SIM:Lysander, Malcolm/The Curse of Daris 2 Strikes Again! (Part 2)

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The Wolf

Back on StarBase 118...

::Brushing his nails over his uniform, Tristan takes one more look at them before non-chalantly turning back to his computer and taking a deep breath::

WOLF: Computer, open channel to Captain Malcolm Lysander, aboard the USS Phoenix - C.

::The computer beeps as the "CONNECTING" logo shows on the computer. Wolf waits for a few moments before inspecting his nails again vainly. The admiral is an impatient man, and he will not wait long before making Lysander pay for his slowness. Luckily for the good captain, he shows up just in time::

LYSANDER: ::Cautiously:: Good evening Admiral, what can I help you with?

::Wolf blinks and stares for a moment, giving Lysander just enough time to start sweating a little.::

WOLF: You did very well in your final tests in the command program Captain, congratulations.

::Lysander again eyes the screen cautiously on his end. The two have had enough dealings in the past the captain to know his place in the hierarchy of StarBase 118. The Admiral is a man to be feared, and loathed. Few are his friends, and with good reason... most who get close to the Admiral end up dead::

LYSANDER: Thank you Admiral. I appreciate your thoughts. If you don't mind me speaking freely though--

WOLF: I DO!

LYSANDER: My apologies.

WOLF: ::Nodding:: I have some bad news Captain.

::Lysander sighs a little, his shoulders slumping. The year has been tough for Malcolm Lysander, and more bad news is the last thing he needs to deal with::

LYSANDER: What is it, Admiral?

WOLF: Unfortunately, the Chancellor of Hyperion University died this morning in sickbay. My condolences.

::Malcolm blinks, before letting his head fall. Xalor was a good friend, who enjoyed more than few interesting tea-breaks with::

LYSANDER: Is there ... anything else Admiral?

WOLF: Don't rush me, Captain.

::The Admiral pauses, waiting for Lysander to respond with an apology perhaps. None comes. Wolf shifts in his seat and picks up an antique pen, fiddling with it in his fingers as he glances around his spacious ready room. At the moment, his ready room on the StarBase is larger than the Captain's quarters on the Phoenix::

WOLF: Do you remember what was discussed in the final meeting of the staff at the command training, Captain Lysander?

::Malcolm looks up, his eyes full of both fire and worry. The things discussed in the final meeting of the command training were delicate subjects, things that could put many people in danger::

LYSANDER: Yes Admiral, unfortunately I do.

WOLF: Good. The Phoenix will be receiving a data package from the StarBase encoded in level 1. Use your encryption keys to open the file and carry out the orders immediately. Any questions?

LYSANDER: No Admiral.

WOLF: Good, Wolf out.

::Wolf gives a half smile as he slams his computer closed, stands up, and leaves his ready room::

Unwanted Secrets

Lysander learns that he must initiate an ultra-secret project that he was informed of during the final days of his command training.

::Lysander sits, aghast for a while. Xalor, a cordial friend, dead... and the Versaille project. Is Wolf mad? Is he really planning to put the project into effect?!::

TOLQU: =/\= Captain, incoming data package from the StarBase, for you. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= Send it through to my ready room. =/\=

::The computer beeps and Lysander's eyes focus on his desktop again::

LYSANDER: Decode message, authorization Lysander - Zeta - Code 1 - Lysander.

COMPUTER: Voice authorization accepted. Decoding message, and preparing to display.

::In a burst of words, the computer scrolls through information on the desktop computer. Versaille.::

::The captain moans to himself as the pieces begin to fall into place. The colony, the Phoenix... They had to get out of here now. Jumping from his seat, the captain slams his hand on his com badge and pages the bridge::

LYSANDER: =/\= BRIDGE! Where is the shuttle now?! =/\=

TACTICAL: =/\= The shuttle is on it's way down to the surface captain. They're approximately ten minutes from landing. =/\=

::Lysander stops and cringes. The Admiral has sent his orders. In this situation... orders must be followed. Most dire consequences may result... The captain bursts forward in a jog up the stairs to the bridge::

LYSANDER: Helm! Set in a course, relative heading: bearing 3-4-5 degrees, mark 0-1-9, warp 8!

::Most of the crew stops to stare at the captain. That course will lead them out of the Daris system and roughly towards the Cardassian empire, leaving the away team behind, and stranded::

TACTICAL: Captain--

LYSANDER: I said do it!!

::The second tactical officer, present in Locke's absense, snaps to attention::

TACTICAL: I'd like it noted in the log that this is an unsafe course of action and ...

LYSANDER: ::Turning towards the tactical officer:: Fine!! It will be noted in the log!! I am not asking for your opinion on the matter though, officer, I'm asking you to do your duty and obey my command.

TACTICAL: ::Pausing:: Yes sir!!

LYSANDER: Engage!!

::The powerful engines of the new Steamrunner-Wolverine class ship roar like thunder in engineering as the ship banks heavily in a 180 degree arc. The warp nacelles light, flash, and punch the Phoenix through eight layers of warp, away from Servik, Nis, Jones, Locke, and the rest of the away team...::

Capture

The Phoenix races towards a destination unknown to the crew aboard. Meanwhile, back at Daris, the away team is captured by the Quetzacoatl, also a Steamrunner class ship.

::The Phoenix speeds away from the colony as the captain's stomach flutters nervously. The captain is a straight shooter, follows orders ... but this is just plain unethical. Not only has he been forced to leave his officers stranded, but now he must do something he doesn't agree with, at all::

::The Malkusian way of life is peace and prosperity. Ideals are based on the sacredness of life in every being, from plant to woman. The captain's choice of careers was only under the personal promise of never unnecesarily destroying life. The Versaille project is the essence of everything not Malkusian::

::In time the captain focus' from the stupor that had held him for well over two hours in his chair. Blinking, he looks to Tolqu, at helm::

LYSANDER: Increase to top speed ensign.

::Lysander cracks his knuckles, a habit he lost once he took command of the StarBase. Tolqu nods and pushes the graphic slider up the console, tapping a few buttons here and there::

TOLQU: Approaching maximum speed, captain. 9.2... 9.25... 9.3... 9.35...

::There is a long pause as Malcolm cracks the knuckles on his other hand. The crew is both busy and silent, focusing intently on their stations, and trying to not think about the officers they left behind on Daris::

LYSANDER: Well?!

::Tolqu fidgets nervously::

LYSANDER: Faster damnit, faster!! Who's in engineering?!

SECURITY: Ensign Chion Khi, Captain...

LYSANDER: Who the hell is that?

SECURITY: New officer. Came in on the Exeter.

LYSANDER: Fine. =/\= Khi, this is your Captain. I need more power. =/\=

KHI: =/\= Sir the systems are already working at maximum capacity. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= That's not f*****g good enough Khi!! =/\=

::This time a few of the crew look up from their work, while others work faster, attempting to block out the the Captain's irrational behavior. Toullis, who Lysander didn't notice had returned to the bridge, is eyeing the captain, probably wondering whether he's fit for duty or not::

LYSANDER: =/\= Khi, I need this ship to move faster. You may be new here, but that doesn't excuse you from forgetting I have officers waiting on Daris right now for us to return!! LET'S MOVE!! =/\=

KHI: =/\= I see sir, but I don't know what I can give ya; our maximum rated speed is warp 9.5. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= I KNOW this ship is only max rated at 9.5, but that's NOT what I was asking!! =/\=

::The captain begins to pace, one hand rubbing his chin while the other rests on his waist. As he paces, the ship begins to shiver just slightly. A few moments pass and the shivering becomes full jittering::

2nd TAC: Captain if we continue to accelerate like this... structural integrity is being questioned...

TOLQU: Approaching warp 9.67...

LYSANDER: Well there goes the speed record...

2nd TAC: I must protest captain! No sizable advantage can be reached by pushing the ship any faster...

LYSANDER: Thank you tactical, you are dissmissed. Return to your quarters for the day. Tolqu, get me someone else to man tactical, immediately.

::The shuddering begins to subside a little as the ship stops accelerating at around warp 9.69. A hum can still be heard, as well as rattling below everyone's feet. The seven officers on the bridge are unsure of what to make of their captain in this state.::

LYSANDER: Helm, locate the planet marked in the computers as Alpha-Base 45.

::As predicted, the planet's location and information is classified. Lysander turns to the crew::

LYSANDER: I am about to carry out orders from Admiral Tristan Scott Wolf of StarBase 118. Let the record show that all officers aboard are ordered to secrecy and any breach of this gag order will result in punishment handed down from Admiral Wolf. This punishment may include imprisonment or execution. Being StarFleet officers you are bound by the duties of your post and thus must follow these orders.

::Without waiting for a response, the captain takes his seat and taps his seat-side console. There is a small hum before the captain begins speaking, as the captain's chair judges the captain's weight and height, verifying that it is, in fact, him::

LYSANDER: Computer, accept authorization Lysander - Zeta - Code 2 - Lysander.

COMPUTER: Voice authorization accepted. Body weight test acccepted. Input orders.

LYSANDER: Carrying out Section 3 of Versaille project.

COMPUTER: Acknowledged.

::The main viewscreen is suddenly active with images. Maps and pictures flash on the screen. The final image holds on screen. The picture is of a lush planet, about the size of earth. The image magnifies to show a large colony on the planet, the center piece of which seems to be a large industrial structure. At the top of the screen, the words "Alpha-Base 45" appear::

LYSANDER: Tactical, load all torpedo banks and charge phasers.

::Silently, the order is carried out::

LYSANDER: Helm, you will find the exact coordinates of that colony in your console. Bring us within range of that structure, matching appropriate planet rotation and speed.

::The Phoenix's awe-inspiring body drops out of warp and flies in above the structure::

LYSANDER: ::Whispering to himself:: Goddess forgive me.

LYSANDER: Tactical, fire all weapons on structure on my mark.

TACTICAL: Captain?

LYSANDER: Violation of orders will result in death, officer.

::Reaching down, the captain opens a small compartment directly underneath his seat and pulls out a hand phaser::

LYSANDER: Fire, tactical.

::There is only a momentary pause before, on screen, the crew watches a volley of moving death leave the phoenix. Four quantum torpedos, a sustained burst from the type X phaser bank, and six phaser canon's all fire in unison. In the blink of an eye the weapons fire again and again. The colony erupts into fire as everyone watches in horror, save for the captain, who's eyes are averted but stony::

TACTICAL: ::Slowly:: The colony has been destroyed, Captain.

LYSANDER: How many life signs were present before we fired.

TACTICAL: Over a thousand.

LYSANDER: Helm, set in a course at maximum speed for Daris II. Engage.

::The captain stands and walks wearily off the bridge, to his quarters, where he collapses into the bed::

Mutiny

As the captain learns of a mutiny aboard the Phoenix, the away team escapes the Quetzacoatl to the colony.

::The captain lies face down on the bed, breathing in his own hot air, and fighting back tears of rage. Admiral Wolf is a man with many connections, who would feel no remorse in demoting Lysander to ensign for the first thing that comes to mind, true or not. StarBase 118 is a remote outpost, and StarFleet doesn't monitor the station like it does some of the closer bases...::

::Lysander's mind drifts as his face becomes warm. The ship glides quietly, the ever present but barely detectable hum somewhat comforting at the moment. The bed is soft and inviting, and the quietness of his quarters lulls him to the edge of sleep...::

TOULLIS: =/\= Toullis to Lysander =/\=

::The computer's insanely loud chirp makes Malcolm flinch, as the ghosts of new-born dreams wisp away. Silence again, and the captain wonders if perhaps it was a dream. Closing his eyes again, Lysander rolls onto his back and kicks off his shoes. The colony's image burns steadly in his retina's suddenly, forcing him to open his eyes again. Toullis' voice is already out of mind, as Malcolm tries to find some peace in the moment. He wonders how many people were really on the colony... how many of the overseerers.... the real humans....::

::A pound on the door rips Lysander's eyes open again and he sits up. Another!::

::Cautiously, the captain stands, slipping into his shoes and moves silently and quickly to the console at his desk::

LYSANDER: Computer, lock door, erect forcefield. ::A chirp:: Name officers outside door and hypothesis intent.

COMPUTER: Officers Haynes and LeMoye, intent hostile.

LYSANDER: Who is commanding the bridge?!

COMPUTER: No senior officers are present on the bridge. Helm, operations and tactical are currently manned.

::The captain takes a moment to grasp the situation... has the crew been captured? Why didn't anyone warn him of a hostile force? Why were the officers outside his door attempting to force their way in? Had the Borg captured the ship?::

LYSANDER: ::muttering:: Can't be... the Borg are too far away. What the hell is going on here? ::Speaking up:: Computer, replicate phaser rifle.

COMPUTER: Replication platform is too small to hold a phaser rifle.

LYSANDER: Replicate a damn hand phaser then!!

::The computer chirps, and Lysander stands, walking quickly to the replicator to grab the phaser::

LYSANDER: Alright... Computer, disable force field and open door on my mark. ::The captain stands with his back to the wall right next to the door:: oO Where's Locke when I need him... Oo Mark.

::The doors to the room slide out of view as two officers dive through. Lysander fires his phaser, on heavy stun. The first officer is unfortunate enough to be hit, and is thrown backwards. The captain and the second officer fire at each other fire at each other at almost the same moment. Both hit each other and fall backwards::

::Silence ensues again for a few moments, before Lysander's eyes blink open. His lip curling, nausea flows over him and almost forces him back. Beating against the urge to fall back into a sleep, he pushes himself up, and stands::

::Picking up his phaser again, the captain loads the heaviest non-lethal stun onto his phaser and fires at the two. Then, after a few moment's rest on his feet, he takes a few deep breaths and grabs the assailant's arms, dragging them out of his quarters::

LYSANDER: Secure my quarters.

::The doors close behind the captain as he leaves the two where they lie. Walking cautiously down the hallway, Lysander heads to the nearest turbolift, on his way to the bridge::

::Just a minute and a half later, the doors to the lift open. The bridge is quiet, but three officers stand at their posts, edgy and nervous. Lysander walks on to the bridge, holding the phaser in the direction of the deck officer::

LYSANDER: No one move.

::The three glance at each other::

LYSANDER: What's going on here?

JOHNSON: A mutiny has been attempted, sir. We chose not to participate, and have stayed at our stations to keep the ship on course to the colony. We await your orders, Captain.

LYSANDER: Good. Highest warp back to the colony, if we're not already at it. Locate all officers who are participating in this mutiny that you know of, using the computers. And why haven't the security programs come online to stop this?

JOHNSON: They were disabled by the security officer.

LYSANDER: Figures. Alright, Johnson, you're with me, to the armory. Ops, secure the bridge module.

::Johnson and Lysander move down the stairs onto the second level of the bridge, to the concealed armory closet. Lysander breaks out the big guns and hands a few to Johnson, directing him to go back to the bridge. The captain, meanwhile goes to his ready room. Inside, he sits down at his desk and calls up the map the operations officer has made of the current situation. About half of the small crew has mutinied, while the rest attempt to hold them at bay::

::Nodding to himself, the Captain realizes that the mutineers are attempting to take engineering. Picking up his phaser rifle, he walks back onto the bridge, boards the turbolift, and calls for engineering::

The Best Defense...

As the away team at Daris 2 struggles to find clues as to what exactly is going on, the captain on the Phoenix defends himself, and his ship, against a mutinous crew.

::The captain arms his weapon, preparing himself for the worst. En route, his com badge chirps, as Tolqu attempts to contact him::

LYSANDER: Pause lift.

::The lift stops, and Lysander gives Tolqu the go-ahead::

TOLQU: =/\= Captain the ship has mutineers, myself and Piper are on our way to engineering. There, Piper will attempt to vent a knock out gas, as this is where they are heading. When we are unconcious, you then can come in and sort out the bodies. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= No, don't do that just yet. Khi and Toullis are loyal, and are in Engineering. Wait until I arrive before acting. Stay out of the way until then! =/\= Continue to engineering, computer.

::The lift does not move. The Captain repeats his order, to no avail. Swearing to himself, he looks around. Either the rebels have isolated his position and are attempting to keep him in one place, or the computer is being toyed with by the rebels. Either way, not a good situation. Lysander hoists himself onto the handrail on the side of the lift and punches through the escape hatch. Standing on the roof of the lift, he looks upwards into the enormous shaft of the lift and frowns. Engineering is still below him. Sighing, he grabs hold of a rung of the ladder on the side of the shaft and climbs slowly up the nearest entry to a jefferies tube. Once inside, he curses himself for forgetting to grab a tricorder as he starts crawling. With no map or way to find out what is going on in engineering, he's pretty much lost in the woods::

::Thinking for a moment, the captain pushes the rifle onto his back and straps it more comfortably into place before beginning crawling down the tube. Soon enough, he is at a hall access point, where he disengages the hatch, and rolls into the hallway. It is empty thankfully enough. Checking door markings directly across from him, the captain finds himself oriented to deck five, two decks above engineering. Nodding to himself, he stands and jogs down the corridor, winding his way around the silent hallways::

::His thoughts wandering for just a moment, the captain is surprised by the chirp of his com badge::

MARX: =/\= Marx to Captain, prepare for transport. =/\=

::The sounds of a phaser shot makes Malcolm bounce out of the way. One of the rebels runs forward, shooting twice more, and just barely missing the captain::

LYSANDER: =/\= ANY TIME MARX!! =/\=

::Ripping the rifle from his back, the captain fires repeatedly at the rebel, missing just the same as he attempts to the dodge the other's shots. Giving a loud grunt, Malcolm slams his powerful legs down on the deck and manipulates his body weight as he learned in training. The captain does an ungraceful backflip/roll to his knees and fires again at the rebel, who has been joined by another. Hitting the first, he pushes his way to his feet and jumps to his left, flying into a science lab. His shoulder slams into the ground as he slides on the smooth floor into a shelving unit. The whitness of the transporter grabs him just as the shelves fall, delivering the captain from the harm of acidic chemicals::

::Breathing deeply, Lysander finds himself standing in front of Marx, in one of two transporter rooms on the ship. Marx, Toullis, and a number of other loyal officers are present. Tolqu and Piper are not::

LYSANDER: Just in time, as always... What's our current status?

MARX: There are about 30 mutineers, who have spaced themselves out around the ship. We have control of some of the ship systems, and they have others. They've locked out the security protocols, though we have access to the transporters, and the bridge obviously. We had to fall back from engineering, though some of the officers are still fighting it out there.

LYSANDER: Understood --

JOHNSON: =/\= Captain, we've just recieved a notice from Tolqu, stating that he has Hayes in his site. They're in engineering. He says he has manged to get the shielding around the area down, and that he has the location of the rebels in engineering, for us to beam them to the brig. =/\=

::The captain glances at the officers assembled before responding::

LYSANDER: =/\= Alright, tell him to hold his position, and if possible, go ahead and beam those officers to the brig. How many do you have? =/\=

JOHNSON: =/\= 10, sir. =/\=

LYSANDER: That still leaves us with another 20. Without Hayes though, they may not have a movement.

JOHNSON: =/\= We have the 10 in the brig, Captain. =/\=

LYSANDER: =/\= Good work Johnson. =/\= Alright everyone, let's get to the bridge, at least from there we can lock out the controls and get on our way back to the colony.

::Motioning to the group, they assemble on the transporter pad as the captain sets the coordinates for the bridge. The group dissapears a few moments later::

The Soft Light

The captain attempts to bring the mutiny to an end, while Counselor Toullis uncovers information he thinks may shed light on what happened at AB45.

::The captain's face is stony as he strides onto the bridge. The mood is serious and tense. Toullis, Marx and the few other officers take positions, then look to Malcolm for word on what to do::

TOLQU: =/\= Captain the rebels have been transported out of the engineering room. Piper has an injured member of crew, he was shoot by Hayes and several other members of the rebels. Piper reckons it's serious, we will attempt to get to the medical bay... unless you want me on the bridge sir? Or you can transport her there if you can? How is everything going sir? =/\=

::Tolqu sounds scared, and with good reason. His first mission aboard the Phoenix places him in a serious position: StarFleet officer against StarFleet officer. The bridge is quiet as always, and dark, as battle-red-alert mode is engaged, although no enemy stands outside the ship. The red blinking lights pulse brightly as the white emergency lights shine stark brightness onto the crew::

LYSANDER: Someone get me the security protocols back online. ::Standing, the captain touches his com badge:: =/\= Tolqu, don't take any chances. Escort Piper to sick bay and aid her as need be. Don't forget we have a working EMH aboard if necessary. And if you see any other wounded officers, help them, even if they're rebels. They're all still your crewmen. I know you're a green officer here, but just remember that we're with you, and we're watching you. You're not alone Tolqu. =/\=

::Sending some words of encouragement to Tolqu make's Lysander's soul a little lighter. He cannot afford the power of a site-to-site transport, as that card has been pulled too many times already, considering that most of the systems are locked out::

LYSANDER: Someone, give me ship-wide address.

::He pauses and waits for the order to be carried out. A light above the main screen blinks green, indicating that the entire ship can hear Lysander's voice::

LYSANDER: This is your Captain, Malcolm Lysander. I order all rebels aboard to stand-down now from their positions and report to the brig. Don't make this harder than it has to be. ::The captain pauses for a moment to think, before continuing. Sweat beads on his forehead as his black hair shines as well with perspiration:: You've all stood with me in battle, whether it be against the Maquis on our first mission, or against the Romulan in one of our most dismal. I would not bring you into any situation that would jeopordize your integrity, or your honor. What actions were committed today I cannot explain to you, nor can I allow any blame to be placed upon you because of them. Perhaps some day you will know the reasons why we carried out the orders we did, but maybe not. Whatever happens, just remember that you ARE StarFleet officers! ::His voice rises in climax:: And you STILL have a duty to your command! Be assured that I will let no harm to come to you... but only if you stand with me. Lysander out.

::The captain gives the motion for the signal to be cut as he breathes deeply, turning back to the main screen before taking his seat. Resting his elbows on his legs, he hangs his head in solemn thought. Toullis approaches::

TOULLIS: Sir? What do you make of it...

::The ensign hands the captain a PADD. Lysander looks up for a moment before reading a few lines. He hands the PADD back to Toullis::

LYSANDER: Don't believe everything you read Toullis.

::Giving the counselor one more look, the captain stands, and leaves the bridge for his ready room::

Defector

As order is restored on the Phoenix-C, the away team works to find clues, and stay alive. The Quetzacoatl dissapears for a few minutes, and then returns. Soon after, a member of her ship defects to the Phoenix.

::The captain hadn't been in his ready room for more than a few moments, seated in his couch with head in hands, before the computer chirped, and he was paged to the bridge. Standing, with a sigh, Lysander plodded heavily through the hallway and up the stairs onto the bridge. All posts were now manned, though some officers were at posts they don't normally take::

LYSANDER: What is it now?

::The helm officer looks up, a bit nervous. Tolqu is in sickbay, helping Piper, and the new ensing sitting in his chair is unexperienced with the helm::

HELM: We are approaching Daris 2, Captain. Instructions?

LYSANDER: Put us on yellow alert. Immediately begin scanning for our crewmembers. Can some one give me an internal status report?

::This time, the temporary security officer is the one to look up. It is Marx::

MARX: Captain, we have most of the renegades in the brig. There are a few who are still giving our team some trouble, but they will be dealt with. For the most part, I have the security protocols back on line.

LYSANDER: How long will it take for full repairs?

MARX: Only a day or so, with the proper crew members, of course.

LYSANDER: Of course...

HELM: Captain, we have an incoming shuttle at low warp.

::Malcolm moves to his command chair and pulls up information on the main screen, from his console. The ship appears to be from the Quetzacoatl, which has returned to the colony since the Phoenix left::

LYSANDER: =/\= Tolqu, get up here, I need you ASAP. Leave Piper with the EMH. =/\=

LYSANDER: Com, open a channel and request the intentions of the shuttle.

LYSANDER: =/\= Lysander to Chi: I need a status report please. Where are you, and what's engineering look like? =/\=

COM: Captain, the shuttle's officer has requested asylum. He says he has no hostile intentions, and has escaped the renegade ship.

::Lysander pauses for a moment, considering::

LYSANDER: ETA, helm?

HELM: We're about a half a minute from Daris, Captain.

LYSANDER: Drop us out of warp, and notify the shuttle we will grant asylum.

LYSANDER: =/\= Lysander to Tolqu: Scratch the trip to the bridge Sava, I need you to report to the shuttle bay with Marx to greet an incoming officer. He will bring down weapons. Be careful! =/\=

::The ship falls out of warp, and into full impulse. The shuttle immediately does the same as the tractor beam engages. The Phoenix's shields drop for a few moments as the shuttle moves in and the captain begins to sweat again, just a little. As the shields power up again, Marx leaves the bridge for the armory before heading down to the shuttle bay. Lysander stands, stretches and yawns for a moment, before focusing again on the main screen. Daris 2 looms in the view as the Phoenix's powerful hull moves in closer::

TACTICAL: Captain, the colony's shields have been erected, and we're reading half power being generated.

::Lysander frowns and turns, walking to the tactical station to look over the officer's shoulder. The tac officer points and gestures to some of the readings::

TACTICAL: I've located most of our crew by their com badges, as well as the shuttle. The renegade crew is using modified badges, but I can still read them... only because of our new equipment, however.

LYSANDER: Looks like they're going to need some help.

::Moving back to the center of the bridge, the captain addresses the computer::

LYSANDER: =/\= Lysander to any away team member: Please report in immediately. =/\=

::Pausing, he takes a seat::

LYSANDER: Now, we wait.

::Just when Lysander thought he'd get a spare moment to rest, before dealing with the away team, someone com's to the bridge::

TOLQU: =/\= Captain one of the prisoners has kidnapped Piper... he has left the sick-bay. I still have seven rebels here I cannot leave them unattended, Piper's comm badge is damaged and I can't do anything. She means more than life to me Captain but I won't leave my post, please help. =/\=

::Groaning to himself, the captain leaves the bridge to the few officers there, and runs to the armory, below the bridge. Marx is just walking out::

LYSANDER: Marx, contact Toullis and take him with you instead.

::Malcolm pulls a rifle off the wall and powers it up::

LYSANDER: I'm going to sickbay.

::Jogging again down the corridor behind Marx, the two board the turbolift and Marx taps his com badge and pages Toullis. The lift moves into motion, dropping Lysander off near sickbay::

::Moving cautiously out of the lift, as Marx is whisked away to another deck, the captain slides down the hallway and into sickbay. Tolqu is nervously holding a number of ragged renegades at phaser point::

LYSANDER: ALRIGHT! EVERYONE UP!!

::Most are injured and tired from the fight, but Lysander gives them no pity. Pulling a few to their feet, he hears scattered moans and whimpers. Moving them into a tightly packed group, the captain taps his com badge::

LYSANDER: =/\= Khi, do we have enough power to start site-to-sites? =/\=

KHI: =/\= Aye captain... =/\=

LYSANDER: Computer, site to site transport of marked officers to brig cells.

::The small group shimmers out, one by one, as the computer attempts to save some energy. That problem solved, the captain grabs Tolqu by the arm and speaks to him bluntly::

LYSANDER: Alright, I know you're a greenhorn, but you have to pull yourself together. Tell me where they went.

::Tolqu directs the captain to the left, out of sickbay::

LYSANDER: Board the turbolift and go directly to the bridge. I'll take care of this guy...

::Nodding to Tolqu, the captain heads off in the direction of the renegade::

Chain of Command

A violation of orders on the Phoenix leaves one crewmember dead. On Daris, the away attempts to shut down the containment shield over the colony, in an attempt to return to the Phoenix. The tremors continue to grow stronger.

::The Captain paces down the hallway, holding the gun in his left hand as he steadies his breathing. Combat training 101 begins to come back to him. Just a few moments later, Lysander hears what seems to be Marx's scream. Around the corner, Marx dissapears as Piper takes charge::

::Malcolm continues slowly down the corridor, being cautious. He jumps, just a little, as his com badge goes off::

TOULLIS: =/\= Toullis to Captain. Ensign Piper has knocked Crewman Yedhru out. He was the last rebel free. However, before he was hit, he vaporized Marx.=/\=

::Lysander pauses for a moment, feeling the loss in what would seem to be a rising star among his crew. Continuing down the hall way, a little slower, he comes into the conference room to find Piper addressing Toullis::

PIPER: ... in sickbay. Are you alone?

LYSANDER: Toullis, what the hell are you doing here? I sent you to the shuttlebay.

TOULLIS: I know. I take full responsibility for the death of Lt. jg. Marx and am ready to receive appropriate punishment.

::The captain's face hardens. If Toullis and Marx had only followed orders, this wouldn't have happened, and he could have taken care of this situation::

LYSANDER: Toullis, I'm dissapointed in you... ::Malcolm looks away:: Return to your quarters until further notice.

::Piper's face drops as tears begin to fall. Lysander moves forward and pulls the new ensign close, comforting her::

LYSANDER: This was not your fault Kelly... I know this first mission has been hard for you, but it will get easier, I promise.

::Malcolm's face softens as he holds her at arms length, smiling::

LYSANDER: You're relieved of duty, ensign, for the next day. Spend some time in your quarters while you can.

::Giving the ensign a pat on the shoulder, he sends her on her way::

LYSANDER: =/\= Lysander to Tolqu, Piper would like to see you I'm sure. She's headed to her quarters. You are relieved of duty for the next few hours. =/\=

::Heading out of the conference room, Lysander calls for a security officer to retrieve Vedhru, before stepping onto a turbolift for the bridge. Once there, he requests the current status report, to find no one has responded to the ship's hails to the away team. Sighing, the captain thinks for a few moments. He knows they're down there, however he cannot retrieve them due to the erect forcefield around the colony. As well, risking more crewmembers lives would be dangerous::

::Blinking, the captain realizes the defecting officer from the renegade ship, still has not been greeted::

LYSANDER: Will someone please help our guest to the bridge?

::The ops officer types busily away at his console as he directs a few crewmembers to find the defector, and bring him to the bridge. In the meantime the captain requests a full scan of the surrounding area. Just a few moments later, the computer tracks down the exact location of the ailing Quetzacoatl::

LYSANDER: Open a channel. ::Pause:: =/\= This is Captain Lysander of the USS Phoenix - C. Dis-engage your cloaking device and state your purpose in this area. If you do not respond within 10 minutes, I will be forced to take action on your vessel. You are in direct violation of StarFleet protocol. Respond immediately. =/\=

::Taking a seat, the captain continues to think. So far, the ship hasn't gotten too many breaks! Chi is still unheard from in engineering. Toullis is locked in his quarters with the possibility of serious trouble after his, and Marx's violation of orders resulting in a death. Piper and Tolqu are off duty to recover from the recent madnes. A good 1/3 of the crew is in sickbay being attended to by the EMH. The defector is on his way to the bridge, and he no one on the Phoenix has heard word from Servik, Locke, Jones, or Nis and the rest of the away team::

TACTICAL: Captain, the colony has just experienced a massive earthquake. Numerous fissures have opened.

::Lysander curses himself. An opening with nothing to take advantage of it with. He has no choice but sit, and wait...::

Questions and Attacks

The Quetzacoatl's crew beams back to their ship, their mission apparently finished. Captain Jodor quickly makes contact with Lysander before leaving the system. Back on Daris, the crew discovers the tremors are being articifically created. They continue to worsen. The away team finally beams back aboard the Phoenix, and quickly finds the problem: a device in the planet's surface creating the earthquakes. Servik and Nis transport to the surface and disable the device. Cmdr. Valeris, once the Chief Engineer of the Hammond, comes to the bridge. Servik grills her on just why she was on the Colony in the first place. She notes that she was attempting to find some personal items which were left during the evacuation. During this scene, the Quetzacoatl returns, decloaks, and begins firing. The captain, apparently stricken, takes no action. Servik takes command as the defector, Kim, gives him the shield frequencies of the enemy ship. The Phoenix fires repeatedly, and disables her opposing twin. Soon, the captain awakens, and again takes command.

::Lysander looks up at the screen, his face breaking from what seemed like the icy grip of a coma. It shatters into fine, fine wrinkles, just beginning to inch their way into the corners of his eyes with old age. A blink, and then another. The tired eyes, which have been open for minutes, water profusely for a moment, creating tears which drips quickly and dissapear. Space sits onscreen, and the bridge seems a bit complacent for the current situation. People are talking in forced tones, as if the captain were not there. Slowly, Malcolm places his weary arms onto the chair and heaves himself upward. Looking around, the captain attempts to clear his head of the fog that had settled in, and recognize what is happeneing::

LOCKE: Shields deactivated and missing a warp nacelle. Those are obvious. Minor hull damage and power level at 80%.

::Turning his head slowly back towards Servik, who still seems unaware that the captain has woken from his stupor, the XO responds::

SERVIK: Do they still have weapons capability?

LOCKE: Yes.

SERVIK: How about the cloaking device?

::Lysander's head follows the two back and forth, soaking in the information::

LOCKE: Possibly. But it may be less effective with the loss of the warp nacelle.

SERVIK: Lock on to every officer on the Bridge of the Quetzcoatl and beam them directly to the brig.

SERVIK: Ensign Kim...Please accompany me to the brig. I require your assistance in questioning our prisoners.

::Servik and Kim look to the captain, a bit startled to see him staring back. Servik nods and heads out. Locke, Piper, and Tolqu are on the bridge, at the stations, waiting expectantly. Jones is unaccounted for at the moment, as is Nis, and Chi, the captain, theorizes, is quietly working in engineering. Toullis is the only other crew member, though he is in his quarters, awaiting punishment. Taking a deep breath, the captain looks at each of the crew members, looking at them for a few moments a piece, realizing their exhaustion. Sitting down again, his hands clasped as his elbows rest on his knees, the captain gazes at the viewscreen. The blackness is as cold as ever, and the stars twinkle icily in the abyss::