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Posted on 10 Oct 2019 @ 2:36pm by Ensign Quinn Mackie & Petty Officer 2nd Class Marioneta Gomez & Lieutenant Commander Arjin Djinx & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant JG Damian Akorem & Lieutenant JG Catherine Cooper & Lieutenant JG Ian Beckett & Ensign Kelly Khan & Ensign Shay Mitchell

Mission: Truth and Justice
Location: Various
Timeline: MD15 || 1600 hours

===[Deck Four]===

Quinn retracted his hand from the ear of T'pyr's corpse. Her Vulcan eyes remained open; her brown eyes staring at the unwilling traitor in front of him. In her last seconds, she appreciated the logic behind the Dolmoqour takeover, and was thankful there was not another mind sharing her own. Her fatal wound, however, did not allow for her final moments to be elongated, and her head soon fell as her life ultimately transpired.

The ensign looked down at his hand where the young Dolmoqour stretched itself to match his skin color and texture. Under the Dolmoqour's influence, Quinn shouted his outrage to his parasitic invader. He was just a young man, just beginning his career. If he was ever caught and/or freed, he would likely face time in a penal colony for the actions of the parasite. Those penalties would be even longer now that his parasite had willingly killed another individual for no reason other than the host was absolutely useless in this situation.

"Come," uttered the parasite using Quinn's mouth. "We have a job to do."

Quinn exited the closet where T'pyr's corpse would remain hidden. The corridor was empty, thankfully, allowing Quinn to quickly make his way to the transporter room. "Lieutenant Beckett," he greeted. "Our Chief dispatched me to make sure the transporter was still functional."

Ian turned around and saw Quinn come in. "Ensign Mackie, welcome to the transporter room," he said with a grin. "Uh, well, yeah, of course it's still functional. I just ran a quick diagnostic when everything else went down."

"Can I see those readouts?" Quinn asked, gesturing to the console. The ensign approached to stand beside the Lieutenant and prepared for what came next.

"Sure," Ian said, stepping to the side a little to make room. "It all seems to be fine to me, but a second pair of eyes never hurts."

"Thank you," Quinn said. He brought one hand up to touch the controls. Suddenly, he closed his fist and shot his elbow backwards with more force than humanly possible to knock the wind out of Beckett. Quinn only had a few seconds, and he quickly used those to his advantage, brushing Beckett's ear.

"No probl...oooof!" Ian doubled over at the sudden and unexpected gut elbow from Quinn. Which, if he could admit, had a bit more behind it than he would have imagined. But something else happened before he could say anything. He felt something crawling into his ear. "What the crap!" he exclaimed, suddenly brushing his ear like crazy and sticking a finger into it. "What did you do, you little...AHHHHHHHHH! The pain!" Ian felt like slamming his head against a bulkhead. The pain was searing and seemed to last for hours. But it was only minutes later that Ian stood up straight and turned to Quinn. "This mind seems suitable. It's less...structured."

"Do you still remember the coordinates?" Quinn asked Beckett, inquiring about the coordinates of pockets of lifeforms on the surface that T'pyr had retrieved before she was removed from play. "There are about twenty Scruna that we can beam aboard to Engineering and other places in order to secure the ship. As long as comms stay down, Starfleet will remain blinded to the truth, and by the time they figure it out, it will be late"

He thought for a brief second. "Yes, I do. And Engineering is a good place to start." He patted the console before continuing. "From what I can tell from my host's memories, we can do to site transport? Beam them from their locations on the planet directly to where we want them. How many do you want in Engineering and where do you want the others? Maybe Operations or with the Boreiri?"

"Engineering, Security, and the Flight Deck," Quinn confirmed. "The bridge will be secure with our Followers there already."

Ian nodded. "That's easy enough." He activated the controls and got a lock on the Scruna at their coordinates. "Ready to beam them into position on your mark."

"Wait!" spoke the Boreriri into Quinn and Beckett's minds. "Transport Mackie to the surface." More instructions followed as the Boreriri outlined what needed to be done. After a few moments, Quinn stepped onto the platform and turned to face Beckett. "I'm ready to beam down. Make sure to give me ten minutes before beaming me back up. You will be able to separate me from the Scruna, yes?"

Ian's hand paused above the transporter controls. He took in the information that had been given him and nodded, despite the Boreriri not being able to see him. He then watched Quinn take his place on the platform. "Yes, I'll be able to separate you from them. This one is very adept and knowledgeable of these controls. So, I'll see you in ten minutes then." Ian activated the controls that would send Quinn to the surface. "Nine fifty-nine, nine fifty-eight, nine fifty-seven..."

===[Stellar Cartography]===

Carmichael was still reaming from their failures from the day. The Captain and Squadron Commander were missing, presumed dead or captured by the Guardians. The bridge takeover both failed and succeeded. The ship was wounded and the crew unsettled. Time was now working against them. Carmichael was beginning to regret taking down communications if only to spread more anti-Geisler propaganda.

"Our efforts must be more coordinated," Charles spoke aloud to the Boreriri and the Triosian in the room. "Have the converted security officers converge on the transporter room. "We must work on less and larger efforts."

===[VIP Quarters]===

It was a while before the Dolmoqour was able to wake the bag of meat and fluids up after she got hit with the phaser and Camila was quite groggy and disoriented when she opened her eyes. The parasite in her was disgusted once again by the scents that greeted it through her olfactory organs and wondered what purpose it served, then forced the ombre haired woman to sit up and look around. She accessed her memories and saw she was in a cabin but had no idea where that was. "Hello?" she called while pumping adrenaline through the meat bag's body and got up to go to the door.

"Here," replied Gomez, standing in the shadows near the door. "Miller left you on the floor outside Sensor Control before he blew it up. I brought you here so that you could recover before we started to take the rest of the ship."

"He blew it up? Do you fools realize that without sensors, we're blind in an area of space these beings don't know? What of the Guardians?" Camila hissed as she approached Gomez.

"Only internal sensors are down," Gomez replied, steely. She was thankful that at this moment, rank didn't amount to a damn thing. "The externals are still functional. The Guardians are amassing. We must secure control of the ship before more arrive, otherwise, this will all be for naught."

"Where's the others and has anyone caught Geisler and his coward of an executive officer? He ran when I and the Scruna were in the observation lounge and locked Geisler in with us. Then he transported out. I went to the bridge and his wife kicked me when that spotted doctor came on the bridge raving and called me a traitor." The Security Chief said. Inwardly, Camila howled her protest at hearing about Miller and felt as if she wanted to give all control to the Dolmoqour whether it had it or not. It was getting to be too much and she didn't know how much more she could fight.

"Geisler's wife and Khan are still on the bridge, maintaining the status quo," Gomez answered. "Kij is disabled. Sorenson is handling repairs. Carmichael is attempting to coordinate efforts while Mackie is beaming aboard reinforcements from the planet. The rest of the converted security are heading our way. The last people to see the Captain are Cooper and Mitchell."

"She's converted?" Camila asked about Joey. "How did that happen and what news of Teixeira. I had sent the Scruna after him when he fled."

"No clue on the Captain's wife. We'll have to find that one out when this is over. The XO is likely rallying what crew he comes across as we speak," Gomez replied. "Which is why Mackie is assigned to what he is doing. If we are to be successful, we need to convert more of the crew. We should head for the transporter room to aid with that effort."

"We need phasers, too," the Security Chief said as she headed for the door. "That bastard Teixeira locked out my Security access."

Gomez had already been prepared for this, as she still wore her tactical belt from the away mission. She withdrew an extra Type-II phaser she'd secured earlier as well as an extra stun grenade. "I wouldn't worry about the access. The security grid is still down. All key areas are presently under guard as a result."

"Good," Camila said. "With luck, they won't know that I'm not their sulking bitter Security Chief who lost access before it's too late." The inner Camila shouted and raged and tried to flood the invader with memories of every good time she'd ever had, the more recent ones surround Ian Beckett to prove she wasn't bitter and sulking over the past.

"Let's get going," Gomez said, gesturing towards the door. "Mackie should be back soon and we should work on a plan. Carmichael may be in charge, but you do possess the Chief of Security. She should be helpful in determining targets."

"It'll be perfect," Camila agreed and headed out with her phaser set to wide beam.

Getting the call after landing the shuttle landed and secured, Cooper made her way to the transporter room as ordered by the voice in her mind. Still angry over their failure to secure the Captain.

Shay was right behind Cooper. The look on her face said it all. The young woman was angry. Not so much at herself, because, unlike the Mississippi, the Euphrates wasn't equipped to deal with going through the minefield. No, she was angry at the Captain. Angry that he nearly killed her. Angry that he left his crew to suffer their fate. Whatever happened to the saying A Captain goes down with his ship? That wasn't so in this case, and if she ever saw him again, which she doubted, she'd tell him what she thought about that.

Cooper arrived with Shay close behind in the transporter room. She glanced at Ian at controls and around the room curious as they had not been given instructions only summoned to this spot. She nodded to Beckett.

The doors opened again, this time permitting Gomez to lead the way into the transporter room. "It's a reunion," she mused to the group already assembled. To Beckett, she said, "This host suits you better than the Vulcan"

Ian nodded and smiled at Gomez. "Admittedly, I do like this host better. His mind is less structured than the Vulcan's. And, well, like you said, he suits me better." He checked a time device and activated the transporter controls. It had been ten minutes and it was time to beam Quinn back up.

Quinn Mackie materialized on the transporter pad and faced the assembled security team, of whom he only knew Gomez. The rest had only been recently converted to the Dolmoqour cause. "I've brought help," he said, lifting a clay pot filled with Dolmoqour. "There are about sixty of our brethren here."

The Ensign looked to the ombre-haired possessed woman whose host was the Chief of Security. "Carmichael considered converting the entire security department first, especially since things haven't been going our way in the last hour. Does Di Pasquale have any thoughts on how we should proceed?"

"Security first, and then we should head for administration," Camila answered as the Dolmoqour picked her brain. "Send a contingent to Engineering as well if they haven't been converted. Oh, and kill everyone in Medical. They won't be needed. In the meantime, we need to start gassing decks to herd people towards cargo bays. We can blow them if they aren't needed."

If the real Quinn could shout, he would have. He couldn't allow this to happen, however past experience in fighting the Dolmoqour in his head had proved futile. The parasite that controlled him spoke, "We are going to need everyone we can get on the other side once we're away from this place. The more crewmembers that survive only accelerate our efforts to conquer the universe. Besides," he nodded down at his pot, "we should probably convert departments en masse. Today has proven that converting one or two in specific areas is not a good strategy."

"You only brought sixty back," the Security said with obvious disapproval. "How many are mature and ready to spawn? Departments hold far more than sixty personnel in most of the areas."

Quinn blinked in disbelief. Where was Carmichael when he needed him? "These are fresh off of your Scruna," he stated plainly. Not only was this container all I could find, sixty was all that it could hold. I can certainly make more trips down, and next time, I'll take a crate. But you know as well as I do how many Scruna are on the planet, and the time it takes to gather enough of them together. There's almost eight hundred people on this ship. This batch, along with those already here, will give us control of at least eighty. We need to control the entire ship, yes. But, with today's failures we have to work in ways that will give us an advantage without jeopardizing our future."

"Then find Teixeira and force him to give this hosts security codes back!" Camila shouted. "Any we can't convert, we'll simply kill them or force them to work for us under pressure."

He wanted to sigh, but that was just as futile. The goal was to convert the entire ship, and anyone that they couldn't convert would have to be dissected and studied to find out why. Quinn could see that centuries of captivity had made the native Dolmoqour mad. It would have to take a lot to regain control of the ship--

"Control!" Quinn nearly exclaimed, an idea having surfaced in his mind. "The Captain's wife still commands the bridge, and she is one of us now. We can use her to sequester the crew, non-essential ones anyway, to muster areas. We can gas them, then awake batches for conversion. No bloodshed. No secrets. And this will all be over in an hour."

"Then we have to head for the bridge," Camila stated as she headed for the turbolift. "There's no time to waste."

"Wait," called the Boreriri to the converted, having been listening to the conversation transpiring in the transporter room. "There is an easier way."

"He's right," Quinn called out to Camila. "He can nudge Geisler on the bridge. She'll call the order. If anything, we should send a couple of us to the bridge to secure it."

The Dolmoquor inhabiting Ian had been listening to the back and forth. He was about to suggest simply beaming them en masse into the bays when the topic of the bridge came up. He decided to still put the idea out there, only in a more general sense now. "Once all of the Scruna are on board, I'll still have transporter access. All you have to do is let me know who you want sent where and it's done." He looked at Quinn, "All the unconverted in the Security area to a bay? Done." He then turned his attention to Camila, who'd wanted to kill all the doctors and nurses, "All lifesigns in Medical into space? Too easy. Whoever you want, wherever you want."

"Then let's do it," Camila responded to Quinn before she looked at Ian. "Hold off on beaming them into space just yet. We can have them dissect their own to find out why they can't be assimilated. That would be more fitting for the ones in Medical."

"One moment," Quinn said, closing his eyes to focus.

===[Stellar Cartography]===

The Boreriri reached into the mind of the Chief Engineer, instructing, "Shut down life support to everything except the bridge, engineering, flight deck, and decks six, seven and eight."

"Message sent," the Triosian said to Charles, who was still fixated upon the Black Hawk's schematics. Within a few moments, they could see power start to flicker out on different decks. If the internal sensors were active, they'd be able to check different readings throughout the decks to see where and how the crew was responding.

Charles smiled, anticipating the chaos that was likely expanding. First the accusation that the Captain had betrayed the ship, the lack of communications and sensors, and now this. Despite the training the crew had received, it was all dependent on these systems and an unbroken chain of command. The Black Hawk would finally be theirs, and it would all be thanks to a failed system. "Reach out to our agents on the bridge. Let's assume control of the ship for real this time."


A quiet voice whispered into both Joey's and Kelly's minds, "Send the non-essential crewmembers to muster areas. We will convert them en masse. Reinforcements are on the way to the bridge. Wait for their signal"

Joey moved over to the Science Chief and removed the stun grenade from his possession. "We'll leave this in the hands of someone who knows how to use it," she said, tucking it back onto Camila's tactical belt she now wore. There was another reason she wanted it in her possession, too. It helped to tip the playing field in their favor. "Miss Khan... " Without Camila in the bridge, she looked toward the young Ensign. "Red alert. General Quarters Three."

"Aye, Lieutenant," Kelly said as she activated the red alert and send the General Quarters Three alert to every console across the ship. Intruders, indeed, she thought with a wicked little smile. "General Quarters Three active."

Arjin had hoped that in the commotion, nobody would have noticed him taking the grenade. He winced a bit as he lost his main means of defence.

Akorem's console beeped. "Sir, I'm detecting power losses, at various places throughout the ship. Trying to locate the problem now." He reported.

===[Stellar Cartography]===

Charles smiled from his position behind the console. The Triosian from the archive relayed to Carmichael everything the Boreriri was communicating, keeping him abreast of all of the changes. When the general quarters alarm sounded, Charles smiled. This would push the unnecessary crew into select areas of the ship, keeping sequestered until the time for their conversion had come. In a few hours, this would all be over. "Instruct Di Pasquale and Geisler to take the bridge. It's time we stop acting foolishly."

The Boreriri nodded and reached out to the mind of the Chief of Security.


In the turbolift, Camila had taken several Dolmoqour and let them camouflage on her hands and smiled as she entered the bridge when the lift came to a halt. "Sorry about the confusion earlier," she said as she drew her phaser and marched towards Djinx. As she passed Akorem, she brushed one Dolmoqour against the side of his ear as she kept walking.

Joey looked toward Camila as she moved back onto the bridge and smiled. She said nothing, but did draw her own phaser from the Security Chief's tactical belt, though she didn't point it at anything or anyone in particular. She didn't say anything yet, but was prepared to jump into action the moment things might seem to go south. Although, now, the Intelligence Chief was glad she'd thought to disarm the Science Chief. It seemed the odds were definitely tipping in their favor.

Arjin's eyes flew wide open as he saw Lt. Di Pasquale point a phasor towards him. "What are you doing Lieutenant. Put that phasor down.", he said evenly.

Tapping away trying to find the cause of the power loss, he felt something on his ear which was making it itch. Reminds me of Delta Vega, I had the warmest earmuffs, but they were so itchy he thought to himself. The irritation had moved, it was in his ear. He reached up to scratch it before he was hit with pain like nothing he had felt before. He opened his mouth to scream, but nothing came out. His body felt heavy, his head jerked forward, momentarily limp. He picked up his hand to look at what had been on his ear, but it wasn't working. He couldn't move his hand or anything. He went to speak, no words came from his mouth. But there was a new voice in his head. It said two words. For Dolmoqour.

"Shut up, Djinx," Camila told him. "Get down on the floor before I put you there." Either his species wasn't compatible with the Dolmoqour as in the case of Kij or because of Kij's symbiont, the Dolmoqour didn't know and didn't care. "Now!"

The rest of the bridge crew were frozen at their stations. Twice now in the last few hours had there been an incident on the bridge involving a scuffle between the senior officers. They looked at each other, almost quietly asking each other if they should do anything.

One brave ensign, the one manning the tactical console, did what everyone else was thinking. He drew his phaser and pointed it at Lieutenant Di Pasquale, his department head. "Stop right there, Lieutenant," he said, his voice trying to be confident, but shaking just as much as his nerves.

With a grunt of annoyance, the ombre haired possessed Chief of Security flipped the setting on the phaser to ten, swung it around and fired directly at the Ensign. "Chiudi la bocca, stronzo," she said in her hosts native Italian before she swung it back around to face Djinx. "Spots. Floor. Now."

The bridge crew watched in surprise as yet another of their number had been killed by phaser fire. In this particular case, the body just vaporized, leaving nothing behind of the brave ensign beside a burn in the carpet. It was clear to them now that things weren't just not right, but their own lives were in danger too.

Internally, Joey wanted to do nothing more than regain control of her own body and take control of the present situation, but there was no way of that happening. She turned her attention toward the Trill and raised her phaser in his direction. Not only did he have Camila's pointed at him, but now Joey's was, too. There was no way to out maneuver two of them. "You might want to do as she says, Commander. After all... there are more of us than there are of you, and as you've already witnessed, we aren't afraid to shed a little blood," she said, moving her position to a point where she could keep an eye on everyone currently on the bridge. "Captain Geisler placed me in charge, which means you've lost. The ship is ours, and our foothold strengthens with each passing second."

Confronted with that much agression, all Arjin could do was to comply. He lowered himself and sat on the floor. But not before silently activating the selfdestruct order he had previously introduced, by swiping his hand over his console.

Joey smiled. She noticed the Science Chief move his fingers over his console thanks to many years as a Close Protection Officer and being trained to notice the little things. With her phaser still trained on the Trill, she moved over to take a look, a slow smile forming. "What did you think you'd accomplish by doing that? And won't Captain Geisler be do proud you tried to blow his ship up?" She moved her fingers over the same console to put her own codes in to deactivate self destruct. "Lieutenant Di Pasquale, if you would be so kind as to lend a hand?"

Kelly watched the show in fascination as the real Kelly Marie Khan raged in her trapped head and tried everything in her power to regain control. "Spots. I like that."

Camila came over but kept her phaser trained on Djinx and glanced at the console. "I can't do it. Teixeira took my access," she growled. "I hope the Scruna have torn him apart by now. It takes two senior officers to activate it and we control the bridge now. Put Spots in a corner and have someone watch him. We need to get sensors back online and get moving."

"Well... would you look at that?" the corrupt Intelligence Chief said, pointing to the display. "Ten seconds until auto destruct is cancelled. You disappoint me, Djinx, but what did I expect from someone who plays with bugs and fungus for a living? I sure hope you're better with the book smarts, because you're common sense is quite lacking." Inside, the real Joey fumed and fought to try to regain control of herself, but her attempts were futile. The parasite was strong. It had to be to survive. "Lieutenant Akorem... how are sensors looking?"

The one inhabiting Damian turned to answer. "This one is good at his job. External sensors are online, and he has been working to fix the internal sensors, but they appear to be offline for the foreseeable future. He had some thoughts on how to fix them, but they won't work." Damian was screaming inside. He hadn't been this scared in his life. How could he take his own body back? His every move no longer his. Terror was the only thing he was feeling right now.

"I can give Geisler credit for one thing. He makes being in charge look easy," Dolmoqour Joey stated, looking back toward Camila. "Looks like we're going to have to get creative."

===[Stellar Cartography]===

Charles could feel the Boreriri's pleasure. There were so many Dolmoqour aboard the ship now, with conversions happening throughout the ship. Ensign Mackie and Lieutenant Beckett had just finished beaming aboard another seventy Dolmoqour to convert more of the crew. Based on how quickly they were moving, there wouldn't be a soul left aboard the ship before midnight.

All that would be left would be getting through the Guardian blockade and then out of the zone. Compared to the last few hours, both of those would be cakewalks.

~To Be Continued...~


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