EPISODE 5.48.5 - “From the Front Lines: Blockade of Turcia”
written by Travis Cannon
STARDATE 59368.15 - In orbit of Turcia:
The klaxon alert rang across the bridge. Red light flashed to an undetectable beat. Occasionally sparks flew across the bridge, giving an brief flash of illumination to their current dim lighting. The crew darted about franticly as the captain gave orders and they rushed to obey.
“Fire all weapons!” cried Captain Markev Riganoff as a large burst of sparks flashed across the bridge of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga.
He watched, wide eyed, as the view screen showed several photon torpedoes race across space and ultimately smashing into the side of the So'ja warship, one of many So'jan vessels blockading the planet of Turcia.
“Direct hit!” informed Lieutenant Hogan from his station.
“Incoming!” Ensign Ludwig shouted from the helm.
“All hands, brace yourselves!” Riganoff's voice rang throughout the ship on the inter-ship com-channels.
The bridge shook violently as the enemy torpedoes flew through the Ticonderoga's shield and impacted the hull.
Commander B'verk, Riganoff's Andorian first officer, stood up and rushed towards Lieutenant Burton and the Operations station.
“Damage report?” he demanded as he dashed towards the station.
Burton examined his console and reported, “Secondary systems on five decks are done, including transporter room one. Cargo bay three has lost gravity platting and several decks have lost power.”
“Riganoff the engineering, Commander Kaltor respond.”
“Kaltor here, sir,” came the shrill voice of the Edosian Chief of Engineering.
“I need all you can spare from the engines,” Riganoff said. “We're doing pretty bad up here.”
“As are we, Captain,” came Kaltor's response. “The Warp Core was close to breaching a couple of seconds ago, luckily I was able to contain it for now, but I don't know how much longer it can hold out.”
“Understood,” Riganoff replied. “Do your best, Commander. Riganoff out.”
He stood up and walked up behind the helm, wiping the sweat from his brow. He placed one hand on the back of the helm officer's chair to steady him.
“Ava, bring us about,” he ordered. “Hogan,” he cocked his head towards tactical. “Target their engines, using quantum torpedoes and fire as soon as you have a shot.”
“Aye, sir,” Ludwig and Hogan respond simultaneously.
Riganoff's grip on the back of the helm officer's chair tightened as he watched his crew carry out his orders. B'verk hoped down into his chair and examined the command console on its arm.
“Quantum torpedoes lock and loaded,” B'verk called out.
“Coming into range,” Ludwig announced as the Ticonderoga finished its spin and was now facing the So'ja warship.
“Targeting enemy engines,” informed Hogan. “Locking on... and firing!”
Riganoff watched as two bright blue flashes of light bellowed forth from the Ticonderoga and made their way straight for the stern of the So'ja warship. He watched with anticipation and dismay as the first quantum torpedo impacted on the warship's shields. He feared that the second torpedo would do the same. But if, but some miracle from the divine, the second quantum torpedo sailed through the warship's shields and impact directly on the external port of the rear engines.
The bridge crew simultaneously erupted in cheer as the So'ja warship's engines exploded causing several secondary explosions throughout the ship, causing the warship to veer off cause in a limp and wounded posture.
“We have an opening,” Riganoff cried, almost pumping his fist. “Keltor, I need all the speed you can muster.”
“Aye, aye,” came the engineer's voice.
“Ensign Ludwig,” Riganoff said, returning to the command chair. “Take us in, maximum impulse.”
“Yes, sir!” Ava Ludwig spun around in her chair and type so quickly on the control console that Burton, who sat across from her at the operations station, swore that she hardly moved her fingers.
Riganoff felt the jolt of the impulse engines igniting and pushing the ship forward. He made a mental note to discuss the inertial dampers with Commander Keltor.
“Bring the shields to full strength,” B'verk order.
Hogan nodded in acknowledgement and made the appropriate changes on his operations console.
“Approaching blockade,” Ludwig reported.
Riganoff gave a slight nod to B'verk, who immediately rapidly typed a combination sequence code on his command console. “Transmitting to the Turcian Tetrarchate.”
Several seconds later a computer beep from B'verk's console informed them that the Turcian's had received and authenticated their transmission.
“All hands,” Riganoff announced, as he gripped the arms of his chair. “Prepare for shield inversion.”
“Take her through nice and steady, Ensign,” B'verk assured Ludwig.
Ava Ludwig gritted her teeth as she maneuvered the Ticonderoga through the gape in the So'jan blockade. Disruptor blasts from near by So'ja warship impacted their shields, but with a reassuring nod from Lieutenant Burton, all the bridge crew knew the shields were holding.
“Twenty seconds,” announced Ludwig.
The disruptor blasts continued to bombard the shields of the Ticonderoga, and Riganoff could feel droplets of sweat running down the bridge of this nose. This was cutting closer than he wished, but they had no choice. Just creating this gape took major effort, they had to get through the planetary shield and deliver supplies to the Turcian Defense force. The very survival of the planet depended on it.
“Fifteen seconds,” Ludwig continued.
The view screen flickered and changed images, showing the starboard view. Two So'jan warships were closing. Riganoff thanked God that they weren't the hybrid destroyers. If any of those had been blockading the planet, he would have been forced to order a retreat.
“Hogan, target the engines of the two enemy vessels on the starboard side and fire phasers,” Riganoff ordered.
“Firing,” came Hogan's voice from the tactical station.
The phaser beams struck the engines and both ships sputtered and stalled.
Riganoff gripped the arms of the chair firmly as the view screen switch back to the forward view.
The bridge shook as it was rocked by a torpedo striking the shields from a warship on their port side.
Almost there, Riganoff thought as he pulled himself up to his feet.
A halo of light enveloped the Ticonderoga as it passed through the planetary force shield. The view screen switch to show the pursuing So'jan warship. Riganoff stood motionless as he watched the So'jan warship try to brake, however it was too late and the ship collided the planetary defense shield at full impulse and burst apart upon impact.
Riganoff could not help but smile.
Safe inside the Turcian planetary defense shield, Captain Riganoff ordered Ensign Ava Ludwig to set an orbit around the planet, and conferred with Hogan and Burton to keep an eye on the So'jan warships, just incase one managed to break through the defense field.
After their quick conference, Burton announced that they were receiving a transmission from the surface. Riganoff gave a quick nod and stepped into the center of the bridge.
“On the view screen.”
The image of the planet flashed to show the interior of one of the Turcian Tetrarch's office. Seated behind a dull metallic slab of a desk was Toran Ul-kan. The Turcian people who tall with long gray hair with braids with colored beads along the sides of their faces. According to the Federation diplomacy offices, the number and color of beads indicating the Turcians rank and position in society. Toran Ul-kan had many beads of a varying colors.
Riganoff opened his mouth to speak, but before he could introduce himself, Ul-kan raised his hand in a gesture of silence. From the corner of the screen out stepped Thagdan, Deputy to the Tetrarchate. Thagdan wore no braids, indicating that he was a servant of the Tetrarchate, which (from what Riganoff had gathered from his meeting with the Federation diplomatic core) meant he was a slave of sorts. He spoke for the Tetrarch whenever they met with off-worlders. The Turcians believed such communication between off-worlders and their holy leaders was an offense to their gods, which made their petition to join the Federation difficult to approve.
“Toran Ul-kan, First amongst the Tetrarchs, is pleased to see that you have made it safely through the So'jan blockade and wonders whether or not you have brought what was requested by the Tetrarchate,” Thagdan spoke.
What a demanding people, Riganoff thought before he spoke. “We have,” he said.
“Good!” Thagdan smiled. “Then on behalf of the Turcian Tetrarchate, Tetrarch Toran Ul-kan invites you and your crew to beam the fore mentioned request to the coordinates we are sending to you know. And you, along with your crew, are welcomed to some must deserved rest on our glorious planet.”
“Thank yo...,” before Riganoff could finish his sentence, Thagdan had closed the channel.
“Really nice, huh, Captain?” B'verk said, standing up next to his captain. “Reminds me of my early days in the Andorian Imperial Guard before I joined Starfleet.”
“What a sweet thought, B'verk,” Riganoff smiled. “Now, let's get them their supplies. I know they need them badly, though their too proud to admit it.”
“Right away, Captain,” B'verk said with a nod.
The U.S.S. Ticonderoga continued in her orbit, as the warships of so'jan blockade resumed their intense fire upon the Turcian planetary defense field.