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[2010: NOV-DEC] The Death of a Dream

Tal Tel-ar

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The Death of a Dream

Admiral Nagato wiped a weary hand across her brow. She was tired. So tired. She knew she had bags under her eyes at least the size of watermelons. Not that she let it slow her down any. Still there was only so long she could keep pushing herself before her body rebelled.

With a sigh she leaned back and let her body relax. For a moment her eye’s closed and her thought drifted back to the beginning. Was it only 8 years ago that the Klingon’s had attacked the Romulan Empire. A war that slowly wore away at the defences of that reclusive species.

She could remember when the Romulans had suddenly approached the Federation. Their delegates were worn, weary and willing to strike almost any bargain to get assistance. In what many considered to be a truly historic event, the Romulan government even went so far as to allow any and all planets and species under their control to gain their freedom by joining the Federation if they so wished.

As a result the former Star Empire was reduced to a fraction of its previous size but had gained the military support of the Federation and Starfleet.

There was so much optimism back then. A delegation of top Federation diplomats requested and were granted leave to visit the Klingon home world. What followed had stunned everyone.

The Klingon Empire had listened to the requests and arguments of those diplomats with a kind of insolent tolerance before they responded. And what a response. They demanded the immediate unconditional surrender of the Romulan Star Empire and all its territories and worlds.

When it was revealed that many of these worlds were now or would soon be members of the Federation the Klingon government reacted in a most unexpected manner.

Who would have ever thought that they would arrest and execute the diplomats as terrorists and agitators against the rights and laws of the Klingon peoples.

The result had been immediate war with the Federation. One they were not prepared for. In the last 4 years the Klingons had won victory after victory. Slowly expanding their borders into both the Federation and Romulan controlled regions of space.

“Admiral. It’s time.”

The calm voice of her expectative officer snapped her out of her dream like trance.

“Thank you Lt. Cmdr. Bascome.” She replied as she blinked her eyes and struggled to banish the lingering fragments of her memories.

Sitting up she glanced at the time and realized that she must have fallen asleep. She immediately looked up at the towering figure of her executive officer and demanded in an icy tone, one that she knew full well had sent even experienced Captains scurrying like little school boys.

“Why did you let me sleep?”

“You needed the sleep Admiral. Besides you were not needed to oversee the various preparations.”

She almost regretted for the hundredth time picking this man to assist her. He was totally oblivious to both her scorn and her powerful personality. On the plus side he was the best [...] assistant she had ever had.

“What about the fleet?” As she asked the question she dreaded the response.

”All present and accounted for Admiral.”

“What! Are you sure?” Even as she asked the question she regretted the obvious surprise that she had allowed to show in her voice. She must be more tired than she thought.

“Very sure. Although I do admit that 3 of them had to be towed in using tractor beams.”

“And what good will they be to us.” Snapped the Admiral. Again she regretted the response as soon as she had uttered it.

“I took the liberty to order them to not waste time trying to repair the various engine, thrusters or environmental controls problems.”

She shook her head at that. She knew what he meant. Some of the mothballed ships that she had dragged out and ordered prepared for this battle had been stripped of every useable system long ago.

“Since they are useless as ships I take it you’re hoping the enemy will waste time destroying them?”

“I had thought of that but felt they would better serve as automated firing platforms.”

Intrigued she had to ask, “Let me guess. Portable power plants hooked directly into the various weapon systems. Extra decking welded around the weapons areas to increase survival time and computer controlled firing devices?”

“Correct Admiral. They even were able to power up the shields on 2 of them and if they have time they might be able to finish the work on the last one.”

“Just make sure that everyone is off them before the battle starts.”

“Will do. Is there anything else?”

“No. No that will…” She stopped as she thought of something else. “What about the Romulans?”

“They did better than we had expected but not as well as they had hoped.”

“Final count?”

“They brought every war ship that they had left.” He lifted the padd in his hand and double checked the data before continuing. “That was 128 ships. They were also able to repair and rearm another 162 ships. Most of these were out of date and mothballed warships. A number of them are just armed freighters.”

He paused as he tapped the padd to bring up some more data. Then he continued. “That gives them 290 ships. We have 283 warships and another 361 that you were able to acquire.”

“Acquire. A more diplomatic term than some of the ones I’ve had thrown in my direction lately.”

“I felt it was more appropriate. Remember a large number of those ships were offered or volunteered of their own free will.”

“It’s not them I’m worried about,” she responded. “Still it won’t matter if we don’t survive this battle. Any word yet from our long range scouts?”

“Actually that’s why I woke you Admiral. The Klingon fleet should be here in just under an hour.”

She flashed him a glare as she stood up. “And your just telling me this now!” she snapped as she headed towards the exit. Her short legs were eating up the distance at a surprising pace.

Her executive officer soon was pacing beside her. His long legs were making it easy for him to keep up. “You needed your sleep.”

“So don’t keep me waiting. How many ships do they have?”

“At a rough estimate I would have to say almost 3 times as many as we have now.”

“Lovely. Just what we needed.”

“It’s about what you had planned on.”

“I know.” She replied as she walked onto the bridge and headed towards her chair. “I just wish I hadn’t been so accurate with my calculations.”

“Admiral on the bridge.” Called a young female ensign as she snapped to attention. From the looks of things she was probably straight out of the Academy.

“At ease. Get back to work.” She ordered as she sat down.

Now that she was on the bridge she fell easily into the same old routine. Questions asked and answered. Problems dealt with and issues resolved. Everyone busy, busy, busy getting ready for the final battle.

She had spent months arranging this. It had cost her every favour she had saved in over 60 years of military service. She had begged, borrowed and almost stole every ship she could lay her hands on. She had run rough shod over friends and colleagues in order to get this fleet put together.

It all came down to today.

“Admiral.” Spoke another fresh faced young ensign from the communication station. “I have just received confirmation the Klingons have arrived. They should be within range with in 3 minutes and 22 seconds.”

“Any last minute instructions?” asked Lt. Cmdr. Bascome from where he sat next to her.

“No. They all know the plan. Wait here with the nebula at our backs till the enemy get within weapons range. Then fire with everything they have and take evasive action.”

“I hope it works Admiral. I really hope it works.” Said Bascome and for the first time today his voice held a bit of unexpected emotion.

“Enemy almost with in range.” Called out the tactical officer.

“Count down the range Mr. O’Brian.” Responded the executive officer.

“50,000 km… 40,000…. 30,000… 20,000… 10,000…”

The tension on the bridge seemed to intensify with each announcement. A few of the younger officers even held their breath till they suddenly realised they had stopped breathing and had to suck in a fresh lungful of air.

“In range..”

“Fire!” ordered the Admiral. “Helmsman, evasive action.”

Suddenly the pitch black depths of space were lit up by the many flashes of weapons fire and minor explosions. Already some of the older vessels were in trouble. A couple had even exploded showering the area around them in a brilliant series of incandescent light storms.

Suddenly the deck bucked beneath her and she would have been thrown to the floor like half her bridge crew if it had not been for her death grip on the arms of her chair. Sparks were flashing and a quick glance to where the worst damage seemed to be revealed the still form of the young female ensign that had been so eager to impress her.

All it took was that one glance to be able to tell that she was already dead. Obviously she could not waste any more time. In a voice that was strong and seemed to be calm she spoke.

“Computer activate pawn to queens’ bishop 3, authorization delta, one, six, nine, alpha, omega.”

“Authorization confirmed. Message sent.” Responded the computer in its cool unemotional manner.

“What are you up to Admiral?”

She turned and flashed him a wolfish smile. Even her eyes seemed to have taken on a predatory gleam. “I guess you could say the enemy have been checked.”

“Admiral!” exclaimed the tactical officer. Multiple new contacts. Their popping up all over the place.”

“Mate.” Finished the Admiral as she faced front again. “Report Mr. O’Brian.”

“Admiral… “ he managed to say as he looked up with a stunned look on his face. “Multiple warships have arrived. The computer identifies them as Gorn, Tholian, Breen, Tirolian, Cardassian, Ferengie…” his voice just seemed to peter out at that point, not that she needed him to continue.

No everything was going to plan. Only it was her plan. Now unless something drastic happened the entire Klingon fleet would soon be nothing but a bad memory.

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