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Ambassador Tallis, Cmdr Reinard & PNPCs Calderan & Borr, "


Chen
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((Embassy Grounds))

::It was with an aloof, disdainful face that Tallis removed the members of the embassy’s marine corps that were guarding the power plant from existence. Evidently they had assumed that, because he’d spent time limited to an insectoid form, he didn’t understand the value of cover, or what setting 16 on a phaser could do to humanoid life-forms. Not so, and their underestimating him had cost them their lives. He stepped over the trio of corpses, phaser held ready his route to the engine room needed to be indirect; if the defence forces realised where he was going then they would easily be able to cut him off. This was a good body, built for running, and it would be a shame to waste it.::

::He had entered the power plant with one purpose in mind. The guards had been easy to neutralise as they had underestimated him, but he knew he was still being tailed. The odds of getting to where he was going with three officers on his tail seemed to be slim at best; a little misdirection was going to be called for. He kicked off the cover of a maintenance conduit in the wall, then hit the opening mechanism on the door on the far side of the room before heading down the opposite corridor, intending to find the quickest route to his objective by using the computer systems to guide him.::

::It was an unpleasant night; dank, wet and grim. Twenty four hours ago, Lucas had never even heard of bluegills. Now, he was facing more of them than he could count and, worse, it was the Federation ambassador that they were in the process of hunting down. The idea that a man who was responsible for the development of Federation/Laudean relations was currently loose and hell bent on murdering as many people as he could sent a shiver down his spine. Fortunately, he had been a soldier for long enough and seen enough conflict that he would have no qualms in doing his job and putting Ambassador Tallis down the moment he got a clean shot.::

::Greir stepped over the fallen marine guards that Tallis had dispatched. His phaser was held up and ready as he carefully entered the power plant, looking all about for signs of trouble. There was no telling if Tallis was ducked behind cover waiting to ambush them. With tricorder in the other hand he scanned the area for lifesigns and found it clear.::

Reinard: Any ideas about his purpose here?

::The most obvious answer was that he would go for the generator and take it out but Greir wondered what else the bluegill might be interested in getting up to here. It might give them some clues about where to head.::

::Lucas kept his eyes open and focused on their surroundings rather than the commander as he answered. The last thing they needed was for another member of the party to wind up falling victim to one of the parasites. The lobby looked clear, other than the awkwardly positioned bodies of the marines who had been standing guard.::

Borr: My first guess is that he’s going to blow the generator, Sir. Second is that he’s going to sabotage the power grid to deactivate the security perimeter. If I was him, I’d go for option one. It’s quicker and still powers everything down.

Reinard: That seems the most likely thing to me as well.

::Nia nodded in agreement to the Laudean Commander.::

Calderan: You’re right Sir. The bluegills are a very cunning enemy, and will want to make maximum effect for minimum effort.

::Lucas’s knowledge of the embassy grounds came largely from having studied site maps in the Starfleet databanks. However, it didn’t take a genius to know what would happen if the power generator was fried.::

Borr: Commander, I’m sure I don’t need to point out that if this generator is destroyed, we lose main power. Everything goes down. The security perimeter, everything in the CIC, the computers in the medical centre... if we can get auxiliary power up then we can restore it, but who knows how many parasites and hosts will swarm into the grounds during that time?

Calderan: That’s something I hope we don’t have to find out.

::Nia had already had her close calls with these creatures so far, and was only saved by LtCmdr Eerie at the last minute. She didn’t savour having any more. What needed to be done had to be done.::

::It went without saying that the Bluegill couldn’t be allowed to complete its nefarious goal. It could cause significant damage and turn the tide of the war. If the Embassy fell to the Bluegills then as far as he could see, it was game over. It would leave only the ships in orbit to defend the planet and the kind of action they might be forced to take to stop the parasites didn’t bear thinking about. It sent shivers down his spine. Greir nodded to the maintenance conduit whose panel had been removed.::

Reinard: There’s a chance he went that way. Lucas I want you to check it out.

::If the ambassador had chosen the maintenance conduit then it would be very easy for him to spring a trap inside it. Lucas was already wrapping his mind around the possible eventualities as he answered.::

Borr: Aye, Sir.

Reinard: Calderan you go that way. ::Pointing down one corridor:: I’ll go this way. ::Thumbing the other one.:: Maintain open comm channel and immediately report any sightings or other significant information.

::Nia wasn’t looking forward to wandering off on her own, but she needed to do her duty.::

Calderan: Aye Sir.

::Lucas prepared to enter the conduit, weapon first. Crawling along on his elbows and knees would be the best way to make sure he could keep his phaser ready to be aimed quickly if he did fall foul of a trap.::

Borr: Yes, Sir. Good hunting.

Reinard: Computer, seal access points to the fusion generator room.

Computer: Acknowledged. Security bulkheads deployed.

::Further into the complex and looking up his route on a computer console, Tallis heard the activation of a hydraulic mechanism in the distance. Cursing under his breath, he realised that Starfleet had anticipated what he was trying to do and were putting countermeasures in place. He sped off, hoping to get to the generator in time, but tripped over the cover of an access panel that had been taken down from an EPS conduit and leant against the wall; as he picked himself up he could see the blast doors finally close and lock into position, just a few yards away. Frustrated, he kicked the panel and sent it flying down the corridor; evidently someone had forgotten to replace it and it had just cost him precious time. Heading down the perpendicular corridor to the blast door, he knew he was going to have to find another way in; he was about to find out just how effective a Starfleet phaser could be.::

::Greir took off down his chosen route. If Tallis was going for the reactor then they might not have much time. He was scanning with his tricorder and focusing his mind for fielding; trying to use any advantage he could to track him down.::

::Nia Calderan made her way along the corridors as she continued her way through the Embassy’s lesser explored areas. She could see the bulkheads, and other industrial equipment all related to the power supply of the Embassy. There were a number of consoles of non-Starfleet design but with LCARS computer interfaces that she was tempted to use to see if she could locate this man Tallis, but thought better of it. If he and his bluegill symbiant were as clever as she feared, then these consoles were probably booby trapped. She sighed and continued hunting in the old fashioned way.::

::Lucas’s progress through the maintenance conduits was slow. It was beginning to strike him that if anyone else had been inside, he would have been able to hear every point of contact with the metallic grate on which he was now crawling. He wasn’t sure whether or not these bluegills had any form of military training, but he very much doubted it. How could they? As he came to a junction, he paused, taking advantage of the slightly raised sealing to seat himself and check his tricorder with one hand, the other keeping his rifle ready to fire.::

::Greir came upon a wall mounted console and on further inspection found it had been accessed recently . It confirmed Tallis’s target and showed his intended route. Greir immediately picked up the pace and bolted down the corridor, following the route as quickly as possible.::

Reinard: =/\= I can confirm he is headed for the generator. There’s one access point, meet me there. =/\=

::Commander Reinard had called before Lucas’s scan was complete; snapping his tricorder shut, he aborted it. Their target had been sighted and now he knew where he was going. The scan had at least given away the direction he needed to go in to make it to the nearest access panel and he started off in that direction with all due haste.::

Borr: =/\= On my way, Commander. =/\=

::Nia heard here Commander’s discovery and abandoned her search. She knew she was going to have run if she was going to get to Reinard’s location in time.::

Calderan: =/\= Calderan here Sir. Aye, I’m on my way. =/\=

::Whatever the blast doors were made out of was no easy material to cut through. There seemed to be some kind of coating on it that was partially absorbing Tallis’s attempts to cut through with his phaser. He growled with frustration at the lack of progress; he was going to have to cut a section out of the blast door if he was going to get through. His instructions had been specific. Once he’d set it to overload, he didn’t even need to get out of the generator room before it went up. All he had to do was stop it from being cancelled.::

::He tilted his head at the suspicion of a noise, echoing down the corridor behind him. Taking his finger off the trigger, he focused on trying to figure out what it was.::

::Footsteps. They were close!::

::Whoever it was was approaching at a run and near to Tallis’s position. He had to react now, or he would lose the initiative. Whirling around, he aimed his phaser rifle as quickly as he could and hit the trigger. A beam of lethal golden energy burst from its tip, headed for one of the officers who had been hunting him, who had just come into view...::

::Greir’s nerves were on edge as he approached the security bulkhead. If it had closed before Tallis had gotten through to the generator room as he’d hoped then he was about to come face to face with the bluegill. His heart leapt into his mouth as he sighted Tallis who was turning his weapon on him. It was a race to see who could fire first. Greir squeezed the trigger but because he’d been running his aim was off. His shot impacted the bulkhead to the side of where Tallis stood.::

::The shot from Tallis missed too. Or did it? Greir barely had time to realise what the Bluegill had hit and raise his arm defensively when he was thrown backwards by a powerful force. He was immediately knocked unconscious and hit the ground so hard that his head and body were smashed and bounced off the cold, hard surface.::

::One of the many perks of being inside a humanoid host was that you could smile when you were satisfied with your handiwork. The brutal explosion that had ripped from the conduit to smite Tallis’s attacker had pinned him against the emergency bulkhead in front of him but, other than what felt like a bruise or two, he was unharmed. His smile widened as he imagined the sight of the broken and burned corpse around the corner and he turned back to finish what he had started. The queen had given him a job to do and he intended to do it.::

::Nia was fit, and running didn’t normally pose a problem for her, but the tension of the situation was making her breathing more laboured than normal. She was almost at the location.::

Calderan: What was that?

::The echo of an explosion rumbled down the corridor.:

Calderan: Oh no..

::Nia rounded the corner and came across a prone figure lying on the ground. Nia was shocked. The man.. was very badly burned, especially his face. For a moment she didn’t know who they were. Was it even the Ambassador they’d come to stop. Then the realisation gripped the Dorfwoman that this was Commander Reinard. The uniform and comm badge, or what was left of them, was clearly Star Fleet.::

Calderan: Commander!!

::Nia was no medic, but had basic medical training as a Marine Officer. She scanned the Commander, and breathed a sigh of relief. He was still breathing. He was alive. Then Nia pondered whether that was a blessing or not, looking at the crushed form in front of her. She tapped her comm badge.::

Calderan: =/\=This Lt Calderan calling for immediate medical evacuation.=/\=

Zehn: =/\= Ready to go, Lieutenant. Who is it? =/\=

::Nia’s words caught in her throat. She couldn’t bring herself to fill in the identity. She looked at the Commander’s melted comm badge. It was useless now. She pulled off her own and placed it gently on Reinard’s chest.::

Calderan: =/\= One to beam out…they’re.. burned badly. Please use my comm badge location.=/\=

Zehn: =/\= CIC to Medical. Casualty being transported in, patient has severe burns Energising now=/\=

::Nia waited for the transporter to do its stuff, but then she heard a noise behind her. Her nerves all felt like bursting.::

::Lucas skidded to a halt behind Lieutenant Calderan just in time to see the last part of the transporter cycle. There weren’t too many things that could mean and he had a horrible feeling that the commander had just been taken out.::

Borr: Are we on our own?

::Nia shook her head gently.::

Calderan: I don’t know where the Ambassador is...

::He sighed and readied his weapon. Commander Reinard had really put himself out trying to help Lucas settle in. He really hoped that wasn’t going to be the last he would see of him.::

Borr: OK, so I guess we need to make sure we get our man and get back in one piece, Sir.

Calderan: Aye Mr Borr.

::In front of them, a plasma fire roared, leaping from a ruptured EPS conduit. It was the only sound that the Laudean soldier could hear other than the Lieutenant’s voice. Reaching for his tricorder, he began a life-form scan. The Ambassador had to be close by; they were close to the generator room, which they had identified as his target.::

::The tricorder showed that he was just around the corner. Snapping the sensor device closed, Lucas replaced it in his belt, then wordlessly pointed around the corner. There was a chance that the noise of the fire might provide them with enough of a distraction to have the element of surprise. There was also a chance that Tallis was lying in wait, ready to shoot the first thing that moved.::

Calderan: If we can’t see him, I think we should at least try and stun him. A grenade might work. What d’ya think?

Borr: Worth a try. It could give us an edge.

::Lucas nodded and quietly lifted his phaser, edging towards the junction. Nia followed close behind. She didn’t want to take any chances, not with bluegills after what happened earlier.::

Borr: Ready when you are, Sir.

::He stooped low, ready to roll across the opening after the grenade had fired and lay down cover fire for his senior officer. Nia darted past him, and drew her stun grenade. She lobbed it into the area she thought that the Ambassador might be hiding.::

Calderan: Get ready. Now!

::With anger in her voice, Nia hurled the stun grenade into the darkness.::

::Between the noise of the plasma fire and the continuous thrum of his phaser beam, Tallis almost didn’t hear the dull thud of the stun grenade as it bounced down the corridor. It emitted a high pitched whine as it powered up, leaving him with only enough time to duck and cover, turning the back of his neck away from the blast and covering his face with his arm. The force of the stun grenade was unpleasant; he could feel the pain that it caused his body, but knew that it wouldn’t be enough to put him down. He snarled as he reached for his phaser.::

::Lucas rolled into position on the far side of the corridor. He waited until he heard the stun grenade go off before pointing the nose of his rifle around the corner, looking for a shot…::

::Nia peered into the gloom. There was movement. Definite movement. She aimed her phaser at the shadowy figure. Whatever the man had been in the past - noble, wise and a leader of men, he was gone now. That body was just a vehicle now.::

Calderan: ::whispering:: I’m sorry…

::Nia squeezed the trigger, on maximum kill. The beam flew through the darkness, illuminating the corridor and leaving Tallis with no time to react. It struck him square in the head, his body crumpling and landing in a lifeless heap against the cold tritanium bulkhead.::

::Lucas narrowed his eyes; Tallis Rhul had been such a prominent figure in the news over the last few months and had been a face that everyone has associated with Duronis II’s Starfleet contingent for a long time. Now, it would be difficult to recognise him as much at all; his benign face had been replaced by twisted, burnt flesh. He fought hard not to retch and looked away as quickly as he could.::

Borr: I can’t believe that was the Federation Ambassador…

::Nia moved towards the gruesome scene, phaser still raised. She ran a scan over the body. Neither the bluegill, nor the noble Tallis Rhul still lived. She tapped called in to the CIC.::

Calderan: =/\= This is Lt Calderan to the CIC.=/\=Zehn: =/\= Go ahead, Lieutenant =/\=

::She cleared her throat.::

Calderan: =/\= I have to report that.... Ambassador Tallis is.. dead.=/\=

TAG/TBC

A JP by

PNPC Recruit Lucas Borr

Tactical/Security Trainee

USS Vigilant
NCC-75515

SIMmed by: Fleet Captain Diego Herrera

&

Commander Greir Reinard

First Officer

USS Vigilant

&

Lt. Scania ‘Nia’ Calderan (PNPC)

Marine: USS Vigilant

http://wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Scania,_Calderan

Simmed by: Major Leo Handley-Page: SOO: USS Vigilant

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