Cover of Darkness
Posted on 18 Mar 2015 @ 2:18am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Emily Carter & Commander C. Kos & Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Hictus Dicon & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D. & Lieutenant JG Ken Rogers & Lieutenant JG Perei & Chief Petty Officer Tarsa Rogers
Location: USS Black Hawk || Multiple Locations
Timeline: MD4 - 0815 hours
:: Science Lab One ::
Scritch had studied the layout of the Black Hawk, he knew where he was headed before any where else. To one of the various science labs, preferably an empty one. He walked around a corner and up to one it didn't open and he grunted as he ran into it. He rubbed his face and flipped off the panel by the door. The manual door opener and a grunt later and he had it open.
He met a female inside he leered at her and said "Yo are gone, now" as he grabbed her by the throat and slammed her into the nearest fixture of the place. He heard a satisfying thud, a crunch and she went limp. He let her drop to the floor as he walked over her.
Scritch moved over to the computer, this would take a bit longer then what he wanted but it really was the fastest way to subdue and eliminate most of the people on the ship.
He bent down and opened a access panel that ran next to the computer and then fidgeted with connections for a moment and a then started to attached two devices that he yanked out of a pack he had on his back. He stretched his shoulders for a moment as they relaxed from not carrying the weight of the tools any longer. A few more minutes passed and he gnashed his teeth, the equipment wasn't connecting like it should. His supplier was going to hear about it when he had the chance.
Many more minutes passed and finally he heard the computer come on. He would have grinned, if he did that on a regular basis as is. He simply grunted and stood up and moved and attached a very special unit to the computer it was now connected to the filtration center of the Black Guard. Scritch ran the equipment to filter what he wanted into the filtration system, he only had a certain amount and it would only take out a certain area, he targeted the areas that was less likely to contain the senior staff. He started on the lower decks and started to pump a sweet smelling but nasty concoction into the filtration system.
:: Flight Deck ::
"This way," Emily told her conspirators as she led them onto the Flight Deck. Several more ships waited outside the Black Hawk, each one containing several more hands to aid in the takeover of the ship. Collecting the five hundred personnel on this ship and funneling them to a nearby planet would become then a much easier task.
In the four days that had followed what he considered to be disarming the proud ship, Senior Chief Sikes made it a point to check in on the flight deck several points throughout the day, especially at the start of each shift. What once was a place bustling with nearly a hundred people at a time was now a silent empty tomb, home to maybe eight people a shift.
The absence of lights would only make it worse. Already Sikes was putting into motion a plan to dispatch a couple of the shuttles and runabouts to become the ship's eyes and ears.
His ears immediately detected a couple falling barrels, and then an eerie silence that followed. Sikes did just send a Petty Officer to get some supplies. "Sakonna?" he called out as he was next two a couple of pilots who were at work on a runabout.
Sikes flashed his light only for it to land on Petty Officer Carter who wore a phaser. "Any idea what's going on, Petty Officer?" he asked, his tone almost gruff.
"I do," she calmly replied, before raising her phaser and firing a wide burst that took out Sikes and his fellow crewman.
Emily turned to her conspirators and pointed in another direction. "Over there are some portable lights. Let's get those up so we can see, and then let's get those launch doors open."
"Yes'm" The man replied and got to work. He dropped his pack and pulled open a storage locker and yanked stuff out left and right. He moved to the next "Hear yo are my pretties." He started to set up the lights and then moved to a panel and yanked it off to set up his portable generator. Minutes ticked by as he worked he started to sweat, the equipment was being problematic. He moved and yanked open another panel and yanked the power able out the wall and opened it he switched some things and then jammed it back into the socket and the generator kicked in and the lights flicked on. "Yo good" He moved to the panel that held the power coupling and yanked another out and dragged it as far as it would move to the nearest computer console. He started to tap into it and reroute what he wanted as he applied his own equipment and connected it too the generator as well and ran a new cable to the console and it flickered on. "Yo have just a few minutes to get those doors open before this console fails."
Emily nodded, standing behind the nearby console. She'd have to work around her self-inflicted lockout to open the doors. It didn't take long, but soon the doors had opened and closed (an independent system kept the forcefields functioning), letting in five larger ships. Each one landed and opened their hatches, depositing at least fifty armed hands into the flight deck.
Out of the largest vessel stepped out a Paradan, one who was ready to receive this vessel as compensation for his loss at Razmena.
:: Bridge ::
Hoban crawled out from under the helm and looked at both Commander Kos and Lieutenant Moore, the only two senior officers on the bridge. "Nothing," he reported, exaggerating with a swipe of the hands. "Backup power supply has been drained, and I can't find a single volt in any of the primary and secondary conduits." Without power it would be impossible to steady the ship and keep her from playing dead.
Eric pursed his lips as he looked at Commander Kos with no power they couldn't do even the basic things like open a door, turning he moved behind his station and grabbed a phaser and strapped it to his hip. He didn't know what was going on inside or outside the ship and that had him worried, they needed to make contact with his Security teams to figure out what was going on.
Kos thought for a second. "Clearly, we can't do anything about the power situation from here. If I can get to Engineering, I can probably get at least some limited power back." Mac paused. "We have to hope that someone is in Engineering and that they can get power back." She crossed the Bridge to the small equipment locker next to one of the turbolifts. Opening the locker, she removed a phaser and tossed it to Warrant Officer Washburn before attaching another to her hip. Wrist mounted emergency lights were also passed out to everyone. "We'll use the Jefferies tubes. We will sweep each deck, starting with Deck Two. We need to assess both the ship and the crew."
Hoban took the phaser with a bit of hesitation. The power was out and the first thought was on defense? He was sure there was a good reason, no one ever wanted a surprise. In fact, there was a time he had to cut through a fallen bulkhead and he'd wished he had a phaser at the time. Hopefully, the weapon would be used for only that.
Eric listened to the Commanders plan nodding there was nothing that they could do from the Bridge unless power was given to it, while he didn't like abandoning the bridge he knew that it was the wises course of action right now.
MacKenzie knelt in the center of the rear upper area of the Bridge and worked her fingers into the small groove that served as a handle for the Jefferies Tube portal. "Did you want to take point Lieutenant?" she asked Moore, knowing that Security Officers tended to like to be the first men into a potential danger zone.
"Yes Ma'am," he replied and climbed into the Jefferies tube first, he craweled down the hatch and into the brink wondering what he was going to encounter.
:: Deck Two Corridor ::
Having had no response from Cmdr. Kos, Rogers kept going down the dark corridor, tapping on various cabins. "Helllo! Anyone in there?!?!?" He stopped suddenly; he *thought* he heard an answer. "Hello?!?!?" He shouted.
Rogers heard a muffled reply and a quiet bang. "Hello?!" He ran towards the banging sound, then found himself facing a cabin door. "Hello in there! Can you work the manual override to open the doors?"
"I tried but the door is too heavy" The voice on the other side of the door trembled in some sort of fear or worry.
Rogers took in a breath or two before continuing. "Ok. You mean you can't move the manual override at all? Can you twist it a bit?"
"Wait" Rogers heard a screech as it sounded like a table was pulled over to the door.
"Rogers looked at the door. "Ok, I'm going to try and force the door, you try and move the manual override. Let's try it on the count of three. Let me know when you're ready."
"Ok, but hurry I can't hold on forever." the voice replied from on the other side of the door.
Rogers had a mental note in his head, trying to place the voice. "Young." He said to himself. He leaned on the door's middle. "Ok, now on three, I'm going to try and force this door. *If* you can, squeeze trough the opening as fast as you can. One..two..three!" Rogers put his weight and muscle into the task. The door creaked open from a slit to a gap, to a sizeable opening. Rogers shouted into the darkness. "Jump out here!"
The person squeezed through the door and they were young, just not what Rogers expected. She stood up, dusted herself off with her one hand. "Thank you" She stood about four foot and maybe nine inches tall, honey colored hair and bright blue eyes that sparkled when she smiled. "I am Helen Yates and what is my heroes name?" She stuck out her left hand to shake his.
Rogers looked at the 'rescued' person before sticking out his left hand to shake hers. "Ken Rogers is the name Miss Yates. Now, are you related to this cabin's occupants, or here on your own?"
"It is my cabin, so yes I am related to the occupants." Yates replied impishly.
Rogers slightly shook his head. "Well, I can't leave you here. How good are you at climbing through Jeffries Tubes?"
"Not as well as as I like, being one handed I have to balance more then someone with two hands especially if it is a vertical climb. But I can do it.
Rogers nodded at her. "Well, if it comes to it, you can hitch a ride on my shoulders, just watch out for any bulkheads." He ended with a grin.
Upon spotting Rogers and a young woman she didn't recognize up ahead, Avery jogged toward them, pleased to find someone who could possibly tell her what was going on. She'd had a devil of a time using the manual override to get the doors to her quarters open. Her gut told her she would need to press onto sickbay in case people were injured because of the sudden loss of power, but any information was better than none. Stuart approached slowly so as not to interrupt the conversation in progress. "Hi. I'm assuming you two can't raise the Bridge either, huh? Any idea what happened?"
Rogers looked at the woman. "The ship seems to have lost power. Right now, I believe our best course of action would be to get to Engineering; failing that - Auxiliary Control. Since power is out, we go through the Jeffries Tubes. Care to join us?"
Avery simply nodded. She believed her place was in sickbay, but either way, she was going to have to go through the Jeffries tubes to get there, and under the circumstances, it was better to stick together.
"Please lead the way" Yates replied
As they walked towards the nearest tubes, Rogers looked at Yates. "Sooo, what brings you on this ship? If I might ask?" Any answer Yates might have given was halted by the group approaching the Tubes. Rogers turned to them both. "Main Engineering is on Deck 15, so we'll have a bit of a walk down. Even when we get there I don't know what we'll find, but I *am* hoping that we'll find a way to restore power - at least some of it. You two up for the 'workout?' "
Yates nodded, it would be hard a hard climb but she would attempt too do her best. "13 decks is quite a ways, would it not be best to head to the bridge where your skills in science would be better suited for the task at hand? The counselor can perhaps assist the bridge command at that time."
Rogers looked at both Yates and Stuart. " If the power is out in the entire ship, being on the Bridge won't help - I'm thinking that somewhere in Engineering we *might* be able to find a way to restore power, enough at least to have maneuverability for the ship and let more folks out of their cabins. If you two would like to try for the Bridge, then by all means, do so."
"First off, Lieutenant, we really only know that the comm system is down, and that this floor has no power as we have been no where else." The honey blonde named Yates said in reply and I was going to head to Sickbay for my fitting in a half an hour when the power went off. New arm day for me." She waved her short stump around on her right arm "or it should have been until this occurred. As is, I do not need to head to the Bridge but I will head to Engineering with you. It is where I tend to spend most of my time." She shook her head slightly as she felt sorry for the man's department. He seemed to want to be any where but where he should. She glanced at the Counselor "Well?"
Stuart offered, "I was headed to sickbay, but given the suddenness of the power loss, it's likely there are injured throughout the ship who can't call for help. I'm fine with following you and stopping to help as needed. It's better to stay together." She knew the last thing Yates would want is anyone's pity, but Avery felt regret on her behalf because she imagined it was beyond disappointing to have to have to wait one more minute for something as significant as a new arm.
Rogers looked at Yates & Stuart and then smiled. "Ok, Science it is; at least there will be less floors to walk down. Shall I lead?" Then, Rogers looked at both of them and said, Ok let's go."
A muffled explosion followed by a rocking motion jerked them from their feet. Rogers got woozily up and called to the others. "Let's get moving now!"
Avery's first instinct was to make sure everyone was okay, but she agreed with Rogers, they needed to get to safety first.
:: Science Lab Two ::
Perei stepped forward once more and expected the doors of the lab to open. She stared at it a long moment when they did not. She tapped the controls to open the door. It did not budge. She went to tap her comm-badge once more and her hand paused half way to her chest. Perei sighed softly and looked around, there was no one else in the lab with her she shook her dark head of hair in a negative fashion. She looked at the door controls once more and read what was there. She opened the panel below it and expected to see bright lights and there were none. She did find a apparatus that would be useful to attach to the door and when she did so she put her strength into it and the door opened hard, too hard, Perei had used all her strength against the door and struggled to maintain it so she could slip out. It shut in front of her. She took a deep breath, as perspiration started to form at the base of her neck along her hairline and at the small of her back as a small form of panic started to well up from inside her. Being confined had not been a problem in the past but this was different, normally doors opened and at the university she usually had a window open. The lab had no windows. Perei could feel her heart start to beat a bit faster in her chest. She took a deep breath to steady herself.
There was a banging noise coming from inside the paneling to the rear of the science lab followed by several muffled curses. The hatch popped out of the wall and Dicon rolled through, spun to his feet; disruptor pistol pointed at Perei head. Dicon lowered the weapon. "Don't bother, none of the doors on this deck open with manual release."
Perei's face reflected relief. "I thought I was going to be stuck in here forever. Can we get out the way you came in?"
"No, some one has been laying explosive charges all over the ship, we need to get off this deck and up to the bridge, and quickly too. I've been stuck in the tubes rerouting sabotaged power linkup manifolds as I went. Who ever has been trying to play hooky with my ship is going be very sorry." Dicon moved to the door. As he walked he raised his disruptor towards door, raising its setting from "Kill" to "Cutting". He waiting there, apparently thinking.
Perei moved away from the door and then flinched and half turned away in anticipation to the sparks that could occur. "When ever you are ready."
The disruptor fired, carving through the outer side of the door on the right side, which thereafter survived impressively three savage kicks before being buckled into the corridor. Dicon volted through the gap and scanned the corridor for enemy's. He held his arm through the door. "Are you coming?"
Perei nodded a sense of relief flooded her "Yes, anything to get out of here." She followed Dicon out the cut hole and down the cooridor.
:: Deck 17, Tertiary Maintenance Support ::
The soft thrumming of power conduits behind the bulkhead was the only soothing aspect of today. Ever since the Black Hawk had lost propulsion, Dalar Colvin had recognized the change in inertia. The ship sang to him, and the tune now was just... wrong. The Bolian Damage Control Specialist had left his bunk on Deck 13 and headed for Tertiary Maintenance. He should have followed the logical route and gone to Primary, but despite the relatively small team of damage control technicians, Tertiary was just so much quieter, and Colvin valued his personal space greatly. Whereas most people internalized their personal commentary, Dalar did not, so room to speak to himself without the interruption of other people was highly-prized.
The brightly lit console was showing puzzling results to his inquiries; systems were actively being locked as opposed to encountering failures or bypasses. Why would the bridge lock access but disable comms? Machines were his thing, not astrophysics, but Dalar was reasonably certain the surrounding nebulae was not responsible for this, which left a dwindling number of possibilities. Hastily he began to deadlock the access around his position; Jeffries Tube access and the small corridors leading to Tertiary were his priority, then, in his newfound sense of security, he could begin to piece together a way to bypass the locks. Aside from reporting for duty, Colvin had not spent much time at all with the Chief Engineer, but he was under the impression he would be reprimanded for not following protocol.
Focus focus focusfocusfocus, screamed the recurring urge at the back of his mind, pushing aside his developing anxiety. His fingers began to tap furiously. The lack of lighting was annoying, but his first priority was restoring communications. He didn't need, nor want, to talk to anyone, but if what he thought was happening - prompting his stomach to knot and his fingers to grip the edge of the console - was happening, the crew needed to co-ordinate a response. If he could go up one deck to the secondary computer core, maybe he could at least establish some sort of override.
The Bolian released the deadlock on the ceiling access hatch and got to work shunting it open with the manual release.
Outside the room, two Dosi quickly moved in the quiet corridor. Since they arrived through the Flight Deck, neither one had seen a soul as they navigated the access tunnels and now this corridor. The lead character held a display device which shone brightly with a map of the ship. "This way," he grunted to his companion, moving towards Tertiary Support. Though their contact aboard had sabotaged the ship, certain locations would have to be quickly secured in order to complete their takeover. A couple overrides in their destination would give their leader complete control of the ship from the Flight Deck until the bridge could be secured.
His companion reached the door. She opened the nearby hatch, looking for the manual override so they could enter the room.
The sound of the manual release hatch opening below him made Coltin's heart skip a beat and he let out a small, ragged breath. They were near, so very near. His attention went back to his own actions as he furiously pumped the manual release lever, the ceiling hatch opening as he did so. He clambered awkwardly upwards as the Dosi entered the room and caught sight of his leg disappearing to the next level. The Bolian hit the release control as quickly as he could, and the hatch snapped shut, hydraulics saving him narrowly from the two assailants. His stomach turned and his mustard yellow undershirt felt damp with cold sweat.
Picking his feet up, he clambered through several yards of Jeffries Tube and tumbled into the large, cold room containing the secondary core. The thing was huge, and the hum seemed more oppressive than that given off by the warp core, but he carried on, dragging out a server console and flipping it up. Ten seconds worth of reading told him all he needed to know; the override was malicious, disabling the entire comms relay instead of relaying it to another location. Environment controls - including the lights - had been re-routed, but there were layers upon layers of code protecting the location. In fact... the code was days old. Had it been pre-planned?
:: Science Lab One ::
Crewman Yost entered the lab with a flashlight. "Hello?" he called out. "Anyone in here?" He would have turned around, but he heard an unusual beeping sound. He hadn't seen anything working since the lights went out, but it could have been one of the backup heaters for the centrifuge.
The centrifuge! His experiment! He dashed over to the system to find that the entire project had been ruined. Two months down the drain...
But he should've been focusing on something else entirely. Behind him, a timer changed and various events started to occur. A panel exploded from a nicely placed, small internal detonation device. The Syndicate's internal personnel had done their jobs well.
Yost didn't have a chance to respond and was absorbed by the explosion, unable to hear a series of booms that echoed down Deck Four.
More then one scream was heard as panels down the corridor erupted out ward, shards piercing almost everyone as they were trying to figure out what was happening.
Lt. Rogers, Lt. Stuart, and Miss Yates practically slid down the Jeffries Tube to find themselves on the corridor that led to Science Lab 1. Getting their bearings, they noticed many crew personnel trying to stem the blood from flowing from their wounds. Rogers turned to Stuart. "This is more than just the three of us can handle; " Rogers turned to Yates. "Can you get to Medical, see if they can send some help up here? Stuart and I will try to do the best we can at the moment, hopefully we'll be able to access Lab 1."
Immediately, Avery got to work, doing her best to staunch the bleeding for any number of words she encountered. It had been a while, but her triage training came back to her as easily as writing a bike.
Yates headed down the corridor to Sickbay. She did not have time for the regular fitting of her arm. She needed it just to function. Helen spied it on one of the tables and went to pick it up. Yates attached the soft sleeve and then slid it on over her stump. She wiggled her 'fingers' figuratively and the hand responded slowly. It needed an adjustment to make the sensors more responsive but she did not have much time. She turned to help someone get up on a bio-bed and then headed back out to see what she could do.
Back on the corridor to Science Lab 1, Rogers began to check on the folks in the hallway.
Helen Yates headed down the corridor, she stopped before the partially open door of the lab and peered through the crack. "Lieutenant Rogers, over here!"
Rogers hurried over to the door where Yates was. He spotted Yates's 'new addition' and nodded. He then turned to the door. "Guess we'll have to get in; Stuart is wrapping some bandages on a few folks." Rogers tried to peer through the crack, not seeing anything, he then turned back to Yates,. "I'm going to try and get in here; if you want to check back with Medical you can - Stuart and I could take it from here, it's *your* choice."
"Sorry but that generator is connected to the computer and its not of Federation design by the looks of it." Yates explained "I think that I should be the one to look at it." She smiled then briefly at the science officer and attempted to open the door. It did not budge.
Rogers glanced at Yates. "Right, if we get in, *you'll* get the crack at it. Shall we try and give the door a budge?"
:: Mess Hall / Deck Five ::
Petty Officer 3rd Class Gort reached his hand up to his neck. He'd been choking for the last few seconds, but it was the feeling of his throat tightening that was starting to get to him. At first, the others in the mess hall looked at Gort in strange confusion, but now every individual was more focused on trying to breathe.
A science officer pulled out a tricorder to scan the air, only to drop it in her weakened state. She then fell to the floor unconscious.
And everyone else in the room soon followed suit.
:: Sickbay ::
Wounded started to pour in, people were badly injured. Shards of the ship embedded in their bodies.
Jayla, who had gotten out of her office with some effort, glanced up as several people walked through the doors of Sickbay- which had luckily been open when power to the ship had gone out. Spotting debris sticking out of most of them, she cursed under her breath and grabbed her tricorder. "Doctor Jones!" she called, catching the dark-skinned woman's attention from across Sick Bay.
Jones glanced up and at once, she and the nurses sprang into action. The nurses attempted to sort the patients by severity of their injuries, but it was proving to be difficult since the injuries were fairly evenly dispersed among them, not to mention emergency lighting wasn't sufficient for Medical work.
"Never mind," said Jayla finally, having scanned several of them. "Nothing appears life-threatening. Thankfully, the shards missed major arteries and nobody's got any sticking out of their heart." She grinned at the Ensign now sitting before her. "Let's get these out, then, shall we?" she said cheerfully.
:: Syndicate Vessel ::
Harvey stood behind the forcefield, relentlessly pounding upon it in a futile effort to cause a sudden collapse. Every punch and kick was now starting to leave behind an unpleasant sting, but he didn't care. His ship was powerless and likely now being overrun by these intruders. His crew had no idea. He could only hope Lieutenant Moore and his brief training would be enough to keep the ship secure.
He continued to pound, thinking now of Petty Officer Carter. "Damn it, Carter!" he cursed, laying another punch for each word. Her betrayal was brutal. How long had this been planned? How long had she been in bed with the enemy?
Harvey ceased his pounding. With both fists still on the forcefield, the Captain leaned in and pressed his head against the invisible wall as well. He tried to think of her file. Where were the lies? Did she kill the other Carter and take her place? Was she a changeling?
No, changelings didn't carry weapons. They used foot soldiers for the dirty work.
One thing was certain.
If there was any hope for the Black Hawk, Harvey had to get free.
The man from the Syndicate came back in the room. "Yo piece of targ slug crap quit beating the field. It ain't going down no how." He walked over and picked up something in a bag. It looked like a bigger detonation device. He set it on the table. "I should strap this to yo and send you back to your ship." The man grinned suddenly, if one could call it a grin it looked more like he had regurgitated his lunch in his mouth a few times.
Harvey straightened his posture, removing himself from the forcefield. For a moment, he considered to continue being a nuisance if at least that meant he could get back aboard his ship. No. He was no good to his crew dead, no matter where he blew up.
Unless he could get to Engineering or near one of the auto-destruct explosives in time. It might be enough to set off a chain reaction...
The risk was too great. For now, Harvey backed away and sat on the lousy excuse for a chair that was left for him, staring at the alien as he did.
~to be continued~