And the windows of heaven were opened.
And the rain was upon the Earth
Forty days and forty nights
The Daxura system contained three different asteroid belts, and the denseness of those asteroid belts created high levels of gravimetric and electromagnetic energy that impaired communications and sensors. The Jem’Hadar and Breen had hoped to use that to their advantage in order to sneak up on unsuspecting targets, not to mention close quarters. Federation and allied forces had the same tactic in mind by positioning ships deep inside the asteroid field. The Dominion’s counter-move was to try to pin Federation Alliance ships in the asteroid field by firing blindly in order to prevent any ships from sneaking up on them.
Jem’Hadar and Breen fighters were effortlessly shooting at asteroids while also firing at Starfleet Akira and Steamrunner
class light cruisers and Klingon Birds-of-Prey
, making maneuverability through the debris increasingly difficult. The Starfleet and Klingon ships return fire doing minor damage to the attacking fighters while gliding around asteroids to avoid scattering debris. Some Jem’Hadar fighters plowed into enemy ships, destroying both the target and attacking ships. Other wings of Jem’Hadar and Breen fighters and attack cruisers swooped in from all angles in order to try to pin the ships deep in the asteroid field.
Commander Ronnie Kozar looked up from his display panel on the left of his chair on the bridge of the Lambda Paz
. “The ships are signaling for us to proceed,” he informed Captain Limis.
Limis accessed the tactical readouts on her display panel and turned her attention the helm. “Helm, set course three-four mark six-seven. Attack pattern omega two-four,” she instructed. “All weapons ready. Signal Luna
wings two, four, and six to follow us in.”
Lieutenant Willis Huckaby entered a set of commands to send ship-to-ship signals. “I’m having trouble getting through to a few of the ships,” he said with a slight hesitation. Nearly all the other bridge officers looked up with alarm. “Hold on, I think I’ve compensated,” he added, eliciting a sigh of relief. “Message received.”
“Don’t scare us like that again, Lieutenant,” Limis scoffed in silent annoyance. “Prometheus
wings, try to pick off as many of the attacking fighters as you can. Use multi-vector assault mode at your discretion. Derna
, take point with your wings and take on the larger attack cruisers. Give our ships maneuvering room through the asteroid field.”
report ready, sir,” Morrison informed the captain.
“All ships,” Limis commanded, “fire a full spread of phasers and quantum torpedoes.”
led the way into the asteroid field, rapidly firing phasers and quantum torpedoes at attacking fighters. It and the other Prometheus
-classes concentrated torpedoes on the center ships of each wave of Jem’Hadar fighters while firing phasers at the outer ships.
With the Lambda Paz
, and Callisto
in the lead, wings of Luna
-class ships fired heavy swarms of phasers and quantum torpedoes at Dominion and Breen attack cruisers along the outer periphery of the asteroid belt, inflicting heavy damage on the ships in the center. Enemy ships on the port and starboard perimeters broke off and moved in for another pass, firing swarms of disruptors and plasma torpedoes destroying two ships and significantly damaging three others, giving time for the others to fire their reserves.
The bridge of the Lambda Paz
rocked and consoles exploded. The officer at the port mission ops managed to dodge sparks from his console.
“They’re still closing,” Morrison called out.
“Keep our bow on the center ships,” Kozar snapped. “And fire another spread.”
Morrison entered a firing sequence to carry out that order. “Moderate to severe damage on the ships to our port and starboard sides. The center ships are coming in a little bit closer.”
“Take them out any way you can,” Limis replied.
The Lambda Paz
’s dorsal phasers fired at an attack cruiser that was within a hair of the forward saucer section, leaving significant burn marks on that portion of the hull.
“Got him,” Morrison said in a brief moment of triumph. “Here come a few more.”
The bridge rocked as four Breen fighters fired at close range. Phasers clipped the four ships, which then spread further apart and took turns firing.
“I’m picking up two more squadrons of Jem’Hadar and Breen attack cruisers,” Huckaby interjected, “closing three-two-six mark two-seven-one.”
“Time to summon the rest of the cavalry,” Limis declared.
-class attack cruiser, supported by three Klingon Birds-of-Prey
, and a D’Deridex
warbird, supported by four starbirds, uncloaked within a few feet of their respective targets, both Jem’Hadar attack cruisers with weapons hot. They blew the enemy ships to pieces before they could get off a shot. Additional attack cruisers and warbirds uncloaked just outside the asteroid field.
As the rest of the two squads continued moving in, a Negh’Var
-class and Raptora
-class heavy cruiser uncloaked and picked off supporting fighters and attack cruisers while attempting to slow down the two Jem’Hadar heavy cruisers and two Breen heavy cruisers.
Yelgrun was befuddled by what was transpiring. By all reports regarding the combined gravitational pull given off by Daxura system’s asteroid belts and high electromagnetic activity, cloaking a ship would not make it invisible to sensors.
“Where did those ships come from?” he demanded, flipping aside his eyepiece.
“They just uncloaked, sir,” Torgroth stammered.
“I know they uncloaked,” the senior Vorta snapped, “but why didn’t we detect them before? The high gravimetric and electromagnetic fields should render their cloaking technology useless. The entire area would be flooded with saturated tachyon particles.”
“They must have enhanced their nullifier cores,” Torgroth nervously surmised.
“Of course,” Yelgrun snorted.
Despite his experience and those of his previous clones, he still doubted that they could have come up with a solution so fast without much study of these asteroid belts, possibly as a result of all that genetic conditioning. “Tell the rest of the ships to flood the area with ionizing radiation,” he suggested. “That should allow us to locate some residual subspace inertial displacement patterns.”
The rest of the Starfleet battle group that had been holding position on the solar system’s outer perimeter joined the battle as well. Waves of Excelsior
-class ships fired at the incoming reinforcements from behind. Supporting them were squads of Miranda
-classes. Several of the attack cruisers were damaged or destroyed while the shields of the heavy cruisers absorbed torpedo hits.
“Fifteen more ships destroyed,” Morrison reported. “Dozens more heavily damaged.”
“Signal all remaining ships to form up outside the asteroid belt,” Limis answered, “and fire everything they have.”
The ships still standing formed up in five columns, firing phasers and torpedoes in alternating rounds. Back and forth, ships on both sides fired endless volleys, but the Jem’Hadar and Breen were losing fighters twice as fast as Federation Alliance ships. The heavy cruisers’ plasma torpedoes inflicted damage on some of the larger ships, but they kept coming whether they have functioning shields or not. Wings of Excelsior
, and Luna
-class ships fired dorsal phasers at the heavy cruisers while concentrating on the closer vessels. Many Jem’Hadar and Breen fighters that were intact, but without weapons, plowed into oncoming ships. Numerous Klingon Birds-of-Prey
and Romulan starbirds employed the same kamikaze
Most of the Federation Alliance was able to penetrate the line of enemy vessels with a wave of vessels ready to take the heavy cruisers head on.
“We’ve managed to punch a hole in one cruiser’s shields,” Morrison announced.
“Target torpedo tubes two and three,” Kozar instructed.
The Lambda Paz
and two other Luna
-classes swarmed in on one heavy cruiser and fired quantum torpedoes that inflicted heavy damage on the forward hull. Three Nebulas
and five Akiras
then moved in and fired torpedoes at the other three heavy cruisers. The remaining fighters and attack cruisers gathered up alongside the four heavy cruisers and all the ships quickly streaked into warp.
And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the Earth
And all the high hills
That were under the whole heaven
A wing of Starfleet vessels led by the Constantinople
was having very little trouble taking out Cardassian destroyers. A few Miranda
-class ships spiraled out of control after two Galor
-class ships fire dorsal phasers at their saucer sections.
-class ships fired phasers and torpedoes in alternating rounds, inflicting minor damage to two Galor
-class warships and destroying a few swarms of Hideki
-class fighters. Torpedoes from a Dracon
-class capital ship clipped both ships’ forward saucer section while knocking off one ship’s dorsal sensor pod.
flanked by two Galaxy
-classes, fired phasers at the CUW Pakar
and the two flanking Galors
, while firing ventral phasers and aft torpedoes on the fly-by.
The bridge of the Constantinople
rocked back and forth. Jeth’ron looked up from the tactical station and reported. “Direct hit on our aft ventral phaser array.”
Ellison nodded in acknowledgement and turned his attention to the forward conn and ops stations. “Reroute auxiliary power through secondary circuits,” he commanded.
Truxia, a middle-aged Denobulan female at ops entered commands into her console to try to carry out that order. “Controls are fused,” she informed the first officer.
“Bring us about, helm, course two-one-oh mark three-six,” Jellico snapped while tapping the right keypad at the end of his chair’s armrest. “Mister Jeth’ron, fire dorsal phasers at twenty-three degree elevation.”
continued firing at the Pakar
as it was picking up speed. Two Galor
-class warships fired from port and starboard at the Constantinople
and the two flanking Galaxy
-classes, as did waves of Hideki
-class fighters. About a dozen other Cardassian vessels converged on one position and streaked into warp.
But even as the Cardassian warships were moving off, three small spherical devices closed in on two unsuspecting Nebula
-class ships, homing in on their impulse wakes. The spheres lit up and exploded, severely damaging the ventral hulls of both ships. Similar mines detonated throughout the immediate vicinity, severely damaging or destroying a large number of Nebulas
that were flanking larger ships. The worst the larger ships took was some chafing on the hull.
On Ellison’s tactical display, several Cardassian logos were moving out of sensor range. “Looks like they’re withdrawing, sir,” he reported. But then the bridge lurched in both directions. “What the hell’s going on?” he wondered aloud.
“I’m not sure,” Jeth’ron answered while trying to make sense of all the new information that was on his sensor display. “It appears several dozen mines have detonated. Commander Truxia, did passive scans indicate any subspace spikes that are usually associated with ‘Houdinis’?”
Truxia attempted to access the relevant information on her console. “Just give me a minute to run through the sensor logs,” she said while tapping different keys “… no, none at all.”
Jellico rose from his chair and sighed in frustration. “Then, at the risk of stating the obvious,” he announced to the entire bridge crew, “we’re dealing with a different kind of mine that’s just as stealthy. Everyone, we need to find out where the hell these things came from and to develop a countermeasure. You have the bridge, Keith. I’ll be in my ready room on comm with Starfleet Command.”
Jellico slowly sauntered towards the starboard door that lead to the ready room, trying to keep his head up around the rest of his crew. The doors slid open at the exact second that the young woman manning the conn called to him. “Sir, do we stay here,” she inquired, “or withdraw to our fallback position?”
Jellico silently cursed himself for forgetting that this girl flying his ship, despite her great skill as a combat pilot, was still very inexperienced. “I don’t want to risk hitting any more mines,” he gently informed Ensign Nave. “We’re holding position here,” he added in a firmer tone with the rest of the bridge crew. “Ensign Herron, signal the rest of our ships to do the same. Maintain continuous yellow alert. You all have a job to do before the next engagement. Just get it done, people.”