The Quantum Torpedoes, Chriss fighter, the star field, and every single asteroid suddenly disappeared. Chris was slowly set down onto the deck of the holodeck as the alert klaxon began ringing. To allow the biggest asteroid field possible, James and Chris had used two different holodecks, which was why Chris could not laugh at James right now.
"Harriman to Bridge, report," he said, getting down to business.
"You arent going to believe this, sir," a junior officer replied. "But were detecting a ship incoming and, well, its warp signature, which is huge by the way, has a Vorkalai signature."
Suddenly, Chriss pulse jumped to a new height, a new burst of adrenaline pumping into his system. "All hands to battle stations! Try to out run them, Im on my way!"
Lieutenant Ada Marquet stepped off of the turbolift ahead of everyone else, quickly moving to the tactical station and relieving the officer that was there in her place. She stood in the same stiff position she always stood in and began scans of the vessel.
"Are we sure its a Vorkalai ship?" Chris asked as he and Sarah sat in the command area.
"Definitely," Vendar stated from Ops. "Their warp signature is undoubtedly Vorkalai."
"As are their weapons signature," Ada pitched in, her voice loud and strong as usual. The strong phaser-type weapons that used to always penetrate the Dragons shields, plus their new shields that reacted to the Dragons weapons like any other normal shields.
At one time, the Dragons weapons, once calibrated to a power frequency similar to Quantum Torpedoes, could penetrate Vorkalai shields without so much as a micron of power loss. Not any more, however. Now, their shields were stronger than ever.
"How big is the vessel?" Chris asked in his command tone of voice.
As Ada read the readings in disbelief herself, Vendar gave the readings in a voice of astonishment. "Two kilometers long, seven hundred meters wide, and half a kilometer tall!"
A sort of foreboding silence then engulfed the bridge, as it often did when such dire situations threatened the Dragon. As Ada continued her own scans, she could see that the ship had a power core that matched the monstrous size of the vessel, and an arsenal equally venomous. The shields werent as powerful as the Destroyers shields had been, but they were powerful enough to definitely keep the Dragon at bay.
However, Ada thought, their shields arent very redundant no real back up in case a shield section fails She kept that in the back of her mind for the moment, knowing it would soon come in handy.
"Can we outrun them?" Chris asked slowly, quietly, his voice betraying the fact that he already knew what the answer would be. Things never did work out in the beginning of each dangerous encounter for the Dragon
"No, sir," James replied quietly. "Theyll catch up to us in less than half an hour at this speed."
For a moment, silence once again engulfed the bridge. However, Chris didnt let it hang in the air this time. "Then I want options!"
Ada immediately began going through scenarios in her head, trying to come up with some way to destroy or disable the vessel enough for the Dragon to escape. We obviously cant launch fighters, thatd be sending those pilots to their deaths so what do we have on this ship that can use our only advantage to its maximum
"I have an idea!" she said, seeming to forget she was the tactical officer. "Their shields are not redundant at all. If we concentrate a lot of energy on one small section, it should create a hole in their shields long enough for us to damage something of importance!"
Chris, who had been looking at her, looked back to the view screen and stared for a moment. "Like a warp nacelle," he commented.
"Exactly!" Ada replied, smiling. "That would disable them enough for us to break free."
"What about our cloaking device?" Sarah asked suddenly.
I forgot to mention that she thought, lecturing herself.
"We cant activate it when they are this close to us," she replied to Sarah. "Their sensors are very concentrated this close to them, they could see right through our cloaking field. If we disable their warp capability, we can get far enough before they repair their ship, cloak, and then alter course."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Chris said. In a confident tone of voice, he ordered, "Ada, power up the Phaser cannon and the cutting phasers. Prepare both the forward and aft torpedo launchers for full spreads. Well try to cut through their shields with phasers, than disable their warp system with torpedoes."
As she began keying in the commands, she replied confidently with, "Aye, sir."
"James prepare to come out of warp and bring us about," he added quietly, confidence also giving away his thoughts about their situation.
"All stop," Chris finally ordered. James, who had already keyed in the command, pressed the final key that caused the ship to slowly, gracefully drop out of warp. Without even being ordered, he brought the ship about on a heading that faced the incoming enemy ship.
"Engage full impulse," Chris added. "Prepare to point us straight at the targeted nacelle."
"Aye, sir," James replied. He punched the ship up to full impulse and impatiently waited for the Vorkalai cruiser to drop out of warp.
"Here they come " Vendar said slowly.
Suddenly, without warning, a very long, large, and green ship appeared in a blur of motion. The proximity sensors suddenly screamed to life, alerting him to the fact that the ship had come out of warp virtually on top of them.
He immediately turned the ship to port, rolling the ship as fast as he could to get a better angle of turn. The ship suddenly lurched as he came clear of hitting the Vorkalai ships shields, nearly throwing him to the ground.
"Shields down to sixty-five percent!" Ada shouted above the shuddering of the ship. "Theyre using weapons a hell of a lot more powerful than before!"
"Evasive maneuvers, your discretion," Chris shouted in response to James.
Not having to be told twice, James immediately switched the helm over to manual control, finding that automatic was simply too limiting. Keying commands in madly, he began the ship in a series of twists and turns. The large ship groaned, the inertial dampers barely able to compensate for his maneuvers.
Every now and then, the ship shuddered from a near hit, but only that first time did the Vorkalai warship actually hit them. The huge warship itself didnt even bother to turn towards the Dragon, at least not yet. They were no doubt thinking that they could take the Dragon out before it left their weapons range.
However, James was making that extremely difficult. The further away he was from the warship, the further away the shots were.
As if realizing his piloting skills, the large ship began a slow turn towards them, as if unsure whether or not to pursue the Dragon.
"Theyre beginning to turn in pursuit," Ada reported.
"Prepare to bring us about, James," Chris ordered. "At this distance, they should have trouble hitting us."
"Yeah," James responded sarcastically, "key word being should."
Ignoring James, Chris said, "Weapons status."
"No damage," Ada replied. "Were ready to go."
"Then bring us about while theyre still turning slowly," Chris ordered. "Lets paint the target!"
Not knowing what that expression meant, James simply turned the ship about in a quick, uneven arch. Finally, as suddenly as he had started the arch, he stopped, settling the ship directly in course to their top starboard nacelle. Embedded on the hull of the ship itself, like the Bladerunner fighters nacelles, it blended in with the hull. That, however, didnt hinder the sensors ability to see it.
No sooner did Chris say that than did three bright orange beams suddenly shoot away from the Dragon. Impacting on the green shields of the immense ship, the phasers seem unhindered as they began to slowly eat away at the ship.
James waited impatiently, knowing soon enough what was going to happen. Maybe surprised at first that the Dragon was attacking the ship head on, the Vorkalai stopped firing. Any moment, however, they would soon fire at least one shot at the Dragon, giving James the difficult task of keeping them on course.
"Um, I think they know what were doing," Vendar stated suddenly.
"Oh?" Chris asked. "How do you know that?"
James looked to her to see her brow furrow in concentration. "These people are stupid. They just diverted weapons power to the shields to try to compensate for our assault."
After a moment of silence, James heard Chris remark in a voice of astonishment, "Thats got to be the stupidest maneuver Ive ever known! They could have swatted us out of space in an instant with their weapons!"
"They must be the left overs of the entire species," Sarah said in an amused tone of voice.
"They just realized their mistake and have begun transferring power back to weapons," Ada suddenly stated in an alarmed voice.
Suddenly, not giving Chris a chance to respond, the Vorkalai shields collapsed, and the weakening phaser fire impacted on the nacelle. Immediately, the glowing warp field emitters began to fluctuate.
"Fire torpedoes!" Chris shouted, probably jumping out of his chair as he usually did.
A moment later, the torpedoes were away. In quick succession, the Photon torpedoes, followed very closely by the larger, blue Quantum Torpedoes impacted on the nacelle. A very large explosion followed, ripping the nacelle apart as well as part of the hull.
"Get us out of here, maximum warp!" Chris shouted in excitement.
James keyed in a course and the command, then began to turn the ship. A moment later, the ship lurched upwards as a very powerful blast impacted on it. James grabbed hard onto his console as bulkheads, lights, and other consoles began exploding all around the bridge.
A bright blue energy surge flew out of the view screen and hit Vendars console dead on, throwing her up out of her chair and to the back of the bridge. Following that, the shattered glass of the view screen collapsed to the deck, pressed down by high inertial forces.
"Shields are down!" Ada shouted. "That blast punched from deck fifty-two all the way up to forty-eight!"
"Now, James!" Chris shouted in alarm.
Barely able to do so due to receding inertial forces, James hid the command key, throwing the Dragon into high warp.
Not giving him time to relax, Ada immediately shouted, "They just launched a torpedo at our nacelles, impact in twenty seconds!"
"Fire a photon to intercept!" Chris replied immediately.
"Attempting to target," Ada said hesitantly. "Im not having an easy time, our targeting sensors have been damaged."
"Then go to manual!" Chris ordered, panicking for the first time in a long time.
"Manual targeting engaged," she replied slowly, barely audible above a ruptured power conduit. James could have sworn it was the same conduit that had ruptured when Chris had been captured
Thats not a good sign
Star Trek Dragon graphics and written
material copyright Jon Wasik. Star Trek is a registered