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Lt. Commander Kaitlyn Falcon - Closure

Sal Taybrim

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(( Computer Core; F.M.S. Krayvet ))

::Kaitlyn refocused her thoughts, plastered an image into her mind; the Orion woman who Kaitlyn now desperately wanted to kill.::

::The fires relit, Kaitlyn’s energy coming back as well as it could.  She shouldered her rifle, pulled herself up enough to get aimed downrange, and pulled the trigger.::

::The woman was advancing, deftly dodging Kaitlyn’s disruptor fire as she threw her own rifle aside and drew a dagger.  Kaitlyn reached back, yanking the shard from her leg with a hiss and tossing it aside.  She could not move at max speed, but she needed to be able to move at all.::

::Khante approached with a feral grin, dagger clutched tightly in her hand.  Kaitlyn pushed away from her cover, away from the continued weapons fire from Khante’s guards, to where she could regain her footing.  She grabbed a chunk of debris; essentially a broken piece of bulkhead about two-thirds of a meter long.::

::She really wished she had kept that pipe…::

::The guards continued their fight with the rest of the team, though the rest of the room faded out of Kaitlyn’s perception.  Her eyes locked on Khante, and the two horrific days she had spent while Khante had her fun came back in a flood.::

::James talked about the times he had seen RED, when a situation had driven him so far into anger that all he could see was his target and all he could feel was the intense desire to beat them to a pulp.::

::Kaitlyn had been plenty angry before, but this time… she saw RED.::

::Khante advanced on Kaitlyn.::

Khante: Time for you to die, pretty face...

::The Orion woman reached out, faster than Kaitlyn was able to dodge, grabbing hold and pulling Kaitlyn closer.  Her knife flashed in the dim light, Kaitlyn able to get her scrap metal in the way just in time to deflect it.::

::Kaitlyn finally got a closer look at Khante, seeing signs that the Orion woman had already been in a fight that day.  She had taken a hit to her face, too; Kaitlyn could use that.::

Falcon: Not before I add to that new bruise of yours.

::Kaitlyn grabbed the scrap in a two-handed grip, advancing to swing at Khante.  Khante was ready for it, knocking Kaitlyn’s weapon upward and slamming her elbow into Kaitlyn’s jaw.  Before Kaitlyn could recover, she drove that same elbow into the crook of her neck, which exploded in pain.  Thankfully, she managed to keep hold of her scrap.::

::Khante spun Kaitlyn around, keeping her on the side closest to the rest of the team.::

Khante: I thought I said STAY DOWN, little flea!

::With one hand, Kaitlyn held the dagger at bay as best as she could.  She managed to fight her other hand free, swinging it around to punch over her shoulder, into Khante’s face.  Kaitlyn immediately reversed, bringing her elbow back under to strike into Khante’s midsection.  The grip on her shoulders loosened, and Kaitlyn was able to slip free.::

::Now, Kaitlyn’s smile was the one to turn predatory.::

Falcon: What’s the matter, little greenskin?  Too quick for you?

::Khante bared her teeth, hissing as she stabbed her dagger toward Kaitlyn.  Kaitlyn managed to dodge back, ignoring the burning pain from her thigh and reveling in Khante’s frustrated scream.  Khante shoved Kaitlyn toward the bulkhead, Kaitlyn allowing the move to succeed.::

::Kaitlyn’s injured leg was having a tough time keeping up.  She needed support to be able to move quickly, to strike at her hardest.  The bulkhead would do.::

::She hit the bulkhead with a thud, turning around in time to see Khante charging with her dagger.  Kaitlyn spun aside, remaining along the bulkhead, as the ship shook violently beneath them.  It knocked Khante off balance, forcing her to run into the bulkhead.  Bracing with one arm, Kaitlyn brought her other elbow around to strike Khante in the back of her head, slamming her face into the wall.::

::Second confirmed nose kill.  Three more and she would be a nose breaking ace.::

::The air was definitely getting a little thin.  Kaitlyn could notice it, but it seemed to be affecting Khante a bit worse.  Kaitlyn had to strike now and strike hard, before she, too, started succumbing to the effects.::

::Khante lashed out with her dagger once more, her swing clumsy.  Kaitlyn dodged back, swinging her on scrap upward with all the strength she could muster, making a lucky connection with Khante’s arm.::

::Her hand went limp, dropping the dagger.::

::What happened next felt like slow motion.  Kaitlyn dropped the scrap, reaching out to grab the dagger before Khante could recover it.  The deck shook again, though Kaitlyn’s lean against the bulkhead kept her from staggering.  Kaitlyn pressed in, using her elbow to hammer Khante’s skull into the bulkhead once again.::

::Khante was disarmed.  Disoriented.  A good Starfleet officer would have incapacitated Khante, taken her in to answer for her crimes.::

::In that moment, that was NOT Kaitlyn.::

::Kaitlyn swung the dagger around, hard, slamming past Khante’s defenses and driving it straight into the side of the Orion woman’s green neck.  Kaitlyn pulled it out roughly, driving it in again as she yelled.::

::Khante collapsed, but Kaitlyn did not stop.  Kaitlyn fell with her, landing beside Khante’s face-down prone form, and continued to drive the dagger into the woman’s back.::

::All the while, Kaitlyn yelled.  All the anger, all the pain, all the frustration caused by being on that ship mixed with whatever remained from seven years before came out in a flood of rage.::

::Finally, with one final resounding shout, Kaitlyn plunged the dagger as deeply into Khante’s back as she could… and then fell back into a kneeling position beside her, staring.::

::The battle behind her finally ended, doors reopening on oxygen flooding back into the room.  Sounds, voices, came from behind her, but Kaitlyn paid them no heed.::

::Eventually, someone approached to tap gently on Kaitlyn’s shoulder.  The woman turned to look, her face neutral.  The usual smirk, the standard levity and snark…  None of it was there.  There were no tears, but her eyes were moist.::

Any: ?

::Kaitlyn gave a slow nod.::

Falcon: ::Neutral tone.::  Let’s get out of here.

Any: ?

(( Flashback – Seven Years Ago; Abandoned Factory; Oliph VII ))

::Kaitlyn opened fire with both weapons, lighting up her attackers in a hail of phase pistol blasts.  What the pistols lacked in raw power they made up for with a blistering fast fire rate.  As the last of the group was impacted and started to be pushed backward, Kaitlyn sprung to her feet and started to charge ahead.  The Orion fell in front of the door, holding it open.::

::The area beyond was more heavy industry.  Piles of debris, stacks of piping and materials, and pieces of defunct equipment littered the grounds.  Kaitlyn dove out of the doorway, rolling into cover behind some of the equipment.  The klaxon was much louder now, and weapons fire started to strike the edges of her cover.  She set down one pistol long enough to grab her emergency signaler, switching it on.  If Nova was anywhere in earshot, she would come running.  Taking up her pistol again, she popped out long enough to see her next destination.::

::She had no real idea of the layout of this building/complex/thing.  Light streamed in through a gap in the ceiling, and the far side of the large room had a doorway leading to what she believed to be outside.::

::The best cover took her past each one.::

::Waiting for a break in the first, Kaitlyn launched herself out from the piece of equipment.  She unleashed a flurry of shots from her twin pistols, trying to suppress any return fire until she could roll behind the next pile of debris.  Shots passed her on all sides, or struck the ground nearby, but somehow she managed to avoid getting hit.  A risky second attempt got her even closer to her objective.::

::That was when her signaler started pinging.  Nova was close!  Her ‘youngest kid’ good luck seemed to be with her that day.  Looking up, she saw she was close enough to the opening for the next part of her cunning strategy.::

::She reached to her belt, pulling out a primitive flare gun.  She pulled back its hammer, aiming for the gap and firing.  The bright white flare flashed upward, giving the dual benefits of signaling Nova her exact location and temporarily blinding anyone who had been looking too closely at her.  In the confusion, Kaitlyn managed to sprint to the doorway.::

::Overheard, Kaitlyn could hear the scream of Nova’s impulse drive as the Raven-class turned tramp freighter swooped in between the buildings.  She saw her phase cannons swing out and snap into position, all glowing a bright red.  Kaitlyn ducked behind cover, smiling at Nova’s dramatic entrance.::

Falcon: Light ‘em up, guys.

::As if in response, Nova began to fire with all her cannons; or at least any which could be brought to bear.  They blasted through gun emplacements, punched through forcefields and bulkheads, and evaporated anyone foolish enough to stand still.  The paltry return fire bounced harmlessly off Nova’s shields.::

::For a moment, no eyes were on Kaitlyn.::

::Nova seemed particularly fixated on one building, a signal to Kaitlyn that they wanted her to go that way.  Best guess; unable to beam her out.  Get to a roof.  Ducking into the rough corridor made by Nova’s cannon fire, Kaitlyn sprinted across the dirt ground separating the buildings and kicked her way inside.::

::It was a mad dash to get to the roof.  She blasted holes in any remaining defenders, shot the chains off locked doors, and paused as Nova raked a floor with cannon fire to clear her path.  There was no time for analysis, for consideration, barely even for thought.  Kaitlyn was on pure automatic, with survival as her only goal.::

::One final door finally admitted her onto the roof.  It was still strongly defended, forcing Kaitlyn to remain ducked behind the stairs.  She attempted to return fire, but the defenders were too well entrenched.  She could not make any more headway.::

::Nova had raised her altitude, turning to bring her cargo ramp toward the building.  The ramp started to lower, a familiar form walking down.::

::It was James.  On his back was a portable power generator.  In his hands was a man-portable phase cannon.  Protected by Nova’s shield bubble, he strode down the ramp, yanked the cannon’s charging lever, and took aim at the remaining defenders.::

::His shots punched through their emplacements, and served as a hell of a distraction.  Kaitlyn was back on her feet in an instant, her pistols comparatively wimpy looking but managing to drop the few who looked her way.::

::She passed through the shield bubble at a dead sprint, weapon blasts being stopped behind her.  Now fully spent, Kaitlyn’s legs finally failed as she got halfway up the ramp, James holding his fire to grab Kaitlyn’s arm and keep her from falling.::

::The grab, while reasonable, BURNED.::

Lt Commander Kaitlyn Falcon
Chief Helm Officer
Starbase 118 / U.S.S. Albion

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