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Exfil, Pursued by a Blast

Posted on Tue Feb 9th, 2021 @ 3:29pm by Lieutenant JG John Fox MD

Mission: Q The Music!
Location: USS Pasteur - Exfiltration Point
Timeline: Current/Meanwhile
1626 words - 3.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Both away teams had converged at a four-way junction in the corridors. While the area was relatively unscathed it still showed scorch marks on the bulkheads and the vile smell of burnt chemicals still hung on the air.

Although the exfiltration point was conveniently free of debris and relatively open it wasn't very defensible. Even with his limited siege experience, John knew they couldn't hold up here long while the Tesla beamed them and the survivors away.

"Bring up the last group," Illum commanded.

John tutted at the order and shook his head. He was prepared to make one of his famous outbursts but instead, he just coughed hard. Clutching at his chest he steadied himself against a bulkhead and calmed his breathing. Panicked slightly he checked his radiation monitor on his sleeve. The warning light had changed from a moderate amber to a red warning light. "Fuck!" He exclaimed under his breath.

"Fox?" She asked after him, instinctually taking a step toward him. "Fox, is something wrong?"

"No ma'am, no problem here. Bringing the survivors forward for transport." He coughed signaling the sickbay survivors in Illums direction.

"Form up right here." She said, herding the group into the appointed beam-out location. With a tap of her finger to the comm badge on her chest, she gave the command, "Energize."

Light sparkled, dancing about the group in an energized mess. The process sputtered uncharacteristically, leaving a sinking feeling in those who watched. The usual shower of noise was canceled by a loud crackle and all the participants reversed course to materialize right back where they were.

John laughed hard as the beam out failed. As the survivors began to rematerialise orb by orb he fell back against the bulkhead coughing. They were stuck unless their 'crackerjack' engineer could find them a way out.

Slouched against the bulkhead John looked up and down the corridor for Suni. His heart sank as he saw her clutching the blackbox looking shell shocked and panicked. Surrounded by a group of Marines the young Lieutenant looked like she had been taken prisoner rather than being protected.

Hot, sweaty, and grimy from his own firefight John pushed his way through the pack. One of the marines in the diamond formation that guarded Suni attempted to get in his way. "Shove it piss-ant!" John growled at them as he forcefully put a hand on the marine's shoulder and gave him a firm shove to one side.

The Rigelian marine looked indignantly at John and gave a dry spit in his general direction and muttered something unpleasant in Rigelian under his breath. As John knelt to put down his backpack and tend to Suni he cooked his head to sneer at the marine. He knew when they get back to the ship he would end up a target and get put on his ass by the marines, but right now he had other concerns.

Hastily unzipping his backpack John pulled out a hypospray and a few glass vials of medication. He hurriedly sorted through them discarding the ones he didn't need. "Nope, nope, nopeā€¦..Hell no!" He called out throwing them over his shoulder before he got to the right one. "Gotcha you little dickens!" He exclaimed whilst loading the glass capsules containing an orange liquid into the hypospray.

"Lieutenant look at me and breathe!" He ordered reassuringly as he tried to look Suni in the eyes. "This will help calm your nerves. But I need you to take a few deep breaths." He added pressing the hypospray firmly against Sunis neck and releasing the medication with a satisfying hiss.

Suni muttered under her breath, "I hope that's the good stuff," as she leaned against the bulkhead, arms wrapped around the blackbox.

Dropping the hypospray John took Sunni's hand and pressed his fingertips against her wrist as he took her pulse. "Better?" He asked as he continued to observe her vitals.

Suni tried to take a deep breath and ended up choking on the smoke wafting through the junction they were in. She pulled her wrist back and covered her mouth.

It was then she noticed the repeating beep coming from her hip. She shuffled the box in her arms and pulled the thing out of its holster. She flipped it open on top of the box and saw the timer she had set flashing 00:00.

To nobody in particular she observed, "I might be remembering it wrong, but weren't we supposed to get the hell out of here?"

John nodded solemnly. "We're fifteen minutes over schedule. We've got an hour best before.....well you know." He said quietly before mimicking a drowning noise and performing a choking action on himself. "My mother always told me Starfleet would be the death of me." He complained rising back up to his feet.

At the beam out point, the survivors stood nervously looking around as the marines secured the location. "Keep an eye on this one, I want her coming back alive!" John snapped at the Rigelian marine he had tusslesd with earlier.

Cautiously stepping over his own equipment he walked over to Illum. "Say boss, I'd like to get out of here now." He complained with a fake smile. "I know we're having that small comms issue, but times up!" He added with a fake chuckle. He pulled his radiation monitor off his arm and held it to her face.

The Tesla's executive officer knew what the monitor was going to say before she saw it. The visual flashing of red wasn't really helping, but it did cement the urgency in the air. Her blonde hair was plastered onto her forehead with sweat that beaded and dripped downward. The time for decorum was past, she realized, as she pulled off the overjacket of her uniform, removing the comm badge and tossing the jacket away.

"Everyone," She called out to the group of survivors, who were still standing inside the circle of pattern-enhancers. "stay where you are," she said as she approached them. "We're getting you out of here, just bear with me, alright?" The smile she gave was meek, but her eyes were unwavering for a long moment as they passed over the crowd.

"Lieutenant Conlon." Illum said to the Chief Engineer as she pulled out a small toolkit from her utility belt.

Suni looked to the senior officer, "Yeah?"

"Hawp too iht," She said, a pen laser-torch stashed between her teeth as she grabbed more pieces out of the kit, "Ah need you ohver here." Illum commanded, kneeling beside a pattern enhancer and popping open its' outer casing.

Suni nodded, and at that point realized she had no idea what had happened to her tools. She hadn't been thinking at all as the marines pulled her out of the firefight in the bridge. She looked around for something to use, at which point one of the marines handed her kit to her.

She was surprised they were able to think that far ahead while under fire. Of course Regulus had told her she always underestimated marines. She put the black box down, and popped open the kit. Unfortunately the two tools she had used on the bridge hadn't been thrown in when it was grabbed, but she had plenty of options.

With the pen finally removed from her teeth, Illum sounded more like herself as she explained, "We're going to increase power to the enhancers by overriding the safeties, which requires bypassing the trip-module... here." She pointed towards the daughter-board that connected the main-board to the voltage regulators. "I can do it, but I know you can do it faster. Let's work together and get all four of the enhancers modded. You ready?" Illum pushed the laser tool into Conlon's hands and then returned to her work on the first one. "We've got sixty seconds, move your ass!"

"On it!" Suni took the laser and went from enhancer to enhancer peeling off the panel they needed. She put the laser-pen back by Illum and grabbed the interphasic compensator from her kit, "I'm going to talk through it, because that helps me focus, you can just ignore what I'm saying."

She made her way to the first enhancer and worked as she started talking, "To increase the pattern gain we need to override the safeties, but the way the safeties work in a standard pattern enhancer makes it very hard to cut them out of the power flow without leaking power, so instead what we can do is use that to get the power increase we need."

She moved to the second one, "If we crosswire the safety so that instead of cutting out when too much power flows through it the power flows back into the beginning of the cycle it will amplify the power exponentially. Of course, the reason they're not designed this way in the first place is it will shortly explode. So we need to make sure everyone is ready to go when we activate these."

"Good thing I told them all to stay put, then," Illum noted.

Suni had finished her second by the time Illum had finished her one, and Suni paused by the third one, "Do you want me to do this one, or you?"

Illum was already nodding in acknowledgment, "Go on!" She quickly adjusted the position of the enhancer next to her before making way to the doctor. "Fox! Stay focussed," with an effort, she grabbed him, pulling him along into the exfil circle. "Let's get out of here. Conlon, you finished? Good, get inside."

With an effort, the first officer set Fox down, took the comm badge out of her pocket, slapped it to the sound of a confirming set of chirps, and called out, "Energize!"


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