Dec. Challenge- ST: Indepedence "Wounds of Chin'toka"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Dnoth, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In the illusion, but not of it.
    "All those escape pods…So small…So vulnerable. I'll order their destruction immediatel-"

    "No, let them return to the Federation. Those pods are filled with frightened, demoralised troops."

    "…troops that will spread fear throughout the Federation with tales of what happened here today. Founder, it is wise."

    ~Founder and Weyoun (DS9: “The Changing Face of Evil”)


    Stardate: 52774.4 (10 October 2375)
    USS Midas, Recreation Room
    In Orbit of Starbase 371


    The large windows in the rec. room revealed the slowly rotating silhouette of the Starbase. For the last month, the Veracruz and the Midas had been making supply runs from here to AR-558 and other points in the Chin’toka system.

    The war had nearly become routine for the crew. It wasn’t simply the repetitive task of supply runs. There had been a general lull in the war for a month or two. People were still dying and ships were still being destroyed, but not on the order of The Battle of Tyra or Operation Return. Besides, with successes at Chin’toka, Ricktor Prime, Monac IV, Benzar, and Betazed, the Dominion seemed to be backed into a corner.

    All of Starfleet and the entire Alpha Quadrant were willing to stop holding its collective breath. It wasn’t a matter of if the Federation Alliance would win the war, but when.

    “So when do we get back on the road, Sintina?” asked Karim bin Nadal, the security chief.

    The Latin American first officer responded after she took a drink, “The last of the cargo should be loaded by the end of the day. Then, we’re off once again.” The commander fumbled with her glass.

    “What’s wrong?” Ensign Kimula asked.

    The Andorian was one of the most mature junior officers Sintina had ever encountered. Early on, the counselor’s blunt and honest recommendations endeared her to the first officer. “It’s just,” she began, “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for the down time, but…Captain Camar and this ship deserves better than to be hauling cargo.”

    “You’re kidding,” Karim sat back. “I can’t believe you’re complaining that we aren’t getting shot at. The Midas was at Torros III, the liberation of Deep Space Nine, and Chin’toka, how much more excitement do you want?”

    “Starfleet is greatly underutilizing Captain Camar, she’s a great tactician,” countered Aurelia.

    Kimula mused, “Aren’t all Zakdorn?”

    “That’s the rep…” started bin Nadal as an announcement signal interrupted him.

    “This is the captain, I’ve just received word that there’s been an attack on Earth.”

    The whole room gasped in shock. Some, like Sintina, stood from there seats; as if ready to pounce.

    The captain continued, “Starfleet Headquarters and the surrounding city of San Francisco were bombarded from orbit. Ships from the Breen Confederacy were able to pass undetected, decloaked, and attacked. Fortunately, all the hostile vessels were destroyed shortly thereafter by orbital defenses.

    In addition, Dominion and, apparently their new allies the Breen, are mobilizing a force to retake Chin’toka. The fleet has gone to yellow alert. Senior officers report to the conference room immediately. That is all.”

    Aurelia, bin Nadal, and Kimula didn’t waste anytime getting to the exit.

    *****

    Stardate: 52781.5 (13 October 2375)
    USS Midas, Main Bridge
    Federation Alliance Rally Point (just outside the Chin’toka system)


    Over three-hundred Starfleet, Imperial Romulan, and Klingon Defense Force vessels gathered and were organizing into formations.

    *****

    The Zakdorn captain once again addressed her crew. She strode confidently around the bridge, but her words carried to all on board. “The Midas was part of the fleet that took this system. For nearly a year, the Federation Alliance has been fighting tooth and nail to keep it. The Midas has done her part by running supplies to Chin’toka. Now, the Dominion, and their new Breen friends, want to take it back again. I tell you, we are not about to let it go!” Clapping erupted on the bridge, and probably around the ship. She concluded, “You have proved yourselves time and time again during this conflict. I have every confidence in each one of you…Red alert! All hands to battle stations.”

    The Andorian counselor also doubled as the communications officer. She reported, “Captain, Admiral Ross in on the line.”

    It was odd. The fleet commander often conversed with the squadron commanders, but not the Midas. The Ambassador-class wasn’t in a leadership role. Camar put her hands behind her back, “On screen.”

    The burly, dark-haired human appeared. “Captain, I need your ship to hold position.”

    The Zakdorn’s face crunched up, “To what end, sir?”

    “When escape pods start ejecting, I need you to recover and extricate them.”

    Sanora Camar got a look of defiance in her eye. “With respect, the Midas could prove useful in the coming battle. Perhaps a Miranda or even some Danubes could…”

    Ross had the tone of a man that didn’t have the time to explain himself, “I want the Midas to do it exactly because she can defend herself. You can fight you way in and out if need be. Your priority is to get people out of the kill box, understood?”

    The captain regarded her first officer. Aurelia’s face was red and her hands were clinched. It was an expected reaction from her impulsive XO. Fortunately, Camar had trained her enough to prevent her from saying something counter-productive.

    Camar conceded with a slight puff, “Yes sir.”

    He concluded, “Two other starships will assist: the Tempest and the Victory. I need you to inform Captains Berkhalter and Zimbata about the assignment. Ross out.”

    *****

    One hour later…

    The three lone vessels, an Ambassador, a Sabre, and a Constellation, remained abreast of each other. The ships silently waited for the dawn.

    *****

    Captain Camar sat stoically in the center seat. She watched the tactical display on the main viewer. The icons of the various factions neared each other.

    Sintina opted to stand; her arms crossed. “The Defiant’s on point. She’s getting too far ahead of the rest of the fleet.”

    “Relax,” advised the Zakdorn. “Captain Sisko can afford to draw some fire in that ship of his.”

    “I’d love to have a ship like that,” commented Commander Aurelia.

    “Pauuuh,” replied the captain, “A ship like that doesn’t require any real tactics. Just point and shoot. I prefer a little more challenge.”

    A few chuckles broke out on the bridge.

    “Sir,” reported Karim from tactical, “The Defiant has opened up.”

    All eyes were now intently watched the battle unfold on the main screen. Bin Nadal served as commentator.

    “One…two Breen ships down…”

    The first officer said, “That’s right. Give ‘em hell.”

    “Wait,” the Persian began, “Something’s not right.”

    Camar looked back, “Specifics, mister.”

    “The Defiant…it’s lost power.” He rechecked his readings just to make sure. “Now a D’deridex, the Addis Ababa, the Cuffe,” He looked up, panic on his face, “they’re all losing power.”

    Aurelia walked over to Camar, “We should go in and help them out.”

    She shook her head, “No commander, I’m not rushing head long into a situation I know nothing about.” Then, she got up. Sintina back away. “Commander bin Nadal, report.”

    The tactical officer was in total disbelief, “Over half the fleet has been disabled. The Breen and Dominion are just picking them off, one by one!”

    “What are they using to disable the ships?” pressed the captain.

    He manipulated the controls, “It’s…it’s some type of energy dampening weapon from the Breen ships. It’s disabling weapons, engines, shields…Captain, they’re sitting ducks out there.”

    “Sir, the Tempest and the Victory are requesting instructions,” Kimula relayed.

    Camar looked again at the main viewer. The small Starfleet insignias were disappearing rapidly. Scenarios played out in her mind. Finally, she said, “We can’t help them. We’d only perish with the rest of them. Then, we couldn’t help anyone.”

    “But captain…” began Aurelia.

    The Zakdorn raised a hand, “Not now, commander.” She spun around, “Mr. Kimula, tell them both to stay on station. We’ll go in, when and if, we can get back out alive.”

    “I strongly object to this course of…” attempted the first officer, again.

    “Noted,” Camar snapped. She moved closer to her XO and whispered, “You need to learn to lead from your head, as well as your gut, commander. But for now, hold your tongue!”

    Sintina literally bit her lip and went to parade rest.

    *****

    The collective crews looked on; watching vessel after vessel succumb to the Dominion forces. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. To just observe...and not being able to do anything about it. It was torture. Only a very few vessels were able to limp away from the slaughter. After nearly an hour of a living hell, it suddenly ended.

    “Sir,” said bin Nadal, “the Dominion and Breen forces are falling back.”

    Camar regarded him as if he had sprouted wings, “What?”

    “They’re moving to the far side of the system.”

    Sintina added, “They’ve left nearly all of the escape pods intact.”

    The Zakdorn rose, “They’ve made their point.” She sighed and ordered, “Kimula, signal the Tempest and Victory to follow us in. Mr. Nar’vook, take us to the battle coordinates.”

    *****

    The Midas neared its newest customer. The ship spun slowly in the void. The Thunderchild was still in relatively good shape…at least it was still recognizable as an Akira-class.

    *****

    The holodecks, the cargo bays, the gym, the shuttle bay, the rec. room, and even the corridors began to fill with survivors. Sintina roamed the now cramped walkways. Surprisingly, most everyone was quiet. Some sobs were heard; most just had a distant stare their eyes. The XO remembered watching some footage of death camp prisoners during Earth’s Second World War. The people before her had the same look on their faces.

    She noticed a doctor, he wasn’t from the Midas, hovering over an unconscious Bajoran military officer next to the bulkhead. Then, he moved to another injured officer and began treating him. Sintina was about to ask him if he needed any help when the ship jolted sharply. It could only be a phaser hit. Many people became frantic. The doctor took charge of the refugees, “Everyone calm down and sit tight! We’ll be ok.”

    Aurelia was satisfied with the doctor’s actions and didn’t feel as bad when she forced her way through the crowd. Her place was now on the bridge. It was almost a welcome distraction. She had seen enough despair.

    *****

    Camar stood, “Report!”

    “A Keldon and a Hideki were hiding behind some hulks. They’ve opened fire!” said Karim.

    “Suspend SAR-Ops. Raise shields and return fire!” she ordered, “Kimula, ask for aid.”

    “The Agamemnon has just entered the system.” The Andorian continued, “The Tempest and Victory are several minutes away in another part of the debris field.”

    An EPS relay sparked. “Understood,” yelled Camar. She looked over Kairm’s shoulder, “Use that derelict Warbird. The Hideki is near it. Target the Warbird’s quantum singularity the shockwave should disable it.” She moved back to the command chair.

    “Aye sir.” The tactical officer followed her instruction. The results were better than expected. “The Hideki has been destro…The Keldon is targeting the bridge!”

    Captain Camar looked up in time to see part of the overhead falling. She would see nothing else.

    A pile of rubble covered the captain. Kimula, bin Nadal, and others left their station to remove the support beams, panels, and circuitry. Luckily, the hull hadn’t breached. After a few seconds of work, they reached Camar, or rather her corpse. Kimula looked away. Karim didn’t want to look at it either. He returned to tactical and tapped on his compin, “Commander Aurelia to the bridge.”

    *****

    Moments later, Sintina exited the turbolift. “What happened?” she burst as she crossed the threshold.

    “We’re under attack by a Keldon.”

    Kimula injected, “Captain Camar is dead.”

    “I have more bad news,” offered bin Nadal. “Three bugships are advancing on our location.”

    “Damn it!” Aurelia cursed. “What’s the status of the Keldon?”

    “We managed to weaken their port and dorsal shields, but we’re in worse shape. Three friendly starships are closing as well. They’ll be in firing range a few seconds after the attack ships.”

    “We can hold our own until then,” said Aurelia. The statement was more of a reassurance than fact. “Keep us on their dorsal side, target their sensor array.”

    “Ma’am,” reported bin Nadal, “The Dominion ships…they’re attacking the Keldon.”

    “Why would they…” she started.

    “We’re being hailed by one of the bugships,” came from Kimula.

    Her tone was one of confusion, but her curiosity was peaked, “On screen.”

    A Vorta, it looked like a “Yelgrun” became visible. He said, in a cool and apologetic voice, “We regret the actions of our Cardassian Guls. They have acted on their own accord and against the wishes of the Founder. They will be punished. You may continue your retrieval operations unmolested.”

    The channel closed and the attack ships escorted the Keldon away.

    Sintina looked at Karim and then Kimula; both had a look of astonishment. Her mind slowed. She finally had time to examine the bridge. Camar’s body still lay half covered by debris. Then, she looked to the viewscreen. There were still so many life pods to recover. “How kind of you,” she grimly mused.

    END OF “WOUNDS OF CHIN’TOKA”
     
  2. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Wow! You packed a lot into a relatively short story. Well done! An interesting perspective of the aftermath of the disaster at Chin'toka. Your story ties in perfectly with the DS-9 episode.

    And we see the sad story of how Sintina Aurelia rose to command. Usually, taking command of a starship is a happy occasion. This was certainly not one of those times.

    Great job!
     
  3. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A very grim tale, and masterfully delivered. Captain Camar made the right choice, albeit an enormously difficult one, to hold position and observe the slaughter, rather than becoming simply another victim of it. The Cardassians paid for their duplicity, but not after exacting a pound of flesh in the form of the Midas’ captain.

    Well done.
     
  4. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nice. Very nice. It's always interesting to see what happens "offstage" during a Star Trek episode--it's one of the questions that fanfic was invented to answer.

    One small point: at one point, you say that, "The Midas neared its newest costumer."

    I'm pretty sure you meant "customer". ;)
     
  5. hellsgate

    hellsgate Commodore

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    DANG! I'm breathless!!! You've got quite the talent for battle scenes!!!
     
  6. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oops. It's been corrected, thanks. :D

    Thanks everyone for your compliments!
     
  7. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    Just a slight typo in an otherwise excellent "minisode".

    “Noted,” Camar snapped. She moved closer to her XO and whispered, “You need to learn to lead from your head, as well as your gut, commander. But for now, hold your tongue!”
     
  8. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Very cool stuff here. I love what you have done utilizing just a few throwaway lines by the Founder as a basis.

    A dramatic Dominion War story and once which is sure to change the lives of everyone involved.

    This was an excellent stand alone story and an even better addition to the Independence saga.
     
  9. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thank you, and it has been corrected...along with some others I've found... :rolleyes:
     
  10. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nov 18, 2005
    Great entry. Short, powerful, and nice to see Aurelia and Karim pre-Indy. I appreciate the mention of the Cuffe.
     
  11. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

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    This was a powerful piece. Especially painful had to be the Dominion intervention at the end. I can see more and more how Sintina evolved into the firebrand she is.
     
  12. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    not really seeing where the 'New Era' bit comes in here...

    just seems to be a Tale of the Dominion War
     
  13. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^This battle was a turning point within the Dominion War. It was then that the Federation found out how bad bad could get. I would think the lasting wounds and change of it would be evident.
     
  14. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    I had the same reaction as captcalhoun, but I've just gone back and read TimmyWl's challenge description and you are right, stories could be set either during or after the War.

    I don't know enough of that series of DS9 to know whether or not this battle was a turning point for the Federation, but it is clearly a personal turning point for the crew of The Midas

    A brilliant adventure - a real page-turner (screen-scroller? ;) ) of a story.
     
  15. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, Snow is Falling.

    As far as whether this story is 'in bounds' of the challenge, I'll let the readers...or TimmyWI...or whoever decides that stuff...rule on it.

    I'm not that concerned about it either way. It was a fun story to write and I'm glad others got some entertainment out of it.
     
  16. Dulak

    Dulak Commander Red Shirt

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    At first I thought the ordering of a line ship to mop up survivors before the battle was even over was an unsound choice... More casualties prevented by more firepower up front etc. But then I realized that it advanced the story quite well. The opposite side..potentially being ordered to ignore survivors in order to prosecute the battle may have been a more militarily sound tactic, and just as painful to the participants...but wouldn't have shown how well the Federation tries to hold to it's beliefs on the importance of individual life...
     
  17. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A lot of power in a brief story. Loved it.