Earth is attacked. The Breen Confederacy, now in collusion with the Dominion, have a powerful weapon that could turn the war back in the Dominion's favor. The USS Lambda Paz is dispatched to Minos to harness a powerful weapon left behind by a long-dead civilization. But other forces seek to use this ancient weapon to advance their own goals. Historian’s note: The main events of this story take place six weeks after “Foul Play” and concurrently with the DS9 episode “The Changing Face of Evil” between the Breen attack on Earth and the Second Battle of Chin’toka. Prologue “Jupiter Outpost 92. This is Starbase One transmitting on emergency frequency one-alpha red. Do you read?” “Roger, Starbase One. What is your emergency?” “We’re detecting several blips in close proximity to Pluto. Can you verify?” “Stand by, Starbase One…” “Affirmative. Four ships of an unknown configuration. They are not responding to initial hails. Possibly hostile. They’re on a vector that will reach fairly close to Io in approximately ten minutes.” “Keep this channel open, JO-92. We’re dispatching the Palaiologos and six other Third Fleet vessels. They should be arrive at Jupiter in time to intercept.” “Copy that SB-1. Will continue to monitor and advise.” *** As predicted, four large vessels that dwarfed the Galaxy-class USS Palaiologos closed in on Jupiter from the far side of Io. They were the Breen Confederacy’s new heavy cruisers. The distinguishing characteristic was the mandible-like struts at the front of each ship, which became clearly visible once they were in visual range of the Starfleet ships. The Palaiologos was flanked by two Nebula-class starships at port and starboard and four Akira-class ships on both ends of the formation. The four Breen cruisers swooped in fast over Io’s northern polar region and spread out to meet all seven of the Starfleet ships. Plasma torpedoes tore through the hulls of four of the seven ships. The Palaiologos was able to dodge a few of the blasts, but lost its starboard nacelle. Flurries of torpedo fire inflicted heavy damage to the forward hulls of the two Nebulas while the Akiras were able glide away from the enemy’s weapons. The four Akiras continued moving in on the heavy cruisers, firing both phasers and torpedoes. From the heavy scarring inflicted all across their hulls, they were just as vulnerable to enemy weapon fire as the Starfleet ships were to the Breen weapons. The heavy cruisers virtually ignored the four Akiras while continuing to fire at the other three ships until they were destroyed. But in the process, the Palaiologos was able to destroy one Breen vessel with phaser and torpedo fire while heavily damaging a second. The surviving ships on both sides swerved out of the way of the blinding fireball. They continued exchanging fire while two medium-sized spherical objects that were jettisoned from the exploding heavy cruisers moved further from the battle. As the two spheres moved further away from Jupiter, they each broke up into a dozen small fighters like a swarm of hornets from the nests. These smaller fighters had partially organic hulls, hence allowing them to merge and separate so easily. As the battle continued near Jupiter, the surviving Breen heavy cruisers jettisoned similar organic spheres. They both separated into a dozen small fighters, distancing themselves from the destruction of their mother ships and the four remaining Starfleet ships. ### Other squadrons of Breen heavy cruisers that had survived battle with the outer defense perimeters at Saturn and Neptune converged at Mars, along with the swarms of fighters that escaped the battle at Jupiter. As the ships raced past Phobos and closer to Mars, they were confronted by missiles fired automatically by the Mars Defense Perimeter. The heavy cruisers fired plasma torpedoes that either destroyed or disabled the guidance systems of the missiles they hit. The disabled missiles spun about aimlessly, some of which plowed into Breen heavy cruisers and fighters along the outer formation. As those cruisers were tearing apart, organic spheres were launched from the ventral hulls that broke up into smaller fighters. Swarms of missiles continued moving in on the attacking Breen armada, effortlessly destroying Breen heavy cruisers and fighters alike. Those ships that were able to dodge the missiles were just as effortless in taking out approaching missiles and continuing undeterred towards Earth. By the time the attacking fleet had reached Earth, only six heavy cruisers had survived battle with various perimeter defense ships dispersed throughout the Sol system. That was offset by the large number of smaller fighters that had escaped their mother ships. Hundreds of these smaller fighters descended upon Earth like bees. They fired plasma charges at the surface while dodging missiles from the ground based defense systems. They were relentless in hitting major cities all over the planet—San Francisco, Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Beijing, and Tokyo. Many of the ships continued dodging the ground-based missiles, while others almost let themselves be destroyed by oncoming missiles already having inflicted heavy damage to the planet’s surface. Those ships that survived descended in a free-fall, causing far more damage plowing into the surface than the plasma charges had. *** Up in orbit, the heavy cruisers continued firing plasma torpedoes at the surface, virtually oblivious to the surface-based and orbital missiles coming at them and destroying their ships. Only two of the heavy cruisers were fully intact while the other four were suffering severe structural damage when a wing of three Sovereign-class Federation ships swooped in from the far side of the Moon firing swarms of phasers and quantum torpedoes, destroying all six of the capital vessels. Smaller Starfleet ships of various classes approached Earth from four different angles, targeting fighters still closing in on the planet’s atmosphere and those firing at the surface at close range. The combined efforts of reinforcements from the First Fleet and the planetary systems were able to destroy a large majority of the attacking fighters and those still descending on the planet. And with only two-dozen fighters left over, the Breen forces swiftly retreated. But they wrought heavy destruction on Earth never before seen since the last of three World Wars.