A Debt of Honor, Part 3 – Buying Time

“We need to buy us some time,” Dax was telling the others.  The Alliance fleet was less than eight hours away.

“How many raiders have we got left?” Bashir asked Smiley.

“Only one,” O’Brien answered.  “There’s no way we can stop the Alliance attack.”

“Maybe not, but I might be able to buy more time before they get here.”

“You’ll never make it back!” Smiley told him.

“Is that what you’re worried about?” Bashir shot back.  “I thought it was because you were going to reap all the glory!”

“What good is glory when you’re dead?

“Who said anything about dying?” Bashir asked.

Dax broke in.  “When are we leaving?” she asked.  “I never liked staying in one place for very long.”

“Then it’s settled,” Bashir said.

“Before you go we better make damned sure you can get us that extra time,” Captain Sisko told both of them.  “Maybe I can get some information out of our … prisoner.” As Sisko went to the Intendant’s holding cell Kruge approached O’Brien with his own idea.

“I could use my own ship to delay them further with an inverse graviton burst,” he told Smiley.  “It would disrupt their warp fields and force them to drop to impulse until the gravitons dissipated.  If I could engage them in battle it would delay them even further.  I’d confuse their sensors in the opening moments with a spread of torpedoes.”

“You’re as crazy as Bashir!” O’Brien told him.  “The Regent is using his own flagship to command the fleet! You can’t really expect to generate a big enough burst against that.”

“A single Bird-of-Prey could do it by diverting warp power to the shields.” He handed Smiley a padd containing some calculations.  O’Brien looked them over.

“Even if you can do this, he pointed out, “there’s no way Bashir’s going to be able to tell you apart from the Alliance ships.  And if I know Bashir he won’t even try.  It’ll be even money who gets you first.”

“A Bird-of-Prey is much faster than a raider,” Kruge countered.  “If I leave right now I can engage them long before the others get there.  I know I can do this,” he added, and left.

“Good luck” Smiley said.  He had to admit they could use all the help they could get.

Kruge met Dax and Bashir on the way to his own ship.  Dax filled him in on what they’d learned from the Intendant about Alliance weaknesses.  “She’s been singing like a lark,” Dax said. “Seems she’s suddenly decided she doesn’t want to face Alliance ‘justice’. We’re going to try to create some warp shadows as decoys.”

Kruge told them his own strategy.  Between the three of them they just might buy the time they needed.  “Qapla’,” Dax told him.

“Qapla’,” Kruge replied. 

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