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[2007: SEP-OCT] Saving Grace

James T. Kolk

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"Saving Grace"

by Jackford B. Kolk


A flash in the night sky streaked through a starless midnight sky. Another. Still more, until the blazing streaks lit up Aryalaa's face. The young girl sat wrapped in her mother's warm embrace on a fertile hillside in the Free Lands of Shallot. Mesmerized by the glorious sight of the meteor shower that had erupted in the heavens without warning, Aryalaa whispered, "It's so beautiful!"


"It's so bizarre," Chief Astronomer Yazaal said, standing in the eternally hectic Free Shallot Council Chambers. "All our telescopes just stopped working, then five minutes later, this meteor shower. It shouldn't be happening, ma'am."

Grand Commissioner Dara, elected leader of the Free Lands, was truly puzzled. "What was the last thing we could see? Anything unusual?"

"For a moment something like a comet, one we've never charted. But before we could gather any useful data on it... this smokescreen."

"Odd. Very odd. Are these meteors any threat to the planet?"

"Not yet..."


Outside the atmosphere of Shallot, known to the Federation as Epsilon Delphi IV, the Steamrunner class starship USS Defender weaved in and out of a field of Starfleet fighters and runabouts battling furiously with what was once fifteen Borg Spheres. No one noticed as the dead hulk that had once been the Akira class starship, USS Katana, careened dangerously toward the blissfully ignorant planet. The Defender was hardly in better shape, she had only three small hull breaches whereas the Katana had lost nearly 45% of its mass, including the weapons pod and port nacelle.

From the tactical station on the bridge of the Defender, Captain Jenna N'Bronte asked her science officer, "What are we down to?"

Lieutenant Tray K'trone wiped streaks of sweat and blood from his eyes, "Three fighters, a runabout and us. They've still got two."

"Are the natives still in the blind about this mess, Lieutenant?"

While the two talked, Helmsman Charles Newton did his best to keep the frayed starship from being torn apart by the Borg weapons fire that seemed to be everywhere.

"Yes, sir," K'trone began. "They've seen nothing but the debris that's drift--" He never finished his sentence because, despite Ensign Newton's best efforts, another blast rocked the ship, destroying the science officer's console and tossing him effortlessly into what was left of another, impaling him through the chest and killing him instantly.

Closing her eyes hard to the fury and the tears of what the Borg just kept on doing to the people she worked with and loved, N'Bronte slammed her first down hard. "Pick a sphere, Ensign. Ramming speed!" Looking at her last remaining bridge officer, she regretted having lost warp drive 30 seconds ago. If she hadn't, she would've added, "Hit them with the best warp factor you can manage." As the Borg picked off two more fighters, the last one joined the runabout in pummeling the weaker of the two spheres, showing N'Bronte what she had to do. She targeted it, joining them in finishing it off, and fired everything she had. It erupted into a cascade of fiery green plumes and then was no more. "You know what to do, Charles..."

While the Defender was ramming into the last sphere, it destroyed the final fighter and crippled the runabout, but for the Borg at Epsilon Delphi, resistance was futile. Just seconds before the Defender struck, a general hail went out on all frequencies from the valiant captain. Her last four words were, "Remember the Prime Directive!"

The only ship to survive the Battle of Epsilon Delphi was a Danube class runabout, the USS Unity. Only one man remained aboard the nearly crippled little boat. Lt. Commander Griffin Talos pounded the flickering console in front of him with both fists after seeing his ship, carrying his best friends and crewmates, explode into a yellow-green ball of fire, his captain's last words still ringing in his ears. He couldn't get a clear scan of the planet, so his used thrusters to aim the nose of the Unity at it. A few charred pieces of fighters' hulls and sphere bits were still burning to crumbs in the atmosphere, but what caught his attention was the wreckage of the Katana. It too was now in the upper atmosphere, a coat of fire surrounding half of it. It's charred underbelly was turned away from the surface, and Talos knew that if he acted quickly, he could detonate the anti-matter containment pods and vaporize the hulk... And if he didn't, the massive wreck would, at best, contaminate the culture of Shallot, quite probably killing a few dozen people in the process. At worst, the shockwave from its crash would kill every living thing on the surface. Given more time, he would've pulled up the ship's schematics on the Unity's computer and made sure he knew exactly where to hit her, but he didn't have that time; the hulk was spinning swiftly and he only had two torpedoes. So he fired...


Grand Commissioner Dara and Chief Astronomer Yazaal stared in disbelief at the picture their telescope feeds were now sending them. It was massive, and coming in far too fast. Dara spoke first.

"Is there any chance...?"

Yazaal knew exactly what the Commissioner was thinking. "No. No chance. We're all going to die."


Aryalaa's mother held her as tight as she could, watching in growing fear as the fire in the sky grew larger and larger. It was becoming more and more obvious that it was coming straight for them. The woman prayed silently that the god of Shallot would save them, but Aryalaa felt no fear, never imagined, even for a split second, that she might die. All she saw was the stunningly incomprehensible beauty of the cosmos, and then that beauty climaxed as the growing ball of fire suddenly spread magnificently in breathtakingly sporadic patterns then slowly faded away, clearing the haze that had obscured the stars for almost an hour.

"Wow! That was amazing!" Aryalaa slipped out of her mother's arms and looked her eagerly in the face. Her mother smiled lovingly at her, a tear sliding down her cheek in silent thanksgiving for an answered prayer. "I want to be an astronaut, Mommy! I want to learn all about comets and meteors and shooting stars!" She looked back up at the sky, her eyes and her heart still filled with wonder. "Do you think there'll be more?"


As the Katana exploded, light washed over Talos' for the briefest of moments before darkness descended upon him once again. After a moment spent in silent memorial for all that had been lost, Griffin stood and made his way to the small compartment that served as the runabout's engineering section. Adrenaline shot through his veins when he saw a lone Borg drone tinkering with the tiny warp core. The drone immediately raised its arm to fire at him, but Lt. Commander Talos raised his faster, firing directly into the core.


In the midnight sky above a fertile hillside in the Free Lands of Shallot, a young girl named Aryalaa spotted one small star flashing brightly. It's light reflected in her eyes, if only for a moment, and spoke into her soul, telling her that there would always be more, if only she was willing to keep looking to the stars. And then, that light was gone...

Edited by Jack of All Treks
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