=/\= USS-Charon, Jeffries Tubes Junction 7 Subsection 14A =/\=
The tunnel was pitch black, but he could move through it easily enough - infrared and passive x-ray filters in his helmet were more than enough to outline the girders and struts in harsh, colorless outline. The blue glow of his instruments showed a great amount of suit power left, and he could recharge from ship's stores if he was lucky. He had a full clip and two spares, a bandolier of bangers, and a bad attitude - everything a Marine needed to fight a one-man war against a ceaseless enemy. Which is exactly the situation that Brevet First Lieutenant Warren was in.
Over the past hour, his world had shrank down substantially. From concerns that spanned the sip and hundreds of people, he was no concerned with a tube and the area immediately around it, and his sole companionship had been a quiet, reassuring voice in his ear. Had she not known better, she might think that he was going mad. Then again, perhaps she *didn't* know better. "I've prepared the run corridor for you, Sir," Savant intoned to him, "If you find yourself in the ship's corridors, send the word and I will activate a rolling shield cascade with the security system. It should allow you to challenge a far greater number of opponents than you would otherwise be able."
"Thank you Savant," Brent said after the long period of silence. "Why are they doing this. They have to be after something here, the question really is what. Attacking a Federation Starship like this is tantamount to war last time I checked, and I hate politics. He's after something. So what is it," he asked himself and also asked Savant.
"They have put all of the crew into the cargo holds by now yes? What else are they doing? Is the Captain's children still in her quarters with four guards on them?" he asked somewhat hopeful that the situation there had changed. "Have they been trying to access the computer core since I ordered it locked down?"
Yes, Savants' worries were slowly being confirmed. He was asking questions in a jumble, with little logical connections between. Humanity's grip on sanity was always tenuous, and this might be enough to push poor Brent over the edge. She answered him slowly and sympathetically, in reverse order to his questions. "I have been supplying them with false information - they believe that they have access to the computer core, but that is not the case. We are, for the moment, secure. The children are still under guard, and the Captain is still aboard. Crew are being transferred to the Romulan warbirds as we speak via Romulan transporters - I am unable to trace their exact destinations without giving away my intentions."
She paused. "You won't like my answer for why they are doing this." and left it at that. Savant did always seem to be a sucker for drama.
"Wait they are transfering all of the crew off of the ship? Or just specific members of the crew?" he asked before he stopped himself for a few moments. "You know why they are doing this? Out with it why are they doing it? My personal feelings here be damned!"
"About half of the crew are being sent off as hostages, to ensure that those remaining on the ship don't try anything too crazy." She let that statement hang upon the air for a moment, so that he could really deeply understand it, before continuing.
"It's personal. A relative of the Captain's has it out for her. What's more, all of Vulcan seems to be in the balance as well. A prion-based immunovirus may be delivered as a payload to Vulcan's atmosphere."
Brent was silent for several minutes. "Gods the ante just got upped didn't it," he said as he let out a deep breath. "Do you know who they are targeting specifically? Science personnel? ... People with knowledge of Vulcan's defense systems?" he asked trying to think of a way to at least stymie the entire process.
"They aren't being that systematic, Sir. Based on my surface analysis, this is wholly emotional. The attack on Vulcan appears to be solely as a way to attack the Captain's ethical structure. He is being wholly irrational in his strategy. It can be a little difficult to predict."
"Is everyone now in the cargo bays? Or are they still pulling people from various pockets in the ship?" Brent began to scan over what he had access to from the internal sensors, looking for groups of non Romulans and hoping to find a group of them with few guards. "How many guards on the cargo bays..."
Savant supplied him the images he was looking for, though they were heavily fragmented due to her having to smuggle the files through back-channels. It showed a pair of cargo bays with roughly half of the crew between them both, and ten stone-faced Romulan soldiers per bay to ensure that there was no funny business.
An officer was also in each bay, checking over the captives before having them beamed over. There was a fair amount of gloating.
He grunted a reply. "Too many there," he said with a frown. "Find me a roaming patrol," he said. "I assume that they will be searching for me after that last attack..." he said with a smirk. "Lets see if I can get them emotional enough to search for me and lower the man count there. Oh and Savant, please kill the lights in the Cargo Bays."
Savant began to falsify power fluctuations to the area of the ship with the Cargo Bays due to under-staffing in engineering at the same time as she answered him, "Yes, Sir. You'll find a three-man kill-team two decks up, working across the ring."
The marine wasted no time climbing the decks. His internal motion sensors detected the three moving pings and Brent put himself behind the access point that they would pass in a few minutes. "It's time to make someone mad..." he said before he opened the doorway, unfortunately one of the Gai'Shian heard it too. What Brent was expecting to be an easy set of kills turned into an actual firefight. As he moved around the corner and fired off a shot, two more responded. "Savant! Mind cutting out that com signal I know is coming from them," he said into his helmet before Brent lowered the gravity on his belt and leaped out, letting out two quick shots with the stolen Pistol he had acquired from the Gai'Shian officer in his barracks.
The inevitable return fire hit once at his shield before the second one removed it totally and singed his left arm, the armor absorbing what remained of the shot. As Brent landed he saw the last two Romulans fall down, one with a chest would that would not recover, and the other with one in the gut, the man still alive but desperately trying to keep his charred entrails inside of himself. He moved into the corridor, making a straight line for the Romulan who seemed oblivious to him until the last second when he looked wide eyed up at the armored marine, who simply reached down and tore the mans head off. The blood fountain was actually a pretty green color, more so when the corpse was dragged to the wall and rested against it.
Brent placed the head of the man in his own lap and let his hands run through the stream of green blood, looking at it for a few moments, before he let his armored hands drag across the wall for a few moments, until finally he stopped and wrote something out on the wall in the slain soldiers blood. "NONE OF YOU WILL SURVIVE."
Without saying another word, Brent moved to the hatch from when he had came from and moved back into the relative safety, of the Jeffries Tubes.
He was alone with his thoughts for long, long moments. Savant only interjected after the black of the Jeffries' tube had taken him in again, and her voice was quiet and concerned.
"Are you... alright, Sir?"
"Actually Savant... I've never felt better," he said quietly and descended back down onto the lower levels of the ship.
Brevet First Lieutenant Brent Warren