“We’re out of time,” Harken snapped over the ship’s speakers. “That ship will be here in less than five minutes.”
I wiped sweat from my face with my ripped sleeve. “That’s the last one. Locked and loaded.”
“Sending the new instructions now.” Angie hit a final key. “We can launch torpedos any time now. Are those probes in place?”
“Turner launched them,” Harken answered. “The commander of that ship just laughed. He’s not a nice person.”
“Mad Dog?” I slammed the cover on the torpedo launch queue.
“I don’t think so. He said his name was Scorpius.”
“Well, if we’re ready, give them all we’ve got.” Angie grinned. “I’ve always wanted to say that.”
The torpedo tube shuddered as the first one shot away from the ship. Angie and I went back to the bridge.
Harken swiveled in her chair. “He’s laughing, calling us fools.”
I studied the viewscreen. The giant battleship approached our position, eclipsing Caligula’s ship. “Can you send the probes behind the battleship?”
“What are you thinking?” Turner moved so Angie could sit at the scanning station. He slid over to the weapons station, keeping the torpedos firing.
“A handful of probes aren’t going to make a dent in that thing. But they could blow Caligula’s ship to kingdom come. We run away in the confusion.”
“I’ve got a lock on our coordinates,” Harken said. “And plenty of footage of that ship for Starfleet.”
Angie sat back in the chair. “Probe commands sent. The destruct code is loaded and ready to activate.”
“Can you target the shuttle bays with the torpedos?” I asked Turner.
“I can shoot them, don’t ask me to target things. I’m a cook, remember?” Turner sent another torpedo with its exocomp shooting into space.
Angie tapped her screen. “Scorpius is taking the bait. He’s scooping up those torpedos like they were candy. Probes are in position.”
The battleshipt turned to face us. Gun ports lined both sides, aiming for our tiny ship. It’s bulk hid Caligula’s ship completely. Which meant his engines would be square on to the explosion we were about to create. We just might survive.
“Angie, we need Delphi to set our course now. Is there some kind of emergency procedure you could activate with it?” The only flaw to our plan that I could see was our ship getting caught in the shockwave. We’d be ripped apart.
Angie typed rapidly on the computer. “I’ve got a course set to Starbase fourteen, but I don’t think I can override the safety protocols, not without pulling the whole thing from the computers.”
“Scorpius just gave us thirty seconds to surrender or he’ll open fire.”
I took the captain’s chair. It felt right. I was the one giving orders. “Everyone, hang on. Send the destruct code, Angie. Harken, go ahead and connect to the viewscreen.”
Scorpius’ face filled the main screen. He was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen, angry Klingons included. Warty green scales covered his face. His eyes were yellow with vertical black slits for pupils. Gold chains dangled from the spikes growing from his skull.
“You amuse me with your antics,” he said. “You will surrender. You have no choice.”
Angie whispered, “Code sent.”
I sat taller in the chair, straightening my filthy uniform. “I think you’re the one with no choice, Scorpius. Tell your master we’ll find him. If he’s lucky, we’ll let him surrender instead of killing him.”
Scorpius barked a laugh. “The arrogance of Starfleet amazes me. You have no weapons, limited supplies, and yet you threaten me.”
“You have exactly ten seconds to surrender, Scorpius.” I motioned to Harken to cut the connection.
The screen flickered back to the giant battleship and its massive guns. A giant flare of burning gas and debris erupted behind it, engulfing the battleship. The lights on the Odyssey flipped to red.
“Warning!” the main computer said. “Warp core breach detected nearby. Activating emergency procedures.”
The ship banked sharply, engines whining as they were activated. The ball of flame spread, closing the distance.
“Brace for emergency speeds,” the computer said.
We shot out of the expanding explosion, streaking away at least warp nine. I clutched the arms of the chair as the whole ship shuddered at the strain. Smoke leaked from the air vents. Systems flashed red warning lights. Sparks danced over the controls.
“Stop us, Harken!”
“I’m trying,” she shouted. “Delphi’s got control of the whole ship!”
“We’re running out of power,” Turner said. “What happens then?”
“I think we’re going to find out,” Angie said. “Whether we want to or not.”
Personal Log 2-16: Treason and Traitors?