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Old February 2 2014, 11:44 PM   #64
Rear Admiral
Re: UT-TFV: "No Win Scenario"

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Main Bridge
USS Empress

“How many did we get?” Captain Erasia asked. Sheppard shook his head, a sorrowful cast over his features.

“Only forty-seven,” he said morosely. “They’re in the auxiliary cargo bay.”

“Helm, get us away from the fireworks! Maximum warp!” The captain ordered as the ship came hard about. Tan wanted to watch the conflagration from as safe a distance as possible. Thanks to the deft efforts of her flight control officer, Empress was able to do just that. The main viewer dampened the violent explosion as the K’mpec collided with the Kothlis’Ka attack cruiser, impaling the ship before both were vaporized.

“Sweep up all of the survivors in the escape pods,” Tan ordered after a moment, unwilling to let her surging emotions engulf her.

“Aye captain,” Sheppard replied, setting immediately to work.

“Aarti do a sweep for the Ariane, let’s see if she’s somewhere in this mess.” The three way battle had littered the space around them with fragments and hulks of starships.

“Yes sir,” the capable Andorian said.

“We’ve recovered another two hundred fifty survivors,” Sheppard said after an interminable time.

“No sign of Ariane,” Aarti said, right on the man’s heels.

“Could it be interference from all this space junk?” Thav asked his bond-mate.

“It could be…but I don’t think so…Captain, I’ve detected massive isolytic readings from multiple subspace tears off of our port bow.”

“Gods no Rhizzo,” Tan breathed. “She didn’t. She wouldn’t. How could she? Where did she?” The questions poured from her. And she didn’t know what frustrated her more, never getting the answers or deep down knowing she should’ve asked these questions long ago. She trusted Rhizzo to give up all of her weapons, and trust was a condition the woman hadn’t earned.

“A Kothlis’Ka warship is on an attack vector,” Lt. Quim informed her.

“Prepare to meet them,” Erasia ordered, though she didn’t know how much damage her ship could take.

The oncoming ship stopped before it came within reach of Empress’s weapons. “Captain, the Kothlis’Ka vessel is hailing us. Audio only,” Lt. Aarti said, the shock clear in her voice.

“On speakers,” Tan said, and immediately regretted her decision. A harsh screeching blared through the speakers, resolving into a guttural garble. It vaguely reminded her of the Breen speakers.

“Can you make that out?” She asked the operations officer. Aarti frowned.

“It’s a melding of several Beta Quadrant languages,” she said after a moment. “I think the rough translation is ‘Fought. Well.’”

“Kothlis’Ka vessel,” Tan spoke, but the ship began to turn away from her. It joined the remaining ships, far fewer in number, and the armada continued on its inexorable quest.

Erasia sat in her seat, stunned. “Sir do we pursue?” Commander Sheppard asked.

Tan looked at him with a jaundiced eye, “And do what exactly?”

“Well, I-um-I’m not sure sir,” he admitted.

“No, we search for the Ariane and see if there are any survivors, and after that’s done, I’m relinquishing command and giving the ship to you.” Now it was Sheppard and her crew would wear the dumbstruck looks on their faces.
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