Star Trek: The Next Generation by S.A.M

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of TNG; I just use them to write a little story.

"Brace for impact!"

The sentence lingered in Deanna Troi's mind as the enemy torpedoes homed in on the USS Enterprise's hull. The fire projectiles seemed to drag slowly through the vacuum of space but ironically their speed was immeasurable. Although the main screen of the Enterprise was filled with static from previous damage, the image of multiple red torpedoes could be seen hurling themselves toward the weary crew of the Enterprise.

"Brace for impact!" shouted the starship's first officer.

The torpedoes smashed into the Enterprise with such fury, it sent most of the bridge crew tumbling to the hard deck. The only crewmember that managed to remain at his post was Lieutenant Commander Data. The android maintained his balance and steadily worked the operations consol. It was rather ironic how Data longed to be more human, but in situations like these, people longed to be more like him. Data was able to switch off his emotions at any time. The absolute fury of the attack coming from outside was almost too unbearable. Blood trickled down Deanna's brow as she pulled herself from the floor. Her hands were shaking violently and weren't much help for support. Fire engulfed the entire bridge. The crew of the USS Enterprise was in a reflection of what hell might have looked like. The constant bombarding of torpedoes continued their endless assault. Deanna's heart was racing. She could feel the utter terror that filled the minds of the rest of the crew. She sensed the sheer panic of everyone around her. The crew wondered if they would survive this onslaught and if they would ever see their loved ones again. Deanna's eyes began to swell with tears. Captain Jean-Luc Picard grasped the arm of the command chair and pulled himself to his feet. Smoke and fire obscured his vision but images could still be made out. He scanned the bridge with his eyes and cringed at what he saw. Ensign Lopez laid face down on the floor. His eyes were closed and blood spilled from his cheek. From what Picard could tell the young helms officer had been cut by a piece of the helm's shrapnel. Deanna slowly pulled herself from the ground and barely managed to retain enough strength to reach her chair. Commander William T. Riker laid face down on the floor as well but he seemed to have taken little damage. The first officer pushed himself up from the floor and quickly came to his feet.

"Damage report, Mr. Knight!" shouted Picard with anger burning in his eyes.

Lieutenant Andrew Knight quickly rose from the floor and retained his position at Tactical. The young man was a little shaken up but his training at Star Fleet Academy forced him to push down his emotions. He had a job to do and there was not a thing in the galaxy that would deter him from it. Knight's hands pressed down on the Tactical post and the readings flashed up on the screen. The young lieutenant's shoulders slumped with utter disgust.

"Shields down to sixteen percent. Hall breaches reported on decks seventeen, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, and twenty-four. Injuries are being report on all decks, sir."

Picard looked back at the screen. Static totally consumed the large screen. No picture could be made out. Damn, thought Picard, things couldn't possibly get any worse. The fire on the bridge began to blaze stronger. My mistake, Picard growled to himself. "Somebody put out that fire and computer turn off the siren, it's giving me a headache!" ordered Picard with aggravation sketched on his face.

Suddenly more torpedoes crashed into the Enterprise. The extremely damaged starship lurched from the massive attack. Riker grabbed his chair for support but was only partly successful. He slipped from the chair but managed not to fall face first to the ground this time. Lieutenant Knight tapped on his consol and focused on the problem at hand.

"Sir, we have three torpedoes and that's it. Our phasers have been totally destroyed and we have no hope in restoring them. Shall I fire the torpedoes?"

Picard could hear the rumbling of destruction around him. Everything about the Enterprise had changed. No longer was the Galaxy-Class Starship an exploration vehicle but a device of war. For the last four months that is all the crew of the Enterprise E had known. The Jem'Hadar, the Cardassians, the Vorta, and the Dominion had tried their damnedest to wipe the Federation from existence. From the looks of things around him, they were doing a pretty good job. How many Jem'Hadar ships were attacking the Enterprise, Picard thought. Three, four? Only God knew. Captain Jean-Luc Picard was tired. Tired of fighting, tired of running, and just plain tired. This was beginning to seem like the end of the road for Captain Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E. Surrender echoed in Picard's mind.

"Sir, shall I fire?!" forced the determined lieutenant.

More photon torpedoes blasted into the hull of the Enterprise and finally Picard spoke.

"Surrender."

Commander Riker flinched from Picard's response. Was he serious, thought Riker with disbelief in his eyes. The first officer turned to Picard.

"Captain, with all do respect," started Riker.

"You heard me, Number One. Surrender. We can't win this fight. It's over." Picard turned to Lieutenant Knight. "Mr. Knight, hail the Jem'Hadar and ask for terms of surrender" ordered the Captain of the Enterprise.

Knight's eyes widen a half a mile. He was in absolute shock from what he heard. Surrendering was unthinkable. The lieutenant would have rather died then to surrender to the scum that called themselves the Jem'Hadar. Knight turned to Riker who also seemed disturbed by Picard's order. Knight was hoping Riker would press the matter further but no such luck.

"You heard the Captain, lieutenant! Hail the Jem'Hadar and ask for terms of surrender," ordered the second in command.

Knight felt his spirit break inside himself. He couldn't believe what he was about to do. Knight could feel a lump begin to develop in his throat. He tried to swallow it down but the knot would not budge.

"Aye, sir," replied the confused tactical officer.

Lieutenant Knight tapped a few keys on the tactical pad and examined the screen.

"Hailing the Jem'Hadar ships," he informed.

After a few seconds which seemed like long hours, Lt. Knight tapped a few buttons on his post, and then turned to Captain Picard.

"Channel open Captain. The Jem'Hadar are listening."

Picard nodded to the tactical officer then turned to face the screen of the bridge. Riker rose from his chair and stood behind his captain. All the bridge crew's eyes were focused on the captain of the Enterprise. Picard sighed and began to speak.

"This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the star ship Enterprise. We ask for terms of surrender. We are out numbered and have no desire to fight. We are at your mercy."

The words lingered in the air. Every one, especially Lt. Knight, felt a knife pierce through their soul. How had it come to this, he thought, how could Captain Picard just give up? Suddenly, the stern voice echoed through the bridge.

"This is Gul Putok; I am a Cardassian Ambassador of the Jem'Hadar. We acknowledge that you wish to surrender. We ask that you lower your shields and prepare to be boarded. You are all prisoners of war. You will be treated fairly until your court hearing."

Picard turned to his first officer. Will Riker's face was blank. He had no idea what the captain was thinking. Surrendering was like Picard at all. The crew would rather die fighting then to become prisoners of war. The Enterprise wasn't meant to be captured. Deanna Troi could feel the pain the crew was feeling. It could be felt all across the bridge. Everyone was scared or nervous. However, Picard still gave off the feeling of hope. Troi was puzzled. What is he up to, Troi asked herself? Riker was still searching for answers. He looked at Picard with doubt in his eyes. Jean-Luc Picard only smirked and patted Riker on the shoulder.

"Don't worry Will. This fight isn't over yet." To Be Continued...