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Spectre of Death - Part One

Posted on Thu Aug 15th, 2019 @ 9:26pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Commander Karsel`lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias & Lieutenant Commander Dastan Alexander Ph.D & Lieutenant Commander James Barnes & Lieutenant Calvin Kennedy & Lieutenant Wale Scholl Ph.D. & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes & Lieutenant JG Isabelle Veran PhD & Ensign Jane Sinclair

Mission: The Time That is Given Us
Location: USS Shanghai, Bridge, New Anchorage System

[Shanghai Bridge, New Anchorage System]

Shanghai’s arrival had turned the tide of the battle relatively quickly. A few Birds of Prey had barely realized what was happening before being destroyed or crippled. They soon were attempting to regroup, to push the fight. To die in glorious battle against a well-armed foe. Their confidence wasn’t suicidal though. As the battle moved into its latter half, and the shields of the Shanghai were battered, something became evident. They were harriers, not the main front. Throughout the battle they had practiced hit and run tactics, never enough to genuinely threaten a ship like the Shanghai. They had taken a few hits, and their shield was weakened - but they were able to keep moving and keep rotating frequencies to keep most sections well protected.

Even the damage done to the Hope class vessel had been less than it could have been. Only the Warspite was in harrowed condition - its hull breached and blazes burning as they watched helpless to rescue the crew that still struggled. Now, their power was down, and they were no longer a danger to the Klingons. Only Shanghai remained, but something was off. It was clear that something more was happening here.

As the realization crossed Mei’s mind, she wondered what other officers had put together the situation, and she felt her eyes drawn to the outer rim of the holographic battlefield before her. She adjusted in her seat. Her head tilted to one side for a moment and she winced. There was a rock in the ship as one of the Birds of Prey got off a decent hit before dipping away. She suddenly felt her heart sink as a new form appeared on the holographic map hovering near the Warspite. She recognized the silhouette immediately. It was the command vessel of this attack, a Klingon Capital ship, and a more modern one than she expected.

"Captain, a Negh'var battle cruiser has entered the system," Kachiko sighed. It was a powerful vessel that the advanced Vesta-class Shanghai could stand toe-to-toe with, though it was guaranteed to be painful.

“Sinclair, evasive action - Ovim redirect auxiliary power to shield,” Mei barked.

“Full impulse, evasive pattern phi,” Jane answered, employing one of the more rarely used evasive protocols, hoping it would catch even Starfleet personnel off guard.

Isabelle found herself clinging to her seat as the ship manoeuvred. There wasn't much she could do except keep her senses in check and alert Mei to anything untoward if she had to.

There was no time to really respond, as one of the Birds of Prey arched towards the Shanghai, a power surge on its bridge and engines before the vessel faded to cloaked and two more opened up a volley of fire. The Capital ship’s shields and weapons came online quickly, and in mere seconds it launched a volley - torpedoes towards the crippled Warspite, and disruptor cannons on the Shanghai.

The Shanghai had been a leading flagship in the Ninth Fleet, which did not deploy the advanced Borg-smashing Tri-Cobalt torpedo. However, since shifting back in time, the advanced vessel had been reassigned to the Fifth Fleet, which did indeed utilize the powerful weapon. The Marine glanced at Limmi, '~I just requested Tri-Cobalt loaded up for you, hon.~' As Kachiko communicated, the Shanghai's phasers arced out at the Klingon battlecruiser, impacting it's much heavier shields.

Amid the fight, Lieutenant Calvin Kennedy, Chief of Security, reviewed the security systems onboard.

“All security countermeasures are enabled, Captain. Shanghai is prepared for lockdown if necessary.” Kennedy was sure that it would not have to come to that.

Shanghai was taking a good beating from the Bird of Prey and other Klingon vessels. In the event of a breach of security or boarding, there were countermeasures in place to protect the crew.

On the bridge, as the battle intensified, Kennedy held on to his hand, phaser Mark III as he held to the side of a bulkhead as the Shanghai was rocked. He turned to look at Captain Xiang and the rest of the Shanghai bridge crew.

This moment renewed Calvin’s interests in having the crew go through regular weaponry training with him on the holodeck. He needed to know every crew members tact of a phaser.

Isabelle had been hanging onto her seat as the ship took a pounding, she could feel the rising emotions of the crew which was understandable given the situation the ship was in. Right now she was more worried about the ship being boarded, she could handle herself in a firefight if she had to but she didn't want to be using a phaser unless it was absolutely necessary.

“Everyone hold on,” Jane called back as she abruptly changed ship’s course, which pushed everyone into their seats as the Shanghai suddenly and sharply pulled up. New phaser arrays were now facing the Negh’Var. “Sorry! I thought the inertial dampeners might keep up, but I guess not.”

After her exit off the bridge, she made her way to Sickbay where she felt she could be of more use, the ship lurched and threw her off her feet. She stumbled into the wall, one hand bracing herself and the other covering her mouth. Christine growled, "God damn it, Jane..."

Wale kept his eyes on the sensors, trying to boost their sensitivity as best he could. He tinkered with the settings, and finally was rewarded with a blip from one of the Birds of Prey that had sustained minor damage - a plasma leak, almost too faint to be detected under normal sensor settings, but somehow disrupting the ship's otherwise nearly-perfect cloaking system.

"Bird of prey!" he called out. "Bearing Two-seven-one, mark four-six. Distance, twenty thousand kilometers." He transferred the target's coordinates, course and speed to the tactical station.

"Sinclair, see if you can give Miss Ovim time to bring that close Bird off of us. Lieutenant, lets get free of the close ones, and then I want to concentrate on that command ship. If we can break its morale, we might be able to keep it from getting the edge." Sun spoke as she saw one of the barrage hit the Warspite. "Commanders, get our fighters taking on those Birds of Prey. And someone give me an update on the Warspite, our Evac ship and the colony."

"Yes, ma'am!" Jane changed the angle of the ship to put the greatest number possible of phaser arrays in view of the Bird of Prey and let Limmi do the rest. She also slowed the impulse engines to let those firing arcs persist as long as possible. Her finger lay by the accelerator, ready to throw them forward in case of incoming weapons fire.

"Scholl, did you say eight sixty?" Sun barked after a moment. It was the first time she had really addressed the ship at all since they began the fight. She even turned away from the view screen to give him a glance.

"Eight hundred seventy-four," corrected Wale, referring to the number of lifesigns on the Warspite. He double-checked the readings. "Now eight hundred forty-nine," he stated, his voice grim. He was perfectly aware of the Captain's instructions with regard to the temporal Prime Directive, and her reservations with disrupting the timeline, but this was his timeline, and people were dying in it.

"Diu," Mei spoke harshly turning around towards her console, "Warspite was on a light mission, with minimal crew. They've been boarded." She cursed at herself again, "Diu, I should have seen it." She started to turn to some of her other officers as the console at her seat chimed - and then those at security and science followed suit.

"Intruders on Decks Seven, Eight and Fifteen," reported Wale. "Sensors show Klingon raiding parties beamed aboard. Seven, fifteen..." He added up the lifesigns that were appearing on the internal sensors as the hostiles kept beaming in. "Twenty-five intruders," he finally said when the signals stopped appearing.

He checked the status of the ship's shields. How could the intruders have beamed aboard while the Shanghai's shields were up?

Hisa chimed in over the comm from Engineering. "They're in Main Engineering.." She glanced behind her as several Klingons materialized just off to the side. She ducked off to the side and narrowly avoided a random phaser blast. It short-circuited a wall console behind her.

Isabelle too was picking up on the intruders, her half Betazoid senses were as alert as the ship's own internal sensors.

"Sinclair, get us moving again. Take hits if you have too. I don't want to slow down again if we can help it. Wale, get me a full readout of scans on the Warspite, and open the..." The captain growled to herself. "Computer, unlock the library core for today's date," She turned back to the science officer, "Find out how many of those crew there should be and find me a loophole while you're looking. Do not risk going past today. Make it quick." She twisted around. "Security, arm the bridge officers and get my ship back under control. Take the full marine complement with you if you need to." She hit the edge of the heavy command chair with a balled fist. "Get the non-combat teams to safety." She looked around, "Commander, we need to split up in case they try to take the bridge. One of us should head to the CIC." She spoke to Dastan quickly, as the ship rocked. She caught herself and leaned back to look at tactical. "You are weapons free Lieutenant. Do what you have to keep us flying."

"I agree," Dastan said as he lean into the rocking of the ship.

Jane let out a quick "Yes, ma'am" and kept working. She brought them back up to three-quarters impulse, which in her opinion afforded best speed and maneuverability. Her console configured just right, she could bring them up to full impulse and even overclock the sublight engines for short bursts if she needed to. She kept them moving.

"Captain is there anything I can do?" Isabelle looked towards Mei. "My senses are just as good if not better than the ship's own internal sensors, I might be able to help security teams that are dealing with the boarding parties."

Wale accessed the library records while the computer compiled a full status report on the Warspite's current status. "According to the library computer, there should only be four hundred and twenty-three crewmembers on the Warspite," he read out. "They were supposed to be performing routine battle drills beyond the sixth planet. Skeleton crew. Non-essential staff weren't supposed to be present." He scrolled farther down the record. "And there's no trace of a Klingon attack."

He brought up the status report on the Warspite. A holographic projection of the ship floated up above his console, with the ship's damaged sections glowing red. There were deep marks across the saucer section, and the secondary hull also showed serious damage. "Power output at fifty-six percent," Wale read out. "Life support is down on decks Nine through Thirteen. Shields are at ten percent. Weapons systems inoperative. Propulsion systems are shot. Warp core readings unstable."

He looked up. "Captain, this timeline has already been changed from the one you know, before we even got here. I think we're looking for a loophole to get us out of a problem that doesn't exist."

Christine hurried along the corridor to Sickbay. She had the intention of at least keeping the possibly injured crew from panicking and could at least help out somewhat with her very basic field medic training. She rounded the corner, coming face to face with a group of four Klingons. She let out a yelp and stopped in her tracks, raising her hands in the air. They spun around and one fired off a shot. The blast struck her in the abdomen and she stumbled back into the wall. She looked down at her stomach in shock as she sank to the floor, "I should have stayed on the bridge..."

"Captain," Hisa's voice came over the comm. She had snagged a commbadge off of one of the crew nearest her and fastened it to her own shirt. "Need help securing engineering. I can't do shit with them swarming all over my stuff. They hit one of the power transfer conduits and I'm getting major fluctuations." There was a slight pause, "Hope you don't need any more micro-jumps."

"Noted, Hisa - forces on the way," Sun responded, and she turned towards Veran, "Go with security. Keep them a step ahead. Lieutenant Kennedy," Mei spoke quickly, "Engineering first. Get anyone on the way to safety." She then took a breath. "Scholl - we have intruders, and an allied ship in danger - but our shields are still up. Only way that is possible is if they have our shield frequencies, which Admiral Suarez's ship would have had access too. Still a dangerous gambit," She spoke as the ship rocked. "If Sinclair can get us in range, do you think you could match Warspite's shield frequency and beam out the crew, preferrably to Argus?" She said quickly, pointing to the Hope class ship being covered by the Shanghai's fighters over the moon colony around the central gas giant.

Wale shook his head. "Both the Warspite and the Argus would have to be within the confines of our shields for that to work. If we can extend shields around the Warspite, I can have all eight hundred and..." He double-checked the number of survivors and fought back the urge to curse. "Eight hundred and sixteen survivors to the Shanghai in two minutes and thirty seconds. But to beam them to the Argus, we'd have to move close enough to that ship to extend shields around her as well. In the meantime, I recommend changing shield harmonic frequencies to prevent further beam-ins from the Klingons."

"Right, do it. Cycle as needed." She spoke quickly, waving a hand towards the science officer. "Two minutes and thirty seconds..." She repeated the number under her breath, widening her eyes a bit.

Calvin’s eyes scanned the amount of Klingon intruders who had beamed aboard. He immediately slapped at his chest, communicator. The Klingons would not have a chance to get comfortable if he had his way!

“Lt. Kennedy to Security. We have a Klingon boarding party numbering 25 souls. A breach is in Progress. Local parties on Decks Seven, Eight, and Fifteen are boarded. Security personnel will equip officers with light phasers from the armory. All else Security officers, Type II phaser rifles.”

The compliments on the decks were sensitive areas. “Kennedy to Engineering. Begin to lockdown procedure Alpha. Your isolation doors are closing now.” He tapped in the controls and commands from his security station on the bridge.

“All decks are erecting forcefields at junction access points and hallway corridor access. Turbo lifts are being temporarily halted to stop intruder movements.” Cal reported to Captain Xiang.

"Sure," Hisa answered, accompanied by a slight eye roll. "The lockdown procedure. Just make sure the Klingons are on the other side." She turned to the crewman whose commbadge she borrowed. "You heard him." She took a quick glance around. "You got this. I'll be on level 2 with the QSD."

“Captain, permission to join the fight on indicated decks?” Calvin his self had suited up with a hand phaser, and two phaser rifles at his side shoulders. He also had to isolate explosive yields.

“Doors to the bridge are secure; Ensign Faulk is now distributing weapons on the Bridge.” Ensign Reynolds Faulk took out large boxes from underneath weapons storage on the bridge.

"Don't forget about me Lieutenant." Isabelle had grabbed herself a phaser but she didn't plan to use it unless it was absolutely necessary. "I can sense where our Klingon 'guests' are." She used the term guests very loosely. Nobody liked Klingons appearing unannounced.

Lt. Kennedy turned to the Captain. He would then accept whatever advantage he could have. Advanced warning? “Computer Two to beam to Jeffries Tube, Junction Deck 16, JT 12.” He then handed a gun to Veran.

[Main Engineering, Level II, Deck 16]

Just as he did, they energized off of the bridge to the outside deck engineering access port, JT 12.

Cal held the lock servo, twisting it open slowly until he entered into Main Engineering. There was some commotion down below. He gently reached out of the Jeffries Tube, at the same time, keeping his Phaser Rifle trained on the figures.

“Alright, what can you sense?” Cal had furrowed his eyebrow, as he itched to get in there.

He didn’t announce his presence yet until Dr. Veran could attest to any Klingons and their possible locations.

Isabelle put her senses to work. "We definitely have company, several Klingons in the immediate vaccinity. I can't..." She shook her head. "I can't say exactly how many of them, just that they're near. I can give you advanced warning of where they are which will help to give you the upper hand.

Calvin turned his gaze from Dr. Veran to the people below.

"There are definitely wounded here too, I can feel that much!" She pulled her phaser and kept it to hand seriously hoping she wouldn't have to use it.

“Good. If you do use it, know you will be saving your life.” Calvin assured her.

He aimed his phaser rifle and allowed the auto-target to read with its sensors. The tricorder also assured that there were three Klingons behind the engineering isolation doors.

Isabelle remained behind Calvin, she wasn’t a security officer so she remained behind him but ready to use her phaser if she had to.

Along with his security force, Calvin had tapped his communication badge. “Lieutenant Kennedy to forces A and B. I’m relaying via tricorder coordinates intercept.

“Computer, Release Nitrizine Gas 20.2 PPM… Corridor J 12 A.” Gas would incapacitate the Klingons without a bloodbath outside Main Engineering. "Environmental ducts 008-AA-A—Override.”

Just as the nitrizine gas diffused, the Klingons outside of the engineering sealant doors began to drop to the ground. As soon as this happened, Lt. Kennedy tapped his communication badge.

“Calvin to Engineering. Anyone in Engineering. Three Intruders outside your sealant doors have been damaged by nitrizine gas.” Lt. Kennedy waited for a response from engineering.

He waited for a moment.

“Computer,” He slapped his communication badge. “Two to beam direct, Engineering main entrance Level 1, Deck 15. Lt. Kennedy and Lt. JG Veran.”

As then, their bodies began to dematerialize into blue shimmering glitter. They were sent just yards across behind the main doors down a deck to level 15. The Klingons were on the ground.

Calvin erected a Level 3 Forcefield around the perimeter, so they would not be ambushed until Engineering was stable.

“Lt. Kennedy to Captain Xiang. 3 Klingons down in Engineering.” Leland flashed his light on his Phaser Rifle outside of the sealant doors to catch the attention of the Engineering crew inside. “I’m traveling to other sensitive spots on the ship.” He reported.

Isabelle nodded to Kennedy to let him know she was ready to move on, she was impressed with how he was handling the situation she just hoped she didn't let him down.

"Noted, keep us up to date," Mei's voice chimed in on the comms.

Hisa had secured the QSD. She wasn't sure what the Klingons were after on the ship but she'd been in Starfleet long enough to know they probably shouldn't get their hands on technology. She heard a few shots fired on Level 1 and scurried back up the ladder. "You were supposed to keep all the Klingons on the other side of the doors," she muttered. Some of the engineering crew were exchanging phaser fire with the few that remained. The petite woman crawled on her hands and eyes for a tool kit, intending to do some repairs while everyone was distracted.

[ Bridge ]

Kachiko frowned, glancing at Limmi, "~I'm going to go down below and assist Security in Engineering. My telepathy should provide some advance warning for them.~"

"Like the Lieutenant, Captain, I can feel the Klingons," Kachiko said aloud."I am going to go down to Engineering and give the Security teams some advance warning and my combat expertise."

"Computer, site-to-site transport to the Chief Engineers office. Energize," Kachiko smiled at Limmi briefly before the transporter whisked her off of the bridge.

Dastan glanced over at the Captain. "Guess you've goning to have an opportunity to show off those hand to hand combat skills." He cracked a smile hoping to relax the tension of the situation.

His attempt at humour may have broken the tension with others, but it made Jane more nervous. She couldn’t be expected to fly the ship and also fend off a boarding party. Right? When she saw Ensign Faulk approach her, she reached a hand back to accept a phaser and stuffed it into her holster, hoping desperately that she wouldn’t need to use it. “I’m trying to keep our strongest shield arcs between us and the Klingons,” she reported to the Captain and XO. “But there are too many of them, and they’re maneuverable bastards. Knocking out their weapons will help.”

"Right, target their weapons," Sun seemed to hesitate for a moment, her fingers clenching on her fist. She almost growled. "Diu..." She spoke, "Commander," Her voice was quiet, "I'm sorry to put this on your record," Mei gave a glance back to the crew. "Change of plans. Get us closer to the Warspite, beam aboard the crew and prepare to get them to the colony or the Argus. Keep them secluded as best we can," She spoke simply and gave one final order, "If you have any disagreements with these change of plans, speak up now."

Dastan glanced around the bridge. He had no objection to the Captain's order and hope for none elsewhere. "Ensign, time for some fancy maneuvers. Close our distances and keep those strong shield facing the Klingons." He then turned to the Captain. "I would suggest that we convert one of the cargo bays to a medical triage bay for the causalities."

"Fancy maneuvers, aye, sir," Jane replied. "We'll be within transporter range of the Warspite in sixty seconds." She wasn't used to all of this temporal stuff, but she was glad they were going to try saving some lives.

"We'll need to divert more security or marine personnel for the triage bay, or see what we can work with from the Warspite's crew, Commander," James commented, having checked his personal phaser. He tapped some commands into his console. "The Klingons don't tend to show much mercy towards the wounded."

-----

To Be Continued...

 

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