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Lost Cause

Posted on Wed Jan 16th, 2019 @ 5:05am by Captain James McCullen & Lieutenant Commander Lisa McCullen & Commander Temerant Bast & Lieutenant K'Var & Lieutenant Oliver Ross & Lieutenant Amelia (Mia) Makarova & Lieutenant Araan Ragez & Lieutenant T'sa & Lieutenant JG Merlar R'heil & Lieutenant JG Simon Hunter & Lieutenant JG Emilie D'Astous

Mission: Recovery
Location: Various
Timeline: MD3, 2030 Hrs

== USS Sentinel ==

Captain James McCullen had bluffed, chancing that the Romulan ship they faced wouldn't risk a confrontation with an Intrepid class ship of unknown condition, and it seemed his bluff had been called. The USS Sentinel was in no condition to fight, with no shields or torpedo casings and only two low-power phaser emitters available, there was very little they could do to counter the Romulans. As it was, the captain projected they'd be able to put up a token resistance for only a few minutes before the inevitable surrender came about.

"Commander Bast, I'm taking the Sentinel towards the cloud of metreon gas bearing one-seven-oh mark two, if we can get behind it, it might absorb some of the Romulan's weapons fire." The captain said quickly as his hands worked the controls. The impulse engines flared, died momentarily with a power fluctuation and then came back, the ship surged forward. "Get the runabout between us and them, Lieutenant K'Var, pour everything the runabout has into that ship!"

"Yes, Sir!" called out Bast. He pivoted the Runabout on its course, and had it run interference between the Sentinel and the Romulan ship, in an attempt to prevent their opponent from getting a clear shot.

“Sir,” piped in Ragez, trying desperately to stay standing as the Sentinel lurched forward. “Metreon gas is highly volatile. If we ignite the cloud, we risk...”

A streak of green fire lanced past the Sentinel, showing up on the view screen as a thin line, a second struck her aft between the shuttle bay and the aft torpedo tubes, the ship shook as the blast penetrated the outer hull.

Bast braced himself against his console as the ship shook under the impact. "Damage report!" he called out.

“Hull breach,” called out Ragez, once again regaining his footing. “Sections twenty through twenty five on decks seven and eight. Emergency force fields are offline...attempting to seal off manually.”

"Rerouting power to the inertial dampeners," Ross called. "We're venting atmosphere on deck 9. Possible micro fracturing."

"I'm taking us into the nearest gas cloud, it'll throw off his targeting sensors even more!" McCullen barked, feeling the strain of the weakened inertial dampeners as he banked the ship hard to port and then again to starboard, trying to duck and weave around the weapons fire from the Romulan ship. An idea floated into his brain from an old tactical report he had read. "If we open the bussard collectors and scoop up a bunch of that gas, could we choke his intakes with it? Stall his engines?" He glanced over his shoulder, "would that work?"

Bast looked up from his console and thought about it. Wilem Bast, the second Host, had worked as a weapons specialist during the Dominion War and studied Romulan technology before the Romulans had entered the conflict. "It might," he said. "But we'd have to be very close to their ship for it to work."

"We can," McCullen began as a second beam of energy shot past the Sentinel, grazing the starboard hull as it passed. In front of the ship, there was a sudden glow and then a flash as the very cloud he had been steering the Sentinel towards ignited. "Brace!" Was all he had time to yell before the shock wave hit the ship, shaking it violently.

Ross threw all of his weight against the console in front of him. The rollers in his chair pushed away and he fell to his knees. A pain shot through his upper thigh as he tried to raise himself back up.

Right, Metreon gas is highly flammable. The Captain thought as he lay looking at the bolts holding the helm console to the deck. He picked himself up off the floor, wincing at a pain in his shoulder and slid back into the helm seat. "Status!"

== Runabout Nantes ==

The Runabout swerved hard to port as it circled around the Romulan ship, trying to prevent it from obtaining a weapons lock on the Sentinel. Under remote control from Bast on the Sentinel, the whine of the phasers was heard throughout the little ship.

In one of the bunks of the runabout, Makarova's unconscious body flung itself into the wall with a thud, waking suddenly Makarova exclaimed and looked around half-dazed, she put her hands on the sides to stabilize herself. Her expression was more of annoyance than confusion, especially with her huge frown.

"What's going on?!?" She bashed her commbadge for an answer whilst calming down, "This is Lt Makarova I'm on the Nantes! Come in?!" she hurriedly rose from the bed and grabbed her belt with equipment on and unholstered the phaser. Marching in security fashion with her phaser outstretched in front, she came towards the bridge, expecting Romulans.

The Door opened in its usual fashion and peering round, she saw that no one was there, but what was visible was the consoles working overtime. Trying to assess what was going on, Makarova accessed Helm control, trying to make sense of what was happening whilst she waited for the communications to get through.

== USS Sentinel ==

As McCullen, grim-faced and sweating, worked to keep the Sentinel out of the line of the Romulan's inaccurate but deadly fire, the comm suddenly came to life.

=/\= "This is Lt Makarova I'm on the Nantes! Come in?!" =/\=

"What the hell is she doing over there?" The captain asked, not really expecting an answer, then punched the comm panel on the helm console, "Lieutenant Makarova! Take command of the runabout from there and attack that damned Romulan ship!" He barked, shooting a glance over his shoulder at Bast before returning his eyes to the console.

Bast looked up from his console, his eyes wide as saucers. The last thing he'd expected was for someone to be on board the bloody little ship - it was a good thing he hadn't decided to try ramming the Runabout into the Romulan scout.

"Doctor Makarova!" asked Bast over the comm channel, trying to keep his voice as calm as possible. "Are you able to control the runabout on your own?"

== Runabout Nantes ==

The comm came to life and a response came through with a stressed sounding McCullen.

=/\= "Lieutenant Makarova! Take command of the runabout from there and attack that damned Romulan ship!"

=/\= "Doctor Makarova!" followed Bast's voice. "Are you able to control the runabout on your own?" =/\=

She lent against the helm chair to steady herself from the erratic maneuvering of the Nantes.

"Yes sir! Just give me a moment!" She assured, although she needed a moment to compose herself to understand what she was doing.

"I'm transferring....everything to the helm, I've got her!" Makarova confirmed, turning the Nantes to face the Romulan ship. She tapped several buttons on the console with the usual chirp sounds, and the sounds of powering up were heard, the forward phasers came online with several taps.

"Shields are up, what do you want me to do Sentinel?!" She barked

== USS Sentinel ==

Bast looked at the comm panel in slight disbelief. "Fire at will at that Romulan ship before it destroys us!" Bast told Makarova over the comm line.

"Putting in a phaser spread..." she punched in some commands after hastily trying to work out how the targeting system worked. Several beams of phaser energy went straight to the enemy ship, their shields taking up the brunt of it, seemingly having little effect.

"Captain," Lieutenant K'Var started reporting "the Romulan ship suffered minimal damage from the blast" she looked down at her console and then back up "their shields are holding."

Ross slowly lifted himself back into his chair. A sharp pain ran along his leg. Something was broken. That didn't matter. Right now the ship needed him. "We've got multiple hull breaches across the board. Relays overloading on deck's 6, through 10. Artificial gravity is down on those areas."

"We can't take much more of this," the captain growled, half to himself and half to the crew. The Romulan was barely scratched and the damage to the Sentinel was nearing critical levels. Time was almost up, the point when they'd have no choice but to surrender or face death was rapidly approaching. "Miss. K'Var, see if you can do something to slow them down, even for a few seconds. Do what you can to shore us up, Mr. Ross. Do we still have transporters?"

"Yes, sir," Ross responded. "But I can't guarantee a smooth ride. There's a lot of interference from the nebula."

Lieutenant K'Var sent a message to the runabout to coordinate weapons fire with the Sentinel the limited weapons available on the Intrepid class ship mixed with that of the runabout might make a dent in the Romulan ships defenses. A few second later streams of phaser fire hit the Romulan shields and K'Var smiled waiting for the runabout to join.

“Sir,” said Ragez urgently. “Detecting a Federation warp signature.” He looked at the readings again as the data poured onto the screen. “It’s the USS Hanoi. A Wallace class vessel attached to Providence.”

Mer'lar was running around during her security detail,to see if Lt K'var needed any help with anything.

T'sa's hands had caught her from bumping into the ship's walls several times up to this point, but the last jostle had done it, had landed a hit against the side of her skull. Even while she looked over the display on her console - a general summary of damage done and repairs that needed to be made, marking down in her mind what she could help with repairing and what she couldn't - she could feel the irritation in her head. She would have thought to visit the doctor, had she not managed to find herself aboard the Nantes. For the first time in a while, she could feel not only her body but her mind as well, tense.

She had a minor in engineering, a basic knowledge of first aid, but her skills in Diplomacy were useless in a firefight.

== USS Hanoi ==

"Status?!" Lisa McCullen demanded, her tone not hiding the stress she was feeling as they had been slowly traversing the nebula. "Tactical, do you see anything?"

"We're still ten minutes away, Ma'am," called out D'Astous. They had slowed to half-impulse over the last five minutes, after two ten-minute stretches at three-quarters impulse. She turned to Hughes and Hunter. "Can the ship stand the strain if I take her to three-quarters impulse again?"

"Ma'am," the tactical officer said. "It's patchy and I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I think I'm detecting weapons fire coming from the Sentinel's position."

Lisa stood from her chair, hands reflexive clenching at her sides as a wave of fear rolled through her. "Strain or not, we're going in!" She barked, "full impulse Miss D'Astous, Mr. Hughes, take what steps you need to take to keep us together. Mr. Hunter, all personnel not assigned to tactical or engineering systems are to report to damage control stations."

Chotho bit back his tongue, nodding at the orders he was given instead of offering a chatty remark "Aye Ma'am"

He could compensate, of course he could, but generally, he preferred not to have to drain certain systems to keep others going - not that it had reached that point yet, only that it could if a few too many wrong moves were made.

Emilie hit her panel to bring the Impulse engines up to full power. "Yes, Ma'am!" she called out. "We should be there in five minutes." She looked at Hunter. "Are we close enough to try to hail them?"

"Ma'am, I am Picking up two ships on the Long range sensors," replied Simon as he kept a look for the registration to flash up on his board, Just then it showed just what he hoped it was. He said, "Ma'am one of the ships is the Sentinel and the other is a Romulan ship," as he thought oO what the hell are the Romulan's after? Oo as he looked back at the view screen.

"Hail the Sentinel," Lisa ordered, still standing in front of the command chair, legs braced against the turbulence of the nebula. "Miss. D'Astous, get us between the Sentinel and that Romulan ship, as fast as you can. Mr. Hughes, status?"

Chotho took a moment to look over his display, quickly sorting through the information before replying "We're holding together well enough - don't stress my baby out to much or we might start having major issues of our own, Captain"

"Channel Open Captain," replied Simon as he hoped that the Sentinel was in fairly good shape, he thought oO I wonder what the status of the engines are? Oo as he knew that things might be bad over there.

Lisa squeezed her eyes shut for a second, mentally putting aside that she was, hopefully, speaking to her father.

=/\= "USS Sentinel this is Lieutenant Commander Lisa McCullen aboard the USS Hanoi, we're less than five minutes away, what's your status?"

There was silence for a moment and Lisa feared the worst, but then through a bit of interference she heard her father's voice, sounding stressed and relieved in equal measures.

=/\= "USS Hanoi this is Captain James McCullen, we're in bad shape over here. We're being fired on by a Lanora-two class vessel, we've got no shields and no weapons to speak of, get here as fast as you can and come in firing!"

== USS Sentinel ==

There was a burst of static through the comm, and then a voice, slightly broken by static, but a voice he would have instantly recognized anywhere.

=/\= "USS Sentinel this is Lieutenant Commander Lisa McCullen aboard the USS Hanoi, we're less than five minutes away, what's your status?"

For a moment, Captain McCullen sat dumbfounded at the helm. The double whammy that not only had their beacon gotten a message through and help had come, but that it was his own daughter, left him slack-jawed. A small mental war played havoc with his cognitive process as the conflicting instincts to protect his ship and protect his daughter battled for dominance, and then almost automatically his hand was reaching for the comm panel.

=/\= "USS Hanoi this is Captain James McCullen, we're in bad shape over here. We're being fired on by a Lanora-two class vessel, we've got no shields and no weapons to speak of, get here as fast as you can and come in firing!"

The captain turned to brief give a grin to the crew before turning his attention back to the helm.

=/\= "Hold on, Sentinel, we'll be there as soon as we can!" Lisa's voice replied.

T'sa's eyes perked up for a moment when she heard the Captain of the Hanoi reveal her family name. She was well aware that humans could often have the same family name, and yet still consider each other strangers, but based on the Captains reaction, it was obvious the two had a familial connection.

The ship was rocked again by a volley from the Romulan ship. "We might not make it five more minutes, Sir," reported Bast. He tapped the panel and interfaced with the Nantes computer. "Doctor Makarova, prepare for emergency beam-out."

Makarova, expecting to be the proud pilot of a runabout mounting a fighter run, was disappointed.
"...Yes sir" she sighed, half relieved half annoyed she wasn't being more useful. "Standing by!"

== USS Hanoi ==

"Hold on, Sentinel, we'll be there as soon as we can!" She replied, forcing herself to sit down in the command chair, "Tactical, the instant you get a lock on that Romulan ship, you open fire."

"Aye ma'am," the tactical officer responded.

"Three minutes," reported Emilie.

"Come on, come on..." Lisa murmured, half under her breath. Her heart was in her throat and butterflies were in her stomach. She resisted the urge to wipe sweaty palms on her uniform pants.

=/\= "Operations and Engineering teams to Transporter room 1"=/\= Simon said tapping his combadge as he needed the teams on standby, as he turned to the Captain, " Permission to leave the bridge ma'am as he knew that he needed to be on the away team.

"Permission granted, Lieutenant," Lisa responded, wishing that she could go with the man, but she had her duty on the bridge of the Hanoi.

== USS Sentinel ==

Bast disengaged the safety protocols on the Runabout's navigational computer and programmed a Warp jump on a course that would result in the little ship ramming the Romulan attacker while going to warp. He turned to Lieutenant Ross.

"Mister Ross. On my mark, lower the runabout's shields, and beam Doctor Makarova to the Sentinel."

Ross put his finger on the start sequence button and stared at the Captain like a runner waiting for the starter's pistol.


Ross quickly pressed the key and immediately began the transport sequence. "The Doctor's signal keeps getting lost in the nebula. Boosting confinement beam." A red light near his right hand shifted from yellow to green. The transporter signal was perfectly aligned. Ross pushed up on the sliders and back down. "Got her! I'll beam her right to the Bridge"

The fuzzy sensation of dematerializing was pretty new to Makarova, she looked at her hands slowly fading in the firework display of lights and energy, although she was expecting it. Within a few seconds, she had reappeared in the Bridge, right behind Bast. After re-orienting herself, she nodded to everyone as a silent 'thanks' and sprinted to the science station, making the usual checks she had remembered from the manuals she was reading before she slept.

Bast engaged the runabout's engines. The effect was almost instantaneous. There was a flash of blue light from the little ship's Warp drive, followed by a sudden bright explosion that filled the view screen. The sudden acceleration from the Runabout overwhelmed the Romulan ship's shields and rammed it at Warp speed. The Romulan ship was cut on half from bow to stern before exploding, and the Runabout was disintegrated, its debris being scattered in a line that stretched for half a light-year.

When the light cleared, there was very little left of the runabout or the Romulan ship.

The Sentinel rocked violently when the shock wave from the huge explosion hit them and the Captain held on to the helm console. It took a moment for him to process what had just happened, and then he turned to look at Bast.

"Holy shit," were the first words that came to him. "Commander Bast. That was... inspired, well done. Lieutenant Makarova," he turned to the chief medical officer, "see what you can do for Lieutenant Ross, I think he's hurt."

Ross lowered himself gently to the deck as the Doctor approached. "It's my leg. I think it's broken."

Bast tried to blink away the light flashes that temporarily blinded him even as he tapped his console to conjure up a damage report. "Thank you, Sir," he replied to McCullen with a lopsided smile. "Though that was a waste of a perfectly good Runabout... You think Starfleet will take it out of my paycheck?"

Makarova raised an eyebrow in jest of nearly dying in 'the damn thing'.

"Under the circumstances, I think they'll understand." McCullen gave his XO a wry grin, almost, he mentioned that the runabout technically didn't belong to the Sentinel but was from Providence, but then the Lieutenant Commander was still officially part of that command chain and the captain didn't want to remind Bast of that fact. That was something McCullen was already thinking hard about changing, he wanted Bast as his XO, on a permanent basis.

"Let me see..." she knelt down beside Ross and presented her flickering tricorder that she bashed on the side to get working. "It's not broken don't worry, ill get you something to support it when we're out of this mess" she nodded to Ross and then to McCullen for approval.

The comm sparked again and only one word came through, "Dad!" It was full of panic, laced with pain and fear and McCullen felt his heart ache, realizing what she must have been thinking with the other ship's sensors detecting a huge explosion. He hit the comm button on the console.

"Commander McCullen," he replied, his voice altered by the emotion running thick through his throat, "we're fine, the Romulan ship has been destroyed. We need assistance, get here when you can."

== USS Hanoi ==

On the USS Hanoi's view screen there was a flash in the distance, followed shortly by a shockwave that rattled the ship.

"No!" Lisa vaulted out of her chair, her stomach dropping and panic driving into her heart like a shot of adrenaline. "Oh please, no, dad." She whirled, "hail the Sentinel, now!"

"Ma'am,, reading show the Sentinel in one piece," replied Simon who knew that the teams were assembling in the transporter room ready to be deployed, as he knew that she was worried about her father, but he also knew that by say what she had shows that her control had gone.

"Dad!" She called out, protocol forgotten, hope against hope that somehow the sensors had been wrong, or it had been the Romulan ship that had exploded, or any tiny straw that her mind could grasp.

=/\= "Commander McCullen," the response came back, there were layers of amusement and tenderness in the captain's voice, "we're fine, the Romulan ship has been destroyed. We need assistance, get here when you can."

"Ye... yes sir." Was the only answer she could come up with, "Ms. D'Astous, slow us to half impulse, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Hunter, prepare the Engineering teams, medical personnel and equipment transfer."

Emilie smiled, the adrenaline that had been pumping through her veins still making her heart race. "Yes, Ma'am!" she replied. She brought the Hanoi alongside the Sentinel even as she watched the afterimages of the burning green wreckage of the Romulan ship.

"Ma'am, Teams are waiting for the word to deploy," replied Simon as he swiveled his chair around to face the Captain, as he knew that having made preparations before hand had been the right call to make.

"As soon as we're in transporter range, Mr. Hunter." Lisa responded.

Chotho kissed his console, whispering praises to the ship, calling her a beauty, then hopping out of his seat in order to carry out the command he'd been given "Aye Ma'am - We'll get the Sentinel back in working order, or my Mum's a 'urwI'"

Hughes didn't comment on it out loud, but he was glad for his Captain, to be able to help her Father - If he ever ran into his Father in deep space the confrontation would be a lot more bloody, but Klingon families could be like that sometimes.

== USS Sentinel ==

McCullen sighed, shutting down the engines and leaning back in the chair for a second. His shoulder complained slightly and he ignored it. "Damage report?"

Tapping her console as a spark flew from the set behind her, as she flinched "there went the last of the phaser arrays, sir!" K'Var called out from her station.

"Engineering console reporting major damage to shield systems, Captain" T'sa echoed, reading verbatim the display on her console.

"Stand down all weapon systems, shut down the impulse engines and warp drive," McCullen ordered, they hadn't had shields anyway so the damage wouldn't have an immediate effect, but it was another thing to repair. "Transfer all remaining power to structural integrity and life support, we've got nothing to do now but wait."

"We've got major hull damage to several sections," said Bast. "Decks eight through eleven. No emergency force fields, but blast doors are containing the breach. Transporters are off-line, we'll have to rely on the Hanoi's. Life support is stable."

Makarova noticed the great big flashing red shape on her science console, hesitant to bark out what she was seeing.
"Sir I've lost deflector control..." she was almost certain this was it as her commands were going unnoticed by the system. "Not that it was in great shape either mind you..." she sighed.

McCullen stood from the helm console and turned to face his crew. "Well done, everyone. Disengage all primary systems, I want you all to coordinate with the engineers coming from the Hanoi, work on getting your own departments' damage repaired and as functional as possible. We've got to get the Sentinel operational enough to get us out of here, and quickly. You all know what to do."


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