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Posted on 04 Sep 2015 @ 12:12pm by Commander C. Kos & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Answers
Location: Nestene IX
Timeline: MD 9

The benefit of having a small colony was that the tunnels themselves were not lengthy, despite the near-complete darkness that made it difficult to navigate. Alice had watched as the Syndicate had confiscated the Away Team's gear, so there was nary a light source they could use to illuminate this passage. Fortunately, after just a few minutes of cautious traveling and nearly slipping into a couple holes, she could finally make out a bit of illumination ahead, likely from a damaged door that would be their exit.

"This should be it," she said in a low voice to the Starfleet team. She listened intently for a moment and didn't hear any voices. "Above us is a storage room," she told them. Alice didn't take the time to explain the tunnel was placed here to move supplies between the two buildings. She'd thought it was fairly obvious and with time not being on their side, now was not appropriate for such exposition. "Just outside it is a hall, and then the communications center."

"Does the communications center work?" asked Jayla. And suddenly regretted it. She hadn't been paying attention to much of what had been going on because she'd been looking for a means of escape and then, when escape was evident, she had begun watching for anyone who might see them.

Good question Doctor, Kos thought.

"The equipment is antiquated," Alice answered, choosing to look past the obviousness of the question. "And it takes two to run it. The Syndicate installed some newer gear, but if they left our original technology intact, we should be able to access several shortwave frequencies."

"We don't know what's happened to our runabout. We might be able to contact the Tigris and get beamed out. It's safer than trying to raise the Black Hawk."

"It'll take someone on the other end for it to work as this equipment is far below anyone's standards, even the Dominion," Alice warned Kos. "Unless you left someone on your precious Tigris, which I highly doubt, you won't get far."

"I heard you the first time Ms. Carter," Mac responded, slightly annoyed by the woman's abrasive manner. "I'm an engineer. I'll make it work."

"Reza, take point. Walsh, Braxus, bring up the rear. Let's go."

Kos pushed the door open and Reza exited into the storage room. Mac tapped Perei on the shoulder, signalling her to follow the Security Chief. Perei was followed by Alice Carter. Mackenzie herself entered the storage room next. A short moment later, Kij left the tunnel, followed in short succession by Walsh and Braxus. Reza moved towards the door leading to the hallway. Before the 1/2 Lagashi woman even touched the door handle, it swing open, surprising the away team. The three men that entered the room were armed. Reza reacted quickly, delivering a leg-sweep to the first Syndicate goon and then pouncing on the downed man.

Alice, having grabbed a broomstick from the storage room, attacked the second goon, striking him first in the knee, then landing a heavy blow to his chest, knocking the wind from his lungs.

It had been a long time since the former Marine had seen ground action...and it felt good. While the goon Alice had just attacked was gasping for air, Terry used the opportunity to get behind him and initiate a full SFMC choke hold on him. The adrenaline rushed through his body and his grip grew tighter. Then...snap. The Syndicate member’s body went limp and Terry let it fall at his feet.

Mackenzie watched the scene play out in front of her. Her eyes darted around looking for something she could use as a weapon. Taking hold of a metal tool case, she swung it in the direction of the third attacker, who sidestepped the object and leveled his pistol at her. Before Mac could respond, Braxus jumped at the hefty Syndicate strongman. The engineer landed a solid punch on the larger man, dazing him momentarily. Mac, having regained her balance after her failed attack, attempted to join the melee. The Syndicate heavy, who was of a species Kos didn't recognize, pushed her and she tumbled into a stack of storage crates. Braxus, to his credit, had managed to keep up with the bigger man, until the goon hit the Ensign with a stiff knee in the stomach. Before Mac could react, Braxus was lifted up by the attacker and dropped, forcefully, back first, across the alien's knee. Mac froze in place as the she heard the crunch from Braxus' spine.

"Noooo!" she shouted as she rushed the Syndicate muscle. Blinded by her rage, she lost conscious control of her actions. She repeatedly rammed her fists and knees into the torso of the brute. She didn't feel the pain from the retaliatory strikes.

Suddenly, the man froze, a look of pain and confusion on his face. He turned his head to glance over his shoulder. It was only then that Mackenzie saw that Lieutenant Reza standing behind the goon, a bloody knife in her hand. The Syndicate guard collapsed to the floor. Reza smiled and nodded to Kos. Regaining control of her rage, Mac returned the nod only to be horrified with a large metal rod pierced Reza's chest. The first guard, who Reza had tackled, had managed to go back on the attack.

Terry knelt down to the dead guard at his feet and quickly shuffled through his clothes. He found a pistol, stood up, and took aim at the guard. “Go ahead, give me a reason,” he said.

Jayla looked around frantically for something to use as a weapon, but came up empty. With no other options, she dove for the legs of one of the guards, but came up short. Instead, she grabbed hold of his ankles and yanked with all of her might. If she failed to pull him off balance, at least she might distract him long enough for someone to take control.

As the last guard fell to the floor, Alice used the broomstick to deliver a solid blow to his head, rendering him unconscious. Though the last surviving male still held the stolen pistol at the body, Alice chose not to deliver an apologetic look. The visitors had lost two of their colleagues, but Alice had lost most of her family and loved ones to this Syndicate. To her, this was personal.

That was why she, without hesitation, delivered a fatal blow to the unconscious guard. "Come on," Alice said, nodding her head towards the communication center. "We don't have much time."

Terry smirked. She was a good fighter and able to utilize whatever she could find. She’d probably had to do stuff like that for years, though. Necessity is the mother of invention, but even more so when your life is on the line. With that in mind, he grabbed one of the other pistols from a dead guard and shoved it into the back of his waistband. The other, he held on to. With no phasers, no chance of finding them immediately, and two personnel down, he wasn’t going anywhere unarmed.

Alice deliberately took point, keeping the bloodied broomstick as she led the reduced team further down the corridor. It wasn't long before they reached the closed door of the communications center. She pressed her ear up to the door to listen, hoping to pick up some workable information.

She gasped.

"He's in there..." she whispered, quickly controlling her expressions.

Mackenzie looked at Walsh. With Reza dead, Walsh was the closest thing to a security officer they had. He was also the only one with energy weapons. "You grabbed two pistols, Lieutenant?"

“Sure did, Commander,” replied Terry. He was glad that he had picked up the other one.

"Give me one."

Walsh turned around the one he had been carrying and handed it to the Commander. He then pulled the extra energy pistol from his waistband.

Taking the proffered weapon, Kos directed Kij and Perei to stay behind cover. She was about to tell Alice the same thing when the door swung open and the Syndicate leader stepped into the hallway. He was surprised to find the Black Hawk's away team standing there. He quickly reached for a weapon in his holster.

"Don't do it!" Kos warned him, aiming her captured pistol on the man. "I will shoot you."

"No you won't," he retorted. "Your people are weak. You are afraid to fight. Always trying to talk..." His sentence was interrupted by the sound of Kos' pistol firing.

"I told you I would shoot you," she said flatly. "Drop your weapon or I'll do it again," she challenged him.

The injured Syndicate officer looked at her, trying to size her up. His eyes darted around the hallway, spending some time on Walsh and the pistol he was aiming at their captor. Thinking that his odds of survival weren't very high, he released his grip on his own sidearm. "I relent."

"A good idea," Mac said flatly. Secretly, she wanted to release her anger about Reza and Braxus by killing their new captive. "Keep an eye on him Walsh," she directed. "I'm going to contact the Tigris."

Mackenzie walked into the communications room and motioned for Alice to accompany her. "I might need your help."


It took her longer than she thought it would to get the antiquated equipment working, but she did. "15 minutes isn't too bad," she said aloud, knowing that no one was likely listening to her. With the system operating, she used it to contact the Tigris. She was able to get the computer to activate the transporter system.

"Stand by for transport everybody," she called out. "Walsh, you and our guest are going first. Then, Doctor, you and Lieutenant Perei. Alice and I will follow." She triggered the Tigris' transporter and watched as Walsh and their captive dematerialized. After several seconds, she activated it again and the two women in blue collared uniforms disappeared. Finally, she triggered the system again, this time feeling the tingling of the transporter herself.

Once on the Tigris, Kos dropped into the co-pilot seat and locked onto the bodies of Braxus and Reza. She beamed them directly into the status units in the port, midships module. "Walsh, secure our guest in the starboard hold."

“Right away.” He then turned his attention to their guest. “You heard the lady. Starboard hold.” Terry knew that the injured Syndicate officer would have no idea where their hold was, so he directed him. Terry activated the force field after the man was settled. “Now, no noise-making. I’m pretty sure that the Commander still has that weapon.” He left the man to his own thoughts and headed back to the front.

"Doctor, Lieutenant, take Alice to the rear compartment and help get her settled."

Alice hoped that this wasn't another round of captivity for her. That thought didn't last long before she began thinking of the remainder of her people still on the surface. Hopefully, there'd be a way to pull them out once this team regrouped with their mothership.

Jayla nodded and smiled wearily at Alice. "Come on," she said. "There's a medkit back there. I can make sure you haven't suffered any ill effects while stuck on that planet."

Activating the Tigris' engines, Kos began to lift the runabout off of the ground. The vessel was well into the atmosphere when Walsh returned.

“Hey, look at that. Not a bad take-off, Commander. Not bad at all,” Terry said, smiling. “We’ll make a pilot out of you yet.”

"I'll leave the flying to you Lieutenant."

“Not a problem.” Terry waited for the Commander to get up and then he slid into the helm’s chair. “As much as I enjoy a good hand-to-hand combat match, nothing beats flying.” The light blue and clouds of the planet’s atmosphere gave way to dark sky and twinkling stars as the Tigris climbed higher. Terry leaned back in the chair slightly and let out a long sigh.

"I'll contact the Black Hawk," she responded while activating the communications array. She hailed the Akira-class starship to inform them of the away team's impending return.


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