((Yesterday: Shared Passenger Suite ))
::Tilting his neck from side to side, Bear looked up at the ceiling. Blue eyes squinted at the variety of noises coming from inside, nearly imperceptible to the human hearing, made all the more sensitive by the tiny device lodged in his ear canal. Another handful of seconds ticked by until he took a step back, the ceiling hatch above slamming down onto the floor and one Romulan peeking out from inside it.::
O. Marshall: Sixteen seconds too long. By now, the automated defence has kicked in, and you're a dozen pieces of your wonderful species.
::A strangled sound of frustration rumbled in Valesha's throat, and in a move that resembled an unfurling blossom, she lowered herself down through the hatch.::
Sienelis: You're rhyming my failures now? ::She eyed him, and then sighed, somewhere between resigned and grimly amused.:: I guess at this point we do need something to stave off the despair.
O. Marshall: It took me the whole time you were up there to put it together. When you think about it, it is pretty clever. ::He grinned, a touch brighter.:: You're going to have to haul yourself quicker.
Sienelis: I physically can't move any faster. We need to find somewhere else to shave those seconds off.
::She reached over to massage a shoulder as she thought, running through the routine in her mind. There were a couple of options, but each one worried her in its own unique way. Nose wrinkled in a sniff, Bear looked up into the hatch where Valesha had descended from, as though the answer to all their quarries about the crawl were within arms reach. A thoughtful expression dawned on his face as he looked back at her.::
O. Marshall: What about the ship layout? Is this the closest ingress point there is, or is there another with a slightly more… riskier access?
Sienelis: Yeah. There was that access port by the plasma exchange. ::She looked at him with a long-suffering expression.:: The one you're absolutely, unequivocally not supposed to use when warp is engaged.
::He chewed his lip for a second at the harassed fatigue on her features, then exhaled a lengthy sigh, folding his arms.::
O. Marshall: So, we risk diced Romulan or absolutely, unequivocally dead Romulan. Those odds aren't the greatest. ::A scratch at his beard and a sidelong look at Valesha.:: Forcing the ship to drop out of warp by invading Engineering would be a tad on the heavy handed side, no?
Sienelis: Wouldn't be much of an invasion with only you doing it. ::She ran a hand through her short black hair, the crop tousled and untidy after her scramble.:: It's possible to get through, it cycles on a regular basis. Something to do with the magnetic constrictors. The problem is that both hatches are controlled from the outside, so I could get in, but someone would need to override the other side to get me out.
O. Marshall: I'm a one man army, I'll have you know. ::Despite the joke, his lips twitch into something akin to a grimace.:: Which would be nearly impossible to do without getting him out of the quarters to begin with, then getting past the interlocking combination of the door, and if we're going to do that, why risk your neck?
::She lifted her hands in a helpless gesture, frustration colouring her expression. If they couldn't figure a way around, they might as well head straight for Lena's shuttle and figure out where they were to spend the rest of their lives hiding out.::
Sienelis: I can't go any faster, so we'll have to find a way to do the nearly impossible.
::He paused for a minute, tapping his fingers on his bicep, internally debating whether to whip his shirt off and become closer to the universal energies of good ideas again. Glancing over to the display monitor lit up with the layout of the Courier's quarters and the relative position of the hatch that would need to be opened, Bear frowned anew and looked back to Valesha.::
O. Marshall: How good are you holoprograming skills?
Sienelis: ::She shrugged.:: I can make a very convincing coral reef.
::He squinted at her, unsure if she was joking or not, before shaking his head with a roll of the eyes and stalked off to do some homework.::
((The Present: Shared Passenger Suite, Labyrinth's Scream))
::The trio stood in front of the large entertainment screen, schematics glowing in orange and green, with a network of conduits, access hatches, maintenance tubes stark in brilliant white, all leading to and from the VIP quarters. Notes and data were scrolled on the screens of PADDs scattered around the room, pieces of equipment laid out on the tables. Lena stood there, hands on her hips, surveying the plan in front of them with a thoughtful eye, while Valesha's posture was much more closed. Arms crossed in front of her chest, she frowned at the schematics, her slim body rigid with tension.::
Josett: I mean, if anything goes wrong, we're going to deeply regret it for the rest of our very short lives. But as plans go, it's not bad for what we've got to work with.
::Covering his mouth with his palm, Bear’s arms were folded over one another like an impenetrable fortress, or a man with a lot on his mind. He exhaled onto the back of his knuckles and tilted his head, internal mechanisms already churning.::
O. Marshall: It's not. Especially if we can do the bit with the— ::he made some vague hand gestures in midair,:: —then we've got a good shot at pulling it off.
Sienelis: So when are we doing it?
O. Marshall: When Thertas invites him for dinner. If he's as paranoid as he says he is, we've planned for it. If he's more so, we'll have to think on our feet.
Josett: It won't be long. We have ship on our tail, making discreet inquiries into silverware. ::She glanced toward the pair.:: Looks like your ride home has arrived.
::The man looked at Lena incredulously for a breath, not quite believing what she said. Slowly, the cogs began to turn, inch by rusted inch, until he looked beside him to Valesha, traces of concern for the question she'd asked during their earlier conversation making him frown.::
O. Marshall: She works in mysterious ways after all.
::It clearly took a few moments for the words to filter through, Valesha's gaze distant, out among the clouds of Ma no Umi, her fingers digging into the meat of her arms. She shouldn't be surprised that the Admiral was making sure that they would return, given what she had risked in sending them off. But what they were about to do on the Scream was now far less worrying that what would come after. The thought of being turned into a dozen pieces of her wonderful species was somehow easier on the nerves than the idea of seeing Chris' again, and experiencing exactly what he had to think of her now.
::With a frown, she blinked, her focus snapping back into the room, and she looked toward Bear.::
Sienelis: Only so we don't know when she's making it up as she goes along.
O. Marshall: If it gets us home, she can make up whatever she wants.
::He was hardly joking either. The task that lay in front of them wasn't going to be easy, by any stretch of the imagination. Thertas be willing, they'd be handed back to the Gorkon like a wrapped up parcel, care of one Courier and whatever he was carrying, and some fancy footwork from one Captain to another.::
O. Marshall: So, here we are. Crunch time. Last chance to bow out.
Sienelis: ::She snorted.:: As if that was actually an option.
Josett: ::She grinned.:: Besides, I want to see if we can pull this lunacy off.
O. Marshall: If it's going to work, we'd be the lunatics to make it. ::He exhaled a breath from his nose, sense of adventure brewing with a grin, and nodded.:: All hands on deck, then. Be ready to spring when the dinner bell chimes.