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Old November 22 2013, 03:17 AM   #40
DarKush
Rear Admiral
 
Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

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Main Bridge
USS K’mpec

“What the hell did she just do?” Captain Tanaka asked, pounding his armrests. The Empress had just unloaded a full salvo against the Ariane. The beleaguered Saber took evasive maneuvers but the barrage was too strong. Eventually, Ariane stopped trying to avoid being hit and turned to face the larger Galaxy-class ship head on. The Saber-class cruiser opened up on the Empress, pelting it with phaser blasts. Fortunately Rhizzo had not turned the warp vehicles on the Empress. They floated idly in space, silent sentinels to the monumental egotism and stupidity on display.

The bigger fight between the Chakuun and the Kothlis’Ka was all but forgotten now. Even Baltimore, swallowed up among the titanic ships, and Shuttlesworth, galloping to catch the K’mpec had been pushed to the back of Kenji’s mind. Tanaka’s focus was solely on his battling compatriots.

“Hail the Empress,” he ordered. Seconds later, the stern visage of Captain Erasia blinked into view.

“Captain Tanaka if you’re not contacting me to inform me that you will help subdue the Ariane, then you’re wasting your time.”

Tanaka didn’t care for the woman’s imperious tone, but he held a retort in check. “I’m asking you Captain to stand down,” he said, “If you do it, I know that Gilma will.”

“Commander Rhizzo has shown me plenty about how reasonable she can be and how much she respects the chain of command,” Erasia scoffed. She paused, looked off screen, and said something unintelligible. Looking back at him, her pale eyes glinted like ice cubes, “It’s a wonder how she made it to command a starship. I’m guessing Captain Landau had amazing pull.”

“That’s unfair,” Tanaka said. “You know her service record.”

“And we also know how eager Starfleet has been to replenish its command ranks since the wars with the Klingons and Dominion, and now the Talarian flare up,” Tan said. “It was doubtless that some bad Levithi nuts got through.”

“Give her another chance,” Tanaka pleaded.

“Perhaps you should be having this conversation with her,” Erasia retorted.

“Captain I think she will follow your lead…this time,” Tanaka added quickly. Erasia’s laugh was mocking.

“Stay on the sidelines,” she warned before ending the communication.

Tanaka was preparing to attempt to reestablish communications with the Empress, when Lt. Retha interrupted.

“Sir, the Shuttlesworth is hailing.”

“On screen,” Tanaka ordered, a tad bit reluctantly. He really wanted another crack at Tan. He had never seen the woman act so stubbornly before.

“Captain Tanaka,” Captain Ottah greeted him.

“Captain,” Kenji nodded tersely.

“I hope we aren’t going to engage in hostilities,” Ottah floated.

“No,” Tanaka glowered, “I think we’ve all made our share of asinine decisions over the last several days. I don’t want to go over my quota.”

“So, what do we do about our colleagues?” Ottah asked. Tanaka thought about trying to state his case again to Erasia, but gave up on the idea. She wanted to teach Rhizzo a lesson and while that might not be a bad thing it wasn’t the optimal time.

Kenji sighed. “Let them tussle. I say we join Thelius. I’ve lost track of him and he might need our help.”

“More likely he’ll need us to pull him out of a messy situation,” the Edoan surmised.

Tanaka’s smile was sour. “Sounds about right,” he nodded, “but doing that is better than watching these two embarrass the Fleet.”
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Main Bridge
USS Baltimore

“Great Uzaveh the Infinite,” Captain Thelius gasped in astonishment as the intensity of the ghost ships’ weapons’ fire overwhelmed the main viewscreen. After a few seconds of furious blinking, and a minute of watching the hologrid behind the display, the Andorian had already asked for reports about the barrage.

“Had it worked? Had the Chakuun destroyed the Kothlis’Ka vessel? Had they at least penetrated its shields?” He hurled the questions at his crew.

As they struggled to answer him, the main viewer reactivated and he gasped again. The Kothlis’Ka vessel was listing, with massive perforations in its hull. A cheer went up among the crew, as if they had struck the blow.

“They can be hurt after all,” Lt. F’lk’yn said with heartening confidence. The Xenexian’s purple eyes had a savage gleam in them.

The Chakuun swooped around the vessel like redbats, toying with their food. The other Kothlis’Ka vessels had not responded. Perhaps they are as stunned as I am, Thelius wondered.

The listing vessel slowly righted itself. The Chakuun trained their weapons on it again.

“Arm a tricobalt device,” Thelius ordered. He wanted in on the kill. “And inform the Chakuun that we are here to assist them.”

“I don’t think they need our help,” Commander Erean noted.

“And they might resent us trying to procure some of the spoils,” F’lk’yn added.

“Do it anyway,” Thelius said. “I want the Kothlis’Ka to realize it isn’t only the Chakuun they need to fear this day.”

“No response to our hail,” F’lk’yn said. Thelius frowned. He ordered the ship to move toward the Chakuun anyway. He would dare them to fire on them. Though he had little doubt that the Chakuun could defeat them, he calculated that their masters back on Tholia hadn’t given them license to start a war with the Federation. The Andorian grunted with satisfaction as Baltimore fell in beside one of the Chakuun vessels that now held stationary orbit, encircling the struggling Kothlis’Ka ship.

Thelius didn’t know whether to admire or be chilled by the lack of response from the other alien ships to the vulnerable position of one of their fellows. Perhaps the Kothlis’Ka lived by a survival of the fittest credo?

“Reading a spike in electromagnetic energy from the Kothlis’Ka ship,” the Bijani operations officer said.

“They’re attempting whatever they were attempting before,” Erean reasoned. Thelius nodded in agreement.

“Let’s not give them the chance,” the captain said. “Prepare to fire the tricobalt device at my command.”

“Aye sir,” F’lk’yn was jaunty. He was enjoying this. Conflict was nothing new to his tactical officer. The Xenexians were warriors, like Thelius’s people once had been.

Though he would never admit it, Thelius half expected that F’lk’yn had joined Starfleet to test himself during the war with the Tzenkethi ongoing at the time.

“Intense electromagnetic buildup, emanating from Kothlis’Ka ship,” the operations officer’s voice rose considerably.

“Increase magnification,” Thelius said, wanting to get a closer look. The hull of the alien vessel was literally throbbing, its plating bucking and buckling.

“I think that vessel is undergoing a massive containment breach,” the Bijani said. Erean looked troubled.

“Back us off,” Thelius said, his gut agreeing with the operation’s officer’s guess.

“Chakuun ships are preparing to fire,” F’lk’yn said.

“No,” Thelius muttered. More loudly he said, “Warn them off. Tell them what we speculate.”

“Too late,” F’lk’yn replied. Thelius gasped for the third and last time as he watched the Kothlis’Ka ship rip apart from the inside, the dark energies ravishing it meeting and merging with the Chakuun fusillade, creating a massive shockwave that consumed everything in its path, including the Baltimore.
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