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The Price of Freedom, Part Two
Hostage Situation

Science Lab One <Deck 35> [Gibraltar Station]

This large room is used mostly for coordination of projects and as a holdover area until materials can be transferred to other locations on the base. Tables fill the room, some covered in specimen jars both filled and empty, others in apparatus used for various experiments. The walls are covered in display panels that can access information on experiments running in any part of the base, as well as various scientific databases. The room is brightly lit, cyan carpeting and tan walls lending an air of cheery productivity. Part of one wall is taken up by windows that look into a small office; in the wall opposite is the door leading to the corridor, its sides lined with twin alert tracers.

Winifred Brooks

(Early morning is always a bit hectic in the Science Lab as specimens are being pulled from sterilization chambers, sensors are being calibrated, and various instruments are being cleaned for the day's work. Officers are rushing to and fro trying to get their work stations correctly laid out. Scientists are picky about those sort of things.)

Standing off to one side, Brooks is staring at a PADD as people rush around her. She's not paying attention to much around her just yet, trying to get things sorted out in her brain. What was the Chief thinking, assigning her to this? Her train of thought is broken as an Ensign comes up to her. "Lieutenant, where should these samples go? The Botanical Gardens took over the storage area." Brooks sighs. "I'll have to talk to Lieutenant M'train... for now, just put them in the storage in lab... umm... four. There should be plenty of room there. And if there isn't, tell Biggs he needs to stop keeping the food for his kittens in there!"

The Ensign nods and heads off. Things seem to be slowing down as people are getting to their various tasks. After a few moments two Lieutenants enter, both yellowshirts. One steps forward and says, "Who's in charge arond here?" His voice is slightly pinched and he seems anxious.

Brooks sighs softly, pushes herself off the wall, and walks over. "That would be me. Lieutenant J.G. Winifred Brooks." Another sigh. "What do y'all need?"

The anxious man looks at Brooks and heads over. He stops in front of her, "Good morning Lieutenant, I'm Lieutenant Harleugh, and this," he gestures to the other man, "is Lieutenant Man'Gath. I was wondering if I could have a word with you in your office?"

Brooks blinks. "I don't really have an office. I'm just the supervisor. I can talk to you over here if y'need some privacy, though..." She gestures to a fairly unoccupied corner of the lab.

Harleugh nods, "Very well. If you don't mind, Lieutenant Man'Gath needs to run a minor scan on the door." He nods to Man'Gath and heads toward the corner.

Brooks glances to the door but shrugs. She follows Harleugh toward the corner, slowly. "D'you have a maintenance permit or is this something real quick? I mean, I know things have been shorting out all over..."

The man seems to start a little. "Oh, of course, sorry." He produces a PADD from his side and hands it over. "You'll find all the tasks being performed there." He glances over at Man'Gath who looks at him and nods.

Brooks frowns at the PADD. "Alright. I mean, usually we get some warning on this... let me just call down to Engineering, okay? I mean, not that I don't believe you, but if anything has to go offline 'cause of this I don't want to get in trouble..."

"Uh... Of course, go right ahead. However be advised that I have enough explosives attached to my body at this moment to flatten this entire deck."

Brooks blinks at the man for all of a half second and then jumps back, tapping her compin as she does so. Yes, jumps. Like she's specifically trying to get out of reach.

Brooks taps her compin, and it emits a high chirp.

Brooks says, "Brooks to Hawkins."

From over a compin, you hear Hawkins say, "Hawkins here, go ahead?"

The man pulls out a phaser. "Since you've done me a favor by gotting in touch with the Captain I can go ahead with the demands. Hello, Captain. I want you to know that I have a container here full of enough explosives to take out this deck and a phaser trained on your young Science officer here. Now unless you don't mind more blood on your hands I suggest you listen well and comply with our terms."

(Up in Operations, Hawkins, Koram, Tremar, Church, and Danley have all been having a conversation. That conversation is cut short as the scene shifts.)

Koram drops the conversation with the Lieutenant Commander, and immediately turns to his console. His fingers fly over the controls. "Well, Commander Church," he says, furiously trying to locate the man on his station. "Looks like you arrived just on time."

Church leaves through the door toward Central Corridor <Deck 8>.
Church has left.

Hawkins blinks and frowns. "Who is this? Lieutenant Brooks, are you there?"

Koram looks up at the Captain from his console. "She's in science lab one ma'am," he says, standing up. "Should I lead a security team down there?"

Danley frowns and moves over to a console and sits down at a free console and begins tapping away.

Tremar was about to hit the door when she overhears what's going on. "Security scans ought to be able to detect whether or not there are explosives in that area unless it's a combination of chemicals or other substances that can be potentially explosive but are not by nature explosive by themselves."

The scene shifts back to the Science Lab

Another science Ensign comes up, tricorder in hand, and says softly to Brooks, "I'm not getting any readings off of it..."

Brooks half-crouches, eyeing the phaser and then the man holding it. She gestures the Ensign back. "Yes, Captain, I'm here. He does have a phaser, but that satchel... we're not getting any readings, Captain. Maybe he's bluffing."

Harleugh opens the container showing the explosives. "Captain, we've erected a force field around the lab. I don't want any security teams, just send someone who can negotiate. I'll be waiting. Turn it off."

Ensign Quaker nods to Brooks. "Romulan-style explosives."

Brooks swears softly under her breath... softly enough for the compin to not quite catch. "They've got something, Captain. I'll... umm... stall them." How a blueshirt's to stall anyone she doesn't explain before tapping her compin again.

(The scene moves back up to Operations.)

"Shit." That's descriptive, Captain. "More ultranium. Where are they getting this stuff?" A sigh. "No security teams for now, Koram. I want you and Tremar to break though that forcefield however you have to. Or see if you can beam people through it, I just want our people out of there. Or, preferably, our suspects in the brig. Church, you're the diplomatic officer. Go be diplomatic. And keep me in the loop." Hawkins glances to Danley. "What are you doing, Mr. Danley?"

Tremar rubs the back of her neck. "Can we isolate the ultranium and beam it into space?"

Koram turns to Tremar. "What do you suggest we do to get through the force field, Commander? This is your field of expertise, not mine."

Hawkins shakes her head. "The ultranium was just to shield the explosives, as in the other three bombings. It's not an explosive substance. And if we could beam out the ultranium we could beam out the people."

Danley continues to tap away at the terminal, "Hmm? Me? Oh... I was just ordering some food up here for you all."

"Aye sir." Church turns to head off, muttering under his breath, "Just what I need, a freaking terrorist in my first week."

Church leaves through the door toward Central Corridor <Deck 8>.
Church has left.

"Could we cut power to the science lab?" Koram says looking over to Tremar. "Just long enough to let the force field fall and do a massive emergency transport?"

Tremar thinks a moment and nods. "We could do that, but we would have to disable backup power because due to science experiments needing containment there's a backup generator. We could also rotate the transporter frequency to match that of the shields, which would allow us to use the transporters."

Danley stares at the screen for a moment, "You know if it was me... I'd be sending the marines to the Antarean Embassy. Or what's left of it. I mean if the first thing was a terrorist attack against them, then why would they be holding science officers? Maybe to draw your all's attention away from the real target."

Danley says, "As for the force field, I wouldn't worry about it. I'd be sending some frequency pulses through all the compins in the science lab. Knock everyone out with a high pitch frequency. It may give 'em all headaches for a few days. Then once everyone's knocked out you can deal with the force field in your own time. Course, the real question is where is this guys buddies? He couldn't be doing this alone. I bet there's at least and engineer and security officer involved. At least, I'd have one of each if I was terrorist."'

Koram shrugs and turns to Tremar. "What is the window of time between the main power going out and the back-ups kicking in?"

"Stop talking and do, people, we have lives on the line. Mr. Danley, get off my consoles and off my bridge if you can't keep out of the way. We don't need twenty options to try; we need to try what we can, see what doesn't work, and then move on." The Captain sighs, tapping at her console. "You'll need to figure out that frequency; even my security clearance won't bring down that field. Someone's hacked the thing."

Tremar thinks a moment. "Only a few seconds. It's designed to snap into place in case there are any biological experiments that can get into the atmosphere. But technically those should be running on a seperate circuit."

Danley shrugs as he stands and moves away from the terminal.

"So we will need trasport teams standing by," Koram says. "How long would it take to modify the circuts not to kick in?"

Tremar rubs her chin as she thinks. "We could reroute those systems into another conduit, that way they won't deactivate when the power goes out, then we can cut the power and have a thirty second window to get them out of there."

Danley shakes his head as he heads for the door, "Sounds like you all are going to get people killed."

Danley leaves through the door toward Central Corridor <Deck 8>.
Danley has left.

(Back in the Science Lab...)

Now that the compin's off Brooks glances to Ensign Quaker, saying in a low voice, "Get everyone to spread out and down on the floor. We can't go after them unless we're sure the explosives aren't gonna go off." She then turns back to the Antarean. "Now... Mr.... umm... Harleugh... why're you doing this? I mean, you're Starfleet officers, right? We're on the same team."

Harleugh nods at Man'Gath, "Herd them up." Man'Gath produces a phaser rifle from an equipment bag beside him. He starts motionimg people into a corner. As this is being done Harleugh continues, "We are only technically part of your Starfleet. Our demands are simple. We want the removal of all Federation personnel from Antares."

Brooks frowns, not moving from her spot. "What would that get you?"

"We've seen the error our government made in joining with the Federation. Our culture is slowly being wiped from our planet. The only way to reclaim it is to purge the disease of Starfleet from the system." Harleugh's rant continues, his arms are moving with his words. "We want this base gone and Starfleet can come and tow it or we can turn it into spacedust!" With the last word his hand brushes against a PADD at his side. The console nearest the door explodes sending sparks flying across the room and small flames begin flaring from the panel.

Brooks watches the rant, frowning, and jumps as the door explodes. "You're going to get us all killed! Look, I don't know what you mean, but the Federation wants everyone's culture to stay intact, if you're feeling overwhelmed I'm sure we can get some specialists in, get your culture back where you want it..."

(Cut to Operations)

"Captain, we have a daring plan that could put all involved in danger," Koram says with a slight grin. "I would like your go ahead before we try it though."

The officer at sensors looks up. "Captain... we've had an explosion on Deck 35!"

"Damn, they didn't say they had a time limit. Damage?" Hawkins looks to Koram. "These people mean business. Do what you're going to do and do it quickly."

Koram spins back to his console. "Commander Tremar, if you get the power circuts ready I'll coordinate the transporters," He taps at the console organizing the cargo transporters, personnel transporters and anything else that can dematerialize and object then rematerialize it. "Terrorists to the brig, our officers to Sickbay, and one bomb into space... ready when you are."

Tremar reports, "There's a small fire, supression systems should kick in soon, there's damage to a console but the fields are still intact."

Hawkins rubs at the back of her neck. "Do it, then, Mr. Koram. Let's get these people locked up."

"Cutting power to Science Lab One Now!" Koram says punching buttons on the console. "Energizing!" He hits the command for the arrayed transporters, keying them all simultaneously.

(Cut to Science Lab One.)

Church comes through the door from Corridor <Deck 35>.
Church has arrived.

Church walks up to the now open door. He can see the charge of the force field faintly shimmering on the edges of the entry way. He looks inside, "I'm the negotiator. Can we begin? My name is Thomas Church."

Man'Gath looks over, swinging his phaser rifle to bear on the door. "Can you negotiate on behalf of your Captain? There's no point if you can't."

The power shorts out for about thirty seconds, but the forcefield does not lower.

Harleugh looks over to the door as the power shuts off. He panics and fires the phaser... directly at Brooks. It sparks as he fires and he drops it, spouting a curse. When power flickers back on he is seen shaking his gun hand, a PADD in the other.

Brooks tries to dodge the phaser blast but just isn't fast enough. She gets hit in the left shoulder and cries out, crumpling to the ground. Her uniform is charred and the shoulder is clearly wounded; her breathing is shallow and uneven.

(Cut to Operations)

The power gets cut. The transporters go, and the lights in Operations flicker, just before the backups kick in and the power on Deck 35 comes back on.

Koram lets loose a long line of Bajorian swear words. "Captain, the transport didn't work. The forcefields are still online. Checking for life signs..."

Tremar frowns. "Rats..."

Hawkins frowns. "How did they keep the forcefields up?"

Koram growls as he taps his console. "I've got all the life signs ma'am, one looks hurt," he says, not looking up. "The computer is reading a phaser discharge during the blackout. It was set to kill."

Hawkins nods. "Figure out how they kept the forcefields up. Tremar, could you find a way around the fields through maintenance tubes, take a security team in there?"

"On it, ma'am," Koram says sharply. He furiously taps over the console.

Tremar nods. "Aye, sir. There should be a Jeffries Tube that runs right along the Science Lab. Should be able to sneak in there without much of a fuss. The forcefields wouldn't cover the floor... we could also make our way in through there."

"Ma'am, I found out what happened," Koram says, turning to the Captain. "When we energized the transporters, somehow the power was leeched from them. The power went directly to the forcefield on deck 35."

Hawkins shakes her head. "Ingenious. If we cut power to the transporters, would that take down the field?"

(Back to the science lab.)

Church waits as the power goes off. When it return he notices that the situation has changed only slightly. He turns to the Antarean who adressed him. "Yes, I have been sent to speak for the Captain. Speak to me as you would her." He cringes as he sees Brooks on the floor in a heap.

Man'Gath trains his phaser on Brooks. "First, if your Captain continues to try to circumvent us, we will kill one hostage for every attempt. We'll start with her." He finger slowly begins to depress the trigger...

Church jerks forward, hitting the forcefield and stepping back as it shocks him. "No, please. We will stop. Just don't kill anyone." He is sweating slightly. "What are your demands?"

Crumpled on the ground as she is, Brooks is too weak to really move, but she does have her eyes open. She struggles a bit, feebly trying to get away from Man'Gath's phaser blast.

Ensign Quaker, in a fashion that shows he would have made a good officer if he hadn't been in the wrong place at the wrong time, jumps in front of Man'Gath's rifle just in time to catch the blast. He, too, crumples, but this time there's no breathing after; his eyes are glazed over.

Man'Gath shrugs. "He's as good as her, I suppose. Tell your Captain, and then we will tell you our demands."

(Back to Operations)

"Ma'am!" Koram almost yells, "Another phaser blast! I've lost a life sign!"

Hawkins slams a fist on the console. "Security, I want a team on Deck 35, now. Mr. Koram, cut that link and get that field down... and get those bastards to the brig."

Koram is halfway through doing so when the Captain tells him to. "Transporters have been severed from the forcefield!" He says. "Standing by to cut power to Science lab... cutting power now!" He slams his fingers on the buttons. "Energizing!"

(In the science lab...)

Harleugh walks over and kicks the dead body. "If you don't relinquish your hold on Antares the rest of this deck's gonna be in worse shape than this poor sap."

Church pulls out his own phaser as the rifle is fired. "No!" He hits the forcefield again, falling back once more. He takes a deep breath, "Please, just tells us what we need to do to end this. What do you mean, 'relinquish our hold on Antares?'"

The forcefield suddenly lowers, its shimmer winking out.

Man'Gath looks up. "No!" He shouts. He swings his rifle back to Brooks, but just as he pulls the trigger he's beamed out, and the phaser fires wildly, hitting a wall panel.

Most of the rest of the officers are beamed out... Church was never tagged, however, and Harleugh and Brooks are too close to the ultranium.

(Operations again.)

Hawkins nods, leaning over her console. "Did we get everyone?"

"I've got one of the terrorists in the brig, and most of the officers in Sickbay," Koram says with a sigh. "But I lost the lock on the bomb. I've got one terrorist and another officer who were too close to the bomb itself. The lock slipped off of them as well... ma'am I've got another phaser discharge..."

Tremar feels completely useless. "So...did you still want us to go down there?"

Hawkins nods to Tremar. "Go. One of the terrorists is still down there with our people and that bomb."

Tremar nods and checks her phaser setting. "I'll see if I can come up through the floor where the forcefields don't cover. I should be able to squeeze through if I take out one of the deck plates."

Tremar leaves through the door toward Central Corridor <Deck 8>.
Tremar has left.

Koram checks over the life sign readings again. "Ma'am, Commander Church is still down there as well," he says. "He's in the corridor outside the Lab."

Hawkins sighs softly, nodding. "I'm sure Tremar can make it."

Koram nods his head and continues to monitor the situation. "Captain, I know Danley's lead us astray before, but should we send a securtiy team to the Antarean Embassy just in case?"

The Captain sighs. "Is there any sign of disturbance? Anyone moved from their posts, any lifesigns in there that shouldn't be?"

Koram checks his console. "No ma'am," he says shaking his head. "There is no unusual activity."

Hawkins waves a hand. "Keep an eye on it, then, for now, we need to deal with this situation in the science labs."

(Science Lab One)

Harleugh, panicking, grabs Man'Gath's rifle and then Brooks. He drags her up, using her as a shield and pointing the rifle at her. "Let us go, or she dies."

Church walks into the lab and lowers his phaser. "Alright, calm down. We can work this out. Just let her go and we can see what we can do." He slowly inches towards the two of them, his thumb still on the trigger button.

Brooks squeezes her eyes shut tight, shuddering a bit. "Please don't kill me," she whimpers in classic frightened blueshirt fashion. "Please, please, I don't want to die." Is she crying? Yes, she's crying.

Harleugh frowns at Brooks and then gestures with the rifle. "Get your Captain on the compin. If Man'Gath and I go free, and our demands are listened to, she doesn't have to die. You don't want her to die, do you, Commander?"

Church nods. "Of course not." He drops his phaser and reaches up for his compin.

Brooks slumps a little, watching Church. As he reaches for his compin, she suddenly uses her good arm to elbow Harleugh in the gut. As the man reflexively loosens his grip she drops to the floor, managing to cover her head with her arms.

Harleugh grunts, shocked, staggers back a bit. He then slams his hand to the PADD at his side and the satchel begins beeping.

Tremar comes through the door from Corridor <Deck 35>.
Tremar has arrived.

Church lunges for Harleugh as Brooks drops. He knocks the man down and begins pummeling him.

Tremar is currently under the floor, trying to squeeze her way beneath the deck plates to get up into the science lab without alerting the bad guy.

The door is in shambles, there are phaser marks on the wall. In one corner a satchel sits, beeping. Near the satchel Church and an Antarean yellowshirt Lieutenant are fighting; just this side of the door from that Lieutenant Brooks is kneeling on the floor, hands over her head, a bad phaser burn on her left shoulder.

Harleugh is too busy defending himself to notice much of anything. "It's useless, Starfleet!" He laughs with the madness of a fanatic. "The galaxy will know the rightness of our cause soon!"

Brooks, hearing the beeping, tries to get over to the satchel... but it's hard with fighting officers in your way. Especially when you find that you used up the last of your strength in heroics. So she crawls, trying to make it to the bomb.

Tremar pops out of the floor, panting. That wasn't much fun. Setting her phaser, she scrabbles to the side, watching Chalker and the Antarean fight. With the phaser on stun, she takes a quick shot at the Antarean, then taps her compin and relays, "I'm in," to Ops. "It's messy down here."

Church rears back with his good hand and knocks the man in the mouth, replacing the laugh with staggered choking and gagging sounds. "Your cause means nothing you--worthless--fanatical--piece--of--" His words are cut short as a phaser blast hits the man he was about to pummel. He watches the man slump into unconciousness and lets down one more good punch.

Brooks is still trying to crawl toward the satchel. "Bomb... timer... damn it... stupid... people..." She runs out of breath and stops for a moment, hoping someone's paying attention to her.

Tremar scrambles to a console to try and lower the forcefield. "I'm not entirely sure what's going on in here so you'll have to fill me in." Looking toward Brooks she frowns. "How long is the timer?"

Brooks raises her head, tries to look at the satchel. Then she shakes it. "I don't know... he just hit something and the bomb started beeping... has to be a timer..." She puts her head back down, closes her eyes.

Tremar taps her compin "The field is down. Beam Brooks to Sickbay along with Church and beam this satchel out into space."

From over a compin: Hawkins looks to Koram and nods as Tremar's message comes through.

From over a compin: "Koram to Tremar," the chief says. "One Transport coming right up. Energizing." He punches some buttons on the console.

Brooks is bathed in a bright light as a high pitched whine can be heard. As the light begins to fade in a shard of sparkles so does Brooks.

Church pulls the PADD off the man's belt. He rushes over to the bomb, PADD in his hand, and kneels down, "Okay here goes nothing."

As Church works on the bomb, the beeping gets faster... and faster... and then finally stops altogether.

Church drops the PADD as he defuses the device. He gingernly closes the satchel. Turning to Tremar, "I've got to get this to Security." He takes a few steps away from the unconcious Antarean. "Operations, beam the last terrorist to the brig."

From over a compin, you hear Koram say, "Ops here. Energizing!"

Harleugh disappears in a transporter beam.


Koram leans back in his chair. "We got it, Captain," he says with a sigh. "We got this one..."

Hawkins sighs. "Lost a crewmember to do it, but... thank God. Now we just have to find out who these people were and what they were doing."

"There are some Cardassian interrogation technique I remember from the war," Koram says with a sarcastic grin. "I could get them to talk."

Hawkins quirks a brow. "I... don't think that will be neccesary, Commander." She pauses, then says, relieved, "Stand us down from alert."

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