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Part of SS Vondem Rose: Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution – 12

T'ma'ru, Ta'shen; SS Vondem Rose
May 2400
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Hearing the firefight from a block away, R’tin was huffing to catch his breath after Sidda had ordered them into a sprint to close and reinforce the defenders. He’d mentally prepared himself for another band of Orions, all armed and ready for a fight but instead he got a couple of Orions at most, a handful of Romulans, a Reman even three others he couldn’t place at all, but their almost golden skin tone, lack of hair and brilliant sapphire eyes certainly made them stand out.

“Goddesses above, reinforcements!” one of the Romulans had shouted upon spotting them, a hand signal waving them to keep their heads down though as they rushed for a barricade. “Don’t care who you are unless one of you is clever with machines,” the woman asked, wielding a disruptor rifle like an utter badass, in his own expert opinion.

Of course, with a statement like hers everyone else turned on him and he nodded. Did the boss say he was a lieutenant or a commander? Err on the former right? “Lieutenant R’tin, how can I help?” Maybe next time she’d confer with everyone about every contingency before throwing wacky plans out and expecting them to go with them.

“Third-floor window, we hashed together a crew weapon, but it stopped working after about a solid minute of firing. Get that sucker working and it’ll convince these jerks to back off for now,” she said, then pointed at a set of stairs that led up the outside of the building next to them. At least he wouldn’t be trying to run upstairs in the open being shot at.

“R’tin, Trid, go get that weapon working. Revin and I will help down here for now,” Sidda ordered and she scrambled closer to the front lines with the Romulan woman, Revin hanging back just a moment before a shout about ‘helping the wounded’. They’d all had their impromptu first-aid training so it couldn’t hurt right?

It only took a little over a minute to rapidly ascend the stairs and find the room the weapon was looking out of. It looked like someone’s converted apartment, but that was using the word ‘apartment’ loosely, for a burned-out wreck was what it more closely resembled. “Oh look, my first apartment,” he sarcastically said, gaining the attention of the two men who were keeping low and working on the weapon. “Got sent to look at that boys, you mind?”

“Fuck it, go for it,” the older said, picking up his weapon and heading for the window. “It’s fucked anyway.”

“I’ll be the judge of that, just keep those attackers away yah?” He gave Trid a smile. “Show these folks how it’s really done?”

“Just shut up and get to work,” she shot back and joined both men at the windows lobbing shots across the street.

Before him was an interesting and clearly hacked-together contraption that could conceivably be called brilliant. A tripod base, a mast, a pintle mount and on that two Romulan disruptor rifles, tied with their tops together and triggers on the outside. Their power cells had been removed, cabling leading down and tied together to a much, much larger power cell. Not only that but covers had been removed and the cooling loops tied together, as well as additional ones from weapons no doubt salvaged just for this purpose. It wasn’t pretty, but he reckoned this thing on full blast would spit out fire at such a rate the power cell would drain before the cooling loops ever threatened a shutdown.

“Down!” came a shot and without thinking he dropped, blasts whizzing past him and slamming into the ceiling above, raining debris and dust on his head. “Keep down unless you’re going to fire at them,” came Trid’s hissed order.

“Yes ma’am,” he replied, opting to drag the entire assembly down to work on it. Power cells were still at eighty per cent charge, no problem there. Cabling was all firmly connected, no issues there either. Cooling loops all still had that pearlescent blue showing they were full of their amazing gel-like coolant. So why wasn’t this thing firing?

What he wouldn’t do for a tricorder right now to do a diagnostic. Heck even an older diagnostic tool to talk with the onboard computers. Then it hit him, the computers! They tripped the safeties, not the safeties themselves! Fire for so long and of course you must be this hot, so shut down. And of course, with one loop the system would take so long to cool, likely longer than anyone had any patience to wait for. But why hadn’t anyone just tried firing this again?

“Hey, when was this last fired?” he asked one of the locals.

“When it stopped working.”

“And when was that?” he followed up. Honestly, how hard was it to give an accurate answer?

“About five minutes ago?” the man answered questioningly, the other agreeing in short order.

“Did neither of you try just pulling the triggers?”

“It stopped working, so why would that work?” one asked. “Gotta find out what’s wrong with it first.”

He sighed, shaking his head in exasperation. He could stand it up and pull the triggers now, but it’d just stop again after a minute of firing. What he needed was a way of avoiding that. Scrambling for the kitchen he found a few utensils, now makeshift tools and headed back. More panels on the weapons were popped off, though forced was a better term for it. Who needs a straight knife anyway right?

A reset switch, small and a pain in the ass was buried inside each weapon. Touch and the onboard computers would reset completely. All warnings would clear, and all computations reset. Here was his solution. The fork in his left hand was soon attacked, tines bent at odd angles so only one remained straight, ready to reach for the reset button without the others contacting other parts inside the weapons and stopping it.

“Trid, give me a hand, will you?” he asked and the Bajoran was at his side in quick order helping him stand the weapon back up. As soon as it was, she was away again, back to the window and calling targets for the other two. More disruptor blasts pelted the building front accompanying a few bangs and pops from no doubt homemade explosives being tossed.

How long had he spent on that weapon? A minute? Five? Ten? It didn’t matter. What mattered was it was ready. The problem now was the street was filled with smoke, billowy and white, blocking sight for all no doubt, but from the shouts and hollering on the other side, it sounded like a mass of Remans readying for a charge. No time to waste then.

One last check, the power cell was still plugged in, the coolant loops hadn’t started leaking. All looked good. “Hey assholes!” he shouted back, more for himself, maybe the others in the room with him, or those on the floors below or the ground who might have heard him. “Go home!” he shouted as he depressed the studs. Sure, it wasn’t the best insult, but he saved those for engineering parts that truly angered him.

The twin disruptors started firing away like made, their fire rate seemingly modified in such a way he never noticed either. Green bolts leapt into the smoke, illuminating it with a sickly glow as he swept the weapon back and forth, filling the volume haphazardly.

And then the entire smoke cloud glowed green, brighter and more intense than his paltry little weapon could. At the same time the smoke cloud was expanding, coming towards him on a solid wave of force that lifted him and threw him away from the window and across the apartment.

His ears were ringing again, the second time in as many days. Everything hurt, especially his back and shoulders. As he blinked, he could make out the flashes of green disruptor fire raining down from above on the street below.

But wasn’t he on the top floor? There was no one above them who could be doing that, and with such huge weapons either. But as quick as it started it stopped and Trid was on him in quick succession. Two fingers raised, he said how many, then followed her finger. He wasn’t concussed, but he couldn’t hear her at all. “What?” he asked and she sighed, then flashed what little Orion Sign she knew at him.

‘Ship arrive here now,’ she’d signed as he shook his head at her before she helped him stand up.

The other Romulans were standing up, leaning out the window and looking up, in regard to the possibility of being shot at from the other side of the street anymore. And as he neared those windows he could see why – the other side of the street had been reduced to rubble. The street was littered with craters, then more that went towards the buildings before piles of rubble that had been there. Then he too was leaning out the window and looking up.

The large dark shape hovering over the city of T’ma’ru was a sight that shouldn’t be seen by anyone really. It belonged to a different era when Klingon or Romulan forces might bombard a city, bringing tyranny and oppression to the populace. But today, as far as he was concerned, a K’t’inga-class battlecruiser was one of the most beautiful sights he’d ever seen.

“How the fuck is she hanging up there?” he asked, knowing he’d have to get an answer much later. Like when his ears weren’t ringing so badly.

———-

“Call from the Captain,” Tavol announced rather calmly and with a hand gesture from Orelia, put it through on the bridge’s speakers.

“Stop firing on the palace!” came Sidda’s shouted demands immediately. “The information I want is in there!”

“Sorry cousin,” Orelia said, “but it was the only way to disable the defence grid and keep the ship and you safe.”

The line was quiet for a moment, a sigh coming across the channel. “Just…don’t fire on it again, will you?” Sidda asked.

“Of course. We haven’t been able to disable the transporter inhibitor, but we can send down the other shuttle to pick you up right now if you want,” Orelia said.

“There are two crates of disruptor rifles in bay 3. Load them on the shuttle and get Deidrick to pick a squad of his best troublemakers and then head for the compound I called from yesterday. I’ll meet him there. I’m not leaving his planet till I get what I came for.” And with that Sidda cut the comm channel. 

That just left Orelia to shrug and turn to Deidrick. “Best do as she says. Maybe pick people who can pretend to be…Starfleet adjacent?”

“I’m sure I can find a few,” Deidrick said with a smirk as he stood to leave.

“Have fun storming the castle!” she shouted after him.

“It won’t be any fun,” he shouted back. “Because you’re going to be knocking on the front door.”

“That seems unlikely if you’re still on the ship,” Tavol stated.

“He means we’re going to blow a hole in the walls when the captain is ready. In the meantime, shall we continue breaking up some fights around town?”