Two Thousand Yard Stare

Featuring the following NPCs:
wong.jpg - Koga Masuhiro

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/04-25-2009 11:09:14 AM

Abandoned Cottage
11.8 miles northwest of Montauban, France
6:51 PM - Saturday, June 3, 1944

*The following conversation is entirely in French.

"Hard boundaries of right and wrong always have to be respected or there is no real difference between the 'right' and 'wrong'."

“Let’s take a break, shall we?” Harry didn’t wait for a response but merely turned and exited the cottage, Nils’ words of several weeks (give or take four centuries) past hounding him out the door. Emerging into the dappled sunlight of summer’s evening, he took a long, deep breath which did nothing to displace the stench of blood and burning which had crowded the dark room.

Major George Colthurst of the SOE had, once upon a time, uncovered an informer in the midst of the Maquis de Pyrenees. He’d done it by breaking a Milice operative who’d been the control for that informer — just in time to prevent said mole from blowing the whistle on the cell’s most ambitious strike against the Germans.

The very strike which Ensign Wekesa was currently organizing.

And because S’Van’s damned records hadn’t included the player’s names, Harry had been thrust into Colthurst’s role as interrogator…. now who’s playing the semantics game?… to an overfed, ferret-eyed Fascist from Toulouse.

“This is taking too long.” Jean-Pierre was saying as he followed the Englishman into the meadow and proceeding to pace back and forth and sending a nervous glance towards Ancell, who’d stood watch all that long afternoon. “We will never have the truth if you continually allow him time to recover…”

“It’s either stop or let him go into shock,” George interrupted. And it was the truth… hell, he’d been there, hadn’t he? Administer enough damage and the body starts to shut down. Brain functions decrease and the heart slows until the body is unable to register the pain… and then the person in charge gives the victim a shot from a handy hypo or an agonizer to get the heart back up to speed… or say’s ‘let’s take a break’… so it can all start over, again…

“There is a limit to how many lines can be crossed before we become what we fight against."

Shut up, Nils, Harry thought. “It might be simpler,” George said, yanking himself out of the memories, “if he really were just a greedy, self-serving bastard…” he glanced back at the cottage, “But Emile, he is a true believer. He really thinks that by serving Hitler, he is serving France.”

“Whatever he believes, every moment we continue in ignorance is a risk to Lt. Jawara’s upcoming mission.”

“Yes, thank you, aware of that.” Harry watched the jittery man turn on his heel and walk the other way. “Why don’t you go check on the lads?” he suggested. “See how Mal’s doing, find out if Odile received a contact at 1630…”

“But you…”

“I’ll be fine. In fact, I’m thinking this will go better if it’s just him and me…” with a little help from on high. Harry began to reach for his identity discs/communicator…

But Jean-Pierre shook his head, “That is unacceptable,” he said. “Ancell will play the runner for us.” He held up a hand as Colthurst began to object, “I will not leave this to you alone. Not when it is my people at risk.” Once he’d received the Anglaise’ weary nod, Montand joined Toussant and quietly administered the order.

“He will return with food,” the maquisard announced, as his second rumbled off in a rebuilt German motorcycle. “You won’t want it,” he said, “God knows, I don’t want it but it is necessary. Major,” he waited for Colthurst to meet his eyes, “I can see… this is costing you.”

“All you can see is that I haven’t slept in nearly thirty hours,” George responded coldly, forsaking the discs and instead drawing his punch dagger from the underarm sheath. He used it to slice a few, quite long, slivers of wood from the lintel. “Meanwhile, it will cost us everything, if we don’t get that name, so,” palming the bits of wood which, he had reason to know could really get a fellow’s attention, “I suppose we should get back to it.”

“May God forgive us,” Montand whispered, crossing himself as he preceded the other man back into the cottage.

It was several moments before Harry found himself able to cross the threshold.

Featuring the wisdom of Captain Torrik Nils.

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/04-26-2009 09:39:06 AM

::Above the Iton River::
::4:51 AM, June 5, 1944::

It had been hard, waiting so long to approach the bridge. Emerging from the forest the previous evening, Jenny had cautiously worked her way south, arriving at the objective just prior to midnight… a dark, overcast midnight beneath a mist of concealing rain. But her briefing had indicated that a pre-dawn explosion had severed this tributary of the Charte rail line, which meant that a pre-dawn explosion was what she had to provide.

So she’d waited, spending the chill, damp waning of the night in the dubious shelter of a dell on the Iton’s west bank. During those long, quiet hours, Jenny had listened to the passing of the river… running fast, she thought… and the soft patter of rain. A train passed once in the night, a great roaring beast of metal, far louder than any transports she was accustomed to. Finally, as the hours stretched slowly towards dawn, she allowed herself to think of Benoit de Rouen and Frank Driskill… of the occupation and Hitler and the Final Solution and Terra Prime’s desire to let it all go on…

Which made her wonder what her own life would be like, if the terrorists had their way… assuming a Jenny Anderson would ever be born into such a world. There’d be no T’Shaini to guide her through the minefields of her own soul, for one. And no Govan to not get her jokes or Koll to adjust her targeting. B’Naath, with his gentle humor and relentless drive would never have given her his knowledge.

And there would be no Iotian knight in a pinstriped suit to take her hand and draw her on to an entirely different kind of knowing…

Thinking of them all, all the people she considered part of her larger family, she drew her thoughts back to the present and the cold task at hand. The patrol which worked the eastern side of the river were just completing their pass and she used that cue to ready her explosives. Then, just before moving out, Jenny followed an inner prompting and crushed the ends of the fifteen-minute delays. It was a risky move and if it took too long to place the charges, they’d blow the moment she removed the safety, assuming the safety’s functioned correctly; if not, they’d blow before but, somehow, she felt it was the right thing to do.

Eight minutes later, as the lowering clouds began let loose a heavy downpour, Jenny crept towards the center of the bridge, seven minutes and a few safety strips away from detonation. It was then that a shape, deeper ink against the sheeting rain, rose before her and spoke in a voice as gentle as Maurice the Bear’s had been brusque.

“There is no honor in killing a child,” the shadow told her, speaking not in French, but Federation Standard. “Surrender and you may live to see the remaking of Humanity.”

Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/04-26-2009 06:39:42 PM

::Ste Come Du Mond::

A low moaning sound came from the east causing BHP to turn in the direction of the strange noise. "What the.." The sound grew louder as it got closer. Ben turned to Aengus and yelled, "Scram outa of here!" Aengus blinked at him in confusion. The Iotian ran by and grabbed McMennan by the collar, dragging him down the building's stairs. An explosion shook the building and sent Ben and Aengus tumbling down the stairs. The left wall of the building collapsed and the roof caved in on the two men. BHP felt himself fall, losing his grip on his rifle and rolling down the stairs until everything went dark.

The German artillery attack continued, blasting the town with 88's so that the Allied forces in the town would be 'softened up' for the German counter-attack. The American paratroopers scattered and took cover where they could find it, knowing they could dig out from under the rubble, once the barrage relented. The attack continued for almost half hour and for the entire time and a short period after, Pierce remained unconcious.

It was dark when Ben awoke. There was light around him, but closer inspection of the source made him realize the light was cast by several fires that burned among the rubble of the town. He was laying on his back and could turn his head but that was about all. A sudden fear seized him and Ben struggled to move his feet. The security officer heard his boots scrape against something.

"Your legs are probably numb from not moving them in a couple of hours," Aengus' voice explained. Ben turned his head to find Aengus nestled beneath a large wooden beam which lay across his legs. "I yelled at you for a couple of hours then just gave up," the officer told Pierce.

"Your legs?"

"Both broken and it hurts to move them," McMennan answered, he didn't even try to move them for Pierce's sake, knowing it was futile and not sure he could stand the pain. "I don't know where Major Allen's group are..I haven't heard anyone in a few hours."

"Why didn't you use your commlink?" Ben asked. He could feel something dripping down his left arm. It's the wound from the Terra Prime's opened again. "Our part in the mission is over."

"I tried; it's malfunctioning. Can you reach yours?"

BHP began to move his arms very slowly in an attempt to shift some of the rubble that had fallen on him. A plank slid off of the pile and then dislodged some smaller boards so that they slipped sideways and allowed Ben the ability to move his left hand. His stirrings were not as stealthy as Aengus had hoped they would be. "Try to be a little more quiet," he hissed as he admonished the petty officer. The Iotian began to remove the rest of the bricks and wood that pinned him to the floor of the gutted building. In freeing his torso a small avalanche of bricks clattered down beneath him to the ground floor.

"ACHTUNG! Halten en hande hoche!"

The German command had come from the corner of the building in which BHP and Aengus lay trapped. The sound of bootheels moving over debris let Ben know that a German patrol was moving to capture them. He could hear them walking beneath he and Aengus and then caught the heavy footfall of a boot on the wooden stairs.

"Get out! Activate your combadge and get out," Aengus told Pierce. "Tell them to transport me to sickbay when you get to the ship."

With a lunge, Ben managed to free himself and then crawled over to where Aengus was, sliding across the glass, brick and mortar detritus that littered the floor. The Iotian grabbed his dogtags/comlink and requested immediate evac before stuffing the tags in McMennan's pocket. "Tell them yourself!" BHP said before tearing Aengus' dogtags off, hoping that the location finder was working even if the communications tech was shot. The Iotian heard footsteps behind him and turned, drawing his M23 as he moved. Ben fired and caught the first Wermacht soldier in the chest with a burst of phased energy. His arm felt weak so he brought his right hand up to lock over his left. Two rifle shots sped past him then he felt the tingle of energy in the air and knew Aengus had been transported out. He fired three quick shots and took down the second and third German soldiers that had been coming up the stairs.

"Hand Granate," the Iotian heard the German sergeant order. BHP's eyes widened and he glanced around for an exit. It was either out the second story window or down the stairs. Two 'potato mashers' clanked against the far and landed beside him. Ben chose the window. He dove out, shattering what was left of the wooden framework as the panes had been knocked out by the earlier artillery barrage. The transporter beam caught him in mid-air and Pierce fell onto the transporter platform face-first.

"Damn, that was close, I was afraid I'd seen my last Harlem sunset," BHP told the deck plates of the Chimera.

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/04-28-2009 10:10:39 AM

Approximately 9 miles Northwest of Montauban
4:13 AM - Sunday, June 4, 1944

It was late and bordering on too damned late when Harry found… okay, tripped over… Ancell Toussant’s body.

Just his body.

The head would be somewhere in the undergrowth, Finn supposed, as he carefully reached up to find the wire which had been stretched across the narrow path, neck-height for a man on a motorcycle.

”It will stop?” Girard’s words fell from his bloodied mouth, lisping a bit through the gaps where his teeth had been.

“Yes,” Harry told him, barely holding it together. It had been a rough few hours for Emile. He’d taken to lying, throwing out names of men who, according to Montand, were not even involved in the maquis, or who’d died or gone missing recently. Once the mole had even been Bonaparte. And while Emile didn’t know it, he had a few tells. Every time he lied, his face would go crooked, his voice rise in pitch and his head would jerk to the side, almost giving a negative shake. Given the necessity of knowing when the man was lying, Harry had been sure to leave his face as untouched as possible.

The toenails, on the other hand… “It will stop,” he assured the Mlice agent.

Behind him, Harry heard the door open and close. Jean-Pierre had been making rounds, as Ancell had yet to return.

Emile nodded, swallowing blood before he opened his mouth to speak, “I don’t know the Christian name,” he began and, seeing the expression on Colthurst’s face, added, “This is the truth… no names were ever exchanged. I only know the operative as Blackbird…”

And then Girard's words were cut off by a sudden percussion which had the agent looking down to take in the deep red stain now blossoming in his chest, and Harry spinning, hand reaching for his weapon to face…

“I am sorry, Major,” Montand said with a troubled expression and a revolver aimed directly at Finn. “Truly, I am sorry but,” he sighed regretfully, “After so long, I’d begun to hope he would not break…”

Fingering the wire, Harry thought it no wonder that Montand hadn’t wanted to drive back to the farm… Jean-Pierre would have known what was waiting on the forest road.

Yeah, he’d known what was waiting for whomever drove down that path, but it wasn’t Montand who’d set the trap. He’d never been away from the cottage long enough ready the fatal roadblock.

Which meant that Girard’s contact, the one he called Blackbird, had done it.

“Everyone breaks,” Harry said quietly, watching the other man, carefully.

“So I see. And because everyone breaks, I must prevent you from acting on what you know.”

“If it helps, I don’t know much. They used a code name…”

Jean-Pierre shook his head but the gun didn’t waver, “But you know who he meant.”

Harry nodded, his eyes steady, “I do. Which means that I know it isn’t you.”

In the leaf-filtered light of the moon, he sliced the wire free, then wound it up, stuffing the bloody souvenir in a pocket before he moved forward, leaving Toussant’s grisly remains to check the motorcycle. It had run up against one of the massive trees though and, as he’d feared, was no longer operational. Cursing the lack of coms… no way to tag Wekesa without blowing cover… he returned to the path and his steady jog. He needed to get to the Demarais farm, before the mole could ferret out any details of tonight’s planned assault.


Jean-Pierre Montand, who had been fighting the Nazis for over three years now, looked quite lost as Colthurst, standing tall and unafraid over Girard’s body, offered the question. “You said it yourself, Major, yesterday morning… fear, lust, greed, love…” he stepped back a pace as the Englishman shifted, “When the enemy has taken your wife… perhaps it is a bit of all those.”

“You think by following the orders of a traitor, your wife will be saved?” Harry shook his head, “She will never be safe, Jean-Pierre. She may well be dead, already…”

“But how can I know?” the resistance leader stepped forward, “I can’t. If she lives, if they still have Francoise, I cannot take the chance. I cannot take the chance they will do to her what you did to him,” he nodded towards Emile’s maimed body.

“I want you to think, right now,” Harry said, amazed how calm he sounded, “think, Jean-Pierre, what your wife would want you to do. She has been faithful, yes? Supportive of you, all this time you’ve fought?”

Montand nodded over a shuddering breath.

“And, in all that time, did Francoise, ever once, ask you to choose her over France?”

“No,” Jean-Pierre admitted, blinking away the blinding moisture, “No, but… tell me Major, have you ever loved a woman? Been so much more because of her that you couldn’t imagine a world that does not have her in it?” There was no reply but, looking at Colthurst, Montand knew the answer. He stepped closer, still. “What happened?”

“The world no longer has her in it,” Harry said softly.

And then he moved, taking advantage of Montand’s closed distance to grab his wrist and shove the revolver sideways But Jean-Pierre didn’t let go. He held fast to the pistol even as he was thrown against the wall, the Major’s arm slamming across his throat. In his mind, there was nothing left to lose so he fought, one hand shoving at the tall soldier’s face, the other struggling to turn the gun in the direction it would do the most good.

As he continued to run down the narrow road, eyes constantly moving in search of any other surprises, Harry held onto the image of Jean-Pierre sliding down the wall, a smear of blood marking his passing and smile on his face.

He held onto that image, as Jean-Pierre had held onto his gun and, in a move Harry had never expected, twisted it around until it was aimed at himself, rather than Finn. It was that image, which clung to the Starfleet officer as cloyingly as the stench of blood and gunpowder, that would give him the strength he needed to do what must be done.

That and the maquisard’s final words.

“This way… they may yet let her live…”

Originally Posted byJenny Anderson/04-28-2009 07:21:29 PM

::Above the Iton River::
::6:06 AM, June 5, 1944::

She did not show as much fear as Masuhiro expected… in fact, she raised her sidearm with admirable speed. Not enough speed to prevent his twisting it away before it could be fired, but still admirable. As the weapon disappeared into his pocket, he closed in, bringing his tanto up, close to her throat and quite ready to strike. “You cannot defeat me,” he said with complete confidence, “I am a full-blood Samurai of the Koga clan; my life has been spent becoming a weapon of Humanity, while you only gai jin and worse, a gai jin who consorts with aliens. If you wish to live, give over the explosives. If you wish to fight, you should prepare yourself to…”

While he spoke, Jenny made a mental calculation of time remaining. The plastique was still in the pack; she needed to remove just one of the safeties for the whole kit to blow but it also needed to be beneath the deck of the bridge to cause any significant damage. She had to get the explosives down there… and to do that… she had to…

“… die.”

Maybe five minutes left… maybe less. “Well, seeing as there’s no door number three,” she said, channeling Harry while shivering convincingly in the increasing downpour. Jenny shifted slightly, very slightly with the cold touch of metal on her throat, so that the pack began to slip off her right shoulder, as if she meant to pass it over to him.

As the shadow reached for her pack, he moved his blade back a few centimeters to accommodate her surrender, just as she’d hoped he would, allowing her to leap backwards with a double inside kick, her foot punching his sternum before sweeping the knife.

Sucking in a breath, Masuhiro watched his family heirloom fly over the side of the bridge, knocked away by the ‘child’ he had not wished to fight. She then pressed forward, deliberately closing distance… a tactic which momentarily threw his concentration and left him blocking a flurry of strangely angled blows, trying to grasp at sinuous limbs, slippery with the rain and then, much to his surprise, hissing in pain as his arm was tangled in hers and, with but the slightest effort on her part, pulled almost out of its socket.

Masuhiro spun to follow her attack, willing to risk his arm to achieve the objective and, even as his shoulder dislocated with a sickening pop, Koga was rewarded by his fist connecting to her cheekbone. Only a glancing blow, but she took it hard, stumbling back and, to his mixed dismay and triumph, slipping on the wet railway tie. For a moment he stood, his arm hanging uselessly, thinking the girl dead. But no… he had not struck her so very hard… and surely there would have been a cry as she had fallen. No… his eyes narrowed in the slowly greying morning… his target was filled with deception… as he should have known from her inhuman fighting style. Kneeling down where the young woman had disappeared Koga confirmed that she had not fallen to the capricious waters of the Iton, but had, instead, slung herself onto the girders beneath. Coldly furious, the Terra Prime soldier grit his teeth before slamming his shoulder into the rail tie several times before he felt the pain of the joint snapping back into its socket.

It had to be only seconds, by now and knowing that, Jenny frantically shoved the remaining plastique into place. She’d lost several moments in just hanging on, waiting to see something besides stars. That fall had been only half-faked and it was a small miracle she’d caught hold of one of the trellis bridge’s cross beams after taking that hit. But now the explosives were finally in position and her fingers were on the nearest safety strip when she heard…

“If you move your hand, I will shoot you.”

Her eyes tracked left where the self-professed Samurai was propped between the under deck and a girder, a gleaming silver pistol aimed directly at her heart.

She glanced downwards… pretty good drop. Then again, she looked back at her opponent, who was far too close to miss his target, it probably wouldn’t matter.

Jenny closed her eyes and, not allowing herself to think of the consequences, pulled the strip by throwing herself sideways towards the enemy. Her trajectory knocked him off his perch but not before there was a percussive pop and then she felt a sickly burning explosion in her hip. There wasn’t too much time to experience that before the cruel slap of frigid water took its share of the attention, to be followed by the enveloping chill of the river and above that there came a great and sudden orange thunder and then the tug of the current pulling her further down into the suffocating depths and following that… following that…

Following that, there was nothing.

Featuring Koga Masuhiro, of Terra Prime

Originally Posted by T'Shaini/04-29-2009 11:00:47 AM

On the outskirts of Caen

Wild emotions pumped at Nils' periphery as he watched Andre's features twist and fret in a focused anxiety . The man cocked his head and listened to the still silent skies. And though the Captain was fully aware of the invasion which was even now occurring, there were now signs on the road around them. Andre still bore the worried look on his face that he'd adopted upon Giles departure…

"I will go to the south, coordinate with the others." Impulsively Giles hugged Andre, then after a slight hesitation, threw his arms around Nils then Marie. "Be safe, and god willing we will meet again."

"We must get to the hospital," Heintz said for what must have been the fourth time. The two Starfleet officers dogged the Frenchman's heels as they trudged through the muck that the road had become. His concern for Caen's medical facility was admirable to a fault and his caution had been resolutely thrown to the four winds. "God help us," he muttered as he quickened his pace once more.

"Prophets help us," Nils said in his own hushed tone.

T'Shaini ran behind the two men, Andre's insistence driving them forward. They already knew that Terra Prime was aware of their presence and at this point it was also likely that they had honed in on their location as well, so even though the events of the day were unfolding, it was possible that their mission was not yet over. "Andre…who is at the hospital?"

Visibly concerned, the young man answered quickly, "My sister…" His voiced dwindled as he continued to walk before he continued. "With the Allies coming so close we must ensure the safety of the injured and…" The rest went without saying.

"Of course," answered Nils, his own attention drawn in all directions. The struggle to stay alert was no struggle at all. In fact, since the attack from Terra Prime he'd felt borderline paranoid. Whispering and hushed to a point that he knew only T'Shaini's Vulcan ears could perceive he said, "What do you hear?"

She paused, wondering if he had detected something she had not, then shook her head. "Nothing near." Her brow furrowed in concentration. "A buzzing, but far off…perhaps ancient aircraft."

"The invasion?" His question was rhetorical, but it prompted him to pick up the pace. "How much farther?"

"The hospital is just ahead. As soon as we get into town you will see it," Heintz answered, still understandably focused on the goal. The rest of their journey was unremarkable and uncomfortably quiet. The calm before the storm definitely broke just as Caen came into view. And the sound of bombs exploding began and echoed throughout the countryside. At the sound of the first blast, the trio accelerated to a full run.

The ground rumbled beneath them, even though the explosions were still in the distance, but even these archaic machines could cover a decent amount of ground and they were getting closer. They burst in through the entrance of the hospital and Nils and T'Shaini drew back in horror. They were far too used to the sanitized environment of sickbay, the blood and chaos of this primitive hospital almost brought the Vulcan to her knees. Screams of fear and pain filled the air, the smell of infection permeated everything. T'Shaini's hand reached out to the wall to steady her. Ahead of them Andre began to search, oblivious to the bedlam.

Momentarily stunned into his own past, Nils lost track of Andre. The smells, sounds, and even the very air drew him to Hutet labor camp and his childhood and adolescence. Only Heintz's voice pulled him back into the moment.

"Giselle!" The resistance fighter shuffled through the horrified crowd until he found his sister and then pulled her close just as another volley of explosions shook dust from the plaster. Giselle, a slight young woman with brunette hair looked every bit as tough has her sibling.

"Andre, the Allies… The allies have come!" Her voice was tinged with hope and fear. "But our patients…"

"The divisional headquarters…" Andre began. The Allies knew that the German headquarters was but hundreds of yards away, and they had that information because of him. A blast shook the hospital as the building behind them was targeted. "The patients…carry them to the courtyard." Mobilizing the staff, Nils and T'Shaini aided in the movement, hoping that it would save some from being crushed if the building came down around them. Artillery rained down as the Allies targeted the area, it seemed that there was no hope that the hospital would be spared. "Can we contact them somehow?" The Vulcan asked, grasping the harried young woman by the shoulders.

"It is an old building, they cannot tell it is a hospital…" Giselle began, tears thickening her voice, then a light filled her eyes. "A cross, we need a red cross…Andre! Andre, sheets…can we paint them red? Paint..we need paint."

Part one of a Nilshaini production

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/04-29-2009 11:03:22 AM


Without a word, Andre sprang into action with a Bajoran Captain close behind him. Ducking into one room, they found both beds occupied and quickly skirted out and stepped into the next. They stripped the sheets from the bed and moved back into the emergency area. From another corridor Giselle emerged with another handful of sheets.

T'Shaini ran to the supply closet that Giselle had indicated, they had several cans of paint..but white, no doubt for the walls of the wards. She pushed aside extra cots and linens looking for something that would substitute but nothing arose. Grabbing an armful of linens she ran back to Andre and the others. "Nothing, nothing red. I am sorry."

Giselle stamped her foot. "We have no time." She snapped at the stranger. "Sorry..sorry." She stepped back with her hand raised in apology and bumped into something…the cart from the operating theater. "Blood." Giselle began to run to the back gesturing the others to follow her. "We can use blood from the operating theater."

Though Nils had to overcome a sense of morbid dread, Andre immediately took action. The respect Captain Torrik had for the man continued to grow. He wondered that if Andre Heintz had been born four hundred years later what kind of Starfleet Officer he would make. For certain, Nils would welcome his presence aboard the Chimera. Andre dunked several white sheets into a pan provided by Giselle and drew them out crimson. Then he sprinted to the stairs. Nils followed suit and rushed up several flights of stairs, his arms soaked with human blood.
T'Shaini ran behind the two men and watched as Andre began to lay out the crimson sheets end to end to begin to form a giant cross, once relieved of her bloody burden, she ran back inside to soak more sheets and return outside. "It will dry quickly, we will need to refresh this soon, will we not?"

Andre spared her a small smile. "I will worry about that once the first cross is finished…and it is proven to work."

"Yes, yes of course." T'Shaini's cheeks darkened as she turned and ran for another load.

Before turning to run, Nils thought of Jillian and how she'd have come up with some plan to keep the blood red - perhaps some anticoagulant or some other medical miracle she'd concoct on the spot. Then he leapt back into the fray and dashed down the flights of stairs, his feet only hitting the floor when absolutely necessary. After his third trip up and down with arms full of gory cargo, the giant red cross finally took shape. He panted and wiped his brow, certain it was caked with blood. T'Shaini and Andre looked as though they'd just been through a battle. And in a way they had… Whether or not they'd succeeded remained to be seen.

The far off buzz of bombers sent a shudder through Nils' spine and he turned toward the sound, unable to see any aircraft as yet. He looked anxiously from Andre to T'Shaini then back into the clouds. The world around him slowed and he held his breath. With eyes closed he began offering prayers one after the other.

T'Shaini froze, feeling the blood from the sheets she was clutching to her chest begin to seep through the fabric of her jacket, soaking her to the skin, but she could not move. As one, the group stared off into the horizon as a bomber appeared through a break in the clouds and moved in their direction. Even the moans of the injured were stilled as all eyes followed what was likely their doom. Closer and closer the plane cruised, the sound of the engines ominous in the closeness of the dark, overcast day. Then, so low that they could make out the shape of the pilot within, they saw a hand lifted in a wave, then the plane changed course, veering off to the north again.

The relief so intense it seemed to bring more light to the afternoon, T'Shaini breathed out a small prayer of thanks.

Nils face expanded into a smile and he let out a yelp, completely beyond that of his character. He even reached out and clapped Andre on the back. As he surveyed their handiwork he had a sense of satisfaction that he'd not felt since his work in the relief effort of the Megiddo IV colony - back when there was a Megiddo IV.

Andre practically giggled and then ran off once again to the stairwell. "I must tell Giselle… We've saved the hospital…"

Once the Frenchman was gone, Nils turned to his crewmate and continued smiling. They were quite a sight. Covered in blood and the muck of the road they looked as if they'd been through war. And, in truth they had. "We've saved the hospital," he echoed as he took a step closer and put himself at her shoulder. They watched for a moment as more planes veered from their flight path as they beheld the giant blood stained cross.

"I hope all were as successful as we were," T'Shaini looked to Nils, worry in her eyes. "they may not have been blessed with such exceptional persons to complete their missions as we were." She looked across the courtyard, filled with French nationals, now given the chance to live to see their freedom.

"Well…we're doing it because we did it," the Bajoran scientist said cryptically. "I don't take our success for granted, but I know that all things work toward a purpose." If he could smile any more broadly he did. "I feel… good. We fulfilled a purpose here today."

An answering smile pulled at her mouth. "Yes, you are quite right. It is not often that one can see the tangible effect of ones actions, and know that you have helped to change history."

"Or helped to not change history in this case." Nils drew in and released a deep cleansing sigh and moved to follow Andre. Before departing completely he took one last look at the massive red cross. His mood darkened when he realized the price paid by the men and women inside in order to save them all. "All things work toward a purpose," he said again allowing his faith to bolster the grim reality around him.

Part II of a Nilshaini Adventure!

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/04-29-2009 01:11:43 PM

Demarais Farm
.62 miles northwest of Montauban, France
6:58 AM - Sunday, June 4, 1944

“Monsieur Anglaise,” Luc, who was one of the pickets this morning, waved to the Major, who’d just exited the brush which concealed one of the maquis’ better used trails. Lowering his Sten, which he’d been given a nuts and bolts tutorial on yesterday, the youth pulled the wine skin over his shoulder, “You look very bad, Major, if you do not mind my saying. Here, take this…”

Harry took it. A fourteen kilometer run through the night forest, constantly on alert for cantrips, mines and trip wires was no way to spend an evening. Opening the skin he shot a hefty stream of liquid into the back of his throat.

Once he’d stopped coughing, he placed a hand on the kid’s shoulder, “What was that?”

“Potato wine,” the boy said, “my father makes it…”

“Right, potato wine… good stuff.” This was, he realized, the same teenager he’d disarmed yesterday morning, before he could shoot himself and ruin the party. “What is your name, anyway?”

“I am Luc Broussard,” came the proud response, “and it is an honor to serve with you, Major Colthurst.”

“Yes, well, very good,” despite his normal reservations, Harry took another swig of the potato wine. He was pretty sure the liquor would eat through his esophagus but it also sent a spike of energy to his failing limbs. “My compliments to your father,” he added, then looked around. The farm’s main buildings… the barn, the house and the dairy, were all quite silent. “Where is everyone?”

“Lieutenant Jawara and his dozen have not returned from their reconnaissance of the railway and depot. A party of seven has gone to Montauban to seek supplies and the rest are in the forest to the northwest, practicing the drills you gave them before you left.” He did not ask why the Major had left, so soon after his arrival, nor did he ask where Jean-Pierre or Ancell were. These were the leaders of their cell and surely had great plans to bring into motion.

“How many remain here?”

“Myself, Gilbert and Pascal stand sentry on the northern perimeter… Abelard and Thomas must cover the south road.”

Pascal, Finn recalled from their introduction, was a black-eyed, black-haired, battle-hardened maquis who’d been a part of the Carte cell before it fell to the Adwehr in ‘43. “And Odile?"

Luc blushed at the mention of the lovely blonde. She had been very kind to him, when so many of the men would tease him for his beardless state. “She should be in the attic… waiting for the morning transmission.”

Harry saw the blush, the adolescent yearning for the touch of heaven that someone like Odile would represent.

"Where," he asked, as his hand slipped into his pocket to grasp the only physical remain's of Blackbird's crimes, "can I find Pascal?”

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/04-29-2009 02:22:57 PM

-Outside Caen-

Javier's legs were burning, his muscles protesting the additional weight of his weapon, his pack and Corporal Rice but he willed himself to walk a steady pace. Tommy had sent he and the paratrooper to a a thickly, wooded area roughly two hundred yards from the outer grounds of the hospital. On any other clear, cloudless night the walk would have been bearable, but with the Eighth Airforce intent on bombing German targets in the vicinity, the situation had quickly become deadly. There was no way to tell where a bomb was going to fall other than by making sure that he and Rice were not directly under one of the large, lumbering aircraft. With the trees blocking his view of the horizon, it became very difficult to judge the path of the bombers, so Javier found himself running back and forth in a zigzag pattern, as he gauged the direction of the aircraft by the loud droning sound their engines made.

Breaking free of the treeline, the officer was confronted by a large open space with the green of the grass meeting a sea of white. What he first thought was parachute fabric, he soon realized were linens and in the middle of the white was a stain of red. "Almost there Corporal, hang in there," Javier told the soldier he was carrying as the bombing run ended. The American soldier grunted a reply, something Javier couldn't understand. There were a group of people standing to one side of an ancient building, larger than any of the others in the area. It has to be the hospital. the engineer thought as he started to walk towards the people.

"Hey! Hello!" Javier called to the group of people, hoping they were hospital staff. They appeared to be dressed as civilians from what he could tell. "Help me.." he shouted, not knowing how much farther he could carry Rice by himself.

T'Shaini and Nils had just turned back toward the wooded area so they could be transported back, knowing it was better to leave while Andre was still occupied, when a shout…from a very familiar voice, stopped them in their tracks. "Javier…" T'Shaini whispered. Relief washed over her as she recognized the form coming toward them. She started in his direction, then hesitated. "What do we do?"

Initially Chimera's CO thought T'Shaini must be mistaken. It seemed unlikely that they would happen upon the Chief of Engineering in light of the distance of their respective missions. Upon examination, however, Nils realized that Vulcan ears should always be trusted. Indeed, Javier Costala struggled in their direction with what appeared to be an injured human. "We help," Nils answered before bursting into a run. "Come on!"

To his relief the people started moving towards him and Javier felt a burst of energy fill his weary body as he realized that he'd made it. "We're here Rice, you're going to be okay.." There was no reply from the American soldier and Javier began to sprint forward on legs of rubber, afraid that their journey had been for nothing. "Doctor? He needs..a doctor..he's been shot..twice," he said breathlessly as the civilians rushed up to him.

T'Shaini struggled to not throw her arms around him, a wonderful sight no matter how muddy…mud mixed with blood…surely not his. I do not know him, I do not know him… The strength of his voice was enough to reassure her for the moment. "Sir, let us help you take him inside, he will be attended to there."

"I got him…I got him," Nils added trying to relieve the burden of the injured soldier from Javier. He caught the engineer's eye and gave him a welcoming nod and an almost-smile. The Bajoran strained under the man's weight, but successfully transferred him from Javi. "What happened? Are you injured?"

"No..err..Non?" the engineer replied, struggling to translate the questions, which had all been asked in French. It had been a shock to find that T'Shaini and Nils were among the civilians but he finally understood S'Van's original reasoning for not wanting to transport him to the hospital. Other than being a complete asshole, he thought I wanted to check up on them. "There were..complications on our mission," Javier explained as Nils took the burden of Rice's weight. He glanced toward T'Shaini, whom he wanted to take in his arms and kiss, but knew for the mission's sake he must restrain himself. "So all the rumors are true," Javier said slowly, remembering Branden would have had a halting knowledge of French at best, "French women are the most beautiful."

T'Shaini's cheeks darkened at his words and her hands began to reach for him, then pulled back to twist together. "I thank you, monsieur." Nils had started toward the hospital with the injured man, and tugging at Javier's arm she began to follow. "Let us get your friend situated," She was almost frantic to be out of sight of the Terrans so that she could hold him and reassure herself that he was truly here and alive. "do you need medical attention as well?" 'Marie asked with a hesitant gesture toward the blood marking his uniform.

"No, it is another's," Javier explained. "Some of it belonged to an assassin," he said in a low voice as they walked towards the hospital. "Our friends who believe fascism is en vogue," Javier added to clarify that Terra Prime was active on the planet. "He's the one who shot Corporal Rice."

As they approached the entrance medics took charge of the young paratrooper, assuring Javier that his friend…god willing, would recover. Once reassured of his charges survival the three took their quiet leave. T'Shaini did not trust herself to speak with discretion so full was her heart. Javier had been so certain something would go wrong that she had become certain as well. Now it seemed as if, within moments, they would be back on the Chimera with Lia. She reached out to squeeze his arm, the contact once again reassuring her.

"I need to return to the frontline," Javier said after watching Rice being carted away to surgery, "I don't suppose you could direct me towards the nearest group of Allied soldiers." The engineer looked from T'Shaini to Nils, hoping they would read the plan to move a safe distance from the hospital so they could transport home. Damn I want to kiss her. Javier thought as he felt T'Shaini touch his arm once more.

"Ah…" Nils said as he looked around to see if any one at all looked suspicious. They did not. "We can certainly show you the road that will point you in the right direction," he said pointing toward the distant horizon. He started moving, in full trust that his two Chimera crew mates would follow. If they were anything like him, they felt the urge to get back to the ship as much as he did. Judging from Javi's expression as the engineer ogled the counselor there were some definite urges percolating in there.

As one, the trio headed toward the treeline, each meter their strides got longer and longer trying to cover as much distance as possible. Once the dappled shadows of the trees covered them from view, T'Shaini turned and threw her arms around Javier and hugged him tightly. In a voice uncharacteristically small she whispered into his ear. "I am so grateful that…" Unable to give voice to the thought, she just hugged him tighter.

"'re alive and well." Javier responded as he returned T'Shaini's hug, pulling her in tight so he could hold her. "There were times when I thought.."

"that I would not see you again." T'Shaini cupped his face with her hands. "I have never been so happy to be wrong."

Immediately uncomfortable with so much displayed affection, Nils tried to avert his eyes. "Perhaps we can save the heartfelt reunions for the ship?" His voice was artificially dire when he added quietly, "And that's an order." A faint smile touched his eyes.

"Sorry, sorry…" T'Shaini stepped backward, but let her fingers intertwine with Javier's. So intent was she on her reunion that it was not until he was upon them did the Vulcan have any inkling of his presence.

From the shadows and like a preying feline emerged the Terra Prime operative with his disruptor held level. "Damned Vulcan bitch," he cried angrily as he mercilessly fired off three successive shots in T'Shaini's direction. Roiling masses of yellow energy careened through the trees in slow motion illuminating the leaves as they passed until they each found their mark and burned deep into the counselor's chest as she turned toward the sound of an unfamiliar voice.

"Get down," called Nils wildly as he vaulted towards their attacker. His mind whirled with options, but tactically he knew he could not help his friend and counselor until the threat was eliminated. Javier would have to care for her for now. "Get down," he said once more as he collided with a tree and drew his weapon. Three successive shots of his own covered him as he sprinted perpendicular to their attacker, trying to draw both his attention and fire. Without cover, there was nothing Javi could do.

A sudden and crushing wall of agony slammed into Nils like an asteroid. If Javier had just watched T'Shaini die… If T'Shaini were dead… Jillian's lifeless eyes stared at him from the floor of his quarters. Not now… Not now… Utilizing the compartments he'd designed to lock away his emotions all his life, the Bajoran continued his press. More phaser fire erupted from his archaic looking rifle, but this time balls of disrupter energy greeted him. Fortunately, his cover preserved his own life. Without thinking, the Captain launched himself through space and collided with their attacker. Locking arms and legs around him, Nils tried to grapple and immobilize him, much as Tenanji had done to him on any number of their training sessions. It was only partly successful as a rogue fist connected with the Bajoran's temple, momentarily stunning him. But he did not release his grip. He squeezed tighter, summoning strength from everything he held dear.

There was blood. A lot of it. Green Vulcan blood staining the ancient uniform as Javier held T'Shaini, crouched low against a tree trunk where he had dragged her. Everything seemed to slow, he knew he should draw his weapon but Javier could not. "Don't leave me," he told T'Shaini, looking into her eyes. She tried to answer and blood frothed at her lips. 'Your Vulcan will die.' The words of the Terra Prime operative returned to the engineer, as the blood of his beloved, mixed with the red stain the assassin had left upon his tunic. Javier hugged her fiercely, intent on stopping the bleeding with the intensity of his embrace. "Please stop.."

Still rolling on the forest floor, the two men from the future struggled for dominance. Sometimes the human from Terra Prime held sway, but as quickly as he would get the upper hand, the Bajoran pulled a punch born of angst and worry. Then he followed up with a twist as he pulled himself on top of the Terra Prime terrorist and began to pound away.

The potential hijacker of human destiny stared daggers up at the Bajoran and cursed him. "Alien…scum…" He spat words up at the Starfleet Officer through bouts of pain and a spray of blood. Nils didn't bother to respond. He looked over his shoulder at Javier cradling T'Shaini's crumpled form. "You'll have to kill me," started the human one more time as he struggled in vain.

"I'm taking you into custody," Nils muttered sadly before activating his communicator. "Emergency beam out… Transport us directly to sickbay…"

JP with T'Shaini and Nils.

Originally Posted by Jenny Anderson/04-29-2009 04:45:57 PM

::Forest Northwest of Aulney-sur-Iton::
::1:47 PM June 5, 1944::

Koga Masuhiro sat quietly and watched as the child, who was not a child after all, fought free of the darkness. He had done what he could to slow her bleeding but there was a fever now, as well. He should have just left her in the river… his superiors on the Anomaly would have told him to do so, but there were things he needed to say, one warrior to another.

“It has been many hours, and many kilometers, since the bridge fell,” he told her, “I was beginning to fear you would not wake.”

“Me too,” Jenny said, her voice little more than a whisper. Her throat felt like sandpaper and the fire in her hip had spread. It was hard to focus on the man who knelt before her, his hands resting quietly on his knees. “I don’t… why did you pull me out?” And, if many hours had passed, why hadn’t she been extracted, yet?

“You surprised me,” he told her. “I was not expecting such… dedication… in the face of certain death.” So saying he lowered his head in respect then, upon looking up again, “You have fulfilled your mission with honor. I wished you to know that, before I departed.”

“Where?” She made an attempt to sit up but no go… the brain could talk but the body wasn’t listening. “I… my ship will pull us out…”

He shook his head, “Not while I am near,” he explained, gently, holding out his wrist, which bore a strange scar, “I have been implanted with a harmonic neutralizer … no communications or tracking will function while I am close to you.”

“But,” she frowned up at him, “won’t that prevent you…”

“I was never expected to return,” he told her. “When I was chosen, it was my duty to remain in this altered pattern, to live or die as my fate decreed.” Then he rose and offered another bow to the young woman, “And now, Starfleet, your success has decreed that fate.” He turned towards the deeper forest and took a step before looking back, “If I may ask… your fighting style… who is your sensei?”

“B’Naath. His name is B’Naath.”

“Not Human, then.”

She shook her lead, slightly, “My teacher is Caitian.” In spite of her wavering vision, Jenny’s eyes warmed at the thought of her instructor. “He is very skilled… and very patient.”

Masuhiro nodded once, “You may tell him, from me, that you learned your lessons well.” Then he turned and strode off into the forest. Jenny put a hand to the nearest tree and forced herself to sitting, realizing, as she did, that her palm rested on a fluer-de-lis…

Even as she tried to stand, tried to call out, the explosion shredded the quiet of the late afternoon forest. Jenny fell back to the ground, crushed down by the pain and the fever and yet another death. By the time the first shimmering tingle of the transporter effect took hold, several minutes later, she had returned to the welcoming numbness of oblivion.


::USS Chimera::
::Transporter Room F - Deck 14::

“What’s taking so long?” Jameson turned on Lottz, who’d spent a tense several hours searching for Anderson. He’d finally picked up her signal a few minutes ago and initiated transport. The bridge had picked up the detonation of her intended target shortly after she’d gone off the grid, at roughly 0600, local… much longer and they would have given her up for lost.

“It’s the memory cloning subroutine,” he assured the Senior Chief, “she’s in the buffer, safe and sound. It took just as long for the First Officer and Ensign Wekesa…”

Neither man looked at Commander S’Van, at that point. As the mission Control, the commander was making it a point of being present for each insertion and retrieval. In Finn’s case, S’Van had welcomed the XO back by having him escorted directly to lockup. Now that Finn had fulfilled his part in the mission, the operative had informed him, disciplinary action would continue on schedule.

Another thirty seconds passed in silence and Bill was about to jump all over Lottz when the transporter pad began to shimmer. Moments later the wet, bleeding and unconscious form of Crewman Anderson appeared. Jameson jumped onto the pad and checked, there was a pulse but there was also a projectile wound, lower torso.

“Sickbay,” he began but the Bolian transporter chief was already entering the coordinates.

As the pair dissolved from view, S’Van gave up a slight smile. “And then there were three,” he said with quiet satisfaction.

Oyasuminasai, Koga Masuhiro

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/04-30-2009 08:56:48 AM

Demarais Farm
.62 miles northwest of Montauban, France
7:44 AM - Sunday, June 4, 1944

In the rearmost building of the property, set back and between the granary and the larger barn, Harry guided a bike around the other specimens in the maquis’ motor pool… it wasn’t much but they really had been busy with the rebuilds and the fact of the matter was, as he moved the Frankencycle he’d chosen into place, it didn’t have to go very far.

“You needed to see me?”

Standing in the wide entrance was Pascal, backed by a fog-shrouded morning and looking as sour as Harry recalled. That sourness was currently bumped up by the Sten he now carried. Unlike Luc, who held the weapon like a great treasure, for Pascal it was merely an extension of his arm, as much a part of the man as the scar running along the side of his face.

“Yes, yes,” Colthurst came to the fore, waving the man in, “we’re just waiting on… ahh, here she is…”

“Major,” Odile stepped into the building, barely offering Pascal a glance. Her eyes curious and a bit tired. “Is there news? Do you need to send a transmission?”

“I need a courier, actually… well two,” he nodded towards the motorcycle he’d propped up, facing the open barn doors, then let out a sigh before crossing his arms over his chest, “There’s news… very bad I’m afraid. Neither of you are aware of course but, recently Montand took a Milice agent prisoner.” he explained to the pair, both of whom expressed a silent shock. Pascal’s came and went as quick as lightning while Odile’s mouth formed a horrified ‘o’ and her hands clutched together in front of her chest. “That is where he and I went, yesterday,” he continued, “to interrogate him. Jean-Pierre believed he had a contact in your cell, you see and this man was being held in a shepherd’s house… north and west…”

“I know the place,” Pascal grunted, while Odile went a bit pale.

“Why have we not moved from the farm?” she asked, frightened. “If the agent knew of us…”

“You may well need to but, right now, it’s a bit of a dead issue,” George looked positively ashamed, “He made an escape attempt, you see, while I was… distracted. I got him, in the woods but he hurt Jean-Pierre pretty badly. Ancell was caring for him when I went in pursuit and with this,” he pointed to the stretcher he’d rigged from one of the cargo parachutes and a couple of rake handles, “slung between two motorcycles… Ancell’s and this one… I believe he can be brought back safely. It’s just a matter of the pair of you fetching this out and all three returning with him. I’d offer to go myself, but I spent the past several hours thrashing about in the bush… didn’t have a clue which way to go, but you know the path…” he fixed his eyes on Pascal.

“Right,” the maquisard moved immediately for the cycle. He lay his machine gun on the floor as he leaned over to check the fuel gauge, “And when we come back, you can tell us how you were distracted, eh, Anglaise?”

But Harry was watching Odile, who’d not moved since he mentioned taking the road through the forest. “Something wrong, Odile?”

“What? No, no but, Major… someone has to remain with the radio.”

“I can handle that,” he told her, “never fear.”

At that she bit her lip and sidled closer to Colthurst, “Only I am afraid,” she said softly, sure that Pascal couldn’t hear her.

“Of what?” Harry asked, softly.

“I fear him.” She placed her hand over the major’s heart as she whispered, “Pascal. He has always been so… distant, not of us. And the Carte organization… he was part of that and it fell. How can I know he is not Girard’s contact?”

“Odile,” Harry said quietly, covering her hand with his as he leaned in close to whisper, “I never said the agent’s name was Girard.” As she pulled back, he held on tight to that hand. “You said you enjoyed your name… Odile… the black swan, the one who seduced the prince and betrayed them all. The black bird…”

Pascal had frozen where he stood, listening, “It was her?”

Harry nodded, still looking into her eyes, which were now furious, “But you needn’t have been afraid of taking that ride with Pascal,” he told her. “I took the wire… after I found Ancell’s body.”

“Toussant is dead?”

“And Jean-Pierre… she owns both of their deaths,” Harry said. “Theirs and very likely Francoise Montand by now… and how many others?”

She shook her head, but not in denial. “I’ve lost count,” she told him. “One does, after a while. But, you would know that.”

His eyes narrowed, both at the comment and at the sudden pressure in his side. Harry looked down to see his own Colt, pressed against his ribs, “Ah.” The woman shifted away, knowing better than to remain in distance.

“Put your hands behind your head and kneel, if you please,” Odile ordered as she stepped behind him. “Don’t, Pascal,” she called, as the other man bent for his weapon. “I truly do not want anymore deaths, today.”

It was touch and go, whether the maquisard would listen but the odds weren’t with him, yet, so he straightened, hands held away from his body.

“Very good,” she said and then Harry, kneeling, felt a world of pain as metal met skull, sending him to the dirt. He heard, over the ringing, Odile order Pascal away from the motorcycle, thought he caught the sound of metal on metal… she’d taken the Sten… no slouch, our Odile.

Then an engine was catching and wheels spinning and the sounds of a motor’s dragon roar shooting into the distance and rough hands were helping him rise and Pascal was cursing George and himself for letting her get away…

“Wait for it,” Colthurst told Pascal. “Just, wait for it…”

There wasn’t much to hear, really… just an abrupt cry and a series of thumps before the skid and crash of an empty motorcycle sliding into a barrier and sputtering to silence.

“What?” Pascal, unwary of his charges tender skull, pushed the Major away and shook at him, “What was that? What happened?”

Over his own rising gorge, Harry looked towards the building’s exit, and beyond. There, in the drifting mists between the granary and the main barn, one could just make out a huddle of flannel and, if one looked very, very carefully, some meters to the left of that huddle, a mound of flax, still rolling, ever so slightly. "I told her I'd taken the wire which killed Ancell…" He turned back to Pascal, “We’d best clean up, before Luc comes back to the house.” He began to move, creaking with a weariness that went beyond flesh.

Numb, Pascal followed, “And then?”

“Then, the fight goes on.” Harry glanced at the other man, “Your men will need guidance.”

Understanding, Pascal nodded. “They shall have it.”

Which was how it was left when Major George Colthurst departed the Demarais farm, later that day, moving on to the Aquitaine region. There, if history played out as as it should, the real Colthurst would be rejoined by the real Lieutenant Jawara. Then, as posterity had it, the two would help the Resistance wreak unholy havoc on the Germans until the war’s end.

If history played out as it should… if Wekesa succeeded.

Not much later, safely aboard the Chimera, Harry sat on the floor of the cell which S’Van had ordered him to. Finn had asked for the lights to be dimmed and, alone in the dark, tried to figure out which of the acts he’d committed over the past two days belonged to George Colthurst, and which belonged to him.

Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/04-30-2009 02:16:28 PM

German Railroad Checkpoint
3.1 miles north of Montauban, France
8:54 PM - Sunday, June 4, 1944

*All spoken text is in French.

Simba squinted through the darkening twilight as he struggled to make out the movements of the German soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. The train was due any minute now, and they had only one chance at this. He hadn't heard anything from Finn since yesterday, but he could only hope that he'd succeeded in taking care of the mole by now. He and the twelve men under his command had a very narrow window of opportunity, and, at this late hour, he had no contingency plan if a German agent were to have infiltrated his team.

They'd been in the woods on reconnaissance all day- far longer than he had initially planned. But no matter how many times they had made their way along the railway leading into town, they'd never managed to find a suitable spot to get aboard the train when it came. The Germans had been exceedingly effective at clearing any overhanging trees or structures along the track, and it had seemed that their plan might be foiled before it even began. Finally, Wekesa had decided that their best chance was to take out the soldiers at the checkpoint and board the train there as it began to move away. Most of the men had agreed to this plan, in spite of its added difficulty, though Claude had opposed him vehemently.

He didn't trust Claude. If anyone was going to be a German agent, he had a feeling that it was him. Most of his interactions with the Maquis force had been through Claude and Didier, with the rest of the men seemingly content to follow their leadership. While Didier had been quite useful and seemed eager to help in whatever way he could, Claude had constantly questioned him and cast doubt on the success of their mission. He'd made a point to keep his eye on the man, though hopefully Colthurst had taken care of the double agent by now and it was just paranoia.

"The men are all in position, sir," Didier reported, interrupting his thoughts as he stealthily crouched down next to Jawara behind a large fallen tree.

"Good. And they all know the signal?"

"Yes. As soon as the train begins to pull away from the checkpoint and the locomotive is past the marker, we shoot the guards and take the checkpoint. Du Bois will take one of the German uniforms and man the radio at the checkpoint until we are inside the supply depot. The rest of us get into one of the carriages while the train is moving slowly and take it the rest of the way in."

Malik nodded, satisfied that his constant reiteration of the plan throughout the day had apparently paid off. There was no doubt that it was an ambitious plan, and one that could fail in so many ways, but they were committed to it now and had no choice but to see it through. In the distance, he could faintly hear the chuffing of a steam locomotive somewhere beyond the curve and behind the trees. He tensed and crouched down a little lower, reaching down and grasping the gun that he carried on his belt. The dark forest was beginning to glow, the narrow, fog-filled corridor along the railway illuminated by the headlamp of the as-yet-unseen German train. He looked over to Didier, who was looking at him expectantly, and nodded. The Frenchman acknowledged him with a quick nod of his own, then moved off through the underbrush to give the go signal to the rest of the men. Malik looked back to the railway just as the locomotive burst into view, a great iron machine forging its way noisily through the otherwise silent night. The brakes squealed and the chuffing of the steam engine became more drawn out as the engineers slowed their approach to the checkpoint.

At the guardhouse along the tracks, a large spotlight had been turned on and cast a shaft of bright light onto the oncoming supply train. A German officer, one of only four that they had observed at the checkpoint, stepped out the door, tugging on his neatly starched uniform as he walked to the edge of the tracks and raised his arms to signal the locomotive. Out the corner of his eye, Simba could see a slight movement in the treeline as his strike team slowly moved in towards the small guardhouse. He could hear shouts in German, barely audible over the loud hissing from the locomotive as it vented a great cloud of steam from its pistons. Apprehensively, Jawara looked over to a rocky outcropping a couple hundred meters away where two of the Frenchmen were poised with sniper rifles. They seemed intently focused, no doubt lining up their shots as the train came to a complete halt and the German officer moved out of sight to speak to the train crew.

It seemed to take an eternity to complete the check of the supply train. A hundred thoughts rushed through Simba's head… had the guards found something suspicious? Had one of them, or one of the train crew, seen his men prowling in the woods along the tracks? Had the mole already given them up to the Nazis in town, and was that information now being discussed by the Germans along the railway below? It seemed like hours, but in reality the entire process probably took no more than a few minutes. Finally, the German officer re-emerged from the locomotive's cab and took a few steps away before turning back to face the engineer. Simba held his breath.

"Heil Hitler!" the officer called to the train engineer as he raised his arm in the Nazi salute. He stood that way for a moment, then turned stiffly and marched back to the small guardhouse.

There was another great hiss as the locomotive vented some more steam, and then a single chuff as its pistons pressurized and prepared to once again propel the massive machine down the iron ribbon that led through the forest and into the heart of the German supply depot in Montauban. The locomotive's bell began to clang slowly as the train crept slowly forward.

Finally, Simba exhaled. In the forest, he could see his men, all of whose positions had been engrained into his mind, crouching as they prepared to take action. There was no turning back now.

The locomotive laboriously moved along the track, slowly picking up momentum as it pulled several carriages, no doubt filled with munitions and supplies, behind it through the night. Steadily, it made its way through the woods and disappeared around the curve, putting the guardhouse out of eyesight of the train crew even as the loaded carriages continued to creep through the checkpoint. That was their cue.

A loud crack split the night air as a rifle was fired in the woods. The German officer fell to the ground in the doorway of the guardhouse, just as he was about to enter, pierced by the bullet from the concealed sniper. One of the other guards appeared in the doorway, drawing his weapon, but he too fell as he was struck by another bullet. Several more gunshots rang out, as the surrounding Maquis closed in on the isolated checkpoint.

"Allez, tout-doit!" Simba shouted as he jumped up and vaulted over the log he had been using for cover. Everything was a blur as he ran full speed at the guardhouse, with the rest of his team doing the same from their various points around the perimeter. Instinctively, he raised his gun and pulled the trigger as another German guard appeared and ran towards him. The bullet struck the guard in the arm and he pulled back in pain before being shot in the chest by one of the Frenchmen. Three down. Two of the Maquisards burst into the shack and more gunshots rang out as Simba skidded to a halt in the doorway. Du Bois was already pulling the body of the last German guard off the radio table where he had slumped over as the Frenchmen shot him.

"All clear!" Claude reported as he somehow appeared beside Lt. Jawara. Du Bois nodded affirmatively as he sat down at the table and put on the radio headset.

"Alright, the rest of you… let's go." Simba glanced at the slowly moving train, whose end was quickly approaching the guardhouse. They didn't have much time to get the remaining team aboard. He jerked his head towards the moving carriages. "Everyone get aboard before it picks up speed, then start tearing open the supply crates and see what we can use." The first of the Maquisards had already jumped onto the metal rungs on the side of a passing carriage and the rest were beginning to follow suit.

Quickly, Simba holstered his pistol and approached the tracks just as the final carriage began to roll past the guardhouse. He bit his lip, trying not to think about the possibility of missing his target, and jumped onto the gradually accelerating train to ride it the last three miles into history.

Originally Posted by Benjamin Hyde Pierce/04-30-2009 05:02:30 PM

-Tertiary Section-

"There's a good lad," Stuart said as he watched Pierce remove a navy blue sweater he'd been wearing beneath his combat jacket. The medic then cut away the sleeve of the young man's uniform. It was a 20th century rendition of an American Army uniform so the medic cut along the seams, parting the fabric easily enough. He had only just managed to calm the security officer, to the point where Saxe-Goethe was able to convince Pierce that his wound needed to be tended to, before he rushed off to check on Crewman Anderson. "She's not going anywhere Laddie, and she's in fine condition after the bullet was removed from her hip. Bang up doctors we have on this ship." The wound that Pierce had acquired during the attack on the Terra Prime ship had opened again and Stuart did not know why. The staff knew it was due to the Jem Hadar weapon and its anti-coagulant settings but they had no idea why the proscribed treatment was being rendered ineffectual. May keep opening because he's always in the thick of the action..sutures never set properly. the medic thought.

"I'd like to try something different," Stuart told BHP. "I want to stitch you up the old fashion way. Use cotton thread and a needle. Do you have any objections?"

"Nah, that's how the doc fixed us up at home," Ben said, "Might work better." He would have agreed to anything at that point. He wanted to see Jenny. "Get your needle Doc."

Half an hour later Ben found himself standing beside the biobed to which Jenny had been taken after her surgery. Two beds over Aengus was resting peacefully, snoring as he dreamed about whatever the hell cadets dreamed about. Jenny looked as if she were asleep, her red-golden tresses a bright contrast against the white pillow. Ben knelt down and brushed a few runaway strands of her hair away from her face, sweeping it behind the young woman's ear. Jenny stirred and opened her eyes to look at him.

"Hey Doll," Ben said as he grinned at Jenny, "you ain't trying to ruin the finest pair of gams this side of Sol are ya?"

"Am I still hearing in French?" she asked, smiling at the welcome vision before her then her nose wrinkled as she realized, this time, her vision smelled kinda ripe. Jen reached out and gave his shoulder a punch… "HEY, you're real!"

"Yeah, and so was that punch," BHP stated, feigning injury as he rubbed his shoulder. "You could hurt a guy like that." He looked around then slipped in close, placing a soft kiss on Jenny's lips. It was quick but the Iotian was glad to see her, glad she had made it even if she had been shot. "You're a real moll now..gunshot, like a gangster's girl," he told Jenny.

"Cooool," she told him, pushing up on her elbows, thinking maybe she should kiss his owy shoulder but got distracted by the wrapping on his arm. "Ohh, nooo. That's the part that needs a kiss to make it better." Jenny laid her lips softly over the dressing then she gave Ben what she was sure was a stern look, "You haven't been careful at all, have you? Shame on you… or, shame on whoever hurt you…. hey, I blew up a bridge! That's when I got shot… not by a gangster though… more like a ninja," a hint of sadness crossed the young woman's face as she fell back to the pillow, "but he died…"

"Sounds like he got what he deserved," Ben interjected, his fingers brushing through her hair. He figured someone had given Jenny some gin or a bunch of pain pills to take the edge off. "I knew you would finish the mission." He thought for a moment then said, "How do you feel?"

"With my fingers," she began, then she caught on to the actual meaning of his question, "Oh… I don't know," Jenny frowned, even as she leaned into his touch, "there was a lot of bad stuff, you know? Of course you know, you were there too… especially in the woods when I wanted to quit, just leave the path and if there was a wolf, oh well… but you kept me going." She smiled again losing herself in his eyes, "You told me you believed in me, so I kept going."

BHP nodded his head. "I do believe in you." He didn't understand half of what she said but he knew what Jenny meant. It was easier to believe in yourself when others believed in you. "You're going to have to start believing in yourself again soon," he told her, not sure if she would fathom what he was saying, but wanting to say it anyway, "because you're good, you're very good."

Her eyes shot over to where Aengus was sleeping the sleep of the heavily sedated then shook her head a bit, "Thanks, that means'lot… and I'm getting there," she said, patting Ben's arm. "But right now," her grey eyes shadowed with smoke, "I don't wanna believe. Don't want to believe what I saw… even if I have to, tomorrow." Then, blinking away the memories, she started to sit up, "But see, that's what I mean. We should forget all that… we should… I know! Let's go someplace private…"

"No, we can split later, now you need to rest and heal," Ben said, taking steps toward responsibility. He wanted to go somewhere private with Jenny but he wanted her healthy and less drunk when that time came. . "I can stay, but you need to sleep," the Iotian told her.

"I don' wanna sleep," she said as she fwumped back on the bed. "I don' wanna and you can't make me…" Jenny's eyes started to drift closed and her hand wrapped around his, bringing it close to her chest, cradling it as if Ben's hand were a blanket, "stay 'wake allll night if I…. want…"

"Sure ya can.." Ben slipped his hand from Jenny's and pulled the coverlet up over her. He kissed her cheek then moved back to a nearby chair, smiling to himself. He wished he had recorded part of their conversation, so Jenny could have seen herself 'high'. "It'll be better when I tell her though." He grinned, thinking about how much he liked it when Jenny blushed. There would be a lot of blushing after he told her about her sulk.

JP with Jenny 'Meds' Anderson

Originally Posted by Emily Star/04-30-2009 05:58:17 PM

-Inside the old house ouside Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon -

Hours had passed, Emily had taken to drawing dust doodles on the table where she sat. The silence driving her crazy. She had no idea why she was in the room, no idea why she was even on the planet. Why was she back in time? Why her?

Why did she doubt so much?

David 'Simon' sat at the window staring at the setting sun. He hadn't moved much since she'd arrived. The gun hung lazily in his hand, every now and then he brought it up and looked at it. It was as if he couldn't believe he was holding it. He seemed so lost and Emily could sense it.

"Why .." he spoke quietly,"Why can't people just get along?"

Emily wasn't sure if he was speaking to her. She didn't want to answer him if he was speaking to himself. If she interrupted his thoughts it might set him off. Then again if he was speaking to her and she ignored him it might as well.

Luckily he continued,"My father dedicated his life to the church. His faith was as imbedded like his soul, it was as much a part of him as his arms and legs. Growing up no matter what he always had an answer and I hated him so much for that. He had a verse to quote, he had a reason for every problem." he looked at the gun again,"How can a man like that have a son like me?"

"I don't know, I'm nothing like my mother though. She's a quiet wife, dedicated to her home and I'm a traveller." she drew a random face in the table dust,"I'm the polar opposite of everything she is."

"You love your mother?" he asked quietly.

"Sometimes," Emily said,"We didn't always get along."

David 'Simon' spun his head sharply to look at her,"There was never a moment I ever doubted my father nor ever hated him until he died. I loved him through everything! I loved him through all the hell he put my family though, I loved him when he put us in danger to save random foreign people who would probably never bother to thank him. I was there! I was right by his side!! and all it did was get him killed…!"

Emily raised her eyebrow,"Loosing your father hurts, loosing someone you love hurts. I know that feeling but you can't let it consume you. Your father wouldn't want that."

David 'Simon' rolled his eyes,"Oh I heard a lot of that when he died. I heard a lot of what people thought he would want." he spat on the floor,"That's what I think of their advice."

"And where does she come into all of this?" Emily asked quietly.

"My father died protecting that town. He loved it…"he turned his face away,"He died for his faith, he died for that town, for those Jews…"

"You made a deal…" she interrupted,"The town for her.."

David 'Simon' went quiet. The sun was gone, the night sky going from blue to black, "One woman in exchange for thousands of lives. Doesn't it make sense?" he looked at her,"I can save the town he loved.."

"And if they don't keep their bargain?" she countered.

"They will! They have to.." he looked at the gun again.

"Why? You're helping them do something that they've yet to do. They haven't been able to get this woman themselves." she leaned over to catch his gaze,"Your father died for his faith which is true but he lived to defend it. He spent years doing what no one else dared to. He put the action in his words…"

"You didn't know him, how can you say that?" he held her gaze, "You don't even follow a faith yourself."

"True…I don't." she thought carefully,"But..I do understand dedication, loyalty and the struggle to do your job even though you doubt you can. It took guts for your father to put his family in danger. I'm sure he had moments where he questioned what he was doing. I doubt he'd want to be parted from you. I'm sure he loved you as well."

"He had a funny way of showing it.."he snorted.

"and this is any better? Your showing your love for him, your respect for him by helping kill a woman who's faith is as strong as his? She's doing the same work as him." Emily had a feeling time was growing short. She couldn't explain it but she knew.

"Who sent you here…really?" he pointed the gun her way and cocked it,"You know too much…"

Emily put her hands up slightly,"Does it matter??"

"Its too much of a coincidence. I meet you on the road, you lead me to her." he rubbed his chin,"This was a set up."

"No, not it wasn't. I think it was fate. I think it was more than just coincidences." she paused for a moment,"I am not exactly sure why I was on that road or why I was even in that place when you passed but if there's one thing I've started to believe its that time is planned and events aren't just coincidences. I headed here thinking I knew exactly who I was meant to save and now I see I've got it all wrong…but it all turned out right in the end."

"You're here to save me?" he laughed,"You aren't right in the head. Babbling on so…"

"You're the one who's sacrificing an innocent womans' life! Don't tell me I'm not right in the head." she spit back.

He lept off the chair, strode over and placed the gun to her temple,"Say that again."

"You're..not…" she sounded each word out, "Go ahead, pull the trigger."

"You want to die?" he yelled.

"Better than living like you…" she snarled,"Ranting about faith, afraid to actually live by it. It took work to do what your father did, it took work to follow his faith and he had to sacrifice for it. You're too much of a coward to sacrifice your own life, you've got to sacrifice someone elses!"

He pulled the trigger.

The gun clicked, the sound loud as thunder in Emily's ear. She'd never heard an old gun go off so close before. She could smell the powder, taste it on her lips.

She wasn't dead.

Her hands reached up to feel her head, her shoulders and she brought them down to look. There was no blood. Puzzled she looked at David 'Simon'. A look of shock and horror on his face. His eyes drifted downwards to the blood soaking the front of his shirt.

"I.."he dropped to his knees.

"Oh.God.." Emily fell off the chair to kneel beside him, her hands on his shoulders and she laid him gently backwards, "I'm so sorry.."

The old man, who owned the house, stepped forward with his shotgun in hand,"Stupid boy…stupid stupid boy…" he mumbled over and over again.

Emily looked at him,"No…not stupid. He was just heartbroken and desperate." she swallowed the lump in her throat. She'd never seen someone shot before,"Rest now Simon.." she said quietly.

Quicly and quietly she left the house, but not before leaving a warning for Virginia. Who survived. She was never found by the Germans and Emily was pretty sure they weren't happy when they found her alive and Simon dead.

With a groan and a sudden gladness to get into her usual uniform she contacted the ship and called for a transport home.

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/05-1-2009 11:18:23 AM

:: USS Chimera - Alpha ::
:: Low Jupiter Orbit ::


With eyes sharp and lips pursed, Usher Tenanji sat comfortably in the Captain's chair. His recent foray into command did not necessarily affect him on any visceral level. As with all things, he took it in stride.

"Any change?" His deep and cool baritone reverberated through the bridge and demanded attention.

"None sir," said Ven from the science station. "The Anomaly is holding steady in the upper atmosphere of the gas giant." The Andorian's tone was riddled with concern. The longer they stayed here the more agitated he got. For days they'd dogged the timeship. And for days the temporal terrorists who'd high jacked her had remained out of reach. Jupiter's violent atmosphere would have shredded the Prometheus class's Primary section. The timeship, however, remained in fine condition.

Tenanji spoke no more. To his reckoning, as long as the ship was not plaguing Chimera's away teams, then he and the crew were maintaining their part of the objective. He settled back into the chair, and with his hawk like gaze he continued to watch the viewscreen and the readouts all about him.

Time passed slowly in this state. Vigilance, no matter its importance, often bred boredom. And boredom caused most beings to drop their guard. Thus, Usher Tenanji made certain they did not falter. Hours would pass in silence. So many of the strong and diverse personalities that inhabited the ship had departed, leaving a void that he did not even attempt to fill. Plus the added concern of the possible losses they might incur weighed heavy on the minds of so many. They'd already lost too many already.

Suddenly, "Sir, they're charging their…" cried Peress before he was abruptly cut off. The ship rocked violently and bucked as the shields absorbed vast weapon energy from the Anomaly.

The timeship emerged from orbit and soared directly at Chimera's primary section. "Evasive maneuvers," called Usher from his perch. It took great force of will for him not to immediately rush to tactical. He knew his strengths and his reactions would serve much better at that station. But the ship needed a commander.

Again the ship rocked jostling the bridge crew around in their seats. "Report…"

"Shields are holding at 65%, sir," said Peress, his voice edged in anxiety. "We're definitely outgunned here and I can't get a weapons lock. They're phasing in and out of… Or maybe they're… I don't know…"

"They are using their temporal drive to confuse our sensors," interjected Ven from science. "Mass amounts of chroniton particles are flooding all pallets." Panic seethed below the surface of the Andorian's report before he finally said… "Sir… We're blind."

"What?" Cold dread dripped from the word as Tenanji rose from his seat.

"They've effectively disabled all sensors. Trying to compensate," Ven answered as his blue fingers danced over his console.

"Incoming hail," Jezera called from Operations just as another beam of energy slammed into their shields. This time showers of white sparks erupted from overhead and drifted peacefully over the crew. "It's Beta… It's Grimm!" The Denobulan practically sang the words.

=/\= Need a little help, Usher, =/\= John Grimm's disembodied voice said over the comm.

"We would welcome any aid you could…"

=/\= No time Usher, I think we've got their… Return fire! Transfer power from auxiliary but keep those sensors online! They're coming our way, Tenanji. We're a little outgunned here so get back in it when you can. Grimm out. =/\=

"Report," growled Tenanji as he descended to Operations.

"Repair crews dispatched, but it's not an equipment problem, sir. The sensors are simply overloaded," Jezera said not looking up from her console.

"I think they used some type of transporter technology to beam particle masses past our shields," Ven said as he hypothesized. "The sensors drew in the particulate and flooded our readings. A simple reboot should dissipate masses and get us…"

"Do it," Usher said, still standing over Jezera's shoulder.

Long moments passed as all of Chimera Primary's sensor pallets were deactivated and then rebooted. Lt. Tenanji willed the computer to hurry the process. But even though only a few short seconds had passed, it seemed like a silent eternity.

"We're online," Ven cried out victoriously.

"Beta has lost shields and is taking damage. The Anomaly is undamaged, but their shields are weakened," Peress reported with prompting.

"Intercept… Fire all weapons! Throw everything we've got at them!" Tenanji spun on himself and thrust himself back into the Captain's chair. "Don't let up. Turn them from Beta."

"They've altered course and they're heading back at us," Peress shouted. Two small explosions lit up the bridge from either said and the crew was thrown to the floor as the inertial dampeners momentarily failed.

Ven was the first back to his feet. "They're using some kind of antiproton weaponry. Our shields aren't very effective against it."

"Keep hammering at them," Usher called, resting on one knee. He knew they're only chance was to hit them with everything they had.

"Beta's still in it, sir," called Jezera. "They report they are coming in to flank the timeship. Commander advises to aim starboard."

"You heard the lady, Peress. Phasers and Quantum torpedoes… Starboard side!"

Simultaneously, Chimera's Primary and Secondary portions lobbed mass amounts of energy at the Anomaly's starboard section. The timeship rocked and corrected. Then a small hull breech vented atmosphere into space.

"They're peeling off," Peress said with relief. A collective sigh echoed through the bridge. Until, "Correction… They're coming around again. Phasers and anti-proton weapons charged. Sir, we have no shields…"

Usher swallowed hard and Klingon proverbs rang through his head. "Hold fast… Peress keep firing… Ven find something we can use to…"

"Vah crel," cursed from science. "There's another timeship. It came from nowhere. Same class as the Anomaly."

"We're screwed," Peress said from tactical, his tone dark.

"Stow that talk, Lt," Usher said as he settled into his chair. "Get me Beta…"

"Angels and ministers of grace," Peress said in awe. "The new ship… It's attacking the [i]Anomaly[i]! Registry reads it's the [i]Relativity[i]! I think they're hear to help."

"Belay that, Jezera. Hail the new ship," Usher corrected.

"No response, sir," the Denobulan said seriously. "What's happening here?"

On the viewscreen, they crew watched as the newcomer fired weapons at their attacker and dominated the fight. Without warning, the Relativity locked a tractor beam on the Anomaly and both ships shot off towards the system's edge.

"Where'd they go?" Usher looked for an answer from Ven.

"They're gone. I think they've… phased? Chroniton levels are off the chart and their ion train has vanished. Sir," he began. "What is going on?"

Usher sat silently with his hands gripping the armrests for a moment. "I think that whomever Terra Prime procured that timeship from has decided to reclaim their property."

"Sir," Jezera said gravely. "Beta is hailing us… It's Fehr. He says that Lt. Grimm is injured and unconscious…"

"Bring us close and alert medical… I feel certain he isn't the only one injured…"

LCARS reference file on USS Anomaly:

Post by Chimera Chief of Security:

Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/05-1-2009 04:29:49 PM

Approaching German Munitions Depot
Montauban, France
9:13 PM - Sunday, June 4, 1944

Crouching behind a stack of supply crates in the dark interior of the rail carriage, Simba looked around at the rest of his team. Four of the Maquisards were in the same boxcar and the rest of the strike force were safely concealed in the cars ahead of them.

"We got lucky!" Didier shouted over the rumbling of the freight car as he pulled the lid off another crate and looked at its contents.

"What did you find?"

The Frenchman reached into the crate and pulled out a grenade. "There must be thousands of them in here."

Simba nodded and grinned. "Jackpot." He pushed some packing materials aside and read the lettering stamped on the crate in front of him. LANDMINEN - ACHTUNG: SPRENGSTOFF "Didier, do you have the detonators?"

"Right here, Lieutenant." Didier reached into his pack and pulled out the requested equipment.

"Good… start setting them on five of these crates. I want to turn this train into a bomb once we're inside the depot." Jawara pointed out five crates spaced throughout the interior of the car.

Didier moved in closer and dropped his voice. "Understood… there should be enough explosives here to take out half the depot when they go off. And if the other carriages are loaded with explosives too… chain reaction."

"Exactly. We don't have much time, though… set them for a fifteen minute delay so we have time to clear the rest of the depot." Malik tilted his head and listened to the sounds coming from outside the rickety freight car. It was obvious that the train was slowing, no doubt approaching the perimeter of the depot.

"Lieutenant, I need to ask you something else… what do you think about Claude?"

Simba blinked for a moment, surprised by the question which seemed to come from nowhere yet somehow echoed his own concerns. "What do you mean?" he asked, trying not to reveal his position until he heard what Rousseau had to say.

"I don't trust him," Didier replied bluntly. "He has been opposed to this operation from the start… questioning your plans and our ability to succeed."

"How well do you know him?"

"He only joined our cell a few months back. Before that, I don't know where he came from." Didier looked around nervously, but none of the other Maquisards had heard anything he said. "All I am saying is watch your back. And I am going to keep my eyes on him as well. We have come too far to allow one traitor to stop us."

Malik nodded. "Thank you for bringing it to my attention… and yes, I agree with you. We need to be careful and there is something suspicious about him that concerns me." He paused. Honestly, he was grateful to have one of the more seasoned resistance fighters, somebody whose intelligence had been essential in planning the operation, watching his back. "Hurry up and set the charges… we're stopping, and we need to be ready."

It took another couple of minutes before the train came to a complete stop, the contents of the railcar shifting ever so slightly as its forward motion ceased with a loud groan. Simba could hear muffled shouting in German outside. There shouldn't be many guards on the platform. After all, the Germans never expected an attack to come from inside. This was it, the moment they'd been planning for. He looked over at Rousseau, who gave him the 'OK' sign as he finished setting the last detonator. Simba returned the gesture, then moved to the sliding door on the side of the car, took a deep breath, and pulled the handle.

Jumping down to the platform below, he took a moment to look around and get oriented. At the far end of the platform, two German soldiers stood with their backs to them, clearly unaware of the stealthy intruders. Quickly, Malik grabbed the rifle which was slung over his shoulder, took aim, and pulled the trigger. All the hours of training on the holodeck paid off as the bullet hit the Nazi square in the back, sending him falling face-first off the platform. In one fluid motion, he turned the rifle to the other soldier, pulled the bolt to reload the weapon, and fired again just as the soldier drew his own gun. The second soldier fell backwards, firing his own gun harmlessly into the air, as Malik's shot hit him in the chest.

"Nice shooting, sir," one of the Maquisards commented as he jumped down onto the platform next to Wekesa and quickly scanned the massive interior of the warehouse with the sights on his own weapon. The doors on the car just ahead of them slid open suddenly, and the rest of the strike team began to deploy.

"Alright, you three go clear the main office and keep them from sending out the alarm to the guard towers. Gather any useful intelligence that you can," Simba pointed at three of the Frenchmen who quickly took off running towards the main building. "Rousseau, Bernard, Jean-Luc, and Jacques… start setting charges so we can blow this place." He gestured towards the enormous mountains of munitions crates neatly stacked throughout the warehouse. "Claude and LeVelle, you're with me… we're going to go set charges on the depot's generator. The rest of you, go take out the locomotive crew, then start sweeping the perimeter and take out as many of the German soldiers as you can. We've got ten minutes until the charges go off, so make sure you are all at the rendezvous point by then." Watching the strike team disperse into the interior of the depot, Simba gestured for his own team to follow him. He didn't trust Claude for a moment, but at least he had him where he could keep an eye on him.

After just a few short minutes, the team found themselves in the dimly lit basement of the complex, making their way towards the generator which powered the depot. Above them, Malik could hear the muffled sounds of gunfire as the Maquis fighters engaged the German soldiers scattered throughout the installation. He could only hope that the element of surprise was on their side and that his men weren't taking heavy losses. There were surprisingly few guards down here, though the Germans no doubt had never planned for intruders to make it this deep inside the bowels of the depot.

"Alright, let's do this!" he shouted to his men over the noise of the generator's engine as they burst through the door and entered the room. Two enormous fuel tanks flanked the room, providing the perfect source for a large-scale explosion. "LeVelle, you keep watch. Claude-" Malik reached into his pack and tossed a time-delay explosive charge to the Frenchman. "Set the charges on the fuel tank to your left. I'll get the one over here." Quickly, he strapped the plastic explosive to one of the fuel lines coming off the tank and inserted the detonator pin. "Set it for a five minute delay… it should go off just a minute before the ones in the warehouse do."

"Right," Claude replied simply, busy with his own explosives. Malik glanced over and studied the man for a moment. If there was any thought of betrayal, he wasn't showing it yet. But there was still time for that. Before they left the room, he would need to double check Claude's detonator and make sure that it had actually been set properly.

The loud bang of a gunshot interrupted his thoughts. Instinctively, Simba grabbed his pistol and swung around to face the direction of the noise. LeVelle was slumped in the doorway, blood gushing out from a fresh wound in his chest. Another shot went off, this time from another direction, and Simba looked over as Claude staggered backwards, reeling from a bullet would in his shoulder. The big Frenchman hit his head hard on a low-hanging pipe and fell to the ground. A figure moved quickly in the shadows behind the fuel tank and Simba raised his weapon to fire. Before he could pull the trigger, there was another loud bang and he felt a sharp pain in his arm, causing him to drop the gun to the floor. Looking down, he saw his own blood staining his sleeve and realized that he had been shot.

"DON'T!" a voice shouted, accompanied by the click of a pistol being cocked just as Simba prepared to dive for his gun.

Slowly, Simba put his hands up in the air, wincing at the surge of pain that shot through his right arm as he did. The figure stepped out of the shadows, revealing himself to be none other than Didier Rousseau, and kicked Simba's gun safely out of reach. You're in deep s*** now, Wekesa, he thought as he looked into the cold eyes of the 'Maquisard' he had trusted most. The one person he had not suspected could possibly be a German agent. "What the hell is the meaning of this?"

Didier laughed slightly. "I should think the meaning is clear enough. I can't let you blow this munitions depot. By our calculations, the supplies here will allow the Germans to successfully deploy and defend their Panzer divisions throughout this region long enough for reinforcements to arrive and repel the American invaders."

Simba swallowed hard, realizing that the calculations in question had not been done by the Germans, but that Rousseau, if that was his real name, was actually an agent of Terra Prime. "You son of a bitch," he blurted out, dropping the French and speaking in Federation standard. "You really don't see anything wrong with your twisted little objectives? You're trying to erase four hundred years of history, and I can't… I won't allow you to get away with it."

"Too bad there's not a damn thing you can do to stop it," Didier shot back. "You failed in your mission, Ensign Simba Wekesa… traitor to humanity. Your explosives aren't armed, and I never activated the detonators in the ones on the train or in the warehouse. And you were too stupid… too blinded by Starfleet arrogance to even notice." He glanced down at his watch. "By now, the rest of your little strike team are either dead or regrouping at the rendezvous point to wait for you. Except that you'll never make it there, and there will never be an explosion. And without the explosion, they'll never make it out of the perimeter without being captured."

"I'm the traitor? Please, I came here to save humanity, you're here to destroy it."

Rousseau grunted. "I guess that depends on your definition of saving. What we are doing is to destroy hundreds of years of misguided politics and to make a better future for humans, not the alien scum you Starfleet types consort with. But it doesn't matter… nobody can stop us now. Your first officer should be dead by now, in a few minutes you will be too, and we've got the same thing waiting for the rest of your crew when they get down here. You've already lost."

"You can kill me if you want, but there's no way you can stop us all. My friends… they will succeed even if I fail." Simba groaned, feeling his arm beginning to go numb even as the pain continued to spread.

"If only you could see how wrong you are… how wrong you all are," Didier replied with a twisted grin. "It's a shame for me to have to take a human life, but you've left me no choice. At least you won't have to live to see your precious future crumble." Didier crouched down and studied the younger man's face for a moment, then took his gun and placed the muzzle against Simba's temple. "Farewell."

Originally Posted by Simba Wekesa/05-2-2009 11:13:31 AM

German Munitions Depot Basement
Montauban, France
9:29 PM - Sunday, June 4, 1944

Simba closed his eyes, breathing heavily as he felt the metal of the gun's muzzle pressing into his temple. A hundred thoughts raced through his mind. It occurred to him that the information S'Van gave him didn't really specify what happened to Lt. Malik Jawara after this mission. Maybe there was a reason for that.

The loud bang of a gunshot filled the room, overpowering the load hum of the generators and echoing through the concrete corridors.

It took Simba a moment to realize that he wasn't dead. The gun that Didier had held to his head clattered to the floor. Slowly, he opened his eyes and found himself looking at Rousseau's lifeless form sprawled out on the floor, a single trickle of blood running from the corner of his mouth. He stared at the Terra Prime agent for a few seconds, recovering from the shock, and looked over at the source of the gunshot that had saved his life. "Claude…" he said quietly as he looked at the Frenchman, clutching his wounded shoulder and still pointing a gun at Rousseau's body.

"Vous parlez très bien l'anglais pour un Sénégalais," Claude replied, apparently having regained consciousness enough to have heard most of Wekesa's exchange with Rousseau. He reached out his hand and helped the younger man up from the floor. "Tell me… who is this Ensign Simba Wekesa?"

Finn is going to kill me. "It's… well, it's a long story. It doesn't matter. What matters right now is that we finish our mission and blow this place. Our team is counting on us."

Claude studied him for a moment, then holstered his gun and turned his attention back to setting the detonator. "I don't know who you really are or where you have come from, Monsieur, but it is an honor to have you with us. We are fighting the same enemy… both fighting for freedom, and that makes us brothers."

Simba nodded silently as he turned to the fuel tank and finished setting his own detonator. Time was running very short, and Terra Prime's interruption had put him even further behind schedule. Claude knew too much, though… knew that both he and Rousseau had been imposters. As much as he was grateful for the Maquisard's help, he needed to figure out a way to undo that damage. Carefully, he set the timer on his detonation pack and stepped back from the tank. "Ready here, how are you coming over there?"

"All done. We must hurry back to the warehouse and check all of Rousseau's detonators. If he was telling the truth, just taking out this generator will do little to stop the Germans."

"Right," Simba replied, trying to ignore the pain in his arm. He had the sudden realization that as soon as the depot went up in flames, he would be clear to return to the Chimera and, in turn, sickbay.

When they arrived back in the warehouse above, the area was deserted. Rousseau must have convinced the rest of the team that he'd done his part and sent them on their way to the rendezvous point. Without saying anything, the two men ran to the nearest stack of crates where a charge was supposed to have been placed. To Simba's surprise, the charge was placed, but the detonator was not connected.

"Merde…" he muttered. Without the detonators and timers connected, the charges were useless. And, while the explosion at the generator would certainly damage the facility, there was no guarantee it would destroy the supplies they'd come here to eliminate.

"It's the same thing over here!" Claude called out, having already run to the next target. "That fils de pute didn't set any of them, or he disabled them after his partners finished."

Simba felt his heart sink. Failure was imminent. "We've only got three minutes before the other charges go off. I'll bet he didn't actually set the detonators on the train either… once the charges on the generator go off, you can be sure that every German soldier in town will be converging on this place." There was silence for a moment as the two men pondered their impending demise. Finally, Claude spoke up.

"We need to set the explosives manually."

"That's suicide," Simba snapped back. But, as he thought about it, he realized that Claude was right. It was the only way. "I only have one detonator left. There's at least a dozen charges that we need to blow."

"Do you have any wire?"

"Yes…" Simba reached into his pack, withdrew a spool of thin copper wire, and tossed it to Claude. "We've got maybe two minutes left, so we'll have to work fast." He grabbed another spool of wire and quickly pushed one end into the nearest explosive charge. Letting the wire spin freely off the spool, he ran to the next detonation pack and pushed the wire through it as well. If they could connect as many of the charges as possible together, one detonator was all they'd need.

"I'm out of wire, how much time do we have left?" Claude shouted as he ran back from the open doors of the boxcar trailing the end of his wire behind him.

"Maybe a minute." Wekesa quickly grabbed the wire from the Maquisard and twisted it onto one terminal of the detonator, then did the same with his own wire. "How many charges did you connect?"


"I got four… that's nine out of twelve, spaced out enough that hopefully the blast should set off the rest of them. I think this might just work." He bit his lip and looked down at the detonator button in his palm. "Go… get to the rendezvous point. I'll handle this."

Claude shook his head. "No, I can't let you do that. I'll do it."

"Claude, we don't have time for this! We don't both need to die. You've got a country to help liberate… a war to help end. People who care about you. Just GO, get yourself to safety while you still can."

The Frenchman held firm. "No. I have nobody… the Germans killed my wife and my children two years ago. Let me do this… to make sure their deaths were not in vain." He paused and looked at Simba, who was still clutching the detonator. "I do not know who you really are, but you don't belong here. It isn't your place to die here. If there are others like Rousseau… then it is people like you who have the power to stop them. There are other resistance cells who need your help to liberate France. This is my purpose… now please, let me do it so that you can fulfill yours."

Simba sighed heavily and looked into Claude's eyes. He could tell that he was being sincere. "Alright," he replied finally, handing over the detonator and taking the Maquisard's hand.

"It's been an honor to have fought by your side. Now go… quickly… time is short." He smiled slightly.

Simba nodded and took one last look at his comrade. "The honor is mine… good luck!" There were only, perhaps, thirty seconds before the generator would go up and Claude would need to press the trigger. Wekesa took off sprinting along the rails, bursting through the large doors of the depot and into the cool night air. Time seemed to be moving in slow motion. Surely the 30 seconds must be up by now. He kept running, nearing the perimeter fence that surrounded the depot.

Suddenly, there was a low rumble which seemed to shake the ground. The generator charges must have gone off. That would leave only a moment until-

The sound of a massive explosion shook the night and the whole area was momentarily illuminated as though it were day. A wall of heat hit Simba in the back, knocking him to the ground. He rolled over and looked back at the supply depot, engulfed in flames shooting hundreds of meters into the night sky. There was a series of loud bangs as the fire ignited other munitions stored throughout the facility. For a few moments he watched it burn as bits of flaming debris rained down around the area. And then, with the deafening roar of thunder, the entire roof of the warehouse collapsed as the outline of the depot faded into the glow of the flames. In the distance, he could hear sirens from the town. No doubt the other German installations were now on full alert. But it didn't matter now… even if they could somehow put out the fire, there would be nothing salvageable from the largest supply depot in the region.

There was a lot of shouting, barely audible over the roar of the explosions, from the perimeter. No doubt the German patrols were mobilizing to search the area, and Simba had no great desire to encounter them now. With his good arm, he reached up and fumbled with the snaps on his jacket until he was able to grasp the metal tags underneath. "Wekesa to Chimera… one to transport back to the ship." There was a momentary pause, then the orange glow of the inferno gave way to the familiar blue glow of the transporter beam.

Featuring Claude the Maquisard… the guy I should have trusted all along

Originally Posted by Harry Finn/05-5-2009 07:36:53 PM

::USS Chimera::
::Brig - Deck 4/Primary Section::


At the quiet greeting, Harry slung himself off the bunk and met the eyes of Chief Warrant Officer Rayne. The past two days had brought the Chimera’s three sections together and gotten the ship’s XO transferred to the regular brig. He wondered if Jav would be joining him, upon his return from the mission. S’Van seemed to be reveling in his uncontested playing of rank while the Captain was away and he might take it upon himself to enforce his ideas of discipline on the Chief Engineer.

Of course, in Harry’s case, he had broken into the operative’s files and then slugged the guy. Not really any way to dance out of that one and, after everything that had gone down on the ground, he wasn’t sure he wanted to.

“Chief,” he nodded her closer. Locked up or no, he was still the First Officer and Rayne had been keeping him updated on the ongoing mission. Most disturbing to date was the spinal injury that Lt. Grimm had taken in a firefight with the Anomaly. He’d mend, but not soon… “What’s happening?”

“You wished to know when the last of the teams were extracted. We’ve retrieved the Captain and Commander’s T’Shaini and Costala.”

Her demeanor was professional, as always, but Harry was a professional bullshitter, so he knew to brace himself before asking, “How bad?”

“Commander T’Shaini…”

Harry almost put a hand to the wall. Not so braced after all, it seemed. “Not… she’s not…”

“No, sir but… it’s not good. The report from sickbay is three disruptor shots, direct hits, to the chest. The team was pulled out immediately but it’s not…” seeing his expression, Maddie felt her voice dry up. A long moment passed and she was about to request Bardon to let down the shield when…

“Okay,” Harry managed to drag a word from out of the sucking void which had opened in his own chest. He reached down, trying to find more. “And… I… ah… ” he looked down, then to the cell opposite his, where Costala had been locked up, so recently… “Costala,” he managed, and, “the Captain? Are they…?”

“Nothing dire, scrapes, bruises…”

He felt himself nodding, “That’s… good.” But not really. Javier wouldn’t think it good that he was whole and she was… “Wait,” he looked back at Raynes, “You said disruptor.”

“Yes, Commander. They were assaulted by a member of Terra Prime. He’s in the secondary sickbay, now. The Captain put him under arrest.”

“Good for the Captain,” Finn said quietly, though his thoughts were less benign. Terra Prime’s assassin’s had been busy. One of them had shot Jenny, a pair had tried to take out Pierce and McMennan and yet another had come too damn close to ending Wekesa. They hadn’t tried for Harry though. His hands closed into fists, wishing they had.

“Sir?” Maddie broke into her superior’s thoughts.

“Yeah,” Harry tried to come back… tried to be the XO…

“She’s in good hands,” Rayne told him, “The best. You know what Seldon can do…”

“Yeah,” he said again. But the thing was, he also knew what a disruptor could do. And beyond that he knew, oh he knew just what he’d do if he ever came in distance of the son of a bitch who’d… He turned his gaze back to Rayne, “I want you to let me know how she’s… you’ll keep me apprised of the Commander’s condition.”

Rayne nodded, “Sir, yes sir.” Then gratefully took his nod as a cue to flee the scene, sharing one long glance with Bardon as she went. 

The young Bolian, who had the current watch, swallowed his nerves and approached the First Officer, “Sir, is there anything I can do… get for you?”

“No,” Alone in a cell, so far from where Wendy was fighting for her life, Harry turned away from the young crewman, “There’s nothing.”

Featuring Chief Warrant Officer Maddie Rayne and Crewman Apprentice Bardon

Originally Posted by Torrik Nils/05-5-2009 09:55:43 PM

:: USS Chimera ::

“There is nothing you can do…”

The flame burned hot and melted the wax. It dripped slowly down the lamp, but cooled and thickened before falling to the floor. The duranja had been used too many times since the Nils joined Starfleet. He ached as he lit the three flames once more.

“There is nothing you can do.” The strain had sounded so very final. Bramley hadn’t intended it to sound so. In fact, he’d been doing his best to calm the two men. Both Javier and Nils were mirrors of anguish as they waited helplessly. At first, Nils had to pull Javier away so that the doctors could get to T’Shaini. He’d been holding her so tightly. When finally Nils pried Javier away, the two men were left to languish in their respective grief. The Bajoran put a hand on Javi’s shoulder and they’d settled together on the deck.

He closed his eyes and began a chant. It was not the chant he’d used dozens of times for dozens of lost crewmen since his posting on the Sentinel. It was different. But it too felt empty.

“There is nothing you can do…”

Nils considered ways to comfort Javier. But the engineer was inconsolable. The man’s pain was palpable…and entirely too familiar to the Bajoran. Silence stretched between them, but knowing glances bound them. Anxiety and worry knitted their pagh together as they shared long moments of the unbearable wait…

Letting the empty chant dwindle away, Nils released the pent up frustration he felt and allowed himself to weep. Kneeling over his duranja he pounded on its metal frame. Fury and deep lamentation mingled in his gut as he fretted for his friend.

“There is nothing you can do…” It had been Bramley’s words that sent the Captain from the room. It was his duty to be able to do something. Leaving everything in Seldon’s hands ran counter to every fiber of instinct in the Bajoran. So he’d fled…

He fled to the one place he felt a sense of hope. His personal shrine had followed him from ship to ship, from quarters to quarters. And now he lay crumpled on the floor virtually embracing it. The lamp of his faith supported his full weight, but the echoes of sickbay seemed to weigh him down in a fashion that was beyond support.

“There is nothing you can do…”

“I do not accept that! I do not accept it…” Tears stained his cheek as the losses of his life mounted and attacked full on all at once. Thirty eight members of the Sentinel were gone in the attack… Dana was lost for nothing… Jillian’s murder ended any chance for happiness he may have had… And Jachin’s death…

The eyes of a grown up Jachin burned in his mind’s eye. There is always hope… No matter how remote or unlikely… He snuffed the flames suddenly.

“She is the heart of our ship,” Nils growled at the Prophets. His voice strained under the pressure of emotion he rarely released. “If there is justice in you, you will spare her and spare us her loss! Whatever price there is to pay, I pay it…willingly!” His intercession dwindled as he thought of Javier. “There must be something I can do!!!”

“You’re doing it,” came an innocent voice from behind him. Jachin knelt next to his brother and closed his eyes. “We pray. To your Prophets… We pray.” And together they did. Like incense billowing towards the heavens, their prayers left their pagh and expanded into the cosmos.

Originally Posted by Javier Costala/05-6-2009 03:44:01 AM


She had held his hand. Moments before the bright energy had struck T'Shaini, she had held his hand. Javier stared at his fingers trying to remember the way her fingers had felt as they intertwined with his own. He closed his eyes hoping that the memory would return, that it would find its way through the darkness of his grief. All he could see was T'Shaini trying to talk, trying to tell him.. Opening his eyes as one of the medical staff passed by, fresh tears spilled down Javier's cheeks making muddy streaks in the dirt and camo grease on his face. He unconsciously sat a little straighter as the nurse walked by, then stood to his feet and glanced toward the area designated as the O.R. He could almost feel the struggle that T'Shaini waged within the room.

Javier was alone; but in a way he was glad. Nils had tried to console him and done his best to shoulder some of the emotional pain. But even though Javier knew he was trying to help, the engineer didn't need the anxious stares that the CO gave him. More than once Javier had almost unleashed the anguish he felt on his friend.

'She's not like Jillian, she's not going to die. This is nothing like what happened to Jillian. T'Shaini is going to live! he had wanted to yell at Nils. He'd been almost grateful that Bramley had driven the Bajoran away. Javier couldn't have looked at his friend any longer.

"There's nothing you can do," the nurse had told them. Nils had left but Javier had stubbornly remained. "Commander, you can leave, we'll call you when.."

"Where do you expect me to go?" Javier had asked, cutting off Bramley. "I'm staying until she's awake." It was said with an air of finality, he wasn't going anywhere. Bramley would have to call the whole damn security department to remove him. And then he'd take five or six of them down before they got him away.

The engineer moved over to the clear partition and watched as the medical staff worked to heal the grievous wounds that the Terra Prime assassin had inflicted on the counselor. "Don't let go, fight it," Javier heard himself whisper fiercly. He pushed down the rising urge to kick open the doors and tightly clasp T'Shaini's hand in his as if willing her to battle against the odds. 'Fight it. Fight for yourself. Fight for me.' He paced beside the wall, forcing away the overwhelming helplessness that tried to drown him. I believe in you and I love you. Don't give in. Javier thought as he gazed at T'Shaini's form.

"Oh Sugar, don't you cry," Javier began to sing softly. "Oh child wipe the tears from your eyes. You know I need you to be strong, when the day is as dark as the night is long." He wiped away the moisture from his eyes, smearing dirt onto his sleeve. "Feel like trash, you make me feel clean. I'm in the black can't see or be seen. Baby, baby, baby, light my way." The engineer placed his palm against the clear panel. He knew T'Shaini could hear him. Knew that she felt everything he did, every sorrow, every hurt, every worry.

I'm here..I'll always be here.

Epicenter 1944

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