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Part of USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again Part: 3 and USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again

We Got You

Under Ground Lair, Montanna
July 22, 2374 21:15
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They had been inside this compound for fifteen minutes,  and Rebecca paused at an intersection.  Consulting her tricorder she frowned. “This place is a maze.”

Riandri let out a low chuckle under her breath, as she checked the corridor behind them; her phaser rifle at the ready.

Peeking around the corner the corridor was empty.  With a nod of her head, she leads the others forward.  “According to our intelligence, the holding cells are at the end of this corridor.”

“We should have seen someone by now, where are they, especially if we are so close to the holding cells,” Riandri remarked as she followed closely behind the Captain.

“Agreed,” Rebecca replied. Just then there was a soft explosion and the walls shook.  “The Assault Team must have engaged the clones.”

“But they won’t get far,” A voice announced from behind. “Drop your weapons.”

Both of the Seongs spun around, one in the shadows and one surrounded by the away team

The ‘alt’ Seong swore silently, ‘how did I not notice him.’

Rebecca nodded to her crew and she set her phaser down before turning to face the speaker.   He was a handsome young man with dark hair and a chiseled jaw.  Beside him was a woman who appeared to be the same age. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail.   Flanked on either side of them were two clone soldiers their faces hidden behind their helmets.

“Okay you got us,” Rebecca said.

The man gave her an evil smirk. “My father would use you up and then kill you.  Unfortunately, we don’t have time for prisoners.” He eyed Riandri and gave her a lascivious smirk.  “I might make an exception for myself when it comes to you.”

“Ian,” the woman spoke. “Let’s just get out of here. The jig is up.”

Ian sighed, “For once sister, you are quite right.  I guess we’ll have to settle for shooting them.”

A sudden flash followed by an intense low pulse suddenly erupted as the light enveloped the room. Seong had stayed in the rear, well out of sight. Moving without a sound she slipped up behind the twins.

Leaning in Seong whispered, “Thank you for your assistance.” She then snapped out with her left hand and pressed down on both of their necks; applying a Vulcan neck pinch, before she disappeared back out of the room realizing that their mother was near.

As Seong disappeared another group of clone soldiers moved into the corridor their disruptors raised and pointing at the group of Starfleet officers. One of the medical drones kneeled next to the unconscious siblings and pressed a hypospray to their necks.

Slowly one by one they came to.  Helping them up the clone commander spoke, “Are you, okay sir?”

“That bitch Seong,” he spat.  “She used us to find this place.”  He raised his phaser and pointed it at Rebecca. “Kill them all,” he said coldly. 

“Ian no! Stand down!” Órlaith pleaded. This caused a moment of hesitation amongst the clones who didn’t attack the Starfleet group. “Ian it’s over.”

“You are weak sister.   This is what it takes to rule a quadrant… a galaxy!” His eyes were set on the decision.

Órlaith fired a single shot into Ian’s side from her hip.  The impact caused Ian’s own shot to go wide slamming harmlessly into the wall. Ian staggered backward clutching his side with his free hand.  “What have you done?  You were always soft.  Father should have…”

He never finished his sentence as Órlaith fired. This time it was carefully aimed and it struck her brother in the chest. He took two steps backward and fell heavily to the floor with a sickening thump of flesh and bone against concrete. 

Órlaith spun on a heel and fired at one of the clones striking him in the chest. He jerked back and as he did so the helmet fell off revealing the face of Peter Crawford.

As the unexpected twist of events unfolded, Riandri dove for her phase rifle. Grabbing it she brought it to her shoulder aiming at the group of clones and fired several bursts off in the confusion, stunning several of the clones. Before she could fire again one of the remaining clones took aim and fired at her, the disrupter bolt catching her in her shoulder causing her to cry out in pain resulting in her remaining shots splashing harmlessly on the wall.

A hand came down on Riandri as Seong pulled her to cover. Without saying a word she handed her a hypospray and then fled back into the chaos that she had started. She needed to get to Bellitor, nothing else matter now.

Rebecca dropped to her knee and in one fluid motion, she picked up her phaser as one of the clone soldiers was aiming his disruptor at her. Her shot struck him in the shoulder, sending him staggering backward.  A phaser beam behind her finished him off.

“I got you, Captain,” Chief of Security Alexander Willis announced and extended a hand to help her up.

“Thanks. I owe you one.”

Riandri glanced in the direction Seong disappeared and muttered an obscenity under her breath, she didn’t like this version of the woman but had to admit she was useful. Quickly pressing the hypospray to her neck, she injected herself with its contents and instantly felt the pain in her shoulder being to decrease as the painkillers took effect.  Glancing around the rock Seong pulled her behind she saw the Captain, Willis, and Crawford regaining their feet as her eyes landed on the young women who had started this whole thing. Getting to her feet she held the phase as best she could and pointed it at Órlaith, “I suggest you raise your hands.”

Órlaith tossed down her disruptor and turned her attention on the remaining clones ignoring Riandri,  “Stand down!  It’s over!”

The clones hesitated. They had been bred to give their lives in the service of Dominus and his family,  and surrender wasn’t something they were encouraged. 

“Do it,” Órlaith ordered again.

Finally, they lowered their weapons, and then one by one, they tossed their disruptors to the floor between themselves and the group of Starfleet officers. Órlaith approached,  “I expect you are looking for Angel Ryder.” Reaching into her pocket, she removed a large old-fashioned key.  “You’ll want this.  It’s the second cell on the left.”

Riandri glanced at the key and then at the Captain, “Toss it over to her. What do you want me to do with her Captain?”

“Take them all into custody,” Rebecca said as the key was tossed to her, “But send her to the Denver.   I think there’s a conversation to be had for later.”  With that Rebecca ran down to the end of the corridor.   

While the Captain rushed down the tunnel to the cell blocks, Riandri looked over at Willis and Crawford, “I assume you have enough restraints for them?”

Peter smiled quietly, “Always be prepared.  And I am prepared.”  He tossed a pack of restraints to Wills and they went about the work of putting each of them in custody.  Crawford approached his doppelganger, who was in considerable pain.  A quick scan of a medical tricorder confirmed it.  He was dying.  Peter knelt down beside him. This version of him was a lot older than him and had been through hell if the scans were anything to judge.

“Took you long enough.”  He spat out his words, staring past Prime Crawford to his daughter who was walking sullenly out of the darkness, escorted by a security officer who had found her.  “Meet your future.”

Peter turned and met eyes with a 16-year-old who glanced from his face to the other, confusion and anger flashing in her eyes.  She pulled at her restraints and the security officer, “You killed him, didn’t you.”

Crawford shook his head, “I don’t know who fired the shot…but I would have rather found a way to send you home.”

She shouted back, “We don’t want to go home…there’s a reason we came here, you idiot.”

Prime Peter turned to his alternate and knelt again, “I’m sorry this had to end this way.”

The older of the two groused, “It was always going to end this way, Peter.  I’ve lived in blood and guts for so long…it was bound to happen eventually.  Live by the phaser, die by the phaser.”  He coughed and stared into the eyes of the younger version of himself, “She’s done nothing to deserve it…but find a way to save her, Pete.  Keep her from this….ending.  Don’t let me girl die young.”  The coughs came harder now and he laid back down, his eyes growing distant as he muttered, “Blood and born and blood and born…all to the end we go.”  A moment later and he breathed his last.

Carolyn sighed but shed no tears.  She stared at her father’s body and then turned her eyes to the closet thing to a relative she had.  “Well, I guess I’m your problem now.”

Crawford felt a dry chuckle die in his throat.  “Come with me.  We’ll see what can be worked out.”

Cell block…

At the cell door, she turned the key, and the lock fell away, and she pushed open the door. Angel lay on the bunk, her back to her.

“You have grown since last I saw you,” Rebecca announced. 

Angel rolled over confusion on her face and then realization flashed across it. “Aunt Becca? Is that really you?”

“Yes, dear. Doctor Kyo! You are needed!” Rebecca shouted over her shoulder for her Seong. She wasn’t a fan of that alternate version… Too untrustworthy. 

Seong heard her name coming from the Captain and tapped a security officer on the shoulder, “Move.” The officer looked down at the woman, and the look on his face was pure confusion as he had just witnessed a woman that looked like her moments ago disappear into a shadow. Yet here she was, or rather someone that looked like her. 

Seong knelt next to Rebecca, “Captain. Let go. I have her,” she stated as she set down her medical kit. Seong’s light brown eyes looked into Angel’s. “Don’t worry, sweety, your aunt is my best friend, and I wouldn’t let anything happen to her, so that means that I won’t let anything happen to you, okay?”

Angel nodded in shock. For months she had dreamed of this day, never believing it would actually happen.  This young adult was suddenly the child she most certainly was, and tears streaked down her face.

Seong smiled as she wiped away the tears that had begun to streak down Angel’s face. Shen then began to run the medical tricorder over Angel.

“How is she Doc?” Rebecca asked.

“Minor dehydration, malnutrition,” Seong stated s she continued to scan Angel. Suddenly Seong closed the tricorder and looked a Rebecca. A look of urgency passed between them as her hand reached up and tapped her Combadge. “Denver, two to beam directly to medical, code blue.” She returned her attention to Rebecca. “Finish here as fast as you can.”

Suddenly the room was flooded with a bright light as both she and Angel were transported to sickbay.

Rebecca nodded and rushed out of the cell.  She was worried about Angel,  but as Captain, she didn’t have that luxury.  She still had teams in the field, and that took priority. 

Corridor…

“Good,” Riandri responded before turning to Órlaith. “And what is your name?” she asked keeping her phaser at the ready.

“I am princess Órlaith of the Terran Empire…” She cut herself off, “No, I  not. She glanced at her brother’s body, and sadness filled her eyes. ”I am Órlaith, traitor of the Empire.”

“Well Órlaith, you will have a quick trip back to the Denver and we will have a chat there soon enough but until then we need to know where the transport inhibitors are?” Rianndri asked with gritted teeth, the pain from the disruptors shot clearly evident in her tone.

She hesitated,  torn between her duty to her family and the consequences of her actions. Nodding finally,  “I can take you to them. They are not far. Are you well Lady…” She paused realizing she didn’t know Riandri’s name, “Lady of Starfleet?”

Riandri let out a pained chuckle at that comment causing her to grimace, “Lieutenant Nalam will be fine.” She glanced back at Crawford and Willis before returning her gaze to Órlaith, “Show me where the inhibitors are, we need to disable them.”

Órlaith simply nodded, “This way.”  She led Riandri down the corridor giving her brother one last forlorn look.  Walking to the end of the long corridor she made a left and at the second door she held a hand to the biometric sensor, and the door slid open.  

Riandri glanced around half expecting a trap but gestured to the doorway with her phaser, “After you.” Stepping through after Órlaith she found a room with several computers and consoles but otherwise empty.

“Over here,” she said moving to a console.  She entered commands, hesitated, and rechecked, “Uh… the inhibitors have already been deactivated.”

“Shit,” Riandri muttered under her breath, “Can you tell when they were deactivated?”

Tapping out the controls she nodded, “Logs indicate six minutes ago via remote access.  I can’t identify the console.”

Riandri tapped her combadge, leaving a red blood stain on it, opening a channel to every Starfleet officer involved in the assault and spoke her voice a little slurred, “Lieutenant Nalam to all Starfleet forces, their transport inhibitors are down. I suspect the targets have beamed away but be on guard.” Closing the channel she turned back to Órlaith, “Where do you think they would have gone? I assume they had a backup plan in place, what is it?”

“They? I assume you mean my father and mamma.  I was not told of any escape plans, though they certainly had them, they wouldn’t have left us… Well, they wouldn’t have left Ian.  I have always been different.  I didn’t quite fit into this mold… Mamma would not have left him. Are you sure you are well Lieutenant?”

Riandri blinked as her vision swam and slumped against the wall. She focused on Órlaith and went to wave her off but stopped when she realized blood was dripping from her hand. The painkillers had numbed the pain of the disrupter blast but the damage it caused was still present. “Um, been better for sure,” she muttered as she slid to the ground.

Órlaith walked across the room and pulled down a first aid kit.  It wasn’t anything sophisticated,  just a few bandages,  some pain relievers, and some analgesic cream.  Opening the bottle of pain relived Órlaith shook out several white pills and handed them to Riandri.   Drawing her Imperial dagger Órlaith cut open the uniform to reveal the wound.  

The edges were black and charred, but the center was red and oozing blood. Órlaith winced in sympathy,  “I am sorry Lieutenant this is going to hurt.”

Riandri looked at Órlaith and in particular the dagger in her hands. She nodded as she fumbled to pull out her hand phaser but she was unable to get a grip on it.

She sprayed the wound with an antiseptic and wiped the blood away before shaking in a packet of the clotting agent over the site.  It would bind with the blood and create a temporary hard external shell that would stop bleeding and hopefully give the body enough time to clot naturally.  Pressing gauze to the wound Órlaith wrapped a bandage holding it in place. “There. How do you feel?”

Riandri scrunched her eyes closed as the antiseptic was applied but relaxed as the numbing agent within dulled the pain. “A little,” she paused and looked back up at Órlaith, “Why help?”

“Because, Lieutenant, I think there is more to her than what we have seen,” Cheon stated as he knelt down next to Riandri. “Just like myself.” He knew that Riandri would know what that meant. 

He looked at Órlaith for a moment and then at the dagger that was near her. “You plan on using that or would you mind relinquishing it to me?” He asked her before turning his attention to his wounded counter officer. Blood was flowing from his shoulder but he had all but forgotten that he had been injured having removed the dagger that the now-transported alt Seong had mistakenly stuck him with.

She shook her head at Cheon, “Don’t be a fool. If I was going to stab someone I would have already.”  She cut open Cheon’s uniform and then flipped it to him presenting him with the handle. “What is it with you Starfleeters and shoulder wounds? This isn’t  from a disruptor?” She said curiosity and surprise in her voice.”

“No, it isn’t,” Cheon stated as he took the dagger from her. “It is actually from a dagger.”

She sprayed the antiseptic on the wound and sprinkled the last of the clotting agent into the wound and stuffed it with gauze and held it in place with a bandage.  “There low tech, but it will get you by. And to answer your question Lieutenant: you were suffering,  I could ease it. Is this not an appropriate action? I hold no malice towards you, and if I did I would have still treated you.”

Riandri grunted an acknowledgment as the pain subsided, “Well thank you. I appreciate the help.” She glance over at the XO, “Anything updates from your end? If not we should get Órlaith back to the Denver.” She tired to stand and put weight on her left arm without thinking and she gasped in pain, “Maybe sickbay for myself..”

Comments

  • What an action-packed piece! I was swept along with events with barely a moment to think. I haven’t read the rest of the mission yet, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the scenes as they unfolded. Tense and dramatic, I’m looking forward to reading more!

    March 27, 2023
  • Theo, glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the comment.

    March 28, 2023