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Odraiclite Arrival - In the Temple

Posted on Wed May 11th, 2022 @ 1:04pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Captain Dirk Taggart & Lieutenant Henry Castle & Lieutenant JG Emony Kyl & Lieutenant JG Camille Lévesque PhD
Edited on on Wed May 11th, 2022 @ 1:05pm

Mission: The Koldaran Encounter

The sound of weapons fire had been growing increasingly more prominent over the last twelve hours. All hope of rest had long gone as the Koldaran increased their attack. Wave after wave of reptilian-like aliens attacked the barricades that had been established through the village, a vain attempt to continue to protect the Acehaya and the Temple. It was just as Ichiko had warned. They seemed to have no apparent care for life, nor did the soldiers seem to care for their own survival, they just continued to attack in a never ending assault that was slowly but surely wearing the Astraea crew down.

Abigail had returned to the outer cloister of the Temple, helping to move wounded officers to safety. It had been as she had cleared the doors of the temporary medical unit when the familiar sound of the transporters could be heard in the enclosed area. "WEAPONS!" Abigail screamed over the general sounds in the cloister, and almost instantly the crew around her responded, dropping what they were doing and drawing their own weapons.

Henry Castle, chief Engineer of the Pennsylvania watched as his surroundings materialised, and it took a number of heartbeats to register the amount of weapons being pointed in the direction of the Away Team. On instinct, the man threw up his hands, and dropped to one knee. “Okay… that’s… that’s a lot of weapons in our direction.”

Jason looked over at Castle. “Don’t you just love the welcomes we get out here?”

Next to Castle was Camille Lévesque, who had taken the advice of Security Chief Kyl before transport and rematerialized on one knee, Type 2 phaser in hand but pointed straight up. When she saw the weapons pointed her way, she wasn’t so keen as her engineer crewmate to throw her hands in the air. Instead she maintained a defensive posture, ready to defend herself but not aiming her weapon toward anybody (yet). It felt strange to be back in the middle of a combat situation, but being here, on the ground, in a blue-accented tactical uniform, with a weapon, her years of experience as Chief Science Officer on the Victory came rushing back.

Evelyn came around the corner at the call for weapons, phaser held in her hand and up as she leaned against the wall to aim better. Her eyes searched the newcomers as she tried to find the baddies but failed to do so, but until Abigail said otherwise, she was on high alert.

Emony was on a knee and as soon as she saw familiar forms, not alien ones, the muzzle of her rifle came up skywards, finger off the trigger. The chaos was already in place and her training kicked in - don’t add to chaos, restore order. “Easy, easy.” Emony said as calmly but firmly as she could while still being heard. Mentally she made a note - her predecessor had dropped the ball so hard it left craters. There would be basic Security drills if they made it out of this in one piece.

Rogers eased his finger away from his phaser’s trigger, but kept it pointed at the newcomers. They looked like Starfleet: uniforms nice and clean, not streaked with blood and dirt as his was. If they weren’t it was very bad news for the planetside contingent of the Astraea crew. Worse news for those still on the ship.

Will poked his head out of the supplies he’d been working with, his type 2 phaser ar the ready. After taking a moment to look at the newcomers, he said, “Uh, guys, I think they may be on our side.”

[Tag everyone for reactions?]

Captain Taggarts reaction to the unknown surroundings was instantaneous from years of Security training. The instincts kicked in and he immediately began sweeping the crowd before recognizing a few in Starfleet uniforms.

There was a solid moment of chaos, strange voices shouting back in response to the drawn weapons before Abigail recognised the person in the middle of the new arrivals. "Stand down," she ordered, moving through the Cloister toward the newcomers. "Captain Taggart, you are most definitely a sight for sore eyes."

Taggart lowered his rifle and motioned for his crew to do the same, "Stand down, they're the good guys. Let's find out who's in charge and.." his order went unfinished as Captain Laurens emerged from the crowd. "You had us worried, we got your alert, obviously but couldn't reply. What's the Sitrep?"

Abigail held a hand up toward Taggart for a moment before addressing the rest of the team that arrived. “Medical is to the left. Lieutenant Commander Morgan will assign hands to help unload if needed. Weapons and supplies are being stored to the right. Lieutenant Commander Gunnison can show you the layout for supply storage. Any other questions, until you get your bearings, find one of the senior staff from the Astraea for guidance. Avoid the perimeters of the building at all times, the lack of windows makes us easy targets.”

Finally, turning back to Dirk, she offered a weary smile that just didn’t quite reach her eyes. “Sitrep…” She shook her head. “It’s not good. Let’s get your crew settled and then we can talk.”

Taggart nodded and turned back to his crew, Trallos, help with Medical, Castle start replacing their people on watch. They need a break. Find their XO and let's see what we can do to help while I get more Intel on the situation."

“Sir. Where am I on this?” Emony asked her Captain, her eyes darting around as she kept her rifle close.

“Find their COS, let’s determine how large of a perimeter we are securing, and see what we can do to help,: Taggart replied quickly.

“Aye, sir.” Emony nodded, looking around, “Captain Laurens? Who’d that be and where are they?” She directed that to the other Captain.

“Lieutenant Commander Myers,” Abigail turned, looking around before pointing out the tall gold uniformed security officer. “If he’s too busy, look for Commander Gail and ask for assistance. You can’t miss her, just look for the ears.”

“Where do you want me, Captain?” Camille asked, ostensibly to both Taggart and Laurens.

“See what you can do to help, Maybe try to get some nearby scans to help build a map of the area, Levesque, unless Captain Laurens has a better idea.? Captain Taggart replied.

“Find Commander Gail from the Astraea, she’s kind of hard to miss, look for the uniform and the ears,” Abigail said with a smile. “See if there’s a particular area she wants you to focus on for the moment while we gather thoughts and make plans. Speaking of which, Captain Taggart, if you don’t mind, can I have a quiet word?”

Camille nodded and went off to find the Commander.

Taggart nodded "Absolutely Captain Laurens," he said as followed Abigail as they left the room.

The doctor looked around with his rifle at the ready and his medical bag against his back. He was uneasy. Everything going on was bringing back some memories he had tried to forget. He rolled his prosthetic shoulder unknowingly then looked back to the Captain. "You know where I'll be if you need me sir." He gave a nod to the other Captain and went to find medical.

Castle gave a nod to his Captain. “Aye, Sir.” This was a surreal moment. He had expected a disaster, but not one quite… like this. This was well over his head. A faulty EPS relay, a leaking plasma conduit, he could handle just about any mechanical disaster thrown at him. A war zone? His legs felt like rubber as she stepped away, intent on finding the Astraea’s XO as instructed, but found his steps were a little heavy, his breathing coming sharp, and shallow.

“Breath.” a voice came out from behind cover. A face looked over at Castle, a face with a pair of eyes that didn’t shine in the dim light. Lusterless, almost deep enough to drown in. The rest of the form came into view slowly. Long legs, long ears, unlike anything seen in Starfleet. Some form of rabbit, perhaps. Or rabbits were some form of … THEM. She carried herself with a cautious grace, still aware that this was indeed… a warzone.

“Keep your head down, keep your e… okay those aren’t a problem for you, but keep your ears down, and cover those pips. The last thing you want is to give off a shine.” the rabbitess advised Castle, her own neck devoid of pips. An ensign, perhaps?

“Ichiko Gail. I’m with the Astraea. I’m sorry this has to be how we meet.”

"Henry Castle, Pennsylvania." Castle crouched slightly, to reduce his height. "Few weeks ago I was heading up the Tabula Rasa facility. Now…" He extended his arms to include their surroundings. "A bit of a shock to say the least."

“You’re lucky,” she started. “From how I hear it, the Federation never really expects a conflict like this. Skirmishes here and there, sure. A disagreement certainly. This? No.” Though the matter was grim, she gave him a smirk. “I envy that. But, I appreciate the willingness of all to come help. It really helps paint the picture that the Federation wants to put forth.”

“These people won’t forget this. My people won’t forget this.” a pause, “I won’t forget this.” She was silent for another moment as the WHOOP of Koldaran disruptors broke the silence in the distance. Such an odd sounding weapon discharge, but that might have been the point. You KNEW when they were fighting you.

“What’s your specialty? I see the gold uniform, but I’ve lost count of how many subdepartments wear each color.” she didn’t, but it helped keep conversation going. Pfft, like she could forget.

"Engineer. Chief Engineer." There was a small note of pride in his voice. "Recently transferred. This is my first mission with the Penn." He was grateful for her words. Grateful for someone to just talk to, to help him acclimate to the surroundings, without losing himself to the chaos. "Yourself?"

“I’m the Ship Second to the Astraea, you use the term Executive Officer.” she replied. “But don’t salute, don’t ma’am. Ichiko works right now.” A pause, “It’s just in case we’re being watched, not that the Koldaran are clever enough to send out recon without being ordered to.” she shook her head.

“Before that, the focus of my studies was physics and math. I’ve been good at numbers as far back as I can remember.” she giggled lightly, perhaps an inside joke. “If Abigail hadn’t asked me to be her Ship Second, I’d probably be head of the science division by now.” she then gave him a nod, “Chief Engineer, a fantastic achievement. You’ll do the Pennsylvania proud.” A little encouragement never hurt anyone. He’d remember this moment for something other than it being his first battlefield.

"Thank you, ma-" He cut himself off. Habits died hard. "Ichiko. That means a lot." It did. The Astraea was known for its capabilities, and the skill of her crew. For their First Officer to offer such an opinion… his stance became a little more confident, and his expression showed it.

Castle took a breath, and refocused. Here was the very person Captain Taggert had asked him to find. "Since I have you, my Captain asked me to find out how best our people can help in the immediate, in terms of support and relief for your people "

Ichiko gave the matter some thought. “Mister Castle, what’s your engineering specialty?”

"Material fabrication, facility infrastructure maintenance, and my work has got me pretty handy at wiring new systems into old ones. The last was a necessity with getting the outpost up and running. Taught a lot of lessons about thinking laterally when a problem came up." It was his primary disciplines that had got him the job in the first place.

“Fascinating.” the rabbitess commented, her lusterless gaze falling onto the engineer as she spoke, then turning back to the bulwark when she heard a shot that sounded a little too close for comfort. Acoustics were playing havoc with her spacial awareness. Especially when the enemy built their weapons to disorient and confuse as well as kill.

“I think I have an interesting proposal for you. One that might fit your specifics. While I could use a demolition expert to help make some cover, I think your talents could be used making sure the cover we have stays up.” she gave a smirk, “I think Abigail has the latest orbital scans, but there’s a boneyard of sorts on another continent planetside. I have no idea what they might have there, but if those craft left the atmosphere it’s possible they used structural integrity generators similar to your oldest designs. Longshot, but the best I have at the moment. I have a pilot on the Astraea, used to run deep cover grey op drops behind enemy lines. I think she’d be perfect for bringing an engineering team out to the yard and seeing what can be salvaged.”

“Reinforcing our barricades with anything we can find, be it a shield generator or an integrity field, might help us last long enough for the totality of the reinforcements to arrive. Once the battle in orbit is resolved, ours or theirs, those weapons will be pointed down next.”

Camille had apparently taken the long way, taking scans as she did so, before rendezvousing with the Astraea XO and her own ship’s chief engineer. “Commander? I’m Camille Lévesque, USS Pennsylvania. Our Captains wanted me to take scans of the area, and suggested you might know where to prioritise.” She nodded to Castle, having stood next to him mere minutes earlier. I should have just followed him.

Castle gave the Science Chief a look of growing excitement. “I was just about to run a structural integrity scan of the perimeter, and get an assessment of how it’s fairing. You might already have readings I can use.” He pulled out his own tricorder. “Copy them over for me?”

“Bien sur,” she said, her tricorder already open. She found his signal and transmitted him the data with ease.
Ichiko turned her hollow glance towards Camille. There was no shine to her eyes, none. Just matte paintings in her eyes, oddly disconcerting perhaps. “Miss Camille, please. Ichiko will do in a warzone. No pips, no ranks. Makes for targets if we’re being observed.” she looked out across the wasteland, “Not that I think we are, Koldaran are obedient but not clever. Still though, never hurts to be proactively paranoid. It’s good to meet you, I just wish it was under better circumstances. A first meeting like this can last a lifetime.” she shook her head gently, then resumed, “As for a priority, I’m about to make a suggestion for an action plan with Abigail involving a raid on the starship boneyard we saw in orbit. Raid it for shield generators, structural integrity field projectors, or even just simple hull material that we can reinforce the blockades and barricades with until the remainder of the orbital forces arrives.” a pause, as she nodded towards Castle, “A scan of the current integrity of the area might do well, in case we have to prioritise fortification, or topple some of the local structures for on-the-spot cover.”
“What’s your specialty, Miss Lévesque, if I may?” the rabbitess’ pronunciation of her name was flawless, despite only having just heard it now. It was like she had a month to practice.

“Life sciences,” Camille answered, smiling at the excellent pronunciation, even getting the accent right. “Though I’m well trained across many fields, my doctorate and most of my publications are all in exobiology.”

A nod from the rabbitess. “By the end of this, you’ll know more about Koldaran protobiology than you ever wanted. Just make sure they’re dead before you start poking.” she cautioned. “On an unrelated note, your accent… Earth, France regional?” she asked. “I heard it once or twice before, and I never forget an accent.”

Or anything else.

“Earth, oui, France, non,” replied Camille. “Québec, actually. Though I studied in France as well. I’ll get to work.” The science officer took the XO’s paranoia to heart and kept her head down as she began studying the integrity of the structures in their immediate vicinity.

Evelyn had rejoined the group at some point, she was trying to be everywhere at once to pitch in while she kept herself busy. The things she’d seen so far in the last several hours was going to stay with her the rest of her life and she knew it. “It’s definitely a soothing accent, if I dare say so myself. Much, much different than the ones on my own homeworld, though there’s one in the Meribor region that is somewhat similar.”

“Merci!” Camille called back to Evelyn as she was working on her scans. “I’ve never met a Trill from Meribor, but I had a friend who worked in holo-tourism and he used my face and voice for a Meribor tour guide. I looked good with spots,” she added.

Will came on over. “Just checking to make sure everyone has what they need at the moment,” he told the group.

Ichiko gave a shake of her head, “No thank you, I’m fine. Good thinking to make sure folks are taken care of.” she mentioned, “Keep your head down as you go.”

Participating Characters:
Captain Dirk Taggart
Commanding Officer, USS Pennsylvania

Lieutenant Henry Castle
Acting Second Officer / Chief Engineer, USS Pennsylvania

Lieutenant (JG) Emony Kyl
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pennsylvania

Lieutenant jg Camille Lévesque
Chief Science Officer, USS Pennsylvania

Lieutenant Commander William ‘Buck’ Rogers
Chief Flight Control Officer & 2nd Officer USS Astraea

Fleet Captain Abigail Laurens
Commanding Officer - USS Astraea

Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia
Chief Engineer - USS Astraea

Commander Ichiko Gail
Executive Officer - USS Astraea (Ts’usugi - Experience combating Koldaran)

Lieutenant Commander William Gunnison
Chief of Operations - USS Astraea


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