Part of USS Dragon: Abeloth and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

ABELOTH – 7

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Thot Greit sat in his command chair listening to what was happening on the bridge around him, the eye slit of his mask the only sign that something was amiss.

“Sir we were able to destroy three, of what we believe to be federation probes of some sort. Two were intercepted as soon as Plesh Tral raiders Kyr and Sik saw them drop from warp while performing routine patrols. The third was found and intercepted on the outskirts of the fleet.”

The Thot started to ball up a fist and menacingly thumped it on his armrest. “How did they find us? More importantly, where are they now?”

“We are still trying to figure that out, one idea is that they somehow were able to pick up on the location beacon that we are using.”

“Then turn the damn thing off. If a commander is not confident enough to get his ship here without needing a signal then they are not worthy of their command.”

“Yes, Thot.” quickly typed something on their console.

“Sir, we did have that report from the latest patrol of the Nebula of finding a federation warp signature outside our intended route.”

The Thot waved off his science officer. ”Bah, these Federation ships are like vermin. When they see the might of this fleet, they will run. Besides a lone federation ship against this warship and my fleet, what do we have to be afraid of? We have all read the reports the federation is scared. They will not be sending help as our new allies have assured us. Once this fleet is fully assembled we will go into their so-called Deneb sector, expand the borders of the confederacy and secure many new slaves.”

“Sir, I was able to look over the data from the last patrol. The signature of the federation ship matches one recently encountered by Commander Zeln of the cruiser ZadkWak, at one of the border arrays in the Thomar Expanse. According to his report, this signature belongs to the USS Dragon, an Inquiry class cruiser. I’m sending you a copy of his report now.”

The Thot looked at his PADD and started to laugh. “Bah, more vermin. Therefore, the intelligence we have received from our allies is correct; the so-called Bravo fleet is sending ships to help the pathetic local fleet. I told my fellow Thots that we need to close off that avenue, and this proves me correct. Two ships, which we know of, from that region, have now used it to enter this sector, and if we do not close it down more will follow.”

“Sir, we could have the ships not part of this fleet but under your command. As the regional commander, form into battle groups.”

“Yes, Commander Gan. If those back in headquarters will not take my advice then we must do it ourselves. Very good idea.” he looked at his PADD “Send a message with new orders to Commanders Tren, Jit, and Gor. I want them to move their teams into the so-called B-T Corridor area near the Vadlock Nebula and shut it down. If they run into federation ships I want them taken, the crew can be used as slaves but the officers I want to be brought to me.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll send the orders myself.”

Thot Greit nodded.

“Sir, should we send a message to the fleet to heighten our security posture in case we have truly been found.”

“For what one lone federation ship, if they show up it will be like swatting a fly. They would not be that stupid and if they were then so be it, we will add a few new slaves in the mines.

 

*******************

The command staff of the USS Dragon sat around the circular conference table as they discussed several ideas for their next course of action. The prevalent one being they knew that they needed to slow down the Breen fleet if possible. They needed to give their fellow bravo fleet commanders time to react to the intelligence that they had just provided.

“Captain, one factor in the plan is going to be the speed of the Angels, we know their ships top out at warp three, maybe warp four if they pushed it. But that would require some serious downtime when we picked them up, they would need to go through their warp coils and run complete diagnostics.” Zaishii added to the conversation “let alone repairing any damage that they took.” she looked over at Commander Thornton “Commander, my teams will be ready and available to offer your maintenance crews any help that is needed.”

“That would be much appreciated, Lieutenant ” Thornton said as he held his pipe in one hand using it to point out something to his executive officer on his PADD.

Aryanna looked at Commander Thornton and Sustram. “What is the best case scenario, time-wise, for getting the Angels back on board? 

“The few times that we have run drills for an all-out emergency recovery, using both shuttle bays.” Commander Thornton looked over at Sustram “Was… What twenty to thirty minutes?”

“Yes, sir. Closer to thirty than twenty ma’am.”

“Damn, those thirty minutes is going to seem like thirty days, captain. And we won’t be able to maneuver very much if anyone tried to follow us or if one of their interceptors got lucky.”

“I know Skagath, but we have the Angels for just this type of mission, and what they bring to the table may help sow enough chaos for them not to know where to look. Remember this plan is not strategic, we are not going after specific targets.”

Scamandrius looked up from his PADD. “Captain. I would like to add that we do have several of the experimental long-range torpedoes on board; they were loaded at Deep space forty-seven. They can be programmed for a delayed launch of up to twenty-four hours with a range of several hours at warp 9.”

“Hmmm, that would add to the chaos as they would not know where they came from, plus they would automatically assume another ship is close by, which of course no one will be. How many do we have at our disposal?”

“Seven, ma’am.”

Skagath looked at the map displayed on the main view screen in the room. “Captain, if we used say three or four, we could theoretically set different timers on them, maybe even launch them from several different areas.”

“Captain, if we conducted sensor sweeps during the attack we could program these experimental torpedoes for specific targets.”

“I see where you two are heading with this, if they are using their ships to look for non-existent federation ships they may not have the means to look for us. Plus they would have no idea just how many ships are here in the immediate region or when/where another attack may come from.”

“Exactly, make them think there are more of us than there are.” Skagath slapped the table. “And if they don’t know how many of us there are they won’t know where to look. Which would give us a chance to cause more chaos and maybe open up other avenues for finding the information that the fleet needs.”

Meadow sat back in her chair. “Maybe, we could draw forces from one area to other areas leaving holes or weaknesses that we or the fleet could take advantage of. Scamandrius, we know the frequencies that they used in Expanse, yes?”

“Yes, we do.”

“Could we use those frequencies to plant false information?”

Scamandrius thought for a second. “If we keep it very simple, we may be able to pull off something.  We would have to be relatively close to one of their communication arrays for it to work, but yes theoretically it should be possible.”

“Captain, if I may? Besides slowing down the Breen fleet, I think I read something about the systems that were placed on the starboard and port main hull hard points.”  Yatokii spoke from beside Skagath.

“Yes, of course. I had forgotten about that.” Zaishii quickly pulled up the information on her console.” The launchers are from a group of test bed weapons designed off of the Echelon class weapon systems.”

 

**********************

Thot Greit sat in his ready room, just aft of the bridge on the Chel Boalg warship that was his regional and fleet command. He had spent the last few hours going over the various reports from around his region and those that they have received that gave an overview of what was happening in the war to secure the Deneb Sector from the Federation. While he did not like seeing the great swath of dominion-controlled space so close to the confederacy, he understood the need for them to have their piece of the sector to control.

“Sir, the Fleet… it’s under attack”

“There is no one around, how can we be under attack? The federation is light years away. I have the latest reports in front of me.”

“Sir, I don’t know… But the Breit and the Snu are both reporting they have taken torpedo hits.”

“Damn it, I’m on my way. I want to know what is going on out there.”

Thot Griet stepped onto the bridge and made his way to his command chair. “Report!”

“Sir, the Briet reports two torpedo hits to their starboard nacelle while the Snu is reporting they took one to their port nacelle and one to their main hull. Both are reporting the loss of life and significant damage.

The Thot held a gloved hand in front of him as he thought about his next actions knowing they could greatly affect his fleet, he then slapped the hand down on his armrest. “Take the Fleet to yellow alert, now!

“Sir, new reports coming in from it, from the fleets southwest. We just lost one of our interceptors and its wingman is reporting serious damage to both of its nacelles. Sir that is the opposite side of the fleet from the first attack.

“Damn it; show me on the main display.”

He stood and approached the main display. As the screen split into several smaller views from various ships as three fighters exited out of warp quickly fired their torpedoes and quickly went to warp. The second attack showed the same scenario.”

“Those are fighters, you idiots. Their mother ship must be close by. Find that ship, now!  Send interceptors out, those fighters can’t get far.”

“Sir, the computer is saying that those are Valkyrie class fighters, small two-seat fighters with warp three capability. What if they want us to send ships, maybe they are laying a trap to weaken us.

“Bah, can you not see?” The Thot went back to his seat, “They are probing us, looking for weaknesses. Do as I say, send the interceptors out to hunt those fighters down, and if they find the mother ship they are to destroy it. We will send the federation a message they will not forget.”

The main view screen showed several bright explosions. “Again?” the Thot pointed at the main view screen. “They are like bugs, squash them.”

“Sir, that was the Nelk, they are reporting their shields took three hits and the fourth hit was on their starboard weapons array.

The bridge staff watched as the four blobs of light flashed which they knew meant that four ships had entered warp.

“Sir, the fleet has started procedure cobalt alpha. All ships are taking evasive actions as the procedure dictates.”

“What? No, no, no. can you idiots not see. This is what they want. Command all ships to hold in place. Do not follow normal procedures. Go to yellow alert, raise shields, and be ready with weapon systems. If I was them…”

“Sir… we have a warp…”

 

******************************

“Captain, two minutes till we exit warp.”

“Ok folks, battle stations.” The red lights started to blink and the klaxon sounded as the overall lighting system went dark except for the red lights giving off their eerie glow. “Skagath, you have ninety seconds. Target everything and anything that you can. If its shields go down, hit it again. Viameli, remember we get this only once. I want a ninety-second full impulse run. Zoltia/Yatokii, when we hit anything with those micro torpedoes I want the signature logged and the information sent to Bravo Fleet command. I’m sure they will want to be able to track them just as much as we do.” she looked around the bridge watching as her team readied themselves for the chaos that was about to ensue.

Hitting her internal comms button on her console. “Doc, have medical teams on standby, this will be quick but I expect that we will take some hits.”

“Standing by and ready, I have a secondary team set up in the medical suite near engineering.”

“Good thinking, doc.”

“Viameli, after this we go to the first launch point then we go pick up the angels.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Aryanna sat back in her chair, gloved hand balled up and tapping on her armrest. “I hope this works.”

<<” It will, all we are trying to do is slow them down. Give the fleet some time to put things in place.”>>

“Five, 4, 3, 2…1” Viameli called as the Dragon exited warp over where their best guess was for the location of the beacon.

They all watched as the Dragon roared, weaving and diving around various Breen ships. Torpedo striking shields, some getting exploding on shields, some forcing the shield systems on the smaller interceptors to buckle and die as lines of phasor fire followed.

“Captain, reading a Breen warship starboard.”

The crew felt a slight tingling sensation run through the ship as they noticed a dimming of lights and a barely perceptible slowdown in their movement.

“Damn Breen and their damn energy-dampening weapons took several hits to both sides of the main hull captain.” they felt the ship buckle and several small showers of sparks flew from several consoles. “Damn, they’re good with those, just took several disruptor hits on the starboard main hull.”

Sustram was quickly working on several holo’s on his console. “Shields are at 75% captain, engineering has sent teams to decks 12 – 14 on the starboard side where we took those hits.

Aryanna grimaced and nodded as she heard Sustram call out the last bit. “That would be the command ship, I bet. Let’s make that the end of the line.”

 

 

 

The inertial dampers worked hard as the Viameli threw the Dragon into a sharp turning climb towards the target, throwing a few folks hard into the side of their seats.

“Lass, the beacon is right under them. “ Skagath called.

“Get it, one burst at the beacon and then let the warship have everything we can give it.”

They watched as the Dragon went into a steep climb and then corkscrewed at the top and dove toward the warship now filling their screen. Torpedoes were fired in rapid succession followed by lines of phasor fire. Watching incoming fire hit your shields and flash in front of you was a new experience for some as they threw arms and hands in front of them while others kept their course.

“Captain forward shields are at 50%. We have taken a few hits to the forward sections, but nothing too bad as of right now. Zhaishii is sending teams to check.”

“Aryanna, Doc. Two were seriously burned and a few more were injured which will require some time in medical. Most are just minor bumps and scrapes. We got lucky”

Viameli threw the dragon into another sharp turn to avoid a pair of interceptors that were heading their way. “That was a long ninety seconds, jumping to warp, now…”

 

******************

On board the warship, the bridge was amiss with smoke and small fires from a few non-essential places. “Sir, we took several hits to the nacelles and “the officer pointed around him.” a hit just a few meters off of the bridge. “

“How bad is my ship? How many did we lose in the fleet?” the Thot said from his chair.

“We lost three interceptors and two of the cruisers took several hits to their nacelles. We are estimating roughly 50 dead in total, across the fleet. The engineer is saying two to three days before we can go to warp.”

“It seems as if the Federation is changing the game.”

 

Comments

  • Our bad guy is bad - I enjoy me a scene-chewing antagonist, and this Thot fits the bill - he's very unlikable and quick with confidence and hubris. I like that he's smart enough, but not smart enough to fully outsmart the Dragon. I like how the Dragon drops in and does a quick hit - enough to bloody the nose of the Dominion and escape with some damage themselves. The stakes are real here and I'm curious to see them face off again.

    May 24, 2023
  • A clever little plan this - attacking the Breen fleet purely with the intent to immobilise. Dragon couldn't stand toe-to-toe with an entire task force, but nipping in to damage a few engines and slow them down is a neat idea to pin them in place for a while. Very smart. Again a few editing issues that I feel more careful rereading over and editing would have done well to resolve, especially in the fight as they slowed me down, which slowed the pace of the fight down from my perspective. Not sure about reading the Breen perspective as I've always liked them to be this mystery, but it does well to frame the Dragon's actions from the Breen's perspective. This Thot is really not a nice guy at all. Looking forward to seeing more of this cat and mouse game.

    June 3, 2023