SEASON 3: EPISODE 04
TO DELIGHT IN THE INHUMAN WORD: Part Fourteen
Tiki braced himself on the wall of the Darling and a slight tremor vibrated through the ship.
“Subspace shockwave,” said Stark. “Looks like it worked,” Stark said to Dyson.
“Getting it to explode was the easy part,” stated Dyson. “It was the not having it do so close to the ship that was the tricky part.”
“Did the shockwave do any damage to the ship?” asked Tiki.
Stark checked the runabout’s sensors. “None that I can detect.”
“Colonel, this is Lee. We’re prepared to detonate our explosives.”
“Good work, Lee,” congratulated Tiki. “Hold on a moment while I check on the other team.” Tiki opened a channel to Masters’ team. “Captain, how are you going?”
“Colonel, we’re not ready yet. We need five...maybe ten more minutes before we will be set up.”
“You don't have that long, captain. If we don’t act soon Jasis is likely to start killing people.”
Masters sighed. “We’ll do what we can before she does. Have Lee set off his explosives. It should distract them even more...maybe even do the trick so we won’t need to worry about destroying our pylon.”
Tiki acknowledged the captain’s orders and got back in contact with Lee. “Prepare to arm the timer, lieutenant. We’ll beam you out.” He looked to Stark who gave him a nod to say he was ready. “Arm it now.”
Tiki signalled to Stark. Slowly two men materialised on the transport pad. They quickly vacated it and the last two, including Lieutenant Lee appeared.
“Good work, lieutenant. How long do we have to see if it worked?” asked Tiki.
“Ten seconds,” replied Lee. “If it works we should be ready for a bit of turbulence.”
Tiki braced himself for a rocky ride as the time counted down. “Warn Masters’ team to prepare for a shake up.”
Stark did as he was ordered and then voiced the countdown. “Three...two...one,” counted down Stark. “Detonation.”
Half way down the pylon that connected the port nacelle to the port engineering spur the hull suddenly erupted outwards. A massive explosion vaporised a large chunk of the leading edge of the pylon and was immediately followed by a series of smaller, but no less violent explosions that worked their way towards the rear of the pylon. This was followed by any even larger explosion at the centre of the pylon that ripped open the hull so that you could see straight through the hull. The lights of the nacelle flickered before disappearing as power was severed to the warp coils in the nacelle. Within the pylon there was an unnatural creak that no one would hear. That was followed by the sound of the hull ripping as the stresses of travelling at a high warp speed torn the nacelle from its damaged pylon and set it tumbling away.
In the captain’s quarters Jasis stumbled and fell to the ground as the ship shook violently. Once that passed there was an unsettling shuddering through the deck for several moments before stability was restored. Once it had, she staggered back to her feet.
“Bridge, what is going on second?” she ordered.
“We have lost the port nacelle.”
“Lost the nacelle?” Jasis asked shocked.
“Yes, Vorta. It appeared to be more sabotage. There were several explosions in the connecting pylon that weakened the structure allowing it to tear away from the ship.”
They’re trying to disable the ships ability to travel at warp, realised Jasis. They don’t want us to reach our destination before they have a chance to try to regain control of the ship.
Unbeknownst to the crew Jasis had no destination in mind. She was simply flying the ship around avoiding everyone as she hunted for the captain. Their efforts to disable the ship were a waste of time and only increased the danger to them all. If the ship could not travel at warp it would be unable to run if the Dominion found them, which was be bad news for them all.
“First the rear pod and now a nacelle! What of the starboard one?”
“It is still fine. We have had to drop the ship’s speed to warp 4 with the loss of the nacelle.”
“If they are trying to disable the ship’s warp capabilities they must also be planning to destroy the starboard nacelle pylon. Send the coordinates of the explosions correlated to the starboard pylon to First Rebis’Fetra immediately.”
“Things not going to plan?” asked Daley.
Jasis turned to face Daley. Daley once again had a slightly smug grin on her face, which made Jasis want to slap Daley until she wiped the smirk from her face. Instead she took a deep breath and calmed herself.
“Their attempts will be futile. I will get what I came here for.”
“We’ll see about that, won’t we?”
“We’ve slowed down,” stated Misi gesturing towards the window. “Whatever caused that turbulence must not have agreed with the ship because we’ve slowed down quite a bit, a couple of warp factors at least.”
Core looked over to their lone guard. The Jem’Hadar had nearly lost his footing when the ship had suddenly lurched violently and had to brace himself against a table as the ship had continued to shake. It could have been a perfect opportunity to overpower the guard but they had also been taken by surprised and the Jem’Hadar had been far enough away to make an attack too risky.
“What do you think it was?” asked Misi. “Battle damage?”
Core shook her head. “We’ve seen no signs of evasive manoeuvres or any signs our shields or weapons are in use. Plus if we were under attack you would expect more constant vibrations through the hull. We might have hit some sort of anomaly.”
“Or the people in charge aren’t treating the ship very well.”
“If you want to go check what is going on you can,” Core offered the Jem’Hadar guard. “We’ll promise not to escape...much.”
“If they need me on the bridge they will contact me,” stated the Jem’Hadar. “If you are hoping to use these vibrations to attempt to free yourself be aware that I am prepared for you to make an escape attempt.”
“If I had to guess I’d say that the crew are trying to take back control of this ship. Maybe you should go and tell your Vorta that if you all leave now we’ll let you go and no more people have to be injured.”
“Your threats are meaningless.”
“It’s not a threat, it’s a fact,” Core gave the Jem’Hadar a vicious smile. “This ship will be a Federation vessel again and when that happens you and your team will be dead.”
Masters placed the micro-torpedo against the outer wall. The torpedo was only thirteen centimetres long but it was large enough to have an antimatter warhead. Antimatter was powerful enough that even a few grams made it a very dangerous explosive. The ship's hull was thick and strong but if enough explosions weakened the structure then the stresses of travelling at warp would tear away the nacelle.
They finished placing the torpedo and moved on to their next location. With him were Thopok, Mon'kor, Private Dix and G’Ethza had beamed in to help them after she had helped with the rear pod.
There was a rumble and the deck shook. Masters stumbled and used the wall to remain on his feet.
“That must be the shockwave from the rear pod exploding,” said G’Ethza.
“Given that we're still here it looks like your and Dyson's plan worked and we didn't blow ourselves up. Good work,” said Masters.
G’Ethza bowed her head in acceptance of his praise.
“The Dominion forces will no doubt expect us to be at the rear of the ship. They will send hunting parties to find us,” pointed out Thopok.
“Let them come!” bellowed Mon'kor pulled out his dagger. “They will taste my d’k tahg and it will be the last thing they ever feel!”
“Personally I prefer it if we can avoid the enemy,” said Masters. “We need to hurry because we’re still behind where we should be.”
The group moved to their next location. Their mission was not just dropping a torpedo or explosive and moving on. It had to be placed at the exact position so to do maximum amount of damage to the ship’s hull integrity. It also had to prepared to explode in the pattern they had come up with.
They had placed a large amount of explosives near the leading edge of the pylon in the hope that with the massive damage there when it would help break the pylon so the nacelle fell away from the ship and not get pushed into the ship. Next they had accessed the auto-destruct explosive in the pylon. It was located near the centre of the pylon, along the main power junctions to the nacelle. They had thought about moving the explosive to a different location but it was secured into its position and taking it apart would take too much time. With that done it was time for them to lay the series of torpedoes and explosives that would detonate along the pylon from the fore to the aft, weakening the hull integrity. This would be the second step, once they were done the auto-destruct would explode and rip out the centre of the pylon and hopefully further weaken the structure along the fault line the small explosives had created.
“Lee is reporting that his group is ready,” said Dix. “The colonel is asking what our status is.”
Dix was their line of communication back to Colonel Tiki. The marine was the only one with the communication system that allowed the marines to communicate.
“Can he hear me?” asked Masters.
“Colonel, we're not ready yet. We need five...maybe ten more minutes before we’ll be set up.”
“You don't have that long, captain. If we don't act soon Jasis is likely to start killing people,” said Tiki, concern in his voice.
Masters sighed. “We’ll do what we can before she does. Have Lee set off his explosives. It should distract them even more...maybe even do the trick so we won’t need to worry about destroying our pylon.”
Masters with G’Ethza’s help setup the next explosive and the team moved on. They were in a corridor when Dix told them to stop. “The other pylon is about to go up. The colonel orders us to be ready,” said Dix. “6...5...4...3...brace for shock wave. Zero.”
The Swiftfire suddenly shook violently. Masters had braced himself by a wall but the ship lurched down and up. His feet left the floor and when they came back down they landed unevenly and he stumbled back. He had lost his footing and was sure he was going to hit the floor when he jerked to a halt. He looked back to see Thopok who had a handful of his uniform.
“Thanks,” Masters said.
Thopok simply nodded and pulled back so that Masters could right himself.
“We have to keep moving,” he ordered. “We do what we can until Jasis send out her ‘time’s up’ speech and we blow the explosives and hope for the best.”
They went to the next location. Masters and G’Ethza worked on preparing the torpedo. Masters turned to asked Private Dix to contact Tiki for a report when out of nowhere something solid drove into his stomach. Masters doubled over and was met by the solid object driving upwards, slamming into his face. He stumbled and fell backwards, as he did he caught a glimpse of what had attacked him as it attacked G’Ethza, it was a Jem’Hadar. The enemy had found them.
Thopok felt a jolt of fear run down his spine as the Jem’Hadar unshrouded and delivered a powerful blow to Masters’ stomach that was quickly followed by an upper cut that saw Masters sent falling to the ground. The Jem’Hadar quickly moved to attack G’Ethza. Thopok went to pull out his phaser to gun down the Jem’Hadar when he caught movement to his left. He turned his head to see a second Jem’Hadar just as he finished snapping the neck of the marine.
This second Jem’Hadar was a more immediate threat and Thopok moved to attack him. The Jem’Hadar swung around and away from the falling marine. Thopok thought that was a poor move, the Jem’Hadar had missed an excellent opportunity to use the marine as a shield against any attack from Thopok. The method behind this madness soon became apparent when the Jem’Hadar continued his spin. The marine’s rifle was in the Jem’Hadar’s hand and the spin delivered the butt of the weapon across Thopok’s cheek.
Thopok was sure he felt several of his teeth dislodge under the impact and tasted the sweet taste of blood in his mouth. Thopok suddenly felt himself falling as the Jem’Hadar swept Thopok’s feet from under him. Thopok crashed to the floor as the Jem’Hadar loomed over him, the phaser rifle raised above his head ready to come smashing down on Thopok’s skull.
G’Ethza did not understand what was going on until after the Jem’Hadar’s attack on Masters was already over. At that point the Jem’Hadar turned to her. G’Ethza soul froze in terror as she stared at the cold and calculating eyes of the Jem’Hadar. In the Jem’Hadar’s eyes she did not see rage or hatred; he just looked calm and collected. She stepped back and fumbled for her hand phaser. She pulled it out but the Jem’Hadar simply grabbed it from her hand and threw it away.
Impossibly fast the Jem’Hadar’s hands flashed towards her. G’Ethza stumbled back and fell to the ground. The Jem’Hadar moved away. G’Ethza found it hard to breath, her heart thundered due to her panic and it seemed that she was not getting enough air. Then she saw the warning message appear on her mask. It was not receiving any air from her life support system.
G’Ethza’s hands groped at her mask and found the problem: the tubes that supplied her air were not connected. G’Ethza did not think it was possible but her panic level increased. She started huffing and puffing as she fumbled trying to find the tubes but her hands could not lay a finger on them.
She cried out as her lungs started to burn for air. Her panic was meant she had quickly used what was left in her mask. She could not take it off as that would also guarantee her death. G’Ethza’s hands gripped and pulled at the chest of her uniform as her lungs starved for air. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she felt the darkness closing in. G’Ethza wanted to fight on but she no longer felt like she had any strength and let the black consume her.
Thopok managed to roll out of the way just in time as the phaser rifle smashed into the floor next to him. Thopok quickly rolled back on top of the rifle and grabbed the Jem’Hadar’s arms. He kicked up and placed his boot on the Jem’Hadar’s stomach and pushed up. The Jem’Hadar’s boots left the ground and Thopok started to roll again. Bending his foot dropping the Jem’Hadar slightly closer to him before Thopok suddenly kicked out with force as he rolled sending the Jem’Hadar flying across the room.
Thopok continued his roll and managed to get to his knees. His neck quickly spun looking for the next threat. The Jem’Hadar he had kicked across the room was still to struggle back to his feet. Masters was down on the ground and bleeding, the marine was dead and G’Ethza was incapacitated and suffering some sort of spasm on the floor. He then spotted the first Jem’Hadar, the Jem’Hadar was standing over Mon’kor drawing his disruptor.
Thopok quickly glanced to the second Jem’Hadar who was beginning to get back to his feet. Thopok had a choice, he could attack the Jem’Hadar who had attacked him while that Jem’Hadar was still on the back foot or he could go to Mon’kor’s aid. It was a tough choice. Thopok did not like Mon’kor and Mon’kor’s death did not matter. However, once the Jem’Hadar killed Mon’kor it would be two Jem’Hadar versus him.
Thopok for a second time today found himself seeing Mon’kor as more than just a waste of space. Thopok launched to his feet and barrelled towards the Jem’Hadar about to execute Mon’kor.
Masters was sure his nose was broken and his jaw hurt like hell. He looked up just in time to see G’Ethza fall to the ground. Masters looked to the Jem’Hadar as he moved away from the Zaranite, a pair of clear tubes dropping from the Jem’Hadar’s hands. Masters knew that G’Ethza was dead; the Jem’Hadar had ripped out her breathing tubes. The Jem’Hadar was advanced on Mon’kor. The big Klingon was frozen, his face a mask of fear as he stared at the Jem'Hadar. Mon’kor had pulled out his d’k tahg but seemed unable to do anything with it. The Jem’Hadar grabbed Mon’kor’s hand with the knife and twisted it. Mon’kor yelled in pain and there was a clattering as the knife hit the floor. The Jem’Hadar struck out with his boot, striking Mon’kor’s knee with enough force to bend it backwards. Mon’kor yelled again and fell to the floor. Mon’kor dropped to one knee, held up by the Jem’Hadar who still had a firm grip on Mon’kor’s hand. The Jem'Hadar unholstered his pistol and pointed at Mon'kor's skull, mere centimetres from touching the distressed Klingon.
“Klingons are meant to be the best warriors in this quadrant, pathetic.”
Before the Jem'Hadar could fire a large Klingon shaped blur barrelled into him, sending them both flying away from Mon’kor. Now released from the Jem'Hadar's grip Mon’kor collapsed to the floor, rolling in pain.
Masters attention was on Thopok and the Jem’Hadar. Both were quick to get back to their feet. They squared off against each other. Masters reached for his phaser when a heavy boot pinned his hand on his phaser. He yelped in pain as the boot pressed down. He looked up to see a second Jem’Hadar. The Jem’Hadar reached down and eased the pressure on Masters’ hand so the Jem’Hadar could pull the phaser free and disarm Masters.
“Do not interfere,” said the Jem’Hadar. “This is a battle of warriors.”
Masters had no idea where the second Jem’Hadar had come from but a glance to the body of Private Dix told Masters that the second Jem’Hadar had been responsible for the marine’s death.
Masters with no options returned his attention to the fight. Thopok pulled out his d’k tahg, which brought a smile to the Jem’Hadar’s face as he pulled out a combat knife. Thopok moved first, lunging at the Jem’Hadar. He swiped at the mid section of the Jem’Hadar, who avoided it with a quick step back. Thopok sliced upwards towards the Jem’Hadar’s head, which was deflected by the Jem’Hadar’s knife, again forcing the Jem’Hadar to take a step back. Thopok continued his aggressive attacks, slicing and stabbing at the Jem'Hadar and while the Jem'Hadar continued to avoid the blows he was being driven back and he would eventually hit a wall and have no where left to go.
The Jem’Hadar was not stupid and knew that would happen. He parried one of Thopok’s blows and lashed out with a left hook. The Klingon simply tilted his head and took the blow on his ridges of his skull, probably the hardest part of an already solid and hardy skull. Masters thought he heard a crack and was sure it was one or more of the Jem’Hadar’s fingers. It did not stop the Jem'Hadar who countered with a swipe with his knife across Thopok's chest. Thopok leant back but not far enough and the blade found purchase, slicing into the Klingon. Thopok did not seem fazed by the wound and his knee came up collecting the Jem’Hadar side. The Jem’Hadar stumbled to his side, partly turning his back on Thopok, but did not go down.
Thopok went to plant his blade in the Jem’Hadar’s exposed back but the Jem’Hadar maintained the momentum of the turn and the Klingon’s blade simply grazed the Jem’Hadar. The Jem’Hadar used his movement to swing into a kick, landing it in Thopok’s stomach. Thopok let out a loud grunt as the air was forced from his lungs and nearly doubled over. He instead flung his blade at the Jem'Hadar with force and it imbedded itself in the Jem’Hadar’s shoulder. The attack had the desired effect causing the Jem’Hadar to stumble back and allowing Thopok to drop to his knees to try and get his breath back.
The Jem’Hadar yanked the blade from its soldier and threw it away. “You are now unarmed,” started the Jem'Hadar. “You are a much superior adversary than you fellow Klingon. I am glad to see that. If you had died as easily as he would have I would have been most disappointed.”
The Jem’Hadar advanced on Thopok, ready to deal out the killer blow. He struck down with his knife at the kneeling Klingon who caught the Jem’Hadar’s arm. The Jem’Hadar standing over Thopok pushed harder but Thopok was equal to the challenge. The Jem’Hadar’s other hand came down to push and Thopok added his second hand, pushed the blade back up. Thopok slowly got back to his feet as the two strong warriors battled over control of the knife.
Thopok was getting the upper hand and started to force the blade back towards the Jem’Hadar. The Jem’Hadar’s face was contorted by the effort. He kicked out at Thopok, but he was prepared and blocked the attacks with his own legs. The Jem’Hadar risked letting go with one of his hands to deliver a series of blows to Thopok’s face but Thopok took the punishment without faltering. With the Jem’Hadar having only one hand on the knife Thopok used his advantage to bend the blade so it was now pointed towards the Jem’Hadar. Thopok continued to push, forcing the blade closer and closer to the Jem’Hadar’s chest until it was just about touching the Jem’Hadar.
With an almighty warrior growl Thopok shoved with all his might and the knife pierced the Jem’Hadar’s chest. With equal viciousness he twisted the knife and yanked it out. The Jem’Hadar’s face went from a look of strain to one of surprise as it collapsed to the ground and died.
Thopok stood over the dead Jem’Hadar huffing and puffing. He then raised his fists to the air and let out a startling battle cry. There was a flash of light and Thopok’s body jerked. It was followed by a second flash and Thopok fell to the floor.
Masters looked to see a second Jem’Hadar no longer had his weapon pointed at him and instead it was raised, pointed at Thopok.
“I thought you said it was a battle of warriors?” Masters said.
“It was. The first could lose but the Klingon could never win,” said the Jem’Hadar. He looked down on Masters. “Do not move or I will harm you,” said the Jem’Hadar before moving towards Thopok and the who had been the Jem’Hadar First.
Masters surveyed the scene before him. Dix was dead, G’Ethza had stopped moving and was no longer breathing so he was sure she was dead, Thopok was probably dead and Mon’kor was no longer moving either. Mon’kor had not received a fatal wound as far as Masters had seen so it seemed unlikely he was dead, he was probably just unconscious.
The Jem’Hadar knelt by the first and appeared to be taking equipment off the Jem’Hadar. Masters looked around for a weapon he could get his hands on while the Jem’Hadar was distracted. There was nothing nearby except for the micro-torpedo. Masters calculated how long it would take him to figure out how to detonate it by hand – the answer was too long. Masters then noticed the tricorder next to the torpedo that they were using to tie the explosives together with. It was close enough for him to grab but he wouldn’t have much time before the Jem’Hadar would do something about him. That limited his opinions as to what he could do.
Masters scrambled towards the torpedo. The Jem’Hadar was already turning towards him. Masters had little time left. He made it appear that he was trying to detonate the torpedo but sneakily he reached down and pressed one button on the tricorder – activate.
The sound of a energy weapon being fired filled the room and Masters feel back in pain.
“Arggh!” he moaned. The blast was not strong enough to knock him out, instead it just felt like he had been electrocuted.
The Jem’Hadar did not immediately march towards him. Makes lay on the floor trying to get feeling back in him limbs. The Jem’Hadar suddenly appeared over him and grabbed onto his uniform before tapping his communicator.
“I have the captain,” said the Jem’Hadar.
Masters felt the transporter wash over him as he was beamed away from the killing zone.
Zafast was watching over the shoulder of the Nausicaan monitoring the ship’s warp field. With the loss of one of the ship’s warp nacelles he had to slow the ship’s warp speed to maintain the stability of the ship’s warp field. Ships could create and maintain a warp field with just one nacelle, however if running with two and one suddenly went offline it reduced the power to the field by half. The remaining warp nacelle attempted to take the slack but that could cause an overload. The safest option was to dial back the speed to reduce the strain on the field and allow for the warp field to come to a new equilibrium before increasing speed again.
“The warp field has stabilised,” reported the Nausicaan.
“Prepare to increase speed,” he ordered. “We need to get as far from the explosion of the pod as...”
There was a rumble through the deck that turned into a constant shuddering.
“What is going on?” Zafast asked as he steadied himself on the console.
“There have been a series of explosions in the starboard nacelle pylon. The nacelle is still connected but the power distribution systems to the warp coil are damaged and the warp field is fluctuating. It is causing the vibrations.”
“Strengthen the structural integrity in the pylon; we can’t afford to lose that nacelle,” ordered Zafast.
“The nacelle is drawing more power through auxiliary nodes to compensate.”
“Reduce warp speed!” Zafast ordered.
“The nodes are overloading!”
There was a much more violent movement that nearly threw Zafast to the floor.
“What was that?” he asked.
“The EPS overloaded and the nacelle has lost power. The warp field collapsed. Luckily power is still flowing to the structural integrity. The nacelle has not separated from the vessel but there is no power flowing to the warp coils.”
“Signal the Vorta commander that we are no longer capable of warp travel,” Zafast ordered. “I want a report on how long it will take to repair the power distribution system to the nacelle immediately,” he said gruffly.
The Vorta was not going to be pleased with the news, but there was little he could do about that. It had been the Jem’Hadar’s job to deal with problems from the crew. He and his mercenaries were here to operate the ship. Zafast noted that he would push that point; he was not going to lose any money because of the Jem’Hadar’s failings.