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The Barrier Falls

Posted on Sat Jan 20th, 2018 @ 5:24am by Captain Nycolas Temple & Lieutenant James Smith & Lieutenant Cailus Griffin & Lieutenant JG Vecon Fick & Ensign John Logann & Ensign T'Kemi & Tisar Zemel

Mission: Into The Wild
Location: Shuttle Bay

With the captured Ravagers secured in the Brig, Captain Temple decided now was a good time to investigate their shuttle; plucked almost straight from their commander’s grasp. The advantage was now to the Pandora; their position on the other side of the dark nebula that the Carnage could not cross, meant Starfleet could launch their next move against the bandits in a bold blindside.

First, they needed to plan their strategy. And so Nyx approached the shuttle Bay with their honoured guest - the Ravager prisoner turned Federation informant, the one who would help the Pandora defeat the Carnage, Tisar Zemel.

“It’s Ferengi in origins,” Nyx was explaining to Zemel, “But they had stolen Cardassian tech crudely attached to their systems.”

Tisar was shaking his head. "Everything they do is like this. To be honest, when I boarded the shuttle I was on, I wasn't sure it would operate at all. I'm sure their tampering lead to its malfunction. They... they're much more like scavengers... I believe that every ship they come across is added to their... construction projects. Where did you find this one?"

“It was part of the original raiding party that attacked Salvaxe,” Nyx explained. “They managed to avoid the planet’s defences and make it back to the nebula but I surmise weren’t able to cross through on their own. We don’t know if they made contact with the Carnage but having their ship in our hands mean we may be able to put our plan into action.”

Tisar looked at the shuttle incredulously. "Will it still fly?" Without waiting for the answer he turned his gaze to Nyx, his eyes uncertain and a little nervous. "I am going to take your people back to the Carnage... that's the plan, right?" He was pretty sure it was, but he wanted to reconfirm. There was a knot in the pit of his stomach everytime the Carnage was mentioned. He tried to breath through it, but this time it wasn't going away. Military background or not, there were still things out there that could unnerve him and the Butcher was one of them.

"We just need you to make contact," Nyx responded as reassuringly as possible, "Once they believe it is you coming over, we can use that board undercover."

Tisar nodded and took a deep breath. He seemed to set his resolve. "I can do this."

The two arrived in Shuttle Bay and found the Security and Intel teams combing over the Ravager Scout.

“Greetings all. Anything new you can tell us?” Nyx asked the others.

Smith watched as the Prisoners were carried away to the brig, turning his attention back to the Captain he said, “Ship is secure and should be ready to go, however, I’d advise an engineering team go through this ship and it’s system to make sure everything is set and make sure that our team didn’t miss anything.”

“Absolutely,” Nyx agreed, “We will get Engineering to look it over.”

"Will I be contacting the Butcher through the shuttle's comm systems?" Tisar asked.

Nyx shrugged, “We may need to re-route the Pandora’s comms through the Shuttle to mask our location. Good thing is that we have time on our side to get everything ready and prepared before we consider the next step. We’re going to plan this out to the finest detail so that we catch the Ravagers entirely by...”

Before the Captain could finish his sentence, the lights around the Cargo Bay flickered to their yellow hue and an emergency klaxon sounded throughout the ship.

“...Surprise.” Nyx added softly, as he tapped his Badge. =/\= Bridge, What’s happened?” =/\=

Ensign Fick came over the comm. =/\= The Ravagers have found a way through the nebula, Captain...=/\= Fick's voice sounded worried. =/\= They're throwing junk... making a pathway...=/\=

"Junk!" Nyx cried incredulously, as he quickly moved to a nearby console and brought up the long range scan.

Sure enough, there was the Carnage - a hulking tank of a vessel, making its way slowly through the dark matter. It was trying to following a series of debris that had been thrown into a trail, like makeshift breadcrumbs. But the Ravager ship was still not fit to navigate the nebula; as she would occasionally swerve and sway amongst the gravitational storms, and would succumb to sudden bouts of total loss of control before slowly making her way back on track. It was slow-going and violent but she was progressing nonetheless.

Nyx swallowed hard; the nebula had been the one factor they had on their side that had so-far stopped the Carnage from finding Salvaxe and engaging the Pandora in the battle. Now, even at the slow and haphazard rate they were going, the Carnage would break through the barrier in less than an hour. All of their time to prepare and plan was quickly evaporating before his eyes and it meant a sudden change of plans.

Turning back to the others, he had to think quickly. "We're going undercover. We'll take the Scout to the Carnage and pretend to be returning from Salvaxe. Once onboard we will gain an audience with their captain, Balek, and take the Bridge. Any objections?"

Logann grinned haphazardly. "Now that, sir, is my kind of plan."

"Alright," Nyx took a deep breath, "Logann and T'Kemi, search the vessel for clothing, or strip it off our prisoners in Sickbay if need be. We must look convincingly like those pirates."

Logann looked at T'Kemi. "In that disaster of a ship, there has to be something. C'mon."

“Naturally,” T’Kemi replied with classic Vulcan sarcasm. “Investigating the fashion choices of pirates should be...intriguing.”

Logann and T'Kemi disappeared into the shuttle, beginning their search for clothing.

"Smith," The Captain turned to his Chief of Intelligence. "I need you to gather everything you can from the shuttle. We're not going to get anything out of the pirates as quickly as we need, so you'll need to access the Scout's database and provide us with everything we need to successfully replicate the Ravagers."

Smith nodded and entered the craft. Locating a console he started to enter a few commands and smiled. The Ravagers onboard this vessel had yet to report to the Carnage so those onboard where not known to those on the ship. Smith brought up the manifest and the current authorization codes that were needed to successfully dock with the Carnage. Looking over the crew manifest he cringed these were the worst of the worst and extremely intelligent. Smith entered a few commands and smiled to himself.

Exiting the craft he turned to Nyx and said, "The men that were on this ship are not known to crew of the Carnage, so we should be able to blend in. The trouble is if they know enough about Federation fleet activities and their crew. We need to play out the part of the Ravagers, they are extremely violent and adept at hand to hand combat. Their ranking system centers on power and eliminating those that are in your way, so watch your backs. Captain I also added a subroutine into their computer system so that when the craft enters the Carnage all information in their database will be relay back to the Pandora."

"Excellent news." The Captain remarked as he patted Smith on the shoulder. "That will give us the edge on taking the ship."

Nyx tapped his badge, =/\= Mr Fick, we will be launching the Ravager Scout in fifteen minutes and using it to board the Carnage. As soon as we're out, I need you to make some distance from the area and then slowly head towards our rendezvous point with the USS Palatine. If we fail, it will be your job to lure the Ravagers away from Salvaxe, so get away but not too quickly. =/\=

Fick nodded as the Captain spoke, even though Nyx couldn't see him nodding. =/\= Yes, sir. Casual quickness... gotcha. =/\=

=/\= Mr Griffin, I will be placing you in Command of the Pandora. I don't have much time to explain but we are going on an undercover incursion mission to the Carnage. It may be our only chance to catch them by surprise. Please report to the Bridge. =/\= Nyx said gravely into his badge.

A few seconds of silence followed before the answer came, with Lieutenant Griffin sounding very much like a man trying to contain his exasperation. =/\=Aye, Captain, on my way.=/\=

=/\= If we fail. =/\= Nyx added. =/\= Your orders are to rendezvous with the Palatine and do everything possible to stop the Ravagers from finding Salvaxe. If you cannot, extract Commander Nash and the Away team from Salvaxe and head back to Federation territory immediately. =/\=

=/\=Understood, sir,=/\= Griffin replied. =/\=We will not let anyone harm the Mendazians.=/\= Then, his tone became distinctly wry. =/\=However, I do ask that you and the rest of your team stay alive. Commander Nash and Agent Glyndar would be somewhat displeased if you all died on my watch.=/\=

Nyx shuddered at the thought, =/\= I will happily receive both of their displeasured lectures when we all return to the Pandora. But I will file a brief report before we depart that outlines my actions and the reasons I have taken them, so that you bare no responsibility. Please take care of... " There was a sudden lump in the Captain's throat, that he had to force himself to ignore. "Take care of my ship, Griffin. Until I return." =/\=

=/\=Yes sir,=/\= the lieutenant responded more seriously, his tone somber. =/\=We’ll keep her safe. Griffin out.=/\=

Finally, Nyx turned back to the one person who's face he had been avoiding. He had promised to protect Tisar, to keep him from danger, and most importantly - not return him to the Carnage. But now there was no choice. "Tisar, I'm sorry, but I will need you to pilot the Scout and make contact with Balek from there. We won't have time to reroute comms, and the Pandora needs to get out of the area now if our ruse is going to work."

Tisar was nodding the minute Nyx said he was sorry. He didn't want to go back to that ship, but this crew needed him, this Captain needed him. He was not about to refuse. "Of course, Captain. I am more than willing to do whatever it takes. I understand the necessity." He tightened his jaw, in an amazingly human fashion, and squared his shoulders.

"Good man," Nyx nodded to him with a solemn frown. "At least we'll get to use the map you gave us."

Tisar nodded again, not really hearing anything. There was a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. It would often happen to him back during the Dominion War each time that he had participated in some sort of mission, but it had been awhile since he had felt that way.

Logann and T'Kemi exited the spacecraft each with a pile of clothes in their arms. They dumped them unceremoniously on the ground. "Should be enough for all of us there. You want first pick sir?" Logann asked, directing the question to the Captain, assuming that he meant to come along.

"Yes." Nyx nodded solemnly, as he looked at the clothes with a slightly turned up nose. "I suppose we couldn't assume the Ravagers liked to wash their clothes." He sighed.

Logann grinned his award winning smile. "Only about every three months or so, according to the smell."

"Oh great." Nyx moaned as he picked at the pile of clothes with an unimpressed sneer. He spotted what looked to be a former flack jacket, whose arms had been replaced with black imitation leather and decorated with sharp metallic spikes. He didn't known whether to be impressed or horrified.

As he pulled on the jacket to see if it fit, Nyx looked to the others and sighed, "I am asking a lot from all of you. This will be a dangerous mission, going onto an enemy vessel with only minor planning. It's the worst case scenario for any Captain to ask from their crew. But if we stick together, execute the plan as described, and try to best to stay in character, we could land a significant blow against the Ravagers that will save Salvaxe and make this region safer."

Tisar seemed to come out of his daze at the donning of the jacket. He blinked a little at Nyx and chuckled. "It's... definitely a statement, Captain."

Nyx looked down at his ridiculous attire and sighed. "God I hope this is worth it."



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