An armada of about six-dozen Klingon warships led by the IKS Negh’Var
patrolled the Sheva system. The patrol was to serve the purpose of reconnaissance, or so the captains of many of the smaller support vessels were told. Of course, the reason why such a large was needed for reconnaissance was to attract the enemy’s attention. If the fleet did attract attention, then that meant something of value was in that solar system. If not the fleet would break into smaller battle groups and move on to the next system.
Lieutenant Leskit monitored enemy fleet communications on the bridge of the Negh’Var
under the command of General Martok. Leskit’s monitor indicated a large number of Jem’Hadar and Cardassian ships moving towards their position, but not in an attack formation. “Some are breaking off and headed towards our position,” Leskit reported, “while the rest are staying in orbit of the second planet.”
“Hold position,” Martok replied. “They may still think they’re chasing sensor ghosts. Make no offensive move until I order.”
Leskit kept his eye on the monitor waiting for the opposing fleet to call for reinforcements. That signaled the Klingon fleet would be drawing ships away from neighboring star systems. He kept a firm hand on his station until red ripples formed on the monitor. “They’re calling for reinforcements,” he said.
“All ships,” said Martok, “assume attack formation.”
The fleet broke off into battle groups six, eight, and ten. Each Negh’Var
class battleships were flanked by two or three Vorcha
-class attack cruisers and a swath of Birds of Prey
. The Negh’Var
’s battle group included the Rotarran
and the Ch’Tang
moved downward to confront Jem’Hadar and Cardassian fighters. The Klingon ships returned the enemy disruptor fire with multi-targeting disruptor shots. A number of Jem’Hadar fighters and battleships plowed into attack cruisers and Birds-of-Prey
in order to buy time for the arrival of reinforcements.
Worf was in command of the Rotarran
as its bridge was rocked violently by enemy weapons. N’Garen pulled herself away from sparks gushing from the weapons station. She kept an eye on the tactical readout and saw that the enemy ship being pursued was gaining distance. Two photon torpedoes from the Rotarran
tore into the aft a Jem’Hadar fighter.
“Helmsman,” Worf bellowed over all the clatter on the bridge, “come to course three-two-six mark two-five. Maximum impulse.”
“Aye, sir,” Ch’Targh replied. “Closing to within forty thousand kelicams
of two Jem’Hadar fighters.”
“Two attack ships approaching from fore and aft,” N’Garen added. “They’re locking plasma torpedoes.”
“All power to dorsal shields,” Worf commanded. “Brace for impact.”
Gray energy projectiles erupted from the attack ships piercing the hull of the Rotarran
. The bridge collapsed when steel girders from the ceiling spilled onto the deck.
“We could find no discernible pattern for these hit-and-run Klingon attacks at first.”
Gul Latham presented a tactical report to his Vorta counterpart Diralna. Most Vorta conducted themselves with a quietly professional, but also arrogant demeanor. They usually dressed very casually, yet modestly. And since all Vorta were clones, they had little, if any, need for sexual activity. The Founders did see some value behind having female Vorta dress provocatively, as Diralna was. By all outward appearances, Latham was not at all distracted by her bright red lipstick, her cleavage, her maroon miniskirt that barely reached her thighs and her knee-high black boots.
“But based on reports of fleet movements in and out of the Borias Cluster,” Latham continued needing to concentrate hard to keep his gaze on Diralna’s pretty face, “we’ve found these attacks may have been intended to leave the Ventani system vulnerable.”
“To what end?” Diralna inquired while slouched on a gray armless sofa. “The Ventani system is a civilian colony a long way from any combat.”
“Perhaps they wish to intimidate us with an attack on Ventani Two,” Latham offered. “The Federation has confined itself to hitting military targets, but the Klingons and the Romulans would not give a second thought to such a brazen move. We need reinforcements in that system.”
“No,” Diralna firmly answered, much to Latham’s surprise.
Surely the Dominion was aware by now of Ventani’s historical significance, and to Latham’s surprise, the Vorta were not willing to commit ships to that system. “Maybe my universal translator is malfunctioning,” he said, indicating the communications pad hooked to his left wrist, “but did you just say you would not send reinforcements to Ventani?”
what I’m saying, Latham. We will not take the bait by wasting resources to protect a strategically worthless planet.”
“Strategically useless to you
,” Latham spat at the attractive Vorta.
Diralna smiled maniacally at Latham and slowly walked one foot in front of the other towards him. “Did you just imply that Cardassia is no longer part of the Dominion?” she asked seductively.
“Of course not,” Latham stuttered, his voice trailing off from her seductive charm.
“Good” Diralna said running her right index finger down the spoon-shaped ridge on Latham’s forehead. “Because we must look forward, not back if our common destinies are to be fulfilled. The only monuments we’ll need are the ones that celebrate our coming victory.”
Diralna began stroking the middle-aged Cardassian’s graying goatee, a rarity among Cardassians. As she arched her head forward to kiss Latham on the lips, Latham raised both hands and shoved Diralna back towards the sofa. He snorted and stormed out of the briefing room, leaving the Vorta in a sitting position on the floor in front of the sofa.