AOH :: TREK-005.TXT|
Alternate "The Return" part 2
Subject: Repost of Alternate "The Return" part 2
Date: 2 Apr 92 08:15:16 GMT
Stone: Yes, we know enough about Nimrod for now, but we still
don't know when they will be back and we need to make plans.
Picard: Agreed. My chief engineer is working on a way to detect
the Imperial ships when using their hyperspace propulsion. It
should be ready fairly soon..
Mitzgar: How difficult will it be for us to duplicate it when you
have it finished? Maybe my people could help, or at least get a
head start on fabricating the necessary equipment. I suggest that
our first officers and engineers get together as well to discuss
both technology and to get to know each other. It looks like
we'll have to fight together and we should know something about
the crews we'll be working with. I suggest that we contact our
ships and arrange for some meetings.
Picard: That sounds workable. Shall we?
<Picard and Mitzgar both patch in to their ships:>
Picard: Picard to Enterprise, Number One, make contact with the
first officer on board the Nimrod and establish a liaison with
him..<at a motion from Mitzgar he corrects himself>, correction,
her. Commander Reynolds. Their chief engineer will want to be
briefed on the hyperspace detection project. Arrange for Cmdr.
LaForge to make contact with <he looks at Mitzgar first> him.
Riker: Captain, permission to deviate from the patrol pattern to
investigate the wreckage of the Imperial ships. Cmdr. LaForge
thinks that it may prove useful.
Mitzgar: Nimrod can cover for Enterprise.
Picard: Number One, permission granted.
Mitzgar: Mitzgar to Nimrod.
Reynolds: Reynolds here, captain.
Mitzgar: Enterprise will be contacting you to establish a liaison.
They're also working on a detection device to spot the Imperial
ships when they're using that hyper spatial propulsion. Get Cmdr.
Bui in contact with their engineers and learn to work with Cmdr.
Riker, the Enterprise's first officer. Beyond that, use your
judgement. Enterprise will be inspecting the imperial wreckage so
you'll have to adjust the patrol to compensate. Go to Alpha
pattern, Rules of Engagement Delta. Understood?
Reynolds: Understood, captain. When will you be returning?
Mitzgar: Unknown, Commander. We've got a lot of things to work
out here. Enjoy the big chair for a while longer. Mitzgar out.
Picard: Still making heavy use of pre-arranged battle plans,
<Mitzgar smiles, taking his cue from Picard's move to make the
atmosphere more relaxed>
Mitzgar: Not as much, Jean-Luc. Now it's mostly for initial
action. I've learned to keep them general enough to allow for
adaptation as appropriate. I still think the advantages in speed
of response outweigh the potential for miscalculation. In touchy
or unknown situations where battle isn't certain or wanted, I
couldn't use that, of course. That's why I'm not out exploring
like you are. My talents are in a field of fairly narrow
application and I've never claimed otherwise.
Picard: I know some other officers who could learn something from
you when it comes to when it comes to staying within proper
application of one's talents, but I still hope that we can avoid a
full scale confrontation. Starfleet cannot afford another major
war and an Empire that can build a battle station of that size and
power must have enormous resources at their disposal. We would be
committing ourselves to a long, terribly costly and possibly
Mitzgar: I don't think I need tell you of what I think our
chances of avoiding war are, do I?
Picard: No, probably not. I feel that you are too unwilling to
risk military disadvantage for the hope, slim though it might be,
that violence can be avoided. I feel that one more try must be
made at least. If we can show ourselves to be reasonable, then
there is a chance that we might persuade them to cease
Mitzgar: Jean-Luc, your patience amazes me. I intercepted the
transmission between you and the Battle Station. Their leader
wanted you dead just because you had defended yourself against his
ships! If he is any indication of their leadership, then any
definition of reasonableness that you could provide would be most
un-applicable to them.
Picard: We once felt the same way about the Klingons. They too
were predatory and hostile. Over time we finally learned to live
with them and they with us. Granted, we had a long period of
hostilities, but we eventually managed to prove to them that peace
Mitzgar: The price of that lesson will be very high to both sides
if we aren't strong enough to resist them easily. I think that we
can beat them in battle, but I don't think we can keep them at
arms length and wait for them to come to their senses to our
Stone: Jean-Luc, holding actions are dangerous if the holding
party is not certain that they can compensate if the action
doesn't work or deteriorates. I too think that we can't assume
that we can hold them off with defensive measures only. They
defeated the Romulans, remember? That was no mean feat.
Mitzgar: I exploited a defensive weakness that we can't expect to
last very much longer. I burned them enough that they'll soon
adapt. Most of Starfleet would have trouble going toe to toe with
one of their smaller ships, let alone the big ones or that battle
stations. If we soundly defeat them when they return, they may
think twice about continuing the hostilities. We can spare a few
ships and tell them that we want to negotiate a cessation of
hostilities and begin from there.
<Picard's communicator beeps before anyone can say anything
Riker: Riker to Captain Picard.
Picard: Go ahead Number One.
Riker: We've begun working with the Nimrod and have established a
basic framework for coordinating our activities. Cmdr. LaForge
and Cmdr. Data are nearing completion on the hyperspace detector
prototype but testing it will be difficult except under actual
conditions. The Nimrod and Starbase 42 have already begun
construction on parts of a detector for their own ships. We were
able to gain some information from the Imperial ships, but not
about their engines. Nimrod's method of attack nearly always
wiped out the entire engine compartments. <Mitzgar shrugs>
Their weapons are almost all low power lasers and particle beam
weapons. We can adjust our shields to compensate for them and in
future encounters our shields should stand up well against them
except under very high rates of fire. If we get caught by a
couple hundred of those fighters, we could be in trouble if the
manage to synchronize their firing to hit us nearly
simultaneously. Otherwise there shouldn't be much of a problem.
With the new enhancements, those fighters would do less damage by
ramming our shields than their weapons would.
Mitzgar: Cmdr. Riker, Captain Mitzgar here. Thank you for that
information. I have a question. What kind of shielding did the
Imperial ships employ?
Riker: Funny you should ask that, Captain. Cmdr. Reynolds was
also very curious about that. They're using something very
similar to the old Polarized Wave-Reversion shields used years
ago. If you're thinking what Cmdr. Reynolds is thinking, no they
won't stop transporter beams, which gives us, particularly you
with your cloaking device, a big advantage.
Mitzgar: <He smiles> Thank you Cmdr. Riker.
Picard: Were there any survivors, Number One?
Riker: Minimal, Captain, and they were all very injured. We're
keeping them in cargo bay 4 where we can guard them and treat them
at the same time. Most are humanoid. Dr. Crusher still has her
hands full, though.
Mitzgar: <To Picard> How soon can they be interrogated?
Picard: <To Riker> Make sure that they are treated with every
respect. We want them to know for certain that we do not intend
to mistreat them or hold them for longer than is necessary. They
will be returned as a sign of good will at the soonest possible
<He looks at Mitzgar who is scowling>
Robert, I know that interrogating them would be useful, but here
is a fine opportunity, probably our best opportunity to show to
this Empire that we have no hostile intentions towards them and
that we wish for peaceful coexistence. You must be willing to
take the risk that peace can be maintained. I grant you that the
chances are not promising, but I will not give up on what
possibility still exists. Besides, you spoke of having the
ability to compensate if this fails. Cmdr. Riker just gave it to
you. If the Empire proves to be un-changeably belligerent in our
next encounter, we can use our advantages to neutralize them and
then send the survivors back with another offer of peace.
Mitzgar: You're going to use your seniority and pull rank on this
one aren't you?
Picard: I'd rather not, but if I have to I will.
Stone: What about that Battle Station, Jean-Luc?
Picard: That does indeed present a problem. It is most difficult
to negotiate for peace both when the other side possesses a weapon
that it believes indestructible and when our side must neutralize
that weapon before our claim of peaceful intent is to be tendered.
<He sighs and leans back.>
Robert, let us discuss the actual fighting tactics we might employ
for now. Keep the negotiations in the back of your mind and maybe
something will come up.
Mitzgar: It appears that when we maintain warp speed, their
sensors can't detect us. You can use that as a poor-man's
cloaking device to slip inside on them and attack. They'll likely
know you're out there somewhere and it won't be as good as a true
cloak which will allow me greater flexibility when attacking. I
may be able to get to them before they are close to you and have
their screens up. It would be riskier for Enterprise to lower her
shields and use her transporters if they know she's in the general
area. We could use Enterprise as Bait and I could swing around
and pound them.
Picard: Nimrod could remain cloaked and move into attack position
and Enterprise could attempt negotiations first. If that fails
then we could attack as you suggested. The only problem remains
what to do about that battle-station.
Stone: Captain, we cannot allow that station to come within range
of this starbase. Losing this Starbase and the services it
provides in guarding the Neutral Zone would be intolerable in and
of itself, let alone the THOUSANDS of lives that would be lost!
They could pretend to negotiate long enough to come within firing
range and then destroy this starbase before you could incapacitate
their weapon again.
Picard: I agree. Robert, can you disable their primary weapon
Mitzgar: I can try. I expect them to have taken some
countermeasures since their last attack, however, and their
effectiveness will depend on whether or not they have any
understanding of our transporter technology. You can bet that the
entire area will be shielded, the power conduits will be in
protected areas and that they will have plenty of resources nearby
to prevent us from loitering about there like we did last time. A
frontal assault will be very tough to pull off. We might be able
to sneak in and beam in some torpedoes but that too will be risky.
Have you identified their propulsion systems?
Picard: Not as yet. If we attacked their propulsion units, then
it is absolutely imperative that we stop them well short of firing
range. If we slow them down too much they won't be able to
retreat and we will have a huge battle on our hands. In that case
we would be forced to attempt to destroy the battle station.
Could we do that? It has a radius of almost 650 Km! Even with
transporters, could we penetrate the interference that a station
of that nature would generate deeply enough to destroy their
primary power generators?
Mitzgar: There's one way to find out.
<Picard to Cmdr. Stone>
How long before reinforcements arrive?
Stone: At last word, the Nebula will be here within 6 hours. The
Reliant-C and the Hermes will arrive a day later. All other
reinforcements are at least 3 days away. The Klingons are making
preparations of their own, but they're not talking about them.
Picard: Then we must plan for battles with only limited
resources. If we are forced to act before reinforcements arrive
then Enterprise will attempt negotiations while Nimrod disables
the main weapon on that battle station. The main weapon ONLY
Robert! You are not to attack at all unless they continue to move
into attack position. I will attempt to halt them well short of
their estimated firing range and begin negotiations. If they
refuse to cease forward motion and close to within 30,000 Km then
go ahead and disable the weapon. We will then continue to attempt
to negotiate with them. If that still does not stop them then on
my "Finish" signal you may begin to attack the Imperial forces as
you see fit. If the Imperial forces retreat, you will maintain
attack position but cease firing and allow them to retreat. We
will make one last negotiation attempt then. Under no
circumstances are you to destroy every Imperial ship. Leave at
least 2 ships to carry the message of our desire to end
Mitzgar: After the "final" signal am I cleared to destroy the
battle station if I can find a way?
Picard: <reluctantly> Yes. I don't see any alternative. If you
do manage to find a weakness and use it to destroy the battle
station, spare the Imperial fleet and allow them to escape. That
should be a sharp enough lesson for them to convince them to cease
Mitzgar: Understood. If Nebula arrives before the Empire
returns, I recommend that she stand with Enterprise. They might
mistake her for Nimrod and not be expecting me to also be there.
If Reliant and Hermes arrive, I'll take Hermes and have her patrol
on warp power so she won't be detectable and Reliant can stay with
you and Nebula. If they're using Polarized Wave-Reversion
shielding, then there must be field boundaries that are nice and
vulnerable, especially to phasers. I suggest a pair-wise attack.
One ship attacks from the front and the other hammers their
engines. That seems to take maximum advantage of their known
weaknesses. Whenever you get a chance, use your transporters.
Picard: Agreed. I believe it best that we now adjurn to our
ships where the details can better be worked out.
Stone: Let us hope that we can convince them to stop this
Mitzgar: And that the price of that convincing is not more than
we can bear.
Picard: Robert, if we succeed, then the price will be lower on
both sides than if we merely attack them and then try to stop
later. How many crew did they lose in the first attack? Given
the size of those ships it must be many thousands. They have
already paid a heavy price. I am attempting to minimize costs
to them as well as to us. If we must take some casualties to save
more lives in the long run on both sides, then we are honor bound
to do so.
Mitzgar: I question that argument given that they have proven to
be virulently belligerent. I also differ on how far we should
stick our own necks out to save theirs.
Picard: Nevertheless, we must try. I order you not to initiate
hostilities unless the guidelines we have worked out are
satisfied. Let us return to our ships and prepare for our next
encounter with the Empire.
<The two captains file out behind starbase commander Stone and
head for the nearest transporter room.>
TO BE CONTINUED
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to email@example.com.