Obsidian Command

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The Best Worst Idea

Posted on 16 Feb 2021 @ 12:41pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Captain Corvus DeHavilland
Edited on on 18 Feb 2021 @ 8:22am

Mission: M1 - Emergence
Location: Marine Checkpoint
Timeline: MD07 ~0930
2173 words - 4.3 OF Standard Post Measure


When the Command team arrived at the Marines' security checkpoint in one of the docking bays, a couple hundred decks below the command center, the Marine team meant to be posted there was no where to be seen. Their gear crates were emptied and left open.

Calliope unlatched her helmet as there was still atmo in the bay. She reached in and pulled her errant necklace over her head, wrapping the chain around her glove.

"They must be engaged, Captain. There's no one to group up with here." Calliope stated the obvious to Corvus as the command team took stock. "More than likely they're holding Engineering." Calliope looked over their Command Crew compliment, mostly junior officers with out much prior action engagement, and the marines who had been on hand. She knew from experience that she and Corvus could handle themselves. But... out of 24 of them? It still wasn't going to work out. "We're more in the liability than the aid column," she hated to admit.

Calliope clutched the handmade Rhodium necklace charm but, as she was afraid of losing it in the grasp of the bulky glove, with some effort she stashed it in a utility pocket, double checking the seal. She found her fingers still numb and tingling and flexed her hands a few times.

A crackling noise drew her attention and Calliope turned to see one of the Marines tuning a radio. Her eyes grew wide. "They have a shortwave? Are we getting any reports from Engineering?"

Sergeant Eindorf shook his head, "I haven't been able to raise Captain Finn for a little while now. I was expecting we'd find him here," he replied, still trying to tune the radio to one of the predetermined frequencies. The fact that he couldn't raise the Captain either meant he and the rest of the Marines were dead, or that the enemy had worked out their little trick and were jamming the signal. It wasn't complicated to do, it was just that their solution was so simple and low-tech they didn't expect anyone to work it out. Of course, he supposed the Captain could just be busy fighting and unable to answer. "Engineering isn't answering either. Loreth isn't responding."

"If the fights in engineering it's the last place we'll be of any use," Corvus chimed in, popping the seal on her own helmet and stowing it under her arm. She took a deep breath of fresh(er) air. At least air that didn't smell like her shampoo. "We'll be a liability. They'll alter their defensive schemes to try and protect us."

Calliope thought for a moment about telling them they should split the group, let the less experienced officers hole up somewhere and move those who could handle themselves to Engineering. But she knew her primary desire was simple— She needed to be sure Lance was okay. Yet at the same time, her eyes fell to Corvus and she remembered how intensely defensive she had needed to be of Old Man Winters. Captain Winters had once confided that he felt a little guilty letting a young woman take all of the risks, but his joints just weren't what they used to be. Corvus wasn't Winters, but she was still the chess-piece to defend.

The executive officer leaned over Eindorf. "What about the marine unit in Medical? They have their own set up there, power, communications, defenses. Can you raise them?"

He shook his head, "If they're jamming, they're between us and the Infirmary. We won't get through."

"If they're on top of Engineering, how are we going to get through?" Corvus asked with a frown. She really doubted, even distracted with a firefight, that the boarding party would let that many people slip by unnoticed through the access tubes. Getting past Engineering was going to be something of a miracle.

"With just two of us, there's no way we're fighting through. Even if we armed up with the supplies here," Eindorf answered. No sooner than he'd said it of course, he began to eye the secured crate with the squad assault weapon and wondered if it was worth the effort to try and lug it along. If they could get to Medical it'd be one helluva way to defend their position. If he could get Corporal Parveaux to take the other, they'd be sitting pretty. In fact, the more he looked around the more he convinced himself that they needed to load up everyone with a bit of extra equipment to make a stand in medical, or to push on and help the ones trapped in Engineering.

"Okay, alright. It's just the utility ring." Calliope rubbed her face with her hand, thinking. "No transporters. Cut off. Can't go through. How's this for a dumb idea?" She walked two fingers along the circumference of her helmet. "We go around it."

Eindorf just stared blankly back at her, "You... want us to walk in open space during a battle?" he asked in disbelief. "You do realize that if they see us, we're space dust. They wouldn't even have to hit us. Just within a few dozen meters. The blast from a torpedo would turn us to dust, and the heat off a phaser blast would cook us in our suits," he said, shaking his head. "It's suicide."

"I agree," Corvus nodded.

"Thank you," he sighed with relief, glad to see that idea was off the table.

She shrugged, "Do you have a better idea on how to get to the Infirmary without trying to push our way through a firefight?" she asked. She wasn't lying when she said she agreed with his assessment of the situation. They were sitting (or at least slowly walking) ducks out on the hull trying to get around the engineering decks but there was no way in hell that they were going to be able to transit the central access tube through the Engineering decks while they were under siege. That'd be the first place the boarding party would have secured. At least, outside the station, they had the element of surprise.

Eindorf just opened his mouth like was going to speak and then closed it again, shaking his head. "... this is crazy."

Calliope grimaced, regretting her thinking out-loud. Some solutions, she liked to chide Lance when he was being brilliant and she was out of counter arguments, are better on drawing boards than in the real world. But try as she might, she couldn't come up with a better idea. "I hate it my own self, Captain. But once we're clear of the upper utility ring, it's just another straight float down the stem."

"I'm honestly less concerned about being seen and more concerned about how we're going to convince everyone to do this," she frowned, looking to Eindorf still shaking his head.

"What about a shuttle?" Eindorf offered suddenly, "Use the transporters to get us into the Infirmary? We'd only need one person in the shuttle."

"Who'd be a sitting duck for those raiders," Corvus answered, shooting down the idea quickly. "If there's even one available. We deployed everything we had to put up a fight. It's not a good idea for us to hang out here any longer than we have to. As hideous as the idea is; walking the hull makes the most sense. We'll be tiny spec's on the hull. The odds of them seeing us are slim to nil."

He put his hands on his hips, looking down to the deck like he was thinking of a way to shut Corvus down on this with something significant. He sighed finally as if admitting defeat, "You know this isn't going to be a short space walk, right? We're talking probably close to two-thousand meters of open hull to get across the utility ring and into a section of the enviro ring we can access."

"Can you defend us here if we stayed?" Corvus countered him.

"No," he shook his head lamely.

"Then we go. Calliope's right. It's a straight float down the stem again once we clear the utility ring. It's too risky to try to walk any farther than that," Corvus pressed him, resisting the urge too simply tell him that's how it was going to be. She hated leading with absolutism; there had to be room for discussion even if it wouldn't change her mind. "Should we split into two groups and approach from opposite sides of the station?"

It was smart on the one hand, because you could increase the chances of someone making it across unnoticed, but on the other hand... That would mean they would lead separately, breaking up the senior officers. "No, I don't think so," said Calliope. "If we run into any hitches, we all need each other."

"We'll go together, but we'll move in four teams," Corvus partially agreed. "In case we need to split up for other reasons. A twenty-four man EVA group chained together is not going to be helpful," she sighed. She really didn't have fond memories of any of her open-space training and that had been in short stints. A nice long walk down the hull, effectively down towards the planet. "Let's give everyone five minutes to catch their breath, then we make the trek."

Calliope clapped her hands together, still frustrated there was pins and needles in her fingers. She shook her head and then moved to speak more directly with Corvus. "Speaking of splitting up... I've been thinking. About Lance—"

"I'm sure he's fine, Calli, there's an entire Marine company with him," she tried to reassure her. She could understand he worry; she was worried too. Without Quinn they were going to be in a world of hurt trying fix this mess.

"I mean, about his idea, from the beginning, that there are some systems that power up more readily, with smaller circuits and power loads. It might take us an hour to get the shields back, or phaser array in part, but transporters? Five or ten. Internal sensors? Practically a switch flip. They're unmaintained but... if I only was trying to get locks on incursion forces and left them in the pattern buffers... "

"And if we lose the pattern buffers, it's effectively mass murder," Corvus countered.

"Murder?" Calliope balked. "The Rules of Engagement are in effect. It's possible they could get dropped, but unintended. They're clearly hostile, and clearly relying on shear numbers while we're under manned. We have to equalize things. Hell, if I buffer them, they might even have better chances than they do running headlong into Finn's people."

"I'd much rather contain them somewhere else," Corvus shook her head. She didn't like the idea. Rules or not it seemed gray to her. An idea suddenly flared and she smirked, grabbing Calli's shoulder. "We can pick them off one at a time, and while they're in the pattern buffers, you can disarm them and drop them right back where they were."

Impressed, Calliope thought about that. "Move only their equipment in the scan-to-filter mode..." She looked thoughtful, "It's kind of a complex action though, with all the parts in motion, the targets not wearing signal boosters, the jamming issue, and the internal sensors being unreliable. But I might be able to pick a few disruptors out of the noise."

"As it works, it disarms them but at the very least it's a distraction from their assault. They'll be scrambling to deploy inhibitors giving the Marines a chance to act," she smiled, "It's the tactical advantage they just might need," she grinned, picturing the look on Finn's face when they started to pluck their targets into thin air and drop them back in.

"We'll plot our space walk past a mezzanine exterior access hatch near a grid control relay and I'll break off while you continue to Medical."

"What happened to saying together? To needing one another?" Corvus asked sarcastically, admiring how the idea that had seemed so uninteresting to her First Officer was now the plan since she'd had a brilliant idea. Not that there was anything wrong with it. If they had a chance to turn a tactical advantage, they needed to take it. It could very well buy Quinn the time he needed to bring further systems online and get this station at least partially operational.

With a smirk, Calliope tried to give a shrug, though it was barely perceptible under the EVA suit. "You're the King now, Corvus. You know the rules—" Only a little more than a week ago they had both been First officers, both concerned with keeping their respective Captains out of harm's way. "—Promise me you'll stick with the Marine cover?"

Corvus snorted, "You assume they'll let me give them the slip."

"Because you won't even try. Right?" Calliope pressed.

"I'll stick with my cover," she agreed. "We just keep our heads down, march to our destination, and get the hell out of the void. Deal?" she smiled hopefully.

"Deal."







 

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