Chapter 10: Romulans
Captain Seals was in for it this time. He was away from his ship during a combat situation and he was now in command of perhaps the most important Space Station in the whole Alpha quadrant. Medical teams had arrived in Ops looking after the wounded. Doctor Bashir tended to Captain Sisko while Seals tried to ascertain what was going on around him. A couple of surprise hits had surely done some damage, imparing the station's defensive capability-something Seals was worried about.
"Chief, I need damage reports and defensive status," said Seals as he looked around at the mess in Ops.
O'Brien looked up from the panel he was working on. "Sir, shields are at 50% and weapons are fully operational. Sensors are fine as well. We got our shields up before any major systems took hits."
Seals nodded, then looked at the view screen as a Romulan War Bird decloaked in front of him. What were the Romulans doing attacking this station? And how did they get by the station's early defense grid? Needless to say, Seals had a fight on his hands with a ruthless enemy.
On board the Gryphon, Commander VanEseltine had taken temporary command. He was the only member of the Command Staff present when the trouble hit.
"Red Alert! Raise shields and power up weapons, Sergeant Pruden. Lt. Anderson, take the helm and get us into a position to help defend the station. Petty Officer Post, what are sensors picking up?" asked VanEseltine.
Post looked down at her sensor panel. "Reading multiple ships bearing Mark 3.4 and closing. A Romulan Warbird is decloaking in front of the station."
"Bring us about, attack pattern Omega 3," said VanEseltine as he swung around in his chair and looked at the view screen in front of him.
Anderson touched the pads on her helm console and the Gryphon moved out at impulse power and sliced in front of another white beam aimed at the station. The beam slammed into the starboard shields of the Gryphon. The ship rocked a bit but was not damaged very much.
"Damage report!" yelled VanEseltine.
Pruden pulled up the shield grid and quickly scanned it. "Sir, no substantial damage to starboard shields. Shields operating at 99%."
VanEseltine nodded. The extent of the improvements gained by having the Minos computer aboard surprised him. Because the characteristics of the white beam were the same as those of the beam they encountered in their first battle, the computer had compensated and adjusted shield harmonics to nullify the ray.
The hatch to the bridge swished open and Lt. Colonel Smith, Commander Johnson and Chief Urban made their way onto the bridge. VanEseltine, seeing the Gryphon's Executive Officer on the bridge, got up from the Captains seat. "The bridge is yours, Colonel."
"Thank you, Commander. Take position as Number One. Commander Johnson, please relieve Lt. Anderson at the helm and take us closer to the station," said Smith.
Commander Johnson waited for Lt. Anderson to get up and she assumed duties on the helm as Anderson assumed her old post. Johnson brought the Gryphon on a direct course for the Romulan Warbird attacking the station. Smith was very puzzled and his jaw still smarted from the fight he and his fellow crew mates were just in. "Pruden, hail the station. I need to know what's going on there."
"Yes sir," acknowledged Pruden. "Hailing frequencies open, sir."
"On screen," said Smith.
Captain Seals appeared on the screen. He was directing the crew in Ops in all directions. It looked like pandemonium in there. He turned to the view screen and spoke. "Colonel, I have assumed command of Deep Space Nine for the time being. Captain Sisko has been gravely injured and is incapacitated at this time.
"You need to take the Gryphon and dispatch the incoming Romulan vessels. Our scanners indicate three more are moving in. The Horizon is badly damaged; we managed to beam the crew onto the station, but our shields can't take much more of this. I have dispatched the Defiant to take on the Romulan Warbird. Take care of the Gryphon; she's our best chance to get out of this m. . . . "
Smith pounded his fist down on the arm rest of the chair. "Damn it! What happened?" he yelled.
Pruden looked down at his tactical display. "Sir, the station's shield generators have been knocked off line. They are defenseless. Sensors indicate boarding parties are beaming onto the station now."
Smith slammed his fist down onto the arm rest of the chair then stood up. "Commander VanEseltine, I'm handing over command of the Gryphon to you at this time. Commander Johnson, I need you at the helm; you are the best pilot we have and I need you to keep the ship out of harms way. I'm leading a Strike Group to help defend the station from the Romulans. Pruden, you stay here with Chief Urban and make sure nothing happens up here on the bridge, you got that Marine?"
Pruden snapped to then replied, "Yes, sir."
Smith got up tapped his comm badge as he walked toward the turbo lift. "Captain McBride, assemble Strike Teams Beta, Delta and Echo and form up in combat dress. Charlie, meet me in Transporter Bay Four."
Smith exited the bridge into the turbo lift. Commander VanEseltine assumed the center seat again and planned his next order.
"Commander, plot an intercept course for the incoming Romulan vessels, but make sure the Marines beamed over safely," said VanEseltine.
A voice came over VanEseltine's comm badge. He tapped it. "VanEseltine here."
Smith's voice replied. "Marines ready to beam down to station. Lower shields and let us do some good."
"Acknowledged. Fortune be with you Marines. Come home safe."
"We always do, Commander. We always do. Semper Fi. Smith out."
Pruden lowered shields for a few seconds as the Marine Strike Groups beamed over onto the station that was being attacked by a Romulan attack force. Once the Gryphon was sure the Marines made it on board, they raised shields and headed for the incoming Romulan vessels.
Seals ordered the station's weapons to fire on the Romulan Warbird and the photon launchers spit forth torpedoes. Green luminescence surged around the Romulan ship and the photon torpedoes fizzled onto the ship's shielding.
Seals was shocked. What was up with this Romulan ship? He looked at Dax. "Commander, what do you make of the ship?"
Dax scanned the Warbird. "Captain, it looks as if it is generating a field of unknown origin that absorbs photon energy. Our torpedoes will have no effect against it."
Suddenly shapes started to beam into Ops. They coalesced into Romulans in full combat gear with disruptors at the ready. The crew in Ops was prepared, unholstering and brandishing their phasers in response. Seals fired his phaser at an oncoming Romulan. His beam ripped into the Romulan soldier vaporizing him in the process. Simultaneously, a green beam just missed Seals and blasted a computer panel in the process.
"Security to the bridge!" yelled Seals as he rolled to cover under a duty station.
Dax was grappling with a Romulan attacker. She ended it by slamming her elbow forward into the attacker's face, sending him reeling. A blast from her phaser stunned him and he collapsed to the floor.
Another wave of Romulans beamed into Ops and took up defensive positions firing at any Starfleet or Bajoran person they saw. Seals fired a few shots from his phaser at a couple of Romulans moving closer to him. When he saw another group beaming in, Seals thought he was surely dead . . . until he saw the latest group was Marines from the Gryphon in combat armor wielding compression phaser rifles. The twelve Marines, with Lt. Colonel Smith leading them, came in guns blazing, laying down a surge of suppression fire. Half the team moved out, sweeping toward the Romulan defenses. Ops was a mess; many systems were fried from phaser and disruptor fire. With the Marines now in the fight, things were bound to get worse.
Smith knelt down and laid down a quick burst from his rifle laying waste to two Romulans. Then he quickly dove down by Seals and fired up toward some other Romulans, keeping them ducked down.
Seals looked at Smith. "Well, another fine mess we got ourselves into. Some liberty, huh?"
Smith smiled, looking around at his men fighting valiantly. "Don't worry, Captain. Think of this as realistic training."
The Romulans massed for an attack and came around their defenses in a charge, firing disruptors at everything. Seals and Smith popped up from their cover and fired at the group, taking down four Romulans before they were on them and in hand-to-hand combat range. Things were looking very ugly in Ops.
"Coming up on incoming Romulan vessels, sir," said Post as she looked at VanEseltine.
VanEseltine gave the command, "Cloaking device on my mark . . . Mark!"
The Gryphon shimmered and quickly became one with its environment as it went into cloak. Urban handed out phasers to all the crew and sealed the bridge. VanEseltine was running scenarios through his head, trying to anticipate what the Romulans would do.
"Sir, cloak is holding up. Romulans have not detected us yet," said Pruden as he pulled up his tactical display.
"Good, keep me posted of any new conditions. Commander Johnson, cut speed to half impulse. I want them to make the first move,"
Within minutes the Romulan ships decloaked. They were small Birds of Prey and were approaching the range of the Gryphon's weapons.
"Sir, Romulans in weapons' range. They have not detected us yet. Standing by for orders," said Pruden.
VanEseltine acknowledged his Marine Sergeant and assistant Chief of Security. "Stand by Gatling phasers and arm two quantum torpedoes. I want manual targeting because I don't want them to detect a weapons' lock."
Pruden nodded and pushed a few buttons. "Weapons standing by, sir."
VanEseltine gripped the armrests of the center seat firmly. He was feeling a little nervous. The safety of the station and this ship was now in his hands. He watched the view screen intently, waiting for the right moment for the Gryphon to pounce. Suddenly, the ship made a loud surging noise and the shield monitors showed their shields dropping and the cloaking device off line.
VanEseltine stood up quickly. "What is going on?"
Pruden was pushing buttons all over but nothing was working. "Sir, we have a defensive shutdown of all weapons, shields, cloak, and engines. I'm trying to reestablish but someone has locked out controls."
VanEseltine looked at the view screen and wondered who did this and what fate was now in store for the crew of the USS Gryphon.
|• Honor Among Warriors: The
Gryphon Story, © 1997 by William D. Smith, is reproduced from
the November 1997 issue of Gryphon
Trek Gazette with permission.|
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