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So, I picked up my notebook to type up the next segment and realized that my editing on pencil and paper was so mangled that even I had missed a section with my notes to grab a paragraph and move it here and there.  Ironically, the section that got left out explained WHY the Enterprise lowered their shields.  When I posted a couple of weeks ago, it read thus:

“What about life form readings?” the captain inquired.

“The majority of the crew seems to have survived the attack, but life support could fail at any moment,” Soved reported.

“Mr. Sulu, lower the shields for transport.”

What it should have had was this:

“What about life form readings?” the captain inquired.

“The majority of the crew seems to have survived the attack, but life support could fail at any moment,” Soved reported.

“Uhura, get me Dr. Chapel in Sickbay.”

“Chapel here.  What do you want?”

“Chris, I am going to have you beam over with a security team to see if there are any injured and to begin evacuation procedures.”

As Kirk waited, he had a gut feeling that something was wrong.  In a few minutes, Chapel’s voice came over the comm.  “Jim,” she said, “We’re ready to transport now.”

“Mr. Sulu, lower the shields for transport.”

Does that extra conversation with Sickbay and the explanation that they are beaming over a security team to help evacuate help explain why they were lowering their shields right after raising them?  I think so.  Oh well.  You don’t really care about that, all you want to know is “What happens next?”  Well, prepare for a scene that jumps around in character perspective and reveals the outcome of the ambush with the Ambush. (there was no foreshadowing there, was there?)

Here is the conclusion of chapter 8.  There is one more long chapter (I will break it up) and an epilogue to follow.  How can there be stuff after this chapter?  Wait and see.

As Sterling stepped out of the turbolift, she wondered what had gone wrong.  She was just in time to hear the enemy commander’s statement.  “I am Primus T’Vael.  On behalf of myself and my five field primuses in command of these vessels, I declare your ship to be the property of the Romulan Praetor and your crew to be prisoners of the Romulan Empire.”

Kirk was impressed.  Field Primuses seldom met in groups of more than three, and Primuses never left the homeworlds.  His ship had been trapped swiftly and efficiently, leaving him no possible courses of action.  Well, almost none.

“Computer,” he said, “Identify Kirk, Captain James T.”  He paused, then continued, “One code, one-one-A.”

His science officer followed suit.  “Computer, identify Soved, Commander Robert S., acting Science officer.  Two code one-one-A-two-B.”

Sterling, voice trembling, contributed her part.  “Computer, identify Sterling, Commander Sophia P.  Three code, one-B-two-B-three.”

“Destruct sequence programmed.  Awaiting final code for sequence initiation,” the computer responded neutrally.

There was no hesitation in Kirk’s voice as he repeated the phrase which would blow up the Enterprise, all the while targeting the warp drives of the Romulan ships with the phaser controls.  “Final code, zero-zero-zero-destruct-zero.”

“Sequence initiated.  Sixty seconds until detonation,” replied the computer.

“Kirk, we know you’re bluffing,” said Primus T’Vael.”

“I only bluff when I know I’m not going to be called on it, sir,” Kirk replied steadily.

The level of anxiety rose as the time on the digital readout decreased.  When only thirty seconds remained, Kirk fired all phasers and photon torpedoes.  He continued to do so until the weapons pod overloaded.  That didn’t matter, though, because it had done its job and Kirk wasn’t planning on using them ever again.  When the timer got to five, Kirk didn’t stop it.  He had passed the point of no return.  The Romulans tried to get away on impulse power, but Kirk smiled because he knew that there was nowhere to run.  He had jettisoned the warp powered log buoy at 45 seconds and all of Starfleet would know their fate.