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Luck is Merely Another Word for Skill

Posted on Tue Oct 19, 2021 @ 9:06pm by Lieutenant Commander Sunita Conlon & Lieutenant JG Maximillian Schott & Lieutenant Hadir Prenar & Lieutenant Sibyl Danzer

Mission: Episode 5: Escalation
Timeline: MD 08 - 1215 HRS
2190 words - 4.4 OF Standard Post Measure

==The Center==
"We are overrun... Fall back repeat fall back... That's an order." Hadir could hear the voice of Ensign Amanda Ptak as she called out orders to her team. The Illirians seemed to be not responding to orders, at least not immediately. "Ensign report!" Hadir asked into the comm system. "Sir we are overrun. Position delta-charlie-niner is FUBAR." She replied. "Very well Ensign gather your team and regroup at the tower. That goes for all units." Hadir's orders came through quickly. He tapped his comm badge again. "Prenar to Danzer report!"

==The Commando Team==
Sibyl found herself moving between cover. Firing from outside of the Borg advanced shielding had proven impossible. So she'd done the crazy and taken a small team through a shield gap to go for the generator their particular Borg friends on their particular part of the front were carrying. It was a four man team, herself, two Illiran guards and Mr. R'Imus. What Sibyl was met with was nothing she'd expected. "We lost half of the line to fall back positions. R'Imus and I are trying to pin point the shields from inside their line, but the movements are too fast. And they're not just trying to grab necks." Sibyl paused as a nearby tree took a phaser hit and caught fire. "They like shooting things almost as much as we do."

==The Right Flank==
Sunny was trying to keep her cool and position her rifle as Regulus had always shown her. She felt like she was almost doing an impression of him as she tried to line up the sights on her rifle to target the incoming Borg. It felt an awful lot like shooting a slingshot at starlings; maybe you'd punch a hole for a moment but the gaps would fill right back up. For every Borg they seemed to be knocking back or down, another two seemed to be coming toward them. Worse, they were moving cover to cover like a tactical force, not their traditionally taught methods.

She overheard the conversation about DC-9 having to pull back. That was the position on their left, meaning if they stayed put they'd be more exposed. She tapped the shoulder of the person kneeling in firing position in front of her, and motioned to fall back. She slowly walked backwards, continuing to fire, as she watching that person tap the next before peeling out to the fallback position, and the next did the same, until the whole line had rolled back a position.

She needed to check on the other flank.

==The Center==
Hadir took his team to the rally coordinates. Along the way he found himself ducking in and out of cover as he avoided shots coming in from the Borg. Despite everything that went on Hadir noticed that the Borg were not moving in for the kill which was their typical m.o. "Prenar to Danzer..." he said into the comm system. "See if you can capture one alive. I Have a theory about these things, and it centers on the fact that these aren't Borg but beings who act like Borg."

==The Commando Team==
"See if I can.... capture one alive. Sure." Sibyl tried not to let battle frustration pepper her voice with sarcasm. "On it, Sir." maybe she could kill two birds with one stone. Or capture one bird and disable another. The shield generator point was in the midst of three Borg. As she crept around she motioned to R'Imus, trusting he and the rest of the team had overheard the directive about gaining a captive. Sibyl could sense these Borg. Like the others she had met and killed, they seemed more alert and less hive-stupified than textbook Borg. She briefly considered how silly it was to compare Borg to other Borg, when these Borg were the only ones she'd ever met. But she had to admit, they were different than advertised. It made sense to take a captive. She motioned to R'imus and the 2 Illirans with them to form around the Shield Generator and when they were in the best position she could reasonably expect to get she motioned for everyone to fire. Her own target she painted up with phasers instead of bullets, which made an impressive display of angular lit planes. The rest of the team caught on, polishing their targets with deadly force and then pouring heat into the hovering shield generator unit while leaving space for the team lead on her own mark.

Sibyl's hand phaser ran out of cycled frequency juice and she dropped it in favor of an extending baton; the Borg ducked and she tried not to let that unexpected move phase her, instead pulling a back swing into the base of it's skull. The borgified man curled forward, partly intentionally absorbing the blow. And then- it put up it's dukes.

"I'd ask what the hell was wrong with your model, but it seems like your advanced species finally adapted fists." It took a couple swings and Sibyl dodged them both reflexively with ease. She had no intention of touching the guy and she hadn't quite worked out how to subdue it to deliver the drone. "Banter might come in a future patch, though, huh?"

==The Left Flank==

Sunny ran, crouched down, from tree to tree, looking for the furthest left position. She eventually had to figure it out based on where the Borg were firing, as there was very limited fire coming from the defenders. She scurried into what amounted to a rocky cluster of bushes and found two starfleet crew and one Illiran. The Illiran was popping up to shoot every so often, but the crew members looked shaken.

"Where's the rest of your team?" Sunny asked them, adding her rifle fire to the Illiran's.

One of the gold-shirts motioned over the bushes toward the Borg.

"Okay, keep pulling back. Connect with the team on your right and arc back toward the tower, don't let them pass your left," Sunny hit her comm badge, "XO to security and tactical, the line is getting roughed up. Fire team 1 is joining fire team 2. Pulling back from Bravo-Delta-One and Bravo-Delta-Two to Bravo-Echo-One-Two. Don't let yourself get hung out to dry out there, we can't send anyone to get you."

Sunny took a deep breath, then jumped out of the bushes and started right back toward the right flank.

==The Commando Team==

It felt like a slow motion fight to Sibyl, but the point was driven home when the borg's reinforced fist sailed past her as she feigned a dodge the opposite direction and the closed drone fingers busted through part of a tree trunk, sending splinters flying. She tried not to let it phase her too badly but she wasn't especially interested in taking that level of force herself.

She switched the power on the baton for tasering force and turned up the juice until it crackled.

==The Center==

Sunny ran across the open area behind their lines, habitually ducking under fire, passing the command post with the security chief organizing things.

Nothing went according to plan, Hadir was reminded of the old human axiom 'the best laid plans...' Most of the teams had reported in and were now regrouped. There were only two teams left Danzer's and Lieutenant Daniel Velazquez's. He was worried for both of the teams. "Lieutenant Velazquez fall back..." The comm channel played some static and some garbled words. All Hadir could make out was "Never say die... Give em hell..." in the Lieutenant's voice.

He quickly flipped channels. "Danzer if you can't get a drone then belay the order and get you and your team out." Things were falling apart fast and nothing was worth the loss of life. The Cardassian sure hoped that they got something out of this.

"Aw," came the response from Danzer as she emerged from the trees with her team. She and R'Imus hauling the head and feet of a drone twitching from electrical overload. "So you *don't* want this guy? Should we throw him back now, or what."

Prenar smiled and took a mental note that he would owe Danzer a bottle of good kanar. "No no... Since you were so kind to deliver the gift I would hate to send it back. It would be impolite."

"It's disabled, but be careful with your research." Danzer warned. "I've a hunch it'll dissolve itself if it can sense disconnection from the Hive or believes itself heavily damaged. I recommend suppressants or a medical coma."

"Sensible precaution..." Hadir said as he pressed a hypospray to the drone's neck. "This should hold him until we can get him to the Doc. For now lets get the hell off this rock."

==The Right Flank==

As Sunny paused behind a tree behind fire team 8, she saw the Illiran marines charge forward in a doomed counter-attack. Clearly not used to being outmatched, they ran directly into the teeth of a double-envelopment. The highest ranking remaining Starfleet officer could only look on as the marines that were supposed to be supporting them threw their lives away out of hubris.

Sunny whistled and got the officer's attention, waving her back to retreat. As they pulled back at least they had less frontage to cover, so even with their losses they were able to present a relatively strong defense. Further to the right, she saw the 9th and 10th teams running backward away from a wave of Borg coming through the trees.

She really hoped the Eagle's technical teams were making progress inside, because they didn't have that much time left.

==The Tower==

With all of the fire teams pulled back within sight of the tower, medical personnel were starting to pull casualties into the tower to triage the wounded out of the line of fire. Sunny ducked her head into the tower and shouted, "Any time now, guys!" while continuing to fire.

Drones and half-drones were lining the trees around them, and seemed to be following fire-team procedures that should have been far outside of their regular tactics. For a brief moment, something tugged at Sunny's brain, a memory of some old story. Something about zombies, Raj-Singh, and a square. It was basically the position they found themselves in anyway.

Sunny pushed forward to where the security and tactical chiefs were grouped, firing off orders and blasts simultaneously.

"Lieutenants, we may want to start coming up with a back-up plan to the back-up plan, and note we don't have any further we can back up. I doubt there are pilots on the ship who could land in such confines, not to mention we wouldn't be able to get everyone at once. I don't really like barricading ourselves inside, but that's the best I've got. Ideas?"

"Try not to miss." Danzer said, coming up blank on any new ideas that moment.

"Best I can come up with is use the drones as remote weapons platforms. Give them something else to shoot at. While that happens we work on gaining access to their transporter systems and get the hell out of here." It was a long shot plan and Hadir knew it. But it was all he had.

"Alright, Lieutenant," Sunny looked at the tactical chief, "get that drone inside. See if it helps. Lieutenant," she looked at the security chief, "start passing the word so we're ready if we need to be," Sunny reluctantly ordered.

Hadir turned to Ensign Ptak and ordered her to get the derelict drone inside and under guard. He got the teams to prepare for what would have to be their last stand. They would have to hold out until the transporters could be used. With or without that drone for study they would be going home the Cardassian would see to it.

As they came to the doorway, Danzer found someone in teal to pass the drone to. "Keep him unconscious." With her hands free, she rolled her shoulders, stretched her back and then resumed her rifle.

An almost imperceptible pause happened. It seemed like the fire from the Borg line ceased for a moment, and then the real chaos started. Borg seemed to firing on and, in some cases, fighting hand-to-hand with Borg.

"What the hell was that?" Sunny tried to make sense of it.

"Great question Commander. I think it may have been the cavalry." Hadir replied in disbelief.

The grip on her rifle had eased and she lowered it from her eyes, her head cocked to one side like someone straining to pick out sounds from the noise, only it was her empathetic sense she was honing. "I think... I think many of them have resumed individuality." She finally reported out loud. "They seem to be fighting for their own lives. I... don't think the hive anticipated it either."

"Well, nobody lose focus, we're still at least vulnerable to this firefight. Try to help clean-up anybody who is still acting Borg-y," Sunny tapped her comm badge, "Ground team to Eagle, whatever the technical team did seems to have worked. Borg are turning on Borg. We can probably start planning our retrieval."


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