Part of USS Brontes: Training day and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

First Flight Part 5

Mellstoxx system
April 2399
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The lights grew brighter, the sounds of footsteps growing alongside them. “Captain, at least 5 people coming town that tunnel, one of them is a lot heavier than the others, possibly that Orion we saw near the transporter pads” Thyn whispered to his Captain, Thyn’s antennae twitching and moving as he used them to help discern the approaching sounds. “Keep your head down lad, this could get nasty quickly if things turn violent” Kohlir responded, nodding sadly at his Cadet charge. Kohlir had lost crew in combat before but never a Cadet. “And I’ll be damned before I do loose one” he muttered softly to himself, Thyn turning is head inquisitively towards Kohlir as he did. Kohlir waved his hand towards Thyn, dismissing his muttering as he’d forgotten about the young Andorian’s strong senses in the twisted environs of the mine.

The torches got closer, the footsteps increasing in speed as the party closed on the Federation officers, their lamps powered down to avoid giving themselves away in the darkness of the mines. “They must still be down here, they didn’t come back up this way and none of the other teams have reported anyone coming out the other shafts” a voice echoed through the gloom. “It can’t be” Kohlir whispered, his hands trembling slightly as he realised just how much danger they were in “That accent, it’s Romulan!”  he exclaimed softly. “How is that possible, we’re well within Federation space, how could they get this close to the Academy without being detected?” “A mystery for another time young one, first we need to get out of here in once piece and warn the Fleet Admiralty that we have a potentially serious problem right in our own back yard” Kohlir seemed to calm quickly as he took stock of the situation. “Sir, someone is approaching from behind us” Thyn whispered, gesturing into the darkness at their backs. Kohlir gestured to the medics to face the other way, to face the new threat approaching them. “Quickly you big idiot, we need to get to them before they can escape or get a signal out to warn Starfleet as to what’s going on!” the Romulan voice echoed down the dark, twisting confines of the mines.

Moments stretched into an eternity as they waited in the dark, the footsteps now loud enough that all of the Starfleet personnel could hear them clear as day. “The footsteps behind us will get here before the others Sir” Thyn told his Captain softly, not wanting his voice to carry through the tunnels like the others had been doing. Kohlir looked shocked “So soon? I thought we’d have more time to prepare. Damn it all. Ready yourselves lads, this isn’t going to be fun” the medics nodded sadly, Thyn checked over his phaser, lost in his own memories of his father telling him how to care for his weapons and check it regularly “You never known when it’ll save your life” his Father had told him. Thyn smiled at the memory as he readied himself for what was to come. “Don’t shoot, i’m here to help you get out of here” a voice whispered from behind them. Kohlir turned to face the new voice in the dark. “And who are you to be warning us? Hmmm skulking round in the dark doesn’t seem like a great way to make friends” “My kind don’t like the light much so we stick to the shadows until we have no other choice” the reply came back from everywhere and nowhere all at once. Thyn quickly realised who the voice belonged to, but Kohlir was already ahead of him “Come out of the dark Reman, I know it’s you” Like a living shadow, the Reman moved out of the dark, lowering their hood to reveal their face. “My name is Minarix, I came here to find out what happened to my brother but the Romulans found me first. I’ve been hiding in the lower mine shafts where they can’t reach me” “Why come up and shout at us in the transporter area then if you were hidden?” Thyn asked softly before Kohlir could stop him. “I knew that your coming would change everything here, maybe even scare the Romulan’s into a mistake but I never expected them to do this” Kohlir’s face dropped “Do what exactly?”

Minarix started slightly at the harshness of Kohlir’s tone, “They’ve ordered the miners to kill you or they’ll release a toxin into the mines. I’m also pretty sure they have a Thalaron weapon hiding here in the deepest, darkest hole they could get their hands on”. Kohlir bristled at this news “There’s no way, even with the best Tal shiar cloak that they could get a Thalaron weapon this close to the Academy undetected” “Who do you think built the cloak that Shinzon used against your flagship? He had Romulan help, Tal shiar help specifically” Thyn looked horrified at the thought of Romulan spies operating so close to the Academy without anyone noticing. “This is a conversation for when we’re not being hunted by Uhlans Captain” Minarix’s words rang true to Kolhir and the Captain quickly got back to his position overlooking the other end of the tunnel where they had hunkered down to face their mystery attackers. “Sir, there just round the next corner” Thyn’s whisper seemed impossibly loud in the tunnel as they braced themselves for what was to come. “Let’s hope your call for help did get through lad, we’re going to be needing it quickly” Thyn smiled grimly and nodded

With a blinding flash, the tunnel entrance blazed into life, lamps moving to and fro, trying to draw a bead on the Starfleet officers that had been drawn into their trap. “Come out Starfleet and we’ll not kill you, at least not if you cooperate” the Romulan voice came from behind the lamps, dripping with arrogance. His attempt to draw them out was met with a stone silence, the only sounds were the mutterings of the human miners that had been forced into a bodyguard for the Romulan, heavy mining mattocks gripped tightly in their gloved hands, clearly distressed and unhappy about being forced into a situation they couldn’t control. “Go and get them…. NOW!” the Romulan barked at the miners, pushing them deeper into the cave. “Typical Romulan, afraid to get his hands dirty and forcing others to die in his place” both Kohlir and Thyn started as Minarix responded, her anger on full display across her features. She stepped forward, wincing at she stepped into the lights of the Romulan and his cohort. “Ahhhh the Reman, I was wondering when you’d stop scurrying in the dark and come out to die like the rest of your kind” the Uhlan looked her up and down with disgust clear on his face but not seeing why Minarix had revealed herself. With a flick of her fingers, the lamps exploded, tiny metal darks piercing them, blinding the miners and the Uhlan but allowing Minarix and the Starfleet officers to strike unseen.

Rushing out from behind the rocks, both Kohlir and Thyn quickly reached the miners, taking the mattocks from them with no resistance, their involvement clearly involuntary. The large Orion, quickly sank to his knees, the shame on his face evident. “Look out!” the Orion bellowed as the Uhlan raised his plasma pistol and began firing blindly in front of himself, Minarix was quick enough to avoid getting clipped but sadly Thyn was not so lucky. The plasma beam scorched across Thyn’s forehead, taking his right antenna with it. Thyn dropped to the ground, blue blood coating his white hair, the medics unable to get to him while the Uhlan was firing blindly. Thyn, grunting through the pain, raised his phaser and fired, the orange beam hitting the Uhlan square in the chest, stunning him. “Just like the target range, heh” Thyn chuckled to himself as he passed out, the medics quickly moving to him, cleaning the wound and bandaging his antenna stump . “Will he be alright?” Kohlir asked as he rushed over to check on Thyn, “He’ll live Sir, just may have a scar and he’ll need to take it easy till his antenna regrows but he’ll be okay” the Trill medic replied softly as he injected Thyn with anti biotics and painkillers, not wanting to risk any chance of infection in the darkness of the mines. “And now to deal with you” Kohlir grumbled, his voice as deep and as cold as the void between the stars, he turned and headed over to the Uhlan who was prostrate on his back, Thyn’s phaser knocking him out completely

Minarix stood over him, gripped his collar and lifted him to his feet “Where is my brother?” She screamed into his face as she punched him in the gut “Where is he?!” “I think I know where he might be but it won’t be easy to get to” the Orion spoke gently “We were ordered to put particle fields over one of the mine shafts due to ‘radiation issues’ but now I think I know why” Minarix rounded on the Orion “Take me to them, I want my brother” She turned to Kohlir “You can go now, I can sort this out. He needs more medical attention than you can give him here” Kolhir wanted to argue but he knew she was right, he reached over, took Thyn’s combadge off his uniform and handed it to Minarix “Contact us when you’ve found your brother, we’ll make sure that the Romulans can’t escape the mines and help you dismantle their facility here” She smiled at Kohlir, an odd gesture for a Reman, “Thank you Captain, I hope one day that me, you and your young friend can meet again under better circumstances” “As do I” Kohlir replied with a smile offering his hand out to her. Minarix looked puzzled but gripped his hand tight “Till we meet again Captain” and then Minarix, the Orion and the other miners set off into the mines to find the rest of the Romulans hiding there. “Let’s get him back to the Brontes quickly” the medics nodded. carefully picking Thyn up and carrying him back to the transporter pads.

As the party reached the main transport area, a new figure was materialising in on the pad. A captain, not known to Kohlir, had arrived to help the miners, having only caught part of Thyn’s distress call. “I’m glad you’ve come but this is one hell of a mess to sort out Captain” Kohlir warned the newcomer. “We were told by one of your security officers that you had a Bepon in custody for attacking yourself yet when we contacted the Brontes, there was no sign of him. The Vulcan officer informed me that Bepon had somehow escaped and managed to leave the ship” “What?!?” Kohlir was furious. The newcomer raised his hand to try and calm Kohlir “Your officer also said that a transport signal was detected coming down to these mines but not to this transporter location. We followed the trail as best we could but there is some kind of shielding deeper down that stopped our scans” “The Romulans….” Kohlir whispered “Bepon wasn’t Bajoran, he was a damned Tal Shiar operative!” “Be that as it may, you should head back to the Brontes, Captain. We’ll take it from here” as the new captain spoke, security teams were beaming down behind him, far better equipped to deal with Romulan resistance. “Aye, we’ll be in orbit a few days still though if you need us” “Thank you Captain”

Kohlir tapped his combadge and beamed himself and his team back to the Brontes, the medics rushing Thyn to the infirmary as quickly as they dared move him….

Days passed with no word from the surface, Kohlir stood in darkness on the bridge of the Brontes, a mug of Tellarite coffee in hands, steam gently rising from it only disturbed by the doors opening onto the bridge followed by some unsteady footsteps. “Cadet Thyn Th’ezokroq reporting for duty Captain” Thyn stood, slightly wobbly, saluting Captain Kolhir. “At ease Cadet before you fall down” Kolhir chuckled “Should you be out of the med bay?” “They can’t do much else for me in there till my antenna grows back” “Is that all they said?” Kohlir frowned a little, sensing that Thyn was holding something back. “They said I’m going to be scarred and have a few hairs missing but I’ll be okay once I’ve healed. They wouldn’t tell me about Bepon tho, he isn’t on board” “Sit down lad, this isn’t going to be easy to hear” Thyn took a few wobbly steps to the nearest seat and gingerly lowered himself into it. “It appears that Bepon may not have been what we thought he was Thyn…” Thyn looked puzzled for a moment till he spoke softly “He was a spy wasn’t he? The Cardassian sympathiser and attack on you was to try and put us off his trail wasn’t it?” Kohlir looked surprised and then smiled “You learn damn fast lad, but yes. That’s what i’m thinking happened” “We’ll se him again one day Sir and there will be a reckoning” Thyn said defiantly, his voice full of conviction. Before Kohlir could respond, the comms console began to beep “Captain Kohlir here” “Good to hear your voice Captain, I found the Romulans” “Any sign of your brother?” “Nothing” The anger in Minarix’s voice was impossible for her to hide “It looks like everyone either fled or was taken out of here recently” “I’m sorry Minarix, we’re doing everything we can to find how the Romulans got here and we able to build that facility so close to one of our Starbases without us even knowing” “Thanks Captain, I have a request, Can I join you? You and Starfleet represent my best chance of finding my brother or even other Remans who survived the Hobus Supernova” Kolhir started at this, shocked that she would ask “Come aboard, we’ll arrange a meeting with the Admirals and see what they say. I can’t guarantee anything though” “Thats okay Captain, it’s a start” “Beam her aboard Thyn, please” Kolhir standing, his coffee growing cold in his hands “Then set a course for home, You’ve had quite an adventure to have to report back to Command and I have a lot of work to do to find out how Bepon managed to get in Starfleet and fooled us all”

Thyn carefully set a course for Starbase Bravo, glad to be heading home

Comments

  • Very cool reveal at the end there! Couldn't help but wince when Thyn got his antenna blown off too - ouch! I've really enjoyed how you've structured this story all the way through the different chapters. You did well to keep the reader in the dark about Bepon right up until the tunnel confrontation. Fascinating to have all this going on right under Starfleet's nose in the Melstoxx system, too. I'm hoping that we will hear more of Minarix's adventures together with Thyn, and perhaps even Captain Kohlir. All in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed "First Flight". Solid first mission!

    June 1, 2022