((Section 19, Cait Spacedock))
::Teller took a breath and opened the hatch at the junction. The inside was almost pitch black. Lit only by an occasional flicker of red light. She shuddered when she heard something scamper across the gratings::
Teller: Any inspiring words, sir?
Tel-ar: Do not let them rip your throat out, it’s one of their favourite targets.
El Sayid: That was… encouraging.
Teller: Yeah I'm feeling pretty inspired, how about you?
Shin: I'm inspired, sir. :: he said with a grin.::
Tel-ar: Good. Then let’s get going.
::As the two senior officers started to enter the hatch, Nabihah spoke up trepidatiously.::
El Sayid: Umm, sir. It looks kind of cramped in there. Will we all fit?
Shin: It is limited space to operate in.
Teller: Not much we can do about it - it's the most direct path to the components we need. We could split up - it'd be great if we could get the internal sensors in this section back online. At least we'd know how many of those damn voles are in there.
Tel-ar: For it to be this much of a problem I have a feeling there are more of them than we want to know about, still knowledge of any kind is a useful tool. We will make it a priority but a secondary one.
El Sayid: I think so too. I was looking at the schematics on the way here and it seems the main sensor systems are not too far. If we can get those back online, I have a few ideas on how we can get rid of our Cardassian Vole problem.
Teller: Thrill me with your ingenuity, Ensign, but I don't want you going alone. Commander Tel-ar - think we can spare Mr. Shin to watch Ensign El Sayid's back?
Tel-ar: Two, two man groups. Doubles our efficiency…. Lt. jg Shin if you would see to it that Ensign El Sayid survives this assignment that would be greatly appreciated.
Shin: We can go try to get power back, I'll keep guard.
::The officers nodded at each other.::
El Sayid: Besides, looks like you two have the Admiral’s pattern issue covered.
Teller: Ensign, if you get into any trouble, contact the Veritas for emergency beam out. Otherwise, let us know as soon as you get the sensors back online. Stay safe, Nabihah.
El Sayid: Thank you sir, you too.
::Nabihah and the the Asian man departed and headed to the sensor systems.::
El Sayid: Hope your yellow is in engineering.
Shin: No, security. But I'm not that bad with engineering type tasks, I had to repair the Montreals weapons systems when I first boarded cuz the crew was spread to thin to do it all.
El Sayid: Oh well… Close enough. I’m Nabihah by the way. Nabihah El Sayid.
::Seems like she was introducing herself to everyone today. Shin smiled and nodded back to her.::
Shin: Kawakame Shin, you can just call me Shin.
El Sayid: Oh, so you’re…
::Whatever she was going to say was cut short by a hideous creature the size of a cat falling from the ceiling and screeching at her.::
::She screamed and leapt back directly into the other officer. Without missing a beat he wrapped one arm around her waist, and with his other hand held a phaser over her shoulder, took a moment to aim, and blasted the nightmarish creature.::
Shin: Sorry about that.
::He unwrapped his arm from her waist and took a step back. In her mind there was no need to apologise as in the two seconds that had passed, while she was frozen in spot, he had taken care of the gross animal that suddenly popped out in front of her.::
El Sayid: Oh, don’t be sorry. In fact… That was pretty cool.
::The moment was interrupted by the sound of rodents skittering across nearby floors.::
Shin: Take point and move fast, if anything jumps in front again drop to the floor immediately.
El Sayid: Yes sir.
::He motioned down the corridor and they continued at a quick pace. Despite the flickering lights and the occasional scampering sound, they didn’t come across any more Voles in the corridors. But as soon as the door opened into the room that held the damaged sensor systems, a few Cardassian Voles scattered and ran off in different directions. Shin took aim, but they were gone before he could’ve fired.::
Shin: I'm not sure how these things operate but I think we need to work quickly, we won't be able to handle too many of them.
::She had the tricorder in hand and was scanning the array for the damaged components.::
El Sayid: Looks the damage isn’t too extensive, but the worst of it is on some key systems.
::She quickly isolated the most important systems to repair and prioritised their order while Shin looked through a cabinet for some tools to help get them started on fixing the systems. While Nabihah was distracted with surveying the damage and lost in her own train of thought, she was abruptly snapped back to reality by the sound of phaser fire.::
::The scientist looked over at the security officer as he fired at a few voles that seemed to be charging towards him. He got one but another leaped at him and bit his phaser hand, the weapon itself falling to the floor.::
::The lieutenant used one of the nearby tools and began whacking the vole until it let go and scurried off to join the others in the dark.::
El Sayid: Ya Allah! ::She shouted:: Are you alright?
::She felt a little sick at the sight of the blood of his hand. She was always squeamish around other people’s wounds. When she herself had suffered one she usually dealt with it swiftly, but when someone else was hurt, it bothered her much more.::
Shin: It's not that bad. I'll be fine.
::He flexed his fingers for a few seconds before wiping his hand on his trousers, leaving a crimson stain on his white dress uniform.::
El Sayid: Ew. No, don’t do that… Here.
::She looked around for anything she could use, hoping to spot a medkit somewhere, but without any other options she ripped a strip of material off the hem of her own uniform and wrapped it around his hand.::
El Sayid: I’m more concerned about the complaints we’ll get from the Caitian engineers about all the blood everywhere. ::She poked her tongue out at him::
::He passed her a tool and picked his phaser up again. They got to work on the main power block as Shin removed a panel so they could take a look inside.::
El Sayid: Damnit Shin, I’m a scientist not an engineer. I don’t even know what half these wires are for.
El Sayid: Well I guess you’re right. But let’s look at what else we need.
::The two of them poured over her tricorder looking at which damage needs to be assessed first. At one point a Vole had appeared above them, standing on top of the main power block, but Kawakame dispatched it fairly quickly.::
El Sayid: Ok, so looks like you’ve got the main power block sorted out here. I think I’ll get started on the primary buffer relay, after that we can get a basic scan going once we sort through the trigonometric cascade grid.
El Sayid: Well I’m glad you know what I’m talking about. Half of these words sound made up. ::She squinted at the tricorder:: What even is a variable neo-genesis switch?
El Sayid: Wow. Who knew?
::She nodded at him and the two of them got to work on their respective tasks.::
::The young scientist was actually surprised at how much information she had retained from her engineering classes at the Academy. She could tell the difference between a hypo wrench and a sonic screwdriver even though the two devices looked like almost the exact same tool.::
::A few of the Voles had made appearances. Most of them were taken care of by Kawakame Shin and his quick phaser hand, despite it being a little injured. One of them had appeared right next to Nabihah’s head. She was so involved in her work that, instead of screaming or freaking out, she simply grabbed it around the neck and lobbed it over the machinery, where it hit a rear wall with a hard thud.::
El Sayid: There’s no time for that right now, we have to get this fixed.
::And indeed they did. A little time had passed but finally the Lieutenant had nodded to her that the power block was up and running, he activated it and the machinery came alive with light and movement.::
::He had moved onto examining the cascade grid and was soon joined by Nabihah once she was done with the relays.::
El Sayid: Almost there, we just have to calibrate the systems and sync my tricorder.
::The scientist had long since removed the jacket of her dress uniform, and the armpits of her white shirt had gotten dark with sweat.::
El Sayid: You know, I think I’ve gotten a newfound respect for Lieutenant Teller. This is hard work.
El Sayid: You can say that again.
::While she was synchronising her tricorder to the internal sensors, she turned to the senior officer.::
El Sayid: Can you bring me a stunned Vole please Sir. We can track them all down by matching bio functions.
::She wasn’t sure if he completely understood what she was trying to do, but if he had any doubts he didn’t express them. The senior officer returned in a minute with the stunned body of the thing that looked like a cross between a mole and a rat, except the size of a cat and with a similar spoon like protrusion on it’s forehead that the Cardassians were known for… It was truly one of the ugliest things Nabihah had ever seen.::
::Nabihah didn’t feel inclined to touch it herself. In fact she tried to keep her tricorder as far from it as possible while running her scans.::
El Sayid: So gross.
::As she finished scanning it, she input the information through the scanner module. Fortunately the sensor arrays around the station were all still completely functional.::
El Sayid: We did it!
::She grinned at the security officer.::
El Sayid: Wow, looks like there’s not even as many as we thought.
::At that moment, Nabihah’s commbadge chirped, she picked up her jacket from where she placed it and tapped the badge.::
Teller: =/\= Teller to El Sayid, mission successful. We've got the Admiral aboard the Veritas and will be returning him to the party in a few minutes. What's your status? =/\=
El Sayid: =/\= That’s good to hear Sir. We just completed our first scans. Looks like there’s only sixty seven remaining Voles, and they’re all located in this region of the station. Not sure how much longer the scanner will keep running Sir, this was a very rushed job. =/\=
Teller: =/\= Understood, do what you can and then hand it off to the dock crew. Good work. Head back to the party when you can. Teller out. =/\=
::She nodded at Shin and tapped her commbadge again to open up a new line.::
El Sayid: =/\= Ensign El Sayid of the Veritas to Spacedock Security. =/\=
P'Ruuras: =/\= Lieutenant P’Ruuras here Ensign. How can I help? =/\=
El Sayid: =/\= Sir, we’ve done a very basic patch up of the internal sensors, and we now have readings of all the Voles located on the station. Not sure how much longer the sensors will hold but I’ll send you the data we have so far. =/\=
P’Ruuras: =/\= Well done. Send us through what you’ve got and we’ll get some teams onto those Voles ASAP. =/\=
El Sayid: =/\= Thank you sir, I’ll send it through momentarily. El Sayid out. =/\=
::With a satisfied sigh she put her jacket back on over her grimy shirt. The strip of material still missing from the hem.::
El Sayid: Don’t know about you, but I need a drink after that.
::She made her way towards the main door when another Vole dropped from the ceiling and made a piercing inhuman screech. This time, she stepped back and kicked the thing hard, sending it spinning across the room with an elongated squeak.::
El Sayid: You can stay here and hunt for Voles if you want. Personally I’d be happy to never ever see one again.
Tag and end scene!