by Martin “ASC-Saurian” Shaffer
This article originally appeared in
Hailing Frequencies issue 4. It has been recreated here from the
Commander Massalik, of the Gorn Confederation Navy, gave
his full attention to the GCS Raptor's tactical display.
The fleet destroyer and her crew had been waiting just
inside the edge of a thick asteroid belt for two hours
at battle stations, while a crippled freighter at the
edge of the belt broadcast a distress call. Two Orion
raiders had been operating in this area for a month now
and were taking a heavy toll on shipping. Unfortunately,
due to the tension along the Romulan border, the only
ships available for escort were old police frigates...
until now. Fresh out of dry dock, the Fleet Destroyer
Raptor had just finished her shake down cruise when the
Fleet Commander dispatched GCS Raptor and her new
Commander, Junior Commander Massalik, to bloody their
claws on the Orion carrion eaters. The plan was simple;
a Q-ship would fake a massive engine failure and
broadcast a distress call in the vicinity of the latest
pirate operations. Meanwhile the Raptor would wait in
the asteroid belt for the Pirates to take the bait. It
was the oldest trick in the book, but then, there was a
reason it was still in the book.
"Commander, I have two unidentified ships closing fast
on the Clan Provider at maximum sensor range," reported
Junior Lieutenant Rakalth, the sensor operator.
Massalik's eyes didn't leave the tactical display as he
replied, "Very well Rakalth, maintain passive scan only.
Let the carrion eaters come closer, we will stalk them
and pounce once they are preoccupied with the Clan
Provider." The bridge crew grew more excited, their jaws
opening and closing, displaying wicked serrated teeth,
like the ancient Terran dinosaurs they were often
compared with. As the two unidentified ships closed the
range, the scanners positively identified them as the
Orion pirate vessels which had been hunting in this area
for the past month.
Commander Massalik's low growl rumbled with satisfaction
deep in his chest. One way or another the waiting would
soon be over. "Weapons officer, bring all weapons online
and set the Plasma G in enveloping mode and put the type
three phasers on point defense. Science officer, bring
the ECM up to maximum on my command and reinforce all
shields. Helm, standby to accelerate out of the asteroid
field, once clear bring speed up to 20." The crew
prepared their consoles rapidly and soon reported ready
as Massalik watched the two pirates line up for their
attack on the Q-Ship.
they have begun their attack on the Clan Provider and
she has dropped the pretense of damage and is attempting
to combat the pirates now sir," reported Rakalth.
"Ensign Krakan, bring us out now, close on the Clan
Provider. Science officer Rakalth fire probes at both
ships. Engineer, bring defensive tractor beams online."
Massalik's plan was working, the carrion eating Orions
were too involved trying to capture what they thought
was a simple freighter to see the Raptor approaching
from her hiding place in the asteroid belt, until now.
"Commander, they have just scanned us. One enemy ship
has fired a probe at us sir. Our own probe data has
returned. The Orions are both PR class frigates.
Designating the closest as target Alpha. It is equipped
with a drone launcher and phasers. Designating the
second target Bravo. Bravo has a photon torpedo launcher
in addition to its phaser array."
Junior Lieutenant Rakalth. Senior Lieutenant Slathat,
target Alpha first, it is the greater threat. Rakalth
bring the ECM up now, that will negate the photons
unless we get too close." Massalik depressed an intercom
button on his command chair, "Master Sergeant Grakon,
prepare your marines for a hit and run raid. I want you
to take out that drone launcher."
command!" Grakon hissed. Massalik knew that Grakon would
give the Orions something to worry about. Grakon was the
best Gorn Marine to come out of the academy for
generations, she was also a member of the Shadow
Guardians. The Raptor closed quickly, soon coming into
close torpedo range. Raptor's point defense phasers
easily swatted away the Orion's first drone launch.
Massalik leaned forward staring intently at the view
screen, like the ancient predators his race evolved
from, gauging his timing perfectly. "Fire one pseudo
torpedo at the drone ship for his point defense followed
by a full torpedo strike, first the type G enveloping
then both type F torpedoes...NOW!"
fired uselessly into the decoy, her computer controlled
defenses responding automatically before the ship's
weapon operators could override them. The Raptor's type
one phasers then fired, slicing through the drone ship's
shields, leaving her defenseless as the Raptor's
torpedoes smashed into her hull. Atmosphere could be
seen streaming from the stricken ship, while she reeled
away, slowing rapidly as her engines lost most of their
power. "Sir, the drone launcher is destroyed and the
boarding party has returned safely", came the voice of
Sergeant. Grakon. "Now for your hunting mate" thought
Massalik, as he bared his huge ripping teeth in a feral
grin. "Helm slow to speed 5 while rearming torpedoes,
take us in next to the Clan Provider so the carrion
eater will think twice about coming in close to her.
"Commander, we are receiving a communication from the
Clan Provider", stated Ensign Ssslatak, the ship's
communications officer. "They report Orion boarding
parties on the ship in force sir and don't know how long
they can hold out," she continued. "Grakon, beam over to
the Clan Provider and reinforce them. Ensign Krakan,
take us past the Clan Provider's down shield. No sense
in having them lower a fresh shield for the Orions." the
Helmsman nodded affirmative as his clawed fingers danced
over his console.
watched as the second Orion vessel turned to make
another attack run while his torpedoes were still
arming. "Weapons, download the type G enveloping to a
regular torpedo halfway through the arming cycle and
target the Orion at range 5. We will at least have one
torpedo waiting for him." The Orion closed fast, firing
his photon torpedo which whipped past the Raptor, fooled
by her Electronic Countermeasures. The Orion's phasers
were another matter as they punched a hole through the
forward shield and destroyed the shuttle bay and damaged
one phaser bank. The Raptor shrugged off the damage and
responded with her own bite, "Torpedo away sir. It has
taken down the pirates number two shield, firing phasers
noted that weapons officer Slathat acted quickly, and
appropriately, taking advantage of the opportunity
without wasting time waiting for his orders to fire
phasers through the down shield. "Commander, the Clan
Provider has just fired a torpedo at the pirate's rear
shield", reported science officer Rakalth. The Orion
ship shuddered under the impact of the close range
torpedo, takeing massive internal damage as the
torpedo's energy expended itself into the pirate's
exposed hull. "The Orion is turning away sir and and
attempting to escape". Massalik turned to his
Engineering officer and nodded to him as Junior
Lieutenant Glenthar activated the ship's tractor beam.
"After him Krakan, I want to sink our claws in him so he
won't squirm away while we rip out the throat of this
Control reports the phaser bank is back online and the
shuttle bay will be repaired soon sir", came the voice
of Engineer Glenthar. Meanwhile the Raptor's tractor
beam reached out and gripped the pirate ship in its vice
as teh range closed. "Now he cannot squirm away, all
weapons fire as you bear," but the pirate vessel
exploded in a blinding flash of antimatter, rocking the
raptor and destroying her regenerated forward shield.
"She must have feared capture and self destructed,
Commander", reported Lt. Slathat. "No doubt they feared
we would eat them," joked Massalik.
Lieutenant Rakalth, where is target Alpha?", barked
Massalik. The science officer's head was bent over
peering into his consol as her replied, "Cloaked sir and
limping into the asteroid belt. Contact is off our
starboard quarter at range 30, moving slowly at speed
bring us around at speed 15. I want you to close rapidly
before he uncloaks and put him on our port bow facing
number six shield. Engineering, standby to tractor
contact Bravo, turn off the defensive tractors there are
no more drones to worry about. Slathat, set phasers to
disable, fire when he is at range three or less, target
his engines and weapons. Master Sergeant Grakon, you
will capture that carrion eater and we will have their
ship as a trophy!"
quickly closed the distance and swung around putting the
ship off her port bow, her phasers lashing out into the
space surrounding the pirate vessel. Normally this would
have no affect on a cloaked vessel, but damaged as she
was there was no protective shield, so even the reduced
damage penetrated the pirate's hull and ripped into
vital engineering and weapons compartments. "Commander,
he is losing power and uncloaking now," reported Rakalth."
The Raptor's tractor beam reached out and gripped the
pirate with invisible claws of energy as the
transporters whined and Gorn marines materialized in the
control spaces of the Orion ship. The Orion Commander
looked up, startled at the sight, Sergeant Grakon
towered over him. Her 8’+ body shimmered slightly making
it difficult it make out her features, until she smiled.
Her teeth gleamed as she relaxed and dropped her
chamleon effects, her pulse rifle pointed at the Orion.
Still, the Orion Commander was brave and reached out for
a covered blue button on his command chair. The Orion
was brave, but not fast enough. Grakon's arm swept up
and slammed the Orion from the command chair, throwing
him half way across the bridge. He lay on the ground
barely moving, Grakon thought him dead until he rolled
over and fired, a Federation phaser set on stun. The
beam hit Grakon, but the standard stun setting was not
strong enough to slow the Gorn down. Reacting on
instinct she fired, the pulse rifle spat out a stream of
destructive energy engulfing the Orion, leaving only a
pile of smoking ash."Commander, Sergeant Grakon reports
the Orion ship is in her control, the self destruct is
disabled, and the crew is either dead or captured sir."
reported Ensign Ssslatak. Massalik's command voice cut
through the bridge crew's roars of celebration, "Contact
the Clan Provider and see if they need assistance, stand
down from battle stations. Lieutenant Slathat, you have
the bridge. I will be in my quarters drafting our
victory message to Naval Command. Well done pack mates,