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Part of USS Saratoga: High Tide and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Chapter 7 – High Tide

USS Oneida / Devore Warship / USS Saratoga
November 2400
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It had been over eight hours since they separated from the Saratoga to escort the Monean colony ships back to their homeworld. Over eight hours since the Saratoga went in a separate direction in hopes of leading the Devore away from them. She had begun to wonder why she was selected to command the Oneida when T’Prel could have easily been given this assignment.

Nehi had been monitoring things from the operations station when something caught her attention. “Sir,” Nehi began to speak as she looked up at Deza. “It looks like the Devore is onto the Saratoga. From what I just picked up from sensors, they arrived at Miri looks to be thirty minutes ago, and have taken notice that the dilithium is gone. They are now heading in the direction of where the Saratoga went.” Nehi finished speaking.

“Have they taken notice of us?” Deza asked as she looked back at Nehi.

Shaking her head, “it doesn’t seem like it, it looks like they are more interested in the Saratoga,” Nehi replied.

Deza nodded before looking at Ensign Sato, “how long till we arrive at the Monean homeworld?” Deza asked looking at the young woman.

“We are still a couple of hours out,” Emily replied turning her head towards the Commander.

Deza nodded with a sigh before turning back to Nehi, “Nehi send a message to the Saratoga giving them a heads up that the Devore are onto them.” Deza replied as she stood up from her chair and began to pace in front of her chair. “Encrypt the message,” she added as she didn’t want to draw attention to them.

“Aye sir,” Nehi replied as she began to send the message.

Still pacing back and forth in front of her chair that was located in the middle of the small bridge of the Aquarius-class escort, “how are the colony ships holding up?” Deza replied as a few hours ago they had to stop as one ship was having some major problems. They were able to get the problem fixed but it put them behind schedule, though things worked out in the end.

“They are in the green, no one else has reported any more issues with their systems,” Toran replied from his station after being the one to assist the ship with their repairs.

Deza nodded, “keep an eye on the Devore as long as we can.” Deza replied as she stopped pacing looking over at the operations station.

“Will do,” Nehi replied.

Deza walked back to her chair and sat down, she couldn’t help but think about the mission at hand. She wished she was back on board the Saratoga. She had a lot on her mind which brought her back to how she was rather rude to Chon’al when they first arrived within the Delta Quadrant. How she still needed to apologize to him, he was just trying to be a friend and she just pushed him away. Letting out a huge sigh which caused others to look back at her for a brief moment before turning back to their work.


Kelic had been in his office pacing back and forth thinking about catching up to the Saratoga and getting back what was rightfully theirs. The Federation was mingling in affairs that didn’t concern them, which angered him even more. “They should have left well enough alone,” he said to himself as he continued to pace the room.

The Saratoga had gotten a good headstart on them though they were gaining ground. He regretted not listening to Nashka when she inquired about starting the next phase of the plan early. Maybe then they wouldn’t be where they are now, chasing.

After a few more minutes of pacing, he stopped and walked back to his desk. “Kelic to the bridge,” Kelic said over the comm channel.

“Noric here,” came the voice of his first officer.

“Status report,” Kelic asked.

“Still the same, nothing has changed.” Noric replied over the comm, “we are gaining ground but still are a few hours away from the ship in question.” He added as he sat in the command chair.

“Very well,” Kelic replied before ending the channel.

As Noric sat in the chair he sighed looking around the bridge, he was beginning to question the need to even chase after the ship. Was it even worth it when there were other places they could go to get this dilithium. “Is it just me or has Kelic lost his mind?” He finally asked out loud looking at anyone on the bridge.

“Yes and no?” came a voice from an officer at tactical.

Noric raised an eyebrow, “why do you say that?” Noric asked.

“I can understand why, I mean it could be the principle that the Federation ship took something that we had laid claim to. Though in the same sense, is it worth chasing a ship when we can just go somewhere else and get the same thing?” The officer replied looking at Noric.

“I was thinking the same thing,” Noric replied as everyone else on the bridge nodded.

“He is stubborn, when he wants something he will do anything to get it.” Noric then added as he had worked alongside Kelic for several years. Though they didn’t always agree on everything he still would follow his orders.

“You got that right,” an officer replied from the helm. They continued to chat amongst themselves while Kelic remained in his office which would probably be for most of this journey until they caught up to the ship in question.


“Looks like they took the bate,” Chon’al said from his station while looking at the Captain. “I got the Devore warship on sensors, they are gaining ground though still a few hours behind us.” He replied.

Azras nodded as they had just gotten word from the Oneida that they were still a couple of hours out from arriving at the Monean homeworld. The Devore haven’t even paid much mind to them as they were more focused on them. Which was what they were hoping for, “how are our defenses?” Azras asked knowing they would probably be in a fight once they caught up.

“Everything is in the green, we will be ready if it comes to that,” Dazra replied from the tactical station just as the doors opened to the turbolift revealing both T’Prel and Ritru. They had just returned from medical after agreeing to wear a cortical inhibitor to help try and block out the effects of the dilithium.

“Good,” Azras replied as she sat there as silence once again filled the bridge. Tensions were at an all-time high, with the Devore on their tails and a cargo bay filled with dilithium. Taking a deep breath as she stood up, “you have the bridge.” Azras replied looking at T’Prel.

“Aye sir,” T’Prel replied.

Azras turned and walked towards the turbolift, upon entering she gave it her destination as the doors closed shut behind her. She needed a bit of a break, she had already sent a message to Azrin to have him meet her in The Hillside Bar and Grill for some lunch. Since they had arrived within the Delta Quadrant she hasn’t been able to spend that much quality time with her husband other than when they were asleep.

As the lift came to a stop she exited as the doors opened in front of her and began to walk down the corridor towards where the restaurant was located. Upon entering she noticed that Arzin was already sitting at a table near the window waiting. Smiling at seeing her husband, she walked over to join him at the table.

“Thanks for joining me for lunch and a chance to get a bit of a break in the midst of the craziness of this mission,” Azras said as she kissed him before sitting down.

“Anything for you my dear,” he replied with a soft smile.

It was a bit strange not seeing Anai here running the place, she was left back at Deep Space 47 due to her being a telepath. Her head chef was now in charge until she was able to return once they returned from the Delta Quadrant. He came over and smiled at the two, “welcome what can I get you two?” He asked with a smile.

They both took their turn in ordering what they wanted, the chef nodded and walked away to prepare it. They spent this time talking about different things that were happening and how they were feeling during this whole situation while they waited. After a few minutes, the food arrived and they both began to eat.

“So how is the study of the dilithium going?” Azras asked.

“Slowly,” Azrin replied as he began to explain what command had sent them about being able to communicate with the ‘ghosts’ of the lost Brenari souls. “That has proven interesting though the only telepath we have on board is T’Prel so that would be a bit complicated.” He said, “I’d rather not put her through anything like that as there is so much onboard. It would be a bit different if it was maybe just a sample.” He finished talking before taking another bit of his food.

She had read the reports on this device and had sent them to both Damir and Arzin, “good thinking as that would be too much for one person to handle.” Azras commented before taking a bite of her food. They continued to talk amongst themselves as the ship continued on its journey.

Unbeknownst to the Saratoga that there was a Hirogen ship near the edge of Malon and the Void space that was sitting and waiting in stealth mode, waiting for the ship to get closer after picking it up on sensors. If it wasn’t the Devore tailing them, it was now the Hirogen who had begun hunting them, waiting for the perfect time to strike. The one thing the Hirogen were good at was being patient, waiting for that opportune moment to strike at their prey.

Comments

  • This was a nice break from some of the intense action we have seen previously. Getting the point of view from all 3 vessels in play really made for a well-rounded read and the brief interlude to check on the Colony ships. You can really tell Azras is living the Starfleet values no matter the stressful situations she finds herself in. Being in command isn't easy with many balls to juggle and she is absolutely doing her best with what she has at hand. Seeing the Devore and Saratoga crew enjoy a bit of banter while tensions remain high really helps put the different perspectives in order. And of course, Enter the Hirogen. They are good at what they do and rise to any challenge. Really excited to see what happens next!

    November 26, 2022
  • I've heard the saying the chase scenes are exciting, naval chase scenes are boring. And if you ever look at history, naval chases could take hours even days sometimes as both ships continued on courses, the chaser only gaining by such a small amount that it would take forever to close the distance. So having the Devore ship chasing after the Saratoga taking its time makes sense. Can't help but think the Saratoga is playing with the Devore though. Let them get tired and bored and irritable and then crank those engines to full and leave them in their dust!

    November 26, 2022
  • I liked how the scene aboard the Oneida continues to build upon the tension and the threat of the Devore. It almost feels like an old submarine movie, the bridge crew holding their breaths to see if the Devore has taken notice of them. Clearly, they're right to be weary: you've done a compelling job of characterising Kelic as taking such a personal interest in defeating the Saratoga. Now that's going to make him an even more dangerous foe for Azras! The callback to Deza's conflict with Chon'al was unexpected and yet welcome. I look forward to reaching a resolution between them. ...But wait, Hirogen too??

    November 27, 2022
  • Hirogen, Malon, Moneans, Devore - it's every Voyager can boy's dream coming true!! It's nice to see you exploring the captain's relationship with others and able to take a moment between the action.

    November 29, 2022
  • I'm loving the jumping between perspectives! Particularly how each group has different information than each other, giving the reader a complete picture of the scenario that the characters themselves never could. Great idea getting the Saratoga's Aquarius involved, though as a lover of tough little ships I'm a tad biased!

    November 29, 2022
  • So the bait worked, awesome the colonists are safe! Well for now that is ;) the Devore are on their tail but what is that, the hirogen are following them now also :o looking forward to more! Awesome work

    December 14, 2022