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Weston had been monitoring the situation and already had Axn rerouting systems to boost the failing shields. "Already on it, sir, you should have 60% power... now!"
"Well done, bridge out!"
Smiling to herself, she focused on the warp engines. Mindful of the repairs on the port engine, she watched it carefully. So far, so good, she thought. However, the engines were being taxed beyond spec and the port engine was hardly up to spec. Just as she refocused, the ship took a major hit. "Good thing the shields were at 60%," she said to herself, "but there's still one more thing to do."
Across engineering, she heard a familiar cry and saw Axn on the deck, rolling in pain. Looking up, she found the cause of the injury. One of the control panels was throwing sparks and smoking. Auto suppression systems were off-line and several engineers from the Enterprise rushed to get the fire under control manually.
Axn, laying in a fetal position, writhed in pain. Weston went to him, rolling him on his back to check his injuries and blanched at the sight of the Andorian's face. He was beyond any first aid she could provide, so she jumped to the nearest intercom. Slapping the control with just a bit of frustration, she yelled, "Engineering to sickbay. I need assistance with a severe burn victim."
For a moment, she thought no one was there, then came a weak voice, "Help is on the way, sickbay out."
The Kitty Hawk took another major hit, causing the ship to roll considerably and made Weston lose her footing. Either the stabilizers or artificial gravity was failing, so she ran to check before the bridge could call again.
DeSalle fought to retain his seat in the command chair. "Mr. Chekov, status and position of nearest alien ship."
Adjusting the viewer on the science station console, the young officer responded quickly and crisply. "Port side, oh nine five relative at fifteen thousand kilometers, sir. His forward shield is weakening and engines are showing signs of strain."
Turning to Ferrell, DeSalle continued, "Helmsman, target shields with photon torpedoes, then the engines with phaser fire, in rapid succession. Do not give them time to re-establish shields."
Ferrell's fingers danced over the board, then nodded, "Ready, sir."
"Fire!" DeSalle almost spat the word. The Kitty Hawk lurched with the release of the torpedoes. As it did, the acting Captain spoke again, "Helm, ninety degrees to port, fire phasers as we bear."
Viewed from the Enterprise, the damaged starship was straining to maneuver, but managed to pull off the plan never the less. Phasers hit the alien dead center with devastating results.
Kirk had problems of his own, just trying to stay ahead of the other alien's attacks, but when Riley announced the Kitty Hawk's success, the captain sensed an opportunity and shifted his focus and plans immediately. "Belay previous orders. Navigator, steer two-four-five mark five. Helm, prepare to fire on the other alien now!"
As the Federation starship peeled away from the current opponent, the alien crew probably celebrated. The starship was retreating, running away, but their brief victory celebration was cut short when the Enterprise let go a full salvo of weapons on their comrades. First to fire were the main phasers and torpedoes, then came the starboard phaser bank. As the energy bolts struck the crippled alien, the engines flared up like a miniature super nova, taking the alien ship with it.
Watching the main viewer intently, Kirk tabbed his comm channel key with a slap, "DeSalle, get out of the area, now! I'm going back--"
Realizing what Kirk was up to, his original alien target had regrouped and pursued Enterprise, hitting from behind with a force equal to what the starship had just released. Fortunately, the Enterprise was better equipped to handle the barrage than the alien was.
As the Enterprise shuddered from the multiple impacts, Kirk swiveled in his seat. "Uhura, damage reports!" Turning slightly Kirk continued, "Status of the Kitty Hawk, Spock!"
Concentrating on the science station's viewer hood, the Vulcan made a few adjustments then related his findings quickly. "Shields are dropping steadily and port engine showing signs of stress, failure imminent and probably unavoidable."
"Captain," Uhura reported with brevity, "Mr. Scott states all systems weakening but holding at 81%."
Sulu now interrupted with the worse news possible. "More alien ships on the way, sir, closing quickly."
Kirk tensed, "How many?"
"Two more, sir, coming from two-five-nine, mark five."
Slamming his fist on the arm of the command chair, Kirk cursed loudly. "Damn!" Leaning forward, he studied the readouts of the command console. "Navigator, put us on a course between those two alien ships. Helm, target both ships, full phasers as soon as they are in range and continue firing as long as possible."
Both men snapped to work as Kirk tabbed the intercom, "Engineering, all possible power to the phasers, now!"
A very tired Scott responded, "I'll need to pull the power from somewhere else, sir, and right now, most of the reserves are being used to reinforce the shields."
"Take it from the aft shields, Scotty."
Scotty responded without question or hesitation, "Aye, sir."
"Ready on phasers," Sulu announced. "Nearing optimal range."
Kirk stood and studied the main viewer intently. Then stepping forward, he placed a hand on the helmsman's shoulder. "Hold it, hold it... fire!"
Port and starboard phasers lanced out and created an intense glow against both alien shields. The twin beams remained at full strength for an extraordinary time, overheating controls and emitters alike.
"Direct hits, shields reduced on both ships by 30%," Spock noted.
As the aliens moved out of range, the Enterprise peeled away quickly to protect its vulnerable stern. Kirk didn't need to worry as the aliens were focused on the retreating Kitty Hawk. The attempt to distract or delay the newly arrived reinforcements proved futile. All alien ships now teamed up to attack the weakened Kitty Hawk and he sat hard in the command chair.
The attackers' determination was admirable and Spock said so out loud, to himself. That triggered a thought in his subconscious mind and many, deeply buried impressions, began to rise.
On the Kitty Hawk, Leslie turned to DeSalle, "They're trying to box us in, sir! Recommend course oh-four-oh, mark twenty."
"Proceed!" DeSalle then punched the intercom, "Engineering; status."
Following a brief pause, Weston spoke in a strong, unwavering voice. "Shields are down to 45% and dropping fast. Port engine beginning to fail; we are attempting to rectify both situations."
"Understood, Commander, keep me posted."
"Aliens in pursuit, sir," Farrell announced.
Lines of concern showed on DeSalle's face, "Evasive, Lieutenant. Let's see if we can buy engineering some time for those repairs."