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The Quarry

Posted on Thu Mar 18th, 2021 @ 2:27pm by Vice Admiral Veristi Nuecylle

Mission: Swarm
Location: USS Klaestron, Sentra system

Commodore Oshrav Zh’Uhian paced the bridge of the USS Klaestron, occasionally scratching her swollen midsection in mild irritation. There was plenty of room to wander, as the Odyssey class vessel had an unreasonably large bridge. Then again, nearly everything about the Odyssey class was unreasonably big, aside from her diminutive commanding officer.

The heavily pregnant Zhen barely grazed one hundred sixty centimeters at her antennae. Yet respect surrounded the cerulean-hued woman wherever she went, even before she had attained her high rank. Something in her countenance spoke of capability and determination.

But today the Commodore wore an expression as cold as the surface of her homeworld. Today her ship had been called from its nice, boring job testing out new system components. Today they had received the call no crew wants to receive. Mutiny and revolt. And on a scale so preposterous Oshrav continually wondered if this wasn’t some test of loyalty the Admiralty was putting her through.

Nearly four thousand Starfleet personnel had joined in Hansen’s attack on liberty. How had he convinced them to abandon their principles and commit treason? And how would she convince them to give up their folly before a mountain of casualties lay on each side, she wondered.

“Commodore, the rest of the response fleet will arrive within forty five minutes. The latest intel puts Hansen’s Sixth near Gamma Trianguli.” Reported the communications officer.

“Navigation, what’s interesting about Gamma Trianguli?” She asked, arched antennae offering silent warning of her mood.

“Very little, Ma’am. It’s just inside Federation space. Uninhabited , one red dwarf star with no planets...it’s unremarkable.” Offered the Bolian.

“Try again, Lieutenant. There’s plenty of unremarkable space all over, yet the treasonous fleet began heading to this area the moment they detected us. Why?” She replied tersely.

The Bolian nearly sighed in frustration before thinking better of it. He scanned the width and breadth of space, before finding...something, at least.

“Commodore. It’s not much, but...there is a large debris field. From a large asteroid or small planet that was struck.” Offered the Navigation officer.

When the Commodore didn’t stop him, he continued. “Roughly spherical, spanning three hundred million kilometers, and composed of dense rock and metals. The survey team nicknamed it “The Quarry” due to signs of previous mining operations.” He finished.

“They could have a base of operations hidden in there, Ma’am” offered her first officer.

The unsettling thought had crossed her mind. “ There is also the possibility of proximity mines. When one is capable of an act of treason, what’s to stop more of the same?” She replied.

“Have the fleet rendezvous with us at the debris field. Time to flush the quarry from its hiding place.” Said Oshrav, taking her seat.

Three hours later, the somewhat ragtag fleet sat safely outside the massive debris field. They were mostly large, multi-role exploration vessels. A pair each of Nebula, Galaxy, and Prometheus class ships, as well as a Sovereign, Steamrunner, and her own Odyssey. And finally, just one of the new Inquiry class ships that Starfleet brass were lauding as the best thing since the Constitution class.

Personally, Oshrav thought they were underwhelming, and certainly not worthy to be produced in such numbers. But what would a veteran commanding officer know about what a starship ought to be.

She banished the idle thought from her mind. There was work to be done.

“Patch me through to the fleet…All ships, this is Commodore Zh’Uhian. Red alert. Hansen is in that field, and will not respond to attempts at communication. Use phasers first. Let’s minimize bloodshed and make good choices. Engage.” She said

The Quarry lay before her, displayed on the Klaestron’s massive viewscreen. The pieces of debris ranged in size from microscopic to moon-sized. She was acutely aware that they could be sailing into a trap. But that was a risk they had to take.

The lead ship, a Nebula class called the USS Banner, launched a probe into the field, and the Commodore watched it streak away into the rocks, before a round of pulse-phaser fire snuffed it from existence.

“That was a Defiant class...two hundred clicks into the field.” Announced the science officer.

“Ready phasers. Have the fleet fan out around that rock they were hiding behind” ordered the Andorian, clutching her stomach. “You have the bridge, number one. I’m heading to the command center.”

The Odyssey class’ command center was the ideal place for a flag officer to preside over an engagement. A low-mounted holo-projector offered visual representation of every object in the vicinity, and each ship had assigned a dedicated comms officer to listen to orders.

“Approaching the Defiant’s location… she’s gone, Ma’am.” Said the lead Nebula’s officer.

Just then, a pair of Diligent-class ships streaked by, firing salvos of pulse-phaser fire and quantum torpedoes. Oshrav watched in wordless horror as the Galaxy-class USS Ambassador-A took the brunt of the attack, shields buckling and her port nacelle consumed in an explosion of color.

“Fire at will!” She barked. Her antennae writhed in a display of anxiety and anger.

The return fire from her ships came too slowly, with the Diligents gone once more behind the massive rocks of the treacherous field. The Ambassador’s saucer section separated from the rest of the ship, which was pockmarked with debris and damage. The Sovereign-class tractored the secondary hull away from the rest of the fleet.

“Prometheus class ships activate MVAM. All vessels, form a protective sphere and get the Ambassador’s saucer in the center.” Ordered the Commodore.

Ships emerged from nearly all points, attacking Oshrav’s fleet as they were attempting to reposition themselves. Hansens’ ships were actually targeting the Ambassador’s saucer section. There was no decency here. This was a killing field.

“All ships, attack!” She ordered.

Torpedoes from Hansen’s fleet exploded into the Galaxy-class saucer and her own ship’s shields. The two Akira-class ships were besieged by the Prometheus ships, which were now an attack wing unto themselves.

The Sovereign-class ship hurled torpedoes and phaser fire at a Saber-class ship, who’s shields flashed with brilliant colors before buckling. The Saber’s hull hemorrhaged plasma before bursting into large fragments.

Hansen’s flagship entered the foray, flanked by two Defiants. The made directly for Oshrav’s Odyssey class, lighting up her shields with phaser fire. The Andorian clutched her swollen midsection as the ship rocked.

It was then that she realized her fleet was being herded deeper into the Quarry.

 

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