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En Route

Posted on Thu Jul 18th, 2019 @ 5:47pm by Captain Sun Mei Xiang & Commander Karsel`lyn Lylyl-Llytherraias & Lieutenant Limmi Ovim & Lieutenant Wale Scholl Ph.D. & Lieutenant Christine Descharmes & Lieutenant JG Isabelle Veran PhD & Ensign Jane Sinclair

Mission: The Time That is Given Us
Location: Golovin System, USS Shanghai - Bridge

[USS Warspite Bridge]

The bridge shook as a spark of smoke and steam filled the room. The Admiral stood his ground at his station, listening as reports came in from all over his bridge. The viewscreen was cracked, but functional - showing Klingon ships appearing and firing before fading back into the dark.

"Another Klingon ship decloaking and firing,"

"There are too many of them, we need to fall back to the colony,"

"Colony defenses won't hold against this force. We hold them here," The Admiral barked with a wave of his hand, "Helm, keep us at full speed as long as you can. Evasive action. Tactical, switch to free fire. As soon as any gunner sees one of them appear, open fire. Hit and keep moving. Engineering - I need every bit of power we have to keep us moving. Run us dry if you have too."

He received affirmatives from his crew, who snapped to action. He could see from his display that hit by hit shields were failing. One of their phaser banks found its mark though, ripping through a bird of prey as it appeared, tearing through the unshielded hull and the small vessel erupted into a fireball as the Sovereign pushed forward through space. They couldn't last here much longer, but they had to buy as much time as they could. His crew saw that. Thousands of people were counting on them.

"Admiral, a number of Klingon vessels have broken off to try to slip past us," His operations officer called out. "Intercept path with the evacuation corridor."

"We can't let them. Bring us about, concentrate fire on any ship that breaks through," The Admiral called out to his helm and tactical officers.

"There are too many, they're spreading apart to keep their paths separated. We can't keep up with all of them,"

"And we're detecting more signatures of cloaked vessels,"

"How many damned Klingons are out here?"

"At least six distinct birds of prey still active, three others destroyed or crippled. Something bigger is out there too, just waiting." His science officer updated.

"Shields below twenty-five percent sir. I can't cycle them fast enough to keep all the fire off of us. A few more direct hits, and they're going to be piercing hull."

"You heard the man helm. Pick it up. We just have to hold until they're evacuated, or help arrives."

[USS Shanghai Bridge]

"Everyone clear on their history?" Sun spoke coldly. "We're going to hope the Klingons forgot a lot of it. We're going to appear out of nowhere, and when we do I want all stations prepared to launch into the fight as if we'd been there the entire time. All phaser banks, all torpedoes. Anything not on our side, blast the hell out of it. As soon as we're in the system, I need intel giving me details on what we're up against, and jamming every signal that isn't ours." Mei stood with her arms crossed at the center of the bridge. "Helm, keep us moving constantly. Whatever fancy tricks you have, it's time to be using them. As soon as we're clear of the QSD disruption, I want the entire Fighter Wing out there defending the Colony." She took a breath. "Medical, expect heavy casualties, and do what you can. Counselors, keep an eye out for fatigue, help where you can, and stop anyone from overstepping on timeline disruption." The Captain twisted around. "Science, I'll need full reports on everything as soon as we arrive, but then I want you finding ways to best their cloak." She paused, "Finally, engineering, you're gonna play miracle worker. I need every ounce of power we can muster." She glanced around for one last quick moment. "This is going to be hard to watch, because there is nothing else we can do for the Warspite, but remember - they're defending the Colony. We can help them do that." Sun gave a nod. "Lets see what we can do, people. Take us to New Anchorage."

"Yes, Ma'am," replied Wale.

Kachiko sidled over to the station next to Lieutenant Ovim, the other woman "hearing" in her head, '~I will assist you on weapons. Maybe you take Port side and I'll watch over Starboard?~'

"Dorsal and ventral split." Limmi's visible preoccupation at her station manifested in her projecting back the Kachiko with a weighted, ruminative tone. "The former gets the most comprehensive phaser coverage, the latter the majority of our heavy weapons. I'd like the latter." She naturally wanted the most destructive elements of its armament under her control. Her prerogative as Shanghai's assigned tactical officer aside, the torpedoes were her vanguard for forcing shooting solutions onto any cloaked ships. However the phasers were key to preserving it as well as the more effective weapon against shielded targets. Yielding the best coverage to Kachiko said a lot about how much Limmi trusted her.

'~I understand and agree, darling,~' was Kachiko's immediate response.

"Ready, Captain," Jane said. At the helm station she was ready to make the Shanghai skitter about the system like a cat, ensuring its claws were able to strike true. She looked back and nodded to Limmi and Kachiko, thinking hard in their direction and hoping they picked up her promise to do her best for them. She needed to work in perfect harmony with them for this to work. She could do it.

"Just do what you think is necessary, Jane." Limmi's cursory sussing of the helmswoman's state of mind allowed her to pick up the outreach attempt. "We'll adjust and go from there." There was no other way for them to build their rapport than to observe and react to one another in action.

Isabelle had nodded at the Captain's orders and took seat where she could to observe those on the bridge. Her other speciality was Operations so she was ready to help out there if needed. She had smiled to herself as Wale had responded to the Captain, she had very fond memories of her night with him. She'd shocked herself with Joe she'd simply fallen into bed with him but she had to admit she'd enjoyed it.

This was far from Kachiko's first rodeo and she had enjoyed the ability to follow the helm's thoughts and instincts in directing weapons fire before, as the Chief Tactical Officer of the USS Aquarius. She could serve as a bridge between Limmi and Ms. Sinclair as well, which could better aid the two Tactical Officers in coordinating their weapons.

"Captain, I recommend that we possibly make micro-Warp jumps to bounce around as needed. It would make us more unpredictable and harder to hit. We could also cover more space, since I anticipate that the Klingons will be spreading out to try to get past the Warspite," Kachiko recommended.

"I wouldn't recommend that," piped in Wale. "It might give us a slight advantage in trying to locate the cloaked ships, but it would also put an undue strain on the local subspace field. We run the risk of creating a subspace rift that could threaten the New Anchorage outpost."

"And, it is a science outpost. I'm already nervous about bringing us in close with QSD. We need that equipment intact to keep our lines to the Raeyan Sector Block open." Mei added, "But, keep the Picard Maneuvers in mind, Ensign," Her hand gently motioning towards Sinclair, "If it gets too rough we might have to risk it."

“Yes, ma’am,” Jane replied. She’d always wanted to try the Picard maneuver!

"I actually second Colonel Bayushi's recommendation," Limmi asserted. "The Klingons will likely pull the reigns on attacking the colony in order to ascertain the subspace anomaly we'll represent slipstreaming in. We should engage them before their reaction consolidates. The risk of jumping with the initiative is far lower than doing it in reactive haste."

"Miss Ovim is correct," the spritely Marine said. "Klingon battle tactics are entirely sublight. Klingons ships are terribly ineffective at faster than light velocity. They rely on high sublight speeds and superior maneuverability. As for the subspace field, every Starfleet vessel since the Intrepid class has been designed specifically to no longer disrupt subspace. This will give us a significant Tactical advantage in the engagement," Kachiko continued.

"For long-range jumps, that's true. But we're talking about micro-jumps here. Forming the warp field and collapsing it one microsecond later takes a toll on the subspace field. We might have softer shoes so as not to wear out the track field, but the starting blocks still take a pounding," Wale illustrated.

"Captain. . .Mister Scholl," Limmi countered levelly, not at all irked by the science chief's resistance, "they have numbers they've already leveraged to put a Sovereign class vessel on the ropes. We have one of the few ships in the fleet that exceeds Warspite in nigh every element of tactical performance, though not so much that hurtling into the same sublight furball will yield a different result. We need the jumps to take and hold the initiative from the Klingons, and we should do them while our FTL systems are at their soundest if we're looking to minimize environmental damage. The Klingons haven't seen much of the Vesta class, but the intricacy of our FTL governance makes their tenured tactic of targeting those associated systems especially viable against us."

Hearing both of what Wale and Kachiko were saying, Jane weighed in. “Captain, I can do it. I can make the jumps. To preserve subspace, maybe I can make fewer of them. Use them sparingly. But I can do it.”

Mei took a breath and finally held up a hand. "I've made my decision. Multiple microjumps are not worth the risk, but I agree with the general tactical advantage. That said, Klingons have long memories - the element of surprise will only last a few seconds. So," She paused a moment, "Once we arrive, a few quick jumps would put them off guard, and maybe give the illusion of multiple reinforcements. If we could time Picard maneuvers with changes to the IFF..." She paused, "Three to five microjumps at most. Understood?" She ended, her eyes glancing about the bridge for a minute.

Limmi nodded, satisfied with the compromise. She would've preferred more latitude jumping of course, but what Captain Sun had given them was enough to facilitate her aim.

"Jane," she voiced into said shipmate's mind, mindful of her earlier effort to convey her thoughts, "are you alright with me communicating with you like this?"

Isabelle looked towards Limmi, she could sense the telepathic communication taking place but not pick up on the conversation, at least not without eavesdropping and that wasn’t the done thing.

“Yes, Captain,” Jane answered. She also looked back to Limmi and nodded her assent to telepathic communications. Limmi? Kachiko? Let’s do this. She began inputting coordinates and directions and various other parameters into her helm console and opened a comm line to main engineering. “Helm to engine room. Be advised we will be conducting three to five warp microjumps upon exiting slipstream. Um, plan accordingly?”

Limmi projected to Jane again. "The captain has the gist of the desired impression of the jumps; reinforcements of sufficient number to make the aggressors pushing forward foolhardy, which will disconcert their advance. At whatever point you decide to make the last jump, can you put us between them and the colony's orbital lanes? Hopefully Warspite will be able enough to help us force a gauntlet onto them. Even if they can't, we'll have the positioning and firepower to turn any strafing attempts into the Stovokor Express."

Wale nodded at the Captain. Sun's decision was a reasonable compromise, but he still felt nervous at the idea of the microjumps. He tapped furiously at his controls, scrambling to write a subroutine in the sensors that would keep an eye on the stability of the subspace field and alter them if a rift was forming.

"Wait, what?" came the response over the comm. "What the f--what's happening up there? Microjumps? Plan accordingly?" Hisa let frustration seep into her voice as she continued her tirade." Do you realize you have to reinitialize after every jump? I can't do that with microjumps. You want to blow a coil, you can damn well come down here and fix it yourself." She paused as she took a breath. "Sure, you'll have your microjumps," she added, irritation evident. "We'll just skip the re-initializing sequence, adjust the magnetic plasma transfer to the warp field generators and bleed off the excess energy from superheated plasma. I need to know when you're making the jumps so I can plan accordingly."

"Calm, Hisa," Kachiko piped up. "We're doing everything we can to save several thousand colonists. People much like yourself. I'm certain that Miss Sinclair will try to mind the state of the engine and warp coils. We're the most advanced ship in the Alpha quadrant. We're going to be fine."

"Advanced, but let's not overestimate our capabilities," Sun piped up, before turning and giving a quick nod to her Executive Officer. "On arrival, weapons free. Target as desired. Keep an ear open for the Commander's call outs or my own. We're going full out as soon as we arrive. Once the colony is safe, we may have to make a quick exit." She shuddered a bit, adjusting to a more comfortable position to stand and opening her command console. "Sinclair - get us going as soon as Engineering gives the go ahead."

Hisa cut the comm off while the engineering team worked with the information she had given the bridge. "Advanced or not," she muttered under her breath, "Something things just shouldn't be done." She wasn't entirely happy with how they would have to do it. After a few minutes, her voice came back over the comm to the bridge. She nodded to several other engineers that manned the other consoles. "Matsuko here. Everything is place," she said, her fingers poised above the controls. "We'll bleed off the excess energy from the warp plasma through the EPS. It could give us some more power if we need it. Ready for the micro-jumps on your mark."

“Ready on my end as well,” Jane added. Her fingers were on her console, ready to execute the necessary commands. The console, however, was visible only peripherally and not the focus of her attention. Her eyes were locked on the viewscreen.

"Good, lets get to work." Sun ordered before adjusting at her seat.

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