Cr.01.09 – The Rogue shuddered under the onslaught of the Pirate’s heavy cruisers firepower, whilst the pilot flew the Ju’Day class vessel through the asteroid mining field, twisting and turning in order to avoid the guns blazing out behind them and a collision with the chunks of rocks floating around them.
‘How had they got into this mess?’ Charles thought sourly as he ducked the vessel under a large asteroid, causing the Pirates photons to hit that rather than the Rogue’s fleeing tail end.
It had all started on what was a-so-called normal day cruising Hawkes’ trading route through the Gamma Quadrant from the Bajoran wormhole to the area known as The Reach.
“What’s ever normal around ‘ere?” Chief asked when they were discussing how to deal with the demands of the area’s Pirates that the Rogue handed over a percentage of their cargo. Hawkes had politely refused knowing he’d only on board what was required to fulfil his scheduled run and no extra. The Pirates obviously knew this too, but it didn’t stop them demanding 5 to 25% of each type of their cargo. Charles/Karel knew there was only one package in their large cargo hold; it stood seemingly innocent in the vast holding area of the ship.
The Pirates next demand was expected – to lower shields. That was usually the point at which the Pirates took what they wanted soiled the rest of the paying cargo, and getting off some parting shots at the now stranded trader, leaving the Pirates a clear run off home.
It was at this point that the Pirates realized there was no massive cargo aboard the Rogue. Thus they got angry, transported the package out of their hold, abducted the captain and started firing at them.
Those first parting shots had damaged one of the Rogues’ wings making the wing guns or turrets as they were known practically useless. Two of the crew were down there trying to repair the damage so they could bring the turrets into full play.
Charles twisted and turned the ship not only throwing off the Pirates’ aim, but also the two crew in the enclosed crawl space next to the wings. Suddenly Charles noted something on his pilot’s console.
“Guys. GET OUT OF THERE, NOW!” he yelled at them through their open internal comm-system. Owl – the wizened elder and Lanky didn’t need telling twice, hearing metal grinding on metal as they scrambled out of the tight crawl space and not a moment too soon, as the wing righted itself clicking back into place. Thanks in part to their repair efforts and Karel’s flying skills. Both ran to the bridge to bring the turrets on-line.
“Target their shield generators with a lower power yield,” he ordered.
“Why not just blast them?”
“We need to get Captain Hawkes out of there first,” Charles said calmly. “Now lower the yield, Lanky and target the shield generators and weapons array. Owl you’ll need to keep scanning for Hawkes’ bio-signature, when you have it and their shields are down get him out of there,” he ordered whilst plotting the best course of action so as not to lose their crew. He muttered something under his breath in the Dutch tongue of his mother and then set the ship on a seemingly head-on collision course with the Pirates.
Rogues’ two turret guns blazed out at first only sparking off the heavy cruiser’s shields, but as the Rogue swung round in the tight space between the floating space rocks she came for another volley this time sparking off the ship’s dark hull knocking out the forward sensor array. The Ju’Day class vessel ducked under the heavy Pirates’ ship striking at her exposed under belly. Their targeting scanners found the Cruisers shield generator damaging it and the next set of shots Lanky sent out took out the aft phaser banks.
Owl whooped in triumph as he locked onto and transported Hawkes’ bio-signature. The male appeared directly onto their cramped bridge with a young female clinging to him.
“Get us out of here!” their returned Captain ordered urgently. Charles understood as he knew what the Pirates had really beamed aboard their ship from Rogues’ cargo hold; thus he made a beeline for open space out of the asteroid field, opening up the throttle on the warp engines once they’d cleared the field and sent them hurtling out through clear uncluttered space at their top warp speed. Behind them an explosion occurred in the last known position of the listing Pirate ship.
“Owl analysis?” Hawkes barked.
“Explosion confirmed. Some escape pods detected, but not confirmed,” the wizened male said reading the spectral-analysis. “There is a power build-up,” he paused looking closer at his readings. “Warp core!” he yelled as their rear view showed a massive explosion blooming behind them in the asteroid field. “Shock-wave building and gaining speed as it destroys the asteroids around it,” he said.
“You’ve got all the speed this vessel can muster. I suggest you strengthen the aft shields and we ride it out,” he responded, turning the ship to use the resulting shock-wave speeding towards them to push them forward. Hawkes unpeeled the female from off him and used the nearest console to re-route the necessary power to enhance the aft shields.
“Impact in two seconds,” Owl informed them; sure enough they felt the wave hit and then lift their little ship speeding them faster than their usual top warp speed, through space.
“Hold together old girl,” Hawkes whispered as they all physically held on as the ship shook and rattled violently around them.
“What happ’ning? I got every alarm shouting at me down ‘ere! Can’t keep up!” yelled Chief from engineering. The female moved with fluid speed off the bridge and bolted down the central shaft to that deck, whilst everyone else had to stay glued in their places feeling themselves and the ship shaking apart, amidst the alarms around them.
Slowly the alarms quietened, even the warp core which had been screaming up to that point wound down to a gentle hum, whilst they still hurtled through space. Charles watched his board noting that the warp core was now off-line and gradually cooling.
“We’re running on inertia of the shock-waves. We’ll need to use the thrusters to slow us down at some point,” he informed them quietly, now that he could unclench his jaw – having been holding it clamped shut in order to stop it rattling and biting his tongue. “Sensors say that one of the forward thrusters is damaged so it might not fire properly,” he added, having checked his board. Hawkes only nodded at that as he and the others slowly relaxed as they felt the ship’s smoother pace.
“Good work, Chief.”
“Weren’t me. It was the lady ‘ere.”
“We’ll all introduce ourselves once we’re at Rivendell station,” Hawkes decided giving them his trademark grin, relaxing into his seat.
“We should be in hailing distance in about an hour or two at our current speed,” noted Owl softly and sighed audibly. “My old bones aren’t up to all this shaking about!” he commented with feeling.
“I think the Rogue would agree with you, Owl!” said Lanky with a smile. A toothy grin was his only answer from the wizened male.
“Karel, I suggest you get ready and use my quarters,” Hawkes ordered, making to take over the Conn.
“Aye, Capitan!” he responded using the Chief’s ranking for the trader.
“Karel,” he called halting the male from fully leaving the bridge. “You did an all round good job. Thank you.” The tall stately male blinked dazed a moment and then nodded softly and left.
Soon Rivendell Station was registering on their sensors, so whilst Karel was still absconded in the Captain’s quarters, Hawkes contacted the station.
=/\= Rivendell Op’s here, Trader Rogue.=/\=
“First you can tell the Admiral the plan worked. They fell for it hook, line and sinker!”
=/\= Understood, Captain Hawkes =/\=
“Second inform Darkka we have a package for her!”
=/\= We’ll be sure to pass on the message, Rogue. Looks like you’ve sustained some damage to your forward thrusters =/\=
“Tell us something we don’t know!” quipped Lanky sourly.
=/\= You’ll need to slow your momentum, before you can fully dock; therefore we suggest you make a slow turn round the station to hanger bay nine. Co-ordinates being sent now =/\=
“Received. Thank you Rivendell. Rogue out.”
“Package? Captain. We don’t have any packages on board,” noted Owl puzzled having waited until Hawkes had closed the comm-channel.
“It’s not a what, Owl; but a whom!” he said grinning, yet declined to enlighten them further. “Let’s get our ‘girl’ stowed away for the night,” he said and took the Conn to guide their ship into the required hanger.