Chapter 11: Chalk One Up for the Good Guys
The three Romulan Birds-of-Prey were gaining on the Gryphon who was trying its best to outrun them. Gryphon's defensive grid was knocked down and all Lt. Higdon could do at the moment was the give the ship warp capability--but not at full power.
Commander VanEseltine tapped his comm badge. "Chief Marchant, can you give us more power? The Romulans are catching up."
Chief Marchant's voice came back. "Sir, I'm giving the engines all I can right now. With the lockouts in place, the temporary computer program is not enough to give full control of the engines to helm. I'll see what I can do. I'm working on getting the weapons off the defensive grid and assigning them to manual controls. At least then we might have a fighting chance."
VanEseltine nodded. "What about getting power to the shields?"
"I'm working on that, too. I'll report back to you as soon as I come up with anything, sir," responded Marchant.
"Affirmative. VanEseltine out." Ken swung his chair around to face the two members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Lt. Kennard handed a padd to VanEseltine. "Commander, we've found out who your infiltrator is. Her name is Ensign Cook; she works down in Medical,"
VanEseltine quickly turned to his security section. "Chief Urban, I need you to stay here on the bridge and attend to Tactical in case anything new develops with weapons and shields. Sergeant Pruden, I need you to come with me. We are going to go find Ensign Cook and find out what is going on."
Urban acknowledged VanEseltine's order and Pruden followed behind him. VanEseltine spoke again. "Computer, what is the current location of Ensign Cook?"
The voice of the ship's computer answered back. "Ensign Cook is in Section 14, Crew Quarters."
Pruden touched his comm badge. "Security Team to Section 14 Crew Quarters. Stand by for Commander VanEseltine and me to arrive."
VanEseltine and Pruden then entered the Turbolift.
The Romulan Warbird let loose with another powerful beam which crashed heavily into space station Deep Space Nine. Shields were holding, but not very well. The Defiant swung around and fired a long burst from its phaser banks. Multiple red phaser bolts cascaded across the shields of the Warbird. The Warbird then fired back, the green beam narrowly missing the Defiant as it banked starboard to avoid the shot.
Lt. Commander Worf looked over to his Tactical Officer. "Status report!"
Lt. Watts looked at his panel then looked back at Worf. "Sir, their shields are down to 70%. This Romulan Warbird does not fit normal specifications. Its shields are of unknown origin and intensity."
Worf growled a little then stared at the view screen. "Arm quantum torpedoes and fire when ready."
Lt. Watts nodded and pushed the necessary controls to launch the torpedoes. Two white balls shot forth from the launchers of the Defiant and the quantum torpedoes found their mark, exploding mightily against the Warbird.
"Direct hit sir!" yelled Watts. The quantum torpedoes had inflicted some heavy damage.
Worf clenched his fist. "Fire quantum torpedoes at will and get in front of the Warbird before it takes any more shots at the station."
The Defiant, at full impulse power, streaked forward and fired two more quantum torpedoes which smashed through the shields on the Romulan ship, tearing into its port side hull. The Warbird turned its attention away from the station and spun around trying to target the much smaller and more maneuverable Defiant.
On board Deep Space Nine, Constable Odo and his Security Teams, along with elements of the Gryphon's Marines, mopped up boarding parties and reestablished control of the station to Federation and Bajoran hands. Captain Seals was still in Ops watching the Defiant and the Warbird. He was striving to come up with options to defeat the new menace.
"OK. Dax, what have you come up with?" asked Seals as he stood behind her.
Dax slid her chair back a little. "Well, Captain, a lot of the sensors and computer mainframe were damaged in the firefight but I think I've come up with some ideas."
She tapped on the cracked monitor screen in front of her, drawing Seal's attention to the schematic diagrams of the Warbird displayed there. "I've run a detailed analysis of the Warbird and it does not fit the mold of any Warbirds encountered by any Federation vessels. Sensors also detected weaponry and defensive emissions found on some Dominion ships as well. The shields are sending out an antiphoton field which absorbs the energy of our photon torpedoes and dissipates it across the shields causing no damage."
Seals nodded. "Is there anyway we can get through the shields with station phaser banks?"
Dax nodded in turn. "Yes, sir. If we channel all the power from the rest of the banks and load it into one of the main phaser cannons located on the pylons, we should generate enough power to slice through their shielding to open up a hole for our photon torpedoes to get by."
Seals glanced up at the view screen and saw the Defiant taking evasive maneuvers to avoid the retaliatory strikes from the Warbird. The speed and maneuverability of the Defiant were keeping the Warbird off edge. Major Kira looked over at Captain Seals. "Captain, I've got communications back on line. We are being hailed by Commander Worf."
"Put him through."
Worf's face appeared on the viewscreen. "Captain, we have damaged the Romulan ship with quantum torpedoes but our phasers are having little effect. We have opened up holes in their shields so you may fire when you are capable."
Seals gave Worf the thumbs-up. "Good job, Commander. Keep them off us for just a few more minutes."
Worf nodded and, with his short "Qapla'!", the viewscreen went black.
Chief O'Brien inched out from under a computer bay and jumped to his feet. "OK, Captain. I've aligned all the phaser uplinks to channel their power to pylon cannons two and four. You should be able to get two or three good powerful shots before you burn them out, but that should be enough to do the trick."
Captain Seals patted O'Brien on the back. "Thanks, Chief. I'm sorry we trashed your station"
O'Brien smirked a little. "Hey, at least I know what I'll be doing for the next couple of months."
With that he moved back down to the computer bay to repair some more damage from the recent firefight. Seals walked over to Major Kira. "Major, contact Starfleet and let them know our situation. Ask if they have any reinforcements in the area."
Kira bent to her task and Seals moved back over to Tactical. He was ready to fire the phaser cannons and get this battle over with. Chief O' Brian looked up from the computer bay. "OK, sir. I've reestablished phaser lock. You should be ready to go!"
Seals gave O'Brien a look meaning he was all set and then entered the commands necessary to prepare the phaser lock. Methodically, he targeted the bridge on the Warbird and, when the computer signaled the phasers were locked, he tapped in the fire sequence.
A thick iridescent beam shot forth from pylon two. A huge explosion erupted on shields of the Warbird rocking the ship. As the glare from the explosion faded, the ship could be seen slowly spinning. Seals waited for the computer to find the lock again and fired from pylon four. The thick beam exploded across the bridge shields of the Warbird fizzling away the last remnants of shielding there.
"Bridge shields disabled, sir! Take her down!" Dax yelled.
Seals fingered the console and the photon batteries spit forth five red torpedoes. They found their mark igniting the bridge of the Warbird with a fiery explosion. The front section of the totally destroyed the Warbird split in two and blew up sending out thousands of chunks and pieces, many of which impacted on the station's shields causing vibrations and rocking through out the station. Ops let out a big cheer as they watched the Warbird's remains float harmlessly through space.
VanEseltine and Pruden made their way down to the Crew Quarters and joined the Security Team. Pruden had his phaser drawn and motioned for the Security Team to stand by. One of the Security Officers pushed the button at Ensign Cook's door.
There was no response and the door was locked. The Security Officer looked over at VanEseltine who motioned for him to stay put. He tapped his comm badge. "Computer, override door lock on Crew Quarters 14. Authorization VanEseltine Delta Five."
The computer's voice acknowledged the command. "Authorization granted."
The doors swished open and the Security Team stormed through the door into the room. But there was no one inside. Ensign Cook's comm badge was there on her grey tunic, but she was no where to be found. VanEseltine muttered to himself then said aloud, "OK. Sgt. Pruden, have all Department Heads check in and see if anyone has seen Ensign Cook. Meanwhile, have all Security Teams sweep the ship for her whereabouts. Tell them to put phasers on stun and take her down when they see her. Also, make sure to put lockouts on the shuttle bays; we don't want her escaping that way either."
Pruden acknowledged the command. "Aye aye, sir. I'll get right on it." He motioned to the Security Team and they exited the room.
VanEseltine remained in the room and looked around. He decided he would search her room for anything that might help him find out what was going on. A faint noise, like a footstep on carpet, caused him to pause in his examination of the dresser containing her personal belongings. He slowly turned around to see a tall woman with fire-red hair and pretty face standing in the doorway. In her hand was a phaser, pointed directly at him. She smiled. "You know, Commander, it's not very gentleman-like or polite to go through a lady's things without asking. Looks like I'll have to teach you a lesson."
Commander Johnson assumed the center chair while Commander VanEseltine went to look for Ensign Cook. Lt. Anderson as at the helm. The Warbirds were still gaining when the engines suddenly died and the ship dropped out of warp. Commander Johnson looked over at Lt. Higdon, who was just as surprised as she was.
"Lt. Higdon, what happened?"
Higdon was frantically working her computer console. "Whoever put in the lockouts must have slipped in a virus while we were on the move. I'll do my best to remove it."
Johnson looked at the viewscreen and her face went pale as she saw the Birds-of-Prey approaching. "Too late." She then keyed her armrest controls for ship-wide communication and clearly commanded, "Gryphon, prepare to repel boarders!" In a quieter voice she added, "God help us."
|• Honor Among Warriors: The
Gryphon Story, © 1997 by William D. Smith, is reproduced from
the January 1998 issue of Gryphon
Trek Gazette with permission.|
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