Run and Gun
The Place of Skulls
Location: Deck 2, Section 3
Timeline: Mission Day 16 at 1238
[Deck 2, Section 3]
[MD16: 1238 Hours]
“Is someone out there?” Bracco called down the hallway, hoping whoever it was wasn’t seriously injured or -- worse -- dead. More movement caught her attention and, with a subtle gulp, she said, "Here we go..."
Rather than a drone, however, a cloud of smoke rolled through the corridor as a worse for wear and sweaty Tellarite emerged. His uniform was in tatters, scorch marks peppered the front of his chest, his entire right sleeve was missing. He did not speak when he saw the pair, he just let out a gasp. The gasp which could only be described as pure relief. Ensign Gora bim Gral held a metallic sports trophy in his right hand, and his left hand carefully pinned an unconscious woman over his left shoulder.
The Tellarite moved toward the pair, as he reached them he nearly went headlong with exhaustion. He used the last bits of his energy to lay the woman down on the floor plates, as he abandoned his trophy weapon and sat. “A weapons locker and a doctor, just my luck, toss me a rifle,” he finally whispered. The words caused him to cough, he turned his head as some blood sprayed from his lips. He then looked down at the woman he had carried which seemed like an eternity, “It is Lieutenant Ellsworth, late twenties. Severed arm. We were pinned down together a few corridors back. She lost consciousness a few minutes ago, I’ve been trying to get her to sickbay. Those damn things are all over the ship.”
Gral had sacrificed his phaser in overcharge to escape with her, the trophy wasn’t much of a replacement weapon; but, it had been better than nothing. The palm of his hands were sore and cut from hitting at the drones which chased them. The truth was, Gral knew he wasn’t going to make it to Sickbay if it weren’t for the pair. The weight of that sunk in.
“Can you help her?” It was apparent that she had lost a lot of blood, and while he had tied his sleeve round what remained of her arm to stop some blood loss, Gral didn’t have to be a doctor to know Ellsworth was in rough shape. He wasn’t sure how her arm was cut off, a drone laser, flying debris, it didn’t matter...“Before she stopped talking she kept screaming, save the baby; but, I could see a ba—…” Gral looked up as he finally realized what she had meant, “Oh…shit!”
Kennedy took a moment to reassess that the Tellarite wasn’t a threat. He moved back to his feet, he lowered the rifle to the floor, “Set Lieutenant Ellsworth down over here.” Kennedy pointed to the bulkhead while he set the phaser rifle against the bulkhead as he unclipped his tricorder and the medical instrument.
As Kennedy instructed Gral, Bracco grabbed another phaser rifle from the weapons locker and held it out expectantly with her left hand, waiting for the Tellarite to put Ellsworth down and take the weapon. With her right hand, she kept her phaser rifle trained down the hallway from the direction the two had come.
Gral re-positioned the frail Lieutenant as instructed. He took a moment to gather himself and then reached for the rifle Bracco offered. He looked toward the corridor, weapon raised and ready. Gral with renewed hope was laser focused on the task of giving Ellsworth the best chance at survival, now knew there were more drones out there.
Kennedy knelt down. He took in a deep breath as he realized the trauma that Ellsworth had suffered through minutes before. There wasn’t anything he could do for her here but wanted to check her present status, “Lieutenant Elsworth this is Dr. Ryan Walsh.” He looked to Bracco smiling, “You can call me Kennedy if you like.” He took in a deep breath trying to ground himself, “We are going to take you to Sickbay, where I can see to your wounds there.”
Kennedy flipped open his tricorder to scan Lieutenant Ellsworth. She’s pregnant, in that moment he understood why she was calling out about her baby. He looked over to Bracco and back to the Tellarite, they needed to act quickly to get her to Sickbay.
Ellsworth now resting on the floor, motioned her mouth, “baby,” left her lips but only a whisper. As fast as she came around, she was gone again. She lay motionless, a slow pool of blood made its way on the underside of her severed arm.
Kennedy moved over to scan Gora, “How are you, Ensign?” He began to scan him with his tricorder.
Gral scoffed, “I’m fine, it's them you need to worry about. What do you suggest, we continue on to Sickbay? Do you think they’ll make it?” Gral spoke but he did not make eye contact, his Tactical training was on full display. His eyes were focused on the perimeter. All Gral wanted was a nice quiet evening, maybe a nice relaxing mud bath after shift, this whole thing had really screwed up his plans.
“There’s not much I can do here in a corridor,” Kennedy answered the Tellarite’s concern. Ellsworth's arm was in horrific shape, missing from the elbow down. He looked around to see what he could use as a makeshift tourniquet, “Ensign, could I get the arm of your uniform? Since yours is always in tatters...”
“Since she lost her arm… she yelled it out a few times.” Gral responded in short as he reached to tear clear his second sleeve, he tossed it toward the good doctor.
Kennedy was grateful for Gral’s second sleeve. He tied it mid-upper arm as a tourniquet. He looked back to Ellsworth, “We are going to get you back up on your feet now, Lieutenant. And we are going to get you to Sickbay, where I can get you the treatment that you need. The bleeding has stopped for now.”
Kennedy looked back to Gral, “I am going to need your help to lift her back up. I will do my best to carry her over my shoulder but I’m not as strong as you and may need a hand, Ensign.”
Gral nodded as he leaned up and proceeded to follow the order.
Kennedy rose back to his feet, readjusting his positioning to be on the side with the missing arm waiting for Gral to shuffle into helping him. He looked over to Bracco, “You okay over there Doctor Bracco?”
“Fine here. Seems quiet...for now.” While the two men had been seeing to Ellsworth, Bracco had been keeping both ends of the hallway as covered as possible. It was a tough job -- she couldn’t face two directions at once -- and the job would be harder still now having to carry Ellsworth the whole way to Sickbay. With Kennedy and Gral bogged down with the woman’s weight, neither would likely be that effective in a combat situation. Running through the options in her head, Jennifer sparked onto an idea. Why not simply beam directly to Sickbay?
“Computer,” she intoned, “initiate site-to-site transport. Three to beam to Sickbay.” Bracco smiled, fully expecting clouds of golden shimmers to whisk them away. Why hadn’t they thought of this before? But as the moments ticked past, she realized there’d been no confirmation of the command from the computer.
“Bracco to Transporter Room,” she reached up, tapping her combadge. Looking leerily at Gral, Ellsworth, and Ryan Walsh, she waited for a response. None, however, came. “Damn it. The Computer and communications must be down. Maybe the drones?” She didn’t know but only one option remained to them. “On foot it is. Can either of you still use your rifles like that?” Bracco asked, gesturing to Ellsworth propped up between them.
“Gral, help me put her over my shoulder. I should be able to carry her for most of the way.” Kennedy spoke with the most certainty in his voice this morning. Kennedy picked up his phaser rifle and passed it over to Bracco, “are there any small arms? I should be able to hold both a phaser and carry the Lieutenant here.”
“Don’t worry about shooting, doctor, I still have some arm room, and the Counselor has our back, it’s that right?” He gave her a reassured nod. One of his hands lifted toward the injured woman, he lifted some of her weight; but, mostly his hand steadied her on the doctor’s shoulders. He wasn’t in any hurry to set her back on his shoulders, he was already exhausted; but, he no doubt would if it came to that. “Okay let's move… Eyes sharp!” The Tellarite called as he lifted his rifle with his free hand and walked forward.
As asked, Bracco brought up the rear while Gral took point as best he could. Thankfully, they were already on Sickbay’s deck, though they had to travel around the oblong saucer of the Sojo to get there. That meant a long walk...and lots of opportunities to be ambushed by drones along the way. Bracco had slung Kennedy’s phaser rifle over her shoulder and now kept her own steadied with both hands, pointed down the hallway to their rear.
Onward the group walked until they found the downed forms of two crew members. Bracco -- herself a doctor and in the best position to check -- felt for pulses and nodded to Kennedy and Gral. “They’re alive. Severe burns but they’re just unconscious. Seems like the drones must have left them alone once they were out of the fight.” Rising from her haunches, the woman spotted movement down the corridor ahead. “Think we’ve got something. Gral, get ready…”
Two drones flew into sight, both charging up their mining lasers. The pair seemed to split their targeting between Bracco and Gral, firing their energy beams at the same time Jennifer’s pulse rifle let loose a few bursts. One of the drones shuddered under the barrage but did not fall, its own beam firing wide as it swiveled in mid-air. Curiously, the drone seemed to be undamaged.
While Gral was alert and ready for the assault, his finger quick to send a volley fire back toward the drone, though his moments of evasion were behind him. His whole body ached, his muscles tired and worn from whatever he had mustered to get the one armed Ellsworth this far. The drone’s fire struck him in the thigh as he moved to position himself more in front of the doctor and his female patient. The hit caused him to fall down to his side and howl in pain. His leg was now badly burned. Sweat washed down his face and he lifted his rifle to fire again, small spots of blood dripped from the corners of his lips.
“They can rotate their shield frequencies. They must be adapting,” Bracco said, the damn things a little too close to the Borg’s methodology for her liking. She quickly adjusted the controls on her rifle, changing the weapon’s frequency. Unfortunately, the drone that had fixated on her got off another shot, though it only grazed Bracco’s left arm. It was enough to drop the woman to her knees, though, gasping in pain. Fighting through it, she burst-fired again at the drone, this time exploding it.
Gral rolled over, mostly due to the pain, he followed the woman’s call and quickly changed his weapon’s frequency too. The drone had to rotate downward to get his new lying position, which gave him enough time to hit it again. This time it fell just shy of them. Gral shot it twice more for good measure. Gral whined as he pushed down the nose of his rifle and used it to lift him up on his one good leg. His whole body screamed --- enough is enough.
“How far to Sickbay?” Bracco asked, out of breath after the death match they’d just endured. She looked at Gral with concern, seeing how badly injured his leg had become. Jennifer wondered if the man would be able to make it given the state he was now in.
“Too far…” The Tellarite answered. He rested his back against a bulkhead, most of his weight on the rifle, he fought to keep himself upright. He weighed his options, he wondered if this was as far as he would get. It wasn’t long before Gral reached his conclusion, he looked to Bracco. Gral was outranked by them both; but, he was the Tactical officer in the mix, and he felt he had some leeway in this situation. He spoke clearly and concisely, “Ellsworth and her baby are going to live, you both are going to get them to Sickbay. Bracco you should take the lead. The doctor has been able to carry her all on his own, he’ll follow behind you. I’ll cripple behind you both as long as I can, cover the rear. Don’t look back, nothing will get behind you, I assure you.” He motioned his head as both hands held his rifle to stay steady, “Get going…” The Tellarite whimpered as he hobbled a step, he used the corridor wall to support some of his weight as he brought his weapon up again to be ready.
Kennedy didn’t want to leave the Tellarite behind. He took in a deep breath while he took hold of most of Ellsworth, “I don’t want to leave you behind Ensign. But you make it back to Sickbay when you can. We will need you to guard over us while we go into surgery.”
Gral nodded, “You got it.” He motioned on ahead, his rifle ready to fire.
Kennedy brought Ellsworth into a better position to continue carrying her to Sickbay. He turned to Bracco, “Let’s get Mom and Baby to Sickbay.”
Bracco couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Leave the Ensign behind? The man was wounded, certainly, but there had to be a way to get them all to safety. Mother and baby were important, yes, but so was the Tellarite. If Gral were completely laid out, she might understand leaving him but the man could still move with some assistance, Bracco surmised. Leaving him behind seemed unconscionable.
“No,” Bracco stated simply, “we are not leaving you behind. Counselor or not, I am still the ranking officer here. I’m ordering you to come with us, Mr. Gral,” she eyed Gral first and then Kennedy, her glare making it expressly known that this was no time to argue.
She tossed the phaser rifle in her hands away, switching to the smaller Type II phaser she’d brought with her from the Miranda. After keying up its settings to account for possible adaptation, Bracco then moved to put the Tellarite’s right arm over her shoulders, bracing him around his waist with her left hand. This left her right hand free to fire at anything that might come at them from down the hall ahead. She just hoped the rear would remain clear as they moved.
“Let’s go then,” Bracco ordered. And slowly but surely, the group got underway again, not far from their destination.
=/\= A joint post between... =/\=
Lieutenant Jennifer Bracco, M.D.
Lieutenant JG Kennedy Ryan Walsh
Acting Chief Medical Officer
Ensign Gora bim Gral