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In the Thick of It

Posted on Wed Apr 22nd, 2020 @ 12:47am by Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Jurot & Commander Zack Hawkins & Lieutenant Thaddeus Scott

Mission: Episode 1: Armageddon - The End of All Things
Location: USS Nogura, Bridge
Timeline: Day 4 at 1415

Photons. Quantums. Lances of phased energy. Starfleet forces exchanged fire with their cybernetic enemies, explosions all around the hot zone of activity. Four Borg vessels of varying shape and size surrounding the assembled fleet of Admiral th’Zorati. A brilliant flash of white signalled the arrival of a new ship into the combat zone and thankfully for the Starfleet forces, the emerging ship was one of their own, even if it was older than all of the other ships in the fight.

“Bring weapons to target bearing! Target the Borg vessel nearest the Atlantia,” Commander Hawkins declared loudly over the sound of action stations and the voices in the command center of the Nogura.

Jennifer walked back to her own side of the command table and placed her hands on its lighted top. She observed the DRADIS readouts and noticed the configuration of the combatant vessels. “Commence attack pattern sierra two,” she ordered commandingly. “Helm, keep our dorsal broadside acclimated toward the Cube.”

She looked at the CO from across the table. “Should we launch starfighters, sir?”

“What fighters we have,” he scoffed as he shook his head. “Have them corordinate with the Atlantia squadron. We don’t have enough of our own to be effective,” Zack nodded as he looked out of the viewscreen and the unfolding battle in front of them. “Helm. Raise bow ten degrees…” he trailed off as his own tactical training came in to play. His first major engagement. “Aft phaser arrays, fire. Make a perimeter to protect our Vipers,” he ordered. If he could protect them long enough to meet up with the others, they would be able to make an impact. Alone, as they were, they would be nothing more than a fly buzzing near ones ear.

Jurot activated her comm panel and spoke clearly and concisely. “Launch all fighters. Rendezvous with fleet fighters and take your orders from the Atlantia CAG. Repeat, launch all fighters.” She then terminated the comm once again. Observing the readouts on her own console, and doing quick math in her head, the XO blinked and issued another order. “Our firing solution is too low. Our fighters will have enough trouble getting through as it is. Rotate us 7 degrees to port and clear them a path above the aft torpedo tubes.”

The appropriate officers nodded and she felt the slight roll of the Nogura to one side. In one sense, she was excited. This was the first time she would get to put her tactical skills to the test against the real enemy. In another sense…. She looked across the table at Zack. She knew he felt the same.

As Zack watched the battle unfold, a Petty Officer ran up to him and delivered a note in to his hand. The Commander eventually looked down at it and took a minute to read. “Starbase 718, the Bolarus Shipyards and the Fleet Depot near the Delta system have all been destroyed. The starships Excelsior, Phoenix and Pegasus led a resistance of thirty ships near Benzar. Admiral Nechayev is dead,” he called out over the din, temporarily silencing everyone. “We’ve got to do all we can to make the sacrifices of our people worth it!” he cried out. “XO. Have the armory break out the tricobalt warheads. We’ll launch every single warhead at our disposal until these bastards are gone,” he told sternly, utterly resolved to win at all costs.

The ship rocked massively under the barrage of three torpedoes impacting the upper hull of the ship, her shields fluctuating wildly for a few seconds.

As the CO spoke, Jennifer’s hand moved up toward her mouth. “Admiral Nechayev,” she whispered under her breath. Admiral Alynna Nechayev of the Excelsior, and the commander of the fleet, had been a close family friend and her loss was tragic. She looked up toward the heavens for a split second before focusing again on the battle at hand.

“Commander!”

Zack turned, his attention quickly diverted away from his console by Lieutenant Scott at the aft communications station, looking for answers and reasons for his interruption

“Atlantia…” Scott spoke, “she’s gone. th’Zorati, dead.”

“Confirmed,” another voice called out. “The fleet is breaking down. We’re receiving orders to pull back,” the voice called out.

Hawkins glanced at Jurot next to him and then lowered his head in disbelief. With the commander of the fleet dead, it was no surprise the Starfleet forces were beginning to fracture.

“We’re receiving an encrypted message from the Enterprise, sir.”

“Put it on.” Jennifer said without waiting for the CO to respond. One didn’t keep the legendary Captain Worf waiting for long without feeling his wrath.

“This is the Enterprise,” boomed Worf’s voice. “All fighters are ordered to fall back to the nearest ships. Starfleet has been brought to its knees by Borg, but this is not the time to give up. Fall back to safe positions and heed this order: Survive, be strong. Remember; today is a good day to die, but tomorrow would be better. Enterprise out.” It had been given in the concise and simple style; no doubt with a stone face and a voice to match.

In the time they had been distracted by Worf’s message from the Enterprise, Scott had been monitoring the scene of the battle. It did not go well. “Commander Hawkins, sensors are detecting several additional Borg vessels on approach.”

Hawkins and Jurot, in a quiet conflab for a few seconds, finally came up with a plan. “Transfer all weapons power to the engines,” the Commander ordered, “set a course for Deep Space 4, maximum warp,” he ordered. It was time to forget the fleet and focus on surviving, just as Nechayev, and later Worf, had ordered.

“Maximum warp, aye sir!”

But just as the ship was about to jump to warp, tragedy struck. A rogue torpedo hurtled through the defensive perimeter created by the ship's weapons and slammed into the dorsal hull of the saucer section.

The explosion magnified the visible flash of the warp drive and made it look, to all intents and purposes, like the Nogura had erupted in a ball of flames. In reality, the aging Galaxy-class starship had somehow managed to complete her warp jump and sped through space at great speed. Alone, and with no one in pursuit, the Commander and his team had done it. They had survived. But their survival came at an alarming cost. The bridge, like much of the ship, was in chaos- lights out, smoke filling the air, explosions from consoles and main power out.

And no signs of life...

 

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