Friends and Foes - Part 1 "What You Wish For"
Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Edge of the Sephone System
Timeline: Early 2416 (Alpha)
[Bridge, USS Kumari]
Lieutenant Commander Varian Romero was bored. He hadn't seen any action since the Kumari was transferred to the 7th Fleet more than two months ago. And now they were stuck escorting the USS Grace, a hospital ship transporting refugees from Benvi II to Betazed. Worse yet, an engine malfunction had separated the ship from the rest of their group, and the Kumari was left behind to watch over her while repair was underway. Impatiently the young officer tapped his chair's armrest with his fingers.
Without pausing his work on the PADD, Captain Xin Ra-Yalis said, "Isn't this what you always wanted, Commander? Being on the front lines and away from the, what did you call it, the boring pit of inactivities that was Earth?
Looking up at his second-in-command, the Efrosian captain smirked. "I still remember the excitement on your face when you first found out we were being transferred to the 7th. It was, as Dr. Tien put it so aptly, adorable" There was more than a little teasing in his voice.
Romero rolled his eyes. "Well, that was when I thought we would be fighting the Dominions, not escorting civilians. I mean it's the 7th. It hadn't lost an engagement since Admiral Lee took over the sector. The Quars Triangle, the Sones Expanse, and not to mention the Battle of the Cilian System, those are what I signed up for."
"Maybe the Admiral's success is the very reason why his sector is one of the quietest on the front lines, relatively speaking any way." Ra-Yalis handed the PADD he had been working on to a waiting petty officer before continuing. "But on the other hand, we are not exactly in our usual sector of operations, and heaven forbid, you might just get what you want. Isn't that right, Kumari?"
At that question, the ship's virtual intelligence materialized before them in its holographic form, a brunette human female in her late 20s. With her hands clasped behind her, she answered. "Indeed, Captain Ra-Yalis. There have been 9 skirmishes with Dominion forces along this corridor in the last 2 months. Your assessment is not unreasonable. I have been running . . ."
Pausing suddenly, she blinked her eyes. "Warning, Jem'Hadar battle cruisers dropping out of warp at port and starboard. Condition Red. Shields and weapons ready, Captain."
As the lights dimmed to the now all too familiar red hue, Captain Ra-Yalis buckled in. "Tell Captain Luthor, he is running out of time with those engines." He said as the first volley of enemy fire rocked the Nebula class ship.
"Shields down to 92%." Reported the tactical officer.
"Defensive maneuver Gamma 2. Draw as much fire from the Grace as possible." Calmly commanded the Efrosian captain. "Send out a distress signal. We can't deal with all three of those battle cruisers on our own." Turning back to his XO, the veteran officer said with a quiet smirk, "I'm blaming you for this one, Varian."
The bridge of the Grace rocked as another volley of fire from the Jem'Hadar hit their shields. Captain Luthor grunted as a atmospheric recycling conduit ruptured from above. "Report!" he shouted.
"Direct hit! Shields down to 46%!" Answered a young-looking Bolian NCO from the tactical station. "The Kumari is trying to draw-off the Jem'Hadar's fire!" Luthor knew exactly what was going on; it was the entire reason the Kumari had stayed behind.
"Captain," came the ship's VI from behind his chair, taking the form of a young Trill. "I have managed to construct an emergency work-around with chief Vasco to restore warp-power, but it will require rerouting power away from several wards, including 2 ICU's." The ship said; "Other-wise, repairs will require another seven minutes, 14 seconds by my estimations."
The captain felt as though someone had punched him in the gut as he heard what the ship was suggesting. If not for all the years of experience, he might have told her to hold-out until they could finish the repairs, but the way this battle was going, he knew that he may not have that luxury.
"Sir, we have to wait! We have over 140 patients in those wards!" Called his pilot. Then another shot made it past the Kumari, knocking just about everyone from their stations who wasn't buckled in.
Finally, Luthor turned to his VI. "Grace. Reroute power from wards four through eleven to the warp engines. And inform the Kumari we're ready to get out of here."
"Aye aye, captain." Acknowledged the ship. "Contacting the Kumari and rerouting power now. The Kumari reports ready. Engineering reports ready. Sending coordinates to . . ." Before she could finish her sentence, the ship jolted again, this time more violently than even before, as multiple consoles exploded all around the bridge.
The ship's holographic avatar flickered in and out before stabilizing. "Captain Luthor, I have just lost my starboard nacelle and warp capability. Shields down to 19%. Structural integrity at 32%." Glancing around, she assessed the situation on the bridge. "Ensign Hussein and Petty Officer Amar have been incapacitated. Assuming helm and tactical control." Turning back to Luthor, she asked. "What are your orders, sir?"
[To be continued . . .]
Captain Xin Ra-Yalis
CO, USS Kumari
(NPC - Oliver)
Lt. Cmdr. Varian Romero
XO, USS Kumari
(NPC - Oliver)
Captain Clark Luthor
CO, USS Grace
(NPC - Zax)