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Initial Engagement

Posted on Wed Apr 20th, 2022 @ 5:53pm by Lieutenant JG Shaille Levine & Captain Abigail Laurens & Lieutenant Commander Evelyn Rozia & Lieutenant Commander Jason Myers & Lieutenant Commander William Rogers & Commander Ichiko Gail & Lieutenant Commander William Gunnison & Lieutenant Commander Calvin Morgan

Mission: The Koldaran Encounter

The stench of burnt flesh mixed with the smell of still burning building filled the air. So far there had been little opposition to the Koldaran assault. Their movements had been ruthless and efficient as squads of soldiers looking to impress their superiors crashed like a wave upon the defenseless settlement, their shovels, pitch forks and kitchen knives offering nothing in the way of defence or protection. In what was once the town square, and now more of smoldering ruin, a squad of Koldaran soldiers had assembled a line of local prisoners, their hands bound and a rifle at the back of their heads.

Before the firing squad could execute their targets, a sudden stream of phaser fire erupted from the hollowed shell of a building. Several of the beams hit their marks and Koldaran soldiers fell under the attack, only to have more immediately move in to take their place as the remaining soldiers regrouped and returned fire towards the building, where the Starfleet security team had taken cover.

Abigail glanced across at the senior staff and the security detail that were sheltering with her. "We need to get those Acehaya out of there," she stated, watching as both Meyers and Rogers each popped up, firing phasers quickly before ducking again. "Gunnison, where's the rest of the Acehaya? Please tell me we aren't too late!"

Will had his tricorder out and was scanning. "Captain, the bulk of the Acehayas seem to be in those temples at the base of the mountains on the other side of the town that we detected from orbit - where the distress call seemed to have originated from," he said after a few moments. "I'm also detecting scattered Acehayan life signs elsewhere in the vicinity, though the numbers are dropping at what I'd certainly say is an alarming rate. Whatever we're going to do here, we'd better do it soon."

"Is there any way to cut off their reinforcements that anyone can see?" he asked in between phaser blasts. "This whole 'they keep coming' thing is getting really bloody old!"

Evelyn held her own phaser, though she didn't even begin to think that she was close to the match of most of the others. She edged her head slightly around the corner and brought the phaser up for a couple quick shots before ducking back again. But while it was a target rich environment, she was looking mostly at terrain and the local area. "We could collapse some of the taller buildings to at least disrupt their advance and maybe cut off any flanking moves? Jason, if we could keep them on one approach, could we hold them off?"

They marched in rows, crimson armor on display. They didn't hide, they didn't cower. Every foot soldier was promised accolades for performance, but not every foot soldier would live to see them. Every deed was done for the glory of the Admiralty, their gods in essence. Their weapons might not have been as powerful as Federation standard but what they lacked in power they made up for in numbers.

Ichiko was there in the dirt with the others, phaser in hand. Ears folded back, glance narrowed. The sounds, the smells, the sensations... all of this was familiar to her. And familiarity just meant it was like it happened yesterday. Evelyn's suggestion made it into the rabbitess' head, through the pounding of her heart in her ears. She gave Jason a nod. As the resident expert on Koldaran warfare, having lived through it, she gave him a nod.

"Just be careful." she warned. "You're the key to their promotion."

"We need to fortify the area around the temple," Abigail responded. "Providing we can even get to the damn temple. For the love of the deities, how long until reinforcements arrive?"

The Commanding Officer took a deep breath. "Gunnison, scan the area, see if you can give us some kind of lay of the land, maybe that will give us something we can work with. Myers, Rogers, any chance you can take out the Koldaran holding the Acehaya hostage? If you can take them out, Evelyn and I will try and get them to safety."

Rogers rose and fired. Three shots. Three more dead added to the butcher's tally. In doing so he was able to survey the scene. "At this distance? Easily."

Koldaran bodies hit the ground with a satisfying thump, their hostages terrified of the violence surrounding them but understanding the value of Being Somewhere Else. Soldiers on the ground identified the rough area where the Federation forces were shooting from, and lit the area up with a quick barrage of sickly green pulses of energy. Disciplined, but they didn't know exactly where to shoot, so it looked random. It wasn't suppressing fire, but it was meant to terrify the targets and force them to flee.

If those targets were untrained and undisciplined.

One grunted something out in a gutteral tongue, akin to speaking backwards while being drowned. Orders, perhaps, or tactics, hard to say without a common language. But this position wouldn't hold forever.

"Rozia, Morgan, You're with me!" Abigail shouted over the fire as she jumped up. "Cover us. We're going for the hostages and going for the temple!"

Calvin quickly closed his tricorder, holstering it instead for the phaser that would be more useful. In the holster the tricorder continued to scan more information about the Acehaya and relay it up to Astraea. He hoped it would help when the eventual medical disaster befell his department. "Lead the way!" He acknowledged, double checking the phaser was ready to fire.

Evelyn was right next to him, carefully hyperventilating in a way to settle her heartrate which was spiking and she knew it. She nodded at Abigail to indicate her readiness.

"Myers, you take the three on the left. I'll take the two on the right." Rogers took a breath and quietened his mind. "On my mark."

"Aye, sir!" he said, prepping his weapon. Not quite how he expected to spend his days out here. What on earth did these Koldarans want anyway? He aimed and watched them hit the ground.. Although one took a couple more shots than he'd have liked.

As the last Koldaran near the hostages fell, Abigail, Evelyn and Calvin rushed from cover toward the Acehaya. "To the temples!" she shouted, motioning toward the buildings beyond.

The Acehaya may have been confused at the arrival of the strangers who seemed to speak their language, but they were not foolish enough to delay. With nods the Acehaya ran from the scene, leaving the three Starfleet Officers following in their wake, phasers drawn, firing on the Koldaran as they retreated.

It was only once they had entered the first of the cloisters that Abigail drew a shaky breath and tapped her commbadge. "Laurens to Astraea, transport reinforcements to Commander Rogers location immediately!" she ordered before turning toward the Acehaya.

"I'm Captain Abigail Laurens from the USS Astraea. We received your distress call. We're here to help."

New aliens, different aliens, but these were shooting at the hostile ones. Violently hostile ones, anyway. "Oh thank the stars, we didn't know what else to do. You heard our call to the stars. We offered them peace, we offered them provisions and rest from their weary travel, but nothing we offered was sufficient. Then they started to attack us. What is it they want?"

One of the others shook their head, "The time for diplomacy has passed, High Arbiter. Their reply to our offerings of hospitality was spite and aggression. We have no barter that is equal in value to hatred." a pause, as the new speaker turned to Abigail and the others, "But these ones do. Such ways are beneath us, behind us, but... help us."


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