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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:45 am

The Two Shuttles, Part I
Shortly after "Into the Nebula"
NGC-3814 Nebula
Authors: Captain Alenis Meru, Ensign Jessica White (played by Ronald Roberts), Lieutenant (JG) Arthur Reynolds, Lieutenant (JG) Tolaran Kian,



Inside the NGC-3814 nebula, the swirling gases and plasma storms hid a lot of things. Borg cubes, a transwarp gate, a unicomplex under construction, and an old Miranda class starship using dark energy technology to conceal itself. And, two inconspicuous asteroids, about the size of Type VII shuttles, floating slowly towards the Borg unicomplex and transwarp gate.

********************************
Shuttle 2:

With almost the entire windscreen of the shuttle covered in rocks, only a couple small slits and the external sensors and cameras gave the crew any visibility in front of them. Not that they could see too much through the thick fog and flashes of plasma anyways. Captain Alenis Meru was in the passenger seat, staring at the unicomplex and transwarp gate on the screen in front of her, and Ensign Jessica White, a new addition to the crew, was at the helm.

The captain had been watching over Ensign White as she flew the shuttle. As a new crew member pressed into service, she had to prove herself, and what better way than to take the Captain for a Sunday drive into a nebula teeming with Borg, with tricobalt charges in the trunk.

The whole flight Jessica had felt as though there was a rock in her stomach. She had just barely escaped with her life after facing down the infernal monsters with a perfectly intact shuttle just days ago. Now here she was flying a half-derelict shuttle right into the den of the beast. She had flown stripped down shuttles before, but not right off the dock and into potential combat. It was always away from combat. The voices around her seemed no more than buzzing. She was focused solely on keeping them all alive, keeping their flight as natural and unaided as possible. Be the asteroid. I am the asteroid. We are an asteroid.

"Lieutenant Reynolds, Lieutenant Kian, are the tricobalt charges ready?" asked the captain, making sure one last time that everything was in order before they engaged the Borg.

This had not been Arthur's first flight into the jaws of death, though he admittedly had no experience with the Borg. At most, he knew the occasional story meant to keep Starfleet cadets in line, but until all the research he committed to yesterday, he'd been in the dark about this age-old foe of the Federation. "Aye, captain." He carefully made a fourth deep-scan of the device while lying on the floor beneath it. He had to manually connect the new set of lockout pathways to the main core, but he was used to wiring bombs since his youth. "It's ready for a security code now, lieutenant," Arthur finally added for the security chief as he slid himself out from underneath it.

"Thank you, this won't take long" Tolaran took Arthur's place under the bombs and entered the security codes he'd programmed in that would hopefully block the Borg from stopping them detonating when they blow the charges. A few minutes later, he was done... "Captain, we're ready back here."

"Excellent. We just need to find a place to put these. Somewhere where they'll do as much damage as possible, really delay their construction." Alenis stroked her chin, deep in thought. "The energy this transwarp gate would require to operate must be huge. Is there a reactor or something like that we can sabotage?"

Arthur thought back to his classes on speculative warp mechanics at the Academy, but not much came of those. He never quite grasped any appreciation for the theoretical outside a casual interest due to his preference for more immediate, 'practical' concerns. "It's possible, but I don't think there's any guarantees. Voyager had to use several torpedoes to destroy the individual passages from the inside," he finally responded, recalling his more successful classes in History and Tactics. Though his expression didn't show a hint of embarrassment, his next few words suggested he felt otherwise. "If I didn't fall asleep in Theoretical Physics, I'd be able to give you a more concise answer, captain."

"Captain... the other shuttle should be able to help locate weak points in the structure with their scans, however we should also be able to investigate quietly from inside with little trouble as long as we don't do anything to make the Borg view us as a threat, once we get on board I have no doubt we'll be able to work on finding locations quite easily and in all fairness, we have come a long way since Voyager destroyed the installation they faced. I'm sure even with Arthur's sleeping in theoretical physics, we will be able to come up with something." Tolaran grinned at Arthur, trying to keep the mood light in the face of what was to come, however he knew there was a good chance that some of them may not be coming back from this mission if things didn't go to plan.

"All right." Alenis stared out at the unicomplex for a moment. To most people, the architecture of Borg ships and structures looked as though they were haphazardly thrown together, something a small child might build out of interlocking blocks. But the chaotic looking structures offered an insight into the psyche of the Borg. With no regard for aesthetics, everything was just thrown together in the most efficient manner possible. With many redundant systems, the Borg ships were like the collective themselves -- a unique mix of centralization and decentralization. "Lets follow the other shuttle for now, and as soon as they find a good target..."
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:47 am

The Two Shuttles, Part II
Shortly after "Into the Nebula"
NGC-3814 Nebula
Authors: Lieutenant (JG) Marcus Kallan, Ensign Kahnr Dai, Lieutenant Jason Beauvoir, Captain Alenis Meru


Shuttle 1:

Marcus was no pilot; he was certified, certainly, but he didn't have the knack for navigating in three dimensions. He sat at a side console, behind the seat of the copilot, setting up the programs that would run to do the first set of passive scans. It would be up to their findings, and the Captain's word, to switch to more active analysis. But they had to get closer, first, and that's what had Marcus sweating. He watched the distance measurement tick down slowly as the shuttles traveled inconspicuously closer. "Unimatrix, conduit, tactical analysis," he muttered as he configured, likely the order of the scans.

And they were getting closer. Every second that ticked by the shuttle continued in it's odd trajectory that would take them on a wide loop around the Borg. Kahnr had sent the shuttle into a slow spin around it's access, giving them a more natural, tumbling look as many asteroids had but it probably hadn't made the other occupants very happy. The inertial dampers had been set at the lowest margins possible for safety so with each somersault everyone within would feel it even if they didn't choose to watch the stomach twisting ride through the few gaps in the rocky facade around the viewports. "We're coming up on five-thousand kilometers...mark," Kahnr said cheerfully from the pilot's seat. He looked far too relaxed and happy for this. "How much closer do you want to get?"

"Well, Ensign, if you can see the whites of their optical implants, you're too close." Jason said trying to use humour to relieve some of the tension he felt being this close to a culture that was the personification of science gone to the extreme.

"Technically, their optic replacements wouldn't have an eye left," Marcus corrected while finishing his calibrations. "Yes, I know, I'm real fun at parties." Tapping the console, Marcus opened a link to the other shuttle. They used a very lossy short-wave radio communication technique that the Borg would dismiss -- at least initially -- as background noise. =/\= "Scan pattern Kallan-Alpha ready, Captain. We could bear to get a little closer but the more we scan the more information we'll get. Waiting on your call." =/\=

=/\="Get in as close as you can without being detected,"=/\= replied Alenis. =/\="There should be a central plexus in here somewhere; try to get a scan of that in addition to the transwarp gate.=/\="

"Not a problem!" Kahnr answered brightly. The tumbling shuttlecraft turned asteroid shifted its trajectory ever so slightly with a careful nudge from the pilot. Too quick maneuvers or sharp turns would completely destroy the ruse so he kept things smooth and subtle. "We should be within scanning range of the center of the complex in about two minutes. Let's just hope they don't blow up incoming asteroids huh?" Jason wasn't the only one trying to stay jovial.

"Actually, asteroids would just detonate harmlessly against whatever passes for Borg deflector arrays," said the Operations officer. "Scans are starting... data is coming in. It'll be a while until we get anything substantial, but... whoah." Marcus peered at his console. "No, this can't be right. Checking diagnostics." His fingers danced over the LCARS panels arranged in front of him.

Jason sat in the co-pilot’s seat. As the senior officer aboard he was technically in charge of the mission, but part of being a good leader was to let your crew do their jobs, so he'd been content to supervise. That was until Marcus’ exclamation. “Report, Mr Kallan.” He ordered, all joviality gone from his voice.

Marcus simultaneously displayed an LCARS-style data graph on top of the shuttle's main visual, as well as transmitted it to the other shuttle and opened a comm. "This is the dark matter energy signature that is currently being generated by the Portland. And this..." There was a brief pause as he tapped on his console and overlaid a nearly identical curve. "This is the energy reading I'm getting from the transwarp conduit, adjusted significantly for amplitude. This is precisely why Shras' equations are working better than simulated -- this nebula is choc full of exotic particles, and the Borg are harnessing them to create their own multiphasic lower-domain subspace manifold. They're going to be able to suck in cubes from the Delta Quadrant and then sling them anywhere into the Alpha Quadrant with little or no warning."

Marcus let that sink in before continuing. "And secondly, they probably have the technology to see the Portland. I don't know why they haven't acted against us yet. Unless they really don't see us as a threat, but we have knowledge of dark energy, so..." At that, the Operations officer scratched his head, nonplussed.

"Perhaps like Terran web-spinning arachnids, they are waiting for their prey to come to them." Jason suggested.

=/\=Portland One, what's going on over there?=/\= crackled Alenis' voice through the audio systems of the shuttle. =/\=I've got some strange energy readings here, and I can't make heads or tails of it.=/\=

=/\= "At the risk of Commander Shras' wrath and a blow to his ego, ma'am, the technology that we've got aboard the Portland matches what's on that transwarp aperture," =/\= Marcus relayed to the other shuttle. =/\= "And it's better. Refined. The Borg could deploy silently to anywhere in the Alpha Quadrant from this transwarp conduit." =/\=

Alenis gasped. The tactical implications of this could be massive. =/\=Relay this information to the Portland.=/\= She looked down at the sensor readings; the readings were definitely centralized in an area with the Borg equivalent of work bees -- nanoprobes ranging in size from small dogs to larger than a shuttle -- buzzing around a large structure. Glancing back at the explosives in the back, she nodded at Tolaran. =/\=We're going in with the charges.=/\=

Kahnr tapped a few controls, fired thrusters, and altered their asteroid's trajectory without waiting for orders. If the Borg were aware of the Portland then they would have seen the two shuttles launch as well. They were out here with stripped down systems, no shields, no weapons, and the other shuttle was going in to deploy a commando strike. To him that meant they needed to be to back them up. What luck, he thought and forced a smile back onto his face, that my first mission is likely to be my last. "I'm going to bring us a little closer, so maybe Kallan can learn some more," he said to Lieutenant Beauvoir. "And we'll be in range of the other shuttle in ten minutes, unless you want to go elsewhere."
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Tyrlai Zade
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:43 am

Motion in the Darkness
Shortly after "Into the Nebula"
USS Portland, Diplomatic Suite
Authors: Lt Commander Tyrlai Zade and Crewman Andrev Thosk


Reality was often a mixture of matter and perception.

Tyrlai sat at her desk on deck four watching the swirl of darkness enfolding the Portland as they waited in the nebula silently. She could see the darkness swirling, between the nebula outside and the viewport in her office. The darkness was backlit to a point by the less swirling clouds of the Nebula, as such it was easy to see the motion of the blackness.

When the blackness swirled inside blackness it was harder to sense the movement. If the darkness was ‘pure’ enough, there was no way to tell if it was moving at all.

Thosk stepped into her office, leaned in really, coming only minimally as close as he needed. “Why are you still here?”

Tyrlai pondered the darkness, how it curled inside the darkness and wondered. “What are you talking about?”

“There are Borg. Poised to eradicate us.”

“Yes there are.” She focused her gaze on her display and her attention to the corner of her eye and slipped into councilor mode. “How does that make you feel, mister Thosk?”

Thosk looked back moderately bewildered. “Usually when such things are happening you run headlong in to make things worse. Not that this new prudent approach isn’t somewhat of a relief, but still.”

Her eyes moved to where her cup sat at the corner of her desk. It was perched calmly and solidly on the desktop, as close to the corner as possible to qualify as perching and yet be entirely supported by the smooth and flat surface. She wondered again, how does one perceive motion in the absence of light?

“Well?”

“Well what, mister Thosk?”

Thosk huffed and stalked back with clicking footfalls across the corridor to where his desk sat in the corner of the otherwise empty diplomatic offices. There was some shuffling and then more clicking as he returned to her office, striding a few feet inside for emphasis.

“There is risk and danger and you aren’t taking part in any of it.” Thosk, who never seemed to cease pointing out when she took inordinante risks, seemed rather profoundly agitated now that she hadn’t.

Tyrlai stood and walked over to Thosk who took a careful pace back to make sure she didn’t put her hand on his shoulder or anything. Being comforted by Tyrlai was almost never comforting. “Tell me something, have you even been in a pitch black room and sworn you could see something move?”

Thosk's outward signs of agitation doubled as he looked over the woman he told everyone who would listen was insane, suddenly concerned that he had been underestimating the nature of that problem.

There was a sudden chiming crash as the mug hit the floor, breaking into three major pieces and clattering to a stop a few feet from the corner of Tyrlai’s desk. Tyrlai had a scanner in her hand faster than Thosk could remember to breathe and it whirred away chirping and beeping as she aimed it at the wall near where the mug had fallen. She paused at the readings and held the scanner out so Thosk could see. “What would you say that was?”

Thosk glared down at the display for a moment. “Nothing whatsoever.” He snapped back in a lucid and practical evaluation of the readings from the scanner.

A chill tickled the back of his neck as Tyrlai stepped over to the hull and ran her hand over its cool, slightly curving surface. Pausing to tap at it with a long violet lacquered nail. “Tell me, do you remember a scan ever reading nothing at all?”

Andrev Thosk paused only the slightest of moments and turned on his heel, departing quickly. “I will be working the balance of this shift from my quarters for personal reasons.”

Tyrlai nodded as he left and stared at the wall wondering if those scouting the Borg constructs squirreled away in the nebula were perhaps in the safer place.
Tyrlai Zade
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Alenis Meru
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:20 pm

The two shuttles, part III
Shortly after "Into the Nebula"
NGC-3814 Nebula
Authors: Ensign Jessica White (played by Ronald Roberts), Captain Alenis Meru, Lieutenant Brad Silverton, Lieutenant Jason Beauvoir, Lieutenant Marcus Kallan, Ensign Kahnr Dai


Shuttle 2

All Jessica could see was black and green and she would have been happy to never see those colors again. After a few seconds of spacing out in her view of space she shook her head a bit, gathering her bearings and quite possibly showing her extreme distaste for the situation they found themselves in. “Going in,” she spoke aloud as she adjusted the makeshift asteroid slowly to a new course. The idea of going anywhere near that damn thing was repulsive to her, but the thought of seeing it go up in a brilliant explosion almost made her giddy. It didn't take long to bring them in closer.

"There," called out Alenis, pointing towards a section of the facility still under construction. "They haven't put up the exterior plating yet, that looks like the dark energy reactor in there. Tolaran, arm the charges. Jessica, prepare to beam them inside, as close as we can get to the reactor core where they'll do the most damage."

“Yes, sir. Preparing to,” Jessica began before interrupting herself. She pecked away at her console for a few moments before letting coming to an unfortunate conclusion. “Uh, sir? I can't seem to get an accurate enough lock onto the structure. I'm getting a lot of interference here and I wouldn't be able to guarantee one hundred percent transference. We're gonna have to find another way.” It certainly wasn't good news and she hated to be the one to bring it to the captain.

Alenis sighed. "Well, we can't beam them in, and we can't fly in..." she looked over her shoulder at Tolaran and Arthur, but her eyes were drawn behind them was a compartment with the words "Survival Equipment. Emergency Use Only" written on it. That compartment would have everything a downed shuttle crew might need to survive a hostile environment -- rations, signal flares, emergency blankets and EVA suits. It gave her an idea.

"Doctor Silverton," started Alenis, formulating her plan in her head. "Please tell me your brought some anti-nausea medication."

"Yes of course Captain. That's a standard medication for an away mission." Brad tapped his hand on a case he brought. About ten pounds and two foot squared. It was far bigger than a standard away team mission emergency kit but this was far from a standard mission.

Medical staff didn't usually see action on an away mission but that was a good thing. Brad had hoped his role in this away mission would be boring but feared it would not. "Why exactly do you ask?" He looked at her with a puzzled expression not quite following whatever plan she had.

"I was just thinking that it might be a nice time for a little stroll," replied Alenis. "Lieutenants Reynolds, Kian, and Silverton, suit up. We've got a little delivery to make."

*********************************

Shuttle 1:

Jason took control of some of the sensors, sharing the work would half the time it took for them to complete their mission and return to the relative safety of the Portland. "Let's get this done, before the tin men awaken." He said.

"The moment they start arming those devices, Jason..." Marcus said sotto voce, as he transferred his scanning patterns to the other console so that his colleague didn't have to duplicate his work unnecessarily. "I'm working on an optimal pattern, at the same time trying to come up with a way to distract the Borg long enough for the arming." His brow was creased in thought. "Only thing I can think of is an illogical sacrifice and too large a risk."

"We are approaching transporter range of the other shuttle in three...two...one." Kahnr updated the others. "Engines at station keeping." Now with little for him to do than watch the navigational sensors it gave him more of a chance to talk to the others. "How you guys holding up? I hope you're not really thinking we're going to blow ourselves up or something."

"I can assure you, Ensign, I have no intention of blowing myself up. My daughter has already lost her mother, she's not going to lose me as well. I'm going to get back to her, even if I have to strangle every drone in that complex, with my bare hands in order to do that. " Jason said. After a moment he took a deep breath to calm himself. "I apologise for my outburst, I appear to be more on edge than I thought.

Kahnr bowed his head and offered a grin, "Not a problem, sir. I think we're all..." The pilot broke off, gazed at Marcus for a noticeable moment. He was obviously choosing his next words very carefully. Betazoids were usually honest, even brutally so, but he was making an effort to be both honest and gentle this time. "...feeling the strain of what this means for us. We're not going anywhere at the moment. What can I do to help?"

"Strain," Marcus muttered, looking over the numbers that were crunching on his screen. Disrupting the Borg or an armed firefight to distract them was out of the question. The odds were stacked against the Portland. "That might just work. Dai, you're a genius." He opened a channel. =/\= "Kallan to Portland. I need to talk to Lieutenant Sera and Commander Shras." =/\=
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:31 pm

A little stroll (Part I)
Shortly after "The two shuttles..."
NGC-3814 Nebula
Authors: Captain Alenis Meru, Lieutenant Brad Silverton, Lieutenant Arthur Reynolds, Lieutenant (JG) Tolaran Kian


Somewhere out on space...

Tolaran had gladly donned his EVA suit, there was always something about spacewalks he'd enjoyed at the Academy, they'd made them compulsory tactical training after the Enterprise E had fought off some Borg who'd been outside on the ships hull. The scary part was the big case he had strapped to his back containing three highly explosive devices, of course he'd volunteered to take them, it was his responsibility as the security officer. He turned awkwardly in his suit, seeing some green faces. "Just remember, if you're sick inside your suit, you are cleaning them out when we get back..."

"I think the good doctor's anti-nausea medication is working," replied Alenis. She had been space-sick during her zero gee qualifications back at the academy and hadn't been back since. Still, she knew that command is all about confidence, so she tried to hide it as best she could.

With Tolaran carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives and Arthur carrying the detonators, Alenis took on the role of carrying the line. A long, high-strength microfilament cable connected her to the shuttle and in turn she was tethered to the other three members of the away team. With the push of a button she could reel them back in if things got too hot. That said, the plan was to get in and get out without antagonizing the Borg by posing a threat until it was too late. "Doctor, I trust you can aim that thing with surgical precision if necessary," called out Alenis, glancing over at Brad who was staring down at his compression phaser rifle.

"Well I have to admit it has been awhile since my Starfleet Academy qualifying training Captain and my previous assignment was very uneventful combat wise but I'm up to the task." Brad replied to the Captain.

"I suppose that will have to do." Alenis took a deep breath as they passed through the opening in the side of the Borg structure. But as she did so, the all too familiar black and green structures caused her mind to drift elsewhere.

"We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

She was Lieutenant Alenis Meru, Chief Tactical Officer of the USS Gol again. The ill-fated vessel would be destroyed that day, out near New Algeirs. Sector 262 became the graveyard of thousands of good men, hundreds of them on the Gol itself. Alenis was lucky. She was one of the few to get off, and the highest ranking officer to survive the destruction of the Gol.

"No," called out Alenis. She clenched her teeth. Over three and a half years later, she was finally going to have her revenge. "Resistance is not futile."

"Sorry Captain, did you say something?" Tolaran could have sworn he'd heard the Captain say something about resistance and futile, he hoped that the Captain wasn't secretly hoping to assimilate her team and had been Borg the whole time, that would not be amusing. He thought he could feel a bead of sweat run down his forehead, it was that awful feeling whenever you wear a helmet and you know you can't touch your face, very frustrating.

"I'm fine," replied Alenis, shaking it off and glancing down at a small screen mounted on her wrist. "Straight ahead for about two hundred metres, then hang a left. Keep your weapons at the ready, but don't be pointing them around. I don't want our cybernetic friends to take notice."

"After all the times Starfleet infiltrated Borg ships, you'd think the Borg would consider us a threat whenever they detect us. For a species hell-bent on adapting, they're terribly inefficient at it." Arthur gripped his phaser a little more tightly and made doubly sure the detonators were secured to his waist. Unlike Tolaran, Arthur hated spacewalks - not because they gave him nausea, but simply because his quick reflexes were practically useless. Then again, he felt slightly sick to his stomach, though whether it was because of the lack of gravity or the thought of encountering the Borg, he couldn't say.

As they proceeded deeper into the Borg complex, Alenis began breathing heavier, drawing extra strain on her EV systems. She could hear the screams of the dying on the bridge of the Gol, and feel the sparks of exploding consoles on her skin. But she shook it aside as best she could and focused on the task at hand. Aside from a tense moment when a probe carrying a load of plating passed a little too close for comfort, the approach was as uneventful as sneaking into a Borg reactor core with hundreds of kilograms of explosives could be.

Hundreds of metres inside the facility and after rounding a couple corners, they found themselves face to face with the largest Dark Energy reactor any of them had ever seen. Inside a cavernous room, with worker drones and construction probes milling about, sat a large pill-shaped reactor, one the size of a ten story building. A tangle of hoses and conduits jutted out from every side of the reactor. Between the worker drones buzzing around and the lack of glow, it was clear that the reactor hadn't quite been completed yet. But it would be soon.

"Holy sh.... look at the size of that thing, this definitely beats anything we have Captain" Tolaran stopped in his tracks, looking up and up and up... the Borg were so beyond what they had on the Portland they wouldn't stand a chance if this got up and running fully, it made the things strapped to his back even more important now.

"There," said Alenis, pointing towards an opening in the exterior plating of the reactor. "That's neturonium-shielded; but if we place our delivery inside that hole, it should focus the blast towards the inside of the reactor and cause maximum damage."

Tolaran glanced towards where Alenis was pointing, it would be risky and the biggest concern was having the Borg show up before they could detonate. "We'll want to double check the shielding inside it Captain, but the theory is sound..."

"Let’s do this," replied the Captain as she activated her thrusters again and made a beeline for the reactor's vulnerable spot. "Eyes up. Keep your weapons at the ready, but don't make any sudden moves. We don't want to attract any attention."

To be continued...
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:34 pm

A little stroll (Part II)
Shortly after "The two shuttles..."
Borg unicomplex, NGC-3814 Nebula
Authors: Captain Alenis Meru, Lieutenant Brad Silverton, Lieutenant Arthur Reynolds, Lieutenant (JG) Tolaran Kian


Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...

"There," said Alenis, pointing towards an opening in the exterior plating of the reactor. "That's neturonium-shielded; but if we place our delivery inside that hole, it should focus the blast towards the inside of the reactor and cause maximum damage."

Tolaran glanced towards where Alenis was pointing, it would be risky and the biggest concern was having the Borg show up before they could detonate. "We'll want to double check the shielding inside it Captain, but the theory is sound..."

"Let’s do this," replied the Captain as she activated her thrusters again and made a beeline for the reactor's vulnerable spot. "Eyes up. Keep your weapons at the ready, but don't make any sudden moves. We don't want to attract any attention."


And now, the continuation...

Brad followed the Captain on towards the reactor. The realization of where they were had sunk in. Beyond the obvious of their physical location, deep inside a Borg complex, it was the situational location that bothered him. If anything went wrong they were hundreds of meters inside of Borg complex. Who knows how many hundreds of Borg could be between them and their exit. They had their plan and their mission however and the away team would perform well. As with all CMOs, Brad had reviewed the medical and service records of the crew. Let the others attend to leadership and the demolition needs of the mission. He had his own needs of the mission to attend to.

While Arthur concurred with the captain's analysis, he also made several observations himself. For one thing, if the neutronium shielding blocked access to the hole, they'd have to find a way around it; bar that, and they'd still have a small problem. "That could interfere with the subspace communicator. The device is rigged to explode with a timer, but if the Borg neutralize it, we won't be able to detonate it remotely."

"Aha, Arthur, we can use a trusty old method, a timer!" Tolaran had considered this previously and planned so had some interesting old technology made up that would also mean the Borg shouldn't be able to find the bombs so easily. He grinned through his helmet at the tactical officer, and tapped his bag of goodies that was strapped to his waist. "I figured we could try some old stuff, the Borg might not be able to locate them, but they might need backups... it's going to be all about luck here."

"That's perfect," replied Alenis, looking at the primitive mechanical spring-powered timer that Tolaran had brought. "No electronics, no radio signals... they might not even detect the detonator." Alenis' eyes darted back and forth, watching the drones and construction probes do their work. They hadn't taken notice yet, but...

As they arrived at the opening in the reactor shielding, Alenis grabbed onto a cable sticking out to steady herself. "Right in there," she said, motioning towards the opening in the shielding. "Brad, stand guard with me. Tolaran, Arthur, time to make the delivery. We want just long enough to get out of here without giving them a chance to disarm the thing. Four minutes okay?"

"Understood." Arthur took a deep breath before ducking under an overhang in order to get closer to the space Alenis wanted the bomb planted. "Lieutenant," he addressed the CSO as he got a better look at the surrounding circuitry. "How do you propose we plug a 20th century kitchen timer into an isolinear circuit board? The technology's over four centuries old." Despite having spent the better part of his life jury-rigging an old ship's systems with otherwise incompatible alien technology, he never touched anything quite as ancient.

Tolaran grinned, sometimes he liked to throw things out there and hoped for the best, in this case he was pretty damn sure it would work... "Well, that's the nifty bit that will confuse the Borg, whilst the timer is effectively ancient, I had the sense to create an adapter so really the timer is working but its relaying the countdown through a very minor electronic connection, it will also allow us to remote detonate if possible but the signal shouldn't give the Borg any real sense something is here, it should just fit with the background... well, at least that's the plan... you know how these things are.... no, help me get this in the hole."

With a skeptical, albeit interested, expression, Arthur helped secure the device in the opening with magnetic clamps. He made certain they stayed in place before stepping back and giving Tolaran some room. In the meantime, he removed the tricorder from his belt and began running scans.

"Thanks..." Tolaran moved into place, slowly swinging the bag off his back and removing the first device. "Check it over before we go..."

"I'm on it," was Arthur's brief response as he confirmed the remote frequency and the ionic charges running through the bomb's circuitry. When he stopped, he opened up a small panel on the side and indicated a spot where several circuit pathways merged. "Plug the adapter here. It's sensitive enough to respond to a minor charge, but not enough to detonate prematurely." As he made way for the CSO, he wondered half-jokingly, "If your hobby's making old detonators, remind me to keep you away from the torpedo bay, lieutenant."

Tolaran laughed, and looked at Arthur "There's an interesting story I will tell you later about my time at the Academy when we tasked with finding obscure ways to get out certain situations, it was at that point I learnt that whilst we are very technically advanced, sometimes the older stuff can still be just as effective..."

He turned back and attached the detonator to the circuitry Arthur had indicated, he then double checked the connections and checked the timer, making sure everything was ready to go.

With Arthur and Tolaran hard at work, Alenis scanned the chamber for Borg activity with her eyes. A few probes buzzed around, but it "So, Doctor, I bet when you were assigned to the Portland you didn't think you would be doing surgery on a Borg transwarp conduit, did you?"

Brad had been thinking about the Captain. When they first met she came in for a refill on her sleeping pill prescription. It was all she could do just to get a halfway decent night's sleep. PTSD from her battle with the Borg on the New Algiers. He hoped she was holding out ok.

"No not exactly what I had envisioned my assignment would be Captain. My first tour was aboard the Paul Revere and it was mundane and routine. Nearly bored me to death but that would be a terrible way for a doctor to die. Now on the Portland... well its been quite unusual to say the least from day one."

"The unusual is what we do," replied Alenis, flipping the sight of her compression rifle up and down. "We--"

She was cut off by a Borg probe appearing directly in front of her and Brad. "Stay calm, no sudden movements," she said, clutching her compression phaser rifle tightly. Out of one of the arms of the probe, a scanning beam was projected, the horizontal beam moving up and down, scanning first Brad and then Alenis.

The scanning beam. To Alenis, it looked just like the tractor beam that had captured the Gol only moments before its destruction. Shaking in her magnetic boots, she gritted her teeth and stared up at the probe, clutching her rifle tightly and ready to bring it to bear at a moment's notice.

Suddenly, the probe spun around and pointed another arm at Alenis. Ducking just in time, when she looked up, she could see two assimilation tubules jammed into the neutronium plating behind her. "Fire!" she shouted, bringing her rifle to bear and blasting away at the probe.

To be continued...
Capt. Alenis Meru
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:35 pm

A little stroll (Part III)
Shortly after "The two shuttles..."
Borg unicomplex, NGC-3814 Nebula
Authors: Captain Alenis Meru, Lieutenant Brad Silverton, Lieutenant Arthur Reynolds, Lieutenant (JG) Tolaran Kian


Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...

"The unusual is what we do," replied Alenis, flipping the sight of her compression rifle up and down. "We--"

She was cut off by a Borg probe appearing directly in front of her and Brad. "Stay calm, no sudden movements," she said, clutching her compression phaser rifle tightly. Out of one of the arms of the probe, a scanning beam was projected, the horizontal beam moving up and down, scanning first Brad and then Alenis.

The scanning beam. To Alenis, it looked just like the tractor beam that had captured the Gol only moments before its destruction. Shaking in her magnetic boots, she gritted her teeth and stared up at the probe, clutching her rifle tightly and ready to bring it to bear at a moment's notice.

Suddenly, the probe spun around and pointed another arm at Alenis. Ducking just in time, when she looked up, she could see two assimilation tubules jammed into the neutronium plating behind her. "Fire!" she shouted, bringing her rifle to bear and blasting away at the probe.


And now, the continuation...

The combined compression phaser blasts from her and the doctor made short work of the probe, but had definitely alerted the Borg. The activity inside the chamber picked up and focused intently on the infiltrators. "Kian, Reynolds, please tell me you're ready to go!" shouted Alenis.

"Oh your kidding me!!!" Tolaran growled out a response they wouldn't have long before the rest of the Borg turned up "Arthur, quickly, enter your activation sequence and lets lock this down, hopefully the Borg will be too busy trying to get us that they will miss this rammed down a hole!"

Without having to be asked, Arthur had already begun sending his temporary activation code to the tricobalt device the moment he heard the quiet humming of the probe nearby. Once he was finished, he quickly gave Tolaran a nod to indicate they were ready to activate the timer.

He twisted the timer for the detonator and then sealed the unit, this would make things difficult for anyone to access the timer and the display on the front began to countdown...

"We're done Captain, as best as we can be given the circumstances anyway!" Yelled Tolaran, sweat beginning to run down down his forehead, they could die right here and that was something he did not want to happen.

"Good enough for me!" With that, Alenis pressed a couple buttons on her wrist, telling the winch to pull them back towards the shuttle as fast as possible. "Hold on tight, and watch for obstacles!" she added as the four Portland crewmen were yanked back in the direction they came. "Ensign White, prepare to get us out of here!"

Grabbing the tether with one hand to steady herself, Alenis glanced over her shoulder to see the other three trailing behind her. With the other hand, she clutched her compression rifle and took aim at an approaching probe. She fired, but attempting to shoot a compression rifle with one hand, even in zero gravity, her shots went wide.

After one last check, Arthur ducked out from the crevice and grabbed his phaser. Before he could even remove it from his holster, however, a drone stepped around the corner and nearly collided with him. If it wasn't for the countless years he spent learning to fight and survive, he wouldn't have been able to recover and dodge the Borg's attempt to assimilate him. From even a cursory glance, he realized any attempt at hand-to-hand fighting with something covered in so much metal would be an exercise in futility, so instead of engaging the drone, he tried to put some distance between himself and it. "We've got company!"

Tolaran had pulled his phaser free and saw two tubes shoot out at Arthur who dodged it, seemingly effortlessly in space... zero g combat training at thee academy was definitely paying off today for them he raised his phaser but had to wait, the drone was directly behind Arthur and he couldn't shoot until he moved "ARTHUR, DODGE RIGHT" he yelled hoping that Arthur would move in time as he fired, the beam passed through space towards the drone, and Arthur...

Perhaps it was the adrenaline, or perhaps Arthur stubbornly defied his own fears of fighting in zero gravity, but either way, he just so happened to be fast enough not only to dodge the drone, but also respond in time to Tolaran's warning. With his back now up against the relay, he let out a grunt and looked at Tolaran with an incredulous look. "Thanks." That being said, no matter how insincere it sounded, Arthur pushed off the hull towards his crewmates while facing and aiming in the opposite direction. In one careful and sustained shot, he sealed the hatch the drone had emerged from.

"You're welcome..." Tolaran turned back around and followed the Captain, it was either shoot the Borg and let Arthur died and once they were through this he'd better buy him a drink at least...

Accelerating towards the probe which was blocking their exit, Alenis clutched her rifle tightly. With the probe blocking the only way out, for a brief instant, Alenis knew that unless some miracle happened, this was it. The Borg would finish what they had started at New Algiers. On her waist was a photon grenade; she wouldn't let them take her alive. If she was about to be assimilated, she would pull the pin and spit her last breath at them.

But then, an opportunity presented itself in the form of Newton's third law. The probe had an exposed tank of high pressure gas to power its pneumatic construction tools. Alenis took careful aim and fired a few shots, one of which pierced the tank, sending the escaping gas spraying out into space and sending the probe spiralling out of the way. Releasing her rifle, she tapped a few buttons on the control panel on her wrist, activating her thrusters. She was accelerating towards the exit with the other three in tow, and without some careful application of thrust, they would find themselves slammed against a wall or some other obstruction.

"Activate thrusters!" she shouted, dodging a beam jutting across the opening as she flew by.

Training or not, Arthur wasn't particularly a natural at operating a standard space suit. He fumbled with the wrist control for a moment before following Alenis, though he had to make far more corrections to adjust for inertia, causing him to lag behind somewhat. His inability to control his own suit for such quick maneuvers which didn't involve using his own muscles meant that as soon as the Borg tried to prevent their escape with any cutting beams or forcefields, Arthur would most likely be in trouble. His jagged course didn't help matters either.

Tolaran activated his thrusters, pulling his arms tightly into his sides as he saw Arthur trying to get his own suit under control, it was never easy but he was sure he'd be fine, he looked ahead and sped up to reach the Captain, following closely behind her, for a moment he stared out at the vastness of space and could quite happily have forgotten that behind them was a very angry hive or Borg...

Brad fired and dropped another Borg drone that had gotten too close to the others. Luckily, Federation technology had come a long way in combating the Borg but soon they would adapt and be unstoppable. They were Borg after all. Its what they did. He hated killing even if it was the Borg. It seemed so contradictory to his role as doctor. But he was also a Starfleet officer. Sworn to protect the Federation. If the away team failed here, there was no telling what the Borg would do to millions of others. All these thoughts went through Brad's mind but he never hesitated in firing for a second.

Finally, Alenis could see the the swirling gases of the nebula ahead -- her literal and metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel. But a probe was moving to block her path. "Hold on tight!" she shouted as she tapped a couple buttons on her arm, dumping all her remaining fuel into her thrusters, giving her one last burst of speed as she pulled her senior officers to freedom.
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:43 pm

Overload, Part I
NGC-3814 Nebula
During and after "A little stroll"
Authors: Lt. (JG) Marcus Kallan, Ensign Kahnr Dai, Captain Alenis Meru, Lieutenant (JG) Sera Williams, Shras th'Karath (played by Alenis Meru)

Shuttle 1:

While Kallan worked on the distraction he'd mentioned, hopefully coming up with something other than the idea that would get them all blown to atoms, Kahnr had been quietly watching the sensors. There were not many of them to begin with and this close to all the exotic energy that was being generated by the Borg's transwarp hub it made his screen flicker with static and interference. Everything had been quiet out there. Too quiet. Kahnr had caught the signals of the commando team moving towards the complex but lost them as soon as they made contact. Life signs and comm badges were too weak for him to pick up at this distance.

"They'll be fine," Kahnr announced, cheerily, to the other men on board. It was hard to appear relaxed though with his face nearly glued to the flickering monitor, eyes intent on any sort of signal. Minutes went by and a drop of sweat worked it's way down in between the pilot's shoulder blades. Then- "I'm picking up something," he announced, sounding hesitant at first but growing more confident, and more worried, as he went on. "There's weapons fire onboard the complex!" That was an energy pattern strong enough to register. "Maybe now would be a good time to, I dunno, make the Borg look the other way?"

"Increased activity on Borg subspace frequencies," Marcus said, intently studying his sensor readouts. Glancing over to the other officers, he said, "The Borg are mobilizing." He opened a comm. =/\= "Kallan to Portland. Get ready, Sera." =/\=

*********************************

As soon as she was inside the shuttle, Alenis was popping off her helmet and barking out orders. "Get us out of here, Ensign!" she shouted as she made a beeline for the co-pilot's seat and opened up a channel to the other shuttle. "Ensign Dai, abort and return to the Portland, NOW!"

However, as the shuttle pulled away from the unicomplex, it suddenly slammed to a halt. Out of the windshield, Alenis could see a green glow, one that she had seen before - on the USS Gol. They were trapped, in the clutches of a Borg sphere...

*********************************

USS Portland:

Sera had been monitoring the group's progress from the Engineering station on the Bridge. Shras had only reminded Tim around a thousand times about how important the Dark Energy experiment was. When Marcus' voice came over the comm, Sera took a look at the situation. The two shuttles were too far for the Portland to use a tractor beam and just about any conventional method would be too slow or wouldn't allow the Portland to escape.

With a last look at the technical readouts of all of the Portland's systems mixed with all of the meetings with the other departments about the nebula's makeup, Sera knew what had to be done. She stood from her seat as she muttered, "I... have... a plan." She looked hurriedly at Commander Rouse, "Commander, keep the shuttle doors open and be ready to get out of here when the shuttles are aboard. I'll be in Engineering." Almost pausing mid-stride, Sera added, "I'm not going to lose the Captain a second time."

"Wait, what are you..." Shras paused mid-sentence. "No! I protest! This is too risky, and you'll burn out--"

Despite the Andorian's protest, Sera barely gave him a look as she said, "I have to do this." Fortunately for Sera, the Miranda's were rather small vessels and the turbolift trip to Engineering was a short one. As she stepped through the doors, she ordered, "Dark Energy crew, evacuate Engineering. This is not a drill!"
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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:06 am

Overload, Part I
NGC-3814 Nebula
During and after "A little stroll"
Authors: Lt. (JG) Marcus Kallan, Ensign Kahnr Dai, Captain Alenis Meru, Lieutenant (JG) Sera Williams, Shras th'Karath (played by Alenis Meru)

Shuttle 1:

While Kallan worked on the distraction he'd mentioned, hopefully coming up with something other than the idea that would get them all blown to atoms, Kahnr had been quietly watching the sensors. There were not many of them to begin with and this close to all the exotic energy that was being generated by the Borg's transwarp hub it made his screen flicker with static and interference. Everything had been quiet out there. Too quiet. Kahnr had caught the signals of the commando team moving towards the complex but lost them as soon as they made contact. Life signs and comm badges were too weak for him to pick up at this distance.

"They'll be fine," Kahnr announced, cheerily, to the other men on board. It was hard to appear relaxed though with his face nearly glued to the flickering monitor, eyes intent on any sort of signal. Minutes went by and a drop of sweat worked it's way down in between the pilot's shoulder blades. Then- "I'm picking up something," he announced, sounding hesitant at first but growing more confident, and more worried, as he went on. "There's weapons fire onboard the complex!" That was an energy pattern strong enough to register. "Maybe now would be a good time to, I dunno, make the Borg look the other way?"

"Increased activity on Borg subspace frequencies," Marcus said, intently studying his sensor readouts. Glancing over to the other officers, he said, "The Borg are mobilizing." He opened a comm. =/\= "Kallan to Portland. Get ready, Sera." =/\=

*********************************

As soon as she was inside the shuttle, Alenis was popping off her helmet and barking out orders. "Get us out of here, Ensign!" she shouted as she made a beeline for the co-pilot's seat and opened up a channel to the other shuttle. "Ensign Dai, abort and return to the Portland, NOW!"

However, as the shuttle pulled away from the unicomplex, it suddenly slammed to a halt. Out of the windshield, Alenis could see a green glow, one that she had seen before - on the USS Gol. They were trapped, in the clutches of a Borg sphere...

*********************************

USS Portland:

Sera had been monitoring the group's progress from the Engineering station on the Bridge. Shras had only reminded Tim around a thousand times about how important the Dark Energy experiment was. When Marcus' voice came over the comm, Sera took a look at the situation. The two shuttles were too far for the Portland to use a tractor beam and just about any conventional method would be too slow or wouldn't allow the Portland to escape.

With a last look at the technical readouts of all of the Portland's systems mixed with all of the meetings with the other departments about the nebula's makeup, Sera knew what had to be done. She stood from her seat as she muttered, "I... have... a plan." She looked hurriedly at Commander Rouse, "Commander, keep the shuttle doors open and be ready to get out of here when the shuttles are aboard. I'll be in Engineering." Almost pausing mid-stride, Sera added, "I'm not going to lose the Captain a second time."

"Wait, what are you..." Shras paused mid-sentence. "No! I protest! This is too risky, and you'll burn out--"

Despite the Andorian's protest, Sera barely gave him a look as she said, "I have to do this." Fortunately for Sera, the Miranda's were rather small vessels and the turbolift trip to Engineering was a short one. As she stepped through the doors, she ordered, "Dark Energy crew, evacuate Engineering. This is not a drill!"

To be continued...
Capt. Alenis Meru
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USS Portland

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Re: Mission Five: "Unto the Breach"

Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:10 am

Overload, Part II
NGC-3814 Nebula
During and after "A little stroll"
Authors: Lt. (JG) Sera Williams, Ensign Ronald Roberts, Ensign Nikki Barclay (played by Alenis Meru)


Last time, on Star Trek: Portland...

Despite the Andorian's protest, Sera barely gave him a look as she said, "I have to do this." Fortunately for Sera, the Miranda's were rather small vessels and the turbolift trip to Engineering was a short one. As she stepped through the doors, she ordered, "Dark Energy crew, evacuate Engineering. This is not a drill!"

And now, the continuation...

As Shras' crew made filed out of Engineering, some grumbling and others happy to be given a break, Sera walked swiftly through the partition. Once through the hatch, which was made a bit stronger after the brawl from a week ago, the Chief Engineer sealed the hatch behind her. She walked slowly up to the Dark Energy Reactor's main console, going over her plan one last time, checking it for errors. Her fingers began to dance on the console as she input commands.

She focused the reactor's field towards the Borg conduit. This would have the effect of putting strain on the background dark matter that wove through the nebula. That strain would have a destabilizing effect on small areas of subspace, cause energy discharges, micro-explosions, and other problems that would shift the Borg's attention off the shuttles and onto more pressing matters, like keeping their complex together. A side effect would be that the reactor itself would come under the same types of stress, which would have an unknown effect on this side of the partition.

Ron had been torn between the dual duties of helping monitor all the systems running on the Portland and actually getting his knowledge up to date in regards to the charming bucket of bolts he now called home. Fortunately Ron was rather fond of buckets of bolts as they held endless possibilities within, but he was not prepared for the possibility of imminent catastrophe. And that's just what seemed to happen when the east side of the wall started to light up like 1962. The techs had left the area and now suddenly the chief engineer had started something... very interesting? Ron ran over to get a look beyond the wall and could do no more than watch in fascination as the event unfolded.

"Sera!" shouted Nikki, as she ran over towards the petition and banged on the hatch. "What are you doing?!"

"I'm saving the ship," Sera shouted towrads the hatch as if she had to yell through the wall itself. She input the last few commands to put her plan into action. As soon as the console beeped it's affirmitive of her command, the computer's voice began, "Warning: Destabilization of subspace could result. Warning: Evacuate the experimental chamber."

The Dark Energy Reactor began to glow a bit more purple. Small energy arcs began to come off the reactor. On the Borg conduit, the reactions would be much worse, causing damage and explosions as subspace began to be stressed. On the ship, the reactions were a bit more subdued, but still dangerous. Sera couldn't risk opening the hatch to Main Engineering. If an energy arc was sent toward the Warp Core, the Portland would be destroyed.

Sera walked toward the hatch viewport, looking Nikki and Ron in the eyes, "Put the emergency shielding around the Warp Core. As soon as the two shuttle are onboard, use the console by the hatch to pull the Dark Energy to the Warp Core. After a few seconds in Warp, cut the power to the Dark Energy Reactor. If you wait too long, we will have a cascade failure that will breach the Core."

“Got it,” Ron answered with a nod before quickly moving to Engineering's main control, leaving the more human aspects of the situation to Nikki. He always felt quite awkward when lives where on the line, which now seemed to be the case. The comforting and the worrying would be left in more capable hands.

"Sera, what are you doing?!" exclaimed Nikki, frozen at the viewport. "The radiation... it's too dangerous! Who knows what it might do to you?!"

"I have to Nikki," Sera started, "it's this or the ship gets blown up or assimilated." As long as the strain on subspace didn't cause an energy discharge in this chamber, she'd be ok. She'd just have to hold on for another couple of minutes.

"No, Sera!" exclaimed Nikki, unable to pry herself from the viewport. "There has to be another way! Get out of there!"

While Nikki set to doing her job Ron quickly focused on the more pressing matters assigned by their chief engineer. In moments the emergency shielding was brought up around the Portland's warp core. =^= “Ensign Roberts to shuttlebay. I need you to notify me when we have our shuttles back. Helm; On my order you will go to warp and then cut out on my order. After that, with any luck, we'll see if we're still in one piece.” =^= And now the waiting game starts, he finished in anxious thought.

Sera jumped back to the Dark Energy Reactor's main console. She tapped out a few more commands, sequencing the final chain of events that would allow the shuttle crew to return and the Portland to escape unharmed. As she tapped the "Execute" button, the hair on the back of her neck started to stand up with the energy in the room. A few energy discharges sparked across the room, making it appear almost like a early 20th Century tesla coil from Earth.

All Nikki could do was bang on the viewport and sob as the radiation levels in the chamber rose.
Capt. Alenis Meru
Commanding Officer
USS Portland

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