I don't know how you can keep exceeding your previous chapters, but you do.
So -- the Orions also have dysfunctional families. Makes one wonder what one of their family reunions would be like ... provided they don't try to kill each other on sight first, that is. And that winter outfit sounds like something that would keep an Orion warm ... even on Rura Penthe.
Councillor Darg was cursing steadily under his breath as he stormed into the First City bar. "Bloodwine!" he shouted to the barman. He caught his breath, and looked around him.
K'tag, sitting at a table with the Gorn Ambassador, raised one eyebrow at his colleague, and pointed at a vacant chair nearby. Still fuming, Darg took a seat.
"You seem distressed," said S'taass. "I take it that whatever caused you to leave the High Council meeting was... bad news?"
"Seven ships!" Darg shouted. "Three in Pi Canis sectors, and an entire squadron in Eta Eridani! Destroyed!"
"Privateers?" K'tag asked. Darg nodded. "Well, it is to be expected, I fear. The Federation has brought up substantial reinforcements behind the front lines, to prevent any immediate repetition of the Bercera... incident. As a consequence, many previously soft targets will be unexpectedly hardened." He took a sip of his own raktajino. "I foresee lean pickings for our privateers, even though the Council has not agreed to the moratorium."
"It is a sad blow to my House," grumbled Darg. "Oh, they died well enough, as Klingons... but dead men and destroyed ships bring no profits to the House's coffers. One must be realistic."
"Indeed," said K'tag. "Such was the final decision of the High Council, you may be interested to hear - since you were called away before the conclusion of the debate."
Darg scowled and took a deep pull at his bloodwine. "How much Federation insolence must we stomach?"
"Considerable," said K'tag. "If your House has commercial interests in the region protected by Dasus Prime, they must now attend to their own protection. And the Thidasians and Yll-Toricans will shortly celebrate their liberation - or what they think of as liberation. The Valtothi have, it seems, already anticipated events. The rebels' celebrations have already included mass executions among the native civil administration, and the formation of an honour guard of corvette-class starships to, as they put it, escort the Klingon governor out of free Valtothi space."
Darg snarled. "The Governor should have destroyed them rather than endure such humiliation!"
"Not a very politic move," S'taass observed, "under the guns of the Federation Sixth Fleet."
"Sixth Fleet?" Darg's eyes narrowed. "I did not realize Sixth Fleet was operating near Valtoth Alpha."
"Nobody did," said K'tag. "Admiral Gref's movements are causing considerable speculation. We have at least some idea of the disposition of most of the Feds' main forces - but Sixth Fleet constitutes a strong and highly mobile force, operating closer to our strategic centres than is comfortable. Our thinking is that Aznetkur remains his main objective, but it is only the most probable estimate of many."
"Where does the Federation find so many ships?" Darg demanded. The bloodwine was not improving his disposition.
"They are stripping their reserves in Beta Ursae," S'taass said, "hoping that their allies in Cardassian space will contain any hostile elements. A calculated risk."
"It is not right," said Darg. "We should not be expected to swallow these insults! There will come a reckoning," he muttered darkly.
"Ah, yes," said K'tag. "A reckoning. You missed the most amusing part of the meeting. The Ferengi Alliance is to calculate the approximate economic value of Bercera IV, and issue us with an appropriate financial penalty?"
"Amusing, is it not?" K'tag took another sip of raktajino.
"The Ferengi are but tools of the Federation!" Darg shouted.
"Curious, is it not?" said S'taass. "After all, the Ferengi mercantile ideology conflicts with Federation social values on so many points, one would hardly expect them to be natural allies."
"It is in the nature of things," K'tag said, ignoring Darg's sputterings. "The Federation taxes Ferengi interests where it can, and uses the resources to constructive social ends. We, on the other hand, rob them and shoot them. There are, to be sure, many Ferengi still who would prefer, on ideological grounds, to be robbed and shot... but their influence wanes, because the poor and the dead carry little weight in the councils of the Ferengi. A conundrum that I lack the wit to resolve."
"The Ferengi will mulct us of every strip of latinum in the Empire!" Darg shouted.
"Probably," said K'tag. "It is a high price, and it is but part of a greater price... but the alternative is an incalculable price, and the wise man will choose the known evil over the unknown."
"What do you mean? What price?"
"There is a story I heard from a human once," said S'taass, "of a great empire on their world that was called... Azziria? Something like that. In any case, this empire was technologically and militarily superior to its neighbours, and ruled over them with a fist of iron."
"Naturally," said Darg. "What of it?"
"Eventually, those neighbours all came to the same conclusion: that whatever differences they had among themselves, they were all united in one thing - the overwhelming need to be free from the Azzirians. So they gathered all their forces, and made total war upon the empire. The human told me," S'taass continued, "that, generations later, a conqueror whose name translates as Great Leader of Men came by the ruins of the empire's capital, and that he asked what name those ruins bore, and that no one could tell him."
"You take the point, I hope," said K'tag. "If our Empire becomes known as a state which will devastate whole worlds at will... then the paramount interest of all our neighbours will be to stop us, no matter what the cost. They will fight us, and we will fall. The battle would be glorious, and we would fight like true Klingons, and songs would be sung of it for ten thousand generations thereafter. And, at the end of it, we would all be dead." He drained his mug of raktajino and stood. "You must excuse me. I have some minor matters of business to attend to."
The atmosphere aboard the DujHod Chariot was tense, and more than a little foul. Tayaira carefully refrained from wrinkling her nose. If only Klingons and Nausicaans - especially Nausicaans - could be persuaded to bathe more regularly....
"Still nothing," reported Warrior Ch'gama from the comms station. Tayaira sighed, and stared out of the viewport, towards the blue-grey bulk of the planet Mageptis. They had been in orbit, now, for some twenty hours... in transit from the QIb laH'e''s hiding place for another thirty... and not one of the Klingons had thought to wash in all that time.
"I think we must give up on this one, too," she said. She consulted her datapad. "Try Factor Cysitra Cira'tenis, at the Galpor spaceport. Transferring codes to your console now." She touched the pad, made the necessary connections. The list of former contacts of the House of Sinoom was looking perilously thin, now.
"Transmitting comms request," said Ch'gama. Beside him, the newly-minted Lieutenant Jikkur sat silent in his Nausicaan bladed armour, his red eyes watchful. Tayaira had thought long and hard about including him on this mission, had decided in the end that she could watch him aboard the Chariot just as effectively as Klur could aboard the ship... and that, if he proved disloyal, he could do less damage here than back on the QIb laH'e'.
"Request sent, response pending -" Ch'gama's head jerked up. "I have something!"
The face that appeared on the Chariot's viewscreen was green and hairless, with wide shimmering eyes and a headcrest that unfolded as Tayaira looked, and flushed with a multitude of colours. She had never known what species Cysitra was, had never thought to ask. "Tayaira!" the factor said in a fluting voice. "Well, this is a pleasure unlooked for."
"It has been too long since I last visited this world," said Tayaira. "Is all well with you?"
"My life is full of joys and travails, as is every life," said Cysitra. "How may I oblige you, lady of the House of Sinoom?"
"For a start, we require landing clearance. Traffic control around Mageptis has grown strict."
"A most regrettable consequence of the war. You command, I see, a Klingon Chariot? I am intrigued. They are normally allocated to respected commanders...."
"I obtained it from a respected commander. You should not enquire too closely into the circumstances."
"Nonetheless, we are technically in Federation territory and you are technically an enemy vessel. But arrangements may be made. Your other needs, lady?"
"I have an encrypted isolinear chip whose contents need secure transmission on a particular subspace frequency."
"May one speculate as to the contents?"
"One may. I often do myself."
"I see." Cysitra's headcrest faded to pastel colours. "I deeply regret, of course, that the credit of the House of Sinoom is no longer what it was. In these trying times of ours -"
"It is natural that you should require payment in hard cash, in advance." Tayaira reached into her belt pouch, brought out a sparkling red crystal, held it up to the screen. "Kinarian flame jewels. Non-replicateable, and difficult to obtain in the Federation, due to the war. I have... a sufficiency." A very small, hard-won, personal reserve... she only hoped it would be enough.
"Such beauty," Cysitra sighed. "Certainly, also, payment hard enough to meet the most stringent requirements."
"Better payment than you might expect from the Federation," Tayaira said. "They pay only in promises and goodwill."
"How true. Let me make appropriate arrangements." Cysitra looked to one side, at something out of Tayaira's field of vision. "One moment. There. I am transmitting clearances now for your approach to a private landing pad. You will encounter no difficulties. Once there, we will arrange for the fulfillment of your other requirements, lady. Clearances and coordinates are being transmitted on our data channel even as we speak."
Tayaira looked down at her command console. "Confirmed. We will speak, then, in person, within the hour."
"My joy at that will know no bounds. Until that time, then." The screen went dark.
"That went well," said Ch'gama.
"You think so?" said Tayaira. "Let us make some arrangements, for contingencies that may arise."
The shuttlecraft dropped through the murky air of Mageptis.
Cysitra's landing pad was on the fringes of the Galpor spaceport, next to a pressurized dome that served as the factor's business office. The alien was there on the pad to greet them, robes fluttering in the cold wind that blew on the world's surface. In the bleak, industrial setting of the decrepit port, she looked exotic, out of place.
"Such a pleasure to see you once more in the flesh," she said, taking Tayaira's hand in hers. Her fingers were moist and webbed; the touch was clammy, but Tayaira steeled herself not to shudder or recoil. "Let us go to my private office, where we may arrange your most pressing business. Your valiant crew may amuse themselves, no doubt?"
"Of course," said Tayaira. She turned to the others. "Wait while our business is transacted," she said. "Explore the port, by all means, but do not stray out of communication range."
"There is much here to divert," said Cysitra, "though Galpor may appear less than aesthetic. Let us repair within." And she led Tayaira to the dome.
Inside, it was cool, humid, and brightly lit, the walls painted with abstract designs in colours that soothed the eye. "Will you take refreshment?" Cysitra asked. "I have spirits and elixirs from all over the galaxy in my private supply."
"Perhaps later," said Tayaira. Was there something different about the alien's face? "I must attend to my most immediate needs, first." She held up her hands. In her left, she held the isolinear chip Klur had given her - the one he said would get them rescued. In the other, the flame jewels glittered. Cysitra caught her breath.
"By all means," she said, "business first." She led Tayaira through a doorway, to a communications console. "This subspace communicator should meet your needs."
"Eminently suitable," Tayaira said. She sat down at the machine, slotted in the datachip, and keyed the transmission sequence. "Confirmation will be registered directly," she said, turning her head to look at Cysitra.
"I am gratified to be of assistance," said the alien. Was there something about her speech, too? Tayaira thought hard.
Her nose. That was it. Cysitra's nostrils were... distended, and fixed. She was wearing some sort of nose plugs. Most likely, Tayaira thought, filters against Orion pheromones. And that meant she expected a pheromonal attack....
Unobtrusively, Tayaira tapped at her wrist communicator, sending the prearranged short sequence of pulses. The one that meant betrayal.
"Is there someone outside the door?" she asked, though she had heard nothing. She had heard nothing, but as the alien's headcrest turned white and folded down, she knew she had guessed correctly.
"Ah," said Cysitra sadly, "I had hoped to avoid unpleasantness. But you must realize that the gratitude of the Federation is, perhaps, harder currency than you might think."
"Oh," said Tayaira, "I understand completely." Her hand dropped to the top of her boot, to the disruptor pistol concealed there. "It is simply a matter of good business, after all."
That makes 15 chapters so far. And hopefully at least that many again in the future.
One would almost think that you'd visited the time/places you write about, and then came back to the year 2013 to report it to the rest of us. CBS/Paramount should hire you to write the scripts for a new "Star Trek" series based on your story. I really mean that.
I stamp irritably up and down the bridge, turning things over in my head.
So far, everything is going pretty smoothly. The cynic in me keeps saying that's due for a change. But Sixth Fleet has not even seen combat yet - the situation at Valtoth Alpha was as close as it got - and, despite all the zooming around at high warp speeds, the Virtue is holding up pretty well. Chief Engineer Ahepkur isn't happy, though. But she's a Klingon */*species 5008*/*, and a discommendated Klingon at that, so she's never happy.
Perhaps it's simply that things are going too smoothly. I don't have enough to occupy my mind, it gives me time to brood and worry at ideas. Playing with phantoms, mostly. Still, some of them are worrying phantoms.
"I'm restless," I say aloud.
"Get some sleep, sir," says Tallasa.
"Can't sleep when I'm restless, can I? I've got too little to do and too much to think about. Energies bombinating in a vacuum breed chimeras."
I've been waiting for ages to work that quote in somewhere, but Tallasa just says, "And what about Admirals bombinating in a Chimera, sir?" I shoot her a dirty look.
"I'm working it all out in my head," I say, "and some of the possible answers I come up with - I don't like at all. Look. Taking it that this Kysang was a Federation agent -"
"For which you have no proof," says Tallasa.
"Well, if I had proof, he'd have been a lousy agent, wouldn't he? But anyway. Federation agents don't operate in a vacuum." Tallasa doesn't even speak, just glances meaningfully at the ocean of stars on the viewscreen. "Oh, shut up, you know what I mean. They have networks, contacts, all that good stuff. The stuff I got from Memory Alpha suggests he had links to one of the big commercial concerns in the Empire."
"So?" says Tallasa. "Starfleet Intelligence is undoubtedly trying to track the movement of resources within the Empire. It's exactly the sort of low-level statistical information that it's vital to know."
"Quite. But Kysang's contacts must have enabled him to get stuff. Not just information, actual goods and services. Like, for instance, the huge amounts of tricobalt and other nastiness Klur used on Bercera IV."
"Hence your suspicion that Klur acted on orders from some individual or group in the High Council," says Tallasa. "The owner of the shipping concerns?"
"That's one possibility. The other, much nastier one... well, we've just taken a huge chunk out of the Klink front line, mostly without firing a shot. The High Council is almost falling over itself to make concessions and reparations - and, even so, the Klinks' name is still mud with half the frontier systems. We've benefited from Bercera IV. So, bearing that in mind, can you see why I might be a bit worried that there was a Federation agent involved in the attack?"
It makes Tallasa's jaw drop, which is something. "You think Section 31 arranged the destruction of Bercera IV?"
"They're the ones who defend the Federation 'by any means necessary'. Would you put something like that past Franklin Drake?"
"I -" Tallasa closes her mouth. She's thinking. That's good.
"I don't want to believe it," I say. "It just worries me. And now I guess it's worrying you. Sorry about that." I really don't want to believe it. But Franklin Drake and Boris Savinkov are brothers under the skin, and that bothers me.
Anyway, there's nothing I can do about any of it just now. The Virtue is following the leader, Admiral Gref's massive Jupiter-class battleship Taras Bulba, as the fleet hurtles deeper into Klingon territory, away from the newly-liberated Valtothi */*species 191*/* -
Hold on a minute. How did a minor Alpha Quadrant species like the Valtothi get a designation number as low as 191?
---data not in local storage
---connection to main data archives not functional
- OK, I don't need to know that badly. Anyway. Away from Valtoth Alpha, and towards the Klingons.
"Incoming message from the flagship," says the comms ensign.
"OK, let's have it," I say.
"Uh," says the ensign, "it says all commanding officers to report to ready rooms for a conference briefing."
"Oh, joy," I say. "All right, tell them I'm on my way, then pipe it through."
Admiral Gref doesn't look happy. He has sound reasons not to, and anyway he never did. He is short and squat even by Tellarite */*species 4897*/* standards, and he glowers out of the screen now, clearly in a more than usually dyspeptic mood.
"We have reports from the Yll-Torican homeworld," he says. "Three hours ago, a squadron of Klingon raptors crossed the system at high impulse speeds, destroyed two civil defence corvettes, and carried out a series of orbital strikes on ground targets. So far, we have no firm figures on casualties. First word is that they aren't heavy - but it doesn't matter how light they are, there should not have been any."
"Were the raiders identified?" asks Rear Admiral Stuvek from the USS Niobe.
"Not as far as I know," says Gref. His mouth works. "This shows the kind of people we're dealing with. They're not even serious about their own reparations - as soon as they agree to pull out of Yll-Torica, they attack the place!"
"Well," I say, "the reparations have got a lot of the Klingons pretty worked up - my guess is, this is an isolated privateering raid, by some hotheads out to make a point."
"I concur with Vice Admiral Grau's analysis," says Stuvek. Gref looks even more unhappy.
"Hotheads," he says. "Every time the Klingons perpetrate some kind of atrocity, their High Council jumps up to say it's hotheads, rogue elements, captains exceeding their authority. Well, it's more than time we stopped letting them get away with that. I know these - Viking expeditions - of theirs are part of Klingon culture, and you know what? I don't care. Let them express their cultural values on their own people. They can leave us, and the neutral worlds, strictly alone."
"So what do you suggest, sir?" asks Captain Weymouth of the USS Warspite.
"I suggest nothing," snaps Gref. "I am going to carry out my orders, which are to take Sixth Fleet into Klingon space and carry out retributive action against the KDF. So far we've not seen combat. That is about to change." He takes a deep breath. "The Klingon High Council rejected the Federation's demand for the removal of their military station at Aznetkur. So, we're going to take it away from them anyway. The Fleet will proceed at maximum safe warp to that system, and we don't stop until that planetary fortress is reduced." Another deep breath. "We will now begin reviewing the system assault plans."
I think Ronnie's figuring it out- "Who Benefits?" except that this isn't Section 31's style-they go for the fast kill. Whoever's setting this up, is trying to ignite a war of attrition-and there's only one faction we know of that benefits from that...
...The Undine. (there may be OTHER factions that benefit from it, but somehow I'd see the Dominion being slightly less wasteful...)
Consider: the Klingons have less to escalate WITH in a war of strategic-weapons use. You could blow worlds one-for-one between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, and the Federation would come out as a viable, if somewhat reduced, entity-whereas the Klingon Empire would be extinct.
of course, in the end of THAT scenario, there wouldn't be much left of the Federation to defend, or much Starfleet left to defend what is left to defend.
"when you're out of Birds of Prey, you're out of ships."
I play KDF, because being a genocidal maniac works better with Klingons, than explaining it as a member of Starfleet.
There was one waiting by the door as Tayaira charged out - human, from the look of him. He was aiming a plasma pistol at the doorway, but the concentrated burst of pheromones caught him before he could fire, and he staggered, his eyes suddenly swimming with tears. He had no time to recover before Tayaira drove her dagger through his throat.
She never broke stride, running for cover as a plasma bolt hissed past her from somewhere nearby. She ducked behind a big metal thing, some piece of spaceport machinery, sheathed her blade, and pulled out her tricorder. Somehow, she had to take stock of the situation -
Footsteps nearby: she whirled and brought up her disruptor, then relaxed. Ch'gama, and the big Nausicaan marine, Hrchie. The Klingon was spattered with blood of several different colours; some of it, Tayaira realized with dismay, was his own. But he grinned at her as he crouched down beside her.
"What happened?" she asked.
"We got separated," Ch'gama said. "They tried to bottle us up in the ship." His finger stabbed at a blunt concrete-and-metal turret, one of several such that ringed the landing pad. "Tractor and damping field emitters, with those running, the Chariot's going nowhere. So we broke out before they could bring can openers." He shrugged, and winced. "Didn't quite go to plan. They got Durrog, and the rest of us scattered in the crossfire. What about you?"
"I got the Captain's message off," Tayaira said. "Confirmation signal came back. I suppose that's all that matters, but personally I'd like to live to see what happens next."
"What about the alien witch?"
"Oh," said Tayaira, "I paid her off. In full." Something was moving, off to one side. She checked her tricorder. Human life signs. She sighted her disruptor, fired, was rewarded with a yell of pain. "They're trying to flank us."
"Not much honour in dying at those hands," said Tayaira, "so let's not. How do we take these dampers out?"
"They're armoured." Ch'gama spat. "Durrog was trying to break one when they roasted him. But I don't think hand weapons'll do the job. Sir, these goons will have called for reinforcements -"
"I see R'rorro," Hrchie interrupted. Tayaira peered around the corner of their shelter.
The Ferasan warrior, R'rorro, was moving on the other side of the pad, with the speed and grace of his species. Bolts of green light flamed from his twin disruptor pistols. He seemed to catch sight of them, changed direction, ran straight across the landing pad. As he came to the wing of the shuttle, he gathered himself and leapt, clearing the obstacle in a single graceful bound. It was a breathtaking jump, a heroic jump -
Three plasma beams picked him off in mid-leap, and he crashed to the ground in a motionless smouldering heap.
Tayaira swore. She thought furiously. "Cover me," she said, and ran for the human she'd killed. Plasma beams hissed across the air, none coming near her. She snatched up the dead man's handgun, turned, and sprinted back to cover.
"You wanted a souvenir, sir?" said Ch'gama with a grin.
"Not quite. Those emitter turrets must have a power supply, yes? My guess is, they're tied in to the city power grid. My further guess is, that's a commercial grade EPS network, and just as clapped out as the rest of this place." She held up the captured weapon. "So, let's see what happens when we put a plasma weapon into the grid, set on overload."
Ch'gama's grin widened. "Oh, that's beautiful, sir. No wonder they pay you the big money."
They don't pay me enough for this, Tayaira thought, as she scanned the landing pad quickly. Those dome buildings were constructed to a standard pattern -
She saw the EPS connection point, ran for it, opened the access panel. Behind her, more gunshots crackled. The EPS channel buzzed angrily as she forced the plasma pistol into the waveguide. She set the gun for a force chamber explosion, turned, and sprinted back once more to the shelter of the machine.
"Did it -" Ch'gama started to ask.
Behind her, the EPS channel erupted. The hardened electroplasma system of a starship could pass a power surge along it, dissipating it harmlessly save for the occasional flash-bang of a transient overload. This commercial-grade system didn't have that facility. The explosion turned the EPS hookup into a column of sparks sixty metres high, and all around the spaceport, more columns like it burst up, as the power surge blasted through the network.
Tayaira barely needed a glance at her tricorder. "Power's down! Move!"
Suddenly, everyone was running towards the shuttle, friend and foe alike. Tayaira snapped off shots from her disruptor at any figure in an unfamiliar uniform, and tried not to worry about the returning plasma fire that scorched the air around her. She was first to reach the Chariot, slammed her palm down on the biometric lock, turned to shoot an approaching security goon. Ch'gama and Hrchie piled past her into the airlock; then there was a mad scrimmage, a sudden crush of bodies in which knives flashed and guns blazed. Somehow, she fought her way in, and hit the button to close the door. Someone reached through, trying to block the door with his arm; Tayaira burned the limb off with her disruptor before it could trip the door's safeties.
She dashed for the cockpit, hurled herself into the pilot's seat, ignoring the confused melee behind her. "Computer! Combat emergency. Skip all preflight checks and lift!"
It seemed to take an age, though it could only have been seconds, before the guttural voice of the machine said, "Confirmed," and the controls came alive under her hands. There was a sudden thump on the viewport before her. One of the security guards, an Andorian, had leapt onto the shuttle's nose and was aiming a plasma pistol at the port. Tayaira hit the thrusters, and the shuttle leaped up and forwards. The Andorian staggered, lost his pistol, and yet somehow retained a grip on the shuttle itself -
Behind her, there were sounds. Tayaira looked around. In the confusion at the airlock, a human security guard had made it on board. He was now alone, in a confined space, surrounded by angry KDF troops. It seemed to have dawned on him that that was a bad place to be.
She checked the shuttle's scanners. Beneath her, the port registered only small, scattered energy readings - the power grid failure was more extensive than she'd thought. There were two other flying craft on sensors nearby, though, and she had to assume they were hostile. Behind her, the human had started screaming.
"We don't have time to play! Put him in the transporter and get rid of him!"
"Send him where?" one of the Klingons asked.
"Straight to Gre'thor - random coordinates, wide dispersion!" The human, who had been sobbing with relief, started to scream again. The whine and hum of the transporter cut him off for good.
"Someone get on the disruptors, or I swear you'll envy him!" The Andorian was still banging on the viewport with his fists. The first sensor contact was close, too close. She had a read on it, it was an antiquated Federation-type shuttle, but still dangerous -
It was within a few hundred metres when the Chariot's disruptor array came live. The green beam burned through the shuttle's feeble shields inside a second, and tore into the nose of the craft, scattering white-hot fragments across the sky. The shuttle slewed and plummeted in a death-dive towards the ground.
The second ship came in fast, and firing phasers. The Chariot rocked and its shields sparkled, but they held. Klur had spent the time and money to upgrade the warp core, Tayaira noted; she had plenty of power for weapons and shields, at least. The enemy ship streaked past, leaving the Chariot rocking in the turbulent air. Amazingly, the Andorian was still hanging on.
"Looks like a Bajoran war surplus fighter," Ch'gama remarked.
"Fast but flimsy," Tayaira said. "Wait till he comes round for another pass... then double-shot the photon launcher."
Ch'gama nodded. The fighter ship was swinging around, lines of phaser light reaching out from its hardpoints. The Chariot's shields flared. Ch'gama waited a second, while Tayaira's heart stood still, then fired the torpedoes.
The enemy pilot was good; he managed to dodge one of them. The second one sprayed him across the sky.
Tayaira cut in the impulse drive, turned the Chariot's nose spacewards. The Andorian was flattened against the viewport.
"How's he still hanging on?" Ch'gama asked.
"Must have polyalloy armour under those coveralls, and a magnetic link on his boots or his belt," Tayaira said. She ran her fingers through her hair. "Great, so now we have a figurehead. All right, we know how to get out of here. Cloak, random-walk to the system's edge, then follow our prearranged flight path to the rendezvous point." And hope the Captain didn't get tired of waiting, she didn't add aloud. "How badly did we get hit? I know we lost Durrog and R'rorro...."
"N'Liss, too," said Ch'gama sourly.
"Someone else missing too," said Tayaira, craning her neck around to get a good look at her crew. "Where's Lieutenant Jikkur?"
Last edited by shevet; 09-25-2013 at 04:03 PM.
Reason: embarrassing typo
I will try to keep the momentum going on this, but I'm going into hospital for minor surgery in the next couple of days, so I will be slowing down for a while! (Just routine stuff, I hasten to add, nothing to worry about.)
@patrickngo - I could see J'mpok liking that answer! And certainly the Undine, off in fluidic space, wouldn't care much about the loss of class M worlds in the conventional universe....