Dougal entered sickbay and walked into Aimee’s office. Looking up from her work she smiled at her husband, “Hey.”
“Hello mo chridhe,” he replied.
“I got your message,” she handed Dougal a PADD. “I wish I knew what they would do under stress, hopefully it won’t come to that.”
Dougal looked over the names of medics and doctor assigned to his team. He frowned and set the PADD down. “Lass, I dinnae care about the others. I need someone I can trust with my life. I need you.”
Aimee sat back in her chair, “I am about to beam down to take command of the mobile hospital.”
“Lass,” Dougal said patiently. “I dinnae ken if these wee names will do under an attack, but ken what you will do. I need you.”
Sighing, “Okay. Dr. Harrison needs more responsibility. I’ll put him in charge of the hospital. When do we leave?”
“Now,” Dougal replied.
* * *
The high mountain village was quiet. Under a thick blanket of snow nothing was moving. Black clouds were rolling over the not too distant peaks, bringing with them a promise of more snow.
Dougal sat under the cover of trees with Aimee at his side, their rifles laying across their laps.Handing her his binoculars he growled, “I dinnae like this.” His breath was coming in puffs of white.
Aimee looked through the field glasses and zoomed in on the village. Nothing moved. There were even far too few footprints in the snow. “Yeah, this isn’t right. Still doesn’t explain why there’s been no communications.”
“Aye..” Dougal growled. The cold was settling in and he was getting uncomfortable.
“Aye lass, but I’ll do.”
Aimee nodded, turning her attention back to the village. “Well, what’s the plan?”
Dougal shook his head, “Something bloody nefarious is going on. Something is buggering our wee tricorders. I just dinnae ken what that is. We go in there; we go in blind. Let’s head back to the group so I only have to explain this once.”
They crawled backwards into the brush and using the cover of the forest they trotted the 300 meters back to where the rest of the team waited. The three security officers stood when they approached.
“What did you see?” Crewman Benjamin Johnson asked.
“Not bloody enough,” Dougal replied. “Okay lads and lasses, here’s the plan. Aimee, I want you to take position over there on that wee hill over there.” He said, pointing to a rise to the west of the settlement. “It overlooks the whole village and should give you a clear shot of the whole area.”
Aimee nodded and split from the group. She disappeared into the underbrush and snow almost immediately. Dougal gave her an approving nod. They had worked together a long time, and it was almost like the old times again… not that that was exactly a good thing.
“You medicos stay here out of sight until we have a chance to clear the structures but keep your wee phasers ready. Ye may have to come in and bail us out. Ben, you and Crewman Adams circle to the right and flank the village from the east. Crewan Baker and I will come at them directly up the street.” Dougal drew a map of the small town in the snow. “There’s a wee bit of cover here and here,” he said, marking areas they could hide behind in case of attack. The blighters will be expecting us to come up the street so we are the bait ‘ere. Ben you n’ Adams need to move fast aye?”
The crewmen nodded in understanding.
“Let’s go lads,” Dougal said and the four security officers split up.
Baker and Dougal made their way to the main road leading up to the settlement. Pushing through the snow was tiring but after a few minutes the buildings started to come into view. It was just as quiet now as it had been when he and Aimee had scouted it.
“Act natural lad, but keep yer wee heid on a swivel,” he said to Baker who was nearly as white as the snow.
Suddenly a red disruptor beam sliced through the winter air slamming into Baker. Dougal dropped to the ground immediately as a second disruptor bolt sliced through the air where he had been standing less than a second earlier. He crawled to one of the nearby buildings and used the stone walls as cover.
Returning fire at the building from where that shot had come from he knew he wasn’t going to hit anyone in there. He could see Baker lying on his back in the snow and black circle in his chest where the disruptor had hit him. He was still alive with his breaths coming labored and hoarse.
“Bloody hell!” He grumbled and let loose a string of Gaelic curses indicating what he thought of his foe. He slapped his combadge, but it gave that disheartening chirp that indicated it wasn’t in contract with the ship or any other comm system. Someone was blocking communications, and judging by the weapons used they weren’t Romulans. Likely Klingon.
He knew Aimee was watching him from her vantage point. Indicating the location of the enemy fire he then pointed to Baker. With that he took a deep breath and ran into the street fully exposed as beams of phaser fire from the hill slammed into the building that hid their attackers.
Dougal grabbed Baker by the shoulders of his uniform and drug him back to the safety behind the stone buildings. “Hang on there laddie!’ He said as he ripped open Baker’s uniform exposing his chest. Dougal swore at the damage the disruptor had wrought.
“Medic!” Dougal shouted as he ripped open his first aid kit and sprayed the wound with an antiseptic and pressed a gauze pad against the wound to hopefully staunch the flow of blood.
Moments later one of the trauma nurses approached. Her face went white seeing Baker not expecting it to be one of their own down. She immediately went to work with her tricorder, “I can’t believe he’s still alive. She opened her medical kit and removed a bag of plasma. Finding a vein she inserted the IV needle into it. It was primitive but reliable, and took up considerably less space in the medical kit. “We need to get him back to the ship.”
“Aye lass we do. Just one wee problem we don’t have any bloody communications at the moment.”
“Then we need Doctor McDonald down here!”
“Aye we probably do, but right now she’s keeping us alive and the bloody Klingons pinned down.”
“Klingons!” the nurse exclaimed in surprise.
“Aye well, I dinnea ken that they are Klingons, but they bloody aren’t Romulans.”
The nurse signed sitting back on her heels her hands red with her work. “Mr. Baker is as stable as I can make him. It’s actually good that it’s so cold or he probably would have bled out by now. I’ve done some emergency repair of the damage but he needs full surgery.”
There was another exchange of fire as disruptors struck the hill where his wife was hiding. She returned fire with her phaser which kept their foe occupied. Every time she would fire she would move position keeping them guessing as to where she was and possibly indicating there were more Starfleet officers up there than just one.
“Lass,” Dougal said to the nurse. “Head back to the others and get into communications range. I need you to call in the cavalry. We’ll need more than phasers to dislodge the bloody bastards from that building, and Crewman Baker needs a hospital. Stay low and keep to the left over there. You’ll be a wee bit exposed but it’s the best cover and hopefully my wife will be keeping their attention.”
Her face went even more pale at that and she hesitated fear gripping her.
“Go! Go you bloody besom!” With that he leaned around the corner of the building and fired shot after shot. After depleting his power cell by half he paused and looked behind him and the nurse was gone. “Godspeed lass.”