Chapter 3 - Season 2, Episode 3, Burn It Down
Saturday August 14 2021
Lieutenant Commander Ezekiel “Zeke” Pride Flight Controller
Lieutenant Elli-Navine Chief Engineer
Lieutenant Alexander Artopolis Chief Medical Officer
Lieutenant Scott McIntyre Chief Tactical/Security Officer
Following the hacking signal back the Potemkin discover that a former Tal’Shiar base, hidden below the surface of a Mars like world is the source of the signal which plunged the ‘Away’ team into a nightmare. Sitting just on the edge of Romulan space the Potemkin sends their small but powerful recovered alien ship with Pride at the conn. Lacking a warpdrive the Atlanta was pushed up to FTL speeds and then used her unique gravity drive to reach the target system without the Potemkin crossing into Romulan space and thus avoiding a war!
Scanning the system, they discover… well very little. A small old star that will end its life with a snuff rather than a bang and only two worlds, a ‘hot’ Jovian with no moons and a Mars like world, which was the source of the signal.
Finding the base located under ground but with no way in they land the Atlanta a safe distance away, trusting the ships’ ability to blend into its environment to hide her. The Away team decided to beam into the base rather than blunder around looking for the ‘street’ access. The only spot that wasn’t covered by transporter jammers, a small room on the lower levels of the base. Maybe the age of the base or an imbalance in their power grid was the reason why there was a gab in their system. It could have been a trap, but it was the only way in and Toron was going to take the chance. He ordered the deployment of the away team to investigate the base.
Beaming in they discovered the base is all but abandoned, low level lighting and abandoned crew quarters. Either the base was still mostly unused, or they were still bringing it online. Which ever the case the crew, checking every room along the way searched the base. Gaining only a little insight into what was happening here. A Romulan computer expert turned one-time Romulan senator and who SFI thought had been killed in the Hobus event seemingly wrote the bulk of the coding that targeted the Potemkin. Further evidence suggests that the Romulan was more alive than history had recorded!
Making their way into what was once a control room they come under fire. Three Romulan disrupters turn the corridor outside the control room into molten slag, luck was on the side of the Away team meant no one was killed in this opening salvo! Returning fire, the party quickly over came the small Romulan forces, instead of fighting to the end they choose to beam out, leaving the away team to search the room. Apart from the blinking red light upon the casing of an anti-matter explosive!
The away team, having discovered a bomb left behind when the Romulan’s fled begin the process of defusing it. There was not way the Potemkin could pull them out in time, and there was no saying the whole in the jamming field that had allowed them to transport from the Atlanta would even still be there. The timer on the bomb counted down, with no time left Elli and Scott worked together to break through the bombs programming, they succeed, maybe quicker than the GM… *coughs* Romulans would have liked. The bomb disarmed their computers were copied and there was only one more place to go, the hanger bay on the topmost level. If their scans were correct this hanger would be as large as that aboard the Potemkin.
As they entered the bay via a turbolift they quickly took in the scene, a Romulan runabout was parked along side a small Borg scout ship. It was clear that the Romulan ship had been modified using Borg technology, but the scout ship appeared intact. There was no movement but there were two holding cells. An ad hoc set up, within were two Starfleet officers, Command Hedley and Lieutenant Ral, both had been taken captive by the Romulans when their civilian transport had been attacked, but as to why they were here and none of the others aboard remain unknown. Even as the away team lower the force fields and check the two officers over the massive hanger doors start to grind open, dusty soil pours through the rapidly expanding fissure.
Meanwhile, aboard the USS Potemkin the duty Science Officer reports “The start is going to go nova” she is wide eyed and clear fear upon her features. Like the others she knew that the Atlanta would never get ahead of a shock front like that. With no warp drive they would be caught by the immensely powerful plasma shock a star of this size would emit as it exploded. “Get us there” Pax ordered, the pilot was ready, she had been well trained by Pride and had the course already plotted. It had taken the Atlanta a few hours coasting at warp, it would take the Potemkin, with her enhanced warp drive just minutes. Even that would be cutting it fine. They had to hope that the away team was already in, or near an orbital plane otherwise they would lose the small alien ship Pride was so fond of.
The away team had beamed back to the Atlanta and were already waiting for the Potemkin in orbit. As soon as they were through the shuttlebay doors the large ship gracefully banked and accelerated into high warp, but long enough to reach a safe distance. Pax wanted to know what had happened. He had an idea but it was only a suspicion right now.
No sooner had the away team taken their stations did the proximity sensors bark their warnings. With a burst of tachyons, a Romulan warbird dropped its cloak and fired upon the Potemkin. Scott had their shields up in time and the disruptor blots washed over them with little damage, their shields were holding at 70 per cent. The Romulan ship, it was different. A departure from their normal designs, most likely due to the Borg technology; when merged in the methods the Romulans had used it produced… well forward pointing spikes.
Returning fire, their phasers overloaded the Romulan shields, their communications taking a hit, but they returned fire, nonetheless. The battle raged on, the Potemkin had the edge, she was bigger and packed a larger punch. They would easily win this fight; they might even be able to take the ship and question their crew. The second decloaking ship tipped the odds, the third one spelt the doom for the Potemkin, even with the best crew in the fleet, and the up grades the Protectorate had given them they were too far outnumbered by the Borg enhanced warbirds. Pax wasn’t about to stop him though and he ordered fire be focused upon the first ship if they could cut the odds a little.
The USS Manticore was near, their slipstream drive was being pushed as far and as fast as his pilot to manage. minutes out, they could see the fight, at this distance it looked almost as though time had slowed. Captain Marcus Williams sat on the edge of his chair, leaning forward; almost as though doing s would make the ship fly faster. An eternity later, or maybe it was 3 minutes it was hard to tell, and they returned to normal space with a flash of exotic radiations. The ships warp four nacelles folded and pivoted down as the ship entered battle mode. Two arrays of doors opened, and the Phaser lotus extended up through the space. They had been charging it for the last 10 minutes, they would have two good shots with the powerful weapon before the super conductors would been to be recharged.
A single powerful, solid crimson beam launched itself across the black void and struck one of the warbirds, where the beams struck, a bright green barrier flared. For a second it looked like the Romulan ship would tank the shot; then it didn’t. The beam collapsed the shields and punched a hole through the entire ship and slicing the ship in two. A moment later it exploded.
The battle was quickly ended, the Potemkin and Manticore making quick work of the remaining ships. Rather than risk being captured the disabled ship overloaded their core and destroyed themselves. The only saving grace was the signal that the Potemkin had picked up during the battle. They had a course and astrometrics told Pax that there was only one star on that course, and even a world that would intersect with the signal. The Manticore would set sail at once, they would scout the system from a distance, and wait for the Potemkin to catch up.