War... War Never Changes - Cestus III - Side Sim

Posted Feb. 20, 2020, 1:06 a.m. by Ensign Chloe Harland (Nurse) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Lieutenant Nathan Harland (Counselor) in War… War Never Changes - Cestus III - Side Sim
10 Years Ago

Cestus III was known by many in the sector as the hell planet. A small colony planet that had been cut off from many of the Federation and Starfleet trade routes after the Dominion War. Due to its isolation and remote locations, it was often prone to attacks from rogue factions that plagued the region. Orion Slavers, Nauscian Pirates, True Way cultists were some of the biggest culprits, but by far the only. Being placed on the razor edge of Beta and Alpha quadrant near the Gorn Hegemony it had long become a land that the Federation had forgotten.

History had always been bleak for this world, but for once since the war aid had come in the form of the USS Hartford under the command of Captain Julan Buresh. They were to establish food and medical supplies and reinforce defenses for the much-battered world. This had become a long term goal, as construction on the new Outpost to help govern the planet was not going as smoothly as Captain Buresh had hopped.

Months of throating raiders and pirates had caused the Hartford to begin to set up defensive turrets around the construction site as smaller patrol ships flew in with cargo vessels to build the new Outpost. This though wasn’t the only service rendered, as much of the crew began to become settled planetside as they began to give medical aid, security against ground assaults, and engineering and science assistance as they built back much of what was lost.

On the surface, life had been bleak when the Hartford came six months ago. People had gone to their basic carnal desires in some sectors of the planet, rape and murder had become a means of enforcing your will to get the limited resources they could receive. Nathan Harland had been one of the first officers sent down, as his medical skills and extensive combat training made him the perfect Doctor to lead the hospital that had begun to be built.

Time though hadn’t been easy on his team, or the crew as they found themselves fighting just as much against the people they were sent to help as the pirates who wanted easy plunder. Constant fighting and death could wear the soul of anyone, Nathan was no more immune to this as anyone else. Six months was a hard stay, but there were some signs of hope as people began to hope once more as the spine of Outpost Centari 7 could be seen from the sky at night. A sign that the people had not been forgotten.

Nathan Harland had just been on a small patrol, rumors of a group of civilians gone missing had brought Starfleet out. Leaving the Hospital was always something he hated as he felt he could do far more good in the walls they built. He knew though that his staff was more than capable of keeping the peace and fixing what issues they had, the wastes where were they needed Starfleet the most.

“Lieutenant Harland, I want you to point alpha and watch for any approaching hostiles. Petty Officer Nepal believes he has found the group, but this could end up like last week when that Nausican party came down to trick Hedrick’s team to try and rescue them. Keep us in your sights, if you see any signs of trouble… screw warning shots take them out. I am not losing another squad.” Commander Kepler said as he he began to wave his two fingers in the air as his team began to group upon him.

“Ensign Trigon, stay with Harland and watch his six,” Kepler said as he patted the trembling Ensign on the back. The last venture out had him lodged with two ounces of deuterium that nearly killed him. Harland’s hospital ended up serving their own men just as much as the people of Cestus most times. As the men nodded confirmation Trigon came settled next to Nathan as he placed his phaser back to his hip as he pulled off the TR-116B Sniper Rifle as he dug into the dirt.

“I hate these moments…” Nathan said to Trigon as he began adjusting his scope as he kept an eye on the team. The quiet was near deafening as they always waited to find out just what was going on. Either the team got into a firefight and Nathan gave cover fire or he rushed down, medkit on the hip as he tried to save lives. This always felt counter to his oath, do no harm. The truth was Starfleet gave all it’s officers oaths to protect and serve it’s people as well. The two oaths Nathan had to give didn’t conflict on the surface, but it was hard to see the line some weeks.

“You think it’s really going to be more Nauscians?” Trigon asked as he stayed on his knee, type 2 phaser rifle in hands as he kept an eye behind them for any movement. “I mean we are getting more and more ships through this area, who would want to keep taking the risk?”

“Lots of people, those freighters have no weapons and we only have their construction zone with defense turrets. Plenty of other spots to beam down and if the Federation wants to establish and reintegrate these people, it’s going to take a lot of resources. Resources any of the people in a hundred light-years would be willing to try to steal.” Nathan answered as the team began to get closer as he began to take slower breaths.

“Besides, True Way was spotted a few days ago. I can hope the USS Seawolf arrives before they get cocky. This was Dominion held a few years back, the remnants of the Cardassian/Dominion alliance don’t take kindly to our rebuilding. If the Seawolf can show we have a chance, they are delivering new crew and three new freighters, and they are not some small patrol escort.” Nathan said as he squinted as he saw Kepler’s arm shoot up as his men paused. He felt his breath tighten as this was often the moment of no return, they found a trap or bodies.

As Nathan watched Trigon could sense something that wasn’t there before as he narrowed his eyes narrowed past the crumbling building to their left. “Sir, I don’t think we are alone,” he said quietly as his dark betazoid eyes focused behind the rubble. “I can’t be certain…” he said softly as he pushed lower to the ground as he pulled his rifle into an aiming stance.

“What…” Nathan said as he looked over, his gut suddenly felt like lead as he turned slowly around looking in the direction Trigon’s eyes were darting over. It was always the silence Nathan thought, the silence was what let you know there was danger. The silence was calm before the storm. “Incoming!” Nathan shouted as he quickly shifted his position over the rubble to the other side as Trigon followed suit before the first purple stream came past them.

Trigon wasn’t one to wait as he began to fire back, phaser bolts streaking past the top as he returned fire. Kepler’s team though had little chance to support as surrounding them appeared six-armed Jem’Hadar soldiers as they began to converge and attack their position, leaving Trigon and Harland to settle keep their flank back protected.

“Blasted True Way…” Nathan said through gritted teeth as he pushed his head back over as he began to take a few shots. He didn’t have the suppression of Trigon’s rifle but if he could get some well-timed shots he could get past the defenses faster than he ever could. “Keep them pinned, I only see three of them but there may be more. I am more worried there could be some up high…” Nathan said as he rolled to the side as he began to look at the tops of the buildings to see if more were coming.

Pressing his combadge as the chirp echoed in the zone as energy weapons echoed, Nathan knew he needed to alert the base. “Lieutenant Harland to Veron base, True Way on the surface… our team is under fire… repeat we are under fire,” Nathan said as he looked over at Trigon as he felt his stomach drop. The comm signal came back with static, it seemed uncertain if anything was reaching back to base as he looked over as he saw the shimmer Pulling his sidearm out he aimed right above his head as he fired, no one could see the Jem’Hadar till they attacked except for brief moments of light shimmering off their refraction they created to shield themselves.

“Sir… thanks,” Trigon said as he peered behind them as he watched the other team fight, so far no one seemed downed but it was much harder to fight hand to hand against the Jem’Hadar than an open firefight. Few possessed their strength and prowess in this quadrant outside of perhaps the Klingons. If they didn’t get support no one would come back alive

“Sir we have to get to them,” Trigon, the heat searing as each shot flew past as the air became ionized. The pair knew their time was limited, and their squad had little chance to win without supporting fire. Despite this, Nathan couldn’t help but shake his head no at the idea. Rushing to their aid just gave them a bullseye on their back and leave the squad open to be pecked off from afar.

“It’s not gonna work… we can’t abandon this spot, we have to push back regain this area,” Nathan said as he looked down at his phaser pistol as he cocked his head slightly. “Ensign, you remember how to overload a type 2?” Nathan asked as he looked over at Trigon with a small smirk. “Big boom… maybe only chance we have… thing you can toss it right at their heads? I can pick a bird’s wings off from 300 meters… if you have good aim,” he said as the Ensign stopped firing for a brief second as he looked over at Nathan with a wide-eyed expression.

“Sir… for a Doctor you sure know how to make things explode… this isn’t the first time I heard a mission with you ended with a bang…” Trigon commented as he pulled his phaser sidearm off his hip as Nathan began to take some shots at the cover the Jem’Hadar were using. They only feasibly had two shots, Nathan and his pistol. If they failed twice they didn’t have a backup. Pressing a few buttons the phaser began to glow hot as he looked back at Nathan and nodded as he stood up, much to Nathan’s chagrin.

“Don’t expose yourself, Ensign!” Nathan shouted, but the moment was deflated as shots fired into his chest right as he he finished the throw. Nathan had few moments to think as his comrade’s body began to fall, he had a few seconds to take out their assailants as he readied his aim and fired, the sound of the blast echoing as the Jem’Hadar went flying back into the rubble as Nathan felt his ears beginning to echo as he felt the shockwave knock him back.

Fighting could be heard in a muffled haze as Nathan began to regain his footing, feeling a sense of nausea as he looked over at Trigon as he laid on the ground bloodied and broken. Crawling slowly to his friend he began to take his pulse as he quickly began to search for his Med Kit. Pressing his fingers against his skin he could feel a faint pulse as he pulled out the tricorder to get a better idea. Nathan knew he has little time to help, more lives were at stake as he could be heard footsteps behind him.

Turning behind, more True Way stood just behind them in a mix of Cardassian and Jem’Hadar troops as they pointed their weapons firmly at Nathan. This wasn’t the first time Nathan had seen the end of a rifle this close, but he suspected it might be the last. Closing his eyes he felt himself choking back a tear as his mind drifted for a moment. Chloe. he said to himself as he thought of his fiance’ flooded him. They had been separated since he proposed to her, and it looked in this moment that would be all the time the couple would have gotten was one magic Christmas.

Nathan Harland

Five minutes Earlier on the USS Seawolf

=/\=Lieute.... rland .. ..ron bas., True .ay on the .ur..ce… … team .. under ...... repeat .. … un… fire=/\= blared across the bridge of the USS Seawolf as it snapped into orbit from warp. They had heard the request for extraction from Kepler’s unit three minutes ago which is why Captain Henry performed the highly dangerous but extremely effective maneuver coined from ancient paratroopers. HALO was high altitude low opening which Captain Henry and his crew turned into WENI or warp entry no impulse. This allowed a ship to appear as if it was beamed into a spot instead of flying there and gave the crew precious seconds to do what they were required to do. The moment the ship dropped out of warp the comms officer began relaying the messages from the surface for the bridge crew.

“Sir I am reading an engagement two clicks from the city,” the tactical officer reported, “in the old industrial area. There were are a dozen life forms. Six-armed Jem’Hadar soldiers are in engaging Kepler.” With a flick of his finger Lt. Smoak brought up a three-dimensional image of the topography on the main screen. “There are three on the rooftops here and here and three on the ridge here attempting to cut off their flank,” Smoak activated the sections of the holographic screen showing the exact placements of everyone involved. The image was also being simultaneously sent below decks to the marines and security forces assembled for deployment. The USS Seawolf might not have the punch of a Pendragon but it was a honed weaponed in itself.

Knowing the men he was about to send dirtside had as much information as possible, Captain Henry gave the order. “Get our men out of there Major Reynolds,” the Captain said firmly followed by the soft tinkling sound of the transporter moving the troops and support staff to the surface.

The surface of Cestus III was in stark contrast to the shining metal bulkhead and floors of the Seawolf. The acrid smell of burning electrical charges filled the air instead of slightly cold recycled air. The deafening sound of explosions throbbed around Chloe like a heartbeat as her team materialized on the surface replacing the eerie calm of the transporter room. Before the Jem’Hadr could fire on the men they had pinned to the ground before them, Captain Henry’s team struck. There was no hesitation in their movements. Smoak’s intell was precise allowing the security teams and marines to exact weapons fire with surgical precision. The beams sliced through the unsuspecting Jem’Hadr. From Chloe’s vantage point the men collapsed like a tower of blocks with each section falling either left or right. The Marines did not stop after the strike. Pushing forward they secured the area taking up sniper positions on the ridge as the two injured men had earlier. The soft pahzing of phased energy bolts slipped out of their guns providing suppression fire for the teams below.

This was Chloe’s first time in the field. All the training exercises and holoprograms paled in comparison to what she was witnessing. A hand on her shoulder pulled Chloe forward to engage forward movement. If they hadn’t she might have just stood there making herself a target. The rubble made it hard to move quickly as the few steps she took resulted in her ankles going soft. If she hadn’t been prepared for it, the action could have produced a sprained ankle or torn ligament. At least this was one thing she was trained for. Keeping her eyes on her target, Chloe and the doctor approached the two men lying on the ground. One was prone while the other seemed to be trying to help him. His actions were slow as if he were moving in water.

“Take the one sitting up,” the doctor ordered immediately recognizing that his wounds were lesser than the man lying down.

Moving on pure instinct, her hand reached out clasping the shoulder of the man. “I need you to lay bah,” Chloe froze in the moment looking at the face of the injured man. The skin was smudged in grime and blood with thick streaks across his forehead, neck, and the bridge of his nose. The precise lines looked like a bizarre warpaint; however, the precision of the stokes indicated it was from wiping his eyes and ears instead of from gashes or wounds. The heavy helmet covered his hair obscuring the color and style. It was a nameless face as they all were except for the eyes. Chloe would know who the icy cobalt blues belonged to.

“Kendrick,” a fellow medic snapped at her loudly. His voice was hard and firm as he pushed the other man off of the one lying on the ground. If he could sit up, this guy was doing better than the one currently splayed out among the rubble. “Focus on the injuries, not the surroundings,” he barked an order trying to help her as he set to work triaging Trigon. “I hate Betazoids,” the medic grumbled prying open one of his eyes flashing a light in them. “The black eyes make it hard to tell pupil reactivity. We need to evac to sickbay,” he said while simultaneously activating his comm badge. “Sit rep,” he called out to Chloe.

Snapping out of her daze, she ran the tricorder over her patient’s body. “Pulmonary contusion, mild tinnitus with stapes fracture, presence of hypovolemia indicating blood loss however I am not seeing any direct point of entry would from debris or shrapnel indicating abdominal injury. His spleen is ruptured and he has a concussion probably due to blunt force trauma. Pulling out a tracer beacon, Chloe slapped it to the man’s chest while laying the tricorder just below that readying him for extraction. “Send him,” Chloe called out. “Nate you are going to be okay,” she placed a hand on his cheek wanting to do more but not having the time. Others were hurt and Nathan would be patched up and resting by the time she got done.

Chloe Kendrick nurse

Notes on Outpost 42

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