Commander Rebecca Talon sat in the captain’s chair her legs crossed and a cup of coffee cradled in her hands. On the view screen ships of the Seventh Fleet surrounded them as they crossed the expanse of space.
“Commander,” the operations chief said from her console. “The Tokyo is experiencing trouble with their warp drive and they are falling out of formation.”
“Understood,” Rebecca said dismissively, but internally she was screaming. The Dominion wasn’t a pushover and this was already going to be a tough mission without losing ships before they even encountered the Jem’hadar. “Helm adjust course to fill in the gaps.”
“Aye Commander. Adjusting course” Stephens said from the helm. Losing a ship before the fight is not something they can afford to do.
“Commander Kyo,” she said looking back at him. “Are the repairs to the targeting sensors complete?”
“I’m afraid not, Commander,” Cheon said dishearteningly. “I am currently at sixty-seven percent, and I do not have an estimate from engineering as to when the remaining thirty-three percent will be completed.”
It had been over seven hours since Cheon had asked aid from the hulk of a man in engineering, but even that work appeared to be too much for him and the entire engineering crew on duty at the time.
“With your permission, Commander,” he said, standing near his console, “I’ll go check what’s taking them so long.”
“Mr. Stephens,” Rebecca started setting her coffee down. “What’s the ETA to the Tyra System?” They had to be getting close.
“15 minutes Commander”
“Mister Kyo, that’s how long you have. With or without targeting sensors I need you here on the bridge.”
Cheon nodded and stepped away from the console, pressing a button on his console to summon his relief crewmen. With barely fifteen minutes to get the targeting sensors online, he knew he had to move at a breakneck pace that no one had ever seen before.
As soon as he entered Denver’s engineering bay, he went in search of the chief engineer. He motioned for the hulk of a man to come over when he spotted him.
“Update report, Chief,” Cheon said as he drew out a PADD and displayed the current specifications for the weapons array, specifically the targeting sensors.
The chief also took out a PADD and flicked the current issues over while looking at Cheon.
“As you can see, Commander, we’re having trouble integrating the new sensors with the weapons array,” the chief said, moving over next to Cheon.
Cheon sighed as he laid the PADD down, and an engineering crewman walked up with a data-sleeve and handed it to him. After putting on the sleeve, he followed the chief over to an open panel in the engineering bay, where they both entered the depths of Denver’s main EPS grid. After a few moments, the chief came to a halt near the new sensors and handed Cheon a sensor tool.
Cheon smiled as he demonstrated the problem and how to integrate the new sensors with the chief. The chief’s expression fell into a frown when he realized how simple the integration was. Cheon laid a hand on the chief’s huge shoulders and remarked, “No worry chief,” as he slid the sensor tool back into its case, “anyone could have missed it. You wouldn’t believe how many trivial issues I missed when I was an engineer before switching to security,” he said with a smirk on his lips. “Finish here and get ready for what comes next.”
Cheon re-entered the bridge with only minutes to spare and relieved his relief, “I’ll take it from here,” he stated, and was received with a nod. “Commander, you should have full weapons by now.”
“Thank you Cheon,” she said appreciatively. Pressing the intercom button on the armrest, “Bridge to Captain Fitzpatrick. We’re approaching the Trya System.”
Rebecca stood and slid over to the XO’s seat. She could feel the tension in her gut as they approached the inevitable.
Captain Fitzpatrick stepped out of his ready room, the lights of the bridge shining off his bald head. “Report people.”
Cheon looked over at the Captain, “Captain, weapons reports all go,” he said as his eyes returned to look at the console that was before him.
Stephens is rapidly pushing buttons on his console. “Captain. We are maintaining course and formation with the fleet.” Stephens pushes a few more buttons. “Dropping out of warp in… 3…2…1”
Rebecca sat rigidly in her seat. This was probably the second worst moment of battle. That moment where you must overcome your fear of death. Once in battle you didn’t have time to think, and of course afterwards the terror had subsided, it you were left with grief and loss. Assuming you survived anyway. She said a silent prayer to Saint Michael before commending her soul to God.
“Red Alert. Charge weapons to full and load torpedo bays,” Fitzpatrick ordered.
“Sensors are picking up twenty-eight Galor-class warships,” Operations announced.
“Just Cardassians?” Rebecca asked surprised.
‘That doesn’t seem right.’ Cheon thought to himself as he widened the sensors to maximum on his console. After his initial scans, he looked over the logs and then scanned once more.
“I can concur with the scans, I am only showing Cardassians as well,” he stated, “However my gut is telling me something is a miss.”
“Something is always amiss when the Cardassians are involved” Stephens interjected.
“After the shellacking, we’ve been getting as of late they might be getting overconfident,” Fitzpatrick replied.
“Receiving orders from the T’met. We are to take a flanking attack heading 021 mark 51.” Operations said reading the encoded text message sent from Admiral Morin aboard the T’met.
“Helm, adjust course. Tactical fire when ready,” Fitzpatrick ordered.
“Aye Captain. Adjusting course” Stephens replies as he brings the Denver into heading 021 mark 51 as instructed. Attack formation was always his favorite part of flying.
On the viewscreen, a pair of Galor-class ships loomed menacingly, with a nearby molecular cloud providing a backdrop of red.
“Mr. Kyo,” Rebecca said looking up from her data terminal, “Target the engines of the lead Cardassian ship. Its shields are weakend along their aft dorsal plain.”
“Attack pattern: Theta-One, and then navigate at your discretion Mr. Stephens,” Fitzpatrick added.
“Aye Captain,” Stephens says diving into the attack pattern and then positions the Denver to give Cheon the best line of attack. “Give ’em Hell Cheon”
“Attack pattern: Theta-One, Aye Captain,” Cheon replied as his fingers flew over the tactical console. This was where he shined the most. Granted he knew Denver’s internals like most of the engineering crew but fighting, well let’s just say that he channeled his inner warrior spirit into the Denver when she was needed the most.
As the phasers hit their mark behind the aft dorsal sending up several small explosions, the Cardassian ship’s engines sputtered for a moment before flaming out. The nose of the ship dipped as the ship lost control.
“Captain, recommend defense package Delta-Beta Two,” Cheon stated as he looked up at the viewscreen and the remaining ship turned its nose to face the Denver; protecting its aft dorsal plane, having witnessed the lead ship being struck there.
Suddenly three warp signatures appeared on Cheon’s scanners.
“Incoming warp signatures, Captain!” Cheon yelled out as he looked up in time to see three more ships emerge from warp; two Galor-class ships and a single Jem’Hadar Battle Cruiser.
Rebecca looked over at the captain, “This is going to get interesting.”
“Evasive maneuvers Epsilon-beta-two,” Fitzpatrick announced as the ship shook under enemy fire. “Damage report.”
“Shields are holding, minimal damage, ” Rebecca responded.
“Evasive maneuvers Aye” Stephens reports as he puts the Denver through a series of maneuvers designed to lessen the damage taken.
Cheon locked onto the Galor class ships and unleashed hell. Phasers and Photon torpedoes impacted the shields of the Cardassian ships as he issued the orders from his console. Explosions and flaring shields filled the viewscreen as the Denver performed the ordered maneuvers.
Suddenly the Dominion Battle Cruiser brought to bear its weapons and targeted the Denver. Cheon gripped the side of his console at the same time yelled out, “Incoming!”
The entire ship bucked and tossed as the Dominion ship’s phasers impacted squarely into the shields of the Denver, followed closely by several torpedoes; most of which missed their target.
“Captain, I…” Cheon began to speak but was cut off as the Dominion Battle Cruiser suddenly warped away, followed by the two remaining Cardassian Galor’s.
This confused Cheon who looked down at his console at the retreating icons of their adversary.
“This is not how we know the Dominion to operate,” Rebecca said.
“Could be that they couldn’t win and they decided to retreat to fight another day,” Fitzpatrick replied thoughtfully.
“In that case, they will be back,” Rebecca replied.
“That is a certainty,” the captain replied. “Stand down to yellow alert. Mr. Kyo status of the fleet?”
Cheon acknowledged the order given by his Captain and with a flick of the wrist placed the Denver into the requested alert.
“What the hell? Where did they go? The Cardassian’s and Dominion never run like that. That battle cruiser would have been the turning point of this battle for them.” Stephens just kinda lets all of his thoughts out at once.
“Relax Lieutenant,” Rebecca said. “They’ll be back. I need you to be ready for their return.”
Gul Eilrak of the Cardassian Ninth Order snarled at the screen as he watched the Federation ships as they warped into the Tyra System. The ships there were quickly overrun. With their lines broken and scattered he ordered their retreat.
Yeris, the Vorta assigned to him looked at the display with a curious expression. With her hands behind her back, she watched as their forces left the system.
“That’s not how it’s supposed to go,” she said.
Eilrak poured himself a glass of kanar, downed it in one gulp, and then refilled the glass. “No, it isn’t, ” he agreed.
“Perhaps if you hadn’t sent the Order to raid the Landry System this wouldn’t have happened,” the Vorta said in her infuriating calm diplomatic tone.
Eilrak scowled, drained his glass again of the thick black alcoholic drink. He was envisioning wrapping his fingers around the Vorta’s neck and strangling the life from it. Dimly he wondered what Gul Dukat would do to him if he betrayed their ally.
But, it was Dukat that scared him. He knew Dukat’s history, and thus his weakness for Bajorans. Especially for a certain Bajoran Major on that old station of his. No, it wasn’t Dukat that scared him. It was that damned female changeling.
“I am reassembling the fleet. The Federation only has 112 ships. We’ll push back into the system with our combined fleet of 248 and crush them. But, I told you the Landry System would leave the Tyra System vulnerable, and if you want access to the Sona and the white you need that system. You got greedy.”
The Vorta stared at Gul Eilrak, and after a tense moment, she nodded and then gave him one of those infernal fake smiles, “Yes, of course. Forgive me. I am not a military strategist.”
That was the understatement of the century, he thought to himself.
He turned and left the conference room without so much as a comment to her admission, and walked onto the Valdora‘s bridge. “Notify the Order and set course for Tyra. Maximum warp.”
“Maximum warp, aye sir,” the helmsman said.