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Part of USS Sovereign: Race Against Time and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

M1-Campaign Ch3: From the eyes of the enemy…

Hidari Prime / Hirogen Pack / Sovereign
November 2400
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With his fingernail, he dug between some of his teeth, to pick away the remaining pieces of meat that got stuck between them. It was a slight annoyance when you enjoy a good meal after a long trek across these sectors, and as you run your tongue over the backs of your teeth, you find debris and pieces lodged between them. Then you try to dig them out with your tongue, some give, and some resist. At which point, you’re forced to use alternative measures to get that debris out, in this case, his fingernail, one he has yet to trim off with the very chompers he was trying to clean. All the while, his eyes never left the group of enslaved people before him, fixated on their movements.

He would watch as they lift up those mining lasers and begin drilling away at the bloodstained rock, chipping pieces away at a time. He watched as one of his men would kick an enslaved person in the side and show them for the tenth time how to drill correctly, that they wanted large chunks of this rock, nothing smaller. He felt that he might have to step in and teach this group a lesson by dragging out the incompetent, placing the emitter of his pistol to the temple of his head, and pulling the trigger, forcing them to watch the individual’s head explode into pieces. But it looked as though that individual finally understood what they should do. About time they caught on, he thought.

Then his eyes caught a child taking a small shard of the blood rock and tucking it away inside his shirt—big mistake. He stepped down from the high point of the cavern and made his way over to the child, the others turned to watch as he placed his hand on the child’s head and grab a handful of his hair. He then lifted up the child as it wailed in fear and pain, their hands grabbed his wrist to try and pull away, but his grip was too strong for it to break free. With his free hand, he reached into the child’s shirt and pulled out not one but several small shards of the blood rock. This infuriated him. He threw the child several feet away onto the cavern floor with little care that the strength he put into that throw had knocked the wind out of the kid, as well as scraped his left elbow and bonked his head into the cavern floor pretty hard. He then reached down to the holster that rested over his right thigh, attached to his belt, grabbed the pistol grip, and pulled his sidearm free. Within seconds of him grabbing his pistol and raising his arm to take aim, an old man stepped in between him and the child, with his arms outstretched.

He growled heavily in annoyance, “Step away, old man!”

“I will not!” Said the Elder Hidarian.

“He must be punished. Stealing from the Orion Syndicate is punishable by death!” He shouted.

“Then punish me! I am responsible for the boy’s actions. I told him to steal from you.” Said the Elder.

His frown deepened as he snarled. “I thought I taught you old bastard a lesson. Wasn’t the death of twelve of your people not good enough?! I need you alive, to ensure that your people understand who the boss is! And to make them understand, that as long as I get what I want, you will all be set free. Then you tell this boy to steal? From me?!

The Elder lowered his arms with a heavy sigh. “I only accepted your demands because I want to keep my people safe.”

He spat towards the ground in annoyance. “That makes no sense! You want to keep your people safe, and yet you allow a child to steal? He placed himself and your people in danger by defying me! You’re a hypocrite, that’s what you are.” He redirected his aim to the elder’s head. “Who is next in line?”

“What?” The Elder asked.

“Do not. Make me. Repeat myself. Again!” He demanded.

The elder then looked to his son, who had lowered their drill to watch the commotion. Then he looked to his father, the elder, with his eyes pleading with his father to not do this. They exchanged those glances, the elder understanding his son’s pleas, where his glance told his son that he must take his place and that he loved him. The elder then pointed to his son and in an instant, a green bolt of powerful, focused energy seared across the room and impaled the elder right in the head. The body of the elder then collapsed to the floor, completely headless.

“You!” He shouted as he aimed his pistol at the new Elder. “Grab that boy and get him back to work. And if he so much as steals from me again, you both die!” He ordered before he shoved his pistol back into its holster and made his way back to the highest ledge of the cave where he returned to watch the Hidarians. Where he watched the new elder grab the boy and brought him back to the group. Of course, they checked the boy to make sure he was okay before they gave him his mining tool back to return to their work.

As he watched, someone had stopped by his side. The aroma that he was getting was all too familiar, one that he has grown so accustomed to. It is fortunate that he is immune to these tricks, otherwise, he wouldn’t be the leader of this group in the syndicate. “What do you want, Hedou?”

Hedou smiled as her eyes remained on the enslaved Hidarians. “You’re as ruthless as ever, my dear Captain Gaigec.” She placed a hand on his bicep and then ran it down his arm and over the back of his hand. Her way of showing affection is by physical touch.

He swatted her hand away with the back of his with a growl. “Now is not the time, woman.” Ever since he had shown to be immune to the Orion female’s charms, he had somehow obtained the affection and admiration of this particular female. At first, he thought it to be a weakness and a diversion, but instead, it had proven to be quite useful. Not only that, but she was also an excellent first officer, one that he was proud and happy to have. Not that he would ever admit to that to anyone, especially to her. Although, at times he wondered if perhaps he was not immune after all, just highly resistant, because whenever he took her to his chambers, he felt as though he has lost all self-control and would find new scratch marks later in the morning. Losing control has brought no fear to him, as it was the feistiness from Hedou that he most enjoyed. Every morning he felt empowered, stronger, and more daring than ever. Now, with the growth of this strange new dilithium and his whole fleet returning home with loads of it, he may be able to finally challenge the leader of the Orion Syndicate, take the seat, and lead his brothers and sisters to a new era.

“What is the status of our ships, Hedou?” Gaigec demanded, his eyes narrowed on an individual or two but nothing out of the ordinary.

She let out a sadistic giggle. Or was she just merely humored by something? He would soon get his answer when she replied, “Starfleet are fools. Our ships, though appearing as mere traders and merchants, were able to slip past them and return back to the Alpha Quadrant once the Barzan Wormhole opened up. We are all that remains, Captain.”

Gaigec growled in frustration. “Then we must hurry and fill our hold.”

Hedou tilted her head in curiosity. “Why the rush?”

Gaigec took this moment to trust his men and pulled his eyes off the Hidarian people to look at his first officer. “Because we will have to wait another month for that wormhole to open up again in order to return to the Alpha Quadrant. I assume our ships also sent a report?”

Hedou nodded her head. “Indeed, they did. Starfleet has sent an entire fleet into the Delta Quadrant.”

Gaigec then smiled. “Ah. So that is why you were enjoying yourself a moment ago. Our ships truly got past an entire fleet?”

Hedou nodded her head once more. “They were able to shield their cargo holds, keep Starfleet’s sensors from finding out what they had.” It is also possible since the Orions had no clue about the strange properties that this dilithium has, were able to shield those properties so that any Starfleet vessels with telepaths on board were unaffected. Not that these Orions would know anything about it.

Gaigec smile faded. “An entire fleet. That is troubling.”

Hedou tilted her head again in curiosity. “How so?”

Gaigec brought his eyes back to the Hidarian people. “Starfleet has a knack for meddling in other people’s business. There was a Talaxian ship in orbit that tried to tell our officer in temporary command of our ship to stop mining, is that correct?”

Hedou nodded her head once more. “Of course, Captain. That officer scared off the Talaxian.”

Gaigec growled and spat on the floor in annoyance. “Remind me who that officer is, so I can kill him when we return.”

Hedou smiled as she stepped into his view and placed her hands on his bare chest. “You need not worry about that, my love.” She spoke quietly, her smile growing more wicked. “I took care of the problem for you and placed someone else in charge.”

Gaigec felt the rage for such incompetent people under his command soon fade away when he looked into her eyes as if those eyes and those hands of hers were sapping out all the anger he had inside. “Who did you put in their place?”

Hedou smile remained. “Oh, that lovely weapons officer. That one who carved up a few of the Hidarian people for trying to resist us, remember?”

Gaigec chuckled. “Ah yes. Her. A very good choice. I had only wished we had put her in command earlier.”

Hedou’s smile faded with another tilt of her head. “Why?”

Gaigec frowned. “Because. That Talaxian would have certainly warned Starfleet of our operation here. So you can guarantee that Starfleet will be coming to barge into our business and shove some garbage nobility and human rights down our throats.”

Hedou patted his chest before she began to step away. “I will ensure that the ship is ready for combat.”

“I will see you as soon as our hold is full,” Gaigec told her before she left and then he smiled to himself. He could not see any possible chance of him losing in the future. With her at his side, he was going to achieve greatness.


Traveling at high warp in some random area of the Delta Quadrant, were half a dozen vessels traveling together in a pack. There were four smaller vessels that led in a diamond formation in front of two larger vessels, the two were known to Starfleet as Venatic-class warships. They belonged to the Hirogen. Side by side, the Venatic-class warships were only several kilometers apart from the four smaller vessels before them. Both these warships held the Alpha and Beta of the pack. Normally, the Alpha would be leading the charge while the Beta would be a few kilometers behind off the port aft while the four smaller ships would be in the same formation, directly behind the Alpha, only several kilometers distance between them and the Beta. But the Alpha had chosen a different formation for the pack, a formation of defense as they were on their way home to one of their larger colony bases.

Inside the Alpha ship, the one who was deemed as the Alpha stood there before the trophy wall. On that wall, were many skulls of many preys that he has hunted, whether alone or with his pack. On that wall were skulls of a single Human, a couple of Talaxians who had proven to be quite formidable prey as strange as that may sound, several Kazon, Devore, and other skulls of other races that have been or have yet to be discovered. One stood out more prominent, a skull with borg implants attached to it, disabled implants of course. The hunt with this particular Borg was difficult but not as difficult as his most recent prize. In his hands, was the skull of what the Borg call, Species 8472. The hunt for that one was the most difficult but the most rewarding challenge of them all. The Alpha would raise his arms, lift up the skull and place it on the wall at the very top, shadowing all the skulls below it. It had earned its place.

He then heard footsteps, quiet as they were, his other honed senses had told him of their approach. “If you were going to take my place as Alpha, you would have to do better than that.” He spoke as he lowered his arms and stared at the 8472 skull.

“Not my intention, sir.” Said the hunter.

“Intention or not, you were still too loud. You must practice if you are ever to claim the spot of Alpha.” He told them before he turned to look at them. “What is it?”

“Beta has hailed us, sir.” Said the hunter.

He grumbled. “What would Ganar want to discuss now? Are we not home yet?”

“I do not know, sir. But Ganar has urgently requested to speak with you. We are still several days away from home base.” Said the hunter.

He gestured for the hunter to go away as he approached one of the consoles to activate the ship’s communications and accepted Ganar’s transmission. “What is it, Ganar?”

“Zagrin. The rumors are true,” said Ganar.

He had to stop to think for a moment, the hunt with the species 8472 was still lingering on his mind. Then it hit him, the rumors of a large fleet entering the Delta Quadrant via a wormhole, one the human he had hunted had called it the Barzan Wormhole. “Starfleet?”

“Yes, Alpha,” said Ganar. “And one has appeared on our sensors.”

He looked to the hunters manning the other stations and grew annoyed. “Apparently someone has failed to inform me of a contact.” He spoke loudly, gaining the eyes of his hunters. They knew that they were in trouble.

“Do not mind them, Alpha. Our sensors were enhanced, remember? Here, let me share the data.” said Ganar.

He stared at his console as the data came in, where he read the information and his eyes then grew wide. “Is it true? Can it really be?” The human he had hunted, was from a small Starfleet scout vessel, which they were able to board and kill the crew but the captain, the one in which he had hunted on a heavily dense forested planet. But while he hunted the captain, his Beta, Ganar, had obtained large portions of data from the ship’s computer. A lot of it had information on Starfleet ship classes. He had hoped for an Odyssey-class, the largest one of them all. But from what Ganar’s ship sensor data is telling him, they had found a Sovereign-class, one of the few most heavily armed warships in Starfleet.

“It is, Zagrin. What are your orders?” asked Ganar.

He should give his men time to rest and enjoy themselves, for they have been in space hunting for several years now. But the news of such a vessel was within their reach, it was weighing heavily on his heart. He could feel his blood boiling with excitement, the joy of the hunt growing inside of him, becoming nearly intolerable to resist. Plus they have made improvements on their weapon systems, their subnucleonic beams weren’t the only arsenal that they had in disabling a warship of this size. They had created subnucleonic torpedoes with equal purpose but have proven to be far more efficient than the beams. A combination of both weapons, though, would certainly bring a warship like this to its knees. Unfortunately, his ship and Ganar’s ship carry such capacitors capable of charging the weapon and firing it at the enemy and they were like any torpedo, capable of being destroyed before they reach their target. Nevertheless, the four smaller vessels in the pack carried several different types of torpedoes from several vessels that they had crippled in the past.

He stepped away from the console and went over to a table in the center of the room. Here, he grabbed his helmet that bore two green stripes on the left side of the helmet. He took that helmet and slipped it on over his head, he then made sure it was secure before he turned his gaze onto his men. “I want a tactical analysis on that ship. Now!” He ordered.

“Already done, Zagrin.” said Ganar.

He turned to the empty station and approached it. “Anticipating the hunt again, are we, Ganar?”

There was a low chuckle, followed by Ganar’s voice. “I know you well, Zagrin.”

He grunted in approval. “You do indeed, Ganar. What are our odds?”

“With our current arsenal, we should be able to disable the ship and with a ship of that classification, it should have many good prey for us to hunt!” Ganar explained. “So. Question remains. Do we change formation?”

He analyzed the data that Ganar sent over on this Sovereign-class vessel. “No. Keep the small ones up front. We will use them as a shield for us, same tactic we used against the Borg. If this ship is indeed powerful, then the smaller vessels will absorb the attacks. Plus, we can fire our subnucleonic torpedoes while we are behind them, so we will not be out of the fight.”

“Understood. Shall I signal the pack?” Ganar asked.

“No.” He turned to a hunter who knew what order Zagrin would give. With one single nod of their head, Zagrin knew the channel to the pack was open. “This is the Alpha!” He spoke loudly as he stepped towards the center. “We have found ourselves new prey! One that I believe will be most worthy! We will have to work together to disable the ship, then we can have much fun hunting the crew!” He looked at each and every one of his hunters on his bridge before he rose his voice again. “It will be a glorious hunt!”

Zagrin then faced forward, gestured towards it and a hunter put the ship on a large holo-screen. It was small but soon, it will be big. “All ships. Lay an intercept course for that vessel.” The data on the right corner of the screen began to list the data that they were receiving from the ship’s IFF. First the registry, NCC-73811 and then USS Sovereign.


Graves stood there in the turbolift as it moved across the ship. About two hours ago, he had just finished a good old traditional breakfast. Scrambled eggs with crispy hashbrowns, couple slices of bacon and two pieces of buttered toast. Then an hour ago, he had just come from main engineering where he had a small discussion with the Chief Engineer, Alex Beck. The DOT and three exocomps that Beck had requested have already improved engine and maneuverability efficiencies. Not a lot from what Beck stated but it was still an improvement, one he was certain that Captain Maxwell will be happy with.

He could not help that he had eyes on him since he had entered the lift from main engineering, and when he turned his head to the side to look, he could see a female lieutenant staring at him. Only that she looked away and her cheeks began to turn red, caught in the act. Graves chuckled softly and he was about to say something when the door to the lift opened, and Commander Ward stepped in. “Ah. Lieutenant Commander. Good morning.”

Ward looked at him and the lieutenant briefly before she made a full one-eighty turn just as the door closed. “Good morning, Commander. Bridge.”

“Just heading there, myself. How was your morning?” Graves asked.

“Productive. Quick shower, light breakfast, and a quick chat with a few ensigns along the way.” She told him.

Graves nodded his head. “I see. About the…issues that the captain mentioned?”

“Of course, Commander.” Ward answered.

“Good. Good.” Graves replied just as the lift halted and the door opened, revealing the bridge to them. All three stepped off the lift, the lieutenant that he has yet to get a name of, went to an empty station. He still has time to read through the roster. Graves’ eyes then landed on Lieutenant Bates. “Lieutenant! How are things going with your departments?”

Zane looked up from his console and shrugged a shoulder. “Small bump in efficiencies but we’re still working on it.”

“Don’t stress yourself if you can’t get them any higher. Starfleet engineers have gotten better at making these ships far more efficient than they used to back in the day. Almost like all starship engineers decided to take a break and work in the fleet yards.” Graves chuckled as he went to his seat, sat down and started going over reports on his console.

The door to the Captain’s Ready Room opened up and out came Captain Maxwell, who immediately went to his chair and plopped right down with a heavy sigh. “Ladies and gents. Good morning to you all.”

“Sounds like you had a pleasant morning yourself, Captain.” said Tagg as he had turned in his seat to look back at everyone from his station.

“Oh, you know, Lieutenant. Couple reports here, command updates there. And a nice hot cup of coffee or two to get you fired up.” said Maxwell.

Tagg frowned, “I wouldn’t know, really. I’ve never been a ‘captain.’”

Maxwell chuckled. “You will someday, and then you’ll understand.”

“Command updates, sir?” Ward asked.

Maxwell chuckled again. “Figured that would get your attention, Commander. Yes, just minor updates. Positions being filled here and there. Nothing that would impede our current mission.”

Rowe had been staring at her console for the duration of two hours, since the moment she began her shift and took her station to just now. The calibration and adjustment to the sensors had just finished overnight and she was making final adjustments to ensure that everything was running smoothly when sensors began to pick up a large single entity heading their way. But it wasn’t right. After going through several settings of the long-range sensors, she finally found the problem and made the correction. Now more efficient, the single entity turned into six signals, and it took a minute for the system to update on those signals. Hirogen.

Rowe turned in her seat with the look of someone who’s been caught with their pants down. “I have six Hirogen vessels on long-range sensors.” She then turned back and checked her instruments. “Bearing one-six-zero, mark one-nine-five. Distance, one hundred and fifty thousand kilometers and closing, fast! One forty-five…one thirty…”

“Someone hail the lead ship and tell them we are on an important mission. We are of no threat to them!” said Ward.

“Belay that.” said Maxwell and he turned in his seat to look at Ward. “Someone forgot to do their studies on the Hirogen.”

“I did not forget, Captain. I simply wish to try a peaceful diplomatic solution.” Ward replied.

Maxwell smiled. “I appreciate that, Commander but there is no point with the Hirogen.” He turned his seat back to its original position before he pressed the red button. “Red alert!” He barked as the lights shifted to the red hue and the klaxon blared throughout the ship for a couple minutes.

Graves had already pulled up tactical information regarding the Hirogen ships. “Two energy signatures from the pack indicate that they are the Venatic-class, heavily armed. Lieutenant Bates!” Graves turned his head to look at the man. “Set both dorsal and ventral phaser arrays on the nacelle pylons to point defense. They will certainly launch torpedoes at us. Then get ready to load up a full spread of photon torpedoes from all aft launchers.”

“Distance?” Maxwell requested.

“One hundred thousand kilometers. Ninety-five!” Rowe replied.

Ward pulled up data on the Hirogen from her station as well. “Captain, they are capable of firing their weapons at a range of fifty thousand kilometers. Not to mention, the smaller vessels can fire a subnucleonic beam to disable ships weapons, warp engines, communications and navigational sensors.”

“Engineering to Bridge. Beck here, couldn’t help but eavesdrop on the situation. Dottie here and the exocomps have already came up with an automatic rotational field sequence for shields that should protect us from their disabling weapon. It’s funny too, it almost operates the same way as the Breen disabling weapon that was used on our ships during the Dominion War. Now they just have a weapon to disable shields, which-”

“Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Beck. You’re positive the shields will protect the ship from their disabling weapon?” Maxwell asked.

“Dottie here assures me that yes, the shields will keep us safe. To an extent.” said Beck.

“I knew there be a catch.” said Graves.

“Thank you, Mr. Beck. Bridge out.” Maxwell cut the internal comm and sighed. “We will just have to keep the shields up. If they go down for a split second, and hit the hull with that beam, we’re done for.”

Ward got up from her seat and went to the secondary tactical station where she relieved an ensign. “I will work on maintaining the shields, while Bates focus on taking out any torpedoes coming our way.”

“Sixty thousand kilometers!” Rowe spoke up.

Maxwell pressed a button to shift the main viewer to the rear, where they could see the four small vessels and the two large ones behind them, all gaining on them. “We’re going hot!”

Comments

  • Oh no, here we go into a cavalcade of horrors! This was such a visceral post. All the choices you made, it clearly communicated the violent dominance of the Orions and the Hirogen. You put so much sensory detail into your prose, it made it like watching this story on a holodeck. Well damn, those Hirogen killed a Borg too! The Sovereign might be in trouble between these rocks and a hard place.

    November 5, 2022
  • Now this. This! It’s truly a great showcase of the horrors of villainy that we try to skirt around in most cases. You did amazing at showing the true brutality and violence of the Orions and Hirogens. The whole fact of the Orion story with a girl trying to be a distraction that feels so accurate. The way you described the Hirogen and their way of brutality. Heck they killed the Borg and Species 8472 that alone shows they aren’t someone to mess with. I am very interested to see where you go with this. You did an amazing job of pulling the reader into seeing the details of the enemy and I am waiting for the next page to be written!

    November 6, 2022