((USS Arrow - Deck 2; Main Engineering - Upper Level))
Alvarez: I'm nearly there re-configuring the chips. We can do this. Once we've got it, we can reboot the system, and hopefully assume control from here, and with any luck anesthezine will still be available on the environmental command controls. I don't know how else we're going to take care of our exceedingly large friend with his absurdly large weapon as well as his wingmen...Brom
: Should have got my bottle of scotch. It's home brewed, strong enough to strip the scales off a Gorn. ::He chuckled.:: But I wouldn't waste good hooch on these bastards. I'd finish the bottle meself: and smash it over their heads.
Maria smirked, imagining just how strong that stuff would have to be. Despite the insane chaos, she couldn't help but feel a bit of inner peace at the moment. Whatever was about to happen was the way it was going to be. The deafening roar of weapons fire crashing against the door reminded her of a harsh spring thunderstorm back home, and it somehow evoked the same calm. She'd never met any of these people before today, but had to confess she was pleased just to serve beside them even for a moment. A steely confidence mixed with her infectious delight, creasing her eyes in a manner that would have made a Klingon worry.
Alvarez: Sounds like a good death for a bottle of scotch. If this doesn't work, I'll be sure to find it for you, and we'll hold engineering to the last man... or woman.
: Right you lot! Enough romanticising. We need to barricade. That door won't hold!
Alvarez: :: Nodding in agreement. :: I'll probably need more time than we have. Is there any way to construct something? I'd take anything just to slow them down and give you some cover.
Brom: Heh! ::He cackled, suddenly struck with an idea.:: Nakada keeps a sofa round the back to crash on when he works late. Never goes back to his quarters that one.
Maria slipped back into the console and set back to work. It's moments like this she wished she had practiced more for her engineering classes. Of course, she didn't actually wish that, because that might have meant some instructor would have tried to move her to an engineering track, or (god forbid) a command track in the academy. If she had proven anything today, it's that she shouldn't be trusted around any starship parts that were even remotely complicated. It was hard for her to not be distracted from a different kind of engineering going on just a few meters away from her. She couldn't help but giggle-groan over Brom's description of the engineer.
Alvarez: Sounds like every other engineer I've ever met. Probably spends his days eaking out warp coil efficiency improvements in the seventh decimal place, and bragging about it like he solved world hunger on a distant planet.
: I've found him many times asleep on the thing. Like a blasted frat house 'round here sometimes. I practically have to force him back to his quarters for a sonic shower, a shave and a fresh uniform. ::He grinned.:: He's a good lad, that one. Anyway, we'll grab that old sofa and barricade the door. It might give us a few more minutes.
Maria was vaguely aware of the primitive fortifications going up. She took a breath and checked her work again, running her fingers along each chip and mumbling to herself to check that she'd got it right. The reconfiguration looked good here, but there were still a couple steps to go through before they could reboot the main computer. She installed the isolinear spanner, then pried herself back out from under the console and stood upright in front of the main junction. She grabbed hold of the adapter, and eyed it quizzically before making an attempt at wiring in the security module. She yanked the Arrow's module from it's socket, creating a spark and a bit of smoke, and a tiny exclamation from the woman working it.Brom
: Alvarez, how are we looking on that computer?
Alvarez: Going as fast as I can...
She whipped out a tool and pointed it at the problem spot. A quick whirr and a light emanating from it fixed the problem - for now at least.
Alvarez: I've got the chippies reconfigured, I'm installing the module now. If the chief engineer asks, I'm blaming the slapdash job I'm doing on your insistence for dainty fingers...
Her wry grin and glance over to the chief were probably plenty to indicate the jest. She turned back to the problem at hand. Somehow she'd gotten the module plugged in backwards to the interface cable, which had caused the problem. She shook her head. She was making a lot of mistakes - too many mistakes, and now wasn't the time. She fixed the issue, and started running a diagnostic. Here's to hoping it would all still work.
: We have to take cover! Hopefully it'll give you enough time, lass.
Alvarez: I'll make it work...
Maria eyed the flipped over couch being reinforced as she punched through a familiar set of commands on the computer. She had to confess, things were looking promising for this to work. The cached rights simply had to be purged from memory, and new rights loaded. All a fancy way of saying she needed to turn it off and on again. All the reports and diagnostics came back clean, or as clean as were ever going to be in a situation like this.
She had one more thing in mind - She skipped over to the opposite side of Engineering, and grabbed a stray padd. When she leaned over, she caught a glimpse of what she'd missed the first time. She grinned to herself as she picked up the bottle of booze clearly stashed there along with the padd she'd come for. She crossed back over and plugged it into the computer, and uploaded a remote access key so it could be used from elsewhere in the ship if they were forced to abandon engineering. She hesitated before she pressed the final button to start the whole sequence.
The lights dimmed, and a bunch of machinery went quiet, a bizarre and ugly heaviness filled engineering. Maria joined the rest of the crew behind the sofa.
Alvarez: Alright... we just have to wait for the computer to come back online. When it does, I should have command of the ship. We have to hold here until it comes back online.V'Lak
: When the doors breach we'll only have seconds. Hit them hard and fast, and don't stop til they're down. ::He looked around at the frightened faces. Maybe he was too hard on them on occasion:: Well, pups. It's been an honour...
The door clearly wasn't going to last much longer, with much of the metal orange hot and starting to transition to a semi-liquid form. Maria's eyes flitted from crewman to crewman, their own terror in contrast with her own revelry in the situation. Still, she knew full well this was a possibility when she signed up - they probably didn't. She also knew she had a very different mentality to danger than the average person. Her appraising glance landed on the Tellerite Chief beside her. She couldn't help a smile as she nestled in behind the worn fabric of the sofa. She passed him the stiff drink she'd picked up.
Alvarez: Tell me Chief, you have any family? Someone to make it through this for?
Maria nodded. The response was about what she expected, but her inquiry was intended more as a sign she cared - about the chief, but also about every other person about to defend against the onslaught.
Alvarez: My brother, plus my sister and her husband. :: She grinned darkly :: My parents are still around, but I'd be shocked if they knew the name of the ship I'm posted on, or even if I graduated from academy... :: A beat, shifting her gaze to the next nearest crewman. :: We're gonna make it - we'll see them again. I know we will.
A moment of quiet barely passed before what could only be called an "overpressure event" popped the half-molten door open like a cork and spraying debris everywhere. The event was so loud that Maria's ears were overblown, leaving her stunned for a second. She had instinctively covered her head and face from a large object flung against the upholstery protecting her and the rest of the crew in engineering. Her eyes widened at a veritable spear of metal that had lanced straight through the sofa, mere inches between herself and Brom. That could have easily killed someone. An intense ringing in her ears clouded her hearing, slowly dimming to a din of weapons fire and shouting and screaming. The sofa had saved multiple lives by stopping the largely intact sheet of door from flat-out crushing or impaling multiple people. Still, it turned out (perhaps unsurprisingly) the sofa's fabric was not fireproof, and the material quickly caught on fire from the overheated metal. The good news was that the remains of the door were conveniently laid up against the sofa, adding an extra barrier of protection against incoming fire, which surprisingly wasn't coming just yet.
Maria dared a peek out over the battlements to witness a hulking mass of an officer rush into the pack of invaders. She could just barely make out the face of a security Lieutenant she could actually recognize peeking out from behind the far corner - a familiarity that was surprisingly comforting amongst all the chaos. His name was Wilde, right? Still, she was a bit chilled not to see any other further reinforcements - that didn't bode well. Before a stray energy pulse forced her to duck back down, she could tell a couple assailants had been taken out of the fight from the blast, but several more were picking themselves up and getting ready to beat back the flanking attack then exploit the dangerous opening on main engineering. Her eyes shot over to the padd she'd plugged into the wall, and read off the computer reboot progress from here.
Alvarez: Computer restart is just past 40%. :: She shouts out :: Take your time, time your shots! We need to slow them down as much as possible!
Maria took a series of pot shots aimed roughly at the edges of the kerfuffle, not trusting herself not to inflict friendly fire on either of their potential rescuers. That's mentioning nothing of how poor she was with disruptor pistols. She figured at a minimum it would force the pirates to pack a little closer together into the crossfire. She peeked over, attempting to identify a target she might actually be able to hit through the smoke and growing intensity of fire. At least the massive Brikar seemed to have temporarily neutralized the massive alien with a minigun - so that was something. The fire on the sofa was worsening, so she started crawling over towards an extinguisher.
Her eyes shot back to the padd plugged in to the wall.
Alvarez: 60 percent! :: She lowered her voice grumbling to herself :: If I die reading off percentages, I swear I'm coming back as the ghost that always makes the last percentage stick on every loading bar ever created...
Maria crawled back with the fire extinguisher, and sprayed down as much of the sofa as she could from her ineffective position. It did a reasonable job of shoring up the beleaguered battlement for the time being, but the sofa wasn't exactly designed to take this kind of beating. She peeked over again, only to witness something she definitely did not like. There was an Orion and a Lissepian mid-jump on Wilde, apparently intent on dragging him away at knifepoint. She found herself erupting in a full-throated battlecry.
She properly aimed the pistol she'd stolen for the first time, and squeezed off as many shots as she could, but the bolts loosed only connected with bulkheads well wide of the officer's attackers. She noticed a different Orion leveling a rifle at her barely in time to duck behind the sofa. A blast sent sofa stuffing flying all over the place. Maria swore up a small storm - even a Brikar couldn't last in the fray long enough with so many guns pointed at him and angry pirates fighting him. It wouldn't be long before their enemies were advancing on their final line of defense. That's not to mention she'd been all but helpless to stop the kidnapping of a Starfleet officer right in front of her face.
Alvarez: 95% Complete on the reboot. Come on!
She ground her teeth uncomfortably. They were so close but so far to finally achieve her goal. She fired off a few more shots, even more ineffectively now than ever with the pirates properly taking cover without the crossfire supplied by their compatriots forcing their disorganization. They were moments away from properly getting regrouped and making a full push on the sofa.
The lights came back up, and power whirred back to life sending the ship lurching back to impulse. The soothing voice of the computer deeply contrasted the mayhem of the hailstorm of energy weaponry that was rapidly picking up pace.
Computer: Reboot complete.
Computer: Data corruption detected, authorize automatic repair?
Maria shrugged, not knowing what it could be. There were so many things that could have gone wrong with her computer surgery, it was a small success that it was working at all.
Alvarez: Authorize - Alvarez
Computer: Authorization granted, repair completed. Command granted, Fleet Admiral Alvarez.
Alvarez: :: She shrugged with a faint playful grin, tempered by the reality of the losses they were taking. :: Don't look at me - must have been the iso chip we replaced. :: She addressed the computer. :: Computer, raise force fields at junctions M2-21, M2-22, and M2-23.
The blue shimmer of energy pulsed and powered into place, locking the pirates into place and blocking their fire for now.
Alvarez: Excellent. Flood the enclosed area with anesthezine.
Computer: Anesthezine controls offline.
Maria closed her eyes and rubbed her temples in frustration. This would definitely complicate matters. The force fields would hold back their attackers for even less time than the door. They'd have seconds to act. Her eyes landed on a wounded crewman laying on the floor, with enough blood to make the strongest of stomachs churn. Another crewman with burns was attending to her. She didn't have time to see how many others were wounded. She had a decision to make.
Alvarez: Computer - status of point-to-point transport on my authorization?
Computer: Authorization accepted; Point-to-point transport online; Automatic sequencing offline; Targeting restricted; Sensors limited.
The shooting had stopped momentarily. Even though she couldn't see the pirates from her spot in front of the open panel to the computer, she knew that meant they were hard at work dismantling the fields in their way. The transporter fault meant someone would need to stay behind and manually complete the transport sequence out of main engineering. No beaming off the ship, and only those with comm badges could be targeted. No fancy cleverness beaming pirates into space today.
Maria ground the ball of her foot into the floor. Hearing the other discuss only redoubled her resolve. Without comment, she grabbed the Arrow's original security module and handed it to Brom. If the pirates managed to reinstall it, the ship could be theirs. The humor was gone from her face, replaced with a quiet rage few ever saw. Those that had seen it knew better than to cross her path. Putting herself in danger was one thing, but others was something else entirely. With the power to act back in her hands, and in her hands alone, she moved without hesitation. Her eyes stared directly into the Tellerite's, then the Vulcan's.
Alvarez: Gentlemen. It's been a pleasure.
She locked on to the half-dozen or so commbadges, including the Brikar she didn't recognize, and slid her fingers across the triple-bar interface of the transporters before there was even a moment to react. She watched them dematerialize, sent off to land in sickbay where their wounds could be taken care of. Hopefully, those still able would be able to defend the other injured as well.
It left her alone. Engineering was awfully quiet with no one in it. She pressed the comms button.
Alvarez: =/\= Alvarez to Lieutenant Wilde. =/\=
The silence confirmed her worst fears. She pressed the button again only to be met with a grinding beep of denial. She ran a quick sweep - his badge was offline. She closed her eyes, and steadied herself with a slow breath. She walked back over to the open panel, disconnected the padd dangling from it, and closed it up as best she could to hide evidence of her electronic surgery.
Alvarez: Computer, lock access to all terminals in engineering. Code Delta-Epsilon-two-seven-one-eight-two-eight.
The terminals in engineering all locked out simultaneously. This room would be useless for issuing any commands for a long, long time to come. The sound of force fields blasting apart signalled time to go. Maria felt a practically villainous smile take over her face. She might have lost this battle, but the pirates were going to have it coming now if she had anything to say about it. She had a ship to secure, and at least one officer to go after. She still had her worst enemy to contend with. One she was facing down right now.
Alvarez: Time for more Jefferies tubes! Just what the doctor ordered...
(Tags: Brom, V'Lak, Eerie; Attn: Bridge Crew, Sickbay)
Ensign Maria Alvarez
Ops Officer, USS Arrow