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Log of the Month for April, 2000

Another Last Stand
Posted on April 1st, 2000 by Allen Zinthys

Sub-Commander Allen Zinthys looked up from his post at the tactical station. The display lights were starting to burn into his skull, he’d been at his post for so long. He didn’t want to leave, yet, though. He was getting some real strange readings and he had some bad vibes about this one. The Orion Pirate Ship, OAFS Starlight, in Standard English, had just come back from a raid against a Romulan colony world. It had managed to carry off much needed supplies of dilithium and a large cache of precious gems. He looked down and to his left and noticed that the captain had vacated his seat, so the executive officer was in the command chair. Allen decided that he would get some rest now. He wasn’t very fond of the first officer. He looked over at the only door in our out of the bridge. “And besides,” he thought, “I don’t want to be the first in the way if somebody comes after him.” The tactical position was located up and to Allen’s left of the commanding officer’s chair. The door was set off from the command chair just so the tactical officer would be in-between the person coming in and the captain, in the event that somebody hostile could get onto the bridge.

“Commander. I’m going off-duty to get some rest. I’ll be in my quarters if I’m needed.” The young redhead at the navigation console looked up at Allen and smiled.

“Are you gonna wait up for me?” asked Ann.

Allen smiled at his love. He had to be careful, however. Allen and Ann were posing as brother and sister, so he couldn’t be too public in showing his affection. He wished there was another way that they could share quarters, but it was strictly against policy. Only family members of the opposite sex were allowed to share rooms. “No, sorry. I won’t be able to. I’m almost asleep already.” Allen spared his wife a smile before he rushed off the bridge. He ignored everybody on his walk through the hallway into his quarters. After walking in, he fell onto his bed in what he would later call an uncomfortable position, but he was so tired, he didn’t care.


Allen was running towards the bridge with the computer-generated words “All first-line personnel. Report to your stations immediately!” He flung himself through the portal to the bridge after the door opened and shoved aside the cadet at his post. The captain was in mid-brief, so he didn’t interrupt.

“Two Romulan warships decloaked just outside of firing range,” the captain was saying. “They’ve tried to hail us, but they don’t realize we won’t respond. One of them easily outclasses us-let alone two of them.” He paused and looked at each of his officers before continuing. “This is a very grave situation, one that doesn’t appear winnable. It is likely that we will need to initiate the self-destruct sequence so we will not be captured. Nobody outside of this organization may know of the existence of the Orion cartels! Zinthys, I’m glad you’re here, your assistance may be required in the event that we must destroy ourselves. You all are good, however, and I have confidence you can win. Make me proud.” With that, Allen began charging all the weapons at his disposal. His personal preference to the Starfleet-used phasers meant that that was what was mounted on the modular weapons pods. “Fire at your discretion, Mr. Zinthys.”

“Aye, sir,” he replied. Allen shunted power to the shields so they were past maximum. He poured all the remaining power into the phasers and let loose with a savage barrage of red coherent light that danced along the shields on the lead Romulan ship. The Romulan helmsman was obviously unready for the assault, as evidenced by the ships sudden shift in direction. “Their shields are buckling and the ship has been knocked off-course,” Allen announced. “It appears we have surprised them.”

The other ship, however, was another story. It fired off a few hasty shots, but it was obvious that the weapons hadn’t locked on target as the beams sizzled by harmlessly. “Ann, take us closer to that other ship,” Allen said in his slightly raspy voice.

“On it,” her bright, perky voice responded.

‘Wish you were on something else-.’ Allen mentally slapped himself for that, reminding his mind that they were in the middle of a fight and the fate of the crew was on his shoulders. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Let’s see how you like this!” Allen exclaimed as he stabbed down on a button. It released a stream of plasma torpedoes at the dying Romulan warship.

Plasma torpedoes lose damage potential with range, but since the two ships were so close together, the highly charged balls of almost-energy were devastating. The Romulan ship exploded for a brief moment, then imploded on itself as all the air in the Romulan ship rushed out into the nothingness of space, crushing everything inside. “One down, one more to go.”

The other ship was not to be forgotten, however. The crew had recovered from the shock of the initial assault and launched a barrage of fire that threatened to avenge their fallen comrades. The Starlight rocked and shuddered under the fire. “Shields down to 50 percent! Another one of those and we’re gone! Ann, conduct evasive maneuvers. I can deal with it, but hopefully they can’t.” Allen shunted the power away from the torpedoes. They were incredibly powerful, but took too long to charge. He took that power and bled it into the hellbores. Hellbores are powerful bombs that release electromagnetic waves and envelop their target, by their very nature causing the most damage to the weakest shields.

The Starlight began moving erratically, and the Romulan gunner’s aim was reduced accordingly. Ann was a good pilot, and knew how to make people miss. “Sir, can we run?” Ann asked loudly.

“You can try, but engaging warp would make us too vulnerable for too long.” Allen, meanwhile, was picking away at the Romulan ship’s shields, trying to take it out. It was no easy task with Ann’s unpredictable movements, however.

“Enemy shields down to 30%. Ours have regenerated to 55%. Good flying, Ann!”

“Thanks, hun,” she replied, earning an odd look, but no one took it too seriously.

The Romulan pilot was doing well, too, though. The shields were weak, but evenly balanced among all sections of the ship. Allen launched another full spread at the Romulan ship, and hit with only two hellbore bombs. That was almost enough, however. The hellbores spread their charges among the ship and succeeded in knocking down all the shields. At just that moment, the ship fired its disruptors and hit the engineering section of the ship. Suddenly power went out all over the ship. Allen cursed loudly and vehemently, knowing that one more blast and the fight was won. The commanding officer looked at his executive and second officers knowingly.

“Allen! Janus! Head down the engineering section and find what’s going on down there!”

“Aye, sir,” they both responded and ran to the equivalent of a Jefferies tube in a Starfleet ship. They moved down the ladders as fast as they could, hurrying in case the Romulans decided their dilithium wasn’t worth the fight. They ran up the doors and pounded on them.

“Who is it?” A voice from within asked.

“The cartels shall forever reign!” was the response from Janus. The doors slowly opened, allowing them their first view of the destruction caused by the Romulan ship. There was a huge hole in the side of the ship and the warp core was entirely dark. There were people strewn everywhere, and Allen knew there were more people in here normally. “Must have been a direct hit,” Janus muttered.

“It was,” came the reply from the Chief Engineer. “Disruptor beam came right in and savaged the core. We might’ve been able to fix it, but my best engineers were right next to the hole when it opened up. The ones that weren’t vaporized were sucked out. Lucky thing the force fields kicked in right away and they have a backup.” He looked down at his shoes, unable to face anybody. “We’re cooked. Pure and simple. I can’t fix the core. There’s just no way, not in the field like this. Maybe with a lot of time, but in a combat situation they have us.”

“NO! I’m not giving up!” Allen screamed. “You can fix it. You can and you will because you have to. I need power and I need it now. Fix the core otherwise we’re all dead.” With that Allen turned on his heel and left.

“Tell the captain I’m staying here,” Janus yelled after Allen. “I had a little cross-training with engineering, so I’m gonna try and help.”

Allen slowed down just enough to hear him finished and ran back to the bridge. He felt like he was flying up the ladders and was in a full sweat when he reached the bridge. He relayed the information to the captain and sat at his station. “You all realize,” the captain began, “that this is probably it. We’re doomed.”


“No.” Allen responded. It was quick and cutting, yet much power was in that one word. “We are not done. They want their dilithium back, otherwise we’d be dead now. We’ll prepare to repel boarders and give our engineering crew some time to fix that warp core.”

The captain looked up at Allen and smiled sympathetically at him. “You’re so young and full of life. Go. Good luck.”

Allen couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He’d always respected his captain so much and thought so highly of her. This, to his ears, was blasphemy. He numbly stood up, only to see a little trickle of power flow through his console. He sat down and punched a button on his console. “All non-essential personnel and security crews,” he screamed, hoping the power was enough, “arm yourselves and prepare to repel boarders!” He shunted power into his sensors, figuring that the first thing necessary was to know what was going on. It showed groups of Romulan drones heading for the Starlight. “They’re coming,” he grimly announced.

“Prepare to activate self-destruct sequence,” Captain Mori informed them.

“What?” Allen screamed. “We can’t give in!”

“They’ll capture us and we’ll be done. If we do it now we can take a lot of them with us.”

“We can take a lot of them and still get out of here.” Allen punched a button on his console. “Commander Janus! How long until you can get us enough power to warp out of here?”

“Too much,” was the static-filled reply. “Fight or blow us all up. Those are your only options. We’ll try to give you enough power to fight.”

“Affirmative. I’ll try to buy you guys more time.”

“Acknowledged. Janus out.”

Allen turned back to his screen and noted that several Romulan marines had broken into the airlocks, but were being contained for now. Allen started putting power back into his weapons, focusing it on the plasma torpedoes. Plasma torpedoes are incredibly damaging in ship-to-ship engagements, but are horribly devastating to smaller ships because the torpedoes can be spilt into hundreds of smaller ones that can destroy handfuls of shuttles or drones at a time. He knew it was risky to charge weapons, but he had to do something. Once two torpedoes were charged, he started charging a phaser on the side of the ship, hoping that the Romulan ship wouldn’t recognize it. He knew that one powerful blast would end the whole fight. “Ann. I need helm control for the moment.”

“It’s all yours.”

“Thanks.” Allen confirmed that the helm was his and continued powering the single phaser. When it was charged sufficently he let loose with the torpedoes, destroying the drones and simultaneously turned the ship so the phaser would face the Romulan ship. This all took precious time, however. Time that Allen did not have. The Romulan ship flew forward and let loose on the phaser, having been monitoring the buildup of energy the entire time. The disruptor blasts destroyed the phaser, but didn’t stop there. It continued moving along the ship massacring all the weapons on the Starlight. “Ann! Helm is yours again. Keep him off my weapons!” With that he started shunting power to the shields, but it was, too little, too late. The constant beams sliced right through the shields before they had a change to generate any real resistance. Allen screamed in frustration. “Ann, keep them off of us as best you can.” Allen reached down and slung his phaser rifle over his shoulder. “I’m going to kill some Romulans.”

Allen started running to the nearest hotspot of invasion and pulled out his rifle, ready to fight. He then heard the computer warning: “Self-destruct sequence initiated. Two minutes remaining.”

He turned and looked at Captain Mori. “What the hell have you done?”

“I activated the self-destruct sequence. There is an outlet in engineering so you can do just that without everyone having to be on the bridge. Janus convinced our chief engineer that destroying the ship was the only option left, so he functioned as the third person to confirm the self-destruct sequence. I’m sorry you have to die so soon, Allen. You would’ve made a great gunner.”

“No. I will not die here. There is too much left for me to do.”

Ann suddenly appeared beside Allen and grabbed his arm. “I’m with you, my love. We’ll escape this ugly ship together and rebuild our lives apart from Orion.”

Allen nodded. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.” Allen and Ann together ran out of the bridge, hurrying to the nearest turbolift. “Computer. What is the nearest shuttle bay that is not under assault?”

“Shuttle bay 3 is the nearest shuttle bay that is not currently under assault by Romulan forces,” was the computer’s calm response.

“Alright, let’s go there then. Computer. Shuttle bay 3.”

The turbolift went into action and they were there within seconds. Orion ships were not equipped with lifeboats or escape pods, so Allen knew their best bet was a shuttle. Allen and Ann ran to the nearest shuttle, knowing their lives depended on speed. “Allen and Ann Zinthys, you aren’t going anywhere.” They turned to see a very pissed off Captain Mori with a disruptor rifle leveled at Allen. “I will not compromise the secret of Orion by letting you off this ship, you Starfleet upstart punk.” With that she fired off two blasts. Allen stood horrified, but Ann leapt into action. Literally. Right in front of Allen. The blasts hit her, the first one in her shoulder, which spun her around fast enough that the other hit her opposite arm. That gave Allen enough time to recover and, in one smooth, graceful motion that only comes with practice, Allen leveled his phaser rifle at Mori, flicked the power dial up with his left hand and fired off three shots with his right. He wasn’t such how much he had moved the dial, but the power behind the shots told him that it was almost at maximum power. The three beams lanced out, the first hitting Mori in her left spinning her to the left. The spin would only last a moment, however, as the second hit her in her right shoulder, spinning her that way. The third beam, punching a large whole in her chest punctuated her fall. Her smoking body lie in a crumpled heap on the floor, motionless and very dead.

Allen quickly turned to Ann, and saw that she had been hit badly. He thought back to his mandatory medical training from the Academy and thought that she could be saved. Experience told him that Mori had only had the rifle set to stun. Allen quickly scooped Ann’s body up and ran into the shuttle. He laid her down in the back, vowing to help her once he got somewhere safe. Wherever that would be. He powered the shuttle up and blasted the bay doors, knowing he would never get clearance to leave, and it would’ve taken too much time, anyway. He deftly steered the shuttle out the newly created hole. He checked his chronometer and noted that there was a mere minute left until the ship blew apart from the inside out. “Don’t worry Ann, you’ll be just fine.” He looked back and was greeted with the sight of his love hacking and wheezing, a trickle of blood coming out at the corner of her mouth. Allen checked the panel through tear-stained eyes and slammed on the button that read “Light speed.” The shuttle took off at its highest attainable speed, unnoticed by the crew of the dark Romulan ship. On his scanners, Allen saw the Starlight torn into very small pieces by a blue-white fireball that erupted from within. A subsequent explosion destroyed the last Romulan vessel that had chased after them. Allen thought of all the people he had met on that ship. All the fine security crewmen, the medical crew that was so skilled, even the commander he disliked so much, and the captain he had idolized until now. All the people he would never see again because of his captain’s cowardice.

He punched in a set of coordinates to a nearby, marginally habitable planet that he knew had a Federation colony on it. It wouldn’t be a short trip, but he’d have other things to keep his mind occupied. He stood and walked back to Ann. She was pale and had a tiny red river flowing from the side of her mouth onto her clothing. Allen knew his mind that he couldn’t save her with the meager tools on this ship, but in his heart he knew he had to do something.

For two days straight he cared for her, keeping blood flowing into her, trying to graft replicated skin onto her wounds, and keeping her nourished, but the shuttle simply wasn’t meant for long-term occupancy. After the second day Allen was sleeping on the floor right next to her, like he would always do, and he awoke to the sound of her coughing. He hurriedly stood, not having heard any sound from her since the fight. Her unfocused eyes fluttered open and looked at Allen. He smiled at her as best he could do, but it didn’t have quite the effect it should have, due to his red-rimmed eyes and twitching hands. He loved her so much and couldn’t bear to see the life being slowly drained out of her. “Hold on just a few more days Ann. Then everything will be okay. You’ll see.”

Ann shook her head. She opened her mouth to speak, but another coughing fit set in. When it was done, she was able to speak. “Just know that I have always loved you, Allen. Through everything we’ve been through. Everything.”

“Don’t talk like that Ann. You make sound like you’re going to die. Well you can’t, because I love you too much.” She just smiled at him. “No. I won’t lose you again, Ann. I saw you die once, I will not do it again!” Allen said, his voice cracking. He knew it was too late, though. Ann knew about these kinds of things. When it was your time, and the like. Her eyelids shut for the last time and Allen let out a scream of anguish that echoed throughout the shuttle for a very long time.

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