Star Trek: Defiant
"Stereotypes Broken" - Part 2D
Written by Valas Maerret
As Harvey, the decoy, ran out of sight, Mak slipped out from under a grating and headed for the conduit station. He heard a group of soldiers on the level below him, running toward all the commotion, and therefore away from him. He reached the station and began ripping off the panels. No time to be pretty, he thought. With that, he inserted a round device into the conduit casing. It was a little gadget Harvey had found, which was used by the technicians here. Harvey made a few adjustments, though, so that it should make quite a nice explosion. Mak set it up and made haste away. He didn't want to be around to observe the detonation, which was a little more dramatic than he would have liked.
Hardin held his breath, not daring to move. He had been behind the conduit casing on the other side of Goldswell when the soldiers busted into the room with phasers and disruptors blazing. Stolnick, however, was in plain sight. Hardin heard him scream as he was vaporized. In all the chaos, Hardin was able to dive into a service duct in an effort to avoid the same fate. He could only hope they didn't see him.
He guessed that the soldiers were perfrorming a quick check of the room, and hoped that any sensing devices they were using weren't that accurate. All the various damping in the site would give him some cover, he reasoned. After a minute he heard them storm away. He thought it best to continue down the service duct.
* * *"Admiral Schell, we are receiving a priority signal from Mars Central Control," stated a lovely young officer after hurredly entering the Admiral's office.
The Admiral put down his coffee and cocked an eyebrow at the apparent urgency. "What is it, Dianne?"
"Sir, there appears to be a series of malfunctions at Goldswell. We've just lost all antimatter containment feeds."
The Admiral rises from his chair. "What?"
"Details are sketchy, but about 15 minutes ago, all communications from Goldswell ceased. They sent a couple of messages from independent tranmitters saying that repairs we're under way, however we have yet to hear from any of the station's directors or from repair teams that were sent from New Boston. Then, about one minute ago, the reactor feeds went dead. Commander Blair from Planitia is sending a couple shuttles to investigate. Long range exterior scans of the site indicate that the antimatter bunkers are intact.
Admiral Schell wears a concerned visage as he soaks up the news.
"Get me Commander Blair on subspace," he orders, "and brief the Commander and Chief."
* * *Harvey races around a corner, being closely pursued by eight soldiers and a Tactical Assault Drone. He'd have to remember to thank Mak for giving him this end of the bargain - if he lived through the ordeal. After dodging a host or near misses from disruptors, he reached the door and quickly shut it after passing through.
The soldiers raced up to the door and two Nausicaans began to open it. The hovering droid had scanned beyond the door and learned something that the soldiers were not aware of.
"Tactical danger," it states in its deep, computer generated voice. "Stand fast - Do not pursue that..."
But it was too late. The device Harvey had rigged to the door went off as soon as it opened. The explosion was a little more dramatic than Harvey would have liked, and although he did not get the brunt of the blast, it scorched him fairly well. Not stopping to see what damage was inflicted on himself or his enemies, he kept running down the corridor, and entered a service duct.
* * *Colonel Graff carefully surveyed the remains of the conduit station that had recently erupted in explosion. He ran a hand across his bald head.
"It appears we have some heroes in our midst," he states emotionlessly.
The Nausicaan beside him gives him only an unanswering stare.
Graff continues, "Special forces will arrive in no more than five minutes now. I hope you are ready."
"We still need 10 minutes of..."
"Well we don't have 10 minutes!" Graff yells at his associate. That was perhaps the first time the Nausicaan had ever heard Graff loose his calm. It wouldn't be the last.
"I'd say it's time we give The Federation our terms," The Nausicaan replies calmly.
* * *"Gentlemen, please be seated," states Admiral Schell to the many high ranking Starfleet personnel in the conference room. "We have received word that the the antimatter processing site, Goldswell, has been completely taken over by unknown forces. They have taken all of the station workers as hostages and placed them in various areas of the site. They are also apparently rigging all of the reactors and antimatter storage bunkers with explosives, threatening to detonate them if their demands are not met."
"What would be the results of that action?" The Commander and Chief, Admiral Hollis, asks evenly.
General Kendall responds, "The site houses approximately 40 antimatter containment units, equivalent to the fuel of 1000 starships. Usually there is not this much fuel at the site at any one time, but the contamination that occured just recently forced them to increase production to replace the bad fuel. We can now assume this contamination was not accidental. Furthermore, the site incorporates half a dozen solar-fusion reactors to create the antimatter, along with a class 4 singularity. The simultaneous destruction of any two bunkers containing either antimatter or a reactor will result in what is termed the "Praxis Effect," which will result in the near total destruction of Mars."
"And what exactly are their terms?"
Admiral Schell hands him a padd. "Here they are - all of about 30. They are mostly concerning information regarding top of the line research in weaponry, biomedical technology, and intelligence on Federation activities. We've analyzed the data, and although they've taken great care to mask the source, we believe this operation was orchestrated by Cardassia."
A general murmur starts throughout the room. Admiral Hollis stares at the floor ominously.
"So it starts," he says. It had become more and more evident every day that Cardassia was planning to strike at the Federation. They simply had no idea that it would be this deep within the homeland. "What are the current plans?"
"A tactical strike is already under way," Schell responds. "Commander Blair from Planitia is overseeing the operation. All anti-terrorist procedures have gone into effect, and we are beginning to evacuate Mars. The evacuation will take time, however. There are 150 million in the planet, and they won't all be off for about 2 hours. Every ship in the vicinity is helping."
"How much time did they give us to comply?"
"What do we know about the terrorists?"
"Not much. The logs at the Utopia Orbital Station confirm that a single vessel, an antimatter frieghter, slipped in and was able to unload the personnel and equiptment to the planet. The vessel was abandoned in a hanger on the station. Teams are analyzing it now. As for how fanatical these people are, we can't be sure until we find out exactly who they are. I think we should assume they will be willing to die to support their claims."
"Then I should think that discretion would be advized in this strike."
"Yes, sir. We don't believe they have had time to fully set up the explosive devices, but we can't beam a strike team in until we take out the transporter scramblers, which we believe to be in these locations," Schell states, pointing to a holo-display of the facility. "The Herald and Defiant are standing by to surgically destroy these scramblers from orbit."
"And are there hostages in these locations?"
"Very well," Admiral Hollis nods gravely. "Proceed."
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