Dedicated to John M. Ford for all the obvious reasons.Table of ContentsLancer
rocked as lasers tore into her port shields. Squadron Leader Kardon barked an order. "Roll on axis one hundred eighty degrees. Zan
Kolenth, give them a taste of the tertiaries. Turn the ship twenty-two mark ten."
"Acting," said Lieutenant Krevon at the helm, turning the ship starboard as he rolled the ship and brought her more heavily shielded side to face the heaviest fire. Zunnati destroyers were swarming around the Klingon vessels, trying to avoid the heaviest firepower of the battlecruisers that had shattered their heavier brethren and bring their weapons to bear on where the Klingon's shields were weakest.
"Acting," said Lieutenant Kolenth. The tertiary disruptor batteries were placed on the battlecruiser's hull to give near total coverage. They lacked the power of the primaries or secondaries, but against Zunnati destroyers they were devastating.
The Zunnati destroyes were crescent shaped, with warp nacelles trailing along the horns of the crescent. The mid section housed laser cannons, which fired beams warp accelerated into the delta frequencies, and the accelerator cannons that launched fusion torpedoes. Against the other inhabitants of their star cluster the Zunnati ships were matchless, the sure striking sword of a star empire. Against Klingon battlecruisers they were meat.
Green fire from two disruptor emitters on Lancer's
upper hull struck a destroyer dead center. The beams blew through the destroyer's shields and hull, sending a plume of fire and debris into space from the gaping wound. The wounded ship begun an evasive course that would take it behind the Klingon squadron.
Kardon stabbed images on the repeater screens by his chair. "Aft torpedoes, finish the wounded. Weapons, primaries on that one, torpedoes that one."
"Acting," responded Senior Gunner Kaan. The primaries, the array of disruptors clusters around th wing-edge and warp nacelle area, sent blazing beams into the Zunnati ship. It exploded almost instantly, transformed into a blazing matter/anti-matter reaction. A torpedo launched from both the bow launcher and the the weapon pod mounted on top of the primary hull. Another Zunnati ship was blown apart.
"Enemy ships moving to concentrate on Khaless's Hand
," warned Arkehd from his post at the science station. The squadron was deployed in the trailing V formation, with Lancer
a the point of the V and trailing her fellow ships by five thousand kilometers.
Krevon, bring us about two eighty mark zero", ordered Kardon. "Zan
Kaan, stand by with all weapons. Zan
Krevon, use the tertiaries to keep them off of us. Chief Engineer, more power to the disruptors."Lancer
swung to port, leaving the wreckage in her wake. Her course change brought a Zunnati ship within the firing arc of her rear torpedo tubes. From his station near the back of the bridge, Kolenth fired a spread of torpedoes. Two impacted on the destroyer's port nacelle, blowing apart the entire nacelle/wing array.
"Targets acquired," said Senior Gunner Kaan as Lancer
came to face the Zunnati swarming Kahless's Hand
is signaling that they are moving to support us," said Azrithel from the communications.
Kaan. Target secondaries and torpedoes on the Zunnati cruiser. Primaries at your discretion."
"Acting," said Kaan. The delta wing shape of the Zunnati cruiser, one of the only large capital ship to survive the initial klingon torpedo volley and the subsequent closing engagement, was firing on Khaless's Hand
from low port. Delta ray lasers and fusion missles raked the battlecruiser's shields. Even the newest and most powerful battlecruiser designs in the Imperial Klingon Navy had their limits and Khaless's Hand
was approaching hers.
secondaries fired, searing beams shot from the command module and struck the Zunnati cruiser dead one. Torpedo salvos fired from both forward launchers. Four struck the wounded cruiser and it exploded. Khaless's Hand's
shields withstood the blast and the cruiser began to rotate on access. Several Zunnati destroyers were not so fortunate, their shields completely overloaded by their proximity to the explosion. They began frantic evasive maneuvers.
A Zunnati destroyer dived at Lancer
from above and starboard, its zig-zag course allowing it to evade fire from Lancer's
tertiaries. Lasers licked at Lancer's
shields and a fusion missile struck home.
Kolenth, dispose of that one," ordered Captain Kardon. Kaan triggered Lancer's
primaries at the wounded destroyers. The portside beams sliced off starboard wing of one of the destroyers and then the port wing as well, leaving the ship to tumble through space. The starboard disruptors sliced through the engineering section of another destroyer and blew it apart.
the weapons," said Kardon. The diving ship swooped underneath Lancer
, firing lasers again and evading Kolenth's return fire. "The klin
lives in that one," said Kardon. The ship swung around Lancer's
other side. The Zunnati destroyers could move, whatever their other deficiencies.
Unfortunately, its luck ran out. While it had managed to evade Lancer's
fire, it ended up within the fire cone of Death Dealer's
primaries. The battlecruiser cut the smaller ship to scrap.
"Surviving Zunnati ships are making a break for warp," announced Arkehd.
"Do not pursue," ordered Kardon. One trick the Zunnati were good at was leaving fusion bombs in their wake to discourage pursuit when they went to warp. "Finish off the remaining ships that don't surrender. Zan
Kaan, generate a firing solution for long range torpedo bombardment of their orbital defences. Communications, inform their government that their fleet has been defeated and their orbital defences will soon be destroyed. Perhaps they will reconsider surrender now that their homeworld lies defenceless before us."