What do you think will happen next? Will Voyager join the fight? What are the President’s plans? What will be the fate of the Alpha-Quadrant?
CHAPTER EIGHT – SACRIFICE
USS VOYAGER, DELTA QUADRANT
“Admiral, the Enterprise is coming apart. Change that. She’s gone,” screamed Kym. The ships bridge was shaking under the pelting.
“Is there any chance he survived?” She asked. Guilt filled the Admiral. She shouldn’t have let me die. She knew that. Well as far as she knew, I’d died because of her.
“No chance Captain. There’s nothing left.”
“Very well,” She turned to Tuvok, “Launch all torpedos and fire all phaser batteries.”
The Starfleet ships were fewer than their enemy, but they had unimaginable courage. That is humanity’s greatest strength. We have unending courage and fire inside us that will never run out. An enemy may destroy our homes, our cities, our people. But, no enemy can destroy our hearts.
“Admiral. We’re taking extensive damage. We can’t stay in this fight much longer,” reported Chakotay. The battle had only lasted a few minutes.
“We’re gonna win this fight Commander. Maybe not now, but we will win. Get us out of here! Maximum Warp!”
The fleet jumped into warp and the aliens didn’t follow. “How did you know they wouldn’t follow us?” asked Chakotay.
“If they’re going for Earth, they’re going to want to get there as fast as they can. Destroying just a few ships that are longer a threat from their perspective is a waste of time.”
“So then what’s the plan now?”
Janeway smiled, “We follow them back to the Alpha-Quadrant and regroup with Federation forces – from a distance of course. We make repairs en route.”
“Sounds good, but we’re going to be –“ Chakotay was interrupted by the Intruder Alert alarm.
“We have multiple intruders throughout the ship,” reported Tuvok.
Janeway sighed. She looked at Chakotay, “We’re never going to get a break are we?”
“I think we learnt that a long while ago”
The Admiral hesitated, “Send in the President’s marines and let’s see how good they really are.”
The President’s marines were good. In fact they were robotic killing machines. But, the aliens though were far worse. They were like large insects. They had big eyes and a fully armored body. They were a dark green colour. Their weapons were pulse rifles with blades at the end.
The chief of the marines signalled to the bridge, “Admiral we’re holding them on deck 7, but we can’t for much longer. They’re doing something to the power conduits as well. It looks like sabotage. We don’t have enough men to take them out and we don’t have enough to hold them. What are your orders?”
“Stand by,” ordered the Admiral
She knew the primary conduits ran through deck 7. If someone put an explosive in just the right spot there it would be as bad as a warp core breach.
“Admiral, there is a solution. It is not ideal. But it will work,” reported Tuvok
“Let’s hear it.”
“Vent the atmosphere. It will kill the attackers. Unfortunately no ships in the fleet have functional transporters. We will lose our people. But, in wartime, acceptable losses is 20% according to protocol and these losses will be within that percentage.”
Chakotay butted in, “We can’t do that! They’re our people! We can’t kill them! That isn’t who we are! And we’re not even in wartime!”
“There is a huge alien taskforce headed for the Alpha Quadrant. They have made it clear their intent is to invade the Federation. It is wartime. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” replied Tuvok. Janeway stayed quiet for a second. All eyes were on her. They were waiting for her decision. Tuvok, expecting her to say yes. Chakotay, expecting her to say no. “He’s right, it is wartime and they are soldiers. This is their job. They all knew what they were signing up for. None of those reasons make what I am about to say justifiable or forgivable, but we don’t have a choice. Do it.” Chakotay said nothing. He was shocked. Tuvok pressed a few buttons.
The atmosphere on deck 7 slowly thinned. The Marines were shocked. They didn’t know what was going on. Then it thinned a lot faster. The leader tapped his commbadge, “Why are we losing atmosphere?” They never got a reply. After a minute of suffering they were dead. A minute later so were the alien attackers.
The Admiral left the bridge and went to her ready room. Chakotay followed her. When the doors were shut, he asked, “How do you live with yourself? You just ordered two dozen men killed.”
“I don’t. That’s my job. We don’t have the luxury of being human anymore. Don’t you realise? We’re at war now. That fleet… Its big enough and powerful enough to wipe out the Federation. Every… every ship counts now.” That one event changed the Admiral. It stole away her humanity. She could never go back to being human. She could never live with what she had done or forgive herself. She would just continue to do what was necessary, but only what was absolutely necessary.
“Very well,” replied Chakotay as he turned to leave.
“And Chakotay, it’s your job to make sure I don’t go too far.”
He turned back to her, “You already have.”