Bridge, Kazon-Degra Destroyer Draxorr
En Route to the Ocampa System, Delta Quadrant
The dual-levelled bridge of Maje Nekahr flagship was filled to capacity. From the command gangway, he could look down upon his crew as he led them into their latest battle. None of them knew what to expect but they would all be out for victory, or else they would suffer his wrath for their failure.
Even after ordering his scouts into the system to learn more of the situation, they could report back nothing more than their initial sweeps. The station remained in orbit above the mining outpost, but there were no lifesigns on the surface, no ships providing protection, no signals or links between the new station and the Ocampa who lived beneath the surface. There had been a few shuttles over the last two days, but they too had stopped. All scans of the station refused to give any hint as to their weaponry.
They would soon find out what the station could do. Nehakr was leading nine destroyers and seventy-three attack ships (three-quarters of the Kazon-Degra armada) towards Ocampa, all under orders to succeed. It was a risky manoeuvre as it left their other holdings vulnerable from neighbouring Sects, but he wanted to show all those who would oppose them just what they would face if they tried to do what the Ocampa had somehow managed.
“Time,” he bellowed.
“We will enter the system in forty-two tahks,” the navigator responded instantly.
They still had some time until they reached the planet, not much but enough to ensure everything was ready for the battle they would soon begin. He had to show the Degra’s strength, so he knew that the station would be destroyed. Part of him was even considering opening up the ground and bombarding the underground cities of the Ocampa from orbit, wiping them out once and for all. The men who worked the mines always looked forward to finding the occasional stray female, making the most of her until her final breathe, but that was no reason to keep the troublesome species around. Eradicating the Ocampa would give them sole control of the facilities and supplies under the surface, including its abundant source of water.
“Order all ships to run final weapons checks and then move into formation. We will open fire as soon as we drop out of warp.”
“Yes Maje,” stated the communications operator.
Administration Centre, Ocama City Station
In orbit of Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
Tanis was concerned. Ever since their encounter with Daggin three days ago, he hadn’t seen or sensed Kes. She had disappeared into a blinding ball of light she created from inside her own body, and he had felt something so bizarre he still couldn’t give it words. The closest he could come to describing the sensation was like an infant in the womb, feelings of such contentment that it could melt even the coldest hearted to tears.
Even with her silence, he still couldn’t sense Susperia; so he suspected that Kes was still alive and had just gone off somewhere to recuperate—as she had done after moving the City Station into the orbit of their ancestral homeworld. But still, he couldn’t help but be worried—as was Daggin. Since she had vanished, the two men, both leaders of their respective communities, had opened a dialogue. He had learned of the hardships the Ocampa on the planet had faced, the actions they had taken to conserve their power, making it last far longer than just five years. Tanis had arranged for power cells to be taken down to the city, as well as food, medicines and whatever other supplies were needed.
Part of him was still wary of the planetside Ocampa. Though they were all the same species, generations of separation had turned them into two very different societies, so aside from the pilots and cargo handlers he had sent down to the surface he had asked that the rest of his people remain on the City Station. He knew there was a growing feeling within the populace, of those who wanted to throw caution aside and go down to the planet. So few had ever ventured from the station and even fewer had ever set foot on ground that wasn’t artificial. Even though the ecology had been decimated by centuries of harsh sunlight and UV radiation, they wanted to stand in the dust and look up into the expanse of cloudless blue sky.
In truth, he couldn’t blame them—he wanted to as well.
But caution was needed. The City Station had means and technology the Ocampa underground couldn’t even fathom—such as the procedure to extend their lifespan—whilst their culture was also stunted. They had been so dependent on the Caretaker for so long that they had lost their identity and purpose, beyond simply taking what they were given—that being said, they had come far over the last six years on their own (more from necessity than desire, but it was a start at least).
“Administrator?” a voice spoke aloud.
Startled, Tanis looked across the display table he had been stood at. Junior Technician Lae was looking at him, a concern expression on his young face. Tanis had been so wrapped up in his own thoughts and concerns that he hadn’t heard the younger man contact him telepathically.
“Sorry to disturb you, sir, but I’ve picked up something unusual on sensors.”
Putting thoughts of Kes, Daggin and the surface from him mind, he said, “Show me.”
Lae tapped a sequence into the display table and the image shifted. It showed the scans of the system, with the station and fifth planet at the centre, then the other eight planets in the system and two dozen moons, all of which looked just as they had since the City Station had arrived eleven days ago. It was only when he looked to the outer edge of the system that he saw what Lae had picked up. It hadn’t been there previously and was getting closer.
“What is it?”
“Our scans show it to be metallic and we are picking up an energy signature, but beyond that we can’t determine anything more.”
Tanis mused over the information. “A ship using some kind of sensor-masking technology?”
“If it is, sir, it is enormous. Well over fourteen imani
He shot the sensor operator a serious look, immediately knowing what was heading their way. “It’s not just one ship, it’s a fleet! The Kazon have come to reclaim their outpost.”