The Side Mission Part 3
S02 Ep04: When Realities Collide (Incidentals)
Location: Tomcat/ New Xindus Dominion Side
Timeline: Mission Day 67-2.1
Getting up from the pilots seat "a mission where we have a less than 50% chance of surviving, makes one's blood heat up, makes you feel alive knowing that you may die in battle" Donovan said as she also got her gear on, it was considerably less than Dodd’s, as she did not need all the tech stuff like he did. She then joined Dodd outside the shuttle and pressed the button to close the ramp "remember where we parked and today may be a good day to die" she said with a smile as she led the way, part of the way there she removed her combat specs/visor and was seeing things in infrared heat signatures, for the first time in years she felt whole.
Dodd was actually enjoying the scenery of the hike to the FOB. He never really thought about the fact that they could die on this mission. He was just thinking of this as a way to bring honour to his captain and his ship. Engineers don't typically get called to do assignments like this.
"Major, if you don't mind me asking what is it like to be back in your reality and seeing things as you were meant to see them?" Dodd asked of Donovan.
Without looking back "like I am reliving my worst nightmare, you saw what my mind was like, the only thing that is making this a little easier is the fact that New Xindus is not a radioactive wasteland, it is full of life, otherwise I could do without my telepathic ability, I was relieved to have lost it on our last mission, how are you finding this reality Remy?" Donovan asked.
*Keeping pace* "I am not sure as I can't quite put my finger on it, but there are lots of negative vibes in the air. I feel like I am being watched all the time, but that is how I feel when I am unsure of my surroundings. I am looking forward to a chance to see New Xindus, but I really want to get back to my home reality." Dodd replied. "I hope we are able to pull this mission off and get back to the ship in one piece."
Before answering she stopped suddenly and held her hand up in a fist to signal a halt, then made a motion to take cover, her infrared heat vision could see past the shrouding fields of the Jem'Hadar, she saw them as bright red blurry images passing them, she turned to face Dodd her solid red eyes seeming to glow in the dark, it was light enough for all other humanoids to see other things clearly when close to one another, now she made an SHHH motion and winked at Dodd before turning to face front again.
For some reason two soldiers remained, so Donovan sent a telepathic message to Dodd, she knew he had some form of telepathic ability, from the time he had entered her fractured mind.
By this time the guards had un-shrouded << No need to respond Remy, there are two Jem'Hadar standing a few meters ahead of us, remain here until I return >> she said in her mind's eye to Dodd and then was gone.
She crept upon the first guard silently pulling out her Commando knife, then in one swift motion she clamped her hand around the Jem'hadar's mouth and stuck her knife in at an upward angle in the soldiers back and he fell lifeless as his heart had been torn. She easily and quietly carried the Dominion soldier back to where Dodd was and placed the body next to him.
<< Look after our friend here see if he is carrying anything on him in the way of information, I do not think he will have any, but still check >> she said and made sure to put humour in her mental thought, then she was off again and repeated the process with the other guard and carried him back.
*speaking quietly* "This is strange, the Jem'Hadar have not taken this tactic before, we must be cautious as we proceed forward, but for now have a break, we will have to wait till the others get out of range, and speak with your quiet voice" Donovan finished.
The following suit *speaking quietly* "How many more are there? This one has had no thoughts that I can detect. I did find a data PADD of sorts that has some Founder information on it. But I don't think it is much help." Dodd replied as he laid the PADD on the ground next to Donovan's pack for her if she wanted to review it herself. << Interesting to hear your voice this way. Maybe we should communicate this way until we are safely away from all the Jem'Hadar? >>
Looking at Dodd << Good thinking batman >> she thought back << there is nothing of interest on this thing, but let us wait till they have cleared the area >> she said to him as she checked the Padd while she waited for the area to clear.
<< Talking like this for me is both seeming natural and strange, I suspect that when we return to our reality it will go, telepathy is not a good thing to have in a stable economy like the federation, too many rules, even if they are with good reason >> she said.
<< I know what you mean, but I would feel lost without my telepathy. However, going from a normal everyday use of it on Betazed, I have to mentally work daily to not just react to all the thoughts I read without really trying to. >> Dodd replied. << I do like this use of our telepathic skills to allow us to talk while keeping quiet and yet still working things out for our next move. >> He was nervous now because this is the closest he has been to a Jem'Hadar and he was hoping he would do the right thing when the time came.
Donovan sensed his worry <
<< Sheesh, I never thought they would leave >> Donovan said << c'mon lets go >> she added.
<< Okay, all this sitting and waiting was getting to me. >> Dodd replied as he was slipping his pack back on to his back. << I am ready to move and get to work. >>
Simply nodding Donovan led the way through the trees and underbrush, she kept up a steady pace, but she also moved as gracefully as a cat and made little sound, before too long they arrived at the outlet pipe to the Dominion base, they were using a captured Xindi base as their Forward Operating Base there was electronic defences in place.
<< Okay Remy get to work, bring those defences down without setting off alarms if you will >> Donovan said and moved out of the way to let Dodd get to work.
<< Alright, I can do this as it is relatively similar to the Dominion system from our realm. >> Dodd replied.
Dodd then got to work and after a few minutes had made access to the system without setting off any alarms. He was able to add a few unnoticed subroutines that should help their mission and allow them to sort of have a backdoor next time they would need to access the network.
While Dodd worked Donovan kept a look-out when a patrol came near << HALT, patrol in earshot, make no sound >> she warned.
Dodd froze in the middle of his work. He had never thought he could hold as motionless as he was. << Okay, thanks for the quick thinking, pun intended. >>
Thinking back << not a problem, that is what a look-out is for and that was a bad pun *pause* okay they have gone, it is safe again >> Donovan said as she continued to keep a look-out.
<< Great. >> Dodd resumed work and soon had all the systems they may need to access were set-up for a bypass that Dodd could initiate without tripping any alarms or such.
<< We can now move on to the primary point we need for what we came for, all the systems have an override bypass that will allow me to access the major systems without any alarms or alerts to the Jem'Hadar. >> Dodd stated to let Donovan know he was done with that task.
Looking back she simply nodded << good job, follow me >> she added and led the way into the facility, her heat vision did not detect anything in and around them, what was so surprising was, that it was all clear, so using a forward hand motion Donovan led them into the corridor that had the databanks, she pulled out a special tri-corder and was happy to see that no one was in there, she opened the door and double-checked with her vision and there were no hidden heat signatures << Okay Remy get to work download all the data you can, we can work on decrypting it when we get back, also make another copy for the defenders, the same method, just download and that is all, while you do that I will go plant some spatial charges >> Donovan said telepathically and moved off.
Fortunately for Dodd, his subroutines came in handy and allowed him to get the data he was to retrieve quickly. He hooked up his two storage devices and began the download. While he observed the progress, he saw some data on the console about New Xindus that he felt would come in handy so he added that data to the download on the primary device. The amount of data would likely take about 20 minutes to complete the full download to each device. So Dodd merely kept watch of the subroutines to neither make sure no one would be alerted to his activity nor ever know he was in the system.
<< Great timing, the data is all downloaded on both devices and I have made sure my trail in the system is hidden. If anything should happen, no one will know I was here, they will think it was a virus in the system. >> Dodd replied as Donovan come back from setting the charges.
<< Good, I have set the charges, I used purloined explosives from this bases armoury, bypassing the locks was easy, but I had to be so quiet as I could be as I did not know if there were any pressure devices installed, I took the same route in as I did out, so you all done here? >> Donovan asked.
<< I have all the files you requested on my primary device and a back-up on a secondary. They are secure in my pack and I am so ready to get out of here. >> Dodd replied.
*Smiling* << Excellent, now, I will get you back to the shuttle, give me the other copy, when you are back at the shuttle begin preliminary start-up, I will take this into the Remnant camp, then when I return, we can get back to the ship >> Donovan responded.
<< Okay, here is the secondary storage device. >> Dodd replied as he slid the device out of his pack and handed it to Donovan. << I hope it helps them out. So happy to be getting out of here. >>
Looking back at him << surprisingly so will I, do not miss this reality, gotten used to your reality >> with that she led the way out of the facility and back into the forest, she waited till they were at a safe distance then set off the explosives, first it was a static of explosions, then one almighty one, Donovan assumed that the power core and its fuel must have gone up.
<< Did not think you would detonate the charges until we were ready to take off, but I sort of feel relieved you did it. >> Dodd stated after the explosion. << I will have the shuttle fully operational in fifteen minutes which should give you the time you need to get to the Remnant Camp. The data storage device I gave you is not encrypted and should be compatible with any system. >>
<< Excellent >> she said, then after a long hike back the pair arrived at the shuttle and entered it, Donovan secured her things and took only a minimal amount of equipment with her, she stood at the bottom of the ramp and looked up at Dodd.
"Have the shuttle on pre-flight standby, keep her powered down until I get back, but be ready to lift-off the moment the door is secured?" Donovan said.
<< No problem, Good luck with your next task. >> Dodd nodded and then entered the shuttle and started to prepare for taking off.
As the Engineer re-entered the shuttle Donovan moved off and was quickly out of sight, she held back her pace as Dodd did not have the long legs she had, but now she was on her own, her speed was much quicker, she managed to pass alerted patrols, only a few surviving Vorta were shouting in the wake of the explosion, she gave a predatory smile,
"That is just part payment for earth" she quietly said to herself and soon she was outside the Remnant camp and looking for a way to undetected, she saw a familiar face, it was Tabor, this version looked different, he had an eye-patch on his left eye and a long scar running down that side, he looked grizzled and angry and had joined the others as they watched the plume of smoke rising from the Dominion Forward Operating Base, there was chatter about who had done it and how oO would they like to know Oo she thought to herself, she found a way into Tabor's tent via the back so she went for it as the camp prepared to defend their base.
- Remnant Camp -
A Bitter and broken, but grizzled and defiant former First Lieutenant Joseph Tabor rushed out of his tent and joined the others who were looking in the direction of the massive bright plume which was followed by an exploding sound.
"What the hell happened, is that not the enemy base camp, the Dominion is not careless enough to allow such an incident, do we have any harassment units in that area?" he asked.
"No Sir" replied another who was watching too "Still if they have lost their FOB, they may attack, we need to be ready," the subordinate said.
"Get too it" Tabor said and returned to his tent, he entered and saw a tall shadowed figure, what was most memorable was the persons red eyes as the person stepped out into the light, Tabor looked shocked as he recognised her, she made a "shh" motion and gave a wicked smile.
"Hey Joe, looking well!" Donovan said quietly.
Tabor quickly recovered "how did you survive the battle for earth?" he asked surprised as he closed the tent flap and poured himself a strong drink, he offered her a glass and Donovan declined.
"It is a long and complicated story, Joe, here on this data chip is a copy of all the data from that enemy base that just went boom, it is still coded, so it will need to be decrypted," Donovan said placing the chip on the table.
Tabor looked at it, it looked a little different to the data chips here "it is different" he said looking at her.
"Not that different it should fit in a standard decrypter, how many of the 2nd SAS MACO survived earth?" she asked.
Tabor shrugged "I do not know, we only knew of your unit going down there, *looking hopeful* if you survived, did Major Somers survive too?" he asked and saw Donovan's face fall.
"Sadly no, she died like a warrior, beneath the regimental banner in the harsh light of the clouded morning sun, shortly after that my new life started. What of the earth?" Donovan asked.
Tabor did not miss that she had changed the topic "Earth is now a wasteland, those who could not escape are now prisoners and are punished badly, but earth is also a radioactive wasteland just entering the first stages of nuclear winter, as for the next question, there are pockets of survivors, but they are dwindling, morale took a hit when Kronos was subjugated, now those here on New Xindus are fighting a battle that we may surely lose" Tabor said.
Donovan simply nodded "remember Joe, I was never here, as far as anyone knows I died on earth" she said, the tent flap opened and both looked as Tabors Aide entered, with a final whisper to him "remember earth, remember freedom and good luck old friend" she said and was gone, the Aide entered and looked at Tabor.
"Who were you talking to sir?" he asked.
"I was just talking to..." *he paused as he looked at the spot where Donovan had been, then looked back* "Oh just an agent, what is the latest on that plume of smoke?" he asked.
"Oh someone destroyed it and I asked around and no-one in our base has any knowledge of it or admitted to it, so we must have an ally out there," the Aide said.
Picking up the data chip and handing it to the aide "get this decrypted, it is a copy of the data from the enemy base, take the usual precautions when doing so" Tabor said, the aide simply nodded taking the chip and leaving the tent. Tabor followed him out and looked into the dark part of the forest and saw a pair of red eyes and then he heard it in his mind.
<< You are welcome Joe >> the voice in his mind said then one final goodbye, at least it felt like that << May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk - old Egyptian blessing >> the voice said then the red eyes were gone.
Donovan was glad to see some of the old crew had survived but was saddened to hear about the earth, even though she had been there for the beginning, now she took care of the enemy troops that she could not bypass and soon she had the shuttle in sight.
- Shuttle -
Donovan put her combat visor back on and entered the shuttle and closed the ramp "okay Remy get us the hell out of here" Donovan said from the back compartment.
“Roger, we are set to lift off in less than ten seconds. “Dodd replied. “All systems are go. Coordinates are set to get us back to the Tomcat. And we are off.” As the shuttle lifted off the ground and exited the atmosphere.
Donovan quickly got into the co-pilot seat and strapped in as the shuttle lifted off, Dodd was a capable pilot it seemed, now the shuttle left New Xindus at best speed for the location of the Tomcat, when they were safely at warp she turned to Dodd "So Remy what did you think of your first MI mission?" she asked "Also, I just think I should mention that I may lose my telepathic ability when we return to your reality, so remember this day well" she added.
“I will miss having mental conversations but I sort of enjoyed this mission but yet was scared out of my mind,” Dodd replied. “But I am sorry your abilities will wane once we get home. “
*sighing heavily* "It has been nice having it back, but if it goes again when we return then I am okay with it" Donovan said and looked up as the ship dropped from warp at the general location of where the cloaked Tomcat was, Donovan opened a tight-beam communication.
=/\= Donovan to Tomcat, requesting clearance to land =/\= she said and waited for the response.
=/\= Acknowledged Major, welcome back follow beacon to the shuttle bay, Flight Control out =/\=
Following the trail Dodd expertly found the shuttle bay, all that could be seen from the outside was a lighted area suddenly appear "take us in Remy" Donovan said.
"Roger, Ma'am," Dodd replied as he lined up to approach and got in range for the tractor beam.
The bay tractor beam brought them gently in, Donovan wondered why they were using Shuttlebay two, not one, she shrugged and put it out of her mind as the shuttle landed and she helped Dodd shut the shuttle down.
"Okay one of the things about an MI mission is there is to be no record of it and no reports are to be filed, do not even mention it in your personal logs, as far as we are concerned it never happened and deny if you are asked about missions, if asked where you had gone, just say you were on some errand for the Captain" Donovan said as she expertly wiped the flight and recorder logs before standing up.
"Roger, I will be able to handle that." Dodd replied as he was cycling down the power systems of the shuttle. He was also wondering why shuttle bay two and not one, but if that is what the captain wanted that was okay with him in the long run.
"So do we have to brief the captain or can we go about our business? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this diversion from my normal duties. But I feel like I really need to shower and catch up on the logs from engineering.
She smiled at him "you go shower and change and catch up on what has been happening in your department, I will go let the Captain know we have succeeded" Donovan said as the shuttle ramp lowered and she picked up her gear "when you are done here, you are free" she added.
"No worries, then." Dodd replied. "I would enjoy doing this again sometime even if you may not have your telepathy. I do like working with you." Dodd then got to work completing the complete shutdown of the shuttle and collecting his gear.
She nodded "See you around Remy," Donovan said and then left the shuttle bay before Dodd could respond, she decided to get freshened up before reporting to the Captain on the success of the mission.
Major S'arila D'Tana Donovan[PNPC: Somers]
Bravo Unit Commander/Acting MCO
Lieutenant Remington Dodd