"Shields up! Red Alert!" Terri suddenly blurted shocking everyone and simultaneously ending Michelle and Knact's bickering.
The order was too late, before the Raptor's shield bubble could energize a rapid succession of focused compression beams slammed into its aft section as Xox's ship unleashed its wrath upon the smaller vessel.
A cloud of glitter rose up from the burnt off armor plating as in a matter of a few brief moments the concentrated fire managed to breach the hull beneath it. The energy beam tore a hole down the back of the ship and punched through deck two and three and tore out the other side striking the deflector dish.
Xox's ship then unleashed a torpedo spread. One struck the backside of the port nacelle, the other hit the port side of the ship bettwen the nacelle and deck one almost too close to bridge, two others struck the top side of the bow and the Raptor suddenly stretched and distorted as it fell out of warp flight.
Terri staggered to the command chair, the bridge was filled with smoke and small fires and the floor was covered with debris. "Damage report!" She coughed.
"Multiple hull breaches, deck one, two through four." O'bren shouted over the alert Klaxons. "We've fallen out of warp."
"Alert Fleet command we are under attack in our own space priority one!" Terri said. "Baxter do we have any weapons or shields?"
"I'm working on that commander!" Baxter shouted of the chaos.
Terri turned to say something to Knackt but she caught sight of his tail disappearing between the bridge doors.
On the screen, she saw Xox's ship coming around to face them. She glared. "Baxter!" She snapped.
"The front torpedo launcher is operable, and the phaser cannons and the dorsal phaser strips that's all I got Commander," Baxter replied. "
Xox's ship got larger on the screen.
"Full spread, fire at will when he decides he wants to talk." Terri growled getting into the chair, she was furious, they had just gotten the ship put back together and the last thing she expected was to get attacked this deep in Confederation space. "Mr. Munro, can we move?"
"Yeah I got impulse engines." The Altarian replied.
"Good we got no shields so you are going to have to come up with some fancy maneuvers," Terri said. "Think you can punch through their shields with what we got?"
"They are hailing," Obren said.
"Make a Hole. Baxter and punch through it Munro." Terri said bracing herself in the chair.
The Raptor unleashed the full barrage of what it had at Xox's ship and fired its impulse engines. The Raptor punched through the Urthean's ships shields and fired multiple times as it passed over it's exposed hull. As the Raptor completed its pass it fired a parting shot of a full torpedo spread that slammed into the back of Xox's ship causing massive damage and causing a power disruption on board making it's lights flicker off and on.
"Do we have shields yet?." Terri coughed on the smoke in the bridge.
"Barely," O'bren replied..
"Engineering I need some kind of update anything please respond."
"Boss Lady we got a real mess down here," Knackt replied much to her relief. "We got lots of casualties and the whole power grid is a mess."
"I understand but we need shields or anything."
"Look, Terri, I had us set up for a nice little cruise to pick up the Cap I wasn't expecting to take us into battle! I'll try to get the Attack Mode back online."
"Sir!" Munro announced.
Terri looked at the screen and Xox's ship was starting to regain control and come around its weapons hot.
"Evasive maneuvers!" Terri barked. "Baxter hit them anytime you got an opening!"
"Hang on!" Munro announced throwing the ship into a lateral roll as it's phaser cannons kept firing at Xox's ship.
The two vessels spiraled around each other rapidly exchanging fire, the Raptor shuddering violently every time an Urthean torpedo struck and exploded against the ships exposed ablative armor
"That Damnable ship!" Xox snarled. His own vessel had sustained considerable damage in the furious melee. "They don't have any shields, next pass they make focus all our fire on their underside!
Terri clung to her chair the bridge of the Raptor had several small fires and the ship was shuddering violently was on fire and the battle was not going well for them.
"Captain I've got the forward launcher back online." Baxter reported.
"Quantum torpedoes max spread target all their subsystems we need to end this fight!" Terri said.
"Aye sir, ready and loaded, " Baxter reported as Xox's ship was seen turning towards them as they came around its weapons turrets training on them. M
Munroe had already started juking the ship side to side trying to keep the bow of the Raptor pointed towards the Urthean vessel.
"Good we got one shot to do this fire at your discretion," Terri said watching the Urthean ship swing around to meet their attack
Baxter nodded. "Torpedoes away!
No sooner than they fired Xox's ship unleashed a hellacious barrage at their own vessel that violently slammed into the Raptor. Terri felt her self be thrown from her chair and soon everything fell into darkness.
Jakar awoke to feel cold water splash onto him and he squinted his eyes beneath the sunglasses he wore and groggily looked around. He heard splashing around and as he came back to full consciousness he remembered where he was. On Sonya's urging, he had decided to take some time off they had traveled to Lunaria 3 and had gotten a catamaran to cruise the clear blue islands and see the sights. He was enjoying the sun and the air but he couldn't help but feel a sense of unease. He heard splashing around and walked to the edge of the deck to see Sonya swimming in the water and supposed she must of dove off.
"Come on in, the water's great." She said smiling up at him.
"I don't really like swimming." He grunted.
"What are you scared somethin's gonna eat you?" Sonya Jax giggled. "Most of those beasties are further out in deeper water. "
"Maybe I don't like getting wet." He grunted scanning the horizon but seeing nothing but islands and a few fish splashing around. This so-called holiday world was so peaceful it was almost unnerving.
"You said you wanted to relax luv, get your mind off things hell you got swim trunks on jump in it's great!" She said treading water.
"It would not be wise to leave the vessel unmanned," Jakar said dismissively. Sonya quickly threw a hand full of water up at him that splashed him. "VACATION luv, you are still thinkin' you are on duty."
Jakar sighed and took his shades off. "Did you at least set the anchor?" He asked shoving them into a buttonable pocket in his trunks.
"Do I look like I'm daft!" Sonya shouted back up at him. "Of course I did. Start having fun you grumpy cus we've been out here three days and you just sit on the deck staring off into the distance and napping."
She was interrupted as he jumped into the water with a rather large splash.
Jakar came back to the surface and spit out some saltwater. "Whee." He said flatly.
Sonya splashed him in his face. "At least you're trying."
Jakar grinned treading water. "That's all I'll promise to do."
"Well ya better luv, or you'll be finding yourself swimming back to port."
The scene was pretty horrific, Fara tried not to look at the gutted Zaphodian. Although in the small room it was hard to get away from the sickening smell of his entrails. Facility security had been called to investigate and Gortas and the Commander was talking to them. She recalled something Don Rivas had told her long ago how after a while certain things would stop bothering her and she hated that he was right.
Harry and Gortas were on the other side of the room with Gortas and the facilities security chief talking quietly as EMT's came in and started to gather up the corpse.
"You ok?" Jack asked approaching her.
"As well as I can be I suppose," Fara said staring out into the smokey inferno that surrounded them through the windows.
"Skip's trying to get them to let us examine the terminal when they get the stiff out of here." Jack said flatly. "I wonder what did that to him?"
"Probably something that didn't like us getting too close to an answer." Fara spat.
"Well whoever did it, they didn't want him talking but they didn't have time to sack the place, nothing looks disturbed.." Jack mused. "They could have gotten interrupted before they had the chance."
"Maybe." Fara mused. "I'd like to look around if they'd let us."
"I think that's what Harry is trying to get them to do." Jack said. "We just got to wait and see."
Harry and Gortas finally finished their conversation with the security chief and they approached Land and Fara.
"Mr. Gortas has agreed to allow us to search the room. His own people will review the security footage but we have permission to look at anything we'd like to in here."
"I was going to allow it anyway." Gortas sighed. "I didn't think there was anything to this but Engineers don't just turn up eviscerated. All i ask is to turn whatever you find over to us so we can follow up with our own investigation."
"Fair enough." Fara said. "I want a look at his data terminal."
"Be my guest," Gortas said.
Fara walked over and accessed the terminal, it was unlocked and all the various schematics for the various jobs were all there she plugged in her maker number from her samples and found what she was searchng for. Meanwhile, Harry milled around the room looking through the mess in the counters and work stations.
"Looks like someone tried to find something in a hurry." Harry said rummaging about.
"I assure you, Commander, I am as much in the dark about this as you are," Gortas said flatly. "I really don't know what would have been important enough for one of my employees to be murdered."
"Oh, you'd be surprised what people get killed for." Harry mused looking around the cabinets and floor and through the scattered mess of documents, datapads, and tools. "The way he was killed was interesting very few weapons can cause a wound like that and leave a little cauterization"
"Why did the killing have to be so brutal?." Gortas said aghast.
"That's simple," Jack said chiming in. "An energy weapon would have set off the alarms."
"Very good Jack." Harry said with a snap of his fingers. "Fara, you got anything yet?"
"No I found the composition for the coils they made for us but everything checks out," Fara growled. "I was sure we'd find something here, and the only person who could answer our questions is dead."
"It appears that way." Harry said offhandedly looking around the room.
Jack taking a cue from Harry, started to pan his eyes around the room as well starting at the chair where there was a pool of blood and he noticed something. The blood was following what looked like a seam in the floor, a possible hidden compartment. He couldn't believe Harry had missed it. "Skip… I think i see something." He said walking over to the chair and scooting over it. "Hey can we get a mop or something and clean this blood up, I think there is a hidden compartment here."
"I'll get it." Harry said heading to the supply closet as Fara came over and looked to see what Jack had spotted. He soon returned and in a few minutes, he came back with the cleaning supplies and with a little teamwork they got the mess cleaned up and Jack was scrabbling at the seam he saw on the floor. Fara found some flathead screwdrivers in a drawer and soon they were both working at the problem and after a bit, they managed to pull up the lid to the secret compartment. Once off Land reached in and fished out a datapad and a few data storage chips. "Check these out, this might be what you're looking for?" he said handing them to Fara who went back over to the terminal and quickly loaded them. Harry took the Data padd and started to look through its contents as the four of them crowded around the computer terminal.
"There's some schematics here.." Fara said looking through the folders. "AHA, here we go, Pathfinder 41045-J26." Fara said triumphantly looking through the data file. After a bit she finally slapped the table. "This is it, these equations are all off for making the coils I think we found our culprit, Harry. Got anything good there?"
"It looks like some sort of credit transfer but it's encrypted, I can't make anything out of it." Harry said. "I'll have to have Terri take a crack at it when we get back."
Gortas sighed. "I don't understand it we compensated Wardren more than enough for working here he had a secure job. Why would he risk it for that?"
"For those that still find the allure of the almighty credit, they'll do anything." Harry said tapping the padd.
"What I want to know is who paid him to wreck our ship." Fara said. "These chips have had their tracer headers formatted so I have no idea where they came from."
"May I see them?" Gortas said.
"Knock yourself out." Fara said handing him the chips.
Gortas looked them over. "These are not from here, the prefix code on the chips indicate they are from a fleet vessel, that is if they are indeed real." He smirked. "Looks like your problem is not from here after all but from your own people."
Harry harrumphed and kept drumming his fingers on the pad. He was not liking this one bit. "We need to speak to anyone who is currently here from off-world, you said the entire planet is on lockdown."
"Indeed it is, every guest has not been allowed to leave and no vessels have left the facility since the day before." Gortas stated. "Wardren just came in for his shift this morning, so the killer is probably still on Ustafar, somewhere."
"Well, it's not like he could hide outside." Jack snorted.
Gortas nodded in agreement. "While you are conducting your investigation, I will make copies of the data on these chips for you, I will be keeping this as evidence for our own. I will allow for you to be armed while doing so providing you act with appropriate discretion."
"That's appreciated," Harry said. "I think we are through here."
Somewhere in the Ustafar foundry complex.
D'jonn was currently laying low in a maintenance room in the lower part of the facility that wasn't used much. He kept a wary eye on the door although he doubted anyone would disturb him.
"THEY WHAT?! How did you not recover the data chips?!" a voice demanded over his communicator. It was not Xox so he didn't react to the harsh tone with anything but disdain.
"I didn't know where the Zaphodian had hid them." D'jonn said flatly. "I would have assumed they would be stored in his dwelling I was wrong. Commander Martinez is investigating my actions here on Ustafar. It is an inconvenience."
The channel was quiet for the moment. "Well you can't just kill him, that would cause me more headaches I suppose."
"I could easily kill all three of them." D'jonn said.
"No, don't do that. Three dead officers would raise too much suspicion, Maybe we can scare them off?"
"Scare them off?" D'jonn said mouthing the phrasing of those words. "How?"
"I don't know, maybe do something to mess Commander Martinez up." The voice replied. "Take him out of commission, hurt him, don't kill him but maybe something that will make him think twice about sticking his snout where it doesn't belong."
"I think I understand, I'll see what I can do." D'jonn replied ending the transmission.
The world slowly came back into focus from blackness and Terri saw Doctor Okan reach down and help her up.
"Easy does it, Commander welcome back to the world of the woke." He said helping her to her feet.
Terri blinked and tried to clear her head, the bridge was dark illuminated by small fires and flickering consoles.
"We're alive?" she asked dazedly.
"Apparently." Doctor Okan said scanning her with his tricorder. He said reaching up and taking a device off her head. "You experienced a concussion, you may have a small headache while you are recovering." He gave her one final passing scan and the tricorder made a strange beep. He raised his brow curiously than closed his tricorder. "When you have time, I need to speak to you in private." He fished out a small vial from his pocket "Here is an asprin for the headache."
"What do we need to talk about in private?" Terri asked a bit confused.
"In due time Captain, it's not of major importance at the moment, now If you'll excuse me I have other patients to attend to." Okan said smiling and motioning to his assistant Nurse Twila that they were done on the bridge.
"Ok." Terri said a bit bewildered quickly tossing back the aspirin. She didn't need the dull pounding in her head on top of everything else going on.
Terri looked around the bridge. It was in shambles, cables hung down from the ceiling, smoke filled the dome and the floor was covered in debris. She walked up to the helm and leaned against the chair seeing Moroe was still there. "What's our status?"
"Sensors, Engines, everything is out. We took a hit to the engineering section and powers been out. All I know is several emergency bulkheads have deployed and we're adrift."
Terri looked around. "Where's the rest of the crew?"
"O'bren and O'mara are trying to get the auxiliary power restored, the Doctor had Baxter taken to sickbay, she wasn't in good shape."
"Any Idea how bad the Urthean's are?" Terri asked.'
"We exchanged fire at the same time, I'm assuming they are just in as bad of shape as we are, nothing has happened in the last twenty minutes," Monroe replied.
"Are you ok?" She asked noticing a nasty cut along his face oozing yellowish Altairian blood.
"It's nothing, thank you for asking sir." Monroe replied.
"Anyone responded to our call for help?" Terri asked.
"No clue, we haven't received any hails that I know of." As he finished speaking a thrum of power could be heard and the ventilation started back up. "That would probably be our feathered duo coming through."
Terri cleaned off some debris from the command chair and hopped back up into it. She flipped up the command console and tried to bring the screen back up. After a few minutes of diligent work the screen started to flicker. She felt the air start to circulate as the ship's life support systems came back online. The screen finally focused on what was in front of the bow of the ship and all she could see was a cloud of debris. She went to the view control and tried to get a visual of Xox's ship. After a few tries, she spotted it drifting the same as they were off their port side. The Urthean ship's upper hull had multiple breaches around the command module, its engines were dark and it appeared adrift as well.
"At least we're on even footing." Monroe grunted.
"We can only hope." Terri said wondering where the hell all the other ships of the fleet were in their own space.
She heard the doors behind her part and O'bren and O'mara entered the bridge and returned to their stations. "Ah, Commander good to see you are back up again." O'bren said greeting her.
"I have had worse, good job on the power relays."
"Well, I did what I could, we still can't move and weapons and shields are still out." O'bren said checking his station.
"Have you heard anything from engineering?" Terri asked.
"The bulkheads are closed off." O'mara said quietly. "Communications are down, we have no idea if anyone is alive in that part of the ship."
"Well, we need to find out." Terri said standing up. "There's a maintenance tube that runs back there right?"
"Of course but we have no idea where the breach is," O'bren said. "You could take a tricorder and use it to scan ahead to see if there is at least an atmosphere before you pop a hatch."
"Do you have one?" Terri asked holding her hand up.
O'bren reached behind him and unclipped a tricorder from his belt and tossed it to her. "Make sure you scan for radiation too."
"I plan on it, can you two hold things down up here while I try to see if our engineering crew is still with us." She said to O'bren and O'mara.
"I think we c.. can." Michelle nodded.
Terri clipped the tricorder to her belt. "Wish me luck."
"Good Luck." Munro, O'mara and O'bren said simultaneously.
Terri headed out the bridges back door towards the end of deck one. She spotted the access hatch that lead to the tube that leads to engineering. The hatch opened to touch on the keypad and she crawled inside. At the end of the tube there was a t-section that went to the fore and aft sections of deck one. The whole thing stunk of burnt circuitry and it was muggy possibly from a ruptured coolant line. She headed toward the aft where there was a closed thicker hatch, one of the emergency bulkheads. She sat up and opened the tricorder and scanned the other side. It detected atmosphere, normal temperatures and safe levels of radiation.
She closed the tricorder and leaned forward to open an equipment trunk and grabbed a door releaser and quickly got to work slotting it into the receptacle in the hatch. It worked and the hatch unlocked and let her pass through. She continued forward, she knew the access hatch to engineering was quite a ways ahead of her and she stopped every 10 feet and scanned ahead of her just to make sure she didn't get blasted by radiation but something was heating the air in the tube and she was starting to sweat through her uniform, and for some reason this activity was way more taxing than it should be. She felt like she was boiling alive. She checked the tricorder and saw it wasn't the radiation. Terri shook her head and sincerely hoped the damn thing wasn't broken. She got to the hatch that led to engineering and it opened for her. The emergency lighting was on, the floor covered with debris. It looked like everything was mostly in order at least in this part. She headed towards the double doors that lead to engineering and they parted and wall of smoke washed over her.
Engineering was fire and Chaos, engineers were scrabbling around trying to put out the flames. "For fuck's sake can someone get that fire locked down!" she heard Knackt scream from the master system room. She stumbled through the darkness and found the rat scurrying around with a torch strapped to his head.
"Why aren't the fire suppression systems working!" Terri yelled startling the Rat.
"How'd you, why, forget it you're alive!" Knackt said coughing."I don't know why they aren't I think the main computer is on the fritz."
"Where'd we get hit?" Terri asked.
"Right in the keester boss lady, one of the main impulse units is ruptured and we got fires everywhere down here. I'm sure there's a good size hole down on deck four too. If it wasn't for the hole in our hides putting out the fuel fire we would have been goners."
"We need power Knackt what can we do?" Terri yelled over the cacophony.
"Look boss lady, I got a ship that is messed up on all kinds of levels, I had to shut down the damn core just to keep us from explodin' and on top of that if you haven't noticed everything is kinda on fire!"
"What about the Attack Mode Knackt, if we engage it could it give us some power to work with."
"Eh maybe but I'm not sure we can fire up without computer control." Knackt sighed.
"FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM ACTIVATING ON EMERGENCY POWER." She head the computer announced. Suddenly force fields appeared around the fires and quickly started snuffing them out.
She heard a familiar grunt of satisfaction and saw Kurtzman. He then turned and looked at her and nodded. "It's possible it would work," Kurtzman said stepping away from one of the consoles. Terri was somewhat relieved to see him. "It would be no different than any other time we've been in this situation, except..."
"The ship didn't do it on its own this time," Terri said finishing his sentence.
"Yeah." Both Knackt and Kurtzman agreed.
"But, with the secondary core powered up the computer should immediately take control, its directly wired to it as a backup for that reason. We don't need that infernal thing running wild without computer control." Kurtzmen said.
"Gentlemen, we have an Urthean Battle Cruiser out there that is probably trying to get back up to power like we are so I need solutions, not excuses."
"I guess we could go down there and give the ole alien thingy a few good squeezes and get it started, eh?" Knackt said elbowing Kurtzman who winced.
"Ugh I suppose so." The badger relented. "I'll do it, I'll need an evac suit there is no atmosphere down there and the gravity is out."
"I"ll go with you." Terri said. "Buddy system."
"You know Terri you are the Captain you don't have to ya should probably be on the bridge," Knackt said.
"The bridge isn't worth a damn if the ship it's on is dead." Terri said heading for a locker. "Let's go." She said to Kurtzman who followed her and they started to suit up. "So what do we need to do." Terri said removing her tunic and tossing it onto the master systems display. She removed her boots and trousers and now she was only in the red undershirt and slip shorts as she manhandled the eva suit out of the locker and started to don it.
"There are these two… Nubs." Kurtzman said. "They are on opposite sides of the power core that provides power for the attack mode, they have to be. Stimulated. To activate it manually."
"Ok." Terri said stepping into the legs of the ev-suit. "How many times?
"Until the node lights up." Kurtzman said doing the same. "It can be a bit particular sometimes. If we both do it at the same time hopefully it won't take that much."
Terri nodded and hoisted herself into the rest of the suit. "Mind sealing me up?" She said to Knackt
Knackt walked over and started finishing the seals on Terri's suit. "Honestly I don't know how bad it is down there, the damn thing may not even be attached to the ship for all I know."
Terri grabbed the helmet and gave it a slight twist and the inner computer beeped acknowledging it was sealed as Knackt finished up sealing up her EVA suit. "You ready Lieutenant?" She said to Kurtzman.
"Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to it." He said flatly, sealing up his suit and after Knackt checked it he grabbed a kit. "Let's go Captain."
Harry, Fara and Land walked around the parking bay for all the shuttles for the guests who had come to do business at the facility. There were dozens of shuttles that were parked there and they were going through the manifest with one of Ustafars security agents. Whoever had killed Wardren, if they were smart, were staying put for the moment. Also, most of the other guests had been put under lockdown much to their protests and Gortas was dealing with them personally.
"So what are we looking for exactly?" Fara said.
"I expect we'll know it when we see it chief." Harry mused. "Considering the one person who knew exactly what was going on with our little problem turned up dead I think the culprit was caught unawares by us."
"What makes you think it's going to be so obvious, skip?" Land asked.
"I can only think of two people who have a grudge against at me." Harry mused. "I think one would be a bit more obvious about it."
"You mean Comendant Jackass?" Land groused.
"Most definitely." Harry agreed. "Although, how and why escape me at the moment."
"Well I hate to burst your bubble gentlemen but there are at least five Urthean shuttles here," Fara said. "Can't exactly go busting down doors and pointing fingers at furs." she said exasperated. "Some might not take kindly to it."
"Then I guess it's on Mr. Gortas than to handle that part." Harry said. "Let's take a look at those shuttles. Fara does the manifest have arrival times for the shuttles?"
"Yeah it does," Fara said. "Looks like they all arrived at different times." She poked at the pad a few times. "Only two were here prior to us arriving."
"Ok let's start with them," Harry said. "Lead the way."
Fara got her bearings looking at the slot listings in the huge parking bay and she walked over to a hover lift and started it. "Ok boys hop on."
Harry and Jack both climbed on to the hover platform and Fara activated it and they were soon heading toward the two shuttles. After a few moments, they approached a rather nice garish looking one. It was probably military issue at some point but it had been given a rather ridiculous flames paint job and had what looked like not stock warp engines modded into it.
"I seriously doubt this is what we are looking for." Harry sighed.
"Yup, it's probably some trader for all we know." Fara said moving the platform forward. ON the way they passed the Talon sitting in its own bay and ironically a few spaces down was their quarry. This Urthean shuttle was more what they were looking for. It had the Icon of the Urthean Star Empire and typical markings of a military craft.
"Now why would someone in their fleet be here?" Jack said alloud.
Harry looked at the markings on the bow of the shuttle, he didn't know Urthe' but he was pretty certain he'd seen them enough times on Xox's ship. "Fara, did the pilot present his identity like we had to?"
"Yeah picture and everything," Fara said bringing it up and handing it to Harry. Harry looked at the picture and immediately he recognized the face.
Several months ago..
"Where is Xox?!" Harry demanded as he tightened the rope around the Urtheans neck.
"I don't know." The officer said playing dumb, Harry tightened the makeshift garotte he was not in the mood for games. "Tell me damn it."
"Never." The officer choked.
They didn't have time for this nonsense. Harry wrapped the garote around one hand and grabbed the officer's dagger and held it up to the Urthean's neck. He was bluffing but he seriously hoped it would work, more Nebulons were dying by the minute. He pressed the blade to the Urtheans neck just enough to drive the point home. "Tell me Jakar, they can't regenerate if their head is removed can they?"
"I do not believe so." Jakar grunted.
"OK OK!" the Urthean choked. "He's back down the way I came."
"You look like you've seen a ghost Harry." Fara said concerned.
"We've met, it wasn't under the best of circumstances," Harry said handing her back the padd. "He's one of Xox's men that I'm certain of."
Fara handed the padd to Jack so he could look. "So now what do we do?"
"We find him." Harry said scowling.
"I was afraid you were going to say that." Fara sighed as she piloted the hover pad back to the entrance.
"I am not thrilled with the prospect either, Urtheans are not easy opponents to deal with unless you can get the upper hand quickly," Harry said. "Last time I got the drop on him, I don't think I will be as lucky this time. I suggest we stick together, we'd be safer that way."
"I don't think either of us would argue that with you skip." Land said.
"No kidding." Fara scoffed just making sure her phaser was in its holster and active.
"You have to use setting 4 or 5 to stun them," Harry said. "Depending on their implants a standard stun will not do the job. Try to aim for center of mass I don't want to kill him if he does get hostile.'
"I doubt he'll feel the same way about us." Land said. "So how are we going to get him?"
"I'll contact Gortas and we'll just do a little round up of all the guests, if he's there we'll just treat it like a standard investigation. If he gets hostile, we'll just have to hope we can stop him before he makes a break for it."
Back on the Raptor.
They left engineering and headed for an access hatch in the floor. Kurtzman stopped and sealed the door behind them then opened and access hatch and activated the emergency seals to turn the corridor into a makeshift airlock. "Seal the other door in the corridor, I am pretty sure there is nothing but vacuum down there."
Terri nodded and did the same seeing Kurtzman attach a tether from his suit to a connection point in the corridor. "We're going to pop the hatch, you might want to get attached to something before we do." He said activating his mag boots. "When you are ready, let me know and I'll pop the hatch.
Terri nodded and followed suit. Fortunately, there were plenty of things to hang on too in this corridor. "I'm ready." She said grabbing onto a railing after clipping her suits tether to it.
Kurtzman nodded and stepped on the release. Air wooshed quickly out the hole after the atmosphere had been evacuated Kurtzman unclipped his belt and lowered himself down the ladder. Terri soon followed after. Kurtzman was right the deck was just gone, below the ladder was just stars.
"Goddamnit, this is going to be fun to fix." Kurtzman growled he spun around in the weightlessness and spotted the door he was looking for. Terri used her suit's thrusters and floated down to where he was. Below them hung the Urthean ship off in the distance, it looked absolutely massive.
"Looks way bigger in person doesn't it." She mused. "Never seen one this close in person."
"Way closer than I like." Kurtzman grunted heading for the blasted out T junction of the corridor across the void. Terri followed behind him.
After a brief spacewalk they both sat down on solid floor and Kurtzman started to work on opening the sealed door. "As bad as the damage is down here I doubt the room is pressurized." He started to open the door manually. Terri nodded and looked around wearily and after a few moments, the door slid slowly open. Kurtzman moved and pushed it open and stepped inside activating his torch. Terri followed behind and her boots magnetized to the deck as she floated over it.
"Well there it is, one of the Raptor's less appealing features," Kurtzman grunted. "The wonderful alien core that gives her her teeth."
"Well let's get to it then," Terri said.
"Right, there is a big square panel on the port side flip the latches reach inside wait till I tell you and start, palpating."
Terri headed over to the side of the black and bronze-colored piece of equipment and found the panel. After a few moments it was floating through the air off to her side. She reached inside and found something squishy within that fit Knackt's description. She was glad she had the suits thick gloves between her and whatever the hell it was inside the alien machinery.
Kurtzman made a grimace that was visible through the visor on his helmet. "Ok got it you ready?"
"Start, palpating." Kurtzman said disgusted. "Don't stop until the light comes on."
Terri did so, it was quite disgusting but again at least she wasn't having to touch it with her own hands. Eventually, the light did come on and power started to thrum through the ship. The lights came on and she felt the ablative armament engaging through her boots as the plating deployed across the hull. Power came back on although the lights had a strange green tint as they always did when the Attack Mode was engaged.
"Let's get back up top." Terri said relieved.
All of the guests at the facility were rounded up in the main atrium by security. A lot of them were not very happy. Jack, Harry and Fara were let into the room by the guards following Gortas. Harry looked them over, they were a mixed lot of species, the only ones who looked a bit out of place were another rather garish looking Nekujin with several earrings and his albion Urthean bodygaurd a rather twitchy looking fellow with cybernetic eyes that glowed with a cool blue. The rest seemed to ber merchants and other civilian business people.
"Ah and there's the reason we are all so rudel being awakened!" The Nekujin said walking up to the three of them. "Commander I am Captain Ginz, a pleasure to meet you."
Harry nodded a bit annoyed at this but shook his hand as it's offered.
"I would like to ask how long is this going to take, my associate and I were not planning on being kept her for any reason at all we have some urgent business we need to attend to."
"I apologize for the inconvience but we have a murder on m hands that we are currently infestigating." Harry said sternly. "Until we have an idea of whom committed it it could take awhile." He looked for the Urthean in the crowd and there were a few in the room but to alleviate suspicion they had to do it this way.
"How long do you think it will take?"
"Longer if you keep impeding our investigation now mister, Ginz was it?' Harry said being very curt. Please go back to the others."
The Nekujin looked annoyed and nodded heading back to the small throng of people to discuss something with the albino Urthean.
"If I could have your attention please." Gortas spoke up. "Commander Martinez would like to speak to each of you, we've had an incident on the premises and he just has a few questions for you all as to your wearabouts for the night. I understand some of you have urgent matters that need to be attended too but if you cooperate I'm sure we can get through this quickly."
Up above D'jonn quietly lowered and unconscious guard to the floor. He then quickly began assembling a zip gun. It was a simple design made out of highly durable plastiques and not really detectable. He needed a quick distraction to get away and this little toy would do the trick. He managed to slip away from the guards when they were distracted and made his way to the balcony above when Harry and the others had entered the room. He quickly screwed in the barrell checked the sites and loaded it. Xox had ordered him not to kill the Echidna, D'jonn smirked, but thier client wanted a point to be made.
He took up position behind a column and used his arm to steady his aim locating Harry and drawing the crosshairs down on him. He personally wanted some payback, and if the echidna did die from it, well, accidents happen.
After a few minutes, they were back in engineering. With the attack mode back up all the ship's systems were restored, force fields, gravity, life support, fire suppression. Engineering was for the most part back to normal although worse for wear. The Engineering crew were immediately back on trying to get the ship operational again. Terri headed for the locker got out of the eva suit, slipped her tunic and trousers back on doing her best to stay out of the way. As she walked through the ship she kept clear of the blown-out circuitry in the corridors that were swarming with repair nanites as the ship began to repair itself. She arrived back on the bridge and saw Baxter back at her post and heavily bandaged.
"I thought you were sickbay?" She asked.
"I was." Baxter said. "The Doctor will not be happy I am here." She grunted. "We have five vessels on their way they will be here in a few minutes."
"About time." Terri said. "Will you be ok.?'
"I'm well enough to be here." Baxter said even though she looked very peckish.
"Captain Look!" Munro said pointing at the screen.
Xox's ship was starting to power back up as well and the ship was starting to gain attitude control again.
"Good thing we got back on our feet first," Terri said. "Lt. Baxter lock every weapon you have on that ship and open a channel."
"Channel open." Baxter reported.
"Commandant Xox, this is acting Captain Terri Lu of the Raptor, I see once again you are trespassing deep into Confederation space and despite your best efforts, you have lost your advantage over us. I suggest you move along home before I really start taking these little intrusions personally."
The screen flickered and Xox's visage appeared on the viewer he was mostly obscured by shadows probably due to damage on his own bridge and she could see the red pupils of his cybernetic eyes glowing brightly in the darkness. "I think you overestimate your advantage rodent." Xox's voice cackled over the speakers. "Your little trick only lasts so long, we still have full shields and most of our weapons we are hardly beaten."
Terri heard the proximity alarm go off indicating vessels approaching at high warp and she stood up and approached the viewer. "That may be but we have an advantage that you don't." She said walking up to the viewer and staring him down. "And that's numbers."
Soon two Harrier Class vessels a Neosho and two smaller Angel Island class cruisers dropped out of warp and formed ranks about the Raptor in order to extend their shields around it.
"So I am going to give you a little bit of friendly advice," Terri said cheerily hearing him growl over the speakers. "It's totally up to you if you want to take it or not but it's just one little teensy tiny word." She could see him shooting daggers at her through the screen and she just returned a cold smile. "Run."
A very loud roar of rage was heard before the channel cut out. On the viewer, Xox's ship spun on its axis and blasted off at high warp.
Terri took a deep breath and let it out. Her bridge crew cheered and whooped.
It was over, for now.
"Captain the other vessels are asking us if we require assistance," Baxter reported
"Yes we do, we need help getting repairs done, we have got holes we need to get patched in our hull." Terri said. "Patch me through to the other vessels we'll be glad to take all the help we can get."
They had arranged for a small office off the main atrium to interview guests. Harry had decided to just call them by room number and he was walking with a very stately looking Avian who claimed to be a shipping magnate from his home world, he was just asking him some general questions before they entered the room. Fara and Land were at his side and Gortas was in front of him. "I apologize Mr. Keely." Harry said. "You are not a suspect, we already know whom it is." Harry said quietly as they walked towards the room. "Have you seen this gentlemen?" He asked showing the Avian a picture on a datapad.
"Yes he is here, last I knew he was escorted like the rest of us in here." the Avian seemed a bit relieved that this was all for show.
"That's all we needed to know." Harry said pleasantly when then felt something strike him in the back below his right collar bone very hard causing him to stagger forward. Time seemed to slow down and pain quickly overwhelmed him, He spotted his combadge flying away from him in a spray of his own blood. He felt his legs give way, heard Fara call out his name and he started to collapse forward.
"What the hell who did that!" Jack said drawing his phaser and trying to catch Harry as he slumped to the floor. Keely bolted for it and ran into a side door for cover. Jack quickly scanned up and saw someone over the balcony with some sort of weapon pointed in his direction. He fired a burst of phaser fire, the guards taking a queue from his own shots fired several shots as well where he was targeting. D'jonn quickly took cover behind the column.
The guests all panicked and ran for cover just trying to avoid getting hurt.
The upper column D'jonn was hidden behind was quickly getting blasted to pieces, D'jonn quickly retrieved a smoke grenade from his cloak and popped it and disappeared down the adjoining corridor, it was time to leave.
"Harry?! Harry !?" Fara shouted. "Talk to me!" helping him down to the ground. Harry stared at her glassy eyed. "He's been shot Jack… I don't know how bad he's got a hole in his chest. Oh god, there's blood everywhere."
"Try to stop the bleeding!" Jack shouted firing a few more shots before his vision was obscured by the roiling cloud of smoke that was now spilling down into the atrium. The guests had all bolted in a panic and scattered into anywhere in the complex they could get away from the attack, the guards at this point had just let them. Trying to stop them would have just resulted in more injuries. He quickly looked over at Harry who just seemed to be in a stupor on his knees as Fara was trying to get him to respond, he was breathing but it was very shallow. Jack spotted Harry's combadge on the floor it appeared to be damaged by something. He grabbed it and looked at the wound. "I think it went through, we need to get him to the shuttle." Jack said.
"Are you sure?"
"Get… shuttle.." Harry said slowly through gritted teeth. "Get…. them."
"Not without you skip." Jack said hearing a fire fight down one of the corridors.
"Harry?!" Fara said happily as he nodded slowly and moved his left hand up to cover the hole.
"What should we do Commander?" Gortas said hunkering down with them.
"Let them go…" Harry coughed up a little blood. "Let everyone go…"
"Are you sure?" Gortas said.
Harry nodded grimacing and breathing deeply and painfully. "Not worth everyone else getting hurt." he grunted.
Gortas pulled out his fob and immediately instructed his men stop pursuing the assassin and let everyone off the planet.
"Fara you had better brought that shuttle up to code." Jack said helping Harry slowly up to his feet. "We need a site to site transport and that computer better be capable of it."
"Hey!" Fara said a bit annoyed. "I may have had to cut corners on the Raptor but the Talon was another matter entirely I built her mostly on my own. She's just as good as the newest model in the fleet." She growled helping with lifting Harry.
"I guess we'll find out." Jack said hitting his combadge. "Mr. Gortas we got to split, we'll stay in touch."
Gortas nodded wearily as he kept issuing commands into his fob.
"Shuttlecraft Talon, 3 for emergency beam out."
Seconds later they were on the shuttle.
"Get him in the back and on the Auto-Doc." Jack ordered. "I'm going to take care of that son of a bitch."
Fara nodded and helped Harry to the back of the ship.
Land hopped into the pilots seat and quickly brought up the ships engines while running scan for the shuttle they had suspected. Sure enough it was activating it's antigrav units and starting to leave it's slip. And slowly backing out towards the hanger floor and hovering down to meat it's pilot.
Jack checked his own reading the Talon was starting cold, they were losing time. He switched on the external sensors and kept an eye on the door drumming his hands on the console. "Come on girl, wake up it's not time to be snoozing."
The door parted and sure enough there was their man.
Jack flicked on the external speaker. "Hey Jackass where do you think you're going in a hurry?!" Jack said as he got a green light on the engines and slowly started to back the shuttle out.
D'jonn looked up at him and made a weird motion with his arm and deployed his portable fusion cannon.
"Ah shit." Jack said realizing he hadn't even had the shields up.
D'jonn fired up at the shuttle the first hit connected and the Talon bucked a bit and some console sparked and he fired again striking the vessel a second time. The damage was minimal due to the armor on the Talons hull. He assumed if it was standard shuttle that might have actually been effective. He quickly brought up a phaser and turned down the lowest setting. "Nice try cyberjerk but I can do mine more!" He quickly fired off a few shots at the Urthean. D'jonn bolted for cover as the beams struck the decking around him and dove into his shuttle. Within a few moments it blasted out through the door into Mustfar's airspace. Jack cursed and got the Talon swung around and quickly pursued .
"Damint can you take it easy up there?" Fara shouted over her combadge as she helped Harry into the Auto Doc. They had go his tunic and undershirt off and she was helping lay him back on the bed.
"I'm trying Fara but I need some help up here, he's trying to shake me and I can't do everything and fly." Land said.
"But I just can't." She felt Harry squeeze her hand and nod.
"Go… I'll be fine.' He said laying back and activating the Auto-Doc from the internal controls.
Fara nodded. "I'll be right up."
As she got on the bridge she had to catch herself as Land made the shuttle evade a shot from D'jonn's. "Get on the guns the computer can't hit this guy he can fly unlike most of his friends." Jack said through clenched teeth.
"Right." Fara said running to the ops console. "I'm not that great of a shot but I'll try.
The Talon fired wildly at the Urthean shuttle as it raced over the surface of Ustafar zipping in and out of the jagged natural iron towers that dotted the worlds surface. Land chased him doggedly, they might not be able to hit him but Jack Land was not going to let him loose them.
"Can you at least try to hit him Fara!?" Jack shouted
"I'm an engineer damnit, not a god damn marksmen." she snapped back at him she fired a full spread of photonic missiles and at least one struck the Shuttles shields causing them to disappear. "There are you happy!"
"Ecstatic!" Land said following the shuttle through a cave out the other side and right on it's tail as it began to climb. "I bet he has friends can we deal with that?"
"Briefly." Fara said suddenly something struck the Tallon's shields and the ships systems protested. "That would be his friends!"
"How many?" Jack asked.
Fara brought up the tactical console and spotted the Urthean Scutta descending on them. "One for the moment. Bringing up the attack mode." She said activating it via command. The Talon's ablative armorment deployed and started absorbing hits from the larger Scutta. D'jonn flew his shuttle in tight arcs around the Scutta that drew the Talon into the large vessels firing arc.
Land braced himself as the Talon was struck several times by compression beams. "Fara take out those damn turrets, this things not as tough as the Raptor.'
"I'm working on it." Fara said. She quickly targeted the turrets as they passed over them and punched the button until they were glitters, they were a bit easier to hit even with Land's hectic maneuvers. A few quick passes and all the energy weapons were disabled however D'jonn had already made a beak for it once their attention had been diverted.
Land snarled and minuet long string of mixed obscenities taking off after it The Talon bucked as a torpedo slammed into its aft shields. Land started juking the ship side to side to avoid further hits and Urthean torpedoes streaked past them. Fara returned fire but the Talon's aft weapons were nothing compared to what it could dish out on the front end and her shots were absorbed by the Scutta's concentrated shields.
"Shuttle Talon this is Gortas do you need assistance, that Urthean Scutta is in violation of our space, we can assist with our orbital weapons." The Nekujin said over the speakers.
"Yes, anything get that ship off our ass!" Jack snapped hitting the com button.
"Acknowledged." Gortas responded.
Several Phaser beams and torpedoes rained down from the orbital platforms far above them and the Urthean Scutta was struck multiple times hammered by a concentrated and unrelenting barrage. It's shields not being able to withstand a barrage of that magnitude quickly depleted and it was torn apart sending several pieces of it crashing back down onto the hellish surface of Ustafar allowing the Talon to escape.
D'jonn escaped Ustafar's atmosphere and he quickly calculated his course and entered warp. He was annoyed when he saw the black shuttle emerging from the atmosphere on his aft scanner before he went to warp.
Land gunned the ships warp engines and quickly pursued the D'jonn. Several tenese minueta passed as both craft hit their maximum acceleration. D'jonns craft was just slightly faster pushing warp 6.4 and slowly gaining ground. Jack eased the throttle up past the maximum safe speed and the Talon began to shudder, it only got worse when he tried to reroute power to the structural integrity from non essential systems. The computer started to protest before Land muted it. On the small viewer in front of him he could see the slowly shrinking image of the other craft. Several tense minutes passed he was just out of weapons range.
"Jack have you even checked his course?" Fara asked.
"We won't need it if I get close enough." Jack said pushing the shuttles throttle as far as it would go.
"He's going to be in Urthean space in three minutes." Fara reported.
"Not if we catch him." Jack snapped. "Get on those phasers and get ready to take out his engines."
"Were going to rip our own off if you keep pushing her. The Talon is rated at warp 6 you are pushing 6.3. He's out of range…" Fara said.
"Not much longer!" Jack snapped as the computer spoke up warning them that they would be entering Urthean space in 50 seconds.
"JACK." Harry rasped leaning on the door in the back of the cabin. The Auto-Doc had done what it could. His shoulder was repaired but he looked terrible. "Break of pursuit before we enter urthean space and open a channel." He said sounding very weak.
"Skip, we can catch him!" Jack protested.
"Ensign, do not make me repeat my order." Harry said.
Jack slammed his fists on the console and quickly opened a channel. "Aye sir. Channel open."
"I have a message for whomever you are working for." Harry said. "If you think I am scared, you understand very little. If you think I will walk away for what you've done to my ship and my crew, than you understand nothing at all. I am coming to find you, and I will never stop."
D'jonn sat in his shuttle and a grin spread across his muzzle. He looked at his readings they had no way to intercept him and although that ship could out fight him he could out run it. He hadn't expected the echidna to be that tough especially after what he did to him. He grudgingly felt a tinge of respect for him as he flipped the com switch. "I'll deliver your message."
"Until we meet again Captain." D'jonn said over the speakers as Harry sunk down into the engineering station looking very weary.
"Bring us about Mr. Land I think we've done enough for one day." Harry said making a come about gesture with his hand as Fara got up and fussed over his wound.
"Right away skipper." Jack said doing as he was told.
"You stubborn goit, why don't you stay down?" Fara said looking at the bandage the Auto Doc applied after sealing up and cleaning the injury. It looked ok but she could only imagine the pain he was in.
"It'll be fine. Can you get me some water?" He said tiredly.
Fara ran to the replicator and got his water, handed him the glass and he slowly drank it.
"Because I wanted to make a point." Harry rasped. "I want the individual who is messing with us know that I am done playing his game."
After a quick trip back to Ustafar to wrap up the investigation they headed home with nothing more to be done.
The Raptor had made contact with the Talon as they made home and rendezvous with them.
"Holy cow." Jack said as they saw the extensive damage to the Raptor as they passed over it on their approach to the shuttle bay. "What in the world happened?"
Fara said nothing and looked on concerned through the forward viewport as Harry did the same. "Looks like they got into a fight, considering what happened to us I'm not surprised." Harry groused.
"Sheesh, looks like part of deck five is missing." Fara said shaking her head. "There goes my weekend."
The Talon slid back into the main shuttle bay of the Raptor where Terri and Doctor Okan stood waiting for them. She wasn't at her best, her uniform was torn and singed and her hair was a mess and she had quite a few nasty cuts that she had managed to tend to but she didn't look that great. She was apprehensive, she wanted to show Harry that she had got the job done but she hadn't counted on the ship getting ambushed in friendly space.
The Talon landed with a soft thump and soon Harry, Land, and Fara disembarked and Harry walked up to her. Terri drew a breath and tried to compose herself.
"We appreciate the pick up Commander, I take it you had some difficulties along the way?" Harry said tiredly walking up to her. He looked terrible and his tunic was lazily hung over his shoulders and his right arm was in a sling.
Terri nodded and managed to croak out a "Yes sir."
"How bad?" Harry asked.
"3 dead, 15 injured, ships full of holes, we've barely got warp speed. I already have a space dock slip set for repairs at Starbase 75, and we're ready to get underway on your orders."
"I see," Harry nodded. "Very well, you have the Con Number One. I'll be in sickbay having the good doctor tend to my wound if you need anything. I'll expect a full report." Harry said. "Doctor if you wouldn't mind?"
"Do you think you can make it." Dr. Okan said making a frown looking at the tricorder readings.
"I'll make it just fine, you'll be with me." Harry grinned.
Dr. Okan rolled his eyes and closed the tricorder. "Very well come along, sir."
She let out a breath as he exited the bay, she expected way worse than that. She wanted to ask what had happened to him but she figured it could wait.
"So how bad is it?" Fara asked shouldering her duffle.
"Knackt really needs your help," Terri said. "Half of the injuries were in engineering."
"Of course he does," Fara said. "Well, the break was nice while it lasted. I could use some extra hands then can I borrow fly boy he needs some hands-on experience." Fara asked.
"I suppose so Ensign Munroe is currently manning his station," Terri said a bit confused. "What use would he be to you?"
"He's my new assistant in training. Come on newbie, time to get your hands dirty." Fara smirked slugging jack in the shoulder."
"Right behind you chief," Jack said shouldering his duffle and heading out behind her not making eye contact with Terri who looked on bewildered. She would have to look into that matter later.
Smoothing her hair she relaxed, she thought Harry would be upset but other than a tinge of regret, she detected when she told him they lost people she didn't see any anger.. Her combadge chirped.
"Terri-Lu here." She said tapping her combadge.
"We're ready to get underway, sir." O'bren's voice said over the speaker.
"I'll be up there shortly," Terri replied.
Eve settled into the large chair of the commercial shuttle as the rest of the passengers piled into the vehicle behind her stowing their belongings in the overhead compartments. She was deep in thought, she needed to find father, he would be able to make things clear. He could always make things to be better understood.
She had picked a flight that was fairly crowded and rigged the seating placement so she could be alone in her section. As predicted the others were oblivious. She listened to their banter as she calculated her next move. If all went well within the next ten hours they would arrive at their destination. The stewardess came by and asked if she wanted anything to eat or drink, to which she politely declined. It was a strange feeling, being in her organic body it was small compared to what she was used to inhabiting the Raptor's systems.
She felt a pair of eyes on her and she looked up to see a young Altairian boy staring down at her on his seat. He was standing up in it and looking down at her "Hi!" he said.
Eve blinked and responded in kind. "Hi."
"Where are you going?" The boy asked his tail whipping behind him erratically.
"I'm going to see my Father." Eve replied.
"Me too." The boy responded. "He's coming back from a trip and I wanted to see him. What's your dad doing?"
Eve felt a bit odd, this inquisitive creature had not been anticipated, possibly the manifest had been updated before she boarded. She was sure that she had this area to herself. "He's not well, but I am going to see him. Why are you in those seats?"
"Oh my mom booked it last minute, the flight crew wanted me somewhere they could keep an eye on me because I'm by myself. My name is Ivan, what's yours?"
"Eve." Eve said mulling this over in her mind. Things had been going so well with her plans so far this unexpected hitch was completely blindsiding her. "You should probably have a seat."
"Why, I can't talk to you that way."
Eve felt a bit of frustration, how was she going to deal with this child who seemed fixated on her. She didn't even have the social protocols to deal with this. She accessed the Confederation Database on how to properly deal with children but it ultimately wasn't very helpful. If she was too forceful it would draw suspicion. That was the last thing she wanted to do was draw attention to herself.
"Do you want to play a game? If we play a game the trip will go quicker?" Ivan asked eagerly.
"Will it keep you seated?" Eve said exasperated at not being able to find a solution.
"Uh huh." Ivan said eagerly and smiling.
"Very well, go find a game."
Three days later, under Fara's supervision, the Raptor was fully repaired and ready to get underway again.
Jack learned so much in those three days and was Fara's shadow the whole time and he learned so much from her and even picked up a few tricks from Knackt as well. He didn't have to spend the down time doing so but he was actually enjoying it. Everynight he went to his quarters dog tired only to get up the next day and hit it hard again. Fara really appreciated his enthusiasm and they were starting to actually grow a bit of a friendship as they worked together.
Harry, spent the time recovering and reading. His right arm had some nerve damage and he often felt numbness in his fingers or stabbing pain. Dr. Okan treated him as best he could and the only thing he could promise was it would heal in time but it would probably never be right. Harry took it in stride, he would make it work, once he was cleared he was going to hit the gym and see if strengthening it wouldn't help.
When were ready to get under way Harry simply told Terri to take the con and he'd be in his ready room if they needed anything. He still looked very tired even though he'd been cleared for duty. Baxter and O'bren stayed in the bridge, Munroe went to manning the transporter since Jack was back at the helm.
With no immediate matters requiring them to rush home they just took their time cruising home at warp 5.
Once they got home they were off duty and Terri wanted to take her bridge crew out to celebrate. However strangely enough after one drink she got sick and had to run to the head and vomit. After that unpleasantness, she settled for a tea that sat way better in her aching stomach. Everyone else had a good time but she sat wondering what had come over her.
The next day instead of eating her usual breakfast before her workout she ordered Altarian Barbeque and devoured it. Afterwards she hated herself but felt sated. That morning was the first day back in Jakar's combative class went well, he seemed more relaxed and in a better mood. He also seemed to be a bit tanned under his fur giving him a nice layered look. However at the end she felt way more exhausted, she wasn't sure if it was the excessive breakfast or something else. The rest of the day passed without incident.
The next morning she woke up and promptly threw up all over her Taber cat. Which only got worse because he went berserk and proceeded to run around her quarters and get it everywhere until she tackled him and washed him off despite his mournful protests.
She remembered Doctor Okan had said he needed to speak with her, after looking at his tricorder with a weird look when examined her back on the bridge when she regained consciousness back on the Raptor after they exchanged fire with Xox's ship.
She quickly made an appointment with Doctor Okan.
"So Doctor you wanted to see me?" Terri said as she entered Doctor Okan's office on Starbase 186.
"Yes I did, would you mind having a seat." Dr. Okan smiled looking up from his datapad and motioning to the seat across from him.
Terri sat down and seemed a bit pensive, she was concerned what all the vomiting was about and her fluctuating appetite.
"So… " She said a bit uneasily. "What's up Doctor?"
"Just a few questions. Have you been experiencing any rapid mood swings, exhaustion, fatigue or changes in appetite or nausea?"
"Maybe a little bit but you know what we had to deal with lately." Terri said. "Why are you asking?"'
"Do you mind if I run another scan real quick?" Okan said grabbing a medical tricorder off his desk.
"No, but I'd like to know what this is all about?" Terri said.
"Well it could be nothing but I just want to be sure." Dr. Okan said. "Just sit still."
Terri sighed and let him run it. He passed the tricorder over her and around her as it passed over her abdomen the tricorder made the strange beep again. "Ok, it is exactly what I thought." He said closing the tricorder and then walking back to his seat across from her and sitting down.
"What is?" Terri said a bit worried.
"I don't know if it was planned or not." Okan said drumming his finger on his desk. "but congratulations Commander, you are going to be a mother."