Ensign Ryouga Hibiki; personal log. Stardate 60077.2. That damned Ranma has finally taken me off of probation. Leave it to that ass to punish me for trying to save HIS fiancée. More than he would have done.
Ryouga looked at his console and groaned. He never really set out to complain about the Sisko's Captain, Ranma Saotome in his log. However, that is what always seemed to happen.
Ryouga stood and yawned. He walked over to his closet as he continued recording.
I've gotten to spend a little bit more time with Akane. Ranma has been busy on the bridge, neglecting her. So usually after my daily jog I – eventually – work my way up to sickbay and say hello.
I think I have been getting Akane to be more and more interested in me. I've decided after my jog today I am going to go up there and ask her out. They are showing some old anime tonight in the lounge. It will be perfect!
"End recording," Ryouga instructed the computer. It chirped in compliance as Ryouga pulled a towel out of his closet.
Ryouga was dressed in a pair of black running pants, running shoes, and a Starfleet Academy t-shirt. It was his daily exercise attire.
Ryouga got a lot of exercise as well. He frequently got lost on the ship and would end up running around the same corridors looking for the turbolifts.
His directional misadventures led him to do his daily runs after his duty shift. He hated when Ranma scolded him, and he hated it, even more, when he was right to do so.
Ryouga had his mornings scheduled perfectly so that he would see Lt. Mousse walking down the corridor right when Ryouga opened his door. Normally Mousse would lead Ryouga to the turbolift.
That was assuming Mousse remembered his glasses.
Numerous female crewmembers have filed complaints thanks to Mousse mistaking the crewmember's name on the door label for the words 'Turbolift Four'.
Ryouga quickly stretched out his legs and went to his door. The doors hissed open and Ryouga quickly went out and began jogging down the corridor, hopefully towards the turbolift.
Of course, Turbolift Four was the other direction. Ryouga was headed right towards Turbolift Six – which goes straight down to the bowels of the ship.
The bridge of the Gosnell class USS Benjamin Sisko was quiet. Patrolling the Cardassian Border was a quiet job.
Ranma found it a boring job, which is why he spent the majority of his time in his ready room, either reading or napping.
Speaking of napping, Commander Shampoo was having a hard time not falling asleep in the plush Captain's chair.
It was times like this that she knew why having her own command would be great. The chair had everything. Except for a cup holder.
The remainder of the bridge was staffed by the usual people. Lt. Mousse, the ship's chief of Security and Tactical office stood behind the CONN. His eyes were scanning the console back and forth, looking for anything that resembled a ship.
The biggest thing he has seen so far was an asteroid.
Lt. Commander Mina Aino sat at her operations station to the left of the helm. She kept a close eye on the ship's systems. Mousse eyed her every now and then because she would giggle. He couldn't quite figure out what about operations could be humorous. To him, it all seemed repetitive and dull.
Mina knew how to keep herself occupied. She had her terminal to terminal instant messaging system open.
Down in the bottom of the ship, the Sisko's Chief Engineer sat in her little cubbyhole. Lt. Commander Serena Tsukino spent most of her duty time there. It seemed every time she tried to do anything in engineering she ended up in sickbay.
On days like this, there really wasn't much to do anyway. The ship had to remain at low battle alert, so heavy diagnostics couldn't be performed. And if something went wrong, the alerts would go off and some of the other people down there would start to scream.
So Serena had nothing to do but chat with Mina over instant messenger.
*buNNy (stsukino): I still can't believe you broke a bottle over his head!*
*oPsHoTtIe (maino): I had to make sure he wasn't a founder! People don't normally change like that!*
*buNNy (stsukino): It still makes me laugh. What did Raye say?*
*priestess (rhino): I said she's a boob and you're a klutz.*
*buNNy (stsukino): I may be a klutz, but at least my user name doesn't spell rhino.*
On the bridge, Mina began to laugh out loud. Loudly.
Shampoo snapped to attention and looked around. She saw everyone was staring at Mina, who was desperately trying to regain her composure. Shampoo quickly wiped a small amount of sleep drool off of her mouth. Once she was sure that no one had realized that she had fallen asleep, she turned to Mina.
Mina bit her lip and turned to Shampoo.
"No ma'am." She squeaked.
The officer manning the helm looked to his shipmate. Mina had tears welling up in her eyes.
"Are you okay?" He asked her.
Mina nodded quickly and wiped her eyes.
The turbolift doors to the bridge hissed open and Raye walked onto the bridge. She nodded to Shampoo and looked to Mina.
Mina turned and saw Raye.
"Hey." Raye smiled.
Mina could no longer contain herself. She began to laugh again, falling out of her seat and to the deck in the process.
The smile on Raye's face dimmed. She scornfully looked at Mina rolling around on the carpeted floor of the bridge, laughing like a drunken Irishman at a Margaret Cho concert.
The entire bridge crew simply stared in shock at Mina's antics.
Mousse scratched his head as he watched the ships third in command roll around. His attention diverted, he didn't see the sensor blips closing in on the Sisko.
"Sickbay!" Ryouga instructed the turbolift.
"This turbolift does not stop at that deck. Would you like to be let off at the closest location?" The computer asked him.
"Uh, sure," Ryouga replied.
The turbolift began to move down. Down wasn't actually the correct direction for Sickbay, but since Ryouga didn't know his right from left half the time, not knowing up from down was no big deal.
The ride took longer than it seemed like it should. The lift also didn't seem to change directions. It just went down.
It finally stopped. The doors hissed open and Ryouga stepped out.
The hallway was dark. There were some blue emergency lights along the top of the wall, but they were barely bright enough for Ryouga to see his hands, much less read the door panels.
It didn't seem to matter anyway because there didn't seem to be many doors.
"Must be a power failure on this deck." He hypothesized.
Ryouga began walking down the poorly lit corridor, never looking behind him. If he had he would have seen the ship's computer core access room – located on deck 18. 14 decks below sickbay.
Mina had eventually pulled herself back up into her seat. The entire bridge crew continued to watch her get situated. It wasn't still Mousse's tactical panel began to chirp wildly that their attention was focused back on their jobs.
"Two ships, entering weapons range – they have a lock!" Mousse stated.
"Shields! Red alert! Captain to the bridge!" Shampoo ordered.
One of the ships fired on the Sisko. The ship shook slightly.
"Shields holding." Mousse stated.
Ranma burst out of his ready room and onto the bridge. Shampoo quickly moved out of the Captain's chair and into the XO's seat. She pulled up a tactical panel.
"Status?" Ranma asked.
"Two unidentified ships appeared and opened fire on us." Mousse replied.
"Hail them," Ranma ordered as Shampoo began to run a tactical analysis on the ships.
The Sisko shook slightly again as both of the ships opened fire on the Ranma's ship. He groaned and turned to Mousse.
"No response, shields holding at 99 percent."
Ranma turned to Shampoo.
"Ai-yah. The ships have only phase cannons and minimal shielding."
Ranma nodded as the ships once again fired on the Sisko. He turned to Mousse.
"Open a channel."
Mousse complied and signaled when the channel was opened.
"This is Captain Ranma Saotome of the Federation Starship Sisko. You are ordered to halt your attack and leave the area or you will be destroyed."
Ranma's demand was answered with two more shots that bounced right off the Sisko's hull.
"Shampoo no think they speak English." Shampoo mused.
Ranma snickered and turned to Mousse.
"Lieutenant, target their shields. Fire when ready."
"Aye." Mousse complied. The Sisko's forward phaser banks lit up and struck the first ship. Her shields flickered and faded away.
"Target one's shields are down." Mousse informed Ranma.
The second ship started to move. It flew up and above the much larger Federation ship. It then began to roll.
"What it doing?" Shampoo pondered.
Before anyone could come up with anything even close to an answer, the ship fired a green beam at the Sisko, which shook it hard.
"What the hell?" Ranma asked.
"SHIELDS FAILING!" Mina screamed.
"What?" Shampoo asked no one.
"They're firing a power induction pulse that is overloading our power grid!" Mina began to shout off systems that were failing. "Engines going offline, shields are down, internal sensors are offline. Life support is beginning to be affected!"
Ranma spun around to Mousse.
Mousse nodded. "Still online."
"Destroy them," Ranma ordered.
Mousse grinned and fired both phasers and torpedoes at the two ships. While the induction pulse seemed to be making short work of the Sisko, the two ships' defenses were no match for the battle cruiser's powerful weapons. Both ships were quickly destroyed.
"Damage?" Ranma asked Mina.
Mina checked her panel and then turned to the Captain.
"Nothing too serious as far as I can tell, sir. Shields are down due to EPS ruptures, but I am already beginning to reroute. They should be back up soon. Engines were forced into a restart, so warp and impulse are offline. Impulse should be back up within the hour, but the warp restart sequence takes about 12 hours.
"Sickbay is reporting minor injuries, nothing life-threatening," Mina added.
"Also, internal sensors are offline, so until the damage control teams do a deck by deck I won't know much else."
Ranma groaned. How did such little ships cause so many problems?
Ryouga picked himself up off the deck and groaned. He wasn't quite sure what happened, but anytime he was thrown to the deck it pissed him off.
*Someone else doesn't know how to brake properly?* Ryouga pondered.
The blue emergency lights on the deck flickered and eventually shut off. They were quickly replaced with red, back-up emergency lighting.
"What the?" Ryouga said to no one as he moved down the corridor.
"Which way is engineering?" A voice asked.
Ryouga thought about this for a minute. He didn't even know what deck he was on, much less how to get to engineering. He really didn't want anyone to know exactly how lost he was though, so he would just say that it was classified.
"I think it's down this access hallway. We can climb up the computer core for the best surprise." A second voice asked.
"Surprise?" Ryouga whispered to himself. Ryouga wasn't quite sure what these two were up to, but he was pretty sure there was something not quite right about the way they were talking.
Ryouga moved into a corner as the two men came walking towards him. He disappeared into the darkness. The pair came walking past him.
*Cardassians?* Ryouga silently asked himself.
The red lights formed a perfect silhouette of a pair of Cardassians walking down the corridor, both moving rather slowly, armed with rifles. Once the two intruders were past Ryouga and a good fifteen meters down the hall, Ryouga quietly moved across the hallway.
Ryouga tapped his communicator.
"Ensign Hibiki to the bridge." He whispered.
Shampoo looked to Ranma. "Go ahead." She whispered back.
"Commander," Ryouga said as he slinked around the corner of the passageway, and into another indent in the wall. "I just saw two armed Cardassians walking down the corridor."
Shampoo looked to Mousse.
"I can't confirm." Mousse stated. "Internal sensors are down, but they could have beamed over after our shields dropped and before the ships were destroyed."
"What deck are you on?" Ranma asked.
Ryouga looked around and whimpered.
"I don't know."
Ranma threw his arms into the air in frustration.
"Ryouga." Shampoo stated. "Can you look on one of the doors? Door labels say what deck you on."
Ryouga looked at a door he was standing near.
"It's too dark." He complained.
Ranma looked to Mina. "Are there any decks with power failures?"
Mina checked her panel. "Yeah, all of them have sections with no power."
"Ranma," Ryouga whispered. "They were talking about accessing engineering. Something about climbing up through the computer core for the best surprise."
Ranma looked over to Shampoo who was getting ready to bark off orders to Mousse.
"They'd have to be on decks 17 or 18 if they are going up to engineering." Ranma pondered.
"Shampoo agree." She quickly spun around to Mousse. "Get security teams down to decks 17 and 18 computer core area."
"Lieutenant, also send a couple of teams down to engineering, in case they get there before your teams can intercept them," Ranma added.
"Aye." Mousse complied. "It would help me out if I knew EXACTLY where they were."
Ranma looked to Mina.
"Any luck on getting the internal sensors online?"
Mina shook her head. "I'm sorry sir. Damage control teams can't seem to pinpoint exactly where the problem is."
Ranma sighed as he sat down in his chair. "I guess it's up to Ryouga to lead us to them."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ryouga's voice grumbled.
Since the attack, Mina's been too busy to chat with her. She had offered to help the damage control teams.
Thirty minutes ago...
"I can help," Serena whined. "Here, give me that plasma torch. I'm going to go fix the EPS manifold on deck nine."
Serena snatched the torch from two terrified engineers and ran off.
Fifteen minutes later...
"FIRE SUPPRESSION TEAMS TO DECK NINE! DAMAGE CONTROL TEAMS TO DECK NINE. MEDICAL EMERGENCY TO DECK NINE!" Bellowed over the ship's communication system.
The two engineers who had their torch taken from them sighed, grabbed some repair gear, and wandered off in the direction of deck nine.
Back to now...
Serena scratched the area that Akane had repaired on her arm. Seems a plasma fire burns very hot. Thank goodness the technology was good enough not to give her a nasty scar.
The doors to main engineering slid open with a loud hiss. Serena turned to see who it was.
Thirty security officers walked into the area.
"You three, take upper engineering. You three, lower. Everyone else, pair up and cover every entrance." The senior guard ordered. The officers all nodded and took off in their assigned directions.
"Who's in charge down here?" The lead officer shouted.
All the engineers pointed to Serena who was cowering in her cubby hole.
The guard walked over to Serena. He looked at her for a moment. Serena looked as if she was expecting a tornado or a nuclear attack. You know, duck and cover?
"Uh- Commander?" The officer half asked.
"Yeah?" Serena whimpered.
"You're coming to get me. I told Mousse that I didn't mean to start that fire!" She cried.
The security officer thought about this for a minute, and then outstretched his hand.
"Ma'am, I'm not here to get you. I'm here to protect you. We have intruders on board and we think they may be on their way here."
Serena looked to the guard. He nodded at her reassuringly.
"Okay." Serena sniffled. She took the officer's hand as he helped her to her feet.
Once Serena was upright, she looked around. She noticed all the guards were ready to shoot the first thing that looked at them funny.
The police on this ship didn't mess around.
"What do you need us to do?" Serena asked the guard.
"Are you able to disable the master control override?"
Serena cocked her head like a confused puppy. "The what?"
The guard then cocked his head in the same manner. Surely the chief engineer knew what the master control override was.
"Um, Commander?" An engineer piped up.
"Yes?" Serena asked.
"We can disable it, but we have to do it manually from inside the Jeffries tube."
"Well then," Serena stated, sounding as official as she possibly could. "Make it so."
"Yes ma'am." The engineer replied. He grabbed a couple of other engineers and went off with them.
"Um, I should go with them." The guard stated.
Serena looked at him, her big blue eyes bearing down on his very soul.
"I'd feel better if you stayed with me," Serena said, this time in a rather seductive voice.
*Gulp* "Jenkins! Stone! Go with those engineers, keep them safe!" The head security officer yelled, without ever taking his attention away from Serena.
Jenkins and Stone did as they were told. Some of the other engineers stopped what they were doing and looked at Serena and the dumbstruck guard staring at each other.
"Not again." One of them noted.
Ryouga tip-toed down the darkened corridor about fifteen meters behind the uninvited Cardassian intruders.
Ryouga was happy that he was wearing running shoes and not his uniform boots. The soft soles made it easy to silently move across the metal deck plating that made up the floor of the lower utility decks.
The two Cardassians stopped and looked at their map.
"The computer core should be down this corridor." One of them stated while pointing to his left.
"Excellent." The other acknowledged. "Once we get into the core, I will proceed up to engineering with the bomb while you program in the false sensor data."
"Yes sir. That way when the Federation comes across the debris of the ship they will think Central Cardassian Government destroyed it, and not us fringe extremists!" The first continued.
"Therefore starting a new war with Cardassia Prime! Then, while that is happening our group can seize power!" The second concluded.
The pair cackled for a moment.
"You know, do you think it was necessary for us to reveal our plans out loud?" The first Cardassian pondered.
"Who the hell cares? There's no one down here." The second stated.
The pair start laughing again as they turn and head down the final corridor, towards the Sisko's computer core.
"I can't wait for security," Ryouga whispered to himself. "I have got to stop them before they reach the computer core."
Ryouga nodded to himself and maneuvered himself into the corridor. He eyed his two targets.
*Phase rifles. I will have to disarm them.* Ryouga looked around. He noticed a metal bolt on the deck that had been jarred loose during the attack. He quickly darted over and grabbed it.
The Cardassians soon arrived at the door to the computer core. The first one hit a couple of buttons. The door just buzzed at them.
"The attack must have sealed the door." He noted.
The second pulled a small device out of his pocket. He placed it on the door, where the two sides met.
"Duck." He stated.
The pair dove to the ground. The device beeped twice and exploded.
Once the smoke had cleared the pair observed that the door had been blown open, but only by a small amount.
"We can't fit through there." The second Cardassian complained.
"Well, help me pull it open." The first grumbled.
The two Cardassians placed their rifles on the deck and started to pull on either part of the door. It slowly began to budge.
*I have to make my move now.* Ryouga thought.
Ryouga took the bolt he had picked up and threw it to the left of the Cardassians. It hit the ground with a clang.
The two Cardassians looked over to where the bolt fell. They both bent down to pick up their rifles.
"NOT ON MY WATCH!" Ryouga cried out and he came flying at them. The two Cardassians screamed as Ryouga managed to kick them both in the head.
Ryouga's forward momentum though sent him slamming into, and through the door, the Cardassians were trying to open.
A few moments passed with both the Cardassians on the deck knocked out, and Ryouga, in the computer control room – also knocked out. Eventually, the three began to regain consciousness.
"Dammit," Ryouga grumbled. He looked up as he rubbed his head. He saw the Cardassians begin to move.
"The guns!" He squeaked.
Ryouga jumped through the doorways and kicked the guns down the deck plating.
The two Cardassians stood. One wiped some blood off of his face and grinned.
"You think we need guns to fight?" He taunted.
"Bring it on, Spoon-head." Ryouga slandered.
"Spoon-head?" The second asked. "That's racist."
"It really is." The first agreed.
"Is that the kind of example you want to set as a Federation officer?"
Ryouga bowed his head in shame. "I'm sorry."
"Sucker." The first grinned as his partner charged Ryouga.
Ryouga looked up in just enough time to see the Cardassian's elbow slammed into his face.
Ryouga flew backward and hit the deck. Not one to be phased by being hit in the head, Ryouga hopped right back up and took up a fighting stance.
"You're a tough one!" The second Cardassian acknowledged as he charged again.
Ryouga was ready for him this time and easily dodged his attack. Ryouga spun and punched the Cardassian in the back as he went past Ryouga.
The Cardassian hit the ground and winced in pain. Ryouga picked him up and threw him back into his partner. The two crashed into the wall behind them.
The two Cardassians slowly returned to their feet. Ryouga grinned and cracked his knuckles.
"Time to finish you two off." Ryouga glowed.
"Wait!" The first Cardassian whimpered. "We surrender!"
"Not on my watch!" Ryouga laughed.
"Stop saying that!" The second Cardassian groaned.
"BAKUSAI TENKETSU!" Ryouga screamed as he charged the two intruders.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" A voice yelled.
Ryouga's finger came down, closer to the deck plating. Seconds from impact.
"Wha?' Ryouga pondered. He looked down to see Mousse's head in between his finger and the deck.
"Mousse?" Ryouga asked.
Mousse hopped right up and began to flail his arms.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!?" He screamed. "YOU'LL DESTROY HALF THIS DECK!"
Ryouga growled and began to yell back.
"WELL IT SURE AS HELL TOOK YOUR PEOPLE LONG ENOUGH TO GET HERE! WHAT DID YOU EXPECT ME TO DO?"
"WELL MAYBE IF YOU WEREN'T SUCH A LOST IDIOT YOU'D HAVE KNOWN WHERE YOU WERE!"
Ryouga and Mousse continued to yell at each other. The two Cardassians attempted to use this as their chance to escape. They turned and began to walk down the corridor away from the two screaming officers.
"Ahem." Ranma cleared his throat. The two Cardassians looked up from their sneaking and right into the business end of six phasers.
The six security officers standing next to Ranma quickly took the two intruders into custody. Ranma walked over to where Ryouga and Mousse were now rolling around on the floor fighting with each other.
"Excuse me, Lieutenant, Ensign," Ranma stated.
The pair ignored their commanding officer and continued to fight. Ranma sighed as he dumped a pale of cold water on the two.
They looked up to Ranma.
"Mousse, go with your men and interrogate the prisoners," Ranma ordered.
"QUACK!!!" Mousse stated.
"They will give you hot water. Go!"
"Quack, quack, quack..." Mousse mumbled to himself as he duck-walked off.
Ranma bent down and picked up Ryouga by his bandanna.
"BWEE!" Ryouga squealed as he feebly tried to attack Ranma.
"Hey, hey!" Ranma scolded. "I just wanted to tell you that you did a good job, P-Chan." Ryouga stopped squealing.
*What? Ranma's actually complimenting me?* He thought to himself.
Ranma set Ryouga back down and started to walk away.
"BWEEEE!" Ryouga screamed, trying to keep up with Ranma.
"I guess it wouldn't be very polite to leave the hero of the day down here to wander the deck all night." Ranma joked.
Ryouga nodded as he followed Ranma and the rest of the group to a turbolift.
Meanwhile, in engineering...
"Commander, um..." An engineer tried to get the attention of Serena.
"Mike, don't bother." Another engineer stated.
Mike sighed and walked away as Serena and the security officer stood there, staring at each other.
The same as they had been doing for the past six hours.