((Airduct access point, Market, Pirate Moon))
Tomas regarded the Marine for a moment. He’d already decided that he wasn’t going to ask Dekas to enter the ventilation system, he wasn’t going to risk him getting physically stuck in a potentially hostile environment. The question was whether he would send the woman in on her own, or join her and leave Dekas to watch their backs. He made up his mind.
Falt: ::to Kingsley:: Do it, we’ll wait here. As soon as the security system is down we’ll join you.
He positioned himself to block the obvious sight lines to the ventilation access hatch as Kingsley swung herself in. He closed the hatch once she was inside, and allowed himself to relax slightly.
Falt: Now we just need to look as inconspicuous as possible whilst we wait for our friend to open the door.
Dekas: Inconspicuous is a funny concept to me. I’m aware of myself, and this place puts me in a wild state of unease. The number of eyes I’ve seen even briefly glance my way in the main area. It’s hard to miss a flash of red. I stand out. If not for the fact that the Skorr as a people are even more private these days, I’d almost hope to play myself off as one. They at least have an intimidating warrior history and not one that involves the slavery of their people by the Syndicate. By pirates. ::a soft huff in an attempt to keep things light:: Besides I don’t have the short tail feathers of a Skorr. Which is too bad. I’ve always thought I’d look good with tail feathers.
Before Tomas could reply there was a faint chirp from his concealed combadge as Kingsley contacted them.
Kingsley: =/\= There are two life signs just inside the lab, an Orion male and an unknown female. We either need to wait for them to leave or ... =/\=
His mind raced as her voice trailed off. They obviously needed the lab to be clear before they entered, but he didn’t want to risk anything that would alert station security.
In an attempt to avoid drawing any attention he hid his combadge in his palm, before raising his hand and pretended to massage his neck.
Falt: =/\= I want you to get as close as you can without being detected. I may have an idea, but if it doesn’t work I’ll need you to be ready to subdue them. = /\=
Kingsley: =/\= Roger that. =/\=
He lowered his hand but kept the line open, hoping Kingsley would still be able to hear them.
Falt: ::at Dekas:: Do you think you can access the ventilation system controls from here, without tripping the security system? It would be handy if these two were “asleep on the job.”
Dekas: Well… it would take a little bit of delicate work to get around the security protocols. And I’d need to be sure that even if it’s not the security system going off, it’s also not the security Nausicaans catching on, that’d be at least two marks against me with the Nausicaans today and I don’t see that going in my favor. ::He made intense eye contact with Falt:: I can’t become a throw pillow, Tomas. ::then his eyes were back on the vents:: But I think I could do it from here, yes.
Falt: And what affect might that have on Warrant Officer Kingsley?
Dekas: There’s a big risk of her falling asleep too. The only way I can personally think to put someone “to sleep” through the vents like that without a higher risk of killing them is messing with carbon dioxide levels. And that is still potentially fatal without a medic present. It’s an option, but it’s not a good option.
Kingsley: ::barely above a whisper:: =/\= It's not a bad option sir. =/\=
So whilst his idea would work, it wasn’t without risk. The same could also be said about the more direct approach Kingsley could take.
As neither choice really stood out as the right course of action, he again decided the best option he had was to trust his teams judgement.
Falt: =/\= It’s your call Marine. You’re on point here. =/\=
Kingsley: =/\= Go ahead when ready Lieutenant. =/\=
Falt: =/\= ::nodding to Dekas:: Lets do this. =/\=
Dekas: =/\= Please stay alive, Gwen. =/\=
He could hear the Marine taking deep breaths as she prepared herself.
Kingsley: =/\= That's the plan - I happen to like my own skin. =/\=
Falt: =/\= Agreed. And no heroics, please. If this doesn’t work we’ll find another way. =/\=
Kingsley didn’t respond. He kept quiet, knowing the Marine would need silence as she approached her target. He turned his attention to Dekas, who was working on the ventilation system and muttering to himself.
oO Something on his mind. Oo
Dekas: I don’t think I have to tell you this, Falt, but you’re going to have to be ready to help her. She is in direct contact with the gas, and will be having a rough go of it if she's not completely unresponsive by the time we get there. You’re physically stronger than me and closer to her height. Makes it easier if she needs resuscitation. If that’s where the artifact is, you may also need to direct me on what to do with it once we’re in there. Warrant Officer Kingsley is not dying over this thing. I truly believe we can do this, but if we can’t, I will not place an object above the value of her life. Not even for a mission. I can’t. ::with a soft touch of humor, though he still meant it:: So please don’t make me disobey orders by making me choose between them.
Tomas raised an eyebrow, that was... unexpected. He’d pinned his second full pip on less than 24 hours earlier and was already being exposed to the challenges of command on an away mission. He understood the Aurelian’s sentiment, he really did. He had no desire to see anyone hurt either. But they also needed to secure the artifact, and that wasn’t without risk.
Truth be told he didn’t know what he’d do if he came to it, but whatever he decided he needed to know the team would follow his lead. He’d trusted them, and still did, but trust needed to run both ways. He wondered what to say, and found himself thinking of advice his father had given him – stay calm, and say it like it is. He took a deep breath.
Falt: ::calmly, matter of factly:: I’m not going to ‘make’ you do anything, Mister Dekas. The obligation comes from the uniform you pulled on this morning, same as me. ::short pause as he took another breath:: I’ve come to believe that it is an obligation to always “do the right thing.” In this case that includes considering how much harm the artifact might do if the pirates are allowed to keep it. I appreciate how you feel though, and like I said, I don’t want anyone taking any unnecessary risks.
Dekas: I’m glad you understand.
Tomas didn’t get chance to say “I trust you understand, too” as there was a clang from within the vents, suggesting Kingsley had arrived. Dekas had obviously come to the same conclusion as he immediately entered the commands to restore the normal airflow.
Falt: We good, Mister Dekas?
Dekas: Ready when you are.
((Short time skip, Lab Entrance.))
Dekas: Mind your breaths, there’s going to be significant amounts of CO2 in that room until it clears out.
The door slid open. The first thing Tomas noticed was that the door was much noisier than the ones on the Juneau, or any in Starfleet for that matter. The second thing he noticed, after the door had finally finished scraping open, was Kingsley down on the ground.
oO Frack. Oo
Dekas: ::to Falt:: What do you need me to do?
Step one in any first aid situation, check for further danger.
Falt: ::crouching next to Kingsley:: Get to the controls and make sure any residual CO2 is being vented. Then confirm the security system has been disabled, the last thing we need is company.
He turned his attention to Kingsley as Dekas hurried away. Step two, check airway, breathing and circulation. He bent down and held an ear over Kingsley’s mouth. Her breathing seemed slightly shallow but she was breathing, which was good. He reached out to check her pulse, and was relieved to find it was strong and steady.
He’d been taught about carbon monoxide poisoning at the academy, along with every other Cadet. It was part of the EV suit and Zero-G training, as well as First Aid and Field Medicine. She needed oxygen, and quickly. He looked around the lab, hoping to find a fire suppression station. He spotted one about 15 about fifteen feet away and ran to it, crossing his fingers there was an oxygen mask inside.
As he fumbled to open the cabinet he realised he was getting a headache.
Falt: How’s it going Dekas?
He finally got the cabinet open and was relieved to find three small, hand held, emergency oxygen tanks amongst the fire suppression equipment. He grabbed them all and headed back to Kingsley.
Falt:: tossing a cylinder to Dekas as he passed:: Use this until you can confirm the air is back to normal.
Tomas made it back to Kingsley and quickly eased the regulator from one of the cylinders into her mouth. As she was unconscious, he held her cylinder in one hand and his own in the other. He glanced over his shoulder, feeling very exposed with his back to the door and both hands full. He really hoped Dekas had got the surveillance system sorted. After a few moments he turned his attention back to Kingsley as she began to move.
Falt: ::smiling:: Steady Marine, it’s good to have you back with us.
Falt: ::to Kingsley:: Stay put until you don’t feel like your head is going to fall off, that’s an order.
He gave the woman what he hoped was a reassuring tap on the shoulder.
Falt: You did an outstanding job, there was enough CO2 in here to put a Mugato to sleep.
He stood up and crossed over to Dekas, noting the downed lab workers and what looked like the artifact further back in the lab as he did so.
oO One thing at a time Tomas Oo
Falt: ::to Dekas:: What’s our situation?
TAG / TBC
Lieutenant Tomas Falt
USS Juneau, NX-99801
OOC: Leaving it vague so others can decide whether we’ve managed to get into the security system or not. Maybe we have, and could even help the other team get into the prison. Maybe we haven’t and company is on the way. I look forward to finding out 😊
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