Posted on Thu May 9th, 2013 @ 11:16pm by Captain Daniela Moreno
Location: USS Nimitz, Federation-Reman border
Timeline: 2 weeks before memorial
Tags: Diaz, Serenity, Remans
"Get those people out of there as fast as you can. Commander, you have the bridge!" Diaz called out as he darted toward the turbolift. He was about to break several Starfleet regulations, but since he'd already violated a sovereign race's border, what was adding a few more to the tally?
It only took about a minute to carry Diaz to the shuttlebay where he was met by an insistent Shuttlebay Manager that he shouldn't be taking a shuttle over to the freighter. What the Bolian was saying made sense, but the captain wasn't about to be dissuaded. Nogierin was needed at the helm and the latest batch of shuttle pilots were too green behind the ears for his liking; in his mind, this was the only thing that made sense.
Miami sprinted into the Gryphon-class runabout parked nearby and initiated the startup sequence. As the runabout's systems came online, he dropped in on the comm chatter coming from the bridge. The evacuation was going slowly. Because of the radiation build-up, they could only transport 3 people at a time and they had just finished the third transport; 9 down and 27 to go. The runabout would be able to get a good chunk of those 27 if he hurried. As soon as the runabout was ready, Miami deftly navigated the craft out of the Nimitz and toward the freighter.
It only took a few moments before the Nimitz was hailing him. He already knew who it was. When the channel opened, his stalwart XO was on the other side.
"Captain, I must insist you return to the ship. It is against Starfleet regulations for you to leave the ship in such a situation. These rules exist for specific reasons, sir," Torvyn Rue said in his eerily calm Vulcan tone.
"We don't have a choice. Besides, I'll be back in a snap and you can lecture me on the merits of Starfleet regulations over dinner," Diaz said with a smirk before closing the channel. The runabout glided up to the freighter's airlock and the computer took over the docking procedure as Miami jumped out of the pilot's seat and scurried to the airlock. Second later, a blast of warm, stale air hit him in the face as the doors slid apart and granted him access to the doomed vessel.
Alex darted into the ship and called out at the top of his lungs for any surviving crew; in retrospect, a tricorder might've been a good idea. It didn't take long for some of the ship's crew to call out. Two doors away from the airlock, he found 8 of the crew huddled together. With urgency in his voice, he spurred them toward the open airlock before heading deeper into the freighter.
Four more in the infirmary put him up to 8. He checked in with the Nimitz to find that another group had been transported out with a fifth group getting read. That meant 27 of the 36 were accounted for. As he moved deeper into the vessel's bowels, the heat grew more intense and the smoke thicker. The bridge was empty so Diaz continued toward the sound of chaos that could only be coming from the engineering section.
Torvyn's voice came over his comm badge to tell him another group had been transported out; 30 of 36. The deck below the captain's feet lurched with an intensity that could've only come from one thing: phaser fire.
"REPORT!" Diaz shouted as he ran through the freighter's belly toward the aft engineering section.
Rue was calm as ever. "A Reman warbird has decloaked and opened fire on us and the freighter. They refuse to listen to our explanation. We've had to raise shields so transport will be impossible at the moment."
"Keep them occupied until I can get the last of the crew aboard the runabout, Commander." Miami didn't hear what the Vulcan responded with when he burst into engineering. The remaining crew looked at the wild-eyed Starfleet officer in shock. There was no time. "Let's go!" he yelled. Diaz had to grab several of them by their tunic and shove them toward the door, urging them to head to the airlock.
One. Two. Three.
Where were the other three?
He kept his grip on the tattered shirt of the fifth crew member. "Where's everyone else?"
"The core room!" he shouted as he pointed further aft.
The deck shuttered beneath Diaz's feet again. He pulled the man closer. "Get to the runabout and get the hell out of here. I'll get the rest and we'll transport back. GO!" The man needed no further prodding, sprinting in the direction of the runabout. An explosion showered the captain in sparks as he turned and moved toward the core room.
Inside the room, the three remaining crew worked frantically to stop what they all knew was inevitable. Alex stopped for a moment and watched the two men and one woman trying to save the ship; they were willing to go down with their ship, but that day wasn't going to be today. Diaz sprung back into action, quickly herding the first two out the door and away from the radiation.
Miami tapped his comm badge. "Diaz to Nimitz, prepare to lower shields and transport the last of the crew aboard, then punch it!"
Before Diaz could turn to find the last crew member, he felt someone grab him. Alex was eye-to-eye with the ship's captain. "You need to get out of here. Save yourself!"
More explosions from the core sent sparks of all shapes and colors flying in every direction. The two men ducked and shielded themselves. "I'm all about the honor of going down with your ship, just not on my watch, captain."
Torvyn's voice, a little more strained than earlier, reminded Diaz they wouldn't be able to transport until they were clear of the core room. Alex could see the hesitation in the man's eyes; he felt like he'd failed his crew and this was his punishment for that. He knew that feeling all too well over the last few years as captain of the Nimitz. "The only way you're gonna fail your crew, captain, is by not being there for them when they need you most, so let's get the hell out of here."
The man nodded and took one final look toward the core before turning and moving away from the radiation that shielded them from transport.
Diaz tapped his comm badge. "Diaz to Nimitz, energize!" Alex snapped his comm badge off his chest and slapped it onto the back of the captain as he pushed him out the door and into the region where the Nimitz could get a lock. They could only transport 3 at a time and Diaz was picking the short straw for himself. The captain turned back to face Diaz as the transporter began to envelope him. He reached out, but it was too late. Moment later, he materialized on the USS Nimitz, a ship now without its captain.
TO BE CONTINUED...