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Fire and Brimstone

Posted on Sun Sep 5th, 2010 @ 9:07am by Fleet Admiral Tal Navek & Lieutenant JG Gin Gallia & Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez & Civilian Haqtaj Matlh & Ramol Lussot

Mission: Battle Front. Season 2, Episode 2


Tal walked onto the bridge, flanked by Doctor Fletcher, Haqtaj, and Lussot. The Chief's team was no onboard, and he had been told that Jrez was making his way to the bridge. "Commander Lam, how close are they to having that conduit open?" Tal asked, referencing the transwarp conduit the Borg were attempting to open.

Standing from the Captain's chair Lam met his gaze as he approached the centre of the bridge "estimated three minutes, give a take a few seconds." The Captain's sudden reappearance seemed to send a sense a relief through the bridge until his mention of the Borg which immediately put everyone back on edge.

"To close for comfort if you ask me" Tal replied "Lock all weapons. Target the weakened areas of their shields. I don't want this thing being able to escape. Commander, hail DS7 and all surrounding vessels, instruct them to do the same."

"We've got Starfleet audio online, Admiral DeVuor is coordinating from DS7, Commodore Varal advises all ships in attack formation." Lam had been trying to stay on top of the fleet orders while the Captain was away but as the Anubis was slightly short handed she was doing her best to stay on top of issues as they arose, something she detested as she was constantly reacting to the changing situation and felt slightly out of control.

Haqtaj stretched her shoulder. There had been some good battles today, but now she was begning to stiffen up. Even the proudest of warriors needs time to recover from a fight. But this fight was still far from over. She felt out of place, here on the bridge of a Starfleet vessel going into battle. She had no station to man, no commands to issue. She looked over to Lussot who was probably feeling the same.

Jrez handed the rogues over to a security officer to escort them to sickbay. He hurried along the corridor from the transporter room, anxious to get to the bridge before what he feared was about to happen became reality. He jumped into a turbolift. “Bridge!”

With a swoosh the turbolift doors opened. He saw his worst fears were about to be realised. Tactical was gearing up for a fight.

“What are you doing?” he yelled, insensitive to protocol in his urgency.

"Getting that abomination out of my sight." Tal replied with a bit of hiss to his voice. He wasn't accustomed to his orders being questioned as such.

“You can’t! Noru said more drones are breaking free by the minute. If you destroy that Cube you’re condemning innocent people!”

Haqtaj growled, "How many 'innocent' civilians do you take on your starships in full knowledge that they may be attacked and assimilated by the Borg or killed in battle. There are no innocents here, only casualties."

"Innocents? Casualties? Numbers? Statistics?" Jrez was fit to kill. He swung around at Navek. "Beam me in," he demanded. "Jackson used his phaser, not the rifle I gave him. Put me back there to use the rifle. It’s not just a nano-virus, it’s also biological. It can spread. We can send the Cube back through the conduit and, quite literally, infect the Collective. But I need to....”

=/=Cornwallis to Anubis I’ve heard what you’ve been saying, Beam the virus over to me. There’s no way I’m going to get out of here but there’s a few drones I can take with me.=/=

The request was met with silence.

=/=Please, give me this last honourable act. I can’t go back to you but if I can let other drones do so then I’ll die happy. Wish me luck.=/=

Haqtaj growled again, "That is why a true Klingon Warrior does not allow herself to be taken prisoner."

Jrez turned on her. This was a person of esteem. Everything he’d had to do with her spoke of a woman to be respected. Vartog too had said the same and Jrez placed a great deal in what Vartog had to say about Klingons. He grabbed Hatlh by the front of her amour. “Prisoner, be damned! They’re already prisoners. We have a chance to free them. Are you going to throw that away?"

This was an odd moment. At 6'4" Haqtaj was a good half a foot taller than the Trill. She also wore her full battle armour which made her an impressive wieght. Haqtaj reached up with one hand and uncurled Jrez's hand from her front piece.

"Chief," She said quietly, "be thankful we are on a Starfleet vessel, under Starfleet rules. If you had challenged me like this on my own turf you would now be dead. Understand this; a Klingon warrior is never taken prisoner. If a Klingon were to be captured, they would rather die than have the shame of their capture become known. If there were Klingons on board that Cube, they would not thank you for bring them home. Rather, they would be pleased to have died as one last act of service for the Empire. I understand it is not that way with your people, and that is why I am not interferring. Believe me, it is taking all my self control not to push this tactical officer asside and launch the attack myself."

She released his hand, "Shall we give in to our base urges, Chief, or shall we act like the civilised people we purport to be? When this is finished, I will give you any chance you wish to complete your challenge of me."

Jrez stepped back. One step. He turned to Navek. “I want it put on record that I neither approve of, nor support the destruction of that Cube.” Then he turned back to Haqtaj. “I will not challenge you. Not out of cowardice though I know full well you would pound me into the decking and cut me up into little pieces. I will not do so because this is a Starfleet vessel and we do not conduct ourselves in that manner.”

Lam stood watching but was loathe to intervene as the situation seemed to be resolving itself, she nonetheless was glad she had her phaser on her hip, if anything were to happen she was more than ready to stun them both.

"Your objection is noted Chief" Tal replied, the venom in his words becoming clear "If anyone else wants to question my decision, feel free to do so, but you can do so while getting the hell off my bridge." Tal returned to his seat, hoping that any further outbreaks had been quelled.

Jrez did as instructed. He left. He did not want to witness what he firmly believed to be wanton destruction and a missed opportunity to gain valuable knowledge.

Doctor Fletcher just stood, lost in his own thoughts as the Borg Cube started to create an escape route. All conscious thought was fixed on two things, both of which were diametrically opposed view points. One one hand, he knew that somewhere in the collective mind were millions of individuals condemned to a life of mindless automation. Yet another part of him yearned for the Collective's destruction as they had taken trillions of lives, including his grandfather at the historic battle of Wolf Three Five Nine.

Instead of voicing these thoughts, he allowed the Command Staff of Anubis to do what even he knew they had to do, defend the Federation civilian population, as well as Humanoid Life that this Borg Cube would assimilate into the Collective in the future.
He remained silent, allowing his inner turmoil to play out unencumbered by external intervention.

Navek turned to Lam "Commander, are all vessels in position?"

Lam looked up, a strand of hair from her fringe falling across her face, "aye sir, targets locked." Now they stood on the brink and waited, a silence descended across the bridge as all eyes turned to the Captain.

"Very well." Tal tapped a button on the center console, opening a channel to other vessels =/="All ships, this is Captain Navek onboard the Anubis. We cannot let that cube escape, you are all cleared to fire at will."=/=

Cornwallis was about to repeat his request for the virus rifle. He never got the chance. Phaser fire ripped into the Cube. The panel in front of him exploded in a shower of sparks. He was sent flying in the direction of the drones. He looked on in horror, helpless, as one bent to him. He felt tubules puncutre his skin and the assimilation begin. Then another panel exploded and shrapnel tore through his skull. He was dead before the nanites could do their mind altering work.


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