Posted on Wednesday, 13 April 2022 - 1:12pm by Captain Pippa Whitley & Lieutenant T'Lanna Vali & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant Selin MD & Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant JG Ethan Connelly & Petty Officer 1st Class Siana Ilian
Edited on on Friday, 20 May 2022 - 12:21pm
Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Bridge
The USS Standing Bear was not doing well. Captain Whitley may had made the correct decision in ordering their crew to engage engines and get the hell away from the Borg battling Soral’s starship and their reinforcements as quickly as possible though there was only so far the Standing Bear and its crew could run in a universe so different from their own. Home they needed to get back home, but where they had slipped on through in pursuit of this mirror universe’s Soral was back where the Borg were decimating starships left and right, more Borg signatures were detected on long range sensors. Captain Pippa Whitley had doubts that this universe’s Soral had a chance of survival. Would they? It was a worth entertaining that personal dilemma. Pippa had no guarantees that the Standing Bear and crew would survive either.
There was no more running – The USS Standing Bear was rocked by some sort of weapon, powerful that had caused damage to several decks and nearly crippled their engines. Shields were apparently of little use in present state as whatever had hit them the Borg had dropped out of transwarp right in front of the Standing Bear and hurled through their forward shielding. “Lieutenant K’Var,” get adjust shield harmonics immediately!” ordered Pippa. “Rotating rapidly” added the Captain. Did I make us a target when I fired at them? Pippa thought. The Captain did not view the Standing Bear as a threat. By Borg logic, they should have left the Standing Bear alone…but logic was flawed here.
To her credit, the Caitian has exceptionally quick reflexes and as soon as the last syllable of the Captain's orders were given, Lieutenant K'Var followed through with the orders. She adjusted the shield harmonics to a rapidly rotating frequency.
Captain Whitley shook their head as another blast hit the Standing Bear. Fortunately, it did not cause nearly as much damage and had it the shields, but it took their shield strength down moderately. “At this rate, a dozen well placed shots and shields will buckle, but they will adapt their weapons before then” said Pippa. The Captain knew they were beyond hope, but the Standing Bear had not earned a reputation for rolling over and letting a larger threat just have its way, and Captain Stillwater would have never allowed his starship to be taken by the Borg or by anyone deadly enough to cripple it.
“I’m not done fighting” quipped Pippa. “Ops, get to it. Transfer all reserve power to shields and weapons. Science, make use of our sensors tactically. Scan for vulnerabilities…we need more time in this fight.”
From her place at the Ops station, Petty Officer Ilian gave a nod as she concentrated on doing what the Captain ordered. Her hands flew over the console, coaxing everything she could from reserves and non essential systems. Anything to help turn the tide in their favour - or at least buy them some more time.
“I’m detecting areas where the shields are weakening,” Lieutenant Connelly called out, “sharing coordinates now…”
"Thank you," replied the Captain and Whitley quickly looked to their side, seated beside them and along for this ride was their Acting First Officer, Lieutenant Vali. “I think it is time,” Pippa said with a subtle tone of defeat. Pippa knew that T'Lanna could sense what the half-Efrosian was thinking about…the crew, non-essential personnel.
T’Lanna looked at Whitley, she had no wish to be assimilated back into the collective and certainly didn’t want it for Jayce either. “The Borg are unforgiving Captain, they’ll take everything and everyone they can get.”
Soon, a handful of vessels arrived, nearly Federation looking in design but not anything that Pippa knew of as in service or being planned. Ships from here Pippa noted to themself. The Captain used the intercom “All hands, this is the Captain. Non-essential crew…evacuate the ship. Proceed to escape pods immediately. This is not a drill.”
Opening a channel directly to Sickbay, the Captain continued “Doctor Selin, that includes your patients and yourself. I want you to start clearing Sickbay out immediately, get your patients stabilized and move them to the shuttlebay. I want them and yourself loaded onto the Casablanca, Lieutenant Vali will meet you there as soon as possible.”
"Understood sir." Selin had Emerick assist her in getting everyone moved. Luckily there were only a few patients in sickbay.
Pippa closed the channel and looked to their Acting First Officer. “Your presence is required elsewhere, Lieutenant,” Pippa said sternly. They were not going to take an objection. “Take the Casablanca out of here, away from here quickly. We will try to hold off the Borg as long as we can. Set coordinates for the Sol system.”
T’Lanna opened her mouth to object but stopped herself from doing so, knowing Pippa was giving her a chance to get Jayce to safety. “Aye Captain!” She nodded a silent thanks before heading off the bridge.
As the Standing Bear took yet another hit, Pippa growled bitterly. “Blast a damn hole in that Borg Cube!” the Captain was not having a good day, a good week, and if this was how they were going to die, then they were going to make every shot and every decision count. “Lieutenant Eberhardt, evasive maneuvers, Federation or otherwise. Whatever tricks you have…use them, now.”
"Yes, captain," the Italian agreed, not enjoying getting knocked about. Furthermore, she now had a child on board and she would go into momma bear mode of she had to. Adrianna started to spin the ship to avoid incoming fire. Whilst sickening, it was working. Once getting somewhere, the woman started their escape, "to warp, there's a hole."
Before Whitley could give the order all momentum that the Standing Bear had came to a full stop abruptly, and a green beam of light illuminated the viewscreen. The bridge was quickly scanned by a green grid. They were in a holding beam and had been scanned by the Borg. The communications channel was opened on its own accord or rather by the Borg's doing. One voice came forward through the eerily noise and the viewscreen switched to an internal image of the Borg Cube.
Stepping forward was what once was a man who had been turned to machine. "I am Locutus of Borg, your biological and technological distinctiveness will be assimilated. You will be Borg. Resistance is a an effort of futility." This was not Jean-Luc Picard, but it was someone that Pippa recognized from Federation history.
Pippa starred at the screen and muttered "Noonien Soong." Captain Whitley quickly snapped back to the present, the here and now as she terminated the communication signal. "K'Var target the source of that holding beam, full strength and fire at will! Break us free!"
At the Captain's orders the Caitian targeted the focal point where the beam was being emitted and fired everything she could muster to break the starship free.
"Eberhardt, bring us about and prepare for a collision course with the Borg Cube" added Pippa. The Captain knew that the Borg would likely get their holding beam repaired enough to prevent collision, but Whitley had more up their sleeve. They were counting on it. "Computer, transfer First Officer command access to Lieutenant K'Var and Second Officer access to Lieutenant Eberhardt, authorization Whitley-Sigma-Seven-Seven-Omicron."
As the computer processed the command, Whitley stood from their seat. "Computer, set automated self destruct for...three minutes, authorization Whitley-Omega-Thirteen."
The computer then prompted confirmation from K'Var and Adrianna. Whitley looked at them both and nodded. "We are not letting them have the ship."
"Yes, captain," Adrianna relayed. She quickly authorised it.
Lieutenant K'Var also authorized it after a deep breath.
On the viewscreen Whitley took a look at the 'battlefield' and noted one of the starships that had been fighting alongside them had been assimilated and was adrift. "Petty Officer Ilian, inform the remaining crew to take arms immediately and reroute power to transporters and start beaming the remaining crew off, yourself included...leave myself and K'var aboard. Transport everyone else to that derelict vessel."
Siana looked distinctly ill at the thought of abandoning the ship without everyone leaving but after a brief moment she issued the instructions and began directing additional power to the transporters, programming in for the bridge crew (save for two people) to be beamed off the ship last.
"Connelly, scan to confirm there's still life support active on that starship."
“Scanning,” Ethan acknowledged as he adjusted the sensors. “Confirmed, Captain. There is a couple of hull breaches but the reserve power seems to be keeping them sealed. Reading breathable air across all decks.”
Whitley looked at Eberhardt once more. "I'm leaving you in command of the survivors until further notice, Lieutenant. Clear that starship of any Borg drones, but keep it adrift. Don't make any attempt to repair engines or increase power until the Borg leave or until you hear from me again, is that clear?"
"Crystal," Adrianna nodded, standing up.