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The Big Red Handle

Posted on Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 @ 8:29am by Lieutenant Commander Jael Steiger & Dutch Lowek

Mission: Spoilt Settlers
Location: Jael & Dutch's Shuttle
Timeline: 30 Minutes after 'The World Belongs to the Brave'

“Jesus Christ!” Dutch let out a sigh of relief as his fingers picked up speed on the console. “J.J., you better get over here!”

Jael had been studying the colonists to better predict their movements and lessen the chances of being caught off-guard by any sudden movements. Her ears perked up at Dutch’s exclamation and was already behind him when he called out for her. A smirk formed on her face as the Centaurus laid motionless in front of them. “Status?”

Dutch was already on it, reading over the multiple scans he had done as soon as he located it. “Shields are down, engines are at a dead stop.” He typed a few more commands in. “Looks like we have a few extra people than normal on the Bridge. Humanoids, and…” His voice trailed off, “scan’s picking up that weird blob thing.” His face took a sharp turn to Jael. “They’re on the bridge. No life forms in Commander Nolan’s quarters or her Ready Room.”

“There’s a Command lock on the computers,” Jazz, the tall and lanky former Starfleet hacker, stated from the panel behind Jael. “I can’t get into the system.”

So it was the worst case scenario but Commander Nolan was able to take an advantage. The colonists had no permission to be on the Bridge. If they needed to speak with either herself or Alexia they were ordered to do so in one of the conference rooms. Seeing as they had made their way onto the Bridge meant there was a takeover. “Scan the other critical areas. I want to know how many people are in each area and how many of the lifeforms match the colonists.” Jael moved over to the adjoining panel and began her hailing efforts to Alexia. Even if there was no one there she needed to at least try. Alexia very well could have routed her comms elsewhere.

Silence.

She pressed a few more buttons, reopening the comms to the other shuttles as they all three slowed down to a stop within transporting range. “Attention, I am pulling the big red handle. Gear up and be in position for transport. Keep your comms open and be prepared for anything.” She paused and locked eyes with The Russian. “Good luck.”

The Russian nodded at her as he strapped on his rifle and checked his energy packs. “Ready to lock n’ load, sweetheart?” He gave her a mischievous grin as he snapped the pack into his rifle.

Jael rolled her eyes. “There is no use reminding you how much I dislike you calling me that.”

“You can’t help but let me get away with it because of my good looks and buttery Texas drawl.” The Russian gave her a playful wink.

Jael scoffed. “Yes. Something like that.” She paused as she watched him finish gearing up. “What you are doing for me and Dutch right now…”

The Russian placed his hand up to her to stop her from any unnecessary gratitude. He knew how much his assistance meant to her. “It’s the least I can do after you and Dutch tanked your careers just to save my life. That’s everything. I’ve been able to go out and help these people find their own meaning and a new chance to really live outside of all of this, whatever you consider this is.”

Jael paused, tilting her head to the side. His cheery disposition had actually been hiding a rather serious and apparently enlightened disposition. “You’re leaving Starfleet.”

The Russian nodded slowly. “What they did to Dutch and what they did to you was just…” He chewed on his lower lip to keep himself from going on a rant that would be quite out of character for him. “I believe in what the Federation says they believe in just as much as the next officer. Talea IV was the complete opposite of that.” He paused again, feeling the buried pain popping back up again. “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about being trapped inside of that basement abandoned by the very people I gave myself to.”

Jael reached out and grabbed onto his tensed up arm. “Rush, I do not regret doing what we did. Neither does Dutch. We were helping a colleague and one of the best Intelligence officers in Starfleet… and a very good friend.”

The Russian’s infamous smile finally came back as he gave Jael a slightly embarrassed shrug. He knew that if Jael said something like that, she meant it. The woman didn’t just open herself up to anyone. “Oh stop it, Steiger. You’re making me blush.” And that was it. The darkness faded. At least for now.

“Right,” Jael gave him a quick shoulder pat before gearing herself up. “Let us make your last hurrah with Starfleet one to remember. Then you can ride off into the sunset on your desolate planet like one of those old Earth Western films you were always talking about.”

“‘You've gotta ask yourself one question,’” The Russian squinted his face into the best Clint Eastwood impression he could muster up, deepening his voice into a rough grumble. “‘’Do I feel lucky?’’ Well, do ya, punk?”

 

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