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Part of USS Daradax: Mission 2 – Wings of Salvation (Sundered Wings Fleet Action) and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

SW – Chapter 16: A Dance in the Field

USS Daradax - Kunhri Star System
June 2400
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Kirin sat on the bridge and rubbed her right temple and closed her eyes for a moment. The new implant was doing its job but since the operation, she had a constant low-level headache. Taking a deep breath she sat up and looked around at her crew; Ril was manning the tactical station, Kerry was making the science and senors while Belania was manning the con. Tapping her combadge she said, “Thanen, how is everything looking in engineer?”

A moment later her XO’s voice responded. “All clear down here.” to which she responded with a quick “Perfect, we are about to enter the asteroid field we should be on target in 20 minutes.”

Looking up she watched the view screen as the dense asteroid field past Kunhri VII grew closer. Unlike the inner belt which had large rocks fairly spread out the outer belt was very tightly packed, an oddity in space for sure. “Belania, how confident are you that you can get us through this?” The clearance between some of those rocks is measured in the hundreds of meters and not the usual tens or hundreds of kilometres on the outer edge of the field.

Glancing back Belania smiled, “Won’t be an issue. I can get us to the reported location of the base in about 5 minutes if you want? I can see a fairly direct course.”

With a quick shake of her head, Kirin responded, “No, let’s swing around, make it look like we will be passing by.”

“Ril, Kerry, keep an eye on things. If you see the Romulan ship decloak I want those shields up right away, let’s not waste a second when, if this kicks off.” Kirin said glancing over to the other two ensigns. “Now, let us enter the fray.” 

After 20 minutes of watching the view screen dip and dive as Belania flew the Daradax deafly between asteroids, she turned around and nodded to Kirin, “We are approaching the areas.”

 Kirin leaned forward in her chair and nodded while keeping an eye on the small display projected from the armrest showing a summary of the sensor readings. “Any sign of the targets?”

Kerry spoke without turning. “There are no clear signs but I am seeing a VERY faint energy reading bearing 36 mark 351 degrees. The asteroid they are emanating from matches the description in the datapad; if I wasn’t looking for this asteroid I would say it was just regular background radiation. They did a good job blending it in..” she before pausing and frowning slight, “…unless it is just background radiation.”

“Ok, keep an eye out, that warbird is likely still here and most likely watching us. Ril deploy the probes, powered down, on ballistic trajectories as discussed, please. Belania, adjust course and angle us towards the base.”

The Daradax moved towards the base and the alarms sounded and Ril without pause shouted, “Shields up, Romulan ship 200km out; they are powering weapons. Looks like they were sitting on one of those rocks; it was masking their signature. ”

“Bring us about to face them and power up the phasers; be ready to move the instant anything happens. Open comms to that ship Kerry.” Kirin said. A moment later Kerry confirmed, “Channel open Ma’am.”

“This is Kirin Tarken of the USS Daradax. The presence of your vessel in this system is in violation of the wishes of the current government who has asked the Federation for our support. You are ordered to depart the system or to power down and surrender. You will be returned to the…” Kirin started to say before Kerry cut her off. 

“They are firing, disrupters and torpedos inbound,” Kerry said. 

“Evasive pattern Sulu-Bravo, get us an asteroid between us and them. Ril, fire at will.” Kirin ordered.

The Daradax shooked as it was raked by disrupter fire causing a couple of panels to spark and lights flicker. Belania quickly flipped the ship around and jumped to three-quarters impulse, an almost suicidal speed in an asteroid belt, towards the nearest asteroid dodging the majority of fire as its phaser banks opened fire striking the Malem several times before it slipped behind the small 800-meter diameter rock just as the Romulans torpedoes struck the rock meer meters behind the small federation ship causing the rock of detonate as it became an ever-expanding cloud of rocks.

The Daradax shook violent and spun as the rocks pelted it throwing the crew around and causing the Con console to flare and send a shower of sparks over Belania as she raised a hand to her head, a large cut visible on the right of her forehead. Quickly shaking her head she regained control of the ship. “Belania, are you ok?” Kirin asked, her voice showing clear concern. “Yes, Captain, I have had worse.”

“Shields down to 40%, best avoid those rocks Bel.” Ril said calmly as Kerry spoke up, an edge of fear in her voice, “Sensor contact lost, the radiolitic isolates in the asteroid debris interfere with our sensors, and likely theirs.”

“We planned for that with all these rocks. Though I wasn’t thinking we destroy a full asteroid.” Kirin said with a smile. “Ril bring the probes online slowly at low power. Let’s use them as our eyes and ears. Their signatures should be low enough to avoid notice.”

The com panel chimed and Thanen’s voice came over the intercom. “What are you doing to my ship? The engines took a beating!”

“We ran into an asteroid, I promise we will try not to repeat that. What is their status?” Kirin responded. “Everything is fine for now. Just try not to take another hit like that,” Thanen said with a sigh.

“Contact reestablished. They haven’t moved much from their last position. They stopped when they lost contact with us I think.” Kerry said. 

“Target them with everything and fire!” Kirin barked as the multiple phaser arrays charged and fired, their scarlet beams slicing through debris from the asteroid striking true as a torpedo launched. The Malem-class warbird only just started to move as the torpedo streaked through the cloud of rocks and exploded against its weakened shields causing them to flair and fail in places.

“Direct hits, the shields are failing,” Ril said, her voice ringing with excitement.

“Target their engine and weapons, disable them befo….” Kirin began to say. 

“They are cloaking, looks like they are trying to run” Kerry called out. “Guess they don’t realize that the tachyon is up. I have them on sensors still but they are starting to move fast, heading towards the base.”

“We cannot let them reach the base, they could beam the researchers and the bioweapon out. Ril, can you target them?”

“Yes, well likely, they are moving fast but it would be as precise, it may destroy them,” Ril remarked.

“Damn, ” anger laced her voice. “Wait,” she said, looking at the sensor display on the armrest, “Target the asteroid they are about to pass with a torpedo. If they are cloaked the debris should disable them.”

“Firing!” Ril said as Belania repositioned the Daradax and set a pursuit course. The torpedo streaked forward into what appeared an empty asteroid field and struck an asteroid turning a sizable chunk of it into a cloud of rocks and dust. The rocks struck the clocked vessel flipping it over as its clock dropped and it lost power just as a large rock struck its starboard nacelle strut almost cleanly cutting it off.

“She’s dead in the water. I am detecting only a single, feint, life sign on board.” Kerry said with a more relaxed tone in her voice.

“Excellent work everyone,” Kirin said before touching her com panel and bringing up medical. “Doc we are about to beam over a wounded Romulan, treat them but keep them sedated and in a containment field.” to which the EMH responded with a grunt of an acknowledgement.

“Beam the wounded Romulan aboard, straight to medical. Ril go make sure they are secure. Then get back here. Belania take us to the asteroid; let’s see what we have here. We can check the ship once we are done at the base.”

The Daradax moved slowly towards the base, passing the drift Romulan vessel. After a few moments, Ril returned to the bridge. “Prisoner is secure. The EMH says her injuries are not life-threatening but will keep her under until you say otherwise.”

“Thanks, Ril.” Kirin said nodding towards her. Turning to Kerry she asked, “What are we seeing down there Kerry?”

“Looks like some sort of camouflage screen over the asteroid, it doesn’t appear too over any protection beyond hiding it. Doubt we would have found this without the coordinates. I think a low yield sweep from the phasers should be able to disrupt it and leave any complex below unscathed.” Kerry said, the confidence in her voice returning.

“Do it, lets’s see what we have.”

A low yield phaser swept forth from the Daradax over the location of the base causing the camouflage screen to flicker before dropping completely. “Screens dropped, not seeing any defences or additional shielding on the base. The layout also matches what we have…” Kerry remarked, “..Though I cannot get a solid reading on the number of life signs. It jumps between 3 and 10 it seems; some are very weak.”

“Ok, the information we have had so far has been accurate so let’s hope there are no surprises down there and the actual number of in middle. Belania keeps the Daradax in this position unless you have to move; the bridge is yours. Ril, Kerry your with me. Time to suit up.” Kirin said, determination in her voice. “Let’s put an end to this weapons facility.”