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The Battle of Minos

On Stardate 41798.2 the Enterprise-D arrived in the Lorenz Cluster to investigate the disappearance of the USS Drake, which itself had been investigating recent long range sensor scans which indicated that all intelligent life on the planet Minos had recently vanished.

The Enterprise found no trace of intelligent life whatsoever on Minos, although the ship was greeted by an automated salesman which was eager to point out the benefits of the advanced weapons systems which Minos could offer them. The planet, known as "The Arsenal of Freedom", had gained fame as a supplier of arms during the Erselrope wars by selling weapons to both sides and had even adopted the motto "Peace, through superior firepower".

Commander Riker led a small away team down to the planet to investigate, and was greeted by Captain Rice, the Drakes commanding officer and an old friend of Riker. Rice questioned Riker intently concerning his mission and ship, raising the Commanders suspicions. These were confirmed when scans revealed that Rice had no life signs and was in fact a projection. On its discovery, the projection vanished to be replaced by a small floating drone which encased Riker inside a forcefield. Such devices were known as an intelligence gathering system which attempted to uncover information by posing as somebody the subject trusted. On discovery the system would capture the subject for further interrogation at a later date. Captain Picard beamed down to Minos to take command of the away team himself on learning of Rikers condition.

The drone then engaged the rest of the away team with a beam weapon until it was destroyed by Lieutenant Yar. Unfortunately the drone was only the first in a series of weapons, each one an improvement on the last. The second drone had an ability to dodge phaser fire, although Yar and Data were able to hit and destroy it when firing together. The away team was split up during the fighting and Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher fell into an underground cavern.

The firing disrupted the away teams communicators, leaving them cut off from the Enterprise. In orbit the ship had its own difficulties; another, much larger drone equipped with a cloaking device attacked repeatedly, battering down the ships shields and evading all attempts to hit it in return.

The third drone to appear on the surface had a forcefield system, but the away team was able to collapse it and destroy the drone by concentrating fire from three phasers simultaneously. The devices were arriving every twelve minutes and Yar commented that as this one had taken the entire away team to destroy, she could not see how the next one could be defeated.

In orbit the Enterprise began to lose its deflector systems, and Lieutenant LaForge warped out of orbit. He ordered the saucer section to detach and carry the ships civilian complement to Starbase 103 while he returned with the stardrive section in a last attempt to recover Captain Picard and the away team.

In the cavern on Minos, Captain Picard discovered the computer system which controlled the weapon system. The automated salesman who had greeted the ship appeared and boasted of the systems advanced capabilities. Captain Picard managed to convince the salesman to shut the device down by agreeing to purchase one of the units.

Unfortunately, this only halted the surface attacks. In orbit the drone facing the Enterprise continued its attack with a vengeance. LaForge took the ship into the planets atmosphere and the weapon followed, making itself visible through the turbulence it created in the atmosphere. The Enterprise fired on the drone, destroying it.

The away team returned to the ship successfully, and Lieutenant LaForge took the stardrive section to rendezvous with the saucer before returning command to Captain Picard.1

Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 1 The Arsenal of Freedom
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 5)
Source: The Arsenal of Freedom


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 4,097 Last updated : 11 Apr 2004