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Part of USS Cantabras: The Array and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

The Liakso Fiasco

Lower Promenade, Liakso Array
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When the transporter cycle was completed, Tani and Priam found themselves in a side corridor. Priam opened his tricorder, “It appears we’re on the Lower Promenade, in a shopping district.” He looked at the tricorder readings, “Wow, this place is massive. It looks a lot bigger from the inside. The elegant design of this place…”

“I’m enamored just as much as you Priam, but we can fawn over it later,” Tani tapped her combadge, “Veva to Cantabras, we’ve arrived on the Array. We’ll report back in when we get to the central control unit.”

Understood Commander, we’ll watch the skies up here.”

“And remember, you promised us all dinner if we wrapped this up quickly,” Tani smirked. “Veva out,” and tapped her badge before Alex could respond. 

Tani scanned back and forth with her rifle, “All right, which way?”

Priam read from his tricorder, “According to this, it’s to the east just past this next juncture. It’s pretty straighf-”

“Shh,” Tani interrupted, straining to hear. She looked at Priam, put up three fingers, and pointed.

Priam nodded, quietly closed his tricorder, holstered it, and leveled his compression rifle. He pointed to his tricorder, held up four fingers, and pointed upward.

Tani and Priam watched as three Jem’Hadar walked past their position. They both instinctively stepped further into the darkened corridor. The two of them followed the Jem’Hadar with their rifles until the soldiers disappeared down the Promenade.

“Well, that answers that question,” Tani whispered, finally breaking the tension. “You said there were four above us?”

“According to the tricorder,” Priam said, exhaling his held breath.

“Any non-Jem’Hadar life signs?”

“I detected some before I shut down my tricorder,” Priam replied. “They’re mostly concentrated in storage areas. I would guess they’ve been taken prisoner.”

“That doesn’t make sense. The Jem’Hadar conquer and destroy, they don’t take prisoners. They must need them for something.”

“It makes the Array easier to access?” Priam suggested. “Instead of brute forcing the system, they could use the scientist’s access codes to bypass security protocols.”

“So we’ll do the same. Find the nearest grouping of scientists,” Tani said.

Priam opened his tricorder, “There’s a storage area about 100 meters to the east. It looks like there are five adult life signs.”

Tani nodded, “Lead on.”

The two quietly made their way toward the storage area, ensuring they didn’t alert the Jem’Hadar above them. More than a few times they had to duck into side corridors to evade Jem’Hadar patrols. Seconds ticked by like hours. Finally, they arrived at the storage area and, surprisingly, found it unguarded.

Tani and Priam cautiously made their way to the door. Priam looked over the door panel while Tani nervously swept the surroundings with her rifle.

“Can you open it without triggering an alarm?” She asked.

Priam opened the outer housing and connected its wiring to his tricorder. “It’s not a derelict missile silo built into a mountain that’s been seized by a terrorist organization, but I think so.”

Tani looked over her shoulder, “Was that a joke Priam? I’m proud of you,” she said with a smile.

The door whooshed open, and Priam replaced the panel. He and Tani entered the room.

“Please, no more!” One of the men exclaimed, covering his face.

“Shut up,” Tani hissed at the man. “We’re here to help,” she kept her voice just above a whisper.

“Commander, look,” Priam said sorrowfully, motioning towards the group.

Tani took stock of the five scientists: Four men and one woman. All of them had bruising and open cuts throughout their bodies. The man who shouted looked like he’d taken the brunt of the abuse. Tani was surprised the man was still conscious.

“We’re here to help,” Tani said, softening her tone. “To do that, we need your access codes to central control.”

The man nodded swiftly. He was in his sixties or seventies, with tufts of white hair at his temples. His face was a grotesque canvas of bruises, swelling, and redness that formed a caricature of itself. Priam offered him a PADD, which he readily accepted. The man typed in a series of codes and handed it back to Priam.

“This will give us access to the entire Array,” Priam informed Tani. “Thank you,” he said to the man. “We will make certain they regret what they have done.” The man nodded solemnly and attempted to smile through broken teeth.

“We’ll leave you here for now, this is the safest place currently. When we regain control of the Array, we’ll come back for you,” Tani said. She and Priam closed and resealed the door.

“Do you think we’ll be able to retake the Array?” Priam asked.

“I honestly hope so,” Tani replied.

“How long do you think they’ve been abused?”

Tani scanned the corridor. “It’s hard to say. Most of their wounds looked older, but the way the scientist reacted… it must still be going on.”

“Or it’s deeply embedded in their minds.”

“Yeah…” And the two of them fell silent.

After twenty minutes of stealthily moving through the Array, dodging Jem’Hadar patrols, the team made their way to central control. Priam consulted the PADD, entered the scientist’s command code, and the door whooshed open. The two stepped inside.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t this,” Priam said, taking in the room.

Central control dwarfed the two of them, it could easily accommodate five hundred people. There were several consoles, banks of backup power generators, and multiple display tables (with display screens) to strategize and theorize various research findings.

“Those power generators are amazing! Just one of them could power the Cantabras for a month,” Priam said in awe. He darted between the consoles and display tables.

“Focus Priam! We can explore later.”

Priam nodded, “Apologies Commander, I’ve never seen an operation like this before.” He sat down at one of the consoles. “Well this is interesting…”

Tani walked backward to the console, sweeping her rifle between all the exits, “What?”

“It appears there’s a data transfer between the Array and a Jem’Hadar ship.”

“A data transfer of what?” Tani said, looking at the console screen.

“It looks like thousands of teraquads of information. Ship positions, starbase defense schematics, Federation colonies. It’s almost as if… oh no.”

“Talk to me, Ensign.”

“With this kind of tactical information, the Federation wouldn’t last but a few months. This is far beyond what Starfleet originally thought.”

“Can you shut it down?”

“With the access codes I might,” Priam began frantically typing at the console. The console beeped.

“Tell me that was a positive beep.”

“They rewrote the access codes and I’m locked out.” Priam paused to look at the console screen. “I’m picking up a ship on long-range scanners. I think we’re about to find out to who the Array was transmitting.”

Another console beeped, drawing Tani’s attention. “And it looks like we’re about to have company. And I don’t think they’re coming to help us unlock the console.”