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"Personal log of Admiral James T. Kirk. The readiness inspection team has transferred from the U.S.S. Lyon to the new starship the U.S.S. Vikrant. Admiral Rya, Captain Ramirez, Captain Mani and myself have been impressed with changes made in the Relan Sector, which is adjacent to the Romulan Neutral Zone. All installations, outposts and bases look to be more than ready if the Romulans try anything."
Kirk tapped the console control to stop the log entry and sat back to relax. Looking at the guest quarters he was assigned, he was a bit overwhelmed. The room was more like a luxury hotel than a starship. The honor was probably due to his recent reinstatement as an admiral. He smiled at the thought, it took long enough.
His thoughts were interrupted by the door chime. "Come," he said, then stood to greet the visitor.
The door opened to reveal Admiral Rya, smiling broadly. "Not bad, right, Jim?" He indicated the posh accommodation with a wave of his arm, then examined the room closely. "I may apply for shipboard duty again if this is what I get for quarters."
Kirk countered, "You and I are both permanently grounded, remember? You, because of your age and me, because I can't act my age." He finished on a smile then asked, "What brings you here?"
"Oh, yes! I almost forgot, dinner is served and I know where the guest dining room is." He acted as if it was a major accomplishment, but Kirk knew better.
"You used that extraordinary nose of yours... sir. I know your reputation as a 'chow hound.' Any way let's go, I'm hungry."
A short walk and a few minutes later, the two senior officers were enjoying a relaxed dinner in a large room, empty but for the two of them and a yeoman acting as hostess, waiter and personal assistant.
Kirk was sitting opposite of Rya. Behind the Andorian was a large viewing port and Kirk caught himself gazing at the star field from time to time. Their conversation ranged from academy days to shipboard duty and even family. It also included the not too infrequent interruptions by the dutiful yeoman, trying to be sure that all was well.
With her last visit, the table was cleared and Kirk assured her that they would no longer need her services. Then Rya began talking about his home world. Kirk half listened as he noticed a strange phenomenon, a distortion in the star field. He searched his memory, where had he seen that before? Then it hit him, the cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey at the Genesis Planet!
"Jim, are you okay?"
The question brought Kirk to his feet just as three Romulan ships de-cloaked, not much more than a stone's throw from the Federation starship.
Turning to see what upset Kirk, Rya began to speak just as the ship's klaxon rang out. That was followed by an excited voice on the intercom, "All hands to battle stations, red alert, red alert, this is no drill!"
The announcement was followed closely by several heavy impacts and the large ship rocked. Rya struggled to keep his 'sea legs,' "High energy weapons!"
"Yes, but none of those ships fired." Kirk was pointing to the Romulan ships in view. "That means there are even more." Looking at Rya he announced, "I'm going to the bridge, care to join me?"
Without answering, Rya followed Kirk at a trot through the nearby doors. On the way to the bridge, the pair noted several more heavy impacts, resulting in flickering lights and other minor problems. The ship was rocked violently just as they approached the bridge. As they entered the ship's command center, it was barely functional. Half of the people were already dead or injured. Circuits were crackling and the resulting sparks showered several consoles. Captain Blanchard was still in his seat, but injured and bleeding. He turned to relay an order when he caught sight of the two senior officers. "Can you lend a hand? I need a replacement at the science console and a helmsman!"
Immediately, Rya rushed to the science station and Kirk took the few steps to the helmsman post. He was dismayed by what he saw: burned circuits, damaged controls and very few active readouts. As he tried to sort through the mess, the ship took more impacts.
"Engineering, shields!" Blanchard waited for a few beats, then tried again, "Engineering, report!" The lanky Belgian cursed in his native language and was about to repeat the order when a very faint voice responded, "Romulans in engineering, intruder alert--"
Rya turned from the science station viewer to face Blanchard, "Not just engineering. By my readings, they're in auxiliary control, emergency bridge, security and three other sections. They're trying to take control of the ship!"
Kirk turned to face the ship's captain, "We can't let them do that. This is the newest ship in Starfleet. It holds many secrets, including us..." He left the statement unfinished but the implication was clear.
Nodding in agreement, the injured captain moved in pain, but rapidly to the communications console. "Lieutenant, have you contacted the Lyon yet?"
"No, sir, all signals are being jammed!"
The captain turned to the main viewer just as three more Romulan ships appeared.
The communications officer then announced, "The Romulans are calling for our surrender, sir." The fear in her voice was evident but so was her resolve.
The turbolift doors snapped open to reveal a disheveled Ramirez. "Romulans have taken the secondary hull. It's just a matter of time before they gain control of the ship's computers." As he finished, he leaned on a nearby console for support, nearly breathless.
"That tears it!" Blanchard made his way quickly the engineering console. "Computer, bring the self-destruct sequence on line. Recognize Blanchard, Yves, Captain."
The computer responded quickly, "Self-destruct sequence on line. Recognize Captain Blanchard, begin destruct sequence by entering code."
The ship was rocked again and now calls could be heard over the intercom from other ship sections announcing the presence of Romulans.
Blanchard rushed through the process, "Computer destruct sequence, alpha, alpha, zed, destruct."
Kirk recognized the generic Starfleet destruct code. Its use was intended for just this type of situation, when the ship's senior officers were unavailable. He leapt to Blanchard's side with Rya close behind.
The engineering console displayed the coded sequence and Blanchard turned to Kirk and Rya. "My senior staff is either dead or captured, I need help!"
"Computer, recognize, Kirk, James, Admiral. Sequence amended by Flag Officer under emergency condition, alpha, alpha, gamma."
Again the display reflected the command without challenge, recognizing the emergency condition and the presence of intruders.
Rya didn't wait, "Computer, recognize Rya, Calla, Admiral. Amend sequence by Flag Officer under emergency condition, alpha, alpha, delta."
The display added Rya's command.
Blanchard spoke loudly, so there would be no doubt of his intent. "Computer, final sequence, alpha, alpha, destruct alpha."
"Awaiting order for final countdown," the computer announced.
"No countdown, destruct now!" Blanchard turned to Kirk, "Sorry, sir."
Kirk shrugged, "Looks like I won't be able to collect my first paycheck as an admiral."
In the distance, he heard the scuttling charges detonating, but before he felt anything, he was surprised to see, Rya, Ramirez and Blanchard disappear in a transporter beam, then it overtook him as well.