Mission Day 06
USS Atlantis – Main Bridge
“Report!” Tikva shouted as she stepped onto the bridge from her Ready Room, the ship shaking violently once more as the red alert klaxon bellowed all around.
“Hirogen attack ship just came out of the asteroid field!” came a shouted response from Lieutenant Adelinde Gantzmann at Tactical. Her hands were busy directing the Atlantis’ weapons in their not so subtle response.
“T’Val, get us clear of the asteroids! Someone tell the Tavorax to break for the Krenim outpost, we’ll cover them.” Tikva threw herself into the command chair in the middle of the bridge just as the ship rocked once more under sustained weapons fire.
“Shields at eighty percent!”
That got Tikva’s attention. Their last assault has been rather one sided with the Hirogen, but this ship was packing way more of a punch, having taken a decent chunk of the shields in a few hits. “Guns, quantum torpedoes!”
“Aye ma’am!” With that the familiar ‘thump, thump, thump’ of the aft torpedo launchers firing in rapid succession was reassuring, more so then the view screen of rocks in front of the Atlantis as T’Val, the ship’s Vulcan helmswoman was throwing the ship through a series of energetic motions. By the beams that lanced out past the Atlantis and into the rocks around them, those same motions seemed to be working.
“Solid hits on the hirogen vessel. Shields holding for now.”
Well that was less then stellar. “T’Val, dead ahead, skim that large asteroid. Guns, drop a couple of torps into it as we pass. See if we can’t foul them up for a second.” She turned her head to her XO was who was in the process of throwing himself into his own seat, his uniform not quiet regulation in his rush clearly to get to the bridge. “Get the deck chief to launch whatever standby shuttles she’s got ready.”
“Zulu alpha?” MacIntyre asked, took Tikva’s focus away from him as all the acknowledgement he needed and keyed his own comm, getting onto the task he’d been left to handle. “Brie, Zulu Alpha. Get birds in flight now.”
As the Atlantis barrelled towards one of the asteroids in front of it the ship pitched up slightly and flew along the surface of the nickel-iron rock a scant ten meters above it before a series of orange-red orbs launched from the ship not directed at its pursuer but the asteroid itself. Antimatter explosions ripped the space-cold rock to shreds, the energy unable to be conducted across its mass quickly enough and resulting in plumes of molten metal and interstellar dust launching into space and directly into the path of the hirogen attack ship.
The vessel pushed through that maelstrom of death with the failing flicker of orange shields, the hull smouldering in places from where molten mass had overwhelmed the shields and taken fury out on worked metals. As if angered by this however the vessel fired once more on the Atlantis, orange-yellow beams lancing across the void and withering away the ship’s aft shields.
“Get us out of the field now T’Val, but find us something to hide behind for a few seconds,” Tikva said, hands gripping onto her command chair’s arms rather tightly. “Mac, tell me good news.”
“Waimak and Buller are good to go.”
“One moment Captain,” the Vulcan responded without a single hint of annoyance in her voice. Battle was just another factor to complicate her flying, nothing more, nothing less.
The ship rolled to avoid another set of beams, rocked with another hit, pitched upwards and for a few moments was free of fire before launching back into view of the hirogen ship who had Atlantis dead in it’s sights.
“Shields down to twenty percent!” came the call from Gantzmann as she gave the hirogen another response.
Atlantis burst out of the asteroid field and into open space with no more space terrain to hide behind or utilize. But that ultimately played both ways. The hirogen vessel continued on its own path but was now being pursued by two Starfleet shuttles, firing phaser beams from the vessel’s less defended rear arc.
“T’Val, bring us around. Guns, fire at will. See an opening, throw a torp in there.”
Soon the shuttles were joined by their mothership turning around, no longer running but fighting. The two larger ships traded shots and punched at each other, shields starting to falter on the Atlantis and the hirogen’s larger mass affording it more staying power in this fight.
It was the shuttle named Buller that got the lucky shot in. A micro-torpedo launched from the shuttle that would later be called a golden BB. It slipped in somewhere past the physical armour of the hirogen ship and impacted something vital. Something that regulated antimatter as the ship disappeared in a bright white flash of annihilation.
“Lieutenant Shven and Ensign Carmichael, please, sit.”
Tikva had to admit to herself the didn’t know these two flight offers as well as she’d have liked to. Knew their names and faces, but that was about it. She had been to busy reading in-depth bios of her senior staff, then all the archive data they had on their assigned exploration sector, then had started with the next tier down of officers and Flight Ops wasn’t her domain after all. It was her XOs.
The two men both sat down in the chairs opposite her desk and looked a little uncomfortable. They didn’t really know their captain either and couldn’t figure out why they’d both been called to the Ready Room upon return to the ship.
“So, who was flying Buller?” she asked, to which Carmichael raised his hand. The young man’s mousy brown hair was a bit of a mess. It looked uncontrollable to her eye.
“Well, good shooting there Carmichael,” she followed up, leaning back in her chair and smiling. “I just called you both up here as I wanted to personally thank you. Taking combat shuttles out there wasn’t an easy task.”
“It’s what we’re trained for ma’am,” Shven said. “Evasive flying and combat tactics. It is why the XO sought us out for the Atlantis.”
“And I’ll thank him for his good decision making. I’m thanking you both for your skill and expertise out there. I’m also noting my personal thanks on your records for any future captains to read over.”
Both men looked at her in a different light. Carmichael looked ready to crack into a smile while Shven looked confused.
“So, gentlemen, thank you,” she said, this time with more emotion in her voice. “And please, on my orders, have the rest of the day off.”
Mission Day 06
USS Atlantis – Engineering
“Okay Lieutenant, how much trouble am I in?” Tikva asked as she stepped into Engineering upon her presence being requested by her chief engineer. “Though, I should remind you, I didn’t take us into this fight. They jumped us.” As she walked through Engineering she was thankful for staff getting out of her way and again thought that she must of somehow recruited a ship of giants.
Am I really the shortest person on this ship? She asked herself.
“None ma’am, just wanted to show you why that ship hit as hard as it did,” Velan said from his work station. The Efrosian turned on his chair to face his commanding officer with a smile before turning back to the console and bringing up a frequency analysis diagram alongside the ship’s general damage report chart.
“Notice anything?” he asked as gave room for Tikva to look at the chart in depth.
It took her a moment, of looking at the pretty graph, then reading the axis and the legend to see just what was on the screen. “Wait…are you saying they were firing just off our shield frequencies?”
“Looks like. Not quiet a close match but close enough to drain them pretty quickly. I’m going to recommend we fight the hirogen like the Borg ma’am. Rotate shields and weapons regularly, keep changing tactics. Oh, and more of that dirty fighting you got us doing. That asteroid thing was neat.”
“Learned that one from the Gorn,” she said off handed while her eyes drifted to the damaged report screen. “Wait…did they break my warp drive?”
“I think you’ll find it’s my warp drive ma’am,” Velan said, stroking his white-grey beard. “But no, just some microfractures in the hull on the starboard nacelle. Work crew is out there fixing it right now. Right as rain in a few hours.”
She nodded in understanding, then stood up straight. “Right, keep on it then and let the bridge know when we’re good to go again. Tavorax has made it to the Krenim station and I’ve had a few words with their station commander but I get the feeling he wants us gone before we attract any more trouble for him.”
“Will do ma’am.”