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Improving The Odds

Posted on Sat Dec 31st, 2016 @ 5:01pm by Rear Admiral David Hutchinson Sr & Ensign Anastasia Bogolyubov

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Near Starbase Unity
Timeline: Mission Day 15; 18:45

The Vindex had informed the rest of Force C that the battle was about to commence and that the Force C flagship would keep them updated. David sat on the bridge with Isobel - now his Executive Officer - to his right and everyone else waiting for the enemy fleet to arrive. David could tell a lot of people on the Renown were fed up waiting but his patience was rarely tested in situations like these. He knew that to get the best results they would have to wait.

"I hope this works" Isobel commented.

David smiled. "Ever the optimist Commander. It will work"

Anastasia said nothing, but kept her attention on her station.

"Captain...I'm picking up a large subspace distortion. I'm picking up three starships" Commander Redmond reported.

David was pleased - they were indeed in the correct place and their patience had paid off - but three starships seemed like a very small amount. He was secretly concerned but he chose to see what happened first.

"Open a channel to the Brandenburg" David ordered.

Christopher nodded. "Channel open sir"

=/\="Hutchinson to Suhea. Do you see them?"=/\= David said.

Cacod replied. =/\="We see them Captain. Hold position"=/\=

=/\="Understood"=/\= David responded.

Three Consortium starships had dropped out of warp a 500,000 kilometres away from the minefield and much to David and Cacod's surprise - they had not turned to engage the Brandenburg, Renown and Sarek with all of their strength. Instead the Beowulf, Eenhoorn and Hastings broke off from their formation and headed straight for the minefield whilst the remainder headed around it for Starbase Unity.

How had they possibly know about it? The mines were cloaked - someone must have got information to The Consortium about its existence. Cacod was furious but he managed to keep himself calm and composed.

=/\="Suhea to Renown and Sarek. Someone's obviously told them about the minefield. Move to the following co-ordinates - we'll attempt to detonate them and destroy those ships with what's left"=/\= Cacod called out.

"Helm - full impulse" Cacod ordered.

The conn officer replied. "Yes Captain"

Cacod then re-opened the channel to give out instructions to the Renown and Sarek. He felt that a one-on-one strategy would be best and directed his colleagues to their respective targets.

=/\="Captain Hutchinson - I'd like you to engage the Eenhoorn. Commander T'Freja please direct your fire at the Beowulf. I will attack the Hastings"=/\= Cacod said.

The Sarek's crew had prepared for the battle with the efficiency their Commanding Officer liked. With their target confirmed T'Freja confirmed receipt of her orders before giving those instructions to the relevant members of her bridge crew.

=/\="Understood sir"=/\= T'Freja replied.

Looking straight ahead at the viewscreen she gave those orders.

"Helm - take us astern of the Beowulf. Tactical - prepare alternating barrage of phasers and torpedoes and fire when in range" T'Freja ordered.

=/\="Understood Captain"=/\= David replied.

The three starships rushed to defend the minefield but by the time they got there at least a third of it had been detonated by antigraviton beams. David watched in horror as the minefield disappeared before his eyes and he could sense the dismay amongst the crew. He drummed the fingers of his right on the armrest of his chair for a few moments before coming up with the plan to make use of the mines whilst they were still there.

"Mr Oonias - set course for the Eenhoorn. Mr Redmond...prepare a tractor beam" David ordered.

Anastasia had made no comment when it became apparent that the Consortium escort fleet had foreknowledge of the existence of the minefield, if not exactly how it deployed. When the order was given to intercept the Eenhoorn, Anastasia immediately relayed the outline of the minefield remnant to the helm.

Oonias laid in the course he was given whilst Commander Redmond did as he was asked before looking to Isobel - who was looking directly at him - and then back to Hutchinson. He knew exactly what David was going to do.

"Are you going to do what I think you are sir?" Carl asked.

David nodded. "Yes Commander. Mr Tilston take out their engines"

"Aye sir" Ian said.

After a brief encounter Ian had managed to disable the Eenhoorn's engines - and he looked over to Commander Redmond and gave him the nod to confirm they were ready to proceed with Captain Hutchinson's plan.

Carl smiled. "We're ready to go Captain"

"Mr Oonias - ready when you are" David said.

Although the Eenhoorn had taken a few potshots at the Renown most of its fire had been focused on the minefield as per orders - but they didn't expect what was going to happen next. Just as the Eenhoorn was about to send out a distress call to the enemy fleet the Renown swooped across the bow of the Intrepid-class starship and locked a tractor beam onto it.

"Mines are moving to cluster on the Eenhoorn, Captain," Anastasia announced from her station.

"Take out the tractor beam!" Captain Gr'wrrok ordered.

Unfortunately the Eenhoorn's Tactical Officer was unable to carry out his Captain's request as moments later the Intrepid-class starship had been dragged into a small pocket of mines that were still online. The mines detonated and rocked the Eenhoorn violently with explosions occurring all over the ship. The angry Tellarite commanding officer of the Eenhoorn knew that it was more than likely game over for his ship - and as the Starfleet loyalists had been transferred off his ship - he wouldn't have to deal with leaving prisoners behind being on his conscience if he decided to scuttle the ship.

"We've got multiple hull breaches...emergency forcefields are offline and the bulkheads aren't responding. Minimal power to phasers...torpedo launchers aren't responding" the Tactical Chief reported.

There was no way the Eenhoorn could continue. Its engines were offline and the hull was coming apart. Even if they had some life left in the phasers it wasn't worth sacrificing his loyal crew's lives for a few potshots at the Renown - or at least those who were still alive and had survived the impact of the mines. His decision was made after hearing the damage report.

"Abandon ship!" Gr'wrrok ordered.

As the abandon ship klaxons sounded the crew started to file off the bridge one by one - although the Tellarite had no intention of leaving his ship like a coward. He wanted to go down with his ship and avoid the charges he could potentially face if he was captured by his enemy. Gr'wrrok knew that the Renown would destroy the Eenhoorn and at least his crew would be able to plead they were following his orders - even if they had followed him willingly.

The Renown had come about and to a halt above the mortally wounded Eenhoorn. David looked as the escape pods started to eject from the enemy ship and head clear of the battle site. A few minutes later David looked at the wounded ship - there was no way it was salvageable with the amount of damage it had sustained. David might have been angry with The Consortium but he had decided to let the escape pods fly clear of the scene.

"Target the warp core" David ordered.

Ian nodded. "Target locked"

"Escape capsules are out of potential blast range, sir," Anastasia announced.

Isobel looked at David before looking back at the viewscreen.

"Fire" David said.

Two orange glows emerged Renown's forward torpedo launchers and headed straight for their target. Moments later they reached home base and the Eenhoorn exploded in a massive ball of fire. Even though the Renown crew had defeated their enemy it was no time for celebrations - they had to help their allies.

"Mr Oonias - let's go and help our friends out" David ordered.

The Benzite helmsman piloted the Renown towards the main part of the action - the Sarek had taken a few hits but was still in the fight. The minefield had largely been destroyed by the two Akira-class starships whilst the Renown engaged and destroyed the Eenhoorn but a few pockets of the minefield were still active.

"Let's get some fire away from the Sarek - target the Beowulf's weapons and fire" David said.

"Captain Hutchinson, at the earliest possibility, I would recommend you relive me and place me in custody," Anastasia said over the din of the bridge as she relayed sensor data to both the Helm and the Tactical console.

David looked over at Anastasia with a bemused look - as did Isobel and Carl. He had no idea why she wanted to be confined to the brig after she'd helped with the mine deployment and allowed them to successfully destroy the Eenhoorn and reduce the strength of the Consortium.

"Why would I do that Ensign?" David queried.

"Because it is evident that the Consortium force had advance knowledge of our mines," Anastasia explained, "And the most logical source of that knowledge would be myself and Lieutenant Johansson." The tone of voice that Anastasia condemned herself with was completely void of any emotion.

David shrugged. "You don't know that Ensign...but...I'm not one to argue. Mr Tilston please escort Miss Bogolyubov to guest quarters and keep her there until we rendezvous with the Vindex"

"Aye sir" Ian said - bemused.

Ian walked over to the Ensign and gestured for her to follow him to the guest quarters she would be kept in for the remainder of her time aboard the Renown.

Anastasia followed wordlessly and, once left alone in guest quarters, sat motionlessly on the edge of the bed.

The skirmish raged on but after a tough encounter the Beowulf had been disabled and the Hastings had fled to Starbase Unity after coming under heavy fire from the Brandenburg. Captain Suhea ordered the rest of Force C to detonate the rest of the mines before proceeding to Starbase Unity - after all - they were no longer needed. Force C had done its job and improved the odds of the main battle for a Starfleet victory - but neither the Brandenburg, Renown or Sarek knew what they were about to face...


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