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Posted on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 @ 3:48pm by Lieutenant Commander Niamh O'Donoghue V1 & Lieutenant JG Alexander McConnell & Captain Charlotte Reynolds V1 & Lieutenant Dante Rawlins V1 & Lieutenant Caroline Isley & Ensign Thyra Sh'shraaqir V1 & Lieutenant JG Veronica Rios & Ensign Claire Lafayette & Master Chief Petty Officer Amelia Redgrave & Petty Officer 2nd Class Jovani Carter V1 & Crewman Recruit Gejad Kel

Mission: Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: USS Defiant, Various
Timeline: Following "Emergency Repairs" and spinoff posts

The Ladon, the mighty vessel under the Command of the being known as Typhon, lifted from its perch upon high pylons and rose into space. Its metallic-yellow color caused it to stand out against the darkness beyond.

Gazing out his viewport, Typhon gestured to the various vessels in orbit. "Eliminate our observers. Target each of them, one at a time. Leave Defiant for last. I want to savor that one."

"Aye, sir. Firing sequence initiated."

-------Bridge, USS Defiant ----

Alert klaxons went off before the young science officer was even able to shout out her announcement. A bright violet flash lit up the sky and the Krenabban ship blinked out of existence. "Ma'am! Target lock detected. Typhon's ship it''s getting ready to fire!" Claire caught her panic for a moment. "Targets are the other vessels. They aren't aiming at us yet. But we don't have much time."

"Red alert" Niamh called out causing the ships ambient lighting to drop significantly making the red hue more prominently. She hit a button on the control panel of the captain's chair opening a direct link to Locke's team, "Lieutenant, now would be a good time to get that cloak shut down. The Ladon is firing up weapons, destroy it if you need to" she called out for all to hear. "Lafayette, what is the status of the other ships? Any of them broke position?" she asked hopefully, maybe one of them would get out of this. Someone needed to get away to warn the galaxy at large of the threat they faced.

"Tracking. Several of them are powering engines. Nin-tet ship is charging their warp engin-" The young science officer's words were cut off as another bright flash of violet light pierced the darkness. "They're...they're gone, ma'am. The cardassian ship is scrambling, but I don't think they're going to make it."

----Deep Within USS Defiant-----
Amelia and Jovani crouched at the base of the ventilation shaft. They didn't need to be told twice.

"Activating EMP in 3...2....1...." Amelia counted off. On the final count, she pressed the activation button. Every hair on her head suddenly stood on end as the bizarre electrical sensation washed over her. But it was the surrounding electronics that felt the true effects of the device. Numerous relays overloaded and blew out as a surge of electrical energy raced toward the cloaking device. They may not have been able to detach it from their systems, but that had left it unable to isolate itself from the surge.

A torrent of pure energy flooded into the device, immediately frying its framework and causing lances of lightning to shoot out in violent arcs around the room. It was like a violent thunderstorm had been packed into one of Defiant's chambers. The trio of tactical officers barely had time to make it back into the insulated ventilation shaft before the entire room was awash in the energy. A second later, every light went out at once.

A bizarre ripple of power went across the bridge consoles. But sparing a few stray sparks, the systems held. Doctor Lindsay's antiviral program kicked into action as soon as the source was removed, purging the primary systems of the paralytic effects of the virus. Unfortunately, a decent portion of the damage was already done. As Defiant came back to life, the internal sensors revealed the extent of the damage.

Thyra got to her console as soon as main power came back online. She started an internal scan. She sighed and then reported, "Captain, main power is back online, but secondary power systems have failed. Numerous systems are heavily disrupted, I can't even begin on how long this is going to take to repair. Gravity plating is offline in sections of the stardrive sections." She took a few breaths to see what else was broken. "Turbolifts and water circulation are offline. I think I am better off listing what is still working."

"No response from shields or weapons, captain. Targeting sensors are offline as well. And backups are also offline." Ensign Drayton reported from tactical.

The young helm officer filling it at the comms station turned around to face the chair. "Lt. Rawlins is reporting that he has propulsion systems back online. He..." The officer paused holding a hand to her ear. "He reports substantial issues with the systems though, just as other departments are reporting. Impulse engines are fully operational. But the starboard nacelle isn't even responding to attempts to reactivate it. With only one nacelle, we'd be capable of warp 2 at best. Any faster and we'd lose the warp field entirely."

Niamh nodded, "Be prepared to depart the system as soon as the Captain's back on board. Warp one point eight, head for the nearest Starbase" she ordered tersely before tapping away at the control panel once more.

"Lieutenant Isley now would be a good time to grab the Captain" Niamh called out for the bridge to here, the tension setting in.

---Transporter Room---

"Um, acknowledged, bridge," Caroline said, looking a bit flustered. She turned to Edwards and Rios. "It's now or never," she said with a deep breath. "Are we ready to try?"

The diplomat was well out of her depth and the standard training in basic repair she'd received from the academy was both out of date and insufficient to the task at hand. But based on the very limited knowledge she had, the transporter array would hold long enough for one transport...she hoped. "Uh...I think it's the best we're going to get," Veronica replied as her head emerged from a panel. "Ready on your mark."

Isley looked down at the main panel and took a very deep breath. She waited for a cue from Edwards and then very slowly manipulated the controls. They had a faint lock on what she hoped from the captain. They only had one try, but they also couldn't afford to wait. She couldn't help but close her eyes as she pushed the keys to energize.

---Ladon Command Deck---
The shadow being known as Typhon turned away from his distraction, watching the destruction of the starships outside of his viewport. He seemed surprised to see Captain Reynolds standing, as shakily and unconvincing as the stance was. "Oh, Captain. I would have thought after that you would have given up."

She struggled to stay upright. Every fibre of her being was fighting her, as her heart question its own rhythm. It seemed to take 10 times the effort to get her muscles to respond. "You know the saying," she bit out. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Typhon laughed at her. "Fury? Look at you. You're dying even as you stand there. Give up. It was only a matter of time before I'd win. Your defeat is inevitable."

"So am I." Her voice rang out, weak and yet somehow it held a fire. Her hand came forward, and the phaser left it, sailing across the room. But this time, Typhon hadn't pulled it from her. She had thrown it. Willingly.

The being moved in reaction, as he became aware of the high pitch whine emitting from the device. But it was too late. There was an acute pop as the phaser's overload went off.

Charlotte closed her eyes, and in an instant, it all went white.

---Transporter Room----

Except...the whiteness was not all-encompassing. The explosion she had expected had hurtled throughout the room. But when it reached her, she was no longer there. The moment she hung in limbo seemed to drag on for an eternity. But slowly, the white took shape, becoming the familiar transporter room aboard Defiant. But it was coming in and out. She wasn't home just yet.

"Shit!" Veronica Rios shouted from the control panel. "Her pattern is wavering. There's some sort of quantum instability at her origin point. Lt. Isley, I need help or I'm going to lose her!"

Rios was right. The pattern was being disrupted. It was a problem at the source -- the worst kind to have. "Acknowledged," the blonde said, her cold tone not anything like what was running through her mind. If they didn't act fast they would lose the captain forever. She quickly shifted power to the containment beam. "We're going to need more power. We have to keep her stable," Isley said. She shifted everything they had. Basically, the science officer was trying to "pull" the captain out hard. The transporter wasn't going to be in great shape afterwards, but they could worry about that later.

"She's . . . she's coming through," Isley said, looking up at the pad as the control panel began to short out and power levels for the entire system started to drop quickly.

The wavering stopped and Captain Reynolds rematerialized at last on the pad. Her standing position lasted mere seconds before the strain she was under came crashing back in. As her eyes rolled back into her head, her body went limp and she crumpled to the floor.

Ethan ran up and checked the captain's pulse. "She's alive, but she needs medical attention, right now!!"

----Defiant's Shuttle, Ladon's Docking Bay----

The empty interior of the shuttle lit up briefly as the automated systems for the craft came back online. "Contingency Order Criteria met. Lifesign of Captain Charlotte Reynolds is no longer detected aboard the craft. Activating prescribed orders. System Overload in 5...4...3...2...1..."

---Defiant Bridge----

Outside the viewport, a blinding flash suddenly filled the viewscreen. After a few seconds, the light filtering already kicked in, allowing the bridge to see the aftermath. A large chunk of the hull plating near the Ladon's shuttlebay had been blown clear off the vessel and secondary damages were slowly spreading from the sight. The vessel was intact, but an internal explosion had dealt massive damage to the craft.

Dante walked onto the bridge just as the immense explosion tore through the ship on the viewscreen. He stood for a few seconds, eyes wide, mouth slightly agape, and hoped with all he had in him that they'd managed to get the Captain back aboard before that had happened.

With little time to process what she'd just seen Niamh turned to face Dante, "Get us out of here, Mr Rawlins" the First Officer ordered urgently. Dropping into the Captain's chair. She'd stay a while longer to make sure they where clear then head down to check on the Captain. Hopefully, the next few days would grant them some respite. They had a lot to unpack.

Tearing his eyes away from the screen Dante made his way quickly to the helm and relieved the stunned crewman that had been sitting there. He immediately began moving the ship away, increasing speed steadily. It took less than a minute before the shock-wave slammed into them, and damn near made him lost control, but he somehow managed to get them back on course, and increased speed past the warp barrier. "That's as good as she's going to give us, ma'am..." he said, watching the engines hover just this side of the red line that meant danger, a hint of disappointment, and apology clear in his voice. They'd barely even broken warp 1.8, nowhere near the speed he'd hoped for previously.

"It's good enough, Lieutenant" Niamh approved, almost slouching into the Captain's chair as she let a subdued sigh of relief escape her mouth. The Captain was back, the crew were safe and it looked like the Ladon would need extensive repairs. Hopefully, they'd all get enough reprieve to get repairs underway. Pushing a loose strand of her bun back behind her ear, the Counsellor-come-First Officer, pondered how best to prepare herself for the next weeks. Regardless of Charlotte's condition, the crew were up the creek with a barely functional paddle. They had more hardship to endure in the foreseeable.


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