The Siege Of Camnien III
The rusty red continents of Camnien III span slowly below the open doors of the Freighter Canotto's shuttle bay, as Starfleet Cadet Rex Semideum awaited his transfer to the planet. He examined his orders for what felt like the 1,000th time in the three week voyage from Starfleet Academy in San Francisco. The orders that seconded him to the U.S.S. Beschützer for a nine month tour of duty at the ship's tactical station.
He watched as the shuttle was loaded with the containers of Anti-Duterium to power the settlement's Matter-Antimatter Reactor. The freighter's transporters needed to replace their pattern buffer, so Rex would be forced to hitch a ride down in the cargo hold with the anti-matter containers. A trip he was not looking forward too, but the chance to serve aboard a serving Starfleet vessel before he had graduated the academy was too good to pass up.
"Oi! Bambino! Get over here and help or we'll leave you up here!" Rex's annoyance at the man only grew further. He's been forced to endure the vulgar thoughts flowing off the man and his repeated obvious attempts to enrage him for his own amusement. Rex did not even need the use of his telepathy to know that the man disliked authority in any form, so the opportunity to "bully" a cadet from Starfleet was too much to resist. Rex however was no ordinary cadet and he'd been able to frustrate the man's attempts for the most part. However the man's obsession with "rebelling" and his almost child like logic that he used to convince himself of his superiority was growing irritating.
Rex walked across the shuttle bay and made to pick up one of the Anti-Duterium containers. "You can't carry those by yourself little bambino, only big men can carry those." The captain spoke with a sneer on his face, his distaste for Rex written all over him. Rex grinned wolfishly, then lifted the nearest container like is was nothing more than a bag of feathers. His augmented strength making it so that doing so was no strain at all. "I guess this makes you weaker that a 'little bambino' captain, how humiliating." He then walked into the cargo bay and stacked the container with the rest.
Rex did not need to look around to know the effect his little display had caused. He could feel the rage and humiliation flowing off the captain. A mild sense of gratification came to Rex's mind, but he instantly pushed it aside. He had faced far greater opponents than this small minded fool of a man. He walked back and retrieved his belongings to store them in the hold, he had no intention of being forced to return to the freighter to retrieve them. Such a situation would force him to suffer more time with the irritating captain.
"Where do you think you're going bambino? You don't get to go down until the final shipment." Rex sighed at the comment that he knew was coming, even without the use of his telepathy. "Allow me to make myself clear, if you insist on leaving me upon this junk heap I shall commandeer it and land on the surface myself. I shall not be gentle in doing so, now stand aside unless you wish to have the repair costs remove the majority of your profits." Without another word Rex walked inside the shuttle cargo hold and settled himself. The captain went make another argument, but Rex had tired of the charade and sent a feeling of fear into the man's mind. Nothing too powerful, just enough to cause the man to rethink his attempt and just seal the hold without another word.
He could feel the thrill of landing on a new world for the first time rushing through his veins. The idea of setting foot in a place he'd never seen before had always filled him with exhilaration, it was part of the reason he had joined Starfleet. He felt a little jolt as the shuttle began to penetrate the atmosphere of Camnien III. Rex sighed, trust this slovenly captain to slightly miscalculate the entry angle, he would never had made such a basic mistake. He suppressed his exasperation and waited for the shuttle to touch down at the outpost.
He had been told that there would be a two day layover on Camnien III before the Beschützer arrived to drop off some scientific equipment and collect him. He reached out with his mind and found the mind of the co-pilot. Her mind only slightly less unpleasant that her captain's, but at least she did not have such an complex about authority. She was running through the landing checks with the outpost computer.
Rex readied himself for departure, wanting to be away from the vessel as quickly as possible. As he approached the door he felt the shuttle touching down on the pad and the next few moments seemed to drag, but soon the door way opening and the irritating captain was attempting to shove his way in. Rex moved him aside with a single shove to the chest and started towards the nearest person in a Starfleet uniform, he was a human petty officer.
"Cadet Rex Semideum reporting for duty." The petty officer look momentarily confused by Rex's statement, but then nodded and looked at the PADD in his hand. "I see it here, awaiting a transfer to the U.S.S. Beschützer. You had better report to Lieutenant Markson in the command building." He turned and pointed to a done like building 1000 meters away. Rex nodded and began moving away across the outpost, only giving a momentary glance to see that the petty officer had used the base transporters to remove the cargo.
Rex could feel his excitement rising once again as the realisation that he was on another world returned to the forefront of his mind. He stopped and turned around as he hear the shuttle powering its engines. He watched as it raised lazily into the air and began moving out across the edge of the outpost. A glowing object suddenly dropped down of the sky at incredible speed from above the shuttle and struck in right on the top. The shuttle erupted in a massive explosion, shattering the craft into a million pieces. Rex immediately sprinted for cover as a second explosion boomed out from the landing pad where he had just been. As he reached the command post, he heard the distinctive whine of phaser batteries firing. He looked up again and he saw the ships dropping through the clouds. A shiver of dread ran through him as he watched more waves appearing above him, descending through the phaser fire. The Cardassians had come to take Camnien III.
Rex could feel the heat from the photon torpedo explosions from all around him as he scrambled towards shelter in the armoury. He thanked the stars that one glance at a base schematic was all he needed to know his way around the compound. The armoury well underground and well fortified, if he could get there he knew he would be safe until he could figure out what was going on. As he ran he was people with the same idea, all sprinting as fast as possible towards the armoury. He could feel the ground shaking as the photon torpedoes continued to rain down. He looked up as the sound of an explosion from above signalled the destruction of a Cardassian Ship. He dived into the cover of the bunker as burning metal rained down from above, scattering down on the open courtyard.
A second later he sensed several weapons being pointed at his head, he could feel the fear and panic of the people holding them. "Who are you?! You're not stationed here!!" Rex rolled over slowly and saw a surly looking man in his middle thirties aiming a phaser rifle at his head, flanked by two others. Rex slowly reached into his bag and held out the PADD with his orders on it. A Bolian woman snatched the PADD out of his hand, whilst the other two kept their phaser rifles trained on his head.
"A Starfleet Cadet? What kind of fools do you think we are spy?!" Rex's patience for have weapons pointed at him immediately ran out at the woman's comments. "Do I look like a Cardassian to you fools? Take a DNA sample if it makes you feel better, but take those out of my face." He waited and they didn't move, so he reached out with his mind and planted a moment of hesitation in their minds. He felt them freeze and in that moment he threw himself to his feet, dragged the weapons out of their hands and aimed one directly at the man who had asked the initial question. "Now unless you want to waste more time on this I'm heading into cover." He threw the phaser rifle down at their feet, picked up his bag again, snatched back his PADD and pushed past the speechless three deeper into the armoury bunker.
A second later two more people appeared pointing phaser rifle at Rex and he felt another twinge of annoyance. "What is it with you people and aiming for Starfleet uniforms?" The two looked sheepish and lowered their weapons. "Where's your commanding officer?" A Tellarite Ensign walked out of the door behind them. "What's going on out here?"
Rex snapped to attention and raised a salute. "Cadet Rex Semideum reporting for duty, sir." Rex could sense the man's perplexity "A cadet? Here?" Rex held out his orders for the officer's inspection. "I took passage on the freighter bringing you the anti-matter." Suddenly Rex felt a wave of comprehension wash over the man's mind. "Ahhh, the second year who's boarding the Beschützer. I remember you now." He waved a hand to the crewman in the corridor. "Stand down, he's one of us."
Rex felt a little relieved that he'd been accepted. He could have used his telepathic abilities to influence the people around him, but the risk of doing so would have been massive. One person who was resistant would be all it took to blow his carefully worked cover as a normal human. He looked around to see the shocked looking Starfleet personnel staggering around the armoury looking arming themselves and trying to regain their composure.
"Ensign Gran, the ships have landed outside of the outpost." The Tellarite ensign nodded and picked up a phaser rifle. "Bring in everyone you can find, we've got to organise the defence." Gran turned to Rex "I don't like doing this, but you're going have to fight too, Cadet." Rex nodded and dropped his gear in the corner before putting on a phaser belt and picking up a phaser rifle. "Where do you need me sir?"
The Ensign was already walking away and completely ignoring Rex, using his comm badge to contact his superiors. A deathly silence dropped outside the armoury as the photon torpedo fire stopped. The silence only being broken by Ensign Gran on his communicator. "Understood, Lieutenant." He moved across the room and made sure he had everyone's attention before speaking. "The Cardassians are sweeping through the east district, Lieutenant Vorsicht has ordered us to make a defensive line so the civilians can be evacuated. Everyone take at least three phaser rifles and we'll arm whoever we can find on the way, move out!"
Rex grabbed up the two more rifles and slung them over his shoulder. He watched as the others around him hesitated, none of them had the harsh training background he'd been put through by Section 31. He could feel their fears, their nervousness and wondered if they'd be able to hold the defensive line like they had been ordered to. Rex shook his head and let his training take over 'Dominate the battlefield, lead by example and never hesitate.
He began to move out of the armoury, following the few who showed little hesitation to follow the orders they'd been given. Rex watched the skies ahead of him as more of the Cardassian transports dived through the clouds. The bombardment from space had stopped, Rex knew that must mean the Cardassian troops were moving in. He looked around surveying the damage that had been caused, it was very limited in its scale. None of the major structures had received more than glancing damage,his strategic training told him that this must mean the Cardassians wanted the output largely intact. He felt a little smile appear upon his face, this was an advantage. More than that it was an obvious exploitable strategic advantage.
As he crossed through the gateway of the inner wall, he felt someone's attention being focused upon his back. He looked around to see a surly look man running towards him. "You, Cadet! You've been assigned to my unit, follow me!" Without a second thought the man turned and began running away to the south of the outpost. Rex gently reached out to probe the man's mind, but he felt a jolt in the man's subconscious. He immediately pulled back his probe, the must have a very sharp mind to react to the almost imperceptible use of his abilities.
Rex re-centred himself in the moment, following the man before him. He kept a leisurely pace in the man’s wake as the man ran full tilt through the streets surrounding the outpost. Their own footsteps were echoing around the, intermixing with the calls of federation units and the shouts of Cardassian ground troops. “We’re setting up in the town library. I want you on the first floor.” Rex nodded to himself as the building came into view around a corner. “Yes sir!” He ran up the stairs at full tilt, his eyes searching all angles as he went. As he reached the landing he spotted a human starfleet crewman crouched at a window shakily holding a phaser pistol. He placed down a phaser rifle next to the man before moving on to take up position at another window.
Screams and shouts echoed throught the streets surrounding the library. Rex could see the other starfleet officers shaking, their nerves getting to them as the sounds of panic came closer. He had seen enough of combat to be able to centre himself. Starfleet training was unmatched in the galaxy, but in the face of a Cardassian invasion force they all rightly feared for their lives. As a cadet he couldn't just start barking orders, but once the battle started he could earn lead by example.
The shouts of the Cardassians as their troops marched through the streets were as loud as the blasts of phasers screeching out; their advance through the settlement leaving a scortched path of destruction. "Ready yourselves! Here they come!"
Holding The Line
The Cardassians burst out into the square before the library, firing their weapons in all directions. Their plan seemed to be use to use their greater numbers to lay down enough suppressing fire to cover the open ground. Rex centred himself, reaching out with his mind creating a mental map of where everyone person in the area was. He could fear the rush of aggressive, nationalistic pride as the Cardassians charged for the glory of the empire; Rex smirked, in the face of an opponent like him such resolve was more of a weakness than a strength.
The Cardassians were halfway across the yard when the lieutenant gave the order “Open fire!!” The federation forces opened fire upon the Cardassian charge, the sudden co-ordinated blast of energy scattering their line as they fled for cover. Rex watched as they dashed into the nearest buildings, where some Starfleet members had taken cover. He could feel their fear as the Cardassians overwhelming numbers poured into their shelter and destroyed them. Their resistance was short and ineffective in the face of such overwhelming numbers and brutality.
Rex was positioned at the far side of the square from the Cardassian advance, thus he was able to still enfilade the enemy flank as they sought cover. He let his well honed combat instincts take over, firing in rapid succession at targets as they passed before his sight and switching rifles when he ran out of charge. His efforts alone were not enough to stem the rising tide as the next wave of Gils hit the square. They had brought heavy weapons with them, expecting to widen a breach. The troops stationed in the library with Rex shifted their fire immediately, attempting to prevent the two units from linking up and completely overwhelming the Starfleet crew in the buildings. Rex felt his heart sink as he saw the centre mass of the heavy Gils had brought mobile barricades behind which they could take cover. As they reached the courtyard, the first wave of Cardassians fell back behind the shelter of the barricades. Rex watched as his comrades tried to fire through the barricade to hit the men behind but to no avail.
His tactical training kicked in, his analytical skills telling him the likely course of events. If the Cardassians were able to advance far enough to set their heavy weapons, they would wipe out the garrison of the settlement library. The Starfleet troops were hopelessly outmatched for a ground battle; armed with a hand phaser and possibly a phaser rifle they were no match for the armoured Cardassian ground Gils with assault weapons, grenades and heavy weapon support. There needed to be a dramatic shift in the tide of the battle for the federation forces to survive.
He broke cover and ran across the building, hearing the officer behind him roaring at him to get down. He threw pretence aside and sprinted as fast as his body could carry him, streaking across the first floor of the library until he reached the last window. Which he turned and dived through using his power to shatter the glass and smashing in the window of the building at the side of the square. His perfectly timed movement gave him a clear path for his dive from one building to the next.
He heard the phaser fire screech against the wall behind him, but didn’t let himself stop. His senses were going wild with all the emotion of the battle swirling around him; even his Section 31 indoctrination had not prepared him to deal with this level of emotion. He could feel the terror of the Starfleet troops being overwhelmed below him. He knew he couldn’t help them though, not without completely revealing his abilities. He could not risk being exposed, not when his aim was so important. He could see heavy Gil’s lugging their charges into position behind the barricade. He didn’t have much time, once those heavy weapons were in position this scrambled together force of old officers and inexperienced science and engineering staff would crumble.
He dashed as the seconds seemed to run away from him, as he sped through the thankfully long and open plan building. He crossed the advancing Cardassian front line of mobile barricades, seeing the Gil’s kneel to plant the energy mortars. Still moving he swung himself around to take aim at them, before sensing the Cardassian who had ran upstairs for a vantage point appear behind him. Rex had no choice but to use his power, lashing out with his mind and striking the man hard in the throat and crushing his neck. His momentary distraction had cost him dearly as the Gil’s were now loading the mortars.
He ran to the window taking careful aim for a second before firing his shot straight into the plasma charge being loaded. The front line erupted in flame as the charge detonated prematurely taking out the crew and the men around them. Rex aimed his second shot at the man carrying the ammunition, the shot striking home a triggering an explosion of even greater magnitude. Its forced ripped the Cardassian front line wide open, knocking down the mobile barriers.
The commander of the federation forces needed no instruction, as Rex heard him scream over the communicator “Aim for the heavy troops, take them down!!”. Rex felt a surge of hope from the federation side as he took cover against the building’s back wall, whilst the Cardassians were confused and fearful. He decided to take one more risk, reaching out with his mind and trying to amplify the enemy’s fear. It didn’t take much to turn the sudden stall into a total rout, the Cardassians scrambling over each other to escape the town square which had gone from easy picking to a death trap in the course of five short minutes.
Rex leaned back against the upstairs wall as he felt the enemy troops flee. His mind was still racing, he needed to come up with a cover quickly. He’d been lucky that there had been no troops stationed in his path, but he had disappeared mid-battle and then the course of the battle had suddenly shifted. No matter how relieved the Starfleet crew were that little fact would not go unnoticed; he started running back the way he came. If he could get back to the phaser blasted corner without being seen then perhaps he could make it seem he’d gotten pinned down there.
He could sense the federation troops beginning to recover and take in their surroundings, he needed to move fast. He reached the corner and began scooping the dust from the destroyed super structure and covering himself with it. Then he laid down to roll around in the dust, making it look like he’d been stuck there as the dirt came flying down. Moments later the Starfleet officer who he’d been assigned to stuck his head through the open window space. “What are you doing over there cadet?! Did they not teach you how to follow orders in the academy?” Rex did his best to look cowed by the man’s outburst. “You could have been killed out here! If you weren’t such a good shot I’d be sending you back to the base right now.” Rex sighed his relief at not being discovered and dragged himself to his feet. Rex heard his comm badge bleep "Base Command to all Starfleet forces, regroup at point Delta-3; bring all small arms and munitions available." Rex had no idea where Delta-3 was, but he had his orders and was obliged to obey.
Rallying The Troops
The rout of the first wave of assault troops had given the federation forces a chance to regroup; Rex had followed his squad leader to point Delta-3, which had just turned out to be a bar on the main street. The lack of strategic strength of the position was annoying him more every moment they stayed there, but he held his tongue.
He sat at the back of the room furthest away from the window, silently reaching out with his mind. The senior staff were in the next room planning how to defend the base until a federation rescue force could arrive. He had reached into the mind of a junior leiutenant and was listening to their plans. Their ideas were not encouraging; the commander of the base was talking about turning the bar into a defensive position, whilst the junor officers were talking about how they could flee the planet. Neither option was appealing, as both would most likely get them all killed.
He was feeling restless; as a cadet he had no input at a strategic or tactical level yet. As he was listening to their plans, he was trying to come up with one of his own. The Cardassians seemed to want the base intact, they had avoided damaging it seriously in their initial strikes and had send landing forces to capture it. He heard the commander and senior officers come through to the main area of the bar.
"Everyone listen up! We're going to turn this bar into a defensive position and hold it until reinforcements come." Rex raised a hand keeping his face expressionless as the commander rolled his eyes at him. "Cadet, this is a battlefield not a classroom. We don't raise hands here." Rex took the man directly addressing him as his chance to force a change. "Sir, I know I'm only a cadet, but what's to stop the Cardassians just destroying this strategically insignificant building with is in it? Wouldn't we be safer in one the buildings they avoided destroying on the base?"
The commander look stunned at Rex for a moment as he took in what had been said. "The Cardassians fired on the base cadet, it is not safe to take up position there." Rex shook his head "I know we don't hold the Cardassians in high regard; but do we really think that in a 5 minute bombardment not a single vital building was struck by accident?"
This time the entire room seemed to hold it's breath as the commander stared down the cadet. "We do not think anything Cadet, you have been given your orders. Now you will follow them."