Part of USS Aquarius: Unstable Weather

Crack Down

Caldos
December 2399
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Bates stood there  near the edge of the room, the very room that Ensign Utsall and other members of his team were in while they had received a mess full of leads on who would be the culprits of these disasters. The very room where half of it went crumbling downward to the ground floor. The one where Bates can just look over the edge and watch as various teams worked carefully to recover those who had miraculously survived the collapse of some part of the building that they were in. They also worked on the recovery of those members of his team that were dead from the collapse.

He had been so distracted by all the work that was being done that he did not hear a transport beam or his Ensign had walked up to him. “Sir.”

Bates continued to stare at the bodies of the two crewmembers. “First time I’ve lost anyone under my command as Chief. Of course, over the experience on board the Ajax, and all the training they put you through in the Academy, loss is to be expected. But I was not expecting to lose anyone like this. I swear, those responsible will pay.”

Utsall smiled, she could feel her Klingon heart beating to the idea of revenge but her Starfleet training said otherwise. She’ll intervene if she were to feel it to be necessary. “Well, sir. About that. Analyzing that signal on the ship paid off.” She held the padd out to him.

Bates took the padd from her and read the details. He then set the padd down on a desk, only to face her. “It is just one man, correct?”

“That we know of. The operation feels like more than just one man. Plus from the credentials and experience that he has, I doubt that he is alone.” She explained.

“But he is alone.” He pointed at the padd, which he referred to the sensor logs that stated the culprit is alone at their current location.

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. You and I will apprehend him.” He told her.

“Should we not get a team, sir?” She asked.

“Procedure would state that, but only if and when necessary. I see no reason that you and I cannot take one man.” He explained.

She smiled, feeling her blood boil. “Yes, sir.”

Bates then tapped his badge, “Bates to Aquarius. Two to transport to this set of coordinates.”

—–

Bates and Utsall stared at the door of the building to which their culprit was last found and by ship’s sensors, is still currently hiding. It was a run down building, pretty much a dump, one of the buildings that were in the process of being recycled. From the looks, these were the first buildings used when the colony was first created.

“Ensign. I want you to do me a favor.” He began as he removed his badge and placed it in her hand. “Whatever happens, don’t come in.”

Utsall looked down at the badge in her hand, then looked at him. “Sir, I would not be a good officer if I did not object to this course of action.”

Bates looked at her. “You want to be Assistant Chief, Ensign? The most important thing about being my Assistant, is to put your trust in me. So believe me when I say this, I will not kill him. He has much to answer for. Understood?”

Utsall nodded her head. “Understood.” Utsall watched as Bates entered the building. For a moment there was nothing but silence, until she could hear a stranger’s voice.

“Hey! Who the hell are you?” There was a sound of something that shattered, likely something breakable was thrown and hit the wall. “How dare you!” The stranger’s voice continued. “How did you find me? Hey!” Sounds of a scuffle and thudding could be heard through the thin walls, some of it sounded like a person was getting tossed around and some of it sounded like the person was getting slammed into one of the interior walls. “Get off me!” Was the stranger’s voice, until the scuffle was getting closer to the door. Unfortunately for their culprit, they did not go through the door.

Utsall stood there by the door but her eyes followed the sounds of a scuffle all the way to the window until the glass shattered when a body was thrown through it. Utsall was about to approach the body when Bates came out of the window and pointed at her, clearly an order to stay where she was. Of that, she did.

Bates dropped down from the window sill and grabbed the man by his shirt, just to pull him up off the ground and onto his feet. Bates then turned them around and shoved him against the exterior wall of the building and pinned him there with his left hand around the man’s throat. “Now you’re going to tell me where your friends are at.”

“Not going to happen!” Said the man. Utsall leaned a bit to the side to get a good look at his face. Here she was able to see that he had a broken nose and a cut over his right brow. Evidence of the scuffle inside the rundown building obviously. But to add to the damage to his face, a cut was left on his left cheek when Bates slugged him hard enough.

“I am not going to ask you again. Where are they?!” Bates demanded.

“Go to hell!” The man spat.

“You left me no choice.” Bates said as he put his pinky into his mouth and slobbered all over it. Then he took his pinky out and stuck it right in the man’s left ear and wiggled it around.

Oh my god! What the hell?!” The man freaked out. “Stop, stop, stop already!” Bates then pulled his pinky out of the man’s ear. “Who the hell does that?! Yuck!”

“Tell me where they are! Or your other ear gets it.” Bates threatened.

“All right!”

Bates pulled out a small padd and handed it to him who jotted down the coordinates. Once Bates had the padd back, he handed it to Utsall before slugging the guy once more, all the while letting go of him so he would drop into the ground. “That’s for all the people you killed, you bastard. And if my Captain does not survive, I got friends who will pull you out of prison and give you a nice home on some frozen planet like Rura Penthe. Or maybe a desert planet full of giant worms that take fifty years or so to digest your body.”

Just as Bates went over to Utsall to grab his badge, the man sat up on his elbows. “They promised no one would get hurt.”

Bates turned on his heels and glared hard at the man. “What the hell did you expect would happen when you messed with things like that?!” Bates growled and grabbed his badge out of Utsall’s hand. “You must be the most idiotic man in the galaxy.” He pinned his badge back on and tapped it. “Bates to Aquarius. I got a prisoner for you.” Bates then watched as two security officers beamed down, just to pick the man up onto his feet. Bates glared at him once more. “Must be why these two that you ratted out are the brains of this operation. Throw him in the brig, don’t bother taking him to sickbay.” Bates ordered and watched as the two security officers beamed up with their prisoner.

“Feel better, sir?” Utsall asked.

Bates pulled his pistol out of his holster and checked his settings. “I will once we get these last two.” He watched as Utsall smiled with a nod as she did the very same with her pistol. Bates then tapped his badge once more, “Bates to Aquarius. Got a new set of coordinates. Beam me and Utsall there.”

—-

Bates and Utsall now found themselves standing inside a building. This one looked more like a warehouse with how there were various rows of racks and supplies stacked about. Though quite a few shelves in various rows were barren. From what Bates could tell, it was likely abandoned or one of the more new ones that the colony has yet to put into full use. Either way, it certainly made sense to use it as a base of operations. Be the last place anyone would look. And having an engineer like they did, most likely reprogramed the internal sensors and security systems to pretend no one was home. Thus, no one knew that they had criminals living here.

As soon as Bates and Utsall were finished gazing about, they looked straight forward down the middle aisle to see a control platform on the ground floor. And on that very platform was a bunch of tables of supplies, stabilizers and the two fugitives. “All right. The plan is-” Bates was immediately interrupted with the alarm system going off and the two fugitives looking right down the aisle at them. “Plan is to cover!” He pushed Utsall towards a crate to her left as he leapt behind a crate to his right.

“So much for the element of surprise.” Said Bates.

Utsall laughed, “I prefer it this way!” She said as she rose out of cover and opened fire down the aisle before she ducked back down.

Bates scoffed. “Hate to say it but I agree with you.” He put his arm out on top of the crate, extended with the pistol in hand. Aimed at one of the fugitives and fired several times before pulling himself back into cover. He could hear their crate’s taking a few hits of their own.

“Cover me!” She told him and the second she took off towards the next cover, Bates opened fire towards the fugitives to throw them off balance. Then it would be Bates’ turn to advance and for Utsall to cover his advance. This tactic would repeat until they were only twenty feet away from the two fugitives. “We got to throw them off. You advance, and I’ll cover you this time.” She told him and as she stood from behind cover to open fire on the fugitives, she took a hit to her left shoulder and dropped to the floor.

“Utsall!” Bates blindly fired towards the fugitives before he rolled over to her cover just so he can grab her and pull her back in behind the crate. He kept blindly firing towards the fugitives every now and then to keep them off guard. But once he had her sat up against the crate, he took some extra time to check her wound. “Are you all right?” He asked her, as he noticed that she was bleeding.

“I’m fine. But you’re not going to be able to get to them easily, not without help.” She told him.

He quickly fired blindly at the two fugitives before he ducked down and looked at her. “What? Saying you were carrying the weight all this time?”

She scoffed with a smile. “You can’t do this without me. Why else would you have brought me along and no one else?”

Bates shrugged his shoulders. “I was expecting you to spit out some war cry and charge at them with your bare hands.”

“Ha! Typical Human skepticism. You really think that we Klingons cannot change?” She asked.

Bates fired blindly towards the fugitives, keeping them from advancing or try to flank them. “I didn’t say that. But you are in the Security and Tactical Department rather than Engineering or Flight Control. So I was kind of expecting something from you.”

She smirked and then she remembered something. “On our way towards the control platform. I saw pipes. Possibly coolant pipes. This warehouse must be powered by a reactor. There are pipes just behind them. If you can crack one open just right, you can really surprise them.”

Bates once more fired blindly at the fugitives before taking a quick peak at where she said the pipes were and saw them. He knelt down behind the crate and started adjusting his settings on the pistol. “All right. Stay put. Help will be here soon.” He switched the firing mode to beam before he stood up. With one beam shot at the pipe for about a second and a half and the pipe burst. Coolant then spewed all over behind the fugitives, which forced them to cover their faces and start coughing when some of it got into their lungs.

Bates then hurried over to a terminal to reroute the coolant flow. He just needed it to distract them, not to kill them. But once the flow was diverted and the fugitives were having their coughing fits, Bates stood there behind them. “Well. You two have some explaining to do.” He said as he reset his pistol’s settings before shooting them both, knocking them unconscious.

Bates sighed, a part of him wished that he could do a little more than this, but he would have to turn in his badge and uniform if he did. Of all his years on board the Ajax, he never had to deal with people like this. People who would do the things they did, harm thousands or millions of people and have no care for it. “Guess we will find out why they did this. But I can’t possibly imagine anything worth a dam that would justify this.” Bates then tapped his badge after he holstered his pistol. “Bates to Aquarius. Lock on Utsall’s badge and beam her directly to sickbay. Beam me and the two life signs next to me straight to the brig. And have medical personnel meet me there. Might have some minor injuries from breathing in reactor coolant.”

—-

Bates stood there just outside of the cell where all three were put into while he waited for the two that he had stunned to wake up. Ensign Utsall was in sickbay, her wound being attended to. So he chose to interrogate these three fugitives himself. He had stood there for the entirety of the hours that it would take for the sun to wear off on the two fugitives that him and Utsall had recently arrested, with his thoughts buried in which questions to ask and how to asked them. But the moment he noticed the two fugitives began to awaken, he knew it was time.

“Lower the forcefield. Guards stand by.” He ordered. Three crewmembers with pistols in their hands, ready to shoot in case the three fugitives tried anything while the forcefield was lowered. Bates stepped into the cell and looked each one of them at a time. “All right gentlemen. It’s time to confess as to why the three of you thought that it was perfectly okay to cause so much damage and destruction.”

The engineer stood up but immediately sat back down when the security got a bit intimidated by the sudden motion. “Like I told you, these two said that no one would be harmed.”

Bates sighed. “And that’s why these two are the brains and you’re the idiot.” He looked at the other two. “Care to give me your excuses?”

“Technically there was suppose to be no one harmed. If the idiot over there followed the instructions that we gave him!” Said one of the smart ones.

“Are you even going to ask us what our names are?” Asked the second smarty pants.

“Nope. Because I don’t really care. You see, I only remember the names of the people who really matter, or became famous. I have no intentions of making either of you three matter or famous. Because once we are done here, you’ll be set to a Federation Prison where the three of you will work for the rest of your lives for what you’ve done.” Bates told them. “So I get that all three of you are screw ups. But why was it done?”

“Why should we tell you? It won’t lighten our sentence would it?” The one smart one asked.

Bates shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe. Maybe not.”

“Well if the idiot over there hadn’t screwed the plan up in the first place, we’d be out of here and our pockets be full of latinum!” Said the smarty pants.

“Hey! Not my fault your instructions weren’t very clear!” Said the engineer. “You know what, screw you guys.” He then looked at Bates. “These brainiacs wanted to sell the stabilizers for latinum. For some reason they were going for quite a lot on the black market. But they were the ones who sent the instructions, in a very gibberish way mind you, and the ones that were supposedly ‘sabotaged’ were really just replaced with faulty stabilizers. But they told me which ones to get.”

One of them slapped the palm of their hand onto their forehead. “You’re the bloody engineer, you fool! You should of known which ones would affect which part of the colony the most! You’re the one who caused all the damage! You’re the one who harmed people because you picked the wrong ones!”

“Again, you were the ones who told me which stabilizers to mess with! So it’s your fault!” The engineer shouted at them.

At this point the three of them got up and started beating each other. Bates just took a step back out of the cell and waited for a few minutes. He even held his hand up to keep his guards from intervening, at least until about five minutes of the three attacking each other had gone by. “All right boys, break it up.” He said and watched his guards get in there to separate the three of them into their own separate cells. “I don’t need anymore information. You three have said enough. Quite frankly all three of you are bunch of idiots and all three of you are likely to receive the same charges and will serve the same sentences in a Federation Prison. And you know what? I have a friend in one of the Prisons in the Federation. I think I will have the three of you sent there and tell him to put the three of you in the same room, just for the entertainment.”

Bates then nodded his head to the operator behind the control station, who raised the force field on all three cells. Bates looked at each one of them at a time before he shrugged his shoulders once more with a heavy sigh. “Honestly. I hope the three of you rot. Oh and, the three of you better hope my Captain survives. Or I will make sure that each day in prison is absolute hell for you.” Bates gave them one last look before he left the section and headed straight for sickbay.

Utsall grunted as she sat there in the medical bed, using a tensile to scribble away at the padd before her while doing her best to ignore the medical staff who were nagging her about taking it easy. She told them many times that it was just a flesh wound. Course it wasn’t but to her, pain was her fuel to get work done. She then noticed that Bates was standing there beside her. “Oh. Lieutenant. Did not expect you to be here. Thought you be pulling teeth out of our prisoners.”

Bates chuckled. “If Starfleet was perfectly okay with that, I would be. But no, I enjoy my career thank you. What are you doing there?”

“Finishing our report.” She told him as she resumed to her scribbling.

Bates raised his brows. “You’re writing it?”

“And?”

Bates shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t often see anyone writing a report. Normally just voice to text recorded.”

“One of my instructors at the Academy told me that it was therapeutic and that it would help me with my anger problems.” Utsall stopped her scribbles and looked up at him. “They were right. My grades improved. I got into less fights. Cadets started to see me as a person and not just some uncontrollable, raging Klingon.”

“Huh. Interesting. Well I appreciate you are writing out our report but you should listen to the medical staff. You should rest.” Bates told her.

Utsall glared at him. “Careful, in my culture, that could be considered an insult.”

Bates scoffed. “It’s an insult for your superior to give you orders?”

Utsall shrugged. “Eh. I can afford to lose my career. I at least have a House to go back to and join in on their raid parties.” She joked.

Bates smirked. “Riiiight. Well, we got what we needed from the prisoners. They’re going away for a long time. But I best get back down there. Don’t send that report until I get a look at it.”

“Yes, sir.” She smiled.