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Part of USS Thyanis: The Raven of the Fourth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

Act 1- Part 4 ‘ The Skirmish’

Various Locations, USS Thyanis
Misson Day 6 - 02:45 hours
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Main Bridge – 02:45 hours


“Sensors coming back online in three, two, one,” Garcia reported as she glanced between her console and the view screen.

The snowstorm of static suddenly cleared revealing a clear picture of the cosmic backdrop ahead of the Thyanis. There was an object moving in the distance, apparently circling the crippled vessel.

Wallace stood arms folded, stroking his goatee with one hand, “Magnify.” He ordered, prompting Harris to initiate a command on his console.

As the Image cycled briefly between settings their attacker came ever more clearly into view until Garcia correctly identified its silhouette. 

“That’s a Plesh Tral Raider, must be on a scouting mission.” She said, thinking out loud

“I doubt even the Breen are crazy enough to send a lone ship this far into federation space, maybe it got separated from its squadron.” Harris theorised as he spent a free moment scraping some soot and debris off his console screens.

“Garcia, give me a tactical analysis!” Wallace instructed, he was curious as to why the raider didn’t finish them off, they were almost dead in the water and an easy prize for the slaver race.

Garcia didn’t waste a second, commanding her console to direct a sensor sweep toward the Breen ship. “Sir, the Breen ship is also damaged, Im detecting her weapons are charged but her propulsion appears to be off-line. She’s just adrift.” She returned the results of her scan.

“Could it be, there’s another ship out there?” Wallace asked with a concerned look on his face. The Thyanis might be able to go toe to toe with one heavy raider, but not a second ship regardless of class or configuration.

“I doubt it, sir, sensors show that the damage to our ship was caused by the Breen, but it looks like they damaged themselves too,” Garcia reassured the commander, with an expression on her face that broadcast out loud that she was itching to return fire and finish them off.

“Probably forgot to account for the difference in our warp field geometry when they opened fire, it could have potentially reflected some of the warheads back towards the Breen ship…we might have just won the lottery!” Wallace pondered the situation for a moment and approached a moment of clarity as he came up with a plan. 

“Garcia, weapons hold, do not fire unless fired upon, I want to save our ammunition for a more serious engagement, Harris start moving us away, three-quarter Impulse. I’ll be down in engineering to see if I can’t get us back to warp before reinforcements show up.” 

Wallace was about to head out into the corridor when the Ensign who he had left in charge of the night watch stopped him, “What can I do sir?” 

“I think you’ve done quite enough!” Wallace snapped, pointing at the deck of poker chips and cards strewn across the deck. “Keep out of my sight!” Wallace added as he stormed out the door. “Harris, you have the bridge!” he yelled back from the corridor

The young Ensign stood there, shell-shocked and full of guilt, the commander was absolutely right. It was his responsibility to run the ship overnight, this all would never have happened if he did a better job.

Harris clocked the look on the Ensign’s face and decided to step in after the commander left. “You can start by clearing up this mess, then we’re gonna need that engineering console manned for when the C.O needs to restart the warp engines.”

 

Sickbay 02:45hrs


Dr Xan raced franticly to save the life of the young Vulcan crewman. He had suffered full-thickness plasma burns across 2/3rds of his body and he was currently circling the drain. The alarm on the bio-bed suddenly began to scream, signaling that the battle to preserve life was being lost. 

“Damn, I’m losing him!” She said out loud. “Computer, activate EMH!” she commanded.

The Emergency Medical Hologram began to materialise before her eyes. A collection of photons caged by forcefields into the likeness of a bald man in a teal uniform. “Please state the nature of the medical emergency.” The EMH said with a welcoming but professional tone.

Dr Xan performed a brief handover to the program and instructed him on what procedures she needed him to perform. 

Like a well-trained but understaffed team, they did their best to bring the young Vulcan back from the brink of death. But their efforts were in vain and sadly despite a valiant display of medical intervention, the young officer passed away peacefully. 

“Time of death, 02:55.” Dr Xan pronounced life extinct with sad infliction on her voice, disturbed by the age of the young man, and the manner in which he met his demise.

There was barely enough time to disconnect all the equipment before Chief Catterick and the petty officer 3rd class walked in, carrying the young Andorian 2nd class between them. 

“We need help here!” the 3rd class screamed as they dragged the severely injured woman into the room.

There was no time to waste; with only the one main biobed, they needed the space. Dr Xan initiated a site-to-site transport and beamed the now deceased Vulcan into the mortuary next door and initiated a quick sterilisation sweep of the bed. 

No sooner had she finished, the enlisted officers placed the young Andorian on the bed, she was screaming in pain at this point but also struggling to take a full deep breath. She was wearing out quickly and losing her own battle with the reaper.

Xan administered some pain relief and then the EMH got to work performing a head-to-toe assessment with a Tricorder, “fractured ribs, internal bleeding, tension pneumothorax, ruptured internal organs.” The program reported

Xan recognised that internal bleeding was the most threatening issue, and the fact she was bleeding into her chest cavity was also likely the cause of her breathing difficulties.

“Laser scalpel!” Xan Instructed the EMH to hand her the instrument. She then made a small incision in the left side of the Andorian’s chest wall, allowing her to drain the excess blood from her chest and relieve the pressure.

After a display of medical and surgical skill lasting about 15 minutes, Xan managed to stabilise the Andorian, but her infirmary was not equipped to deal with all of her injuries.

Dr Xan approached Chief Catterick who was busy being treated for his own injury by the EMH

“Chief, it’s not good news I’m afraid,” Xan said with sadness in her voice. “Her injuries are quite serious, she’s stable for now but I’m afraid she is going to need medical care that we just aren’t equipped to deal with, ordinarily id ask Commander Jones to divert us to the nearest Starbase, but that might not be possible due to our current mission”

Martin stretched out his arm, testing its range of motion after the EMH reset the bone and repaired the damage. “The ship’s a bit knackered too, we might need a starbase after this anyway,” Martin suggested, glancing at the young Andorian; unconscious and linked up to almost every medical instrument in the room.

“If that’s the case, she might have a chance but with every hour that passes her chances of survival decrease dramatically.” Xan had a solemn look on her face, she had already lost one patient and she was staring in the face of death again only minutes later. Losing patients was part of being a Doctor, and something she expected to encounter at some point. The thing she found most troubling was the age of the two crew members, she found it such a senseless waste of life, cut short by a conflict that should have been concluded decades ago.

Martin was moved by the show of emotion from his senior officer and decided to prescribe a little pain relief of his own, “Hey love.” he said softly, gripping her attention.

“You did everything you could, and so much more. They are lucky to have you as their Doctor, just keep fighting with them and I’ll see what I can do about getting the skipper to turn us around.” Martin re-assured the good doctor, he was used to providing guidance and support to the enlisted rates more often than not but the situation seemed In need of some kind words to boost morale.

“Thanks Chief, but whatever you do; it needs to be fast,” Xan smiled

“Wallace to Chief Catterick.” The C.O’s voice blast over the ship’s com system

“Go ahead, Sir.”

“Chief, when you’re done in sickbay I need you in Engineering!”

“On my way, Commander,” Martin slid himself off the stretcher and decompressed his spine.

“Listen Doctor, No promises but I’ll do my best. And you should know that if things don’t go as planned, Petty Officer Zymia would probably want to know that it was you who tried to save her before the end,” he added, gesturing over at the young Andorian on the Bio-Bed.

As the leader of the enlisted crew, Martin made it his job to keep up to date with scuttlebutt and even the fledgling crushes of his junior staff. He treated them all like his family and by disclosing this small piece of information he hoped to give the young petty officer the strength to keep fighting, should she begin to slip away.

 

Engineering Bay 03:45hrs


Wallace and Chief Catterick had been performing surgery of their own for the past half an hour. The damage to the Warp Drive was much more severe than they had first realised and even with a few more capable engineers now on hand to assist them, progress was slow and the prognosis was not good.

“MOTHERF–” The crash of a hyperspanner being flung across the engineering bay saved the innocence of the younger crewmen from registering Commander Jone’s cursing in its entirety; he emerged from behind the Warp Core kissing and soothing a scrape on the back of his left hand.

“Commander!” Martin stepped in to help, It was not out of concern for his C.O’s welfare but more a respectful scalding to remind the commander that such outbursts of emotion from the senior crew were Improper in a battle situation.

Wallace realised he had let his potty mouth slip, and raised a hand of apology to the rest of the engineers working in the control room. Engineering was still the only place on a Starship he felt he truly belonged, and the news of the first casualties aboard his shift weighed heavily on his soul.

“Sorry Chief, the Thyanis seems to be fighting me,” he said, regaining his composure.

“She’s a stubborn ol’girl, she’ll survive. I won’t permit anything less” Martin said, placing a supportive hand on his comrade’s shoulder.

“I’ve never met a ship before that I couldn’t fix, but right now it feels like she doesn’t want me to help her Chief. I know she’s just a machine and that sounds crazy!” Wallace explained.

“On the contrary, it shows you care,” Martin responded, “If I may be so bold, however, the ship has half a dozen engineers, but what the crew needs right now is a Captain.”

The Chief was right, Wallace had only spent 5 minutes on the bridge since the attack, and while he had every faith in his X.O. to take command. It was his command and he suddenly felt like he had abandoned his post.

“You’re right, I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this one.” Wallace accepted, knowing that his place was on the bridge and not getting covered in grease behind an engine. “Yer know, I thought that a C.O. that got his hands dirty would earn the respect of his crew,” he added.

“And you’ve done that, but now might be the time to delegate some of that responsibility, sir,” Martin advised, wise beyond his years.

“Commanding officer to the bridge!”

The X.O’s voice broadcast over the intercom, almost like the ship had been listening in on their conversation, and prompted Wallace to be summoned back to his post.

“I can finish up here,” Martin reassured the Commander that his engine room was in safe hands, giving Wallace the confidence he needed to return to the bridge.

“She’s all your’s Chief, take good care of her.” Wallace picked up a rag on his way out of engineering and wiped his hands and face of sweat and grease before breaking into a light jog toward the ladder. Ascending to the command deck his gait changed as he approached some other crew members standing to attention as he passed. He walked with purpose but did not run and for the first time since leaving port, he felt solidified in his position as Commanding Officer.

 

Main Bridge 03:50hrs


As soon as the doors slid open all eyes turned aft to see Lieutenant Commander Wallace Jones power walk with confidence into the center of the room. The young Ensign who had earlier been the target of the Commander’s frustration attempted briefly to find the words to explain himself before being silenced.  “Save it, Ensign. Man your post!” Wallace said with an authoritative tone that was absent of any rudeness or aggression.

“X.O. Report,” Wallace instructed as he took the center seat without hesitation.

“The Breen ship seems to have made its repairs and is on a pursuit course, we can’t outrun them and they are closing fast.” Harris briefed the C.O whilst also focusing on maintaining course and speed.

“Bring us about to intercept, Garcia, arm photon torpedoes and ready phasers.” Wallace gave his orders with such steadfast confidence that it took the bridge crew by surprise, for just an hour ago the intention was to flee and now it looked like they were well resolved to engage the enemy and hold their ground.

Lt Garcia made herself busy preparing the ship for her battle, sheilds were back up to full strength but despite knowing the Thyanis could pack a punch for its size; their opponent was still a considerable threat. “Weapons ready sir, at your command!” She announced.

“Engage!” Wallace commanded as he planted himself in the center chair with the grandeur of a king mounting his throne on the eve of war.

Harris began his intercept offset by about 40 degrees until they approached the employment range. An old tactic used by fighter pilots was to avoid head-on intercepts in favor of other geometry to control the closure rate and reduce the effectiveness of some less advanced enemy sensor suites. At the last moment, he banked the ship left and began a hard pull into the vertical, avoiding the first volley of disruptor fire from the enemy ship while giving Garcia an easy first shot at the underside and stern of the enemy ship.

“Direct hit, on their ventral and aft shields, they are maneuvering for another pass,” Garcia reported, unable to contain her exhilaration caused by the action unfolding before her.

“Attack pattern Theta – Four, Harris keep them defensive, Garcia try to cripple them!” Wallace ordered, analysing the battle from his chair-mounted display.

The Thyanis while bulkier than a fighter was still an exceptionally nimble vessel, and she responded well to the maneuvers required of her. 

With great skill and anticipation, Harris performed a textbook Split-S and lined the Thyanis up to take another devastating shot at the Breen’s stern. Her phaser arrays found their mark, puncturing the rear shields of the Breen fighter and allowing the warhead of a following photon torpedo to detonate on impacting the starboard engine.

Despite the next-level piloting, the Breen ship successfully landed a couple of shots on the port nacelle causing further damage.

The skirmish raged on, each ship wrestling for the offensive position at the merge, shot after shot exchanged; both ships taking damage.

“Sheilds down to twenty-five percent! Commander, we are too evenly matched!” Garcia reported, dodging a shower of sparks from the ceiling light above her head.

“Bridge to engineering, Where’s my Warp Drive Chief!” Wallace asked desperately.

“No luck yet sir, I need maybe ten more minutes!” The chief responded over the communication system.

Wallace began to consider his options, a retreat was still off the cards, and fighting was going to destroy both ships. Surrender was beginning to look like a viable option.

“Sir, Proximity alert there’s another ship warping in!” Harris yelled as it seemed the situation had just gone from bad to worse.

Wallace braced for the inevitable, a second Breen vessel spelled doom for the Thyanis, “Prepare to abandon ship…” he said solemnly.

“Erm..sir that might be premature, the Breen ship just retreated…and we are being hailed by the new arrival” Harris reported confused, as was the rest of the bridge crew.

“On screen.” Wallace stood and approached the viewscreen, curious to address their apparent saviour. The moment the image appeared before him he spontaneously recalled a line from an ancient childhood nursery rhyme ‘My what big ears you have’

“You Hew-mons never learn, Rule of Acquisition number One hundred twenty-five: You can’t make a deal if you’re dead”

Comments

  • This was a wild ride from start to finish and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The chaos unfolding around the ship was well-written and believable right down to the declaration to abandon ship. I was on edge through all of it and I did enjoy the reference to Little Red Riding Hood. The touches of ferengi dialect in the closing line was equal parts accurate in how they pronounce human and of course the quoted rule of acquisition. A stellar effort all around and leaving me wanting more. I am very much looking forward to seeing what you have in store next!

    May 18, 2023