Literary Challenges : The Library Computer
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Join Date: Dec 2007
05-13-2011, 04:12 AM
It was not long after they joined that Bova shared a memory of a time from his adolescence while he worked out in a park at night. Two thugs accosted him and held a knife to his throat. They wanted anything of value he carried. All he had on him was the ring. Bova was calm when he told them that it was the only thing he had from the loss of his mother and they could take it from his lifeless finger…
Even to the day they had lost the ring it was Bova’s most prized possession…
The view screen was down, all he gathered from the transmission was the sardonic voice of the female Klingon captain. "Captain your shields are down, and you vent more than air into the vacuum about us. Your ship may have claimed one the Birds of Prey under my command yet I have another aside from my ship cloaked off your port nacelle."
She continued her diatribe. "On ancient Earth was it not once said that a general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and they are skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack? So similar to a Klingon proverb is it not?"
Does her lecture ever end? This had to be karmic retribution for all the unruly patrons Bova lectured as he towed them out of bars. Some twisted Karma had to be the reason behind all this salt the Klingon captain now ground into his wounded pride. "Oh poor, poor, U.S.S. Poor Richard. This should be the part where you employ diplomacy, right? Diplomacy does not grant me glory the way cutting a hash mark into the forward torpedo launcher of my ship would. This is what Starfleet's vaunted missions of exploration get's you. I am not interested in the capture Starfleet engineering nor is your surrender enough to placate my urge for conquest. I just wanted you to have the honor of knowing your better before I blow your entrails from here to the halls of Gre'thor. Captain Yisie of the I.K.S. veS puq out!"
“Deck two has reported damage to the hull and warp core. Sir we have lost seven engineering personnel to explosive decompression before emergency shielding stopped the breech. Chief Montania was among them.” Warning claxons screamed for attention from all sides as pops and sparks from short circuits chased officers from their consoles. The ship was dead in the ether.
Even if it was nothing more than the denial of a notch in that Klingon’s gun belt, survival was everything. “Tell engineering I’m on my way. Tiessa, get an engineering team up here and supervise them while they fix what they can. You have the con.” With command transferred to his first officer Irion bolted for the turbo lift. On a ship with a crew of forty, the loss of seven was a terrible blow to the capability of damage control.
"Sir, diagnostics indicated that damage was not to the core itself but to the power couplings." The science officer yelled at his back.
Irion was an engineer before he made captain. It behooved him to try to lend a hand to get power restored to his stricken ship. After all dead in space was not dead in the eyes Klingons. They would keep punishment up till the ship exploded. Deck plates heaved under his feet as he struggled toward Main Engineering.
There Lieutenant Wallace gave Irion the run down, “Ensign Humphries has spliced a new conduit into the primary EPS junction, but the other end had not been connected to the warp core on the second level catwalk, Sir. I’m busy here with fire suppression in Jeffries tubes six and two, so Humphries can finish the connections at two other subsystem junctions.”
“Stay on it Wallace. I’ll see what I can do to make the reconnection at the main.” Irion could not believe how clear the air was in here. Only a faint trace of scent from the blown out components remained. The brief exposure to the void of space must have sucked out the fire. The air in main engineering was clear enough to see through the hole punched through several bulkheads to the naked space outside where the freeze dried remains of one of his engineers tumbled in the darkness lit only by the light of a nearby star. Light that was an hour old by the time it reached this far out in space.
He would have to write a letter of condolence to that engineer's family, the role of a Starfleet officer he hated the most. A shimmer in the void behind the engineer drove him back into the urgency of the moment. “Brace for impact!” Before he could make it to the ladder the ship shuddered under the onslaught of disruptor cannons. The breech shielding held, a miracle under the trickle of power that back up provided. He careened into a support which smashed his shoulder. Irion’s vision swam with pain as he hoped it was only a dislocation. No time for worry for his flesh. Now there was only time to worry for survival. He mounted the ladder to the second level catwalk, an arduous task with only his right hand to haul himself up each rung.
The conduit was heavy and he needed both hands which made him use his injured left arm to haul the new conduit the last few meters to the coupling port on the warp core only to find that his ring was in the way of turning the collar lock. His injured shoulder protested with each hammer fall of the Klingon weapons as he struggled to lock the conduit into place. There was no way to help it the ring held him back and in it's own way threatened the remaining lives of his crew. He paused to take off the ring and stuff it in his uniform’s beast pocket. Just as the coupling’s collar indexed into place another larger hit rocked the ship and knocked him to the deck. The pain in his shoulder made him writhe on the catwalk grate as his First Officer’s voice came over the com, “Captain we just took a torpedo hit, Deck 8 behind Navigation Control. Good news Sir! Ensign Gupta reports that main power has started to distribute into the ships subsystems.”
“Good. Get auxiliary power to the engines and use evasive maneuvers to get us out of here. I’m on the way back to the bridge.” Irion growled. He could have sworn that he heard a metallic noise just after that last impact but in the stress of the moment with his senses clouded by pain Irion could not remember where he heard it let alone what it was that could have made that sound. He focused on his breath to get beyond the pain as he pinned his elbow to his side and shuffled back to the bridge…
“Captain..? Captain are you all right?” His first officer’s concern carried in the tone of her voice which snapped him back into the present.
“Yes I am thank you Tiessa. I think I know what this is.” Irion pulled the envelope away to expose a simple silver band that gripped a smooth piece of dark jade cut into the shape of a rectangle. The Captain’s fingers wrapped about the ring as his smile beamed his satisfaction. “There is a bottle of aged Khukri dark rum in a kirpan shaped glass flask in my private store. Have an ensign pick it up and shuttle it over to the Poor Richard. Tell the ensign to give it to Captain Ogdenkirk with my greatest appreciation.” The gift of nigh near two hundred year old rum should start to show the depth of his gratitude.