The aching that came from his injuries continued to throb hard, nevertheless Campbell did his best to ignore it as he prepared himself to leave sickbay and take back his ship. Though his uniform was pretty much ripped to shreds, he had pulled the top half down to around his waist and tied the arms of his jumpsuit around his waist. Normally he wouldn’t approve of anyone being in this state, but his determination to retake Endeavour from the Orions override any thoughts he would have on people looking dishevelled (himself included). Fortunately for him, he wasn’t the only one looking unkempt. Everyone else was supporting a scruffy, messy and tousled look. His husband had taken off his MACO jacket and had opted to wear just his brown undershirt along with his MACO cargo trousers with everything else just hanging from his utility belt. Trommler was in an obvious need for a shower and clean uniform; his hair wasn’t in its normal pristine style of being swept to one side. Instead the rugged and uncombed look was now apparent. He wasn’t the only one, Knight, who had unzipped his jumpsuit was looking worse for wear too.
Handed him a phase pistol from the secret weapons locker, Trommler made sure that Campbell was good with it by a simple expression which resulted in Campbell assuring him he was okay. Turning back to the locker, Trommler took out several stun grenades along with a scanner and a communicator for everyone. During the ship’s recent refit, several of these compartments were placed in certain locations around the ship to aid the crew in case they couldn’t get to the armoury or a listed weapons locker. Strapping the phase pistol onto his hip, he then gestured for Trommler to pass him a phase rifle too.
“You sure, you’re up for this?” Trommler whispered into Campbell’s ear as he passed the weapon over to his husband. Double checking on him again. “You could stay here with Jacob.”
Appreciating the note of concern from his other half, Campbell shook his head. “Aye, I could but this is too important for me to sit out, plus he is needed to help the rest of the crew. We don’t know what state they are in.” He croaked in his low Scottish accent. Without anyone noticing he planted a quick kiss on Trommler’s cheek and smiled at him afterwards.
Understanding there was no way he could win his argument, Trommler gave up trying and returned with a similar smirk before he went over to the side where he had left his MACO phase rifle. Picking it up, he checked its energy cell and then placed the strap over his neck.
Not wanting to give an impressive speech to everyone else, for the lack of not having the energy, Campbell just gestured for everyone to move out and get to their targets. By now the knockout gas should have taken out the Orions and given them free rein of the ship, however they needed to act fast to get rid of the Orion escorts that surrounded them.
Allowing Trommler to lead their three man team, Campbell kept himself between Knight and his husband. Deciding to take a direct route, for time saving purposes, the team moved down the corridors of deck five and found themselves confronted with a number of Orions who had been knocked out by Meihui’s plan. Removing their weapons quickly, just in case any of them came around sooner than expected, the three men continued on their journey but heard the rumbling of what sounded like weapon’s fire around the next bend.
With a single raised hand, indicating for them to halt, Trommler appeared around the corner to see what was going. Eyes wide open at the scene before him, he saw Commander Leonov standing in the corridor clutching an Orion weapon, aimed at the falling body of one of their captors.
“Commander,” Trommler shouted out towards her before nodding to Campbell and Knight that the coast was clear for them to proceed.
Walking beside Trommler, with a limp in his stride, Campbell saw his first officer turn to look at them. She appeared just as exhausted as he felt. Wondering what the hell she was doing out here and not with everyone else, like Meihui had detected on the internal sensors, he slowly approached her. “Number One, you look like shit. Are you okay?” He said, sounding almost breathless as he tried to suppress the pain that was agonising him right now.
Leonov turned, shouldering the rifle as she looked him up and down. “I could say the same about you, Captain,” she pointed out. “I’ve done my own rounds with our captors, but I’m alright.”
“I’m glad the Orions aren’t biased in who they hand out a beating too.” Campbell sarcastically said. “We’ve got teams heading to engineering to fake a warp core breach, while another is heading to the cargo bay to free the rest of the crew. Have you come across anyone else?”
She jerked a head at the nearby door to the science lab. “I was being interrogated in there, along with Miller. The gas – I assume your doing? – took him out, as well as the guards. I’ve trussed them up, but I had to leave him behind with a weapon. But as you can see, I’ve not got much further than that.”
Hearing about Miller, Campbell wasn’t keen on leaving the ensign alone but time was definitely against them. He told Knight to call up Wishmore and to have the doctor come up to see to the ensign after he had freed the others. Turning back to Leonov, “Fancy joining us on our way to the bridge?”
Leonov glanced between him and Knight, and nodded. “If the crew in the cargo bay are being dealt with, it sounds about time to retake the ship.”
“Commander, do you want a phase pistol instead of that?” Trommler asked, indicating at the Orion weapon she was gripping close to her.
She looked down at the rifle, and tossed it to one side. “Certainly. Far more reliable than this unsophisticated device.” Despite her many years as a scientist and pilot, she checked over the offered phase pistol with a comfortable familiarity. She nodded once she was confident, looking down the corridor. “Shall we?”
Entering the bridge via the aft door that led out into the situation room, the team held their weapons out in front of them ready to take on any target that was waiting for them. Surprised somewhat to find the place quiet, the group moved out slowly. Again Trommler in lead at first with Campbell and Leonov following with Knight taking up the rear. Walking pass the situation ‘pool table’, they approached the centre of the room to be confronted by Jerran-Lar, the Orion had beaten the hell out of the captain along with an Orion woman. The two wore gas masks and the moment they saw Campbell, Leonov, Trommler and Knight they both yanked off their protective gear and went to raise their weapons.
“I wouldn’t bother.” Trommler said as he aimed his MACO phase rifle at both of them, Knight stood next to him holding on to his Starfleet version as well.
“Captain Campbell,” Jerran-Lar sneered. “I see your doctor has got healing hands.”
Campbell, ignoring the jibe from his former captor, took a breath as he kept his phase rifle lifted also aimed at the Orion brute. “I don’t have time for either of you today. We’re taking back the Endeavour.”
The Orion woman, took a few steps forward. Her movement almost wavy and seductive as she presented herself to them. “Do you honestly think you’ll escape our vessels?”
Campbell looked at her. “No, I don’t. That’s why I’ve got my chief engineer right now preparing to overload the warp core. If we’re going down, we’re taking you with us.”
Smirking at the guile of the captain, the Orion woman appeared to be enjoying the moment. “How delicious. We all go out together.” She paused as she took a breath. “I never factored mass-suicide as a human trait.”
“They’re fools, mistress.” Jerran-Lar added.
Turning to look at her, Trommler spoke up. “Mistress?” He questioned. “Does that make you the brains behind this operation?”
“The brains, the beauty.” She listed and stopped to look at Leonov. “And from what I saw of your assessment, I believe you maybe the brains and beauty of this operation as well, Katya.” Slowly she approached the science officer and continue to speak seductively to her. “Mistress Tifenah, at your service but I believe we’ve not had the pleasure yet, commander.”
Leonov merely arched an eyebrow, the aim of her phase pistol never wavering from Tifenah’s sternum. “I don’t see that happening. My type strictly includes my intellectual equals.”
Giggling somewhat, Tifenah turned her attention to Campbell. “I must say captain, your vessel is something of a desired trophy from those in the top echelons of the Romulan military.”
“And I suppose this operation of yours would give you a handsome profit margin.” Campbell replied.
“Oh certainly.” She moved herself across back to Jerran-Lar. “Jerran, darling,” She said as she twisted her finger tips into the ends of long black straight hair, “this is boring me. Why haven’t you dealt with this?”
Growling somewhat at the humans, the bulky Orion looked at his targets with the same repulse he had on them after boarding the ship. “My pleasure.”
Before he could take an inch, Campbell and Trommler both opened fired with their weapons at the Orion slave master. Multiple hits were required to slow him down, but as he ran for them he smacked Knight to his feet and tackled Campbell to the floor. The captain was knocked out and instantly Trommler leapt to his feet to kick his husband’s attacker in the face before use the butt of his rifle to hit Jerran-Lar in the back of his neck. Not much damage was done so before the Orion could retaliate he pulled out his stun baton, flicked the switch to activate it and started to move quickly, fighting the Orion in close hand to hand combat.
While this action took place Tifenah jumped in to the air, almost somersaulting in the air as she prepared to attack Leonov. The XO took a sharp step back, barely evading the spinning kick, but the Orion had moved fast enough to deny the advantage of either range or the phase pistol. Even as Leonov tried to bring it back to bear, the Orion’s elbow came down on her forearm, knocking off her aim and sending the phase pistol spinning out of her grasp and onto the deck.
“Close,” Tifenah all but purred. “Shall we see how you do with your hands?” Then her palm slammed into Leonov’s solar plexus.
That sent Leonov staggering back, winded, and a follow-up blow to her chin cracked her head around. Only barely did Leonov manage to block the next strike, forearm coming up. The parry knocked Tifenah off-balance enough for Leonov to grab her by the shoulder. “Honestly?” Leonov wheezed, “My head is my best asset.” Then she slammed her forehead into Tifenah’s nose.
There was a dull crack, a rush of dark green blood, and the Orion reeled back with a yelp. She broke free of Leonov’s grasp, and her next swing was, while sluggish, more direct and powerful than the acrobatics of before. That cracked into Leonov’s ribs, eliciting a grunt of pain, but Leonov stepped forward, keeping close enough to dampen the advantages of Tifenah’s swift athleticism. What had started as a graceful, dance-like fight was shifted more to Leonov’s terms of a slugging match. One punch thudded into Tifenah’s gut, the next into her jaw, and even as the air burnt in Leonov’s lungs and the blows she’d taken throbbed in her skull, once she had the advantage, she did not stop striking until her opponent hit the deck.
After being punched in the lip and flying down onto the deck plating, Trommler pushed himself back up to his feet and realised he had dropped his baton. Raising both fists, he prepared for Jerran-Lar to lurch towards him. Taking in one breath, then another, the MACO deputy once again quickly raised his right leg into the air and kicked his opponent into the face and then flipped around to kick with his left leg, landing a blow onto his chest. Before he could react, Trommler fell to the floor and rolled under the Orion. He knew he would have to use brain over brawn, so on his way under he took out his belt of three stun grenades and slapped it on the back of large green topless man. Without having chance to respond to what Trommler did, Jerran-Lar appeared annoyed and frustrated as the grenades all blew up, knocking the giant to the floor. Watching his Goliath to his David fall, Trommler wiped the blood from his cut lip with the back of his left hand as he turned to see Leonov become victorious in her battle with the Orion woman. Instantly she ran over to Campbell who was closer to her, grateful she was helping him up, Trommler went over to Knight and made sure the yeoman was still alive. Knight fluttered his eyes as Trommler pulled the young man up.
“Did we get him?” Knight asked and was happy with Trommler confirming it with a gesture pointing to where Jerran-Lar laid, cold on the deck plating.
Appreciating the help by his new first officer, Campbell smirked at her. “Thank you Number One.” He croaked out as he knew that he probably had another broken rib from that recent knockout.
“I would say ‘any time,’ sir,” Leonov said wryly, “but let’s never do that again.”
“Agreed. We’re going to need to fly the ship away from the Orions the moment they realise the core is about to breach.” Campbell stated. “Do you want to take the helm, commander or shall I?”
“No offence, Captain,” said Leonov, already heading for the helm controls, “but the beatings you’ve taken, you look more in a managerial sort of condition right now.” The former helm officer swung behind the controls, regardless of her own bruises, old and blossoming new alike. “Ready to break this formation on your mark.”
Appreciating her forward thinking, Campbell gestured for his husband to take tactical and for Knight to take science. He went over to where Jerran-Lar laid on the floor, picking up the communications device that was strapped to his hip, Campbell yanked it off him.
“It looks like engineering is about to start the firework party.” Trommler announced as he wiped the blood from his lip with the back of his right hand.
Nodding in response to his husband, Campbell winced as he moved over to sit down in his chair. Taking the communication device he switched it on, hoping that someone on one of the other Orion ships was listening in. “This is Captain Oliver Campbell, commanding officer of the starship Endeavour. We’ve retaken our vessel but we don’t plan on letting any of you take her back or take us prisoners. Your sensors by now should be detecting that our warp core is about to breach, we’re planning to move away from you but if you follow us then you will be caught in the blast radius. I suggest you keep your distance and if any of you are foolish and do survive, then can I suggest that in the future, if you come across anything that bears the insignia of the United Earth Commonwealth, head in the other direction.” He switched the device off and looked down at Leonov. “Commander, take us out, full impulse.”
Just as she was about to engage the impulse engines, Knight spoke up. “Sir, if I’m reading this right, the Orion ships are powering up their warp drives.”
“Onscreen, Romeo.” Campbell commanded as the main screen changed to show the Orion task group moving away at high warp away from them.
Satisfied with their victory, Campbell ordered Leonov to head back in the opposite direction to them at high warp and find a nice place to hid the ship while they undertook repairs.
Endeavour was finally free.