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Part of USS Valhalla: Mission 2: Ragnarök and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

(15) Ragnarök

Observation Lounge, USS Valhalla
MD 15
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Ships on vigor of the waves are skimming

Barren summits to the verdant plains

Each horizon is a new beginning

Rise and reign

 

Far from the fjords and the ice cold currents

Ravens soar over new frontiers

Songs and sagas of a fate determined

Shields and spears

 

Vows of favor or the thrill of plunder

Pull together for the clan and kin

Clank of hammers and the crash of thunder

Pound within

 

Oh-ho-oh

The echoes of eternity

Oh-ho-oh

Valhalla calling me

Oh-ho-oh

To pluck the strings of destiny

Oh-ho-oh

Valhalla calling me

Valhalla calling me…

 

The captains of this little impromptu task force assembled around the conference table on the USS Valhalla.   There were heavy bags under Aoife’s eyes. Her crimson mane was normally up in a neat regulation bun but, today it was simply tied back in a loose queue.

“We got word from the runabout Willamette, the Dominion and Breen forces are on the move. Their current course puts them on a direct heading to Arkan II,” Aoife announced drumming her fingers on the desk, a rapid tap of manicured nails on glass.

Commander Hur’agha grinned from ear to ear.  The Klingon woman had supplied seven birds of prey and a Vor’cha from her own house.  “It has been a long time since I have been in a battle.  Today is a good day to die.”

“I would rather have the Dominion do the dying,” Ethan added.  He wasn’t in command of a ship, but Aoife had put him in charge of evacuating the colony.

Kirin looked around the room, surprised at how far things had come as she reflect quickly on her time on the Daradax which was not long ago. “How certain are we of their numbers and disposition? The Breen’s tech has been advancing for years and I am sure they have outfitted the dominion ships to a degree. A straight-up confrontation would not go in our favour.”

Ethan grimaced, “Very certain. I saw the fleet with my own eyes, two Dominion battleships, three Dominion cruisers, five Breen cruisers, and twenty-two Jem’Hadar fighters. To say it wouldn’t go in our favor. Yeah, that’s the understatement of the century.”

Kirin shook her head, “That is a lot of firepower even for ships that are 30 years old.”

“When will they be here?’ Órlaith asked.

“They are moving at low warp. Probably to make their energy signatures less obvious, but we only have five hours.” Aoife responded. “How are the evacuations going?”

Ethan sighed. “Slow.  The lottery is complete and we have a final head count for the 1,450. The governor is going to move the rest into the mines.”

Aoife hung her head. There were 20,000 colonists on the planet.  She doubted all of them would be able to seek shelter.   This didn’t feel right, but their backs were up against a wall. They had called in favors. They had begged and borrowed and this was it.

“I will take what I can.” Hur’agha said somberly. “My Birds-of-Prey can land.”

“Do it,” Aoife responded. 

“I’ll open the lottery for the additional spots,” Ethan added.

“The Sojourner is capable of landing as well but given how close the Dominion forces are I think transporters may be best, last thing we would want is a ship, full of civilians to be caught grounded and thus easy pickings for any of the Dominion.” Kirin looked around the room before continuing, “We have freed up as much space and think we can take another hundred people but it will be a tight fit. In addition, I have ordered our runabout to detect and take as many people as it can. Once it is full I have ordered it to make all speed to Farpoint Station.”

“That’s a good idea. We’ll do the same with our auxiliary craft as well. As for landing.  I think that wouldn’t be a good idea.  You are too vulnerable while I’m atmosphere.  You’d be a sitting duck if something happened and you couldn’t lift off in time,” Aoife said.

Kirin nodded, “We will get started on the evacuation now.”


 

USS Sojourner – Bridge; 5 hours later

“Status?” Kirin said as she sat in the command chair looking at the view screen which was dominated by a view of the Dominion Fleet.

“The Dominion fleet has dropped out of warp and slowed their speed to one-quarter impulse,” Belania responded. “They could be here in only a couple minutes though if they wanted.” 

“Bring us to red alert but keep bringing up the evacuees as long as possible,” Kirin said. A moment later the lights dimmed and took on a red tinge and the all-too-familiar sounds of the alert echoed through the corridors. “How long until we have completed transporting?”

Several sets of eyes glanced over at Kerry who was overseeing the transport, “We have had some issues with the transporter which has slowed us down. The pattern buffer keeps falling out of alignment. We have about 70% of the civilians we are meant.” Kerry paused for a moment, “I think we need another 3 minutes at least, assuming the transporter doesn’t act up again.”

Kirin frowned and looked over at Thanen, “Get down to the transporter room and see what you can do to stabilize the pattern buffer and give Crewman Floxan a hand.” 

Thanen nodded, “On it.” He then made his way to the turbolift but stopped when Kirin spoke, “We need to get as many people off as we can but I will not jeopardize this ship more than I have to and the lives of those already onboard.”

Thanen turned and looked at her, understanding what he meant, “I know, we will have it sorted in no time.” He turned to Ril quickly as he was about to step onto the lift, “Send a few more security officers to cargo bays to keep an eye on things and to the transporter rooms, just in case.”


 

USS Valhalla – Section Charlie 

“Here they come,” the Tellarite tactical officer announced. 

Lieutenant Commander Abbygale Willis glanced down at the tactical display embedded into her armrest.  “We have to keep the Dominion off the Sojourner as long as we can.”

“Aye Captain,” the officers and enlisted on the bridge said in unison.

A large squadron of fighters charged towards the planet heading for the Sojourner.  “Helm break left. Follow them,” Abby ordered.   The lower half of the drive section rolled hard to the left and chased after fifteen fighters.

As the squadron closed in on the Sojourner the planetary defenses opened up. They were limited in capability but it was better than nothing. 

“The Sojourner has taken direct hits,” tactical reported.

“Helm, get us there.”

On the screen a Jem’Hadar fighter exploded after a concentrated attack from an orbital weapons platform.  As section Charlie closed in on the squadron she released a full volley of quantum torpedoes and phaser fire.  A second and then a third fighter exploded.  While many of the Dominion ships had been upgraded there hadn’t been enough time to upgrade all of them, but the Valhalla had been upgraded multiple times in the last twenty-six years.


 

USS Andromeda – Bridge

Órlaith braced herself as a polaron beam slammed into the Intrepid-class.  Alarms blared in protest. She grimaced in sympathy for her ship. “Sorry baby.”

“Direct hit,” Lieutenant Oskar Eichmann reported. “Shields are holding.” 

Doctor Mulder had protested his reinstatement to duty.  Órlaith could have honored the good doctor’s request, but she knew the kind of person Eichmann was.  His place was on the bridge.  Healing would come secondary. 

The Breen cruisers flanked by fighters were an intimidating sight. But, Andromeda wasn’t alone.  She was flanked by a pair of Klingon Birds of Prey. As they approached the lead cruiser let out a volley of weapons fire. 

“Evasive maneuvers,” Órlaith ordered. 

“Aye captain,” Ensign Vass responded as she piloted the ship in a zigzag pattern.

“Target locked, weapons ready,” Eichmann announced. 

“Fire!’ Erin announced from the XO’s position. 

The Andromeda opened up and released volley after volley of torpedoes.   The Klingons followed the Andromeda’s example and explosions rippled along the enemy shields.”

“Direct hit,” Wheeler announced from operations.  “Minimal damage.”

 


 

USS Sojourner – Main Transporter Room

Thanen staggered into the main transporter room as the Sojourner shook violently. Before him, several of the evacuees were thrown from their feet. Among them, three of the ship’s security officers helped them regain their footing before leading them out into the corridor. Turning to look at the raised console controlling the transports he saw Crewman Trisim Floxan, “Status?”

Trisim look up from the console as she tried to recalibrate the pattern buffers, her long brown hair a mess as it hung down around her shoulders. “Sir, I don’t get it. The pattern buffers continue to fall out of alignment. I can only manage a couple of people at the time then I need to realign them.” The frustration she felt was clearly visible and her normally bubbly and cheery personality was replaced with one of annoyance and worry.

“Show me,” Thanen said as he moved beside her and looked at the read-out. “This looks ok now?” he said questioningly. He did not doubt her work but the current situation had him on edge.

“I just finished realigning them for the next transport,” Trisim responded with a bit of annoyance. Before Thanen could respond the ship shook again and part of the console erupted in sparks. The impact threw Trisim from her feet right into Thanen sending them both to the floor.

USS Sojourner – Bridge

“Impact to the primary hull, deck 5. Hull is holding but that won’t last,” Ril said after another Dominion fighter strafed the Sojourner.

Damn, Ril, weapons free. Show them we have some teeth.” Kirin ordered before turning to look at the science station.

“Anything from the transporter room or Thanen?” Kirin asked. “Nothing ma’am,” Kerry said without looking back. “They have continued to transport up but slowly.”

Kirin grimaced and looked towards the con, “Ensign Tycon, evasive maneuvers but keep us within range of transporters. With our shields down we are sitting ducks.” With that, the ship began to move forward and roll as it dodged several polaron beams from the fighters rapidly overtaking them. As it did the numerous phaser arrays opened fire, their fiery orange beams striking several of the fighters as they flew past.

Ril shifted focus as two of the fighters pulled off leaving a third to fly past the Sojourner crossing right in front of her. “That was a mistake,” she muttered under her breath as the ship’s two-phase cannons fired, the high energy discharges slamming home into the main hull of the beetle-like ship ripping it apart.


 

USS Valhalla – Section Alpha 

Aoife stared down at the tactical display as they made a run on the Dominion Battleship.   They only had to buy Sojourner the time it needed to get the last of the colonists then they would turn the planet’s own orbital defenses on the planet and warp out of there to Farpoint.

With the saucer section of the Valhalla was a pair of Birds-of-Prey and the IKS G’rath. Part of her felt guilty dragging Commander Hur’agha into this, but they wouldn’t have lasted this long without their help. 

The ship shook violently as a squadron of fighters swooped in hammering the Valhalla’s shields.  The lights on the bridge flickered for a moment and then returned to full intensity. 

“Moderate damage to dorsal shields,” Eddie reported from tactical, “72% and holding.  Inertial dampeners are down another five percent.”

“Mister Talon keep them off of us,” Aoife ordered. 

“I’m trying ma’am. There’s just too many of them.”

The Valhalla lanced out with a bust of phasers and a fighter exploded.  The G’rath used her own disruptors and destroyed a second fighter. A Bird-of-Prey  took a direct hit and started to tumble out of control as it spewed drive plasma.

Another hit shook the saucer,  “Shields down to 62%,” Eddie stated preempting the Captain’s query.

“Where’s Section Bravo?  Tell Commander Halstead we need him formed up on us, ” Aoife said without looking up from her tactical map.

“Section Bravo is swamped with fighters.  They cannot get to us,” Eddie replied. 

Aoife swore, “Then it’s the three of us. Have everyone concentrate their fire at the point just aft of the port impulse exhaust port. The computer says it could overload their shields.”

“Aye captain, weapons locked.”

“The G’rath and B’Moth have acknowledged the target,” Operations added.

“Hold your fire,” Aoife said staring at the main viewer. “Mr. Talon direct intercept course, full impulse.”

“Intercept course. Full impulse,  aye,” Anthony repeated back as the saucer shot toward the battleship like a rocket.

“Captain should I fire?” Eddie asked.

“No! Hold your fire. Helm on my mark adjust course 181 mark 90 with a one second warp one jump.”

Anthony glanced back at his captain before entering the navigational maneuver as the saucer was hammers by the battleship.   Consoles exploded and bathed the bridge in darkness as the battleship drew closer and closer. 

Now, it was filling the whole viewscreen as Eddie nervously stared at his captain.  It looked like to him the captain had gone crazy and was going to ram the Dominion ship.

“Shields down to twenty-eight percent,” Operations reported.  “Hull fractures and casualties reported on all decks.’

“Impact in fifteen seconds,” Anthony announced. “10… 9…”

“Fire! Eddie fire! Now, Mr. Talon!”

The saucer lashed out with phasers and torpedoes at the last moments before impact and then seemingly disappeared only to reappear above the battleship is the aft weapons batteries opened up slamming into the ship.  With the help of the two Klingon ships the shields failed and soon the battleship was streaming plasma, but it was still far from out of the fight.

“Heavy damage to the battleship,” Eddie announced not believing his eyes.

“Don’t get too excited,” Aoife cautioned.  “It isn’t disabled yet, and I doubt that trick will work a second time.”

An alarm blared from the operations station,  “Captain,  I am reading a massive tachyon surge.  A ship or ships are de-cloaking.”

 


 

USS Sojourner – Main Transporter Room

Thanen slide the access panel partially back into place and glanced back up at Trisim and the additional security officers that had arrived within the last few moments. “Give it a go now. I have also looped in the cargo bay transporters, we can get everyone we need.”

She looked at him, “What was the issue, I didn’t see anything off?”

Thanen scowled slightly at that, “I am not sure, the pattern buffer seems fine but I have put a temporary fix in place which should avoid it losing alignment.” As he spoke he picked up the PADD which was directly connected to the pattern buffer. “If it starts to lose alignment I can directly manage it. Start the beam-up process.

The transporters activated and a moment later a dozen civilians were standing before them in the room. Without waiting Trisim tapped her combadge, “Cargo bay 1, do you have them?”

A voice responded, “Affirmative, based on my counts on that last transport we have 420 civilians onboard now.”

Thanen nodded and opened a channel, “Bridge, we have our allotment.” Closing the channel after a quick confirmation he glanced down at the PADD again and the data there. As he looked at it his frown deepened.


 

USS Valhalla – Section Alpha

Space filled with a hodgepodge of twenty Romulan ships. Mostly older D’deridex-class warbirds, but there was at least one modern Norexian, and five ancient D7 types with warbirds painted on their hulls.

A pair of D’deridex warbirds closed on the battleship,  their green disruptors lashing out and ripping the ship apart in a brilliant antimatter explosion. There was a lull in the battle as the Dominion fleet broke away from the allied ships to regroup.

“We’re being hailed by the lead Romulan ship,” Operations announced. 

Aoife sat up and adjusted her uniform, “Patch it through to the Sojourner, G’rath, and Andromeda.”

The main viewer switched to a four-way split so the five captains could communicate. The Romulan was a stately looking woman with her straight black hair cut into a traditional inverted ‘V” over her forehead.  “Captain McKenzie, I am Governor Tomarah.  Rebecca Talon said you were in need of assistance.  I can see she was not exaggerating.”

“Glad to see you Governor,” Aoife responded. 

“I must apologize for our tardiness.  Organizing a fleet these days is not as easy as it was during the days of the Empire.”

“Better late than never,” Hur’agha grunted.

Tomarah took in the Klingon with mild contempt. “Yes, it appears it will be like the… as you humans say, ‘like the good old days’’. It has been a long time since I fought beside a Klingon.”

“Don’t worry Romulan,” Hur’agha grinned, “We won’t shoot you in the back.”

“Let’s avoid that, shall we?” Kirin said with a smile. “I for one am glad for the assistance Governor,” as she spoke the image of Kirin flickered on the screen as the bridge around her shook. Kirin glanced down at the small display on her armchair, “I suggest we cut this short and deal with the Dominion forces. We can pick up the conversation when the job is done.”

“This changes things,” Órlaith announced.

“It does,” Aoife agreed.  “Kirin you and Órlaith get out of here.  That goes for the Birds-of-Prey with passengers.”

Hur’aga frowned, “My people will not be happy missing out on a fight.”

“Perhaps I have a solution.  Those Klingon ships are more valuable to this battle then those D7s I brought. How about we transfer the colonists to one of those ships,” Tomarah offered.

“Do it,” Aoife ordered.

Kirin nodded in agreement, “Agreed. Good luck.” She turned in screen and spoke to the helm control, “Ensign, break contact and move us towards the other system with then Andromeda.” 

With that the Sojourner adjusted course, passing close to several of the Romulan ships which engaged the pursuing Dominion forces.