STAR TREK: Endeavour: "Grendel"
by Rigil Kent
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13 … language, violence, and adult situations.
Summary: Sequel to Endeavour: Acheron. As Starfleet reels from their crippling defeat at Acheron, the war comes to Sol...
Disclaimer: "I only own these two hands. I will die a pauper..."
Author's Note: Big thank you to Quinn for her beta. An immense thank you to Chrisis1033 for his fantastic "covers" for the previous fics (visit my website to see 'em). I'd be remiss if I failed to thank Kevin Thomas Riley for giving me astounding assistance throughout the creative process.
The revised look of the Endeavour was originally developed by Mark Ward for the NX Class Mod Pack for Bridge Commander, although it was credited as the NCC-05 Atlantis. Mr. Ward has graciously given me permission to use this "skin" for the look of Endeavour – if I had discovered this thing before writing Vigrid, the -06 would have looked like this all along.
This is the sequel to Endeavour: Acheron. It'll be a little difficult to follow without reading that first. Like my previous fics, I'm writing this as prose and using the basic screenplay format (Teaser + 5 acts).
Dramatis Personae – UES Endeavour (NC-06)
Commanding Officer (CO): Charles Tucker, III - Captain (CPT)
Executive Officer (XO): T'Pol, also Senior Science/Sensor Officer (SCI) - Commander (CDR)
Chief Tactical Officer (TAC): Heinrich ("Rick") Eisler- Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR), 3IC
Chief of Engineering (ENG or ChEng): Anna Hess – Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR), 4IC
Senior Helmsman/Navigator (NAV): Selina Mayweather – Lieutenant (LT)
Senior Communications/Linguistics Officer (COM): Marie Devereux– Lieutenant (LT)
Weapon Systems Officer (WSO): Nathaniel Hayes, also Roughneck 6 (OIC) – Lieutenant Junior Grade (LT JG)
Chief Medical Officer (CMO): Phlox, civilian rank equivalent of LTCDR
Chief of the Boat (COB): Colin Mackenzie – Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO), senior enlisted man.
Vice Chief of Naval Operations (V-CNO): Jonathan Archer – Rear Admiral (RADM)
Commander, Communications Supplementary Activity (CSA): Hoshi Sato-Reed - Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)
With a flash, the ECS Daremo slowed from warp speed.
Seated behind the helm of his pride and joy, Takeshi Watanabe breathed a sigh of relief. In his twenty years behind the controls of the Daremo, he had discovered that the only time the venerable craft gave him problems was when he was reverting to sublight speeds. Five years earlier, during a routine cargo run to Tau Ceti, the controls had shorted out at the very moment the warp drive disengaged, causing him to miss the deadline for the shipment because of the flight control failure. It had taken nearly another year to get the stench of spoiled Rigellian foodstuffs out of his cargo hold.
Glancing over his sensor display, he spent a long moment worrying. Since the war with the Romulans began, Starfleet had intensified the security of the Sol System, making it quite difficult to gain access to Earth's lucrative markets without the proper clearances or codes. Active sensor nets made sneaking into the system a risky proposition at best, especially when one factored in the many heavily armed starships prowling the system. What had once been a fifteen hour transit from arrival to landing had stretched out to thirty or forty hours. Homeworld defense was the excuse given for the many delays that honest cargo runners received.
Not that Takeshi was particularly honest...
Satisfied that he had not been detected by the sensor network, Watanabe began inputting commands into the helm. With a subtle shudder that ran through the length of the ship, Daremo's warp core began to shut down. Impulse would still be available, but deactivating the core would reduce the sensor signature the old ship presented to any of the trigger-happy Starfleet ships in the immediate area, and, with his cargo, he couldn't afford to be boarded for the usual cargo inspection.
After all, Earth still looked down upon drug smugglers.
Leaning back in his comfortable seat, Takeshi yawned as he studied the data that crawled across his screen. Most of it was automated shipping instructions relayed from the countless stationary buoys scattered throughout the system, similar in many ways to planetary traffic bulletins. He winced at the projected ninety-seven hour delay for "non-essential" ships; in the moment that he wondered what could possibly cause such a delay, an emergency bulletin appeared on his screen.
"Crippling defeat at Acheron!" the bulletin declared loudly, before beginning a long recitation of the list of ships lost in the engagement. After the seventh ship name, Takeshi deactivated the sound, shaking his head in sadness and disgust. A veteran of Thor's Cradle, he'd witnessed many of his fellow Boomers abandon all common sense and join Starfleet. He wondered idly how many of them had perished at Zeta Reticuli.
A chirp sounded from his master controls, announcing the detection of an approaching warp signature. Instantly, worry began churning in his stomach, and he keyed in a rapid command; unless interrupted by another instruction, this command would activate the incinerators within the cargo bay, utterly obliterating the contents within seconds. Without any sort of proof that he was transporting illicit hallucinogenic plants grown on one of the Centauri moons, Starfleet couldn't charge him with any crime.
Or so he hoped.
Frowning, he studied the warp signature with confusion. It wasn't like anything he had seen before. A flash of light announced the ship's arrival some seventy thousand kilometers off of his port side. He glanced out of the viewport, squinting as he did, but the target was far too distant to see. With a second beep, Daremo's onboard computer finally made its decision and pronounced the ship's identity. Takeshi's blood ran cold.
It was a Romulan bird of prey.
His fingers were already inputting new commands into his controls, and the engines growled in response, slowly reorienting the ship away from the newly arrived craft. Sluggishly, the old ship began to maneuver, even as the sensor board revealed that the Romulan ship had altered its heading and was now moving to intercept. Panic turned Takeshi's bowels to water, and he slammed his hand down on the transmit button of the communications system.
"Mayday!" he screamed, staring in horror as his sensors detected an energy spike from the Romulan that could only be weapons charging up. "I need immediate assistance! There's a Romulan attacking me!"
Alarms from the sensors suddenly shrieked their warnings as the Romulan ship fired.
"Oh God," Watanabe whispered in horror.
Seconds later, the incoming torpedo impacted.