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High Tide (Part II)

Posted on Friday, 16 April 2021 - 9:48pm by Captain Barret Stillwater & Lieutenant Talarn Zilth & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Lieutenant Raith Kolani & Lieutenant JG Harley & Petty Officer 1st Class Siana Ilian

Mission: Operation: Peace or P'Jem
Location: USS Standing Bear | Deck 01 | Bridge

Dropping out of slipstream, the USS Standing Bear was at yellow alert, Talarn had sounded the alarm, personnel were preparing for battle and clearing the corridors. Areas of crucial importance were being guarded.

Captain Barret Stillwater stepped outside of his Ready Room and onto the starship's bridge as the Turbolift doors opened, and Lieutenant Kolani was exiting, heading to relieve Petty Officer Ilian up front at the Ops station.

"Lieutenant Kolani, take Ops," Stillwater instructed.

Raith nodded as he approached the Ops station. Looking at Petty Officer Ilian, he nodded to her and took over the Ops station, assessing what the situation was and where things were at now that he was on the bridge.

The Captain noted Talarn was at the horseshoe of tactical as he had left him. Lieutenant Kingsley was manning her science station. "Petty Officer, take the bridge engineering station, monitor everything you can and stay in contact with Chief Eyelaya."

Stepping out of Lieutenant Kolani's way, Siana nodded, "of course."

Crossing to the engineering station she quickly adjusted the displays to her preferences, in truth far more comfortable even now with engineering rather than Ops. Andorians. She never had met one to this day who hadn't given her an uneasy feeling.

Instead of returning to the Captain's chair, Stillwater started to cross the bridge to the far side where an empty intelligence station and empty mission operations station were. "The Andorians will be here soon, and our calvary not too far behind them," said Stillwater. "We have to keep the Andorians busy until backup arrives. I'll take Intelligence and coordinate with the rest of our starships."

"They are closing in on our position," Kingsley confirmed before turning to face Stillwater. "If they drop shields at all I'll be able to lock on to our people or at least get a location. They mentioned a brig, so there may be shields that will disrupt any attempts to beam them back."

Raith could see where this was going and smiled. "I can have Auxiliary power diverted if you need the extra juice to get them out, should the Andorians drop their shields," he offered to Alex, knowing that if she already had a plan, it was his part to assist where possible. "Or did you have a plan b in mind?"

“It is plan b,” she confided. “Or at least late-stage plan A...”

With your permission, Captain," Alex went on, "I took the liberty of making a few minor tweaks to the deflector dish... they are ready to bring online."

"Do it," replied Stillwater quickly. "Whatever you have up your sleeve, use it."

“Aye sir,” Kingsley replied. She turned towards Raith and Talarn, “the deflector will create sensor ghosts of our incoming fleet but also echoes of our ship. Their systems will not know which one to lock on to if they get a lock at all. They will have to target manually, which takes time. It might not buy a lot, but it will give us time. The more power we can route to the deflector, the more echoes we can generate.”

"Understood, I'll give you everything I can spare power-wise and re-route it to the deflector," Raith said, understanding the needs and requirements for this to work. He turned to the p station and started working away.

Stillwater turned in the intelligence seat. "Tal, have those marines spread out, I want two guarding Engineering."

“Yes, Sir. I have been coordinating with the Staff Sergeant. I’ll let him know now.” He tapped his com. =/\= “Staff Sergeant Merrick, the captain would like two men on Engineering deck.” =/\=

=/\= “Agreed. Shuffling now and then I’m coming to the bridge.” =/\=

=/\= “Understood,” =/\= Talarn replied and closed the channel. “Captain, the marines are almost in place.”

Captain Barret Stillwater took a moment to himself to mutter something in his native tongue, a prayer of sorts perhaps. He immediately tapped away at the intelligence station, accessing the communications systems, and began transmitting a message. "Let's stay alive long enough to see a few Andorian ships destroyed. We must project P'Jem at all cost."

Soon, consoles around the bridge started to sound off one by one, detecting the same thing: The Andorians had begun to arrive. "On screen," demanded Barret only to find something more perplexing than the Andorian battlecruisers that he was anticipating. Several of them were flickering into view...decloaking.

Most eyes had glanced at the viewscreen, ready to see the Andorian ships. They had been tracking them, and yet, before their eyes, more ships suddenly decloaked, swelling the numbers and enhancing the odds in the Andorian’s favour. “That’s... cheating,” Kingsley declared. She glanced down as another chirp sounded.“Deflector is ready, Sir.”

The Federation did not use cloaking technology, at least not officially, and not on record. It would have been a violation of The Treaty of Algeron signed by the Federation and Romulan Star Empire in 2311 prohibiting the Federation from developing cloaking technology. Clearly, with the Romulan Star Empire obsolete, the Andorians had no qualms about making use of cloaking tech, but had they been developing it themselves?

Stillwater quickly had taken some scans to help shed some light on the situation as another ship decloaked. "Lieutenant, use the deflector. Confuse those Andorians and get their antennae twitching,” ordered Stillwater. "That's Klingon cloaking technology," he added sharply. The Klingons, he thought to himself with a bitterness. Who else would admire a resurgence of Andorian warrior pride.

Bringing the deflector modifications online, Kingsley nodded to herself as she checked the readings. “We are up and running. I just would not recommend staying in one place too long. As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Or something like it. Lieutenant Zilth, I’ve set up a program to compensate so targeting systems should be not be impacted.”

Talarn nodded. “Thank you, Lieutenant.”

"Harley, you heard the woman, evasive pattern 23 Delta," quipped the Captain. Proximity alerts were going off once more. More starships were approaching. "We have incoming starships!" announced Captain Stillwater. "And they aren't Andorian, but they aren't Federation either... Lieutenant," he said turning in his seat and looking across the bridge to the science station.

Harley nodded. “Yes, Captain! Evasive pattern 23 Delta!” His hands slide quickly over his console, not looking at the screen. He backed the ship up away from the uncloaking Andorian ships and turned it around in an arc and headed away the ships and P’Jem.

"Friends of yours," he said with a small opportune smile.

“I’ll hide the probes, Sir,” Alex quipped as the ship rocked under weapons fire. On her workstation, the sensors tracked the inbound ships. She really hoped they were still friendly. The odds of surviving this had either improved or gotten even worse. They were about to find out. “They are entering weapons range... now.”

"Good, they have the weapons to deal with Andorians," the captain said swiftly. He knew his starship was better equipped for evasive combat rather than direct combat. "Harley, keep us going continuously. I don't care if you have to barrel roll this thing." Stillwater was pleased to have the experienced helmsman at flight control, but also intrigued to see how he would do with his baptism of fire.

Just slightly out of range for the Andorians, Harley once again turned the Bear back toward the ships. Now, they could make a run at them, weapons ready and give the Bear a run though its paces. “Ready, Captain. Starting our run now! We will be in range... now!”

"Tal, target the weapons systems of those Andorian ships. If they can't shoot, they can't fight back," the Captain instructed. "Alex, I need you to scan for Vulcan life signs, not on the planet. We need to find whatever ship Soral and Vali are on, and make sure we don't blow it up with them still aboard."

Alex nodded, not sparing the time it would take to answer as her hands flitted over the surface of her station, refining their sensor sweeps and cutting through interference. To her mind it seemed agonisingly slow, with each major shift in position needing her to compensate. But then, this was kind of her idea. There may have been a few choice curse words muttered under her breath before she sighed with relief. "I have them, Sir!"

On the viewscreen a flashing icon appeared around one of the warships, highlighting its position. "Three lifesigns, two Vulcans, one humanoid. The rest are Andorian."

Captain Stillwater immediately opened a comm channel to the attacking Vomnin ships, and for any incoming Federation starships which were still a few minutes out, not to attack said Andorian battlecruiser. "Tal, arm a volley of quantum torpedoes and take that battlecruisers shields out, now!"

“Aye, Captain!” He was already locked in as the ship ran a pass around the battlecruiser. He tapped his console. “Firing in three... two... one... volley away.” He watched carefully to make sure he hit the target.

With the success of the torpedos, knocking the Andorian's shields out if not for a brief reprise, Stillwater looked across the bridge at Alex. "Lieutenant Kingsey, transporter room one. I'll have some marines haul ass there to meet you. Get them back, Lieutenant." Captain Stillwater turned his seat promptly and began summoning the marine Staff Sargeant and some of his marines to the transporter room.

"It'll be my pleasure, Sir," Alex replied as she all but ran to the turbolift and disappeared out of sight.

Raith looked up and nodded to Alex, hoping, knowing that she would bring the others back and that she would get T'Lanna home and safe again. He couldn't stand the idea of losing her after not long recovering from his coma and being back in service. Raith re-focused and kept the power levels required whilst they were in the thick of it.

Harley swung the ship around the battlecruiser, staying moving, but staying close enough to the other ship that people could teleport over. He made an figured eight around the battlecruiser, trying to keep just out of its weapons.

Captain Stillwater took a deep breath. Just a little bit longer...that's all they needed to do. They needed to last. "Prepare to lower shields for Lieutenant Kingsley and the marines to transport over. Stand ready..." The Captain knew if was going to be up to chance and fate.


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