Literary Challenge #56 : Academy Teachings
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Join Date: Jun 2012
01-08-2014, 01:27 PM
Captain's log. The DarkFyre is patrolling near Starbase 39 on a routine assignment. So far, everything has been normal.
Bennet looked at his command crew. Though they were all young, they all seemed to be handling their first assignment well. Taumer worked his console, scanning the sector as they entered it. "Captain, I'm picking up a distress call from a civillian freighter."
Bennet set his jaw line. This was it. Time to be heroes. "On screen."
"This is the..... ter Oscorp. We......ck by....rates. Need hel"
Taumer shook his head. "That's all there is." Bennet turned to Verity at communications. "How many people on the Oscorp?" The young woman brought up the ship information on the main screen. "She's a T-60 class freighter. Crew of One hundred twenty. Her distress call is coming from an area of heavy plasma storms." Bennet nodded. "Then it's probably a trap. Red Alert. Deflectors and shields to maximum. Froda, intercept course."
The Bolian woman plotted the course and guided the old constitution class refit towards the destination. As they approached, Bennet called for everyone to keep alert. Taumer's console started beeping. "Captain! Garidian ships decloaking!"
The ship rocked as it was hit by weapons fire. "Shields down to 72%."
Bennet looked at the screen. A pack of seven Garidian D'deridex warbirds had decloaked and were circling the disabled freighter, predators on the hunt. They all turned towards the DarkFyre and fired another volley. Again, the ship rocked, shields dropping down to 60%. Bennet paused, trying to think of the next move. The DarkFyre began listing to the side without commands. Dammit, he was the Captain. He needed to make a decision. "Ok, we're not going to abandon that ship. Helm, get us around behind the warbirds. We can focus all of our firepower onto their blind spots. That should make them think twice."
"Aye Sir." Froda moved the DarkFyre around, much smaller and more agile the the Garidian ships. They came about behind the rear Warbird and opened fire, pouring phaser blasts and photon torpedos at the ship. Shields flashed green, protecting the pirates from harm as the firing cycle finished. Taumer reported. "Their shields took damage, but otherwise no effect."
"What? That can't be." Bennet was aghast. All the firepower of this ship, and they were nothing. The warbird fired rear disruptors, smashing the DarkFyre sideways. Consoles on the bridge exploded as the shields failed. Over the noise, he heard Verity shouting a panicked report. "Boarding parties are beaming on."
"Security teams to all decks. Fight them off! Keep firing at the warbird. Their shields can't last forever!"
The DarkFyre shot again, proving just as ineffective. The other warbirds had swooped around and were giving chase behind the Federation ship. Volley after volley struck the ship, each one knocking out more systems. And still Bennet demanded they keep firing everything they had, while trying evasive manouvers.But it was no good. The warbirds grouped together into a tight formation and unleashed another wave of torpedos. The ship screamed as it was battered mercilessly, before the world went white, indicating the warp core had breached.
When the lights came back on, Talaina moved her hover chair away from the observation position towards the Captain's Chair. Bennet stood at attention as she approached, as the other cadets got to their feet, the fires extinguishing themselves. The battle simulation was over. Talaina, still hurt from the Gorn ambush a few weeks ago, moved infront of the human. "Cadet Bennet. Congratulations. You just killed your entire crew, and got the crew of the Oscorp captured. Who knows what will happen to them."
"Oh don't apologise. You're the first ones to take this particular test. Though I don't appreciate seeing my old ship getting destroyed like this. I'll have to have words with the Academy."
Talaina stopped looking around the Bridge that she had spent many years on and focused on the young man before her. "Let me ask you something. Where did you think you went wrong?"
"Sir. The DarkFyre's weapons were not powerful enough to defeat the Garidians. The ship is too old. Too weak. Sir." Talaina frowned. "They were only simulations. I remember once this ship successfully defended the Alhena Deuterium Station from rogue Cardassians. And their ships are just as powerful as those you faced. Outnumbered. Outgunned. And yet, we succeeded. Do you know where the basis of this simulation came from?"
"Recently, the Sentinel was ambushed in much the same way. Ten Gorn battlecruisers used a civillian freighter to lure us in and battered the ship. We lost many good people that day. Alot of them captured. But the majority of the crew, and the ship, survived. And it was for the same reason as the Alhena situation. Something you should have seen here. Something that you cadets..." Talaina looked around at all of the cadets on the Bridge. "All of you cadets need to learn before you can become Command Officers. Flying around and shooting everything is all fine and good for one on one ship fights of equal footing. But when the numbers are against you, when you are against an opponent that clearly outclasses yourself, that is when you need to think. Use your brains and be smart. The Sentinel got out of this trap by routing the Transwarp drive through the Deflector and opening an unstable Transwarp gate in the centre of the Gorn ships, catapulting them to unknown parts. The ship survived because we used our ingenuity. What tools we had at our disposal. That will save the day nine times out of ten. Going in all guns blazing will only do so that one time. Do you understand?"
"Yes Sir. But... this class of vessel was made before Transwarp."
"This ship was made for the centennial celebrations of the iconic design. One of a few that were. As such, it has many of the modern features, such as a Transwarp drive. If you had done your homework, you would have read that in the ship's profile for the mission briefing. That's another lesson. Always make sure you are familiar with what your ship can and can't do. A good engineer will always find ways to do what can't with what can. Think about what I said cadet. I hope you take heed of my words. Because you won't get any second chances when you're out here for real."
"Yes Sir. You've given me much to think about."
As the cadets filtered out towards the lower decks, Talaina watched the rest of the teachers clearing the simulation from the consoles and patching up explosion damage. The test seemed to work. A varient of the Kobyashi Maru. But being done with a real starship, it helped give the cadets a greater sense of what it's like out here. As the DarkFyre went to warp to it's next teaching location, Talaina was glad she wasn't assigned to the Academy full time. They had requested her presence for the first test, since it was based on what she had gone through. They had done a good job. A good job indeed.
A Romulan Strike Team, Missing Farmers and an ancient base on a Klingon Border world. But what connects them? Find out in my First Foundary mission: 'The Jeroan Farmer Escapade'