AN: Alright, so I decided to rewrite the prologue for this thing in order to make it better and more digestible.

For reference, the Samuel B. Roberts class Heavy Cruiser is smaller than a Galaxy class Exploration Cruiser but larger than an Ambassador class Heavy Cruiser.

Stardate 514357

Operation: MIDNIGHT


Sol burns.

The entire Iconian Resistance were fighting their last stand, the failed Operation: Fracture, meant to end the war without using time travel has backfired. Now it was time for the final gambit to win the war, Operation: MIDNIGHT.

The ships of the Iconian Resistance were dying left and right, the vastly superior numbers and technology of the Iconian Heralds were taking their toll. But they weren't going quietly, for every Resistance ship that died in the cold and unforgiving vacuum of space, three to four Herald ships died. Even with that kill-to-loss ratio, the Resistance just didn't have the ship numbers to sustain those kinds of losses.

Combat was being waged in the gravity wells of the Gas Giants Jupiter and Saturn, with ships dying in droves as they fought in the shadow of the massive planets. In the asteroid belt, the Heralds and Iconian Resistance play a deadly cat and mouse game, weaving between asteroids and engaging in brutal knife fights. Over Mars, surface-to-orbit gun emplacements and orbiting defense stations work in tandem with numerous starships and defense drones to practically stonewall the Heralds. Over Luna, the Heralds had succeeded in landing in force and were clashing with ground forces while desperately fighting starships worked to prevent them from gaining orbital superiority. Over Earth, the Heralds had also succeeded in landing but they hadn't gained orbital supremacy because the surface-to-orbit gun batteries, orbital defense platforms, and the massive starbase that was Earth Spacedock.

Energy beams and torpedoes were being exchanged at rates that were quite frankly insane. It was to the point that the void was more energy beams and torpedoes rather than hard vacuum.

One of the many ships that were fighting and dying glided through the void of space like a predator with a length of 585-meters. The proud triangular saucer section flowed gracefully into a ventral stardrive section that at first glance could be mistaken for that of a Intrepid class, but the warp nacelles were abeam with the stardrive section and weren't variable geometry. Emblazoned in black lettering was the ship's name and registry number: USS Harekaze, NCC-1855-B.

Yet the ship was damaged, great gashes had been torn into her hull. The portside warp nacelle was flickering and leaving a trail of ghostly blue-white warp plasma in her wake. Her once pristine dark grey paint was tarnished and the stripes of crimson war paint that had adorned her saucer since commissioning now looked like bloody slashes, carbon scoring and craters from weapon impacts some new but several old marred it. Despite that however, the ship's heart still beat. From the ship's saucer mounted Type-X Phaser Arrays came six searing orange lances of nadions burst forth while from the forward warhead launchers that were still functional came six Quantum torpedoes.

The target, a distant Iconian Yuxa class Destroyer, already hurting from the battering it had received from the massively more powerful Type-XII Phaser Arrays and twin Type-U+ Quad Phaser Cannons on the Avenger class Battlecruiser Princess Royal was sent reeling by the impact of six phaser beams as they punch past the thing's battered armor plating. Several gouts of fire erupted from the thing's hull as internal atmosphere ignites.

The torpedoes struck several seconds later and the subtype of the Baltim class had it's bow completely eviscerated. Sending the destroyer tumbling through space, it's thrusters were firing frantically as the crew tried to regain control. They had just succeeded in doing so when ten phaser beams transected it's hull clean through it's beam. A moment later the fusion reactors blew followed immediately by the warp core, turning the ship into a short-lived star.

The source of those phaser shots was trailing nearly a five hundred thousand klicks behind the Harekaze and Princess Royal. A massive starship that was eleven hundred seventy-five meters in length, an Odyssey class starship, the flagship of the Federation Odyssey wing that the Princess Royal and Harekaze were apart of, the Independence. Flanking the behemoth was a Thunderchild class Escort Carrier, the Spearpoint.

Like the Harekaze, the Independence, Spearpoint, and Princess Royal were all sporting heavy damage. The most notable of which being the fact that the Spearpoint was missing a warp nacelle.

Phased Antiproton fire, harsh violet in color split the void, energy beams and packets racked across the Princess Royal and the Harekaze, their shields flaring as they struggle to keep out the lethal energies.

The Harekaze shudders as lances and packets of heat, light, and radiation slam into her shields. "Captain, Baltim raiders above us, six total, angling downwards." Mei calls from the tactical station, sounding simply exhausted.

Honestly, it wasn't surprising, ever since the failure of Operation: Fracture, we've all been run ragged. Fighting non-stop, no chance to do repairs for the last two weeks. The bridge showed it too; the two mission ops consoles were a wreck as was the astrogation console. "Mei, target the lead raider and fire at will!" Captain Suto Esumi, better known to Starfleet's Department of Temporal Investigations and the Galactic Union's Temporal Defense Initiative as Akeno Misaki, barks. The pain in her side flared as she took in a slightly too deep a breath, the expansion of her diaphragm aggravating her ribs which she was certain she had cracked at least two. She had thought that as being a Temporal Agent that dealing with Temporal Extremists was bad enough, but the Heralds were somehow even more annoying, difficult, and painful to deal with.

"On it!" Mei says as the dorsal phaser arrays thrums. Six lances of light shot forth and speared the lead pair of Raiders. It's shields flashes as they repel the phaser beams with ease.

"Conn, bring us about to heading zero-two-seven, up three-four!" Akeno orders as the phasers fire again, this time Mei's gunnery was off. Only four beams struck and the enemy ships wobble under the impact force, there shields visibly cracking.

"Yes ma'am!" The Tellarite at the helm station, Zoraann chim Dvond -called "Zora" by some members of crew- says in response, taping furiously on his display. The Harekaze groans under Akeno's feet and starts to swing around onto a new course, more gravitas than what she normally expects from such a maneuver bleeding through to the bridge.

"Ops, get a damage control team to the bridge interia dampeners." She orders as the Harekaze's forward phasers fire again.

"On it, Captain." Lieutenant Commander Gidall Klok, Son of Krelt, part of House Gidall answers before hitting a key and speaking into his mic. "Damage Control to inertia dampener control one."

On the tactical hologram, the Princess Royal adds her own fire against the incoming raiders, spearing one of the raiders with phaser beams and cannon fire from the ship's forward phaser arrays and twin-sets of quad phaser cannons. The firepower that the Battlecruiser could bring to bear is significantly greater then what the Harekaze has at her disposal.

And it shows.

The raider that the Princess Royal was targeting has it's shields break in seconds, the beams and energy packets rip into the Herald's hull. Secondary explosions ravage the ship, nothing the size of Iconian raiders could withstand the sort of punishment that an Avenger class Battlecruiser could unleash. With a brief flash, the raider disintegrates.

"Torpedoes incoming, the raiders are charging their main guns!" Mei calls as another salvo of phaser beams impacted the lead raiders. Finally cracking the shields, a moment later four Quantum torpedoes scream out of the number two launcher mounted on the saucer. While from the Heralds come a salvo of five torpedoes from each raider while their main guns begin to glow ominously.

More Federation weapons fire impact the flank of the Herald formation as the Spearpoint and Independence add their own fire. The eight beams from the Independence's Type-XV Phaser Arrays simply cause the targeted raider's shields to evaporate, the follow up strike from the Spearpoint's forward cannon batteries and arrays hits something critical and tears the two hundred fifty meter long craft in two.

Moments after that, the torpedoes from Harekaze and the raiders fly past each other. Still converging on each other's ships.

"Bring point defense up, reroute power from aft to forward shields, all hands brace for imminent heavy impact!" Akeno barks, with the state that the Harekaze was in, those spinal cannons would have little trouble ripping the ship apart. Of course, those torpedoes since they operated by creating an directed shockwave in subspace would deal some damage even with the shields up.

"Point-defense active!" Mei replies as the point-defense grid went active. From concealed positions on the hull, small dual turrets mounting a pair of Type-5U Phaser Pulse Cannons popped up, they target the incoming torpedoes and fire.

Bolts of orange light and radiation are thrown into void at surprising rates, rapidly creating a web of energy for incoming torpedoes to navigate. The Herald torpedoes took evasive action, with their maneuvers being solid, but against Federation point-defense turrets, they were insufficient. Harsh flashes of light erupt in the void as torpedoes were speared by orange-red energy bolts.

The forward phaser arrays thrum again, Mei had timed it perfectly to co-inside with the Quantum torpedoes impacting. One of the lead Raiders vanish in brief split second flash that bath their fellows in hard radiation and the other one develops a massive gaping hole near the main gun.

"Hell yeah!" Mei whoops gleefully.

"Nice work!" Akeno compliments with a smile on her face, as she braces herself for the quickly approaching heavy impact as she eyes the incoming dots that represented the enemy torpedoes, there was ten for both the Princess Royal and Harekaze. The tactical diagram was showing the Avenger class lighting up with point-defense fire as well. She has already come to the conclusion that they wouldn't be able to shoot them all down.

Then the herald raiders discharge their spinal guns, lances of fire big enough to swallow a shuttlepod scream across space. One shot smashes against the shields of the Harekaze and the other two spear the Princess Royal. The Battlecruiser's shields flicker and then dim.

Not good.

"Shields down to twenty percent, three torpedoes remain, ten seconds to impact!" Mei shouts as she grips the edge of her console.

Akeno hits the shipwide intercom while toggling the collision alarm. "Hang on everyone!" she yells.

The point defense phaser gunnery team manages to swat down two torpedoes and then the third one smashes against the shields. With devastating results, the Herald torpedo unleashes a devastating subspace shockwave directly into the Harekaze's shields and only stop one of the many pulses. Ablative armor, outer hull, and inner pressure hull along the starboard side from decks four to six rips itself asunder, the atmosphere explodes out of the ship in that area before two seconds later the force fields engage thus sealing the hull breaches. Leaving utterly demolished decks and compartments behind, conduits and relays blew out bathing passageways in burning plasma and hot debris. Damage control teams rush to the affected area while wounded crew head towards medical.

There was the shotgun like boom of a console exploding on the bridge. Deafening in it's noise level that makes Akeno's ears ring. Despite that however, it didn't block out Mei's scream of agony.

"I got gunnery control." Klok says loudly and the phasers thrum into being, spitting red-orange beams at the remaining raiders.

Akeno barely heard the Klingon over the buzzing in her ears, regardless she looked over her shoulder and spotted Mei lying on the floor, not moving, training from long ago took over and she went to quickly check on her. She had to suppress a shudder at the sight of the wounds that her Chief Tactical Officer and friend had suffered, but was relieved when she put her fingers to her neck and found a weak pulse.

The heat from the console's primary transformer exploding meant that Mei had suffered significant burns to her chest, back, and left arm, the right arm Akeno also noted was bent in a direction that she knew arms didn't bend. Mei's vacsuit had charred and appeared to have melted in some areas, fusing to her skin. The dozen or so new scuffs and chips in the paint means that it kept most of the shrapnel out, but she could see where it had failed to keep the shrapnel out it at least two locations as blood oozes out of the wounds.

Akeno taps her combadge immediately, it chirps in response. "Bridge, sickbay, I have a critical up here that has to be beamed directly to sickbay, second and possible third degree burns, shrapnel, and at least one broken bone!" she yells to be heard over the chaos, even from here she could tell that hit had caused some major damage to the ship.

"Roger." Chief Medical Officer Lieutenant Commander Tsuruoka Ryou, better known to Starfleet's Department of Temporal Investigations and the Galactic Union's Temporal Defense Initiative as Minami Kaburga, replies sounding frazed but surprisingly not exhausted.

Akeno looks at Klok who nods after a moment. "Ready for site-to-site beaming." he says.

"Energize!" She barks and Mei vanishes in a swirl of blue sparkles. Knowing that her friend is in good hands with Kaburga, she quickly comes up with a plan of action as she thought about those who was in succession for Chief Tactical Officer, after a moment she remembers who that is and taps her combadge again.

"Defense One, Bridge" Akeno says.

"Defense One here, what is it Bridge?" The surprisingly eloquent voice of First Lieutenant Srirr of second watch replies.

"Lieutenant, your now acting Chief Tactical Officer and needed on the bridge." Akeno says quickly.

The line is silent for three seconds and then the Lieutenant says something in Cait that her universal translator refuses to elaborate on and then he spoke up again. "Got it captain, on my way." he replies.

"I got power fluctuations in phasers one and two." Klok growls before keying his console mic. "Damage control to gunnery one and two!"

Akeno was about to ask for a damage report when two torpedoes struck the Princess Royal after slipping through her point-defenses and following the evasive maneuvers the battlecruiser was performing. The first torpedo detonates against the barest sliver of shields on the starboard side, the subspace shock wave causing the ship to visibly shudder as part of saucer near the ship's neck crumpled and came apart. Ablative armor, tritanium-duranium alloy hull plates, monotanium alloy armor plates, bulkheads, and decking all simply came apart as the blow sent the Battlecruiser's lights flickering.

The second torpedo struck near the wound opened up by the first torpedo. A noticeable ripple passed through the saucer, a considerable portion simply coming apart, before with a blinding flash a good two thirds of the saucer and neck vanish as the magnetic bottle on the fusion reactors for the starboard impulse drive blew. Sending the remains of the saucer section sailing into space and the stardrive spinning wildly before the later vanished as the warp core breached.

"Dammit." Akeno hissed out as the death flash from the Princess Royal faded. The retaliatory phaser fire from the three surviving ships quickly cuts the surviving Heralds apart.

The death flash from the last Herald had just faded when the Turbolift doors hissed open and Lieutenant Srirr walks onto the bridge and the Caitian pauses at the threshold his ears folding back rapidly in astonishment, then he went to his new station.

"Transfering gunnery control back to tactical. Shields are regenerating, captain I have to say that we're lucky that were holding together as it is, considering that all of the repairs we've made since Operation: FRACTURE are just jury-rigs, structural integrity is down to only forty percent, part of phaser one is inoperable, of our torpedo tubes only two, three, and six are still operational, we got hull breaches across multiple decks, port side warp nacelle is trashed, the list just goes on. At this point it's probably easier to list what doesn't need repairs." Klok replies.

Akeno sighs deeply "Zora, get us back to the Independence." she orders.

"Aye ma'am." he replies, tapping in the proper commands. Thrusters fire and impulse drive thrust exhaust is vectored, allowing the damaged ship to swing back to the Independence.

Akeno keys the comms line. "Harekaze to Flag, we're coming back to take formation on your starboard side." she says tiredly.

"Affirmative Harekaze. We got reinforcements coming, a Dominion Battle Squadron composition, one battlecruiser, two heavy escorts, and six strike cruisers." Commodore Jacob "Jake" Callighan replies. Akeno notes that somehow unlike her, he sounds tired but not outright exhausted.

"Just a battlecruiser, two heavy escorts, and six strike cruisers? Begging the Commodore's pardon but what sort of difference is that going to make if the Heralds do another big push?" Akeno found herself asking, she knew that she may have been out of line.

Jacob apparently decided to not comment on her possibly being out of line. "More than you think, the Dominion fight like bastards when it comes down to it and they aren't above underhanded tactics." he replies.

It made Akeno think back to the engagements that she had with the Dominion and realized that the Commodore was right in the fact that they weren't afraid to use underhanded tactics.

"Ah hell, Captain! We got a gateway opening, Quas class from the looks of it!" Srirr says as an alarm wails.

"not jegh qup Ha'DIbaH batlh!" Akeno hisses in response, slipping into one of her second languages.

"Flag to Harekaze, we'll engage that thing head on, I want you on the raider wolf pack that are bound to be with that thing, Spearpoint, I want your fighters going after the enemy fighters as well as probes while supporting us with your cannon and arrays." The Commodore orders.

"Harekaze copies." Akeno replies, before turning to Srirr. "Srirr, put our phasers on random remod after every shot. If we're lucky we can find the correct frequency that their shields on."

"Yes ma'am." The bronze furred Caitian replies.

"Spearpoint copies." The CO of the Spearpoint replies.

Akeno chews her lip nervously as from the gateway, the intimidating form of a Quas class Cruiser emerges along with about a dozen raiders, a destroyer, and a sizeable fighter swarm. The Iconian gun ports are already hot, glowing with malevenot energies.

There is a pause over the coms before finally the Commodore speaks. "All units engage." he says simply.

Immediately the Independence lights up with phaser fire, dazzling beams tinged in the colors of the rainbow streak across the void while torpedoes shriek from the forward launchers as the massive dreadnought accelerates towards her foe. Apparently the Commodore had the same idea that she did, find the correct modulation to allow their weapons to pass through their shielding.

"Zora get us in close! Sriss, engage!" Akeno barks.

"Locked on, firing now!" Sriss growls as the Harekaze rumbles to life and prowls forward. The forward phaser arrays thrum and beams lash out, setting the shields of our opponents aglow.

Phaser cannons and beams also tear into the Quas which has since opened fire in earnest at the Independence, but her CO has a good eye and the massive Odyssey class is already outrunning the deadly spinal gun of the Herald Cruiser.

"One raider down, enemy fire incoming!" Sriss says as one raider has its front end shatter as a magazine blows and the Heralds are returning fire. Lethal phased antiproton fire streaking across the void, they impact against the Harekaze's shielding and set it aglow with energy.

"Zora come to port to zero-five-five, up two-seven. Sriss load Tricobalt torpedoes, send these bastards to hell!" Akeno snarls as the raiders move in, ready to tear the ship apart as her shields start to buckle. But the Heavy Cruiser gives no quarter as phaser fire and torpedoes takes down two more raiders in rapid succession.

"Tricobalts loaded, locked on target. Firing!" Sriss says as the Harekaze seemingly screams in agony as the starboard shield facing buckles then collapses allowing antiproton fire to lace into her starboard nacelle, their is a dull yet thunderous boom and an alarm howls.

"Damage control to starboard nacelle!" Klok says after hammering a key on his console.

The return fire is brutal, phaser fire streaks out at the pair of raiders responsible for the hits from the dorsal and ventral saucer section arrays. The lead raider takes at least a dozen hits within as many seconds and it's shields collapse, the follow up salvo of phasers simply tear it apart. The ship vanishing in brief flash of light that's eye searing in it's intensity.

The forward launcher fires and a pair of gleaming white torpedoes scream forwards, streaking towards the enemy. Just before they impact, Sriss jabs the firing key and the phasers fire again and the shields of the second raider evaporate and a half second later the tiny vessel vanishes in a pair of brief but dazzling blue-white explosions.

Suddenly the spinal gun on the Quas fires and the Spearpoint vanishes from the plot and immediately afterward the Commodore swears loudly almost in tandem with Akeno.

That Dominion battle squadron better get here quick or else there won't be anyone else to reinforce. Akeno thinks as the Harekaze rocks as a new alarm blares. "Forward and starboard shield facings down!" Klok barks.

"Emergency power to shields!" Akeno says in response as antiproton beams spear the damaged ship and it quakes in sympathy. In response the phasers thrum again and a raider disintegrates under the hammering blows.

"Rerouting!" Klok responds tapping frantically before his console beeps at him and he curses quite creatively in the three or so languages that he knows. "The forward shield emitters are struggling to build any percentage worth a damn and the starboard emitters are completely fried! I don't know how much more of this we can take!" he says.

Akeno already knew the answer to that question and it was "Not much". Regardless the partial loss of shielding was bad. "Get damage control down there, we need those shields or we're screwed!" She says.

"On it." Klok replies before jabbing a key on his console. "Damage control to Shield Control One and Three."

Just when Akeno thought that it couldn't get any worse, it did when one of the departments delivered more bad news.

"Bridge, Ordnance, be advised we are down to fifteen, repeat one-five Quantum torpedoes and we are down to five repeat five Tricobalt torpedoes after that all you'll have left is phasers." The flat stoic voice of a Vulcan, a name that Akeno couldn't place says.

"Dammit!" Akeno growls under her breath as the Quas class burns under the unrelenting barrage from the Independence, the ship fires a spread of five torpedoes. Panicky counter-fire from the Quas manages to swat two and the remaining three impact. The big Herald warship erupts, debris getting thrown out at incredible velocities as something detonates within it's hull, but the ship is still fighting despite being effectively crippled.

"Five raiders and the destroyer are left, they are firing!" Sriss says as the remaining six Heralds fire and the Harekaze quivers as energy beams smash into her and a spread of torpedoes shrieks towards them.

The point defense fire lights up the void of space. "Zora defensive pattern Kirk Lamada Three!" Akeno orders.

"On it ma'am." The tellerarite replies frantically typing in commands. The Heralds fired their spinal guns and Harekaze seemingly screamed in agony as the beams carved deep gashes through the ship with a scream of twisting metal, a massive beam sheared and crashed to the deck as a sizable portion of the saucer was scoured by the beams. The howl of pain from Chief Petty Officer First Class Aynur Yakupov told Akeno that he had likely been hit by falling debris.

"Medical team to the bridge!" Akeno calls out.

The phasers thrum once again and one of the raiders has it's bow laid open to space while the other has one of it's protrusions sheared off and a moment later a pair of Quantums shriek out of the two fore tubes. The distinctive blue energy jackets screaming across the void of space as they home in on their targets.

"I can't swat all the torpedoes our point-defense has been heavily degraded, their maneuvering for proximity detonations!" Sriss says frantically as he taps away on his console.

"Just down as many as you as can!" Akeno says in a growl as Harekaze quivers as the raiders score additional hits with their antiproton beams, something crashes to the floor behind her with a roar. She could tell that the Samuel B. Roberts class Heavy Cruiser was on the verge of coming apart. The phasers thrum once more and an explosion erupts from the hull of the raider that had a protrusion blasted off that opens up at least half the decks on the portside forward to vacuum.

Then both raiders get hit by Quantums, one has it's front end shatter and the other vanishes in a core breach. The Spearpoint's surviving strike craft, a mixture of Peregrine class Strike Fighters, Gryphon class Aerospace Superiority Fighters, Javelin class Bombers, and Yellowstone class Runabouts are swarming around two of the Raiders which are frantically spitting fire trying to swat the angry bees around them. One raider is having it's hull blacken and buckle under the intensity of fire that the fighters are putting out despite it's shields while the other is desperately trying to disengage from the enraged swarm.

"Fifteen seconds till torpedo impact!" Sriss yells as he swats another torpedo, two left, he taps out more commands and the forward phasers fire again, beams of energy skewer the destroyer and it's shields flare but hold firm.

In retaliation the destroyer rakes the Harekaze with energy beams and the heavy cruiser rocks hard. The two torpedoes were flying in, the phaser turrets were desperately trying to get them.

Suddenly concentrated bolt of purple fire speared one of the torpedoes and then a flurry of beams and energy bolts streaked in as the Dominion warships dropped out of warp and engaged the surviving Heralds, the Quas flew apart within seconds and the raiders were in the process of being torn apart.

A moment later the last incoming Herald torpedo detonated.

For Akeno at least, she remembered being knocked off her feet and hitting something followed by blackness for a moment. When she came too, she could tell the damage was catastrophic. The Harekaze shook violently suddenly and more sparks and damaged conduits tore from the ceiling and fell to the deck. "Report!" she croaked out as she stood up.

"We're crippled ma'am. The torpedo proximity detonation caused the starboard nacelle to crumple like a tin can, so even though the warp core does still work we can't generate a stable warp bubble. To make matters worse the only part of the shield system that still works is the fore shields, navigational deflector still works somehow, and main life support has failed leaving us on auxiliary life support only. Phaser one and two along with torpedo tube two still work but I can't tell you how long they'll last and forget about point-defense, remaining phasers, and torpedo tubes three and six." Klok reports as the ship groans.

"Great" Akeno mutters she's about to key ship-to-ship comms when another gateway opens and out comes a major Iconian force centered on a massive spindly battleship, two Cruisers, and a pack of thirty raiders being led by five destroyers.

The remaining active ships react with breathtaking speed. The Independence blazes with phaser and torpedo fire as she attacks the battleship while alreadying taking evasive action to evade that massive spinal gun. Right behind her, the Dominion Battlecruiser also adds it's own fire, phased polaron beams spearing the inky midnight of space, the Dominion Heavy Escorts go for the Iconian Cruisers while the surviving fighters and Dominion Strike Cruisers engage the raider pack.

But already there is a break away from the engagement as bolts and lances of light along with torpedoes fly about the inky black. A single raider has managed to break free of the furball and begins bearing down on the crippled Harekaze.

"Sriss, what sort of condition is that raider in?" Akeno asks quietly as she eyes the incoming Iconian.

"It's shields are torn up badly and it's spinal gun has been knocked out, along with one of the forward warhead launchers, and it's aft warhead launcher. We can take it on, but we have got to be careful." Sriss replies, his tail flicking back and forth nervously.

Akeno took a deep breath, this would be Harekaze's last ride. The name Harekaze had a lot of history in Starfleet, the original ship to bear that name had been at Caleb IV, participated in several first contacts, and was destroyed at Wolf 359, the second ship had served in the Dominion War and had been destroyed by the Tal Shiar while on a mission of mercy into the Romulan Star Empire after the Hobos Supernova. She just wished that the third ship to bear the name could live up to the others.

"Klok, led off with a spread of tachyon bursts, Sriss send the bastard to hell." she said.

"Tachyon bursts ready, engaging." Klok says quickly after tapping his console and hitting the execute button. The deflector dish glowed then started flashing, bolts of blue light flew across the void and impact the raider causing it's shields to erupt into dazzling light.

"Locking on target, locked on, firing." Sriss said and the phasers thrum to life, four dazzling beams of light fly across the void and spear the raider.

The raider retaliates immediately, streams of phased antiprotons impact the Harekaze's shields and set them aglow. The raider is unrelenting in it's fire and keeps up the fire rapidly weakening the shields. Sriss hammers the firing key and more phasers streak out of the emitters.

"Forward shields at fifteen percent and falling." Klok announces as the cruiser shakes under the impact of more beams.

"Remodulate our shields! Status on enemy shields?" Akeno barks.

"Remodulating!" Klok replies as he taps in commands on his console.

"Enemy shields at twenty percent and falling." Sriss reports as the forward phasers fire again.

The raider yawed hard to port and cut across their beam, still spitting fire at the Harekaze. Akeno's eyes widened as she realized what it was trying to do.

"He's trying to out flank us, Zora keep our bow pointed at him if you can!" she barks.

"Working on it, but I am not sure if I can keep him on our forward arc." Zora replies as the phasers thrum again.

"Enemy shields on the verge of buckling!" Sriss whoops as the phasers impact and the enemy shield develops visible cracks.

"Torpedoes!" Akeno calls.

"Locked on target, firing!" Sriss replies as three torpedoes scream out of the forward tube and the torpedoes bear down on the raider.

Suddenly their is a flash of light and energy, the raider vanishes from the Harekaze's forward arc and rematerializes on her starboard flank. "Shit!" Zora yells before frantically maneuvering trying to get the raider back in the forward arc.

Then the Harekaze shudders and quakes. "He's aiming for antimatter containment!" Klok growls out.

"Zora try and shake him off, Sriss hit him if you can!" Akeno orders quickly as more beams tear into the Harekaze's wrecked hull.

"He's in the arc of the ventral saucer array, got a lock, firing!" Sriss replies and the ventral phaser thrum. Searing lances of light spear the raider and it's shields collapse immediately.

"Reading a power build up, he's likely going for a beam overload!" Klok reports.

"That's not good, Zora roll ship make antimatter containment as hard of a target as possible!" Akeno orders quickly.

"Hang on!" The telleraite answers and the ship groans as it rolls, to give the raider trouble.

A lance of energy stronger than the previous ones bursts from the raider and smashes into the stardrive, compromised armor, bulkheads, and decks provides barely any resistance. Numerous secondary explosions light up the ship as internal atmosphere ignites, ringing detonations tear through the ship.

"Heavy damage sustained across decks twelve through twenty across multiple sections, structural integrity critical!" Klok reports as the ship bucks from the internal explosions.

"Target his reactor, Sriss overload the emitters, dump everything you can into the phasers!" Akeno orders.

"Overloading emitters, locked on, firing!" Sriss replies as an alarm screams its cry as the phasers fire again, the amount of power had wrecked the focusing matrixes. But it was worth it, three lances of nadions each vastly more powerful than a standard blast streak out and smash into the raider. It vanishes in a pulse of light and radiation to the cheers of the bridge crew.

"Bridge, Engineering! We got a problem here, that last hit dealt major damage to us, we're in crisis mode! We're losing antimatter containment, warp core breach in five minutes!" The hearty rumble of Chief Engineer Boggs says.

Shit, not good. Akeno thought before keying the intercom. "Attention all hands, this is the captain, I am declaring General Order 13. All hands abandon ship, I repeat all hands abandon ship." she says tiredly, a new alarm wails.

Almost immediately afterwards, the voice of CMO Ryou came from Akeno's combadge. "Ryou to Esumi." she says.

Akeno tapped her combadge. "Esumi here, go ahead doctor." she says.

"We got too many wounded to feasibly evacuate on the shuttles, too many criticals that we can't move and too many who can't move under their own power." Ryou says in a firm tone.

Shit. Akeno thinks before replying. "I'll contact the commodore, according to the tactical hologram the enemy has been driven back for now, the Independence should have the space for our ship's wounded."

"Got it, I start preparing for a mass transport." Kaburga replies.

"Affirmative, Esumi out." Akeno says and the line goes dead.

"Boggs to Esumi." The rumbling voice of her ship's Chief Engineer emanates from combadge. Akeno's hand flies up and taps the combadge again. "Esumi here, what is it Chief?"

"I talked it over with everyone down here, we're not evacuating. We're going to buy as you as much time as possible, the core is going to breach and we can't stop it but we'll buy you as much time as possible by handling new occurrences as they happen." He rumbles.

Akeno starts to reply with a protest about how they'll be all killed but squashes it and goes for a different reply. "Thanks Chief f-for everything. I don't know where I would be without you."

Boggs chuckles deeply. "I don't have a clue ma'am. Probably dead or on a ship stranded in deep space."

"Probably, take care Chief." Akeno replies, getting misty eyed.

"You too, Boggs out." The line goes dead.

Akeno keys the ship-to-ship coms. "Harekaze to flag." she says.

"Flag here, go ahead Harekaze." Commodore Callighan replies.

"Commodore we've had it, our reactor is going to breach and Chief Engineer Boggs says he can't stop it. We're abandoning ship but almost everyone in sickbay either can't walk without assistance and too many in critical condition to evacuate. Think you can beam them over, sir?" Akeno asks.

"There's no enemy presence within weapons range, sure we can do it." The commodore replies.

"Thank you, sir." Akeno replies before tapping her combadge. "Esumi to Ryou." she says.

"Ryou here, go ahead captain."

"Is your staff and the various casualties prepared for site-to-site beaming?" Akeno asks.

"We're ready as we'll ever be." Ryou replies.

Akeno takes in a deep breath, the pain from her cracked ribs flaring up as she keys the ship-to-ship comms once more. "Harekaze to flag, we're ready."

"Affirmative, on your signal." The commodore replies.


"We got them!"

Akeno closed her eyes and exhales in relief, jabbing pain from her ribs flared but at this point she didn't care. A good portion of her crew had just been whisked away to safety. Now herself and the bridge crew had to escape the dying Harekaze.

"Let's get out of here." she says and the surviving members of the bridge crew file off the bridge, Akeno is the last to follow. Before she leaves the bridge, she looks one last time at the bridge. A tangled mess of blown out consoles, fallen support beams and conduits, as well as a small fire litter the bridge.

"Come on ma'am. We have to go." Klok says when he notices Akeno looking back at the mangled bridge.

"It just feels like we're leaving home is all. She was a good ship, got us through a lot of tight-scrapes. It's painful knowing that we won't ever set foot on her again." Akeno replies.

"I know, but we have to go now otherwise we won't be able to sing our praises of the ship." Klok says and Akeno sighs before following, passing through the security checkpoint that led to the bridge. Down a passageway and through a hatchway that slid open, continuing down that passageway until they came to the pair of escape pods for the bridge crew.

It's telling that both lifepods have well short of their full capacity. Akeno waits until the last person from the bridge crew that isn't her climbs aboard and then she steps aboard as well. She sits down, straps herself in and then the hatch seals. The RCS system that the pod is equipped with rumbles and the pod breaks away from the Harekaze's saucer section.

The aft hatch is equipped with a holographic viewscreen which snaps on after a moment. Akeno could make out several other tiny pinpricks of light pulling away from the dying cruiser, other escape pods that were burning hard for minimum safe distance.

Suddenly, the Harekaze vanished in a searing nova of light, heat, radiation, and dust as antimatter containment failed allowing several hundred kilograms of antihydrogen to connect with the inner wall of the antimatter storage units. Unseen by anyone else in the dim escape pod, silent tears ran down Akeno's face as she mourned the loss of her ship.

One thing that should be noted is that escape pods while they are very durable, they can't withstand weapons fire. Another thing is that once launched, the onboard computer handles almost all of the maneuvering, particularly during the landing sequence. Lastly, the sensor suite on escape pods while decent enough were only really usable for finding landing zones and evading debris when given ample warning.

Given the furball's intensity it meant there was a lot of debris that could be problematic to the pod if it hit it. Thus it was no surprise that suddenly the pod's thrusters fired to evade what had been the stern of a Yellowstone class Runabout and unknown to the occupants, wound up in the path of another piece of debris.

"Well Captain," Zora begins, his tone filled with bemusement. "This is another fine mess that you've gotten us into."

Akeno growls in response. "I am not in the fucking mood Zoraann."

The Tellarite for his part is wise enough to drop the bemusement when he speaks again. "Sorry ma'am, it's just well, we do have a tende-" he starts say and then he's gone.

One moment Zora, Sriss, and a noncom were sitting at the "bottom" of the pod in relation to Akeno and Klok. The next that entire side of the escape pod suddenly disappears with a brief but exceptionally loud scream of tritanium-duranium alloy shearing as its ripped away causing the internal atmospheric pressure to drop away to nothing in less than a second as it vented into space. Akeno's vacsuit seals instantly upon detection, the helmet closing around her and with a muted hiss the oxygen feed engages.

Why, why does this always happen to me? Akeno thought as the computer brought the pod's tumble to a halt. For the first time in her rather odd life, Akeno wished that she could be back in her original universe or at the very least her original timeframe in this universe, the 23rd Century, she cursed the day that she ever met Q.

Despite herself, the memories that had led up to this moment snuck up on her and she embraced them as she sought to remember how she had gotten here and just like that, she found herself in the past.