241408.05 - Operation Aehallh (Nightmare) Begins
[IRW Hhveir Ri'hwathech]
"Our reconnaissance forces have detected Tholian fleet movements towards Federation Starbase 320." Ael'Riov Jaiu tr'Leran , of the Tal'Diann, said from the other side of the holographic strategic display while updating the details. The three-dimensional wireframe grid that represented the Tholian Assembly space rotated clockwise until focusing on an area that straddled Federation space "long range scans indicate approximately eight hundred vessels taking up a defensive posture." Insignias of the Tholian Assembly flared onto the grid display representing the Tholian fleet positions.
Shiarrael nodded her head as she studied the diagram. Raising her hand she slid a finger through the hologram causing photons to flicker around her finger and displace like a cloud of gas as she traced a line through the insignias of the Assembly "they are building a defensive barrier between 320 and Talla. They think that is where we aim to strike." Talla being the planet the Assembly had given to the Romulan Commonwealth as haven.
"Your feint seems to have work EnRiov." Khre'Riov S'Hauen tr'Aimne, her Chief of Staff, slowly circled the display studying the readouts as he spoke "most of the Tholian forces appear to be moving in a position to intercept the second and third wing unknowing."
"With the holographic technology we equipped them with no doubt the Tholians think we have amassed the entirety of our force at 320." tr'Leran said eyeing the updated display.
To Shiarrael Tholian space resembled an amoeba- no real form, a lack of elegance, with dozens of tendrils that stretched out seemingly at random. At its nucleus was Tholia- the harsh home world of the Tholians with dozens of planets splayed out in every direction like organs. Shiarrael's job had been to find those most vital organs to strike at. Fortunately their spies within the Commonwealth were now many and the information they received about the Tholians significant. It was always a risk to ally yourself with a faction of the enemy- a flame that could often burn both ways. Unfortunately for the Tholians this meant that Shiarrael had a near complete picture of their space and force distribution. Using the second and third wings equipped with advanced holographic technology they were able to weave a story of Romulan fleet movements that suggested they would attack Talla- but that story was fiction. Instead they were moving in unaligned space, cloaked, and outside of sensor range towards the Tholian system of Lekesa which was home to the largest Tholian fleet production facility outside of Tholia.
Turning away from the holographic map Shiarrael made her way down the steps to the heart of the bridge and took her place in the command throne "begin final preparations for the assault on Lekesa- have all wings move into predesigned formations." She studied the two-dimensional strategic map on the view screen which portrayed her fleet in twenty insignias of the Empire- each representing a wing of 72 ships. "How long until we enter the system?"
"Three minutes Rekkhai." Lai said as his hands danced rapidly on his console. Next to him Raha appeared stoic and focused ready for the coming battle.
Suddenly Raha turned to look at her "EnRiov, communications has detected a sudden increase in enemy chatter."
"So they've seen us." Shiarrael slowly nodded her head and stood up "very well then let us go ahead and give them a glimpse of their coming nightmare. Battle stations! Order all ships to decloak!" Klaxons sounded as the entire bridge was painted a hue of emerald from the battle lighting.
The view screen image shifted to a view of Lekesa II which looked like a tiny red dot on the middle of the screen. As the planet grew on the viewer the image began to shimmer with distortion that reminded Shiarrael of gazing through rippling water at whatever lie beneath. From that distortion hundreds of Romulan ships appeared like a flock of angry birds ready to dive towards their prey. However, it wasn't their time yet. In front of the fleet two large old style D'Dheridex ships de-cloaked and slowly ambled towards the massive diamond shaped Tholian Starbase that orbited the planet.
"Tholians are targeting the D'Dheridex ships." Raha said as she studied the readouts.
"Inform the fleet to keep back- patience is key." Shiarrael said as she gazed at the view screen. The D'Dheridexs continued towards the Starbase where bright beams of amber began to lance out at the massive ships. Flares of emerald shielding met the beams of energy as the D'Dheridexs continued towards the base gaining momentum. The first ship was ahead of the second and was taking the brunt of the attack."
"First D'Dheridex shielding down to thirty percent!" Raha shouted.
"Calm!" Shiarrael ordered "reroute all the power to their forward shielding. Just a little more..." She watched as the D'Dheridex was covered by emerald energy as it's shields ate the barrage knowing that soon the shielding would collapse. Her eyes momentarily left the view screen to glance at her wrist chrono. "Almost..." Looking back at the view she could feel a knot of tension beginning to form in her gut "NOW!"
The D'Dheridex exploded in a massive white-hot conflagration which blanketed the Tholian bases' amber shielding until it blinked and collapsed. The result was that the shockwave from the explosion sheared off part of the bases port hull with a can-opener like effect. Hot crimson atmosphere poured out into space along with clouds of shimmering debris while lines of orange plasma fire ravage the explosion facing side of the base.
"Second D'Dheridex in range." Raha announced.
Shiarrael nodded her head "detonate." Another white-hot conflagration filled the screen but this time without it's shielding to protect it the Tholian base cracked like a hollow eggshell and was ripped apart. A tidal wave of debris echoed out from the epicenter of the explosion and smashed into everything in its path.
"Debris from the explosion has created an ablation cascade." Raha said as she looked up at the view screen. The expanding orbital debris field swallowed dry-docks and smaller orbital facilities as it slowly began to wrap itself around the planet. "Computer simulation estimates that approximately sixty-one percent of all facilities in orbit of Lekesa II will be destroyed by the cascade- however facilities in higher orbit will be spared."
"Order the attack wings to take out any remaining vessels while the assault wings concentrate on the remaining facilities. Have the command ships move in position to begin orbital bombardment of planet based facilities." Shiarrael lowered herself back into the command throne as she watched the carnage unfold in front of her. She knew it would get harder from here. How will the Tholians respond?
Hundreds of light-years away that same question was being asked...
[To be continued]
Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu