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A Momentary Reprieve

Posted on Wed May 11th, 2022 @ 3:22pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Captain Dirk Taggart

Mission: The Koldaran Encounter

Leaving their Executive Officers to continue to manage the fray, Abigail walked into one of the small rooms to the rear of the outer cloister, Dirk following closely behind. No sooner had the doors closed behind them Abigail reached up, her arms around his neck, burying her face in his shoulder, grateful for his physical presence. It was clear she was exhausted, that much would have been obvious the moment he set eyes on her when they transported down. Sleep had become a luxury as they battled just to keep the Koldaran at bay, and the stresses of the battle were clearly etched in the lines on her face.

She drew in a shaky breath, holding to him tightly. "You have no idea how glad I am to see you," she finally whispered.

Dirk felt away with relief when he held Abby, "I'm so glad you're ok," he said brushing a loose strand of her hair away. "I was so worried about you. We came as quickly as we could. I repeated the message on open channels, just to make sure it spread."

She pulled back enough to be able to look up at him as his fingertips caressed her cheek. "Our losses so far have been minimal," she said softly. "But they just keep coming, it's like a relentless wave of death. I don't know how to stop them."

"We will figure this out together, We have two Starships here, and I have my Damsel in Distress. This will have a fairytale ending," Dirk said softly trying to lighten the mood. "We will put our heads together in figure this thing out, then it will be shore leave on a beach, I promise."

Abigail smiled, reaching up to touch her own fingertips to the side of his face. "You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that," she said softly. "Just us, no weapons, no hostile aliens, no stress or fuss, just us."

"Do you consider fuzzy handcuffs a weapon? I replicated a pair, you know Captain's privilege and all," he said with a wink.

She gasped, eyes widening slightly before she swatted at him playfully. "Behave your wicked self," she admonished gently.

"In all seriousness we need to sit and discuss things here," he said as he sat down on a small stool. "Abby, How bad is it out there?"

Abigail pulled a stool across and sat down in front of him. "Our casualties have been relatively limited so far, a few fatalities, we've been lucky. The Koldaran..." she drew in a breath and shook her head. "They're unlike anything I've ever seen. They just send more soldiers. There is no reprieve. One falls, two more step over the dead body and take the place. We need to take a more offensive stance, but at the moment we're just doing the best we can to maintain our defence line."

"I havent seen anything outside the temple," Dirk pulled out a hand held scanner and PADD from his pack, "Do you have any maps of the topography of this place? Our ship scanners had some issues with the atmospheric interference. If we can force them into a funnel or create a kill zone, we can hold them off, but we will need barricades and cover too unless they are not attacking from the air."

"We've not had any instances of aerial attack, but you're right, sensors aren't all that great right now. Commander Gail has suggested that we consider tactical strikes on key locations they use. It might slow them down enough to give us a bit of an advantage. We just couldn't do it alone, not while trying to hold them back and protect the village," Abigail explained.

"Firs things first, let expand our perimeter defenses. Outside the temple are there any choke points? is this temple in the middle of a city or village? I didn't get to see much with that warm welcome your crew provided."

"I've asked the elder clerics for maps or something indicating topography we can use for reference. We've managed to push back to give ourselves about a quarter of the village passed this point. We've dropped some buildings to give ourselves something resembling barricades, but it hasn't been enough. The temple is to the rear of the village, behind us now are mountains. The mountains are somewhat impassable which gives us at least that as a tactical advantage."

Dirk nodded, "So our backs are against the wall so to speak, no line of retreat, that makes this our Alamo. Are the Koldarans attacking around the clock or just random times throughout the day?"

"Their presence is constant. The attacks vary, but it is pretty much relentless around the clock." She sighed. "It's exhausting."

"Now that my crew is here, we will take over the watches and give your people a rest. Secondly we're going to scrap together what we can for barricades, if we have to remove all of the sacred furniture from this temple we will. Our next step should be striking back, but we will need your XO's input on that," Dirk explained. "At least that's how I'd handle things, I don't want to step on your toes, unless we're dancing of course."

Abigail smiled softly. "My very own knight in shining armour," she moved from her stool to sit across his lap, again taking a moment to savour his closeness.

Dirk smiled, and put his arms around her, "I missed you, I've thought about you so often, and imagined being alone with you, but never imagined us surrounded by angry aliens attacking all the dang time. You need to get some rest and so does your crew. Let me and my crew give you guys a break."

Abigail nodded slightly. "I'll tell my crew to rest," she said as she leaned into him. "The Wellington is on their way as well, they should be here soon. We just need to hold ground until they get here, then we should be in a good position to launch the offensive we need."

He squeezed her gently, "You will rest too, we will hold the ground and see what we can to strengthen our position here. Get a quick nap then we'll talk further. You won't win any awards for best looking captain in a war zone without a few winks."

"So long as you're judging I think my chances are good," she replied with a weary smile. "But I will rest, just for a few minutes..." She stood up, walking across to the small bunk in the corner of the room, curling up on it, shifting the small pillow under her head. "Just a few minutes is all..."

Before she could even finish the sentence, Abigail was asleep, a restless sleep plagued by imagery she couldn't find a way to get rid of, but none the less asleep.


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