Star Trek Hunter
Episode 13: The 15,000 Cities of Cun Ling
Scene 14: The Assault on th'Istel
The Assault on th’Istel
Commander Oshreb Sav had sent a small contingent of his Imperial Guard forces to the South Pole of Cun Ling to dig for th’Istel, but he had little expectation they would find anything. With eleven squadrons of Imperial Guard Spelunkers at his command, he had troops to spare and the mission might at least divert some attention.
Sav had no intention of sending a squadron of the Andorian Imperial Guard to go digging under Santa’s Workshop on the North Pole, rumors of reverse writing or no rumors. He had received information from more than one source that an Andoria First stronghold was being built deep in the Trantor Underground, near the north end of the city.
The more reliable of these sources, the Trantor Police Intelligence Division, had agreed after negotiations between Sav and Trantor’s Mayor, Harry Issacs, to a three-pronged strategy. To put this strategy together, Commander Sav called a meeting with the key players in the north underground Trantor Police precinct. The squad room was cleared out to serve as their field operation headquarters.
Commander David Pepper had beamed into the precinct to coordinate on behalf of Star Fleet. Special Agent in Charge Johnny Canada represented the Blue Helmets (Trantor Police Uniform Division). Commander Oshreb Sav represented the Andorian Imperial Guard. The three of them remained in the precinct to coordinate their respective forces. Maps provided by Dih Strangent, Flight Specialist Dih Terri’s father, a director in the Trantor Mining Consortium, were spread out in front of them. Dih Terri remained with Pep to help interpret the maps, which were insanely detailed.
One of the details on the map turned out to be the Trantor City limits.
Markers on the maps denoted the positions of the AIG, the Trantor Blue Helmets and T’Lon’s small response team, which, at Investigator Shran’s recommendation, now included Lt. Napoleon Boles.
It turned out that T’Lon’s team was not in Trantor anymore, but was in the City of th’Istel, which had been established nearly 300 years previously as an Andorian colony, giving primary jurisdiction to the Andorian Imperial Guard. A hastily devised plan allowed for T’Lon’s team, already in place, to infiltrate th’Istel backed by the AIG while the Trantor Police would prevent any Andoria First separatists from escaping into Trantor City limits.
Predictably, the plan went awry.
T’Lon’s team was supposed to enter the catacombs at the lowest level of th’Istel in secret, but someone had tipped off the Andoria First group about the impending attack and T’Lon and her group were surrounded by armed andorians and had to take cover.
They were in a large open underground cavern with pillars of various sizes at irregular intervals holding up the ceiling. Lanterns high above provided dim, general lighting. Tabletops had been carved around these pillars at chest height for andorian use - since andorians rarely used chairs. 2nd Lt. T’Lon, Lt. Napoleon Boles, Investigators Lynhart Shran and Buttans Ngumbo, Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs, Midshipman Tammy Brazil and Agent Anana Lynarr of the Trantor Police Intelligence Division ducked and found themselves back to back dodging among a group of large pillars to avoid phaser blasts from the separatists.
Adding Dr. Boles to the team proved fortunate as he was nearly as good with a phaser as Shran. Using a pencil thin beam that left tiny scorch marks on the granite and marble pillars but burned clothing and flesh, causing non-lethal, but agonizing pain, Boles laid out a continuous web of phaser fire that incapacitated a few andorians and kept others ducking behind pillars to avoid getting burned. Flight Engineer Thomas Hobbs, although he took more time to draw a bead, turned out to be a fair shot with a phaser as well.
As soon as the first shots were fired, Commander Sav committed his forces, producing a storm of phaser fire that relieved the pressure from T’Lon’s team.
“Disengage and head toward the catacombs,” T’Lon ordered. Boles was slow to respond, so she enforced the order by slugging him hard on his upper arm. Although he outranked her, he had agreed to come on the mission under the condition that it was her mission.
A broad area of steps led down to a large opening. Before T’lon’s group could enter, phaser fire came lacing out. One beam cut a broad mark into T’Lon’s cheek, and sliced through her ear on its way up, where it cut into Midshipman Tammy Brazil’s chest.
T’Lon shook her head, releasing a spray of green blood, then headed down the stairs toward the wall next to the opening. Brazil screamed in agony and crashed to the floor. Dr. Boles slung his phaser and lifted her effortlessly, carrying her down the stairs and against the wall. Boles was carrying a medkit and quickly began treating Brazil’s wound. He ripped her uniform away from her chest. Her right breast had been sliced nearly in half. Boles quickly reconfigured a dermal regenerator, hooking it into his phaser and began treating her breast with what appeared to be a phaser beam. “Emergency medical beamout! Boles, Brazil!” A moment later, they vanished.
T’Lon grasped Thomas Hobbs’ arm to stop him from firing into the catacombs. “NO SHOOTING BLIND!! They may be using our people as shields!” With a quick hand sign she ordered her team to line up on either side of the opening. While no more phaser beams were coming out of the hole, weapons fire could be heard inside. T’Lon brought out her tricorder and held it out into the opening, then brought it back and studied the readings.
“Shran, Hobbs, Lynarr, guard the opening, watch our flank. Buttans, with me. Stay close to the wall.”
Within a few minutes the fighting died down as Commander Sav’s units easily overpowered and outgunned the Andoria First group. Commander Sav, Pep and Johnny Canada came forward from the precinct to view the carnage. The Andorian Imperial Guard, unlike their Star Fleet and Trantor Police counterparts, did not hesitate to use deadly force. Nearly fifty andorians in various civilian clothing, most dressed as either mining engineers or support workers, lay dead or wounded in the broad underground courtyard where the battle had taken place.
After a number of Imperial Guard Spelunkers had cleared the area of any potential threats and removed the wounded for treatment, Pep, Sav and Canada approached the entrance to the catacombs where Lynarr, Shran and Hobbs were standing guard. Almost at that moment, T’Lon and Buttans emerged from the entrance to the catacombs, followed by two andorians and a cardassian. T’Lon’s face was bleeding and the top half of her right earlobe was missing.
Then a large cardassian emerged, carrying Ensign Tolon Reeves, who was barely conscious and moaning incoherently. Belo Garr and Belo Rys followed, supporting Jarrong between them. Jarrong could barely walk. She was shivering and evidently suffering from hypothermic shock.
Then, flanked by two more andorians, came Federation Councilmember Emory Ivonovic, tears in his eyes, streaming down his face. The front of his simple, but flawlessly tailored gray suit was matted with blood.
In his arms, Ivonovic carried the naked, dead and mutilated body of Flight Specialist Joey Chin.