Captain’s Log: Supplemental
We have successfully completed our operation to rescue the survivors who were still trapped aboard the remains of the Seventh fleet. Additionally, the SCE crew on the USS Brunel were able to salvage the USS Monitor and both ships are now heading for Starbase 375 along with the USS Valkyrie. We have remained behind. I have ordered the Argus to return to the Tyra system in order to recover our away teams from Tyra III that have remained there since we returned to assist the other starships at the battle site. I hope they have had as much success as we have. I also hope we are able to extract them quickly, avoiding the large Dominion fleet that will now enter this system in less than three hours.
“Captain, I’m detecting three small ships on an intercept course,” reported James Dulmis as Lex returned to the bridge from his ready room and retook his seat in the centre.
“It’s the Away teams,” he replied. “The runabout Tigris and the shuttlecrafts Amundsen and Burton are requesting permission to dock.”
“Permission granted,” said Lex. “Arkin, prepare to alter course for Starbase 375 once they’re aboard.”
“Captain, I have a message from Dr. McDonald,” Dulmis interjected. “She’s requesting that we continue our current heading towards the planet and says she will explain once she is aboard.”
A look of surprise crossed Lex’s face before he spoke again. “Arkin belay that last order and acknowledge the Doctor’s request, Mr. Dulmis.
“Lieutenant Bower, you have the bridge.” He finished as he rose from his chair and entered the turbolift. “Deck 5, Shuttlebay 1.”
The turbolift deposited Lex in the corridor outside the entrance to the main shuttlebay and he entered through the large double doors just in time to see the Tigris and her two accompanying shuttles touch down. As the large space door at the far end of the bay closed, accompanied by its usual alert klaxon, Lex approached the door of the Runabout. The door opened before he reached it. He stood back from the ship slightly as Dr. McDonald emerged and greeted him, a steady stream of wounded being carried out behind her.
“We rescued 26 survivors from 32 escape pods,” she responded, “but several people were captured in the process, including Lieutenant Parson’s and Commander Patel.”
Lex thought he saw her worry increase at the mention of Patel’s name. “Lieutenant Sheridan also believed that the Jem’hadar had captured several survivors from the pods,” she continued, “and has remained on the surface with the remaining security officers to mount a rescue operation.”
“Why did you return to the ship and leave them without a means to get off the planet?”
“With the search complete, the Lieutenant believed that the Jem’hadar’s were likely to come looking for the base camp next,” she explained. “She didn’t want to put any of the wounded in jeopardy and ordered us to return to the ship.”
Smart move, thought Lex, one that has likely wrong footed the Jem’hadar.
“Recall all our search parties,” ordered Yessic, “and get the squad we sent down to the lower levels back at once!”
“I am attempting to do so,” said Taktuta’Klan, “but I am unable to contact them.”
Yessic was livid. “What do you mean you are unable to contact them!”
“I mean exactly what I said,” responded Taktuta’Klan. “I am unable to contact Vorac’Talon’s search party. They are not responding to my communications requests.”
By now Patel was smiling, his satisfaction showing through. It seemed that Sheridan had caught them more off guard than originally planned.
Yessic looked over at Patel. “Well, send someone to find them,” he said, before indicting to the two Jem’hadar on either side of the Commander. “And you two; take him down to the holding area and put him with the other prisoners.”
The two Jem’hadar grabbed hold of Patel’s arms and lead him away.
“There is no-one left to send,” replied the First. “There are only five of us here to man our defences once our brethren return from the holding cells. It will take some time for our remaining soldiers to return from the non-existent Federation camp.”
“Do something,” said the panicked Vorta, “Get them back here faster.”
“We have no means of doing so. Our transporters were destroyed when you ordered our ships to attack the Federation vessel,” he said, picking up his disruptor. “There is nothing we can do now but fight.” He held the rifle above his head. “Victory Is Life!”
“Victory Is Life!” his two fellow Jem’hadar replied and the three of them ran out of the room leaving Yessic to ponder his fate.
When the small group of survivors lead by Dr. Wallace reached the control room, Sara Parker was waiting for them. The group had made the journey quickly, following the route in a fifth of the time it had originally taken Sara as she had explored each room along the route. She had followed them every step of the way with the Tantalus viewer. Wallace’s condition had deteriorated since he’d first entered the tunnel and he was now relying heavily on the support of the two other survivors who had offered it when they had first begun the journey. She immediately began to scan him with her tricorder as they lowered him to the floor.
“How are you feeling?” she asked, her voice full of concern.
“Like I’ve been caught in a warp core breach,” he replied weakly. “You were right, Lieutenant. I should have listened to you. If I had, we might all have found our way here sooner.”
“Shh,” she replied, “save your strength.”
She stood up and walked over to the console. She started to work the controls for the gateway. After a moment, she found what she was looking for.
“We need to get you medical attention,” she said walking back over to him. “I found a starship within range and this gateway will take you straight to its sickbay.
“Can you help him up?” she asked the two men who had carried him on their shoulders.
They nodded and again positioned themselves under his arms, slowly lifting him off the floor. Even this gentle movement caused him to wince in pain.
Before they moved towards the gateway Wallace spoke again, “What about you, Lieutenant.”
“I’m not finished here yet,” she replied. “Tell the ship’s captain that there are still prisoners on the surface and tell them we can’t abandon this world to the Dominion.”
Wallace tried to nod but even attempting the action caused him pain, so they simply headed towards the gateway. As the group disappeared into the portal, Sara started adjusting the Tantalus screen, looking for the Jem’hadar’s prisoners.
The sudden appearance of a dozen archaeologists in the middle of sickbay would have taken anybody by complete surprise and Dr. McDonald was no exception. McDonald was checking on the condition of Commander ch’Var, which hadn’t changed since he had fallen into a coma, when the group materialised in the centre of the room. She was about to ask where the hell they had come from when her attention was grabbed by the injured man at the head of the group who was being supported across the shoulders by two of the others. It no longer mattered where they had appeared from, only that someone required her medical attention.
“Get him up on the bio bed,” she said, indicating to the bed at the centre of the room.
The two men obliged and McDonald immediately began to scan him with her medical tricorder even as the more through diagnosis arch closed over him. Her consciousness barely registered the entry of Captain Lex and a group of security officers who had been brought to sickbay by the sounding of the intruder alert. The security team immediately ushered the other survivors out of the room to be questioned and checked by the other members of the medical staff as Lex walked over to McDonald’s side.
“What happened, Doctor?” Lex asked, causing McDonald to fully register his presence for the first time.
She pressed a hypospray against the injured man’s neck to relieve his pain. “I don’t know Captain,” she replied. “They just suddenly appeared in the middle of sickbay out of nowhere.”
Lex and McDonald both looked at the patent.
“C…Captain,” he whispered again, “Lieu… Lieutenant P…”
“Don’t try to speak,” said McDonald. “You’ve got two broken ribs, a punctured lung and you’re bleeding internally.” She turned back to Lex, “Captain, I need to get him into surgery.”
Lex started to move away from the bio bed, but the patient grabbed his arm with all his remaining strength and pulled him back. The man turned his head as far as he was able towards Lex. “Lieutenant P… Parker. She told me…” He was fighting to get the words out. “She said… there are still… still prisoners on the… planet.”
At that point his strength failed and his hand went limp, followed by the rest of his body. McDonald soon realised that he had stopped breathing.
“Cardiostimulator!” she called out. Immediately a crash team consisting of a nurse and two medical technicians surrounded her.
“Lieutenant Parker…” repeated Lex slowly as the word sank in and he backed away from the group. “Sara’s alive!
“Do everything you can for him Doctor,” he said as he turned and hurried back to the bridge. McDonald was again too focused on the task at hand for the words to register.
The two Jem’hadar guards lead Patel into the makeshift holding area and paraded him in front of the other prisoners before they pushed him towards one of the ‘cells’, giving him a good look at the room as well as the other prisoners.
The holding area looked like it had once been some sort of storage area. Its structure consisted of a short central passageway with a single entrance at one end and a circular window at the other. Along the sides of the room were six arched alcoves, three along each, with portable force field projectors setup across their entrances. Five of these six ‘cells’ held prisoners, with the sixth holding various pieces of Starfleet equipment.
One of the Jem’hadar approached the controls for the force field in front of Patel. He pointed his disruptor at the prisoners. “Keep back,” he ordered.
As he leant towards the controls and began to shut down the force field, the Commander saw his chance.
Patel spun, grabbing the tube that fed the second Jem’hadar with white and pulled hard. Carried by his momentum, the force he was able to exert on it was more than enough to free it from both the Jem’hadar’s neck and the device attached to his uniform front. Patel rolled as the soldier screamed, his hand going straight to his neck. Patel landed on his knees, chucking away the freed tube as he did. He twisted the heel of his boot, pulling it free.
At the sound of the scream, the first Jem’hadar turned to look in the direction of second one. Seeing his hand at his neck and Patel several feet away, he immediately brought his disruptor to bare on the first officer, but never fired a shot. He was felled by the type 1 phaser Patel had just liberated from the heal of his boot.
Patel refocused his attention on the other Jem’hadar, but the soldier had already gotten over the initial shock and was already upon him. The Jem’hadar slapped Patel’s phaser from his hand and sent it skittering across the floor. Patel brought his knees up, rocked backwards and kicked out, planting both feet square in the Jem’hadar’s chest. The Jem’hadar staggered backwards and Patel repeated the manoeuvre, his momentum this time landing his feet back on the ground as he stood upright. The Jem’hadar charged at him. Patel countered with a spinning kick that once again sent the dominion soldier reeling, but not as much as he had hoped. To Patel’s surprise, the Jem’hadar avoided his follow up and countered it with a punch that sent Patel crashing to the floor. Feeling stunned, Patel tried to move himself into a position he could fight back from as the enraged Jem’hadar loomed over him. He wasn’t fast enough. The Jem’hadar looming towards him suddenly became more upright, his back arched and a howl erupting from his lungs before he collapsed.
As the Jem’hadar fell to the floor beside Patel, the Commander began to wonder just how hard the Jem’hadar’s last punch had been. Standing in front of him, phaser raised, was a woman that he knew had not been there moments before. She had shoulder length, dark red/brown hair and a statuesque figure that made her look like she’d been poured into her blue collared Starfleet science division uniform. She lowered her phaser and offered him a hand up off the floor.
“Thank you, Lieutenant…” he prompted as he got to his feet, noticing the two solid pips on her collar.
“Sara Parker,” she replied.
“The Captain’s wife?” said Patel in disbelief.
“Not unless he got promoted,” she said with a chuckle. “My husband has only just made first officer.
“So who are you, Commander?”
“Thomas Patel,” he replied, reaching down and twisting off the heel of his other boot, “First officer on the USS Argus.”
Parker looked a little confused. “But that’s where Jonozia is posted.”
“As I said, you’re the Captain’s wife,” Patel replied with a smile, producing a commbadge that he’d just extracted from his other heal.
“Patel to Sheridan,” he said, pinching the Starfleet delta between his fingers.
“Captain…” he heard Parker say to herself, causing his smile to broaden.
“Go ahead, Commander,” replied Sheridan.
“I’ve made it into where they’re holding the prisoners,” he said. “I’ll be releasing them shortly.”
“Understood,” she replied. “Commander, we’ve encountered much less resistance than expected so far. How many more Jem’hadar are there inside?”
Patel looked at the two Jem’hadar at his feet, then looked up and shrugged, “None.”
“None? I expected them to have kept at least one squad in reserve.”
“Apparently they disappeared while searching the lower levels,” said Patel.
“Actually that’s my doing,” interjected Parker.
“Oh, I’ve found the Captain’s wife in here too,” said Patel. “She appeared from nowhere and saved my life.”
“That was lucky,” said Sheridan. “How’s she responsible for the missing Jem’hadar?”
“How are you responsible for the lack of Jem’hadar?” he asked Parker.
“I used a disintegrator on them that I found in the lower levels,” she replied. “Unfortunately, the range of its field doesn’t penetrate this far, so I had to come and save you in person.”
“Oh,” said Patel, “sounds like it’ll be an interesting report.” He inclined his head, indicating he was talking to the commbadge again, “Lieutenant Sheridan, continue as planned. We’ll rendezvous with you at the temple entrance.”
“Acknowledged, Sheridan out,” she finished, closing the channel.
“Ok, let’s get these people out of here,” said Patel, heading towards the first force field generator.
Although she didn’t really have any wish for a bloody drawn out battle, Sheridan was a little disappointed. She had expected more resistance that three Jem’hadar and a few automated defences. If anything it actually made her job harder as the plan that she had suggested to Commander Patel actually requiring that they encounter some resistance in order to allow him time to complete his part of it before they invaded the temple, themselves. Out numbering the Jem’hadar nearly five to one and still making it seem believable that they were being held back was proving rather difficult.
When Lex had approved the rescue mission for the away teams, it was obvious that, with their head start, the Dominion would have already discovered several of the escape pods and taken any survivors as prisoners, as well as anyone who had escaped the destruction of the London. So Patel had approached Sheridan with her thoughts on the mission. Following a prompt for Jane McDonald, Kate had proposed a plan that should allow them to rescue any prisoners and allow them to wrong foot the Jem’hadar at the same time.
The plan was based on the idea that the Jem’hadar would be expecting the rescue teams to go in, extract as many survivors as possible and get out. With this in mind, the Jem’hadar would likely attempt to delay their departure by capturing as many survivors and team members as possible then attack while the remaining team members attempted to devise a rescue plan. This would allow them to attack the Federation base camp and capture yet more prisoners. It was a fine plan so long as the rescue teams kept to form and planned simply to get in and get out as quickly as possible. That wasn’t Sheridan’s plan.
The idea was simple. While rescuing survivors from the pods, she would allow herself to be captured and taken to the temple with the other prisoners. Then, when the pods had all been checked and the remaining rescue team members had returned to base, the medical personnel would return to the ship, taking the runabout and the two shuttles and dismantling the operations base. The security personnel would remain behind on the planet and attack the Dominion base in the temple. By planning this before hand it would allow them to begin their assault while the majority of the Dominion’s forces were attacking the base that no longer existed. The attack on the Dominion base would also initially act as a distraction to draw their remaining forces out and allow Sheridan to free the prisons. The two groups could then catch the Jem’hadar in the crossfire and possibly even take prisoners of their own.
Initially Patel had his reservations. The plan was risky and its chances of success weren’t very high. It also relied heavily on the assumption that the Jem’hadar would presume a certain plan of action from the away teams, but he did admit that it would become obvious quite quickly if they hadn’t. He’d eventually agreed to it on the condition that he was the one captured, partly because it was more likely they would keep a more senior officer alive, and partly because he had been in similar situations before, during his time in Starfleet intelligence.
“Patel to Sheridan,” started the Commander’s voice from her commbadge.
She tapped the delta symbol attached to her uniform and responded, “Go ahead, Commander.”
Patel proceeded to update her on his situation, including that he’d found the Captain’s wife and that she was responsible for the low number of Jem’hadar that they’d encountered protecting the base.
“Lieutenant Sheridan, continue as planned. We’ll rendezvous with you at the temple entrance,” Patel finished.
“Acknowledged,” she replied. “Sheridan out.” She tapped her commbadge closing the channel, “Ok people, this is it - let’s take them out.”
To finally be able to let loose came as something of a relief. Sheridan shifted her position and began to aim more accurately than she had before when she had simply been holding the Jem’hadar in place. As the remaining members of the team added their firepower, it became a very one-sided fight. Both the defending Jem’hadar and the automated weapons fell quickly. It seemed as if they had all been waiting to let loose, too.
Sheridan indicated to the team to move forwards. The thirteen Starfleet personnel covered the ground to the temple entrance quickly. Knowing that there was a contingent of Jem’hadar following, she immediately positioned six of the security officers in outward facing defensive positions while the remainder prepared to go deeper into the ruins. Sheridan led off, turned the first corner and nearly barrelled straight into a Vorta who was running from the other direction.
“Hello um… Lieutenant,” he said in an annoyingly pleasant voice while looking at the rank pips on her collar.
“There you are, Yessic!” shouted a voice from further up the corridor. “Well done, Lieutenant.”
“Thank you, sir,” responded Sheridan as Patel approached.
Suddenly a voice came through their commbadges, “Argus’ to away team,” called Lex. “Status report.”
Sheridan tapped her badge, “Sheridan here, Captain. We’ve captured the temple along with the Vorta and have rendezvoused with Commander Patel.”
Sheridan nodded, indicating for Patel to take over. He continued as she led the Vorta out of earshot, “Captain, we’ve discovered several pieces of Preserver technology. How long before you arrive?”
“We’re entering orbit now,” replied Lex. “We’ll beam down a fresh contingent of security personnel to secure the ruins and then you can brief me fully.”
“Prepare for the first relief team to beam down in a few moments,” said Lex. “Argus out.”
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