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Fortune Favors the Bold

Posted on Fri Nov 12th, 2021 @ 6:36pm by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Lieutenant Deanna Celes & Lieutenant Ayana Hillis & Lieutenant Aiko Kato & Lieutenant JG Shoniara T’ghann Dex Dr

Mission: Breen in Paradise
Location: Breen base

Ayana was in position with Weasley on her flank, and Shran moved to cover her rear as they made ready for the likely assault into the building. From her vantage point Ayana could see Dex, Aiko, Celes and her other security officer at the far side of the building, ready to rush forward as soon as it was tactically prudent. All she needed was the go ahead from the captain. Suddenly an opening presented itself. The door to the building opened and a Breen slowly made its way out. She could see inside somewhat and what she could see told her this was exactly where they wanted to be for Dex to get the information they needed. Without hesitation Ayana took aim and fired, catching the Breen squarely in the chest.

She rushed towards the entrance Weasley holding position to cover as Shran pushed forward. As Ayana entered the building she spotted a pair of Breen moving towards the entrance. She fired twice, dropping both. She continued forward, taking note of the cold temperature of the interior, nearly as cold as it was on the planet surface. Large vats filled with some sort of fluid were lined up with the fetal samples suspended inside. It was a barbaric sight to her. To her left were computer terminals and medical equipment, obviously where they did whatever it was they were doing. She continued to search the area carefully, certain she would encounter at least one or two other Breen.

Shran pushed forward towards the the entrance. He heard the sound of phaser fire from inside the building and knew Ayana was encountering adversaries. As he neared the door he heard Weasley's phaser fire. He took a crouching position and turned back to see a Breen soldier looking around as one fell to the ground. Suddenly Weasley fired a second time, hitting the other Breen. Shran noted Weasley's marksmanship and pressed on, signalling Celes to bring the others forward. He entered the building and looked around. He didn't see Ayana, but what he did see both horrified him and made him irate. He pushed forward, beginning a search of the building in hopes he might find Ayana, and if he were lucky, Breen.

Aiko waited patiently with baited breath upon hearing the phaser fight that her colleagues were involved with. It was a pressing reminder that this was a combat zone that was full of danger at every corner, even with the advantage of their cloak.

As the team push forward into the room, Aiko was equally relieved to see that the bodies on the ground were Breen and horrified upon seeing the vats filled with fetal matter so brazenly displayed in the open.

Dex entered the room stepping over the dead Breen. She knew what she was seeing immediately. She thanked Surak for her returned Vulcan calm but the Riasan part of her reacted to the sight of several cytoplasmic vats full of what looked like tissue samples. She brought out her medical tricorder and performed a quick initial scan. “Did I say the horror would get worse well it just has. There are countless specimens here suspended in what looks like a nutrient broth.” She took samples of the broth for analysis later and turned her attention to the fetal tissue
She recognised those immediately with Human, Denobulan, Vulcan, Andorian, Ciatian and at least eleven other species dna.

“Captain is there any way we can beam one of these vats to a science lab aboard the ship? Sam and I need to study these in more detail.”

She took a sharp intake of breath. “Everyone, these ‘samples’ have been taken from both male and female almost full term….” She swallowed, turned and vomited on the floor. She wiped her mouth with her sleeve “sorry….Captain when these were taken it would have brought on premature labour, I doubt if many of these…and I will say ‘children’ were born alive.”

She moved to one of the monitor screens, most of the information was in Breen, although the Breen were made up of different species a ‘common’ language had been developed to ensure communication. “She downloaded as much information as she could but deep in her mind she knew she was missing something. The scientific formulae were complicated and would take some unravelling as would the viral pairing sequences.

She felt unsteady on her feet as she asked the question, “what else is in this complex? These samples are fresh, there has been no degradation at all and I doubt this nutrient broth would last more than a month or so.” She turned to Shran, “Captain we need to make sure there are no children on this base.

Celes looked to Dex, "I think you have a good point doctor." She looked at her tricorder, "My readings are unclear, but I am certain that I am reading nonBreen life signs in the building across the way."

Shran walked out uncloaked dragging a Breen body. "I think this one might be of assistance."

Ayana came out behind Shran and moved to the door. Looking outside she saw Weasley now uncloaked behind cover firing at a small contingent. "Captain, we have company." She took aim and began firing, hitting one and driving the others back behind the corner of a building.

Dex carried on taking readings from the amniotic broth and from the computer system despite the developing firefight, she had to gain every last bit of information she could before it was all destroyed.

Aiko headed to the door, back pressed against it adjacent to Ayana and took a quick look as she fired to see what was ahead. The path in her mind, she nodded at Ayana who leaned out of cover to lay down suppression fire as Aiko darted towards Weasley, taking cover beside him.

From there she had a clear vantage point and clear line of fire of the contingent of Breen soldiers. She counted six. She looked back to Ayana, signaling that information although she belatedly realized the security officer probably knew.

What was concerning however was that one of them appeared to be hightailing it away from the line of fire towards a building a few meters away. Aiko knew she had to stop as she was not sure what sort of alarm or action he could trigger - for all she knew, this entire place could have been rigged to self-destruct if discovered.

With that grim thought in mind giving her renewed purpose, Aiko momentarily abandoned the safety of her cover, feeling Weasley and Ayana reading her intent as they laid down more suppression fire. She took time to aim her phase rifle at the fleeing Breen. Took in a deep breath as she activated the targeting reticule to enhance her accuracy. When she had him squarely in her targets, she held her breath and squeezed the trigger letting just three bursts from the rifle, which all landed squarely in the back of the Breen, sending him down, likely dead or at the very least severely wounded and unconscious.

Dex had collected all the information she could from the terminals in the room and was now anxious to move on. She drew her phaser and took a low down stance at the door waiting for instructions.

Shran moved near the door to take in a visual of the situation. Thus far they were holding their own and they were in a position to overtake the current position and eliminate the remaining Breen they were in conflict with. Shran once more reached into Ayana's pack and pulled out a pair of charges and then moved to the vats and set them. He took aim with his rifle and fired at the computer terminals. Looking at Dex he spoke simply, "Time to move out."

Dex wanted to argue with him for a minute over her question to transport one of the vats up to the ship but she realized that it would have been impossible. Anyway she had what she wanted and she was eager to move on. Vulcans hated killing for the sake of doing so but this was so monstrous she wanted to obliterate the entire facility and, if that meant doing a little killing then that was all right with her. She nodded reactivated her cloak “Yes Sir” and followed him out into the open, phaser ready.

Celes reactivated her cloak and then informed Shran what she planned to do next telepathically. Shran acknowledged and gave her the go ahead. Celes then followed that up with a telepathic message to Ayana. Ayana began a rapid fire assault on the remaining Breen, giving cover while a cloaked Celes exited the building and moved across the quad to the building the hostages were being held in. As she decloaked she grabbed the one photon grenade she had and tossed it to the side of the building, and when it detonated, it took 3 Breen with it and left the others suddenly without any cover.

The absence of cover plus the surprise of the sudden explosion was all the distraction Aiko needed to pick off the remaining Breen target, neutralizing them as quickly as she could with her rifle.

Shran made his way across the quad, leading Dex with him. They linked up with Celes as Ayana, Aiko, and the others finished off the remaining Breen for the moment. Shran looked around to assess the situation. He didn't believe for a moment that they were done fighting. The Breen were still around in force, it was simply a matter of locating and dealing with them before the Breen did the same to them.

Dex followed close behind Shran phaser at the ready “where are we headed now Captain?” She asked. “Lieutenant Celes told me that there were some indistinctive non Breen life signs. Logic dictates we check them out?”

"Indeed we shall" replied Shran as he readied himself to move toward the entrance of the building they were currently using for cover.

The immediate Breen threat neutralized, Aiko joined Shran and the rest of the team. The photon grenade now meant the enemy knew there were intruders, but she anticipated there was likely to be a brief period of confusion which was to the advantage of the away team.

Aiko readied herself in front of the entrance, rifle at the ready and waiting for the Captain's command.

"If they didn't know we were here before," she said with a smirk, "I think we just rang the doorbell rather loudly Captain." She realized belatedly that she had long forgotten how cold everything was as the firefight had infused her with adrenaline.

"Just as it was in the war lieutenant. They started the fight, we're finishing it, and this time diplomacy is at the end of your phaser. These Breen don't deserve mercy." It was quite obvious that the captain was deep into a powerful warlike mentality at this point.

"Ready" called Ayana from her position.

Shran nodded in her direction and she tossed a photon grenade at the door, the resulting explosion opening the door with a large bang. Ayana pushed into the building and fired at the Breen that was walking about stunned. As she looked around she was aghast. This was a detention center, and those in the cells were being held in what looked like suspended animation. "Captain!"

Shran made his way towards the door, looking at Dex, "You should come with me doctor." As he headed inside he looked at Aiko, "Set a perimeter lieutenant with the other security officers." He continued inside and saw Ayana and then saw what had her looking so distraught. "These Breen are without honor or decency."

"Aye sir," Aiko replied and immediately followed the lead of the other security officer in finding a place to hunker down that offered a measure of defense but also offered a good line of sight of a wide perimeter arc in front of the door.

"Keep an eye on sensors and call out the position of any contacts you see," Aiko announced.

Dex turned off her cloak and holstered her phaser as in this place it would do no good. She tuned out the noises around her as she used her Vulcan senses to prioritize what she was seeing. There were eight suspension pods in two groups of four inside the ‘cells’. There was no need for the imprisonment as being held in suspension was a surety that there would be no escape. She approached and wiped the viewing fascia of the first pod. It contained a Human male child of approximately five years old. She took out her tricorder and ran the scanner over him. He was uninjured as far as she could see, just asleep.

She moved on to the next pod and even her Vulcan sensibility could not help the anger in her Riasan side to rise into her throat. This Ciatian child must have been around three years old around at the time of her death. Her facial fur had just begun to grow soft and golden around her giving her a beatific look. On evidence it looked as though the deneucleation process had killed her. She swallowed unaware of what was going on around her. “T’A-La’tH k-Tura” she whispered the Vulcan blessing for the passing of a child and moved on.

‘Thank Surak the next two pods were empty although they looked as though they had been occupied at some time. She ran a scan for any DNA fragments and compared them to some of the tissue contained in the vats. In one of the pods there was a match for human tissue. What was left of this child was in the vats. She could not help the tears running down her face as she moved on. Never in her life had she seen this much cruelty, death and hate.

She moved on to the next four pods. The next child was definitely a Vulcan female of about seven years old, Dex’s scan showed she too was just asleep in stasis. There appeared to be nothing wrong with her.
She moved on again to the next pod which contained what looked like an Andorian female child her antennae just beginning to sprout. She was so pale and fragile looking. She scanned her and found a trace element of celebium a trans-Hahnic radioactive element in her system, it looked like this was being used to inhibit cell production. Her tricorder alarmed, this child had been given the virus. “Captain, please come over here?”

Shran walked over to Dex and looked at the cell seeing the child. "Sh'raeli cewd klar'tarreaq!" he exclaimed. "Doctor, scan this child and determine if it as Aenar DNA."

She scanned for the special DNA, the child did look pale and there the telltale indentations in the tips of her antennae. “Confirmed Captain she has the Aenar DNA. I think she may also be blind….. she is so beautiful.” She added quietly.

Shran muttered something under his breath. "We must help this child. We must help them all" he said with a righteous determination.

Celes walked over and looked into the last cell and she gave a soft gasp. She began scanning "Doctor! I have a Denobulan female here. A teenager, just coming into her reproductive maturity. I believe she may pregnant."

She hurried over, “you are right about that, approximately three months. I suppose the bastards were waiting for her to come to term……Surak…..” for a moment she could not speak…”I..I.. her fetus is Breen, but, how can that be the anatomy is not compatible, what madness are they doing here?” She steadied herself against one of the empty pods. “ I am sure we can wake these children, Captain we cannot leave them here.” Her voice rose a little.

Celes looked puzzled. "A Breen fetus inside the Denobulan girl. What sort of experiments are they doing here?" she questioned aloud. She shook her head. "I'll work on freeing them from the stasis fields and then unlocking the cells."

Outside, the two security officers stood ready with Aiko, keeping an eye out for Breen. Suddenly, without warning, came a blast over their heads from the right flank. Looking over, a pair of Breen were under partial cover firing at them.

The concussive force of the energy pulse frightened Aiko as it ripped through the air, close enough to her face that she felt for the briefest of moments, its searing heat. However, she was quick to recover. She ducked behind cover, which was a protruding structure of the building that reached up to her torso, allowing her to conceal herself completely by crouching.

"Contact," she called out to the security team, rather redundantly. They likely saw the energy blast. "Two Breen, roughly in two o'clock position, over the ridge."

She had caught sight of her attackers, just before she crouched for safety. They had been targeting her and had only missed by a sliver. That they had gotten that close without the tricorder registering them told her that their Breen opponents had some sort of jammer in place, or at least something that allowed them to conceal their presence.

"Stay sharp," she called looking at her tricorder, which was not registering the Breen incursion. "They are somehow masking their approach, which means there may be more."

She watched as the two security officers adjusted their position, putting distance between themselves- a common tactic to minimize the chance of an enemy grenade taking both of them out at once. It also allowed them to have multiple firing coverage points.

One of the security officers opened fire towards the ridge and ducked behind cover as the Breen returned his fire. The second security officer, using his new vantage point was able to quickly dispatch the Breen, who was now exposed.

"One down," Aiko muttered. "One to go..." the words lingered in the air when to the left of the team she caught sight of four Breen running from cover to cover.

"Shit," she muttered as she readjusted her position and started opening fire. "More contact, 10 o'clock. I spot four of them, but could be more." Her firing did not have the express intent of taking down the Breen, she knew they could easily avoid her phaser fire but it served to warn them that the Starfleet contingent knew they were there and would take them out. Effectively, it slowed their advance so that they were more cautious.

She tapped her comm badge, not wanting to yell out any details over the firefight for fear that the Breen might hear and be able to use it to their advantage. =^=Kato to Shran, sir, we've got multiple enemy contacts and they're somehow masking their movements so we can't get sensor readings of their position or how many there are.=^=

Shran got the message and looked to Ayana. She nodded without a word needing to be said. Shran hit his comm badge, =^=Help is on the way.=^=

Ayana exited the building with her phaser rifle blasting, launching several volleys at the Breen. While she didn't hit any of them, it did allow as a distraction and to let them know a new target was in play. She quickly rushed out and took cover behind a large rock that protruded from the cavern floor. The large granite protrusion was a perfect place for her, giving her a vantage point of both Breen groups. She heard disruptor blasts hit the rock and then like a jack-in-the-box jumped up momentarily and fired at the larger contingent, hitting one while blasting a good amount of their cover away before crouching once more behind her stone protector.

Inside, Shran looked at Celes and Dex as they worked to free these imprisoned children. "I'm very close to deactivating the stasis fields" Celes said, very cognizant that Shran was anxious to free the children.

"Stasis field deactivated" Celes said with a smile. "I'll just need a moment to deactivate the security apparatus."

Celes nodded to Dex as the stasis fields were deactivated. The Vulcan and human children were taken out of their pods first. Dazed and frightened they huddled together. Dex ran her medical bio sensor over them to ascertain their medical condition. “It is going to be fine, we are taking you away from here to safety.” She said bending down. “ Hold each other’s hands now.” She placed the small hands into each other and pressed them together. She cleared the boys hair from his eyes and caressed his cheek. He smiled and she smiled back making contact with him.

“My name is Shoniara and you are safe now; we will not hurt you.” The Vulcan child noticed her pointed ears and touched them. Dex nodded and spoke in Vulcan “Yes I am like you.” The Vulcan female child then indicated the pod with the deceased Ciatian child inside. Dex shook her head, “I am sorry the little one is dead.” No tears fell from the Vulcan child but she buried her face in Dex’s chest. For a minute she let the child grieve then took her arms from her. “I have to rescue the others now.” The child nodded.

Dex stood and scanned the Aenar child. She was not sure that she would survive but her heart appeared to be beating strongly. She still seemed to be asleep however and Dex did not want her to to wake yet. As Dex lifted her from the stasis tube the child gave a small cry and clung to her, Shoniara’s heart skipped a beat. She zipped up her coat and put her inside. She looked over to Celes, “Deanna can you look after the pregnant Denobulan girl? I just want to make sure we take the Ciatian child back to the ship with us. I will NOT leave her body here.” She released the catch on the tube containing the deceased Ciatian and gently lifted her out. The child was so perfect in every way. At last the Riasan side of her began to show and tears fell onto the child’s face. She made a makeshift shroud from the cloth she had been lying on inside the stasis tube and wrapped her up inside it.

Celes nodded and made her way towards the Denobulan. She wasn't sure exactly what she could do beyond a basic scan and whatnot, but that should be enough. As she reached the Denobulan she appeared to be waking from the stasis.

"Good work Deanna" Shran said with a hint of relief. "Doctor, You and Celes get these children ready for us to transport out of here. I'll assist the others outside to eliminate the current Breen threat." Shran turned and headed out of the building.

Celes looked back at Shran at nodded her understanding and then returned her attention to the Denobulan girl. "Are you alright child?" she asked as she scanned the girl. "I'm lieutenant Celes. We are here to help you."

The girl looked up at Celes, a look of understanding in her eyes, yet she had fear and trepidation showing. "You are StarFleet?"

"Yes. We are here to get you back to safety. We are going to take you to our ship. What is your name?" Celes asked.

The girl remained fearful, but hearing that they were from StarFleet seemed to give her some relief. "My name is Trevix. Please get me away from here. The Breen have been doing strange things with me, with all of us. They hurt us."

Celes was doing her best to keep her steely resolve, but it wasn't easy under the circumstances. "They won't hurt you any more. The captain will see to it." She looked at Dex, "This is my friend, Dr. Dex. She will make sure you are alright."

Dex knelt down as best she could and smiled gently, she took the young girls hand, “Hello Trevix call me Shoniara I am a doctor and am going to help you all. We will take you away from here very soon now. Trevix backed away from her fear in her eyes. “Doctors hurt us ! “ Dex took her hand again. I am a doctor in Starfleet, I promise you I will protect you and never hurt you.” Trevix seemed to be somewhat reassured and held on to the edge of Shoniara’s jacket.
She gathered the children that could walk to her, the Vulcan child holding the Human males hand and the Denobulan beside her. The Aenar child she had inside her jacket and she held the body of the Ciatian child in her other.

The fire fight continued outside. Ayana had taken out a second member of the larger group, but two groups remained and it seemed like neither side had an advantage over the other at this point. The two security officers continued to fire at the solo Breen that remained from the initial contact, while Aiko was keeping up fire with Ayana at the larger group. As Shran exited the building he could see what was happening and had clear shot at the solo Breen. He took aim and fired, dropping the Breen. He made a mad dash for cover, leaping to the ground and then rolling behind Aiko. "Seems things are getting sporting out here lieutenant. Figured I'd lend a hand to end this conflict as Celes and the doctor are readying those children for transport."

Aiko smirked at the Captain without looking at him. Her eyes was trained purely on the Breen, looking for the slightest slip up, and at that moment, she saw one. She abandoned the safety of her hiding momentarily and fired multiple bursts and watched satisfactorily as another Breen solider slumped unconsciously to the ground.

Turning to the Captain as she crouched back down to safety she said. "Plenty of Breen soldiers to go around."

"This is quite reminiscent of the war, don't you think lieutenant? Thankfully these Breen aren't quite as tactically minded or insane as the Jem'Hadar" Shran said with a smile.

Aiko nodded. "On that we agree," she replied with another grin. There was something disempowering about the Jem'Hadar ability to appear out of thin air and their physical and mental fortitude and aptitude when it came to matters of war.

The Breen, in her mind, had more of a soldier of fortune mentality. They were not particularly tactically superior nor did they hold tightly to the creed of a warrior the way a Klingon or Jem'Hadar might. They were however good at taking advantage of weaknesses and pressing tactical advantages, as they did at the height of the Dominion War when they launched the surprise attack on Earth that was meant to destroy Federation morale.

Dex could hear the sounds of a firefight outside and tapped her communicator =/\= Captain we have the children ready for transport, they will not survive long outside their stasis tubes without medical help. We need to go now! But we must destroy this place utterly =/\=

Shran fired and hit the last Breen soldier. He signaled Ayana and Aiko to secure the area. Hitting his comm badge he responded, =^=Bring them out doctor. We are moving out. =^= He walked over to Ayana, "How many charges do you have?"

"Eight" she responded.

"Set them up on the other buildings and on the cavern walls as you see fit. I want this place destroyed as we exit."

"Yes sir" she responded and quickly made her way towards the out buildings.

Shran looked at Aiko and the security officers. "Aiko, you and Weasley take point. We are moving out." He looked at Dex and Celes, "follow them out, keeping a proper distance. I'll be behind you." He looked to the other security officer, "You stand rear guard and wait for Ayana."

"Aye sir," Aiko replied as she stepped to the front of the team along with Weasley.

Dex made she she had all the children with her, checking the Aenar inside her jacket, she appeared to be sleeping peacefully. She had no doubt that she needed to get them all to sickbay so she and Sam could begin the work they needed to do. She knelt down and faced then. “Now we are going to have to go outside so we can go to safety. There might be a lot of noise but do not be frightened, we are all here to look after you and keep you all safe.”

The group made their hesitant way outside huddled as close to Dex as they could. She was unable to take her phaser out due to the Vulcan child’s hand caught tightly in hers and she felt naked unarmed. A slight movement inside her jacket reminded her of the precious cargo she held. She made sure she had eye contact with each of the children, “I will keep you all safe” she promised and hoped she could keep that promise.

"Follow Aiko and Weasley doctor" said Celes. The captain is going to blow this place to hell and we don't want to be anywhere near here when that happens. Captain is irate enough to try to bring down the mountain and bury the Breen for this vile act." Celes looked at the children, "Come little ones. We will be safe once we get back to the surface."

Dex had to move slowly at the children’s pace. The human boy was dragging his feet scared and crying. She wished she had an extra arm. The pack on her back was heavier with the body of the little Ciatian strapped onto it. She stopped, there was something she could try. She knelt down pulling the Vulcan, human and Denobulan to her. “Now I know you are all scared but I am not, so, I can take all the scary thoughts you have. Everything that is frightening you I have a special place in my mind. Look into my eyes and give me those thoughts.” The children looked at her and, for what seemed the longest time she took the horror into herself. She stiffened and after a few minutes she looked away. “There, I’m sure that feels better?”

After that they seemed to move a little faster and she even heard a small giggle from the human boy. She smiled a little, her heart lighter but her mind troubled by what she had seen. She wondered how many other planets this might be going on. Civilizations have gone to war for less? The infant Aenar had started a high keening sound which Dex’s enhanced hearing was finding difficult to deal with. Weasely and Aiko were ahead and they followed them.

Aiko guided the team towards the rendezvous point, moving quickly but cautiously. Her eyes were keenly scanning their environment looking for signs of trouble but there was none immediately evident. She spared a moment's thought for the children they had rescued, wondering what horrors they must have gone through. The only solace she reasoned in all of this was a hope that today marked the shift in trajectory for them for happier days ahead.

"Almost there doc," Aiko called back by way of letting Dex know where they were. She was also bracing herself for the explosion that was about to happen. She hoped it would dissuade the Breen from ever trying this again, but she found that hard to believe.

The sound of quick footfalls became apparent to Celes and she stopped for a moment and looked behind to see what it might be. She was somewhat surprised to see Shran, Ayana, and the other security officer running towards them, almost sprinting even. She allowed herself to reach out telepathically and she picked up on Shran's thoughts. She turned back toward Aiko and Dex with her eyes wide, "Run!" she exclaimed.

Dex by this time was drawing on her inner strength, if she had been on her own….”Celes, can you carry the little boy? we just cannot make it otherwise!” She shouted. Dex was half carrying the Vulcan child and the Denobulan girl was just about keeping up. She was so scared the Aenar infant would suffocate inside her jacket as the crying had stopped.

Shran and Ayana were moving quickly, the look of controlled panic written all over her face. She looked at the chronometer and then spoke between breaths as she continued her pace, "30 seconds sir."

Shran was keeping his attention ahead of them, seeing Dex with the children, and Celes apparently holding one in her arms now as she too was running. 'Bless her' he thought about Celes, she had obviously read his mind. They were gaining on them, which wasn't such a surprise as Dex and Celes were carrying precious cargo. "Quickly!" Shran yelled, trying to impart the direness of the situation.

If Dex could have summoned up the energy to shout at Shran that they were going as quickly as they could she would have done and damn protocol.

Celes picked up the boy and looked to the Denobulan girl, "We have to run now. Think of it as a game. First one outside the cave wins a prize." The Denobulan girl smiled and took off. Celes looked at Dex, "I'm asking for leave after this" she joked as she began running with the child in her arms.

Dex watched Celes sprint off ahead, knowing they had only seconds left she snatched up the Vulcan child and found her last breaths for a burst of speed.

Celes and Dex and the children were only a few feet from the cave entrance back to the surface when the sound of explosions began to echo through the passageway. Shran and the others continued to sprint as the cacophonous sound of the explosions and the destruction of the Breen base and shifting rock echoed past them. He didn't dare look back at this point. He knew more than just the sound of the blast would be quick to catch up to them. He pushed himself hard to get away from any potential blast zone, and he could see the finish line just ahead, All but his trio waiting just outside the cave.

Celes hit her comm badge, =^=Celes to Washington. Transporter room, do you read?=^=

=^=This is transporter room 1. Go ahead lieutenant.=^=

Celes took a quick moment to thank the gods that the explosion had eliminated the jamming field. =^=Lock on to the away team and prepare to beam us up. We have children with us that are in need of medical attention. Prepare to transport the entire away team to sickbay. =^=

=^=Understood lieutenant. We have a lock on all of you.=^=


As flames and rock came rushing towards the away team every member of the away team and the children dematerialized in a blue hue. On the planet surface flame belched out of the cave entrance as rock collapsed inside, burying anything in the cavern and the tunnel.

Moments later everyone materialized in sickbay. Shran looked around and then gave out a sigh of relief. "Everyone alright?"

As they materialized in sickbay Dex could still see the wall of rock and flames barreling towards them and the realization of just how near they were made her feel elated that they had made it. She did a quick count of the children, Human, Vulcan, Denobulan, Aenar and the tiny body of the Ciatian infant…yes they were all there and safe. She breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes Captain.” she said.

Aiko similarly nodded with a thumbs up to the Captain as she crouched over to catch her breath. She was grateful to be back on the ship and equally grateful for the much warmer environment. The last few minutes of sprinting in that god-awful frozen cave of Breen horrors had took more out of her than she had anticipated. She concluded that she was not as fit as she used to be and needed to rectify that quickly by putting herself on a stricter training regime.

Shran walked over to Dex, "The Aenar child, how is it?"

Dex took the child from her jacket and laid it on the bio bed. She gave an internal sigh of relief to see she was still breathing. She took her jacket off and grabbed the medi scanner. The child was so pale, almost white, without pigment and totally hairless as far as she could see. She scanned without speaking, all organs in the correct places, cobalt based blood, high metabolism, totally blind. “SHE seems fine as far as I can see Captain, the radioactive Celebium in her blood can be removed but I have to tell you though she is a hybrid. As to her telepathic abilities I am unable to say currently and I am unsure of her age…but due to the density of her skeleton and the immaturity of her organs I would say she is between three and five but, I am sure you could tell us a lot more?” She waited to hear his response.

"A hybrid you say. So she has an Andorian parent. I expected as much. She isn't pale enough to be a full blooded Aenar. She looks like my daughter. I would say she is about three years of age, four at the most. She'll do better once she has the radioactive element removed. I am surprised she is blind though. Hybrid children are rarely blind. Her telepathic abilities will become pronounced as she reaches adolescence."

“We have a lot of work to do Captain, these children will need medical care as well as much counselling and I wonder if we can find their parents? Dr Howard and myself will have to do work ups on the other things we found during our trip. I must admit to wanting to see the moment that the base was destroyed and I find that …distasteful.

I also am surprised we did not see any medical staff down there so I wonder if we destroyed it all or whether we missed something, or somewhere else on the planet?” She looked at the children who were now visibly tired. “We need to get them some quarters and begin in the morning. However we will be removing the Celebium as soon as possible as it will destroy the possibility of cell regeneration if left much longer and then she will die.”

Shran nodded understandingly. "I'll leave the medical work to you and Samantha. As for arranging for quarters for the children and helping with the search for the children's parents, Celes will prove invaluable. I'll leave you to your work." The Andorian looked at Ayana, "I'll see you back on the bridge lieutenant once you have dealt with the equipment." He took a few steps away from everyone and then looked at them all, "You all did great work. I'll be noting all of your heroic actions in my log." He looked at Aiko, "Lt. Kato, I believe we can use your expertise on the bridge." The Andorian walked over and took a closer look at the children, paying extra attention for the briefest of moments to the Andorian-Aenar hybrid, and then turned and exited.


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