((Section 19, Junction 38, Cait Station))
:: They had just arrived, ready and for the most part eager to get on with the task at hand. ::
Teller: Any inspiring words, sir?
Tel-ar: Do not let them rip your throat out, it’s one of their favourite targets. :: Tal stated calmly. ::
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. :: Tal replied as his left eye brow rose and fell. :: Then let’s get going.
El Sayid: Umm, sir. It looks kind of cramped in there. Will we all fit?
Shin: It is limited space to operate in.
:: Tal watched as Teller stuck his head deeper into the Jeffries tube, then backed out to speak. ::
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.
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, Nabitha.
El Sayid: Thank you sir, you too.
:: At this point they split up with the other two officers turning in the Jeffries tube and heading towards the main sensor array as Tal and Lt. Teller worked their way forward and up towards the underside of the transporter bay. ::
((Seventeen dark, vole filled minutes later, beneath the transporter assembly.))
:: Tal hated tight spaces, with his shoulders and musculature it was almost impossible for him to be useful or effective in these conditions. Crawling through the Jeffries tubes always meant he ended up with multiple bruises, however today that had been the least of his problems. He was covered in scratches and bleeding from a number of locations, all due to multiple run-ins with the current inhabitants of the Jeffries tubes. ::
:: Tal and Lt. Teller had both been jumped on, screeched at, clawed and on a few occassions chewed on, but they had left a trail of scorched or in Tal’s case crushed vole corpses behind them and were finally just outside the access hatchway to the transporters maintenance bay. ::
:: As Teller prepared to open the door, he suddenly stopped and spun around, aiming his flashlight and phasor in the direction that he must have thought was the next possible direction they would attack from.
Teller: That one had to be close.
Tel-ar: Not close…. :: Tal replied as he tilted his head slightly. ::
Teller: You sure? You said that about the last one and I think it got a chunk of my ear.
Tel-ar: I am Andorian, I know. :: Even as he said it his antenna twitched in an obvious way. :: and yes, it did get a chunk of your ear. A small one.
Teller: :: scowl :: Uh huh. And I've got a bad knee that tells me when it's going to rain.
Tel-ar: Highly illogical Lt. especially for your species, however I can assure you, none of them will get past me.
Teller: Appreciate that, but we're definitely outnumbered and we're getting low on time if we want the Admiral to have any bones when he re-materializes. Alright, here goes.
:: Tal watched as he popped the access hatch slowly and examined the interior slowly and carefully using his light. ::
Tel-ar: I suggest you hurry Lt. from the sounds of things they have decided to make another try at making us their lunch.
Teller: Alright, I can slide in there and get the module, but I'm barely going to fit. Here ::Teller offered the Andorian his phaser :: I'm not going to be able to use the thing in there anyway. When I get the storage unit, I'll call for an immediate beam out, so just hold the fort as long as you can. :: Teller could hear the unmistakable click of skittering claws against metal getting closer. :: Good luck.
Tel-ar: Luck is for fools, I prefer to rely on skill and determination. :: Even as he said it he moved to put his back to the open hatch and started firing both phasors. ::
:: Behind him Tal could hear the Lt. busy trying to do whatever it was that he was doing. His antenna twitched, the stench was over powering. There was a $%^&*( of a lot of these $%^&* things and something had driven them insane. They just kept coming. So many of them in fact that he could not kill all of them. ::
Teller: Almost there...just gotta...
:: Tal slammed his head to the side, crushing one of them against the side of the Jeffries tube while he continued to shoot both phasors but in doing so another one of the $#%^&* critters managed to claw its way past his shoulder. ::
Tel-ar: Look out. :: He yelled even as he moved his head forward rapidly in an effort to grab the critters tail with his teeth. He missed… barely. :: Incoming…. :: Tal kept fighting, shifting his body to fully block the access hatch so that no more of the $%^&* critters could get past him again. They were clawing his legs even as he shot them but there were so many of them, both dead and alive that half the time he was shooting ones he had already killed while the others used their bodies for cover. ::
Teller: Gotcha...=/\= Teller to Vistain...emergency beam out...Commander Tel-ar, Me and one piece of equipment. =/\=
Vistain: =/\= Chief we're picking up an additional biosign in direct contact with you...=/\=
:: Tal kept fighting but he had no more targets, he was wedged into place by the incredible number of voles he had already shot, struck, kicked or crushed. No matter what he did they kept coming, clawing their way past the dead, biting, scratching…. ::
Teller: :: Teller yelped loudly as the vole bit down hard. :: =/\= Energize, now! =/\=
Vistain: =/\= Standby =/\=
:: Tal could feel one clawing his way up his abdomen, he tried to shift some of the dead ones out of the way so he could get it when the blue shimmer of the transporter illuminated the air in front of him. Even as he faded away he could see dozens of beady eyes staring back at him hungrily. ::
Cmdr. Tal Tel-ar
Chief Security Officer
USS Montreal, NCC-64297
Tal Tel-ar’s Writer’s ID: T237708TT0