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Clearing The Halls

Posted on Wednesday March 31st, 2021 @ 12:28pm by Niyahra Riohn & Tiandith 'Tia' Tobru

Mission: Marauder's Map
Location: Lower Decks, abandoned California class vessel, Loki system
Timeline: During 'Hidden Gem'
1297 words - 2.6 OF Standard Post Measure

The four Latinum Guard had been instructed to follow the orders of this unknown person. They didn't really question it, they had been paid for their services and if the client wanted to take an active role in leading a fire team then they didn't really care. When the shit hit the fan they'd revert back to squad tactics anyway, "clear." the small living arrangements in the lower decks of this vessel really seemed like the design was slapped together haphazardly, making room for unaccounted for numbers, possibly marines or other shock-troops knowing the circumstances of the design. It made for a difficult time clearing the area, a lot of nooks and crannies to account for.

Walking through these halls gave Tia chills. It was like the past had caught up with her, the halls all that familiar of a world she lost, a life taken from her. In her mind she heard the dulled screams of the crew of her own ship, the Cavalry, the one she commanded as Starfleet fell. Not only that she was flagged by Latinum guards.

These were mercenaries and Tia had used them from time to time when expendable missions came up and she'd rather not risk her own. They were following her lead as the cleared the rooms one by one. These were crew quarters, civilian living spaces for some and it was easy to see that it looked a rushed design. It looked unfinished. Tia had heard of the California class but this was the first time she'd be inside one.

"You two check the port side cabin, we'll check the starboard side. Same as we have been doing, enter and clear. We'll mark the door frames with a circle for clear and a cross for unsafe." She said nodding to the two on her left to go ahead.

The starboard crew cabin doors were being difficult as it refused to open. "Manual it is then." she said as she gestured for one of the guards to do so whilst she can the other raised their weapons for entry.

As soon as the cranking of the door manual release began to work Tia heard a small hissing noise. Her head snapped back to the doors as they opened slightly and air began to be pulled through. The guard next to her took a head first dive through the gap but Tia grabbed him by the belt. She felt the pain in her shoulder, her injured shoulder ping with fire. The good doctor did tell her to take it easy after her impalement. "Close the doors! I'll get him back through!" She yelled as she held onto floor debris and began pulling the man back if only in small increments.

With his head through the cracked open doors, the man saw the debris and floating bits just a few meters away from himself, "Get me the fuck out of here!" He screamed, really not wanting to get sucked into the void that surrounded the ship, and apparently was reclaiming some parts of the ship already.

The two other Latinum Guards rushed across the corridor, one of them grabbed Tia by the arm and shoulder, to reinforce her grip on their mate. The second grabbed onto a leg and started pulling as well. It was a tug-of-war that they were bound to lose, for the universe had a much stronger arm and a much longer breath, "we need to get him out, Richard, we need to close the door!"

"Thanks for pointing out the obvious, Arnold!" The man identified as Richard bit back, using the rest of his energies in a more productive way and towards actually pulling their comrade back into the corridor.

Bit by bit they began to inch the unfortunate soul back through into the safer land of the living. "He is almost through. Once we have him through enough hit that latch next to the manual release. It will trigger the emergency closure mechanism that will shut this door." Tia shouted over the deafening noise of escaping air, if they weren't careful they would either go out with him or suffocate... two choices Tia did not like. She'd survived enough.

"He may lose the tip of his nose but we give one big pull and then hit the release on my mark." she said as she was the closest. With a nod and a large pull they yanked the man with all their might. Tia heard a small pop in her arm but ignored it as their action bore fruit.

With a loud hiss the doors closed shut, right in front of the face of the guardsman that had opened it. A loud thud followed as the counterpressure disappeared and all of them fell to the ground. There was a lot of loud panting and gasping for air, "Holy shit, those certainly were some reflexes." He looked over at the civvie that he had been teamed with and that had grabbed on to him before he could get fully pushed out, "I owe you big time."

"Oddly that is not the first time that has happened to me." Tia said dryly with a hint of humour. "But I am glad you are alright." She smiled softly. Even through all she had been through she still was a beacon of positivity, her smile could light up a room and sometimes it even made people forget even for a second of the world they lived in. "Lets try and be a bit more careful though? I do no think my injured shoulder can handle another attempt at stopping someone your size from meeting his makers..."

The guardsman nodded and looked both very thankful and apologetic towards Tia, "So, I guess that room's clear. Don't remember the Jem'hadar being able to survive in the vacuum of space." He made his way over to the other side and sat down against the wall to catch his breath. Clearly the near-death experience got to him a lot more than he wanted to show or admit, "You ever think that we're wasting our breaths? That the Dominion's oppression is insurmountable?"

"Never." Tia said without any pause or reservation. "I am over 2 centuries old and I have never lost faith in what Starfleet stood for, or seen anything like it. I joined them in the 30's as a security officer, a protector for those in need. A fresh faced Ensign became, well... a fresh faced Admiral until we lost more than a war. We lost ourselves, but never have I lost purpose or belief that we would beat them back." Tia realised she was essentially giving a speech, and it had been a long time since she sounded like her old Admiral self and not leader of a ragtag bunch of misfits trying to destabilise the Dominion one system at a time. There was times where she had to rally her people, these were her people now and she would rally them to see the path needed.

"The day we think we've lost is the day we have. There will be no breath long enough, or special enough, to stop them from winning if we give up. I have seen my crew die for the ideals I still hold on to, friends throw themselves at danger without a hope in hell of success and coming out without a scratch. We can win, and we will win." Tia said with conviction.

"Ooh-rah," One of the other guards present chimed in on that. The man sitting on the floor didn't seem fully convinced. The one that had uttered the ooh-rah put out his hand towards him and pulled him up from the ground, "remember, you're just here for the paycheck, let's finish the sweep, like professionals."


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