Part of Endeavour: Through The Thick & Thin

Making A Mess

Vents, Officer Quarters Section.
April 5th, 2157
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ARCHIVED MESSAGE
FROM DIVISION-14, UEMED
TO DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL, MACO HQ

MESSAGE AS FOLLOWS:

To whom it may concern,
  My name is Dr. Daniel Brigh, technological anomalies specialist here at Division-14, assigned to CASE-1123-Null…aka, the study and treatment of Major Saorise M. Hess-Caidin. No doubt your department and higher ups have been swarmed with missives lately from my colleagues, dissenting to the Major’s recent reactivation and redeployment to the front of the current conflict…and doubtlessly you have read their concerns about the subject’s recovery process and fitness to leave Division-14’s tender ministrations, or the risks she and her myriad of issues may pose in the field.

I am also logging my dissent at Subject-1123’s transfer, though I would like to offer an alternative take then what my more hopelessly empathetic and emotive colleagues have offered.

Subject-1123 is more then just a mere patient…1123 is a dilithium mine, filled with advanced alien technology and knowledge…something to be protected and utilized to the betterment of humanity. I would put forward that we have much more to gain in everyway, especially military developments, by 1123 staying under our auspices for study.

While we continue to study the implants and cybernetics we could disable and extract from the subject’s body, it is the wetware that remains active and inside that holds the most possibility for exploitation.

For instance, the bone lattice-work and alterations made to the subject’s marrow have already granted us vast insight and propelled our research into new osteoregenation technology by several years worth advancement. The chemicals from the adrenal pump could be further developed into combat enhancement pharmeceuticals for MACOs in the field…prosthetic organs modelled on adaptions of those still found within the Subject’s body could not only restore functionality to injured soldiers, but also provide improvements to their functionality. The insulating neural mesh webbing could be adapted to provide our forces with improved reaction times and response speeds, allowing them to think faster on their feet.

Despite how it may sound, I am not talking anything on the level of the augmented “super-soldiers” used in the Eugenics War…I can already predict the reactions of the alarmist crowd…this is Cybernetics we are discussing, not Genetic Engineering. All that a human is, remains…they would just be…more so.

By placing Subject-1123 on active duty, in a war zone, is akin to placing the Library of Alexandria in middle of kindling and handing Julius Caesar a lit match. We have so much to gain, and so much to loose, should she become another statistic of attrition and irrecoverable.

I put forth the calculus of gain into your hands, and I hope that rationality and practicality will win out.

MESSAGE ENDS

NOTICE: MESSAGE COPIED AND SENT TO UNITED EARTH COMMONWEALTH PENAL SYSTEM, SPECIAL CONTAINMENT DIVISION. REASON: NOT AVAILABLE. SENDER: EXPUNGED

++++++++++

The vents were tight and more then a little claustrophobic, full of sharp corners and pipes that had to be squeezed past. Saorise had a smaller then average frame for most MACOs, and she currently was devoid of most of the usual MACO accoutrements like the hardpack or tonfa, but she still found herself having issues in moving through the vents at any great pace.

It was fortunate that her quarters were on the way to Sickbay, otherwise this little detour of hers would’ve been infeasible by the time parameters that she was racing against.

Granted, that was one of the few things that had been “fortunate” over the past few days.

Orions. Goddamn, Greenskinned, Blackguard, Orions. On her first tour right out of United Earth Medical…It was as if Lady Fate herself was trying to stress test what progress had been made on Saorise’s psychological recovery. She felt her breath shallow and her heart rate spike every time she peered through a vent cover, and caught a glimpse of those pirate thugs…she caught herself reciting various mantras she had been taught over the past year, to regain her focus and control, whispering in Vulcan to herself between breaths strained by the close confines.

A few more tight turns and she found herself at another vent grate…and her silenced her mantras and held her breath as she picked up a pair of voices from the other side. She didn’t have a universal translator on her, but she recognized the alien language they spoke instantly…and it made her grit her teeth in rage.

Orion, of course. Both masculine, one in a deep baritone and the other a mid-tenor.

“…I hear Nethyr is down in with the captives right now, running assessments.” The baritone said, which was answered with a snickering chuckle from the tenor.

“Well, the man has to have his fun, I suppose.” The snickering tenor replied. “I wonder if they are any good domestics amongst this haul. My mistress keeps the environmental controls set to arid conditions…results in a lot of dull dust settling all throughout the ship.”

“Hah.” The baritone let out a low laugh and Saorise could see him, a thickly-built and barrel-chested giant of an Orion, his dark green hair shaved down to a low-cut Mohawk, as he stopped in front of a door marked as a junior officers’ quarters and tried to open it. “…Blast it all to the Void. This one is also sealed tight.”

“The Bosses did say that this vessel’s captain locked down damn near everything down before the initial boarding party managed to secure him and the bridge.”

“…well it’s damned annoying!” The Baritone smashed a powerful closed fist into the door with a loud bang, leaving an actual (small and shallow admidtly) dent in the door “We should’ve had this junk heap stripped down to the bulkheads, sold the scrap to the buyers, and be halfway to a free station, dividing the loot by the now!”

The tenor offered a sigh in response to the violent outburst of frustration, and shrugged the shoulders of his lean and athletic build. “The Raid team has brought in the bag of ‘special tricks’ to get around such things and a little Galvufua-wisp told me that this ship’s captain was last seen being dragged by the interrogators to the local infirmary. Have patience, old friend. We are still on top, this job is still well within the expectation of possibilities.”

As the shorter Orion mentioned Oliver’s current predicament, it snapped Saorise back to the task at hand: Get a new weapon, take back sickbay, let the techs get to work on the Endeavour’s life support functions.

Her quarters were close now, just a bit further down the vent and only a few small turns left. She steadied her breathing and began crawling again, as the Orion pair moved on as well.

++++++++++

The vent exit to her quarters was not as easy to get through as entering the vent in engineering had been. The grate was overall smaller and fastened tighter in place…and she had less room to use her body as leverage to remove it…but finally, she did remove it and then squeezed her body, left arm and shoulder first, through the opening.

This resulted her dropping right down on top of her coffee table, with a loud thud that left her feeling bruised and splayed out over what had been a pile of data pads with training data and combat drill results. Some of them were definitely broken now, judging by the sound of cracking glass and bending metal that resulted from her slowly rolling to her right side and then off the table and down on to the floor with a much softer thud.

Her body ached for a moment…and then suddenly didn’t. The feeling of pain was first numbed and then became a warm, almost pleasant, feeling of soft pressure being applied across her whole musculature.

…one of her implants had been activated. She remembered this one well…a masochistic “switch” as it were, that her former Orion masters had acquired from some far off species that they had only referred to as “those grey-skinned lizards”. It blocked out pain and temporarily crossed the pleasure/pain responses in her nervous system…artificial masochism, as it where.

It was one of the implants she had wanted removed first, but even D14 couldn’t isolate the alien wetware implanted deep in her brain, not without severe risk to her functionality and even life.

Saorise took in a deep breath and began to count silently to herself while slowly exhaling. Control. She needed to regain control…over her body, over her responses, over the implant itself…she needed her mind unclouded by the crossed wires and obfuscating stimuli her body had been tricked into producing.

As the last of the breath was exhaled, Saorise opened her eyes and stared directly up at the open ceiling vent for a few extra seconds before finally picking herself up off the floor.

Regaining her sense of control and urgency, she turned quickly around to her desk and the sidearm hard case on the desk. She activated the biometric locking systems and popped it open, picking up the black pulse-phase pistol with it’s leather holster, and securing it to her hip, opposite of her empty sidearm, which she then drew and ejected the empty power cell.

Picking up the spare cell packs from the hard case, she first reloaded the standard pistol, and then filled out the the empty pockets and pouches on her belt and vest.

Rearmed with working energy weaponry, Saorise glanced over to the other implements of violence on display at her desk. The pair of duelling ushaan-tor “punching blades”, still sitting against her primary work-station monitor…she had completely forgotten over the past few weeks to get Commander Xiang’s engineering department to send someone over to affix the hanging hooks into her wall.

The moment of distraction was suddenly ended by a dull whirring mechanical sound, followed in short order by the whisking of air as her door opened wide open.

“…see, told you the Raid party would bring out the special toys.” Came a voice in a mid-tier tenor that Saorise had heard once before, quite recently. “Anti-magnetic lockbreaker, perfect for all your lootin- What in the BLOWN VOID?”

The tenor’s exclamation came as he looked beyond the now opened door and became aware of the MACO woman…first as she stood behind a desk at the far end of the room, and then as she as vaulted over that desk and lunged across the room to smash her first across his green face. The blow was heavier then the Orion had expected from a human female of that stature, though the Orion really hadn’t had the time to even have expectations for this surprise encounter.

He fell, stunned, to the wayside, and the Major lifted her knee to ready a falling drop kick to finish off the Orion…only instead to feel the sharp impact of the edge of the desk slamming into the lumber section of her spine, as she was propelled backwards into the room by a massive hit. She could feel at least two ribs break in a sickening crack from the blow, and she picked herself back up to face the new assailant.

The massive Orion with a baritone, wielding a one handed bludgeon that hummed with vibrating power: A Kinetic hammer.

Saorise’s eyes first widened and then narrowed to a predator’s gaze that fixated on the Baritone, and her shallow breaths seethed between her lips and gritted teeth. She could feel the control training in her mind, trying to force itself back into place to regain her self-discipline and calm.

…but, now, with her back up against the wall (or desk, in this case), she could feel something else growing, and pushing all that Vulcan meditation and discipline aside. It was an old feeling, one of predatory survival and surging aggression.

Her heart began beating quicker like a rapid drum solo, and Saorise felt the overwhelming sensation of stimuli from throughout her body as some of her remaining implants, once rendered dormant by Division 14’s efforts, began to reactivate. Alien chemicals and synthetic adrenaline flushed through her body and brain…from Saorise’s increasingly more feral perspective, this caused the room to become more colourful and vibrant as her primary senses became enhanced. The world around her seemed to slow down as her reaction time was heightened and her perception of time was altered.

A feeling of invincibility, and sense of thrilling power and the excitement of a falcon falling upon it’s field mouse prey. Her body was producing the drugs that put a gladiator into the perfect frame of mind.

…at this point, all thoughts of logic, all knowledge of the mantras, all sense of self control, was pushed completely away from councious thought. Saorise reached behind her with both hands, and then launched herself off the desk again towards the door, striking forward with the pair of ushaan-tors.

+++++++++

It was only a few minutes later that another Orion patrol arrived to check out the reports of a disturbance in the senior crew section of the Endeavour…and what they found was not a pretty site. Splatter of bloods and the bodies of a least two fellow Orions, dismembered, eviscerated, and mutilated beyond almost all recognition, were strewn about the hallway. Nearby, a door was repeatedly trying to close automatically, only for it stop a half-foot from the end and thne open again as the door struck the burly arm of one of the dead pirates.

“Sweet Vaccumm of Space…” The first patroller exclaimed. “…it’s almost as bad as the Klingon Abbatoir on Khitomer III.”

“I’m going to call this in.” Another patroller stated in response, as he grabbed his communitar and activated it. “…Boss. It’s team 3 here…we’ve found team 5…and also, most definitely a problem.”