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Posted on Thu Apr 1st, 2021 @ 4:18pm by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Lieutenant Deanna Celes & Commander Jonathan Grayson & Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Commander Estella Stratton & Lieutenant Michael Stonebridge

Mission: Sabotage
Location: USS Washington

The Washington was battered and bruised after its battle, but still more than a match for whatever might come. They had one Cardassian Galor class vessel under tow with their tractor beam while several others floated about in space.

"Commander, message from the Enterprise. Capt. Picard advises that they will be here with two other ships from the task force in 22 minutes" said Celes.

They'd survived the brush with the Cardassian forces, but the victory rang hollow for Estella. Engaging in battle was not something the Counselor enjoyed, nor did she relish the weight of the decisions she'd made. However, the Washington and its crew remained whole.

"Then, let's be ready to rendevous."

"The away teams are headed back up ma'am. They are advising that they have wounded" Celes said as calmly as she could manage. "Engineering reports that damage control teams are already working on all major systems. Shuttle bay two is off-limits for now, so we'll have to direct the away teams into shuttle bay one. And sickbay reports they are dealing with multiple injuries, including the captain, but no casualties reported at this time."

Wounded? Of course, there would be costs. No conflict was without them. "How many?" She asked, managing to keep her voice even. The knot in her stomach tightened and her chest felt as though a paperweight sat on it. No casualties, at least there was that much. "Severity of damages to engineering?" She kept her questions as direct as possible without allowing too much of her concern to seep to the surface.

"Engineering reports that warp drive is offline temporarily while they fix damage to the intake manifolds. We have rupture EPS conduits throughout the ship, plasma fires on three decks being dealt with currently, and two separate hull breaches being repaired at this time. Additional damage is still being reported and assessed at this time" said Celes.

Hull breaches, plasma fires, warp drive offline... they'd taken substantial damages making her question her choice of actions a bit. Those things would have to be reflected upon later. As the Captain had not yet returned to his post and Jon was nowhere in sight, she had to man the station. "Let's just hope that it's all been worth it," Estella whispered.

The Shuttle was directed into shuttle bay 1, Sam wasn't even remotely suprised when noone was there to greet or help them. The hull of the Washington told the tale of the battle and she knew there would be all kinds of calm chaos going on inside.
She had two able bodied personnel, and three wounded. Getting them all back to sickbay would take some doing.

"One of you guys help me here with Jon, and the other help with the Governors family. They should be able to walk" Sam instructed as the security officer grabbed Jon's shoulders whilst Sam grabbed his legs. He wasn't going to die of his injuries but they definately needed treatment sooner rather than later.

Reports given on the damages to the Washington, the Counselor's thoughts went to Jon, Shran, and the others. The Captain had taken a good hit, and there were others injured also. Had Jon been among them? In her heart, she hoped not. He'd endured some heavy blows on some of their last missions. One's that had torn him, made him question his capabilities. That was a feeling she understood all too well. A page from Sam in Sickbay pulled her from her thoughts. Pressing her communication badge, she replied to Sam. "I'll be there momentarily." Looking to Celes, her expression empty of the warring emotions raging within. "Celes, you have the bridge."

Celes nodded in understanding. As she stood up from her station at Ops, "Understood, I have the bridge." Celes understood what was going through Estella's mind. She had similar thoughts about Shran, even if she'd never tip her hand about it. She was worried about Jon as well, and the others. As brutal as the battle aboard the Washington had been, she could imagine it had to be at least equal to what went down on the surface.

Sick Bay

The scene in sick bay was chaotic, but something Shran had witnessed plenty. This was the sort of thing that happened when large starship battles occurred. The medical staff was scrambling about trying to handle the dozen or so patients that needed treatment, some more serious than others. Without Sam present, it fell to her junior to run things, and while things were not as bad as they could be, the junior doctor was not quite fully prepared for this sort of medical emergency. Shran noted that even the EMH had been activated to help deal with patients as they were being brought in by medics and other crew.

"Ouch!" exclaimed Shran as he felt someone suddenly poking at his injury.

"Sorry captain" said the medico, who Shran turned to look at and took notice that it was an ensign medic. "I think you'll need a doctor to repair this, possibly surgery. Looks like the blast damaged muscles and tendons all around the shoulder."

Shran simply stared at the ensign, a look of contempt slowly coming over his face.

"The Doctor is in" Sam puffed as she maneuvered Jon through the doors and onto a biobed that a young Ensign had just vacated. She rolled the XO onto his side and grabbed a small number of tools to help with the healing. " Dare I ask how the ship fared Captain?" She asked over her shoulder.

THe sedative helped but Jon still hurt. "Ow Sam!" He said groggily, "You need to tell Essie." He said, his eyes closed.

" I will, just stay still so I can fix this gaping crater you have in your back" Sam placed a firm hand on Jon's side so he remained still.

"Yes Doctor." He managed to get out as Sam worked.

"Good, or I'll have to sedate you further, and I'd rather not" Sam retorted as she mended Jon's back. It took a bit of doing but sooner there would only be the ghost of a scar.

"Sickbay to Commander Stratton - Essie can you come down here when you've got a second?" Sam paged the XO's partner.

Shran could barely move thanks to the restraining field. It was a wise precaution for the medic considering how Shran was feeling at the moment. "Was it a Cardassian weapon?" he asked aloud.

"Yes, I think so" Sam replied, turning to look at the Captain.

"Damn Cardassians are brutal. Remember to check for anticoagulant. Little upgrade they made to their weapons after they joined the Dominion. It won't be as potent as Dominion blaster hits, but the Cardassians make up for it in energy intensity with their weapons."

"Brutal indeed" Sam amended as she ran another scan, taking note of the readings it was giving "thankfully it doesn't look too bad" she added, "the ship?"

Shran grimaced as he tried to shift ever so slightly, his would becoming more apparent for a doctor to view. "And to answer your question doctor, I'd say the ship did just fine. Estella handled things well."

"I'm very thankful to hear that" Samantha finished as she treated her Captain. Jon should also make a full recovery, as should you, you just need to take it easy for a few days"

Entering sickbay, Estella braced herself for the unknown. As she had not yet heard anything of or about Jon, she was more than a little apprehensive. That, and she didn't yet know the severity of Shran's injuries. Shoulders back and hands hanging open at her sides, the Counselor approached Sam. Her footsteps slowing to a visible halt when she saw Jon. Good, God. Not again...

Jon looked up into Essie's face. "Hiya Essie. I forgot to duck. "He joked weakly from a combination of pain and the sedative. as he tried to keep her from worrying.

The Counselor's eyes met and held Jon's before flitting slowly down to her feet. How many more times would this happen? How many times would he take a shot from a phaser or a blow before he was lost to her? That thought terrified her. However, it was a reality of their positions, and one she was slowly coming to terms with. Although she doubted she could ever get used to the idea of seeing him in sickbay. Each time, her heart stopped, freezing over like water to ice.

Stonebridge could be seen working with his people and the couple of captives they repatriated. He would give his report when he was done here!

Stonebridge made his way over to the XO. “Sir, I’d like to report that all my people made it back and it was fortuitous that we hit when we did, as they were about to relocate two people being used for slave labour and we saved them.” Reported Stonebridge

Jon looked up at Stonebridge and nodded, "Very good Mr. Stonebridge. You and your team did excellent work." Jon replied thickly as he looked over to Essie.

Estella was quiet as Jon and Stonebridge exchanged words. It wasn't until Jon looked her way that she spoke, her voice surprisingly even, despite the unease that gripped her. "What happened?"

With that, Stonebridge went on about his regular duties. He would also input the data they recovered and shoot it up the Intel channels he had immediate access to!

Jon saw and heard the concern in Essie's voice despite her attempt at keeping her voice even and he hated that he had scared her, caused her to worry. He was tempted to make a joke but decided against it as that could be taken that the wrong way. So instead he told her, "We were escorting the hostages back to the shuttle when we came under attack. I ordered Sam and the security officers to guard the hostages and the shuttle. I provided rear guard coverage. Sam stayed behind to assist me and as we reached the shuttle I was shot in the back and it threw me into the shuttle. I'm sorry for scaring you."

Just like Jon. Always the altruist. Selfless and admirable, but also dangerous. It was that same quality she loved about him, and likewise matched equally with disdain. Which was why her emotions tended to war when it came to him. "Well, thank goodness for Sam, then." Her voice remained lowered and shook a little, but she left the thought unfinished. There was no need to state the obvious possible outcome. All that mattered was that he'd come back. She just hoped that all the hostages were accounted for, this way it would all be worth it.

Jon knew that tone and the unfinished thought it had produced. "Yes, thank goodness for Sam." He agreed quietly and then quickly changed the subject. "How did you like being XO?" He asked honestly curious to how she liked the position. "Was it what you expected it to be?"

There was no arguing Sam's value or the importance of her role on the Washington. Even her worth as an individual and a friend. Without her, Jon wouldn't be here. Estella matched Jon's quiet tones and spoke with her voice lowered to a similar octave. "Let's just say I don't envy you," she teased lightly. Right now, she was just grateful they'd all made it out alive.

"Hey, I have the easy job. I just tell people what to do and they do it. You have to sit there and listen to everyone's problems and/or troubles." Jon replied with a tired grin. "You are an amazing woman Essie."

Shran shifted a bit as Samantha treated him, a slight groan coming out as he let the pain slip ever so slightly. He couldn't help but overhear the conversation between Estella and Jon, and while he couldn't move closer to them at this moment, he felt a need to interject just a bit. "Don't let him fool you counselor. You now know exactly how difficult his job is. The fact that you handled it so well is probably just a bit threatening to him" Shran said, a wry smile creeping over his face. "The ship and crew are damn lucky to have both of you aboard." He looked back to Samantha, "Same goes for you doc. While I hate keeping you so busy, glad you are around."

Short Time Later

"Sir, the Enterprise has arrived and taken over the situation, including gathering all the captives. They await the transfer of the hostages for return to their respective colonies. We have orders to take refuge at DS9 for repair and respite" said Celes.

"Very good lieutenant. Transport the rescued hostages to the Enterprise and then get us underway to DS9" replied Shran. He looked around the bridge, repair crews already at work repairing the damaged bridge systems. This was a tough mission, and he looked forward to a few days respite from such things. He figured the rest of the crew would enjoy it as well.


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