This story is based in the "Star Trek" universe. The use of anything related to "Star Trek" in this series is not intended to infringe upon the rights of Paramount Pictures. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.
All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.
Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.
This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this please leave now.
Chapter 8: Titan Inbound
I looked at the countdown on the console display,
I grabbed onto the hand rail in front of me and braced myself.
The drone of the warp engines disappeared as we dropped out of warp. I looked down at the display. We had arrived at the coordinates of the Goran distress signal. I watched intently, expecting some warbirds to decloak around us, before opening fire. The display showed the Titan was in the lead with the rest of the fleet just behind us. I scanned for any other vessels, but there weren't any. The only things that were left was some scattered remains of the Goran supply ship. I checked a larger piece of the debris, yep, is was hit by some Romulan weapons fire. I was about to start scanning the surrounding area by using an antiproton scan- a way to detect a cloaked ship, when T'Luk called out.
“Sir, I'm detecting a small object. It appears to be an escape pod of some kind, but it's emanating a dampening field.”
The young, black haired Lieutenant walked over to his console, “Where is it Ensign?”
T'Luk tapped on his console, “About 3 kilometres away, bearing 032, next to a piece of debris.”
“Are you detecting any lifesigns?” He asked.
“I can't tell sir, the dampening field is obscuring our sensors.”
The Lieutenant tapped on his combadge, “Bridge, this is Lt Anders in Astrometrics, we believe we've found an escape pod.”
Captain Riker's voice could be heard over the comm, “Is it Goran?”
“We're not sure sir, it is creating a dampening field, possibly to try and blend in with the debris.” Replied Lt Anders.
“Can you beam it aboard?” Asked the Captain.
“Aye sir, we can.” Said Anders.
“Acquire a transporter lock and standby to beam it into cargo bay 2.” Said the Captain. “I'll meet you down there Lieutenant. Riker out.”
Anders turned toward to T'Luk and me, “I want you two to come with me.” He faced T'Luk, “Grab a PADD and three Tricorders, we'll do the transport from down there.” T'Luk walked over to a cabinet and grabbed the equipment while Anders looked around the room. “I want continuous scans of this region. If there's a warbird out there, find it!” He called out before he started walking toward the door while we followed behind.
We took the turbolift down four decks to reach cargo bay 2. Once we arrived, there was already about 20 armed security personnel waiting outside, along with a medical team. Anders faced T'Luk, taking two Tricorders out of his hand and passing one to me, “Are you ready on that transport?”
We walked up to the doors to notice the Captain, Commanders Caves, Troi and Clark walking from the other end of the corridor. Clark walked inside first, with the others following. The security team went in next, but the medical team stayed outside. We stepped inside the large room to see that the security team had formed a circle around the centre of the room. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I spun around to see Casey standing there, carrying a large phaser rifle.
He looked at T'Luk and me, “Stay behind me, if I tell you to run, make for the nearest exit immediately.”
I nodded in response and stepped behind him. I was quite taken aback, I had never seen this side of Casey before. He was usually laid back and really casual, even when on duty. But now wasn't the time to mess around and his professionalism showed that.
Captain Riker looked over toward us, “Erect a level 10 forcefield around the centre of the room and commence transport.”
“Yes Captain.” Replied T'Luk as he tapped the command into the PADD.
A blue forcefield worked it way up from the floor and to the ceiling, before it fully activated and became transparent. Seconds later, a transporter beam filled the centre of the room while the escape pod was beamed in. Once it was finished, it was clear from the shape of the craft that it wasn't of Romulan design. It wasn't very large, about the size of my dad's car, but cylindrical in shape. I flicked open my Tricorder and scanned the pod which was about 5 metres ahead of me.
“I'm picking up one life sign. It's Goran and quite faint.” I called out.
“Anything potentially hazardous?” He asked.
I shook my head, “Not that I can detect sir.”
He nodded, “Deactivate the forcefield.”
T'Luk tapped on the PADD, removing the forcefield.
Commander Clark stepped forward to what seemed to be an entry hatch. Three security personnel followed him, their weapons raised. Clark reached up and pulled down a lever, causing a hatch to start to open. I edged forward, almost pressing up against Casey. I had only seen a Gorn a couple of times, and both of those were when I was a lot younger. They were quite unlike most other species, in that while they were humanoid, they were a reptilian species. They had green, rubbery skin and stood at around two metres. They also had large jaws that were similar in looks to that of the extinct Velociraptor.
The hatch opened fully and the security personnel pointed their weapons towards the darkened opening,
“Don't shoot! I'm unarmed.” Came a rough voice.
“It's alright, you're safe. I'm Captain William Riker of the Federation starship Titan. We are responding to your distress call. Are you injured?” Spoke the Captain, while motioning for the security team to lower their weapons.
“I'm bleeding. It's my head.” Replied the voice. I felt a slight uneasiness after what he said, reminding me of my own ordeal.
Riker indicated to the medical team outside the cargo bay and they entered inside, carrying their medical kits.
One of the medical team, an Ensign, scanned the Gorn, “It's safe to move him. But it'll be quicker to beam him directly to sickbay.” He said.
Riker nodded, “Do it.”
The Ensign tapped on his combadge, “Ensign Walker to sickbay, stand by to receive an injured patient via transport.”
There was a slight delay before the doctor answered, “Understood, transport when ready.”
Ensign Walker pressed some buttons on his Tricorder and beamed the Gorn to sickbay.
Riker exchanged a few words with Comm Clark before he headed over to Lt Anders, “Once our guest is in good health, I want you to get his story on what happened.”
the next couple of hours, T'Luk and I seemed to have struck up a good
friendship with Lt Anders. Good enough for him to take us along when
he went to talk to our new guest.
While we were walking toward sickbay Lt Anders turned to us, “You guys ever seen a Gorn?”
I nodded, “Yes sir, a couple of times when I was younger.”
“I have not had the opportunity. It is quite rare to see a Gorn outside of the Goran system.” Replied T'Luk.
“Well today is your lucky day.” Replied Anders as we walked into sickbay.
The doctor and a couple of nurses were over in his office, while the rest of the room was empty, save for the Gorn lying on one of the biobeds. Anders walked over to the doctor, leaving T'Luk and me standing there. The Gorn turned and faced us, so I walked over, not wanting to be rude. Due to the appearance and physical size of Gorns, it was easy to feel threatened as they didn't resemble any other species that we frequently encounter. But as I approached him, it was clear that he was much younger than the other Gorns that I had seen. The cracks in his skin were not as deep which caused him to look smoother somewhat. He also seemed to be smaller, around my height if he was standing. I walked over to the left side of his bed,
“Hey, how do you feel?” I asked, as T'Luk walked around the other side.
“Better, your doctor is very good.” He replied, his voice seeming softer than before.
“That's good to hear. I'm Ensign Taylor and this is Ensign T'Luk.”
“I'm Second Lieutenant Raylis.” He replied.
I smiled at him, “It's good to meet you Raylis. The doctor said you didn't mind if we talked to you for a few minutes.”
He nodded, his cat-like eyes darting from me to T'Luk.
“Could you describe to us what happened?” Asked T'Luk.
“My ship, the Slar was carrying Deuterium to a Federation outpost on the Neutral Zone. I was put in charge of navigation, during the night shift. We were just passing through this part of space when we were fired upon. I didn't even know who attacked us, there were no ships on sensors, yet we were being hit.”
I felt a shiver make its way slowly down my spine when he said that. No ships on sensors? They must have been firing while cloaked. This is nothing new to the Federation as it had happened twice before, the first time was almost a hundred years ago by a Klingon called Chang. The second time and much more recent, only a couple of months ago, was by the Romulan Praetor Shinzon. Fortunately both ships were destroyed, but evidently someone had managed to get hold of these cloaking device plans and give them to the terrorist cell.
Raylis continued, “The Captain ordered us to abandon ship. I just about made it into the escape pod and launched it before our ship exploded.” His closed his eyes, “I hit my head from the force of the explosion.” He looked up at me, “I was so scared, thank you for saving me.”
He was clearly distraught from his recollection of events and I sympathised with him, having been in a similar situation myself. I placed my hand on top of his claws, noting his cool temperature from being cold blooded, “It's ok. You're safe here.”
He was quiet for a moment, “Do you know who attacked us?”
“The weapons signature appeared to be Romulan.” Replied T'Luk.
“We believe that a terrorist cell has acquired some warbirds and are acting against the orders of the Romulan Empire.” Replied T'Luk.
“Don't think about it too much now, you need to rest. I'll see if I can get the doctor to give you something to help you sleep. I'll also see about letting you communicate back to your home world, I'm sure your family would be pleased to hear from you.” I said.
“That's very kind. Thank you.” Replied Raylis.
I nodded and headed over toward the doctor's office, noticing that Lt Anders was watching us through the glass.
“He said that his ships sensors couldn't detect the warbirds. In fact, he didn't know who attacked his ship until we told him.” I said.
“You're saying that they fired from within the cloak?” He asked, causing a shiver down my spine again.
“It seems that way sir.”
Anders scratched the side of his face for a moment, “I see. Good work Ensigns, I need to report this to the Captain immediately.” He said before turning and walking out of sickbay.
I turned to the doctor, “I told our friend out there that you could give him something to help him sleep. He's still worked up from what happened to him earlier.”
The young doctor nodded, “He has good reason too. I'll be sure to give him a sedative, thank you Ensign.”
I smiled at him and turned expecting to see T'Luk but noticed him standing next to the door, eyeing the doctor carefully. I walked over to him,
“Are you alright?”
He looked at me, “Yes, is something wrong?”
I cocked my head at him, “Yes, what's up with you and the doctor?” I asked as we headed out of sickbay.
“What do you mean?”
“Before when I was in sickbay after the away mission you didn't seem to like him and now you're avoiding him”
He stopped walking and looked at me, “I will explain it later Kai. It's nothing important.”
I quickly glanced around the empty corridor before I stepped up in front of him, “Everything about you is important.” I paused, “I wish we were back in bed.” I added while yawning.
He raised an eyebrow at me.
“Hey, I was referring to sleep.” I joked while starting to walk again and turning around a corner.
“I was not implying anything.” He replied as we stepped inside an empty turbolift.
“Uh huh. Deck 12.” I called out.
He was silent for a moment, “You handled the situation with Mr Raylis very well.”
I nodded, “You know he can't have been that much older than us. It must have been very frightening.”
“I'm sure he feels better now. Knowing that he is with friends.”
I smiled at him as the turbolift came to a stop, “Yeah.”
We stepped out and headed down to astrometrics. Once we walked inside, we noticed Alex waiting there.
“Are you lost Ensign?”
He grinned, “No, I thought I'd come down and see if you guys have any more information on what's going on.”
We spent the next couple of minutes filling Alex in about the new cloak that was now installed in the stolen warbirds.
“So not only are they using a system that we can't detect, they can also fire at us while cloaked?” He asked.
I quickly glanced at T'Luk to notice that he didn't react to Alex's choice of words. He was probably in agreement. I knew I was.
would have been futile for me to go back to my quarters sleep after
the mornings events, so I chose to get some early breakfast instead.
Alex seemed to be just as tired as I was, but T'Luk, the Vulcan
beauty, was of course immune to needing those extra hours of
T'Luk and Alex replicated their stuff first and went over to a table before I grabbed myself some coffee and a toasted sandwich. I spun around and almost spilt my coffee over this guy standing next to me. I controlled the steaming cup and began apologising to him,
“Sorry, I didn't notice you there...Ensign.” I said, looking at the pips on his collar, before looking up at his face. The first word that came to mind was handsome. He didn't have that same cuteness as T'Luk, but he was good looking nonetheless. He was around my age and had short dark brown hair and dark eyes, very similar to my own. And like me he was also Human. I hadn't seen him before, but that's expected on a ship of around a thousand crew.
He smiled at me and moved to one side, “Don't worry about it Ensign, you didn't spill it on me.”
I nodded, “I'm just tired, perhaps I'll be better after this.” I replied, raising my cup.
“Let's hope so, for our sake.” He replied smiling, before walking off toward a replicator.
I smiled back at him and walked over to our table, sitting down next to T'Luk. I glanced over to see what he was eating.
“Is that the standard Starfleet variant of Plomeek broth or is it a family recipe?” I asked him.
“This is my mothers recipe. The Starfleet one leaves much to be desired.” He replied.
“Yeah, I don't really like that one either. Its too bland, not enough flavour.”
I took a sip from my drink and looked up to see that guy from earlier taking a seat opposite me, next to Alex.
“Hey Alex.” He said.
“Hi Trey, I forgot that this was your shift.” Replied Alex, glancing at him.
He nodded, “Yeah, it's usually really quiet, but with this red alert most of the ship is wide awake now.” He replied, looking directly at me.
I looked at Alex, but he was busy picking at his breakfast, yet this guy, Trey, was still staring right at me. It was odd, because it was more as though he was staring through me, rather than at my face or whatever. Suddenly it made sense. He wasn't Human, he was Betazoid. So he's trying some of his telepathic tricks on me. Well Trey, two can play that game!
I looked back down at my drink and let my mind wander, hoping that he was picking something up. After a couple of seconds I heard him start to cough as a smile formed on my face. I glanced up to see him blushing.
“Are you alright?” Asked Alex.
Trey looked at him, “Yeah I'm fine.”
Alex looked at me and then back at Trey before grinning, “How did it go?”
“How did it go?” I asked, confused about what was going on.
T'Luk looked at me, “Has something happened?”
Trey blushed again before looking up, “Alex wanted to know if I could speak to you, telepathically.”
I frowned, “What?”
“He could do it to me, Casey and H'Jan. I wanted to see if he could do it to you too. It was really cool.” Replied Alex. So Trey must have been the guy that the others wanted to introduce me to. No wonder they wanted to keep him a secret.
I smiled, “I thought you were trying to read my mind or something.”
“Did it not work then?” Asked Alex.
I shook my head, “I stopped him.”
That one caught T'Luk's attention, “You stopped a Betazoid from performing telepathy on you?”
“Well, it was more like I thought hard about what I wanted him to see, to try to distract him...” I paused looking at Trey, “It seems that he was a little too curious and was surprised by what he saw.”
Trey blushed again, “I'm sorry, but you were practically broadcasting those thoughts aloud. Every Betazoid in the room must have sensed them.”
“What did you show him?” Asked T'Luk.
I leaned over and whispered it into his ear.
“I want you to know that I'm not reading anyone's minds. I know it's against Starfleet, but it's also not the Betazoid way.” Said Trey.
“Seeing as you didn't read our minds, I guess I can formally introduce ourselves. I'm Kai Taylor and this is T'Luk.” I said offering my hand.
“Trey Suder.” He replied while shaking my hand, before shaking T'Luk's.
“Trey? That's a Human name.” I commented.
He nodded, “My parents have lived on Earth for most of their lives so they chose me a Human name.”
“The other guys said that you worked in command, do anything fun?” I asked.
“Well whenever Alex is sleeping, I get to fly the ship.” He replied while nudging Alex softly.
I turned to T'Luk, “Now that's what we should've done!”
He didn't reply and instead drank some of his tea.
“Well that answers that.” Said Alex giggling.
Trey turned to me, “How did you know what I was doing? You know, telepathically.” He asked.
“One of my best friends through high school was a Betazoid, so I know what to look for.” I replied.
“What about the mental 'diversion'?”
“I figured out how to do that, it was a good way to feed him false information, but he eventually figured out what I was doing.”
“You're gonna have to teach me how to do that.” Said Alex.
“Look guys, it's been good meeting you but my break's up, I gotta be back on the bridge. I'll see you later.” Said Trey while getting out of his seat.
We said goodbye as he walked away. I grinned when I noticed Alex's eyes follow him across the room. He looked up and caught me watching him.
“It's rude to stare Alexis.” I commented.
Alex blushed, “Like you're one to talk!” He retorted.
During the past week, a further 6 vessels have been destroyed along the Neutral Zone. Every single one destroyed by Romulan weapons fire. After the first four, Starfleet had dispatched an extra six task forces along the boarder, each of them with at least 5 starships. But even with those extra ships, there was little we could do. Space is insanely big, especially when you're trying to find something which you can't see. The Romulan government has been trying to trace back any technical specifications about the new cloak in the hopes of finding a means of detection, but to no avail.
It wasn't only the Federation and Romulan governments that were troubled by this recent development. The Klingons, Breen, Tholians, and even the Ferengi have all stamped up their patrols along their boarders. All the while, these five warbirds could be right under their noses and they wouldn't even know it. Nobody is sure why the terrorist are only targeting the lightly armed supply vessels. Perhaps they are raiding them for their contents, but two of the vessels were carrying clothes. And seriously I doubt they're having a shortage of underwear. No, right now everyone is waiting. Just waiting, as there's little that can be done. All we needed was a break. Something that could put us on the right track. And it seemed that one was finding its way into our hands...
“ALL HANDS TO BATTLESTATIONS” Came Commander Caves voice through the comm system.
Fortunately I was already at my station when the alarm sounded.
I looked across at T'Luk, “Here we go again.”
Seven minutes later we were at high warp and heading for a set of coordinates about 20 minutes away. We'd been alerted to another distress signal from yet another supply ship. The coordinates were between us and another task force, so we both headed out there, in case we struck gold this time.
I was idly staring at my console when I saw something. I only caught it out of the corner of my eye, so I went back through the sensor reports and replayed the data. Sure enough, there was a slight change in the background levels of neutron radiation.
“Hey T'Luk, what do you make of this?”
I tapped a few buttons and sent the data onto his screen.
He looked at it for a few seconds, “Can you detect it now?” He asked.
I scanned for it again, “No.” Suddenly it spiked again, only at a different location, “Yep, there it is again.”
T'Luk walked over to my console, “Indeed. It seems that the sensors cannot keep a consistent lock on the emission.”
I tapped my combadge, “Ensign Taylor to Ensign Li.”
“Ensign Li here, what can I do for you?” Replied H'Jan.
“H'Ja, Ensign,” I said correcting myself, “Ensign, could you boost the output of the port ventral sensor array for me, please?”
There was a slight pause, “Sorry, no can do, they're already running at 110%.”
“I need more.”
I heard him laugh, “They're 10% above red line, anything more than that and I could damage them.”
I wasn't in a laughing mood, “H'Jan you've told me before that Starfleet purposely gives things a high margin of error.” I said, sounding slightly annoyed.
“Ok, there, you have 115%. Happy now?” He replied.
I tried to scan for the emission, but the sensors were still just as useless, “No. I'm coming down there, Taylor out.”
I faced T'Luk, “I'm chasing that emission.”
“Kai, it could be some random interference.” He replied.
“What if it isn't?” I replied calmly, “What if it's them?”
He stared at me, he knew he wouldn't win.
“I'll be in engineering.” I said as I turned and walked out of Astrometrics.
I took the lift down and walked into main engineering, before heading over towards one of the system control panels. I noticed H'Jan walk behind the warp core, so he hadn't seen me enter yet. I stood in front of one of the consoles and quickly scanned my eyes over the interface. I tried to access the sensor sub system, but these options were built like a maze. The science systems were a lot more logically laid out. I was about to enter another system when someone called out to me,
“Can I help you with something Ensign?”
I turned around to see Lt Sarah Librescu, the wife of our chief engineer Hadara Librescu. If there was one person in engineering who I could trust, other than H'Jan, it's be her.
“Yes, please. If you're not too busy Lieutenant.”
“Not at all, what are you trying to do?”
“I need to boost the output of the port ventral sensor array.” I said.
She stepped forward, “Lets see what I can do.”
I watched as the pressed through the hierarchy levels of the system before reaching my goal. The display I needed looked really simple in contrast to the rest of the systems, there was even a slider to show you the output percentage.
“Oh, it looks like they're already at 115%” She replied.
I feigned a frown, “I see, but they're not very good. How about 175 or 200%?”
She laughed at me, “200%? You want to break them?”
I smiled at her, “Come on Lieutenant, these things are built to last. Besides this ships brand new, five minutes at 200% won't hurt.”
She realised I wasn't joking, “I'm sorry Ensign, it's just not possible.”
“What's the worst that will happen? I doubt Commander Librescu will be very angry at you.”
She smiled at that one, “No Ensign. I'm sorry.”
“But I might have those Romulans on sensors!” I said.
She shook her head, “If we break the ship, we'll have more to worry about then the Romulans.”
I nodded and raised my hands, “Hey, I tried.”
“Yes you did. Better luck next time Ensign.” She replied while exiting from the system.
“Thanks for your help Lieutenant.” I called out as she walked off.
I waited until she was out of sight before I turned back toward the console, I tapped on my combadge, “Ensign Taylor to Ensign T'Luk.”
“Ensign T'Luk here.” He replied.
“Should I risk my career on a hunch?”
“No.” He replied simply.
“That's good enough for me babes, Taylor out.”
Of course I wasn't going to back out now, but I wanted him to know what I was going to do, in case it went wrong.
I copied what I saw Lt Librescu do on the console and managed to find myself at the same screen. It currently read 115. I leaned across to another screen and pulled down my workspace from Astrometrics, this way I could see if I was making any progress.
I keyed in a new value of 150 and re-scanned again. It picked up the emission immediately, but faded a couple of seconds later as it was almost out of range. I keyed in 175 and the emission was much stronger this time, but I still couldn't detect its direction or speed. I took the array to the limit and set it at 200. I got it! I had it's location, speed and distance. I could also determine that it was a large amount of neutron radiation, a very large amount. It had to be one of the ships. I checked the speed, it was travelling at warp 5. It had to be man made.
I was about to reach up to press my combadge when I paused, “What would I say? Captain I've found one of the ships, set a course now! Of course not, but what should I do?”
“Are you going to tell the bridge?” Asked T'Luk.
I turned around to face him, “What are you doing here?”
“I came down here after your last message. Are you going to tell the bridge Kai or should I?”
I looked at the screen, “You really think its them?”
I tapped my combadge, “Ensign Taylor to Captain Riker.”
“Riker here, what is it Ensign?” Asked the Captain.
“Sir, I think I've found one of the Romulan ships.”
“What do you mean by “think”, Ensign?” He inquired.
“I'm detecting a large amount of neutron radiation moving at warp 5. That cannot be a naturally occurring phenomena.”
There was a slight pause, “Send your coordinates to the helm and then make your way up here Ensign. Riker out.”
I sent the latest coordinates, along with the relevant data up to Alex at the helm so he could track it.
I turned to T'Luk, “Let's hope its not all for nothing.”
Five minutes later I found myself on the bridge, standing next to Commander Jones and showing her how I tracked the emission. Captain Riker has ordered our task force to change our current course and intercept the coordinates I provided. The other fleet that we were set to meet up with will check out the distress call that we received earlier and will then come and assist us. We were steady at a speed of warp 9.6 and were quickly gaining on the high neutron readings which we should catch up to in around 5 minutes.
“200% eh? I'll need to remember that one.” Remarked Comm Jones.
I smiled at her, “Just don't tell Comm Librescu that it was me.”
She winked at me.
Captain Riker swivelled in his chair and faced Comm Clark, “Instruct the fleet to attempt to disable the ship first. We need the cloaking device intact if we're to find a way around it.”
He tapped on his console, “Aye sir, message relayed. We are within visual range of the emission.” He replied.
The holographic display appeared and gave us a view of space ahead of the ship. The only thing visible was the usual warp field distorted stars streaking past.
“Are we detecting anything else, apart from the neutron radiation?” Asked the Captain.
Comm Jones tapped on her display, “No sir, sensors are clear.”
“How long until we reach the emission?” Asked Comm Caves.
“About 3 minutes, sir.” She replied.
“Helm, put us directly behind the emission. Comm Clark, instruct the fleet to assume a position beside us, should we need to surround whatever it is.”
“Aye sir.” Replied Alex.
Three minutes later put us directly behind the emission.
“Commander, open a channel, all frequencies.” Ordered the Captain.
Caves nodded to him, “Channel open sir.”
“Attention Romulan vessel. This is the Federation starship Titan. You have committed an act of aggression against the Federation. Drop out of warp and decloak immediately or we will respond with force.” Said Riker.
There was no reply.
“Are you sensing anything councillor?” Asked Riker.
Councillor Troi concentrated for a moment, “Yes, I'm sensing some people, but I can't be sure of the race or how many.” She said.
“Romulan vessel this is your final warning. Stand down or we will open fire.”
Again, there was no reply to the warning.
Captain Riker spoke over his shoulder to Clark, “Fire phasers and standby quantum torpedoes for any shield impact.”
I watched the viewscreen as the phasers fired and made several contacts with a cloak before the torpedoes fired also hitting the cloak. A second later, green disruptor fire and torpedoes began heading toward us from the cloaked vessel. Romulan vessels use green weapons fire.
“They're returning fire.” Called out Clark.
The ship rocked under my feet from the shield impact.
“Shields at 94%”
“Order the fleet to return fire.” Said the Captain.
There was a slight delay before several phaser beams and numerous photon torpedoes began to hit the cloak of the ship before disabling it completely, revealing a Romulan warbird.
The warbird seemed to hover there for a second before it quickly began to accelerate away from us.
“Oh no you don't! Stay with it helm. Take out their warp drive.”
The fleets weapons trained themselves on the left side of the warbird, breaking through that section of the shields and destroying the port nacelle. The warbird quickly decelerated and dropped out of warp, falling behind us. We exited warp and came about, bringing the ship directly within our line of sight.
“Reopen the channel again Commander.” Said Riker.
Caves nodded to indicate it was ready.
“Romulan vessel, you are severely damaged and out gunned. You will surrender to us immediately.”
There was a slight pause before Clark spoke, “Sir I'm detecting an overload in their warp drive. I think they're trying to self destruct.”
Captain Riker stood up, “No! Use the transporters, lock onto the cloak and beam it aboard.”
Comm Jones scanned the warbird, “I can't find it sir. It's not in the expected position for a warbird.”
“Her warp core is going to breach in 15 seconds, we'll be caught in the shockwave.” Called out Clark.
“Start to beam over the crew. Get as many as you can. Tell the fleet to leave immediately.”
“Transport in progress, the fleet's entering warp.” Replied Caves.
“Standby to get us out of here Ensign.” Called out the Captain to Alex.
“Ready sir.” He replied.
“Her core is going critical...” Said Clark.
The familiar whine of the nacelles charging could be heard before we accelerated into warp, ahead of the impending explosion.
“Report.” Said Riker, while facing Comm Clark.
“The Romulan warbird has exploded, sir.”
“What about the transport?” He asked, facing Comm Jones.
“I managed to get 32 people, out of 148. All Romulan.” She replied.
He nodded, “Good.” He said before facing Comm Clark, “You have the bridge. Rendezvous with the fleet and scan the debris from the explosion. See if there's anything that can be used.” He turned to Commander Caves and Councillor Troi, “I need you two to come with me, let's go see what our guests have to say.”
I watched as he was about to step into the turbolift, but stopped and walked over to me, “It seems you're becoming quite popular around here Ensign. Any more of this and I might be out of a job.” I smiled at him as he extended his hand, “Good work Mr Taylor. I'll be sure to tell Starfleet who detected the Romulans.”
“Thank you sir.” I replied as I shook his hand.
He nodded as he turned and entered the lift, the doors closing behind him.
“One down, four to go.” Said Clark as he sat down in the Captains chair.
“What was that Commander?” I asked.
“There's four more warbirds are out there.” He replied.
I nodded in agreement and turned to Comm Jones, “I'm be in Astrometrics.”
She smiled at me, “Sure thing. Good work Taylor.”
I walked over to the turbolift and waited until one arrived before I stepped inside, “Deck 12.” I called out.
I started to grin to myself as the lift descended. After the past week of jumping about all over the place, we'd finally achieved something. We'd scored something against them. Perhaps we've made the terrorist cell rethink its plans, maybe we've ruined their plans all together. I didn't expect things to be easier, but like Commander Clark said, “One down, four to go.” And those four can't hide forever...
you for reading Chapter 8 of A Vulcan’s Love.
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