Saturday, November 13, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241011.12 - Joint Back Log "The Rescue" Part 2 - erie'Arrain tr'Valkar & Ensign Korialis

[Aboard Ralaar'laehval - Immediately following Part I]
Nitka slid her sidearm back into it's niche on her belt and then bent down contorting herself enough to pass through the conduits opening.  Reaching into the corridor she picked up the hatch and carefully secured it back into place only seconds before the echoing bootsteps were loud enough to filter through to them.  She looked at the kids and pressed a finger against her lips quietly whispering "shh" to them.

Passing the children, the Rihannsu tr'Valkar moved to the front of the group, leading them through the cramped conduit towards the maintenance junction. This 'Nitka' had best know what she was attempting, coming as deep into enemy territory as she had. For all their sakes he hoped she had a way to get them off the station in one piece.

"Just up here," he said, reaching to open the hatch separating the conduit from the junction. It opened to show doors leading in two other directions, as well as ladder leading both up and down.

She followed, her eyes steadily glued to her tricorder.  Finally she looked up but past the trio in front of her "why do we need to go over there?"  As they started at her she hissed "well then why didn't you mention that sooner!"  Slamming her palm into the grate that lined the floor she smiled at children and Valkar "we can get to the Charon if we take this route" she held up her tricorder for them to look at "they have attached several service umbilicals to the ship to keep track of it."

"Great," sighed the Romulan as he looked at the display on her device. "That path should bypass most of their security patrols, though I'm not sure of the routes taken by those looking for us. If we take that conduit," he continued, pointing at one of the other closed passages, "that should get us started." There were other questions to be asked, but now was certainly not the time for them.

"Good!"  Nitka beamed and looked at her tricorder again "let's get going."  She said and then cocked her head "you think so?"  She looked at the Romulan quizzically "you're right, if he's in front then he gets shot first and I have time to react.  Smart thinking."  She pointed at Valkar "you, you take lead."

The Romulan merely looked at her for several moments, sitting there on his hands and knees in silence trying to comprehend her statement. Finally he blinked and spoke up, "Excuse me, but just who thinks it's a smart choice for me be shot?"

"He does."  She pointed at empty space "my seventh host.  He says that all your people are good for is to be used as living shields.  But don't worry.  If you do get shot and die, just know, you did a good deed saving these children.  I'll make sure the Captain knows and maybe we'll hold a moment of silence or something."  Her irises lifted towards the ceiling as she scratched her chin dimple in thought "then again that kind of thing might not be her style."  She smiled "I'm sure she'll do something.  Maybe give you a posthumous award.  You don't mind Starfleet awards do you?"

Again Lhaetan stared at the strange woman before shaking his head and turning back around toward their chosen exit. Of course it was his fate that the rescue sent by t'Rehu would be clinically insane; that was the fate he had been saddled with. And really, he thought to himsef as he moved to open the next hatch, a Starfleet award? A moment of silence? This had better be for much more than that.

Nitka followed closely behind with both children flanking her, her eyes trained on the tricorder as they moved.  "Wait."  She stopped and looked up past Valkar "there are two life signatures headed this way...both Romulan."  Her free hand slid along her waist until it reached the phaser's grip where she paused and stared seemingly into space "you're right, if I fire this the entire station will know we're here."  Her forehead creased as a crudge expression of contemplation took hold.  "Are you good at hand to hand...?"  She looked at Valkar and then jumped ninty-degrees towards the near-wall "I am to!  I took the course three times and only failed twice!"  She sneered and then looked at Valkar "hand to hand combat?"

Without looking back, Lhaetan tried to ignore the conversation she seemed to be having with herself. Instead he just sat there in silence and watched the children until she seemed to resolve the current issues and addressed him. With a hand instinctively moving to the blade at his waist the Rihannsu replied, "I'm good enough."

"So it seems."  Nitka said and bit her bottom lip.  She could hear boot-steps slamming upon metal grating echo through the small cavern that was the  conduit they found themselves in.  She sighed, turned, and then let loose a deeper sigh "okay- we have to take the initiative here.  Preemptive action so they won't know what hit them!  That way they won't be able to call for least that is the plan."  She groaned at the near wall "you sure that will work?"  A lick of the lip and a second later she nodded her head "okay" and looked at Valkar "you ready?"

Lhaetan pulled the small dagger from the hilt on his belt and nodded in silence. He had already spilled blood this day, blood of his brethren Rihannsu. He was not keen on doing it again, but as the situation for the group was dire (and without any other option) he was prepared to take action. Hopefully, he prayed to the Elements, someone would understand why he had done the things he had.

Nitka pressed her heels against the grate that encompassed the flooring of the conduit- she inhaled deeply, closed her eyes, and when she opened them again she sprinted down the conduit.  The Romulan soldiers ahead of them looked perplexed as Nitka rounded the corner- her elbow leveled toward them.  A loud 'kathunk' reverberated through the conduit as she smashed through one of the Romulans driving her shoulder into his solar plexus virtually tackling him.

Taking advantage of the confusion the Romulan soldiers seemed to suffer as the Starfleeter had charged them, Lhaetan moved in behind her. As she downed the first, he slid past it took only a moment for his months of training to take over his movements. As his unarmed elbow swung out and connected with the soldier's abdomen, his blade swung aroung and jabbed into a neck bent from the previous impact. There was only the slightest gurgle as the man tried to scream, but was prevented by the metallic object embeded in his flesh. Green blood trickled down across Valkar's hand which still clutched the hilt.

Nitka pushed herself up.  The Romulan looked up at her with lifeless eyes- she stared at the body for a moment.  A bit dazed by the sudden action.  Looking at Lhaetan she smiled "never gets easier- even if they are Romulan."  She stretched her arms and then turned around to call to Shiarrael's children "let's go."  She said.  

Ignoring the woman's obviously insulting statement, Valkar pulled the blade from the downed soldier's neck and, after cleaning it on the deceased's uniform, returned it to the hilt at his waist. Though she was definitely being a useful resource in the group's escape, there was very little else the Romulan liked about her. Specist and crazy...not exactly the combination one looked for in a colleague. Silently he fell back into step behind her.

They rounded the corner and continued through one of the primary junctions.  Finally as they neared the final pathway the conduit shrunk into a mere crawl space "we have to take it slowly."  She urged caution as her eyes focused on the tricorder extended in her left hand "the area is teeming with security personnel."

"And that surprises you?" he responded as his hand returned to the blade's hilt, ready to draw if they were discovered. "Counting the two we just dispatched, they've lost nearly a dozen men this day, and all from within. And they've lost t'Rehu's children."

"A bad day I suppose."  Nitka said with a slight grin "but if we go through here we can make our way into the primary airlock."  She kneeled down and crawled in- with tricorder extended she shimmied her way through.  "We're thirty meters from where we need to be."  She paused "there are a lot of activity ahead...weapons fire!  It seems they are fighting outside of the Charon's airlock!"

As crawling while wielding a dagger was probably not the brightest of ideas, Valkar refrained from pulling it just yet. Instead he followed closely behind the Starfleeter. "Charon's crew is resisting? If so tr'Sahen's response will be immediate."

Thunder rippled through the conduit.  Nitka closed her eyes and covered her ears as the station shook "this is serious..." she muttered almost incoherently as she looked back at the children "we'll be fine, just keep crawling."  Ahead she could see the streaming blackness of smoke filling it "we need to hurry- the Charon is beginning to disconnect their moorings.  We need to get out of the interference and withing transporter range."

"Then go," he said as he coughed through the growing cloud of smoke. "Take the children and go. I'll be right behind you." He stopped in the conduit and made sure both of the younglings were between Nitka and himself before continuing on behind. This would be their only chance to escape the station; if they failed to reach the transporter site before Charon moved off they would surely be dealt with by the station's security compliment.

"Come on."  Nitka urged the children and began crawling faster as smoke and heat inundated them.  She looked a the tricorder as the smoke continued to thicken- they coughed but she reached back and literally dragged them with her.  Closer...just ten meters.  Behind them she could hear the shrill sound of metal hitting metal as one of the access terminals to the conduit was opened releasing a swath of bright light into the dim cavern.  "Watch out!"  Nitka shouted behind them as her tricorder indicated Romulans were coming in.  She crawled harder dragging the children with her "almost there..."  

Through the metallic banks, and his own coughing and choking, the erei'Arrain could here muffled shouts behind him. Hopefully the smoke that was slowing their progress would also help shield them from their pursuit. And, if nothing else, Valkar could turn and face down those chasing them; the delay he could cause might give Nitka a chance to get the children out and back to the Charon. It hasn't come to that yet, he thought to himself as he pushed against the child infront of him, urging them on faster.

"There!"  Nitka shouted in elation as she tapped her commbadge.  A blue light filled the conduit as the children disappeared.  She looked at Lhaetan and frowned as she could see the beams of flashlight flowing through the thickening smoke "crawl faster!"  she shouted at the Romulan.  She carefully slipped her phaser out of his holster and pulled it up across her chest until she could see it.  She increased the power level until it whined with overload.  "We're leaving them a present."  Nitka said with a grin as Lhaetan reached her.  She set the phaser down and grabbed his arm "Nitka to Charon, two to beam up."  As she dematerialized she felt a heavy warmth brush through her atoms.

While transporter technology was very similar across the two quadrants, this was the first time Lhaetan had been through the process with a Starfleet device. The sensation, while very familiar to him, also felt very different in the same stroke. No matter how the process made him feel, the fact that the shimmering blue light of the transporter beam had begun to encompass him brought him relief beyond description.

"Welcome aboard the Charon."  Nitka said with a grim smile.  The ship shook causing one of the wall panels to fall onto the floor "needs a bit of rennovating I think."
"Thank you," he replied as the tingle of rematerialization faded in his limbs. Lhaetan looked around the small transporter chamber and sighed as he stood there on the pad; perhaps it would have been a safer bet staying on the station. "I think..."
[End Log]
erie'Arrain Lhaetan tr'Valkar
Tal'Diann Legate
Ensign Nitka Korialis
Operations Specialist