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Clear my Skies

Posted on 10 Nov 2017 @ 7:10pm by Lieutenant Celesia Rahn & Commander Jack Lashmore & Lieutenant Kylara Jax MD & Lieutenant Qen'aq & Lieutenant JG Shisa
Edited on on 11 Nov 2017 @ 5:03am

Mission: Mission 01: The Hromi Shakedown
Location: mixed / USS Southern Cross / Derelict Cruiser
Timeline: Co-current with all "Night of the walking clones"

USS Southern Cross, Deck 1, Bridge

It was only a few short moments for those aboard Qen'aq's vessel to be transported directly to the Southern Cross bridge. Once materialized Jack immediately made his way to the center chair which Celesia Rahn vacated upon his entry.

Staring at the viewscreen where the ancient derelict floated before them Jack rubbed his chin in impatient thought. "Can we estimate an ETA for them to extract the seeds and get to the hangar?"

Jack would not admit it, but with every second that passed he grew more agitated inside despite hiding it well. His best friend, his crew and....her, were all in danger and he was stuck on a sterile bridge playing the role of an overly important observer.

"No, sir." Celesia said as she stepped back over to the tactical station, "we have no inner layout of the ship, nor do we have any idea of roadblocks, bulkheads or where exactly the "zombies" are."

Following Lashmore to the command area, Kylara took position just behind him and to the right, standing in front of the XO's chair. She didn't technically have a role here, noting official. But without and XO aboard who else was there to give the Captain council.

Celesia tapped on her station, "still very difficult to get a proper reading inside. Shisa, are we getting any movement readings?"

"Not yet ma'am..." Shisa suddenly paused mid sentence as she stared wide eyed at her monitors, "Sir! I'm detecting three neutrino disturbances directly..."

She looked up to the screen where three Klingon Birds of Prey decloaked. "They're raising shields!"

Jack almost ordered that the Southern Cross keep it's shields down before he realized they had already been up for quite some time since the away team first beamed over. "...take no action...they have not fired." He sighed and glanced to Qen'aq, "wait for them to announce their intentions."

"Ay-aye sir." Shisa replied pensively.

"Sir, should we hail them?" Celesia asked, setting up up firing solutions and protocols without actually charging weapons.

"Anything to buy us a little time, we don't want to be in the middle of a firefight while trying to rescue the away team." Kylara said quietly so only Jack could hear her.

"Captain Lashmore, I will go to the cruiser and support your people. At worst, you no longer have a target on your vessel. At best, those three will send warriors aboard the derelict and gather much attention." Qen'aq grinned savagely. At last he might do something useful here. Or at least something enjoyable. There was nothing like a good fight to cleanse the soul and sharpen the mind. "Whoever they are, I doubt they have orders to kill me until I am away from here."

"You will stand your ground, soldier. The Southern Cross is more than a match...those bird-of-prey are of the smaller scout size much alike your own. The only one under threat is..."

Jack swore under his breath, "Lieutenant Shisa, "instruct the USS Jubilee to break from its surface scans of the object...tell them to get behind us."

"Aye sir..." Shisa replied, "however they will take at least a minute to get into position."

Jack nodded slowly.

"Incomming signal sir, it is the Klingons."


"Commander Starfleet vessel...I demand that you-"

"Hi, how'ya goin'." Jack replied deliberately overly casually to throw the demandign Klingon off balance.

"...I demand that you-"

"Nama Saya Lashmore, apar kabar?"

"The Soveriegnty of Kahless DEMAND that you-"

Jack glanced at Qen'aq, "in how many languages do I need to ask hello, how are you, before he comprehends that I don't take to commands under gunpoint?"

"The Soveriegnty of Kahless DEMAND that you-"

Jack stood up and stared placidly at the view-screen, "I am Commander Jack Lashmore of the Starfleet vessel, Southern Cross. I hereby welcome you to this little patch of neutral territory and am willing to discuss any grievances or requests you may have in an amicable fashion."

"The Sovereignty of Kahless demands that traitor on your bridge be surrendered to us at once."

Jack raised his brows, "oh, the Sovereignty of Kahless? Well...I regret to inform you that the United Federation of Planets has yet to recognize such a power by such a name...we have however been told that the Klingon High Command are requesting my guest as you see, there seems to be a misunderstanding unless of course one of you represent the Klingon High Command?"

Being by the book and following regulation in this case was going to label them smartasses and quite possibly anger the Klingon's into firing.

The reply from the viewscreen was rather telling as the Klingon's cut their transmission.

"Qen'aq, assist Celesia at know their ships better than we do. Hopefully the Klingons will only be looking angrily at us now," Jack paused, "Jubilee in position?"

"Not yet, twenty-five seconds." Shisa replied.

Celesia moved to the side a little so she could let the Klingon join her and she quickly explained the commands to him. "Preparing for quick targetting solutions."

It took a few seconds for Qen'aq to take in the layout and begin to work, saying his thoughts aloud as he did so. "They will try to use pack tactics, taking advantage of their speed and maneuverability to compensate for lack of comparable firepower. Disrupting engines and communications will be the top priority. It is likely one will take the lead and try to keep your attention, giving the others more space to work with." He had been part of attacks like this before, though not usually against such a well-armed target. Was it possible they were unaware of this vessel's capabilities?

Jack took a long slow intake of breath, despite being somewhat the smartass himself he had followed everything by the book...there was no legal claim the S.o.K could make, Qen'aq was, under such time as Starfleet or the Klingon High Command collected him, under Jack's protection. Not to mention the fact the Klingon held much valuable intelligence.

The truth was the three vessels outside would have known this would be how the Southern Cross would reply, and their three meager ships would barely have a chance to survive against a Ronin-class vessel...what was their leverage?

"Fifteen seconds, sir."

The Jubileee...shit! "Helm, forward impulse get between us and the Jubilee NOW!" Jack ordered in haste...though the viewscreen showed him his reaction was too late as sprays of disruptor-fire splattered across the hull of the barely defensible USS Jubilee.....the oberth-class vessel then seemed to contract in on itself for a moment before exploding in a ball of fire as the itnerior atmosphere ignited...

It felt like it took minutes to process what had occurred yet in reality it was merely a second. "Celesia...Qen'aq, they made their decision..."

His jaw clenched, "clear my skies."

"Helm attack pattern Zeta One!" Kylara ordered without missing a beat. If there were survivors from the Jubilee Ky wanted to take the battle as far away from them as possible. "Cel, target that lead bird-of-prey first I think it's their command vessel. Shisa, see if you can locate any escape pods out there and feed your data to tactical."

The three birds-of-prey which had earlier decloaked between the Southern Cross and the derelict vessel had then broken off their stance with one vessel flying directly toward the Cross whilst the two others each veered off in an opposite direction to then attempt to attack from the flanks.

"Pulse phaser cannon's and quantum's on the lead, have our phaser arrays harry the other two." Jack instructed.

"Firing solution acquired," Celesia sounded off, "firing! Three Sixty arc ongoing against other two targets."

To say Jack was not soemwhat glad when the lead bird-of-prey exploded from a singular quantum torpedo would be a lie. Before he could order the next focus attack Shisa's voice piped up from operations.

"Sir, the other two are breaking away....cloaking...they're gone."

Jack sighed, "oh believe me, they're just lingering for now. Retreat isn't exactly an option for these guys, hiding is though...maintain red-alert for now."

Celesia looked over at Qen'aq. "Tell me what they'll do. How can we predict their next move?"

"If I were in command," Qen'aq said, studying the tactical display carefully, "I would attack on opposing vectors, staying well clear of the forward firing arc. One or two passes to make a show of being forced away, then wait for your guard to lower. If they have detected your people on the derelict, they will likely attack when you go to transport them."

Touching the controls on the display, Qen'aq zoomed the map out. "My concern is that they are just an advance force. These three could never be expected to defeat a Starfleet cruiser alone unless they were very, very good. Either they did not anticipate your refusal or they are here to delay you until a larger force arrives. They openly identified themselves as being with the traitors before attacking, clearly their movement no longer fears reprisal from the Empire or Starfleet." The Klingon scowled at the unpleasant thought. Such open movement and brazen actions could indicate nothing good.

"On Starfleet ships we have the capability to access the prefix codes of another vessel, can we use your Bird-of-Prey in a similar manner? Can we either get into their systems or use your sensors to detect them under cloak?" Ky asked turning from Lashmore to Qen'aq.

"The trick usually works when the instigator is of sector command, to have the prefix codes of vessels in the area already." Jack sighed still eyeing the corner of the display where the debris of the Jubilee floated. "Take us as close to the derelict as possible, reverse towards their hangar exit and align ours to match. Keep our shields up but lower the bay doors. Scan the wre...Jubilee for any contact compartments...anything."

Celesia's console bleeped. The bajoran frowned, "Shisa are you reading massive energy discharges in the derelict?" It could have been anything from a cascade failure within the ship, to weapons fire.

"That would have to be a lot of weapons fire for us to detect it considering the sensor blocking properties of their hull." Ky said more than asked, concern lacing her tone.

As the Southern cross angled into position Shisa tried to keep up with requests, "there is possibly weapons fire onboard the derelict, or a lot of equipment sparking..." She took her time to read other scans. "Sir, the Jubilee...nothing."


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