Part of USS Jaxartes: Deep Six

Part 11: On The Beach

North Ocean
15th February 2401 08:40
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It was the mid-morning before the two ensigns sighted the island itself; they’d spotted the smoke early in the morning and headed straight for it as swiftly as the inflatable boat could carry them. Both knowing something bad must have happened, yet still hoping the others had survived whatever attack had taken place.

At first it had been just a blob, and then the volcanic mountain that made up roughly a third of the island became more prominent, once closer they could distinguish the outline of the MRT Atragon sitting on the beach where they had left it.

They came up on the beach some four hours later, jumped out and dragged the boat half way out of the sea.  Everywhere on the island felt eerily quiet.  The fact the planet had no forms of land based life went someway to enhancing the situation.

It was clear the Atragon had been hit at least twice, by some sort of solid projectile judging from the shape of the impact and the twisted metal.  One of the four engines had been hit and it was from there that the smoke had been emanating.  Now however it had almost stopped.  Along a large section of the hull around the engine the ship was blackened.  The two tents had burned to nothing and the cooking equipment melted and misshapen lumps.

Lyanna tapped Jason on the shoulder and drew his attention to something at the base of the ridge.  It was a long and low mound of sand, clearly placed there deliberately; at one end sticking out of the top what looked to be a metal access panel.  The two approached the mound slowly until they noticed the letters painted on to the panel ‘R I P MAX’.  They both knew now that the body of Max Wallerstein was buried right before them.  It also meant someone else could still be alive!

Jason led the way back towards the ship and the hatch which was half open.  From inside he could only see darkness.  Placing one hand on the edge of the frame we was about to lean inside; when a bolt of energy streaked past him thumping into the hulls side close by. “Hey hold your fire!” He yelled through the opening.

“Who is it?” Came a female voice from inside that he recognised.

“Phoebe it’s me Ensign Devron,” he paused a moment, “What happened?”

At first he got no reply; then he heard faint sobbing, followed by a clunk; which may have been the weapon being dropped to the floor.  Entering with Lyanna close behind the pair of the found the Greek medic sitting hunched up head in hands.  They helped her up and took the woman outside into the light.

It took several minutes for the tears to slow and longer for her to stop shaking.  In that time Lyanna had managed to collect some water from a pool nearby.  She hoped it was safe, as they had no way to test it first and no other supplies of any kind left.  When she returned they all took a few sips from the flask it was in.

Andrianakis slowly began to run through the events as she’d seen them.  She’d been for a walk around the islands shore line.  Over an hour she’d been gone; when she remembered catching a glimpse of a dark ominous looking storm cloud out across the ocean.  Which was odd, because there were no other clouds anywhere, and it was moving much swifter than the gentle breeze would indicate.  The cloud slowed then stopped altogether when it reached the beach.  Andrianakis didn’t see what happened but she heard an huge explosion followed by another which didn’t seem as loud.

Running back the way she’d came the Greek woman could see the flames; then closer still the body of Max Wallerstein face down, clothing partly burnt along one side.  He was dead when she reached him.

The fire took several hours to burn itself out, and only then did she attempt to look inside the Atragon; expecting to find two more bodies.  There was no sign of her Benzite colleague or the Bajoran Starfleet officer.

Jason tested out his com-badge in the hope of contacting the Jaxartes.  He’d tried several times during the journey back on the boat, but received no response.  Either the ship was out of range or the badge was water damaged and not functioning properly. So the last thing he expected to hear right then was the unmistakable noise of a federation transport beam.  Equally unexpected was the three armed Orion’s, two male one female standing not 12 metres from him.  If things couldn’t get any weirder; Ensign Stuart was now pressing the tip of the large weapon the medic had fired at him earlier into the small of his back.

“You took your time!” She yelled across to the new arrivals.  Jason had never heard her speak in her native language; another indication the com-badge was faulty and couldn’t translate either.

The man in the middle look stunned for a moment. “Madam Orci never said she’d had anyone waiting for us.” He replied after giving thought to the situation.  But then why else would an Orion be holding a gun at a fellow crew member unless she was in the services of the cloud. Also the fact the male office only had one boot on was mildly amusing. “Where are the rest?  I was expecting a lot more.”

“Either dead or missing.” Lyanna answered. “We got attacked, and it clearly wasn’t you.”

The Orion tapped the Federation com-badge he was wearing. “Hasray here, lock on to six and transport.”

_____

The six figures rematerialized on board the corvette in a circle, each on one of the transporter pads.  Hasray and the other male at the front, Devron and Andrianakis; left and right. With Stuart and the other female Orion standing at the back.  With one swift movement Lyanna fired the weapon into the back of the Orion male and punched the woman hard in the face.  Her next act was to fire at the Orion operating the transporter controls; catching him in the right shoulder.

Hasray jumped from the pad, turned and fired twice blindly. One shot struck the upper section of the transporter sending sparks flying the other hit Jason in his left side just above the waist.  The medic stunned and confused stood there as everything happened around her.  Then seeing the Devron drop to the floor she rushed over to check on the fallen ensign as Hasray ran out the door.  The last thing he spotted as the doors closed behind him was Ensign Stuart smashing the face of the other female Orion into her knee.  He’s hand was on the badge about to call everyone else to his position.  When a gun tapped the back of his head.

“Going somewhere?”  Ensign Cho asked.  She’d swapped the weapon from the Orion she’d killed for a phaser; after discovering they were unguarded inside the armoury locker and feeling a lot more comfortable caring something she’d been trained to use at the academy.  Set to stun, she had no qualms about shooting him right there and then.  Hasray slumped to the deck.

The door opened automatically but Cho decided to call out first before entering the transporter room.  The place looked a mess with people both human and Orion all over the place.  A woman she did not recognise was trying to slow the flow of blood from ensign Devrons’ side and Stuart was pointing a large gun at two Orion’s both looking worse for wear.  The female had a bloodied face and a possible broken noise; whilst the male a laser burn on his shoulder.  The Korean took one look at them and stunned the two individuals.

“Remind me not to get you annoyed.” Lyanna said turning towards Cho.

“Where are the Commander and Lieutenant Bolka?” The Korean.

“Gone! Taken!” Lyanna lifted up her arms in exasperation. “Not by this lot. We just don’t know who did it.”

They both turned to check on their crewmate being tended to on the floor. With a clear look of pain on his face he told them to go and rescue the rest of the crew if they could. “Sorry about sticking that gun in your back.” Lyanna apologised. “It seemed the best option at the time.”

The two women headed back out into the corridor and towards the aft turbo lift. “How did you know if and when we were coming back?” She asked The Korean. Cho tapped her ear piece. “I’m still hooked up to my station on the bridge.  I’ve been listening in to everything since they arrived.”

The observation lounge was situated one deck up and once out of the lift there would be no cover along the corridor between them and the guards. They’d both need to be quick and accurate with their firing. When the door did open the pair of them leaned round and fire. One to the left of the corridor the other straight down the middle at the spot where their intended targets both stood.  The first Orion slammed into the wall the second spun on the spot before crashing to the floor; just as the first one landed on top of him in heap.  Ensign Stuart quickly worked on the door controls, luckily the Orion’s had only locked it not change the codes.  As the door slid open a couple of the crew tried to burst out before they realised this was a rescue being made, and stopped themselves. “You two grab phasers from the armoury locker then come with me and we’ll retake the Bridge.”Lyanna pointed at the closest men.

Ensign Cho turned to Dinari and Turf. “Engineering should be empty if you want to get yourself over there?” She then turned to Ensign Harris. “Pretty boy, you follow me.”  The young New Zealanders shoulders slumped a little. “You heard that!”

“I hear everything.” She smiled, “Now quick, Jason is hurt.”

_____

An hour later Devron awoke to find himself on one of the Bio-Beds in Sickbay.  Andrainakis had patched up the wound by this point; but the point of impact was still extremely sore.  Stuart was standing to one side of the room and approached him once she realised he was coming round.

“How do you feel?”

“Like I’ve been thrown around like a rag doll, blown up, drowned, bitten and shot!”

“Not too bad then I guess.  We’ve got control of the ship back and seven prisoners. Unfortunately we lost Bellbrooke and Delanie when they boarded.”

Jason closed his eyes again for a moment.  Four dead or missing out of a crew of fourteen; three of those being the only senior officers on board.  He wondered for a moment what would happen to him or any of the other crew of the Jaxartes after this ordeal.  But he was thankful it wasn’t much worse.

_____

It was the following day when two Federation Starships arrived on the scene.  Captain Lockhart offered the support of a bridge crew and also medical staff if they where needed, whilst Commander Armitage offered to take on board all prisoners.  Ensign Stuart as current acting first officer agreed to both their offers.  Cho and four other armed crew members watched as the Orion prisoners where beamed off. When twenty minutes later three of Lockhart’s crew found Lyanna asleep in the captains’ chair on the bridge; they left her there, and set about the business of bringing the USS Jaxartes home.

 

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