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The Black Knights Ride - Part One

Posted on 07 Mar 2017 @ 3:32am by Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Ensign Aurilia Moretti
Edited on on 17 Mar 2017 @ 8:27pm

Mission: Endgame
Location: Space
Timeline: MD 17

It was a terrific sight. Starships danced around another, with phasers, polaron beams and torpedoes flying about. Shields flickered like lightening storms as they struggled to absorb the weapons fire from the opposition. Neither side was about to let the other down.

The Consortium had rallied more than enough allies, it seemed like, as they fought to keep the Dominion away from Deep Space Eleven. One of the five Dosi Cruisers decided, however, that it could not hold up to the pressure as its hull began to rip apart from weapons fire. Still, as the juggernauts slung volley after volley at each other, five Starfighter Squadrons continued to go at it, trying to stop the other from protecting the larger ships before either side could gain the upper hand.


==Alpha Flight==

Terry pulled his fighter hard to port as another phaser blast shot past him from the Consortium fighter he'd charged. It was one thing to be fighting enemy pilots, but, despite being Consortium, they were still Starfleet trained. That is what was causing him the most pain; they were just as good as his team was. "Break. That. Line!" he yelled into his comm. "Keep them off the Dominion ships!" His computer chirped indicating a positive lock...on him. "Crap!" Terry jinked to the port and starboard trying to avoid all the phaser fire going on around him while attempting to break the lock. Nothing doing. "Archer! Check my six!"

A series of pulse phaser blasts shot past Terry's fighter, glancing off the tightly shielded craft. The Javelin that pursued him had a target lock indeed. Inside, the pilot pulled the trigger, launching a photon torpedo at his target.

Archer, if a non pilot were to see her flight path, looked like a rampaging drunk monkey. Her flight path was all over the place. To any pilot though they would see the control dodges of weapons fire and the fact she was sticking near as she could to another craft also trying to dodge the fierce fire. After a few shots that were so close Archer felt she could feel her hair sizzle, she fired taking out the enemy craft. They were very good and at this point the battle was still fierce but the Black Knights were edging out what advantages they could. She heard Rocco's call and with a curse dropped down to aim her nose at the speeding torp. =/\="Rocco haul jets! Torp, I'm on it!". She did a speed check with Rocco's distance, not quite far enough. So she did the fire thing she thought of after that she dove between it and Rocco. It's targeting lock sputtered and relocked, correcting what it thought was an error as it locked on to Archer's craft. Then she 'U' Turned that puppy, playing chicken with the one who had fired it.

He attempted to dodge and fire but Archer dodged in a groove as phaser fire peppered the dark sky around her. He didn't dare fire another torp because of how close she was to him. Then she pulled up at the last minute and the torpedo, which had not yet had time to readjust sped into it's owner. Archer didn't watch the blast as she spun the craft around trying to get clear all the while calling, =/\="Rocco, Bossman you ok?"=/\= She asked calmly as though she didn't just do something super stupid, while a part of her her mind thanked Chief Deneso on her previous ship for helping her understand the tricks of torpedo operation.

=^=Rocco here, yeah I'm fine, thanks for the save. And nice move there, but not good to put yourself in danger like that. We'll discuss it later.=^= Terry flew in and out of phaser fire, returning as much as he could. =^=Stay with me, Archer. There's another Dominion ship hard to port that needs some support.=^= Dominion ship that needed his help. Terry just shook his head. Unbelievable. Dad would roll over in his grave if he knew.

=/\="No problem Boss..." =/\= And it wasn't, she wasn't a newbie pilot anymore and that had been a foolish stunt, she'd take the riot act if it meant she saved one of her squadmates. =/\="On it Rocco..." =/\= She said slotting into position on his left, trying to keep a few nearby enemy fighters from uniting on them.

This was no straight flight for the pair. It was hard enough trying to stay close to one another, but add dodging fire into it... Terry shook his head. It was still better than anything the holodeck could produce, though. They quickly approached the Dominion ship and Terry was about to call out an attack pattern. Then he paused. A fleeting thought sprinted through his mind. =^=Archer, call it.=^=

Archer thought about it for a moment, =/\="Drunken Monkey...I mean Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 3"=/\=. Drunken Monkey as some pilots called it was a very advanced maneuver. It required the pilots to be experts but act totally clueless. In short they had the give the appearance of true randomness (hard to do), faking a systems failure or something, anything to throw the enemy off enough to get close. This drove professional pilots crazy as they nothing some hated more than amateurs because you never know what they would do, all the while keeping full control and making way toward the target. Though target approach was sometimes...creative, depending on situations. It was risky but they couldn't drag this out forever. At the end of number 3, pilots would aim and fire at same target and at the same time from wherever they happened to end up.

Terry grinned behind his helmet. =^=Roger that, Archer. You take point, then. That monkey's all yours.=^=

=/\="I'm on it Rocco." She said, a small part of her mind wondering at the change in SOP for maybe all of a millisecond before it was pushed aside for more important things like dodging phaser fire from an oncoming fighter. She tapped keys on her console, sending Rocco and other related pilots a copy of her updated tactical map with the monkey angle suggestions. There was a small grid of fighters protecting the enemy ship they were trying to get to. If they could get close enough to the enemy ship there was the extra fun of friendly fire if they could manage it. Archer like to call it 'Karma Combat'.

Another of the benefits was it allowed flexibility in the hands of an experienced pilot or as Galahad would say, "Options, it's a good thing". She tapped a few more keys with an evil grin then 'accidentally' flew very close to the beam of an oncoming fighter. Smoke billowed from the back of her fighter as she began to spiral 'out of control' she was limping vaguely toward the enemy ship. The enemy, sensing blood in the water, called another fighter out of position to run her down quickly. It just happened to leave a gap just big enough at the bottom of their defense grid if Rocco were as good as she hoped.

Terry smiled. =^=Way to go!=^= he said into the comm. Terry accelerated, eyes on the small opening in their line of defense. He rolled his fighter and adjusted the pitch slightly to match the angle. A moment later, Terry was on the opposite side, dodging phaser fire and targeting the backsides of the enemy. The nearest Javelin fighter's shields dropped and Terry let loose on it's engines. He grinned as he watched parts fly and the fighter slow to a coast. =^=Oh yeah! That's what I'm talking about!=^=

Archer had gotten a few close calls as she 'drifted' just barely avoiding getting shot. The moment she heard Rocco's cheer, she tapped a few keys and spun around on a dime. She shot a torpedo at the two out of position enemy fighters from the hip it wasn't exact but she didn't need it exact just about right would do. It went right between them, then she fired phasers setting off the torpedo that engulfed the one fighter and critically damaged the other as they tried to dodge. That one dead in the water, spun around and Archer slowed to pass it. She couldn't see into the cockpit but dipped one of her wings briefly in a millisec banking maneuver, a pilot 'hello' as she slung around the enemy craft then sped to back up Rocco for she too was now behind their lines. Not easy to do at the speeds even the slowest fighters could move but just manageable given the distances. =/\="Don't hog all the fun Bossman..." =/\= she joked even as her eyes skimmed her readouts, seeking a target.

=^=Oh believe me, there's plenty of this fun to go around=^=, he said, dodging another blast.

Aurilia brought her Peregrine through the field of phaser fire, torpedoes and fighters, picking targets at random as she maneuvered the small, powerful fighter. A fighter attempted to get behind her and she decelerated quickly and dropped down before she raised up and fired two torpedoes which impacted on the weaker rear shields and blew the craft out of the sky.

Lieutenant Mal, the Bajoran who'd been assigned to Moretti as a wingperson, activated his comm. =^=Slick move you got there.=^= he said, pulling up alongside her. He had just come back from taking out a Consortium fighter that was tailing Jem'hadar fighter. =^=Seems like every time we take one out, two more fill it's place.=^=

As if on some sort of magical cue, two Peregrines appeared out of nowhere, unleashing a volley of phaser fire.

Aurilia executed a Delta three as the other Peregrines got on her tail and felt her fighter shudder as she jinked hard to starboard and then dropped back. "Oh, it's a beautiful day," she muttered. =^=Have a ball, Mal,=^= she called. =^=Time to make a sandwich.=^= She lined up on the second Peregrine and fought to get a lock on it.

=^=Oh, I like sandwiches.=^= Mal gunned his fighter and then executed a Lambda-Two. After he came out of his half-roll and drop down, he spun his fighter around and headed straight for the Peregrine. Getting a lock on the damn thing was harder than the Bajoran thought. "Come on, come on, hold still you little...." It was an interesting little game to say the least. They were both trying to get a lock on something that was trying to break it and get one on them. And they were all three getting closer by the second. "Well, it worked with a starship," he said to himself, "why not try it with a fighter." =^=Hold on, Tango. I'm gonna try something a little unorthodox in this fighter.=^=

Mal knew that high warp for a Valkyrie was only warp four, but it was worth a shot to try and fool the Peregrine's targeting sensors and catch the pilot off guard. He suddenly accelerated to warp four. Seconds later, he just as suddenly dropped out of warp and unleashed the full fury of his phasers on the Peregrine. =^=Woohoo! Take that you Denebian slime devil!=^=

Aurilia watched her wingman take on the Peregrine as she got a lock on the one she was now behind and fired a barrage of phaser fire at its aft shields and watched them go down. A moment later, she fired two photon torpedoes and had the pleasure of watching the enemy craft blow up before she realized she had likely just killed a person who was under the influence of the Consortium and immediately felt guilty.

=^=Nice shot, Red=^= said Mal. =^=Oh, uh, sorry about that.=^= The Bajoran was kicking himself for letting that slip. Handing out nicknames was a horrible habit he picked up in the Academy, no thanks to his Human roommate. His fighter suddenly rocked with a phaser hit. The pilot checked his shields and found that they had dropped by ten percent. He shook his head and sent his fighter into a dive, half looping around and coming up under his attacker.

Aurilia circled around when she saw Mal take a hit and lined up another fighter that was bearing down on her. She wanted to help her wingman, but had other issues and dipped the nose of the Peregrine down and accelerated before she pulled up and strafed the underside of the enemy fighter before blowing past it.

Mal accelerated towards the ventral side of the fighter, firing all the way. He watched as the shields flickered and disappeared. He targeted the fighter's weapons and fired. Sparks, panels, and parts flew off as he zoomed by, grinning. He could still fly, but at least he couldn't target anything.

Aurilia peeled off and lined up with Mal again. .=^=Let's teach these guys how to fly=^= she said as she spotted another fighter heading their way. =^=Low-high?=^=

Mal looked out of his canopy and saw Aurilia's fighter pull up. She was good pilot and he was glad that he had been paired up with her. =^=Oh yeah, I like the sound of that.=^= he said.

==Charlie Flight==

Sam headed straight to starboard, seeing one of the dominion ships taking heavy fire from the Consortium fighters. "Galahad, still with me? That Dominion ships getting hammered, lets see if we can take some of the heat off of them, attack pattern delta six!" She ordered. "Charlie flight, follow my lead, we can't afford to lose any of these Dominion ships!" She commanded, keeping her voice even.

Galahad had just come out of a screeching dive trying to avoid his own dance partners when he heard the call, =/\="Acknowledged Lady My Lady..." He singsonged, his face fierce as he was forced to abandon his primary position in attack pattern delta six and was forced to go to his secondary. Problem with fighting people trained like you were is the need to get creative. As they got they entered into, what Galahad called 'The teeth'. An area of space where a handle of fighters were reinforcing each others fire with solid overlap. Galahad followed Sam, knowing they had to break that unit cohesion or the ship was in trouble.

Behind Charlie Flight emerged a pair of Javelins. It didn't take long for their targeting sensors to establish a lock on the lead fighter, the one identified as Charlie One, and fire off a photon torpedo.

=/\="Crap, Galahad I've got one on me, you see him?" She asked, weaving swiftly in and out of pieces of debris, trying to break the lock, and narrowly avoiding the photon torpedo. "That was close, anyone got eyes on?"=/\=

=/\="You got a hot date who wants a kiss, don't worry looks like it's going home with a piece of debris. Let's go find it's parents, give them a talking to for raising such a player..." =/\= He said, tapping a few keys and dropping hard. He was coming fast from above and to the right of the javelin pair, he tapped a key sending high lights of the battle map to Sam with the pair noted. Then he fired phasers, and as he was still a distance it was more to distract them but anything to get them off his Wing Leader. The battle had caused them to pull apart so it took precious seconds to get into range.

=/\="Send him my thanks, but i'm already taken Galahad, if you can take them out, it'll be a few less to deal with later!"=/\= She said, still weaving through the wreckage. =/\="Hey, at least they've pushed us in the right direction! They're not doing a very good job of keeping us off of their friends!"=/\= She said, pulling up slightly, before locking onto one of the Consortium Valkyries, and firing her phasers.=/\="Hey, Galahad, one down, twenty-three to go!"=/\= She laughed, looking around for her next target.

Galahad didn't answer immediately, he was busy watching a torpedo he'd just released side swipe a Javelin. Causing it to spin and explode into his partner. The downside to professional pilots, they were very good at keep station. Galahad knew that, so when he came of no where to blast them he made sure of his angles to better take out both of them. If pilots didn't add some variety to their training they could get predictable, something Galahad tried to avoid. =/\="Let's fill our dance card..." He replied to his Wing Leader as he swung his craft around.

==Black Knights==

All around the fighters, the battle raged on. One of the Dosi cruisers collapsed under Dominion fire, exploding and damaging one of remaining cruisers. This Consortium loss was not without attrition as two of the Jem'Hadar fighters were lost under Selamat fire.

One of the Selamat ships turned its attention from the larger Dominion force towards the pesky starfighters. Seconds later, weapons fire began to surround the Black Knights.

Terry may have been involved in breaking the lock of a Javelin, but he could still notice the explosion of a Dosi cruiser and the resultant damage of another. And fortunately for him, so did the pursuer. Terry dropped and cut his speed, pitching up slightly then accelerating. He launched a torpedo and watched the Javelin explode. Veering hard to port so as to dodge the explosion of the fighter, he narrowly missed a phaser shot. And then another. And then another.

=^=Uh oh,=^= Terry said into his comm. =^=Rocco to Black Knights! Evasive maneuvers! Selamat battlecruiser inbound!

=^=Tango complying.=^= Aurilia called as she peeled off from her attack run after dispatching a Valkyrie and headed away from the big battlecruiser with her fighter rocking from port to starboard to make a smaller, moving target. =^=Form up on my wing, Mal,=^= she called as she veered off to port.

Mal rolled and then looped back around towards Tango. =^=Copy that. En route.=^= Second later the Bajoran came up on Aurilia's side. Going at it with fighters was one thing, but trying to take on a battlecruiser was a whole other game entirely. One that he didn't like to play.

=/\="On it Boss..." =/\= Archer said and swung off her target, focusing entirely on denying the battlecruiser a kill shot. They hit hard but what gave the Black Knights their chance was their maneuverability. She kept her eyes on the readouts, adjusting her flight path on the fly because only the dumb and the desperate took on Battlecruisers. The Black Knights were not quite that desperate yet.

=/\="Problems of being popular..." =/\= Was Galahad's reply as he shifted into a randomized maneuver meant to aid him in avoiding the tan to end all tans. His fighter responding like the finely tuned machine it was as he made his craft dance, keeping an eye on anything he could pot shot along the way.

==Selamat Battlecruiser==

Once they had made sure that their own backsides were safe, Terry had an idea. Back during the battle with the O'Carroll, the squadron had managed to make a hole in the shields surrounding one of the nacelles and damage it. The O'Carroll couldn't warp out. A smile crossed his face behind the helmet. =^=Rocco to Black Knights, I have a plan. Charlie Flight, distract the Selamat battlecruiser, just long enough for us to get close. Alpha and Bravo, we're going in for a tight fight. The closer we are, the harder it is for them to target us. Once inside their zone, we target the weapons relays. After we're on the inside, Charlie can join us. Can't take the ship out, but at least we can make them shut the hell up. Now form up! Time to take the battle to their front doors!"

Aurilia formed up with Alpha Flight and toggled her com and wings once she was in position. =^=Tango in position,=^= she reported as she checked her shielding and how many torpedoes she had left. Ten out of twenty wasn't bad, but if she wasn't careful with her shots, she could run out easily.

Archer dodged a piece of random phaser fire to swing into a path near Rocco, =/\="Arrows away Rocco..." =/\= Replied Alexander. Alexander as she prepared for what was a crazy move, it could work but that didn't mean it wasn't risky. She did a quite check, the craft had taken some damage but was responding well and she would have to space out her torpedos but would be able to show some teeth. She supposed this far into the battle to still be able to move and shoot was impressive.

Galahad actually wished he could rub his head but it was trapped in a helmet. Distract? This wasn't going to be easy. =/\="So Lady My Lady plan? We could fly around their bridge, buzz them like angry bees or something, just so many ways to irritate. Wish we could hack their coms, I could sing the songs of my people..."=/\= He then blasted a straying enemy fighter as it got to close then swung the craft on its new heading with Striker.

"Hmmmmmmmm.....we can't hack their coms, but I have an idea...follow my lead!" She said, pulling off from the main squadron, and looping around behind the Selamat vessel.

The Selamat vessel charging towards the squadron was roughly the size of a Romulan Warbird. As the distance between both closed, the polaron beams intensified, narrowly missing a few of the fighters.

Aurilia locked on the Selamat Battle Cruiser's port polaron array and watched the distance close as she waited for reports come in for Charlie Flight that the ship was distracted. A polaron beam off her port side convinced her easily that the Selamat weren't distracted yet and veered off without firing the torpedoes.

Gemma aka Archer kept near Rocco dodging fire like she was on ice, slipping and sliding all over the place but always returning to a good position to strike from once they could get close.

Terry had been weaving in and out of fire and trying to get as close to the battlecruiser as he dared. But there was nothing doing. =^=Lopez! Where is our distraction?!"=^=

"Coming right up boss!" She said. She'd positioned charlie flight behind the battle cruiser, where there shields would be weakest. "Concentrate fire on this location!" She told her flight, indicating a weakening area of shielding on their HUD. She fired, the flight following suit. "Distraction in progress boss, give them hell!" She said, firing and dodging polaron beams.

Galahad had to laugh, =/\="Kicking them in the gibblies that's just mean now..."=/\= He said to Striker with humor in his voice even as he locked on with a full phaser and torpedo load firing together with the others for best effect.

Terry noticed their attacks had lessened somewhat and was glad that Charlie Flight was on top of it. He swung around for another run, bringing the battlecruiser up with the weapons relays overlaid. The nearest to them was on the dorsal side of the ship. =^=Archer, there's our target.=^= He fired a quick phaser at the area and watched the shields shimmer. =^=Now let's hammer it until we get through.=^= The Lieutenant Commander unleashed a barrage of phaser fire followed by a micro-torpedo and more phaser fire. Once he passed the location, he half-looped and targeted the area again.

Aurilia saw Rocco go on his attack run and brought her Peregrine around in a tight loop while she located Mal on her sensors. The Bajoran was right where he should be and she had to admit that he was a really good wingman. She lined up against the battlecruiser and fired off a volley of phaser fire at the shields overlaying the weapons, followed by a pair of photon torpedoes. =^=Hit 'em and make 'em hurt, Mal!=^= she called as she veered off in an evasive maneuver.

Mal followed right behind Aurilia and targeted the same area that she had just fired on. He was already low on torpedoes and wanted to save some for when they penetrated the shields. So he fired all the phasers his Valkyrie had right at the same area. The shields shimmered as Mal zipped by. =^=Oh yeah! That's the way to do it!=^= The other Alpha Flight pilots lined up behind Aurilia and Mal and launched a few torpedoes total at the weapons relay.

Archer's craft sped toward the target area =/\="Oh and that's a lovely big target, give us a hard one next time..." =/\= She joked over the coms about the small area they were trying to all hit. She loaded a torpedo, one of the readouts on her Heads Up Display giving her a running tally, she'd have 5 more after this pair. "Better make it count..." She thought as her eyes skimmed the battle map on the HUD, enemy craft in red, friendlies in green with debris and other obstacles as well. Dozens of fast and slow moving obstructions were being tracked by the fighter's software, "That right baby give me a target..." She crooned to her ship as it locked on to the area of space she'd fed into it. She unloaded on the spot same spot then gave the inertial dampeners a workout as she u-turned, reloading the launcher.

With Charlie at the rear and Alpha on the bottom, Bravo had chosen one of the relays on the forward section of the cruiser. The hope was that maybe with enough firepower on three different locations, the enemy wouldn't have enough time or power to allocate more energy and the shields would drop.

Galahad let out a cheer as his load hit where he meant it too. The full phasers and single boomer, what pilots sometimes called torpedo's, hit with a satisfying explosiveness on the shields. He pulled out, preparing for another pass. Loading one of 4 torpedo's he had left. =/\="Right up his six!"=/\=

The Selamat shields buckled and collapsed under the firepower from the fighters. Before any of the Black Knights could say or do otherwise, a barrage of polaron fire from a Jem'Hadar battleship blasted open the Selamat hull. Seconds later, only large bits of debris were left behind to litter the battlefield, resulting in plenty of obstacles for the fighters.

This victory was not without a price as the Akihito and Brandenburg collectively disabled one of the Jem'Hadar Battleships. As it lost power, it collided with another battleship, sending more debris sprawling into the fray, taking out two Jem'Hadar fighters, a Dosi cruiser, and five of the Consortium Javelins.

=/\="Runaway, repeat we got a runaway!" =/\= Archer called over the coms for those who may have been distracted and she hauled jets to clear space between her and the runaways aftermath, making sure the little green dots of the others were doing so as well. Galahad arrested his heading and shifted pulling back, after making sure Striker was with him.

The explosion of the Selamat battlecruiser and the resultant runaway Jem'Hadar battleship caused Aurilia to veer wildly through what was now more of a minefield than ever. A large piece of something hit her Peregrine and she saw lights turn red across the board. She dismissed the ones she could and fought to keep the important systems online while her small fighter spun towards another section of ship.

She gained control of maneuvering and rolled hard to starboard and nearly into a polaron beam before she jerked hard to port again and pulled up as hard as she could to get over the chunk of debris. She cleared it with inches to spare and tried to find where her wingperson was while struggling with her other systems after turning the blare of the alarms off.

Mal had lost track of Aurilia, which was not a good thing for a wingperson. He was in a place where he had to dodge the flying debris more than the energy beams and fighters. But for that, he was grateful...debris didn't return fire. But debris could still do some damage. =^=Mal to Tango, are you out there?=^= He sincerely hoped that there was a response.

=^=I'm here, Mal=^= Aurilia said after she had finished another evasive maneuver. =^=Things got really hairy there. I see you on sensors and coming around.=^= She vectored the Peregrine around more rubble and approached her wingperson.

=^=Glad to hear your voice=^=, he said, watching her pull up to him on the sensors and out of the cockpit.

Aurilia lined up with Mal and checked her sensors, then laughed. =^=We have nine yards of crazy to navigate, Mal=^= she said as she loaded more torpedoes. =^=Good news is that our big bogey is no more. Bad news is that we have less friendlies and more big bogeys.=^=

=^=That sounds about normal,=^= Mal replied. =^=Outnumbered? Check. Fewer allies? Check. Certain doom? Check. Just another day in Starfleet? You bet! How about we navigate the crazy and let 'em have it?"

=^=Let's rock and roll!=^= Aurilia replied as she headed for the next target on the sensors.

=^=Woohoo!=^= Mal called out. He dodged another piece of debris and brought the next target into focus. Aurilia was an awesome wingperson.

Terry knew that the Jem'Hadar were their allies at the moment. And the loss of allies was the only reason he sighed when the two battleships collided and two more green indicators disappeared from his screen. The explosions sent shockwaves that propelled already existing debris into their flight paths. Dodging that along the continual polaron and phaser blasts made for an interesting obstacle course.

=^=Rocco to Black Knights, nice job so far. But if the Consortium capital ships are so damaged from the battle that we could drop their shields, then it stands to reason that ours might not be fairing well either. We concentrate on the enemy fighters now. Take. Them. Out!=^=

Archer was finally able to loop her way back to Rocco's area after dodging debris. The area had become a bigger minefield than before with even more obstacles popping on her screen, as a chunk of ship flew at her she was just able to climb out of its range so close it almost kissed her hull. A proximity alarm flashed, it didn't blare she turned those off as distracting in battle, but it eventually silenced when she finally cleared it. She heard Rocco's order and glanced to the right of her console where the weapons data scanned on the HUD, =/\="I've still got 4 boomers with one in the chamber. We'll own this furball, let's tag team Rocco we can leap frog through these bastards..."=/\=

=^=That works. Follow my lead.=^= Terry dodged some more large pieces of debris and lined up on an incoming Valkyrie. He didn't have that many torpedoes left and was trying to rely on the phasers. His tactical sensors showed a possible weak spot in the shields over the port wing. Taking opportunity, he fired on that spot and watched the shields flicker. Terry pulled up, going over the enemy Valkyrie, and fired the aft phaser bank. The flash of light from behind told him that his target was either disabled or destroyed. =^=Next.=^=

Archer swung around coming to in front of Rocco but from the side, also having to dodge the remains of the ongoing battle. A piece of luck was with her as she looped around a particularly large piece of debris only to have it explode just after she passed as a microtorpedo hit it. A few seconds off and it would have been Archer spread all over space. She kept control and rode the wave then spun about on a dime blasting another Valkyrie. It's shields flicked but held returning fire. She hoped the phaser's worked she wanted to save her torpedoes for the big targets. She dropped like a rock then jacked her front up, blasting with phasers. This time it cut through and the enemy fighter spun out of control then crashed into another chunk of ship. Archer spun back to Rocco, =/\="And another one gone..."=/\=

=^=Nice shooting...Archer,=^= Terry said, with a grin on his face. =^=As many as we can take, let's do it. We have to get these Consortium down to a more manageable size.=^=

Galahad was in a screaming climb trying to outrace a torpedo that wanted get up close and personal, he managed to skim a piece of debris just close enough the torpedo hit that instead unfortunately he couldn't quite clear the shockwave and it spun him out causing red alarms to yell at him as he fought for control. When he did regain he never saw the surprised look on the enemy pilots face as the other realized one was in the crosshairs of Sito's phasers, Galahad fired before he his conscious mind fully registered the situation. "Your Kung Fu is not strong..." He muttered then heard his Squadron Commander's voice over his coms. =/\="On it Rocco, Striker oh Lady Mine let us show this lot what real pilots can do!"=/\=


All around the Black Knights, the war waged on. As ships were damaged or disabled, debris continued to litter the battlefield. Though numbers dwindled on both sides, the advantage finally tipped in Starfleet's favor when the remainder of the Dosi Cruisers were taken out. The Antares, began a creative strategy, using its forward deflector dish and tractor emitter to push debris in all directions. It would be too much for the phaser arrays of the attacking ships to repel, not to mention the sudden waves it would cause with the fighters.

Aurilia saw the wave coming from in front of the Antares and her proximity alarms started to blare. The debris field was now much bigger and moving much faster than it had been and it was all she could do to avoid the rubble even as she fought the deflector and tractor wave front that was coming from the starship. =^=Tango to Alpha. We have a big bogey creating lots of waves that require our attention=^= she called as she veered hard to port, stood the Peregrine on its side to slide between two chunks of something and nearly had a heart attack as she had to pull up hard to avoid another piece of battle debris.

=^=Roger that, Tango. Thanks for the heads up. Rocco to Knights, watch yourselves. These waves could take you out if they catch a lot of debris. Upside is that they might catch of few of their own fighters. So let's start making big rocks into little rocks. And if anyone can manage to get to the source of our problem, take your shots.=^= Terry tipped his Valkyrie sideways to miss a large chunk of ship and felt the shudder as it slid across his shields. "Crap," he muttered to himself. Terry was afraid to even look at the readout for his shields, but glanced anyway. "Down to twenty percent..."

Archer, thanks to the warnings was able to avoid the rubble she flew as near Rocco as she could safety, =/\="Rocco, saw the hit are you ok? I think I can extend my shields if we fly tandem..." She didn't mention her own shields had taken a few hits but at 60% they were still pretty good.

=^=While that wouldn't be a bad idea normally, I don't want to risk it in combat. Too much maneuvering. But thanks, Archer, I'll be alright.=^=

=/\="Oh ye of little faith" but said in a tone that completely understood the statement, it was a risky maneuver at that best of times. And while Archer and Rocco were both good pilots, if it didn't have to be done that was best.

Galahad was busily cursing in fluent Bajoran with creative phrases as he was forced to dodge huge chunks of starships. The Valkyries were very maneuverable but they were also traveling fast, in some cases Galahad had dodged a chunk then his conscious mind caught up. It was thanks to the hours and hours, years of training that his reflexes were able to act at the speeds they needed to survive. =/\="Anyone got eyes on our party crasher?"

The Invincible turned towards the cloistering Black Knights squadron and continued to push debris in its direction. As soon as it found a few antimatter pods from the Selamat ship that miraculously hadn't detonated, it gave that chunk a firm push, and as soon as it was in range of the squadron, it fired a phaser lance to detonate the pods.

Terry pulled up as the explosion happened for two reasons, he didn't want to be blinded and his ventral shields could handle the shockwave and debris field better. Once everything settled, he found the Invincible on his target list. =^=Rocco to Black Knights, disregard the debris and blow that damn ship up! She's not as 'invincible' as she thinks she is! Alpha, we target her Bridge and see if the Consortium knows how to breath in space. Bravo, Charlie, target their warp core. Disabling is not an option! Rocco out.=^= Terry formed up with Archer and headed for their Bridge, phasers firing. If they could put a hole in the shields, every last micro-torpedo he had was going in.

Archer pulled up just barely avoiding getting blinded =/\="On your six Boss", pilot speak for 'right behind you' or in her case behind and to the left. She still had torpedoes and meant to use them big time, she check her phasers. Systems operational, normal charge. "Live by the sword, die by the arrow..." She said, her face intent as her eyes tracked the huge amounts of battle obstacles to dodge as she made her way to the target. As they got closer to the bridge, phaser fire and debris attempts increased. It was getting harder and harder to dodge the deadly projectiles but Archer persisted with the rest of her team. The Invincible, as the Boss said, was not as invincible as they thought and the Black Knights would prove it.

Terry nodded. Oh yeah, they were going to take this beast down one way or another. There was no doubt in his mind about that. =^=Archer, let's keep it up. Something has to give somewhere.=^=

Aurilia executed a quick warp jump to take her Peregrine away from the explosion and turned sharply. She loaded all four of her forward torpedo tubes and powered her Type J pulse phasers as she began her attack run from a above position of the Invincible. She watched the range close in while executive a series of defensive maneuvers, she fired everything she had at the bridge of the Ronin class ship and veered away through a hail of phaser fire. Her shields were taking a beating and she only hoped that she could survive another few runs.

Mal followed Aurilia towards the Bridge of the Invincible as the Commander had ordered. He could hear the tone in Rocco's voice. He too, was tired of the banter with the Consortium. It was time to end this once and for all. He fired his phasers at the shields over the Bridge and watched them flicker. It could take a few runs, but hopefully not. The ship had already been in battle with the other larger ships and he sorely hoped that her shields weren't as strong as they were at the beginning of the battle.

Alpha's Four, Five, and Six approached the Bridge from different angles with the idea of giving them more targets to fire at and hopefully spread out the ship's phaser fire. All three Valkyries targeted the same spot over the Bridge's shields and opened fire with their J-Type and Type-VII phasers along a couple torpedoes each. They veered out of the way after their attack run and took a few strafing shots to their shields before reforming for another run.

The half-Klingon woman grinned as she lead what she had left of Bravo Flight to the ship's Engineering section. She and three other Valkyries opened fire on the Ronin class's Engineering hull where their warp was stored. Two of her other pilots had broken off and were trying to open a hole in the ventral shields where the warp core would eject. If they could breach that part of the hull, imagine what a couple well placed micro-torpedoes would do in that shaft.

Galahad streaked toward the target, finally happy to have an actual target to take his anger out on since he'd almost lose control. Unfortunately explosion took a second to recover and he had to haul jets to catch up with the others. He glanced at his weapons readout, unfortunately his low amount of torpedoes wouldn't magically rise in number but he would make every one left count. He flew his craft well, banking around debris, going over, under and away from enemy fire. Anything he could do without taking his eyes off the prize, a big, fat enemy ship that was going learn a very painful but brief lesson in humility.

The Captain of the Invincible was furious. Pesky Starfleet fighters at his Bridge and Engineering section. He had ordered the shields strengthened around the Bridge and continued firing at the mosquitoes that plagued him. The ship banked to port and brought her dorsal phasers to bear on the fighters at her Engineering section. The slight shift in position opened the window for Tactical to get a better lock on the group of three approaching fighters that were coming around for another run at their Bridge. The lock was good and the phaser beam found it's target as one of the fighters exploded in a small ball of brilliance.

Aurilia banked her Peregrine around hard and cursed as she nearly flew directly into a phaser blast, managing to jerk hard to port at the last second. She reloaded her torpedo launches and saw that she had two remaining and hoped she could make them count. Taking on a fighter was one thing, but a ship was another and she had seen how quickly Alpha Six was wiped off the field of battle. With the amount of debris everywhere combined with the enemy fighters, ship and Starfleet ships, she was amazed that she could discern enemy from friendly. She lined up once more and launched her torpedoes and watched them impact against the shields of the Invincible before she fired her phasers and quickly blasted past the ship once more.

Archer climbed in an engine screaming maneuver that pushed the inertial dampeners to the limit in trying to dodge the intense firepower of the Invincible. She caught the destruction of Alpha six as a bright light on her right. She growled, literally growled, as she bore down on her controls Zig, Zagging back to the bridge but coming from above. She dove at the top of the bridge where the phasers had a harder time getting a lock and swung around to lock in her own weapons. She fired full phasers then let loose one of her remaining torpedoes, reloading as she swung about for another pass.

Galahad and Charlie flight were doing the same coming at the area of the warp core from angles designed to lessen the effectiveness of the enemy's firing angles. Basically attacking from 'the blind spots', a torpedo later and he was down to two as it and the phasers tried to open a hole in the shields. The shields rippled, weakening, =/\="Shields weakening, uploading data to HUD" =/\=. He announced making sure his fighter's analysis was reflected in everyone's HUD if they wished. He raised one hand from the controls as he swung around for another pass to make a rude gesture at the vessel. "Prophets have mercy..." He thought, "Because we won't...". And like a good gnat buzzed around the head of the giant ship being irritating as only fighter pilots knew how.

Terry grit his teeth behind his helmet. That was it. =^=Fire at will!=^= he ordered. He brought his fighter around and to bear on the Bridge as best he could while dodging the phaser fire. It was difficult to say the least, but he'd just lost another pilot. He wouldn't lose any more. The information from Galahad came across and he smiled. This was it...it had to be. He fired all phasers once again at the Bridge and watched them flicker once...twice... and then they fell around the Bridge. =^=Shields are down at the Bridge! Fire! Fire!=^= The Squadron Commander fired the last three micro-torpedoes he had and watched them explode on the Bridge's hull. He grinned and released phaser hell on the Consortium. =^=Space them!=^=

The Captain of the Invincible fell out of his command chair as his Bridge was rocked from above. Consoles exploded, crew members fell, sparks flew from wall panels and the ship's internals became externals. "Get those shields back up!" he screamed. The bridge rocked again. "NOW!"

Aurilia loaded her last two torpedos as she studied the information from Galahad and brought her Peregrine around once more. She dodged a huge piece of debris and lined up her shot, firing the torpedoes directly at the bridge after the shields fell and fired her phasers before flying past the ship once more. =^=Time for a Grand finale!=^= She called to her wingman.

Mal came around and laughed into his comm. =^=Grand finale it is!=^= He looped around and targeted. His last four torpedoes found their mark as did the phasers. He watched the explosions with anticipation... When the smoke had cleared, so to speak, Mal could see the interior of the Invincible's bridge...and the Consortium Command Staff.

Terry, still fueled with rage at the loss of Alpha Six, took the opportunity to ensure that no one would be able to access or secure the bridge and fired his J-Type phasers directly into it. He saw multiple explosions as he closed in. And that would be that.

Archer was right behind him and still seeing ship, she slide to one side of Rocco and sped up to get a clear shot. It was worth it to fire one right down it's neck as it hit the back of the destroyed bridge and exploded. =/\="Something caught in their throat..."=/\= she said to Rocco, =/\="Maybe a lozenge?"=/\= She joked darkly as she pulled up and away.

=^=I'm fresh out=^= Aurilia replied as she veered off and away from the ship.

The half Klingon heard the Commander's orders over the comm. She grinned. =^=Let's see if we can do the same here=^=, she said. She launched a couple more torpedoes at the shields covering the warp core ejection area. She watched as the explosions rippled the shields. Growling only slightly, she fired her Type-J's at the same location.

Galahad Fired one of his two remaining torpedoes right at the warp core ejection shaft area and was stunned when the shields crashed, he didn't know if that were lucky or a bad idea but just in case he pulled up and away clearing for another run as he tried to watch his torpedo.

A combination of fighters from both Bravo and Charlie Flights, seven of them to be exact, formed up in a line and prepared for an attack run as soon as they saw the shields fall. Each of the Valkyries unloaded two to three micro-torpedoes each, followed by a series of phaser bursts at their target. When they had all come around to re-form, they saw pieces of hull floating away as well parts of the interior. A hole had been made.

Lieutenant Ap'eth immediately saw the devastation on the bottom of the Ronin class vessel. =^=Razor going in! Cover me!=^= She found herself dodging debris from their attack as well as the debris that the Invincible and the Anteras had tried to shove into them. The littered battlefield was about to become more so if her last torpedo was on target. She slowed to a stop beneath the open warp core ejection shaft and adjusted her Valkyrie so that she was staring straight up into it. Even if the shaft had something else blocking access to the core, it would start a big enough explosion to the job. "quvHa' Hegh maghwI'."* She fired and then sped away as fast as she could. =^=Razor to Rocco, torpedo inbound towards the warp core.=^=

=^=Holy...Black Knights, evasive maneuvers! Get to a safe distance and beware the debris field! A shockwave might push them all around!"

Aurilia engaged warp away from the Invincible as it started to blow and saw a corresponding explosion on her sensors before she came out of warp. =^=Mal, do you copy?=^= She asked before reporting that she was okay.

The Bajoran shook his head as he heard Aurilia's voice in the comm. He had warped out of their way in time but had dropped out of warp near several large chunks of starship. "Filthy sensors," he muttered. "I knew they were in and out, but, that's just stupid." He'd managed to dodge most of them as he went to impulse, but caught one bad enough that it had knocked him cold. =^=Uh, yeah, yeah, I copy, Tango...but just barely.=^= He checked his readouts on the screens. =^=My shields are down to twenty percent, sensors are spotty, and it looks like I've got sparks coming out of my left wing. I still have phasers and engines, though. No more torpedoes. How are you?=^=

=^=That's a negative, Mal=^= Aurilia replied. =^=I'm fresh out of torpedoes and I have nothing but skin for shields and bones for protection.=^+

Gemma hauled jets, almost redlining the engines even as she quickly tapped keys trying to get a flight path out of the likely debris field in the end she had to wing it since she couldn't wait for the computer to catch up. She just had to hope the weird angle she choose would help when it blew.

There was nothing more that any of the crew on the Invincible could do. Their bridge and Command Staff was gone and internal sensors indicated a warp core breach because it was exploding. Nothing. The warp core detonated, destroying the Ronin class ship and sending chunks of ship, along with a shockwave, into the debris field.

Every vessel had to react quickly to the warp core breech. Two Karemma Freighters were unable get away in time and were immediately removed from the battlefield. A Javelin Squadron that was about to fight back against the Black Knights was caught in the wake as well and was disabled. The tide had clearly turned now in Starfleet's favor. But it would not stop the Consortium. They would fight to the bitter end, as evidenced by one of the Selamat cruisers ramming a Jem'Hadar Battleship. This was far from over.




*Roughly, "A dishonorable death to the traitors."

 

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