A Moment of Defining Character
Posted on Wed Sep 26th, 2012 @ 7:47am by Lieutenant Commander Omen
Edited on Sun Nov 18th, 2012 @ 4:31pm
USS Sovereign lurched violently starboard as a blistering barrage of Borg torpedoes struck flank, port along the engineering hull. Tremendous explosions erupted across the bridge, throwing officers like broken dolls hither and yon as structural supports collapsed, crushing one unfortunate soul.
"Medical emergency to the bridge! The captain's down!" Omen threw the support off with surprising strength and knelt beside his best friend and commanding officer, Captain Jay Garrovick. He checked the captain's pulse but it was obvious Garrovick was well past any point of saving. He offered a brief moment of silence before he checked across the bridge. All of the command staff were either dead or incapacitated. He climbed to his feet with a look of grim determination.
+Code 12 is in effect, Code 12 is in effect,+ Sovereign's computer spoke over the flames and dying. +All command codes have been transferred to the remaining designated officers in the chain of command. Lieutenant Omen, acknowledge acceptance of command-code transfer.+
Omen rapped his commbadge, "Lieutenant Omen, authorization Lambda-strike-seven-green."
+Lieutenant Omen, command codes have been transferred to you as commanding officer under Condition Twelve. We are at red alert.+
Omen paused a second to reflect on what it meant for him to receive this honor, on the lives lost. He saw the crew tending to wonded, others manned their stations but glanced around, clearly looking for direction. It was up to Omen to provide that direction. A heavy knot of dread formed in his gut as he remembered what happened the last time he took command of a vessel. He shook off the insecurity of the past and focused on the moment. Lives depended on him.
"REPORT!" He shouted over the din, coughing as the air filled with thick, acrid smoke.
"Shields down," the Andorian chan, Zh'elva's antennae writhed angrily. "hull breaches on decks 17 through 21, sections 31 through 39. Containment fields are holding. Structural Integrity at 47%. Main Engineering isn't responding, Damage Control Teams are en route."
"Status on the Borg," Omen noted static on the tactical viewer.
"Eight cubes assuming equidistant orbit around Tellar," Ensign Romanova replied from her panel. "They're ignoring us and focusing on the rest of the defense fleet."
Omen rapped his commbadge, "Hjaller, where is my virus!"
+Gimme a damned minute,+ a grumpy woman's voice yelled back over the channel. +We're in shambles down here. Where's the-+
"He's down," Omen cut her off. "I'm in command, the Borg are entering orbit around Tellar, and we need that virus, NOW!"
+It's finished,+ Science Chief Hjaller called back, +but like I feared, it isn't strong enough to penetrate the Borg's shielding. It'll have to be injected into their collective mind directly, preferably through their vinculum.+ She dropped off with a yelp as the ship listed hard against an explosion below decks. Hjaller picked up a moment later with a clatter. +There's no guarantee it'll work! They might adapt to it in seconds.+
"Then we need to give them something else to adapt to." Omen dropped his chin, thinking furiously. "Do we have engineering yet?"
+Ensign Panek, sir,+ A calm, apparently Vulcan voice replied across the comm. +The senior Engineering staff is gone.+
"Understood," Omen gently drew the dead helmsman from her seat and took her place. He wiped blood and burned flesh from the panel with his sleeve so he could work the controls. "Status on engines."
+We have warp power but the mains are down,+ Panek reported curtly. +We bypassed damaged systems to restore impulse power but it will not last long. Antimatter containment failure is imminent, sir.+
"Tactical report," Omen looked back over his shoulder at the bald, frail looking little Bynars. They chortled in their hyper-pitched binary language. Omen listened as their translators chirped, "Torpedoes offline...limited phaser capacity. We can offer perhaps two shots... ineffective against their shields."
Omen stared as a flickering image of the polar region of planet Tellar came into being on the main viewer. Federation ships darted to and fro, desperately attempting to draw the Borg's attention away from the vulnerable planet. Billions of lives hung in the balance and with every tick of the clock the Borg grew closer to assimilating the planet, turning it into one of Their soulless hives.
Sovereign was the only ship in the defense fleet strong enough to pose a serious threat. The Borg understood this and focused all of their firepower on Sovereign as soon as they warped into firing range. There was not much left but Omen could not, would not sit back and watch as the Borg enslaved an entire world.
"Ensign Zh'elva," he turned in his seat. "Evacuate the ship. Once you're clear coordinate with the evacuation effort on Tellar."
"Sir, what about--"
"Hjaller, you still with me?"
+Unfortunately,+ The Tellarite groused good-naturedly.
"Load the virus into the main deflector as planned and get the hell out with the rest of the crew."
"I'm staying here," Omen barked against so many voices raised in concern. "You said it. The virus is too weak against their shields. Torpedoes are down so all we have is the Sovereign. I intend to ram that virus down the Borg's throats."
"You'll be killed, sir!" Zh'elva gasped.
"Not if you beam me out at the last second," Omen countered.
"Oh," Zh'elva's antennae bent in embarrassment but he got right to work. His voice resonated across the ship. "All hands, abandon ship. Repeat, abandon ship."
+Sir, you'll need someone to manage things down here.+ Panek's signal crackled through electrical interference with an imminently logical truth.
"Thanks for saving me from asking for volunteers," Omen smiled down at his console. "Once the escape pods and shuttles are clear I want you to transfer all remaining power to the impulse drives. On my signal transfer power to the main deflector."
Omen counted the heartbeats as the crew evacuated until, some time later he heard Z'helva calling across the comm with a clear signal. "Virus loaded, all pods and shuttles clear, sir. Standing to and ready to transport on your command."
"Wish me luck Hjaller," Omen baited the Tellarite and on cue, Hjaller snorted over the channel.
+You don't need luck. I know you'll stick around to make my life miserable.+
Omen shook his head fondly and saw power pouring into the drives as he ordered. "Good man, Panek," he muttered under his breath and keyed impulse to full.
Sovereign shifted plaintively, her supports groaning in protest as the engines drove the once mighty ship at accelerating speed toward the planet. Omen targeted the cube positioned over the northern pole. It seemed to be coordinating the actions of the others though, with the Borg there was no guarantee.
Immediately the Borg sensed the renewed threat and began lashing the Sovereign with piercing green cutting beams. They sheered first one, then another nacelle cleanly from the ship, spurring explosions throughout the engineering section. The shuttlebay gouted plasma into space like the fiery tail of a phoenix as Sovereign closed relentlessly on her target.
The Borg shifted their focus and tore into the saucer section, obviously hoping to disable the engines before the Federations ship could reach her destination.
"Full power to the deflector, Panek!"
+Full power, sir!+
The Borg cube rushed into view like a gargantuan green wall made of junk. Omen triggered the beam and watched as a brilliant lance of pure energy lashed into the cube's hull. As expected nothing happened but Sovereign was about to bring the fight to the Borg up close and personal.
Omen jumped up from his seat, "Z'helva, get us out, now!"
Omen vanished with an instant of disorientation and then rematerialized safely aboard a runabout. He looked out from the viewport as the USS Sovereign rammed the central cube of the Borg invasion fleet with a spectacular explosion. The cube listed badly against the force of impact and as everyone watched the telltale green lights indicating life and power inside a Borg vessel flickered fitfully and finally died. One after another the other cubes followed suit.
Omen noted something wrong and shot a glance around the cabin. "Where is Panek?"
Hjaller shook her head sadly. "He stayed behind to rotate the field harmonics. Damned Vulcans and their 'needs of the many' rubbish."
"He probably made the difference," Omen hung his head sadly. He whispered gentle words of farewell to the Sovereign and her crew. "K'th'l t'sr'thn, zh'h'l'lv'."
"Planetary defense reports all drone activity has ceased." Zh'elva looked back over his shoulder.
"We don't know how long this will last. Direct the fleet to destroy every cube and drone they find."
"A pleasure, sir."
"I wonder how the other planets are faring," Romanova wondered from her station. Omen thought about how the Borg attacked every planet, station, and installation in the Federation. The defense fleet at Tellar prevailed but none of it mattered if the Borg destroyed the rest of the the Federation. They would be back with a vengeance.
Omen tilted his head, as if listening to something no one else heard. At last he flashed a tired smile and sat down. "I think we're going to be fine. Start rescue and recovery operations."
Tags: Omen, USS Sovereign, Sovereign, Borg, Tellar, Cube