Portar, the Benzite scientist, emerged from the turbo lift. He quickly walked around the bridge looking over the shoulders of the on duty crewmen as he evaluated each of their efforts. He passed in front of Captain Dorra d’Hexplora before taking a seat beside her. He leaned towards her and said, “The experiment is ready. It’s time to begin, Captain. May we proceed?”
Scorpius and his squad of Peacekeeper commandos escorted Dorra and Finley to the hanger bay where they had left their shuttle. They didn’t get much opportunity for sightseeing before being escorted to the detention level, so when they entered the massive chamber the peace keepers used as a shuttle bay, Dorra finally got a sense of exactly how large this one vessel truly was. This one chamber alone seemed to stretch for miles in nearly every direction. Every 50 or 60 feet, there was another docking port, which housed a single Prowler, but there were hundreds if not thousands of these docking ports lining the interior.
You could probably fit a Federation Starbase in here, she mused.
Dorra was shoved as a reminder to keep moving. She had stopped in order to take in the whole scene, while Scorpius and the forward squad of guards had continued on toward the shuttle. Once jolted into moving, she jogged ahead to catch up to them.
The shuttle appeared structurally intact, but every piece of equipment that they had on board, was sitting on the platform beside it. She suspected that this was the stuff that they weren’t interested in keeping for themselves. She wasn’t going to take an inventory to determine what was missing, or push the issue with her hosts.
“Our prowlers have orders to ensure that this exchange goes as smoothly as possible. At the first sign of subterfuge or maleficence, we will not hesitate to destroy your vessel. Do I make myself clear, my dear Captain?”
“Crystal clear,” Dorra replied. Her shuttle was no match for a fraction of the Prowlers that would be escorting her.
Eager to get underway, she and Finley walked over to the stack of equipment and started hauling it back inside the shuttle. They didn’t have time to properly organize and store their equipment; they had a deadline that was fast approaching. They just shoved equipment wherever it would fit, yet somehow; they still ended up with a crate of miscellaneous items that couldn’t be squeezed into any of the overhead compartments. They hauled crate inside and left set it down, just inside the door.
With permission from Scorpius, they sealed the shuttle’s hatch. Dorra took the pilot’s seat and quickly went through their flight checklist in record time. The shuttle lifted off the docking pad and flew off towards the exit with dozens of Prowler escorts buzzing and whizzing all around them. Minutes later, they cleared the Command Carrier’s docking web and took a position within view of the wormhole.
They were early, which was the way that she wanted it. However, if the crew of the DaVinci took too long to get their preparations in order, she feared that the Peacekeepers would interpret it as subterfuge and would destroy them.
The wormhole opened up a few moments later. Another delta-flyer class shuttle emerged and flew around the debris towards them. Once the other shuttle’s course was computed, Dorra engaged thrusters and started moving towards the wormhole. When she knew that the prowlers were actually allowing her to proceed on her own, she increased speed to half impulse and fought to keep from getting away from there to quickly.
The two shuttles met in the middle, and as they passed one another, Dorra breathed a sigh of relief to discover that Portar was not onboard. In the off chance that the DaVinci had run out of time, she would have to wait until the shuttle was at maximum transporter range before beaming Portar off of it. She thanked the ancestors for their good fortune thus far, and increased speed to full impulse.
As the other shuttle approached the Command Carrier, Dorra and Finley had almost reached the wormhole. Dorra released the stream of verteron particles that triggered the wormhole to open, while Finley opened a communications channel with the shuttle and entered his activation code.
The tricobalt device began powering up. As its power levels increased towards overload, the prowlers detected the energy signature and began to scatter. However, it was too late for many of them. When the device detonated, it took out more than half of the ships and crippled a dozen more. Those that managed to survive the explosion set a pursuit course for Dorra’s shuttle.
Dorra expertly piloted the shuttle down the anomaly’s massive throat with a half dozen prowlers in hot pursuit.