Chapter 6 - Pleading

A pair of Vulcans finished their vegetarian dinner at the upscale Vulcan restaurant just outside of Sacramento. Most of the San Francisco-based Vulcans enjoyed this shop as the small, northern California town had become home to more Vulcans than humans.

It had become as close to Vulcan as the Earth stationed Vulcans could get.

The younger one, Sarrak and his elder, female companion T’Lol, leaned back in their chairs and sighed contently.

Quality Vulcan cuisine can make you not want to bother repressing the emotion of contentment.

Besides, if no humans were around, then as far as they were concerned, it did not actually happen.

But there were humans around. 

The pair sat back up and pulled out a couple of PADDs.

“The Ministry wants us off the planet. They think that we might be at risk,” Sarrak whispered.

T’Lol nodded. “You wouldn’t think they would be illogical enough to retaliate against the destruction of a building that doesn’t even exist.”

Sarrak smirked. “If the humans didn’t do things that weren’t logical, they wouldn’t do anything at all.”

T’Lol allowed herself a small smile.

The two employees of the eatery, who were busy bussing tables, walked into the back room. 

Sarrak and T’Lol stood, readying themselves to walk out and to their shuttle.

However, they were greeted by two humans, dressed in black, standing in the doorway.

“Can we help you?” Sarrak asked.

One human shook his head.

“You already have. We thought we’d have to make two trips,” he quipped. Both humans pulled phasers from their jacket pockets and fired, sending the two Vulcans flying backward and crashing into a table. 

Before the lifeless bodies of the two could settle on the ground, their assassins had dematerialized.  

“I am sure you understand that the actions of the two Starfleet officers in Nagaya does not reflect the views of Starfleet,” Starfleet’s chief of Staff Admiral Kevin James explained to the group of Vulcans who had gathered in the High Command’s chambers.

“You cannot deny that this mass-murder has come during a high time of anti-Vulcan sentiment within Starfleet,” Salek replied to the image of Starfleet’s highest-ranking officer.

“I can, and I do deny that,” James replied. “There is no ‘anti-Vulcan’ anything within Starfleet.”

The balding admiral cleared his throat. “If anything, it’s the Vulcans that are stirring up anti-Starfleet sentiment.”

A collective gasp went through the room. 

“Excuse me?” Vora finally asked, not even attempting to repress his disgust in the statement from the elder Starfleet official.

“We know the bombing in Chicago was orchestrated by Ministry of Intelligence officials,” James responded. “We have a ship that saw three Vulcan battle cruisers destroy a Federation convoy.”

Vora looked to Salek, who shrugged.

“Why didn’t you inform us about this?” Vora asked.

“No offense, High Commander, but it seemed ‘illogical’ to inform the high command of fact that they already know,” James smugly replied.

“I take exception to that,” Vora growled. “This council had nothing to do with the death of any Federation citizen.”

“Maybe *you* didn’t, High Commander,” James replied lowly. “But to deny that no one on the high command did is idiotic and illogical.”

“Are you saying that we have traitors within the high command?” Salek asked, doing his best to sound shocked at such an allegation.

“Unless you are telling me that three heavily armed Ministry of Defense battle cruisers were stolen from right under your nose,” James replied. 

The Vulcan leadership murmured under their breath for a moment before resuming the conversation.

“What about the Starfleet officers in Nagaya?” Vora asked.

“Nothing has been delivered to me to actually prove that they were either human or Starfleet officers,” James responded. “Every single member of the LDF and Starfleet assigned to Vulcan has been accounted for, so I don’t even know who these bombers were.

“Even if they were Starfleet, what you ask me to do? The murderers are dead, and LDF military police officers haven’t found any explosives on the Nagaya base, or any nearby.”

“Then you won’t mind if we have Ministry of Intelligence officers take a look as well?” Salek asked.

“Absolutely I would mind,” James growled. “You can feel free to find some Vulcan Starfleet officers within the LDF and ask them to look around, but we don’t allow foreign intelligence officers on our bases.”

“Foreign?” Salek smugly asked, egging on James. “I thought we were all on the same team here.”

James would not bite though.

“Maybe you should remind yourself of that.”

Vora, sensing what would best be described as a subspace battle royal brewing, cleared his throat.

“Admiral, thank you for your time.”

James nodded and ended the communication as a young Vulcan female came into the room and walked to Salek.

Vora turned to Saanik, the head of the Ministry of Defense.

“Do you know anything about the three battlecruisers?”

Saanik shook his head. “We don’t have any reported missing. I will get an investigation started immediately.”

Vora nodded and turned to Salek, who was going through a PADD with a concerned look on his face.


“I’ve received harsh news from Earth,” Salek stated.

“What is it?” Vora sighed.

“Three MI officers were killed. Two at a Vulcan diner in Sacramento, one in his home in San Francisco. Forensic evidence at the scene links their killers to Starfleet.”

Vora was visually upset by this.

“What kind of evidence?”

Salek looked to the young lady, who began to speak.

“Sir, we discovered transporter signatures that match older but still used transporter systems that now are only found in Excelsior class starships. Also, the energy signature of the phasers used were Starfleet issue.”

Vora paused for a moment in thought and then turned to the room.

“Everyone, will you excuse us, please?”

The room stood. Vora motioned for Salek and Saanik to remain seated. Once the room was cleared, Vora sighed and sat down.

“Was this their retaliation for Chicago?”

Salek looked shocked.


Vora groaned. “You can save your plausible deniability crap for the humans, Salek. I know very well that you went behind my back and authorized that attack against Section 31. And now it’s come to bite you, hasn’t it?”

Salek didn’t respond.

“You launched a covert strike against a Federation facility!?” Saanik exclaimed. “Did you also destroy that convoy?”

“You have the battle cruisers, not me,” Salek growled at Saanik. 

“How dare you accuse me of attacking an unarmed food convoy!” Saanik stood and stated, surprising himself at the emotions he allowed to come forth.

“Gentlemen, please,” Vora interrupted. “Finger-pointing is a human pastime, and we will not be doing it here.”

Saanik slowly sat down.

“Besides, fault is irrelevant right now. What is happening needs to stop. We are on a path of self-destructiveness. You both need to rein in your troops, or I will find someone who can.”

Vora stood and walked out of the room. Saanik soon followed, simply giving Salek a look.

Salek grumbled to himself for a bit, then marched down to his office. He quickly closed his door and brought up his secure, subspace terminal.

“Councilman Young’s office,” Young’s assistant perkily answered.

“Minister Salek for the councilman please.”

“Yes Minister, one moment.”

Elevator music played as Salek waited. He found himself, subconsciously, tapping his fingers to the music while he waited. 

*Who’d have thought I’d like Earth music?* He pondered to himself. Salek made a mental note to download more of this music later.

The music stopped suddenly and Young appeared.

“I apologize. I had to get rid of some people,” Young explained. “What’s up?”

“’What’s up’ is that in the operational briefing you sent me it said that I had twenty-four hours to get my agents in place to arrest the SI agents that were going to attack the agents who bombed Chicago.”

Young looked uncomfortable.

“Yeah, about that...” He stammered. “That’s who was just in here. It seems that someone got to them first.”

“SOMEONE?” Salek yelled.

“Well, it wasn’t Starfleet Intelligence. You know Starfleet, they are even more anal and tedious than your people are. There is no way that they would have launched their assault before the scheduled time.”

Salek fumed. Not over being called anal and tedious (on Vulcan that was a compliment), but because his plan was going awry.

“I have more bad news,” Young continued.

Salek raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

“The Sisko wasn’t destroyed.”

Salek sat in silence for a minute before speaking. “How is that even possible?”

“From what I am hearing is that they somehow managed to hold it together into transwarp, and then somehow managed to survive after ejecting their warp core.”

Salek cursed the good luck that Saotome seemed to have.

“If it makes you feel any better, they’re far, far away.”

“How far?”

“Six months. But they don’t have a warp core, and it appears that they have been marooned on a planet.”

“Is Larson sending a rescue party?”

“Yes, but by the time they get there, the plan will have already driven the Federation and the Vulcans to war.”

“Idiot!” Salek snapped. “They will STILL be able to report the presence of the Borg equipment on their ship. Then they will be able to follow the paper trail back to both of us.”

“You said there was no paper trail.”

“There is ALWAYS a paper trail!” Salek groaned. “You know how anal and tedious we are!”

“So what do we do?” Young asked, growing a little concerned that he might be implicated in quite a few murders.

“Can you stop the rescue ships from leaving?”

Young shook his head.

“Then I will.”

“Due to the modifications that were made to the Sisko,” the captain of the lead repair ship, Andre Fuuka explained. “It will probably take us a couple of weeks to get the new warp core installed. Once we get her into orbit that is.”

Larson nodded from the large leather chair that sat behind his desk, despite the semi-audible Soun style whimpers of Ranma’s father.

“That’s fine. The main priority is getting the ship off that planet.”

Captain Fuuka nodded. “Considering the Sisko’s crew will have three months to make her spaceworthy, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.

“Doing the task unnoticed won’t be easy, but assuming we take care of it at night it should limit the contamination to a few conspiracy theorists.”

Larson grinned for a moment and then sighed.

“I can’t get you escorts until you get to DS9. From there Colonel Kira has agreed to allow a couple of Bajoran cruisers to escort you.”

Fuuka shrugged.

“We shouldn’t have any issues from here to there. I have heard what happened to that convoy. However, I think it’s something completely different to attack a group of Starfleet ships.”

Fuuka smiled.

“And even though we’re not fighting ships, we’re better armed than the convoy was.”

Larson nodded.

“Good luck captain. See you in six months.”

“Aye,” Fuuka replied, ending the conversation.

“Are you sure I can’t go with them?” Genma sniveled.

“I’m sorry, Genma. But you know with the world falling apart back here I can’t afford to lose you right now,” Larson apologetically explained.

Genma nodded, resigned to know that he was just going to have to wait another six months to see his son again.


Aboard the Starfleet repair ship, the U.S.S. Cougar, Captain Fuuka sat at the conn, reading over a status report.

“Are all ships assembled?” he asked after a couple of moments.

“Aye,” one of his bridge crew responded.

“Set a course for Deep Space Nine, warp eight,” Fuuka ordered.

“Aye,” Helm replied.

Fuuka looked at the subspace reports showing his route. Very few ships between here and there, he noticed. 

“Engage,” Fuuka grinned.

The four ships lined up their warp, and then in four brilliant flashes of light, disappeared.

The small fleet included the Cougar, a Starfleet combat repair ship. A ship that was designed to go into war zones and repair ships so that they would be able to escape the field of battle and make it to a Starbase. 

Two Ship Recovery Vessels (SRVs), the U.S.S. Jerome and the U.S.S. Chatham, were designed recently, during the Dominion War. At one point in time, if a starship was forced to ‘ditch’ on a planet, the ship was declared a lost cause and either disassembled or destroyed.

However, with the massive losses the Federation endured, it was no longer viable to leave any ship behind, if there was even a slight chance of recovering it.

The SRV’s were specially fitted with immensely powerful tractor beams that allowed them to basically tow a ship from the surface of a planet and then outside the gravity well of that planet, allowing it to be repaired enough to fly under her own power.

The Sisko’s weight, and the fact that no one knew exactly how strong the gravity was on NZ-12G, required two ships, to ensure that a successful recovery was made.

The final ship was the U.S.S. Baton Rouge, a transport ship. It carried a replacement engineering team, as well as crew members who could be a part of any of the other ships in the fleet, as none of them were trained for any deep space assignments it would be a good idea to rotate crews every so often.

It would also give the Sisko’s crew a comfortable place to relax on the trip back, as their stress levels would be extremely high.

The Baton Rouge also contained a level one morgue, to transport those who did not survive the crash back to Federation space for a hero’s burial.

“Captain, we have an incoming transmission from Earth,” a smiling Lt. Kaii called out to Ranma.

A collective sigh of relief could be heard throughout the bridge. Starfleet had received their distress call.

Ranma grinned and turned from the conversation he was having with Usagi.

“On screen.”

Kaii continued to smile and put the transmission on the main viewer.

A weeping Genma appeared, startling Ranma. 


Ranma smiled and even allowed himself a slight laugh. “Oh pop,” he stated softly.

“We’ve got your message.” Genma continued. “We’re dispatching a repair and recovery crew to you. They will be leaving in a couple of hours-” Genma paused, “-well, by the time you get this, they will already be on the way.”

The entire bridge cheered.

“At any rate, you’re going to have to make that planet your home for the next three months. Make sure you keep the contamination low and remember the prime directive.”

Ranma sighed softly.

“Things are not good here, boy,” Genma stated, a little more quietly. “There is a crisis escalating between Earth and Vulcan. We’re not sure, but we think that your situation might be related.”

Usagi thought back to the fat head of the shipyard for a moment.

“The head of the Lincoln Park shipyards, Commodore T’Kuk, has gone missing. Vulcan Ministry of Intelligence attacked a Federation facility in Chicago.”

Makoto, upon hearing this, popped her head up from the control panel she was working on.

“A food convoy on route to a Klingon colony was attacked and destroyed by Vulcan battle cruisers. And a suicide bombing happened on Vulcan by what we think were Vulcans, disguised as humans, trying to stir up anti-human sentiment.”

Genma sighed.

“I don’t know what’s going on son, but unless the diplomats can diffuse this situation, we might be looking at an all-out civil war within the Federation.”

Genma paused for a moment as a young Petty Officer brings in a PADD for him.

“Anyway, please send us a daily status report. Do your best, as you always do.”

Genma looked as if he was going to end the transmission but paused.

“Son... Ranma, know that I am very proud of you.”

Ranma blushed slightly as the transmission ended.

“Captain,” both Usagi and Makoto called out.

Ranma turned to Makoto first.

“Sir, the only ‘Federation’ facilities in Chicago aren’t actually ‘Federation’ facilities. They belong to Section 31.”

“Section 31?” Ranma groaned. “Why would the Vulcan Ministry of Intelligence attack Section 31?”

Makoto shrugged. “Beats me. In fact, in my opinion, that’s about the stupidest thing anyone can do.”

Ranma nodded and turned to Usagi.

“I knew that guy was up to no good,” Usagi groaned.

“Has Lieutenant Devall managed to get all the seals off yet?”

“No, not yet,” she sighed. “It’s easier to simply reroute everything to restore secondary power.”

Ranma looked to the blue emergency lights which lit up the inside of the Sisko.

“It’s not easy, just easier,” Usagi explained.

Ranma nodded. “Alright, I’ll be in my ready room. Keep me advised.”

Usagi nodded and went back to work as Ranma walked into his office. Inside he found Akane lying on his couch, sound asleep.

“How long have you been in here?” He pondered.

Ranma walked over to her and found a blanket. He gently covered her up and softly kissed her on the cheek.

The pig-tailed boy sighed softly and sauntered over to his replicator where he ordered a cup of tea. He then went to his desk and sat down. Minako had managed to locate all the terrestrial video entertainment channels for them. Ranma had been watching their news to understand more about their hosts. If there was one thing that he had quickly learned from watching the channels was that everyone from the east hated everyone from the west. And everyone from the west hated everyone from the east.

Ranma could not understand how there could be so much hate over something so trivial.

Even in Earth’s history when people were treated differently because of the color of their skin, or their religion, or even when aliens first came to Earth they were discriminated against, there were some people who felt that you judge someone by their character only.

Not on this planet.

In fact in the east, it was a felony, punishable by death, to even speak to someone from the west.

Ranma surfed through the channels for a bit before finding the nightly news program. Ranma shook his head at what he thought was the replay of the Vida bombing.

“Breaking news to report,” an obviously choked-up anchor stated. “Another Eastern nuclear missile has struck, this time hitting the industrial city of Takana. So far, no government reports on causalities, but if this is anything like Vida, we’re looking at a 90% loss of all eleven million citizens.”

“Oh my God...” Ranma murmured.

“What?” Akane sleepily asked as she began to sit up.

“Another bomb...” Ranma stammered. “Almost ten million people killed.”

“What?” Akane asked, a bit more alertly. The young chief medical officer quickly strode over to Ranma’s desk and looked at the images being displayed on the screen.

Akane gasped in shock at the carnage. 

“How?” Ranma asked. “How do you just sit back and order the deaths of so many people?”

Akane could only shake her head as Ranma’s communicator chirped.

“Saotome here,” he replied slowly.

“Sir,” Kaii answered. “I have an incoming communication from the Western Prime Minister’s office.”

“Damn it,” Ranma replied. “Send in Commander Hino and Commander Kino and then put it though.”

After a few moments, Rei and Makoto arrived. Ranma then instructed Kaii to put though the transmission.

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Prime Minister,” Ranma stated as Rei and Makoto stared in shock at the pictures on Ranma’s terminal.

“It’s okay,” Mao replied, obvious tension and sadness in his voice. “I hope that you have had time to consider helping us.”

Rei looked up at Ranma.

Ranma inhaled deeply.

“I’m sorry, we-”

“Captain, your operations officer tells me that you can receive our television channels, so I am sure that you have seen the images from the newest attack in Takana. Those images are taken by the media from the air. If you’d like I can send you images from the ground, taken by the military teams that responded.”

“No-” Ranma tried to reply.

“I’m looking at one right now,” Mao paused for a moment. “It’s of a couple of children who weren’t fortunate enough to be vaporized by the blast.”

Makoto cringed at the thought. Rei simply shook her head at Ranma.

“I was born in Takana, probably why they chose it as a target. Fortunately, for me personally, I guess, my wife and daughter live with me here in the capital, and my parents have already been killed by the Guraff...”

Ranma cut him off. 

“Sir, I sympathize with you and your people, but our most primary law is that we cannot interfere with the natural development of a planet,” Ranma explained.

“You say that like your arrival was not part of God’s divine plan for us, and therefore part of our natural development,” Mao responded.

Ranma inhaled, not knowing what to say. He looked to Rei, Makoto, and Akane for support. Both Rei and Makoto didn’t have anything to say, but Akane leaned into Ranma’s ear.

“Don’t hold back,” she whispered.

Ranma nodded. “Mr. Prime Minister... I honestly feel disgust and hatred for these people who would slaughter innocent people. And personally, I’d be content vaporizing them all myself.”

Rei and Makoto both raised an eyebrow at Ranma’s statement.

“However, I can’t do anything.”

Ranma stood and walked over to the Sisko's dedication plaque. Ranma looked at it. He noted the quote on the plaque, taken from Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War.' 

'There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.'

Ranma found it bitterly ironic, considering how long these two nations had been fighting.

Ranma inhaled and continued speaking with the Prime Minister.

“Sir, we’ve had this policy – this law – for over three hundred years. Why? Because every time my people interfered with a society not as advanced it turned bad. Hell, it has been downright ugly at times.”

Ranma sighed. “There is nothing I would rather do than help your people. But I cannot. I don’t expect you to like that, or even understand it. But you will have to accept it.”

Ranma, Makoto, Akane, and Rei all waited for a reply as Mao mulled his response.

“Okay,” he finally replied. “I accept your answer, and believe it or not, I do understand. I hold no malice towards your people, and I will continue our relations as they are. Good day.”

The communication ended.

“Oy,” Makoto exhaled.

“You’ve made the right choice, Captain,” Rei stated.

“I’ve made the correct choice,” Ranma corrected her as he walked back to his desk and slid into his chair. “There’s nothing right about this at all.”


Meanwhile, Mao sat glumly in his office.

“They refused.” 

Garone and Klasn who sat across from Mao nodded.

“For now.” The two military men added.

“Skies are clear, so far,” the tactical officer on the Cougar informed Fuuka. “We’ve got a Vulcan listening station seven light years to our port, and a couple of Ferengi freighters 16 light years ahead of us, but I don’t see anything else.”

Fuuka nodded. “Adjust our course. Keep us at least ten light-years away from that Vulcan station.”

The helmsman looked to his captain for a moment and then complied. The lead ships adjustment adjusted the course of the other three ships as well.

“Four hours out from DS9. They’ve dispatched the Defiant out to meet us halfway and escort us the rest of the way,” operations stated.

“Heh,” Fuuka chuckled. “Larson is such a worry-wart.”

“Better safe than sorry?” the first officer asked.

“Maybe,” Fuuka replied. “Just seems like a bit of overkill. Hell, we flew into Dominion battles unescorted, but we need one to cruise through Federation space?”

The first officer shrugged.

“I’m picking up another Federation ship,” ops called out. “The U.S.S. Destiny. Small frigate. She seems to be holding position about six light-years away. I also see the Defiant on an intercept course, ETA, two hours.”

“Spiffy,” Fuuka smiled.

The small fleet continued on their course for another uneventful hour. Fuuka was in the midst of reading one of his favorite books when both the operations console and the tactical console began to chirp wildly.

“We have three ships inbound on an intercept course!” tactical called out.

Fuuka put down the PADD. 

“Why are you just now seeing them?”

Ops growled at his terminal. “They are not running with transponders, and they seem to be emitting very low energy signatures.”

“Can you identify them?” The first officer asked.

“Not yet.”

“Red alert,” the captain ordered. “Ask the Defiant to step it up.”

Both operations and tactical complied. 

“The Defiant is still forty minutes out.”

“Time to intercept?” Fuuka asked.

“Five minutes,” operations replied.

Fuuka turned to helm. “Best possible speed to DS9.”

The helmsmen nodded. “Aye. But we’re maxed out at 9.22 since that’s the fastest the SRV’s can do.”

“The ships have increased to 9.83,” operations called out. “They’ll overtake us in two minutes.”

Fuuka gripped his armrests.

“I’ve got an ID on them,” tactical called out. “Vulcan battle cruisers.”

“Why are Vulcan ships trying to intercept us?” the first officer asked.

Fuuka didn’t let go of the armrests.

“Send that information to Admiral Larson.”

“Aye,” ops replied.

“THEY’VE LOCKED US!” tactical shouted.

“Inform the other ships to try and separate and flee.”

The Cougar rocked hard as the first volley of torpedoes slammed into her engines.

“Return fire,” Fuuka ordered.

However, it was an order of futility as all four ships in the Sisko’s repair fleet were quickly destroyed by the far more powerful battlecruisers. 

Onboard the Defiant, her captain stared in amazement at the scene that just played out in front of her on the ship's tactical display. 

“FOLLOW THOSE SHIPS!” she ordered.

“I’m losing them,” tactical stated. “But they look like they were on course for that listening post.”

“Set a course then. Maximum warp,” the captain ordered.


The communication terminal onboard the Destiny began to chirp. The communications officer, who was a Vulcan spoke up.

“Sir, we have an incoming transmission from the Vulcan Ministry of Intelligence.”

The captain raised an eyebrow. 

The Vulcan captain looked around to his Vulcan bridge crew. In fact, 95% of his small, Intrepid class ship was Vulcan.

“On screen,” He ordered the confusion in his voice apparent.

On the view screen, Salek appeared.

“Greetings,” Salek nodded. “I am Minister Salek, head of the Ministry of Intelligence. I am contacting you because I’ve received word that the Defiant is en route to a Vulcan Science Directorate listening post near you with secret orders to destroy it.”

“Destroy it?” the captain asked.

“Yes,” Salek replied. “They are apparently taking orders from a faction within Starfleet who wish to destroy the Vulcan-Human alliance. We don’t have any Vulcan military ships in the area, and I don’t know who I can trust within Starfleet to contact them.”

The Vulcan captain nodded.

“We’ll take care of things.”

“Thank you,” Salek stated. The lying Vulcan did the Vulcan hand gesture. “Live long and prosper.”

“Live long and prosper,” the captain replied.

After the communication terminated, the captain turned to his helmsman.

“Set a course to intercept the Defiant.”

“Aye. Time to intercept, eleven minutes.”


“Looks like we have the Destiny coming to assist us.” The tactical officer states.

“Good,” the Defiant’s captain replied. “How long till we get to the listening post?”

“Thirty minutes.”

“And the Destiny?”

“Nine minutes,” ops responded.


“Red alert. Hail the Defiant,” the Vulcan captain ordered.

The operations officer complied and the captain of the Defiant appeared on the main viewer.

“Greetings, Captain,” she stated.

The Vulcan nodded. “We are aware that you are planning on attacking the listening station. Please drop out of warp, lower your shields and prepare to be boarded.”

“Say what?” the Defiant’s captain asked.

“We know you are on route to the outpost to destroy it.”

“No, we’re following three ships that just destroyed four Federation vessels,” the captain replied. “They are going towards the listening post.”

The Vulcan looked at his tactical display.

“There are no ships out here except us. Stop your ship and lower your shields or we will attack you.”

“Captain, I don’t think you know what you are talking about,” the clearly agitated human captain growled.

“Very well,” the commanding officer of the Destiny replied. He terminated the communication. He turned to his tactical officer.

“Lock weapons and target their engines. Fire when ready.”


“They’ve locked weapons!”

The Defiant rocked slightly as the Destiny fired a volley of torpedoes at her engines.

“WHAT THE FUCK?” the captain yelled. “Drop out of warp, defensive pattern Omega-2. Return fire.”

The small ship dropped out of warp. The larger, yet not more powerful Intrepid class ship followed.

The Defiant began her pre-programmed defensive maneuvers. She was a nimble ship, but the Destiny was also quick and agile.

“Shields at 88%!” ops called out.

“Offensive pattern Gamma-6!” the captain ordered. “Take out her weapons!”

The Defiant class and Intrepid class ships danced in a virtual three-dimensional ballet around each other. Each ship giving almost as much as it was getting.

While the Defiant’s agility was not an advantage in this fight, her power was.

“Shields at 33%!” ops notified the captain. 

Tactical spoke up. “The Destiny is losing shields.”

“DEMAND HER SURRENDER!” the Captain ordered.

A phaser blast that sent crew members flying told the Defiant that the Destiny would indeed not surrender.

“Keep firing.” the small ship’s captain grumbled as she crawled back into her chair.

A couple of shots later, the Destiny exploded in a bright flash of red and white fire. Soon there was nothing left but small, sparking grey pieces of metal.

“Resume course?” helm asked.

The captain grumbled as she looked out into the debris field.

“No. We’re in no shape to take on three ships right now. Head back to the last known location of the repair fleet to check for survivors. Then back to DS9 for repairs.”

“Aye,” Helm replied as he swung the ship around and away from the Destiny’s debris field.