Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[USS Charon] [USS Corsair] - SD241102.15 || "Foxes & Hounds - Part 9" - Cpt. Taverain Ramius & NPCs

U.S.S. Corsair - NX-011979
Nebula II Prototype
 “Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)

“Foxes and Hounds – Part 9”

The unrelenting desert wind whipped throughout forgotten Vulcan ruins as Captain Ramius pressed his body against a crumbling stone wall; an ancient Vulcan relic of a forgotten oasis village.  Near darkness provided him with much needed camouflage as he quickly worked on a plan to deal with a dangerous adversary known only as Gabriel.


"You coward", Gabriel yelled somewhere nearby.  Ramius was unable to ascertain a direction for Gabriel's voice due to the incessant howling of the wind.  "I cannot believe you would run and hide!  Your reputation is of a man of action not a spineless coward!  Face me Ramius!  I refuse to believe that what I have heard is nothing but a lie!"


Ramius quickly moved through the stone ruins hoping to catch a glimpse of his foe when at last he spotted Gabriel standing in the open.  He still did not have a plan that worked in his favor to meet this latest threat.  He had bought himself some time to think in the village ruins, but the endgame had not changed.  He had to confront Gabriel.


Stepping from the ruined doorway of a crumbling building, Ramius revealed himself.  "If you want a fight here I am", Ramius flatly stated.  "I am anxious to see how NeoDyne has improved upon something that is inherently flawed."


"Then let me show you."


Thus began a clash of titans as the two men engaged in mortal combat each determined to best the other by any means possible.  Destroying one another was not simply their sole aim.  The two men sought to humiliate the other and validate their positions.  Gabriel had been groomed and manipulated to believe in his own superiority without fail, a weakness Ramius desperately wished to exploit by defeating the man.  Ramius was compelled to win not to save himself, but to send a message to NeoDyne that their latest experiment was another failure.  Two powerful egos, two mindsets, and diametrically opposed wills clashed in the Vulcan desert to settle matters both personal and far larger than themselves.



The passionate struggle continued with neither man achieving a decisive advantage over the other.  Where Gabriel exceeded Ramius in speed and strength, Ramius countered with skill and finesse. Where Ramius excelled in experience and expertise, Gabriel countered with youthful exuberance and reckless abandon.  The result was violent stalemate with each man receiving equal amounts of punishment in exchange for what they inflicted upon the other.


"TAKE THIS", Gabriel bellowed lifting a massive stone from the desert floor and hurling it at Ramius.  The captain rolled dodging the rocky projectile and seized upon Gabriel's momentary vulnerability.  With the speed of a cheetah, Ramius dashed at his opponent his body a blur in the dark Vulcan ruins.  Hitting Gabriel full in the chest, Ramius let out a guttural cry sending them both into the wall of a nearby building.


Ancient, weather beaten rock and stone crumbled around the two men as they struggled with one another in the rubble and dust.  Stones fell from the ceiling of the small structure its support violently disrupted in the fight.  Pushing himself away from Gabriel, Ramius dove for safety as the entire structure fractured and suddenly collapsed sending a massive cloud of dust into the night air.  Silence enveloped the entire area broken only by the occasional whistle of the omnipresent desert wind.

== Meanwhile – Bridge:  USS Corsair, In Orbit Above Vulcan ==


Captain Zane Akina clenched his fist as the chronometer slowly counted down to a duty no one wanted to perform.  Ramius had left explicit instructions for the Corsair to fire upon his location after a given amount of time.  Zane could not argue with the captain’s logic.  The individual below represented a horrific threat to galactic security.  Ramius realized that Gabriel had to be stopped at any cost even if doing so claimed his own life.


Akina turned from his position crouched over the OPS station and looked at Commander Novada sitting in the captain’s chair.  Her face was chiseled stone betraying no emotion.  He knew better.  Ramius orders were tearing her apart from the inside.  In less than thirty seconds she would be forced to give the order to terminate her superior’s own life.


Akina could do nothing but watch the slow march of the clock as it counted down the final seconds of his friend’s life.  For the past few minutes he had desperately tried to think of some second option to spare Ramius’s life, but so long as he and Gabriel remained locked in combat his efforts had yielded nothing.  It was impossible to target something as small as a rapidly moving human with a starship’s blunt phasers without hitting both men in the attempt.  And that was exactly what Ramius had ordered them to do.


“Twenty seconds Commander”, the low voice of the executioner called out dutifully from the Corsair’s tactical station.


“Lock target Mr. Redstone.  Stand by to fire on my command.”  Novada’s voice was strong and clear, but devoid of any and all emotion.  If words were ice, hers felt colder.



== Vulcan Surface, Desert Oasis ==


Ramius heaved as he looked on at the destruction.  After several moments he slowly pulled himself upwards from the sand and looked on at what had become a rocky grave for the NeoDyne experiment known only as Gabriel.  Ramius had little remorse for the lost soul, only pity.  Crafted by morally bankrupt men using corrupted science and forbidden technology he had been brought into the world like the Frankenstein monster.  Yet another life destroyed by NeoDyne’s unlimited ambition and greed.  When would it end?  When would God grant Ramius the weapons needed to finally stop NeoDyne and put an end to their evil?


Contemplating such questions, Ramius never saw or heard the hand that suddenly grabbed him from behind.  Instantly, he was lifted into the air as a pair of powerful hands slowly squeezed his neck and life from his body.  Before him was Gabriel laughing as he held Ramius like a struggling worm.  His face was covered in bloody lacerations, but somehow he had survived.  Ramius had perhaps underestimated the man’s abilities.


“Well played captain, but did I not warn you I was faster?  You have lost.  As entertaining as this encounter has been I cannot remain here forever to play.  You have been a worthy opponent, but ultimately you are no match for my superior abilities.  It is a shame that you of all people will not be alive to witness NeoDyne’s triumph when my brothers and I destroy your corrupt and flawed reality and replace it with a new one, governed by NeoDyne and its pure ideals.”

Ramius clawed at the hands crushing his throat, but to no avail.  He could scarcely breathe let alone respond to Gabriel’s gloating.


“A shame.  And now we end this.”


Gabriel lifted Ramius higher into the air and forcefully threw the captain several feet against a large stone wall.  It too crumbled as the captain was propelled through it by the force of the throw.



== Bridge, USS Corsair ==



“Ten seconds commander.”


Novada looked at Akina as if to silently ask if what she was about to do was the correct course of action.  Zane felt nothing but regret as if he had failed Ramius.  All that the man had struggled against and fought for…  Akina looked back his eyes full of duty despite the difficulty of what was to come.


“Five seconds.  Four, three, two…”


“Mr. Redstone”, Novada calmly stated from her chair her voice never wavering, “Fire phasers.”



== Oasis, Vulcan Desert ==


Ramius gasped for breath and he coughed up a mouthful of dark blood choking for air and being smothered by debris, sand, and dust.  Fragments of heavy rock and stone covered his battered body as he lie unable to respond.  His body screamed both from outside and from within as his unnatural abilities and their use took their toll upon his human physiology.


And still, Ramius’s will would not surrender even if his body had.  Only death itself would kill Ramius’s spirit and he would use his last breath to fight.  Clawing his way through the rubble, Ramius finally collapsed unable to continue.  His hand clasped an object as he prepared to use it in one final burst of defiance before the reaper, whom he had so successfully cheated his entire life, finally claimed his prize.


Gabriel approached his injured quarry to deliver the final blow.  News of Ramius’s death would delight his masters.  The dry desert air of this forsaken planet was testing his patience.  He desired nothing more than to finish this and return home to a hero’s welcome.  NeoDyne would never dare defy the one that had finally defeated the great Taverain Ramius.  His future and legacy would soon be secure.


Gabriel hunched over Ramius’s ravaged body lying face up on the sandy, desert sand only to discover to his horror the captain clutching a long, silver cylinder in his hands while a thin smile rested upon the captain’s bloody face.  His eyes widened in disbelief as he recognized the object as one of the many transporter and communication jammers he had installed to prevent meddling by Ramius’s allies.


Before he could react, Ramius snapped the device in his grip.  Its green indicator lamp flickered and then failed as the protective shield it produced faded along with the light.  Gabriel reached for Ramius only to see the captain’s eyes glow crimson not from biology, but from something else…from above.

Gabriel turned to see the clouds and night sky turn from black to red as the heavens opened exposing the gates of hell.  His mouth fell open in disbelief as phaser light engulfed him.



== Bridge, USS Corsair ==


“Five seconds.  Four, three, two…”


“Mr. Redstone”, Novada calmly stated from her chair her voice never wavering, “Fire phasers.”


“I..I have a transporter lock on the captain”, the ops officer suddenly shouted.  “ENERGIZING!”


Novada dashed from her chair to the OPS console as twin phaser beams, too late to stop, sped toward the Vulcan desert far below.  Seconds later the viewscreen reported the impact and the incoming images confirmed the results.  The oasis has been hit and the life that had thrived there was gone.  The area now was nothing but a sheet of glass formed by the intense heat of the ship’s phaser salvo.  The ancient oasis ruins that had resisted the march of time had crumbled or been incinerated.  No trace of life remained in the blast radius.


“DID YOU GET HIM”, Akina shouted waiting desperately for an update.  “WELL?”


“Transporter room says we have him!”


A collective cheer rose up among the bridge crew at the news.


“Transporter room indicates the captain is in rough shape.  They’ve requested immediate medical assistance.”


The cheers died out as the more somber news quickly took hold.


“Damn idiot”, Akina muttered.  He turned to look at Novada who was no longer hiding her emotions.  A smile rested upon her face as she too was relieved the captain had been miraculously rescued with only a second to spare.  Zane placed a hand on Novada’s shoulder as the pair said nothing, but communicated volumes by the simple link of touch.


“I should get to sickbay.”  Akina turned and headed toward the turbolift.  “Commander, contact the Vulcans and stall them.  They’ll no doubt have some questions for us and will probably be somewhat unhappy at the weapons discharge.  Inform them Starfleet Intelligence will be contacting them shortly with more details.  I’ll pull some strings and smooth things over with them once I’ve talked to Ramius.”


Novada nodded as the Captain rushed into the turbolift and disappeared.


“Mr. Redstone, stand down all weapons.  Communications, contact the Vulcan Defense Ministry on a priority channel.  I’m sure they will be anxious to talk.   OPS, perform a detailed scan of the oasis and the surrounding area.  Look for any lifesigns or anomalous readings.  Let’s be sure we hit our target, for the captain’s sake.  I also want…”


“Sir, there’s an incoming message.  It isn’t from the Vulcans and I cannot seem to locate the source or the sender.”


“Let’s have it”, Novada ordered.  The viewscreen flickered and was filled with the image of a bloodied and wounded man she did not recognize.


“This isn’t over Ramius”, the man angrily shouted.  “You may have escaped, but I assure you that I will end your pathetic life without mercy the next time we meet.  Until then I suggest you watch your back.  I won’t be far behind.  An insidious laugh bellowed from the man as the message abruptly ended with the viewscreen returning to the planetary image of Vulcan.  Novada said nothing for a moment before turning to the communications officer.  “Save a copy of that recording and send it to Ramius’s quarters for his review.”


“Sir, I have the Vulcan Defense Forces standing by on a priority channel.  They don’t seem happy ma’m.”


Novada returned to her chair.  She was elated the captain had been recovered, but that message stripped away her joy filling her with a sense of ominous foreboding.  However there was little time to dwell on such things.  She had to clean up after the boys, as usual…



Captain Taverain Ramius

Commanding Officer, USS Corsair


Captain Zane Akina

Starfleet Intelligence


Commander Alanis Novada

Executive Officer, USS Corsair


Lt. Alex Redstone

Tactical Officer, USS Corsair



Neodyne Experiment ???