Part of USS Crazy Horse: Blood For Blood and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

Climax

USS Crazy Horse - Bridge
December 4, 2400 @10:00
0 likes 710 views

Captain Órlaith Murphy glanced down at her armrest controls.  The last of her crew had beamed up from the moon.  They would leave the infrastructure there in case the Federation decided to colonize the moon and develop it into a full scale dilithium operation.  All of that was in her final report.

Now it was time to rid themselves of the blood dilithium.   The Devore had been watching them closely ever since she conceded jurisdiction to them when she handed over a pair of Vidiian prisoners who had killed and harvested the organs of two of her officers.  Needless to say, the Devore had little more love for them than she did.

“Is the probe ready Ms. Shrin?” The captain asked her science officer. 

The Andorian turned from the science console.  We have recreated the probe exactly as the plans indicated from the Discovery.  I have my misgivings,  but they sacrificed themselves to use it so…”

Torin looked over at Órlaith,  “Are you sure you want to provoke the Devore.”

“No,” she responded honestly,  but if this blood dilithium is really what they think it is…  well I don’t see any other choice.”

Torin sighed, “I want to believe that that isn’t the case, but yeah… there’s something creepy about the stuff.”

Órlaith nodded, “Red alert.  Battle stations.”

“Aye captain,”  Ensign Talon said from the tactical station.  The bridge dimmed and the red alert klaxon blared. “Shields are up, phasers are powering and torpedoes ready.”

“We’re being hailed by Inspector Orten,” Lt. Commander Erin Hayden announced from the Operations station. 

“Ignore him,” Órlaith ordered.  “Helm plot a course out of the system. Markonian Outpost maximum warp on my mark.”

“Markonian Outpost,  aye,” The acting helm chief replied from the navigation station.

“Load the probe,” Torin said, his voice rising from the tension. 

“Probe ready,” Shrin replied.

“Captain the Devore ship is powering weapons. Inspector Orten is demanding to speak with you,” Erin announced. 

Órlaith looked over at Torin, “Last chance to get out of this before hell breaks loose.”

Torin smirked, “Crazy Horse is an old ship, but she’s a good one.  I have faith in her.”

“Faith won’t save us from Devore torpedoes,” Órlaith replied. 

“True, but I think we have a duty.”

“That’s the crux of the issue isn’t it?  It really isn’t about what we want. It’s about what is necessary,” Órlaith replied philosophically. 

“More Devore ships are entering the system,” Ensign Talon reported from tactical as the ship shuddered under a volley of Devore weapons. “Shields holding at 78 percent.”

“Fire the probe!” Órlaith shouted.

The probe arched across space and with a flash of light it entered the rift.  “Spectral readings are showing that concentrations of blood dilithium are decreasing in this system,” Shrin announced.  

There was no time to celebrate as a second and third Devore warship closed in on the Crazy Horse.   The pounding that the Excelsior-class was taking was deafening.  “Get us out of here!” Órlaith shouted. 

“I can’t establish a stable warp bubble,” the helm officer reported desperation in her voice. 

“Shields are falling at 53 percent,” Anthony reported. 

“Evasive maneuvers Kirk-epsilon-five. Mr. Talon target engines and fire!”

The Crazy Horse rolled left and pitched downward as a full array of phasers and torpedoes lashed out hitting the lead Devore ship.

“Direct hit, no damage,” Anthony reported.  “Shields failing.”

The comm chirped. “Engineering to bridge,” Lt. Marcus Washington’s voice came over the din, “Warp Core is going critical!”

“Eject the core!” Torin ordered. 

“I already did,” Washington replied.  

The warp core floated freely in space for a second before exploding which ripped one of the Devore ships apart which in turn damaged a second ship.

The shockwave slammed into the Crazy Horse and consoles exploded throughout the bridge. As systems started to fail all over the ship the hull groaned and popped under the strain caused from a failing structural integrity field. 

“Impulse engines offline,” Helm reported.

“Life-support is failing,” Erin added.

Órlaith pressed the all-call on her armrest, “All hands this is the captain, abandon ship. This is not a drill.”

The alarms around the darkened ship changed to reflect the need to proceed to escape pods. Smoke filled the air making it hard to breathe.   The gravity generators were starting to fail.

Órlaith picked her way across the debris strewn deck.  The helm officer had already left.

She tapped Erin on the shoulder,  “Go! Get out of here!”

“Aye captain,” Erin replied, stil tapping out controls.   After a moment she slid out of her station, “I think I got a distress signal out.  I hope.”

“Me too, but it’s time to think about yourself,” Órlaith replied.   “I’ll see you on Eden.”

“Aye captain.”

Órlaith was the last one to leave the bridge.   She paused to look back at what had been her home. “Computer initiate program Murphy: sixty-six-alpha.”

“Warning: this will erase all data on the computer and is unrecoverable.”

“Enable once ship’s logs are transmitted,” Órlaith committed. 

“Logs transmitted.  Computer erasure in fifteen seconds.  There will be no further countdown.”

Órlaith sighed and headed down the corridor to one of the last escape pods. She hoped that this would not be the last time she’d see this ship.

 

USS MacKenzie…

Harris sipped at his coffee as he sat in the center chair.  The morning was underway. Reports from the department chiefs had come through late last night and he was slowly working his way through the updates as the bridge crew briefly went through shift change.  Suddenly a harsh beep erupted from the communications station and Atega spun in her chair, slipping her earpiece in while her hands tapped at the console.  “We’ve got a distress call coming in from a nearby sector – we’re about half hour away.  Ship is identified as USS Crazy Horse.  Records indicate her CO is Captain Órlaith Murphy.”

Ambrose motioned to Prentice, “Plot an intercept course, maximum warp.  Engage when ready.”  He turned to his communications chief, “That’s one of the old Excelsior class ships still kicking around, isn’t it?”  He pulled his PADD out of the command chair arm and confirmed his concerns, “They still pack a punch…but I’d be worried about stacking them up against multiuple Devore ships.”  Harris returned his attention to Atega, “Keep an ear out.  Let Doctor Reid know what we’re headed into – have engineering teams standing by in case there’s something to save.”  He returned to his chair, “Red alert.” 

☆     ☆     ☆

The Excelsior II class ship dropped from warp and Harris immediately stood as the screen showed the scene.  The Crazy Horse was adrift and lifeless – no running lights and debris surrounded her as if protecting the aging ship.  He knew better.  “Chief Kondo, report?”

He quickly ran down what he could tell.  No shields.  No power.  Significant damage to all decks.  The bridge was intact.  There were no life signs aboard the Crazy Horse.  “I’m detecting wreckage from one Devore ship and another is critically damaged.  There is a third ship that just noticed us.”

Harris wasn’t about to wait, “Target the damaged Devore ship and fire..”  As Kondo ran his hands across the console the CO turned to face his science chief, “Any luck in finding the Crazy Horse crew?”  On the viewscreen the damaged enemy ship became a destroyed enemy ship as it exploded under heavy fire from the Mackenzie.

Fowler gave a nod, “We’ve traced most of the escape pods to moon orbiting a gas giant, but that’s not our biggest problem.”

Ambrose growled, “The Devore.  Chief Kondo, you are authorized to use quantum torpedoes on that ship.  Full attack spread at will.” The ship shook as the Mackenzie swung hard and the Devore swung back harder.  

De La Fontaine grinned menacingly and glanced at the chief helm officer to his left, “Will, let’s get dangerous.”  The young officer gave a nod and they began to move the Mackenzie into a complicated dance.  Prentice had proven himself a maverick at the most dangerous times in the academy.  It had put him on the Erigone as punishment but he had rebounded.  In this moment, he would have to let loose the old Will to push the Mackenzie from a slow moving Waltz into a frenetic Swing Dance backed by a full orchestra of weapons.

Prentice went to work on his console while muttering, “Let’s dance…”

 

☆     ☆     ☆

The Devore ship exploded into a fiery flower of destruction as Harris released the grip on the arms of his chairs. The shields had been battered to 60% but they had destroyed the enemy and could now work to get the crew of the Crazy Horse onboard.  Calog Tir was working with Fowler to identify the landing sites.  Reid had activated the triage and trauma teams.  

“We can’t leave her sir.”  Okada sat at her station as Harris leaned over her shoulder, looking at the screens.  She reported, “The Crazy Horse isn’t going to be able to get out on her own power – it would take at least a year in space dock to have a chance at repair.  We need to tow her out of here.  They would have wiped the computer banks…but taking such an iconic class of ship captive would be a win for any of our enemies our here.”

He sighed, “I’m guessing you’ve got a plan.”  She nodded and handed him a PADD.

“We can tractor beam her and then extend our warp bubble around her.  We’ll start out slow but we can increase our warp speed slowly until we’re at warp nine.”  She

Harris gave an approving nod, “It’s a good plan.  Coordinate with Lieutenant Tir about power requirements and who were going to borrow from to make this work. Put your plan into action.”  He moved to where his chief operations officer was sitting, earpiece in and hands crisscrossing his console, “Have someone find Captain Órlaith Murphy and get her to the bridge.”  

Calog spoke up, “Sir, we’re having problems communicating with the survivors.”  He nodded at his screen, “Science thinks the warp core explosion had an effect on the moon’s atmosphere that’s now affecting our communications systems.”

Ambrose chewed on his lip, “I’m guessing instead of the mountain coming to us we will go to the mountain.  Have Reid meet me in transporter room 1.  Chief Kondo, you have the CONN.” 

 

Eden Settlement…

“Whelp, here we are again. I didn’t expect to be back here quite so soon,” Commander Torin said shielding his eyes against the binary suns.

“Neither did I,” Órlaith replied, but let’s face it.  We did kick the hornet’s nest.  This should come as no surprise.”

The Trill first officer gave her a smirk, “No, it is no surprise.  Well, a little.  I didn’t expect reinforcements so quickly.”

Órlaith frowned, “You have a point there.”

“Captain,” Ensign Talon started as he approached the command team.  “Settlement is secure. I have regular patrols and sensor sweeps established.  Everyone is accounted for.  There are twenty-two injuries.   Doc Mulder is set up and taking care of them in the hospital.”

“Good work Ensign.  Let’s hope we won’t need those security measures, but the way this day is going…”

“Yes ma’am. Prepare for the worst,  hope for the best.”

“Exactly,” Órlaith said with a smile.

The whine of the transporter echoed over the area as a team of medical officers flanked a command officer who smiled at the gathered group.  Harris walked up to the officer with the captain rank pips and extended his hand, “Captain Ambrose Harris, USS Mackenzie.”  He glanced around, “I would say I’m here to rescue you but I think I’m just here to help you get home.”

“Órlaith Murphy,” she replied with surprise etched on her face. “USS Crazy Horse… or what’s left of it.”

Harris felt his heart reach out to her.  The loss of any ship was hard to accept, and having to abandon it without knowing what came next added to it.  “She’s still in one piece, Captain.  We took out the last Devore ships – Crazy Horse’s warp core gave us the advantage.”  He explained their plan to tow the Excelsior class ship back home.  “I don’t know if they’ll let us take her home through the wormhole, but we can at least give you and your crew a safe ride to the outpost,”

“I would appreciate that.  I think we are all ready to come home. Assuming you have the room for us all.”

Ambrose allowed a small smile, “Mackenzie’s an Excelsior II class – plenty of room for your crew, Captain.  We’d be honored to get the girl on her way home.”

Órlaith smiled, “Excelsior II?  Well, that seems fitting.  We have injured.”

Harris motioned to his medical team to step forward, “We’ll triage your people and get them checked out.”

“Thank you Captain.  I must say I am surprised at your quick response. We were settling in for the long-haul and expecting an attack from the Devore.  Maybe our fortunes are turning.”

He hoped that was the case as well.  “Sometimes the right people are in the right places at the right time.”

Comments

Manage
  • THAT did not go as I expected! From the off, it seemed like an inspiring and victorious finale. Órlaith said it best with: "It really isn’t about what we want. It’s about what is necessary." I appreciated the Crazy Horse crew giving the Devore the finger to destroy the blood dilithium out from under them and give the Brenari the remembrance they deserve. I never imagined the cost would be the Crazy Horse herself, abandoned and left adrift! At least the arrival of the USS MacKenzie --and the symbolism of rescue from an Excelsior II-class starship-- offers some hope for a better day tomorrow.

    December 11, 2022