Now or Nothing
Posted on Sat Feb 25th, 2023 @ 1:15am by Captain Björn Kodak
Predators and Prey
Location: The Bridge
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1100
[MD 1: 1100 Hours]
“Shields down to 80%,” Ensign Nevek reported, the Andorian’s antennae waggling nervously as the ship shook around them.
Captain Kodak pursed his lips and narrowed his eyes, irritation momentarily flashing across his features as he debated what to do next.
As decided in council, they’d tried a gambit of creating false sensor echoes to fool First Maje Subrek into believing other Starfleet ships were headed into the system. Subrek had, with the advanced technology mysteriously at his fingertips, seen through the ruse and called their bluff. The Kordra-Lisrit’s answering phaser blast was much stronger than it should have been.
“Return fire,” Captain Kodak decided, a steely look on his face as he gave the order. They were certainly in it now, it seemed. “Target their weapons,” came an amendment. If they could disable the Kazon’s armaments, perhaps they could gain valuable time to help the away team down on Shaddam IVa’s surface. “Helm, evasive maneuvers pattern Alpha Delta Seven.”
“Aye sir,” Ensign Sohlare replied from the helm, peeling the Sojo to starboard even as another phaser blast came their way. The first stage of the maneuver had saved them a hit, at least.
“Firing,” Nevek at Tactical said, fingers racing across his holographic display.
The Chameloid’s golden eyes watched the viewscreen intently as the Sojo’s phasers lanced across open space, dashing against the Kordra-Lisrit’s shields in a flash of dispersed particles. Kodak didn’t expect to punch a hole in the Kazons’ shields on the first hit but, as the Sojo fired again, he’d hoped they were at least making a dent.
“Enemy shields down to 75%,” Nevek spoke up again. “Concentrating fire on their weapons but it’s going to take some hammering to get through those shields,” he said.
“Keep at it,” Kodak ordered. “Engineering, what’s our status?” the Captain asked, turning to Ensign R’Mol.
“Minimal damage so far but, with their upgraded weapons,” the half-Klingon, half-Tellarite replied, “I don’t expect things to stay that way for long. I’ve proactively sent damage control teams to the shield generators and phaser control,” the man explained.
“Good thinking,” Kodak replied with a nod. Turning back to Sohlare, he asked, “How maneuverable are we compared to them?”
“Well sir,” Sohlare said, sending the ship hard to port and evading another beam attack, “the Sojo is pretty nimble in comparison. They’re big and toothy and mean but I think we can avoid a lot of their attacks. It’ll make it a little harder to get clean shots, though,” the Trill said, turning to look back at Nevek. “I’ll do my best, though,” she promised the gunner, returning her eyes back to her console.
So this was how it was going to go…
Kodak settled into his chair and accepted that there wasn’t going to be a swift victory here. They would have to spend precious time running, gunning, and evading in hopes of eventually wearing down the Kordra-Lisrit’s shields. And if they were lucky enough to open up a hole in the Kazons’ defense field, maybe — just maybe — they could take those teeth Sohlare mentioned out of the equation.
But they had a lot of work to do before that could happen…
[26 minutes later]
“Shields are barely holding,” Nevek said, breath heavy. It’d been a protracted battle and his limbic system’s fight-or-flight response instinct was on overdrive. “Their shields are at 20% but,” he stressed, “one more lucky shot might give us our opening. Sohlare?” he said, putting stress on the Trill to line them up right.
“I promise, I’m on it,” Sohlare replied, sounding more than a little tired. They’d been at this for almost half an hour already and while the Trill had certainly kept her wits about her, the constant evasive pattern management was growing taxing.
“Sir,” Ensign Samla spoke up from the Ops console, “I think we could divert power in a few…creative?” the word upended into a question, “ways to juice the shields back up a bit. Just maybe don’t ask a lot of questions,” the Bajoran said subversively. Having grown up on a destitute colony away from her homeworld, Samla had gotten used to bending the rules if it meant getting what she needed.
“I’m curious but,” Kodak’s golden eyes sparkled with the barest hint of mirth, “you can fill me in later, Ensign. Go for it,” he rasped, turning back to Nevek.
The Captain watched the Andorian’s brow furrow as he worked on getting the Sojo’s targeting system to lock onto the weak point in the Kazons’ shields. Nevek seemed unsure of himself, his confidence faltering.“You can do this, Ensign,” Kodak encouraged, hoping to bolster the man’s nerve.
“Yes sir,” Nevek nodded. He watched the targeting reticle on his display bob and weave all around the spot they needed to hit. “Hold her steady, helm. Almost got it…”
“It’s now or nothing,” Sohlare retorted. “Pattern Zeta Ro in three…two…one…”
Two blasts hit at once: one on the Sojo, collapsing her shields entirely. The ship shook violently but veered away, offering a slimmer side profile to the Kazon as it strafed to starboard. The other hit, however, landed exactly where it had needed to on the Kordra-Lisrit, followed up with a quantum torpedo proactively fired in case a hole in the Kazons’ shields opened, which it now had.
The torpedo sailed right through the shields and impacted against the hull of the Kazon ship. A series of explosions ripped their way through the Kordra-Lisrit’s weapons systems, outright destroying a few phaser placements and disabling the rest…at least for a little while.
“They’re backing off,” Sohlare reported, speaking quickly. And indeed, on the viewscreen they could see the Kazon ship in full reverse, moving away from them as fast as it could.
“Licking their wounds and making patch job repairs, I’m sure,” R’Mol said, assessing their own needed ministrations. He took advantage of the lull in battle to send the phaser control team to help shore up the efforts to repair the shields.
“I’m sure it won’t be long before they’re back in the fight,” Kodak replied. “We’ll have to see who’s faster…us at getting our shields back or them regaining weapons. For now,” he looked to Sohlare, “keep us moving, just in case they get a lucky break.”
“Aye sir,” the Trill acknowledged.
“Sir,” came the quiet and controlled voice of Lieutenant JG S’lin from the Science station. “I’m picking up a probe from the Waverider. It has cleared the atmosphere of Shaddam IVa,” the Vulcan reported, “and is transmitting a message from the Away Team.”
“Let’s hear it,” Kodak nodded to S’lin.
The message had come from Bridgeport, who’d explained about the crashing shuttlecraft and t’Nai’s orders to follow and potentially help the pilot. The message was brief but gave as much detail as possible.
Timmoz, Xex, and Bridgeport had, apparently gone after the injured pilot while Oliveria, Parsons, and Irynya worked over the crash site. After gaining Kaldri’s trust enough to help attend her wounds, Timmoz had sent Bridgeport back to the Waverider to get a message out about their Kazon pursuers and then tasked him with picking everyone on Timmoz’ team up. Bridgeport had launched the probe with his message and was currently on his way back to Timmoz and the others, it seemed.
“Establish a remote control link with the probe,” Kodak said, turning to R’Mol. “We’re going to upload a message of our own and then send it back down into the atmosphere,” he looked then to Nevek. “Tell Timmoz and company to retrieve the rest of our people and burn hard for the Sojo. We'll be sending down some help,” the Captain said. "Send when ready."
“Message transmitted to the probe,” Nevek confirmed.
“Remote control link is active, Captain,” R’Mol relayed. “Sending the probe back into the atmosphere: it’s heading for our original insertion point."
"Alright. Prep the Opportunity and Spirit," Kodak said, naming the Sojourner's two shuttles. "Sounds like our people need a little help down there. Hopefully we can slip in while the Kazons' weapons are still down."
They had a window to act. Kodak just hoped it was enough time to get his people off that moon and away from the Kazon...
=/\= A post by... =/\=
Captain Björn Kodak