Bridge, Kazon-Degra Destroyer Draxorr
Approaching Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
“It appears they are aware of our approach,” stated Nadar Holek, the Draxorr
’s second-in-command, the only other person Nekahr permitted onto the command gangway with him.
Though their scanners still couldn’t penetrate the hull of the base, they had picked up an energy surge—possibly weapons—and the facility had raised its shields. They were obviously readying themselves for a fight, which suited the Maje just fine.
He looked over at the communications operator, a young Jadd called Ruran. Unlike most other males on the bridge, he was gangly and pale, how he had made it through the trials was a mystery, but what he lacked in physical presence he made up for in technical knowhow—which was the only reason Nekahr saw fit to keep him around.
“Signal the Verakat
, have them move in and begin an orbital bombardment of the planet, target the site of the old energy conduits—I want the mines left intact. All other destroyers are to focus on the station. All attack ships in front, move in and open fire.”
“Yes Maje,” Ruran responded instantly.
Eight attack ships had been attached to each destroyer, as escort on the journey to the Ocampa system and to fly point for when the battle commenced. The Draxorr
had nine escorts in formation around the behemoth destroyer, all of which would be included in the first run on the station. Nekahr wanted to see what he was up against, so when the strike ships launched their attack he would watch and see what the station retaliated with them—after all the smaller ships were easier to come across than fully-fledged destroyers.
“Maje, all attack ships acknowledge. The Verakat
He didn’t bother to look at the communications operator; instead he keep watching the enormous screens before him, sneering as the attack ships spearheaded towards the station. To the side he noted two destroyers move towards the planet, whilst all the others hung back, they would keep their impressive weaponry in reserve until the attack ships saw what they were up against and soften up their defences. Nekahr hadn’t become Maje of a Sect like the Degra by being foolish. Six years ago everyone in the sector had given the old station a wide berth, aside from providing the Ocampa with massive amounts of energy no one knew what else it was capable of.
“Our ships have engaged the station, Maje,” reported navigator Settuh.
Settuh looked over the scanner displays for a moment. “The stations shields are down by six percent. They haven’t fired yet. First wave has finished attack and regrouping, second coming into range. They’ve opened fire.”
On the screen the second attack got underway, each strike ship blasted, none of them held back as they fired and moved in on the station. Once they were close, they broke off and headed to regroup as the third squad of ships took their place. As the attack progressed, the men below him sounded off the damage the station’s shields had taken as well as the lack of retaliation, the sound of bloodlust creeping into their tones—they all wanted to take their place in the battle (such as it was).
Nekahr should have been relishing the assault, but something seemed wrong to him. The station with its bulbous body and multiple struts and antennae, none of which their most powerful of scans could penetrate, should have possessed some kind of weaponry—the original facility had had a powerful weapon system, capable of hitting a small portion of group from light-years away—so why was this one laying dormant.
have begun firing on the surface, Maje,” Settuh announced triumphantly.
Just as the last word had left the navigators lips the viewscreen burned with scorching green energy blasts. Before Nekahr could demand a report or issue any order he witnessed the trap the station had sprung. From the tip of each arm around the station, bursts of plasma discharges targeted his fleet. Some were focused on the latest wave of assault ships, destroying them with a full on hit and crippling those too close to change course, but the stations main target were the two destroyers separated from the rest. The weapon blasts tore through the Verakat
’s shields and into the hull. Ball after ball of energy carved into the destroyer, setting the oxygen rich interior on fire. The Karix
, protected by the assault by the other destroyer, turned away and tried to escape from the ambush.
“Have all ships regroup!” Nekahr screamed. “Any attempting to flee will face a fate worse than death at the hands of the Ocampa! All destroyers, target that station and fire!”
As the Draxorr
led the other mammoth ships into battle, the Verakat
plummeted into the atmosphere, burning from within. Nekahr would make every Ocampa he saw pay for the men he had lost on that ship, he would have them brutalised beyond their darkest nightmare until they would beg for death.
Administration Centre, Ocama City Station
In orbit of Ocampa V, Delta Quadrant
The centre buzzed with activity, the men and women who were usually so calm and collected performing their duties were anxious and scared. Tanis didn’t need to sense their emotions, as he was feeling just the same way they did. In the past of course they had had dealings with the likes of the Kazon, and other opportunists who thought them to be weak and easy to conquer. Every time the City Station had showed its teeth and they had been left alone, but they had never faced such a force as they were now.
Just before it had begun, Kes had returned to the Admin Centre looking much older than before, but there was no time to fixate on her deterioration. He had been ready to open fire as soon as the Kazon armada was in range, but she had advised another course, one which would see them inflict greater damage on the Kazon. He had listened and, although not liking the idea of the City Station purposefully taking damage, agreed that it was a sound tactic. If they did nothing, the Kazon would start to get sloppy and then they could strike.
But now their element of surprise had been lost, they were facing the rage of the Kazon. Their attack had taken out one of the destroyers (which would be crashing into the planet in the next couple of minutes) as well as eighteen of the smaller ships, leaving them facing off against sixty-three warships. All of which seemed to be firing on the station at that moment.
*Shield down to forty-six percent,*
one worried technician called out.
*They’ve taken out another weapons port.*
*Hull stress is approaching maximum tolerance on levels eighty to one ninety-two.*
He looked around at all the faces, wishing he knew what to do next. He was their leader, a politician not a warlord—none of his people were warriors or soldiers. Looking back at the display table he saw the Kazon ships gathering in two groups, in opposite directions to one another. They would be coming at them from different angles, which would mean they could focus their shield strength in one area. Their weapons were powerful but needed time to recharge and target accurately, so they couldn’t keep up the near-constant barrage the Kazon seemed to be managing.
“We have to find a way to thin out their numbers quickly,” mused Kes, who stood opposite him at the table.
“We’re doing all we can Kes. What more is there? We’re not soldiers!”
That seemed to give her a pause for thought. “You’re right; we’re not like the Kazon. We are Ocampa. We have abilities the Kazon have no way to fight.”
“What do you mean?”
“Our psionic abilities, Tanis. The Kazon are weak minded, dominated by their emotions and passions—especially when in battle. When I was their prisoner I saw them fighting amongst one another regularly, they don’t care who it is they fight so long as they get to fight. We just have to encourage and manipulate that part of them.”
As she spoke, he came to understand her meaning. “We can implant suggestions into their minds and have them focus on each other rather than us.”
“Round up the strongest telepaths you have, Tanis, as many as you can. Tell them what we need them to do, and have them focus on the assault ships, leave the destroyers in one piece.”
“What? Kes we need to target all of those ships, there’s no way the Kazon will back down now. They won’t stop until we are dead.”
Her eyes lock onto his and she held his gaze. “I need you to do this for me. We have to keep those ships intact.”
Tanis tried to probe her mind further, but her blocks were up and he couldn’t get beyond the surface of her thoughts—all of which were focused on the battle. He could have pushed further but something told him that to do so would not be good for him. Though still confused as to her request, he gave her a nod.
“I’ll see to it.”
He moved away to begin signalling the men and women he knew could handle what was needed of them. A moment after he turned his back on Kes he felt a pulse of heat and looked over his shoulder. Once again she was gone.
I hope you know what you’re doing, Kes,
he mused. Part of him still couldn’t believe that she was the same girl he had met all those years ago. Pushing it from his mind, he began to assemble their latest weapon against the Kazon armada.