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Posted on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 @ 10:28am by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa

Mission: Into The Scorpion's Nest. Season 2, Episode 5
Location: Citak, Churchill, Illustrious, F'Hew, Magellan

USS Illustrious

Fire lanced back and forth between the two state of the art ships. Sedgwick took in the look of disbelief on the faces of many on the bridge. He had to rally the crew of the Illustrious. "Helm, set course two one five mark eight three, two thirds impulse, initiate attack pattern Gamma six, stand by for torpedo spread!" Mindful of the damaged state of both the Genesis and the Churchill Will tried his best to draw the ever pressing Citak away from the vulnerable ships.

The IKC FHew turned out of the path of the ship and vanished from sight. This was an internal Federation affair and the B'rel had no intention of getting involved.

Jiasha had barely landed in the first officer's seat before the combat had started to rain down on them. Sedgwick himself manned the tactical console as the ship was running at diminished capacity. "Shields holding, Sir!"

Will could tell from the shield vectors under attack that the Citak was going for the kill, launching a spread of photon torpedoes, he hoped they would do enough to cause them to break off even for a few moments to let them go on the offensive.

"Direct hit on their forward shields, minor damage to the defector array, they're re-routing power to their forward shields," shouted Leok from an Ops station which seemed unusually far away to Sedgwick. It was the news he wanted to hear, hitting the transmit button he played his hand and hoped to win the pot. "Captain, their shields are dropping; they're reversing course," she shouted again as another phaser strike hit their aft shields.

"Very good, just what I was hoping to hear. Helm, bring us about; attack pattern Theta!" His enthusiasm clear for all to hear, now was their chance to deal a telling blow and hopefully end the battle before anyone else got hurt.

Ava continued rerouting power. "Power to the shield array is boosted, recommend we take out their NAV array. They'll be flying blind and have to lock on manually if they want to hit us." She wanted an end to this as much as anyone else, but she also knew that the Citak's array wouldn't take much to at least disable. Then maybe they would negotiate.

"one thing at a time" Sedgwick mumbled, his phaser strikes focusing on propulsion first, foremost in his mind was ensuring the Genesis and Churchill could at least escape safely.

USS Citak

On the Citak, Haqtaj braced herself as the ship lurched under another volley of fire. She looked around at the assembled delegates; the people she knew to be unaffected by the invasion.

"It seems we have played our hand too late. I will be leaving now. I will take the young girl, Jrez. She was entrusted to my care. Vartog, you are free to go or stay as you wish. Anyone else who wishes to accept Klingon hospitality till this is resolved had better speak now."

Vartog had no intention of leaving. "I am Starfleet, first and foremost." He turned to Haqtaj. "I hereby relinquish my post as your aide, Madame Ambassador," he said with a formal bow. Then he turned to Jrez. "We have work to do. The child is no longer your responsibility. Sending a message can wait until later."

Jrez outranked Vartog but he knew when to keep mum about such things. Vartog was a warrior and far more competent than Jrez would ever be when it came to matters martial. He merely nodded his acquiescence. "I believe the first thing we need to do is free Commander Mason and any other captives before they're infected," he said. "What forces do we have at our disposal?"

Taking a moment to consider the options Lam decided it was time to pull rank, "Vartog, you and I will head to the bridge, Jrez, I want you to get that message out. If things go wrong here we can't risk nobody knowing what's going on." Turning to Malth she smiled, "it looks like you're on your own Ambassador, good luck."

Jrez turned to the child "Goodbye, precious one. Be nice to Ambassador Matlh. I will see you soon." He hugged her tight then, releasing her, gave her a peck on the cheek.

"Bye-bye!" the little girl said, reaching up for Haqtaj's hand. "We're going to see Mommy and Nero."

The Klingon Admiral pulled a communicator from her belt, "Ghojol!"

A moment later the room was bathed in red light as a Klingon transporter pulled her and those with her right out of danger.

Jrez could see the logic of Lam's arguement. He turned to Vartog but the Klingon merely nodded to indicate his agreement. "Jup tiQ, Do'" [Good luck, old friend.] Jrez said, "Batlh Daqawlu'taH"[You will be remembered with Honour.]

USS Citak - Bridge

Daro was in the middle of a blood lust, vengence incarnate flowed through his veins and that of Brenari also. Daro barking orders to the rest of the unsuspecting or those unwilling tosee the truth before them. Bernari manipulating the tactical console with something other than medical detachment.

Realising now why he had felt such dark tremors from certain individuals and areas, Virgil could almost feel the darkness welling and growing, burning within both the crazed CO and CMO. The lieutenant commander looked over to Mason, who too was restrained. Perhaps their only hope would be to attempt to rally those not emanating this twisted aura.

She caught his look and returned it with a swift nod. They needed to work together if they stood any change of freeing themselves, unless by some miracle Lam had some plan up her sleeve.

"Surely you must see how ridiculous this is?" The Xenexian pleaded to the others. "Why would a medical officer be manning the tactical station for grozit's sake?!" Despite the futility of the attempts, Virgil still tried to move in the restraints that he and Mason had been provided. More fool them for not throwing us in the brig, he thought.

"She's not who she seems, either the Captain - why else would they restrain us?" Mason echoed Virgil's attempts to change the loyalty of the crew.

"Captain we're taking hits to our Impulse engines, unless we can get shields back online we'll be dead in the water!" Shouted Ballard, deep down she knew what they were doing was wrong, but he was a Captain she was a Lieutenant, he didn't have to explain himself but with Virgil's words ringing in her ears she hoped someone would make a move.

Disgusted by the lack of movement made by even those not emitting the darkness of the captain and Brenari, Virgil figured he could do something to help those in danger, even if it meant the loss of the Citak.

A small price to pay, he mused darkly to himself as he eyed the doctor at the tactical station. The Xenexian began to push himself back slowly against the wall, being sure not to rouse suspicions. Using his innate ability to control his body temperature, he calmed himself before he made his move, using the force of his weight to throw himself at Brenari. Virgil flew into the CMO with enough speed and strength to knock her away from her console, leaving the Vesta-class vessel defenceless in terms of weapons, even if at least temporarily, and then did his best to make it hard for her to recover, even with his restraints on.

The move though made aware of it merely a fraction before it happened shoved the medical officer roughly to the floor. She wrested with the security chief for a moment attempting to heave his weight was her body.
Finally with another heavy blow Virgil lay still allowing to her regain her feet, however in those precious moments the bridge seemed to go to hell. Then, unexpectedly Virgil threw himself back into the fray.

Grabbing the hand phaser normally reserved for repelling boarders Ballard raised the weapon as she circled away from her station while Daro was distracted by the commotion at the rear of the bridge. Just as she reached Mason the Captain turned and realised what she was doing, moving like a flash Daro crossed the bridge. On nothing more than instinct she fired her weapon hitting Daro clean in the chest but it did little more than make him flinch before a blow struck her across the side of the head, her weapon tumbling free.

The acts of bravery stirred Mason into action, she stumbled to her feet as Ballard hurried over only to be intervened by Daro. She winched as her colleague staggered under the blow from his tight fist and lunged to catch the falling weapon in her restraints. The item simply slipped from her grasp, and in a lightening speed the Captain was by her side with a mecaing look of intenion upon his face.

She did the only thing she could with her hands bound, she kicked him. Hard in the groin, crude but possibly still affective.

USS Citak -Observation Lounge

With nothing more than a hand phaser each Vartog and Lam were ill prepared for a full scale assault on the bridge but the plan was simple, stun those they couldn't trust and free Mason, it sounded simple but they both knew it wouldn't be, opening the hatch the pair emerged into the the empty Observation Lounge, "okay, you ready to go?"

"Lead the way, Commander. I'll cover your back. Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam", he snarled.

"Lets finish this then, Qapla'" she said in a rather meek and un-Klingon way. With the doors to the bridge bursting open they were met with a scene of utter chaos, men and women fighting each other, the Captain seemingly man handling many of the junior offices with a strength that left Lam shocked.

USS Citak - Bridge

With the ease of a body builder lifting a weight that posed no significant problem, Daro lifted a muscular Trill male with one hand and launched him like a projectile at the rear of the bridge. His unconscious body sailed over the tactical console and landed with several bone shattering crunches on the deck very close to Lam, his phaser rifle snapped in two by some unknown assault.

As junior officers scattered to all corners of the bridge, some even having the good sense to leave, Sara grabbed her hand phaser, she needed to try and end it soon, levelling the weapons at Brenari she fired, the beam hitting her with virtually no effect, as Lam scrambled to change the setting the seemingly unstoppable woman barrelled towards her, a mighty back hand sending her flying over the XO's chair, landing with a sickening crack.

Vartog looked around the bridge and knew his promise to Lam was worthless. He could not be effective if all he did was watch her back. He had to grab the initiative if they were to survive this mayhem.

Daro for his part now had Mason in a vice like grip after her attempt to slow him down by hitting the Bajoran's more sensitive area. Thankfully the parasite inhabiting him had no connection to that aspect of the physiology so only the host felt pain while the parasite continued to move the body with unwavering precision.
"Stop fighting and submit", he snarled at the blond women slowly losing the ability to breath with Daro's unfathomable strength slowly crushing her windpipe.

Despite increasing difficulty drawing breath Mason still continued to struggle, each movement becoming weaker than the last. Already her vision was becoming distorted, white balloons were popping before her eyes and her strength was being sapped away. She wouldn't be able to hang on much longer and with Lam in locked horns with Brenari hope of being saved was fading quickly.

Vartog held himself very steady and took aim. He knew he had only one chance before he became the centre of attention so he had to make it count. Having seen what Lam's phaser did - or, more precisely didn't do, he set his phaser to maximum. He took a deep breath and fired. A beam of coherent energy lanced out and took Daro high in the spine. Despite all that was going on around him, he held his position. He did not expect one shot to fell Daro - he hoped it would be the case and if Klingons had a god he would have prayed it would suffice but he was too experience a warrior to rely purely on hope.

USS Illustrious

The din of battle still rang in their ears, even without her shields the aggressive attacks from the Citak were forcing the Illustrious back even though she had taken telling damage to many of her systems. "Jiasha, hail them again, we've got to try and out an end to this!"

Though she was manning a secondary system from the first officers seat she still managed to bypass the damage control systems and access the communications and again she sent out a standard call to the attacking ship, but this time she left the channel open so they could hear the Captains voice.
"Channel open sir!"

Taking a moment to finish loading the torpedo bays he stood up from the station, his arms having been holding onto it so tightly his knuckles were white, "This is the Illustrious to the Citak, stand down or we will destroy your vessel!" The brief lull in fire was mirrored by Sedgwick, the battle area falling silent for a moment while all took stock of the situation.

But there was no answer, knowing that if the Citak got back in the fight many more people would be injured or perhaps killed he checked his target lock and unleashed a devastating volley of fire, Torpedoes and Phaser ripping the Citak's weapons array to pieces and sending the ship spinning out of control, looking up from the console Sedgwick could see all eyes were focused on the burning hulk that moments ago had posed a risk to them all. Deep down he knew he had done the right thing but the whole situation made him sick to his stomach, "Security detachments Alpha and Bravo, stand by for boarding operations" moving away from the console Sedgwick sat in the Captain's chair, never had any of his decisions weighed so heavily on him as they did at that moment.

USS Citak - Bridge

Daro was unable to maintain his grip on the bothersome Lieutenant Commander that his queen had wanted dead for so long now. The same could be said for the Brenari husk that was deep in combat with other forms and shapes towards the rear of the bridge.

As Daro turned, Vartog assessed his position. Commander Mason was free but there was still so much more to do. He levelled his phaser and pulled the trigger.

The Klingon was still aiming the phaser at Daro as he wheeled around to face him. This was someone new, unknown to him, but the danger was still present. He pulled his own phaser from its holster but before he could do anything the Klingon had fired a second shot. This time, the phaser made its target and finally felled him.

Daro's eyes were the last of his bodily functions to cease after the second blow at full power. The last thing he saw was the Klingon move to within eye shot and the room darkened to nothingness. It was almost like watchying a holovideo in slow motion: Daro puled out a phaser...Vartog fired...Daro fell.

Coughing and spluttering Mason heaved the Captain's dead weight off her legs and drew in breath of fresh air already feeling angry bruises forming across the width of her throat.
Unable to raise her voice she gestured for him to help her free of the restrains still firmly clasped around her wrists.

Vartog turned to Mason. "Best if we fire together," he suggested.

"Whenever... you're... ready... to... help..." Virgil growled as he continued to struggle and bash Brenari with all of his might at the tactical console, succeeding in doing damage to the woman, but not so much to completely stop her. His might was enough not to give her a chance, but it was costing him dealing, as the restraints on his wrists had bruised and cut into his skin during the combat.

Arming herself with Ballard's fallen phaser Mason scrambled to her feet only to loose her balance a moment later along with everyone else as the Citak came under fire from the Illustrious.

Vartog swore in rich Klingon as he too went over. So much for firing together!

Pinned under Virgil's weight Brenari howled in horror as Daro was felled and fought against her attacker harder still. She could sense Mason was drawing closer along wiht the Klingon that killed her mate.
The plan lay in tatters because of these two, and she wanted dearly to make them both pay.

With a guttural scream she punched the security officer hard in the face, breaking his nose and showering herself briefly in his blood. As he recoilded she shouldered him aside and launched herself upon Mason as she drew level.

The First Officer raised the weapon an inch and fingered the trigger as the Doctor rushed toward her. The shot missed its target creating a sizzling hole in the console beyond, a fraction later the oncoming woman tackled her to the ground knocking the phaser from grasp.

Quickly stripping Mason of her weapon Bernari continued to move upward, seizing the woman's head and smashed it repeatedly against the reinforced floor until she went limp and unresponsive.
She allowed herself a brief smile before springing onto the next assailant: the Klingon.

Or, at least, that had been her intention. The Klingon was not where she expected him to be. As he fell, Vartog had rolled then scurried across the bridge. Using the sounds of battle - both internal and external - as cover, he had crept up behind the doctor.

There are things no-one wants to do but which must be done nonetheless. Vartog thought of the woman he was about to kill. She had been a good officer. He forced that aside. She was not Annabelle Brenari and had not been for a long time. A Klingon warrior does not hesitate, he reminded himself. He took the doctor's head firmly in his arms and twisted. Her neck snapped before she could react.

Cradling her broken arm Sara looked round at the scene of utter devastation, plasma conduits leaked and ODN conduit hung from the ceiling all around, "Good to see you again Commander" she said to Mason quietly, her throat dry and limbs aching, relief washed over her, perhaps this was the beginning of the end.

"I'm afraid she's out for the count," Virgil said, walking over to Lam as he held his bloodied red nose with his now free hands. Despite the victory, he was embarrassed that he was in this state, and not in a position to do more. There was a reason why the Xenexian had transferred to strategic operations; he had become too old for this sort of action.

As the pair smiled various officers returned to their stations, the Citak was in a bad way, on the viewscreen before them they saw the Illustrious perform a slow roll as she came about, the tables truly turned as the hunter had become the hunted. With medical teams helping up the wounded someone cancelled the red alert, the normal lighting levels seemingly almost unbearably bright. The battle was over.

USS Citak

Frustrated did not even begin to describe how Jrez felt. No matter what he tried, he could not get a message out. There was some sort of blocker getting in the way of everything he tried. Trouble was, without access to much more highly powered computer systems - like a bio-gel pack or two - there was no way he was going to breach this wall. Every work around, every short cut he tried it was the same thing. Every path he went down looked promising but eventually came to an abrupt halt. That just left him cursing more wasted time.

The whine of the transporter disturbed the Chief from his self chastisement turning in time to see the transporter chamber fill with fellow gold shirts who burst forward, turned him around and checked his neck, "he's clean sir" shouted a crewman who quickly shouldered his rifle, "sorry about that Chief, I'm Crewman Yates of the starship Illustrious, we're here to help you retake your ship" the man clearly unaware of Jrez's actual posting, but the sigh of relief was enough to let them know he appreciated their assistance, all that was left to do was to count the losses, the Citak was free.


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