Posted March 18, 2023, 11:27 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Nash (Chief Engineer) (David Shotton)
Posted by Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Tick Tick Boom…Atlantis Bridge…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present.
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Ethan Nash (Chief Engineer) in Tick Tick Boom…Atlantis Bridge…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present.
Posted by Captain Kelly Bordeaux (Commanding Officer) in Tick Tick Boom…Atlantis Bridge…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present.
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
=/\=Command we have an intruder=/\= one of the voices called out only to be met with silence. Across the levels of the ship, the comms agent on the bridge was successfully diverting any internal chatter about the mission to Aimee’s control center instead of its intended target. The plea was only heard by her in her earpiece for now. Sending a side glance to the agent at the engineering panel on the bridge, she knew the man was already suppressing the alarms in the Brig so that when the officers deployed their weapons it would not show up. Right now it was mission critical, they had to buy enough time for the asset to free the Elders. Once the Elders were free, there was going to be nothing they could do to stop the rest of the Altantis from finding out about the mission.
The Engineering officer held his breath for a half second knowing that weapons fire was occurring but the hack was holding.
=/\= Ian and Rinker. I hate you. Why did you lie to me when I trusted you.=/\= her voice blared out of the comm badges worn by both Ian and Rinker. The comms agent immediately tried to stop the transmission but it was too late. The engineering officer heard the transmission also and immediately locked down the room the senior staff was in cutting all their comm badges. This was always the plan but hopefully, they would just ignore the child’s response before the second phase of the mission began.
=^=Computer why is my comm badge inactive?=^= Rinker’s voice came through the comm’s agent earpiece.
=/\=Commander Rinker=/\= the voice from the counter agent comm’s officer placed on the bridge replied back.
“So anyone get the score on the game last night between the Moon Rakers and Saturn Ringers? ” The comment from the engineer at his station was just to create background banter so the comms agent could send her message to those about to be locked in the conference room.
=/\=We are currently having issues with a solar storm. It is being addressed. Can I help you with something=/\= Her voice was not unknown to the senior staff but had just transferred over about a month ago.
“I got fifty credits riding on that game that I don’t have,” the engineer joked with a good-natured laugh as he began to do his part of the counter-insurgent operation.
Her response was transmitted to the rest of the counter-insurgent team causing several things to happen. The security feed of Jessa’s sick bay room would show the holographic image of Jessa in bed sleeping. This would only hold up until someone went into the room to wake her and their hand passed through the body. The counter-insurgent team’s engineers were locking down the conference room the senior staff was currently using as if it was a brig. All comms would be dead for those officers in the room, the exit from the room to the bridge would be fused shut, and a forcefield put up to try and delay the chief engineer from getting to the panel. Keeping everyone in the dark was never going to last forever. The counter-insurgent team was lucky it had lasted this long. The best they could do was try and delay the senior staff from working against them. The most they could hope for was no one on the bridge seemed to notice.
=/\=Well I am not sure what to say=/\= the comms agent kept her tone neutral and light making sure she no longer used his rank or name to clue in who she was talking to. =/\=My suggestion would be to take it up with engineering at your first possible convenience.=/\= As if to play down the conversation she rolled her eyes and glanced at the engineering officer. So far their luck was holding out far better than they anticipated. The mission was almost twelve minutes underway and no one suspected a thing until now. Why Aimee and the command team didn’t just anesthizine the lot in the conference room was beyond her. Loose ends tended to unravel no matter how you tried to seal them off.
Counter insurgent comms and engineering officers
As the klaxons began to blare the comms officer and the engineering officer realized the mission was finally becoming public knowledge. Reaching into their pocket, they each pulled out a small concealed phaser. There was no ship attacking. The threat was internal so the two counter-insurgent officers immediately took out the tactical officer and security officers on the bridge. Since they were the only two officers armed, it made taking out the rest of the bridge crew like shooting objects in a shooting gallery. The officers on duty were trapped in a confined space and the two agents picked them off one by one until everybody was stunned and unconscious.
The timing was perfect as the comms and engineering agents secured the room before seeing the conference room doors finally slide open. “You have had more time to put together what’s going on than these guys,” she waved her phaser at the group now stunned and slumped over various consoles around the room. “Do not test our convictions Sirs,” she addressed the group standing in the conference room door. “Hands up, file in, and then please take a seat under the viewport because we will shoot you and never think twice. There is no reason for heroics. Your cooperation is appreciated,” the small petite coms agent replied.
“Clearly not Section 31,” Nash muttered. “The Section protects the Federation from all threats, at all costs. They don’t arrange breakouts from a Starfleet Starship and attack Starfleet personnel. If they wanted them an Admiral from Starfleet Command would simply tell us to load them onto a ship that would arrive to transport them. This is an amateur rogue organization, not a Starfleet Mandated one. It makes no sense for the Section to do this when they can literally just take them or set them free with an order from Command.”
River’s blood boiled as she saw the pair. She wanted to turn to Nash with some remark. But she knew it wouldn’t make any difference he didn’t care about her opinion or her for that matter. A running theme on the ship that River was beginning to notice. Besides having a conflict with Nash wouldn’t help their situation instead she looked the pair dead in the eyes showing no fear only anger. “For your sake they better be only stunned” Her tone wasn’t aggressive but it was a tone that would make most sweat.
“Only a few bumps and bruises,” the comms agent confirmed. The ship was going to suffer losses. There was no need to create more unnecessarily. “Now if you would please,” she began before a voice rang out on the bridge silencing everyone.
=/\=Do not lie to me. What did you stand to lose by not letting me see the Elders?=/\= Jessa’s voice blared through Ian and Rinker’s comms as the sound of weapons fire echoed in the background. Soft dinging sounds interrupted the static as phaser shots ricocheted off her armor. =/\=Was Rogan injured when you were talking to him?=/\= It was clear she was angry and wanted an answer but distracted by something.
=^=They were unsafe, they had very well practiced lies that you had heard hundreds and hundreds of time. When someone hears something often enough, the lies seem to be the truth. Just like what they are telling you now. We never hurt Rogan. He was the one that injured our crew member. The injury you saw.”
The sounds of Marines giving orders and a firefight occurring played briefly in the background of Jessa’s words. Whether it was the battle stressing her out or the question, Jessa’s tone indicated she was upset.
“Sounds like my marines are giving your friends a run for their money. Good” she sad simply as she tried her hardest to listen to the com. She knew the other wouldn’t care about her Marines and she knew that she would need to get down there. But first she had to get out of this situation first. It pained her to know that more of her marines could be dying and she couldn’t do anything to help. Not that the rest of the conscious people on the bridge would care about that.
“Don’t answer that until I get clearance for you to speak to her,” the comms agent said leaning against the console, tapping a finger to the device in her ear. No one had anticipated Jessa having a comm badge. “Hand the comm badge over. When I get the clearance you can have it back.”
“When I get out of this you won’t be able to speak, only scream” River said coldly her ten letting them know she meant it.
“We have rules on interrogation,” she rolled her eyes slightly. “Remember we are on the same team and the good guys.”
River scoffed “Who said anything about interrogation” she said coldly “Wow you lot really are indoctrinated aren’t you. You are not the good guys. Section 31 is only a pair of jackboots and a funny salute away from becoming megalomaniac psychos. You have attacked a star fleet crew, imprisoned the senior staff and you have unleashed a group of psychopathic, zealots who will cause untold damage and injury to the unsuspecting people on this ship.” she spat
“Better here where we can control it,” she shrugged it off. “Law of averages. At some point, they would have escaped. Better to know the devil in a cage than one that is fully unleashed.”
“Yes but you forget there is more than one devil on this ship.” River said darkly “Law of averages say that the federation will crumble but you don’t see us just letting it happen do you” she added.
“There are children on this ship. Do you really think those nutters will care if a child gets into the line of fire. If that happens that death is on your hands. You don’t want that on your hands, believe me.” she said simply “If we really are on the same side, let us go. You have data for what ever you want, because my marines are fighting that enemy already. let us go and we can stop them before a civilian ends up on the list of the dead, or haven forbid a child” she added she knew it wouldn’t mean anything to those in front of her but she had to try.
=/\=Is that the mind seer?=/\= Rogan knew the voice and a flash of anger, fueled by the combat drug turned his attention from the door to Jessa. Before Jessa could reply, the sound of a scuffle erupted on the other end of the open comm line. The sound of something falling or dropping could be heard as well as a sharp exhalation of breath and a gasp. =/\=How much time have you spent letting him twist your mind against us? It is time for a less,=/\= Rogan’s voice trailed off through the open comm line which had transmitted the entire conversation to everyone on the bridge. The final part of the sentence however was cut off.
Jessa Novar and the Elders
=/\=Remove Rinker’s badge =/\= Aimee advised the comms agent. The last thing they needed was for the head shrink to get into the kid’s head and try to talk her down. Again she silently cursed that no one had thought of rolling in one of the Atlantis crew’s established mental health professionals instead of planting an agent of their own. They could just cut the comms but without their electronics working, the kid’s comm badge was the only thing giving them audio updates in Marine Country. Studying data bursts visual image of the Marines being pushed aside and the alien’s working on the door to Marine country, Aimee sent out a message. There was no way to ensure they could contain the aliens unless the team stuck to the plan. =/\=All teams prepare for next transport=/\= Aimee announced. Her voice rang out across the bridge to ensure everyone knew what was about to happen. The information about defense was invaluable but the counter-insurgent team was sent here her to provoke offensive capabilities to know what they would be dealing with.
The comms agent did not reply at first but simply looked at Styxx. “I wish I could help you but it is not within the mission parameters.”
River scoffed again “Not in mission petametres? what are you a drone? is that what section 31 wants for the federation? a force of drones who refuse to think for themselves and will do what ever their master says. No thanks I’ve seen that in effect and it isn’t great.” she said angrily.
As much as Ian wanted to deal with Jessa, he had a bigger issue. For now, Rinker could handle Jessa. He needed to work with the rest of the senior staff in getting control of the bridge back. “Nash if we get you to the control panel can you take back what they have overridden and figure out where they just sent them?”
“Of course I can,” Nash muttered back. “These amateurs can’t even organize an escape right. Get me to a console and we can sort this out.”
“Styxx, we need you to take out the engineering agent first. We don’t want to give anyone enough time to vent the room of oxygen or something more creative. Don’t move until we are all ready,” Ian said to the Marine captain.
“Sure thing.” River whispered “Just one question do you want them alive?” she asked if the answer was yes she would have to hold back to ensure they where still alive. but if it was no then she could be a bit more liberal with her combat.
Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)
Ian was thankful Jessa was pulling the attention of the room on Rinker. It allowed the rest of them to plan. “Preferable but they don’t need to be conscious,” he commented to Styxx.
Ian Bordeaux CDO
River smiled cruelly “I’ll do my best I might have to break a bone or two though” she said simply.
Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)
“If they weah lookin’ for a body count they woudda killed the crew not stunned them,” Chris said. “If Rinker can get the attention of the agents on him we can be clay pigeons and hope the setting is on stun. Styxx you bloody hell bettah need to take them out when we take the cover fire.” Chris’ tone showed he was not thrilled at the idea of taking one for the team; however, he had to trust everyone had a role to play. While the linguistics officer was important, deciphering a language and stellar cartography were not needed at this precise second. If someone needed to be a decoy, they were the most logical choices.
River smirked “Oh don’t worry when I’m finished with them, they won’t even be able to move without the assistance of a full medical team. If you can get me close they will be silenced” she said simply but it was clear she menta everything she said.
Ian felt his stomach knot up. The situation was going from bad to worse. His best friend was literally suggesting they adopt the lineup and let the enemy mow you down tactic the British and Europeans used for centuries to produce a Fabian strategy as the end result to success. Although this strategy usually meant cutting off supplies to the opposing side, right now it was ten against two. The Atlantis crew had the numbers and like all good zombie flicks demonstrated, even if unarmed, greater numbers would defeat someone if they had nowhere to retreat to.
Ian Bordeaux CDO
“On the count of three,” Chris said tensing up his muscles. The space between them was small but he was going to get hit and it was going to hurt like hell. “We ready,” he asked in a low tone to the several officers about to offer themselves up as cannon fodder for Styxx to gain the advantage.
Rogan, Chris Robbins, and Ian Bordeaux
Chris took a deep breath and bolted towards the engineering console along with several of the other officers. It was what his family called a turkey shoot however it also showed that superior numbers could win. He was able to get three strides before the officer to his right fell along with the officer to his left. He hoped Styxx was on his arse like they planned. Chris would be able to take out one of them but not the other on his own. Diving over the console he caught the engineer in the chest throwing all his body weight on him praying Styxx was on the comms agent.
Chris Robins Science
Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)
River was indeed on Chris’s heels. As soon as she had an opportunity she made bee line for the coms agent. River was going to enjoy this. As soon as she got close enough river would slam her against the wall then use her free hand to disarm the coms officer.
The comms agent felt Styxx slam into her torso bending her back against the wall. She brought the phaser up trying to get a shot at the Marine Captain pointing it at the woman’s side. This close a shot would do more than stun but the Marine was forcing her hand.
Grabbing the phaser and bringing her arm down on the joint of the officers arm with enough force, to snap the arm easily.
The comm agent felt a snap as she heard a crack. The broken ulna caused her hand to open and the weapon to fall to the ground. Curses filled the bridge as the comms agent cradled her arm and attempted to bring up her knee to kick the Marine. Instead she felt a blow to the ribs that knocked the wind out of her.
From there she would move into a few punches to the ribs followed by a well placed kick to the side of the officers leg hoping to break it. If all went well the officer would be on the floor and unable to move, with River on top of her landing punch after punch.
Lieut Styxx (Marine OIC)
Nash had waited a split second for everyone else to move before he began his own approach to the console. All it would have taken was a simple strike with the edge of a palm to render the woman unconscious, but he paused a moment to take in Styxx’s aggressive insanity and need to inflict harm. The woman enjoyed inflicting pain on others, far more than was needed, that was clear. The Section had little to no use for people that couldn’t control themselves and Nash wondered with a short instant of pity what the woman thought she had experienced in her past. That instant disappeared as quickly as it came. Styxx wasn’t his concern for the moment.
A second loud snap resounded as the comms officer crumpled to the ground. Her head bounced off the decking letting the woman see stars before she felt her mouth fill with the taste of blood as Styxx landed several punches to her face and jaw. The comms agent blinked twice before her vision was enveloped in the darkness of unconsciousness.
“Styxx, Chris,” Ian yelled out over his shoulder as he slapped at the console bringing up the image of Marine Country. The room showed multiple Marines that seemed tied up with almost a glue-like substance. Narrowing the image, Ian focused on the four aliens walking about the room. =/\=Security send all units to Marine=/\= Ian started before watching the four aliens disappear in a transporter beam. =/\=Belay that=/\= he ordered. It did not good to send the security forces on a goose chase until they knew where the people were.
“Nash,” Ian screamed. “I am shut out of transporter control. Why?” With the aliens using the transporters, they could go anywhere on the ship. Typing in a command code, Ian sent the ship to red alert which put up force fields as if there was a containment or hull breach. It would trap the crew within them but also the aliens.
“Transporter control and a few other specific systems have been redirected from the Bridge and locked out. It’s an unknown code but I can work around it, it will take a moment, if they haven’t locked out what I think they forgot about.” Nash was working at the console while he spoke to Ian. “I’m trying to free up control and locate where the commands have been redirected to. We hit the source of the break-out, and we gain control of it.”
=/\=Computer detect life signs without a comm badge=/\= he ordered. While Jessa had one, most others would not. A slurry of curses spilled from Ian’s lips as the largest number of life signs without comm badges showed up on the Promenade. The forcefields had divided the space into four sections.
Moving away from the controls so Nash could do his thing, Ian worked on the alert system. Cutting the klaxons and leaving the light just flashing he began to upload a message. The lights and the message would still inform the crew without the defeaning alarms drowning out commands from the security forces that would be arriving. “How is that hack coming,” Ian’s voice was filled with strained tension.
“Done, I have control for the moment. Be quick, at some point very soon they will detect my hack and redirect control again. I need to find a more permanent solution or kill the transporters entirely. It’s a one way ticket, think quick.” Nash turned to Ian and nodded.
“Nash, can you beam us into the promenade and pull the plug on transporters until you gain control of them again?” Ian knew Styxx could handle it but Rinker was not exactly John Rambo. Of all the people on the bridge, he, Styxx, and Rinker had the most working knowledge of the group. With any luck, one of them could intercept Jessa. If they did, Rinker was the one person that had the most chance of trying to talk her down.
“Once I fry the transporters, you aren’t getting them back in a hurry. remember that.” Nash warned the group.
“What, what?” Rinker asked in genuine confusion. With the exception of Jessa, he was probably more than useless in any direct confrontation unless they were going to settle the conflict by a vigorous game of scrabble.
“We saw what it took to take down their mech’s from the Marines. We can’t risk them getting off the promenade and into more sensitive areas of the ship. We can fix them later.” Ian was not thrilled about this option but they were in the middle of space and it was not like they could just transport people into space.
“Heathcliff, I know you don’t do combat but you might be the only shot of trying to talk Jessa down. I can’t order you to do this but,” Ian let his voice trail off.
“Styxx, Rinker,” Ian called out
Rinker wasn’t a coward but he wasn’t a fool, none of them had a great chance of survival against what the aliens were packing. The fact he was the least combat competent of the group just meant he was the fattest guy jumping out of the plane without a parachute. He was just going to be a first one to go splat. “It’s not going to get any easier…” He said with a voice that didn’t have a waver. “Hit it.”
As Nash’s fingers moved across the console he began to have to start repeating keystrokes. The first time it could have been a missed sequence but as it became more apparent Nash was having to repeat his movements, the real reason was clear. Whoever was on the ship that started this, was now trying to take back control. It would not take much effort for Nash to find where the attempted overrides were happening. It would take the time that he didn’t have. Nash could deal with them later.
“They found the hack. Transporting now!” Nash emphasized and mashed the engineering panel. As the site-to-site transporter kicked in, Nash watched the target co-ordinates begin changing as the opposing team worked to close the loophole Nash used to gain access. He now had no precise control where the team was going, and they weren’t going to end up all in the same place. “Hold your breath,” Nash muttered again and took a cigar out of his tunic pocket, biting off the end and placing it between his teeth. Materializing inside a metal wall was a cold, uncomfortable experience, or so he had heard. Hopefully, none of them would have to fill him in on what it was really like.
Once the transport sequence had completed and control was lost, Nash grunted and brought up the power schematics for the plasma relay in the main transporter array. A few additional zero’s and a move of the decimal place, and the energy reading spiked to the red immediately and he watched as the diagnostic system reported shipwide coil failure in all of the online transporter units. Each coil would take hours to replace, so that ruled out these people from using them any more to aide the visitors.
Going back to another screen Nash continued tracking down where exactly the controls had been redirected to, then brought up the ships diagnostic systems again and began to trace a command link through this back door system. It would take time, but when a system was shut down or locked out, the diagnostic systems still had access to them. Careful hacking would give him some measure of control back.
The hack was simple, almost stupidly so. It was coming from main engineering which meant just like in medical, there was an agent planted in that department working right under their noses.
=/\=Ethan,=/\= a strained voice came over his comm. =/\=Ethan they have Hope,=/\=. His wife’s voice was edging near panic. =/\=In....in some kind of pod. I…I couldn’t stop them. You have to believe me. You have to help me.=/\= The frantic comm call by his wife relayed pieces of information no one on the bridge had.
=/\= Emily, what do you mean they have Hope? How? =/\= Nash turned to a console and began working to try and find some kind of reading from the sensors, cursing himself for cutting their ability to transport and trapping them where they had been.
=/\She…she is in some kinda tube. They took all of them and I couldn’t stop it. Ethan…there was this oily film and it became metal and I could not hold on to her. Get the F-off me=/\= Emily screamed grunting hard. The muffled sound of a strained, polite voice telling her to come with him and the fact the current plan of sending security into the Jefferies tube informed Ethan of what he couldn’t see. The sound of a struggle ensued at the bridge officers began shouting out orders attempting to keep Ethan’s attention off his wife.
“Sir,” one of the officers that helped take the bridge called out from a console.
“Not now,” Nash growled.
=/\= I am not leaving without my daughter. Give me an F-ing phaser or shoot me with it =/\= the heated conversation continued in the background.
=/\= Sir you need to tell Lt. Nash she is violating a direct order=/\= the voice spoke into the comms.
“Sir,” the voice repeated with the command authority all senior officers had when they needed someone to comply.
“Dammit. What?” He spun around from the console he was working on.
“I am getting a reading from the enemy ship off the port bow. It is subtle. Hell, the only reason I detected was that it is through life support but it is there.”
“What kind of reading? Send it through to this console now.” He turned back to the one he had been working on.
The readings that were showing up on Nash’s console showed a .03% increase in energy buildup in the environmental control systems. It was as if the systems were coming online but environmental systems were already up and operational. That meant the energy build-up was being stored elsewhere and the bleed was showing up as environmental systems fluctuating. How much power was in the build-up was the question?
=/\=Ethan…we are going to try and take the alien out,=/\= Emily’s voice wavered.
=/\= Tell me what you need and you have it =/\= Nash replied. =/\= Try and get me a fix on the Alien, I have an idea. =/\=
=/\=Nothing. Mardusk is taking him on but I don’t know how long it is going to last but the alien seems to be able to remotely control the pod things.=/\= her voice was close to panic and strained as Emily relied bits of information.
“Commander,” a voice interrupted with more urgency. “That variance is continuing to grow Sir. 0.3, 0.6, .09%,” the officer rattled off the increase that was starting to be less subtle and more like a countdown. “I am reading a sizeable increase in environmental systems that make no sense. The increase in power is acting more like engines coming online but from what we can tell on our sensors engines are not firing up.” He turned in his seat looking at the engineering chief. Something was happening in the alien ship but none of it made sense.
NE Science guy on the bridge
“You know what, stuff this.” Nash muttered and walked to the Tactical console, quickly running his hands over the commands and loading the Atlantis‘s tubes with torpedos. “They wanna play rough, lets play rough.”
As the minutes ticked by the power drain became greater and greater on the alien ship until the variance no longer became interesting but noticeable. As if in a blink of an eye the systems on the ship went from powered down to fired up.
“Sir,” the comms officer swiveled in her seat looking at Nash. “We are getting hail from the alien ship?” By all accounts, the ship was devoid of life for the past weeks since the alien’s arrival. The last life signs reported from the ship were the Marines that opened it like a can of sardines.
“How?” Nash looked at the screen and the image of the alien ship on it. “There is nobody on it.”
As the words left her lips, the area around the alien ship was suddenly filled with bright blips that seemed to materialize out of nowhere as three dozen ships suddenly dropped out of warp completely surrounding the Atlantis on all sides. Each of the ships was surrounded by a bluish-white hazy bubble that would look similar to the alien’s armor. Each ship was identical in nature to the original vessel with the same sleek torpedo-like design with no discernable features on any of them to identify the front or back except that one end was pointed at the Altantis and the other away from it.
“Okay, they have an army.” Nash groaned. “Shields up.” In the blink of an eye, the Atlantis’ shields hummed into life around the big ship.
“Goddamn ugly damn ships. Ugly culture, Ugly beliefs. We’re done. I’m bringing the Cargo transporters back online. They aren’t on the main relay system. Lets see if these damn aliens can swim in space.” Nash paused and looked at the other people on the Bridge. “Site to site with cargo transporters isn’t safe, or even part of accepted protocol. I’m going to beam them into space right outside our hull, in between our shields and the Atlantis. Nobody can beam them anywhere else, and they ain’t hurting anyone in here.” As he spoke, his hands worked the controls to prep the transporter system as it hummed back into life deep in the Atlantis’ cargo bays.
=/\=No=/\=Emily screamed. =/\=Ethan they control the pods. What if they cut off the air? What if they drop them in space? Ethan=/\= She yelled caring about nothing more in the world right now than her kid and how to get Hope free. Once again Ethan Nash was faced with the same decision he had ten years ago. His family or the life of everyone’s family.
=/\= Emily, Listen. =/\= Nash’s voice was calm, but definitely wasn’t pleasant. =/\= They can’t control the pods if they can’t access them. remember how we beamed them from their ship straight onto ours? That surprised them, they have no idea about transporter technology. They don’t have it, don’t know about it. If they don’t have it, they have no reason to design a defense against it. We beamed them from their ship onto ours. That damn ship has the same armor defense around its hull that they have in those damn suits, and we beamed them out of their ship. I can beam them out of their damn suit. Without those suits, they can float in space and see how mighty and untouchable they are. Everything has a weakness, it’s just finding it =/\=
“Answer that hail, Lets see if they are willing to sacrifice their elders for their beliefs.” Nash stuck the cigar in the corner of his mouth and bit down hard.
Lt Nash. Peeved off Dad.
As the comm officer opened the hail, an eerie silence filled the room waiting for who was going to speak first. Before Commander Nash could reply a voice from the alien ship announced itself.
=/\=I am Supreme Commanding General Adar Vyce of the Galactic Union=/\= The voice would be one Ethan could instantly identify with. It was not some novice but a battle-hardened veteran who had already resolved in his mind all the possible outcomes and acceptable losses of the upcoming conflict.
=/\=You have committed an act of aggression against the Galactic Union. Drop your shields and prepare to be boarded. Your Captain and your command crew will present themselves for arrest in the hangar. Your security forces will provide no resistance to our forces. If you choose to further this act of wanton aggression we will cleanse the ship and every soul on it. Do not test my resolve.=/\= The voice paused briefly before adding in a deadly calm, =/\=My soul is prepared to die. How is yours?=/\=
The voice that came back to the General was no longer the gravelly, uncaring, and unruly voice that people Knew Nash to be. This voice was the voice of the man who had already sacrificed himself for his family and everyone else, someone who did what he had to do because it was the only possible outcome that mattered. It hadn’t been about his family or everyone else, it had been him and his crew’s life, or the life of everyone on the colony. The man that Nash once could have been was now replying to the General.
=/\= General, welcome to the Federation =/\= Nash spoke matter of factly and directly, with an edge of venomous disdain lilting his tone. He already knew these people expected to be completely in control and overpowering. He also recognized that the only people they would have experience with who were more powerful would never hesitate to make that clear. Maybe he could play their game.
=/\= To be clear, General, what your soul is prepared for is of no interest to me. What should be of concern to you is considering if your soul is prepared to shoulder the consequences of being responsible for the death of your Elders and the failure of their mission as a result. I am aware that your forces are a tool that you use and their loss is acceptable. I can arrange that outcome for you. Your Elders however are not a part of your calculations. You would not arrive with expendable troops if the loss of the Elders at your hands was an option your own superiors in the Galactic Union would accept of you. Stand down and wait for further communication, or assume the mantle of a bringer of death to those you serve. =/\=
As Nash spoke, he began powering the cargo transporters. If he could beam people out of those ships like they had, he could also beam armed torpedo’s straight onto their bridge and remotely detonate them. Nash didn’t fight fair, especially when the opponent was bigger. If these ships decided to attack, he had no second thoughts about beaming the aliens outside the ship and using their elders as an ‘elder shield’. What he needed was time to figure out how to get Hope and the other children out of those orbs.
No reply came back from the voice on the other line. Just the eerie silence if the voice was testing Nash’s resolve.
As soon as the Atlantis began to power up the cargo transporters, the alien ships seemed to react as if it were an act of aggression. The slight blue hue around the ships began to pulse red.
Large bolts of energy shot out from every bow of the ship towards the Atlantis. The bolts were not the characteristic orange or red but a brilliant sapphire blue-tinged in the light blue like the shielding of the ship.
“Commander they are firing at us,” the helsman barked out immediately enabling evasive maneuvers. Without the command to fire, it was all he could do. With the raising of the shields, it negated, for the moment, Nash’s plan of beaming off the pods and ending the chaos around them.
“Hold position!” Nash growled at the man. “Assign extra power to the shields. Let them shoot. I want to see how much sting they have.”
=/\=You have committed an act of aggression against the Galactic Union. Drop your shields and prepare to be boarded. If you continue this act of wanton aggression we will cleanse the ship and every soul on it. Do not test my resolve.=/\= The voice paused briefly before adding in a deadly calm, =/\=Our next shots will take out your propulsion, communications, power, and thus life support. Make your choice. We have made ours,=/\= Adar Vyce’s voice boomed through the comms.
“Open the comm line,” Nash said and leaned forward so his voice could be heard clearly. Once the man at Tactical nodded that the line was open, Nash said one word. “Nuts!” Then he motioned for the signal to be cut, then looked at the Helm Officer. “Now you can do your evasive maneuvers.” The officers hands ran over the console and the familiar hum of the impulse engines firing to life, the inertial dampeners kicking in to compensate for the force applied, was felt by the entire bridge crew.
As the bolts shot through the sky they streaked close enough to the ship to break a sheen of sweat out on everyone manning the bridge. They set off every sensor and caused impact warnings to light up every console like a Christmas tree. The bolts however did not make an actual impact on the ship nor did they target any of the systems Adar spoke of when he addressed Nash.
The alien ships only sent one volley of shots but followed the evasive maneuvers of the Atlantis as if it were attached by tractor beams. The only ship that was not reacting was the original ship the Elders arrived in. The Beacon of Hope held its initial position throughout the entire encounter and never opened fire on the Altantis.
“Sir,” the Tactical Officer spoke up, looking at his console. “We have warning lights all over the consoles, impact warnings and emergency lights, but, Commander,” he paused in confusion for a second. “Our shields are at 100% and we have taken no actual damage. I, I think our systems are malfunctioning.”
Standing up from the chair Nash turned and ran to the Tactical Console, a familiar place seeing as this was his position before taking on the role of Chief Engineer. Looking at the console, he worked his jaw as if a cigar was sitting between his lips.
“Commander, the Union ships are matching our maneuvers, I can’t break free of them.” The helmsman stated, although he continued to work his evasive patterns into the Atlantis’ flight.
“All stop! Hold position.” Nash called out, then looked at the Tactical screen, almost shouldering the officer out of the way. Finding what he was after, he smiled. Pushing the controls up, he gave the Atlantis’ forward Phaser array full power and picked out one ship from the Union fleet. “Lets put a shot into their bow, let them know we aren’t playing anymore.”
“Commander, don’t you mean across their bow?” The officer who had been at tactical asked, looking at the console Nash was using and frowning.
“I said what I said.” Nash answered, locked his targeting system on the ship that had broadcast the original message from Supreme Commanding General Adar Vyce, and fired the Atlantis’ Phasers directly at the Union ship.
As the phaser hit one of the alien ship’s glowed a bright blue before blipping out. There was no explosion of chunks of metal scattered into the inky vastness of space but the phaser still streaked past as if nothing happened. The tactical officer did not have to explain to the bridge what happened. It was clear to anyone witnessing it. The Atlantis had just fired at a hologram that when struck put on an amazing light show to make it appear as if the ship leaped into warp however no long-range scanner showed it had streaked away. Taking aim at several more ships, the Atlantis fired a salvo from the phaser banks with each ship acting the same.
“Sir I think we are hitting holograms,” the tactical officer finally spoke the obvious. As if the original ship finally understood its cloak-and-dagger ruse was over. The space around the Atlantis instantly cleared to having only a single ship which now was glowing a far more brilliant blue than before.
“Oh really?” Nash looked around at the Tactical Officer. “What makes you think that? Maybe they are, you know what, forget it.” Nash no longer at the desire to make a sarcastic quip, instead he looked at the readout showing the remaining ‘ships’. Running a firing solution to rapidly hit each of them with a lower powered blast that could be recycled quickly to thin out the ‘pack’, he muttered to himself. “Why the ruse? Apparently these people have thousands of ships at their disposal. Why this?”
“Sir the alien ship’s power readings are off the charts. Scans indicate it went from a power output of .02% to 100%,” a bridge officer called out.
“What alien ship?” Nash looked up. “Can you be a little more specific when you announce something like that? I’m Mintaran, not Betazoid. I don’t read minds.”
The ruse had worked directing the Atlantis crew’s attention to the holograms as the alien ship Beacon of Hope became fully online.
“Sir the ship is hailing us,” the comms officer reported to Nash. “Answering the hail,” he announced nodding at the Commander a second before the line opened.
“Lets hear what they have to say this time,” he stood up straight from the console he was working on and folded his arms across his chest in front of him.
=/\=I am Supreme Commanding General Adar Vyce of the Galactic Union. You have committed an act of aggression against the Galactic Union. Drop your shields and prepare to be boarded. Your Captain and your command crew will present themselves for arrest in the hangar. Your security forces will provide no resistance to our forces. If you choose to further this act of wanton aggression we will cleanse the ship and every soul on it. Do not test my resolve.=/\= The voice paused briefly before adding in a deadly calm, =/\=My soul is prepared to die. How is yours?=/\=
“Isn’t that what…” Nash looked at the comms officer who had opened the line, his question trailing off. The comms officer just nodded, then shrugged and looked at his screen. “Uh, it reads exactly the same as the last message. Same timing and tone. Um, its’ a recording, Sir.”
“Scan that ship,” Nash turned to look at the Science console. “Who sent that message?”
“Sir there are no life forms on the ship,” the science officer confirmed. “There were only four detected when the aliens arrived a week ago. Either we missed one in stasis or this is all just recordings and holograms?”
“Smoke and mirrors,” Nash grunted. Maybe they know they aren’t as all powerful as they claim?” Unfolding his arms he walked back towards the command chair. “Target the Beacon of Hope. If its’ come online and nobody is on it, nobody is on it to reason with.”
=/\=Ethan=/\= Emily’s frantic voice came through his comm badge. =/\=Ethan, Mardusk just killed one of the aliens and the pod things have lodged themselves to the ceiling. We can’t get the kids out but the medical teams say all the life signs in the pods are in like a comatose stasis. Ethan=/\= she screamed at her husband. While it had been years, he would know the sound of her counseling voice and the voice of his wife. Counselor Nash was never rattled but Emily Nash was a wife through and through. =/\=We need you down here now!=/\=
Nash leaned forward to reply, but another voice called out to him as he was about to open a line to Emily.
“Sir,” the operations officer called out interrupting the verbal hysterics Ethan’s wife was giving him over the comm. “I am detecting an airlock being activated on the promenade level. The sensors are detecting the enemy armor and a faint life sign.”
“Override it!” Nash ordered immediately. “Shut it down, stop them opening it! Keep that body on this ship!”
“Sir I have control of the transporters again,” the Operations officer at another console announced, causing Nash to spin around.
“Beam the aliens back into the brig and put up force fields, then lock the transporters down pending only my authorization or that of the Captain.” Spinning back around, he swore under his breath.
Atlantis Bridge. Emily Nash
The words barely left his mouth before the alien ship streaked towards the bridge veering sharply and snapping out a tractor-like beam pulling in the metal capsule that had been ejected from Atlantis’ airlock. The alien ship did not seem to stop as it snatched up Rogan’s form and blipped off into the darkness.
“Plow it,” Nash swore again, much louder this time. “How did it do that with nobody on board?”
=/\=Now you decide to beam them back to the brig,=/\= O’Neill’s sarcastic drawl came over the bridge comms, =/\= and not during the middle school food fight ten minutes ago.=/\= It wasn’t a reprimand but more of a nice work comment from O’Neill to Ethan as the officer looked at the promenade now only containing Jessa and one dead or soon-to-be-dead Elder. =/\=Keep that trigger finger ready. As soon as we get that bubble dome thing down you got the pint-sized hellion we might need to put into time-out next to her friend. =/\=
O’Neill security officer
Placeholder for reply tonight
=/\= Emily! =/\= Nash finally got to the comm line, ignoring O’Neill and responding to his wife. =/\= Send me your exact location, I am on my way. I have to pick something up from Engineering first, it might help. Hold on, I’ll get her out. =/\=
“You have the Bridge,” he spoke over his shoulder as he hurried for the turbo lift, the scowl on his face encouraging anyone in his way to move but at the same time, nobody behind him quite knew who he was saying they had the Bridge to.
First stop was his office in Engineering where he had the stick thing they had dropped when they had boarded the ship. He hadn’t had a chance to actually do anything with it yet as everything else was going on, but maybe it would help now.
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