Previous Next

Fall of the Lexington

Posted on 17 Jun 2020 @ 3:31am by Captain Martin Collins

Mission: History
Location: USS Lexington
Timeline: 2257, Day 10 of the Battle of Earth

Captain Bob Wesley, firmly gripped the armrest of his chair. The chair bucked, but held as the Captain pulled himself back to his feet. Sharp pains fired up his left leg, his nervous system warning him that standing on his own power would not be permitted. Bob threw himself into the chair and stifled a scream that would have been deafening.

Or, so he thought. It was only then that he noticed that his ears were ringing. He looked around his burning bridge, trying to survey its condition. The engineering station had been reduced to fire, and its operator, Lieutenant Krietenne, lay bleeding on the floor. Near her was a Deltan medic, but he was focused on treating Ensign Challa, who only had a sliced forearm. The Captain was forced to believe that Krietenne was already dead, another casualty of war.

In front of him, Lieutenant Mikkelsen, helmsman, and Commander Bijarani, navigator, continued to man their stations, despite the bright lights coming from the view screen. A groggy glance to the right told him the Denobulan Science Chief, Lieutenant Scheayuv, was still at his station, while the Communications Chief, Ensign M’Nierr, seemed to be returning to her seat as well.

Normally, other crew members would be running about the bridge, attempting to aid the mighty vessel in its tasks. But nothing was normal about today.

An hour ago, the Lexington had been racing at maximum warp to reach Earth, during which, the Captain was conferencing with Starfleet Command using its holopresence systems. The images had flickered. The sound distorted. Then the power went out. Faint screams could be heard outside the conference room doors. It was then that Captain Wesley realized that he was not alone. He dodged the bat’leth just in time, leaving the sharp blade to dig into the table. Bob, unarmed, went immediately on the offensive and used the dark room to his advantage. He first tore a sconce off the wall and beat the Klingon over the head with it. He’d only dazed the intruder, who had switched to a dagger and was wildly swinging it. Bob threw what he could at the Klingon, forcing it around the table. Soon enough, Bob was able to use his advantage to yank the curved ornate blade from the table and down the warrior who had tried to slay him.

The Captain exited the conference room into a dimly lit corridor. At his feet were two crewmen in blue, both bleeding from fatal wounds. Screams from his crew and the triumphant cries of Klingon boarders echoed from down the corridor. He bolted for a weapons locker, not afraid to use his procured bat’leth along the way. When he found it, two crewmen were attempting to defend it. None of the four Klingons heard the Captain approach. Nor did they notice him until after he shoved the weapon through a Klingon heart. The surprise turned that tide, and soon Captain Wesley was phasering Klingons on his way to the bridge.

The Klingon boarding raid had failed, or so it seemed at first. Forty Klingons had been successful in eliminating nearly half of the crew, including the Chief Medical Officer. The Lexington, in return, had eliminated the Klingon bird of prey.

By the time the Captain arrived on the bridge, it became clear that the worst had yet to come. The ship had been crippled. Without warp drive and main power, the Lexington was easy prey for the hunt.

The hunters arrived quickly. Three birds of prey dropped out of warp, opening fire on the starship. Hull breaches erupted on decks six and eighteen. Emergency systems failed, preventing the erection of life-saving forcefields as forty more souls were sucked into the vacuum of space. The Klingons circled for another pass, but it was Lexington with the next surprise. The Chief Engineer had pulled off a miracle, restoring both impulse engines. One bird of prey fell instantly to the Lexington’s barrage, and the Klingons instantly changed their focus to the ship’s weapons. A toothless bird would be easy prey.

Captain Wesley would not give them easy.

The Lexington has been stranded near an asteroid field with strong electromagnetic properties, enough to cancel out their sensors and the Klingons. Bob ordered the Lexington into the field, knowing it was their only chance at survival. The Klingons followed the Federation starship inside, immediately bombarding the asteroids ahead of the Lexington, forcing new debris to pelt the starship’s hull.

It was during one of these impacts that Captain Wesley had fallen from his chair and broke his leg. The ringing faded, granting clearance to other sounds from klaxons to shouting.

“Report!” Bob choked out, noticing his mouth had filled with blood. He turned and spat it on the floor, realizing after the fact that it fell on a Klingon corpse.

“Starboard impulse engine is out, Captain,” cried Commander Bijarani. “The starboard nacelle’s field grill is near collapse, and we’re venting drive plasma.”

“And the Klingons?”

“Hard to tell, Captain,” reported the Denobulan science officer. “At last contact, they had split formation.”

“That explains why they’re no longer firing in front of us,” he muttered. Bob grimaced. The likelihood of the Lexington surviving this encounter continued to drop. “M’Nierr, get security to vantage points along the saucer. We’re going to need visual contact. Mikkelsen, adjust your heading to port. Let’s head for that cluster.”

Without waiting for acknowledgments, Bob looked to Scheayuv at the science station. “Will our torpedoes break up an asteroid five times our size?”

“Not a chance, Captain. Even if we exhaust our entire payload.”

“What about the drive plasma we’re venting?” Bob asked. “If we can get enough of it on an asteroid, say near a deep enough crater, could we do some damage?”

The Denobulan thought for a moment. “I suppose it’s possible, Captain. But without getting a clear makeup of what’s in these rocks, I can’t even begin to speculate.”

M’Nierr shouted next. “Visual contact, Captain. One bird of prey, two kilometers off the port bow. They’re on an intercept course.”

“Time to speculate,” Bob smiled at the Denobulan. “Helm, give me everything you’ve got.” He slammed the communications stud on his armrest. “Wesley to Engineering.”

A voice choked back over the comm, answering in a raspy voice, “Engineering.”

Bob winced. That voice didn’t belong to his Chief Engineer, and he could only imagine what fate had befallen the Barzan. “On my order, I need you to vent drive plasma from both nacelles.”

“Captain, that’s suicide!” the young crewman gasped over the comm.

“It’s either that, or we die as Klingon prey!” the Captain fired back. “I don’t know about you, Lieutenant, but I want to see those Irish hills before I die.” Bob heard the Lieutenant’s sigh, followed by a reluctant acknowledgement.

“One hundred meters!” called out Bijarani, watching the asteroid carefully with what working instruments she had.

“Helm, get us under the asteroid,” Bob ordered. “Keep us within ten meters of the surface. Bijarani, load aft torpedo tubes, fill them to the brim.” The Captain watched the view screen as the asteroid they approached floated to the top and began to cover the ship.

Captain Wesley raised a hand, preparing his timing. Reports came from Communications as another spotter found the other Klingon ship, closing from the starboard side. Nerves began to run high on the bridge. Many of them had served with the Captain for the last year. They knew all too well the calculated risks he took, never restarting to poorly conceived antics or half-baked ideas. The act before them now was one of desperation, one where their very lives hung in the balance.

“Engineering… now! Vent the plasma.”

“Aye!” came the Engineer’s reply, followed by several choking sounds.

“Drive plasma releasing,” the Denobulan called out. “Ten percent. Thirty. Forty-five. Sixty.”

“Bijarani, ready those torpedoes, full yield,” Wesley reminded.

“Eighty. Ninety.” Scheayuv turned to face the Captain. “One hundred percent. Our nacelles are empty.”

“Klingon vessels are within nine hundred meters,” M’Nierr reported. “Eight hundred meters.” The ship shook under weapons fire. With the engineering station destroyed, there was no one to report the damage. “Seven hundred meters.”

“Bijarani…”

“Six hundred meters.”

“Ready…”

“Five hundred meters.”

Silence enveloped Captain Wesley. His eyes shifted from the forward stations to the view screen itself where a rear projection was now displayed. Bob’s focus was now absolute, his resolve committed. There was no turning back now. “Fire.”

Ten torpedoes flew from the aft launchers in quick succession. As the ship was still in close proximity to the drive plasma, it did not take long for them to reach their target. The explosion was brilliant, forcing a massive shockwave to slam into the asteroid, cracking it into multiple pieces. Both birds of prey were caught off guard, disappearing amongst the rubble though two smaller explosions followed.

The Lexington was not far enough away to be spared from the shockwave. Multiple explosions peppered the bridge as the mighty starship groaned. Every person was thrown from their seat, and every body and lose object tumbled throughout the bridge.

Silence expanded its reach to the rest of the bridge. The Lexington had survived the Klingon death brigade, but its cost was not yet known.

The Denobulan Scheayuv was the first to come to, finding that he’d come to rest on a body. Light still came from the forward window, casting the Captain’s face under a hard shadow. Bob’s eyes remained wide open but rendered lifeless thanks to the bulkhead shard that protruded from his forehead.

Scheayuv rose to his feet and tried to collect his balance under the listing deck. He first found Commander Bijarani, her face bloodied and burnt from a console explosion. M’Nierr had multiple lacerations, and she had lost too much blood to still be alive. Helmsman Mikkelsen was twisted in an unnatural position under his console. Only Challa seemed to have survived, though it looked like the medic would need some medical attention herself.

He returned to his science station and assessed the damage. Several displays had been cracked or shattered by debris from the communications station, but his controls and sensor scope still appeared to be functional. Scheayuv peered inside. The internal sensors had fallen out of alignment, but the damage was clear. Multiple hull breaches along the engineering hull, including the shuttle bay, which was now completely empty, devoid of any spacecraft that could escape the field. Warp drive remained offline, and both impulse engines were out too. The entire engineering hull was saturated with radiation that teemed well above lethal levels.

A ship that carried over three hundred souls had been, over the course of an hour, reduced to less than ten. Without repairs, Lexington wasn’t going to make it back to Earth. What Scheayuv feared the worst was that there was no one left alive that could affect the proper repairs.

“I’m sorry, Captain,” he said softly. “I would have loved to see those Irish hills too.”

 

Previous Next

labels_subscribe