edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
This is not the long, still-untitled Star Trek fic. But that one is getting ridiculous, so I decided to go back to my first false start and write nothing but the specific scene [livejournal.com profile] valles_uf was interested in: a small ship facing off against a pirate fleet in defense of a colony planet, with the Enterprise still a few hours out. (850 words)

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Some Work of Noble Note
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The Gypsy Moth was a freighter, not a warship, and a small freighter at that -- designed for luxury cargoes, not bulk transport. As such, the ship did have three phasers and a small bank of five photon torpedoes, but its main defense was speed. The trick to dealing with pirates wasn't to engage in firefights. It was to not be there.

Captain Deborah Bienkowski drummed her fingers on the armrest of her chair and wondered which of her crew had mortally offended the order of the universe, to call this run of bad karma down upon them. First the chaell roots from Argolith spoiled mid-transport. Then half the Indraeli ice wine broke when that stars-be-cursed drunk hotrodder rammed into their berth at Starbase 6. Now they'd been delayed three days on Simplicity chasing a cascading power failure through the failsafe circuitry around the warp core, and the very minute they cleared atmosphere, a pirate fleet dropped out of warp just behind the gas giant that marked the star system's edge.

Orion slavers, judging by the ship designs. What they would do to Simplicity didn't bear thinking about.

Simplicity was one of those kooky ideological colonies you ran into now and then. 'Space Amish' was the derogatory term for the general type: pacifist, anti-technology, back-to-nature types, fleeing the complexity of modern life -- and often fleeing the multi-species integration of the Federation as well, though Simplicity's founders hadn't suffered that particular brand of idiocy. The Simple had no ships, no weapons, no defense. It was a minor miracle they hadn't been raided to destruction before now.

"If we do not leave immediately, we are all going to die, and to no purpose," a deep voice said from the com station. Captain Bienkowski turned and frowned at Maer S'q'ensis, her second officer. S'q'ensis flexed his mouth tentacles in a shrug. "I am only telling the truth. We could destroy one ship at most. The survivors would be angry, and they will practice that anger on the Simple. We should go."

At the auxiliary engineering station, which doubled as the weapons station in times of crisis, Zachary Nkuma made a noncommittal noise. "I hate to run away and leave Simplicity to suffer," he said, "but really, what could we do? We're not Starfleet."

"No, we're not," Bienkowski said. "We're still staying." She turned back to the forward viewscreen and tapped the com button on her chair. "Bridge to Engineering: what's our drive and weapon status?"

"Functional for the moment." T'Len's voice crackled with the static they still hadn't rooted out of their internal com system after Starbase 6. "However, as our shields are not designed to protect against anything beyond the normal stress of entering and exiting warp, and blocking stray dust specks and pebbles, I must warn you that a single shot will disable them, after which we will be both vulnerable and unable to retreat."

"I realize that," Bienkowski said. "And like I told Nkuma, we're still staying." She hit the button for ship-wide broadcast. "Okay, people. S'q'ensis wants me to tell you we're all going to die for no reason. I can't tell you we'll survive. We almost certainly won't. But what we can do is buy time for Simplicity. There's a Starfleet ship due in-system today on a routine patrol, so all we have to do is distract the pirates for a couple hours. Even as little as half an hour, if we can score enough hits to keep them from landing right away. If we can make them waste time trying to salvage our wreck, that's even better."

She paused, staring at the vicious ships hanging motionless on the viewscreen. "We're going to hail the fleet. We're going to act like spineless weasels, trying to buy our lives and our freedom with some mythical exotic cargo; I think chaell roots and Indraeli ice wine will make a good decoy. We'll get in close under cover of not trusting our cargo to the transporters, nor trusting the fleet enough to lower our shields -- both true, since we have no cargo and I wouldn't trust those bastards if they told me entropy was inevitable. Then we shoot as much as we can as fast as we can, and run like fucking hell as long as we can. The farther we get them from the planet, the better. The more details of the situation we can broadcast on all subspace channels, the better."

Her free hand curled into a fist. "We're not Starfleet. We didn't sign on for this, not in our wildest nightmares. But we're Federation, damn it, and we will never lose another planet. Ever. S'q'ensis, T'Len, Nkuma, Freeman, Hanh, Sorenson, Griv, Poveg, it's been an honor working with you. Let's try for better luck in our next lives. Bienkowski out."

The bridge was silent for a long moment.

"We are definitely going to die," S'q'ensis said softly. "But perhaps I was wrong about our deaths serving no purpose."

"I hope you're right," Bienkowski said. Then, steeling herself, she opened a subspace channel to the pirates and prepared to spin the last sales pitch of her life.

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I am annoyed at the lack of coherent world-building, the way the crew remain ciphers, and the preachiness of Captain Bienkowski's speech... but whatever, it gets the basic idea across. *sigh*

Also, I should mention that this is not the same ship and crew as in the longer story, and the colony planet is also subtly different. The other version of Simplicity is rabidly xenophobic.

ETA: It occurs to me that if I changed the name of the colony planet and fleshed out the crew's background just a little, this could be posted elsewhere as a completely separate fic from the eventual other one. Hmm. *ponders* (Still not writing the very long action/adventure continuation, though!)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-05 03:59 am (UTC)
theodosia21: sunflower against a blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] theodosia21
Interesting! It doesn't feel even close to complete, but I think the characters and situation come across really well. I like the tension between attempting to do a good thing, even though it might fail miserably and catastrophically, and doing that which is safer, and quite likely wiser. After all, a case could be made that the Captain's first duty is to ship and crew, not random civilians. Not that I disagree with Bienkowski's choice- but I imagine some of her crew do!

I'm looking forward to reading the longer Star Trek fic!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-05 04:47 am (UTC)
theodosia21: sunflower against a blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] theodosia21
Thank you for taking the time to tell me how the rest of the story would have gone! It makes lots of sense, and I'm glad they didn't all die.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-04 01:44 pm (UTC)
askerian: Serious Karkat in a red long-sleeved shirt (ItaNeji_Chibi protect)
From: [personal profile] askerian
... Waugh!!! T^T so brave. Wauuuugh.

Enterprise arrives in the nick of time to save their asses, doesn't it? Yes. it does. i have decided so. ;______;
askerian: Serious Karkat in a red long-sleeved shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] askerian
Ohh yes. This is my headcanon now. T^T Thank you.

I love all the action and back and forth of who's got the upper hand in there. XD

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-06 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uminohikari.livejournal.com
*.* That is amazing.

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

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