Outmatched Pt. 2

Lieutenant Commander Zors let his head bow down. His eyes closed, he prepared himself for the end. Regrets of things left undone flooded his mind. A flash of blue imposed it's self on the field of black, and he opened his eyes. He opened his eyes and saw. The Novo's warp core was on a slow intercept course with the Nehg'var. Zors shot up from the command chair. He ran forward to the helm and began keying in the sequence, praying that the ship had enough life left to do what he needed. The Negh'var resumed it's fire on the Novo, ripping holes into the saucer section. Ever so slowly the damaged RCS system brought the Novo nose on and upside down to the Klingon warship. An orange lance of phaser energy arced towards the warp core, and struck it. The resulting explosion was stupendous. Both vessels were sent flying away from one another, the Novo suffering more damage to it's already weak hull. Zors could hear the Novo hull groaning all around him. Quickly, he ran to a communication station.

"This is Zors. Location, near orbit of DV-44628. Engaged Negh'ver warship. Novo critically damaged. Heavy casualties. Negh'ver temporarily disabled by warp core detonation. Escape pods away, heading, DV-44628 surface. Will try to make for pod." Zors helped whomever he could find around the bridge that was still alive to the turbolift. Moments later their pod was away, and heading for DV-44628.
Sh'Riss was seated in his command chair, reviewing several of the science reports that had been submitted since the start of the Artemis' patrol mission a week and a half earlier. His First Officer, Commander Auzrin Kioli was doing a round of the bridge stations, checking in with the Alpha Bridge Crew and seeing what they were working on.

The first leg of the Artemis' journey had been quiet, consisting of scientific exploration and the occasional bit of assistance lent to merchant vessels here and there. They were currently cruising the border of the Sirius Sector Block and the Delta Volanis Cluster, investigating several subspace anomalies that had been affecting trade routes between Earth and several systems in the Beta Ursae Sector Block.

Sh'Riss deactivated the report he was reading and looked up and around. His Senior Staff were all hard at work, heads down at their stations. Kioli was just completing the first half of her loop around the Bridge and was making her way to the tactical station when the tell-tale tone of an incoming communication broke through the quiet ambiance of the Bridge.

Sh'Riss looked to his tactical officer, Commander Xenia Stryker, and waited patiently for her report, which came a second later. "Captain, we're receiving an incoming distress signal from a Starfleet vessel...or at least part of it, Sir..." she trailed off, tapping away at her console, clearly trying to learn more.

Kioli responded for her Captain. "Can you elaborate on that Stryker?"

The blonde tactical officer didn't respond immediately as she continued to key in commands to her console. Finally, she looked up and quirked an eyebrow as she addressed her superior officers. "Sirs, the message is fragmented, and there's not much cleanup we can do to it on our end. The damage they've sustained must be pretty severe to cause this much interference. I've determined the source and location of the signal." She paused her report here and glanced back down at her console, to confirm the information she was about to report on. "The signal is coming from the USS Novo. Starfleet records place the Novo in the Delta Volanis Cluster, reportedly searching for a planet suitable for colonization. Her last check in has her investigating a planet designated 'Delta Victor-44628'. According to our astrometric data on the region, that's where the signal seems to be originating from as well, Sirs."

At the end of her report, Sh'Riss stood up from his chair and made his way over to Kioli and Stryker at the tactical station. All eyes on the Bridge were now centered on Sh'Riss, waiting to jump in to action at his next orders. "Xenia, is the message worth playing, or did you report all pertinent information?"

"You've got all the information Sir," Xenia responded immediately. Sh'Riss nodded his acknowledgment of that as Kioli spoke up. "Are there any ships closer to the Novo than us?"

A Bajoran officer at the science station responded to Kioli's question without hesitation. "None, Sirs. We're the closest. There are several other Starfleet vessels in the area, but with our Advanced Slipstream Drive, we're definitely the shortest distance away from the Novo. We could be at their last reported coordinates in about 25 minutes."

Sh'Riss and Kioli both quickly made their way back to their respective chairs. On his way to the Command Chair, Sh'Riss began issuing orders. "Yellow Alert, shields to full. Weapons on standby. Helm, lay in a course for the Novo and engage at maximum warp. Once the computer has a slipstream course plotted, initiate the QSD. Stryker, send a response to the Novo, just in case they can still receive messages. Also, shoot of fa message to Starbase Argo and inform them of the situation. Doctor Stilonbog, report to Sicbay and prepare your teams for incoming casualties of an unknown nature." The Pakled Doctor nodded to the Captain as he hurried to the aft turbolift. Sh'Riss settled himself into his chair as his officers quickly and efficiently carried out their orders.

A few moments later, Sh'Riss felt the ship leap to Warp 9.97. After several more minutes, the view screen image showed a blue tunnel beginning to form directly in front of the ship. Shortly after, the ship entered a Quantum Slipstream and soon the Artemis was shooting through space, en route to planet DV-44628, and who knew what else...