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Part of USS Knight: Behind Enemy Lines and USS Saratoga: Behind Enemy Lines

3 – Behind Enemy Lines

Engineering; USS Knight
March 2401
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Engineering was bustling with activity as engineers were frantically trying to complete modifications that were sent over from the Saratoga before arriving at the Ciatar Nebula. Piyu Jaiett sat in his office going over everything available to them about their assignment. There was one thing that had caught his attention, which was the Cardassian orbital weapons platforms that were strategically placed right before you would get to the Lungurn Fleet Yards. After fighting in the Dominion War he had come across these types of platforms during the First Battle of Chin’toka and it concerned him.

“Engineering to Commander Rayu,” Piyu said after he tapped his commbadge.

“Go ahead,” Isha replied wondering what was going on as his tone sounded that of urgency.

“Could you come down to engineering,” Jaiett replied. “There is a problem I need to speak with you about,” he added.

“Of course, on my way.” She responded before ending the channel.

Jaiett continued to read the information while he waited for the commander to arrive, while this ship was designed to be able to withstand fire for longer periods of time. He knew it wouldn’t be able to withstand these orbital weapons platforms, especially not the fighter squadron they would be picked off immediately. A few moments later there was a chime at the door, “come.” he replied as he kept reading as the doors to his office opened to reveal Commander Rayu.

“You wanted to see me?” Isha asked as she could tell he had a worried look on his face. Walking up to the open seat in front of his desk she sat down.

Looking up from his screen, “yes I wanted to talk with you about the weapons platforms and our upcoming assignment.” Piyu replied looking at the commander before turning the screen around for Rayu to see. “These are Cardassian orbital weapons platforms, we won’t be able to just shoot at them.” He added looking at the commander who was young in comparison to him and probably never seen the Dominion War like he did.

“How do you mean?” Rayu asked not familiar with Cardassian designs.

“These particular platforms were designed and developed by a Gul Damar in late 2374 during the last Dominion War,” Piyu began. “In the subsequent battle known as the First Battle of Chin’toka, these weapons were able to take out larger ships. Their regenerative deflector shielding left them virtually invulnerable, that is until Starfleet was able to exploit their remote power generator that was located on a nearby moon.” He said in a vast summary of events that he remembered during the last war.

“How were they able to exploit the generator?” Rayu asked looking at him.

“Well since they couldn’t penetrate the moon’s defensive grid they imprinted an enemy warp signature on the generator’s energy matrix. This caused the weapons platforms to start firing on it until they got through, which in turn caused them to shut down once the generator was destroyed.” Piyu replied looking at the captain.

“Can we do the same thing?” Rayu asked.

“I mean we could but right now we don’t know where their generator is located,” Piyu began as he looked at her, “we would need to go in close enough without being picked up and begin scanning to see where the generator is located and go from there,” he added.

“Do you think it could be in the command and control center?” Rayu asked.

“That would be a possibility, though if I were the Breen I probably would have it located in a separate location in case something were to happen with the systems the weapons platforms would remain working,” Piyu replied looking at her as she nodded.

“This changes things,” Rayu said with a heavy sigh.

“Indeed,” Piyu said with a heavy sigh. “Things tend to not go as planned and these weapons sure change things,” he added.

“Do you think they were built with some kind of shutdown command?” Rayu asked looking at him which made him start to ponder what she asked.

“I am not sure,” he replied as he began to think. “I can contact Lieutenant Commander Aleish Trol on board the Gagarin to see if she might know or be able to find out before we arrive at the Ciatar Nebula,” Piyu replied.

“Very well, keep me updated,” Rayu replied before standing up from the chair she was sitting in. She thought about contacting Fleet Captain Dex about what they discovered but would hold off until they could present a different plan of action upon arrival at the nebula.

“Will do sir,” he said as he watched her walk out of his office. Standing up from his chair he walked over to the replicator to grab a good strong cup of coffee. Once the replicator materialized his order, he grabbed the cup carefully in his hands before turning to walk back to his desk. Just as he was sitting down he heard the door chime go off, letting out a verbal sigh he looked at the door. “Enter,” he replied.

The doors parted to reveal Kisha Pazal a young Cardassian woman walking in and up to his desk. “We have finished all the modifications to the ship’s systems, and ran every diagnostic as I could to make sure everything was up to par.” Pazal began looking at him standing at attention. “Here is the report,” she added as she handed him the padd that contained the information.

Taking the padd from the young officer and began to read over the report for a few moments. Setting the padd down on the desk once he was satisfied with the work he smiled, “thank you lieutenant is there anything else?” He asked looking at her.

“No sir,” Kisha replied before she turned and exited the office.

Piyu watched her leave and once the door closed behind her he turned his attention to what he was about to do before she came in. “Computer open a channel to Lieutenant Commander Aleish Trol onboard the USS Gagarin and patch it through to my office.” He said as the computer beeped in response, he now waited for Aleish to come on his screen.

“Jaiett!” Aleish replied once the channel was open, “been far too long.” She added with a smile.

“It has,” he replied returning her smile with his own.

“I know you didn’t call just to catch up, what can I do for you?” Trol asked looking at him as she could see that something was on his mind.

“Are you familiar with the Cardassian orbital weapons platforms that were used during the Dominion War?” He asked looking at her as she squinted her face at the mention of the war. 

“A bit yes,” Aleish replied as she tilted her head to the side a bit.

“Well as you know we are being sent to deal with taking them out, as you know that is a huge problem if they are the same configuration used during the First Battle of Chin’toka.” He began to speak, “right now we do not know where their power generator is located whether on the command and control center or some asteroid.” Piyu began to speak.

“That does create a bit of a dilemma as from what I remember they were impenetrable due to their regenerative deflector shielding,” Aleish said looking at him.

“Indeed, do you happen to know if there is maybe a shutdown code that can be transmitted to shut them down to be taken out?” Piyu asked as he adjusted in his chair looking at her.

“I am not sure if they do,” she began as he let out an audible sigh. “I mean I do have one contact on Cardassia that I can get ahold of to see if he might know or not, I am not that familiar with the ins and outs of those defense systems to know myself. If you give me about an hour I’ll get back to you with an answer,” she said.

“That would be great,” Piyu replied as he looked at her. “Thank you,” he added before the communication channel ended and he sat back in his chair thinking of their upcoming task that he needed to try to come up with a different plan of action. Even though he was only an engineer he was also the ship’s second officer so a lot was riding on him to find a way to get around to destroying these platforms so the other ships can succeed in their mission.

Over the next hour, Piyu had been in engineering checking systems and doing small recalibrations that needed to be done while he waited for Aleish to get back to him. Time seemed to be going very slowly, “is everything alright sir?” Kisha asked as she walked up to him while he was at a console.

Looking up at her with a fake smile, “as good as it can be given the current situation.” Piyu replied looking at her.

She nodded and was about to speak when she was interrupted by his commbadge going off. “Commander you have an incoming transmission from Commander Trol from the Gagarin,” Sreivik said over the channel.

“Very good patch it through to my office,” Jaiett requested.

“Aye sir,” Sreivik replied before the channel ended.

“Well if you will excuse me I have to go take this call,” Piyu said excusing himself from the lieutenant who just nodded in understanding.

Walking into his office he sat down in the chair that was behind his desk and turned on the screen, “please tell me you have some good news.” Piyu said as he looked at Aleish who just frowned which gave him a hint as to not-so-good news.

“I wish I did, unfortunately, those platforms were created without any shutdown codes that could be transmitted remotely.” She began with a sigh and a face of disappointment she couldn’t give him the answers he wanted. “Though my contact did suggest that the Knight come up with a way to transmit a false energy signature of that of either the Dominion or Breen. That would last long enough to be able to find the power generator and do the same trick that allied ships did during the war,” Aleish said looking at him.

That got his brain turning and smiled, “that is a good idea and I think I can pull that off.” Piyu lit up looking at his friend, “thank you for your help Aleish.” Piyu replied.

“Glad I was able to help in some way, we are all in this together.” She replied.

“Indeed we are,” Piyu replied as they chatted for a short time before ending the call. Piyu began to work on a plan that he would give the commander to present to Fleet Captain Dex once they arrived at the Ciatar Nebula. He spent the next hour preparing a padd with the plan and how they would be able to achieve the goal before he walked out of his office heading towards the bridge where he would meet with Commander Rayu once he was satisfied that it would work.

Comments

  • Another great chapter from Saratoga squadron! It’s so intimidating going up against the orbital weapons platforms, those things were beasts during the war! But, I like the solution that Aleish and Piyu came up with! As Gul Dukat once said, never underestimate the Federation’s technical skill! Looking forward to the next chapter!

    May 15, 2023
  • You know what sucks about orbital weapons platforms? They get to skimp on all that extra stuff that a ship has to have and just focus on their purpose: destroying the enemy. I appreciate the focus of them in this story, the way it stitches prior canon events in, and how it brings the crew together to devise a solution.

    May 15, 2023
  • Fantastic next chapter in the ongoing saga. Like what has been said above, the adherence to established canon and the callbacks to the Dominion War really cements in the danger the crew are in. While some lived through the horrors of the Dominion War, for others, they have only read about the experiences in their training. I really enjoyed how Aleish utilised existing connections to help bring about a solution. A joy to read and I eagerly await the next chapter!

    May 15, 2023
  • Yes! Pew pew pew but in theory! I like! The idea of reversing the engineering idea of making the squadron appear to be Dominion or Breen ships initially is very clever, but what if those sensors are really good and can see through that disguise? Will the squadron survive such an assault, or are the crew too clever to work out where their command and control centre is? Hopefully, it is the latter. If not, perhaps a few tricobalt devices would work here? Or will the squadron discover more powerful shields?! Dun dun duuuuunnnnn!!!

    May 15, 2023
  • This chapter does a great job of establishing the Knight and her crew in the story, while also advancing it. You tell us a lot about the characters in how they learn about the challenge of these weapons platforms - it speaks to the wartime experience of some of them - and how they plan to defeat them. This feels like an opportunity for the squadron to split up, maybe? Multiple targets they'll need to take down to pull off the mission? Exciting stuff!

    May 21, 2023
  • Going back into the lore. I appreciate the connection to on screen events. I felt Piyu's pain at interruption just before he could even sip his coffee. Grasping at straws to only yield no results. Shut down code... we all knew it wasn't going to be that easy.

    May 22, 2023
  • Great intro for the Knight that adds to the story. I really like the idea for fooling the orbital weapons platforms and the way it establishes the wartime experience of some of the crew. Looking forward to reading more!

    May 27, 2023
  • And now we get to see something of the Knight and her crew. An interesting bunch to be sure and I like their thinking. Was a good plan to start with, but the plan they end up with at the end is far more interesting in my books. I'm looking forward to seeing what madness they come up with. And looking forward to seeing more of the Knight and her people.

    June 3, 2023