Sunday, 16 January 1994

The Empire Saga Chapter Seven

    Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader stood in Operations on DS9. Tarkin stood looking at the main control panel.
    “I see all is almost complete.” said Tarkin. “Is the Tie fighter ready?”
    “The pilot awaits your word.” said Vader.
    “Then give the word.” said Tarkin.

    Vader pressed a button on the control panel. Tarkin switched the view screen on. The image of the departing Tie fighter appeared on the screen. A few seconds later the wormhole opened. The Tie fighter entered. After travelling through the wormhole it soon appeared in the Gamma Quadrant. The first thing that appeared on the fighter’s sensors was a signal from the huge Death Star. Then the message was sent to the mighty station: all is ready, you may enter the wormhole soon.
    On the balcony of the Promenade Ambassador Watt stood looking over the goings on. After a minute he walked over to a wall and phased through it. A short time later he appeared in a dimly lighted room. In this room was Chief O’Brien. O’Brien looked up when Watt entered.
    “A Tie fighter just went through the wormhole.” said Watt. “It’s probably taking a message to the Death Star/ And if my calculations are correct the Enterprise and the Valkyrie should soon be coming into range. Is there anything we can do to help them in any way?”
    “We could try shutting down the power to the station.” said O’Brien. “With the force field down they would be able to beam straight into the station. But the problem would be in how to get to the main reactor. I could try and shut it down from a computer terminal but we don’t have access to one.”
    O’Brien began to scratch his head. Then he slapped his hands together and smiled.
    “Of course, that’s it!” he said. “Quark’s!”
    “Who’s Quark?”
    “Quark is the Ferengi that runs the bar on the Promenade. He was one of the civilians on the station who wasn’t arrested because he could provide a service to Vader and Tarkin. If we could get to his terminal we could try and shut down the power from there.”
    “It’s worth a try.”
    Watt took hold of O’Brien’s arm.
    “There’s only one way we can get into the bar.” said Watt. “Don’t be afraid. This may seem a bit strange at first, but it should work.”
    Watt once again began to phase into the wall. A few seconds later they were gone. They soon appeared in a secluded corner of Quark’s bar. O’Brien looked out across the bar. He could not believe what he saw. Vader stood at the bar opposite Quark.
    “Here it is.” said Quark. “The final chip.”
    Quark handed Vader a computer chip.
    “You will be paid in full very soon.” said Vader.
    Vader then left the bar, leaving Quark on his own.
    “I don’t bloody believe it!” said O’Brien. “That slimy Ferengi is helping the Empire. He won’t be of any help to us now!”
    “Maybe he will.” said Watt. “Why don’t you show yourself and tell them you have some company. I may be able to persuade this Quark to help us.”
    O’Brien looked at Watt and smiled.
    “Ah, I get it.” he said.
    O’Brien got to his feet. As he did he made a noise. This startled Quark.
    “Who’s there?” he snapped. “Who’s there?”
    O’Brien walked out of the shadows.
    “Chief!” said Quark. “How did you get in here?”
    “I escaped.” said O’Brien. “I also found out that a certain barkeeper that we both know is handing computer access chips to Darth Vader. Now, if certain people were to find this out they could be prosecuted and thrown in jail!”
    “You can’t prove anything!” said Quark. “It would be your word against mine!”
    “What about your word against that of the next Federation President?”
    Quark looked shocked as Watt walked out of the shadows.
    “Why, Ambassador Watt, I did not know you were on the station. Can I get you a drink?”
    Watt walked over to the bar, leaned over, grabbed Quark by his lapels and hoisted him off his feet.
    “As President my first act would be to have you prosecuted for conspiracy against the Federation. And after what I’ve seen you doing with Darth Vader I will see that you get the most stiffest sentence on a penal colony!”
    “Please, don’t throw me in jail!” Quark begged. “I’ll do anything! Just please don’t throw me in jail!”
    “You’ll do anything, eh?” said Watt. “How about using your new clout with Vader to try and get us near the main reactor? If you were to help us I would consider dropping any charges against you.”
    “I’ll do it!” screamed Quark. “I’ll do it!”
    Watt dropped Quark onto the floor.
    “I knew a little gentle persuasion would help!” said Watt.

    On the bridge of the Valkyrie Sutek and Data sat at the science station, starting their attempt to break into DS9’s computer. Behind them Amarus stood at his tactical station. He noticed something on his monitor.
    “Captain, I’m picking up a sub-space anomaly, two and a half thousand kilometres away.” he said.
    “On screen.” said Watt.
    Watt got up from his seat as the view screen came on. All that could be seen were stars, but then the scene began to change as a Klingon Bird of Prey began to de-cloak.
    “They are hailing us.” said Amarus.
    The screen changed. The image of a Klingon appeared on the screen.
    “This is Captain Kurn of the Klingon vessel Bortaz. We stand ready to assist you in your attack on the Empire.”
    “How did you know of our intentions?” asked Watt.
    “It is common knowledge through the galaxy that the Empire has taken control of Deep Space Nine.” said Kurn. “It was on the orders of Darth Vader that my friend Salg was murdered. I wish to avenge that death!”
    “You help is very much appreciated, Captain.” said Watt. “How many do you have in your crew?”
    “My crew numbers one hundred.” Kurn replied.
    “We could certainly use the extra manpower.” said Watt. “Will you and your first officer beam over so we can tell you of our plans?”
    “We will arrive on your vessel within five minutes.” said Kurn.
    The screen went blank.
    “Mr. Amarus, please ask Captain Picard to join me in my observation lounge.” said Watt. “You have the bridge.”
    A few minutes later Watt and Picard sat in the observation lounge of the Valkyrie. Then Kurn entered. He took his place at the table.
    “Before we start.” said Picard. “I would like to know if you have been sanctioned by the Klingon government?”
    “I have the backing of Gowron himself.” said Kurn. “I asked to go on this mission for a special reason. After this assignment I am to replace Salg as head of our military attaché on Tattooine.”
    “And what about his other ‘duties’?” asked Watt.
    “I am to assume them as well.” Kurn replied.
    “Very well.” said Picard. “Then this is our plan.”
    Watt and Picard outlined they plan to Kurn. The inclusion of a Klingon vessel and over fifty Klingon troops were a welcome addition to their forces. After the meeting the three Captains entered the bridge of the Valkyrie. They approached Sutek and Data at the science station.
    “Have you had any luck yet?” asked Watt.
    “Not as yet.” said Data. “It appears that the Empire have gained access to the most sensitive parts of DS9’s computer. They have managed to close off the ‘back door’ route we were hoping to take into the computer.”
    “So it looks like we may have to change the plan.” said Picard.
    Then a light flashed on Sutek’s panel.
    “Odd.” said Sutek. “Our long range sensors have picked up a slight power drain on DS9.”
    “What sort of power drain?” asked Watt.
    “It originates from their main reactor.” replied Sutek. “There appears to be no damage to their systems.”
    “Confirmed.” said Data. “Their power is slowly draining away.”
    “Their shields are failing.” said Picard. “This may be our chance.”
    “Agreed.” said Watt. “We had better gather our assault teams. Captain Kurn, I’m afraid you won’t have much time informing your troops of our plan.”
    “They will not need much time.” said Kurn. “They are ready for battle!”
    “Their shields have gone completely.” said Data. “There is also partial power loss to their weapons system.”
    “It appears the game is afoot!” said Watt. “Assemble your teams, and good luck.”
  
    On DS9, in Operations, Tarkin pounded the control panel with his fist.
    “What is going on here!” he cursed.
    “The main reactor is shutting down.” said Vader. “The shields and weapons systems are coming off line.”
    In the engineering section countless Storm Troopers lay unconscious on the floor. At the control panel O’Brien sat with a huge smile on his face.
    “I’ve done it!” he said. “They should be able to beam over now.”
    “Can you shit down the sensors in any way?” asked Watt. “So they won’t be able to detect anyone beaming over?”
    In one corner of the room Quark stood sulking.
    “This is going to cost me a lot of money!” he said.

    In the transporter rooms of the Enterprise, the Valkyrie and the Bortaz the assault teams began to gather. Riker assembled his team on the Enterprise, while Pendragon and Kurn did the same on their ships. Pendragon activated his communicator.
    “Pendragon to Watt. We are all ready here.”
    Watt sat in his chair on the bridge.
    “Acknowledged Commander. Is everyone else ready?”
    The signals came in from the Enterprise and the Bortaz. Everything was ready. Picard then gave the order.
    “Commence operations, now!”
    The transporters were energised. The Valkyrie teams were sent first. It had been decided that Magus would add power to the transporters so they could travel the extra distance.
    Magus stood in the transporter room of the Valkyrie. While Lom keyed in some digits Magus placed his hand in the main reactor and closed his eyes.
    “Energizze beam now!” said Lom.
    The transporter beam on the Valkyrie was brought up to full power. A few seconds later their away team was gone. Then, using his powers, Magus travelled to the Enterprise’s transporter room. Ht then did the same there. After that he journeyed to the Bortaz’s engine room and carried out the same service. He then used the Bortaz’s transporter to get back to the Valkyrie. When he arrived back in the transporter room he was greeted by Singh. He scanned Magus with his tri-corder.
    “Wed better get you to Sickbay.” he said. “You’ve lost a lot of energy.”
    Singh activated his communicator.
    “Singh to Bridge. Magus is back on board.”
    “Good.” said Watt. “Enterprise, Bortaz, go to attack manoeuvre alpha.”
    “This is the Bortaz. We are preparing to cloak.”
    There was a shimmer in space as the Bortaz engaged her cloaking device. They then shot ahead of the Enterprise and the Valkyrie.
    “Plot a course for Deep Space Nine.” ordered Picard. “Ahead warp six.”
    Watt gave the same order on the Valkyrie. Both ships kept some distance behind the Bortaz.

    The away team from the Valkyrie, which consisted of Pendragon, Sutek, Tompkins, Greenleaf, Amarus and some others had beamed into the engineering section of DS9. When they arrived the first thing the saw were the unconscious Storm Troopers lying on the floor.
    “What the hell happened here?” said Tompkins.
    Sutek walked over to the control panel.
    “It appears the power was cut off from here.” said Sutek. “We have found the reason for the power drain.”
    “But who did that?” asked Pendragon.
    Amarus held out his tri-corder.
    “There are no life signs nearby.” he said.
    “Good.” said Pendragon. “Then let’s try to get to the first rendezvous point.”
    The Bortaz was getting near DS9.
    “There is a sub-space anomaly nearing the station.” reported one of the Troopers in Operations.
    Before Vader could act the Bortaz de-cloaked and a phaser blast hit the station.
    “Arm weapons.” ordered Tarkin. “Open fire!”
    “Unable to arm the weapons systems! The power is still down!”
    “Then contact the Star Destroyer.” said Vader. Let them deal with it!”
    Kurn and his Klingon troops had beamed into the docking ring. Quickly they ran to the airlock that connected DS9 to the Star Destroyer. Kurn walked over to the control panel. He checked the reading.
    “Damn it!” he cursed.
    Kurn activated his communicator.
    “Kurn to Riker. The Star Destroyer is leaving the situation. We are unable to stop it.”
    “Understood. Make you way to the rendezvous point.”
    Riker and his team, which consisted of Kira, Data, Worf and others from their security team had beamed over to a spot near the Promenade. Riker looked down over the balcony. What he saw was Storm Troopers shepherding the civilians away to their quarters. Kira then joined him. Her attention was diverted when she saw a familiar face in the crowd.
    “It’s O’Brien! Somehow he managed to escape!”
    “Worf, you take your team to the detention wing.” Riker ordered. “Kira, Data, you’re with me.”
    They began to run down the steps toward the Promenade. When they were halfway blaster fire ripped into the wall just above them.
    “Take cover!” Riker shouted. “Return fire!”
    Data and Kira raised their phasers and returned the fire. They seemed to be pinned down. Suddenly a gust of wind blew past them, clouding their view slightly. When they could see again they saw the Storm Troopers lying on the floor. All of them were unconscious.
    “What happened?” said Kira.
    “I believe I may have found the location of Ambassador Watt.” said Data.
    Outside the station the Enterprise and the Valkyrie arrived to join the battle. They both slowed to impulse power. When they arrived the Star Destroyer was just moving away from DS9 and they were just about to arm their weapons when an array of photo torpedoes from the Enterprise ripped into it. A phaser barrage from the Valkyrie then hit, and then there was an explosion. The Star Destroyer was able to fight back however. It’s blasters charged, they opened fire on the Valkyrie. The shields managed to take most of the damage. This attack, however, depleted their shield power greatly Before they could launch another attack the Bortaz fired on them from behind. The Destroyer’s shields saved them.
    On DS9, in Operations, Grand Moff Tarkin began to direct the proceedings both on and off the station.
    “Launch the fighters!” he shouted. “They won’t be able to target them. They’re too small!”
    Tarkin’s orders were carried out. Ten Tie fighters were launched. Tarkin was right when he said that the Enterprise and the Valkyrie could not get a lock on them because they were so small, but he did not realise that they would not be able to cause any damage to their shields. Also, he did not realise that the smaller Klingon ship would be able to take care of them.
    On the station Worf and his security team had made their way to Odo’s office. It was then they saw that the Storm Troopers had made a mistake. Instead of putting Odo’s pail into one of the cells they just left it in his office. When Worf and his team arrived Odo was coming near to the end of his regenerative cycle. The first thing Worf saw was this strange thing coming out of this pail. A few seconds later Odo began to take his humanoid form. He was surprised to see a Klingon in his office.
    “Who are you?” he asked.
    “I am Lieutenant Worf of the Enterprise. I am here to rescue you.”
    “As you can see, I do not need rescuing.”
    “But the others do!”
    It was then that some Storm Troopers came running out of the detention wing. Worf raised his phaser and took out of them. Odo, using his special skills, took out another. An exchange of fire then took place. Three of Worf’s team went down, one of the killed. The odds seemed to sway in favour of the Storm Troopers. However, the odds returned to Worf’s favour when Riker, Data and Kira arrived on the scene. The remaining Storm Troopers were soon dealt with. When the last Trooper had fallen Riker and Kira ran into the detention wing. They began releasing the prisoners. Kira walked over to Dax.
    “Where’s Commander Sisko?” she asked.
    “He was injured in an escape attempt.” replied Dax. “He took a blast full on. He was taken to Sickbay.”
    “Then he’s in no danger at the moment.” said Riker. “Our next objective is to get to Operations.”
    Then Pendragon and his team arrived.
    “We managed to get past a bunch of Storm Troopers.” he said. “They’re swarming all over the station.”
    “Where’s Kurn and his troops?” asked Riker.
    “They’ve managed to gain control of the docking ring.” said Pendragon.
    Then they heard a noise outside. A party of fifty Storm Troopers had rushed onto the Promenade and were converging on Odo’s office.
    “This is the last thing we need.” said Riker.
    Then Riker got a call on his communicator.
    “This is Chief O’Brien. I’ve managed to get to one of the transporter rooms. I’ve been monitoring the Storm Trooper’s movement. It might be possible for me to beam some of you to Operations.”
    “How many?” asked Riker.
    “That’s hard to say. I can lock onto all of you, but the power cells have been damaged. Some of you might just stay where you are.”
    “That’s a risk we’ll have to take.” said Riker. “Energise, Mr. O’Brien.”
    O’Brien energised the transporter beam. The beam, at first, covered the entire team that was in Odo’s office. However, only four were beamed onto the turbo-lift in Ops. They were Riker, Pendragon, Kira and Dax. As soon as they arrived fire from a blaster ripped into the wall above them. Riker returned the fire. They then took cover. They were surprised to see that there was hardly anyone in Ops. It seemed that most of them had either returned to the Star Destroyer or were on the Promenade battling the others. There was another exchange of phaser and blaster fire. Even though there was only four of them they seemed to outnumber the Empire’s forces. It was during this battle that Darth Vader showed himself. The last of the Storm Troopers had just fallen when Vader arrived on the scene. He looked around, surveying the damage. It was then he saw Riker and Pendragon coming out from their cover position. They soon saw Vader. A few seconds later Kira and Dax were visible. Riker pointed his phaser at Vader.
    “Surrender Vader.” he ordered.
    Vader just stared at Riker. He then extended his hand, and Dax began to tremble. Slowly she began to rise into the air and she began to float towards Vader. She was soon in his arms. With one arm round her throat he took out his light sabre with his other hand and energised it. He then held it near Dax’s mid-section.
    “Drop your weapons!” he boomed. “Or I will removed the symbiont from your comrade in a most painful way.
    Riker, Pendragon and Kira hesitated. They then dropped their phasers.
    “Good.” said Vader.
    Vader moved his light sabre closer to Dax. It was as if he was about to carry out his threat. He failed to notice something on the floor behind him. The metal began to flow with a yellow energy, and a few seconds later a hand appeared, then an arm. A few seconds after that and Ambassador Watt was in full view. He grabbed hold of Vader’s arm and squeezed, forcing him to drop the light sabre. He then spun him around. He then spun him around and prepared to unleash a fierce blow. Before he could, however, Vader was covered in the energy from a transporter beam. A few seconds later he was back on the Star Destroyer. Then a call came in from the Promenade.
    “Worf to Riker. The Promenade has been taken.”
    Then another call came in.
    “This is Kurn. We have managed to regain control of the rest of engineering, and we have liberated Sickbay.”
    “Then it appears we have the station under our control.” said Kira.