[USS Charon, torpedo bay]
"Get that hatch closed", Lamont barked his breath ragged and coming in gasps. Heading to the control console he and the lieutenant worked to bypass the automated systems.
"It's no good sir", the lieutenant shouted. "We've tried to bypass and override the controls. Everything is locked out!"
Lamont slammed his hand against the unresponsive console having come too far to accept defeat. Standing for a moment attempting to catch his breath he suddenly had another idea.
"What about training? Can we put the console into a diagnostic test or training mode? If so, could we fire the torpedo manually?"
The lieutenant quickly grasped Lamont's line of thinking and went to work. "It's possible. Why didn't I think of that", he exclaimed his hands dancing over the controls like a concert pianist's.
"YES. Yes we can. Hold on a moment. I should be able to load a training module and convince the computer this is a simulation thus detaching it from the main computer and possibly the lockout. Program online. Executing training "
"YES! Launcher online", the lieutenant shouted in triumph.
Lamont wanted to celebrate with the lieutenant, but there wasn't time. The Vulcan ship had to be destroyed. When it was gone perhaps..just perhaps he could again breathe. Only time would tell.
"Bridge, this is Ambassador Lamont in torpedo control! We have managed to load a single quantum torpedo and are currently on manual to fire. I need a firing solution and coordinates from tactical to plug in down here. If we are going to destroy that Vulcan ship we're locked and loaded. Standing by for your orders!"
Eithne almost jumped when she heard Commander Lamont's voice over the COMM system of the ship. There really had been nothing seat since a little aft he had left, there was nothing but silence. What else were they to do.
When she heard that there was the possibility of them being able to destroy only the Temep Shar her heart fluttered, if they manage to make this shot, the one and only shot they have. It would be a blessing in disguise. "Send the coordinates for the Temep Shar down to the Commander. I want this to be as precise as possible."
Hitting her badge she spoke. "Commander Lamont, you better make the best of all shots you have every made in your career... If this is the only shot we have. I want it to be a successful one... No pressure or anything."
"Commander, I feel I must report that I have never actually fired a torpedo in my career. I'm sorry but the opportunity never really presented itself."
Lamont couldn't help but allow himself a thread of dry humor in the midst of so much uncertainty and chaos. It might very well be his last opportunity. Despite the truth it was ironic that the ship's ambassador, a supposed crusader for peace, would be the agent responsible for unleashing destruction which could possibly claim lives. The big picture was however clear. It was far better, as grim an action as it was, to sacrifice a few lives to potentially save billions from the threat of a galactic war as a result of the Vulcan's technology finding its way into the wrong hands.
"I have some expert help down here though Commander. Assuming we are provided the correct coordinates I assure you our one shot will hit its mark."
It had been years since Lamont had been involved in battle drills or weapon simulations. He hadn't touched a weapons console since the last war aboard the Lexington and that was years ago. Aiming the torpedo would fall to the nearby lieutenant. The young officer was far more versed on the system. Hitting an object the size of a starship shouldn't be too difficult of a task with or without computer assisted targeting.
All of the crew in the torpedo bay waited for word from tactical and the bridge on where and how to aim the torpedo with baited breath as the seconds ticked by
Aerv scrabbled in her belt pouch and pulled out an isolinear chip. Yanking open an access panel in the Tactical console, she swiftly pulled out two chips and inserted her own. "Commander, the weapon systems are sabotaged at multiple locations. There is no way to aim and fire the torpedo using the ship's systems. The most you can do from there is to activate the torpedo's own propulsion on a short time delay and use gas pressure to push it out of the tube. Read me the torpedo ID code from the casing. I will establish a comm-link with it and direct it manually from here."
The dark eyed Vulcan had silently moved up to the tactical station and gazed over the young Rihanha's shoulder onto the display. Careful not to disturb the other woman's personal space, Sakarra stepped around and simply pointed at a section right above the gaping hole in the engineering section's hull. "There."
If they had only one shot, this was where it would do the most damage. But she already knew it would not be enough. Nowhere near and too late. Before the bridge crew's horrified eyes, the massive beast of the Endless sky locked a tractor beam on the wounded Vulcan ship and extended shields around her prize.
Lamont pointed at one of the crewman hearing the tactical officer's instructions. "Do it." The crewman quickly nodded and was about to open the tightly sealed torpedo tube to regain access to the weapon when the Charon suddenly lurched from some unknown force. The power flickered and went dead swallowing the crewmen in a sea of darkness. Another jolt knocked Lamont off his feet his head cracking against the computer console moments before his shoulder hit the invisible deck with a loud thud. Overwhelmed by vertigo, Lamont attempted to get his bearings, but with no light all he could do was hold on as the ship rocked around him.
After several moments of tremors they subsided but did not stop. Suddenly in a flash of brilliance the pale emergency lighting snapped on bathing the torpedo room in blood red hues.
"Are you alright commander", a voice asked as arms helped him upwards.
Lamont slowly stood his legs and balance uncertain. On his lips was the unmistakable and distinct taste of iron. He touched his temple which was slick and warm with his own blood.
"Bridge", Lamont shouted. "What's happened!"
There was no reply. "Lamont to Bridge! Respond!"
Still there was no answer.
It was up to them now whatever had happened; why there was still time. Pounding on the computer console, Lamont managed to regain control as he called the lieutenant over to assist. They would have to fire the torpedo visually without the benefit of computer assisted targeting or even coordinates. One shot. One chance.
"How it look", Lamont asked the young lieutenant. "I'm no good at this. What's your professional opinion?"
"I I don't know", the nervous lieutenant stammered. "The computer is out and we have little to aim or guide the weapon. It's a shot in the dark sir!"
"Take it. We're out of time lieutenant."
"No time to argue. FIRE!"
Lamont grimaced as the bay was filled with the concussive blast of the launching quantum torpedo. The rumble quickly subsided and all any of them could do was watch on a tiny screen relaying visuals from one of the Charon's outside cameras. The weapon streaked out toward the Vulcan ship on course it seemed to do its destructive task when the hull of a Romulan ship suddenly filled the static laced display. Lamont could only watch in horror as the lone torpedo detonated against the Romulan ship's shields and faded away in a cloud of blue and white plasma.
A string of colorful profanities as heated as the torpedo's detonation sailed through the silent bay as the ambassador slammed his fists into the control panel. The Romulans had won and there was nothing he or anyone else could do about that now.
"Lamont to Bridge", the ambassador hissed but was met in return with nothing but static.
"What now sir", one of the crew asked as they all appeared shaken and uncertain.
"We may have lost the battle, but we haven't lost the war", Lamont said unable to think of anything more inspirational. Was he resorting to clichés? He must have hit his head harder than he realized.
"Grab a phaser, help defend the ship or assist the injured. The weapons are useless at this point and there's no sense in remaining here. We may have to fight to stay alive depending on what is happening around us. Let's go."
The crewmen nodded and each in turn squeezed through the tiny opening in the inoperable doors leading out of the torpedo bay. Lamont followed last but stopped taking one last look into the empty torpedo bay wondering briefly if he had done everything possible if there was something he might have done differently. There were no answers to be found in the crimson emptiness; only questions and missed opportunities.
Lamont squeezed through the opening and back into the corridor. There was little for him here on deck 13. Making his way back to the turboshaft he steeled himself for the long climb back to the bridge and whatever awaited him there.
Eithne watched with clenched fists as the Temep Shar was towed away by the Romulans. 'Shit...' She said to herself with frustration before she collapsed back into the Command chair. Leaning forward she looked at the view screen with vacant eyes. That was all they had had left, their final horah before the curtains came down.
A soft growl emanated from her throat as she thought of just how angry the Captain was going to be able this outcome. Rehu had given her a order and she failed, she did not like the feeling it gave her to be a failure.
Sakarra stomped down on the seething anger and the very real desire to inflict severe and lasting physical harm on a variety of people top of said list was currently occupied by T'Pelar with a certain Vaek'Riov being a close second and refocused on the sensor readings.
Almost smugly, the gigantic D'Dherex turned before them and headed out of the nebula, the helpless and battered Temep`Shar in tow. But the retaliatory torpedoes everyone was waiting for never came.
Her face was like chiseled marble but inside, the Vulcan was howling with fury. Dismissed, crippled, ignored, not even considered worthy of attention any more, Charon was left behind. A final insult to let them watch as Itsak tr`Sahen and his forces strolled home with their prize.
Cmdr Eithne Kathris
Ambassador Ian Lamont
LtCmdr Sakarra Tyrax
Chief Helm Officer
Farein Aerv ir-Rhynne t'Jaihen Chief Tactical Officer
Farein Aerv ir-Rhynne t'Jaihen
Chief Tactical Officer