((Bridge, USS Montreal))
Galven: ::to Vardai:: What are you thinking, ensign? Could you pull up the layout of the ship, please?
Vardai: Done. Hopefully we will find something that they have overlooked.
::Even with another conversation going beside her, she remained focused on her task. She was an Engineer, not a tactician. But she’d learned enough through her Academy classes and her time as a Starfleet officer to at least understand the basics of strategy. If a ship was disabled, it couldn’t fight back. And if a ship couldn’t fight back…::
Rosek: ::pauses:: If we could figure out a way to disable their ships, we might stand a fighting chance. But we need to do it while draining as little of the power that we have left as possible.
Tel-ar: An excellent idea but unlikely. :: Tal stated calmly. :: Targeting the same
::Her brow furrowed. Yes, she understood that Tel-ar had more experience with ship on ship combat than she did. But unlikely didn’t mean impossible. It bothered her slightly how he automatically seemed to think that the only way to stop the Tholians was to destroy the ships entirely. Though she was emotional and upset about what had happened to Astrofori One, she still wanted to believe that taking lives wasn’t the only way to prevent it from happening again.::
::As a woman of faith, she had to believe that finding some sort of common ground was a far better solution than falling to the Tholians’ level and ending lives. That wasn’t God’s way and that certainly wasn’t hers.::
Mei’konda: I am open to suggestions.
Cattan/Any on the Bridge: Response
Galven: ::to Vardai:: Do you think something in there could be of use for us?
Vardai: Plenty can go wrong inside a starship. Making it happen from the outside is the difficult part. I might have something to go on, though.
::Galven and Vardai were still hard at work on a solution next to her given what she was hearing of the conversation next to her. She only hoped that their solution proved to be less violent than Tel-ar’s unspoken suggestion.::
Rosek: We need to do it in one shot if we can. Maximum damage with minimum effort.
Tel-ar: Target Tholian vessel has taken internal damage, all forward shields down.... its breaking off...
Mei’konda: Leaave it, Commander. Focus on the other taargets. Coordinaate fire with the Veritas to deal the most daamage, but if we caan… try to leave them intact.
::She sighed. It seemed Mei’konda was of the same mind she was, though she suspected his motivation was more along the lines of avoiding an interstellar war, if that was even possible at this point given the utter devastation that had resulted from the destruction of Astrofori One. Despite the precarious nature of the situation they were in, or perhaps because of it, this was, more than ever, a time for prudence. Every choice had the possibility to set off a chain of events that, like Pandora’s Box, they couldn’t simply close the lid and expect what had been unleashed to fade away.::
::Their actions could determine future relations with the Tholians.::
Tel-ar: Intact… an unusual request captain.
::She grimaced. Even if he didn’t agree with Mei’konda’s choice, she had the feeling Tel-ar was the type to follow his commanding officer’s order. Thank God for that.::
Rosek: ::glances at German and Vardai:: Lieutenant, Ensign...any ideas?
Galven: Actually, we were just looking at the layout and I found something that might work, Commander.
Rosek: ::motions for him to continue:: What did you find, Mr. Galven?
Galven: There’s an Antimatter Generator on deck 8. I believe we can use an antimatter pod to eject out towards the Tholians and if we aim it just right, we should be able to hit it with a photon torpedo. That should be able to disable all three ships. Thoughts?
::Lael opened her mouth to speak, but Vardai jumped in with a suggestion of his own.::
Vardai: I may have another option. The Tholian ships are susceptible to their own torpedoes. As they are coordinating their volleys with a separation of exactly 44 seconds, a well timed repulsion from our tractor beam could cause the entire spread to detonate, leaving our enemies entirely without power. That’s not to say that Lieutenant Galven's plan isn't a good one.
::She arched an eyebrow. While both plans had merit, they were already low on torpedoes and using one on the chance that it might disable all three ships seemed pretty risky. They had a tight window and if they missed or it didn’t go over just right, they could just as easily end up space debris. These Tholians were showing no signs of giving up so easily.::
::Vardai’s suggestion, however...using their own weapons against them...she had to admit that was pretty clever. It fit the bill perfectly of minimum effort, maximum results. While those seconds would leave them potentially vulnerable and this plan also presented the risk that something would go wrong, they had more control over their tractor beam and, worst case scenario, they had Galven’s suggestion as a plan B.::
Mei’konda: The riisks?
Tel-ar: I am unfamiliar with the effects that might result from deliberately triggering an antimatter explosion with in the Shoals, however considering the limited quality of our recent rushed repairs there is a higher than normal possibility that we could suffer as much if not more damage than the Tholians from such an explosion. This is of course hypothetical. Triggering their own torpedoes when they launch another spread may have adverse effects on the unusual nature of this region of space. Also if these vessels have been modified then the amount of damage they will take from their own weapons will be greatly reduced. Fortunately the odds of this being probable are extremely low.
Rosek: ::nods:: I was already worried about how the tetryon radiation from their weapons would react with the tetryon radiation in the region. It’s risky enough detonating their weapons without adding antimatter to the chemical cocktail. For all we know, something like that could destabilize subspace on top of damaging the Montreal.
Cattan / Galven: reply
Esbrun: The tractor array's not exactly designed for the process, and would likely burn out. We might also suffer power loss or other system strain. Hard to say without trying it, although Engineering would know better than me.
Mei'konda: Lieutenant Galven, assist Ensign Vardai in employiing his plaan. Let’s haang onto our antimaatter if we caan.
Galven / Vardai: Responses
::Lael was actually relieved that Mei’konda had decided to go with the less explosive option. There were just too many variables to Galven’s plan. While it would have been a good option for the Minerva and the Stalwart given their objective to delay the Tholians from reaching Astrofori One, the stakes weren’t that high in this situation and didn’t warrant risking the lives of the crew to win a small battle in what was potentially a much bigger war. It was a small potatoes versus big potatoes situation, so to speak.::
Galven / Vardai: =/\= Response =/\=
Greyson: =/\= Greyson and Harkrow’s Improvisational Solutions, sir. How can we help you? =/\=
Harkrow / Galven / Vardai: =/\= Response =/\=
Greyson: =/\= Acknowledged. Stand by while we make the adjustments. =/\=
::While the four officers worked on their solution, Lael opened another screen on her monitor and began the calculations to determine how much damage the ship was likely to take from this. Anything they could do to minimize the impact on the Montreal’s systems would save them a ton of work in the long run and would make them more useful in reaching the Artemis and recovering whatever cargo the ship was carrying before the Tholians did.::
Harkrow / Galven / Vardai: =/\= Response =/\=
Greyson: =/\= All set down here, sir. Ready for your signal. =/\=
Harkrow / Galven / Vardai: =/\= Response =/\=
::Her hands flew to the console in front of her to stabilize her stance as another violent shudder ran through the deck beneath her feet and she instinctively ducked to cover her head as the master systems display exploded in sparks behind her. Once the danger had passed, she straightened, working even more vigorously on her calculations.::
::It wasn’t much longer until the time came for them to act.::
Mei’konda: Ensign Chatva, full axis rotaation to starboard. Show them our dorsal siide.
Chatva: ::nods:: Aye, sir.
Mei’konda: =/\= Lieutenant Greyson, activate the deflector pulse! =/\=
Greyson: =/\= Response =/\=
::She stiffened slightly as she watched the load of Tholian torpedoes explode, taking one of the Tholian vessels with it, flames engulfing the craft. The second was sent reeling like a frisbee away from them. Mei’konda’s relief was clear as he visably relaxed and exhaled a sigh.::
Rosek: o0 So much for just disabling them. 0o
::Lael was far from pleased with the outcome of the situation, even though their plan had worked as intended...in a way at least. One Tholian ship as collateral damage was certainly preferable to two Federation ships. As much as any loss of life didn’t sit well with Lael, she’d just have to live with it. It had been the better of the two solutions and by far the least costly.::
Mei’konda: Good job, Lieutenant Galven, Ensign Vardai. Good job everyone. Commander Tel-ar, fiinish off those remaaining torpedoes in the air, if you please.
Galven / Vardai: Response
Tel-ar: Understood captain. :: Tal replied as he started to target the remaining Tholian torpedoes. :: Minor damage to the lead Tholian, the other one remaining took minor internal damage.
Mei’konda: Commander Rosek, get me a full daamage report, and stand us down from red alert. We’ll rejoin formaation with the Veritas and let the Tholians handle their own problems.
Rosek: ::nods:: Aye, sir. ::to Tel-ar:: Stand down red alert, Commander. Instruct all department heads to have at least an initial survey of the damage to me within the hour. ::to Mei’konda:: With your permission, sir, I’d like to head down to Engineering in the meantime to assist with any repairs. After that fire fight, they’re going to need all the help they can get.
Rosek: ::to Galven and Vardai:: Work with Commander Tel-ar to analyze sensor readings from the fight. We nearly ended up space dust. Determine any weaknesses they have that we might be able to exploit in case we have a run-in with any more of their vessels. ::grins wryly:: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d prefer if we didn’t have to do any more killing unless there truly is no other option.
Galven / Vardai / Tel-ar / Bridge: Response