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Cptn Swain

In the Heat of Battle: A Variation On Multiple Commands

Having been modified to function as a command and control ship, the USS Constantine boasted a large war room complete with holographic displays of the battlefield. Standing a few feet away from it, Vice-Admiral Misha Abronvonvich frowned at what the technological wonder displayed. The rogue fleet -- numbering nearly three-hundred ships -- had taken up position just outside weapons range. Attempts to open a dialog had so far been unsuccessful. Glancing to a junior officer to his left, he motioned for her to activate the communications array that would broadcast his image to every commander in the fleet.

 

“Good afternoon,” he said flatly. “By now you have all received your assignments and should have reported to your various group commanders. I want to briefly review the broad assignments so that everyone is on the same page.

 

“The Romulan and Klingon forces will form the extreme right flank of our formation, under the command of Enarrain N’Dak aboard the Iron Reaver. Should hostilities begin, they will be tasked with engaging the cruiser and battleships in the enemy formation. Opposite of them on the extreme left flank, Captain Corizon of the Cheron will command a mixed fleet of Federation, Bajoran and Al-Ucard ships. They will run interference and prevent the Dominion from flanking us.”

 

Misha paused, tapping a series of commands into the display to show it on the broadcast instead of him. “ The bulk of our forces will be split into four additional groups. Taskforce 1, led by Vice Admiral Hayden and the Iowa will have the right flank of the center and support the Klingon-Romulan forces. Captain Varen and the Vatican will command the center-left and will focus on intercepting Jem’Hadar forces. Captain Swain and the Excalibur will command the carrier group in a goalkeeper formation near the wormhole. From the Constantine, I will command our reserve forces. For now we will hold at Lyonesse Station.

 

“I will not lie to you,” he said, his voice steady. “Our chances of success are not high. If this were just a fight of fleet versus fleet, I would be more optimistic but as you know the rogue Jem’Hadar possess a weapon of terrible destructive power. Our mission -- our only mission -- is to prevent them from using that weapon, all other concerns are secondary.”

 

--

 

“Report,” Destorie N’Dak said as the viewer on the oira of the Iron Reaver flickered from a starfield and mutated into a tactical display of the formation.

 

“Movement in the Jem’Hadar fleet,” the tactical officer -- Erein Jaelk tr’Kaen -- said after a brief moment of hesitation. “They appear to be shifting their formation, but have not moved towards us.”

 

“Interesting,” N’Dak said, thoughtfully strumming his fingers. “Trying to unnerve us na doubt.”

 

“Fleet command is signaling to move into position Alpha 5,” Arrhne tr’Khev said from the operations console that he’d been all but press ganged into operating.

“Signal tactical group to follow...”

 

“Sir,” Kaen said, his voice notably more alarmed than it had been only a few moments before. “ Al-Ucard forces are breaking formation. They’ve opened fire on the Jem’Hadar.”

 

N’Dak lifted a brow, but remained otherwise unmoved. “Well then, signal the fleet to engage the Jem’Hadar cruisers. Our best bet will be to engage them at close range. Tactical formation Helan F’tah Eren.”

 

On command, the Romulan and Klingon forces shifted quickly as the Jem’Hadar forces began scattering, clearly thrown off guard by the sudden attack by the Al-Ucard. Flanked by three Klingon Birds of Prey -- itself a sight to behold -- the hulking D’Deridex Iron Reaver lunged forward towards a line of sleek, purple Jem’Hadar forces . Likewise, three Vor’cha-class Klingon attack cruisers sped towards the same formation, disruptors ablaze.

 

“Hold our fire until we are within optimum range,” Destorie said, an edge to his voice. “Then target the biggest ship in the formation.”

 

Though they’d been caught off guard initially, the Jem’Hadar were trained for only one thing: battle. With alarming quickness their forces had regrouped and began engaging.

 

“Damage to the Ja’Qaj,” Arrhne strained as the Iron Reaver rocked under a volley of torpedo fire. “Heavy damage to the Fury and the Revenge.”

 

“Elements,” Destorie said, “tell the Ja’Qaj to fall back. Tactical bring forward weapons to bear on the lead cruiser. Helm, get us in as close as au can.”

 

-

 

On the bridge of the Cheron, Ah-Windu Corizon growled, smacking his fist on the console. “Get the shields back online,” he said. “Helm, evasive maneuvers.”

 

The sleek Luna-class starship broke off an attack run, though not without taking a pot shot from an midsized cruiser. The impact sent a shudder through the bridge and Corizon growled even louder.

 

“Report!”

 

“Shields down to 43%,” Arden Cormoran said, his face smudged with graphite from an explosion to another console. “Phasers at 76%, forward torpedo launchers are off-line. That last hit damaged the EPS grid. Engineering reports they can get it back online, but we need to duck out of this fight long enough for them to do that.”

 

“Do it,” Corizon managed to get out before another shot from a Dominion cruiser struck them, sending him scrambling from his chair.

 

“Main power offline,” Cormoran croaked as he pulled himself to the console. “Shields offline. We’re a sitting duck.”

 

“Incoming torpedo,” the tactical officer sounded.

 

-

 

The Iowa was one of a handful of modified Sovereign-class starships that had been uprated to “dreadnaught” following a program to improve Starfleet’s defensive capabilities. Excalibur, in a previous iteration, had undergone the refit to similar specifications. As such, Iowa was one of the most heavily armed vessels in the entire fleet. Still, Vice-Admiral Jonelle Hayden felt a pit in her stomach as the Al-Ucard jump started the battle.

 

“Tactical, bring weapons online,” she said calmly. “Helm, pattern Sierra Tango.”

 

Flanked by two Norway-class ships, the Iowa moved towards the Jem’Hadar battle lines, her heavy armament unleashing volley on volley of torpedo fire.

 

“Romulans are engaging at near point-blank range,” someone said behind her. “Then we’re going to have to get a little closer ourselves. Signal cruiser wings 1 and 3 to follow us and the Missouri. Cruiser wings 2 and 4 fill the gaps.”

 

--

 

“Report,” Abronvonich barked as he entered the bridge of the Constantine. “What the hell is going on.”

 

“The Al-Ucard broke formation,” Alexander Calypsos said with a frown. “All units are now engaged along the front lines. Corizon’s flank is taking a beating, but holding. Tactical Group 1 and 2 are moving into position now. The Romulan and Klingon group are engaging at extremely close range -- which seems to be working, but they’re taking heavy fire. Iowa, Missouri, Gage, London, Hood and Potomac are moving to assist them.”

 

Abronvonvich nodded as he took his seat in the command chair of the Excelsior-class bridge. “Send Fighter Wing,” he paused looking at the tactical read out, “seven and nine to assist Corizon’s group. Everyone else remain at stand by...”

 

“Sir!” Calypsos said more alarmed than usual. “Incoming additional Jem’Hadar forces on long range sensors, and four smaller groups have broken through -- heading for the wormhole. Should we move to intercept or move to support the fleet?”

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