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Part of USS Republic: Die a Hero…

Die a Hero… – 7

USS Republic
August 2401
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The flaw with the automatic alerts aboard Republic was there was no automated announcement for ‘Escaped prisoners’. More precisely, there was no unique notification for such an event. And so at 0300hr ship time, the alert that went out was instead a much more automatic response inducing ‘Intruder alert’ blared out across the entirety of Republic’s spaces.

“Under your socks,” Revin said quietly into the dark space of the bedroom as Sidda fumbled in the dark for discarded clothing. “Computer, lights,” she then commanded, electing to make herself immune to the sudden illumination by pulling the duvet over her head.

Sidda’s response was a barely muttered collection of syllables vaguely along the lines of ‘thank you’ as she pulled a dark grey tank top over her head while making for the closet. The sock drawer pulled out, contents unceremoniously discarded on the floor and she found what Revin had directed her to – her trusty and very un-Starfleet Klingon disruptor.

Her very trusty, very dangerous disruptor with its modified extra setting she herself had christened as ‘Solve all immediate problems.’

The very same setting that used to drain the power cell in a single shot, now up to a glorious and frightening two shots with a newer power cell. Or that which required the weapon to undergo very regular maintenance because of how ruinous it was on the emitter head to fire a shot that powerful.

It took the vaporise setting of the disruptor and pondered the question ‘But what if more?’ and applied it in a manner that every Klingon that Sidda had demonstrated it to had been aghast, then curious about. At least those on friendly terms with Sidda. Those not-so-friendly hadn’t been so curious about it afterwards due to a lack of…cohesion.

“Sidda to Levne,” she barked once out of her quarters, having opted to skip her tunic, footwear and uniform trousers, electing that tanktop and underwear was modesty enough. “What’s happening?”

“Mr Mackenzie and associates have managed to escape the brig and appear to be heading for the main shuttlebay.” The response came with the certainty of someone who was watching the escapee’s movements throughout the ship. “Teams are in position already to apprehend, Commander. There is no need for your presence.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Sidda grumbled after the channel closed and barely before shouting, “Make a hole!” at two lieutenants just going about their business as she raced for the nearest turbolift.

Hours of study prior to even arriving on Republic, and hours more afterwards had prepared her for choosing exactly where to go on the ship. The time between the alarm going on, the average speed of a person crawling through Jefferies tubes and running through corridors to avoid using turbolifts, a particular destination in mind after they consulted a map briefly, a few more stops to check again – all of it led to Sidda standing on one particular intersection some fifteen meters away from the doors to the shuttlebay.

Doors, which she discovered reassuringly, were suitably closed. And if Levne’s statement was correct, those doors concealed a full security team, likely behind cargo containers as cover, ready to force a surrender. Either with softly spoken words, or a cavalcade of phaser fire to really drive the point home.

She nodded her head in satisfaction a few times, then turned to face the direction she was expecting the New Maquis, or just New Maquis-aligned smugglers, to be coming from. After her brief little outburst when they had been brought aboard, she wanted this moment. To really rub it in that they were done for.

She couldn’t explain it. Likely would frustrate the ship’s counsellor when she finally got around to availing herself of their services. The best she had was her code. These idiots had violated her code. The rules she had operated under, that she’d made plain and clear to the ne’er-do-wells of the Archanis border regions that she wouldn’t let anyone violate.

And those that did either moved of their own accord out of her way, or typically came afoul of either her, or Starfleet.

And now she was Starfleet.

If they had crippled just a normal freighter, it would have been business. Unsavoury for sure, but business. But the Blue Rascal had children onboard.

Families.

She wasn’t just enforcing her code, but finally actually enforcing the law too.

The smile was…mixed – satisfaction, predatory, nostalgic – all of these things.

She missed just running around the Archanis Sector, helping where she could, or felt like. Punching faces that needed punching. A little bit of wealth redistribution from time to time.

But now she could do much, much more.

Just had to prove herself first.

And get her own ship.

All things that would come with time.

“This way,” came the muffled voice of someone down a corridor and around a corner or two. Footfalls accompanied the words as three people were running.

So, their companion from the fighter was still in sickbay. Or left in the brig perhaps. Jack Mackenzie looking out only for his crew, not the greater New Maquis?

“That’s far enough,” Sidda shouted as the escapees rounded the last corner, the shuttlebay within sight. “How’s about we be good little boys and girls and go back to the brig before things get ugly?”

She wasn’t entirely sure what exactly caused them to stop in their tracks. Running into someone so close to their goal? Running into just one person? The ship’s executive officer by herself? Or that Sidda was standing there in bland grey underclothes with a Klingon disruptor in the middle of the hallway?

She wagered for Harriot Morrison and Alex Stone it was one of the first few, but with how Jack’s gaze was lingering on her, the latter for him. It was enough to draw an eye roll from her by autonomic response, followed by her slowly raising that disruptor and assuming and near-duellist stance.

“I’m not going to ask twice,” she said.

“A disruptor?” Jack challenged. “It’s got no stun setting, oh Pirate Queen.” He scoffed at her.  “You sold out to Starfleet and expect me to think you’re going to shoot me with a disruptor? Give me a break.” His tone was mocking and disrespectful. The tone of a man who had decided in the last day and a bit in the brig that she wasn’t worth even considered a threat.

That she was toothless.

So she shot him in the foot.

The security alarm announcing weapon’s fire, triggered by a non-registered weapon going off, was drowned out by a high-pitched squeal of pain as Jack Mackenzie went crumpling to the floor. Shock, disbelief and pain fuelled a scream that would have made a Ferengi during a stock-market crash proud.

“You fucking bitch!” Jack squeaked out while clutching at his foot. “Get her!” he screamed at his companions.

The large one, Alex, went to launch himself forward but stopped when the woman, Harriot, stuck an arm out to block him and shook her head. “No way,” Harriot said. “Nuh-uh.”

“Fucking kill her!” Jack screamed once more, the hiss of the shuttlebay doors opening barely noticeable over the cry.

“’Solve all immediate problems,’ right?” asked Harriot as she looked at Sidda. The smile on Sidda’s face was all the answer she needed. “Nah Jack, you ain’t worth dying for. ‘Sides…we done.”

More booted footfalls echoed, pouring out of the shuttlebay and down converging corridors. There was a quickness to them, but not running perse. With haste was a good way to put it as security officers appeared from multiple directions, some with hand phasers, others with rifles. And at the head of the formation coming up from behind the escapees was Lieutenant Commander Selu Levne, whose weapon was still holstered.

Alex and Harriot both made efforts of peaceful surrender, complying with officers who restrained them and started to escort them back to the brig. A security officer with a medkit appeared near Jack but was struggling to deal with the man as he writhed in pain.

“Fucking bitch!” Jack screamed once more. “She could have killed me! Fucking arrest her too!”

“The commander could have, yes,” Levne said cooly to Jack. “But she didn’t. You could have also avoided all of this by not staging an escape attempt.” The lack of emotion on Levne’s face was so very Vulcan as to bring a smirk to Sidda’s face. So matter of fact, so statement of the obvious.

“Oooh, add that to the charge list,” Sidda quipped.

“Including assaulting a Starfleet officer,” Levne said. “Ensign Martine suffered a broken nose and fractured cheekbone.”

Jack was hoisted to his feet by two officers who had disarmed themselves, working on the instance of the medic who had declared ‘Well if you won’t stop fidgeting…’ before giving up on trying to examine the disruptor wound. He glared at Sidda, hatred replacing dismissal towards her, then snarled. “Guess it’s true what they say. Die a hero, or live long enough to be the villain. Fucking Starfleet!”

As he was dragged away, the swarm of Security officers evaporating as quickly as it had condensed, Levne stepped up to Sidda, eyes on the disruptor at first, then Sidda’s state of dress, before matching her eyes. “I had the situation under control.”

Sidda stared at the other Orion for a moment, then sighed. “You allowed them to escape.”

“I allowed for such a circumstance to arise in order to see what they would do.” Levne turned to look at the back of Jack Mackenzie as he was disappeared around a corner, heading for a lift and likely sickbay first. “I did not allow for a…proactive executive officer. Should I be doing so in future?”

“No,” Sidda admitted. “Just…that guy irks me.”

“His statement at the end there sounded very… curse-like.” Levne looked back at Sidda, with that Vulcanesqe raised eyebrow. “Not a human phrase I’m aware of, unfortunately.”

“Eh, human idioms. Just means I need to do something heroic in my life or go about becoming the terror of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.” Sidda shrugged. “But that all sounds like an after-breakfast thing to me.”

By the time she dragged herself back into bed, cocooned in the warmth of the duvet and Revin beside her, it had only been twenty minutes. Adrenaline was rapidly losing its edge, more so now that Revin had stretched an arm lazily over her.

“Did you stop the bad guys?” Revin asked sleepily.

“Shot one in the foot,” she admitted, noting the edge of exhaustion to her own words.

“Feel better for it?”

“Little bit.” She squeezed Revin gently to her as the other woman drifted back to sleep. “Little bit.”