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Fight for the Flight Deck

Posted on 04 Dec 2019 @ 3:21pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Ensign Quinn Mackie & Lieutenant Commander Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant JG Ian Beckett & Staff Warrant Officer William Griffin

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Deck 12
Timeline: MD15 || 1825 hours

Harvey quickly slipped out of a Jefferies Tube and waved a phaser around wherever he could see. It had taken him and the Boreriri fifteen minutes to make the climb down to the Flight Deck from Sickbay, and along the way, they had enlisted four uninfected security, and two uninfected pilots. Based on the reports from the pilots, something weird had gone down in the Flight Deck, leaving Harvey to suspect that it was completely controlled by the Dolmoqour.

The clock was ticking, and with over one hundred more parasites to track down, Harvey had a feeling he was about to hit the motherlode.

Elsewhere on the flight deck, at the Boreriri's order, Ensign Quinn and Lieutenant Beckett had been ordered to the Flight Deck to assist wherever possible. "Who's in charge down here?" Quinn called out, walking towards a cluster of yellow-collared maintenance personnel.

"I am," Griffin's mouth replied, frowning at the appearance of the two new faces. The Dolmoqour struggled to put names to the faces, the host's memory was fuzzy and fragmented. The only reliable information was procedural and, as far as it could tell, literally everything there was to know about fighters and small craft. It had no idea if these two were allies or had yet to be turned - caution was called for. "What do you need?"

"We must prepare for an evacuation," Quinn stated plainly. "Captain Geisler made it back aboard the ship, and he means to make sure we don't leave the zone. He even engaged the auto destruct. What spacecraft do you have left for us to use?"

By the tone and the vocabulary, the Dolmoqour within Griffin surmised that Quinn was indeed one of his own people. "How was Geisler allowed to come aboard!?" The Dolmoqour demanded, utilizing the chief's gravelly booming voice to full effect, "he should have been destroyed long before he reached the ship - or taken as soon as he appeared." The calamity which had occurred, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, was painfully apparent. The incompetence needed to allow such failure was staggering. But the situation was as it was and all there was to do was continue to act. The chief's body turned, surveying the room and collecting the information from the maintenance engineer's brain. "There is a runabout, two type-11 shuttles and three type-8 shuttles - the other small craft are not capable of warp and are thus unable to escape the zone under their own power. Together, they can carry... sixty of us, but the chances of us escaping in such light craft are... less than acceptable."

Quinn practically growled. Sixty was a mere half of the Dolmoqour aboard, and even that was not even a consolation prize compared to the Black Hawk and its entire complement of over seven hundred souls. "What about the fighters? How many of the pilots are with us?"

"Nineteen," the Dolmoqour in Griffin replied, frowning. Against the Guardians, fighters would be of little use in protecting the weak and slow shuttles. "The entire flight, bar two who are, as far as I know, missing. How do you expect fighters will help us?"

"If there's any chance of sticking an extra person in the cabin," Quinn supposed, "then we could get more of our brethren off the ship. In the worst case, we can simply discard the hosts and carry the Dolmoqour on our skin. Even then, our convoy will still need all of the protection it can get."

Griffin's head shook, "there's an extra seat on each fighter, but that's only nineteen seats. Carrying more of our brethren would be the more logical choice. However... I don't know that the fighters will be of much use. They will certainly give us some protection, but against the Guardian vessels... No, I believe our best chance is to find and turn Captain Geisler before the ship is destroyed."

Quinn shook his head. "Carmichael's claimed the Captain, but it's possible he's headed here already. He'll try to stop us from leaving the ship. How much of your maintenance crew is ours? And what of the ones who aren't?"

"There's twenty three here, the others... To be frank, I'm not sure - I've only recently inhabited this body. But I believe they're locked up somewhere on the ship."

"Good." Quinn started to look around the Flight Deck and spotted several of the shuttles that Griffin had mentioned. "We'll need to start prep on the shuttles right away. As long as the unconverted are locked away, they'll pose no threat."

Griffin's head nodded once, then the Dolmoqour put the big man's powerful voice to use once more. "Support craft engineers!" He boomed, his gravel-filled voice easily carrying across the cavernous space. "Anyone who's host has experience with shuttles, begin prepping the type 11 and type 8 shuttles for immediate launch, essential preparation only."

The twenty engineers and support craft specialists all began moving towards the shuttles and Griffin turned back to Quinn. "We will prepare the runabout. Follow me."

Not far from Griffin's and Quinn's position, Harvey and his rag-tag team hid behind a few stacked barrels. He peered out cautiously from behind the barrels and did his best to overhear the conversation, which was rather muffled. All that he could make out was the mention of his last name, and he knew that couldn't be good.

"Ensign," Harvey whispered, glancing to his left where one of the security officers was standing by for orders. "Take a look out there. Tell me what you see."

The Brikarian officer, a hulking Ensign that looked a lot like The Thing, stepped forward with a Type III phaser cradled in his massive arm. "Got it, Sir," he rumbled like a rockslide before he armed the phaser and lowered himself down in a crouch and peeped around the corner. "I see an Ensign and a really big humanoid talking," he replied softly. "Want me to take them out?"

"Not yet," Harvey whispered. "There should be up to a hundred people on this flight deck. Do you see any of them?"

"Twenty, maybe twenty-five," the Brikar rumbled. "I could set my phaser to wide beam and sweep the room, but these things are hard to put down. I shot one on setting three and it seemed to shake it off."

Harvey winced. They were outnumbered three to one. The moment they opened fire, it wouldn't take long for them to be outflanked, surrounded, and captured. "The flight deck's too large for wide beams to be effective," he remarked. "We're going to have to split up, try and box them in."

"What if we take out the two talking?" the Security man asked. "They seem to be in charge. Take off the heads and the bodies will fall."

Petty Officer 1st class T'len was in hiding. The vulcan ground crew engineer was cautious. Though young for a vulcan, barely an adult, she knew enough to be suspicious of the recent oddities. She just had to neck pinch someone who really wanted to get their hand near her ear. Now she hunched behind a portable repair cart, trying to get the lay of the land, her back to the bulkhead.

"We're not killing anyone," Harvey shot back. "These people are our shipmates, our friends. We've got to give them every chance to be saved." He turned to look back at the assembled party. "Be ready to open fire on my signal. I'll create a diversion to allow you all to strike from behind."

Without waiting for a response, the Captain peeked out to make sure he was clear. Satisfied, he remained crouched as he quietly dashed out from behind the barrels and made for one of the Type-15 shuttlepods tucked into a standby gangway nearby.

"I wasn't..." The Brikar started to protest, then grabbed the disc gun and prepared to fire the moment that the Captain caused the distraction.

The Captain made his way to the Type-15. He'd almost reached it when the deck suddenly lurched, likely from the battle that the Black Hawk was still facing. Harvey lost his footing and found himself toppling a nearby tool chest, loudly scattering its innards all over the deck.

If it had been Griffin at the helm, the lurch would have swayed him, his knees would have bent and he might have taken a single step to counterbalance, but the Dolmoqour had no such muscle memory and the big Chief staggered to the side, shoulder thumping into a repair platform just as behind him there was a crash of falling tools. His head spun and Griffin's eyes widened.

"Geisler!" The roar would have made the fabled Leonidas proud as the Dolmoqour put Griffin's impressive voice to maximum use. The Dolmoqour saw a chance - if it could get the huge Chief's hands around the captain's throat it was sure it could easily end the man. It would be small recompense for the failure to capture the Black Hawk, but it would be something. Griffin's shoulder pushed off from the corner of the repair platform and then he was running, as fast as his bulk could move, towards the captain.

Ensign Mackie, surprised at the roar, turned around to see the Captain try to pick himself up and flee the incoming mountain of a Warrant Officer. "Get him!" Quinn roared, pointing a finger in Harvey's direction, sending a handful of reinforcements to back up Griffin. Six deck officers took off in a sprint, and two of them were already armed with phasers, ready to take down the man who threatened them all.

For a moment T'len was rocked with indecision her mind tried to moved swiftly as she regained her footing. She did not believe the Captain was a traitor and evidence led her to believe in the logic that something was very wrong with certain crew. So she made her decision. There was no time for her to get a phaser and if she just ran out there they'd shoot her. Her eyes locked on the still nearby portable repair cart with its tools and a plan borne of a lack of time to properly plan took form, up she popped. She grabbed the heavy duty and weighty metal cart and began to run, the wheeled cart picking up speed pushed by a Vulcan at full tilt right at Griffin as she tried to use it for portable cover at the same time even as a distant part of her mind observed this was incredibly unwise.

Whatever plan the Captain or the Dolmqour controlled personnel had went out the window when the Captain knocked over the tool chest and surprised the Brikar even more when the Vulcan suddenly sprinted past him with a cart towards the giant of a man he had planned on taking on. He turned his attention to the Security personnel and saw they were too far for the disc gun, so he grabbed his Type III phaser, put it on Setting Three and began firing at their legs from his position behind a container box full of parts.

Harvey looked up to see the charging personnel, especially the burly Warrant Officer Griffin. One glance at the zeal in the man's eyes told him that the man was not in control of his own body, and that Harvey's life wasn't just in danger--it would end if he was caught. Harvey stood up and started to flee, but not before squeezing off a couple quick shots from his phaser.

The cover fire from the Brikar's position helped to confuse the possessed deck crew, as did the Vulcan's engineer's surprising charge. Other Dolmoqour began to fire in the Vulcan's unprotected direction, hoping to down her with their phasers. The six that charged behind Griffin were quickly routed as two were hit by the Brikar's fire. One of those were downed quickly, but the other caught the phaser blast in his calf and simply lost his footing. From his downed position, he began to fire upon the Brikar's position.

T'len jerked her left foot as a shot so close she felt the heat slammed into the deck where a millisecond before her leg had been. She saw the Captain stand and return fire in the direction of Griffin, she now also saw another officer firing at the ones who were running towards the Captain. She was pleased because she had no zig zag ability with this giant metal toolbox on wheels and so was forced to bank to shift position as she did so now that the Captain had back up, as she thought to interfere with the reinforcements. And to be honest she couldn't have kept up in that direct without getting hit, not once they got her range.

Her banking turn put her on track nearest Quinn and the officers near him, so she grabbed the long handled hydrowrench from it's place on top and let go. It barreled toward them as she dove aiming for behind a nearby fighter.

Though Quinn was armed with a phaser, the Vulcan was extremely close to him. He had to act fast or otherwise suffer a blow from the hydrowrench. The poor host would feel the pain, but the Dolmoqour inside would be able to work past that. He pointed his phaser at the Vulcan and prepared to fire as she was almost on top of him.

T'len moved swiftly, knowing her only chance lie in getting in before he fired. She aimed the wrench at the arm holding the phaser, shifting her body to drop her other hand on his neck in the classic pinch style, intending to drop him that way if she could.

Quinn pressed the trigger, but he was too late. The phaser lance went wide; its high setting leaving a scorched line in the deck plating. Internally, the real Quinn screamed, which was a typical human reaction when a limb was unexpectedly broken. The parasite, however, didn't feel the pain, and remained focused on the Vulcan's attack. Quinn shifted his body to avoid the nerve pinch. With his good hand, he reached up to catch her hand, displaying to her the strength a Dolmoqour could muster where a human could not.

One eyebrow briefly went up on T'len's face. At the very least he should have been distracted by the pain in his arm. Vulcans could bring a fair amount of strength to whatever they chose to do. They were too close for further action with the Hydrowrench to be useful as she could not get a proper swing going so she dropped it to free her other hand, nor did she have time to go for the now dropped phaser. She didn't have time to move her other hand however, as her moment of surprise caused her to hesitate just enough and he did catch the one hand that had been going for his neck with an powerful grip she had not been expecting. Her eyes locked on his for just a moment before, with a mental regret for the violence, she slammed her head into his. She needed to disorientate him enough to go for the phaser near her feet and reset it for stun.

Quinn seemed unphased by the impact. He squeezed and twisted the hand he still held, hoping to break it. "Vulcans," he spat. "What a useless race." To further demonstrate his own strength, he slammed his head into hers, splitting his right eyebrow and drawing his own blood in the process.

T'len was familiar with a human expression, 'ring your bell'. In that case if one is hit sufficiently they may think they hear a ringing in their head and be somewhat disorientated. She'd not actually gotten the phrase as a life example before. A bruise was going to appear later and there was a moment while she refocused, "By whose definition?" she replied, more of an auto reflex than because she needed to know just then. Though to be fair she was wondering just what going on with this officer he didn't seem to feel pain as she tried to free her wrist.

"Mine," Quinn uttered through gritted teeth, continuing to twist the Vulcan's hand. He head butted her again, hoping this time she'd fall to the ground and be out of the fight.

T'len's wrist got a hairline fracture, not that she knew that she just knew a rather intensive amount of pain was suddenly reverberating down her own arm. She had no time to appreciate the symmetry of his left arm broken and the effect he had on her right arm as he slammed his head into her own. He didn't seem to suffer the same effects as a normal human would upon such an action but even T'len was not immune to multiple full force hits to her head. And the third time, as humans say, is the charm. Her vision blurred and she slipped to the deck, briefly dazed.

Quinn grinned, the Dolmoqour pleased with his display of strength. But the phaser fire elsewhere now distracted him. Broken arm or not, he needed to assist his brethren. Ignoring the Vulcan's collapsed form, he turned to bark directions at the maintenance crew to flank the Captain's ragtag security force.

T'len could feel the blessed dark promising ease if she would rest and it took her a precious few seconds to fight back the darkness threatening to obscure her vision completely. She fought that off, knowing her duty to life and the ship, and so she held on the consciousness she so desperately needed. She caught sight of Quinn’s back now toward her and she noted the sheer arrogance such a stance exuded as she did a quick internal inventory of injury and her surroundings. She caught sight, though somewhat still blurred, of the phaser tantalizing close to her unhurt hand.

She didn’t question but quickly grabbed it and thumbed it to max stun, noting previously the damage to the deck was not done by a weapon on a safe setting, firing as quickly as she could manage at the center mass of his back from her position on the deck.

Quinn gasped as his body unnaturally arched upon impact from the phaser blast. The real Quinn had lost consciousness during the fight, but the energy burst disrupted the host's nervous system, releasing the parasite's control over the host's body. Quinn slumped to the floor as even the parasite lost its grip on consciousness.

T'len kept focus on him for a moment more to make sure he was indeed unconscious. Satisfied she carefully stood, her equilibrium a bit sensitive. Her one arm throbbing and she tried to ignore it, glancing around as she brought the injured arm close to her body. Then quickly as she could manage she made her way around the back of the chaos, looking for a good shot at the crew Quinn had been yelling orders at. She poked out from behind another craft and fired.

Ian had pretty much kept his opinions to himself during this whole exchange. He'd played duck-and-cover a time or two until an idea hit him. Or rather, the Dolmoquor pulled it from his mind. Some kind of a force field or site to site transport of Geisler to a more manageable place on the flight deck. He then ran to a nearby console and was about to reconfigure it when he stopped dead. "What the hell happened here?" he mumbled to himself. He ran his fingers over it several times and slammed it with his fist. It was going to take longer than he had to fix the mistakes all over this thing. "Some people," he continued to murmur, "some people." He decided to pull his phaser out and start shooting like most everyone else seemed to be doing. And his first victim was the console.

Ian sat quietly in the back of his mind. He'd given up screaming long ago. He'd given up trying get control. He'd given up trying to talk the parasite out of it all. He'd just given up. This whole thing was too much like what he'd experienced on the Chimera. No one knew who to trust. No one knew what was happening. Everyone said that everyone else was lying. It was like the Consortium take-over all over again. He sighed and watched his hand take aim at his fellow crew members.

The Brikar officer rolled to the left twice and fired several more times, then leapt to his feet and began to move as fast as his oversized body could move. He pumped his legs as he ran, crouching, jumping over obstacles in his way and firing at anything that wasn't the Captain or the Vulcan that had came out of nowhere to join in. His object was the big Engineer and he wasn't going to stop until they collided.

Griffin's body wasn't fast enough, and Harvey had gotten to a position where advancing on him would be deadly. The chief slowed slightly as the Dolmoquor decided what to do, and then noticed the rhythmic vibration in the deck plates just in time to turn into a wall of Brikar. Had it been Griffin in command of his faculties, he would have used the huge officer's weight and momentum to power a standing hip throw, but the inexperienced Dolmoquor instead dropped a shoulder and the two met in a near head-on collision.

The Brikar slammed into Griffin and it was like a shockwave passed from the point and shook both of the massive men.

Griffin was an easy contender for being one of the largest and strongest humans in Starfleet. Even past his prime he was a monstrous example of the species and against almost any other member of the crew he would have been at least even terms, but against a Brikar's natural defenses and immense strength, it was no competition - when the two collided Griffin's shoulder twisted the wrong way and he was thrown backwards several meters, only stopping when he collided with the shuttle behind him.

Not stopping, the Brikar made two three fingered fists and closed the distance to where Griffin was against the shuttle and began to swing his heavy stone-like fists into the other man's torso.

It took the Dolmoquor within Griffin very little time at all to realize that the body it had occupied was simply not going to survive this encounter. Nothing in the host's memories provided a solution adequately effective to escape the pummeling the body was taking. There was also a strange sense of dark satisfaction coming from the host's trapped psyche - it wanted to be killed in this manner, rather than continue existing in it's current state.

It felt first the left and then the right arm, raised to block the unbelievably powerful attacks coming from the Brikar officer, snap under the hammer blows of it's fists - the pain was blinding, almost so that for a moment it lost grip on the host.

"Pu..." was all Griffin managed, suddenly free of the iron grip of whatever the hell entity had taken his body hostage before it clamped down again and he was thrust into the passenger seat again. The Dolmoquor reasserted itself anew and began kicking at the inside of the Brikar's right knee, hoping against hope to find some kind of weakness.

The sound of the snap of the human's arm sickened the Brikar, and the powerful kick to his right knee made him start to go down on it. Before he did, though, he grabbed the human with both hands and fell backwards as he heaved with his strength to fling the big human over him to the flight deck.

Griffin's captor had no choice but to allow the throw, having mostly useless arms made it impossible to grapple, but from the depths of the host's memory came a concept, an idea. As the body landed on the deck with a breath-stealing thud, he rolled over and wrapped his legs around the Brikar's right arm and stony neck, locking his left foot behind his right knee and squeezing, for all he could manage in a classic sankaku-jime figure-four chokehold.

"Someone...shoot...him!" the Brikar grunted. He brought his left arm up and grabbed the ankle on the other side of his neck and started to squeeze and pull as hard as he could.

Griffin snarled as the Dolmoquor resisted the pain in his ankle and continued squeezing. The power in the Brikar's hands was immense, it felt like a workbee was latched on to Griffin's ankle and was simultaneously crushing it and ripping it off.

By now, Captain Geisler had recovered from his unexpected fall. He stood alone, and unprotected, near the Type-15 pod, and he saw that four of the maintenance crew were still advancing on him, and that Lieutenant Beckett was about to provide cover fire. Harvey took in a deep breath as he quickly came up with an attack plan. His thumbs blindly set his phaser on setting three, wide dispersal. The range wouldn't be far, but it would be enough to knock back the force that was bearing down on him.

Harvey waited until the opportune moment. When it came, he fired from the hip. Three of the four were struck by the beam; the fourth had been shielded by the angle provided by one of the others. But, he was not as fortunate as he thought he was as the crewman was the first to receive a disc to his neck. A wave of electricity overwhelmed him, and he collapsed to the ground in a convulsing heap. Harvey reset his phaser for a narrow beam as he disc'ed the other three and began to aim at Beckett.

Ian turned to see that Harvey was starting to take aim at him. The only thing that the Dolmoquor could find in the Ops officer's mind was something about a zig-zag escape from cover to cover. Ian began performing the prescribed escape, hiding behind whatever container he could find all the while firing in Harvey's general direction. If he could get to the other side of the runabout, maybe he could provide enough of a distraction that someone else could get close to him.

Harvey took cover of his own, taking note of Ian's evasive pattern. He could tell that the Dolmoqour knew his position was indefensible and was seeking a better position, but Harvey had to cut him off before he got there. Guessing that Beckett was making for the runabout, Harvey increased his phaser to setting ten and fired at the bussard collector. The blast wasn't strong enough to destroy it, but it was enough to puncture the housing and release some of the hot gases it contained. If one got even just close to the runabout, they'd suffer third-degree burns.

When the gases started escaping at a pressurized velocity, Ian stumbled back and fell on the deck. He was close enough to be caught off guard and suffer first degree burns. The pain was difficult, but it was nothing that the Dolmoquor couldn't handle. Ian's body, unfortunately, was gasping for air as it had been knocked out of him and was seared red with the possibility of blisters. Ian grasped for the phaser that had fallen out of his hand, but to no avail. His face had taken a portion of the vented gases and his eyes were closed to deal with the disruption to skin. He got his breath back and crawled up to his hands and knees. "Geisler!" he screamed. He crawled around the deck for a few seconds and found the phaser. "As soon as I can see you, you're going to eat deck plating!"

Part of the Captain felt for Ian, seeing how Harvey had been functioning for the last couple of hours only with one eye. Alas, the lieutenant was still infected, and that infection needed to be dealt with first. Harvey abandoned his hiding spot in order to get a clear line of sight on the burned transporter chief. The Captain raised his disc gun and fired, landing the disc on the man's upper back.

After the extreme shock wore off, Ian rolled over and saw the thing that had inhabited his brain. He shuddered and pounded it with his fist repeatedly. If he didn't know any better, he'd swear he was projecting his anger with the Consortium onto the Dolmoquor as he smashed it into the deck plating. He finally got to the point to where he could stand but could barely see when he opened his eyes. It was only a small slit but it was enough to find the runabout he'd been heading to earlier and lean against it. "A doctor, a doctor, my kingdom for a doctor," he mumbled as the pain was finally starting to set in.

Harvey couldn't wait for Ian to collect himself. After all, there were still more than a dozen Dolmoqour on the flight deck, and they kept a fairly good spread of cover fire going. At least they were concentrating on Harvey's security team and firing away from where others were struggling. He passed by Quinn's stunned form and planted one of the discs on the ensign's body. The downed six maintenance workers who charged at Harvey earlier each received a disc as well. Harvey left their bodies to writhe under the electric shock and expel their parasites. Finally, he approached the mountain of a maintenance chief who was locked in a painful struggle with the Brikar. Unsure how well a single disc would work on the taller and stockier Griffin, Harvey fired his disc shooter twice, landing both discs on Griffin's chest.

"Buuaaargh!" The shock of the discs forcing electricity through his nervous system was agony to rival his injuries and the Chief convulsed, his grip on the big Brikar officer momentarily tightening as his muscles contracted. Only a moment later, a moment that felt like it lasted an age, Griffin found himself swimming back up into active consciousness, taking control of his own battered body as the dying Dolmoqour parasite slid out of his ear.

The first thing that Griffin did was loosen his grip, releasing the clamp he had on the other officer and letting his legs go limp. The second thing he did was slump backwards to lie flat on the deck and try to manage the pain in his ribs, head, legs and most noticeably his two broken arms. The third thing was to emphatically smush the already dead Dolmoqour parasite with the back of his head. It was only then that he turned his head to look at the Brikar officer, "Damn," he growled through clenched teeth, "you pack a helluva punch, big guy. Ya don't happen to have a medkit handy?"

"Closest one is in that shuttle over there," Harvey noted, gesturing to a nearby Type-8. A couple phaser blasts zipped past him as the remaining Dolmoqour began to realize what was transpiring. "This way," he said, waving both the Brikar and Griffin to the nearby ramp for cover. He fired once with his own phaser to provide suppressing fire.

The Brikar picked Griffin up carefully, not that it mattered how careful he was with the other man's broken bones which he regretted immensely, but he wasn't given much choice. He nodded at the Captain and moved for cover as fast as he could go while carrying the huge Engineer.

Griffin had braced himself for pain when he saw what the Brikar was doing, but one could never truly be ready for the kind of pain that comes with broken bones and it was all he could do to limit his verbal output to a hiss of pain, his face paled and his vision seemed to narrow to a black and white tunnel.

Finally free. T'len saw the small group with the Captain and hide behind another tool box, unsure if she could make the run or cover their exit from the craft. She chose to cover and kept her eyes open, looking for potential threats.

The last few minutes had Ian working through the pain as best as he could. There was more at stake here than just him, more that needed to be done. He'd finally gotten his eyes to the point to where he could open them fully and saw that that things were starting to shift. He lowered the phaser setting to three and found a different position behind a Gryphon that was opened up for maintenance. From his spot, he saw two people running towards some commotion. He aimed and open fire on both of them. It took four shots for him to drop both of them; which led him to believe they were infected as he had been. "Two more down and I'd better find another place to hide," he said to himself. "Who knows if the others will come around next. Best to keep them guessing, I suppose." With that, he scanned the Flight Deck for another 'throw away' position.

Harvey peeked out of the ramp, having to slip out enough for his good eye to catch those across the flight deck. A phaser blast shot past the shuttle, narrowly missing the Captain. He waved an arm at the security group behind cover. As soon as one locked eyes with him, he signaled them to press the attack. Time was running out to overpower the dozen or so remaining Dolmoqour.

The Brikar laid Griffin down gently. "Sorry," he said and meant it before he noticed that others seemed to be free. "Security formation fourteen echo!" He bellowed. Yes, the possessed Security personnel would know what that meant when they accessed the host memories, but that would take time.

The freed Security people immediately fanned out while moving and started running in a circular pattern around the flight deck and firing their phasers on setting three at anything waist level, causing a lot of confusion as to who was firing or where it was coming from.

The Brikar grabbed his disc gun and took aim, wishing it had a greater range. "Time to shoot fish in a barrel," he said even though he didn't know why people would do that. Humans were strange. He jumped out from behind cover and charged, hoping his thick skin and natural toughness would protect him until he could take a few down. As soon as he got in range, he started firing disc after disc while bellowing like a gladiator going into his final fight.

"What the hell?" Harvey mumbled, watching the Brikar act like he was Superman. If the ensign was trying to draw their fire, he certainly was. The remaining Dolmoqour, five by Harvey's count, focused their fire on the Brikar. It did not last much longer as the remainder of the security forces came from behind to take down the rest.

After minutes of phaser fire, an eerie silence gripped the Flight Deck. Harvey cautiously stepped out of the shuttle to survey the situation. "Is that everyone?" he asked aloud.

After helping take out the remaining T'len stood and came out of hiding, one arm still held close to her body. "Uncertain Sir." She replied, looking around, "Seems likely."

"I'm sorry to break this to you all," Harvey told the group that was assembling, certain that his own disfigured face gave everyone the impression that things were far from good at this moment of time, "but we can't rest yet. Internal sensors and communications are out, and there's at least ninety of those parasites left on this ship. I need to be able to communicate with the rest of those who aren't infected. Can we reconfigure that runabout over there into some sort of comm center?"

T'len thought a moment, "Possible Sir." she replied her mind working, "It would take time however. We can also use their internal sensors to give us a snapshot of the ship and surrounding space as well Sir." She glanced at the other engineers and ground crew she could see for further input as another officer came up with med kit to help her arm, intended to see to the rest of the injured or wounded.

Ian had made it up to the group just in time to catch the beginning of the Captain's statement. He thought for a second after the Vulcan made her case. "There might be something to using the Euphrates' sensors. We might even be able to use the transporters to get our people where we need them. But as for it taking time to reconfigure it to a comm center, I'm not too sure. While it's essential functions are tied into the Black Hawk's computer, it was still designed to operate on it's own. With some Engineering and Ops and ingenuity, we could probably set up a bypass. I mean, we ,are on the Flight Deck after all...tools and such. And if worse comes to worse, we could use one of the communications probes on board." Taking a page from an old book, "Ten minutes tops. The only problem I can see though, is keeping the Dolmoquor on the Bridge from trying to get back in the runabout's systems."

The Brikar had taken a lot of damage, but he had also taken on a lot of Dolmoqour and emptied his disc gun. He lay on the flight deck, his uniform smoking, but one three fingered hand twitched and a pained sound came from him.

On the floor of the type-8 shuttle, Griffin's vision had returned to normal - he had found a position on his back that wasn't complete agony, though the broken bones still hurt. He stared longingly at the medkit, within reach but so far away. An experimental attempt to get the damn thing himself with his broken arm had not gone well, so he had resigned himself to lying as still as he could until someone found the time to treat his wounds.

"T'len and Beckett," Harvey stated, "get to it. You've got 3 minutes to get comms up."

Her arm taken care of, she nodded. Rather curious about the entire situation but inclined to focus on the priority of the communications.

Ian nodded. "Aye, Captain. We'll have it done in three minutes. Come on, Petty Officer, we have some work to do." He started off towards the Euphrates and picked up a took kit on his way.

"Aye Sir" She replied following, hoping when it was a better time they might be filled in on what just happened. First things first however, there was work to be done.

"Gather the wounded," Harvey then ordered a nearby security officer. "Then find where the rest of the deck crew is being held and make sure they're clear of the parasites."

"Aye, Sir," a Petty Officer in Security gold responded as he took control of the other Security personnel and began to fan out. They stopped at each body to make sure it had a disc on it and no slimy Dolmoqour still lived. Each room was checked and when they came to the Flight Briefing room, a brief firefight was engaged and quickly put down and each of the remaining deck personnel didn't get a choice if they wanted a disc or not until they were all cleared.

The Captain may have been out of practice, but he was still the most qualified medic on the flight deck. Well, he was the only former medic with enough knowledge of first aid and triage. "Let's take a look at those arms," he told Griffin as he grabbed a nearby medkit and withdrew the medical tricorder. Both of the broken arms showed up immediately, and a quick rummage through the medkit revealed that it was short a protoplaser. "We're going to have to make some splints," he told Griffin, withdrawing the hypospray. He set it for 20 cc's of Neurozine and pressed it against the larger man's neck. "That should help with the pain."

A Lieutenant JG Bolian in a torn red collar uniform who looked like he'd been badly beaten came to the runabout a few minutes later. "Captain, all flight deck personnel have been accounted for," he said through a busted lip, then blinked at the sight of the Captain.

Harvey ripped off on of the sleeves of his uniform jacket. He figured with his face already being disfigured, little else mattered about his appearance. Harvey started to bind Griffin's arms to the elongated pieces of metal in order to keep the arms from further damaging themselves. As he did, he replied to the Bolian in red, "What's the total casualties?"

"Oh, yeah..." Griffin groaned in thanks as the neurozine worked it's way through his system, rapidly dulling the pain in his arms to a dull ache and entirely masking the other pains throughout his body. The big chief studied the captain's face, it looked like the man had been to hell and back and Griffin had a moment to wonder what the hell had happened before Harvey lifted his arms and began binding them to metal struts, which he recognized as support struts for reinforcing fighter engines. Twinges of sharp pain shot anew though his system, but the pain was manageable with the nerve-dulling drug and he managed with nothing but a grimace and a murmured "damn."

"Out of one hundred personnel, about twenty were Dolmoqour," the Bolian responded. "The rest are still fighters outside of the ship."

"Let's use the shuttle and runabout transporters to send the wounded to sickbay," Harvey instructed. "That includes you, Mister Griffin." He then shouted out of the shuttle hatch, "Where's the communications?"

"I might be able to help with the comms, cap'n." Griffin responded, it was a halfhearted offer made out of his sense of duty rather than any actual willingness to do anything but lie down and sleep, and drink a whole bottle of something strong to wash away the nightmare he'd just been through.

"In your condition?" Harvey asked Griffin. He didn't doubt the man's resolve, nor his willingness to see situations through, but there had to be limits to everyone. "Normally, I'd refuse and send you straight to sickbay, but I'm running around freeing crew all the while looking like a pirate. Thanks to you and that Brikar ensign, I've got to get a new jacket too. All right, go help them. But once that's up, you're going to sickbay."

"Aye sir," Griffin replied, an almost automated response as he wrapped his head around the idea of actually getting up and going to work. He ran the gamut of disappointment, a small wave of anger and then settled on weary resolve. With a grunt, he heaved himself upwards, using what remained of his core strength and his shoulder up against the bulkhead to haul himself to his feet, and then set off to see what verbal assistance he could give to the people working on comms.

Harvey turned to the Bolian. "Gather the security teams. Commission some of the deck crew to guard this deck, have the rest clean up and prepare for the fighters to be recalled."

"Yes, Captain," the Bolian said and turned to talk to one of the Security personnel and started pointing out all the exits and entrances to the flight deck. Six of them were put on duty to wait for the fighters to recall, settled down behind crates of parts and prepared their phasers.

It took Griffin a moment to figure out that the sensor work was in the runabout Euphrates and he shuffled his way over, wishing he had just gone to sickbay without argument and trying to ignore the throb coming from his limbs. He stepped into the hatch of the runabout and inquired, "how's it coming?"

"Not bad. Should have it in about a minute," Ian called out. "Got shocked a few times, but such is life in Operations. Especially when you're in a hurry." He hadn't bothered to pull his head out from under the main console but recognized the voice of the large Staff Warrant Officer. "Care to give it a once over before we start it up?"

Griffin looked at the way Ian was bent under the console, it didn't take a genius to figure out that he'd have a damn hard time getting down there to look and an even harder time getting back up again. He sighed heavily, wondering anew why he didn't just go to the damn sickbay and let himself sink to his knees. "Sure, lieutenant. I can give it a visual."

Ian twisted and crawled out from under the main console. But when he saw Griffin's condition..."Holy crap. I didn't realize you had been bound. You don't have to worry about getting any further down here. I'd hate for something to slip. Maybe just a general look?"

"Yeah," Griffin grumbled a reply. He leaned forward, his already battered core muscles complaining as he put the weight of his upper body on them. The chief grunted as he twisted his head, trying to get an angle where he wasn't falling over and could see under the console. "Dammit."

T'len continued working at her part aware of the oddity of two persons who, until recently had been trying to kill the Captain, whatever had occupied them seemed gone now after the shock. She glanced over, "Perhaps I could be of assistance?" She offered politely.

"Dammit," The chief grunted again as he hauled himself upwards, giving up on getting any kind of visual on the innards of the console. "I can't see under there, you don't have a mirror, do ya?"

T'len nodded and pulled out a small hand held mirror, it was a low tech tool engineers often used to check nooks and crannies. She handed it to the Chief politely.

"Uh..." Griffin looked at the mirror, then back at T'len, then back at the mirror, trying to figure out what she wanted him to do. His arms, bound up in splints, were useless and short of taking the mirror in his teeth, which he briefly considered, there wasn't much of anything he could do but stare at it. "Uh," he repeated, wondering at a Vulcan having a spectacular failure of logic, "arms?"

T'len blinked, perhaps that third time hitting her head was having an effect. "Apologies, Chief. I still seem to be somewhat disorientated. I will visit sickbay as soon as I am free here." She carefully angled the mirror, shifting position so she was nearer to him and could gauge the visual. She paused glancing over to see if he felt it needed to be further adjusted as they continued to work.

Ian couldn't help but chuckle a little at the whole exchange.

While the technical team continued to work, Harvey left the runabout to survey those who were still unconscious, scanning each with a medical tricorder as he did. When he got to Ensign Mackie, he paused. The kid was laying on his stomach, slumped in an unnatural position, and a crispy parasite barely hanging out of his ear. His uniform was singed by the phaser blast that downed him. He could detect a concussion, a broken arm, and a lot more.

Harvey looked up at several of the hovering maintenance crew who had previously been locked in a room. "This one needs to get to sickbay!" he shouted at them, waving them over. Two humans, both crewmen, dashed over to lift Quinn's form, taking heed to the Captain's advice on carrying the broken body. It wasn't long before they disappeared into the back of a Type-6 shuttlecraft and beamed to the medical complex.

"Okay...I think this should do it, then," said Ian. "Petty Officer T'len, Warrant Officer Griffin, if you two would care to do the honors of powering up our makeshift comm center and monitoring it?" Like many instances before, there was no time to test their work around and connections to the communications probe on board. This would be another cold test straight outta Starfleet.

"Aye sir," the chief moved over to the console and sat his bulk down on the chair. All he could do was monitor and report, but at least it was something useful.

T'len nodded and went to her station prepared to power up the connection. It should work but they'd no time to test.

"Lieutenant Beckett to Captain Geisler, if you can hear me and respond, then we have temporary communications."

Harvey, halfway across the flight deck by now continuing to check on wounded, heard the familiar chirp of the combadge. He never thought he'd be so glad to hear that sound. He mustered half a smile and tapped his badge. "Geisler here. Good work, team. Let's start getting the wounded to sickbay using the transporters. I'll be right over to start checking on the other teams."

"Understood. Beckett out." He ended the communication and moved to the runabout's transporter to get it ready. "A transport chief's work is never done," he chuckled.

Griffin tried, on impulse, to raise his right hand and winced in pain instead. "I guess I'm goin' to sickbay now, if ya wanna give me a ride, sir."

"It'd be my genuine pleasure, Warrant Officer," said Ian. "Let's get you there and get you to fixed up. Whenever you're ready..."

"Get me outta here, lieutenant." Griffin gave the word, he was more than ready to be done.

Ian activated the controls and watched the Warrant Officer disappear in a hue of blue-ish light. "Next."

Several of the wounded, including the valiant Brikar ensign, were collected and brought to the transporter. Harvey, before ducking into the communications center, visually surveyed the Flight Deck with his one good eye. So much destruction, so much betrayal. He was no longer worried about freeing the Black Hawk. He was worried now what it would take to heal this crew, and the army of counselors it would take to do it.

 

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