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

5 – Behind Enemy Lines

USS Knight
March 2401
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It had been a while since they had entered the nebula, things were eerily quiet as they traveled towards the other side. Isha had been sitting almost on the edge of her seat the whole time, feeling anxious about what is ahead of them. Her heart thumped hard within her chest, feeling as if it were about to come out. Feeling almost out of place, being so new to the command chair and now she was being thrust into war with an enemy she had never faced before. She had only read about it in the academy many years ago, and having the Breen as their allies once again had her even more nervous.

She hoped that Piyu Jaiett would be able to pull this off, she would just have to have faith in him and this crew that they would come out of the other end. In the back of her mind, she knew not everyone would come out of this unscathed, she would do her best to bring them home. They were currently on a communications blackout with the rest of the squadron, they needed to make sure that the orbital weapons think they were a Jem’Hadar fighter. This made tensions on the ship run even higher than they already were.

Piyu had been at the engineering station that was located on the bridge to make sure that his plan would work and make any needed adjustments as they traveled towards their destination. Silence had filled the bridge as no one had anything to say, they focused on the task at hand. So far things were holding up, they would be coming towards the edge of the nebula soon where they would begin to scan as they traveled towards Lungurn Fleet Yards.

Randy McKnight had shifted in his seat which was directly across from Isha’s, he had been going over reports that came in from other departments. He kept busy, trying to get his mind occupied rather than about what was up ahead. He was finding it hard to believe that this wasn’t just a Breen skirmish as Starfleet Command and the FNN have reported, he didn’t want to believe that the Lost Fleet was here and this fool’s errand would prove him right.

Isha and Randy had gone to head over this multiple times upon learning of their mission. He was arrogant and stubborn which would probably end up being his undoing even in the face of evidence that he just refuses to believe. Isha hoped that he would wake up upon seeing for himself or he gets himself killed for that arrogance.

“Sir we have come out of the nebula,” Jerra replied from the flight control station that was located at the front of the bridge on the left side of the view screen breaking the silence that had once filled the bridge. There were no enemy ships in the vicinity which was good for them and a bit of a relief that they wouldn’t be fighting right away.

Looking over at the young officer, “thank you.” Isha replied before she looked over toward where her chief science officer was located. “Lieutenant Turi begin scanning for where that generator is located as we head towards the platforms,” Isha ordered trying to keep her voice from wavering.

“Aye sir,” Ledire Turi replied before turning back to face her station to begin her scans as they traveled.

Time seem to stop to a standstill as they slowly made their way towards their destination scanning to find what they have been sent out to find. This time Isha was standing in front of her chair as her first officer was still seated though he wasn’t looking at the padd anymore but at what was shown on the viewscreen.

Sehl Th’atiarin was standing at the tactical station monitoring for any movement from any direction as they continued on their way. He wasn’t going to let them be caught off guard if he could help it, the Andorian antennas began to twitch as he continued looking at his console.

“Sir I think I found out where the generator is located,” Turi spoke up as she turned her chair to face the captain and the others. Piyu perked up as he stood up and walked over to where Ledire was sitting and took a look.

“Perfect,” he commented as he tapped a few buttons and brought up the asteroid that was located just directly behind the last platform on the right side onto the view screen. A sense of relief washed over him as he was glad that the generator wasn’t in the command and control center farther within enemy territory. “This makes our job a bit easier,” he said as Isha looked at him.

“If you will excuse me I need to,” McKnight began standing up from his chair and looking around as if he was nervous about something. “Go check on something,” Randy replied before walking off the bridge before giving the captain a chance to question him.

Jaiett looked at the captain with a raised eyebrow wondering what had gotten into him, “that was weird,” he commented.

“Indeed,” Isha replied though shrugged it off not knowing him very well as they were all still fairly new to the ship. “Do you think our plan will still work?” Isha asked turning back to the task at hand.

He looked back at the console and began to scan the generator to see if they’d be able to exploit it just as they did during the Dominion War. After a few moments, he looked back at the captain, “yes it looks like they haven’t made any upgrades since we were able to exploit them the last time.” Piyu replied looking at the captain before returning to his station.

She was about to speak when the comms went off, “security to the bridge we have a problem in the maintenance tunnel near engineering.” A security officer said with a concerned and almost frightened voice just as Lieutenant Th’atiarin’s console went off.

“What is it?” Isha asked.

“An engineer had opened the maintenance hatch to go do some work when the body of Commander McKnight fell out.” The officer replied with a short pause before continuing, “he’s dead sir.” He added which caused Isha to look back at Sehl.

“Get him to medical, I want to know how long he’s been dead and what was the cause of death,” Isha ordered.

“Aye sir,” the security officer replied before the channel was terminated.

“Sir you might want to come look at this, you too Piyu,” Sehl replied with concern in his voice. The two moved over to where the tactical station was located and began to look at what Sehl was looking at.

“Someone is trying to sabotage the ship, it looks like he is especially trying to undo what modifications you did Commander,” Sehl replied.

“Can you tell me who?” Isha asked.

This is what concerned him, this could be a possible impostor onboard a changeling, “it is saying it’s Commander McKnight, sir.” Sehl replied as they all got confused looks on their faces before Isha turned around to look at Jerra.

“Full stop,” she ordered as she didn’t want to go any further until they got to the bottom of this new development.

“Aye sir,” Jerra replied before the ship came to a complete stop. They were not very far away from the nebula.

“Get a security team down to where he is located,” Isha ordered.

Sehl nodded as he walked off the bridge and called for his officers to meet him down at the location. Isha took a deep breath and looked at Piyu who had walked back to his station and began to see what damage has been done and if he could fix it in time once they apprehend the impostor.

Isha walked back to her seat and waited on word, she was beginning to understand why Randy was acting all weird lately she hadn’t been able to place why as they had all been new to this assignment. She began to wonder if a changeling had infiltrated their ship, though she wondered how. So much running through her mind, “send a coded message to the Saratoga letting them know of our situation. Send it on a band that any enemy ship will have a hard time picking up.” She ordered looking over at Lieutenant Srejvik.

“Aye sir,” came the voice of the young Rigelian officer. “Transmission has been sent,” he replied a few moments later.

Ensign Puzder had taken over the tactical station after Sehl had left the bridge to deal with the situation, which he kept monitoring. “Sir there seems to be a fighter fight going on just outside of engineering,” Puzder said looking up from the station just then the comm channel beeped.

“Sir, you might want to come down here and see this,” Sehl said over the channel.

“On my way,” she said before looking over at Jaiett. “You have the bridge,” she ordered before getting up and heading toward the turbolift. “Engineering,” she said as the doors closed behind her and began to move towards its destination. Time seemed to have stood still or the lift seemed to go slower than she normally felt it go.

After a few minutes, she arrived at her destination where she saw the scene in front of her. A security officer lay dead on the ground and a few feet away was the impostor even though it looked exactly like Commander McKnight.

“Is it?” Isha asked.

“We believe so, though medical would probably be the one to be able to confirm that for sure.” Sehl replied, “right before he was shot he stated that we were all going to die soon.” Sehl replied with concern in his voice though wasn’t sure what he exactly meant, either by the Dominion or something else.

Raising an eyebrow at that statement she took a deep breath, “get him to the morgue I want answers.” She ordered as he nodded before she walked back down the corridor lost in thought, wondering how this happened and if there are any more changelings onboard. A few minutes had passed before she walked out onto the bridge and looked at Jaiett, who was by all accounts the acting first officer until this mission was over and they can figure things out then.

“How bad is the damage?” Isha asked.

“Very minor we ended up catching him before he was able to complete his work, I was able to fix it and we are good to resume,” Jaiett said with a look of concern on his face at the turn of events that had just transpired.

Isha nodded with a sigh of relief, this could have been deadly for them all if things went any differently. Though two people had lost their lives before even engaging with the Dominion, one was a young ensign fresh out of the academy. She felt bad that he wouldn’t be going home to his family once this was all over. Closing her eyes for a moment as she sat down in her chair.

After a few moments, she opened her eyes again and looked at Jerra, “resume course and speed.” Isha ordered.

“Understood,” Jerra replied before turning around and tapping a few commands in her console. A few seconds later the ship began to move again towards its destination. “We will arrive near the asteroid in about twenty minutes sir,” Jerra said.

Isha nodded as she sat there hoping that this would work without any more setbacks, still thinking how bad this could have been. The next twenty minutes would drag on as they slowly made their way towards their destination, the tensions on the bridge were at an all-time high more so than before. 

The ship finally reached its destination and so far the orbital weapons hadn’t reacted to their presence. This caused Isha to almost let out a heavy breath that she had been holding. “Ledire please scan the area for any ships nearby,” Isha ordered.

She nodded as she began to scan the area, after a few minutes she looked at the captain. “There are no ships in this area, only further in near the command a control center,” Turi replied.

She nodded before turning to Jaiett, “begin phase one of our plan.” Isha ordered as she sat near the edge of her seat again.

“You got it,” Jaiett replied before turning around and beginning his work at imprinting an enemy signature on the generator’s energy matrix. It took him some time and careful calculations to make sure they remain not a target. “I think I got it,” Jaiett replied then from the view screen he activated that imprint that he had placed. Just then the orbital weapons turned in that direction and began to fire on it believing it was an enemy ship.

“Yes it’s working,” Jaiett said as he continue to monitor as Ledire monitored any enemy ship movements. So far they haven’t come to investigate, though they knew they would only have a little while before they would take notice and come investigate. Anticipation rose as everyone watched and hoped this worked.

After what seemed like hours though in reality was only about a few minutes the energy matrix collapsed and the generator was destroyed causing the weapons platforms to stop firing. “Yes!” Jaiett shouted with glee but then composed himself looking around the bridge before turning back to his station.

“Inform the Saratoga they are clear for phase 2,” Isha ordered.

“Aye sir,” Sreivik replied.

Now they wait for the Saratoga, Gagarin, and fighters to arrive and enter Lungurn Fleet Yards before they would start destroying those weapons platforms completely so they can’t be repaired. Isha sat back in her chair and stared out at the viewscreen, soon the squadron would come and the real fight would begin. Things were getting more real than before, this would be an uphill battle one they hoped would be victorious for Starfleet. She glanced around the bridge slowly looking at each officer at their station, thoughts continue to plague her mind. Including what transpired earlier, she couldn’t get that out of her mind though she would remain focused on the task at hand she just couldn’t get it past her thoughts.

Comments

  • I like the fact that it's a new crew and new CO - the changeling exploits that dynamic to its advantage! There's a lot of confusion for everyone as things are popping off - we're left with the CO on the bridge as near-complete chaos seems to take over her ship - and she's left to trust her crew to handle the business of the evolving sabotage - not to mention the mission they've got staring at them on the screen! I'm wondering what medical will discover and what happens next for the other ships involved. Nice work!

    May 23, 2023
  • Well that came out of left field like a kick to the knee! You promised us a twist and boy did you deliver. Like Geronimo said above I do feel for the crew being thrust into this situation. I'll admit I had my suspicions as I read but put it down to nerves on McKnight but just put it down to nervous energy. Such an awesome chapter and I eagerly look forward to what Medical might find. Once again leaving me wanting more!

    May 23, 2023
  • What a phenomenal chapter! I really like in the beginning how you describe what Isha was feeling about being brand new to command and sitting in that chair with everyone looking to her for support and guidance for this new war, must have been overwhelming for her! As soon as McKnight got up, I knew there was going to be trouble! Glad the crew was able to deal with the changeling without too much trouble. And success against the orbital weapons platforms! Looking forward to the next chapter with the Saratoga and Gagarin charging in!

    May 23, 2023
  • Sometimes, it's hard to get sequencing of discoveries right. But in this case, I thought the pacing of the McKnight discovery worked really well. The changeling leaves the bridge, then they find the real body, and then there's a firefight. There wasn't any disorientation, while you also didn't give it away too early. I appreciated the nonchalance and limited regard with which the crew regarded McKnight's departure from the bridge. As the writer, it can be hard not to leak too much to us, but you did a solid job here in making the interactions believable. There was plenty of other interesting plot development around the changeling event too, but it stole the show for me. And now that they have a sense for foul play afoot, I look forward to seeing how you paint the way the crew reacts.

    May 24, 2023
  • Before I even got to the intrigue and the plot twists, I really appreciated this post for it's character study of Rayu Isha. I feel like this was our first opportunity to get into her head and you described her experiences so emotively throughout. Her fear came across palpably in your prose. When you introduced the notion that Randy McKnight was in denial about the Lost Fleet, I first thought that was a believable character trait. Some people probably would have a hard time believing something so awful was real, especially when the news is presenting a different truth. But then you went and flipped that thought on its head! I guess Changeling Randy was spewing more of the propaganda that the Dominion fleet is fake! Phew, you've got that crew gathered with the Changeling reveal. It's a good thing he didn't do toooo much damage before being caught! With a whole fleet yard to take out, Saratoga is going to need all the help they can get.

    May 25, 2023
  • That was way to easy in finding and eliminating the Changelings. How did it get on board? It's certainly not the last of the consequences from this was too easy. Great post look forward to see more as this develops.

    May 28, 2023
  • Hmmm, I'm not sure that's the end of the plot twist here. Phase 1 of their attack plan went without a hitch; I was expecting more of a struggle here in them being stopped...I hope they're all not dreaming this or stuck on some holodeck. And poor McKnight (ha McKnight on the Knight). Talk about bad luck - he was just dead. That was it. No need to keep him around. That changeling wasn't haven't any of it, was he? I like the subtle nod to the infamous First Battle of Chin'toka from that great Season 6 DS9 finale (one of the best fleet actions we got to see on DS9). I'm expecting more pew pew in the next story though (you promised)!!! :D

    May 28, 2023
  • And Phase 1 is out of the way. Or is it? Seems a little to easy to me. And the revelation of McKnight being dead is an interesting one. I wonder just how long he's been out of the picture for, just how much of the plan is compromised by the Changeling. How prepared are the Dominion for the following stages of the Saratoga Squadron's attack?

    June 3, 2023