SIM:Destruction of the USS Independence (Independence)
There was supposed to be a summary for this post, for the destruction of the Independence, but as it stands this SIM clearly shows the emotional impact that the destruction of such a loved vessel had upon one member of the crew. Please enjoy.
::The two strike cruisers came about and lined up their forward weaponry for good shots. One of the funniest things about tractor locks… it messed up the weapons' targeting systems such that the only reliable target you could acquire was the ship actually tractoring you. At this moment, that happened to be a problem… a big problem, because it also happened to be the ship with the heaviest shields available and the Trill commander could see its plasma launchers preparing to launch. Her anxiety was evident in her voice.::
Mar:: Sometime *soon*, Mr. Walker…
Walker: Understood. Mr. Jensen, on my signal, allow the Independence to fly free. Do NOT regain control for 15 seconds.
Jensen: And after that, sir?
Walker: After 15 seconds, do what you want to... but we'll need to... NOW!
::As the Independence struggled with the tractor, the rear shuttle bay opened. Almost immediately it accelerated within the field...the pull of the beam combining with the engines of the smaller vehicle to launch it far faster than it had ever been designed. The shuttle's shields stuttered and went out on impacting the shields of the larger ship, then detonated violently moments later, the tractor beam winking out at nearly the same moment. The sudden snap of the tractor beam winking out sent the Independence flipping through space, narrowly missed by the plasma torpedoes and disruptor shots from both of the incoming strike cruisers and the Gorn cruiser rapidly falling away behind it. A larger explosion moments later sealed the cruiser's fate.::
Mar:: Why did that tactic seem familiar, Mr. Walker?
Walker: ::smiling:: You said earlier it wouldn't work as we'd have to prep a shuttle and get it setup. I had 20 minutes to prep it.
Walker: Commander, the first cruiser is destroyed. Mr. Makno finished the job, and has safely been beamed directly to sickbay. The two strike cruisers are...
::His hesitation brought her head around.::
Walker: …being fired on by the cruiser?!?
Mar:: Not that I'm not grateful, but what are they doing?
Walker: It looks like... oh... OH!
::He chuckled, drawing a sharp look from the Trill woman at the con.::
Walker: Sorry Commander. The Carnosaur apparently tried to bug us. My counter-virus appears to have "switched sides" for them. Their sensors are reporting the strike cruisers as FTU ships.
Mar:: How long will that last?
Walker: Unless they are very lucky, quite some time. They could use their comm to determine who was who, but they'd be severely hampered.
::The ship shook again, this time a bit harder. The other ships still realized that the Independence was a Federation ship, and were still firing on them. However, on the screen, the Nebula-class Forrester was the only thing in between the Gorn flagship and Deep Space 17.::
Mar:: Let's see if we can use this opportunity to back up the Forrester, Commander. Mr. Jensen, move us in.
::The New Orleans-class cruiser swooped over the Emperor's Fang, hitting it repeatedly with both phasers and torpedoes.::
((On the Flag Bridge of the Fang))
Artasssk: The smaller ship has heavier weaponry… destroy it first.
Tactical: Retargeting weapons… firing.
((Moments later, back on the Independence's Bridge))
::The bridge was a complete wreck. When the primary helm console had blown, Crewman Jensen had been thrown back onto Idril. Both of the main consoles at the front of the bridge were burning, along with a good portion of the main displays as well. The other panels were down and inoperable. Looking around, the Commander made a quick decision.::
Mar:: Everyone out, now. Not much more we can do here. Lt. Matthews, Ensign Cox… grab Jensen. Get in the turbolift and get to the auxiliary control room on deck 5.
::She tapped her comm badge, switching it to the internal circuitry that bypassed the ship's trashed communications system.::
Mar:: =/\= Mar to King, what's our status?
King: =/\= Not good… weapons are down, shields grid is completely fried… Life support is offline, as are external communications. Impulse drive is at 27% and we've got maneuvering thrusters at 67%. Warp is up, but I wouldn't try it because the containment fields are intermittent at best. We've got hull breaches all over the place and the only thing keep atmosphere inside is the emergency bulkheads.
::The enormity of the situation sinking in, the Commander made up her mind.::
Mar:: Computer, transfer command controls to Main Engineering, authorization Mar-tango-4-2-victor.
Computer: Transfer complete.
Mar:: =/\= Chief, have Naes use the thrusters to bring us around to bearing 169 mark 4.
King: =/\= Understood.
Mar:: You'll know why in just a moment.
::She tapped into the internal communications system.::
Mar:: =/\= All hands, this is the bridge. Abandon ship… repeat, abandon ship. This is not a drill.
Mar:: It's my call, Ben, not yours or hers. You get to the nearest escape pod and get the heck out of here. No questions, just go. I'll be right behind you.
::As the turbolift closed behind the Terran, the Trill ran her hands through the hair at her temples, not thinking about her hair so much as the mess around her. A quote came to mind from a play that Danny had taken her to in England… "No more be grieved at that which thou hast done." Seems appropriate; we've done all we can. Well… almost.::
Mar:: Good night, sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
((A few moments later, Main Engineering))
::She walked through the doors into the deserted cavernous area that had been her job to keep clean for a long time. Now, though… it was acomplete mess. Various gases were spraying in the area, the entire room was glowing an eerie purple combination of the red-alert lights and the flickering blue of the warp core. As she came around the corner to the main systems display, she was dismayed to see Chief Josh King sitting at the console, working feverishly on the console. For the first time in her experience, he looked a little bit flustered. The Trill hesitated a moment, a look of admiration and a touch of worry for the old man crossing her face.::
Mar:: Chief King… I was under the impression that I ordered everyone to the escape pods.
::The grizzled old man didn't blink an eye, but just kept going with what he was working on.::
King: Hmm… must not have heard that.
Mar:: No… I don't imagine you did.
::She slipped into the seat next to him; he was working on keeping the warp core up and not collapsing.::
Mar:: Did Tim get us turned around?
King: Yup… pointed right where you wanted.
Mar:: Can you coax a half-second burst out of the core? That's all we need.
::King hesitated for a moment, then put his hands down, leaving the console as it was. He knew what she was thinking… what he was doing wasn't needed anymore.::
King: You can probably even get a full two seconds before the core breaches.
::Idril nodded. Not that I'll need it…::
Mar:: Thanks… now get out of here. I want you off this ship… understood?
::King just nodded and got up.::
King: Good hunting, Commander.
::As the man turned to go, she called out to him.::
Mar:: Josh… tell Danny I love him.
::The engineer waved over his shoulder dismissively, not even turning, but yelled back in one of the most gruff voices she had ever heard him use as the doors closed behind him.::
King: Bah… tell him yourself.
((Flag Bridge, Emperor's Fang))
Ops: The small Federation cruiser is adrift and her warp containment is in the process of failing. She's launching escape pods.
Tactical: The Nebula-class cruiser has been crippled… her port shields are at 9%, but the rest of shields are down, while her weapons and propulsion are offline and will not be up for a long time.
Artasssk: Good. Recharge the phaser arrays and target the station. When we clear the Nebula-class ship, target the station's operations deck… let us end this by cutting off the snake's head.
Ops: Sir, the…!
::The Emperor's Fang moved out from behind the disabled Forrester. As its forward phaser arrays began discharging into the station's weakened shields, a blue-tinted streak smashed into the huge ship amidships, overwhelming its dorsal shields, then nearly cutting the Gorn flagship in half before both ships exploded in a titanic fireball.::
Commander Idril Mar