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PLOT - JDL | LtCmdr Stacker, Lt Shran, Lt Valeese, Ngezzod, Rassid | "Touchdown"

Posted on Tue Jul 10th, 2018 @ 7:13pm by Commander Valeese & Commodore Aksel Ravnsson & Commander Mitchell Rush & Lieutenant Commander James Stacker & Lieutenant Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: Lacuna

Hunted.

She was being hunted.

The smartest thing Valeese had done was split from Si'a and given her a chance. Both of them making a b-line for Starfleet would have lead to a fire fight and Si'a, which her built in defenses and echolocation, had been certain she knew where she was going. Of course lying to her, promising she'd be right behind her, likely hadn't bought any favors - but the blame was on the Vorta's shoulders and she knew, to the Orions, that she was expendable. Especially after having tipped a crate over onto one of their cronies; the Naussican to be precise. Bastard with his scabbed over face had had it coming, and with him gone, Si'a was free to make her mad dash towards safety and she herself was free to lead them on a wild goose chase on what should have appeared to have been a canned hunt.

And follow her they had.

Cowards that they were had taken off as fast as they realized Si'a was safely tucked away and Valeese was not. it was an easy trap set, but one with no catch and no guarantees that she'd succeed in looping back around to safety especially now that she wasn't aided by Si'a's echolocation. Dark she could handle, but smoky? No. The thick, acrid smell of burning plastic and plasma reminded her that as she ran, so too were additional barriers set up to keep her from doubling back. She hid. They flushed as if they understood that they, somehow, were going to die and the goal was to take her down with them - at least that was Ngezzod's goal.

Tucked in a narrow gap between two large stacks of crates and a cargo container, Valeese rested her back up against the cool metal of one of them and closed her eyes. She could both feel and hear her heart beating out of control and her chest tightening from a combination of chemical laced smoke inhalation and anxiety. If she was going to die, and that was a likely ending to this particular story, at least she'd go knowing she'd served the Empress, and Starfleet, well.

"Keep moving. She hasn't gone far." Ngezzod's foul mood was getting worse by the ever passing second. Now it had come to the point where he could feel his hands shaking in spite of his outward facing calm. The Vorta had been trouble from the second that she'd been captured, fighting like a wild cat instead of going calmly into the night like the Stenellis had. Not that he could blame her, really, considering that Nimrox had been an all out fool resorting to brute force instead of ether right off the cuff. Even Vorta succumbed to certain kinds of chemical matter. Ngezzod wouldn't be needing them. He'd be leaving her as nothing more than a broken body on the dirt spattered floor and bloodied smear against a nearby wall just as soon as he got his hands on her.

His cohorts grunted, Rassid shaking his head as they fanned out and combed the aisles and rows inch by precious inch. With fire set behind them, it was only a matter of time before they found her and she'd pay the price for her stupidity. Springing them from captivity had been one thing. Destroying their on-board computers had been another. Killing Nimrox, however, was a slight that couldn't and wouldn't be overlooked and neither would the fact she'd somehow managed to tip off Starfleet and a band of Gods damned MACOs.

It wasn't long at all.

Rassid's gawky green head lifted high at the sound of a crash and an almost jubilant hurrah from one of the three underlings they'd taken with them on their hunt. Sure enough he could see through his goggles the slender form of the diminutive female being pulled from her hidey hole first by an arm and then quickly snatched by her hair.

"Hand her here!" Ngezzod ordered, shoving past from behind him to claim victory and the prize that came with it. It was seconds later when he felt her warm, silky flesh within his grasp. So small, so delicate. He could crush her like an insect in an instant, and he did. Her wrist was tightened up on and bent in his massive hand. "I'm going to enjoy this," he grinned, "and so are they."

It'd been the noise that first attracted attention. More specifically, the type of noise. Any space station, no matter its location of purpose, is full of noise. One currently subject to a commando raid by Starfleet officers and a platoon of MACOs even more so. Against the backdrop of alarms, flashing lights, aliens of various species running for any means of rapid egress, and small firefights raging across various levels (some of which didn't involve Starfleet), it was hard to sort the 'legitimate' noise from what warranted attention.

Asked about it afterwards, James didn't know why he'd guided the four-man MACO fireteam, himself, and Shran down the side corridor. There was some reason behind it all but he would never be able to put his finger on the precise reason. Maybe it was the noise of the pursuit. The voices, perhaps. Or maybe the jubilant cheers from the underlings when they finally caught their prey. What he did see, as he peeked his armored helmet around the corner and scanned the room, was a compartment full of crates, barrels, and cargo containers. Obviously a cargo bay.

When he saw her, though, two things happened. The first was that his pulse quickened. The second was a chill, because he'd seen that they had her. His helmet retreated back out of sight and his hand came up, halting the MACOs. "Five Orions in the bay with Commander Valeese. We move in, we put them down hard and fast," he added, cycling his weapon to its faster-firing setting. Two men were ordered to the far side of the doorway: one to watch the corridor, the other to watch the storage bay.

=/\=

They had entered the base some time ago, and now they were hunting. Scanners gave them a slight edge, but not all that much: most of the sections of the base were protected by dampening fields and other tech. Anaxar was operating more on instinct than anything else, but by now he had learned to trust those 'instincts', knowing that they were partly caused by subliminal signals and partly by something he couldn't understand, but which did seem to work in some mysterious way.

And then he felt it. A slight tingle, only detectable with the tips of his antennae, but a tingle he had learned to recognise. Echolocation. Si'a. Somewhere not too far away. His heart began to beat faster as he froze in place, making maximum use of what cover this area could provide, and strained his senses to the maximum.

His artificial eyes told him nothing, yet. No heat signatures moving nearby, within his scanning range. But he seemed to hear something, at the uttermost edge of hearing range. He stopped breathing and concentrated.

Yes. Footsteps, moving closer, not running but faltering, stumbling, a slight scruffing sound of bare feet or thin slippers on the rough surface. And further away, but louder, heavier footsteps moving with greater speed, and – yes – faint screams.

Readying a weapon in one hand, he gave a quick, single ping on his communicator to alert the others he had found one of the two captives. Then he began to move towards her.

=/\=

James' hand came around and at the end of its swing released the small grey cylinder. Released imperfectly, the momentum it had been imparted with was nevertheless sufficient to set it to tumbling end-over-end as it sailed through the air. The concept it took with it was an old one, but effective. Flashbangs were designed to overwhelm the senses through a sudden, quick, barrage of light and sound, leaving would-be hostiles disoriented for a few vital seconds. In the case of the Orions in the room, hopefully long enough to let the MACOs get through the door. The intelligence officer tensed in the hallway as he faintly heard the grenade clattering to the floor.

Anaxar heard the soft clatter of a cylinder somewhere behind him. He moved faster, trying to create more distance between the flashbang, the team and himself. He had no idea how Orions fared against one of those things, but he knew the loud bang would hurt his oversensitive ears and the shockwave would make his antennae tingle. Hopefully, the sound and subsequent fight would draw more attention from other people in the base, and he would be free to find Si'a and bring her to safety.

He was moving deeper and deeper into the base itself. Archer and Stacker were no longer on his mind. They could take care of themselves. All he needed to do now was to find Si'a, avoid being captured or hurt, and issue a little payback when he got the chance. His mouth twisted in a bitter grin at the thought.

She was close, he knew she was, but- He froze in place as he heard voices and heavier footsteps, running, coming his way.

---
To Be Continued...
---

Commander Valeese
Chief Medical Officer
Cold Station Theta, SB 1170

Lieutenant Commander James Stacker
Chief Intelligence Officer
Cold Station Theta, SB 1170

Lieutenant Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

Ngezzod & Rassid
Orion Syndicate
APB Spaceman & October

 

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