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Part of USS Los Angeles: Shipping Lanes Patrol and Bravo Fleet: We Are the Borg

These Aren’t the Borg You’re Looking For

Hormuz Transit Lane
2401
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The Los Angeles dropped out of warp, loaded for bear. On the bridge, Captain Oteng, brow furrowed in consternation, took in the scene in front of him as he looked out on the viewscreen. The Constellation-class ship was giving as good as her old self could, but it was very clearly losing the fight. There were three clumpships surrounding the Partheous, each of them firing green-colored disrupters at her. Already, they had damaged two of the nacelles, and the Pakleds were going for nacelle number 3.

“Captain, the Partheous is heavily damaged. I don’t think it’ll survive much longer, especially if they…” Siobhan motioned toward the viewscreen with her head “…keep up this pattern of attacks. They’re already starting to deploy phaser drills.”

Captain Oteng nods, the words spoken by the President’s aide still in his mind. “Helm, attack pattern Omega Two, full impulse on my mark. Mr. Spencer, prepare a full phaser pattern and torpedo spread Epsilon. Prepare a salvo of quantum torpedoes and have them on ready reserve. And start rotating our shield harmonic frequency, just in case.”
“Aye Captain, Omega Two ready on your mark.” Ensign Muthoni called out from her position on the helm.
“Phasers hot, torpedoes in the tubes and ready to go. Shield harmonics set on combat randomization.” Tom called out, as he continued his preparations to unleash hell on the clumpships.

Captain Oteng took a breath, a look of determination on his face. “Ensign,, execute! Mr. Spencer, unleash hell on them!”

The Los Angeles darted forward nimbly, turning toward the three clumpships head on, firing phasers at them. The clumpships turned their attention toward the lone New Orleans-class starship that had dared interrupt their proverbial feast, and began firing with vigor at the ship. The beams that started hitting the ship were green and looked uncannily like Borg weapons. Fabien shifted uncomfortably as another beam hit the shields. It seemed that the prediction was true.
“Captain, direct impact. Shields down 10%. No significant damage.” Siobhan interrupted the Captain’s train of thought, and replaced it with another.
If they were Borg weapons, they should be causing much more damage than just 10% with two or three hits. Something didn’t pass the smell test, and he wouldn’t be comfortable until he had more clarity.

“Miss Pearse, can you track the weapons signature on the weapons that are firing? Can you tell if they’re Borg or something more conventional? Also, run combat scans. I want to know for sure. There’s too much uncertainty.”
Just as Fabien was giving the order, the clumpships stopped firing.
“Captain, we’re being hailed by the lead clumpship.”
Captain Oteng looked incredulous. “We’re being hailed by them. After we’ve exchanged fire. What is going on?” His confusion was clear, but no one had an answer for him, so after a moment of silence, he stood up. “On screen.”

The screen was replaced by a Pakled standing up on the [presumed] bridge.
“You are strong, Enterprise.”
Captain Oteng didn’t respond to this statement for a full minute, then sighed. “We’re not the Enterprise. I’m Captain Fabien Oteng of the Los…”
He was cut off by the Pakled. “We want to be strong. Give us your weapons or be assimilated, Enterprise.”
The hair stood up on the back on Fabien’s neck. All indications pointed towards the unholy matrimony between the Borg and the Pakleds. He silently hoped Siobhan could finish her analysis, because that would give him answers, one way or another.
“We’re not giving you weapons. Out of the question. Get the hell out of the system and leave the Federation alone.” Captain Oteng couldn’t help but retort with sass to the Pakled’s demand.
“We are strong. We will take from you, Enterprise.”
“You’re welcome to try at your convenience. Leave the Constellation-class starship alone, and fight me!”
Most of the officers on the bridge turned to look at him with an amused but puzzled look.
“We are strong. Surrender, Enterprise.”
“Bite me! Los Angeles, out.” Captain Oteng sat down immediately after cutting communications. For reasons unbeknownst to him, the Pakled ships didn’t press the attack. They just…floated there, facing off with the New Orleans-class starship. Almost like they were preparing a second wave of attack. Captain Oteng figured that it was best for him to use this time wisely and stood up again. Walking up to Siobhan’s Ops station, he asked her “Do you have anything?”
Siobhan nodded. “I finished my scans, and there’s something interesting. With the help of Lt. Arataki, we were able to penetrate the shields on the clumpship, and we discovered that the Borg pieces the Partheous reported initially were actually just Romulan ship fragments meant to look like Borg pieces. The weapons signature is Klingon, and we’re pretty sure that they’re just bluffing about assimilation. Long story short, they don’t have Borg anything. They’re bluffing. We can take them easily.”

Fabien nodded and sighed with relief. They were facing Pakleds, not Borgified Pakleds. It was a more than winnable fight. He turned and walked back to his center seat. “Tom, hail the Partheous please.”
“Aye, sir. They have partial communications, so it may be a bit…intermittent.”
“Doesn’t matter.”

The view of the clumpship was replaced by a bridge in chaos, with sparks everywhere and damage control teams running all over, trying to prevent a small fire from spreading. Through it all, the master of the Partheous, Commander Holly D’Angelo sat in the center seat, giving orders to her crew and trying to contain the chaos.
“Captain! Oh thank the Prophets you’re here. We thought we were totally on our own until we saw you warp in.”
“Commander, what’s your situation? Is your command salvageable, or would you prefer evac?”
“Captain, we have many wounded, they could use off the ship. As for the rest of the bucket of bolts, we’re missing two nacelles, the third one is badly damaged, we have hull breaches in almost every deck except the bridge, and we’re about one more salvo away from having a warp core breach. You tell me!” Her tone was that of human exasperation mixed in with anger and a hint of terror, though she held her composure well.
Captain Oteng winced, then turned to Tom. “Mr. Spencer, send message to sickbay, tell them to prepare for a mass casualty event. Then start beaming the wounded straight to sickbay. Keep a lock on the rest of the crew, and prepare to evacuate the Partheous fully.” Turning back to the viewscreen, Captain Oteng addressed Commander D’Angelo.
“Commander, not to worry. We’re moving right now. We’ll try to cover your retreat, if you can, but if not, we can pull you all out. Dr. Rehman is preparing to receive casualties, and we can help you with whatever else you need.”
“Thank you Captain! Hopefully, things can be kept under control. We’ll stay…” the signal suddenly cut out, and the view returned to the clumpship, which by this time had moved closer to the Los Angeles.
“Captain, the Partheous just lost communications, but Dr. Rehman reports that we are receiving the casualties. They’re starting to be treated. He asks for permission to mobilize our reserve medical team and other medical staff.”
“Permission granted. Tell him to get whomever he needs. Engineers, even, if they would be helpful.”
“Aye, sir.”

Siobhan pipes up. “Captain, the Pakleds are charging weapons again…they’re locked on to us.”
“Helm, evasive maneuvers; Tom, remember the Quantum torpedoes I asked for?”
“Yes sir, I have them ready.”
“Shove them down their throat.”
“With pleasure, sir.” Three blue torpedoes leave the Los Angeles and slam directly into the clumpship, causing a fair bit of damage.
“Direct hit, moderate damage captain! We blew straight past their shields. I don’t think they were prepared for our engagement.”
“Excellent. Tom, line up phasers and fire. Cover the Partheous, best you can.”
“Aye, sir. Firing now.”
The phaser array glows and the beam hits square in the center, causing some amount of damage. By this time, one of the clumpships decided that the raid was not worth it, and hightailed it out of there. The other one moved to defend the now damaged clumpship, firing a mix of Cardassian and Romulan disrupters at the Los Angeles and Partheous.

The Los Angeles’ shields absorbed the hit, though it lowered them by 20%. Tom returned the salvo with one of his own, firing phasers and torpedoes at the other clumpship, which responded by firing on both ships again.

“Captain, we’re getting a message from the Partheous. They say that the last salvo was the last straw. Partheous unsalvageable, requesting immediate evacuation. Time to warp core breach, 15 minutes.”
“Tom, start pulling the rest of the crew, use all the transporters available. I hope we have enough time to get everyone.”
“Captain, we’re not going to be able to beam them through when the shields are up. We’re going to have to lower shields, and…I don’t recommend doing that.” Brooke speaks up, warning the Captain that his idea won’t work.
Fabien curses, then snaps his finger. “We have a compliment of shuttles aboard, as well as two runabouts. Can we dispatch them to dock and evacuate?”
Brooke bites their lip as they consider it, thinking quickly. “Yes, we could do that, but we would have to cover them, because they’d be vulnerable.” As he speaks, the ship shudders again from another disrupter hit.
“Alright, let’s do it. Get whomever you need to, and let’s do it. Siobhan, how much time do we have?”
“We have about 13 minutes to total containment failure, sir.”
“Damn. I hope we have enough time. Tom, send the Partheous a message. Tell them to prepare for shuttle evacuation, and if they have shuttles, to use those first. We’re sending our runabouts, so tell them to load the most critical people first. Commander, I want you to go down to the shuttle bay and supervise the effort.”
“Yes, Captain. Do you still want me to pull whomever I need to?”
“Yes, please. Just do what you have to do.”
Tom then responds in acknowledgement to his order, and asks just as Brooke is leaving to the turbolift. “Aye sir. Should I return fire?”
“Yes! Fire everything, and cue up some more quantum torpedoes. Fire at will.”
“Copy that, firing phasers and torpedoes. Sir, Partheous reports acknowledgement and wishes us good luck.”
“Helm, move us closer to the Partheous. Make sure our shuttlebay is protected. Quarter-impulse please.”
“Aye, sir. Moving to heading 244, mark 210.”
“Tom, make sure our weapons mask our motivations.”
“I’m giving her as good as I got, Captain!”
The ship shudders again as a beam of Cardassian disruptor hits.

When Brooke arrives in the shuttle bay, the two runabouts (the Platte and Big Blue) are being hurriedly prepared by the engineering crews with the passenger module (kept onboard in case of evacuation). The process takes a few minutes, though its a few minutes that are precious in this situation. These crews, however, have drilled for this scenario and so are experienced on how to swap out modules. The Platte is ready first, and launches with a pilot and medic only, to maximize space for evacuees. Seconds later, the Big Blue launches, and both Brooke and the engineering crews breathe a sigh of relief. The dormitory modules are taken to the place where the passenger modules were stored.

On the bridge, Captain Oteng is tracking the rescue effort on his command consoles, hoping that the Pakleds don’t notice what they’re trying to do. Fortunately for the runabouts, the Pakleds are more interested in the Los Angeles than in anything else. Unfortunately for the Los Angeles, that meant that the Pakled clumpships were fully dialed in and not doing anything else. Thanks to Tom’s skill as a tactical officer, the LA had gotten in some good hits and was giving as good as she got. Sadly though, the clumpships were taking their toll on the New Orleans-class starship. The last weapons hit caused one of the consoles on the bridge to explode in a shower of sparks, causing the officer at the post to scream and fall, clutching his face.
“Medic!!” the officer next to the injured man yelled out after tapping his combadge. Within a minute, the turbolift doors opened, and a crewman in a blue uniform ran with a medkit, sliding towards the injured man.
“I’ve got you. Don’t worry. You’re going to be just fine!” After a quick scan with the tricorder, the crewman opened his medkit and gave the burn victim a hypospray. Then he tapped his combadge. “Two to transport to sickbay!” The two disappeared in a shimmer, and Captain Oteng cursed under his breath. He hated to see people hurt under his command.
“Captain, shields down to 30%; damage to decks 15, 17, and 10. Damage control crews responding!”
“Keep firing Tom, keep covering! How much time to warp core breach?”
“Eight minutes, sir!”
“What’s the status of the evacuation?”
“Commander Abramov reports that three shuttles have left the Partheous, and Captain D’Angelo is helping load people into the two runabouts. They look like they’ll have enough room for everyone. She has security making sure there’s no one left, then she’s leaving.”
“Good. Tell Commander Abramov to ‘Hurry up,’ not that she needs to hear it. Time is of the essence!”

As he finishes his sentence, another shudder and another sparking explosion; fortunately no one was injured.
“Captain, hull breach, deck 8. Force fields in place. No casualties.”
“I hope we still have a ship present after this…” he gets cut off by Siobhan.
“Sir, we have another ship incoming…its the Sputnik! They made it!” She sounds jubilant as she gives her report.
Fabien bows his head and takes a deep breath. ‘Thank God for that,’ he thinks to himself.

“Sir, we’re being hailed. The Sputnik is engaging…”
On the viewscreen, the Gagarin-class starship swooped in, making a strafing run against the two clumpships.
“On screen.”
The view is replaced by the Sputnik’s bridge, with her Captain smiling as the rest of the officers are busy doing their duty.
“Fabien, old friend! I see you needed some extra help. Sorry for our late arrival.” Captain Andrei Ivankov laughed as he spoke, his Russian roots coming through. He was an Andorian ex-pat that had adopted a totally Russian identity after he had a dispute with his family and moved to Earth, settling down in Sochi. He loved it there, and so he changed his name to fit his adopted homeland. When Fabien had met the Andorian at the academy, he had been taken a little aback at his Russian accent, but had grown used to it over the years.
“Andrei, you certainly took your sweet time! But good to see you. They have you in a Gagarin, do they?”
“Yes they do. And I love it. Named for Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Russian hero!”
“Well поздравления (congratulations) to you, my Дружище (giant friend). Any chance you could help us with the clumpships?”
“Working on it! спутник вышел (Sputnik, out)!”

The Sputnik fires a few more times, and the clumpships suddenly decide that maybe this isn’t worth it anymore. With the damaged clumpship in tow, the two ships retreat, leaving a trail of debris in their wake. The Gagarin-class ship harasses them on their retreat, then returns to the Los Angeles.

Captain Oteng breathes a sigh of relief. “Commander Abramov, what’s the word on the evacuation?”
“Sir, I’m pleased to report that both the Big Blue and the Platte are on their way back with the entire crew compliment. Not a moment to soon, sir. We should put some space between us and the Partheous, it’s about 45 seconds from breach.”
Helm, move us away, maximum impulse. Set course for Starbase 86, and go to warp as soon as we’ve recovered the runabouts. Tom, send a message to the Sputnik, tell them that the Partheous is about to explode and to get clear.”
“Aye, Captain, Moving to heading 177, mark 301, full impulse. Course set, ready on your command.”
“30 seconds to breach!”
“Steady as she goes, Miss Muthoni.”
“Steady, aye.”
“15 seconds!”
“Runabouts docked and secured! We’re ready to warp!”
“Hit it, Miss Muthoni. Warp 5!”
The Los Angeles jumps to warp, just as the Partheous explodes, adding to the considerable debris field already present.

Captain Oteng breathes a sigh of relief, then stands up and taps his combadge. “Bridge to Abramov. Brooke, what’s your status?”
“Captain, we are currently triaging the people we rescued. We could use a lot of assistance, sir.”
“Thanks Commander. I’ll see what I can do.”
“Aye, Captain. Abramov out.”
He then again taps his combadge. “Bridge to Commander Aranda. Report.”
“The Pakleds did a real number on the LA, sir. There’s a lot of bulkhead damage, blown relays all over the ship, and of course the giant hole on deck 8. We got mauled, that’s for sure. Fortunately, the core is intact, power systems are nominal, and sensors are great. So, all in all, just a normal day. But we should put into spacedock for repairs, because efficiency. I’m a miracle worker, but I’m not that much of a miracle worker.”
“Copy that. Just do what you can, and we’ll be at Starbase 86 in a day or two.”
“Aye, sir.” Just before she signs off, she starts yelling at one of her subordinates. “What are you doing, you incompetent…” and the signal cuts off.

Captain Oteng laughs to himself, and then looks around at the bridge, surveying the damage.
“Folks, before I forget, all of you did an exemplary job today. We survived, and though we got mauled, we prevailed. That being said, please don’t forget your after-action reports, turned in to Commander Abramov in the usual time.” This illicits groans from the officers on the bridge.
“Great, more paperwork.” Tom pipes up in a whining voice as he smiles.
“Yay…paperwork…more paperwork…” Siobhan mutters ruefully in response to Captain Oteng.

“People, after you finish your reports, you can take a few days of shore leave. It’s going to take a while to bring the LA back to its former glory. So the sooner you finish them, the sooner you can go enjoy shore leave at Starbase 86.”

The crew laughs, then returns to their duty, all relieved that the battle, though hard fought, was won.

After a while at warp, Captain Oteng leaves Siobhan in charge of the bridge as he goes and begins to write the after-action report to Starfleet Command and the CO of TF86. He reports on the day’s events and the audacity of the Pakleds to feign Borg technology, and urging a more forceful response against the Pakleds because they are getting out of hand. He also requests urgent repair slot at Starbase 86, to repair all the battle damage the Los Angeles suffered with the Pakleds.

A day and a half later, the Los Angeles limps into view of Starbase 86, heavily mauled by combat, battle scars everywhere, and a gaping hole on the side of the saucer section. But she survived, and had made it home.

Comments

  • Well that was an intense battle. Glad the Los Angeles was able to get the crew off the Partheous; even if the Pakled managed to put a few holes in them along the way. The way the Pakled pretended to have Borg technology, when in fact they had weapons and equipment from a number of other races was an interesting idea. could this mean a few of them are showing a greater level of intelligence, or was it someone else's idea? Also getting my head round a Russian sounding Andorian. I would so love to see that for real! Great work.

    November 30, 2023