December 2007

Star Fleet Fiction Continued


"But they fought well, Korgan!" shouted Captain Garaan. Suddenly the ship lurched upwards and sparks flew out of the engineering console. "Rupak, damage report!"

Junior Lieutenant Rupak swept away the debris and smoke from his only slightly damaged console. "Captain, they hit us on the #3 shield as you planned ... with their full strike. We have considerable damage to the aft hull sections."

Lieutenant Commander Vedek, the weapons officer, interrupted. "All incoming drones destroyed, Captain!"

"Aft phaser number five destroyed. Minor damage to both warp engines. We've lost the aft tractor; auxiliary power is off line as well. Heavy damage to the shuttle bay!" continued Rupak.

The ship rumbled again taking in a few more phaser hits from the relentless Kzinti.

"Overload two disruptors, phasers at full, target locked.," called out Vedek "waiting for bearing..."

"Waiting on my order," snapped Garaan as he struck the comm button on his command chair. "Engineering, bring the boom impulse engine on line now and begin repairs on phaser number five immediately!"

The stars on the main viewer zipped to the right, revealing a panoramic view of the grand battle they were involved in. The battle between the two fleets had degraded into a close and dangerous melee. The D7B Crusher was spewing fuel from its right warp engine. Despite several huge gashes in its hull, Crusher was tractoring a Kzinti frigate by the scruff of the neck and beating it senseless. Kzinti fighters were buzzing about like dezzikig bugs biting and scratching at targets of opportunity, their drones long gone from their rails.

Garaan leaned forward in his command chair, ready to give the command to fire as soon as the Kzinti battlecruiser came into the arc of his forward weapons. But before that, the C9 Dreadnought 3-Atrocity swung into view. It was turning hard but slow. Approaching it from behind was a charging Kzinti command cruiser. Garaan didn't know why, but the hairs stood up on his neck. He turned quickly to his first officer, who was already speaking to him.

"That Kzinti is going to catch the Atrocity on a down shield, Captain, but the cat has a weak shield to us now at range 6.2 killikams!"

"Helm! Cease turning!" snapped Garaan while he quickly calculated his new course. "Come to zero-zero-two negative six. Execute planned speed increase and move into that command cruiser, now! Weapons Officer, lock target. Use reserves to overload another disruptor!"

A resounding "Aye" came from those ordered, and the Atropos raced forward toward the Kzinti's hind quarter.

Korgan called out the range. "5.8 Killikams ... 5.4 ... 5.0 ... 4.6 killikams!"

Captain Garaan drew a broad toothy grin and commanded "FIRE!"

The Kzinti command cruiser took a hard hit from a perfect strike of four disruptors and three phaser-2s. The crimson cat's left warp engine burst with fire as she shuddered from the blow, venting air and debris, sparks and fire. Still, the wounded cruiser was in fighting form and mad as hell. Garaan had caught her just before she was able to let loose a strike on the Atrocity's down #5 shield. She could still come to bear if he didn't do something quick.

Garaan began a new set of orders.

"Kerdak, maintain speed for eight cycles and then reduce to warp 1.4. Rupak, charge reserves and open circuits to the port tractor. Vedek, arm disruptors to standard and allow engineering the remainder of the power for the #4 shield. That battlecruiser is still out there! We will tractor the command cruiser and keep her from gaining position on the Atrocity. Execute!"

Another resounding call of "Aye" preceded the actions that were ordered and the mayhem that was about to come. The Atropos raced forward against the Kzinti command cruiser and dropped a tractor on her at close range. The tractor wavered, then locked, preventing the ship from gaining a firing line on the Atrocity's unprotected aft quarter. Instead, she fired some phasers into the strong #4 shield; holding her other weapons. At the same time, the Atrocity fired its remaining aft phasers, but this was clearly against a reinforced forward shield and had little effect. The maneuver was a success, but the Atropos was going to pay a huge price for its meddling. The battlecruiser was still on their tail and closing. While the command cruiser seemed to be out of drones, the battlecruiser was not, and it was about to make the Atropos fight for its life.

As the Kzinti battlecruiser's weapons landed on the Atropos the ship rocked sharply and Captain Garaan was thrown from his chair. The helm and weapons officers maintained their positions by holding on to their consoles, but Korgan lost his footing and slid under the bridge railing. Large explosions blasted from various consoles around the bridge, one of which killed Lieutenant Rupak at Engineering. Garaan lifted himself up by the arm of his seat and bellowed "Fire aft phasers!"

Two streaks of phaser energy leapt from the rear ports of the Atropos, lightly scratching at the Kzinti's forward shield. The command cruiser was coming about to face them. still locked in the tractor beam.

Korgan jumped up. "Fire at the drones, you fool!"

Captain Garaan looked at Korgan for a split second and realized he was speaking to the weapons officer. He then ran to the weapons station and pushed Vedek out of his chair; taking the controls himself. He began to line up the drones in the sights of the forward phasers. The anti-drone rack had been emptied during the long battle, and no other weapons had cycled from their last firing. Garaan, who (like all captains) had once been a weapons officer, knew he would have only a split second between when the phasers completed arming and the impact of the drones.

Korgan staggered to his tactical console. "Command cruiser is coming about and bringing disruptors to bear. The battlecruiser is turning away and taking fire from the Courageous."

"Turn two more degrees starboard, Kerdak," Garaan ordered tensely. The four drones were closing in and if he missed they were all dead. He gritted his teeth and began to growl then...

Three phaser-2s lanced out of their turrets on the underside of the forward command section and under the aft hull, hitting three of the drones sending them into oblivion with a bright flash. The fourth drone raced under the ship and exploded near the lower hull plating with a blinding white light. Pieces of the Atropos' hull plating and parts of its right warp engine were ripped instantly from the ship as the explosion tore into its body with unbridled ferocity.

Korgan was again thrown to the floor and covered with pieces of the bridge that were blown from the walls. Several power conduits had overloaded and burst. He quickly pushed aside the debris and returned to his post. The command cruiser was about to bring the Atropos into its disruptor arc, and that would be the final blow. "Captain, we are done for! The command cruiser is about..."

"The captain is dead!" called out Lieutenant Commander Vedek. He was holding the Garaan's lifeless body in his arms; a large piece of steel was lodged in the back of his head.

Korgan felt a shock run through his entire body, but he knew what he had to do. He ran to the engineering console, but it was smashed. He was sure the boom section was too damaged to escape, so there was only one thing to do. He turned to Lieutenant Kurdar at communications and waved his hand. Kurdar also knew what to do and put Korgan on ship-wide communications.

"This is Commander Korgan, the acting Captain. All hands abandon ship! Abandon ship!"

Everyone on the bridge got up to leave but Korgan grabbed Kerdak and pulled him close. "Not you. We have one more duty to perform!" Kerdak nodded and returned to his helm, while Korgan took his place at weapons.

"The tractor is gone and the command cruiser is closing to point blank range," said Kerdak, who had little else to do after turning the ship to line up on the cat. There were still a few weapons left on Atropos, and she would spit her last breath at the approaching cat before dying.

"Two point four killikams," said Korgan with his hand poised over the button that would execute his firing orders. "Two point two..."

Simultaneously disruptor fire sprang out of both ships and found their targets. Explosions erupted throughout the Atropos as her hull began to give way to the vacuum of space. Korgan and Kerdak let out cheers of Kai! as they watched, during their final moments on the Atropos, the Direslayer sweep in and strike an additional powerful blow on and through the Kzinti's flank shield, blowing the port wing completely off. Suddenly there was a large explosion behind Korgan, and then the two courageous warriors were consumed by sparkly white light.

Medical Lab aboard the D7C 8-Direslayer
Two Days Later

"Wake up you lazy T'arg, you!" was the first thing Korgan heard as he struggled to peel open his burning eyes. The figure before him wasn't too difficult to identify even though he could only make out his silhouette.

"Com ... Commodore Korath ... Sir?" said Korgan with a grumbled voice. He didn't know if he was living or dead.

"Ha, once again I've snatched you from oblivion, Korgan!" Korath said as he snapped his fist closed in front of him then grabbed Korgan by the shoulder; right on the one spot on that arm that was most burned and Korgan, in his weakened state, couldn't help but wince. "And again, my young fellow, you have done your duty to my satisfaction. I need you to stop wasting time, however, with all this sleeping. You can sleep when you are dead, so hurry up and get in shape!"

Korath gave Korgan one last slap on the burned shoulder and left the sick bay.

Korgan was blinking his eyes, trying to focus on something, when the doctor stepped up and leaned over him. "I'm Chief Medical Officer Hurg R'akmon. You are in my care on board the IKV Direslayer." He looked into Korgan's eyes and waved a medical scanner over them. He then picked up a cylinder of eye drops and squeezed a few into Korgan's eyes. This made them clear up and feel a lot better. "I know you feel like it, but it's not your time to die, Korgan. Not today and not two days ago. You and fifty-two others have had that fate postponed for a while since that man ordered the evacuation assist for the Atropos."

Korgan took in a rumbling breath and tried to sit up but the doctor pushed him back down on the bed.

"I've got work to do on you yet, so don't get up. The Commodore can see you tomorrow but today you stay here. If you don't give me any trouble, I'll make you feel a lot better. Got that?"

Korgan nodded as best he could. His throat hurt but he could not help but to ask "Doctor ... the battle. What? Who?"

Doctor Hurg shook his head and rolled his eyes "A warrior through and through, I see. We ended the battle with a victory and sent most of the bloodied furballs back to Kzintai, but I'm sure we will be seeing them again very soon. Now lie still and shut up!"