She's Coming For Us

Posted on Fri Aug 12th, 2022 @ 11:52pm by Captain Keziah Nazir

Mission: A Celebration Short Lived
Location: Various
Timeline: Day 1 at 1450 Hours

Kirran sat on the sofa in her quarters, or what was left of it, her finger dancing artfully over the data PADD in front of her. With the ship’s main computer largely offline, she had to keep a log of things somehow, so doing so locally on a data PADD was the best option. Her eyes were swollen and red from crying, yet she kept working. She had taken the time upon getting back to her own quarters to shower and change into a fresh uniform considering the amount of blood that had ruined the one she had been wearing previously. But, right after she changed, she was back to work. Everyone on the ship lost someone today, and she was no different. Her work was interrupted by the sound of the communications array chirping at her. She reached over, picked up her commbadge and pressed it.

“Ris here,” she said, rather quietly, noting at last how parched she was. Reaching out, she poured herself a glass of water and took a sip while the voice on the other end spoke.

“Lieutenant Scott here ma’am,” the man on the other end of the channel spoke quickly. “Short range sensors have detected two Starfleet signals on the edge of the system, headed our way,” the voice revealed.

“On my way, Lieutenant” she said evenly, tapping the commbadge and terminating the call, then pinning it to her left breast and standing up tomake her way to the bridge. A short walk, and a climb one deck through the jefferies tube (thanks to the inactive turbo lifts) , she had arrived and stepped over the threshold, onto the bridge. All of the bodies had been removed, blood had even been cleaned up and the bridge again resembled a place they could work (even with engineers busying themselves at seemingly every console). She suspected Lieutenant Scott had made that a pretty high priority. Nothing eroded hope like seeing the blood of friends and colleagues splattered all over the command center of one’s starship.

“Report,” the acting commander of the ship requested as she crossed over to the man who had called her.

“Two runabouts,” Scott declared, “I’ve checked their identification transponder codes and permitted them access to the shuttlebay. They are closing in now,” he concluded.

“Open a channel,” she said, turning to the operations officer with a nod, standing beside the man and watching as he worked. “Runabouts, this is Lieutenant Commander Ris of the USS Nogura. Who is most senior among you?” she said quickly and seriously. Her voice held the tension of the day, but still expressed a patience and calmness as she waited for a response. Hopefully there was some Admiral aboard who would take command and the burden off of her shoulders.

“Nogura, this is Commander Keziah Nazir of the Venture,” the unknown female voice spoke over the communications channel. “Commander, we’ve got two runabouts of survivors, some who need swift medical attention.”

Kirran paused and raised an eyebrow. She met eyes with Captain Scott, her eyes direct and holding a deep significance of thought. Her finger slid over to the mute button on the headset and, after it was pressed, she spoke to him. “Full service record of this Nazir,” she said clearly.

After her words were finished, she unmuted the call and spoke again. “We’ll ensure that the medical teams are on standby,” she said clearly. “Have you seen anyone else on your travels?”

The question was hopeful, but they had to have hope, right? “No one. Venture, like so many, was caught in the initial attacks. We’re all we have managed to assemble so far,” the female voice replied over the communications array again.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Scott had stepped away to get the information the Commander had requested. It wasn’t going to be easy.

Kirran looked around the room at the many faces looking at her. They were all wondering what was going on; none of them knew the debate that was going on in her head. “We’ll see you when you get here. Ris out.”

She reached down slowly and pressed the button on the console, terminating the channel. Waiting for the Lieutenant to return, she leaned in once he was back in his seat. “She’s going to want Nogura.” she said simply.

“She’s a veteran,” Scott began as he slid the PADD over towards the Commander. “She’s been Ramsey’s executive officer since ‘79, and on the Venture since early ‘83. She’s got a spotless record. No infractions, no demerits, not so much as a warning,” the younger man concluded with a smirk. “If she does want the ship, we could have been lumbered with someone worse,” he added quickly. He then pointed at a particular area of the PADD. “She’d just passed the command test, and was waiting for her first command. Guess she might be getting it early.”

Kirran scanned the file quickly, not indicating any feeling whatsoever at first. She looked over at him and nodded her silent thanks. “I’m going to meet them. You have the bridge.” With that, she turned and made her way off the bridge the same way she had come.

[Shuttlebay 1]

The shuttlebay was a hive of activity in stark contrast to much of the rest of the Nogura, enlisted crewmembers of many different ranks, positions and departments joining together to prepare for the arrival of the two incoming runabouts. The two Starfleet craft had been secured by the tractor beam and were slowly being guided into position.

Kirran entered the shuttlebay and walked past the throngs of people, many of whom were standing and waiting for the new arrivals. While she understood the excitement of it all, they were fellow survivors at a time when all seemed lost, but she knew she needed to break it up.

“Everyone here who has a job to do needs to get to it!” she said loudly. “This starship isn’t battle-ready and a war is on.”

People disappointedly sprang into action, some leaving the area completely, others merely pretending to be doing something productive

As the runabouts made landfall, a clang rang out across the deck. Doors started to open, and the Commander watched in silence for the people occupying them to exit.

First, two Lieutenant’s departed and stood on the hangar deck, swiftly followed by a male bearing a Lieutenant Commander’s insignia. Then another figure appeared. She instantly had that air of authority about her, that aura that others in the craft didn’t. The woman made her way to the deck and then fired a salute to the Commander who had greeted them. It was unusual for a superior to salute first, but Nazir was conscious that the Nogura was not her ship and as such, opted to give the gesture first.

As the officers filed out of the shuttles, Kirran took careful note of their dispositions, ranks, and appearances. In particular, her attention rested on the male Lieutenant Commander stepping out. Her gaze then fell back to the Commander. Knowing what little information she had, she knew that when it came down to it, she would either hand command over to this woman willingly, they would fight over it, or she would be a very strange officer indeed and relent, leaving Ris in command. She saw the first option as being the most favorable, but she wasn’t going to vacate the XO role as well.

“Welcome to the Nogura.” she said clearly, her eyes locked on the newcomers. “We’re glad to see survivors in the middle of this hell. Mr. Winters will take down each of your information and put you to work,” she said, gesturing toward a man with a larger PADD. “At present, we’re not yet battle-ready and it seems there’s a lot more fighting to be done.”

There were no questions in her words. She had taken note that the commander had saluted first, but she was not simply accepting that as a gesture of respect. In her mind, she was in command until she said otherwise. She had to get to know this woman first; her file checked out perfectly, but she had to know her fighting spirit. Would her crew be safer under her command than her own?

Nazir watched and waited as the acting commander of the Nogura gave her orders and then looked at those who had accompanied her, giving a nod for them to progress as instructed. Nazir then looked at the woman from Nogura again. “Commander Ris, this is Lieutenant Commander Sebastian Farrell,” she introduced the dark skinned man who had been watching patiently from alongside the Commander.

Farrell nodded in respect to his fellow red shirt and smiled. “Commander,” was all he said as he looked Ris over. He could sense some tension in the small group, no doubt because of the proverbial elephant in the room.

“Why don’t you show me to the bridge?” Nazir suggested as she held out a hand and gestured in the direction of the shuttlebay exit. She knew exactly how to get there, but she wanted to take the opportunity to discuss matters with the officer.

Commander Ris didn’t offer the courteous smiles that were expected of her in the moment. She simply looked on evenly. When the Trill requested to be taken to the bridge, she wondered if she had intended for Farrell to come along as well. Her eyes looked from the man and back to Hanson.

“We should take the long route,” she said simply. From many others, such a phrase would have been a joke; she did not feel very much in a playful mood today.

“As you wish,” Nazir nodded and began to walk alongside her, a single hand gesture indicating that Farrell was to remain on the hangar deck for now. She wanted to talk with the Commander from the Nogura alone.

Once they had made their way through the nearest door and it closed behind them, the Commander let out a sigh. “I know what you are thinking, and I don’t blame you. I would be thinking it myself if I were in your position,” the Trill from the Venture spoke as she slipped her hands behind her back and grasped one inside the other.

“Anyone with sense would,” Ris said directly. “Let me just get right to the point. You’re miles more experienced than me, your service record is flawless, and you outrank me. But I am fiercely capable, well adjusted to command roles, and I know this ship and crew like the back of my hand.”

She folded her arms underneath her chest and looked across at the newcomer, pursing her lips. “How do you propose we fight this war?”

“Probably not the way you would fight it,” Nazir told bluntly as they walked. “Nor the way your father would I am sure,” she spoke without looking at her. She wasn’t stupid. She had been around the fleet long enough to know who to look out for, who to watch and who to respect. “Admiral Atticus Ris. Not exactly known for being… cautious?” she asked rhetorically, wondering what reaction her comment might illicit from the younger officer. “My experience tells me that we are done here. The Borg have us out matched and outgunned. This ship is in no shape to fight and what would we even achieve if we did so? Where would we go? Bajor? Vulcan? Earth?” she mused, her gaze always focused on the steps she was taking and the direction they proceeded in.

Ris nodded, not surprised by the Trill’s response. “You’re right, you know. If I retain command, I would scuttle the small fleet you’re drawing in for parts and able men and I would do everything in my power to destroy the enemy. Do you know why, Commander?” she asked, walking calmly beside the Trill. “Because the Borg will never let us go. They will hunt us around the galaxy, they will corner us, and they will kill us.”

She cleared her throat, turning to the left into a jefferies tube alcove. She climbed up to the next level. When she was there, she turned around and waited for the Commander from Venture. “I don’t want to give them an option. I believe we should always be ready for these bastards and look for any chance we can get to put them down.”

Once at the top of the steel steps, the Commander tugged on the bottom of her uniform jacket and stood still, looking over the XO of the Nogura. “Do not mistake my reluctance to stay here as cowardice or an unwillingness to fight. I’m ready to fight them any day of the week, but we’ll do it on my terms, not theirs. We’ll do it when I know we can win,” she told bluntly. “One more ship in the here and now makes no difference. You could scuttle the entire fleet for parts and this starship would still be destroyed in its current state. Instead, if we leave, we buy ourselves time to regroup and potentially even the odds at the next encounter.” She had begun to sound like she was pitching some sort of action plan to the admiralty, and she almost was. If Ris was anything like her father, she would take some persuading. Nazir stepped closer to her and lowered her voice. “They don’t know we are here. We have the element of surprise and can use that to get out of here. We need to be the spark that starts the flames and by gods, if you are with me Commander, I swear we will blow as many of the Borg out of the sky as we can. But not here, and not on their terms.”

Kirran watched her as she spoke, her brown eyes flashing over the Trill’s features and her mind racing to process what she was saying. On the inside she was a raging inferno of discernment, but on the outside, she was calm as still-water; yet another thing she’d learned from her father. When Nazir had finished speaking, she looked at her for several moments longer. She wasn’t uncomfortable with the silence, and she knew that thinking in this moment was crucial. Suddenly, she turned and continued to her right down the corridor. After a few seconds, she paused and looked behind, an expressionless face somehow encouraging the Trill to follow.

The Commander followed her with a raised eyebrow but instead of continuing to speak, she opted to follow suit and walked in silence. Nazir swiftly caught up with Ris and walked by her side. She hadn’t needed to justify her thoughts or her opinions, she didn’t need to tell her of the potential plan she was formulating, but if she hoped to get the Lieutenant Commander on side, it was probably crucial to any future success together. She had to have her on side. One thing was certain though; the woman’s whole demeanour gave nothing away and that unnerved the Trill somewhat. Captain Ramsey was like a book; she could read him easily and that made working with the Captain incredibly easy. This woman though, daughter of an Admiral, was giving no clues away.

Kirran took a right onto the bridge, which was a hive of activity. She looked over at Lieutenant Scott and gave a courteous nod as she moved to the command chairs. She situated herself on her old side and pressed a button on the arm of the chair. The familiar chime rang out as she lifted the phone from the receiver. She looked at Commander Nazir as she finally spoke. “All hands hear this. All hands hear this,” her eyes locked on Nazir’s, very seriously, yet much more gently than before. “This is the XO. As of this moment, I am transfering command of the Nogura to Commander Keziah Nazir, formally of the Venture. Standby for a greeting from your new commander.” She stepped back from the chair and gave Nazir a nod.

Keziah acknowledged the Commander with a smile and a nod as she looked around the bridge. “This is the Commander,” she declared proudly over the comm. “Today has been a trying one for us all. If you were a believer, you would be forgiven for thinking your gods had abandoned us, but it is not us they have abandoned. We are the lucky ones, we have survived. Together, we will continue to survive for many days to come. It won’t be easy and we won’t be able to do it here. We’re going to have to flee our homeworlds, our home system. We’re going to have to find somewhere new to call home. But, at the same time, we mount our resistance against our common enemy. We harass, we annoy, we hijack and we destroy any Borg force we come across. We let them know in no uncertain terms that the Federation lives on because we are the lucky ones and they…” she looked around the room at those that were listening to her as she spoke, “they have failed. We have proved that resistance is futile, and we will continue to resist until our last, dying breath.”

She took a breath for a minute and considered her next words. They would be important, they would have to be effective and they would have to galvanize hier new crew. “In the coming days, people will join us here. They will join this family. That’s what we are now; not just a starship, but a home and those of us that live and work aboard her are a family that depend on one another. I expect to be able to rely on you to do your duty with dedication and a great sense of pride. In return, you can expect me to guide you to the safety of a new home – for that is our mission now; to seek out and colonize a new home. Nogura may be damaged, she may be understaffed, but she is one hell of a fighting machine. She is an angel of mercy in a time of great sorrow and we, her crew, no, her family, are the guardians of the fleet. Mourn your losses, but be sure to celebrate your triumphs. They will keep you alive on the dark days when it seems all is lost. So say we all!” she declared, almost in a sense of triumph as she tapped her commbadge. So say we all; a phrase her Captain had used to galvanize his troops, and it was a tradition she would now carry aboard the Nogura.

“So say we all.” Kirran repeated after the Commander, a small smile on her face. Around the bridge, the Nogura’s officers were repeating the chant over and over again. She didn’t join in, but her smile did broaden considerably as she slipped into the executive officer’s chair. Her gaze kept drifting back to the woman who now sat in the command chair, and she looked at her with a strong sense that she had made the right decision. Only time would tell, of course. Anyone could make promises. She was usually very cynical and didn’t believe in much of anything except herself and, perhaps, her father. But in this woman, even if just for a few seconds, she chose to believe. A little hope was much needed. “So say we all.” she said again, nodding.