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Part of USS Centaur: Mission 3: Soldar

Chapter One

USS Centaur en route to Devron Fleet Yards
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Ajis stood there as he sipped his tea, staring at the holographic screen before him that displayed the vessel before him, the vessel where his target was currently on. And on the right side of that, was a display of the deep systematic and structural scan that the Advance AI had been conducting for the past couple days. He could see the progress bar just sitting there at Ninety-Nine Percent. It had been sitting there for the past ten minutes.

“Did you enjoy your breakfast, Ajis?” Angel asked after her holographic form appeared beside him.

He took one final sip of his tea before setting the saucer and cup down on the large edge of the console before him. “I did. My compliments to the chef.”

“I am pleased to hear that.” Said Angel.

“Is there something wrong with the scans?” Ajis asked.

To the left of the vessel they were following, a list of diagnostics that were performed appeared, all in the green. Ajis was pleased that all the installed components were operating without a hitch on such an old vessel. Unfortunately, not much of its 23rd Century self is left except for the frame and a few historical pieces here and there. But he did keep the aesthetics to the style of the 23rd Century, so it felt like he was still on board an old vessel.

“Negative. The last bit always takes a little longer. It should be complete…now.” At the same time she said ‘now’ the progress bar hit One Hundred Percent and the entire holographic display changed. The rear view of the vessel that they were following shrank and moved to the left corner of the display where a display of the Centaur Class vessel of its Dorsal, Ventral, Port, Starboard, Forward and Aft now occupied the center. Several areas on each view of the vessel had some red spots on them, including the very large one where the torpedo pod is.

“Aside from the serious structural damage to their torpedo pod here, the Centaur appears to have several other damaged areas all around the vessel. This is due to its engagement with a Vorcha Class Attack Cruiser. The damaged area on the port nacelle is also important, as it takes about thirty-two point seven percent of the nacelle’s structure. It also had been roughly patched together, which is why they have only been able to sustain warp five.” Angel explained.

“Warp six, now.” Said Ajis, pointing at the speed that they were currently holding to stay perfectly behind the Centaur without gaining or losing ground.

“I stand corrected. Apparently their Engineering team has been able to squeeze another warp factor out of the engines. Nonetheless, this gives us two options for an attack.” Angel then began to point at the Ventral view of the ship. “Their ventral phaser banks are fully operational, and we would likely sustain some phaser fire if we were to do below and strike from underneath. We could simply target their port nacelle to knock them out of warp, or if you wish to strike more harshly, I estimate two torpedoes to their currently weakened torpedo pod would be sufficient to, suppose the term would be, cut their legs off. Destroying the pod would severely damage and most likely cut their pylons right off of the ship, leaving them with no warp nacelles to establish a warp field. Reason for the second torpedo is due to the fact that it would most likely cause damage to their warp core. I estimate that it would not cause a warp core breach but it would be enough to shut it down, causing them to lose main power, which will make their ventral phasers less efficient.”

Angel then pointed to the Dorsal view. “Or we can go with this point of attack. We can use the same method of knocking them out of warp, targeting and damaging the port nacelle. We can also target this here, the Impulse Drive Plasma Feed Conduit is located there. Taking it out would take out their impulse engines entirely, damage their warp core, and likely damage their torpedo fire control. They also only have one fully and one partially operational dorsal phaser banks. We can easily take those out. Both plans will essentially cripple the vessel, they will most likely be able to make the necessary repairs and perhaps try to pursue us, but we would be far outside their long range sensors by the time they do.”

Ajis examined both plans carefully before making his decision, as making this attack as swift as possible so that they can beam their target off the vessel and leave without giving himself or his ship away, would be the most appropriate attack to take. The less chances they have of knowing his ship and who he is, the more grim their chances would be in ever finding out where he took the target or anything else for that matter. “We will take the high road. Choose your targets. I want to cripple this vessel quickly, grab the target, and get out of here. We need to return home to see what else the boss lady has in store for us.”

“Understood.” Angel smiled and disappeared from his side.

In the mess hall, a group of crewmembers, roughly twenty if not thirty of them, were all sitting there staring at the large screen before them, where they watched the movie that was being played. It was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In one of the rows, was Eli and K’Roll, sitting together as they munched on popcorn, staring at the screen as they watched the kids deal with a troll in the bathroom.

“Eeewwww, he got it stuck up his nose.” Eli whispered. “Going to seriously have to disinfect that.”

“Shhh.” K’Roll hushed her while his eyes never left the screen.

Eli smirked, “Getting into the movie, are we?”

K’Roll shrugged his shoulders, “Just curious as to how children are going to defeat a troll. What tactics do they use?”

Eli rolled her eyes, “It’s just a movie. Who cares.” Everyone then exclaimed in imaginary pain when the troll’s club was dropped on its head.

K’Roll shook his head, “Pure luck.”

“Of course it was pure luck, they’re kids.” Eli told him until they were hushed by others. Eli lowered her voice so low, that she knows he can hear. “I heard there are books that these movies are based off of.”

K’Roll looked at her with a head tilt. “There are more of these movies?”

Eli smiled and started going over the number of books and the number of movies as well with him.

Ryker laid there in bed with his arm around a very petite lady, where she had her head on his chest and an arm around him. Nothing much needed to be said at that point, aside from the fact that some of the crew had been given some extra time off due to the long travel back home, and after the crisis that they had to deal with, some down time was very much needed.

“You know, I am kind of glad that it is taking us about a week to get to the Devron Fleet Yards. We then at least can take some time off and enjoy ourselves.” James smirked.

“Well unfortunately I have to get back on duty tonight.” Ashley told him.

James frowned, “What?”

“Yup. We already squeezed Warp Six out of the damaged engines, and yet the Chief wants to try to squeeze some more out of them. So we’re going to be running diagnostics and figuring out what needs to be tweaked.”

James shook his head, “I’m going to have to have a word with the Chief, get you tonight off or something.”

Ashley smacked his chest, “No! This is exactly what I don’t want you to do.”

James laughed, “I was kidding! Just pulling your leg.”

She rolled her eyes, “Sure you are.”

“I wouldn’t interfere with your schedule just because we’re in a relationship.”

She sat herself up on her elbow to look into his eyes. “You better not, or we’re through, mister.”

James smiled, “Yes, ma’am.” He then grabbed the covers and pulled them over their heads.

Up on the Bridge, Ruby was manning the helm while Mizu sat there beside him at navigation. “Seriously, I got this.” Ruby told her.

“Are you sure? I mean, it’s really complicated to fly a starship.” Mizu teased him.

Ruby, on the other hand, didn’t see it as such. “Seriously? All I have to do is enter some coordinates and press a few buttons here and we’re off. Besides, right now I don’t need to do anything because the course is already set.”

“Uh huh. What about dropping out of warp? You’ll have to slow us down, make sure we don’t collide into anything…”

Ruby frowned even more. “We’re going to be at warp for several more days, Mizu. I don’t think we will be dropping out any time soon. Even if we did, right now, it would be nothing but empty space.”

“What if there’s a rogue asteroid or rogue planetoid or a comet or some space debris?” She asked.

Ruby sighed and shook his head, “You’re just here to annoy me, aren’t you?”

Mizu shrugged her shoulders, “Kind of. I am your navigator anyway, just nothing to navigate right now.”

“An annoying navigator.” He squinted at her and then looked back at his console.

Mizu laughed with a shrug of her shoulders again, “Hey I gotta get back at you somehow for that prank.”

“Oh my god, woman! That was like a week ago or something. And it was just shaving cream!” Ruby complained. Mizu just laughed even more.

Carter stood there by his seat with Vakai, staring at them while holding a data padd in his head. “Look at them. After all we’ve been through, the stress and pressure we had to deal with since the crisis…not to mention nearly getting torn up by that Vorcha.” Carter shook his head, “Yet we still have those who know how to push it all to the side and have fun.”

Vakai smirked, “The crew will do whatever it takes to keep their own morale up. Or help each other in that department. We got a movie playing in the mess hall, laid a few crewmembers off to relax. Honestly, I don’t know what else we can do on board this ship to give people a chance to recover.”

Carter nodded his head before holding the padd up. “We will once we get back to the Fleet Yards. The Fleet just received orders. Everyone is to come home and take a load off.”

Vakai raised his brows. “Shore leave for the entire crew?”

Now Carter was the one to smirk. “You betcha.”

Vakai chuckled softly, “I know a few who would enjoy that time off. Sivol had been talking about visiting Vulcan one of these days, I might just go with her if she decides to go during shore leave.”

“It would be a fantastic idea, Vakai. You’ll get to learn a lot about your cousins. And maybe they can help you out on other things as well.” Carter told him.

Vakai nodded his head, “That’s what she thinks as well.” He then saw the look on Gomo’s face and pointed for Carter to see before walking over to Gomo at his station. “Something wrong, Gomo?”

The Cardassian looked up from his display at the Captain and Commander before looking back down. “I don’t know, to be honest. But for the past couple of days, I have been noticing a tiny energy surge directly behind us.”

“How tiny?” Carter asked.

Gomo sighed, “Like a zero point five difference. I don’t know, it fluctuates sometimes but it doesn’t get anywhere to cause concern. Just…I checked our logs and this signature was not there before. I can’t tell if it is because of our damaged port nacelle or what.”

Vakai and Carter looked at each other before looking back at Gomo. “What would your opinion on this be, Gomo?” Vakai asked.

Gomo shook his head, “Honestly, without anything more to go on, it could simply be a glitch in the system. Or a blip from the damaged engines. I don’t know. I will not say without solid evidence.”

“Say what, Lieutenant?” Carter asked.

Gomo sighed again. “I think we are being followed. I’ve been studying Romulan tactics ever since we’ve been on board the Centaur and assigned to this region of space. We know that the Remans had perfected a cloaking device that was used on the Scimitar when it engaged the Enterprise. How do we know that kind of technology hasn’t been passed around? Or stolen?”

Vakai looked at Carter. “Or acquired from the black market.”

It was now Carter’s turn to sigh, not at all enjoying this conversation, nor was he liking where it went. Carter was about to say something when the console began chirping an alert. Gomo’s eyes went wide, “Vessel decloaking behin-” He was unable to finish that sentence when the ship was struck. Multiple disruptor bolts from a series of cannons had fired simultaneously, two hitting the patched port nacelle, while others struck any remaining dorsal phaser banks that the Centaur had left. The assault had caused an empty station to combust in sparks and flames due to an overload.

Ruby watched his display as they were losing warp speed until they were no longer at warp. “Sirs! We’ve dropped out of warp!”

“All Dorsal phaser banks have been destroyed. Shields are not responding.” Gomo reported before they were hit again, two disruptor bolts directly on top of the impulse engines, right at the plasma feed conduit, enough to rupture the section but safety systems activated and prevented the whole thing from cascading to the warp core. Sadly didn’t stop another console on the bridge from being engulfed in flames after an overload caused it to shower an ensign with sparks.

Ruby laid there on the deck on his right side as he tried not to touch his left arm, where third degree burns covered most of it. Mizu was right next to him trying to calm him as he groaned loudly in pain, muffled by clenching his teeth shut.

“Ensign, get him to sickbay!” Carter ordered as Vakai went over to one of the engineering stations to assess the damage.

“Captain, we’re-” Vakai couldn’t finish his report when he was showered in a green light before disappearing before everyone.

Carter turned to Gomo. “Get a lock on him!”

Gomo’s fingers worked frantically on his board but then his hands stopped and the color had drained from his face. “The ship went to warp.”

“Track it!”

Gomo swallowed and shook his head. “I can’t.”