Sunday, 16 January 1994

The Empire Saga Chapter Eight

    Darth Vader arrived back on the bridge of the Star Destroyer. Grand Moff Tarkin was already there. He had returned there when the battle had first started. Vader stormed over to him.
    “We must withdraw.” said Vader. “Our forces on the station have been defeated.”

    “All is not lost.” said Tarkin. “At this very moment the Death Star is at the entrance to the wormhole in the Gamma Quadrant, awaiting our signal.”
    Then the whole ship rocked as a double blast from the Enterprise and the Valkyrie ripped into them. Vader went over to the sensor panel.
    “We are losing power. He said. “Reactor core has been damaged.”
    “Energise weapons to maximum power.” ordered Tarkin. “Target their engine rooms.”
    “To do so would be suicide!” said Vader. “We may lost power altogether!”
    “Do as I say.” said Tarkin. “I am in command here.”
    Vader huffed and carried out the order. The first ship hit was the Bortaz. Their warp drive was rendered inoperative. Before they could launch another attack a photo torpedo from the Enterprise ripped into their engine room.
    “Hyperspace drive damaged.” reported a crewman. “We now have only impulse power.”
    “We must withdraw!” said Vader. “We can’t win!”
    “Carry out my orders, Vader.” said Tarkin. “Target the two Federation ships.”
    Vader returned to the weapons console. The blasters were fired again. The Enterprise rocked as first the shields went down, and then the warp drive. A few seconds later another blast did the same to the Valkyrie. On the bridge Magus sat next to Watt.
    “They appear to be regaining the advantage.” said Watt. “They aren’t leaving DS9 without a good fight.”
    On the Star Destroyer Tarkin gave another order.
    “Send the signal.” he said. “Order the Death Star through the wormhole.”
    The signal was also picked up by the Enterprise and the Valkyrie.
    “They’re sending a signal through the wormhole, Captain. They are ordering the Death Star through.”
    “Jam the signal.” Watt ordered.
    “Unable to do so.”
    Magus got up from his seat.
    “Where are you going?” asked Watt.
    “There is something I must do.”
    Magus walked into the observation lounge. He then did what Ambassador Watt had done earlier. A few seconds later he was in the open void of space. He then closed his eyes. In Ops on DS9 Ambassador Watt turned to the view screen. The image of Magus near the wormhole appeared on the screen. Watt knew what he had to do. He flew up into the air and flew through the ceiling.
    “Where is he going?” asked Riker.
    “Look on the screen.” said Dax.
    Watt, too, was also in the void of space. He flew towards the wormhole. The entrance to the wormhole opened. Watt flew through it. The entrance remained open and Magus took up a position near it. Mystical energy began to glow around his hands. Watt, meanwhile, flew towards the exit of the wormhole. In the distance he could see the Death Star just starting to enter. He increased his speed, but now the Death Star was inside the wormhole. On DS9 they could see the entrance to the wormhole start to shimmer. Dax took her seat at the science station.
    “It’s becoming unstable.” she said. “The Death Star must have entered the wormhole!”
    “So what’s Magus doing?” asked Riker.
    Dax looked at her screen.
    “There’s a huge energy reading coming from him.” said Dax. “I don’t know how but he appears to be holding the molecular structure of the wormhole together!”
    Inside the wormhole Watt was now very near the Death Star. A few seconds later he was in contact with it. With all of his power he began to push. At first the Death Star began to push Watt back, but suddenly it stopped. The strain showed on Watt’s face as he held the Death Star in place. A few seconds later the Death Star moved back slightly. Watt began to increase the power he was using. This put even more strain on him. Watt pushed harder and harder, harder than he had ever done before. He knew that he had to get the Death Star out of the wormhole. The long it remained inside the wormhole the more the danger of it exploding. On the outside Magus continued to hole the molecules of the wormhole in place. This put a great strain on him also. Inside Watt was having more success. Those on board had no idea what was happening when the Death Star was pushed back into the Gamma Quadrant. Watt had been successful, but now he was floating inside the wormhole, totally exhausted. From outside Magus could see this, and using his last burst of mystical energy he managed to pull Watt out of the wormhole. Now both of them floated in space outside the entrance to the wormhole.
    “They did it.” said Dax. “Molecular structure of the wormhole is normal. There is no sign of the Death Star. But the life signs of Watt and Magus are fluctuating.”
    “Beam them back here.” Kira ordered. “Directly to Sickbay.”
    The transporter beam was energised. A few seconds later they arrived in Sickbay. Bashir rushed over to them and scanned them with his tri-corder. Watt looked up at Bashir and smiled.
    “I hope my next job won’t be as exhausting!”
    The battle between the space ships had reached a stalemate. It appeared all of them had exhausted their power. Tarkin stood on his bridge. He was not happy.
    “How could two men stop the most powerful station in the known universe?” he cursed.
    “Magus is of the Istari.” said Vader. “He is very powerful. As for his cohort I know very little of him.”
    “But I am beginning to agree with you now, Vader.” said Tarkin. “It seems that retreat is our only course of action.”
    Vader walked over to the helm panel.
    “Set a course for the wormhole. We must make our escape that way.”
    Vader pressed a button on the communications panel.
    “Engineering, this is Vader. We must have hyper-drive within the next minute.”
    “We took a pretty heavy hit, Lord Vader. We may not be able to repair it!”
    “Your lives may be beyond repair if we do not have hyper-drive soon!”
    The Star Destroyer began to move towards the entrance to the wormhole. On the Valkyrie Watt contacted the Enterprise.
    “We can’t let them get away.” said Watt.
    “There is only one way we can stop them.” said Picard. “We must block the entrance to the wormhole.”
    The two Federation ships moved towards the wormhole. This was easy for them because they were ahead of the Star Destroyer. A few seconds passed before they were at the entrance. Then they began to move into position. They positioned themselves across the entrance to the wormhole, nose to nose with each other. Then the Bortaz took up a position in front of them, so it faced the Star Destroyer. They each armed their weapons.
    “Open a hailing frequency to the Star Destroyer.” Watt ordered.
    A channel was opened.
    “This is Captain Watt of the Valkyrie. Give up Tarkin. There’s nowhere else for you to run. You’ve failed.”
    Tarkin’s image appeared on the view screen.
    “We have far from failed, Captain Watt!” he said.
    Vader was still standing at the communications panel. A call came through.
    “This is engineering. Hyper-drive has been re-established.”
    Vader turned to the helmsman.
    “Maximum speed, now!” Vader shouted.
    “But the path to the wormhole is blocked!”
    “Then go forward through the Bajoran system!”
    “No! Wait!” shouted Tarkin.
    The helmsman followed Vader’s, and not Tarkin’s orders. The Star Destroyer turned around and shot ahead through the Bajoran system.
    “Quickly.” said Picard. “After them!”
    “Unable to.” said La Forge. “Warp engines are still offline!”
    “We can’t follow them either.” said Watt. “And neither can the Bortaz!”
    “Then we’ll have to send a signal to Starfleet Command.” said Picard. “And hope that they can deal with them!”

    Half an hour later the Enterprise, Valkyrie and Bortaz docked with Deep Space Nine. The clear up operation had begun. Those Storm Troopers that had survived the battles on the station later took their own lives. Captains Watt and Picard walked into Sickbay. Doctors Crusher and Singh had gone there to help Bashir. Watt and Picard walked over to Sisko’s bed.
    “I’m please to say that the station is back in your hands, Commander.” said Watt.
    “What of Vader, and the Star Destroyer?”
    “We were unable to follow him through the Bajoran system.” said Picard. “Hopefully Starfleet will be able to send a few ships to stop him.”
    From afar Ambassadors Magus and Watt listened to the conversations between the three commanding officers. They looked at each other. They both knew that a ship would be sent to intercept the Star Destroyer, but it would not be what Picard, Sisko and Watt would expect.