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Part of USS Kison (Archive): Episode 1 | The Encounter and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

The Encounter | Act Four

USS Kison: Bridge | USS Serenity: Bridge
Stardate 24017.4, 1610
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Captain's Log, Supplemental. We are now standing by to engage the Lost Fleet. I only hope that someone comes to our aid.

The Kison was seen sitting in front of the civilian freighter. On the bridge Nitus was nowhere to be found. Enzo was in the chair looking at a screen to see how far out the nearest Starfleet vessel was.

Nitus walked onto the bridge, Enzo stood up and went back to his station. Nitus sat down at her seat. “What has taken them so long to warp here?” she questioned. “I do not know, Captain. Maybe they're going at warp 1 and are trying to scare us.” Arva responded.

Then three Jem'hadar Fighters warp in front of them. Nitus looked out of the viewscreen as terror began to write itself across her face. She turned to T’Soni and said, ”Open all hailing frequencies.” T’Soni turned back to her console before tapping a few buttons on it. “Channels open, Captain.” she responded.

“Attention Jem’hadar Fighters, this is Commander Nitus of the Federation starship Kison. Please state your business in this sector.” she said attempting to cover up her fear that was very evident in her voice.

“Our business… is… your… destruction.” they stated before opening far on the Kison. “Enzo, get us moving. Arva, open fire. Number one, send out a priority message to any ship in the area. We are engaging Jem’hadar Fighters.”

The Kison could be seen flying around the fighter going past their targets at high speeds. The ship’s six phaser arrays can be seen firing at the different ships causing some damage but not enough to incapacitate them, torpedoes can be seen flying hitting each of the three fighters causing some damage but not enough to help them win. Nitus could be seen sitting in her chair, her ship shaking violently, EPS  manifolds exploded all around her, and crewmembers flew across the bridge falling onto the ground.

The ship began to spin for a few seconds before stopping causing everyone on the bridge to fall out of their seats and onto the ground. The Kision’s port side now faces the fighters as they begin to assume formation preparing to attack them once more. “Report,” Nitus yells to the officers.

“We are leaking gasses into the cargo hold, life support is starting to fail across the ship, and shields are at 38% and failing, Captain.” Arava says to her, making Nitus more nervous than before. She had only been given command of the ship the month before and now she was going to lose it and possibly her life as well as the lives of her crew.

Seated on the bridge of the Duderstadt-class USS Serenity, Captain Mark Gilliam urged the vessel to go faster. Even as one of the fastest vessels in the fleet, they couldn’t get there fast enough.

“Sir, the Kison has engaged the Jem’Hadar fighters,” reported Lieutenant Commander Ekkomas Eidran. “They’re taking heavy damage.”

“That Raven’s got no chance against three beetles,” Captain Gilliam replied, his eyes looking forward at the viewer, watching the stars streak by as they neared the battle. “Vector us straight into the middle of the melee.” It was a reckless strategy. A better choice would have been to take a flanking approach. But there was no time. The Kison wouldn’t last that long.

The Kision’s port nacelle exploded. “Captain, we just lost our port nacelle. Our shields are now at 15%. We won’t be able to withstand another barrage like that.” Arva shouted to Nitus. This only made her feel worse; her fear started to consume her. Before she could let her fear engulf her she turned to Arva. “Lieutenant, prepare to aba…” she stated.

She was interrupted by T’Soni. “Captain, there is an incoming warp signal. It is Federation.” she stated.

The Serenity suddenly barreled out of warp, and immediately the bridge shook as polaron blasts intended for the Kison slammed into the Duderstadt class cruiser. “Open fire, everything we’ve got!” shouted Captain Gilliam from the bridge.

Aboard the Kison, T’Soni reported the arrival of the Serenity. “Captain, it would appear the USS Serenity has arrived and is blocking the ships from continuing their assault.” A smile appeared on Nitus’ face before she turned to Arva. “Mr. Zolath repair shields as fast as possible.” she says to him.

Meanwhile, in the duel between the Serenity and the Jem’Hadar beetles, a quantum torpedo found its mark. “Splash one,” reported Lieutenant Commander Eidran. A few seconds later, the Serenity’s forward phaser arrays carved up a second Dominion fighter. “Two down.” The third and final fighter came about, barreling head on towards the Serenity as its polaron cannons unleashed another salvo.

“I want that beetle out of my skies!” Captain Gilliam demanded as the ship shook heavily. He didn’t bother asking for a damage report. The Duderstadt-class rapid response ship unleashed everything it had, and the Jem’Hadar fighter began to flame out. But it just kept coming, straight towards the saucer of the Serenity.

“It’s going to ram us,” Eidran exclaimed. 

“This is the Captain,” Gilliam said over the loudspeaker. “We have incoming. Brace, brace, brace!”

And then all hell broke loose as the Jem’Hadar fighter collided with the upper hull of the Starfleet vessel. On the bridge, EPS manifolds exploded, pylons collapsed, and officers were launched from their consoles. Smoke billowed and sparks flew. But the shooting was over. All three Jem’Hadar vessels were no more.

As Lieutenant Commander Eidran got back to his feet, the Betazoid could feel the collective pain and anguish of the three hundred souls aboard. But there was something else, something very wrong. He looked over at the command island. Lying there on the ground motionless under a collapsed support beam was Captain Mark Gilliam. There, the Betazoid XO could feel nothing. He knew why before a medical staffer even finished running vitals. “He’s dead.” Lieutenant Commander Eidran was now in command.

“Damage control to decks one through seven. Get the fires out, the breaches sealed, and do whatever you can to get us back in fighting shape in case any more arrive,” ordered Eidran, pushing his emotions to the side as much as he could. The crew needed a leader right now. “And, if we still have comms, get me the CO of the USS Kison on the line.”

“Commander, the Serenity is hailing us.” T’Soni said to Nitus. “On screen, Number One.” The screen flickered before the screen was taken over by an image of Lieutenant Commander Ekkomas Eidran. Nitus face showed her surprise. “Ekkomas!?” she questioned in disbelief. The people on the bridge turn to look at Nitus as all of their eyes were given a questioning look to their commander wondering the story behind how these two knew each other.

“Nitus? Fancy finding you out here,” Eidran replied with a shocked but relieved expression, his happiness seeing a familiar face momentarily causing him to forget their present predicament. “What the hell were you guys doing out here solo with Jem’Hadar squadrons running rampant?”

“Commodore Ekwueme tasked us with bringing supplies between Fairpoint and Starbase 514. We were heading for the starbase when we received a distress signal from a civilian freighter. I had the ship redirect here so we could provide assistance and then this happened.” she stated to her old friend motioning to the destroyed fighters.

“We’ve been on patrol all week, trying to fill gaps in the Task Group 514 line,” explained Eidran. “That’s when we detected the three Jem’Hadar beetles heading for you.”

Behind Lieutenant Commander Eidran, a bruised Ensign at operations, still bleeding from under the ear but carrying on nonetheless, cut in: “Sir, casualty report is in. Twenty nine deceased, forty wounded.” The Duderstadt class vessel was a fast and highly instrumented vessel, but it didn’t have the medical facilities to take on that number of casualties. “The doc is running triage out of cargo bay three.”

Eidran turned from the screen momentarily to address the ensign. “And what about tactical and propulsion capabilities?” He was not heartless. He felt for the casualties. More than most in fact, due to his nature as a Betazoid. But if they couldn’t get the ship ready to fight or run again, they might all become casualties.

“Propulsion is in surprisingly good shape. Minor damage to the starboard nacelle, but our damage is concentrated on the forward saucer. We are down one forward phaser array and two torpedo launchers, but we can still shoot if we need to. Shields are still a work in progress though.”

Eidran turned back to the screen. “How are you guys holding up?” With the amount of incoming fire the Raven-class USS Kison had taken before they arrived, he was surprised she was still in one piece.

Nitus looked towards Eidran’s collar and was visibly taken back. “Lieutenant Commander. How are you in charge of the Serenity, Ek?” she asked him. “You aren’t even a full commander yet.” she said to him trying to lighten the mood.

Unfortunately, the question did anything but lighten the mood. Ekkomas Eidran glanced behind him where the body of Captain Gilliam still lay. “Captain Gilliam is dead,” he said, his eyes carrying a deep sense of sadness. The captain had only just given him a shot in the big chair as XO. It had been less than two weeks. But now here he was, acting CO. That thought shook him to his core. “And so here I am.”

Nitus was visibly saddened with his words. She started to regret acknowledging that he only had two and a half pips. As her head hanged low as she contemplated what to say next. A door opened behind her and the ship's CMO walked on the bridge. “Captain, we need to get to a medical facility, NOW!” he said to her. “Why? What has happened?” she questioned the trill. “Half of the crew is in need of medical support, our cargo bay is full of supplies, and even if it wasnt there is gas present. The sickbay is overwhelmed. We need somewhere to put all of these injured people or some will not make it.” he said to her.

“Commander,” offered Eidran from the bridge of the Serenity. “We’ve got engines and weapons. We can fix the rest en route. If the Kison is in a state to move, pick a destination and we’ll give you an escort.”

Nitus sat there and thought about it. “Let’s continue to Starbase 514. We can drop off their supplies, and while there we can get repaired. Also I'm sure they have a large enough medical facility to accommodate both of our ships injured,” she stated as she looked at the Trill who had stood next her, and then at the Betazoid on the screen.

“Take the lead, and we’ll cover your six.” With that, Lieutenant Commander Eidran signed off the link. There was a ton of work to do.

Nitus sighed heavily. She smiled then looked at each of her officers. “Enzo, set a course. Starbase 514, warp 7.” she said to him as tapped in the course. “Course laid in, ma’am. Waiting on you.” he said to her, relieved that he was able to make it out alive. “Step on it.” she said to him as the ship took off at warp speed leaving the freighter, and the destroyed fighter behind.

Captain's Log Personal Log. Today was very… eventful. We were attacked by the Jem’Hadar, and we still managed to recover the civilians from the freighter thanks to help from the USS Serenity. Though I’m wondering why the Lost Fleet was so keen on destroying the freighter. Maybe there was something of importance in their cargo bay like some Dominion weapons systems they were bringing to Starfleet for research. Who knows, I just hope whatever it is we get it before anyone else does.

Comments

  • Man, that was a rocking battle from start to finish! The Kison got beat up, and then their rescuer got beat up! Both ships paid heavily with lives and injuries. I could definitely feel the chaos of the action both outside the ships and inside. Hoping they can limp back without too much trouble...but I have to wonder how the crew will grapple with the violence they just experienced in order to get back on the field for maybe some revenge? Dun dun duuun!

    May 22, 2023
  • I really appreciate how Commander Nitus isn't a super-hero here. She rightfully fears the Jem'Hadar and isn't entirely successful at hiding it. That's a perspective I don't know that I've read a whole lot of in this Fleet Action, so it was satisfying to read. Her reflection on being a commanding officer for only a month, and worrying it would only ever be a month, was the height of pathos. Even the prose had that same world-weariness, talking about the Kison only "causing some damage but not enough to help them win". Of course, the second pure delight of this story was the appearance of the USS Serenity from Polaris Squadron. I enjoyed the hints at Nitus and Eidran's past relationship. I never, ever, ever expected the Serenity's captain to be killed in this battle as part of Eidran's very first story! I have to assume that's going to fuel his motivation in the Fleet Action going forward. Such an exciting story!

    May 24, 2023