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Rihannsu
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 216
Bryan was just about to go down to the ship's lounge when his combadge chirped.

"Admiral Valot, go ahead." he sighed.

"Sir, you may want to get up here," Ibalei said, her voice taking a much darker tone than usual, "We've just arrived at the coordinates."

"On my way."

Bryan wearily stepped into the turbolift. When the doors opened, Justin, the ship's chief of security called out from the left of the lift "Admiral on deck!" and Ibalei moved from the central chair to the one immediately to the left as Bryan moved to sit in the one she had been in. As he sat down, something out the front window caught his eye. It looked vaguely like an Odyssey class, but he couldn't be sure.

"Athena, status?" He requested.

"One ship, similar in design to an Odyssey class, direct front sir." the AI responded.

"Anything else?"

"Negative, sir. Although, you may want to take a look at the name of the ship."

"Put it on the main screen."

The screen changed to reveal a dark grey hull, emblazoned with a name all too familiar to Bryan and the rest of the crew.

"The I.S.S. Minerva." Kerry Avalrez, the Athena's chief tactical officer, said, a touch of dread in her voice.

"Sir, they're hailing us." Ensign Aara called from the comms station.

Bryan steeled his gaze and straightened his uniform before calling out "Onscreen." He was met by none other than a darker version of himself, a long, jagged scar over the left eye, and a cruel grin on his face.

"Well well." The mirror cackled, "I would say that I'm surprised, but, knowing me, I'm not really."

"Cut to the chase." Bryan said tersely, "What do you want?"

"I have a...favor...to ask of you," he offered, "Do you mind if I meet you on your ship? Say, transporter room 2?"

"Fine. Beam over when I give the signal." He then signaled to his comms officer to cut the channel. "Kerry, you have the con. Aara, sound yellow alert. Thryiss, get weapons lock on the I.S.S. Minerva. Dwayne, prepare to begin evasive action if and when they start firing. Six, prepare to reverse polarity on the primary and auxiliary shields. Justin, get MACO teams to transporter rooms 4, 5, and 7. Get your combat gear and have your best team form up on me. Ibalei, follow me as well. Let's go look into the mirror."

The bridge echoed with a chorus of "Aye, sir's" as the crew responded to his orders. Bryan got up from his chair, grabbed his rifle from the Ready Room, and walked through the ship with Ibalei, Justin, and a few of the Athena's MACO troopers until we arrived at the transporter room. Around a minute later, his counterpart beamed in with two of his soldiers. All of the Athena's officers immediately leveled their weapons, targeting lasers dancing along their targets.

"Hand over any and all weapons you and your officers have." Bryan said coolly.

"Well, it's not like I need a rifle to kill you anyways." He said, as they all handed their weapons to us.

"You realize that includes the knife in your boot."

"How could you have-"

"I'm you, remember? Which reminds me, the teams you sent to transporter rooms 4, 5, and 7 have all been either detained or eliminated."

"Touche. Shall we get down to business?"

"Why not. Justin?" With that, the chief of security unleashed a hail of phaser bolts from his minigun, which had been set to stun for exactly this reason. With that, they dragged them out of the room and into the brig.

*******

They finally awoke again about ten minutes later, and were mildly shocked to see how they had been treated.

"I'm not as...Idealistic as some of my fellow officers." Bryan said, as if reading their minds

"I can see that," his Mirror said, anger creeping into his voice.

"So, what did you want?"

"Hm? Oh, right. the...pardon me, OUR 1st Assault Fleet is preparing to lead a full scale offensive into your universe."

"And you're telling me this...Why?"

"Because I believe that it would be a mistake." He said, turning his gaze away.

"Give me the coordinates. We'll handle it." Bryan said, seeming to believe what his mirror had told him.

"Sir, You don't seriously think that-" Ibalei started.

"I know it's a trap." He whispered into her ear. "What I'm counting on is that he doesn't know that I've all ready figured it out."

"I see." She whispered back. "What are we going to do about it?"

"I'll tell you in a little bit," Bryan turned back to his mirror counterpart. "So? What are the coordinates?"

"You remember where the I.S.S. Stadi was deployed?" He responded.

Bryan sighed heavily. "You Terrans sure like your novel ideas, don't you," he muttered sarcastically. He stepped out of the brig and into one of the turbolifts to contact the fleet's leadership.

*******

Bryan stood with the leaders of the 1st Assault Fleet around the holographic display in the center of the U.S.S. Athena's Strategic Command Center as he briefed them on what he had learned.

"You're sure about this" Admiral Leyla Blaze, one of the two co-leaders of the fleet, asked cautiously.

"Yes, ma'am. Quite sure." Bryan responded calmly.

"And what's your plan?"

"Well, ordinarily, I'd say to engage them from two separate angles to guarantee that we catch them in a flank." Bryan pondered aloud as he moved the images of ships around the tactical display, "However, seeing as how this battle will be basically against myself, that won't work. Now, the primary counter to a pincer attack is a three pronged force, with one center force and two flanking forces. As a result, we need a counter to that tactic. The most effective method of countering that is an assault wall, with cruisers at the front, escorts behind them, and carriers and other support ships at the rear of the formation."

"Interesting idea Bry. And you're confidant that it will work?"

"Yes ma'am. I can totally eliminate them with a minimum of casualties and a fraction of the force any other fleet would ordinarily need. Say maybe around one-third of the fleet's full strength to guarantee victory."

"You'll have fully half of the fleet, including my ship, if you do not mind me assuming command of the task force."

"Not at all ma'am. As your XO, it's my duty to support you on the front line, which I will do.

"Very good. Have your ship form up with the rest of the fleet 1 Light-Year away in two hours."

"Right away, ma'am!" Bryan said, flashing a quick salute as he entered the turbolift to the bridge.

*******

"All ships, you are cleared to engage! Fire at will!" Leyla called from the U.S.S. Equinox, and the fleet moved forward to launch their full scale assault on their Mirror selves. The Terran forces, as had been expected, divided into three groups, while the prime forces stayed in formation, the Athena at the very center of the front line of cruisers and battleships.

"Sir, Terran forces are in firing range." Athena called out.

"Good. Thryiss?" Bryan said calmly.

" Aye sir!" She said. Not even a second later, the entire hull of the Athena lit up as her phaser banks lashed out against the night sky, Quantum torpedoes sped away from their tubes, and several panels opened along the hull, revealing an impressive array of defensive turrets.

The ferocity of the assault from the fleet caught the Mirror forces completely off guard, as multiple ships actually collided with each other attempting to take evasive maneuvers. Despite this, they recovered quickly, and they began coordinating their attack, attempting to make up for how far behind they had been at the end of the opening salvos. The Terrans began their counter-attack with a wave of fighters. Though this would have been an effective tactic against most fleets, as the heavy phaser banks of Starfleet vessels can't target fighters very well, they didn't count on one small advantage the Prime 1st Assault fleet had: Point Defense turrets.

"Sir, Terran fighters inbound." Athena called out.

"Activate defense grid." Bryan said with steely calm.

The Athena and several other Federation warships lit up the night sky with a series of tiny pulse phaser blasts. Suddenly, the Terran fighters exploded bright orange, illuminating the space between the two fleets. It was then that the Terrans unveiled their trap: just behind the entire squadron of fighters was an entire salvo of Tricobalt heavy torpedoes. But the Prime fleet had a counter for even that, as the cruiser wings peeled away, revealing the line of escorts just behind them. The Escorts charged their cannons, overrode standard targeting protocols, and opened fire, cannon blasts scattering into the wall of torpedoes. the few that made it through the onslaught were easily absorbed by the shields of the cruisers which had maneuvered back into the formation.

The battle quickly descended from a well coordinated and organized artillery duel into a vicious and bloody melee, ships jockeying for position in a dance both elegant and deadly at the same time. In what seemed to be the center of the fight, two sides of the same coin, a duel between gods took place. The Athena and Minerva, the same goddess under a different name, fought in an epic duel. Axial dual beam banks lashed out whenever one ship would get in front of the other, and phaser blasts ripped away from each ship's saucer and hull into the others. In the end, one ship stood victorious, though not without scars.

"Sir, the Minerva is going down!" Thyriss called from the weapons station.

"The Minerva is overloading a phaser bank!" Athena warned.

"Six! Reverse shield-" Bryan couldn't finish his sentence. A massive orange beam of light arced away from the Minerva as she exploded, ripping into the Athena, and striking her right in the torpedo magazine. The resulting detonation ripped through the bridge, causing significant damage to both ship and crew.

When he finally recovered, Bryan yelled out "Damage report!" but received no response. He was about to repeat the order, when he looked to the starboard side of the bridge, and realized why he had not been answered and his blood ran cold. Ibalei had been flung from her chair by the blast, and lay still on the deck. Even with several limbs clearly broken, her long, dark red hair randomly pulled from its customary ponytail, and bleeding from multiple puncture wounds and lacerations, the young Trill had never looked more beautiful.

"Ibalei!" Bryan yelled out, voice breaking. He quickly tapped his combadge and almost shouted "Medical team to the bridge! The first officer is down!" as he sat down next to her and held her head, desperately checking for a pulse.

*******

Bryan sat silently by the bed of starbase Nova Prime's medical lab, seemingly lost in thought. Ibalei lay there in front of him, still unconscious after three days.

"Syiseda," he said evenly as the Athena's chief medical officer entered the room, "how is she?"

"Stable, for now." The Betazoid responded, sensing his true feelings.

"Will she recover?"

She looked over sadly "That's up to her. Even our most advanced technology can only do so much."

Bryan sighed. "And the Athena?"

"Well, I'm no engineer, but even I can tell it's bad."

He sighed again.

"She loved you too, you know," She whispered into his mind.

"I know," he thought, "But thanks. It's nice to hear it from someone else."

At that, she walked out of the room, once again leaving Bryan alone with Ibalei. He got up and gently stroked her silent face, his hand running down the spots on right side of her head and down to her neck. He gently kissed her forehead and whispered "Good night, beautiful." as he turned to leave the room. However, as he began to walk out, he thought saw her eyes begin to flutter open.
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
Join date: Some time in Closed Beta

Last edited by ironphoenix113; 01-27-2013 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Final details added