The General War Redux

A couple of years ago our group began the 'general war'. However, it isn't the ADB/SFB classical cannon general war. We wanted to do something different, explore different alliances and also use several 'house rules' that we had come up with. I will be putting a thread in the "Changes, Modifications and New Ideas" section shortly to detail the changes we've made. I'll try to title that thread "House Rules" or something to that effect.

We're not saying our way is better, only different and we've been having a blast with it. From the beginning I jotted down battle notes and then had the idea to put them against a story backdrop. As we proceeded, I went more and more into detail on the battles so you'll notice this as you read.

As a note, we use the Frax as a real race of genetically altered humanoids with a military culture. They are situated next to the Tholians on the Romulan side. Weapons for some of the races have been changed, please see the thread I mention above for more details.

I will put 'chapters' in every so often and as we do the battles so this one will be a work-in-progress. We've had a blast, we hope you enjoy the story.


In Y170 the Klingon Empire came to a crossroads on their future. On one border of the Empire lay the galactic rim with little or no resources, the other borders were occupied by the other Alpha-sector powers. Military options were considered against the various neighboring powers, but even the most hard-core military minds eventually concluded that any conflict would be a prolonged affair and the gains may very well not exceed the cost in the long run. It also wouldn’t pay to be weakened to any extent in the midst of so many borders to defend.

In the end the Emperor and the High Counsel decided to seek an alliance with the Federation. They were the strongest neighboring power and better to have them as allies than enemies. The Federation was powerful economically and having free trade agreements would substantially benefit the Empire on every level.

An incident involving a Federation Heavy Cruiser charging to the rescue of a Klingon freighter under pirate attack helped finally tip the scale in the eyes of the Imperial counsel.

With the aid of the Vulcan ambassador, the Klingon Empire’s expectations were not only met but exceeded. Hoping for at least a non-aggression pact after negotiations were started, Y172 saw the formal alliance between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets.

Fleets were stilled maintained by both on the Klingon-Federation border, but they were more for anti-piracy purposes and keeping what was now essentially an open border free and flowing smoothly. Trade prospered between the two economies and there were even a few limited joint military exercises conducted in the border areas.

The Federation received mutual benefit from the alliance. The Klingon Empire was the Federations most powerful neighbor and essentially matched them ship-for-ship. The alliance allowed a ready reserve for other borders should there ever be a need as well as freed up some ships for other missions such as exploration. The alliance treaty was generally seen as an outstanding piece of legislature in the Federation Senate.

Unfortunately, everyone did not see it as a wonderful thing.

The Kzinti became quite concerned about the alliance and perhaps understandably so. Although in size they were the fourth largest force in the Alpha-sector, they knew that ship-for-ship they could not match either the Federation or Klingon Empire in a one-on-one all-out war. To make matters worse, they knew the Klingons were essentially boxed in and the Kzinti territory to the ‘north’ was the only thing between the Klingons and as yet unexplored space…and resources. With the alliance now in place with the Federation, the Klingons could freely put three full fleets of ships or more against them. The Federation, whom they’d also had conflicts with in the past were, from and economic standpoint, even more aggressive than the Klingons. Either way, it was not a pleasant scenario.

At the beginning of Y173 the Kzinti contacted their one time mortal enemies the Lyrans. In recent decades the racial bigotry that existed between the two races was replaced with a more tolerant acceptance. Not outright friendship per say but at least a begrudging respect and unspoken realization that they weren’t all that different from each other after all. After months of meetings and debates on the topic, the Lyrans accepted the fact that in reality they were in the same position as the Kzinti and perhaps even more so as they had only about half the ships the Klingons could field. A coalition was formed and delegations sent to the Hydrans, Gorns, Romulans and Tholians.

The Gorns readily accepted coalition partnership with the Kzintis and Lyrans. Not because of any hatred towards the Klingons or Federation but more as a safety measure. The Federation had proven aggressive in their colonization practices before by establishing a colony in their space and then attacking one of their ships. This almost lead to a larger conflict had the matter not been resolved. Suspicion was still present however and having allies were viewed as a prudent choice.

The Romulans also readily agreed to coalition partnership. They possessed a small but respectable navy, however, half their navy was still the Klingon-Romulan conversions. They were beginning to produce their own excellent designs, but it would be some time before enough were online to replace the aging Klingon designed ships. They also relied heavily on the Klingon Empire for parts for these aging vessels. If for some reason the Klingon Empire stopped providing them or the Federation decided to blockade trade shipments they would have serious limitations placed upon their combat capabilities. The small reserves the Klingons allowed them, coupled with the cost of getting more of their own new designs produced demanded a proactive stance. A pressing need for action was especially felt as it seemed that Klingon-Romulan relations had ‘cooled’ somewhat since the Grand Alliance was formed.

The Tholians, who usually had a ‘lets you and them fight’ attitude realized as did the Kzintis and Lyrans that the Klingon Empire was not the wolf you wanted on your door step. The Klingons already had issues with the Tholians for ‘appropriating’ some of their territory. And the fact that the Klingon-Tholian Border was so small meant that not even web technology could prevent a swarm of Klingon ships bent on reclaiming what was once theirs.

As with the others, the Hydrans reached the same ‘long term survival’ conclusions as the other powers. They already had a mutual non-aggression pact with the Kzinti so a formal alliance was the next logical step. Additionally, now that the Lyrans had joined the coalition, they would have extra ships available if their sights every fell towards the Hydran border. So better to have them as a tentative ‘friend’ than a definite enemy. The ISC had a strict policy on neutrality so they would not consider membership in the coalition. The Frax, a military race of genetically engineered warriors weren’t even considered due to their philosophy of, “leave us alone or we’ll destroy you and everything around you that moves”.

By Y174 the Six Powers Coalition was formed.

And uneasy peace ensued until the alliance began joint military exercises. The Federation/Klingons meant it as an opportunity to learn tactics and strategy from each other as well as a way to control or hopefully eliminate piracy along their now open borders. The Six Powers Coalition saw it as something quite different i.e. a prelude to a joint attack by both powers on an as yet identified Coalition power.

Deciding that the best defense was a swift and powerful offensive strike to cripple any attempt of the Alliance to attack, the Six Powers Coalition surged across the Klingon and Federation borders in Y175.2 in a series of surgical strikes designed to cripple as many Alliance ships as possible in the shortest amount of time possible.

The General War began, this is the story.


Star Date Y175.1: Klingon - Federation Border 0800 hours Standard Galactic Time

Captain Thomas Stryker began the command staff briefing with his officers on the upcoming mission. Captain Stryker was in command of the Federation Constitution class heavy cruiser NCC 1711 Potemkin. He was in his twenty-first year as a Star Fleet Officer and had been in command of Potemkin for almost a year. His previous command was as Captain of the Light Cruiser Nagato on the Klingon/Federation border. His current command also placed him on the same border which had proved rather uneventful since the formal alliance had been signed. Indications were that this was about to change as he’d been ordered off the Klingon/Federation border to Star Base twelve which was near the Romulan/Tholian/Frax/Federation border.

In attendance at the command staff briefing was his first officer, Commander T’Pring, engineering officer Lt. Commander Phil ‘Fixit’ Nesbit, medical officer Lt. Commander Carlos Rodriquez, Marine Security officer Major Marla Timmerman, communications officer Lt. Slarn Qovocs and navigation/helm officer Lt. Steve ‘Skip’ Johnson.

“I’ve been informed by Admiral Winslow that we are to be the recipients of a special assignment”, began Captain Stryker. “We are going to rendezvous with the Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser Avenger at Star Base Twelve to form a joint task force. We are going to be patrolling the Federation/Tholian/Romulan/Frax section of the border while conducting mutual training drills to assess the compatibility of Federation and Klingon ships and tactics.” There was surprised murmuring from some of the junior officers around the table. “Commander T’Pring has been researching into the Klingon D7 ships and their tactics since we learned of this assignment, she’ll continue the briefing”.

Commander T’Pring was an attractive Vulcan female by any standard. Tall, slender with the usual jet black hair typical of Vulcans. She was also as professional and businesslike as one would expect of a Vulcan and a Federation Star Ship first officer. She walked to the view screen and with a gesture brought everyone’s attention to the D7 schematics materializing on the screen. “The Klingon D7 Battle Cruiser is in many ways equivalent to the Federation Heavy Cruiser”, she began. “The warp engines produce the same ratio of power as our own, as does her aft hull impulse engines. She has an additional boom impulse engine. The Avenger has roughly equivalent shielding to Potemkin. In the past, the Klingon Empire has used almost exclusively the type two phaser with its limited range and power to distance ratio. However, since the Alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, they’ve been able to channel their resources into upgrading their fleet. All D7 vessels and larger have had many of the type two phasers replaced with type one phasers. On the D7 class cruisers the three boom and two wing phasers are now type ones with the waist phasers remaining as type twos. From the information I’ve obtained they are now in the process of upgrading their D6 Battle Cruisers and F5 Frigates. This gives Avenger nine total phaser banks.”

Again murmuring sounded from the command staff. This phaser upgrade gave a substantial boost to the total firepower of the Klingon ship as well as its flexibility in combat. “The Klingon heavy weapon”, continued T’Pring, “is of course the disruptor. The disruptor is a direct fire weapon that at its peak is slightly over half as effective as our photon torpedo. It begins to degrade over distance however as opposed to the photon torpedo. This is offset by a charge and cycle rate that is double of the photon torpedo. This applies to its overloading capabilities as well. Additionally, it is not as energy expensive to charge and fire, nor does it require warp energy to charge. These factors make it essentially the equivalent of the photon torpedo. The Avenger carries two drone racks capable of firing simultaneously. Each drone is a warp five drone with a warhead yield of 50% greater than that of a standard photon torpedo. They also carry one ADD rack as well. The Avenger does not boast the lab facilities of Potemkin, she does however have an extensive marine contingent onboard.”

As she took her seat, Captain Stryker stated, “As you can see, the Klingon D7 is a powerful vessel. She specializes in oblique attacks and can basically jab and hook an enemy to death if I can use a boxing term. This provides all of us with a unique opportunity not only to study these tactics, but examine how they can be used in concert with our own. Lt. Johnson, set course for Star Base twelve, warp factor seven. Meeting adjourned”.

Upon beaming over to Star Base Twelve, Captain Stryker and Commander T’Pring were ushered by the yeoman into the Admirals conference room. As they entered they observed Admiral Winslow standing with two Klingon officers, Captain Kromm and his first officer Commander V’rell. Introductions were made and the usual pleasantries exchanged. Captain Kromm, sized up his Federation counterpart. Kromm stood 6’6 with broad shoulders and a lean, muscular look. He was used to being around men much smaller. He was a bit shocked, but pleasantly surprised to see that this Federation Captain wasn’t one of them. Though taller than Stryker who was 6’2, he could see immediately that Stryker was a very powerful man. Stryker had been a power lifter in his youth during his academy days and still trained heavy. He had even competed in his senior year on the academy team, helping to take a bronze overall in the Federation Olympics. He had a thick chest and waist and solid tree-truck type legs. Kromm could see he was easily in excess of 250lbs yet didn’t seem to have much in the way of body fat. Kromm immediately had a respect for this human and instantly liked him. He obviously trained like a warrior.

Admiral Winslow began, “Potemkin and Avenger are going to engage in a joint patrol along the section of border where the Romulan/Tholian/Frax/Federation meet. Star Fleet command felt this was a good area for joint exercises due to the scarcity of populated systems.” The briefing continued with the usual administrative attention to detail. At 0600 the next morning, Potemkin and Avenger got under way.

Chapter One

Star Date Y175.2: Kzinti - Federation Border 2000 hours Standard Galactic Time

At 2000 hours, a four ship squadron consisting of the Kzinti Battle Cruiser Zenith, Gorn Light Cruiser Reptilicon, Romulan Frigate Tribune and a Tholian Patrol Cruiser Wildfire charged across the Kzinti/Federation border at high speed to attack a Federation squadron consisting of the Heavy Cruiser Farragut, Light Cruiser Falklands and the Destroyer Alaric who were conducting area drills. Despite the vast distances involved, the Coalition, at least in the early stage of the campaign was experimenting with using ships from several of the races rather than being exclusive to just one race. The Federation squadron, commanded by Captain Thomas Dodge, reacted to the border encroachment with a mixture of surprise and alarm. Dodge ordered “Red alert! Arm all weapons, warp factor two“.

As Dodge studied the view screen, the Zenith and Reptilicon broke formation to flank the Federation vessels with the Zenith firing a wave of hyper-drones at Farragut and warp eight drones at the Alaric while the Wildfire (and cloaked Tribune) proceeded directly at the Federation fleet. Farragut took out the hyper-drones with some of his phasers. Then Farragut and Alaric proceeded towards the heavier Kzinti and Gorn ships while the Falkland broke off to engage the Wildfire. With the firing of the drones at the Alaric, Dodge realized that this was more than just some type of a harassment tactic. He ordered all ships to fire at will.

The Tholian Patrol Cruiser was only supposed to skirt the fringe of the battle and provide a distraction for the Romulan frigate. Wildfire however strayed far too close to the light cruiser Falkland while firing its quad-four phaser banks. While Falkland received only shield damage, Wildfire took the full brunt of an alpha-strike from the cruiser. It did allow Tribune to uncloak however and launch its own phaser and plasma barrage at close range. Falkland rocked and took heavy damage to multiple systems. Alaric broke formation and engaged the uncloaked Romulan frigate at distance with photon torpedoes (two missed) and phaser fire, lightly damaging the Romulan vessel, which recloaked and left the area. Alaric then used tractors to grab two of the incoming Kzinti drones and destroyed the other two with type three phaser fire.

The closing Reptilicon turned sharply and fired four plasma torpedoes at the Alaric which was unable to outrun it, completely gutting her. The Farragut fired overloaded photon torpedoes at the Reptilicon causing considerable damage. But Zenith had by this time worked its way behind the Farragut and fired a second wave of hyper-drones and phaser fire causing considerable damage to the Farragut. Dodge realized that he was outgunned and unable to match this assault strike effectively. He ordered an emergency rescue operation for survivors of the Alaric while the attacking vessels were regrouping. Tactfully evading another wave of warp eight drones, Farragut and Falklands disengaged.

Star Date Y175.2: Kzinti - Klingon Border 2015 hours Standard Galactic Time

Captain Krill was in command of a D6/F5 wolf pack on exercise patrol along the Klingon/Kzinti border. He commanded the D6 Battle Cruiser Conquest with the D6 Battle Cruisers Carnage and Cataclysm and F5 Frigate War Dragon completing his squadron. The exercises were going well until the communication officer interrupted his thoughts, “Sir, we’re intercepting a distress call from the Federation Heavy Cruiser Farragut to Star Base Six. They report that they are under attack by a combined fleet of Kzinti, Gorn, Romulan and Tholian ships that have stormed across the Kzinti/Federation border. They’ve taken heavy damage with one ship destroyed.” Captain Krill was just preparing to order the wolf pack to set course to assist when the weapons officer called out, “Sir, multiple ships crossing the border at high speed…intercept course!”

Captain Krill called for a tactical display on the main viewer. What he saw made the blood rise in his veins. A Kzinti CV carrier, and not just any carrier, it was the Long Howler launching the last of its compliment of twelve DAS fighters complete with warp booster packs. The Long Howler was commanded by Captain Blood Fang who carried a reputation as a fearless and resourceful tactician. Along side the Long Howler was the Gorn Light Cruiser Flashwing and Tholian Patrol Cruiser Shielder. What Captain Krill did not see was the cloaked Romulan War Eagle Battle’s Fire coming in behind the rest of the force.

The first thought Captain Krill had was simply…war!

As Captain Krill viewed the tactical display he observed the DAS fighters launch a wave of twelve warp five drones. ‘Typical Kzinti battle tactics’ thought Krill. The Flashwing and Shielder were at max speed and criss-crossing each other as they edged towards his left flank. The Long Howler was pouring on speed greater than the fighters and drones and heading for his right flank. “Odd”, thought Krill, “why move beyond and away from your own drone and fighter wedge?”

Krill signaled the squadron. Each D6 was at WS 0. All phasers (all of which were of type two configuration since his ships had not yet received the phaser refits) were charged, shields raised and Krill decided to overload all disruptors. Though he could only make one-third speed at this point, he’d let them burn the energy to come to him. He ordered the War Dragon to standard charges on the disruptors and nearly two-thirds speed on the left flank with a mission to kill drones and fighters while avoiding the rest of the enemy ships.

As the situation solidified Krill ordered all ships to launch their own wave of warp five drones, bound for the Flashwing. The Gorn and Tholian continued to criss-cross paths but finally separated with the Flashwing taking the left flank towards the War Dragon and the Shielder cutting across the bow of the three D6 Battle Cruisers. ‘Is the Tholian mad?” thought Krill.

Just then the Flashwing made a dash towards the War Dragon and unleashed two type S plasma torpedoes along with one type F. The War Dragon made a sharp turn to starboard in an attempt to evade but it was pointless. In moments the three balls of plasma smashed through the number six shield and poured into the Frigate blowing it apart at the seams. Just before its death, the War Dragon offered one last act of defiance by unloading disruptors and phaser fire to bring down the Flashwings number five shield. As the fire ball that was once a Klingon Frigate expanded, Krill ordered the squadron to a sharp turn to port to face the Gorn’s down shield. At near maximum overload range the D6’s unloaded all disruptors and forward phasers into the Flashwing. The Gorn ship shuddered and took considerable damage but turned to starboard away from the D6’s and incoming Klingon drones with most weapons left intact and warp engines still capable of continued combat. As the D6’s made their port turn the starboard side phasers came into arc for the Shielder. All six type 2 phasers fired and the Shielder’s number three shield went down with mild damage taken to the ship itself. In return its quad type 1 phasers rang out along with long range hyper drone fire from the Long Howler on the right flank and took down Cataclysm’s number two shield and peppered the hull.

As Krill sized up the tactical situation the DAS’s fired a second wave of drones as did the Long Howler, all of which were now dangerously closing the distance. Then his blood, which had been raging on fire at the battle, ran cold. At the back of the enemy fleet a Romulan War Eagle began to uncloak. His mind raced. He had lost the War Dragon in a fiery blaze. On his left flank was a damaged yet still combat capable Gorn Light Cruiser with yet another type F torp ready to go and all forward phasers charged. Directly ahead were two separate waves of drones heading inbound as well as twelve DAS fighters each with a type 3 phaser. On his right flank the Long Howler and now a Romulan War Eagle with a blasted type R plasma torpedo ready to fire. He faced a tough choice; kill as many drones and fighters as possible or face the Long Howler and Battle’s Fire head on and let the drones and fighters rip him to shreds.

One thought surfaced in his conscious….today would be a good day to die.

Krill decided his only hope lay in taking out the two larger units, the Kzinti and Gorn. He ordered the Conquest and Carnage to two-thirds speed, rearm weapons and head for the retreating Flashwing. A second wave of drones was fired from all three D6’s at the Long Howler. The Cataclysm was closest to the Long Howler and would have to take her on alone. Unfortunately before Cataclysm could make better speed and engage the Long Howler, the Shielder’s quad phaser array lashed out through her down shield. This time the damage was more severe. Both starboard disruptors were taken out along with the starboard phasers. The Cataclysm fired out both weapons before they were destroyed and managed to inflict enough damage on the Shielder to send it out of the battle area. With what was left of her weapons the Cataclysm cut off the Long Howler and let loose with her two remaining disruptors and forward phasers. Unfortunately, it was not enough to penetrate Long Howlers number two shield. Long Howler in return sent out a barrage of hyper-drone and phaser fire at Cataclysm, nearly buckling her shields. To seal the deal, she let loose with four drones, two of which succeeded in finding their mark. Cataclysm was heavily damaged and began limping off. Unfortunately, the Romulan War Eagle Battle’s Fire found her and finished her off with her single type R plasma torpedo.

Conquest and Carnage managed to engage the Flashwing at distance and with salvos of disruptor and phaser fire breached her number three shield inflicting additional damage. But the Carnage couldn’t take out all of the incoming first wave of drones, despite a well-placed transporter bomb, which were all targeted for her. Destroying her number two shield and raining in, the battle cruiser exploded. Krill’s D6 Conquest was all that was left. Attempting to stay out of the path of the incoming second wave of drones, he found himself in the midst of the fighter wedge. He valiantly tried to fight them off with his phaser banks but they evaded smartly with only two being destroyed. They swarmed him like wasps and found his rear shield expending their phasers. The Long Howler was able to fire a salvo of hyper-drones through the downed shield as well. The last thing Captain Krill saw before his Battle Cruiser blew apart was the first wave of drones the squadron had fired pouring into the Flashwing turning her into a fiery mass of wreckage.

Star Date Y175.2: Kzinti -

Star Date Y175.2: Kzinti - Federation Border 2045 hours Standard Galactic Time

Standing on the flag bridge of the Kzinti Heavy Battleship Duke, Admiral Gnasher surveyed the incoming battle reports. So far he was please at the two initial reports. An entire Klingon squadron of ships had been completely destroyed, along with a Federation destroyer. He was disappointed with a Federation heavy and light cruiser escaping despite taking heavy damage. Damaged ships could be repaired whereas destroyed ship needed to be replaced. Overall though, Operation First Strike was proceeding successfully according to plan. And now it was he and his task forces turn to strike. In addition to the battleship, his task force consisted of the Destroyer Star fang along with the six Pin Corvettes docked to the outside of his flag ship and the squadron of twelve DAS fighters now launching from their bays. It was highly unusual for such a large ship to venture outside of its own space, in fact this would be the first offensive use of a battleship task force in the history of any of the Six Powers Coalition. But his mission was an important one and required heavy firepower for success.

Along the northern most boundary between the Kzinti and Federation border lay Base Station number twenty-six. In this most remote section of the border the station had never been upgraded to battle station strength. It was through this portion of the border that the SPC was going to smash a hole through. And as fortune would have it, the Dreadnaught Federation was docked there temporarily. Another strange happenstance to have a large unit so far from the interior, but the Federation had just been upgraded and intelligence indicated that it was on long distance trials to what was considered a safe, secure part of the border. Accompanied by only the Frigate Doolittle, the Federation was a ripe target for the taking. In addition to smashing a hole through this section of the border, the destruction of such a heavy unit would go a long way towards the SPC’s goals.

His only regret was that he knew the human Admiral that commanded the Federation, Admiral Jack ‘Ready’ Reid. He had met Admiral Reid years ago at a trade conference and thought him a capable and decent sort. He didn’t relish the idea of having to destroy the man along with his vessel, but even Admirals have their orders to follow, and his mission was clear; eliminate everything in the system. He looked up at the viewer as the last of his fighter squadron was launched and the Pin Corvettes were being released from their docking clamps as they stormed the border.

Admiral Reid was in a flurry on the flag bridge of the Dreadnaught Federation. Reports were flooding in of attacks all along the Klingon and Federation borders. One intercept had an entire Klingon Battle squadron being destroyed. Another had the heavily damaged Farragut calling for assistance. Of all the times to be caught out in the middle of nowhere with your pants down! He had ordered the Federation, Doolittle and Base Station Twenty-six to full red alert. Making preparations to get under way to rendezvous with the Farragut his heart skipped a beat when the sensors officer shouted, “Kzinti Battleship crossing the border on an intercept course sir!” Admiral Reid looked up at the tactical display and saw the massive ship complete with a destroyer escort, Kzinti fighter wedge and Pin Corvette squadron coming directly at him.

“Blow the docking clamps now! Reid ordered. Get the Doolittle underway as well. Contact Commander Eddings on the Base Station and tell him to launch the F-8’s and the Corvette squadron and have them form up with me. He knew this Kzinti battleship and her Admiral. This was going to get bloody…

Admiral Gnasher charged across the Kzinti/Federation border at high speed with his fleet in a tight formation. His Corvettes on his right flank and the destroyer on his left flank. The fighter wedge was launched and bringing up the rear. He wasn’t one to hide behind his fighters, he preferred the fighters to stand alone, in essence forming an artificial starship for the enemy to content with. All hyper-drone and standard drone racks were loaded and ready leaving plenty of power for maximum speed. As the Kzinti fleet crossed the border the Duke launched a wave of twelve warp eight drones all inbound for the base station. The fighter wedge launched one drone each for another wave of twelve also targeted on the base station. The Corvettes and Star Fang stood fast, preferring to wait to see how the battle was going to shape up.

Admiral Reid left the base station on the left flank with the Corvettes, fighters and Doolittle on the right flank. He kept the fleet at mid speed in order to overload all available photon torpedo tubes. The fighters remained close to the base station to intercept incoming drones and fighters. All Federation fighters launched their maximum number of drones, targeted on the Duke.

As the Kzinti fleet rapidly approached, the Duke started fading to his right flank as the smaller ships kept a direct course for the base station. Reid ordered the Doolittle to take the point in front of the Federation as the both cut across to the right flank to intercept the big battleship. At 200,000 kilometers the Kzinti battleship fired a wave of eight hyperdrones. Between the Federation and Doolittle’s type three phasers the wave was destroyed just short of the dreadnaught.

The Federation Corvettes were the first to engage, firing their port side type 3 phasers at the first wave of drones, killing five. They then launched a full barrage of overloaded photon torpedoes at the Star Fang directly ahead completely destroying it in a fiery blast. The Star Fang managed to destroy one of the Corvettes in return before blowing apart. The Federation Corvettes then engaged the Kzinti Corvettes with type 1 phaser fire, destroying one of them. In return the Kzinti Corvettes destroyed a second Federation Corvette leaving four in the original squadron of six.

As the distance between the Kzinti and the Federation’s drone swarm narrowed, Admiral Gnasher ordered the starboard side type 3 phasers to fire destroying nine of the twelve. The ADD racks took care of the rest. As the Doolittle approached he ordered the starboard side hyper-drone racks and type 1 phaser banks to open up, gutting the frigate. He then turned sharply to starboard to meet the Federation head to head…

…Admiral Reid saw the Doolittle ripped to shreds on the view screen. His blood boiling he’d had enough. Although taking on the battleship head to head wasn’t tactically the soundest plan, he had overloads in his favour and the Duke had already expended half of its arsenal on the frigate. It was now or never…

Admiral Gnasher couldn’t believe the Federation wasn’t taking evasive action; Reid was actually going to meet him head on. It was suicide….or genius!

The Duke and the Federation meet head on, both firing everything on board. Four of the six photons from Federation hit. The Duke’s front deflector was blown away and the battleship rocked as it took heavy damage. Three Type 4 phasers lashed out from the base station as well and although the range was considerable it helped in the overall damage inflicted. In return, Duke raked the Dreadnought with hyper-drone and her remaining phasers shaking it to its very core. In an ironic twist, both vessels took exactly the same amount of damage. But the battleship was considerably larger and able to handle the damage better. Although all three engines received heavy damage, and multiple weapon banks were ripped apart along with other ship systems, she was still in the fight and dangerous. The Federation on the other hand didn’t fare quite so well. The starboard engine was nearly ripped off its support. All but one of the photon tubes was destroyed as well as most of the phaser banks. For all intents and purposes…she was crippled. Unfortunately for the Federation, the Kzinti fighters launched the last of their drone compliment at her from medium range.

Through the smoke and fire of the Flag Bridge of the crippled Federation, Admiral Reid looked up at the main viewer flickering from where he’d been thrown. He saw a wave of drones inbound and there was nothing he could do to avoid or stop them. He’d inflicted an incredible amount of damage on the Duke, but it wasn’t enough to win the battle or save the station. He gave the order, “Abandon ship!”

Commander Eddings on base station twenty-six saw the battle deteriorate to the point of being futile. He saw the Federation crippled by the Duke and then finished off by a wave of drones. His fighters were able to stop half of the inbound drones to his station, but he was unable to stop many of the rest and he knew it. On top of that, the Pin Corvettes were closing with the ability to soon launch yet another wave. He ordered a full evacuation. All shuttles were loaded with personnel and as many of the rest were transported to the Corvettes along with the survivors from the Federation. The Corvettes launched their shuttles empty in order to be able to pick up as many of the pilots of the fighters as possible, the rest were transported on board. The Corvettes then made course to evade and escape. Base Station twenty-six blew apart moments later.

The Kzinti tactical Commander advised that all the Federation Corvettes were targeted. Admiral Gnasher softly ordered, “Let them go…” The tactical Officer turned to stare in disbelief, until he saw the Admiral glare back directly at him. Admiral Gnasher was large and imposing, even for a Kzinti and his orders weren’t to be questioned…ever. Admiral Gnasher then softly said to the tactical officer, “we’re professionals, not murderers. We’ve accomplished our goal.”

Secretly Admiral Gnasher hoped that Admiral Reid had survived and was on board one of the Corvettes. He knew that they were overloaded and it would take very good fortune to reach a place of safety.

Admiral Reid and Commander Eddings viewed the destruction of the station from the small bridge of one of the Corvettes. Everyone was silent. And Ensign remarked in astonishment that the Kzinti fleet was no longer targeting them. Admiral Reid knew inside that the Kzinti Admiral had paid him a professional courtesy. He also knew that they would meet again.

Chapter Two

Star Date Y175.2: Federation - Romulan Border 2300 hours Standard Galactic Time

Over the last several weeks Potemkin and Avenger had engaged in mock drills to both captain’s satisfaction. Officers from both vessels exchanged turns shadowing their counterpart during duty hours. It went better than what could possibly have been expected just a few short years ago before the alliance. On the night before their month long exercise was scheduled to conclude all the senior officers of both vessels were aboard Potemkin in the Captain’s mess for a formal parting banquet. At 2300 hours, Ensign Parks the on-duty communications officer signaled for Captain Stryker via the com-link, “Sir, I have a priority one message from Star Base Twelve!” The Ensign continued with obvious nervous excitement in his voice, “per Star Fleet Command C-N-C, the entire fleet has been placed on Red Alert…and sir, so has the Klingon Empire! A secured message from Admiral Winslow is to follow.”

Stryker and Kromm exchanged a serious glance as all officers rapidly jumped up from the table and proceeded to the exit. “Ensign Parks, advise the watch officer to signal Red Alert. Contact the Avenger and advise them to do the same. Transporter one stand by to transport Captain Kromm and his officers back to the Avenger”, ordered Stryker.

A few minutes later both Captains were standing on their respective bridges awaiting the communiqué from Star Base Twelve. “Sir, incoming message from Admiral Winslow”, advised Lt. Qovocs who was now at the communications board. “Put it on main viewer and pipe it to the Avenger as well”, ordered Stryker. On both bridge screens the viewer came to light on the image of Admiral Winslow looking grave. Behind him in the Star Bases command center, officers and crewmen rushed back and forth in a controlled fury, busy on a hundred different tasks. Admiral Winslow began, “This message is going out to all Federation ships, bases and outposts in this sector. At approximately 2000 hours standard Federation time, a combined fleet of Kzinti, Gorn, Tholian and Romulan ships crossed the Federation/Kzinti border and attacked the Heavy Cruiser Farragut and her task force. Reports now confirm that the Farragut and Light Cruiser Falklands were heavily damaged in the attack. The Destroyer Alaric has been reported completely destroyed. Almost simultaneously, a combined Kzinti, Gorn, Tholian and Romulan task force attacked a Klingon D6 squadron on the Kzinti/Klingon border. Reports have the D6 cruisers Conquest, Carnage and Cataclysm as well as the Frigate War Dragon as having been destroyed.”

Captain Stryker reeled where he stood for a moment. He knew Tom Dodge, the Captain of the Farragut. They attended the academy together. He was a good man and a fine Captain. The only explanation possible for a combined fleets attack was a first strike for war!

Captain Kromm sat heavily in his command chair. An entire D6 squadron wiped out. The combined attacking fleet must have had massive fire power in order to destroy four such war ships. Kromm knew Captain Krill, the commander of the Conquest. Krill was his first officer aboard the Frigate ‘Fire Song’ back when they patrolled the Lyran border together. Kromm had recommended him for his first command. By the sword of Kaylas those responsible were going to pay!

As each bridge crew was momentarily lost in their own thoughts at this news an aid ran up to Winslow and handed him the latest report. The Admiral read it then looked up at the view screen again, “I’ve just received word that a Kzinti Battle group, including a Battleship has destroyed base station twenty-six along the Kzinti/Federation border. In addition to the destruction of the base….the Dreadnaught Federation and the Frigate Doolittle….were destroyed. We’re also receiving word of attacks along the Lyran and Hydran borders with the Klingon Empire. Although still sketchy, it appears that one of the Klingon Battle Stations along the Lyran border was destroyed along with a C7 Battle Cruiser.”

Stryker couldn’t believe what he was hearing. No fleet had ever used a Battleship in combat, let alone allowed it to leave home territory. An entire base and a Dreadnaught destroyed as a result. The USS Federation was the very first Dreadnaught built by any race. Originally no more powerful than today’s modern Battle Cruiser, she was something in her day. And she had recently been upgraded to a more powerful DN design. She was a powerful vessel, but no match for a Kzinti Battleship with her full compliment of fighters and Corvettes. It was becoming very clear what the intentions of this first strike were…the destruction of as many main line ships as possible. Three borders attacked and apparently other borders in the process of being attacked. The alliance was essentially surrounded on all fronts.

Admiral Winslow concluded, “the entire fleet has sortied and gone to Red Alert. We’re anticipating attacks now along the Gorn, Romulan and Tholian borders as well at this point. We will continue to update all commands as events warrant. All border vessels are ordered to fall back on their respective star bases and await orders, Winslow out.”

Stryker began issuing orders, “Signal the Avenger, advise them to return with us to Star Base Twelve. I’m sure they’re going to be anxious to return to the Empire as quickly as possible. Advise sensors to continue on wide gain, I want to know what’s out there before it gets close. I want a ship wide check made and preparations for combat begun…” Commander T’Pring interrupted, “Captain, sensors are reporting what appears to be a Romulan task force in the neutral zone. The task force appears to be stationary at the moment, sensors are continuing to scan”. Stryker was out of his chair and at her console in moments. “New data coming through”, she continued. “Sensors reporting five Romulan vessels. A KR Cruiser, KR5 Frigate and three War Eagles. Currently at sub-light speed and weapon status zero”.

Stryker’s mind raced. Romulan ships had been present in at least two of the attacks so their involvement was confirmed. To what extent remained to be seen. Now a Romulan task force currently in the neutral zone, a clear violation of the treaty. What was their purpose? Odds were that it was a task force with aims at a strike somewhere along the border. The strength of this task force wasn’t sufficient to take on a target like Star Base Twelve, but it would be sufficient enough to take on one of the battle stations along the border or one of the outposts. With them being at sub-light speed and weapons powered down was a golden opportunity. One that he wasn’t about to pass up. True, violating the neutral zone and attacking the task force was technically an act of war, but that seemed to pretty much be a moot point at this juncture. At worse he felt he could justify his actions due to their location in the neutral zone and the current situation. “Open a channel to the Avenger” he ordered.

Kromm knew the Potemkin was scanning the neutral zone, so was he. He’d been apprised of the Romulan task force by his sensor officer. “Put Captain Stryker on the screen” he ordered.

As Stryker saw Kromm’s image light up on the viewer he noted a wicked smile on his lips. Before Stryker could get a word out, Kromm asked, “What’s your plan of attack?”

It was 0200 hours and Commander Tal’ver walked along the empty, silent corridors of his Romulan cruiser Noble Warrior. It was late but he couldn’t sleep. As he walked he contemplated the upcoming battle that he and his task force would be undertaking in the morning. Operation First Strike was going well from the reports he’d received. The Kzinti command had been masterful in coordinating so many attacks along so many borders within such close timing to each other. Their particular mission was to destroy the nearest battle station directly across the border. This would open up several systems to occupation forces as well as an additional front for the Federation to contend with. The Gorns would soon follow along with the Tholians, all designed to follow one another in rapid succession to maximize the confusion. With a little good fortune the Federation would quickly see their position as untenable and sue for peace and thus avoiding a long drawn out war. He was deep in thought when the alarm claxon rang out and his communication officer was franticly calling him to the bridge. He broke into a dead run for the nearest turbo lift and was on the bridge in a matter of moments. The late night skeleton crew on the bridge was in a panic as they were trying to issue orders as well as contact the other ships in the task force. As he motioned for silence and began to inquire as to the emergency a junior officer pointed towards the viewing monitor. Tal’ver’s blood ran cold, a Federation heavy cruiser charging in from astern at high warp speed. Looking at the tactical sensors he noted she was carrying overloaded photon torpedoes and had a lock on his ship. “Raise Shields to full”! he screamed…

Potemkin sailed between the task force, two War Eagles on her port beam, a War Eagle and the KR5 Frigate on the starboard beam and the KR cruiser directly ahead. As Potemkin closed to within ten thousand kilometers, Stryker noted the KR cruiser was raising shields to full. That was to be expected he thought, difficult to have complete surprise. He calmly ordered, “fire photon torpedoes, full salvo”. Four small but brilliant stars of energy bolted out of their launchers on the underside of the saucer section and sped their way to the awaiting target. They found their mark on the Romulan cruisers number four shield. Although Tal’ver had managed to raise the shields to full strength it mattered little against four overloaded photon torpedoes. The shield violently collapsed as explosive energy smashed into the hind end of the doomed cruiser. Sections of her wings and engines were blown completely off. The shuttle bay was ripped open like a tin can. The entire ship shuttered to its very core. The bridge crew was thrown around like rag dolls as banks of instruments exploded in chorus around them. Through the fading view screen Tal’ver, through the blood running down his face, could just make out the Federation ship veering to starboard towards the KR5 frigate. As he peered, he saw a IV drone appear in the Federation cruisers wake, bearing down on his vessel. As it struck, it was the last thing he ever saw. The Romulan KR cruiser Noble Warrior died without having the chance to fire a shot.

Stryker saw Avenger’s drone hit the Romulan cruiser through the downed shield. The port wing completely sheared off with pieces hitting the boom section cutting it in half. The Romulan cruiser was dead in the water. His attention now on the Romulan Frigate Corvus, he closed to within ten thousand kilometers and opened up fire with phaser banks one through six as well as his two type three banks. The phasers hit the number five shield of the Frigate which had just raised it to full but didn’t have time to reinforce it. The phaser barrage shattered the screen and raked the port side of the Frigate damaging its port engine as well as some of the ships systems and two of its rear phaser banks. Potemkin streaked past veering to starboard and hit the Frigate again in the number three shield with its two rear firing phaser banks. Although the screen held, it was knocked down to one-third strength.

Sub-Commander Wren’dle of the War Eagle Red Glory witnessed the attack on the KR cruiser and KR5 frigate. She had ordered full shields and weapons to arming status. As she began working up steam to pursue Potemkin, she was violently jolted. Avenger had come in on her stern and driven four overloaded disruptor bolts into the number four shield along with shots from five of her nine phaser banks. The shield was ripped apart and the destructive energy splayed across the hull of the War Eagle, disintegrating lengths of her superstructure. Red Glory also died without a fight.

As Captain Kromm and the Avenger soared past the blazing wreckage of the Red Glory he banked sharply to port, bringing his starboard side phaser array on target with the War Eagle Blue Victory. The skeleton bridge crew of the Romulan War Eagle hadn’t yet realized they were under attack with as swiftly as it had been executed. They hadn’t even raised shields past the minimum levels. Avenger’s two phaser banks lashed out, penetrating the minimum shielding and pelted the hull. This however was not the worse to come for Avenger had fired its second IV drone prior to her attack on the first War Eagle and it was targeted on the second. As the drone speed through the now downed shield it impacted on the hull in a massive explosions. Between the initial phaser strike and the drone impact, Blue Victory was crippled. This left one undamaged War Eagle and a heavily damaged frigate left of the Romulan squadron.

Captain Stryker ordered the helm to bring Potemkin around again for another strafing run on the Romulan squadron. The Romulan frigate was only now beginning to limp off. The undamaged War Eagle however was making turns to disengage. Stryker knew he’d have to stop her before she escaped. He ordered the photons to standard strength and rearmed the phaser banks. He then set off in pursuit. As their paths straightened out, he began a barrage of proximity loaded torpedoes to soften up the War Eagle as he closed. He held the phasers in reserve, a move that saved Potemkin for off his port bow a War Eagle began to decloak. Realizing the cloaked Romulan was a patrol for the Romulan squadron, it would very likely have a fully loaded type R plasma torpedo ready to launch. Now that it was in position and at close range it attacked. Stryker’s options were limited now. He could run, but he wasn’t yet near a speed to allow him to take the plasma torpedo after a long run. All that would do is allow the torpedo to strike a weaker shield and take some of his phaser firing options away. Or he could take the torpedo head on, allowing it to impact his strongest shield and allowing six of his phaser batteries to chop the warhead down as best as possible. He was between the proverbial rock and a hard place. He made his decision, “Hard to port, reinforce the number one shield with reserve power, stand by on phaser banks one through six”.

The War Eagle Fury had witnessed the initial onslaught of these two enemy cruisers. Sub-Commander Brak had worked his way into a prime firing position and now he’d avenge his fallen comrades. As the Fury finished her fade in, Brak ordered the type R plasma torpedo fired. The shimmering, radiant ball of plasma energy leapt from its launch tube and screamed at Potemkin.

Moments before impact, Stryker ordered all six phaser banks to fire at near point blank range. Six beams of scintillating energy flashed out at the ball of plasma and were swallowed. They did succeed in reducing the warhead strength. The impact however ripped away the number one shield of Potemkin and jarred it from bow to stern throwing crewmen and equipment everywhere. Between the shields and the phaser strike the ship had been spared any direct damage. The Fury however was not content with this a let loose with a barrage of four phasers which flashed through the now non-existent shield and raked Potemkin. The saucer section as well as the lower hull took damage. The port side nacelle took a hit as did the two port side phaser banks. Fury was powering up for another phaser strike at close range when four disruptor bolts slammed into her number two shield bringing it nearly down. Seven phasers flashed out from the Avenger on its oblique attack run. This brought the shield down completely and tore into the starboard engine and hull of the Fury. As the energy discharge blew apart her starboard engine and impulse engines, it also fried the circuitry to her phaser banks and torpedo launcher. She was crippled beyond repair.

Avenger had appeared like the cavalry, but it would pay for it. The War Eagle Rage which Potemkin had been pursuing had swung around and fired its quick load’ plasma torpedo at type F strength. The frigate Corvus had fired its two type F plasma torpedoes as well from a distance. The Rage’s torpedo impacted the Avenger in the number six shield at full strength. Although not enough to bring the number six shield down, it was enough to nearly buckle it and send a shudder throughout the vessel. The twin type F’s from Corvus however reached Avengers number five shield moments later. Though they were towards the middle of their run, they were enough to bring the shield down to bare minimum level. As Rage streaked around into Avengers number five shield arc it let loose with her four phaser banks which succeeded in penetrating the shield and raked the Avenger in similar fashion as had been done to Potemkin. Kromm ordered two drones targeted on the Rage and fired.

Stryker ordered Potemkin brought around to port, bringing his main and starboard phaser batteries to bear on the Rage. He pelted the vessels number two shield as she swerved to port as well. Before the Avengers drones could finish their run however she began to cloak. The drones lost their lock on and went inert. As the Rage faded out it went to evasive maneuvers and left the area at its best speed. Potemkin and Avenger finished off the frigate and made for Star Base Twelve making as many repairs as possible while they were enroute.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Chapter Three Klingon Battle

Chapter Three

Klingon Battle Station KKL was on high alert due to the sporadic reports being received on multiple border attacks. Station Commander Hulnar had ordered all sensors to concentrate on the asteroid field that ran across the point where the Klingon border intersected with the Lyran and Kzinti borders. If an attack was going to come, it would be from that point. He was in the process of launching a pair of fighters to navigate the asteroid field and scan the expanse beyond when his sensor technician reported a faint blip. The blip disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. It was either a false reflection, or the sensors had momentarily picked up something beyond the asteroid field at a rare moment when there was a clear ‘line of sight’ to the far side as the asteroids moved around. Either way he wasn’t taking any chances, he ordered all fighters and Gun Boats launched. He contacted Captain Kluge of the C7 Battle Cruiser Fear to do the same.

Captain Kluge didn’t care much for base commanders. Just officers that couldn’t make it on a star ship was his opinion. It was doubtful that any attack would come at this point along the border in his professional opinion. Every reported attack he’d viewed during the last hour had either been in Federation space or the Klingon border close to where it intersected with the Kzinti and Federation. And no Lyrans vessels had been reported in any of the attacks. And even if an attack came, between his Battle Cruiser and the Gun Boat squadron it carried and the fighter and Gun Boat squadron of the battle station, an enemy would soon find itself in trouble. Still…it would probably be a prudent thing to go to battle stations. It would be a good drill for the crew…

Captain Claw Eye of the Lyran Heavy Battle Cruiser Foremost Hunter stirred in his seat on the bridge. His was to be the first Lyran vessel to be used in an attack in Operation First Strike and they were already nearly an hour behind schedule. The Romulan War Bird Avian Fury had developed warp engine problems enroute to the rendezvous point. That was one of the logistical problems with being involved in fleet formations so far from home space. On top of that, the War Bird was nearly six decades old. Probably one of the reasons the Romulans sent her off, she was easily expendable, thought the Lyran Captain. The Romulan was capable of little better than warp three at present, and although her engineers were working frantically to restore her to full speed, the Kzinti Captain had made the decision to leave her behind. The Kzinti Captain, thought Claw Eye…probably get us all killed. He should have been in charge of this operation as his was by far the superior ship in the squadron.

Captain Saber, the Captain of the Kzinti Battle Cruiser Pulsar brooded on the bridge of his vessel. This whole operation was in danger of unraveling. First he had to deal with a Lyran Captain that second guessed him at every turn. Saber wasn’t accustomed to having his orders questioned, particularly by a Lyran! Then the blasted antique the Romulans were trying to pass off as a star ship kept breaking down. It was a worthless piece of junk! So far the Romulans hadn’t committed any ship of substance to Operation First Strike. The only saving grace was the type R plasma torpedo it carried. That would have its uses against the Klingon battle station…if it every made it there. At least the other members of the attack squadron were disciplined enough to follow orders and thankfully there vessels were top of the line.

Participating in the attack was the Gorn Battle Cruiser Dragonicon. It was a powerful star ship with a good Captain. The Tholian War Destroyer Zircon was also participating and it was the most powerful ship the Tholians had yet committed to the operation. By all accounts it was a solid ship for its size. The last of the six ship attack squadron was the Hydran Royal Dragoon Cruiser Eminence. This was the first Hydran vessel to be put into Operation First Strike and the Hydrans had spared no expense. The Royal Dragoon Cruiser was an extremely powerful star ship which sported four Helbore cannons. This was a weapon the Kzinti Captain was unfamiliar with but reports put it as a ship killer regardless of where it hit. Having no choice but to leave the floundering Romulan War Bird in the squadrons wake, he charged the asteroid field at high speed. A somewhat risky maneuver but it shouldn’t be a problem to navigate.

As the five SPC vessels cleared the asteroid field Saber heaved a heavy sigh, the Klingons somehow had been warned of their attack as a C7 Battle Cruiser was leaving the base on an intercept course with two squadrons of Gun Boats and a fighter squadron on an intercept course as well. It never rains but it pours, he thought.

Saber ordered the squadron split up. He would attack in a classic pincer maneuver. He had the Gorn Battle Cruiser, Hydran Cruiser and Tholian Destroyer on the right flank along with the Lyran Battle Cruiser and his Stray Cat Corvette squadron on the left flank. His Battle Cruiser would bring up the middle, headed by the Hydran’s Stinger-two squadron.

Captain Kluge was forming up the Gun Boat and fighter squadrons when the SPC attack fleet appeared from the asteroid field. So…the old base Commander had been right! It would be a glorious battle…and victory for him. He ordered both his and the stations Gun Boats to intercept the Lyran Battle Cruiser. The Fighters which were only capable of warp 1.5 were to hang back and defend the station. He wanted a piece of this big Gorn ship! He’d heard of them, but never encountered them. He ordered all units to fire their drones at the Lyran Battle Cruiser that would take care of their ESG fields. He charged into the fight.

As Kluge closed on the Gorn vessel, the Hydran Stinger Two’s diverted course and hit the Klingon C7 from the number two shield side with fusion cannons and Gatling phasers. The shield buckled and collapsed with ribbons of energy dancing along the big Klingon ship’s hull. The C7 shuttered and bucked, explosions all around the ship sounded. Kluge had made a fatal miscalculation of just how much fire power the six Stingers had to deal out. Looking up at the view screen he saw three balls of energy explode from the Gorn ship, two larger than the third. He knew then he was about to die. “Fire all weapons!” he screamed. The C7 had overloaded all her disruptors and they now flew from their tubes to impact the Gorn Battle Cruisers number one shield. Phaser fire then raked the Gorn through the now downed shield. Type four phaser fire from the battle station found its mark as well through the Gorns downed shield and finished what Kluge had started. The Gorn Battle Cruiser blew apart. But not before two type S and one type F plasma torpedo found the badly wounded C7 and completely destroyed it. The Kzinti drones that had previously been fired lost their acquisition as there wasn’t enough of the C7 left to home in on.

At the same time, the duel Klingon Gun Boat squadrons reached a decent enough range to attack the Lyran Battle Cruiser. The drone wave was just then reaching it, taking down the ESG fields. The Gun Boats had also overloaded their disruptors and let them loose on the Lyrans number six shield along with their combined phaser fire. It proved to be far too much for the Lyran star ship, Claw Eye saw his vessel disintegrate around him. But not before he, along with his Stray Cats had taken out half of the twelve Gun boats.

The Hydran fighters had now reached the Z1 fighters which managed to take out five of the six Stingers. The Tholian destroyer following close behind wiped out seven of the twelve Z1 fighters in revenge. Captain Saber observing the tactical situation ordered a full charge on the station. The Tholian was the first to engage at near point blank range along with the remaining Stray Cat corvettes. The stations number one shield glimmered brilliantly under the energy attack and then disappeared. The Hydran now in position fired all four of its Helbore cannons, along with its phaser arrays, ripping the station nearly in half. Gun Boat platforms and fighter bays broke off from internal explosions as the main hull sheared apart under the energy discharges. The only negative to this spectacular sight was the fact that, almost simultaneously with the SPC onslaught, the stations last act was to target the Tholian Destroyer with its big type four phasers. The Tholian died along with the station.

All that was left was the mop up job which the Kzinti ship was now doing. Joined with the Hydran vessel and the Stray Cats, the last of the Gun Boats and Z1 fighters were destroyed. They didn’t go down without a fight however and both the Kzinti and Hydran ships took light damage. Saber didn’t necessarily want to kill all the Klingons, but he felt it the more humane thing to do as he was doubtful the Gun Boats could make it to occupied Klingon space. And the Z1’s surely couldn’t. None of the ships noted the single Gun Boat that played possum by powering down all of its engines and weapons. They quietly slipped out of the area after the SPC squadron entered the asteroid field.

The remaining Stray Cats docked with the Kzinti Battle Cruiser and they headed back towards the asteroid field and home. Just emerging was the Romulan vessel, now reporting it was able to make a bit better than warp five.

“Light year late and a credit short”, thought Saber….

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Chapter Four

“I don’t know whether to promote you or court martial you Tom”, said Admiral Winslow candidly. “I specifically remember ordering you to fall back to Star Base, not fly across the neutral zone attacking anything that moves!” Captain Stryker knew better than to interrupt the Admiral when he had a good rant going on. Besides he knew where this was going anyways. After informing Star Base Twelve and Admiral Winslow of the successful attack on the Romulan squadron, he’d been contacted covertly by a few fellow Captains he was especially close to. They’d all congratulated him and told him the Admiral had actually let out a ‘whoop’ when he was informed of Stryker’s success in thwarting the impending attack. He wasn’t concerned with any ‘atta boy’ for himself, but he did want to see his crew recognized for the tremendous job they’d done. Additionally he wanted to see Captain Kromm and the crew of the Avenger recognized for their instrumental part in the attack. He was sure to make it known that the attack would not have been a success had it not been for their participation.

“The dock chief informs me that Potemkin will be laid up for at least a couple of weeks, along with the Avenger. You really got them shot up”, stated Winslow. This of course was an exaggeration, thought Stryker. Yes, both vessels had received damage in the attack, but nothing critical. Some of the damage had been repaired on the way in to the Star Base by his excellent engineering team. Same for the Avenger. “At any rate”, continued the Admiral, “since you seem to have a knack for blowing things up I’m going to give you a mission right up your alley. And since the Klingon High Command is elated over the success of your attack, Kromm and the Avenger are going to go with you.” The bottom line of the matter was that the Klingon High Command actually was elated with the success of Stryker’s attack. In their eyes it was bold, brash and showed ingenuity with a flash of tactical genius. And truth be told, Star Fleet Command…and Admiral Winslow were impressed. Five enemy vessels were destroyed in the attack with only two Alliance vessels receiving minimal damage. That was a decisive victory in the eyes of the Admirals of both fleets. Despite the fact that the vessels were basically second class and old, it was still five enemy vessels less to be used in border strikes.

And right now, every ship counted. Reports were now being received that confirmed the destruction of a Klingon Battle Station and C7 Battle Cruiser on the Lyran border. And the report from the lone surviving G3 Gunboat indicated the Lyrans and Hydrans had participated in the attack. That brought the total to six different races now at war with them. That meant the Federation and Klingons were seriously outnumbered in total ships and manpower. Worst still, Federation intelligence had discovered that the Kzinti now had warp eight capable drones, and were now in the process of mass producing them for their attacking vessels. This was a serious tactical situation as both the Federation and Klingons produced only warp five capable drones.

Stryker’s attack had given birth to a plan by the Klingon High Command. The Romulan fleet was still by and large the older Klingon conversion vessels. A fact that was now an embarrassment to the High Council as they had thought the Romulans trustworthy enough not to attack them using vessels they’d purchased from the Klingons. The Romulans were in the process of producing their own excellent ‘New Eagle’ designs to replace the aging KR ships and ‘old’ War eagles, but it would take time…and funds. In the meantime, the Romulan plan seemed to be to utilize the older ships as attrition units while holding the newer class ships in reserve to build up their strength. Now that the war was in full swing, the Romulans could no longer count on parts and service for the KR ships and would have to rely on whatever reserves they had stockpiled. If those reserves could be limited or destroyed…

Stryker and the Admiral walked into the crowded briefing room filled with officers from both fleets. As the room was seated, Admiral Winslow took the briefing podium. “Gentlemen, the last few days have been pure chaos to say the least. So far, we’ve received reports on multiple border attacks. In addition to the initial attacks previously reported, both the Federation and Klingons have lost several Frigate and Destroyer class vessels in ambushes along the borders. This brings the total Alliance losses up to just over twenty vessels including a Federation Dreadnaught and a Klingon C7 Battle Cruiser. Additionally, two bases, one of them a battle station have been destroyed. This is only part of the first strike however, when the Kzinti destroyed our Northern most station it opened the gate for invasion. Following the attack, multiple Kzinti vessels, including troop transports were tracked on long range sensors entering three key systems. None of the systems are heavily populated but each contains strategic mining operations. Specifically we’ve lost contact with the dilitheum mining facility on Denub IV. On the Klingon side, the Lyrans have taken two separate systems that are major producers of Trinacate which is used in the construction of Durasteel in vessel bulkheads. And lastly, civilian shipping has been targeted in two ways; first, we’ve lost contact with all civilian shipping freighters on business in SPC territory. At last report that was thirty-seven separate freighter convoys with various cargos in SPC shipping runs. Secondly, we’ve received reports of eighteen separate freighter convoys in Alliance territory being lost as the result of hit and run raids across all borders. The loss of these freighters, their crews and the cargo they had aboard is estimated in the billions of credits. In short, they’ve hit us from a military and an economic standpoint…and they hit us hard!”

Angry murmuring around the room erupted. As the noise lessened, Admiral Winslow continued, “The Klingon High Command has formulated a plan of counter attack designed to dramatically reduce the logistical capabilities of one of the coalition members… the Romulans. As you all are well aware, the bulk of the Romulan fleet are aged vessels. They have newer designs being built, but they aren’t yet in sufficient numbers. Analyzing the attacks, their strategy appears to be in using these older vessels as attrition units while holding back the newer classes for home space defense. Now that supply lines between the Klingon Empire and the Romulans have been shut off, they are going to be using up whatever reserve parts they have stockpiled for the bulk of their fleet. The plan from the Klingon High Command is to eliminate as much of that stockpile as possible by attacking their storage facilities. Captain Stryker and Potemkin will lead the assault along with the Destroyer Atlas. Captain Kromm and the Avenger will also join in the attack. The D5 War Cruiser Raider is enroute from the Klingon border to join up with the task force.”

The level of interest increased dramatically at the mention of a counter-attack. “The primary stockpile for these ships is on the planet ‘Nemus’. Nemus is located inside Romulan space of course, at a point where the Roumlan border intersects with the Federation and the Frax. Not the most secure location, but it was used as a convenience for supply ships traveling back and forth from Klingon space. Looking at intelligence data, there are no indications this facility has been relocated. The facility is heavily shielded and orbited by a mini-battle station. A diversion has been planned for the sector adjacent to the one you’ll be using to enter Romulan space in order to facilitate an easier entry. Once in, you’ll make a high speed run from between the twin suns of Nemus which should shield your warp signatures until you’re within weapons range. This will strictly be an orbital assault on the storage facility once the mini-battle station has been eliminated”. Winslow dismissed the officers.

Stryker tuned to T’Pring, “XO, gather the specs on the Klingon D5 and order a staff briefing on board Potemkin in an hour”. T’Pring nodded and left the briefing room. An hour later, Captain Stryker and Captain Kromm walked into Potemkin’s briefing room. The room was crowded with the command staff of both Potemkin and Avenger. As they sat down, T’Pring began her presentation. “For the benefit of the command staff of each vessel I will give a presentation of both the Federation Destroyer and the Klingon D5 War Cruiser. First, the Destroyer holds similar saucer armament as Potemkin which includes four photon torpedo launchers and six type one phaser banks. Additionally, the saucer section also holds two type three phaser banks. Atlas has received refits to include four auxiliary warp reactors. This refit helps when arming the photon torpedoes. She has also received refit with the new ASW system, Potemkin is also receiving this refit while in space dock under repair. The ASW system is an Anti-Seeking Weapon system similar to the Klingon or Kzinti anti-drone. Once charged it detonates upon impact with any type of seeking weapon, including plasma and shuttles releasing an electrical discharge that destroys or damages the seeker. The Klingon D5 offers an excellent balance of offensive and defensive weaponry and fills the roll of destroyer for the Klingon Empire. The Raider has four type one phaser banks and four type three phaser banks along with two drone racks. Similar to Avenger, she has four disruptors on the engine mounts. Her firing arcs and tactical capabilities are outstanding. Additionally, she is carrying four ZH fighters she picked up enroute to our location. The ZH carries two type I drones and two type VI drones. Additionally they carry one standard disruptor for use in the forward arc as well as a type II phaser. They have a type III phaser in the rear arc. They are equipped with warp booster packs and are capable of warp six. I’ve also received word that she is bringing two G3 Gunboats in tow. The G3 is armed with a single disruptor, three type II phasers, one drone rack and one ADD rack. They are comparable with the Federation Corvette, two of which will be transferred from the Star Base to Potemkin. The Corvette is armed with a single photon torpedo, two type I phasers, and two type III phasers. All four of Potemkin‘s shuttles have been stowed and we will be bringing four F-18‘s as well for this attack. The F-18 is a fast attack fighter capable of warp factor six with booster packs. They are armed with two type III phasers and a single photon torpedo” Her briefing concluded she sat down next to Stryker.

Captain Stryker stood up and addressed the senior officers, “This isn’t going to be a cake walk. A lot of things can go wrong, starting with us being able to slip into their space undetected. That will be out of our control as it depends on the success of the diversion that is planned to occur simultaneously with our crossing the neutral zone. In orbit around Nemus is a mini-battle station. Although it doesn’t have the same fire power as a full battle station, it still packs several type four phaser banks. With good fortune we’ll be able to hit it before they’re charged up. That goes for the stations plasma torpedo launcher as well which almost certainly is going to be of the type R variety. The storage facility is heavily shielded, however that should prove to be the least of our concerns and shouldn’t be too difficult to penetrate with the fire power this attack squadron has to bring on it. The ground facility doesn‘t have any weapons of its own based on the last intelligence reports. However, the most current report is over a decade old. Additionally, Klingon transports were not allowed within sensor range of the storage facility and cargo was off-loaded onto Romulan transports on the last leg of the re-supply trip to the ground facility. This kept the Klingons in the dark as to the defense capabilities of the facility”.

With that, the officers were dismissed to leave the two Captains to plan the particulars of the attack. Kromm watched the last officer leave the briefing room then he turned to Stryker and said quietly, “I need to discuss the Raider with you…”

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Chapter Five

At 0200 hours Raider arrived at the Star base. Within a few hours she was serviced and she along with the rest of the task force, now designated as Task Force KF1-02 was underway. Thirty-seven hours later at high warp KF1-02 arrived in the area of the neutral zone in which they would make their crossing. So far the mission was without incident and on schedule. All vessels began using silent running protocols to limit their energy signature. At the pre-appointed time the diversion in the next sector began. This consisted of a large fleet of eight vessels making a mock attack run on the Romulan battle station in the neutral zone of that sector. It was designed to be a noisy and unorganized attack run with a lot of un-coded and open-line chatter designed to flood the airwaves with disinformation. Reports were past back and forth about this or that onboard malfunction or arriving at the wrong location to meet up with other vessels. Their intention was to draw any and all vessels from adjoining sectors into the fray then fall back on their own battle station where additional ships, corvettes and fighters had been amassed.

Stryker waited for nearly one hour to make sure any responding vessels were now well underway and focused on the supposed impending battle. He then ordered the crossing. Within six hours KF1-02 was approaching the Romulan system containing the objective. As Potemkin, Avenger and Atlas entered the system he noted a string of asteroids encircling Nemus. He signaled for the launch of the four Klingon ZH fighters, two from the Avenger and two from…Atlas and the four Federation F-18 fighters from Potemkin. All eight fighters began their attack run on the ground facility. He then ordered the G3 Gunboats from Avenger and the Corvettes from Potemkin launched as well. The three larger ships and the four smaller ones formed up and began their run on the min-battle station. As his task force closed on the station, his blood ran cold as the sensor officer reported that the stations three type IV phasers were charging. Worst still, the ground base was sporting four type IV phasers, and they were in the process of charging as well. He then noted three Romulan ‘Mini-Hawk’ corvettes detaching from the base and three Romulan GII fighters being launched. His element of surprise just went up in smoke. His day just got harder.

Several minutes earlier, Commander B’Val of Imperial mini-battle station ’Nemus A’ walked into the main command center of the station. He was not a happy Romulan. Imagine being destined for greatness yet being stuck on this floating scrap heap while the biggest war in galactic history was going on without him. He woke early with the intention of finding anyone slacking off in the command center and ‘punishing’ them. As he walked into the room however he was disappointed again as every officer appeared to be busy at their respective post. Well, at least they feared him enough to be busy even when he wasn’t present, he thought. After a few moments inspecting the command center the communications officer looked up urgently, “Sir! And incoming emergency message from the War Eagle Opportune. Their Sub-Commander reports incoming enemy vessels!”

B’Val began shouting orders as fast and as loud as he could!

Back in the present the Mini-Hawks came blasting through the spaces between the small asteroids the Romulans had placed around Nemus, and at near maximum speed followed closely by the GII fighters. As they neared the Federation Corvettes they launched their type F plasmas. At this range, speed and distance, evasive maneuvers were a moot point. Several of the plasma torpedoes found their mark on one of the Corvettes causing it to blow apart. Not before it could fire its photon torpedo and phasers along with the second Corvette. As the Fed Corvette blew apart, so did one of the Mini-Hawks. The second Corvette screamed past on its way to Nemus along with the F-18’s. In passing, the ZH fighters launched a wave of type VI drones which caused the two remaining Mini-Hawks to veer away from the approaching task force. Avenger also launched type I drones, targeted on the Mini-Hawks.

Half-way to the asteroid belt a War Eagle decloaked off of the task forces starboard bow. The War Eagle launched the type R targeted on Potemkin. As plasma tracked on Potemkin, phaser fire from both the Federation heavy cruiser and the Klingon D7 battle cruiser reduced the plasmas warhead strength to the point of minimal damage on Potemkin’s number two shield by the time it arrived.

Atlas then broke from the formation and headed towards the Opportune slamming four photon torpedo overloads and six type I phasers passed its shields and straight into the hull. It was too much for Opportune and she was gutted. Atlas then rejoined the task force, falling in behind Avenger who was just slightly trailing Potemkin at this point in order to pass through the asteroid field.

As the remaining Federation Corvette passed the asteroid field it was ripped apart by type IV phaser fire from the mini-battle station as were the four F-18’s from the ground bases four type IV’s. The two G3 Gunboats and four ZH heavy fighters made it through however and launched drones on the ground base. The drones found their mark, but the ground base not only had heavy shielding but plenty of power to reinforce, only slight damage against the shields was scored by the drones that made it through the defensive phaser fire. As the ZH fighters veered away from Nemus to make another attack run, they were met by eight Romulan shuttles that had previously been launched by the Mini-Hawks, the battle station, ground base and the War Eagle for orbital defense. Although only armed with single type III phasers they managed to destroy two of the ZH fighters on the first pass.

As the orbital dog-fighting continued, the task force appeared through the asteroid belt. Unfortunately, both bases were recharging their type IV’s. Stryker sized up the tactical situation. It was past the point of no return, they had to take out the ground base. He ordered the Avenger and Atlas to target the ground base while he zeroed in on the orbital battle station. He knew his shields, even reinforced couldn’t stop all the type IV’s if concentrated. His only hope would be for the Romulan’s to disperse their fire amongst all the ships in the task force. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

As Potemkin came into optimal range to launch its overloaded photons, both the ground base and battle station concentrated their fire solely on Potemkin. Even as Potemkin’s overloaded photon torpedoes and phaser fire smashed through the mini-battle station’s shields gutting it to the core, Potemkin was sliced apart by seven brilliant ribbons of incredible energy that her shields just couldn’t stop. Both nacelles were sheared off and the hull was compromised in multiple areas. Through the smoke and fire of the bridge, Stryker knew Potemkin was finished. He gave the order to abandon ship.

As Avenger and Atlas closed on the ground base, things went from bad to worse. Kromm saw Potemkin ripped apart, but before he could consider coming to the aid of survivors, his sensor officer screamed out, “Sir, a Romulan KR7D has just entered the system at maximum speed, all weapons charged!”. Kromm looked at the tactical screen and noted what was left of Potemkin was adrift and the closest target to the K7D. Even though Potemkin was finished, he wouldn’t put it past the Romulans to still launch on it. He then gave the order for Raider to de-cloak and takes his place on the attack run to Nemus. He then ordered Avenger to change course to intercept the new threat.

Raider, which had remained cloaked to this point as an ’ace in the hole’ de-cloaked and joined Atlas on the attack run. It was a prototype cloaking device obtained from the Romulans years ago but never used due to not being able to maintain drone control under cloak. Generally seen as ‘not befitting a Klingon’ to use the device, it was very rarely used under special circumstances. As they entered orbit they launched disruptors and photon overloads and phaser fire on the ground base as well as drone launches from Raider now that it was uncloaked. It was too much even for the ground bases shielding and armor. The massive fire from the orbiting starships ruptured the outer hull of the base and poured in causing massive explosions which cratered the surface of the planet for two miles in each direction of the center point of fire. The ground base, and the supplies it protected were destroyed. The cost was high however, and was to get higher.

The KR7D launched first its two type S plasmas and then after some maneuvering its second set of two type F plasmas. The result of Kromm trying to get between the KR7D and Potemkin was four plasma torpedoes screaming towards him from different directions. Avenger was caught in the middle with nowhere to run. Kromm hadn’t armed a wild weasel as this was supposed to be a fast paced hit and run on the orbital and ground base. Being caught under a weasel with the orbital bases type IV phasers was tactically unsound. The type S’s smashed through the port side, closely followed by the type F’s on the starboard side. The result was heavy damage to the ship, though still operational. What hurt worse was the phaser fire from the KR7D that followed through the downed port shield Avenger didn’t let it go without slamming his remaining disruptor overloads and phaser fire into the Romulan ship causing damage, but not nearly as much as what Avenger had taken. As the KR7D turned in it launched two type D plasma torpedoes from the waist mounts.

The orbital dog fighting continued between the G3 gunboats and two remaining ZH fighters and the Romulan shuttles now joined by the Romulan GII fighters and Mini-Hawks. Both Klingon ZH fighters were destroyed, but not before taking out the three Romulan GII fighters. The G3 gunboats managed to take out the shuttles and cripple one of the Mini-Hawks, but in return were themselves crippled.

The remaining Mini-Hawk was destroyed by Atlas and Raider. The Romulan K7D, realizing that his damaged ship was now outgunned by the Federation destroyer and Klingon D5 war cruiser disengaged from the system. But not before ripping into Avenger with a second phaser barrage through the shield. Avenger was lost, her return fire not sufficient to penetrate the fresh shield the KR7D had turned to her. Atlas and Raider beamed survivors from Potemkin and Avenger aboard. In all, more than half of each crew was lost. Captain’s Stryker and Kromm and most of their command crews however were among the survivors. The commanders of both the destroyer and D5 passed the flags to Stryker and Kromm respectively and they disengaged and made for Federation space.

Captain’s log: Captain Stryker in temporary command of the Destroyer Atlas, battle end report; The Romulans have lost a War Eagle, a mini-battle station, the ground base along with the supply depot, three mini-hawks and three GII fighters. The K7D, which appeared after the battle was in full swing was damaged but survived. Task force losses include four F-18’s, four Klingon ZH fighters, two Federation Corvettes, two G3 Gunboats, the D7 battle cruiser Avenger and my own ship, the heavy cruiser Potemkin. Log drone launched for Star base to apprise them of the outcome of the attack should we be unable to return to Federation space.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser

Chapter Six

Admiral Winslow was in a sour mood. Actually, sour was an understatement. Things had fallen apart rapidly after Potemkin’s departure. First, his eight ship mock attack force had turned out to be only three ships. And they had been turned back quickly. He learned later that the other five ships had been ambushed by the Romulans enroute to the mock raid. The heavy cruiser Merimac, along with the destroyer Agamemnon and frigate Donitz had been destroyed. The other two frigates heavily damaged before the Romulan force disengaged. The resultant three-ship mock attack had not been sufficient to draw the attention of Romulan forces in the surrounding sectors.

Then came the log drone from Potemkin, she along with the Avenger had been lost in the real attack. It had been nearly three weeks since Stryker had been heard from as he tried to get Atlas and Raider out of Romulan space. The only bright spot was the success of the mission despite the loss of two heavy vessels. He was impressed Styker had pulled it off despite flying into a meat grinder unawares. After the bases destruction the Romulans had been thick as thieves along the border. They knew two vessels had survived the attack and wanted them badly. It would be a miracle if the remains of the task force could make it back across the border. He was awakened to the sound of his intercom chimming.

“Admiral”, came the voice of the communication officer in the Star Bases command center, “Sir, we’re picking up a message from Captain Stryker aboard Atlas. He has crossed the border with Raider and is being pursued by six Romulan vessels. He’s requesting assistance.”

“Sound Red Alert!” commanded Admiral Winslow. “Sortie the fleet to intercept!” Within moments, nine Federation and four Klingon war ships were headed out at high warp to bring Stryker’s remaining task force in and repulse the pursuing Romulans. The Romulans, seeing they were vastly outmatched, quickly turned and left Federation space. Several hours later, Captain Stryker, Captain Kromm and their first officers reported to Admiral Winslow’s office. As they entered, Kromm noted the Klingon High Ambassador was seated with Admiral Winslow, along with several high ranking members of each fleet.

“Come in and be seated please,” stated Winslow.

“Sir,” began Stryker, “I’m taking full responsibility for the loss of Potemkin and Avenger.”

“No!” Interjected Kromm, “the loss of Avenger is my responsibility alone!”

Admiral Winslow and Klingon Ambassador Kruval looked at each other and began laughing. Stryker and Kromm weren’t amused in the least. Winslow saw the looks on their faces and explained, “Captains, please…be seated. Apparently you both are under the impression that this is a board of inquiry. I assure you both, it is not.” This came as quite as shook to both Stryker and Kromm who fully expected to lose their respective commands. True, the mission had been a success, and true, intelligence reports said nothing of the heavy weaponry of the ground base, but still, they’d lost their ships in the attack. And both vessels were front line cruisers.

Admiral Winslow introduced the high ranking members to both Stryker, Kromm and their first officers. After the normal pleasantries were exchanged, Winslow continued, “The mission was a bust from the beginning gentlemen”. He then explained what had happened to the mock attack run. “The fact that you both were able to still pull off a successful attack run, despite the odds against is a tribute to the command ability of you both and the expertise of your command staffs and crews. As a result, the decision has been made”

Styker and Kromm looked at each other and then simultaneously asked, “what decision has been made”?

Winslow smiled, “Tom, we’re not here to take your commands, we’re here to promote you both and brief you on your new commands.”

Ambassador Kruval looked at Kromm, “I’ve been authorized by the Klingon High Command to inform you Commodore Kromm that your survival of this mission, as well as your instrumental roll in its success, despite desperate odds has reached the Emperor himself. Along with Commodore Stryker, you are hereby given command of two new ships…and a new mission.

Onboard the Federation Destroyer Atlas, Stryker and Kromm’s command crews crowded into the officers briefing room along with the command crews of Atlas and Raider. Atlas and Raider were at high warp enroute to the Unity Star Base on the Klingon/Federation border.

The mood was positively charged. Stryker and Kromm had indeed received promotion for their actions against the Romulans. Both now wore the rank of Commodore, which was bestowed upon them with much ceremony while still at the Starbase. The grade of Commodore had been reactivated due to the ongoing war. Basically, a Commodore was a one-star Admiral. In turn, Stryker and Kromm had promoted their command officers and crew accordingly. As they both agreed, neither would be in a position to receive promotion to the Admiralty if it hadn’t been for their crew.

Once again, the now Captain T’Pring, briefed the gathered officers on the capabilities of the vessels they would now be taking charge of when Unity Star Base was reached. “I will begin with the vessel that Commodore Kromm will be taking command of the D8 Heavy Battle Cruiser ‘Sword of Kahless‘. The D8 is an impressive vessel based on the D7 design and maximizing its potential. In addition to the normal twin disruptor mounts on each warp nacelle, and three type one phaser banks in the command boom, the wing phasers have been increased to twin type one mounts each. The waist phasers have received the type one refit as well. This brings the total of type one phaser banks to eleven. The D8 has four B drone racks and two ADD racks. The D8 has two more power reactors than the D7 as well as two mech links for Gun Boats. Shields have also been increased.

Commodore Stryker will be taking command of the Federation Battle Cruiser ’Excalibur’. The Battle Cruiser is similar to the Heavy Cruiser with the notable difference of side mounted warp nacelles instead of angled. The saucer section holds eight type I phaser banks and four photon torpedo tubes along with a command flag bridge. Additionally the impulse deck supports a small saucer dedicated warp engine section. The dorsal section houses two additional photon torpedo tubes, two type I phaser banks and two type 3 phaser banks as well as the new ASW system. The number of shuttles has been increased by 50%”.

Captain T’Pring concluded the briefing and turned it over to Commodore Styker.


Rear Admiral Alan Greymaine sat in the command chair of the Federation Battle Cruiser U.S.S. Excalibur. Since the destruction of the Dreadnaught U.S.S. Federation and the Command Cruiser Kongo still in space dock for complete overhaul, the Excalibur was now the fleet command ship on the Kzinti border. Greymaine had previously been Captain of the Heavy Cruiser Exeter but received promotion, as the senior Fleet Captain, to the rank of Admiral and given command of the Sixth fleet. It was a fitting promotion, Greymaine was regarded as a master tactician and was well liked by Star Fleet Command, his fellow Captains and his crew. His methodical drive and passion, slight British accent as well as the beard he wore (with more than a hint of grey) often reminded Star Fleet personnel of another Captain of a far distant time and story, Captain Marko Ramius, or at least the actor that played him in the old television mode of entertainment.

As he sat in the command chair he reflected on the current status of his fleet and the Grand Alliance in general…they were losing the war, and badly. The six powers coalition had lost ships, some first line cruisers. But the Grand Alliance had suffered the loss of more heavy vessels by far as well as nearly a hundred freighters and tens of billions of credits worth of equipement, supplies and necessities. As he patrolled the ’northern’ section of the border (south of the breach the Kzinti’s had opened) he was formulating a plan of counter-attack to pitch to Star Fleet Command. At that moment, his Executive Officer, Captain Samuel Jackson announced from the bridge tactical station, ’Admiral, we’ve just picked up multiple neutrino readings against the background radiation of the red giant Alternic 241‘. Alternic 241 was a red giant star in a local system that was having violent eruptions in its corona, throwing flaming balls of gas and radiation deep into space. As a result, certain types of alternate radiation could be picked up on a star ships sensors that differed from that of the red star.

Greymaine was out of his command chair in an instant and across the bridge to the tactical station, ’what distance and can it be pin pointed?’ The sensor officer, Lt. Commander Barker spoke without looking up from her scope, ’It’s difficult to precisely localize the neutrino disturbance sir; it is very weak and intermittent against the background radiation. It appears for a moment and then it’s gone, but I’m sure there are multiple sources. I would estimate between ninety thousand to one-hundred and twenty thousand kilometers, and sir…the sources are moving‘. Greymaine considered for only a moment then calmly stated, ’Red Alert, X.O. bring us to battle stations‘. The X.O., Captain Jackson turned to the communications officer who keyed the appropriate controls and announced over the ship-wide comm system, ’Red Alert! All hands to battle stations…this is not a drill’! After only a few moments he joined the Admiral by his command chair and informed him the Excalibur was at battle readiness, ’Admiral, Shields are at full strength, phaser banks one through twelve are charged, photon torpedo tubes one through six are also armed to standard levels. Do you wish any changes to the torpedo level?’ Greymaine considered the tactical information available and stated, ’overload tubes two and three Sam, I want some longer range options available if necessary but a close range punch as well’. ’Aye sir’, came Jackson’s reply.

‘Sir’, the helm officer shouted, ‘ships decloaking off the port and starboard beams as well as fore and aft!’ Greymaine considered his options, there weren’t many. His ship was completely surrounded. He could take out one of them, but the other three would get him before he could fully rearm. As he prepared to give the order to fire, he paused, cocked his head to one side and calmly ordered his bridge crew to stand by. The bridge crew had advanced through the ranks will him from the time he’d commanded a frigate and knew he always had a plan. As the Romulan vessels finished their fade in they saw a Romulan War Eagle on the port, starboard and aft quarters and directly in front a Romulan KR Cruiser. ‘Admiral, incoming hail from the KR Cruiser’, announced the comm officer. ‘Everyone, follow my lead, put him on screen’, stated Greymaine.

‘Greetings Admiral Greymaine, I’m Commander Pryvk of the Romulan Cruiser Kestrel. I’m glad you choose not to open fire, it would only have resulted in the destruction of your vessel’. The Romulan Commander spoke with an arrogance he did not feel. He was taking a terrible risk with this plan, particularly with this human. He’d heard the stories and rumors and wondered just how exaggerated they were…or if they were at all. Surely no human could have done the things attributed to this man that now stood before him…

‘You’re a little out of your territory aren’t you Commander? The Kzinti border is a long way from Romulus’, stated Greymaine.

‘Somehow I don’t think our Kzinti ‘comrades-in-arms’ will mind all that much. Particularly when we bring back your ship…and you, Admiral’, the Romulan stated with forced smuggness.

“No…I don’t think so Commander”, was Greymaine’s only grim response.

“You don’t have a choice Admiral”, Pryvk shot back through a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin. “Stand down your weapons, drop your shields and prepare to be boarded”. Pryvk had already begun relishing the thought of not only capturing a Federation Battle Cruiser intact but also an Admiral, forcing his fear down and allowing his greed for power to the surface. The capture of an intact Battle Cruiser would sent him to the Admiralty without a doubt. And the capture of her commander was the icing on the proverbial cake. And this was not just any Admiral..THIS Admiral was special by far! Admiral Greymaine was one of two well known Federation Officers to the Romulan Empire, since he was a Lt. Commander in charge of a Destroyer many years ago. He was responsible for the destruction of five separate Romulan vessels long before open warfare. Later in his career as a Captain, he was responsible for rescuing a Klingon freighter and ushering in the treaty between the Federation and the Klingons. His name actually struck fear into the hearts of many Romulan Commanders. He was touted as fearless. His capture would be the ultimate victory and passage to promotion and power! He could already picture himself in the command seat of a new Sparrow Hawk or Fire Hawk Cruiser…or dare he dream…a Condor! Pryvk was quite unprepared for Greymaine’s response.

“Tactical, stand by to fire on the KR Cruiser, narrow salvo alpha strike”, Greymaine stated calmly as he leaned towards the view screen to stare directly into the eyes of Pryvk.

“What!?!” was the only word a startled Pryvk could get out.

“Commander”, Greymaine looked Pryvk square in the eyes as he leaned even closer to the view screen, “I will not allow a single Romulan boot to disgrace the deck of my vessel. Nor will I allow my vessel to be captured. Neither are options, neither are negotiable. Therefore, since the destruction of my vessel is certain the only course of action available to me is to take as many of you with me as possible. And you’re going to be the first one to go Commander. Your facing shield is going to disintegrate as will the bridge you’re standing on.”

Pryvk looked at this human, truly for the first time, staring directly into his eyes. He had heard the stories of this man. He had heard the tales of destruction he had wrought on the Empire He had never met him in person, but he did get one fact from this human’s stone cold eyes…he was determined…and he wasn’t bluffing. For the first time in Pryvk’s long, arrogant career…he felt fear grip his heart. He was about to die unless he did something about it and fast. “Wait!!” he screamed. “You…you’re outnumbered! You MUST surrender!” But as he said it he realized the futility of his words. He saw the Admiral calmly turn to his tactical officer and begin to issue the command to fire. Pryvk wheeled around to his helm officer and screamed, “engage the cloak!” The helm officer had witnessed the entire, brief scenario unfold and he was utterly disgusted at the cowardice displayed by his commander. He stabbed at the controls that would engage the cloak, determined to kill his Commander as soon as they were under way.

As the KR cruiser began its fade out, the Sub-Commanders of the Warbirds, utterly confused by everything that transpired began to cloak as well.

The Federation Battle Cruisers tactical officer turned to Admiral Greymaine and the X.O. and announced that all four Romulan vessels had begun to cloak. Knowing that the Romulan Commanders stupidity had swung the tactical situation in his favor, Greymaine ordered the alpha strike. The Romulan KR Cruiser as well as the Warbirds were unable to maintain a firing solution once fade out had been initiated. This meant that they were incapable of firing their weapons. By seizing this opportunity, the Excalibur unleashed a full alpha strike of photon torpedoes and phaser fire that the Romulan KR Cruiser could not withstand. The KR’s forward shield disintegrated and destructive energy poured over the doomed Romulan vessel. The boom section sheared off and struck the port nacelle while the secondary hull was torn apart in three sections. The last thing to go through Pryvk’s mind, beside his obvious tactical error was one of the overloaded torpedoes from Excalibur.

As the KR Cruiser was being blown apart, Greymaine yelled for full REVERSE speed! While Excalibur was working up steam, Greymaine ordered for all weapons to be recharged. The Warbirds had completed their fade out and were now operating under cloak. They would have to uncloak in order to fire their plasma. But if they did they would then be on his tactical screen for a shooting solution to begin acquiring a lock on. By going in reverse, all of Excalibur’s weapons could be brought to bear. Greymaine ordered a Wild Weasel to be prepared and for the batteries to be dumped into the number six shield and refilled with warp reserve power. It was a smart tactic since he was still slow enough to manage it.

Realizing that they could not return to their home base in this manner without losing their own honor, the three Romulan Sub-Commanders decided a full assault was the only solution before Excalibur could work up to full speed. All three warbirds began their fade in at fifty-thousand kilometers. As Excalibur’s phasers were recharging, Greymaine targeted the Warbird in the middle of the pack and waited until the fade in was complete. The phaser strike issued forth from Excalibur’s ‘guns’. Although the distance was beginning to open up, enough firepower from Excalibur’s phaser barrage got through the number one shield of the Warbird to cause damage to its hull, engines and most importantly…its sole type R torpedo launcher! The Warbird had time though to launch its Type R plasma, targeted for Excalibur.

The remaining two Warbirds simultaneously launched their own type R plasma torpedoes at Excalibur before they recloaked. The Excalibur was rapidly opening the distance to the point where their type one phasers would have little effect on the War Birds. Both Sub-Commanders felt it better to let the type R plasmas do its damage and then close in for the kill.

Greymaine ordered all phaser banks recharged, but not the photon torpedoes. They wouldn’t help him at this point and he needed the extra power to reinforce his shields. As soon as the plasmas were launched he began drifting his ship to starboard in order to avoid being hit by the plasmas at the same time. As he didn’t have the speed or distance for the plasmas to have spent themselves, and the weasel wasn’t yet armed, he was going to get hit by all three while they were still at the height of their run. But with some maneuvering he could take the impact over three shields if he were lucky. As the first plasma reached him he turned his number six shield into it and fired all the phaser banks in the saucer section that were within arc. The plasma impacted the shield and it lit up with a brilliant light as raw energy streamed out in all directions. The plasma was weakened to the point where the shield collapsed but did no internal damage to the ship. As the second plasma came screaming in only moments later, Greymaine turned Excalibur head long into its path. As it reached the number one shield he fired his remaining saucer section phaser banks and all his secondary hull phaser banks along with two bursts from the ASW system. Just as the first torpedo, this one ate the phaser fire and ASW bursts and smashed into the shield and reinforcements. The shield bucked and shuddered and then collapsed, but again direct damage to the hull was avoided. The third plasma from the farthest War Bird took ASW fire as it bore in on the downed number one shield. Greymaine ordered a high energy turn to port to bring the number two shield to face the incoming ball of destruction. With no more ASW bursts and no phasers to weaken the plasma it blew through the shield at full strength and sent streams of energy ribbons dancing across the saucer and secondary hull. Circuits overloaded and either blew or fuse together at multiple junctions. The starboard dorsal photon tube was smashed as were both point defense phasers in the secondary hull and one of the starboard saucer main phasers. The ship shuttered, listed to starboard and then emergecy stabalizers kicked in and the ship righted itself.

Greyamaine had managed to hang on to his command chair and began issuing orders to recharge remaining weapons, bring the weasel on line and ready for launch, damage report and causality lists.

The two remaining Warbirds, noting that the Federation Battle Cruiser not had received the killing blow they hoped for remained cloaked and proceeded out of the area back to Kzinti space. Even with the damage the Battle Cruiser had sustained she still had most of her weapons available. And though her forward shields were down, her speed was finally picking up. And she would undoubtably be arming a weasel as well. Both Sub-Commanders were too busy trying to formulate an explanation for the mission’s failure to pursue the Battle Cruiser any further.

Remaining fully armed, Excalibur continued to sweep the area for any signs of the War Birds for several hours while making repairs. They were joined by the Light Cruiser Prince of Wales and the Heavy Destroyer Hannibal. After nearly a full day Greymaine concluded that the Romulans had left the area by stealth.

As he was reassigning the other two vessels his Comm Officer relayed a message from Star Fleet Command: Proceed at maximum speed to Unity One. Command Cruiser Kongo has cleared space dock and will replace your Command and current patrol. Further details to follow shortly. Vice Admiral Lowry Star Fleet Command.

“Replace my Command!?! Greymaine muttered in surprise. “What exactly is that supposed to mean?” Captain Jackson nudged him with a smile and said with a wink, “Well…you are slipping Admiral. You only got two of the four Romulans. Maybe Star Fleet Command figures it’s finally time to put you out to pasture.” “Don’t you bet on it Sam”, Greymaine shot back with a smile.

My other car is a D7 Battlecruiser