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Part of USS Nestus: Lost Memories and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Beneath the suns (pt. 6)

Orbital Base 4665 - Oromal Cluster, Dominion Occupied Space
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The dark green hull plates creaked with a deep groan as they struggled against the titanic tides of gravity that wrestled for control of the small space station. Balanced between the two young and energetic stars at the heart of the Oromal cluster, the secret Breen base was held in a perpetual tug-of-war; the exhausted structural integrity fields frantically attempting to hold together this dark sanctuary. Hidden between two large supply crates in the shadowed corner of the cargo hold, Maine waited with baited breath for the familiar glissando of the transporter that would herald reinforcements, another soul to join his vigil in the dark. 

As another groan echoed in the belly of the station as the dark room was momentarily filled with an angelic glow, the tall blue form of Bib materialising in the dungeon hold. Phaser rifle in raised he quickly scanned the room, noticing the crouched form of Maine he quickly joined the sweating man cowering against the walls.

“Mitchell wasn't joking. It's warm as hell in here.” He noted, his antenna beginning twitching haphazardly. “The background radiation is wreaking havoc with them. I don't think the Breen shields filter out as much, their suits must give them added protection.” he added, noticing Maine cast a glance to the officers writhing extremities. “I won't be a problem, I can ignore it.”

“Sitrep?” Maine responded, risking a glance around the boxes to the still closed bay hold doors. 

“Looks like Tanek's distraction is working, the patrols have engaged him, No indication they've noticed us in the suns's shadow." Bib acknowledged, attempting to steady himself, hoping Maine didn't notice his difficulty balancing. It felt like the room was filled with flashing lights, it was all too much sensory input for his antenna. 

“I know Zaya said we'd have to transport individually to keep the signature down but this feels like an eternity.” Maine responded. He hoped his face didn't betray that he had noticed Bib's wobble. He trusted the Andorian to be honest about his capability, if he was unable to continue with the mission he would say so.

Bib didn't respond, his eyes closed, attempting to focus through his sensory overload. Agonizingly long seconds dragged by, raking their claws down Maine's neck as he waited for the next ally. A quiet sigh of relief slipped out of Maine's lips as the angelic light returned, delivering the huge blue form of Ole into their dark greenhouse. The Bolian quickly slipped behind a crate several meters away, his heavy backpack gently thudding against the large box. Maine tensed, Ole had reassured him the explosives could only work with a detonator and couldn't accidently be activated. Maine wasn't particularly interested in testing that promise. A quick thumbs up from the Bolian was enough to reassure Maine that Hermira wasn't far behind. Bolstered by the presence of his allies the passage of time for Maine quickened, accelerating forward as the reality of the mission came to fruition. 

“Step one, get everyone on board,” he whispered to himself. As the divine light delivered another angel into the hold in the form of the young Orion computer expert, the gentle jingle of her toolbelt echoing into the hold after the transporter beam had dispersed. Crossing to take position with Ole she offered a quick nod to Maine. “Complete. Now for step two," he mused.  

Motioning to the team he signalled towards the dimly lit interface panel near the door, the spiked icon of the Breen Confederacy gently glowed in the centre of the panel. Casting a glance to Bib, who seemed to be navigating his way through the maelstrom of sensory data his brain continued to receive with some effort, the squad silently padded across the room. Taking station at the doors Hermira descended instantly on the panel, placing her rifle on the top of the standing panel she quickly reached to her belt for a modded tricorder. 

“It'll take me a minute and I doubt I will be able to get much out of this panel. I don't think anyone grants a lot of access to a cargo management interface.” Hermira cautioned, her melodic voice dancing over another groin from the war-weary hull. Her long fingers danced across the panel, cautious initially but with growing fervour as she began to understand the layout of both the computer system and the space station. 

“Just a direction to the labs Hermira,” Maine muttered “that's all we need.”

Silence hovered over the room, the oppressive darkness of the dimly lit hold threatened at every corner. Each small creak and shift of the hull felt like a gong, declaring their un-authorised presence for a lightyear. The quick beeps of the console as Hermira navigated through submenus sounded akin to Red Alert klaxons to Maine's tense eardrums until the technician's melodic voice cut through the swelling empty static.

“Looks like the command and control, operations and central systems are on this pontoon,” she motioned to one long curved section of the display, the middle of three long curving ellipsoids, bolted to a large crescent shaped main hull. “Barracks, habitation and crew services are located here,” she pointed to the section at the top of the screen. Indicating the lowest of the three hull structures, “Labs and research facilities are in this hull section.”

“And how does that relate to where we are?” Bib asked, his focus clearly returned to the mission at hand. 

A furrowing of brows signalled Hermira's tone before her full lips had even parted. Pressing a button on the console she narrated the path being drawn out on the screen, “Theres only two access routes to the lab section, both through major bulkheads. It looks like its designed to be locked down and separated in an emergency. We have to cross here, from the end of the central hull structure through the support hull and into the lower pontoon.”

“How long?” Maine asked, his heart beginning to beat a percussive rhythm he was sure a guard would hear. Ejecting the lab section might be a good option to destroy the research but they'd need to get to a console with greater access. 

“Six, seven hundred meters in total but there’s no back corridors.” Hermira responded.

“Jeffries tubes?” Ole offered. “Or an exterior walk?”

“The Breen don’t appear to have maintenance tubes, at least not on this plan.” Hermira replied, her eyebrows raising in an apologetic look. 

“I suppose it'd make an awful noise when they banged their heads.” Ole smiled, he could always be relied on to find the humour. 

“Exterior walk is out of the question, we'd have to get EVA suits from somewhere. Even then the heat and radiation would cook us in seconds.” Bib noted, joining Hermira at the console. “It looks like we might not have to get all the way though.” he continued, indicating a small glowing light on the deck plans. “It looks like there is an emergency command panel at the bulkhead to the research pontoon. If we can get to it we might be able to separate the section and eject it toward the sun, it wouldn't last long separated from the SI field of the main base.”

“And we're sure that its dampening research?” Maine asked, pleading that T'sal's death attempting to recon the base wasn't in vein. 

A few more taps at the console and a gasp escaped Bibs lips. 

“The lower section looks like it contains independent infrastructure and a massive energy generation system for a large dampening array fitted to the prow of the hull structure.” Bib confirmed.

“Shocked?” Maine queried, it wasn't like Bib to be so outwardly taken back by something. 

“Not by the weapon. By these warp nacelles," he said, expanding the plans on the console. “And these look like impulse engines.”

“A ship?” Ole whispered, his smooth head furrowing in confusion. 

“Yes, a mobile weapons platform. Big enough to take out a Starbase.”

Comments

  • Oh the undercover work of the team to infiltrate is well done in this post, they are careful and thoughtful of what will happen next and what could go wrong. I like how Bib plays into his own experience, I grow fond of him, while I can also clearly see the irritation of Maine against him. Great post!

    June 14, 2023
  • Bib

    Commanding Officer / Team Leader

  • Maine

    Former Team Leader - Tactical specialist

  • Hermira

    Computing & Technical Specialist

  • Ole

    Demolition & Engineering Specialist