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A Raptor's Demise

Posted on 30 Oct 2016 @ 1:30pm by Commander Volus tr'Keirheol & Gekha L'Mekratek & Rejik tr'Nansalaem & Subcommander Dhael t'Anaka & Centurion Lyirru tr'Illialhae & Sublieutenant Varuh tr'Krell & Valkis tr'Tellus & Decurion Tomak s'Herol & Decurion Gariol tr'Serobok & Decurion Heluisa t'Nevon & Decurion Aidoann t'Rllaillieu & Uhlan Tebok ir'Khet'lar & Kon Bagheris

Mission: The Choices We Make
Location: Deck 8 - Main Engineering, Deck 10 - Bridge, R.I.S. Mortis
Timeline: 15th d. of 4th m. of Fire, y. 1940 AS.

They'd been set up. Volus didn't know by whom. He didn't even know if he'd ever get the chance to find out. The situation was looking grim for the Imperiax and her crew. Alarms were blaring from all sides. A thick and billowing smoke filled the bridge. The sound of the Cardassian phaser impacts on the ship's hull was like an endless thunder. Several consoles exploded in a flurry of sparks. The Imperiax rocked to port in agony.

"Report!" Volus shouted above the fracas that was happening all around him. He gripped onto the arms of his chair tightly, all the while looking straight at the flickering viewscreen in the hope that some solution would present itself to them.

Lyirru moved towards weapon control. He pulled the dead sublieutenant off of the console and wiped the blood off with his sleeve before he accessed the console. "Shields are down to thirty-eight percent, forward torpedo launchers are inoperative, as are rear disruptors." Lyirru called out. "We have two Galor-class cruisers coming around for another pass."

"That last hit took out our port impulse engine," Gariol reported from the helm. The young Decurion desperately tried to evade what he could of the incoming phaser fire.

The Imperiax rocked again. Feeling how dire the situation was becoming, Volus activated the ship's communications system from his chair. "Bridge to engineering. Varuh! We need to get out of here!"

* * * * *

Acrid stench of smoke fused with a slight coppery tang to it - this is how one could describe the air within singularity. Emergency lighting was flickering, consoles shorted out and monitors burning. Varuh could not see out of his left eye. Blood was running down from his forehead, dripping in his left eye. Whether he got caught by a shrapnel or hit something when the ship rocked the last time he was not sure. He tried to get a hold onto the nearest console to call his commanding officer. Nearby the hissing sound of a fire extinguisher was to be heard as s'Herol tried his best to fight a fire coming from a burning piece of electronic hardware. He was not sure which one anymore. Something must have hit his head.

He grabbed at the chair before the console and turned it around to see Uhlan Tebok slumped into the seat. Blood was flowing from several wounds where flying shrapnel have torn open his right side. Pieces of glass were stuck in his body like daggers. One prominent shard pierced his neck jugular as Varuh could see. The Uhlan's mouth was opened in silent protest and his face showed a kind of disbelief. Blood was running down in streams from the wounds. He was beyond help. He pulled the corpse from the chair and gave a brief prayer to the ancestors to guide his fallen crewman into the afterlife. Then he took a seat and stared upon the damage display.

Their weapon systems were out cold and the Imperiax had already suffered grave structural damage to several decks. He was about to say something when Volus' voice came over the intercom.

"Bridge to engineering. Varuh! We need to get out of here!"

Varuh turned around to shout orders. "You heard the man. Prepare for emergency warp!"

While the engineers hurried to prep the warp coils for the maneuver another series of explosions rocked the ship. A terrible groan of torn metal echoed through the ship's structure. Varuh turned to see what was happening then suddenly, a flash and a bang and then...darkness.

* * * * *

Imperiax shook violently again as they took another volley for the Cardassian ships. More smoke filled the bridge as several consoles exploded from the barrage. "Shields down to twenty-one percent." Lyirru called out from the weapons station. "We've completely lost the port impulse drive! It's no longer attached to the ship!"

The ship was falling apart. Damn the Cardassians! Damn the traitor who gave our position away to them!, Volus cursed to himself. Time was starting to run short. Experience had taught him that he was going to need to make a big decision soon. Volus knew it. He could feel it. "Fire everything we have at them. Make every shot count," he said to the Leader of Warbird Control.

Lyirru nodded before wiping his brow with his clean sleeve, a mixture of his own blood and sweat soaked into the material. He then quickly locked weapons onto the lead Galor. "Firing full disruptors." The Centurion called out. Green disruptor beams flew from Imperiax and impacted hard on the Cardassians shields. The fustrated Lyirru brought his fist down hard on the console. "Minimal damage!" He called out.

Staggering back onto the bridge, holding one arm close to her side, Dhael had two Uhlans beside her as she made a beeline for Volus. "We found this." she gestured to one of her companions to hand a device to Volus. "Far as we can tell, it gave away our position." she coughed as acrid smoke began to fill her nostrils.

Volus stood up from his chair and closely examined the item that was handed to him. "Where did you find it?" he asked her. It appeared to him to be some kind of subspace beacon.

"It was in medical lab four on deck twelve." Dhael replied, fully aware of the implications of it. The lab was locked and only she, Volus and Valkis had access to it, "And I'm pretty sure that none of us put it there." she added grimly.

"Looks like our special friends and protectors placed it there," Valkis said calmly, signaling quotation marks with his fingers when he said 'protectors'.

It was as he'd feared although the source was from an unlikely place. Volus was about to give instructions when the ship rocked violently again and he was dumped unceremoniously back into his seat. Several consoles around the perimeter of the bridge exploded. Most of the display screens that still functioned were flashing red with critical alerts. They had no time to contemplate this betrayal from within. It was time to leave.

"Dhael, initiate emergency evacuation procedures," the Commander said to her.

With a nod, Dhael staggered to her computer station, the deck bucking and rocking beneath her feet as she activated the signal for all personnel to abandon ship. As the alarm sounded, she closed her eyes for a brief moment, trying to come to terms with the enormity of what was happening and that in the next few minutes, she could very well die.

Volus then turned to the ship's Tal Diann Master. "Lieutenant, find Rejik and get as many people as you can aboard the Mortis. I will try to buy you enough time."

"Yes, sir," Valkis replied, "And may Ket-Cheleb support you." That said he left the bridge and tried to localize the former Borg drone.

"Evacuation well under way." Dhael commented from her console, grabbing onto it to stop herself sliding sideways, "Time for us to go too." she looked over at Volus.

He shook his head, signaling that he wasn't going to be joining her. At least not yet. "You go, Dhael. I need to stay here to oversee the Imperiax's final moments." He smiled briefly and put a hand on the Subcommander's shoulder. "But do not worry. While it is customary for a Commander to perish along with his ship, I do not have any such plans today. My fate is not tied to the Imperiax's. Once you board the Mortis, use the transporters to get me out of here."

"Be safe." Dhael nodded, hesitating a moment for she felt that she should stay by his side. The look on his face however, told a different tale and she didn't have time to argue. Holding back a sigh, she turned and headed off the bridge, hoping to see her Commander once more.

* * * * *

A voice was heard over the bridge intercom, heavily distorted.

"This is acting Leader of Singularity Control, Decurion s'Herol. To whomever is able to hear me. We have suffered critical damage to our singularity systems. The containment fields have started to fail beyond repair. The ship is doomed. I am cut off by the emergency blast doors. The others here in this section...are dead. I will try to stabilize the fields manually to buy you some more time. Get off the ship, if you can. May the ancestors protect you."

Gasping heavily and riddled with radiation burns the grizzled Decurion went to work to sell the rest of his fading life as dear as possible ignoring the charred remains of Uhlan Nalseem who was hit by an arc lightning from overcharged coils and the mangled corpse of Recruit tr'Partok, crushed by falling debris. Kon Beraturik was dangling like a broken puppet from the catwalk stretching through this section, his neck twisted in a way it should not be able to.

* * * * *

Volus was about to acknowledge Tomak's message but as he activated the comm, the entire system went dead. "Fvadt!" he shouted in frustration. He slammed his fist into the console a few times, knowing full well that the action wouldn't make a difference, but it made him feel better if only for a few moments. An explosion from the singularity console beside him reminded him though that he was still in the midst of a very bad situation.

He moved to the weapons console which was barely functioning. Shields were now down to seven percent. Structural integrity was at nineteen. Torpedo systems were offline. There was only one disruptor array that was still functioning. There was little he could do now. Wanting what little revenge he could get, Volus targeted the nearest Galor and fired the Imperiax's last remaining weapon at it, but with everything so badly damaged, the disruptor's green energy beam missed completely.

The ship lurched to starboard as it was hit again by weapons fire. It took everything for Volus to hold onto the console but he managed to. Creaking could be heard in the ceiling and deck plating. The Imperiax didn't have long to go.

"Commander!" shouted a voice from behind him. It was the Reman, Gekha L'Mekratek. He went over to Volus to help him back up to his feet.

"What are you doing here Gekha?" the Romulan asked him. "You should be in an escape pod."

"In the absence of a Reman Master, I am next in line to protect you," the Reman answered with pride.

Letting go of the Reman, Volus stumbled towards the front of the bridge and the helm. Impulse engines were gone. And there were only a few thrusters that were still functioning but with very limited power. "I can't set a collision course. There's nothing left for us to do here. We need to get aboard the Mortis," Volus told him. "But without communications, there's no way for us to let them know that we need to be transported out of here." And there wasn't likely enough time for them to get up to deck four on foot.

"What do we do?" L'Mekratek asked, almost pleadingly.

Volus had never really seen a Reman that was so afraid of dying until now. He couldn't really blame him. He had no interest in dying either. Not right now. Not when there was still so much to do for the Empire. "We pray and hope that D'era will guide us in what is left in this life, and perhaps the next," he offered the Gekha. It was of small comfort. Volus knew it. However, as the seconds continued to tick down, it was looking less and less likely that they were going to survive. Hope was all that he had left. Even that was quickly running out.

* * * * *

"Is he dead?" a female voice rang in Varuh's mind. He realized he was laying on the floor. Then he realized...pain. Pain was good. Pain meant he still was alive for what short that may be. Something was prodding at his chest and he felt a hand grabbing at his neck.

"The master is alive." he heared a rasping, probably Reman voice. "But barely."

Somehow he was grabbed and lifted into the air. That sudden motion made him nauseous. He wanted to protest, but only inarticulate groans left his throat. He tried to move somehow, open his eyes, but leaden wariness numbed every motion he attempted. He tried to remember. They were under attack. The Imperiax was damaged very badly. Then the bright light. Something...must have exploded nearby. Reactor was unstable. 'Get off the ship, Varuh.' he heard a familiar voice. But he must have been hallucinating - his dad was gone. But...yes, evacuating...they had to evacuate quickly. It took him all strength and concentration to articulate...

Decurion Aidoann realized motion in her superior's face. Holding her broken arm to her chest she leaned over. "He is trying to say something."

Kon Bagheris carefully dropped Varuh and cradled his head. 'What does he say?' Decurion Heluisa inquired. She was guiding Decurion Vohrs. He was deafened by the blast and had severe eye injuries.

Varuh whispered something. Aidoann leaned over to listen and repeated the single word. "Mortis...He said Mortis."

"The Lanora scout! Of course. Hurry, to hangar bay two. We might get out of this." Heluisa exclaimed gaining some hope.

* * * * *

The steps that Rejik was going to have to make to get the R.I.S. Mortis operational had been running through his mind well before he arrived in the hangar bay. The crew was in a panic. Many of them were beyond saving or dead. They didn't have much time. By the Commander's orders they needed to get as many people onto the Mortis so that they could attempt an escape. Rejik did not know if it would work but they had to try. It was better than dying.

He and Valkis entered the Lanora-class via the main boarding hatch. Several Romulans and Remans that they'd run into along the way followed behind them, hoping that they could somehow survive this day. Rejik moved swiftly through the second deck to the stairs that led up to the bridge and he sat down at the helm to begin the vessel's start up sequence.

"Sublieutenant Varuh and his engineers have done remarkably at restoring the Mortis," he commented as he worked at the pilot's controls. "Without a singularity, however, we aren't going to have much power at our disposal."

"But we have power?" Valkis asked seemingly calm despite his anger. "And enough for cloaking?"

Did they have much of a choice? "We are about to find out," the Borg replied. He input a series of commands into the console and spoke up once again just before he attempted to bring everything online. "Powering up the reactor." Rejik pressed a button and then he waited. After about five seconds, the Mortis finally came to life. He verified the readings that were coming across on his display. So far there were no warnings or alerts but he had no idea how long that would last. "How long do we wait for the others?" he asked Valkis.

"As long as we can." Lyirru said as he took the Warbird Control position and began tapping on the console. "We've got a couple of minutes before Imperiax's core goes critical."

"Centurion, can you try to get these transporters online?" Valkis asked.

Lyirru nodded as he looked at his console. "Power is very limited. I'll have to take something off line to do it." The Centurion replied. "I'll take the weapons offline, we won't be able to fight our way out of this mess." He said as he began to transfer the power from the weapons systems to the transporters. "Done. Transporters are operational."

"Can you locate the Commander?" Dhael moved up behind Lyirru, very aware that their commanding officer was nowhere to be found.

The Centurion tapped away at his console for a couple of moments. "I have him. He seems to have a Reman near him as well. I have transporter locks on both." He reported.

Valkis nodded. "Get both of them here. Now. And find me Varuh."

"I passed Sienae on the way in." Dhael looked over at Valkis, "Varuh was her patient. It didn't look pretty." she shook her head, hating that they were surrounded by such suffering and death.

"I do not care how it looked!" Valkis replied strictly. "He is my friend, and he deserves to live!"

"Did I say that he didn't?" Dhael whirled around to face Valkis and hit him with a glare that could kill, "Activate that transporter before the ship blows." she ground out, suppressing her anger as precious seconds ticked by, "Start with Volus but get anyone else off that's left if you can."

Lyirru nodded, "Energizing...I have them. The singularity is going critical, we need to leave now!"

"Get us out of here." Dhael ordered, her eyes fixed on the burning ship before them and whispered a silent goodbye to her home.

The moment that the order was given, Rejik did not hesitate to engage the Mortis' engines. As it cleared the hangar bay doors, the cloak was brought online and the ship vanished, enabling it to flee from the Cardassian aggressors.

Volus made his way to the bridge of the Lanora-class as soon as he was able to. "Put the aft viewer on screen," he called out as he took a standing position beside Dhael and Valkis. He arrived just in time. Debris encircled the Imperiax. Fires were alight from stem to stern. The Galors pummeled the doomed ship over and over again until at last, there was a bright flash. The Commander covered his eyes for a moment. There was an explosion. The Mortis shook lightly. More importantly, however, the Imperiax was gone.


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