Pomparath Nebula: Romulan Star Empire
Four missiles flew from the surface of the asteroid and streaked into the nearest Romulan warbird. The warship exploded in a massive fireball that was soon consumed by the micro-singularity inside its warp core. Its two companions evaded the explosion and continued raining disruptor blasts and plasma torpedoes down on the rebel base.
Inside the council chamber turned command post, Rellas, Onorok, and Lucretia stared at a computer screen. Tulan and Grisgok stood a few meters away nervously gripping their weapons. The giant space rock quivered and shook with the enemy bombardment. Dust and debris poured down from the ceiling.
"The first warbird is destroyed!" Onorok said triumphantly. A cheer erupted throughout the asteroid as hundreds of people continued to make their way to evacuation stations with only what they could carry. "But that was the last of our missiles," Onorok continued. "We only have two disruptor batteries left and they're about to burn out."
"It's going to be at least ten more minutes until the escape shuttles are ready to launch," Lucretia said examining the reports from her assistants, "but they won't get very far with those Romulans hanging over our heads. They'll be picked off like drossflies!"
"We have to risk it!" Onorok replied. "Who knows how many more Romulan ships are on their way?"
"They have no shields!" Rellas reminded them. "The starboard warbird is showing fluctuations in their main power grid. Concentrate all our remaining batteries on that ship."
Onorok made the adjustments. Out in space, two massive green beams punched into one of the enemy vessels. Explosions racked its superstructure.
"Our power couplings are overloaded," Onorok said baring his sharp teeth. "We only have one or two more shots before we're defenseless."
Rellas shut his eyes.
"Fire again," he said quietly. "It's all we can do."
Onorok complied. The asteroid's disruptors found their mark and a second warbird disappeared into a cloud of debris.
"That's it," Onorok said shaking his head. "Our weapons are gone."
The last remaining enemy ship was alone, but not defeated. It continued mercilessly pounding the asteroid. Alarms sounded across the chambers as side passages and rooms began to collapse.
"How many Romulans are on a D'deridex?" Lucretia asked, almost afraid to know the answer.
"Over 1500," Rellas replied.
"Even with one ship they still outnumber us almost two to one," she said dejectedly.
"We still have one chance," Rellas said with resolve. "They can't beam in through our disruption fields, but we can beam out."
"You're not suggesting we board them?" Onorok said totally surprised.
"That's exactly what I'm suggesting," Rellas said.
"It's suicide!" Lucretia exclaimed.
"No," Rellas said shaking his head. "It's a sacrifice so others may live." He turned to Lucretia. "You'll take the woman, children, and elderly in the escape shuttles. Tulan, Grisgok, go with them. They'll need protection. The future of the Soldiers of Akarath will be in your hands."
The two men silently nodded. They realized exactly what their leader was saying.
Rellas then turned to Onorok. "We must distract the Romulans long enough for the shuttles to disappear into the nebula."
Onorok nodded. For a few moments, no one spoke. The sound of the bombardment continued, shattering everyone's thoughts with shockwaves and explosions.
Finally, Rellas chuckled.
"You know," he said smiling at Onorok. "I've always wanted to see what the inside of a Romulan warship actually looks like."
Onorok smiled back at him before looking into Rellas' yellow eyes.
"Too bad it won't be today…"
Onorok pulled out a hypospray and injected Rellas' neck. The Gralluscan's legs collapsed beneath him and the world started to spin.
"What are you doing!?" Rellas said fighting to stay conscious. Onorok grabbed him and stared him in the face.
"I raised you from the time you were a boy to survive in the arena," Onorok said, "but you've accomplished so much more. I took your name and your humanity for those green-blooded devils, but with your strength, you have restored both your honor and mine. You are the closest thing I have to a son…" Onorok said as tears streamed from his dark face. "You are also our leader. You are the symbol of our struggle. You are the faith of millions still in bondage and you must survive!" Onorok screamed. "Take him!" he said to Tulan and Grisgok. They ran over and lifted Rellas into their arms.
"Damn you to Gre'thor, Old Man!" Rellas screamed as Tulan, Grisgok, and Lucretia dragged him towards the shuttle bay.
"Qapla', Son of the Western Stars…" Onorok muttered as he found himself alone.
Inside the cavernous engineering deck of the D'deridex, a team of Romulan engineers worked furiously. A Romulan sub-commander barked orders at his crew.
"The captain wants twenty-percent more power to the disruptors!"
"Sir," a younger officer said back to him desperately. "The converters are already ten percent over maximum. We could rupture the plasma conduits."
"We don't have choice," he shouted back. "We have to punch through that asteroid before the slaves have a chance to escape. This ends today!"
Ten transporter signatures suddenly appeared on the far end of the compartment. The engineers spun around in total bewilderment as Onorok and nine other rebels stared back at them. After a few seconds of total confusion, the lead engineer cursed and drew the disruptor pistol from his belt. The other startled Romulans did the same.
"Engineering to bridge!" the sub-commander screamed into his communicator. "We've been boarded!"
"I know! the warbird captain screamed back. "Rebel slaves are appearing all over the ship! They are contained, but I don't know how long till reinforcements reach you."
Onorok and his companions continued to stare at the Romulans in total silence.
"Slaves!" the sub-commander said stepping forward. "If you lay down your weapons, I promise that your deaths will be quick and painless."
Onorok scoffed. Slowly, he removed the leather armor from his torso. He began to speak:
My father raises his hand to me.
My mother opens her arms…
The other Soldiers of Akarath began to join him in the Klingon death prayer.
I see my family together, generations standing as one.
They beckon me to cross the River of Blood!
They rebels were all shouting together. The Romulans began to step backward with fear.
"What are you saying?" the sub-commander yelled back at them. "Shut up!"
To the gates of Sto'Vo'Kor'!
"Be silent, Slaves!" the sub-commander shrieked. "I said shut up!"
"Where the honored dead will live again…" Onorok whispered as he drew his sword. In a flash, he pulled a dagger from his belt and heaved it into the sub-commander's chest. The Romulan spat out green blood before dropping dead to deck. The rebels howled loud enough to shake the entire compartment as they charged forward at the surviving Romulans. Most of the engineers panicked and began firing their disruptors wildly in every direction. The rebels dodged their fire before attacking the Romulans with their blades.
Onorok had his eye on one objective. He charged forwards towards the warp core, cutting down every pointed-ear that stood in his way. Soon, the massive reactor with its artificial singularity loomed directly in front of him.
A Romulan cowering behind the warp core jumped out and fired his disruptor right at Onorok. A green blast tore through the old gladiator's shoulder, taking most of the flesh with it. He cried out with pain, but managed to shove his blade through his attacker's chest.
Onorok chuckled as he felt the life draining out of him. Looking around, he marveled at the cavernous space where he would finally meet his end. It actually reminded him of the arena. In his ears, Onorok swore he could once again here the cheering of the crowds.
"Jolan Tru!" he said mocking the traditional gladiatorial salute. "Glory to the Senate and People of Romulus!"
He reached to his belt and pulled out a plasma grenade. With a final gleam of his sharpened teeth, he pushed the detonator as he collapsed onto the warbird's warp core.
The dozen escape shuttles poured out of the asteroid. Immediately they scattered into the nebula hoping desperately to avoid withering fire hurled from the D'deridex. However, no weapons fire greeted their escape.
Lucretia grasped Rellas tightly to her chest as the Gralluscan still fought through the haze of Onorok's hypospray. With his remaining strength, he turned to look out the side viewport of the shuttle just in time to see the entire green monstrosity blow apart in a massive flash. Though they were now free to make their escape, the survivors were completely alone in the heavens with no safe harbor or refuge.
"What do we do now?" Tulan asked shaking his head. Grisgok was silent.
"I don't know…" Lucretia muttered. "It's all gone."
"We keep fighting," Rellas replied as his eyes grew heavier. "We keep fighting…" He finally lapsed into unconsciousness.