Aurellan Markalis administered Lisa Neeley another dose of platelets, applying a hypospray to the patient’s abdomen. She then took another look at the portable electrocardiogram monitor on which young human male intern kept his focus the entire time the chief medical officer tried to keep the lieutenant alive. Markalis shook her head in frustration, having seen no change in the readings. She then applied a laser dermal regenerator to the part of the wound not obstructed by the girder.
Neeley had lost consciousness long before the medical team had arrived, having already lost a considerable amount of blood. Morrison was in the process of using a phaser to vaporize the girder a little bit at a time after he had determined that doing so would not cause more of the ceiling to give way. No work crews were available to remove it, and Aurellan had determined that leaving the impaling object in was the safer course of action in the short run. “Blood pressure still seventy over twenty,” the intern grimly reported. “Pulse still thready, synaptic responses still failing.”
“Increase blood oxygenation to eleven PSI,” Markalis instructed her subordinate.
The intern tapped a few buttons on the blood-gas infuser attached to Lisa’s right temple. “No change,” he said nervously, both his eyes wide with both fear and disbelief.
Aurellan handed him a set of cardiac inducers to place on Lisa’s chest while requesting a cortical stimulator from a Denobulan female nurse. “We’ll start twenty percent with five cc’s cordrazine,” she told her assistants. She then administered the drug, but saw little change. “Come on,” she grumbled. “Thirty percent.”
Another pulse from the cortical stimulators on Lisa’s forehead through her nervous system still had no effect on the EKG readings. Aurellan then unzipped Lisa’s uniform jacket and tunic and tore open her undershirt just enough to expose the middle of her chest. She thrusted both her hands on the patient’s heart. As she learned from med school and residency supervisors, non-technological means would sometimes help when technology was not helping. As counter-intuitive as that often sounded, manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation often worked as a last ditch solution. After exhaling into Lisa’s mouth five times, Aurellan saw that it had no effect. Another CPR cycle was unsuccessful, as were two more after that. The EKG readout was still flat lining.
Markalis took a few slow deep breaths in preparation for the part of her job she always dreaded. “Time of death,” she began.
“No!” Morrison interrupted. He removed what was left of the girder from Neeley’s abdomen and then shoved Markalis aside. “Don’t you die on me as well,” he hissed, thrusting Lisa’s chest with more vigor than Aurellan did.
Aurellan gathered herself, kneeling upright and clasping Mandel’s left shoulder to coax him away from the deceased. “Morrison,” she insisted. “She’s gone.”
“Not if I have anything to say about,” Mandel shot back, still thrusting Lisa’s chest and breathing into her mouth. “Come on. Come on!” He then yanked another hypospray loaded with blood plasma off its rack and injected it into her carotid artery. Aurellan gestured her two assistants to stay out of his way. She simply increased power to the blood-gas infuser while both hopeful and afraid for how long Morrison try to revive a person who was all but declared dead.
Morrison kept this up for several minutes, even throwing his fist down on Neeley’s left shoulder to stimulate blood flow. Almost without warning, Lisa let out a loud sustained cough. Aurellan was beside herself with shock and did not move for several seconds. This person should not have been alive, but she was by all appearances. Just a few moments earlier, Mandel refused to accept Lisa was dead. Aurellan was now uncertain whether or not Lisa was really alive. The tricorder and the EKG readout indicated she was alive. Aurellan just continued applying a dermal regenerator to the wound while staring in silent shock.
A wing of twelve Akira
-class ships accompanied by fifteen fighter shuttles moved in on the lone Dominion heavy cruiser on fast approach towards Starbase G-6. The heavy cruiser fired swarms of plasma torpedoes at the fighter shuttles as they sped up towards it. Three of the shuttles were destroyed before they could even get off a shot while the other twelve fired both phasers and quantum torpedoes, which did rather insignificant damage to the cruiser’s aft hull. The shuttles veered away while the Akiras
swooped in firing torpedoes at the vast enemy ship’s port and starboard warp nacelles.
To the Dominion cruiser’s port, a D’Deridex
-class Romulan warbird, flanked by two Morgai
-class warbirds, decloaked firing both disruptors and photonic torpedoes. On the starboard side, a Vorcha
-class Klingon attack cruiser and two Birds-of-Prey
employed the same maneuver. Without even slowing down, the heavy cruiser fired torpedoes from all sides, destroying the two Birds
and the Morgai
warbird to the D’Deridex’s
port. The other Morgai
had taken considerable damage to its forward primary while ramming a section of the hull where the shields were at its weakest. The ensuing explosion put a huge hole in the hull, but that did not slow it down.
The twelve Akiras
, meanwhile, had veered out of the heavy cruiser’s weapon range and swooped back in with another volley of phasers and torpedoes. Again, no significant damage was done other than weakening its shields. More swarms of plasma torpedoes tore into the attacking ships. All six Romulan and Klingon ships were destroyed while the remaining Starfleet vessels were falling almost one at a time. With the wing of Akiras
and fighter shuttles down to half of what it initially was, the surviving ships laid down cover fire while moving off before they all streaked to warp speed.
Ronnie Kozar had set up a conference call with Admiral Jellico and Captain Maxwell in the observation lounge. Of immediate concern was what to do about the Dominion heavy cruiser on its way to Starbase G-6 with very little opposition. From the reports the three ship commanders had received in the last hour, what was left of Alliance ships at Zhamur was unable to even slow down the heavy cruiser. It would just fire swarms of plasma torpedoes damaging and destroying attacking ships as easily as swatting a mosquito. “How long before it reaches the starbase?” Kozar inquired, even though he knew the answer to that question an hour earlier. Even in his adult years, hearing these kinds of time intervals on multiple occasions put his mind at ease and he did not have to implement too many last minute changes of plans.
Maxwell somberly replied through an otherwise eerily quiet environment in all three meeting rooms. “The
Endurance, and what’s left of
Akira-wings three, seven, and fourteen will intercept in roughly fifteen minutes. We can’t promise anything, but one thing’s for sure. It’ll take a hell of a lot more than a few ships firing graviton pulses at that thing. And who is to say they haven’t already found a defense against that tactic?”
“You do what you can, Ben,”
Jellico instructed. “Right now, it’s all we can do to try to delay it as long as possible while we pull ships from the Eighth and Twelfth Fleets off other battle fronts. The commander of the Tenth Fleet is concerned that it may drastically undermine a delicate operation about to be carried out in the Beta Veldonna system.”
“Limis’s mission,” Kozar said in recollection of the details of his CO’s mission to Sentok Nor in orbit of Betazed.
“The very same,”
the admiral confirmed.
“Then you can tell Admiral Pierce that we are all in this together,” Kozar snapped, “and that if Starbase G-6 falls, our ability to conduct the Kalandra Campaign would also be drastically undermined.”
Jellico shot back while his teeth, trying to keep from chastising the commander for his insolence, as it would not be productive at this moment. “And he assures me his operation is just as important.”
“Understood,” Kozar relented.
“Good luck, Captain Maxwell,”
Jellico said in a calmer tone.
Maxwell signed off. His image was briefly replaced by a Starfleet insignia on the right side of the video monitor. “Commander Kozar,”
Jellico added, his face occupying the whole screen. “What’s your ship’s status?”
“We’re still in pretty bad shape, sir,” Kozar somberly replied, considering the great many people on the Lambda Paz
dead or missing as a result of the last attack. “We’ve got crews working around the clock to get warp drive and weapons in working order.”
“Do what can so that you and the rest of your wing that intercept that heavy cruiser. Get it done. Jellico out.”
Kozar stared at the blank screen as he considered the arduous tasks ahead. He was alone with his thoughts when the doorbell chimed. “Come?” he said, as if welcoming the visit.
Chaz Logan and Erhlich Tarlazzi entered the briefing room from the bridge once the doors parted. Kozar’s enthusiasm was quickly tempered upon seeing the acting executive officer and secondary chief engineer. “What do you have, gentlemen?” he grimly inquired.
“We’re rushing repairs on the warp drive,” said Logan, “but it’s tough going. We should have Warp Four in less than an hour, but that’s not enough to intercept the heavy cruiser in time. I’d still rather be rebuilding the coil assembly at a shipyard.”
“We don’t have that luxury,” Kozar plainly stated. “We need every intact ship we can spare to stop that heavy cruiser. Mister Tarlazzi, make weapons and shields a priority as well.”
“Aye, sir,” Tarlazzi said with a firm nod. “I’ve been working on a way of enhancing the efficiency of the dilithium and antimatter regulators. If it works, I should give you Warp Eight for a few hours. That should be enough to intercept the cruiser with time and a half to spare.”
“Do you what you have to do, Lieutenant,” Kozar instructed, “don’t let any safety protocols stop you from shunting as much power to the nacelle’s emitters.”
“With all due respect, sir…” Logan started to say when Tarlazzi cut him off.
“I’d still be comfortable with help from Lieutenant sh’Aqba and her work crews,” Tarlazzi offered. “Where is she, by the way?”
“She was trapped in a cargo bay during the last attack,” Kozar answered. “The crews we can spare are trying to locate anyone missing in that section. For now, you are to operate on the assumption that Lieutenant sh’Aqba is not available to help you.”
“I understand, sir,” Tarlazzi said, lowering his head hoping that his colleague was still alive and that he would see her again. The last time they had crossed paths while off duty, Shinar told him he wasn’t her type. He had hoped to court her, but was mostly intending to offer his friendship to someone who had seemed very moody the last few days. She seemed more interested in the Klingon with whom she was arm wrestling before the Lambda Paz
departed Starbase G-6. That was okay by him, as long as their awkwardness from their last encounter wouldn’t ultimately be unfinished business.
“Sir,” Logan interjected again, “we risk blowing this ship to pieces with all this jury-rigging.”
“And we may get blown to pieces trying to stop the most advanced Dominion warship,” Kozar added. “I know this ship is your baby, Logan. But we need every available resource at our disposal to keep us losing one of our central starbases. And you have responsibilities to many other ships. I would suggest you attend to them and not worry so much about one
ship. Is that understood?”
“Yes, sir,” Logan replied, standing at attention.
Logan made a swift beeline for the door and stepped onto the bridge, once again leaving Kozar to consider the heavy losses that he would incur before the end of this day.