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ST TOS - 117 - The Edge of the Sword - Errand of Vengeance 1 by Kevin Ryan

ST TOS - 117 - The Edge of the Sword - Errand of Vengeance 1 by Kevin Ryan

Author:Kevin Ryan
Language: eng
Format: azw3
ISBN: 9780743445986
Publisher: Star Trek
Published: 2020-07-14T16:00:00+00:00


Chapter Thirteen

“PROBE IS AWAY, CAPTAIN ,” Spock said.

A moment later the viewscreen showed the probe appear ahead of the ship, its thrusters making it look like a small comet as it traveled ahead and out of view.

“Take position* Mr. Sulu,” Kirk said.

“Aye, sir,” Sulu said as he guided the ship behind one of the larger asteroids. This one, Kirk knew, was more than a kilometer in diameter, more than big enough for their purposes.

“Switching main viewer to the probe’s transmission,” Spock said as the screen showed the probe’s distant view. In the left-hand corner, the image showed a small-looking Enterprise hugging the surface of the asteroid. The rest of the screen was filled with the asteroid field, the edge of which was now visible.

Many of the asteroids turned and moved, catching the light from the system’s star. For the first time, Kirk realized the scene was quite peaceful, beautiful actually.

[143] “All systems ready, Captain,” Spock said.

“Fire,” Kirk said, without hesitation.

The probe showed seven streaks lash out from the Enterprise in succession. They traveled in an apparently lazy arc away from the ship, around the asteroid, and out toward the edge of the orbital plane and the end of the debris field.

Then the torpedoes diverged, taking carefully selected positions near larger asteroids. Then, virtually simultaneously, the antimatter charges in the torpedoes met the matter and they exploded.

The resulting series of explosions was remarkably bright and Kirk had to shield his eyes for a moment. The charges immediately pulverized the nearby asteroids and sent debris flying in all directions.

The resulting chain reaction of destruction was, Kirk thought, both terrible and, in its own way, beautiful. With debris racing in every direction at high speed, it was only seconds before the large debris cloud struck the asteroid shielding the Enterprise. For a moment, the asteroid seemed to be swallowed up, and then the image disappeared.

“Probe destroyed,” Spock said.

The main viewer once again showed a view of what was ahead of the ship—in this case, the asteroid.

Kirk turned around to watch Spock, who was looking into his station’s viewer.

Kirk waited. After long seconds, Spock looked up and said, “Debris cleared, no remaining significant navigational hazards on our course.”

Spinning around, Kirk said, “Take position, Mr. Sulu.”

The Enterprise turned and moved away from the asteroid.

[144] “Deflector screens and navigational deflectors on maximum,” Kirk ordered.

“We’re in position, Captain,” Sulu said.

The screen showed an orange-red tunnel of dust ahead of them, forming a path the torpedoes had cut out of the asteroid field.

“Ahead one-quarter impulse,” Kirk said.

The ship began to move and the viewscreen immediately showed space dust and small pieces of asteroid flashing against the deflector screens. Kirk knew the navigational deflectors would push most of the larger pieces out of the way.

Most, but not all.

The deflector screens would handle the rest, but even a pebble-sized piece of debris would pack a tremendous punch when it was struck by a starship going at impulse speeds.

“Shields holding,” Spock said.

“Half-impulse,” Kirk ordered.

“Half-impulse, aye,” Sulu responded.

Kirk sensed Dr. McCoy behind him, leaning closer to the command chair, then gripping it tensely.



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