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Behind Enemy Lines

The Saratoga and her Squadron are being sent into Breen Space to disrupt an old Breen Fleet Yards.

3 – Behind Enemy Lines

Engineering; USS Knight
March 2401

Engineering was bustling with activity as engineers were frantically trying to complete modifications that were sent over from the Saratoga before arriving at the Ciatar Nebula. Piyu Jaiett sat in his office going over everything available to them about their assignment. There was one thing that had caught his attention, which was the Cardassian orbital weapons platforms that were strategically placed right before you would get to the Lungurn Fleet Yards. After fighting in the Dominion War he had come across these types of platforms during the First Battle of Chin’toka and it concerned him.

“Engineering to Commander Rayu,” Piyu said after he tapped his commbadge.

“Go ahead,” Isha replied wondering what was going on as his tone sounded that of urgency.

“Could you come down to engineering,” Jaiett replied. “There is a problem I need to speak with you about,” he added.

“Of course, on my way.” She responded before ending the channel.

Jaiett continued to read the information while he waited for the commander to arrive, while this ship was designed to be able to withstand fire for longer periods of time. He knew it wouldn’t be able to withstand these orbital weapons platforms, especially not the fighter squadron they would be picked off immediately. A few moments later there was a chime at the door, “come.” he replied as he kept reading as the doors to his office opened to reveal Commander Rayu.

“You wanted to see me?” Isha asked as she could tell he had a worried look on his face. Walking up to the open seat in front of his desk she sat down.

Looking up from his screen, “yes I wanted to talk with you about the weapons platforms and our upcoming assignment.” Piyu replied looking at the commander before turning the screen around for Rayu to see. “These are Cardassian orbital weapons platforms, we won’t be able to just shoot at them.” He added looking at the commander who was young in comparison to him and probably never seen the Dominion War like he did.

“How do you mean?” Rayu asked not familiar with Cardassian designs.

“These particular platforms were designed and developed by a Gul Damar in late 2374 during the last Dominion War,” Piyu began. “In the subsequent battle known as the First Battle of Chin’toka, these weapons were able to take out larger ships. Their regenerative deflector shielding left them virtually invulnerable, that is until Starfleet was able to exploit their remote power generator that was located on a nearby moon.” He said in a vast summary of events that he remembered during the last war.

“How were they able to exploit the generator?” Rayu asked looking at him.

“Well since they couldn’t penetrate the moon’s defensive grid they imprinted an enemy warp signature on the generator’s energy matrix. This caused the weapons platforms to start firing on it until they got through, which in turn caused them to shut down once the generator was destroyed.” Piyu replied looking at the captain.

“Can we do the same thing?” Rayu asked.

“I mean we could but right now we don’t know where their generator is located,” Piyu began as he looked at her, “we would need to go in close enough without being picked up and begin scanning to see where the generator is located and go from there,” he added.

“Do you think it could be in the command and control center?” Rayu asked.

“That would be a possibility, though if I were the Breen I probably would have it located in a separate location in case something were to happen with the systems the weapons platforms would remain working,” Piyu replied looking at her as she nodded.

“This changes things,” Rayu said with a heavy sigh.

“Indeed,” Piyu said with a heavy sigh. “Things tend to not go as planned and these weapons sure change things,” he added.

“Do you think they were built with some kind of shutdown command?” Rayu asked looking at him which made him start to ponder what she asked.

“I am not sure,” he replied as he began to think. “I can contact Lieutenant Commander Aleish Trol on board the Gagarin to see if she might know or be able to find out before we arrive at the Ciatar Nebula,” Piyu replied.

“Very well, keep me updated,” Rayu replied before standing up from the chair she was sitting in. She thought about contacting Fleet Captain Dex about what they discovered but would hold off until they could present a different plan of action upon arrival at the nebula.

“Will do sir,” he said as he watched her walk out of his office. Standing up from his chair he walked over to the replicator to grab a good strong cup of coffee. Once the replicator materialized his order, he grabbed the cup carefully in his hands before turning to walk back to his desk. Just as he was sitting down he heard the door chime go off, letting out a verbal sigh he looked at the door. “Enter,” he replied.

The doors parted to reveal Kisha Pazal a young Cardassian woman walking in and up to his desk. “We have finished all the modifications to the ship’s systems, and ran every diagnostic as I could to make sure everything was up to par.” Pazal began looking at him standing at attention. “Here is the report,” she added as she handed him the padd that contained the information.

Taking the padd from the young officer and began to read over the report for a few moments. Setting the padd down on the desk once he was satisfied with the work he smiled, “thank you lieutenant is there anything else?” He asked looking at her.

“No sir,” Kisha replied before she turned and exited the office.

Piyu watched her leave and once the door closed behind her he turned his attention to what he was about to do before she came in. “Computer open a channel to Lieutenant Commander Aleish Trol onboard the USS Gagarin and patch it through to my office.” He said as the computer beeped in response, he now waited for Aleish to come on his screen.

“Jaiett!” Aleish replied once the channel was open, “been far too long.” She added with a smile.

“It has,” he replied returning her smile with his own.

“I know you didn’t call just to catch up, what can I do for you?” Trol asked looking at him as she could see that something was on his mind.

“Are you familiar with the Cardassian orbital weapons platforms that were used during the Dominion War?” He asked looking at her as she squinted her face at the mention of the war. 

“A bit yes,” Aleish replied as she tilted her head to the side a bit.

“Well as you know we are being sent to deal with taking them out, as you know that is a huge problem if they are the same configuration used during the First Battle of Chin’toka.” He began to speak, “right now we do not know where their power generator is located whether on the command and control center or some asteroid.” Piyu began to speak.

“That does create a bit of a dilemma as from what I remember they were impenetrable due to their regenerative deflector shielding,” Aleish said looking at him.

“Indeed, do you happen to know if there is maybe a shutdown code that can be transmitted to shut them down to be taken out?” Piyu asked as he adjusted in his chair looking at her.

“I am not sure if they do,” she began as he let out an audible sigh. “I mean I do have one contact on Cardassia that I can get ahold of to see if he might know or not, I am not that familiar with the ins and outs of those defense systems to know myself. If you give me about an hour I’ll get back to you with an answer,” she said.

“That would be great,” Piyu replied as he looked at her. “Thank you,” he added before the communication channel ended and he sat back in his chair thinking of their upcoming task that he needed to try to come up with a different plan of action. Even though he was only an engineer he was also the ship’s second officer so a lot was riding on him to find a way to get around to destroying these platforms so the other ships can succeed in their mission.

Over the next hour, Piyu had been in engineering checking systems and doing small recalibrations that needed to be done while he waited for Aleish to get back to him. Time seemed to be going very slowly, “is everything alright sir?” Kisha asked as she walked up to him while he was at a console.

Looking up at her with a fake smile, “as good as it can be given the current situation.” Piyu replied looking at her.

She nodded and was about to speak when she was interrupted by his commbadge going off. “Commander you have an incoming transmission from Commander Trol from the Gagarin,” Sreivik said over the channel.

“Very good patch it through to my office,” Jaiett requested.

“Aye sir,” Sreivik replied before the channel ended.

“Well if you will excuse me I have to go take this call,” Piyu said excusing himself from the lieutenant who just nodded in understanding.

Walking into his office he sat down in the chair that was behind his desk and turned on the screen, “please tell me you have some good news.” Piyu said as he looked at Aleish who just frowned which gave him a hint as to not-so-good news.

“I wish I did, unfortunately, those platforms were created without any shutdown codes that could be transmitted remotely.” She began with a sigh and a face of disappointment she couldn’t give him the answers he wanted. “Though my contact did suggest that the Knight come up with a way to transmit a false energy signature of that of either the Dominion or Breen. That would last long enough to be able to find the power generator and do the same trick that allied ships did during the war,” Aleish said looking at him.

That got his brain turning and smiled, “that is a good idea and I think I can pull that off.” Piyu lit up looking at his friend, “thank you for your help Aleish.” Piyu replied.

“Glad I was able to help in some way, we are all in this together.” She replied.

“Indeed we are,” Piyu replied as they chatted for a short time before ending the call. Piyu began to work on a plan that he would give the commander to present to Fleet Captain Dex once they arrived at the Ciatar Nebula. He spent the next hour preparing a padd with the plan and how they would be able to achieve the goal before he walked out of his office heading towards the bridge where he would meet with Commander Rayu once he was satisfied that it would work.

5 – Behind Enemy Lines

USS Knight
March 2401

It had been a while since they had entered the nebula, things were eerily quiet as they traveled towards the other side. Isha had been sitting almost on the edge of her seat the whole time, feeling anxious about what is ahead of them. Her heart thumped hard within her chest, feeling as if it were about to come out. Feeling almost out of place, being so new to the command chair and now she was being thrust into war with an enemy she had never faced before. She had only read about it in the academy many years ago, and having the Breen as their allies once again had her even more nervous.

She hoped that Piyu Jaiett would be able to pull this off, she would just have to have faith in him and this crew that they would come out of the other end. In the back of her mind, she knew not everyone would come out of this unscathed, she would do her best to bring them home. They were currently on a communications blackout with the rest of the squadron, they needed to make sure that the orbital weapons think they were a Jem’Hadar fighter. This made tensions on the ship run even higher than they already were.

Piyu had been at the engineering station that was located on the bridge to make sure that his plan would work and make any needed adjustments as they traveled towards their destination. Silence had filled the bridge as no one had anything to say, they focused on the task at hand. So far things were holding up, they would be coming towards the edge of the nebula soon where they would begin to scan as they traveled towards Lungurn Fleet Yards.

Randy McKnight had shifted in his seat which was directly across from Isha’s, he had been going over reports that came in from other departments. He kept busy, trying to get his mind occupied rather than about what was up ahead. He was finding it hard to believe that this wasn’t just a Breen skirmish as Starfleet Command and the FNN have reported, he didn’t want to believe that the Lost Fleet was here and this fool’s errand would prove him right.

Isha and Randy had gone to head over this multiple times upon learning of their mission. He was arrogant and stubborn which would probably end up being his undoing even in the face of evidence that he just refuses to believe. Isha hoped that he would wake up upon seeing for himself or he gets himself killed for that arrogance.

“Sir we have come out of the nebula,” Jerra replied from the flight control station that was located at the front of the bridge on the left side of the view screen breaking the silence that had once filled the bridge. There were no enemy ships in the vicinity which was good for them and a bit of a relief that they wouldn’t be fighting right away.

Looking over at the young officer, “thank you.” Isha replied before she looked over toward where her chief science officer was located. “Lieutenant Turi begin scanning for where that generator is located as we head towards the platforms,” Isha ordered trying to keep her voice from wavering.

“Aye sir,” Ledire Turi replied before turning back to face her station to begin her scans as they traveled.

Time seem to stop to a standstill as they slowly made their way towards their destination scanning to find what they have been sent out to find. This time Isha was standing in front of her chair as her first officer was still seated though he wasn’t looking at the padd anymore but at what was shown on the viewscreen.

Sehl Th’atiarin was standing at the tactical station monitoring for any movement from any direction as they continued on their way. He wasn’t going to let them be caught off guard if he could help it, the Andorian antennas began to twitch as he continued looking at his console.

“Sir I think I found out where the generator is located,” Turi spoke up as she turned her chair to face the captain and the others. Piyu perked up as he stood up and walked over to where Ledire was sitting and took a look.

“Perfect,” he commented as he tapped a few buttons and brought up the asteroid that was located just directly behind the last platform on the right side onto the view screen. A sense of relief washed over him as he was glad that the generator wasn’t in the command and control center farther within enemy territory. “This makes our job a bit easier,” he said as Isha looked at him.

“If you will excuse me I need to,” McKnight began standing up from his chair and looking around as if he was nervous about something. “Go check on something,” Randy replied before walking off the bridge before giving the captain a chance to question him.

Jaiett looked at the captain with a raised eyebrow wondering what had gotten into him, “that was weird,” he commented.

“Indeed,” Isha replied though shrugged it off not knowing him very well as they were all still fairly new to the ship. “Do you think our plan will still work?” Isha asked turning back to the task at hand.

He looked back at the console and began to scan the generator to see if they’d be able to exploit it just as they did during the Dominion War. After a few moments, he looked back at the captain, “yes it looks like they haven’t made any upgrades since we were able to exploit them the last time.” Piyu replied looking at the captain before returning to his station.

She was about to speak when the comms went off, “security to the bridge we have a problem in the maintenance tunnel near engineering.” A security officer said with a concerned and almost frightened voice just as Lieutenant Th’atiarin’s console went off.

“What is it?” Isha asked.

“An engineer had opened the maintenance hatch to go do some work when the body of Commander McKnight fell out.” The officer replied with a short pause before continuing, “he’s dead sir.” He added which caused Isha to look back at Sehl.

“Get him to medical, I want to know how long he’s been dead and what was the cause of death,” Isha ordered.

“Aye sir,” the security officer replied before the channel was terminated.

“Sir you might want to come look at this, you too Piyu,” Sehl replied with concern in his voice. The two moved over to where the tactical station was located and began to look at what Sehl was looking at.

“Someone is trying to sabotage the ship, it looks like he is especially trying to undo what modifications you did Commander,” Sehl replied.

“Can you tell me who?” Isha asked.

This is what concerned him, this could be a possible impostor onboard a changeling, “it is saying it’s Commander McKnight, sir.” Sehl replied as they all got confused looks on their faces before Isha turned around to look at Jerra.

“Full stop,” she ordered as she didn’t want to go any further until they got to the bottom of this new development.

“Aye sir,” Jerra replied before the ship came to a complete stop. They were not very far away from the nebula.

“Get a security team down to where he is located,” Isha ordered.

Sehl nodded as he walked off the bridge and called for his officers to meet him down at the location. Isha took a deep breath and looked at Piyu who had walked back to his station and began to see what damage has been done and if he could fix it in time once they apprehend the impostor.

Isha walked back to her seat and waited on word, she was beginning to understand why Randy was acting all weird lately she hadn’t been able to place why as they had all been new to this assignment. She began to wonder if a changeling had infiltrated their ship, though she wondered how. So much running through her mind, “send a coded message to the Saratoga letting them know of our situation. Send it on a band that any enemy ship will have a hard time picking up.” She ordered looking over at Lieutenant Srejvik.

“Aye sir,” came the voice of the young Rigelian officer. “Transmission has been sent,” he replied a few moments later.

Ensign Puzder had taken over the tactical station after Sehl had left the bridge to deal with the situation, which he kept monitoring. “Sir there seems to be a fighter fight going on just outside of engineering,” Puzder said looking up from the station just then the comm channel beeped.

“Sir, you might want to come down here and see this,” Sehl said over the channel.

“On my way,” she said before looking over at Jaiett. “You have the bridge,” she ordered before getting up and heading toward the turbolift. “Engineering,” she said as the doors closed behind her and began to move towards its destination. Time seemed to have stood still or the lift seemed to go slower than she normally felt it go.

After a few minutes, she arrived at her destination where she saw the scene in front of her. A security officer lay dead on the ground and a few feet away was the impostor even though it looked exactly like Commander McKnight.

“Is it?” Isha asked.

“We believe so, though medical would probably be the one to be able to confirm that for sure.” Sehl replied, “right before he was shot he stated that we were all going to die soon.” Sehl replied with concern in his voice though wasn’t sure what he exactly meant, either by the Dominion or something else.

Raising an eyebrow at that statement she took a deep breath, “get him to the morgue I want answers.” She ordered as he nodded before she walked back down the corridor lost in thought, wondering how this happened and if there are any more changelings onboard. A few minutes had passed before she walked out onto the bridge and looked at Jaiett, who was by all accounts the acting first officer until this mission was over and they can figure things out then.

“How bad is the damage?” Isha asked.

“Very minor we ended up catching him before he was able to complete his work, I was able to fix it and we are good to resume,” Jaiett said with a look of concern on his face at the turn of events that had just transpired.

Isha nodded with a sigh of relief, this could have been deadly for them all if things went any differently. Though two people had lost their lives before even engaging with the Dominion, one was a young ensign fresh out of the academy. She felt bad that he wouldn’t be going home to his family once this was all over. Closing her eyes for a moment as she sat down in her chair.

After a few moments, she opened her eyes again and looked at Jerra, “resume course and speed.” Isha ordered.

“Understood,” Jerra replied before turning around and tapping a few commands in her console. A few seconds later the ship began to move again towards its destination. “We will arrive near the asteroid in about twenty minutes sir,” Jerra said.

Isha nodded as she sat there hoping that this would work without any more setbacks, still thinking how bad this could have been. The next twenty minutes would drag on as they slowly made their way towards their destination, the tensions on the bridge were at an all-time high more so than before. 

The ship finally reached its destination and so far the orbital weapons hadn’t reacted to their presence. This caused Isha to almost let out a heavy breath that she had been holding. “Ledire please scan the area for any ships nearby,” Isha ordered.

She nodded as she began to scan the area, after a few minutes she looked at the captain. “There are no ships in this area, only further in near the command a control center,” Turi replied.

She nodded before turning to Jaiett, “begin phase one of our plan.” Isha ordered as she sat near the edge of her seat again.

“You got it,” Jaiett replied before turning around and beginning his work at imprinting an enemy signature on the generator’s energy matrix. It took him some time and careful calculations to make sure they remain not a target. “I think I got it,” Jaiett replied then from the view screen he activated that imprint that he had placed. Just then the orbital weapons turned in that direction and began to fire on it believing it was an enemy ship.

“Yes it’s working,” Jaiett said as he continue to monitor as Ledire monitored any enemy ship movements. So far they haven’t come to investigate, though they knew they would only have a little while before they would take notice and come investigate. Anticipation rose as everyone watched and hoped this worked.

After what seemed like hours though in reality was only about a few minutes the energy matrix collapsed and the generator was destroyed causing the weapons platforms to stop firing. “Yes!” Jaiett shouted with glee but then composed himself looking around the bridge before turning back to his station.

“Inform the Saratoga they are clear for phase 2,” Isha ordered.

“Aye sir,” Sreivik replied.

Now they wait for the Saratoga, Gagarin, and fighters to arrive and enter Lungurn Fleet Yards before they would start destroying those weapons platforms completely so they can’t be repaired. Isha sat back in her chair and stared out at the viewscreen, soon the squadron would come and the real fight would begin. Things were getting more real than before, this would be an uphill battle one they hoped would be victorious for Starfleet. She glanced around the bridge slowly looking at each officer at their station, thoughts continue to plague her mind. Including what transpired earlier, she couldn’t get that out of her mind though she would remain focused on the task at hand she just couldn’t get it past her thoughts.