Renegade Deception #82 - 83 "One bridge control please. Thank you."


<Main Engineering, USS Pegasus>

LT j.g. Black was sitting at her station in Main Engineering, keeping the place calm with her easy-going demeanor. She reviewed the regular diagnostics for their alert status and kept an ear on the engines, which were now thumping steadily like the heartbeat of a sprinter. They'd gone to maximum speed not long ago, and she'd adjusted the mix to the engines slightly to give them all the endurance and power she could. She was pleased with the way the engines were holding out under the higher stress. "These guys were built to last," she said with satisfaction.

Much of Kitty's crew were 'green' and had rarely been under a real alert status before this posting. She'd been through several, and the Chief at her previous post had taught her to remain calm. "Things rarely happen in Engineering," he'd told her. "The captain might put the ship on alert for anything. Chances are, 'anything' won't make its way here. So just take it easy and tend to your engines."

Just then the alert would ring out all through the ship. "General quarters ! General quarters ! This ship is now under hostile control ! General quarters !" and a few moments later Lieutenant Kristiana Petrova would storm onto the engineering deck, looking around. She looked harried and angry.

"Lieutenant Black, there you are. The aliens have taken over the bridge. I need you to try and re-route all bridge control through here. They can Not be allowed access to our engines and weapon systems."

Kitty Black lost the entirety of her confidence when the General Quarters sounded. An enemy, in charge of the ship? She was suddenly nearly blinded with terror. She didn't scream, though, and didn't cry, so nobody could see the turmoil in her mind as she slowly reached for her issued sidearm and made sure its charge was good. It was. She was pretty good about covering small details like that. She wasn't one to disregard a routine safety procedure just because the item hadn't been needed for a while. Then the XO stormed in with her order.

At the news that the aliens had the bridge, Kitty turned white. For just a moment, a short eternity, it seemed as if the order hadn't registered, and Petrova might just begin to wonder if her chief engineer was going to turn catatonic on her. In the next moment, though, something strong in her mind had broken through the fear and she'd retaken command of herself. She might be terrified, but she still had a job to do, and she'd just been given an order.

She immediately started putting commands into her console, following the procedure to re-route bridge control through engineering. "Yessir," she said, completely forgetting in her preoccupation that the Lieutenant did not like being called 'sir'. She typed in more commands and then looked up at Petrova, still pale, but a little less so than before. "Once we've got control, if they input a command and we allow it through here, they'll still think they have control. Once they know they've lost control... well, I don't know, I'm not that high in the command chain. But it might be useful to let them think they're still in control for as long as we can with a good conscience... right?"

Kristiana was about to open her mouth to say something, to urge Kathleen into action, just when the junior officer started working, started punching in commands, and uttered her concerns .. The XO frowned a bit, and thought for a brief moment, then gave a nod.

"You're right. Alright, try to see what you can do, try to run a simulation on the bridge control systems, so that at first glance it looks like everything is working. But don't spend too much time on this - our priority is to get the ship back under control, this far outweighs the lives of the hostages on the bridge."

Kristiana frowned, though. She knew those hostages. Just about the entire command crew, except for her, were on that bridge. Not to mention the nurse, B'inca, and the CO's daughter, Alexandra. But she knew that even those lives didn't weigh up to the damage that these aliens could do if they remained in control of this ship.

"Hostages...?" Kitty looked back up at the XO as the computer was running her commands, going through the re-routing process. "Is..." she started to ask, and then stopped and shook her head a little. Hostages weren't her problem right now. They were Petrova's. She was very glad she wasn't Petrova. "...We can put the bridge into training simulation mode as soon as we've rerouted controls. I'll set it up over here while the rerouting program is running on the main console. Yeah, it takes a while, it always does."

She turned to a nearby console, starting to type away steadily and talking half to herself. "Training session, neutral zone, access the current sensor data... a ship... Uhm, I don't know what to make the ship DO. Oh, I know, we could simulate an engine room breakdown, and the ship we're following could 'get away'... in the simulation of course. ...But maybe then they'll leave the bridge and come down here... Uhm, what SHOULD I make our simulated world do?" That last question was directed at Petrova. "I'm putting in the parameters now."

.. "We don't have the TIME to write a good simulation, Lieutenant. I want this ship under my control, ten minutes ago .. Just put the bridge consoles into simulation or training mode. They'll find out sooner or later that they've lost bridge control anyways. I Need Those Controls."

Kristiana spoke harshly. But she knew what was at stake. These aliens already attacked two guards and killed a nurse - there's no telling what they would do with a warship loaded with torpedo's and phasers. In the middle of the Neutral Zone. With a very good chance that a Romulan Warbird was tailing them, under cloak.

And Petrova knew that this Centaur class was about as effective against a Warbird as a dead goldfish against a borg cube.

"Uhm, alright, uhm..." Mind racing, Kitty reached over to tap in the last commands for rerouting bridge control, then returned to the secondary station. "Uhm, simulation.. current situation.. and then.. the engines overheat and shut down... and.. the other ship gets away. Ok. And ready... and.... ready....... and....." She watched the main console intently, then pressed a button on the secondary console as the main one started to light up, changing configuration and giving a whole bunch of information on every screen. "Ok, we've got bridge control, and they're on the simulation."

Her eyes were wide. She'd done it! And yet.. there was so much more to do, no doubt. Bridge control was an awful lot for one person to handle by herself, even if she Was apparently completely fearless, as Kitty imagined the XO to be. She turned Engineering over to the next down in rank and joined Petrova at the main console to see where she could help.

"Very good, Lieutenant." Kristiana was all business. She tapped in a series of commands, checking logs, reviewing weapon stores .. Then her face went white as a sheet. She punched in more commands - the engines would pitch up a bit in hum, as all kinds of statuslights came on. Shields up, phaserbanks activating. She was preparing for battle, it seemed. ".. Lieutenant Black, take helm, evasive manouvers. We're missing two photon torpedo's."


Cliffhanger-y goodness by:

Lieutenant Kristiana Petrova XO, USS Pegasus


Lieutenant (JG) Kathleen Black Chief of Engineering, USS Pegasus