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The Dragons Will Rise - Part Six

Posted on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 @ 7:20pm by Lieutenant Artem Rihanoff & Gul Keshac & Lieutenant Commander Soraya Delrisa & Glin Lonar

Mission: Purgatory's Shadow. Season 2 Episode 7
Location: Spire

Ra-Movraii led his half of the away team further into the obsidian-esque spire, doing his best to ignore the gut feeling that something was amiss - aside from the presence of Cardassians and an imprisoned officer, of course.

Things had been troubling enough on the science station, with ghosts of the past haunting him and the team, but here... Here something else was foreboding; something was here, within these curved and scarred walls, waiting. Although the Efrosian had come to trust his gut feeling on such things, he knew seniority could not lead that way. If junior officers began copying such behaviour, their gut feelings would leave them dead.

Or worse: in command of something.

"Still no luck with the scanners?" He asked Doctor Delrisa, himself leading with his rifle readied. The makeshift orange lighting the Cardassians had installed were growing more frequent, and he was become more certain they were on the correct path. As for T'Rena's team, there was a chance that their path would conjoin with their own, but if not, he did not know what would await them.

"I'm still getting mixed readings, ionizing radiation and lifesigns including carbon-14. The readings are steadier now, it's still difficult to believe they have the same point of origin," Soraya said. "Very curious. We're not close enough to be in danger as of yet."

Artim had been quiet for a long time, finding he had once again been thrust into a situation far beyond any training he had received. He pulled his phaser rifle closer to himself, pressing its cold frame against his chest as if like a security blanket. The only familiar item around him but he still maintained his stoic exterior, not letting on that he was scarred, as were probably most of them.

Soraya glanced toward Artim as he moved his rifle reflexively. Her tricorder beeped softly, as if jealous it had briefly lost her attention.

"This doesn't seem to be naturally occuring radiation. The closer we get, the more centralized the source. Naturally occuring radiation tends to be decentralized, more effusive and spread-out," the doctor said.

"A hypothesis," Ra-Movraii then said in his gruff voice, stopping to speak with Delrisa. "Could the radiation be coming from some sort of Cardassian weapon, or something they at least have in their position? And if that's true, what would prolonged exposure do to those near it?" Although he had not said it, the commander was speaking of his fear for Sara Lam's health, should she be kept near whatever was causing the radiation.

Soraya considered for a moment, tapping her fingers against her leg.

"Yes, it could be a weapon," she said, "But if it is, then it is not well designed or is failing. This kind of radiation is particularly dangerous for living tissue Commander. Mild radiation sickness is almost a certainty for anything within a klick, and potentially much worse," she added.

Artim continued to lead the group forward, his rifle posed ready for a split second notice. His finger flexed gently on the trigger, not enough to fire the weapon, but enough to wake the nerve endings up after they had started to dull with inactivity. The big Russian was also convinced he had felt something below them, deep within the structure rumble and the floor had vibrated almost imperceptibly. He had considered it was his own imaginings and chose to say nothing.
"Commander", his thick accent changing certain letters even more so with the whisper e spoke in. "Voices... Ahead!"

Being carried down the corridors was muttering, too indistinct to be translated by the team's universal translators, but loud enough to be recognised as the Cardassian language, intermingled with groans of resistance that sounded distinctly female.

"Commander Lam," Ra-Movraii said with certainty, cursing himself for failing to hear the voices first. "Prepare your weapons," he growled to the other two, gripping his own rifle more tightly, "we don't want to be here too long; if they have some sort of unstable weapon, we don't want to be exposed like the rest of them. With any luck, it'll make them weaker than us. Move." The Efrosian led them forwards, further along the obsidian-esque corridors. More of the golden-hued Cardassian portable lights appeared as they went on, confirming Artem's suspicions of voices, and Ra-Movraii's own of hearing Cardassian voices.

Finally, a small curved 'cut-out' of a door was sighted, with a lone Cardassian guarding it, whose skin looked more mottled than most of his species', which was surprising, given how grey their skin colour usually was. Upon closer inspection, the team could see the sentry did not have a great deal of hair left, which only confirmed some of their suspicions.

"Let's do this quickly. Set weapons to heavy stun." Ra-Movraii spoke quickly and fired his rifle at the guard, knocking down the obviously-ill man down quickly, and giving the three officers an easy opening to the doorway. Within, a single female Cardassian was standing by a vertical surgical table, on which a very beaten and distraught-looking Starfleet officer was tied down, her golden collar as dirty as the rest of her grey-and-black uniform.

"Open fire!" The lieutenant commander called, already firing his rifle at the selection of Cardassians within, none of which looked particularly troubling in the state they were in. It was highly possible they had all been exposed to this radiation for a distinct amount of time, or were at least poorly trained. Two were knocked down quickly by Ra-Movraii, but another couple came running up the corridor towards them. "Lieutenant Rihanoff," the Efrosian shouted, knowing already he could trust the young Russian man, "cover us!"

Artim reeled in the combat, this was what he had trained for, both at the academy and in building his imposing form to its current fitness. His lips curling into a battle cry as the five Cardassian were slain by the rapid fire shots he was squeezing from his rifle. Once they were clear he wheeled around to help the Commander but before he could fire even one shot a delicate hand draped with white chiffon gripped his arm, jerked it up at an odd angle with the sound of bone crunching and snapping as it went.

Rihanoff slumped to the floor, his arm twisted at an obscene angle with a female Cardassian stood over his form wearing a floating white dress and a violence burning in her eyes that could only be rivaled by a gang of Klingon's.
she squeezed off a shot,barleyy missing Soraya as she went.

"Commander!" Soraya shouted to Ra-Movraii as she dove towards Rihanoff. The woman looked past the doctor as a movement caught her eye.

The Efrosian turned from his last opponent to face the woman who had maimed Artem and nearly shot Delrisa, and he wasted no time in firing his own weapon directly at her, although she moved quickly and into cover. "I have seen your kind before, Gul Keshac!" He declared, stepping over one of the downed Cardassians. "You think you'll fight 'til the bitter end," he continued, advancing towards Lam to release the operations officer, who had apparently been in the middle of a questioning when the trio had arrived.

Despite the obvious injuries the questioning and her imprisonment had warranted her, she seemed otherwise unharmed - or at least without clear radiation poisoning, unlike most of the lackeys Keshac had sent against them. "If there's one thing that's remarkable about your people," Ra-Movraii called, his green eyes seeing that Delrisa was watching carefully over Artem whilst his free hand deactivated the clasps holding Lam down, "it's your penchant for self-preservation. Give yourself up, and you can leave conscious and in far less pain. Refuse, and things may be less cordial. Either way, you're coming with us, "Gul"."

The doctor gave Lieutenant Rihanoff another shot from the hypospray, watching his face as the pain melted away. He nodded to her and she turned towards Commander Lam, staying low. She pulled out her tricorder, quickly scanning her.

A soft hissing pop from the device seemed to boom in the silence.

"Commander Ra-Movraii, we need to get her out of here," Soraya whispered.

The Efrosian nodded, but did not look to the doctor. "You go," he said quietly, although it was highly possible Keshac could still hear, "but I'm not leaving without that bitch. Find Commander T'Rena, Doctor." His eyes flitted just momentarily to the CMO. "Let her know what's going on; get Lam to safety."

Soraya held out her hand to Commander Lam, helping her up and letting her lean against her.

"Lieutenant?" she asked the young man softly.

"I can walk... Lead the way", Artim offered, pulling his arm into a neutral pose while still supporting the rifle with his good hand. He may be out of this fight, but he could still do his best to support the retreat of a Doctor, injured women and himself.

Events were unfolding around her but to Lam it was all a blur, her senses overwhelmed, was this the rescue she'd dare not hope for or was it some sort of cruel trick by her captors or a dream that would end any moment, unable to speak Sara allowed herself to be carried to its conclusion.

The dangerous game of cat and mouse on the other hand was still playing out between Keshac and Ra-Movraii. Her delicate, lilting tones carried across the room as if on a breeze but the acoustics making it impossible to tell where she was hiding.
"You are merely an interruption to my plans, nothing more".

"You are acting like a child," Ra-Movraii replied dismissively, doing his utmost to pinpoint Keshac's location, but years of marine warfare - explosives and heavy machinery - left him at a disadvantage, "with the plans of a child. Even if you gun me down, it's too late for you to even think of getting away. Let's not waste any more life or time!" The Efrosian took a few steps forward and jumped to look behind an object, but to no avail. "Surrender and be done with it. You've already failed."

"Failed?" she screeched, a humorless laugh leaving her lips and echoing around the room making it even more difficult to pinpoint her. "How could I have failed? I have the technology to turn artificial wormholes into a massive destructive weapon. I have an army at my beck and call. You are nothing more than an insect fighting the changing winds"

Slowly she edged around the column she had taken refuge behind until she could face the view of the outside world from the massive opening that dominated the exterior wall. Dust seemed to be rising from the ground, like a fog it was rolling away from a distinct line, or was it an opening?

She bounced from her vantage leveling the rifle she had acquired from the large Human male, pointing it directly at the midriff of the Efrosian, caught off guard.
"You are nothing!", she spat at him but as she discharged the weapon the floor pitched and a massive shattering of earth from the surface below trembled up the building making her lose her footing and the shot arc wide.

Although he felt the heat from Keshac's blast as it flew past him, it was the extreme shaking of the ground beneath them that began to concern him. Used to these situations, he was able to steady himself and use the moment to sight his opponent and lunge at her, knocking her weapon from her hand and delivering a swift blow to her head, pushing aside the mystery of the 'quake for the moment.

But then they both saw it.

As the earthquake had continued to shake the spire, pieces had crumbled away in the walls where the Cardassians had built their own systems into them, and natural light bled through the rock. The obsidian elements remained firmly in place, holding the building safely together, reassuring Xal that there was no threat of a total collapse - but the sight beyond was certainly something to be feared.

Smaller buildings built by the original occupants of this planet crumbled and collapsed below in the streets, so far down that it almost seemed like small ant hills toppling in the wind. The dust rising around the ancient city as a large hanger opened from the base of the tower. Its massive doors seemingly opening for an eternity, the hole growing inexorably until it looked large enough to allow a Borg Cube room to land.

A soft clunk resounded and the streets below fell silent, Keshac having scrambled to the edge of the open wall, lying on her chest to look at what was happening. Slowly, with the sound of winds a large mass started to rise, seemingly made of the same Obsidian material that the tower had been made from. An aura surrounding it, one that cast an almost serene sense over everyone and everything.

It had a sense of artistic curves, flowing lines that would be similar in form to a creature with feathers and that could easily take flight, the only difference being the sheer size which became clear once it cleared the hanger, now towering over the spire she was looking at it from. Constantly rising up and into the sky, pulling away from the planetary gravity with ease until finally it could no longer be seen.

Despite what was unfolding, Ra-Movraii did not let the affair prevent him from his duty; taking advantage of the situation, he fumbled for Keshac's weapon, and before she could react - still mesmerised/horrified by the gargantuan thing beyond - he fired at her, quickly moving forward to grab her collapsing body.

Looking once again at the mass through the broken wall, the Efrosian decided whatever it was was not friendly - it was time to leave. And with a VIP prisoner in tow.


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