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Entering the Lions den

Posted on Thu Aug 25th, 2011 @ 7:29am by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa

Mission: Into The Scorpion's Nest. Season 2, Episode 5
Location: Near DS7

Vartog checked his bat'leth. Yes, it was securely in place and easily reached. Then he checked his mek'leths. Likewise and ditto for his D'k'tahg. Next he checked his phaser. It was fully charged.

"Today is a good day to die," he affirmed. Now he was ready.

Glancing round at the tall warrior he went through the preparations like every other Klingon on the ship, Sara prepared in her own way though, her tricorder on her belt along with a hand phaser, her only other equipment a phaser rifle she grabbed before departing the spacious quarters of the Illustrious for the cramped and uncomfortable cot aboard the F'Hew. Checking the charge of her rifle she moved off to the bridge, the two fleets would be engaging any moment and she wanted to see every moment of what these parasites had brought them too.

For the lone Bajoran in the group the cramped quarters, unpleasant smell and general bad mood of the other was somewhat reminiscent of the resistance and so she had taken it in her stride with very little change to her mood.

She could see the blond engineer from DS7 starting to run over her pre-mission checks, as she was, but the back of her mind a small voice was asking one simple question. 'How do we know that she isn't infected?'

In the Transporter room Haqtaj was looking over the assembled assault team: Herself, Vartog, Lam, Mason, Virgil and the Illustrious' Chief Medical Officer Jiasha.

"We will be beamed into the Klingon Embassy. Most of my people will be heading there for instructions once the attack begins, while the humans will be moving away from the Promenade. This should give us an easy run to the priority turbo lift which will take us straight to Operations. Vartog, Mason and I will go in first with weapons set to heavy stun and fire at as many people as we can see. When we are taken out, as I have no doubt we will be one way or another, it will be up to you three, Kam, Virgil and Jiasha, to subdue any that are left standing. It should only be the infected, so don't be afraid to shoot to kill. They won't."

Mason had been uncharacteristically quite during the briefing and since the meeting with DeVuor. She was tense and generally unhappy to be part of the assault team upon the station in which she'd become to know as her home and to have to take arms against Leanne.

Unlike some of his comrades, Virgil didn't know much about these others they would be taking up arms against, and therefore did not have that personal connection to upset him. However, it did concern the Xenexian to have to fire upon others who wore the same uniform as him.

Vartog nodded his understanding.

Haqtaj pulled Lam to one side and whispered to her, "I have a final insurance policy."

Imagining it to be some sort of emergency transponder she immediately realised that for a Klingon escape was unlikely to be considered insurance, "what you got planned?" she asked tentatively.

She pulled back her breast plate to reveal a small canister with a timer switch, "Don't worry, it is anesthazine gas, just enough to fill the Ops room. I will set the timer to three minutes before I go in. If you succeed, make sure you switch it off. If both of us fail, the canister will flood the room. The bugs still breath like the rest of us, and the host bodies will be so pumped with adrenaline by then that they will be gulping air down. Unless the bugs have a way to cleanse the lungs it should knock them out too."

"Lets just hope it doesn't come to that" Sara barely contained her shock, initially fearing Malth had strapped on a suicide vest, thankfully her plan was far less explosive.

Ro's voice came over the comms, "We are closing to the beam in coordinates. Be ready in three minutes."

Jiasha followed the other officers up onto the transporter platform her nerviousness starting to give way as the beat of her heart filled her ears with the prospect of combat once again falling to her. The last time she had felt this was the raid on the His'Lin monastary back on Bajor during the occupation and in many many ways this was no different a situation.

The group in the transporter bay braced themselves as the ship rocked against the impact on the shield. A moment later, the red haze enveloped them. Next thing they knew they were standing next to some very surprised looking Klingons and a dead woman in a Starfleet uniform.

Haqtaj immediately started bellowing orders in Klingon, and the people around her leapt into action, then she turned to Mason, "This is your station. You have access to Operations. You lead the way. Vartog with me. Second wave, give us one minute and then follow us up."

Somehow to arrive in the Klingon Embassy felt fitting considering the task Mason though before noting the corpse and eyed it with narrowed slits until Haqtaj turned to her. She then nodded to the Ambassador and departed quickly without a backward glance.

"We move out," Vartog bellowed.

"What about the...?" one of the Klingon's asked.

"We move out!" Vartog repeated. "You saw that thing sticking out of the back of the body's neck? It's a parasite. The parasite takes over completely - mind, body, everything. It gives it's host extraordinary strength. A human with one of these inside it is a match for any Klingon." He saw the look of incredulity on the faces of the warriors. "I am not joking! A human with one of these inside it is a match for any Klingon. A Klingon with one inside it...? Let's just hope we don't find one!"

With a quick nod Sara watched the small group as they started to move away, "Jiasha, Virgil, its important we don't hesitate, once we get to Ops we need to secure the processor pit, once we have that we can deal with any infected crew if we've not already run into them."

As they dashed out the door they could see Klingons hastily erecting barricades outside the consulate, much to the obvious concern of the other patrons of the promenade, already disturbed by the sounds of weapons fire.

As expected Romano had alerted all hands about the pending boarding and they small team were met with resistance. Members of her security team stood, hesitating in shock at the sight of their chief taking arms against them. Some fired first giving Mason cause to seek cover, while others remain immobile to laid down their arms in protest. Those that fought were soon subdued and rendered unconscious.

Counting down the seconds all Lam could do was wonder how this would end, if all had gone well they would subdue the hosts, if not the Klingons wouldn't give up until ordered otherwise or they were dead, the reality of boarding a station hit her full force, a station that was their home bit were now being forced to fight for, many of whom had no idea they were actually on the same side, "That's one minute, lets move out!" she shouted, many of the Klingon warriors following her out of the Embassy as the station shook again under the impact of another salvo of torpedoes, no doubt more damage for her teams to repair when this was all said and done.

T'Rena had offered to join the party even at the urging of her CO to leave that to the one's who knew the terrain. Something in her, a small part of the Romulan heritage maybe had willed her to join so she could witness it first hand and maybe help in some small way.
Her legs pumping as she ran alongside the blond Human who she had come to know as Commander Lam. "What further resistance can we expect to receive Commander?"

"I'll be honest I have no idea, all we know for sure is these creatures cannot be allowed to prevail, if needs be we're all expendable providing we can destroy the parasites." The Vulcan woman would take the statement for what it was, the truth of an officer in over her head.


Engineering


Vartog's party were meeting stiff resistance. "Look out above!" someone shouted.

Vartog looked up. Two crew members had emerged on the upper deck of the section and were using a fusion reactor as cover. He did not dare fire at them - one loose shot and it could go critical. He dived forward and rolled until he was at the foot of one of the reactors and out of their direct line of fire. Unfortunately, that just put him in the sights of a knot of Engineering staff over towards the main control panels. Scrambling madly, he ducked around the reactor towards another, coming up underneath the upper deck plating. For the moment, the two above him didn't know where he was. He took the opportunity to blow a hole in the plating then to fire through it. Shards of shrapnel tore into the two, slowing their ability to retaliate and giving Vartog the time to fell them.

"We're not your enemy," he yelled.

From the continued intensity of fire, that appeal seemed to fall on deaf ears.

A pair of marines continued their sporadic fire, the Klingons had finally revolted and now it was time to make them pay, the flash of gold uniform missed as they focused on getting off the gantry to raise the alarm. Summonig additional Marines to contain them, Jason gave the order for the Marines with him to start moving around the Klingons and out flank them. If it wasn't going to be one with reason, brute force would have to suffice.

Vartog saw the marines move and knew what was coming. "To me," he yelled. He'd seen Starfleet marines in action and knew them to be well disciplined and very capable. His only hope was to draw his group together and try to hold out while others took care of the rest of the ship. At least, if he could tie these marines down he would have achieved something.


Promenade


As the second fire team moved along the passages cleared by Malth and Mason had heavily stunned a number of officers lying prone, "Virgil, T'Rena, I want you to take point, we'll exit using the standard lift, it comes out in a corridor behind Ops, from there we can access the Captain's office then operations itself." Seeing the reaffirming nods that the team understood they entered the large lift, Jiasha and Lam to the rear.

T'Rena rounded the corner, bringing her full automatic phaser rifle to bear on the still empty corridor before waving the group around into the clear.
"We appear to have infiltrated further into their defenses than they had expected us too!"

"Either that," Virgil replied evenly with gritted teeth, finding it strange that his introduction onto the station he was to be soon serving on was as an attacker, "or they were expecting something."


Operations


In the lift were only three people, the first wave; Haqtaj, Mason, and a Klingon called QIH. Haqtaj reached into her armour, setting the timer and then drew two disruptor pistols. She reminded QIH of the plan.

"Disruptors on stun, we go in firing at everyone. Any who do not drop are infected. It is not our job to tackle them until we have subdued the uninfected on the bridge. Chances are high that we will take fire, but hopefully we will have reduced the list of potential targets significantly before the second wave."

Focusing upon securing the power cell of her rifle Mason continued to remain quiet and Haqtaj explained the plan once more. This was sucidal, or at least on paper to storm the stations stronghold and live. Granted the other party, but clearly the teams were expected.

Haqtaj readied her pistols and dropped to a crouch as the lift drew level with the open operation area.

QIH did what he was best at; he followed orders. He didn't know what was going on and didn't much care. He'd been assigned by the Klingon Defence Force to join Ambassador Haqtaj on this Federation base. Apparently there was another Klingon already here who was actually a member of Starfleet. That must be the one called Vartog.

Even before they were fully level Haqtaj began to fire. A Security guard by the lift, then a Tech who was between her and the ops pit. As they dropped Haqtaj was already running for the pit, which would provide some cover and split the team to confuse their enemies.

QIH laid down covering fire as he watched the Ambassador make a mad dash for the Ops pit.

A touch proud that the Starfleets basic and additional training conducted by Mason herself the persons in Operations reacted quickly to the assult. Those not stunned in the opening exchange were illusive slinking between consoles and under table to avoid attack.

Haqtaj was firing madly around the pit, crouched with her back to a terminal for protection. She targeted the person in control of weapons first, then communications, then... ducked as the ensign on sensors fired at her. Returning fire she dropped him, but now people were running for cover.

As the less than peaceful Ambassador continued to fire around the pit Mason skirted the edge of the oval room, stepping nimbly over the downed crew members offering her unlikey commrade covering fire.

Haqtaj ducked again as a beam sliced through past her ear and turned and fired. the stun beam caught Romano full in the chest... to no effect.

With lightning fast reactions and a speed that betrayed his state, Romano pounced from one corner of Ops to land almost directly in front of the Klingon. His eyes were full of blood lust that only a Klingon could know and understand but at the same time realize that this was no peaceful El'Aurian.

Haqtaj knew there was no point even trying to fire at Romano again. Instead she used the moment to fire at the Tactical console itself, sending it up in a shower of sparks.

Zor's clenched fist struck the Ambassador clear in the chest with a bone shattering crunch as her sternum gave way under the pressure. He then brought his free hand around in a sweeping gesture and tossed the heavily clad women to one side.

Seeing Haqtaj cast aside like some rag doll, QIH knew this was no ordinary fight. He took careful aim at the El-Aurian and fired. A concentrated blast of phased energy at maximum strength narrowly missing his head.

Romano had heard the blast pelting towards him and with no small amount of luck had narrowly missed, but his chance had now presented itself as the other Klingon was now exposed.
Again he was running across ops, his legs pumping before slamming into the Klingon in a full body tackle. Both went stumbling to the ground before Zor landed a jaw shattering blow to the side of his attackers head.

Virgil moved on forwards with the others towards the captain's office, holding his phaser rifle high. Being here reminded him of his days in security, as well as the Dominion War, due to all of the Cardassian technology, but it was not a welcome memory. The Xenexian looked over quickly to make sure T'Rena was still in fighting shape. Even for a Vulcan, she had a remarkable constitution.

After the valourant attempts the remaining Operation officers had been stunned by the time Romano had made his move on Haqtaj before turning his burning gaze to the second Klingon. Dispatching the last remaining officer in at her location Mason threw herself upon the deck of the elevated position to rain fire upon the rouge Captain to ward off any further injury to the boarding party.

Sneaking round to the corridor entrance of Ops while T'Rena and Virgil broke into the Captain's office, Lam and Jiasha stood by to blow the door. "Get ready once we go in we'll hit them with everything we've got until they're down." Her compression rifle fully charged as she attached a breaching charge to the door. "Fire in the hole!" With a mighty explosion the door was blown to pieces, Lam leading the way as she spotted T'Rena and Virgil entering Ops to stand at the top of the staircase. The battered body of Malth lay in a heap; they didn't have much time before her fail safe filled the room with neurozine gas, no more than a few minutes by her reckoning although her perception of time may well have been accelerated by the events unfolding around her.

Zor, caught in blood lust landed his gaze on Lam, the errant engineer of this station. She had her rifle pointed at his chest and he realized that this was it. His only hope was now that her rifle was still set to stun.

Soraya saw the explosion as she entered the corridor and watched as the officers moved into Ops. She ran in behind them, dropping her padd as she watched the woman with her rifle pointed at the Queen's host. With a snarl she hurled herself towards the nearest human and knocked him to the floor, biting deep as his scream filled her ears and hot blood poured down her throat. A sharp blow to the back of her head was the last thing she felt as she went limp and slid onto the floor.

The sudden, bloody violence of Doctor Delrisa was shocking even compared to Bernari whom attempted to bludgeon Mason to death a short while ago. The memory lingered even if the wound and their scars erased. As if sensing the Doctor was no more than a foot solider the former security chief clubbed the second women instead of firing upon her. The result was satisfactory.

Looking at the deranged man before her Sara hesitated for a moment, "I'm sorry Captain" it was all she could think to say before squeezing the trigger, a pair of orange pulses striking him square in the chest, the first exposing the parasite the second destroying it in a shower of gore forcing her to turn away from the horrifying sight before her, steadying herself against a console as the smell of burned flesh hit her she felt a dry heave from the pit of her stomach.

 

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