I do not own Star Trek, or Star Trek Online. Those products and trademarks are owned by CBS and Paramount. I am merely writing a Short story in regards to the Cryptic Game – Star trek Online. So Lawyers of those two icons please do not message me saying I am breaching copyright. As stated before, I do not own Star Trek, and merely play the game Star Trek Online and decided to write a short story (snigger) about my character if he was involved in that Universe. Now with that over and done with, on with the show.
On the runabout, a different scenario was playing.
“How much longer before that deflector is aligned, ensign” said Commander Tal’oa angrily.
“One more minute sir, with calculations this dedicate, it cannot be rushed any more than it is sir” replied the ensign, obliviously in fear for his own life.
Commander Tal’oa debated shooting the man right there and then, but for the moment he was needed for him to get to the wormhole, and back home. Around him on the runabouts bridge, all the crew members positions were filled, half a dozen officers in all. They had been chased all the way from New Romulus, and despite the runabouts advanced systems, and the damaged state of their target, the crew of the Zuikaku had pursued them all the way to the nebula.
“Should have set their self-destruct off when we had the chance” thought Tal’oa.
“Sir, the Zuikaku has charged their phasers and loaded their torpedo tubes” called out ensign Mohoa.
Commander Tal’oa anger increased fivefold, they were so close. He wasn’t about to let a stubborn Starfleet admiral stop him at his greatest triumph of his career. He could see the sovereign class ship on the view screen to his left, on his right, on another monitor, was the wormhole that would give them safety.
“Time to the wormhole” demanded Tal’oa
“Another two minutes sir” replied Ensign Mohoa.
Two more minutes, all we need to do is distract them for another two minutes. Thought Tal’oa.
But the commander also knew that the Zuikaku would open fire before his runabout reached the wormhole, in an effort to disable them. All Tal’oa needed was five seconds to make his next decision.
“Ensign Mahoa, bring us around, and open fire”
Commander Tal’oa watched as the biggest smile appeared on the ensign’s face, and with several taps of his console, bring the runabout around. As the Commander watched the Zuikaku appear in the forward viewport, a fierce smile appeared on his face. He was about to do what he had been born to do.
A loud warning klaxon blared through Command per Tarah’s console.
“Sir, the runabout has come about and has locked weapons on us” stated Tarah, her voice raising several levels.
Admiral Aaron didn’t waste a heartbeat. “Transfer auxiliary power to the foreward shields”.
The sound of phaser fire striking the shields sounded through the bridge, and a slight tremor was felt by everyone on the bridge.
“Shields at sixty eight percent, their manoeuvring to try and stay close to our hull sir” reported Tarah.
Commander Joros took the time to glance up from her chair to look at the commander.
“What did they hit us with Tarah? that’s quite a hit from a runabout class ship”
“Guess I underestimated their firepower sir. Whatever has been done to that runabout has been a substantial change.”
“Target their engines commander, disable them” interrupted Admiral Aaron.
Commander Joros looked down at the helmsman, adding her own voice. “Drop to half impulse ensign, let’s see if we can trip them up”
“Aye sir” came voices from two different directions.
Admiral Aaron watched on the forward view screen as the black runabout seem to dance around ion space. With phaser blasts passing left and right to the ship. With targeting systems down, the admiral knew the chances of Tarah hitting a rapidly manoeuvring ship was slim, but they had to take a chance. Even one good hit could change the course of the engagement.
The pilot of the runabout on the other hand, was making every effort to make the Commanders job more difficult. Sticking close to the hull of Zuikaku where possible, all the well taking opportunity shots to the larger ships shields. Several more blasts from the runabout struck the shields.
“Shields at sixty percent” reported Tarah.
It was at that point the admiral had an idea, and without hesitation he spring to action.
“Full emergency stop, rotate our axis to port side”
As the helmsman slam her left hand down on the console with her right hand tapping several buttons, the admiral felt himself lurch forward slightly as the internal dampeners weren’t quite quick enough to compensate for the sudden maneuverer. As Zuikaku came to a quick stop in space, the runabout, had in that time had come about and was about to make another run from the forward saucer. The pilot, seeing the larger ships sudden stop and rotate to his starboard, jerked to the left hand side, to run on the ventral side of the saucer.
However, the sudden maneuverer also put the runabout in range of the larger ships torpedo tubes.
“Fire” ordered Commander Joros, cutting off Tarah in mid-sentence.
As the commander tapped a button on her console, a trio of blue halos erupted from the torpedo launcher on Zuikaku’s ventral saucer. The runabout pilot quickly turned his ship around. Two of the torpedoes missed, however the third slammed into the runabouts aft shield. A blue glow surrounded the runabout as its shields took the blunt of the impact.
“Runabouts shields are at twenty two percent sir” reported Commander Tarah.
“Guess whoever designed that ship didn’t have time to work on its shields” pondered Commander Joros.
“Also it could be the power drain of operating the warp systems and weapon systems is meaning they have to reduce power in other areas sir”
Admiral Aaron took a moment to ponder his officer’s statements, however, he didn’t have time to make his own comment before Tarah spoke up again.
“They’re launching torpedoes sir, incoming”
Before Admiral Aaron could make another order, the sound of the torpedoes striking the shields sounded through the bridge, along with a jolt through the deck that almost made him stumble.
“Report” ordered Commander Joros.
“Shields took the blunt of the impact sir, shields are at fifty percent. But they seem to be holding”.
Admiral, Aaron took a moment to determine who had spoken to him, and seeing ensign Torina looking in his direction, concluded it had been her speaking.
“What is it ensign?” Asked Admiral Aaron.
“I believe those torpedoes were a diversion sir. They have picked up pace and are headed away from us”
Admiral Aaron didn’t need to be told where they were heading, but decided t get confirmation. Turning to Commander Aisha, he didn’t even need to speak words, as the commander had already picked up on his meaning.
“Yes sir, they are headed to the wormhole, they will be there in one minute sir” reported Aisha.
Admiral Aaron considered his options, considering he had no idea what had been taken from his ship, or the danger it could pose, he had only one option left. Turning to Tarah, he made sure he had her full attention.
“Load forward torpedo launchers with high yield torpedoes commander”
Commander Tarah’s eyes widened for a second, before a nod of her head responded to the admiral’s order.
The admiral watched as his first officer rise from her chair, and walk over to him.
“You sure you want to do that sir, we have no idea what they may have taken”
“Exactly commander” replied Aaron “better safe than sorry” a slight smile appeared on the admiral’s face. “But you know me Commander, I’m going to give them one more chance”.
A slight smile responded to his statement from Utoeze as she turned away to face the view screen, while the admiral turned to face Commander Tarah.
“Hail them Commander”
“Aye sir, hailing”
A few seconds passed by, when the surprised voice of Tarah responded.
“They’re returning our hails sir”
Admiral Aaron took a moment to take a breathe, and turn to the viewscreen.
The viewscreen containing the fleeing runabout was replaced with what looked like the forward compartment of the runabout. The admiral could see at least half a dozen individuals, working at various consoles. However what dominated the screen was a large Andorian, with a fierce looking expression on his face. It was oblivious to the admiral, this was the individual he had exchanged a few words with in the shuttle bay. His anger eyes were a dead giveaway to the admiral.
“I’m guessing I’m addressing the leader of the commando squad that invaded my ship, yes?”
The admiral watched as as the Andorian raise his head slightly before answering.
“Yes, and what do you want admiral” the Andorians voice was sharp, precise, demanding.
Commander Joros watched as the admiral shift his stance slightly. “I’m giving you a chance, please cut your engines and lower your shields”
Admiral Aaron took a breathe, before responding. Commander Joros also noted his eyes had become sharp, like if the admiral could launch his eyes at the Andorian to pierce his skin.
“Or we will be forced to destroy you”.
A chuckle sounded over the comm system, as a smile appeared on the Andorians face, but it was a smile that had none of the joy one would expect.
“Please admiral” began the Andorian dismissively “I know your reputation, you won’t destroy us” Commander Joros noted that the Andorian seemed quite confident with his statement.
“Then you don’t know me at all, last chance, stand down or be destroyed” stated Aaron.
Another chuckle sounded over the comm system. “Goodbye Admiral, I won’t say it’s been a pleasure to have to deal with you. We won’t meet again”. Before the admiral could respond, the Andorian slammed his hand down onto the console. In a second, the cockpit of the runabout was again replaced with a viewscreen of the azure nebula, with the runabout fleeing to a swirling vortex of a wormhole.
“Twenty seconds until they enter the wormhole entrance sir” reported ensign Torina.
Admiral Aaron took a moment to breathe. He had tried everything possible to resolve the situation peacefully. However, the crew of the runabout refused to come peacefully. He had only one choice, considering the circumstances. Considering he had no idea what information they had potentially stolen from his ships datacores, he couldn’t risk any information being released.
A quick series of taps sounded from Commander Tarah console.
“Torpedoes locked sir”
Commander Joros took a moment to look at the admiral, it was oblivious it was determined on his next action. But it was also oblivious that on his face he didn’t like what he was about to do.
“Ten seconds until they enter the wormhole sir” stated ensign Torina, her voice soft.
Admiral Aaron took a quick moment to close his eyes, and open them again before raising his voice slightly.
A trio of blue halos erupted from Zuikaku and quickly sped to the fleeing runabout as it closed to the wormholes opening. The torpedoes looked to be running straight and true, until at the last second they seemed to be affected by some unseen wave like water and harmless pass by the runabout sport quarter and go sailing off into the azure nebula.
A split second later, the runabout entered the wormhole and seemed to be engulfed by it like a child hiding themselves under a blanket. Before anyone on the Zuikaku Bridge could react, the wormhole started to collapse in on itself. It a split second the wormhole disappeared in a small flash of white light.
“They’re gone sir, wormhole has also closed behind them” reported Aisha.
Commander Joros turned to face Aisha, leaving the admiral to continue glazing at the forward viewscreen. “Any chance we can find out where they’re going, or open the wormhole again Commander?”
A shake of Aisha’s head greeted her question. “No sir, we are still unsure of how they created the wormhole, or who created it”
“Who?” Asked Aaron
“Yes sir, I did detect the runabout using their deflector to modify the wormhole slightly. But they didn’t create it. I suspect whoever is on the opposite side opened the wormhole for them. Looks like they had this raid well planned sir”
A moment of quietness fell over the bridge. Commander Joros could easily detect the hint of defeat that would present among the bridge crew members. They had failed, despite everything they had done, they had still failed to catch or stop the intruders. A sigh emitted from Admiral Aaron, as he turned away from the front viewscreen and walked back to his captain’s chair. Sitting with a thump in the chair, the admiral popped his right elbow onto his knee, and used his hand to support his head.
“I want everyone to know this” began the admiral. “You did the best you could in an unknown and chaotic situation. Don’t let this defeat get you down, you did your jobs as Starfleet officers. But sometimes, you cannot win them all”
Commander Joros watched as the bridge crew assimilate the admiral’s statement. A few nervous smiles appeared on several faces. It was oblivious some crew members were buoyed by the admirals statement, but we’re also scared to show it. Like they were scared if they were caught smiling, other crew members would look down on them.
“Sir” came Tarah’s voice, it was sharp, slightly raised.
“Yes commander” replied the admiral
“We may want to get out of here. I’m detecting several Tholian cruisers and two battleships on an intercept course. They’re approaching from deeper inside the azure nebula. Estimated time of intercept is two minutes”.
Admiral Aaron immediately rose from his command chair. Tholians thought the admiral. Don’t want to be caught by them, they really do not like me.
“Ensign Ferruso, come about. Return the way we came. Full impulse. Once we clear the azure nebula go to warp eight”
Nodding the admiral proceeded to sit back in his captain’s chair.
“Are our long range communications back online Ms Aisha?” Asked Commander Joros.
“No sir, we are still one hour from re-establishing long range communications”
Commander Joros turned to face Tarah, who was busy tapping away at her console.
“Status of weapon systems?”
Commander Tarah took a moment to consult her console, before raising her head again to look directly at Joros.
“Torpedoes are ready. Phaser targeting systems are still offline but their fully charged. Shields are at seventy percentage and continuing to rise”.
Joros nodded her head. The ship was in as good of a condition she could be considering the circumstances if they had to make a running fight of it. Satisfied, the commander walked over to her command chair, on the admiral’s right hand side, and sat down.
“Guess our answers we have to wait sir” stated Joros to Aaron
“True enough Commander, but hopefully main engineering come duo with something from examining the tricorders we recovered” there was a hint of hopeful optimism in the admiral’s voice.
“Sir, we have left the azure Nebula” stated ensign Ferruso.
“Tholians are right behind us sir” added ensign Torina.
A smile appeared on the admiral’s face. “Let’s see how badly they want us. Let’s book it ensign” ordered Aaron.
Commander Joros couldn’t help but smile at the admiral’s catchphrase he used sometimes when ordering warp speed. The Zuikaku stretched in space for a second before jumping to warp in a blinding flash of light.
Admirals log stardate 92313 Supplemental
After proceeding away from the Azure Nebula at warp eight for thirty minutes, the Tholians gave up the chase and returned back to the azure nebula. We are proceeding back to New Romulus. We are still unsure of the full story of why we were attacked, and by who.
Admiral Aaron sat alone in his ready room, tapping away on his console. It had been a full hour since the runabout with its commando squad had disappeared into the wormhole in the azure nebula, and thirty minutes since the Tholians had given up their chase of the Zuikaku. In that time, the admiral’s head had been focused on questions. Why was his ship attacked, by whom and why. Another question in his head was how a supposedly dead Lieutenant, apparently returned from the grave, had been part of the raid. There were too many questions, and barely any answers.
Aaron went to take a drink from his cup, a ceramic cup. It had been a gift from an old friend, and unlike some ceramic cups, this one was reinforced. The admiral was sure if we dropped it on someone’s head, the person’s skull would crack before the cup did. However, he quickly discovered it had long since been emptied of its contents. The admiral thought briefly about refilling it, but decided against it.
Already had enough of this stuff. Thought Aaron.
A chime from his ready room door interrupted any further thoughts.
The admiral watched as his first officer, Commander Joros, enter his ready room with a PADD in her hand. Walking over to the admiral desk, Joros stopped just on the opposite side, before handing the PADD to the admiral.
“Repairs are on schedule sir. The phaser array targeting systems are operational again, and long range communications should be online by the time we reach New Romulus”
“Thank you Commander” replied Admiral Aaron, after quickly glancing at the PADD.
“Quite a night wasn’t it sir” stated Joros.
“More like close to very early morning now Commander” replied Admiral Aaron.
Joros took a moment to look at the admiral. It was oblivious she had just interrupted the admiral deep in thought. It didn’t take a genius to see what the admiral was most concerned about.
“Still hard to believe we have Lieutenant Richardson, or someone that looks exactly like the lieutenant in our brig sir”
Not satisfied with the admiral’s response, Commander Joros decided to continue to press the issue.
“The question is, exactly why she was with the group that attacked us. Also more interesting is why she decided to tell us anything”
“Well you heard one of her answers. Apparently she was tired of the life she had been living so far”
Commander Joros shook her head. “I don’t for a second believe that is the entire story sir. She is hiding something big”.
Admiral Aaron took a moment to smirk “not a fan of mystery’s commander?”
“Not when they threaten the safety of the crew, the ship, and her captain”
A brief moment of silence descended across the room, Commander Joros decided she was tired of the admiral deflecting the core issue, and decided it was best to confront him face-on. It was her job as first officer.
“Permission to speak freely admiral”
Joros hands, which had been behind her back since the exchange, came down onto the desk’s surface, a small audible bang could be heard.
“Admiral, you did not kill the Lieutenant back then”
“I might as well have pulled the trigger myself Utoeze” came the admiral’s reply. However, his voice was soft, low, like a massive weight had just been placed onto his chest.
Joros hands came up from the desk, and folded themselves across her chest.
“Considering what was occurring sir, there was nothing that could have been done. That ship came out of warp right on top of us and didn’t hesitate to open fire the second they could”
“But honesty what was I thinking Commander, Sending a squad to an un-defended critical installation that we needed to complete our mission. One of the first things you learn as a Starfleet officer is to always assess the risks”
“And the second thing you learn is that you need to take risks, even with your life, despite any danger sometimes” countered Joros.
A sigh emitted from the Admiral. In a split second the commander had an epiphany, she now knew what had been bothering the admiral so much. She also hated herself it had taken so long for her to realise, as it spoke directly to the admiral’s nature.
“You not feeling this way because you lost one crewman. Your feeling this way because back then, and now, you did not see this from occurring. You couldn’t predict it, and counter it before those situations caused harm to people”
While the admiral didn’t move, didn’t even change his rhythm of breathing, Joros could tell she had struck the core of the issue. His blue eyes had softened slightly, and it seemed whatever weight was on his shoulders seemed to be weighing a bit less.
“You pride yourself on knowing people’s true nature the second you meet them” continued Joros “it doesn’t always work, but a lot of times you can see and predict someone’s true motives. However many times you are wrong. But usually it doesn’t affect or hurt anyone else but yourself.”
Again, the admiral didn’t change his rhythm of breathing, but had laid back into his chair, his hands at his side. Seemingly engrossed by the Commander’s words.
“That’s what’s bothering you sir. I would be negligent if I didn’t point out your own words to the crew back there. We did our best at the time, but sometimes you cannot win them all….”
Commander Joros watched as the admiral closed his eyes to her words.
“Or predict everything that will occur. Despite how much we may want to protect the people we serve, command, or care about”
A silence descended upon the ready room, like the room itself had become burdened with the words exchanged between the two senior officers. The atmosphere itself seemed to be charged, and it was like the ready rooms furniture itself dare not breathe, least it disturb an unknown sleeping giant.
A chuckle sounded from the admiral. As the commander watched Aaron open his eyes, she saw they had a spark to them. Obliviously the Admiral had thought of something funny in relation to her words.
That, and the smirk he had on his face was oblivious.
“You’re really seemingly getting to know who I truly am aren’t you Commander” stated the admiral.
“Job of a first officer sir, would it be doing my job if I didn’t notice if the ships commander not himself”.
“True enough” admitted the admiral.
Joros let out the breathe she didn’t realise she had been holding. Sometimes she wondered how first officers didn’t become basket cases with dealing with some captains and their quirks.
“Anyway, back on topic Commander. Have we found out what the commando squad manage to download from our engineering core?”
A shake of a head greeted the admiral’s question. “No, sir. We are still trying to figure out what was taken.
A chime interrupted the discussion as a voice sounded through the comm system. “Engineering to Admiral Lawford”
Aaron took a moment to recognise the voice of his chief engineer. “Admiral Lawford here, what can I do for you commander”
“We have managed to extract data from the tricorders left behind by the commando squad members we captured”
A smile appeared on Joros face, and Aaron couldn’t but help share the sediment.
“Well done Commander Tindorle. Myself and Commander Joros will be down their shortly”
However, the admiral half raised from his seat, was stopped by Commander Tindorle continuing to speak.
“Sir, I highly recommend that we get the entire senior staff on this meeting sir”
A raised eyebrow appeared on Commander Joros face as the admiral looked at her.
“May I ask why commander” questioned Aaron
“Trust me sir, the information we have gathered is crucial. It also affects the entire senior staff. I wish I could tell you more over the comm system. But I believe it is best you see for yourself”
Admiral Aaron took a moment to think. It was highly unusual for a senior staffer to ask their commanding officer to have the entire senior staff present for a meeting. Some captains and admirals preferred to keep some information contained to people they believed were the only ones who needed to hear critical, and possibly sensitive information. Not only that, but some senior officers over estimated sometimes what information affected what people, and ship captains and admirals were usually most experienced to be able to make a determination based on their years of experience.
Aaron knew Commander Tindorle was aware of this. For her to make the request for all senior staff to be present, was not only unpresented, but was a sure sign that whatever she had found, was indeed crucial.
“We are on how way Commander. All senior staff will be in main engineering in the next ten minutes”
“Acknowledged”. With an audible pop, the admiral heard the comm system close down.
Reaching over to his desk, Aaron tapped a button on his console, activating the ship wide comm system.
“All senior staff, report to main engineering in the next ten minutes. No exceptions”
With another tap of the console, Aaron leaned back into his ready room chair, his right hand along the side of his face, forefinger running along the side of his nose.
Commander Joros, her hands folded behind her back, crooked her head to the side slightly.
“Don’t think I have ever heard Elbra make that kind of request” her voice was monotone, but carried a slight sense of worry the admiral could detect.
“Indeed” responded Aaron. “The commander must have found something really important…”
“Or very dangerous to us or the federation” finished Joros.
Admiral Aaron rose from his chair, and walked around his ready room desk. As he headed for the rooms door, Commander Joros fell into place behind and to the admiral’s right hand side.
As the ready room doors parted, and the two officers walked onto the bridge, the admiral couldn’t help but agree to the Commanders statement.
Commander Tarah, who was obliviously busy filling in her replacement at her tactical station, noticed the admiral and he commander headed for the turbolift. With a quick glance around her to confirm everything was normal on the bridge, she jogged slightly and managed to catch up with the admiral, just as the turbolift doors opened.
“Anything you can tell me sir about this, muster call, if you can.” asked Tarah.
“Honesty I don’t know anything myself Commander. All I know is that whatever Main engineering has found, it is really important” responded the admiral.
As the three officers entered the turbolift, the admiral couldn’t but help think that maybe, finally, he would get some real answers.
“Main Engineering” stated Commander Joros.
As the turbolift beeped in acceptance of order, and the doors closed in front of the three officers, a single thought stayed in the admiral’s head. A thought that brought him a sense of purpose, and gave him renewed energy.
Time to found out what this has all been about.