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Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
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Bridging The Gap
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD005 0900 hrs

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The Belly Of The Beast (Cross Sim Post With The USS Tianglong)

Posted on Thu Apr 16th, 2020 @ 3:20am by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Commander Derek Winston & Lieutenant Commander Jordyn Hopkins & Lieutenant Delilah Godfrey & Lieutenant Junior Grade Veronica O'Neill & Lieutenant Michael Hudson & Captain Titus Knight & Lieutenant Hayley Buchanan
Edited on on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 @ 4:09am

Mission: Episode 9 - Empok's End
Location: Various USS Tianlong
Timeline: MD005 1100 hrs



Ridley and the rest of the boarding team crammed into a Federation Type 9 shuttle. The hope was that they could maneuver through a hole in the objective's shields and beam the team onto the large ship. Getting there was the easy part, it was getting the plans once they were on board that would be the hard part, Ridley thought. Once everyone called out that they were ready he launched the shuttle and went into instant evasive. The ride was not a smooth one, and there were a number of close calls. "Alright everyone prepare to board. Presume that there will be resistance although we are going to attempt infiltrate we have to assume that they will be ready."

"I want Makeba on the front line, firing the first shots. How did she get out of this assignment. That little chicken shit needs to prove her loyalty to the Maquis, and not to her pockets filled with latinum." Joda called out, with distaste and hatred in his eyes.

Ridley smiled at Joda's remark he had little love to give for Brown as well. "She will get what is coming to her no doubt. But right now we have a job to do. The Admiral wants those plans, so I suggest we get our heads in the game."

Joda nodded in agreement, as he followed Ridley out. Thinking in the back of his mind, that Makeba was going to get a severe as chewing from him. She needed to prove her worth.

Once inside the Tianlong's shield bubble Ridley engaged the transporter and set it to autolock on the team. They would have to return to the shuttle if the plan was to succeed. The team wore Starfleet uniforms and had directions on how to get the constructions plans. He made sure to beam them in to a non discript location. Once aboard the team would pan out and complete their objectives. In fact once the transporter effect completed that is exactly what they did.

The away team beamed into the ship, before Starfleet or the crew of the USS Tianlong discovered what had happen. The moment of truth had come for Makeba, was she a mercenary or a freedom fighter?
* * *

Meanwhile on the command deck...


Hayley was busy going through the various reports, sorting them ready for Titus to sign off on them. It had taken months of recovery time after what she went through but now she was happy being back at work, the Tianlong crew had treated her with nothing but respect since her arrival back, even going so far as to watch out for her and make sure she was okay. Stacking up the PADDs of reports on Titus' desk she headed for the bridge. "Excuse me Captain" She smiled warmly at Titus as she greeted him. "I've organised a small pile of PADDs on your desk, they're all awaiting your sign off Sir."

"Thank you, Lieutenant. I'll go over them soon." Captain Knight said, standing in front of the center chair, he was looking over the well-oiled machine that was the command deck and was very pleased. He had had a year to drill these people into some of the finest officers he had ever served with.

"If you'll excuse me Sir" Hayley looked at Titus and offered a smile. "I have an inventory of some new crates of supplies to do." She nodded politely and headed off the bridge.

Derek has just finished giving some orders to his security personnel and headed to the bridge for his shift. Walking into the turbolift he smiled at seeing Jordyn. “You headed to the bridge as well?” He asked her.

"Indeed," Jordyn said, as she walked over to her station. She noticed something very strange. The shuttle had no crew on it. There were no bio signs, coming from the shuttle. It was being towed into the bay. "Captain, there are no life signs on the shuttle," Jordyn called out loud.

Knight turned to look at his chief science officer. "That is odd, check the registry if the craft and do a deep scan, tell the crew on the shuttle deck to be cautious and quarantine the shuttle. If the crew is dead we need to figure out why," he ordered. He wasn't alive because of luck, he was alive because he was cautious. He turned towards his chief of security. "Please have your officers on standby, just in case." this didn't feel right at all.

“Yes Sir,” Derek replied quickly and put his security officers on a silent alert to be prepared for anything. He didn’t like waiting. “I would recommend sending a team, Captain. Just as a precautionary measure.”

"Agreed." Titus said, this really felt off to him.

Derek quickly sent a team on their way with orders to report in as soon as they got there.
* * *

A few minutes later...


Hayley arrived at the cargo bay, PADD in hand ready to check the newest crates of supplies that had come aboard prior to leaving the station. She needed to make sure everything they needed was there. The cargo bay was pretty quiet, which in one way made her nervous yet she had no reason to be.

Ridley had been attempting to use the Cargo Bay computer system to access the engineering specs. He noticed a woman walk in wearing Lieutenants pips. "Morning Lieutenant..." He feigned a smile and interest. His hope was to make her go away.

"Good Morning" Hayley nodded politely before walking over to the crate. It didn't take her long to check through the crate, she shook her head as she found the other box was in another cargo bay. Exiting the bay she almost fell over someone in the corridor. “I’m sorry!” She smiled. “I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going." It was then she realized that neither of their faces seemed familiar, perhaps they were just new but it seemed odd.

Jenkins had been caught a bit off guard by Hayley. He had been looking down the corridor as he checked to see if anyone was coming. He never expected someone to come out of the Cargo Bay. "No my apologies Lieutenant, I should make sure that I am not in the way as much." He wondered how much longer it would be for Ridley to get the information. His wondering stopped when Ridley came walking out of the Cargo Bay. He must not have been able to get access from there. Jenkins thought. "Ensign Jenkins with me please, we need to track down that bit of bad code. I think it may be in Shuttle Bay's computer." Jenkins smiled at Ridley. "Yes Lieutenant right away." He fell instep next to Ridley.

Hayley waited until the two got further ahead before pretending she needed to go back into the cargo bay, something seemed off and she wanted to check with the bridge. Stepping towards the cargo bay she was about to tap her comm badge when she was taken by surprise.

Jenkins and Ridley realized that Hayley had given them the once over. They were not sure if it had downed on her that they did not belong, and the mission was too important to leave that to chance. They doubled back into the Cargo Bay and saw her there. As quickly and quietly as he could Ridley came up behind her and clamped his hand over her mouth. "Here is the deal. You keep your mouth shut and act like we are all one big happy fleet and maybe you get to live. If you don't I spray you atoms all over this bay. Decide and decide quickly." He jabbed the nose of a phaser into her side, a phaser that had been set to kill.

Hayley automatically froze as the hand clamped over her mouth, this was a nightmare she wasn’t ready to face especially after events of a year ago. She nodded if only to get the hand away from her mouth, she knew not to be stupid. “What... do you want?”

"Suffice to say we need computer access and we can't get it here. That is unless you want to give it to us." Ridley was crazy not stupid. He was not about to tell her what the main objective was. Besides there was the other team to think about and protect. One of them had to succeed.

“No way in hell” Hayley was scared but she wasn’t going to give them access to the ship’s computers. “I will not betray my ship and crew!”

"Fine then keep your mouth shut and don't even think of moving. If you do your atoms will be a nice painting on the wall." Ridley kept the phaser trained Hayley. "Jenkins I doubt we have much more time. See if you can get the plans out of the computer."

Jenkins was not much but he was a computer whiz. So he set to the task as ordered.
* * *

De Gosta and Joda were beamed into a storage room just off of Main Engineering. They both wore Starfleet engineering uniforms. The large Italian man nodded to his compatriot and whispered. "Engineerin should be right through that door. So long as we don't draw any attention we should be able to get what we need and get out."

"Let's do it, don't fumble this up." Joda said, as they both walked into engineering. At first, everything was going according to plan. They were not noticed. Joda led them to a terminal, and they started to access the controls.

De Gosta was not sure exactly what to do, Joda was better at covert operations, and at computers. De Gosta tried to blend in, which was hard for the large man to do. He could not do much other than look like a guard. He ultimately decided to turn toward the other terminal and at least pretend to work.

Joda managed to access the file, but it was fire walled. As he feared it would be. "I have found it, but I need to find a work around, this is going to take a minute or two." Joda told De Gosta, in a soft voice, so only they could hear each other.

De Gosta nodded in acknowledgement and he kept an eye out for anyone coming. A small amount of excitement welled within him as Joda had found a way. He wondered how the other team was doing.

A few minutes had passed, and they managed not to draw any attention so far. But he was no closer to finding a work around. The Federation had increased their security. It was taking him longer, than he wanted it too, to gain access to the data files. After a short time, he softly called out. "Got it, beginning download now." Joda called out with pride and arrogance on his face.

De Gosta smiled and let out a soft "Yes" with a fist pump. "So far so good, it looks like security has not been alerted." He took a few steps forward and stood in front of where Joda worked. If anyone was to enter the room they would have to get through Vinny first, and that was no small task.

Joda was working on the final encryption key. "After I trigger this transfer, we are going to set off the alarms, but I have disabled their internal force shields. We will need to double time it to the extraction point." Joda called out, as he looked over to De Gosta.

"You got it... Just say the word and I will plow the road." De Gosta said. He was happy that the mission was finally getting to a point where he could show what he was good at.

"Let's go." Joda called out, as he activated the console, and began the transfer. The transfer did not take long, he managed to by pass a lot of systems. And as he predicted, they did set off the alarms.
* * *

Hayley waited for a chance, all she needed was a second to hit her comm badge and alert the bridge. She waited for Ridley to look away from her towards Jenkins before quickly hitting her badge to open a channel. "Bridge! Intruder alert!!"

Jenkins toiled away at the computer, and he was on to something. He had one more security wall to get through. He just needed time, however, when he heard Hayley's voice he realized that time was quickly running out.

Ridley spun on his heels and faced Hayley, his phaser at the ready. He should kill her for what she did and was about to pull the trigger. But, he knew that Jenkins needed more time so he came up with a better idea. Ridley took Hayley about the waist and pressed the phaser to her head. He dragged her in front of the console the Jenkins worked at. He now had a human shield. "They won't risk shooting you bitch, and if they do you better hope that they are good shots."

The security team sent by Derek came into the room with weapons drained having heard the alert. They pointed their weapons at their enemy.

“Drop it!” Flanders called out. ”You haven’t got a chance!” The other two moved around to circle them.

"Not a chance. You listen here Starfleet. You take one more step and you will get us. But not before I scatter this cute little officer's brains all over the walls of the this bay." He jabbed the phaser into Hayley's temple hard. "You done over there Jenkins."

"No, and it looks like there will be no way to get done." Jenkins replied as he reached for his own phaser. "I am pulling the plug. We got this one so let's get out of here and I am sure we can find a way to make her talk." Ridley replied.

Flanders looked at the others. “Don’t fire!” He presses his comm. “We have intruders they are holding Lieutenant Buchanan and threatening to kill her if we don’t let them go!”

"I am giving you precisely three seconds to give me access to a site to site transport. This pretty little thing is going to come with us and then, when we are ready we will transport her back. Three..." Ridley stared at Flanders directly in the eye as he spoke. One of them would break and it was not going to be Ridley.

“If she isn’t back here there won’t be anywhere you can hide,” Flanders growled as he gave them site to site transport. Knight might kill him but it was that or Buchanan died.
* * *

On the bridge, Titus heard the call from Hayley and his anger flared. "Alert all security teams of the intrusion and the potential hostage situation, I want this ship searched from top to bottom. Have each member of the crew verified Lockdown the ship and alert the rest of the ships in the task force of the potential intruders. Lockdown the computer core and encrypt all data. Have a science and engineering team scan the ship and system for elicit programs and devices." He knew his crew was well trained and knew what to do even without his orders. But protocol was protocol. "Verify a wing of pilots and launch them to respond to any uninvited visitors we might encounter.

Derek left the bridge and headed on a run to where his security team was located. They needed to free Buchanan.

"Oh she will be back, after we get the information that we came here for from her...." Ridley smirked "...And who knows how long that will take." The smirk broadened into a full smile. "TWO!" he shouted.

Hayley was starting to feel extremely afraid, after what had happened to her a year ago a chill ran down her spine as she heard her captor’s comment. She couldn’t let them get away with this, it would be her fault if they did.

“Captain Knight!” Derek pressed his comm as he moved quickly through the ship. “The intruders are threatening to kill her if we don’t let them leave with her as a hostage. Security does not have a clear shot.”

Ridley started to push Hayley toward the door. He was growing more confident that they would not take a shot, not while he had their precious Lieutenant. Jenkins followed close behind keeping his phaser trained on the security team. "MAKE A DECISION, TRANSPORTER ACCESS OR SHE DIES. ONE..." Ridley shouted.

Titus had secured the ship and task group and then he had used the transporter to get closer. He knew the ship very well, having explored it over the year and now he came out of a access point not far behind the group who held Hayley.

Without so much of a sound, he came up behind them. A sharp knife pressed up against Ridley's neck. His other hand was aiming his phaser at the other intruder. "Looks like I caught myself a worm." Titus said, his voice was calm but filled with anger.

"Captain!" Hayley took strength from Titus' appearance, when she had a chance she would free herself from the grasp that held her now Titus was here with her.

Derek moved in close to Hayley his weapon aimed at the intruder as well. He reached out for Hayley's arm, hoping the element of surprise would work.

Hayley’s eyes looked towards Derek her hand slowly reaching out towards his ready to grasp and at the right moment be pulled free. She had to take a risk and that she did as she bit down hard on the arm that held her.

It happened in an instant, too quick for Ridley and Jenkins to react. First the knife pressed to Ridley's neck and before he could respond to that the hostage was taken. The mission for him was over, he hoped that DeGosta Joda got the plans that were needed. Ridley reached into his pocket and pulled a small tablet out, swiftly before he could be stopped he placed it in his mouth and bit it open. He turned toward Titus and smiled as foam began to form at his mouth. Ridley fell to the deck and convulsed in a seizure and a moment later was dead.

Jenkins tossed his phaser to the deck and raised his hands, he new when the fight was over. Unlike Ridley he was not committed to dying for this cause. "I surrender..."

Hayley stood breathing a sigh of relief, she felt bad for getting herself caught in the first place she’d almost ended up being a kidnap victim and causing more problems for Titus to solve.

Titus didn't skip a beat and with a sharp flick of his arm and wrist, the knife was tossed into the heart of the man who had taken his own life, he wouldn't take any chances. Then he turned towards the intruder who had surrendered. "I want to know who, why and how you decided to come onboard to my home and cause trouble. I wouldn't lie because the officer you decided to threaten and tried to kidnap is actually someone the crew have worked very hard to support. I will have a telepath and empath later to double-check what you say as well."

Hayley moved across to Titus. “Sir, they were accessing the computer. There was something specific that they wanted.”

Jenkins was no slouch, he did not get to where he was without brains. So he knew giving the Captain everything, and doing it up front would be the best course of action. The question was would Titus believe him. "Listen Captain, you don't need to go through all of that. I will tell you this, we operate in cells, we do not know the objective of the other cell. As for the two of us...We were the distraction..." Jenkins' voice trailed off as he allowed his words to sink in. He did not expect to live to see tomorrow.

"We'll see. I am sure my chief of security will pour all his attention in finding out what actually happened here. But do tell me. What was so important to obtain in our computers to need a distraction." Titus asked, he made a mental note to do a complete rundown of the crew. There two were using Starfleet uniforms and clearly knew enough to blend in. He needed to know their true goal and who they worked for.

Jenkins began to walk toward the door to the bay as the security team pushed him. "That is just it Captain I do not know what was so important. Our job here was to cause a distraction so that others can achieve the goal. As I said we operate in cells and do not know what the other cell is doing. That said in the interest of good faith I will tell you that all of the cells orders are given from Admiral Rodney Leyton."

Titus said nothing to the info. He would talk to the admiral soon enough once he had figured out what was accessed. "Alright. I want to know exactly what happened here, and I want to know it yesterday." He ordered and headed out of the area himself. Even if this looked secure here, there could be unseen dangers that he needed to prevent.
* * *

"We can't help them, we have an objective to complete." Joda told De Gosta, as much as he hated to sacrifice members of his team, the plan they created the distraction had worked. They were now in a position to get off this carrier with the data they came here to steal.

"Yes of course, that does make the most sense. You got the info? I have the exit plan." De Gosta responded gruffly.

"Then let's get out of here, before they realize there was really four of us." Joda said, as they beamed off the USS Tianlong, with the blue prints to the ship. He was very proud of himself.

Joda and De Gosta, were back on the ship. "Let's prepare to leave the area. We came for what we needed. Admiral Leyton will be impressed." Joda said, with a big grin on his face.

"You got it Joda..." Vincent replied and laid in a course for the rendezvous site. His thoughts turned toward the future and the fruition of all their plans.

"You did well." Joda said, as they started to fly away. Joda was very proud of what they accomplished, he tried to not to think about the two men he left behind. They all had, their part to play.

Vincent DeGosta flew the shuttle back toward the coordinates. He was proud of what they had accomplished, and looked forward to what was in store for the Maquis.


A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer


Captain Titus Knight
Commanding Officer, USS Tinaglong


Lieutenant Commander Derek Winston
Chief Security & Tactical Officer, USS Tianglong


Lieutenant Commander Jordyn Hopkins
Chief Science Officer, USS Tianglong


Lieutenant Hayley Buchanan
Captain's Yeoman, USS Tianglong


Lieutenant Michael Hudson
Chief Medical Officer, USS Tianglong


Lieutenant Junior Grade Veronica O'Niell
Chief Engineering Officer, USS Tianglong


Lieutenant Delilah Godfrey
CAG/Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Tianglong

 

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