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Posted on Sat Jan 21st, 2017 @ 9:20pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Claudia Ainscow & Lieutenant Commander Soren Himmel & Lieutenant Elsa Johansson & Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson & Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan & Lieutenant JG Nealey Snowdon & Ensign Anastasia Bogolyubov

Mission: S1E3 - Operation Adrestia
Location: In orbit of Gavara IV
Timeline: Mission Day 18; 16:15

The Vindex approached Gavara IV at low warp to ensure their detection could be delayed as long as possible. With Trevett's fighters unloaded from their temporary home to provide air support to the landing force it was hopefully going to be a one-on-one battle in orbit of Gavara IV. Claudia sat in her command chair and patiently waited for news from the surface and also the situation with the Alwanir.

"Miss Zuzan - what is the status of the Alwanir?" Claudia asked.

Amber checked her console. So far so good.

"They haven't detected us and their weapons and shields are offline. I suspect however we won't remain undetected for very much longer - I recommend we go to red alert now to give ourselves the best chance of gaining the upper hand" Amber replied.

Claudia nodded. "Agreed - do it"

Amber carried out Claudia's orders and almost immediately the increasingly familiar red alert klaxons and lights made another appearance. Amber hoped it was going to be the last time for a good while.

"Lieutenant Johansson - is there anything on long range sensors?" Claudia asked.

"Nothing so far, ma'am," Elsa replied.

"Good - at least the contents of the latest intel report in the were correct. Miss Wilson - take us to impulse and get us as close as you can astern of the Alwanir" Claudia instructed.

"Yes, Captain." Annie replied, waiting until the last possible moment before dropping to impulse and heading straight for the enemy ship. 'Another battle,' Annie thought, 'I hope it's the last one for a while.'

Claudia looked to her XO and smiled.

"I sure hope we get a break after this. I don't think we've stopped for the last 18's been a roller coaster of a ride so far. I might see if Commodore Cameron will let us hang around here for a while to help out with undoing the damage The Consortium have done. What do you think?" Claudia asked.

"Agreed, Captain," Akiva replied. "Even if we're not tasked with assisting the return of Federation control on Gavara, I'd say the crew has earned some shore leave."

With the Vindex now astern of the Alwanir it was time for action.

"Miss Zuzan - fire at will. I don't care if you destroy it either - just take it out and make sure it doesn't call for help" Claudia ordered.

Amber nodded. "Aye Captain. Firing at will"

Amber could sense Claudia was determined to wipe out any trace of The Consortium she or the Vindex came across. In fairness Amber did share the same loathing for their enemy and was more than happy to contribute to get revenge for the innocent lives The Consortium had taken.

"They've gone to red alert and raised shields...and they're firing. Brace" Amber reported.

Akiva clutched his chair with a death grip as it bucked and rocked him to and fro. He hated being fired upon. At this rate he might chip a tooth from his clenched teeth.

"Damage report!" he called out.

Fortunately Amber had managed to divert all power to the forward shields which had done their job and absorbed the phaser fire from the Alwanir. Just as the Vindex rocked Amber had managed to get some torpedo and phaser fire away to retaliate.

"No damage. Shields holding at 91%" Amber reported.

Claudia nodded. "Keep firing - keep us on their tail Annie...we don't want them to get a chance to get on ours"

"Yes, Captain," Annie responded. "that shouldn't be a problem, I'm altering speed to match."

"Miss Johansson - I need you to work your magic again. We need those shields down before they start to make our hull look like a piece of cheese" Claudia said.

"On it, ma'am," Elsa said, her eyes never averting from her board. Unlike the Dark Horse, somebody on board the Alwanir knew their business. The Vindex might have gotten in the first punch, but the Alwanir's Operations and Damage Control weren't missing a trick. Somebody over the Alwanir had even got cute and somehow managed to use the spatial distortion created by the Alwanir's deflector shields to give occasional false readings to her sensors.

Have to get Ensign Bogolyubov to work out a couple of algorithms on how we can do the same thing in the future, and how we can beat it, Elsa thought to herself, as she wracked her brain to come up with a solution for the Captain.

=/\="Lieutenant Snowdon - report to the bridge on the double"=/\= Claudia ordered.

Nealey was already on her way there but she decided to confirm her imminent arrival on the bridge.

=/\="On my way Captain"=/\= Nealey replied.

Claudia spoke. =/\="Commander Himmel - I'll need you to divert all non-essential power into our shields and hull integrity before we end up with more holes in our hull"=/\=

=/\=Roger Captain, diverting power now.=/\=

Claudia looked over at Elsa.

"Are we ready to try the shield trick again?" Claudia asked.

Elsa was about to admit defeat to the Captain when the pattern presented itself to her. The Alwanir might be the Vindex's equal as far as Operations and Damage Control were concerned, but whoever was flying the Alwanir was definitely no Annie Wilson.

"With your permission, Captain, I have a firing run for Lieutenant Wilson and Lieutenant Zuzan," Elsa replied.

Just as Elsa gave her reply Nealey arrived on the bridge and relieved the relief Operations officer before taking her place at the Operations station. Nealey wondered why she was requested but after recent events she didn't want to risk causing any more friction than there needed to be.

Claudia nodded. "Do whatever you have to do Lieutenant. I want that ship destroyed"

"I'm ready when you are Lieutenant. Send the firing pattern over when you're ready" Amber called.

"Lieutenant Wilson, I need you to line up the Vindex at these three points relevant to Alwanir," announced Elsa, her fingers dancing over her board. "You'll notice the first point is above the plane and the second below the plane. I doubt that Alwanir is going to cooperate, but I know you will not allow their reluctance to hinder you."

"Just send them over, I'll keep us in line with that flying crate, Lieutenant." Annie replied, with her trademark grin.

"Lieutenant Zuzan, when the Vindex lines up on the first two points, I need phaser fire at these points," Elsa continued, sending the firing solutions to the other woman's board. "When the third shot is lined up, I need a narrow arc of photon torpedoes here," she added, sending the pertinent information. "The final shot will bring down the Alwanir's rear shielding."

Unless the Alwanir's Operation officer is really that good, Elsa mused, which isn't outside the realm of possibility.

Amber nodded. "You got it Lieutenant. Phasers are on standby"

"Lieutenant Snowdon," Elsa continued in her clear, rapid fire manner, "I am creating a virtual sensor array and sending both its readout and my readout to your board, to try to counteract whatever the Alwanir is doing to my readouts. If you see a difference between the two, give me a shout out.

"Understood Lieutenant. I've received it - so far so good" Nealey replied.

Claudia ordered. "Get us into position Annie. We need to be on their stern if this is going to work"

"Already ahead of you, Captain." Annie said, carrying out the instructions given to her.

Claudia looked over at Elsa - hoping this battle would be over sooner rather than later so the Vindex could provide support to the force on the surface. Just as she was about to speak the Vindex was hit by a barrage of phaser fire.

"Forward shields are losing strength Captain - we don't have much time" Amber reported.

Hearing Amber's report, Elsa tapped her own commbadge, quietly summoning Ensign Bogolyubov to the bridge.

Claudia nodded. "Alright. Whenever you're ready ladies...let's do this"

=/\="Mr Himmel - do we have any power at all left in the reserves for the shields? We don't think the bow shields will hold much longer and we're not quite finished with them yet"=/\= Claudia asked.

Himmel tapped away at the LCARs panel, his facial expression didn't seem positive, =/\=I have all auxiliary power diverted to shields. But it's not much.=/\=

"In the first position," Annie said. "Lieutenant Zuzan, but I won't be able to hold it for long, so make it quick."

Amber didn't reply and simply fired at the Alwanir - and seconds later an explosion rocked the enemy ship - just as the Alwanir fired back at the Vindex.

"We've taken a hit to the shield generators - we're down to 35% at the bow" Amber reported.

Claudia sighed. "Make it more direct hit to that shield generator and those shields could collapse...Annie take us into position two and three as quickly as you can...and do whatever you can to keep our ventral and aft weapons aimed at them"

"Okay, Captain," Annie said, carrying out her orders. "I'll do what I can, but that crate moves pretty well, so it won't be easy."

Anastasia Bogolyubov stepped on the bridge, glancing around the bridge. Her attention focused on Annie for a second before the standing Elsa became the center of her attention.

"Ensign Bogolyubov, over here," Elsa ordered, as the Scandinavian science officer made her way to the Operations console. "Captain, I have an idea to save our shields, but I only have time to explain it as I go."

"Go on. Miss Zuzan - keep firing at the target points" Claudia ordered.

Amber nodded. "Aye aye Captain - targeting point two now"

The second targeting point was hit and it just left one more to get - but it was the hardest one - and it would be incredibly difficult to get it with the current situation with the Vindex's forward shields in danger of being collapsed.

"Shields," Elsa began, leaning over Lieutenant Snowdon's board, "Are highly focused spatial distortions emitted and shaped by transmission grids on the ship's hull. What I want to do is to shape the port and starboard shields to overlap the forward shield so that we can drop the forward shield, charge the shield emitters, and get it back up in forty-five seconds. But with the ship in combat, the overlapping shaped fields are going to have to be constantly readjusted. Can you take in all those details and feed the data to Lieutenant Snowdon?" Elsa asked Anastasia.

"Yes, ma'am," Anastasia answered without hesitation.

"Lieutenant Snowdon, can you adjust the shields as fast as Ensign Bogolyubov gives you the numbers?"

Nealey nodded. "You bet I can. Send them over"

"With your permission, ma'am?" Elsa asked, looking over her shoulder at Claudia.

Claudia gave Elsa a knowing look - one that meant she wanted it done.

"Do it Lieutenant" Claudia ordered.

Nealey patiently waited for the information to arrive from the Science station - hoping that her rapid typing skills would come in useful in this particular situation.

"Ready when you are!" Nealey called.

"Ensign Bogolyubov, take the Science board," Elsa directed, "and begin feeding the data to Lieutenant Snowdon. Lieutenant Snowdon, I'm forwarding all your operations functions to a free board and taking it over for you. Your one sole purpose in life now is to shape the fields as Ensign Bogolyubov directs. As soon as you have overlapping fields, advise Lieutenant Zuzan so she can drop the forward shield for recharging. Lieutenant Wilson, I know you're concentrating on lining up for the third shot, but anything you can do to position the ship to protect where the shields are overlapping would be appreciated. Commander Himmel, I sincerely apologize for the strain we're about to put on your reserves, sir."

"Aye, Lieutenant," Anastasia answered, sending data to Nealey's board.

Nealey simply nodded and waited for further instructions from Anastasia.

"The sooner the better - that ship is moving too much and I can't get a solid target lock on it. Incoming!" Amber called.

Just as she finished speaking more phaser fire hit the ship and put the shields in a precarious situation. One more hit could finish them off and render the Vindex very vulnerable.

"Forward shields down to 22%...we better get moving with this Lieutenant!" Amber shouted.

"I'll do my best," Annie said, taking her new instructions on board and changing the flight plan. "Changing course, keeping us in firing range as best as I can."

Himmel came over the com, =/\=I can't promise shields won't fail soon, I'm using all we got. We'll only have the hull plating protecting us if we keep getting this kind of damage.=/\=

"We need these modifications now Ensign. If not we're going to get blown to pieces" Claudia ordered.

"Numbers in sync," Anastasia responded emotionlessly. "Sending data now."

"Got them. Compensating for forward shields...and there we go. Lieutenant Zuzan - you can lower the forward shields for recharging whenever you're ready" Nealey reported.

Amber was glad to hear that. After managing to knock out the Alwanir's rear torpedo launchers with the phasers Amber deactivated the forward shields and let them recharge.

"Annie...we really need to get closer if we can now we've got some more defences at the bow of the ship. The forward shields will be recharged and ready for raising in 42 seconds" Amber said.

Annie sighed to herself, but didn't show her growing frustration, instead she put the Vindex closer to the Alwanir, hoping it was enough for Amber.

"Commander - I fear we've bitten off more than we can chew - and somebody's told that ship exactly where to hit us...I suggest we have a thorough review of the logs after all of this" Claudia said.

"With all due respect, Captain, to hell with that," Akiva said as he punched in commands to his chair panel. "I'm ordering our Intel officers to immediately review all comm traffic."

With the Vindex finally in position it was time to deal the final blow to the enemy ship - and Claudia gave the order to fire and end the battle and hopefully not have to worry about any more confrontations for a good while.

"Amber - target their reactor - fire at will" Claudia ordered.

Amber nodded. "Aye aye Captain - with pleasure. Keep us steady now Annie - that's perfect"

"You're welcome, Lieutenant." Annie replied, "just make it count, please."

"" Amber reported.

Seconds later a volley of quantum torpedoes launched from the Vindex's turret and struck their target - and the Alwanir exploded violently. A fair few escape pods had been launched since the shields collapsed and Claudia decided to bring them on board. There was a chance at least some of them were friendly.

With the Alwanir's destruction, Elsa didn't feel as if the tension flowed from her. It was more like numbness have overcome her body. A part of her wondered if any of the bridge crew had survived, especially the faceless bridge officer on the Alwanir who, even with the element of surprise against them, had still given the Vindex a run for the money. Mostly, though, Elsa felt tired, especially after having to pull a plan out of her rumpa not once but twice.

Annie just watched as the enemy ship exploded, happy it was over, and thinking maybe, just maybe, they would be able to get back to normality.

"Miss Snowdon - are there any survivors?" Claudia asked.

Nealey scanned the vicinity and wreckage of the Alwanir before giving her answer.

"Yes Captain. I'm picking up a number of escape pods - according to the sensors there are 319 life signs in the escape pods" Nealey reported.

"Rats always flee a sinking ship." Akiva's surly tone matched his expression which hung transfixed on the view screen.

Claudia listened for a moment. 319 survivors meant that if the Alwanir's marine detachment was on the surface then 396 people had died on the Alwanir.

"Bring them on board Miss Snowdon - we will meet them in the main shuttle bay. Mr ben-Avram and Miss Zuzan are with me. Miss Johansson the bridge is yours - Miss Snowdon is in charge if you have to leave" Claudia said.

Akiva eyed Elsa and Nealey and mouth "Good Work" before acknowledging the captain and falling in step behind her.

"Aye aye Captain" Amber said.

Amber then allowed the relief Tactical Officer to take over and waited over by the turbolift. To her it was just carrying out orders - although there was every chance that out of the 396 who died aboard the Alwanir some of them could have been allies. It was too late now however - but at least some had survived.

"Aye, ma'am," Elsa replied, taking the center chair. "Ensign Bogolyubov, maintain acute sensor awareness. I don't want anyone to get the jump on us like we got on the Alwanir."

"Aye, Lieutenant," Anastasia responded, giving a quick glance over at Annie before focusing on sensors readouts.

"All stations, give me a damage report," Elsa continued.

"I'll keep Commander ben-Avram's seat warm...until he gets back" Nealey commented.

"While you're at it, Lieutenant Snowdon," Elsa added wryly, "Contact our forces below, and see what their status is."

After taking the vacant Executive Officer's seat Nealey reached for the comm panel in the armrest.

Nealey nodded. "Yes Lieutenant - contacting them now"


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