Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 6 – Uneasy Alliance and USS Mackenzie: The Mackenzie Squadron – The Uneasy Alliance

19 – The Uneasy War Part 4

Janoor III
03.16.2401
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Kiazas ran, scrambled, and threw herself down the path and through the doors to the transporter platform control, “Start transporting everyone you can to the other cities!”  The hapless Janoor III officer was still in shock about what was three minutes away and the impending destruction.  The ops chief swore, “Shit, I’ll do it myself.”  She bumped him aside and quickly went to work, pointing the officers with her to the other consoles, “Get as many of them as you can away!”  The klaxons and alarms had been ringing outside since the message from the Mackenzie had come through, and people had begun to fill the streets in panic.  Vol’s hands flew across the console, activating the transporter on any Janoor life signs she could find and transporting them to the other cities far enough away they’d be safe. The rumbling sound of the massive battle cruiser falling through the atmosphere began to thunder through the clouds, and the ground started to shake slightly.  

Morrison’s hands were unsteady, but he kept working, grabbing up whatever life signs he could and sending them halfway across the planet.  Each bunch of signals was another batch of colonists saved.  The thunder was slowly becoming a roar.  Kelly focused on the console and the numbers he was saving, ignoring the screaming that echoed off the streets just outside.  A swarm of people swept into the room and stormed the massive transporter pad, and he didn’t say anything to them as they stepped on and held each other.  He tapped a location and sent them through the air in a blaze of light, their eyes full of thanks.  More and more filled the room, and he worked as fast as he could.  The line began to stretch out into the streets, yet they still worked, furiously fighting to save as many as possible.  The bright lights of the transporter thrummed over and over as more and more were saved.

Vol could hear the falling ship break through the lower atmosphere, the resulting sonic boom shattering windows across the city and sending shards of glass into the transporter room.  Her team flinched and dodged the sharp debris but kept transporting panicked colonists handfuls at a time.  The line to the pad continued to grow, and she knew they had maybe thirty seconds before impact.  She thought momentarily about running to the pad for safety, but her symbiont dismissed it.  They needed to save as many as possible.  For the good of the many, he gently reminded her.  And so she pressed on with her defense crew, hands working the transporters until the end.  There was a guttural cry as the walls suddenly shattered.  Everything slammed into the ground.  Then….nothing.

 

The battlecruisers swan song was one of genocide.  Thousands of colonists took one last look to the heavens as the massive fiery wreckage growled one last sneer as it plunged into the city.  Some shouted at the rank unfairness.  Some screamed their last, afraid of what came next as the fire and debris slammed into them.  Others tried to run, their legs burning in terror at their life coming to a close this way.  Few stood unmoving, holding tightly onto their loved ones and facing the immensity of the final seconds of life.  And still, others scrambled into basements and shelters, hoping they would get lucky in the face of the deep and destructive violence of the Dominion.

The battle cruiser enveloped the city of Polaris in a rageful fire that swarmed through the streets and the alleys, hungry for fuel as it consumed bodies and buildings with a guttural groan.  Buildings flung themselves apart under the weight of the sprawling vessel.  The explosion from the initial impact took a deep breath before it galloped into the remainder of the capital city.  It ripped everything from the foundation, flinging once-strong structures through the air, and slamming into neighborhoods, homes, and groups gathered in panicked huddles.  That began more fires and more destruction as the impact spread in all directions from the city center.  Like an unhinged orange demon, the fires crawled and then charged through the city as flaming debris fell from the sky where it had separated from the Jem’Hadar ship.  Colonists imagined themselves safe only to have a whistling oversized lump of metal crash into their world, setting everything alight.  The screams began anew.

 

Crawford opened his eyes and coughed, feeling pain all over.  Sunlight filtered through the shattered ceiling above him.  He sighed, “Goddamn Dominion.”  They’d been rallying on the 50 Jem’Hadar soldiers with Dread’s team when the message had come – they had three minutes before hell came to the city of Polaris.  They finished what they could with the enemy and, as a group, began to run for shelter.  They had passed an old shelter from the first war and scrambled to find it again.  They’d made it just inside the door and scrambled down the stairs when the impact came.  The inhuman growl had been the last thing they’d heard before being swept into darkness.  He worked at the debris that covered him.  It took him fifteen minutes to get loose, and he took stock of the world around him. The shelter had been leveled, and he could hear the roar of fires outside.  He pushed himself up and screamed through gritted teeth – one of his arms was broken.  It took another five minutes for Crawford to push himself up with one arm and stand shakily.  “Dread?  Does anybody hear my voice?”  The silence was his answer.  He began the haphazard process of climbing through the wreckage toward the light.

Dread awoke with a start, darkness all around her.  She pushed at the wood and metal debris that weighed heavily on her body until rays of smoky sunlight reached her eyes.  Helena kicked and pushed more until her hands reached clear air.  “Help!”  She coughed and felt sharp pains stabbing from her ribs, and her breathing became ragged.  The doctor estimated she had broken most of her ribs and possibly a leg.  She shouted for help again. The captain worked to level her breathing as the pain throbbed upwards.  She hadn’t reached the door when she was flung into darkness.  She wasn’t sure where she was, but she was alive.  “Help!”  She kicked at the debris covering her.  It made little progress.  Suddenly a hand grasped hers and pulled as she screamed and shouted, “That hurts like hell!”

The bloodied and bruised face of Peter Crawford appeared through the gaps in the debris, “That means you’re alive, Dread.  Give me a moment.”  She heard him shuffling around and then his departing footsteps.  She waited in silence, worried at the emptiness of the world.  There should be shouts, screams, or even cries.  There was nothing.  The stillness was what plucked at her nerves.  What would be left to save?  Soon Pete was back and joined by another body who worked to clear the layer of heavy debris from her.  Fifteen minutes and, she blinked into the sun, finding the human face of Crawford and the Cardassian face of Gul Hasara.

The Gul knelt beside her, “You are a welcome sight, Captain Dread. I was worried we had lost you and Captain Crawford.”  She told them her guesstimate diagnosis, and Hasara glanced around, “I will find something for us to carry you, captain.”  Without waiting for her to protest, he was off searching.

Dread looked Crawford over, “Your arm…!”  He shrugged, wincing at the pain.

“We’re both broken.  I can’t reach the Mackenzie – she’s there but unable to respond.  Olympic was two hours away, so we should have some relief soon.”  

They lapsed into staring at the ground before she asked, “How bad?”  The look on her fellow captain’s face was enough.  Her heart had been heavy before…but threatened to fall to the ground as reality revealed itself.

Pete replied, “I looked around before I found Hasara…most of what I can see is leveled.  Lots of bodies.”  He swallowed hard, “I was able to use my tricorder before it died…there’s nobody alive around us.” Crawford fought to hold his emotions in check as his eyes filled with sadness, “From what I could see, most of the city is gone.”  He shifted, trying to redirect his feelings, “We’re going to have to be on the lookout for Jem’Hadar…I tracked a load of transporters.”

She whispered, “Damn.”  They turned at the sound of feet as Hasara appeared with a long board of wood.  Dread groaned but didn’t protest as the Cardassian shifted her to the board and strapped her gently to the surface.  She stared at his focused eyes as he worked to secure her safely, “You really do care, Gul.”

He smiled gamely at her accusation, “I gave up trying to go home, captain.  My home is here with you all now.  This mission convinced me even more.  You are the better angels of the galaxy…and I can learn a lot from you all.”  He tested the straps and nodded approvingly, “Now, I need to go search for survivors to help us carry you.”  He hefted his dusty phaser rifle and stood, “We’re all going to get home, captains.  Anything less, and I will have failed Captain Harris.”  A look of grief washed over his face before he lumbered off.  The two Starfleet officers remained, staring at the ground.  They hoped Hasara was right.  They each desperately wished for the safety of home and the warmth of their quarters on the Olympic.

Comments

  • All I could think, with the ship falling, was the USS Vengeance that Khan plowed into San Francisco. The monstrosity hurtling towards the ground. Absolutely terrifying! And this is what would actually happen if something that big hit a city. I'm so glad Hasara is okay, but Vol!!

    June 3, 2023