Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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A Chance Encounter

Posted on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 @ 9:19pm by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Ingrid Hollister & Chief Petty Officer Sha’Zen D'Tem
Edited on on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 @ 9:25pm

Mission: Episode 9 - Empok's End
Location: Shuttle Bay - Deck 10 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD005 0800 hrs

The swish and bustle of Main Engineering aroused her intelect and excited her senses. All around her, people were talking technically and jabbing at controls, only to pick up and jog to their next project. Some of it she understood, some of it she didn't.

No one could really say Ingrid had been doing well the last couple of weeks. In fact, if she were honest, she was completely falling apart. There was a foreboding feeling with her all the time which never gave her any peace. It was as if she'd been happy before, but she had at least been able to coble together a sense of normalcy out of the habits of her daily life. Now, though, nothing did it for her. Not flying or talking, not reading or playing piano, not drinking or hooking up with hunks random hunks. She was on the edge.

She'd come down here to make some adjustments to the thruster systems, and now that her work was done, she stepped back into the corridor and made her way to the turbolift.

Tyler was touring the ship, a habit he took to doing on the eve of battle. It seemed that lately he had been taking these tours more and more, and in truth he did not like the frequency of them. He was walking past Engineering as he marveled at how his crew came together in an emergency. As he stepped past the door to Engineering Ingrid Hollister stepped through. "Going my way Lieutenent?" He said with a smile and motion toward the turbolift.

"I think so." She responded, offering a forced grin and falling into step with him. "What are you doing on the lower decks, sir?"

"I was just checking on a contingency plan for us. Heading to the bridge now." Tyler said with a smile as he pressed the button to summon the turbolift. No sooner did he do that then the ship rocked and the red alert klaxon sounded again. "Captain to the bridge, Security to the shuttle bay..." Came the orders over the loudspeaker. He tapped his commbadge. "I am on my way. Lieutenant get the shuttle bay and see what is going on there."

Ingrid had been startled by the suddenness of the change in situation, but she was already steeled for action. She nodded at the Captain's orders, her colored hair bobbing with the moving of her head.

"Alright." she said in the affirmative, knowing that he was extending some trust to her. In honesty, she felt her place was on the bridge and, though she would have ordinarily been gunning for a fight, she had been feeling rather unusual lately. She stepped out of the turbolift on the appropriate floor and moved down the corridor at a half-run.

Sha'Zen was in her quarters when the call for Security came. The former SerNumi Defense Force officer, pulled a foot locker from beneath her bed. Inside, neatly packed, was a collection of weapons and equipment, both Starfleet standard and from her homeworld. Taking what she thought she would need, she left her quarters and headed for the shuttle bay.

Ingrid approached the double doors that led to the shuttle bay and saw Sha'Zen standing outside. She stopped beside her for just a second, offering an open-mouthed expression before she began to work the door controls.

"On three, Chief. One...Two...Three!" she said, and the doors swung open.

The hubris of Malbrooke and all of Starfleet, to think that they could get in through our defenses without a trace. Marek thought as he stepped through the breaching hatch. They had a bold plan and thus far it had worked. They managed to weaken the secondary shield and board the Pioneer. Now they had to make their way to the bridge and take the ship. The only officer to be left alive would be Malbrooke, the Gul wanted to deal with him personally.

Marek and his two accomplices breached the hatch and came in firing. Within seconds the four people in the shuttle bay were down and unconscious. Marek made for the computer access he would render the launch bay doors inoperative. He had just began to hack the system with his two guards standing by him when the shuttle bay doors swung open. He looked up for a moment and saw two female Starfleet officers. With a quick head nod he dispatched his guards to take care of them.

Seeing the Cardassian guards approaching, Sha'Zen drew a small metal rod from her belt. She shook it and it telescoped into a javilen, the she threw. It flew through the air and impaled the nearest Cardassian. A look of shock on his face, the man crumpled to the deck. The SerNumi female then drew her phaser and fired while taking cover.

"Ratunka!" The other Cardassian guard shouted as he watched the javelin sail into his cohort. He ducked behind a box and and returned fire to Sha'Zen he would make sure that the mission was completed even if it cost him his life.

Ingrid pulled her own phaser and surged forward, crouching behind a series of crates near the entrance. Her she focused her gaze on the floor for a split second. Could it be?...could it really be him? She lifted her white crown over the top of the crates to steal a glance again. Those eyes; those beady eyes; that voice. It had to be him!

Looking over to Sha'Zen, her expression was serious. "The leader is mine."

She said coldly, no sense of question in her voice.

One of the security forces was wandering close to her position. Her blood ran hot. She could feel her palms begin to sweat and her heart rate begin to increase; a drumbeat in her chest so loud she could hear it. Marek wasn't going to get out of here alive if she had anything to say about it. She rushed to her feet with catlike quickness, the dirty martial art from her homeworld, called Uproar, coming back to her. She grabbed the female guard's weapon hand and hyper-extended it. The surprise caused the woman to drop her weapon. With a swift motion, Ingrid swung her other arm under the woman's elbow in a ruthless swing, causing a brutally painful break. The Cardassian woman screamed in blinding agony, just before Ingrid wrapped her hands around her head and snapped her neck in one quick motion.

She advanced under another set of crates, her heart pounding in her ears still. Years of trauma raced back to her and she felt her face become hot. The Cardasian's arm bones had escaped her skin and blood was all over Ingrid's uniform. This was the moment that everything had been leading up to; the moment she knew she couldn't go back to her fake life. She couldn't pretend to be an obedient Starfleet officer. Her wounds were too deep and her painted lies were chipping. She looked around for her next target.

Marek watched as within seconds his guards were put down. No matter he got what he came for. Now here needed to make an escape. He looked up from the console and recognized that silver hair. Nothing could take the smile from Marek's face now. "Well well look what we have here. I am sure the authorities back home will pay handsomely for you." He pointed his disruptor as he advanced toward her.

"You'll never get the chance to collect that reward, Marek." she said, her voice shaking as she stepped out from behind the crates. Her blue eyes glistened in the light of the bay. "Ingrid Holt doesn't get caught."

That's where you're wrong missy. Whether I take you now or take you after we capture your ship it doesn't matter to me." Marek smiled again and fired two warning shots. "The next ones won't miss. Now drop your weapon and surrender."

She shuddered as the shots rang out, but not for fear of death. She was realizing she had nothing to live for anyway. For a split second, she almost wished they hadn't been warning shots and Marek had lit her up like a Christmas Tree. Then, her anger intensified. She dropped her phaser, which made a series of clanking noises as it hit the deck. She approached him deliberately.

"What do you plan to say to my late husband when you meet him in Hell?" she asked, her lips curling into a strangely confident smile.

Marek took a few steps back. He did not know what to make of her move. "You will get the chance to be reunited with your dear Gul if you don't stop right there." Marek had to show control, make her force him to kill her.

"What, are you scared of an unarmed woman, Marek?" she asked, still advancing. "A fearsome warrior like you? Come on..."

Marek was not sure what she had in mind, and if he wanted to collect the reward for Ingrid he was going to have to bring her in alive. He stopped his back peddling and turned the disruptor toward Sha'Zen. "Freeze and surrender or she will die. Now my dear Ingrid you get to decide someone's fate. Is that not what you have always wanted."

"Don't worry about me, Lieutenant." Sha'Zen said. "I believe the phrase is 'ice this goose'. The SerNumi had been watching gangster holos lately.

Ingrid certainly didn't want to get Sha'Zen killed, so she offered a frown, pausing just out of his reach.

"You really are a coward, Marek." She said, then pausing. "Fine, I'll come with you.."

Well that had actually caught Marek off guard. "Then I suggest you get over here and remember one false move I will kill the both of you and be home before supper."

She took the last few steps between them,until she was face to face with the man. Looking into his dark cold eyes, she felt hatred well up inside her again, even as she was calculating her next move. One of her best assets in situations like this was that she was underestimated. If she could manage to distract him all the better.

She allowed an alluring expressing to cross her face and she spoke softly so that only he could hear her.

"You know, I've made alot of Cardassian men...very happy, in my life." She said, shifting her weight on her legs to accentuate her curves. "If you'd give me a chance, I promise what I could do for you would be better than any amount of money they're paying for a long-gone criminal."

"You may have gotten Gardo with that kind of talk but it simply will not work here." Marek replied and tapped his shoulder. =/\=This is Marek I have a prisoner, prepare the cell and transport two from my location.=/\= The voice on the other end of the communicator informed Marek that he would have to standby as the Pioneer shields had re-modulated. Now they needed to re-modulate the transporter.

Realistically, she hadn't expected it to work, but she had used all of tbe flirtatious movement to innocuously make her way into his close range space. She moved quickly, just as he was finishing his call and smacked his hand sharply, causing the phaser to skid across the deck. He was a solid man and wouldn't be easy to take down.

His hubris made him think that he had her, and for that Marek would pay. He hadn't registered that he dropped the phaser until he heard it hitting the deck plating. He looked up at Ingrid and growled. "You insolent bitch..." A solid backhand to her phase caused a small amount of blood to trickle from the side of her mouth. For a moment Marek thought to get the phaser. But he knew that if he had it would be the last thing that he did.

Ingrid Hollister had been slapped by Cardassian brutes before. They had taken her into their beds and used her every way they wanted. Ingrid Holt, however, had been no man's victim. She looked at him scornfully, then delivered a swift kick to the balls. When he doubled over, she grabbed a hold of his head by the ears and twisted him so that the large man fell down to the ground.

"I must have misheard you, you arrogant asshole." She said, placing her boot on his crotch and stepping down firmly. "That didn't sound like a sad man begging for mercy."

She brandished a small knife which she kept on her person. It glimmered in the light of the bay. Her eyes were cold now too, and a small smile crossed her lips.

"Finish the job and you will have two murders on your head. Finish the job and Starfleet will know everything..." Marek smiled through the pain a small trail of dark blood trickled from his lips.

"I was born a killer." She said quietly. "Now, I have to learn to tell the truth. Killing you will give me more reassurance than a thousand lies."

She spun the blade in her hands with skill and, in the flash of an eye, she sunk it into the man's throat. His eyes went wide and he sputtered up what seemed like a gallon of blood. Some of it splattered on her face and she frowned in disgust. She waited until he had given her his last breath, and she stood up a different woman.

She turned to Sha'Zen, a distant look in her eyes. "You should let the Captain know we've taken care of the problem down here. I'm off duty..."

Then she turned and proceeded slowly toward the exit.

"Bridge, this is Chief D'Tem, the Cardassian invaders have been eliminated, but they were trying to access a terminal in the Shuttle Bay, I suggest you send a tech to check it out, D'Tem out." She reported before going in search of a drink.

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Ingrid Hollister
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer

Chief Petty Officer Sha’Zen D'Tem
Biologist, USS Pioneer


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