Getting out of Dodge
Posted on Mon Feb 18th, 2019 @ 10:36am by Captain Charlotte Reynolds V1 & Lieutenant Commander Maralen Seitha & Lieutenant Elias Lindholm & Lieutenant Dante Rawlins V1 & Ensign Thyra Sh'shraaqir V1 & Ensign Colby Pierce & Lieutenant Ian Acainus & Lieutenant Commander Summer Gallagher
Edited on on Wed May 1st, 2019 @ 2:49pm
Episode 4: Fires of Arcadia
Location: Docking Bay, Starbase Arcadia
Timeline: After Crew Return to Defiant
Captain Reynolds took her position in the center seat of the bridge. She was nursing the injury on her leg, but the medical staff had patched her up enough to take her station on the bridge. They didn't have much other time to waste at the moment. The Indomitable had pushed its way through the fleet, leaving the vessels adrift just outside the station. The Dreadnought-class vessel had taken damage to its warp nacelles, but not enough to stop it, and it was now on its way to Qo'noS.
There was now only one vessel capable of outpacing the Indomitable left at Arcadia. And they needed to get out of the station.
"Mr. Rawlins, how are we coming on the pre-launch checklist?" Charlotte asked, knowing they were already rushing these functions, to begin with.
Dante didn't even look up from his boards as his hands worked the controls, "I've got about three-quarters of the list complete, as of right now, I could get us going, but it'd break about half a dozen regulations.", he replied, hoping deep down she'd just tell him to punch it. Every time he thought about being nice about all this the deep ache in his arm reignited the anger deep within.
“I’m not in the mood to get hung up on regulations. Mr. Lindholm, are phasers online? We might need to take out some defensive cannons on the way out and I want to conserve our torpedoes.”
Elias checked his station readouts before answering, "All phaser banks are online. Luckily the dockmaster thought to restock our torpedo stores before this party got started."
"Ensign Sh'shraaqir, alert the fleet to keep our launch vector clear. We're going to be coming out with some speed," Charlotte said.
"Aye, Captain," Thyra said as she punched some sequences in on her station. "Message is sent." She waited a moment. "Confirmation received."
Charlotte nodded, waiting for the comms channel to be clear before opening an internal channel to Engineering. She was sure the Engineering crew were losing their minds with the rushed warp preparations. "Lt. Holland, we're going to need warp drive as soon as possible. What's out time frame?"
The chief engineer was on the verge of pulling out her hair. The day had been one thing after another. Her feet hurt, from running around all day in high heels, and she was still wearing one of Caroline's blue uniform dresses. So far no one in engineering had said anything, but Michaela knew they were all thinking that she'd finally lost her mind. She wasn't sure they'd be entirely wrong about that.
"I don't think there is a time frame, Captain, not one that you'll like, anyway," Michaela said into the comms panel as she glanced at the nearest terminal display. "The warp nacelles aren't meant to run this cold. Fifty-fifty chance they even work. Ninety-ten they'll take some kind of damage." Michaela had a sinking feeling that Charlotte wouldn't be dissuaded by those odds. They didn't have a choice. They had to try and stop the Indomitable before it did something they would probably all regret.
However, contrary to the Engineer’s expectations, the Captain did not order them to warp. “Understood. Proceed with normal startup. Expedite it as much as you can without damaging the engines. We’ve got a long trip ahead of us at high warp. We can’t have them blowing out on us,” Charlotte said, as she sat back in her chair. “Indomitable took some damage on the way out and was proceeding at Warp 6 according to the Essex’s sensors, so we have a small window to prepare. How long do you think until we’d have safe operating status?”
Michaela sighed heavily, and ran a hand through her hair as she thought. It felt like a total mess, probably because of the zero-g firefight. Oh well, nothing to do about it now. She looked around at her people, who were all doing the same thing as her, albeit on a smaller scale. Those closest softly uttered numbers. The engineers further away used their fingers. Things might be loud and chaotic everywhere else, but around Holland it was quiet. But only because she was on comms with the captain.
"I'd like twenty minutes, Captain. With that, you could probably swap those two sets of odds I gave you. I really wouldn't recommend anything under fifteen." That didn't seem like a lot of time to her, given the amount of work her department had to do, but for those waiting on the bridge the minutes would no doubt pass very slowly.
“You’ll have it,” the Captain replied. She knew they were already trying to offer her impossible timeframes. She wasn’t going to push it. “20 minutes. We’re going to be shooting our way out of the station, so it could get bumpy, but we’ll try to make it smooth for you.”
Charlotte took a moment to compose her thoughts. They’d be underway soon, even if there was a delay on the warp jump. If she was going to give any of her officers and out, now would be the time. “Lt. Sh’shraaqir, patch me through shipwide.”
Thyra opened the channel. "Shipwide channel is open, captain, the crew is alerted."
Charlotte nodded, giving herself one last moment to put her thoughts in order. "Attention all hands. This is the Captain. I know today has been a harrowing day for most of all of us. We're tired. We're hurt. We've had to kill many of our fellow officers just to survive, and the idea of going back into the fight could sound unbearable. I wish I could just say that we can rest now, that our work is done. But that just isn't the case."
She took a breath and continued. "The USS Indomitable, a Dreadnought class ship commandeered by these creatures is currently on its way to carry out an act of biological warfare on Qo'noS, an attack which could cost billions of lives. We may be at war with the Klingons, but this attack runs counter to everything in our founding beliefs. It is morally incumbent upon us to stop this. I, personally, could not live with myself if we allowed this to take place."
"A ship that looks like a Starfleet ship, with a crew that looks like a Starfleet crew, is about to carry out this attack. We might know the difference, but the rest of the galaxy won't. The Federation needs us right now. We need to represent what the parasites on that ship can only visually emulate. We need to show them what real Starfleet officers can do. Right now, we need to be our own 'better angels.' So I am taking Defiant to Qo'noS to stop Indomitable. I fully acknowledge that if we successfully stop this ship, we'll be deep in enemy territory. There's a good chance we won't come back, so I won't force any of you to come with me. If any of you want to remain behind, I will understand."
Turning around in his chair, Dante gave the captain a level look. "Let's do this, Captain." he said, showing his support for her plan.
Ian was in his office when he heard the Captain's words come through the speaker above his head. He pinched the bridge of his nose and briefly closed his eyes. He was indeed exhausted but knew he wouldn't be able to fall asleep anytime soon. When he heard her offer to stay behind, he merely shook his head. He, for one, was planning on staying; it was the right thing to do. His honor would demand nothing less of him. He had no death wish, but if he perished, he perished. Genocide was a horrific atrocity and it had to be stopped whatever the cost.
He pulled himself to his feet, straightened his uniform jacket and headed to the Bridge.
Colby was in the security office when he heard the captain's words over the intercom. He had just spent hours helping the injured to sickbay, and searching for the dead.
Stay behind? Damn no! These creatures had to be stopped... no matter the cost. He only hoped that he would be a part of the boarding party when the time came.
Summer stood in silence against a wall, her gaze sweeping the bridge, mentally picking out the places where, she and Javier had had it out physically on this very bridge when Chris had organized for the Marines to 'take over' the Defiant... And that time, both walked away alive. Next time, that would not happen. "Lead on Captain." She said softly glancing at her own captain.
Michaela shook her head after listening to the speech. Not in disapproval, but in disbelief. Of course no one would leave. They were professionals... from the ship's captain, all the way down the chain to the newest crewman. Some might be thinking about it, but leaving would mean passing their duties on to the person next to them. Michaela couldn't imagine anyone having the nerve to do that, even if they were told to go. Many also had good friends aboard. Some, like Michaela, had more than that aboard.
The engineer looked around her domain. Some of her people did look nervous, but no one appeared to be seriously thinking of leaving.
K'Muss nodded at the CO's words as he busied himself with a display. He couldn't help but agree, his shoulder was still hurting from the business on Arcadia. In fact, it twinged just thinking about it, By all rights he should be in sickbay. But he was a Starfleet officer, he had a job to do. He'd get a painkiller later.
Beside his captain, Maralen sat perfectly still while she spoke. Genocide was familiar ground to him, but not because he had ever performed it. Those who had commanded him had forced him to commit many atrocities, but not that particular one. No, his familiarity with it was much older. The Death Ships had come, seemingly from nowhere, without warning, without signal, without provocation, and had destroyed all of his people save for him. And he did not want anyone else to ever have to walk the Path of Pain that had been his.
"I am with you, Captain, to hell and back if that is what is required." he stated clearly and with an intensity that was not normally heard in his voice on duty. In his brown eyes, normally warm and kind, was a fire that burned out from his very soul. No, he was not going to allow these creatures to cause this if he could do anything to stop it!
“You heard the man, helm. To hell and back,” Charlotte said, only half joking. The ‘and back’ would probably be the hard part. “On my mark...Mr. Rawlins, get ready to take us out of here at 1/3 Impulse. Tactical, I want to be looking sharp on those internal weapons platforms. Take them out as you see them. Don’t wait to be shot at. Ensign Lafayette, I’m going to need a pursuit course on Indomitable. And Mr. Seitha, let’s make sure those bay doors are open when we get to them.”
She sat back in her chair, not relaxed, but focused. “Mark.”
Dante had been poised for her order, and as soon as it came he executed her command for one-third impulse immediately. "Ahead one third, aye.", he said as the main viewer showed the ship start to move forward. Because they were in an enclosed space the speed seemed much faster than it actually was, as things flew past them on every side.
"Holding steady at one-third impulse.", he added when the computer indicated they'd reached the correct speed.
Elias nodded and returned his focus to his duties. He supported the captain fully, and felt no need to voice his opinion. This was his custom, as he preferred to keep his focus on the coming battle. He pushed a few buttons on his console and targeted the Various defense platforms surrounding the Defiant. As the ship began to move, his console began informing him they were being targeted. "Phasers locked on to defense platforms. Standing by for simultaneous fire on your word Captain," Elias said as he brought his gaze to the view screen.
Charlotte nodded. “Fire away, Mr. Lindholm.”
Maralen's expression was pure calm as his hands flew over his board. He was not as expert a hacker as some of the people he had known in the Academy, but he was good enough for this. And as Defiant started to move, he coaxed the doors to open. They were slow to respond, and he glanced up at the viewscreen, calculating the distance between them and Defiant, the speed of the ship, and the speed of the doors. Deciding that they would be open enough by the time the ship reached them, he returned his gaze to his board in case something changed.
Defiant jetted down the launch corridor, arching away from the exit tube and toward the blackness of space.
Captain Reynolds’ face was as steady as stone, not betraying how relieved she was to be back among the stars. She turned to the science station. “Miss Lafayette, do we have that pursuit course?”
Claire nodded as she entered the data into her terminal. "Yes, ma'am. Course has been sent to helm station. They're proceeding away at Warp 6. Based on their trajectory, I'd say they're trying to avoid Federation patrols on their way to Qo'nos."
“Very well. Thank you, Lieutenant.” Charlotte stood and looked toward Ops. “Mr. Seitha, you have the conn. As soon as Engineering is ready, take us to Warp. Keep us just out of Indomitable’s sensor range. Match their course and speed.” Defiant had a more advanced sensor suite, so she’d be able to follow the Dreadnought without tipping their prey off to their presence.
The Captain turned and began to walk toward the hall to her ready room. She paused in the doorway, turning back with a genuine look of relief. “Good work, everyone. Once we get to warp, I want you all to get some rest. We have a long trip ahead of us.”
Maralen turned his board over to his second and moved toward the center seat as the captain left the bridge. "Aye, Captain." he acknowledged. Taking the center seat, he tapped the comm. panel on the arm of the chair. "Engineering, how is our Warp power coming?" He was not pushing the engineer, merely getting an update as he was now responsible for what came next.
Michaela looked around when the bridge contacted her again. Had it been twenty minutes already? It couldn't have been more than ten, right? But when she looked at a few displays she knew lost track of time. But who could blame her? Probably everyone.
"K'Muss, how are we looking? We have enough power for the warp drive?" She asked her assistant chief, who was close to the displays for the propulsion system.
"Looking good, Lieutenant." he said, taking a good look at the readout. He flashed the "thumbs up."
"Thank you, Lieutenant." Maralen said then closed the channel.
Colby started checking all the weapons in the armory, making sure the power cells were charged and the weapons functioning properly....in case they would be needed later.
Elias kept his phaser banks charged. He made sure to switch the targeting sensors to passive. He had seen the specs on the Indomitable, and knew that the slightest sensor ping could alert them to the Defiant's position. He looked back at the XO, "All targeting sensors running in passive mode. It should be enough to keep us masked from the Indomitable."
Maralen nodded to Elias. "Good work, Mr. Lindholm."
"Course fully laid in, sir. Ready at your command.", Dante said, just as eagerly awaiting the response from the engineer as everyone else was. His eyes remained glued to the warp status indicator on his board as he kept his attention focused on hearing the order from the xo.
Maralen took a breath and let it out slowly. And so it begins... "Take us to Warp. Match course and speed with Indomitable but keep us back, just beyond their sensor range, Mr. Rawlins." he ordered, settling himself and wrapping his tail around the base of the chair as an anchor should they need to maneuver quickly.
Dante's fingers hit three prepper controls, and his hands grasped the silver throttle handle, pushing it forward. Moments later his board went green as the ship reached the speed he'd set, "Course and speed matched, sir, and outside sensor range.", he replied.