Hard choices.

"South?" Cass reactivated the communicator "I need you and Boyd to find the distress beacon aboard the alien ship and shut it off. I don't care how much damage you have to cause to make it happen - Destroy the whole ship if necessary"
"We're just on the way back with the plant - the gro..." South's voice came across the speakers
"Fuck the plant. This is more important"
<End Snip>

“Smeg...” South sighed, “If this plant is any kind of medicine she can't wait for it. She might –
“Die?” Cass cut him off, “We have no idea if it even is medicinal, and she might die anyways. So get your ass moving and turn off the distress beacon, now!”
“You're asking me to risk the life of someone who needs our help.”
“I don't give a damn! As long as that beacon continues to broadcast, we're all in danger.”
Before South could reply Jay took over from Cassandra, his voice solemnly crackling over the channel. “If the STCP pick up on that transmission, they'll home in on us and kill everyone...if they haven't already found us...”
“What do you mean?” he asked, nervously looking at Boyd in the corner. “Never mind, just turn off that beacon in any way you can. Out.”
The channel went dead and the two looked at each other. “What do you reckon, Boyd?”
“Me?” he inhaled thoughtfully. “I don't much like the idea of time cops bustin' up our ship and us along with it.”
“Dammit....” South rarely felt the need for violence, but this decision as making him angry. “Artemis?” he said after a moment of silence. The Brain's voice came to life. “Yes? Where are you with that plant?”
“We're not coming as quickly as I thought. It'll be a while longer.”
“What are you talking about? You have the plant, bring it here! This girl is dying.”
South clenched his jaw and looked at the ground. “It appears...it appears we have another problem. The distress beacon is still active, we need to shut it down. I'm sorry, but she'll have to hang on for a while longer.”
“Dammit man, she doesn't have time! You saw her readings. Who knows how long she has?”
South turned and looked at Boyd, who gave him a 'wrap it up' expression. He inhaled and started to walk out of the plant room, Boyd followed. “Can you send someone down to get the plant? A skutter maybe?”
“I suppose, but it'll take them time to get there...”
“Do it. Cassandra? Jay?” he asked, switching channels. “Yeah?”
“We're on the way to shut it down.” he looked at his psi-scanner. “The scanner shows a power source 2 levels up, but can't get a fix on what it is. The engines are dead, so can I make a safe guess that the transmitter has it's own emergency power supply?”
“As good a place as any to start. Any costs necessary to turn that beacon off.”
“I think we've established that, thank you.”
South's voice was noticeably laced with restrained anger, more at his situation than the people who had given it to him.
“Artemis, I left the container with the plant, as well as all our seed samples in the grow room we just left. Get someone down here quickly. Don't make me regret my decision...”
“I'm sending someone now.”

* * *

The door to the beacon housing was securely shielded in thick metal casing. “Mr. Weathers, if you will.”
South Motioned for Boyd to start cutting away at the housing for the power supply to the beacon. “No problem” he said and reached in his kit and pulled from it a plasma cutter and started working while South looked around the room. “We found it,” he said walking over to the room's controls. There he saw a poor alien, one of Tu'Vass' people, dead in front of the console. He stepped over the body, trying to get the controls to respond. “The controls seem to be dead locked, I can't operate them. I think it's asking me for a security code.”
“Why don't you ask the alien on board our ship?” asked Boyd. “No time,” Cass' voice came over the channel, “we'd take to long trying to understand her. Besides, what make you think she was important enough to know the ship's security codes?”
Is important enough, Ms. Jones, she isn't dead yet.”
Don't call me that.”
“Boyd is trying to cut into the casing of the power supply now.”
“About that...” he said, the plasma cutter switching off, “I don't think it's working as well as I thought.”
They both looked at the scorch marks on the housing. Burnt, yes, but other wise unharmed. The metal didn't even look hot. “Bad news, or the good news?” South asked, turning back towards the console. “Bad news first.” came the reply. “Bad news is the housing is very resilient to fire. These people are quality engineers.”
“Admire later. Good news?”
“There seems to be a very smashable console in front of us right now, and I think, if this ship has any kind of common sense to it's design, should have some very vulnerable control conduit behind it.”
“Smash it, burn it, then blow it up. Stop that signal.”
“Right you are then. Boyd? Any det. packs in that bag of yours?”
“Uh...nope, don't think so...”
“Well then....”
South walked away for a moment, and returned with two heavy lengths of pipe, handing one to the engineer. “First one to break the radio wins!”
He sung the pipe down with as much force as he could muster and the console sparked. They both battered away on it for several minuets, each taking turns trying to pry the console away from the wall. After a good fifteen minuets, their radios chirped. “What did you do?”
“Smashed it.” Boyd heaved. “And still smashing it.” South was out of breath as well. “Whatever you did seems to have muffled the signal at the very least. It's dropped to a fraction of it's original power. See if you can put it out completely, then see if you can find if there is an armory on the ship.”
The console fell away from the wall and both men cheered. “Sorry,” he exhaled, trying to catch his breath, “didn't catch the last bit. Do it again?”
“I said see if you can find an armory, if they have weapons we might be able to use them.”
“This seems like a science ship, I doubt they have one, but if we find anything we'll grab it.”
The radio squeaked as the channel cleared. “Right, well, Mr. Weathers, let's see if we whip up something to finish off this console, eh?”
“Sounds fun...” he chuckled while they both caught their breath.

Artemis – Who/what did you send for the plants and seeds, and did they pick them up?
Tu'Vass – Even though you're sick, have you picked up the fact that we're in danger, and are you willing to help us? Also, does your ship feature an armory/shipboard weapons, and if so are you willing to help us access it, and what can we expect in there?
Boyd – Any ideas on how we can finish off the beacon console? Whip up a bomb? Smash it it some more? Curse very angrily at it and hope stops?

Phil / Ransom – Any ideas about how to track down the source of the micro-time gates? – How do you achieve it? Ping me an email if you want to know who’s responsible ;-)
South / Boyd - (Taking care of it)
Jade / Artemis / Tu’Vass – Let’s not have an immediate solution to the linguistic difficulties, eh?
What’s the nature of the medical emergency? – What happens if Tu’Vass doesn’t get the plant? – Does it actually help?
Brett – What’s happening with Penny?
<end snip>

<End Tag(s)!>

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