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Checkmate

Posted on Fri Feb 9th, 2018 @ 10:03am by Captain Christopher James & Lieutenant Commander Summer Gallagher & Lieutenant Surovec & Lieutenant 'Iron Kitty' Ang & Lieutenant Caroline Isley & Lieutenant Michaela Holland & Ensign K'Muss & Lieutenant Ian Acainus

Mission: Episode 1: Dogs of War
Location: USS Defiant, Protostar System along Klingon Border
Timeline: Stardate 2263.206, MD 10

The Defiant and the Klingon Stealth Cruiser floated slowly away from each other in the dense debris field of the protostar. Wreckage from several of the fallen Klingon vessels was not too far off, hinting at the intense fight that had just minutes ago dominated the system. But for the moment, the vessels were silent.

Captain James arrived in Engineering to find that it wasn't quite as chaotic as he would have expected. Lt. Holland knew her stuff, and despite little combat experience, she had kept her team focused. Chris was impressed.

That didn't mean there weren't issues. An EPS Conduit rupture had left part of the upper balcony scorched. Numerous other areas showed signs of the battle, but the captain didn't know enough engineering to diagnose the issues. Upon spotting the young blonde engineer, Chris approached.

"Lt. Holland," he said over the fray. "I need to borrow your attention for a moment."

Michaela nodded somewhat somberly. She was still new to starship combat, and she wasn't very fond of it. None of her staff had been seriously injured yet, but that could change at any moment. She didn't like to think that by sending people to fix a problem, she could be sending them to their deaths. But at least her training was enough to keep her from falling to pieces too. She wanted to be fixing things, but she couldn't... people needed to know where the chief engineer was. And that meant she was stuck staring at the master systems display.

"Yes... of course, sir," Michaela said, turning from the display. She hadn't been standing near any of the damaged consoles or conduits, so she was probably the most impeccable looking person on the ship. Her uniform dress didn't look to have a single wrinkle on it, let alone stains or scorch marks. She wore her fancy work gloves, which also covered her forearms and elbows, just like a pair of opera gloves. It was nice not having to worry as much about being electrocuted if a console decided to overload while she was using it.

"First, I apologize for this and all future damage to the ship. I promise to do my best to minimize it," Chris said, unsure of what reaction to expect from his new Chief Engineer. "That said, I need your help. Impulse drive is offline. I know it will probably take longer than I would like to get it back online, so maybe we can find an alternative."

Michaela fought the urge to look suspicious. In her experience, starship captains rarely apologized, and even more rarely to their engineers. They asked for the impossible and expected it. But they also had to take the blame when things went wrong, and answer to the people above them. Apologies didn't usually trickle down the chain of command. But she would be the first to admit that she viewed captains through her own lens of having one as a parent. Her father had never apologized to her for anything. Michaela wasn't really the same as every other starship engineer though, so why should she expect all captains to act exactly the same?

Still, she couldn't help but look at least a little suspicious. "Well, um..." She stammered, her thoughts clearly lagging behind her tongue.

Surovec had let a giggle out at the captain's statement, as she helped her fellow operations officer repair stations.

"We're currently facing away from our Klingon attacker, which means the vast majority of our firepower will be pointed the wrong direction. I need a way to turn us around. Quickly." Chris paused to add emphasis. A simple firing of the navigational thrusters wasn't what he was looking for. He wanted something unconventional and wholly unexpected. Something their target wouldn't even have time to react to. "I'm not even going to pretend to understand the engineering, but I know the general basics of warp theory. Is there a way we can fire up the warp drive and instead of propelling us forward, we use it to create a small, localized warp effect on the space we're currently in, to change the direction we're facing?"

"Sir, what your asking for is a change in the common laws of just about every known bit science and engineering," the Tellarite stated as she crawled out from under a console. Of course, she had listened to the others as she worked. She rose up to her feet, dusted herself off and then grinned.

Chris's brow furrowed. "I'm not overly familiar with Tellarite expressions, but I get the feeling you're going to tell me it's doable."

"Ah, the grin gave it away. Good." returned Surovec as she walked past him to get working on the plan at the science station "I always wanted to make a new universal law, just never had the firepower to do it, until now."

Michaela crossed her arms over her chest, in the way most people did when they didn't like what they were hearing. "It's doable. But not done for good reason. It will most likely damage the ship." The simplest explanation of warp travel she'd ever heard was drawing a line on a piece of paper, then folding the paper in half and pushing a pin through where the ends of the lines met. Instead of traveling from points A to B, a warp field pushed the ship through the pinhole created in space. The pulsing motion of the warp field could be directed inward, to move a ship around inside of the warp bubble. But it wasn't like the gentle probing of a doctor trying to turn a baby around inside the womb. It would be like using a tidal wave to force a sailing ship out of a maelstrom.

"We could lose a nacelle. Maybe both of them." Michaela said simply. The nacelle mounts were thick and reinforced, but they were the parts of the ship most likely to fracture first under that kind of external stress.

"If we aren't able to get out of that ship's firing arc before it comes back online, we'll likely lose the whole ship," Chris said frankly. "Maybe we can do something to try and keep from maiming ourselves in such a maneuver. Put all additional power into shields and structural integrity to hold the nacelles together?"

Michaela couldn't help but wince. The captain was right, of course, but that didn't mean there wasn't a better plan out there. But she couldn't think of a better one. The best way to go about it would be to task the computer with running simulations on how to optimize the warp field for such a task, but there probably wasn't enough time for that, even if it would only take less than a minute.

"Shields won't help us, sir," Michaela said in a somewhat rueful tone. If anything, shields would make it harder to maneuver the ship using the warp field. The more energy the shields absorbed, the harder the warp engines would have to work to compensate in order to achieve the desired result. The maneuver would have to be quick. And it would also be violent. There was no getting around that. None she could see. "Structural fields should be a priority though." Michaela nodded. If they wanted to do this, she would have to get her people on it very soon. The warp field couldn't just be inverted with a snap of her fingers.

"Good. Then I'll leave you to it. And if it seems like it isn't going to work, let me know asap." Chris nodded and allowed his Chief Engineer to get back to work. He turned on his heel and began to make his way back to the turbolift.

---Transporter Room---
Petty Officer Langford nodded as Commander Gallagher and her team entered the transporter room. "I've got their cloaking device control room pulled up, ma'am. Limited security at the moment, likely because they aren't expecting visitors. I can beam you into one of the connecting rooms. If you hurry, you can probably take out security and secure the device before reinforcements arrive. Then it'll just be up to me to bring you all back."

The cait in her experience hid a small holdout weapon under the leather covering of her tall boots. She looked at the Petty officer and nodded her head. She liked surprising criminals and Klingons were no different them lawbreakers. She handed the Commander a rifle as she stepped onto the pad. She did a quick check on her own rifle as she looked at the Transporter chief. Her security detail followed her onto the pad.

Summer stood ready, "Energize," she ordered.

"Energizing," Langford said, as the away team dematerialized.

---Bridge---
<<>>

The turbolift opened again as the Captain returned to the bridge. Chris wasted little time before approaching the helm console. "Ensign, I'm going to need you to start making preparations for these maneuvers," he said, handing a padd to the young helmsman. "If this works, it'll be a hell of a maneuver to put on your resume."

K'Muss looked at the padd, his mind blown. "What was it they said. Warp flight, no left or right?" he asked himself, referring to pilot training. However, the more he read the more of a sense of "why the heck not" came over him. He nodded as he read. "I've been known to do some crazy things. Looks like fun" the cait smiled.

Chris walked to his chair, pushing the shipwide intercom button. "Attention all hands. Within a few minutes, we will be performing a high-intensity turn. All non-essential personnel should secure loose objects and buckle up."

Isley looked up from her console, eyes widening. She left the science console, which didn't have a chair at all, to sit at the empty secondary science station. With a deep breath, she strapped herself in and then swiveled the chair so she could watch the captain and the helm.

---Klingon Cloaking Room---
The away team reappeared in a dimly lit room, full of bizarre technology. It was all Klingon. That was for sure. But something wasn't quite right. In the center console, the cylindrical shape of the Klingon cloaking device was visible.

Ang gestured to her two officer to secure the door as she walked up to the device. For the cait, it was something rather odd about the device. Something she never saw before. Of course, she seen her fair share of Klingon weapons and ships, but this one was new, or advance somehow.

"I have a strange feeling about this." Ang mumbled aloud as she stepped over to the controls. She slinged her rifle over her shoulder and opened her tricorder to being downloading data from the terminal near the device.

'A room like this would've have at least two or four armed guards. But here we are beamed in having a look see. I don't like it one damn bit. This is to easy' she thought as she began pulling off wires and the like off the device

The security cait sighed once she took off the final cable and picked up the heavy Klingon device.

"For god sake, why does all engineering POSs have to be so damn heavy..." she stated and then added "....don't answer that. " she elbowed at her com device to page the Deifant and she made sure the Transporter chief knew she was holding the device "This is caitwoman We got the goods, beam us back...." a moment later the away team was transported back to the Defiant.

She knelt down and place the device on the floor as an Engineering or OPS team came in to take of the device, as the tactical cait ran to the nearest lift and make her way to the bridge.

---Bridge---
The report from the transporter room confirmed that their people were safely back aboard, with the cloaking device. Now there was only one thing left to do.

Isley pushed a few buttons on her console to confirm the initial reports. "The Klingon ship's engines are coming back online, sir." The blonde looked over to another display and then turned back to the captain. "They are on an attack vector. I don't think they have full power, but their intention is obvious."

"Oh for the love...It's not like I'm asking a snake to die in seven days after biting Chuck Norris. Just reconnect and follow her idea" Surovec stated to her Ops teams in the port side of the ship.

Once she switched off the comms she looked over her shoulder to the Captain "Our fare lady is ready as best she can, sir.' she turned around and typed into her board and sent an interactive button for K'Muss on his console, which clearly read 'Nitro', which was code for extra speed when the command came.

K'Muss looked at saw the new 'Nitro' button "Can't wait to try that one out. If it's anything like what I think it is" he thought, grinning

"We had better hope our preparations are enough then," Chris said, flicking the intercomm on his chair. "Lt. Holland, the Klingons are closing on us. It's now or never. Are we good to go?"

Theoretically... maybe. Michaela wanted to reply. But of course she couldn't do that. Not for her own sake, but for that of her fellow engineers. It was important that they believe that their chief engineer was confident in her decisions, even if that wasn't really true. She wasn't really good at that... at least, not as she saw herself. Maybe she'd pull it off this time.

"Aye, Captain. We're ready." Michaela said simply. Too many words and either her composure would crack or she'd say something dumb. Short and sweet... which was pretty much her in a nutshell.

"Brace!" Michaela called out once she'd closed the channel to the bridge. She wrapped her arms around the nearest support column and prepared herself to hold on for dear life.

The Klingon vessel was visibly bearing down on them, mere moments away from unleashing its arsenal.

Chris braced himself. This was the moment of truth. He'd either managed to put together a plan to save all their lives, or they'd all be dead in moments. "Lt. Ang, all power available power to forward shields. Stand by forward weapons arrays."

Lipat was about to reply to the captain's orders, when Ang, strolled onto the bridge. She stepped up to her second and placed her hand onto Lipat's shoulder as she looked the tactical console.

"Frontal hull armor also ready captain" came the voice of Ang towards the Captain "Weapons on stand by. Forward shields at full" she pressed a few keys and gave orders to security forces to secure engineering and other area of the ship of importance "Security forces are in place, sir.

Once his tactical chief had given the confirmation, Chris waited for a moment. The timing had to be perfect. Turn too early and the surprise wouldn't work and they'd likely crippled themselves for no reason. Turn too late and the Klingons would rip apart their weakened rear shields. He watched the display on his arm rest as the proximity ticked down. A few stray blasts from the stealth cruiser impacted their shields, but it was still too far away too do any real damage.

"On my command, Mr. K'Muss." Chris's eyes didn't leave the distance counter. A torpedo managed to impacted their rear shields and enough energy bled through to short out a relay, sending a small series of sparks flying. This had better work, he thought to himself. The ship would be in range in 3....2....

"Now!"

Here goes nothing,the Cait thought as he turned his attention to his console. "Initiated!" he said as he punched the "Nitro" button, anxious to see what would happen. Alan Shepard's prayer foremost in his mind.

The familiar hum of the warp engines powering up reverberated through the room, as the view outside the ship took on a bizarre almost bent looking appearance. The nacelle pylons creaked audibly throughout the vessel, and for a moment Chris feared he'd just ripped his ship in two.

---

The Klingon cruiser was mere seconds from their target. The General had just received reports of intruders within their cloaking chamber, and they had managed to escape...with the cloaking device. His face was hard with rage, a vein across his temple bulging visibly. That vessel could not be allowed to escape. They would cripple it, vent the oxygen into space, and board it to retrieve their cloak. He would personally see to it that every single member of that crew died.

"Enemy vessel in range in 15 seconds, General. Their engines are still offline. Rear shields nearly depleted. We have them!"

"Target their bridge," the general ordered, a snarl in his voice. "Let them know that no one steals from the Klingon Empire!"

The sound of torpedoes locking on target filled the bridge. This was it. The crew would have songs written about them, slaying one of the Federation's mighty Constitution Class Vessels. "Fir-"

He stopped mid word as the most bizarre scene they'd ever seen played out in front of them. The Federation cruiser hung there one second. And then for a split instant, it changed somehow. The space around it became hazy. Then, all light from that spot seemed to leave in a massive burst. The light shot out in every direction, but the ship appeared to be swallowed by darkness. Before any of the Klingons could even process the scene before them, before they could even have a passing thought, the answer was provided for them. Where once the rear of the Constitution-class vessel had been, they now saw the front of the vessel facing directly toward them. Its entire forward weapons arc in clear view.

The weapons officer looked down at his tactical display. The ship was registering numerous enemy weapons locks. The enemy shields were at full, bolstered by reserve power. He yelled in anger. "Qu'vatlh!"

The General found himself remarkably calm. "Well fought, Captain," he said calmly.

A second later, the Defiant's full arsenal came to bear on the Klingon craft. The vessel, even with its advanced technology, wasn't prepared for such an assault. They had taken too much damage in the first round and had rerouted their power to weapons, not shields. Now, it was too late.

---
The Klingon vessel before them broke apart from the onslaught, secondary explosions rippling through its hull. The Defiant bridge was certainly in better shape than their opponent, though the maneuver was not without consequence. Power to about a third of the ship cut out, plunging them into darkness, only the emergency grav plating keeping that section of the ship from floating off the deck plating. The pylons and nacelles had held, barely. But the warp drive was knocked offline and numerous plasma injectors blew out, spewing flames as they completely failed. None of it was permanent thankfully. It might take some time, and Engineering would certainly be displeased. But the vessel had survived.

Chris slumped back in his chair, the restraints still engaged. The alarm klaxons continued to go off, but he knew from the damage display that they'd be alright. With a sigh of relief, he disengaged the restraints. "Good work, everyone. We've just won a major victory here today."

Whew K'Muss thought. He never would've believed that would've worked. This I'll HAVE to tell RJ about!

"Today is a good day for the Empire as well, captain. Those warriors died in honorable combat, against an honorable opponent. No doubt the warriors of the Empire, will want to seek us out to bring honor to the fallen" Ang stated as she read the damage reports from weapons array and shield emitters, which was rather minimum "But, that'll be for another day."

If there was a reply from the captain or whomever, Ang didn't hear it. She hurt and knew that she'll be facing another series of shots soon. It was an slow cure, after nearly turning into a zombie. It was painful during the shots and the rush of meds burned it way through out her body, but, at least the hairless has been reduced over the course of the many injection. She hated being hairless, except when she was with her Doctor.

'Something about peach fuzz and human flesh...' she srimked at the thought as she stated once she read the sensor reading "I am not detecting any Klingon ship in the area, sir..." she followed her statement with statuses, with some useful data on what remain of the ships out in the void, before ending her report with "...Sir, purrrmission to go to sickbay for my day's shots"

"Granted. Get the hell out of here," Chris said, a smile on his face as he shooed the Cait officer away.

With a nod to the captain and then to Lipat, the cait security chief departed and headed right to sickbay.

"Ensign, well done on that manuvour," Chris said. "Let's get out of this debris field so we can use the work bees safely. Obviously, impulse is offline, so...best possible thruster speed? I guess?" The captain gave a shrug. He figured the young Cait could figure it out.

'Givin you all she's got, Captain." K'Muss replied. He'd always wanted to say that. "Engaging thrusters now."

Surovec rose from her station and stepped over to the one of the walls panels and opened it. The Ops chief looked at the circuit and wiring briefly as an crewmen brought over and tool kit and tricorder. She seen the sensors reading of what just happen. She didn't want to warn and worry anyone. She had sent the data readings to the captain, Holland and K'Muss of the Impulse issue, let alone the hull around area of the Impulse. The sensors had to be rewired to look at the thrusters. She looked over to the Bolian lady sitting at the Ops station.

Surovec scanned the circuit board, pulled out two wires and place them into different slots. The Bolian nodded her head, and transfer data to K'Muss and the captain.

"Hopefully, our manuvour there didn't do too much additional damage to the Impulse Engines. They were already in rough shape before we decided to break physics." Chris read over the report as it loaded on his screen, noting the precautions the Tellarite had put in place. "Ah, I see what you did there. Quick thinking."

Surovec replied while closing the panel.

"Had to bypass one or two things to make sure the magnetic holds were in good working order, sir. Just in case you had me, Ops, fluffy kitty behind the wheel and all of Engineering to get out an push our fine lady to the nearest gas station" Surovec stated which she knew the Captain, Holland, and K'muss knew. Of course, it was joke of sorts, to lighten the mood a little more. "Besides, the cait EVA suit we have might be a wee bit tight. He is, after all, a grown boy."

K'Muss laughed as he rolled his eyes. "I dunno about that. Should fit just fine. Standard issue Kit here." he laughed. "I'll be glad to stay inside though." he flashed a quick smile, loving the banter.

"I'll have you know, fluffy..." not missing a bite and smiled, before she laughed as she head to the lift doors "...I'm one of the prettiest tellarites in this quadrant. Not as great on the eyes, like the Defiant and what we did today, the Empire, will think twices before messing with us. Captain, if you want this sexy lass..." she loved her friends and captain like a tellarite family she seems them as, after what they've done together and helped her out with her pinned by a Romulan inside the hull of the Defiant "...you'll fine me working on those Impulse engines. I think Holland and her gang getting to work, as well."

"Sounds like a plan. Keep me posted on your progress. And don't go falling out any hull breaches. We need you safe aboard the ship for the next time I get some halfcocked idea in my head."

"Bah." she said then added before the doors closed "Of course, I'm always safe"

Chris reached down to his armpad, and pushed a few commands to lower the Alert status. The red warning lights faded to yellow. A handful of clicks later and he opened a shipwide comm. "Attention all hands, we are downgrading to yellow alert. As soon as engines are back on line and we're underway to Starbase Arcadia, we'll be returning to normal operations. Good work, everyone."

 

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