=/\= Deck 10, Marine Barracks =/\=
Finally. Some peace and quiet. Brent strolled out into the main barracks with a PADD in hand and an apple. Taking a bite out of the crisp replicated fruit he began to look over the latest reports from his sergeants. Everything had been going swimmingly in the drills. Hang on, swimmingly. They hadn't done water training yet.
The lieutenant grinned and cackled at the idea, and began to draw up plans to have them begin aquatic training and underwater training. Ah that would be a change of pace at least for them. Maybe if he felt like being nice he'd even heat the water. But probably not. He had just finished typing into the PADD when the something familiar caught his ear. A transporter.
Here in his barracks. His eyes immediately fixated on the sight of what appeared to be two Gai'Shian transporting into his barracks. Just when they had about to materialize, Brent moved into action. The PADD was immediately flung at the far intruder, catching him square in the neck as he came in, while Brent crashed into the closest one, taking him in one quick motion to the nearby wall, and slamming him into it. Just as the Romulan realized he was disoriented, the sickening sound of his neck snapping was heard in the barracks, and Brent turned his attention towards the other one who was just starting to breath again. Brent came from behind the Romulan, again breaking the intruders neck before he let the man slump down into his final visage, of the interior of a mostly empty barracks. Looking around to see if there was anyone else about to come in, Brent grabbed a nearby pistol before he hit his combadge. "Savant... I just killed two Gai'Shian in my barracks. Is there something I should know about?"
"It looks like you didn't get the surrender orders," the avatar's disembodied voice carried to him. She sounded businesslike, secretarial, and very, very busy. No doubt she was weaving a dreadful tapestry with all the processing threads that roiled silently within Charon's core. "It's a good thing I'm not speaking to you in any official capacity right now."
The hologram appeared briefly - small, translucent, floating at chest-height like a miniature Vanna White. The small Savant-image was gesturing to Charon floating in space, surrounded by Romulan warbirds. "Thirteen warbirds have de-cloaked around Charon, we are being boarded. Nearby exits are the hallway," she gestured, "the ceiling access panel above your desk, and the jeffries tube access in the back wall."
Brent gritted his teeth. "The fuck. We didn't even sound general quarters. Where are my men?" he asked as he began to suit up, putting his chest plate on first. "Can you contact them before some roaming band of Romulan's finds them?" The chestpeice on he moved onto the legs, then the gloves.
"I'm trying, Sir - many of them are currently in combat. Please hurry, Sir; there are two Gai'Shian agents en route. You have twenty five seconds." As she spoke,t he little hologram displayed a schematic of the ship's deck layout. Red hot spots indicated combat, while blue and green zones indicated overall control. Charon had not yet been pacified, but that green cancer grew quickly.
Brent strapped the boots and his helmet on. "Are any of the command staff still free? Can you track any of the officers on the ship right now," he asked her as he picked up his kinetic weapon, as well as several flashbangs and a pistol from one of the Gai'Shian. "Hell can I talk to any of them or are they too busy right now."
"The bridge has been captured, Sir. I suggest you exit through the jeffries tube access - the Romulans are in the hall, and you haven't time for the ceiling hatch. I have locked down the doorway, so you should have several seconds more." He was moving as she spoke.
"I will do my best to relay any messages you may like to the Command Staff, Sir, but they are occupied at present."
He was already moving to the jeffries tube enterance when she mentioned it. He opened the hatch and immediately closed it behind him before he began to climb the ladder at incredible speeds. "Savant if there is no other Command Crew available I need to to confer all command codes to me. I'm sure there's a Starfleet regulation regarding it if you want to look it up. Then lock down all access to the computer and tell me where they are taking the crew."
Savant, of course, had the clearance to take control herself if needs be. No need to bicker with him about that though - she would likely comply with his requests in any case - for now, the important thing was securing the safety of the crew and any sensitive information. That was keeping her busy enough. She was happy to farm out some processing power to Brent's brain instead of her own network. "Acknowledged, Sir, you have full clearance. I have taken the liberty of transporting a crate of munitions to Jeffries tube junction A-1215."
"Thank you," he replied before he came down to the junction just as the transporter whine had finished. "Ahh beautiful," he said as he began to pick through his supplies. "Shut down all transporters and cut all power to the turbolifts, lets stall them as long as we possibly can. If you can interfere with their transporters without raising the shield that would be good too.
After selecting several munitions Brent took off down laterally along the Jeffries tube. "Where are they sending the crew. They won't just leave them where they are that's too risky... Or are they just executing the crew as they come to them."
"They appear to be imprisoning them, Sir," her voice rang hollow and quiet as the lights in the jeffries tube dimmed to black. Only the faint blue light of Brent's chronometer and various suit sensor readouts lit his face, and these were masked behind his helmet. "It doesn't look very good. Resistance is sporadic. I will schedule remedial drills for the troops once the situation is pacified." That was Savant, a bottomless wellspring of enthusiasm. It was easy to be an optimist when one was immortal and undying.
"I'll probably be in the brig for beating the Captain senseless. Not telling the crew to surrender? Not even putting up a fight?!?!" he sighed before he shook his head. "Are there any soldiers in the Captains quarters. And are her children there or have they been taken and moved someplace else. Where do they seem to be putting the crew? The cargo bays?" he asked and continued his crawl.
"Yes sir, the Cargo bays. The Captain's children are being attended to in her quarters, but they are under Gai'Shian supervision. They don't appear to be in immediate danger. I am observing them as best I can." She updated the local map in his helmet with the two Romulan soldiers that were passing by the corridor beneath him, "Be careful, Sir, sounds of your movement may echo into the corridor below."
Brent slowed down for a moment before he simply smirked and reached to his gravity belt, and set it to zero gravity. Instead of making noise, he simply floated along, pulling himself from junction to junction. "The captain has a junction into her quarters, are there any Gai'Shian near that entrance, and how many are attending to the children," he asked Savant.
"There are four threats in the room, Sir; they have decided that the Captain's children are a high priority. Appears to be a personal grudge, Sir." She sounded displeased, "By lifesign readings, Sir, they apparently have little compunctions about killing. Please assume that they will potentially shoot the hostages."
Brent gritted his teeth. "Four is too many. Monitor her room and alert me if the situation changes," he continued to move silently along. "Savant... Is Commander Tyrax amongst the prisoners," the thought had been nagging at him but he didn't dare think about it until now.
"Yes Sir," She sounded almost reluctant to tell him, knowing his reaction would not be good, "she is currently on the bridge. Based on the conversation, she will be transferred to a Romulan warbird." As a prisoner of war, Sakarra would either be treated excellently or most savagely - there was little middle ground with these specific aliens. No doubt he knew the same thing.
The bar that Brent had grabbed ahold of for a moment stopped him as it sank in just what Savant had said. He stayed silent for a few moments. "Find out what warbird. Do a complete work up on it and the other ships. I want to know where she is being taken to. How are they getting her off of the ship? A shuttle or are they just transporting her over," he asked quietly before the pure duranium pole snapped at his rage.
"I will give you this information as soon as I have it, Sir - I have run out of available processing threads, but have given your request top priority. As the crew is being collected into the cargo bays, I am presuming that they will be transported back to the Romulan ships." Savant was sympathetic to his obvious anger. Had she emotions in the same range as Brent, no doubt she would be very angry, too.
"I can't stay in here the whole time," he said quietly, the rage still simmering in the back of his voice. "Have you stopped all turbolifts? How are they getting people to the cargo bays if they cannot use the turbolifts. Are they marching them up the tubes along the ladders?" he asked.
"The Captain has requested that I comply with the invaders' wishes in order to ensure the safety of the crew," she replied, a little sourly, "By the look on her face I am calculating that she intends I put up resistance where it will not endanger lives." And by the look on Brent's face, that's exactly what he wouldn't have done. She didn't press the point.
"So they have free fucking reign over the ship?" Brent spat into his helmet. "How do you know that you are not handing them over to slavery and a cruel death after a long life of bondage," he said quietly as he began to scan below for life signs with the limited means that his suit has. "Are you going to stop me from trying to end this SNAFU?"
"My prediction is that odds of Charon's crew suffering long-term harm at the hands of the Romulans are quite low. However," she paused, and her tone was laced with amusement, "I'm also quite sure that I am to publicly pretend I know nothing about your activities. Oh, be careful, Sir. More Gai'Shian to your left."
"What makes you say that," Brent said with a snarl before he saw the Gai'Shian come onto his screen. Three of them total. He was above them. As they walked by he opened up the service hatch silently and dropped them a small present. By the time the flashbang hit the floor the door was already closed. It didn't stay closed for long though, as soon it was open again and three accurate pistol shots hit the Gai'Shian in the neck, charing what remained of their nervous system. With that done, Brent closed the hatch, and set one of the few grenades he had up on a detonator. Should he hatch be opened, it would delay five seconds before exploding, hopefully catching some poor Romulan in the face.
"One down. Countless trillions left to go..."
[To be Continued...]
Brevet First Lieutenant Brent Warren