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#13539660 Nov 23, 2017 at 10:07 PM
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43 Posts
Two weeks ago, Alpha Quadrant, the Tzenkethi Front...

"All batteries, fire at will!"

The I.K.S. Hammerhead rocked again as another barrage of tetryon particles slammed into her port shields. The command ship was battered, bruised, bleeding atmosphere, and loosing hull integrity. But she was still fighting. Briar, her captain and Marshal for the Klingon Empire, stood steady as a rock on her command bridge, barking orders in a deep bass growl.

He was, admittedly, a little angry. These Tzenkethi were tenacious, no matter what else they said. But where he was holding this flank on his own, the enemy had acquired reserves.

Reserves that, Briar reminded himself with wicked satisfaction, now mostly lay in the Hammerhead's wake as nothing but salvage and radioactive scrap. That still left one Rhas'bej battlecruiser facing them down, however. While this was how the fight had started, Briar's ship was dealing with significantly more damage than before.

Another explosion rocked the command ship, and Briar grunted as he watched a diagnostic flip to red, more alarms adding their shrill cries to the cacophony.

"Sir! Port side shields are down, and we've taken a hit to the port nacelle! Hull breach on deck 4, 5, and 7! Fires on deck 6 and 9!"

Briar growled again, eyeing the ship schematic and planning the fight ahead. He wasn't good at this whole space tactics thing, but once you got down to it, the general tactics were the same. And in this instance... That last hit flipped his estimations from a victory to, well, not. He knew what the enemy was doing. They were picking his ship apart from range, planning to kill him bit by bit. A statement, not a real fight.

"Maybe today is a good day to die after all..." The big gorn muttered in an almost sub-sonic rumble, re-evaluating the situation. Didn't seem to be anything for it, so the decision was easy.

"Helm! Full impulse, and bring our nose around! Put our prow right into their face!" Briar snapped out, and walked around to the rear of his command chair. A couple of taps on the arm, and he had the intraship comm open. This one, everyone needed to hear.

"All right you grubs! The Tzenkethi have decided they don't want to settle this ship to ship. They want to focus us down bit by bit, slowly, agonizingly, and in full view of the Alliance. They want to send a message to us, to the Alliance, that we cannot stop them. Well, you know what we say to that?"

Briar waited a beat for the realization to cross his bridge officers, and his own face lit in a feral, tooth-bearing grin.

"Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!" The chorus from the bridge was thunderous, and echoed by as many crewmen of the ship as could join the classic klingon battle cry. Say what you will about the Empire and their honor, they sure could pick phrases.

"I want every Bekk with a disruptor in their hands and a breath mask on their face." Briar continued into the comms, grabbing his own stash of weapons and gear, tucked behind his command chair. "We're going to bring this fight to the Tzenkethi."

"But, Sir..." Briar's science officer spoke up softly from his own place. The other was, to his credit, still grabbing his weapons. "Haven't we already?"

The big gorn only grinned wider. "Oh no, Commander. Not how they expect."

The I.K.S. Hammerhead pulled a very neat turn, the fact that the bridge crew could feel it a testament to the damage they had sustained. But on this new course, the Tzenkethi battlecruiser began to grow larger on the main screen.

"We're boarding." Briar told his officer with a huge grin, before settling his helmet over his head, and hiding that grin behind the the Honor Guard mask.

In his ship, an entire battalion of Honor Guard were likewise arming themselves.
Chi@grgrafitti: *cackles* Oh man I can't wait to see the crater we make!

Zorim@fulgin: Compensating for the asymmetry in the warp field.

Dekan@kanekasier: Helm. Helmplease.

Rori@zanethesage: This is gonna be a photo finish!

Chi@grgrafitti: Hehehehehe! Everyone throw your hands up in the air before we crash, best black box footage ever!

Dekan@kanekasier
: Helmwhy
+1
#13540414 Nov 24, 2017 at 11:28 AM
Members
43 Posts
The Hammerhead's bridge crew had, against all odds, drilled for this. The command ship dropped all shields but the forward arrays, and dumped all the remaining power into it. Weapons were taken offline, and shunted to engines. The Hammerhead lurched forward like a drunken sprinter, and burned a path towards its enemy.

The Tzenkethi figured out what was about to happen, of course. They weren't stupid. But they only had two actions they could take with the command ship bearing down on them. They could either fight or dodge, with both having counters Briar had planned for. If they turned and tried to avoid the collision, well... The Hammerhead wasn't exactly on autopilot. If they turned to face him...

The Tzenkethi battlecruiser turned towards the oncomming ship, bringing its own primary arms to bear, and opened fire. Briar's ship bucked with heavy impacts, but the damage at this point was minimal behind the reinforced shield array. Their fire took on an uncoordinated air of desperation as the Klingon ship drew closer, firing faster, but they didn't have quite enough to stop the laws of physics.

Briar stood behind his helmsman, gripping one of the support beams, and watching the main screen. Timing on this tactic was everything, and he'd drilled this one relentlessly when it came up in combat readiness exercises. Their shields had to hold to get them in, but if they stayed up at the moment of impact, the two ships would just skate off each other. With some pretty impressive damage, of course, but it wouldn't be a clean drop. They had to keep their shields up just long enough to survive, and just enough to drop their enemies shields, and then shunt everything to the structural integrity field. But as stated, timing was...

"NOW!" The big Marshal roared.

There was a moment where the whole world seemed to scream. Shields dropped, not fully, but just enough to take advantage of the Tzenkethi's weaker forward screens. The two died in mutual annihilation, leaving both hulls bare. Power runs overloaded on both ships, shook them to their core.

And then, in the next instant, they hit.

The deck seemed to shift under their feet, and a massive force tried to pitch everyone aboard forward. The sudden loss of velocity as the nose of both ships crunched into each other resulted in forces not even the inertial dampers could cancel out. Crew, and equipment, flew forward under the sudden stresses.

Except Briar.

With an effort, and a grip like duranium, Briar stood standing at his post. It wasn't easy, but nobody ever said it would have been. His helmsman, although sprawled over his console, had not flipped entirely across it. More because his legs had been stuck under the console than any conscious decision, but points for standing his post. The gorn chuckled, and pulled his helmsman up to his feet.

"Come on, Warrior. On your feet. We've got a ship to take."
Chi@grgrafitti: *cackles* Oh man I can't wait to see the crater we make!

Zorim@fulgin: Compensating for the asymmetry in the warp field.

Dekan@kanekasier: Helm. Helmplease.

Rori@zanethesage: This is gonna be a photo finish!

Chi@grgrafitti: Hehehehehe! Everyone throw your hands up in the air before we crash, best black box footage ever!

Dekan@kanekasier
: Helmwhy
+1
#13546787 Nov 28, 2017 at 11:50 PM
Members
43 Posts
The two battle ships spun in a lazy arc after their collision. They had locked together, superstructures entangled, and the momentum had set the new pair adrift like a binary system. Impulse engines glowed, flickered, but weren't directed to try and move either. For a moment, all was quiet. A pause in the fighting between the two ships. as if the universe was catching it's breath.

It didn't last, of course.

Assault shuttles boiled out of the Hammerheads flight deck, moving rapidly under the arc of the tzenkethi ships weapons. Their business was with the tzenkethi engineering decks; the reactor in particular. They would fly to the rear, clamp on, burn their way through the hull, and disgorge their deadly cargo of Honor Guard assault troops.

Transporters came to life, beaming squads into any open space the Hammerheads damaged sensors could still find. Their job was simple; cause chaos.

Briar was leading the third group of boarders. They didn't get assault shuttles or transporters. Their route was, in fact, much more direct.

They walked.

This wasn't the first time Briar had taken advantage of the limited EVA ability of the Honor Guard uniforms. Stifling as they got, they could still last a few minutes in hard vacuum, which was all Briar needed. They avoided the damaged sections of both ships, pushing the limits of their armor, by exiting the Hammerhead and walking along the top of its hull. Access to the tzenkethi ship was just as simple, in terms of actions, if not in means. A breaching charge punched a hole into one of the damaged sections, and then they entered through one of the security screens. And then they were inside.

The first bulkhead was unlocked, the section protected by two others and a force field, so it wasn't necessary. Confusion still reigned, so nobody was giving accurate orders. The tzenkethi soldier, occupied with repairing a damaged control run, turned at the sound, saw the massive armored form of a gorn in Honor Guard armor, and let out a challenging roar.

Briar stepped through the door, leveled his weapon, and blew the soldier into constituent atoms before the other had managed to bring his weapons up.

"Warriors, on me! We move for the bridge!" Briar barked to his squads, filling the halls behind him. And with his weapon pointed to lead the way, a scavenged point defense cannon normally found on starships, the big gorn was ready to face down anything. If borg, vaadwaur, and iconians hadn't been able to stop Briar on the warpath, he doubted the tzenkethi would manage.
Chi@grgrafitti: *cackles* Oh man I can't wait to see the crater we make!

Zorim@fulgin: Compensating for the asymmetry in the warp field.

Dekan@kanekasier: Helm. Helmplease.

Rori@zanethesage: This is gonna be a photo finish!

Chi@grgrafitti: Hehehehehe! Everyone throw your hands up in the air before we crash, best black box footage ever!

Dekan@kanekasier
: Helmwhy
+0
#13724969 Apr 07, 2018 at 02:31 PM
Members
43 Posts
The boarding action only lasted twenty minutes, when it was all said and done. It just felt like it took hours.

Well... Briar thought to himself. No, what it feels like is two torn muscles, a perforated lower liver, and about... He paused to count the surface wounds on his front. Twelve major tetryon burns.

The big gorn hid a wince as he stepped forward to take better position on the command platform of the Tzenkethi bridge. Trailing the command group medic, still trying to treat the injuries their Marshal had sustained taking the ship, he reached out and leaned on the command console. A bit more heavily than he was comfortable with, but he didn't let on.

"Don't the tzenkethi believe in chairs?" He growled to nobody in particular, watching the tactical display in front of him flicker and sputter. The ship was beat to hell and back, both inside and out at this point, so the fact that it still held atmosphere was enough to impress the Marshal.

"At least they don't build everything for midgets." He shifted his weight to his good leg, letting the medic start applying the dermal regenerator to his one serious leg wound.

---

"FORWARD!" Briar bellowed, and his troops joined in the cry with their own voices, adding to the din of the combat. Disruptor bolts crackled down the hall, passing the bolts of tetryon energy of their enemies answering fire. The exchange didn't last long, since the range closed to melee after that. One would think that engaging tzenkethi in hand-to-hand would be a loosing proposition, but Briar's troopers were honorable warriors of the Empire. Klingons in particular forever longed to engage at this range, and the sudden onslaught of blades wasn't what the defenders had been expecting.

Briar himself waded in behind the front line, taking careful shots with his cannon, or swinging the hefty thing like an over-sized mace if the range was too short. Briar's team cut through the resistance in a spearhead, more of his troops flowing in behind them and either focusing down pockets of resistance, or securing those that gave up the fight. Not a favorite task, to be sure, but Briar did not reward the killing of prisoners.

---

Their progress hadn't been without incident, of course. A dedicated counter-attack had met Briar's charge just a few bulkheads short of the bridge, and the massed repeater fire had wiped out the gorn's first line troopers. And had been responsible for most of his current tetryon wounds, Briar was reminded by a twinge from the score that pockmarked his chest and abdomen.

Granted, his answering micro-torpedo volley had done much worse to that particular push, and his own reinforcements had caught up before the tzenkethi could regain the momentum. It hadn't been all that long before Briar had stood before the bridge bulkhead itself. And hadn't bothered with a breaching charge that time.

---

The bulkhead melted under the assault of Briar's cannon, the series of rapid-fire shots cutting through the door with effort, but diffused enough by it they didn't go through the rest of the bridge. Briar was, of course, first through the shimmering heat haze of the fresh damage...

And was met by the charging tzenkethi captain. The two lizards impacted like old earth locomotives, and rather effectively blocked the rest of Briar's men and women from entering the bridge itself. Granted, it also prevented the rest of the tzenkethi from leaving, so the stalemate was still even.

The fight itself was a staple of all such engagements. While both sides tacitly chose not to intercede on the behalf of either party, the actual fighting didn't take all that long. Briar and the captain wrestled for control of the Marshal's cannon, Briar quickly giving up on controls and the tzenkethi dedicating his lower arms to trying to get a grip on the same. The aim wavered at the ceiling for a few long moments, before Briar smashed his head into the captains and bought himself a plan.

Not a good plan, but it worked.

Switching his grip from the butt of the cannon to its barrel messed up the tzenkethi's attempts to grab, and with a wrenching twist Briar finally ripped the gun from the captain's grip. And then promptly flipped it around, and swung the other way. The grip was awkward and slippery, not to mention painful with how hot the barrel was, but the meaty thwack of the blocky grip end impacting with the captain was immensely satisfying.

Briar's grip didn't last, however, not with how forcefully he'd swung his prize weapon like a great-club. That bit of equipment went sailing off to the side, and let the gorn charge in with fists against his battered opponent. His quickly recovering opponent, Briar noted in satisfaction. This would be a good fight.

They traded a few blows, although even the tzenkethi's more muscled upper arms didn't really have as much effect on the other lizard as that captain might have hoped. Still, Briar was entertaining thoughts of forcing a surrender from the tzenkethi, rather than just killing him. Until one of the captain's lower arms pulled a wicked looking needle-point blade from his harness, and jabbed it into the Marshal's gut.

---

Briar's mouth curled in a snarl when the medic stuck the medical probe into that particular injury. The blade had gone rather deep, and then sprouted serrated spines. Which wouldn't have been too bad, actually, if Briar had been able to free a hand and keep the blade stuck in there. But the gorn had discovered engaging in a knife fight against an opponent with four arms when you only had two was a bit unfair.

However, the captain had made a mistake. He had assumed the knife in the gut would have put the gorn out of action. This proved to be... Problematic. For the tzenkethi.

---

The knife had come out with a lot of blood, it was true. But it also drew an enraged roar from Briar, which was clearly not the reaction the tzenkethi had been expecting. The fight got intense, after that. Instead of wrestling over a modified point defense cannon, they were wrestling over a knife. The blood didn't help either of them keep a grip on it, but that didn't seem to matter to to the gorn. At this point, he was just too furious.

He didn't loose any fingers, somehow, and the few cuts on his hands didn't matter compared to the injuries he'd already taken. Suddenly the point of that serrated blade was pressing against the tzenkethi's hide, and not biting into Briars. The captain kept his stronger upper hands locked around the gorn's wrists, fighting against the pushing pressure as the awl-like point pressed against his neck, and fought with his lower arms raining blows on Briar's hide. Unfortunately for him, Briar was almost the definition of gorn; strong, tough, slow but irresistible as a steamroller.

The long seconds passed, after the blade had sunk in deep, and the tzenkethi's struggles grew weaker and weaker. When they ceased, Briar let go of the knife, and let his foe sink to the ground. Alarms still blared, but the crew were all silent. Even his own. Knowing he was needed, Briar staggered forward again, eyes glinting, staring down any challenge.

"I claim this vessel, in the name of the Klingon Empire, by right of conquest!" He bellowed, standing firm and almost literally planting his presence on the bridge. "This ship now belongs to me! You can submit, and be turned over to Alliance command as prisoners of war, or you can resist, and die gloriously. Any takers?"

He gazed around, looking for someone, anyone, to say anything.

Nobody did. With a grunt of satisfaction, Briar gestured to his reinforcements.

"Get them off my bridge." His crew, swelled with the glorious battle and victory, hastened to obey.

---

"You're lucky the Alliance has been sharing their medical technology with us." Briar's medic stated dryly, at another involuntary flinch from the Marshal. "Just last year, I'd be carting you back to sick bay and gluing you back together over the next hour."

"I am aware, Medic." Briar grumped, twinges of pain flashing through his lower abdomen as the probe rooted around, mending the lacerated organs and internal bleeding before that, of all things, killed him.

"Fortunately for you, I can treat most of this right here."

"Fortunately."

"My recommendation, however, is bed rest for the next day or so. Probably less."

"Mmnph."

"Light duty only for a week."

"Grmph."

"And try and stay out of knife fights with tzenkethi in the future? They cheat."

"Hmph! I'll admit, I hadn't been expecting that." Briar laughed, briefly. Everything, well, most things still hurt. "But think of what we got in return."

A whole tzenkethi battleship. Or at least, most of one. They'd have to drag it back to the yards before they could use it again, but still. The fact that they had one made Briars fingers itch. And it wasn't because the medic was running the dermal regenerator over his hands.

Even if it cost him every favor that was owed, Briar was keeping his prize. He liked the old Hammerhead, to be sure, but this? A prize enemy battleship? Oh to be sure, he was going to be keeping this one for himself. The yard hands could pull whatever they wanted from the computers, work over the engineering specs, take whatever information they wanted. But at the end of the day?

The ship was his.

"Gotcha." Briar grinned, gazing possessively over his new bridge.
Chi@grgrafitti: *cackles* Oh man I can't wait to see the crater we make!

Zorim@fulgin: Compensating for the asymmetry in the warp field.

Dekan@kanekasier: Helm. Helmplease.

Rori@zanethesage: This is gonna be a photo finish!

Chi@grgrafitti: Hehehehehe! Everyone throw your hands up in the air before we crash, best black box footage ever!

Dekan@kanekasier
: Helmwhy
+0
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