"Next Steps"

Author: Captain Ryan Evans
Date: August 8, 2384
Location: Conference Lounge

Ryan awoke surprisingly refreshed. It was the day after Benton had arrived and still nothing had been resolved. Today was the day in which Ryan would have to decide how to handle the situation and what to do with the Bounty. He hurriedly dressed and headed out of his quarters without breakfast to the bridge.

As he walked, Kira came up a long side him. The two often arrived on the bridge together recently. Today however, the two weren't so cheerful as usual.

"Captain, I've been wondering..." began Kira. "When we finally reach the Kelvans, what role am I going to be playing?"

"All will be discussed soon enough. I'm going to call a meeting of the senior staff when we get to the bridge. I want to finally get this all sorted out and over with."

"Good idea." replied Kira.

The two were silent the rest of the way to the bridge.

As they arrived, Kira headed straight for the briefing room. The crew new something with up, and as Ryan spoke into the intercom calling all senior officers to the conference lounge, they followed suit into the conference room.

Inside, the air was tense. Everyone was full of questions, ideas and news. When thee crew were all assembled, Ryan began.

"We all know why we are assembled here this morning, so lets get to it. We are currently orbiting, as you all know, a planet destroyed by the Kelvans. From Lieutenant Wang's scans, the planet was destroyed approximately five days before we arrived here. That means that by now, the Kelvans are twelve days ahead of us. We need to find them quick. Any suggestions?"

"Our sensors shouldn't have any difficulty picking up a moving planet." stated Wang. "I don't understand how we missed them on the way hear though."

"The sensors would be more effective at closer range sir. If we were to fly at warp back toward the Federation, we would have more chance of picking htem up." suggested McMillan.

"We'll do that then." agreed Ryan. He glanced at Pike who sat silently in the corner of the room. "Lieutenant Benton, how do you think the Kelvans will react to us showin up?"

"With all due respect sir," butted in Tyran, "They won't react any differently to how Kira and I explained."

"Your tactical officer is correct Captain. They will react no different to how they did in the illusion." came the brief response.

"Kira, what kind of force are we up against here?" asked Ryan knowing full well. He had studied every aspect of this mission. He was just making sure everyone was perfectly sure of what was going to happan.

"Well ther ewere nine battle moons in our illusion. There may be more or less, I don't know. Each was covered in large plasma batteries and equipped with 40 short range fighters. The moons are the source of the main weapons power.

The planet itself has one hun...."

"*Two* hundred thousand" retorted Tyran

"Sorry, two hundred thousand fighters, as well as similar plasma batteries. The fighters have similar shielding to the moons. They are impassible by solid objects, ruling out torpedoes. The weapons are of the same design as on the moons only considerably weaker and were not very effective even against the Knight's shielding."

"How about a landing party?" suggested O'Neal.

"The atmosphere is only 5% okygen Lieutenant, any life is carnivourous, any landing aprty wold not last." explained Tyran.

"Kelvans do not need okygen to breathe as humans do. The atmosphere on a Kelvan planet would not be breathable by humans." confirmed Benton.

"So I take it this is where that fancy shielding comes in?" asked Hancock

"Correct." spoke up Tyran. "The Han'gosians as you should know are a species we encountered in the temporal tunnel. Their shielding and weaponry are chronoton based. When a weapon hits their shields, it is displaced out of time and won't hit us, of course the shields do gradually get drained as it takes energy to do this. We were using Kira's energy before to boost the shields. The torpedoes work the same way. They displace themselves before they hit enemy shields and reemerge on the other side hitting the ship."

"So why haven't these shields been installed here?" demanded Benton.

"Tyran, Ming, A.J. and I have been trying over the past few days to get them to work. but there doesn't seem to be any hope of getting them to work on this ship." answered Gregholt.

"But if I remember correctly, we used them on the original Ronin." stated McMillan.

"The original Ronin was a Defiant class." said Tyran. "There are differences in Defiant and Intrepid class ships. We are just going to have to go in without Han'gosian shielding."

"In my universe, the moons provided the planet with most of its power, if we can take out the moons, eventually, the shields will go down. Then we can use your isokinetic cannon." suggested Benton.

"Tyran, do you think it will work?" asked Ryan.

"If the shields could be kept up longer, then yes, we may have a chance."

Ryan turned and looked at Kira. "I'll do my best" he said.

"Right, Ming, I want you in Astrometrics trying to find this planet. Hancock, prepare sickbay for casualties. Talsmin, Gregholt, work with Tyran on upgrading as many torpedoes as possible. Work on shields as well and any other way of giving us a better survival chance. Benton, help them out. When your done, make what ever modifications you can to the Bounty. Karissa, you, Kira, Tricia and I will take duty stations."

"Uhh, what about me sir?" asked O'Neal

"Lieutenant, I want you on the bridge of the Bounty."

"The Bounty sir?" asked O'Neal in surprise

"I need someone command competent aboard for when we get into battle. We will need all the help we can get. Ensign Holmes is already tehre. She will be your helmsman. Tyran, can you suggest anyone for tactical?"

"Ensign Andres sir? He's only come aboard since DS11."

"Andres.... Andres... the Klingon?"

"Half Klingon sir, I believe he is competent enough to handle himself over there."

"Take Andres with you as well. Chief Talsmin will join you with a team of engineers when we detect the planet and take Doctor Jin with you."

"That's all people. Let's get to our jobs and get this ship battle ready." The crew filed out and got to work. Admiral Pike remained. "Admiral?"

"Ryan, I recieved a message from Command yesterday.... The Bounty is carrying the doomsday device."

"The Doomsday device?!! What are they thinking!"

"It's a last resort Captain, and if we need to use it, your going to need a way to get those people off that ship."

Pike turned and left leaving Ryan to dwell on that thought.