November Contest: Once More Unto The Breach

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Bry_Sinclair, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    I said I'd be submitting a story for the contest under the theme of "One Last Mission", so here it is. Based on an idea from @Sgt_G, it sees a few familiar faces on a special ops assignment in the midst of the Dominion War (near the end of 2374). It clocks in at just under 10,000 words, so I've managed to stick to my own limits. As mentioned previously, I fancied submitting a story but won't be putting it forward for voting, as I don't think I can stand the pressure of having to think of another topic (at least not with Christmas on the horizon and all I've got to do between now and then).


    * * * * *

    “Over the last month, nearly every cloaked ship along the front lines in sector 43327 has been attacked by Dominion forces,” stated Commander Grey, who stood at the large display screen before the assembled flag officers from Starfleet, the Klingon Defence Force and Romulan Imperial Navy. In the group, he noticed a couple of the foreign officials nod whilst one Romulan admiral’s brow pinched as she scowled at him, no doubt wondering just how he’d come to know that fact. The Romulans had only been fighting alongside the Federation and Klingons for three months, so there was still a great deal of animosity between the three great powers—not something that would fade quickly even with a common foe.

    “The information we’ve been able to extrapolate is that the Dominion are utilising some new sensor array that can penetrate cloaking fields, something based on the anti-proton scan they’ve previously used, but we have no data on just what that new sensor is or how to combat it.”

    “That means all our ships are vulnerable!” blurted out General Kjagah.

    Just like all of Starfleet’s ships, Grey thought though kept it to himself. “Yes General,” he said aloud. “There was no sign of data recorders amid the debris of the ships lost, so we cannot begin to analyse what their own sensors may have registered prior to the attack. But one think we are sure of is that the attacks are being carried out solely by Jem’Hadar vessels, so whatever this technology is it is clearly very new and not something the Dominion is keen to share with the Cardassians.”

    “How does that help us?” asked Admiral Tal’Aarn, the Romulan whose scowl deepened the longer the briefing continued.

    “Because we can narrow down the facility it was designed at to one outpost, the solitary Dominion-only facility in all of Cardassian territory.” He tapped a panel on his PADD that zoomed the display into one star system, four light-years away from the front. “Charos II.”

    He noted some within the room shuffle or lean forward. “Ever since the Dominion arrived in Cardassian space, they took control of the small facility there and fortified the system, turning away all non-Dominion ships. Intel has been monitoring high-energy output, as well as several other unusual signals and emissions coming from that base, unlike anything else we’ve seen. It is also the closest facility to where most of the cloaked ships have been lost.”

    “To punch through those defences we’d need a fleet of at least two hundred ships, but they’d need to travel through Dominion-controlled space for days before they even reached their target,” pointed out Admiral Toddman.

    “That is correct, sir,” Grey admitted.

    The briefing had been the easiest part. What came next, the plan proposed by Starfleet Intelligence and given the approval by Fleet Admiral Nechayev to put before the joint military command council, was where things would get more difficult.

    “Our proposal is to send in one ship to destroy the outpost.”

    “One ship!”


    Grey knew that wouldn’t go down well, but it was their only option. He waited for the outbursts and proclamations from the admirals and generals to quiet down before he continued. He tapped another control on his PADD and brought up the schematics for a single Klingon Bird-of-Prey, which refocused all of their attention.

    “Two weeks ago, a cloaked Klingon troop transport near the Engotti System was attacked by the Jem’Hadar. This transport was assigned a single escort ship, the I.K.S. Grok, an old D10-Class vessel which has been largely retired from service but some have been drafted back in for the war effort. A Starfleet long-range sensor array was just able to pick up on the attack, which shows that the Jem’Hadar, rather than target the escort, went straight for the transport. It was only when the Grok decloacked that the Jem’Hadar seemed to notice them. Unfortunately, both ships were lost in the battle and no emergency broadcasts or signals were sent out.”

    “What is different about the Grok that the Dominion didn’t detect it?” enquired Kjagah.

    “We believe it was her age. Like all other technology cloaks develop over time, especially as the ships they need to conceal get larger and more powerful. The D10 Bird-of-Prey was developed in the late 2280s and was retired by the 2330s, and the Grok was built in 2292. When she was reactivated her cloak remained untouched and this could’ve been what kept her from being detected.”

    “A Bird-of-Prey doesn’t have the firepower to take out a station like that on its own,” pointed out Tal’Aarn, clearly reviled at the thought of having to trust the Klingons with the fate of Romulan ships.

    “You’re right, it’s not. Nor can we transfer the cloak from a D10 into a newer ship, because it won’t be powerful enough to hide them. We need an older cloak and an older ship in order to pull this mission off.”

    Toddman leaned forward. “I’m guessing you’ve got both, or you wouldn’t be standing here right now, Commander.”

    “We do, Admiral,” he replied, tapping his PADD for the last time and bringing up a split screen. On the left side was the image of a cloaking device that had been ‘secured’ from a Romulan battlecruiser by an undercover Starfleet operation over a century ago, which now stood in a classified Intel vault. On the right was the image of a Saladin-Class destroyer from the same era, securely berth at the Starfleet museum, though the single-nacelle ship had played a key role in events of the time her legacy was overlooked by modern day tourists now however, the fate of the Allied Forces now rested upon her weary shoulders.

    * * * * *

    The marina, filled with pleasure craft and yachts of all shapes and sizes, was quiet. Since Captain Solin Rixx had arrived at the seafront location at South Queensferry just outside Edinburgh, he hadn’t seen another living sole aside from the man he’d come to meet who was tending to his boat. That wasn’t surprising, given that the Federation was engaged in all-out war many on Earth might not have felt up to sailing.

    Rixx himself had never engaged in the recreational activity and couldn’t see himself trying it anytime soon, but this was where he needed to be to ensure the success of his new mission, so he’d do whatever was necessary to secure the services of the elderly human who calmly carried on sanding down the wooden siding of his boat.

    When Fleet Admiral Nechayev of Starfleet Intelligence contacted him, Rixx had been at Utopia Planitia as his ship, the Ambassador-Class U.S.S. Exeter, was undergoing extensive repairs. He’d been temporarily reassigned to a covert mission, one he couldn’t tell anyone else about. It wasn’t unusual in the time of war to receive last minute orders or transfers, however when he’d been briefed on just what the mission was he’d had to question whether or not someone was pulling a prank on him.

    The U.S.S. Ajax had been retired from active duty in 2275, after almost four decades of service, and had been in the Starfleet Museum ever since. Though she was still intact, with her original warp reactor, computer core, environmental processors, shield generators, not to mention her untouched decor from the 2260s, the ship itself hadn’t been under her own power in over a century. Her fuel tanks were empty and none of her onboard systems had been tested under her own steam since she was decommissioned. Starfleet had assigned this ship to a mission that could very well determine the progress and direction of the war.

    However, compared to the specifics of the mission, getting the old starship up and running again was proving to be a mountain no one could concur. He’d had three of the best engineers he’d served with try and get the ship’s main reactor online, but each of them had failed. He’d needed to think outside the box and made enquiries about one person he knew of who he hoped would be able to do the trick—if only he could convince the man to take on the challenge.

    “Ye must be daft, lad!” the rotund human said, looking down from the deck of the yacht.

    “Given this mission there are many who’d agree with you, Capt-ah-Scotty.”

    Montgomery Scott, who’d insisted he be addressed by the age-old nickname instead of his former rank, gave him an amused smirk then returned to sanding down the wooden railing of his sailing boat. “Ye’ll need tae find someone else, my days o adventuring are ower.”

    “Scotty, I’m not asking you to sign on for the mission, but just to come on as a ‘technical advisor’ to help get the ship ready. The longer we waste in dry-dock the more people are dying out there.”

    The old engineer paused and looked off into the distance, his eyes clouding over. “Aye, war is a savage thing nae matter what time yir in.”

    “Once you’ve got her fired up and put the engineering crew through its paces, then you can return here.”

    “Saladin’s were tricky beasts back when they were being used daily, after so long gathering dust I’m no sure ye’ll get much oot o her.”

    “I know we’ll be asking a lot of her but I’m sure the Ajax—”

    Scotty’s head snapped towards him. “Ye never said it was the Ajax. That wis the first ship I ever served on.”

    “How would you feel about getting her ready for one more mission then?”

    The temporally-displaced human looked at the wooden deck he stood on once more, set down the sandpaper and clapped his hands together to rid them of dust. “Aye lad, I think it’s the least I could do for the auld girl.”

    * * * * *

    “C’mon lassie,” Scotty repeated as he stroked the reinforced housing of the dilithium chamber, willing the ship to do what was asked of her.

    “Captain, the intermix ratio is way off! There’s no way she’ll get to warp!” exclaimed Lieutenant j.g. Harris, who clung to the console he stood at. Though a self-proclaimed expert in ‘antique warp drives’ the bairn didn’t seem to know much of anything that wasn’t written in some obsolete technical manual.

    “Steady as she goes,” Scotty assured the kid, who shared concerned looks with a those nearest him.

    “Bridge to engineering, we’re getting a lot of vibration here. Hull stress is starting to increase.”

    Scotty slapped the companel beside him. “I told ye she’d be a tricky beast, Cap’n. Hold it steady for just a few more seconds.

    “Shevash,” he called back to the Andorian lieutenant commander who would become the chief engineer for the mission, “increase antimatter flow by point-zero-two.”

    “Point-zero-two, aye,” she replied without question.

    “That’s even more out of balance!”

    “Patience laddie, patience.”

    Seconds ticked by as Shevash made the slight adjustment to the matter-antimatter streams that were meeting within the dilithium chamber, where the two opposites annihilated one another and all that energy was captured by the delicate crystals within and harnessed to produce the power the ship needed to accelerate to FLT speeds. Scotty had reached five before the shuddering suddenly stopped and the roar of the reactor core dulled to a contented purr.

    He looked around and saw all the monitors, which had been flashing orange or red warnings, were now all healthier shades of green or yellow. He locked eyes with Shevash.

    “Nicely done, Commander.”

    “You’re the miracle worker here, Captain.”

    He chuckled and tapped the intercom panel again. “How’s that looking now, Cap’n?”

    “I don’t know what you did, Scotty, but we’re showing nominal power readings across the board. Let’s run a few diagnostics then have our first warp trial.”

    “Aye, we’ll be ready.”

    “I know you will. Rixx out.”

    Shevash, a statuesque shen, stepped around her console and over towards him. “Captain, how did you know that would work? Everything was saying that the intermix was so far off spec that it would breach containment if we left it any longer.”

    “Back in my day, lassie, what happened in the reactor chamber was always done more by instinct than design—it was always a worry when working with actual dilithium crystals, not like those matrices ye use now.”

    “So there’s no tricks of the trade you can let me in on.”

    “Listen tae her,” he said, patting the housing affectionately, “and trust yer gut.”

    “I’ve got a century worth of experience to gain in less than a week. I’m not ashamed to say it, Scotty, but I wish you were coming with us—I don’t know if I can manage all the nuances of a ship like this.”

    “Ye’ll be fine.”

    “Fine maybe, but with a mission like this on the agenda then we need to be exceptional.”

    Scotty felt his cheeks flush. He was always susceptible to a pretty lass flattering his talents as an engineer. He had to admit, as he’d worked on the Ajax he’d found himself enjoying the challenges she presented—not to mention the familiar surroundings of the bold-yet-simple aesthetics of the design, even if it did make him remember all that he’d left behind.

    Before he could say anything more to the ship’s chief engineer, the doors parted and perhaps the most challenging member of the ship’s small crew marched in. One of three non-Starfleet crew onboard, who were present to install and operate the old cloaking device, Sub-Commander T’Rul was always someone who made sure her opinion could be heard—even when no one particularly wanted to hear it.

    “Commander sh’Tharu,” she said as she stopped before them, “now that you’ve finally initialised internal power, perhaps we could finally connect the cloak to the power grid and begin tests.”

    “Of course, Sub-Commander.”

    Rixx to Shevash,” the intercom interrupted.

    Scotty tapped the panel next to him once more for her. “Go ahead, Captain.”

    “Commander, I need to see you on the bridge, ASAP.”

    “Understood. On my way. Shevash out.” The channel closed and she looked at him her eyes quickly darted to the Romulan and back again, to which he gave a little smirk—there was no way he could say ‘no’ to the woman.

    She turned back to T’Rul. “I’m needed on the bridge; in the meantime I can leave you with our expert consultant, Mr Scott.”

    T’Rul finally looked at him, her eyes quickly assessing him before failing to hide her frustration. “Very well then.” Without another word she turned on her heel and headed for the exit.

    Scotty looked at Shevash. “Ye’ll owe me for this.”

    * * * * *

    Captain’s log, stardate: 51916.1.

    With Captain Scott’s help the Ajax is once again under her own power and our warp trials have been finalised with the ship performing far better than simulations predicted. The cloak has also been successfully installed and tested, but without more information on just what the Dominion has waiting for us then we won’t know if it’ll be enough. Commander Valentine informs me we’ll need another twenty-eight hours for the installation of the quantum torpedo launchers, which is the most significant alteration that has been made to the Ajax for the mission.

    Once we take on the supplies and ordnance we will need and the last few members of the crew then we’ll be ready for launch. Regarding the crew, after discussions with Lieutenant Commander sh’Tharu and Captain Scott, he has finally agreed to join us as the new Chief Engineer, with sh’Tharu as his assistant. I have to admit, I feel better about our chances with Scotty onboard, someone who actually knows how this ship ticks.

    * * * * *

    “We have cleared the outer edge of the system, sir, ready to proceed on your order,” announced Lieutenant Commander Osall. Scotty wasn’t the only temporally displaced officer onboard, the Tiburonian had been the helmsman onboard the U.S.S. Bozeman before which he’d previously served on the destroyer Tamerlane.

    “Thank you, Commander,” Rixx said then slowly looked around the bridge.

    Osall sat at what had been the helm on his left whilst Lieutenant Commander Adele Valentine, his weapons officer, was at what had once been navigation on his right. Around the upper level, most of the consoles were dark, with power reduced as much as possible so as to not overtax the system until it was needed—also with only sixty-two aboard then they didn’t have the bodies to spare filling every post. Lieutenant Jharta, his ops manager, sat at the science console whilst Commander Grey their resident expert from Starfleet Intelligence (and his temporary first officer) manned communications, whilst on the opposite side of the bridge sat Sub-Commander T’Rul at the engineer’s post, from which she could control the cloak.

    Well, here goes nothing, he quipped himself.

    “Commander Grey, secure all arrays for silent running.”

    “Silent running, aye,” he responded immediately.

    “Sub-Commander, engage the cloak.”

    T’Rul nodded and tapped in the sequence on the brightly coloured control panel. A moment later, everything dimmed. “Cloak is operating within established parameters.”

    “Mr Osall, lay in course to Charos II.”

    “Course locked into navcomp.”

    “Warp factor seven. Engage.”

    The computer chirped as the helmsman tapped the activation stud and the old ship leapt to warp, heading out on her last mission, one she could very well never return from—a fact that all of those aboard knew and understood. Everything was against them, the mission they were on, the enemy they faced, even the ship they were on, but every single person onboard understood what was being asked of them and what it would mean if they failed.

    May whatever benevolent deities exist out there, bless this ship and her crew, Rixx silently prayed.

    * * * * *
    Sgt_G likes this.
  2. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    Everything was quiet onboard the Ajax. The ship had managed to maintain her high speed and remain cloaked as she’d headed for the Cardassian border, every system onboard was operating as well as could be expected and those that were proving a little temperamental were being closely watched by one of the engineers. Despite all that, Scotty still had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

    A century ago, when Captain Kirk and Mr Spock had ‘secured’ the cloak from the Romulan battlecruiser, he’d hooked the device into the deflector shield controls. The very act of connecting an alien device to Starfleet technology had been one of the trickier things he’d been asked to do, needing to cobble together a couple of bespoke components to make it work, but work it had—even though he’d had to change out a few circuits once they’d reached Starbase 17. On the Ajax however, seeing as how the ship could very well need her deflectors at full strength should they get into a fight with the Dominion, he’d had to be a little more inventive with how to incorporate the cloak and get it operational.

    Though he was loathed to admit it, Sub-Commander T’Rul had been more than helpful in that regard. Her experience connecting a modern cloak into the U.S.S. Defiant meant that she too was aware of the difficulties the mashing together of the two systems presented. It had quickly become apparent that she too was an engineer and a damned good one (no doubt the reason she’d been assigned to the Defiant in the first place). With the ship operating at minimum capacity, there were a number of subsystems that weren’t needed for the mission, through which they’d been able to power and generate the cloaking field. Surprisingly it worked without any problems, with the draw on the ships limited power production being far lower than he’d expected. After working together to connect it up, the device was solely under the control and monitoring of the three Romulans onboard and he made a point of not stepping on their toes, though the few times he’d seen the Sub-Commander in the mess or in a corridor she’d given him a subtle nod.

    Who woulda thought I’d make friends we a Romulan? he mused to himself with a smirk.

    A chirp from his control panel drew his attention. It wasn’t a technical fault but rather a reminder he’d set for himself about the staff briefing—their last before they entered Dominion-held territory.

    He let out a sigh and stood up, his joints popping as he groaned. He’d been sat down for too long, too busy checking diagnostics and running through system procedures. As much of a challenge the old Saladin-Class ship presented he seemed to spend most of his time monitoring things than actually getting his hands dirty.

    Glancing around he saw that Lieutenant Trolt wasn’t back from the auxiliary engineering compartment, which made him groan again—though for a very different reason. “Harris,” he called as he headed for the exit, “the engine room is yours.”

    “Yes sir,” the younger man replied. Though a competent engineer, the kid was too rigid in his approach, he didn’t seem capable of thinking outside the box, nor did he ever pad his estimates! Had Scotty had the chance before they left he would’ve seen about getting him replaced, but that wasn’t a luxury he’d had.

    Travelling to the briefing room, Scotty found the nearly empty corridors a little unsettling. Back when he’d first served on the Ajax, like the Enterprise and every other vessel he’d served on back in the good ol’ days, the ship had been filled to bursting with people. He’d never been able to walk in a straight line when he was an ensign, constantly ducking and dodging around people going about their duties or enjoying their down time. With a little more than a quarter of the original crew the Ajax felt deserted.

    He was almost chest deep in nostalgia as he entered the briefing room and had to quickly shake it off as he took his seat. Most of the other senior staff were already present, Captain Rixx and the enigmatic Mr Grey were near the head of the table, Commander Osall was on the opposite side whilst Lieutenant Jharta was seated beside Scotty. The Vobilite nodded her mottled red head at him as he sat—it was only when he was this close to her that he could see the delicate patterns etched into her tusks. He had just taken his seat when T’Rul entered the room and sat on the other side of the operations manager, her posture straight as she examined each of the Starfleet officers.

    Seconds later the last two attendees, Commander Valentine and Doctor Lanyda Xenau, entered the room and sat down besides Osall. Rixx nodded at them as they took their seats, then looked around the table.

    “Thank you for attending. We’re less than six hours away from the Cardassian border, which means we’ll be putting our theory about this cloak to the test. Assuming it works and we make it to our target, then our real work will begin.” He paused and turned to Grey, whose expression was harder to read than an Easter Island statue. “Commander, can you please fill us in on the details.”

    “Thank you, Captain.” He tapped a control on the terminal he sat beside, which activated the tri-screen monitor in the middle of the table. The image of the Charos II station, a base that looked similar to Deep Space 9 without the outer ring, appeared. “We have the original specs of the station but have no idea what modifications the Dominion may have made—though it’s a safe bet that her shields and weaponry have been upgraded considerably.

    “However, our objective,” he continued, “isn’t to destroy the outpost but rather to hack into it.”

    “How will you accomplish that?” interrupted T’Rul.

    “Intel has developed a method of piggybacking on official transmissions, which allows us to infiltrate the receiver and spread out into the rest of a computer system from there.”

    “Have you now,” replied the Romulan. It wasn’t a question.

    Grey held her pointed stare, not backing down. Everyone in the room looked from Grey to T’Rul and back, wondering who would blink first. Before either of them could, Rixx stepped in.

    “Commander Grey and his intelligence officers will initiate the worm and work on mining the stations central processor for information on the sensor array, as well as any other information that may be of use to the Allied Forces.”

    “Won’t that be pretty much everything?” Scotty asked. “If this base is whit ye believe it to be, then they’ll be developing a sorts of classified technology here.”

    Grey finally looked away from T’Rul to focus on him. “Don’t worry, Captain, my team and I are very experienced at data mining, we know the sorts of things we’ll be looking for.”

    Osall sat forward. “Why do I get the distinctly bad impression this isn’t something we can do from a safe distance?”

    “Because we can’t,” Grey admitted. “Once we infiltrate the system and begin sending information back it will have to be done in a way that won’t be easily detected by the station, as such we can’t use a lot of power and will have to mask the data stream as background noise. The Ajax will have to be no further than one thousand kilometres away from the outpost, though the closer the better.”

    “At that range our cloak may not hold up to any intense scans,” T’Rul stated. “I’d also be concerned that simply receiving the telemetry upload may give away our position—the Dominion aren’t fools!”

    “It’s a risk that was deemed acceptable by the joint military command council,” said Rixx. “Admittedly, they’re not the ones who will be facing that risk, but it’s one we have to take.”

    “What if they do penetrate the cloak?” asked Doctor Xenau, her large black eyes looking around the table. Scotty had to wonder just what the Betazoid was picking up from all those around the table.

    “The Ajax wouldn’t survive going up against a facility like that,” Grey stated calmly. “If they manage to detect us, we’ll have to withdraw as quickly as we can.”

    “Why was the ship fitted with new torpedo launchers then?” she pressed.

    “In case we have no other alternative and have to fight our way back to Federation space.”

    The Doctor’s dark face paled as she looked around the table. “What would be our chances if that did happen?”

    There was a beat of silence where only the hum of the warp drive was heard. Scotty had to admit that the surgeon had a way of cutting to the heart of the matter that reminded him of Doctor McCoy, though in a less brusque way. Given the design of the Ajax, her age, current energy production and tactical capabilities, he knew that the old ship wouldn’t hold out long against a Jem’Hadar attack ship.

    “Honestly,” Rixx began, “they’re not great. Anything more than three ships swarming us and we’d be in serious trouble.”

    That’s being optimistic! Scotty immediately thought then winced when Xenau’s deep black eyes flicked towards him for a moment.

    She looked back at Rixx. “I see. Thank you, Captain.”

    The Bolian bowed his bald head then looked around the rest of the officers present. “The next few days are going to be tough. We’ll be going deeper and deeper into Dominion-controlled space without any support, this isn’t the time to get sloppy. Keep your people focused and alert, reassure them as best you can and let’s make sure this mission is a success.”

    * * * * *

    Captain’s log, supplemental.

    We’ve entered the outer perimeter of the Charos System without being detected and are on course for the second planet. So far there are no signs Jem’Hadar ships. All sections are at red alert.

    * * * * *

    “We’re in visual range.”

    “On screen.”

    Grey nodded as he tapped the coloured stud then turned to look at the viewscreen. The station wasn’t the largest or most imposing facility he’d seen but that didn’t stop a cold shiver from running down his spine. After twelve years spent in Intelligence, Grey never liked not knowing. That base was a mystery and it was unsettling to him.

    “Any signs we’ve been detected?”

    “Negative at this time, Captain,” replied Jharta, peering into the viewer.

    “Mr Osall—”

    “I already have an evade-and-escape sequence programmed in and ready to engage, sir.”

    “Glad to hear it,” Rixx replied with a smirk in his voice. “Take us in to five hundred kilometres.”

    “Five hundred kilometres, aye.”

    Grey turned back to his displays and took a steadying breath. They were about to find out if the plan he had formulated would be a success or whether they were about to be reduced to dust. The tension was high on the bridge, everyone readying themselves for a swift end to their mission. He focused on what he needed to do, so left Rixx to lead the ship and the rest of the experienced crewmembers to do their duties.

    Activating the Intel package that had been installed into the communications system, he readied the worm and began sweeping for incoming signals. What T’Rul had brought up, about the Dominion tracking the data transmission back to the Ajax was one element that he hadn’t been able to reduce the potential risk for and was something that was constantly weighing on his mind. They could well reach their position and infiltrate the system, find the information that they needed without detection, but it could very well be the act of relaying that data back to the ship that could give them away.

    We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, he reassured himself. They’d been able to pull together some of the best people available at short notice, so the mission was in good hands.

    “We’re in position, sir,” Osall announced in a loud whisper.

    There was a moment of stillness, where every sound on the bridge seemed to die away and an eerie quiet filled the room. Grey kept his eyes locked on his screens, looking out for what he needed to get into the base’s system and resisted the temptation to look at the short-range sensor scans. If they were detected and attacked, he wouldn’t know about it for long.

    “Anything?” asked Rixx.

    “No indication they’ve penetrated the cloak, sir,” Jharta replied, her voice quiet like Osall.

    “Sensors are still clear of ships,” added Valentine.

    Behind him, Grey heard the command chair squeak as the Bolian turned towards him. “You’re up, Commander. Get us into their computers and let’s get this done.”

    Just then, the communications array chirped as it picked up an incoming subspace signal for the station. With a single tap, he tagged it with the worm and held his breath as the base received the signal. He looked at the dark stud that would indicate that the programme had been successfully delivered, slowly counting to himself waiting for it to light up. After three he worried that something had gone wrong, that a security measure had neutralised it. At five he was sure that the Dominion had discovered their attempted hack. By six he waited for their weapons to lock onto them. When he eventually reached seven, the control illuminated.

    Suppressing a hopeful smirk, he glanced back at the Captain. “We’re in.”

    * * * * *

    Lying in his bed, Solin Rixx stared at the chronometer. He’d set it to show both the ship’s time and how long they’d been in silent orbit around the Dominion outpost. Commander Grey had told him that it could take some time to crack encryptions and sift through the data on their system, so they could well be in range of the station for hours. The mission time had just reached fifteen hours.

    In order to save the crew from burning out, he’d stood all personnel down from alert stations and reinstated the shift pattern, so that some of them could rest up. When his turn had come to head to his bunk, he’d found himself too wired to sleep despite the fact he felt drained. He was on tenterhooks, waiting for something to happen—a negative side effect of war, looking at quiet times with suspicion.

    With a heavy sigh, he pushed himself up to a sitting position on his bed. He wouldn’t be getting any sleep anytime soon, so he could at least try to keep his mind occupied. After dressing quickly, he stepped out into the corridor and headed aft, deciding to check in with the engine room.

    The silent hallways made him even more uncomfortable, reminding him of the time he’d found himself on an actual ghost ship, back when he was a lieutenant on the Boudicca. Ever since that mission he had never liked quiet corridors, expecting apparitions to come at him through the bulkheads again. When he’d received his new orders, Rixx had read up on the Ajax to see what her past was like. The destroyer had served with distinction throughout the Four Years War and numerous other skirmishes throughout her long career, many of which had seen officers and crew being lost in the line of duty, so the old ship had her fair share of ghosts onboard as well. He suppressed a shudder and kept moving, wondering if anyone else aboard felt as unsettled as he did.

    He bypassed the turbolifts and used the Jefferies tubes to get down to the engineering deck, though even that didn’t take him long. The nearer he got the louder the sound of the warp and impulse drives, which kept away the spirits. When he reached main engineering he wasn’t in the least bit surprised to see Scotty there—the old human had apparently moved a cot into the chief engineer’s office so that he was close at hand.

    The engineer stood next to the large mesh screen behind which was the main reactor, his arms folded across his chest and a deep scowl on his moustached face. Whatever was bothering him had him so focused he never noticed Rixx approach.

    “Problem Scotty?” he asked quietly.

    “Aye,” he began, not taking his eyes away from the reactor. “The longer we run the cloak, the more the reactor fluctuates. We’re having to manual adjust power output every few hours.”

    Rixx’s face mirrored Scotty’s. “Is there anything we can do to keep it from getting worse?”

    “I’m afraid no,” he admitted. “It’s the problem with using an alien device; our power plant simply wasn’t designed to operate it.”

    “Will the cloak fail?”

    “Eventually.” A glimmer of a grin tugged at the corner of his lips as Scotty finally looked at him. “But dinna you worry, Cap’n, we’ll be on our way back to Earth before that happens.”

    “You’re sure about that?”

    “I’ll keep her going, Cap’n.”

    “Grey to Rixx,” the intercom whistled.

    He stepped over to the nearest companel and tapped the control. “Rixx here, go ahead.”

    “Captain, we’ve found something you need to see immediately.”

    “On my way. Rixx out.”

    With a nod at Scotty, he trotted towards the exit. The moment of stillness onboard at an abrupt end, though he suspected that he wouldn’t like what was coming any more than he did the lack of activity.

    * * * * *

    “A metagenic weapon!” Doctor Xenau exclaimed her dark face ashen and black eyes wide.

    “Yes Doctor,” Grey said calmly, but then again he’d had time to mull over his teams findings as they’d data mined the Dominion computer banks. “From what we’ve gathered so far the Vorta are going through final preparations for deployment.”

    “Metagenics?” enquired Osall, looking confused by the phrase he didn’t know but alarmed by the usually composed surgeons response.

    The Betazoid looked at the helmsman. “It’s a genetically engineered virus that is capable of destroying all DNA it encounters. Unleash a metagenic device on a planet and within days the entire ecosystem is obliterated. They are outlawed by almost every major power in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.”

    “The last Romulan scientist to study metagenics was publically executed,” T’Rul stated. All those assembled looked at her. “No one deserves to die in such a way, not even a Klingon.”

    “There have been rumours since the Cardassian Wars that they were looking into such weapons, but Intel could never prove it and any mission we’ve sent in to investigate further has not ended well.”

    “How long until they can use their weapon?” asked Jharta.

    “Four days.”

    “Even if we broke radio silence and called it in to Starfleet right now, they’d never be able to get a task force here in that time to stop them,” Rixx told the assembled officers. After Grey had told the Captain about what they’d found, they’d gone through their options, unfortunately they were only left with one course of action, not that he or Rixx liked what they needed to do.

    “It’s up to us,” stated Commander Valentine.

    Grey looked at the tactical officer, her long blond hair cascading over her slim shoulders. “That is our only option of stopping the Dominion.”

    Rixx, his eyes heavy with fatigue, looked at each of the officers in the room. “This was always an eventuality we might have faced, though one I had hoped we could avoid, but our hands are tied. The Dominion have a devastating new weapon that could end this war in a matter of weeks and we are the only ship that can do anything to stop them.”

    “I can hook up a couple o’ extra power cells to the phaser banks, give them a wee boost.”

    “Their reactor is very exposed; I can easily give us a clear angle of fire and still have plenty of room to manoeuvre.”

    “A full volley of quantum torpedoes targeted directly at their reactor should be more than enough to take out the entire station.”

    “I can input a programme that would raise our shields the moment we deactivate the cloak.”

    “If the Commander is still hooked into their databanks, then I might be able to insert a virus that might give us an edge.”

    Grey looked at Rixx and couldn’t help but smile. Though they had only been together for a very short time he’d known that the crew would rise to the challenge, he just hadn’t expected them to be quite so ready.

    Rixx allowed himself a pleased grin. “Alright, let’s get this done!”

    * * * * *
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  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 28, 2009
    The glorious Shetland Isles!
    “We’re in position.”

    “Torpedoes loaded, target locked.”

    “Standing ready to drop cloak and raise shields.”

    “Virus has been delivered; it should cause some disruption in their communications, sensor and targeting arrays, though just how effective it will be I can’t say.”

    “All hands are at battlestations. All sections report combat readiness.”

    Rixx nodded as his officers reported in. It had taken them a couple of hours to make the ship as battle ready as possible, during which time he’d wondered if he should make some announcement through the intercom, telling them all how it has been his honour to lead the mission, but decided against it. Such a message could sound as though he didn’t expect them to succeed and that defeat was inevitable. No, he’d keep them focused on what they needed to do and put all his energy into ensuring that it was a success.

    This was it.

    “Standby to disengage the cloak and open fire on my order.”

    “Aye sir.”


    “Drop cloak!”

    As the ship decloaked the lighting levels increased just the U.S.S. Ajax, a ship that hadn’t seen action in a century, opened fire with her hurriedly-installed new torpedo launchers. The deck vibrated as the powerful quantums shot out from above the deflector dish strut. On the viewscreen, Rixx watched five brilliant white pulses of light flash towards their target. It took only seconds for them to travel the short distance from the destroyer to the station.

    As the first one tore into the glowing red dome at the bottom of the stations central core, Valentine called out, “Loading second volley.”

    Rixx knew that the new weaponry that had been installed had its limitations; only able to hold five torpedoes at a time and would need almost ten seconds to reload. “Fire phasers.”

    He’d barely issued his command when the Ajax was slammed hard.

    Ogtek!” cussed Jharta. “It looks like my virus hasn’t disrupted their targeting sensors as much as I’d hoped.”

    “The Dominion have reinforced the reactor housing. Our torpedoes all hit, but only caused moderate damage!” barked T’Rul. “Shields are down to seventy percent and dropping.”

    “We did get some luck, their shields look to be inoperative,” Grey stated.

    “Evasive manoeuvres.” He slapped the companel on his armrest as four cobalt blue phaser beams lanced out and hit the damaged reactor core. “Bridge to engineering. Scotty, keep those shields up as long as you can!”

    “One of the generators has failed. I’m compensating with the rest and trying to sure up the energy bleed. Standby.”

    “Second volley loaded.”

    “Get us in position.”

    “Coming about!”

    The destroyer, still very nimble for a ship of her age, ducked and dodged much of the incoming fire before pirouetting and charging directly towards the base, giving Valentine a clear shot.



    This time the weapons officer unleashed everything the Ajax had at once. A volley of five torpedoes and a constant spread of phasers. Every strike bore into the brassy-brown hull of the station, punching through the reinforced panels and forcefields the Dominion had installed.

    Rixx’s eyes locked onto the base as they made their desperate strike. He saw the lights across the hull darken, but it was still intact.

    “Loading third volley.” What Valentine didn’t mention was that this was their last round of quantum torpedoes.

    “Keep us in tight, Mr Osall.”

    “Their weapons output has dropped by forty percent.”

    Just as T’Rul finished another hit struck the Ajax and flung the ship off course, her hull groaning under the strain.

    “Hull breach! Deck four, sections fourteen through seventeen,” Grey yelled. “Locking down emergency bulkheads.”

    “Our dorsal shields have completely collapsed,” added Jharta.

    “Osall, keep our dorsal side out of the line of fire.”

    “Torpedoes loaded.”

    “In position.”


    Their last five torpedoes erupted and rushed for their target but, as the destroyer took those few seconds to launch her attack, the station retaliated with three disruptor beams of its own. Rixx saw the first torpedo impact before the ship was struck. The energy beam punched into the underside of the saucer. Their second torpedo breached the inner hull surrounding the reactor. The second disruptor beam sheared off the deflector dish. The third and fourth torpedoes hit the reactor core and antimatter containment pods, obliterating them all in the blink of an eye. The third Dominion blast scorched the side of the nacelle. The final torpedo was destroyed in explosion that took out Charos station.

    The shockwave from the matter/antimatter detonation shook the old destroyer. Rixx gripped the sturdy armrest of his chair and held on as the ship rode out the turbulence. The aging spaceframe groaned under the strain. Just as he silently willed the ship to hold together the lights cut out, leaving the bridge in darkness as the shaking and rattling eased then stopped.


    “We’ve lost main power,” T’Rul replied immediately. “Auxiliary isn’t responding.”

    “We have another hull breach, decks seven and eight, section twenty through twenty-four. All external communications and sensors are offline,” added Grey, holding his earpiece in place.

    “The navigational deflector is gone,” Osall stated.

    They were blind and adrift deep inside hostile territory with no way to get themselves clear. Now wasn’t the time to dwell on the bad, it was the time to take action and get things flipped around.

    “Mr Grey, get our sensors back online. Osall, get down to navigational control and see about bypassing the deflector. Subcommander, check on the status of the cloak and get it operational ASAP. Lieutenant Jharta, give Scotty a hand in engineering,” he ordered as he stepped up to the emergency lockers and equipped himself with a SIMs beacon, which cut through the total darkness of the bridge. “This mission doesn’t end here.”

    “Aye sir,” the bridge officers replied in unison.

    * * * * *

    For a man of his years (and size) Scotty was surprisingly light on his feet, darting from console to console, looking over the displays and checking on his crew before telling each of them what he needed them to do. A number remained at their posts despite minor injuries, though three of the most experienced non-coms and a junior officer had been taken to sickbay—he wasn’t aware of any fatalities, yet.

    “Scotty,” Lieutenant Jharta called out as she stepped out of the Jefferies tube and approached him. The Vobilite, with her jaw tusks and ruby red skin, was a startling sight in the dim light cast by the beacons the engineering crew were using. “The Captain sent me down to help, where do you need me?”

    He gave the ops manager a nod, appreciative of the extra pair of hands. “Start working on ship-wide structural integrity. I’ve got a team in the nacelle, assessing the damage doon there, but I dinna ken how the rest of the ship will hole out once we go to warp.”

    “Aye sir,” she replied and immediately hurried to a vacant post.

    Tapping his communicator he climbed to the upper level. “Harris, how’s it looking?”

    “So far the damage just looks superficial, Captain. The nacelles hull is compromised but the superstructure is still intact. All the warp coils also look to be undamaged. I’ve got Bk’trr and Jimenez in nacelle control running a diagnostic.”

    “Understood, I want the results as soon as you have them. Scott out,” he said moving over to Shevash, who was still cradling her recently relocated left arm having reset her dislocated shoulder by herself and kept on working. He kept his voice low when he asked her, “So, Commander, what’s your opinion?”

    She glanced over his shoulder at the main floor behind him, where half a dozen crew scarpered about, then back at him. “Honestly? I’m surprised that the ship made it through in as good a shape as she is. Obviously, engineers back then knew how to build ships to last. Out priority should be the cloak and sensors, with that we can hide and see what’s out there. Everything else we can work on with enough time.”

    “Then you better get to the cloaking room and give the Romulans a hand.”

    “You got it, Scotty.”

    As she turned to leave, he had a second to catch his breath and try to think what else he needed to do. Trolt was working on restoring power, either main or auxiliary (with the rushed work to get the Ajax space-worthy they hadn’t had time to work on the emergency batteries, so they couldn’t even call upon them to power even the basics), whilst Lieutenant Reese was working on the sensors and now, with Shevash assisting on the cloak, he was focusing on the crucial systems they needed immediately. Everything else would have to wait.

    “Sir,” a voice called from below.

    Rubbing his tired eyes, it took him a moment to recognise the voice as Jharta’s. He climbed down the ladder and approached her. “Yes Lieutenant?”

    “The SIF doesn’t look good, sir. Overall integrity is at twelve percent, but with the damage we’ve sustained that will plummet once we go to warp.”

    “What? How is that possible?”

    “The system is just too old, sir. It’s been taxed well beyond it’s limits, now with two breaches in the hull, the loss of the deflector dish and the damage to the nacelle there is just too much being asked of the generators.”

    “Bugger,” he muttered under his breath.

    “I do have an idea, but it’s a little out there.”

    “Given our circumstances, Lieutenant, we need all the madcap ideas we can get.”

    “We can shrink the field.”

    “Shrink it?”

    “Yes, reduce the field down to a size that the generators would be able to cope with.”

    Scotty frowned as he thought over the young officer’s idea. The SIF permeated the outer hull and kept the ship intact from all the stresses and strains placed upon it from being in space and travelling at warp. It was an often overlooked system until it stopped working, only then did people realised the essential role it played in keeping the crew alive. However, in their current situation they needed to focus on getting the crew back to Federation space, the ship itself wouldn’t be recalled to duty permanently.

    “How much space could we cover at our current power levels?”

    “With the damage to the nacelle not as much as I would’ve liked, but enough to accommodate the crew in very cramped quarters.”

    “Work up the field geometry then get the specs to me.”

    “Aye sir.”

    * * * * *

    Alarms from every sensor panel blared as Grey stepped back onto the bridge.

    Zorg!” Captain Rixx cursed from ops.

    “What’s happened?” he asked hurrying over to the Bolian.

    “You got the sensors up just in time; we’ve got fifteen Jem’Hadar ships on the outer edge of our range, closing fast.”

    “How soon until they reach us?”

    “An hour at present speed,” Valentine stated from the helm.

    “Fortunately, the debris and radiation from the station is masking our presence from then scans, but as soon as they get nearer they’ll spot us.”

    “Scotty to bridge. What the bloody hell is going on now?”

    Rixx tapped the intercom panel. “We need to be out of here within an hour or we’ll be facing off against the Dominion reinforcements.”

    Grey heard the Scotsman muttering profanities under his breath. “Well I’ve got good news and bad news for you then, Cap’n. I should have warp back online in the next thirty minutes and we have a plan for keeping the ship in one piece once we do. But the cloak is going to need a lot longer than an hour.”

    “How much longer?”

    “Eighteen hours. Minimum.”

    “What about tactical systems?” Grey interjected.

    “We’re all out of torpedoes, the phaser coils are fried, and the best I can give you on deflectors is twenty-five percent.”

    He and Rixx shared a look. There was no way they were fighting their way out of this situation.

    “Scotty, get the warp drive repaired ASAP. We’ll have to make a run for it and hope we can stay far enough ahead of the Jem’Hadar.”

    “In that case, Cap’n, you’ll need to relocate the crew to the aft sections of decks six and seven. The only way we can power the SIF is to reduce the amount of the ship is has to cover, which will leave most of the ship’s outer hull exposed to warp field stresses.”

    “Understood, we’ll begin evacuating all affected sections now. Let me know as soon as we have warp speed. Rixx out.” He turned to look at Valentine, who sat at the flight control station by herself. “Begin transferring all ship controls to engineering.”

    “Aye Captain.”

    “Commander Grey, handle the evacuation. Only those working on essential systems are to remain in the affected areas for now.”

    “Understood,” he replied with a nod. He about turned and hurried back down the ladder to the lower decks, focusing on what members of the crew would be where and who he’d need to get moved back to the sheltered sections—anything to keep him for dwelling on the fact the Dominion were drawing closer with every second.

    * * * * *

    The bridge was silent. No one breathed a word. Everyone that had access to a sensor display watched it like a four-eyed Efrosian tirkoz. In the middle of it all Captain Motoko Kimura sat still, fighting the urge to start wringing her hands or get up and pace, instead her legs were crossed, elbows resting on the armrests and fingers steepled in from of her face, almost as though she were praying. Truth be told she was.

    Though not privy to the full details, she’d been ordered to monitor a specific section of the border in Sector 43327 and await the arrival of a ship on a special covert mission. Her orders had also come with an expected arrival time of that ship, a time that had lapsed over twenty hours ago. Kimura hadn’t been told how long she may have to wait, hadn’t been instructed to stand down, hadn’t faced a Dominion patrol that would force them to withdraw, so she made the call to wait. Of course, she now had to deal with the intense sense of unease that had gripped her entire crew. They were all waiting for something, though no one knew quite what.

    From mission ops one Ensign Hargraves coughed. Everyone’s attention snapped towards him, expectantly. Red-faced the rookie shook his head and mumbled an apology.

    After weeks spent on the front, engaged in fighting, she wasn’t sure just how much longer her crew would be able to deal with the stress of uncertainty. She always found it harder to deal with being in the central seat, at least when she was an ops officer she felt as though she was doing something more than just waiting.

    From the corner of her eye, movement from Lieutenant Kaala caught her attention. She held her breath as the Ullian science officer leant forward, tapped in a new command then waited for the results. It took a few moments, but Kimura bit her tongue and waited—she knew if it was something of importance then the lieutenant would say. Kaala examined the new display then compared it with the previous sweep.

    As soon as she looked towards the centre of the bridge, Kimura was on her feet and heading for her. “What have you got, Lieutenant?”

    “A subspace distortion travelling at warp, sir, looks like it could be a ship under cloak. But I’ve never seen readings like these before.”

    “Vott, any sign of the Dominion?”

    “Negative sir,” replied her ops manager.

    Since they’d arrived at the designated co-ordinates the U.S.S. Trident had been at yellow alert. As tempted as she was to go to condition red, she couldn’t jump at the slightest shadow.


    “On the Dominion side of the border, Captain. If I extrapolate their course then I’d say they’re head straight for us.”

    “Sir!” Vott called over his shoulder as he studied an alarming sensor panel. “Six Jem’Hadar ships have just entered sensor range. From what I can tell they’re on a pursuit course with that distortion.”

    Before Kimura could issue any orders Kaala’s station cried out. “The distortion has gone through a phase shift, I’d say it’s dropped out of warp.”

    “Still inside Dominion space?”

    “Yes sir. Three hundred million kilometres from the border.”

    “Vott, any distress signals?”


    From behind, she became aware of a presence and glanced back to see Commander Arnold Fitzhugh. Her stoic XO was light on his feet and very pragmatic in all matters. “Captain, we don’t know what that is, nor were we given permission to cross the border under any circumstances. For all we know this could be some sort of test the Jem’Hadar are carrying out.”

    “You may be right, Commander,” she admitted, then looked back at Kaala’s sensor display. “But this could also be who we are waiting on, and I’ve got to take that chance.” She turned to face the viewscreen.

    “Helm. Set course, maximum warp. Engage.”

    “Aye sir.”

    Though Fitzhugh was still relatively new to the Trident he’d been aboard long enough to know when to stand his ground and when to back her up. As soon as she issued her command to the conn, he added to tactical, “Red alert. Sound battlestations.”

    The pair took their seats as the lights dimmed and alert klaxons sounded. Kimura never liked picking fights, especially not alone, but something deep inside her tight gut was telling her this was the right call. All around her the crew buzzed about with practiced frenzy as they readied the ship and themselves for another battle, six against one weren’t great odds—even with the Ambassador-Class starship being much larger than the Dominion attack ships but they had been built for war whilst the Trident at her core was an explorer.

    It took them less than fifteen minutes to traverse the distance, the cloaked ship (if that was truly what it was) hadn’t moved or made any kind of signal in that time, whilst the hostile forces were closing the distance far quicker than she would’ve liked. Once the Trident reached the co-ordinates they’d only have four minutes before the Jem’Hadar were on top of them.

    “Fifty seconds to intercept,” announced Ensign T’Shen at the conn.

    “The distortion is fluctuating,” began Kaala. “Vessel decloaking. It’s a…”

    Kimura looked over at the usually unflappable science officer. “Lieutenant?”

    “A Starfleet Saladin-Class destroyer, sir.”

    “With a cloak?” Fitzhugh asked leaning forward as the ship was put on the viewscreen.

    She looked forward as well and saw the old ship, a type not used for a century, and was shocked at what she saw. The destroyers hull was badly damaged with much of the forward section exposed to space, the bridge module was gone, so too was the deflector dish and most of the lower sensor dome. What hull was left was scorched or warped, except for the aft sections near the impulse engines, that had remarkably stayed intact.

    “Life signs?”

    “I’ve got fifty-five signatures clustered in the engineering sections.”

    “Hail them.”

    “Sir, they don’t have a communications antennae,” replied Vott. “They also have limited shields and no weapons that I can detect.”

    “Bridge to transporter rooms, prep for evacuations.”

    “Fitzhugh to sickbay, medical teams to all transporter rooms, possible incoming wounded.”

    “Fifteen seconds.”

    A new alert sounded from ops. “Captain, I’m reading an energy spike in the warp core. They’re heading towards a breach.”

    “Dropping to impulse in: three. Two. One.”

    The Trident elegantly slowed from her maximum velocity to sublight in the blink of an eye, swinging around the near derelict ship before coming to full stop. However with no way to contact the crippled ship, she could only hope they had sensors that would show them that help had arrived and they could lower their shields.

    “They’ve dropped shields.”

    She slapped the intercom. “Begin transports.”

    “Position of the Jem’Hadar?” asked Fitzhugh.

    “They’ll be in weapons range in three minutes.”

    Kimura knew that it would only take seconds to evacuate a few dozen people, but with inside enemy territory with no shielding she felt completely exposed. Her jaw was clenched tight as she waited for the signal from below that the rescue operation had been successful. All the while her mind whirled with questions about the old ship, her mission, how and why she’d come to have a cloak, and if she’d been successful.

    “Chief th’Rhesh to bridge. Evacuation complete.”

    “Shields up!” order Fitzhugh immediately.

    “T’Shen engage.”

    With a tap of a single control the Trident leapt to warp, heading back for Federation space. Less than a minute after the last person had dematerialised, the old ship was engulfed in the catastrophic explosion of a warp core breach. In a flash of white there was nothing left of the destroyer.

    * * * * *

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  4. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 17, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    Wow! This is a really great story! You’ve got old-style Trek combined with the next generation of Trek found in the 24th century and I love it. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this crew or Kimura’s Crew, Bry.

    Take that, you Dominion bastards!
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.
  5. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Commodore Commodore

    Jul 5, 2013
    Yep, that's pretty much the story I had in mind, Bry, although I probably would have saved the ship for more missions (but Scotty finally gets to retire).
    Bry_Sinclair likes this.