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Old March 26 2013, 10:37 PM   #187
Gibraltar
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UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 7 continued)

Chapter 7 <cont'd>

The other Ferou ships were painfully slow to react to the sudden Romulan assault, and by the time they opened fire on their attackers, the Ferou command ship was already coming apart, wracked by explosive death throes.

Juneau stumbled backward, collapsing awkwardly into the command chair. “Helm, ahead full impulse, get us as close to that ship as possible.” She looked across at the enormous Bolian hunched over the Engineering console. “Ashok, give me something… anything.”

“Still no transporter lock,” he rumbled in his deep basso.

On the viewer, massive detonations began to consume the Ferou vessel, annihilating the ship from the aft forward in great, shuddering spasms of flame and debris.

The deck lurched crazily, nearly throwing Juneau from her seat and causing numerous startled cries throughout the bridge.

“Weapons impact!” Tiedermeyer broadcast from where he clung to the Tactical arch with both hands. “The Ferou have targeted us. Shields holding, but those phasers of theirs pack one hell of a punch.”

“Auxiliary power to shields,” Juneau said breathlessly. “Ashok, I don’t care if you can’t get a solid lock on them, beam out whatever we can get!”

Lightner called back to Juneau from the helm, not daring to take his eyes of his board. “If we lower shields for transport, we’ll be a big fat target for anyone and everyone.”

“Do it!” Juneau overrode him as the forward section of the Ferou command ship began to fly apart. “Drop shields and beam!”

The engineer grunted in reply to Juneau’s order, dropped the shields and executed an area transport, grabbing anything humanoid sized from within the ceremonial chamber. “Energizing… we’ve got—“

Another strike from a Ferou phaser bank impacted Europa amidships, sans shielding. The ship’s ablative armor refracted a portion of the blast as its composite structure fractured under the onslaught of energies, but the remaining collimated beam lanced into the hull.

Bulkheads collapsed, power conduits ruptured, atmosphere boiled into the void, and humanoid flesh vaporized throughout the port sections of Decks five and six.

The blow knocked the ship off course, sending Europa spiraling away in a flat spin amidst the frenetic battle.

Despite being fixed to the command chair by the safety restraints, the impact to the ship had momentarily overpowered the inertial dampers, causing a whip-saw lurch that knocked Juneau unconsciousness for a moment. As she came to, she yelled over the din of alarms and excited comms chatter, “Ashok, do you have them?”

“No,” he replied brusquely, his large hands moving across the surface of his console with speed and precision as he fought to reroute compromised systems and initiate the fire and damage control processes.

“What… what do you mean, ‘no’?” Juneau exclaimed, retracting her safety restraints and rising shakily from her chair.

“Ashok, get me those shields!” Lightner called from Helm as he struggled to regain control of the stricken ship.

At Tactical, Tiedermeyer’s eyes were riveted to the image of the exploding Ferou ship on the main viewer. “She’s going!” he cried, toggling the intraship PA and announcing, “All hands, brace for impact!”

Ashok reinstated the shield grid less than two seconds before the force of the detonation slammed into Europa, this time sending the ship tumbling end over end as all attitude control was lost. On the bridge, personnel clung to whatever consoles or supports were nearest as the inertial dampers fought to prevent the crew from being liquefied by the horrific g-forces.

“Where is the away team?” Juneau screamed above the shriek of stressed hull plating as she clutched a safety railing support

“There was precious little to grab hold of,” Ashok snarled, angered by her continuing interruptions as he was trying to save the ship. “And whatever we managed to get was lost when the port-side transporter buffer was destroyed.”

*****

Romulan Warbird Cinecaar

Xerix studied the three-dimensional battlespace display hovering before him as he called out a litany of orders that send his attack squadron wheeling around for subsequent passes. The Romulans used their superior maneuverability to good effect, darting through the Ferou formation so as to only present a minimal target, and then for only fractions of a second.

The Ferou ships were formidable, but the destruction of their command vessel had panicked the others, and fire discipline was breaking down among them. Powerful weapons strikes meant for Romulan warbirds were striking other Ferou ships, adding to the confusion and mayhem.

Xerix noticed Europa spiraling out of the combat area and inquired, “Status of Federation ship?”

“Seriously damaged, Commander. A significant hull breach, internal fires, power disruptions, minimal shields, and their weapons systems are offline. They present a negligible threat at this time.”

“Continue to press our attack until we force them back into warp.”

*****

The warbird Yowaen decloaked behind the Ferou fleet and proceeded to slalom between the graceful, cigar shaped ships. Her fearsome disruptors dispensed carnage forward as her aft torpedoes accelerated the damage from behind once the attack ship had passed. Imprecise fire from the Ferou only served to traumatize their own sister-vessels further.

A vengeance-seeking Ferou missile weapon finally struck home, flaring impressively against Yowaen’s starboard shields and causing a violent shudder to course through her spaceframe. Her helm officer winged the ship over just in time to avoid follow-on phaser blasts.

As Yowaen heeled hard over and ducked under another Ferou personnel carrier, Masada appeared behind her, once again emblazoned with the holographic registry of USS Gallant. A brief flash was all that announced the deployment of the chronometric weapon that scattered the individual charged particles of the warbird’s shields into the distant past or far future. Less than a second later, Masada’s quantum torpedoes and pulse phasers tore into Yowaen’s naked hull.

The sustained phaser pulses chewed into the interior of the warship, capitalizing on the great chasm opened by the quantum impacts. A final brace of torpedoes unleashed into Yowaen’s innards finished the task, sparking a mighty explosion that sent the forward section and both wings all spinning away on separate trajectories. The burning core of the vessel slammed into a smaller Ferou cargo carrier, and the two vessels, each forged in separate quadrants of the galaxy, died together wreathed in flame.

*****
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