CHAPTER 30 A
Two days after the face off with the Megarans, Kate breathed a sigh of relief. They had not seen any more of the Megaran ships. They were back on course for Saturn, at a leisurely pace of warp four. Stars filled the view screen. Nothing in the immediate area to mar their view of the stars in front of them.
Clouds crept up behind them. The same on the East and West. The clouds blocked out the stars. Sensors were quiet. Nothing to tell them they were heading into danger.
The shot that hit them came out of the clouds. The cloud behind them covered the back end of the ship. The engines stopped suddenly. They were dead in space, as clouds surrounded the ship and closed in. The ship was in a clear area, with the stars still visible.
"What the hell was that?" Kate yelled. "Raise shields and go to Red Alert." She ordered. Red lights started flashing. Symbols filled the view screen followed by the translation.
Surrender the Chosen One or we will destroy you."
"How the Hell did they find us?" Kate asked. "Where are they? Why didn't sensors pick up anything ?" Kate fired questions at the bridge crew.
"Don't those bastards know what the word no means?" Liam asked.
"Apparently not, Liam."
"Sensors do not pick up anything in the clouds, Kate." Anya stated.
"Nothing? How can that be? Do they have cloaking devices?"
Surrender the Chosen One or you will be destroyed, filled the view screen again.
"Does any one know what knocked out the engines?" Kate asked.
"The back of the ship is in a cloud. That may have something to do with it." "See if we can get the engines restarted." "Engines are off line Captain." "Keep trying." Kate ordered. Kate's communicator beeped on the private channel. "Kate?" Kacey's voice came over sounding very shaky.
"Kacey are you all right?"
"What is going on? Why are we stopped?"
"You can not keep this from her Katie."
" I know Liam." She said. "Kacey under no circumstances are you to leave you quarters alone. I am sending someone down to escort you to the bridge." She turned to Commander Torino. "Rhea would you escort Kacey to the Bridge?"
"Katie, let me do that. She will not give me a hard time."
"All right but take Rhea with you."
"Aye lass." Liam said and he and Rhea left the Bridge. Kate looked at Anya.
"Engineering can you get the engines restarted?"
"Not at this time Captain. Hell we don't even know why they shut off. All four are down."
"So you have no idea how long we will be stuck here. Keep working on it Bella."
"Will do Captain."
Kate looked around the Bridge. They waited for her orders. "If they fire again, lock onto the weapons signatures and return fire. Are sensors picking up anything at all yet?"
"Nothing, not even the clouds now." Anya said.
The ship rocked from a shot hitting their shields.
"We have a lock Captain." The Lieutenant at tactical said.
"Fire, full spread." Kate ordered. Photonic bursts left Andromeda's guns and headed into the clouds. Sparks and an explosions rocked the ship. More shots came at them and hit the shields. "Return fire."
Shots continued to hit the shields on all sides rocking the ships with each hit.
"Open a ship wide channel." Kate ordered.
"Channel open Captain." The communications officer said.
"This is Captain Jensen. We are under attack. All civilians report to your assigned areas in Safe Haven immediately. I repeat, we are under attack. All civilians report to your assigned areas in Safe Haven immediately."
Surrender the Chosen One or you will be destroyed. The message came over a third time.
"The Chosen One will not be leaving this ship. We will not surrender her."
Then you will sentence every one on you ship to death.
"You will also be condemning your so called Chosen One to that same fate."
Let the Chosen One decide.
"Yes, Kate, let the Chosen One decide." Kacey said, as she stepped of the lift flanked by Liam and Rhea.
"Close Channel." Kate ordered.
"Do not make me regret having you brought to the Bridge, Kacey" Kate said softly.
"Bear with me for a few minutes, Kate. What knocked out the engines?"
"We don't know. Clouds surrounded us and the engines went out. That is all we know."
`"Can I see these clouds?"
Kacey walked closer to the large view screen and studied it. "Magnify." Kate nodded to the visual operator. The scene shifted as the clouds became bigger on the screen. Kacey continued to study the clouds. " Can we do a slow three hundred degree rotation?"
"Just do whatever she asks." Kate told the operator.
The scene slowly moved. "Slower" Kacey stated. The scene barely moved. The Bridge crew silently watched Kacey as she studied the screen.
"What are you looking for?" Kate asked.
"Shhh, trust me Kate. Just trust me. Stop." Kacey called out. "Can you mark the coordinates in the upper left hand corner?"
"Got them Colonel."
"Continue three sixty view." The screen slowly rotated again. Five minutes she called out, "Stop. Can you outline a certain section?"
"Do you want a circle or square?"
"Surprise me." Kacey said. "Put it in the middle of the screen." A large circle appeared. "Can you make it bigger?" The circle increased in size. "Can you move it a little to the right?" The circle shifted. "A little more. Right there. Mark those coordinates. Can you magnify just the area inside the circle?" The section increased.
"Can you see it Kate?"
"Do you mean that wavy section?"
"That is exactly what I am talking about."
"What is that?"
"Resume three sixty. Those Kate may be our way out. A way to disable the force field that surrounds us." Kacey told her never taking her eyes off the screen.
"Force field, electromagnetic field call it what you want. They increased the size and power of the field."
"Are you sure of this?"
"You were affected by it again, weren't you? How badly?"
"It was bad Kate. I will tell you all about it soon. Damn this is taking to long."
More shots rocked Andromeda. "I need to buy us some time. Kate I really, really need you to trust me."
"All right. For now, but I promise you, if you try to leave this ship, I will toss your ass in the Brig."
"I give you my word Kate. I will not leave the ship."
"Open Channel." Kate ordered.
To be continued...
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