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What's That?

Posted on Mon May 31st, 2010 @ 9:55pm by 1st Lieutenant Delvok Laurie

Mission: Wolf In The Fold. Season 2, Episode 1

With her soft brown hair askew, worked loose from its pony tail Ensign Helen Shire streaked through the battered station quickly. She couldn't afford to be late or find herself lost as she continued to run, turning at the correct junction having ordered the lift in a commanding tone which surprised even her she neared her destination in the heart of the Marine stronghold.

Her attempt to remain professional was almost obliterate upon her arrival into the marine training facility where she had been summoned after reports of an strange explosive device had been discovered. For her at her entrance she plowed head first into the solider standing just within the doorway with enough force to send them both staggering back a pace.

Quickly Shire muttered an apology before speaking her part: "I'm looking for Lieutenant Laurie."

"That would be me," David replied. "I've hard the area cordend off. I've no idea of the potential yield or what strauctural features are behind the bulkheads, so it might be necessary to clear surrounding sections. The Spoo... Cardassians, have covered it with a sheet, more than likely to make someone accidentally activate it."

"So it would seem," Helen observed acutely aware of the swift change in Laurie's word choice. "How did you find it?" She asked gesturing for him to show her the device so she could inspect it. She wasn't the most experience candidate in defusing devices such as this but with limited persons on board she had to do.

David motioned for Helen to follow him. "I was looking for a room that would make a suitable office and saw it sitting at the back of the room. I've scene too many good people killed by Cardassian traps like it to take risks. Here it is," he said, standing at the doorway pointing to the grubby sheet and the thin disc protruding from under it.

"I've never defused one of those myself, but I've been present when a few have been back in the '50s during the Federation-Cardassian War. I would imagine its an anti-personnel mine rather than a poweful explosive, but then again the Spo... Cardassians do not always do what is expected."

He kicked himself somewhat for making the same mistake twice. Using derogatory names was not acceptable, but the Marines were notoriously bad for doing it. David concidered himself to be more racially sensitive than most of the Marines, but clearly he was still rather bigotted about things.

"Yes, you can never be too certain," Shire replied lowly pulling the tricorder from her waist band and scanned the object from the doorway before stepping closer.
She cocked her head to one side with interest. The yield was certainly large enough to turn the Marine, herself and anyone else close by by into dust rather than destroy everything in it's path.

Tentatively she moved closer studying the readings. As she had expected it monitored direct interaction and motions rather than the old fashion countdown. Thus eliminating the possibility of moving the device.
Carefully Helen peeled the sheeting away to reveal an equally filthy squat deceive that appeared to be made of scrap rather than a trained expert.
"Not quite what I was expecting," she said lowly adjusting her stance.

David nodded. "Exactly. The Cardassians liked making shoddy looking devices in the hopes people would underestimate them. I saw a lot of good people die thinking they were simple to deal with."

Shire grimanced. 'That was reasuring' she thought.

He looked at the device and frowned. It was particularly poor looking, but that might make it even more powerful than usual. Perhaps a Bajoran worker had made it in hopes of taking out a few Cardassians. There was always the chance that it would make a small puff of smoke and that would it, but he didn't want to risk it.

"What do you think?" he asked after a reasonable length of time.

Unrolling a tool kit from a secondary pocket Shire referred back to the readouts on the tricorder. "Well it has enough kick to turn us into dust, trigged by movement instead of your traditional timer. Although it appears there is a countdown should you upset it."
Carefully she extracted a tool from the kit and inspected the wiring closer. "Although it doesn't look much its complicated with three dead ends and a built in booby trap. Still, I'm sure I can disarm it."

Inched closer wiping the beading sweat from her entrance upon a sleeve Helen selected another tool from her kit and nestled deeper into the mass of criss crossing wires. A strained silence followed whale she worked returned several times to the bleeping tricorder as if it worked as a mini alarm system.

"Feels like I'm playing Operation," she muttered under her breath.

David stood for a few seconds watching, but took a step back and popped his head out of the door. He motioned for the nearest Marines to come over. "I want everyone kept to the far end of the area. No one is to come down here and no one is to make any noise, understood?"

The young man nodded. "Yes, Sir," he replied quietly before moving away to the few Marines still moving boxes and junk. David stepped back in to wait quietly for any instructions that might be passed his way.

"How steady are your hands Lieutenant?" Shire asked without turning.

"I was a sniper, so my hands are steady enough for that," David replied.

"I'll guess that we have to do, I'm in need of a third hand," she continued. "I think a touch of teamwork will be this machine's weakness."

David nodded and crouched down to wait for Helen to tell him where she needed his hands. He took a few deep breaths and tried to clear his mind of all that could go wrong. Somehow it seemed easier when he was lying in the dirt, rifle in hand, waiting to take a shot.

"OK, if I'm right we have to start the timer by activating the deceive before it can be disarmed," Shire explained shooting a quick glance at the Marine' to gauge his reaction. "In order to disarm it we need to keep a cool head because we won't have long before the countdown is up. Then we're dust. As far as I can tell we need to trace the electronic pulse as it travels around the device and break the circuit before it can reach the detonation. However the circuit works on several levels each need to be neutralized at a precise moment, and whoever made this designed it so it could not be disarmed by one person for the layout is very complex and speed is everything."

"You see where my left hand is - that purple wire? That's the first cut once I've started the clock. We have sixty seconds to pull this off, and I'm honest to say I don't know how many cuts we have to make. At a guess I'd say seven." She handed him a pair of small wire cutters. "Just give me a few more moments to plan and I'll explain it all thoroughly."

David took the wire cutters and gave a very slight smile. Suddenly he felt very mortal. What had he said this morning before leaving to Helen? Had he been a good man?

Taking a breath he cleared his mind. It was difficult, but he had spent years reading various Vulcan texts to help with emotional control. It was at times like this though that he wished he was a full Vulcan and would have to struggle so much to keep calm and in control. Now was not a time for losing it.

"I'm ready when you are," he said flatly, waiting and praying it would go right.

"Alright," Shire took a breath to steady herself. "Once the countdown starts we need to cut the purple wire first, then the green, blue, yellow, then second green" she nodded. "Then the brown then finally the red one. I hope," She grinned skeptically. "Alright, you snip the purple one as soon as I trigger this we'll do the wires alternately and carefully! I don't want to screw this is I'm sure you don't want to be a pile of dust either. Ready? And mark!"

With her right hand she prodded the device firmly right into its heart. Instantly her jab was greeting with a sharp beeping sound followed by a soft groan. The tricorder between them stated to go haywire. "Cut it!" Shire hissed already moving around Laurie to reach the blue wire she had indicated while the groaning seemed to change in pitch.

David snipped the wire, still taking slow deep breaths as he did so. As soon as it was cut, he moved the wires to his next target. The worst part about the whole affair was just how small the device was; there really wasn't much room for two people, epsecially when David was fairly tall and broad, to get in at the wires.

Inserting her hands up to their elbows Helen could feel herself sweating, and this had nothing to do with her current position - leaning right over the marine almost to where their faces touched. Another place, another time this could have been quite funny but now was not the time.

Now on top of the stress of cutting wires, David was accutely aware of just how close the young woman from security was. His Vulcan half was uncomfortable with the proximity, fortunately his Human side tempered it enough to keep himself comfortable enough. He could feel a slight smile pull at his features, but he suppressed it, hoping it hadn't been noticed.

Her fingers twitched cutting through next wire soundly. "Alright, that blue one next just by your right hand." Between them the small tricorder contained to bleep monitoring the flow of energy flowing around the deceive marking their progress, but right now it was squealing in protest as Laurie reached for the blue and began to add pressure.

"Stop!" Helen called sharply. "Somethings wrong," she consulted the instrument acutely aware of the ticking countdown and the beads of sweat forming on her brow. Was it really that simple? There was only one way to find out.

"Here goes nothing," she breathed heavily reaching out with the cutters to the red wire which she had second guessed was the final stage in defusing the device. She exchanged a quick glance with the marine wondering briefly if they'd say an afterlife together. Then, blinking the thought away she clamped her eyes together, held her breath and snipped half expecting a colossal explosion to follow.

Silence. Utter silence. It seemed to stretch for eternity while she sat still, rooting and barley breathing. Daring to open her eyes she released her held breath - they were both still alive!
However she was strewn across the marines lap. Quickly she rose, smiling sheepishly.
"Sorry, that didn't go quite to plan."

David smiled and sighed. "We're alive, I think that was the plan," he said matter-of-factly. Everything seemed so much sweeter now that impending doom was over. He had a feeling that he may need to sit and mediate later on to destress and recover.

"Thank you for deactivating that bomb," he said politely as he got to his feet. "Hopefully I won't find any more of those things. I'm not sure I could go through all that again." It was only then that he realised it might seem an odd thing for him to say; often calm and collected, few ever realised David had been rattled unless he said as much.

"Likewise, but don't be surprised if we do." Helen could feel the tension leaving her hunched shoulders leaving her feeling exhausted. "You'll be able to dispols of that safely now, unless you want to keep it as a meminder." She half smiled. "Thanks for your help, and if us a call if you need us in the future."

David bent down and lifted the deactivated bomb. It would probably be best to keep it for now and study it; learn from this in case more turned up.

"I think I'll keep it for now, just to study it for a bit. Might make a good paperweight as well," he added jokingly. "Thank you again, and I will call if I find any more of these little monsters."


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