. "Don't worry Carpessi, I like you. You come get us for food. I won't hurt you, at least not too badly." Jackson stared their captor down. He could see Carpessi's grip on his weapon tighten. Jackson watched Carpessi's feet shift slightly as Carpessi struggled against his pride and desire to lash out at the insubordinate prisoner. Jackson stifled a grin as he knew that Carpessi was on the edge. Right where he wanted him. "You have orders to take us to food? Are we going?" Jackson inquired, redirecting Carpessi's thoughts.

Carpessi settled for a glare at Jackson and stepped aside. He motioned for the two of them towards to the door, "Get moving!"

Jackson grinned as he sauntered past the guard and headed towards their meal.

Malcom smirked and followed Jackson outside. Their meals were taken at an impromptu table, which was really just a large piece of metal stacked on top of a few emergency cargo containers. He recognized the parts as coming from his ship and that made him upset on more than one level. Was the Firebird's fate to be taken apart piece by piece? He sat down at the table and one of the other captors, a heavy set woman, slid two metal tins in front of Malcom and Jackson. He looked down and sighed.

"Beans again?" Malcom asked. The woman frowned.

"You're lucky to get those. You know how hard it is to grow beans out here in the wastes? Eat it and like it," she said and glared and the two officers.

Jackson smiled, "Don't mind my friend. It's been a rough couple of days. I am more than grateful for these wonderful beans." Jackson noted that these guys were scraping out survival in the wastes and he was pretty sure they flew over some very fertile land that wasn't too far from here. For some reason, they stayed out in the wastes. "In fact, I amazed that you could grow anything out here." He looked around at the dry desert around them. "What kind of magic do you use?"




The Marines had followed the First Sergeant's plan and finally understood what was going on. There was indeed some kind of field affecting their equipment and the Firebird had landed exactly on the line between where technology worked and where it didn't. That explained why the Techlons were camped where they were. After figuring out where they could setup to plan, the Marines had moved to a small sand hill with two stubby trees at the base. They were to the left and rear of the Firebird with the ship towering above them and casting a shadow on the Techlon camp.

"Alright. We've clearly got weapon superiority, gentlemen. But they have numbers and we still don't know how many are inside the ship. We could sit and wait until we have a complete accounting or even go inside and neutralize the hostiles but I don't like that scenario at all. So we are going to set Private Collins up near one of those trees. Your job is to watch our backs. The Firs Sergeant and I will crawl forward as far as we can, and then make a rush. As dirty as our clothes are, we should be able to low crawl mos of the way, unless we get unlucky. In that case, we rush forward. Hopefully the captain and the lieutenant will join us and we can pacify the area," Jack said, looking at his small team. "This is going to be dangerous. Does anyone have anything to add?"

Mark shook his head. He pulled his rifle off of his shoulder. The truth was, the distances weren't that far and he was certain that he could take care of whatever popped up. "No, sir. I understand and I am ready. Lets go get the captain."

Schiano gave his CO a nod in the affirmative, then he set his pack down next to one of the trees. After he rummaged through it he found a spare hand phaser, and rose with a smile. "At least now we have a spare for the Captain or the Lieutenant. Let's kick the tires and light the fires sir." He said as he dropped to his belly and into a military crawl.

Jack gave one last glance at Collins. If the young Marine failed them, it was going to be a very bad day. "Hoorah, Collins," Jack said and dropped to the sand and began crawling.

"Hoorah, lieutenant," Collins said. He moved up next to the tree, trying not to get scratched by the small thorns on the branches. It was a weird tree.



Malcom was finishing up his beans when chaos erupted in the Techlon camp.

"Hey! What the he...!" A voice yelled and was abruptly cut off. It took Malcom a full second for his brain to recognize the him of a phaser. He had no idea what was going on but he wasn't going to leave his head up to find out. He threw himself off the bench, landing on the sand and rolled into a crouch.

"Jackson! Do you see anything?" Malcom said.

Jackson was already moving towards more cover, "This way Cap," He kept his head down as he did his best to scan the area, "No clue whats going on, but seems like there might be a rescue attempt happening." Jackson had made his way over to the cooking area. He crouched next to a prep area, using the table as cover. The commotion had drawn the attention of most of their captors and the cooks had scattered. He scanned the chaos around him, trying to determine where the attack was coming from and what might be happening. His eyes caught several of the Techlon's moving their way, "Whatever is happening we are going to have company soon." Jackson nodded over towards those coming. He reached up his hand and grabbed the cutting knife that was left behind, "We might have to help our rescuers out." He grinned back towards the captain as he gripped the knife and readied for what was to come.

Malcom shook his head. Somehow Jackson always seemed to end up with a knife in his hand. Malcom reached up and grabbed onto a... mallet. "Oh come on," the captain said, disgusted with himself. "Well, make do with the tool you have. I saw two of them duck behind that tent. Lets go." Malcom duck walked forward, keeping his head down, trying not to draw attention. He heard more phaser shots and then rifles responding, He wondered who it was and how many of them there were.

Jackson kept low and worked his way to the side of his captain, he really itched to get into a fight. Patience was always something he needed to work on. The three that were initially headed toward them had sought cover the sound of more phaser fire came into the camp. Jackson focused on the sounds of combat, "I think there might be some coming from the ship. So where shall we go, Cap?"

Malcom nodded towards the tent. "More cover over there, lets move up and see if we can surprise them. I'm not looking to kill anyone, Jackson. Let's try to remember the ship motto, ok?" Malcom said. He took a deep breath and then sprinted to the tent, taking care not to trip over any of the cargo boxes or other items the Techlons had scrounged over the past week. He stopped at the corner of the tent and peered around. The three Techlons were kneeling behind a stack of crates, taking shots at whoever was attempting the rescue. He pulled his head back.

The captains words stung. Not just because the captain thought they were necessary, but because they were. Jackson could feel his blood rising, the urge to attack pushing up to the front. Just a few months ago, he would have been crippled at the thought of killing. His mind was a mush of guilt and memories that didn't exist, warping his instincts. Now, that all those fake memories were removed, his experiences for the first 18 years of his life were once again shaping who he was. The last four years of school, could not strip him of his instincts to fight, to kill, to survive. Jackson nodded slightly to the captain, hiding the inner turmoil.

"Three targets, backs to us. We need to move fast because if they start shooting at us, we're in deep trouble," Malcom said. "I'm going to let you go first since you're the hand to hand expert. I will follow right behind, ok?"

"Sounds good to me, " He grinned to the captain. Swiftly and silently he covered the distance to the three men. With less than ten feet to go Jackson decided it was best to get rid of the knife, he couldn't trust himself. Jackson flipped the knife over in his hand grasping the blade and threw it directly at the one on the right. The knife sped through the air end over end and the hilt of the knife smacked into the back of the head of the unsuspecting Techlon dropping him out cold. In nearly the same motion, Jackson leaped through the air his foot snapping forward and connecting to the back of the kneeling enemy, the force sent the Techlon smashing into the crude barrier.

Malcom followed as quickly as he could, as always amazed by his lieutenant's prowess in combat. While he wasn't as skilled as Jackson, Malcom had trained for many years in the basic hand to hand techniques, both at the academy and in his own private time. He closed with the remaining Techlon, who was turning to bring his weapon to bear on the whirling dervish named Jackson, grabbing the long barrel and using his momentum to overbear the target. He landed hard on top of the man, hearing a whoosh of air. He yanked the weapon away and grabbed it with both hands, striking with the butt of the weapon twice in quick succession. The Techlon's eyes rolled up into his head. Malcom stood up, looking for more targets but saw none.


Schiano had been crawling for what seemed like hours, but was actually a matter of minutes. When he got in range that order given he opened fire. His fire concentrated on the men closest to him, while Collins took out the targets in the back. His plan at the moment was to get to either the Captain, or Lieutenant Smith, once there Robert could arm them and the more the merrier as the saying went. Three quick shots two sailed wide of their intended target, but the last one hit it's mark and the man fell to ground stunned. That was when the enemy realized what was happening and began to return fire. So Schiano changed it up, he stayed in a crawl but broke to his left for a few paces. The Sergeant executed a serpentine pattern in an effort to throw the Techlons off his trail. This worked for a bit and allowed him to make some headway toward where the Captain and Jackson were being held. However, the Techlons caught on and Schiano found himself pinned down. He relayed the information to Jack while he tried to figure his next move.

Jack managed to get behind a small stack of cargo containers before things kicked off. He checked his six, and then looked for his men. Collins was nearly invisible behind the tree. He could just see the barrel of his rifle sticking out. Schiano, typical of the First Sergeant, had managed to get ahead of him and was already shooting and being shot at. A hail of return fire forced the older Marine to take cover. Jack saw a flash of red and then lost sight of the captain. A shot from above and to the right slammed into the cargo container and he pulled his head down.

"Collins!" Jack yelled and pointed up onto the hull of the Firebird.

Mark heard his CO's call and reoriented himself to have a line of sight. The hull of the ship loomed above them, leaning slightly away from them. He found the target. It was a single woman, laying flat on the hull and looking down the action. He sighted in on the woman and, letting out a breath, gently pressed the firing mechanism. The beam shot straight and true, striking the target in the shoulder. Mark frowned. He'd been aiming for her head. He was rusty. "Clear up!" He yelled.

Jack moved out from behind the cargo container, shot at a figure aiming at him from behind a tent and missed. He fell down next to the First Sergeant, grinning. "Taking a break?" He asked and then continued. "I think there are three or four of them behind that tent to our right. But I also see two more over there to our left behind a work table. So do we want to go left or right?"

When the Lieutenant fell down next to him Robert smiled. "I was just waiting for you catch up old man. I have always been fond of the path with littlest resistance. So I would say let's go left. When you're ready." Schiano said with a broad smile, he always enjoyed the camaraderie of battle.

Jack nodded. "Roger that. Lay down fire as we move, keep their heads down and then overwhelm them at close range. Those rifles are not made for up close and personal. Stay on my six, youngster," Jack said with a grin. He popped up, his phaser firing as rapidly as he could make it and moved towards the table. From the right, the cracks of rifles broke through the noise and he had to ignore the shots. There was nothing to do now that they were committed but push through. Their combined phaser fire was doing the trick and he and Schiano reached the table in a minute.

As they pushed toward the table Schiano did as ordered. He fired his phaser on multiple vectors in different directions. His thought was if they did not know where the shot was going to come from they would not risk getting up to look and fire. As they approached their objective one enemy combatant decided he was going to be a hero and charged toward the duo. Schiano cut the man off at the pass and punched him squarely in the temple. The Techlon stumbled backward and landed on his keister dazed. He scanned the area as he tried to see if there was any sign of the Captain or Lieutenant. "I don't see the objectives, do you?" He asked as he let out a series of four phaser bursts in seemingly random directions.

Jack kept moving, dodging around the end of the table to find two unconscious Techlons piled together. "Collins must have gotten the other one," he said, feeling the rush of adrenaline wash through his system. It was suddenly quiet. "Captain?!" Jack yelled. "Lieutenant Cunningham here, sir. I think we are all clear!"

Malcom looked at Jackson and smiled. "Go figure," he said. "Saved by the Marines." He turned and looked around the tent. He saw the familiar form of his Marine CO and smiled. "We are glad to see you, lieutenant. And you too First Sergeant. Who else do you have with you?"

Jack laughed. "Private Collins sir," Jack said, pointing in the direction they'd come from. "Sniper."

Schiano had kept his eyes peeled, although the firing stopped he did not trust that all of the enemy had been dealt with. When he heard the voice of his Captain a smile crept across his face. "It is a pleasure to see you sir, you as well Lieutenant." Robert added as he saw the Firebird's helmsman. "We need to secure the ship, so although reunions are happy times I do not think we are out of the woods just yet." Schiano glanced toward the Firebird and all of the Techlons that would most likely be looming inside.

Jackson nodded at all the greetings, his blood still pumping from the small amount of fighting they had. "Things guys are going to wake up soon, as well." He nodded at the various people out cold on the ground. "Wouldn't want them coming up behind us as we deal with the rest of welcoming committee." A small glint shined in his eyes as he looked toward the Firebird.

Robert knew that Jackson had the right of it, once more Schiano chastised himself for not thinking of it. He began to scan the area for some rope. "Do you know if they kept any rope around? We could simply tie them up as we secure the rest of the area." He glanced toward Jackson as he spoke.

Malcom and Jack exchanged a look and Malcom nodded. The Marine turned and yelled. "Collins! Find me something to tie these goons up with!"

"Yes, sir!" Collins yelled and ran from his hide to the collection of material the Techlons had gathered.

Malcom looked at his men. "I'm not sure how many more there are but they usually have a crew inside my ship rooting around. Our weapons weren't working on the ship so I recommend we wait here, take up position and pick them off as they come out."

Collins ran up the assembled superior officers, holding a large coil of thin cable. "Here you go, sir," Collins said with a grin.

Jack stared at him. "Secure the prisoners, Marine."

Collins jumped as if he'd been biten. "Aye, aye, lieutenant."




In the end, it only took them another hour to capture the five remaining Techlons. Malcom was examining the hovercraft, with Jackson, trying to figure out which one of them was going to fly the thing. Jack and the First Sergeant had filled them in on their recent adventures and they were heading back to pick up someone named Wil.

"Alright. Let's get these prisoners loaded up and get out of here. The sooner we get rid of them, the sooner we can get back here and start working on the ship," Malcom said. He looked over at Collins.

"You sure you can handle this assignment, private?" Malcom asked.

Mark nodded. "I'm used to being alone, sir. I'll make sure that nobody goes rooting around the ship."

Jack clapped the young Marine sniper on the back. "You'll be fine, private. We'll be back as soon as we can."

Schiano slapped the Private on the back "We will make Marine out of you yet. If they do manage to make it in, make damn sure that they don't get into the booze." The large man let out a belly laugh as his smile broadened "Well done Collins, really well done." He said as he headed for the hovercraft. Robert was saddened that he would not be able to get behind the stick of that glorious machine. But he could not argue with the Captain and a Lieutenant.

Jackson looked over at the marines, their rescuers, and then back to the captain. A smiled spread across his face, nothing was going to keep the Firebird down for long. It was time to get the rest of their family back together. He turned his attention back to the hovercraft, having convinced the Captain that he should be leading and not flying. His smile turned to a mischievous grin, "Let's see what this thing can do."

[OFF]

Captain Malcom Llwyedd
Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Lieutenant Jack Cunningham
Commander Marine Detachment 598
USS Firebird NCC-88298
(NPC by Llwyedd)

Master Sergeant Robert Schiano
Marine First Sergeant
USS Firebird NCC-88298
(NPC by Rees)

Lieutenant Junior Grade Jackson Smith
Chief Flight Control Officer/Covert Operations Specialist
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Private Mark Collins
Marine Sniper
USS Firebird NCC-88298
(NPC by Llwyedd)

 

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Comments (1)

By Lieutenant JG Murril Na on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 @ 5:45am

I only know bits of Jackson's past, but from my POV, I'm liking how his backstory's mystery is parceled out instead of spoonfed.

I'm liking that the marines decided to figure out which spots were covered by the anti-tech field.

In terms of writing, I appreciate how the marines didn't go with the first plan brought up. Granted, it's not that there was anything wrong with the first plan, but in fiction it bugs me how often characters go with the first solution they come up with. Having the trio go with their second plan brought realism into the mix, likewise with Malcom and Jackson's realization that the biggest factor preventing their escape was that there wasn't anywhere decent to go to after their immediate escape. Well done!