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

Chapter 9 – High Tide

USS Saratoga
November 2400
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The Saratoga had continued on their current course and speed, though it looked like the Hirogen ship was well enough behind them. One would think that they were playing games with them and that it would only be a matter of time before they speed up to end the game. Everyone that was on the bridge was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.

Breaking the silence, “let’s play a little cat and mouse game. Lieutenant, alter course” Azras ordered looking at Rass.

“Aye sir,” came his reply as the ship suddenly altered course going in a bit of a different direction than they were previously.

“Do you think this will even work?” Chon’al spoke up from his station. “They will not give up their hunt even with us changing course,” Chon’al added as he looked at her.

“Probably not though it might buy us some time,” Azras said as she sulked in her chair.

Rubbing her hands over her face for a moment before she turned towards Dazra, “get security guards on all major decks.” Azras began to speak, “I’d rather not be caught off guard if we end up getting boarded.” Azras finished.

“Aye sir,” Dazra replied before sending a message to Lieutenant Holman to get teams in place.

It had been a while since they had been at emergency warp, “Jheria how are the engines holding up?” Azras asked looking over to where Jheria was located at the engineering console.

“Everything is in the green I have no current concerns,” Jheria replied looking at the captain.

Azras nodded at the statement before she turned to Rass, “alter course again and continue every fifteen minutes.” She replied as she wasn’t sure how much longer they would be able to keep this up.

“Understood,” Rass replied before the ship altered course again.

“They are still following, though it seems they are a bit thrown off by our constant course changes,” Odan spoke up from his station as the captain just nodded. Silence once again filled the bridge as they continued, changing course every so often. This would continue for the next hour.

“Sir, security teams reporting ready at all major decks as well as the crew has weapons and are ready,” Dazra spoke up from her console.

“Great,” Azras replied.

Chon’al sat at his console wondering what they were up to, this cat-and-mouse game kept going on with them not doing anything. He wondered how much longer this would go on, “I wonder if they are trying to wear us out?” Chon’al spoke up not directed at anyone in particular.

“It’s hard telling,” Dazra replied with a shrug then her console beeped. “Um sir, they have increased speed and are arming weapons at us, sir!” Dazra exclaimed looking at the captain.

Looking at Rass, “take us out of warp, engage impulse engines.” Azras ordered before turning to Dazra, “lock weapons on the Hirogen and get me a targeting solution immediately!” Azras said looking over at the Trill woman at tactical.

The ship dropped out of warp as it moved around to face the Hirogen ship that had stopped just in front of them. “Targeting solution acquired and our weapons are ready,” Dazra spoke up from her station, “if we concentrate fire on their forward shields we should be able to disable their weapons array. It looks like they have more shielding protecting their engines than they do their main weapons array,” Dazra added as Azras nodded.

The Hirogen began to fire upon the Saratoga, the ship rocked upon impact. “Invasive maneuvers fire phasers and quantum torpedoes,” Azras ordered as the ship began to move and fire upon the Hirogen ship. 

The Hirogen continued their fire upon the ship, and the next volley of fire upon the ship caused some of the consoles on the bridge to erupt. Which sent Chon’al flying from his station. Ritru ran over to check on him, “sir we need medical up here.” Ritru replied looking at the captain.

“Bridge to Sh’esirr we have a medical emergency on the bridge,” Azras replied.

“On my way sir,” Sh’esirr replied.

Upon arrival, Sh’esirr examined Chon’al who was currently unconscious bleeding from the head. “Computer two to transport directly to the infirmary,” he ordered as moments later the two of them disappeared from the bridge.

The two ships continued their firefight between each other, “sir our shields are at sixty percent.” Dazra replied as the next volley of weapons fire hit causing hull breaches on several decks.

“Sir we have hull breaches on decks four through six, forcefields are in place and holding.” Odan replied from his console, “casualty reports are coming in as well as injuries.” Odan said with a solemn look on his face.

“Sir we are being boarded,” Dazra replied as she began listing off the decks. Just then two Hirogen hunters appeared on the bridge.

“You gave us a good hunt, now it’s over!” Exclaimed one of the hunters.

“That’s what you think,” Odan replied as all weapons were trained on the two hunters.

The hunters let out a laugh, “you think your weapons are a match for us?” he asked as he shot Rass, though it only seemed to stun him. Which caused the others to open fire on the two hunters.

Odan had aimed his just right and took one of the hunters down, the fight continued throughout the ship as officers began to take down the intruders. Things were tense for a good twenty or so minutes.

“Sir, the rest of the ship is reporting that the hunters have been neutralized,” Dazra replied from her station.

“Well looks like you lost, so I would take your wounded and leave my ship!” Azras replied looking at the hunter that looked to be the leader.

He didn’t say anything else and soon he and the wounded disappeared, a short time later the ship rocked again as the Hirogen ship fired on them again. “Fire full spread,” Azras ordered as the ship began to fire on the Hirogen ship taking out their weapons array.

“Sir they are leaving, they sustained heavy damage” Dazra replied as medical again walked onto the bridge to take care of Rass who was shot and was later transported to the infirmary from his injuries. The medics also took care of some minor wounds that Azras and a couple of other officers sustained.

“I want a full damage and casualty report,” Azras ordered as she sulked back in her chair.

Both Jheria and Odan nodded as they uploaded both reports onto a padd and handed it to the captain to read. Fifteen officers lost their lives while fifty others were injured, damage was minimal compared to what it could have been. “How soon can repairs be done?” Azras asked as they needed to take care of the hull breaches.

“It would take several hours,” Jheria replied.

“Very well, get repairs started with getting those hull breaches taken care of first,” Azras ordered.

“Aye sir,” Jheria replied as she walked off the bridge.

“Ritru send a coded message to the Oneida explaining our situation and that we will be late returning,” Azras ordered as she stood up from her chair. “Also, you have the bridge,” Azras replied which caused Ritru to raise her eyebrow but didn’t question the order.

“Understood sir,” Ritru replied sending the message to the Oneida before standing up from her station. She walked over to the captain’s chair looking at it for a few moments before she took the seat.

Azras had walked into her ready room as the doors closed she let out a very loud scream which could be heard from the bridge. Everyone looked at each other wondering what was wrong.

Odan knew, he knew when he got the casualty report. He looked down as everyone looked at him. “Her son was killed in the hull breach, he was on deck four in one of the classrooms,” Odan said as a tear ran down his face as everyone’s expression changed to sadness.

A few moments later after composing herself, Azras exited the ready room and headed towards the turbolift, she was heading to the cargo bay where Arzin was located. He was helping Damir make sure the dilithium remained stable during their altercation with the Hirogen and had no idea of what had happened to their son. 

Engineering teams began their work on repairing the hull breaches so they would be able to get underway while repairing the remaining damage that the Saratoga had sustained. This would take several hours for them to complete while watching out for enemy vessels.

Comments

  • Ok. Was not prepared for that twist. Very raw and intense in the last few paragraphs. You have to admire Azras in these situations, taking a moment to let it out, then putting her game face on and be a captain. Loved how the Hirogen were so sure of themselves and their abilities, only to be taken aback when the hunter becomes the hunted. Can't wait to see what happens next!

    December 4, 2022
  • Oh that is sad, really sad. I was not expecting to see that at the end for poor Captain Azras Dex. Now the question remains will she do a Kirk and go all "KHAAAAAANNN!" like on the Hirogen, or will she take another route? Besides this cliffhanger you've left us on, the action with the Hirogen was good. Dealing with them boarding the ship and not being able to take it would have definitely made the Saratoga crew worthy prey for other hunters now. Will they still have the target on their back or is this the end of the Hirogen coming after the crew?

    December 4, 2022
  • Oof, this was certainly a chapter of twists and turns. A boarding action on an Odyssey isn't something you see every day... nor is the captain losing her son. Hearing Azras scream like that was rough, especially after seeing her act with such confident swagger in these past few chapters I can certainly tell that this chapter is going to have a LOT of consequences for the Saratoga and her crew. Well done!

    December 4, 2022
  • Jeeeeeeeeeeeez! This one was a gut-punch. It's hard to breathe. I was all ready to cheer the game of cat-and-mouse with the Hirogen --Hirogen on the bridge-- but the costs have become far too real. I really couldn't imagine what would make Azras lose her temper like that at first. As long as I've been ready Bravo Fleet, I've never read anything that affects Azras so deeply. And then I read why. Hard enough to read about her loss, but it's heartbreaking to imagine her having to tell her husband on top of it. This one will change the missions of the Saratoga forever!

    December 6, 2022
  • Wow! Just...wow. That's a gut punch and a half right here. A real emotional hit right at the end of the campaign leaves me wondering what we'll get in the next story for the Saratoga. This is going to leave an indelible mark on the Saratoga that I know you'll handle with care. What a heartbreaking twist.

    December 11, 2022
  • Oh no her son died :( that is a heavy twist of the story but one that it many trek captain dare to write so well done. But that is the risk of bringing family onboard. Well written!

    December 14, 2022