Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 2: Wayward Sons and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

8 – Sliding Back

USS Mackenzie
11.1.2400 @ 1840
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Harris had stood from his chair while his operations chief, Calog Tir secured the bridge.  Another moment for him to lock out all consoles and require further authentication.  Fowler was quickly working on the internal sensors.  “Mr. Prentice - full reverse.  Let's get far enough away from the ship and the border.  How many left on their ship?”

Sadie answered as she worked furiously, “They transported all twenty.  The ship is empty and I'm showing it is powered down.”

Harris growled, “Well, we can add intent to the list.”

Atega spoke from her station, “Security has detained five of them outside engineering and is escorting them to the brig.  They've got devices implanted that are preventing us from locking on to them with transporters.”

Ambrose moved to Fowler's station, “Down to fifteen.”

She ran her hands across the console, “Five of them are approaching the battle bridge.”

Harris turned to Tir who belatedly realized they had a battle bridge, “Locking down the…damn.  They got in.  I can lock the consoles out, but they'll have access to some of the manual controls for saucer separation.”

The CO asked the obvious question, “What do you mean…some of the manual controls?”

Tir was working on that as he spoke, “With the manual controls they can initiate a saucer separation…but without console control they won't be able to fly it.  Also, there are additional manual controls you have to activate on the decks where the separation occurs - otherwise, the computer will put a halt to it.”

Ambrose glanced at Prentice, “Full stop.”  He returned his attention to his operations chief, “I'm guessing because we haven't tested the saucer separation we're not familiar with its operation in the first place.” A nod was his answer.  “Also, and hindsight being what it is, if we had run the separation drills we would have discovered the manual controls and identified additional layers needed to ensure that gap got closed.”  Another nod.  “The good news is they can start it, they just can't finish it.  Can you lock them in the battle bridge?” A final nod. “Do it.”  The ship suddenly shuddered under them as klaxons began to ring out.  Harris gave Tir a long look, “Report.”

Tir shook his head, “They shouldn't be able to do it, sir, but they are activating the separation both on the console and at the locations.  We've got a serious problem.”

Harris nearly swore on his own bridge but held it, “Redirect Kondo to the battle bridge.  Tir, we need control of the battle bridge.”  He walked to where the chief of ops sat, “How?”

Calog worked as his symbiont, Tir, raged inside his head about killing these invaders.  “I think they have someone with them sir…yes…they've got a hostage.  God knows what they've threatened them with.”

Harris returned to his chair and tapped the arm console, “Captain Harris to Battle Bridge.  Respond, please.” An eery silence fell until…

=^=You are in violation of Devore Space Captain.  Surrender your ship.  We have control of your battle bridge and have tagged your officer to prevent you from beaming him out.  Now, we have stalled the separation because we have your attention.=^=

Ambrose muted the channel and faced Calog at ops, “Tell me Chief Kondo is at the door.”  

His operations chief nodded and tapped at his console, “Security is at both doors.  We've disabled the battle bridge's sensors so they can't see what's coming.”

He tapped the channel open, “You've boarded us without proper notification, you've taken hostile action with our crew, and you have attempted to steal a part of this ship.  You have my attention, but I'm not sure you're going to like how I respond.”  Harris motioned to Tir and there was a surprised shout on the other end as the doors to the battle bridge rumbled open and suddenly the channel was filled with phaser fire as orders and shouts echoed from the open channel on the bridge.  A moment later the voice of Chief Kondo came over the speakers, “Five apprehended.  They are on their way to the brig.  We're down to ten, Captain.  We'll secure the saucer from separation."

Ambrose moved back to Fowler's station, “Where are they?”

She pointed to her console screen, “Five are at the turbolift here, and the other five are attempting to break into the main shuttle bay.  Security is moving on the shuttle bay situation.”  She worked her console and updated, “Those at the turbolift are attempting to override it to get to the bridge.”

Calog turned to his station, “They're using some kind of…I don't know what this is.  XO?”

Okada was already on her way to stand behind him as she watched both the video feed and the real-time computer monitoring, “That is not a rudimentary device.  That's a pretty high level…the best word I have is hacking?  They're trying to bypass the locks and the computer control systems.”

Harris glanced at the two of them, “Do they have a chance at getting up here?” In answer to his question, the turbolift doors on the screen opened and the five of them piled in.  They were all armed.  Okada reported, “Chances are high, sir.”

Okada moved to a wall unit and Harris followed her lead.  Entering their command codes the wall slid open, revealing a storage locker of phasers and phaser rifles.  Each of them took their own and then quickly tossed them to the others on the bridge.  The clock was ticking on the turbolift.  Harris spoke quickly, “Find some cover, take it, and don't hesitate to open fire.  Set to stun and only stun.”  He took cover behind his chair as the rest of them found corners and consoles.

Within seconds the turbolift door opened and blaster fire peppered the bridge as the crew returned fire as curses and anger filtered out of the turbolift.  Two bodies hit the floor as the three remaining attempted to rush the bridge.  The confusion didn't help them the way they hoped it would.  Each was hit by a volley of phasers from all corners of the bridge.  Silence, smoke, and klaxons filled the bridge.  Harris stood first and gestured for the bodies to be checked at gunpoint.  A moment later they had been restrained and the weapons were back in their closets.  Reid appeared shortly on the bridge, looking a bit disheveled with Kondo at her side.

“What the hell?”

Harris gestured to the prone bodies that Kondo and his men began to drag away, “The Davore Imperium.  I'm not sure what their motive was but they failed.”

Cardamon spoke up from the corner of the bridge by the viewscreen where he had taken cover, “Captain…I…” He inched forward and found the railing to lean on.  Reid quickly checked on him. He'd been shot.  She looked to Harris and he waved her on.  The Voth held up a clawed hand, “I am…ok but not ok…I wanted to tell you - they never fail.  I suspect this was an attempt to test your defenses…to see what you were capable of and how you would respond.  The Devore Imperium does not make mistakes, Captain.  You will not want to hold these men for long.”  Reid supported him and escorted him to the turbolift.

Ambrose accepted the PADD from Kondo, “All twenty accounted for?”

“Given this scenario…we are going to have be on our guard far more than we have ever been in our travels, Captain.  I will work with science and engineering to discover how they evaded our protocols and address it quickly.  I agree with Mr. Cardamon.  The longer we hold onto these men, the more we will be seen as holding prisoners - no matter how we acquired them in the first place.  We've removed the technology that prevents them from being transported.  I recommend putting them back on their ship and sending them back across the border.”

Harris looked to Okada, his XO.  “I don't know how they did it.  I'm more than a little annoyed that they almost took my girl apart into pieces.  If this is what they can do to us without warning, I'm going to need to do some work to make sure we're ready for the next time.”

“Who was our hostage?”

Katsumi's face took on a painful look, “My assistant chief.  They caught her outside engineering.  Saw the color of the uniform.  They hurt her pretty badly, Captain.  Shot up her arms and legs with disrupters…played ball with her face.  She's in sickbay now…but she won't be back on duty for a bit.”

Harris felt the bile rise in his throat, “Bastards.”

She gave a terse nod and stepped into the turbolift.  He turned to the rest of the room.  The Delta Quadrant was proving just how much harder it was going to be.

Comments

  • The harsh truth of Devore brutality, Harris facing against all the odds in taking back what is rightfully his. A motion of protection and endurance can be seen within this post. Well done on retaking the ship, but the main question does linger at what cost? What did the crew pay to get their ship back. Amazing to read and look forward to more!

    November 4, 2022
  • There's no denying it. Harris had only gotten a taste of what Janeway had to deal with. Let us see how he and the crew of the USS Mackenzie fare in comparison. So far, I've grown enamored with how you portray emotion and tension in your stories. And this one was no different. I liked how you held my interest with the drama that unfolded throughout the ship as the Devore attempted to seize control. Even down to telling us who the hostage was and how they were handled. Continue your excellent work. Looking forward to reading your next part.

    November 7, 2022