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Running Out The Clock

Posted on Aug 06, 2018 @ 7:28pm by Commander Jacob Crichton
Edited on on Aug 06, 2018 @ 7:28pm

Mission: The Trouble With Triticale

= Running Out The Clock =

(cont'd from "Recon")


SCENE: Bridge
STARDATE: [2.18] 0806.2229

"Move us away from the planet," Jake said, frowning. He didn't like leaving the rest of the crew to fend for themselves on the planet's surface, but orders were orders, and Captain Kane had ordered him to protect the ship first, even if it meant retreating. Jake assumed the rest of the bridge crew didn't like it any more than he did, but they followed his command; the image on the main view screen shifted, the semi-sphere of Sherman's Planet sliding to one side as the PHOENIX came about and began to withdraw.

The ship rocked a few times under fire from the Birds of Prey. Jake turned to look over his shoulder at Silsby.


"Shields are holding," Silsby reported. "Sir, with all those ships, they could be hitting us a lot harder than they are."

"They're chasing us off," Jake said. "They didn't come here to fight, they're just keeping us away from Is'toQ's heist."

"And we're just letting them do it?"

Jake flashed a warning look at Silsby. "We're following the captain's orders, Mr. Silsby."

"We could smash those ships to bits," Silsby frowned.

"And start a war with the Klingons while we're at it," Jake said. "Now if you plan to continue questioning my orders, I can arrange to have someone take over your station, lieutenant."

Silsby frowned again, but his eyes dropped back to his tactical console. "Aye, sir."

The ship rocked again, then once more, then was still.

"The Klingons are breaking off their pursuit," Silsby said. "They're maintaining a defensive formation, but they're not coming any closer."

"They don't want to leave their flagship unprotected," Jake said. "Are we outside of their weapons range?"

"Aye sir."

Jake nodded. "Good. Hold position here and bring us around. I want our main deflector dish pointed at the Leading Sword."

Silsby looked confused for a moment, then broke out into a grin. "So we're *not* letting them have the triticale."

"The captain ordered us to protect the ship," said Jake, keeping his own expression neutral. "We're outside their firing range. That doesn't mean we need to let them get away with this."

"Sir," Tomas Vukovic said, turning around to look at Jake. "At this range, we won't be able to target the Leading Sword. Even if we did, those Birds-of-Prey are sure to come after us."

"We won't be opening fire," Jake said. He turned to Byte at Ops. "Mr. Byte, how long would it take you to recalibrate the main deflector to emit a focused stream of thoron radiation?"

{{I would need approximately thirty minutes to make the necessary adjustments,}} Byte replied coolly.

"You've got ten minutes," Jake said. "Get Dr. Crow to assist. Foster can help, too; some the medical equipment is calibrated to emit thoron particles. it doesn't need to be pretty or even energy efficient, I just need it working."

As always, Byte appeared unfazed as he rose from his seat. {{I will do what I can, Commander Crichton.}}

Jake watched the android go, then turned to Silsby.

"Mr. Silsby, keep a close eye on those birds-of-prey," he said. "We're going to need our shields down for this, and I want to know about it if they even flinch in our direction."

"Aye sir," Silsby said. "Commander, what's our play? Their shields are going to protect them from whatever radiation we send their way."

"The Klingons aren't our target," Jake said. "It's their sensors and transporter systems I'm interested in. Thoron radiation interferes with starship sensors, which in turn interferes with their ability to maintain a transporter lock. With a little luck, the Klingons won't realize the thoron stream is coming from us, at least not right away. While their techs are scratching their heads wondering why their sensors are on the fritz, that buys our team on the ground some more time. Hopefully, the COURAGEOUS shows up before this situation gets too out of hand."

"If the Klingons do figure out what we're up to, those birds-of-prey will be after us again," said Vukovic.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Jake said. "Like Mr. Silsby said, the odds are in our favor is this turns into a firefight. But I'm hoping that some Starfleet backup will be enough to make the Klingons think twice."


Jake had thought he would be lucky for Byte to have finished the main deflector modifications in twenty minutes, let alone the ten that Jake had asked for. To his surprise, however, Byte contacted him almost exactly ten minutes later.

{{Commander Crichton,}} came Byte's voice over the comms. {{Dr. Crow and I have completed modifications to the main deflector. We are ready to activate the thoron stream at your command.}}

Now Jake couldn't keep the smile off his face. "Very pleased to hear that, Mr. Byte. Stand by."

Jake turned to Silsby. "Any movement from Klingons?"

"None sir," Silsby said. "So far, they seem happy to stay where they are so long as we stay where we are."

"And I'm more than happy to oblige them," Jake said. "Mr. Byte, target the Leading Sword. Activate the thoron stream."

On the main viewer, there was no pulse of light, no shimmering beam of energy to give away the game. The invisible waves of thoron radiation, not charged nor coupled with anything that make them visible, surged outward from the PHOENIX and towards the Is'toQ's flagship. Jake watched the unchanged image on the main viewer for a moment.

"Mr. Byte?"

{{The stream is active, sir,}} Byte reported. {{The thoron waves will impact the Leading Sword in twenty seconds. They should begin to experience significant interference to their sensor array within ten seconds after that.}}

Jake nodded. "Good. That should ruin Is'toQ's little party. Lt. Silsby, keep a ready hand on those shields. Once the Klingons figure out what we're up to, those birds-of-prey are going to get a lot less reasonable."

"Understood, sir."

"Commander," Vukovic asked, looking back at Jake. "We've managed to stall them so far, but if the Klingons attack in earnest before the COURAGEOUS arrives, we'll be forced to defend ourselves."

"Believe me, I know," Jake nodded. "I'm still hoping it doesn't come to that."


NRPG: Not a very long post, but we're coming to the end now and I didn't want to bring in the COURAGEOUS ahead of schedule. The PHOENIX is working a little magic with the main deflector, hoping to stall Is'toQ and maybe prevent him from making off with too much of the triticale. It won't fool the Klingons for long, though, so anything the ground team can do to stop them from setting up their transporter tags is still important!

Shawn Putnam
Jake Crichton
Executive Officer



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