Part of USS Saratoga: To Stand Alone and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Chapter 7 – To Stand Alone

USS Saratoga - Rhijun
June 2400
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The last few days have been nothing but hectic, standing near the window that was located in the conference room of the command-and-control center of the ship. She had been going over the latest reports about the current situation within the Romulan Star Empire. Things were pretty quiet here for the most part compared to other systems. The only real excitement they have had over the last day since they arrived was that the infirmary was busy with patients that came on board from the planet.

Azras had been granted access to their systems as well as their files, according to what these records show there were at one point defense satellites. When they arrived they didn’t find any type of defense grid, Azras speculated they were either destroyed by the Star Navy ships when they left the planet or by the pirates in their last raid of the planet.

Azras knew that they wouldn’t be able to stay long term, so things would need to change as they would need a way to defend themselves after they were long gone. She had requested that Nivela be brought on board to discuss the items that needed to be addressed.

Azras tapped her commbadge, “Dex to Commander Ritru.” Azras said as she waited for a response.

“Go ahead sir,” Ritru responded.

“I would like you to proceed to the transporter room and escort our guest to the command-and-control conference room.” Azras had ordered as she stood there looking out the window.

“Understood sir,” Ritru said in response before the comm channel ended.

Azras stood there for a few more seconds before she turned, walking over to where the replicator was located to grab herself a second cup of coffee that morning. It seemed like it was going to be one of those days, after she took the cup off the platform she walked over to her chair and sat down. Taking a sip she continued to read over the files while she waited for their guest to arrive.

A short time later the doors to the conference room parted to reveal both Commander Ritru and Nivela. “Welcome aboard the Saratoga, please take a seat,” Azras replied with a gentle smile as Nivela walked in taking a seat at the table.

“Need anything from me, Captain?” Ritru asked, looking at her for a moment.

“Not right now thank you Ritru,” Azras said with a smile as Ritru nodded in response and headed out of the conference room heading back to the bridge.

“Thank you for agreeing to meet with me,” Azras said after she turned her attention back to the younger Romulan woman that now sat in front of her.

“Of course Captain,” Nivela said with a gentle smile.

“There is one thing that concerns me,” Azras began as she tapped a few buttons on the console in front of her. “According to these files, there should be a defense grid along this path right before entering into the system.” She began as she looked at her as the system showed up as a 3D image with dots around the perimeter of the system where they should have been located.

Nivela looked at her solemnly, “yes it was a departing gift from those who left.” Nivela said with a sigh, “they thought that destroying those would leave us vulnerable for when they return to try to retake the system.” She responded looking down at the table for a moment before looking back up.

Azras nodded, “I figured that is what happened.” She said with a sigh as she thought for a moment, “do you happen to have the schematics of those defense grids that we can look at, hopefully maybe be able to duplicate?” Azras asked as she looked at Nivela who began to think of where she might have seen those files.

“Do you mind if I use your computer?” Nivela asked as she needed to tap into the files that were located in the Governor’s office.

“Of course,” Azras replied as she stood up from the chair, walking over to the console she tapped a few commands. She carefully searched through each of the files one by one. After a while of searching, she let out a huge sigh before she turned back to the Captain.

Nivela walked back over to the chair and sat down, “bad news it looks like those files were destroyed. Seems our lovely Governor gave us another parting gift,” she said as she slumped over the table in front of her.

“Just lovely,” Azras replied as they both sat there in thought trying to come up with a way to be able to replicate those defense grids.

After a few moments of silence that had filled the room, Nivela perked up. “Wait, my cousin should be able to get us schematics on a defense grid,” Nivela said as she looked at the older Trill woman. “He might be able to assist with the building as he should be able to replicate a lot of what is needed.” Nivela finished speaking as there seemed to be hope.

“That would be wonderful,” Azras replied as things were starting to look a bit grim. She wasn’t going to count her blessings just yet, there was still hope and that is what they were going to hold onto for the time being.

“Bridge to Captain Dex,” Ritru said.

“Go ahead,” Azras replied as she looked at Nivela.

“The IRW Aldore has dropped out of warp and is hailing us,” Ritru responded.

Looking at Nivela, “patch it through to the conference room.” Azras replied as she had tapped a few buttons on the console, a moment later a holographic image appeared as if he was actually in the room. Commander Torath was now standing near the end of the table, he was about your average height of a Romulan male, muscular, and was about Nivela’s age.

“Jolan Tru, I am Captain Azras Dex of the USS Saratoga and I am sure you know Nivela,” she began the introductions as she sat there.

“Jolan Tru, I am Commander Torath of the IRW Aldore at your service.” He replied before looking at his cousin who was sitting in the room. “It is wonderful to see you again Nivela, it has been way too long,” he said with a smile towards her.

“Good to see you again as well Torath,” Nivela replied. “Now that you are here we have a few things we like to discuss,” Nivela said, getting down to the point.

“Of course,” Torath responded.

Azras spoke up this time, “this system used to have a very well off defense grid.” Azras began as she explained the situation they were facing, “they were all but destroyed when the previous administration left.” She finished adjusting her chair while looking at the holographic image of the Commander.

“That is a problem,” Torath commented.

“To make matters worse the Governor destroyed the schematics before he left,” Nivela replied. “Is there any way you can help us?” Nivela asked, looking at him.

“I do have schematics of a defense grid,” he said as he tapped a few buttons on his console on the ship. The computer beeped as Azras pulled up the file and began to study it.

“These are a bit better than the previous ones,” Nivela replied. “How did you get these?” She asked as these were not just given to anyone, “wait don’t answer that I think I know.” Nivela said waving a dismissive hand to that last question, she knew her cousin well enough to have his tricks up his sleeves.

“Do you think you can replicate these?” Azras asked.

“Indeed, though it would take about seventy-two hours before they are ready to deploy and activate.” Torath said looking at them, “I can have my engineering crew get started right away.” He added.

“That would be great, keep me updated.” She said before her commbadge went off which caused her to raise an eyebrow.

“Captain to the bridge,” Ritru said with a sound of urgency in her voice. She was about to say something as Torath raised a hand signifying he understood that this meeting was going to be cut short. A short time later the holographic image of Torath disappeared.

She glanced over at Nivela as they both stood from their chairs, “care to join me?” Azras asked as she knew she just couldn’t leave her down here by herself twiddling her thumbs.

“Why not,” Nivela said as they both made their way out of the conference room. They quickly made their way to the turbolift, upon entering she gave her destination. “Bridge,” she ordered as the doors closed shut behind them before beginning to move.

“Report?” she said just as the doors slid open and the two of them walked out onto the bridge. Azras took her seat while Nivela sat in the empty seat next to her as everyone seemed to look at their new guest.

“Two Orion pirate ships have entered the system, they are not responding to our hails,” Deza replied as she moved back to her station.

Azras let out a sigh, “bring us about.” Azras ordered as Deza tapped a few buttons and the ship started to come back around and head for the planet. “Signal the Aldore to follow our lead,” Azras said as she looked back at Ritru as she didn’t want him to get trigger-happy prematurely.

“Understood,” Ritru replied, followed by a few moments of silence. “The Aldore acknowledges,” she said.

“Open a channel,” Azras replied.

“Channel open,” Ritru responded.

“Orion vessels, this is Captain Azras Dex of the Federation starship USS Saratoga. This system is under our protection, withdraw from the system immediately.” Azras said as she looked at Ritru who just shook her head.

“If you do not leave this system we will be forced to open fire,” she said to see if they would get a response.

“Sir, they have come about and have locked weapons on us!” Dazra said as she got a response though not what she had hoped for but wasn’t unexpected.

“Guess we will be doing this the hard way,” Azras said, looking back at Dazra. “Red alert,” she ordered as the red alert klaxon sounded as the shields went up and weapons powered online. “Target their lead vessel, fire a warning shot just above their port bow,” Azras ordered, looking back at Dazra who tapped a few buttons firing at the lead vessel.

The ship rocked as the Orion ships began to open fire on both the Saratoga, “I think we just got our answer.” Dazra replied as she held onto the console to brace herself.

“Signal the Aldore to focus fire on the second ship, disabling their weapons only,” Azras ordered as Ritru sent the message just as the ship rocked again from the weapons fire.

“Shields are at ninety percent,” Dazra replied, looking at the Captain.

“Fire,” Azras ordered as the ship began to fire on the lead vessel targeting their weapons arrays.

“Their shields are down to eighty percent,” Dazra said as she then looked back at the Azras. “Sir, the second ship has now turned its attention to us as well,” she said as the second ship fired, hitting them directly causing sparks to fly from the science console.

“Fire quantum torpedoes,” Azras ordered as the ship came about and began to fire at both ships causing damage to their weapons arrays as well as other systems. “They sure do like doing things the hard way,” she said to no one in particular.

“That was a direct hit,” Dazra replied as things got quiet. “Sir, they are breaking off,” she replied as she tapped a few buttons not realizing the sensors had been damaged in that last hit they received.

“Damage report,” Azras ordered.

“No reports of any major damages,” Ritru responded.

“Our sensors are offline,” Jeesa piped up looking back at her from her console. “That last hit we received took out our sensor array,” she added looking at her as her console was fried.

“Wonderful,” Azras replied before looking over at her guest who seemed a bit shaken up. “You alright Nivela?” She asked, looking at her.

Looking at the Captain she let out a small smile of reassurance, “I am alright Captain.” She replied as she stopped gripping the armrests.

“Commander Torath is hailing us, sir” Ritru spoke up from her console.

“On screen,” she replied to see that the face of Torath replaced the view screen.

“Captain, as the two ships were leaving, it looked like one made a quick stop at the planet before warping out,” Torath replied which caused both Nivela and Azras to look at each other for a brief moment before looking back at Torath.

Azras had a bad feeling about that, “can you send some officers down to the planet to assist our people?” Azras asked as she looked at him, she had a feeling that they were about to have some problems down there.

“Of course,” Torath responded. “In the meantime, I will have our engineers begin work on those defense grids immediately,” Torath replied before the communications channel ended.

“Saratoga to Commander T’Prel,” Azras said.

“Go ahead Captain,” T’Prel responded wondering what was up.

Azras explains the current situation that had just transpired, “both the Saratoga and IRW Aldore will be sending security teams down to the planet. Inform Lieutenant Holman to work with them to secure all major areas and to stop these Orions from doing any more damage.” Azras ordered.

“Understood, we will keep you updated on the situation,” T’Prel replied before ending the comm channel.

“How long before we get our sensors back online?” Azras asked as she turned towards Jeesa.

“I am hoping by the end of the day,” Jeesa replied as she would need C’Riia’s help as nothing she was doing was working. “I’ll keep you informed sir,” Jeesa said just as the doors to the turbolift opened to reveal C’Riia who walked over to where Jeesa was sitting.

“Very well,” she said as she looked at Deza. “You have the bridge,” she replied as she stood up from her chair motioning for Nivela to follow her into her ready room. She needed to file a report as well as read any damage reports still coming in.

“Do you think that was a calculated move?” Nivela asked as she took a seat at one of the chairs that were in front of her desk.

Azras moved around her desk and sat down in her chair, “I do.” She responded with a pause, “if it wasn’t for the Aldore we probably wouldn’t have known they had beamed anyone down until it was too late.” Azras said with a sigh, she knew that things would be hectic and nothing would ever go as planned. They just needed to adapt and move forward.

“We will just have to be more prepared for next time,” she replied as they knew that there was only a matter of time before the Star Navy would show their face. They continued to talk while Azras began to review the damage reports. The only thing they seemed to have targeted was their sensor array, the rest was minor cosmetic damages that could easily be repaired.

Comments

  • Here we gooooooo. USS Saratoga is starting to earn her keep now, protecting Rhijun from the orion pirates. Because a Odyssey-class ship so obviously overpowers the pirate ships, I was drawn in by the reversals. Azras is wise to suspect there was something a little too strategic about the orion attack. I appreciate the humility that even though Saratoga stood her ground, maaaaaaaybe the orions got what they wanted, by getting in so close to the planet. It certainly has me chomping at the bit for more of the story, with so many factors in play, between the IRW Aldore and orions, and you've done a good job of keeping the shadow of the star navy looming over all the proceedings. They'd better move fast to get that defence networking place! As always, it's a joy to see my queen Dazra large and in charge at tactical. She may be hung over, but she can put those orions in their place without over-shooting and blowing them to smithereens. Surgical strikes all around!

    June 15, 2022
  • I enjoyed that! Truly a decent set-up for more to come. Space-based raiders, possibly ground assaults in all the wrong places just when they really aren't needed and a blind starship. And with romulan forces beaming down, there's potential for misunderstandings and outright hostilities there as well. So many juicy angles to shoot off in and have characters out of their depth or without support, forced to make do and rise to challenges to come. A small moment of critical feedback, and please, reach out to me for expanded detail if you want, but I've been struggling from time to time with some of the story pacing and I think I've figured it out - tenses. Specifically past and present. It could very well be me and my reading of your rich plot and characters (echoing Brendan, I love Dazra!) but sometimes I'm finding the present tense just a little off. Your characters are lovingly unique and the plot is moving along at a nice, comfortable and reasonable pace. You're setting up interesting problems, showing your characters working through them to logical and understandable solutions, and then going about solving them. I'm enjoying the local characters as well and can't wait to see some of them suddenly dealing with a bunch of Romulans beaming down to save them from pirates!

    June 17, 2022