“In The Hot Seat (Part 2)”
The Endless Sky. There it loomed on the viewscreen; a dark harbinger of death and destruction. They had to engage the warship that bristled with weaponry with the odds of surviving such an encounter not in the Charon’s favor. The Romulan warship versus the Federation research vessel was akin to the biblical story of David versus Goliath. How the hell was he supposed to stop the behemoth before him? If anyone was taking bets Lamont would be forced simply out of logic to bet against himself.
And yet, he had to believe it was possible. If he had no faith in success it would carry to the crew like the most virulent virus sapping them of strength, determination, and courage. They would need everything to survive this encounter. He couldn’t let his own emotions or even logic get in the way of following Captain Rehu’s orders. There was too much at stake to be selfish and too many lives now depended on his decisions. He had to be firm, resolute, and confident. If he faltered even in the slightest so would the Charon. In this high stakes game such an event was something the ship and crew could not afford.
As the Charon closed with the Endless Sky, Lamont sat quietly in the captain’s chair his head buzzing with fragments of his command training, Academy instruction, and past service in the fleet. He searched his mind for some clever maneuver or ruse that might give them some sort of edge, but as the moments ticked by he could recall nothing of any value. He hated combat tactics.
Facing an unsolvable conundrum, Lamont had to contend with Rehu’s orders. She wanted aboard the Endless Sky and intended to accomplish that my exploiting vulnerability in its shield systems. In order to get her boarding party aboard the Charon would have to close with the warship and maintain a perfect match in distance and speed. Doing so would place the Charon squarely in the warship’s sights. They would simply have to grin and take the punishment dished out until the captain was aboard assuming they could deliver a large enough punch to the D’Dherex’s aft shields.
There wasn’t any room for tricks, ploys, or clever gambits to cheat the inevitable clash. Lamont had to take the Charon into directly into harm’s way and somehow find a way to keep the Romulans from destroying them. He had two advantages; size and speed. The Charon had limited offensive capabilities as a research vessel, but it was nimble, fast, and small compared to front line heavy cruisers. They would make a difficult target to hit once the captain was aboard and assuming the Charon was still in one piece.
Lamont had little experience with ship to ship combat, however if the Charon could stay aft of the Endless Sky’s forward firing main batteries then like an annoying fly they might be able to bite, fly off, return, and bite again in the same area and perhaps eventually draw blood. Remaining aft the D’Dherex’s forward firing arcs would be essential. Allowing themselves to be caught by the Endless Sky’s main guns could be fatal.
The helm officer counted off the distance as the Charon slowly closed the distance. It was only a matter of moments now before they were in firing range and also within range of the Romulans. Ian felt the eyes of the bridge crew upon him. He could not blame them. An Ambassador, left in command of a desperate situation, was hardly ideal. The ship needed her captain, but someone demanded her presence and she was called to answer the summons. He didn’t have all the details and yet he could see Rehu’s need to resolve this situation her way and on her terms. They’d taken her ship, kidnapped her crew, abducted her first officer, and all of it masterminded by a family relative whom she knew well or so he surmised. She had her fight and as a result he had his.
“Open a channel to Engineering and keep it open”, Lamont instructed as his fingers rapped the armrest of his seat with increasing speed. “Tactical, lock a full spread of quantum torpedoes and all phasers onto the aft quarter of the Endless Sky.” We must hit the same grid with enough strength to create the momentary hole the captain will need to get aboard.”
Punching his armrest, Lamont opened a channel to the transporter room. “Transporter room, this is the bridge. Keep a close watch on the sensors as you will have one and only one shot to get the captain and her team aboard. Once aboard you will do everything possible to maintain a lock on the team. We must be ready to recover them on a moment’s notice once we receive their signal. Bridge out.”
Lamont stiffened in his chair despite the pain radiating throughout his injured and exhausted body. Rest would either be a long time off or perhaps was far closer than he could imagine. Only time could tell.
“We have a job to perform ladies and gentlemen”, Lamont stated with a firm tone. “The captain, the ship, the Vulcan people, and perhaps billions more are counting on us to slow, stop, or destroy that Romulan ship. I don’t have to tell you the stakes. You know them. I expect the best from all of you as would the captain. Make her and the Charon proud while we send the Romulan’s a message they will never forget.”
[ To Be Continued… ]
Ambassador Ian Lamont
Acting Captain (Scary huh?)