The first five days aboard the Jaxartes had gone relatively smoothly, they’d made contact with a convoy of three transport vessels under the watchful eye of one of her sister ships on the third day and exchanged news and information with them. The following day they’d spotted a lone Orion Raider; but this ship had kept its distance and soon departed in the other direction at top speed.
So at breakfast around twenty minutes before he was due to commence his shift, Jason found himself sitting with both Dinari and Lyanna chatting about how their first patrol was going.
“How are you enjoying Engineering?” Asked the young Orion of her companion. Jason having heard most of what was coming next tried not to choke on the piece of toast he’d just taken a bite out of, as he tried to give her a look that said ‘please no!’
“I’m thinking of transferring to the Klingon Defense Force. I hear condition there are much more favorable!” came his reply.
“Oh.” She began to wonder what she’d started, when the whole conversation was brought to an abrupt end.
The alarm sounded and light panels above the entrance door to the mess hall flashed yellow. “All crews to their stations.” Came Cho’s voice over the speaker. The three Ensigns jumped up and ran out, Jason still holding half a round of toast. “Typical. Perfect timing!”
In less than a minute he and Lyanna where arriving on the bridge. The captain was in his chair whilst Lieutenant Bolka sat at Tactical and an Ensign Harris was at the Conn. The two groups quickly exchanged places and gave a brief account on the situation.
Only moments ago the Jaxartes had received a distress call from a Vanoban transport ship which was being chased by an Orion vessel. The transport was much slower than the Raider in pursuit, so it wouldn’t be long before it came into range of its disrupters.
“The Orion will reach the Vanoban in three minutes, seven seconds.” Jason announced as he double checked the figures the Bajoran had just shown him.
“Intercept in two forty eight at warp six, captain.” Added Stuart.
“This is going to be very close.” The Vulcan calm as always. “Got to red alert.”
The ship wide alarm sounded once more and the Yellow lights above the doors changed to red as they continued to blink on and off.
As the three vessels converged, Jason noticed a slight change in the Orion’s speed and direction. “Raider altering course to intercept use first.”
“Very well Ensign, Phasers and Torpedoes ready.” Came back the Vulcan’s voice.
“New intercept time is one minute!”
Seconds before the two warships met, the Salan simple said. “Now!” The two ships exchanged a brief volley of torpedo fire striking each other’s forward shields. But as Devron placed his fingers on the fire control instead of reddish beams of intense energy; nothing happened. He franticly tried resetting the controls. By then however the Raider had opened fire its disrupters and raced passed. He was slightly relieved when having acquired the target the aft phasers did in fact fire.
At the spit second Devron had gone to open fire, Lyambo heard an almighty bang to his right and smoke began drifting out in black curly from a nearby vent. Torf grabbed himself an extinguisher from the wall and raced over to the vent. The ship shook with the impacts of the first hits. Bellbrooke was soon contacted by the Bridge as the Captain asked what had just happened to their weapons.
“Energy surge, re-routing the power now sir,” He turned to Dinari. “Close relay Alpha 2 and re-route the power through junctions 4 and 9”
“Got you!” Shouted back the young engineer as he darted over to the relevant control panel.
Back on the bridge Ensign Stuart was doing her level best to dodge the Orion ship and its weapons fire, whilst trying to give Devron the opportunity to fire those Phasers that were currently working on the corvette along with her photon torpedoes. In that respect though the other ship was not being very cooperative. The Orion Raider had sensed right from the start something was amiss when the Federation vessel had not opened fire with its phasers until was heading away after his first attack run. As he swung around for his fourth run keeping at an angle preventing the Jaxartes from being able to target the Orion with Torpedoes; he’d choose that moment to switch most of his shield power to the disrupters. The Orion expected to render a devastating blow on this pass and leave his opponent crippled. It was also at that same moment power was restored to the Jaxartes forward Phasers.
At point blank range Jason opened fire on the Raider, its forward shields flashing and collapsing in the blink of an eye. The shocked and slightly wounded Orion made no attempt to alter her course giving the young Ensign a perfect shot at its retreating rear. Like those at the front these deliberately weakened shields didn’t stand a chance either. With no possible way of protecting itself the attacker made as rapid an exit as it was able. Sections of the hull clearly showing some signs of damage.
They had faced their first real enemy and come out on top, but things had so nearly been very different. The source was found to be a single AR1107-04 whose charred remains Torf had eventual pulled free along with a few bits of wire and other control systems once the fire was out. Someone had not replaced it during the engineers rush to complete all the work. The ships new and upgraded weapons system didn’t give the phasers any more energy and greater power when firing than in the past but simple allowed the required power to reach where it was needed at a faster rate. The older piece of equipment had not been able to handle the faster flow of energy running through it, causing it to explode rather loudly.
Lyambo still didn’t much care for the attitude of the Chief Engineer, but after this almost disastrous event, he was starting to understand the older man’s views a little more clearly. He also felt extremely glad it wouldn’t be him on the receiving end of the chiefs’ current anger. No, some other poor guy would feel that full force later. For now the throwing of a small handheld diagnostics device against one wall had been the other man’s main outlet.