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"Stranded in Space" is the third chapter of the first volume of Star Trek: Federation Legacy, written in July 2013 and published on 1 August 2013. It is authored by CaptFredricks.

Summary
The USS Leviathan comes to the aid of the SS Azura, a Bolian freighter that has fallen under attack by Orion pirates.

Teaser Edit

Captain's log, stardate 83180.5. Since the Borg attack on Vega IX nearly a week ago, we've had to make do without several key personnel. We are en route to Starbase 24 to pick up supplies and several new duty officers. I've been assured by Admiral Quinn that they are the best officers Starfleet can spare.

The USS Leviathan continues on its way to Starbase 24. Charlie Morgan enters the bridge, late for his shift. He informs Jason Fredricks that he didn't sleep well, and Jason replies that he didn't either. Charlie says he hasn't adjusted to the beds on the ship yet, and Lucas Wells agrees that they are "anything but comfortable." Hannah Freeman interrupts them to report a distress call from the SS Azura. After hearing the distress call, Jason orders Ernie Hauser to set a course to rendezvous with the ship.

Act I: Pirates Edit

The Leviathan drops out of warp in an asteroid field and scans the Azura. She has taken heavy damage due to an attack by Orion pirate ships. Jason orders Tala Jones to ready their weapons. The Leviathan moves in on the Orion ships, and the Orions open fire. They manage to destroy one of the ships, leaving three more. The two ships that were attacking the Azura break off and head for the Leviathan. Jason orders Ernie to take the Leviathan into a large nearby asteroid. Lucas warns him that the asteroid's magnetic field will disrupt their shields, but Jason has them continue. They fly to the back side of the asteroid and shut down the ship's engines. The Orions fly past them, unaware of what is about to happen. The Leviathan opens fire and destroys two of the ships, leaving only one, which flees the system. They return to the Azura's location and Jason says he will take an away team over.

Meanwhile, Vance L'eher briefs the other security officers on the situation. He tells them that anyone who is aiming for the vacant security chief position might want to volunteer for the away mission. He ends up taking Kevin Briggs and Jim O'Donnell with him to the transporter room.

Jason and his team are about to transport onto the Azura when chief engineer Jhael Onika hastily enters the transporter room, volunteering himself for the mission. Jason asks why he wants to come with them, and Jhael tells him that they may need an engineer to repair the damage done to the Azura. Jason concurs, and they beam over.

Upon rematerializing on the Azura, Jhael informs Jason that there are several plasma leaks in the corridor ahead of them. They proceed down the corridor, but Jason stops suddenly, hearing something. He peeks around a corner to find that Orions have beamed forces of their own onto the Azura. Vance then offers a potential means of dealing with the Orions.

Act II: Vance's Plan Edit

Back on the Leviathan, the lights have gone out, as main power failed. Tala orders the computer to turn on the emergency lights. She asks Charlie what happened, and he responds that several EPS conduits were ruptured by a power surge on Deck 7. They realize it happened in the transporter room, right after the away team transported. She asks if main power can be restored, to which he responds that only after the conduits are repaired. Tala orders repair teams to fix the damage. She turns to the stand-in tactical officer and asks how badly they have been damaged. He tells her that weapons, shields and long-range sensors are all inoperative. She then asks Hannah if they are still able to talk to the away team. Hannah tells her she thinks they can, but they will not be able to transport them back to the Leviathan.

Vance announces that he has some smoke grenades that can be used against the Orions. He uses it on the Orions down the corridor, and they take them by surprise. They proceed until they come upon a plasma leak, and Jhael warns them not to get near it, for it will sear flesh from bone. They search in a nearby room for a way to shut off the plasma flow, and in the process, they discover one of the Azura's crewmen. Julia Cromwell examines the crewman for injury and finds that he has some bruised ribs.

Act III: Escape Edit

Continuity Edit

Background and trivia Edit

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"Captain's log, stardate 83180.5. Since the Borg attack on Vega IX nearly a week ago, we've had to make do without several key personnel. We are en route to Starbase 24 to pick up supplies and several new duty officers. I've been assured by Admiral Quinn that they are the best officers Starfleet can spare."

Jason Fredricks leaned back in his chair and yawned. "Helm, how long until we reach Starbase 24?"

"About thirty minutes, captain," Ernie Hauser replied.

"Good, thank you."

Charlie Morgan entered the bridge, and Jason took notice of him. "You're late, Charlie," he said.

"Apologies, cap'n. I didn't sleep well," Charlie said, yawning.

"It's alright; you're not alone. Take your station."

"Aye." Charlie sat down at the ops station. "I guess I just haven't gotten used to the damn beds on this ship yet."

"I know. They're anything but comfortable," Lucas Wells agreed.

"Uncomfortable to the guy who can sleep anywhere?" Jason teased.

"If you're referring to the time I—" Lucas began.

"Sorry to interrupt, sir, but we're getting a distress call from a civilian transport ship. It's the SS Azura," Hannah Freeman blurted out. "Audio only."

"Put it through," Jason replied.

The speakers spit out nothing but static.

He turned to her. "Hannah, can you clear that up a bit?"

"I'll try," she answered, trying to clear up the bad reception.

The static began to fade.

"Th-s is Cap-ai- Brott of t- Bolian freig-ter Az-ra... we are under att-ck ... Orion pirates..."

Everyone strained to hear the message as it began to fade into static again.

"...need help!"

"We've lost them sir," Hannah said.

Jason sighed. "Charlie, what is their current location?"

"A little less than a light year from here, sir," he replied.

"Helm, Warp 5. Engage."

"Aye, captain," Ernie complied. He took the Leviathan into warp.

The Leviathan dropped out of warp in an asteroid field.

"The Azura has sustained heavy damage to her primary hull, sir," Charlie reported.

"How many Orion ships are in the system?" Jason inquired.

"Four, captain."

Jason stroked his chin. "I'm assuming they're not in the mood to talk."

"Highly likely, sir," Tala Jones replied.

He sighed. "Charge phaser banks. Load torpedo bays."

"Aye," she complied. "Almost in firing range."

"Distance?"

"Thirteen kilometers and closing. Twelve, eleven, ten. We're in range, captain."

Two of the Orion vessels opened fire on the Leviathan.

"Return fire!" Jason shouted.

Tala activated the phaser banks. They pulsed with an orange glow, firing upon the nearest Orion vessel.

"Direct hit. Its shields are down to 82%."

"Fire photons."

The torpedo tube expelled three photon torpedoes toward nearby enemy vessels, hitting its targets precisely. The first two Orion ships returned fire while the other two continued attacking the Azura.

"Target their weapons and shields," Jason ordered.

The Leviathan sent another volley of torpedoes and phaser bursts at the Orions. One of the ships exploded.

"One down..." Lucas said sarcastically.

The Leviathan sustained a direct hit causing a small explosion on the bridge. A fire erupted near the science console.

Lucas jumped backward. "Shit!"

"Somebody put that out!" Jason said, keeping his gaze fixed on the viewscreen. "Helm, initiate defensive pattern beta!"

"Aye, captain!" Ernie replied, beginning a series of evasive maneuvers.

A crewman grabbed a fire suppression device from the wall. He used it on the fire, and it died down.

"Thanks," Lucas said appreciatively.

The crewman nodded.

The Orions fired again, clipping the Leviathan with their volleys.

"Damn, these bastards don't give up," Charlie said.

"Captain, shields are down to 64%!" Tala interjected.

"Sir... the other Orions are breaking off from the Azura and are headed for our position," Ernie added.

"What do we do, sir?" Tala asked.

Something on the viewscreen caught Jason's eye. "Helm, take us into that large asteroid over there."

"Yes, sir," Ernie complied.

"Jason, that asteroid is emitting a large electromagnetic field that may disrupt our shields. We can't go in there," Lucas protested.

"Understood," Jason replied calmly. "In there, Ernie." He pointed to a rather large hole in the middle of the nearby asteroid.

"The Orions are pursuing," Tala said.

"Good," Jason responded with confidence.

She shook her head. "What are you planning?" she asked, looking suspiciously into his eyes.

"Just trust me," he replied with a smile. "Ernie, bring us around the other side of the asteroid and cut the engines."

"But... sir... we'll be sitting ducks," Ernie replied.

"Just do it."

"Aye, captain."

The ship rocked mildly as they entered the asteroid's magnetic field.

"Shields are down to 44% and dropping, sir," Tala said.

"Keep her steady, helm. Bring us around," Jason said, voice still sounding quite confident.

Ernie brought the Leviathan through the asteroid and hid behind the lower right side of it. The Orions flew by them and began a sensor sweep of the area.

Jason gazed at the distorted picture on the viewscreen. "Are their shields still down?" he asked.

Tala nodded. "Yes, sir, but ours are as well."

"We have them right where we want them. Fire torpedoes!"

She fired a volley of torpedoes at the vessels. Two of them exploded, damaging the other one in the process.

"That leaves just one more," Jason said, grinning.

"They've powered down their weapons, sir. What should we do?" Tala asked.

"Try to hail—" he began, but the last ship went into warp before he could finish.

Lucas smirked. "Next time they'll think twice before messing with us."

"Hiding in the asteroid's magnetic field? Brilliant idea, captain," Hannah said complimentarily.

"Thank you, Hannah," he replied. He turned to Ernie. "Helm, take us within transporter range of the Azura."

"Aye, captain."

He then turned to Lucas. "Lucas, would you care to join me?"

"Oh, so now you want me to come on away missions with you?" Lucas asked.

"I don't recall ever saying you couldn't come."

"Well, what about last time? You got to get all chummy with—"

"Last time? I went on one away mission without you, and you're complaining that you never get to go?" Jason shook his head. "I even left you in command, you ungrateful little bastard."

Charlie and Tala chuckled.

"In range, sir," Ernie said, turning to face Jason.

Jason nodded. "Alright. Come on, crybaby."

Lucas made a face at him but said nothing.

Tala turned to face them as they walked to the turbolift. "Sir, if you are going down there, you may need a security officer. I could—"

Jason interrupted her. "No, Tala, I need you here in case any more Orions show up. We'll be okay. Tell Mr. L'eher to assemble a small team and meet us in the transporter room."

He smiled and entered the turbolift with Lucas walking in right behind him.

...

Vance L'eher was briefing the other security officers on the mission at hand.

"Look alive, men! The captain's counting on us," he told them. "Word is he's deciding who to name security chief, and I won't lie; it's quite a tempting prospect. Anyone who's looking for a possible nomination may want to volunteer for this mission."

"I doubt he'd pick me," Jim O'Donnell said complacently.

"Well sure, with an attitude like that, I know I'd never pick you."

Kevin Briggs stepped forward. "I'll go, sir."

Vance nodded. "Alright. Kevin, Jim, grab your gear and let's go."

"Me?" Jim asked. "I pretty much just said I didn't want to."

"Look, pal. If you want to be a part of this crew, you need to learn to stick your neck out for people – especially the captain. Get your gear."

...

Vance, Kevin, and Jim entered the transporter room, where Jason, Lucas, and Julia Cromwell were already waiting for them.

"Everyone ready?" Jason asked.

"Aye, sir," Vance replied eagerly.

They all stepped onto the transporter pad.

"Energize," Jason said to the transporter officer.

"Wait!" Jhael Onika shouted, bursting into the transporter room.

"Jhael? What are you doing here?" Jason asked curiously.

"The Azura took some pretty hard hits from the Orions. You may need an engineer down there."

Jason nodded in approval, and Jhael stepped onto the transporter pad with them.

"Well, if there are no further interruptions... energize," Jason said.

The transporter officer engaged the transporter, and the away team disappeared in a blue glow. Moments later, they rematerialized on the Azura's transporter pad.

Jhael pulled out his tricorder and scanned the surrounding environment. "I'm detecting several plasma leaks ahead, captain. There are no lifesigns on the bridge, but I'm reading several in the engineering section. I suggest caution; there may be Orions on board."

"We'll need to shut those leaks down before we get to engineering," Jason replied. "Everyone, stay alert."

They headed down the corridor in the direction of engineering.

"Sure is dark in here," Lucas complained.

Jason stopped abruptly, causing Lucas to nearly run into him.

Lucas steadied himself. "What?" he asked, almost in a shout.

"Shh! Do you hear that?" Jason asked in a whisper, putting his finger to his lip.

Everyone stood quietly for a moment. Talking could be heard up ahead. Jason stepped carefully toward the corner of the corridor and turned his head around the bend. Lucas and Vance inched up behind him.

"What is it?" Vance asked impatiently.

Jason turned his head around to face them. "Orions."

"Just as I predicted," Jhael said.

"We can take 'em," Kevin added.

"Hold on, be quiet." Jason took another peek around the bend, eavesdropping on the Orions' conversation.

"...alright, here's the plan. When the Starfleet scum comes around the corner, we shoot 'em up real good," one of the Orions said to another.

"Man, Starfleet's so predictable," another one cackled.

Jason pressed his head back up against the wall. "Looks like they're expecting us."

"I've got an idea," Vance said, volunteering his services.

Jason nodded. "Let's hear it."

On the Leviathan, main power had failed. The bridge had become dark and cold.

"Computer, emergency lights!" Tala shouted from the darkness.

The emergency bridge lights turned on, adding a slightly higher illumination to the room.

"What the hell happened?" she asked.

"Looks like there was a bloody power surge on Deck 4 that ruptured several EPS conduits," Charlie responded.

"Deck 4... the transporter room?"

"I believe so, sir."

Tala sighed. "Can we bring main power back online?"

"Not until those damn conduits are repaired!"

"Then get repair crews on it right away, ensign. We can't afford to have our guard down with the Orions out there."

"Aye, sir." He stood and exited the bridge.

Tala turned to the stand-in tactical officer. "Just how badly are we hurt?" she asked.

"Weapons systems are offline, shields are down, and long range sensors are inoperative," the officer replied.

"Hannah, can we contact the away team?"

"I think so, but we can't beam them back," Hannah replied, her face wearing a concerned look.

Tala sighed. "Gods help us."

...

"I'd appreciate if you'd hurry it up, Vance," Jason said impatiently. "I think they're coming this way!"

"I have a couple smoke grenades in my satchel here. We could use one to sneak up on the Orions and take them down," Vance replied, reaching into his satchel.

"Do it."

Vance threw a smoke grenade near the group of Orions up ahead.

"W-what was that?" one of the Orions asked, startled by it as it landed next to him.

"Grenade!" another one shouted, ducking for cover.

They jumped away from it as it exploded into a cloud of smoke.

"Nice work, ensign," Jason praised. "Let's go!"

The away team ran toward the coughing Orions and used the element of surprise to stun them with their phasers. After making sure all of them were unconscious, they proceeded down the corridor until they came upon a plasma leak spewing out of the wall.

"Wait! That's super-heated plasma; it will sear the flesh off your bones. We have to find a way to shut off the flow," Jhael warned.

"What about in here?" Lucas asked, pointing to a nearby room.

They entered the room, and Jhael began searching for something to shut off the plasma leak with.

"Captain," Kevin called, running over to a man lying in the corner. "It looks like one of the Azura's crewmen."

"P-please... don't hurt me!" the crewman cried.

"Don't worry; we're friends," Jason replied. "I'm Captain Fredricks of the USS Leviathan."

Julia pulled out her tricorder and scanned the injured Bolian. "He's got some bruised ribs captain, but he'll be alright."

Jason nodded. "Do you know why the Orions attacked you?" he asked of the Azura crewman.

"Do you think those monsters need a reason to attack a poorly-armed cargo vessel?" he snapped. "Sorry, captain. It's... just been a long day."

"I understand. This area is secure, so you should stay here until we get back from the engineering section."

"Captain, I think I've found a way to shut off the plasma leaks," Jhael said. "This console controls several systems on this deck. If I reroute this here... ah, there we go. The corridor should be clear now, sir."

Jason smiled. "Good. Let's get going; we don't know how many more Orions stand between us and the engine room."

"Be careful, captain... the Orions are ruthless!" the Azura crewman said.

"I know, but my officers are the best of the best."

The away team left the room and continued down the main corridor until they reached another room. This one was mostly filled with cargo, but a few Orions were inside and were holding hostages.

"What do you want with us?" a female Azura crewman shouted in horror.

"Quiet, you," an Orion told her. "Or would you like me to shoot a disruptor bolt through your brain?" An evil grin rested upon his face. "I may do that anyway..."

She covered her head with her arms and whimpered softly.

"Leave her alone," Vance said sternly, holding his phaser rifle to the Orion's back.

"Ah, Starfleet. I should've known you'd rear your ugly head. You're too late, though. We've already got control of engineering, and the captain is our prisoner."

Another Orion laughed. "What a fool! You think you're gonna retake the ship from us?"

"You didn't think I'd come alone did you?" Vance asked, grinning.

Kevin and Jim popped inside and quickly took out the Orions closest to the Azura crewmen. Jason pulled out his phaser and took down another.

"Hasta la vista," Vance said, stunning the Orion in front of him.

"Are you alright?" Lucas asked the female Azura crewman.

"I-I think so," she replied shakily.

He helped her to her feet.

The other crewman began working at a console that was in the room. "Oh, dear," the male Bolian exclaimed. "Shields are offline and main power's down to minimal. What is the bridge crew doing?"

"We scanned the bridge when we arrived. It had no lifesigns," Jhael said. "We're headed to engineering. Is your captain there?"

"Probably. There's no way she's dead," the female Bolian replied. "We've been in this room since the attack started, so I'm not sure of what's been going on in other parts of the ship."

"Get yourselves to the transporter room," Jason said. "We'll take you back to our ship with us once we've found the rest of the crew."

"There's another crewman in the room just down the corridor, that way," Lucas said, pointing back the way they came.

"Alright, we'll take care of him," the male Bolian said. "Thank you for helping us."

Jason nodded.

The away team left the room and continued to the end of the corridor, where they found another plasma leak. Between them and the leak was a wall console that some Orions were messing around with.

"Stay back, Starfleet!" one of them yelled, taking notice of them approaching.

"Looks like you're trapped," Jason said smartly.

"We're not afraid of you!" another Orion responded worriedly.

"Really? You seem quite scared to me," Vance replied.

One of them was still working at the console, trying to shut off the plasma leak.

"Get that leak fixed, damn it!" the first Orion snapped.

"Bolian technology is much different from ours, sir. It's giving me some trouble," the one at the console said. "Just keep the Starfleeters off me, and I'll get it open, though."

"Here, let me help you with that," Kevin volunteered, using the lead Orion's distractedness to his advantage. He hit the Orion in the jaw with his fist, sending him flying back onto the floor.

The rest of the away team followed suit, taking down the other Orions.

"Don't hurt me, please!" the Orion at the console pleaded.

"Oh, we won't," Vance replied, stunning the Orion with his phaser. "Alright, Jhael, work some magic for us."

"This console's damaged pretty badly. No wonder the Orions couldn't make it functional," Jhael replied.

"I hope you'll have more luck than that Orion," Lucas said.

"Mr. Wells, I am the chief engineer of a starship. If I couldn't repair a simple console, what kind of engineer would I be?"

Lucas frowned. "Alright, carry on then."

Jason chuckled.

Jhael fiddled around with the console's wiring for a moment. It lit up, and he used it, stopping the plasma flowing in front of them.

"Well done, Mr. Onika," Jason said, smiling.

"Thank you, captain," Jhael replied. "Engineering should be behind this door."

Vance took point, entering engineering, only to find a group of Orions holding Captain Brott and the rest of her crew hostage.

"Come any closer and she dies," a tall, broad-shouldered Orion taunted.

Vance sighed, contemplating what to do. The rest of the away team stood silently behind him.

...

Back on the Leviathan, repairs were ongoing.

Tala leaned back in the captain's chair. "Any luck contacting the away team, Hannah?" she asked.

"No, sir, something is jamming the signal. The Azura was badly damaged in the attack – perhaps radiation from their damaged warp core is causing the interference," Hannah replied.

"Keep trying."

"Aye, sir."

"Sir, my scans of the Azura show its warp core could go critical in a matter of minutes. We've got to get transporters back online to retrieve the away team," the tactical officer said.

Tala opened the internal comm. "How's it coming down there, Charlie?"

"Not good, sir. The bloody relays have fused; I knew we should have stayed in spacedock a bit longer," Charlie replied, working on an EPS conduit in the wall of main engineering.

Tala sighed. "We've got to get main power back online before more Orions show up."

"I'm doing my best, sir!"

"That may not be good enough. Get it done quickly."

The comm closed.

Charlie shook his head. "Why that damned woman… I'm a bloody ops manager, not an engineer."

"Can I assist you, with this, sir?" an officer asked. "I am a bit more familiar with these systems."

"You sure as hell can. How bloody lovely for the engineer to be away from the ship at a time like this... and I'm expected to clean up the mess."

The officer repaired the conduit quickly. "There we go."

"Damn. What's your name, son?" Charlie asked, impressed.

"Leo Anderson, sir."

"Leo, you have a bright career ahead of you. Let's move to the next one."

...

On the Azura, the away team silently was trying to come up with a plan to save Captain Brott and her crew from the Orions.

"Come on, take one more step Starfleet," the lead Orion scoffed, holding his disruptor to Captain Brott's head. "I won't make her suffer... too much." He cackled loudly.

"Gentlemen, can't we come to a peaceful solution? I'm sure that..." Jason started.

"No! None of your tricks. I know your kind. You talk of peace only to get us to lower our guard – then you strike. A bunch of cowards, the lot of you," the Orion replied sternly.

Jason turned to the away team. He silently motioned Vance to pull out his last remaining smoke grenade. Vance took the hint and pulled the grenade out of his satchel, holding it behind his back.

"Now, turn around and walk back the way you came, slowly," the Orion continued.

"How do we know you won't order your men to shoot us in the back?" Lucas asked.

The Orion chuckled. "You don't."

Jason took two steps toward the door, then stopped. "Vance... now!" he shouted, leaping at one of the Orions.

Almost simultaneously, Vance tossed the grenade at the feet of the Orions, causing them to jump back in fear. The lead Orion released Captain Brott from his grip and began coughing as the smoke filled the room. Vance grabbed the Orion from behind and knocked him out. The rest of the Orions tried to flee, but Jason, Kevin, and Jim managed to stun them before they could escape. As the smoke began to fade, Jason walked over to Captain Brott.

"Captain, what happened?" he asked.

"We were following our normal traffic route – bringing goods to the nearby systems – when those pirates attacked us. There was no explanation... not that Orions are known to give them," she replied.

"Captain! The warp core is going critical. We've got to get out of here!" Jhael yelled urgently, examining a console in front of the warp core.

"Can you stabilize it?" Jason inquired.

Jhael attempted to stop the core breach, but the console buzzed uncooperatively. "No, sir, I can't."

"Alright then, let's get back to the transporter room, quickly!"

Captain Brott hesitated. "We'll never make it to the transporter in time. I have to stay behind."

"But you'll die," Lucas protested.

"I know this ship well. I can hold her together long enough for you and my crew to escape. Otherwise, all of us will die."

Jason nodded hesitantly. "Good luck, captain."

"Thank you. Now go." Brott walked over to a console and began working frantically.

"Everyone else, come with me!" Vance shouted, leading the way out of engineering.

"Captain..." one of the Bolian crewmen said sadly.

"It's okay. Go," she told her.

Julia stopped at the doorway. "If there's time, we'll transport you out of here, captain," she told Brott.

Brott smiled. "Thank you." As the group left engineering, her smile faded. "Come on, old girl. Don't die on me yet. Your captain needs you just a little bit longer."

Jason and the away team, along with the remainder of Captain Brott's crew, swiftly headed back through the corridor to the transporter room where they first came aboard the ship. When they arrived, the other three Azura crewmen were waiting for them.

"Everybody on the transporter pad!" Lucas said, corralling everyone onto the pad.

Jason tapped his combadge. "Fredricks to Leviathan, beam us up."

He received nothing but a reply of static.

"Fredricks to Leviathan..."

"Sir? Is th-t you-?" a distorted voice, belonging to Hannah, replied.

"Yes… what's going on over there?"

"Th- ship took s-me d-mage, we are trying to r-pair the trans-orters..."

"Hurry up; the Azura's warp core is going critical!" Lucas shouted.

"Well, this bites," Kevin said.

"We're not gonna make it, are we, sir?" Jim asked, hanging his head.

Vance sighed. "Always the pessimist. Unfortunately, this time you may be right."

...

Charlie and Leo were working frantically to finish repairing the damage to the Leviathan.

"Okay, try that," Leo said, speaking to a crewman.

The crewman pressed some buttons on his console. The lights in engineering lit up, and power seemed to be restored.

"That should do it, sir," he told Charlie.

"A damn good job if you ask me," Charlie replied.

There was a small explosion on the other side of the room.

"What the hell?" he exclaimed, running over to where it happened.

Tala turned on the comm. "Charlie, what's going on down there?"

"Another malfunction, sir. We're working on it right now."

Leo ran over to a wall panel. "I think we've gotta realign the plasma flow regulators." He pressed several buttons rapidly. "Try it now, Nathan."

Crewman Nathan again attempted to restore power. The lights turned on and main power came online, this time without fail. Leo smiled, pleased with his work.

"Splendid job, lad!" Charlie lauded. "Tala, we have full power now."

"Wonderfully done, everyone." Tala tapped her combadge. "Transporter room, beam up the away team, now!"

The transporter chief initiated the transport. He pressed several buttons, trying to boost the transporter's power. The transporter pads lit up, and four Azura crewmen and two of the away team materialized.

"Did you get the rest of our team?" Vance asked, stepping off the transporter.

"Negative," the transporter chief replied. "I'm not able to get a positive lock on them." He tapped his combadge. "We still have five more people and one of the Bolian crewmen on board the Azura, sir," he told Charlie over the comm. "I'm trying to transport them, but there's not enough power."

"Standby," Charlie replied.

...

Back on the Azura, Jason, Lucas, Jhael, Julia, Jim, and one of Brott's officers still remained.

"Looks like we're all gonna die," Lucas muttered.

"Don't give up hope yet, Mr. Wells," Julia replied. "Our crew isn't gonna give up on us that easily."

"Damn it all! I knew I should've never come on this mission," Jim lamented.

"Pull yourself together, crewman! You're a Starfleet officer for goodness' sake," Jason said.

"Y-yes, sir."

Jason turned to Jhael. "How much time do we have left?"

"One minute, sir. Two at the most," Jhael replied.

Jason sighed. "Come on, Tala; don't let us down," he mumbled, sitting down.

On the Leviathan, Charlie and company continued working to divert power to the transporters.

"That's as much power as we can muster, sir," Leo said.

Charlie nodded. "Try it now, chief."

"Initiating transport," the transporter chief replied.

Tala looked at Ernie. "How much time do they have?"

"I'd say between thirty and fifty seconds."

"Can you get us out of range of the blast in time?"

"I'll do my best."

The remainder of the away team began to dematerialize. Jason looked up at the others with a hopeful glance.

"Sir, main power is back, but only partially," Leo said.

"Transporter room, do we have them?" Charlie asked.

"Aye, sir. I got them," the transporter chief answered.

"Bloody hell, we did it!"

Everyone in engineering breathed a sigh of relief.

"Divert remaining power to engines and get us out of here!" Tala shouted. "We can celebrate later!"

"There seems to be one more in the engineering section. I think it's the Azura's captain," the transporter chief continued. "Trying to get a lock..."

The Leviathan moved out of the way of the blast just as the Azura's core began to breach. The Azura exploded, leaving nothing but scattered debris.

Jason stood up slowly. "Captain Brott?" he asked the transporter chief.

He shook his head. "I'm sorry, sir. I couldn't get a lock on her signal. There was too much interference from the Azura's warp core."

Jason sighed. "I'm sorry about your captain," he said, addressing the survivors of the Azura.

"She protected us until the very end, captain," one of the survivors responded. "That's all we could have asked for in a commanding officer."

Jason nodded. He then turned to Vance. "How would you like to be chief of security?"

"Sir?" Vance questioned.

"What do you think, Lucas? Can we trust him to have our backs whenever we go on a dangerous mission?"

"Yeah, I think he did pretty well," Lucas answered.

Jason smiled. "Promotion granted, Mr. L'eher."

"Thank you, sir," Vance replied. "I'm honored."

"Come on, Lucas. We'll be needed on the bridge," Jason said, exiting the transporter room.

Lucas followed him into the corridor.

"Let's get our guests to sickbay," Julia said. "Their wounds aren't too serious, but I'd rather be safe than sorry."

"Yes, ma'am," Kevin said, helping the Azura crewmen to their feet.

Jason and Lucas entered a turbolift.

"Pretty damn good crew we've got," Lucas mused.

"Agreed. Most of them are just as fresh as we are, yet their sense of duty is impressive," Jason replied. "I'll admit I had my doubts about whether this would work out, but now I think everything's going to be fine."

Lucas nodded. "Here's to hoping."

The turbolift stopped and the two entered the bridge.

"Status report, Tala," Jason said, sitting down in his chair.

"Minor damage to the outer hull, sir, but shields are only at 34%," Tala reported.

"Captain! More bloody Orion ships dropping out of warp. They're locking weapons," Charlie said.

"Hail them," Jason ordered.

"Sir, they are hailing us," Hannah replied.

"On screen."

The viewscreen flashed on, a female Orion captain appearing.

"Well, well, captain, I see you have... dissuaded my men from finishing what they started. The consequences for crossing the Orion Syndicate are severe, as you know. And unfortunately for you, I don't take prisoners. Pity, you're very... cute," she said, giggling.

Jason grinned at her. "Listen well, because I'm only going to say this once. You intruded into Federation space and attacked one of our cargo ships. It's you who will face the consequences of your actions. I've already contacted Starfleet, and they've dispatched two of our finest ships to this system. The way I see it, you have two options: power down your weapons, in which case I will overlook your intrusion on our space, or... die trying to get revenge against a clearly superior foe."

The Orion seemed taken aback by Jason's boldness, hesitating for a moment. "Very well, captain, you win... this time."

The channel closed. Everyone on the bridge looked at Jason with shock.

"Damn, Jason," Lucas said. "How'd you know they would back down instead of calling your bluff?"

"From what I know of the Orions, they enjoy a fight when they have the upper hand. While it's true we don't have any backup coming, she seemed like a reasonable woman who discerned that continuing to fight us was more trouble than it was worth. It was a big gamble, but this time it paid off," Jason replied.

"I just hope that we'll be this lucky next time," Tala said. "Remind me never to play poker with you, though, captain."

Jason chuckled. "Now, who do I have to thank for getting the ship back in working order and saving our asses?"

"That'd be Charlie, sir," Hannah replied. "He saved us all."

"I couldn't've done it without Anderson and Nathan in engineering, cap'n," Charlie replied.

Jason smiled. "You're a crewman first class if I recall correctly."

"Yes, sir."

"Promotion to petty officer third class granted, Mr. Morgan. And don't worry; Anderson and Nathan will get recognition as well. You spearheaded the effort, though, and leadership is what I'm looking for in my senior staff."

"I'm… grateful, cap'n."

Ernie nodded at Charlie with a smile. "Where to now, captain?" he asked.

"I believe we had an appointment at Starbase 24, did we not?" Jason questioned.

"Indeed, sir. Plotting course now." Ernie set the ship's heading for Starbase 24, and the Leviathan entered warp.

Navigation Edit

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