U.S.S. Corsair - NX-011979
Nebula II Prototype
“Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)
“Silent Storm – Part 1”
Standing with his hands clasp behind his back, Ramius conferred with his chief engineer over the status of the Corsair from the bridge’s rear engineering station. Penetrating the dense barrier of rocky debris to enter the heart of the system had taken its toll on the ship. Her shields had been reduced by 50 percent leaving his battered starship with half of its formidable strength. The ship’s overall condition was average given the pounding it had just endured but the situation was far from ideal. Ramius knew going in that the Corsair would suffer some bruises. Only time could tell if her wounds would become a liability.
“It’s going to be at least three hours sir”, Chief Engineer Sai Kusinagi said from his station. “I have every available engineer and technician working to restore shield efficiency. We took a beating out there sir and we will need some time to lick our wounds.”
Ramius nodded despite his desire to move the Corsair into weapons range of the station with the goal of draining and disabling the station’s formidable shielding. He had three main problems to contend with all of which he was carefully weighing, judging, and analyzing in the back of his mind.
He had only preliminary data on the station’s maximum shield capacity. The original specs of the abandoned Klingon mining station were twenty years old and it was safe to assume NeoDyne had made improvements to the original design. Despite its small size, attacking a fortified position head on was a poor tactical strategy unless one had a distinct advantage which he currently lacked. Second, he did not have a complete understanding of the station’s offensive capabilities. It was possible NeoDyne had outfitted the station with formidable weapons which led him to his third problem. In the Corsair’s current condition she might not have her usual staying power in a fight given the damage they had sustained breaching the debris barrier. While her weapons systems were intact he couldn’t chance an all out assault. Using the full arsenal of the Corsair against the station was not an option. It would be easy for NeoDyne to record the attack and smuggle a copy to various news and media outlets. Additionally, there was a fair chance a full on assault could overpower the station and cause severe damage or possibly destroy it. Ramius had come too far to accidentally damage or destroy evidence he so vehemently sought against the NeoDyne Corporation. He commanded a prototype starship designed in every capacity to wage total war against the Dominion. Ramius knew only too well what its offensive capabilities could do when fully employed. He could not take the chance of destroying or damaging the station. Somehow he had to get past its shields without tearing the station into pieces.
The turn of events had left him with few options. He could launch an attack from which they might have to retreat risking additional damage and possible personnel casualties. He could do nothing and wait several hours for the shields to be restored in which case the station would have ample time to discard or destroy precious evidence. Third, he could hit the station hard and fast and attempt to overwhelm its defenses in one massive strike and hope that the barrage of superior firepower did not damage or destroy the station.
Ramius instructed the chief to continue repairs as quickly as possible as he paced the bridge struggling to make a decision. The image of his home burning in the distance filled his vision as he slowly paced. As clearly as the viewscreen before him he could see its roof collapse as the flames consumed the lives of his mother and father. As a crying, confused child he could not comprehend the destiny that NeoDyne had fashioned for him on that tragic day so long ago. They had killed his family. They had tried to possess illicit knowledge for their own sinister use. They had altered his life forever, had filled his heart and mind with pain and anguish, and had stolen those most dear to him. They had created a soldier out of him and forced him to walk a path of violence and hardships that in another timeline might never have occurred. They had been responsible for his parents deaths, the torture and abuse of his brother, and for countless other atrocities and injustices. They had created him and set him upon the path to bring him here; to this moment in time. Every moment of his life since that terrible day had been leading up to this intersection of fate, destiny, and time. Ramius had finally arrived at the crossroads he had been seeking his entire life.
Now that the perfect moment, armed with the perfect weapons, and the means to use them had arrived fate had played its joker from its insidious deck of cards giving him three unsuitable choices all with uncertain and potentially undesirable outcomes. Each option was filled with great risks to his ship and crew or to his goal of obtaining definitive, incontrovertible evidence in which to bury NeoDyne and forever erase its existence from the universe.
His decision was painfully difficult. A wrong move could cripple his ship, kill or wound his crew, or destroy the means to fulfill his lifelong quest to eradicate NeoDyne. Pacing the bridge he intensely pondered the consequences and advantages of his few options as time ticked slowly forward with each second robbing him of precious time to take action.
“Captain”, the communications officer said suddenly breaking the calm on the bridge.
Ramius’s head quickly snapped up from his deliberations in the directions of his communications officer.
“Sir, the station is transmitting on subspace channels. The stream is coded, but it could be a call for help or a distress signal.”
“Quickly lieutenant”, Ramius shouted. “Jam all communications channels! Throw out enough interference to blanket the entire area. I cannot afford to have them calling in the cavalry or worse.”
“Aye sir. Activating jamming systems.”
While Ramius observed his communications officer it seemed the station had the upper hand. He needed another option and quickly to make good on his threats to board the station. There had to be a way to breech its shields without risking the station itself. Glaring at the station spinning slowly on the viewscreen before him, Ramius continued to search for a viable option as his time to find it slowly ticked away second by second.
[ Meanwhile – NeoDyne Research Station ]
“How much longer Simms”, the operations officer shouted impatiently as the Federation Starship loomed in the distance like an animal waiting to pounce upon its prey.
“The coils are charging”, Simms barked his plump face dripping with sweat. “I suppose I could force charge the system and watch half the station explode!”
“Don’t take that tone with me”, the officer sneered. “Just prepare the deflector beam for deployment!”
Simms bit his tongue against his coarse emotions. He wanted to tell his inept superior exactly what he thought of him, but this was not the time or place. Perhaps with the starship gone as a result of his brilliant ideas and unsurpassed talent, he would finally get the promotion and respect he deserved after slaving away inside the walls of this thirty year old Klingon rust bucket.
“Coils now approaching full charge. Sixty seconds to full power”, Simms called out.
The ops officer nodded. “Target the Starship. We’ll push it back into the debris field and crush it upon the rocks like an egg splattering against hard pavement!” A sinister laugh filled the NeoDyne operations center.
[ Meanwhile – USS Corsair ]
Captain Ramius sat in his seat on the bridge grappling with the issue at hand. He had made a decision, but was it the right one? Would his choice lead them to success or failure? Was it even possible to satisfy his lust for vengeance and justice while at the same time staying true to his mission and keeping his crew and ship safe? The moment he had so longed for was suddenly bittersweet lacking the luster and magnificence he had placed upon it in his thoughts, ideas, and dreams.
“Captain, I’m picking up unusual power emanations from the station. Looks like a power build up”, the OPS officer suddenly called out.
“A power build up? Where”, Ramius quickly asked jumping to his feet.
“Port side near their power core and engineering sections. I’m not sure what to…”
“REINFORCE THE SHIELDS”, Ramius immediately shouted jumping from his chair. “Do it now! All decks, battlestations! Red Alert! Helm, full impulse, 30 degrees port, Z plus sixteen thousand meters! Target the station, standby all weapon systems!”
“What is it captain”, Commander Novada quickly asked as the bridge exploded into a frenzy of action.
“Instinct”, Ramius cryptically answered his eagle eyes locked on the NeoDyne station as it hung in space before him on the viewscreen.
“Picking up increased sensor activity from the station captain.” The OPS officer suddenly turned from his seat to face the captain with an anxious expression. “Sir, they are targeting US!”
It seemed the station was forcing the issue and forcing Ramius’s hand. His highly tuned senses, honed for years by combat piloting, had given him some small inkling of trouble at the first mention of a power build up. If the station was willing to risk combat with a Federation heavy cruiser then they possessed the means to back up their actions. Such actions and facts did not bode well for the immediate future. Ramius cringed realizing that he was seconds away from glimpsing NeoDyne’s dangerous fangs.
[NeoDyne Research Station]
“Coils fully charged”, Simms stated from his station. “Deflector system now at full power.”
The operations officer grinned with an unnatural, devilish expression. “Target the starship and engage the deflection beam”, he said confidently. “Those arrogant Starfleet bastards won’t know what hit them until its too late.”
[ TO BE CONTINUED… ]
Captain Taverain Ramius
Commanding Officer, USS Corsair
Commander Alanis Novada
Executive Officer, USS Corsair