Shuttle Essex - 2340 Hours
First Officers log; 2311.22.07. Commander Bay recording: We have
departed the Lexington and are en route to the battleship Bismarck. Our
orders are to board the Bismarck and attempt to retake the stolen ship.
We will be joined by a marine contingent from the USS Saratoga. In
addition, a squadron of fighters will escort our shuttle and the marine
transport ship. . Captain Donati has given us a window of one hour to
complete our mission. After one hour, the Lexington, Saratoga and any
additional Federation vessels will begin a full scale attack on the
Bismarck... Bay out.
"Status Mister Stev?" Bay asked.
"Current speed, three-quarter impulse." The Vulcan pilot replied.
"Our ETA to planetary orbit is seven minutes."
"We should be near our rendezvous point with the Saratoga's marines."
Commander Smith said.
As if on cue the shuttle's proximity detector sounded and a squadron
of marine fighters edged in front of the shuttle. Just starboard of the
Essex, the marine transport vessel closed up the formation. The crew on
the Essex seemed to relax slightly with the arrival of the marines.
Commander Bay felt differently. Each moment which brought her closer to
battle only served to heighten her level of excitement. She wondered if
any of her crew mates felt the same. Do they relish the thought of
battle as I do? Bay touched her Klingon knife at her belt hoping above
hope to be able to release the tri-blade assembly and exact her revenge
on the Jirzzaque... She owed them. She owed them for destroying her
previous ship, the USS Stark, at Starbase forty-three. Bay turned and
eyed the people she had come to respect and honor. One thought haunted
her as they neared their final approach. How many of us will return?
USS Lexington - 2350 Hours
"Battle stations." Captain Donati calmly ordered as he scanned the
chronometer on the arm of the command chair. "Raise shields, arm all
weapons. . . Lieutenant DeHart, stand by for warp speed."
"Course and speed plotted and laid in sir." DeHart replied.
"Shields at maximum." Chandos said. "All weapons armed and standing
"Very well." Donati said. "Everyone be on your toes. We will be
dropping from warp within the weapons range of the Bismarck. Our purpose
is to provide a diversion for the assault team... All decks stand by."
From behind him the turbo lifts doors parted and Admiral Black
entered the bridge. The raven haired woman spotted an empty seat at
science station two and she quickly filled it.
"Captain, the Saratoga is hailing." Lieutenant Commander Skye
announced. "I have Captain Donaree, audio only."
"Play ball." The Saratoga's Captain said.
"Batter up." Donati replied then signaled for the channel to be
closed. "Mister DeHart, warp five now!"
The Lexington and Saratoga dropped from warp and discharged their
weapons at the Bismarck. The combined assault barely managed to put a
dent in the battleships shields. The Bismarck quickly responded with a
barrage of its own. The Saratoga suffered the most damage and its
shields wavered. Before Captain Donaree was able to order the ship out
of weapons range the Bismarck momentarily lowered its shields and beamed
a boarding parry aboard the Saratoga.
The Lexington followed the Saratoga, angling away and firing its
"Sensors show the assault team has broken through the Bismarck's
perimeter." Commander Sabin said from science station one.
"Any sign of pursuit?" The Captain asked.
"None sir." Sabin said. "The Bismarck is maintaining planetary
"Shields at fifty-eight percent." Chandos reported. "All weapons are
"Channel all available power to the forward shield array." Donati
ordered. "Weapons target the saucer section... We are going in for
Shuttle Essex - Zero Hour
Once inside the defensive sphere of the battleship Stev piloted the
Essex for one of the Bismarck's shuttle bays.
"We're losing drive plasma from the starboard nacelle." Stev
"I'm on it!" Lieutenant Commander Smith said.
"Prepare for final approach." Bay said. "Brace yourself... We'll be
attempting to punch through their containment field."
Two of the Saratoga's fighters led the way with their turbo-phasers
blazing. At the last moment they peeled away rocketing under the saucer
section of the Bismarck. The shuttle and marine transport hit the
containment field hard but managed to break through. The two ships
skidded to a halt on the deck. The rear door of the shuttle dropped open
and the crew ran out ducking for cover as the Jirzzaque opened fire. The
resistance to their arrival was surprisingly light leaving Commander Bay
to wonder if the Jirzzaque had the opportunity to get reinforcements
aboard... Just then, a squad of Jirzzaque warriors stormed into the
hangar deck. The marines were deployed and ready for them. Phaser beams
sliced through the air and into the bodies of the Jirzzaque. Only a
lucky few were able to find cover in time.
Commander Smith fired a few suppressing rounds allowing Commanders
Bay and Brown to close in on the Jirzzaque's position. Bay leapt over a
fallen container and came face to face with a Jirzzaque. They fired
simultaneously, K'Yras blast centered on the assailant’s chest. The
Jirzzaque's beam cut through her uniform burning a path at her hip. The
Jirzzaque fell backwards and died instantly. Brown caught up with Bay
and noticed the smoking gash.
"Commander! Are you all right?" Brown asked.
"Yes!" K'Yras grinned, her Klingon blood nearing a boil. "I haven't
felt this good in years!"
USS Saratoga - 0035 Hours
"Grey Wolf, can you locate them on internal sensors?" Captain Donaree
asked referring to the boarding party of Jirzzaque.
"Internal sensors are damaged sir." He replied. "I could patch into
the lateral array and calibrate them for internal scans."
"Do it." Kit ordered. 'We need to know where they are and fast!'
"Captain, I'm getting reports of sporadic fighting from the
engineering deck." Commander M'Reia said.
"Alert security." The Captain said as she viewed the battle on the
main viewer. The Lexington was moving to attack again. . alone.
"Mister Brannon, plot a parallel course to the Lexington's."
"Captain our shields!" Lieutenant JG Mai protested.
"We'll hit them from both sides." Kit ignored him. "Shields full
starboard... Prepare to fire on my mark."
Again the Saratoga took up a position flanking the Lexington. The two
warships cruised past the battleship blasting away with every available
weapon. While the Bismarck suffered under the assault, the Lexington and
Saratoga still bore the brunt of the engagement. The Saratoga shields
were reduced to critical levels and Captain Donaree barely maneuvered
her ship out of range before suffering even more serious damage.
The Lexington too acquired its share of damage but all of its key
systems were still functioning. With the timetable racing by, Captain
Donati could only hope that Commander Bay's team could complete their
mission and escape the Bismarck in time.
USS Bismarck - 0057 Hours
The assault team had met heavy resistance and was forced to retreat
to the shuttle bay and evacuate. Commander Bay and a handful of marines
held off the Jirzzaque as their comrades prepared for departure.
"Stev, prepare to launch!" Bay shouted over the din of small arms
Without replying, the Vulcan threaded his way to the Essex, dove
through the door and quickly climbed into the pilot’s seat. The shuttle
was ready for departure in record time.
Commander Brown entered next supporting Ensign T'Bec who had suffered
a glancing blow from a Jirzzaque disrupter. He helped her to a seat,
buckled her in and returned to the door to provide cover for the other
"Just get to the shuttle damn it!" Bay ordered Smith.
"Not without you." Smith argued.
"Mister Smith that's a direct order!"
"Court martial me if make it that far!" He said helping her to her
feet. "Right now, just hang onto me!"
"You are one stubborn son of a bitch Mister Smith!" Bay said between
clenched teeth. K'Yras had to admit, at least to herself that she found
herself respecting him and envying his obvious bravery...
USS Lexington - 0059 Hours
The console at science station two smoldered as a damage control
officer finished extinguishing it... Lieutenant DeHart was being tended
to by an EMT after receiving a gash in her forehead from a shard of
flying debris. Despite these relatively minor incidents, the Lady Lex
was holding her own against the Bismarck. The hit and run tactics that
Captain Donati employed had kept, for the most part, the ship our of
harms way. Now the time had come for a change in tactics. The Federation
fleet would be on station within minutes and an all out offensive was
slated to begin.
"Captain the Starquest is hailing." Skye reported. "Audio only"
"ETA one minute." Captain Dunning said.
"Follow the leader AJ..." Donati replied.
"Acknowledged." Captain Dunning answered feeling a sense of relief
that the Lexington and her friend Captain Donati had managed to survive
"Jena any signal from Commander Bay's team?"
"I'm not reading the Essex on sensors Captain." Sabin replied. "But,
there's an abundance of interference out there."
"We can't wait." Donati decided. "Take us in Lieutenant... Full
The Lexington accelerated to full impulse and headed directly for the
Bismarck. The captain waited until they reached point-blank range before
opening fire. Phasers and photon torpedoes spewed from the heavy
cruiser. Every shot finding its mark. As the Bismarck's shields weakened
it fired back. The Lexington immediately listed to port as the weapons
struck her shields. The bridge personnel tumbled across the deck and a
number of consoles exploded, unable to cope with the massive energy
"Maintain rate of fire!" Donati ordered.
"Photon launchers are off-line sir!" Chandos said. Phasers
functioning at seventy-eight percent!"
Admiral Black had struggled to her feet and balanced herself against
the bridge rail. She decided that if this was to be the end of her, she
wanted to be with him. She crossed the bridge and as she neared the
command chair another salvo struck the Lexington. Black felt her feet
leave the deck and she was pitched forward. Her hands braced for impact.
Inches from the deck strong hands engulfed her and brought her to her
feet. Captain Donati gently guided her into the command chair. Even
under these dire circumstances. Alisha smiled and mouthed the words "I
Donati turned back to the screen just in time to see the Bismarck
turning to face its new threat... the USS Starquest.
"Target the damaged nacelle strut!" The Captain ordered. "Fire at
Aboard the Saratoga, Kit sensed what Bo had in mind and she ordered
her ship to a position whereby they too could target the strut. Another
parting shot from the Bismarck knocked the phaser banks out. Without
weapons. Donati was forced to consider retreat.
"Belay that order DeHart" The Captain said abruptly changing his
mind. Chandos, lock a tractor beam onto the Bismarck's port nacelle."
"Aye sir." The tactical officer replied. "Tractor beam functioning at
one-hundred percent capacity."
"CONN, shear away, one-eighth impulse."
The Lexington was buffered under the stress but the tractor beam
held. The Starquest fired on the Bismarck concentrating its weapons on
the saucer section, primarily the bridge. Captain Donaree added the
Saratoga's tractor beam and she ordered the Saratoga to reverse engines.
The starship's engines groaned under the strain as they tried to comply
with their Captains wishes.
"Captain, structural integrity at thirty-eight percent and falling!"
"Maintain!" Donati said.
"Captain. Photon's are back on line!" Chandos said.
"Standby." The Captain replied. "CONN, increase to one- quarter
The engines screamed louder. Every Inch the Lexington took the
Bismarck took right back...
"Captain!" Cami shouted. "Integrity at twelve percent!"
As Commander Sabin turned back to her instruments the hull integrity
of the Lexington dipped into single digits. She opened her mouth to
speak just as the Bismarck's nacelle began to rip loose. From within the
Bismarck a deep groan of buckling deck plates sounded the beginning of
the end of the giant battleship.
"What is that?" Subadar Lertac shouted jumping to his feet. "Port
nacelle is losing stability!" An officer yelled.
"Compensate!" Lertac screamed but no order would have saved them. The
hull ruptured and the nacelle was pulled free. Automatically the
battleships power shut down to avoid a catastrophic overload. It was the
moment Donati and the rest of the fleet was waiting for.
"There's your target Mister Chandos." Donati said referring to the
huge hole in the Bismarck's side. "Fire torpedoes!"
Two torpedoes entered the place where the nacelle previously was and
erupted. The ship lurched and spewed burning plasma. The Starquest
followed next and sliced up the saucer section with her phases. Not to
be outdone the Saratoga cut loose a volley which struck the Bismarck
amidships. Its fate was sealed.
"The Bismarck is caught in the planets gravity." Sabin reported a bit
somberly. "She's going down."
The Bismarck slowly slid away from the Third Fleet task force and
entered the planets upper atmosphere. Places of its shattered hull broke
away and ignited leaving, behind a trail of sparkling embers. The dying
battleship gained momentum and its entire hull gleamed red. Once in the
lower atmosphere the Bismarck changed into a dying ball of flame and
impacted on the surface. The Jirzzaque's left no longer had the stomach
for battle and made an attempt to escape. The Federation fleet hunted
them down and when they would give no quarter, destroyed every one. The
Jirzzaque invasion of the Federation had come to a very violent halt...
USS Lexington - Resolutions Captain's Ready Room
"Come" Came the Captain's voice from within.
The hatch opened and Lieutenant JG Cole entered. He stood rigidly at
attention before Donati. "Lieutenant JG Cole reporting as ordered, sir."
The Captain noticed his torn uniform and bruised face. Donati rose
for a closer inspection. "What happen, Mister Cole?"
"I... I, uh, fell sir." Cole replied immediately regretting the lie.
"More than once I suppose." Donati said skeptically. "At ease
As Cole stood at parade rest he noticed a science PADD on the
Captain's desk. Donati picked it up. "The information on this PADD is
invaluable to the Federation." He said returning to his chair. "It
contains what Starfleet Intelligence believes are the coordinates of the
Jirzzaque home world. Commander Sabin found it at science station two on
the bridge. Apparently, Lieutenant, you deciphered the hieroglyphics you
discovered on planet Jirzzaque Alpha. And, it seems you did this at some
point of lucidity during your recent "kidnapping". The Federation
Council has sent the Jirzzaque a message via sub space. They have
informed them that any further aggression against the Federation will
result in an attack on their home world."
Cole brightened for a moment. Realizing that he had managed to assert
his own personality while Dorax was in his mind. Perhaps my last duty
as a Starfleet officer was a positive one after all.
"Now about the incident in engineering." Donati continued in a grave
"Yes sir." Karl gulped, bracing himself for the words "court martial"
and "Judge Advocate General".
"Had you been an actual spy for the Jirzzaque. I would have
personally jettisoned you from an airlock." The Captain said.
"I understand sir." Cole meekly said. He was preparing to offer his
resignation when the Captain continued.
"However that is not the case. Commander Llire informs me that you
had no control over what happened to you and that you should not be held
responsible for the actions taken. Therefore, your Starfleet service
record has been cleared and you will return to active duty as soon as
Counselor Cary and the medical staff see fit."
"But Captain, I don't understand. . ."
"As I told you, you were not responsible." The Captain repeated.
"But sir, I almost killed Kelly." Cole Interrupted. In a way he was
seeking exoneration for that as well, but knew it would be personally
harder to accept.
"That is true Mister Cole." Donati admitted. "But that was Dorax, not
"I... I tried to stop him sir." Karl said lowering his eyes.
"Whatever you tried to do must have worked for she is very much alive
and she has already returned to active duty."
"Then she's all right?"
"Yes, her situation is very much like your own." The Captain
explained. "Physically you're both fine. It is your emotional states
which have given us cause for concern... Counselor Cary has requested
that you have some time off and get reacquainted with your family...
Your parents will be meeting the Lexington at Third Fleet Headquarters."
Karl winced, for he was too concerned about dealing with his career
and what had happened on the ship. He did not want to have to interact
with his family at this time. Evidently, the Captain noticed his
"Do you have a problem with that Lieutenant?" Donati asked sharply.
"Very well then, I expect you to be ready when the Lexington is."
"You are dismissed Lieutenant." Donati said turning to his computer
monitor. Cole wheeled around to leave the ready room. "And if you have
any more trouble staying on your feet let me know immediately."
Cole went to the door, feeling a slight smile cross his face. The
smile quickly faded as the door slid open. There, on the point of
entering, stood Petty Officer Kelly Grande. The last time he remembered
seeing her face to face, his hand was around her throat in engineering.
He was startled, and stopped dead in his tracks. Kelly's eyes locked
with his, also finding it difficult to speak. After a moment the yeoman
averted her gaze.
"Excuse me Lieutenant." And she stepped aside to allow the senior
officer through. Still tongue tied Cole nodded and slipped past her and
into the turbo lift. Grande turned and watched him. Finally she entered
the ready room and took her seat at her computer console.
"It will be all right Kelly." The Captain said noticing tears forming
at the corners of her bright blue eyes. "It will take time, but it will
be all right."
"I hope so sir."
Later that evening Captain Donati decided that the Lexington was out
of any danger and he retired to his cabin leaving Lieutenant Commander
Smith with the center seat. It was time for a long shower and a good
"Good evening sir." Yeoman Grande said as she was exiting his
quarters, a mischievous smile on her face.
"Good evening." He replied in kind. "Kelly, I don't want to be
disturbed for six hours."
"I've already seen to it sir." She grinned and stepped into the turbo
Donati rubbed his weary eyes and entered his cabin. There in the
center of the room was a candlelit table. Admiral Black moved through
the darkened room and pressed a glass of brandy into his hand. She was
clad in the white dress she had worn when they first made their
rendezvous on Aldebaran. Her hair was down and brushed full and she
appeared to be a woman half of her forty-four years.
"I thought you'd like something to eat before you turned in." She
"Yes. Thank you." He replied after a sip of the sweet liquid. As
Alisha checked the table Bo slid his arms around her slim waist and
pulled her close.
"Is there anything else you'd like Bo?" She asked.
"Just you Alisha." He said "And an answer to my question."
Alisha almost asked "what question" but, there was only one
unresolved issue between them. "It scares me." She admitted returning
"Marriage?" He asked.
"No, just being in love with you does. Not knowing if you'll come
back from a mission. ."
"We can't worry about those things." He said. "We know the lives we
lead. Risk is part of the game."
"This isn't a starship tactic Bo." She countered. "It's our lives."
She moved from his grasp and walked to a large window, gazing at the
stars. Sometimes you've got to take a chance Alisha. Her mother’s
voice echoed in his mind. In the reflection she could see him moving
toward her. Alisha turned and smiled at him.
"Yes Bo, I'll marry you." The Captain smiled and took her in his arms
and they kissed. "One thing though." She said between kisses. "I'd like
to keep my last name. . .
"I understand" Bo said just wanting to take her into his bedroom as
fast as possible.
"A hyphen!" She amended.
"Hmmmm?" Bo said as he nuzzled her neck.
"I'll use a hyphen." Alisha said. "When we're married I'll use Vice
Admiral Alisha Black-Donati... How does that sound?"
"Perfect!" He smiled as his hands worked to free her from the dress.
"Bo, the food will get cold!" She weakly protested.
"What food?" He said as her garment fall to the floor...