"A Simple Plan (Part 2)"

Author: Lieutenant Commander Kira Markos
Date: January 29, 2384
Location: Shuttle Pendragon

As Lieutenant Beckett and Dr. Kira Markos launched into the space surrounding the USS Knight, they were greeted with a view of the battlefield from within the shields of the Knight. The shields of the glowed a bright blue green as a phaser blast from one of the Barien ships was absorbed without any serious injury to the ship.

"Computer, match shield harmonics to synchronize with the Knight's." said Lieutenant Beckett to the on board computer systems of the Pendragon.

[Modifications to shield matrix complete.] stated the computer after a couple of chirps and beeps.

"Pendragon to Knight, this is Lieutenant Beckett."

[Go ahead Lieutenant.] replied Captain Osagawa through the communications system.

"We'll be beyond the Knight's shields momentarily. Do you have any last orders for us?" queried Beckett.

[As a matter of fact, yes. There is one main ship left to destroy in the Barien fleet. I want you to concentrate your efforts on the largest cap ship and try to destroy it. The Jeorri fighters will be assisting you in this. Watch for any use of the decrum torpedoes as this ship probably has a rather large armament left to defend itself. Osagawa out.]

As the last sentence of the Captain's words were uttered the Pendragon cleared the shields of its parent ship and was thrust into the fray of the battle.

"I'm strengthening the shields now," remarked Markos in a quiet matter-of-fact tone.

"So I see," replied Beckett, as he turned in response to the Doctor's announcement he saw a blue glow surrounding his crewmate that slowly pulsated from time to time illuminating the entire cabin with the eerie blue light. Beckett looked over at the shield controls and quietly whistled as he looked at the readings displayed before him. "Shields are registering at over 400 percent above normal. How long can you keep this up, Doc?"

"Depends on how often we are hit with those enemy phasers. I'm using some of the energy's blast to increase the shield matrix about the ship. Obviously it's working," said Markos with his eyes closed in deep concentration.

"Doctor, it looks like the cap ship is taking the bait. I'm reading three torpedoes heading our way. Computer, initiate pattern Beckett Omega."

The computer responded with a few chirrups and the shuttle banked hard to port.

"Bringing enhanced impulse drive on-line." Said Beckett as he taps away at the shuttle's helm controls. "Drive initiated. Time to do your stuff, Doc."

"I'm working on it, Lieutenant," said Markos as he tried to reach out with his mind in the direction of the advancing torpedoes. As he scanned their energy signatures he noticed something about the way their propulsion systems operated. "Beckett, let the torpedoes get a little closer ... I think I'm on to something."

As Beckett punched a few buttons on the helm the ship slowed down in a barely-perceptible increment. "What do you see, Doc?"

"These torpedoes aren't equipped with that much power to run their targeting and propulsion systems. They will be running out of fuel in a couple of seconds. I guess the Bariens didn't give them much power to work with hypothesizing that they would be able to absorb it from the shields of the ships that they were attacking. I want them to get closer to us so that I can absorb their energy from them and render them useless."

"Sounds good to me," replied Beckett as he allows the gap between the Pendragon and the torpedoes to narrow.

"Almost got them , there , finished," said Markos as the last of the three torpedoes energy signatures fade and then wink out of existence. "Now all we have to do is figure out what to do with them."

"What if we dragged them along in a tractor beam and hurled them toward the cap ship? Could you reactivate them right before they hit the cap ship's shields?" responded Beckett in an excited tone.

"And then use their own weapons against them! Brilliant, Lieutenant! Let's commandeer a few more torpedoes to make the show a little more fun to watch."

With the newly formed plan before them the two officers began anew the process of being the 'bait' for the rest of the fleet. As each group of decrum torpedoes was fired in their direction Lieutenant Beckett reacted in the same manner as their first run with the devices, pooling them in an area just outside of the firing range of the battle.

It didn't take long for their stockpile of commandeered weapons to build up. Only three more trips of 'cat and mouse' were required to reach some twenty-odd torpedoes.

"That's got to be enough to bring down that cap ship. Ready, Doc?" asked Beckett as he turned to face Kira with a wild, maniacal grin.

"Oh, yeah! let's do some damage!" replied Markos.

With that, Beckett maneuvered the Pendragon around and used the ship's tractor beam to bounce the group of torpedoes in the general direction of the battle.

"Doc, a few of the torpedoes are trying to come back on line. I think they're absorbing some of the tractor beam's energy."

"Working on it, Lieutenant ," trailed Markos' voice as he tried to reabsorb the newly acquired energy from the torpedoes. "I'm going to create a low level containment field around the torpedoes that should be low enough in energy to keep them from activating." Working on the secondary controls with much effort Markos finally succeeded in activating the field. "Now, let's drag the field around instead of the torpedoes. If any of them try to reactivate before their time, I'll reabsorb their energy."

"What about the shields, can you still enhance them?" asked Beckett.

"No, it's too much to concentrate on at once. Besides, we haven't sustained any damage to them yet, they should be able to withstand a couple of shots. They'll give us more than enough time to do what we want," replied Markos.

"Engaging enhanced drive. Course plotted," announced Beckett to himself in trained manner. "Let's get ready to rumble."

The Pendragon's thrusters fired, causing a brief moment of acceleration, all the while towing its prized possessions behind its engines, as it slowly moved toward the battle raging outside its hull.

"Enhanced drive engaged. Shields are at maximum. Torpedoes are still inert," Beckett reported.

"Good; the energy field is not sufficient enough to activate their circuitry. Let's get ready to play 'chicken' with that cap ship," said Markos as he tried to activate the communications channel.

"Dr. Kira to Knight, please respond."

Moments later the view screen activates and displays the bridge of the Knight with Captain Osagawa and the rest of the bridge crew.

[Yes Doctor?] queried Osagawa from his command chair.

"Lieutenant Beckett and I have come up with a makeshift weapon, sir. I suggest that you get the fleet away from the Barien cap ship," replied Markos as he continued to monitor the torpedoes' energy signatures.

[What are you going to do?]

"Take a look at what we have in tow, sir." replied Beckett with thinly veiled excitement in his voice.

Osagawa turned to one of the other officers on the bridge and gave him a gesture.

[Sir, they have twenty-three decrum torpedoes in tow behind them. They're somehow inert.] replied a puzzled crewman from the tactical station.

"I managed to absorb the torpedoes' energy before they came in contact with our shields, rendering them lifeless. Lieutenant Beckett then suggested that we give the Bariens a taste of their own medicine. Requesting permission to continue, sir."

[By all means, gentlemen, continue.] daid Osagawa in his calm, matter-of-fact tone as he turned to the communications officer on the bridge. [Send a message to the rest of the combined fleet to keep their distance from the cap ship.] Once again the Captain turned toward the view screen. [Good work, gentlemen. Osagawa out.]

As the Pendragon neared the heat of battle, the rest of the combined Starfleet-Jeorri fleet slowly shifted away from the remaining cap ship. Lieutenant Beckett accelerated to full speed in response to their motions and began preparations to release the payload of torpedoes.

"Twenty seconds to target." Stated Beckett as he frantically tried to dodge the surrounding crossfire. "How are the torpedoes coming Doc?"

"Try not to jostle the ship so much," replied Markos as he tried to stabilize the field around the torpedoes in spite of the pitch and roll of the ship.

"Believe me, I'm trying," said Beckett. "Ten seconds to target."

Suddenly a blast from the cap ship crashed into the shields causing the Pendragon to buck like a wild bronco, nearly throwing its crew off of their seats.

"Shields down to twenty-five percent. We can't take another hit like that, Doc," shouted Beckett as he tried to maintain control of the ship.

"We don't have to worry about that for much longer; torpedoes are released from containment field. Charging up their systems now," shouted Markos. "Torpedoes on line; they're attached to the cap ship's shields and draining their power. Get us out of here Lieutenant!"

"Aye Sir!" replied Beckett as he arced away from the Barien cap ship. As they strafed the line of the remaining shields of the cap ship, they saw a few of the torpedoes reach full energy as the shields began to fail.

"Activating enhanced drive. Hold on!" shouted Beckett as the ship lurched forward and catapulted away from the impending explosion that was sure to follow.

"Enhancing shield matrix ; shields at two hundred percent above normal," said Markos above the din of the enhanced engine systems. "I hope that's enough!"

As the Pendragon accelerated away from the cap ship the first signs of explosion were beginning to form all across the ships bow. The remaining ships of the Federation-Jeorri fleet moved further away from the cap ship and concentrated on the remaining Barien fighters as the cap ship began to explode section by section set in a stunning backdrop for the remainder of the battle. Finally, as the containment fields aboard the cap ship failed, the ship violently exploded, lighting up the battlefield around it like a small supernova.

As the light faded away, the image of the Pendragon could be seen like an outline against the light as it neared the Knight and began its landing sequence.

"Opening a channel to the Knight," said Markos to Beckett.

"This is the shuttle Pendragon requesting permission to dock and rejoin the crew." Said Beckett into the communications channel.