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The Gloves Are Off

Posted on Fri Jul 23rd, 2021 @ 2:15pm by Captain Jacob Kane

Mission: By Artemis' Bow
Location: USS Athena
Timeline: After "Problem Solving"
647 words - 1.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Kane had to admit, there was something about this part of the job that he enjoyed a little. Since his time serving on the Lakota, he'd taken great pleasure in doling out justice to those inclined towards piracy. A few years chasing Orion slavers would do that to anyone.

"Enemy vessel closing. They're not altering course," Ensign Brewster reported from the helm. Although having to do without Lieutenant Li, the young officer was an adequate substitute having been around almost since Kane's own arrival on board. That the pirate destroyer wasn't shifting direction was curious; they must have been expecting not to have to deal with a Federation heavy cruiser.

"Shields. Phasers target engines and weapon systems. On my order," he called. The atmosphere on a starship bridge always shifted at moments like this; the crew tensing a little ready for combat action. It was the same wherever he went. "Hail them."

"Channel open."

"This is Captain Kane of the starship Athena. You are in contravention of Federation quarantine. Withdraw or we will open fire." He paused, before adding, "No more warnings." He couldn't help but smirk to himself at the thought of what the pirate commander must be thinking.

"No change in their heading. On course to intercept the Pilgrims' feeding grounds in five minutes, sir."

"That's close enough..." Kane murmured. "Standby to fire."

"Sir - they're now altering course. On a direct collision vector with us!" Brewster's voice hightened in pitch. It was indeed a little surprise, but not one that particularly alarmed the Captain.

"Shift your bearing to port. Alter vector for broadside firing on starboard phaser banks," he responded. The viewscreen showed the ugly smaller vessel charging towards them, as though pushing for an intergalactic came of chicken. One that they wouldn't win - but might do some serious damage if it connected.

"Still closing-" Brewster's voice caught again. "Now banking readings on proximity sensors!"

Kane saw it before the Ensign did. The pirate ship hadn't fired a shot, but they had opened ports on their ventral compartment. Dozens of tiny objects flooded out, spinning away in a spread-pattern that looked reminiscent of... "Mines!" Kane barked, annoyed that this hadn't been forseeable. "Hard downward vector, Ensign. Phasers on point-defense, lock on and take them out."

The tactical officer did their best, no doubt, but a number of the objects broke through, impacting the shields and sending shudders throughout the ship.

"Report," he growled.

"Those weren't just photonic mines, Captain. They look like military-grade Breen energy-dampening mines. Thankfully the shields took most of the drain, but they're down to 65% efficiency. If the pirates have a few more of those sorts of weapons, sir..."

Kane didn't need to be told. Military-grade weapons on an outlaw ship? It was almost too obvious, given everything they'd seen and heard the last few months.

"Gloves are off, then," he scowled. "Bring us about. Phasers and quantum torpedoes."

The ship looped back towards her prey, which was now making a vain attempt to flee. Not that Kane would allow it; destroying a ship with that level of threat was very much justifiable. Besides, they'd made the first aggressive move. He was justified.

"Fire as you bear, Lieutenant."

The pirate ship might have been outfitted with reasonable weapons, but her shields and hull were no match for the firepower of a Prometheus-class ship. The opening salvo rapidly tore into her hull and shredded numerous systems. It began to list sharply to one side.

"Their fusion core is going critical, sir. No sign of escape pods."

"Can we beam out-" Before Kane had given the order the ship cracked in two, gases and debris drifting apart. "Never mind. Scan for survivors. And set a new course to intercept the Cavalier. Hopefully Lieutenants Finn and Li are having as much luck as we are."


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