Bridge, USS Fox
Authors: Cmdr. Alenis Meru, Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Rouse, Lt. (JG) Jason Beauvoir, Lt. (JG) Brad Silverton, Lt. (JG) R'vahis
It was quiet when the Fox dropped out of warp. Too quiet. The Orion raiding vessel which was visible on long range sensors only a moment before was gone. The only ship on sensors was the beat up Bolian transport off the port bow.
“Reporrrrt!” called out Captain S’rress. “Where are the Orrrrions?”
“I don’t know, they were on sensors a minute ago!” An exasperated young Betazoid manning the ops station tried frantically to scan for anything unusual.
What he didn’t know was that the asteroids off to the starboard had an abnormally high concentration of Iridium, which gave off just enough radiation to conceal an Orion cruiser. And in the few brief seconds that the sensors of the Fox were blinded by the collapsing warp field around the ship, Vike had taken the opportunity to preserve the element of surprise. With a quick warp jump into his hiding place, Vike prepared an ambush for the approaching Starfleet vessels.
“Captain!” he gasped, seeing the red dot appear on his scanners. But it was too late; before S’rress even turned to face him, the ship was rocked by the powerful forward-firing weaponry of Vike’s raiding cruiser.
“Evasive maneuvers!” demanded S’rress as the ship rocked and the lights on the bridge flickered. “Return fire, attack pattern beta-four!”
Bridge, USS Portland
By the time the Portland dropped out of warp a moment later, the USS Fox was deep in battle with the Orions and it wasn't doing well. Vike's initial volley had done a number on the shields of the Fox, and Alenis wasn't sure if the Portland, with so many of its phaser banks online, could turn the tide.
At least, not until Tuesday when the remaining phaser banks would be installed.
Still, she had to try. "Helm, bring us in closer, attack pattern Delta two. Tactical, fire at will, all available weapons."
When the Captain gave the orders to engage, Jason braced himself for another battle. As Chief Science Officer there wasn't much for him to officially do, but he did have access to the non-tactical sensors and he'd learnt to keep a watchful eye on the sensors for anything that might give his ship an advantage.
As the Portland closed in, her few remaining phaser banks lit up, firing away at the Orion ship. But it was to little avail, Vike's ship was just too powerful and his shields brushed off the . Realizing that the Portland, with half its phaser banks offline, could do little more than serve as a distraction, Vike pressed his attack on the Fox.
Bridge, Orion Cruiser
Second in Command Schaezel watched the battle on the main display. The Portland was of no threat to them and Vike had given the order to concentrate on the Fox. Schaezel turned to his station and got back to his task.
"Schaezel to Chokar. Report!"
On the thin and scrawny human's display appeared a one eyed klingon. Scars covering his face and his dead eye healed over with thick scar tissue denoting his many battles as much as his gray hair denoted his advanced age. Phaser fire shot past his head though he didn't so much as flinch.
"Chokar here. We beamed over before our ship hid in the asteroid field. There is more resistance here then we thought for a freighter but only light weapons. They're holed up pretty tightly but nothing we can't handle."
Schaezel nodded and replied, "The Federation has arrived. They aren't much threat but we do need to hurry. I'm afraid no time to toy with prisoners this time my friend."
The Klingon sneered in disappointment. "Understood. We'll make it quick but flashy and loud." Chokar lifts into view a heavy shoulder cannon. "The Federation might detect us so be quick about your work and be ready to beam us out of here before they can get to us. Chokar out."
Bridge, USS Fox
"Shields at 23%!" shouted Lt. Broxx, the tactical officer of the USS Fox. "We can't take much more of this!"
"Increase power to facing shields." S'rress remained seated in her command chair. Though her eyes remained fixated on the screen, she was able to process the various status reports from tactical, operations and helm, and shout her orders loud enough that the entire bridge could hear them over the explosions. "Evasive pattern epsilon three. Prepare aft torpedoes for--"
Violently, the ship was tossed about, faster than the inertial dampeners could react. Left and right, crewmen were tossed about, either thrown into the air by the ship's sudden movement, or blown into the air by exploding consoles.
"Report!" shouted an injured S'rress. Her arm was broken when she was flung across the bridge, but she didn't have time to focus on it now.
"Direct hit, captain!" The young betazoid scampered to his console, crawling over the unconscious body of Broxx. "Hull breaches, multiple decks. Emergency force fields are holding. Warp and impulse reactors are down, we've got auxiliary power only. Casualty reports are coming in!"
Bridge, USS Portland
As the left nacelle of the USS Fox flew across her viewscreen, Alenis knew that everything was up to the Portland. She couldn't retreat and leave the Fox and the Asmi at the hands of Vike. And she couldn't fight Vike with half of her phaser arrays sitting in the cargo bay awaiting installation. She was left with only one option, and she hoped to the prophets that it would work. If it didn't, her command would be very short-lived.
"Mr. Rouse, hold your fire. Helm, bring us in closer. Mr. R'vahis, prepare Mongoose for firing."
On the viewscreen, the Orion vessel turned to face the Portland.
Bridge, Orion Vessel
“The Fox is disabled, shall I finish her off?” asked Schaezel, hunched over the weapons console.
“No!” shouted Vike in a firm voice. “A disabled Federation starship is more useful to us alive, as a hostage. Concentrate fire on the Portland.”
“Aye,” replied Schaezel, saddened that he was robbed of the opportunity to finish off the target.
Bridge, USS Portland
As the Portland closed in on Vike’s cruiser, it was bombarded by blasts of green energy. The two ships were closing head on, and both sides knew that the cruiser had stronger forward shields and more powerful forward weaponry. The Portland shook violently as it absorbed blow after blow from the Orion cruiser.
Alenis stared at the screen, waiting for the right moment.
“Shield holding, but down to 25 percent. We can’t hold this much longer” Tim said from the tactical station, the last intended as a plea for the Captain to do something about it.
"Mongoose is rrready, Commander." The caitian officer offered as the ship rocked under its bombardment. "Re-rrrouting excess auxillary power to shields."
"Might I remind you that Mongoose is a highly experimental--"
“Not the time, Shras," replied Alenis, dismissing him with a wave of the hand. "Steady as she goes,” muttered Alenis as the Portland closed. As she focused on the screen, watching the green bursts of energy impact her shields, she was nearly rocked out of her chair with Ko-ko by a particularly violent hit. They weren’t quite at optimal range yet, but she knew it was now or never. “Now, Mr. Rouse, fire!”
Tim fired as mentioned and saw the stasis field envelop the Orion ship, trapping it in a stasis bubble and draining its power. “Stasis field holding”
“Gotcha,” muttered Alenis. “Do we have any weapons online?”
“All weapons are offline” Tim muttered, seriously not liking project Mongoose. “We should have some axes and swords in the armory, we can always throw them at the enemy,” he continued on a soft tone.
Alenis sighed. “So, what you’re saying is that we’re both disabled?”
"To add to the fun," R'vahis said, half turning, "At our current rate of energy usage, the transporters are completely unsafe to use. They do not have enough energy to maintain rrreliable signatures in the buffers."
“Okay, I need some ideas, fast.” Alenis desperately tried to think of something, anything, that they could do. They couldn’t maintain the stasis field forever, and when it came down, the Orions would unleash all their firepower and surely destroy the Portland. “We’re disabled and so is the Fox. We need to hit them hard, before Mongoose drains all our energy.”
“We could go over there and surprise them,” Tim said out loud to his own surprise.
Alenis turned to her executive officer. “What do you mean?”
Tim thought for a moment. “We can take a shuttle. Shuttles aren’t affected by the stasis field and the power drain, right? We can fire on them, they have no way of defending themselves at the moment”
“A shuttle won’t have enough firepower,” replied Alenis. But it gave her an idea. “Unless… Mr. Rouse, how would you like to be the next captain of the USS Quebec City?”
Tim looked up, not understanding what the Captain meant. Then it hit him. “The Quebec City can be run by only a few people. We’ll go there by shuttle.” He said as he mentioned a tactical officer to take over. “He looked over the bridge for a second to decide who to take with him. “Zade, Beauvoir, you’re with me!”
"Aye, sir." Jason said locking down his station and trying to keep the smile off his face. 'Action at last.' He thought.
While the tactical changes were taking place, R'vahis manipulated the ship's energy output and called out, "Compensating for energy drrrain as much as I can, forward shields now at 36%, Commander. Aft at 20%. 'Best I can do, and therrre's no guarantee it'll last."
"Mr. R'vahis, throw in everything but the kitchen sink. We need every second we can get. Mr. Rouse... please hurry."
Capt. Alenis Meru