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Part of SS Vondem Rose: Jailhouse Rock and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Jailhouse Rock – 10

SS Vondem Rose
Mid November 2400
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What started as an ambush descended rapidly into a furball on the bridge. Sidda had with zero hesitation vaporised the man who had appeared before her, but that had only seemed to make her the primary target for his enraged fellows. Only quick feet and a barrage of various weapons fire had given her the cover she needed to fall back behind her command chair, then from there to behind the port side console usually behind her.

She could hear struggling, a solid thump of metal against flesh, and then the sound of a body hitting the ground. Peaking past the console’s support pillar she could see Lewis on the deck, a rather nasty gash on his forehead as he lay there. She could just make out the feet of a Devore soldier, now using Lewis’ chair as poor cover, another only a few meters from her using one of the bridge side entrances as cover.

“Cover me,” she shouted to Orelia, or responded with a confused look, a mouthed expletive, then popped up just enough to let loose a few shots with her weapon. The purple beam of the phaser Orelia fired almost hurt the eyes with its intensity and caught some attention as she popped up and threw her now discharged disruptor at one of the Devore, missing but bouncing off a console and hitting him in the back of the head.

It didn’t hurt, but it turned out to be lethal anyway. It distracted him as she vaulted the console and drew her sword in a smooth action, slicing through the man’s weapon, through parts of him and embedding itself in Lewis’ chair as the monomolecular edge did most of the work. The density of the Klingon chair, built to offer its occupant some protection in combat, was however just enough to bring the weapon to a halt, the chair heavy enough to clamp down on the blade’s flat sides and pin it in place.

Her only saving grace was Orelia putting a final round in the last Devore on the bridge as she fought to free her sword from the chair. Sure, it could slice through metal, mostly, but then it got stuck.

“Allow me,” Tavol said as he gently took over the task and freed the weapon, giving her time to collect her disruptor, swap its power pack out, and look at the two intruders. The one before her was dead before he hit the deck, and the other was moaning in agony from Orelia’s weapon before one of the other bridge crew, a man whom she’d seen plenty, just not gotten to know, picked up the Devore weapon and smacked the man with the butt of his own weapon, silencing him.

“Report,” she barked, just in time for the Rose to rock under weapons fire from outside. It was a hit straight to the hull, with no shields in place to protect the ship. Another rocked the ship but then no more.

“Breach on deck five, section thirteen. Buckling on the starboard nacelle,” Orelia responded. “Devore weapons looks to have gone offline.”

“What about engineering?”

“Get!” T’Ael shouted as she fired wildly over the console she was using for cover. “Off!” A few more disruptor shots, the green beam of the older Romulan weapon casting their colour choice in with all the others. “My ship!”

R’tin came scrambling on all fours from somewhere, his face already forming a dark green bruise, blood dripping from a small cut in the middle. “It’s fine,” he reassured his sister. “Dan and Rach are literally sitting on the guy that got me.”

“Three inside the main door, three I think in the corridor outside. We’re pinned in.”

“Excellent, just where I want them,” R’tin said, then took a moment to peak over the console, dropping to the floor so fast he fell on his backside, then to his back, and had to scramble to get back to his feet. The shot that went over his head had barely missed.

“Okay, so they’re angry and they know where you are,” he informed her.

“No shit,” she glared at him, then fired a few more rounds from her disruptor. She wasn’t popping up, just holding the weapon over the top and firing in the vague direction of the Devore intruders. “What are you thinking?”

“Two of them are in the actual doorway.” He stopped as two more figures joined them, he and T’Ael both nodding to the humans who came up to them with mismatched weapons, one handing a very utilitarian snub-like weapon over to R’tin that T’ael had never seen. “As I was saying, two in the door, two inside Engineering. Didn’t see any others.”

“So?” the human female, Rach, asked. “We know where they are, how does that help?”

“Because I’ve got a good throwing arm,” R’tin said as he then snatched his sister’s disruptor off of her.

“Hey, give that back!” she demanded and had the alien weapon forced into her hands. “No, don’t you dare! R’tin, don’t even!”

“It’ll be fine! The old girl can handle a small explosion in Engineering,” he said, then with a few key presses on the disruptor that no sane mind should ever do, gave the weapon a lob over the console and down the length of the control console space of Engineering.

The others with him glanced at the weapon, then at their crazed companion and quickly copied him in dropping down and jamming fingers into their ears as the weapon’s high-pitched whine grew louder and louder.

When Revin had first arrived in the galley, she had expected Kevak, K’tah and Lern to all be armed. She even expected one of them to thrust a ‘proper’ weapon into her hands when she did arrive in preparation to repel boarders. What she hadn’t expected to find was three properly kitted out Klingon warriors, one a might bit pudgier than the other two, and all armed with bat’leths.

She also hadn’t expected to see them still in the galley, with Kevak actually over a large pot, spoon in hand as he contemplated what he’d just tasted before grabbing some spices and throwing them in.

“Preparing a victory meal, are we?” she asked as she stepped up beside Kevak, his weapon leaning against the kitchen bench between the two of them. “Or are we expanding into culinary warfare?”

“Don’t joke princess,” he said with good humour. “Each meal is a battle, glory and honour in a good meal, hearty and filling of stomachs and souls is just as good as honour on the battlefield.”

There was a single grumble of disagreement from Lern, but his wife, K’tah, put an end to it with a momentary pointing of a knife in his direction. Like so many others on the ship she’d failed to get out of the two just what had forced them to leave the Empire, to take up service not under Sidda but under Kevak, but no one doubted their skill as chefs or warriors. And the marks of honour on their uniforms were enough to indicate that as well.

“Today is a good day to dine?” she asked.

“Ha!” Kevak barked. “Yes, little one, it is. It should always,” he stopped as the whine of transporters could be heard, not here in the kitchen but in the mess beyond.

Everyone went silent, the three Klingons all collecting their weapons and crouching down to see through the low window out into the mess from the galley, the mass of Devore soldiers present there evident. Twenty in total, they’d picked a large empty space to beam in and were already making for the doors, none of them bothering to look through into the kitchen.

Metal boots on metal decking shouldn’t have been quiet, but Revin had to admit Kevak and his cooks knew what they were about before the doors to the galley hissed open and the Devore found themselves on the sharp end of a Klingon response to unexpected visitors.

ke’chaw petaQ!” Kevak bellowed as he slammed his shoulder into one of the Devore, sending the woman to the ground, then buried one end of his bat’leth in another nearby. Lern and K’tah were equally a wave crashing into the Devore, those about to leave suddenly turning back in the confusion, momentarily stunned by what was happening before they could raise their weapons.

Shots started firing, but the three Klingons were constantly moving, cutting down Devore as they went, or in K’tah’s case taking the shot in a shoulder, but still fighting on. There was the clash of bat’leths against metal as weapons were hastily used to block the blows coming in, or improvised into clubs to be blocked or beaten back by a bat’leth in turn.

By the time Revin has slipped out into the mess, taking a weapon off a down Devore, whose fate was not worth thinking about, the last Devore present was being dispatched by Kevak, the old man panting in unexpected exertion, but smiling like a young man. Then he turned to his warriors, seeing K’tah now sitting on a table, her good hand to her opposite shoulder, her uniform streaked with blood. Lern had already ripped the first aid kit off the wall, something that Bones had insisted on being in the mess, but was staring at the inside of it in confusion.

“Princess, watch the doors,” Kevak ordered as he stepped up and took the kit from Lern, grabbed one instrument out and jabbed it forcefully into the wound after pulling K’tah’s hand out of the way. She winced, but nothing more. “You’ll live warrior.”

“Yes General,” she replied.

“Lern, Engineering. Clear any intruders you find on the way.”

“Sir, I request,” Lern started, then stopped when the old man glared at him. “At once.” And with that he turned and marched out the door, bat’leth raised and ready to strike.

“Princess, over here,” Kevak ordered and she approached. “Can you escort this warrior to sickbay?” K’tah’s protest was on her face but she didn’t voice it.

“Yes chef,” she answered, hefting the weapon she’d picked up, holding it as Orin had taught her. She then handed it over to Kevak when he wordlessly asked for it, inspected it, and then handed it back to her with a grunt of approval.

“I’m trusting you not with this warrior’s life, but this cook’s life,” he said, then collected his bat’leth and went for the opposite door out that Lern had used. “Qapla!”

“So, a general you say?” she asked K’tah as the more physically imposing woman got to her feet and snatched up her own weapon before leading the way.

A few of the bridge consoles had been blown out in the short firefight, but enough had remained for the Rose to be controlled. Someone was tending to Lewis, perched in the centre seat at the moment, which would need some attention after coping a couple of stray shots. The faint whiff of smoke in the air was fading as life support worked to exchange the air out. Sidda was now herself at the ship’s weapons consoles, scanning the Devore ship before her own for something, anything to shoot at.

Their plan had been daring, bold and risky and would only work this one time if anyone ever reported it back to the Imperium. One could never know about these things. They’d waited, the ship’s computer had been left in charge of various systems just as the Devore had arrived. As one group beamed in, Orin and Deidrick led their boarding parties to the Devore ships, the transporter cycling as the Devore were arriving. Both ships were suspectable to being boarded and of course, the boarders rarely expected to be boarded in response.

Weapons had been intentionally left unpowered from the mains, but the capacitors charged, enough for a single shot. And Orelia had used the time the Devore had monologued at them to get her best guess optical targets. Of the ten shots the Vondem Rose had fired on the Devore, only two had hit. One of them however had been the torpedo they’d fired. It hadn’t been launched properly, just the tube pressurised before the torpedo and then the doors opened, the weapon pushed out into space where its engine fired up and it went hunting for its target – a non-Klingon warp plasma trail.

With shields down and thinking themselves in a position of power, the Devore had never expected to be boarded and shot at by their victim. They’d never expected a sudden raising of a transporter jammer preventing them from retrieving their people, or sending more across. They never expected mad men and women to be running around their own ship, happily bringing destruction from within while it rained from without.

In the end, most of the fighting was over within minutes. Devore boarders were still being hunted throughout the Rose for now, but their ship had been crippled and wasn’t plucking them to safety. Prisoners had been taken, disarmed and bound and then thrown without care into a cargo bay. Her people had been rescued from the Devore ship when their positions had become untenable, the Rose taking more damage in the rescue before shields could be raised again, a feat the Devore couldn’t do as their shields had been knocked out by internal explosions before Sidda herself had picked off the external emitters.

“We got them,” Orelia finally said from her station. “Inspector Yinpel is hailing.”

“On screen,” she said as she stepped around the console and forward, past her injured man in her seat. No more was the comms set to just frame her face, the Devore could see her entire bridge, where two bodies still laid on the deck plating. “You have information I want and I have prisoners I’m willing to return.”

There was silence as this woman, maybe a decade older than herself stared at her, considering her options. “And why should I give you what you want?”

“You have the authority of the Devore Imperium, yes?”

“Yes,” the Inspector replied.

“I have the authority of fourteen disruptor banks, two torpedo launchers, a short temper and a serious desire to find a reason to exercise my authority. Now, you can either give me what I want and take this whole experience as a teaching moment, save your people who are still alive over here and slink back home or I try my luck with the next idiot in those unfashionable uniforms.”

The other woman glared at Sidda for a moment, eyes narrowing. “What do you want?”

“Your Imperium encountered a ship recently, the Martian Thorn, and detained its crew and passengers. You’ll tell me where they are.”

The woman looked off-screen for a moment, then back. “It’s being transmitted to you now. It won’t do you any good, gaharay, as I’ll inform the prison you’re coming. A flotilla of ships will be waiting for you, ready to destroy your ship for the crime of striking against the Imperium.”

“Yeah, good luck with that,” Sidda said, turning to face Tavol. “Well?”

“The information we’ve received does line up with a star chart that does contain a habitable planet. Three days away at maximum warp.”

“Excellent. Inspector,” she turned back to the viewscreen. “I won’t be spacing your people today because you’re actually good at taking orders. Well done you.” Then she smiled, a wicked thing. “But you threatened me, so marks off for that. Orin, destroy their starboard nacelle please.”

The Rose rumbled briefly as precise disruptor fire racked along the side of the Devore ship, the impact evident as the Inspector was thrown out of the pickup of her comms.

“Oh, and I know your comms are damaged, but I still can’t have you calling your people either any time soon. So…”

More weapons fire impacted the Devore ship, the power and shot calculated just enough to destroy the ship’s long-range communications. Combat damage however ultimately resulted in the entire comms array being knocked out and the comm channel went dead.

“No, that’s cool, I was done gloating anyway,” she said, turning back to her cousin. “Nice shooting by the way.”

‘It’s what you pay me for,’ Orin signed, his skin dusted with soot from his time aboard the Devore ship. ‘They wouldn’t have left us alive you know.’

“I know.”

‘They could still get their comms working within a day or so. Warp drive in a few days.’

“Maybe, but I don’t think so.”

‘You really wanted to blow them up, didn’t you?’

“Damn right I did,” she answered as she stepped up beside him. “They think they can fly around and impose their view, their order on whomever they want. They beamed onto my ship and killed three of my people because they think wherever they go is their space. They took my people prisoner for the mere crime of trying to get innocent people away from their space. Fuck yes, I want to blow them out of the sky.”

‘Then why don’t you?’ he asked.

“Because I’m…because we’re all better than they are. We’re just pirates. They’re assholes.”

‘And torpedoes are expensive.’

“I know right? We so need to sort out a supplier when we get home. Unless you think we can steal some from Starfleet?”

‘I’m sure one of Rourke’s officers would be willing to send a few our way.’

“Violently and at speed. No thanks.”


  • Reading the Rose stories are an absolute delight. I love how this scene starts off with combat on the bridge and Sidda trying to get her sword out of the chair (which is now ruined, so presumably needs a replacement?) then we go to explosions in engineering (I’m thinking that Bennett and R’tin would REALLY get along!) and finally Klingons in armour in the galley. “Today is a good day to dine.” Awesome addition to the story!

    December 22, 2022