"COMMANDER RIVAS REPORT TO OPS AT 0700 HOURS." The station's computer kept repeatedly blaring.
Don growled and forced his eyes open only because the computer had turned on all the lights. Michelle lay with her head on his chest groggily stirring as well.
"Ok I gotta get up if you want me to shut the computer off," Rivas said, trying to stir her, giving her a slight shake.
Michelle muttered something and rolled off him pulling a pillow over her head to blare out the computer's alarm.
He got up and quickly hit the acknowledgment button on his desk sliding into the chair behind it and bringing up his personal terminal. "I'm not even on active duty yet what could be so goddamn import...ant.." He said trailing off as he saw the message that was scrolling before his eyes.
Michelle now awake despite her best efforts was now sitting up in the bed with a sheet drawn about her. "What is it?" She asked seeing Rivas sit back in his chair with a look of shock and bewilderment on his face.
"That alert we heard last night on the holodeck…"
"Yeah what about it, it's not like that's unusual," Michelle said flicking a few loose feathers off the bedspread.
"Someone stole the Raptor, and kidnapped the Captain, Fara, Jakar, Knackt and a few others."
"Stole the Raptor?" Michelle said, failing to process the sheer madness of that statement. "How? When?"
"I guess I'll find out." He said glancing at the wall chronometer and seeing he had about thirty minutes to get ready. "I am going to need to be awake from this do you mind making some breakfast.."
"I got you covered," Michelle said fishing out a robe she had stowed in his closet and slipping it on. "Just get cleaned up and ready."
FOTR EPISODE 19
Knackt sweated in the tight confines of the maintenance tube as he finished pathing into the main computer with his rigger kit. Even though he was a bit on the small side the place could get pretty cramped even for him after long enough.
"Alright, you stubborn bucket of bolts show daddy what's goin' on" He said, patching into the security system.
The first camera he accessed was the bridge. The two Junior officers appeared to be held there against their will by a Cornelian Geko and Bear. Ensign Rosa, appeared to be piloting the vessel. Jackal and Feline were heading to the brig where he found Harry and Fara were kept. He made a mental note to harass Fara with questions about why her little date was with the Captain if they got out of this mess. Finally, Jakar and Sonya were stuck in the forward torpedo bay. He tried to get control of the ship's systems but whoever had hacked them knew his stuff, if anything was going to be done it was going to have to be done from the core itself or engineering. He quickly unhooked his rig and decided to head towards the torpedo bay. It wasn't too far from here and he would need help if they were going to get the ship back.
The door to the brig parted and Holtz and Owen stepped inside
Harry was leaning against the opposite wall of the cell he stood straight when these newcomers came in.
"Who are you and what is the meaning of all this?" Harry demanded.
"Commander, you will have all the answers in good time," Holtz said. "For the moment right now we need Mrs. Phoenix." He said motioning to both of them to step back. "Now if you'll both put your hands on the wall at the back of the cell and follow instructions no one will get hurt."
Fara looked at Harry worriedly and he grunted. "Do it."
Reluctantly they both did. Harry looked over his shoulder and saw that Holtz had his blaster trained on them and his finger was gently pressed against the trigger.
Owens entered and carefully bound Fara's arms behind her with zip cuffs much to her protesting and she was led out of the cell.
"That's a good start," Holtz said, activating the forcefield as Owens roughly pulled Fara back out of the cell. "Keep up the cooperation and you both might live to go home."
Fara looked him right in his eyes and Harry could tell she was scared. He tried to reassure her silently. He watched Owens leave with her.
"If you are wanting the command codes I don't plan on giving them to you." He said glaring.
"Oh, I expected that, Commander." Holtz smiled. "You may regret that later." He chuckled.
Ops, Captain Stiles office, Starbase 186
"I only have one question about this whole mess." Rivas stated, "Why wasn't I informed sooner?"
"Because we were a bit busy trying to figure out how to resolve the situation, plus you had your notifications shut off and you didn't have your combadge," Stiles said, levelly less than amused. "That and you aren't exactly on the duty roster at the moment."
Rivas didn't say anything he didn't want to go into details. "So what's the plan on how to get them and the ship back?"
"The Falcon has been dispatched, she's a new vessel in the same class as the Raptor, literally just rolled off the assembly line a few days ago, she has a new crew, young Captain. They have been dispatched to assist in trying to get the Raptor back. Starfleet would like you to supervise since you have the most knowledge of the ship."
"So, I'm being returned to active duty?"
Stiles nodded. "I know you are still recovering from your injuries but you are the man we need for the job."
Rivas smiled. "Well it worked out anyway, Harry was wanting me back in the field, I guess it's just happening a bit sooner."
"I will also note that you will be the ranking officer on that ship. Lt. Rayna-Ka is the acting captain." Stiles said. "It may rankle her a bit but Fleet HQ wants you in command."
"I think if anyone can be empathetic to her position, it would be myself," Rivas said, finding the twisted irony in the fate of the situation. "Is there anything else?"
"Yes, they also want to Take Lt. O'mara, Remmick, and Rydel with you for similar reasons to assist with the recovery or destruction of the vessel."
"Understood," Rivas said. "Do we have any idea who took it?"
"We have a little bit of information on them, they are a dissident group called the Patriots of Lylat, they cropped up a few years after we made first-contact and started the recovery effort on Corneria," Stiles explained handing him a datapad. "Their leader is Theodore Holtz, apparently he's the child of one of the old blood families that used to run Corneria."
Rivas looked at the image and couldn't help but think he'd seen the visage of the Jackal around the station from time to time. He read over his record, graduate of the Cornerian Space Force Academy, transferred to Cornerian intelligence for five years until it's disbandment when it became a member world. Rivas frowned, that would explain the dissidence. "So, what is their beef with the Confederation?"
"They have publicly stated that we are "Preventing." Corneria from recovery when the sad fact is it's the remnants of the old guard a lot of their members hail from that we are gradually trying to push out of power in your world. I am sure you are more than familiar with this." Stiles said.
"Unfortunately yes," Rivas said. "I recall Admiral Kramer musing that if allowed he would have beamed the whole Cornerian Administratum to the brig of his ship and dumped them all on a colony world just to help speed things along quicker."
Stiles grinned. "I assure you, he wasn't the first to think that, however, the Confederations strategy of "Gentle" persuasion has failed. Rather recently Commander Martinez was dispatched to deliver them an Ultimatum to either meet expectations, or they would be removed from power. I'm not surprised that he became a target for these fanatics."
Rivas shook his head. Why anyone would want to go back to how things used to be way beyond him, even after the Lylat Wars, the strife just continued. By the time the Echidna's had shown up the whole damn system was on the verge of collapse and the once forward advance of progress had become a slow downward spiral of entropy. The Cornerian Administratum was just a collection of old nobility, old-guard military commanders and in his opinion, morons, whose only solution to save the sinking ship was to keep drilling more holes in the hull to make it sink faster. He was there the day of first-contact, he recalled how relieved he felt when he saw the gleaming silvery hull of the Gideon out of the viewport of the Excalibur's bridge, and this glorious, shining vessel teaming with technology years ahead of their own only offered friendship and to help them and their plight. Then after the first, more followed, bringing aid, food and they only asked for friendship, cultural exchange, and cooperation in return. To this day, nothing more had been asked, Rivas couldn't understand why anyone would be so opposed to that.
"How long until the Falcon arrives?" Rivas asked.
"In about 3 hours."
"Then I should probably get packed, I'll get the rest of the team assembled."
"Best of luck commander, I do not envy your task," Stiles said. "Try to bring our people back if not the ship."
"I'll do my best, sir," Rivas replied.
Fara was rather roughly pushed into engineering after her bindings had been removed.
She glared at the Feline and reckoned if she could get that gun out of her hand she might be able to get the best of her.
It was just the two of them at the moment.
"So, what are we here for."
"You are to recalibrate the warp engines so we can survive taking a little trip into the Badlands," Owens said, keeping a level gaze and steady aim on her.
"The Badlands?" Fara said. "Why are we going there?"
"It's not your place to be asking questions," Owens said motioning with her hand phaser. "So why don't you get to work."
"Fine, it will take some…"
"You have 30 minutes to complete the work or I'll blast you." Owens grinned. "You have 29 minutes and 55 seconds left. I suggest you get to work."
"Ugh, Luv we are getting nowhere fast," Sonya said, wiping some sweat from her brow.
"I will have to admit this is taking way longer than I expected," Jakar said, sitting down and panting, hating to admit defeat. They had been working at the hatch for an hour and it had refused to budge despite their best efforts.
"The one time neither one of us had a hand phaser," Jakar grumbled.
"Well, it's not like we planned to get hijacked." Sonya chuckled. "So even if you did you'd seriously risk blowing a hole in a wall in a room full of torpedoes?!"
Jakar sighed. "Good point."
Suddenly the lights on that hatch changed from red to green and the hatch slid open.
"Well good thing the Rat's got your back or you'd both be screwed eh?" Knackt said crawling out.
Jakar's mood improved and he grinned standing up and Knackt brushed himself off. "I am glad for once to see you."
"Eh, I could have worse company in this mess," Knackt said. "Gimme a moment." He said taking a sonic screwdriver out quickly walking over to an ODN access and disabling the sensors in the torpedo bay. "Alright, so what's the plan?"
"Get us to the Armory," Jakar said. "We will figure it out from there."
"All right but I hope you like crawling, they got most of the doors locked down but they weren't able to seal off the tubes."
"How many are there?" Jakar asked.
"I dunno, I think about four of them might be more," Knackt said. "We should probably get moving before they try to figure out what's going on."
"Don't have to tell me twice," Sonya said, crawling into the tube. "I'll lead the way."
Harry paced in his cell, just from his little chat with the Jackal he'd already surmised why he was captured and what his position was. If they wanted to unlock all of the Raptor's capabilities they needed both him and Fara's codes to unlock all the ship's abilities. Normally this was done as soon as they both logged into their consoles once they got on board the ship and then the computer automatically logged them off when they left once the shutdown docking procedure had been initiated. He knew probably for the most part Fara and He was safe till wherever they got to where they were going. Rosa and Kyle, however, didn't have that luxury.
He had to figure a way out of the brig and then he remembered the transporter tags. He went over and picked them up off the floor. If he removed the needles he might be able with some careful scraping reconfiguring of the circuit, he could use it to overload the field. He hit the button for the small stool, sat down, broke the needles off, and quickly got to work.
Back on the bridge.
"Ms. Rosa was it?" Holtz said stepping behind her
"Y.. yeah." Carmina responded.
"Once we arrive at the coordinates I provided you. I want you to flash the running lights in this sequence. I would suggest that you do not try anything for your friend in the back may be at risk." He said, handing her a small data chip.
Ensign Rosa and take the chip. "I'll do as you ask."
"Good, because I may remind you, of all our cargo you and your friend are the least useful. I suggest you keep doing as you have been." Holtz growled going back to the Captain's chair.
Fara worked quickly making the necessary adjustments to calibrate the engines for a flight into the Badlands. If they were going to get out of this and the ship got that far she wanted to make sure they got home. Although her Captor wasn't smart enough to tell that she was secretly screwing with the plasma injectors as well. They were small adjustments here and there and she planned to have it cause overpressure in the system forcing them to drop out of warp. Once all hell broke loose all she had to do was deal with Miss kitty-cat in the ensuing chaos and run for the hiding place she had already picked out.
"You have five minutes, Ms. Phoenix." Owens hissed. "You had better have that modification completed."
"Oh, it will be, just finishing it up now," Fara said, keeping her best poker face she was going to teach these jerks for ruining her evening, and for messing with her ship.
Raptor Main Armory.
A maintenance hatch opened and Sonya Jax climbed out with Jakar and Knackt behind her.
"I was expecting some aerobics later tonight but not like that." She joked helping them out.
Jakar smirked at her. "Maybe later." Before he went over to the lockers and started to put in his codes to get it over.
"So what do we do now?" Knackt asked.
"Sonya and I can handle it from here," Jakar said, tossing her a phaser rifle and grabbing one for himself. "You need to do what you can to get the ship back under our control," Jakar said, tossing Knackt a hand phaser.
"Ah so, Knackt get in the damn tunnels and solve our problems," Knackt said, catching the phaser a bit annoyed.
"You are the best at what you do," Jakar said humorously.
"Feh. Alright, Alright I'm goin'." He said clipping the hand phaser to his belt and climbing back into the hatch.
"Do we got any armor in one of these lockers, Luv?" Sonya said.
"Of course we do. We have everything we need." Jakar grinned opening another locker revealing the black security armor.
Sonya grinned widely. "It's what I always wanted! That's what I love about ya, you know how to show a girl a good time." She said kissing him on the cheek and grabbing a suit of armor to don.
Harry in the meanwhile had gotten the transponders in the transporter tags to function again. He then was able to set the needle to act as a charger and change the impedance just enough that the Raptor's transporter should try to lock onto them again the next time the force field goes up. The overload was going to wreck the holding cells emitters and blast whoever was on the other side. He hoped if Fara came back she'd be ready for it.
"What is our E.T.A, helm?" Holtz asked.
"Twenty-five minutes at our current speed," Rosa replied.
Holtz grabbed his comlink. "Owens are those modifications to our engines done yet?"
Owens checked her wrist, there were only a few seconds left.
"Modifications are complete, you happy now?" Fara said, turning around keeping her hands up.
Kursk entered Engineering.
"Good you are here," Owens said. "I was getting tired of babysitting.
Fara glared as she recognized the Boar she had chastised him a few times for catching him rummaging around on the Raptor and had promptly been run off over the last few months She thought he was just some bothersome incompetent that worked on the station.
"I know you." She said. "I thought there was something dirty about you."
"Hah. Well if you'd dug a little harder maybe you wouldn't be in the position you are in right now." Kursk laughed.
Fara's ears perked as she heard the tale-tell sign of a computer error system.
"Yeah about that," Fara said suddenly grinning ear to ear..
"PLASMA PRESSURE OVERLOAD, VENTING DRIVE PLASMA ALL HANDS BRACE FOR SUDDEN WARP DECELERATION!" The Computer suddenly blurted and the alarm Klaxon sounded.
The ship suddenly came to a drastic stop sending the Boar and Cat tumbling across the deck. Fara dove rolled with it coming to her feet and bolting out the door, thanking all that training Jakar had given her in the self-defense class as she heard the other two cursing her as the door slid shut as she passed through it. She quickly found a locker and grabbed a tool kit and made a run for the bowls of the ship using an e-lock release to disappear into the service tubes.
"Holtz to Kursk, just what in the hell is going on down there!" Holtz demanded picking himself up off the floor.
"The Damn Vixen pulled a fast one on us…. Looks like she caused a plasma interlock in the drive engines!"
"Well, deal with her!" Holtz hissed.
"I can't she got away!"
"THEN YOU FIX THE ENGINES AND SEND OWENS TO FIND HER NOW!" Holtz snapped over the comlink.
"Yeah, yeah keep yer shirt on." The boar said shutting off the comlink.
"What in the hell is a plasma interlock, explain!" Holtz demanded of Rosa. Ensign Rosa didn't know the answer she just stammered in response.
Holtz drew his weapon and aimed it at her. "Remember what I told you about being useful."
"I don't really know, it has something to do with the drive systems.." Rosa sputtered.
"It's when plasma flow is impeded the computer will automatically purge the nacelles of drive plasma bringing a starship to a stop," Kyle spoke up.
"How big of a problem is this?"
"The entire system has to be purged. If you have an engineer he should know this." Kyle said glaringly.
"How long does that take?"
"One to two hours."
"And you know this why?"
"I study the ships I fly, but I'm not an engineer, I just know what it is that doesn't mean I know how to fix it," Kyle said levelly. "She wouldn't know either we're helmsman, it's our job to know what it is not how to fix it."
Holtz growled and looked over at Kurowski. "Contact the Vespira. Tell them there's been a change in plans."
"Right away." The Gecko nodded.
The bear grunted.
"Go deal with the others that are on the ship. If you spot the vixen, we need her alive."
"Alright, boss. Crack skulls, the Girls got to be breathing." He said quickly leaving the bridge.
"You, Kyle was it?" Holtz said, undoing the young echidna's bindings to the console and hoisting him to his feat. "Are coming with me to the brig to see your captain, let's move. Kurowski, lock the door behind me and get those internal sensors back up so we can find her."
Rivas, Omara, Rydel, and Rimmick stepped off the transporter pad. They were all taken about at just how much different the Falcon's interior was to their own ship. It was newer sleeker and more uniform than they all were used too
There was a red-furred female echidna with blonde hair awaiting them.
"Commander Rivas, Welcome aboard," Rayna said flatly, obviously less than infused with the situation.
"Captain we have a lot to go over and not a lot of time," Rivas said. "I am not here to usurp your command structure and will just be a brief shift until this crisis is resolved. I'll expect you to carry out your duties as my exec. Only in relations to the crew and keeping me apprised of the technological updates of this vessel."
Rayna seemed a little relieved. "Gladly." She nodded to a female Altairan at the transporter controls. "Cerina, can you escort our guests to their quarters."
"Yes sir." The Altairian replied. "If you would all follow me." She said to O'mara, Rydel, and Remmick.
Rivas waited till they left. He shifted his weight and the annoying whine of their servos that helped him walk accented it. "I want to be frank and off the record with you."
"Sure," Rayna-Ka replied.
"I fully understand how you feel, my first command was supposed to be the Raptor, and the man who had promised it to me handed it to someone else just out of the blue. " He paused to let that sink in. "Right now we have a very dangerous ship out there that is probably a match for even your own with its capabilities, I know how it works and how we can stop it and that's more important. Is that understood?"
"Absolutely Commander," Rayna said smiling. "This is going on better than I thought it would already.
"Excellent," Rivas said. "I'm glad we can see eye to I on the matter."
"I'll just have to get used to standing is all."
"What does that mean?"
"You'll have to see the bridge, I'll show you and give you a rundown about the Falcon." Rayna smiled. "Come along commander, she's a lot different than the Raptor I'm sure."
Harry, despite hitting the bulkhead and getting his bell rung sufficiently he managed to get the device in place and he quickly glanced to make sure it was still there. When the computer had announced the emergency stopped he already figured Fara had made her move. He only hoped she'd managed to get away. The doors to the brig opened up, he saw the jackal had returned however this time he had Ensign Kyle with him.
"Problems?" Harry said with mock concern.
"Yes, your Engineer has sufficiently thrown a wrench into our plans," Holtz growled. "So, I am going to give you one chance. You call her back or I kill him." He said putting the barrel of his blaster under Kyle's chin.
Kyle didn't say anything but Harry could tell he was scared.
"You don't have to do that. I'll tell Fara to stand down, but I need a comlink to do it." Harry said. "And you sort of caught me when I don't have one."
"Use his!" Holtz demanded shaking Kyle.
"I can't, they don't work that way," Harry said, trying to calm the jackal down, who was obviously severely irritated at the situation. "Each badge is keyed to its user; it won't respond to me."
"Fine, he goes in there you come out here. Get against the wall."
"Alright, just don't hurt him," Harry said, putting his hands against the edge of the cell. This wasn't going down as he planned, but he had to work with what he got, at least Ensign Kyle would be relatively safe.
Holtz deactivated the forcefield. "Now go in there and do as he does. Once he has his hands against the wall you come out Martinez."
"Sure," Harry said.
Kyle did as told and Harry walked out with his hands up. As soon as he passed the threshold Holtz activated the forcefield again, Harry heard the hum of a transporter and hit the deck. Suddenly a transporter beam connected with the brigs forefield and there was an explosion as the entire system overloaded. It knocked Holtz against the bulkhead causing him to drop the weapon.
The room was filled with smoke and Harry couldn't find the blaster in the mess. "Ensign Kyle, if you are still with us I suggest you follow me out of here. We need to leave now." He said cursing and getting to his feet.
"Aye, sir!" Kyle said coughing following Harry's voice. Finding him helping him up and heading out into the corridor.
"Now what's the plan?"
"We take the ship back, come on follow me," Harry said, booking it down the hall. "How many are there?"
"Five that I know of but there may be more they were talking about a rendezvous with another ship."
"When it rains it pours," Harry growled
"Don't worry, Ensign." Harry puffed. "The longer you're a part of the crew the more you'll get used to it, this way!"
Fara stopped crawling a junction and quickly took out a tricorder and scanned to see where everyone was. The brig was empty except for one lifeform that seemed to be unconscious at the moment, outside of the cell. Two were moving through deck 2 together towards deck 3, one was on deck three heading towards the torpedo bay, as well as two more which she figured where the pig and cat and 2 more were in the armory and another was moving rather quickly through the maintenance tubes towards the computer core. She tried to get a lock on it, from its size she figured it had to be Knackt. He said he was working on something on the ship prior to her date. It was going to be quite the crawl to get over that way, but she felt safer not going at it alone.
The Raptor was going to be out of commission for a few hours till they got the plasma interlock dealt with so she had some time to work with. She sighed noticing her blouse and slacks had already started to get torn up crawling through the tubes.
"Ah well if we don't die, I'll get a new one." She said to herself before heading off.
The Falcon was way different than the Raptor in almost every regard. It lacked the borg components or the weaponry however it still had the ablative armor, a supercharged phase cannon that remained retracted into the hull during normal space flight. A sleeker more compact model by far.
Rivas smiled to himself, he couldn't help to think that Fara wouldn't feel a small bit of pride that someone had taken her idea and improved upon it. It also just reeked of a new ship, something the Raptor even lacked upon completion, Rivas chalked it up to the fact that it was rebuilt out of a hulk although Fara would often criticize him for being superstitious.
The Bridge had two levels and was even smaller than the Raptor's. Con and Opps were forward of the Captain's chair, in the lower level in front of the main viewer. Science, Communications, Engineering, and an auxiliary station were full wall consoles in the rear and there were two secondary consoles to either side of the Captain's chair at the same level the one to the captain's right appeared to be Tactical.
"I take it, you approve Commander?" Lt. Ka asked.
"It's.. different I'll give it that."
"Attention," Rayna said, getting her crew's attention. "This is Commander Rivas, he will be in command for the remainder of this mission, I ask you to pay him the same respect that you pay to me. I will be serving as an executive officer during his tenure here. He knows what we are dealing with and what the Raptor is capable of so I suggest you follow his orders to the letter with no problems, is that understood.
"Yes sir." They all responded in unison.
Rivas looked at the bridge crew; they were all a bunch of kids for the most part, ensigns, Junior Grade Lieutenants. Most of them looked like they hadn't even seen combat yet.
"I see we have already gotten underway." He said slowly. "We will need to have a senior staff meeting with my people and you before we intercept the Raptor. I expect you all to be there in 10 minutes just so you can grasp what exactly we are dealing with. Is that understood?"
The Falcon's crew nodded.
He leaned towards Rayna and quietly asked. "I take it the conference room is located forward of the bridge."
"More or less," Rayna responded amused.
"Good and thank you," Rivas said sitting in the command chair and trying to quickly get familiar with the controls on the flip-up panels on the armrest. "Mind giving me a quick run-through on these, they're usually over here," Rivas said motioning to the sides
"Sure," Rayna said walking over and showing him the law out of the panels.
Harry had managed to find an E-lock release and he had Kyle keeping a lookout while he worked the door for the armory. They already had to duck the large ursine, Brunt, who passed by the area on his way back towards the aft part of the ship.
"Almost got it." Harry said getting the E-lock to sit properly. "Here help me with the door."
Kyle nodded and they forced it slowly open. The room wasn't illuminated which was odd, but Harry didn't think about it as he entered and then was promptly grabbed and thrown to the floor with Kyle behind him.
"Keep your hands where we can see them." A muffled voice said over a speaker.
The lights snapped on and Harry turned to see two figures donned in combat armor."
"Smeg it's the Skipper!" One of them said, Harry thought he recognized a feminine voice. She quickly closed the door, the larger one touched the side of his helmet and the visor rose up.
"Apologies Commander, we thought you were the Hijackers," Jakar said, a bit embarrassed. "Think nothing of it, I'm glad to see you here," Harry said getting back up. "This is Ensign Danny Kyle, he's new to the crew. Ensign this is my Tactical officer Jakar."
"Charmed," Danny said getting up and brushing himself off.
"Have you seen Fara?" Harry asked.
"Negative we were getting ready to move out when you started messing with the door. Knackt is making his way to the computer core. He should be there now. I'm assuming that little sudden stop was Fara's doing?"
"More than likely, yes," Harry replied. "So I see you took my idea."
"There are plenty of weapons sir, help yourself," Jakar said.
"Don't mind if I do, but next time let's get some more of those suits requisitioned," Harry said opening a weapons locker.
"I will make it my priority when this is over," Jakar replied.
Meanwhile, the Vespira dropped out of warp and slowly began approaching the Raptor. It was a well worn Cornerian Assault Carrier and it hailed them.
On the bridge, Korowaski answered the call and informed them to dock and disembark their fellow compatriots and to bring weapons with the current situation on hand.
"Open the door." He hurt heard over the Comlink. Korowaski complied and the Jackal entered with Brunt following. Holtz was gingerly rubbing his head.
"What happened to you?"
"The Captain got away, now the whole lof them save for her." He said pointing at Rosa. "Are running around this ship unabated."
"Well that will change soon we are preparing to dock with the Vespira."
"Excellent," Holtz said. "That will give us some sorely needed numbers maybe this won't be a complete fuck up after all. Ivo are you anywhere close to getting the eternal sensors up so we can find our hostages."
"I've been working on it. Yes, these things take time without being in direct interface with the core." Korowski replied.
Fara arrived in the Computer core and opened the hatchway. "Knackt are you here?" She said with a hushed voice.
"Yeah over here." He said quietly back.
She looked through the gloom and saw his small form hunched over an open trunk.
"What are you getting ready to do?"
"Take out the internal sensors, their boy up there is trying to get them up and running. I have other ideas." Knackt said pulling out a row of optical chips and stuffing them into his pockets. "That should do it. I take it you did the sudden stop earlier?"
"You know it." Fara smiled.
"I can wreck the whole ship from here if you want me to," Knackt said.
"Take out the targeting sensors."
"Already way ahead of ya." Knackt chuckled.
"Good job," Fara said. "I think we've done enough, let's clear out before they come looking for us."
"Won't get no argument from me," Knackt said closing the equipment trunk.
Suddenly they felt the ship shake and the sound of an airlock connecting.
"Oh shit, that is not good," Fara said.
"Sounds like the party just got more interesting," Knackt said less than infused.
The Raptor's forward airlock opened and nearly fifty armed and armored Cornerian men and women of various races piled into the ship.
"What's the plan, sir?" Kyle asked as they quickly hurried towards the shuttle bay through deck four.
"The plan is ensign, I want you and ensign Rosa off this ship," Harry said. "I'm afraid that mad man may use her as a hostage or kill her. Take the Talon, lock onto her combadge, use the emergency transporter and the both of you go get help."
"Won't you stand a better chance of retaking the ship if we help?" Kyle asked.
"Perhaps, but they want Chief Phoenix and myself," Harry said. "I'm going to be damned if I'll let them take my ship."
"Understood sir," Kyle replied as they walked down the gangway to the shuttle bay. Jakar and Jenna quickly climbed up to the main shuttle control room and Harry ran with Ensign Kyle to open the Talon's rear hatch. Once Kyle was inside he walked over to the shuttles mag lock assembly and began to disengage the Clamps that held the Talon in place.
An alarm sounded as the Jakar triggered the containment forcefield and began to open the shuttle bay doors.
Harry knew they only had a few moments before everyone on the vessel knew what they were up to and quickly motioned to Danny through the Talon's cockpit window to get the lead out on getting the shuttle mobile.
The young echidna gave him a thumbs-up as he heard the shuttles repulsors fire as it lifted off the deck. Harry was about to breathe a sigh of relief when the shuttle bay gangway opened up and three armed individuals led by the feline named Owens came through.
Harry quickly squeezed off a few shots in their direction from his phaser rifle sending them to dive for cover while he did the same. Trying to make his way over to the gangway ladder. Jakar and Sonya from above had already started raining shots down on the intruders.
Kyle seeing the storm of Phaser and Blaster fire outside quickly gunned the Talon's engines and the Talon flew out the bay doors.
"Don't shoot the Brown Echidna we need him!" Owens yelled at her men.
Harry smirked as crouched by a crate near the ladder. That only affirmed what he had thought earlier. The only safe ones were him and Fara.
He had an idea. "Jakar, get out of here, more of them will just keep coming."
"What about you sir?!" Jakar asked quickly, turning and blasting a figure that emerged from the side entrance where they screamed toppled over the railing, and crashed to the deck below.
"What about me? I gave you an order lieutenant!" Harry shouted sprinting for a side door that led out of the shuttle bay.
"Fall back to section j 26." He said over his helmet communicator to Sonya.
Sonya nodded in response and disappeared through another side door on the open deck and Jakar quickly followed as more hijackers came pouring onto the upper deck.
Owens watched Harry dive through the door and quickly followed after him. "Get them the Commander is mine!" She shouted at her men. She paused at the edge as it opened and surprisingly no fire came through. She quickly grabbed at her belt and removed two small smoke grenades and tossed them inside while quickly slipping on the visor from another pouch on her belt. Before heading inside drawing her vibrablades. She cautiously moved forward looking for the glow of his body heat being picked up the visor but didn't see anything to her confusion, the blow from above told her she had messed up. Harry had climbed up on top of one of the deflector generators her visor and one vibrablade went clattering off into the gloom.
Kyle set the shuttle to pass over the bridge and scrambled up to the ops console and quickly got a lock on Rosa's combadge. He knew he only had a few moments to get her and get the shields up because he was right in the line of fire for both the Vespira's weapons and the Raptor's phaser strips.
"Where is that shuttle? What is it doing!?" Holtz demanded.
"I'm not sure," Kurowski replied. "They are right above the bridge currently."
"Blast it out of the sky!" Holtz ordered.
Kurowski activated the phasers and tried to lock onto the shuttle.
"Targeting Sensors offline. Manual targeting only." the computer responded.
Kurowski hissed severely irritated. The stowaways must have done something to the computer. He quickly brought up the manual targeting controls.
Just then a transporter hum was heard and Ensign Rosa disappeared in a swirl of transporter energy.
"Danny?" Rosa said seeing him as she materialized on the Talon.
She ran up and embraced him. "I'm glad you're ok."
"Yeah me too, gotta cut this short, take ops I got to get us out of here!" Danny said blushing and pushing her back.
"Yes of course," Rosa replied, taking the seat.
The Talon shook as a crimson beam lanced dangerously close to the talon and turbo laser barrages from the Vesperia as well.
"Engaging shields!" Rosa said getting the Talons shields up.
"Hang on, I'm going to try to get us clear for warp," Danny said easing the ship forward.
Another shot came dangerously close causing the Talon to shudder again.
"I don't want to rush you but they are getting a lot closer!" Rosa said.
"I know I know!" Kyle replied by activating the warp drive once the sensors said they were clear. However, as soon as they did a phaser bolt struck the back of the craft. Sparks flew throughout the cabin as the Talon's standard shields could barely withstand one shot from a phaser. They hurtled through warp space out of control and severely damaged.
"Did you destroy them?" Holtz asked.
"I don't think so, they won't get far," Kurowski said. "That one hit did a lot of damage, they'll either lose power or life support or both before too long."
Holtz harrumphed. "We'll be long gone by the time they find help if they get that far. What about the others."
"There's a skirmish on deck five, Owen's is down there I haven't heard from her yet."
"Well at least someone competent is handling it, I want them all captured, if not whatever, make sure everyone knows not to kill Commander Martinez or Fara Phoenix."
Lysa produced a dagger that was in her boot and quickly threw it at Harry, Harry tried to dodge but it sunk into his arm. Running on adrenaline Harry quickly ran up and planted a kick right across her jaw hard enough her head bounced off the deck and she laid silent.
"Damnit!" Harry said. He quickly ran over and locked the door and activated the air circulation to clear the smoke out. Harry searched the unconscious feline and removed the remaining daggers he found and rounded up the vibrablades and tossed them into the recycler. He found her blaster and checked it for a charge. Using some cable from a maintenance locker he tied her up and bound his wound after removing the knife.
So that plan had been moderately… successful he had hoped.
Hopefully, Kyle was able to get away, but now he was separated from Jakar and Jax who were probably keeping the rest of the Hijackers busy at least. He needed to find Fara if possible, he was worried about her.
He flexed his fingers and winced in pain. The dagger had done some damage he would need to find a medical kit before too long if he could risk it. It wasn't the first time he had been stabbed and compared to getting shot it was a walk in the park, pain-wise.
Gingerly he climbed back up the deflector generator and made his way to an access hatch to the tubes and disappeared within.
Meanwhile on the Falcon.
Rivas turned off the footage from the Epsilon 3 tests and turned to the crew who were looking on in quiet horror.
"So, now you can see what the Raptor is fully capable of," Rivas said. "Any questions?"
The Male Cabarran Tactical officer Sorn Drall raised his hand.
"Yes, Mr. Drall."
"Do you happen to know the shield frequencies for the Raptor, because if we can hit it with our main gun, it might be enough to cripple it?"
Rivas nodded. "That is true but if the attack mode is active you will have one shot after that the shields will adapt."
He heard Captain Ka stifle a laugh.
"Is there a problem Ms. Ka?"
She tried to keep a serious face but couldn't. "No, it's just… Attack Mode? That's just adorable. I'm sorry this is very serious. It's just that name, made me laugh and took me a bit off guard."
"What do you call it?" Rivas asked dourly.
"Well, Pursuit Mode," Rayna said. "It deploys the weapons and the armament and boosts the engines; it seemed more fitting. A bit less….. Obvious."
"Our Captain came up with the name, he's a bit blunter with his name conventions."
"From what I've read on the Raptor the protection from the Rotational shielding is a bit iffy." Lt. Drall continued smiling a little at the light brevity.
"It was but after the recent refit at Altaria, everything is working in top form. So if the Hijackers have managed to get the command codes we will have a fight on our hands."
"Commander, if… if I may." O'mara said, putting her hand up.
"By all means." Rivas smiled at her.
"I am familiar with our shields enough that with Remmick's help we might be able to find a way to get past the rotation shielding." She said speaking up looking over at Kai Remmick.
"It's doable, I wouldn't rely on it though," Kai said after a few moments of thought.
"The only problem is." Jenna Rydel added sitting beside him. "Is we have to be faster and more predictable than the computer, I might be able to get the Falcons computer to be able to produce a phaser rotation that might be effective, with your permission of course."
Kai and O'mara nodded as well.
Rivas smiled he was grateful that Harry had managed to get his crew in good enough shape they didn't need prodding to start coming up with ideas.
"Well those are all good ideas, I suggest you get on them as soon as possible. Our other hope is that if Fara and the Captain or the others onboard have escaped, they will try their best to disable the ship by any means possible. If they can take out the systems that will pose the most threat then this will be fairly easy, but we can't count on that because we don't know if they are incapacitated or not. Are there any other questions?"
Nobody said anything.
"Alright, we are still on their trail, stay on your toes, O'mara, Rydel, Remmick get to work on that idea. Dismissed."
Everyone got up and left with the exception of Rayna Ka after the last crewmen had left. "I am sorry about that, it was very unprofessional of me."
Rivas shrugged. "Just watch that stuff around the higher brass, they tend to frown on that."
Rayna nodded. "Thanks, I'll try to watch it."
"Trust me, they'd make you feel like a cadet being dressed down in front of the class when they were done with you. So just bite your tongue next time."
"I will keep that in mind. So what are our chances of stopping the Raptor?"
"Slim to Great depending on the beating the Falcon can take and how your crew handles it," Rivas replied. "In my experience just because a vessel is new, you don't know how well it's built until it takes its first hit. That's when you find out everything that is wrong with it and how tough it is, that part I am not looking forward to."
"Was it like that with the Raptor?"
Rivas nodded. "Oh yeah."
"I guess we'll find out." Rayna Ka smiled. "I'll see you on the bridge." She said exiting the conference room. Rivas did shortly after her and headed down the corridor just a Michelle stepped out from a bulkhead surprising him.
"I thought you had work to do?" He said.
"You mean to stand there and watch the wonder couple do all the work?" Michelle teased. "I'll check on them a bit." She said. "Looks like you and Lt. Ka are getting mighty chummy."
Rivas flushed. "What do you mean by that."
"Well, you didn't rip into her for disrupting the meeting," Michelle said smoothing her feathers. "Something going on with you two I don't know about?" She teased.
"No!" Rivas sputtered. "I just respect her position in this matter."
"I think you like her, maybe just a little bit," Michelle said holding up her feathered talons an inch apart.
"Fine, maybe I do." He looked around real quick and then grabbed her and pulled Michelle close against him when he saw no one was around. "You don't have anything to worry about," he said squeezing her rump.
Michelle let out a choir and giggled and pushed back. "Ok ok, I'll stop teasing you. Want to meet for a late lunch?"
"Sure, I got to go over a few things on the bridge and I'll be over in what an hour."
Michelle nodded. "Sure, all things considered."
"See you then."
Fara and Knackt were crawling through the tubes when an access hatch from the adjoining corridor opened up, and a large ursine arm shot through and grabbed Fara by her ankle and someone tried to pull her out through the hatch. Fara screamed for knackt to help and sunk her fingers into the grate.
"LET ME GO!" She said trying to kick at the iron grip on her ankle.
"You better let go or youse gonna be short a few fingers when I done wit ya!" Brunt yelled through the hatchway. He was too big to fit and he pulled hard and Fara yelped in pain as her flesh and bone yielded to the metal grating of the tube. "Now let go or I bring you out in pieces!" Brunt snarled pulling even harder again.
Fara screamed again as the pull made her back hurt as he violently jerked on her leg and the metal cut into her fingers.
Suddenly Brunt yelled out in pain. Fara quickly scrambled forward.
Knackt spat out a chunk of bloodied flesh and fur. "RUN, I got this jerk." He said as she heard Brunt scream in pain. "Ya, and there's more where that came from!" Knackt said backing up and taking his hand phaser and taking a few shots out into the corridor.
Fara crawled as quickly as she could forward and disappeared around a corner as she heard more and more energy weapon fire exchange behind her. She moved as fast as she could panting and feeling the pain in her hands and legs as well as her knees. She found a junction that went down to deck three at a small junction. She quickly slid down the ladder and took a moment to catch her breath but a junction hatch opened.
Fara yelped in surprise not knowing where to flee from the shock but she soon saw Harry crawl out of the tube and stand up.
"Harry!" She said running up and embracing him.
Harry held his finger up to her muzzle to remind her to be quiet and she nodded.
"What happened to your arm?" She asked in a hushed voice seeing the binding on his right arm.
"Little fight down in the shuttle bay, what's wrong with your hands?"
"Big guy got a hold of me and nearly pulled me in half," Fara said noticing her fingers were bleeding. "Knackt got him off me but I don't know what happened."
"Hopefully he's fine," Harry said grabbing her paw and looking at her fingers and the deep cuts on the underside of them. "Forgive me for this."
Suddenly she felt him pull on the blouse and heard fabric tear as he quickly removed the bottom third of it and fashioned it into bandages. "I found some antiseptic and anti-inflammatory just hold still a second," he said treating her injuries. Fara let him do it, although now noticing her midriff was now completely exposed with the cloth torn from it. The blouse was now officially trashed.
"Again. Sorry." Harry said, finishing dressing her wounds.
"It's ok," Fara said feeling the pain subside in her hands and examining the bandaging. "Are all your dates like this?"
"Not usually," Harry said smiling mirthfully.
"What do you mean usually?"
"Ok ok, so now what?"
"Well, I am hoping that Kyle and Rosa got away to get help," Harry replied. "You did what you needed to do, good job."
"Jakar and Sonya are probably somewhere raising hell, I'm not too worried about them, they will give this lot a run for their money and keep them busy," Harry replied.
"So what do we do?"
"They want us, I suggest we stick together," Harry said.
Fara glanced down to the blaster stuck in his belt along with his phaser. "Can you spare one of those?"
"Yeah, sure." He handed her the blaster. "Be careful it's a modified t34."
"Oh good a hand cannon with a stun setting you'd not want to get hit with," Fara said taking the blaster and looking it over.
"It'll work," Fara said, sticking it in her belt. "If we can take engineering, I can drop the bulkheads, and then it'll be hard for them to do anything at that point."
"It's not a bad idea, I'd rather we all be on the same side if we do it," Harry said. "What about Knackt?"
"If he's not dead, that's where he'll head anyways, he knows every bit of that part of the ship like the back of his hand if he isn't already there." Fara surmised. "So we should probably find Jakar and Sonya."
Harry nodded. "They are probably on deck four, you ready?"
Fara nodded. "Could use some water but yeah."
"Alright let's go."
"How long until the engines are back up and running?" Holtz asked on the monitor in engineering.
"Maybe another thirty minutes, I got some of our people over here but they aren't as familiar with Feddy tech," Kursk grumbled. "That bitch messed us up pretty good."
"What needs to be done?" Holtz said tersely accenting each ward.
"We need to restart the core and repressurize the plasma flow to the engines," Kursk said. "These things take time, even on one of our ships."
"Time is a luxury we don't have, Kursk, get it done, I am sure our lead is rapidly dwindling." Holtz snapped.
"Yeah, well, beatin' a dead horse ain't going to make this go any faster," Kursk said cutting off the channel.
He could get the job done, he knew enough he could muddle through it with the help of the computer, getting it done quickly was another story altogether.
Carmina Rosa woke up and sat up with a groan.
The Talons cabin was filled with smoke and dimly illuminated by flickering consoles and the embers of a few small fires from burning circuitry.
Slowly she got to her feet and coughed breathing in the acrid fumes and quickly located a fire extinguisher and set about putting out the flames. As she did so she heard Danny groan and felt glad that she wasn't alone. "You ok over there."
"Yeah… I think so, a little beat up." Danny grunted.
Carmina put the extinguisher down and went to the ops console and tried to check the life-support systems to see if they could clear the air. "Life support is at 50% re-routing power I'm going to try to clear the smoke out of the cabin."
After a few minutes of messing about with the barely responsive console, they heard the air circulation system kick on and soon the air began to clear.
"Engines are offline, I'm going to see if I can figure out where we are at." Danny Kyle said getting back into the pilot seat. "Can you try to figure out how bad we got hit?"
"Trying to…" She looked at the readout. "Looks like the Starboard nacelle took the hit, and we might be missing part of it, some other structural damage. Internal sensors are a bit messed up I'll see what I can do."
"Don't stress too much, we're at least alive, and maybe a bit crippled," Danny said lightly. "We'll work with what we have."
Rosa nodded and tried to restore what she could with computer control. Finally, she was able to get the lights and external sensors back up. "Auxillary power is online."
"No, not that I can detect," Rosa replied.
"Good, then we can get into the aft compartment," Kyle replied. "Go ahead and send out a general distress call. With any luck, someone might be along to find us."
Danny got up and started heading for the back.
"Ok distress signal broadcasting," Rosa reported. "Where are you going?" she asked.
"Out, I need to see how bad that nacelle is. I'll be back in a few." Danny smiled stepping through the aft door. "Someone needs to stay here and answer if anyone responds."
A computer signal went off on the communication station of the Falcons bridge.
"Commander." The Male Feline Corneris n by the name of Yates spoke up suddenly. "I am picking up a general distress signal from A Shuttlecraft talon."
Rivas immediately moved over to the station. "Where."
"It's coming from coordinates 265, 35 Mark 2." Yates replied. "It's just an automated signal."
"Lieutenant O'mara will we lose the Raptor's ionization trail if we deviate to intercept?" Rivas asked.
"We shouldn't, it's still pretty fresh," O'mara responded from the science station.
"Very good, helm, move us to intercept," Rivas ordered. "Lieutenant Ka, I hope your shuttle bay can accommodate the Talon?"
"It will be a bit tight but it should, we don't really have the room for an auxiliary craft that your ship has." Rayna-Ka replied."
"Trust me if that thing is salvageable we might just need it." Rivas said sitting in the Captain's chair.
Rayna looked a bit confused but shrugged. "If you say so."
Another Cornerian Raider fell under Phaser fire as Jakar and Sonya moved through deck four.
"You'd think they'd get sick of sending guys after us." Sonya said as they vaulted over him and Jakar dove towards the ground and fired off two more shots down a corridor felling two more raiders.
Sonya heard footsteps coming up the opposite way and picked off two more as they tried to charge them.
Jakar grunted as he got up she could hear him panting. "We got to keep moving." He said in her ear.
"We might want to give it a rest." Sonya replied. "We can't keep this up forever."
They both suddenly heard the airlock uncouple.
"You're right, maybe we won't have too." Jakar said. Suddenly an alarm sounded, it wasn't an alert it was something else.
"Um what's that one, Luv haven't heard it before."
"They are sealing off this deck.' Jakar said. We got to move or we're going to be trapped!
Up on the bridge.
"I did it I did it yes! Deck 4 will be sealed off." Korowaski said gleefully.
"Good, at least we'll have our guests lock down just make sure that wasn't stupid enough to get shot gets out of there." Holtz said.
"The ones that can are." Korowski nodded.
"Bridge this is Kursk." The Boars voice came over Holtz's comlink. "Main engines are good to go I think, we should have warp power back any moment."
"Excellent." Holtz said. "Reese do you have the controls figured out yet."
The Grey fur Cornerian female fox looked over her shoulder at him. "Mostly, i don't like this control layout much but I can manage."
"Good, resume our course at Maximum warp. Kursk did Fara at least modify the Engines properly for entrance to the Badlands?"
"From what I can tell yes." Kursk replied. "The bussard collectors seem to be configured properly."
Holtz grinned. "She was probably hoping they would be successful and didn't want the ship to be stranded. Oh well that's all the better for us."
Fara and Harry stopped crawling as they heard the engines fire up and the ship jump into warp.
"Dammit I knew that wouldn't hold them too long." Fara cursed.
"It's fine Fara you did what you could." Harry consoled her as he started to crawl forward. "If anything you bought us time we didn't have."
"Yeah but now we're really out-numbered." Fara said hushedly.
Harry stopped at a hatchway and looked at the location number. "We're here." He fished out the e-lock hooked in his belt and quickly set to work to open the hatch. A few moments later it opened and they crawled out into one of the eerily green lit rooms that contained the equipment for the Raptor's adaptive shielding.
He helped Fara out of the Tube and they looked around in the gloom.
"Only problem is we have no idea how many of them there are." Fara said. "I disabled the internal sensors so we could be walking directly into a mess."
"Possibly but I doubt they'll come down here." Harry replied, stretching his neck and shoulders. "They wouldn't know what to make of any of this. Also they need both of us alive to get it to work."
"The command codes… ah i see." Fara said nodding. "Makes sense, that's why they aren't shooting at us."
Harry nodded. "Although I hate to say this but I think their leader has a plan to get the codes out of us one way or the other." Harry said looking around for anything of use. "That part is what worries me. If they were going to torture them out of us they would have done it by now. They must have some other means."
"So what's our next move?" Fara asked, frustration at the situation mounting on her voice.
"Try to do as much damage as we can, without putting ourselves into too much of a rut if we do succeed in recapturing the ship." Harry replied, moving over to the door and cautiously opening it and taking a peek into the corridor.
"Harry I am starting to think that may not be such a viable plan anymore." Fara said reluctantly. "Maybe we should set the self destruct and make for an escape pod." she said sadly.
"That's a possibility, but let's keep that a last ditch option ok?" Harry said. "I don't want to really send my first command off in a glorious fireball. Unless I have a damn good reason."
Fara made a wane smile and nodded. "Ok."
"Besides, we've got each other, we're armed and some sort of a plan." Harry shrugged. "It could be a lot worse."
"I wouldn't say what we have is a plan, it's more you are pulling things out of your ass again Harry." Fara chuckled. "Last time that didn't work out too well."
Harry's expression showed a bit of hurt.
Fara put her hand on his shoulder. "Look sorry, I was out of line. You weren't in your right mind at the time. I trust you'll think of something ok?"
Harry nodded. "It's a good thing you're an engineer." Harry said scoping out the corridor again.
"You'd make a terrible doctor, you have a habit reopening up old wounds."
"Touche." Fara replied. "But it makes me a damn good engineer."
"Head for the cloaking device, let's go." he said heading out into the corridor.
Ensign Kyle, in an evac suit floated along the side of the Talon surveying the damage. The back half of the starboard nacelle had been completely sheered off and it was totally dark. Closer inspection revealed that it was pretty much gone. It would have to be repaired, with facilities better than what he could do with a repair kit. The port nacelle appeared fine, they could at least limp along a bit on one if they absolutely had too. The nav com told him they were still in federation space and with the distress beacon going it shouldn't be too long before help arrived. Not seeing much else that could be done he made his way back to the main hatch and back into the Talon.
After a feew minutes of getting out of the evac suit he went back to the cockpit.
"Well how bad is it?" Rosa asked.
"Pretty bad we ware down a nacelle. I think we could probably still limp along on the good one. Did you get the main power restored yet."
"Great lets get the port nacelle charged and see what we can do."
Rosa nodded and then heard a proximity alarm go off. "Hold on we have another vessel approaching our location. It has a Confederation transponder."
"Well thank our stars for that." Kyle said, moving toward the cockpit and looking out the viewport. He spotted the Falcon slowly approaching in the distance.
"They are trying to hail us but our subspace communication array is damaged and we can't reply." Rosa reported.
"I wouldn't worry Carmina, I think they'll figure it out." Kyle said with relief.
Later on board the Falcon.
Lt. Commander Rivas and Lt. Ka both debriefed the two ensigns once they had been cleared by medical.
"So they've probably got enough people to man the ship properly, they have to deal with the Captain and the others and they've yet to get the command codes?" Rivas said in the Falcon's conference room.
"That's correct sir, but that was as of a few hours ago." Kyle repsoned.
"Alight, very well. Good job you two can take a well earned rest after what you've been through." Don said standing up. "We'll head for the coordinates that Ensign Rosa provided us. Now that we know where they are heading that will make this easier."
"Do you think we'll get the ship and the Captain back?" Rosa asked.
"I will do everything in my power to bring everyone back if possible. Commander Martinez was wise to remove you both from the situation. I fear if he hadn't you two may not be standing here right now."
Danny and Carmina exchanged looks.
"Commander Rivas?" Rosa asked.
"I think we'd both like to help if we can."
Rivas smiled. "Get some rest first and i'm sure Lt. Ka can find something for you to do."
"Sure, there's always something that needs to be done but I agree with the commander, you both need to rest, get a good meal in you and then we'll put you to work."
The both nodded. "Thank you sirs."
"Dismissed." Rivas said and they both left.
"Aya so the Badlands is it?" Rayna sighed. "This just get's better all the time."
"Agreed, I am sure you are more than aware of the engine modifications we'll have to do if they go into that mess."
"I am, I'm just not too thrilled about having to be put into a dry dock for two weeks for them to scrub every gods damned inch of the warp coils." Rayna sighed.
"You may want the vacation when we get done with this." Rivas shrugged.
"It figures I barely get the Falcon out of space dock for a few weeks and she's going to be right back in it." Rayna sighed.
"Don't fret about it, Command is a lot more lenient when they tell you to deliberately do something to damage the ship." Rivas shrugged.
"I suppose so." Rayna said. "Well we better get going. I just wonder why they are heading for the Badlands."
"I don't know, but whatever the reason is it can't be good." Rivas said walking to the viewport and staring out at the stars.
The Raptor dropped out of warp several thousand kilometers from the Badlands. The badlands were an area of space that resembled some strange nebula cloud that stretched for hundreds of light years in every direction.
Holtz sat in the command chair. "Kurowski transmit the locator signal." He ordered.
"Yes, transmitting it now."
Holtz tapped his fingers awaiting a response. Suddenly Kurowski's console beeped. "We've received the coordinates."
"Excellent, transfer the coordinates to the helm." Holtz grinned. "Once they are locked take us in at full impulse."
He leaned back and relaxed a bit, soon the trouble makers would be rounded up as long as they could keep them running and away from engineering and the computer core they might be able to pull this off.
He checked one of his side consoles and saw that the Vespira was still following close.
It was a minor comfort, dealing with the Black Star he didn't want to go in there alone.
They had psychers that could pry the codes out of Martinez and Phoenix not to mention help capture them. The price for this help was a good chunk of credits but they were the only group in the known galaxy that had empaths for this. The down side however was they operated strictly in the Badlands. He wasn't even sure that even with payment if they could trust them.
He grabbed his comlink. "Brunt have you found Owens yet?"
"Yeah boss, the Commander got her and had her trussed up down in the shuttle bay, she's pretty furious."
"I take it you still haven't located either one of them again."
"Not yet but we're working on it." Brunt replied. "It's not like they can get that far."
"Do what you can just try to keep them out of engineering." Holtz replied cutting of the channel.
Soon, hopefully the Raptor, would fully be his.
To be Continued…..