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The Game is Afoot [PLOT]

Posted on Tue Nov 5th, 2019 @ 1:09pm by Captain Malcom Llwyedd & Captain Jack Cunningham Jr & Ensign Brittany Carver & Lieutenant Commander Rhiana t'Aegis & Cadet Junior Grade Jacob Lenert

Mission: Mission 5: Arising From the Ashes
Location: Tevok 2
Timeline: 10 February, 2395 - 2330 Hours

[ON]

Henry sat on his bunk, his bags already packed waiting. He'd been waiting for the other shoe to drop since the Starfleet ship had showed up. He'd hoped that, just maybe, he'd been able to hide what had happened. But one look at Commander t'Aegis and her staff and his hopes vanished. They were professionals who looked like they'd dealt with things a lot worse than what he'd done. So he'd made some contingencies. He'd planned to steal the Runabout and find a home with the New Maquis. He had some contacts there that would welcome him with open arms. But then the Runabout had been taken, leaving him stranded.

He sighed, looking around his quarters. It wasn't much. Three small rooms that included a bedroom, a living/ dining area and his bathroom. It was a far cry from the luxury he'd enjoyed growing up. But it had been a good place and he'd thought his future was bright.

It was quiet, at least, which was surprising due to the age of the station. Starfleet must have been on a binge of building remote stations fifty years previous--while the duranium that made up the trim of the station was still well within its expected lifetime, the carpeting underfoot was beginning to show signs of traffic at the edges, the bright red dye wearing thin near the main portals near the popular 'lifts. Thankfully, the bulkheads still sealed off any ruckus from the outside hall for those staying in rooms at the station, the worn carpeting still concealed footfalls, and the sound of a trio of security officers was sufficiently muted from the inhabitants inside.

Armed to the specific Starfleet regulation for officers performing a detainment (thanks to B'Rala for ensuring the security contingent was appropriately outfitted), Carver motioned for the cadet to stand to the right of Henry's door, outside of view, silently. Standing in front of the door herself, Carver straightened her uniform top and extended a finger to the door chime pad, sounding it once, confidently. 'Right, don't appear afraid. This is just a talk,' she reminded herself, inwardly.

Henry looked up at the sound of the door chime. He got up and walked to the door. He toggled the door access and it slid open, leaving him face to face with the young ensign. He forced a casual smile, his eyes darting around at the assembled group.

"Hello, ensign. Is there something I can help you with?" Henry asked.

Carver internally judged the doctor's demeanor inwardly while keeping a friendly expression on her face. "Hello Dr. Hill. Time for a walk?" The slightest tilt of her voice upwards at the end of her statement put into question whether it was a request, or something more mandatory.

Henry looked over the group, noting that the cadet looked a little uncomfortable. Henry wasn't the best scientist, but he was still much smarter than the average person and it didn't take a genius to read the young cadet's body language. Something had changed. They must have found something he'd missed. He nodded, continuing to smile.

"Sure, let me just throw the last of my equipment into my baggage. I know we are leaving soon and I don't want to forget anything," He said and walked over to his pile of personal belongings. He had a large clothing bag and a box full of his technical equipment.

Jacob flinched at the man's gaze. How could he not. What Dr. Hill was suspected of was awful. He twitched again when the man seemed to just casually survey the group and turn back to his quarters. Straightening his jacket, Jacob tried to look the cool and uncompromising security guard. He felt ridiculous, but maybe that was good. Maybe it made him look intimidating.

The exchange didn't go unnoticed by the (barely) senior officer, who flicked her gaze briefly towards the cadet, before returning to casually observing the Doctor gather his luggage. Hopefully he had a strap for that bag that he can throw about his shoulder. "Do you have a rash or something?" Carver interjected, clearly annoyed that the cadet didn't seem to have any sense of calm about him.

Henry reached into his bag and grabbed the phaser he'd stashed there. He'd been expecting something just like this and had no intention of going quietly. He turned around, brandishing the phaser at the two young Starfleet officers, his thumb resting on the firing nub.

"I'm sorry to do this to you two. You really do seem like nice people. But I'm much smarter than both of you and I've been expecting a social visit like this. I'd hoped it wouldn't happen but I had to plan for it if it did. Now I'd like you to raise your hands and slowly get down on your knees," Henry said.

Carver didn't have to wait past the moment where she was staring down a phaser barrel to react. Her lizard brain and combat training kicking in, she voided to the side and slapped the door panel to her left, shutting it in the monologuer''s face. "MOVE!" she snapped to the cadet, before crouching in place, against the bulkhead, away from the door that would likely open at any second. She stripped her phaser from its holster in a fluid motion as she went down, holding it poised and ready at the door at the movement's end."You don't have to do this, Doctor!" she shouted, loud enough for the occupant(s?) of the room to hear. "Drop the weapon and you'll go unharmed!"

Henry lowered the weapon. He was impressed at the ensign's reflexes. He needed a few minutes to figure out his next steps. He adjusted the phaser's setting from heavy stun to a much higher setting and stabbed the firing nub five times. The high humming sound filled the room like a swarm of angry bees, again and again. When he lowered the weapon the access panel was destroyed and each of the four corners of the doorway was melted shut. He made sure to lower the setting again before tossing the phaser in the bag.

"I've dropped the phaser, Ensign Carver. I hope you understand that this isn't personal," Henry said and moved over to where he knew an access panel covered an entrance to a jeffries tube.

The buzzing of the phaser on the other side of the bulkhead caused Brittany's hearing to blister in response, her youth leaving her susceptible to the high whine. He must have been trying to melt something in there. "Asshole," she muttered under her breath dismissively, extending her lanky form to stand again. Stepping away from the quickly heating doorframe, she tapped her commbadge.

=/\= "Carver to t'Aegis. Dr. Hill is proving slippery. He's armed and currently welding the door to his quarters shut, and will probably attempt to escape from there in some way. I don't know the layout of the station well enough to predict where. Can we beam him directly into a cell, sir?" =/\=

=/\= "No. The increasing radiation of the star is interfering with our transporters," =/\= came the chief of security's reply over Carver's combadge. =/\= "You have ten minutes to apprehend Dr Hill," =/\= t'Aegis continued, =/\= "Then you will return to the Firebird. With or without him. In fifteen minutes, I will destroy the station. You can tell him that." =/\=

Surek on a stick, this is just like being stuck with group homework and you're the only one in the group working. Brittany slapped her commbadge to close the link and took a breath, leaning her head back as if it would help her deal with the problem in front of her. Well, here goes. "YOU HEAR THAT DOCTOR, WE'RE GONNA BE SPACE DUST IF YOU DON'T STOP MESSING AROUND," she yells at the melted bulkhead, lifting her leg and slamming the sole of her boot flat against the duranium for emphasis. "FIVE MINUTES!"

Henry admitted that Ensign Carver sounded very sincere. But he also knew that Starfleet had rules to follow and there was no way they would get through all the rules in order to blow up the station in five minutes. "Of course," Henry yelled as he yanked off the access hatch to the jeffries tube. "I understand what you are saying. But if I have a choice between living in prison for the rest of my life and dying on this station, I'm taking this station!" Henry yelled, grabbed his pack and ducked into the jeffries tube.

Lenert had ducked to the side when the phaser appeared, his was still holstered at his hip as Carver and Dr. Hill were yelling back and forth. He took a breath to steady himself and he swore he heard a Jeffries tube access port open. Pulling his tricorder out he scanned the wall next to him. Sure enough, there was movement in the tube behind the wall.
“Ensign” he whispered. “I think Dr. Hill is in here.” He pointed to the wall.

About ready to kick the door out of frustration a few more times, Carver was relieved to hear the Cadet's discovery. Maybe they could track his movement with the tricorder. All they would need is a map...which the tricorder would certainly provide. Wide-eyed, she peered into its screen. "Where do you think he'll go?" she whispered back. "Maybe we can head him off."

Jacob scanned down the Jeffries tube, there was a split about 100 feet up. One of the spilts continued along the corridor ahead, but the other headed towards the exterior wall of the station. There was another access point just before the split. Jacob showed the layout to Carver and pointing at her he gestured to the further access point. And gestured at the door here and himself.

Carver gave Jacob the thumbs-up and crept off to the access point. She unsealed the door as quietly as she could and crept into the shaft, making her way to the split, listening for other movements ahead.

Jacob decided that to try and make sure that the distraction on his end was sufficient to keep the Dr moving. He tried his phaser on the door and found that it was still quite sealed. There was another jefferies tube access point on the other side of the room, but it required him to crawl all the way around the room, or up and over the room. Neither seemed appealing.

After a moment he knelt on the floor where he thought the Doctor was. Putting his head next to the wall, he did the only thing that he could think at the moment.

"Dr. Hill. I really would prefer to leave you. You become stellar dust, and we have closure, but that is a poor form of justice. You can abandon this futile movement, or we will be forced to remove bulkhead panels from here to the end of your quarters, in an effort to get you out."

If he was being honest with himself, he had no idea how convincing he was. He didn't think he was at all convincing.

Carver, in the meanwhile, laid on her belly inside of the jefferies tube and attempted to locate the doctor's position via her tricorder, hitting the 'silent' button as not to alert the guilty doctor any earlier than she desired. Where is he...

Henry was surprised at how quickly the Starfleet officers were able to figure out where he'd gone. They certainly were using tricorders or perhaps even the ship scanners. He paused, wondering if there was any other way out of the situation. Nothing new sprang to mind. He'd hoped that he could slip away. But where to? His Runabout was gone and the station had no other craft that would get him out of the system before the star exploded. Henry tapped his combadge.

"Computer lock onto my location and beam me to the observation deck," Henry said.

=^=Unable to comply. Transporters are offline due to interference=^=

Henry frowned. Was that a sound behind him? He glanced back the way he'd come but saw nothing.

"Computer, enhance pattern buffers. Access station sensor arrays and calibrate to transport," Henry said.

=^=Warning. Transport has a high probability of pattern loss=^=

Henry snorted. "Calibrate anyway," He said

=^=Working=^=

There.Carver's ears confirmed it as soon as the tricorder placed a bright blue dot at the doctor's location. After the next crease of the jeffries tube, she saw the bottoms of a pair of feet. Not the best idea, firing in a tight space like this, but... Quickly, she brought up her torso and set her elbows to support her aim, and fired at the slice of flesh showing above the doctor's heels.

The sound of phaser fire filled the crawlspace and Henry lurched forward, just avoiding being struck by the blast. He ducked around the corner and held his position. "Alright, whoever you are. I don't want to have to hurt anyone. You already said I'm going to be left behind! So just leave me! I deserve it anyway," Henry said, his hands trembling. "I... I was a fool. I thought that... that," He clenched his jaw. "I'm not going to live the rest of my life in a cell."

Pulling his tricorder and tapping to set it to record he pointed it down the Jeffries tube.

"Fine, confess to what you did here, and we will leave you die with the station."

Not having any idea if that was the right call he tapped his commbadge and whispered, "Carver, do you think that will work?"

"No, we're not a jury," Carver whispered back at her commbadge. She returned to calling out after the doctor. "That's a bit much, don't you think? The Federation doesn't imprison people, Doctor Hill. "You'll be treated with respect and dignity, like all of us. Don't let that one mistake define you."
She held her ground around the opposite bend of the jeffries tube, but continued to listen for sounds of the doctor's retreat.

Henry leaned against the bulkhead, his head resting against the cool metal. How had he gotten to this place. He'd just decided to give up the ridiculous chase when a high whining sound filled his ears and a green transporter trace appeared in front of him. His mouth dropped open as two Romulans, dressed in black and green outfits, appeared. How did they get the transporter to work? was his first thought. His second was What do they want. The second question was answered immediately as one of the Romulans produced a weapon and shot him. He let out a loud groan as his body went numb.

The sound of a body hitting the duranium couldn't be misssed, even from inside the 'tube. Carver shuffled around the corner. her heart racing. What could have happened on the other side of that opening? She took a deep breath and pushed herself halfway out of the jeffries tube, phaser first and lying on her back. "Drop it," she snapped at the Romulan with their weapon out, pointing her own in response. Welp, this may just get her shot. Are first impressions on the Commander worth dying for?

Jacob went stiff as his tricorder announced the sudden arrival of two Romulan bodies further up the shaft. He ducked down and started to crawl. He made it almost two feet before staring suddenly at a panel on the wall. He lightly tapped his head against the panel before pulling it off,

Why didn't I see that before? He wondered to himself as he pulled aside a few wires and pulled out a rather intense looking plug. He was thinking back to Engineering 101 wherein there was a lesson on connecting the output of a phase coupler to the deck of a Jeffries tube. The lesson had specifically been on not doing it. The professor could not stress enough how the collapsed and unconscious bodies of your friends would be very mad at you. Steadying himself just off the deck, hoping he had enough strength to hold him up, he pushed the coupler onto the deck.

The phase coupler discharged a bolt of arcing lightning as it contacted the floor of the jeffries tube. In quick order, that arc spawned others which flashed through the space, including up the walls. Everyone in the tubes received a massive jolt of electricity and collapsed to the floor unconscious.




The personnel on the Firebird's bridge was unaware of the events aboard the station. Had Lieutenant Commander t'Aegis expected any trouble from a civilian, she probably would have taken it into her own hands to arrest him. Instead, she was monitoring the timer she set when she last spoke to Carver. The time they were allotted was up and there had not been any report yet. Not quite yet reason enough to worry, but... t'Aegis hit her combadge. "t'Aegis to Carver. Status report."

The chirp of the commbadge breached Carver's subconscious state with a sharp mechanical sound. Groaning, she opened her eyes to the searing light of the ship. Had she fallen asleep somehow? The back of her head felt like it was on fire. That's...not good. She slapped the badge on her chest to get it to stop yelling at her.

=/\= "Carver... here, sir. There's a... somehow I must have fallen unconscious." =/\= Shoving herself up to her elbows, she surveyed the tiny room at the junction of the jeffries tubes. =/\= "There's.... there's some other Romulans here who must have done the same. Dr. Hill is injured." =/\=

With that realization, she shimmied out across the floor and seized the cloth at his shoulder, dragging his limp body back into the tube. =/\= "Getting him to safety.... sir," =/\= she grunted, trying to get her head to stop swimming. What in the greater good could have happened to them?

t'Aegis inhaled deeply. She felt the urge to run off the bridge and get those children on the station to safety. But... priorities. She sent brief instructions to First Lieutenant Cunningham while she spoke to the young and at least semi-confused security officer on the station. "Ensign Carver," she said slowly and clearly, hoping to get through to her. "Stop what you are doing. I am sending Marines to get you. In the meantime, take your phaser. Keep yourself safe. If that means firing on the Romulans, do it. Is Cadet Lenert near you?"

=/\= "He's not, he was out in the hallway outside the doctor's quarters last I saw," =/\= Carver replied, nearing the middle of the tube. Her progress is slower through here. The thought occurred to her that the doctor might wake up at any moment, and perhaps just as disoriented as she was just a moment ago, so she set about fastening his wrists together in the pair of restraints she'd stowed within her jacket. At least that way he'd be easier to manipulate inside the 'tube without his arms knocking around everywhere and causing a ruckus. =/\= "Should I proceed to that location, sir?" =/\=

The lead Romulan's eyes snapped open at the sound of Dr. Hill being drug away. He rolled over onto his stomach and reached for his disruptor. He shook his counterpart, who also showed signs of stirring. "Get up. The scientists is getting away," He said in Romulan. Once they were both armed, they began moving, slowly, in pursuit.




Jack and his men had only been out of the holodeck for a few minutes but it had been long enough for Captain Llwyedd to give him a SITREP and for the First Sergeant to get everyone squared away. It had all been just in time because Commander t'Aegis' call had come a minute later.

"All right, listen up. I'm taking Quigley and Collins with me. The First Sergeant will organize the rest of you to repel boarders if necessary," Jack said and motioned for the two Marines he'd named to follow him. There were already Romulans on the station. But where had they come from and what were they doing?




The two Romulans crept forward, their disruptors held in front of them. The lead Romulan paused at a junction and peered around it. He saw a female human dragging an unconscious human male. He recognized the male as their target. He pulled his head back and, using hand signals, indicated that their target was there. He also let his companion know there was one hostile.

The two darted around the corner, their disruptors at the ready, and fired immediately. One of the shots missed but the other struck the woman in the torso, sending her flying backward.

Carver, though blown backward by the lucky shot, was not so foolish as to enter a potential combat situation without personal ablative armor layered underneath her uniform, and so by the miracle of modern shielding technology, managed not to die on the spot from the blast. She landed on her rump and scrambled to her feet, firing off a heroic shot in the hope of making leeway against the two armed officers, but... Hill was just too far away now, and she was outnumbered. When one of the officers started forward again, she turned tail and escaped back the way she came, cursing under her breath. "Good morning to you too."




Coming slowly back to consciousness Jacob realized that he must have been touching something that was connected to the deck. Dumb, Dumb. He thought as he shook his head to clear some of the cobwebs. Listening carefully he realized that he was probably the last person left in the Jeffries tube. He tapped up a schematic of the tubes on his tricorder, and tapped his commbadge.

=/\= Lenert to t'Aegis. I've regained consciousness and am attempting to exit the Jeffries tubes near Junction 47 Alpha. Requesting Situation Report.=/\=

On the bridge of the Firebird, Commander t'Aegis rolled her eyes at the cadet. But there was no time for explaining procedure or common sense to him right now. "There are two Romulans somewhere in your relative proximity in addition to Ensign Carver and Doctor Hill. I have sent Marines to retrieve you. Contact Carver for a more precise situation report."

=/\=Understood.=/\=

He wanted to panic. To run screaming. This whole situation was clear that this was not his area. As he moved forward towards the next subjunction he tried to run a scan for life signs, apparently there was some interference as he couldn't even pick up his own.

Jacob tapped the commbadge again,

=/\=Lenert to Carver, I am one level up from where we had Hill. Where are you, can I assist?=/\=

Carver's voice came over the commbadge sounding...harried. After all, she had been shot at by a murderer, electrocuted, knocked unconscious, surprised by Romulans and blown across a corridor into a bulkhead from a disruptor blast all in the space of twenty minutes. She bit back the obvious response, trying her very best to be courteous under fire.

=/\= "You can evacuate, there's a club of Romulans in here and they seemed intent on getting Dr. Hill away from me. I think I'll be coming up on the exit any moment here...!" =/\=
A sound of clanging duranium echoed from the other end as an access panel crashed down from the ceiling, quickly followed by the stick-like form of the Ensign in a tumble of limbs and metal.

The Marines had had to be very forceful with Crewman Potter. In fact, Lieutenant Cunningham had given him a direct order to transport them, despite the previous order he'd received to not transport anyone. Potter had been thrilled to hear it and was sitting in a chair, reviewing a holonovel when the Marines had rushed in.

The three transporter signatures appeared close to where Ensign Carver lay sprawled on the floor. However, instead of the fairly quick transporter process, their images blurred in and out for a handful of seconds before solidifying. Jack put a hand out to brace himself against the bulkhead, his vision momentarily blurred. He shook his head, taking in the surroundings.

"You must be Ensign Carver," Jack said. He motioned for the other two Marines to take up blocking positions at either end of the hallway, while he kept an eye on the access point and Carver at the same time. "Where is Dr. Hill?"

Brittany pushed herself up to a sitting position and brushed herself off. She's worse for wear but at least she was still conscious. "Captured by a pair of Romulans in the deck I just left..." she replies, looking up. Must have gotten turned around somewhere during the fleeing bit. "And since you were able to transport in here, I'm sure they plan on transporting out. I don't think they followed me."

Jack nodded. "Ok, we'll take a look around but we need to get back to the Firebird . Collect your cadet and move out," Jack said.

Where had he gotten to, anyway? Ah, right. Not one to be told twice by someone suggesting she leave, the Ensign scrambled to her feet and whistled (surprisingly loudly) to the cadet and motioned for him to follow her to the rendezvous point. They'd have to report to t'Aegis about losing the doctor, but perhaps discretion would be the better part of valor in this instance.


[OFF]

Lieutenant Commander Rhiana t'Aegis
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



1st Lieutenant Jack Cunningham Jr
Marine Commanding Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Ensign Brittany Carver
Security Officer
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Cadet Junior Grade Jacob Lenert
Student
USS Firebird NCC-88298



Henri Hill
Scientist
Tevok 2
(NPC by Captain Llwyedd)

 

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Comments (1)

By Warrant Officer Arlan Harlan on Mon Dec 9th, 2019 @ 9:50pm

Oooo excellent action sequences! Everything is better with Tubes involved :)