Part of Challenger: The Romulan War: The Battle of Krios Prime

The Battle of Krios – THREE

Challenger NX-03, leaving the Krios system
Thursday, November 19th, 2155
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Remaining at tactical alert since the captain had ordered it upon their arrival into the Krios system, Challenger was now rushing out to track the Romulan ship they believed was responsible for taking control of the Klingon ships from the day before. Burton was adamant they needed to capture the ship and prove not only to the Kriosian leadership about their subterfuge but also as evidence to present to the Klingons as well. With its task group behind it, Challenger led the hunt before the Romulan ship realised what was about to hit them.

The large dinner from the night before with the First Monarch of Krios had gone well,  the captain had been able to build up a strong rapport and with her husband’s fascination in repaying his debt to Stewart, it would seem that something formal could be arranged for the benefit of both Krios and Earth. Attempting to find half an hour of peace to himself, Luis Trommler entered the mess hall to grab a light snack for his lunch. He had somehow overindulged at the dinner after the Kriosians had shared a number of sweet delicacies that were quite rich in taste. Grabbing a mug of coffee, hoping it may settle his stomach, he looked over and caught the attention of someone who was hoping to see.

Tanisha.

Walking over with his mug of coffee, he smiled affectionately towards her and asked if he could join her. She was sitting at one of the smaller circular tables and had several piles of tablets stacked around her. After confirming he could take the seat next to her, she placed the tablet she had been working on down.

“How was the banquet?” She asked.

After relaxing into the chair, still wincing at the thought of all the food he had eaten, Trommler shared how well it went. “I think we may have found ourselves a new ally.”

“That’s good to hear. The captain mentioned this morning he was pleased how things had progressed with the Kriosian royalty.” Avery shared as she picked up her own mug of tea. “Though he and the others looked a bit weary when anyone mentioned anything about food. Was it that bad?”

Shaking his head after sipping on his drink, Trommler answered her. “The food was amazing, it was just extremely rich in taste and texture. I felt like I had eaten a full blown Christmas dinner. What are you doing anyway?”

Gesturing towards the work around her, Avery smiled as she answered. “The Kriosians were kind enough to share with us their culture database. I’m in the process of translating it all plus updating our own universal translator with the various dialects and languages they speak.” She turned to him and smiled sweetly again. “I could take a break though. Is your stomach strong enough to get something to eat? A sandwich perhaps?”

“Yeah, but let’s keep it light.” Trommler responded as she got up and took his hand in hers as they walked over to the counter. “So does this count towards the date we had to postpone yesterday?”

“I suppose it will have to.” She replied.

Thankfully the crew lounge was empty, which was no surprise with the ship at tactical alert, so as she was about to pull him into her for a quick kiss she was stopped when the main door opened and Trommler’s name was called.

“Luis!” Stewart said as he entered with Jenkins and a few others behind him. “I was wondering where you went. We’ve got another two hours before we intercept the Romulan ship so the captain has ordered some of us to take a quick break. We wondered where you went!”

Slightly frustrated that their embrace was stopped by the arrival of his friends, Trommler smirked at Avery, who mirrored the expression, before they both turned to the nurse who approached them with his husband and several others behind him.

“That’s good. Aren’t you feeling a bit sick from last night’s overindulgence at the banquet?” Trommler quizzed his friend.

Shaking his head as he grabbed a tray, Stewart replied with a simple ‘nah’ before he squeezed in between Avery and Trommler to grab a plate of food.

Both Trommler and Avery looked at one another, smirking that their attempt at a quiet and private date was once again interrupted by something else. Giving in to the situation they ended up joining their friends. For all they knew by the time they reached the Romulans this could end up being the last time they were altogether.


Standing at the main controls in the armoury, Lieutenant Cortez was running through a number of simulations on how quickly the task group could overwhelm the Romulans and capture them before they had the chance to run. Concentrating so hard she did not hear the main door open behind her, nor did she notice the presence of Commander Walker as he approached from behind.

“Lieutenant,” He said after coughing somewhat to grab her attention.

Almost jumping out of her skin, Cortez’s reaction was a bit over the top but she turned around to see the broad shouldered science officer standing before her, holding a tablet. “Oh my god, I am so sorry sir, I didn’t hear you come in.”

“It’s fine Rachele, you were engrossed with your work. I didn’t want to disturb.” He responded before passing the device over to her. “The sensor scans you wanted me to dig up for you.”

“Thank you sir, so much.” She answered as she extended her hand out to take them off from him.

“Can I ask why you needed every scan of every Romulan ship we and others have encountered?” Walker questioned as he went over to where she was working and stood beside her to look at the large wall display with her simulation on it.

Downloading the tablet’s contents into the console, Cortez nodded. “I’m hoping that by running a comparison on them all, I’d get a better picture of what to expect when we engage them. I’m hoping that at least one or two scans may show me a weakness or something I can use to our advantage.”

“How certain can you be with such an idea? I mean the Romulans are advanced to us in their defences with the use of shielding technology like the Vulcans.” Walker challenged.

Agreeing with his assessment, the chief armoury officer could see where he got that idea from. “But our phase cannons and photonic torpedoes can easily deal with those.” She pressed a few buttons, “I’m looking for a precise target that if we hit more than once may disable their craft, allowing us to capture it.”

“And if we’re successful we may actually find out what the Romulans finally look like and be able to give the Klingons a nice present.” Walker said, finally understanding where the armoury officer was going. “Can I assist you?”

Smiling at the offer, she nodded in confirmation. “If you can spare the time, that would be great.” Cortez began her comparison analysis. “The computer is just inputting the data now. It shouldn’t take too long to find something.”

“You’re pretty good at your job, lieutenant.” Walker stated as he looked at the data coming through.

Looking up at him, Cortez smiled again at the nice comment. “Thank you, sir.”

“Can I ask why you joined Starfleet?” Walker questioned as he looked at her.

Smirking somewhat, Cortez shrugged her shoulders. “It’s nothing exciting sir,” She answered. “I was originally helping out in a law firm as a consultant. My main job was to advise clients on the political implications of any big business deals they were interested in. It was the launch of Enterprise that inspired me to change my entire career.”

“Wow, that is a jump in career.” Walker commented.

Nodding in agreement, Cortez continued with her story. “My wife thought so too but she encouraged me to do it. She visited me every other weekend while I was in San Francisco at Starfleet Training Command. That’s until she died during the Xindi attack.”

Surprised to hear that, Walker paused in his work and looked at her. “Rachele, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.”

Shrugging her shoulders lightly, Cortez looked up at him. “She was a journalist on assignment in Venezuela when it happened. Her death just made me more determined to do the work and somehow ensure no-one else had to go through what I’ve had to go through.” She took in a long breath before exhaling. “But this war hasn’t helped with that hope.”

Walker agreed with her. “I get it. I only agreed to return to active starship duty as I want to make sure there’s something left for my son to enjoy when he grows up.”

“I didn’t know you had a son.” Cortez remarked. “How old is he?”

“Six, almost seven in a few weeks.” He answered.

Placing a reassuring hand on his arm, she lightly squeezed it. “Well, I hope we get home in time for you to celebrate it with him.”

“Thanks Rachele.” He replied, “How are you enjoying the delights of being a department head?”

“It’s not as bad as I thought it might be.” Cortez truthfully answered. “Sub Commander T’Plau was a decent mentor and the captain has been kind enough to share his insights with me recently.”

“Good, you know if you ever want to chat about things, then I’m here.” Walker shared. “I may not have a tactical background, but I’ve been in Starfleet long enough to know that a successful crew is one where everyone gets along and has everyone’s back.”

Appreciating the sentiment, she grinned at him. “Thank you sir.” Before she had a chance to say anything else the computer finished its work and showed a simulation of where they should concentrate their fire. “So it would seem that when the Romulans engine their impulse engines, the shielding around their manifolds isn’t as strong compared to elsewhere.”

“A couple of well targeted torpedoes should disable them.” Walker added.

“Three actually, or a number of multiple phase cannon hits.” Cortez reported. “This is great news, I can now put some plans together to present to the captain.” She looked up at the commander. “I appreciate the hand, sir. I really do.”

“Anytime, lieutenant. Is it ok if I stick around to watch you come up with our sneak attack? I promise to be good and not ask too many annoying questions?” Walker inquired.

“Sure, I’d like the company.” Cortez confirmed as she returned to her work.


“I’ve got the Romulan ship on sensors.”

Hearing Rodham utter those words snapped Fleet Captain Burton out of his gaze and automatically he sat up in his chair. “Distance?”

“Just over fifty thousand kilometres. They’ve not seen us yet.” Rodham answered.

Wanting to smirk with smugness, Burton knew that would be premature. He looked over to Avery and nodded to her. She knew that was his signal for her to tell everyone to spread out and prepare to engage the enemy. They all were to move out and encircle the Romulan ship in a bid to prevent it from escaping.

Masuko, who was sitting at the engineering console, looked over her right shoulder and called the captain over to see the sensor readings she was looking at. “Captain, look at this. They appear to be powered down, almost as if they were rigged for a silent running.”

Burton was already out of his chair and made his way over to where his chief engineer was sitting. Studying the scans himself, he agreed entirely with her assessment. “Good,” He turned around to look over at Walker. “Cooper, have they seen us yet?”

“I can’t tell sir, I’m not detecting any change in their status since we spotted them.” The science chief answered.

“I suggest we rush them sir, go ahead with the plan with full speed and hit them fast.” Cortez advised from the tactical station.

Considering his option for a few seconds, he agreed with his armoury officer. They may not get a chance like this again. “Take us in, Alex, full impulse.” He ordered. “Rachele, the moment we can fire, then do it. Tanisha, tell everyone to move in as planned.”

Challenger sped forward as did the rest of the Starfleet attack wing heading straight for the Romulan Bird-of-Prey. Before it was completely powered up, the NX-class ship had already opened fire with its phase cannons. They hit hard against the Romulan shields and more barrages of phase cannon power were unleashed by the other ships in the fleet. Voyager then came out of nowhere and fired three torpedoes at it. Instantly the shields failed and as the enemy vessel attempted to flee, Challenger’s torpedoes flew out and took out both warp and impulse engines.

“They’re dead in the water.” Cortez announced.

Holding back his smile, Burton issued orders for his MACOs to prepare to beam over. He had to stop though in mid-sentence when Masuko quickly shouted out.

“Sir, the Romulans appear to be overloading their power reactor.” She said after reading the sensors further. “The ship is going to blow.”

“Abort the mission.” Burton said, frustrated and instantly he recalled the other ships as they watched on the main viewscreen the bird of prey explode into a thousand bits.

Rodham watched, like everyone else did, in surprise at how quickly the Romulans sacrificed themselves. “They really don’t want us to ever catch them, do they?”

“No they don’t.” Burton said with a bitter taste in his mouth. He returned to his chair and slumped into it. He needed another option.

“What are your orders, sir?” Avery asked, with one finger pressed against her earpiece as she waited to tell the other ships what to do.

Leaning his head backwards and against his chair’s headrest, Burton considered his response for a second. “Head back to Krios Prime after picking up any debris that was left behind by the Romulans.” He then looked forward. “I suppose we must go to Plan B.”

Rodham laid in the course and looked back over his right shoulder. “And plan B is what, sir?”

“It’s time to see if we can get the Klingons to talk.” Burton answered before he told his first officer and pilot to engage at warp three once they had what was left of the Romulan ship in their cargo hold. He then told Avery to contact Starfleet Command, he needed to talk to Fleet Admiral Hathaway at once.


Sixteenth Session of Valtama, Third Season of the Regal Kaitaama Era

SGS-01 Kamala 

“You have to admit it, Kaitaama, the resemblance is uncanny.” Kalluum stated from where he was standing in the suite on the Kamala. He had just got out of the sonic shower and had just a towel wrapped around his waist. His chiselled abs were on show as he checked himself out in the mirror. The room was the largest on the Kamala with a huge oval shaped bed in the centre of it. It was large enough for them and almost three others to sleep in. Not that they were into that type of activity with others in their private chambers.

Kaitaama had boarded the Kamala in preparation for the Kriosign Sovereign Guard in meeting with the Starfleet ships after their bid to capture the Romulan ship. Enjoying a nice sweet cup of tea, she just looked over at her husband and smiled. His vain antics made her smirk and his almost down to earth way of looking out at life reminded her of the man she owed for saving her life a couple of years ago. She had to admit she was disappointed in not seeing Commander Charles Tucker, or Trip as she got to know him as, but instead she wondered if the fates had organised the universe to send Challenger to them instead of Enterprise. Maybe seeing him wasn’t such a good idea.  She had never told Kalluum about their romantic encounter while escaping from a pair of Retellians who had kidnapped her and him.

Ignoring his original remarks, Kaitaama shook her head at her husband as he continued to pose in front of the mirror, flexing every inch of his strong muscles. “You keep posing like that and one of the servants will enter to see the First Prince’s jewels on display.”

Smirking back at her, Kalluum shrugged his shoulders to show he didn’t care. “I don’t mind if they do, for I am not ashamed of the gifts that have been bestowed to me.”

Once again she rolled her eyes at his comment and returned her attention to her drink. “I do hope you don’t plan on handing that trait down the line.”

Continuing to show how happy he was, he quickly jumped over the back of the sofa she was sitting on and landed next to her. Instantly he kissed her on the cheek and placed a careful hand over her abdomen. “If my son is fortunate enough to be as beautiful and kind like his mother, then I’d be the happiest man alive in the galaxy.”

“I’m sure his father will encourage him to show off those looks anyway.” She responded and kissed him back.

“Talking about looks, going back to my earlier point. You can’t disagree that Lieutenant Stewart looks like my younger brother.” Kalluum remarked as he stood up, dropped his towel and walked naked across their suite over to where his uniform laid on their bed. Slipping on his undergarment, he continued to preach his case. “It’s definitely something in his eyes that makes me think of Konnaire.”

Appreciating how much Kalluum missed his younger brother who had died only a few weeks ago in a Klingon attack, Kaitaama turned around carefully to look at her husband. He was almost fully dressed. He was just placing his arms into the sleeves of his shirt as she spoke. “My sweetheart, I know how much Konnaire meant to you. He meant a lot to me as well, but I’m not sure where you’re going with this.”

“I just wonder if the fates have placed Lieutenant Stewart on this path to meet me for some reason. He saved my life and he looks like my brother. I’ve just got this feeling.” Kalluum explained. “I can’t explain it fully, I just know this would be something Konnaire would have done.”

About to suggest something else, the First Monarch was interrupted as the ship’s intercom went off and the Kamala’s communication officer spoke up. She informed the First Monarch that Challenger was hailing them and Fleet Captain Burton wanted to speak to her straight away.

“Please place the captain through to my suite.” Kaitaama ordered.

“Yes ma’am.”

Giving her husband a look to say to hurry up and dress himself properly, she shook her head at him for taking his time.

A long narrow screen that hung on one of the walls came to life, showing Burton sitting in his ready room.

“Fleet Captain Burton, how did the battle go?” Kaitaama asked.

Sighing somewhat and not having a pleasing look across his face, Burton told her what happened. “This is not the first time my people have encountered the Romulans sacrificing themselves from being boarded and captured. I am truly sorry your majesty.”

“You tried and for that I am grateful.”

Burton shifted in his seat. “It’s not my only option, ma’am. I have spoken with my superiors and they have given me permission to still seek out a diplomatic and peaceful resolution with the Klingon Empire.”

Kalluum then piped up. “But without strong evidence, can you be certain they would listen to you?”

“We’ve got the sensor logs, the remains of the Romulan ship, I’m hoping it can be a starting point.” Burton explained. “But I can only do this with your permission.”

Looking at her husband and then placing a hand over her unseen bump, she looked up at Burton. “We can only try, captain. Please proceed and we will accompany you on your journey.”

“Very well, ma’am.” Burton said with a grateful and courteous bow of his head.

“In the meantime, I believe Lieutenant Stewart and his husband have dinner plans to keep with us.” Kalluum stated. “Can they join us on the Kamala later?”

Burton nodded, “They’ll be there.”

The channel then closed and Kaitaama looked at her fully dressed husband. “Have I made the right choice, my love?”

“No-one can argue that you’ve not tried.” Kalluum honestly answered. “Let’s enjoy that meal and see if I can convince the good lieutenant that he looks like my brother.”

She chuckled somewhat, which was a rare thing for her to do, but her husband was one of a few men who could make her laugh.