[USS Vanguard] RPG: The Doomsday Device

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: USS-Vanguard <ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 15:44:01 -0800 (PST)

Admiral Dominic Santos
USS Vanguard-A
Fifteen years in the future/
Immediately following Kieran Darkwater post

?Sir, we have an incoming transmission from the USS Marathon.?

Piers St. Cloud squinted at the communications officer.

?Cut them off.?

?But, sir, ignoring comms from combatant craft is strictly forbidden in
the event the other party is attempting to surrender.?

The Ark Royal rocked from the impact of another torpedo-volley.

The captain turned to his first officer.

?Mister Perkins, please have the comm officer escorted off the bridge
and confined to the brig for insubordination. Have her replaced

St. Cloud turned his attention back to the battle raging on the
viewscreen as the two officers left the bridge.

On the Vanguard, Admiral Dominic Santos stood close by helm officer
Ernestine Allende. The ship rocked violently as Ark Royal scored
another direct hit.

?Shields are down to 34 percent,? executive officer Aral reported
grimly. ?We can?t survive much more of this.? Aral looked up from his
board. ?Admiral, recommend retreat. We?re outgunned by superior

Santos looked back at him. ?No!? he barked, perhaps a little too
sharply. Aral stood up and frowned.

?No, we cannot retreat, Aral! We need to make our stand here, all
points in the disparate timeline will convene at this juncture. We need
to be here!?

Santos turned to Allende.

?Get between the Star Eagle and the Quetzalcoatl. She?s taking heavy

?Aye, sir,? the helmsman confirmed. ?Altering course.?

Another torpedo rocked the Vanguard.

?Shields down 26 percent, Admiral,? Aral said.

Santos licked his lips.

?Empty all disruptor banks and plasma torpedoes into Ark Royal. Fire on
my mark.?

Aral looked up at Santos.

?Carry out my orders, Commander.?

?Aye, sir,? Aral said, quietly.


Vanguard swung out from behind Quetzalcoatl and the space between
Vanguard and Ark Royal came to life with a light show: plasma torpedo
trails followed by the green of Vanguard?s furious batteries of

Ark Royal?s shields lit up at point after point against the hull. The
Olympian-class battleship rocked noticeably, but she stayed righted.

It was minutes which seemed to last years. Vanguard spent its last
torpedo, as the impact left a trail of flame across Ark Royal?s hull.

Then, silence.

All ships held their positions without firing another weapon.

?Admiral, our weapons are spent, sir,? Terry Faucet said.

?Thank you, Mister Faucet,? Santos replied.

?Incoming transmission from Ark Royal, Admiral.?

?Scan them,? Santos said.

?Their shields are down to 56 percent, but are quickly regenerating. No
hull damage. Weapon strength at 78 percent, their engines and systems
are online.?

?Open the channel.?

St. Cloud appeared on the forward viewscreen. He stared at Santos.
Then, slowly, he began applauding sardonically.

?Bravo, Dominic, bravo,? he said. ?I would not have expected such
resolve from you. Unfortunately, it?s come to nothing. Your weapons are
spent; your defenses are in shambles. You have no choice but to
surrender. Fair warning: my next shot will pierce your heart. I give
you thirty seconds to make your decision. Starting?now.?

Santos turned to Faucet, who cut the channel.

Santos quickly assessed the situation. They could not run, because they
needed to be at this location. They could not fight, because their
ships were outgunned. They could not win, because Piers was right?they
had no weapons and no defenses. That left three choices: surrender, die
or overcome St. Cloud. The first two were incomprehensible. The third
seemed impossible. Or was it??

Santos looked up and grinned. And then he spoke to Aral.

?Commander, this is what we?ll do??

Thirty seconds after his threat, St. Cloud re-established his link with

?I?m waiting to hear your answer, Dominic,? he said. He smiled. Smile
at this, you bastard, Santos thought.

Santos slowly and deliberately approached the viewscreen.

?Piers, as you well know, the Vanguard carries a doomsday device which
can only be activated by myself and the first officer of my ship in the
event of total catastrophe for the Federation. My quinlithium warhead
will take out half the sector and make it a very bad place to colonize
for another two millennia.?

St. Cloud frowned and then his eyes went wide as realization dawned in
his place.

?Admiral, you would not DARE.?

?Just ask my crew if I would. Our forces are finished. The timeline is
in disarray. Mister Darkwater?s mission has failed. There is no reason
to continue along this course. Computer: Arm and activate Weapon Sudex.
Authorization code Santos-five-seven-xray-zulu. Mister Aral??

Santos grinned and turned to face Aral.

Aral hesitated over his panel.

?Admiral, I beg you not to do this.?

Santos frowned. ?I discussed these orders with you, Mister Aral. Carry
them out.?

Aral stood and folded his hands behind his back.

?Sir, I cannot.? He turned to Faucet and Allende and nodded.

Santos, shocked, watched as Faucet and Allende flanked him. They pulled
their phasers and trained them on him.

?Admiral Santos, under the general conventions which govern Starfleet
and the United Federation of Planets, I am hereby placing you under
arrest until such time a general court martial may be convened. I am
hereby officially accusing you of violations of the Federation Charter,
sections B and D, subsections 13 and 42. Mister Faucet, Mister
Allende?take him away.?

Santos closed his eyes. Suddenly, he looked very old. He walked from
the bridge, slumped, defeated.

St. Cloud looked directly at Aral and nodded, obviously pleased.

?Well done, Mister Aral. I commend your fortitude.?

?Captain, what I do I do for the good of this crew and the welfare of
the Federation.?

?Of course, of course,? St. Cloud said. ?Prepare to receive me in your
transporter room. I will take command of the fleet from the Vanguard
and escort all parties back to Earth. My senior officers will take
command of Santos?s co-conspirators? vessels.?

Aral nodded. ?Aye, sir.?

St. Cloud closed the channel between Vanguard and Ark Royal. In space,
the other vessels remained still, as if unsure what to do or what had
taken place.

Moments later, St. Cloud and First Officer Greg Perkins arrived in
Vanguard?s transporter room. Instead of looking around, St. Cloud
focused on Aral, accompanied by Ti?Ora and Jack Chee.

?Commander,? St. Cloud addressed Aral without looking at him. ?I need
to see the Admiral immediately. Please accompany me to the brig.?

St. Cloud started to walk out the door without bothering to see if Aral
had started to follow him.

Suddenly, he felt the cold metal of a phaser pointed at the back of his
head. St. Cloud turned around slowly, coming face-to-face with Ti?Ora.

?Surprise, you son-of-a-bitch,? Ti?Ora smiled wolfishly.

St. Cloud looked to Perkins. Too late. Chee and Aral both had trained
phasers on Perkins.

The doors to the transporter room snapped open. Admiral Dominic Santos
strolled in, followed by Allende and Faucet.

Santos came within inches of St. Cloud.

?I just knew you would fall for it, Piers. In your view, you could
never possibly imagine a crew who was not in some way fearful or
suspicious of their commanding officer, a commanding officer who didn?t
breed mistrust and suspicion.?

St. Cloud breathed in and out slowly, but refused to say another word.

?You want to see the brig? Mister Faucet, please show our guest the
brig. Oh?before you go: Order the task force to surrender.?

St. Cloud, without taking his eyes from Santos, squeezed his rank pip.
?This is St. Cloud to all ships: Stand down. Repeat: stand down.?

?Get him out of my sight,? Santos said.

Santos turned to Aral. ?Well done, Commander.? Aral bowed slightly.

?Now?what do you say we do what we have to do, and get the hell out of

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