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Captain on the Run

Posted on 12 Sep 2019 @ 3:40pm by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant JG Kemm & Lieutenant JG Charles Carmichael & Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant JG Catherine Cooper & Ensign Shay Mitchell

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Deck Thirteen
Timeline: MD 15 || 1530 hours

===[Deck Thirteen]===

Two armed security officers ran down the corridor on their way to secure Auxiliary Control, a standard protocol in the event a senior officer had been declared compromised. Whether that statement was true or not, the ship could not risk falling into enemy hands.

As soon as the officers disappeared around the bend, Captain Geisler sighed from the shadows. He’d materialized on one side of the deck and had quickly moved to this darkened gangway which gave him a vantage point on Science Lab Six. For months now, the lab had been on restricted access, indicated by the advanced door control mechanism that had been installed in place of the typical panel. That panel allowed access only to the senior staff, and that panel so conveniently displayed the word OFFLINE in large, bold, red text.

With Commander Teixeira on the run, a move that Harvey equally agreed and disagreed with, Harvey knew it was only a matter of time before the both of them would be apprehended. If the Dolmoqour truly controlled three members of the senior staff and several others, he had to believe that they were ready to usurp control of the ship at any point now. Doctor Kij alone had the ability to instruct the computer that the Captain had been medically relieved and remove his access. She could easily continue down the chain of command until she or someone else would command the ship.

And this door mechanism failure would serve only as a means to trap him, using what the science lab contained as bait.

Harvey had to reach out to Joey. Not only did he need to know she was okay, but he had to let her know none of this was true. But he couldn’t do that here. Not where he could be seen or overheard. Harvey readied his type-one phaser, and listened once more for movement in the corridor. Bolstering the confidence, he darted out of the gangway, across the corridor, and slid inside the darkened science lab. He immediately swept the room, keeping his phaser aimed and ready, until he could verify that the room was clear.

The Captain tapped his badge and called out, “Geisler to bridge.”

No response came.

Harvey tapped the badge again, this time noting that the badge didn’t chirp. Instead, it gave off a muted click, indicating that it was disconnected from the communications system. Harvey frowned, realizing that communications must be down. Either it was a smart move on Joey’s part to disrupt whatever hellish attempt there was to take the ship, or Lieutenant Sorenson deliberately sabotaged it to disrupt the crew’s attempts to ascertain truth. Either way, this would not work in his favor.

Harvey grabbed a laser torch that had once been used to remove parts of the hundred-year old probe’s casing and aimed it at the door. He fired three short bursts to weld the door panels shut. Trap or no trap, at least he bought himself time to do what he needed to do.

===[Stellar Cartography]===

For the first time since coming aboard the Black Hawk, Lieutenant Carmichael had cleared all of the sensor scans and map data from the large cylindrical display and had replaced it with various schematics of the Black Hawk. While a full schematic was displayed, several areas such as the bridge, engineering, and Science Lab Six were also on full view. The internal sensors and security grid were still down, but part of Quinn’s sabotage program didn’t affect computer access, and indications of that access from being reported. Seeing an increase of activity in the science lab, Carmichael smiled. The Captain had indeed fallen for the trap, just as they’d predicted. Turning to the Boreriri that Ensign Mitchell had retrieved from the VIP Quarters earlier, he simply said, “The mouse has the cheese. Have Cooper and Mitchell on standby to seal the cage.”

The Boreriri nodded and reached out with his mind to the two Followers Charles had indicated.

Once she was summoned, Shay arrived and took position off to one side of the door without going inside. The Boreriri she'd freed would let both her, and Cooper, know when it was time for them to make their move. Until then, it was a game of sit tight and wait for further instruction, which didn't bother her considering it would help this entire operation go more smoothly. And, that was exactly what they needed if they were going to be able to free the others.

Cooper quickly made her way, leaving tactical in the hands of another converted one. She checked her belt on the way and arrived outside of the room, she nodded to Shay as Cooper took up position on the other side of the door. Awaiting further instruction from the Boreriri.

===[Science Lab Six]===

Seemingly secure for now, Harvey turned to look at the two other occupants in the room; the hundred-year old probe, and its freshly minted younger self. For months, the truth had eluded him as to why he sent the probe, with only the last few minutes revealing all he needed to know. Part of him wanted to destroy the probe, release the Black Hawk from the timeloop and send it on a different path. But who knew if that path would have still brought the Black Hawk back into the zone and on a same or similar quest.

Or, what if another ship like the Vasco de Gama was sent in instead. Would it be able to stop what was coming?

No, this was destiny. Harvey didn’t fully understand it, but he had to stop the Dolmo… whatever it was that they were called. Surely these Dolmoqour created the Consortium, and if the Consortium had done that much damage to Starfleet’s presence in the Gamma Quadrant, who knew what they could do in the long term, especially since they were far from defeated.

Harvey approached the fresh probe and stood over it. He had to do more than send a message to himself. His eyes wondered upward to the older probe, and Harvey was reminded that any message to himself wouldn’t be received. He paused, considering the three very words that had haunted him the last few months, “Trust no one.” The last few minutes had given that phrase new validation. If only he could have realized their new meaning earlier, but that didn’t matter now. What did matter was that he couldn’t trust anyone but himself to see this through. Launching the probe was only one part of all of this. Defeating the Dolmoqour, or even slowing their efforts, was now the second priority.

Of course how to do that alone, he had absolutely no idea.

The Captain considered the probe now in front of him. Of the three senior staff members on the Away Team, only Jayla had heard the original message. Harvey later brought Camila into the know when he shanghaied her into the Black Hawk’s service after his wedding. Both of them knew what he needed to do. The moment the message was recorded, he would be expendable. If he died… well, now wasn’t the time to consider it.

And the real problem just occurred to him. This was a class nine probe, designed for long range use. But it was not configured to escape the minefield. Assuming he could record the message and get it to the launcher and fire it, the minefield would eat it up in seconds. He had to get it past the minefield, and with the ship compromised, he couldn’t do it here.

Harvey slammed a fist on the fresh probe, suddenly pissed at the situation he was in. He couldn’t just leave the science lab and wheel the probe down the corridor. No, that’d make him a target, especially since the crew was suspicious. He took a moment and made sure every access port on the probe was closed. Harvey wouldn’t get more than a single shot at this, and he had to set himself up for success.

He moved over to one of the computer access consoles in the science lab and began to input a few commands. First, he checked the external sensors. Earlier, several Guardian vessels had begun to gather outside the minefield, lying in wait for the Black Hawk to make its move. That number had significantly grown now; nearly two dozen ships were preparing to intercept. All Harvey had to do was launch the probe and then use the minefield for his own cover. If he could get the probe out, then he could still return to the ship and do what need to be done.

Or so Harvey hoped.

His mind now went to Joey, his loving wife and mother of his children. Harvey wanted to rescue her, take her with him, just so he knew she was safe. However, they both acknowledged a while ago the dangers of service in Starfleet. The uniform came with risks, and the longer they wore it, the more they continued to accept those risks.

Because of that, Harvey knew Joey’s place was here on the Black Hawk. She would defend him, his name, and his honor. Their trust in each other would be the key to not only Harvey’s success, but the defeat of the Dolmoqour.

Now armed with steel willpower and determination, Harvey accessed the transporter controls. Communications being down would prevent verbal commands, and that was just as well. The less people who could hear his thoughts, the better.

===[Stellar Cartography]===

Lieutenant Carmichael, who’d been watching the schematic from Science Lab Six, gasped when he saw the alarm that just flashed on the screen. “Shit!” he exclaimed, turning to face the Boreriri communicator. “Send Cooper and Mitchell to the shuttlebay now! The Captain’s stealing the Mississippi!”


In the back of the runabout Mississippi, Lieutenant Kemm kneeled beside the duplicate alien device that enabled the Mississippi to both traverse the minefield unharmed and counteract the duenetic field. It had performed admirably during the Away Team’s mission, yet he’d been instructed to make modifications and improve the device based on the computer logs from the transit down to the planet. For the last forty-five minutes, he’d made more than a dozen minute adjustments to the device, and was just finishing up his work. As he placed the final cover over the access port, he heard the familiar whine of the transporter behind him. Kemm’s Kelpien threat ganglia immediately slipped out from their hiding place, causing the Kelpien to turn in surprise.

“I’m sorry, Lieutenant,” the Captain said from beside the probe. He raised his phaser and stunned the Kelpien. “This isn’t personal, but I can’t take any chances.” As the Kelpien’s body slumped to the floor, Harvey dashed across the runabout to the cockpit, checking compartments as he went and locking doors along the way. He even found a transport inhibtor in a compartment, which he activated to keep him from being transported off the runabout, and keeping anyone from beaming inside.

Harvey sat down at the controls and began the preflight procedures. It would take him a few minutes to get the runabout ready for launch. Hopefully, he’d be left alone long enough to do it.

Shay couldn't remember a time when she'd run so fast in her young life, but right now, she was being driven by the Dolmoqour, and it wanted to see to it that Geisler didn't get off of the ship. She skid to a halt just outside the runabout, trying the doors. They were locked. Shit! Her security codes would be useless in this situation considering he was the ship's Captain. No one had higher clearance than he did.

It was time for Plan B.

The young woman moved around to the front of the runabout and leveled her phaser in front of her. Flesh and bone versus space craft... it was no secret which setting she'd set her phaser to. "I'm afraid I can't let you leave, Captain," she said. "Cooper... try to find a way inside."

Cooper nodded and with equal urgency moved to the door it was meant to be opened from the inside and it would have auto secured for flight so her door popper wouldn't work. She knew coms were down so she couldn't even call for a site to site. On that thought she caught sight of another runabout nearby then, not giving herself time bolted for it. With speed born of desperation she powered up its transporter and set it for the Captain's runabout's transporter, pulling her phaser.

The transporter hummed to life, but quickly powered back down, leaving Cooper in place. The controls flashed an error message for her to see, indicating that a transport inhibitor was in place on the Mississippi, protecting the other runabout from being invaded or emptied.

Meanwhile, Harvey looked up to see Ensign Mitchell standing defiantly in front of the runabout. His options were becoming increasingly fewer. As much as he couldn't trust anyone right now, he didn't want to kill any crewmembers if he could help it. He also had to assume that her phaser was set for an extremely high level, something that would punch through the forward window. A single button tap activated the runabout's shields, pushing the runabout off the shuttlebay floor in the process. Harvey had to act fast, bringing the engines online and preparing his escape route.

He stared at Ensign Mitchell as he brought the forward microtorpedo launcher online. "Move," he muttered. Please don't make me do this...

So, he wanted to play the game this way? She'd play. "Lieutenant," she called toward Cooper. "Power up theEuphrates. If he doesn't want to come the easy way, we'll just have to do it the hard way." Her gaze remained on the Captain as she spoke, lowering her phaser back to her side. It wasn't long before the young Ensign disappeared from view to board the remaining runabout.

Harvey wanted to smile as she moved out of the way, but he wasn't going to wait until she was safe. "Don't die," he muttered just a heartbeat before he pressed the fire command, sending a single photon torpedo at the shuttlebay doors. It detonated with a brilliant flash of light, followed by a load roar as the shuttlebay's depressurization began. The Captain engaged the engines, launching the Mississippi out of the bay and into space.

Shay wasn't sure what form of luck was on her side, but she'd barely made it inside the runabout before the shuttlebay began to depressurize. After securing the door, she moved toward the front where Cooper was already settled. "After the traitorous, son of a bitch."

Cooper cursed as the transporter didn't work, "An Inhibitor" She groused. Her host memories telling her what must have happened. The Captain must have activated one, she took off outside the Euphrates to try something else when she saw what she feared the Captain up in the air, another command from her fellow highjacker and she was spinning around back the way she'd come, almost throwing herself in the pilot seat going through an emergency pre flight. Damn these Starfleet types anyway, if only they'd stayed unknowing for longer. With both she and Shay ready they lifted off after the Captain.

Once they were in pursuit of Harvey, Shay breathed a little easier, but they weren't out of the woods yet. They wouldn't be until they had him back.

===[Flight Deck]===

The voice of the Boreriri crept into Commander Walsh's mind. "The Captain has escaped the ship. Catch him."

Terry went into overdrive when the words came to his mind. This. Was. Not. Happening. As he ran past people and fighters, he caught one of the pilots and gave her orders to standby only. "Not one damn fighter is to leave this bay unless I give the order!" he bellowed. "Not one!" He took off at a sprint again and climbed into his fighter, putting on the helmet. "To hell with the pre-flight and clearance." He powered up his Gryphon, knowing that his had been the first one to receive the updates he'd requested in the meeting, and lifted off the deck. With the bay doors closed, he initiated an override with his command codes. Terry didn't even let them completely open before he tilted his fighter and flew out. I'm on my way, he said to the Boreriri.

Fortunately, the Gryphon's comm system was still active as it was a separate entity from the main ships. "Alpha One to Runabout Mississippi. Captain, you didn't think you'd get out of there without an escort, did you? Can't let you go all suicide squad, sir. The ship still needs you."

What the hell? thought Harvey, looking out the side viewport to see the small Gryphon fighter leave the launch bay. Harvey had brought the Mississippi around on a close arc to hug the Black Hawk's hull to keep himself out of phaser range before disappearing into the minefield. He keyed the communications system and fired back to Terry, "Sorry, Alpha One. This is just something I've got to do right now. Head back to the ship and keep it under guard."

Well, that approach wasn't going to work. he thought to himself. "Sorry Harvey, can't do that," Terry said, moving to familiar terms. He banked and followed the runabout into the minefield while bringing weapons online. He continued speaking as he targeted the Mississippi. "Don't think you can outrun me, Harvey. I'm a seasoned combat pilot in a starfighter. Your'e a what? A medical doctor who moved to command a starship? And not even a good one that." The Dolmoquor accessed more of Terry's memories while he was screaming in the background. If he could have cried, Terry's face would be littered with tears. "How many people have you let die or ordered to their death on away missionsCaptain? Disease and death from a planet. The Consortium killed how many again? Give up before you leave your pretty wife and children fatherless." Terry, without waiting for a response, opened fire on the Mississippi with phasers followed by a two photon torpedoes.

Shay opened a channel with the Mississippi. "You're not helping your case, Captain. Your Executive Officer is missing in action, and you fled the ship. Who's going to want to trust you again when this is all over? Give yourself up now."

Harvey uttered curses under his own breath, swerving the spacecraft to avoid the phaser bursts and the first torpedo, but the second hit the shields in the aft quarter. Sparks flew from a aft console, and Harvey found himself thankful that the damage was fairly minimal. With a single flick, he muted his end of the comms, leaving the channel open just to hear anything that would be said. When this was all over, he'd have several choice words for members of his crew.

Assuming any of them got to live to hear those words...

The Captain punched full impulse, shot past the Black Hawk, and entered the minefield. The best projections took seven minutes to clear the field, and he'd have to stay alive until then. With a second hand, he fired two bursts from the aft phaser banks to strike one of the mines, hoping the explosion would distract his pursuers.

"Shit! Bring us around," Shay practically screamed as the mine exploded. They weren't as agile as a fighter was inside the runabout. No, this was going to depend on the fighter pilot. He'd have the best chance at getting the Captain back than they would. "Return to the ship."

With a thunderous expression of anger the other Dolmoqour nodded and turned the runabout around. Niether she nor her host was primarily a pilot and the the sluggishness of this vessel would cause problems. Annoyed Cooper made for the ship.

Harvey glanced at his sensors to see that the Euphrates had veered off. The Captain knew he couldn't relax as there was still a minefield to navigate and his best fighter pilot hot on his trail. "Computer," he ordered, trying to focus on flying the small craft for now. "Establish remote access with the class nine probe in the aft compartment."

The computer beeped and whirred in reply before adding, "Connection established."

"Route data recorder to the forward station." Harvey rolled the ship to port and dove it down as part of his evasive flying. As soon as the display to his left flashed, Harvey entered his command codes into the interface. "Record first message, security code three-nine." As he waited for the screen to respond, he tapped a few buttons to instruct the computer to encode the message he'd inserted into the probe a few days ago. The screen then flashed the word "Recording," indicating that the system was ready. "This message is intended for Admirals O'Connell and Archer. I... I don't even know where to begin. The Convergence Zone is compromised and the mission is a failure! You must intercept the Black Hawk when it returns. Several of the senior staff and crew have turned, likely unwillingly so. It's possible the Consortium is involved. You cannot trust any of us. Be ready to stop the Black Hawk at any cost."

Terry saw the other runabout pulling away on his sensors. It was now up to him to stop Harvey before he did something they all would regret. He jinked and jogged around the mines, thankful that the fighter had been updated with the necessary equipment. The runabout had not returned any of his hails or statements. So he decided to try another avenue. He completely opened fire on the runabout with everything he had; both pulse phasers in rapid succession as well as both micro torpedo launchers. If he could get the shields down, maybe Harvey would slow down. He could only suspect that he didn't want to die in a mine field explosion either.

Alarms sounded from Harvey's consoles, interrupting his recording. "Computer, save message and commit!" he shouted before forcing the runabout into a slow roll to dodge the phaser fire. Thankfully, the shots missed, but the torpedos were still hot on his tail. "Come on," he muttered, shifting the runabout towards one of the mines. His right hand danced over the tactical controls, powering the rear phaser banks down to ten percent and firing them in a series of quick shots. Each blast missed, but he wasn't trying to shoot at the torpedoes. Instead, the effect managed to cause both torpedoes to veer away and strike the mine instead.

"Shit!" exclaimed Terry. They would be exiting this mine field soon enough and he couldn't let Harvey get away. He continued firing all weapons at the runabout. Then an idea hit him. If he could cause a few of the mines ahead of the runabout to explode, maybe the resulting chain reaction would force Harvey to veer away from the edge of the field and back into it. Terry lowered the power of the pulse phasers and targeted a mine several kilometers in front of Harvey. The resultant explosion did create a chain reaction. Just not in the direction Terry was hoping for. Instead coming towards them and causing the runabout to veer away, the reaction went away from them towards the edge of the mine field. The leader of the Dolmoquor would certainly take his life for this. Providing a way of escape.

Harvey dodged the new round of phaser fire, and realized a moment later that Walsh wasn't even trying to target him. Harvey turned the runabout into the explosion and tried to follow behind it, a challenge made difficult as new mines started to appear in place of the expired ones. A new glance at his forward sensors told him that he was just three minutes away from the edge of the minefield. Time was running out, especially to get this probe ready.

"Computer, start a new recording to transmit on probe's receipt by a Starfleet vessel. Code three-zero." Harvey could not manipulate the controls by hand anymore as he had to focus on steering the runabout. ”To whomever's listening, this is stardate 66239.9 This is Captain Harvey Geisler of the Starship Black Hawk. The Federation is in danger. Repeat, the Federation is in danger! Do not enter the Finnean Convergence Zone. Keep it contained.”

Terry watched as the runabout dodged the explosions and the new mines appeared. How the Dolomoquor had forgotten about the self-replication was frustrating to say the least. But maybe his life had been spared by whatever deity these humans believed in. Terry took advantage of the situation and fired a the runabout. The first several shots of the pulse phasers missed, which caused him to emit a string of curses that would make a Klingon proud. Then he watched as the last couple of pulses hit on target. He checked his tactical sensor readout to see what he might have damaged.

The monitor Harvey was looking into for his recording exploded in his face. "Shit!" he cursed, closing his eyes and looking away, his reflex also causing the runabout to go off course. As smoke filled the air, Harvey tried to open his eyes, finding only that his right eye would open. He muttered a curse under his breath, figuring he would have to take a look at it soon, but that probe was the utmost priority. Tears welled up in his good eye as Harvey realized for the second time today his own mortality. It was highly unlikely he was going to make it back to the Black Hawk alive, and he could only hope that these efforts would prove helpful to Admiral O'Connell.

Sorry, Zach.

Sorry, Joelle.

"Computer!" Harvey choked. "End recording, commit to probe memory. Chart a course from this position to the barrier. Prepare to disengage remote access, and give me probe propulsion control at my forward station. A new set of controls flashed into existence on the console as the computer instructed.

A glance to the vacant station told Harvey that Commander Walsh had struck the port pylon. The shields were gone, and the alien generator was barely functioning. In another time and place, he would be proud of his Squadron Commander's skills. But, not while he was the target. He blindly fired the aft phaser banks in his pursuer's direction, hoping to slow the man down as Harvey shot to the edge of the minefield.

Terry smiled and chuckled as he saw the readouts indicate the loss of shields and the port pylon. He looked up and tried to see the runabout for himself. Sure enough, no port pylon and a whole lot of problems. The firing of the aft phasers lit up the space around him as the first couple missed. He smiled a little wider, convinced that he now had Harvey right where he wanted him. A loud and sudden sound emanating from his console told him that one of the mines had been struck by one of the stray blasts. The resultant explosion chain struck the mine nearest his fighter before he could do anything. His shields dropped to ten percent and one of his pulse phaser cannons had been damaged. He tried to fire off a salvo of torpedoes only to find that the one on the same as the cannon has also been damaged. One pulse phaser, one torpedo chute, and ten percent shields. Terry brought the fighter to bear on Harvey's runabout, preparing to give it another go. This time, he specifically targeted the weapons.

The runabout flew out of the minefield, and Harvey gave no attention to the approaching Guardian vessels. He no longer had any room to manuever, and was an easy target for Walsh. Harvey had to act fast. "Computer, disengage the transport inhibitor and beam the probe four kilometers ahead of the runabout." Though he actually could not see it, Harvey swore he saw the tiniest shimmer of blue in the distance. The computer beeped a second later, acknowledging the request had been completed. Harvey quickly entered a course into the remote access and engaged the probe's warp drive just as an energy blast grazed the probe. "No!" Harvey gasped, remembering a second later that the probe had arrived months ago damaged. The probe would likely veer off for the Time Warp Nebula they'd encountered nearly two months ago and start the journey it would take a hundred years to complete.

Full circle.

Everything from this point was free from the predestination paradox. Harvey was now free to die.

Harvey shook in his chair as the cockpit rocked. "Warning!" the computer droned. "Intruder alert." The captain turned, and was unable to pull his own phaser out before a polaron blast struck him in the chest. Harvey slumped to the floor, immobile.

The approaching Guardians ship then grabbed both the runabout and the smaller fighter in tractor beams to immobilize both crafts.

Once they had exited the mine field, Terry's plans headed for waste reclamation. Guardians. Bunches of them. This was not good, not good at all. He was beginning a creative self-destruct by overloading the fighter's small warp core as he rammed one of the Guardian's ships. Any amount of damage would do in his eyes. And he didn't plan on them getting this technology. The tractor beam, however, put a stop to the ramming portion of his plan. As he tapped the last indicator on his console to begin the warp core breach, Terry was beamed out. A shimmer surrounded him as he watched a new room appear. Then a blast from a polaron weapon sent the Lieutenant Commander to the floor.

Left to the vacuum of space, the Gryphon fighter exploded, sending a feedback surge up the tractor beam and disabled its generator. The Guardian vessel had been rocked by the explosion, but that did not matter now. The first attempt by Starfleet to flee Penduli V had failed. The second attempt would be refused as well.


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