Assault on the Command Tower
Episode 4: Fires of Arcadia
Location: Command Tower, Stardate Arcadia
Timeline: After "I have a Bad Idea..."
Lt. Commander Nurok, the Chief Security Officer of Starbase Arcadia, stood stoically in the entry lobby to the Command Tower. The Vulcan was flanked by several other guards in tactical armor, but their attention was on the entrance door. After a few brief moments of waiting, it finally opened and pair of guards entered, dragging a man in a yellow command uniform. They threw him on the ground before standing at attention.
The Vulcan clapped dramatically, exhibiting unusual emotion. Clearly, the parasite was in control. "Captain James. I must admit, I'm a little disappointed. I expected more of a chase from you. You had done so well getting ahead of our plans. To see you so easily capture after only a few hours chase is...anticlimactic."
One of the guards stepped forward, producing a small device. "He was carrying only this and a phaser, sir."
The Vulcan looked the device over a few times. "What's this supposed to do, Captain? Overpower our security systems? Upload a copy of our scans to the Federation information net? Surely, there's some grand strategy."
"Nothing so complicated," Chris grunted from the floor. He'd been beaten up a little, but honestly, they'd only tried to subdue him. They probably wanted him as a host. "It's just really really loud."
A moment later, the device triggered, filling the room with an extremely high pitch resonating noise. To human ears, it was nearly inaudible. But for the parasites, it would be overwhelming. Each of the infected individuals staggered.
The Captain didn't hesitate before launching into action. With a quick burst of speed, he drove his elbow into the man next to him, grabbing the phaser off out of its holster and dispatching the guards who brought him in.
Chris aimed at Nurok but he fled further into the complex. The guards in the back were not so lucky. A flurry of phaser fire took each of them out before the sonic emitter stopped. He walked over to the computer terminal, flipping his communicator open in the process. "James to Strike Team. You guys inside?"
Jovani pulled his communicator and flipped it open. Both he and the lieutenant commander were crouched in a side corridor. They'd just seen a very agitated group of people run past them, deeper into the building, escaping the sound they could just faintly hear in the distance. "Yes, sir. We are inside. So far we haven't been detected, and have met no resistance.", he said into the small speaker grill of the device.
Summer glanced around and while Jovani spoke moved and pried open a panel. "This way." She said in a whisper. They would use the vents as much as possible.
Nodding to keep the amount of noise they made to a minimum Jovani pocketed his communicator and followed her into the vents, pulling the cover back on after they were inside. Once they made it far enough in that he was sure they would be safe to talk he spoke, "So, what's the plan, ma'am? Do we have a definite destination in mind?", he asked.
"We do indeed. We need to get to the climate and atmospheric control room." Summer replied softly as they came to a junction and began to climb. "Once there I can assist Captain James with computer lock downs and we can put some light on the subject at hand."
Jovani smiled broadly, "Sounds like it's gonna be interesting.", he replied. "I'm ready whenever you are, ma'am, and I'm a quick study if you need any help with the computers when we get there.", he added.
Captain James entered the atmospheric controls after completing his own lockdowns. The duo looked just about ready to shift the situation aboard the station. He walked over to Summer, but kept the distance a bit more professional due to Jovani’s presence. “We’re all set. Ready to turn up the lights? After that, I think it’s time we pay a visit to the Admiral.”
"And Javier" Summer said with a grim smile. "That one has been breathing too long" she finished her work.
"Oh I could not agree more," Chris said, prepping his phaser. They were going to . be going into a hell of a fight soon. He wanted to be ready. "Crewman, we're about to head into the belly of the beast. I'd get yourself prepared."
Jovani nodded and double checked his phaser to make sure it had a good charge and was set properly. When he was satisfied he looked up, "Locked and loaded, sir. Let's do this.", he replied.
"Let there be light." Summer said softly as the night time changed to day outside.
Suddenly the sky dome began to brighten rapidly, as a bright blue replaced the starscape. Sunlight filled into the room. Chris didn't wait for it to go all the way. "Alright kids, it's time." He summoned the turbolift, before looking at each of them. "Any last things you want to say, say them now. We might not get another chance."
Jovani shook his head, "I'm good, sir.", he replied, and then boarded the turbolift.
Summer waited a moment then she grabbed Chris by the shirt and kissed him hard. "Die and I will resurrect you and kill you myself." She said to him. "And remeber Javier is mine." She released his shirt and entered the lift.
Chris straightened his uniform, but a smile spread on his face. "Noted. I'll do my best not to die then."
The lift shot up the side of the command tower, overlooking the station. Fires were burning in numerous regions of the dome, indicating where the fighting was roughest. Now that it wasn't completely dark, phaser fire would be harder to spot. Chris hoped that worked in the favor of those not infected, but he couldn't know for sure. He reached out, taking Summer's hand for a moment. This was probably the most dangerous situation the two had been in for some time.
As the lift came to a halt, they readied weapons. A moment later, the doors opened into the Admiral's offices. The room was well lit as always. The massive curved windows overlooked the station, and thus allowed in the full effect of daylight. Ahead of them was surprisingly not a full fledged group of infected soldiers. No, it was a small group of only 5 individuals.
On the left, Lt. Commander Nurok stood with his weapon ready but not raised. Admiral Haster stood next to him. The older woman looked oddly subservient. Despite Chris's assumptions, she clearly was not the one calling the shots. That right appeared to be reserved for the imposing figure standing at exactly the center of the room.
Brigadier General Rebecca Javier stood confidently, gazing in an amused fashion at the lift as it arrived. She was armed, but hadn't even bothered to draw her weapon. And it quickly became clear why, next to her, a Bolian security officer was holding up a badly beaten figure. A slim woman in a red starfleet uniform with blonde hair. The general laughed, gesturing toward their hostage. "I believe you're looking for Ms. Wolff, yes?"
As they'd neared the top of the tower Jovani had dropped into a crouch with his phaser aimed at the doors. When they swished open and he took in the sight before him he felt a surge of anger at the way the woman in the red uniform had been treated. He didn't even know her, but no one deserved to be beaten as badly as she had been.
"I've got a good shot, sir. Just say the word.", he said, keeping his phaser pointed directly at the woman in charge of this charade.
Summer placed her hand on Jovani's shoulder. "No. Crazy bitch is mine." She let her jacket fall to the ground as she walked forward. "Gee Javier, bashing up innocents now are we? Why don't you pick on me. Kenna is not in your league, I am not either but I'll lower my standards enough to gut you."
General Javier chuckled. “Always with that feisty fighting spirit, Commander Gallagher. I like you. But as much as I’d love to stay and give you the fight you so badly want, I’ve unfortunatly got business to attend to. A date with destiny, if you will.”
She flipped open her communicator. “Indomitable, status.”
A voice replied. “All systems are a go, ma’am. But it appears a warning has been sent out. The battle group have taken up positions around the exit bay.”
The general sneered at the Starfleet trio in front of her. “Then we’ll just have to go through them. Standby.” She flipped the communicator shut. And walked over toward Kenna. “I don’t want the three of you to go home empty handed though. You’re expecting some grand confrontation. So I’ll give you what you’re looking for. And possibly take Ms. Wolff here up a few tiers toward my league.”
The general made a bizarre guttural noise. The base of her throat seems to expand, and then the bulge traveled up toward her head. Her jaw extended unnaturally as one of the bizarre parasites crawled out and into her waiting hand. “Should make things interesting I think.”
In a flurry of motion, she grabbed Kenna’s jaw, squeezing it to force it open and allowed the creature to crawl inside.
Kenna gagged. She bent over gagging and trying to throw up. The creature they could see crawled down her throat and she collapsed to her knees as it seemed to then go to her back and crawl up towards her brain. It took mere moments and she slowly stood straight beside Javier. Inside Kenna was fighting but losing.
Summer flinched but showed nothing else. "Well thats just sick Rebecca. What normal mind control not enough for you. Oh and Coward. Hiding behind that forcefield. Come out and play Rebecca."
The general laughed. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to take you up on that offer next time. If you survive this." She turned to the other two, "Kenna, Nurok. See that they don't leave this room without one of us in their heads."
"Yes Ma'am" Kenna replied, her voice subtly changed as she took a bladed weapon from the Bolian and moved to face her former colleagues. "Fun time"
"You're going to pay for this, General. Or whatever you are," Chris said, his jaw clenched tightly.
"Fair well, Captain." Javier said, opening her communicator again. "Energize." And just like that, the architect of all this destruction was transported out of the room, leaving the trio Starfleet Officers facing down the quartet of infected crew.
Captain James spoke quickly, trying to give his orders before the deflector shield went down. "Lt. Commander Wolff was just infected. If we act quickly, maybe we can get that thing out of her. I don't even know if that's possible but..." He paused for a moment. "There are a lot of crew on this station who we might be able to save if we can figure out how to reverse it. So non-lethal hits on Wolff, if possible."
"Javier did a job on her, it will take a bit for her creature to heal her." Summer muttered. "I can take her out if the others are kept busy."
"One on one will be a little difficult," Chris said, looking over at Jovani. "I'm not sure we're going to be able to stay non-lethal on our end. Just...stay alive."
The Vulcan officer cracked his knuckles. "Computer, deactivate forcefield."
Jovani had already set his phaser to its highest setting, and was still in a defensive crouch when he heard the sharp crackle of the forcefield dropping. Immediately he snapped his phaser to the nearest target and fired, dropping the rather large Bolian in the red security uniform to the floor, but not killing him. His aim hadn't been as true as he'd thought and he'd only winged him. He was obviously wounded, but more pissed off than anything else.
As he was turning to take aim on another target he felt an eruption of pain as he was kicked, very hard, in his thigh. He felt his leg give way beneath him, and then felt another kick connect with his ribs, nearly breaking them, and sending him skidding across the floor, his phaser doing the same, but in another direction. With a sickening screech of skin on slick flooring he brought himself to a halt, and struggled to stand.
"That all you got?", he asked, a feral grin on his face as he pulled his hands up into a boxers stance, keeping his elbows close and guarding his face. His attacker was a human female, by all evidence, but those kicks had had the power of a Klingon behind them. He wasn't entirely sure how he was going to pull it off, but he had to get the phaser or he wasn't going to last long at all. Thankfully he knew where it had ended up, so he didn't give away his plans by glancing around, instead he just started to bob and weave, bouncing on the balls of his feet as he kept moving. He had just about gotten into position when he felt another kick, this one directly to his solar plexus, driving all the air from his lungs and sending him crashing into the wall behind him.
Admiral Haster, having sent Jovani flying wheeled on Captain James. However, the man had taken advantage of her momentary delay. With a flick of his wrist, a stun baton, which he'd taken off one of the security officers earlier, extended to its full length. His swing interrupted her attack and launched the older woman backward from the force of the device's emitter, sending her tumbling over one of the nearby work stations.
However, he'd opened himself up to a counter attack. The Bolian having recovered, launched himself toward Chris. Though Chris was able to bring his baton up between them, but the force of the man flying at him essentially caused the baton to go off on each of them. The two were flung in opposite directions, with the baton clattering to the floor in the middle.
Summer ignored the fights around her. She had one thing to do. Take down Kenna, quickly and as gently as possible. She flung herself into the fight with the blonde.
Kenna's lips curved evilly. "You know once we take you over, he will follow, just to be with you." she taunted. "Or maybe," she ducked a fist, "We should take control of him first. He is very good looking..."
Summer didn't growl or snarl, she just kept fighting.
Fists, knees, legs and feet flew between the two. Kenna was street fighting trained as well as Starfleet but Summer was trained in Starfleet and many other types, including Klingon. It seemed to take ages between them, but it was a relatively quick fight.
Summer grabbed Kenna's arm and spun, pulling Kenna over her shoulder and onto the floor, then Summer kicked her in the jaw, knocking Kenna, the evil version of Kenna, slumped unconscious.
Having watched the Captain send the Admiral over the top of a nearby console, and the Bolian and him nearly knocking each other unconscious with the stun baton, Jovani struggled back to his feet. Just as he was going to move towards the Captain to see if he needed help he saw the figure of Admiral Haster get to her feet behind the console. She was holding her arm as it dangled and as he watched she reset the bone without even flinching. Eyes wide he immediately bent down and snatched up his phaser, levelling it at the woman. He was just about to fire when she turned and bolted, making it out of his firing range faster than he'd have ever thought possible.
Scrambling over and kneeling down by the captain he helped him get to his feet. Nearby the Bolian was doing the same, thought the blast from the baton seemed to have caused some sort of problems for the parasite and he seemed to be fighting its control. It didn't really look like he was going to win, but it was still giving them at least a little time to get the other man back on his feet and in some sort of fighting shape. "You alright, sir?", he asked.
Chris groaned, as he was pulled back to his feet. "Yeah. Just...was a little stupid with that baton. Should have known better than that." He got situated, finally drawing his own phaser. He fired a few shots, causing the Vulcan security officer to duck behind a table...before throwing the table at them. Chris threw himself and Jovani out of the way as the shelter they'd ducked behind crumbled. The Bolian, now fully succumbed to the creature, got back to his feet, drawing his weapon, but a phaser blast to the shoulder delayed his advance briefly. However, Chris's shot had cost them valuable time. The Vulcan raced forward and with both his arms sent the two men flying in opposite directions as if it was nothing.
Chris skittered across the floor, before coming to a stop on part of the glass window arc. He'd prefer not to stay there. The three may have dispatched Kenna, but they were outmatched. And worse, the turbolift was on its way back up.
"Summer, you got her?" Chris yelled out, barely reacting in time to counter Admiral Haster's assault. They still needed to disable the station defense cannons. But he had a plan for that, once they were ready.
Summer finished binding Kennas arms, legs and hands with multiple ties. "Yeah I got her." She stood dragged Kenna up and slung her over her shoulder. "Gods she is heavy. Lets go!"
Chris retrieved the stun baton, rushing in to try and take the pressure off Jovani. The younger man was being attacked by both Haster and their Bolian assassin. Chris got in a good hit against the Bolian, but got back handed and sent flying several feet backwards by Nurok. The Vulcan and the Admiral began to close on him.
Finally getting enough open distance Jovani fired his phaser at the Vulcan who just knocked the captain backwards. Unfortunately the phaser had been badly damaged, and instead of doing any real damage to the other man it just knocked him back a few feet and pissed him off. It also shorted out, unleashing a ribbon of searing electrical energy across the back of his hand and his lower forearm.
Hissing in pain he tossed it aside and sprinted to join Summer as she made her way to the turbolift. His eyes widened and he came up short just outside the doors when he realized it was returning to their floor. When the doors swished open to release a very large, and very well armed group of infected officers, he let out a groan of frustration.
"Oh great...", he said, and stepped closer to try to keep himself and Summer from being separated. Together they were stronger, and more readily able to protect the prone figure they were trying to rescue.
Summer nodded in agreement and a hand gropped out and snaggedChris's shirt tugging back woth her and Jovani.
The trio and their unconscious target were completely surrounded now. Dozens of officers ringed the room. Chris didn’t need to be told. The fight was over. He lowered his weapons, looking toward the Commanding Officer of this station. “Admiral, is there anything left of you in there?”
The Admiral chuckled at him as he struggled to get back to his feet. “Captain James. Your appeals are fruitless. I’ve been in control for months. I am Admiral Haster now, there’s nothing left of the original. And I’m afraid you’ve missed the big picture. As busy as you were trying to defeat us, you’ve allowed Javier to escape and complete our plan.”
She gestured and one of the officers through a switch, plunging the station back into night. Outside the station, the battle group was in shambles. The Indomitable surging its way through the older vessels. “We were the distraction, captain. You just weren’t paying attention.”
Summer beared her teeth. "Aww aren't you the sweetest thing to try and tell us things, we already knew." She lowered Kenna to the floor and smirked.
"I'm afraid I can't let you escape though. The general wants you captured, but I fear you are just too dangerous of a lot to leave alive." She gestured and the men around her raised their weapons.
Nurok sneered, an especially unsightly thing on his traditionally emotionless face. "I think I'll take some pleasure in that."
Chris however, started laughing. Quietly, then a little louder. "I'm sorry, but I don't think that's going to be happening."
The Admiral cocked her head. "Oh? And why not?"
Chris calmly walked over to Kenna, making sure he had a hand on her. He then looked at her with a special relish in his voice. "We were the distraction, Admiral. You just weren’t paying attention.”
It was at that moment that the woman noticed for the first time that his communicator was open on his belt. Open...and flashing softly.
"Shoot them now!" The Vulcan shouted. But his words were too slow. Even as the phaser bolts reached their target, they passed through harmlessly. The four officers had been encased in a yellow spiraling glow before fading out completely.
"Dammit!" Haster swore. She spun to one of her officers. "Let the Indomitable know that..."
"Um...Admiral?" One of the men said, pointing.
Outside the window, along the Promenade Pier was a slight faint blue light under the water of the central pool. And then it got a little brighter. And a lot brighter. And emerged from the pool.
"Oh shit" The Admiral said, as the large domed window became a field of blue light.
The blonde woman narrowed her eyes as the targeting screen narrowed its view.
An instant later, the photon torpedo connected with the large ornate domed window of the Admirals office. It had been set to the lowest possible setting, but the effect was incredible. One instant, a dozen or so individuals were standing in the offices of Admiral Virginia Haster. The next, there were no offices of Admiral Virginia Haster. A brilliant explosion took out the entire level and the ones immediately above and below it, knocking the internal station defense offline almost completely and severing power to the upper levels of the command tower. The parasites in charge of the station were destroyed, leaving not even a trace behind, and with their leader off site, the rest of the parasite forces would soon devolve into chaos.
The four officers materialized on the transporter pad back aboard the USS Defiant, unharmed by the attempted execution by the Admiral's staff.
Summer looked around the Defiant's transporter room and then looked up at her CO and more. "You know Christopher James, its a good thing that I know you so well. I knew you would have a back up plan." But it didn't stop her from slugging him in the arm.
Jovani released the breath he'd been holding, and laughed quietly. He felt the adrenaline still pumping through his body. "That was a hell of a ride...", he said, looking at his two companions. In his head he was still trying to make sense of what had just happened.
Finally, turning to the Captain he pursed his lips, his brow crinkled in confusion. "Wait, did I see a torpedo heading towards the tower just before transport?", he asked, incredulously.
“You did,” Chris said with a slight laugh. “Welcome back aboard Defiant, Crewman. I didn’t exactly let you know, but our assault served to purposes from the beginning. We needed to accomplish our actual goals. But we also needed to keep the station command crew from realizing Defiant was getting up and running. My emergency plan was that if we got trapped, Captain Reynolds would pull us out. The ‘screw you’ torpedo was her idea, I must admit.”
Jovani broke out in a wide grin. " You know, I wasn't exactly sure I'd made the right decision joining up. Until now. Now I know I did, and damn am I glad to be serving under Captain Reynolds. I don't think I'll have many dull moments.", he said. Holding out his hand to shake he added, "Thanks for letting me tag along. I wanted to at least try and be a part of helping resolve this disaster of a situation."
“Pleasure was mine, Mr. Carter,” Chris said, before hoisting Kenna up into his arms. “Summer, we gotta get her to sickbay and get her strapped down. Fast. She wakes back up, we’re going to have a big issue on our hands. And we’re running out of time for this thing out of her.
"Yeah agreed" the Former XO of the Defiant replied as she studied the unconscious figure in Chris's arms. "Lets hope the medical team can do something about it. "