Star Trek Hunter
Episode 18: World on Fire
Scene 10: Gamorlan Rising
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18.10
Gamorlan Rising
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Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh'Qaoleq goaded Interceptor 2.A to warp 3, following the warp trail of Interceptor 1.A. Commander Pepper's warp trail was easy to follow, but she had no idea what he was following until she caught up with him. Interceptor 1.A was hot on the trail of a klingon bird of prey. The bird of prey decloaked, re-cloaked, decloaked again - as if the cloaking device were malfunctioning. The klingon ship was evidently having other problems - its flight pattern was unstable.

At warp 3, all three vessels were swiftly leaving the Gamorlan solar system. Then the bird of prey re-cloaked and Interceptor 1.A dropped out of warp.

Thyssi dropped out of warp and flew back to the derelict Interceptor 1.A to find it drifting, pilotless. Her readings showed the canopy escape transporter had been used - Pep had transported himself from the interceptor onto the bird of prey.

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Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth was headed skyward and hit warp 5 before exiting the atmosphere - which would have shredded any normal shuttlecraft. But the uparmored wagon was built to take additional stress. As soon as he had cleared the atmosphere, he brought the shuttle up to its top speed of warp 6.

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"Change of plans." Justice Minerva Irons stopped massaging her neck and sat up in the captain's chair on the bridge of the U.S.S. Hunter, currently hidden in a rocky cocoon built on top of a massive caldera. "We'll dock with the other units later. Prepare to take us up, Ethan."

Ensign Ethan Phillips, who had been almost lounging in the pilot's seat, sat bolt upright, shook his head quickly and said, "Aye, Captain…"

Irons smiled. "Napoleon, it's time to break an egg."

Lt. Napoleon Boles was standing at the tactical station behind the captain's chair. "Oh goodie, I love breaking things." He played the console as if it were a pipe organ and a cascade of phaser fire from the U.S.S. Hunter's phase cannons cut the rocky shell the ship had been hiding under into chunks that were blown outward as the Hunter's shield expanded.

It took a few seconds for the Hunter's thrusters to bring the ship up to a minimum altitude.

"6 meters, Captain," Phillips said.

"Photon torpedoes, Napoleon - full spread," said Irons. "Ethan - warp 9 - engage!"

Boles raised a dark blue finger dramatically, then emphatically touched a control on the tactical console, in response to which streams of photon torpedoes spewed from all four of the Hunter's torpedo tubes.

At the same time, the U.S.S. Hunter, hovering a mere 6 meters above a massive caldera, seemed to elongate, then went to Warp 9, bringing up tens of thousands of tons of blazing magma in its wake.

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As the Hunter cleared the atmosphere, its photon torpedoes circled the planet and buried themselves into inactive volcanoes and calderas scattered across the face of Gamorlan, then exploded, each with the power of several hundred hydrogen bombs combined. Within a minute, the entire planet blossomed into a massive display of volcanic eruptions.

As the Hunter warped out of orbit, the monstrous I.R.W. Fero was just arriving, coming out of warp into low orbit - just in time to get caught up in a planetary magnetic shift, which played havoc with all the ship's systems, knocking out power on both the Fero and the romulan freighter that was parked in orbit, leaving both ships incapacitated as magma spewed up over and over, sparking enormous bolts of lightning that struck both ships.

The Fero regained power enough to pull into a higher orbit, then lost power again just in time for an enormous chunk of newly solidified magma to smash through the lower port wing and the tail, causing the ship to tumble end over end. The powerless freighter, in a lower orbit, was swiftly riddled with planetary debris, breaking the ship into thousands of flaming, exploding pieces. The Fero regained enough power to right itself and break orbit before losing power again, small figures in EVA suits putting out fires and making emergency repairs to the broken sections that were open to space.

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It took only a few moments for the wagon to pull into the Hunter's shuttle bay. The Hunter then caught up with the interceptors. Flight Specialist Dih Terri beamed over to Interceptor 1.A and docked it immediately after

Thyssi docked her craft.

For about 20 minutes the Hunter searched around the area for any trace of the missing bird of prey and their missing crew members. Once it became clear that the I.R.W. Fero, despite the damage to its hull, was starting to limp through the system, beginning its own search pattern, Justice Irons ordered the U.S.S. Hunter to flee the star system…

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18 – World on Fire