Securing the Bridge
Timeline: MD 4 - 1030 hours
:: Bridge ::
The turbolift doors parted, startling the three officers left to attempt restoring power to the bridge. All three of them were huddled around the Operations station, which they just had managed to use a phaser to dump some power into the console, only to find that the computer had locked out.
As all three of them turned to learn who had managed to find a working turbolift, each one was instantly hit by a phaser blast from the Dosi flanking the Paradan leader and Emily Carter.
"Looks like the bridge is secured," Emily reported to the Paradan.
The Paradan practically grunted with delight as the officer that had been on the bridge fell. "Now, how do we procure it so it cannot be retaken and then we need to get rid of the bodies. The leader walked up to one of the dead personnel and kicked it slightly with the toe of the boot. "Stinks already."
Emily moved over to the active station and manipulated the computer lockout. Within a few seconds, limited power was restored to the bridge, including lights, the helm and a couple other consoles. "Helm control has been restored. The Black Hawk is yours."
:: In The Belly of the Whale ::
Lt(jg) Harold Sherman was waiting ready to start the movement toward the Bridge.
It hadn't been easy to get to the bridge, it took multiple Jeffries tubes to get there. However, in hindsight this was also the best way, it meant they could at least have some element of surprise. Ethan and his team - he still couldn't believe he was the one leading the team - sat behind a hatch, on the other side of that hatch was the bridge. This was truly going to be a make or break moment.
His heart thumped against his chest and he took a calming breath. "We should be able to catch them by surprise," he whispered to his group. "They aren't going to to expect anyone to come out of a hatch." At least that was his hope. This particular bridge let out in the aft section of the bridge, which meant they would have the element of surprise... hopefully. "On three... one... two..." then mouthed the word three. He opened the hatch slowly and crept out, the team followed.
The first thing he had noticed was that some of the power had been restored to the bridge. That didn't surprise him in the least, the bridge was meant to be sustainable on it's on. He saw the three bodies already on the deck and frowned, they weren't moving so he assumed the worst. It was a shame. He raised his phaser, finger on trigger. "Thanks for helping restore the power," he said in a monotone voice. "I also wouldn't move." He trained his weapon on the blonde haired woman known as Emily.
Emily may not have moved, but the rest of the Syndicate cronies on the bridge did, quickly training their weapons at the new arrivals. She did turn, looking at the face of the ship's newest helmsman. "I wouldn't do that if I were you," she said, keeping her hands on the console. "The computer's under lockdown. If I don't talk to it every so often, this ship automatically self destructs. I'm sure the Captain wouldn't like that."
Sherman had ace up his sleeve with that threat but that would have to be dealt with after the Syndicate were eliminate from the bridge. He had his Phaser Rifle in his right hand aim at Syndicate to the Right and hand held Phaser aimed at Emily. There were some medals and awards that he still wasn't able to wear on in Dress Uniform due to the classified nature of the missions and skills, and they were need to know basis, so they deeply buried in his Personnel Jacket. They were some of the reason why he was still only Ensign, but only Captain and Medical personnel were authorized to read limited information on it. Sherman rarely missed at these ranges, even with being off balance with Rifle and Pistol versions of the Phaser, he would of preferred Carbine and Pistol, with his former combat gear. Yet, that was another part of life that taken away by chronic headaches.
Ethan knew a team was heading down to engineering, which meant the lockout could be released from there. At least, that was what he hoped. "The ship self destructs, you go with us," he said, his voice reflecting now emotion. His insides however, were a mess with a emotion. He felt like he had a knot inside his stomach the size of a small shuttlecraft. "You've served with us, you know the Captain would rather the Black Hawk be destroyed then be allowed to fall into your hands." The only problem was, he couldn't be sure if Emily was bluffing or not. He was going to go out on a limb here and assume she wasn't.
"This ship is ours already," Emily fired back calmly, her lips forming a smirk. They couldn't see one of her hands, and it just so happened to be hovering over the environmental controls. "Doesn't matter what you do up here. You shoot me, or all of us, the Syndicate will take what they want before the Black Hawk blows apart. Nothing short of a Level Ten authorization will make a bit of good on this ship, and only two people on board know the codes." With her visible hand, she pointed at herself, indicating that she was one of the two.
"And the other was secured the moment the Syndicate came on board. So how about you put down your weapons and we'll take you to him?"
Sergei's mind had been racing since they entered the Bridge. Their attempt to retake the Bridge had been botched. Lt. O'Donnell had been too eager. They should have entered from multiple entry points to better capitalize on the element of surprise. In addition, by not just immediately stunning the Syndicate boarding party, they had allowed the current face-off to occur, a situation which had a higher likelihood of going south. Keeping his phaser trained on one of the Syndicate invaders, the Chief Petty Officer glanced around the Bridge, trying to get a full tactical picture of the situation. The intruders were still bunched near the Operations console. The Black Hawk team was only a few meters from the Syndicate. It was just open space between them. We fucked this up royally, Andropov said to himself. If the kid, he thought, meaning O'Donnell, can keep Ms. Carter talking, perhaps it'll give me time to come up with something.
Ethan's mind began to spin, this was certainly not going as planned. The problem was, he couldn't determine if Emily was bluffing or not. The flaw in her plan was the self destruct, she had to have known that the Captain would have blown the ship up before letting it fall into the Syndicate's hands. It took him only a few moments to go over the conversation in his hand. There was a part of him that just wanted to shoot the traitor, for her to betray everyone just hurt. They were all a crew, they all trusted one another, it was just too bad. "We aren't dropping our weapons, Emily," he said. He began to inch forward slowly, he still held his phaser up, finger hovering over the trigger button.
Paradan looked at the man who inched closer and he motioned to those loyal to him. "You should quit moving, Federation or you will be quite sorry. Paradan pulled his weapon out, he was not willingly going to give up what he had just acquired.
Coming to a slow halt, Ethan looked to the man who spoke. Their gazes met, the man scared the hell out of him but he didn't show it. Don't show weakness, don't show weakness, he kept repeating to himself. He still didn't lower his weapon. "If the ship blows up I'm dead, if you shoot me I'm dead... it's kind of a no win situation for me," he said, then looked over his shoulder back at Emily. "But, she is not leaving here," he said in a low growl. He swung his attention back to Paradan, and began to inch slowly backwards toward the forward section of the bridge.
His plan, which he hoped like hell would work, was to draw the boarding party toward him so his team could inch around and start shooting. He fully expected to lose his life on this very bridge, but if it meant gaining control, it was worth his sacrifice.
The squat Russian security officer listened to O'Donnell talking to the Syndicate team. This kid likes to hear his own voice, Andropov thought. His lengthy career in Starfleet had included time as a ground pounder as well as extensive experience in shipboard security. It was killing him to see how this confrontation was going. Can't change the past, he thought, but we can adjust our trajectory. "You're going to get yourself killed Lieutenant," Andropov informed O'Donnell.
"Of course I'm not going anywhere," Emily said with a coy smile, watching the Lieutenant move. With him no longer looking at her directly, she began to move her free hand back to the controls where her weapon laid. "This is our ship now."
Andropov knew his reflexes weren't quick enough to take down all the invaders himself, especially with just the one phaser. The situation wasn't showing any signs of improving. He suddenly became aware of the way the Paradan, Crewman Carter, and their two large goons were arranged. One of the goons, of a species Sergei did not recognize, was wielding a rifle that appeared to be some kind of disruptor. He was also positioned in such a way that, providing the veteran security non-comm used a strong enough phaser setting, stunning him would most likely cause him to fall into the midst of his three comrades. This could provide the Black Hawk team a chance to disable the rest of the team during the confusion.
Normally, he would recommend his plan to the officer in charge, in order to gain approval. However, they didn't have that convenience this time. He slowly, and carefully, thumbed the power setting on his phaser up to 5. He had to stun the bulky alien in one shot or the plan wouldn't work. He touched the trigger stud and a beam of phased energy lanced out and hit the intruder squarely in the left shoulder. He immediately fell, directly towards his fellow Syndicate members, just as Sergei had predicted.
Paradan grunted and then as he fell he twisted and fired back, his aim was a bit wide, but he heard a grunt as he hit someone but he did not see who as another shot him from someone else and he cursed then bellowed "Attack that federation scum."
Emily grabbed her weapon, but didn't fire. Instead, her hand tapped a couple buttons on the environmental controls. Immediately, the gravity on the bridge shifted, propelling everyone towards the starboard side as it was now slanted as if on a extremely steep hill. She held her footing behind the Operations console and began to enter an emergency sequence of commands into the computer. Should they fall on this bridge before she undid her most recent work, the computer would begin to purge its operating system, rendering the vessel completely useless.
The bridge slanting had taken all of them by surprise, but Ethan knew it was a last ditch effort by Emily to keep control. As a pilot, he benefited from artificial gravity, especially when he was in a smaller craft. However, as a pilot he spent many hours in a simulator where all sorts of scenarios were thrown his way. A pilot had to rely on skill and ingenuity, not whether or not the deck plating was secure beneath his or her feet.
Being a small guy also was to his advantage. It was easier for him to recover, he got onto his tummy and started to do a tummy crawl. It wasn't easy, but the chaos that was surrounding him was certainly a chance for him to move. So he did, to the best of his ability up a steep incline. However, there wasn't much to grab onto, his uniform boots did nothing to hold him in place, it was literally two steps forward, three steps back. He grunted in frustration. Then, the blond was within sight again, she was hanging on but furiously tapping commands into the operations console. He raised his phaser, and popped off a shot toward Emily, praying he at least planted the shot.
There! Emily hit the final button, executing the new command. She smiled, watching the operating system begin to flicker as the code was deleted line by line, program by program. Emily looked up, seeing Lieutenant O'Donnell aim at her. She started to raise her phaser, but it was too late. Taking the blast in her chest, she fell back. With the bridge still slanting, her knees gave out, causing her to crumple into a stunned mess underneath the Ops console.
Just a few seconds later, what was left of the safeties kicked in and righted the bridge, putting the combatants on even footing once more.
Allowing himself the satisfaction of a slight smirk, Ethan scrambled to his feet as the bridge began to right itself. It was a race to the console, he didn't know what Emily did but it had to be stopped. His gray eyes scanned the console, it flickered, came to life and flickered again. Emily wasn't bluffing. Still gripping his phaser in his left hand, he laid his right hand on the flat surface of the station and his fingers began to dance. He almost cried out in frustration, who the hell was he kidding? He wouldn't be able to stop this. "Harold," he called out, "I need you over here!"
He needed to get to helm, that was where he could do most good. As he turned, out of the corner of his eye he saw one of the henchmen come at him. The rage in the man's eyes could be clear. "This is ridiculous," Ethan mumbled to himself as he lifted his phaser, aimed for the chest of the man and triggered the shot.
Paradan was on his back. He watched as things occurred in a flash. He growled in anger and in pain as someone hit him. He pressed a button and barked an order. "Initiate retreat evac" He started to disappear.
"Stop them..." Ethan called out, but it was too late. His shoulders sank in defeat, but he knew he didn't have time to give it any further thought. Nothing was happening with helm so he moved back to ops. "Any luck, Harold?" he asked as he watched the operations chief worked the console.
Paradan cursed and disappeared.
Sergei was mad at himself for not being able go stop the Syndicate boarders. But he couldn't dwell on that now. They had bigger problems, as evidenced by the reactions of the two Lieutenants. Judging by the rapidly moving lines of script on the nearest computer terminal, Andropov surmised that the computr was in the middle of a complete software wipe.