Ryan, sat in his new ready room and
looked over some schematics of the Han'gosian shielding. His new ready room,
much larger and spacious than his previous one, although much more bare. All
his possesions were destroyed along with the Ronin and it would be a long time
before he had enough things to decorate his room once again. The only things
in there were a small model of the previous Ronin and a photograph of Ryan's
family on his desk. As he read more and more information, he became more and
more convinced that the isokinetic cannon was the way to take down the shielding.
His thoughts were interupted by a ring at the door.
"Come in" he called. Admiral Pike stepped in and took a seat on the sofa. "What can I do for you Admiral? Can I offer you a drink? a bite to eat?"
"Nothing for me Ryan. Ryan, you realise your going to have to make a difficult decision here."
"How do you mean?"
"Well think about it. You are going to have to beam people over to deploy the device. By the time the device is set up, Kira will kill them. It is your call now as to who lives, and who dies."
"Damn! That had slipped my mind completely."
"Would you send someone to their death Ryan?"
"You see, it is that hesitation that shows your weakness as a Commanding Officer. You have a very important role to play Ryan. You have to make decisions that will affect the whole crew. Now if you are not willing to sacrifice a few of them for the survival of the rest, then you don't belong in your position."
"Admiral, I thought one of my main roles was to ensure the safety of my crew?"
"That is true yes... This is always a difficult thing for a captain. You are always to protect your crew at all costs, but sometimes, to protect them, you must make a sacrifice. Sometimes this means one of them."
"Admiral, I am not sure if I could send one of my crew to their death."
"That's something you are going to have to overcome in the next few days. There is no way out of this scenario without you loosing some of your crew. Now it is up to you and your careful planning how many die and who."
"Ryan, I said I would look over Tyrans battle plan. I'll give you once last piece of advice. The crew draw on you for leadership and strength. If you show the slightest sign of weakness, then they will doubt you. The Captain is always right whether you think you are or not. When you announce the away team, be confident and don't hesitate. Starfleet is a military organisation. These people signed up knowing there is a good chance that they will die. They will follow your orders if you believe in them."
With that, Pike left. Ryan threw his pad down on the desk and rubbed his head. This was going to be a hard choice. "Lieutenant McMillan, report to my ready room" he said tapping his commbadge. Within seconds, Tricia was at Ryans door and sitting in front of him.
"Tricia, do you know where they are right now?"
"I assume you man the duplicates Captain?"
"I cant tell right now. I only hear them randomly for short periods of time."
"Could you tell where they were the last time you sensed them?"
"Not really. I can't really hear what they are saying, I just know they are saying it. I managed to work out in the last one that they were talking about a quantum singularity. They may mean the blackhole that we used to destroy the Borg Sphere. The singularity would dirupt our sensor readings and make it more difficult for us to find."
"Evans to Lieutenant Wang. How is the Anti-Kira device comming?"
[I think we just about have it complete sir. We have tested it on our Kira and it seems to work. I just hope it will be enough to completely drain him.]
"Shall i set a course for the black hole Captain?"
"Yes. Have Kira and Tyran come in here too."
"Aye sir." Tricia left, momments later, Tyran and Kira stepped in.
"You wanted to sea us Captain?"
"Take a seat gentlemen. Tyran, Kira, you know the odds as well as I do. Whoever goes aboard the Aldrin isn't likely to be coming back. I am senfing over a team of three. I want your recomendations as to who I should send over."
"Well, we'd need someonewho knows about the operation of the device. That would be Wang" said Kira.
"Gregholt or Talsmin could do that just as easily" added Tyran.
"But Wang, created the device. If something goes wrong, he stands more chance of fixing it."
"OK, agreed, we send Wang as the first." confirmed Ryan.
"What about Karissa?" asked Tyran hesitantly. "I feel she would be a useful member to the team. She managed to take out two of the duplicates where as I couldn't take on one. She's incredibly athletic and strong and good to have in a fight. I thik survival chances would be increased with her being there."
"You forget how easily I could overcome her. No, the only way for a true chance at survival is that I go" said Kira. Tyran didn't like to admit it and to see his friend volunteer to go, but he knew he was right.
"Are you sure your up to it Kira?" asked Ryan.
"I think so"
"Well then thats two. One more to go."
"Me sir" said Tyran. "I should go."
"No, I want you here. Karissa will be the third."
"But Captain, she doesn't have my tactical experience.. my knowledge of Kira! I'm the better choice!"
"I've made up my mind Commander. Now if there are no more questions, your both dismissed and I will see the team in the conference room in ten minutes."
Kira got up and left reluctantly followed by Tyran. As they exited, the ship rocked violently.
"All hands battle station" announced Lieutenant O'Neil over the intercom.
Ryan got up and darted on to the bridge.
"What's going on?!" he demanded
"We're under attack sir!" answered O'Neil.
"Your not going to believe this!" said Tyran reaching the tactical station. "It's the Ronin!"
"Yes Captain" The ship rocked violently and the crew fell to the ground.
"What the hell was that?"
"It's me sir, or.. the other Kira sir. He's enhancing the torpedoes in the same way as he did when we first fought them on the Ronin."
"Kira, get our shields strengthened. Tyran, fire photons!"
Ryan watched the screen as the photon torpedoes sailed toward the Ronin and disapeared against the shields with a green shimmer.
"That's the Han'gosian shielding." announced Pike.
"Tricia, take us into slipstream.
Get us out of here! We need time to reorganise our attacks and work out where
the hell they got that other ship from!"