Obsidian Command

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Broken Pieces

Posted on 10 Oct 2018 @ 11:09am by Lieutenant Commander Ira Skovgaard & Lieutenant Commander Kerry Malone

Mission: The Void
Location: Jefferies Tubes, somewhere near Deck 160
Timeline: MD-01

Ira paused her bare feet as she looked down at Kerry's slightly slower-than-normal pace. She understood how much pain he must have been in and admired that he still trudged on even though his knee could potentially give out from underneath him. However, it was no use dropping him off at any one of the Infirmaries nearby; he would much prefer to continue on and would fight her to keep going. In fact, he somehow was gaining more strength the more he used it. The mind really is more powerful than the body...

The Intruder Alarm had been going off for some time but the pair had been sealed and protected by the Jefferies tubes. That was probably what kept him going. "We're not that far, Kerry," Ira gave him a small reassuring smile. The whole situation felt different to her. This wasn't just any other attack or anomaly. This time she wasn't fighting targets alone. She was fighting with and for someone who had grown to mean more to her than even her own life. "You want me to look at your knee again once we make it to the next deck?"

Ira had begun surprising herself. On a normal basis, she would have moved on ahead, leaving the poor man back on the pool deck while she began doing what she needed to do. But she was no longer a lone wolf; she had nurtured a new relationship and built a new family with Kerry. If she left him behind, she would feel like she had discarded a piece of herself.

The going had been tough, he would never deny it. Despite the healing work done by Ira back at the pool, his knee was not in a good way. Crawling through the tube network was never likely to help the knee, and he'd been getting constant throbs of pain from it as they went, with the occasional surge in pain when he put a bit too much weight on it. However, he refused point blank to let Ira down, and he certainly wasn't going to be the one to sit back and wait to be rescued.

He'd been unwilling to be separated from her, and he suspected his reasoning behind that had not been entirely tactically minded. There was a deep connection between them, something that had developed on its own, but somewhat faster than either of them had really anticipated happening. They had been basically with one another constantly for the last six months. If they hadn't been on-duty together, working closely as they needed to do, then they were with one another off-duty as well. With the recent progression to a physical and intimate relationship, it felt as if a massive wall had come crashing down between them, and that they were connected on a whole new level.

He stopped for a moment and looked at his knee, which had gone a worrying shade of black and blue. It was likely he'd done far more damage to it than they'd originally thought. "Yeah, I think if we stop at the next deck, I could use some anti-inflammatory and pain relief. Not sure this knee has another ten decks in it, and last thing I want to do is fall down the Jeffries shaft."

Ira gave him a silent nod as she moved up past the next horizontal tube to let him lay down so she could examine it better. After he winced his way to a lying position, Ira climbed down until she was about face level with his legs.

Tak for kaffen...” She said under her breath as her eyes moved to his face. “Kerry, we need to get you to the Infirmary. No amount of medkit anti-inflammatory hypospray is going to fix that.” She nodded towards his knee that almost doubled in size. “You will be of no use with that. Will you be okay to make it to whatever deck we’re on from here? At least without putting too much pressure on it… We can go slow.”

He winced again. "I'll do my best. If I can use the wall for support, I imagine I can get there. How far are we from a medical station anyway?" The last thing he wanted was to be a burden on her, but his knee was not having that. "Go on ahead, link up with the marines, and I'll make my way to a medical post or something."

Ira shook her head quickly. "No, you can't walk by yourself especially with an intruder alarm activated and with Sickbays being 40 decks either way from here." She pointed straight down the tube in front of him. "Go, I'll be right behind you. Once we get to a deck access you can wait in here while I find someone who can help you."

He was sorely tempted to pull rank on her, but she had a look of ferocity on her face that brokered no discussion as far as she was concerned. Ira was not leaving Kerry, and that was that. "Alright, but you only want to be behind me to check out my butt, don't you?" He tried a bit of levity in the situation. It was weak as anything, but it might add as a distraction to the fact that his leg was in a seriously bad way, and that she was worried about him.

Ira scoffed as she shook her head at him. "I know where to hit you, Kerry."

They set off, and once they reached the access point for deck 152, he stopped and basically collapsed onto the return access point. Breathing heavily, and with sweat all over, he looked totally done in. "Jeez... when did they make these decks so far apart..."

Ira squeezed past him to the access but turned around so she faced him. She wiped the sweat off of his face as much as she could. The phaser fire was rampant outside of the deck, with it sounding like she would be stuck in the crossfire once she opened the panel that ran along the floor of the deck. They needed to continue but Kerry could barely move. She was stuck in a crossroads and needed a doctor to get to him so he doesn't do any permanent damage. They both knew he would no longer be able to continue with their original task but she couldn't just leave him behind. Their first dinner conversation flashed quickly through her mind: ...You do not have an understanding of my abilities to separate work from my personal life... Her eyes looked over his face with a slight apology to them. "It's not safe for me to enter here. I need to go above so I can secure the area better."

Kerry had heard the phaser fire too, and it had sobered him up good and proper. Despite being in unbearable pain, he put on his game-face and sobered himself up. At this precise moment, they needed to be Commander's Malone and Skovgaard, and nothing else. He knew she could detach herself, but she was obviously struggling with what she knew deep down she had to do. "Go." He said, firmly. "I'm in no condition to enter into a fire-fight. Leave me a phaser, then do what needs to be done to secure this area. Your duty is to the station, all other concerns are secondary." He did not need to add 'am I clear' with Ira. She would be able to be detached, he knew that.

Ira's jaw tightened slightly as she gave him a small nod. She knew exactly what she needed to do. What they were going through was bigger than their relationship. For the first time in her life she had forgotten about her duty to the base, becoming blinded by her duty to Kerry. She was very lucky he had reminded her of that fact. But it felt nice that for a brief moment she had felt human. Ira leaned down and gave him a strong kiss on his lips, both in thanks and goodbye, before she turned around and continued down the tube in search of a ceiling access.

He watched her leave, feeling a pang of sadness and loneliness at her departure. Her kiss had felt like their last ever kiss, as if she didn't expect to ever see him again. It had been hard for him to send her away, but he knew she'd had to go, and she knew it too. It showed him how far she'd come in such a short period of time, that she hadn't immediately leapt into duty mode and become her old 'cyborg' self. If anything, she was actually acting like a person, and that made him happy. He was coming to realise that life with Ira was appreciably better than life without her, and that he wanted to keep her in his life. What was it with highly charged situations that enabled a clarity of focus on what was truly important in life? Why did it take situations like this to make someone re-evaluate their priorities?

His knee sent a surge of pain to remind him that he was actually injured, but he kept his mouth firmly closed. Crying out now would only alert someone on the other side of his presence, and he wasn't entirely sure who was actually there.

Ira’s eyes focused on the dim light in front of her. The phaser fire remained strong and consistent on the other side of the wall. There were more than two phasers firing back and forth. She just needed to figure out which side was the one she needed to be on. Everything was still being muffled by the walls that surrounded her so she had to keep her mind and strategy open until the scene came into better view.

Ira stepped carefully up the vertical tube until she reached the perpendicular tube that intersected it. She quickly pushed herself up as quietly as she could and quickly moved to the vent that provided a partially obstructed view of the ensuing battle just below her. All she could see was phaser fire and the yells coming from one side and what sounded like squeals and hissing coming from the other. The yelling was in Federation English (Our officers!) and the squealing was some type of a language completely unknown to her. Those must have been the base’s intruders.

Ira still was unable to see them, but if she moved herself up ever so slightly she could see the Starfleet officers firing in front of them. There were about six or seven left standing with at least three or four casualties around them, all with red and white marks covering various parts of their bodies but more than likely more.

Inching her way slowly across the vent, Ira turned herself around and held her breath.

There they were.

Four of them. How were these four intruders able to hold their own against the larger group of officers that faced them? She lifted her head up a bit more to be able to take them all in. The intruders were all humanoids and of average build with a blueish-purplish scaly skin, sort of reptilian like. There was one that had been killed by one of the Starfleet officers lying on the ground in front of them surrounded by a pool of dark blue liquid.

So they could be taken out with phaser fire…

She witnessed the intruders’ skins soaking in the effects of each phaser fire that landed on them. Ira figured their skin was some sort of shield but, like most natural shields, it could be penetrable. Her own personal phaser wasn’t going to be enough.

Another one of the intruders fell.

At least she only had to deal with three. She still didn’t know how much energy each one had taken.

Then she saw it: some type of acid being shot from the mouths and fingers of the intruders and into the face of the Starfleet officer popping out behind his cover. Ira could almost smell the burning flesh all the way where she was at. At this rate, Starfleet didn’t stand a chance coming out of this unscathed.

Looking up and down the intruders she tried to look over their bare scales for any vulnerabilities: breaks in the scales, exposed areas… Their hands were well protected for obvious reasons. Her translucent blue eyes continued down their legs then reached their feet. A smirk soon spread across her lips. That was it! Their vulnerability was in their feet! No scales, which meant that there was a chance the phaser fire penetrated better down there. But she had to go back down to the lower tube. Even her own aim wasn’t as good for that small of a target.

Keeping herself away from where Kerry remained to protect him from the crossfire, Ira moved back to the tube where she came from but continued to the lower access that was behind the intruders. She needed to catch them by surprise and firing at their feet from behind was sure to throw them off and distract them from the officers in front of them. It was risky, as she was potentially placing herself at her most vulnerable, but it would be worth it.

Looking down at her bionic arm, she wiggled the fingers around. At least it could be used to her advantage. She wasn’t sure how deep the acid could penetrate the variations of metal that made up the part, but it would at least be able to handle more damage than her own flesh. She closed her eyes and began her combat breathing.

Just a few shots to their feet, she thought to herself. Ingen ko på isen. No cow on the ice…

Ira grabbed her phaser with her right and and was quick and gentle with the removal of the access. She was about 20 feet behind the intruders with two cover spots available: one behind her in the hallway and the other hallway across from her.

Ingen ko på isen…

Pulling herself out of the Jefferies tubes, Ira smoothly moved to her bare feet and made a getaway to the hallway closest to her. The phaser fire continued and there was no reaction from the intruders. There was another weakness they must have had: either entire focus on what they were doing, or poor hearing made up for by their powerful personal weaponry. There was no outright acknowledgement by the officers either, which helped her situation even more.

Ira peeked around the corner at the intruders who remained strong with their hisses and shooting power. She had to be quick with her finalized plan. Shoot at their feet to give the officers the advantage and run across the Promenade to further distract them. She leaned slightly past the hallway, leading with her phaser, and began firing straight across their feet ( En, to, tre, fire, fem, seks.) and retreated behind the hallway wall.

The three intruders let out squeals and shrieks in pain as they turned around to try to find the source of their new pain. There was no movement, no sound from behind them. The officers took advantage of the sudden change and focused their firing on the intruders who became more affected by the impact. Their bodies stiffened up briefly and stumbled back until they tripped to the ground. Ira came out from behind cover again to repeat her task until its confirmed completion. One shot to each foot would be enough.

As she landed her fire on the third, and last, intruder, he pointed his hand straight to the exposed woman. Ira noticed the sudden movement, but it was too late. The intruder was able to get his final shot in before he succumbed to the phaser fire around him, landing a weak acid blast onto her right shoulder, her good shoulder.

Ira pulled back and leaned up against the protection of the wall. The pain was immense as the small acid patch began burning through the layers of her skin. It was as close to the pain of having her arm maimed as anything could get. She quickly ripped off her tank top, exposing her still damp black bathing suit top and began scraping off the acid as much as she could before the shirt disintegrated in her hand. Her eyes watered from the sharpness of the exposed layers of skin as she tossed the shirt out towards the dead intruders. She was lucky the acid wasn’t stronger, or she would have lost part of her good arm.

Pushing herself off the wall after enough time had passed since the death of the last intruder, Ira came around the corner to the officers who surrounded their enemies.

“Commander!” One of the younger ones exclaimed and quickly stood at attention, followed by a few more of the officers. They were a mix of Engineering, Science, and Medical officers who quickly fixated on the blood that poured out of her.

“Commander, you’re bleeding!” One of the Science officers blared out.

Medical officers!

Ira waved them off lightly, “Please, now is not the time for formalities,” and went to the access panel where Malone was hopefully still alert and conscious. She completely ignored the searing pain that spread throughout her upper body and down her arm and the blood that trickled to her hand as she began trying to remove it. “Kerry, are you still there?”

The pain in his knee had reached a point that he had blacked out a couple of times, but managed to rouse himself after a period of time. At that moment, he was in a foggy 'in between' state, where he was struggling to stay awake. "I'm here..." He replied weakly. He had no idea he'd been so badly hurt.

The Engineers came running behind her after seeing how much difficulty she was having and began loosening the panel with her. “Commander Malone injured his knee during the initial incident. He can barely walk after we climbed about 100 decks and this was as far as he could get…”

One of the Medical Officers came over to Ira and looked at her arm. "Ma'am, respectfully, please sit down over there and let my colleague look at your arm." He said, putting some force behind his words. "That's an order."

Ira tilted her head slightly to the side in slight amusement as she took a seat away from the tube access but still maintained a good view of their work on Kerry.

The engineers opened the hatch-way and could see Kerry laying on the ground, perspiring heavily and fading in and out of consciousness. The medic who had sent Ira to sit on the floor of the corridor opposite so that a pretty young blonde medic could patch her up was running a tricorder over Kerry's knee.

"We need to get him to sickbay as soon as possible, or at the very least, one of the medical stations." He said, firmly, then noticed that Ira was looking at him with a stern visage that suggested strongly that the man explain himself to her at once. "There appears to be haemorrhaging within the leg itself, which is causing a massive build-up of blood inside the leg. If we don't do something about it very soon, he could loose his leg." As Kerry was carried out of the tube and placed on a stretcher, the medic ripped the pant leg of the leg in question and revealed to Ira the dark blue mess that was Kerry's leg.

Ira disregarded the medic who was scanning her wound and the pain that was shooting from it as soon as she saw Kerry's condition. He was completely out of it and didn't even acknowledge her hand that she had placed over his chest. "Get him out of here," she stated as she looked at the officers. "Immediately." Her arm fell to her side as she watched the officers carrying her boyfriend away. She wanted to be with him to hold his hand but knew he would be taken care of. There was no point in her being there when she was needed elsewhere.

"I can't fix you if you keep moving, Commander," the medic stated dryly behind Ira, following the woman's gaze and understanding her complete disregard for her own wounds to take care of someone else. "He'll be okay."

Ira nodded slowly as she took her seat back down on the floor and against the wall, leaving her arm out for the medic.

"I'll let the Marines know you and Commander Malone are here." The woman felt a bit of relief that Ira had taken obvious steps to minimize the potentially deadly injury. "I'll have this sealed in no time, Commander. It won't be perfect, but..." Her lips curled up as she acknowledged Ira's prosthetic.

Ira looked down at herself and shook her head at the young woman. "Nothing ever is."

 

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