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Story Notes:

Historians Note: The first chapter and epilogue take place one day prior to the opening scenes of "A Time to Stand". The main events of this story take place two weeks before the events of that same episode.

Chapter One

Under Heavy Fire

The Seventh Fleet was heavily outnumbered and under heavy fire from a large armada of Jem’Hadar battleships and smaller support vessels. The smaller fighters were taking out small Starfleet and Klingon support fighters as if they were easy target practice. A combination of Akira and Steamrunner-class destroyers countered with a flurry of quantum torpedoes, destroying a few of the enemy fighters.

Larger Federation and Klingon ships faced off against the larger Jem’Hadar battleships. The USS Lambda Paz took a flurry of plasma torpedoes from a cruiser inflicting damage to the unprotected forward saucer section. The Lambda Paz fired forward phasers at point blank range causing some moderate damage. The battleship fired another spread of torpedoes at the port side of the primary hull.

The bridge rocked. Tactical officer Mandel Morrison kept entering commands to fire phasers at the Jem’Hadar attack ship as it was moving towards other targets. His tactical display then indicated another attack ship, flanked by two smaller fighters off their bow. “Three more Jem’Hadar ships off the port bow,” he reported to Captain Limis Vircona and first officer Ronnie Kozar.

The captain sat in the command chair viewing her side console to watch a backup tactical display. “Forward phasers at the flanking fighters,” she ordered. “Full spread of quantum torpedoes on the attack ship.”

A simultaneous spread of phasers and quantum torpedoes erupted from the ship. The phasers knocked out the forward shields of the fighters while the shields of the attack ship absorbed the torpedoes. The enemy ships moved off, but the Lambda Paz arched upward and around towards the three ships. Two separate phaser bursts incinerated the two fighters. The attack ship fired aft torpedoes at the ventral of the saucer section. Two fighters moved in from below and fired disruptors at the lower secondary hull.

Sparks flew from various auxiliary stations on the bridge while a gas leak erupted from the aft situation monitor. “We’ve lost number three and number four shields,” Ensign Willis Huckaby reported from Ops. “Fire suppression system is offline.”

“Return fire with whatever you can muster,” Kozar shouted to Morrison. “Helm, evasive pattern Pike-delta.”

The Lambda Paz arched downward exposing the still protected half of the ship. A battleship swooped in from behind and launched a pair of plasma torpedoes tearing a hole in the forward saucer section.

“Hull breach in the forward saucer,” Huckaby reported. “Emergency force fields off-line.”

“Primary phaser array has failed,” Morrison added. “We’re down to six quantum torpedoes.”

“Notify the rest of the fleet,” Limis commanded. “We’re getting the hell out of here.”

The Lambda Paz laid down suppression fire with the secondary phaser arrays still available as it moved upward and then streaked into warp. Thirteen other vessels followed. The fleet initially consisted of one hundred twelve ships. With the Dominion moving closer to Klingon territory, Starfleet dispatched a large number of Federation and Klingon ships to make a stand in the Tyra System. Instead of slowing the Dominion’s advance, The Federation and the Klingon Empire suffered a devastating defeat.

“How many other ships managed to escape?” Limis asked, rising from her chair.

“Thirteen, sir,” Morrison answered.

“Fourteen ships?” Kozar repeated. “Out of a hundred twelve?! My God!”

Kozar stood up and looked over at Ops. “What’s our status?” he asked Huckaby.

“Main power and internal sensors are offline,” Huckaby replied.

“Do a deck-by-deck survey,” Limis said, dejectedly. “I want a full damage report. I’ll be in my ready room.”


Limis stepped into the dark and messy ready room, breathing slowly. She wanted to explode in a fit of rage. For three months, the Federation and its allies endured one painful defeat after another. Somehow reminding herself of the defeats she had dealt with throughout her entire adult life was of no consolation to her at this time. The future of the entire quadrant depended on the outcome of this war. If the Dominion was allowed to prevail, Limis dreaded the thought that not only would she be failing her cohorts, living or dead, but the entire Alpha Quadrant.

She grabbed a piece of debris and flung it against the wall before walking over to her desk. That was enough to calm her down for now. “Begin captain’s personal log,” she said, sitting down behind the desk.

“Stardate 51196.3,” Limis began after the computer chime. “We’ve suffered another major defeat at the hands of the Dominion. They outnumber us two to one at nearly every turn. I can’t help wondering now if my actions two weeks ago were warranted. They information we received may help the Federation achieve even a minor victory.

“In the meantime, have I become the enemy I seek to destroy?”

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